September 15, 1821 was a very significant day for the Central American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua; for this is the day they would declare their independence from Spain. Who knew that you could get a quick history lesson from a cigar review? Well, thanks to Nicaragua’s first premium cigar manufacturer, Joya de Nicaragua (established in 1968), that just happened!
Announced on February 16, 2021, Dos Cientos is a one-time-only cigar release to celebrate the bicentennial of that historic day. The cigar was released to Drew Diplomat-authorized retailers, joining Joya’s Cuatro Cinco, Cinco Décadas and Número Uno as part of the Obras Maestras (Masterpieces) family.
“For us there is always a link between the past and the present,” said Juan Ignacio Martinez, via a press release. “We are who we are today because of the decisions that were made hundreds of years ago. Dos Cientos pays tribute to those 200 years and who we are today as the leading cigar producing country and region in the world.”
Included in the box of 21 is a special tissue-wrapped cigar that was intended to be smoked by participants during a virtual celebration on September 15, 2021. That was unfortunately postponed due to supply chain issues, delaying the shipment of these cigars until October 2021. The release included a total of 3,000 boxes—2,000 for the United States and 1,000 for international markets.
Joya de Nicaragua Dos Cientos Breakdown
- Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
- Binder: Mexico
- Filler: Dominican Republic | Honduras | Nicaragua
- Factory: Fábrica de Tabacos Joya de Nicaragua, S.A. (Nicaragua)
- Production: Limited Edition (3,000 boxes of 21 cigars)
- Vitola: 6″ × 54 (Toro)
- Price: $17.00 (MSRP)
Differing from the majority of Joya’s portfolio, where Nicaraguan tobaccos are either used for the entire blend or at least the binder/filler, the Dos Cientos boasts a diverse selection throughout. This includes leaves from five countries, with Nicaragua making up only a portion of the filler. And while the other three cigars in the Obras Maestras series are limited but ongoing in production, Dos Cientos represents a true limited edition, offered in a singular toro format.
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The cigars are packaged in a gorgeous blue box, with the Joya de Nicaragua logo and name and family of the cigar. There is a red, white, and blue bicentennial seal, along with a silver badge that displays the box number.
The cigars themselves have bands that feature the same colors and logos, with a prismatic border on the top and bottom of the band. Each cigar, aside from the specially wrapped celebratory cigar, are in cello. Closer inspection of the cigar reveals a rich and oily dark brown wrapper with a little bit of tooth, slightly visible seams, and small raised veins that run all the way up to the very cleanly applied triple cap. At 54 ring gauge, these cigars have a hefty look to them as well.
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The pre-light aroma from the foot of this cigar has a mix of barnyard, cocoa, and leather; while the wrapper offers more of the same, with a slight nod to barnyard as the dominant note. The pre-light draw is a bit snug, with a slight mustiness along with cocoa powder, damp cedar, and barnyard. On first light, there is quite a bit of black pepper and earth that hits hard and really wakes up the senses. The retrohale on the first inch is peppery—almost to the point of eye watering. After a few more puffs, the pepper backs off in intensity and the cigar quickly settles into a well-mannered profile. Just past the one-inch point there are hints of cocoa, coffee, and leather, with a very distinctive mineral profile on the finish, which balances well with the earthiness. The strength is solidly medium, as is body and complexity. Burn and draw are almost perfect at this point, while the smoke output is medium in volume. So far, this is a very flavorful cigar with a darker earthy profile.
Getting a little farther along, the cocoa notes from the early portion of the cigar change to more of a bitter dark chocolate, with the coffee and leather carrying over from the earlier parts of the cigar unchanged. As the toro nears the midway point, smoke output has increased dramatically. Burn and draw are both excellent at this point, and smoke is pouring off the foot, adding a level of creaminess to the profile that was not present early on. Strength, body, and complexity all continue along solidly in the medium range.
Getting towards the end of the cigar, a hint of cabinet spice joins the profile, adding just enough punch and sweetness to keep the baker’s chocolate, earth, and leather from being overly bitter. The sweetness and cabinet spice develop all the way to the finger-burning point on the nub, making for a very enjoyable finish to the cigar. The burn stayed straight and true to the nub, the draw was close to perfect, and the strength, body, and complexity never journeyed out of the medium range.
Would I Smoke This Cigar Again?
That poses an interesting question. The cigar itself was very good and fit firmly into the profile of what I enjoy smoking. The issue for me is this: aside from the Número Uno—a legendary cigar itself—Dos Cientos did not stand all that differently from the remaining cigars in the Obras Maestras family, with the remaining two being easier to source. Due to the meaning behind the release, this is a cigar that I would like to keep in my inventory until they are no longer obtainable; I especially want to smoke the tissue-wrapped celebratory cigar and see if there is any difference. Hopefully, Joya de Nicaragua will finally be able to have their online event to smoke those with other connoisseurs.
- Flavor: Medium
- Strength: Medium
- Body: Medium
- Smoke Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes
- Pairing Recommendation: Bourbon | Aged rum | Black coffee | Root beer
- Purchase Recommendation: Even if you are not a die-hard Joya, this box should be in your collection
- Contains tobacco from several of the countries in the region that were part of the independence
- Nice flavors that develop all the way through
- The box will make a meaningful collectible for JDN fans
- One-time production will make it hard to find
- JDN has still not been able to reschedule the virtual celebration event
- Very similar to other cigars in the family that are easier to find