Video review HERE.
I picked up this cigar at last week's New York City Big Smoke.
The new Joya Red marks the first new regular production offering since President Juan Ignacio Martinez has assumed the duties of company president. This is also the first Joya that breaks the mold of full bodied cigars. It utilizes less ligeros and thick wrappers and made use of more viso leaves. The company also says the wrapper is a lower priming habano. The binder and filler come from Esteli, Jalapa, and Condega.
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano
The cigar is a reddish brown so the name is appropriate. T'he wrapper has a nice oily sheen and average feel, as far as density.
The test draw after cutting the cap had a touch of firmness. The initial flavors were a sweet cedar flavor, graham cracker, and cream. The cream notes are so sweet they remind me of marshmallows. Yes, marshmallows. There are lot of graham cracker notes also. The pepper is a white pepper rated at a 7.
About one inch in the flavors are still very sweet and much like they started. The cigar is mild to medium bodied. The finish is a sweet cream with dry toast notes. There is not much lingering pepper at all at this point. The cigar is burning very evenly.
2 inches in and the burn is almost laser perfect. The graham cracker notes have toned down but the sweet cedar notes have greatly increased. They are almost a "berry sweet", somewhat like a sweet, juicy strawberry. The cream notes have also toned down. There is now a coffee base. The finish has taken on some of the graham cracker notes. The lingering pepper may have jumped up just a tad. The ash is very long and tight, as you can see in the picture.
At the midpoint the ash is still intact. There are now some dry toast notes on the front end. Right after you get the sweet cedar flavor you get the dry toast notes. Following those are the graham cracker and cream notes. The finish is about the same. The cigar is still mild to medium, in my opinion.
With about 1 1/2 inches remaining the pepper has made a huge jump up. It is now a black pepper! The intensity on the front end is now around an 8. The lingering pepper is also a black pepper and it is very intense and nice. The cedar is still the lead flavor with the graham cracker notes more subtle. I still get dry toast which at times taste more like dry wood. The coffee is still the base. The cream notes sort of connect everything together. The cigar is medium bodied at this point.
At the end the cigar I am still amazed at how the white pepper changed to a black pepper and became very intense. The flavors are still about the same throughout. I love the new found intense black pepper. The cigar is medium bodied, at best. Some of you may call this mild to medium. For the Joya de Nicaragua fans, this is a very different cigar than you're use to. It would be a good cigar for those who previously thought Joya de Nicaragua cigars were too full bodied for them. The burn was almost perfect with a tight ash. I found this to be a good cigar but I missed some of the ligero.
To try Joya Red for yourself you can purchase them here.