Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust StillWell Star Navy No. 1056
While it’s still somehow spring here in El Paso I am taking full advantage of the mild weather with a cigar from a set I’ve been eager to sample: Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust’s StillWell Star Navy No. 1056.
The Good Stuff:
StillWell Star is the industry’s first luxury pipe tobacco cigar. You read that right, those rivers finally met. Created by Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust, StillWell Star is a 4-cigar release in which each cigar contains a different, unique blend of some of the finest pipe tobacco available. The project came to be when Steve Saka, founder of Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust had a conversation with Jeremy Reeves, the head blender from to pipe tobacco Cornell & Diehl about how he occasionally incorporates some of his favorite pipe tobaccos into some of his blends from personal consumption. Reeves, a cigar smoker himself, was curious on what the result of blending these two types of tobaccos together and thus began the start of the SwillWell Star project.
Each cigar in the line comes packaged in boxes of 13 running $15.30 per cigar. Each cigar comes in the same 6 x 52 format. Each cigar carries the same Grade A Ecuadorian Habano wrapper over a Mexican San Andres Negro binder. But where each cigar differs is it’s unique blend of filler tobacco which each contain a different blend of pipe tobacco:
- Aromatic No. 1: Black Cavendish, Golden Virgina and Burley pipe tobacco added to a mild mixture of Nicaraguan tobaccos
- English No. 27: Burley and Turkish leaf with Cypriot Latakia pressed cake and Nicaraguan cigar tobaccos
- Bayou No: 32: Bright and Red Virginia with St. James Parish Perique with Nicaraguan cigar tobaccos
- Navy No. 1056: Stoved Red and Golden Virginias with a touch of “Naval Rations” combining with Orientals and Latakia and dark air-cured black cigar leaf
Today we focus on the Navy No. 1056. A big thanks goes out to Steve Saka for sending samples our way to review.
- Size: 6 x 52
- Wrapper: Gade A Ecuadorian Habano
- Binder: Mexican San Andres Negro
- Filler: Stoved Red and Golden Virginias with a touch of “Naval Rations” combing with Orientals and Latakia and dark air-cured black cigar leaf
- Body: Medium/Full
- Strength: Medium
- Price: $15.30
- Pairing: Water
The Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust StillWell Star Navy No. 1056 starts out with a beautiful and consistent dark brown wrapper which carries a slightly darker shade around the cap of the cigar. The wrapper’s texture is toothy and gritty with a good amount of oil. The wrapper itself feels very dense and hard while the cigar as a whole is packed evenly resulting in a pretty heavy cigar. The wrapper on the StillWell Star Navy No. 1056 showcases some medium veining and natural tobacco leaf as it’s laid seamlessly over itself leading up tot he cigar’s round double-wrapped cap. The cigar is polished off with a beautiful, military-styled royal blue and gold band with star on the front, as well as a secondary foot band with similar styling and the words “StillWell Navy No 1056” embossed across the front.
The wrapper in the StillWell Star Navy No. 1056 gives off mostly spice and natural tobacco aromas while the foot of the cigar releases a truly unique mixture of extremely smoked/roasted/charred tobacco over some musk and dirt aromas. This definitely smells like pipe tobacco. The cold draw carries a lot of the roasted tobacco but it’s much more mild allowing some flavors of sweet tobacco and dark berry to come through. I’m real excited to see how that translates to the flavor profile in the actual smoking experience.
The StillWell Star Navy No. 1056 starts out with a beautiful mixture of black cherry, musk, and some bold floral flavors over softer flavors of vanilla, nutmeg, and some really light tartness. This was not nearly and smoky/roasty as I expected it to be, and I am loving the flavor the cigar is putting out right off the bat. I’ve smoked a decent amount of pipe tobacco and can absolutely taste the characteristics within the cigar, yet it still has the familiar flavors found in a cigar with similar binder/wrapper. The draw is absolutely perfect as each little puff kicks out massive clouds of gray smoke which dissipate very quickly as the cigar releases a good amount of stationary smoke while it rests in my ashtray. The burnline is solid and dead even leaving behind a tightly compacted trail of light gray has which held on for almost an inch before giving way.
Into the second third of the StillWell Star Navy No. 1056 and the flavor profile is still very similar to the first. The black cherry and musk lead the way backed by lots of floral flavors over vanilla, nutmeg, honey and oak. Most of the more roasted/char flavors have completely fallen off at this point. The retrohale brings out some great spice that I don’t necessarily get from the standard experience at this point so I find myself doing it quite often. I close out the second third with nothing in terms of nicotine.
Into the final third of the Stillwell Star Navy No. 1056 and surprisingly, not a lot has changed. That’s not a bad thing at all as the cigar is just extremely consistent throughout the entire experience. The black cherry and musk as still in charge with bold vanilla and floral flavors over nutmeg honey and oak. I feel weird carrying an almost identical flavor profile from start to finish, but that’s exactly how it went. I close out the cigar after bout an hour and a half no harshness, no extended heat, and nothing in terms of a nicotine kick.
One thing I was curious about is how the burn would perform. Blenders know tobacco inside and out and are conscious about every aspect of the experience including how well the cigar burns. Pipe tobacco is the same, but both burn differently since the smoke is delivered differently. I am happy to report the burn experience was absolutely flawless from start to finish. I never once had to reach for my torch to touchup or relight the cigar. It also burned at a perfect speed. Not too long, not too slow.
StillWell Star is such a unique approach to a cigar. I haven’t smoked each in the set yet but what I can say is that the Navy No. 1056 impressed me from every aspect. The construction and burn experience was top notch while the flavor profile was not only unique, but extremely tasty. While taste is subjective I do think that this cigar should be on everyone’s radar as it delivers such a different experience than that we are used to. While there may be a little bit of a sticker shock at $15.30 considering the tobacco that went into this blend, and the experience it delivered, I believe that the price is more than justified.