Nica Libre

Nica Libre Torpedo

The Nica Libre brand is a brand created by A.J. Fernandez for Cigars International as a cheap alternative for the Padron anniversary series and they called it the Padron Killer. It’s pretty clear that they did everything to make it look like a Padron, box pressed, the San Andres maduro wrapper in the same shades as Padron and even the ring resembles the Padron band a little, but then with a $3 price tag on the 6×52 torpedo *note: i’m smoking an aged one, with the old ring*

I guess I bought this cigar about 7 years ago, when I still ordered cigars from overseas and when I was looking for a good quality steal. I went online and bought several boxes of cheap cigars on Cigars International, cigars of which I heard good stories and this was one of them. And with A.J. Fernandez behind this cigar I just had to buy it since I loved almost all the cigar that I had smoked with his signature on it.

As I said, the cigar has the same shape as a Padron, the dark, leather like wrapper looks great and the factory hid the vein at the back of the cigar. The ring has different brown and beige colors and it is almost a copy of the Padron anniversary bands, C.I. did everything to make this cigar resemble a Padron, a little more creativity would have been nice. The construction feels great and the cigar has a well finished head. The aroma is quite mild and I smell some wood and dark chocolate.

I cut the cigar with a xikar butterfly cutter. The cold draw is perfect, I taste dry and spicy tobacco. After lighting I taste coffee, soil and green spicy herbs. Soon after I taste dried fruits. After an inch I also taste some pepper. Halfway I taste carrots, pepper and dried fruit, with pepper as a predominant flavor. The final third starts with a spicy wood, carrots and pepper.

The draw is a little loose from perfect but the smoke is thick and there is a lot of it. The ash is close to white. The burn is great but the ash isn’t very firm. The cigar is medium bodied and medium plus flavored. The smoke time is short though, only an hour.

Would I buy this cigar again? It’s not a Padron killer but it’s a very good 3 dollar cigar.

Score: 91


Categories: 91, Nica Libre, Nicaraguan cigars, Tabacalera A.J. Fernandez | Tags: , , , ,

Nica Libre diplomatico

The Nica Libre brand is a creation of A.J. Fernandez and the brand is compared to Padron a lot. I see praises everywhere, but the Nica Libre torpedo I smoked before didn’t do anything for me. People kept telling me to give the brand another try, so I lit the 7×50 Nica Libre Diplomatico.
The wrapper is dry and has a chocolate color. It looks leathery and mild oily with not a lot of veins. The cigar is a bit box pressed and I feel some soft spots in the construction. The predraw is fine and I taste raisin and dry tobacco.
I taste coffee and after half an inch I also taste some wood. The coffee disappears and now I taste an earthy flavor with herbs and wood. After a third I taste musty wood and some puffs later some cheap amd mild chocolate. The musty feel of the flavors disappears.
The chocolate slowly gets stronger and after two thirds I taste some nuts. After that the flavors turn into wood with a little bit of nuts and at the end a high dose of herbs and pepper.
This cigar lasted me for two whole hours. I got a lot of medium thick smoke. The draw is good. The light gray ash is reasonably firm. The burn is good, although I had to correct it a few times. This cigar is full flavored and medium to full bodied.
Would I buy this cigar again? Nah, I prefer other A.J. Fernandez blends

Appearance: 8 / 10
Construction: 7 / 10
Draw: 8 / 10
Burn: 7 / 10
Smoke & ash: 7 / 10
Aroma first part: 7 / 10
Aroma second part: 6 / 10
Aroma third part: 7 / 10

Categories: Nica Libre, Nicaraguan cigars, Tabacalera A.J. Fernandez | Tags: , ,

Nica Libre torpedo

A friend gave me this cigar, another AJ Fernandez blend, as he liked them a lot. So far most of my experiences with AJ Fernandez are pleasant ones so I was looking forward to this Nica Libre. The reviews I have read mentioned Padron a lot, which only raised my expectations.
This box pressed 6 x 52 torpedo has a nice, silky San Andreas maduro wrapper with some small veins. The Nicaraguan puro has a nice round head and a tasteful band, although I can see why people would call it a Padron Anniversary rip-off band. The construction feels good and the cigar has a pretty full barnyard aroma. The predraw is loose and I taste pepper.
I can taste a full flavored coffee flavor, mild bitter, maybe even harsh and after half an inch I also taste a sour flavor for just a few puffs. The bitterness fades a bit, but there isn’t much change in flavors.
After 2/3rd I can taste a bit of chocolate as an aftertaste. The chocolate disappears and I get some wood instead, that tries to break through the coffee.
The draw is way too loose, but I still get a lot of thick white smoke from the cigar. The ash is a bit frayed, pepper & salt colored and quite firm. The burn is good, but a bit fast. This cigar is full bodied and full flavored.


Would I buy this cigar again? No. This is a boring, dull cigar and I didn’t like it a lot.

Appearance: 8 / 10
Construction: 6 / 10
Draw: 6 / 10
Burn: 7 / 10
Smoke & ash: 8 / 10
Aroma first part: 6 / 10
Aroma second part: 7 / 10
Aroma third part: 6 / 10

Categories: Nica Libre, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , ,

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