Archive for the ‘acid’ Tag

ACID One by Drew Estate Cigar Review

This week’s review is another one of my favorites, Drew Estate’s only non-aromatic ACID blend, the ACID one.

ACID one by Drew Estate

ACID one by Drew Estate

I have stumbled across a few of these cigars in brick & mortar shops, but not regularly. The first time I picked one up I had no information about it, outside of the fact that it was an ACID, and i knew i liked ACIDs. That was sometime ago, and I wish I knew how to appreciate cigars back then as I do now, because I didn’t give this cigar the attention it needed, therefore, I hadn’t smoked as many as I probably should have.

The Good Stuff: As stated previously, the ACID One is the only non-aromatic cigar in the ACID series. But don’t let that fool you. Don’t go into this cigar thinking its going to have habano type characteristics. Any ACID blend is far from that, and the ACID One is no exception. Drew Estate states that the ACID One is cured with 5 different red wines, from 5 different countries, and then wrapped in the finest Nicaraguan Cameroon that has be cask cured for ninety additional days.

Size: Torpedo 5 x 54  –  Wrapper: Dark Cameroon  –  Body: Mild – Medium

ACID one by Drew Estate

ACID one by Drew Estate

Prelight: The first thing you will notice about the ACID One is its impeccable construction. This cigar not only has no soft spots, or signs of construction flaws, but is carries with it a perfect structure. I smile a bit when I unwrap a cigar that looks this good. The wrapper itself is Cameroon, but looks very dark and could easily be mistaken for a maduro. The first scents from the unlit cigar were a bit piney, and a bit minty, with a hint of cherry. The band itself is a bit different than the other ACID lines. Instead of the guy on the motorcycle there is a yin yang, placed over and image of the Earth, with a diamond embroidered “1”. If you look very closely in the right light you can also make out the words “Japan”, “Nicaragua”, and “Africa” written backwards across the stars on the band. Maybe these were 3 of the 5 countries the wine came from? The Drew Estate Website does state that one of the wines was a tradition Sangria from Drew Estate’s hometown in Esteli, Nicaragua. Anywho, the head of the cigar sports a very long and sharp torpedo edge, as the foot of the ACID One is concealed underneath a careful folding of the wrapper, much like the ACID Atom Maduro.

ACID One by Drew Estate

ACID One by Drew Estate

First Smoke: Again, I cut this cigar using a double bladed cutter, and lit up REALLY easily under my single flame colibri torch. I am not going to list 5 different times “this cigar tastes like red wine”. That should be a bit obvious. Instead I will note all the subtle tastes that I hit while I was smoking this cigar. First of all the wrapper itself is incredibly sweet. I like it a lot. The first bold flavors are a bit earthy, a bit of leather, mixed with soft grape and cherry accents, and a subtle barley. This is a more natural tasting cigar. The draw itself is very very large, but the cigar isn’t very loose. It’s just perfect. The smoke is very smooth, i could probably got at this thing for a few hours without getting tired. The burn is really consistent and I have yet to touch it up. The ash collected well over and inch and a half before falling into my ashtray.

ACID One by Drew Estate

ACID One by Drew Estate

Halfway There: The draw on the ACID One is still remarkably smooth. It makes your almost forget you were smoking a cigar. The taste of mixed fruit, and natural hints is still present, but taking a back burner to what seems to be a more minty, peppered, pine taste. This cigar is delicious. I had to touch it up once, just slightly, but the burn outside of that little area are perfectly even. One big plus about the ACID One is the smoke isn’t as strong scented as a lot of the other ACID cigars. This is one you may just get away with lighting up in a room fool of non-infused smokers without bothering a single one.

Finish: The ACID One finished just as smooth as it began. I nubbed the crap out of this one, and had I had a pocket knife handy I would have probably taken a few more draw off this bad boy before I threw up the white flag. The flavors ended very smooth, with of course a wine taste with hints of fruit and pine. An excellent finish. I had no problems at all with unwrapping, or burn flaws.

ACID One by Drew Estate

ACID One by Drew Estate

Overview: This is one hell of a great cigar. I really enjoyed it, and will again. I would recommend it to any cigar smoker, from beginner to non-infused. The attraction of wine, with deepened tastes that don’t overpower the smoker is a killer combination. The value of this cigar? It depends. Here in my local B&M shops they are priced RIDICULOUS. But if you can find them locally for a descent price comparable to what you can find on-line, do it.

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ACID Remi Kuba Kuba by Drew Estate – Cigar Review

I’ve had many ACID Kuba Kuba cigars, but I have yet to do a review on one. Since it is one of the higher referring searches on my blog I decided to light one up this week and kick out this review.

Drew Estate ACID Kuba Kuba

Drew Estate ACID Kuba Kuba

The Good Stuff: The ACID Kuba Kuba is the most popular infused cigar in the ACID line, and the first ACID infused cigar fully embraced by the United States. It is part of ACID’s Remi, or blue banded selection. Accordingly, The Remi line is Drew Estate’s most popular line if ACID cigars holding cigars such as the Kuba Kuba, the Kong, the Blondie, Krush, and my personal favorite, the 1400cc.

Size: 5 x 54  –  Wrapper: Natural Sumatra  –  Flavor: Medium – Full Bodied

Prelight: The ACID Kuba Kuba is a chubby, toothy robusto cigar. The first characteristic I noticed was the dark, very oily, sumatra wrapper. In infused cigars 60% – 70% of a cigars taste comes from the wrapper alone. VERY floral scents, mixed with spices, coffee, and tobacco could be smelt even through the cellophane wrapper, and only increased in strength once the Kuba Kuba is removed from the wrapper. The cigar is very soft, and loosely wrapped. There were no signs of defects. The Kuba Kuba had very little veins. My only complaint is the wrapper seems a bit thing although, I haven’t had problems with this cigar in the past I could see some future un-wrapping complications.

First Smoke: The ACID Kuba Kuba is a VERY flavorful cigar, more so than most people prefer. The first tastes are that of floral arrangements mixed with soft spice, clove, cinnimon, and even a mist of mocha. The draw is extremely large, and very very thick. This may annoy most traditional cigar smokers, keep that in mind when choosing the right time to light one of these up. This Kuba Kuba carries such thick, infused oil that the wrapper even looked a bit sticky, although it didn’t feel that way in my hand. The cigar lit right away, and had a very even burn. I got about an inch of loose ash before it gave out.

Drew Estate ACID Kuba Kuba

Drew Estate ACID Kuba Kuba

Halfway There: An earlier concern of mine was the thin wrapper. As you can see on the top image it became a problem. Luckily it was near the burn and it only happened for a short period of time. The cigar is still burning evenly, and the draw is still just as huge as it was when I started smoking the cigar. The taste is still pretty much the same, its just hard to nail down. Thing about getting a Hawaiian tiki dancer in full uniform, throwing her in a boiling pot, add a couple of green tea bags, some ground coffee, and some cinnamon for good measure. That didn’t sound too enticing but you get the jist of it. It is a VERY great tasting cigar, just a bit over-powering at times.

Finish: The finish of this cigar is always a bit rough. Since the Kuba Kuba isn’t wrapped very tight (personally, I prefer this) the tobacco towards the end of the smoke is always a tad bitter, and strong. I didn’t have any other problems with the unwrapping of the cigar, but I could see that as a trend in the Kuba Kubas. The Kuba Kuba is a bit strong for a medium bodied cigar, and very flavorful.

Overview: The Kuba Kuba is a great cigar for anyone looking for infused selections. It carries with it a great balance, not too strong, not too smooth. The flavor is a bit much, but that’s what makes the Kuba Kuba such a popular cigar. I would steer clear of these if you don’t enjoy smoking aromatics, but if you are looking to start, or already enjoy them the ACID Kuba Kuba would sit well with you.

ACID – Atom Maduro by Drew Estate – Cigar Review

Up next is Drew Estate’s ACID Atom Maduro from the Gold ACID line.

Drew Estate ACID Atom Maduro

Drew Estate ACID Atom Maduro

Following the Cold Infusion Tea and the Earthiness The Atom Maduro is the third installment (outside of the Krush tins) to the ACID gold line.

The Good Stuff: The Earhiness is a VERY dark maduro wrapped infused cigar. Drew Estate is good at keeping the oils, herbs, and botanicals they use on their infused blends so its no surprise the the Atom Maduro has none listed whatsoever although, they’ve been said to contain high fruit flavors as well as Floral.

Size: 5×50  –  Wrapper: Maduro  –  Flavor: Full  –  Origin: Esteli, Nicaragua

Prelight: This was actually the first time I have had this cigar, I have tried the Cold Infusion Tea (you can check that review out here) many times and just love the cigar, but I had yet to get my hands on the Atom. The first noticeable characteristic is the extremely dark, oil wrapper. This guy should produce some sweetness. Upon unwrapping I had to say, this was the best smelling ACID cigar I had smelt yet. It took me quite a while to start nailing some of the scents but the ATOM Maduro sports a very, almost perfume line scent with notes of Flowers, Tea, Roasted Cashew, Coffee hints of brown sugar and even Mint. Imagine all that mixed together in a very light infused cigar. Needless to say I was anxious to get going on this guy. The cigar was perfectly constructed with no soft spots. The Atom Maduro carries a nice rounded cap, big thick shape, and a very distinct foot where the wrapper is carefully folded over the filler as you can see here:

Drew Estate ACID Atom Maduro

Drew Estate ACID Atom Maduro

First Smoke: What a remarkable cigar. Hands down this shot itself up to one of my all-time favorite aromatic cigars just off the first smoke. The cigar is very strong and all the flavors are just hinted on the palette as to not overpower the smoker with the infusion flavor. The draw was just right, not to tight, not too loose and it carried with it REALLY thick smoke, much like the 1400cc. The more I burned the more the flavors combined. The burn itself was very consistent. The smoke smelled very similar to a ladies perfume, but not strong. Don’t let that shy you away, just be aware that it may bother other people around you. The Atom let a little over an inch of ash collect before letting go.

Drew Estate ACID Atom Maduro

Drew Estate ACID Atom Maduro

Halfway There: At this time I am still sifting through some of the flavors. This is such a great tasting cigar, the strong Nicaraguan tobacco carries itself really well. The flavor hasn’t increased nor decreased but it has morphed a bit. I lost the coffee flavor instead it is now replaced with a minty Cinnamon arrangement. This is a VERY sweet cigar. The burn is still very consistent and I have yet to have to relight, or touch it up. The strength of the cigar seems to be increasing a bit, which is totally fine by me. One note, the cigar had so much oil you could actually see it burning off producing its own smoke. You can see this in the picture above. This isn’t a bad thing, I just found it quite interesting.

Finish: The Atom Maduro finished very strong. The infused flavors lasted all the way through the smoke, as well as the strength of the cigar. The strength actually increased quite a bit towards the end. I felt a bit light headed after the cigar’s finish. I didn’t have to relight the cigar, but I did touch it up one or two times towards the end. No signs at all of any mis-construction or unwrapping. The Atom finished off just as sweet as it started with, I’m quite surprised that with a cigar as strong as this, the infused flavors lasted the length of the cigar. It did leave a big aftertaste, it wasn’t a bad one but it lasted a while.

Drew Estate ACID Atom Maduro

Drew Estate ACID Atom Maduro

Overview: I feel dumb for waiting so long to try this cigar, as it was right up my alley for what I look for. The taste was intense and very pleasing. While the strength was strong and held its own again the infused flavors of the Atom Maduro. I’d recommend this cigar to an aromatic smoker but not one who doesn’t like infused cigars. Its flavor would be a bit too much for them.

Ambrosia Vann Reef by Drew Estate Cigar Review

Finally getting around to finishing up the review for the Ambrosia – Vann Reef cigar from Drew Estate I had recently.

Drew Estate Ambrosia Vann Reef

Drew Estate Ambrosia Vann Reef

These were part of a gift sent over to me. Prior to receiving them I had yet to hear of the Ambrosia line which struck me odd as I am such a huge Drew Estate follower.

The Good Stuff: Jonathan Drew, founder and  Production Director of Drew Estate is always looking for new blends, spices, oils, and aromas to concoct his next infused cigar. The Ambrosia line is nothing short of his best. Ambrosia is very similar to the ACID line in construction but is infused with only the best spices and botanicals found throughout Europe and Asia giving it a very unique taste. From Clove to Star Anise, Ambrosia cigars are nothing short of masterpiece.  Each Ambrosia Vann Reef Cameroon Cigar is carefully blended with sweet, mild tobaccos from Drew Estates’ own hand – tended fields in the mountains near Esteli, Nicaragua and wrapped with rich Cameroon tobacco. It is said that these infused cigars are in fact the toughest blends produced by Drew Estate to date.

Size: 5×50  –  Wrapper: Cameroon  –  Flavor: Medium  –  Country: Nicaragua

Prelight: Upon unwrapping the cellophane you are hammered with a smell of fresh cloves, hints of pine, and sweet ginger. The wrapper is a creamy medium brown with very small veins. The construction is as close to perfect as it gets. There are no soft spots. The Ambrosia Vann Reef cigar sports a very rounded cap and its wrapped very tight, maybe even a bit to tight for my liking. The construction reminds me very much of the ACID liquid.

Drew Estate Ambrosia Vann Reef

Drew Estate Ambrosia Vann Reef

First Smoke: One noticeable difference between the ACID Liquid and the Ambrosia Vann Reef is lighting. The Liquid took quite a bit outta my little colibri butane torch to get started where as the Vann Reef lit up right away. The first tastes are a little hard to nail. The clove by far is the most overpowering flavor, followed closely by notes of ginger, pine, toasted nuts, and even green tea. The draw is really tight, which I am not a fan of. I’d rather burn the heck out of my hands than deal with a tight draw, but for sake of the review I’ll deal with it. The draw itself is pretty large and incredibly thick, this part I do like. The Vann Reef isn’t very strong at the beginning, hopefully that adjusts a bit further in the smoke as well. The cigar begins burning very evenly. I got over an inch and a half before the ash first gave way which was pretty far considering it was a windy day out on my patio. This cigar was paired up with a Lindeman’s Peche Peach Lambic beer. An almost perfect combination. One note is the Ambrosia line banding is very un-like all the other Drew Estate cigar lines. Most of the others are very detailed, and embossed with hints of metallic silver and gold ink. A lot of time goes into their banding. The Ambrosia line, not so much. I can totally see where he was going with it (tiki – india, asia, Eurpoe spices) but it caught me a bit off guard.

Drew Estate Ambrosia Vann Reef

Drew Estate Ambrosia Vann Reef

Halfway There: There are still absolutely no signs of any flaws. Drew Estate is known for the perfection in construction and this cigar represents that to its fullest. The strength has increased a bit, but not too much. The draw is still very creamy but much too tight. At this point I ended up giving the cigar another quick cut, increasing the draw drastically. Now that’s what I am talking about. The flavor doubled. More clove, Pine, and tea but what taste almost paired up with floral and leather-ish notes. It’s incredibly tasty. The draw has increased as well. I have yet to have to touch up this cigar and it is still burning perfectly. No unwrapping or cigar flaws whatsoever.

Finish: I took this cigar relatively close to the nub. My head began to hurt so I gave in a bit earlier than usual. The only taste that still remains is the clove, and it is strong. I’m not a huge clove fan, but I did enjoy this cigar. A big brownie point was the fact that I didn’t have to touch this cigar up once. Perfect burn. The Vann Reef finished off creamy, and didn’t increase in strength a whole lot throughout the cigar. All in all it was a great aromatic.

Drew Estate Ambrosia Vann Reef

Drew Estate Ambrosia Vann Reef

Overview: The ambrosia line is definitely an acquired taste. I really enjoyed this cigar, however I wouldn’t recommend it if you weren’t a fan of infused cigars, or strong flavors period. The Ambrosia line is a great step-up alternative to clove smokers.

ACID Liquid by Drew Estate – Cigar Review

With all the reviews I have been trying to kick out lately, I get more and more excited to site down and come up with another. This one will count as my weekly cigar review and it is that of Drew Estate’s ACID Liquid from the Fiery Red label.

ACID Liquid Cigar by Drew Estate

ACID Liquid Cigar by Drew Estate

Out of all of the ACID series the red line has to be the most “either you like it, or you hate it” branded line. I really enjoy almost any infused cigar so even one that most people would hate, I’d probably still enjoy.

The Good Stuff: According to Drew Estate The Fiery Red banded ACID cigars are supposed to serve as a warning for the most incerdible infused cigar smoke of your life. These concoctions start with ripe, black smoking tobacco intensely infused with the best botanical and oils around. Some smokers are taken by the powerful aroma’s and vibrant flavors, while only the hardcore aromatic cigar smokers sulk in their bliss.

Size: 5 x 50  –  Shape: Robusto  –  Wrapper: Connecticut  –  Strength: Medium – Full Bodied

Prelight: The first thing that you notice about the ACID liqiud is it incedibly smooth, light, oily Connecticut wrapper. This only accompanies the Drew Estate – Perfect construction. Its very rare that a less-than-perfect cigar is produced from their factory in Esteli Nicaragua. The ACID liquid cigar sports a very round cap, and has no veins or soft spots. The scent is amazing. It smells very similar to the acid blues, but a lot lighter, and much more complex with everything from hints of wine and floral scents, to creamy nut aromas. I think the hardest part about this review is going to be nailing the infusion as this blend is just remarkable in flavor construction.

First Smoke: One thing I didn’t like about this cigar right off the back was its tight draw. I love big hits, and huge smoke. This cigar was just wrapped much tighter than I am used to. Most of Drew Estate’s ACID cigars are very loose producing a remarkable draw that produces massive amounts of flavor. I’m scared this will make the pallet that much hard to nail down. Upon my first few draws my tastebuds were overwhelmed with a strong, and slightly bitter taste. Notes of dark wine, cashew, and a very floral combination. There were very slight hints of cedar, but i think those may have came to to storage of my humidor. This cigar didn’t leave much of an aftertaste. I got about an inch and a half before the first ash gave way.

Halfway There: The ACID liquid has become very bold in strength and continues to step it up. The flavor is still there although its beginning to soften on the floral end and just become much more wine/tobacco based. Still not much of and aftertaste and the draw is much too tight for my liking. I’m beginning to feel light headed at this point, but I’m not sure if its the massive hits I have to take off this cigar to produce any kind of draw or if its the bold strength of the tobacco. Still no signs at all of any misconstruction, and the burn is absolutely perfect.

Finish: Drew Estate’s ACID Liquid finished off incredibly strong. By the end of the cigar the flavor was almost gone, but the tobacco strength was almost double what it began with. I took this cigar close enough to the nub to call it quits. Again, no signs of unwrapping and the burn was near perfect all the way through.

Overview: Despite my negative reviews this cigar was not a bad smoke at all. I’m just overly critical when it comes to any of the ACID branded cigars. My only miff with the cigar was the tight draw. I have two of these guys and both are the same so it has to be a consistency issue. One thought is that the flavor is so complex, the draw must be tighter to not only get the full effect, but to carry the flavor all the way through the smoke. Just an opinion though.

Would I try it again? Yes, but not an everyday smoke.

Would I suggest it? Totally, especially to anyone who is into cigars, and interested in trying aromatics.

Drew Estate Natural Root Cigar Review

Finally grinding down the gears and getting to a few reviews I have been neglecting. Not that they are bad cigars, I’ve just had so many since I started reviewing. Today I am reviewing Drew Estate’s Natural Root.

Drew Estate Natural Root

Drew Estate Natural Root

Natural is a long-time running blend from Drew Estate’s Production Director Jonathan Drew’s insane mind. There are many different blends, wrappers, and shapes to this line, each one very different from the other, all equally enjoyable.

The Good Stuff: Each cigar from the Natural line is composed of all-natural black smoking tobacco leaves farmed in Syria, Turkey, St. James Parish, and other exotic South-American countries, and then combined with the finest Nicaraguan leaf, mostly grown in Drew Estate’s own farms in Esteli Nicaragua.

Size: 5 x 50  –  Wrapper: Maduro  – Filler: Nicaraguan  –  Strength: Medium – Full Bodied

Prelight: Much like the Natural Dirt Torpedo, the first characteristic you notice about this cigar is its dark, chocolate colored wrapper. The cigar itself carries a few larger veins, but not anything that will get in the way of enjoyment. I have had more than 3/4 of Drew Estate’s Natural line and I must say that I am deeply impressed which each and every cigar. This cigar is as usual, perfectly constructed with no signs of soft spots, unwrapping or any overall flaws. The head sports a large rounded cap, and the foot is yet another “shaggy foot” profile. I enjoy lighting these. The cigar itself smells VERY sweet with hints of brown sugar and creamy cocoa. As usual I am using a Cuban Crafters “Perfecto” double bladed cutter, and a standard single flame colibri torch.

First Smoke: Because of the shaggy foot the cigar is incredibly easy to light. It takes the pain out of having to constantly rotate the foot of the cigar under the flame. Instantaneously a strong smell of creamy mocha, herbs, brown sugar, with hints of fruit and wine fill the area. The cigar itself is incredibly sweet, not as sweet as the Dirt Torpedo, but pretty damn close. The cigar at the point is burning perfectly. The Root puts out a large draw, and it is very, very, thick and smooth. This may annoy some second-hand smokers, but the pleasant scent makes up for it. I got a good inch of ash before it gave way.

Halfway There: The Natural Root is still very flavorful and is getting more and more creamy by the draw. This is one of the first cigars I have had that started out strong, but became smoother as it progressed. At this time the fruit taste has vanished, but the mocha/brown sugar still remains. I am showing no signs of unwrapping, and the cigar is still burning as clean as ever.

Finish: About halfway through the cigar got a lot smoother, and stayed smooth all the way through the nub. The fruit and wine tastes are completely gone at this point, but the mocha brown sugar and almost espresso taste are still very present, but not over-powering. There were absolutely no signs of mis-construction. The cigar took me just over an hour to smoke, and that had to be the only bad part about it. Not that is burned fast, it was just a smaller sized cigar.

Overview:

Would I try it again? In a heartbeat.

Would I suggest it? To anyone and everyone who enjoys cigars. One great thing about the natural line is it’s not as powerful in taste as the ACID infused line. So not only aromatic smokes, but more traditional smokers and both enjoy and appreciate it. These cigars are VERY easy to fine, and at a very reasonable price.

Drew Estate ACID Def Sea Subculture Cigar Review

I have had a Drew Estate ACID – Subculture Def Sea perfecto sitting in my humidor for quite sometime. Due to the strong following of this guy I have picked it up numerous times when looking for that perfect smoke, but then placed it back into my humidor for lack of a day “worthy” of taking this one down.

Drew Estate ACID Subculture Def Sea Perfecto

Drew Estate ACID Subculture Def Sea Perfecto

If I am not mistaken the only place you can get these are through Cigars International. They’re awesome, and provide super quick shipping out of Pennsylvania.

I would imagine most other subculture blends will be equally hard to find. I have been blessed to have stumbled across 2 other subculture cigars. One was the largest cigar I have ever had. The ACID Hawg. This one was found in my hometown of El Paso, Texas at Kern Place cigars. The place is great, and Brad, the owner is an amazing conversationalist. They have two locations on the West side, one in the Cincinnat Entertainment disctrict and the other a bit further down mesa. They also have one (in which I frequent most often) snuggly hidden just off Lee Trevino on the east side.

The other is the ACID Toast. This I was lucky enough to receive in an infamous Acid Tin. Contents of these tins vary, but they are incredibly easy to find.

The Good Stuff: The entire subculture line boasts “taking cigar manufacturing to new limits”. Each small batch cigar is not only aged an extra year, but is also the most intuitive of infused blends. The ACID Def Sea is no exception. The Def Sea is a smoothly blended cigar wrapped in Sumatra seeded tobacco leaves and infused with the insane blend of flavors from honey water, to jasmine.

Size: 6 x 52  –  Wrapper: Sumatran  –  Strength: Medium  –  Shape: Perfecto  –  Country: Nicaragua

Prelight: The ACID def sea is a perfecto shaped cigar. This means it holds a torpedo shape at both the foot, and the head. Torpedos have to be my favorite shapes as they burn almost perfect every time. The cigar holds a very oily, creamy, dark Sumatra wrapper. It’s very close to a maduro, but no where near as sweet. Sadly from the picture above you can see that my cigar didn’t come in the best condition. Not only does it have a few cracks but the head of the cigar looks like its been smashed one time too many. Outside of that the cigar is great in construction, I can’t image how hard it is to roll one of these.

First Smoke: Kinda funny, but every time I smoke a cigar my wife takes the shaving from the head left on my cutter and sucks on it. Since she isn’t a cigar smoker this is how she bases her reviews. Oddly enough she looked at me with a sad face. She obviously gave this one a thumbs down. Being a man, I felt my review would be much different. The first hit was enormous. That had to be the best part of this cigar outside of the shape. It sports a very large, thick draw. Not nearly as big as the Ambrosia Kaya I reviewed recently, but large none the less. The taste. This is what caught me by surprise. Maybe I’m not a Jasmine fan but I really didn’t like the flavor produced by this cigar. It was really sweet (a good thing), with hints of honey, jasmine, pine, and cedar. The cigar itself wasn’t that flavorful at all and actually felt more like I was smoking a traditional cigar than an aromatic. The cigar was very easy to light, and burned very clean.

Halfway There: Another surprise was the fact that shortly after the first few draws not only did the cigar ash off (not even a half inch in, this may be due to the condition the cigar was in), but the burn seemed to have a mind of its own as you can see here:

Drew Estate Acid Subculture Def Sea Perfecto

Drew Estate Acid Subculture Def Sea Perfecto

One minute its burning great, the next its powerful on one side, then the other. It was kinda interesting to watch. Also note in the picture you can see the wrapping beginning to come undone.

The flavor is still there and hasn’t increased as of yet. As much as I would like it to. The draw has increased a bit and again, its the best part so far.

Finish: On a good note, outside of the image above there were no further defects in the wrapping. The cigar finished very smooth, but still lacked in flavor. I didn’t take it to the nub, but close enough to call it quits. This cigar just wasn’t as “Action-Packed” as I was hoping for. The cigar was still very smooth, and did not increase in strength as I smoked along.

Overview: Would I try this cigar again? Probably not. Would I suggest it to anyone else? Yes, especially if it is someone that solely smokes traditional cigars, or has a fear of infused cigars. I’m not at all unimpressed with this cigar. A lot of work goes into the subculture line and it clearly shows. The flavors in this guy just wasn’t my cup of tea. I still have the “Toast” in my humidor, and the “Hawg” was one hell of a cigar. It actually took me two days to smoke that one down (thank god, and my wife for my Cigar Savor).

Drew Estate Ambrosia Kaya Cigar Review

I know this is the second cigar review this week, but by pounded out his review I will be all caught up. Not to mention its hard to contain the excitement of not only spreading the word of these cigars, but its getting really tough to fight the urge to smoke the next one.

The cigar I am talking about is Drew Estate’s Ambrosia – Kaya.

Drew Estate Ambrosia Kaya

Drew Estate Ambrosia Kaya

The Good Stuff: Jonathan Drew, the founder and production director of Drew Estate is known for his remarkable ability to stretch cigar infusions to new, never before heard of lengths. From the ACID lines, to the coffee infused Tabak Especial lines, no other cigar manufacturer can parallel Drew Estate. The ambrosia line is no exception. These cigars are a VERY complex mixture of the rarest spices from South Asia, and Europe infused with aged Honduran and Nicaraguan tobacco grown at the Drew Estate farm in Esteli Nicaragua. It is said that these infused cigars are in fact the toughest blends produced by Drew Estate to date.

Size: 4 x 38  –  Strength: Full Bodied  –  Wrapper: Colorado Claro  –  Country: Nicaragua

Prelight: The first thing you notice about this cigar is its small size. Don’t let that fool you, this is one powerhouse cigar and packs a MASSIVE punch. The Kaya would be best classified as the “ACID Bondie” of the Ambrosia line. It’s comparable shade, wrapper, size, and cut are hard to overlook. Along with the round cap this cigar carries with it a small, entwined end. Although it looks a bit silly, I’m sure because of the size of this cigar it is necessary in order to protect against unwrapping. The Kaya is a very consistent cigar, it shows no visible veins, and absolutely no soft spots, and a very loose wrapping. As soon as you remove the cellophane you are engulfed with a massive clove scent, along with several spice, and botanical hints.

First Smoke: HOLY CRAP!! That about sums it up. This tiny little cigar produces the largest draw I have ever hit off of any cigar. HUGE clouds of very thick smoke. The flavor is much the same. The first flavor to hit the pallet is clove, followed closely by nutmeg, and even a bit of Cinnamon. The taste may be a bit over-powering, but that is the way I like it. Because of the cigars small stature I don’t foresee burning to be an issue, it’s going very even at this point. The cigar is VERY strong but overall smooth.

Halfway There: At this point this cigar is still a beast. The only downfall is due to it loose wrapping the sucker is burning QUICK. You may want to carry another one with you. The flavors continue to pound the pallet leaving the smoking craving more. The draw is even thicker as you progress and the burn is impeccable. I got almost halfway through the cigar before it finally ashed off. The cigar is still VERY strong at this point, but it is not bothersome in the least. It actually makes the draw quite creamy.

Finish: Incredibly this cigar has yet to loose its strength, its draw, or its powerful flavor. I really wish I had take another one with me as this cigar went much too fast (about 35 minutes). I smoked this one passed the nub, passed the danger zone, and all the way down until I could no longer hold the guy without burning my fingertips.

Overview: This is one hell of a cigar. I would consider it again, any day, anytime. It is VERY similar to the acid line in smoke, and quality. The main difference will be these taste. ACID cigars are pretty flavorful as is, most non-aromatic smokers despise them and should stay as far away from this cigar as possible. But any aromatic or ACID friendly smoker NEEDS to pick a couple of these up wherever they happen to find them available.

Drew Estate Liga Privada No. 9 Belicoso Oscuro Cigar Review

Taking a step out of the norm, this week’s review is the first non-aromatic cigar review I have done. It’s not that I don’t enjoy a good traditional cigar, but quite honestly I’m a flavor kinda guy.

These cigars were a special gift to me, and came in plenty. So Expect quite a few reviews popping up pretty fast.

Drew Estate - Liga Privada No. 9 Belicoso Oscuro

Drew Estate - Liga Privada No. 9 Belicoso Oscuro

The Good Stuff: Drew Estate’s Liga Privada No. 9 or “Private League” is one of Drew Estate’s rarest cigars, if not the rarest. La Liga Privada was created for the sole purpose of Drew Estate’s President’s personal smoking pleasure. Basically the creation of these cigars stemmed from 10 starting blends. From those 10 blends 4 unique blends were expanded for a total of 40 blends. Each blend was sampled but none were approved until the 9th starting blend (32 cigars later) resulting in the “No. 9” in “Liga Privada No. 9”.  Liga Privada No. 9 consists of 7 different cuban-seed aged tobaccos from 7 different farms from 7 different regions including The Jamastran Valley in Honduras, and Esteli Nicaragua. The wrapper is a dark, Connecticut Broadleaf with a Brazilian Mata Fina binder. As all of Drew Estate’s cigars, these are handmade. It is said that only the best “cigar roller” in the factory rolls these special cigars.

Size: 6 x 52 Belicoso  –  Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf  –  Filler: Hoduran and Dominican

Prelight: Liga Privada No. 9 sports a very, very dark, oily wrapper. Another flawless constructed cigar (would you expect any less?). There are absolutely no visible soft spots and only small veins. The cap is very “torpedoesque” but a lot stubbier. The cigar itself is very tightly packed which made me question it’s draw potential. The cigar is very earthly/cedar scented. The banding has to be my favorite I have seen come out of Drew Estate. A silver lion embossed on a simple white matte band with light silver Drew Estate branding hidden behind the words “Liga Privada No. 9” – handwritten.

First Smoke: As always, I will be using my Cuban Crafters “Perfecto” dual blade cutter, and a standard single flame colibri butane torch. The first few smokes were very light, and flavorful. The taste was that of cedar, strong/complex tobacco, and sweet spices (nutmeg?),  with an almost maple aftertaste. The flavors are very consistent, and just right. After a few puffs the cigar became increasingly strong. One of the first things I noticed was there were no bad tobacco aftertaste present after each draw. The draw itself wasn’t too big, but quite thick. Due to the strength of this cigar a bigger draw would have been a bit over-powering. I got a good inch and a half of ash before the first break.

Halfway there: One amazing thing about this cigar was the consistency. Halfway through the cigar and the taste and draws are as if I had just began smoking it. The main difference is the strength. The further down you smoke, the stronger this cigar becomes. The burn is perfect as well as the wrapper at this point. The draw is still really tight, maybe a bit tighter than I’d like. By this point I am already feeling a big light headed. Its been a long while since a single cigar hit me this hard. Maybe this is why the cigar was wrapped so tight?!

Finish: Again, I took this cigar all the way down to the nub. I would have gone further but it had to hit this cigar exceptionally hard due to the tight wrapping and it began taking its toll through heat on my lips. The finish was as expected; incredibly strong. This is one of the stronger cigars I have smoked. I actually threw in the towel earlier than I wanted to due to the heat and strength. By the time the cigar finished the wrapper was still in mint condition, as well as the almost perfect burn.

Overview: I feel incredibly lucky to get my hands on one of these bad boys. Again, I am an aromatic smoker, but this is one hell of a cigar. It’s key points have to be the incredibly smooth smoke, great aftertaste, and perfect sweetness. Will I have it again? I really hope so! Would I recommend it? You’d be stupid not to pay top dollar if you can find one of these on the shelf.

Drew Estate – Tabak Especial Toro Negra Cigar Review – Coffee Infused

This week’s review will be that of Drew Estate – Tabak Especial line. I have made a decent sized purchase from cigar.com as of late, and couldn’t decide which one I wanted to hit first. I was VERY tempted to try the Cafe con Leche, as I have yet to try this one. But seeing how I was pre-paired with dark beers, I didn’t want to get lost in its smooth flavor.

So I decided on the Tabak Especial Toro Negra:

Drew Estate - Tabak Especial - (Image courtesey of cigar.com)

Drew Estate - Tabak Especial - (Image courtesy of cigar.com)

Just like last time cigar.com was really good about shipping these ASAP. If I’m not mistaken they ship from Pennsylvania, and since I live on the western most tip of Texas, I didn’t expect these anytime soon (especially since I’m a cheapskate and shipped value). Again, I was pleasantly surprised to receive my shipment only 3 days later. Each set of 3 cigars came wrapped in cellophane, then placed in air-tight ziplock cigar bags along with humi-care gel packets. Then each bag was shipped in separate boxed filled with air-filled protectant pouches. Pretty impressive.

The Good Stuff:

Strength: Medium  –  Size: 6 x 52  –  Country: Nicaragua  –  Wrapper: Nicaraguan Maduro  –  Binder & Filler: Nicaraguan Sumatra / Nicaraguan Criollo

This is yet another amazingly constructed cigar by Drew Estate. It’s very rare that you get less than perfect from them. One of the first noticeable difference between this cigar and many others is the fact that it supports what is called “shaggy foot”. What a shaggy footed cigar is a cigar that’s inner filler tobacco leaves extend far further than the wrapper itself. Although it looks a bit funny it holds a purpose. By constructing a  cigar this way you enable the smoker to enjoy the tastes of both the binder/filler tobacco separate than that of the wrapper. Along with this it is believed that it gives of a much more even burn as well.

Prelight: Again, this cigar sports a flawless construction. The wrapper is a deep, extremely dark maduro which makes even the smallest flaw stand out. The Tabak Especial’s aroma consisted of very strong coffee with hints of cedar and cocoa. Unlike most other Drew Estates this cigar carries with it a dual band. One on the neck, and one at the foot of cigar. I am assuming this has something to do with the shaggy foot technique. The Tabak Especial Toro has a very well construction rounded cap, and a very oily wrapper. There were no soft spots. Again I am trusting my Cuban Crafters Perfecto double blade cutter, and a standard single flame colibri torch.

First Smoke: First of all the cigar was incredibly easy to light. This again, has to do with the shaggy foot. The toasting of the cigar was effortless, and resulted in a complete, perfect burn. The first scents were that of milk chocolate, lined with coffee, and of course tobacco. Unlike the Drew Estate – Rocky Patel Java, this cigar was much more mellow, and a lot sweeter. The cigar produced a very large draw right off the back , with large hefty smoke accompanying it. To my surprise the ask only held on for a little over 3/4 of an inch before releasing into my ash tray. The cigar was moist, so this was a shocker.

Halfway There: One great thing about this cigar is even halfway through and further the draw doesn’t change, and neither for the strengths and flavor. Tabak Especial is a lighter strength cigar making the smoke very easy and relaxing. The ash is still spilling off quickly, but this is not bothersome in anyway. The cigar remains in-tact and there is absolutely no unwrapping of any kind.

Finish: As stated in previous posts, I’m not a nub smoker. I usually give in with an inch or so still left. I don’t know if it was the amazing conversation or the fact that this cigar is so remarkable, but I took it all the way down to nothing. Literally, I burned the tips of my fingers trying to get every last drop outta this thing. This cigar is remarkable. It finishes just as easy as it begins holding its flavor all the way through. Absolutely no signs of un-wrapping.

Overview: What can I say?! Drew Estate delivers again. This is a remarkable cigar, from the burn, and construction to the draw and the flavors. I can honestly say even the most die-hard non-infused cigar smoker would be stupid not the at least give these a run.

On a side note: Recently I reviewed a Rocky Patel – Drew Estate – Java Maduro Box pressed cigar. To sum the differences up is pretty simple. Tabak Especial is a lot creamier, sweeter, and lighter than the Java line. Java boasts HUGE draws, and in your face strengths. Both come from opposites ends of the “coffee infused”  spectrum.

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A very smooth and flavored smoke,i just didn”t wa… – mark d
Smoked one that my friend gave me and need to buy … – Drew K
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