The Joya de Nicaragua Antano Dark Corojo came onto the scene in 2009 as the follow up to the company’s original Antaño. Joya has a reputation for delivering what many consider to be the most powerful cigars from Nicaragua. The foot band of the Dark Corojo gives you an inkling of what you’re in for with the Spanish words Fuerte Doble, or Double Strength. The cigar comes in six variations: Azarosa (4.5 x 52), La Pesadilla (4.75 x 60), Peligroso (5 x 44), El Martillo (5.5 x 54), La Niveladora (6 x 52), and Poderoso (6 x 54). La Niveladora literally translates to “The Bulldozer”.
Country of Manufacture: Nicaragua
Rolled: Plasencia Cigars S.A.
Size: 6 x 52 Box-Press
Wrapper: Jalapa Corojo
Price: $7 to $9
Sample: Provided by cigarscity.com
Age: 2 Weeks
Quantity smoked: 3
I’ve been smoking these cigars for years now but after receiving some samples, a review was in order. Typically, the wrapper of the Dark Corojo is just that, extremely dark. The samples we received from cigarscity.com were certainly maduro in color but featured a nice rosado hue in certain lighting. The wrappers have an extremely subtle tooth, with lots of tiny veins. The seams are tight, the double-cap is applied nicely and the foot is packed well-enough. Everything feels as it should.
The aromas are pretty unique with the wrapper having a distinct dusty road smell (dry earth, musty) with a bit of chili powder. The foot has a nice sweetness with a deep earth scent. The cold draw brings forth an interesting mix of chocolate and earth with a hint of spice.
Right away the profile is earthy. After a puff there is a nice creaminess to the finish with a little red pepper but the flavors fade slowly ending around 15-20 seconds. By no means is it a short finish, but I wish the flavors would linger even longer. The spicy red pepper does however linger in the sinuses after retro-hale and while it’s fairly punchy, it isn’t overly harsh at the moment. Around a half an inch in the sweetness really picks, offsetting the rich earthiness and red pepper. Construction issues were present on two of the three samples in the first third where the wrapper just wouldn’t burn at the same rate as the filler causing a bit of a smoke production issue. As I crept towards the second third I couldn’t help but notice that the smoke had left the roof of my mouth, slick with oiliness. Steadily the body increases and I can already feel the nicotine emerging.
Slowly but surely the finish is increasing in length as I move further along but it still dips off sooner than I’d like, with the flavors falling to mild around 20 seconds after a puff. I feel like much of the enjoyment from this cigar comes from its sensations, rather than its flavor alone. By that I mean the exceptionally oily/creamy mouth-feel and tongue tingling pepper which are so paramount to the experience tend to make-up for the abbreviated finish. Essentially, the sensations linger where the flavor doesn’t. In terms of flavor it continues to deliver steady combination of familiar rich earth and tongue tingling red pepper. Near the middle, hints of florals and subtle spices tease but serve as a minor diversion. The strength out-paces the body here coming in at medium-full while the body comes up just underneath. Construction issues plague the mid-point of this cigar with a wrapper that just does not want to burn with the filler but fortunately the cigar never goes out. Occasionally, I had to guide it along by putting flame to leaf.
The final third features some minor changes in terms of flavor. A mineral-saltiness emerges from the earthy core and a subtle coffee shows its face, increasing in intensity towards the nub. The red-pepper continues along, never wavering but it does become harsher as the strength rises, making my throat itch. My thinking was that with the creamy/oily mouth-feel I might get intonations of chocolate but it just never seemed to happen. Instead, the base profile is more akin to an earthy dark coffee with added sugar and milk. Hints of woods come and go but never stick around. The finish finally becomes longer and richer, lingering almost to the next puff and even though there is more harshness, it’s all the more satisfying because of this. A little bit of baby sitting is still required to touch up the cigar at points but overall it does improve. At the nub the pepper picks up and the strength shoots through the roof finishing exceptionally strong. The body is a shade below full.
While the strength doesn’t fully manifest until the final third, when it finally arrives it explodes onto the scene bringing a strong buzz. In terms of flavor there’s an earthy foundation that transitions to coffee in the final third. Red pepper is a constant along with an oily palate-slicking finish.
The primary source of enjoyment from this cigar come from its sensations rather than its flavor. Essentially, the flavors aren’t varied enough and don’t linger long enough for two-thirds of the cigar but the smoke leaves a wonderful oiliness on the palate and the pepper serves to keep things interesting. Once the cigar reaches the final third the strength finally matches the body and the richness hits an apex but it’s short-lived because it gets harsher near the nub. All-in-all a straight-forward smoke with an earthy core and creeping strength that’s pleasant enough while it lasts.