Cigar Review: Joya Red DE Lounge Edition by Joya de Nicaragua

  • JoyaRed_straightVitola: Box-Pressed Toro
  • 6” x 52 ring gauge 
  • $10.00
  • Purchased at Corona Cigar Company

Background

Along with the expected Drew Estate Lounge Exclusive cigars I was looking for when we headed to Corona Cigar Company in Orlando, I discovered that there were some more recently added Lounge Exclusives. I should have taken better notes…a week or so out and I’ve already forgotten exactly which the newest exclusives were. The one that interested me the most, though, was this Joya Red, so I picked up one for review purposes.

I’ve had quite a few Joya Reds in the past and always found it a very nice medium-bodied cigar…and easy-going expression of Nicaraguan leaf. This Lounge Exclusive follows the path set down by Corona’s other DE exclusives: it’s a box-pressed Toro size without any additional changes made to the blend. As such, it uses 3 types of Nicaraguan fillers (Jalapa, Condega, and Esteli), a Nicaraguan binder, and a Nicaraguan Habano wrapper.

Prelight

You’ll find no surprises in the look of this Joya Red Lounge Exclusive…it uses pretty much the same packaging and banding as the others in the line. It’s a little unusual to see the red and gold band wrapped around a box-pressed cigar for the first few moments, but seeing the “Drew Estate Lounge” secondary band somehow makes it okay.

The wrapper was a peanut butter brown with touches of darker and lighter mottling in different places, depending on how the light was striking it. It had a smooth, almost velvety feel to it and a ripe barnyard earth and hay note to the nose. The barnyard continued on the foot, though with a little more balance to the grassy hay notes there.

The cold draw was excellent and had flavor notes of earth, cedar and grass.

Flavor

Initial puffs on the Joya Red Box-Pressed Toro were medium in body, with plenty of grassy and citrus flavors up front. Notes of earth and cedar were fairly downplayed, but present. There was a little bit of black pepper on the nose, but no real burn on the palate, which is unusual for Nicaraguan tobacco. Further puffs revealed the smoke to be creamy and thick, with a good amount of sweetness in it.

As the first third gave way to the second, I picked up on a pronounced nuttiness riding high in the flavor profile along with the citrus zing and sweetness. Pepper was still mainly just on the retrohale and the body remained straight medium. During the third, the citrus backed off a bit and by the time the last third was beginning, the sweetness was more of a molasses note.

The black pepper provided a consistent undercurrent during the last third, while the notes of hay and molasses were solidly up front. Cedar occasionally interjected itself into the proceedings, as well.

JoyaRed_inhandConstruction

I saw excellent construction on this cigar; perfect draw, very even burn line, and solid ash.

Value

I like this blend a lot and have always felt that it outperformed the price tag of the regular vitolas. This Lounge Edition is about $2 a stick more than the rest in the line, which just doesn’t seem quite right. Yes, it’s very good and, yes, it’s limited in quantity…but should the price be this much of a premium? I struggle with that.

Conclusions

It’s been a while since I smoked an Joya Red and this Box-Pressed Toro did remind me of why I liked the cigar so much back when it was first released. It did make me want to smoke the blend more often, but I just can’t get around the fact that the price tag is about 25% higher than the regular Toro. If you already like this blend, definitely give it a try…if you don’t, it’s not going to change your mind. If you haven’t tried it before, I can’t say you should order a 5-pack from Corona when you can probably just buy a single stick at your local shop for $2.50 to $3.00 less.

By-The-Numbers

Prelight: 2/2
Construction: 2/2
Flavor: 4/5
Value: .5/1
Total: 8.5/10

David Jones

David has been smoking premium cigars since 2001. He is co-founder and editor-in-chief of Leaf Enthusiast. He is a full-time retail tobacconist, working for Burns Tobacconist in Chattanooga, where he has also organized the Chattanooga Tweet-Up for the last four years. He is also an independent graphic designer and typesetter. Twitter: @dmjones1009

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