Cigar Ratings & Reviews

#nowsmoking: Ilegal San Andrés Robusto

Reading Time: 5 minutes

#nowsmoking: Ilegal San Andrés Robusto Cigar Review 

Factory: Tabacalera La Corona – Estelí, Nicaragua 
Size: 5½” x 54 
Strength: Medium-plus 
Wrapper: Mexican San Andrés Maduro 
Binder & Filler: Undisclosed 

Presented in  Boxes of 20, 5 packs & singles 

#nowsmoking Hirochi Robaina Ilegal San Andres robusto cigar review at Famous Smoke Shop

The Ilegal Tabaco Cigars Back Story 

“My grandfather was the godfather of cigars in Cuba and he still is,” said Hirochi Robaina in a 2019 Tobacco Business profile on him. “he wanted me to work in a cigar factory before I worked on the tobacco farm so I [would learn] that the quality of the leaf was important to the quality of the cigar.” 

The “Family” Business

Hirochi’s grandfather was the late Alejandro Robaina, the third generation of the family to grow tobacco on their Pinar del Rio  farm, which they’ve done since 1845. Cigars such as the Cuban Cohibas and Hoyo de Monterreys were blended with Robaina-grown tobaccos. And although Alejandro passed in 2010, the family’s Vegas Robaina brand is still one of Cuba’s most popular cigars. 

Hirochi Robaina Ilegal Tabaco San Andres cigar and box

Hirochi began his tobacco career at the Partagas and H. Upmann cigar factories in Havana before returning home in 2004 to work on his family’s farm. In 2008 Hirochi began working on his own cigar line. But it was also in 2010 that the family expanded its operations by partnering with tobacco growers working in Nicaragua and EcuadorHR was the first line Hirochi released, and not surprisingly, all three HR lines have received stellar reviews. Hirochi’s cigars are made at the La Corona Factory in Estelí, Nicaragua. Fermentation, aging, and production are also done there, giving them complete control over the processing of their tobacco. 

“So Good it Should Be Illegal”

That brings us to December 2019 when Ilegal cigars were released. Now, if you thought Ilegal Tabaco was spelled with two L’s (like I did), it’s actually spelled with one, which is the Spanish spelling. According to one resource, they named the cigars Ilegal during the blending process when someone said, “It’s so good it should be illegal.” 

ilegal tabaco San Andres Maduro Hirochi Robaina cigar

“This is a line of cigars that we are truly proud of,” said Spencer Drake of La Familia Robaina. “We leaned on a couple of friends to help out with some of the blends. Adrian Acosta helped blend our Ecuadorian Habano and Esteban Disla of Nica Sueño helped us out with the Mexican San Andres. All of the cigars have over six months of age before hitting the shelves.” 

Illegal tobacco San Andres Hirochi Robaina Maduro cigar and drink pairing

Ilegal comes in three wrappers, Habano, Connecticut, and San Andrés, and made in three sizesGordo, Robusto, and ToroThe core blend for Ilegal is undisclosed, but it’s safe to assume a lot of the fillers are Nicaraguan. One source reports that they also use Peruvian and Pennsylvania fillers. 

Hirochi Robaina Ilegal San Andres cigar review by Gary Korb
#nowsmoking @famoussmokeshop: The Ilegal San Andrés Robusto is a full-flavored, medium-plus cigar imbued with a smooth, well-balanced profile revealing flavors of sweet tobacco, leather, cedar, peppery spice, and floral accents.. 


The Basics At a Glance 

Construction: Excellent. The San Andrés wrapper is even in color, oily and toothy, with a fairly rustic appearance. The head is completed with a triple seam cap, and the foot is closed. The cigar is well-packed throughout, and the cap cuts easily resulting in an easy draw. 
Cold Draw: Sweet and leathery. 
Toasting and lightNice – especially with the closed foot to help out. Just beware of flying ash sparks, which can happen in some instances. 
Base flavors: Sweet tobacco, leather, cedar, floral notes, earth, peppery spice. 
Aroma: Floral. 
Retrohale: Spicy. 
Burn & Ash: Excellent. The burn was mostly even with no relights or other issues. The ash, itself, was impressively firm up to about an inch apiece (see photo). 



Hirochi Robaina Ilegal San Andres Robusto cigar review part 1

Sweet and creamy out of the gatevery smooth, and surprisingly mellowAs the burn moves along, some floral elements emerge, including the aroma, while the body and strength remain on the mellow side. It’s not until the cigar reaches the end of the first third that the body begins to shift to a more medium stage. 




Hirochi Robaina Ilegal San Andres cigar ash length and color

Some leather and cedar-like wood emerged in this section as the sweet tobacco and floral notes remain pinned at the core. Some peppery spice seems to linger on the finish at this point, and a similar spiciness is also prevalent in the retrohale. too. More earthiness emerges, too, as the burn moves closer to the last third. 

Hirochi Robaina Ilegal San Andres Robusto cigar review part 2



Hirochi Robaina Ilegal San Andres Robusto cigar review part 3

I’ve got to give this cigar an ‘A’ for consistency. Even in this last third the body and strength were still somewhere between medium and medium-plus. Most of the core flavors remained active and well-balanced. The spice was a little more peppery at this stage, but the cigar never turned bitter, even in the final inch.  


What can I pair with this cigar besides coffee?  

Our whiskey expert suggested Wild Turkey 10Bourbon for its complementary flavors of vanilla, cinnamon spice, oakiness, and barrel char.  

Hirochi Robaina Ilegal San Andres cigar and Wild Turkey 101 cigar pairing

(Find more cigar and drink pairing combinations here.) 


Final Thoughts. . .  

First and for the recordAlthough I may have given the impression in the video that there could possibly be some “illegal” leaf in this Ilegal Robusto’s “undisclosed” core blend, there’s no evidence of it. Suffice it to say, whatever Hirochi and his team used for this blend, he got it right, and for me, including the choice of the maduro wrapperEsteban Disla of Nica Sueño is credited with doing a great job on the wrapper, and it’s the key to the cigar’s sweetnessSince the Ilegal San Andrés Robusto never goes full balls-tothewall in body or strength, I’m confident that cigar smokers, regardless of experience, will get plenty enjoyment out of this blend. It’s very refined with a little bit of something for everyone, and well worth adding to your “must smoke” list. I know I’ll be returning to this one.  


#cigaradvisor #cigar #cigars #cigarlife #cigarlifestyle #cigarsociety #cigarporn #cigarreviews #cigarphotography #botl #sotl #nowsmoking #menwhosmoke #thecigarculture #relax #luxury #ultimateluxury #luxurylifestyle #gooddeal #smokeability #friendsoffamous #robainacigar #ilegaltabaco #cubancigar #vivarobaina #HirochiRobaina #LaFamiliaRobaina #illegaltobacco

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Gary Korb

Gary Korb

Executive Editor

Gary Korb has been writing and editing content for 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.

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