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Nica Libre Imperial Cigar Review

by Bryan Glynn, December 28, 2009
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Nica Libre Imperial Cigar Review

This 6×54 box pressed maduro stick offers an oily, slightly toothy well made wrapper with an extremely pungent aroma of barnyard. This is often marketed as a copy of or alternative to the Padron blend. While it certainly does not live up to that claim it does stand well on it’s own merits. Starting medium and ending medium full, core flavors were earthy with leather coming in at points. The first third brought a touch of mustiness reminding me of most Bucanero blends. Other flavors came and went including nice pepper and spice kicks especially on the finish, raisins, licorice and coffee. Not overly complex by any means though it did hold my attention well. Total burn time was 1:30 and the construction had no issues. Burn was a bit wavy but never needed attention. The draw was fantastic all the way down.

  • Great photos as always. I’ve seen ads for this cigar in the past but yours is the first review I have read. Looks like I’ll have to give this one a try.

  • Chaz

    “…it’s not like a steaming pile that just plopped out of a cow’s ass…”


    seriously though, great review. i will try these now as a decent cost-effective stick now that i got the padron comparison out of my head 🙂

  • Ken glass

    I really like the reviews you give. I have been waiting on your take on the Nica Libre. I was smoking these before, I heard any comparisons to Padron, but can see that they have a similar shape, but then I believe Padron popularized the Box Press format. As the saying goes, we all have different tastes–really did not get the Bucanero comparison, and I usually tend to have similar tastes in cigars, many RP’s being favorites. As always, good review
    Ken Glass

  • Thanks guys!

    The Bucanero comment – many of the Bucanero blends have a certain musty taste that I believe comes from a certain type of aging. At some points I got a little of that same flavor in this. I believe the Nica Libres do used some extra aged tobacco in the blend as well.

  • Great review Bryan, thanks. I’m going to go ahead and get a box, just coming off my Diesel Unholy Cocktail high, but that can’t last forever!

  • Burton

    Hey Bryan, great review. Tried one of these tonight, and loved it… but I’m glad that it isn’t comparable to the Padron Anniversaries. I’ve never smoked one of those, but if the Nica Libre was just a copy of a Padron Anniversary, I don’t think the Padron would be worth the cost!

  • Scott

    Bryan, it’s been a while since you’ve had these, and in the video, you said you’d set these down a while to age them a bit. Could you do a follow up to this (maybe a short video or a write up)? I’d appreciate it since I’m debating whether to let the ones I have rest a while or to just smoke them since I’ve enjoyed them before.

    Thanks for the great review, and I await your return!

  • dmohr

    Great review as always! This has been one of my favorite go-to cigars for some time now. I also didn’t find it near as complex or as rich as the Padron 1964, but still find it very enjoyable for the money. I’m also pretty big on anything made my AJ Fernandez which I believe these are. Have you tried the Potencia? That has a bit more kick to it! I can send you one if you’d be interested in reviewing it. Let me know!

    • Thanks for watching! No I have not tried that one yet!

  • JJO

    As you said, I don’t know why CI/cigar.com insist on comparing these with the Padrons. They can definitely stand up on their own, especially at the price point you can get them at. At times, I actually prefer them to the Padrons when I’m looking for a mellower version of those core flavors. I just had a Padron Londres maduro and in my present state of mind would have prefered a milder start to the smoke. I think this is where the Nica Libre would have had an advantage.

    Keep up the great work, Bryan!

  • djrxmx

    Hey Brian,

    Love your reviews. They are a pleasure to watch and they are informative and very helpful. When I watch some of the reviews that you do, I feel like that you must have a Ph.D in cigars, and I say this with sincerity–not to mention your sense of humor! (Loved the “don’t worry, this cigar doesn’t smell like a fresh, steamy shit…”, I about rolled off my chair on that one.

    Keep up the good reviews, brother.

  • vic

    Nica Libre is one of my favorite cigars – consistent, smooth, and moderately complex.
    It was nice to hear you express what the various flavors are – the licorice was one that I did not identify.

    As always, thank you!

  • BCamara

    I haven’t tried the other sizes, just in petite corona and it was actually really good. I’ll try the other sizes too when I come across them. AJ Fernandez hasn’t failed me yet.

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