Team Cigar Review: Pichardo Reserva Familiar San Andrés

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Cigar Details: Pichardo Reserva Familiar San Andrés

  • Vitola: Toro
  • Length: 6″
  • Ring Gauge: 52
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Wrapper: Mexican San Andrés
  • Binder: Nicaraguan Habano
  • Filler: Nicaragua
  • Factory: Tabacalera Pichardo
  • Blender: Luciano Meirelles
  • Price: $10.50
  • Release Date: July 2019
  • Source: A.C.E. Prime

Aaron-Loomis

 Aaron Loomis

John-McTavish

 John McTavish

Pre-light Experience

The wrapper on the Pichardo Reserva Familiar San Andrés is a matte milk chocolate brown color with fine tooth and a network of well pressed veins that carry a lighter color to them. The seams are slightly raised in some areas and smooth in others. The head is finished off with a well applied triple cap. There are two bands, with the primary carrying a white, gold and black color combination and has the brand logo and name. The foot band is gold and black and denotes the line. The sub line is identified by the colors of the primary band. The aroma from the wrapper is a mix of wood and damp earth. The foot brings some spicy cedar and stone fruit sweetness. The pre-light draw consists of a light and airy cedar.

Pre-light Experience

The Pichardo Reserva Familiar San Andrés has a UPC sticker that remains intact on the cellophane once it is opened. There is a Pichardo main band, along with a ‘Reserva Familiar’ foot band. The wrapper is toothy in appearance, and has aromas of light hay and sweet cedar.

First Third

The cigar begins with a mix of wood, earthiness and light cocoa powder. At a half inch in, the wood is up front and is a bit dry as the earth and cocoa are in the background and joined by a faint creaminess. The retrohale brings a smoky wood note. At an inch in, a light and dull black pepper replaces the cocoa powder. At an inch and a quarter, some mustiness replaces the creaminess. The strength in this third was right at medium.

First Third

Sweet cedar starts the first third, with light plus baking spices moving into the retrohale. Some creaminess comes through immediately as chocolate develops only a few puffs later. Dry cedar takes up the post draw. As the cigar settles in, the chocolate, creaminess and baking spices are harmonizing well, with the post draw cedar drying the palate. The baking spices move up to medium strength, lingering between draws. Approaching the halfway point, cedar is at the front of the profile, at times overwhelming the other flavors.

Second Third

As the second third begins, the wood gains a slight char while the earth, mustiness and black pepper are in the background. At a half inch in, the lightly charred wood recedes a bit and all of the components are even. The retrohale is musty wood and light earth. The third wraps up with the even mix of musty and lightly charred wood, earth and black pepper. The strength in this third remained at medium.

Second Third

Medium strength baking spices on the retrohale lead the cigar into the second third. The post draw still holds the dry cedar. That profile remains consistent until the halfway point. At the halfway point, sweet citrus moves into the middle of the profile. In the bottom half, cedar and baking spices combine to drive the profile, with cocoa on the retrohale. By the end of the second third, baking spices have moved up to medium-full, lingering between draws.

Final Third

As the final third begins, the black pepper has left the profile. The retrohale remains musty wood and light earth. The cigar maintained the profile of musty and charred wood and earthiness throughout the third. The strength in this third bumped up to slightly above medium.

Final Third

Cedar, earth and baking spices through the retrohale to lead the cigar into the last third. The earth falls to light strength as the cedar quickly moves to take up the front of the profile. Dry cedar coats my palate on the post draw as the cigar approaches the halfway point. Lingering cocoa moves into the middle of the profile a few draws later.

Burn

The burn was a bit wavy at times, but always self corrected. The ash held on in inch and a quarter increments.

Burn

The burn was excellent with a straight burn line and the ash holding on in 1-1/2 inch increments.

Draw

The draw was slightly tighter than I prefer, but didn’t cause any issues with the smoking experience.

Overall

The cigar began with a mix of wood, earthiness and light cocoa powder. Some creaminess joined in and was quickly replaced by mustiness as some black pepper replaced the cocoa note. Some char joined in the second third and the black pepper dropped out in the final third. Construction was very good and strength was medium most of the way. The Pichardo Reserva Familiar San Andrés was a pretty paint by numbers Mexican San Andrés wrapped offering. Very wood and earth driven with an early push of cocoa. Overall, I thought the experience was pretty average and with a price point of just above $10, probably doesn’t intrigue me enough to come back to it.

Aaron
John
GoodPre
Light
Good
AverageFirst
Third
Good
AverageSecond ThirdGood
AverageFinal
Third
Average
Very GoodBurnAmazing
Very GoodDrawAverage
AverageOverallGood

Draw

Initially the draw was quite resistant, roughly 4-4-1/2 notches which would have put it in the subpar category. The burn opened up to 3-1/2 notches in the first third putting it in the average category. Examining the cigar, it feels quite tightly packed.

Overall

The Pichardo Reserva Familiar San Andrés provided a fairly consistent San Andres experience for most of the cigar review. A balanced medley of flavors that included cedar, baking spices, chocolate, cream, citrus and earth. The last third was largely cedar forward and didn’t deliver the same complexity as the remainder of the cigar. Construction was great, with a flawless burn experience and a resistant draw. I look forward to reviewing more cigars from Pichardo in the future. Total smoking time was 2 hours and 34 minutes which is a significant amount of value from a Toro.

Aaron Loomis

SCORE

5.50

Cost/Point

$1.91

Scoring System

John McTavish

SCORE

6.37

Cost/Point

$1.65

Scoring System

Team Cigar Review: Pichardo Reserva Familiar San Andrés
John McTavishTeam Cigar Review: Pichardo Reserva Familiar San Andrés

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6 comments

Join the conversation
  • George Maitland - February 22, 2021 reply

    I’ve read good things about this one. Winning a few would be nice.

  • Brlesq - February 23, 2021 reply

    Haven’t tried this brand yet. Need to do so

  • Jason Hagen - February 26, 2021 reply

    I smoked the Sumatra this morning and it was out of this world. After smoking the Mil Dias, I wanted to try all of their sticks.

  • JJ - February 26, 2021 reply

    I’ve thoroughly enjoyed what this factory has put out for Crowned Heads (Mil Dias and Juarez), so I’m anxious to try what they produce under their own label.

  • Brian R. - February 26, 2021 reply

    I really love San Andres wrappers so I am looking forward to trying this one.

  • Josh B - February 28, 2021 reply

    Never heard of it before

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