2018 marks the 50th anniversary of Joya de Nicaragua. Joya de Nicaragua is a company that is very proud of its heritage and ties to the history of Nicaragua. The company made a decision to have a year long celebration with several projects. While the company released a special 50th anniversary cigar Joya de Nicaragua Cinco Décadas, the celebration kicked off by re-launching one of its older lines, the Joya de Nicaragua Clásico. The Clásico is a cigar that is an important one in Joya de Nicaragua’s history in that it was the first cigar exported out of Nicaragua. It also garnered attention when it became the official cigar of the White House under President Richard Nixon. With the relaunch of the Clásico, the blend remains the same but it receives new packaging capturing the spirit of the original packaging from 1968. Today, we take a look the re-launched Joya de Nicaragua Clásico in the Toro size.
Just prior to the 2018 IPCPR Trade Show came word that the re-introducion of Joya de Nicaragua Clásico was about to take place. While Joya de Nicaragua is distributed by Drew Estate in the U.S., distribution for the Clásico was turned over to Santa Clara Cigars. Santa Clara Cigars is a premium cigar wholesale retailer that is a part of Tabacalera USA. They offer a large selection of premium handmade cigars to the retail community for a large amount of brands. They also carry several exclusive offerings from leading manufacturers that are typically made available to Tabacalera USA’s Casa de Montecristo and JR Cigar retail stores. Through Santa Clara, brick and mortar retailers are also able to obtain the Joya de Nicaragua Clásico. The cigar was showcased by Santa Clara at the 2018 IPCPR Trade Show.
Without further ado, let’s break down the Joya de Nicaragua Clásico Toro and see what this cigar brings to the table.
Blend and Origin
The Clásico is highlighted by a Ecuadorian-grown Connecticut Shade wrapper over Nicaraguan binder and filler.
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Factory: Fábrica de Tabacos Joya de Nicaragua, S.A i
There are ten sizes of the Joya de Nicaragua Clásico. Six sizes are currently being distributed by Santa Clara. These sizes include:
Churchill: 6 7/8 x 48
Torpedo: 6 x 52
Toro: 6 x 50
Número 6: 6 x 41
Señorita: 5 1/2 x 34
Consul: 4 1/2 x 52
The other four sizes the Clásico is offered in include:
Piccolino: 4 1/18 x 30
Robusto: 5 x 50
Selección B: 5 1/12 X 42
Viajante: 8 1/2 x 52
The Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper of the Joya de Nicaragua Clásico had a golden brown color to it. There was a light sheen of oil on the surface and the wrapper. This was a smooth wrapper. There were some visible veins and despite the light color of the wrapper, the wrapper seams were not very noticeable.
There are two bands on the Joya de Nicaragua Clásico. The primary band has green leaf on a white circular field. The field is surrounded by a brown colored ring with the text “JOYA DE NICARAGUA” on the ring in gold font. White and brown trim surround the ring. The sides of the band brown in color along the sides surrounded with a gold stripe going through the middle. There is also a white colored dotted trim across the top and bottom of the sides.
The secondary band goes around the footer. This band is brown in color with white and gold trim. The text “CLASICO” is on the center of the band in gold font. There is also a white colored dotted pattern going through the center of the band to the left and right.
After removing the footer band on the Joya de Nicaragua Clásico Toro, a straight cut was used to clip the cap of the cigar. It was then time to commence the pre-light draw stage. The cold draw of the Clásico Toro delivered a mix of cream, cedar, and a (not overly sweet) berry. Overall while it the flavor profile on the dry draw wasn’t radically different for a Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade pre-light draw, it still rated pretty good in my book. At this point, it was time to toast the foot of the Clásico Toro and see what the smoking experience would have in store.
The start of the Joya de Nicaragua Clásico Toro delivered more notes of cream and (not overly sweet) berry that were present on the pre-light draw. There were also notes of black pepper and classic wood present. Early on the cream notes moved into the forefront as the dominant note. Meanwhile the berry, classic wood, and black pepper settled in the background. There was a subtle layer of black pepper present on the retro-hale.
Later in the first third, the wood notes joined the cream in the forefront. Moving through the second third the wood and cream alternated in intensity, but as time progressed the wood notes became more prominent There also was an earthy note that surfaced in the background.. By the midway point the cream notes receded into the background joining the black pepper, earth and berry.
The last third saw the classic wood notes remain in control. While there still were some notes of black pepper and earth in the background, the berry and cream notes both diminished. This is the way the Joya de Nicaragua Clásico came to a close. The resulting nub was firm to the touch and cool in temperature.
Burn-wise, the Joya de Nicaragua Clásico Toro scored very nicely. The cigar maintained a straight burn path and for the most part had a straight burn line from start to finish. The resulting ash was skewered toward the firm side. This was an ash that was medium gray in color. Meanwhile the burn rate and burn temperature were ideal.
Draw-wise, the Joya de Nicaragua Clásico Toro scored equally well. This was a draw that had a touch of resistance – something that I like. At the same time there was an abundant amount of smoke produced – which was surprising because there was some resistance on the draw.
Strength and Body
Strength-wise, the Joya de Nicaragua Clásico Toro is going to deliver a mild to medium smoke from start to finish. While not overpowering on the palate, there was more body on this cigar than one might think. This is a cigar that delivered a medium-bodied smoke from start to finish. Both the strength and body didn’t vary in intensity from start to finish. In terms of strength versus body, I gave the body the edge throughout the smoking experience.
I often talk about two types of Connecticuts – the traditional ones that are skewed on the milder side in terms of strength and body; and the ones that try to push the boundaries of strength and body and move into the medium/medium plus range. With the Joya de Nicaragua Clásico Toro, while I still would put this on the traditional side, there still was enough in flavor and body to keep the contemporary smoker interested. As a result, this is a cigar that I could recommend to any type of smoker. any time of the day. As for myself, the Joya de Nicaragua Clásico Toro is a cigar I would smoke again – and it’s one I would buy multiples to keep in my humidor.
Key Flavors: Cream, Classic Wood, Black Pepper, Berry, Earth
Complexity: Medium Minus
Strength: Mild to Medium
Finish: Very Good
Value: Buy Multiples
News: Santa Clara Cigars to Showcase Joya de Nicaragua Clasico at 2018 IPCPR
Source: Drew Estate
Brand Reference: Joya de Nicaragua
Photo Credits: Cigar Coop, except where noted