The Nicoya Robusto Medio is one of two blends launched by newcomer Nicoya Cigars in 2016. Nicoya Cigars was founded by Australian entrepreneur Gerard Hayes. Nicoya is best known as the name of a large peninsula located on the Pacific Ocean side of Costa Rica. It was also a part of Nicaragua until 1824. For this project Hayes wanted to pay homage to the people of Nicaragua – and he decided to head to that Central American country to make his cigar. Hayes would select A.J. Fernandez’s Tabacalera Fernandez to make his brand. While Fernandez has been working with large companies as of late such as Tabacalera USA and General Cigar, he continues to work with boutique brands such as Foundation Cigar, La Palina, Southern Draw Cigars, Señor Rio Cigars, and Nomad Cigar Company. In each of those cases, Fernandez has worked with the brand to produce a quality release. Today we take a look at the Nicoya Robusto Medio. Overall, I found this to be another excellent release for Hayes and Nicoya Cigars.
There are two blends in the Nicoya Cigars line – with both currently only offered in a Robusto format. The name “medio” translates to “medium” and that is is pretty much where the Nicoya Robusto Medio falls. The other offering by Nicoya is the Nicoya Robusto Fuerte – a bolder offering.
Without further ado, let’s break down the Nicoya Robusto Medio and see what this cigar brings to the table.
The Nicoya Robusto Medio features a multi-national blend.
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano Rosado
Filler: Nicaraguan, Dominican
Country of Origin: Nicaragua (Tabacalera Fernandez)
The Nicoya Robusto Medio is available in one size – a 5 x 52 Robusto. This is the same size as the Nicoya Robusto Fuerte. Both cigar blends are each available in 20 count boxes.
The Ecuadorian Habano wrapper of the Nicoya Robusto Medio is medium brown and as the wrapper name indicates there is a touch of rosado. There was some oil on the surface. In addition the wrapper had some visible veins and visible wrapper seams. Overall I considered the surface of this wrapper to be a little more on the bumpy side.
The band of the Nicoya Robusto Medio features three red circles on a silver background. The circles on the left and right sides have white lion images on it. The center circle has large white N on it. Above the center circle is the text “NICOYA CIGARS” etched on it. Below the center circle is the text “ESTELI NICARAGUA” etched on it. The sides of the band have a silver and gray aeronautical styled wing design.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
Prior to lighting up the Nicoya Robusto Medio, I went with my usual choice of a straight cut to remove the cap. Once the cap was removed, I moved on to the pre-light draw. The cold draw delivered a mix of wood, cedar, natural tobacco, and a slight amount of floral notes. Overall I considered this cigar to have a satisfactory pre-light draw. At this point I was ready to light up the Nicoya Robusto Medio and await what the smoking experience would have in store.
The start of the Nicoya Robusto Medio delivered a combination of wood, natural tobacco, and a mix of black and white pepper. I also detected some fruit sweetness. As the Robusto Medio moved through the first third, the wood and natural tobacco became the primary notes. I found the pepper and fruit notes to settle into the background. At the same time, the retro-hale produced an additional layer of white pepper and cedar.
By the start of the second third, there was a little more distance put between the wood / natural tobacco combination in the forefront and the pepper / fruit combination in the background.
Just past the midway point of the Nicoya Robusto Medio, I found the wood notes exhibited more cedar qualities. At the same time the natural tobacco receded into the background joining the pepper notes. The fruit sweetness remained further in the background.
The last third saw the Nicoya Robusto Medio have primarily a cedar profile in the forefront. The pepper was a little more prominent. I also still picked up a touch of natural tobacco. This is the way the cigar experience came to a close. The resulting nub was firm to the touch and cool in temperature.
Burn and Draw
When it came to the burn of the Nicoya Robusto Medio, it scored quite well. The Robusto Medio had a little bit of curvature along the burn line, but this was easily remedied with a few touch-ups. This cigar took a straight burn path and was never in danger of tunneling or canoeing. Meanwhile the resulting ash was tight and firm with nearly a white color. As for the burn rate and burn temperature, both were ideal.
As for the draw of the Nicoya Robusto Medio, I would describe it as being not too tight, nor too loose. This cigar did produce quite a bit of smoke along the way. Overall it’s a low maintenance cigar to derive flavor from.
Strength and Body
When compared to Nicoya’s other blend, the Nicoya Robusto Fuerte, the Nicoya Robusto Medio is going to be a little more dialed-back. As mentioned earlier this cigar lives up to the name “medio” – meaning medium. This is a cigar that maintains a medium level of strength from start to finish. In terms of body, the Robusto Medio also started out medium. By the last third, the Robusto Medio progressed into medium to full territory.
In terms of strength versus body, I gave a slight edge to the body throughout the smoking experience.
In addition to living up to its promise of being “medio”, the Nicoya Robusto Medio is going to deliver a solid smoking experience along the way. This isn’t a cigar that’s going to have a flashy or exotic flavor profile, but its still going to deliver a good flavor profile. One thing worth noting is that the Nicoya Robusto Medio is a completely different blend than the Nicoya Robusto Fuerte – and in turn is going to deliver a very different smoking experience. In the end, I found the Nicoya Robusto Medio to be a cigar I could recommend to a novice or experienced cigar enthusiast. As for myself, this is a cigar I would definitely smoke again – and it’s worthy of picking up a five pack to have in the humidor.
Key Flavors: Wood, Cedar, Natural Tobacco, Pepper
Body: Medium (1st 2/3), Medium to Full (Last Third)
Assessment: 3.0-The Fiver
Price: $10.00 to $12.00
Brand Reference: Nicoya
Photo Credits: Cigar Coop