According to Steve Saka, owner of Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust, the Muestra De Saka is ‘one the company’s most popular and yet, of their most misunderstood lines’. Steve likes to say the ‘MDS’ brand is the home for some of his best work. It is his ‘personal playground’ and allows him to experiment and create unique cigars without the burden of worrying about launching an entire brand in multiple sizes.
The company typically launches one ‘MDS’ liga per year, and this year it was the Unstolen Valor, which is actually the creation of Sr. Raul Disla, from Nicaragua American Cigar, S.A. in Esteli Nicaragua.
Steve explains the genesis of this new Muestra De Saka:
“Almost all the cigars in our industry are actually created by very talented people at the factory level like Raul, but they seldom receive any accolades or credit for their work as it makes the brand messaging very confusing for consumers, but it is very important to me that people understand that this cigar is Sr. Disla’s creation.
All I did was challenge him to create without worrying about others, smoked the results and convinced him we should share this blend with others, hence the name ‘Unstolen Valor’.”
The Muestra De Saka Unstolen Valor, has a blend described as:
- Wrapper – Ecuadorian Habana 2000
- Binder – Nicaraguan (Jalapa)
- Filler – Nicaraguan, Dominican, US Connecticut River Valley
Expressed in a single 6 x 52 perejo, the Unstolen Valor comes packaged in a the standard Muestra De Saka coffin with 7 coffins in a box. The MSRP is set at $17.95 per cigar.
For this review, I sampled two of these beauties which I received from the company for the purpose of reviewing on Stogie Press.
The Muestra De Saka Unstolen Valor is a beautiful, oily, reddish brown cigar that has a seriously toothy wrapper. It is light on veins and solidly packed from head to foot. A double cap finishes the presentation.
Like all ‘MDS’ releases, the Unstolen Valor is adorned with a single yellow satin footer band with “Muestra De Saka” printed in red and in this case “UNSTOLEN VALOR” overwritten in black on top.
The foot and the barrel were offering me the same set of mildly pungent fermented leaf and baking spice notes as I ran the Unstolen Valor along the nose.
Using a double blade Xikar cutter, I sliced the cap straight across the shoulder and proceeded to take some cold draw puffs. The draw was nicely restricted and offered a hint of earth and a touch of cinnamon spice. So far, I am liking how this is developing, but the real test is firing it up and taking it on a journey.
I used my double flame Bugatti lighter to warm the foot as I drew in the first, lightly peppered, puffs of smoke. Follow along as I burn the Muestra De Saka Unstolen Valor to ash.
Cigar Review Notes
- First puffs bring a gentle pepper note to the palate
- Savory spice notes fire up my umami sensor
- Light grey ash forms on top of a thick and wavy char line
- Decent smoke volume is being produced early in the journey
- The savory note begin to morph in a zesty BBQ sauce sensation
- A roasted meat aroma wafts off the foot
- After a decent burn, the ash fell in a well formed chunk revealing a flat but centered burn cone
- An interesting tart cherry note nuance greets the palate
- Peppery spice begins to evolve midway along with a shift in aroma to more earthiness
- Cedar sweetness adds to the pleasure
- Moving into the final a more intense cayenne pepper evolves, down to the final
- Medium – Full in strength
- Total Smoking Time was 1 hour and 45 minutes
In the final analysis, I had to get my head wrapped around the profile of the Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust Muestra De Saka Unstolen Valor. It’s not like I’ve never had a cigar that offered Umami notes, but this one was quite unique. It started with some black pepper, and quickly settled into savory notes that just began the Umami journey that did not let up through the journey. Pleasant nuances of tart cherry, cedar sweetness, and earth added to the pleasure as roasted meat, cayenne pepper, and zesty BBQ certainly kept it interesting. Other than the slight jag in the burn and the flat burn cone, this is one I would certainly smoke again. I would say, the profile may not be for everyone, but if you are a seasoned cigar enthusiast you should check them out. I rate this a 94.
Point Deductions: (-1) Mild Jag in Burn; (-1) Flat Burn Cone
Bonus Points: (+1) Positive experience is the same through multiple samples; (+1) Complex Flavor and Aromas