Stillwell Star Navy No. 1056 review by Don José
Hey team, Don José here back with another review.
Today we have the
Stillwell Star Navy No. 1056
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: Burley, Latakia, Turkish
"A crumble cake of stoved Red and Golden Virginia tobaccos with a touch of “Naval Rations” combined with Orientals and Latakia expertly blended with dark air-cured black cigar leaf. This puro rewards the smoker with a unique, medium bodied aromatic indulgence."
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.
Golden Virginia is one of the more common pipe tobaccos, a 'standard' pipe tobacco it could even be called. This is the second stick in this line we have seen it in (the Aromatic was the other) but Golden Virginia isn't really the notable point here, the word navy is.
During WW1 Tobacco was viewed as "indispensable to the war effort" and was included in the daily rations given to the US soldiers. This continued through WW2 and right up until 1975. This cigar is said to include 'Naval Rations' hence the name Navy, but what exactly is Naval Rations tobacco?
Well, I don't know for sure... but to the best of my knowledge there were two key brands of cigarettes given out to the US Navy in rations. Old Gold and Chesterfield. Both are US brands and both are discontinued. Old gold is a 'newer brand', being released in 1926 so obv that was not included in WW1. Chesterfield however was released in 1896.
Chesterfield cigarettes were named after their origin of Chesterfield County, Virginia
and given that the description of this cigar reads "Red and Golden Virginia tobaccos with a touch of “Naval Rations”, before saying "combined with Orientals and Latakia expertly blended with dark air-cured black cigar leaf", it would seem that the 'Naval Rations' is lumped with the two Virginias so my money is on the incision of tobacco from the chesterfield region in this cigar - Perhaps Saka will comment and let me know... I'll update this post if he does.
Update: Steve has corrected me, the Navy Rations is not a tobacco but a reference to using Rum used during stoving - exact message from Saka says "Navy Rations is a reference to the dark rum used to during the stoving - most Navy style pipe blends have some sort of rum enhancement. The alcohol in this blend is flashed off, but it sweetens the Virginia. As for 1056, not a bad guess, but it is named so in honor of the USS Connole FF-1056. That is the frigate I served on when enlisted in the US Navy."
Anyway. I am excited to line up the last of these great sticks. It's been a really interesting process to review and compare them and rumour has it there might be a few more releases in this line to come ;)
Ok, so let's look at how this one stacks up.
And once again... no issues here.
Burn & Draw A perfect draw and burn, the best of the 4 for me.
Flavour & Complexity
Lots of natural tobacco flavour in this stick. The blend is smooth and easy smoking and at times it's hard to pinpoint specific flavours from it. Throughout the most notable flavour for me was caramel, tobacco and earth with some touches of leather and cloves. There is a little sweetness that comes and goes and it has an oily mouthfeel.
Strength I did expect this to be the strongest of the 4 for some reason, but it's not, it's mid strength throughout.
Enjoyment / Journey Great scoring here. This is quite possibly my favourite of the bunch and this sample was a perfect smoke.
Overall And again, we have another solid offering by Saka. I will be keeping a close eye on the future of this line thats for sure.
I rate this cigar 92 points.
A look at the numbers.
Construction -- 10/10
Burn -- 9/10
Draw -- 9/10
Flavour -- 9/10
Complexity -- 8/10
First 1/3 -- 9/10
Second 1/3 -- 9/10
Third 1/3 -- 9/10
Journey -- 10/10
Value -- 10/10