Some say the Nica Libre cigar is an intended copy of a Padron Anniversario series cigar in almost every way shape and form. From it’s box pressed appearance to it’s brown, gold, and burgundy label, there is no doubt that this cigar wants to be a cheaper alternative to a Padron. So, does it hit the mark or is it a miserable failure? Today I will be smoking the Diplomatico size Nica Libre which is a 7 inch by 50 ring gauge boxed pressed cigar. I am fairly certain that these cigars are exclusive to Cigars International and this particular cigar has been resting in my humidor for over two years! As you may or may not know my favorite cigar is a Padron Anniversario, so there is no better person than I to compare the Nica Libre.
Is the Nica Libre as good as a Padron Anniversario? Of course not. Not even close. But that doesn’t mean the Nica Libre is a bad value. Here is what to expect from your Nica Libre. First off the cigar is a nice looking stick featuring a creamy brown San Andres maduro wrapper, the construction looks simliar to a Padron but the label on this stick is a very cheesy imitation of an Anniversario (since this review the Nica Libre has a new band that no longer looks like an imitation of a Padron).
On cutting and taking a pre-light draw I was very pleased with the ease of resistance although in all honesty I must tell you I have had Nica Libre’s that had a poor draw, which tells me there may be some inconsistency in their production. However as I said, this particular Nica had a near perfect draw. After toasting and lighting my mouth is blasted which a very rich dark chocolate flavor, not bad at all! Sure it would be easy to criticize this cigar merely for even attempting to copy one of the greatest cigars ever produced but I need to stay objective with my reviews and tell you that this cigar tastes darn good! What you wont find is the complex spices you would get with a Padron Anniversario, instead the Nica is much more like a standard line Padron which is certainly nothing to be ashamed of.
As I smoke the Nica I am blown away by the excellent burn on this cigar. A perfect razor sharp burn and the cigar is providing me with tons of thick chewy smoke on each draw. The flavors are constant, coa coa, coffee, and just a tad bit of pepper on the finish. These cigars are about one third the cost of a Padron and to be honest they are only about one fourth of the quality. Even still, for $4 per stick it’s really hard to complain especially with the excellent performance of this cigar. In the end, I think I would prefer a base line Padron over a Nica Libre because they are close to the same price and the base line Padron is a better cigar but I give the maker of this cigar huge marks for producing such a good cigar at this price.
I almost feel like a better marketing strategy for these guys would have been to not attempt to copy the Padron. Maybe then we would not have had that mental comparison that almost no cigar can live up to. Yet there is also the possibility that if they didn’t compare themselves to Padron maybe the Nica Libre would be just another cigar that gets lost in the shuffle.
Would I smoke this cigar again? Probably. I have had dozens of Nica Libre’s (especially when I first started smoking cigars) and in all honesty this is a really good cigar for the price.
- Super cheap
- Acceptable flavors and performance
- Copying Padron in appearance is a mistake
- Wavy burn