So, you’ve smoked a few cigars, decided you liked them and now are wondering what it would be like to try something with a little more depth and body. You’re not sure you’re ready for an intense full bodied, but you know you want more strength than you’re getting out of that last Connecticut.
The good news is, in any given humidor, most of the cigars you’ll encounter are somewhere in the medium bodied range. The bad news is, in any given humidor, most of the cigars you’ll encounter are somewhere in the medium bodied range. Perhaps you’re growing out of smoking milder cigars or perhaps you’ve found yourself in a rut smoking the same cigar over and over again.
There are a handful of cigars that are on the market right now that I like to refer to as complete cigars. These cigars possess depth and complexity. And, as you smoke them, you’ll notice there’s a start, a middle and a finish to the cigar. The flavors aren’t going to be constant throughout the smoke and your palate is going to have a chance to develop as a result of being exposed to them. These cigars may not be the most full bodied or full flavored sticks available, but there’s so much flavor blended into them that, for most cigar smokers, there’s something you’ll find in them that you like. Even better, for you as a cigar smoker, is that you’ll learn to discern some of the flavors that you like best in cigars. And the retail staff at your local cigar lounge will be better equipped to make specific recommendations for you when you ask questions.
When Steve Saka left Drew Estate to start Dunbarton Tobacco and Trust, he found himself without his daily smoke, Liga Privada’s Unico Dirty Rat. After his initial successes blending the Sobremesa, his second blend at Dunbarton is called Mi Querida. Literally, “Mi Querida” translates to “my dearest,” but, Steve will tell you that, in the common vernacular, it’s more subtle than that. Mi Querida is not your wife. She isn’t your girlfriend. Mi Querida is the other one and she was debuted at the 2016 IPCPR Trade Show.
Steve Saka and Mi Querida
Mi Querida comes in some interesting sizes. The Fino Largo (6×48) and Ancho Largo (6×52)both approximate a typical Toro vitola. The 4.75×60 Short Gordo Grande comes in somewhere between a Nub like offering and a Robusto. And the Ancho Corta, the subject of today’s review, at 5×52, has just a hair more girth than your typical 5×50 Robusto. We’ve discussed on the show a handful of times how the blender typically blends a cigar for Robusto and Toro sizes, so today I’m reviewing the faux Robusto Ancho Corta. Steve blended Mi Querida using Nicaraguan binder and filler with a nice, ripe looking Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper. It’s produced in the budget minded $8 to $10 range. Cigars and More sells singles of the Ancho Corta at $8.99.
The construction on Mi Querida is usually solid. This should be a firm, dense smoke in your hand. A slightly oily, dark Connecticut wrapper does show some seams and veins here and there, but is nice and rich looking. Dunbarton bands the cigar with a narrow blue and gold band with a raised Mi Querida script detailing the band. This is another stick where I prefer my Xikar or Palio double guillotine cutters as opposed to my Xikar or Colibri V cutter or a punch. The cigar burns well and holds on to a tight white ash column as it smokes down.
But the flavor is really where Mi Querida stands out. I recommend this cigar a lot in the store to anyone who expresses an interest in anything medium bodied and beyond. It’s no surprise with a vitola name that includes the word Ancho that you’re going to get some red and black pepper in the smoke, but that spice is balanced by flavors like earth, cedar, leather, baking spices, leather and nuts. There are well defined changes in the cigar. For the first third, leather, baking spices and pepper tend to take the front seat. For the second third, there’s a nuttiness present as some of the natural sweetness and spice fade. There are pepper notes, wood and leather present through most of the smoke.
This cigar gets my recommendation for a couple of reasons. First, even if you don’t like one or two of the flavor elements, there’s still probably something in there that you will like. I don’t particularly care for cedar and leather, but there’s enough going on in the smoke that the nuts and spices give me something that I do like. Likewise, there are plenty of folks who aren’t into pepper spices who do enjoy leather and wood on their smokes. Second, with as much as there is going on in this stick, it helps smokers identify some of the flavor notes they like. Knowing what you like in a smoke is going to help your local retailer make more focused recommendations for you as a cigar smoker. And at under $10, it doesn’t break the bank. I probably personally recommend Mi Querida to anyone who doesn’t specifically ask for the mildest stick we carry. I definitely recommend it to everyone coming in to put together a cigar gift sampler if they don’t know what the recipient likes to smoke.