Just prior to the 2016 IPCPR Trade Show, Steve Saka‘s Dunbarton Tobacco and Trust announced two line extensions to its Sobremesa line. The two new sizes introduced were the 7 x 50 Elegante en Cedro (Double Corona) and the 4 3/4 x 48 Short Churchill. While these cigars keep to the core tobacco components used in the rest of the Sobremesa line, the blends for these sizes were tweaked to be bolder. Saka has referred to these tweaks as “poco mas intensa” – meaning “a little more intense”. With the Sobremesa Short Churchill, this has become a “go to” cigar for Saka himself. Saka had been known to smoke the Liga Privada Unico Serie Dirty Rat on a daily basis, but also gone through quite a bit of his remaining personal stock of that cigar. As a result, the Sobremesa Short Churchill has taken on the role of Saka’s daily smoke. Recently I’ve had an opportunity to smoke the Sobremesa. Overall Sobremesa has been a fantastic debut, and with the new Short Churchill offering, this one adds another outstanding offering to the line.
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.
Recently on his Facebook page, Saka explained what Poco Mas Intensa means:
“poco mas intensa” – my way of describing the new Sobremesa Elegante en Cedros and Short Churchill ligas – they are still the core blend, but tweaked to be a bit stronger. I did this for my own smoking pleasure to satisfy my cravings for a cigar with a more pronounced pepper note within this marca.”
Without further ado, let’s break down the Sobremesa Short Churchill and see what this cigar brings to the table.
Sobremesa is a multi-national blend with tobaccos from four countries – Ecuador, Mexico, Nicaragua, and U.S. (Pennsylvania). As we noted, the blends for the Poco Mas Intensa (Short Churchill and Elegante En Cedro) are tweaked from the other sizes to produce a bolder cigar.
The cigar is produced at the Joya de Nicaragua factory. During the process of coming up with Sobremesa line, Saka has been hands-on involved with the process – including the procuring of tobaccos and development of the blend.
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)
The following are the two Poco Mas Intensa offerings in the Sobremesa line:
Elegante en Cedros: 7 x 50
Short Churchill: 4 3/4 x 48
The Elegante en Cedros is packaged in 13 count boxes, while the Short Churchill is packaged in 14 count boxes.
The following vitolas are the first six vitolas that were first released in 2015. These offerings are available in 25 count boxes:
The Habano wrapper of the Sobremesa Short Churchill 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 visible veins were on the thin side while the wrapper seams are well hidden.
The Short Churchill uses the same banding scheme as the other offerings in the Sobremesa line. It features two bands. 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
As I normally do , I started with a straight cut to remove the cap of the Sobremesa Short Churchill. After the cap was clipped, I moved on to the pre-light draw phase. The cold draw delivered subtle notes of cocoa, cedar, white pepper, and a creamy undertone. Overall I considered this to be an excellent pre-light daw. At this point I removed the footer band, lit up the Sobremesa Short Churchill and awaited what the smoking phase would have in store.
The Sobremesa Short Churchill picked up where the pre-light draw left off. I detected a mix of cocoa, cedar, white pepper, and a slight cherry note. There also was a creamy undertone to this smoke. It didn’t take long for the cocoa notes to move into the forefront. The cedar, cherry, and white pepper notes settled in the background. While these flavors sound like a potpourri of sweetness and spice, there was very much a “tobacco” feel to these notes. The white pepper had a slight lingering effect on the tongue, but was more prominent on the retro-hale.
During the first third, the cocoa notes remained primary and still had the creamy texture to it. A nut component also surfaced and by the start of the second third, the nut was joined at the hip with he cocoa notes in the forefront. The cedar and cherry sweetness remained in the background. The white pepper slightly increased on the tongue as well. Meanwhile the retro-hale was now producing notes of cedar in addition to the white pepper.
Just past the midway point of the Sobremesa Short Churchill I found the nut flavors had the slight edge. The cocoa notes became a close secondary note. Some of the creamy texture began to diminish. The spice component consisting of white pepper and cedar was now gradually building up. There still was some cherry sweetness in the background.
By the last third, the cedar and pepper spice had moved toward the forefront. There still was a nice amount of flavor coming from the cocoa, nut, and cherry notes which balanced out the spices quite nicely. The creamy texture had pretty much dissipated. This is the way the Sobremesa Short Churchill came to a close. The resulting nub was firm to the touch and cool in temperature.
Burn and Draw
The Sobremesa Short Churchill is a well-constructed cigar and this is reflected in both the burn and draw. The burn maintained a straight burn path and a relatively straight burn line from start to finish. This was a cigar that had a low maintenance burn and did not require excessive touch-ups. The resulting ash was gray in color with some darker speckling. This was an ash that was firm and came off the cigar in clean chunks. As for the burn rate and burn temperature, both were ideal.
As for the draw, the Sobremesa Short Churchill had a touch of resistance – which is something I like. This made this cigar an enjoyable cigar to puff on from start to finish.
Strength and Body
The name “poco mas intensa” was appropriate for this cigar. I definitely found the Short Churchill to have a more strength and body than the original six Sobremesa vitolas. At the same time, this was not an overpowering uptick. From a strength perspective, I assessed the Sobremesa Short Churchill as being on the upper end of medium. While I also assessed original six vitolas as being medium strength, I still had the Short Churchill as having more in the way of strength.
In terms of the body, the increased level of depth of the Short Churchill’s flavors was more noticeable. I assessed the Short Churchill as being medium to full-bodied. When it came to strength versus body, I found the body of the Sobremesa Short Churchill as having the edge.
One thing that has impressed me with Sobremesa is how each vitola tells its own story in terms of cigar experience. The Sobremesa Short Churchill is no exception. The combination of the tweaked Sobremesa blend with the 4 3/4 x 48 size is going to deliver a cigar experience different than the other sizes – and it works very well. While I did like the additional strength and body the Short Churchill had offer, I enjoyed the flavors produced as well. The Sobremesa line as a whole to be one that has responded very nicely to age. It’s been about three months since I first started smoking the Short Churchill, and this is a cigar that continues to get better with time.
This is a cigar that I would recommend to either a novice or experienced cigar enthusiast. As for myself, this is a cigar I would smoke again. It’s a cigar definitely worthy of a box purchase.
Complexity: Medium to High
Body: Medium to Full
Assessment: 4.0-Box Worthy
News: Dunbarton Tobacco and Trust Adding Sobremesa Elegante En Cedro and Short Churchill
Source: Purchased, Some Cigars Received by Manufactuer
Stogie Geeks Podcast: Episode 196
Stogie Feed: n/a
Brand Reference: Dunbarton Tobacco and Trust