Posts Tagged With: San Cristobal de la Habana (Habanos)

San Cristobal de la Habana Harimau Malaya Exclusivo Malaysia

San Cristobal de la Habana Harimau Malaya Exclusivo Malaysia. That is a mouth full. Earlier this year Pacific Cigar Company, the second-largest Habanos distributor in the world, released this cigar. It is the first regional edition for Malaysia ever. And only the fourth time that Pacific Cigar Company made a regional edition for one country in their territory instead of an Asian Pacifico regional. Only Taiwan and Hong Kong had that honor, Hong Kong twice. And it is also the first time that Pacific Cigar Company is using San Cristobal de la Habana as the brand for a regional edition.

The cigar itself is a format only used for one other cigar, the Romeo y Julieta Wide Churchill. The factory name is Montesco, with a 5⅛x55 size. Habanos and PCC have released 8888 boxes of 10 cigars. And while that may sound like a weird number, it is not. There is a large Chinese population in Malaysia and in Chinese culture 8 is a number that stands for prosperity and wealth. Plus the cigars are also available in Hong Kong, where Pacific Cigars has its headquarters and a few lounges.

The wrapper looks good, quite dark for a Cuban cigar with a thin vein. The triple cap is placed perfectly. The cigar has the brown, yellow, and gold San Cristobal de La Habana band with the classic red, white, and silver exclusivo band. As we understand that Habanos likes uniformity in the exclusivo bands we get that they all have the same design. But often they don’t match with the regular ring, as is the case with this cigar. The construction feels good. For the last few years, Cuba has been improving the construction quality and it pays off. The cigar has a mild, yet deep aroma of manure and barnyard. There is no ammonia smell, which was kind of expected since it’s a young cigar.

The cold draw is fine and quite spicy. The first puffs are typical Cuban, old school. Soil, leather, and coffee. Then a strong wood shows up, not cedar but a stronger wood flavor. There is also a hint of citrus. Then there are spices, gingerbread spices, with cedar, soil, and leather. The leather and earthiness remain. But some salt, pepper, and nuts show up too. All quite nuanced and refined for a young cigar. There is no harshness at all. The second third has more power and strength. More pepper, with wood, nuts, and leather. The cigar gets more of a bite. One or two years of aging would improve this part of the cigar. The retrohale brings dark spices to the front. The final third has a nice mixture of spices, with nuts, soil, and leather. All in balance. The aftertaste has some pepper. Towards the end, pepper picks up a lot.

The draw is fine, but as said before, it’s been a focus of Cubatabaco for the last few years. Draw issues are less common than a few years ago. There are some burn issues though. The ash is dark but firm. It leaves a nice cone. The smoke is okay but could have been a bit thicker. The cigar is young and will improve with some aging. But this isn’t a cigar to age for more than 5 to 7 years is our expectation. The smoke time is two hours and thirty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Not for the insane price they are asking

Categories: 91, Cuban cigars, San Cristobal de la Habana (Habanos) | Tags: , , , , ,

Paradiso Francisco

I love the classic sizes with a lancero as my favorite vitola, closely followed by the lonsdale, the corona and if I really want to treat myself, the A size cigars. Unfortunately, the last decade we have seen cigars getting fatter and fatter, where a robusto was considered to be a big cigar, nowadays with the gordo, extra gordo, extra extra gordo or how manufacurers call these donkey dick sized vitolas a robusto is almost considered a skinny stick. And what is most surprising, most industry people don’t like big ring gauged cigars at all. And I agree with them, I prefer skinny cigars too as stated above. The wrapper to filler ratio is much better and since the wrapper gives the most flavor a skinny cigar has so much more dynamic, nuances, evolution and flavors compared to the big ring cigars that I really don’t get the big ring hype.

But as always, the market dictates and the market demands big ring gauges, the smaller rings don’t sell so we don’t see that many lanceros, lonsdales or coronas, especially on my side of the ocean. Heck, when I worked for Longfiller Company, the only way to persuade my boss to order lanceros was if I pre-sold an x amount of boxes, he would order that exact amount of boxes and that’s it while he would just order loads and loads of robusto and gordo sized cigars. The only corona we had in our portfolio was the Paradiso Francisco, known as the San Cristobal Francisco in the United States, a cigar made by My Father for Ashton Cigars and when my boss told me he was discontinuing this vitola I quickly bought a few because I like the cigar and the vitola.

The wrapper is dark with two thin veins running over the back and a rough leathery feel to it. The ring is awesome, a bright red parrot with green and blue wings on a light colored ring with lots of gold, and the gold really pops, high quality printing. The construction feels good, but then again, it is a My Father Cigars made cigar and that counts for quality. The cigar has an aroma that reminds me of when I’m boiling cauliflower, and it’s medium strong.

I cut the cigar with my xikar cutter. The cold draw is a little tight and I taste some raisin, mint and pepper. After lighting the cigar with a soft flame I taste coffee, not too bitter, and a little sweetness with some chocolate. After an inch I taste a pleasant cedar with some nutmeg. The flavors are very subtle yet medium full in strength. Halfway I taste vanilla, honey and some jalapeño pepper. The vanilla is the main flavor and there is a little mint in the aftertaste. The jalapeño changes to black pepper. Near the end the pepper gets really strong.

The ash is almost white and pretty firm. The burn is straight as an arrow. The draw is great, better than in the cold draw. The smoke is medium to full thick and enough in volume. This cigar is medium bodied yet medium full flavored. The smoke time is an hour and twenty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? I still have a good stash, but once they are gone I will need more.

Score: 92

Categories: 92, My Father Cigars, Nicaraguan cigars, Paradiso - San Cristobal | Tags: , , , , ,

Cigar of the month January

Over the last month I reviewed 9 cigars with my new 100 point rating system and the cigar of the month january is:

Cornelius & Anthony Cornelius Toro with a 94! score

I’ve been rating cigars with my 100 point rating system for a month and I must admit that I was worried it wouldn’t work after my first two cigars because both rated high in the 90 but then the third cigar proved that my rating system is spot on for me. Ofcourse its new to me so it needs a little fine tuning but overall I can say that it works quite well and I’m happy I changed to this 100 point system.

Now as for the complete list of cigars I smoked in January for Cigarguideblog:
1) Cornelius & Anthony Cornelius Toro (USA) 94 points
2) Sobremesa Short Churchill (Nicaragua) 93 points
3) Padron 1926 #1 Double Corona (Nicaragua) 91 points
4) Nicoya Medios Robusto (Nicaragua) 91 points
5) Splendid Robusto (Dominican Republic) 91 points
6) Cain F Lancero (Nicaragua) 90 points
7) Paradiso (San Cristobal) Quintessence Epicure (Nicaragua) 90 points
8) Santiago Maduro Robusto (Nicaragua) 90 points
9) Joya Black Robusto (Nicaragua) 89 points

El Titan de Bronze made a great cigar for Cornelius & Anthony and Sandy Cobas and her team live up to the reputation they earned over the years as top quality cigar manufacturers.

Categories: Cigar of the month | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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


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

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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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: , , , ,

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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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: , , , ,

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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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: , , , ,

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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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: , , , , ,

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: , , , ,

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