Muestra de Saka is a collection of different cigar blends from Steve Saka of Dunbarton Tobacco and Trust, each to be released at separate times throughout the next year. It was unveiled at the 2016 IPCPR and Muestra de Saka translated means “Sample of Saka”. Each will come in boxes of 7 coffins and describes each cigar as a personal pet project blend i.e. this Lancero called #NLMTHA (now leave me the %$$$ alone) that I am reviewing today, is a response to people begging him to make a lancero size. The #NLMTHA is a 7 x 40 with a Dark Habano seed wrapper and is rolled at Fabrica de Tabacos Joya de Nicaragua S.A.. With the new FDA regulations regarding ingredients and approval, that is all the details provided about the cigar, which is a shame because Steve is notorious for sharing every detail about his blends.
This is a gorgeous looking lancero. The wrapper is perfectly even colored with few veins and the construction is the best looking for a lancero I have seen in a long time. The wrapper has a little tooth and a slight red hue to this dark-brown. There is surprisingly little aroma coming off the wrapper, but the foot smells of a musty barn. Pre-light draw is a bit tight but the taste is great, more of the barnyard and cedar.
The first puff is just fantastic with notes of nilla wafer and bread. A few puffs in I am joined by a faint pepper and very distinct coffee. This third finishes off with an even stronger coffee and spice, very nice.
The second third is a slight variation from the first, that same base of coffee and spice is there, now with a bit of chocolate in there. This third finishes off with a shift in the spice from pepper to more of cinnamon / clove.
This final third has smoothed out even more than the first two. Still getting a nice combination of flavors from the first two thirds with coffee and cocoa and hint of baking spice, but much more balanced.
This is another homerun from Steve Saka. I can’t say that I’m surprised as I have loved his previous two releases, but being a big fan of the lancero vitola myself, he has nailed it. Now I know Steve will say that this cigar isn’t as good as the final release will be because the tobaccos didn’t have enough time to rest and it was rushed, but I really don’t see how it could get much better. There was literally nothing to complain about in terms of harsh flavor or performance, so other than a slightly different flavor profile perhaps, I don’t think time will change that much. I’m very excited to compare this to the final release.