La Herencia Cubana is Spanish for "Cuban heritage." This smoke is another product of cigar maker AJ Fernandez, maker of a few Padilla and Rocky Patel lines, plus the exquisite Man O' War blend, so you know you're in for another special smoke. With its seamless appearance and its oily, slightly toothy, leathery texture, the Ecuadorian Sumatra-seed wrapper is positively sultry. Take a whiff of its nice pre-light aroma for a preview of the fillers—a well-balanced collection of long-leaf tobaccos from three of the major growing regions in Nicaragua: Jalapa, Condega, and Esteli. The medium-to-full-body smoke begins with a feisty burst of black pepper. After about an inch, it's tamed by a smooth core of rich tobacco flavors and an underlying creaminess that's maintained throughout the duration of the smoke. The opening is quite creamy, with a heavy dose of toast and wood. Every now and then some hefty spices enter the fray, but they are quickly diminished by the smooth, lingering aftertaste. After about an inch, the flavors seem to mellow a bit, but the strength does quite the opposite. The flavors are balanced but rich, releasing a deep, aromatic smoke with body behind every puff. Look for a lingering peppery aftertaste. This is a satisfying stogie that will go well with a dark rum.
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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