Boutique Cigars

Pledge Prequel From E.P. Carrillo

E.P. Carrillo Pledge Prequel

E.P. Carrillo won themselves another cigar of the year from Cigar Aficionado for the Pledge Prequel. Released in September of 2020 it was something easy to miss because, lets face it, we were all fairly preoccupied. The Pledge Prequel got its name from the fact that it is actually part of a trilogy of cigars released called the Perez-Carrillo Series. The first in 2014 with La Historia (E-III claimed #2 cigar of the year in 2014) and then in 2018 with Encore (which took home cigar of the year for 2018 as well). “Only these cigars are allowed to bear the name Perez-Carrillo and each vitola is an homage to someone within the family and celebrate the pride, joy, and cigars of the Perez-Carrillo history.”

Taking a look at the cigar the wrapper is a rich dark chocolate brown color with slight mottling, a bit of tooth to it and a slick oil sheen. It’s box pressed body is very firm and full to the touch, a bit on the veiny side with seams that are nice and tight. The smell is sweet tobacco, chocolate and cedar. The cap cuts without causing construction issues and from the cold draw I pick up flavors of Licorice, vanilla and of course tobacco.

The first third of the cigar starts with lots of pepper which dissipates after a few puffs and then turns more creamy with some earth and spice on the back end. The burn is spot on and even along with a plenty of medium weighted smoke

Transitioning into the second third the cigar remains creamy but adds a bit of bitter dark chocolate and some leather, with pepper still coming in at the end. The burn staid very sharp and the smoke production was more than satisfactory.

In the final third the flavor becomes a bit more woody, the bitter chocolate becomes more sweet and there is a lingering flavor that is familiar but I can’t put my finger on it. The burn never faltered and the smoke production was always ample.

After smoking a few of these I can see why this cigar got such a high rating it did not disappoint at any time. Starting off at a medium smoke and then transitioning into medium full at the end the flavors will keep you paying attention to this cigar for the duration. Because of its popularity from the cigar of the year award it was a little difficult to find for a bit but most retailers have them back in stock now so when you see them at the shop make sure you grab a fist full of them you won’t be upset about it.

Wrapper – Connecticut Habano

Binder – Ecuadorian

Filler – Nicaraguan

Price: $10.70

Website: https://www.Carrillocigars.com

Rating: 4.9 out of 5 pints

Muestra de Saka Unstolen Valor

Muestra de Saka Unstolen Valor

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.

Website: https://www.Dunbartoncigars.com

Rating: 4.7 out of 5 pints

Rocky Patel Number 6

Rocky Patel Number 6

The Rocky Patel Number 6 is only the second cigar I have chosen to written anything about from the brand. The first was on their Super Ligero way back in May of 2015. Since I started smoking cigars I haven’t really gravitated towards Rocky Patel, I’ve tried a handful of their cigars but was never really inspired to write about any of them and since I refuse to write anything negative I just moved on. The Number 6 is worth writing a bit about. The Number 6 was named after the code given to it during the blending process they liked this particular blend so much that the name just stuck. Released in 2019 at, the then named ICPCR trade show, it has been showing up on shelves all over, much to the delight of smokers.

The look of the wrapper is soft, milk chocolate in color, with some mild veining and a slight oil sheen. It feels firm and smooth to the touch with no apparent dead spots. The odor from the body is light however hay and cedar, from the foot the smell is slightly more apparent with the addition of chocolate. The cap cuts cleanly and the cold draw resistance is light. The taste of dried fruit and tobacco (which always reminds me if unsweetened tea) are present. Time to spark it up and get it going.

The first third starts off mild with lots of cream and cedar notes. On the retrohale I don’t pick up much additional flavors. It has a solid and even burn line, the smoke production is ample and feels light on the tongue.

Arriving at the second third the flavor intensifies a little as a dash of pepper comes in mixed with some earth and cedar. The creaminess is still there but more towards the back end. The burn stays consistent as does the smoke. (If you hadn’t noticed I prefer a cigar that produces a fair amount of smoke.)

Moving into the final third the pepper diminishes making way for the rich cream to come back. This is joined by the flavors of bread, and citrus allowing this cigar to finish up on the mild side.

The Number 6 is a nice mellow flavored smooth smoking cigar that I enjoy smoking. With its light approach it lends itself to be a very approachable cigar to anyone. While this can be smoked at any time of the day I feel it pairs great with that morning cup of tea. Go check out your local B&M shop and pick up a few. (Don’t forget about the DR Friendly Shops that offer us members ongoing discounts.)

Wrapper – San Andres 

Binder – Nicaraguan

Filler – Nicaraguan

Price: $6.80 – $10.25 depending on vitola

Website: https://www.rockypatel.com

Rating: 4.6 out of 5 pints