The next cigar I am going to try as part of my cigar challenge is from the Santa Clara cigar brand. I will be smoking the Santa Clara Picador Corona cigar.
Ring Gauge: 50
Country of origin: Mexico
Cost: £12.98 @ GQ Tobaccos
The santaclarapuros.com website does a better job than I could explaining the background of this cigar brand…
“The tradition of smoking Cigars was probably first used by the ancient Maya people, who lived in Mexico in the states of Veracruz, Campeche, Tabasco, Yucatan and Chiapas. They introduced it to the Native North Americans who then believed it had medicinal properties and used it in their ceremonies.
San Andres Tuxtla, located near the gulf basin in the state of Veracruz, Mexico, is the home of Mexico finest Cigar tobacco and the center of Mexico Cigar export business. The Valley, colder because of its altitude is surrounded by hundreds of rivers and streams of fresh, cool water. A few volcanoes have given the soil the richness of high potassium, which nurtures tobacco.
The family of Jorge Ortiz Alvarez, President of Puros Santa Clara, S.A. de C.V., has been involved in the Cigar making business since before the Mexican Revolution. The Ortiz Family got involved in the tobacco business during the XIX century, around the 1830; the land used for tobacco plantation is located in the Valley. Santa Clara is a ranch in which the best crops where obtained; therefore, our factory and one of our strongest brands were named after this successful domain.
Here, Jorge Ortiz Alvarez began the production of cigars in 1967; looking for our own identity we tried several blends until we found it. We started with two workers in 1967, and by 1972 we had grown to 40 employees. In 1975, we opened a new spacious factory, and we made a parade of the move: All the workers were carrying molds, Cigar cutters, presses, and other working instruments through the streets from the other factory, and Jorge walked the parade with his workers.
In 1983, the factory was healthy and successful, but a fire destroyed it and left us with ashes. The production stopped for two days only, we had kept tobacco outside the factory and although the molds, the presses, labels and boxes were lost, we kept on going.
Now, 28 years after the fire, we have grown; we have introduced new brands, new blends, new Cigar sizes. Puros Santa Clara, S.A. de C.V., is exporting the cigars to various countries but mainly to the United States, Spain, Germany, France, Australia, Switzerland, Sweden, Italy, Austria, Slovakia, Cayman Islands, and others.
As strong as ever, we have increased our sales tremendously and we will keep on growing at a pace that will not endanger the quality of our products.”
You can see a selection of the new brands, new blends, new Cigar sizes on their website and via their social media accounts.
The Picador series by Santa Clara is handmade using the finest aged tobaccos of San Andres.
Unusually there is no reference to Santa Clara on the cigar bands, which makes me question whether I am indeed smoking a cigar from that brand. According to the website, I am.
This cigar has a woody cedar cream spice to it upon the first few initial draws, along with some coffee expresso flavour notes.
This is really pleasant smoke, feels incredibly full bodied, which I like. At such a reasonable cost, if you like a strong cigar this is definitely worth picking up.
My rating: 7.5 out of 10. Delightfully surprised. I could actually invest in a box of these.
Next up… a Trinidad!