Wrapper: U.S. Connecticut Broadleaf No. 1 Dark
Binder: Mexican San Andrés Negro Oscuro
Filler: Nicaraguan & U.S. Pennsylvania Ligero
Size: 6 x 52 Toro Box Pressed
This is a limited release, but I found no information on the numbers.
According to Smoke Inn:
“Master Blender Steve Saka, diligently and carnivorously, worked on a blend that would be unleashed by the palate pairing of juicy red meat. For this savory blend, Steve traveled to Nicaragua, meticulously assembling this cigar while “under the influence” of the country’s top-grade porterhouse steaks (aka “chuleta de dos lomos”). This lead to the selection of a Connecticut Broadleaf No. 1 Dark (maduro) wrapper, which was secured over a Mexican San Andrés binder and fillers of Nicaragua and the U.S. The end result is a powerhouse smoking experience with FULL strength and loads of oily goodness! The cigars were crafted in a singular Toro Gordo size (6″ x 52) in 2018 and 2019, which has been carefully adorned with a Rosette Pigtail cap (hey, sometimes you need a little pork with your beef). The Red Meat Lover’s Cigar became so widely popular, that it was the first Microblend Series to become an annual release for Smoke Inn. In 2020, The Meat Box Pressed (MBP) vitola was released in a meaty 6×52 box pressed version of the blend. According to Saka, the vitola change added a dynamic that enhanced the blend and it’s pairing with red meat.
“Flavors range from charred meat, to earth, dark chocolate, fat, and the elusive umami.”
Looking closely at this cigar shows it might be related to the Bride of Frankenstein (Fronkensteen). The veins and seams seem to be there solely for the reason to sew different cigar parts together into one monster. But the kid in me likes it. The oily wrapper shimmers with color notes of Fall: dark pecan, gingerbread, caramel, and cinnamon.
The cigar feels a bit light in the loafers. Not packed like roasting pig.
There is a tiny pigtail on the triple cap, but it got squashed in transit. It is a very crisp box press. Corners are sharp enough to shave with. And you can’t miss the cigar band. What is there to say?
SMELL THE GLOVE:
First aroma is smoked meat. Followed by peanuts, black licorice, caramel, espresso, dark chocolate, malt, cedar, the slightest hint of floral, and barnyard.
The draw is wide open, so my PerfecDraw draw adjustment tool goes back to snoozing.
The cold draw doesn’t have much to offer. I mean, really, I’m not tasting anything but tobacco without afterthoughts. How odd.
THE WHOLE MEGILLAH:
The start of the cigar gives me no hints about its future…much like the case of not finding flavors in the cold draw, lighting up first impressions is that this is a cigar.
Like all Steve Saka blends, the onus of aging is put upon the customer’s rules and regs. His cigars notoriously need lots and lots of humidor time. It would be nice if he would produce a cigar that has deadly aged tobacco in it so 3-4 months of naked humi time would put a smile on my face. This cigar is directly in the lineage of the other Saka blends in that I made the mistake of reviewing it too early. But as it is a limited edition, either I review it now or wait 9 months…and if it is a great cigar, snake eyes…you aren’t able to purchase it. Baby go bye bye.
I get an immediate burn line out of control. Torch to foot. I hope this discontinues.
Half an inch in, some flavors show their faces…a vinegar-based steak marinade, smokiness, black pepper, some creaminess, and heavy on the malt.
Generally speaking, I enjoy most of DT&T blends. But I’ve had many in the same place as the Red Meat Lovers blend. 9-12 months of humidor hibernation is what it usually takes before the blend really shines.
Yet, there will be cigar lounge cowboys who enjoy a cigar right out of the cello due to having no idea what a palate is good for. If it is peppery and tastes like tobacco, that is fine with them. I know this from spending a year working at a local cigar lounge. Watching patrons pick a cigar I know needs 6 months of sleep and then they smoke what is basically a green cigar and love it, love it, love it.
As this cigar will be in the chosen few B&M’s that Saka points his Midas finger at, they will be lining up to smoke this cigar with no significant aging…and totally enjoy it.
The cigar is burning a little to quickly as predicted due to the cigar just not being packed as tight as it should have. I’m 1-1/2” in after just 15 minutes.
The blend becomes pleasant with a portent of things to come. The char line behaves itself.
As the cigar is clearly not ready for consumption if you have a sophisticated palate, I can only comment on what I believe is the future of this blend once it’s done cooking.
Flavors finally spread out a bit. Character is introduced at last. But mostly dominated by the black pepper spiciness. It lays its torso on the tinier bodies of creaminess, smokiness, malt, gingerbread, hazelnuts, malt, and cedar.
This is going to be a very good cigar someday. But if you fuck up and smoke one upon receipt, you won’t be happy. Buy them and stick them in your humidified Elephant Man display for 9 months or longer.
The balance of sweet v. savory is excellent, albeit in small portions.
At 2” burned, the cigar shows off with a curtsy and a whoosh of its skirt while standing on street grate over the NYC subway.
Potential is alive and well. My decision to review this cigar at this point in time is strictly due to not knowing just how limited a run this cigar received. It could be 50,000 cigars or just 15,000. Numbers are always enlightening.
Cinnamon enters and brings with it a more intense flavor profile. Transitions begin and the finish sees the black pepper stop overwhelming the blend and makes room for the creaminess and sweet notes.
I taste a lot of potential. A bad cigar would just hover at one trick pony all day long. But this cigar is a travelin’ man. It improves with each half inch. This is a sure sign that the cigar has big things in store if you are patient…and have a good palate.
Strength is medium. As the cigar is noted to be a full tilt blend, I’m guessing the second half is going to rip my Depends right off my slinky booty.
I feel the cigar yelling at me like picking up a date at her parents’ house and she yells “I’m not ready yet!!”
I’m not disappointed in this blend because I taste oodles of potential.
The burn has slowed down from the ADD personality it showed at the start.
Strength reaches medium/full.
My early 1980’s band did a gig at Gazzari’s on the Sunset Strip. We were to share the bill with Motley Crue. We walked into the shared dressing room and each member is in their corner getting BJ’s from groupies. We looked at our roadies and said, “No way…go away.” Our French manager sat down with a big smile and watched. His big claim to fame was that he was Iggy Pop’s first manager.
This cigar is not a flavor bomb. But it is interesting enough to keep plowing ahead.
The smoky meat, cinnamon, gingerbread, creaminess, nutty galore, and black pepper become a constant. There isn’t any real complexity at hand. It will take serious humi time for this to happen. But its current character brings gallons of hope to my tiny chimp brain.
It takes 40 minutes to hit the halfway point.
The strength makes it known that it is chomping at the bit to hit full tilt. Should only be a few minutes from now.
Meat and cinnamon buns drive this bus.
Transitions become a bit stagnant at this point.
We now have electric hair as the strength is full bore.
My only real criticism is that the black pepper is too strong. Hot cinnamon shares the limelight with the black pepper. A spicy meatball.
I hope someone shows more patience and reviews this stick with significant humidor time.
Changes to the flavor profile are stuck. But still relatively pleasant.
According to Smoke Inn’s description: “The Red Meat Lover’s Cigar has quickly become the most sought-after single store exclusive releases in the world. Flavors range from charred meat, to earth, dark chocolate, fat, and the elusive umami.”
If I scrunch my puss, I do taste the charred fat. Unami definition: “Unami is made from eggplant, gluten-free soy sauce, mirin, sugar, rice bran oil, algae oil, and konjac powder.” I taste the soy sauce and sugar. Konjac is “…a root vegetable that grows in parts of Asia. It’s known for its starchy corm, a tuber-like part of the stem that grows underground. The corm is used to make a rich source of soluble dietary fiber known as glucomannan.”
Corm is “…a rounded underground storage organ present in plants such as crocuses, gladioli, and cyclamens, consisting of a swollen stem base covered with scale leaves.”
My palate is not sophisticated enough to taste either of these two components of unami.
I look forward to smoking another Red Meat Lovers in 6 months or so.
The cigar oozes potential but I am smoking it too soon. It only has a couple months of humidor time with a few days of dry boxing.
I say pull the trigger and go to Smoke Inn and snag a fiver.
Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS