Sobremesa is the debut release by Steve Saka’s Dunbarton Tobacco and Trust. Saka is best known for his tenure at Drew Estate where he served as the company President – and as its CEO during his last year with the company. Just prior to the 2015 IPCPR Trade Show, Saka announced he would be making a return, launching his own company called Dumbarton Tobacco Trust. He would also announce details about his first release, Sobremesa. In early November, Sobremesa would make its way to retailers. Recently, I’ve had an opportunity to smoke through several cigars in the line. Today, I focus on the Sobremesa Cervantes Fino – a 6 1/4 x 46 vitola. Given Saka’s notoriety in the industry, it was no surprise this was going to be a very anticipated release. With the Sobremesa Cervantes Fino, Saka comes through with flying colors.
Dunbarton Tobacco and Trust is a partnership with Saka and his wife Cindy. It is named for the town in New Hampshire where the two live. Saka told Cigar Aficionado / Cigar Insider, the “Trust” component comes from an old bank he is attempting to purchase for the company’s headquarters. As for the name Sobremesa, Saka told us on Stogie Geeks his first project (which at the time was not disclosed) would be a homage to what made him fall in love with cigars in the first place. In the press release, additional background on the name of the first cigar Sobremesa was given:
Sobremesa, “over the table”, has no precise English translation, perhaps because there is no cultural equivalent in the US. It is an idiom used among the Latin culture to describe the leisurely time spent tableside after you have finished dining, but before you rise. It is the experience of lingering casually with family and friends in conversation, relaxing, drinking, smoking, and enjoying each other’s company. Sobremesa is one of life’s simplest, yet greatest pleasures.
Without further ado, let’s break down the Sobremesa Cervantes Fino and see what this cigar brings to the table.
For production of Sobremesa, Saka turned to Joya de Nicaragua. Joya de Nicaragua is a place familiar to Saka because it a company that has been and is currently distributed by his former company, Drew Estate. During the process of coming up with Sobremesa, Saka has been hands-on involved with the process – including the procuring of tobaccos and development of the blend.
The blend itself is a multi-national blend with tobaccos from four countries – Ecuador, Mexico, Nicaragua, and U.S. (Pennsylvania).
Wrapper: La Meca Ecuador Habano Grade 1 Dark 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
Country of Origin: Nicaragua (Joya de Nicaragua SA)
Sobremesa was launched in six vitolas. Each of these six sizes are available in 25 count boxes:
Corona Grande: 5 1/4 x 44
Cervantes Fino: 6 1/4 x 46
Robusto Largo: 5 1/4 x 52
El Americano: 6 x 52
Torpedo Tiempo: 6 x 54
Gran Imperials: 7 x 54
There are also two sizes that the company says will be available in the future. These two sizes will be packaged in 13 count boxes.
Elegante en Cedros: 7 x 48
Diadema de Luxe: 6 1/2 x 56
The Habano wrapper of the Sobremesa Cervantes Fino has a chocolate brown color with a slight colorado red tint to it. While there is a very light oil sheen on the surface, I also found the wrapper had a slight coarse feel to it. The veins and wrapper seams that are visible are on the thin side. The cigar itself is well packed with no soft spots. In fact the cigar itself has a little bit of weight on it when held in the hand.
There are two bands on the Sobremesa Cervantes Fino. The primary band is gold and brown – featuring a large gold crown on the front. The remainder of the band has gold adornments and trim on it.
The secondary band sits on the footer. The band is brown with gold trim. Sitting on the brown background is the text “Sobremesa” in a cursive-styled font.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
Prior to lighting up the Sobremesa Cervantes Fino, I went with my usual choice of a straight cut. Once the cap was clipped, I moved on to the pre-light draw phase. The cold draw delivered subtle notes of cocoa and natural tobacco. Overall I considered the pre-light draw of the Cervantes Fino to be satisfactory. At this point, I removed the footer band of the Sobremesa Cervantes Fino, lit up the cigar and moved on to the smoking phase.
The Sobremesa Cervantes Fino started out with notes of cocoa, earth, cedar, and natural tobacco. Very early on, I found the cocoa and earth notes quickly became a primary note while the cedar and natural tobacco notes became secondary. There was a slight citrus component to the natural tobacco notes. As the Sobremesa moved through the first third, I also found some nut flavors emerge and these would join the cocoa and earth notes in the forefront.
This is a cigar one is going to want to retro-hale. In particular, the aromas from this cigar are something you are going to want to experience. I found this retro-hale delivered additional layers of cedar and cocoa as well as some black pepper. The retro-hale balances the flavors on the palate nicely and never became sharp or overpowering.
During the second third, the chocolate and earth notes continued to be primary on the tongue. I found there was a little more of a creamy profile that smoothed out the notes during this stage. The cedar and natural tobacco notes were secondary. The nut flavors started a pattern of floating in and out of the forefront.
The cedar notes slowly increased in intensity and just past the mid-point of the Sobremesa Cervantes Fino, I found them on par with the cocoa and earth notes. The nut flavors were now more grounded as a secondary note.
By the last third, I found the primary notes on the tongue to be more in the way of cedar and earth. There still was some cocoa and nut. The creamy undertone to the second third had now dissipated. This is the way the experience of the Sobremesa came to a close. The resulting nub was firm to the touch and cool in temperature.
Burn and Draw
Overall I found the Sobremesa Cervantes Fino scored very well with burn and draw. The burn took a relatively straight path from start to finish. The burn line itself had a slight curvature to it, but overall this was a cigar never was in danger or canoeing. The resulting ash had a salt and pepper color. I found the ash to be on the firm side and came off the cigar in clean chunks. The combustion on the Cervantes Fino was excellent. This was a cigar that maintained an ideal burn rate and ideal burn temperature throughout the smoking experience.
Given this cigar was well-packed, I found it gave it a touch of resistance on the draw – which is something I consider to be ideal. This made the Cervantes Fino a very enjoyable cigar to puff on.
Strength and Body
From both a strength and body perspective, the Sobremesa Cervantes Fino is not going to be an overpowering cigar. I assessed this cigar as being a medium strength, medium-bodied cigar from start to finish. Throughout the smoking experience of the Cervantes Fino, I didn’t find much variance with the intensity of these attributes. I also found that the strength and body balanced each other very nicely with neither overshadowing the other.
Since the Sobremesa has hit the retail shelves, Saka has been pretty open in stating these cigars could use a little more rest. I have had the opportunity to smoke these at several points over the past few weeks and I would concur with this. By no means was this a young cigar, but its a cigar that got better with some short term aging. At the same time, my gut tells me this cigar will also do well with some longer term aging too.
Right now I’ve smoked four vitolas of the Sobremesa line (minus the Torpedo Tiempo and Robusto Largo) and I have found the Cervantes Fino to have a slight edge in terms of the sizes have smoked. In the case of the Cervantes Fino, I found the retro-hale to be the key component to appreciating what this cigar offers. Overall it’s a cigar I would recommend to an experienced or novice cigar enthusiast. As for myself, it’s a cigar I’d smoke again and it’s one I’d recommend a box of.
Assessment: 4.0-Box Worthy
News: Steve Saka’s Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust to Launch Sobremesa
Source: Cigars Provided by Manufactuer, Additional Cigars Purchased
Stogie Geeks Podcast: Episode 166
Stogie Feed: Sobremesa Cervantes Fino Corona Grande by Dunbarton Tobacco and Trust (Paul), Sobremesa Cervantes Fino by Dunbarton Tobacco and Trust (Will)