I’m posting this Tuesday, but I’m having this cigar on Saturday. My buddy and co-creator of Nice Tight Ash, Charlie, is getting married today in Florida. So to honor that day, I’m smoking one of my all time favorites since I can’t be there. That cigar is the San Cristobal De La Habana La Punta. San Cristobal De La Habana (SCDLH) is considered one of the best Cuban brands available right now. The cigar line was developed in 1999 to celebrate its name sake, Havana. San Cristobal De La Habana is the original name of the capital when it was under Spanish control. This cigar line is light to medium in body and uses tobaccos from the Vuelta Abejo region.
It’s currently offered in seven sizes:
- El Morro – 7 1/4″ x 49
- El Principe – 4 3/8″ x 42
- La Fuerza – 5 1/2″ x 50
- La Punta – 5 1/2″ x 52
- Mercaderes – 6 1/2″ x 48
- Muralla – 7 1/8″ x 54
- Officios – 5 1/4″ x 43
The cigar names come from fortress that defended the city from invaders. Also, the Mercaderes, Muralla and Officios are only offered from La Casa Del Habano. This particular cigar was gifted to me from a BOTL from CigarWeekly.com. The box code is LLN SET 2003 which means that it was made in the Jose Marti H. Upmann factory in September 2003. Let’s see how it smokes.
The wrapper is fairly smooth with no major veins or water spots. There are some blemishes, darker areas on the wrapper. The cap on the belicoso is perfectly wrapped. I can barely make out the seams where it was wrapped around.
I cut the tip off with my Xikar Xi3 cutter which it did flawlessly. The draw is just right and gives flavors of barnyard and sweet hay. The wrapper has an aroma of hay and pepper which is quite nice. Foot has a strong hay component to it than on the draw.
I lit the cigar with my Blazer CB-207 that I just bought from David at Heartfelt Industries. The lighter toasted the cigar with ease and precision. The first aromas that come to mind are sweet hay, toasted nuts and creamy undertones. The retrohale really brings out the creaminess of the cigar. There is a hint, and I mean hint, of coffee underneath it all. The draw is tighter than I expected. If it doesn’t open up more, I might cut more off the end. That’s what so great about belicosos and torpedos.
The nutty flavors are still there, but I’m getting a STRONG woody flavor now. It reminds me of the smell of mahogany or teak. It’s really nice and it complements the other flavors. There is a buttery note also. As a wine drinker, it reminds me of flavors of an overoaked Chardonnay. The main notes in the second third are definitely woods and nuts with a slight buttery note.
The flavors of the last third actually seemed to be ramped up flavors from the first third. The buttery note is gone. The coffee note is back with a vengeance and hits my palette full force. It’s also very creamy now. I’m really digging this cigar. It’s the creaminess that lingers on the palette the longest. The burn was really good also.
If I had to describe this cigar in one word….in honor of Gen. McAuliffe at the Battle of the Bulge….”NUTS!”. The mix of nuts, woods, coffee, creaminess with hints of butter made this cigar a joy to smoke. This one had 6 years of age on it and I think it mellowed the flavors even more and melded them together to make a nice symphony of flavors. I think the La Punta is the best of the line, but YMMV. I haven’t tried a young La Punta so I don’t know how the flavors of changed. With the way this one turned out, I need to try one and find out.