Wednesday, March 24, 2010

San Cristobal - Clasico

San Cristobal Clasico - The San Cristobal series is a joint effort between Ashton Cigars and blender/Cigar Jedi - Mr. Pepin. One can only expect pure excellence from a team as formidable as this. The cigar premiered in 2007 and has received a lot of rave reviews from the cigar community.
Ashton owned rights to the San Cristobal name for years, but wanted to wait for a bad-ass cigar to use it. That's why they called in Pepin. It's no secret the man can blend a cigar.
It is said that this cigar took 2 years to create from concept to blend. The San Cristobal is produced in Pepin's Esteli factory, and is a Nicaraguan Puro.

Prelight- The cigar looks great. The Clasico size is a 5"x 50 gauge - standard Robusto. The wrapper is oily and almost maduro dark. It really has a rich dark chocolate color to it. The color matches the aroma too. This cigar smells of sweet cocoa. The prelight draw is effortless and tastes of coffee.
I'm a sucker for attractive bands, and this band is classy and extravagant all-in-one. An imprinted gold foil with a multi-colored parrot - wings spread. The look of the band gives you a feel of the islands. Style points!

Sparking it- Puff...Puff...and away we go. The cigar starts off with Pepin's signature spice. Within a few drags, chocolate and hints of coffee come in full swing. I'm about an inch and half in and I am savoring each drag off this cigar. Truly a great flavor profile.
While I find a lot of cigars have a chocolate or coffee like taste, this cigar really hits it on the head. I don't have think about what I'm tasting, I'm just tasting it straight up.
The construction is off the hook as well. The cigar smokes great and the ash holds on tight.

Smoking it- Yet another grand-slam Pepin creation. I've smoked these cigars here and there, but I base this review on the final cigar from a 5-pack I ordered. This cigar is good right out of the box, but the flavors get deep and rich with only 2 or 3 months of rest. I can't imagine how a year or two would treat this cigar.
The ash held on for what seemed like forever, it only fell off when I started to toil with the band. I've had no issues with any San Cristobal I've smoked, but the sample for this review, burned like a champ. Great construction, amazing taste, flawless burn.
While coffee and cocoa reign supreme in the flavor department, the cigar showed a lot of complexity. The creamy smoke produced hints of cinnamon, caramel and a few other confectionery flavors.

Overall- A

Compared to the San Cristobal Seleccion Del Sol
These two cigars differ in strength and flavor. But they stand head to head on quality and construction. The Seleccion Del Sol is a newer, medium-strength cigar compared to the original San Cristobal.
Other than the quality, I didn't find any similarities in the flavor profile. Both are smooth and creamy smokes, but have unique identities. I'll surely be pairing these two for an afternoon and after-dinner smoke.
If I had to pick one, I'd go with the original San Cristobal.
Check out the review on the Seleccion Del Sol by clicking on the side bar - San Cristobal.

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