Dondurma Toro. If you haven’t heard of this cigar, that’s all right. This is a limited edition cigar that Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust made for one specific shop. That shop is Secreto Cigar Bar in Ferndale Michigan. However, we got the cigar in Amsterdam during the launch of the Sin Compromiso El Amsterdammer (see the review here). And we loved it so much, that we requested another one to do this review. And there were only 90 boxes of 10 available. Now, we don’t know a lot about this cigar. All we found was this information on the forums of cigarweekly.com, written by Steve Saka himself.
Dondurma is a Liga I created back in 2015 – it features what today has become relative rare tobacco in handmade cigars, a variation of Wisconsin Comstock. I tabled the Liga because IMO while it was solid, it really is only extra special when you retrohale it and then it is magnificent. But there is no way I am ever going to get Retailers to explain this, heck I can’t get them to explain Umbagog correctly… anyhow I made about 1,000 of these cigars. I promised Cigaragua 60 of these for our event this week. After that, I just sent a few to Ronnie Haisha of Secreto Cigar Bar a few to sample because he is a retrohaling fiend. Turns out he loved them and asked if he could sell the rest to his customers and I figured heck if anyone can represent or explain this cigar to folks it is him. There are only about 90 10ct boxes – I will be in Detroit at the end of the month to drink The Balvenie US and smoke Dondurma. I can make more, but it will always be in tiny batches like this, I simply do not have enough Comstock, nor do I plan on ever having a lot of Comstock.
The cigar looks fantastic. A dark, Colorado Maduro colored wrapper with some veins. There are also some sparkles from the minerals in the wrapper. And a dark gray ring, and popping golden letters. A nice little pigtail finishes the looks. The wrapper feels very silky. The box pressing gives the cigar a slender look. The cigar feels well constructed. The aroma is strong, it’s the classic barnyard aroma that belongs with cigars.
The cold draw is great. Flavors of raw tobacco, powdered sugar and raising come to mind. After lighting it’s a mixture of toast, coffee, nuts, spice, and sweetness. It evolves to spicy leather, and soil, while the coffee and nut flavors disappear. Slowly there’s a sweetness and creaminess appearing. And with that combination, the name Dondurma (Turkish for ice cream) makes sense. Both Steve Saka and Ronnie Haisha (from Secreto Cigar Bar) mentioned that this cigar is perfect for the retrohale. And they are right. The retrohale isn’t aggressive, as it often is, but brings a new dimension to the cigar. In the retrohale, the toast and nuts flavor return but it also enhance the ice cream reference. The main flavors are that creamy sweetness, supported by oak, leather, and soil. After a third, the cigar gets more of a chewy, yet creamy mouthfeel. Still with the sweetness, leather, and pepper. The final third has more wood, more roasted coffee, some vegetal flavors, and that peppery, sweet cream.
The draw is great. The smoke is full and white. The burn is almost flawless. The white colored ash is firm. The balance of this smooth cigar is great. Even though there is a pepper, it’s never overpowering. The cigar is medium-bodied yet full-flavored. The smoke time is two hours and thirty minutes.
Would I buy this cigar again? I wish that was possible