The best description of the roots of this cigar is a quote:
“In the 1970s, this brand was considered the finest not only in Nicaragua, but in the entire world.
It was actually created in Nicaragua’s first cigar factory founded in 1964, smoked by US Presidents and renowned for its rich and full flavor. But decades of war and Communist rule in Nicaragua destroyed the brand and decimated the factory – and most of the rest of the country for that matter.
“The new Joya de Nicaragua Antaño 1970 was created to celebrate the rich heritage and worldwide renown it enjoyed in 1970, and marks a return to those days. It earned a 91 rating (Cigar Insider). A very, very full-bodied, robust “muscle cigar.”
“The Antaño 1970 has been named one of Cigar Aficionado’s Top 50 Cigars. In addition to several 90-point scores, it received a well-deserved ’91’ noting:
“A stocky, fat figurado that performs well. It’s medium to full bodied, with earthy, leathery flavors and floral, spicy hints. The finish is long and complex.”
I think that covers it. The only thing I would like to add is that it has a find heritage and with it, an old school mentality of blending. These cigars take months in your humidor before they show off the talents of the blender.
The cigar is devoid of visible seams. Small veins are infrequent. The wrapper is a chocolate brown with a mottled texture and a reddish hue. It glistens with oil and is slightly sandy to the touch. The cigar is solid and jam packed with tobacco but with the perfect amount of “give.” The single cap is superbly crafted. It is close to invisible.
The cigar band is unmistakable anywhere. That bright set of green tobacco leaves surrounded by the bright red ring with the cigar company’s name hasn’t changed in eons.
I clip the cap and find aromas of some of the darkest cocoa I have smelled on a Nic puro. It is intoxicating. There are additional aromas of spice, leather, cedar, and dried fig.
Time to light up.
The first puffs are strong and bold. The draw is perfect. An oversized sweetness latches on to my palate. And that gorgeous cocoa aroma translates up into flavor. The body is immediately medium. There is already a deep richness which makes the cigar very interesting from the start.
And then the spice kicks in. It is a combo of red and black pepper. I feel it in the back of my throat and on my tongue. The char line is doing very well. Slight waviness but nothing to fret about.
This stick has been marinating in my humidor for some time. I remember smoking one that only had a week or two on it and was sorely disappointed. These babies need their rest. So one must be patient.
The dried fig in the aroma turns into raisin. Some of the sweetness becomes dried cherry. If you have ever eaten organic dried cherry, without chemicals and without sugar added, this is what that component tastes like; sweet and tart at the same time.
Again, I flog a dead horse. It just amazes me what a cigar company can produce in terms of excellence and not throttle the public by the throat by its price point. Clearly, JDN has an unlimited supply of this tobacco. But they didn’t have to go to Peru or Costa Rica, etc. to find exotic tobacco artificially forcing the cigar to be a limited edition production; and thereby soaking the consumer’s wallet. This cigar is basically $5-$6 if you buy it by the box. A few shekels more by the 5 pack.
As the first third ends, creaminess makes its way into the profile. The creaminess allows a coffee element to show up. A latte. The cocoa becomes bolder as a response to the new flavors. This stick is showing all the necessary flavors of a Nicaraguan puro. The cigar has become very chewy. Stick to your teeth chewy. The pepper has subsided a bit.
This cigar remains cool without a hint of harshness. The char line continues to be a bit wavy but so far, no touch ups required.
The solidity of tobacco has made this stick a very slow burner. The first third took over 30 minutes.
The complexity continues on its journey and I expect the last third will be the fait accompli.
At the halfway point, the flavors are soaring. They interchange with each other in terms of priority. They shuffle themselves like a good poker dealer. So let’s see what we have so far: Creaminess, cocoa, spice, raisin, dried cherry, leather, coffee, and sweetness. Not a bad day at the office. Mind you, these are the flavors I would expect of a Nic puro. The flavor profile never varies far from this line up in Nicaraguan leaves. But what makes the stick stand out is its character and complexity. Some cigars have all these flavors but little character or complexity.
The Antaño 1970 is a special cigar and I can imagine all those things described earlier in the quotation about its popularity some 40 years ago.
The body becomes very full at this point. And damn! I forgot my bowl of cereal prior to sitting down and smoking this cigar. Anchors aweigh.
The last third begins with an even bolder flavor profile. I can’t think of anything else to describe it. All of the aforementioned flavors are present. The richness and complexity are there in force. And it is a joy to smoke. No pun intended.
Note: The ash seems to fall of in 1″ increments. I measured them and they are all within 1/16″ of another. Should I contact Guiness?
As I described earlier, that the cap construction was impeccable, it is just as impressive during the smoke. Not a single piece of loose tobacco departs the cap. And the char line in the last third is spot on. Well done.
The cigar finishes out cool as a cuke. The full body component is so strong it is doubtful I can nub it. A fatal flaw for a reviewer….the inability to storm the Bastille while under fire.
I highly recommend this cigar. I cannot think of a single criticism. The cigar has everything going for it. It is very close to a perfect cigar experience.
Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS