Guayacan is a boutique cigar created by Noel Rojas and distributed by Emilio Cigars. Rojas has a familiar story — a Cuban immigrant with a background in agriculture and the cigar industry. He eventually got fed up with the Cuban government and found a way to ply his trade in the U.S. Now, why the name Guayacan?
Evidently Rojas carved sculptures from guayacan wood for tourists in Cuba (see Brian Hewitt’s Stogie Review for the full story.) Guayacan is a shrub native to the tropics and subtropics. It is drought resistant due to its deep taproot, and in severe winters the shrub can freeze to the ground and grow back from its roots in the spring. (I doubt this happens too often in Cuba, but it does in Texas.) The wood of the guayacan shrub is supposedly one of the hardest measured by the Janka hardness test, a measure of suitability for wood flooring.
Guayacan is tough stuff, and to carve it must take some skill. Making it in the cigar trade isn’t so easy either, but it looks like Rojas has the determination to do it.
The Guayacan cigar was originally released in four sizes, at which time each size used a slightly different blend. Rojas standardized the blend in 2012 after noting the popularity of the torpedo blend, and he now uses that blend for all of the various sizes. The binder and filler are 98 Corojo of the famous Aganorsa variety, and the cigar is topped off with a habano wrapper from Ecuador. Guayacan is made in Esteli, Nicaragua and is available in four sizes:
- Robusto: 5 x 50
- Toro: 6 x 52
- Torpedo: 6 1/8 x 52
- Churchill: 7 x 50 (box-pressed)
Guayacan is a well built cigar, but it is admittedly a little rough-hewn. (Perhaps this is another reason for its name.) The wrapper has a reddish cast to it and it has a few thick veins. The roll is firm albeit a bit bumpy, and the torpedo tip is expertly finished. The wrapper burns with some reluctance, but after the first half inch or so it pulls itself together.
Overall construction: Very Good.
I smoked two torpedoes for this review and while I enjoyed both, one was spectacular and the other was just pretty good. The base flavors are earthy and the aromatics are mainly wood with a little leather thrown in. The first cigar was much more expressive, for whatever reason. (The cigars were received at the same time and were stored identically.)
The cigar does not develop too much from the beginning to the end of the smoke, but its pleasant complexity keeps things interesting for the duration. There is less sweetness and more spice toward the finale, but it never becomes overwhelming and stays evenly balanced.
Guayacan is truly a boutique cigar, and one that is still in the early stages of development, so some inconsistency is to be expected. As long as the inconsistency varies from good to great, I see no room for complaint. I really enjoyed the sweet woody aromatics of this medium-bodied torpedo. MSRP is in the $6 USD range. You might score a great cigar, or a merely very good one. At that price you win either way.
Final Score: 89