Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust Umbagog
While both Jeff and Jeremy have been feeling the scorn of bad weather, I’ve been blessed with near-summerqsue weather in El Paso, Texas. Today I take to my backyard with a Dunbarton Umbagog in one hand and a 2017 Founders KBS in the other.
The Good Stuff:
Umbagog is the first release we’ve seen from Dunbarton Tobacco and Trust this year. Named after a like on the New Hampshire-Maine border where brand owner Steve Saka enjoys fishing this “bundle” cigar is the first “value” priced cigar released by Dunbarton. While I don’t necessarily consider this a bundle cigar, Saka states that the cigar is just “too ugly” to join the ranks of his superior blends. This goes to show just how meticulous Saka is, something that surprises no one. Steve has always been known for perfection. In the case of the Umbagog Steve wanted to create a hefty, hard-working cigar that would be able to tolerate being thrown around a bit. Something that you could take on a fishing trip, camping expedition, or mountain hike without being worried about damage. Umbagog features a dense, Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper, which Saka considered “too ugly” for the Mi Quireda line. The cigar comes in 10 count bundles featured in four different sizes: Corona Gorda (6 x 48), Robusto Plus (5 x 52), Toro Toro (6 x 52), and Gordo Gordo (6 x 56) modestly ranging between $6.45 and $7.45 a stick. I purchased these over from our good friends Ford on Fifth which is only a handful of retailers who currently have them in stock. They recently updated the site and you can now order directly from it, so get on it before these are gone.
Size: 6 x 48
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
Pairing: Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout 2017 (Imperial Stout 11.8% ABV)
The Dunbarton Umbagog starts out with a very meaty, rustic wrapper which is very dark brown with lots of splotches of lighter brown, and orange scattered throughout the leaf. The leaf also features a good amount of dark, natural webbing. The texture on the cigar is very rough and toothy with a decent amount of oil The wrapper is dense and hard as a rock while the cigar is general really does feels as if it can take a beating. The wrapper leaf is seamlessly laid over itself while the cigar showcases a few mild veins running the course of the cigar’s body leading up to it’s round, double cap. The cigar is polished off with a simple green and white band sporting the word “UMBAGOG” across the front.
The Umbagog wrapper gives off a good amount of tartness, natural tobacco, and musk while the foot of the cigar is much more spicy with some pepper and coffee aromas piled over some natural earthiness. The cap cut clean and easily using my Palio double bladed cutter. The cold draw features an overall sweet mixture of honey, cedar, musk, and natural tobacco.
The Umbagog starts out with a nice bold cayenne pepper bang which hangs out for a decent amount of time before fading leaving behind some bold musk, molasses, cedar, tartness, and sweetness with a really natural/earthy overtone. Once the pepper subsides the Umbagog really creams out and is incredibly balanced. The draw is perfect. each tiny puff kicks out a massive cloud of thick, white smoke that hangs out for a while even on a windy day such as this one. The cigar pours out stationary smoke as it rests in my ashtray. The burn line is razor thin and dead even leaving behind a brilliant trail of tightly compacted light, and dark gray ash which held on for an inch before falling into my ashtray.
Into the second third of the Dunbarton Umbagog and the flavors are incredible. Again, they are really smooth and balanced making for a very creamy mixture of cocoa, musk, sweetness, coffee, and cedar with subtle notes of tartness and even some soft clove. The retrohale is as smooth as it comes coating my nasal passage with a nice mixture of cedar, spice, and natural tobacco. This cigar reminds me of when I was young, and my uncle would light up his pipe. It smelled amazing and that smell, or what I understood it was at the time, translates almost identically until the flavor profile found in the Umbagog. The cigar is burning like a dream with no issues as I close out the second third with absolutely zilch in the nicotine department.
The Dunbarton Umbagog was already shaping up to be a fantastic cigar, but it really takes off in the final third. The cedar has really stepped it’s game up along with the musk and some interesting floral flavors which really ramp up the body of the cigar. the backing flavors are cocoa, coffee, vanilla, clove, and spice with a good amount of sweetness thrown on top. The floral flavor doesn’t last long, but it was a nice little added touch to the experience. All in all it took me an hour and a half to smoke the Umbagog down to the nub and I enjoyed every second of it. I close out with no harshness, no extra heat, and only a very mild nicotine hit.
The Umbagog isn’t a cigar you really need to worry about. This is a cigar you just kind of hang out with. You don’t have to pick apart flavors, or nuances, just enjoy it. Sure, I did in this case for the review, but I find the Umbagog such a solid, consistent offering that I could just smoke these all day. And that’s exactly what Saka was trying to achieve in my opinion. Add the modest price point and I can honestly say that the Umbagog will be finding it’s way not only in mine, but just about everyone else’s regular rotation here real quick.
It’s that time of the year again! Founders is set to release the 2017 version of its famous Kentucky Breakfast Stout. Coming in at 11.8% ABV this Bourbon Barrel Aged imperial Stout is one of America’s most sought after beers year after year. It seems this year’s KBS seems much more creamy and muted than past releases. Usually the beer leads with booze, bourbon, cocoa, and vanilla and this year I don’t really get any booze or bourbon. It tastes more like a creamy vanilla/chocolate milkshake. As the beer warms the bourbon finally starts to peek it’s head through while the vanilla, cocoa, espresso, oak really lead the charge. I’m not complaining though, this is a damn good beer and made for an absolutely incredible pairing with the Umbagog, this year’s KBS just seems a bit off.