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Cigar Review: Mi Querida Fino Largo

3 Oct 2016


This summer, cigar makers, brand owners, blenders, and factories scrambled in an effort to rush as many new brands and vitolas to market as possible before the August 8 deadline. (Regular readers will recall that cigars introduced after August 8, 2016, will have to go through the FDA approval process before they can be sold or marketed.)

fino-largoThis mad dash was best personified by Steve Saka of Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust. If you follow him on Facebook—where he is quite prolific—you’ll recall his rapid succession of posts proclaiming new cigars like Umbagog, Maestro de Saka, and Mi Querida. These announcements drew considerable attention among cigar faithful which, of course, was a predictable outcome given the success of Dunbarton’s inaugural line, Sobremesa.

“It has been an incredibly grueling 90 days,” Saka wrote on Facebook on July 7. “I have finalized five marca designs and over 15 ligas between 46 vitolas. Thankfully, I had been buying leaf and working on all of these blends over the past year. While there are some packaging tweaks required, none of any of these cigars are half-baked.”

NACSA is the site of production for Mi Querida, a blend of Nicaraguan tobaccos surrounded by a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper that’s crafted by Raul Disla under direction from Saka. Nine vitolas are available, including the Fino Largo (6 x 48), which retails for about $9. I smoked several for this review, each provided by

Mi Querida sports an understated yet attractive band of blue and gold with corrugated edges. The exterior leaf is dark, oily, mottled, and rustic with plenty of tooth, thick seams, and the occasional splotch of out-of-place color. The rough-looking cap clips cleanly to reveal an easy cold draw. Off the foot, the pre-light notes are rich, sweet, and damp with hints of chocolate and musty earth.

The Fino Largo tastes the way, I believe, many expected Sobremesa to taste given Saka’s history with Drew Estate. It has a moist, full-bodied profile with a grainy texture and ample spice. Notes of espresso, cinnamon, damp wood, and leather are front-and-center from the get-go. After an inch, the cigar is at its best with hints of roasted nut and nougat sweetness adding complexity. Here, there’s still plenty of power, but that power is more refined, balanced, and harmonious. The final third brings a reprise of the intensity found at the outset.

Mi Querida is Spanish for “my dearest,” but in Nicaragua the phrase is most often used to describe a mistress. Kind of fitting, since I almost feel like I’m cheating on Sobremesa when I smoke one. Sobremesa came first, after all, and while it hasn’t been around terribly long, I’ve burned through more than my fair share. We have a history. That said, I foresee a long and meaningful relationship with the dirtier, cheaper Mi Querida. It’s highly satisfying if you’re seeking something musty, earthy, rich, well-constructed, and—in the case of the Fino Largo, especially—strong. My expectations are high whenever I light up a Saka creation, and this one does not disappoint. I award it four and a half stogies out of five.

[To read more cigar reviews, please click here.]

–Patrick A

photo credit: Stogie Guys

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