Cigar Review: Joya de Nicaragua Cuenca Y Blanco Lonsdale Club

Cigar Review: Joya de Nicaragua Cuenca Y Blanco Lonsdale Club

Joya de Nicaragua Cuenca Y Blanco Lonsdale Club

Size: Lonsdale (6.5″ x 44)

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano

Binder: Dominican Piloto Cubano

Filler: Esteli, Nicaragua & Omatepe, Peru

Strength: Medium

Price: $8.45 MSRP

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One of the most widely anticipated releases of 2012 was the Cuenca y Blanco manufactured by Joya de Nicaragua under the guidance of Jose Blanco. The CyB is a departure from the historically all Nicaraguan puros released by Joya de Nicaragua. The Cuenca y Blanco is named for Joya de Nicaragua President Alejando Cuenca (a fascinating individual well worth further reading about here) and Jose Blanco, Senior VP of Joya and on of the Cigar industry’s most highly regarded ambassadors.

I had the opportunity to discuss the Cuenca y Blanco with Jose Blanco at the IPCPR trade show and Jose stressed the goal of the blend was to capture the diverse, rich flavors of the tobaccos as opposed to the more common strength and dominant flavors associated with Cigars from Nicaragua. Jose gave me a sample at the show, a robusto, and asked me to wait until I had a clean palate before I tasted it. As difficult as it was I obliged. I had also received a corona from a retailer friend and after smoking that I decided to wait until the CyB’s were in stores so I could grab a few Lonsdale’s for review.
But enough about that, let’s toast the foot!


Grade: 9.4

Pre-Light: (1.9) The Ecuadorian Habano wrapper is a beautiful rich shade medium brown in hue. The wrapper leaf has a bit of a bumpy texture with a slight bit of tooth and some veins. There is a mildly oily sheen to the wrapper. The Lonsdale is capped with a traditional triple cap.

The scent off the foot was rich with a combinations of nuanced aromas including hay, leather, toast, and a discernable fruity sweetness. The pre-light draw really showcases sweetness in the tobacco with notes of dry raisin and dry apricot laced in the sweet tobacco as well as a twinge of saltiness.

Burn: (1.8) The CyB Lonsdale Club features a good draw with a bit of resistance appropriate for the Vitola. The mostly white ash was firm and easily held past two inches on of the samples smoked for review. The wrapper is a little delicate and I had a minor issue after cutting one of the samples (only happened with one of the Lonsdale’s, no issues with the Robusto or Corona) so take a little care when cutting the head.

Flavor: (2.9) Just a few puffs in and it’s clear that the CyB is going to be a complex smoke with rich and diverse flavor characteristics. There is a creamy, leathery, woodsy core. That woodiness feels like a tug of war between oak and cedar with neither being dominant. There is also a very mild black pepper with a hint of spice to the finish. As the first third develops there are notes of raisin and sweet molasses that emerge in the background but again no one flavor takes the foreground lending to an incredibly diverse tasting experience. Strength is mild. Body and flavor are full.

The second third is just an absolute crescendo of flavor with each draw revealing varying degrees of a diverse wave of flavors. There is dry fruit (apricot and raisin), oak, cedar, pine, sweetness, and saltiness. The amount of contrast and complexity is just absolutely amazing with no two puffs being identical. Retro-haling the smoke really brings out all the flavors and not retro haling would likely deny the smoker a piece of the experience. Strength moves to the lower range of medium while body and flavor remain full.

In the last third the CyB continues to offer an incredibly diverse tasting experience. The woodiness yields a more cedar dominant element. The leather from the first third also reemerges. The sweetness that has been in and out of the profile increases in texture and there’s a bit of a ramp up in both spice and pepper. In the last third strength yields at medium and ,the CyB finally lays to rest as an incredibly complex, diverse, full flavored smoke.

Overall: (2.8) Jose said it himself “flavor, flavor, flavor!” and the cigar which bares his name absolutely delivered, delivered, delivered! The Cyb is an incredibly complex, full flavored cigar that maximizes taste without delivering a lot of strength.

The CyB is an interesting cigar in that it should appeal both to experienced and discerning smokers that can appreciate the complexity, but I would argue that this is a cigar that an intermediate smoker should also consider as offers a fascinating crescendo of flavor with being heavy in strength and could therefore be enjoyed by people looking to expand the range of their palate. While I haven’t smoked the Toro or the Torpedo, I did notice that the nuance and complexity did increase as the ring gauge decreased. While the Robusto delivered the Corona and Lonsdale both kicked it up a few more notches. Absolutely box worthy, and will be probably be right up there in the tops of 2012 discussions.

Total: 9.4 (While we received a sample of the Robusto and Corona at the IPCPR trade show, the Lonsdale’s smoked for this review were purchased by ToastedFoot. We appreciate the generosity of manufacturers, but it does not have any impact on our review)