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Cigar Review: Joya Red Robusto

23 Jul 2014

Back in April, I visited the Joya de Nicaragua factory in Estelí as part of Drew Estate’s Cigar Safari. At the outset of the tour, Juan Ignacio Martínez—the 31-year-old who was named executive president as his father, Dr. Alejandro Martínez Cuenca, steps away from day-to-day operations—gave us an overview of Joya’s fascinating history. Many know that Joya is the oldest cigar maker in Nicaragua. Fewer are aware of how Joya’s legacy is intertwined with the political unrest in Nicaragua in the 20th century.

Joya Red RobustoBut that is a story for another time. Before walking the factory floor, we were provided samples of an unnamed blend that was under development. I only got to try one—and I had smoked many cigars that day—but I recall it being milder than the traditional Joya profile, very classic-tasting, balanced, and delicious. At the time, I didn’t know this blend would ever hit the market. I hoped it would.

Fortunately, Joya Red, as it is called, was officially announced in early June. It is currently making its worldwide debut at the IPCPR Trade Show in Las Vegas. Joya Red is intended to be the “new and exciting side of Joya de Nicaragua,” a product of what’s now “the youngest executive team in the industry.” A Nicaraguan puro, it features a lower priming of Habano wrappers, as well as more Viso tobacco and less Ligero than what Joya typically employs. The filler is a mixture of leaves from the Estelí, Jalapa, and Condega growing regions.

Joya Red will be sold in the affordable $5.75-$8 range in four sizes: Short Churchill (4.75 x 48), Robusto (5.25 x 50), Toro (6 x 52), and Cañonazo (5.5 x 54). (The latter was originally slated to be called “Cardinal;” it was likely changed to avoid confusion with the E.P. Carrillo Cardinal.) The Robusto is a handsome, well-made cigar with a nice cap and an unblemished exterior. The cold draw is smooth and the foot has abundant pre-light notes of hay and syrup.

Once lit, I find a medium-bodied, balanced profile of citrus, dry cedar spice, roasted nuts, and a little black pepper. The texture if light and toasty. Nothing else in the Joya portfolio tastes like this. The Robusto is classic with traditional tastes and plenty of balance and complexity. It is simultaneously understated yet full of flavor. The midway point witnesses a tendency to coffee with creamer, and the finish has a slight increase in pepper and spice. All the while the physical properties—ash, smoke production, burn, and draw—are solid.

Already there are a number of Joya Red reviews online, and the consensus is acclaim. After smoking several Robustos, I am adding to that praise. This is an excellent blend that will almost assuredly be on many year-end lists of the best smokes of 2014. For now, I’m awarding the Robusto four and a half stogies out of five.

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

Patrick A

photo credit: Stogie Guys

6 Responses to “Cigar Review: Joya Red Robusto”

  1. mphxaz Wednesday, July 23, 2014 at 5:04 am #

    These are definitely on my got to have list from the 2014 new releases!!

  2. Anders Wednesday, July 23, 2014 at 8:58 am #

    Well, I'll definitely be giving this a try. Sounds like this might be more successful than CyB or Cuatro Cinco.

  3. DiggerP Wednesday, July 23, 2014 at 10:22 am #

    Patrick, you are not the first trusted reviewer to be excited about this new release. And you can't argue with the price point. I'll be looking to make a box purchase once these are available. Thanks for the review.

  4. Lion King Thursday, July 24, 2014 at 9:53 am #

    Thanks Patrick for the review,
    Would you have any comments on how does the Joya red compare to the celebration?

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