The Dondurma is now on sale at one U.S. retailer.
Secreto Cigar Bar of Ferndale, Mich. will be the exclusive American home of the newest cigar from Steve Saka’s Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust for at least the next year.
Dondurma is a 6 x 48 toro that Saka said he blended in 2015. It includes tobacco that Saka describes as a “variation of Wisconsin Comstock”, specifically a viso in the filler. It’s joined by three tobaccos from Nicaragua: a five-year-old hybrid criollo ligero from Estelí, corojo 98 viso from Estelí and criollo 99 seco from Jalapa. The wrapper is an Ecuadorian habano “double dark rosado” from La Meca and the binder is a Mexican San Andrés negro “cultivo tonto.”
Saka made the cigars for himself in 2015 but opted not to sell them because he felt like it “was (a) difficult cigar to explain to consumers unless (done) face to face.” He said that the cigar is designed for the smoker to focus on the retrohale.
It originally was sold at Cigaragua in Amsterdam, but the bulk of the cigars—approximately 190 10-count boxes—are being sold through the Detroit-area retailer. The cigars are currently listed $159 per box.
Saka said all the cigars are rolled by Artisto Torres and Josefa “Chepita” Perez at Joya de Nicaragua, the same pair that rolls the Muestra de Saka Unicorn. He said that the normal industry pricing structure would call for the cigar to be priced at $24.
“Dondurma is a strange, but delicious ice cream invented by the Turks and sold throughout the Middle East,” said Saka.”It has an odd taffy like consistency, it is actually chewy and does not melt. Crafted and served by street vendors. I first experienced it while in the Navy ported in the seaside resort city of Antalya, Turkey. As soon as I finished this “odd” blend it instantly reminded me of Dondurma – creamy, familiar and delicious, yet at the same time so different.”
Patrick Lagreid contributed to this story.