If you have been paying attention to Steve Saka over the past couple of years, you may have seen him smoking a special blend of his famed Sin Compromiso cigar. According to Steve, that cigar was made from only the most select leaf he uses for the Sin Compromiso. Of course, we could not get our hands on this particular blend, but that all changed this year as Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust has released this new blend to the market in a single 7 x 52 vitola known as the Paladin de Saka.
The company was kind enough to send me a couple of samples to review on Stogie Press and today I am pleased to present my review of this special cigar.
Steve beautifully describes the blend as:
- Capa (Wrapper) – San Andrés Negro “Cultivo Tonto”
- Capote (Binder) – Hybridized Ecuador Habano “Thin Ligero”
- Tripa (Filler) – Independent Plantation Grown Nicaraguan, Pennsylvania Seedleaf added to the “Palidin de Saka”
As noted, it is expressed in a single (7 x 52) vitola and like all in the line, it comes packaged in 13-count boxes. The MSRP on this one is set at $29.75/cigar.
For this review, I sampled the two Paladin de Saka cigars which were provided by the company, for the purpose of reviewing on Stogie Press.
The Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust Sin Compromiso Paladin de Saka is a beautifully constructed, box pressed vitola that has rounded edges. Dark brown and oily in color, the cigar is solidly packed with all but invisible tight seams. There is a light toothiness to the wrapper which also is pretty much devoid of veins. There are a few minor bumps along the barrel. The whole presentation is finished with a expertly applied pig tail cap.
Like its siblings in the line-up, the Sin Compromiso Paladin de Saka is nicely adorned with a large outer cedar sleeve that is imprinted with the name “Paladin de Saka”. There is also a single band, that looks mostly the same as the original Sin Compromiso but has a subtle difference. The white borders on the original have been changed to a pewter tone on this.
Running the cigar along the nose, I detected a mild spice and natural sweetness along barrel while the foot exuded a distinct hickory like note.
I sliced the cap straight across the shoulder of the cigar and moved on to giving it some cold draw puffs that were spot on with restriction and offered notes of BBQ meat, hickory, smoky peat (much akin to an fine Islay single malt Scotch).
With the Sin Compromiso Paladin de Saka intriguing as well as the original, I reached for my double flame torch to gently warm the foot of the cigar and bring it to an even orange glow as I drew in the first puffs that I hope will be the start of a wonderfully relaxing journey of cigar bliss. Follow along as I burn this beauty to ash.
Cigar Review Notes
- First light offers a pleasant dark chocolate like note
- Full volume of smoke
- White ash medium thick char line
- Creamy notes enter conjoined with the initial chocolate
- Savory spice begins to appear about an inch into the burn
- A touch of natural sweetness is developing
- Slight wave in the burn
- Cedar notes
- Ash fell in a good chunk – decent burn cone
- Chocolate swirls back in
- Toasted Caramel aroma
- Walnut nuances moving into the second quarter
- Savory notes grow
- Popcorn aroma
- Earthy peaty notes deep in third quarter
- Savory hot cocoa – is this a note?
- Dry fruit
- Sweetness dials up in final quarter
- Medium to Full in strength
- Total Smoking Time was 2 hours and 15 minutes
The Sin Compromiso Paladin de Saka was a terrific 2 hour and 15 minute journey from foot to nub. The complex flavors and aromas swirled about keeping the palate interested throughout the journey. Meaty and savory notes formed a decent core of flavor along with a natural tobacco sweetness. I have to say the “savory hot cocoa” note I got midway was one of the most unique favors I ever had in a cigar. I know this is a pricey cigar, but in the case of the Paladin de Saka you get what you pay for in “time to smoke” and complexity in pleasing and balanced flavors. This is certainly a cigar that the most refined palate will certainly enjoy and should grab a box to have some to smoke on special occasions. I rate this a 96.
Point Deductions: (-1) Mild Wave;
Bonus Points: (+1) Buy a Box, (+1) Extremely Complex in Flavor; (+1) Consistent in enjoyment and performance across multiple samples