Joya de Nicaragua is celebrating its 55th anniversary in 2023 and, as they have traditionally done over the last five years, the oldest factory in Nicaragua has blended a special cigar to commemorate the occasion.
“As we have always said, this is the best cigar that comes out of Joya de Nicaragua’s factory in Estelí. That is why we pay so much attention in guaranteeing that every annual batch has the same quality level as the first one we sold in 2018. This year, global demand of cigars is surging, however, we remain true to ourselves, and we are selling the number of cigars that can be rolled with the Cinco Decadas standards,” Juan Ignacio Martinez, Executive President of Joya de Nicaragua, stated in a press release.
Joya de Nicaragua’s Field Market Manager, Sarah Hearton, added, “Each year, I look forward to the Cinco Decadas release. It is not only a beautifully constructed line of cigars, but truly represents the history, growth and triumph that Joya de Nicaragua has had over the last 50-plus years.”
Size: 6 x 52 (toro)
Wrapper: Mexican San Andrés
Price: $20.00 (while the samples reviewed tonight were provided by Drew Estate, you can head over to Famous Smoke Shop and snag a box of Cinco de Cinco right now and save $20 by using promo code TNCC20)
The semi-box pressed Cinco de Cinco features a very dark San Andrés wrapper with minimal surface oils underneath an intricate emerald green band. The wrapper leaf’s aroma is that of primarily earth and hay. There’s just the right amount of give when the cigar is gently squeezed between two fingers.
After experiencing a cold draw consisting of earth and a mild sweetness, I torch the foot of the Cinco de Cinco and I’m immediately greeted by an inviting, medium-strength black pepper spice through the nose. Dark roasted coffee and a somewhat bitter dark chocolate note comprise the draw’s flavor profile here early on. Once the Cinco de Cinco gets going, a combination of graphite and mineral begins to emerge on the backend of the pepper spice. The cigar’s burn line started off a bit wavy and uneven but it does an admirable job of correcting itself around the 1” mark.
The bitter aspect of the Cinco de Cinco’s dark chocolate element has thankfully diminished towards the middle of the first third, although the coffee presence has now become the dominant flavor on the draw. Speaking of things diminishing, the pepper’s strength has also dialed down a bit which makes the graphite and mineral notes more pronounced and they’re now joined by a slight mustiness. The burn line began to act up again requiring a brief touch-up with my lighter.
Just before the Cinco de Cinco’s ash reaches the band, a bold oakiness rapidly appears and within a few puffs that oak is standing toe-to-toe with the dark coffee. The draw’s chocolate factor is now a non-factor as it has vanished completely. I highly recommend retrohaling this cigar frequently as that’s where the real action is.
While the burn line hasn’t been ideal thus far in the smoking experience, the Cinco de Cinco’s draw is great and the ash continues to hold on admirably in large grey chunks. I could easily envision the Cinco de Cinco pairing well with scotch or, if you’re a badass, a generous pour of Yebiga’s PRVA rakija. A little after the halfway mark, the strength and overall presence of the retro’s black pepper returns. The second half of the cigar is leaving my mouth slightly dry so I hit the pause button and grab a glass of water. While I’m enjoying the combination of woodsy oak and coffee via the draw, I’d love it if there was any type of sweetness present to perhaps balance out those bold flavors.
The Cinco de Cinco’s final act sees the black pepper spice dial down once again, while the draw’s oak component is now overshadowing everything else. The ash has also become slightly unpredictable so thump it off often, your lap will thank you. Just as I began think that the cigar had shown me all of its cards at the table, a slight, very slight, Italian cream cake icing flavor revealed itself with only an inch or so to go. Man, I wish that had happened earlier! Alas, it’s a wonderful if unexpected surprise to end the smoking experience on.
While the Cinco Décadas remains my favorite of Joya’s anniversary blends, I enjoyed the Cinco de Cinco quite a bit over its 75 minute smoking duration. The burn line issue wasn’t that big of a big deal, as overall the cigar’s construction was very good.
I can’t help but wonder if my lasting impression of the cigar would considerably more positive if that cake icing note had shown up to the party much earlier on. As it is, the Cinco de Cinco is a fairly straight forward but never boring cigar. The fluctuations in pepper strength and the revolving core flavors keep things interesting and, I can’t help to think, that this cigar is going to benefit with a little rest time in the humidor.