Cigar Ratings & Reviews

#nowsmoking: Joya de Nicaragua Antano 1970 Consul

#nowsmoking Classic Edition: Joya de Nicaragua Antaño 1970 Consul Cigar Review

Joya de Nicaragua Antaño 1970 Cigar Review – Consul

Factory: Joya de Nicaragua – Estelí, Nicaragua
Size: 4½” x 52
Strength: Medium-plus
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Criollo
Binder & Filler: Nicaragua

Presented in Boxes of 20, 10-packs, 5-packs and singles.

The Joya de Nicaragua Antaño 1970 Back Story

Established in 1968, Joya de Nicaragua is Nicaragua’s oldest premium cigar brand. Joya de Nicaragua enjoyed great success during the 1970s, but the Sandinista revolution broke the company’s back. It wasn’t until 1994, when Dr. Alejandro Martinez-Cuenca acquired the company, that Nicaragua’s top cigar brand was able to begin its recovery. Dr. Cuenca brought in new ideas, rehired many of its old rollers and blenders, and almost singlehandedly turned the company around.

In 2001, Dr. Cuenca released the Joya de Nicaragua Antaño 1970 selection. Antaño means ‘Yesteryear’ in Spanish, and it was so named as a tribute to the power and the essence of the “The True Nicaraguan Puro.” The blend that led Joya de Nicaragua to becoming the most sought–after cigar in the United States during the 1970’s had now reemerged in time for the new millennium.

It was the Joya de Nicaragua Clásico that started it all in 1968, and it was this blend on which the Antaño 1970 was modeled. The Clásico was the first Nicaraguan puro exported from Nicaragua, and it eventually became the official cigar of the White House when President Richard M. Nixon was presented with a box during his administration.

To recapture the flavor, body, and aroma of those early Clásicos, it took 50 samples over a period of six months to find the ideal match. It was the addition of a darker and thicker Criollo wrapper which captured that original flavor profile. The result was a robust, full-bodied, and spicy smoke with an earthy finish and a zesty aroma.

Since the Antaño 1970’s debut, the brand has grown into several other line extensions including the Antaño 1970 Gran Reserva, Antaño Dark Corojo, and Antaño Connecticut. (#nowsmoking posted a review of the Antaño Connecticut Corona Gorda in December 2019.)

In addition to the Consul reviewed here, the Joya de Nicaraguan Antaño 1970 selection is also offered in almost a dozen other popular sizes.

Joya de Nicaragua JdN Antano 1970 Consul cigar review by Gary Korb
#nowsmoking @famoussmokeshop: The Joya de Nicaragua Antaño 1970 Consul is a medium strength cigar with a medium-plus body that reveals a smooth, well-balanced mix of earthy, woodsy and spicy elements with some underlying sweetness. The finish is long and delicately spicy.

The Basics At a Glance

Construction: Excellent. The cigar is well-packed throughout and feels good in the hand. The Criollo wrapper color is a mix of caramel and dark brown with a reddish tint, a leathery texture, and some black mottling. A fair number of veins are also visible giving this cigar more of rustic and semi-lumpy appearance. The cap is a three seamer.
Draw: Just right.
Cold Draw: Dried figs, sweet tobacco.
Toasting and light: The cigar takes to flame fairly quickly, revealing a very sweet-tasting start.
Base flavors: Woodsy earth, leather, black coffee, cocoa, sundry spices, sweet tobacco.
Aroma: The wrapper had a grassy barnyard aroma with some fig coming from the foot.
Retrohale: Fairly smooth and lightly spicy. (I also picked-up a note of whiskey.)
Burn & Ash: Very impressive. The burn never wavered, remaining even down to the nub. No relights required, either. The ash was mostly grey, very firm, and formed a cone shape when tapped. (See the ash photos I took to see how well the cigar was bunched and rolled.)

I wanted to use a single flame lighter on this 52-ring Rothschild to make sure I seared the edges of the foot properly. It took a little longer, but it was worth it. The first few puffs were deliciously sweet – none of that peppery shot you get from a lot of Nicaraguan cigars.

Once the cigar found its groove, the smoke was very smooth and creamy with a medium body. The flavors develop fairly quickly, too. Sweet notes yield to earthiness and other darker flavors including burnt cedar and black coffee.

So far, not too strong, and well–balanced. Some sweetness continued in a thin layer that rested somewhere near the bottom.

Equally impressive was the Consul’s ash; very firm, and it always resulted in a cone-ish shape. It definitely gives you a glimpse into the Joya de Nicaragua standards of quality considering they’ve been doing it so well for so long. After some ashings, the center core pops out. So, I can’t say enough good things about the burn.

The flavors were pretty much a continuation of the first act. Body and strength-wise, it hadn’t picked-up all that much, but the smoke continued to be balanced and smooth with a mostly woodsy taste.

Farther along, some sweetness returned to the mix. This 1970s-era style puro may not have the gusto it rendered in 2001, but it still has a fair amount of spine. The body is now leaning into medium-plus territory. Leather and very dark chocolate, more like cocoa, arrive. The smoke continues along and even plane with some pleasant spice profile.

At this point my Consul is a big ball of flavor. You can tell this is really well-aged tobacco by how smooth it’s been smoking. Even in the final inches the cigar was still very smooth. It’s not overpowering, or loud; still mostly earthy, but the supporting cast is what really makes this cigar interesting. The combination of earth, wood, leather, spices, etc. work really well and make a nice mix for this bolder profile. That’s what I like about it.

I tried a retrohale at this point and it wasn’t too bad in terms of spiciness. And unless I imagined it, I picked up a slight whiskey taste. Once in the final inch–and–a-half, the cigar starts to run a little bitter with more earth and charred cedar.

So who is this cigar for? I would say even if you have just a few notches on your belt you’ll be able to get a lot from the Consul. And although I could say this about a number of other Nicaraguans, if you wanted the taste of a true Nicaraguan puro, the Joya de Nicaragua Antaño 1970 is the way to go.

Even our whiskey expert suggested Flor de Caña 12 Year aged Nicaraguan Rum. The case for this particular rum is that it’s smoother than most bourbons with a balanced finish. Flor de Caña 12 Year has a fruity aroma with flavors of honey, toasted nuts, oak, vanilla, and baked apples. And some expert tasters have described it as having a silky, chocolatey taste.

(Find more cigar and drink pairing combinations here.)

Both of my Consuls were well–balanced, in that, all the flavors were harmonious. Mostly earthy, woody and leathery with a touch of sweet tobacco. Unfortunately, that fig flavor from the pre light never showed up. Although it was probably considered a “full-bodied” cigar by 2001 standards, today the Antaño 1970 falls in line with more of the best medium-bodied Nicaraguan puros. It’s also for that reason I feel the Consul is a great choice for smokers at every level. Like all of the classic cigars we spotlight, the Antaño 1970 Consul proves once again that a great cigar doesn’t have to be new to be appreciated.


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