La Estrella Cubana is a mild to medium-bodied Nicaraguan jewel. Note it’s sumptuous, triple-fermented Costa Rican maduro wrapper—dark, thick and silky to the touch. The filler is a combination of hand-selected, well-aged Dominican and Nicaraguan long-fillers that is held together with a Connecticut Broadleaf binder. They marry nicely with the wrapper to produce a buttery-smooth, creamy, maduro experience. Look for silky smoke to hang densely on the palate and a rich and savory core of dark flavors—unsweetened chocolate, toast, and espresso beans—with a hint of sweetness after each puff. Jam-packed with tobacco and solid from head to toe, this cigar never gets harsh and never gets hot. Look for a perfect draw and a razor-sharp burn that’s slow and cool from start to finish. The strength won’t build, nor do the flavors but that’s O.K. because each and every cigar our panelists tried pumped out more than enough rich and savory flavors to satisfy. If you’re looking for something to drink with your “Star of Cuba” (a.k.a. La Estrella Cubana), try a white Russian.
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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