The 2018 IPCPR trade show had many standouts and notable additions to impressive portfolios throughout the industry. One of these additions was to Steve Saka’s Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust. However, the addition I’m talking about is not the one that EVERYONE else is talking about. The initial four-vitola line—Todos Las Dias—welcomed in a new member at this year’s trade show: Todos Las Dias Mas Fuerte (aka Thick Lonsdale). The Thick Lonsdale Mas Fuerte, however, may have been something completely different if not for a twist of fate.
The story goes that DTT’s owner submitted a different blend to the Joya de Nicaragua factory by mistake. Saka noticed that the blend was “off,” but he decided to release it anyway with the label “Mas Fuerte.” Saka stated in a press release:
“The Thick Lonsdale ‘Mas Fuerte’ is the result of some confusion between myself and the factory. When originally blending the TLD liga there were two finished core blends comprised of the same tobaccos, but with different proportions. Ultimately, I selected the one I felt worked best in the original formats to be released and relegated the other to my blending diary. When it came time to add the Thick Lonsdale to the line, I inadvertently gave them the recipe for the stronger iteration. In their defense, the factory asked me to verify the blend twice, but I managed to still muck it up and authorized them to produce 200 boxes as instructed. I didn’t actually realize my mistake until I was smoking the post-production cigars for quality control purposes. Right away I knew something was askew.
My initial reaction was to destroy the cigars, but as I continued to smoke them I came to realize that this variation of the liga was perfect for this unique 6×46 format. So in the end, I decided my mistake was a blessing and have opted to add this tweaked vitola to the lineup for our connoisseur customers to enjoy.”
Todos Las Dias Mas Fuerte Breakdown
- Wrapper: Nicaragua (Cuban-seed & Sun-grown)
- Binder: Nicaragua
- Filler: Nicaragua
- Factory: Fábrica de Tabacos Joya de Nicaragua, S.A. (Nicaragua)
- Production: Regular Production
- Vitola: 6″ × 46 (Thick Lonsdale)
- Price: $11.95 (MSRP)
This vitola is manufactured at the oldest factory in Nicaragua—Joya de Nicaragua, like nearly all cigars in DTT’s portfolio. This cigar features unspecified wrapper, binder, and filler tobaccos from Nicaragua. While a puro isn’t a foreign concept to Saka, the vague description of tobaccos used is uncharacteristic compared to other previously released cigars at DTT.
I once published a video about labels for the retailer I work for and I used the silver and black diamond monogram label as an example of a non-traditional, yet classic look. The foot band has the same color scheme, with elegant cursive writing that reads “Todos Las Dias,” which translates as “All the days,” (see full explanation and translation of the cigar’s title in Cigar Dojo’s original TLD review). The color of the Nicaraguan wrapper is a lush, veinless brown with a texture that reminds me of my favorite suede shoes. I know that does nothing for you, but this is my review.
My customary guillotine cut on the cap allows me to welcome in a dry draw of coffee, pepper, earth, and subtle dark cherry sweetness.
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I have easily smoked through at least a box in each of the original TLD vitolas. The two cigars smoked for this review have been my seventh and eighth experience with this size. I toast and light the foot and bring in the smoke of what I assume will be familiar flavors to me at this point. The cigars smoked for this review clearly illustrate how a tweak in a blend and/or size can truly alter a cigar’s palate. So, let’s move forward from here without trying to compare to other vitolas, because this is, for all intents and purposes, a different cigar. The initial notes are very subtle, with earthiness dominating the palate and a healthy dose of coffee and chicory. The peppery spice that is so prevalent right off the light in most of DTT’s cigars is not present. Shockingly, even the retrohale is dense, with coffee, licorice, and earthiness, but a scarce amount of spice.
This next paragraph proves why you should always keep reading reviews and, in this particular case, continue to smoke through a cigar to formulate an opinion. Almost immediately, from one puff to another, the cigar suddenly builds in complexity. The pepper that was gone from the pre-light (and from expectation) appears in beautiful fashion, with notes from Fresno chiles, coffee, and just a touch of caramel and cinnamon for balance. The sweetness is very, very subtle, but it’s there, and the balance it gives to this cigar is incredible.
Fresno chiles is very specific, because it’s a very familiar flavor to me. My grandmother cooked habitually with Fresno chiles and it’s a flavor note that is unmistakable on my palate. The spice that continues to sing through this liga is, without a shadow of a doubt, Fresno chiles. It’s balanced with continued flavors of coffee and caramel. The earthiness in Mas Fuerte is also at a dominant level.
The construction on this cigar is solid, with just a few ashes per cigar for this review. The cigar finishes with the ideal amount of sweetness and spice to cut through that dominant earthiness from the middle of the cigar. The chile note on the finish is long and aromatic on the nose and on the palate and I am suddenly craving my grandmother’s cooking.
Would I Smoke This Cigar Again?
I would. As I’ve mentioned, I’ve had a few samples of this vitola, and something keeps bringing me back.
- Flavor: Medium-Full
- Strength: Medium-Full
- Body: Medium-Full
- Fresno Chiles
- Smoke Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
- Pairing Recommendation: Margarita, Añejo tequila, Lager, Rye whiskey, My grandmother’s cooking… or just Mexican food
- Purchase Recommendation: Grab a handful, are you really worried?
“EVERY. DAMN. DAY.” That’s my translation for this cigar. Waiting for the "but?" Sorry, here it is, this cigar is every day for me, only, it's in other vitolas.
Yes, I prefer other vitolas in the Todos Las Dias line, but one could argue it’s the blend. The Mas Fuerte is different. But as with most DTT cigars, they are magnetic. Saka’s transparency has always been a subject of consumers and media alike. I, for one, appreciate it. There are some companies that would have released this cigar and not even bothered to mention the blend difference and scoff at anyone that argued the contrary. In Saka’s case, he embraces errors and chaos and tells you exactly the way it is. Will it make this cigar taste better? That’s for you to decide, but my opinion is right here.
- Incredible balance
- Sneaky complex
- Captivating aroma
- Slow to start
- Continual earthy reset
- Retrohale can be muted