Cigar Review: Nica Libre

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Size: 4.5×46, Principe

Wrapper: San Andres Maduro

Binder: Nicaraguan Habano

Filler: Aged Nicaraguan

Strength: Medium

Price: Box of 20, $49.99 (Deal)

Grade: 8.9

The Nica Libre was created with the intention of being Padron’s stepchild. The San Andres Maduro wrapper on the Nica Libre is very similar to that used on the Padron Anniversary Maduro. There isn’t a ton of information on this cigar, so if you have some please leave a comment! I’ve heard on the boards that these may be a creation of AJ Fernandez, but nothing has been confirmed.

I’ve had these resting for about a year, so they are overdue! With not much else to speak of, let’s toast it.

NicaLibre_1Pre-light: 1.7:
This box-pressed, wafer-like petite Maduro was very clean. The triple cap was very well done and it was packed well throughout with no soft spots. The band is elegant with maroon and gold, even if it’s a knockoff of Padron. I love this size! The aroma and flavor on the cold draw were the same – sweet chocolate and creamy espresso.

Burn, 1.8:
The draw on the Principe was wide open, yet the burn was fairly slow. The ash layered very well and held well past an inch, which was impressive for a 46 ring gauge and a box press at that. The ash was hilly at times but never required any touch-ups. Thinking back, I can’t recall a cigar that produced this much smoke and at the same time had a slow and steady burn.

Flavor, 2.7:
Though full of flavor, the Nica Libre was a one-dimensional smoke for me. The finish throughout was very dry and earthy, and the dominant profile was sweet chocolate, without the bitterness. Throughout the smoke, there was a subtle creaminess that fought to break through the dryness, and only rarely made it to the surface. There were also notes of espresso and hazelnut with a palate-soaking finish. I’ve been on a non-Maduro kick as of late, so this was a nice, steady re-introduction.

Overall, 2.7:
I am not sure if these ever stay at retail, but at the current price point this is an exceptional cigar. With the 5-pack freebie, these sticks are $2 each, which is a solid price for these Nicaraguan candy bars! The burn was fabulous – in fact, if I was going to have one of those pictures made, of someone’s face shadowed and covered by smoke, I’d fire this one up! The flavor was top notch, albeit one-dimensional, and the construction was solid. I would absolutely recommend this as a box purchase; it’s my next one.

(Total: 8.9)

Question of the Day: Do you have a favorite wrapper?

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