The latest release from Cordoba y Morales Cigars has hit the shelves and it is not one for beginners as the company says right on the band “CUIDADO ESTE DESAFIO NO ES PARA PRINCIPIANTES” which translates precisely to – Be Careful This Challenge Is Not For Beginners. Why? Because in the crazy good mind of company owner Azarias ‘Z’ Mustafa Córdoba it is blended from 100% ligero leaf! Let that sink in for a moment. Such a bend is not the easiest to achieve and still not overpower the cigar where it becomes one dimensional.
Of course “Z” has been around for quite some time and he has tobacco running through his DNA. He and his small company have been known for creating amazing blends that tend to be strong in the nicotine category, so he knows how to work the leaf.
As “Z” explains:
“I’ve been playing with the idea of making an all ligero cigar for years. The hardest part was finding the right combination of tobacco to create a powerhouse cigar with complexity. Everybody knows you can make a very bold cigar. The hard part is making something that isn’t one-dimensional in flavor with such a high level of strength.”
The Nica Reaper is expressed in a single (6 x 52) toro and was released in a special 12 count box. The cigar was limited to a run of 6,000 cigars – exhausting all of the the remaining materials on hand used to produce this blend.
As noted, the blend is 100% Ligero and it is a Nicaraguan Puro incorporating tobacco from four different regions of Nicaragua – Jalapa, Estelí, Condega, and Ometepe
The Nica Reaper sports a medium brown, slightly gritty and toothy wrapper that exhibits a light oily sheen. The cigar is packed tight and solid to the touch from head to foot. There are a few noticeable veins and it is finished with a triple cap with a pig tail and a closed foot.
A single band adorns the cigar. the top half of the die cut band uses a blood red and white motif. It proudly displays the blend logo in the center. The bottom of the band issues the warning in Spanish – “CUIDADO ESTE DESAFIO NO ES PARA PRINCIPIANTES” and the side of the band states 100% Ligero.
Running the Nica Reaper along the nose, I picked up a sweet and pungent aroma along the barrel and essentially the same off the closed foot.
Using my CigarMedics Baller cutter, I opened the cap, after picking off the pig tail and proceeded to give it some cold draw puffs. Of course the draw was tight, with the closed foot, but it did offer notes of pepper and butternut that caught my attention.
Using my double flame torch I warmed the foot and the closed leaf took to the flame well and started the ignition. The draw immediately opened up and delivered a full volume of citrus and peppery spice smoke. Follow along as I burn the Reaper to ash.
Cigar Review Notes
- First Light offers an excellent draw as the foot took to the flame well
- Bright citrus notes and a growing peppery spice start the journey
- Graham Cracker notes fill in and balance the early profile
- Light grey ash forms on top of a thin char line
- A slight off burn develops
- Ash fell in a good chunk revealing decent burn cone
- Full volume of smoke from the first puff
- Spearmint notes enter in the background – adding to the pleasure
- Needed a relight after first inch
- Strength has hit pretty much full moving into the second third
- Earthy notes join the profile along with a nutty aroma
- Natural Sweetness adds more enticement to the blend
- Dry fruit sooths the blend
- Burn gets a tad wavy
- Dark Chocolate notes evolve moving into final third
- Increased peppery spice as the chocolate morphs into a drier cocoa powder
- Full Strength
- Total Smoking Time was 1 hour and 40 minutes
In the words of Blue Oyster Cult – “Don’t Fear The Reaper“. Yes this is a strong cigar and yes you should take your time smoking this and probably have a full stomach before you do. It is not a before breakfast cigar for sure. With that said, it was complex in flavors and aromas. From the very start it offered citrus and graham cracker notes on top of the early peppery spice. I loved the spearmint note that entered in the first inch and laid in the background too not to mention the dark chocolate near the final third. It did require a couple of relights as this is one you want to smoke slowly. As noted, it is not easy to make such a strong cigar and deliver complex flavor on top of that. If you are a seasoned cigar enthusiast I highly recommend this cigar. Grab a box before they are gone. I know you can get them at Corona Cigars, Smoke Rings 72, and The Cigar Hustler in Florida. I rate this a solid 94.
Point Deductions: (-1) Off Burn; (-1) Relight Required; (-1) Mild Jag in Burn
Bonus Points: (+1) Extremely Complex yet Balanced; (+1) Box Worthy; (+1) Pleasurable across Multiple Samples