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For the past two years, Joya de Nicaragua has made it no secret that its 45th anniversary was on the horizon. The company also made it clear it had no interest in simply calling the cigar, Joya de Nicaragua 45th Anniversary. A few weeks ago—with only a couple months left in the year—the company made the announcement, the cigar was to be known as the Joya de Nicaragua Cuatro Cinco.

The press release covered a host of details:

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Cuatro Cinco has been especially crafted to commemorate four and half decades of history of Joya de Nicaragua, its people and the city of Estelí, where it all started. Cuatro Cinco is an authentic Nicaraguan puro, hand rolled in Estelí with tobaccos grown in the region and in Jalapa, with a special 5 year-old ligero that the factory had been saving in its bodegas for this special occasion. As if time wasn’t enough, the filler tobaccos have been specially aged in oak barrels for more than a year to give them distinctive and sophisticated notes, and the silky smooth wrapper and binder are Nicaraguan grown in the Jalapa valley.

“We are very excited about Cuatro Cinco, for this is one of the few Limited Editions we have produced. With this cigar we are capturing the true Nicaraguan Spirit, rich in the tradition that embodies our cigars and that defines us as the archetypal Nicaraguan cigar maker, because before Joya, there was no Nicaraguan cigar. While this cigar promotes our heritage, it is also a celebration of the future and the many years we still have ahead of us. It’s been 45 years already, and we are just getting started!” stated Dr. Alejandro Martínez Cuenca, Chairman of JOYA DE NICARAGUA S.A.

Leonel Raudez, General Manager and Head of Production of Joya remarks: “this is also a tribute to the people of Joya, the ones that went and the ones that are still with us, even after 45 years. We Estelianos are proud of contributing to make Nicaraguan tobacco among the best in the world, and to celebrate that, we have made one of the most exceptional cigars we have rolled, using our finest local tobaccos and rolled by a selected few of our talented tabaqueros. The profile of this cigar is nothing like what we’ve produced, although the richness and complexity of the Nicaraguan grown tobaccos still predominates”.

Joya de Nicaragua has made it clear that limited editions are not the company’s focus. As such, this is the first limited JDN product of recent memory with Cuatro Cinco limited to 4,500 boxes of 10 cigars for the 6 x 54 Nicaraguan puro.

The boxes, which are individually numbered, look like this:

CuatroCinco 3

(Via Joya de Nicaragua)

Cuatro Cinco launched this past weekend with two events in the Dallas area, both attended by Dr. Alejandro Martínez Cuenca.

Joya de Nicaragua Cuatro Cinço 1

  • Cigar Reviewed: Joya de Nicaragua Cuatro Cinco
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Factory: Fabrica de Tabacos Joya de Nicaragua S.A.
  • Wrapper: Nicaragua (Jalapa)
  • Binder: Nicaragua (Jalapa)
  • Filler: Nicaragua (Estelí & Jalapa)
  • Size: 6 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 54
  • Vitola: Toro Extra
  • MSRP: $13.00 (Boxes of 10, $130.00)
  • Date Released: November 1, 2013
  • Number of Cigars Released: 4,500 Boxes of 10 Cigars (45,000 Total Cigars)
  • Number of Cigars Smoked for Review: 3

The first thing you notice about Cuatro Cinco is the band, it looks great, particularly against the dark wrapper. There are obvious roll lines on the thicker Nicaraguan wrapper, but it appears to be rolled clean. On all three cigars, I got a distinct candied blueberry note alongside a leather. Interestingly, the blueberry note also made its way over to the cold draw, although in lesser form, there’s also some leather and soft pepper to combine for something that registers medium-full to me before lighting.

The first third of the Joya de Nicaragua anniversary cigar begins with some sweetness before a crisp espresso and redwoods combination takes over the profile. A familiar soft pepper is towards the back of the throat, but I wouldn’t put any money on it staying there. The redwood note sticks around for the entire first third being joined by a somewhat bitter orange note with a cayenne pepper on the back of the throat. There’s not a laundry list of flavors, but there’s a medium-full flavor, each with great detail. While the smoke production is fine, the burn is moving extremely quick and the draw has opened up a bit more than I’d like—no doubt related. Strength-wise, it’s apparent from the get go there’s a good bit of nicotine here, but I don’t detect it on every draw.

Joya de Nicaragua Cuatro Cinço 2On all three samples I smoked, the burn began to need correction midway through the cigar, it’s an annoyance, but the smoke continues to pour out and the flavor is progressing. A nuttiness sporadically intertwines itself to the woody core—which is less redwoods than before—and the cayenne pepper notes remain in even stronger notes. There’s still an underlying sweetness, as well as a roasted note, which add some depth. Construction-wise, things are much the same, the draw is still open, the smoke still flowing and the Cuatro Cinco still burning very quickly.

Joya de Nicaragua Cuatro Cinço 3

I didn’t have consistent experiences with the final third of the Joya de Nicaragua. On one cigar, it seemed much like a continuation of the Cuatro Cinco second third. Another got a heavy dose of woodsiness and creaminess and the final one saw the orange note return to join the woody core. All three were enjoyable, although obviously different. Outside of flavor, the rest of the experiences were similar: the smoke production dies around the one-inch mark and the flavor goes with it.

Joya de Nicaragua Cuatro Cinço 4

Final Notes:

  • Cuatro cinco translates into “four five.” As noted below, the “a” in Cuatro is an upside down 4 and the second “C” in Cinco is an upside down 5.
  • This is the first cigar I’ve smoked in a while that’s had much of any nicotine effect on me. I smoked an Antaño a few days later, it was not half as strong.
  • Interestingly, much like flavor, I’ve come to accept that strength is also subjective. For whatever reason, certain cigars affect certain people more or less, perhaps this is one, but it was shocking to have the nicotine get to me.
  • For a cigar with tobaccos aged in oak barrels, I couldn’t find any oak notes for the life of me.
  • There are actually three different bands. While the front looks the same on each, the back and insides contain one of three drawings: the rolling of a cigar, the factory itself or a volcano. You can see part of the drawing on the back, like below, but the real artwork is inside.
    Joya de Nicaragua Cuatro Cinço Band
  • I really like Joya’s new branding. It’s not just present on this release, but some of the art on its Facebook page is amongst the better in the industry as far as I’m concerned.
  • For those wondering, yes, Padrón does have a 45th anniversary cigar. Yes, it debuted in 2009. Padrón was celebrating the anniversary in the cigar business, which was started in Miami and wouldn’t move to Nicaragua until 1970. Joya de Nicaragua opened up shop in Estelí in 1968.
  • I actually think these cigars will be benefited from being stored at closer to 70 percent RH than 65 percent.
  • Credit to Joya de Nicaragua, the company said the cigars would be available in the first week of November, they were. There are only a few companies who have credibility when it comes to ship dates down, one of them is Rocky Patel.
  • If the cigar ages anything like the Antaño, it will be really interesting to see where it is in a year to 18 months.
  • At $13 per cigar, this has to be the most expensive Joya de Nicaragua to date.
  • Joya de Nicaragua has begun to talk about its workers a lot more. This isn’t anything new, most notably being done by Drew Estate.
  • At both Michael’s Tobacco of Keller and En Fuego Tobacco Shop in Frisco, Texas, Joya de Nicaragua auctioned off boxes for the charity Federación Internacional Fe y Alegría. The charity is a pet project of Dr. Martínez Cuenca and provides education, clothing and food to children in Nicaragua and other regions. At both stores, boxes were auctioned off for $750, which according to Martínez Cuenca will provide for over a dozen children for a year. Interestingly, both events sold out of their 20 boxes within the first hour.
  • Martínez Cuenca will do more events for Cuatro Cinco, but he’s hardly the only one doing them. Juan Ignacio Martínez, the company’s executive president, Creative Director Carlos Zuñiga and Ivan Gutierrez, deputy marketing director are all doing events in the U.S. as well.
  • Cigars for this review were provided by site sponsor Drew Estate, the U.S. distributor of Joya de Nicaragua. Joya de Nicaragua is also a site sponsor.
  • Final smoking time was an extremely quick one hour and 20 minutes.
90 Overall Score

When you look at Joya de Nicaragua’s last few releases, we’ve seen a trend. There was Cabinetta in 2010, CyB last year and Rosalones which has trickled out into the U.S. market this year. At best, these are medium cigars, a far cry from what Joya de Nicaragua has become known for in the U.S. Mild cigars are important—it’s a much bigger market—and Joya de Nicaragua has made some good ones, but it’s not really Joya. Fortunately, Cuatro Cinco took some of the finesse the company has exhibited in the aforementioned releases and added it into a profile that is more Antaño. The result is a cigar that makes you smile, and then feel the nicotine, the way it should be. Without borrowing a new name for another vitola in the portfolio, Cuatro Cinco is the closest thing Joya de Nicaragua can roll to a Lamborghini.

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Charlie Minato
About the author

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 handle the editing of our written content, the majority of the technical aspects of the site and work with the rest of our staff on content management, business development and more. I’ve lived in most corners of the country and now entering my second stint in Dallas, Texas. I enjoy boxing, headphones, the Le Mans 24-hour, wearing sweatshirts year-round and gyros. echte liebe.

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