What a first year it’s been. This being our last episode of 2015, I’m extremely relieved to say that we ended on a high note. I honestly never imagined we’d dip our toes into the world of interviews so quickly after launching this unique little podcast of ours but I’m sure-as-shit glad we took the plunge. Between our plethora of CATS Fest interviews in May (all available on our YouTube page), our extensive on-location sit down with Skip and Mike from RoMa Craft last episode, and now tonight’s EPIC two hour conversation with cigar legend Steve Saka… I think we’re getting the hang of it.
Steve gave us a crash course in absolute moisture content, combustion temperatures, the retail and distribution sides of the business, his history with Drew Estate, the virtues of Indonesian binders… you name it and we talked about it! There’s just a wealth of premium cigar knowledge crammed into these two hours and I can’t recommend listening to it enough. Prime Example: While smoking, take your thumb and fore finger and hold the cigar an inch from the ash line. If it’s too hot to hold, you’re smoking it too damn fast and you’ll never capture what the blender intended you to experience. So slow the fuck down and and enjoy a Sobremesa while listening to Steve blow our feeble minds.
Everything you could ever want to know about the first release from Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust is hopefully covered in the YouTube interview embedded above. The man has an unparalleled passion for handmade cigars and you’ll see us all hanging on his every word. The interview was entertaining, fun, and most of all educational. It sure would’ve sucked if the cigar under the microscope didn’t live up to the occasion but thankfully it did and then some. We smoked the Cervantes Fino (6.2×46 American lonsdale) during the interview portion of the show but I’m going to focus this review on our follow-up cigar, the El Americano toro (6×52). Why? Because for me, personally, all the flavors and transitions that were present in the Cervantes Fino were much more pronounced and clear when smoked in the larger ring gauge El Americano.
The band on the Sobremesa is simply beautiful in its attention to detail, our photographs just can’t do it justice. The Ecuadorian Habano Grade 1 wrapper leaf is indeed “the prettiest of the prettiest” as Saka points out in our interview. There’s a pleasant smell of barnyard and hay on the prelight sniff. An immediate blast of flavor hits you upon toasting the foot of the El Americano, much more of a statement than when lighting the more subtle Cervantes Fino. Milk chocolate and cream flood your senses from the get go and they are the dominant flavors present in the first third of the cigar. Throughout the duration of the Sobremesa there is a consistently razor sharp burn line and no retouching with the lighter is ever required.
A woodsy sensation of cedar is now present (or as Tut described it “notes of humidor” ~ ugh). Mild pepper creeps in but it somehow compliments the constant creaminess, never conflicting with it. After disappearing briefly, the chocolate note comes back and I welcome it with a smile. Tut redeems himself by summing the Sobremesa up as “elegantly smooth”, I couldn’t say it better.
A really nice natural sweetness emerges in the last third, right around the same point it showed its face with the Cervantes Fino. A distinct black licorice note also arises closer to the nub. This sweetness and licorice combined with the chocolate and cream is so just so damn UNIQUE AND BALANCED… it made our decision to name the Sobremesa our #1 cigar of the year an easy choice to make.
Steve revealed to us that he’s planning on making another Broadleaf cigar that’s “ballsy and rustic on a budget” in the spirit of our beloved Liga Privadas in the future and we are counting the days until that comes to fruition. But in the meantime, the Sobremesa is a welcome change of pace that we will enjoy over and over again. This cigar is special, folks, and it’ll have legs. Guaranteed.
THE BEER – Samuel Adams Rebel IPA
I know what you’re thinking. We usually have a montage of beer photos, from the bottle’s label to the slow dramatic pour into the pint glass… Well, we didn’t get any of those shots this time around. This photo above is literally the only beer shot we walked away from the table with and I’m amazed we even captured that (probably by accident). You see, we spent the first two hours of the podcast drinking scotch (Balvenie 12 Year Double Wood) while interviewing Mr. Saka and by the time we switched over to beer… well… I will say that the Rebel IPA paired exceptionally well with the Sobremesa cigar. I actually preferred the pairing over the scotch. I can’t believe I just typed that. The low IBU and pleasant but mild citrus flavors of the beer allowed it to coincide really well with the cigar without there being any competition between the two. It should be noted that I am going to look into acquiring an intern from the local junior college to assist us in 2016 by reminding us to take adequate beer photographs, mop up our spills, etc. I’m on it.
THE FILM – Tango & Cash (1989)
Tango & Cash was the last movie to be released theatrically in the 1980s and that makes a ton of sense. It encapsulates the buddy cop genre of that decade to a fucking tee, for better and worse. Actually there’s no worse, this movie is absolutely pure cinematic comfort food! As always, I won’t go in to to much detail at all here on the episode page as I encourage you to listen to the podcast but I promise you it’s a lively episode that you won’t regret digging in to. At one point I lift my shotgun boot up over the table and make Yak Boy beg for mercy! That’s right mofos, this movie has fuckin SHOTGUN BOOTS!!!
Well I couldn’t find a pic of the shotgun boots in action, so I gave you Teri Hatcher stage dancing at the world’s quirkiest strip club. Now will you click the player below and listen to the damn show???
Special thanks are in order to Steve Saka for taking time out of his hectic schedule to talk with us and for having the patience necessary to craft a cigar of this quality and sharing it with our crew. I honestly don’t know where we go from here as a podcast in 2016. But it’ll sure-as-shit be interesting to find out. Thank you for checking out The Tuesday Night Cigar Club and we’ll see you next time when we review another cigar, adult beverage, and film. May the wings of liberty never lose a feather….