Blended by master-blender Jesus Fuego of the J. Fuego Cigar Company, the San Andres is one of the exclusive lines under Famous Smoke Shop’s Vudu brand. Mostly economically priced, blends crafted by Jesus Fuego are quite known to offer flavorful smokes for a fraction of the price of most premium cigars. There was a time when I’d encounter a cigar from quite an unfamiliar brand like the Vudu San Andres and be skeptical about picking the stick among a sea of cigars from the highest rated brands. But when I came across this interesting-looking Robusto, I knew I just couldn’t say no.
The Vudu San Andres Robusto is a sleek and stylish cigar that showcases a gorgeous chocolate brown Mexican San Andres wrapper. Beneath it basks a hearty blend of Honduran and Nicaraguan tobaccos. It comes in a stylish black-and-gold band with an eye-catching skull design etched right in the middle. Right under the ornate band, a much simpler maroon band proudly declares the stick as a San Andres blend. Now, it is common knowledge that the look of a cigar isn’t everything, but with this Robusto’s cool aesthetic, anyone with their hands on this tobacco could look like a badass cigar aficionado.
|Wrapper Origin: Mexico||Shape: Robusto|
|Length: 5||Ring: 50|
|Wrapper: San Andres||List Price: $100 (Box of 20)|
|Origin: Nicaragua||Strength: Full|
Pull of Cigar
This Robusto is a well-packed cigar, sporting a velvety smooth texture without a single hard or soft spot. Its seams are tight with minimal veins, which all adds to the gorgeous presentation. I took a whiff of the cap and was met with a wonderful aroma of lemon while a faint hint of cedar and wood lingers in the background. The cold draw is very similar in composition — notes of heavy musty earth with a light citrus zest are previewed on the palate, followed by a hint of lingering spice. I am very pleased with the pull of this Robusto — perfect airflow with desirable restraint, thanks to its impeccable construction.
Upon lighting the Vudu San Andres Robusto, plumes of rich smoke immediately grace the palate with a bold thrash of spice. The cigar immediately registers depth as the profile unfurls luscious notes of resinous coffee, wood, and toast. Right off the bat, the profile proposes an intriguing strength and fair amount of complexity without threatening to take a bitter detour. First impressions indicate that this Robusto is an excellent blend for an after-dinner smoke, particularly with the almost clichéd drink to pair with a cigar — good ol’ cognac.
The blend starts to ramp up from medium to full-bodied as I approach the second third, showing off just the right amount of spice to pierce my well-developed palate. The Vudu San Andres is quite a slow roll smoke — it takes its time with a plethora of elements to discover and enjoy. The profile of the cigar continues along its enjoyable journey, led by a new dominant flavor of citrus and earthy leather on the palate.
A tapestry of cedar, toast, and the slightest hint of buttercream highlight the earthiness of the profile as the second third unfolds. As the cigar progresses, a dash of pepper reveals itself while the woodsy note in the first third resumes with added zest from a subtle note of citrus. The construction of this Robusto continues to impress with an effortless draw while the white and gray ash is even-burning and full of perfect structure. The profile of the cigar never strays from the earthy impression it began with, which is evidence of a well-crafted blend.
The flavor profile swells with a mix of cedar, espresso, and hints of cocoa as I arrive on the final third. The harsh tingling sensation on the palate then increases as the cigar approached its last few inches. In many blends, that would be unpleasant. But the harshness of the Vudu San Andres Robusto integrated itself well into the profile and provided for an overall delightful smoking experience. The earthy, lingering finish is a perfect balance of pepper, wood, and cedar with subtle citrus notes. Finally, the Vudu San Andres Robusto rounded off to a relaxed and smooth final puff.
While the flavors offered by the Vudu San Andres Robusto aren’t anything unique, the beautiful smoothness of the blend kept me intrigued and allowed me to smoke it to the nub. The spice was always present on the tip of the tongue, and the balance of the profile was right on.
Construction-wise, this Robusto couldn’t be any better. The draw was smooth throughout, while the smoke production was a bit above average and consistently exuded a captivating aroma. The solid ash held on fairly long before falling and always formed firmly for another run. Perhaps I’ll store a few sticks in my humidor to enjoy them again.
Overall, the my review of Vudu San Andres Robusto is that it’s an impeccably constructed budget smoke — refined, a bit zesty, and, best of all, affordable. There weren’t plenty of flavor transitions as the cigar progressed, but that didn’t make the experience any less gratifying. I thoroughly enjoyed this blend. That said, the Vudu San Andres Robusto earns a well-deserved 89.