Sunday, August 10, 2008

San Cristobal Clasico (robusto)

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I guess like most things handmade there will be some variances with each product. But, I didn't realize the results could be so dramatic. So far, I have smoked two of these gorgeously rolled San Cristobal Clasicos. They are robustos measuring the traditional 50 ring gauge by 5 inches long. The wrapper is an attractive dark brown maduro color with a slight reddish hue from Nicaragua. The filler and binder are all Nicaraguan as well. The cap is neatly displayed in three seams. This well made cigar comes appropriately wrapped with (in my opinion) the best looking cigar band I've seen so far.

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But, let me get back to my original statement that I found the two Clasicos that I smoked to be very different. The first Clasico was wonderfully complex with interesting flavors that I've never tasted before in one cigar. The second Clasico that I smoked was nice and had rich full flavors but the complexity was gone and replaced by too much ligero. The first cigar started off with dark espresso notes followed by cedar, strong tea and vanilla spice. I tasted very little black pepper. The second cigar was loaded with pepper and had cedar/leather base flavors in the beginning. I did not get the same tea-like floral hints like the first cigar. Both cigars had a tannic character which dried my mouth out. So be prepared to have plenty of water handy for this cigar.

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The first cigar transitioned into an interesting "liqueur infused" tobacco taste, as if it was aged in old rum or cognac barrels. At least, that's how my taste buds envision it. It also had a nice rich leather flavor which developed a slight nuttiness to it. The second cigar also developed some creaminess but not as persistent. I also tasted fruity notes of black cherry and some vanilla spice in the second cigar. I feel the amount of ligero added changes the fruity character a lot. Both cigars had a slight touch of black molassas on the finish. The peppery heat never dissipated in the second cigar but continued it's assault on my tongue and throat. When I ashed each cigar, the second Clasico had a big hunk of cherry red ligero cone compared to the slight mound found in the first. I found that I much prefer a hint of pepper in the background for interest, as opposed to an in-your-face attack on my taste buds.

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The final third of the first cigar continued to show complexity. Alternating rich leather and cedar, creamy almond and now a banana (grassy?) rum flavor. I also still detected some tannic dark tea notes as well. The second cigar bored me to tears with its consistent leathery and peppery profile. I was all too ready to put that cigar down.

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I would smoke this cigar again. Hopefully I will get more of the same flavors I found in the first Clasico I smoked than the second. The large amount of ligero in the second cigar just overpowered any possible subtle flavors present in this wonderful blend of Nicaraguan tobacco. I would recommend that you buy a box of San Cristobal cigars for your cigar collecting husband or father. I truly believe these cigars will age into something really incredible. The packaging is also magnificent and a work of art. Anybody lucky enough to get a box of these cigars will feel really special. I believe my friends over at Keepers of the Flame posted some pics on their review of this cigar. Check it out and well as other reviews done by Cigar Jack and Stogie Review. The Ashton website also has pictures of all the San Cristobal vitolas. I plan on eventually trying their new "Francisco" which is 44 by 5.5 inches. Kudos to Ashton Distributors and Jose Pepin Garcia for making smaller sized cigars for the people who love them. Have a great Father's Day weekend.

1 comment:

Mr. Easter said...

Check out my review for the Seleccion Del Sol.

http://reviewcigars.blogspot.com/search/label/San%20Cristobal%20%28Ashton%29

Thanks