Nica Libre 25th Anniversary Silver Cigar Review

Sep 3rd, 2017 | By | Category: 70-79, Cigar Ratings, Cigar Reviews, Featured Articles, Nica Libre

Nica Libre 25th Anniversary Band

Rating:
 – 72 (score sheet)
Brand: – Nica Libre
Origin: – Nicaragua
Price: – Around $5.00 (Torpedo)

Pepper may have not been the only flavor note but it was such a dominant taste that trying to identify anything else reminded me a little too much of the “Where’s Waldo” phenomenon from years back. I do like a peppery stick but you can get too much of a good thing. Those that enjoy a peppery one-trick pony will love the single flavor note this stick throws your way. Those that prefer a little variety will be better off forgoing this peppery onslaught for a better budget stick.

A long time ago in a galaxy… well the same damn galaxy, I use to smoke more than my fair share of Nica Libre cigars. I always thought they were decent sticks at what I would consider a very affordable price. The 25th Anniversary was new to me so given my history with the brand this was an easy smoke to pick up. I wasn’t expecting the Mona Lisa of cigars but at the same time I wasn’t expecting an average stick either.

About the Nica Libre 25th Anniversary Silver cigars
Wrapper: Habano
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Strength: Full body
Size: Torpedo (6.0″ x 56)
Aged: A few weeks

Appearance

The cigar consisted of a rich dark cocoa brown wrapper that was accented by two elegant white and silver bands. The design of the bands resembled a large glacier that had split into two. ‘Nica Libre’ was stamped across the top band while the bottom one proudly had ’25th Anniversary Silver’ imprinted on it. This was a very elegant looking stick with no visible veins or seams.

Prelit

The prelit cigar consisted of a mild aroma that reminded me of a combination of tobacco and nuts. The dry draw was very loose effortlessly filling my mouth with a mild leather followed by a pepper in the finish.

The Flavor

First Third
The first few puffs filled the cavities of my mouth with a dry tobacco taste. In the finish followed a black pepper mixed with dark chocolate notes. Regrettably, the dark chocolate flavors disappeared almost as quickly as they came. What was left behind was a lonely black pepper that stayed with me for the next few puffs.

My first retrohale revealed a vigorous black pepper that slammed into my sinuses. The pain was sharp and intense like a jackhammer taking out its anger against a concrete street. The pepper continued to hold my throat and nasal passages hostage even after temporarily setting the cigar aside. I continued my journey welcomed by unsweetened dark cocoa notes that emerged with the persistent pepper in tow. I was early into my trek but couldn’t help notice how much I struggled identifying anything but the pepper in this cigar. The peppery background was so intense that it unfortunately overshadowed all flavors that proceeded it.

I was only an inch into the stick when a numbing sensation effortlessly began to consume the back of my throat. I continued my march forward but there were no real changes by the time I reached the end of the first third. I struggled identifying anything other than the pepper in this stick. At times, I thought a recognized a dark cocoa but for the majority of my journey I was just in the dark. The initial flavors were too short-lived increasing the complexity of being able to identify them.

Second Third
The second third of the smoke kicked off with the same questionable flavor notes that were present in the first. The pepper notes seemed to had lost the vigorous punch they so proudly displayed earlier on. However, I continued to struggle identifying the initial flavors hidden within each puff. What flavor notes I did pick up came across as the unsweetened cocoa.

Even though the black pepper was missing in action I could still feel its presence on the back of my throat. However, a few puffs later and the pepper quickly returned once again. My journey came to a sudden pause when the smoke output dropped off forcing me to relight the cigar. I reestablished my journey with another retrohale that revealed the same peppery blast as the one before it.

I was only halfway through the stick when a heat began to lean against the tip of my tongue. I found it odd since I typically run across those types of issues near the end of my journey. Nonetheless, I continued to march down the path in front of me, however, there were no real flavor changes by the time I reached the end of the second third.

Final Third
The final chapter of my journey commenced with a muted taste of earth. The pepper notes were still present although not nearly as strong as earlier on. What was left on the back of my throat came off as the same tobacco taste found in the introductory puffs from this stick. A final retrohale presented the same pepper as the previous two before it. In the same fashion as the preceding retrohales, what followed was a heavy pepper that leaned against the back of my throat.

The cigar transitioned into more of an earthy taste but this stick was still plagued by the same issues I experienced throughout the entire smoke. Although I picked up on what came across as an earthy note, the flavors were muted and still difficult to detect. So much so that I questioned if I was detecting the correct flavors at all. By the time I reached the end of my journey there were no real changes with this stick. I enjoy peppery smokes but this one was a little too one-dimensional for me to consider it a good cigar.

The Construction

The tight prelit draw quickly transformed into perfection once the flame leaned against the cigar’s foot. For most the smoke, there were no issues with the draw. However, oddly it became a little too loose for my liking during the final third section of the stick. The burn, unlike the draw, experienced issues for the bulk of my journey. The cigar’s burn was crooked for a large chunk of the first third only to self-correct itself before the beginning of the second section of the stick. Yet, the burn quickly reverted to its crooked introduction only this time around a touch-up was required.

The reviewed stick’s smoke output was a mixed bag. The smoke output was near perfect in the first third but suddenly dropped off at the beginning of the second. I ended up having to relight the cigar to get the smoke output cranked back up again. An additional drop in the output, which also required a relight, plagued the stick in the second third. The output continued to drop off in the final third but this time around a relight wasn’t needed.

Price

The Nica Libre 25th Anniversary Silver cigars are priced around $5.00 per stick.

Final Comments

With the black pepper as the only real noticeable flavor, this cigar was as one dimensional as one could get. There were hints of other flavors that occasionally would dance within the smoke, however, they were either too muted or overshadowed by the pepper for me to truly enjoy. What new flavors I did discover did not stick around long enough for my palate to absorb. Don’t get me wrong, I do like a peppery cigar, I just don’t want a one-trick pony where a single flavor dominates a stick. Unfortunately, for me that’s all this cigar was. In the end in the Nica Libre 25th Anniversary was just an average stick that I could easily pass on if in the position to smoke one again.

Click here to see the score sheet.


Point scale:

  • 95-100 – Cream of the crop
  • 90-94 – Excellent
  • 80-89 – Good
  • 70-79 – Average
  • 0-69 – Poor, not worth the money
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