Mi Querida is the sophomore release by Steve Saka’s Dunbarton Tobacco and Trust company. In 2015, Saka launched Dunbarton Tobacco and Trust and released Sobremesa. Sobremesa proved to be a huge success both critically and commercially. While it’s always difficult to follow up a big debut, Mi Querida was met with a lot of anticipation in that this would be Saka’s first Connecticut Broadleaf release at Dunbarton Tobacco and Trust. Many people connect Saka with Connecticut Broadleaf because of the Liga Privada No. 9, the cigar that started out as Saka’s personal blend while he was at Drew Estate. Mi Querida was launched at the 2016 IPCPR Trade Show and like Sobremesa did at the previous year’s show, it was a big commercial success for Dunbarton Tobacco and Trust. Recently I’ve had an opportunity to smoke Mi Querida in the Ancho Largo size (a classic Toro size). Mi Querida has been a huge success because it is an excellent and unique cigar. It’s a cigar that lives up to all of the expectations this cigar had going into the 2016 IPCPR Trade Show.
The name Mi Querida is Spanish for “my dearest”, but it is also a term commonly referred to a husband’s mistress. In particular, in Nicaragua it refers to one’s “secret mistress” (since it is often common for a wife to know about the mistress”). This secret mistress is the “dirty little secret” and thus plays into the connection of the cigar’s profile. Saka says this also fits into theme of the cigar as he has described this as cigar that is more gritty and a bit “dirtier” than the more refined Sobremesa release.
Without further ado, let’s break down the Mi Querida Ancho Largo and see what this cigar brings to the table.
In addition to the Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper, the remainder of the blend consists of Nicaraguan tobaccos.
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
Country of Origin: Nicaragua (NACSA)
For Mi Querida, Saka is working with the NACSA (Nicaraguan American Cigar S.A.) factory. This is a different factory he is using for production than Sobremesa (which uses Joya de Nicaragua SA). This is not a surprise because when Saka launched Dunbarton Tobacco and Trust he said he would not be single factory focused. Mi Querida is being produced under the watchful eye of Raul Disla under Saka’s direction.
Four regular production offerings were launched for Mi Querida. Each of these sizes are offered in 20 count boxes.
Fino Largo: 6 x 48
Ancho Corta: 5 x 52
Ancho Largo: 6 x 52
Muy Gordo Grande: 6 x 56
There are also four other sizes in the line. At press time, these are more limited offerings. Each of these sizes are in 20 count boxes except for SakaKhan and Mas Sucia which are planned to be in 10 count boxes.
Pequeno Pequeno: 4 x 44
Gordita: 4 x 48
SakaKhan: 7 x 50
Mas Sucia: 7 x 64
While Saka describes Mi Querida as a cigar that has “dirty” qualities, I did find the Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper to have some charm. The wrapper of the Mi Querida Ancho Largo had a coffee bean color to it. Upon closer examination, some subtle darker marbling could be seen on the surface. There wasn’t much in the way of oil on the wrapper. There were some visible veins and visible wrapper seams.
When Mi Querida was announced, Saka mentioned he opted to go with simpler packaging and banding than he did for Sobremesa. The band is blue in color with gold trim that has a perforated look to it. On the band is the text “Mi Querida” in a gold colored cursive font.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
Prior to lighting up the Mi Querida Ancho Largo, I went with my usual choice of a straight cut. After clipping the cap I proceeded with the pre-light draw. The cold draw delivered a mix of earth and cocoa powder. There was a slight tingly spice the almost reminded me of red pepper flakes. Overall I was quite pleased with this pre-light draw. At this point I was ready to light up the Mi Querida Ancho Largo and see what the smoking phase would have in store.
The Mi Querida Ancho Largo started out with more notes of earth. Earth notes usually are not exciting to me, but throughout the smoking experience of the Ancho Largo these notes had a slight musty quality that actually worked in favor of the blend. In the background there was a unique sweetness (that I will refer to as a “natural sweetness”) that was a cross between cocoa, natural tobacco, and mixed fruit. I also detected a touch of red pepper on the tongue. This red pepper was also a little more prominent on the retro-hale.
During the first third, the earth notes continued to be primary with the natural sweetness in the background. While the red pepper was also in the background, it had a slight lingering effect on the tongue. There also was an underlying creamy texture. While I do agree this profile had a gritty profile, this creamy texture was able to smooth things out.
The second third of the Mi Querida Ancho Largo saw the earth notes remain in the forefront. The natural sweetness had increased during this stage of the smoke and just past the midway point, the natural sweetness joined the earth in the forefront. There was a decrease in the creamy texture allowing the “dirtier” side of this smoke to shine. The red pepper increased slightly on the tongue. Meanwhile the retro-hale got much more complex as it was not just red pepper, but more like a layer of assorted spices.
The earth notes remained grounded as the primary note during the final third. During this stage, the natural sweetness returned to the background. Mi Querida was in full “dirty” mode as the creamy texture had dissipated. Compared to the start of the smoking experience, the red pepper had increased somewhat, but never became overwhelming. This profile held until the close of the smoking experience. The resulting nub was firm to the touch and cool in temperature.
Burn and Draw
The burn of the Mi Querida Ancho Largo maintained a straight track throughout the smoking experience. There was a slight curvature on the burn line, but this was a cigar never in danger of tunneling or canoeing. The resulting ash started out on the firm side, but I did find get slightly looser during the second half – resulting in some minor flaking. The burn temperature remained ideal. In terms of burn rate, this was a slow burning (2+ hour smoke). However there were no adverse effects I got from the slower burn rate – in fact, it extended out the smoking experience of a very enjoyable cigar.
The draw to the Mi Querida Ancho Largo had the right amount of resistance to it. This was not a loose, nor was it a tight draw. There also was a large amount of smoke production during the cigar experience.
Strength and Body
Both the strength and body of the Mi Querida Ancho Largo started out in the medium range. The strength of the Mi Querida slowly increased throughout the smoking experience. By the second half, I found the strength to be in the medium to full range. The strength did continue to build in the second half and toward the end, this cigar had quite a kick.
Meanwhile the body of the Ancho Largo increased a little quicker than the strength did. By the second third this cigar was a medium to full-bodied smoke. Toward the latter stages, this cigar came close to full-bodied.
In terms of strength versus body, I gave a slight edge to the body.
Overall the Mi Querida Ancho Largo is a home run by Saka and Dunbarton Tobacco and Trust. It’s a cigar that has an excellent and unique flavor profile. As I mentioned, the musty quality of the earth notes really added something to this cigar. The “natural sweetness” of this cigar delivered balanced out the earth /must combination perfectly. In terms of the retro-hale and aroma, it should not be dismissed as a part of this cigar experience. Much like the Sobremesa, I found both of these components an integral part of this cigar’s enjoyment.
One final point. I’ve smoked several Mi Querida Ancho Largo cigars over the past 60 days. This is a cigar that is responding very well to age, so I am curious to see what the longer term aging will mean for this cigar. In the meantime this is a cigar I’d recommend to an experienced cigar enthusiast. It’s also a nice cigar to “graduate” a novice to something in the medium plus range. As for myself, this is not only a box worthy cigar, but one that I would take Chuck Norris on for.
Complexity: Medium to High
Strength: Medium (1st Half), Medium to Full (2nd Half)
Body: Medium (1st third), Medium to Full (Remainder)
Assessment: 4.5-Fight Chuck Norris for Them
News: Dunbarton Tobacco and Trust Unveils Mi Querida at the 2016 IPCPR Trade Show
Source: Cigars Provided by Manufacturer (Prior to August 8th); Additional Purchased for Assessment *
Stogie Geeks Podcast: Episode 196, Episode 204
Stogie Feed: Mi Querida Ancho Largo by Dunbarton Tobacco and Trust
Brand Reference: Dunbarton Tobacco and Trust
* Dunbarton Tobacco and Trust is a sponsor of Cigar Coop and Stogie Geeks.