The Sobremesa is the first release from Steve Saka and Dunbarton Tobacco and Trust. Steve has been involved in the cigar industry for awhile and I'm not going to get into much of that here.
For background on Steve and on the Sobremesa, I suggest you check out these videos.
I sat down with Steve at IPCPR in New Orleans this past July and he broke down the Sobremese blend in detail. He tells us about each leaf, why it was used, where it came from, etc. If you're interested in this cigar, you have to check out this interview.
We recently had Steve as a guest on CigarChat as well. Granted, this is a larger time commitment than the IPCRP interview, but if you want to get to know more about Steve as a person and as a cigar maker, it's worth the time. Just grab a smoke, sit down, and watch the whole thing. Steve really is a cigar nerd at heart and it's interesting to list to him talk about tobacco.
The Sobremesa is set to hit stores on November and it a full production cigar. During CigarChat Steven mentions that the initial production won't be large enough to completely fulfill all orders. So, the Sobremesa is NOT a limited edition cigar, but it may be harder to find during the first few months.
Sobremesa will be available in 25-count boxes and in five vitolas:
Size: 6 x 52
Vitola: El Americano (Toro)
Wrapper: La Meca Ecuador Habano Grade 1 Dark Rosado
Binder: Metacapan Negro de Temproal
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
Factory: Joya de Nicaragua, S.A.
Cigars smoked for review: 2 (1 Robusto Largo during CigarChat, 1 El Americano for review)
Cigars for review provided by Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust
Note: For this review I used CigarFederation's rating system
Pre-Light: The Sobremesa has a simple yet attractive look to it. I dig the simplicity of the band and I like the simple "Sobremesa" foot band. The look it rustic and it gives off a distinctly Nicaraguan feel.
The Ecuadorian Habano Dark Rosado wrapper was flawless like Christy Turlington in her prime. Man, she was gorgeous, but I digress. The wrapper had a perfectly smooth feel and the cigar itself was solid in the hand. There was something majestic about it. I know I'm waxing a bit poetic here, but this was a beautifully elegant cigar to behold. With all that being said, I couldn't wait to cut it and light it.
Beginning: One snip from a Xikar Xi1 (Digital Camo to be exact) and a little work from a single-flame torch and the journey had begun. Step one of said journey was full of flavor. Right away I was hit with a ton of syrupy earthy sweetness. Notes of cedar and sweet cream were the first to greet me. They were soon followed by a beautiful nutty nougat flavor that I could not get enough of. There was some spice also. A warm baking spice was present on the retrohale and on the tongue. I smoked the robusto during CigarChat and didn't get a ton of spice, but I found the spice much more evident in the toro. It as never overpowering nor did it have a pepper bite. It was a pleasant spice that did a perfect job of balancing out the sweetness.
Middle: The spice mellowed on the tongue and a bit on the retro while the flavors melded together nicely. If you've ever made pasta sauce you know that the flavor changes over time. You let that pot simmer for hours and the flavor after hour one is a bit different than the flavors after hour four. The flavors combine and smooth out and that is exactly what happened with the profile of the Sobremesa.
The profile consisted of sweet cream, caramel, mild coffee, cedar and baking spice giving the Sobremesa an elegant balance of sweet, earth and spice. The texture was quite creamy while the smoke itself had a luxurious texture. There was absolutely nothing to complain about.
End: The profile gained a richness that wasn't there previously. The flavors became a bit more full, but maintained that delicate balance. The strength peaked at a medium-plus, though I am sure some folks will call this a full. The end was sad in the sense that the cigar actually had to end.
Final Thoughts: Creamy, smooth and perfectly balanced. Was there anything missing? Not really. The only complaints I can see are from the folks who are expecting another Liga Privada. Because this cigar is in a whole different ballpark. With that said, I love the Liga Privada stuff and I loved the Sobremesa. It's a beautiful cigar that will have no shortage of fans. This one is a hit.
Rating: 93 AKA "Box Split"
93 is the highest "Box Split" rating in our scoring system. The only thing that keeps this out of the "Box Buy" realm for me is the 25-count box. The price point combined with the 25 count box makes it a pretty big nut. Throw these in a 10-count box and I'd probably end up buying one every month.