Nicaragua continues to produce top-notch smokes that are increasingly competing with, and many would argue, dominating high-end Dominican and Honduran products. The tradition of tobacco production in Nicaragua dates to the Colonial period of its history. Beginning in 1522, conquering Spanish explorers plundered the natural resources of the country much like the work of Cortes in Mexico and Pizarro in Peru. By the second half of the 16th century, in addition to slaves, indigo and gold, tobacco became an important export to Europe.
There are three distinct agricultural regions in Nicaragua, the Pacific central plain, the Central highlands, and the Atlantic Coast. Although the Pacific Plain, characterized by fertile volcanic soils and tropical rainfall, is one of the richest agricultural areas in Central America, it is in the Central highlands, with cooler temperatures, lower rainfall, and alluvial soil, that the tobacco plant thrives.
The best tobaccos of Nicaragua come from the Esteli area of Jalapa valley. Here, tobacco growers produce long leaf filler, wrappers, and binders for cigars. While some of the tobacco grown is of the Connecticut seed variety, the majority is Cuban seed. These seeds are the same Cuban's first grown in the Dominican Republic and then across the Caribbean in Honduras and Nicaragua. It is from these seeds that the Hoja de Nicaragua cigars are made. The Hoja de Nicaragua cigar line, not to be confused with Joya de Nicaragua cigar line, is actually produced by the same family and available in 9 sizes including the three that you’ll have an opportunity to sample this month. We found the line to be consistently well made, offering a variety of medium-bodied, full tasting blends.