The Ave Maria Lionheart is more than just its stunning band. The cigar itself, hailing from Esteli, Nicaragua is a stellar creation designed for those seeking a full-flavored, medium-bodied handmade of the highest caliber. 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 Habano sun-grown leaf from Ecuador. Beneath this oily, leathery wrapper is a flavorful, hand-selected blend of aged Honduran and Nicaraguan long-fillers all box-pressed to perfection. Deep, elegant layers of rich flavors create a luxurious bouquet that never overwhelms. Look for generous notes of spice, earth, leather, and sweet tobacco flavors with semi-sweet nuances on the finish. It’s a buttery smooth smoke that's balanced from start to finish. A nice cold pale ale will complement this cigar well.
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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