J.C. Newman Cigar Company, after two years of re-working the Perla del Mar brand, released its overhauled take on the line in late 2020. Perla del Mar has a long history dating back to 1905 in Cuba. The company, started by four Cuban brothers, was called Perfecto Garcia Brothers. The cigars they released were named for the island of Cuba and the waters that surround it, i.e. “Perla del Mar,” which translates to “Pearl of the Sea.”

Fast forward to 2012 and J.C Newman acquired the rights to the name and relaunched the cigars. Offered in Connecticut and Maduro varieties, this format remained for roughly eight years before the recent update. “Although our Perla del Mar cigars were good, we were not totally satisfied,” said Drew Newman, general counsel and a member of J.C. Newman’s fourth-generation. Re-worked over two years, all Perla del Mar cigars were given a boost in body, a new look, and most notably, a third blend: Perla del Mar Corojo.

“Although our family has been rolling cigars for 125 years, we do not rest on our laurels,” Newman continued. “We are constantly working to improve everything that we do, and we are very pleased with the new Perla del Mar.”

Perla del Mar Corojo Corona Gorda Breakdown

  • Wrapper: Ecuadorian Corojo
  • Binder: Nicaragua
  • Filler: Nicaragua
  • Factory: J.C. Newman PENSA (Nicaragua)
  • Production: Regular Production
  • Vitola: 5½″ × 46 (Corona Gorda)
  • Price: $6.45 (MSRP)

The re-launch of the brand comes with three blends: Shade, Maduro, and Corojo. All of the cigars incorporate more viso for added body, and the box-press is now described as a more rectangular “Tampa press.” The most significant update is, of course, the Corojo blend. This cigar is made with aged Nicaraguan filler tobaccos from four locations: Pueblo Nuevo, La Reina, Condega, and Jalapa. The blend is then wrapped in the cigar’s signature Ecuadorian Corojo ingredient. The line arrived in four sizes, with prices ranging from $6.45 to $7.60 MSRP.

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  • Joya de Nicaragua cigars

Appearance

Right from the start, I noticed the box-press, which is well done with nice sharp edges. The color of the Corojo wrapper is a dark butterscotch hue that matches well with a very traditional-looking cigar band. This new band took on an older Cuban-style feel, which, with the history of the Perla del Mar brand, makes sense and fits with the style and look of the cigar.

The boxes follow suit, being old-school through and through. The design of the packaging is not something that may grab your attention, however, the traditional look and simple lines makes for a reassuring sense of stability. Overall, I think that the history and design match up nicely in this case.

The wrapper is very smooth and well constructed. The smell of the cigar has robust, sweet, fruity notes, with a touch of citrus (similar to a grapefruit).  The pre-light draw is nearly perfect, hitting notes of cedar, must, and classic cabinet spice.

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Smoking Experience

Perla del Mar Corojo hits just as you’d expect from a Corojo wrapper. That sweetness on the lips and tongue is bright and vibrant, with a fruity citrus aroma that adds a refreshing compliment. The retrohale brings it home, with the Nicaraguan filler tobaccos offering a white pepper spice that is mild to medium in intensity. Overall, it’s a refreshing start, giving a feeling of summer beach weather.

The draw of the Perla del Mar Corojo is right on point. I can move air effortlessly through it, helping to pick up the sweetness and complexity of the tobaccos. The construction of the cigar is solid and feels good in your hand. It is very well made and the box-press feels unique for the corona gorda, which is a size that you won’t see box-pressed as often as some of the larger formats.

J.C. Newman Perla del Mar Corojo Corona Gorda cigar ash

Flavors from the beginning to the middle are about the same, with sweet and fruity citrus notes, white pepper spice, and tapering off to just light cabinet spice now. The retrohale still carries white pepper spice, with touches of cedar and toasted nuts joining the fold. The Perla del Mar Corojo is refreshing and light on the palate, and the natural sweetness makes this very enjoyable.

Rounding out the end of the corona gorda, the sweetness starts to taper off, and the white pepper is not noticeable anymore. Mild, earthy tobacco flavor comes in just a little at the very end, although it is faint in intensity.

J.C. Newman Perla del Mar Corojo Corona Gorda review

Would I Smoke This Cigar Again?

Yes! This summer on the beach, or when I am out at sea fishing, this likely will be my go-to smoke. It feels perfect for those times where you want something light and refreshing. With that flavor profile, it fits perfectly with the beach or boating weather. And at the price point, if a wave hits me while I’m smoking, I won’t be too upset.


Profile
  • Flavor: Medium-Plus
  • Strength: Medium
  • Body: Medium
Core Flavors
  • Cedar
  • Sweet fruit
  • Citrus (think grapefruit)
  • White pepper spice
Tips
  • Smoke Time: 1 hour
  • Pairing Recommendation: Manhattan (as a contrast pairing) | Cranberry ginger snap | Light berry hot tea | Light-roasted coffee
  • Purchase Recommendation: 10-pack to box

J.C. Newman Perla del Mar Corojo Corona Gorda cigar nub finished

Perla del Mar Corojo Corona Gorda
J.C Newman's refinement of the Perla del Mar series was very well done. The time they took to re-work this paid off in the smoking experience. Overall, this cigar is light and bright, with fruity sweetness and some spiciness that was very enjoyable. This smoke would only be enhanced more during summertime, with refreshing drinks and a nice body of water in the background.
Appearance88%
Burn/Construction87%
Draw89%
Flavor88%
Complexity81%
Price/Value91%
Pros
  • Very refreshing citrus/fruity sweetness
  • Good bang for the buck
  • Solid box-press feel
Cons
  • The last part of the cigar lost that sweetness that was so enjoyable
  • Thin smoke output
  • Can overheat if you're not careful
87%Rejuvenated Sea
  • Cigar Wars
  • Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust
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