Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Joya de Nicaragua Dark Antano

Size: 6 X 54
Shape: Poderoso
Origin: Nicaragua
Body: Full
Wrapper: Nicaragua
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Smoke Clock: 1hr

When I got home from work yesterday, I was looking forward to a relaxing evening and a good cigar, so I pulled out the Joya de Nicaragua Dark Corojo Antano and nestled myself into a cozy chair on the porch.

The pre-light aroma was wonderful, sending wafts of rich earth and straw through my senses.

I tasted spice and earth notes when I drew on the unlit cigar and could sense that this guy was going to have some serious power to it.

When I first lit up this stick, I got a mild blast of pepper which carried through the first quarter, maintaining dominance while notes of earth, chocolate, and caramel fluidly came and went.

Once the second quarter began, the smoke and profile took on a very buttery quality, which was delightful. A lot of the more subtle flavors flitted away into obscurity, replaced by other subtle notes of cedar and nuts with a high quality tobacco flavor taking dominance at this point. The spice subdued itself and allowed these other delectable flavors to have their moment in the lime light.

Through the nose, the spice never lost its presence. Even though spice remained a dominant player when exhaled through the nose, it remained a second thought through the rest of the experience.

By the third quarter of this stick, the body really began to affect me and I broke out into a cold sweat because of it. This cigar really packs a whallop! Before I made it to the finish, I had to lay it down, otherwise it would’ve lay me down! This was unfortunate because, although I was feeling ill, the flavor and buttery quality of the smoke made me want to keep puffing away. I’ll probably pick up another and be sure to eat a very hardy meal beforehand.

Overall, I’d say this offering from Drew Estate is a big winner. I’m very happy that this company has branched out from its infused Acid line and begun making more naturally tasting cigars. I for one, am very impressed.

Presentation: 7/10 – Not a bad band. Gold on black with a wavy border, this band has a simple yet attractive quality.

Appearance: 8/10 – The wrapper on this stick was very dark, oily, and toothy with a few spots of minor discoloration. Overall, the wrapper is attractive enough to make any cigar man drool at the thought of lighting this stick up.

Construction: 29/35 – The pack of this stick felt firm and consistent, offering a decent draw which was not quite tight but not quite open. The burn was frequently uneven and this cigar tunneled three times in the first half which necessitated relighting. After the tunneling stopped, it began to run, necessitating more relights.

Flavor: 43/45 – The flavor of this cigar is where it really shines. Lots of spice early on with buttery earth, chocolate, caramel at the beginning and giving way to nut, and cedar flavors later on. Note: this cigar will lay you to waste if you aren’t used to full boded cigars or if you haven’t eaten.

Overall: 87/100 – Overall, I think that this cigar has a lot to offer and shows that Drew Estate has the ability to make excellent cigars outside of the flavored category. I’d recommend this guy to anyone who enjoys a spicy, sweet, and buttery full flavored cigar.

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