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Cigar Review: Joya de Nicaragua Antaño Dark Corojo La Pesadilla

3 Dec 2018

When you think of Joya de Nicaragua, likely the first thing to come to mind is a storied firm—the oldest cigar maker in Nicaragua, to be more precise—that has built its reputation on bold, full-bodied Nicaraguan puros. For me, the Joya line that immediately jumps to mind is Antaño Dark Corojo.

Antaño Dark Corojo was the first Joya I ever smoked. It would be safe to say it played a big role in shaping my perception of what a Nicaraguan cigar should be. These days, I’ve smoked enough Antaño Dark Corojos to know that the proper setting for this cigar is after a large meal, in the evening, paired with a nice sipping rum or a neat bourbon. This is the best way to enjoy what Joya calls “the embodiment of the Nicaraguan power cigar.”

Antaño Dark Corojo is a Nicaragua puro with a mottled Corojo Oscuro wrapper. It comes in six sizes: Azarosa (4.5 x 52), La Pesadilla (4.75 x 60), Peligroso (5 x 44), El Martillo (5.5 x 54), La Niveladora (6 x 52), and Poderoso (6 x 54). For this review, I smoked several in the format called La Pesadilla, which is Spanish for “the nightmare.”

That’s a fitting name for a dark, powerful cigar that could be mistaken for an enormous rifle round. This stubby, belicoso-shaped smoke is slightly spongy to the touch and not without a few large veins and several surface imperfections. Much of the wrapper is hidden beneath bands of black and gold. At the foot, I find pre-light notes of green raisin and cocoa. The cold draw is effortless.

I typically prefer to use wooden matches but, with La Pesadilla’s 60-ring gauge foot, I opt for a torch. Once underway, I find a spicy, full-bodied profile with hearty notes of espresso, black pepper, dark chocolate, and cashew. The texture is leathery. Smoking through the nose helps bring out the creamy cashew and also some raisin.

Despite its obvious strength, La Pesadilla verges on medium- to full-bodied, whereas the other (thinner) Antaño Dark Corojo vitolas are decidedly full. This won’t come as a shock to those who understand that thicker cigars tend to have somewhat dialed-back strength, whereas thinner cigars tend to be more concentrated and more potent.

The combustion properties are solid throughout, including a clear draw, straight burn line, and good smoke production. My only complaint is a minor one: The ash tends to be a bit flaky.

La Pesadilla may not be a nightmare, but it’s no stroll in the park, either, and should be approached with a bit of caution. Those bold enough to give it a try will find a flavorful, surprisingly balanced, well-constructed cigar that will consistently deliver.

When bought by the box of 20, you can pay under $6 (and maybe even under $5) apiece for the Joya de Nicaragua Antaño Dark Corojo La Pesadilla. That’s a deal for a tasty treat worthy of three and a half stogies out of five.

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

Patrick A

photo credit: Stogie Guys

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