Introduced in 2017, the Muestra de Saka Exclusivo is one of at least two Muestra de Saka lines coming out of Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust – Steve Saka’s company. The other is the Muestra de Saka Nacatamale which we did a review of in late 2017. The phrase Muestra de Saka translates to “Samples of Saka” and it is way for Saka to showcase blends that he himself likes. He knows and has said, it may not be everyone, but then again not every cigar is for everyone, we each have our own palates and that is what makes the cigar world so interesting.
These cigars are special projects of Steve Saka and he has said:
“Muestras are hoarded and coveted by not only their makers, but by the cigar smokers who seek to catch a glimpse into the cigarmaker’s soul within their smoke”
I received the Muestra de Saka Exclusivo from my good friend and Stogie Press contributor, Mike Holmes. Thanks Mike!
So let’s take another journey into Steve Saka’s tobacco soul and see what the
Muestra de Saka Exclusivo has to offer in flavor, aroma, and overall quality.
The Muestra de Saka Exclusivo uses a blend described as:
- Wrapper – Ecuador Habano
- Binder – Nicaragua
- Filler – Nicaragua
It should be noted that the fillers in this cigar highlight the major growing regions of Nicaragua: Condega, Estelí, Jalapa, and Ometepe. Steve used the Joya De Nicaragua factory in Esteli, Nicaragua to manufacture this gem.
The Muestra de Saka Exclusivo is available in a single 6 x 52 toro and comes packaged in a slide top coffin box. There are 7 coffins to a retail box . A single coffin retails for $14.95.
The Muestra de Saka Exclusivo is a solidly constructed cigar with an oily, medium brown wrapper, that is uniform in shade and has a beautiful network of veins throughout the leaf. (I am not talking about big veins, but rather the structure of the small veins that you can see on some cigars). I could just say it is an inviting cigar right out of the coffin. The roll is finished with a well applied triple cap.
Just like the Nacatamale, there is a single footer band that brands this cigar, using a yellow satin ribbon with the black word Exclusivo printed over the red phrase ” Muestra de Saka” Of course it also is branded by the fact it comes in an individual coffin.
As I rolled the cigar between my fingers I was just getting more impressed by the overall construction, but we all know visuals can be deceiving and the real test is in the aroma, flavor, and burn of the leaf. So I ran the Exclusivo across the nose and was greeted with hints of cocoa and a sprinkle of pepper off the foot. The barrel however, did not exude much aroma.
I moved to the next point of examination and sliced the cap and took some cold puffs. The draw was snug and delivered notes of earth and pepper. The only issue so far is the snug draw, but that could loosen up once ignited. With that said, I used a double flame torch to warm the foot and take in the first notes what I expect to be a pleasant journey and smoking experience.
Cigar Review Notes
- Pepper and cream right off the initial light
- Draw pleasantly loosens up (as expected) just right after a half inch of burn
- Nice white ash develops on a crisp, medium, char line
- Herbal and savory notes enter with a peppery spice
- A licorice note enters near the end of first third spiking my interest
- Smoke volume is decent
- Ash fell after a decent burn – an inward burn revealed
- Burn begins to runs off – required a touch up
- Orange zest enters midway
- Toasted caramel join the mix along with a pleasant sweet nut aroma
- The nut finds its way into the flavor profile as a walnut deep into the second third
- The burn has been well behaved after the touch up
- Spice increases along with a fruit like note on the finish entering the final third
- Wave continues
- Walnut notes complete the journey
- Medium Strength
- Total Smoking Time was just over 1 hour and 30 minutes
Overall, the Muestra de Saka Exclusivo was another fine example of the the blending skills of Steve Saka. The flavors and aroma of this cigar were intriguing and offered some uniqueness that make it stand out from the every day fine cigars I have smoked. From a construction perspective, the ash was solid, but it hid the fact that it was burning slightly inward, a burn that eventually forced me to have to touch it up. Once the touch-up was done the Exclusivo performed fine with only a mild wave here in and there along the burn line. I rate this one an 89.
Point Deductions: (-2) Burned Inward early on; (-1) Needed a Touch-up;(-2) Run in the Burn; Expensive for the Performance (-2)