|Joya de Nicaragua Cuatro Cinco|
The Joya de Nicaragua Cuatro Cinco is a limited production cigar that was made to commemorate Joya de Nicaragua’s 45 years in business. It was released toward the tail-end of 2013. The name Cuatro Cinco is indicative of this as it translates to “45” While it is one of the few limited cigars done by Joya de Nicaragua, it is the first new blend released to the market since the departure of José Blanco and the ascension of Juan Martinez to company president. Over the past several weeks I have had an opportunity to smoke the Joya de Nicaragua Cuatro Cinco. While it is not a bad cigar, this is a cigar that lacked a what I term the “wow” factor for what I have come to expect from a commemorative cigar.
When the Cuatro Cinco was announced, Joya de Nicaragua Chairman Dr. Alejandro Martinez Cuenca commented,”We are very excited about Cuatro Cinco, for this is one of the few Limited Editions we have produced. With this cigar we are capturing the true Nicaraguan Spirit, rich in the tradition that embodies our cigars and that defines us as the archetypal Nicaraguan cigar maker, because before Joya, there was no Nicaraguan cigar. While this cigar promotes our heritage, it is also a celebration of the future and the many years we still have ahead of us. It’s been 45 years already, and we are just getting started!“
Leonel Raudez, General Manager and Head of Production of Joya also said: “this is also a tribute to the people of Joya, the ones that went and the ones that are still with us, even after 45 years. We Estelianos are proud of contributing to make Nicaraguan tobacco among the best in the world, and to celebrate that, we have made one of the most exceptional cigars we have rolled, using our finest local tobaccos and rolled by a selected few of our talented tabaqueros. The profile of this cigar is nothing like what we’ve produced, although the richness and complexity of the Nicaraguan grown tobaccos still predominates“.
The fact that this cigar is a Nicaraguan puro is no surprise – especially since Joya de Nicaragua really ties itself to the history of the country. It features tobaccos grown in Esteli and Jalapa. According to the company, it includes a five year old ligero in the blend that has been saved in bodegas. The filler tobaccos have been aged in oak barrels for over a year.
Filler: Jalapa, Esteli
The Cuatro Cinco was released in one size – a 6 x 54 “semi box-pressed”. The cigars are packaged ten per box. A total of 4,500 cigars were produced and each box will be numbered.
The Jalapa grown wrapper to the Cuatro Cinco has a coffee bean color with just a touch of colorado red mixed in. The wrapper seams are well hidden on this cigar, but there are a couple of visible veins. There is very little in the way of oil on the surface of this wrapper. In fact the wrapper has a slight sandy feel to it.
There are two bands on this cigar layered on top of each other. The lower band is gold with white Joya de Nicaragua leaf logos arranged in a wallpaper fashion. A black, gold, and white band sits on top of the lower band, but a part of the lower band protrudes on the top and bottom.
The upper band has a black background. There is a gold and white Joya de Nicaragua logo in the center of the band with horizontal gold stripes extending from the left and right. Above the logo it says “Edicion Limitada” in gold cursive font. Below the logo is the text “CUATRO CINCO” in a larger gold printed font. The far right of the band features one of three white sketches – each representing a theme around Joya de Nicaragua: Volcanoes (the country), the Joya de Nicaragua factory (the company), and a set of hands (the people). A corresponding image also appears on the reverse side of the band.
|One of the images on the back of the Cuatro Cinco features
an image of the Joya de Nicaragua factory
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
As I normally do, I went with my usual choice of a straight cut to start things off. Once I clipped the cap, I proceeded with the pre-light draw. The dry draw had a mix of natural tobacco and baker’s spice. While there was a touch of sourness on the pre-light draw, this still was a satisfactory one in my book. At this point, I was ready to light up the Cuatro Cinco and see what the smoking phase would have in store.
The Cuatro Cinco started out with a mix of coffee, natural tobacco, and white pepper. Within the first five percent, the coffee and natural tobacco notes moved into the forefront. The pepper was a close secondary note. I also detected some nut flavors in the background. Meanwhile, the white pepper was also prominent on the retro-hale. As the Cuatro Cinco progressed through the first third, the coffee notes established themselves as the main primary note. The white pepper also had a tingling effect on the tongue throughout the smoking experience.
By the end of the first third, the nut flavors moved into the forefront and the coffee notes joined the natural tobacco and white pepper. There also was a sour citrus note I detected in the background.
At the start of the second half, the nut and natural tobacco flavors were now in the forefront with the white pepper a close secondary note. The coffee and citrus note remained more distant.
The last third saw the flavor profile get more earthy. There was some natural tobacco, but now the citrus and spice were much more prominent. This created some harshness in the last stages of the cigar. This is the way the flavor profile remained until the end. The resulting nub was cool in temperature and soft to the touch.
Burn and Draw
Construction-wise the Cuatro Cinco is excellent and this is reflected in both the burn and draw. The burn remained straight from start to finish requiring only occasional touch-ups. The resulting ash was mostly firm, but was a little more prone to some light flaking in the second half. The ash had a nice salt and pepper color. The burn rate and burn temperature were ideal.
|Burn of the Joya de Nicaragua Cuatro Cinco|
The draw to the Cuatro Cinco was excellent as well. It had a touch of resistance – which is something I like on a draw.
Strength and Body
The Cuatro Cinco started out with medium strength. There was gradual increase in strength throughout the cigar experience. By the second half, the Cuatro Cinco moved into the medium to full strength range. I still found the strength to slowly increase in the second half, but the Cuatro Cinco stopped short of being full strength.
As for the flavors, there is some nice weight on the pallet. I assessed the Cuatro Cinco as being medium to full-bodied throughout the smoking experience. Overall, the strength and body counter each other nicely throughout the smoking experience.
There is no doubt that the Cuatro Cinco is going to provide some complexity in its flavor profile, but I cannot say the flavors meshed very well To quote our own Stogie Santa of Stogie Geeks, this is a case where “the cigar could not make up its mind what it wanted to do.”. The first half of the cigar had excellent flavor. However, as the sour notes and spice surfaced, I felt it had somewhat of a negative effect. The harshness at the end also had a negative impact in my book. While we don’t factor price into our numerical score, the $13.00+ price point still is something cigar enthusiasts should be aware of. I’d still gear this cigar more toward an experienced cigar enthusiast. From my standpoint, this is still a cigar I’d recommend someone to try and make up one’s own mind on.
Strength: Medium (1st Half), Medium to Full (2nd Half)
Body: Medium to Full
Assessment: 2.5 – Try One
Purchased, plus two samples provided by manufacturer (*)
Stogie Geeks Podcast
Episode 83 – “Live From G Unit Studios”
* The cigars for this assessment were given to Cigar Coop by Drew Estate who distributes Joya de Nicaragua. Cigar Coop is appreciative for the sample, but this does not influence this assessment. Additional cigars were also purchased to complete this assessment.