During the 2018 IPCPR Convention & Trade Show, Dapper Cigar Co. formally introduced the third line in its Cubo brand following the Cubo Claro and Cubo Maduro: the Cubo Sumatra.
As the name indicates, the four-vitola Cubo Sumatra line is covered with an Ecuadorian Sumatran rosado leaf grown by the Oliva Tobacco Co. and the binder is sourced from Oliva’s Cofradia farm in Jalapa, Nicaragua. Internally, the Cubo Sumatra includes a number of different leaves, including tobaccos from the aforementioned Cofradia farm as well as Oliva Tobacco Co.’s Guadalupe farm in Estelí, and another Nicaraguan leaf of undisclosed origin. Finally, the filler blend includes Connecticut broadleaf grown by Lancaster Leaf Tobacco Co.
While the Cubo Sumatra does share the same moniker as the Cubo Claro and Cubo Maduro lines, the newest entry is actually packaged in a way more akin to Dapper’s El Borracho and La Madrina lines. Similarities in the packaging include the fact that the cigars are packaged in dress boxes adorned with more classic-themed cigar artwork instead of cabinet style boxes and that both the edgings and bands incorporate a new color scheme.
The new regular production cigars are being rolled at Nicaragua American Cigars, S.A. in Esteli, Nicaragua and started shipping to retailers the week of Dec. 31, 2018.
The Cubo Sumatra debuted in four different sizes:
- Dapper Cigar Co. Cubo Sumatra Corona (5 5/8 x 45) — $8.80 (Boxes of 15, $132)
- Dapper Cigar Co. Cubo Sumatra Robusto (4 1/2 x 50) — $9 (Boxes of 25, $225)
- Dapper Cigar Co. Cubo Sumatra Robusto Toro (6 1/8 x 50) — $9.96 (Boxes of 25, $249)
- Dapper Cigar Co. Cubo Sumatra Robusto Gordo (6 x 54) — $10.96 (Boxes of 25, $274)
- Cigar Reviewed: Cubo Sumatra Robusto
- Country of Origin: Nicaragua
- Factory: Nicaragua American Cigars S.A.
- Wrapper: Ecuador (Sumatra)
- Binder: Nicaragua (Jalapa)
- Filler: Nicaragua (Estelí, Jalapa) & U.S.A. (Connecticut Broadleaf)
- Length: 4 1/2 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 50
- Vitola: Short Robusto
- MSRP: $9 (Boxes of 25, $225)
- Release Date: December 2018
- Number of Cigars Released: Regular Production
- Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3
Featuring a mottled pale brown wrapper, the Cubo Sumatra does not exactly set the world on fire visually. The cigar is very firm when squeezed—just short of rock hard—and there are a few veins that are obvious without being overly distracting. Aroma from the wrapper is a combination of milk chocolate, hay, manure, rice, leather and oak, while the cold draw brings flavors of cocoa nibs, leather, cereal, black pepper and some significant spice on my tongue.
The Cubo Sumatra starts off immediately with dominant flavors of both creamy cedar and leather, followed closely by other notes of espresso beans, hay, oak, barnyard and a slight vanilla sweetness. There is an interesting perfume note on the retrohale, along with some distinct white pepper on the finish and spice on my tongue pulled over from the cold draw, each of which plays off of the other nicely. Construction-wise, both the burn and the draw are excellent after a simple straight cut and the smoke production is about average off of the foot. The overall strength starts off fairly light and gives me no surprises, ending the first third about halfway to the medium mark.
Although the first third of the Cubo Sumatra was not exactly lackluster, the second third is where the blend really comes into its own, starting with a brand new dominant combination of sweet, dark chocolate, cinnamon and cream that remind me strongly of Mexican hot chocolate. There are other flavors as well, including creamy cashews, cedar, leather, coffee beans, earth and tobacco, along with just a touch of a unique floral sweetness that makes itself known every once in a while. Both the burn and draw continue to impress, while the smoke production continues to hit somewhere around average. Strength-wise, the Cubo Sumatra does increase enough to hit a point very close to the medium mark by the end of the second third, but seems content to hang out there for the time being.
While the final third of a cigar being a virtual carbon copy of the preceding third is usually not a good attribute, the exact opposite is true with the Cubo Sumatra, since the dominant flavors remain the extremely enjoyable Mexican hot chocolate combination. There is still a touch of floral sweetness in the profile—although quite a bit less than I noticed in the second third—as well as other flavors of hay, cedar, popcorn, leather and freshly brewed coffee. Unfortunately, while the draw continues down its excellent path, the burn wavers a bit, forcing me to touch it up once. Finally, the overall strength actually increases enough to hit a point slightly above medium before I put the nub down with about an inch to go.
- While the band design is almost exactly the same for all three of the Cubo blends, there is one major difference: the color of the background behind the church in the band changes depending on which blend it is attached to. Cubo Claro features a light blue background color and Cubo Maduro’s background is orange, while Cubo Sumatra’s color is purple.
- There is a lot of information available about this cigar on the company’s website: not only is most of the blend listed, but also the exact area of the country the tobacco was grown at and even who the production manager who is in charge, Raul Disla, if you are wondering.
- Of course, having all of that specific information makes it even more obvious when something is not being included, and for some reason the company does not list the region or location where one of the Nicaraguan filler tobaccos is grown, although it was apparently purchased from Oliva Tobacco Co.
- I have not tasted Mexican hot chocolate in very many cigars over the years—I remember the Tatuaje Little Boris and the Room101 Ichiban Roxxo specifically—but what I often think of when I taste it is Ibarra, which I have enjoyed ever since I was a child living in Panama.
- At 4 1/2 inches long, the Cubo Sumatra Robusto vitola should really be called at Short Robusto. For edification, a classic Cuban robusto cigar measures 4 7/8 x 50.
- The cigars for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
- Final smoking time for all three samples averaged one hour and 12 minutes.
Dapper Cigar Co. is a relatively small brand that has had some success with its El Borracho blend, but the Cuba Sumatra is in a whole new league. While the first third was a bit generic, the profile really picks up right after the second third begins, with a dominant creamy Mexican hot chocolate note dominant on the retrohale combined with a fairly unique floral sweetness on the finish. The excellent construction was also a big plus —I only had to touch up one of the samples once in the final third—and the balance of strength, flavors and body is undeniable. This cigar will definitely be one I smoke again—I particularly enjoyed it in the morning— and anyone who is a fan of medium-strength, full-flavored blends should track this down post-haste to try for themselves.