In April of 2021, Joya De Nicaragua announced a new special version of its Antaño Gran Reserva line, the Joya de Nicaragua Antaño Gran Reserva GT20. The very first Antaño was released in 2001 and helped put Nicaraguan cigars on the map. It was at one time considered the strongest cigar in the world. The GT20 is made to celebrate the 20th anniversary of that release.
This cigar was reviewed blind (no bands) by a panel of at least 4 reviewers. They did not know what they were smoking beforehand. The scores are an average of all the reviewers' scores with outliers removed. All of our cigars reviewed are shipped to the panelists with Boveda packs to ensure optimal smoking experience.
Since 2001, the Antaño line has grown to hold many other line extensions and over 24 vitolas. Other lines in the series include Antaño Dark Corojo, Antaño CT, and Antaño Gran Reserva. The only difference between the GT20 and the regular Grand Reserva line is the size Antaño Gran Reserva GT20 comes in just one vitola, a 6×52 Gran Toro. It comes in 20-count boxes and each cigar sells for $9.50.
Ring Gauge: 50
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Nicaragua Oscuro
Factory: Fabrica de Tabacos Joya de Nicaragua S.A.
Blender: Juan Martinez, Alejandro Martinez Cuenca
Number of reviewers: 5 – Jason H. (Jokey Smurf) Kevin A. (Kevin A.) Kevin J. (maninblack77) Estevan Z. (TheRealBanzi) Isaac M. (The Nothing)
Age: 6 Months
Release Date: August 2021
Contributed by: Joya de Nicaragua
Initial Impressions – Joya de Nicaragua Antaño Gran Reserva GT20
“This cigar is presented in a box-pressed toro format and is wearing a dark chocolate brown wrapper that is practically flawless. The only real exception to this is one prominent vein in the center of the cigar and one small hole just above the band. The hole is just in the wrapper and really is just a small chip of leaf that has flaked away.” –Jason H. (Jokey Smurf)
“I picked up aromas of damp earth, tropical. There was the slightest bit of cayenne and cinnamon, especially at the foot.” –Isaac M. (The Nothing)
“Cut the cap and toasted the foot. Right off the bat, there was a lot of leather, dark coffee, dark chocolate, and some prominent black pepper notes. Talk about starting off with a bang!! These really dominated the first third. The retro was definitely where the flavors popped. The burn was a tad wonky but I wouldn’t let that take away from the experience thus far. Things mellowed down somewhat as we transition to the next third.” –Kevin J. (maninblack77)
“Upon lighting the cigar I am struck by a strong sweetness in the center of the palate and a slight tannic note that is biting the tip of my tongue. This has left a little bit of a metallic taste on my palate. After a few minutes, I push some smoke through my nose. There is an abundance of vanilla notes with some undertones of cinnamon. As the third comes to a close there is a bright note of French oak. This leaves a tannic finish that is slightly bitter. The smoke is heavy on the palate and the finish is medium in length.” –Estevan Z. (TheRealBanzi)
“The middle portion of this cigar is beginning to show its fuller flavors and fuller strength as rich composted earth becomes the dominant flavor. There is a pronounced oiliness to the smoke that leaves my palate buttery smooth and causes those rich flavors to linger. Through the nose, the smoke is like a blast of horseradish…immediately sharp but quickly fading to memory. My fuller-bodied tendencies are really liking this profile right now…” –Jason H. (Jokey Smurf)
“Black pepper and earth are the dominant notes in the middle part of the cigar. There is also a hint of oak with a slight dryness to it. Strength is still in the medium range but the body is pushing medium/full. Retrohale still has the cardamom note, and now a little white pepper to boot. There is also an overall creaminess to the profile that develops to keep the flavors that are there from becoming harsh. Burn has settled down and the draw has become almost perfect.” –Kevin A. (Kevin A.)
“This smoke is really performing like a champ in just about every aspect. No really major transitions in flavor but that’s ok because the dark chocolate, roasted coffee, and leather make up for it. A big bold cigar that really impresses. Sadly it had to come to an end.” –Kevin J. (maninblack77)
“Last third and we get another shift. Asian chili oil overpowers the palate. This pushes everything else to the side. In the retrohale there is a perfect combination of sweet and spicy going on. The vanilla and white pepper are work in unison. As I reach the last inch there is one final shift. Nougat, like that in a candy bar, joins the mix. This makes me think of some weird kind of candy bar.” –Estevan Z. (TheRealBanzi)
Overall Impressions – Joya de Nicaragua Antaño Gran Reserva GT20
“I had absolutely no issues with the draw on this sample. I love just a hint of resistance and plenty of smoke and the cigar did not disappoint.” –Jason H. (Jokey Smurf)
“The burn was never razor-sharp but it was serviceable. I personally feel like smoke worry to much about this issue. There are plenty of cigars out there that get a bum rap cause there don’t burn perfectly straight. Just one man’s opinion.” –Estevan Z. (TheRealBanzi)
“The box press and overall construction of this cigar was really beautiful…my wife even noticed it. Based on the draw and strong ash I have to conclude the roller was a master of the trade. I’m impressed!” –Jason H. (Jokey Smurf)
Overall Strength: Medium-Strong
Overall Body/Complexity: Medium-Full
Experience Overall: 94
“This was a really enjoyable full-bodied smoking experience. So glad I smoked this at the end of the day as it served to put me into full relaxation mode. If you like earthy flavors and have a nicotine tolerance then this is highly recommended. If you are not real tolerant I’d suggest a sugary drink to hehe deal with the power…I’m ready for another right now!” –Jason H. (Jokey Smurf)
“This was an enjoyable cigar for me. I really enjoyed the start, the middle part was slightly better and the final third of the cigar was outstanding. The cigar had no bad habits aside from an early only burn, and the flavors were prominent all the way through with negative traits. This is exactly what I look for when selecting a cigar and would be happy to have these in my humidor.” –Kevin A. (Kevin A.)
“This cigar hit all the right notes for me. Flavors were spot on and bold. They worked so well together. These are the types of cigars I’m drawn to generally. This would definitely be a cigar I’d enjoy after a nice steak dinner. And it’s definitely one I’d try again. Either as a fiver or as a box buy.” –Kevin J. (maninblack77)
“If the first third of this cigar didn’t have that metallic finish I would have rated it higher. Overall this was a very good cigar with one unpleasant third. The flavor profile is very different than what I would have expected with the shade of wrapper covering it. Which is a reminder to never judge a book by its cover. This is a cigar for anyone that likes a cigar that is on the sweeter side but with some spicy undertones. It is worth giving it a shot.” –Estevan Z. (TheRealBanzi)
“What started off great in the first, say, 10 minutes, sadly wandered into a one-hit-wonder. Given the long burn time, this cigar came across like a long, arduous hike along the Amazon. Tropical, damp earth, and a whole lot of work to get to the end.” –Isaac M. (The Nothing)
Smoking Time (in minutes): 97
To view the complete scores and notes, click here.