A couple months ago I was privileged with the opportunity to hang out at a local event and get to try one of Jose's new cigars. I posted my preview of it here. This cigar was released at this year's IPCPR show and has started showing up in retail stores. I picked up a couple of the cigars at Maxamar's and decided to smoke one for review. You will notice a slight different in the name of the post and what it says on the band. That was something Joya de Nicaragua announced yesterday, the press release is here.
The wrapper on this cigar was a nice golden brown in color with some darker mottling to it. The veins that were present were mostly fine in size. The wrapper had a fair amount of oils to it and was slightly velvety to the touch. When I gave it a squeeze I got a slight amount of give but no soft spots. Putting my nose to the wrapper I got the aroma of leather with raisins coming from the foot. After clipping it and taking a cold draw on it I got dry cocoa powder but with a fairly tight draw.
Lighting it up started off with a fair amount of spice on the tongue and retrohale. I noted tastes of coffee, earth and copper after a few puffs. A little ways into it a sweetness on the finish began to develop. The draw was definitely too tight for my liking and it was difficult to get a good amount of smoke out of it.. The burn started out slightly wavy as well.
As I moved into the second third I didn't really get a lot of change in the flavors, except I started to get some leather notes added to the flavors I got from the first third. The sweetness pretty much went away during this third and the spice toned down quite a bit. The draw was still too tight for my liking however.
Once I moved into the final third the draw started opening up. It wasn't as open as I like, but it was noticeably better. The flavors definitely started to get more intense and very similar to the pre-production sample I smoked, with notes of leather, cream, coffee, earth and a sweet cinnamon note coming through. I wouldn't say that it got out of the medium range the entire time I smoked it.
While it was an enjoyable cigar, the draw issues caused me to not enjoy it as much as some of the other samples I've smoked. JdN cigars have been very consistent for me so I'll just chalk this up to a fluke. I do think that this cigar is approachable by almost any cigar smoker out there. The complexity without too much strength should make it interesting to all.