Back in November of 2015, right here at Two Guys Smoke Shop, Steve Saka unofficially launched his first brand of cigars since leaving his position as President & CEO of Drew Estate in 2013. Sobremesa is a cigar Steve blended to fit his palate; he wanted something that had a lot of flavor and complexity that wasn’t overpowering with strength. According to Saka, the Sobremesa Elegante en Cedro features what he feels are the best qualities of the Cervantes Fino and El Americano vitolas.
Steve is regarded in the industry as an expert in tobacco and an experienced cigar blender. After having several conversations with him, I can tell you that he certainly knows his stuff. If you ever get the chance to listen to him talk tobacco, you’ll leave the room with your head spinning due to the sheer amount of information he offers.
What am I smoking?
Cigar Review: Sobremesa Elegante en Cedro (Prerelease)
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Factory: Joya de Nicaragua, S.A.
Wrapper: Ecuador La Meca Ecuador Habano Grade 1
Binder: Mexican Matacapan Negro de Temporal
Filler: Nicaragua (Pueblo Nuevo Criollo, Condega C-SG, Esteli C-98, ASP Esteli Hybrid Ligero) and Pennsylvania Broadleaf Ligero
Length: 7 Inches
Ring Gauge: 50
Packaging & Design
At the moment, there is no box deisgn for this particular vitola. However, I’m certain he will be using the same designs he uses on the regular production boxes. I spoke with Steve today, and he mentioned that they will most likely be packaged in 13 count boxes.
As for the bands, the Sobremesa Elegante en Cedro has the same bands (a golden crown) as the other vitolas. Along with a foot band to denote the brand name, a large strip of cedar also covers the majority of the cigars body.
This Sobremesa Elegante en Cedro is a cigar with heft. It weighs heavy in the hand and feels solid with no soft spots or imperfections to speak of. After sliding off the sheet of cedar, the reddish hue of this Ecuadorian Habano really shines. The seams are near invisible and the caps are placed evenly on the head.
After cutting, the cold draw offered up flavors that are similar to the rest of the sizes. There was a good amount of dry cocoa present, along with a slight pepper twang and some citrus in the background. Not to mention it has that classic Nicaraguan sweetness.
After toasting the foot, the first few pulls offer up flavors of rich earth, cedar, cocoa powder and a slight black pepper. The draw is on the firm side, but nothing unmanageable. The finish lasts a while and leaves a smooth and slick mouthfeel in its wake.
Towards the middle, the burn started to waver a bit, but a quick touch up with the torch brought things back in line. Although this sample is young (hence the wavy burn), the flavor is all there. It has become sweeter and the peppery notes have made themselves more pronounced. The wrapper on the behemoth of a cigar is incredibly flavorful.
Finishing up on the Sobremesa Elegante en Cedro now, and I have to say, this is my favorite part of the cigar. The flavors have taken on a toasty element to them, making everything “pop” a bit more. Leathery notes are dominating the smoke, leaving behind a brown sugar type of sweetness on the finish. Roasted almonds and dry cedar are playing a big role for me as well; those flavors lay to rest the pepper that was present earlier.
Sobremesa is a brand I continually find myself going for these days, more specifically the Cervantes Fino (lonsdale) size. Sobremesa is a versatile cigar that could easily be a great morning smoke with a coffee, or an after dinner treat with some fine liquor. Although this is a very complex smoke that the geekiest of geeks would enjoy, I feel novice smokers could appreciate the qualities of this cigar as well.
I’m excited for these to (hopefully) be released soon, as Saka is planning on showcasing these at the 2016 IPCPR show in a few months. I’m also happy to hear from Barry’s press release that he is working on a cigar that will be a throwback to his Liga Privada days. But all of this depends on the availability / readiness of the tobacco and anticipated demand. And if you know Steve, you know he won’t be shipping anything unless he’s damn sure it meets his very high standards.