Officially launched on 2019 in the Dominican Republic, Yaya cigars founded by Carlos Guillermo made its US debut at the 2022 Premium Cigar Association (PCA) trade show in Las Vegas, NV. The brand falls under the distribution arm of the United Cigar Group who also distribute cigars like the Atabey and the Byron. Yaya cigars are hand crafted at Tabacalera Magia in Santiago, Dominican Republic.
The first in the company’s portfolio here in the US is the Yaya Bagua. A name that has deep meaning to the Taino indigenous tribes of the Caribbean. Bagua is derived from Yucáhuguama Bagua Maórocoti also known as Yúcahu who was the masculine spirit of fertility in Taíno mythology. He was the supreme deity or zemi of the Pre-Columbian Taíno people along with his mother Atabey who was his feminine counterpart. Yúcahu (Bagua) became known as the deity of agriculture, as well as the zemi of peace and tranquility, he represented goodness. So you can see why one would name a cigar Bagua.
Additionally, the name Yaya hold a special meaning to brand owner Carlos Guillermo. United Cigar Group explained:
“…the Yaya name has a rich history to the people of the Dominican Republic, but an even deeper meaning to Carlos and his family. He grew up seeing his Grandmother roll cigars, and “Yaya” was her nickname. Those beautiful memories are intended to live on through each YAYA that gets made, sold, saved, shared and smoked.“
The Yaya Bagua blend is described as:
- Wrapper – Ecuadorian Habano
- Binder – Dominican Cubano
- Filler – Dominican (3 regions)
The Bagua is expressed in 4 vitolas each packaged in 15-count boxes:
- Short Robusto (4 x 54)
- Robusto (5 x 52)
- Toro (6 x 54)
- Gordo (6 x 60)
MSRP is set between $8.99 to $10.99 per cigar.
For this review I sampled one Yaya Bagua Robusto, which was gifted to me by a terrific Brother of the Leaf – Nick Kotl as part of a secret Santa package. Thanks Nick!
You can find the robusto and toro at Privada Cigar Club
The Yaya Cigars Bagua has a dark tan, marbled, and slightly veiny wrapper with a mild oily sheen. The foot exhibits a bit of loose packing but the cigar is solid to the feel with a few bumps and veins to the touch. A simple cap finishes the presentation.
Two bands adorn the Bagua. The primary uses a black and copper motif and displays the company logo in the center along with the word “Herencia” which translates to inheritance – actually more correctly heritage or legacy. The word “Quiqueyana” which translates to mother of all lands is displayed on the bottom of the band. A secondary band is placed just below which uses a copper and sky blue motif and displays the blend name “Bagua”.
Running the Bagua across the nose I picked up little along the barrel while the foot presented pungent earthy notes.
Using my CigarMedics Baller cutter, I opened the cap to my satisfaction and proceeded to give this one some cold draw puffs that offered an immediate sweetness with an evolving peppery spice along with the pungent earthiness. The draw is a tad open than I normally like.
Using my single flame torch I warmed the foot, gently to an even orange glow, and drew in the first puffs a sweet spice. Follow along as burn this one to ash.
Cigar Review Notes
- Sweet spice notes begin the journey
- Light grey almost white ash forms on top of a thick jagged char line
- Continued sweetness lays in the background
- Delicate baking spice notes evolve moving into the second third
- Coffee notes enter the profile
- Ash fell in a solid chunk revealing a well formed burn cone
- Spice notes increase deep in second third
- Lingering nut on the palate
- Mild cocoa notes entering the final
- Smoke is a tad hot on the final
- Medium strength
- Total Smoking Time was 1 hour and 30 minutes
It took only one sample for me to discover the splendid blend and burn of the Yaya Bagua and now I think I need to add more of these to my rotation of cigars. Medium in strength and complexity, this is a cigar you could enjoy anytime of the day as it offered a decent array of flavor and aroma. I especially enjoyed the notes of natural sweetness and delicate spices that ran through the core, along with coffee and cocoa nuances. Most certainly worth a box buy. I rate this a 93.
Point Deductions: (-1) Slight jag in burn; (-1) Smoke is a tad hot in final
Bonus Points: (+1) Box Buy; (+1) Long Solid Ash