SIZE: 7" X 50
WRAPPER: Varies - ?
o Churchill - 7" x 50
o Robusto - 5" x 50
o Toro - 6" x 50
o Torpedo - 6-1/2" x 52
RELEASE TYPE: Regular Production
ORIGINALLY RELEASED: December 2012
Sold in mazos of 15
CIGAR BACKGROUND INFO
- It's a mystery as to who the big brand is behind these seconds but CI says they are from "one of the most reputable factories in Nicaragua". They also list the brand as Oliva - so that's what I'm going with.
- The caps on these are slightly sweetened ... so, there's that. A punch cut is recommended to keep the cap intact and capture more of the sweetness.
- Beyond it being from Nicaragua, there's not much info on the blend - even the wrapper is a mystery. Only thing I know about the blend is that it's Nicaraguan long-filler with a sweetened cap.
Like many budget-friendly cigars, the Nicaraguan Sweets 2nd is band-free. Perhaps this was to keep costs down - no sense in dressing up a segundo. Whatever the case, no band to judge on this stogie.
The wrapper on the Nicaraguan Sweet is irregularly colored - a mottled brown and tan. As a segundo, you can expect a little less from the wrapper's aesthetic and this wrapper, while ugly, is well applied. It sits flat on the body and the seams are smooth and, for the most part, unnoticeable. There are no blemishes marring the wrapper and, all in all, it's not terrible for a segundo stick.
There is not much oil to the wrapper. In fact, it is much more of a flat matte lacking any sheen. The stogie feels well rolled with a uniform firmness throughout the body with the exception of a small soft area near the top third of the cigar. The cap is very well done. There is a small portion that is raised as it meets the body but overall it blends nicely into the body of the cigar. The foot looks well packed and really offers nothing to be critical of.
There are no strong aromas to note from the foot or wrapper of the Nicaraguan Sweet. It definitely has a lighter scent - maybe a little citrus sweetness, but that's about it.
The cold draw is great - open with a slight resistence. There is a definite sweetness to the cap - some cream, citrus and straight sugar.
LIGHT & DRAW
Cutter: Colibri V-Cut Lighter: ST Dupont Extreme Defi
A couple sites recommend a punch cut on this stogie to maintain as much of the cap as possible - thus retaining the sweetness. I didn't have a punch handy but went with a v-cut instead. The initial flavors are a good mix of peppery spice and sweetness. There's just a little harshness but it fades fairly fast.
The draw is open and free-flowing. It's a little bit tight, but good overall. The burn line is quite wavy but acceptable. We'll see how it plays out.
Smoke production is on the high side while puffing - this thing definitely churns out some smoke! However, while it's resting the cigar basically fades away to appear out.
> Cream, Sweet, Pepper
The pepper definitely fades to the background almost immediately. The Nicaraguan Sweet hits you with a creamy sweetness up-front and then compliments those flavors with a long, peppery finish.
The draw is pretty much perfect - No complaints whatsoever. The uneven burn line of the initial light up has settled down a bit and has evened out for the most part. It's still a bit wavy but certainly acceptable. The ash held well for about an inch before plopping into the ashtray. It's a medium gray shade with some great layering.
> Cream, Savory, Sweet
As the Nicaraguan Sweet transitions to the middle third, the lingering pepper is gone and replaced by a savory creaminess. The cigar's sweetness at the forefront is still there but much less intense than the first third. Beyond the notions of cream, light sweetness and savoriness - there's not much else to pick out. The cigar has some decent flavor but it's fairly flat and muted. The retrohale does bring back a little bit of the pepper but without the harshness.
No real deviations from the first thirds notes on draw, burn or ash. It's a good draw with a mediocre burn line.
> Savory, Pepper
The final third of the Nicaraguan Sweet is definitely moving away from the sweet side of the first two thrids. The flavors lean more toward the savory side with just a hint of black pepper every now and again. In fact, as the nub approaches the pepper really kicks up a notch - present on almost every puff. The sweetened cap stills leaves a slight sugary taste on the lips but it's definitely faded from where it started.
The draw has been perfect throughout the smoke - absolutely no complaints. Unfortunately, the cigar went out a couple times in the final third. The relights went smoothly enough and didn't seem to really affect the flavor all that much. The burn line has been great - some slight variations here or there but nothing crazy.
I had low expectations for this cigar going into it. When something is labeled as "sweet" with a sweetened cap I expect to get a sugary overload - which is not my cup of tea. Instead, the Nicaraguan Sweet used the sweetened cap to really compliment some savory notes - culminating in an awesome savory finish that is paired with some subtle sweetness. The cigar definitely starts on the sweet side but moves to savory notes flawlessly and in a manner I would not expect from a $2 cigar.
The burn on the Nicaraguan Sweet 2nd was never perfect but it was acceptable, except for the couple relight moments. The burn line was not razor sharp at any point but didn't need a touch up to bring back in line.
RATING & FINAL THOUGHTS
COMPLIMENTS & CRITIQUES
👍 Very affordable
👍 Interesting flavors / progression
👎 Not the most attractive stogie
👎 Relights needed; burn was mediocre
Construction & Appearance ....... 0.63 / 0.80
Pre-Light Characteristics ............. 0.38 / 0.50
Lighting Process ............................. 0.39 / 0.50
Smoking Experience ..................... 5.61 / 7.70
Personal Enjoyment ....................... 0.42 / 0.50
A SWEET SEGUNDO.
Rating: 7.4 / 10.0
No major brand wants to claim this stogie and I don't understand why. For a $2 cigar, this is excellent. The flavors progress perfectly and the construction, while nothing to write home about, is definitely in line for a typical factory second.
The addition of the sweetened cap really helped this cigar - it makes the first half (which is otherwise boring) interesting and compliments the second half's savory nature excellently. While I'd more likely grab a smaller vitola next time around, this churchill was a great smoke that is approachable to everyone. Reach into your couch, find some change and grab one!
MORE PICTURES FROM THE REVIEW:
WHERE TO BUY:
HOW WE COMPARE:
I love reading other reviewers' thoughts on the cigars I'm smoking and reviewing. I couldn't find any other reviews of these cigars except for some message board chatter that all seemed to agree "Meh, these are actually pretty good!"