The year 2018 was a banner year for Joya de Nicaragua, the oldest cigar manufacturer in Nicaragua. The company, celebrated 50 years in business and as part of that celebration they expanded their portfolio of cigars with some new blends and sizes. One of those was the new “JOYA Silver” which is the fourth blend in the the JOYA line, joining the Red, Black, and Cabinetta. The JOYA line represents the collaborative work of the youngest executive team in the industry and the most senior master blenders in Nicaragua.
The bend of the JOYA Silver is described by the company as:
- Wrapper – Ecuadorian Habano
- Binder – Mexican San Andres
- Filler – Nicaraguan
The JOYA Silver is available in 4 vitolas and come packaged in 20-count white lacquer boxes with the bold JOYA Silver logo printed on the top:
- Ultra (6.25 x 46) MSRP $6.30
- Toro (6 x 52) MSRP $7.80
- Corona (5.25 x 42) MSRP $6.30
- Robusto (5 x 50) MSRP $7.10
If you notice, the cost of these are all below $8.00 which is excellent value in this post FDA regulations market where prices have pushed above $10.00 for many premium cigars.
At the 2018 IPCPR I received a sampler can of all 4 vitolas. For this review I sampled the JOYA Silver Ultra.
The JOYA Silver is a dark brown and heavily marbled box pressed cigar that has some noticeable veins and is finished with a simple cap. Under closer examination you will note there is a red clay hue to the color of the wrapper. The cigar is firm from head to foot and has a gritty (toothy) feel along the barrel.
A single band is used to brand the cigar. It is the standard JOYA branding, and for Silver blend, it uses a white, black, red, and silver motif. The words JOYA and Silver are printed in bright silver foil and the Joya de Nicaragua logo is printed in red below. The factory of origin “Fabrica Joya de Nicaragua” is printed along the top in black and “Hecho A Mano en Esteli” printed in black on the bottom. The band stands out well on the dark leaf back background.
There are some very alluring aromas coming off the pre-lit cigar. The barrel exudes rich cocoa like notes and the foot has an array of cocoa, roasted nut, and a mild baking spice.
I sliced the cap with a double blade cutter to give it a straight cut and proceeded with some cold draw puffs. Like the pre-light aromas, the cold draw offered a tasty mix of sweetness, baking spice, and cocoa. The draw was perfectly restricted, just to my liking.
With the pre-light examination much to my liking and intrigue, I warmed the foot with my double flame torch lighter and started the smoking experience with initial notes of mild peppery spice and dry fruit.
Cigar Review Notes
- Mild peppery spice and dry fruit off the first puffs
- Medium grey ash evolves on a wavy burn burn line
- Cedar notes appear about an inch in along with a bright floral aroma
- Burn remains wavy
- Sweetness grows and introduces a creamy coffee note end of first third
- Ash falls with a centered burn cone
- Barrel gets squishy
- The burn started to go off and required a mild touch up
- Cocoa and caramel notes enter
- Required another touch up
- Decent oiling has developed on the wrapper
- A pleasant nut component enters midway with a cherry nuance in the background
- After the second touch up the burn line has straightened out and is behaving well now
- Smoke has been full through the burn
- Spice enters in the final with a pepper note on the lips
- Medium in Strength
- Total Smoking time was 1 hour and 20 minutes
Overall, the JOYA Silver Ultra, delivered a plethora of tasty notes both pre-light and through the smoking experience. I especially enjoyed the sweetness, cocoa, and cherry flavors that evolved through the journey. From a construction aspect, the JOYA Silver did not perform to my expectations. It had a wavy burn that eventually went to an off burn and required two mild touch-ups. It did perform much better int he second half. The barrel also got squishy early in the burn. At the current $6.30 MSRP I might still buy a fiver of these if I spotted them in a humidor. We rate this a 90. I expect to be reviewing the rest of the vitolas throughout the year to see how they stack up.
Point Deductions: (-1) Wavy Burn; (-2) Requires Multiple Minor Touch Ups; (-1) Off Burn; (-1) Medium Grey Ash; (-1) Gets Squishy