Umbagog From Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust

Umbagog Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust

When this particular cigar entered the market I was working in a cigar shop and remembered when it hit the shelves. I was thinking “Umbagog, what an interesting name”. Even though I had been smoking cigars on and off for 18 years, I just smoked cigars. I didn’t really read or look into a cigar as much as I do now. Friends would share cigars with me, I would purchase one from time to time and if the cigar was good it was good. It wasn’t until a year or two later when I REALLY started to get into cigars; saving labels, writing notes, heck, even when I went to apply at the cigar shop I worked at, my resume was my book full of labels and notes. My foot was in the door and had no idea the exponential growth my journey would take me on. This brings me to this cigar “Umbagog”. 

Going back to when I first smoked it, not knowing anything about the cigar I enjoyed EVERY puff, draw, retro, right down to the nub. What an amazing cigar, sold a lot of them actually because it wasn’t just about how good the cigar was, but the price was phenomenal. In fact I had read that Steve Saka himself had referred Umbagog as his “version of an economy minded cigar”. With a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper and a Nicaraguan binder and filler one might think “How can this cigar be a budget or an economy cigar?” Well, the story with Umbagog goes back to the production of Mi Querida. During the quality control process, Saka felt that some of the Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper he was using was not aesthetically up to the standards of Mi Querida. While the wrapper wasn’t as pretty as Saka would like, the tobacco was still good. Rather then discard the wrapper, Saka decided to use the wrapper for another cigar. He chose to call it “Umbagog” and sell it at a lower price. To offset costs, Saka decided to package the cigars in bundles instead of boxes. 

This is where it really gets exciting to not only know what’s inside this beauty but the meaning of the name. Now, reiterating that when I first smoked this cigar I had zero knowledge of this cigar, yet; now, here I am, feeling blessed and honored to type out a review in hopes that you all enjoy the read, learn as much as I did in regards to “Umbagog”, and perhaps even smoke a Umbagog while reading this article.

Umbagog is a wilderness lake located in Coos County, New Hampshire and Oxford County, Maine. It is one of the most pristine lakes in the state of New Hampshire. The word itself is said to come from the Abenaki Indian Tribe which means “shallow water” and properly pronounced (um-BAY-gog) but as Steve Saka likes to pronounce it (along with most of us out there including myself) “Oom-BAH-gog”. Umbagog Lake is actually one of his favorite fishing lakes. This cigar is meant for the great outdoors; hiking, fishing, camping, whatever you might like to do and as Steve Saka says “This is a cigar that doesn’t pretend to be special or seek to elicit the ‘oohs or aahs’ of the cigar snobs. It is an honest, hardworking cigar that is meant to be smoked, chewed upon, and lit however many times you wish”. Speaking of lit, let’s get into this cigar. 

Before lighting up, as you know, I have to take a couple of dry pulls just to see if this cigar is really going to get me into the “Great Outdoors” mood. Leather, dark chocolate, coffee, earthiness, even a hint of molasses hit’s my palate. Yep, now I’m ready for a campfire right by the lake. Even if you can’t sit next to a lake right now, this cigar will definitely take you there, at least that’s where it took me. Upon light up, copious amounts of earthiness, espresso, oak, toasted almonds, and leather spring into action on my palate. Not really knowing what to expect, yet, if I was to anticipate a certain profile but, THIS is exactly how I would hope it would be. 

Smoking into the first 1/3rd of this cigar the Leather and Oak really stay prominent yet with a tad bit of spice coming through with a layer of cocoa. At this point of the cigar, as I continue to smoke into the second 1/3rd, I start thinking about campfires, the smells, the foods we might eat, the drinks that might be had, or just the essence of being outdoors doing whatever it might be that we love to do. Maybe it’s a psychological thing since “Umbagog” has got me wishing I was by a campfire the taste of s’mores comes to my palate. graham cracker, chocolate, toasted marshmallow and that smell of campfire smoke hit’s my nasal senses while sipping on some coffee. This is really a treat to be experiencing the journey this cigar is sharing with me. The flavor profiles continue to remain the same and to put Steve Saka’s words to the test “ hardworking cigar that is meant to be smoked, chewed upon, and lit however many times you wish” I wanted the cigar to go out a few times just so I can relight and see if I get the same flavor profiles. Steve Saka was NOT wrong. Absolutely positively true in every way, flawless, especially smoking into the last 1/3rd of this wonderful masterpiece! Toasted almonds, oak, leather, milk chocolate, fire toasted marshmallow, like having a creamy mocha, it’s rather unbelievable but oh so true to my palate. At least now I know what cigar I will be sure to have in my travel case the next time I go camping. 

Because “Umbagog” has the less atheistic Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper, the production of this cigar has been somewhat limited. Yet, Umbagog does come in six sizes; Corona Gorda (6×48), Robusto Plus (5×52), Toro Toro (6×52), and Gordo Gordo (6×56), Churchill (7×50), Short and Fat (4 ¾ x 56). Steve Saka wanted to also point out that even though this cigar is made in the NACSA factory in Esteli, Nicaragua, that this cigar blend is not identical to the Mi Querida. Umbagog uses different priming’s and occasional “broken” (long filler with breaks in one half of the leaf). So you know what this means, if you have not tried this cigar then it’s certainly a must try! Because I’m giving this cigar a 5 out of 5!!! Why?? You might ask, smokes well, relight’s good, it is rugged, the flavor profiles are amazing, the experience, AND the price. MSRP for a Corona Gorda is $6.45 (bundle of 10 @ $64.50) up to the Churchill size at $8.95 (bundle of 10 @ $89.50) It’s kind of a no brainer and to leave you with the words from Steve Saka “Cigars without compromise: This is an expression of our closely held ethos and states in just three simple words everything we wish to accomplish here at DTT. Cigars are more than just a passion for us; they are our life.”

Wrapper –  Connecticut Broadleaf

Binder – Nicaraguan

Filler – Nicaraguan

Website: www.dunbartoncigars.com

Rating: 5 out of 5 pints.

Drew Estate Expands Availability of Liga Privada H99 Connecticut Corojo

Drew Estate Liga Privada H99

Drew Estate’s prized Liga Privada H99 (Hybrid 99) Connecticut Corojo is now available as a regular production cigar exclusively to qualifying Drew Diplomat Program participants.

While all Liga Privada cigars have limited production capacity due to the rarity of the tobacco leaves used in each of the offerings, the magnificent capa leaves from the Connecticut River Valley that stand as the hallmark for each Liga Privada expression remain by far the most difficult component to procure. This has been especially true for Liga Privada H99 Connecticut Corojo. 

Just one Connecticut River Valley farmer cultivates Liga Privada H99 Connecticut Corojo’s capa leaf, a hybrid derived from Stalk-Cut Habano and Connecticut Corojo tobaccos that’s grown exclusively for Drew Estate. Since introducing Liga Privada H99 Connecticut Corojo cigars in 2018, Drew Estate has only periodically released small batches of them due to the rarity of the capa leaf. Working alongside this farmer, we planted more H99 hybrid tobacco every growing season, and we have steadily aged and stockpiled this precious leaf. We are ramping up Liga Privada H99 Connecticut Corojo’s production, and it is now regularly available to all qualifying Drew Diplomat Program partners and their customers.

Liga Privada H99 Connecticut Corojo’s capa leaf is naturally sweet and contrasts perfectly with the robust spiciness of the Mexican San Andres Otapan Negro Último Corte capote and the dense earthy notes from the well-aged blend of Nicaraguan, Honduran and Pennsylvania Green River One Sucker tripa tobaccos. These cigars offer complex earth, leather and espresso notes, which dance on the palate in a luxurious and deceptively full-bodied smoking experience that builds with every puff and climaxes in an attention-grabbing finish.

“The H99 Connecticut Corojo is the triumphant result of hybridity, including traits of … dysfunction, functionality, flexibility, adaptability, survival, replicability, and most importantly procreation,” says Drew Estate Founder and President, Jonathan Drew. “In all my 26 years of experience as a tobacco man, I have never witnessed a tobacco hybridization with the depth and body of this Stalk-Cut Habano and Connecticut Corojo leaf. It’s nice to walk into the storage area at the factory and finally see some bales aged and stacked up, ready for production. Get your lighters ready … let’s burn.”

Available exclusively at qualifying Drew Diplomat Program participants, Liga Privada H99 Connecticut is packaged in 24-count boxes with an MSRP of $382.80/box and $15.95/cigar.

Crowned Heads Wabash Cannonball

Crowned Heads Wabash Cannonball

If you’re a fan of cigars then when you think of Nashville you think of Crowned Heads and how co-founder, Jon Huber, likes to celebrate everything Nashville. That theme was continued in the limited edition cigar made for the Casa de Montecristo store in Nashville, naming it the Wabash Cannonball. The Wabash Cannonball was a rollercoaster at the now closed Opryland USA theme park in Nashville from 1975 to 1997. The name originally came from an old folk song titled “The Great Rock Island Route.” In 1904, the song was rewritten and given the name “Wabash Cannon Ball,” referring to the train in the song. It has since been covered by many people including, The Carter Family, Johnny Cash, Bing Crosby, Woody Guthrie, Chuck Berry. Jon said “When we were approached to create an exclusive cigar for CdM Nashville, I immediately wanted to use the opportunity to pay tribute to a Nashville that is gone but not forgotten,” said Jon Huber, co-founder of Crowned Heads, in a press release. “Wabash Cannonball evokes that old Nashville vibe and the new world blend is one that will take the cigar enthusiast for a nice, long, flavorful ride.”

The wrapper is very dark with a matte finish. Some noticeable veins and seams, slight mottling and overall lumpy. I would describe the general look as being a bit on the rustic side. Given Jon’s comments on the idea of the cigar I feel like this look was intentional to give it that “old Nashville vibe” as he called it. The smell reminds me of cedar and chocolate, from the foot its more chocolate and some gram cracker. The cold draw has flavors of dried apricot and just some all around general sweetness but, the draw feels a bit on the tight side.

The first third is earthy with pepper on the back end and a finish that stays with you for a while. It’s smooth on the retrohale and has a good burn with a fair amount of light weighted smoke to fill the room. The draw is a little snug but not as tight as I thought it would be from the cold draw.

Moving into the second third the earthiness remains but a bit of cream and bread hop in making for a very smooth tasting smoke. The cigar really opens up at this point so much larger draws can be taken providing large amounts of smoke and flavor to the palate. The burn line stays sharp as well.

For the final third there is a slight spice that makes its way into the mix but that does not upset the balance of flavors that was created in the second third. Throughout the cigar the retrohale has stayed buttery smooth. The burn doesn’t waver and the smoke production stays on point.

This was an all around great cigar. The flavors were always full but not overpowering and the rustic look and feel made the experience even better. To me this fell into a medium category and could easily be smoked by anyone and paired with nearly anything. Of course my suggestion is going to be a nice whiskey out of Nashville like maybe something from Green Brier or Belle Meade. Being an exclusive just for CdM in Nashville it might be a touch tricky to get your hands on some. I was lucky enough to be out there for a work trip and swung by the shop to pick a few up. Being that these were released almost a year ago to the day and only 5,000 being made the numbers are probably dwindling so if you’re not in Nashville give the shop a call and see if you can order some before they are gone.

Wrapper –  Mexican San Andres

Binder – Nicaragua 

Filler – Nicaragua

Price: $10.70

Website: www.CrownedHeads.com

Made exclusively for CdM Nashville: 615-800-3397

Rating: 4.7 out of 5 pints.