The Ave Maria Holy Grail is more than just its stunning band. The cigar itself, hailing from Esteli, Nicaragua is a stellar creation designed for those seeking a cigar of the highest caliber that’s somewhat mellower than many of Ave Maria’s other offerings. Panelists found the construction to be spot on and the flavor rich, smooth, balanced, refined and complex. One member summed it up with, “This is one of the most complete cigars I can recall.” The wrapper is a gorgeous golden-brown Connecticut leaf. Beneath the wrapper is a flavorful, hand-selected blend of Nicaraguan long-fillers held with a Mexican San Andrés binder. Elegant layers of mild to medium flavors create a luxurious bouquet that never overwhelms. Look for generous notes of cream, oak, cedar, and toast. Enjoy this smooth smoke with a Glenlivet 12 Year Old scotch.
The Nicaraguan cigar industry originated when Cuban cigar makers escaped the revolution and re-established their livelihood in Nicaragua with Cuban-seed tobacco. Blessed with dark, rich soil, their new home was ideal for tobacco cultivation and Nicaragua quickly became known for cigars that rivaled Cuban quality. Unfortunately, revolution and war came to Nicaragua in the 1980s and devastated the industry, but it’s rebounded dramatically and is once again producing tobacco considered by many to be the finest in the world.
The Esteli Valley is in many ways the heart of Nicaraguan production and is known for its very powerful and spicy tobacco. The Jalapa Valley produces arguably the finest tobacco in the country: somewhat sweeter and less intense than Esteli, but extremely complex. The tobacco of the Condega Valley is often described as a blend of the other two regions.
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