If you've read any of my previous reviews - you know I tend to really enjoy Steve Saka's cigars. They're typically not the cheapest you can find in the humidor but in my experience, they are among the best.
When I heard the latest from Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust (Saka's company) was released, I jumped at the chance to puff on the new Muestra de Saka Exclusivo.
Muestra de Saka Exclusivo Details
A 6.0" x 52 toro, the cigar is a Nicaraguan puro with a Habano wrapper and long-filler tobacco from Nicaragua's four primary tobacco growing regions. (Condega, Jalapa, Esteli and Ometepe).
Muestra de Saka Exclusivo is sold in boxes of 7 cigars and singles with the prices generally ranging in the $14 - $16 per cigar range.
The packaging on these cigars is quite handsome and, if I dare say it, masculine. Each cigar is individually packaged in a wooden coffin. The cigar looks the part of a premium cigar, in my humble opinion.
A sniff at the foot of the cigar suggested sweetness was on the way and in terms of hand-feel, it's not the heaviest cigar but it is quite firm to the touch.
The Cigar's First-Third
I take a snip of the cap and worry the ol' Xikar is running on its last legs. I notice a touch of the cap doesn't cut as clean as I'd like. I don't think it'll impact the smoke but it feels a bit wounded - we'll continue.
The first thing that hits me, the cigar's draw is a bit tighter than I expected. It's not laborious but I would have expected this cigar to be a 2-3 on a scale of 10. I'd put this at a 6-7 on the same scale.
Smoke output is pretty good - getting enough with just a single puff.
I'm getting decent sweetness as a little bit of a cocoa/mocha type flavor as well. I found the predominant notes to be earthy tones with a lot of dark earth in the mix.
In terms of the burn - things were going along pretty healthily. No major problems to report and just a touch of an uneven burn in this portion of the cigar. Nothing that needed correction, mind you.
Other reviewers of the Muestra de Saka Exclusivo have noted the mocha turned into a dedicated espresso at this point --- I didn't feel this same sensation (or my palate just isn't good enough to notice the subtlety).
I felt the sweetness come back to some degree toward the end of the cigar. It wasn't as pronounced as the first-third and not what I expected from the pre-light sniff of the foot, mind you. The earthy notes continue with what I perceived to be a dry leather on the palate.
It's becoming clear that while Dunbarton and Saka have hits on their hands with Sobremesa and Mi Querida, it's going to be a tough sell at $14 per stick for the Muestra de Saka to have much staying power.
Would I smoke it again? Sure. Would I pay to smoke it with some of the other cigars out there? No.