San Cristobal de La Habana 20 Aniversario Cigar Review

San Cristobal de La Habana 20 Aniversario Cigar Review

by Nick Hendry

There are a few Cuban cigars which may be considered by aficionados as treasures.  Ever-elusive Cohiba Behikes, Limited Editions from years gone by or Regional Editions produced in small quantities for unusual markets often achieve almost mythical status.  Significantly less common is for a cigar to presented as an actual treasure, complete with pirate-style treasure chest box.  This is exactly how the San Cristobal de La Habana 20 Aniversario arrives – rolled in limited quantities to commemorate 20 years of the brand, and made exclusively available to La Casa del Habano franchises.

The 20 Aniversario is presented in a Capuleto vitola, measuring 52 ring gauge by 6 ⅜ inches.  It is one of a growing number of special releases for the brand – including the recent Harimau Malaya, the first Malaysian regional edition cigar – and delivered almost 2 full hours of smoking.

The San Cristobal de La Habana 20 Aniversario Cigar

Construction: 10/10

  • This cigar was beautiful to look at; a dark, silky wrapper with not a single blemish and a firm spring to the touch all the way along the body.

Draw: 8/10

  • Initially a touch stingy with the smoke, and requiring a bit more effort to extract a proper draw, the cigar opened up after about 1cm and gave no further issues.

Combustion: 10/10

  • Even when the draw was a little difficult the burn was even and steady. Not once did I take the lighter to an edge after initially lighting the cigar.

San Cristobal de La Habana 20 Aniversario

Ash: 5/5

  • Solid, a light silver in colour (almost white) and rolled off roughly every inch.

Smoke: 4/5

  • That first small section of drawing difficulty was accompanied by a paucity of smoke, preventing a perfect score, but as soon as the draw returned to normal the output of smoke was impressive.

Flavour: 22/25

  • A gentle body with a corresponding strength, and a sweet profile that fit well with the sunny afternoon on which I enjoyed this cigar.

Overall: 32/35

  • This relatively young brand has already won a place in the hearts of serious Cuban cigar smokers, despite being a little off the radar of many. This cigar is a serious tribute to the name – one of the best I have smoked in recent months.  Flavours began light and sweet, intensified as I progressed and built to a wonderful crescendo.  Fully deserving of being locked away in a chest, enjoyed on special occasions.

San Cristobal de La Habana 20 Aniversario

Final Score: 91/100

  • The novelty of the box these cigars come in may not be for all tastes, but the cigars contained within it are seriously good smokes. Upon lighting I was met with a fairly light-bodied smoke, with an immediate strong caramel note.  This was accompanied by a light touch of honey – a lighter foil to the creamy and rich caramel.  As the smoke progressed into the middle third the honey disappeared and everything became richer and more intense, including the body.  The caramel developed into a sweetness more akin to a Speyside malt, and waves of rich earth came and went alongside it.  The final third was stronger, richer and more earthy still – by now the body and strength was firmly in the ‘medium’ bracket, and notes of cedar and oak woods alternated as I smoked down into the nub.  A wonderful cigar.

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