Origin : Nicaragua
Format : Toro
Size : 6.0″ x 50
Wrapper : Nicaraguan Corojo
Filler : Nicaraguan
Binder : Nicaraguan
Price : $9 each
More info about purchasing San Cristobal cigars...
I have been looking forward to trying this new smoke from Ashton for a while. Bearing the name of the famed Cuban marca, the non-Cuban San Cristobal is made for Ashton by my favorite cigar maker Jose “Pepin” Garcia who also makes my favorite brand of cigars, the Tatuajes. By now everyone who smokes cigars is aware that Pepin is the hottest name in cigars right now. His portfolio has grown exponentially yet it seems everything he puts out is made of gold. As highly anticipated as the release of the ESG, the San Cristobal was 2 years in the making.
Released last year shortly after the RTDA (now called IPCPRA), it sports Pepin’s wrapper of choice. It is a leathery, dark brown Nicaraguan Corojo. The Supremo is a Toro and the 50 ring gauge is the perfect size for my new favorite cut, the butterfly cut. The butterfly cut was created by a friend of mine. It is a double V-cut. After making the initial V-cut you rotate the cigar and make a second V-cut perpendicular to the first. I really like this style of cut on larger ring gauges. This cut draws very nicely and it looks cool. Everything about this cigar says “top-shelf”. The wrapper is flawless and there is no sign of any rib veins in the head or foot. The bunching looks perfect and you can tell by the firmness and heft that it is packed full of tobacco. The band is beautiful with the vibrant colors of the Macaw and elegant gold trim on a background of an ancient map.
This amazing cigar is very different from any other Pepin cigar I have tried to date. It starts off so smooth and silky. Right off the bat it is very full flavored, woodsy with leather and spice, and nutty undertones. Notably absent is the trademark “Pepin Pepper” but it isn’t missed at all. This cigar is amazingly complex with a smooth finish. I read on CI’s site some tasting notes that referenced cherry flavors. I have never tasted anything like cherry in a cigar, so I was really surprised when at about the midway point I detected flashes of cherry. It was amazing and truly unique. I found myself disappointed (in a good way) when those flavors faded as I got a little further into the smoke. I really wished that the cherry flavors hung around longer than they did. Towards the end, the leather and spice began to build to dominate the flavors with a woody finish.
This was an amazing cigar that engaged me from start to finish. The construction is impeccable and the burn razor sharp. The ash was a little loose and flaky which was surprising but didn’t detract from the experience. The San Cristobal has earned a spot on my list of favorites. This cigar is an absolute must try for any serious cigar smoker.