Joya de Nicaragua…the jewel of Nicaragua and the first premium cigar manufacturer in the country. They have been known as a company that produces Nicaraguan puros with (I believe) the CyB label several years ago being the only exception. Those familiar with Nicaraguan tobacco know that these are superb smokes–big, bold, powerful and full-bodied. While many of us love those powerful smokes, they are not what some smokers are looking for and certainly not a cigar for a beginner.
Joya de Nicaragua realized this a couple years ago and decided it needed to go after those folks that didn’t want a cigar that would make your hair curl! They wanted a smoke that would appeal more to the masses without losing any flavor and have the same quality that their traditional Antano lineup was known for. So they introduced JOYA Red and JOYA Black with brighter labels and more current packaging to reach the masses–a bold move by a very traditional company steeped in history and known for it’s powerful cigars, but a brilliant effort and a great success!
I have smoked both the Red and the Black and they are both outstanding cigars that stay true to the Nicaraguan roots. The Black is a tad stronger than the Red but both are easily all day smokes that don’t disappoint in flavor. Both are Nicaraguan puros but they have managed to tame the blend down to make it approachable by all levels of cigar smokers.
The Red is an easy-going, medium-bodied smoke that simply gives you all the flavor of Nicaragua but on a slightly scaled down profile. With a Nicaraguan Habano wrapper and fillers from Condega, Jalapa and Esteli, the first few puffs give just a hint of peppery spice but not the big hit one would expect from a Nicaraguan puro. There are hints of hay, earth, and a little coffee flavor along with lots of rich full tobacco flavors. This is a cigar of flavor and not strength and gives a great representation of how flavorful Nicaraguan tobacco truly is. The draw is just right with a bit of resistance, and the burn never needs a touch-up. While not overly complex in flavors, it does give a very straightforward experience of all that Nicaragua can offer in a cigar without overpowering you.
I would highly recommend the JOYA Red to anyone who either feared smoking a Nicaraguan puro or a cigar from Joya de Nicaragua because of the strength. This is a remarkable smoke and definitely worth adding to the humidor!
Steve Mungeer, Category Manager: Premium Cigars & Craft Beer
Certified Retail Tobacconist
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