I've wanted to try one of these since I first saw ads for them in Cigar Aficionado over a year ago, while I was deployed, but I've never actually gotten my hands on any until just last week, when I picked up a 4-pack sampler of Joya de Nicaragua cigars for $30 (marked down from $42; either way, a damned good value) at Tobaccos of Hawaii, so the time has come; I'm finally doing it.
Cigar: Joya de Nicaragua Cuatro Cinco
Vitola: Toro (6 1/4” x 50)
Rating (out of 10): 9.7
The Cuatro Cinco is a captivatingly beautiful cigar, featuring a primarily black band with the Joya de Nicaragua tobacco leaf logo, over the cigar name, “Cuatro Cinco.” The dark band with silvery-white edges plays quite nicely over the dark, roasted coffee-color wrapper, which is neatly box pressed, with a nice coating of oil.
There are no visible cracks or tears in this cigar, and the cap is neatly placed. No firmness or sponginess to the stick, either. Everything is perfectly soft. The cap cuts neatly with my (newly replaced) narrow punch, and allows the perfect draw.
The barrel of the cigar smells richly of cedar before lighting, with a nice, musky earthiness at the foot.
Aaannnddd... this is the part where I find out I have a faulty can of butane fuel. I was wondering why none of my lighters wanted to take a refuel. Turns out, it's not the lighters, it's the butane can. It's leaking from the base of the refueling nozzle. Damn it.
Fortunately, I have extra lighters. I always have extra lighters.
I did forget to taste and note the cold draw, but whatever. You're not going to smoke an unlit cigar, anyway, right? First few draws taste of coffee and pepper, with hints of nuts underneath. Peanut or almond, I'm not entirely sure just yet.
I want to say almond. I'm still not 100% sure of it, but I'm going to go ahead and call it almond, at least for simplicity's sake. It's noticeable, but still hides behind a primarily black coffee and (now) cocoa flavor, with a strong cedary undertone. It's not nearly as powerful as I might have suspected, given the dark wrapper, but certainly hovering around a medium strength.
Definitely a hint of black pepper on the finish. The burn is perfect, despite a pretty uneven start. It self-corrected masterfully. The ash is a nice white, but pretty loose. It dropped before the first inch, and made kind of a mess as the entire thing broke apart.
Started tasting the faintest hint of butterscotch and rum on the finish and the aftertaste as I got into the second third. Not terribly powerful, but it's there. The primary flavor of coffee and chocolate remains constant, as does the cedar underneath, and the black pepper on the finish.
The burn is keeping pretty even, self-correcting as it needs to along the way.
Thought I needed a little touchup moving into the final third, but then I watched it self-correct right before I got to it. I thought I might have heard the cigar laughing at me as it did, too, as if to say, “Gotcha!”
When it came time to remove the band, I discovered first, that there were actually two separate bands; the white “borders” at the top and bottom were actually a single, solid white band; and the black band featured a neat little black-and-white photograph on the reverse side, which commemorates the 45th anniversary of Joya de Nicaragua, as well as the birth of the cigar industry in Esteli, Nicaragua in 1968.
The cedar is starting to work its way into the finish and the aftertaste in the back end of the cigar, blending with the subtle butterscotch and rum notes found there.
The closer the cigar gets to the end, the more the cedar comes through, in all parts of the smoke, rounding out quite nicely.
I'm glad I finally got to try this one out. I loved the profile of this cigar, and in retrospect, that black-and-gold band is perfect for the flavors in this blend, alluding to the rich coffee and chocolate, as well as the rum and butterscotch I tasted.
Buying the sampler earned me an entry into a raffle to possibly win a box of these; now I wish I'd picked up more, because I'd love to have more of them on hand. I only recently had my first Joya de Nicaragua, an Antaño 1970 Gran Cónsul, but I've been impressed with every JdN cigar I've gotten to try since then, and I can't wait to get to the others in the sampler.