Jose Garcia’s latest creation for Ashton’s San Cristobal series with this Sungrown Nicaraguan puro, with a medium profile body and full profile strength; this is a wholly different blend than Garcia’s original San Cristobal line. The belicoso weighs in at 5.5×52, it has a subtle tooth to the grain of the wrapper, and noticeable veins on the touch.

With a 48 ring gauge double-guillotine cut to the head, the draw is tight yet effortless with a cedar hint on the pre-toast draw; the Sungrown wrapper tastes of butter, cedar, ground espresso beans, paprika, and white chocolate. The wrapper smells of cashews and cedar.

The toasted foot smells of basil, cinnamon, Cuban coffee, and tarragon.

The smoke off of the nose smells sweetly of caramel, the smoke itself cloud white; on the palette are hints of basil, butter, caramel, cedar, cocoa, cracked black and white peppercorns, jalapeño pepper, ouzo, and thyme. The ash is of a salt & pepper complexion and rings in two millimeter bands. Ten minutes in and 3/8’s of an inch in.

A few minor canoes form along an otherwise fairly even burn. From afar the smoke smells of freshly brewed espresso. A significant canoe has formed on the rear side of the stick.

An aftertaste of butter and chili peppers, and butter cream on the nose.

A cone of ligero on the recently ashed foot; at three remaining inches and forty minutes later, a subtle shift in the palette with hints of cedar, espresso beans, leather, mesquite, paprika, and tarragon; and a subtle touch of black licorice on the tongue in addition of the other hints.

At fifty minutes since lighting, there’s approximately two and three-quarter inches of the cigar left. No real shift in the spectrum here, though the burn on the foot has leveled out; do note that all figurado’s will canoe, its just the nature of the beast due to shifts in the draw channels, usually one channel will run closer to the outer perimeter of the vitola.

The hints of the various peppers subdue at two inches, the primary hints now at eighty minutes in are basil, cocoa, cream, milk chocolate, ouzo, and toast. The aftertaste on the palette yields hints of cashews and cream. The rings are forming in one millimeter bands now at an inch and three-quarters; with a scent of toast coming off of the smoke.

The finishing hint is primarily anise, with secondary hints of caramel, hickory, and peppercorn; and pepper on the tongue; overall a very good and highly memorable cigar.

Purchased from Davidus Cigars on Rockville Pike, Maryland 20852; on March 11th 2010, during an Ashton Cigars event with Joe Mosko of Ashton Cigars, for 150$ (box) before tax.