Wrapper: Nicaraguan Sun Grown
Size: 5.5 × 52 Belicoso
This is one of Pepin Garcia’s earlier cigars commissioned by Ashton…The San Cristobal line is still at its nadir in the Holt’s Cigars catalog.
This is an off shoot of the original blend and is called “Selección del Sol” (Spanish for “Selection of the Sun”)…an homage to the sungrown wrapper that envelops this Nicaraguan puro.
San Cristobal Seleccion Del Sol received a 92-point rating from Cigar Aficionado… which described the cigar as such:
“Attractive and solidly rolled, this cigar has an even burn and lush draw that delivers rich, delicious flavors of cocoa, orange peel, and a floral finish. Balanced.”
Well, I guess I’m done here….
This is a very nice looking stick. The wrapper is like the little bit of fuzz on children’s books….with just a bit of toothiness. There is a nice oily sheen to the chocolate brown wrapper. And there is a slight mottling in the right light. Seams are bear trap clean. Hardly any veins. And two beautiful bands that make this a thing of beauty.
I sniff around and get copious amounts of cedar and earth. And loads of leather. I detect nice tobacco sweetness. And at the foot, there is an intense amount of cocoa. And yes, Virginia, CA was right, I can smell orange zest.
I clip the cap and light up…
Initial flavors confuse me. Sort of blah and hay-like. Smoke pours from the foot. And the draw is outstanding. The char line is close to dead nuts. These cigars have been resting in my humidor for almost 6 months now. And I think that time may have mellowed them out quite a bit because the flavor profile is oh so vague.
Half an inch in, I get some dosage of the Garcia pepper. Right behind that comes the cocoa. Since I rarely get the chance to review a nicely rested cigar, I’m out of my comfort zone. I would describe the first inch as balanced and building towards something.
The first third is unimpressive. It’s nice. That’s the most I can say about it.
Here’s hoping that burning the baby down brings out some impressive character.
The cigar continues on its path of mild body and delicate flavor.
At the halfway point, it’s like smoking a chocolate milk shake with a bit of cayenne sprinkled on top. Flavors haven’t changed…although; I am beginning to detect some creaminess.
As I am writing this prior to putting food in my gut, this is a perfect breakfast cigar.
Uh-oh…what’s that? Red pepper with some kick…just as I enter the last third. I’m not getting any of the orange zest CA describes. Did you ever wonder if reviewers have a chart that lists all the flavors and the strengths and the different ways of describing a cigar?
So many cigars, so many flavors. But here is the deal. I might have 5 cigars all with components of cocoa, creaminess and pepper.
And each one tastes different. But how do I convey that to you? Do I say this is a Level 4 cocoa flavor? Level 9 spiciness profile?
It’s nuts. There are very few cigars out there that really stand out. So reviewers, like me, keep using the same nomenclature over and over. It’s frustrating as a writer to convey delicacy and subtlety. Because that is what a good cigar is: Delicate flavors balancing on top of each other with only the slightest breath of air making the difference between a good cigar and an outstanding cigar.
I have several humidors full of cigars. And I have to struggle to find something to write about. Now that is excluding brand new blends that came out and the reviewers climb all over themselves to be the first to review it. There are only so many of those type sticks to review.
Is my palate like yours? Fuck, no! How the hell do I know if I taste the flavors correctly? How do I know if your palate picks up the flavors that I pick up?
I’m reviewing a cigar that got a 92 from CA. Lots of praise from the print media. And I think it’s sort of blah and commonplace. Do we talk ourselves into thinking it is something it is not?
It is a Don Pepin Garcia commissioned by Ashton!! Well, by golly, it’s gotta’ be phenomenal!
But it ain’t. It is a pleasant smoke. And on top of it, they go for around $8 each! Now I won a box on Cbid and paid less than $4 a stick. Is this an $8 stick? No. I would say it’s a $6 stick.
I’m in the last third and there is no complexity. Just an amalgam of cocoa and creaminess and a bit of spice. Perfect for my chocolate soda experience.
But other than that, Ho-hum.
Uh-oh again….The cigar comes to life. Hooray! Son of the bitch!
The flavor profile has exploded. The cocoa and creaminess and spiciness are doing 90mph in a 45 zone.
So. It turns out that the 6 months of rest in my humidor gave the cigar the ability for foreplay..slow and grinding. Humping my leg.
The rest of the cigar is delicious. The slow build was how it was designed to be smoked. No other cause for this reaction.
It’s still a $6 cigar.
Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS