The Unstolen Valor from Steve Saka is part of his Muestra line and was released in May 2020. The creation of the Muestra’s was really something clever. While determining new blends for his company, Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust, many samples would be gone through before landing on the rite ones. Knowing how much people like the novelty of these samples, or muestras as they are called in Spanish, he decided to release some of them in limited quantities. As stated by Saka “Muestras are hoarded and coveted by not only their makers, but by the cigar smokers who seek to catch a glimpse into the cigar maker’s soul within their smoke.”
Unlike the other Muestra releases this one was not blended by Saka himself, for this one he went to of Raul Disla, the production manager at Nicaragua American Cigars S.A. in Estelí. “I challenged Raul to create his own unique series of ligas without any input or direction from anyone else including myself. I wanted him to make cigars that were personally satisfying to himself and not worry about the opinions of others, the costs involved, or creating a brand. I was curious to see him be a ligador without any constraints. One of the blends he created really captured my attention.” notes Saka. Because he wanted to be able to showcase one of the people behind the scenes and give them credit the name Unstolen Valor was born. OK enough history lets get into this cigar.
The cigar is covered in a dark brown wrapper with some noticeable veining and a nice oily sheen. Between the fingers it feels full and firm. The smell from both the body and foot are those of hay, cedar, sweet tobacco and spice. The cold draw offers little resistance and brings in flavors of chocolate, dried cherries and of course the sweetness of the tobacco.
The first third of the cigar is spicy and meaty, it lets you know its there. In the beginning it was slow to burn and felt a little tough to get it to burn, this quickly went away so I do not fault construction for this only an anomaly. Once lit properly the draw was light but in a comfortable way. The burn was even, the ash held to about 1/2 before I knocked it loose and the smoke production was ample.
In the second third there is lots of flavor. I notice black pepper that dances a bit on the tongue, dark chocolate, and some earthy notes. The burn remains constant along with plenty of heavy smoke that you can almost chew on.
For the final third flavor stay similar to to second but to me becomes just a bit more spicy. It finishes off in what I consider to be full flavor and body, the burn never falters and the amount of smoke given off never fails to satisfy.
While there is a bit of novelty behind the Muestra de Saka line they certainly don’t lack quality. The visual appeal is there, the cigar is well constructed and the flavor profile was great. While the price point is a bit on the high side for some it’s worth the investment to try some of the rare combinations of tobacco that might have never seen the light of day. These can be tricky to find so when you see them out at your local B&M don’t miss out on grabbing a couple.
Wrapper – Nicaraguan
Binder – Nicaraguan
Filler – Nicaraguan
Price: $18.00 – $20.00 depending on location.
Rating: 4.7 out of 5 pints