Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Joya De Nicaragua - Antano 1970 - Machito

Joya De Nicaragua - Machito
After a long week of work I stopped by the smoke shop right next to my house. (I know, lucky right)  A few bucks in my pocket and an itch for a quick smoke I grabbed the Machito.  I am very familiar with the Antano 1970 series and have smoked a lot of these in various sizes.  They are a great go-to smoke and consistent in quality and flavor.

The Machito is the embodiment of what you want in a short quick smoke.  4 3/4" is the perfect length to be quick but not burning your fingertips within minutes.  A 42 ring gauge keeps things quick, but isn't cigarillo status.
JdN does a great job of packing the Antano's characteristics into such a small package.  I have found that sometimes these shorty smokes can pale in comparison to their big brothers.  Some brands just can't bend their blends into smaller sizes without leaving something out.  JdN accomplishes this as well as anyone.

Pre-smoke
The Nicaraguan wrapper is a milk chocolate shade of brown marbled nicely without any flaws.  Firm, spongy feel throughout.  Cedary aroma with a little spice.  Well-made,
Smoke
The Machito opens with a familiar tinge of pepper up front.  The bite slowly fades as creamy smoke with a cinnamonesque flavor and aroma takes over.  At 4 3/4", the cigar goes from pepper to sweet and leans back to a spicy end, all the while maintaining a fulfilling full flavor.
While a lot of folks say these are 'full' cigars, I think the body is on the low side of full, high side of medium.
Overall
I'm happy with my quick smoke.  Nice end to a long week; just what I was looking for.  I recommend picking up any size of the Antano 1970 series.  Try a few different sizes and scope out the nuances of the blend.
This is a great cigar to age.  I've had a 5 year aged one that rivaled some top dollar and special blends out there.
This is also a great cigar to learn the subtle effects vitolas have on a blend.  Collect them all.

A short story of why I love this cigar series:

I'll always have a special place in my heart for JdN; the Antano 1970 especially.  A few years back, as I dove head first into a love for cigars; the Gran Perfecto, for lack of a better phrase, 'popped my full-flavor cherry'.  You can read the review for the Gran Perfecto Here.
I had been smoking a lot; trying new cigars, being careful not to smoke cigars that were not too strong and shying away from spending more than $7 a cigar.  I knew I didn't like mild cigars, so these blind, self-imposed guidelines left me smoking a lot of mediocre, medium bodied stogies.
I started becoming a regular at the smoke shop and asked the other guys their thoughts on different cigars.  One evening, an older guy; seeing my frugal nature, told me to hold on to my Perdomo Champagne "piece of crap", and handed me a Gran Perfecto.  'Wow, I've struck gold' I thought.  I had seen guys smoking these quite a bit, and I knew they were $12 or so.  I had also been told they were full-flavored, so I thought it'd be too much for me to handle.
That cigar changed my whole perception of smoking.  I lit the Antano 1970 expecting an explosion of pepper, dizzy head and burning stomach.  What I got was a new level of flavor and enjoyment.  It became an early favorite.  I've smoked a lot of these over the years and appreciate the blend for its flavor, quality and consistency.

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