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Cigar Review: Cuenca y Blanco Lonsdale Club

4 Sep 2012

When José Blanco announced he was rejoining the cigar industry in August 2011 after “retiring” from La Aurora only a few months earlier, it wasn’t much of a surprise. A return to tobacco seemed inevitable for those who knew Blanco. What was somewhat surprising was that he decided to join Joya de Nicaragua, where he was named senior vice president.

Joya de Nicaragua is an old-school brand run by Dr. Alejandro Martinez Cuenca, who purchased its remnants in 1994 after its nationalization during the Sandinista Revolution, which ended a few years before the purchase. Up until the introduction of the Cuenca y Blaco cigar, the company had made almost exclusively Nicaraguan puros. (Previously, only the Joya de Nicaragua Cabinetta Serie had used non-Nicaraguan tobacco, and then only for wrapper.)

The new line, formally introduced a month ago, is the first cigar to fully depart from the all-Nicaraguan formula and it does so in a major way, with tobacco from Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, and Peru. The filler comes from Estelí and Ometepe in Nicaragua, along with with Peruvian tobacco, and is surrounded by a Dominican Piloto Cubano binder and an Ecuadoran Habano wrapper.

The cigar comes in five sizes, the longest and skinniest being the Lonsdale Club at 6.5 inches with a 44 ring gauge. I’ve smoked three different sizes and find this to be my favorite (at least so far). I picked up a five-pack of these from Emersons Cigars, where they sell for just under $9 each.

The cigar features a classic-looking red, blue, and gold band that mentions nowhere on it that the cigar comes from the Joya de Nicaragua factory. The wrapper is medium brown with only a few very small veins, making for an attractive stick.

The Cuenca y Blanco harnesses the rawness and strength that defines Joya de Nicaragua, but adds a complexity and finesse that is unlike their previous blends. It’s a medium- to full-bodied smoke that features a laundry list of flavors: floral notes, cedar, honey, leather, oak, and spice.

It’s a departure from other Joya de Nicaragua cigars, but it doesn’t forget its roots, and at its core it still has a bit of the twang that you might find in their Antaño or Celebration blends. With excellent construction, complexity, and tons of flavor, it’s a standout from the new cigars I’ve smoked thus far at the show. That earns the Cuenca y Blanco Lonsdale Club a rating of four and a half stogies out of five.

[To read more cigar reviews, please click here.]

Patrick S

photo credit: Stogie Guys

4 Responses to “Cigar Review: Cuenca y Blanco Lonsdale Club”

  1. Chris S Tuesday, September 4, 2012 at 4:30 pm #

    I had never heard of these cigars until I was in a shop last week, and a friend pointed them out to me, and told me he had tried one from the pre-sale and that they were excellent. Now that it's gotten two outstanding reviews, I can't wait to try one of these.

  2. CDJ Saturday, September 15, 2012 at 6:16 am #

    Great review, can't wait to try them. I see where Emersons is a sponsor, but I found these sticks over $3 cheaper per stick than what you mention as a price! Certainly makes it that much more appealing when they are affordable.

Trackbacks and Pingbacks

  1. Quick Smoke: Joya de Nicaragua Antaño Dark Corojo Peligroso | The Stogie Guys - Saturday, September 8, 2012

    […] de Nicaragua is (deservedly) getting a lot of attention these days for its newest release, Cuenca y Blanco. But I recently sat down with the Peligroso size (5 x 44) of the older Antaño Dark Corojo blend. […]

  2. Stogie Guys Friday Sampler No. 308 | The Stogie Guys - Friday, October 12, 2012

    […] Not long after it was introduced at this summer’s IPCPR Trade Show, Joya de Nicaragua’s Cuenca y Blanco has been rebranded as simply “CyB.” “This change is being proactively self-implemented to […]