J.C. Newman is bringing back Yagua this year, again in limited quantities. We reviewed this cigar last year and gave it a 93. The brand goes all the way back to 1940’s in the Cuban tobacco fields. The cigar was inspired by J.C. Newman PENSA’s General Manager, Lazaro Lopez, who shared the following with Drew Newman (Fourth Generation Owner, J.C. Newman Cigar Company) over dinner in Estelí, Nicaragua in 2019:
“At our family farm, my grandfather would take fresh tobacco leaves from the curing barns and roll cigars without any molds or presses. In an attempt to give his cigars a traditional shape, he would tie a handful of them together using pieces of the Cuban royal palm tree, known as the yagua. When he was ready to enjoy his personal cigars, he untied the bundle. He loved how every cigar had its own unique shape. I still remember the rich aroma and taste of my grandfather’s cigars. Today, I’ve recreated Yagua, rolling them exactly how my grandfather did a century ago.”
“After hearing Lazaro describe the beautiful Yagua cigars he remembers from his youth in Cuba, I asked Lazaro if he could make this special cigar at our factory in Nicaragua,” said Drew Newman. “We call it Yagua, after the palm leaves that give the cigars their distinct shape. Because the cigars are pressed together and bound while they are still wet, each one has a slightly different shape. Each cigar is truly unique.”
J.C. Newman is releasing 1,000 boxes of Yagua from its aging rooms, the same amount it shipped last year. Each box contains 20 cigars, which measure approximately 6×54, but the shapes and sizes vary due to the nature of the project.
“Yagua is a difficult cigar to roll because we use an under fermented Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper, blend the filler tobaccos differently, and do not use the usual tools and techniques of a cigar factory. As the wrapper is not fully fermented, we age the cigars for a full year after they are rolled.”