For those of you that aren’t familiar with Steve Saka and Dunbarton Tobacco, let’s get you up to speed with some info directly from their website. http://www.dunbartoncigars.com/aboutus
Steve Saka – “Our master blender and catador de puros, Steve Saka, demands the most exact standards be honored at all times. Regarded as a cigar expert throughout the industry, he is credited as being an experienced cigar maker, a prolific author regarding cigars and black tobaccos, a forefather within the online media segment and a dynamic tobacco industry executive. In 2000, he worked directly for Lew Rothman, the former owner of JR Cigar, as an executive consultant for four years and he subsequently served as the President, then CEO of Drew Estate from 2005 through 2013. In 2015, he fulfilled a lifelong dream by establishing the family held Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust to craft cigars without any compromises.”
“Puros Sin Compromiso”
” Cigars without compromise: This is an expression of our closely held ethos and states in just three simple words everything we wish to accomplish here at DTT. Cigars are more than just a passion for us; they are our life. We want to create puros that pay respectful tribute to the long, vaulted history of handmade vitolas, honor the dedicated works of all the vegueros, torcedors and artists who dedicate their labors to this timeless craft. Our goal is to always offer the connoisseur an unparalleled smoking experience bar none.”
Steve has been in the industry a long time and is behind some of the best cigars on the market today in my personal opinion. The Umbagog is the third release following the Sobremesa and the Mi Querida. I have tried them all but this is the first review I have done of the three. The Sobremesa and Mi Querida will follow soon.
I had the pleasure of meeting the man himself recently at Famous Smoke Shop and it was an honor for me. If you follow cigars and the history of the industry, Steve is a legend in the business and has forgotten more about cigars than I will likely ever know.
That all being said, let’s jump into this review and see what we get.
The Umbagog is almost the same cigar as the Mi Querida except the wrappers did not meet the standards used on the Mi Querida. Is that a bad thing? Let’s find out.
UMBAGOG – TORO TORO 6 X 52
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
Binder / Filler: Nicaraguan
Appearance: Named after a lake, the rugged look of this “Seegar” is very fitting for what the cigar is. The rustic, reddish brown Broadleaf really shows some veins and tight seams. The Olive drab colored band with white lettering really stands out against the discolored wrapper. It has an open foot and rounded cap. The cigar feels full with no soft spots anywhere. The look works with what the cigar is. This looks like a cigar that should be smoked while outdoors hiking, fishing, or boating.
Pre-Light: I pick up a really pleasant scent from the barrel of this cigar. It is like a mix of maple syrup, cedar and grass if I had to try and sort it out. That’s about the best I can describe it. It is earthy, very woodsy, some subtle sweetness and subtle pepper on the foot. I used a V-cutter to open the cap and the cold draw reveals a resistant but not tight draw. I pick up sweet cedar wood, hay and some pepper on the draw. The draw is a little tight for my personal liking but it could very well open up once I heat it.
1st Third: I used a cedar spill, which is something I need to do a lot more often, and get things toasted. Immediately I get that maple/molasses sweetness followed by heavy cedar and some black pepper notes. Wow. This combo is really nice. It is earthy, grassy, very woodsy. The burn is a bit wavy, the draw is resistant but not so tight that I feel I need to work on it. The smoke production is nice. This is a complex blend with a lot of flavors coming and going. Overall it is, to me, heavy on cedar and earthy notes. Moving through the first third, the pepper is still around on the retrohale and some leather notes start to take shape. Strength is medium to full and very smooth.
2nd Third: Moving into the halfway mark I find a shift more into earth, leather, wood, and less cedar and pepper. This cigar has a very natural, outdoor feeling to it. As I am enjoying this aspect of the cigar, how fitting is it that a whitetail deer decided to come over for a visit and lay in the yard. (Look in the background of the pic) As I take in the flavors of this smoke, the draw has opened up nicely and performance is cruising along. No touch ups needed so far. The burn was a little off and wavy but has since corrected itself nicely. Strength is more medium plus – full.
Last Third: As I move into the last third of this cigar, it has moved into a charred wood, nutty profile with hints of cedar, and grass showing up from time to time. About half way into the last third, the cedar and pepper ramp up a touch and take the forefront again. I am 1 hour 40 minutes into this cigar and overall I really enjoyed it. Strength finished at a medium plus – full for me.
Final Thoughts: This was not intended to be a “pretty” cigar. It is everything it was made to be in my opinion. It is a rugged, rustic looking cigar with great flavors and a very outdoor feel to it. It won’t win any beauty contest but I would certainly add this into my rotation of go to smokes when I want something different. If you like the Mi Querida, for the price, you cannot go wrong with the Umbagog as a less expensive option. Packaged in bundles of 10, these are a great pick up for the money. They are available in other sizes, I have the gorda gorda to try next. Steve is quoted to have said “This is a cigar that doesn’t pretend to be special or seek to elicit the oohs and aahs of the cigar snobs.” I for one agree with him and I personally think he hit the mark with this one.
You can find this cigar at retailers across the US. I recommend Ford on Fifth and Famous Smoke Shop. You can click here for both.
Appearance/Construction Score: The look of the cigar fits what it is. Construction is solid. I score this a 13/15.
Performance Score: I had some issues with the draw being a bit tight and the burn being a little off but as I got into the cigar more, they both corrected themselves. I score this a 27/30.
Flavor Score: This is a complex smoke. Lots of natural, earthy, woodsy, sweet notes with enough pepper to make it interesting. I enjoyed the flavor profile of this cigar. I score this a 24/25.
Overall: I enjoyed my time with this cigar. The flavor profile works, the blend is nice. Performance was overall good with no need to touch up or fight with the burn or draw. I score this a 28/30.
Total Score: 92
93 – 90: Great Cigar. Worthy of a 5 pack or better. I would smoke this regularly.
So there you have it. I hope you enjoyed this review. Feel free to share it on social media and follow me on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Until next time, long ashes and full glasses friends. Peace.