Joya de Nicaragua is probably one of the best know names coming from Nicaragua these days since it came on the map really in the 1970's. In the past it has graced the walls of the White House, being the official cigar in 1971 when Nixon presented the dictator Somoza with one after a formal dinner. It didn't take long"for the word to spread on how good these cigars were....
Nowadays they are a prime choice for smokers world wide. Their consistency for quality has made them one of Nicaragua's favorite exports.
We were introduced to this particular cigar earlier this year when we visited Cigaragua in Amsterdam. looking for something a little different, and knowing our tastes, this was recommended. It comes in a range of small vitola, but make a great 45-60 minute smoke. Having tried the Red on numerous occasions, we were expecting something similar.... but we were wrong.
It comes with a second wrapper on the lower third, a dark maduro leaf where you can pick up a very subtle sweetness and adds a to the flavour when the burn reaches this leaf.
The burn was lovely and even throughout, with a perfect draw. It produced a good ash, near white in places, didn't need re-lighting or touching up. Construction was just about perfect. Upon lighting, it took a couple of draws to get the flavours coming through, and this is where it got interesting. Each draw you experienced something different, dark chocolate and roasted coffee were pleasantly there without being overpowering. The complexity of the flavours, we found, made this cigar a true experience, as you tried to understand what was going on. I wouldn't recommend this cigar just to pass the time; this is one to savour with friends so you can enjoy the complexity of it. As the burn reaches the maduro wrapper, the flavours remain in not a little intensified. You get no bitterness from this cigar, and you will burn your fingers before putting this one down.
Its difficult to say if this would pair well with anything. We have since had it with a nice spice rum and coffee, but because there is no bitterness with it, we personally found anything else masked the true flavours coming from the cigar. However, it would also be wrong to say a nice rum doesn't go well with just about any cigar!
Again, Nicaragua has delivered a top class cigar for very little money. Avid Cuban fans will say that this is ok, but lacks the smoothness of a fine Cuban cigar, but those exploring the New world Cigars should have this on their list to try.
Appearance and construction 13/15
Smoking Characteristics 23/25
Overall Experience 33/35