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It’s award season in the cigar world and as such, a redux review of one of only two cigars to have made The Consensus Top 25 in three consecutive years.

Sobremesa debuted in late 2015 with five sizes. As has become the case with releases from Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust, the details about the blend are quite lengthy. It uses a La Meca Ecuador habano Grade 1 dark rosado wrapper and a Mexican Matacapan Negro de temporal binder over five different filler tobaccos: Nicaraguan GK Condega C-SG seco, Nicaraguan Pueblo Nuevo criollo viso, Nicaraguan La Joya Estelí C-98 viso, Nicaraguan ASP Estelí hybrid ligero and broadleaf ligero from Lancaster County in Pennsylvania.

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It uses a La Meca Ecuador habano Grade 1 dark rosado wrapper and Mexican Matacapan Negro de temporal binder over five different filler tobaccos: Nicaraguan GK Condega C-SG seco, Nicaraguan Pueblo Nuevo criollo viso, Nicaraguan La Joya Estelí C-98 viso, Nicaraguan ASP Estelí hybrid ligero and broadleaf ligero from Lancaster County in Pennsylvania.

My initial experiences with Steve Saka’s debut cigar showed both promise and frustration. The 6 1/4 x 46 Cervantes Fino had a fair amount of complexity, but also a poor draw.

This is actually my second redux of the cigar. The first occurred in July 2016:

After over a half year of rest, the Sobremsa Cervantes Fino is just about everything I originally wanted it to be. The flavor is the best its ever been in my opinion, the construction was substantially improved with only minor draw issues playing a part in the latter half, resulting in a very satisfying cigar experience. While I’m not sure time in the humidor helped to improve a tight draw, it certainly made the flavor much more harmonious. While this has not been my favorite of the five vitolas, this particular cigar was the best Sobremesa I’ve smoked, at least amongst the ones that are out. The new Short Churchill, which should be hitting stores soon, is the standout cigar of the line for me, which is saying something given just how good this one was.

  • Cigar Reviewed: Sobremesa Cervantes Fino
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Factory: Fabrica de Tabacos Joya de Nicaragua S.A.
  • Wrapper: Ecuador (La Meca Ecuador Habano Grade 1)
  • Binder: Mexico (Matacapan Negro de Temporal)
  • Filler: Nicaragua (GK Condega C-SG, Pueblo Nuevo Criollo, La Joya Estelí C-98, ASP Estelí Hybrid Ligero) & U.S.A. (Pennsylvania Broadleaf Ligero)
  • Length: 6 1/4 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 46
  • Vitola: Lonsdale
  • MSRP: $11.25 ($281.25)
  • Release Date: Nov. 6, 2015
  • Number of Cigars Released: Regular Production
  • Number of Cigars Smoked For Redux: 1

Stored in cellophane, the wrapper has sweet cocoa and some vanilla, right around the medium level. The foot is much sweeter with cocoa, vanilla, mild floral flavors and some bourbon; medium-full. The cold draw isn’t as strong with some bread floral, sugar and some generic creaminess.

The Sobremesa Cervantes Fino starts with some earthiness, bread and some underlying sweetness. While there’s no pepper, it’s not overly smooth, though it’s also only three-years-old. Eventually, creaminess and butterscotch become the two main flavors in the mouth. Retrohales of the Sobremesa produce a ton of Ritz cracker, some herbal flavors like anise and a generic sweetness. The flavor is compact and medium-full, body is full and medium in strength. The finish opens the compactness a bit and reminds me of the finish of a particular bottle of Scotch. Construction is generally impeccable for the first half of the cigar. I will admit, I do have to make a touch-up to keep the cigar from going out, but I also am pretty sure that was due to my own negligence.

There’s a mild pepper picking up shortly before the halfway point of the Sobremesa. The mouth feel is similar, though with more pepper: sourdough bread, white pepper and some sunflower seeds. There’s a mixture of spices and a lightly sour creaminess—like thousand island dressing—and smoked meaty flavors. Flavor is full, body is medium-full and strength is medium-full. In the final third, some damp earth picks up along with coffee beans, vanilla and lots of earthiness. It’s very easy to dismiss the flavor as earthy if you don’t retrohale. The flavor and body end medium-full and strength is medium-plus.

92 Overall Score

Thanks to my job, I don’t regularly smoke any particular cigar, but when I have smoked Sobremesas of late, it’s generally been the Short Churchills. I remembered that I wasn’t initially enthralled with the cigar, particularly in this vitola, but that it got better. Reading over my notes I now remember the construction issues that plagued my first experience. The draw on this particular box wasn’t great and time did not and will not fix that. It’s smokeable, but it’s a bit tight even for the smaller ring gauge. For those wondering, I’ve had Cervantes Finos out of other boxes that didn’t have the draw issues. The good news is that even for the imperfect box, the flavor continues to get better. The first third was an absolute joy to smoke with a medium-full profile that was a smooth as any cigar. While the subsequent thirds couldn’t match that, they were still very good. I'd still rather smoke a Short Churchill nine out of ten times, but that doesn't take away from how good the Cervantes Fino has become.

Original Score (December 2015)
86
Redux Score (July 2016)
91
Redux Score (December 2018)
92

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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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