Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust – Sobremesa
Have you guys been excited about this release as me? Getting right to it, I scheduled just enough time to sneak outback with a Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust Sobremesa in one hand and bottle of The Bruery Terreux’s Tart of Darkness in the other.
The Good Stuff:
Ever since his departure from Drew Estate, the cigar community has longed for the return of Steve Saka. Saka has made his mark on the cigar culture through his blends, knowledge, love for the process, the cigars, the community, and his all around delightful personality. From this, Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust was born. Dunbarton’s debut release is the Sobremesa which is blended using a La Meca Ecuador Habano #1 Rosado wrapper, Matacapan Negro de Temporal binder and Nicaraguan Gk Condega C-SG Seco, Nicaraguan Pueblo Nuevo Criollo Viso, Nicaraguan La Joya Esteli C-98 Viso, Nicaraguan ASP Esteli Hybrid Ligero, USA Lancaster County Broadleaf Ligero fillers. What a mouthful right? One thing we all know about Steve Saka is his dedication, and love with sharing his processes, blends, and knowledge so get used to the over-information from Dunbarton. The Sobremesa is created at the Joya De Nicaragua S.A. factory in Esteli, Nicaragua, but Saka has mentioned that he plans on creating each of his blends with different factories as each have unique strengths and weaknesses.
Our friends over at Halfweel offered this statement:
“Saka said in a statement that the Sobremesa blend went through 27 iterations with over forty varieties of tobacco sampled before a final blend was selected, adding that it is a reflection of the company’s axiom, puro sin compromiso, “a cigar without compromise.”
And that is one thing that I think everyone has always really admired about Steve. He will not settle until he gets the exact blend he’s looking for. That’s what has always made his brands stand out.
The Dunbarton Sobremesa comes in six sizes: The Corona Grande (5.25 x 44), The Cervantes Fino (6.25 x 46), Robusto Largo (5.25 x 52), El Americano (6 x 52), Torpedo Tiempo (6 x 54 Torpedo), and the Gran Imperiales (7 x 52). All sizes will come in 25 count boxes and will run between $9.95 and $13.45 a stick. I picked up a handful of these prior to receiving samples from Steve from our great friends over at 2 Guys Smoke shop who still have a few in very limited quantities left.
Size: 6.25 x 46
Wrapper: La Meca Ecuador Habano #1 Rosado
Binder: Matacapan Negro de Temporal
Filler: Nicaraguan Gk Condega C-SG Seco, Nicaraguan Pueblo Nuevo Criollo Viso, Nicaraguan La Joya Esteli C-98 Viso, Nicaraguan ASP Esteli Hybrid Ligero, USA Lancaster County Broadleaf Ligero
Pairing: The Bruery Terreux Tart of Darkness 2015 (Oak Aged Sour Stout 7.2% ABV)
A bit of full disclosure here. While Steve Saka has always been a great friend of ours and created one of my personal favorite cigars (The Liga Privada No. 9), this in no way will sway this review. In fact, I know that Steve would personally love to hear my thoughts, as much as anyone’s honest opinion even if they disliked the cigar. This makes it much easier for me to be a bit more critical in this review if anything. So let’s get to this.
The Sobremesa starts out with an absolutely stunning, dark brown wrapper. The color is consistent for the most part with some darker areas around the cap, and the natural webbing found throughout the tobacco leaf. The wrapper carries a very toothy texture with lots of oils and a decent amount of smaller veins running through the cigar’s body. The wrapper is very dense and firm as it leads up to a beautiful round triple cap. The Sobremesa is packed very tightly and has a very nice weight to it. The only portion of the cigar that exhibits any softness is around the foot. The Sobremesa is polished off with a simple, yet elegant band that showcases a very large, gold crown with the Dunbarton logo in the back.
The wrapper on the Sobremesa gives off some great cashew, cedar, and sweet aromas while the foot of the cigar is much more spicy with strong black pepper, oats, and natural tobacco scents. The cap cut like butter using my Palio double bladed cutter. The cold draw caught me off guard with a huge blast of strong cayenne pepper backed by lots of cedar, cocoa, and natural earthy flavors.
Despite the pre-light notes, the Sobremesa starts of with only a very mild amount of black pepper. Only enough to tease my lips and my tongue while the flavor profile mainly consists of bold cedar and rich cocoa backed by a good amount of sweetness, black cherry, pecan and spice. The Sobremesa has a lot of body to it right off the bat. I smoked at least one of each size offered (with the exception of the torpedo) and the Corona Grande and the Cervantes Fino pack more of a punch right out of the gate. The draw on this bad boy is incredible. Each little puff kicks out a massive cloud of thick, white smoke which lingers around for quite some time before dissipating. The Sobremesa also gives off it’s fair share of stationary smoke as it rests in my ashtray. The burn line is dead even, and razor thin leaving behind a tightly compacted trail of white and dark gray ash which held on for about and inch before giving way.
Into the second third of the Sobremesa and the body has started to settle out a bit. It’s still in the full range, but the flavors have become much more subtle and creamy leading with lots of cedar and cherry backed by cocoa, spice, sweetness, and a pinch of pine. It’s a unique profile, and one that I am certainly enjoying. The retrohale coats my nasal passage with a lot of cedar and spice which help in keeping the spice in the mix. The burn line is still rockin’ perfectly even without any help as I close out the second third with no signs of nicotine.
The strength has began to ramp up into the final third of the Sobremesa while the body is still full, and filled with strong black cherry and cedar backed by a good amount of sweetness, cocoa, and spice. There is a bit of tartness that has started to sneak it’s way in as well. I found that with the smaller ring gauged in the Sobremesa line, you get a much bolder experience from start to finish while the larger ring gauges, especially the Gran Imperiales deliver much more subtle flavors letting you pick them apart easier before ramping up towards the end. While I’m usually not big on larger ring gauged cigars I really appreciated them within the Sobremesa offering. It took me an hour and forty five minutes to take this cigar down to the very nub and I enjoyed every second of it. I never once had to reach for my lighter to touch up, or relight the cigar while it left me with only a minor nicotine kick and absolutely no harshness.
This is exactly what I expected as an introduction cigar by a very meticulous man who knows his shit. The Sobremesa delivers a full-bodied, medium/full strength cigar that doesn’t overpower you in any one direction. Add that with a very enjoyable, unique flavor profile and it’s easy to call Saka’s re-introduction a success. The price of the cigar isn’t too bad either making it an easy box-worthy decision. While they are a bit hard to obtain right now due to demand, expect these cigars to keep popping up in shops across the nation, and don’t hesitate to grab them when they do. You won’t regret it.
I had so many beers on my list to pair with the Sobremesa, but narrowing it down to one was a bit of a task. I decided to take the more risky route on this one, and it paid off. The Bruery Terreux’s Tart of Darkness is a Sour Stout (yes, you read that right) aged in oak barrels. This 7.2% ABV stout is brewed at the Brewery Terreux in Placenita, California. The Tart of Darkness leads in with a ton of sweet tart, cherry, grape, and roasted malt with a very light mouthfeel before finishing very clean with more cherry, oak, sweetness and sour tart with a sweet and sour aftertaste. The cherry, oak, and sweetness is what drew me to this pairing as both the Sobremesa and the Tart of Darkness shared a good amount of it in their profiles. The Sobremesa helped add cedar, and a new level of oakiness to the pairing while the beer elevated the tartness I picked up throughout the final stages of the cigar. I would also pair the Sobremesa with any sweet, spiced stout, malty porter, sweet tea, or tawny port.