Twenty nine years ago today at Clark Air Force Base in the Philippines, CMSgt Cruz gave birth to his third and final son, me! That’s right! Today (October 27th) is my 29th birthday. There are plenty of cigars I could choose to smoke to celebrate this occasion. I have a few OpusX aging, the last of my AVO 80th and the slew of birthday cigars that Walt mailed me. But today is a day to celebrate and what better cigar to choose to celebrate my 29th year but the Joya De Nicaragua Celebracion. It’s all in the name!
So lets get to it – this is the Toro sized, Joya De Nicaragua Celebracion weighing in at six inches long with a fifty inch ring gauge. This is a Nicaraguan puro that was introduced in 2004. The wrapper, binder and filler all originate from Nicaragua. The Celebracion comes in boxes of twenty and is available in five sizes and will run you around $60 a box.
The Joya De Nicaragua Celebracion has a beautiful semi-dark wrapper that has a nice peppery smell bouncing off the wrapper and gave me no problems during the cut. Toasting the foot was an easy task as well. While toasting you get a little bit of that peppery smell at first but it slowly mellows to a nutty aroma.
I will admit that the Celebracion was a slow starter with a tough draw. It took about a half inch or so before the Celebracion opened up and began to offer up its flavor profile. Similar to the experience I had while toasting the foot, you get a strong peppery taste at first similar to its big brother the Antano 1970, but as the smoke gathers and builds in your mouth, the flavors change dynamically to include a coffee and nut overtone with a little bit of a woodsy flavor that really adds a sweet earthy element to mellow out the Celebracion. I did have some burn problems. I had to be on top of my rotation as it doesn’t take long for the Celebracion to take on a mind of its own.
Honestly speaking, I enjoy the Celebracion much more than I do the Antano 1970. The flavor profile fits me like a glove. I love the intense peppery tastes that just before its get to be overwhelming the stogie compensates by introducing coffee and nut flavors that over take the peppery flavor. I think the Antano 1970 is a bit tough on the palate and you’re doomed if you smoke one on an empty stomach. While the Celebracion still packs a nice little punch it’s not the kind of punch that will leave you on the floor with the cold sweats, even if you have a glass jaw from not having a big meal prior. I guess it comes down to the Celebracion being more forgiving to the smoker than the Antano 1970 but I do encourage smokers to try both to compare and contrast flavor profiles.
Besides the slow start and the extra attention needed to ensure an even burn, the Joya De Nicaragua Celebracion is fast becoming one of my favorite sticks to turn to for that semi-special occasion. Not for weddings, funerals or a child being born but more on the birthday, Thanksgiving or class reunion level of occasion. If you’re looking for a stogie that packs a punch like the Antano 1970 but still want to be functional afterwards, turn to the Joya De Nicaragua Celebracion. It packs some power but mellows out to keep you on your feet.
For an additional review, check out Keepers of the Flame’s Review.