San Cristobal by Ashton (Joint Review)

MP3 Reviews Videos21 Comments on San Cristobal by Ashton (Joint Review)

San Cristobal by Ashton (Joint Review)

Ashton San Cristobal - 1

Ashton San Cristobal - 2Brand: San Cristobal by Ashton
Blender: Don Pepin Garcia
Wrapper: Nicaragua
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Origin: Nicaragua
MSRP: Between $7.25 and $12.00
Purchased From: Varies


San Cristobal is a well known Cuban Cigar brand which has seen recent popularity as a Nicaraguan Brand. The Nicaraguan brand is made by the famed Don Pepin Garcia exclusively for Ashton Cigars.

The San Cristobal is available in eight sizes, which include a Papagayo (55 x 5.75), Fancisco (44 x 5.50), Clasico (50 x 5.00), Supremo (50 x 6.00), Guajiro (46 x 6.625), Fabuloso (52 x 6.125), Monumento (49 x 7.25), and a Maestro (60 x 6.00). Cigars are packaged in boxes of 21 and 22 and range from $142.95 to $236.95.


Ashton San Cristobal - 3

After Mike and I got our bearing straight with how the video was going to flow, we began the pre-light inspection. What we found on both samples, from different purchase dates and locations, was that they were very similar. Both exhibited a dark brown wrapper with even coloring from head to foot.

When pinch, both samples felt very firm and did not contain and hollow spots throughout. My cigar was so firm that I feared potential draw problems due to overfilling. It seemed as though Mike’s San Cristobal wasn’t as over-filled as my sample.

After getting a good look at our cigars, we moved right along to opening them up. Both Mike and I used a guillotine style cutter to open up the triple caps. The cold draw produced a natural tobacco sweetness with plenty of resistance.

First Third:

Ashton San Cristobal - 4

After the toasting and lighting process was complete, both Mike and I had our cigars lit and were ready to get things underway. Right off the bat, the body was in the medium to full range while the finish was mildly creamy and smooth on the palate. When the smoke was passed through the sinuses, I noticed a sharp spiciness that I found appealing.

The flavor profile was where the two of us began to see a divide. Mike noticed a heavy woody flavor and even commented about feeling as though he was “chewing on a 2×4”. I, on the other hand, did not notice much in terms of a woody flavor. I picked up more of a generic Nicaraguan Tobacco taste with a mildly sweet and peppery after-taste.

With Mike’s cigars being relatively new, due to a recent purchase, my San Cristobal was resting in the humidor for a number of months. I think that the age on my cigar may have possibly mellowed out the very woody flavor that Mike was tasting.

Second Third:

Ashton San Cristobal - 5

As we neared the one-hour mark, Mike and I were most of the way through the second third of our Ashton San Cristobals. Despite smoking two different sizes, the two seemed to have a very similar smoke time.

This portion of the cigar seemed to remain consistent with the previous third. The body remained medium to full with a mildly creamy finish. The smoke was easy on the palate and deliver a nice little sharp spice through the sinus. The flavor profile also remained the same between both cigars.

The burn on my San Cristobal was thin and even for most of the stick, while Mike experienced some waviness in his burn. The ash formed by my cigar was tightly compacted and light gray in color, while Mike’s ash was flaky and slightly darker. The draw remained firm on my sample and as beginning to have a negative impact on the way I viewed my cigar.

Final Third:

Ashton San Cristobal - 6

After nearly two-hours of smoking, Mike and I were getting close to wrapping up our San Cristobal cigars. Just like in previous thirds, there wasn’t much change to report on. The body remained the same and remained medium to full while the finish remained mildly creamy and easy on the palate.

Just like the body and finish, the flavor profile did not go through any changes along the way. I was expecting a bit of progression, at some point, but it just never came. The core flavor remained that of a typical Nicaraguan Tobacco taste with some woody tones throughout. When the smoke was passed through the sinuses, there was a definite sharp spice which tickled the nose, as well as a bit of pepper.

On the construction end of things, we began to see a variance between the two cigars, once again.

While my sample was burning neatly and producing a tightly compacted ash, Mike was dealing with a flaking ash and some canoing during the later stages of the cigar.

The one and only construction issue that I was having problems with, was the stiff draw. As the cigar began to grow short, the extra effort required to get a mouthful of smoke was making my San Cristobal warm on my fingers. Mike’s sample, which had a slightly larger ring gauge, didn’t seem to be giving him much trouble.

Final Thoughts:

Ashton San Cristobal - 7

After a solid two-hours of smoking, it was time that Mike and I take one final look at the cigar and determine if we felt it was a good value. Simply put, we did not feel that the San Cristobal was worth the nearly double digit price it commands.

I found the stiff draw to be off-putting and Mike’s sample seemed to be running into routine burn issues along the way. With the cigar being so consistent, from start to finish, we grew tired of the same groupings of flavor without any sort of change-up along the way.

enjoying cigars since 2005

21 thoughts on “San Cristobal by Ashton (Joint Review)

  1. I’ve got one of these in Robusto size that has been in my humi for close to a year. I’ll be curious how the flavor profile compares.

    I like these joint reviews…keep ’em coming!


  2. Love the joint reviews. I don’t think scotch usually does impact the flavor profile negatively, but enhances it. It does a good job of cleansing the pallet.

  3. First of all – Great review by the both of you. I enjoyed both takes on the cigar, as well as Mike’s hair.

    I had one of these the other night. It was a tad one dimensional but I enjoyed it a bit more then you did. Granted, I only had one but I’ll give it another shot some time.

  4. Great review you two.

    Its always interesting to see the difference in experiences.

    I haven’t had the san cristobal yet, but I do still want to try it. Thanks for letting me know what to expect!

  5. I had 3 Seleccion Del Sol’s by Pepin. The wrapper leaf is from Pepin Garcia’s farm in Esteli. It’s a great cigar in my opinion.

  6. Great review guys and I enjoy the dual review format. Mike did a good job. I have have a couple of these in a belicoso and while I agree they are one dimensional, it is a profile I like. I find it kind of sweet with a hint of pepper and wood. I also enjoy the aroma of the smoke. I have a couple lanceros which I haven’t had yet. I may have to try this week.

  7. Good review guys. I really enjoy the San Cristobal Francisco, and have several in my humidor. I must say that I tend to pick up more chocolate notes along with pepper and spice when smoking this stick. I’ve not run into any major burn issues. I’ve smoked 15 or so of these sticks and I’ve found them to be an excellent cigar with some well-aged rum.

    Again, thanks for a good review. I enjoy this type of tag-team event.


  8. First off I love this website keep up the good work, I’ve smoked several of these cigars and I agree that the flavor profile is pretty consistent and not very complex but I’ve never had any burn issues and I always enjoy smoking these

  9. I’m really suprised you guys didn’t think this was worth the money. I have to say the San Cristobals are one of my favorites. I love em… I never have any burn issues, I think they taste great and they are pretty complex to me too. I guess that just proves everyones different.

    Still a good review, i like the dual reviewer angle.

  10. Nice job guys. Similar to DaveFromPhilly’s comments my experience has always been top notch. No burn issues regardless of whether they are Ashton made or the new Seleccion de Sol.

    Great review…a little disappointed in Mike. Thought he would do me proud with a “thats what she said” moment or two. LOL

  11. I was a bit disappointed after all the hype of the San Cristobal line. I thought the draw was a bit restricted cut acceptable and the flavor just wasn’t there. I have the Guajiro size that I received at the Big Smoke in Nov.”08 so it rested in the humifor for a while. It was just bland.

  12. This cigar in the Classico vitola is one of my favorite smoke, for some time now. I absolutely love it.

    Good vid, Walt – Mike. Thanks.

  13. Great review! I would call myself a fan of Don Pepin, but i’ve only tried one of the San Cristobals. I found it to be very good throughout. I have 2 more of the same size resting in the humi and plan to enjoy one tomorrow so I wanted to read a review to refresh my memory. The ones I have are the 5.5 size. I’m curious to know what size sticks the two of you were smoking?

    Keep up the 2-man reviews. I like to smoke with a buddy too and it is always interesting to get two different takes on a smoke.

  14. Excellent cigar. However, my palat has to be just right to really enjoy this cigar – primarily after a good meal.

    I pick up sweet spices (a little clove/cinnamon) but like I said my palat has to be tuned just right for this stick.

    It in my staples as 2-3 times a month smoke.

    I’d give it a 8 out of 10 easily.

    Plus it has the BEST label in the business. Wish I had a poster of the label to frame and hand on my wall.

  15. I finally bought some of these, and really enjoyed the two I’ve had so far. The burn was definitely wavy on both, but seemed to fix itself. Fairly impressed, but I wish they were a couple bux cheaper.

  16. Smoked my first San Cristobal today while watching your review.

    For me your review is right on. Nice creamy smoke but very flat throughout. I didn’t get as much spice as you did and didn’t get as much of the woody flavor til the 2nd 3rd. Nice smoke but not on the top of my list for the price either.

    As always a great review, Thx.

  17. Love the joint reviews. I don’t think scotch usually does impact the flavor profile negatively, but enhances it. It does a good job of cleansing the pallet.

  18. I was not impressed with the XXL I Smoked. The flavor was boring, no complexity. I expected more out of a stick for this price!

  19. Don’t really agree with the assessment given by these two. San Cristobal is my favorite cigar, I like them better every time I have one! I have smoked a lot of 90+ rated cigars and have been sorely disappointed, my last Davidoff comes to mind, but the San Cristobal never disappoints!!! As a matter of fact, I’m lighting one now!!

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