A little while ago I was contacted by Raymond Zinar one of the three owners of the owners of Providencia Cigars. Raymond wanted to know if I would be interested in reviewing his company’s cigars. I have seen posts on social media about this brand, and from the photos I saw, the cigars looked inviting. I answered Raymond in the positive and shortly afterwards I received review samples of the company’s two blends; the El Padre and the El Santo. The cigar looked as good as the photos I saw, maybe even better.
Today I would like to present a review of the El Santo, but first let me introduce you to the company itself. According to their website,
Providencia Cigars is by design a small batch, premium cigar manufacturer. It has taken us ten years to develop, refine and perfect two flagship blends. To control quality, we grow and age most of our own tobaccos in Honduras, then trade for other Nicaraguan tobaccos of equal quality to achieve our target flavor profiles. For 2016, the small batch production of our El Padre and El Santo blends will total 25,000 cigars. We are also growing and aging unique tobaccos for two new proprietary small batch blends that will likely be released in 2017.
Now let’s discuss the cigar
The El Santo (The Saint) blend is described as:
- Wrapper – Sumatran-seed Nicaraguan Maduro
- Binder – Nicaraguan
- Filler – Honduran, Nicaraguan
The El Santo is hand-rolled in the Providencia factory in Danli, Honduras.
The El Santo is available in two vitolas and are packaged in 20 – count boxes:
- Box Pressed Prensado Toro 6 x 52 (MSRP $8.00)
- Robusto Gordo 4.5 x 58 (MSRP $8.00)
You can order the El Santo and the El Padre direct from Providencia Cigars through their website.
For this review I sampled both vitolas.
There are two bands on the El Santo, the primary is a brown, beige, and white band with the black Providencia logo centered at the top and a black scroll on the bottom with the word Providencia printed in gold. The secondary band directly below the primary is the same color motif with the words El Santo printed in the center.
The pre-light aroma certainly enticed my palate,with notes of mint and coffee, not a combination I normally get from a cigar before lighting it. It was there in both the Toro and the Robusto.
I used a simple double blade cutter to remove the cap and proceeded to run the Stogie Press palm test on the cigar. Pressing the foot in my palm, I gently drew on the tip and the El Santo passed with the highest marks. No leaks were detected and a solid suction felt in my palm
The slightly restricted cold draw, offered notes of pepper and butter. It should be noted, the pepper note started to intensify after a few more cold puffs.
As noted, I sampled both the El Santo Robusto and the Toro for this review. The notes that follow will start with the Robusto and then the Toro.
Cigar Review Notes
- A rather unique tangy flavor enters at the start
- Pepper, fruit, butter, and popcorn begin the journey
- Mouth watering mint hits the tongue
- Medium salt and pepper ash with a solid fairly thick char line
- Cedar notes enter
- Wrapper is developing some nice oils
- Nut appears after an inch
- Amazingly tight and solid ash
- Tangy citrus on the profile lingers on the palate
- Ash fell just before primary band
- Dark centered burn cone
- Bitters add to the tang around the halfway
- Mint enters again at the end of the second third
- Coffee fills out the profile
- The second half is kicking in nicely with flavor
- Long nut finish
- Earth and savory notes enter just before the primary band
- Lingering mint on the lips
- Spice enters at end with a coating of butter
- Medium Strength
- Total Smoking time was 1 hour and 20 minutes
The profile of the Robusto was pretty consistent in the Toro, but here are a few noted observations on the Toro:
- Full smoke volume
- Ash held a little less
- Slight wave in burn
- Nice oiling on the wrapper
- Coffee was detected midway
- Burns slightly hot near the middle of the second third
- Lots of nutty aroma
- Smoking time was roughly 10 minutes shorter than the Robusto Gordo clocking in around 1 hour and 10 minutes
Overall, the Providencia Cigars El Santo was a terrific cigar to smoke. It had a rich complexity of flavor, solid ash, and an error free burn. At the MSRP for these, the El Santo from Providencia Cigars is certainly worth a 5 pack and perhaps even more. Between the Toro and the Robusto Gordo, I preferred the Gordo in this match up. This is a cigar that would pair very well with a rich cup of cafe mocha in the mid afternoon and it is one any cigar enthusiast would enjoy.