Coming fresh off the Stogie Press 2020 Small Company Cigar of the Year, Tony Barrios – owner and founder of the Stallone Nicaragua Cigars – launched his latest creation, the Pony, at this years Tobacco Plus Expo (TPE). This latest introduction was created in collaboration with Guillermo Pena and his factory, Las Villas Cigars factory in Nicaragua. The Pony is a production line part of the Stallone Cigars Cowboy Series of cigars joining a number of other excellent blends including the award winning Stallone Nicaragua Cigars Alazán Habano Robusto – Rated 96.
The Stallone Nicaragua Cigars Pony has a blend described by the company as:
- Wrapper – Ecuadorian Sumatra
- Binder – Nicaragua
- Filler – Nicaragua/Connecticut Broadleaf
The Pony is expressed in a single (4.5 x 58) Short Gordo vitola, short in length but muscular in size. It comes packaged in 25-count boxes and carries an MSRP of $4.85/cigar. You read that right, a sub $5.00, premium cigar! Way to go Tony and Guillermo.
For this review, I sampled three Ponies by Stallone Nicaragua Cigars which I received from the company for the purpose of review on Stogie Press.
The Stallone Nicaragua Cigars Pony is most certainly a beefy cigar in girth and stubby in length. I always get a little nervous smoking wide ring gauge cigars as they have a tendency to off burn if not puffed on properly. I little more draw is required than a toro or robusto, the common vitolas on the market.
The wrapper on the Pony is medium brown in color with a slight reddish tinge. I found the wrapper to be silky smooth with just a few veins. A gentle squeeze along the barrel demonstrated a firm packing from head to foot. A well applied triple cap completes the presentation.
Unlike the other cigars in the company’s portfolio which add a secondary band to declare the blend, the Pony uses just one band which is the same primary band on all Stallone Nicaragua products. It proudly displays the company’s logo in the center ( a rising stallion, with the copper clad word “STALLONE” and the owners name “TONY BARRIOS” printed across.) The right side of the band has a horse shoe and the left side the word “NICARAGUA”.
Running the Pony along the nose I picked up a mildly pungent note along the barrel and enticing notes of nut and cocoa off the foot.
I sliced the cap straight across the shoulder of the cigar and proceeded to give it some cold draw puffs that I found to be beautifully restricted and offered notes of pepper and nut.
With the pre-light exam out of the way and most pleasing to my senses, I was ready to fire up the Pony and take this one for a ride. I used my triple flame torch to slowly warm the foot, bringing it to an even orange glow as I drew in the first puffs of peppery smoke that opened my nasals for the ride that I was about to embark on. Follow along as I burn the Stallone Nicaragua Cigars Pony to ash.
Cigar Review Notes
- Initial light gently opens the nasals with a mild shot of pepper
- Natural sweetness and cedar quickly follow and please the palate
- Full volume of smoke right off the first light
- A hint of citrus plays nicely off the cedar notes
- A solid white ash has formed on top of a thick slightly jagged char line
- Early notes are mouth watering – This is one of those cigars that create a significant amount of saliva after each puff
- Mild caramel and malty sweetness ends the first third
- Cocoa and nut pleasantly linger on the palate
- There is a solid core of cedar as it transitions into the second third
- The ash dropped just shy of the band, revealing a nicely formed and centered burn cone
- Savory spice notes develop deep in the second third down maintained into the final third
- Off Burn developed in the final third
- A pleasantly mild vanilla note finishes the ride, deep in the final third down at the nub
- Mild to Medium in strength
- Total Smoking Time was 1 hour and 40 minutes
It boggles my mind how Tony Barrios and Stallone Nicaragua Cigars can create extremely value priced cigars that are as good as those that are twice the price on the market. The Pony is just another fine example of what this young company has been able to produce over the past year or so. In the case of the Pony, it started with just enough peppery notes to awaken the nasals, especially on the retro-hale and then quickly showcased the sweetness of the Sumatra wrapper along with a solid core of cedar that ran through most of the burn. Pleasant lingering notes of cocoa and nut kept the journey enjoyable. The profile was mouth watering puff after puff with nice transitions. From a construction perspective, there was a mild jag early in the burn and also an off burn as I took it down to the nub, but otherwise the construction was solid and something I have come to expect from all cigars that come out of Guillermo Pena’s factory. With a medium body and mild to medium strength, this is a cigar that is certainly box worthy and would be enjoyed by both new and seasoned cigar enthusiasts. I rate this a solid 93.
Point Deductions: (-1) Mild jag in Burn at the start; (-1) Off Burn in Final
Bonus Points: (+1) Box Worthy