One of the first-time exhibitors at the 2012 IPCPR trade show, Guayacan had impressed a colleague so much that he walked me straight over to it when he saw me on the trade floor. The cigars are the creation of Noel Rojas, who grew up in Cuba before coming to the United States about five years ago. The initial release of Guayacan cigars is being offered in four vitolas:

  • Toro – 6 x 52
  • Box-pressed Churchill – 7 x 50
  • Robusto – 5 x 50
  • Torpedo – 6 1/8 x 52

Rojas says that the tobacco for the filler and binder – both Nicaraguan Corojo ’98 – came from Casa Fernandez (AGANORSA), while the wrapper is an Ecuadoran Habano.

What is most interesting, however, is that Rojas says that each vitola is its own blend, though that will soon be changing. In the next batch of cigars, all will share the same blend, which happens to be the one used for the Torpedo. “It’s the blend people liked the most,” said Rojas.

Guayacan Torpedo 1

  • Cigar Reviewed: Guayacan Torpedo
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Factory: Guayacan Cigars LLC
  • Wrapper: Ecuadoran Habano
  • Binder: Nicaraguan Corojo ’98
  • Filler: Nicaraguan Corojo ’98
  • Size: 6 1/8 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 52
  • Vitola: Torpedo
  • MSRP: $6.50 (Boxes of 25, $162.50)
  • Date Released: August 2012
  • Number of Cigars Released: 10,000 Total Cigars *
  • Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 2

*This is the total production across the four lines. Specific production numbers for each vitola were not available.

The Guayacan Torpedo is well-packed and firm to the touch with its medium brown wrapper having several small veins and a visible seam. Prior to lighting, there’s a sweet and almost damp wood and earth aroma coming off the foot with a good bit of spice. The cold draw has some graham cracker and black cherry sweetness, with just the faintest touch of spice present.

As soon as the flame touches the foot of the Guayacan Torpedo, a big hit of the classic barnyard smell is released into the air. The first puffs of the first cigar deliver a surprisingly muted flavor, while the second cigar delivered a lush, peppery flavor. The spice tingles the tongue but what seems to be some kind of flavor struggling to emerge. The ash in the first third holds on well past an inch and takes a vigorous shake to finally get it to let go in the ashtray.

Guayacan Torpedo 2

Moving into the second third, the flavors still seem like they’re trying to break through with some earth and a floury texture of the smoke as the most defining characteristics at this point. Spice is minimal, and the smoke has been very smooth up to this point. Construction remains very good with a sharp burn line and no touch-ups needed. As the cigar crosses the halfway point, it seems like the flavors may be queuing up for an appearance in the final third with a bit of charred chicken and a decent bit of nicotine present.

Guayacan Torpedo 3

Finally some bigger flavors come out of the Guayacan Torpedo with the start of the final third developing a big, rich earthiness on the palate. Tucked within that earthiness is a slightly mineral, almost sour taste, but it comes out after a few seconds that it almost stands out on its own. The spice has stayed at a minimum for the few points it even exists, while the earthiness builds ever so slightly in the final inches.

Guayacan Torpedo 4

Final Notes

  • The variance between the two cigars was astonishing at points – I almost didn’t believe the notes I wrote down from the first cigar as I was smoking the second. While some of the flavors and aromas were similar, where they occurred wasn’t.
  • Construction and burn on this were perfect.
  • The most notable example of a company that advertises each vitola as its own separate blend is Davidoff with Puro d’Oro.
  • As a frequent commenter on cigar bands, I like the art work on the Guayacan line, and the bands are surprisingly thick and well-embossed. There is something very appealing and peaceful about the sun shining down on a tobacco barn.
  • I still scratch my head about how each vitola has a different blend, though Rojas describes them all as medium-bodied.
  • While they don’t have a website up and running yet, they do have a Facebook page that was launched on July 29.
  • On September 6, Gary Griffith of Emilio Cigars announced that his company had entered into an agreement to distribute Guayacan. That makes them the third such company that Emilio has an agreement with as they join Herederos de Robaina and Rodrigo Cigars.
  • The cigars were provided by Noel Rojas of Guayacan Cigars at IPCPR 2012.
  • Final smoking time is about one hours and 45 minutes.
86 Overall Score

While I'm not willing to call the Guayacan Torpedo the hidden gem of IPCPR 2012, it was certainly one of them, and Noel Rojas has proven himself to be a very interesting manufacturer and one who is willing to engage in conversations about his cigars. The biggest issue for me is the consistency of the cigars — where the first one seemed to have trouble getting its flavors to stand out, the second had little if any trouble with that. I'm glad to hear that he will be unifying his blend in the next run of cigars, and having smoked the one he will be basing them off of, I'm not upset at his decision. At the end of the day, there's no denying that I liked these cigars and think that if Rojas can grow the company smartly, he'll make believers out of more than a few cigar smokers.

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Patrick Lagreid

I strive to capture the essence of a cigar and the people behind them in my work – every cigar you light up is the culmination of the work of countless people and often represents generations of struggle and stories. For me, it’s about so much more than the cigar – it’s about the story behind it, the experience of enjoying the work of artisans and the way that a good cigar can bring people together. In addition to my work with halfwheel, I’m the public address announcer for the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks during spring training, as well as for the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League, the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury and previously the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for Major League Baseball, plus I'm a voice over artist. Prior to joining halfwheel, I covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.