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W – Mexican San Andres
B – Nicaragua
F – Nicaragua
Origin – Tabacalera AJ Fernandez, Esteli
Wrapping a 4 year-aged dark San Andres leaf around some carefully-selected Nicaraguan binder and Nicaraguan & Dominican filler tobaccos, the Onyx Bold Nicaragua was blended as an effort to revitalize the classic Cuban heritage brand for today’s cigar audience. Not surprisingly, they turned to A.J. Fernandez to get the job done, and the cigars were produced at the hitmaker’s Nicaraguan factory in Esteli. Our partners at Altadis were kind enough to send some samples in anticipation of the new Onyx’s official release, which is slated for sometime in August. This morning I lit up the Toro (6 x 54) size for review.
Pre-light draws gave off a taste of sweet hay with tinges of anise.
The cigar lit up with a pleasant woody taste and tones of unsweetened cocoa and white pepper. The smoke was quite full and dense with a chalky texture and clean finish. The stark white ash that was steadily building created an aesthetically-pleasing contrast with the cigar’s dark wrapper.
A bit further in I began to pick up traces of coffee and sweet chocolate peeking out from behind the smoke’s dominantly-woody and increasingly-spicy character. All flavors at play were extremely well-balanced, culminating in an awesome multi-layered profile.
Flavors mellowed out a bit in the last portion and a new, creamy dimension to the cigar’s character became apparent. Tones of wood and leather led the way while mild spice and a syrupy sweetness popped up as background elements. This was pleasant and strikingly “clean” for a final third.
I’ll cut to the chase here – the Onyx Bold Nicaraguan is an excellent cigar, and I’m impressed. The smoke held great flavors with varying degrees of richness that complemented each other perfectly. Adding to my enjoyment was the cigar’s slow burn that required no touch-ups or correction with the lighter. It’s clear that some very careful consideration went into the creation of this bold new Onyx, as cigars like this don’t just happen by accident. In advance of its arrival on shelves the OBN has been touted as “the strongest Onyx to date”, and while that may be true (it’s on the fuller side of medium-bodied), I feel like that summary sells it short. The truth is that this was one of the most well-executed new blends I’ve sampled in a while, offering a steady stream of satisfying taste with graceful delivery. If you like reeeeeally good cigars, you need to try this one, regardless of your familiarity with or level of affinity for the Onyx brand. You can look forward to it landing at BCP in the coming weeks.