Agile Cigar Reviews are cigar assessments where we use a lightweight, shorter format. These will never take the place of our comprehensive reviews. They are only used on blends we have previously assessed. This might be a blend we are re-scoring or giving a score for the first time. It might be a blend we are looking at in a different size. Today we look at the Atabey in the Sabios size. This is a cigar line we previously assessed in the Ritos size back in November 2019.
Wrapper: Not Disclosed
Binder: Not Disclosed
Filler: Not Disclosed
Country of Origin: Costa Rica
Factory: Tabacos de Costa Rica
Sabios: 5 1/4 x 52
Atabey is a brand that we first started covering on Cigar Coop in 2013. Many of us in the media came to find out about this brand from David Garofalo’s Cigar Authority podcast, but over the past few years this brand has grown and it has become an ultra-premium staple in many humidors nationwide This past summer, Selected Tobacco – the company behind Atabey – released two new sizes of the Atabey. Today, we take a look at one of the sizes – the Sabios, which is a 5 1/4 x 52 Robusto-sized offering.
Selected Tobacco is the brainchild of Nelson Alfonso. Alfonso is an artist from Cuba who has worked on the branding of several projects for Habanos S.A., most notably the Cohiba Behike. His work has also been used on non-Cuban brands as he designed the humidor for the Padrón 50th Anniversary cigars. In addition to his art and design work, Alfonso founded his own cigar company: Selected Tobacco. There are three brands: Atabey, Byron, and Bandolero. Garofalo disclosed that he fell so in love with the cigars, and in particular the Atabey, that he ended up taking distribution of the brands of Selected Tobaccos.
Production for Atabey and all Selected Tobacco products comes out of Tabacos de Costa Rica. As for the Atabey blend, for the most part, it has been a guarded secret although Cigar Aficionado reported in 2015 the cigar had an Ecuadorian Havana wrapper with mostly “Nicaraguan guts.”
The Atabey Sabios started off with a mix of cream, cedar, burnt berry, toast, and herbal notes. The cream and cedar notes became primary early on. The cream subsided during the second half leaving more in the way of cedar. Throughout the smoking experience, there were times the herbal and berry notes moved into the forefront. The last third saw a little more in the way of black spice emerge.
This was one of the bolder Atabey sizes I have had. This is a cigar that was medium in strength and medium in body. Despite the fact both the strength and body were in the same range of the spectrum, I still gave the edge to the body throughout the smoking experience.
The two previous sizes of the Atabey I reviewed (Brujos and Ritos) set the bar quite high. When it comes to the Sabios, it’s not a size I would put at the same level as the other sizes. While the Sabios wasn’t a bad cigar, it lacked the smoothness and balance of those other sizes. Atabey is certainly a brand I would recommend, but the Sabios isn’t going to be the first one I’d recommend going to- especially at a price point of $26.00. My advice is to try a sample out first if you can to see if this is a good size for you.
Key Flavors: Cream, Cedar, Berry, Herb, Black Pepper, Toast
Complexity: Medium Plus
Finish: Very Good
Value: Try a Sample
Photo Credits: Cigar Coop