|Saga Golden Age Toro|
Saga Cigars is a new brand that was launched by the Reyes family at the 2014 IPCPR Trade Show. Many know of the Reyes family through Augusto Reyes Sr, a very well-respected sixth generation cigar maker in the Dominican Republic. The Reyes family has been involved in the tobacco growing and leaf brokerage business for over 160 years. They have also operated their own factory called Corporacion Cigar Export (CCE) where they have produced brands under the Augusto Reyes name. Augusto’s daughter Nirka now serves company president. Recently, CCE has rebranded their cigar company De Los Reyes. At the same time, they have consolidated their brands focusing on the Don Julio and Saga lines. Today, we take a look at a cigar in the new Saga line – the Saga Golden Age in a Toro format. Overall, I found this to be a very impressive cigar that delivered an excellent overall cigar experience.
The theme of the Saga Golden Age is to deliver a classic styled smoke that is intended to be a throwback to the times of Hemingway. The cigar itself is a Dominican puro. This contrasts with the other cigar in the line, the Saga Blend No. 7 which is a multi-national blend that is intended to have more of a modern spin.
Without further ado, let’s take a closer look at the Saga Golden Age Toro and see what this cigar brings to the table.
As mentioned the Saga Golden Age is a Dominican Puro. The cigar features a Corojo 2006 wrapper and filler tobacco that has been grown in the Dominican Republic from original Cuban seeds.
Wrapper: Dominican Corojo 2006
Filler: Dominican Cuban Seed
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic (Corporacion Cigar Export (CCE))
The Saga Golden Age is available in four sizes.
Robusto: 5 x 50
Corona Gorda: 5 1/2 x 46
Toro: 6 x 52
Lancero: 7 x 40
The Dominican Corojo wrapper of the Saga Golden Age Toro has a light brown color with a slight cinnamon colored tip to it. There is a light coating of oil on the wrapper. While there are some visible veins and visible wrapper seams, the wrapper’s surface is on the smoother side. The cap is finished with spiral pig-tail cap.
There are two bands on the Saga Golden Age. The primary band is gold in color. Prominently displayed on the middle of the band is the text “SAGA” in a modern red-colored font. There is a row of a gold rivet-like design above and below the text. There is also a row of red rivets toward the top and bottom of the band.
The secondary band is red in color. The band features the text “Golden Age” in gold font. There is a row of square shaped gold adornments across the top and bottom.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
As opposed to pulling the spiral pig-tail cap off of the Sage Golden Age Toro, I went with a straight cut to remove the cap and spiral. Once the cap was removed, I proceeded with the pre-light draw. The dry draw provided a mix of cedar, sweet natural tobacco, and a slight berry flavor. Overall I was quite pleased with the pre-light draw of the cigar. At this point I was ready to light up the Saga Golden Age Toro and see what the overall smoking phase would have in store.
The start to the Saga Golden Age Toro provided a mix of natural tobacco, cedar, and generic wood. There were also some notes of berry and a slight white pepper note. As the flavor profile evolved, I found the wood, cedar, and berry notes became primary. The cedar and pepper spices moved to the background, but I found the cedar to be a prominent note on the retro-hale.
By the midpoint of the cigar, the wood notes became primary. The berry sweetness receded, but did not dissipate entirely. At this point the cigar was showcasing the “throwback” classic profile as advertised. The pepper and cedar notes remained secondary and I also picked up a slight grassy note.
Toward the last third, I found the cedar and pepper spices increase, but they didn’t quite eclipse the woody notes. I still detected the grass and a little bit of the berry sweetness. This is the way the Saga Golden Age came to a close. The resulting nub was cool in temperature and slightly soft to the touch.
Burn and Draw
Overall I found the Saga to perform quite well in terms of its burn. The burn path remained relatively straight. There was some jaggedness on the burn line itself, but this was more cosmetic than anything. The resulting ash was a salt and pepper color. The ash was on the firm side and came off the cigar in nice clean chunks. The burn rate and burn temperature were both ideal.
|Burn of the Saga Golden Age Toro|
The draw performed quite well. I found it to have a touch of resistance – which is something I like. This made the Saga Golden Age Toro an enjoyable smoke from start to finish.
Strength and Body
From a strength perspective, I found the Saga Golden Age Toro started out in the medium range. Toward the end of the second third, I did notice the strength increased to the medium to full range. As for the flavors of the Saga Golden Age Toro, they started out medium-bodied. It didn’t take long for the body to move into the medium to full range. The body continued to get deeper, and about 60 percent into the cigar, I found the flavors did move into full-bodied territory. When looking at strength versus body, I definitely gave the edge to the body here.
Back at the 2014 IPCPR Trade Show I had sampled the Saga Golden Age and was pretty impressed with this blend. Recently, I’ve had a chance to smoke this cigar in a less distracted setting and was able to get even more from this cigar. As for this cigar fulfilling its mission for being a “throwback” to yesteryear, I found the woody notes during the second third to steer this cigar in that direction. At the same time, I still found the Saga Golden Age to have enough character to satisfy the modern day smoker – namely because of the berry sweetness and because it offered more in terms of strength and body. Overall, this is a cigar that I would recommend to a seasoned or novice cigar enthusiast. As for myself, this is definitely a cigar I’d smoke again – and one worthy of a box split.
Strength: Medium (1st 2/3), Medium to Full (Remainder)
Body: Medium (Start), Medium to Full, Full (Last 40% of smoke)
Assessment: 3.5 – Box Split
* Saga Cigars are a sponsor of Cigar Coop and Stogie Geeks.