Saga Short Tales is a line that has been around since 2016. The idea of the line is to have a collection of smaller sized cigars with each having a unique blend, size, and theme. Each of these “themes” is a tribute to the art of tobacco making. Saga Short Tales Tomo II-Tales of the Land: Cotuí is the second in the line to be released, and came out in 2017. This cigar pays homage to a very rare tobacco from the Cotui region of the Dominican Republic.
This cigar was reviewed blind (no bands) by a panel of at least 4 reviewers. They did not know what they were smoking beforehand. The scores are an average of all the reviewers' scores with outliers removed. All of our cigars reviewed are shipped to the panelists with Boveda packs to ensure optimal smoking experience.
In this blend, the Dominican Cotuí is used as the wrapper and was sourced by Monika Kelner, daughter of famed Davidoff Master Blender Henke Kelner. Cotuí is a region of Dominican Republic that is about 60 miles southeast of Santiago. This region known mostly for gold mining and some farming. The rest of the blend uses an Indonesian binder, and a mixture of Dominican and U.S.A. fillers.
Saga Short Tales Tomo II-Tales of the Land: Cotuí comes in just one size, a 5 x 54 belicoso and is rolled at the De Los Reyes factory in the Dominican Republic. All of the boxes in the Short Tales line come in boxes of 10 that look like actual books and contain real pages.
Ring Gauge: 54
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Wrapper: Dominican Cotuí
Filler: Dominican Republic, U.S.A
Factory: De Los Reyes
Blender: Nirka Reyes
Number of reviewers: 4 – Kevin J. (maninblack77) Isaac M. (The Nothing) Estevan Z. (TheRealBanzi) Jason H. (Jokey Smurf)
Age: 5 Months
Release Date: March 2017
Contributed by: De Los Reyes
Initial Impressions – Saga Short Tales Tomo II-Tales of the Land: Cotuí
“A fat, short cigar with a cap that comes to a rounded point. It is rolled tightly with near invisible seams. The color is that of a unstained piece of walnut wood. There are a few predominate veins that criss-cross near the foot. There are many small bumps, from top to bottom, of the cigar. Some shine when the light hit it just right.” –Estevan Z. (TheRealBanzi)
“The wrapper and the cold draw are full of a very strong Graham cracker aroma. Like cracking open a fresh pack of them for smores. This is the predominant aroma I picked up. Reminds me of sitting around a campfire this time of year roasting marshmallows. ” –Kevin J. (maninblack77)
“The opening notes, on this cigar, is a mixture of cedar and a undefined nuttiness. That is very short lived. After about a half inch the flavor profile switches to that of a more peppery note. This is matched in the retrohale. It is so peppery early on that I feel like a fire breather. As we reach the end of. The third the profile rounds out to a much more tolerable. The smoke is silky smooth and the finish is long with the pepper tingling the tongue.” –Estevan Z. (TheRealBanzi)
“First several puffs after toasting the foot were an overabundance of the Graham cracker notes I got from the cold draw and also some cinnamon and a slight honey like sweetness. Sadly the foot cracked as soon as I lit it. We had some recent rains so it could have been the humidity. But it was easily corrected. After about 10 minutes a blast of white pepper hit my palate which I wasn’t expecting at all. Thankfully this didn’t last long. The flavors mellowed out a bit as I headed to the second third.” –Kevin J. (maninblack77)
“There is a creamy texture comes on in the second third. Pepper, which was only brief in the first third, becomes more pronounced and becomes a mainstay. The baseball glove leather continues as the backbone of the cigar.” –Isaac M. (The Nothing)
“The second portion of this cigar is less salty but more earthy and leathery. The smoke remains very oily and leaves my palate slick and tingling with a hint of pepper spice on the finish.” –Jason H. (Jokey Smurf)
“There is one last shift left in this little guy. The smoke on the tongue has me thinking about fresh brewed black tea that has been allowed to settle to room temperature. As the I hit the midway point of the third, lemon zest makes an appearance. It is like someone has grated lemon zest over the top of the tea. In the retrohale there a huge reduction in the pepper but it is replaced by lemon zest to match the palate. All of this has me not wanting this cigar to end. ” –Estevan Z. (TheRealBanzi) “This is the finale I was hoping for. The flavors really came out and shined towards the end. While no big changes were present as far as flavors go, there were alot of salted cashew, Graham cracker and that slight honey sweetness on the back side.Definitely an enjoyable culmination a mild/medium bodied cigar. ” –Kevin J. (maninblack77)
Overall Impressions – Saga Short Tales Tomo II-Tales of the Land: Cotuí
“This cigar has a really nice draw, not surprising given the gauge. As a result, the smoke was plentiful and cool, allowing the more subtle flavors to be present.” –Jason H. (Jokey Smurf)
“The burn was great on this cigar. At times it was a little wavy but it would always correct itself. This allowed the cigar to burn nice and cool for the whole smoking experience. ” –Estevan Z. (TheRealBanzi)
“Draw was perfect, burn was fairly decent, and the construction was pretty spot on. Beautiful honey colored wrapper.” –Kevin J. (maninblack77)
Overall Strength: Medium
Overall Body/Complexity: Medium-Full
Experience Overall: 93
“The first and last thirds were very gratifying with the mix of flavors present. It loses some points with me for a milder than expected second third but not enough to give it a bad rating. This would be a great morning cigar, which I tend to enjoy more right out the gate to get my palate ready for the day. If I had to give it a number rating, I’d score this one a ‘good’. ” –Kevin J. (maninblack77)
“This was an intriguing cigar – both physically and in experience. It was a display of juxtaposition. The excellent appearance, faltered by a cap and splitting later in the cigar. But everything that showed as faults brought no ill-effect to the cigar. I personally found myself going from states of perplexation to satisfaction. The flavors and transitions were great. I’m sure this is a cigar that could find a place in your regular rotation.” –Isaac M. (The Nothing)
“I found myself not wanting to set this cigar down. The first third might be a little much for some smokers but if they are able to work through that they will be rewarded with a cigar that has more than a few flavor changes. I can’t wait to find out what this cigar is cause I will surely add it to my weekly rotation.” –Estevan Z. (TheRealBanzi)
“This was a pleasure to smoke and was perfect to go with a cup of black coffee…until the nicotine slapped me in the face! Then a couple sips of a sugary drink fixed me right up! The smooth flavors were really nice, and the overall experience was one I’ll remember. I’m ready for another one right away!” –Jason H. (Jokey Smurf)
Smoking Time (in minutes): 71
To view the complete scores and notes, click here.