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Staff Reviews

San Cristobal Ovation Staff Review

Zack D. D's picture

Zack D.

This past weekend, the weather was quite nice. After a week of heavy thunderstorms, it was good to feel the sunshine and the light summer breeze. After Sunday supper, I went into the backyard, gathered some branches that had come down during the storm and decided to stoke up the fire pit. Once I had everything lit, it was time to spark up a cigar.

Since it was only 7:00, I had plenty of time to enjoy a larger cigar. I ran inside, popped open my humidor, and there was a San Cristobal Ovation Decadence (6.5 x 52) staring right at me. Without hesitation, I grabbed it along with my trusty cutter and lighter, and back outside I went.

In addition to the remarkable artwork on the band, the San Andres Oscuro wrapper is truly a thing of beauty. From the oily sheen, to the tooth, to the dark chocolaty hue, this wrapper screams 'decadence!' Underneath this stunning wrapper is a rich selection of aged tobaccos grown and harvested by Jose ‘Pepin’ Garcia on his various Nicaraguan farms. There are significant notes of chocolate and pepper on the pre-light draw, as well as a touch of pepper coming from the foot. As soon as I toast the foot, I know it’s going to be a good night.

Complex. There is no better way to describe the initial flavors of this cigar. Right off the bat there are sweet notes of cedar and chocolate poking through an intense base of black pepper. Once I smoked through the first half-inch, the profile cools down a bit and some hints of espresso begin to emerge. The combination of the cedar, chocolate and espresso work so well together that I would not be upset if nothing else changed. The balance of flavor is spot-on.

As the cigar transitions, undertones of dried fruit start to come though, adding another layer of sweetness to the flavor profile. Subtly, the pepper notes start to fade away to make room for bolder wood and earth tones. During the final third of the cigar, I welcomed back the peppery spice with open arms. There is a plethora of flavors within each puff. Chocolate, espresso, cedar, pepper and earth all working in unison.

As I wrap up the remaining inch, I am reminded of why I love this cigar so much. There is not a single flaw to speak of. The construction is impeccable (which is business as usual at the My Father factory). The draw is flawless. The burn is razor sharp. And lastly, the flavor profile is vastly rich, complex and indulgent.

Be warned, this is not a first-thing-in-the-morning kind of cigar. San Cristobal Ovation is big and bold, easily 9 out of 10 on my strength meter. Do yourself a favor and make sure you eat a large meal before lighting up this masterpiece. This cigar is highly-limited, so get ‘em while you can!


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