Stillwell Star Bayou No.32 review by Don José
Hey team, Don José here back with another review.
Today we have the
Stillwell Star Bayou No. 32
If this is your first time here, my reviews rate each cigar on 10 factors and each factor gets a rating out of 10 giving me an overall out of 100. The 10 factors are: Construction, Draw, Burn, Flavour, 1/3 overall, 2/3 overall, 3/3 overall, Journey (how well it flows), Complexity & Value for money.
You may have seen my announcement about these making their way to NZ and now that they are here, I will be reviewing each one!
Now these sticks are not your usual cigar. They are mixed blends of Cigar and Pipe tobacco... While pipe tobacco has been used in cigars many times before... we have not seen it produce anything of interest.. Steve says this is due to the approach and quality of tobaccos used.
"StillWell Star is the world’s first luxury pipe tobacco cigar. [it] is a totally different approach.
All of the cigar and pipe tobaccos used are amongst the finest available, no expenses spared. Each of the pipe tobacco recipes is meticulously crafted in small batches by Reeves utilising only the best tobaccos and techniques. And each of the cigar ligas was carefully tailored by Saka to specifically showcase and enhance the nuances that each of the pipe blends add to the cigar.
The end result is a truly mesmerising smoking experience. Four unique cigars each with its own personality, deftly blended to afford the smoker the nuances of the flavours and aromas of the pipe blends, yet working in concert with the black cigar tobaccos. Balance, measured, refined and elegant are all hallmarks of StillWell Star."
Brand: Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust
Wrapper: Ecuadorian habano
Binder: San Andres Negro Cultivo Tonto
Filler: Bright and Red Virginia leaf, St. James Parish Perique + more... maybe...
"A combination of Bright and Red Virginia leaf with the most select St. James Parish Perique pipe tobacco added to a medium-bodied Nicaraguan puro. This liga begins the mildest of all, but the Perique really kicks up in the end with a spicy finish. It rewards the smoker with that classic “VaPer” combination of zest and umami that is entrancing for the discerning palate."
Ok, so now let's talk a little about the wrapper
Habano cigar wrapper is a leaf grown from a Cuban seed, hence the word “Habano” or “Havano,” referring to Cuba's capitol. Habano tobacco wrapper is darker in colour, has a much spicier flavour, a richer aroma, and has been grown in Nicaragua's Jalapa Valley and Estelí since the 1990's.
More important than the pronunciation are the reasons we like Habano cigar wrappers. Mainly we like the Habano wrapper’s flavour. It’s spicy, rich and the colour is generally dark. Chocolate is commonly tasted in Habano wrappers. And the Habano cigar wrapper is going on many of your favourite cigars.
let's get into the review.
So, I realise that these 4 reviews are going to be a little unusual in the fact that between all 4 sticks the only change is the Tripa or filler. i.e the Wrapper and binder is uniform and the pipe tobaccos used gets swapped out for each one. This means that the first half of each review is going to be exactly the same... Therefore I'll try and add some info here about each one about the uniqueness of that particular stick.
For the Bayou the interesting point of difference for me is the St. James Parish Perique.
Saint James Perique tobacco leaf is quite rare as it is a whole leaf tobacco grown and cured by a small family farm in rural Saint James Parish.
Saint James Perique tobacco leaf is highly regarded as the truffle of pipe tobaccos and is used as a component in many blended pipe tobaccos. Many smokers consider it too strong to be smoked standalone...
Saint James Perique is very hard to find in a whole leaf tobacco form [main stem in-tact]. With just a little air drying, the leaves quickly brown and are cleaned and packed into hickory whiskey barrels. The tobacco leaves are kept under pressure using oak blocks and massive screw jacks, forcing virtually all of the air out of the moist leaves. Approximately once a month the pressure is released, and each section is worked by hand to allow some air back into the tobacco. After a year of this treatment process, the perique is ready for smoking consumption. Even though at this point it may be kept fresh under pressure for many years, due to the preserving effects of the curing process.
Another flawless sample. A little more 'storky' than the No.1 but otherwise it looks pretty much identical.
Burn & Draw Perfect draw and a better burn than the no.1 had, still a little wavy but not unusually so.
Flavour & Complexity All right, definitely no sweetness on this tip! Everything about this cigar seems a lot more 'normal cigar' than the No.1 did, and I think if I didn't know it was pipe tobacco, I would not pick it up naturally. There is a nice spice throughout that builds towards the end, notes of cocoa and natural tobacco as well as a subtile sweetness and the odd hint of berry. A little more complex than the No.1 also but overly so. All in all very bloody tasty tho.
Strength Opening very mild but that changes fairly fast and ends hard. Overall around 70%
Enjoyment / Journey Now that I'm onto the second of the 4, it's not as much of a 'surprise' as the first, but then this stick also didn't strike me as 'unusual' as the first did either so it lost a point for that, however the progression is great, the smoking is fantastic and therefor it was a pleasure to sample.
Overall Overall, yet another outstanding cigar from Saka, I do think if you were only going to try one from this line, this isn't the one... not because it's not great! it's actually a 'better cigar' than the no.1 in my opinion, but to me this is just a cigar, not a fun, unique 'pipe tobacco' cigar if that makes sense? Luckily in NZ they are only available as a 4 cigar sampler, so you wont need to worry about that!
I rate this cigar 92 points.
A look at the numbers.
Construction -- 10/10
Burn -- 9/10
Draw -- 10/10
Flavour -- 9/10
Complexity -- 8/10
First 1/3 -- 8/10
Second 1/3 -- 9/10
Third 1/3 -- 10/10
Journey -- 9/10
Value -- 10/10