Meaning ‘the friendship’ in Spanish, La Amistad is one of the more full-bodied cigars to come out of Hoyo de Monterrey and is a collaboration from General Cigar and legendary cigar maker and farmer A.J. Fernandez. Hailing from Esteli, Nicaragua, this gorgeous cigar is hand rolled at A.J.’s own factory, Tabacalera A.J. Fernandez Cigars de Nicaragua. A modern interpretation of the classic brand, here is what A.J. himself had to say about the Hoyo La Amistad project: “I grew up very near to the Hoyo de Monterrey farm and I have always had a love for the brand. When it came time to develop this blend, I put my heart and soul into it. To me, this project represents how far my family and I have come since Cuba, and how our expertise in tobacco continues to be recognized. This cigar represents the best of me and my factory and I am proud to be a part of this collaboration.”
Showcasing an oily and thick Ecuadorian Sumatra Oscuro wrapper, La Amistad Black is a full-bodied, spicy firecracker, featuring notes of cayenne and black pepper, in addition to cinnamon and leather. It’s a complex smoke from start to finish, thanks also to the intricately blended Nicaraguan long-fillers and the Mexican San Andrés binder, with the end result easily being one of the most full-bodied flavor bombs to come out of Hoyo de Monterrey. For pairing options, you can’t go wrong with a Milk Stout, allowing the smoke to complement the beer’s roasty and sweet notes.
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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