Santiago Cigars is a relatively new company to the American scene but they are well established in Nicaragua as Santiago de los Caballeros. In 2010, a few cigar lovers left their jobs financing cigar companies to make Nicaraguan cigars for Nicaraguans. They teamed up with the Plasencia Family to produce them and set their base of operations in Leon, Nicaragua.

Santiago Habano Breakdown

  • Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
  • Binder: Nicaragua
  • Filler: Nicaragua and Mexico
  • Factory: Plasencia Cigars S.A. (Nicaragua)
  • Production: Regular Production
  • Vitola: 5″ × 50 robusto box press
  • Price: $7.50

Santiago Cigars Habano robusto cigar review

Appearance

This is a very solid box press, it almost has sharp edges! The wrapper is flawless with no visible seams, veins, or blemishes. The cap is well placed and cuts without issue. I don’t totally love the band’s color/design, it seems like so much care went into the construction but the band doesn’t do it justice in my opinion.

The aroma is very fruity and it has a slight cedar tinge. The pre-light draw has Bing cherries and maybe some licorice. Based on the prelight draw and the appearance, I predict that this cigar won’t give me too many issues as far as construction goes.

Smoking Experience

The first impression is this cigar is pretty strong compared to your average habano! I thought I would get a light smoke but this cigar holds its ground while still producing a smooth, enjoyable smoke. The flavors I get throughout the first third are of licorice, with white pepper on the retrohale – I also get a lot of earthy undertones. The ash has held well and the draw is great. I can’t find any of the fruitiness that I smelled on the wrapper but I’m not upset about it one bit.

Santiago Cigars Habano box press cigar review

The second third is more complex and there is some red pepper and cedar, with a little pine flavor. The cigar burns very quickly and there are no points where the burn or the ash fluctuate. I am not “blown away” by this cigar yet, but it is very likable – the flavors don’t jump out at you but they also don’t drop off suddenly. It’s like in between songs on a record player – a smooth transition from piece to piece without really ever stopping.



In the final third I get some orange zest and there is a ton of dark chocolate – I also get some herbal notes, having a thyme-like quality. This is the peak of the cigar in my opinion, it is the most complex and enjoyable portion of the cigar. Honestly, I was lukewarm on this cigar until I reached this final portion. This has real complexity and it also has great balance. It isn’t too strong but it isn’t mild either – the flavors I get really have complimented each other well at this point.

Santiago Cigars Habano cigar review

Would I smoke this cigar again?

I would gladly smoke this cigar again, it isn’t too challenging but also not mild or forgettable. The price point is great for a stick of this caliber and it is exciting to see small companies put out great products like this. For their first line, Santiago may have something with the Habano – I am excited to see what they have in store in the future.

Santiago Cigars Habano cigar review and rating

Santiago Habano
The Santiago Habano is a well-constructed piece of tobacco that is overall pretty solid. It is classical in flavor but also not too predictable. The progression of flavors is legit and this cigar has three distinct thirds, each with different character, strength, and body - the final being the most complex and, in my opinion, the best. That's no small feat for a company with one line, especially at a very attractive $7.50 price point. For that reason alone, the Santiago Habano is worth trying and buying.
Appearance78%
Burn/Construction98%
Draw92%
Flavor89%
Complexity85%
Price/Value94%
Pros
  • Solid construction
  • Nice mix of classical flavors and Complexity
  • Good price point
Cons
  • Not eye-catching
  • Quick Burner
  • Takes some time to develop great flavors
89%Good Character
Reader Rating: (0 Votes)
0%
  • It’s a shame this burns so quickly – it sounds like the kind of thing I’d like to enjoy over a long stretch of time. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!