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New to our humidor this week is one of the latest entries into the “big ring” stogie trend that’s been sweeping the nation, the San Cristobal Elegancia Grandioso, a monstrous 6×60 version of the mellower-than-usual offering from Don Pepin. For today’s review I decided to take the Grandioso out for a test-smoke to see what this chunky stick was all about.
First off, this was a great looking cigar. The Elegancia had beautiful, elaborate banding covering a good percentage of the cigar, including a regal-looking baby blue foot band. Beyond that, the silky Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper was near flawless with just a slight oily sheen. After snipping the sturdy triple-cap, I was met with interesting pre-light notes of cedar with a light citrus tinge to it.
Right from the very first puff I took, this stogie was super creamy, piping ample notes of nuts and sweet cedar through a wide open draw. Unlike almost every other Don Pepin creation I’ve tasted, this one had no opening spice blast, though I definitely started to pick up hints of peppery spice on the finish a little further in. The thick, black burn-line on this beast was straight all the way around, and the cigar was burning clean and cool.
While the first 3rd of this stogie was definitely smooth, the 2nd third was even smoother. The woody and nutty flavor profile didn’t change too drastically here, though the draw remained effortless, and I began to taste some subtle floral notes during this portion. The flavor came across as very well-balanced, and by this point I had built up a thick, two-inch-plus ash.
In the final third of this stick the flavors deepened a bit, but stayed smooth, with accents of coffee and nutmeg joining the fold. This fat stogie stayed cool, and burned razor-straight as I took it right down to the nub.
Lately I’ve sampled quite a few cigars that put an interesting spin on the typical Connecticut flavor profile, and the San Cristobal Elegancia Grandioso definitely falls into that category. This cigar was slightly sweet and creamy, as you would expect, but had an added element of subtle spiciness that really rounded out the taste quite nicely. Aside from that, everything about this cigar screamed quality, from its appearance, to the near-perfect burn and draw, right on down to its well-balanced and nuanced flavor. I declare the Elegancia Grandioso to be further evidence of Don Pepin Garcia’s cigar-genius, and give it an A grade. Fans of big-ring smokes and nice, easygoing flavor should definitely be checking this one out.