Smokeasy's top 4 memorable smokes for the month of January
Pictured clockwise: Cohiba Macassar (Cohiba, General Cigar Co.), San Cristóbal de la Habana (Habanos SA), HOYO La Amistad (HOYO, General Cigar Co.), and Nica Rustica (Drew Estate). All images are courtesy of the respective cigar manufacturers.
Cohiba Macassar (Cohiba | General Cigar Company)
Positioned as a super-premium expression, the Cohiba Macassar was created in tribute to Indonesian Macassar, one of the most difficult ebony to procure and one of the most beautiful exotic woods in the world. Released in August 2016 as a full-time addition, Macassar is made solely of proprietary tobacco, each aged for more than 4 years, including 1 year of finishing in Dominican rum barrels. This is most definitely the finest smoke in the Cohiba portfolio, hands down!
San Cristóbal de la Habana (Habanos SA) San Cristóbal de la Habana, created and named after the original name for Habana, the capital of Cuba, has been on the market since 1999. Interestingly, San Cristóbal comes from St. Christopher, in honor of the saint of the day when the city was founded in 1519; La Habana from the Indian name of the site where the city was founded. Only 4 vitolas (El Morro, La Fuerza, La Punta and El Principe) were originally released and named after fortresses built from the 16th through 18th centuries; however, the remaining vitolas were added in 2004 and were named after some very well-known streets in Old Habana. Although not as full-bodied and strong as I used to (or prefer), San Cristóbal de la Habana is actually a very nice departure from the norm for me. Pretty light, but extraordinarily enjoyable - great for the novice smoker!
Country of origin: Cuba
Vitolas (7): El Morro (7⅛" x 49); El Príncipe (4⅜" x 42); La Fuerza (5½" x 50); La Punta (5½" x 52); Mercaderes (6⅝" x 48); Muralla (7⅛" x 54); Oficios (5⅜" x 43)
I'm an AJ Fernandez fan - so when I heard that he created this blend for General Cigar, and handcrafted the line at his fabrica in Nicaragua, I couldn't wait to get my hands of it! HOYO has done a great job with their last HOYO release earlier in 2016, but this release which debuted in September 2016, is by far the best. Apparently, this collaboration between HOYO and AJ was meant to be, as it's been told that he grew up near the Hoyo de Monterrey farm in Cuba and has always loved the brand. Unfortunately, this blend is a limited edition. And it's quite the powerhouse - exactly what you'd expect from AJ Fernandez, bold, robust, and full-bodied.
Since making its debut at the 2013 International Premium Cigar and Pipe Retailers Association (IPCPR) trade show, Nica Rustica has been one of my favorite Drew Estate lines. This cigar was crafted in the true spirit of the people and culture of Estelí, Nicaragua. This pride is embodied in "El Brujito," the witch doctor or the Shaman, and it's adorned on Nica Rustica's boxes, bundles and bands, and can also be found throughout the city in graffiti, on sculptures, and on ironworks. Since witch doctors historically used tobacco in ceremonial and medicinal rituals for healing, Nica Rustica truly embraced this rich history. True to its name, the cigar is rustic-looking and is a bold, in-your-face smoke - right up my alley!
Country of origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
Binder: Mexican San Andreas Negro
Filler: Nicaragua (Estelí, Jalapa)
Vitolas (3): El Brujito (6" x 52); Belly (7½" x 54); Short Robusto (4½" x 50)