Bite Size Review: Cubo Sumatra
We’re all about second chances ‘round here, as we say in Texas, and as another saying goes, “burn me once, shame on you – burn me twice, shame on me, a surprisingly appropriate but accidental pun within a cigar context. Objectivity is an imperative in this business, but we must fight the urge to hold the occasional fault as the rule versus the exception. Forgive, but don’t forget.
We have on occasion had to call a “mulligan” on a cigar review simply because the cigar, for a variety of reasons, was just not cooperating, although I’m happy to say it’s rare. Back in July, we reviewed our first cigar from Dapper Cigar Co., La Madrina, which was a pleasant surprise. Unfortunately, the oohs and aahs from a ridiculously delicious blend were blindsided by a very tight draw and poor combustion that devolved into an annoying runner. In all fairness, some reviews have not reported this, so sadly, just our luck of the draw. It happens.
We moved on and added more of Dapper Cigars’ wares to our bullpen including the fan fave El Borracho and the re-blended Cubo, Dapper’s inaugural line. The line features three flavors: Claro, Maduro and the newest addition, the Sumatra. The Sumatra caught our attention since these wrappers, imparting a zesty yet mild and sweet palette, are not used often enough, particularly in an even rarer Rosado shade. The Cubo Sumatra was officially announced at the IPCPR tradeshow in 2018 and released later that year.
The shade of the wrapper takes on more of a creamy, coffee appearance sans any of the pinkish hues usually associated with Rosado wrappers. Our robusto is as hard as a rock, like break glass kind of hard. A single seam cap tops off our lightly oily, semi-seamless Sumatra. The aromas from the wrapper are unique featuring a robust, worn leather fragrance with an undercurrent of vanilla. Unfortunately, the draw is tight with a straight guillotine cut, but still allowing a flavorful stream of apricots and wood.
The initial profile of the Sumatra is tantalizing, sparked by a nucleus of cream and walnut notes swirling around a medley of black pepper, light coffee and baking spice. The texture is silky smooth as our robusto settles into a more woody core with a crisp finish of nuts and wood. Complexity is simply off the charts as even the lightest floral hints come through along with a gentle spiciness. The draw is annoyingly tight, so I attempted to remedy the draw using my ‘V’ cutter (I have a draw tool, but bar its use for reviews).
Transitions feature more robust woody and earthy profiles, but warm, well-balanced notes of caramel, coffee and espresso keep everything satisfying. Combustion is spot on this time and the salt and pepper ash is tight and compact. The Sumatra is a slow burner due to the compactness of the roll, but we can’t say this is typical.
Once again, a wonderful, boxworthy blend is blighted by a potentially avoidable structural issue. Déjà vu. Still, issues aside, the Sumatra is a medium-bodied yet robust blend that caresses all the right senses. So, do yourself a favor and pick up a few of these and we sincerely hope your experience with the draw is much better than ours.- In Fumo Pax!
Recommendation: 5 Packer
Did you Know: Dapper’s founder, Ian Reith, also owns his own software company that writes custom educational software.
- Profile: Medium
- Vitola: Robusto
- Length / Ring Gauge: 4.5″ x 50
- Purchased: B&M
- Origin: Nicaragua
- Wrapper: Ecuador Sumatra Rosado
- Binder: Nicaragua (Jalapa, Cofradía)
- Filler: Nicaragua (Esteli , Guadalupe, Jalapa, Cofradía & “undisclosed”), US Connecticut Broadleaf
- Blade: Xikar Xi1 / Colibri ‘V’
- Fire: Colibri Firebird
- Price: $9.12
- Humidor Age: 6.5 mo.
- Box: 20 [except Corona which is 15 ct.]
- Other Vitolas: Corona [5.62″ x 45], Toro [6.12″ x 50], Gordo [6″ x 54]
N O T E S
Smoke Time: 1:00
Construction: Creamy coffee shade; lightly oily; hard body; single cap; uniform feel; semi-seamless; lightly veiny; slick feel; holds 1″ salt-pepper ash; restricted smoke production; slow burner.
- Wrapper – Vanilla, piquant leather
- Foot – Cocoa powder, light citrus
- Cold Draw – Apricot and wood
- Initial: Walnut core with an overtly peanut-tinged draw; light coffee and cream notes with hints of black pepper and baking spice; crisp finish of nuts and wood; settles into a woody core with a heavy leather overlay; more walnut overtures in woody finish. Flora hints on retro with light spice in nose.
- Transition: Tangy cedar nucleus supporting notes of caramel and espresso; nice balance and finish of wood and coffee.
- Transition: Spice bomb swirling around a woody profile; earthy notes with a savory maltiness.
Complexity: Very Good
Touch ups: N/A
Weaknesses: Tight draw – did not improve with second V-cut.
Recommendation: 5 Packer
- Boxworthy / Go-to
- 5 packer
- Yard ‘gar
- NR [No Recommendation]