Origin : Nicaragua
Format : Robusto
Size : 5 x 50
Wrapper : Nicaraguan Corojo
Filler : Nicaraguan
Binder : Nicaraguan
Price : ~$6 each
For the last several years, Cigar King has had a significant stock of exclusive brands created by Don Pepin Garcia. Those brands included Habana Leon, Cuban Diplomat, Havana Soul, Nacionales W, and the no longer available Sancti Spiritus. Not a whole lot is known about these exclusives but I will shed some light on at least one of the brands - unfortunately they will no longer be around.
Sancti Spiritus is wrapped in a dark tan nearly Colorado shade corojo wrapper. The construction is typical of early Pepin made cigars - they are imperfectly perfect with excellent construction with inferior tobaccos. The outside is slightly bumpy and has some give when squeezed. A couple of medium sized veins ran the course of the cigar's length. Weirdly, the wrapper color moves from lighter near the head to a darker color closer to the foot. Some underlying filler indentations can be seen through the wrapper. Smells of hay and leather on the wrapper and from the foot with a touch more of sweetness near the end.
Construction : (3.75)
I feel old Pepin’s like this cigar had better construction than current production sticks. This one had that perfect snug draw that enhances the smoking experience. The cigar lit easily but the burn wavered every now and then. The cigar produces a nice light grey ash that held on for 2 inch chunks.
Flavor : (2.75)
Cutting and dry drawing the cigar reveals salty hay and leather flavors. Once fired up the cigar started out medium bodied with little to none of that Pepin spice. I imagine the spice is gone due to the age on this stick. Initial flavors are of vanilla and leather. A few more puffs and the saltiness and lemon-like-twangy flavors appear. 1 inch in and the flavors hit a lull and settled in on a consistent journey of vanillin, leather, nuttiness, and some coffee bean.
Past the halfway mark, each one of the flavors started to die off one by one. What remained eventually were remnants of the beginning flavors such as the nuttiness and leather. By the end of the cigar, the flavors had dropped off so much that I was left with nothing other than wet newspaper tasting tobacco.
$6 is actually a decent price for this stick back in the day. At this point I would have a hard time saying that it would be worth it unless someone was interested in seeing what made Pepin so famous in the first place.
Overall Rating : (2.75)
In all honesty, I thought I would find a great cigar that had flown under the radar for the last couple of years. Smoking this has totally peaked my interest to try the other Cigar King exclusives. This cigar has been the closest representation of a “true” Cuban cigar I have smoked from Pepin. The saltiness, hay, twang, and vanillin reminds me of Diplomatico habanos. Those unique flavors only lasted through the first third and into the second before dissipating though. Unfortunately, I think these cigars have seen better days and are well past their prime. There are other exclusive brands that are much stronger blends and probably are in much better shape considering the age on them all.