Cigar Buying Guides

2021 CA Report: 10 Top Mexican San Andres Cigars

Reading Time: 9 minutes

Mexican San Andres Wrapper Cigars: Discover 10 of the Best

When I got into the cigar business in 2001, I was suddenly imbedded with hundreds of desirable cigar brands mostly from the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Honduras. There were also a number of top Mexican cigars, but from a consumer perspective, and for whatever reason, they weren’t exactly the most desirable cigars. As the years passed, I began to notice that a lot of premium cigars were being rolled in Mexican San Andrés maduro wrappers. I took to this wrapper immediately for its natural sweet-spicy flavor and began seeking out even more cigars with these dark, oily Mexican wrappers. Not all of them hit the mark, but those that did I continued to return to.

5 things about mexican san andres wrapper growing region A turrent tobacco farm
Photo Credit: Simon Lundh – via Cigar Journal Magazine

Today it’s my favorite wrapper. And I guess I’m not alone, because more and more I’m finding that blends from everyday value cigars to the most distinguished luxury cigars are using Mexican San Andrés maduro wrappers. So, in an effort to share my personal affection for this savory tobacco, I’ve listed what I believe are ten of the best. But first, here’s a brief back story on the origin and wonderful flavor properties of Mexican San Andrés wrapper.

The A. Turrent Family Grows the Best Mexican San Andrés Wrapper

Say hello to the A. Turrent family, the cigar industry’s oldest and most revered family of Mexican tobacco growers and cigar makers. The Turrent’s farms supply just about everyone in the cigar business with Mexican San Andrés-grown wrapper leaf, most of it being Mexican San Andrés Morrón wrapper, which is also referred to as San Andrés Negro and San Andrés Maduro.

Over Six Generations of Mexican Tobacco Expertise

It all started in 1880, when Alberto Turrent I, emigrated from Cuba to Mexico’s San Andrés Valley with a pocket-full of Cuban tobacco seeds. Today, under the direction of Alejandro Turrent, the tobaccos grown on his family’s 2,000 acres are among the most prized by blenders all over Central America, and you’ll find them in such brands as Rocky Patel, Drew Estate, and Montecristo cigars to name just a few.

Vintage image of A Turrent San Andres tobacco farms in Mexico
pic via TeAmo-Cigars.com

Mexico’s San Andrés Valley in Veracruz (where most of the leaf is grown) is dense with fertile volcanic soil which produces the distinctive taste of San Andrés maduro tobacco. Additionally, the prevailing winds from the Gulf of Mexico, combined with the humid climate are what contribute to the concentration of naturally sweet n’ spicy flavors found in the leaf.

A Turrent San Andres cigar tobacco curing in a barn in Mexico
pic via TeAmo-Cigars.com

According to Tobacconist University, “The most famous of Mexican cigar tobaccos is San Andres Negro. Like Connecticut Broadleaf, San Andres Negro is stalk-cut and lends itself to binder and maduro wrapper production. This varietal is a tough leaf that can withstand the extra fermentation required to produce a maduro.”

How The Cuban Embargo Made Te-Amo Cigars a Hit

As a result of the Cuban Embargo, during the 1960’s Mexican cigars like Te-Amo cigars were all the rage among American cigar smokers who, truth be told, had mixed feelings about them. Due to the heavy import duties Mexico placed on imported tobaccos, all Mexican cigars were puros until 1996 when Mexico finally repealed the tax.

Vintage Te Amo cigar bands
via Te-Amo Cigars Twitter (@PurosTeAmo)

By then it may have been too late, since countries like the Dominican Republic, Honduras, and Nicaragua were already exporting their cigars into the U.S. market, and cigar smokers left their Mexican cigars in favor of the quality and taste of the native-grown tobaccos used in the three aforementioned countries. Many believe this is what has contributed to Mexican brands having a negative image. But in a 2014 StogiePress.com article, “Viva Mexico – The San Andrés Wrapper,” the author writes: “That has changed as consumers’ palettes are now appreciating a bolder, spicier taste. This spicy, chocolate flavored leaf has found its way back into the cigar market with a vengeance. Consumers love it and manufactures are embracing it.”

How Does San Andrés Maduro Wrapper Taste?

Generally speaking, the leaf adds elements of earthiness, light spicy notes, and a slightly sweeter character to the blend, which is naturally found in maduro tobaccos. Fortunately these qualities pair well with most filler tobaccos – especially Nicaraguan – which is why so many master blenders today prefer it for adding sweetness, smoothness, complexity, and balance to their cigars.

 

CAO Zócalo Toro

Size: 6¼”x54
Strength: Medium-Full
Wrapper: Mexican San Andrés Morron
Binder: African Cameroon
Filler: Nicaragua

Best Mexican San Andres Maduro wrapper cigars CAO Zocalo cigars at Famous Smoke Shop

In 2018, the CAO Zócalo debuted in one frontmark, a Gigante. But in 2021 it returned with more traditional sizes by popular demand. As great San Andrés Morron wrapper goes, Zócalo boasts one of the thickest and the sweetest. If you’ve got a fair amount of experience under your belt, this hefty toro has a nice pay-off. Medium to full in body, it’s well-balanced and simmers with notes of brown sugar, roasted nuts, sweet earth, and a shot of chipotle. Great with a good sipping Tequila, too, Zocalo makes a refined, end-of-the-day or after dinner compadre.

 

Casa Fernandez by Aganorsa Maduro Robusto Extra

Size: 5”x54 box-pressed
Strength: Full
Wrapper: Mexican San Andrés Morron
Binder & Filler: Nicaraguan Medio Tiempo Maduro, Ligero, and Viso

Best Mexican San Andres Maduro wrapper cigars Casa Fernandez Miami Aganorsa Leaf cigars at Famous Smoke Shop

Just looking at this cigar can make your mouth water, even if you’re not an avid cigar smoker. This top-tier Aganorsa Robusto Extra has a 305 address and steps out in style. It’s got a nice box pressing, too; more round than square corners, and flattened just a squeak more than your average BP. Aside from its aesthetic qualities, this cigar demonstrates how well prime San Andrés wrapper melds with a variety of Nicaraguan fillers—and Aganorsa’s are some of the best. Dense, velvety smoke ensues marked by a prime layer of sweet spice that yields woodsy, leathery, coffee and chocolatey delights.

 

Casa Turrent Serie 1942 Doble Robusto

Size: 5¼”x56 box-pressed
Strength: Medium – Full
Wrapper: Mexican San Andrés Negro Colorado
Binder: San Andrés Criollo
Filler: San Andres Criollo, San Andrés Negro, Nicaragua

Best Mexican San Andres Maduro wrapper cigars Casa Turrent Serie 1942 cigars at Famous Smoke Shop

The list wouldn’t be complete without a cigar from the A. Turrent family. Named for the birth year of patriarch Alberto Turrent, the Casa Turrent Serie 1942 is a Mexican Criollo forward blend that’s naturally sweet and “spicy without being aggressive.” The tobaccos are all high priming leaves aged a minimum of four years. Woody notes, caramel, graham cracker, nuts, and coffee all combine for a spicy, full-flavored and impressively complex smoke. If you’re looking for the real San Andrés deal, the Doble Robusto is perfect for showing-off Turrent’s famous wrappers, while also dishing out the rich flavor of their San Andrés Criollo.

 

CLE Azabache Robusto

Size: 5”x50 box-pressed
Strength: Medium -plus
Wrapper: Mexican San Andrés Morron
Binder: Honduras
Filler: Honduras, Nicaragua, Peru

Best Mexican San Andres Maduro wrapper cigars CLE Azabache cigars at Famous Smoke Shop

Here’s a cigar that’s a gem in more ways than one. Named for a fabled, jet-black gemstone that Hondurans carry for good luck, the C.L.E. Azabache Robusto boasts one of the darkest, sweetest San Andrés maduro wrappers out there. Box-pressed to a virtual wafer-like shape, it’s loaded with notes of earth, cedar, leather, coffee, citrus, cocoa, and more. Yes, this delectable little number is all over the flavor wheel. It’s also creamy, complex, balanced, and faithfully consistent. In another great example of how well San Andrés maduro blends with other tobaccos, the CLE Azabache Robusto is a charmer from end-to-end.

 

EPC La Historia El Senador 

Size: 5 3/8” x 52
Strength: Full
Wrapper: Mexican San Andrés
Binder: Ecuador Sumatra
Filler: Nicaragua, Dominican Republic

Best Mexican San Andres Maduro wrapper cigars EPC EP Carrillo La Historia cigars at Famous Smoke Shop

It’s no surprise that La Historia, an affectionate nod to Ernesto Perez-Carrillo’s family, past and present, landed the #2 slot in the “The 25 Best Cigars of 2014.” Even now, it continues to be one of the top selling cigars in the EPC catalog. Vintage Nicaraguan and Dominican tobaccos, plus an Ecuadorian Sumatra binder pressed in a pristine San Andrés wrapper, combine for a complex, well-balanced, and full-bodied smoke. Frontloaded pepper at the start rounds out to a velvety, earthy-sweet smoke with accents of chocolate mocha and dried fruit, the El Senador also responds well to the leading single malt scotches and rums.

 

Juarez Chihuahua

Size: 5½”x48
Strength: Medium – Full
Wrapper: Mexican San Andrés Maduro
Binder: Ecuador Sumatra
Filler: Dominican Republic, Nicaragua

Best Mexican San Andres Maduro wrapper cigars Crowned Heads Juarez cigars at Famous Smoke Shop

“If you haven’t tried Crowned Heads yet, Juarez is a great way to introduce yourself to the brand,” says Crowned Heads Cigars co-founder, Jon Huber. And he’s spot on. Blended and rolled at Tabacalera Pichardo, the affordably-priced line is full-flavored, and really does appear to represent the company’s general flavor profile. Made to fill the gap in the sub-52 ring gauge sizes, the Juarez Chihuahua is a sweet n’ spicy stunner. Rolled in dusky San Andrés wrappers, the chewy, medium-bodied smoke reveals flavors of leather, caramel, and cedar, then bolder, earthier tones later on. Pair it with great rum or bourbon, and you’ve really got something.

 

Kristoff San Andrés Robusto 

Size: 5½”x54
Strength: Medium-plus
Wrapper: Mexican San Andrés Maduro
Binder: Habano (Ecuador)
Filler: Triple Nicaraguan Habano seed

Best Mexican San Andres Maduro wrapper cigars Kristoff San Andres cigars at Famous Smoke Shop

“After more than nine months of working on the San Andrés, and countless blends, I think we nailed it!” says Kristoff Cigars founder, Glen Case. And since its release in 2015, this 92-rated line is still crushing it. Dedicated to quality and consistency at every level, the dark Mexican San Andrés wrapper on this Robusto caps an all-Habano seed core, and the triple fermentation process irons out the bitter wrinkles in every filler leaf. What you get is an uber-smooth, medium-full smoke teeming with spice, pepper, milk chocolate, and a coffee cream finish. Ideal after dinner with espresso or your favorite whiskey, this blend characterizes Kristoff’s finest hour.

 

My Father La Opulencia Robusto 

Size: 5¼”x52 box-pressed
Strength: Medium-Full
Wrapper: Mexican Rosado Oscuro
Binders: Nicaraguan Corojo and Criollo  
Filler: Nicaraguan Corojo, Criollo, Habano

Best Mexican San Andres Maduro wrapper cigars My Father La Opulencia cigars at Famous Smoke Shop

According to Don Pepin, La Opulencia, which is Spanish for “The Opulent,” is all about “richness and abundance.” After resurrecting this former Cuban brand, they started with a pristine Mexican Rosado Oscuro, which gives the blend a creamy character. (When done right, Rosado Oscuro is phenomenal.) The binder and filler core are stuffed with their finest estate-grown Nicaraguan Corojo, Criollo, and Habano tobaccos. The result is a full-flavored, 91-rated cigar led by chocolaty notes, oak, nuts, coffee, and sweet spice. All I can add is that, it’s so great when a cigar really does live up to its name.

 

Rocky Patel Vintage 2006 Churchill

Size: 7”x48
Strength: Full
Wrapper: Mexican San Andrés Morron (aged 11 yrs.)
Binder: Connecticut Broadleaf
Filler: Nicaragua

Best Mexican San Andres Maduro wrapper cigars Rocky Patel Vintage 2006 cigars at Famous Smoke Shop

The Rocky Patel Vintage Series cigars are among the top cigars in the wide Rocky Patel Cigars stable, and this 90-plus-rated San Andrés is another gem. The wrapper is gorgeous, carrying with it 11 years of aging for a smooth sail. The Nicaraguan fillers provide an earthy, full-bodied, and complex smoke with additional flavors of cedar, coffee bean, and a whole lot’a spice. Or, as Rocky put it, the smoke “delivers robust flavor and power.” Compared to many of the other cigars listed here it’s quite unique, especially in the Churchill, which gives you plenty of time to discover every nuance of flavor along the journey.

 

 

Tatuaje Mexican Experiment ME II Robusto

Size: 5”x54 box-pressed
Strength: Medium-Full
Wrapper: Mexican San Andrés
Binder & Filler: Nicaragua

Best Mexican San Andres Maduro wrapper cigars Tatuaje Mexican Experiment MEII cigars at Famous Smoke Shop

The Tatuaje Mexican Experiment was Pete Johnson’s first try with a San Andrés wrapper and it was made in a very small amount. It was a surprising success for the brand. So, when he decided to revive it, Pete also created the ME II. Using the same tobaccos, Pete tweaked the ME II to a profile that’s “not overpowering, but has a lot of flavor.” The Robusto is exquisitely creamy with notes of earth, leather, cocoa, cedar, and coffee on a long finish. It’s not as sweet as some other San Andrés maduros, but it is complex. Pair it with a fine dark añejo Tequila and you’ve really got something to talk about.

8 Comments
Oldest
Newest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Ky House
6 years ago

Thanks for the article. This is my favorite wrapper so I appreciate the list. I’ve enjoyed all the cigars on your list above but here are my top 10 cigars (in alphabetical order) using this wrapper.
– Crowned Heads Buckingham
– Crowned Heads Jericho Hill
– Ezra Zion FHK
– Illusione MC Slam
– L’atelier La Mission
– Leccia Luchador
– Oliva Serie V Maduro 2012
– Roma Craft Neanderthal
– Sensei’s Sensational Sarsaparilla
– Wilson Adams Mr. Wilson

Steven S. Pitruzzello
6 years ago

Te-amo used to make a tubo called Celebration. Sadly, they don’t make ’em anymore. Loved that cigar!

Harry Flaxseed
5 years ago

The time-tested Padron thousand series maduro is still a killer blend. Uses this exact leaf, but won’t admit it!

Lyle Beaugard
5 years ago

I am mostly a Cuban cigar smoker. However, I really enjoy cigars with the San Andres wrapper too. My favorites include the Casa Turrent Serie 1901, Psyko Seven Maduro, and San Lotano Maduro.

elie habib
1 year ago

La Aroma Del Caribe – Mia More

Joshua Weltmer
10 months ago
Reply to  Gary Korb

La Aroma de Cuba is only the name here in the US, internationally they call it La Aroma del Caribe

Stan Walker
10 months ago

Like the Rocky 2006 (really the only Rocky that has been consistent for me) and ME II which I’ve just bought my 3rd box, your welcome. Great article, thanks.

Gary Korb

Gary Korb

Executive Editor

Gary Korb has been writing and editing content for CigarAdvisor.com since its debut in 2008. An avid cigar smoker for over 30 years, during the past 12 years he has worked on the marketing side of the premium cigar business as a Sr. Copywriter, blogger, and cigar reviewer. A graduate of the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, prior to his career in the cigar business, Gary worked in the music and video industry as a marketer and a publicist.

Show all Gary Korb's Articles

CIGAR NEWS: DT&T Adding Muestra De Saka ‘The Bewitched’

Reading Time: 3 minutes If you don’t think Steve Saka gets too excited about the cigars he creates, then wait until you read about the Muestra de Saka ‘The Bewitched’ that’s coming to a limited number of cigar stores this summer. Learn more about its real magical story here.

Read More
top new cigars august 16 2021 cover

CA Report: Top New Cigars (August 16 2021)

Reading Time: 3 minutes You better not be hitting the stadium pregame without some tasty smokes. This edition of Top New cigars has the latest from E.P. Carrillo, HVC, and H. Upmann to help take your tailgate herf to the next level!

Read More
cigar advisor avo caribe cigar panel review cover

CA REVIEW PANEL: AVO SYNCRO TORO CIGAR REVIEW (VIDEO)

Reading Time: 6 minutes Avo Syncro Caribe is the fourth installment in Avo’s artisanal line extension, and the Panel offers their review of the Avo Syncro Caribe Toro. Capped by a Dominican wrapper, there are a number of things that make this particular blend unique. For the entire story, watch now.

Read More
Robert Holt Southern Draw Cigars podcast interview CA Cover

Master Blenders: Robert Holt of Southern Draw Cigars

Hear Southern Draw Cigars Robert Holt talk about his hottest new cigars; plus why commitment to God, family & country are part of his Southern Draw vision.
Read More