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Spotlight Brand: Sobremesa

The most anticipated release of the year.

An artfully complex blend.

Without a literal English translation, Sobremesa is best described as the leisurely time spent at the table after a meal conversing, drinking, and enjoying a quality, premium handmade cigar. The debut release for former Drew Estate CEO Steve Saka’s new company, Dunbarton Tobacco and Trust, Sobremesa is a celebration of life’s simple pleasures, and embracing good times wherever you may find them.

Crafted at the legendary Joya de Nicaragua factory in Esteli, Nicaragua, Sobremesa starts off with a dark Ecuador Rosado wrapper. A peek beneath reveals a Matacapan Mexican binder and a blend of Nicaragua and PA broadleaf ligero long-leaves. Medium to full-bodied, expect to be met with a host of balanced flavors including baking spice, nougat, cedar, and espresso with the profile displaying a pleasant evolution. Give Sobremesa a try, and witness cigar blending as an art form.

Q & A: Wet-Packed Cigars?

Q.

I've seen the term “wet-packed” cigars recently, can you explain what that means?

1/24/16 | by SG of Cherry Hill, NJ

A.

​This is a packaging technique I’d like to see used more often. For most cigars, its standard practice to place them in an aging or “drying” room for at least 3-4 weeks (sometimes even 6-12 months or the rarely even longer timeframe). This process allows the tobaccos to further age, marry, and blend together. The excess moisture from the tobaccos evaporates, thus ensuring an even burn and easy draw. 

Some manufacturers, however, prefer to capture that fresh-off-the-table “picante” essence. This technique along with special packaging methods is crucial for the preservation of the unmistakable aroma and flavor of factory fresh tobacco. While the exact process is a secret, essentially it requires the cigars to be wrapped in sealed foil packs immediately after being rolled. The end result is extremely aromatic cigars with heavy notes of barn, cocoa, and earth. Smoke production is typically off the charts and besides an occasional uneven burn, I’ve experienced no drawbacks with cigars utilizing this technique.

by Tim

Hammer & Sickle Hermitage

Sean G ...the best of Hammer & Sickle
Hammer & Sickle has always been a brand that’s been on my radar but one that I never tried. So when we got a large shipment in recently, I was pumped to go through the line and see what all the fuss was about. And after burning through a few sticks, I have to admit I was a little disappointed. They weren’t bad but I didn’t think they were worth the lofty rating that one of blends recently received. Then I fired up their Hermitage line…

At first, I was just happy I found one I really enjoyed. Nothing too spectacular but a good cigar nonetheless. The next day, I found myself craving another one. The second cigar seemed even better. Robust notes of espresso and toffee made for an incredibly rich cigar that finished smooth with hints of vanilla. After that, I was hooked. I went from enjoying a couple of samples to buying a box myself. Sure, Hammer & Sickle has a higher rated blend out there, but for my money Hermitage is by far the best of the bunch.

Article: 2015 Cigar.com Top 20 Awards Pt.1

​​​​​​​​​​It’s that time of year again, the 7th Annual Cigar.com Awards is upon us. For the 2015 installment, the categories are gone, and we now focus solely on the best cigars regardless of category as rated by our in-house panel. Even better, the number of blends is up to 20. Without further ado, here are the results complete with ratings from our Cigar.com experts...


#1 - Ave Maria Divinia
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A hands down winner. Seven of the ten judges on our panel chose this blend as their favorite of the year. With an oily Sun grown leaf wrapped around the softly box-pressed frame, Ave Maria Divinia​ tastes even better than it looks. Expect notes of coffee, leather, and earth that are balanced and delicious.


#2 - CAO Pilón
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​Our experts agree, this is the best on the market. CAO Pilón is rich yet smooth, proving the tobaccos within are fermented to perfection. It’s a calculated taste of Nicaragua this industry has been missing.


#3 - La Palina Black Label
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One look at La Palina Black Label, and it’s clear you’re in for a treat. The dark, toothy Brazilian maduro wrapper oozes with oils. Experience notes of earth and leather with a distinct raisin sweetness on the finish.


#4 - La Aroma Mi Amor Reserva
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There are a lot of great box-pressed maduros on the market. According to our palates, none are as bold and balanced as La Aroma Mi Amor Reserva​. It’s a savory blend ripe with notes of espresso and dark chocolate.


#5 - Padilla Signature 1932
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Ernesto Padilla has a knack for crafting unbelievable cigars with flavor profiles reminiscent of Cuba. An instant classic, Padilla Signature 1932​​ is velvety with notes of nuts, spices, and fresh tobacco.


#6 - AFR-75 San Andres Maduro
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Abe Flores has quietly risen the ranks of the best cigar makers in the world. AFR-75 San Andres Maduro​ is rolled entubabo style ensuring an effortless draw filled with marvelous notes of caramel and coffee bean.


#7 - Man O' War Ruination
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A regular on the Cigar.com Awards list, we simply cannot say enough about Man O' War Ruination​. It’s the full-bodied cigar we measure others against, and over six years later most still come up short.


#8 - Camacho Ecuador
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We’ll let you in on a little secret, Corojo isn’t the best Camacho has to offer these days. Camacho Ecuador​ includes pepper tones with a hint of citrus on the finish. This blend stands out in the sea of sameness.


#9 - Diesel Unlimited Maduro
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Sometimes one and one equals three. Just when we thought Unlimited couldn’t get any richer and full-flavored, a broadleaf maduro was added that put the base blend over the top with Diesel Unlimited Maduro.


#10 - Alec Bradley Coyol
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Here is a blend you can light up one after another. With a unique cherry sweetness and rich tobacco core, Alec Bradley Coyol is a force to be reckoned with. Move over Prensado and Tempus, Coyol has landed.


See the rest of the 2015 Cigar.com Top 20 Awards in our Part Two section!

Adroit