Today’s adventure in cigar-land includes a visit with the Sobremesa Cervantes Fino (Corona), a 6 ½ X 46 powerhouse of complexity and elegance.

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“Sobre-Mesa” translates very roughly, via my poor Spanglish, into either “on the hill” or “envelope of the hill”. I suspect there is a better meaning behind the verbiage but I can make some sense of my definition – either one. This cigar will elevate your smoking enjoyment as if upon a high hill or plateau. It’s also a ton of mountain flavors packaged together. See, that makes sense… Dunbarton Tobacco says of the name:

Sobremesa, “over the table”, has no precise English translation, perhaps because there is no cultural equivalent in the US. It is an idiom used among the Latin culture to describe the leisurely time spent tableside after you have finished dining, but before you rise. It is the experience of lingering casually with family and friends in conversation, relaxing, drinking, smoking, and enjoying each other’s company. Sobremesa is one of life’s simplest, yet greatest pleasures.

“Over the table!” Exactly what I meant… I do know, precisely, that this is a fantastic smoke. Sombremesa is the creation of Steve Saka of Liga Privada fame. It is crafted at the Joya factory in Esteli of a variety of Nicaraguan fillers combined with a Ligero from Pennsylvania. The binder hails from Mexico while the exquisite Rosado wrapper comes from Ecuador via Oliva.

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Dunbarton and Saka debuted this exceptional cigar at last year’s IPCPR Show in New Orleans to great fanfare and amid great mystery. Had my half-cocked plans not gone awry as usual I might have been there in person. As is, I had to wait until now. So, here goes:

This chocolate-brown beauty is magnificently constructed. I found both the cigar itself and the ensuing smoke smooth, silky, and easy – a description I normally reserve for the girls at Baristas. The draw is effortless. I’ve read that some found the draw a bit tight, at least at first; such was not my experience. Gray ash forms and holds very well and uniform. The burn is even and produces a smoke rich in varied flavors. The whole experience was “creamy” – not a word I use a lot – but it fits this stick perfectly.

All that Ligero and Nicaraguan leaf imparts a meaty, yet tame-enough earthiness mixed with a woody, leathery taste that lasts from start to finish. The leather was light in my mind (taste buds, rather) as were the recurring hints of spice. I also detected notes of cocoa and coffee which assisted in sweetening the smoke. I compared my notes to others and discovered that several folks reported tasting a fruit spirit. I did not. The thought of pineapple or strawberry popping into my smoke conjures up horrors for me. Then again, that’s me; I’ve said time and time again that everyone gets a little something different out of each cigar. The Sombremesa offers plenty of everything good for every palate.

All this I found of medium body though I could imagine some might describe it as being slightly stronger. My Corona (who just mentally heard The Knack?) was terrific from end to end. I recommend it to anyone who looks for sophistication yet also desires the kick of a “real” cigar.

My “real” cigar was enjoyed with agua. You might like it paired with espresso, a dark ale, or a meaty Islay Scotch. It’s a somewhat free country so you could mix and match. I say keep it simple. Pair with a single, “monotone” beverage – whatever you choose – to compliment the delicious complexity of the smoke.

Given the young age of this line, some may find it difficult to obtain locally. Also, being of royal lineage and of complex design and origins, the cigar probably falls into the $11-13 price range depending on your tax jurisdiction. Both of these issues are adequately addressed when you order your Sombremesa from Cigars City, home of low prices and incredible selection.

On the hill, over the table, or in the envelope … you’ll be pleased with Saka’s new masterpiece. Enjoy one now!