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Ashes to Ashtons: Nothing but Nicaraguan

Richard Carleton Hacker

Nicaragua’s nutrient-rich soil produces tobaccos for some of the world’s most flavorful cigars. Following are five of the best Nicaraguan puros—cigars made entirely from that country’s tobacco.

601 BlUE
A box-pressed maduro crafted by José “Pepin” Garcia, the 601 Blue has a meaty flavor that is rich with chocolate and espresso overtones. The name of the cigar refers to June 1, 2006, the date on which the first blend for these United Tobacco cigars was selected. www.united?tobaccoinc.com, $162–$186 for a box of 20, about $10 apiece

Ashton SAN CRISTOBAL
The San Cristobal, also produced by Garcia, is one of the few non-Dominican cigars for the Ashton brand. ?The cigar is robust, packed full of ligero, the strongest leaf on the plant. www.ashtoncigar.com, $160–$264 for a box of 22, $7.25–$12 apiece

JOYA DE NICARAGUA ANTAÑO

Strong and earthy, this Cuban-seed Nicaraguan puro is wrapped in a 3-year-old dark and oily Habano Criollo ligero, a leaf usually reserved for adding heft, in small doses, to the filler. www.joyadenicaragua?.com.ni, $95–$150 for a box of 20, $4.75–$7.50 apiece

TORAÑO NOVENTA 90
This cigar’s wrapper, binder, and filler tobaccos come from four different regions of Nicaragua: Condega, Estelí, Jalapa, and Pueblo Nuevo. The mellow, easy-smoking stick contains just a hint of the peppery character for which Nicaraguan leaves are known. www.torano?.com, $260–$312.50 for a box of 25, $10.40–$12.50 apiece

PERDOMO HABANO MADURO
Like all maduros, this cigar is wrapped in a dark-brown, sun-grown leaf that is harvested later than normal and receives extra fermentation. It offers classic maduro flavor—full, smooth, and sweet—and combines tobaccos from Perdomo’s farms in the Condega, Estelí, and Jalapa regions. www.perdomocigars.com, $100–$140 for a box of 20, $5–$7 apiece

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Photo by Richard Carleton Hacker
Photo by Packshot Factory
Photo copyright by Laurence Winram studio
Photo by Cordero Studios