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This is your grandfather’s Connecticut cigar.

Or at least that’s the billing of the Sobremesa Brûlée. Unlike the last Connecticut cigar I reviewed, Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust’s Steve Saka specifically wanted to make a cigar that harkened back to the Connecticut cigars of yesteryear.

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“I have always been reluctant to do it as there are so many classic Connecticuts in the marketplace and most of my consumers could care less for this style of cigar, but I started resmoking many of the mainstays,” said Saka. “Somewhere over the years they have just become too bitter and grassy.”

It’s called the Sobremesa Brûlée, a three-size line that uses an Ecuadorian Connecticut shade G2BW wrapper over a Mexican Matacapan negro de temporal binder, and Nicaraguan fillers: Condega C-SG, Pueblo Nuevo criollo, La Joya Estelí C-98 and ASP Estelí hybrid ligero.

  • Sobremesa Brûlée Robusto (5 1/4 x 52) — $12.45 (Box of 13, $161.85)
  • Sobremesa Brûlée Toro (6 x 52) — $13.45 (Box of 13, $174.85)
  • Sobremesa Brûlée Gordo (6 1/4 x 60) — $13.95 (Box of 13, $181.35)

  • Cigar Reviewed: Sobremesa Brûlée Robusto
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Factory: Fabrica de Tabacos Joya de Nicaragua S.A.,
  • Wrapper: Ecuador (Connecticut)
  • Binder: Mexico (Matacapan negro de Temporal)
  • Filler: Nicaragua (Condega C-SG, Pueblo Nuevo Criollo, Estelí C-98 & Estelí Hybrid Ligero)
  • Length: 5 1/4 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 52
  • Vitola: Robusto
  • MSRP: $12.45 (Box of 13, $161.85)
  • Release Date: August 2019
  • Number of Cigars Released: Regular Production
  • Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3

On multiple cigars from the box I can see the stretching of the Connecticut wrapper. It’s joined by a small number of veins on what is otherwise flawless, if somewhat darker shade wrapper. There’s not a ton of aroma off the cigars I smoked, so I went back and smelled a cigar out of the box and that wasn’t much more useful. While the box might smell like a wood workshop, the cigars just seem to have a faint sweetness and some very mild leather notes. While the aroma of the foot might only be medium-plus, compared to the wrapper it’s exponentially richer with flavors of sweet caramel, oatmeal and orange peel. The cold draw has chocolate, peanut butter, some mild pepper and an herbal flavors.

It feels like the opening flavors of the Brûlée are on a bit of a delay. It’s an interesting mixture of a lot of nut-based flavors: dry nuttiness, a crunchy peanut butter and salted peanuts. On one sample I get an additional potato starchiness, but I really have to work to dig through the nuttiness for it. Fortunately, it’s not all nuttiness. A base of tomato sweetness, creaminess and herbal flavors make up the flavors in the mouth. Retrohales have even more creaminess and on one sample an herbal flavor that reminds me of the taste of marijuana. The finish has more of that potato starchiness and a distinct sweetness that reminds me of Trefoils, the Girl Scout cookies. Flavor is almost full, body is medium-plus and strength is just below medium. Each of the three samples I smoke need a touch-up in the first third.

I think the core mixture of creaminess, nuttiness, and a bit of roughness—but no pepper—continues with the second third, but it’s a bit drier. Most of that seems to be the different types of nuttiness, though I’m also not going to rule out an overall attrition of nuttiness. Despite the overall profile getting drier, there are additional brighter and sweeter flavors with lime and hoisin sauce in the mouth. Through the nose I get a thick butterscotch flavor after the halfway point, but it’s not enough to break through the nuttiness. Flavor remains just below full, body is getting closer to medium-full and the strength is mild-medium. Construction is fine on two cigars, though one is struggling to stay burning.

If you don’t pay attention, the final third of the Sobremesa Brûlée Robusto seems like a grittier version of the first two thirds. Like the second third, though, there are some interesting flavors once you get past the nuttiness. On one sample I get a lemon gelato flavor, different from the lime flavors of the early part. Retrohales have nuttiness, damp leaves and some added grittiness, which makes it less sweet than the mouth flavor. The finish, not surprisingly, has nuttiness, though a saltier version. Flavor is medium-full, body is medium and strength is mild.

Final Notes

  • This box is very large for holding just 13 robustos. I’m pretty sure it’s the same box that is used for the regular Sobremesa Robusto Largo, except that box comes with 25 cigars.
  • For that matter, telling the Brûlée and the regular Sobremesa apart isn’t the easiest of tasks as the cigars are packaged virtually identically.
  • I was a bit surprised by the herbal flavors. There was no consistency about where they appeared in the samples I smoked, but each cigar had it during some point.
  • At a certain point it’s challenging to tell how much nicotine is in a cigar, but the overall mixture of strength, body and flavor didn’t leave me with an experience that is mild. I don’t think the cigar is as mild as Macanudo Café, but it certainly is on the milder end of the cigars we review on this site.
  • For those wondering if the one sample that had the marijuana-like flavor had any marijuana-like effects, the answer is no.
  • Cigars for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
  • Final smoking time was one hour and 45 minutes on average with the middle part of the cigar slowing down what was otherwise a pretty quick smoking experience.
  • Site sponsors Atlantic Cigar Co., Cigar Hustler, Corona Cigar Co. and JR Cigar carry the Sobremesa Brûlée Robusto.
87 Overall Score

In most years, this would be a very strong candidate for the best new Connecticut cigar, but 2019 has been very impressive when it comes to new cigars with shade wrappers. Even without the minor construction issues that inevitably cost the score a couple of points, I don’t think the Sobremesa Brûlée Robusto is on the same tier with the best new Connecticut cigars I’ve smoked this year. It’s a good cigar, just not a very good cigar. But my lasting impression is that I don’t think this is what was being advertised by Saka. He said that this would be a decidedly old-school Connecticut, so I was expecting milder with a profile that was sweet and creamy but also with a fair amount of black pepper. For better, not worse, the latter never came. The overwhelming pepper sensation that destroys the balance of so many shade cigars isn’t in the Sobremesa Brûlée, and the world is a better place for that.

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Charlie Minato
About the author

I am an editor and co-founder of halfwheel.com/Rueda Media, LLC. I previously co-founded and published TheCigarFeed, one of the two predecessors of halfwheel. I handle the editing of our written content, the majority of the technical aspects of the site and work with the rest of our staff on content management, business development and more. I’ve lived in most corners of the country and now entering my second stint in Dallas, Texas. I enjoy boxing, headphones, the Le Mans 24-hour, wearing sweatshirts year-round and gyros. echte liebe.

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