Today, we assess another cigar in El Septimo’s Sacred Arts Collection, the Salvador Dali. The name “El Septimo” translates to the seventh, and the Sacred Arts Collection keeps to that theme in that there are seven cigars in the collection. Each cigar is dedicated to a different day of the week and ties in with the seven days of creation. In addition, each of the cigars in the collection has a different size and a different blend. Finally, each vitola is dedicated to an artist and one of their works. As the name indicates, the El Septimo Sacred Arts Collection Salvador Dali pays homage to Salvador Dali – specifically his work “Christ of Saint John of the Cross.” If you aren’t familiar with Dali, he was a 20th-century Spanish artist known for his surrealist art.
The following are the specifics of the Sacred Arts Collection.
- Leonardo da Vinci (The Last Supper): Lancero (7 1/2 x 40). Represents the First day of Creation when God created light.
- Michelangelo (The Creation of Adam): Eagle (5 1/2 x 50). Represents the Second Day of Creation when God created the sky.
- Botticelli (The Announcement): Salomon (7 1/2 x 58). Represents the Third Day of Creation when God created the earth, sea, and plants.
- Raphael (Sistine Madonna): Robusto (6 x 50). Represents the Fourth Day of Creation when God created the sun, moon, and stars.
- Salvador Dali (Christ of Saint John of the Cross): Toro (6 1/2 x 54) Represents the Fifth Day of Creation when God created the creatures of the sea and birds.
- Rembrandt (The Return of the Prodigal Son): Torpedo (7 x 54). Represents the Sixth Day of Creation when God created life – humans and land animals.
- Van Gogh (Pieta): Royal Salomon (9 x 56). Represents the Seventh Day of Creation when God rested.
In addition, a 14-cigar sampler is dedicated to Masaccio and his work “Saint Andrew.” It contains two of each of the seven cigars in the Sacred Arts Collection.
The El Septimo brand has been around since 2005. In 2019, Zaya Younan acquired the brand, and since then, he has been making significant moves to position his company as a leader in the ultra-premium space. Since the acquisition, Younan has worked to build his brand portfolio, his distribution channels, and the development of luxury cigar lounges. The company has also made headlines with its multi-million dollar lighters and ashtrays. We will focus on the cigars, specifically the Salvador Dali.
El Septimo Sacred Arts Collection Salvador Dali Cigar Review
Blend and Origin
Details of the Michelangelo have not been disclosed – which is par for the course for the El Septimo Sacred Arts Collection. Production comes from El Septimo’s factory in Costa Rica.
Country of Origin: Costa Rica
Factory: El Septimo
As noted above, the Salvador Dali comes in one size – a 5 1/2 x 50 perfecto known as the Eagle. The cigars come in 20-count boxes.
The Salvador Dali has a wrapper that is almost the shade of a dark-roasted coffee bean. The surface of this wrapper had an oily sheen to it. Some thin wrapper seams were visible on the surface. Despite the dark color of the wrapper, there still were some prominently visible wrapper seams.
A straight cut was used to remove the cap of the Salvador Dali. Once the cap was removed, it was on to the pre-light draw stage. The cold draw delivered notes of dark chocolate, earth, and cherry cordial. While it might sound like an overly sweet pre-light draw, the sweetness level wasn’t quite as much as one might think. In the end, this was a satisfactory pre-light draw. At this time, I toasted up the Salvador Dali and prepared to move on to the smoking phase.
The Salvador Dali opened up with notes of coffee, earth, and cherry cordial. The coffee and earth notes moved to the background. The cherry cordial note settled in the background, and notes of dark chocolate, wood, and mixed pepper emerged. On the retro-hale, there were more notes of mixed pepper.
The coffee notes took the edge as the Salvador Dali moved into the second third. The earth settled into the background, making guest appearances in the forefront occasionally. The dark chocolate and mixed pepper notes remained in the background. During this stage, the wood notes transitioned to cedar notes, and the cherry cordial notes dissipated past the midway point. As the Salvador Dali moved into the second half, there was an increase in both the pepper and cedar notes. An underlying bitterness emerged in the flavor profile.
Entering the final third, the earth, cedar, and pepper notes took over. The coffee notes settled into the background. The dark chocolate notes were gone by this point, and the flavors became muddled. The flavors became muddled, and the underlying bitterness became more intense. As the Salvador Dali came to a close, it finished with a soft, cool nub.
The burn of the Salvador Dali required multiple touch-ups to maintain a straight burn path and straight burn line. While the touch-ups did the trick, there were more touch-ups required than I preferred. The resulting ash wasn’t overly firm, but it wasn’t loose nor flaky. This was an ash with a salt and pepper complexion to it. Meanwhile, the burn rate and burn temperature maintained ideal levels.
The draw of the Salvador Dali had a touch of resistance to it. This is something that I prefer, and it makes for an ideal draw. This was also a low-maintenance cigar from which to derive flavor.
Strength and Body
The Salvador Dali delivered a medium-strength, medium-bodied smoking experience from start to finish. There was a slight increase in the intensity of both attributes, but in the end, the strength and body stayed in the medium range of their respective spectrums.
The body maintained a slight edge throughout the smoking experience in terms of strength versus body.
BANDING AND PACKAGING NOTES
My banding and packaging comments for the Salvador Dali are similar to those for the Michelangelo. The Salvador Dali had some very nice packaging. I liked the sleek boxes, the gold bands, and the purple secondary bands. While I also would have liked to see Salvador Dali or one of his works on the band, the bands work nicely on the Salvador Dali. I also liked how El Septimo has used color to differentiate each cigar in the Sacred Arts Collection.
Also like Michelangelo, the bands of the Salvador Dali were challenging to remove. The banding and packaging are not included in the score, so this does not affect the final numeric score or value-rating.
The Salvador Dali had a completely different flavor profile than the Michelangelo. Like the Michelangelo, the Salvador Dali delivered a pleasant experience in the first half, only to go downhill in the second half. The first half delivered some nice flavors. Things changed in the second half when some of the bitterness emerged and increased. The flavors became muddled and somewhat unbalanced.
Given that this ultra-premium cigar is priced at $20.00, the Salvador Dali should have performed better. In the end, I’m inclined not to return to this cigar. I am curious if this cigar would perform better in a shorter vitola.
Key Flavors: Coffee, Earth, Dark Chocolate, Cherry Cordial, Cedar, Wood, Pepper
Burn: Very Good
Complexity: Medium Plus
Value: Not Recommended
News: El Septimo Geneva to Launch Sacred Arts Collection
Source: El Septimo Geneva
Brand Reference: El Septimo Geneva
Photo Credits: Cigar Coop, except where noted