Joya de Nicaragua Cuatro Cinco
In case you missed the announcement, 2013 marked the 45th year of Joya de Nicaragua Cigar Company. Starting in 1968, they lay claim to being the original Nicaraguan cigar company. I wrote a little bit about their history in an earlier review of the 1970 Antaño.
To celebrate the occasion, JdN released the Cuatro Cinco in November. This is a limited edition cigar with only 4500 boxes of 10 being released. Like most JdN cigars, it is a Nicaraguan Puro, with tobacco from Esteli and Jalapa. Some of the tobacco was aged for over a year in oak barrels and it also has a pinch of 5 year aged ligero. It is priced higher than most other JdN cigars, but aren’t all limited edition releases?
Worthy of note is that I got this particular cigar as a token of Siz’s appreciation for all of my hard work. As usual, that has no affect on my rating of the cigar. Also, I must notify you of the terribly frightening thunderstorm that I braved (on my covered porch) just to bring you all this review. You’re welcome!
The Cuatro Cinco is a beautiful cigar. The wrapper is a mostly uniform dark natural shade with virtually no seams and only a few veins. The triple cap is flush. The barrel has a soft box press shape that is adds, in conjunction with the 54-ring gauge, to the substance of its appearance. Looking at the foot, it appears to be well packed.
The bands that are on the cigar compliment it well. The main (top) band is black with gold trim and silver, white and gold print and designs. There is a silver three-leaf logo along with the name, dates, edicion limitada, and Cuatro Cinco on it. On the back is a picture of the JdN factory. Under that band is a gold and white sleeve that has the logo leaf all over it. Both bands slide off rather easily.
The Cuatro Cinco, like many soft box-pressed cigars, has a little give to it when squeezed. It wasn’t soft and loose, just slightly pliable. The wrapper felt really smooth and silky with no bumps or soft spots.
When I smell the foot, I get some sweet molasses and earth. On the barrel I get molasses, cocoa, and earth. I am not surprised by any of these aromas.
Here’s where I make the mistake of the night. I decided I’d like to go with a punch cut. However, my punch is duller than I realized. It did make a hole, but also split the shoulder of the wrapper a little bit. This would come into play in the last third of the cigar where the wrapper started splitting more and it unraveled a bit.
After trying to punch it, I decided to clean it up with my double blade cutter. This helped, but there was still the small split. On the pre light draw, I get decent airflow and notes of earth and molasses.
The Cuatro Cinco lit up with relative ease despite having a rather large ring gauge. The light is even and stays that way for the first third. The burn becomes slightly uneven in the second third and I do have to touch it up in the final third. None of this seems to really affect the draw or flavor, so I don’t really worry about it too much. One other minor concern was how quickly it burned. Though it lasted 1.5 hours, I had to smoke it down to the nub to make it last that long.
The draw was a little tight but not too bad before lighting it. Once I do, it seems to open up almost immediately. I am able to get lots of smoke on each puff throughout the entire smoke.
The ash starts out looking perfect for the first ¾”. After that, it gets a slight bend in it, but still hangs on for 1”. It is almost all white and very solid in shape.
I must say that they did a good job on the construction of this cigar. It looks, feels, and performs (other than where I split the wrapper) like a limited edition, premium cigar. More importantly though, will the Joya de Nicaragua Cuatro Cinco taste as appealing as it looks?
The first third begins with a very spicy black and red pepper combination. Despite the spice being pretty strong, there is a slightly sweet graham cracker note in that makes its way into the fray. As it progresses, the graham cracker becomes creamy, and the whole profile is very smooth and spicy. An earth note also pops in. This is one cigar that is both a pleasure and a pain to retrohale!
The second third continues with the pepper and earth, but also adds some wood and a floral note. The creamy graham cracker is still there too. The spice moves from being red and black pepper to a floral white pepper. Additionally, some molasses enters the profile. By the end of this section, the cigar has become a creamy, floral, and spicy smoke. At this point, it has become very spicy once again, just more floral this go around.
In the final third, all of the previous notes continue. It starts to become a little sweeter, which mixes nicely with the floral spice and cream. A little salt note pops in as well. When the final inch or so starts to split pretty badly, the profile becomes woody and the floral note starts to die out, really only coming in on the retrohale. This continues down to the nub.
The Joya de Nicaragua Cuatro Cinco is full flavored, medium full in strength. While it is pretty spicy throughout the cigar, it is a very pleasant and somewhat smooth spice. The other notes help tame it up just enough. All the flavors are well balanced and have smoothness to them that other JdN cigars I’ve smoked do not. It was a delicious cigar that lasted for right at 1.5 hours. I really wish it had lasted for 2 hours!
Would I Buy It Again?
Absolutely! That is, as long as I can find some!
Is It An Everyday Smoke?
No, but only because it is a limited edition release. I would not want to burn through them that quickly.
Would I Buy a Box?
Yes! Though the MSRP is $13+, it coming in boxes of 10 helps them be affordable for most budgets, including mine!
Joya de Nicaragua has hit a home run with the Cuatro Cinco. For a company that doesn’t really do the whole “limited edition” thing, they certainly have done an excellent job with this one. From presentation, to construction, to flavor profile, the Cuatro Cinco fires on all cylinders. My only complaints, and the reasons it didn’t get a 10 are that it burned a little too fast and the complex profile that was present throughout most of the cigar really became too woody at the end. Otherwise, I highly recommend this cigar. Hopefully, you can still find at least a couple out there!