JOYA Red by Joya de Nicaragua | Cigar Review

Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan (Esteli, Condega, and Jalapa)
Size: 5.25 x 50 “Robusto ”
Body: Medium
Price: $5.75 ($4.50 Everywhere)


Today we take a look at the brand new JOYA Red by Joya de Nicaragua. It is a regular production cigar and how long it stays with us will depend on lots of issues.

First is the size. What the hell do I have? The stick measures 5-3/8” long. Right between the robusto (5.25”) and the Cañonazo (5.5”-Torpedo). But after comparing it to what I know is a 50 ring gauge, it is clear that I am smoking a 52 ring gauge. But how stupid is this? You make four blends and two of them are only different by ¼” in length and less than 1/16” in diameter. That worries me about the common sense of this cigar. And the quality control. This is a huge Robusto.

JDN’s newest president of operations, Juan Martinez, led the way to this regular production stick. JDN is known for kick arse blends but Martinez wanted to produce a milder, gentler JDN.

The JOYA Red by Joya de Nicaragua comes in four sizes:
Short Churchill: 4.75 x 48
Robusto: 5.25 x 50
Toro: 6 x 52
Cañonazo: 5.5 x 54

Let’s get down to it. The wrapper has a slight reddish tinge to its toffee colored wrapper.

Construction is solid. Seams are tight. A few veins. Looks like it has a triple cap. A nice semi-oiliness and very toothy. And the tobacco jam packs the cigar.

I clip the cap to find aromas of spice (I sneeze twice), sweetness, earthiness, cedar, and a healthy dose of black licorice at the foot.
Time to light up.

The JOYA Red by Joya de Nicaragua starts of toasty and earthy. The draw is good but I have a sense that this is an old school blend; once again from the folks at JDN. It is given pomp and circumstance about how ‘new” the blend is and it is just one more cigar that needs 6 months to marinate. I’ve had the cigar 3 weeks and it’s my first smoke. I got a 5 pack on Cigar Monster for $14. It was new and figured it would give me something to review on the cheap. The regular 5 pack price is $29.00. The box price is $90. So I got it for half price.

A bit of black pepper shows along with some creaminess by the half inch mark. The cigar begins to perk up.
A lovely lemony citrus note appears. And a neutral sweetness augments it. The pepper is climbing on up.

This is beginning to become a very pleasant cigar and I must eat my words. I could have gone back and deleted my faux pas’ but it is better you see what an idiot I am.

It appears that Juan Martinez has led JDN out of the stone ages and is trying to compete with the young blenders who “got” their shit together. I’m not a JDN fan because I don’t have the bucks to buy a box and forget about it. Hopefully, Martinez is on to something.

The ash is hanging tough. A little over an inch long and just waiting to fall on to my lap. Or worse, my laptop keyboard. I keep a Swifter duster nearby.

At this point, the cigar seems to be feeling its way through the dense forest, machete in hand, trying to find its destiny and destination.

The strength is a tad bit shy of classic medium.

But the flavors change up a bit and get more intense: Creaminess, caramel, toast, citrus, sweetness, earthiness, cedar, spice, and graham cracker. There is a definite cheese cake element going on.

I would have liked to see a more potent spice component but it is what it is. Maybe it will surprise me later in the cigar. I am closing in on the second third. But not quite.

Strange. The font on the Commie red cigar band gives the illusion of everything being out of focus.

As the second third begins, the flavors make a big push for potency and definition. The balance is beginning to work things out. Not nearly a flavor bomb. I expect if it happens, it will be in the last third confirming that this is a bit of an old school blend needing more humidor time than 3 weeks.

The sweetness has a touch of brown sugar, a touch of molasses, and a touch of fruit. There is a dried fruit element deep down but I cannot tell what it is yet.

The price point. This is a big cigar. Maybe not for you but it is for me. That 54 ring gauge makes it’s a gagger. I try giving it head but all I do is burn my uvula.

Oh yeah, the price point. A good example of a premium cigar in a wallet friendly place. And if you keep an eye on Cigar Monster, you can save half on a 5 pack and if you want a 20 count as in a box, you will still get it for half price.

The spiciness begins to increase. A welcome change.

The cigar is indeed warming up for flavor bomb status later in the cigar.

A sour note appears. Not the citrus. Something else. Roasted nuts joins the fray.
And just like that, the sour note disappears.

One by one, the flavor profile increases in strength. And so does the body. It is now classic medium body. The milder strength compared to other JDN blends allows the flavors to really shine. And aren’t shadowed by kicking the doors down from full body strength.

The roasted nuts become salted nuts. It is a perfect counterpoint to the sweetness and citrus. For a Nic puro, it has none of the stereotypical flavors. Not a lick of cocoa or coffee. No black cherry or raisins. And so forth and so forth. Tastes more like a Dominican puro.

I am on the verge of seeing the cigar’s flavor profile attain flavor bomb status at the halfway point.

The sun has been out for 30 minutes now. Halle-fucking-leujah!

Construction on the JOYA Red by Joya de Nicaragua is excellent. No touch ups to the foot required. The char line is nearly dead nuts. The wrapper is behaving nicely. And I’ve only had to clip the drooly cap once. A well put together cigar.

I predict this to be a very popular cigar. A major change for the JDN folks and an excellent cigar to boot.
I am dead center at the halfway point.

Here are the flavors: Creaminess, caramel, citrus, sweetness, toasty, roasted nus, spice, earthiness, graham cracker and cedar.

The JOYA Red by Joya de Nicaragua has turned out to be a very pleasant cigar. It has a junior flavor bomb status. Not explosive but nicely balanced. This is a cigar for both the experienced palate and newbie alike. Flavors are subtle. And still a good stick for a newbie to develop his palate.

The sweetness has a strong fructose element to it. No specific fruit but maybe in the last third….

Because of the subtlety of the flavors, this is a perfect breakfast cigar or your first of the day. Not your 4th of the day because by that time, your palate may not pick up the subtle nuances that the JOYA Red by Joya de Nicaragua delivers.

I have to admit I was expecting to diss this cigar. But I am man enough (I was Bar Mitzvahed) to admit I was wrong and my misgivings were totally off base.

The body begins to get stronger. Shy of medium/full.

The black pepper returns in force. The last third begins and all hell is breaking loose.
Now we have a real bona fide flavor bomb.

The line of flavors has not changed but rather, they are the bold and beautiful. Explicit flavors that really bounce off my palate with some oomph.

Three weeks is enough humidor time but I expect that a couple months will allow this stick to blossom much earlier than this one today.

It is 15 minutes later than the last sentence. Had to take Charlotte to work so I can have the car. Sometimes, a few minutes away from your cigar does wonders for your palate. Everything seems fresh again.

The JOYA Red by Joya de Nicaragua is steeped in flavors. That early mention of cheese cake is even more evident now. That graham cracker sweetness and the creaminess make for a perfect match. Especially, with the absence of chocolate in the flavor profile.

With a fresh palate, the fruit is now decidedly apricot.

As predicted, the flavor bomb status is now exciting and bold. I don’t want this to end. It is just perfect. Not a single criticism except for the fact that the size does not match the description. But in this case, that’s good because it gives me more cigar for the buck.

The draw is spot on. And has been throughout the smoke.

With just less than 2” to go, there is not a hint of harshness, heat or bitterness. It is flying high on well balanced flavors and finally; some complexity.

It might just take a couple more weeks than the three I gave it to find the blender’s intent.

I do believe that JDN hit this one out of the park.

This is one delicious cigar. You will probably find the JOYA Red by Joya de Nicaragua on the auction sites for a lot less. And don’t forget Cigar Monster.
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5 replies

  1. nice review katman! gonna have to try these now, wasn’t going to with previous mixed reviews but this seems up my alley! thanks

  2. Always looking for something on the cheap to add to the daily,morning rotation. Sounds like a worthy choice. Thanks Uncle!

  3. Totally with you on the other JDNs needing a long time to rest before they’re enjoyable. I’d certainly like to try this one, though.

  4. Like to hear this of a JDN. Its now on the list. Many thanks, Uncle.

  5. I’d it ain’t broke don’t fix it. My question to Joya De Nicaragua is why a milder stick leave that to Monte Christo Or Macanudo, you have some of the best Cigars made today and now you want to go milder? Why? Hey Katman how are you?