Ashes to Ashtons: Nothing but Nicaraguan

<< Back to Robb Report, July 2008

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

From Around the Web...
The key ingredient in these cocktails brings less sugar and more spice…
These new releases may not be on store shelves come autumn, so drink up now…
Until Cuban cigars are legal, cigars from the Dominican Republic may be your best bet…
Photo by Alan Copson/Getty Images
Distillers are blasting spirits into space or sending them to the ocean floor in pursuit of flavor…
Brazil’s national spirit, best known as the base for caipirinhas, can make a great sipping spirit...
Photo by Dylan + Jeni
A tiki revival is in full swing, resurrecting classic cocktails and creating complex, modern drinks…
Recipes and drink-making tips from Brooklyn Bartender: A Modern Guide to Cocktails and Spirits…
A blanco direct from the stills showcases liquid agave in its purest form…
Photo by Dave Burk
Premium smokes, luxury spirits, and small plates may soon be joined by food from Nobu and Guy Savoy…
The latest release from the Macallan is among the rarest offerings from the brand…