Muestra de Saka Unstolen Valor. We feel that Steve Saka doesn’t need any introduction. The first cigar blogger back in the day, then a consultant for JR Cigars. Former CEO of Drew Estate, where he changed the course of the company from infused cigars to a hugely successful portfolio of traditional cigars as well. And since 2015 owner of Dunbarton Tobacco and Trust, his own company. With fantastic blends, several of whom ended up in the Ministry of Cigars top 25 of 2019 and 2020.
The Muestra de Saka line is a selection of unique blends and vitolas. The 2020 Muestra de Saka release is different than other years though. Why? Well, it is the blender. Where all Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust blends are from the capable hands of master blender Saka himself, this cigar is the vision and skill of Raul Disla. Disla is the factory manager of NACSA, one of the two factories that make cigars for DTT. This blend of Nicaraguan cigars is so good that Saka deems it worthy to carry the Saka name. And to give credit where credit is due, the name is unstolen valor. Unstolen, because Disla gets all the credit, Steve Saka isn’t shy telling people that this is a Disla blend.
The wrapper on this cigar is stunning. Dark, oily, no thick veins, just a beautifully almost lacquered wrapper leaf with thin veins. Like the skin of an African goddess. The lack of a ring makes the appearance of the wrapper even more noticeable. The only ring on the cigar is a bright yellow cloth ring on the foot with Muestra de Saka and Unstolen Valor printed. The cap is perfect, and the cigar feels evenly filled. The aroma is strong, barnyard, hay, and moist soil.
The cold draw is a bit loose but flavorful. A spice bomb. Once lit it’s a spice bomb too, pepper, herbs, but with coffee, and soil. Full, in your face as only Nicaraguan cigars, can be. After a few puffs, the initial blow is over. The flavors are still there, but with more nuance now. It’s then when some wood and sweetness make an appearance. The cigar then becomes woodier, with leather, herbs, and cocoa. The leather slowly takes control, with pepper as its lieutenant. And where the cigar was in your face at the beginning, it’s subtle and nuanced now. Yet without losing any of its strength. The pepper mellows out, the cigar is now all about leather and wood, with a tiny supporting role for earthiness and cocoa. The rest of the first third is a beautiful mixture of leather, cocoa, wood, earthiness, with just enough spice and pepper to keep it very interesting. The leather gains strength, thick, dark leather. There is a faint vanilla flavor. The final third has a lingering metallic flavor, and wood takes over from leather. There are some spices, but the most predominant spice is pepper.
The cigar ends as it started, strong, bold, in your face with coffee, earthiness, and a lot of pepper.
The draw is fantastic. The ash is like a stack of dimes. And a good, stable stack as well. The burn is straight and slow. The smoke is decent, quite thick and full but not Drew Estate style smoke. This is a full-body cigar, full of flavor too. The smoke time is three hours and twenty minutes.
Would I buy this cigar again? Yes