In the wintertime my thoughts usually turn to the rich dark flavors of maduro cigars, but I’ve been meaning to review this blend for so long that I’m going to make an exception to my cold weather routine and fire up a Connecticut shade. Maybe I’m trying to turn the weather with my cigar. Let’s see if it works.
San Cristobal has been made by the crew at My Father Cigars since 2007, around the time when Don Pepin Garcia went from being the world’s premier boutique cigar maker to a major manufacturer. The cigar is made for Ashton Cigars, who began the series with a bolder blend more typical of Garcia’s stock-in-trade. In 2011 Ashton released the Elegancia extension, a much milder blend, in an attempt to satisfy the large number of cigar enthusiasts who opt for less aggressive smokes.
Beneath the suave Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper leaf of the Elegancia lies a blend of Nicaraguan filler leaves, including a Nicaraguan binder. Six sizes are currently in production:
- Robusto – 5 x 50
- Corona – 5.5 x 46
- Grandioso – 6 x 60
- Imperial – 6 x 52
- Pyramid – 6.125 x 52
- Churchill – 7 x 50
The wrapper of the San Cristobal Elegancia is smooth and a light golden brown, fairly typical of Ecuadorian Connecticut. The roll is excellent, the cap is perfectly applied in an even spiral, and the cigar draws effortlessly yet yields a voluminous quanitity of creamy smoke. It burns evenly and builds a solid ash. There are a lot of things to like about Connecticut shade, and one of them is its predictably even burn. The Elegancia is no exception in that regard.
Overall construction: Excellent
The Elegancia pyramid opens with its defining feature: a mild flavor combined with a very creamy texture. Many cigar smokers use the term “body” to refer to a cigar’s strength (which in turn can mean a few different things), but when I say “body” I mean the viscosity of the smoke. The Elegancia is a great example of a cigar with mild strength but full body. This smoke is like butter.
The opening flavors are nuanced and pleasant: a dry woody flavor with a smattering of black pepper, accompanied by a floral aroma. The aftertaste is tea-like, though this tea is a lot spicier than most.
As the cigar progresses it picks up a bready aroma, while soft baking spices replace the pepper on the palate.
Toward the band, the pepper returns and the base flavor becomes earthier, tannic with a citric edge. Smoking slowly, the aroma remains delicious to the end.
The San Cristobal Elegancia lives up to its name. This is indeed an elegant cigar. It has enough body to stand up as an after-dinner smoke, but it is probably best enjoyed after breakfast with coffee or tea. If it were just a tad less tannic in the last inch I would say it’s close to being the perfect morning smoke. As it is, it’s just damn good. Which is about what we expect from My Family and Ashton.
The Pyramid runs around $7 USD per stick, which is a good value given the quality of the cigar. Highly recommended.
Final Score: 90