Origin : Nicaragua
Format : Robusto
Size : 140 x 21 mm (5 1/2 x 52)
Ring : 52
Wrapper : Nicaraguan Habano Criollo
Filler : Nicaraguan Habano
Binder : Nicaraguan Habano
Price : ~$6 each
More info about purchasing Joya de Nicaragua Antano cigars...
On a recent visit to one of my favorite local tobacconists I found a half box of these in prime condition. Without hesitation I purchased them. It has recently been brought to my attention that
the Antano (Sp. Yesteryear) 1970 blend is to be discontinued and rebranded by Drew Estates under the Casa Magna band (see Norman's comment below). As such, I have been stockpiling this blend in its current incarnation as I am unaware to what, if any, changes are in store for this blend.
Joya De Nicaragua (Sp. Jewel of Nicaragua) holds an interesting, if not prominent place in modern 20th Century cigar history. Tobacos Puros de Nicaragua S.A. was the first factory established in the fabled Esteli Valley region of Nicaragua. Consistently this region has produced some of the finest tobaccos and highest quality handmade cigars in recent memory. Founded in 1968 it was the cigar of Presidential Administrations in the years following the Cuban embargo of 1964. In the 70’s its quality and flavor were renowned, considered to be the very finest in the world at that time, it rivaled Havana production during that period.
Nearly brought to the brink of extinction during the Sandinista Revolution, it was returned to prominence and accolades in 2002. The Antano 1970 blend is a return to those bygone days of the 70’s. By re-enlisting the master blenders and torcedors of that storied era for this project, Joya De Nicaragua has truly recaptured its former glory, providing for your enjoyment a genuine “Jewel”, that is more than worthy of your time and attention.
This cigar presents itself with total class and beauty. It is dressed in a stunningly beautiful Rosado colored Nicaraguan Habano Criollo wrapper that is without flaw. Color is consistent from the toe to its double cap. The classy Gold and Red with Green appointments band provides stunning contrast. It is a work of art.
There are seemingly no bumps on the body. This cigar feels very substantial in the hand, possessing considerable mass. Closer scrutiny reveals no soft spots, and it is nearly devoid of any discernable veins. It produces a perfect draw with generous amounts of decadent and luxurious gray white smoke. Burn is precise requiring no maintenance. Band is easily removed with no interference to the wrapper.
The first third provided a first palette that is sweet, with flavors of cherries and raisin. It is producing generous volumes of gray white smoke. It possesses a precise burn and a wonderfully smooth and cool draw. Second palette is of sweet coffee and cream with an elegant aroma of cocoa and cedar. Closing out the first third is a rather full shot of nicotine that settles the stomach nicely.
In the second third the first palette reveals a mild Scotch Bonnet pepper spice with notes of apricot and fresh almond. Second palette is of hot espresso. The tantalizing aroma of coca and cedar persists. Burn remains perfect with a light gray, tightly formed ash that holds strong to the body. The smoke being produced is luxurious and in pleasing volumes, yielding a cool and effortless draw.
During the final third the first palette is leathery with red pepper spiciness with a second palette of Allspice and syrupy sweetness. The aromas and volumes of smoke from the preceding thirds are consistent. The draw continues to be spot on flawless. The finish is slightly bright, long and lingering with a smooth Crème de Menthe spice. It affords one many opportunities to revisit and reflect.
With a price point from $7USD retail to Sub $3 wholesale it affords access to virtually anyone in search of a unique and very memorable cigar smoking experience.
Overall Rating :
I was absorbed by this experience. It continually kept me on my toes, requiring my total concentration lest I be swept away by its character, at a loss for words to describe. This cigar requires a commitment of one’s time; you shall not be able to power through it. I also, regrettably so, cannot recommend this cigar to the newly initiated. It is a powerful smoke that likely would leave the neophyte grabbing for the wall long before the close of the first third. I also must recommend a fairly well developed palette, or perhaps the desire to sharpen one’s discernment.
Brilliant execution in construction and design, impressive flavor profile and a very attractive price point. It is very tough to beat this cigar. I give this cigar a Strong Buy recommendation.
I know that this blend is aged for a considerable time before being released for consumption. I am curious as to what a little more age might do in terms of developing additional finesse to its flavor profile. As I now currently own 4 full boxes of these I will let you know of my discoveries in the coming years. I wish to thank you for joining me on this journey. It has been a pleasure to share it with you.
Pairing recommendations: I would advise coupling this cigar with Flor De Cana Centanarios 18 yr. old rum, neat. This being sipping rum, any mixing of it would be criminal. Also I would recommend a quality hazelnut dark chocolate, as that would serve as a stellar compliment to this smoke, affording a truly luxurious experience. Live well my friends.