Paradiso – San Cristobal

Paradiso Quintessence

About 25 years ago Robbie Levin decided it was time to start his own cigar brand, next to the family tobacco business that already existed for a few generations. So he bought English pipe tobacco brand, Ashton, and made a private label blend with one of his long term cigar suppliers Arturo Fuente and the cigar brand Ashton was born. After more than a very successful decade and a few high praised and good selling cigar lines, all under the Ashton name, all made by Fuente in the Dominican Republic and all ‘old style’ it was time for something new, something that would attract the new generation of cigar enthusiasts, something with a little more edge and so 3 new brands were born. Benchmade, La Aroma de Cuba and San Cristobal, all made in Nicaragua by My Father Cigars. And like all Levin does, they became successful, so successful that we now can choose from a few LADC and San Cristobal blends.


Due to copyright Ashton can’t use the La Aroma de Cuba name outside of the USA, so they changed the name to La Aroma Del Caribe and for San Cristobal, a name that they could use in some markets but not in others, they picked Paradiso. The blends are identical, the labels and boxes are identical just the name on the labels and boxes changed. I used to work for the Dutch distributed of Ashton and had the pleasure of meeting Robbie, his daughter Meera and their vp of sales Chip Goldeen on several occasions and even though there is no professional relationship at the moment I met them at intertabac Chip handed me their latest release for the European market, the Paradiso Quintessence. The cigar is made from Nicaraguan tobacco grown by the Garcia family with an Ecuadorean Habano wrapper. I smoked the 6×52 epicure.


The wrapper is nice, oily and shiny with a few minor veins and the band is top, the recognizable parrots with the gold medals but this time an added name underneath the picture that says ‘quintessence’. The construction feels good but at the left side, right where the ring is, the cigar feels flat, box pressed, but just on one side while the rest of the cigar is round. That will of course effect the final score, but how much will depends if it effects draw, smoke and ash characteristics. The aroma is deep, mild acidic and reminds me a bit of autumn, like fallen leaves without smelling fallen leaves. The cold draw is fine, I taste some pepper on my lips. I used my cigar xi2 cutter to decap the cigar and my Ronson varaflame to light the cigar.


I taste coffee with some spices and a little bit of sweetness. The coffee remains the basic flavor but the spices tone down. The cigar makes my mouth dry. After a third I taste s little more sweetness and a little bit of lime with a little bit of red pepper in the aftertaste. After a third I taste some cinnamon with wood and lime. The lime is purely in the aftertaste though. After two thirds I taste a nice nut flavor, with a little bit of spice. No more lime, no more sweetness. Near the end this cigar is getting spicier and I taste a lot of pepper, especially on my lips. This all on a base of nuts.


The smoke is thick, it’s white and it’s plentiful. The ash is silver gray with black stripes. It’s not too firm. The burn is good, not razor sharp but I don’t have to correct either. The draw is great. This medium full, full flavored cigar have me 100 minutes of smoking pleasure.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yeah, once in a while but I prefer the Paradiso Revelation

Score: 90

90

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Categories: 90, My Father Cigars, Nicaraguan cigars, Paradiso - San Cristobal | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Paradiso fabuloso

These Paradiso cigars are known in the USA as San Cristobal, a Pepin made Ashton cigars but because Habanos owns the rights to the name San Cristobal globally, except for the USA, the cigars had to be renamed for the European market. The cigars are exactly the same, even the band is the same, just with a different name.
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This 6×54 fabuloso has a beautiful dark, smooth, shiny and mild oily wrapper with a few thin veins. The construction feels good. The predraw is fine and leaves a mild hay flavor on my palate. The cigar smells like hay and a barnyard.
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I taste a strong coffee flavor, mild bitter, with some earth and pepper. After a few puffs I also taste hay. After half an inch I taste hay with some pepper and a little bit of chocolate on the background. Slowly a wood flavor comes in the mix too.
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After a third I taste a dry, herbal, mild peppery flavor with hay and wood. This mix of flavors don’t change for a while. After two thirds the herbs are gone, just like the pepper. I taste a nice mixture of wood and hay.
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This cigar has a smoke time of an hour and forty minutes. The draw was great, just like the burn. I got a decent amount of smoke and the ash was very firm. The smoke starts out thin but gets thicker along the way. This cigar is full flavored and full bodied.
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Would I buy this cigar again? Yes, yes, yes.

Appearance: 8 / 10
Construction: 8 / 10
Draw: 8 / 10
Burn: 8 / 10
Smoke & ash: 7 / 10
Aroma first part: 8 / 10
Aroma second part: 8 / 10
Aroma third part: 8 / 10

Categories: My Father Cigars, Nicaraguan cigars, Paradiso - San Cristobal | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Paradiso classico

These Don Pepin Garcia made San Cristobal Clasico had to be renamed Paradiso Clasico for the European market and recently became available in three sizes on the Dutch market. The 5×50 classico will set you back € 6.50. The cigars are Nicaraguan puros and Ashton’s most important release in years.
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The wrapper is dark, oily and contains a lot of veins. The cigar has a strong smell, mild acid, pepper and wood. The band is the same as San Cristobal, just with a different name. The construction feels good. The predraw is fine and tastes like tobacco with some pepper on the tongue.
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I taste coffee, pepper and some wood. The pepper and spice are becoming strong while the coffee disappears almost immediately. The cigar gets quite herbal and even mild bitter. The bitterness is gone after half an inch, I now taste wood, earth and herbs. After three quarters of an inch the cigar gets a bit sweet with a herbal aftertaste at the earthy and woody flavors. The cigar is mild spicy.
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Just before I reach the middle point of the cigar I taste a really dark, close to bitter, chocolate flavor. After two thirds the cigar is herbal but fresh with the dark chocolate on the background.
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This robusto lasted me for an hour and ten minutes. The ash is light colored, compact and firm. The draw is great, just like the burn. I get a decent amount of smoke, but the smoke is a bit thin. This cigar is full flavored and full bodied.
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Would I buy this cigar again? I think I’ll stick to the Francisco.

Appearance: 8 / 10
Construction: 7 / 10
Draw: 8 / 10
Burn: 7 / 10
Smoke & ash: 7 / 10
Aroma first part: 7 / 10
Aroma second part: 7 / 10
Aroma third part: 7 / 10

Categories: My Father Cigars, Nicaraguan cigars, Paradiso - San Cristobal | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Paradiso francisco

When Ashton release their biggest new release a few years ago, the Don Pepin blended & made San Cristobal I was disappointed even before I ever touched the cigar. I knew the name ‘San Cristobal’ was owned by Habanos and couldn’t be used outside the USA for any other cigar. I was afraid that I might never be able to get my hands on this cigar, but Ashton recently came with a solution, a name change for the cigar for the areas outside the USA. The cigar is now called Paradiso.
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I smoked the Francisco, one of the three vitolas available on the Dutch market. This 5½x44 corona has a € 6.00 pricetag. The cigar looks good with a quite dark and oily wrapper full of small veins. I smell a sweet horse stable smell. The construction feels good, and the predraw is fine. I taste a mix of dry tobacco and some sweet herbs.
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I taste espresso with herbs, wood and some sweetness. Soon after I mainly taste leather with some coffee. All other flavors have gone but the sweetness returns quickly with some herbs on the back of my throat and a hint of nuts.
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After a third I taste more nuts with herbs and leather. Halfway the cigar has a herbal flavor and after two thirds spicy too. Near the end I get a strong pepper flavor.
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This cigar lasted me an hour and five minutes. I got a lot of thick white smoke and salt and pepper colored ash, which was quite firm. The draw and the burn are very good. This cigar is full flavored and full bodied.
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Would I buy this cigar again? Probably yes.

Appearance: 8 / 10
Construction: 8 / 10
Draw: 8 / 10
Burn: 8 / 10
Smoke & ash: 8 / 10
Aroma first part: 8 / 10
Aroma second part: 7 / 10
Aroma third part: 7 / 10

Categories: My Father Cigars, Nicaraguan cigars, Paradiso - San Cristobal | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

San Cristobal monumento

A few years ago Ashton decided that they wanted to release a new blend on the market and asked the then rising star Don Pepin Garcia to help them out and he created this Nicaraguan puro with the leathery Nicaraguan corojo wrapper. Too bad Ashton didn’t really put thought in the blend name, because Habanos S.A. has the rights to the name San Cristobal everywhere except in the USA, Ashton can’t release this cigar in Europe. I brought this cigar with me from my trip to the USA in 2009.
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The wrapper looks quite leathery with just a few veins. The cigar is a 7.2 x 49 churchill sized stogie with a fine construction. The cigar has a mild barnyard aroma and a pretty yet busy band. The top of the cigar isn’t as flat as the average churchill which makes it a bit hard to punch. The draw is way too hard, I can taste some raisin with a mild pepper.
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I can taste a medium strong earthy flavor with leather. After an inch I decided to use the draw tool as the draw was horrible. After using the draw tool the flavors taste a bit burned and I get a bit of chocolate on the background. The leather, which doesn’t taste anything like the leather in Cuban cigars, slowly grows in strength. The chocolate flavor sticks to the palate. The earthy and leathery tones are perfectly balanced and full flavored.
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The flavors change to leather and herbs. The herbal flavors are most dominant. The chocolate disappeared completely. The leather wins the battle with the herbs and becomes the dominant flavor again and it even starts to taste like Cuban leather now. The earthy flavors make a comeback too, only to support the leather though.
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The draw was very hard, so I used my cool draw tool to rescue the cigar and it worked like a charm. The burn is good and the ash is light colored. The smoke starts out poor, but that has everything to do with the bad draw, once I fixed that, the amount of smoke was good too.
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Would I buy this cigar again? Yes, it is a slow starter but the finish is worth waiting for.

Appearance: 8 / 10
Construction: 6 / 10
Draw: 6 / 10
Burn: 7 / 10
Smoke & ash: 7 / 10
Aroma first part: 6 / 10
Aroma second part: 7 / 10
Aroma third part: 8 / 10

Categories: My Father Cigars, Nicaraguan cigars, Paradiso - San Cristobal | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

San Cristobal fabuloso

A friend from the states send me this cigar to review, as the San Cristobal isn’t available in Europe yet due to the fact that there is another cigar, San Cristobal de la Habana, who claimed the name. I do hope that Ashton will release this cigar in Europe under another name as I quite liked it. It’s Ashton’s biggest release in years and I wonder why they haven’t come up with a name that is new and that they could register worldwide.

 

For this particular line, Don Pepin Garcia teamed up with Ashton and together they made the San Cristobal possible. Made from Nicaraguan tobacco with a nice dark oily wrapper, this 6 inch ring 52 torpedo looks great, the wrapper has some pretty veins running over it. The construction is great, no weak spots and a nice aroma. Only downside on the looks is the bit over the top cigar band.

 

Lots of coffee and wood with a noticeable sweetness, that is my first impression. The sweetness reminds me a bit of the Flor de Oliva maduro but with a more intense cedar wood flavor. Lots of flavors, hits of leather and spices. After about an inch the leather gets a bit stronger and wins the battle with the cedar. Soon after it’s a chocolate aroma on the palate and then the cedar makes a powerful comeback. Close to the turning point it’s cedar with a hint of mint on the tongue and a pepper on the lips. While the pepper fades, the cedar and mint flavors stick around until it’s time to part ways and let the nub die in the ashtray.

 

 

The draw and construction are close to perfect, the amount of smoke is good but I like it a bit thicker and more. The ash is quite light from color and not too firm.

 

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes, definitely worth another hour of my time

Appearance: 8 / 10
Construction: 8 / 10
Draw: 8 / 10
Burn: 8 / 10
Smoke & ash: 7 / 10
Aroma first part: 7 / 10
Aroma second part: 8 / 10
Aroma third part: 7 / 10

Categories: My Father Cigars, Nicaraguan cigars, Paradiso - San Cristobal | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

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