Cigar Review: Joya de Nicaragua Cabinetta Serie


Size: 6×50, Toro (No. 7)

Wrapper: Ecuadorian with added Nicaraguan Criollo upper

Binder: Nicaraguan

Filler: Nicaraguan

Strength: Mild-Medium

Price: Box of 24, $145

Grade: 9.3

Joya de Nicaragua, S.A. are well known for their Antano line of cigars and the newly released Antano Dark Corojo; most of JdN’s releases are full-bodied, but not so with the Cabinetta Serie, another new release. The Cabinetta is a mild-medium bodied cigar that utilizes an Ecuadorian and Nicaraguan Criollo wrapper; the Ecuadorian wraps the entire cigar while the Criollo is placed atop the Ecuadorian for the top inch and a half or so.

The Cabinetta is being distributed by Drew Estate, who took over the distribution rights to the United States in 2008, which was formerly held by SAG Imports. DE has taken a more concentrated approach to releasing the cigar and has abstained from a national release. The cigar was originally released in Spring ’09, though DE chose not to display it at IPCPR. The Cabinetta is currently available at only 75 tobacconists and the availability will slowly continue through 2010.

The Cabinetta is sold in boxes of 24 and available in the following sizes:

Cabinetta Serie No. 2: Belicoso 6 x 54, $6.55/ea.
Cabinetta Serie No. 4: Robusto 5 x 52, $5.55/ea.
Cabinetta Serie No. 7: Toro 6 x 50, $6.05/ea.
Cabinetta Serie No. 11: Corona Gorda 5 ¼ x 46, $5.05/ea.

From the press release, Alejandro Martinez Cuenca notes that Joya de Nicaragua “have always been known for creating full flavored, full bodied cigars in our Antaño line. I found that there was a demand for a cigar that the consumer could smoke at any time of day. Because of that, we’ve created the Cabinetta Serie; this cigar was exactly what we were looking for, something that’s not too strong, but still has that distinct Nicaraguan flavor profile. This cigar is almost always my first of every day.”

To learn more about Joya de Nicaragua, be sure to check them out online. So, enough of that, on to the toast!

JoyadeNicaragua2Pre-light, 1.8:
Without a doubt, the JdN Cabinetta was an eye catcher; this double wrapped Ecuadorian and Nicaraguan Criollo stick demanded my attention immediately. The dark upper complemented the almond shade lower perfectly, with a classy burgundy, crème, and gold band dividing the two wrappers. This stick had minimal veins and the Criollo was perfectly aligned. Both the upper and lower wrapper had a leathery, aged quality, which helped merge the two wrappers. The stick was double capped and showed no soft spots with excellent construction. The pre-light aroma was very sweet and reminded me of hazelnut, with some background notes of hay. The draw was fine and the flavor was more barnyard with some sweetness on the lips from the Criollo wrapper.

Burn, 1.8:
The JdN toasted quickly and evenly and had a steady burn throughout. The burn line remained razor sharp and never required any touchups or relights. The draw was consistent but at times required a bit of attention to keep a thick billow. The smoke had a very sweet aroma and filled the garage quickly. The ash was a bit dirty but very solid and had a nice hold through the entire smoke; each time I knocked it off myself. As the burn reached the Criollo wrapper, there was no effect on the burn, which I had some concern about.

Flavor, 2.8:
This is where the JdN really shined for me. I prefer milder cigars with shots of cream and complexity and the Cabinetta delivered. The flavor for the first third was predominately mixed nuts, with flavors of cashews, almonds, and sweet hazelnut. There was also background notes of hay. The transitions throughout this smoke were subtle but noticeable. The second third brought an increase in the barnyard notes; the nuttiness faded some but the cream stayed around, though not as strong. The final third brought a return to the nutty flavors, though it was less mixed and primarily a very creamy hazelnut. This was one of the most flavorful mild cigars I’ve had. I also didn’t receive some of the typical earthy Nicaraguan flavors, which was surprising.

Overall, 2.9:
I am excited about adding this smoke to my rotation; it will be a great 30th birthday present, even if I have to give it to myself! The Criollo upper added some enjoyment to this smoke, as I anticipated the ash working its way toward it. With the solid construction, consistent burn, and flavor powerhouse, the JdN Cabinetta is an excellent cigar and well worth the $6 price tag for the Toro. An added bonus is a Robusto at $5.50 and a Corona Gorda at $5. If you come across this cigar go ahead and pick several up, you will not regret it. I hope Drew Estate increase their distribution as I’d like to start hearing what more folks have to say.

(Total: 9.3)

Question of the Day: What was your favorite cigar released in 2009?