First Smoke is a new series of Quick Smoke reviews, each evaluating a single pre-release cigar. Like the Quick Smokes we publish each Saturday and Sunday, each First Smoke is not quite a full review, just our brief take on a single cigar.
Whether by design or not, Nica Rustica has always seemed like sort of a discount version of the immensely popular Liga Privada No. 9. (Think of it as a second wine from a top Bordeaux producer.) Both feature Connecticut Broadleaf wrappers (Liga uses “Broadleaf #1 Darks” while the Nica Rustica uses a “Broadleaf Medium”), and both debuted in just one size, a Toro, before expanding to multiple vitolas. Continuing to follow in Liga’s footsteps, Nica Rustica is expanding with two new sizes this year: Belly (7.5 x 54) and Short Robusto (4.5 x 50).
The Nica Rustica Short Robusto features powdery smoke that coats the mouth in oak, earth, bread, grass, and pepper. Although the final Nica Rustica blend doesn’t use a wild Nicaraguan strain of tobacco that pre-release test blends included, the rustic, gritty characteristics are still evident, which is exactly what Nica Rustica intends. Construction is excellent and features Drew Estate’s trademark smoke production. You won’t mistake it for Liga, but with a $5.95 MSRP, the Nica Rustica Short Robusto delivers good value.
Verdict = Buy.
photo credit: Stogie Guys