Coming out of a triumphant 50th anniversary year in 2018, Joya de Nicaragua would’ve been allowed a mulligan—a victory lap of sorts—for the year following. But instead of stepping back to bask in the glow of their accomplishments—including two of the highest rated cigars during their semicentennial—Joya doubled down, introducing perhaps their finest smoking experience in their 51 years of existence: Número Uno.

Número Uno was once rolled on a much more limited basis, being reserved for Nicaraguan ambassadors, offered as diplomatic gifts during expeditions across the world. The cigars were then elevated to event-exclusive status in 2018, where they first began registering on the radar of the discerning enthusiast. After testing the waters, Joya de Nicaragua officially unveiled Número Uno as a part of its core lineup in early summer 2019. Observant smokers will be quick to spot the cigar’s correlation within Joya’s lineup, joining the 2013 introduction of the Cuatro Cinco and the 2018 addition of Cinco Décadas; collectively making up Joya’s most paramount smoking experiences. This numerically titled collection falls under what Joya has coined the Obras Maestras series, translating to mean Masterpieces. The name is undoubtedly fitting, with Número Uno being one of the most complex, nuanced Connecticut-style cigars we have yet to encounter.

The cigar does not fit the “amped up” Connecticut mold, being soft and refined in character; but it isn’t quite the Connecticut of yesteryear either. Instead, smokers will find an experience practically unique unto itself, delivering a smooth yet concentrated smoke onto the palate. The profile cannot be pinned down as easily as expected, hitting the tongue on virtually every sensory region. Eventually, the smoke begins to settle into a more discernible concoction, with highlight nuances of orange citrus, candied nuts, browned butter, and salted peanuts taking turns with leading and supporting roles. It is delicate and refined through and through, continuously and seamlessly evolving from start to finish. And with virtually no spice to be found, Número Uno plays to other strengths, such as an exceedingly long finish, revealing supplemental characteristics of sweet florals, peanut brittle, nougat, and Nilla Wafer cookies.

Número Uno proves that if there’s anything more impressive than delivering on a milestone 50th anniversary, it’s laying a solid groundwork for the next 50 to come.

Número Uno Breakdown

  • Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut
  • Binder: Nicaragua
  • Filler: Nicaragua
  • Factory: Fábrica de Tabacos Joya de Nicaragua, S.A. (Nicaragua)
  • Production: Small Batch
  • Vitolas: 1
  • Price: $15.00 (MSRP)

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