In terms of the cigar industry an overnight success story is unheard of, at least until now, as one can argue All Saints Cigars can be considered just that. Founded in 2019, All Saints was started by three friends; Micky Pegg, Frank Layo and Martin Corboy.
For Micky Pegg, individually, his journey has been a long one. He started in the cigar industry working in retail in 1989 before making the transition to cigar representative in 1997. After working for both Davidoff and CAO he left the cigar industry in 2008. In 2017, he retuned quietly before making a formal announcement on November 1, 2019.
The All Saints Saint Francis debuted in the summer of 2021 where it was met with rave reviews. On October 30, 2020 it was featured in The Cigar Authority Care Package where the chat room during the live broadcast were almost unanimous in their declaration that this would be Cigar of the Year. After it’s release in the Contenders pack, the people who purchased the pack of 7 cigars overwhelmingly agreed that this was their vote to receive the award. There was other criteria that needed to be met as well, which this cigar checked the boxes.
Cigar Review: All Saints Saint Francis
Wrapper: Ecuador Oscuro
Ring Gauge: 52
The Look: Available in four sizes including the Cigar of the Year Toro (6.5 x 52), Robusto (5.5 x 50) and Churchill (7 x 48) are in a soft box pressed format, while the fourth size called Huge (6 x 60) is in a traditional round vitola. Packaged in 20 count black boxes, the cigars are laid out in 4 rows of 5 cigars. The cigar features the All Saints logo with colors of black, gold, red and white while a secondary band utilizing the same colors denotes the line, Saint Francis. In the hand, the cigar is firm to the touch with no voids of tobacco and a well packed foot. The Ecuador Oscuro wrapper is loaded with oils and is rolled to perfection.
The Notes: The cold draw off the All Saints Saint Francis serves up notes of German chocolate cake that is rich and easily identifiable. Under the notes of chocolate is a subtle spice and a hint of almonds. The aroma from the foot before being lit serves up more cocoa, cedar and a touch of nuttiness. Once the foot is toasted and lit, the initial puff serves up a warm mocha profile that instantly engages the palate.
As we settle into the first third, the mocha becomes even more dominant with a touch of cedar, marzipan and nuttiness that all meld together to create an exceptional experience right from the start. As the first third comes to a close notes of chocolate, coffee and cinnamon create a wonderfully complex experience while the retrohale adds a touch of nutmeg to the mix.
As we start the second third, notes of cinnamon and allspice become dominant as mocha slides into the background. Around the halfway point espresso becomes dominant as the cinnamon and cocoa begin to dissipate. Notes of allspice remain on the finish and are intensified slightly on the retrohale which also sees continued nutmeg and a touch of leather.
The final third starts with the removal of the secondary band and sees notes of espresso, with a subtle mocha sweetness and hints of red pepper flakes. The cigar is rounded out with hints of cedar, marzipan, caramel all of which are enhanced with the retrohale which also sees some more additional leather notes.
The Finish: In terms of strength, Dave on The Cigar Authority calls this an 8, while I would state it starts at 6 and finishes around a 7. It’s a wonderfully complex cigar that should age really well, but this cigar is ready to smoke right out of the box. So much so that it is our Cigar of the Year. It offers full palate engagement, is smooth, balanced and wonderfully constructed. The All Saints Saint Francis is hands down the best cigar of 2021 and should remain a staple for years if not decades to come. To be honest, it would be a sin to pass up on the Saint Francis.
Price: $11.49 / $205.99