Cigar Review: San Cristobal Ovation

Cigar Review: San Cristobal Ovation

Ashton Cigars
Country: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Mexico (San Andres Oscuro)
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Size: 6 1/2” x 52
Strength: full
Price: $15.00

Click here to buy it now.

Overall Rating: 9.2

In 2014, Ashton Cigars released the limited edition La Aroma de Cuba Noblesse (our Cigar of the Year that year). At the 2015 IPCPR Trade Show they announced that the San Cristobal brand would be getting the same special treatment with a limited edition cigar named the San Cristobal Ovation. Finally hitting stores late in 2015 and early 2016, the San Cristobal Ovation is made at My Father Cigars S.A., and is a full bodied cigar certainly worthy of the ovation that its name implies.

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Pre-Light: The San Cristobal bands have always been among my favorites, and the Ovation has all the same qualities that make the San Cristobal bands so beautiful. There’s similarities in packaging to the Noblesse, such as the double band and foot ribbon, and it really makes the cigar stand out on shelves. The dark San Andres wrapper really makes the band and foot ribbon stand out.

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From the wrapper of there is a mix of barnyard and coffee aromas. A pleasing mix of coffee grounds, sweet chocolate and slight barnyard aromas. The cold draw is a mix of cocoa and coffee with hints of pepper.

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Burn: Ashton’s San Cristobal Ovation has a perfect draw, and is a great example of what the Garcia’s My Father Cigars S.A. does very well. This cigar produces a massive amount of smoke. There’s a sweet coffee aroma to the burning cigar. From start to finish, the burn on the Ovation is fairly even.

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Flavor: The first third of the San Cristobal Ovation begins with a sweet chocolate note. Strong crushed red pepper dominates the early retrohale, and carries over to the palate in a much less powerful way. As the first third gets going the Ovation has a mix of sweet chocolate, coffee, earth and mild red and black pepper. During the transition to the second third of the cigar there is a creaminess that brings a chocolate milk like flavor to the foreground. The retrohale has mellowed out significantly, and is a mix of cocoa and earth, as well as white, black and red pepper. There’s a lot of pleasing sweetness to the flavor profile of the San Cristobal Ovation, which is especially noticeable in the second third of the cigar. By the halfway point in the cigar there is mix cocoa, coffee, nuts, cedar, subtle cinnamon and mild white pepper. The transition to the final third of the cigar sees the cocoa and coffee continue while being joined by a floral note. Quickly into the last third of the cigar the white pepper and red pepper begins to come back stronger on both the palate and retrohale. Cocoa, cedar, coffee, molasses, earth and pepper all continue through to the final third of the cigar to the very end.

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Overall: After the stellar ratings we gave the La Aroma de Cuba Noblesse, I was very much looking forward to the San Cristobal Ovation. While it didn’t blow me away in the same way the Noblesse did when I first smoked it, the San Cristobal Ovation is still a very impressive cigar. This full bodied cigar has a good deal of sweet chocolate, coffee, earth and pepper notes that make for a great smoking experience. The San Cristobal Ovation is everything a good San Andres cigar should be. Fans of the other San Cristobal and La Aroma de Cuba brands made by Don Pepin Garcia for Ashton will find the Ovation right up their alley. Personally, I really enjoyed the Ovation, and find it to be the perfect cigar for the end of a long work day. With production limited to 3,000 boxes, the San Cristobal Ovation won’t be around forever.

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Pairing: A cup of cappuccino or an espresso goes extremely well with the Ovation. For those looking for something a little stronger, a sweeter bourbon like the 1792 Sweet Wheat Bourbon or  Larceny will compliment the cigar nicely.

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Reviewed by Jonathan David (@JonDavid1210)