Monday, July 07, 2014

Joya de Nicaragua Antano Dark Corojo Azarosa
Size: 4.5 x 52 (rothschild)
Tobacco: Nicaraguan puro
Price: $10

There's a new cigar lounge in Lakeland, and this was their first major event.  I smoked a JdN Antano Dark Corojo and got to shake hands with Dr. Alejandro Ernesto Martínez Cuenca.  

Cuenca is well-known in the cigar industry as the man who saved Joya de Nicaragua.  JdN had been moved to Honduras in the 1980's when the Reagan administration's embargo of Nicaraguan goods made it illegal to export their cigars to the U.S.  The JdN trademark had also been sold during the many years of political turmoil.  Cuenca had been the Minister of Foreign Trade for the Sandinista government during the Sandinista Revolution; he bought the company in 1994 after the war ended, reestablished the trademark, and moved operations back to his homeland.  Now JdN cigars are very well respected by smokers all over the world.    

Unfortunately, Cuenca was an hour late getting to the event and it just so happened he came in a few minutes before I had to leave to pick up takeout supper next door at Emerald Thai.  I missed out on some very generous swag bags and free stogies.  But I shook the doctor's hand and that was neat.

The cigar itself was much like the Antano 1970.  It featured a dry, soft wrapper with few veins.  Prelight aroma was woody and grassy.  It tasted very strong without being spicy.  Smooth with a loose draw, and a decent finish on the palate.  It did not have any of the sweet or fruit-tang flavors I associate with corojo wrappers, but neither did it taste much like a traditional maduro.  I wish I could have paired it with something better to drink that Diet Coke, but the store doesn't have a license to sell alcohol.

Like my review of the Antano 1970, I would say this cigar was very enjoyable, I would smoke another one, but I probably wouldn't pay $10 for it. For that price, it didn't quite live up to expectation.

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