Nicaragua’s first cigar factory (founded in 1964) created the Joya de Nicaragua brand in the 1970s and it was considered the finest, not only in Nicaragua, but in the entire world. Renowned for its rich, full flavor, it was smoked by many notables, including US presidents. Sadly, decades of war and Communist rule destroyed the brand and decimated the factory, and much of Nicaragua for that matter. Fortunately, those days are in the past and the Nicarguan cigar industry is revitalized, as is the Joya de Nicaragua brand.
We love a good puro, especially a Nicaraguan puro! And, when we get ‘em, you can bet they’re a big hit with those on our review panel who prefer the big-bodied ka-pow of strong cigars. The Joya Copper is no exception. Launched at the end of 2019, the Joya Copper is the newest in Joya de Nicaragua’s “Joya” series which currently consists of Red, Black, Cabinetta, and Silver in addition to the Copper. Representing a considerably bolder profile than the others in the series, Joya Copper is similar – though not quite as strong – as Joya de Nicaragua’s excellent Antaño 1970. Look for spicy and delicious notes of wood, brown sugar, earth, leather, and espresso, all within an assertive medium-full body that grows as you smoke it. Pair this smoke with a Speyside Scotch like Glenlivet 12-year.
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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