The 1502 Ruby is one of three cigar offerings by Global Premium Cigars (GPC). GPC was founded by Enrique Sanchez Icaza. The company is based in Nicaragua and focuses on primarily Nicaraguan-based blends. The 1502 is positioned as the company’s premium line and gets its name from the year that Christopher Columbus discovered Nicaragua. Last year, GPC became the fourth boutique cigar company to enter into a distribution agreement with Emilio Cigars. In this assessment we take a closer look at the 1502 Ruby. Overall, this cigar provided a solid smoking experience – and should keep Nicaraguan tobacco fans happy.
As for the 1502 brand here is some information posted on the GPC web-site:
In our Premium brand 1502, you will find three tobacco lines with the highest quality, where the sowing process, harvest, curing, aging and selection of each tobacco leaf is our major concern. It takes more than five years from the time of its sowing until the time you can enjoy one of our fine cigars; this is why patience is one of our greatest virtues in the art of tobacco production.
The 1502 Ruby is one of three blends offered in the line. It is positioned as a “medium strength” offering. Here is the information from the GPC web-site on how the offerings are positioned.
In our brand 1502, you will find three lines totally different from each other, being 1502 Emerald the “Fina Fuerte” (Fine Strong), 1502 Ruby of medium strength and 1502 Black Gold with strongest character.
Let’s take a closer look at the 1502 Ruby and see what the smoking experience will deliver.
There isn’t a detailed breakdown about the blend characteristics that has been published. We do know the blend is bunched with Nicaraguan tobacco from Jalapa and Esteli. It is covered with a wrapper from Ecuador.
There are three frontmarks currently available. The following dimensions are what we estimate to be the actual sizes. All of the cigars in the 1502 Ruby are offered in a box-press size.
Robusto: 5 x 50 (*)
Toro: 6 x 50 (*)
Torpedo: 6 1/2 x 52 (*)
For this cigar experience, I smoked the Toro vitola. The wrapper to the 1502 Ruby Toro is a medium to dark brown wrapper with a reddish clay tint to it. There is some black marbling. The wrapper has an oily compexion The wrapper does have minimal visible seams and is almost void visible veins. The box-press of the 1502 Ruby is well-packed with no soft spots.
Given the cigar is called the 1502 Ruby, the band is highlighted by its ruby-colored band. The band itself is surrounded by gold trim. The center of the band has a gold circle with a Columbus-era style cross embossed on it. The gold circle sits on the ruby colored background. There are also some additional gold adornments on the band. Above the gold circle is the name “1502” in gold font. Below the gold circle is the text “Ruby” in gold cursive font”. Toward the lower left is the text “HANDMADE” in small gold font. Toward the lower right is the text “NICARAGUA” – also in small gold font. On the back is the GPC acronym in a shield.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
As I normally do with most cigars, I opted for a straight cut to remove the cap of the 1502 Ruby. I then proceeded with the pre-light draw. The cold draw provided me a mix of leather, cedar, and some lemon citrus. Overall, I considered this a satisfactory pre-light draw. I was now ready to toast the footer of my 1502 Ruby and see what the cigar experience would have in store.
After lighting the 1502 Ruby, I was treated to a mix of grass and pepper notes to start. The pepper does increase and after a couple of minutes there was a classic pepper blast. I considered this more like a “deferred pepper blast”. Once the pepper subsided, some grapefruit-like citrus notes emerged lending some sweetness to the flavor profile.
As the 1502 Ruby moved through the first third, the grapefruit citrus notes provided a nice fusion with the pepper notes The grass notes were still present as secondary notes. I also detected some coffee notes which were more tertiary.
By the midway point, some earth notes emerged and joined the citrus and pepper notes as primary flavors. The grass notes were still secondary. The coffee notes were also still present and from time to time took on a chocolate-like.
Toward the end of the smoking experience of the 1502 Ruby, the flavor profile became more earth and peppery. The finish to the 1502 Ruby was definitely on the spicy side, but was not harsh. The resulting nub was firm to the touch and cool in temperature.
Burn and Draw
Back when I assessed the 1502 Emerald, I was very impressed by the construction, burn, and draw of that cigar. These attributes carry over to the 1502 Ruby. The Ruby also has outstanding construction. The burn line of this cigar remained straight from start to finish.. The resulting ash was firm with a classic salt and pepper color. The burn rate and burn temperature were ideal.
The draw was also ideal. This made the 1502 Ruby a joy to smoke from start to finish.<
Strength and Body
On the 1502 web-site, there is a graphic that describes the strength profile of the 1502 Ruby. The strength is described as “medium plus”. At the same time, the graphic shows that the strength decreases slightly on the 1502 Ruby as the cigar experience progresses. From my point of view, the 1502 Ruby started out more medium strength, but increased to medium to full (i.e. medium plus) by the end of the cigar. This happened each time I smoked the Ruby.
The depth of the flavor notes are what I term classic medium-bodied. Like the strength, the body also progressed to medium to full toward the end of the cigar. Overall, the strength and body balance each other nice – with neither attribute overshadowing the other.
Overall the 1502 Ruby is a nice offering in the 1502 portfolio. It definitely provided a nice complementary cigar along side the 1502 Emerald. I found both the Emerald and Ruby have a common denominator in that there are earthy notes in each of those cigars. I found the Emerald to offer more in the way of coffee and natural tobacco flavors while the Ruby had more citrus and grassy notes. In the end, I think the Emerald does have an edge flavor-wise, but that is more of a personal choice. I can still see the Ruby’s flavor profile appealing to many. This is a cigar I can recommend to both a novice and experienced cigar enthusiast. As for myself, the 1502 Ruby is a smoke I would reach for again.
Strength: Medium (Medium to Full at end)
Body: Medium (Medium to Full at end)
Assessment: Nice to Have
Source: Cigars from this assessment were received from both GPC and Emilio Cigars. Additional cigars were purchased from Outland Cigars in Charlotte, North Carolina. Samples were initiated by both GPC and Emilio Cigars for the purpose of providing feedback. Cigar Coop is appreciative for this samples, but this plays no role in the final assessment and score.