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Cigar Review: Joya de Nicaragua Celebración Toro

30 Apr 2014

If you peruse Joya de Nicaragua’s website, you’ll see pages dedicated to Antaño 1970, Antaño Dark Corojo, Cabinetta, CyB, and the company’s other core blends. What you won’t find is any information about Celebración.

JdN Cele ToroNicaragua’s oldest cigar maker launched Celebración in 2004 as a less powerful version of Antaño 1970. It was crafted by Manuel Quesada (known for the Quesada and Fonseca brands), who toned down the ligero to achieve the intended result. Today it’s still made in Estelí at Fábrica de Tabacos Joya de Nicaragua.

Celebración is marketed as a more approachable alternative to the strong smokes Joya de Nicaragua is known for—as well as a way to get Nicaraguan depth without the full body that some smokers find too power-forward. Remember that ten years ago not only did Cabinetta and CyB not yet exist, but there were far fewer Nicaraguan-made cigars in the American market. These days it’s a much different story, witnessed by the latest figures suggesting Nicaragua will soon surpass the Dominican Republic as the top source of cigars to the U.S.

The Celebración recipe includes a Habano Criollo wrapper around Nicaraguan Habano-seed binder and filler tobaccos. The puro comes in six sizes: Churchill (6.9 x 48), Consul (4.5 x 52), Corona (5.5 x 42), Gordo (5.5 x 60), Toro (6 x 50), and Torpedo (5 x 52). Prices range from $5 to $8 per cigar.

With a moderately oily, clean wrapper and a well-executed cap, the Toro is a handsome smoke. It’s firm to the touch except at the foot, which shows a cross-section of lightly packed tobaccos. The pre-light aroma is sweet and the cold draw is moderate in resistance.

While definitively more subdued than Antaño 1970, this cigar isn’t necessarily mild. It trends toward the medium-bodied spectrum with a fair amount of dry, woody spice. Interestingly, more than any other smoke I can remember, the spice tends to creep up in the aftertaste, creating an intensity on the top of the tongue only after the smoke has been released from the mouth.

Background flavors include syrupy sweetness, earth, cream, and peanut. While a little flat at first, they build into the second third. The finale of the Toro (the part I like the best) is characterized by increases in heat and spice. All the while the construction is top-notch. The burn stays even, the draw smooth, the ash holds firm, and each puff yields ample smoke.

With an MSRP below $7, this is a good—albeit less-than-memorable—cigar that serves as somewhat of a bridge between the Cabinetta and Antaño 1970 lines in the Joya de Nicaragua portfolio. Given a choice between the two, I’ll take CyB every time (I really like that blend). But the Celebración Toro is a nice bargain and worthy of three stogies out of five.

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

Patrick A

photo credit: Stogie Guys

3 Responses to “Cigar Review: Joya de Nicaragua Celebración Toro”

  1. Anders Wednesday, April 30, 2014 at 7:48 am #

    Call me crazy, but I actually like this more than Antaño. Still, both are good smokes.

    And, yes, CyB beats them both.

  2. Greg Wednesday, April 30, 2014 at 7:50 pm #

    CyB is an incredibly complex smoke that doesn't receive the praise it deserves.

  3. mphxaz Thursday, May 1, 2014 at 10:52 am #

    I enjoy the JDN Celebracion’s in both the Toro & Corona sizes. They are good cigars, especially when price is thrown into the consideration. Thanks for the review!

    Agree with the other posters on the CyB Lonsdale’s & Corona’s!