I was talking to a friend who owns a retail establishment and he believes the days of the ultra strong cigar are behind us. Now, while I can appreciate a full strength cigar this would be music to my ears. Lately, the cigar companies have released one nicotine bomb after the other and the body of the cigar has suffered tremendously. I know many will disagree with me, but it feels like the art of cigar making is becoming a lost art.
Made in Nicaragua by My Father Cigars for Ashton Distributors, the San Cristobal has begun to ship to stores after it’s debut at IPCPR in Las Vegas last month. The cigar comes in 5 sizes and will retail for under $7.00 before local taxes. The cigar is being released as a Churchill (7 x 50 / $6.85); Corona (5.5 x 46 / $5.95; Imperial (6 x 52 / $6.75); Pyramid (6.25 x 52 / $6.90) and Robust (5 x 50 / $6.40).
Cigar: San Cristobal Elegancia
Size:6 x 52 (Imperial)
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut
Cigars Smoked For Review: 3
Appearance and Construction: The San Cristobal Elegancia features a gorgeous looking Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper that is as flawless as they come. There is a fair amount of oils visible to the eye on the wrapper that feels like velvet to the fingers. There are no soft spots under the fingers and the foot has a slight sponginess to it. One knock could be that the Connecticut wrapper seems to be ultra thin and a little bit brittle and will have to be watched closely while burning. There is a dual band system in place. The first is a variation on the San Cristobal parrot on shades of green. The second band states the name, Elegancia.
Flavor & Notes: The foot of the cigar reminds of the clean salt air at the ocean which is mixed with some Nicaraguan spices. The cold draw of the cigar reminds me of cashews and grass/hay thrown into the mix as well. Before the cigar is lit you can tell this is going to be milder then the regular line as if you had doubts from the wrapper. We carefully toasted the foot of the cigar so as not to burn the delicate wrapper which is important on a Connecticut smoke. Once the cigar is lit there is some spices which is to be expected from My Father, but they are definitely less than what we have come to expect from them. The first note is a slight vanilla oak as we work our way into the first 1/4 inch of the smoke. As the first third of the cigar is smoked, notes of earth, cedar and a slight nuttiness. The retrohale (through the nose) had a nice pepper to it that complimented the smoke. The second third of the cigar is as smooth as they come and becomes very creamy. For a minute I picked up some vegetal notes, but the focal her is a subtle wood and nuts. The last third of the cigar is more medium then the mild of the first two-thirds and the notes remain creamy, with some earth, nuts, and a slight spice especially through the nose.
Smoking Characteristics: The Elegancia had a nice burn with a solid white ash that held on for a quarter of the time, but when it dropped, it dropped hot so watch those shirts when smoking them. I think I own more shirts with little burn holes then not in my wardrobe. Ah, the tell-tale sign of a clumsy cigar smoker such as my self. The draw was perfect, and the wrapper held up well except for in the last 1.5″ or so when it began to split some. There was a nice woodsy aroma that compliment the smoke.
Conclusion: There have been a few great Connecticut releases this year, and sadly while a good cigar this one does not compare. In a way the Elgancia has fallen victim to a really high bar set by a few other companies. The cigar was enjoyable, and it is a good morning smoke or for when the mood strikes and you don’t want to be overwhelmed with complexity. Sadly, though there isn’t much to make this one memorable.
Price: $6.75 each