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Staff Reviews

San Cristobal Elegancia Imperial Staff Review

Tom O. O's picture

Tom O.

Well, today is a great day to crank out a cigar review – anytime you get to light up a San Cristobal cigar you’re in for a real treat. San Cristobal Elegancia debuted back in 2011. I am indulging in the 6 x 52 Imperial format. All San Cristobal cigars are conceptualized and brought to life by two dedicated families in the premium cigar industry: the Levins, owners of the Ashton, La Aroma de Cuba, and San Cristobal brands; and the Garcias, makers of My Father and several other popular Nicaraguan lines.

Father-and-son cigar-makers Pepin and Jaime Garcia draw upon generations of tobacco-farming and cigar-making expertise from their Cuban roots. Since the mid-2000s, the Levin family has partnered with the Garcias in creating and marketing over a dozen new cigar blends from the ground up, including every cigar in the San Cristobal and La Aroma de Cuba portfolios.

San Cristobal Elegancia was the second San Cristobal blend to debut. The brand includes a total of five blends today. Elegancia is truly distinct, as it is the only blend with a Connecticut-seed wrapper, and it is the mildest in the brand’s portfolio. When it comes to cigars blended with a Connecticut wrapper, you must develop an amazing finished product because the competition is fierce. Elegancia excels in flavor, aroma, and balance and it has from day one.

San Cristobal Elegancia is handcrafted at the Garcia family’s sprawling My Father factory in Estelí, Nicaragua. The binder and filler tobaccos are grown on special Garcia family farms in the rich Nicaraguan landscape. A stunning and smooth Ecuador Connecticut wrapper completes the blend in an immaculate round format. The cigar is flawless to the touch.

As with most blends made by the Garcias, you get a sense of their trademark Nicaraguan spices from a slight sniff of the foot. The Imperial I’m enjoying feels perfectly balanced in my hand. Prior to lighting up, ample notes of hay, cinnamon, nuts, and white pepper show up in the cold draw. Upon toasting the foot, silky notes of cedar and spices emerge while the room fills with rich, full clouds of smoke.

During the first third, the flavors are consistent, incredibly clean, and not the least bit harsh. The cigar’s construction and draw are also flawless, as is to be expected from the Garcias. Elegancia delivers cool tasting notes of honey and cocoa with approachable body throughout the halfway point.

Although “complex” is a fairly overused word when it comes to describing cigars, Elegancia can easily be classified as complex. Pepin and Jaime Garcia create cigars with magnificent versatility and depth. It is the key to their success. Their natural instinct and passion for blending premium tobacco is reflected in San Cristobal.

As the final third closes in, the cigar’s flavor melds in a nutty mélange. A velvety finish wraps up an amazing cigar that is extremely approachable for every level of cigar smoker. If you are a fan of premium Nicaraguan cigars with more finesse than aggression, San Cristobal Elegancia is a must-try. Browse through the full San Cristobal portfolio for a range of excellent handmades rated over 90 points by our staff here at Holt’s. Enjoy!


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