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Cigar Review: Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust Todos Las Dias

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Toar

Love of all things cigars, craft beer, IPA's (any beer). Follow me on Untapped @Toar Campbell. Writer, reviewer, founder cigarsmoke.net
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Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust Todos Las Dias

 

 

 

 

Todos Las Dias is Saka’s Nicaraguan puro line. The cigar is described as limited in production. In a press release announcing the line, Saka explained background on the name and how it ties into the project.

“Todos Las Dias is my personal Spanglish translation meaning “All the Days.” The workers at Joya de Nicaragua often cringe at my casual butchering of their mother tongue, but in my opinion cigars are far more than a grammar lesson to abide, they are the physical manifestation of a feeling and of an experience.

TLD embodies the classic bold flavors that represent the heart of their soil’s peppery tobaccos and the labor of their always working hands. For me, this spicy Nicaraguan puro reflects no pretentious airs or any of that ‘notes of pencil lead with a hint of fennel’ nonsense. It is an honest, hardworking cigar intended to be smoked by men who know what it means to be a cigar smoker and never give a damn about what others think.”

 

PHOTO CREDIT DTT PRESS RELEASE

 

“It is a supple, sungrown Cuban Seed capa which encapsulates its intricate tripa recipe of rich Jalapa and Esteliano tobaccos. From the first puff, there is no doubt of the origin of this cigar or that it is intended solely for the seasoned cigar smoker. What I love about this liga is that it builds, so many stronger blends start off super peppery and robust only to mellow out as you smoke them.

Whereas the Todos Las Dias does just the opposite, it begins smooth and then escalates in strength and body, it almost lulls you into false sense of security. It is a much heavier liga than you will have realized until you go to stand up afterwards.”

 

AVAILABLE SIZES

  • Half Churchill: 4 3/4 x 48
  • Robusto: 5 x 52
  • Toro: 6 x 52
  • Double Wide Belicoso: 4 3/4 x 60

 

The 2017 IPCPR is over, it was great seeing old friends and making new ones. The first day of the show I booked an appointment with Steve Saka to have a sit down to pick his brain. No video, no pictures, in short I just wanted to sit down with the industry icon, light up a stogie and enjoy the time.

As I made my way over to the Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust booth I was filled with anticipation. The DTT booth wasn’t the biggest or most grandiose, however it was one of the busiest. As I walked over to the couch Steve was sitting in his chair holding court if you will, with several retailers, bloggers and industry personal who stopped by to fill orders, share a few words and catch a glimpse of the larger than life man himself Steve Saka. I sat down, lit up and spent one of the most informative 30 minutes I’ve ever had in my time as a serious cigar smoker.

I’ve always maintained that Saka’s knowledge of tobacco and its workings is so extensive that when he speaks you just don’t listen, you better take notes. As time passed I watched him meticulously check every sample of TLD for the proper moisture with a device he explained as the following-

 

 

“A Psychrometer is a device that measures the absolute moisture in whatever is being tested. The one I own is a very precise and expensive unit (~$2,500 USD) calibrated specifically for sensing the percentage of moisture in air cured tobacco”

I watched in amazement at the samples he deemed unsuitable for disbursement as he separated the cigars he felt were too moist for sampling properly. He told me “I want to make sure if someone was not going to enjoy my cigar it would NOT be because of lack of proper humidification”. 

I came to realize that his unrelenting quest for quality control and his ability to not cut corners is why he produces some of the finest and sought after product in the industry. I am a cigar geek and I’ll never forget the short time I got to spend with an industry legend who hasn’t let his success jade him, he was one of the most humble, larger than life individuals I’ve ever met.

 

  • APPEARANCE

 

The Nicaraguan Sun grown wrapper is coffee bean in color, a few of the five examples had a lighter shade wrapper. Virtually seamless with minimal tooth and vein. Rolled in the robusto format the cigar has a wide open tightly packed foot and a triple rounded cap. Solid to the touch, there are no palpable soft spots or blemishes. The 2017 example has silver colored labels that are not quite foil, more muted silver in color. The primary band is where it gets interesting, it has the initials of the cigar, only reversed, instead of “TLD” it reads “TDL”. Intentional or a foul up? Saka explains –

“Yes, the band is confusing. It is a monogram… so TLD is suppose to appear as “tDl” on a monogram – first letter of the last name goes in the center – so this I did right, but it just looks wrong because no one knows their monogram etiquette”

Ok that clears that up, the band brings a touch of elegance to the vitola giving it a very regal look. The secondary band surrounds the footer reading “Todos Las Dias” in silver cursive on a dark blue background. Pre light aroma had notes of cedar chips, sweet tea and natural tobacco. The cold draw produced flavors of leather, floral and mocha.

 

 

  • FIRST LIGHT

Warm cedar and chocolate aroma off the toasted foot. Upon first light flavors of bitter dark chocolate, cedar char and orange peel. Background flavors of coffee, leather and pepper coated almonds.

The spicy element is interesting, initial heavy black pepper is very notable on the draw balancing in with the aforementioned flavors, in between draws a crescendo of red pepper is covering the lips and palate. The retro is delivering full throttle dry white and cayenne pepper right through the nostrils with no evolution of flavor.  

  • Dark Chocolate/Bitter
  • Cedar/Char
  • Orange Peel
  • Coffee
  • Leather
  • Pepper Coated Almonds
  • Black Pepper/Full with a crescendo of Red/Cayenne Pepper

 

  • CRUISE CONTROL BURN

Entering cruise control burn flavors of strong black coffee, dark chocolate and leather. A background sweetness has appeared in the form of raw cinnamon and sugar char. Other background flavors of peppered almonds and raw walnuts with nuances of citrus.

The elevated spicy element of full cayenne pepper is hitting on all cylinders in and between draws notable on the sides of the palate creating a dryness that has me reaching for my water cup. The burn is consistent evolving into straight upper level black pepper. The retro is producing a sting of white pepper evolving into flavors of Saka’s signature caramel.

  • Raw Cinnamon
  • Black Coffee/Strong
  • Dark Chocolate
  • Leather
  • Peppered Almonds
  • Raw Walnut
  • Citrus
  • Red/Cayenne Pepper/Full

 

  • FINAL THIRD

In the final third flavors of black coffee, leather and roasted nuts most notably peppered almonds and walnuts. Background flavors of dark chocolate, mocha, cedar and nougat. The spicy element has remained upper full and consistent with black pepper. 

Present on all draws and in between with red or cayenne pepper right up the sides and center palate creating a very long semi sweet and spicy finish. Full level white pepper on the retro evolving into flavors of coffee grounds and caramel.

  • Coffee/Black
  • Leather
  • Roasted Nuts
  • Peppered Almonds
  • Walnuts
  • Dark Chocolate
  • Mocha
  • Cedar
  • Nougat
  • Black Pepper/Upper Full
  • White Pepper/Full on the retro evolving into flavors of Coffee Grounds and Saka Signature Caramel

 

  • CONSTRUCTION/STRENGTH

CONSTRUCTION: More than solid, everything you would expect from a manufacturer that lives by the standard of sin Compromiso (Without Compromise)

BURN: Five robustos where smoked for review with two previously at the 2017 IPCPR for a total of seven. The burn line on two of the five started out at a slight angle problems but quickly self corrected at cruise control. All other examples burned razor sharp

ASH: Solid compact grayish ash holding past the inch point requiring a bit of force to tap off

CUT: All examples were v cut

DRAW: Perfect milkshake type draw producing thick plumes of aroma filled smoke

RE LIGHTS: Zero re Lights required, perfect combustion of wrapper, binder and fillers with a continuous smolder

STRENGTH: FULL to UPPER FULL bodied wheelhouse with a balanced complexity of spice and an array of FULL flavors producing a long spicy finish

 

  • CONCLUSION

The conclusion is simple, this is a GREAT cigar! I’ve had many conversations with Steve about the TLD that was released in limited quantities last year, which I felt was a very good product, however smoking the current released version there are massive differences.

I described last years version  of Todos Las Dias as “Smoking a chocolate bar glazed with pepper” the current offering is like “Smoking a dark chocolate bar glazed with red and cayenne pepper with a black pepper shooter” ultra complex and mega balanced, the mad scientist Saka has done it again with one that’s going to make a serious run for number one!

The strength of the TLD was in the FULL to UPPER FULL bodied wheelhouse with an explosion of FULL balanced flavors.

 


Cigars for review: Purchased 5 pack, 2 examples from IPCPR17 

Cigars smoked for review: 7

Cigar Smoke Rate: 95

Size: 5 x 52 (Robusto)

Wrapper: Nicaraguan Sun Grown

Binder: Nicaraguan

Filler: Nicaraguan Esteli, Jalapa

Country of Origin: Nicaragua (Joya de Nicaragua SA)

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