Posts Tagged With: toro

Merciless Toro by JdN

Up until recently, I had never heard of this cigar even though I’m a fan of Joya de Nicaragua. I had never heard of it because it’s a house blend for the American based online retailer Famous Smoke. But I ran into them when I was browsing the website of Malaysian retailer Borneo Cigars. I was placing an order anyway, so I added these.

The cigars utilize Nicaraguan fillers with a Dominican binder and Ecuadorian Habano wrapper. The only vitola Borneo Cigars was selling was the 6×50 Toro. The price was really good, around 5 euro per cigar, so I decided to pull the trigger and get myself a few. I mean, I was placing an order anyway so why not add a few from one of my favorite factories?

The wrapper is dark, rough and intimidating. With the reputation of Joya de Nicaragua producing strong cigars, the name, and the looks, this cigar is intended to strike fear. The wrapper feels like fine leather. The construction is flawless and the ring is gorgeous. Black with silver and a popping red. The aroma is strong, manure is what I smell.

The cold draw is fine, with a spicy and dry raw tobacco and raisin flavor. Right from the start, I taste dry leather with coffee. I also taste mushrooms and oak. After a few puffs, the cigar gets more of a soil and cedar flavor, with a little salt. The mouthfeel is dry. The cigar leans very much to the wood, earth, and vegetal spectrum of the flavor wheel. After a centimeter, I taste some nutmeg and cumin, with some milk chocolate sweetness. I also get some metallic flavors. The milk chocolate gets stronger and finally, I taste some pepper too. After a third, I taste some toast with roasted almonds and sugar. The pepper is still there. The second third starts sweeter, but it’s aspartame sweetness. I also taste some citrus. Halfway the cigar is earthy, woody with milk chocolate and citrus. The cigar has some butter creaminess to it now. In the final third, the chocolate is getting stronger supported by some leather. The mouthfeel is creamy yet dry. In the final puffs, I taste some thin mints too.


The draw is great, the ash is like a stack of coins. Firm and dense. The smoke is decent, could be a bit thicker. I would call this cigar medium-full bodied and flavored. The smoke time is two hours and forty minutes

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes, I want more

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Categories: 90, Fabrica de Tabacos Joya de Nicaragua, Merciless, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , ,

Maria Mancini 2017 Toro Lindo

For over twenty years, the German manufacturer Schuster Cigars has the Maria Mancini cigars made in Honduras. And for the last couple of years, there’s a limited edition. For 2017, the company went for a 6×52 Toro Lindo. And I had the chance to try this 8 euro cigar for free, the only condition was that I had to review it. Good deal ain’t it?


The tobacco used in the filler is Nicaraguan, Honduran and Brazilian. Add a Honduran wrapper and binder, and there’s your Maria Mancini 2017 Toro Lindo. I smoked the Maria Mancini 2016 limited edition and that was a pretty decent cigar, so if this one is in the same range it should be an enjoyable smoke.

The cigar doesn’t look too good, to be honest. The cap comes in a darker shade than the wrapper and the final cap is glued to the cigar in a sloppy way. The ring is dated and the foot ring is too simple too. The rings don’t match with each other either. A professional designer could and should have done a better job. Updating the rings and logo would be something that will bring the looks of the cigar to a higher level. The wrapper looks a bit leathery, it feels leathery and greasy. Oily might be a better description. The construction feels good. The strength of the aroma is medium. I smell a little ammonia and barnyard aromas.


The cold draw is good. I taste dry tobacco, mildly peppery, with some raisin sweetness. At first, I taste leather and mud. After a few puffs, I taste some green herbs, mushroom, grass and a metallic flavor. Some chocolate shows up too, with a growing pepper flavor. I also get faint vanilla. The cigar has an ashy aftertaste, with red pepper. After an inch, I taste soil with a little spice and sugar water. After a third, I taste soil, green herbs but now with something that comes close to Nutella, but more of a cheap knock-off store brand. There’s also a little grass. Halfway the cigar turns a little sweeter, still with pepper and earthy flavors though. The cigar remains peppery, earthy and sweet but now has some grassy flavors too. With about an inch and a half left, pepper is the main flavor, but supported by the sweetness and still the earthiness. There’s also a coffee bean flavor. Even closer to the end, the coffee beans turn into a high quality 80% dark chocolate.


The sloppy cap comes off after the first puffs, first creating false air before I removed it completely. The draw is great, just as the burn and the firm, light-colored ash. The cigar is medium flavored, medium to full-bodied. 

The smoke time is two hours and forty minutes

Would I buy this cigar again? No, too earthy for me.

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Categories: 87, Honduran cigars, Maria Manchini | Tags: , , ,

Indian Motorcycle Maduro Toro

Indian Motorcycles is part of House of Debonaire, owned by Philip Zanghi. He entered the cigar business in the mid-1990s with his business partner Rocky Patel but in 2002, he sold his shares to Patel and focussed on other parts of the tobacco industry. In 2012, Zanghi returned with Debonaire cigars and in 2015 he was able to purchase the rights to Indian Tabac from Patel and released the Indian Motorcycle Cigars.

 

Made at De Los Reyes in the Dominican Republic.

The cigar is made with American grown Connecticut Broadleaf as a wrapper, a Dominican binder and tobaccos from Central America as filler. As a side note, Zanghi’s father used to own the Indian Motorcycle trademark for a while in the past, so there is family history to the brand. And it seems fitting that Zanghi relaunched the Indian name into the cigar industry.

 

The cigar looks good, a dark leathery wrapper, which also feels leathery. The construction seems flawless. The wrapper is beautiful, although the binder has a few bumps that you can see underneath the dark wrapper. The ring is one of the best in the business with a feel that fits the Indian Motorcycle brand. A faded, beige and yellow ring with the Indian face on a metallic red background. It just stands out and I love it. The cigar also has a strong aroma of animals, pepper, and hay.

 

The cold draw is flawless and reminds me of Dutch chewy spiced honey cake rolls. After lighting, I taste leather and soil, with a little bit of the ginger that I had in the cold draw. On the background, there’s a faint metallic and citrus flavor with cane sugar sweetness. But those flavors are mild. After a centimeter, the metallic flavor and the leather are leading, with some caramel and gingerbread on the background. After a third, I taste spice, leather, some wood, and pepper. The mouthfeel is quite dry. Halfway I taste leather, caramel, dark chocolate, and some hay. Pepper is slowly getting stronger. Somewhat later that pleasant gingerbread returns too. The pepper with the gingerbread and cinnamon are the start of the final third. The finale is pepper and wood

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The draw is close to perfect with a straight burn and white dense ash. The smoke is medium in thickness and volume at first but becomes thicker and fuller along the way. This is a medium-full bodied, medium-full flavored cigar with a smoke time of two hours and twenty minutes

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes, I want a box

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Categories: 92, De Los Reyes, Dominican cigars, Indian Motorcycles | Tags: , , ,

Graycliff G2 Toro

Graycliff, I always thought they were made on the Bahamas but I was wrong. Some are made on the Bahamas indeed, but it turns out some are made in Nicaragua too. I think, but I am not sure, that these are made by A.J. Fernandez. Well, it doesn’t matter, all that matters is: is it any good?


I got this cigar from a Dutch friend, since the brand isn’t available on the European market it’s a mystery to me where he got them as he has never been to the USA or the Bahamas, yet he shared this Nicaraguan made cigar with me. The filler is Dominican and Nicaraguan, the wrapper is an Ecuadorian Connecticut.


The wrapper is quite dark for a Connecticut Shade cigar with a few very clear and relatively thick veins. The bright yellow ring has 5 black stars, the Graycliff G and a 2. Those two things combined wouldn’t make me grab the cigar in a store humidor. The construction feels good though, the shape of the cigar is fine. The aroma is quite like hay, grass and straw.


I used a plastic cutter to take off the cap. The cold draw is great with a mild salty flavor. After lighting the salt remains with some spices. The flavor doesn’t change much. After a third the cigar gets a little rough. The flavors are still salty and mild, but have a little mean edge. The cigar also gets more grassy and green in flavor, like green leaves. Near the end I taste a pleasant oak flavor.


The draw is great. The light gray ash is bending to the left. The burn is decent, it’s not straight but not so bad that I had to correct it. The smoke is quit thick. The cigar, with a smoke time of an hour and fifteen minutes, is mild in body, flavor and evolution.

Would I buy this cigar again? This cigar doesn’t do it for me.

Score: 85
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Categories: 85, Graycliff, Nicaraguan cigars, Tabacalera A.J. Fernandez | Tags: , , , ,

Lempira Puros

This is a brand that I know nothing off, yet I have several different blends in my collection that I probably got from one of the Intertabac trade shows I visited. All I know, after a visit to my friend google, is that it is a Honduran brand, that the cigars are made in Danli and there are 8 different blends.

Now I don’t have all 8 blends, I have five and I will review them all in this one big review, I’m reviewing the Cachique, Minister, Patuca, President and Princess so the Lempa, Live and Payday are missing.  If I ever get my hands on those cigars I will review them too and add them to this review.

Lempira Puros Minister Toro


The Lempira Puros Minister is a blend of Honduran Tobacco with a Mata Fina wrapper and it only comes in a 6×52 toro size, so guess which vitola I am reviewing today: the toro. The wrapper doesn’t look Brazilian to me, it’s to smooth and thats a good thing. Its medium dark with a mild reddish glow, a few thing veins and a leathery feel. The construction feels good, well filled with a flawless triple cap and a well rounded head. The ring is simple, it’s red with golden outlines and the simple Lempira Puros logo in gold, the foot ring has the same color scheme. The gold doesn’t really pop. With a better design and better print quality the cigar would look more desirable. The aroma is quite mellow but also dusty, like walking into a wood working shed that has been abandoned for a few years.


I decided to go for a punch this time. The cold draw is good, mild spicy. After lighting I taste a sweet spicy coffee. The sweetness is slightly chemical. After half an inch I taste a little chemical floral sweetness with an unrefined edge. Soon after some pepper shows up too. Halfway I taste wood and a floral sweetness. The final third starts peppery.


The draw is great. The light gray ash looks nice. The smoke is medium full in thickness and volume. The cigar lacks evolution. It’s medium bodied, medium full flavored. The smoke time is an hour and a half.


Would I buy this cigar again? Nah

Score: 87
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Lempira Puros Patuca Robusto 


This Honduran puro has a Habano seed wrapper that is so dark it could easily pass as oscuro. The Patuca blend comes in two robusto sizes, 4 3/4×50 or 4×56 and I’m smoking the thinnest of the two. The wrapper is dark and extremely toothy. Just touching the wrapper reminds me of touching my weekend beard. I can’t complain about the construction, just like the Minister the cigar has a beautifully placed triple cap, a well rounded head and feels evenly packed. The ring is the same set up, just now with black instead of red, but same dull gold. The aroma is quite strong and reminds me of tar.


I cut the cigar with my butterfly cutter. The cold draw is great. The wrapper is quite sweet, the flavor from the cigar is more herbal. After lighting I taste coffee. The cigar is spicy, peppery with a little bit of a Maduro sweetness. After half an inch the cigar tastes a little harsh. After a third I taste sweet but dry wood. The final third is dry wood, harsh with a splash of lemon.


The draw is great. The smoke is medium thick and full. The burn is good, pretty straight. The cigar is medium full flavored and bodied. The smoke time is an hour and fifteen minutes.


Would I buy this cigar again? Meh

Score: 85
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Lempira Puros Princess Corona


This 5 1/2×42 Corona has a Habano wrapper which has a nice medium brown color and a leathery touch. I see two thin veins running over the leaf and it’s just a good looking cigar. The well placed cap, the even construction and the contrast with the rings help too. The rings are the same as the others but in white, which makes them pop a little more and look just a little bit better. The aroma is mild and smells more like a classic barnyard then any of the other Lempira Puros cigars.


I cut the cigar, the cold draw is good with a mild floral, mild harsh and acidic. After lighting I taste the same flavors as in the cold draw. Slowly the cigar gets more acidic, a citrus acidity but with a weird harsh flavor on the background. Halfway I taste more of a woody flavor with some floral sweetness. Near the end the cigar gets more peppery and stronger.


The draw is great. The smoke is thick, white, the volume is great. The light gray ash is quite firm. The cigar is medium bodied and medium flavored. The burn is good. The smoke time is an hour.


Would I buy this cigar again? Nope.

Score: 86
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Lempira Puros Chachique Torpedo


The Cachique is a puro with fillers from Jamastran and a Honduran Habano wrapper. The cigar is only available in a 6×52 torpedo.  The wrapper is medium dark brown but has a thick vein that doesn’t help the esthetics of the cigar. The construction feels good, evenly filled, with a nice cap and a good shape. The ring is purple with a dull gold,  just like the foot ring. If the gold popped a little more I would rate it higher, but the color combination is nice. The cigar has a strong hay smell with a little manure to it.


I used a cheap cutter to take the cap off. The cold draw is great, it’s pepper with wood. After lighting I taste wood with a little cinnamon. After a third I taste wood, with a chemical vanilla and some nutmeg. I also taste some peanut. The flavors take a turn to unpleasant wood and cumin.


The draw is great. The ash is light with darker smears. The white smoke is thick and voluminous enough. The burn is straight. The cigar is medium bodied, medium flavored. The smoke time is an hour and a half.


Would I buy this cigar again? No

Score: 85
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 Lempira Puros President Corona

 

I love this 6×42 vitola and I hope this Honduran blend with a Mata Fina wrapper is just as nice as the vitola. The wrapper feels like leather, is medium dark brown and has no big veins. The construction feels good and again, the cap is placed perfectly, the cigar is evenly filled, the torcedor is well trained. The ring is the same as the others, but this time in a blueish silver color. The medium strong aroma is acidic, like fresh urine.


After cutting I try the cold draw. I taste a slight harsh wood with great resistance. After lighting I taste some sharp wood and a little coffee. Soon it changed into some moldy sweetness with a little cayenne in the aftertaste. The cayenne disappears but now I taste that sweetness with musty, moldy and sharp wood. Halfway I taste some bitterness with a slight acidity. The final third starts harsh with spices, pepper and wood.


The ash is coarse and light colored. The draw and burn are flawless. The smoke is thick and full. This is a medium bodied and flavored cigar. Thank god the smoke time is just an hour.


Would I buy this cigar again? No no no.

Score: 84

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Categories: 84, 85, 86, 87, Honduran cigars, Lempira Puros | Tags: , , ,

Ave Maria Divinia

Another Ave Maria, this time the DIvinia, that makes the third Ave Maria review this month and the final one but that doesn’t mean I reviewed all Ave Maria cigars, there are more out there still like the Argentum and the Immaculata that I still hope to try some day.


The Ave Maria Divinia has just one vitola, like the Reconquista but this time its a 6×54 toro. And just like the Reconquista, the cigars come individually packed in coffins and have a premium price tag compared to other cigars from A.J. Fernandez and Meier & Dutch. The cigar is made from Nicaraguan Cuban Seed tobacco topped with a Sun Grown Habano wrapper.


The coffin immediately catches your eye due to the deep blue color and the white logo. When you open the tube you will find a box pressed, cellophane wrapped cigar. The wrapper has a nice brown color, deep but not too dark, a leathery structure and touch. The ring is top notch, beautifully shaped, the Ave Maria knight and a nice secondary ring in blue but the outlines are fantastic, like a fading silver with a white undercoat, so much detail, amazing.  The construction is great and the cigar looks well finished. The aroma is pleasant, a rich barnyard smell.


After cutting I taste an citrus flavor with a perfect resistance in the draw. After lighting I taste a perfect mix of sweet, sour and spice, all coated in coffee. After half an inch I taste more of a mocha flavor than that sweet coffee. The flavors change to a spice sweetness with cedar. Halfway I also taste some chocolate, white pepper shows up in the aftertaste. The pepper slowly grows to the dominant flavor and is very strong near the end.


The burn is sharp, couldn’t be more straight. The light colored ash had thin rings, it’s firm. The draw has the perfect amount of resistance. The smoke has good volume but it’s thin. The cigar is smooth, medium bodied and medium flavored. The smoke time is an hour and forty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? No doubt

Score: 93
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Categories: 93, Ave Maria, Tabacalera A.J. Fernandez | Tags: , , , ,

Non Plus Ultra Maduro Toro

Non Plus Ultra, as far as I know this cigar was only sold in The Netherlands and it was a private label for the Non Plus Ultra Cigar Shop in Den Bosch, which is now called Van Dalen but still owned by the same owner who’s also a distributor and owner of Van Dalen Cigars in Rotterdam and Cigaragua in Amsterdam. The same cigars are still available in The Netherlands under the Davila name at the Compaenen group.


Now these cigars were made by Carlos Torano in Honduras before Torano was acquired by STG, although the origin of the cigars goes way back. It’s actually an old Cuban brand that has ties to both Hoyo de Monterrey and Ramon Allones. If you google the brand you will find old rings, of the early 1900’s that are similar to the current Hoyo de Monterrey ring and the old Ramon Allones ring.


Now this cigar is aged, at least a decade old but the dark wrapper still looks very tasty. The ring is simple, just glossy paper with red and blue squares and a brushed copper name. The construction feels good, the shape looks good, the cap is nice. The cigar has a mild wood and tar aroma.


I cut the cigar, the cols draw is a little tight. I taste a little pepper. After lighting I taste a dry, old coffee flavor. After half an inch I taste cocoa with a musty taste. Halfway I taste dry toast with nutmeg and pepper, quite dry. The final third starts with some marzipan sweetness, low grade marzipan though with some harshness and mild musty. The cigar gets stronger with more harshness at the end.

Hond
The dense ash is white. The draw is decent. The gray smoke is thin and low in volume. The burn is razor sharp. I would say this is a medium bodied and flavored cigar. The smoke time is an hour and twenty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? That’s a firm no!

Score: 84
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Categories: 84, Honduran cigars, Honduras American Tobacco SA, Nicaraguan cigars, Non Plus Ultra | Tags: , , , ,

Quorum Toro

Years ago, while on the road as a cigar sales rep, I ran into a sales rep from Davidoff. The cigar game in The Netherlands is small, we all know each other and are all friendly to each other so we chatted a bit and then he asked “do you have something to smoke for me, all I have is this Quorum that we just started distributing and I need something good to smoke now”. I gave him one of my samples and he left me a Quorum, that has been aging since. But now, for budget month, I will light it.


The cigar, supposedly the best selling budget cigar in the world, is made in Nicaragua by J.C. Newman, who are known for their Brick House, Diamond Crown and Cuesta Rey. The Quorum is made from Nicaraguan tobaccos and a Sun Grown Ecuadorian wrapper.


The wrapper looks dusty, like a darker kind of wood where dust settled and it has a velvet feel. The construction is a bit shabby, not perfectly round and the foot is more square while the cap is a but crooked. The ring is an almost black kind of purple with golden outlines and a golden logo with a burgundy banner and the name in gold letters. The medium strong aroma is quite earthy.


After cutting the cigar has a slightly tight draw, mildly acidic. After lighting I immediately think ‘why am I doing this to myself?’. A nasty acidic leathery with some low quality chocolate flavor is what I taste. After a third the flavors are still the same, yet a little less disgusting or maybe I’m getting used to the taste. When the final third starts I know it’s not me getting used to the flavor, as it’s disgusting again.


The draw is a tight, I had to use a draw poker to get the draw going. The light gray ash has nice layers. The burn is pretty straight. The smoke is thin, the smoke is a bit blue. The cigar is mild to medium bodied and flavored. The smoke time is an hour and forty five minutes. 

Would I buy this cigar again? I rather stop smoking.

Score: 73
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Categories: 73, Nicaraguan cigars, PENSA, Quorum | Tags: , , , ,

Reposado Estate Blend 96 Maduro Toro

Yesterday I wrote how I got introduced to the Reposado Estate Blend and I reviewed the Natural version of it, which is the one with the Habano leaf. Then there is the Connecticut Shade version, which I never smoked and which my employer decided not to carry. I didn’t mind because Connecticut Shade and me, well, generally speaking thats not a good combination. Now maduro and me, that’s a different story. So today I’m reviewing the 6×50 maduro toro


The cigars are made at the factory of A.J. Fernandez, like a lot of other Meier & Dutch exclusive cigars like the Man O War, Diesel, the big Reposado 96 Salomons, Sons of Anarchy, Ave Maria and more. What I read online is that the cigar is made with aged tobacco, but that came from a vendor website and I doubt that a cigar this cheap used aged tobacco. It doesn’t say anything other than it being Cuban seed, but no origin, I’m guessing Nicaraguan though.


The ring is the same as on the natural yet with red instead of blue. And it fits the beautiful deep dark color of the wrapper. The cigar feels well constructed, the cap is nice just like the shape of the head. The aroma is strong, deep and dark, dried manure with some pepper.


The cold draw is loose, I taste some spice and chocolate, very faint though. After lighting I taste a mild bitterness that reminds me of poor quality cocoa. After an inch I taste wood and cheap, low quality chocolate. Halfway I taste wood, cocoa with a sharp flavor that reminds me of some spice I ate in Asia.


The smoke is thick and white. The ash is dark and ugly. The burn is uneven. The draw is a little loose. The cigar is medium bodied and medium flavored. The smoke time is an hour and fifteen minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Nah, not really but price quality wise it’s decent.

Score: 84
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Categories: 84, Nicaraguan cigars, Reposado, Tabacalera A.J. Fernandez | Tags: , , , , , ,

Joya Black Toro

Earlier I wrote a review on the Joya Black Robusto and it scored a decent 89 and with that score it won’t make my top 25 of 2017, that’s for sure. I did smoke a few other Joya’s too this year like the Red Half Corona, original release Cuatro Cinco and the Rosalones Reserva plus La Sagrada Familia, Fratello and Sobremesa that are made at the Joya factory and they all scored good ratings from 89 and up. And I must say, from all the factories I visited in Esteli I like the peace and quiet at Joya best, the place has a tranquility and an atmosphere that is unique and that I haven’t found at any of the other factories I visited (including Oliva, Padron, La Zona, My Father, Drew Estate, Rocky Patel, A.J. Fernandez, Plasencia and Aromas de Jalapa). Now I’m not saying the other factories aren’t nice, every factory has their own vibe and charm, but to me Joya stands out.

 

 


The cigar is the first Joya de Nicaragua cigar with a Mexican San Adres Negro wrapper and the rest of the cigar is Nicaraguan. According to Mario Perez the idea behind the blend is to mix the Nicaraguan filler and binder with the specific characteristics of the Mexican wrapper without the cigar becoming overpowering and be like a little stronger version of the so popular Joya Red, the cigar that broke with the classic tradition of the Joya brand to catch a new, younger & hipper crowd and succeeded so well.

 

 


I smoked the 6×52 toro that I got at Intertabac 2016 and once I unwrap the cigar from the cellophane I smell dark chocolate with some pepper, very unusual but nice. The construction is beautiful although at the back of the cigar the triple cap is a bit uneven.  The dark wrapper is shiny from the oil and has a long vein running along the side of the cigar. The ring is modern, just like the Joya Red ring actually and they remind me of each other, except for the color, which is pitch black with a silver lining and Joya logo, blue lining to break the black and white letters saying Joya Black. Modern, sleek, clear, simple, I like it.

 

 


I punched the cigar and the cold draw is just fine. I taste some mild mixture of hay, dark chocolate and raisin. After I lit the cigar with the last bit of butane I had left in my Ronson I taste a mild acidic and sweet coffee. After a quarter of an inch I taste coffee with pepper. The cigar name is black but the flavor is also dark. Slowly the cigar gets a little spicier with earthy flavors. After a thirds it’s still a very earthy cigar with a little lime, some salt, pepper and peanuts. The pepper slowly gains some strength and I also taste a faint hint of dark chocolate. Halfway the pepper slows down again, the peanuts have gone and I’m back to earthy and citrusy flavors with a hint of dark chocolate. After that the cigar slowly get more sweetness. At the end I taste nuts again.

 

 


The smoke is medium thick and a bit grayish. The ash is beautiful, white, dense and firm. The draw is great. The cigar is medium plus bodied and flavored. The burn is slow and straight. The smoke time is two hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? Maybe, but only in the fall or winter.

Score: 89
number89

Categories: 89, Fabrica de Tabacos Joya de Nicaragua, Joya de Nicaragua, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , , , ,

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