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Cigar Geeks Geek Critique

San Cristobal Ovation
Written by Cigar Geeks Member: Greg Swaine (Vanilla Gorilla)
91
Cigar Geeks Rating

Welcome to another Member sponsored Geek Critique.  This one has been generously sponsored by our member ninfiction (Brian).  The cigar provided for this round is the San Cristobal Ovation Decadence.

The Hype:
San Cristobal is a premium brand patiently blended by legendary cigar-maker, Jose ‘Pepin’ Garcia in Estelí, Nicaragua, that has earned scores of devoted cigar lovers and top ratings over the years. Ovation is the first limited edition San Cristobal. An exclusive production of 2,000 total boxes is drawn from only the finest and rarest tobaccos grown on Garcia family estates. A dark and lustrous San Andrés Oscuro wrapper emerges from an intensive two-and-a-half-year double fermentation to reveal a full-bodied, captivating richness over a proprietary selection of aged Nicaraguan long-filler tobaccos. Articulate notes of dark cocoa, wood and leather register with an exquisite potency. The finish reveals sweet hickory aromas and a gratifying aftertaste. Ovation is meticulously rolled in each format, offering a cool, complex draw with an abundance of irresistible flavor. While supplies last, prepare to relish Pepin’s most decadent release to date!


Length:
6.5
Ring Gauge:
52
Country Manufactured:
Nicaragua
Filler:
Nicaragua
Binder:
Nicaragua
Wrapper:
Mexico
Color:
Oscuro
Strength:
Full
Shape:
Toro

This cigar was enjoyed with Irish Coffee (Whiskey and black coffee)

Pre-Light: 17 Points of 20 Possible

From an arm’s length the San Cristobal Decadence is an absolutely gorgeous looking cigar. Beautiful bright colored band  with flowers and a parrot at the top with a sub band immediately below it Featuring Ovation and limited edition on it. Finally at the foot of the cigar another bright purple band made of thick ribbon.

The cigar is nicely packed and has nice weight to it when it’s in your hand, adding to the beauty of the final product….however as you bring the cigar closer to view, you’ll immediately notice the seams and very noticeable veins running all over the cigar. The pre lit scent gives off a very nice earthy and fine tobacco leaf smell. The wrapper is a nice milk chocolate brown with some noticeably lighter spots in some areas. It’s a very nice looking cigar…I almost hate to burn this thing…..key word being “almost”.

Light & Burn: 15 Points of 15 Possible

I punched this cigar to start, which may have been my biggest mistake with this cigar. I found with just a punch that the draw was labored and in doing so may have started off my experience with a hotter burn that what should be normal. I decided that there was no way this cigar was going to not produce the way I had read it would and clipped the end off which made a world of difference.

The burn was even throughout and the cigar gives off very ample amounts of smoke. It smokes like a dream once it gets going. I truly believe that this cigar deserves a better rating once I corrected my error. My smoking experience was superb once I clipped the end off, the ash holds tight and only dropped when I knocked it which completed my perfect experience. Because of this, I give the San Cristobal Ovation Decadence a perfect score in this category.

Construction: 28 Points of 30 Possible

The San Cristobal Ovation Decadence has a cap that too me seemed to have some loose and soft areas which made me worried at pre light, however as you read in my “light and burn” category I suffered zero issues smoking this cigar. The cap is near perfect construction with near invisible transition into the wrapper. As mentioned above, very noticeable veins and seams in the wrapper are this cigars only prevention of a perfect score.

Flavor: 31 Points of 35 Possible

This is a full bodied cigar with a flavor profile to match. I was very impressed with the cocoa and dark berry flavoring which sticks through the entire cigar, and was not surprised at all by the peppery flavors, both red and black pepper which gives the cigar it’s exotic combination during the first I’d say half of the cigar.

Coming into the second half you’re given a new flavor profile which found notes of coffee, earthiness and sweetness. Still very peppery I found. Near the final third of the cigar I found it burning a little hot again, I may have lost some other flavors to this heat and ended up with a bark taste mixed with pepper and earthiness. Not the greatest finish, but I was willing to overlook for the quality of the smoke leading into the final third.

Summary

The gorgeous presentation of this cigar, combined with the ample smoke and how well it burned has made me a fan for life. This cigar can draw a crowd as well. Smoking this at a local Cigar Lounge here in Canada had people coming over to ask what it was and where I got it from. My only regret was the punching of  cigar to start. I should have known better but it was a quick fix in the end. I was lucky enough to be included in this review and get to smoke one of these. This might be the only one I ever smoke, and man oh man am I ever glad I got that chance!



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