Mexican San Andres: The Working Man's Leaf

Check out our full collection of San Andres wrapped cigars!

Cinco de Mayo is coming up quickly, and what better way to celebrate than by coming down to Ralph’s Cigars and lighting up a cigar with a Mexican San Andres wrapper? This earthy, chocolatey tobacco is actually older than Cuban seed, spreading up from Peru to Central America to Mexico, and finally over to the Caribbean. If you usually avoid a darker leaf, or simply haven’t had the chance to try this delicious leaf, here are a few of our favorite San Andres cigars available here at Ralph’s. 

The Blackened M81 is a collaboration between Drew Estate, Blackened Whiskey, and James Hetfield, lead singer of Metallica. It is a true Maduro all the way down, with Nicaraguan fillers and a Pennsylvania Broadleaf binder, but the true star is its Mexican San Andres Wrapper, which lends its signature taste for a dark chocolate and deep espresso taste that adds to subtle notes of cinnamon, nutmeg, and toast. 

San Andres tobacco is actually stalk-cut, which means that instead of the tobacco leaves being cut off the leaf a couple at a time, the whole stalk is carved off and allowed to wither. This tends to give an earthier flavor then prime-cut tobacco. This is masterfully showcased by the Cohiba Riviera, which highlights the San Andres leaf. Its binder is Honduran Connecticut, with a blend of Honduran and Nicaraguan fillers, but the wrapper, like the rest of the cigars in this article, is a Mexican San Andres. It has a nice creamy taste from the Connecticut binder, with some cedar, coffee bean, and cinnamon notes that all blend together for a wonderfully warm and wintery cigar. But that earthiness, which builds as you smoke, is a key indicator of a good San Andres. 

La Flor Dominicana is a master of the maduro, with a line of excellent full-bodied cigars- each with a complex taste akin to dark beer or aged rum. And one of the finest is the LFD La Volcada, with its San Andres wrapper, Ecuadorian binder, and Dominican fillers. It is a hearty, spicy, and full-bodied cigar that takes its name from a step in the tango- an apt moniker for a stick that is sure to leave you dancing. Look for the notes of nougat, leather, and that familiar dark chocolate that lets you know you’re smoking Mexican tobacco. 

We could go on and on about the excellent Mexican San Andres cigars but that would take all day, even for those we have for sale here at Ralphs. But there are a couple more that deserve special mention, and next up is the CAO Flathead v21. CAO is a great newer company on the cigar scene, with a dedication to innovation and exploration in the cigar world. Alongside its San Andres wrapper, which gives it that classic earthy, chocolatey taste, it has a Honduran Habano binder and a collection of Dominican and Nicaraguan fillers that soften up the deep smoothness of the wrapper and give it notes of dried fruit and nuts. It has a deep, slightly spicy aftertaste that lingers at the back of your throat and pairs excellently with an aged rum or bourbon. 

A special runner up in our showcase is the McFly by Oscar Valladares, a blast from the past with its retro neon sheath inspired by one of the most beloved movies of the 1980's. Luckily, you won't have to get in a DeLorean to experience the great flavor of its Mexican San Andres wrapper and Honduran binder that give it notes of cedar, a nutty creaminess, and that heavy tell-tale earthiness.

The final cigar I want to make sure you hear about is a classic cigar with a deep history in the Mexican San Andres valley. Te Amo Cigars are 100% crafted with San Andres Leaf, and the original gives notes of espresso, spice, oak, and sweet earth that increase as the cigar burns down to the nub. With its Negro San Andres binder and Habano San Andres filler it gives an excellent premium cigar taste at the working man’s price. 

Mexican San Andres is an excellent leaf in a plethora of fantastic cigars- more than we’ve discussed here. But if you’re looking for a starting point to explore the tobacco, come on down to Ralph’s Cigars and find any of these sticks, and more, on our shelves. Here’s hoping you make it down before we smoke them all ourselves. 

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