The good people at Joya de Nicaragua Cigars must be smiling...because for as much as everyone points to Nicaragua as the newly-minted home for smokes offering the rich, full Cuban cigar profile, the Nicaraguan cigar renaissance actually began in 1964 - and JdN, "the Jewel of Nicaragua," started it.
Cigars came to the country after Fidel Castro nationalized his island nation's tobacco industry; farmers fled Cuba, and settled around the Caribbean and Central America. But the exiles were drawn to Nicaragua for its lush volcanic soil, where they found that planting their smuggled Cuban seeds would produce very high quality Habano cigar tobacco. As growers, they weren't in the business of making cigars per se; so with this new local crop, the potential was there to build the first Nicaraguan cigar factory: Joya de Nicaragua, founded in 1968.
With the Cuban Embargo still a relatively recent development, the demand for these new Nicaraguan cigars was huge: Joya de Nicaragua cigars were being produced by the millions, enjoyed as the new Cuban alternative, and even recognized as the official cigar brand of Nixon's White House. JdN cigars were a staple of Nicaraguan president Anastasio Somoza's foreign policy and diplomacy, handed out at his events. But as quickly as they rose to prominence, Joya de Nicaragua suffered as the late `?70s uprising against the Somoza dictatorship intensified; the factory was burned by the Sandinistas, Somoza was overthrown and the country plunged into socialism. President Reagan placed an embargo on Nicaragua, eliminating the chance that Americans could buy JdN cigars. Years of war and the Contra revolution took its toll on the country and its tobacco industry, but by 1990 Nicaragua was again a country free to trade with the U.S. - and Joya de Nicaragua, with Dr. Alejandro Ernesto Martínez Cuenca at the helm, started to make and sell cigars once again to America in 1994...just in time for the cigar boom.
Dr. Cuenca experimented with their recipes, looking to deliver on Nicaraguan puros - cigars which only use binders, fillers, and wrappers from that one country - that were strong in body and flavor. He was instrumental in blending JdN's signature cigar, the Joya de Nicaragua Antaño 1970, a spicy stick whose name means "yesteryears" in Spanish. It's a tribute smoke to the famous, original `?70s JdN Clasico blend that made people fall in love with rich, earthy Nicaraguan cigars. The Joya de Nicaragua Antaño Dark Corojo ups the intensity, making it the true "power" cigar - extra full-body and flavor, from a super-complex blend of well-aged leaf. Counterpoints to the strength of JdN Dark Corojo is the C y B, a 4-nation blend and joint cigar creation of the Joya factory with the famous cigar expert José Blanco, as well as Joya de Nicaragua Cabinetta Serie - which utilizes two different wrappers and a mellower blend. There's many JdN cigars to enjoy - find the one that fits you best, and buy Joya de Nicaragua cigars online with confidence, from Famous Smoke Shop!