I grabbed this long and lean smoke to enjoy while helping my dad and Anne-Marie feed the sheep. It was a little chilly and, on these kinds of adventures, you never know when you'll be called upon to toss your smoke and have to help corner a ewe or grab up a frisky lamb-so I grabbed a smoke that I had low expectations fors: the LJN Clasico.
Eric had given me a pair of these faux-lanceros a few weeks ago. I had backed out of the chance to share a box of these and some Antanos-reviews I had read had made me think that they were probably not going to be too great...but I'm really glad I had one because it hit the spot!
Here is what an online vendor has to say about these sticks:
Joya de Nicaragua Clasico cigars are a smooth, medium-bodied Nicaraguan selection from Tabacos Puros de Nicaragua. The filler and binder are all high-quality Cuban-seed Nicaraguan tobaccos wrapped in high-grade Nicaraguan Criollo capas. With a fine aroma and flavorful finish, the flavor has a dry, woody, herbal character to it. While full-flavored, they're never overpowering.
It lit up quick and hit my palette with a peppery taste that reminded me a lot of the LJN Antano, though not as full and not as deep. I puffed on it while scooping hay, walking with Anne-Marie to the Pond to look for ducks, and while trying to help Dad separate some sheep from the herd. It held up much better than expected and I smoked it for at least an hour, almost to the nub.
I give the La Joya a "2" on my 4 point rating. It was not a great cigar-kind of one dimensional (pepper, mostly). The rustic band didn't do much for me either, and the aroma was unremarkable. However, the construction was impressive-while smoking it outside and doing a variety of low-impact farm work, it held up well, requiring only the most minor of touchups. I think it is a good bargain cigar, a good deal for around $2 or $3, especially suited for times when one wants to enjoy a cigar but still needs to be active (walking a dog, doing minor work, etc).