Team Cigar Review: Joya de Nicaragua Cinco Decadas El General

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Cigar Details: Joya de Nicaragua Cinco Decadas El General

  • Vitola: Churchill
  • Length: 7″
  • Ring Gauge: 50
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Wrapper: Undisclosed
  • Binder: Undisclosed
  • Filler: Undisclosed
  • Factory: Joya de Nicaragua
  • Blender: Undisclosed
  • Price: $18.99
  • Release Date: August 2018
  • Source: Joya de Nicaragua

Aaron-Loomis

 Aaron Loomis

 John McTavish

Jiunn-Liu

 Jiunn Liu

Pre-light Experience

The wrapper is dark brown and has a network of slightly raised veins present. The seams are smooth and really only detectable in the right light. The head is finished off with a well applied triple cap. The band is a light cream color with red and gold and shows the company logo and line name. The aroma from the wrapper is a stone fruit sweetness and reminds me of pipe tobacco. The foot brings an even deeper fruit sweetness that I would liken to prunes. The pre-light draw brings more stone fruit sweetness mixed with some hay.

Pre-light Experience

The Joya de Nicaragua Cinco Decadas El General has a striking band with a large, beautiful, cream background, red and gold metallic lettering and highlights. The cigar wrapper is a dark chocolate brown color, with firmly pressed veins. Nosing the wrapper, I’m able to smell very sweet tobacco, raisins and light cedar. That sweetness is intensified in the foot, and has me eager to light up.

Pre-light Experience

The Joya de Nicaragua Cinco Decadas El General has a rustic red hue to the Colorado Red wrapper shade. Construction looks and feels solid as veins are well pressed, seams visible but tight, bunch and roll even and a well applied thick cap. Aromas from the wrapper give aged cedar, mixed nuts and sweet cherries. Aromas from the foot tell bigger notes from that of the wrapper. Cold draw tells cedar, hay and dried persimmons.

First Third

The cigar begins with wood, black pepper and a light floral note. At a half inch in, the black pepper increases in intensity and takes the lead in the profile. At an inch in, the wood is back up front as the black pepper and floral notes are faint in the background. The retrohale has the wood up front as well but the black pepper is right behind it along with a slight mustiness in the background. At an inch and a half, some mustiness joins the profile as the black pepper and floral notes increase. As the third comes to a close, the wood remains up front with the mustiness and floral note right behind it. The black pepper is very faint in the background. The strength in this third was right at medium.

First Third

The Cinco Decadas begins with mild spices, trailing sweetness and cedar. Some pepper develops at the tip, back and sides of my tongue. As the first third progresses, some earth at medium minus strength develops. The retrohale takes on a creaminess as the pepper lingers on the post draw at medium strength. At the 15 minute mark, a light plus powdered cocoa joins the flavor mash up. That earth begins to bleed into the post draw, as the pepper intensity falls. Approaching the halfway point of the first third, post draw leather joins in and brings with it a drying mouthfeel. Moments later, post draw sweetness comes through and balances out the leather. Towards the end of the third, the leather intensity fades as the sweetness intensifies.

First Third

The first half is fairly earth driven at the core of it. Flavors of dirt/soil, dry red pepper spice, sweet potatoes, bread and cedar. Retrohaling awakens the senses with a good amount of dry red pepper spice and bright cherries. The finish goes back to the roots of being earth driven with dirt/soil, sweet potatoes and a hint of red pepper on the mid and rear palate. Strength is medium and body is medium to medium plus.

Second Third

As the second third begins, the mustiness morphs into a light creaminess to go along with the wood and faint floral and black pepper notes. At three quarters of an inch in, the wood becomes more defined as cedar while the cream reverts back to mustiness. There is still some black pepper in the background but the floral note is gone. At an inch and a quarter, the cedar has changed to oak and has a slight char. The floral note returns as the black pepper has gone away. The retrohale carries the charred oak, mustiness and floral note. As the third comes to a close, the charred oak remains up front with the mustiness right behind it. There is still a very faint floral note in the background. The strength in this third remained at medium.

Second Third

The leather from the first third returns during the transition, and mixes with the earth flavors to carry the profile. Sweet baking spices develop on the retrohale at a light plus level. Once the second third has established itself, that leather and earth combination falls off, replaced with cedar at the end of each draw which carries into the post draw. Light plus leather makes a come back in the bottom half of the third.

Second Third

The second third deepens the flavor profile. The dry red pepper spice comes through quite a bit more both through mouth draws and retrohaling. Also, the profile picks up a nice milk coffee. The other notes of sweet potatoes, bread and cedar still are very much so intact. Strength is nearing medium-full and body is still teetering in the range of medium and medium plus.

Final Third

As the final third begins, the charred oak remains up front with the mustiness right behind it. At a half inch in, the mustiness morphs back into a slight creaminess. The retrohale also carries the charred oak and creaminess. At an inch in, a slight mintiness joins the profile. The cigar wraps up with the charred wood up front and the cream transitioning back to mustiness along with a slight mintiness. The strength in this third bumped up to slightly above medium.

Final Third

By the final third, the baking spices have reached medium minus, approaching medium strength. The post draw is defined by light plus leather and earth. There are no other flavor changes in the final third to remark on.

Final Third

The last third reverts to more of the first third where the spice isn’t as prevalent as the second third. The flavors continue to be dirt/soil, dry red peppers, sweet potatoes, bread, cedar with the milk coffee now gone. Strength and body finishes in the medium to medium-full range.

Burn

The burn was a bit of a challenge with the cigar going out multiple times and requiring re-lights. I’m sure the re-lights took their toll on the flavor profile.

Burn

I rated the burn and construction to be poor. The burn began as wavy, ending in a canoe that required a touch-up. The cigar canoed again in the bottom of the first third requiring a second touch-up. The cigar went out in the middle third requiring a re-light, then maintained a wavy burn. Another re-light was required before the end of the second third, and then again in the last third.

Burn

Flawless burn with tight ashes, even burn, cool burn and good smoke production.

Draw

The draw was perfect with just the right amount of resistance that I prefer.

Overall

The cigar began with wood, black pepper and a floral note. As the cigar progressed some mustiness joined in. The mustiness transitioned back and forth into creaminess. The cigar went out multiple times while the draw was perfect. Strength was right around medium the whole way. Having smoked this and the Diadema, I will say the Diadema provided a better smoking experience and flavor profile. I’d be interested in trying this vitola again in hopes of a better burn to see what flavor profile this could actually provide. As it sits, if I came back to this cigar, I would choose the Diadema.

Draw

The draw was about one notch towards the resistant spectrum, but still in the category of what I consider to be a very good draw.

Overall

The Joya de Nicaragua Cinco Decadas El General was overall a good smoking experience. The clear comparison here is going to be with the Diademas vitola which scored very high in our cigars of 2018 list, landing at number 3 for me. If I were to smoke the El General and the Diademas blind, I doubt I would be able to identify them as being the same cigar. The El General flavor profile is good, but it fails to reach the same levels of complexity as its counterpart. Unfortunately, I had burn issues for the entire smoking experience, with a poor overall rating. The Diademas, stored in the same humidor, was rated very good for burn and construction. At an $18.99 price point, I’m not sure that this vitola will do as well as the Diademas offering.

Draw

The draw was also flawless. The ideal resistance.

Overall

Like the Diademas reviewed in 2018, the Joya de Nicaragua Cinco Decadas El General is also a good cigar. Compared to the Diademas, I found the El General isn’t as balanced within providing sweetness, earth and spice. This version was geared more towards earth and spice (soil/dirt, dry red pepper spice). In a way, that umami factor I experienced within the Diademas was not found in this variant. But nonetheless, this is a great cigar in which I will be visiting time and time again.

Aaron
John
Jiunn
Very GoodPre
Light
Very GoodPre
Light
Very Good
GoodFirst
Third
GoodFirst
Third
Good
GoodSecond
Third
GoodSecond
Third
Good
AverageFinal
Third
GoodFinal
Third
Good
SubparBurnPoorBurnAmazing
AmazingDrawVery GoodDrawAmazing
GoodOverallGoodOverallGood

Aaron Loomis

SCORE

6.42

Cost/Point

$2.96

Scoring System

John McTavish

SCORE

6.52

Cost/Point

$2.91

Scoring System

Jiunn Liu

SCORE

7.17

Cost/Point

$2.65

Scoring System

Team Cigar Review: Joya de Nicaragua Cinco Decadas El General
Jiunn LiuTeam Cigar Review: Joya de Nicaragua Cinco Decadas El General

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5 comments

Join the conversation
  • Shlomo - February 27, 2019 reply

    Does The General have some of the baby aspirin flavor on the palate that the diadema roll has or is it a completely different profile that is steeped in earthy soil dirt flavor?

    Aaron Loomis - February 28, 2019 reply

    I felt the Churchill wasn’t as complex as the Diadema

    Shlomo - February 28, 2019 reply

    So El General doesn’t have that baby aspirin vitamin C ascorbic acid flavor that the diadema roll has? That is one unique flavor I haven’t found in many other cigars.

    Aaron Loomis - March 1, 2019 reply

    I didn’t get that flavor profile, so I wouldn’t be able to give any insight there.

    Shlomo - March 2, 2019

    That’s one of the most unique and best flavors of that cigar on the palate. If you didn’t already, you should definitely give it another try if the opportunity presents itself to see if you can catch it on the palate in case you got a lemon the first time around. I think the diadema roll warrants another chance for sure. A reviewer from 1/2 wheel (I think Charlie Minutos) stated that El General has blueberries in it and was very complex in the review so it got me interested in how it compares to the diadema roll which is outstanding in my opinion.

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