(Description taken from Cigar-coop.com website)
The Yagua project is one that comes from J.C. Newman’s Puros de Estelí Nicaragua, S.A. (PENSA) Factory Manager Lazario Lopez. The cigar is a throwback style cigar that is rolled without a cigar mold, but with the frond of a Yagua tree.
According to J.C. Newman, back in the 1940s the grandfather of Lazaro Lopez (the manager of J.C. Newman PENSA Factory in Estelí, Nicaragua) would roll cigars into a cigar shape, but did not use a mold. In place of the mold, the frond of a Yagua tree was used instead. Yagua is a type of royal palm native to Cuba.
“At our family farm, my grandfather would take fresh tobacco leaves from the curing barns and roll cigars without any molds or presses. In an attempt to give his cigars a traditional shape, he would tie a handful of them together using pieces of the Cuban royal palm tree, known as the yagua. When he was ready to enjoy his personal cigars, he untied the bundle. He loved how every cigar had its own unique shape. I still remember the rich aroma and taste of my grandfather’s cigars. Today, I’ve recreated Yagua, rolling them exactly how my grandfather did a century ago,” commented Lopez in a press release.
“After hearing Lazaro describe the beautiful Yagua cigars he remembers from his youth in Cuba, I asked Lazaro if he could make this special cigar at our factory in Nicaragua,” added Drew Newman. “We are calling it Yagua, after the palm leaves that give the cigars their distinct shape.”
For the Yagua, the cigars are “wet packed.” The cigars are rolled and then immediately banded (as opposed to banded after aging). The cigar itself is a 6 x 54 Toro, but because the cigars are bound together while still wet, for each cigar there are variations in the shape.
Yagua features a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper over Nicaraguan binder and filler. The Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper is slightly under-fermented to give the blend more in the way of boldness. A total of 1,000 20-count boxes of the Toro have been produced.
The cigar has a very unique shape, as do all the others in a box. Each cigar has its own shape. The cigar is quite dense feeling in the hand.
The test draw after cutting the cap was good with a touch of firmness. The initial flavors at light up were a distinctive orange peel, sweet orange citrus, brown sugar, cinnamon, creamy nutmeg, light dark chocolate notes, and black coffee. There was black pepper rated at 7 1/2. A nice sweet start which is curbed by the orange peel notes and a nice dark base.
At about one inch in (22 minutes) the cigar has settled down nicely. The orange peel notes are greatly reduced allowing the sweet, tangy, and somewhat rich orange citrus to come through along with the brown sugar and cinnamon. It's very hard to find the dark chocolate notes at this point.
At the first third (41 minutes) a couple things have changed but not for the worse. There are still plenty of sweet, tangy, rich orange citrus notes with brown sugar and cinnamon. There are still creamy nutmeg notes. Lower level amount of dark chocolate with a touch of sweetness. And, there is still the nice black coffee base. The finish is very sweet; nutmeg and orange citrus with a modest amount of lingering black pepper. The cigar is medium bodied. The cigar is very sweet but it has a sufficient amount of lower level notes to somewhat even it out. There are more sweeter notes than darker notes, however. I rated the first third 95.
As I moved through the second third (1 hour 21 minutes) nothing much has changed. The only minor change was the nutmeg notes slightly elevated but they did not hurt the cigar. It is still very sweet with the same great notes as the first third. The finish is unchanged. The cigar is now medium to full bodied. I held the score of 95 for the second third.
The cigar lasted an impressive 2 hours 5 minutes. A fantastic burn time for a 6 x 54 toro. This has been a very consistent cigar. From the one inch point to the end the cigar made very little change. It did, however reach full bodied status.The same sweet notes are there along with the light, if any, dark chocolate, which is not a deal breaker, and the nice black coffee base. The finish is unchanged but the lingering black pepper has improved. The cigar is quite impressive with the extreme citrus notes, brown sugar, and cinnamon. An excellent cigar from J.C. Newman. I held the score of 95 for the final third.