It seems lately more and more cigar smokers are having encounters with a cryptic creature. I had my own encounter recently, and just had to document my experience. It was a quiet afternoon in the lounge, when I heard what sounded like a knock coming from my humidor. I carefully approached to investigate, and I heard it again. I opened the door and—low and behold—there I was, face to face with the mythical Sakasquatch.
He handed me a small cigar with a red and gold band that read Mi Querida and vanished before my eyes. Okay, well maybe it didn’t happen quite like that. By now, a vast majority of us know the Sakasquatch does exist, going by way of the pseudonym Mr. Steve Saka, founder & owner of Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust.
The cigar at hand—Mi Querida Triqui Traca No. 448—arrived in Dec. 2021 with some history behind it. The Mi Querida line (translating to “my dearest” but used colloquially by Nicaraguans as “secret mistress”) was introduced in 2016, marking Steve Saka’s first Broadleaf cigar after his departure from Drew Estate. A modified blend of the cigar was introduced in 2018 as part of United Cigar’s Firecracker series, where various manufacturers showcase limited, often amped-up cigars in the line’s beloved Firecracker vitola (typically in the Rothschild / petit robusto range with an extended pigtail cap). This tweaked version eventually led to the Mi Querida Triqui Traca. Released in 2019, the Triqui Traca was played on the Firecracker cigar with an amped-up blend that included a stronger wrapper priming and a powerful Dominican ligero leaf within the filler. This cigar, the No. 448, is the latest size to be released in the line, drawing particular interest, as it most closely resembles the fan-favorite Mi Querida Firecracker cigar that started it all.
Mi Querida Triqui Traca No. 448 Breakdown
- Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
- Binder: Nicaragua
- Filler: Nicaragua | Dominican Republic
- Factory: Nicaragua American Cigars S.A. (Nicaragua)
- Production: Regular Production
- Vitola: 4″ × 48 (Rothschild)
- Price: $9.45 (MSRP)
- No. 448: 4″ x 48 | $9.45 (box of 20 $189)
- No. 552: 5″ x 52 | $11.25 (box of 20 $225)
- No. 648: 6″ x 48 | $12.25 (box of 20 $245)
- No. 652: 6″ x 52 | $12.45 (box of 20 $249)
- No. 764: 7″ x 64 | $14.45 (box of 10 $144.50)
The cigar has a very rustic appearance to it, having a medium brown, lightly oiled wrapper, with quite a bit of tooth and mottling, and finished with a pig tail cap. The cigar is firm (but not overly so), having not soft spots from foot to cap. The band is a heavy paper, with the Mi Querida name in gold on a red & gold background.
Click images below for full resolution
Aromas coming from the foot of the cigar are not overly complex, with just damp earth and natural tobacco being detectible. After pinching off the pigtail, the pre-light draw offers just the right amount of resistance, having slight bitterness with hints of damp cedar and red bell pepper.
Right at the start, it is apparent that this cigar was blended to get the smoker’s attention. Heavy espresso notes abound, along with baker’s chocolate, oak, and leather. Then there is the pepper, which comes across like a raw black peppercorn note on the tongue. The retrohale has quite a bit more burn to it, showing crushed red pepper and cabinet spice, with a strong cinnamon note at the forefront that makes for some watery eyes. The burn is straight and true, smoke output is heavy, and the great draw easily allows for a mouthful of flavorful smoke. Sometimes these spicy, peppery cigars have a dryness to them, but that is not the case here, as the flavors are being delivered with a nice creamy finish. The strength and body here are both in the medium-to-full range.
As I am enjoying the 448, I hear a branch snap outside my window. I peer outside, wondering if Sakasquatch is hiding in the shadows, peering in, watching me enjoy this creation.
In almost the same time it takes to get through the prologue of Harry and the Hendersons, the midpoint of the cigar arrives. This is where this cigar gets interesting. The baker’s chocolate note takes the lead, along with some bread dough that really mellows out the bite of the pepper. Interestingly, the doughy note also appears on the retrohale, adding a slight sourness and some saltiness, while mellowing out the pepper bite on the nasal cavity. This change, along with the creaminess on the finish, is making for a very enjoyable smoking experience thus far. The burn stays almost razor sharp through this point, with strength and body creeping further up to the top of the medium-full range
The end is already near, and the spiciness returns with a vengeance. On both the tongue and the retrohale, I am now getting a hot cayenne pepper-like spice that basically mutes everything else. In the last few puffs, I get a slight hint of burnt sugar and charred wood, and the creamy finish turns abruptly dry. It does not get all the way to harsh territory, but requires a sip of water to get to the finish. The cigar hits the bottom of the full range in body, with the strength remaining medium to full.
Would I Smoke This Cigar Again?
Enthusiastic heck yes on this one. I really enjoyed the flavors, it never got too strong for me, and is a great choice if you want a quality premium smoke when short on time.
- Although small in size and virtually the same blend, this is not the same cigar as the Firecracker—which was a limited edition.
- These are very similar in flavor to the original Mi Querida line, though they do have an amped-up profile.
- In my experience with the different sizes of this cigar, while the flavor is similar, they vary quite a bit in profile; the smaller ring gauges seem to offer the most power and, in my opinion, the best representation of what this cigar is blended to offer.
- On Dojoverse, the Mi Querida Triqui Traca currently ranks as a top-50 cigar (39th place), having a 98% rating. Meanwhile, the limited Mi Querida Triqui Traca Firecracker ranks at 628/4,000; though it has a 100% rating.
- Flavor: Medium / Full
- Strength: Medium / Full
- Body: Medium / Full
- Baker’s chocolate
- Black and red pepper
- Cabinet spices
- Smoke Time: 50 minutes
- Pairing Recommendation: Barrel-proof bourbon | Espresso | Lager | Spiced soda
- Purchase Recommendation: Grab a box!
- Exceptional performance
- Great flavor for a small cigar
- Solid construction
- Darker profile and med/full body may be too much for some
- Can easily overrun some beverage pairings