Cigar Details: Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust Stillwell Star Aromatic No. 1
- Vitola: Toro
- Length: 6″
- Ring Gauge: 52
- Country of Origin: Nicaragua
- Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
- Binder: Mexican San Andrés Negro
- Filler: Nicaragua, Black Cavendish, Golden Virginia and Burley
- Factory: Joya de Nicaragua
- Blender: Steve Saka
- Price: $15.30
- Release Date: November 2021
- Source: Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust
Aaron: The Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust Stillwell Star Aromatic No. 1 has a wrapper that is a marbled dark brown with a few lightly raised veins present. The seams are smooth and the caps well applied. There are two bands, both with a blue and gold color combination. The primary band has a star and some border artwork while the foot band denotes the line and version. The aroma from the wrapper is wood and a pipe tobacco cherry like sweetness. The foot brings a lot of the pipe tobacco aromatics that I liken to creamed cherries. The pre-light draw brings airy cedar and a very faint amount of that cherry sweetness. There is a subtle sweetness on my lips from the head.
Seth: Saka really knows how to pick out a wrapper that I think is visually stunning. The wrappers are typically dark, but there is character to them. There is depth. There is dark and subtle marbling. There are touches of sparkles and the veins are medium in size and scattered throughout. The coloring on the Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust Stillwell Star Aromatic No. 1 is that of a dark Colorado, and it has some Colorado Maduro coloring to it. Aromas of childhood on the foot. Cherries, tobacco, rich earth, chocolate and Tokaji aromas.
John: The Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust Stillwell Star Aromatic No. 1 is cellophaned, and has a UPC designed with a tear space so it remains intact when the cellophane is opened. The cigar is double banded, with the secondary band at the foot indicating ‘StillWell Aromatic No.1’. The aromas from the cigar include a pleasant pipe tobacco and vanilla combination. From the foot, I was getting vanilla and cherry.
Jiunn: The Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust Stillwell Star Aromatic No. 1 has a rustic Colorado red wrapper shade. Veins are well pressed, seams tight, bunch and roll even and head well wrapped. Aromas from the wrapper tell abundant nougat sweetness with a layer of barnyard. Aromas from the foot tell vanilla ice cream, toffee, nougat and a layered white pepper spice. Cold draw reveals sugar cane on the lips, cedar, toffee and vanilla.
Aaron: The cigar begins with spicy wood and an undertone of the pipe tobacco cherry sweetness. At a quarter inch in, the sweetness is now very faint. At a half inch in, there’s a powder like sensation, not quite chalkiness, that appears. The retrohale is spicy wood with light amounts of those powder and cherry sweetness components. At an inch and a quarter, a floral note pairs up with the light cherry sweetness. At an inch and a half in, some mustiness joins in as the sweetness increases slightly. As the third comes to a close, the spiciness of the wood becomes quite mellow while the powder component is a bit behind and the mustiness, cherry sweetness and floral notes are in the background. The strength was slightly below medium.
Seth: The first third begins with notes of sweet tobacco. You can just get the pipe tobacco. I am picking up cherry notes that are paired with rich earth and dirt qualities. There are faint sweet spices, and bits of minerals. Medium in strength and body.
John: There is a clean tobacco flavor with some vanilla hitting on the post draw through the first few puffs. Tannic wood soon joins the post draw, and finds a balance with the vanilla. The tobacco profile through the retrohale is light-plus, approachable and pleasant. As the first third continued, sweet tobacco was more defined on the retrohale. By the 30 minute mark, the defined vanilla on the post draw has faded away, as mild, black pepper and cherry come through. Near the end of the first third, hay joins in.
Jiunn: I definitely get the aromatic pipe tobaccos, but it clashes with the more traditional cigar flavors. Nougat, caramel, rum and vanilla clashes with cedar wood bitterness on the rear and side palate. The finish is especially dry, making me reach for water upon almost every draw. Retrohaling gives a hint of white pepper spice with similar aromatic notes mentioned. Strength and body is medium.
Aaron: As the second third begins, the powder component is now even with the slightly spicy wood up front. At a quarter inch in, the cherry sweetness and floral notes have dropped out. At a half inch in, a faint floral note returns. At an inch in, the wood and powder combination is now fairly dry. The retrohale is dry wood and the powder component with light mustiness. As the third comes to a close, the dry combination of wood and the powder note remains up front with some mustiness a bit behind and faint floral in the background. The strength remains at slightly below medium.
Seth: The second third has not shown much change from the first third. It is delivering that rich earth sweetness, but there are some mineral and dirt qualities present as well. It has bits of coffee and cherry qualities, and the finish is that of sweet tobacco. Medium in strength and body.
John: Hay and wood lead off in the second third, with a light-plus strength sweet tobacco moving into the middle. Pipe tobacco notes are more defined through the retrohale, with a tannic wood finish. The tannic wood, along with some earth move up to medium strength as the cigar progresses. By the halfway point, tobacco leads the profile with the earth and wood combination on the finish falling back to mild strength levels.
Jiunn: There’s nothing different to say for the second third. Still the same clash between traditional cigar flavors and the aromatics. The finish continues to be dry, which is one of the biggest factors of enjoyment. Strength and body continues to be medium.
Aaron: The final third continues on with the profile from the second. At a half inch in, the floral note picks up a bit. The retrohale is now musty wood and powder components with a light floral note. At an inch in, the wood gains a heavy toast note and a slight bitterness also joins in. As the cigar comes to a close, the heavily toasted wood has a slight lead over the powder component with mustiness and the floral note a bit behind that and some slight bitterness in the background. The strength in this third bumped up to medium.
Seth: The final third is right in line with the second third. I am picking up rich earth notes that are paired with some dirt and mineral aspects. There are cocoa qualities and sweet tobacco present, and the finish has touches of cherries and oak.
John: A mild wood with bitter accents leads the profile into the last third. Some tannic wood takes up residence in the post draw. No other evolution through the final third.
Jiunn: No changes to finish off the final leg of the cigar. Still the same clash between traditional cigar flavors and the aromatics. The finish continues to be dry, which is one of the biggest factors of enjoyment. Strength and body continues to be medium.
Aaron: The burn line was slightly wavy at times, but never needed any intervention. The ash held on in inch and a quarter increments.
Seth: The burn was slightly wavy from beginning to end, but consistent overall. No actual issues.
John: Small sections of wrapper would not combust at times, but no intervention was required until a canoe formed and a touch-up corrected it. The burn began to struggle at the end of the first third and into the second third. The cigar went out in the second third requiring a re-light. The burn continued to struggle into the last third, eventually going out which required a re-light.
Jiunn: Burn performance was fantastic. Even burn, tight ashes, cool burning temperature and good smoke production.
Aaron: The draw was slightly tighter than I prefer, but didn’t cause any issues with the smoking experience.
Seth: Draw was slightly snug throughout.
John: The draw was perfect, right in the ideal zone between open and resistant.
Jiunn: The draw was also fantastic, giving the ideal balance between air flow and resistance.
Aaron: The cigar began with spicy wood and an undertone of the pipe tobacco cherry sweetness. A powder component and some mustiness joined a bit later. The second third saw the sweetness depart and the profile became fairly dry. The final third saw a heavy toast note and light bitterness join. The Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust Stillwell Star Aromatic No. 1 was pretty average through the first two thirds and saw a drop in the final third with the heavy toast and bitterness. I was very intrigued when this series was announced as I’m a failed pipe smoker who loves the aromas and flavors of pipe tobacco. This cigar had the pre-light aromas that I am in love with, but it didn’t translate to the smoking experience. Whenever a cigar is announced with a non-traditional cigar flavor component I tend to always want more than what is delivered. I’m not sure it’s possible to do so and make the mechanics of the smoking work. The cigar itself just didn’t deliver that much of a unique experience and I don’t see myself coming back to this particular blend, but look forward to reviewing the other expressions.
Seth: The concept behind these releases I can get behind. I do enjoy pipe tobacco and trying it out. What I am not a fan of is the finished product. I think the cigars are too expensive and the sizes are too large. In some ways, I would have been more supportive of $10.00 Petit Coronas or Petit Robustos. The Toros became a little too bland, and towards the halfway point I was ready to be done. I had my fun, now on to something different. The flavor profile was fairly one dimensional as well, and the Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust Stillwell Star Aromatic No. 1 produced these cherry, earth, coffee, cocoa, sweet spice qualities. The aroma of the foot brought me back to my youth, which I loved, but the actual smoking experience was disappointing. I would recommend these to smokers, and encourage them to try each offering, but I would be honest in saying that they will more than likely get tired of the cigar before it is finished, and it will be pricey. Burley rules! (Cornelius & Anthony)
John: The Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust Stillwell Star Aromatic No. 1 provided an interesting bridge between cigar and pipe tobacco in the first third that I was hoping would continue. The second and last thirds didn’t seem to find the same balance for me and instead provided a pleasant flavor that wasn’t as complex. The draw was perfect, while the burn seemed to struggle, requiring two re-lights. I’d be curious if a different size of the Stiilwell Star would provide a more intense pipe tobacco experience. I don’t know whether a smaller ring gauge or larger ring gauge is the answer, but I’d be interested in trying a new size that could deliver more of that first third. Total smoking time was 2 hours and 29 minutes.
Jiunn: If I could judge a cigar by it’s pre-light aromas, I would be over the moon on the Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust Stillwell Star Aromatic No. 1. That experience was awesome and I don’t think I spent that much time on pre-light ever. But what I ultimately care about is how a cigar smokes, which was average. The clash between traditional cigar flavors and the aromatic flavors didn’t work well at all. It felt too disengaged and unbalanced. Will have to look forward to the other blends in the Stillwell Star series.
ErikV - March 3, 2022
So much for being the most controversial cigar of the year