Nicaraguan cigars

Cuatro Cinco Edicion Asia by Joya de Nicaragua

Cuatro Cinco Edicion Asia by Joya de Nicaragua. A blend introduced in 2013, to commemorate the 45th anniversary of Joya de Nicaragua. In one size, a toro. But the blend was so popular that Joya de Nicaragua decided to tweak it a little bit. And that tweaked blend was introduced as a regular production line a year later. In four sizes. Toro, Torpedo, Double Robusto, and Petit Corona. The line is part of the Obras Maestras series, the top of the line blends of Joya de Nicaragua. The flagship lines. Earlier this year, Joya’s distributor in Hong Kong, China, Vietnam, and Macau, Cigraal introduced a limited edition for Asia of this blend. In the consul size, a vitola used in other Joya de Nicaragua lines. But the sales aren’t limited to those four markets. Several other countries, like Malaysia and even the United Kingdom, have seen the introduction of this limited edition as well.

The Joya de Nicaragua Cuatro Cinco Edicion Asia is made with the same tobaccos as the regular production. That means Nicaraguan fillers with a Dominican binder. The wrapper is Nicaraguan criollo. The size is unique to the Cuatro Cinco blend, yet not to Joya de Nicaragua. The Gran Consul, a 4¾x60 bullet head cigar, is part of the Joya de Nicaragua Antaño and the Antaño Dark Corojo lines. Although, in the Dark Corojo series, it’s called La Pesadilla instead of Gran Consul. 

The cigar looks fantastic. A dark wrapper and the semi box-pressed shape of the cigar makes it look like a chocolate bar. The foot ring with the Pixiu and the Chinese Lucky Clouds give the cigar an Asian touch. The big, black, and glossy ring with the white and gold logos cover almost half the cigar. But the high quality and the contemporary design give the cigar grandeur. The construction feels good. The bullet head is perfectly shaped. Even the aroma smells Asian, with spices and herbs.

After cutting just a tiny bit off the cap, there is a fine cold draw. The flavor has hints of dry, young wood with some spicy sweetness. Once lit, the cigar shows hints of coffee, walnut, and spice. The pepper is getting stronger and it’s a mixture of black and red pepper. There is also some hay and wood. There is a nice powdered sugar sweetness in the retrohale. Coffee, pepper, and soil are getting stronger, with a hint of leather. There’s also a cinnamon sweetness. The second third starts with more spices like cumin and cinnamon. There is also some coffee, sweetness, pepper, and dark wood. Some nuts show up too. Ad the end of the second third, a faint vanilla flavor shows up too

The draw is fine. The burn had to be corrected once. The smoke was thick, white, and full. The cigar is well balanced, yet strong. Full-bodied and full-flavored without question. The ash is white and firm. The flavors are dark, yet balanced. The smoke time is two hours and thirty-five minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? I wouldn’t mind a box or two


Categories: 93, Fabrica de Tabacos Joya de Nicaragua, Joya de Nicaragua, Nicaraguan cigars | Leave a comment

Muestra de Saka Chubby Unicorn

Muestra de Saka Chubby Unicorn. Now, this is a true unicorn. Steve Saka created the Muestra de Saka Unicorn as a joke, to see if it was possible to sell a $100 cigar. But he did it with the best tobaccos he could find, not messing around with his integrity and reputation. Much to his surprise, they sold like hotcakes. He only makes 1000 Muestra de Saka Unicorns a year and last September he told me that he has backorders for at least 7000 Unicorns. And then he gave a Muestra de Saka Chubby Unicorn.


The Chubby Unicorn is a tweaked version of the Muestra de Saka Unicorn. Saka felt it could be a bit better with an extra leaf, so he made the Chubby Unicorn. Yet he has no intention to produce them for a commercial release. It is too much of a hassle, it takes up more time, energy and effort than it’s worth. The Chubby Unicorn is even more of a unicorn than the annual release. During our conversation, which took place at the launch of the Sin Compromiso El Amsterdammer, Saka did not comment on the blend. Neither did he go into specifics of the cigar.


The cigar looks great. The shape is beautiful. The wrapper is dark and oily. The veins are thin yet clear, but it fits the color and the shine. The ring looks handwritten. The cigar feels well constructed. We suspect that the same pair of rollers responsible for the Muestra de Saka Unicorn is responsible for the Chubby Unicorn as well. The aroma is woody.


The cold draw is amazing, even though only the cap was cut. The small opening gives an amazing draw though. The flavors are thick and nutty. The start is very leathery but with sweetness and cloves. Leather, soil, coffee, and spices held together by some sweetness if that comes after the initial puffs. Soon to be joined by some pepper and wood. Slowly the cigar evolves to more nutty flavors, as in the cold draw. But with wood, leather, spices, and pepper. The mouthfeel is thick and creamy. Some dark chocolate shows up as well. The leather makes a comeback right before the end of the first third. The second third is mostly nuts, with some soil, pepper, and wood. In the final third, the nut flavors are gone. It’s wood, leather, and pepper galore in the end.


The draw is phenomenal. The cigar produces a thick, full smoke in copious amounts. The burn is a little uneven though and had to be corrected. The salt and pepper colored ash is firm. The cigar is both full-bodied and full-flavored. It is well balanced though with a lot of character. The smoke time is three hours.

Would I smoke this cigar again? I wish

number93

Categories: 93, Fabrica de Tabacos Joya de Nicaragua, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Henk Maori Haka

Henk Maori Haka. For those that don’t know the luxury brand Henk, they make bespoke travel bags and accessories. All high quality, and personalized. And brand owner Heiko Poerz is an avid cigar smoker. His last creation that will hit the market soon is the travel humidor Henk Cigarbone. Poerz was lacking cigars that matched his palate, so he went out to create his own. And for that, he asked the help from Didier Houvenaghel and A.J. Fernandez. Houvenaghel is a Belgian agricultural engineer, who studied in Pinar del Rio amongst other places. And he took his knowledge to write a book, from Soil to Soul. That’s the most comprehensive book on tobacco out there. And he owns D.H. Boutique cigars.


Houvenaghel, Fernandez, and Poerz started blending. And together they created a blend that was exactly what Poerz wanted. An all Nicaraguan cigar in a 5⅗x56 size. It’s a regular production, but in low numbers due to the exclusivity. It’s available in a select number of countries. And every year, Henk releases a limited edition called the Henk Maori Masterpiece. Henk is a luxury brand, and when it comes to the price of this cigar, that shows. It’s right up there with Cohiba, Padron Family Reserve, and Opus X.

The cigar looks great. A milky chocolate-colored wrapper with a nice pigtail. But what catches the eye is the lack of a ring. Instead, the cigar has a tattoo, just like the first two Oliva Masterblend releases. It’s a round logo, with a Maori tribal design and the text Henk Maori Haka. The wrapper itself is leathery and mildly glossy. The construction feels good, and it’s a quite heavy cigar. A strong forest, straw and hay smell accompanies the cigar.


The cold draw is fantastic, with a strong peppery flavor. After lighting, it’s a pleasant coffee flavor instantly with nuts and toast. There are some spice, sweetness, leather and a very mild pepper flavor. All extremely balanced. Subtle, smooth. And the cigar stays smooth and balanced, yet flavorful with a growing black pepper. There’s also some soil after a centimeter. The flavors subtly evolve to more sweetness, with a hint of citrus. There’s also some wood. But it happens so gradually, that it’s an art. The mouthfeel is mild creamy. Halfway the cigar has more wood, oak to be precise. With more spices and still a great dose of pepper. The flavors are more pronounced now. There are roasted nuts, spices, pepper, leather, wood, and some hay. Still well balanced, smooth yet strong.

The draw is flawless. The light-colored ash is dense and firm. The burn is pretty straight. The cigar burns slowly as well, very gradually. The white smoke is thick and plentiful. This cigar is full-bodied and full-flavored. But so well balanced, that you don’t feel the strength. The smoke time is three hours and fifteen minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? For a special occasion yes. I would pick this over any Cohiba, any day.
number95

Categories: 95, Henk, Nicaraguan cigars, Tabacalera A.J. Fernandez | Leave a comment

Nicarao Especial 2015 Reserve Robusto

Nicarao Especial 2015 Reserve Robusto. A limited-edition from DH Boutique Cigars. Only 480 boxes of 21 cigars of the Nicarao Especial 2015 Reserve Robusto were released. They were spread over the 30+ countries where the cigars from Didier Houvenaghel are being distributed. The cigars aren’t available in the United States.


This cigar is made with all Nicaraguan tobacco. The wrapper comes from Jalapa, and it’s a rosado wrapper. That’s all the details we could find on this cigar. The size is 5 inches long with a ring of 52. This cigar was given to Ministry of Cigars by Houvenaghel during a get together with an Indonesian cigar manufacturer and Marc Benden from Cigarworld Dusseldorf.


The wrapper is smooth, soft, silky and reddish-brown. It looks really tasty. The ring is nice, green with black volcanos honoring Nicaragua. The yellow of the Nicarao brand name pops up. And that Houvenaghel didn’t copy the Habanos limited edition ring is a plus too. The shape of the cigar is great with a perfectly round head. The aroma is medium strong, wood, barnyard and something spicy.


The cold draw is fantastic, and it’s spicy. The cigar starts rough and powerful, with coffee, spices, and pepper. The bitterness is pleasant yet strong. After a few puffs, there is a clear cinnamon flavor. There is a unique sweetness too, like old candy. The flavors become richer, with wood, earthiness, coffee, spices, pepper, and sweetness. Rich yet smooth, so the cigar is easy to retrohale. The sweetness becomes stronger and leather shows up. There are some hay, toast, and spices. The second third starts with walnuts, pepper, and sweetness. The mouthfeel is dry. The flavors evolve. The main flavors are cocoa, leather, wood, and pepper. In the final third, there’s pepper, leather, cinnamon, nutmeg, and wood.


The draw is fantastic. The ash is white and dense. It isn’t firm though. The smoke is thick and white. The burn is straight. This cigar is complex, rich, yet smooth and balanced. The smoke time is an hour and thirty minutes

would I buy this cigar again? Yes

number93

Categories: 93, Nicaraguan cigars, Nicarao, Tabacalera A.J. Fernandez

Royal Danish Cigars Weihnachten

Royal Danish Cigars Weihnachten. For those that don’t speak German, Weihnachten is Christmas in the German language. So this is the Christmas cigar from Royal Danish. Jan Vistisen, the owner and founder of the Danish cigar brand, trademarked ‘Christmas’ for cigars and this is the first time he uses the trademark for a commercial release. He showed the cigars at the Intertabac trade show last September and gave me a sampler to smoke during the holidays.

The Christmas cigar is a play on the Royal Danish Sangre Azul 2.0. And that cigar is a mediumfiller or a Cuban sandwich as some call it. It’s made with the clippings of the expensive Royal Danish Regal Blend West Indies line. But the clippings aren’t chopped up to smaller pieces, so it’s not a shortfiller. As far as our information goes, the cigar is a Nicaraguan puro with a dark Habano wrapper.

 

The wrapper is dark, almost Oscuro. The box-pressed torpedo measures 6×50 but the head is a little uneven. The main ring is the black Royal Danish ring with the white letters, golden details and the Danish flag in the center. The secondary ring is the Cuban regional edition ring with the text ‘Weihnachten leckerbissen’ which translates to Christmas treats. The cigar feels good and looks good. The cigar has a medium-strong aroma of hay.

 

The cold draw is good. A slightly bitter flavor of dark chocolate and raw tobacco comes from the cold draw. That dark chocolate remains after lighting, but now with coffee and soil. The flavors are a bit muted. Dark chocolate, leather, pepper, and earthiness. Slowly a nutty flavor shows up too, with some sweetness. But then after a centimeter and a half, the cigar suddenly awakes. The flavors are no longer muted but crisp. The smoke gets thicker as well. The pepper grows and there is even a hint of vanilla. The chocolate flavors taste like old fashioned brownies, thick and delicious. In the final third, the pepper grows stronger. The cigar gets more wood now, with earthiness and pepper.

The draw is fine. The ash is light gray but not very firm. The smoke is thick and full. The burn had to be corrected once. This cigar is full-bodied and full-flavored. The smoke time is two hours and fifteen minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? To be honest, for €825 I would pick a premium Longfiller

number91

 

Categories: 91, Nicaraguan cigars, Royal Danish | Tags: , , , , ,

HR Signature Belicoso

HR Signature Belicoso. The Robaina name is legendary in the cigar industry. And all because of one man, Alejandro Robaina. The only person who ever had a brand named in his honor by Habanos, the marketing and distributing arm of the Cuban cigar industry. That’s how famous and well-respected he was. Now, he was not a cigar roller, he was a tobacco farmer. But he made the best tobacco in Cuba, and not just occasionally, but year after year, decade after decade. And his grandson Hiroshi Robaina is keeping the family tradition alive.


But Hiroshi took it a step further. He is also growing tobacco outside of Cuba. And in 2014, he created his own brand. Made in Esteli, with Nicaraguan and Ecuadorian tobaccos. The HR brand took off, then went silent for a bit but is now back full force with a new team and a new company name: La Familia Robaina. This HR Signature Belicoso is made with Nicaraguan filler and binder. The wrapper comes from Ecuador, and it’s a sun-grown Habano.


The cigar has a nice Colorado to Colorado Maduro colored wrapper. The closed foot makes the cigar look even better. The ring is a carbon copy of the Cuban Vegas Robaina ring, brown and gold. But this time it says HR instead or VR. The wrapper feels old looks leathery. The construction seems good. The cigar has the aroma of wood and hay.


The cold draw is good, with a leathery, spicy raw tobacco flavor. After lighting the cigar gives plenty of pepper, spice, and grass. The flavors then turn a little burned. Then it turns to wood, soil, and pepper with a hint of chocolate. The cigar gets more power, more pepper, and some sweetness. And then, in the final part of the first third, it’s sweet coffee. The second third starts with an amazing combination of coffee, leather, sweetness, spices, and pepper. In the final third, the cigar gets more wood and leather. All with a nice dose of Nicaraguan pepper.


The draw is good. The burn is great and the cigar produces the right amount of smoke. This cigar is full-flavored and full-bodied. The ash is white and dense. The smoke time is two hours and forty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Most definitely

number92

Categories: 92, HR, La Corona, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , ,

Dondurma Toro

Dondurma Toro. If you haven’t heard of this cigar, that’s all right. This is a limited edition cigar that Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust made for one specific shop. That shop is Secreto Cigar Bar in Ferndale Michigan. However, we got the cigar in Amsterdam during the launch of the Sin Compromiso El Amsterdammer (see the review here). And we loved it so much, that we requested another one to do this review. And there were only 90 boxes of 10 available. Now, we don’t know a lot about this cigar. All we found was this information on the forums of cigarweekly.com, written by Steve Saka himself.

 

Dondurma is a Liga I created back in 2015 – it features what today has become relative rare tobacco in handmade cigars, a variation of Wisconsin Comstock. I tabled the Liga because IMO while it was solid, it really is only extra special when you retrohale it and then it is magnificent. But there is no way I am ever going to get Retailers to explain this, heck I can’t get them to explain Umbagog correctly… anyhow I made about 1,000 of these cigars. I promised Cigaragua 60 of these for our event this week. After that, I just sent a few to Ronnie Haisha of Secreto Cigar Bar a few to sample because he is a retrohaling fiend. Turns out he loved them and asked if he could sell the rest to his customers and I figured heck if anyone can represent or explain this cigar to folks it is him. There are only about 90 10ct boxes – I will be in Detroit at the end of the month to drink The Balvenie US and smoke Dondurma. I can make more, but it will always be in tiny batches like this, I simply do not have enough Comstock, nor do I plan on ever having a lot of Comstock.

The cigar looks fantastic. A dark, Colorado Maduro colored wrapper with some veins. There are also some sparkles from the minerals in the wrapper. And a dark gray ring, and popping golden letters. A nice little pigtail finishes the looks. The wrapper feels very silky. The box pressing gives the cigar a slender look. The cigar feels well constructed. The aroma is strong, it’s the classic barnyard aroma that belongs with cigars.

 

The cold draw is great. Flavors of raw tobacco, powdered sugar and raising come to mind. After lighting it’s a mixture of toast, coffee, nuts, spice, and sweetness. It evolves to spicy leather, and soil, while the coffee and nut flavors disappear. Slowly there’s a sweetness and creaminess appearing. And with that combination, the name Dondurma (Turkish for ice cream) makes sense. Both Steve Saka and Ronnie Haisha (from Secreto Cigar Bar) mentioned that this cigar is perfect for the retrohale. And they are right. The retrohale isn’t aggressive, as it often is, but brings a new dimension to the cigar. In the retrohale, the toast and nuts flavor return but it also enhance the ice cream reference. The main flavors are that creamy sweetness, supported by oak, leather, and soil. After a third, the cigar gets more of a chewy, yet creamy mouthfeel. Still with the sweetness, leather, and pepper. The final third has more wood, more roasted coffee, some vegetal flavors, and that peppery, sweet cream.

 

The draw is great. The smoke is full and white. The burn is almost flawless. The white colored ash is firm. The balance of this smooth cigar is great. Even though there is a pepper, it’s never overpowering. The cigar is medium-bodied yet full-flavored. The smoke time is two hours and thirty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? I wish that was possible
number95

Categories: 95, Dondurma, Fabrica de Tabacos Joya de Nicaragua, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , ,

Brick House Year of the Rat

Brick House Year of the Rat. J.C. Newman is one of the companies that entered the Chinese Zodiac cigar game with the Brick House brand. But unlike the other brands, Brick House is not using a red-colored box or red-colored rings. In fact, except for the size and the flag tail, you can’t tell the difference between a regular production Brick House or this limited edition. Unless you see the beautiful black box with the painting of the rat and the limited-edition text.


We were unable to find any information about this cigar online, so we suspect that the blend is the exact same as the Brick House Classic. And a classic is. An old brand that was discontinued during the Great Depression. But it has been resurrected by Eric and Bobby Newman about a decade ago. This time as a Nicaraguan cigar, with Nicaraguan fillers and binder. The wrapper comes from Ecuador. And this 6¼x52 toro with the flag tail isn’t a regular production size.


The cigar feels silky. The evenly colored Colorado wrapper is smooth and almost veinless. The nice cap, a flag tail, sets the cigar apart from regular production Brick House cigars. Since there is no secondary ring for the year of the rat, the flag tail is the only sign this is a special release. The Brick House ring is a nicely shaped ring with yellow, red, black and gold color schemes. Classic and stylish. The cigar feels well constructed. The wood aroma is strong.


The cold draw is strong. Just as the flavors of raisin, raw tobacco, and pepper. Once lit the mouthfeel is thick. Hints of dark chocolate, leather, wood, soil, and coffee, all with a bit of pepper. It’s a bit hard to keep the cigar lit in the beginning. But once that problem is solved, the cigar releases sweetness with the bitterness of dark chocolate, and some dry wood flavors. Slowly the flavors become more woody with green herbs, pepper, licorice, and some sweetness. After creating more airflow, the flavors are more chocolate, more pepper, and a bit of salt. All with a creamy mouthfeel. Halfway there is coffee with chocolate, spices, pepper and a hint of citrus. The finale is wood, pepper, green herbs, and leather.


The draw is decent, not the best draw but also not bad enough to complain. The smoke is thick and full. Especially after creating a little bit more of a draw using the cigar redeemer tool. The burn is good. The smoke time of this cigar is exactly three hours. This is a medium-full bodied, medium-full flavored cigar.

Would I buy this cigar again? If it’s priced within the same range as the regular production Brick House, yes.

number90

Categories: 90, Brick House, Nicaraguan cigars, PENSA | Tags: , , , , ,

Fratello Arlequin Toro

Fratello Arlequin. Fratello is an American cigar company, founded by former NASA employee Omar de Frias. And for his cigars, he either uses Italian names or bases them on his background in the space industry. For the Fratello Arlequin, both these subjects come together. The cigars are only available in the Fratello Space Pack. A fresh pack with 4 different Fratello toro cigars. The Space Pack draws its name from De Frias his years at NASA, Arlequin comes from the jester at the old Italian theatre.


The cigars come only in a 6×50 size for now. If the public response on the blend is good, De Frias might release the blend in more shape as regular production. For the production of this cigar, Fratello uses Joya de Nicaragua. That’s where most Fratello cigars are made, although some are made at La Aurora in the Dominican Republic. For the blend, De Frias picked Nicaraguan and Peruvian tobacco as the fillers. The binder comes from Ecuador. And the wrapper is Mexican.


The cigar looks good. A nice dark, leathery-looking wrapper. The construction feels good. The ring is recognizable Fratello, yet with a colorful back that is clearly inspired by the harlequins from the Italian theatre. Without knowledge of the name and the harlequin history, the ring may seem a little childish though. But if you are in the know, it makes sense. The aroma isn’t too strong, and the cigar has the smell of old leather.


The cold draw is good. The cigar gives a mixture of leather, spice and raw tobacco in the cold draw. Immediately after lighting, there is marzipan with coffee and leather. Then the flavors change to cinnamon toast with leather and pepper. Coffee appears too, with more pepper and fruity acidity. The flavors continue to develop. Wood and leather show up while toast, pepper, sweetness, and coffee remain. The mouthfeel is a bit buttery. Halfway the cigar is sweet and bitter, with old leather, charred wood, and caramel. The final third starts with wood, leather, and the pleasant bitterness of very dark chocolate. Then there are spices as well, the flavors pick up. The pepper is present yet not overpowering.


The draw is good. The ash is salt and pepper colored, and quite firm. The burn had to be corrected once. The smoke is decent in volume and thickness. The cigar is medium-full bodied and flavored. The smoke time is three hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? For the price, yeah maybe.

number89

Categories: Nicaraguan cigars

Umnum Nicaragua Bond

Umnum Nicaragua Bond. Our motto is quality over quantity. Being the spoiled cigar aficionados that we are, we usually don’t smoke budget cigars. It’s better to smoke less but higher quality in our opinion. But not everybody feels that way considering how many budget cigars are being sold worldwide every single year. And of course, there are budget cigars that are of high quality. And there are premium cigars that offer low quality. But on the average, budget means lower quality. The ‘you get what you pay for’ saying is often true for cigars of low value.


This Umnum comes from the same people that are behind Condega. And Condega is a budget cigar that offers quality, see our review of the Condega Serie F Maduro. The Umnum line is even more affordable. It comes in three sizes, and this Bond is the smallest. It’s made with Nicaraguan filler and wrapper. The binder comes from Indonesia. It measures 4½x44 and comes packed in bundles of 25.


The cigar doesn’t have a budget look. A beautiful black ring with a golden image that reminds us of carvings in Egyptian pyramids. The quality of the ring is much more than expected from such a cheap cigar. Good, thick paper, good quality printing. And the wrapper looks good too. Dark and leathery. There aren’t a lot of veins. The construction feels good and the triple cap looks nice. The cigar has a strong smell, a mixture of dark chocolate and cocoa aromas.


The cold draw is good. It tastes like hay with low-quality cocoa. The first puffs are sour, and then some toasted flavors show up with a little sweetness. There is some pepper as well. The cigar slowly gets an old wood flavor. The sourness transforms into a fruity and citrus acidity while the pepper grows in strength. The second third starts with citrus and chocolate, leather and soil. The milk chocolate grows in strength, it is more American milk chocolate than European milk chocolate. And that is not a compliment. The pepper is still growing. The final third starts with pepper, leather, and more sweetness. There is a faint hazelnut flavor as well.


The draw is great. The ash is white. The burn had to be corrected. This is a full-bodied, full-flavored cigar. Even though it’s a small cigar, it packs a punch. The smoke time is an hour and forty-five minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? No, but if someone gives me one I’ll smoke it

number89

Categories: Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , ,

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