Santa Julia | Cigar Review

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Size: 5 x 50 “#200-Robusto”
Body: Medium
Price: $5.00 by the box/$5.00 by the 5 Pack (Free Shipping) From Antillian Cigar
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Today we take a look at the Santa Julia. I would like to thank Arby Sosa for the samples.

This cigar is named after the tobacco farm the Sosa family owned in Cuba. The cigar is blended by Medardo Padron. He owns one of the two farms in Jalapa. And, he’s been a family friend for over 30 years.

From the Antillian web site:
“Santa Julia is a brand that we have used since the 1970’s. It is a very important name for Sosa since it is named after the farm the family owned in Cuba. Now after many years the Sosa family has decided to re-introduce this prestigious brand.
“We could not be more excited to have Santa Julia available again. It is a medium bodied cigar using Nicaraguan Tobacco. Available in 6 sizes.”

#100: 5.5 x 44
#200: 5.0 x 50
#300: 6.0 x 50
#400 Torpedo: 6.0 x 52
#500: 7 x 50
#600: 8.0 x 50

The cigar is as solid as the rock of Gibraltar. No soft spots. But it won’t be a problem as this will be my second cigar and the first had zero draw issues.

The wrapper is a mottled oily dark cocoa bean brown with a reddish tinge. Seams are tight. Lots of small veins. It appears to have a beautifully applied triple cap. Almost impossible to see the striations. The wrapper is as smooth as silk.

I clip the cap and find aromas of gingerbread cookies, spice, cocoa, espresso, rich earthiness, sweet cedar, and leather.
Time to light up.

Sweetness is right up front until I get hit in the puss with a wallop of red pepper. Wow.
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The draw is perfect as I told you earlier despite the cigar being so jam packed.

Giant billows of smoke fill the room. If Henny Youngman were here, he would be singing “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes.”

The strength starts off pretty potent. The description on the Antillian web site says this is a medium bodied cigar. Wrong. It will become full bodied. At the very beginning of the cigar, it is medium/full.

Flavors are forming like a butterfly readying itself to leave its pupae.

I am half an inch in and here they are: Red pepper, chocolate, coffee, earthiness, gingerbread, creaminess, cedar, toffee, and leather.

I have now burned ¾” and it is moments away from flavor bomb status. I should note that I have only had these cigars for a week or so.
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And I did not dry box them as it is freezing cold in Wisconsin now and that will destroy a cigar if left out at night. Gotta keep the thermostat down so we don’t have to take a second mortgage out to pay our heating bill.

The Santa Julia is absolutely delicious. I have to be honest that when I saw the inexpensive prices of all those cigars on the Antillian web site I was worried that I might not be getting premium smokes.

I am ashamed of myself. Not only is the Santa Julia a premium cigar, but it could easily go for $8-$9 a stick.

The char line is the tiniest bit wavy but no touch ups required. It is a natural product and a razor sharp burn line means nothing.

The toffee becomes caramel and pushes the front of the line right behind that potent red pepper.

A new flavor erupts. I sit here smacking my lips trying to discern what the hell it is. I’ll get it…just give me a few moments. Go ahead and do what you were doing while I figure this out.

It is Granny Smith apples. Dang me. That indescribable compliment of sweet and tart at the same time. Along with that wonderful apple flavor, vanilla bean makes its first appearance.

It is flavor bomb time. 1-1/2” burned.

And then out of nowhere, the Santa Julia becomes super creamy making the apple taste like apple pie with vanilla ice cream on top.

The second third begins.
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Here is the new lineup: Creaminess, earthiness, cocoa, caramel, tart apple, vanilla, red pepper, gingerbread, cedar, and leather.

The price point. Are you kidding me? $5.00? HA! Ridiculous. I’m smoking a $9 stick for $5. And I think it is very cool that the box price per stick is the same as the 5 pack price.

And don’t forget, Arby is allowing a 5% discount with the coupon code Katman5.

And everything ships free.

What a killer deal. I am going to put the arm on Arby for more of these.

The strength is eking out full body now.

The char line is spot on.

The flavor profile has shifted to uber flavor bomb.

The caramel and apple are so potent I swear I am eating a caramel apple on a stick…dunked in hot chocolate.
I am nearing the halfway point. Flavors are right on point as in the last list of descriptions.

Even though the Santa Julia is a strong cigar, it is a very smooth and balanced cigar. A wonderful complexity begins to dig in.
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I have several more blends from the Antillian site that Arby sent me just cooling their heels in my humidor. A couple of blends need more than a week before I can review them. So I will intersperse those over the next couple of weeks.

I am now dead center at the halfway mark.

I love this cigar. Doesn’t it just amaze you sometimes how many great cigars are out there and you never heard of them before this?

There are some online stores that specialize in the hard to get, boutique brands, and new releases. But in essence, they are still as mainstream as CI or Famous.

They give you no break on the prices and sell everything at high retail so as to prey on your wallet. I won’t name them because I don’t want letters from their lawyers…even though I have a pretty good Stockton, CA lawyer.
There is too much glue on the cigar band. Had the same problem with the first one I smoked so I just ripped it off.

For the review, I need an intact cigar band for the photos so I use my X-Acto blade and end up creating a perfect surgical cut about 1” long in the wrapper. Drat.

I cut it right down to the binder. Hopefully the cigar doesn’t come apart on me.
So if all goes well, you will only see the other side of the stick in the photos.

The Santa Julia is booming huge flavors. It is pushing on all 6 cylinders.

The strength hits full bodied.

If the opening I created keeps creeping, there will be nothing left to show you except a pile of cigar tobacco in the last photos. What a schmuck.

But if my only criticism is that there is too much glue on the cigar band, we are in good shape.

The spice gets stronger. My nose is running like our dog.

The problem with the cigar band is that it is made from soft paper. And so the glue seeped into it making it impossible to remove cleanly.

If I’m lucky, I will burn right through it.

The last third begins.
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There is no place the flavor status can go from here. It is one of the most powerful flavor profiles I have smoked.

You can buy Sosa cigars from a lot of online stores but it is difficult to find one that sells them all.

Arby is a pretty sharp cat. Every single blend and brand is available for sale on the Antillian web site. One stop shopping. And the coupon code works on your entire purchase.

Some nicotine shows up. Uh-oh. The wimp factor plays an important part in the rest of the cigar.

I don’t know what else to describe at this point. No changes in the list of flavors. Other than they just keep getting stronger as the Santa Julia burns down.
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I think Arby should go back and change the strength factor to medium/full. But then I go back to the site and it says: Flavor: Medium. Not strength. So I’m not quite sure what he meant. I think he meant strength. Because this is definitely a full flavored blend.

I love this cigar. The cigar band…not so much. But when you smoke it, just rip ‘er off.

I highly recommend the Santa Julia. Terrific blend. Incredible wallet/wife friendly price.
And if you are not sure, a 5 pack has your name on it.

Note from the Antillian web site:
“All the retail prices include shipping cost, which is standard UPS delivery. Most orders are shipped via UPS within one to two days of receipt and will arrive within 4-7 business days depending on customer’s location.”

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1 reply

  1. “Flavors are forming like a butterfly readying itself to leave its pupae.”

    Wow. Just, wow.