HBTC Review: Saga Short Tales Tomo VII

De Los Reyes introduced the Saga Short Tales series of premium cigars a few years ago. The series is presented to look like fine old books from the library of your grandfather. Each cigar is a different expression which aligns with the book series motif. This new addition to the series is called the Short Tales Tomo VII – Tales of the Land: Navarrete. It is the first box-pressed cigar in the Short Tales series. Here is Matt’s review of the Tomo VII.

The Saga Short Tales series includes cigars in a variety of sizes and blends. They debuted in 2016 and have added new expressions ever since.

Saga Short Tales Tomo VII
MSRP: $9.30
Size: 5 x 52
Origin: De Los Reyes (Dominican Republic)
Wrapper: Habano (Nicaragua)
Binder: San Vicente (Dominican Republic)
Filler: Criollo 98, HVA, Piloto Cubano (Dominican Republic)

The wrapper leaf on the Tomo VII has that dry grocery bag texture. It really has no oil sheen to speak of and the surface is somewhat rustic, with defined seams and a slight tooth. The aroma from the wrapper is very faint, with just a little cedar. The foot of the cigar smells a little musty, and reminds me of dry grass and black tea. The cold draw is relatively clean, with some more of that dry grass and a little spice.

Act I
Flavors of this blend start out with some mild pepper and a dryness that is like limestone or drywall dust. There’s a tannic note that is more like Angostura bitters than brewed tea leaves. The smoke output is minimal, even though the cigar seems to be burning relatively hot. There isn’t really much to the retrohale at all, other than a little cedar and mild pepper.

Act II
The flavors and performance are pretty much unchanged in the middle section. There is still a dry-mineral note that covers everything. The bitterness and tannic notes are accompanied by a little cedar wood, but mostly just the dryness on the palate. The retrohale is aromas of dry grass and some mustiness.

Well, there really isn’t much new to report in this final section. It’s really more of the same, just with a little more intensity. The bitter notes are ramped up a bit above and beyond the dryness. The only new thing I can sense is a slight salty finish at the end. Otherwise it’s the same wood, grass, and dry minerals. The retrohale is somewhat unpleasant at the very end, almost sour.

I was excited to try this cigar because I had just been introduced to Saga cigars about a year ago. Unfortunately, this cigar just did not work for me at all. Of all the ones I smoked, they really had trouble burning properly, and the smoke output was minimal. I fully understand that there are some smokers who prefer a really dry profile on the palate, but this one just did not deliver enough balance to make it worth the smoking experience for me. If a mostly dry and bitter profile is in your wheelhouse, try one.

Saga Short Tales Tomo VII – How Bout That Cigar?
Rating: How Bout Try One?
Overall Score: 74
PAD: -1.5 (What is PAD?)
Flavor Summary: Dry Minerals, Earth, Dry Grass, Wood, Bitters
Strength Assessment: Medium
Source: Cigars for this review were provided by Saga Cigars/De Los Reyes

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