Staff Smokes: Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo is just around the corner, and in case you haven’t noticed yet, here at Ralph’s Cigars we love the holiday. Any reason to light up a nice cigar with friends and family! Sundays tend to be a bit slower in the shop, which means that we’ll have the opportunity to sit back with some delicious Mexican inspired smokes- hopefully the weather stays nice.  

Joya Black, by Joya de Nicaragua, follows in the footsteps of Joya Red, but takes the entire experience up a notch by incorporating a Mexican San Andres wrapper to its Nicaraguan binder and fillers. It’s a medium bodied, full flavor smoke that’s designed and blended for a rich, balanced smoking experience. Jackson plans to light up this thick and oily cigar with its notes of dark chocolate, dried coffee, and espresso that proves Joya’s transition to the modern era. 

Joey, on the other hand, is looking for more of a Dominican bent when it comes to his cigar. That’s why he plans to smoke the La Volcada from La Flor Dominicana. It still has that classic, earth Mexican San Andres wrapper, but with Dominican fillers bound in Ecuadorian Corojo leaf.  LFD has some of the finest full-bodied Maduro’s on the market, and the La Volcada is no different- it brings hints of nougat, leather, and licorice on thick, heavy smoke and wraps the whole experience up with a spicy finish that pairs excellently with an aged rum or dark beer. 

There is a bit of a theme here with the staff smokes, which is excellent because we have a 10% discount on Mexican San Andres wrapped cigars at Ralph’s right now- and this next cigar is a particularly excellent and unique collaboration. Korey’s smoke of choice is the Blackened M81, a collaboration between Drew Estate, Blackened Whiskey, and James Hetfield of Metallica fame. It has a Connecticut Broadleaf binder tucked beneath a Mexican San Andres wrapper with Nicaraguan and Pennsylvania Broadleaf fillers for a bold and flavorful profile, chosen specifically by Jonathan Drew and Hetfield. The stick delivers bold notes of chocolate and espresso, with a finish of nutmeg and other baking spices beneath that classic San Andres earthiness.

Something we haven’t talked about in our blog posts too much are our uninfused house blends. For those looking for a great smoke at an even greater price, they’re a fantastic option. And in particular, Caleb plans on smoking the San Andres Maduro house blend, a solid gordo sized cigar. It holds up well against the other cigars on this list, with that same earthiness and solid notes of charred oak, spice, and dark espresso. And at only a fraction of the cost of other brands, it’s especially tempting. 

Drew Estate has a wide variety of fantastic smokes, like the above Blackened M81, but the best bang for your buck is the Undercrown line. Particularly, the Undercrown Maduro, which is what Kelly plans to smoke this coming Sunday. The cigar uses similar tobacco to Drew Estate’s Liga Privada No. 9, but is taken down a notch in strength, not to mention far more readily available. It starts with a mild coffee taste and a hint of spice that gets stronger as you smoke. Inside of the San Andres wrapper you’ll find a Connecticut Broadleaf binder and fillers from Brazil and Nicaragua, which give the stick further notes of oak, leather, and a soft vanilla sweetness. 

Maddy has spent her whole life around cigars- if anyone knows a good smoke, she does. That’s why she plans to sit down this Sunday and smoke the Cinco de Cinco from Joya de Nicaragua. It’s a medium-full bodied smoke with a deep, rich, earthy flavor and hints of cocoa and dark chocolate. The cigar is made from ultra-prime vintage tobacco, and along with its Mexican San Andres wrapper comes bound and filled with Nicaraguan leaf. The Cinco de Cinco is a celebration of the company’s 55th anniversary, and has a host of hidden complexity and depth. A fantastic choice for the discerning connoisseur, or those simply looking to have a good time. 

All of these sticks, and more, are available from Ralph’s Cigars online or in store- and make sure you don’t miss out on our 10% discount off of Mexican San Andres wrapped cigars! Whether you are exploring darker smokes for the first time, or a seasoned connoisseur, you’ll find something to suit your palate here. 

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