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
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.
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.
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.
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.
- Solid construction
- Nice mix of classical flavors and Complexity
- Good price point
- Not eye-catching
- Quick Burner
- Takes some time to develop great flavors