Pioneer Valley hails from one of Nicaragua’s premier cigar factories. The medium-bodied cigar features a dark, toothy Broadleaf Maduro wrapper which cloaks a flavorful, well-aged combination of mellow Cuban-seed long-fillers from Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic. Note how firmly packed they are. The binder is a U.S. Connecticut shade. Expect a tight draw initially that loosens up after the first inch. The smoke is going to start out gentle and pick up strength as you get into it. Expect a creamy core of toast and cedar with notes of black pepper and nutmeg, complemented by a crisp tobacco taste and a pleasant richness on the finish. An aroma of coffee, leather, and a touch of spice adds to the pleasant smoking experience. Look for an ash that’s firm and stunningly white. This is one you can smoke down to the nub. Enjoy it with an oaky chardonnay.
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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Rocky Patel's Decade Torpedo, rated 95 in Cigar Aficionado.