The 1502 Nicaragua is the fourth release from Global Premium Cigars, a member of the House of Emilio. It follows the 1502 Ruby, 1502 Emerald and 1502 Black Gold. The cigar features tobaccos from the four growing regions of Nicaragua: Estelí, Jalapa, Condega, and Ometepe. The Nicaragua was released as a a tribute to the homeland of company founder Enrique Sánchez.
Country of Manufacture: Nicaragua
Rolled: Plasencia Cigars S.A.
Size: 5 × 50
Sample: Provided by House of Emilio
Age: 2.5 Months
Quantity smoked: 3
The 1502 Nicaragua Robusto is a nicely constructed cigar with a soft box-press that gives the cigar very rounded edges. The wrapper of each sample was a tan rosado color with medium, but plentiful veins. There is a subtle oily texture that I didn’t notice unless it was in a certain light but you can see it in some of the pictures. The seams would almost be invisible if it weren’t for the vein pattern not lining up where the wrapper overlaps.
The wrapper has the typical barnyard aromas while the foot gives off a scent of maraschino cherries and cedar. The cold draw is where the sweet maraschino cherry flavor really comes forward with bits of cedar and a back-end cocoa.
When I smoked my first sample of the 1502 the spice and white pepper were extremely sharp from the first light. Two weeks later, when I smoked the second sample the pepper had only dropped slightly. For the third, I waited another month to see how the cigar would develop and when I lit it up and took in the first 5 puffs, the pepper was considerably more tolerable, and not nearly as biting.
Still, pepper is an integral aspect to every 1502 Nicaragua I smoked, this one being no exception. Besides the opening of pepper, the key flavors are roasted nuts (think hazelnut or walnut) and dry cedar with a subdued cocoa on the finish. The cherry flavor carries over, coming in the form of a black cherry undertone instead of the saccharine maraschino from the cold draw. Moving further along, some saltiness emerges, adding complexity and contributing towards balance. Smoke is arid and mouth-drying but it leaves a texture on the finish that reminds me of eating powdered sugar. A medium-boded cigar so far with excellent smoke out-put.
In the second third a slight breadiness materializes, as the subdued cocoa deepens. Dry cedar and roast nuts are still the top-two flavors with a bit of nutmeg/cinnamon spice coming in at the half. The high-pitched white pepper continues to make my throat itch and is a little harsher than I’d like, but it’s never overpowering. The cherry flavor comes and goes but has always been a lesser participant to the profile. Texture-wise the 1502 Nicaragua gains more creaminess and tends to be a little less mouth-drying. The finish by the end of this third is more of a sweet/tart with touches of florals and a lingering pepper. Medium to medium-full bodied with a strength level that is slowly creeping upward from medium.
Rounding into the final third the pepper transitions to a distinct red pepper, tingling the tongue while the short-lived cinnamon/nutmeg combo fade. Moving along, the cocoa slowly evolves into a dark chocolate/coffee combination. The saltiness is ever present at varying degrees throughout the smoke but it’s more mineralized now. The base flavors of roasted nuts and dry cedar never really waver, rather, they become richer and pair with an emerging vanilla tone on the back-end. I had hoped the mouth-drying effect would dissipate, but if anything it rises for a while until the last inch, where the smoke finally becomes more oily. Towards the end, the finish becomes even more tart, bordering on citrus but it never quite makes the transition. Burn-line is a bit jagged on this particular sample, requiring a touch-up but on the previous two samples I had no issues major issues on the construction side of things. Strength finishes around medium while the body sits firmly in the medium-full range.
Much like its brethren (Ruby, Emerald, Black Gold) pepper is a prominent feature to the blend. What starts as a sharp white pepper transitions to a mouth-tingling cayenne by the final third. The arid smoke, dry cedar and short appearance of cinnamon and nutmeg sealed the deal, stamping this one a Santa Fe.
Given rest, the 1502 Nicaragua shows its true potential as some of the harsh pepper from the first two samples (smoked 2 months earlier and a week or two after shipping) fades enough to soften the experience. Yet, as I mentioned before, the sharp pepper is a constant in the blend and I’m not sure further rest is going to change that. The 1502 Nicaragua features a bit of a roller coaster ride as it transitions from third to third, delivering a variety of great flavors and solid balance. Fortunately I really enjoyed the flavor profile, because if I hadn’t, the arid smoke would have dropped this rating down. Those seeking strength and body should probably look elsewhere, but for the seasoned smoker, the medium-bodied profile provides a pleasant experience.