Cigar Ratings & Reviews

#NowSmoking: Stillwell Star Holiday Y2022

Reading Time: 4 minutes

#NowSmoking: Stillwell Star Holiday Y2022 Cigar Review (Video)


Blend Details:

Factory: Joya de Nicaragua, S.A. – Estelí, Nicaragua
Size: 6”x 52
Strength: Mellow-plus
Wrapper: Ecuador Habano|
Binder: San Andres Negro Cultivo Tonto
Filler: Mild Cavendish Burley, choice Virginia tobaccos, Nicaraguan

Presented in boxes of 13

cigar advisor #nowsmoking cigar review dunbarton stillwell star holiday y2022 - at famous smoke shop


The Stillwell Star® Holiday Y2022 Cigars Backstory

For their fifth Stillwell Star release, Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust® founder, Steve Saka, and master pipe tobacco blender for Cornell & Diehl, Jeremy Reeves, created The Stillwell Star Holiday Y2022. It’s a limited production cigar which, like its predecessors, combines the best of traditional black cigar tobaccos and pipe tobaccos. Here again, the blend is designed to showcase and enhance the nuances that a fine pipe blend can add to a fine cigar.

cigar advisor #nowsmoking cigar review dunbarton stillwell star holiday y2022 - setup image of cigar resting on its box“A tradition in Pipe Culture is for carvers to craft one-off pipe designs and for blenders to create special mixtures to smoke and celebrate the Holidays,” said Saka. “In honor of this practice, it was my intention to follow suit within our StillWell Star line of puros.” Additionally, this Holiday Y2022 release does not feature dulce cabeza [a sweet cap] like the Aromatic No. 1.


Cigar Basics

cigar advisor #nowsmoking cigar review dunbarton stillwell star holiday y2022 - by gary korb 1The Habano wrapper is spotless with a dark, even, milk-chocolatey color and an attractive oily radiance. Additionally, the triple seam cap was perfectly applied and the cigar was not just firmly rolled, but the rolling itself was virtually seamless. Beyond that, the cigar felt solid and balanced in my hand. Next, I cut the cigar with a double blade cutter that opened a perfect draw. There was one familiar tannin-like flavor but I just couldn’t put a name to it. I even used our flavor wheel. Well, that aside, I did taste something similar to those little bakery sugar cookies with the cherry in the middle in the prelight and that instantly got my attention.


Stillwell Star® Holiday Y2022 Cigar Review

As expected, the first few puffs of my Holiday Y2022 were very mellow. Yet, although the cap is not sweetened, the tobaccos did issue some nice natural sweetness. Next, it didn’t take long to notice that the cigar was off to a razor-sharp burn that exposed very firm grey ashes throughout. The smoke was well-balanced and mostly aromatic to my palate. Further along, the flavors were dispatched to my palate in dots and dashes. A dot of earth here, a dash of light licorice there, and that cherry bakery cookie. However, that was about to change.

cigar advisor #nowsmoking cigar review dunbarton stillwell star holiday y2022 - by gary korb 2As I got to the midsection the body seemed to have taken on a little more weight. Now mellow-plus in body, I recalled the Aromatic No. 1 being just a bit lighter. That said, the sweet aroma was almost identical to the Aromatic and very much like Steve Saka describes: …like sipping a cup of hot chocolate with marshmallows…”  Notes of cookie, fennel, hazelnut, and herbal spices formed the base flavors. So, what did the final inches reveal?

I picked up a more caramel-like sweetness mixed with some light earthiness and dashes of herbal spice. At this point, the body was true mellow-plus just bordering on medium. The spice picked up a bit, while caramel remained the main driver. Some tart flavors introduced themselves in the nub, but the sweet chocolatey aroma remained the centerpiece of the smoke.


Is the Stillwell Star Holiday Y2022 Worth Buying?

cigar advisor #nowsmoking cigar review dunbarton stillwell star holiday y2022 - by gary korb 3Let’s start with the fact that the Stillwell Star Holiday Y2022 combines premium pipe and cigar tobacco. Frankly, I don’t often smoke cigars of this nature, but if you’re going to do so, this is the cigar you want to light-up. I also want to emphasize that the Holiday Y2022 is NOT a flavored or infused cigar. That’s also part of its beauty. Listed at $15.30 (at press time), it’s a deep dive for a lot of cigar smokers. The Holiday Y2022 is not for everyone, but I say it’s worth buying for experienced pipe smokers and very curious cigar smokers. For one, the quality is beyond outstanding on every front from the textbook craftsmanship to the fully-aged tobaccos. Yet most importantly, it’s an experience you’re not going to get from any other premium cigar or pipe for that matter.

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Stefan M
1 month ago

Everybody I’ve talked to who has smoked this cigar, me included, also got notes of smoked grated cheese on the cold draw.

Gary Korb

Gary Korb

Executive Editor

Gary Korb has been writing and editing content for since its debut in 2008. An avid cigar smoker for over 30 years, he has worked on the marketing side of the premium cigar business as a Sr. Copywriter, blogger, and Executive Editor of Cigar Advisor. A graduate of the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, prior to his career in the cigar business, Gary worked in the music and video industry as a marketer and a publicist.

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