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Cigar Review – Plasencia Alma Fuerte Generacion V

The Alma Fuerte (tr – Strong Soul) is a Cigar well suited for a long repose of relaxation and reflection

Ephesians 3:16  –  He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His spirit in the inner man

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About

I was blessed with the Plasencia Alma Fuerte, Generacion V, as a gift from a very generous BOTL who resides in New York.  He has superb taste in cigars and always seems to know where to find the “special” ones.  Just the appearance of this cigar reeks of elegance without being fragile and beauty without being weak.  This is a smoke that should be savoured for a time when deep reflection and deep conversations will take place.  Time is needed to truly bask in the flavours, the feel and the slow burn of a truly special cigar.

Construction

Puro – Variations of Criollo 98′ grown in Nicaragua (Jalapa, Condega, Esteli’, Ometepe)

Wrapper  –  Dark Shade Grown (Jalapa, Nicaragua)

Binder  –  Nicaragua (Jalapa, Condega, Esteli’, Ometepe)

Filler  –  Nicaragua (Jalapa, Condega, Esteli’, Ometepe)

Vitola  –  Perfecto, Box Press, 7″ x 58 (Generacion V)

Made  –  Plasencia Factory, Esteli’ Nicaragua

Price  –  $22.00 / single     $220 / box 10

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Draw and Light

After smelling and handling this gorgeous perfecto box press, I made a straight cut about 1/4″ off the head of the cigar.  As I suspected there was a mild tightness to the dry draw due to the vitola. However, the taste was rich and unlike the some of the more “barnyard” type smells often noted in many cigars.

The wrapper has a slight oily feel but appears more like brown suede.  This is a fairly substantial cigar so it is meant to be enjoyed most while no physical activities are involved.  It has a solid feel and appearance and just enough wrapper edges to make it beautiful rather than pretty.

The toasting process was easy although I did note that it took a bit longer to make sure the foot was lit thoroughly even with the small perfecto tip.  This is a cigar jam packed with Nicaraguan tobaccos and extra care should be taken to make sure the toast is thorough.

First Third

My initial reaction was one of a bit of surprise.  Along with a shot of spice and red pepper, I was hit in the nose with an almost “perfume” type taste.  It quickly smoothed down and I was able to distinguish a more floral note rather than perfume.  However the spice and pepper were predominant as I enjoyed the plethora of creamy smoke this cigar was producing.

In between the spice and pepper the floral continued along with some dark cocoa and leather.  The retrohale provides a spicy hot cinnamon flavor that reminded me of the “red hot” cinnamon candies that are often used on baked goods.  There is a nice smokey flavor (not BBQ) that seems to be mixed in as I get ready to start into the next third.

Second Third

As I initially thought, this cigar is taking some time.  I’m okay with that though as I’m truly enjoying the creamy smoke and various flavours that come in and out.  The smokey flavor has come forward more and reminds me a little of pipe tobacco.  Just enough to help me relax even more.

The ash holds extremely well and is a light gray with lots of white dispersed throughout.  After deciding whether I would attempt a “long ash” I decided to give it a tap and did so throughout the rest of the smoke each time the ash reached an inch or two.

There is a richness to this cigar that keeps the ebbing and flowing floral taste from becoming too overpowering yet enough to keep it flavourful.  Without it I believe this cigar would be a bit boring down the long haul.

The dark cocoa is mixed with some dark chocolate and nuts and the pepper is backing off to reveal a nice mix of leather, smoke, cocoa, chocolate, nuts and floral.  I feel like I’ve hit the sweet spot as I near the end of the second third.  With this being a 7 inch vitola, I still have a couple of inches of smoking for my last third, so I’m happy with where I am so far.

Last Third

Now I’m in my zone.  There is a nice smokey, creamy flavor that I am thoroughly enjoying.  The pepper has receded and the dark chocolate and nuts mix nicely with the leather while the floral comes in and out in just the right amount.

The cigar has remained lit without any need for touch up, although I did do so once.  This was only due to my now revealed anal retentive need for a straight burn line.

I feel like I’ve been smoking for hours as I near the end of this cigar.  It has been a couple of hours and I feel relaxed and almost ready for a nap.  The power of this cigar is noticeable throughout but not hard hitting in a sneaky way as I am in the last third.  I am ready to be done with this smoke, yet I am still desiring the flavours that I experienced.

Tasting Notes

Be prepared for the burst of spice and pepper out of the gate.  This cigar will let you know that it means business.  It will also provide you with scrumptious amounts of smoke, smooth creaminess, and a multitude of floral, leather, cocoa, chocolate and a few other flavours sneaking in and out.

Where your sweet spot is on this cigar depends on your palette but for me it was the end of the second third and lasted into the end of the cigar.  This cigar is meant to be paid attention to while smoking.

This is a phenomenal cigar in my opinion.  Definitely box worthy even with the higher price tag.  I have many “go to” cigars in my line up and aside from the Opus X’s, Padron’s and other higher end cigars saved for special occasions, I am sure that the Alma Fuerte now has a place among them.

This is a cigar that I will crave when I am on vacation and have plenty of down time.  I would use this for celebratory times and for celebratory gifts to my BOTLs and SOTLs.  It is special enough for just those times.

*Overall Rating – 94.3

The Plasencia family really hit a homerun with the Alma Fuerte.  It’s class.  It’s flavor.  It’s box worthy.  Not the cigar for every day smoking but it definitely made my top 10 of the cigars I save for special celebrations and memories.

*Cigar Dojo Advanced Ratings Tool

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Cigar Review – DTT Steve Saka – Umbagog

A Spritual Experience for the Everday Man & Woman

Matthew 13:1 – On that day after Jesus went out of the house, he sat by the lake

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About

Located on the New Hampshire and Maine border sits a lake call “Umbagog”.  It is a favorite fishing spot for this cigar’s creator, Steve Saka.  Dunbarton Tobacco and Trade is the manufacturer and distributor of Steve’s premium cigar lines such as “Sobremesa” and “Mi Querida”.  Both are elegant and tasteful smokes which have a huge following among the cigar aficionado community.

I myself am a fan, but when I heard about the release of the “Umbagog” I was excited to see what Steve had come up with.  Always a man to speak his peace, I have always viewed him as a no-nonsense, everyday man’s man.  Not knowing much about this new cigar, I decided to locate a bundle and try it for myself.

Manufactured with a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper that was said to be “too ugly” for Steve’s premium Mi Querida line, I had to wonder what this stick was going to look like.  Perhaps a bit “saka sasquatch for me?  It was time to delve into the wilderness and get a taste of what the Umbagog is all about.

Construction

Wrapper – Connecticut Broadleaf

Binder – Unknown (Nicaraguan?)

Filler – Nicaraguan Blend

Vitolas:     Corona Gorda – 6 x 49    $6.45/ea

Robusto Plus – 5 x 52     $6.45/ea    (Size smoked in this review)

Toro Toro – 6 x 52     $6.95/ea

Gordo Gordo – 6 x 56     $7.45/ea

Appearance 

The Umbagog comes in a bundle of 10 cigars wrapped in brown paper with a simple label affixed to the front. The single stick is quite plain with a simple green label with off white borders and lettering.  Plain and simple.

When I first viewed the cigar I was surprised that just by it’s simplicity and color label (Army Green), it brought out the “Soldier” in me.  The cigar felt good in my hand; substantial with a good grip but not rough and “hairy” like I thought a Saka Sasquatch might be (laughing).  It’s a handsome looking cigar and does not try to be its more premium and elegant relatives.

For a woman who is over that beautiful and sexy woman time in my life, I found myself relating to this cigar.  Simple, handsome (yes, women can be handsome) and exuding a quiet statement of “I might not be fancy and gorgeous anymore, but I’m sturdy, comfortable and trustworthy”.  Like me, this cigar tells the world, “I’ve earned my imperfections and I come from a great bloodline!”

Draw and Light

Choosing to use my large punch for this 52 gauge cigar, I was able to make a nice cut into the cap with no dryness or overt softness noticed.  The dry draw was mildly tight but I was not surprised with the overall feel of the construction – sturdy. It was comfortable and revealed the taste of being in a straw and hay barn, much like its smell when I removed it from the cellophane wrapper.

The cigar toasted well and didn’t seem to take much effort to get a nice even burn right out of the gate.

First third

I was expecting pepper but did not get it.  The immediate flavor was that of dark cocoa and some leather.  There was a very subtle sweetness behind the scenes with just a hint of nuts and coffee.  As I took more draws I noticed that chocolate came through but again, not in an overly sweet way.  The retro provided a nice leather and chocolate experience.

Second Third

Going into the second third of the cigar it felt like it settled into it’s prime flavours.  Mostly leather with a nice balance of chocolate, nuts and coffee to keep me interested.  The dark cocoa floated in and out but I was too busy enjoying the leather to really care if it was there or not.  I was actually wanting a cup of coffee at this point as I felt it would be the number one pairing for this cigar.

The ash is a nice white overall with some grey accents throughout.  As the rest of the cigar seems to be sturdy, so is the ash.  It held nicely and I even hit it once while moving around and it didn’t come flying off all over me.  The burn is even and the feel of the cigar is warm but not hot.  Not the slowest burn in the world but not a speedster either.

Last Third

The Umbagog settled down even more as I came into the last third.  It was mostly leather with a bit of earthiness to it.  Dark cocoa continued to join in and it surprised me as the power sneaked up on me during this last stretch.  Since leather is one of my favorite tobacco notes, I was very happy to see this cigar all the way through.  I didn’t quite nub it but I may have if that desired cup of coffee had been along for the ride also.

Tasting Notes

Overall I was pleasantly surprised by this solid smoking experience.  The Umbagog is definitely a cigar I would like to keep in my smoking portfolio.  It can be smoked as a yard gar or after a nice dinner with friends hanging around for drinks and fellowship.

*Overall Rating – 89

The Robusto Plus was a good size for me and I think the Corona Gorda would be my other choice.  Anything larger would get a bit “old” for me but might be perfect for other smokers.  I can honestly say this was a really good smoke and I had a great time bonding with the concept and roots of the name and it’s intentions.  I feel a kinship to this cigar and I will definitely save these sticks for the times I long to be sitting by a lake with coffee and my tasty Umbagog.  Thank you Steve Saka!

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