Agile Cigar Reviews are cigar assessments where we use a lightweight, shorter format. These will never take the place of our comprehensive reviews. They are only used on blends we have previously assessed. This might be a blend we are rescoring or giving a score for the first time. It might be a blend we are looking at in a different size. Today we look at the Red Meat Lovers Beef Stick by Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust. This is a cigar we previously assessed back in December 2021 in the Meat Pressed (Box Pressed Toro) format.
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf No. 1 Dark (USA)
Binder: San Andrés Negro Oscuro (Mexico)
Filler: Nicaraguan, Pennsylvanian Seedleaf Ligero
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Factory: Nicaraguan American Cigars, S.A. (NACSA)
Beef Stick: 6 x 48
Back in 2019, Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust’s Steve Saka created a cigar for a meat-eating social group known as The Red Meat Lovers. The original cigar was sold at South Florida retailer Smoke Inn and was a part of Smoke Inn’s MicroBlend Series. Since then, several other sizes have been created. Today we take a look at the third size that was released for Smoke Inn, a 6 x 48 parejo known as the Beef Stick. The Beef Stick size made its debut at a pre-event VIP dinner for 2022’s The Great Smoke. Later in the year, Smoke Inn brought it back as a limited-production exclusive.
The Smoke Inn MicroBlend Series has become some of the most sought-after single-store releases. For historical purposes, we include the full list of offerings.
Padron 1964 Anniversary SI 15 (Maduro and Natural)
My Father El Hijo
Arturo Fuente Solaris
Room 101 Big Delicious
Quesada Oktoberfest Dunkel
601 La Bomba Bunker Buster by Espinosa Cigars
The Pope of Greenwich Village by Drew Estate
Smoke Inn 20th Anniversary by Davidoff
Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust Red Meat Lovers (Multiple Releases)
MoyaRuiz Hand Gripper
601 La Bomba Bunker Buster FUBAR by Espinosa Cigars
Tatuaje Anarchy Kaos
Anonymous by AJ Fernandez (Two Sizes)
Herrera Estelí – The Raji by Drew Estate
Cage the Dawg by Espinosa Cigars
Aganorsa Leaf Rare Fusion
The Red Meat Lovers offering was the 12th installment of Smoke Inn’s MicroBlend Series. It has had multiple releases in multiple sizes. This includes:
Toro Gordo (2018, 2019): 6 x 56
Meat Box Pressed (2020,2021): 6 x 52 (Prensado)
Beef Stick (2022): 6 x 48
This year, Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust announced it would be adding the Red Meat Lovers line as a national, regular production offering. The Meat Box Pressed and Beef Stick sizes will be moving into this series, along with two new additions.
Beef Stick: 6 x 48 (Parejo)
Ribeye: 6 x 52 Prensado (Previously the Meat Box Pressed offering)
Filet Mignon: 5 x 54 Prensado (New Vitola)
Porterhouse: 6 x 60 Prensado (New Vitola)
The Meat Box Pressed offering is based on the blend used on the rounded Red Meat Lovers Club Cigar. The blend is highlighted by a Connecticut Broadleaf No. 1 Dark wrapper. The binder used is a San Andres Negro leaf from Mexico. The fillers come from Nicaragua and Pennsylvania. Production comes from Nicaraguan American Cigars S.A. where Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust produces the Mi Querida and Umbagog lines. The Beef Stick has the look of a “Slim Jim” beef jerky. It features a flat cap and a completely covered footer. For Smoke Inn, The Beef Stick was packaged in ten-count butcher paper bundles.
The Red Meat Lovers Beef Stick opened up with a combination of mocha, earth, black pepper, cedar, and herbal notes. The mocha notes were a classic fusion of chocolate and coffee notes. The mocha notes moved to the forefront early on with the earth, pepper, cedar, and herbal notes becoming secondary. The mocha and black pepper were also both present on the retro-hale. I was quite pleased the mocha note stayed together for the duration of the smoking experience as the primary note. As the cigar experience progressed there was a ramp-up of the pepper and cedar notes – particularly in the final third when these spices closed in on the forefront.
The flavors delivered were medium to full-bodied countered by medium to full strength. The burn performed excellently, requiring minimal touch-ups. Meanwhile, the draw had a touch of resistance – something that I consider to be ideal.
On the whole, I think the Red Meat Lovers series has been an excellent addition to the Smoke Inn MicroBlend Series. While many single-store releases simply do not live up to the hype, it’s not the case with the Red Meat Lovers Series. And I have found the Beef Stick to be the best of the three releases to date. My preference for this line has been the two parejo offerings (the Beef Stick is one of them) over the Meat Box Pressed. Certainly, the Red Meat Lovers series has earned the right to graduate to a national release, so it’s exciting to see this cigar on a national level. This is a cigar that I would probably recommend to a more seasoned cigar enthusiast, but wouldn’t discourage a novice from trying. As for myself, this is a cigar I would buy and smoke again. Coming in at 90 points, this cigar earns a Cigar Coop Standard of Excellence designation.
Key Flavors: Mocha (Coffee, Chocolate), Earth, Cedar, Herbal Notes, Pepper
Strength: Medium to Full
Body: Medium to Full
Finish: Very Good
Value: Buy One
Cigar Coop Standard of Excellence
Previous Assessment: Red Meat Lovers Meat Box Pressed (2020) by Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust
News: Red Meat Lovers Beef Stick Coming in November
Source: Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust
Brand Reference: Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust
Photo Credits: Cigar Coop