La Sagrada Familia

La Sagrada Familia Maduro Robusto Extra

La Sagrada Familia Maduro Robusto Extra. The second blend of the Dutch cigar brand La Sagrada Familia. Dutch cigar enthusiast Tom Mulder fell in love with cigars on a trip to Cuba. Back home he became a regular at the Van Dalen Cigars shop in Den Bosch where he met Sasja van Horssen. After many years of friendship, Mulder approached Van Horssen with a question. That question was “can you introduce me to cigar manufacturers that can produce a cigar for me?”.

Mulder and Van Horssen talked to Juan Martinez from Joya de Nicaragua. And with Joya on board as a manufacturer, Mulder flew to Nicaragua. The first blend, a Habano version, was a success. It sells well in The Netherlands so a second blend was waiting to happen. And it is this La Sagrada Familia Maduro. Made with filler from Esteli, Nicaragua. Add a Dominican binder and an Ecuadorian Habano Maduro wrapper, and you have the La Sagrada Familia Maduro line. I did review the pre-release many years ago.

The cigar looks good. A slightly rough, yet evenly dark wrapper. Oily and a bit weathered under the scorching sun during the growing process. The black, gold, and white ring pop on the dark background. The aroma is deep and strong. Complex barnyard aromas. The triple cap is perfect. The cigar feels packed, hard.

The cold draw is good, with a mild honey flavor and a little kick in the aftertaste. The first flavors are dark, earthy, and leathery with the bitterness of dark chocolate. But not the flavor of dark chocolate. And there’s a hint of white pepper. The pepper gains power, and some honey supports it in the background. At the end of the first third, there is a bit of a liquor flavor, almost like rum-soaked dark chocolate. The Maduro sweetness kicks in during the second third. But not overwhelmingly. Nicely balanced with spice, wood, and leather. There’s even a milk chocolate flavor noticeable. The flavors become more complex. Wood, hay, chocolate, leather, and spices. Wood becomes the main flavor, with hay, white pepper, and honey.

Due to the thickness of the wrapper and the fact that the cigar is packed, it takes a little effort to get the burn going. But once it goes, it’s beautifully straight and slow. And the draw is fine, even though the cigar feels hard. The ash is light in color and firm. Not firm enough to survive a drop from the ashtray on the desk though. But that’s a user error, not a cigar error. The smoke is good. The strength is medium-full, just as the flavor. The smoke time is three hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? I liked it, but I like the Habano blend better.

Categories: 91, Fabrica de Tabacos Joya de Nicaragua, La Sagrada Familia, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , ,

La Sagrada Familia Sun Grown Toro

La Sagrada Familia Sun Grown Toro. Early 2017, Dutch entrepreneur and cigar aficionado Tom Mulder launched his La Sagrada Familia brand. As a passionate cigar enthusiast, Mulder thought about starting a brand. With help from his long-time friend Sasja van Horssen, he got in touch with Joya de Nicaragua. After a trip to Nicaragua and smoking several test blends, La Sagrada Familia was born.

The first blend is a cigar with Nicaraguan filler and binder. The wrapper is Habano from Ecuador. The cigars are popular in Tom’s home country The Netherlands. But when he left a few cigars at a cigar bar in Malaysia during a vacation, Malaysian cigar connoisseurs begged a distributor to carry the brand as well. And now the cigars are also available in Germany. Mulder isn’t looking for quick expansion but is adding more countries slowly.

The cigar looks good. A nice oily Colorado colored wrapper, without any thick veins. A simple ring, yet recognizable and clean in design. White, blue, and silver-gray. The cigar feels good. No detectable plugs of soft spots. The aroma is strong, deep, and intense. Spices, earthy, yet with some sweetness.

The cold draw is perfect. It leaves a spicy, mildly peppery, raising flavor on the palate. The cigar is mild earthy, mildly spicy but the main flavor is a creamy latte. The mouthfeel turns dry. As far as flavors go, some sawdust, caramel, spice, and leather show up. A little vinegar binds the flavors together. The coffee flavor remains, with some leather and hay. Then nutmeg and chocolate show up. At the end of the first third, the cigar has cedar, leather, coffee, pepper, and spices. The coffee remains in the second third, but now with a stronger acidity. The acidity mellows out, leaving more coffee, spice, and a little pepper to shine. The final third has more character. More wood, more leather, little earthiness. Some sweetness in the retrohale. There is a nice dose of pepper as well. All flavors are getting stronger.

The draw is flawless. The white ash is firm. The smoke is thick, white, and full. The burn is razor-sharp. It’s a medium-bodied, medium-full-flavored cigar growing to medium-full in strength. Well balanced and smooth. But the cigar loses character after a year of aging, so we suggest to smoke them when they are on the younger side. The last third had that character that was lacking in the first part. The smoke time is three hours and forty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes I will

Categories: 92, Fabrica de Tabacos Joya de Nicaragua, La Sagrada Familia, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , , ,

La Sagrada Familia Maduro Robusto

Last year Tom Mulder, a cigar aficionado from The Netherlands, released his first cigar under the name La Sagrada Familia. I have known Tom for quite a few years and had we talked about his ideas years ago, and it was or is nice to see his dream come out. He partnered up with the oldest factory in Nicaragua, Joya de Nicaragua and released a three vitola series in The Netherlands, starting from there and will slowly but surely spread to other countries.


This year Tom will release a second line, the La Sagrada Familia Maduro and just as with the regular La Sagrada Familia there will be a small charity connected to the cigar, part of the proceeds go to projects in Nicaragua under the #bepartofthefamily hashtag. Last year it was a charity for single mothers that made a living by recycling paper, I don’t know what Tom’s next project will be. Anyhow, it’s good to see that some of the proceeds flow back to the people in Nicaragua that need our help most. If any of you out there want to help out in Nicaragua with a donation, please visit the website of my friend Asha who runs a charity in Nicaragua called Atrapa Suenos.


Back to the cigar, I smoked a pre-release but Tom told me the ring will be exactly the same as the ring on his core line, just black and gold, therefore I rate the ring the same as I rated the core line. The wrapper is dark and is leathery, both to the touch and to the eye. the triple cap is perfect but the cigar feels rock hard to the touch. Evenly hard though, so I don’t expect any problems with draw. The aroma is medium strong, earthy and leathery with something of a dark chocolate smell too.


I cut the cigar with my Joya de Nicaragua branded Xikar cutter which seemed appropriate considering the cigar is made there.  The cold draw is good and quite peppery. After lighting the cigar with my classic Ronson varaflame I taste peppery coffee, quite strong. After a few puffs it chances to chocolate with a little pepper though. After an inch the flavor is more toasty with a little cocoa. After a third I still taste some toast but with an earthy flavor and a very little lime. The final third is earthy with pepper. The cigar surely gets spicier, without becoming too spicy. The earthy flavor turns into something I would describe as carrot, that’s what comes closest.


The draw is great and the smoke is thick, full and white. The burn is straight as an arrow. The white ash is dense and firm. The cigar has a nice evolution. I would say this is a medium plus bodied cigar, full flavored. The smoke time is surprisingly long, almost two hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes, no doubt.

Score: 92
number92

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your reviewer with Tom Mulder (La Sagrada Familia)

Categories: 92, Fabrica de Tabacos Joya de Nicaragua, La Sagrada Familia, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

La Sagrada Familia Toro

Last april I posted a review of the La Sagrada Familia, the brand of Dutch cigar aficionado Tom Mulder. The line, made by Joya de Nicaragua, comes in three sizes (so far?), a 5×50 robusto that I reviewed, a 6×50 toro, that I’ll be reviewing now and a 6×60 gordo that I will ignore due to the ring size that I hate. Too much flavorless filler in a big ring cigar compared to the flavorful wrapper, the ratio is gone and that makes almost all big ring gauge cigars flat, undynamic and boring to smoke in my opinion. Ofcourse, there might be gordo sized cigars out there that are specially blended for the size that might not be so boring and flat, but I haven’t had one yet and I’m not eager to try such big cigars anyway.

 


I really liked the robusto, I have high hopes for the toro too. I haven’t talked to Tom in a while so I don’t know if his cigars will be distributed in other countries than just The Netherlands but if not, and you are dying to try these cigars, there are a few Dutch retailers that will ship to wherever you want them too. Just shoot me a message, here or on Facebook, and I’ll send you in the right direction. And trust me, you want to try these Nicaraguan tobacco filled cigar with the Ecuadorean habano wrapped cigars. The robusto is €8 and the toro will set you back €9, I don’t know the price of the Gordo.

 


The cigar looks good, reddish brown with a few veins that give it character. The construction feels good and the triple cap is placed perfectly. The cigar has a strong aroma, a mixture of a smoldering fire pit combined with manure. That doesn’t sound to appealing, but somehow it is a pleasant smell. The ring is blue, white and silver. A blue background with silver grayish lining and a silver grayish band in the middle and a crown in the centre, I call it a Rolex crown. There are also two white lines and white lettering La Sagrada Familia and smaller letters hand made Nicaragua. Oh, and in case you haven’t read it, Tom is donating $ 0.10 of every cigar sold to a local charity in Nicaragua, find out more on the website www.bepartofthefamily.com

 


I punched the cigar, the cold draw is perfect and gives me a rye bread flavor. I lit the cigar with my vintage Ronson. I taste coffee with some bitter chocolate and something metallic. After an inch I taste leaves with a little bit of caramel sweetness. The cigar gets a little spicy too and after two weeks I taste a strong perfumed floral flavor with the autumn leaves, and some toast too. The aftertaste is pepper. After two thirds I taste cinnamon and nutmeg but the flavors give me a dry feeling in the back of my throat and I still taste some floral notes.

 


The smoke is thick, white and plentiful. The draw is perfect. The burn is good, nothing to complain about. The ash is light colored and firm. The cigar is medium bodied yet full flavored with some interesting flavors and a nice evolution. The smoke time is an hour and a half.

Would I buy this cigar again? I prefer the Robusto, even though the floral notes in this vitola are stronger.

Score: 91
91

Categories: 91, Fabrica de Tabacos Joya de Nicaragua, La Sagrada Familia, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , ,

La Sagrada Familia Robusto

La Sagrada Familia, you might only know that name as the masterpiece of Spanish architect and artist Antoni Gaudi, since late 2016 its also a cigar brand from a Dutch entrepreneur, Tom Mulder, who blended this cigar with the master blenders at Joya de Nicaragua, the factory where his cigars are being made. Now I have known Tom for years, I tried several test blends, smoked the pre-release and I was there when he and Sasja van Horssen (cigar distributor in The Netherlands, owner of Cigaragua, the worlds only “all Nicaraguan” cigar shop) talks about making a brand together, later on they decided it was better if Tom did the brand on his own. From day one the idea was to give a donation to a Nicaraguan charity for each cigar sold, an idea that eventually evolved into pronica but that didn’t stop Tom from still donating $0.10 per cigar sold to another charity, a project with single mothers that recycle paper into postcards but his charity will change every year. My idea of including a postcard in every box didn’t make the final cut, still think it would be a nice touch but it was too complicated to make it happen Tom told me. In another conversation I heard them brainstorm on how to get the message across on the charity, and what charity Tom picks every year because advertising tobacco isn’t allowed in The Netherlands and Tom can’t make a La Sagrada Familia website. I interupted them and asked “what about just a charity website?” and that’s what happened (click here).


Now the cigar, it is a 5×50 robusto, there is also a 6×50 toro and a 6×60 gordo, and its made with Nicaraguan habano from different regions as binder and filler with an Ecuadorean habano as a wrapper. I know this isn’t the exact same blend as the test blend that was chosen or the pre release versions I smoked, later in the process Tom decided to change the wrapper to the Ecuadorean habano that is used now. The cigars are cellophane wrapped and this robusto has a €8 price tag in The Netherlands. I took the cigar out of the cellophane and feel a silky smooth wrapper that looks good, a few thin vins and its quite oily, the color is medium light, like the crust on a loaf of white bread. The cigar feels firm, well packed and has a nice cap. The ring looks big, but actually isn’t, I don’t know what it is, the color scheme or the design, I don’t know but it looks bigger to me than it is. The base colors of the ring are a dark blue and gray/silver that are supported by two thin white lines. On the front there is white lettering with the La Sagrada Familia name and a silver logo that represents the La Sagrada Familia towers in Barcelona but instantly made me say Rolex. I don’t know if Rolex used the La Sagrada Familia for inspiraton but the resemblance is striking. On the sides it says handmade and nicaragua in blue letters. Its a nice ring but it could use a bit more finesse to make it really pop since the design is also quite simple. The aroma is medium strong and warm, no ammonia at all, just hay, wood and sawdust.


I punched the cigar and the cold draw is perfect. I taste hay with raisin and a little bit of white pepper on the background. I light the cigar with a soft flame and taste espresso with a hint of licorice. The licorice disappears quickly and after a centimeter I taste coffee with a faint chocolate flavor. Soon after I taste white pepper with some wood. After a third the pepper is pleasantly strong with a mild lemon in the aftertaste. I also taste the licorice on the tip of my tongue again but it’s faint yet very pleasant. Later on its pepper with leather, the leather is cubanesque but the pepper makes it too strong and too flavorful to be Cuban and that’s a good thing in my book. I also taste a wood flavor.


The smoke is rich and full, just the way I like it and the draw is perfect. The ash is light colored, firm and dense. The burn is straight as can be. This cigar is full bodied and certainly full flavored. The evolution is good. The smoke time is an hour and a half.


Would I buy this cigar again? No doubt, this will be a staple in my humidor.

Score: 94

94

Categories: 94, Fabrica de Tabacos Joya de Nicaragua, La Sagrada Familia, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , , , , ,

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