The next cigar I will try as part of my cigar challenge is from the Joya De Nicaragua cigar brand. I will be smoking the Numero Uno L’Ambassadeur.
It is not the first time I have come across a Joya De Nicaragua cigar. In January this year, I took part in a virtual herf with special guests Dr Martínez Cuenca & Juan Martínez. We smoked an Antano Robusto Grande whilst drinking Glenfarclas whisky.
The Numero Uno L’Ambassadeur cigar came in at number 6 in Cigar Aficionado’s ‘Cigar of the Year’ 2020.
Ring Gauge: 44
Country of origin: Nicaragua
Cost: £17.75 @ Havana House
Joya de Nicaragua (which translates to the ‘Jewel of Nicaragua’) was established in 1968 as the first premium cigar maker in the country. Esteli, where these handmade cigars are from, is ‘praised as the new tobacco capital of the world’.
Check out this virtual tour of the cigar factory at https://joyacigars.com/factory-tour/.
I have always been a big fan of Cuban cigars, but the more I smoke and learn about non-Cuban cigars, the more fascinated I am with them. Interestingly Wikipedia goes on to explain the connection between Cuba and these non-Cuban cigar makers.
‘Cigar-making came to Nicaragua in the aftermath of the Cuban Revolution of 1959. In the years immediately following the overthrow of the regime of Fulgencio Batista by Fidel Castro, the export of raw tobacco and finished cigars from Cuba to the United States was initially permitted. This situation changed dramatically in 1962 when President John F. Kennedy imposed a stringent embargo against Cuba.
Owners of tobacco companies and leading growers had already fled the island in the aftermath of the revolution, with its nationalization of the cigar industry. New areas for the cultivation of cigar tobacco were explored. One of the most promising of these new regions for tobacco cultivation were the fertile soils of Nicaragua.’
In 1994, Dr Martínez Cuenca purchased the cigar brand. Martinez does a better job than me at explaining why he took ownership of Joya De Nicaragua during this interview at Cigar Aficionado.
Martinez brought fresh ideas to the company and eventually released the Joya de Nicaragua Antaño 1970, a full-bodied cigar that recaptured the taste of the brand’s glory days. Since then, the brand has gone on to have a global impact.
Find out more about the brand at https://joyacigars.com/
I originally had the Joya de Nicaragua Classic Viajante cigar lined up for this smoke. But I decided last minute to try one that had been propping up on my social media feeds… the Numero Uno. The fact it was also rated highly in last year’s Cigar of the Year influenced me in picking this particular cigar to smoke.
The cigar is long and thin with a ring gauge of 44”, which goes against my current preference of 50” plus. The cigar band is well designed, and the wrapper looks incredibly light, a Connecticut, I believe.
Upon lighting, after the first initial draws, you can immediately taste the sweetness of this cigar. Almost vanilla-like. It’s very mild and incredibly creamy. I did midway through the cigar experience a tough draw, but this is a very consistent smoke, and the sweet/creamy notes stay as a constant throughout the cigar. It is also well constructed, and the build-up of ash is epic.
This cigar reminds me of the Plasencia I tried a few months back.
However, despite it being a highly rated cigar, this one isn’t for me. I think this would be the perfect smoke for a morning/afternoon with a coffee, not a Sunday evening under an umbrella on my balcony, in the pouring rain. In the future, I am tempted to add ‘Mood’ as a category when reviewing cigars, which is a factor in how I get on with them. If I tried this on a hot summer’s night, would this change my opinion, definitely maybe!
My rating: 6.5 out of 10 – I suspect others will like this.
Next up… a Juan Clemente cigar!