As Nicaragua’s oldest factory, Joya de Nicaragua was tasked by the government to make a special cigar for visiting dignitaries, heads of state, and other special guests. They were very honored by that request and decided to create something truly special and different from what the factory is best known for. Their reputation has been for making high-quality, very bold, and flavorful cigars using Nicaraguan tobaccos. In the 1970s, Joya de Nicaragua was considered the finest brand in Nicaragua and possibly the world. They wanted to page homage to those roots while highlighting the diverse capabilities of their factory. After all, this cigar was to be shared with some of the most influential people to visit the nation. So they dug deep, and decided to create a medium strength cigar that was approachable, exciting, and of supreme quality.
Although it’s certainly easy to make a medium strength cigar, it’s difficult to make a cigar in that genre that’s actually interesting and flavorful. Joya de Nicaragua accomplished this blending feat with aplomb. Beyond that, Joya de Nicaragua Numero Uno is a world-class blend that is one of the most award winning cigars to ever come out of Nicaragua. The blend is a combination of superbly aged Nicaraguan filler and binder tobaccos, along with a creamy, golden colored Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper. You’ll enjoy flavors of cream, toasted breads, and almonds with hints of vanilla, pepper, and cinnamon. The draw and construction are impeccable and round out a wonderful smoking experience.
Back in 2011, a couple of alums of CAO set off on a path to create a new cigar brand called Crowned Heads. They burst onto the scene with some great cigars and a whole lot of deserved hype. The company was founded by the duo of Mike Conder and Jon Huber with a different philosophy than that of their previous employers. Rather than spending tons of money on advertising and fancy packaging, they chose to invest in quality tobaccos and partnerships with cigar factories with the hope of creating an authentic brand that consumers would flock to. It’s safe to say that their brand and way of cigar making has achieved the success that they had hoped for.
The La Coalicion Sublime is made by Drew Estate for Crowned Heads. As the boys from Crowned Heads don’t own their own factory, this is nothing unusual. However, this blend is a true partnership between the two companies. Willy Herrera, Drew Estates’ Master Blender worked hand-in-hand with John Huber of Crowned Heads every step of the way to ensure that this project was a testament to their collaboration. The blend features Nicaraguan and Dominican fillers, a binder leaf from Sumatra, and a deep, dark USA Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper. Tasting notes include flavors of coffee, cocoa, and pepper with hints of earth, vanilla, and maple syrup. It’s a wonderful combination of diverse flavors that works really well in this format.
Davidoff is an iconic name in the cigar industry. They were the first true luxury brand in the cigar industry and are known for producing some of the best, high-quality, and consistent handmade cigars in the world. Their factories in the Dominican Republic are cathedrals to the craft and their tobacco stores are the envy of fellow manufacturers. It’s the company’s commitment to quality that drives them to regularly examine their work and adjust blends as necessary. Whether you grab a Davidoff today or 5 years from now, their process ensures that the cigars are remarkably consistent. It’s one of the many reasons why only a Davidoff is a Davidoff. Their cigars are truly timeless.
The Davidoff Master Blender Selection is a bit of a rare duck even for Davidoff. These cigars represent the personal playground of their master blender and Chief Quality Control Officer, Eladio Diaz. He created a total of 15 unique blends with exceptional, limited availability tobaccos. In other words, once these are gone, you will likely never see these blends ever again. Davidoff won’t disclose any of the tobacco components or ages, but rest assured that these are some truly exceptional and rare cigars. The Master Blender Selection No. 5 is Medium Plus in strength but full of wonderful flavor. The palate is dominated by notes of cream, savory spices, and cedar with hints of leather, cocoa, and molasses. It is expertly crafted and a wonderful way to explore Eladio’s capabilities.
Don’t let the plain-Jane look of this cigar fool you. The Muestra de Saka is a cigar created from the whims of one of the most knowledgeable and particular guys the cigar industry has ever seen, Steve Saka. His approach is unique when blending cigars: he blends what he likes to smoke. And if you don’t like what he creates, well, so it goes. As unique as Steve’s way of blending is, he also believes in a no compromise way of manufacturing. He will only allow his name to be attached to supremely constructed products. Despite what may seem a standoff-ish approach, most people will see cigars like the Muestra de Saka as boutique, limited production masterpieces.
The Exclusivo was one of the first blends released in the Muestra de Saka line, and it’s a doozy. Each of the cigars in this line were originally blending samples created by Saka. They each feature a unique blend. Due to limited quantities of the right tobaccos, these wonderful blends were never released as a full line of cigars. Instead Saka focused on a single vitola where he could feature these special tobaccos. The Exclusivo uses a blend of Nicaraguan fillers and binder leaves along with an oily, Ecuadorian Habano wrapper to create a blend that features tasting notes of cream, nuts, and earth along with hints of citrus, pepper, and buttery crackers. It’s an interesting and pleasing blend, and we can understand why Steve Saka wanted to share this one with his fans.
El Septimo has quickly established themselves as a player in the super premium/ultra premium cigar space. Not hard to do when your cigars retail for up to $75 each. However, you have to have a quality product if you want to play in this field and succeed, and El Septimo does not disappoint. The brand has quickly developed a faithful following of supporters among the most discerning cigar smokers around the world. Each blend of El Septimo is made in their factory in Costa Rica and features an array of incredibly aged Costa Rican tobaccos of up to 15 years. They spare no expense in making these luxury cigars and it shows in their superb construction, rich flavors, and pleasant aromas. El Septimo symbolizes the seventh day of creation in which God rested and appreciated his work. They create a unique smoking experience that represents the joy of living and being in the moment.
The El Septimo Alexandra Collection Coco started as a blend that was created specifically for the unique palate of women cigar smokers. They performed intense market research to ensure everything from the color of the band to the aromas of the tobacco smoke were pleasing to their target audience. Little did El Spetimo know how well-received this particular blend would be for men too. Its appeal is truly universal! Using a blend of all Costa Rican tobaccos aged between 5 – 15 years, along with a similarly aged dark and oily Costa Rican Oscuro wrapper, the Alexandra Coco is finished with a beautiful label featuring hues of blue and purple along with the El Septimo “7” logo. Tasting notes include flavors of cream, cedar, and cocoa with hints of baking spices and cane sugar, along with a hint of floral notes on the finish. This is another exceptional offering from the El Septimo collection.
In 2006, Don Carlos Edicion de Aniversario was created by Carlito Fuente Jr. as a tribute to his father, Carlos Fuente Sr., in commemoration of the 30th anniversary of the Arturo Fuente Don Carlos cigars blended by his father. In 2015, to celebrate the 80th birthday of their patriarch Don Carlos Fuente, they released a private blend to the public for the 1st time in very limited quantities. This new limited edition was called Don Carlos Edicion de Aniversario Personal Reserve, and was released in two sizes chosen by the man himself. It’ve a very special cigar for the Fuente faithful as it was one of the last blends created by Don Carlos before his passing.
The Don Carlos Edicion de Aniversario Personal Reserve “The Man’s 80th” is a truly exceptional cigar. The blend chosen by Carlos Sr. shortly before his passing is a tweaked version of their classic Don Carlos cigars. The Fuentes are mum on the blend, but we believe that they used extra-aged versions of the same tobaccos along with that uniquely Fuente Cameroon wrapper. The result is nothing short of spectacular as one might expect. Tasting notes include flavors of caramel, cedar, and earth with hints of roasted nuts, cinnamon, and pepper. This Don Carlos Personal reserve is truly an exceptional and special cigar that will rekindle your love affair with the Don Carlos line.