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 rescoring 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 2020 edition of the Red Meat Lovers Club Meat Box Pressed by Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust This is a cigar we previously assessed back March 2019 in the parejo (rounded) format.

Red Meat Lovers Club Meat Box Pressed (2020) by Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust


Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf No. 1 Dark (USA)
Binder: San Andrés Negro Oscuro (Mexico)
Filler: Nicaraguan, Pennsylvanian Seedleaf Ligero
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Factory: Nicaraguan American Cigars, S.A. (NACSA)
Meat Box Pressed: 6 x 52

In 2018 Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust would join the list of manufacturers to produce cigars for Smoke Inn’s MicroBlend Series. The Red Meat Lovers Club cigar release is slightly different than the MicroBlend releases in that it was a cigar intended for a club known as the Red Meat Lovers Club. It’s a social networking club where members gather around eating lots of meat. Saka had met Red Meat Lovers Club founder Evan Darnell during Smoke Inn proprietor Abe Dababneh’s KMA Talk Radio broadcast. The idea was soon floated about Saka blending a cigar that could complement a steak dinner and the wheels were put in motion. It was released in a 6 x 56 rounded Toro and the release was so successful, the cigar was brought back in 2019. In 2020, there would be another release of the Red Meat Lovers Club cigar. This time a 6 x 52 cigar would be box-pressed and dubbed the Red Meat Lovers Club Meat Box Pressed. Today we take a look at the 2020 Meat Box Pressed.

The Smoke Inn MicroBlend Series has become some of the most sought after single store releases. For historical purposes, we include the full list of offerings.

It is worth noting the Meat Box Pressed was recently released again in 2020 and again 2021.

The Meat Box Pressed offering is based on the blend used on the rounded Red Meat Loves Club Cigar. The blend is highlighted by Connecticut Broadleaf No. 1 Dark wrapper. The binder used is a San Andres Negro leaf from Mexico. The fillers come from Nicaragua and Pennsylvania. Like the rounded Red Meat Lovers Club offering, the Meat Box Pressed is produced at Nicaraguan American Cigars S.A. where Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust produces the Mi Querida and Umbagog lines. The Meat Box Pressed 2020 edition was packaged in a ten-count “meat box” (note the 2021 edition was released in cellophane bundles).

Red Meat Lovers Club Meat Box Pressed (2020) by Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust Meat Box

The Red Meat Lovers Club Meat Box Pressed started out with notes of mocha, earth, black pepper, and an herbal note. The mocha notes were a fusion between chocolate and coffee. The mocha and earth moved into the forefront with the dark fruit notes joining the herbal and pepper notes in the background. Later in the first third, the mocha notes lost the chocolate component, becoming a straight coffee note. The second third saw the earth and coffee notes alternate in intensity with the herbal, pepper, and fruit notes remaining in the background. The final third saw the pepper close in on the coffee and earth notes in the forefront. The cigar finished with a cool, soft nub.

Strength and body-wise, the Red Meat Lovers Club started out medium and by the second half, both attributes progressed to medium to full. The burn required some touch-ups along the way to maintain a straight burn path and straight burn line. The draw was slightly on the open-side.


Final Thoughts

In terms of having this cigar with a steak, my experience with the Meat Box Pressed echoed that of when I smoked the original. When I assessed the original Red Meat Lovers Club, I wrote:

While I like having a cigar with a steak, I much prefer having one after I finish my dinner. With the case of the Red Meat Lovers Club cigar, I did try this scenario outside of this assessment. I found the richness of this cigar worked perfectly smoking it after the meal. At the same time, this is easily a cigar that can be enjoyed at any time.

As for the Meat Box Pressed, the flavors were definitely more concentrated with the Meat Box Pressed than with the rounded one. Still, I have a little more of an affinity for the rounded one. In the end, this is a cigar I’d recommend to an experienced cigar enthusiast, but wouldn’t discourage a novice from trying. As for myself, this is a cigar I would buy and smoke again – and while I miss the rounded format, I look forward to smoking the 2021 edition.


Key Flavors: Mocha, Earth, Pepper, Fruit, Herbal Notes
Burn: Very Good
Draw: Very Good
Complexity: Medium
Strength: Medium (1st Half), Medium to Full (2nd Half)
Body: Medium (1st Half), Medium to Full (2nd Half)
Finish: Very Good


Value: Buy One
Score: 89


Previous Assessment: Red Meat Lovers Club by Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust
News: n/a
Price: $13.50
Source: Purchased
Brand Reference: Dunbarton Tobacco & TrustSmoke Inn Microblend Series

Photo Credits: Cigar Coop