Cigar Ratings & Reviews

#nowsmoking: Onyx Esteli Selección No.1 

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#nowsmoking: Onyx Esteli Selección No.1 Cigar Review

#nowsmokingOnyx Esteli Cigar Review – Selección No.1 (Robusto)

Factory: San Lotano – Estelí, Nicaragua 
Size: 5″ x 54 Robusto 
Strength: Medium-Full 
WrapperMexican San Andrés  
Filler: Nicaraguan and Honduran Criollo ’98  
Presentation: Box of 16 cigars 

#nowsmoking Onyx Esteli cigar review at Famous Smoke Shop

What’s the cigar’s back story. . 

Once upon a time. . .  AJ Fernandez had a very rare and flavorful harvest of San Andrés wrapper he was itching to use on a new blend. He approached Altadis USA, but at the time, they were not taking on any more projects. Luckily, Famous Smoke Shop was looking to expand their exclusive “Estelí” collection, which includes the Altadis-produced Trinidad Estelí  and Romeo y JulietEstelí, Having already made several private selections for Famous, AJ offered to use that vintage San Andrés wrapper in a new blend for them. Working with Famous‘s private label team, the result was the Onyx Estelí collection, which is handcrafted at AJ’s San Lotano factory in Estelí, Nicaragua. Although I mentioned in the video that the blend was “undisclosed,” apparently it was disclosed in our 2018 panel review, and is listed above. 

Onyx Estelí is sold in boxes of 16 cigars and 5-packs in the following three shapes:  


#nowsmoking Onyx Esteli cigar review closeup of single cigar
#nowsmoking@famoussmokeshop: Blended by AJ Fernandez, the Onyx Estelí Selección No.1 boasts a luscious Mexican San Andrés maduro wrapper chosen from a rare, vintage harvest.

How well is the cigar made?  

Solidly. The cigar is well packed, seamlessly rolled, and fitted with a triple seam cap. In the Onyx tradition, the Mexican San Andrés maduro wrapper is very dark, and just short of bordering on oscuro. It had some decent thickness and a sweet aroma when sniffed. The draw was just right with pre-light notes of sweet tobaccosome woodiness, and slightly salty. 

How does the cigar smoke?  

Very well. For starters, the Selección No.1 revealed more earth and wood, a little sweetness and some light pepper. The cigar produced plenty of thick creamy smoke from end-to-end. The burn was even and exposed a firm and almost solid grey ash in color

#nowsmoking Onyx Esteli cigar review by Gary Korb

Crossing over into the midsection, an undercurrent of sweet tobacco and pepper continued to draw my attention, while the smoke remained exceptionally creamy and well balancedA pleasant surprise of tangy citrus entered through the back door, while the final act jettisoned the sweet component as some light salt returned. Finally, the cigar nubbed-out with a mostly earthyspicy flavor 

What is the cigar’s flavor profile?  

Medium to full, but leans more toward full. There is a fair amount of sweet spice and cedar in the mix until the final inches, when it turns much bolder and earthier. Additional notes of salt, white pepper, and citrus also chime-in at various intervals. Unfortunately, I didn’t pick up the espresso that I tasted in the 2018 review, and the woody component was more like cedar than oak.  

What drink can I pair with this cigar besides coffee?  

#nowsmoking Onyx Esteli cigar review box of cigars and ashtray

Although I thought the Onyx Estelí Selección No.1 made a pretty good “morning cigar” with coffee, it seems better suited for smoking later in the day or after dinner with a fine bourbon or single malt. In my 2018 review, I wrote: “For beer lovers, the tart Weyerbacher Riserva.” 

(Find more cigar and drink pairing combinations here.) 

Should I buy this cigar?  

Yes, if you’re among the more initiated. The Onyx Estelí Selección No.1 is marvelously smooth and creamy, but could possibly be a bit much for newer cigar smokers. Otherwise, it’s a very dark, flavorful smoke with a decent amount of complexity. At just over $7.00 (at press time), the Onyx Estelí No.1 delivers the goods at a pretty fair price.  


#cigaradvisor #cigar #cigars #cigarlife #cigarlifestyle #cigarsociety #cigarporn #cigarreviews #cigarphotography #botl #sotl #nowsmoking #menwhosmoke #thecigarculture #relax #luxury #ultimateluxury #luxurylifestyle #luxury #gooddeal #smokeability #famous80 #onyxcigar #onyxesteli #ajfcigar #exclusivecigar #famouscigar

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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, he has worked on the marketing side of the premium cigar business as a Sr. Copywriter, blogger, and Executive Editor of Cigar Advisor. 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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