While most cigar smokers are familiar with the American embargo against Cuba, the U.S. also imposed an embargo on Nicaraguan products for five years beginning in May 1985. During that time, Nicaragua’s cigar industry—which is far larger today—was forced to find other markets outside of the U.S.

Joya de Nicaragua, Nicaragua’s oldest cigar factory, went to Europe. Now, the company is paying tribute to that time and the outcomes of the situation.

This month, it will release the Joya de Nicaragua Cinco Décadas El Embargo as an international exclusive, with a focus on the European markets. It’s a 6 x 60 box-pressed version of the Cinco Décadas blend, a blend that the company has declined to disclose.

Cigaragua in Amsterdam will receive the first boxes before it goes out to other European markets. The company says it will also be offered in Latin American and Asia next year. Notably, the cigar will not be sold in the U.S.

“The embargo was one of those hard situations we confronted, but one that in retrospect allowed Joya de Nicaragua to establish itself as a truly global brand,” said Dr. Alejandro Martínez Cuenca, chairman of Joya de Nicaragua, in a press release. “Another great example of how the tough moments in life can actually make us better and stronger. With El Embargo, we bring to our European friends a token of gratitude for opening their arms to us during those years.”

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Charlie Minato

I am an editor and co-founder of halfwheel.com/Rueda Media, LLC. I previously co-founded and published TheCigarFeed, one of the two predecessors of halfwheel. I have written about the cigar industry for more than a decade, covering everything from product launches to regulation to M&A. In addition, I handle a lot of the behind-the-scenes stuff here at halfwheel. I enjoy playing tennis, watching boxing, falling asleep to the Le Mans 24, wearing sweatshirts year-round and eating gyros. echte liebe.