'74 RyJ Corona from CigSid


Well-Known Member
Feb 12, 2015
Got a fiver of these when @CigSid offered them up and hadn't tried one until my birthday today, along with some of my Ethiopian blend home roast. I'm not someone to make something sound better than it was even though it's a once in a lifetime smoke for me. That said, this was a phenomenal cigar.


Great looking cigar, the band was slightly yellowed with age. No soft spots nor overly firm. It clipped clean with my cool "O" Xikar my wife got me last year. The draw was a little firm, but nothing to be alarmed about. Pre-lit flavor was mainly that "old closet" taste that I associate with aged sticks.


Any concerns about the firm draw were immediately put to rest...this corona gave off volumes of smoke very effortlessly. Just enough resistance to remain at an even pace. Way richer than I was expecting for a 44 year old cigar. I'm notorious for my lack of talent when it comes to picking out all of the individual notes, so I just go with what pops to mind as I work my way through a smoke. Delicious out of the chute, and the primary flavor I got during the first third was what hit me as "dusty floral". For me, that is a very good thing.

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As I worked my way further into the RyJ, the amount of smoke and flavor never subsided. Flavors morphed into what I'm going to call "gunpowder bread" because of a solid mineral and baked good character. The complexity kept me engaged 100% of the time. It was difficult to break away long enough to take the meager amount of notes I managed to type out. A good amount of cedar began popping in there, and with all of the flavor it had a very long, while still very clean, finish.


The corona began to mellow out some as I got into the final stretch. Lots of that cedar and hints of black pepper, with the finish getting more of a cedar boost. The finish was mellower, but on the nose it was getting a little sharper. The weird description I'll give the complexity beyond the wood and pepper is "toasted floral bread while sitting next to a tomato plant" (more on that in a bit). Toward the nub it was primarily sweet tobacco and some mineral. I'm not someone who gets a lot from retrohaling, almost everything has a "damp wood" character to it...so nothing much to add there.


This was a fantastic cigar. I'm not just being polite, it will remain high in the memory bank for a long, long time. The construction was pretty flawless, so coupled with the voluminous (for a corona) amount of smoke I was able to just coast on autopilot and enjoy the thing. More strength than I was expecting as well...I'm assuming they were little beasts the first few years after production.

Lastly, a little more on that "floral bread/tomato" note. After I typed that out, it immediately made me remember when I fell in love with Cubans in the late 90's. I remember it like yesterday...it was either my 2nd or 3rd ever PSD4 and the flavors and aromas were what I described as "like the smell of a rose bush on a cool spring morning had a baby with the smell from a mature tomato plant under the heat of summer sun". That was what hooked me, and is what I still chase today. This cigar took me back there. Some of that same character with uniqueness all its own.

Not a bad start to my holiday birthday, many, many thanks again brother.

Now back to being a dad...the kid is wanting some fireworks....


Proud Father of a brave U.S. Marine
Jan 31, 2005
Great review..!! I enjoyed my first of these on Father's Day. Amazing doesn't cover it....really special smokes.

Thanks for the review and pics...!!


Where did all my money go?
Jan 25, 2007
That’s what I love most about this hobby. Every once in a while I have that déjà vu where I recognize a flavor, or smell I’m getting from a cigar. Especially, when it takes me back to a childhood memory. Your description of tomato plants in the hot summer sun brought back memories of being out in the vegetable gardens I planted as a child, or helping my great grandmother in hers. She was Italian and had loads of them in hers.

These are fantastic cigars!


Newb Le professional!
Dec 8, 2008
Excellent review. I can relate to what was stated about certain flavors/aromas taking you back.


One Leg Of Fury.
Apr 29, 2011
I'm catching up on the reviews forum. Excellent post, and great photos!