“At $28.75, this cigar will not be a cheap investment. At the same time, I have no problem recommending this cigar to any cigar enthusiast…this is a cigar that easily exceeds the threshold for Cigar Coop Standard of Excellence.”

Wrapper: San Andrés Negro “Cultivo Tonto”
Binder: Hybridized Ecuador Habano “Thin Ligero”
Filler: Independent Plantation Grown Nicaraguan, Pennsylvania Seedleaf
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Factory: Fábrica de Tabacos Joya de Nicaragua, S.A.
Paladin de Saka: 7 x 52
Price: $28.75

Sponsor: Yes
Samples Provided for Initial Review: Yes
Review: Sin Compromiso Paladin de Saka by Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust
Appearances on Countdown (By Year/Company): 8 (2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022)

Coming in at #2 is the Sin Compromiso Paladin de Saka by Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust. If you have followed Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust and the career of its owner/blender Steve Saka, you know that doing offshoot blends based on existing lines is nothing new. In the case of the Paladin de Saka, it is an extension of the Sin Compromiso line. With this blend, Saka’s goal was to give Sin Compromiso a little more robustness and be smooth at the same time.

In terms of what the name means, Sin Compromiso means “Without Compromise”, and it has served as a slogan for Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust. A “paladin” refers to a champion. It was a name traced back to the days of Charlemagne and refers to the members of his court. Paladin de Saka is one of the most premium offerings in the Dunbarton portfolio as it’s priced at $28.75 per cigar.

Production for Paladin de Saka comes from the Joya de Nicaragua factory.  Paladin de Saka is highlighted by its Mexican San Andres “Cultivo Tonto” wrapper over Hybridized Ecuadorian Habano “thin ligero” binder, and a combination of Nicaraguan and Pennsylvania Seedleaf for the filler. The Paladin de Saka uses analogous tobaccos found in the core Sin Compromiso line with the one addition being the Pennsylvania Seedleaf. The Paladin de Saka comes in a 7 x 52 box-pressed format. It features a firmer box press than the core Sin Compromiso line. According to Saka, the firmer box press was created as a result of the incorporation of the Pennsylvania Seedleaf into the Paladin de Saka blend. Saka stated the Pennsylvania Seedleaf can be on the bitter side, so the firmer box press was a way to offset the bitterness.

Sin Compromiso Paladin de Saka by Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust


The Paladin de Saka delivered a combination of coffee, natural tobacco, cedar, earth, dark chocolate, and pepper. The cigar delivered a medium-strength, medium-bodied smoking experience.  The tweaks and adjustments that Saka made to the original Sin Compromiso really paid off. This took the Paladin de Saka to the next level.  While this cigar carries a hefty price tag, this cigar certainly lives up to the ultra-premium experience.

This is the second cigar from Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust to land on the 2022 Countdown, and the second Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust cigar to land in the top ten. Dunbarton has landed at least one cigar on the Countdown for eight consecutive years. The Paladin de Saka is the highest-placed cigar on the Countdown for the company to date. Meanwhile, Nicaragua keeps a hold on its dominance on the 2022 Countdown. Of the 29 cigars that have been unveiled, 20 have come from that Central American country.




For details of the 2022 Cigar of the Year Countdown, see our 2022 criteria.

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Photo/Media Credits: Cigar Coop