Dimensions/Shape: 4 1/2 by 46 ring gauge; Parejo
Wrapper/Capa: Jalapa Shade-Grown Habano (Nicaragua)
Binder/Capote: República Dominicana, Volado-Primed
Filler/Tripa: Aged in Vintage White Oak Ex-Rum Casks, Ligero-Primed (Nicaragua)
Tabacalera: Fábrica de Tabacos Joya de Nicaragua, S.A. (Nicaragua)
MSRP: $8.00 single, $80 box of 10
The first release of the Cuatro Cinco brand, the Edición Limitada, was launched in 2013 as a limited edition, super-premium cigar celebrating the 45th anniversary of Joya de Nicaragua. Given that the company is Nicaragua’s first and oldest cigar factory, the line’s marketing slogan, “superb milestone,” is an apt one and compliments its unique character. Owing to the success and high demand of the Edición Limitada, Joya de Nicaragua launched the Cuatro Cinco Reserva Especial in 2015, a follow-up product to the Edición Limitada. While the Reserva Especial shares the marketing slogan and similar packaging to the Edición Limitada, there are some fundamental differences between these two celebratory cigars.
Luckily for all of us Joya fans, the Reserva Especial is an ongoing, limited-production cigar, sold in boxes of ten and available in four vitolas. Moreover, the Reserva Especial is not a Nicaraguan puro as the Edición Limitada; it features a Dominican-grown, volado-primed binder, intended to further the blend’s complexity and promote combustion. The fillers of this cigar, all Nicaraguan and upper-priming, have been aged in vintage rum casks. According to Juan Martínez, the president of Joya de Nicaragua Cigars, this finishing is not intended to impart rum notes to the tobacco, but to add to its complexity.
This petit corona has a beautiful, modeled, oily wrapper, with a paper bag texture and a rich, hot chocolate color. The cigar features a triple cap, a slightly box-pressed shape, and a ligero swirl seen from the foot. Examining the aroma of the wrapper, sweet milk chocolate, cedar, and earth are found and continue to draw your nose back. Similar notes, along with black pepper, are noticed on the cold draw. The construction of the Cuatro Cinco is superb. After smoking fifteen of the Reserva Especial, the draw, burn, and beauty of the cigars have always been sublime.
From the first light to the nub, the cigar continuously offers an exceptional experience. As with all Joya cigars, the smoke output of this petit corona is tremendous. The first few draws of smoke impart briny, sweet, and peppery notes at medium-intensity. The smoke is mouthwatering, and the retrohale is smooth. Strength is present, though light. Through the rest of the cigar, this petite corona packs consistent punch, reaching medium-full in body and builds up to medium in strength. It may not be stout in appearance, but it is in flavor and strength.
In the 35 to 40 minutes of smoking time, you are contented with outstanding, classic Nicaraguan flavors: sweet coffee, milk chocolate, earth, toast, and leather towards the final minutes. On the long, oily, satisfying finish, a strong note of earth with spice and pepper linger, with creamy leather joining in the final draws of the cigar. Through the retrohale, cinnamon, pepper, cedar, brine, and floral notes are present. The room note of the smoke is a pleasant sweet, musty cedar.
Indeed, this cigar represents a true milestone for Joya de Nicaragua. The Cuatro Cinco Reserva Especial offers classic Nicaraguan flavors with added complexity and nuances. While another personal favorite, Joya’s Antaño 1970, offers robust, full Nicaraguan flavors, the Cuatro Cinco presents them in a more refined and nuanced format. The Cuatro Cinco is an exceptional addition to Joya de Nicaragua’s line of great cigars, and is truly a cigar to be savored for special moments.