Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust Sin Compromiso Paladin De Saka Review

The Sin Compromiso line from Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust first made its appearance in 2018. The original release saw 5 regular production vitolas. Two things, in my opinion, stood out regarding the release. These were the price tag, and the “Cultivo Tonto” wrapper. The story on the wrapper, from what I recall from listening to various podcasts and interviews, is that Steve Saka wanted to grow tobacco in the same manner as the Japanese Muskmelon. These melons are grown by thinning the plant to where a single melon is grown per plant. This allows all the nutrients to be focused on one melon, creating an incredibly flavorful (and expensive) melon. The Mexican San Andres Negro “Cultivo Tonto” wrapper is grown using a similar method to the muskmelon by removing the lower primings early so that the upper primings get all the nutrients. This method of growing yields more expensive tobacco because the discarded lower primings still must be paid for, along with the extra labor of thinning the plant.

The Paladin De Saka was announced in the summer of 2021 as a line extension of Sin Compromiso. This release is apparently a version of the Sin Compromiso that Saka has been smoking for a couple years. It shares much of the same blend, except that the tobaccos selected for this particular blend are the best leaves that were sorted and the filler has some Pennsylvania Ligero incorporated. This vitola is also aged a year after rolling and sports a sharper box press than the other vitolas in the Sin Compromiso line. Finally, it carries a significantly higher price tag. 

Country of Origin: Nicaragua

Factory: Fabrica de Tabacos Joya de Nicaragua S.A.

Wrapper: Mexican San Andres Negro “Cultivo Tonto”   

Binder: Ecuador Habano “Thin Ligero”

Filler: Pennsylvania Ligero & Independent Plantation Grown Nicaraguan

Vitola: 7 x 50 Churchill   

Price: $29.75 MSRP

Release Date: January 2022

Company Website: www.dunbartoncigars.com 


I anticipate a lot of flavor and body - in the full range. I look for the strength to peak at medium-ish, unless it slowly builds from the start. I expect similar flavors to the other Sin Compromiso vitolas including lots of cocoa, earth, dark fruit sweetness, and some charred or smoky wood and leather. I feel this blend will have some more nuance and maybe present some cream, coffee, and anise or other spices. 

Prelight Characteristics

I like the presentation of the Sin Compromiso line. The band color and design catch my eye, along with the use of the cedar sleeve. The wrapper is quite dark. The cigar is pretty lightweight but is firmly packed. The cold draw is faint but is a pretty distinct red grape juice. The cigar smells like Copenhagen snuff. I don’t know how to describe it any other way.

First Third

First light is medium body and flavor. It’s a very rich wood and earth profile with some kind of spice that is sweet, but bitter and a bit drying. The retrohale is very similar. About a 1/2” in it’s still about the same with the exception of a bit of a “sourness” or “tang” - kind of like a sour cream or cream cheese. The cigar takes a double puff to get some good smoke pulled through. The ash dropped halfway into the first third. The sourness has faded. The profile now has some cocoa powder and cream. There’s still some earthiness and wood and just a touch of baking spice. The performance has been flawless through this third. 

Second Third

The start of the second third sees a bit of pepper appear in the retrohale. The finish on the draw is like a roasted nuttiness. Approaching halfway the profile is getting up to full body and flavor. Still some nice cocoa powder and creaminess along with earth, wood, and spices. Every now and then there’s some pepper. It’s performing quite well still. Passing halfway the finish has some nice nuttiness and spices. The retrohale is showing rich cocoa. The performance stayed great throughout this third. 

Final Third

The final third is opening up with a bump in earth and wood. It is still holding onto cocoa powder, some cream, and pepper. There’s maybe a bit of leather in here now. Nearing the band the pepper is coming up a bit. There’s a slight metallic note as well. Into the band point it starts needing more frequent attention. I found out because it went out on me spontaneously. It relit fine and picked up where it left off with regards to flavor.   Coming to an end the only notable change is maybe some coffee joining the profile. It performed fine since the relight.

Overall Experience

Overall the cigar was good. Though it was not a real transitional smoke, there was a good balance of flavors throughout. If you like cocoa you’d enjoy this, especially because the earth, wood, and spices meshed well with the cocoa and created some depth. Negating the relight since that was partially my fault, the cigar performed great for the 2 hour and 38 minute smoking experience. Purely from a flavor and performance standpoint I would say that this cigar was good, not great, but would be something to try if you like a well balanced, darker, chocolatey profile with not a ton of earth and pepper, but just enough to add some character. However, I can’t recommend this given the price point. When you get above $20ish, it is just nearly impossible for me to recommend a cigar. Now, if you only had $20+ cigars to choose from, I would give this the nod over plenty of other cigars in that $20-$40 range.

Try the cigar yourself at Small Batch Cigars and let me know what you think! Use code “Whiskey” to get 10% off your entire order. Plus, sign up and begin earning 5% back in rewards points with each purchase.

Feel free to reach out to me with questions, concerns, criticisms, or just to talk at @guitarsandcigarsfarm on Instagram, or via email at trevor@whiskeyandwhitetails.com.

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