In November 2013, Joya de Nicaragua released the Cuatro Cinco Edición Limitada, a 6 x 54 toro extra that commemorated the 45th anniversary of the company. The box-pressed cigar was composed of all Nicaraguan tobacco and was limited to 45,000 total cigars packaged in boxes of 10.

Details began to emerge in June that the Nicaraguan-based company would be following up the success of that release with a regular production release using much of the same ingredients, and still produced at Fabrica de Tabacos Joya de Nicaragua S.A., but sporting a different name and different vitolas. The Cuatro Cinco Reserva Especial is based on the Cuatro Cinco Edición Limitada blend, but adds a volado binder from the Dominican Republic. Internally, the filler includes five-year-old Nicaraguan ligero aged in oak barrels that previously held rum, although Joya de Nicaragua said its goal was not to infuse any sort of rum flavor into the cigar.

“While aging in barrels is not a new discovery in our industry, since we started using them in (2008-2009) to age the filler tobaccos for the first release of Cuatro Cinco, we’ve been able to naturally amplify the richness of the Nicaraguan taste and aroma in them,” said Juan Ignacio Martínez in an e-mail to halfwheel.

Joya de Nicaragua Cuatro Cinco Reserva Especial

The new blend was released in four different vitolas, all of which are sold in boxes of 10:

  • Joya de Nicaragua Cuatro Cinco Reserva Especial Doble Robusto (5 x 56) — $10.50 (Boxes of 10, $105)
  • Joya de Nicaragua Cuatro Cinco Reserva Especial Petit Corona (4 1/2 x 46) — $8 (Boxes of 10, $80)
  • Joya de Nicaragua Cuatro Cinco Reserva Especial Toro (6 1/4 x 50)  — $11.50 (Boxes of 10, $115)
  • Joya de Nicaragua Cuatro Cinco Reserva Especial Torpedo (6 x 52) — $12.50 (Boxes of 10, $125)

Joya de Nicaragua Cuatro Cinco Reserva Especial Doble Robusto 1

  • Cigar Reviewed: Joya de Nicaragua Cuatro Cinco Reserva Especial Doble Robusto
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Factory: Fabrica de Tabacos Joya de Nicaragua S.A.
  • Wrapper: Nicaragua (Jalapa)
  • Binder: Dominican Republic
  • Filler: Nicaragua
  • Size: 5 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 56
  • Vitola: Double Robusto
  • MSRP: $10.50 (Boxes of 10, $105)
  • Date Released: July 2015
  • Number of Cigars Released: Regular Production
  • Number of Cigars Smoked for Review: 3

Visually, the Joya de Nicaragua Cuatro Cinco Reserva Especial is a great looking cigar, featuring a dark espresso brown wrapper that is exceedingly smooth to the touch. The box-press is quite striking and it is fairly when squeezed. Aroma from the wrapper is strong combo of barnyard, dark chocolate, sweet raisins and oak, while the cold draw brings flavors of wood shavings, espresso beans, nuts, oak and sweet raisins.

The first third of the Joya de Nicaragua Cuatro Cinco Reserva Especial Doble Robusto starts off with a distinct marzipan sweetness on both the finish and the retrohale that stay strong for about three puffs, then recedes quickly into the background. A dominant dark cocoa note leads the pack, with other flavors of leather, oak, hay, creamy almonds and toast. The burn and draw are excellent so far, and while the smoke production is above average, it is a bit thin in body. There is some salt on my lips as well as a touch of spice on my tongue and the sweet marzipan note sticks around in the retrohale, combining well with some black pepper that is present. The strength in the blend starts off with a bang, and comes up just short of pushing over the medium mark by the end of the first third.

Joya de Nicaragua Cuatro Cinco Reserva Especial Doble Robusto 2

The marzipan sweetness comes back with a vengeance in the second third of the Cuatro Cinco Reserva Especial, becoming a major part of the profile and joining nicely with the rich dark cocoa and almond flavors that are dominant. Other notes of grass, leather, cinnamon, creamy oak and bitter espresso flit in and out, and the black pepper on the retrohale has decreased slightly in strength. Construction-wise, the burn has wavered a bit, but nothing even close to serious, and the draw remains excellent. The overall strength easily hits the medium mark by the halfway point, but seems to stall out there a bit, although I don’t think it will remain there forever.

Joya de Nicaragua Cuatro Cinco Reserva Especial Doble Robusto 3

The final third of the Cuatro Cinco Reserva Especial Doble Robusto seems to meld the first and second thirds together, featuring the same dark cocoa and sweet marzipan as the dominant flavors, but with some strong almond creaminess and cinnamon noticeable in stronger amounts as well. There are also lessor flavors of bitter espresso, leather, oak and hay, but they are underneath everything else, and don’t impact the profile as much. There is still a nice amount of black pepper on the retrohale, as well as some significant smoke production, but neither has changed much from the second third. The burn has evened up nicely, and the draw continues to impress, while the smoke production actually gains a bit of traction. By the time I put down the nub with less than an inch left, the Cuatro Cinco Reserva Especial has blown past the medium mark, hitting a point closer to full, although it does not break through.

Joya de Nicaragua Cuatro Cinco Reserva Especial Doble Robusto 4

Final Notes:

  • As Charlie Minato mentioned in his review of the Cuatro Cinco Edición Limitada, Cuatro cinco translates into “four five.” In the logo, the “a” in Cuatro is an upside down 4 and the second “C” in Cinco is an upside down 5.
  • Joya de Nicaragua is distributed in the U.S. by Drew Estate.
  • The original release of the Cuatro Cinco Edición Limitada was only offered in a 6 x 54 toro extra size, a vitola that is not being produced in the Cuatro Cinco Reserva Especial line.
  • There are actually wo bands on the cigar: a main band with the logo on top of a solid silver band underneath.
  • Along with the above, the main band has a photo of rollers in a rolling room on the back while the solid silver band includes some social media information for the cigar printed on the back, something that more manufactures should take advantage of in my opinion.
  • Each of the three samples I smoked started out with the same blast of raisin sweetness for the first two puffs before giving away to the other dominant flavors, although the note did remain in the profile throughout the cigar.
  • The final smoking time for all three samples averaged one hour and 50 minutes.
  • Some samples for this review were purchased by halfwheel, others were provided to halfwheel at the 2015 IPCPR Convention & Trade Show by Joya de Nicaragua and Drew Estate.
  • Joya de Nicaragua is a sponsor of halfwheel.
  • If you would like to purchase any of the new Cuatro Cinco, site sponsors Cigar Hustler, Elite Cigar Cafe (972.661.9136), Lone Star State Cigar Co. (972.424.7272) and Serious Cigarshave them in stock.
91 Overall Score

I was extremely impressed with the Cuatro Cinco Edición Limitada, and had high hopes for the newest incarnation of the line. Thankfully, my hopes were rewarded, for the most part. While I did not find the Reserva Especial quite as complex or as flavorful as the 2013 release, it is an extremely good blend in its own right, with a rich, dark cocoa as the main note in the profile interspersed with some wonderful marzipan sweetness that only gets stronger as the cigar burns down. Despite its history, I think that Joya de Nicaragua continues to be one of the most underrated companies in the business with releases like the CyB and and the more recent RED—not to mention the always dependable Cabinetta—and I found the Cuatro Cinco Reserva Especial to be an excellent followup to the original,  one that I will be smoking more of.

Brooks Whittington

I have been smoking cigars for over eight years. A documentary wedding photographer by trade, I spent seven years as a photojournalist for the Dallas Morning News and the Fort Worth Star Telegram. I started the cigar blog SmokingStogie in 2008 after realizing that there was a need for a cigar blog with better photographs and more in-depth information about each release. SmokingStogie quickly became one of the more influential cigar blogs on the internet, known for reviewing preproduction, prerelease, rare, extremely hard-to-find and expensive cigars. I am a co-founder of halfwheel and now serve as an editor for halfwheel.