Cigar: Nica Libre Potencia
Size: Double Robusto (5 x 54)
This cigar is wrapped nice and tight with the reddish brown Habano Wrapper. However the wrapper is a little thin and I can spot a few tiny cracks here and there. The cap is very well made and appears to be a triple cap. I can’t say that I like the band on this one. It uses an identical band as the original Nica Libre but they have added another bright red band to show off the Potencia logo. After the cut the draw is perfect with just a little restriction but not too much.
The cigar lit easily and is producing a lot of smoke. Initial flavors are a lot of rich woody notes combined with a touch of spice. Also there is a little creaminess to mellow it out but very little sweetness. After I get in about a quarter inch the spice really comes forward and is neck and neck with the woody notes.
2nd Third: Burn is getting a little off center and the wrapper has started to form a small split. It is holding the ash well though, and is still producing a lot of smoke. The spice has subsided and is slowly being replaced by a somewhat dryer pepper note. However, there is still plenty of creaminess to keep this stick from going overboard in the strength department. I would call it medium/full at this point.
Last Third: The wrapper split has grown to almost a half inch long but is not affecting the draw. Ash is holding well and I have only tapped it off once. The flavor has remained woody but is now picking up a slightly herbal character. I am now starting to feel the strength of this one. I think the creaminess has worked well with the other notes and kept me from feeling the strength until now. It has not become dry or bitter so I will attempt to nub this one.
Conclusion: I can definitely tell this one is made by Oliva as the flavors all meld together very well. However, with the wrapper issues and the prevalent woody flavor it makes me think that this stick has not been aged long enough. It is possible that it employs some of the same tobacco as the Serie V but it is defenitly not as smooth and has more construction issues. If you can get a good deal on these and are willing to let them sit in the humi for several months you may have a great smoke. I would also recommend dry boxing them for several hours prior to smoking to help alleviate some of the wrapper splitting problems.
Flavor and Taste: 16/20
Price Point 7/10
Would I buy a box: 3/5