Cigar Review: Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust Sobremesa Brûlée Toro – Rated 93

The original Sobremesa cigar was the introductory blend from Steve Saka under his new cigar company, Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust, after leaving Drew Estate. Though conceived in 2015, the second blend, Sobremesa Brûlée, finally made it to market in 2019. When asked about this special liga, Steve Saka noted that the Sobremesa Brûlée is:

“…recreation of the milder, shade wrapped ligas of my early years. Somewhere over the last three decades many of the classic shade cigars have become wispy, uninspiring and rather dull to my palate. I wanted to share with others the way I remember these blonde cigars being.

Also as ligador and tobacco man, I do not understand the recent trend of making strong Connecticut Shade cigars aka “not your grandfather’s cigar.”

Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust Sobremesa Brûlée Toro
Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust Sobremesa Brûlée Toro

Steve also noted:

“The Brûlée is a variation of the core Sobremesa® liga in which the Pennsylvania Seedleaf ligero has been removed, the Condega Seco has been increased and the wrapper is replaced with a top shelf grade of BW Ecuador Connecticut Shade leaf. The result is a milder, even smoother adaptation of the Sobremesa blend that does not sacrifice its wonderfully complex flavors or aromas. This is not a cigar to be smoked casually, but rather a relaxing smoking experience meant to be savored slowly.”

The full blend is described as:

  • Capa (Wrapper) – Ecuador Connecticut Shade G2BW
  • Capote (Binder) – San Andreas Negro
  • Tripa (Filler) – Nicaraguan

Sobremesa Brûlée was offered to Select Purveyors and is expressed in three vitolas available in 13-count boxes:

  • Brûlée Robusto (5.25 x 52) MSRP $
  • Brûlée Toro  (6 x 52) MSRP $
  • Brûlée Gordo  (6.25 x 60) MSRP $

For this review, I sampled one Sobremesa Brûlée toro and now I may need to pick up some more at my local B & M – Executive Cigar Lounge in Melbourne, FL.


Pre-Light Examination

The Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust Sobremesa Brûlée is a golden tan liga that has just a small amount of veins and is expertly finished with a triple cap. The liga is solid in the hand with no soft spots. I was intrigued by the dark leaf in the filler I viewed from the foot.

Two Bands adorn the Sobremesa Brûlée, in fact they are the same that brand the original Sobremesa. The primary band is a die cut golden crown and the back of the band displays the company’s logo. There is a secondary footer band that uses the same gold and brown motif and declares this as a Sobremesa blend. Interestingly, there are no identifying marks that let you know this is the Brûlée.

Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust Sobremesa Brûlée Toro
Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust Sobremesa Brûlée Toro

With the looks out of the way, I moved on to check the moisture content with my CigarMedics HumidiMeter and it gave me a solid 67% RH. That is just right for me and now it was time to run this liga along the nose. The pre-light aromas were enticing and as Steve noted “not your grandfather’s cigar“. Notes of sweet tobacco along the barrel and pepper and butter cracker off the foot had me wanting to clip the cap and move onto the cold draw.

Using my double blade cutter, I sliced the cap straight across the shoulder and took in some long cold puffs that delivered a sweetness on the lips and notes of citrus and hay on the palate. The sweetness on the lips was not a surprise, as I heard from many fellow enthusiasts that they got the same sensation.

Using the soft flame of a cedar spill, I warmed the foot and started to draw in the first puffs of what I would say was a pepper shot, especially to the nose. Follow along as I take this one to the nub and burn it to ash.

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Cigar Review Notes

Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust Sobremesa Brûlée Toro
Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust Sobremesa Brûlée Toro
Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust Sobremesa Brûlée Toro
Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust Sobremesa Brûlée Toro
Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust Sobremesa Brûlée Toro
Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust Sobremesa Brûlée Toro
Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust Sobremesa Brûlée Toro
  • First puff offers a solid pepper burst on the nose and throat
  • Herbal notes and sweetness develop as the pepper recedes a bit
  • Vegetal notes add to the early profile
  • Solid white ash evolves on a wavy thick char line
  • Thick creamy smoke texture fills the mouth and makes for great smoke rings
  • Sweetness builds with a nuance of chocolate
  • Light citrus peel brightens the profile
  • Added chocolate swirls with a toasted caramel aroma
  • Getting into second third I picked up a berry note and a touch of bittersweet sensation
  • Ash is holding tight while the burn is showing a bit of a wave
  • Citrus intensifies
  • Ash fell with a pointed off centered burn cone
  • Bittersweet notes grows a tad – deep in second third
  • Bitterness fades and caramel sweetness enters
  • Herbal notes re-emerge along with more berry flavor
  • Burned hot to the touch in final
  • Medium Strength
  • Total Smoking Time was 1 hour and 30 minutes

Overall, I found the Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust Sobremesa Brûlée to be a pleasant and elegant smoke from foot to nub. It delivered an array of balanced flavors and aromas that kept the palate interested puff after puff. I especially enjoyed the berry notes and caramel which brought me back to my trips to Paris, enjoying a delicious Creme Brûlée. Also, as the French dessert is creamy and thick so was the smoke in this cigar. From a construction perspective, it carried a very long ash, but it did develop a wave midway and when the ash fell, it displayed an off centered burn cone. I would certainly suggest picking a five pack of these and I rate this a 93.

Point Deductions: (-1) Wave in Burn; (-1) Burned hot to the touch in the final

Bonus Points: (+1) Extreme solid ash

Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust Sobremesa Brûlée Toro

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