Nicaraguan tobacco began as an inexpensive alternative to Cuban tobacco in a cigar industry reeling from the Cuban Embargo. Even in the 1970’s and 1980’s, Nicaraguan tobacco and cigar production was a convenient secondary source of leaf but, overall, an inferior grade to the Dominican and Cuban brands of the world. Now, however, Nicaragua is the king of the tobacco world. Many of the world’s most prestigious cigar manufacturers, such as Padron or Plasencia, rule over massive cigar factories and even larger tobacco fields. The brands of Nicaragua are known the world over for quality and quantity.
As Honduran and Dominican imported cigars diminish, Nicaraguan imported cigars continue to grow in volume, variety, and quality. Out of the millions of cigars imported by the United States from Nicaragua, a significant fraction are J.C. Newman handmade cigars. J.C. Newman Cigar Co. is the second largest producer of cigars in Nicaragua, making upwards of twenty-five million cigars a year. A highly praised brand is J.C. Newman’s Nicaraguan handmade value cigar: the Quorum. Quorum cigars come in a huge range of sizes, possessing either an Ecuadorian shade or Sumatran sungrown wrapper.
Seeking a more robust addition to the Quorum family, J.C. Newman began producing Quorums in larger calibers with a spicy Ecuadorian Habano wrapper. The final evolution of this tinkering was the Havana Q. Havana Q cigars are the classic taste of Cuban-seed tobacco seen in long-filler cigars with the unbeatable value of short-filler cigars. Havana Q is the perfect solution to the needs of the everyday cigar smoker. These cigars are sure to satisfy and burn as well as a cigar several magnitudes its senior in price point. One out of every seven cigars imported from Nicaragua every year is now a Quorum or a Havana Q. If Nicaragua is the king of tobacco, Havana Q is its royal scepter.
The Havana Qis one of the latest Nicaraguan releases from J.C. Newman Cigar Co. and a line extension to the hugely successful and popular Quorum brand of value bundle cigars. The Havana Q represents excellent value and flavor, an awesome everyday smoke. The primary concept behind the Havana Q was to offer the consumer bigger, bolder flavors at the same Quorum price point. The wrapper tobacco for the Havana Q comes from the alluvial soil of the Guayas Province in Ecuador, which imparts the tobacco with sapid and appetizing flavors. The rich profile of the Havana Q wrapper tobacco is reminiscent of “Old World” (Cuban) tobaccos, hence the name. Indeed, the J.C. Newman Cigar Co. website reads,
“Did you ever wonder what makes Cuban tobacco so rich and flavorful? Is it the tropical climate? maybe it’s the volcanic soil? Or is it because of the natural nutrients washed down from nearby mountains over the centuries that has made the soil so especially fertile? Whatever the reason, you are about to experience the taste of Cuba. Handmade in Nicaragua, Havana Q is rolled with genuine Havana-seed wrapper, grown on the alluvial plains at the foot of the Cotuguay Mountains in the renowned Guayas tobacco-growing region of Ecuador. The special soil and climate there are reminiscent of the famed Vinales Valley in the Pinar del Rio province in Cuba. Enjoy Havana Q. Take a step back in time. From your first puff, you will think you are back in old Cuba.”
Besides the extraordinary wrapper, the Havana Q also features a bold mix of Nicaraguan tobaccos. The binder and filler are sourced from the finest crops of tobacco grown in Jalapa, Condega, Esteli, Pueblo Nueva, and Ometepe. The blend of filler tobaccos conjures forth tasting notes of white pepper, moss, peanuts, and cedar. These flavors are present right alongside the wrapper as the cigars come in larger ring gauges. Indeed, anything bigger than a 52 ring gauge is fair game for the Havana Q. All the cigar sizes promise lots of tobacco value with names like Double Toro and Double Robusto. Furthermore, they are available in large bags of twenty cigars. One of the most appealing sizes of the Havana Q is the Havana Q Double Toro.
Havana Q Double Toro
The Havana Q Double Toro features a chocolaty wrapper with remarkable consistency in quality and appeal. The cigar practically beckons to you with its striking wrapper and oily sheen. Every cigar pulled from the vacuum sealed Havana Q bag is perfect in essence and form. The cigar features an Ecuadorian Havana seed wrapper over Nicaraguan binder and mixed (“Cuban sandwich” style) Nicaraguan filler. This wrapper tobacco is grown by Oliva Tobacco Co., one of the world’s finest organizations of tobacco growers. The Oliva family has a family history which near rivals that of Arturo Fuente Cigar Co. or J.C. Newman Cigar Co. The Oliva family pioneered Ecuadorian wrapper tobacco and command one of the largest farms of cigar tobacco in the world.
J.C. Newman Cigar Co. makes this cigar at its PENSA factory in Esteli, Nicaragua. The aroma of the Havana Q is spicy with notes of pepper and cedar. The cold draw adds to this aroma tasting notes of cinnamon, fennel seed, raisins, and coffee beans. The Havana Q Double Toro is a 6’x54, representing a 90-minute smoking experience.
The Havana Q Double Toro is a remarkable cigar for its value, flavor, ash construction, and smoking quality. Mixed filler cigars sometimes struggle with uneven burning and draw issues, yet the Havana Q consistently lit evenly and drew smoothly. Additionally, the cigar’s construction held together two to three inches of ash before requiring an ashing.
Honestly, this cigar is an oddity for the cigar world. Typically, short filler ash falls apart without any support. The Havana Q, however, burns like a long-filler cigar at a fraction of the cost. The flavor is incredible with tasting notes of coffee, hazelnuts, white pepper, and caramel which build throughout the smoking experience. In my opinion, the cigar becomes more enjoyable towards the final third. This is the type of cigar you never want to set down. For the price point and flavor, you should not hesitate to pick up a bag of the Havana Q at the next available opportunity.