StillWell Star cigar brand from Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust incorporates pipe tobacco into the filler. While some might be surprised DTT and its founder Steve Saka would release pipe tobacco cigars, it turns out this is not something totally out of his wheelhouse. It turns out that for over 30 years, Saka has also been a pipe smoker. In fact, over the years, he has incorporated some of his favorite pipe tobaccos into cigar blends for personal enjoyment. StillWell Star was released in four different regular production blends – each incorporating a different pipe tobacco. When it comes to the world of pipes, many pipe tobacco blenders are known to make special blends for the end-of-the-year holiday season. Saka decided to incorporate the same concept with StillWell Star by creating a limited edition StillWell Star Holiday blend release, and the StillWell Star Holiday series was born. Today, we take a closer look at the first release of this limited edition series, the StillWell Star Holiday Y2022.
As we mentioned, the StillWell Star Holiday appears to be becoming a series. In 2022, Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust released the StillWell Star Holiday Y2022. Later this year (at press time), the StillWell Star Y2023 is scheduled to be released. Both use similar tobaccos, but the blends are said to differ from one another.
Holiday Y2022 (Black Cavendish, Burley, Virginia)
Holiday Y2023 (Black Cavendish, Burley, Virginia)
These are the four regular production StillWll Star offerings
Aromatic No. 1 (Black Cavendish, Golden Virginia, Burley)
English No. 27 (Burley, Turkish Leaf, and Cypriot Latakia pressed cake)
Bayou No. 32 (Bright and Virginia Leaf, St. James Perique)
Navy No. 1056 (Red and Golden Virginias with a touch of “Naval Rations” combined with Orientals and Latakia).
WLet’sbreak down the StillWell Star Holiday Y2022 awithout further ado nd see what this cigar brings to the table.
Blend and Origin
In addition to the pipe tobaccos, the filler also contains Nicaraguan air-cured tobaccos traditionally used for cigars. The remainder of the blend also uses air-cured tobacco. This includes an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper and a San Andres Mexican binder
Production for all of the StillWell Star bands is from the Joya de Nicaragua factory in Estelí, Nicaragua.
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Binder: San Andres Mexican
Filler: Nicaraguan, Cavendish, Burley, Virginia
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Factory: Fábrica de Tabacos Joya de Nicaragua S.A.
Like the four regular production sizes of the StillWell Star, the Holiday Y2022 is available in one size – a 6 x 52 Toro. The Holiday Blend Y2022 is presented in 13-count boxes.
The Ecuadorian Habano wrapper of the StillWell Star Holiday Y2022 had a dark brown wrapper with a cinnamon color tint to it. The surface of the wrapper had some oils on it. Despite the dark color, when looking at the wrapper of the Holiday Y2022, some mottling could be seen. The surface of the wrapper had some visible veins and visible wrapper seams.
A straight cut was used to remove the cap of the StillWell Star Holiday Y2022. Once the cap was removed, it was on to the pre-light draw ritual. There was a significant amount of sweetness on the pre-light draw. In addition, there were some gingerbread notes. While normally I don’t like a lot of sweetness on a pre-light draw, things worked with this pre-light draw – delivering a satisfactory experience. At this point, it was time to remove the footer band of the StillWell Star Holiday Y2022, toast up the footer, and move on to the smoking phase.
The StillWell Star Holiday Y2022 opened up with notes of sweet dessert bread, baker’s spice, and mixed pepper. Early on, the sweet bread notes became primary. There was an underlying smokiness to these bread notes. The baker’s spice and mixed pepper notes settled in the background. An orange peel note also entered the equation in the background. Meanwhile, the bread and orange peel notes were present on the retro-hale.
During the second third of the StillWell Star Holiday Y2022, the bread notes remained at the forefront. Throughout this segment of the smoking experience, the bread notes slowly shed the smoky and sweet qualities. At the same time, there was a gradual increase of the pepper notes. Both the baker’s spice and orange peel notes continued to round out the flavor profile.
Things took a turn in the last third. While the bread notes were still in control, there was now an underlying bitterness that seemed to throw the balance off of this cigar. While I could still pick up the notes of pepper, orange peel, and baker’s spice, the flavors seemed muddled. As the StillWell Star Holiday Y2022 came to a close, the resulting nub was soft to the touch and cool in temperature.
While the StillWell Star Holiday Y2022 didn’t have the prettiest burn, the burn still performed quite well. The cigar maintained a straight burn path, requiring minimal touch-ups. At times, the burn line was jagged, but the cigar never was in danger of getting off track. The resulting ash wasn’t overly firm, but it wasn’t loose nor flaky either. The ash had a medium to charcoal gray color. As for the burn rate and burn temperature, both maintained ideal levels.
The draw to the StillWell Star Holiday Y2022 was open but not loose. Normally, I like a little more resistance on the draw. In the end, this was more of a personal preference and didn’t result in any adverse effects on the smoking experience.
Strength and Body
I didn’t find the StillWell Star Holiday Y2022 to be a very bold cigar in terms of strength and body. The cigar started out with mild strength and mild to medium-bodied flavors. There was a slight increase in both attributes and by the final third, the strength was in the mild to medium range. As for the body, it remained in the mild to medium range of the spectrum for the duration of the smoking experience.
In terms of strength versus body, the body maintained an edge for the duration of the smoking experience.
BANDING AND PACKAGING NOTES
One thing I do like is the use of the white bands on the StillWell Star Holiday Y2022. This helps the Holiday Y2022 stand out as a limited edition over the blue bands of the regular production StillWell Star offerings.
The StillWell Star Holiday Y2022 was a tale of two cigars for me. I loved the first half of this cigar – particularly the first third. There were wonderful sweet and smoky notes that really were enjoyable. The second half saw this cigar get ordinary, and the final third had harshness and bitterness to it. Unfortunately, the final third just was not enjoyable. If the first third had carried on into the final third, this cigar would have scored higher. In the end, this is a cigar that I would recommend trying a sample first. At the same time, I will still seek out the Holiday Y2023 releases.
Key Flavors: Bread, Baker’s Spice, Orange Peel, Mixed Pepper
Draw: Very Good
Complexity: Medium Minus
Strength: Mild (1st 2/3), Mild to Medium (Final Third)
Body: Mild to Medium
Finish: Very Good
Value: Try a Sample
News: Dunbarton Tobacco and Trust Showcases StillWell Star Holiday Y2022
Source: Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust
Brand Reference: Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust
Photo Credits: Cigar Coop
Originally posted on September 24, 2023 @ 1:17 pm