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We had our first really beautiful weekend in the Lehigh Valley, and this past Sunday I thought I'd try something new for me, so I took out a 5" x 50 San Cristobal Clasico that I had purchased about a month ago at the suggestion of a friend.
San Cristobal cigars are an Ashton creation made for them by, guess who?, Don José Pepin Garcia, and as puros go, are real beauties. Starting with the lush, perfectly even-toned Nicaraguan wrapper leaf, the cigar is adorned by one of the most attractive "old world" designed cigar bands, which features a colorful parrot. (My phone camera shot above doesn't do it justice. The wrapper was actually a couple of shades lighter in real life.)
Pre-light: The triple cap clipped-off (as I like it) in a perfectly round disc. The draw was excellent, and had I been blindfolded, I'd swear it was a Padrón Anniversary 1964 from its distinctive pre-light earthiness and cocoa & coffee bean essences.
The experience: Once lit however, the cigar took on a slightly different flavor character. The smoke was thick, ultra-creamy, and had a solid base of sweet, woody flavors with just a hint of cocoa in the mix, as well as in the aroma.
I paired it with a cup of coffee, which made a good match. Each draw was a creamy dream, but the flavor never varied from what I found to be a very appealing and enjoyable sweet, woody smoke from start to finish. I also wondered how this cigar would taste if paired with a really good single malt to counter some of the sweetness.
My gut tells me this is a much more complex cigar than I experienced because the smoke had something else going on in it that I just couldn't put my finger on in terms of flavor. Regardless, this cigar, and maybe it was just due to this particular shape, was a full-flavored, one-note aria, but it was sung like the late Luciano Pavarotti would have performed it in his prime.
In a word: "par-excellence" and highly recommended.