Tabacalera Noa

Noel Rojas, Esteli, Nicaragua

Jas Sum Kral Maduro Toro

Jas Sum Kral might be the most talked about cigar of 2016 on social media. It’s the brand of Riste Riatevski and he uses the social media like nobody else in order to get his brand name out and sell his cigars. His Red Knight is blended together with Noel Rojas and made in Noel’s factory Tabacalera NOA. Riste is from Macedonian decent and the name Jas Sum Kral means “I am king” in his native language. The first release was just a 6×52 toro with an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper over a double binder, one Mexican San Andres and one Nicaraguan Jalapa and undisclosed filler. I’ve been in touch with Riste on Facebook for some time and got my hands on one of this original release Red Knight toros through an account of mine, Hans van de Wittenboer from Piet van Kuyk Cigars in Eindhoven, and it blew me away. So much that I asked my then employer, the largest independent premium cigar importer in The Netherlands to take on this brand, which he initially denied.

 


When the new vitolas came out, a lancero, lonsdale and robusto, I asked Riste for the international wholesale prices, called a few of my Facebook savvy accounts to see if they were interested, wrote a nice order and got back to my employer with everything worked out, the fixed retail prices and the biggest order Riste had until that moment. With so many boxes pre-sold my employer couldn’t say no any longer and The Netherlands became the first international market where the Jas Sum Kral brand was available. A few months later I parted from that employer and in my last week I used the company discount to buy some Joya Red Half Corona for my wife, her favorite cigar, and Jas Sum Kral Red Knight in all sizes for me. A review of the lancero can be found here (in my old scoring method, maybe I’ll do one in my new 100 point method later this year).

 


I finally met Riste in person at Intertabac 2016 last september and he gave me a new Jas Sum Kral Maduro toro, a cigar (6×52) that will only be released for international markets since it wasn’t ready for the dreaded august 8 deadline and can’t be introduced to the American market unless the FDA ruling is changed. I smoked one right at the show and decided to keep one for a review, this review. The ring is the same as for the Red Knight and is designed by the Singaporean designer Nuzli Hakiim who makes the most beautiful photos for his Instagram. The design is very detailed with great us of black, burgundy, gold and white letters on a good quality thick paper. The wrapper is beautifully dark, with some even darker spots, and two veins on the side and it’s leathery to the touch. The shape of the cigar is a bit off, it’s not completely round, the sides feel a little flattened but it feels evenly filled. The cigar has a dark aroma, a little bit charred and a wet dog with a hint of ammonia.

 


I decided to cut the cigar with my xi2 cutter from Xikar instead of punching it. The draw is fine and cold I taste dry raisin with a little spicy and peppery aftertaste. As almost every time when smoking indoor I lit the cigar with a soft flame and straight away I taste coffee, strong, bold and bitter. Soon I taste meaty and peppery flavor. The pepper is becoming really strong, maybe even too strong. Even the smoke smells peppery. After a centimeter I also taste some dark chocolate but with a lot of pepper.

Soon after a cedar flavor shows up as a backdrop for the pepper and after a third I taste a mild metallic flavor. The pepper is still the main flavor although it’s not too overpowering anymore. Halfway the cedar and metal get accompanied by chocolate as support to the jalapeño pepper. The background flavors change to wooden notes towards the ⅔rd mark. The aftertaste has some mint in it. After the ⅔ point I taste more of a salty walnut flavor with that metal and still the pepper. The final puffs are a toasty, nutty flavor with a lot of pepper.

 


The smoke is great, thick and luscious but I don’t like the gray color. The ash is white and dense. The draw is great. I had to touch up a few times to correct an uneven burn, I blame the thickness of the wrapper for that, but it does effect the score. This cigar is definitely full bodied and full flavored. The smoke time is an hour and a half. Unfortunately I didn’t get to use my awesome Jas Sum Kral nub tool.

Would I buy this cigar again? It’s a pepper bomb, a few years ago I loved pepper bombs but my preferences changed a little. This is a great post barbecue cigar so I’ll buy a few for the summer season. But for other occasions I will grab the red knight.

Score: 90

90

Categories: 90, Jas Sum Kral, Nicaraguan cigars, Tabacalera Noa | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Jas Sum Kral Red Knight Lancero

Jas Sum Kral is the brand of Riste Riatevski, an American cigar aficionado with Macedonian roots and that’s where the name comes from. He met up with master blender Noel Rojas, owner of Tabacalera NOA in Esteli, Nicaragua. At the time of writing the review Jas Sum Kral only exists in one blend called Red Knight. I smoked a toro, the first size that was released and it blew me away so imagine my happiness when I learned the cigar would be released in my favorite vitola, a lancero.

 


The filler of this 7×38 lancero is a secret but the binder is half Mexican San Andres and half Jalapa seco with an Ecuadorean Habano wrapper. The wrapper has a reddish glow but it’s not rosado as far as I know, it’s shiny too with a few small veins. The band is very detailed. The foot is folded and the cigar is topped with a beautiful pigtail. There is a mild earthy aroma coming from the cigar, the construction feels good. The cold draw is perfect and I taste a mix of raisin and white pepper.

 


First flavor I get is a burned flavor, but not harsh. After a few puffs the cigar changes a little bit, the burned flavor is pushed to the back and replaced by a buttery cream and a little lemon in the aftertaste. After three quarters of an inch I taste a nice woody flavor.

After a third I still taste the wood, creamy in structure and with a bit of honey sweetness. The flavors intensify and a hint of coffee is added. Halfway I’m getting spices too, a little pepper and some nutmeg. The pepper is nice and not overpowering like so often happens so often. After two thirds the wood returns but now with an increasing pepper.

 


The ash is white, dense but not to firm. I get a good amount of thick white smoke. The burn is sharp but it’s a lancero and that’s always a fine line between puffing to hard and destroying the cigar of having to relight it once in a while, I had to relight. The draw is just as I like it, not too tight and not to tight either. This cigar has some smoothness, it’s flavorful and strong yet not overpowering and it’s dynamic. The build up is fantastic. The smoke time is two hours and forty minutes

 


Would I buy this cigar again? Got myself a box of 20, will refill when empty!

Appearance: 9
Construction: 9
Draw: 9
Burn: 8
Smoke & Ash: 8
Aroma first part: 8
Aroma second part: 9
Aroma third part: 9

Categories: Jas Sum Kral, Nicaraguan cigars, Tabacalera Noa | Tags: , , ,

Kilo Toro

 

Mid April I saw a Facebook post by my friend Barry Stein, announcing the return of Kilo. Knowing Barry for a few years and with an upcoming trip to Nicaragua two weeks later I decided to shoot Barry a message and ask him who’s making the cigars. All Barry would tell me they were made in Esteli, but when I told him I would be there soon he made me swear secrecy and told me Noel Rojas from Guayacan cigars was making them. I shot Noel an email and we made an appointment in Esteli.


Noel showed me his factory and gave me a pack of 10 Kilo Toros, funny detail, I saw the cigars with bands even before Barry did. Noel is a great host, with a nice factory, good cigars and some innovative ideas. I need to try more of his cigars.

Now the cigar, the dark wrapper feels silky and has a few thin veins, the band is simple but stylish and due to the gold it will pop in the humidor. The cigar has a pretty strong hay aroma. The predraw is flawless with hints of raisin and white pepper. I can’t feel any construction errors.


First flavor I get is a strong taste of toasted coffee beans with soon herbs too. After a centimeter I taste oak with the said herbal flavors. After an inch I mainly taste woody flavors. After a third the cigar gets a bit dry, so I have to take a few sips of my rum & coke.


The flavor doesn’t change much, except the herbs make place for a mild toasty taste and pepper. Halfway I get some spices too.  After that the flavor doesn’t change much, but who cares? I like what I taste. The spices like nutmeg and cinnamon slowly get a bit stronger. At the end the woody flavors are the strongest.


The smoke is white and pretty thick. The draw is flawless. The ash is white and but not so firm, so it breaks quickly. The burn is pretty straight. The color of the ash keeps surprising me, it might be the whitest ash I’ve ever seen. The cigar is full flavored but medium in strength. It took me one hour and 40 pleasant minutes.

Would I buy this again? Yes, and i would love to try other vitolas too. And it makes me curious about other cigars from Noel’s factory.

Appearance: 8
Construction: 9
Draw: 9
Burn: 8
Smoke & ash: 8
Aroma first part: 7
Aroma second part: 8
Aroma third part:8

Categories: Kilo, Nicaraguan cigars, Tabacalera Noa | Tags: , , , ,

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.