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Cigar Geeks Geek Critique

San Cristobal Quintessence Corona Gorda
Written by Cigar Geeks Member: Gary (headfirst)
85
Cigar Geeks Rating

Welcome to another Member sponsored Geek Critique.  This one has been generously sponsored by our member appollo (Stephen).  This particular round was run as a blind review.  Each member received the exact same stick and none of them knew what it was.  The actual stick that was reviewed was the San Cristobal Quintessence Corona Gorda.

Length:
5.625
Ring Gauge:
46
Country Manufactured:
Nicaragua
Filler:
Nicaragua
Binder:
Nicaragua
Wrapper:
Ecuador
Habano
Color:
Colorado
Strength:
Medium-Full
Shape:
Corona Grande

This cigar was enjoyed with Finished off some Woodford and then some Blanton's

Pre-Light: 16 Points of 10 Possible

Wrapper is right down the middle brown in color and fairly uniform, I'd guess around a 6x48 in size, with an occasional vein.  There was a bit of sheen but not overly so, all in all a reasonably attractive looking cigar but nothing spectacular.  The aroma is faint and is basically sweet hay on the shaft and the foot.

Light & Burn: 11 Points of 15 Possible

She lights up nice and even and fairly easily.  There was a tremendous amount of smoke output right away.  I’d put the body as medium at best to start even though there’s lots of smoke and the strength as medium.  These both built to medium-full as the cigar progressed.  The smoke volume remained strong in the first half of the cigar.  The ash was a uniform medium grey and held tight for an inch at a time before dropping.  The burn was great and maybe even a tad fast until getting to that soft spot.  So about halfway down the cigar it started to take some intentional puffing and purging to keep it burning correctly.  I had to ultimately give it a correction that took an attempt or two as one side just wouldn't burn.  Tunneling remained an issue from there to the end and put a damper on the rest of the cigar unfortunately.  I put it down with about an inch nub left, roughly a 90 minute smoking time.

Construction: 26 Points of 30 Possible

The wrapper has virtually invisible seams and a well applied triple cap that remains perfectly intact after a V cut. The single V reveals an absolutely perfect draw for my taste, just a touch of resistance.  The cold flavor is again very muted, just a little bit of tobacco and not much else.  The draw remained perfect the whole way.  There was one slightly soft spot near the middle of the cigar.  The pack on the foot looks right, not stuffed solid and not loose looking, and the weight feels about right for the size, maybe just a touch light.

Flavor: 32 Points of 45 Possible

The first draws stunned me with flavors I couldn’t pick up pre-light.  Good amount of pepper initially (black and white I’d say) and good other spices and sweetness in the retrohale, and a dry tobacco flavor on the pallet.  The cigar continues to be a pepper-tobacco dominated profile on the tongue with a nice retrohale of spices, cedar, and sweetness for about an inch.  About a half inch in and the pallet starts to be coated which introduces a bit of tannin and helps with the dryness.  The pepper on the pallet is gone by the first inch as is the tannin.  Now and then I'd get a little touch of saltiness.

The retrohale is where the party was on this cigar, it was fabulous.  As mentioned above it started with good spice, pepper, sweetness, and cedar.  There was enough pepper to where I couldn't do big long retros.
It would turn to more of a charred wood with spices, then bounce back to regular cedar, a rich sweetness, and some spices.  The retrohale is rich and very smooth once the pepper subsided.  I’m suspecting Cuban based on just how rich this retrohale is and how plain the pallet is, reminding me very much of the H. Upmann Petit Corona though the size is obviously not the same.  Once the burn issues began the flavors became more plain.  After the burn correction the flavors came back briefly until the tunneling started becoming more of an issue.  There were some pretty good moments the rest of the way but nothing like the treat the first half was.

Summary

The first half of this cigar was extremely enjoyable thanks to the strong smoke output and the amazing retrohale.  Once the burn issues started the cigar lost its luster a bit but overall the cigar was still a real treat.  Many thanks to appollo for sponsoring this, I can't wait to see what it is I enjoyed.



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