Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust Sin Compromiso Paladin de Saka
29 degrees in the desert? Yup, winter finally hit us. The late afternoon is much more mellow though, at least warm enough for me to enjoy some time out back with a Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust Sin Compromiso Paladin de Saka.
The Good Stuff:
The Sin Compromiso has turned into a cigar household name as most cigar smokers are very aware of the blend yet over the past few years Steve Saka, Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust’s founder, has been hoarding…err I mean smoking a special version of the blend for himself called the Paladin de Saka. The blend is almost identical as the standard Sin Compromiso which uses a Mexican San Andres Negro “Cultivo Tonto” wrapper over an Ecuadorian hybrid Habano wrapper, and Nicaraguan fillers except the Paladin de Saka includes Pennsylvanian Seedleaf added to the filler. That isn’t the only difference though. While the Sin Compromiso already uses extremely selective tobacco (hence the name), The Paladin de Saka is taken one step further by using even more selective tobacco including a “Cultivo Tonto” wrapper which refers to a certain way to grow tobacco similar to how people of Japan grow certain fruits. As the plant grows the bottom tobacco leaves are removed allowing the remaining leaves to absorb more nutrients. This leads to superior tobacco at the cost of lower yields which greatly affects the overall cost to produce at this level. The Paladin de Saka is offered in a single 7 x 50 soft box-pressed format. Like the other cigars in the Sin Compromiso line the cigars come packaged in boxes of 13 only the Paladin de Saka carries a hefty price tag of $29.75 per cigar. Big thanks goes out to Steve Saka for sending these our way for review.
- Size: 7 x 50
- Wrapper: Mexican San Andres Negro “Cultivo Tonto”
- Binder: Hybridized Ecuadorian Habano “Thin Ligero”
- Filler: Independent Plantation Grown Nicaraguan, Pennsylvania Seedleaf
- Body: Full
- Strength: Full
- Price: $29.75
- Pairing: Water
After removing the gigantic cedar cover from the cigar, the Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust Sin Compromiso Paladin de Saka you can finally get a good look at the cigar. The cigar starts out with an incredibly dark brown, almost black wrapper that is very consistent in color with only a few lighter areas around the cigar’s cop. The wrapper’s texture is extremely gritty and toothy with a good amount of oils coating it. The wrapper feels very hard and dense while the cigar as a whole is extremely well-packed and heavy as hell. The Paladin de Saka’s wrapper is laid perfectly over itself while only a few minor veins are found in the leaf as it extends through the cigar’s long, soft-boxed pressed body to it’s round, pig-tail style cap. The cigar is then polished off with a silver and black “Sin Compromiso” crest embossed on the front of the band and the addition of the long cedar covering (which I have taken off at this point, obviously) with the words “Paladin de Saka” inked in the front long with the Dunmbarton Tobacco & Trust logo.
The wrapper on the Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust Sin Compromiso Paladin de Saka gives off bold oak and musk aromas with a touch of cedar while the foot of the cigar carries light berry over more musk and natural tobacco aromas. The cap cut clean and easily using my Xikar XO double bladed cutter. The cold draw produced a ton of bold oak, black cherry, and musky natural flavors.
The Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust Sin Compromiso Paladin de Saka starts out with a very mild black pepper blast that fades quickly after the first few puffs allowing the cigar to release large amounts of oak, black cherry and dark chocolate with minor notes of peat (think a heavily peated scotch), pecan, spice and a nice cedar aftertaste which starts to transition into a more grilled/smoked meat flavor. Weird comparison there, I know, but it’s the best way I can describe it. The draw is flawless. Each puff kicks out a huge cloud of thick, dark gray smoke which hangs around under my porch for quite some time before dissipating while the cigar unleashes huge amounts of stationary smoke while it rests in my ashtray. The burn line is dead even and razor thin leaving behind a trail of tightly compacted white ash which held on for an inch before falling into my ashtray.
Into the second third of the Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust Sin Compromiso Paladin de Saka and the flavor profile has switched up a bit. Oak and musk lead the charge alongside a great black tea flavor that has snuck in. The peaty flavors have ramped up significantly and the black cherry and dark chocolate are still hanging on. I don’t pick up a lot of sweetness or spice but whenever I retrohale the cigar the spice really picks up. I close out the second third with a decent little nicotine kick already. The burnline is still rocking without any help from my torch.
The flavors in the Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust Sin Compromiso Paladin de Saka are deep and complex. Leading the way is the peat, black tea, and oak. Musk, cocoa, pecan, and black cherry are all backing flavors. In the final third a crazy little cinnamon/gingerbread flavor peeked it’s head in and out pretty often. The cigar is much more full-bodied that I feel the standard Sin Compromiso is. In the end it took me almost 2 hours to smoke the cigar down to the nub. I never once had to reach for my torch to touch up or relight the cigar as it burned perfectly from start to finish. There was no harshness nor any extended heat. One note was in the final inch or so the pepper that I only picked up at the very start began to come through again. Interesting way to both start and close out the experience.
The Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust Sin Compromiso Paladin de Saka is an exceptional cigar. The profile is incredibly nuanced and complex. Anyone who knows Saka knows just how picky he is when it comes to his blends and I can’t imagine the work that was involved getting this one right where it is. Outside of the flavors the experience as a whole were flawless. No burn issues, no heat or sap. Just all around a great experience. While this cigar was excellent, the cost still feels a little steep for me. I know you can’t achieve the same experience without the high-level of production and selectivity, something that Steve Saka is known for, I just don’t know if I’d grab a full box of these. This is something I’d probably keep a few around for though when I am craving such a complex experience. Now if you’re a big Sin Compromiso fan and don’t mind paying a bit of extra coin for a next level version of the cigar I think you’ll be all over this one!