A Spritual Experience for the Everday Man & Woman
Matthew 13:1 – On that day after Jesus went out of the house, he sat by the lake
Located on the New Hampshire and Maine border sits a lake call “Umbagog”. It is a favorite fishing spot for this cigar’s creator, Steve Saka. Dunbarton Tobacco and Trade is the manufacturer and distributor of Steve’s premium cigar lines such as “Sobremesa” and “Mi Querida”. Both are elegant and tasteful smokes which have a huge following among the cigar aficionado community.
I myself am a fan, but when I heard about the release of the “Umbagog” I was excited to see what Steve had come up with. Always a man to speak his peace, I have always viewed him as a no-nonsense, everyday man’s man. Not knowing much about this new cigar, I decided to locate a bundle and try it for myself.
Manufactured with a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper that was said to be “too ugly” for Steve’s premium Mi Querida line, I had to wonder what this stick was going to look like. Perhaps a bit “saka sasquatch for me? It was time to delve into the wilderness and get a taste of what the Umbagog is all about.
Wrapper – Connecticut Broadleaf
Binder – Unknown (Nicaraguan?)
Filler – Nicaraguan Blend
Vitolas: Corona Gorda – 6 x 49 $6.45/ea
Robusto Plus – 5 x 52 $6.45/ea (Size smoked in this review)
Toro Toro – 6 x 52 $6.95/ea
Gordo Gordo – 6 x 56 $7.45/ea
The Umbagog comes in a bundle of 10 cigars wrapped in brown paper with a simple label affixed to the front. The single stick is quite plain with a simple green label with off white borders and lettering. Plain and simple.
When I first viewed the cigar I was surprised that just by it’s simplicity and color label (Army Green), it brought out the “Soldier” in me. The cigar felt good in my hand; substantial with a good grip but not rough and “hairy” like I thought a Saka Sasquatch might be (laughing). It’s a handsome looking cigar and does not try to be its more premium and elegant relatives.
For a woman who is over that beautiful and sexy woman time in my life, I found myself relating to this cigar. Simple, handsome (yes, women can be handsome) and exuding a quiet statement of “I might not be fancy and gorgeous anymore, but I’m sturdy, comfortable and trustworthy”. Like me, this cigar tells the world, “I’ve earned my imperfections and I come from a great bloodline!”
Draw and Light
Choosing to use my large punch for this 52 gauge cigar, I was able to make a nice cut into the cap with no dryness or overt softness noticed. The dry draw was mildly tight but I was not surprised with the overall feel of the construction – sturdy. It was comfortable and revealed the taste of being in a straw and hay barn, much like its smell when I removed it from the cellophane wrapper.
The cigar toasted well and didn’t seem to take much effort to get a nice even burn right out of the gate.
I was expecting pepper but did not get it. The immediate flavor was that of dark cocoa and some leather. There was a very subtle sweetness behind the scenes with just a hint of nuts and coffee. As I took more draws I noticed that chocolate came through but again, not in an overly sweet way. The retro provided a nice leather and chocolate experience.
Going into the second third of the cigar it felt like it settled into it’s prime flavours. Mostly leather with a nice balance of chocolate, nuts and coffee to keep me interested. The dark cocoa floated in and out but I was too busy enjoying the leather to really care if it was there or not. I was actually wanting a cup of coffee at this point as I felt it would be the number one pairing for this cigar.
The ash is a nice white overall with some grey accents throughout. As the rest of the cigar seems to be sturdy, so is the ash. It held nicely and I even hit it once while moving around and it didn’t come flying off all over me. The burn is even and the feel of the cigar is warm but not hot. Not the slowest burn in the world but not a speedster either.
The Umbagog settled down even more as I came into the last third. It was mostly leather with a bit of earthiness to it. Dark cocoa continued to join in and it surprised me as the power sneaked up on me during this last stretch. Since leather is one of my favorite tobacco notes, I was very happy to see this cigar all the way through. I didn’t quite nub it but I may have if that desired cup of coffee had been along for the ride also.
Overall I was pleasantly surprised by this solid smoking experience. The Umbagog is definitely a cigar I would like to keep in my smoking portfolio. It can be smoked as a yard gar or after a nice dinner with friends hanging around for drinks and fellowship.
*Overall Rating – 89
The Robusto Plus was a good size for me and I think the Corona Gorda would be my other choice. Anything larger would get a bit “old” for me but might be perfect for other smokers. I can honestly say this was a really good smoke and I had a great time bonding with the concept and roots of the name and it’s intentions. I feel a kinship to this cigar and I will definitely save these sticks for the times I long to be sitting by a lake with coffee and my tasty Umbagog. Thank you Steve Saka!
(Rating Tool courtesy of Cigar Dojo) Get your own at: www.cigardojo.com)