Added in 1999, San Cristobal de la Habana is one of the newest Cuban marcas. The regular production line consists of only four vitolas, each named after one of the forts that guarded Havana in the Spanish colonial days. As a 110 x 42 minuto, El Principe is the smallest of the line; however, its small size disguises a large flavor bomb that makes for an excellent short smoke. El Principes have a reputation of a good "fresh" Cuban, and the one I reviewed had only about 16 months of age. This review was done outside: the temperature was about 74F, the sky was clear, there was a slight breeze, and the ambient humidity was 71%. I paired this cigar with tap water.
Many thanks to Damien from DutyFreeCubanCigars.com for sending me these rare cigars. Check out his shop for a nice selection of Cuban and non-Cuban cigars.
This version of the San Cristobal Oficios (click here for the review of the regular one) comes from a limited edition humidor, released in 2004 to celebrate the fifth birthday of the brand. In fact, this was the first appearance of the Oficios vitola. Consequently, it is quite an aged cigar, with approximately 6 years of humidor time. Let’s see how this 5.3 x 43 corona smokes!
With its pale brown wrapper and several visible veins, this cigar looks very much like the Oficios I smoked half a year ago. Moderately firm to the touch, it has an easy pre-draw with surprising notes of peppermint. In the beginning, it is medium-bodied, dominated by wood / cedar flavors. The burn is simply excellent – slow and regular – resulting in a beautiful ash holding for over 2 inches. As I tap this first ash off, the flavors have slightly changed – a bit of leather is added to the bouquet and there is definitely some moderate spice in the back of the throat. Surprisingly, I have a sudden construction issue – first of all, the ash, not even 1 inch long, falls into my lap and then, when I’m done cleaning my short, the cigar goes out. Cursing quietly, I relight it just to find a very flavorful last third (I purged the cigar after re-lighting it), characterized by thick smoke with deep, complex flavors that, besides those that were mentioned before, include sweet coffee with milk and sweet chocolate.
Overall, a very interesting cigar, however, I am not sure that it is any better than the regular one. If you have a chance try it out - otherwise I wouldn't go out of my way to specifically hunt it.
Third review in the San Cristobal de la Habana series, the La Punta is a classic torpedo, part of the original 4 vitolas from the marca. Not as good as the Oficios, not disappointing as the Fuerza, this figurado deserves a good position in the overall leaderboard.
San Cristobal de la Habana La Fuerza is the second review in our San Cristobal series. Slightly longer than a regular robusto, this gordito measures 5.6 inches with a 50 ring gauge. A few weeks ago, I thoroughly enjoyed the Oficios and I was looking forward to trying another vitola from the brand, having high expectations.
San Cristobal de la Habana is the newest brand launched by Habanos SA. It started with 4 sizes in 1999 and three more were introduced in 2004 for the 5th Anniversary of the brand. Oficios, a 5.3 x 43 corona is one of them and proudly wears a second "La Casa del Habano" band indicating that this is one of the new vitolas.