Joya Red: Joya Series Part 4 of 5

Joya Red

Here we have it folks, the Joya Red, the very first Joya within the Joya line released back in 2014, as a 100% Nicaraguan everything (wrapper, filler, & binder). The company Joya de Nicaragua describes the Joya Red as a “vibrant, classy, extremely pleasant, and was made for the modern smoker”. It’s been just about 8 years now since its release and not just the Joya Red but the whole Joya line has established a great foundation of pleasurable smokes. 

I’ve always been a fan of the Joya line since they were launched into the cigar industry and have been blessed with the opportunity to try each of them as they were released. While each has been a very enjoyable journey, the Joya Red stands out, after all it was the very first to be introduced. With this being my forth review within the JDN line of cigars (all of them receiving high praises and all enjoyed) I’ll get right to the review! 

Starting with a cold draw, first I pick up wood and spice which to me; makes everything nice! The richness of tobacco comes through and some light essence of floral notes gets my saliva going; I’m ready to light up! 

Just as I expected; right away as I light up, there is a rich coffee, cream, some toasted nut with some semi-sweet chocolate to top it off. Burning right into the first third of the Joya Red some red pepper joins the party. There is this spice with a zip of earthiness that encompasses the palate while all those other notes swirl around from front to back, back to front. Joya Red is very unique with how the palate catches the various profiles. Some cedar notes come through to drive it all home as, in my opinion, the perfect balance to start a great cigar! 

As I continue to burn into the second third of the cigar the red pepper spice calms down to a white pepper, the semi-sweet chocolate blends into a rich chocolate, kind of like a latte turning into a mocha. You get that creaminess just with a more rich mocha profile. Even though this is not a maduro cigar the combination of well grown Nicaraguan tobacco makes that richness come through. I am still picking up toasted nuts while some light leathery notes become present also. The burn is consistent, it produces plenty of smoke and the draw is really nice thus far. 

Burning down into the last third of the Joya Red, interestingly enough, some deep fruit profiles come through. Reminds me of dates and black cherries while the white pepper turns into black pepper, the mocha remains with that mocha sweetness taste, the spice remains yet this spice profile taste for me has a cinnamon essence and of course the toasted nuts still hold strong. Over all the Joya Red has great construction, well rounded burn, and lots of smoke. It’s amazing when you have had a cigar more than once, twice, or ten times, each time might be a slightly different experience; just like I have experienced here. I love being able to have a cigar that I have had more than ten times through my 20+ years of cigar smoking and this journey really made a difference with how I view this cigar. Remembering that I had picked up some of the profiles previously, at the same time I spent my time one on one with the Joya Red and what I picked up was far different than my previous experiences with this cigar. 

With the ease of locating, the affordability, and the flavor profiles I will most certainly rate this cigar a 4 out of 5 pints. There are plenty of choices when it comes to vitolas also; sold in boxes of 20 and individually of course; Joya Red Short Churchill (4 ¾ x 48) $110.99, Joya Red Robusto (5 ¼ x 50) $123.99, Joya Red Toro and a box press Toro (6×52) $131.99, Joya Red Canonazo (5 ½ x 54) $130.99 and if you enjoy the Cigarillos then Joya Red comes in those sizes as well (4×32) pack of 10 $9.25. [Prices will vary of course depending on location.] If you have never tried one yet, then it’s a must. Joya Red is a medium body profile with not a whole lot of strength so even if you’re a full body smoker or a mild smoker you will still be able to enjoy this delicious cigar! Cheers and Enjoy!!

Wrapper – Nicaraguan H. Crillo

Binder – Nicaraguan

Filler – Nicaraguan


Rating: 4 out of 5 pints

  • William O’Connor, AKA Billy Kartwheels, is the Co-Captian of the Distinguished Ruffians NY Chapter. Billy has had an interesting life, going through college, being in the Navy and living on a submarine, he has visited 48 states (hitchhiking through 35) of them and even lived in a Hare Krishna monastery for some time. After having numerous brushes with death durring his travels he has decided it was best to take it easy and appreciate life to its fullest all while smoking a cigar at the same time. 

Joya Black: Joya Series Part 3 of 5

Joya Black

Sometimes there are things in life are truly Black and white, plain and simple, and although the label of the Joya Black has a black and white label there is nothing plain or simple about this cigar from Joya de Nicaragua to be wrapped with a San Andres wrapper. The Joya Black was the second release within the “Joya” line. It was back in 2016 at the IPCPR Convention and Trade Show when the Joya Black was released into the cigar industry. 

I remember when they were released because it was around that time when I was starting to educate myself on the company Joya de Nicaragua. I remember reading about how the Joya line was meant to bridge Joya de Nicaragua’s rich history with the modern contemporary cigar enthusiast in mind. A cigar that has rich, robust, Nicaraguan tobacco (binder and filler) without an overpowering strength, and that Mexican San Andres wrapper to bring it all together; sounds pretty “plain and simple”, “black and white” yet the appearance and taste profile will certainly express differently! This all just my opinion so let’s get into taking a couple of cold draws, light this beauty up, and enjoy! 

Such a nice espresso color to this cigar, the smell is so deep and rich from that Nicaraguan soil with an ever so slight oily look to it. Upon taking a couple of cold draws I immediately get that nice maduro sweetness with some mocha notes and a hint of wood, certainly got the glands salivating and ready to light up. 

Upon light up there was an instant white pepper and espresso rush that trampled my palate to certainly wake up the senses to start to fully indulge in this already great cigar. As I continued the first third that white pepper calmed down but a rich sweetness of tobacco came through strong with a swirl of espresso dancing about. Certainly some rich and creamy dark chocolate came to mind as I continued to enjoy the Joya Black. Brown sugar and butter mixed with some nice coffee is what this taste reminds me of. 

As I continued onto the second third the profiles are stayed quite strong yet at the same time changed. Have you ever stirred your coffee after a few sips and gotten that cream swirled around and it changes the taste of your next sip of coffee (unless you drink it black) it’s kind of like that, a swirling profile of chocolate, espresso, mocha latte, with a little wood taste and that brown sugar butter sweetness to tie it all in. 

The last third had a little bit of black pepper, molasses, and toasted bakers spice as I guessed there would be as I got closer to the end. All that richness and well cared for tobacco really pleased my palate from start to finish. Joya Black is certainly one of those cigars that are hard to put down. The taste keeps you wanting more and more and well… more.

With these prices you can certainly have the Joya Black whenever you like. Double Robusto (5×56) – $7.95 – box of 20 $159, Nocturno (6 ¼ x 46) $6.50 – box of 20 $130, Robusto (5 ¼ x 50) $7.25 – box of 20 $145, and Toro (6×52) $7.96 – box of 20 $159.20.

Now of course prices may vary from state to state and online because me being NY the prices are definitely not that low but still very affordable. One thing that does not vary on this cigar is the 4 out of 5 pints that I rate this cigar. Certainly one that can be enjoyed morning, noon, or night, on any day and I’m sure most of you reading this article have had at least one of these Joya Black’s. On the other hand if you had not tried one yet, what are you waiting for? Enjoy and stay tuned for the next Joya review in this series.

Wrapper –  Mexican San Andres

Binder – Nicaraguan

Filler – Nicaraguan


Rating: 4.0 out of 5 pints

  • William O’Connor, AKA Billy Kartwheels, is the Co-Captian of the Distinguished Ruffians NY Chapter. Billy has had an interesting life, going through college, being in the Navy and living on a submarine, he has visited 48 states (hitchhiking through 35) of them and even lived in a Hare Krishna monastery for some time. After having numerous brushes with death durring his travels he has decided it was best to take it easy and appreciate life to its fullest all while smoking a cigar at the same time. 

JFR Lunatic Hysteria Barberpole

JFR Lunatic Hysteria Barberpole

Good afternoon #DistinguishedRufffian family. It’s AZ/NM Co-Capt, T Money, back for another cigar review. Hope you are ready to enjoy your week and are preparing for the Zoom meeting this Thursday. This cigar was given to me by PA Capt, Bill, and I had to do a review on it. This is one I’ve wanted to try forever. Barberpole cigars and typically hit and miss for me, but I love Aganorsa Leaf and knew this would be a winner. With no further ado, let’s get into it.

This cigar is a Famous Smoke Shop exclusive made by Aganorsa Leaf. The one I’m reviewing is a 5 1⁄2 by 50 Robusto. Comes with a Mexican San Andres and Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper. Binder and filler are their signature Corojo 99 and Criollo 98 varietals. The MSRP is $6.60, so it is quite an affordable stick. As usual, I cut it with my trusty Palio cutter and lit it with my DuPont Defi Xtreme. It has a flawless barber pole construction and a semi-closed foot. The cold draw gives a ton of tobacco sweetness and some hay.

Right off the bat, it is SUPER creamy and has a smoothness to it I wasn’t quite expecting. There is a milk chocolate sweetness that is incredible. Retrohale has a slight bit of caramel with a touch of dark espresso. Getting deeper in, it has this almost praline flavor that hangs on the tongue. The draw and burn are both perfect. Towards the end of the first third, a really dark coffee note comes to the front, with a bit more strength showing through. Med body and strength to close out the first third.

Starting the second third, it is still super smooth. Sweetness is still prominent with that praline flavor hanging in there. The retrohale has a bit more spice to it, but nothing I would deem crazy for this cigar. Semi-sweet chocolate is taking over and the strength is definitely amping up right now. The creaminess starts to fade at the end of the second third, and you can tell it’s getting ready for a flavor bomb finish. Full body/Med strength.

Jumping into the final third, a slight black licorice flavor hits for a few puffs and then disappears. I’m not sure what that was about, but it was definitely there on all 3 I’ve smoked. Some deep earth comes to the front to go with that semi-sweet chocolate bite on the finish. The retrohale has that slight sting to it, but again, nothing crazy. I’m enjoying this cigar so much, that I burned my fingers trying to hold on as long as I can. Alas, I had to let it go around the 1 hour and 40 minute mark.

To sum it up, all I can say is WOW. Best barber pole cigar I’ve smoked hands down. Perfect balance throughout, and checked all of the boxes that I like in a cigar. San Andres, Corojo 99, Criollo 98, perfect draw, and perfect burn! The changes in flavor were outstanding and an experience all of their own. I instantly went to Famous Smoke online after finishing and bought 2 boxes. Also, at this price point, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better cigar.

T Money Score: 4.5/5 Rebuy *Multiple* boxes!

Perfect cigar for any time of the day, not just the morning with coffee. I can’t wait to pair this cigar with many different drinks, as well as, at different times of the year. Go grab some and let me know what you think. As always, do something nice for someone and watch someone’s 6. Hope this review finds you well! Talk care family.

Wrapper – Mexican San Andres and Ecuadorian Connecticut

Binder – Nicaraguan

Filler – Nicaraguan


Rating: 4.5 out of 5 pints

  • Travis Peterson AKA T Money is the Co-Captain of the Arizona/New Mexico Chapter of Distinguished Ruffians. He started his cigar journey in 2007 and hasn’t looked back. Outside of cigars he has a passion for brewing beer, playing guitar, bowling and golf. He is also a self proclaimed grilling and smoking expert.