Joya de Nicaragua Antaño 1970
Joya de Nicaragua is the oldest cigar company still in production in Estelli, Nicaragua, starting production in 1968. While rising to prominence in the 1970’s, political strife and war affected quality and exportation to the U.S in 1980’s and early 90’s.
Fast-forward to 2002, after several years of a resurgence in the quality and popularity of the brand, the Antaño 1970 was released. It is, like most of the JdN lines, a Nicaraguan Puro. Joya de Nicaragua cigars are often said to be made by Drew Estate, but this is not accurate. They merely handle distribution for JdN in the US.
The Joya de Nicaragua Antaño 1970 Alisado is a beautiful cigar. Most of the Antaño line comes in the standard cylindrical shape of most parejos. This one, however, is box-pressed. The wrapper is a deep brown like milk chocolate, with minimal veins and no cracks or tears. The seams are visible, but I find this to be commonplace on box-pressed cigars.
The band compliments the shade of the wrapper well, displaying classic red, gold, white, and black designs and lettering. There are also three green tobacco leaves in the center of the oval logo. The name of the cigar is included along the bottom of the band. While it does not appear to be loose, it does slide off relatively easy near the end of the smoke without damaging the wrapper. That is always a plus in my book. Who wants to struggle with removing a band on a lit cigar?
Not only does the wrapper look good, the Joya de Nicaragua Antaño 1970 feels good too. It is silky smooth, while the entire stick is firm, yet slightly supple. The triple cap looks a bit odd as the first piece of cap on the shoulder/head is almost ¼” in length. Nonetheless, this is only noticeable when closely scrutinized, so it does not detract from the elegance of the overall product.
If it looks good, it has to smell good, right? In this case, the answer is “yes!” The aroma at the foot is earth, cocoa, and licorice. Down the barrel it is wood, earth, and a touch of cocoa.
After clipping the cap with my Calibri CRA double guillotine cutter, I take a few pre-light draws. It feels like the draw might be a little tight, but not difficult. There are notes of earth and licorice, but not the cocoa I was expecting.
I have gone back to using matches for lighting whenever possible. There was some concern that lighting up outside with matches might prove difficult, but that was not the case. Using two matches, the foot lit up right away.
Though the pre-light draw was a bit tight, the post-light draws were perfect, open with just a touch of resistance. The Joya de Nicaragua Antaño 1970 gave off a ton of rich, spicy smoke that fully coated my palate. After about 1/8”, the draw does tighten up slightly, but I am still able to get plenty of smoke on each draw.
The ash on this cigar is gorgeous! It is mostly white, with some gray and black peppered in. It is solid, hanging on for over an inch at a time. Hopefully, the picture does it justice!
The burn is very even throughout the entire smoke. However, there was an issue with it staying lit. In both the second and final thirds, I did have to relight it. Both times, I had set it down for a couple of minutes, but not longer than that. Fortunately, it lit back up easily and gave me a good opportunity to purge it properly. I think it is worth noting that it was raining for part of the time I smoked, so the dampness probably had an effect on this.
The total smoke time for the Joya de Nicaragua Antaño 1970 Alisado was 1 hour 55 minutes, which is on par with most toro-sized cigars I’ve smoked.
So far, other than the relights, this cigar has been a winner in all other categories. How did it do in the flavor department? Outstanding!
The Joya de Nicaragua Antaño 1970 begins with a hearty blast of both black and cayenne pepper mixed with wood notes. After several draws, the cayenne comes to the forefront and savory notes appear as well. Further on, there are some light graham cracker notes that fade in and out. Definitely a tasty first third!
In the second third, the cayenne begins to die out and the black pepper steps back in. There is also wood, graham cracker, and earth. The savory notes fade out for a bit, but return near the end of this section with a slight creaminess to boot. The retrohale gives a nice floral note that isn’t present on the draw. It is still quite tasty!
The final third continues with pepper, earth, and wood, adding leather and tanginess to the mix. A hint of salt develops and the savory notes return as it gets to the end of the smoke. A big positive is that there isn’t any harshness or bitterness in the final inch. It also doesn’t get hot.
I would say this Joya de Nicaragua Antaño 1970 was medium-full in flavor and strength, though some may say it is full strength. I believe it is billed as such, but just falls short of that mark in my book. However, if you like stronger cigars, I don’t think you will be disappointed.
Would I Buy It Again?
Absolutely! I plan on having some of these on hand from here on out.
Is It An Everyday Smoke?
Yes, if you like a semi-strong cigar everyday. It is certainly a great value.
Would I Buy a Box?
There is a reason I have smoked this Joya de Nicaragua Antaño 1970 many times in my life; it is really good! I thoroughly enjoy the flavor profile, strength, construction, and price. I get these online for around $4 a stick, which is a phenomenal price in my opinion. With all factors considered, I can certainly overlook a relight or two.
If you like cigars with a lot of flavor, I highly recommend you give it shot.