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Corona Nicaraguan 10th Anniversary Torpedo Candela

Corona 10th Annniversary Candela 1July 16th, 2018

Vitola: Torpedo
MSRP: $6
Wrapper: Candela
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan

The Candela section of your local B&M is most likely slim, if there is even one at all. So let’s start with a brief history.

(Note: The following information came from a question and answer session about Candela wrapped cigars between Smooth Draws Radio co-host Gary Laden and Nick Syris, a Certified Retail Tobacconist.)

A Candela wrapper is one distinctly green in color. But to get the green color, blenders and rollers do not use paint, dye, stain, or otherwise alter the wrapper in any artificial way. It’s all in the curing. And although the Candela wrapper is not as popular as it once was, it has been around for a long time. As we know, all tobacco starts out green in the fields. But the green color of Candela has everything to do with its quick aging process.

Candela’s vibrant color comes from a markedly different curing process than other tobaccos. While most cigar tobacco is fermented in bales, or pilones, over extended periods of time, Candela is actually baked. Over three days, the leaf is hung from the rafters in a barn with high temperature fires burning on the ground level and temperatures reaching as high as 175 degrees.

The legend is that the Cuban tobacco farmers and cigar producers were trying to develop faster methods for producing cigars for the troops. The creation of Candela seems to have been an accident or a result of experimentation. In the Partido region of Cuba, where the process originated, cigar producers sometimes used heat in their barns to combat excess humidity. If the temperature rose too high, the tobacco turned green in the heat. Eventually, they perfected a way of heating the barn and turning an entire barn’s worth of wrapper green, in just three days. The troops enjoyed the look and the flavor.

Corona 10th Annniversary Candela 2After World War Two, there was a great demand by American smokers for light tobacco. Back in those days, only Cuban cigars were sold stateside, so you really had more full bodied cigars. Many smokers were craving the mild Candelas of the war. At that time, one of the largest selling brands was La Corona. To appeal to this mild market, the company began selling Candela wrapped smokes to the U.S. Very quickly, the amount of this tobacco couldn’t meet the huge demand. So, instead of fully curing it, they froze the light tobacco to keep it green. Then, they’d fire cure it to get it the greenest shade possible. This created a tremendous demand, and other Cuban manufacturers followed suit.

Now, let’s examine this review cigar...

1st third

Right off the bat, I noticed a sweet taste. Notes of grass and earth were also present, but these were very muted.

2nd third

By the time I got to the second third, I noted the sweetness beginning to fade and the grass and earth really kicking in. I also noticed how smooth and even the burn was. Additionally, the retro-hale was much easier.

Final third

By this point, I had been smoking the cigar for about 45 minutes. I was surprised I hadn’t had to relight – that doesn’t happen often. The sweetness was now almost gone, and the grass and earth flavors really came through.

Conclusion

This is a fantastic cigar, and one just right for pairing with a coffee after breakfast or, as I did, with a Cask & Crew Walnut Toffee Flavored Whiskey as a dessert smoke. The entire Corona Nicaraguan 10th Anniversary line is enjoyable. But for me, the Candela stands out as a pleasant surprise.

Rating

Pre-light: 9/10 (sweet)
Light: 9/10 (easy to light)
Draw: 10/10 (great draw start to finish)
Construction: 9/10 (very good looking cigar)
Flavor: 8/10 (not very complex, but did transition throughout)
Strength and body: 8/10 (mild to medium, leaning to the mild)
Average: 9/10 (everyone should have a few Candelas in the humidor, and this is the one I keep in mine)