Name: JOYA RED
Country of origin: Nicaragua
Size: 6 x 52
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habana
Filler: Nicaraguan (Jalapa, Condega, Esteli)
Today I get the pleasure of reviewing the Joya Red from Joya de Nicaragua, whose roots are embedded deep within the rich history of the Nicaraguan cigar industry. The Nicaragua Cigar Co. was established February 29, 1968 by two men, J.F. Bermejo and Simón Camacho. It was there they produced the Joya De Nicargua cigar, making it the very first premium handmade cigar in Nicaragua. Today, Joya de Nicaragua is still located in the city of Estelí, a city that has come to be known as the tobacco capital of the world. Now, as with any company who does great, when demand rises, the need for expansion arises, and in 1969 with the help of A. Oppenheimer & Co. Joya De Nicaragua cigars made its way into America. But that was not the only place they were heading! With the help of Comsys of London, the Joya cigar began to spread across Europe. Today, distribution of the Joya De Nicaragua line is handled by one of the most innovative companies of our time, none other than Drew Estates headed by Johnathan Drew. Pretty cool, huh? I would of never known I was smoking a piece of history had I not done the research! Now that you have been informed, let’s get into it!
The Joya Red comes to me today wrapped in a somewhat course, dark, veiny, oily wrapper with a slight red hue. The Joya Red’s body has a significant amount of veins running through it, a gorgeous triple cap, tight invisible seams, and has a little bit of give to the body. The band is an appealing red color with gold accent, I must say it looks very good on this stick. The Joya feels very nice in your hands and while you hold it, you can feel the quality of its construction.
Flavor/Taste & Aroma:
The Joya’s body graced me with notes of earth and hay. The foot brought me an aroma that I have never experienced before. It was a nice sweetness and the only thing that I could say it reminded me of was like a sweet horse grain. I know that sounds weird, but really that is what it smelled like. I like that smell, so to me it was enjoyable. The pre-light draw was very smooth, greeting me with notes of earth and a slight sweetness, very nice. After lighting, the first draw met me with notes of pepper and cedar. The pepper was very strong at this point, especially on the retro. Nice start, I am interested to see what it brings me after it warms a little. About an inch in now, the pepper has moved from the front to only being on the retro, and even then it is very light. Notes of nut have moved in, accompanying the cedar notes. These flavors stayed true up until right around the half way point. There, the nuttiness and cedar was joined by what I would call a cinnamon, it is a little peppery but sweet at the same time, and cinnamon is the closest flavor I could relate it to. The smoke is still very smooth, it dries your mouth a little bit, doesn’t completely dry your mouth but it is not chewy or thick either. In the last third, the cinnamon that I as picking up has dropped off just leaving me with the nice cedar and nutty flavors. The smoke has not changed, I was hoping that it would pick up into a thick chewy smoke that I feel would have been a great match for the flavors I was getting, but to no avail. After the cinnamon fell off, the cedar and nuttiness followed me to the very end.
The Joya Red performed very well for me, it had a beautiful bright white ash, that would of held on to the midway point, but I accidently knocked it off trying to answer my phone. The burn line was a little wavy, but it stayed even, never needing any touch ups. The draw was excellent and the smoke output was great with big plumes of aromatic smoke. The only thing that kind of got on my nerves was how soft the body was getting. From the start, the body of the cigar got very squishy, not sure why but it was. It didn’t interfere with my smoking experience, but it got me thinking about what it could be. All in all very enjoyable, and a low maintenance smoke.
Overall, the Joya Red performed very well. For between 5-8 dollars a stick, I don’t see where you can go wrong, good construction, nice flavors, and no maintenance. I would absolutely buy more of these to put in my box. If you like the flavors that I profiled, and you have not tried these yet, I would suggest giving them a shot.