Archive for the ‘Joya De Nicaragua’ Tag

Cruzado Dantes Cigar Review

Another one of Dion Giolito’s masterpieces is under review this week. The Cruzado.

Cruzado

Cruzado

I have heard of these cigars, but most shops locally in El Paso, Texas don’t even carry Illusione cigars, so unless I was to receive these as a gift or trade, I probably never would have got my grubby little paws on one.

Luckily, a great little shop by the name of Tobacco Road recently jumped on the Illusione bandwagon and not only started stocking Illusione cigars, but Cruzado as well. Adam, the owner of the shop, actually gifted me a few of the Cruzado cigars in hopes to spread word of the brand. If you’re ever in town, Tobacco Road is a must-stop.

The Good Stuff: As stated earlier, the Cruzado line of cigars is another line blended by the mastermind himself, Dion Giolito. The Cruzado line was released in mid 2008. With the success of Dion’s Illusione lines the Cruzado had quite a bit of hype to live up to. Unlike the full-bodied Illusione cigars the Cruzado is best described as a medium to full, with complex flavors, soft spices atop leather and general creaminess. The size I have recieved is the Dantes Robusto. The Cruzado is blended by Dion, and then rolled in the Raices Cubanas along with the rest of the Illusione line.

Size: 5 x 48 –  Wrapper: Nicaragua Criollo  –  Binder/Filler: Nicaraguan/Honduran  – Strength: Medium

Cruzado

Cruzado

Prelight: The Cruzado’s wrapper is very firm to the touch. There were no soft spots whatsoever, actually quite the opposite. The wrapper was nice and oily, but at the same time it seemed a bit firmer than what I was used to. As most of Dion’s cigars the Cruzado sports a nice, rounded triple cap. I really wish more cigar manufacturers would take a que from Cuban construction and triple wrap their caps. The cap seems to be the only portion of the cigar I ever really have any problems with. not only is the wrapper a nice, milk chocolate shade of brown, but it also carries with it chocolate scents with hints of spice. The foot of the Cruzado smells very leathery with notes of nutmeg.

Cruzado

Cruzado

Cold Draw: I cut this particular cigar using my Palio double-bladed cutter. The cut was very clean, and there were no signs of misconstruction upon the slice. The cold draw was very spicy, with timid hints of what I could only categorize best as German pastry.

First Smoke: The Cruzado was wrapped a bit too tight for my liking. I was able to pull a decent draw off of the cigar but it took far more hits than I am used to. Almost instantaneously I was smacked in the face with a burst of pepper I wasn’t expecting. Other flavors were oats, bread, spice, cinnamon, nutmeg, leather, and again the German pastry. The Cruzado didn’t leave much of an aftertaste, just the slight lingering tobacco taste that is expected when smoking cigars. The burn started off well but is beginning to get slightly wavy. It’s still too early into the cigar to tell how this will affect the overall experience. The Cruzado is a great retro-hale cigar, clean, non-burning. I got about and inch and a half into the Cruzado before the ash gave way for the first time.

Cruzado

Cruzado

Halfway There: Shortly after I reached the halfway point the draw began to open up a whole lot more. I was no longer having to hit this cigar three or four times to get the massive burst of smoke I wanted. The burn line did get a bit wavy and I had to touch it up, I don’t see any further issues with it though. The flavors are holding their own. At this point the pepper is no longer in the mix, more spice, vanilla, oats, and bread. I’m really quite surprised how slow this cigar is burning. The smoke is thick and very light in color where as the ash is a whole lot darker than what you would normally expect out of any cigar. It’s not really flaky, but it isn’t really packed either.

cruzado5

Cruzado

Finish: There was a slight harshness to the nub of the Cruzado, but not anything serious. It may be in part to the massive smoking I did early into the cigar. The Cruzado finished very smooth otherwise. There was no nicotine feel. Overall the Cruzado was an incredibly smooth smoke. The pepper made a quick return towards the end of the cigar, but just enough to effect the aftertaste. After the halfway touch-up I had no further burn issues at all. The flavors finished off very Vanilla Coffee Creamery, with Oaky Leather and hints of pepper.

Cruzado

Cruzado

Overview: Although the Cruzado had great flavors, and was extremely smooth, it was just a little on the light side for my taste. This isn’t to say I won’t have it again. I actually think the Cruzado will be one of the few Medium smoke I will have in my regular rotation. This is a perfect cigar for novice and casual smokers.

Cruzado

Cruzado

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Joya De Nicaragua Antano 1970 Consul

This has been a heck of a week, and due to this I fell a day behind. But alas, I’m back at the blogging seat this time reporting back on the Joya De Nicaragua Antano 1970 Consul.

Joya De Nicaragua Antano Consul

Joya De Nicaragua Antano Consul

I have actually never smoked a Joya De Nicaragua before, so this is my first. I have heard nothing but great things about this cigar, and I stumble across it just about everywhere I go. So I finally decided to give it a shot.

The Good Stuff: Joya De Nicaragua’s Antano 1970 is a lasting tribute to the comapany’s stability. Joya De Nicaragua’s cigars were first released back in the mid 1960’s where it was one of the first cigars ever produced in Nicaragua. In 1970, the cigar gained mass acceptance in the U.S. and actually became the tradition cigar of the White House. Shortly after, Nicaragua became fairly unstable, and all of Joya De Nicaragua’s production came to a standstill. After more than 30 years, Joya De Nicaragua came back into play in 2002 with the Antano, to celebrate the company’s hard work.

Joya De Nicaragua Antano 1970

Joya De Nicaragua Antano 1970

Size: 4.5 x 52  –  Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano  –  Binder/Filler: Nicaraguan  –  Strength: Full

Prelight: I’ve read a review or two on the Antano so I know better than to let it’s small stature fool me. This cigar is supposed to pack a mean punch. The Wrapper is a very dark habano, almost maduro looking leaf. The cigar itself is very chunky, and has a pretty good weight to it. The wrapper smells of light earth tones with hints of almond. The foot of the cigar has a strong woodsy smell, with a touch of pine. There were a few soft spots close to the foot of the cigar. We will blame these on the handling, and I don’t forsee any problems with them. I should be able to burn right through them. The band is very bright, and inviting. There is a great use of metallic gold ink, with greens and reds spread out across the ring making the Antano stand out amongst most other cigars in any humidor. I used a double-bladed cutter, and a cheapy little 3 torch flame (my lighter is being repaired) to smoke this cigar.

Joya De Nicaragua Antano

Joya De Nicaragua Antano

Cold Draw: The pine taste didn’t come through with the cold draw, I must have picked that out of the air somewhere. The Antano’s cold draw had a very woodsy/leathery taste to it, with touches of spice and almond. The cold draw was pretty tight, and I am hoping this doesn’t transcend into the rest of the smoke.

First Smoke: The Antano lit up right away, and took literally just a few seconds to light completely under my 3 flame torch set to low. The first couple of puffs were very tight. I’m not a big fan of tight draws, so it was very welcomed when out of the blue the draw unleashed with huge clouds of thick smoke about 4 or 5 puffs in. Despite the massive draw, the smoke itself wasn’t all that bad smelling. If it wasn’t for the huge clouds of smoke I would recommend smoking this around other people. The taste pallete was very soft and invited. Peppery, spice was the dominant flavor backed by a bit of pine, cedar, and hints of almond.

Joya De Nicaragua Antano 1970

Joya De Nicaragua Antano 1970

The burn line is nothing less of stellar at this point, and the Antano is producing very thick, almost white ash. The pepper taste is matching up well as this cigar is paired with an Avery Hog Heaven barley-wine style ale. Astonishingly enough, I got almost 2 whole inches of ash (keep in mind how short this cigar is) before finally giving way. I really couldn’t predict when it was actually going to give out.

Joya De Nicaragua Antano 1970

Joya De Nicaragua Antano 1970

Halfway there: I know this is a strong cigar, but at this point I have yet to feel it. The smoke is smooth, and incredibly creamy. The pepper taste has mellowed out some, and now its become more “bready”. I’m not sure if  “bready” is the term, or even a word for that matter, but it was the best way I could describe it. The draw hasn’t let up at all, it’s still as big as ever.

Joya De Nicaragua Antano 1970

Joya De Nicaragua Antano 1970

The Antano’s burn line has taken a small turn for the worse as it became pretty wavy on one portion of the cigar. I’m not sure if this one will actually correct itself. The Antano is getting pretty warm. I usually smoke pretty fast, however this one is burning a lot warmer than most other cigars I’ve had as of late.

Finish: After standing up, and walking around my back yard A bit I was pretty surprised to find that I have felt no light-headedness, nor any signs of nicotine. Towards the end of the smoke the pepper taste came back, but it wasn’t nearly as strong as the beginning of the smoke. The questionable burn line actually did in fact correct itself, and the warmth of the draw only increased. I was really surprised how the taste of the Antano was so consistent throughout the entire smoke. The only addition were soft hints of sweetness I picked up towards the very end.

Joya De Nicaragua Antano 1970

Joya De Nicaragua Antano 1970

Overview: I would have to give this cigar 4.5 stars out of 5 (I am working on a custom rating system, no worries.). Outside of the small stature, the hot burn, and the fact that I don’t have more of these in my humidor, I can’t think of anything bad to say about this smoke. It was extremely smooth, and well balanced with soft kicks just where you would expect them. I WILL be getting more of these, and I recommend anyone who enjoys cigars to do the same.

The Joya De Nicaragua Antano 1970 Consul was paired with Avery’s Hog Heaven Barely Wine Style Ale.

Joya De Nicaragua Antano 1970

Joya De Nicaragua Antano 1970