Sunday, January 13, 2013

Cuenca y Blanco

Country: Nicaragua
Wrapper origin: Ecuador
Wrapper type: Ecuadoran Habano 
Filler: Dominican, Nicaraguan, Peru
Length: 6.5”
Ring: 44
Cost: $7.60

Appearance (0-20): The initial impression is nothing too flashy.  The Cuenca sports a light brown habano wrapper, that shows a few veins.  The band is also fairly simple, with nothing too extravagant to set it aside from anything else.  Its one of those cigars that I would pass by if I didn't know it was  Joya de Nic product. The band has a few complimenting colors that meld well together, but it would be nice to give it some more distinction.

Score: 16

Construction (0-20): Before lighting the cigar, it felt very tightly packed.  Unfortunately, this led to a disastrous experience for me.  I tried a few things to get the cigar to loosen up, but the draw was terrible.  I've read some other reviews that has no issues, but mine was terribly plugged.  The draw was so tight that I could barely get any smoke, and it was cumbersome just to smoke to the halfway point.  At this point, I was pretty fed up.  I pulled a huge leaf out of the cigar, that was accompanied by a nice large tobacco stem.  Aside from the draw issue, the burn and ash seemed to have no issues.

Score: 13

Strength (0-20):  This one sits in the medium range, maybe a tad under.  Then again, I wasn't able to smoke the full stick so it may be a bit higher.

Score: 17

Flavor (0-20): The amount of smoke that I was able to draw, was pleasant. While not overly complex, the flavors were sweet and creamy.  The wrapper probably added to that fact, yet it was quite thin.  While trying to get some addition smoke near the cap of the cigar, it cracked fairly easily.  Regardless of its flaws, it was a flavorful smoke that was quite relaxing.

Score: 17

Value (0-20): Hopefully the draw was an anomaly  but the price seems to be fair all things considered.  There are a lot of smokes in the price range, so I think its in the middle of the pack.

Score: 17

Additional Notes: Smoked at Cigars International, paired with seltzer.

Overall (0-100): Seems like I got a bad smoke, and it's kind of unfair to rate it because of that.  I would like to smoke it again to revisit the score at some point.  I've read some other reviews that seemed to give it pretty nice scores, which may attribute to why I was let down.  Please take this review, like all others, with a grain of salt.  It basically lost points everywhere because of the bad draw, which wasn't able to give me the full flavors and strength of the cigar.  

Score:  80


  1. I'm wondering exactly how crappy a cigar must have to be to get a bad score here. This stick was so bad that you actually dismantled it at the halfway point and put up a picture of that hot mess but it scored an 80?? You gave it a 13 on construction? What's it take to get a 9? Unlightable? That was an awful smoke my man. What little flavor you were able to exhume from it likely broke a blood vessel in your tongue and ruined your taste buds for a couple days. I'm looking for a good review, not a coddling or butt kissing. You can do better.

    1. Fair enough. The problem is that construction is a category that can be affected fairly easily. The problem is that I only reviewed this based off of one stick. When I posted this review on a cigar forum, everyone said that the ones they smoked were excellent and to smoke another. Unfortunately I haven't been able to purchase one since then. I will review again in the future.

    2. I agree about construction being easily affected. It can be as arbitrary as the appearance category. Hell, it's ALL arbitrary, really. Quality control for construction of cigars, unfortunately, is not a science and I bet you just happened to pick up a bad stick. It happens. I've read three reviews on this particular cigar and yours was the only one that was critical at all and so I paid yours the most attention. I had just smoked a Partagas 1845 and it too was a good stick, ruined by draw issues so that was fresh in my mind. I read a lot of reviews and I've read a lot of them on this site. I enjoy that part of cigars and I also try to find people who's tastes match my own so that we can "connect", if that doesn't sound too weird. If your critiques aren't candid, I won't be able to truly appreciate them. That's really what I was getting at and didn't intend to come across like a jerky. After all this stink, I GOTTA go get one of these soon. I look forward to your re-review.