Archive for the ‘cigar’ Tag

Illusione Epernay Le Elegance

Right on schedule this week I set time aside to site back, relax, and enjoy an Illusione Epernay Le Elegance.

illusione_epernay_1

This Epernay was actually gifted to my by Agent 24 over at cigarspy. I have been trying to get my hands on a few Illusione’s for quite sometime, but no local shops anywhere near me whatsoever carry the line, nor do they plan to in the near future. (so if you have a few extras, let me know, we’ll set up a trade). I honestly couldn’t wait not only to smoke the Epernay, but to get a review done on it as well. Dion has a massive following, and his strength as a cigar manufacturer is quickly building up.

The Good Stuff: Illusione is a company founded by Dion Giolito, who started the company with hopes of creating a cigar that resembled old Nicaragua. Dion produced the Illusione line of cigars with only the best tobacco grown from Jalapa Valley, and Esteli Nicaragua. These cigars are perfectly constructed using Corojo from 1999, and Criollo from 1998 seeds that are then wrapped in Cafe Colorado with a near perfect cuban style triple cap.

Size: 5 3/4 x 40  –  Wrapper: Café Rosado  –  Filler/Binder: Corojo/Criollo  –  Origin: Nicaragua

Illusione Epernay

Illusione Epernay

Prelight: The Illusione Epernay is a bit different than most vitolas. This cigar sports a very long, slender shape. Honestly, I forsee this as a possible problem for the draw. It has a long way to travel, and not a lot clearance to go by. Luckily Dion knows his stuff and to compensate the Epernay is very loosely wrapped. The cigar is a bit soft, but nothing to be concerned about. I found one small soft spot directly in the center of the cigar, hopefully it won’t be too much of a pain once I get there. The Epernay is very light, and creamy brown in color. It looks similar to a pecan sandie, and even smells a bit like one too. The first scents I pulled off of this cigar were grassy, earthy, with hints of nuts, vanilla, and honey. The triple cap is completely evident, you can even see it through the blur in the above picture. 99% of the time this is where I personally run into issue with wrapping, so a triple cap is more than welcomed. Outside of the soft spot I mentioned earlier the cigar seems to be constructed perfectly. There is only one really visible vein, but it’s tucked nicely it and shouldn’t cause me any problems. The Cold draw was a bit surprising. I picked up on massive notes of spice right away. Seemed almost a bit Christmasy with hints of nutmeg, honey, and cinnamon. This cigar was cut using a Cuban Crafters double bladed “perfecto” cutter, and lit pretty quickly under my single flame colibri torch.

Illusione Epernay

Illusione Epernay

First Smoke: The one thing on my mind was the draw. How was the vitola going to affect it?! Honestly, if anything, it improved it. The Epernay produces a massive, massive, draw accompanied by very thick, large clouds of smoke on the exhale. This is a perfect cigar for retrohaling. It’s smooth enough not to bother you, yet flavorful enough to be worth the effort. Right from the start The Epernay starts to produce a very strong, spicy, pepper taste. Paired with the pepper are grassy, woodsy, flavors with touches of honey, and caramel. This Illusione is producing a slight pepper after taste that is actually tickling the back of my throat. The burn line is quite consistent, and the Epernay produces almost no stationary smoke. The smoke itself isn’t the best of aromas so it’s not going to be a very welcome cigar by non-smokers. The ash is very pepper colored, and fell off about an inch into the cigar.

Illusione Epernay

Illusione Epernay

I thought the ash would hold on longer than it did, so I didn’t get my usual snap just before it ashed. But, you get the idea.

Halfway There: Halfway through the Epernay there is a drastic change up in flavor. The pepper has simmered down quite a bit, and there is a slight chalkiness overpowering it. Don’t take that the wrong way, it is in no way dis-tasteful and actually brings a great balance to the cigar. The honey is a bit stronger and there are small hints of grassy/floral/nature mixed in with it now. I am starting to get waves in the burn line but, for sake of the review, I refuse to correct them unless it’s a matter of life or death. Along with the burn line the draw itself is acting up a bit. It seems as though the filler is burning a bit faster than the wrapper thus, making it harder to get a good draw after the cigar has been stationary for some time.

Illusione Epernay

Illusione Epernay

Shortly after snapping this picture the Epernay actually put itself out. I wasn’t babysitting this guy either. The wife wanted me inside to watch a movie so I wasn’t taking it lightly. After ashing before the relight, I realized it was in fact the filler burning much faster than the wrapper. I burned a chunk of the wrapper and continued on.

Illusione Epernay

Illusione Epernay

Finish: As I got further and further into the smoke, the pepper diminished more, and the cigar became much smoother, and creamier. This is how I wish all cigars would end. The honey/floral arrangement of flavors remained consistent through the end, and after the relight I didn’t have any further problems with the burn. The Epernay did get me slightly light headed upon standing up, but until that point I felt little, to no sign of any nicotine in the smoke.

Illusione Epernay

Illusione Epernay

Overview: Dion came through just as I hoped he would. The Epernay is an incredible cigar that I would LOVE to have in my regular rotation (if I could just find them). This cigar is complex enough to recommend to any cigar afficianado, and smooth enough for even the most novice of smokers. I’m not too sure on the price point on these bad boys so I can’t talk about value, but if it’s anything less that $8  a stick then you’re golden.

Illusione Epernay

Illusione Epernay

Isla Del Sol Churchill by Drew Estate Cigar Review

Trying to kick out another review before the week’s end, this time Drew Estate’s Isla Del Sol Churchill comes up to the plate.

Isla Del Sol Churchill

Isla Del Sol Churchill

First and foremost, before getting into this review I want to state something. This is a value cigar. And with most value cigars it’s very easy to just bomb them in a review, and give them the worst possible recognition. But, I am not going to base this review on the Isla Del Sol’s comparison to other coffee infused cigars. I will base this review on the value of this cigar, and at about $3.50 a stick for a Churchill, in a B&M store, that value is pretty high.

The Good Stuff: As stated before, The Isla Del Sol is a value line cigar, for the coffee enthused cigar smoker. The Isla Del Sol is a complex mix of Nicaraguan tobaccos wrapped in a beautiful Sumatra leaf. The Isla Del Sol is then, carefully infused with Sumatran Manheling Bean Coffee and shaped to perfection.

Size: 7 x 50  –  Wrapper: Natural Sumatra  –  Origin: Esteli, Nicaragua

Isla Del Sol Churchill

Isla Del Sol Churchill

Prelight: First of all, the churchill, by far, is my least favorite shape. I like the thick, toothy cigars. I’m not a real big fan of the long slender ones, but at this price, I couldn’t resist.  The first thing I noticed was the Dual band. I know it’s a waste of paper, but I think it brings a lot of elegance to the cigar itself. The bottom band which I failed to snap a picture of, just very thin, and located just at the foot of the cigar. It contains the words “Sun Blessed” where as the head of the cigar sports a very large, embossed band with a sun, and the Isla Del Sol branding on it. The cigar is VERY soft, and has very large veins. Usually I don’t care much about veins but these may pose a problem in the burn. One wrapper defect, directly in the center of the body there are two large cracks. I hope that they remain the same size, and don’t grow any.  Outside of those I don’t see any other imperfections.

Isla Del Sol Churchill

Isla Del Sol Churchill

First Smoke: Wow, this is one sweet cap. I don’t mind that, one bit, but I can already hear people complaining about it. A few puffs in the sweetness mellows out though. The first tastes are that of raw coffee, cocoa, graham cracker and roasted nuts. I am actually pretty impressed by the taste of this cigar. It’s no where near as potent as the Tabak Especial’s, but its pretty close. Most of the flavor that I am pulling from the Isla Del Sol seems to be concentrated in the wrapper. The filler tobacco isn’t that great tasting, but that was expected. The draw is very week, I have to puff it about 3 times to get the draw I want out of it. I think a lot of that has to do with the shape of the cigar though. The burn is pretty even I must say, but the Isla Del Sol burns a lot faster that I expected. I was actually surprised that I got well over and inch and a half of ash off this cigar before it gave out.

Isla Del Sol Churchill

Isla Del Sol Churchill

Halfway There: The Isla Del Sol continues to burn incredibly fast. In the picture above you can see the cracking in the wrapper. It actually gave me little problems at all, I burned straight through them. The weakness of the draw is still really getting to me. I am having to puff the hell out of this cigar to get the smoke I am looking for, and I know this will wreak havoc on the nub when I get there. The taste of the Isla Del Sol has leveled off a bit. The cocoa has worn off and is now being replaced with a raw coffee/pie crust. It’s not that bad at all actually. I have had to touch it up only once or twice, even then it probably wasn’t needed. I am just a pain in the butt when it comes to burns.

Finish: The Isla Del Sol took me only a bit over an hour to get down towards the nub. It had to be the quickest burning cigar I have ever had. I wanted to keep going down to the very head of the cigar, but since I was hitting the cigar like a beast to get the draw I wanted, the nub was pretty toasted, bitter, and harsh. I gave up way earlier that I usually do. One a good note, the flavors remained coffee-consistent throughout the length of the cigar.

Isla Del Sol Churchill

Isla Del Sol Churchill

Overview: Again, this cigar is a heck of a value. Would I smoke it again? Yes, totally. Would I buy it again? I would if I catch a few at a B&M, this won’t be a cigar I will go chasing after. Would I recommend it? Probably not, unless its to someone actually looking for a decent priced infused cigar. This is the perfect cigar to have laying in your humidor for those days when you want a quick smoke, but you aren’t sure if you will have the time to finish, or are just looking for something a bit different. I would totally recommend keeping a few on hand for such moments.

Drew Estate Tabak Especial Cafe Con Leche Cigar Review

I have been under the gun as of late, and hadn’t had the chance to kick out all the reviews I would like, but I am still sticking to the promise of at least one a week. This week’s is Drew Estate’s infamous Tabak Especial Cafe Con Leche.

Drew Estate Tabak Especial Cafe Con Leche

Drew Estate Tabak Especial Cafe Con Leche

Outside of mail order, I hadn’t been able to find the Cafe Con Leche in any of the local brick and mortar shops. A few had looked into them for me, with no prevail. I finally gave in and mail ordered a few. I hadn’t tried a dual-shade wrapper prior to the Cafe con Leche, and I was quite interested to see how it turns out. The Negra, and Dulce, although both coffee infused cigars have very different tastes. Not to mention torpedoes are my vitola of choice.

The Good Stuff: The Cafe con Leche is a limited edition half-breed of the rich, dark, Tabak Especial Negra Maduro and the creamy, smooth Tabak Especial Dulce. Combine those two magnificent cigars together, add a bit of torpedo, and the outcome is pure genius. The Cafe con Leche is composed of aged, coffee infused Esteli-grown Nicaraguan long filler wrapped with a dark, Connecticut Broadleaf maduro foot and head, and a soft shade-grown Connecticut leaf.

Size: 5.5 x 54  –  Wrapper: Connecticut Maduro/Connecticut  –  Origin: Esteli, Nicaragua

Drew Estate Tabak Especial Cafe Con Leche

Drew Estate Tabak Especial Cafe Con Leche

Prelight: Outside of the obvious dual-shade wrapper, the Cafe Con Leche sports incredible construction. I was unable to find any soft spots, or signs of unwrapping. There are two prominent veins, but nothing to worry about. The Cafe Con Leche sports two beautiful bands on both the head and foot of the cigar. I have always loved the bands on all the Drew Estate cigars, and this is no exception. I honestly think the thought put into the marketing, and appearance of cigars is almost as important as the construction of the cigar itself. Upon unwrapping the cigar is scented with strong cocoa, and coffee aromas. Especial in the maduro regions. The light body of the cigar is scented with hints of spice, chocolate, and light creamy coffee. The cigar is packed full and loose with medium colored filler tobacco.

Drew Estate Tabak Especial Cafe Con Leche

Drew Estate Tabak Especial Cafe Con Leche

First Smoke: This Tabak Especial lit up real quick under my little single flame torch. The first few draws is as expected, remarkably sweet. Being that I love infused cigars, that’s a great thing. The cap itself is very sweet. You are immediately thrown into a frenzy of dark chocolate, mixed with rich, raw, espresso like coffee. The Cafe Con Leche produces large amounts of very dark, thick smoke. The smell of the smoke is amazing, and not annoying at all. The cigar is increasingly sweet after a few puffs, but not overpowering in anyway. At this point the burn is PERFECT, lets hope that keeps up. I got over an inch and a half before the ash gave out.

Halfway There: The taste of the cigar evens out a bit as you get to the lighter shaded body of the Cafe con Leche. The cap of the cigar is still really sweet, but the smoke itself is well balanced, and incredibly smooth. I could go at this one all night if possible. The flavor is still holding tight with the strong, raw coffee and rich chocolate. Honestly, I can’t think of anything better to infuse a cigar with other than coffee. Oddly I can say this cigar would probably go really well with a glass of milk. Too bad I’m lactose intolerant.

Finish: I nubbed the hell out of this cigar. The Cafe con Leche had a perfect burn all the way through. I never had to touch it up. Drew Estate has always been known for perfection and the Tabak Especial is no exception. Towards the nub of the cigar the chocolate coated espresso bean taste increased in strength, as well as the tobacco as well. This made quite an enjoyable finish, a bit strong, but well balanced.

Overview: This is one hell of a cigar. Due to the looser construction the nub itself burnt a bit hot, but nothing unbearable. I absolutely love the Tabak Especial line from Drew Estate, and I am really glad all the trouble I went through to get this cigar payed off. I would recommend it not only to an infused smoker, not only to a non infused smoker, but to anyone interested in starting cigars. The medium-bodied experienced was very smooth, and would win over even the toughest of critics.

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.

Oliva – NUb – Cain Habano Ligero Belicoso Cigar Review

I don’t even know where to start with this review, but I am extremely lucky to have gotten my hands on one of Oliva Cigars newest products, The Cain Habano Ligero.

Cain Straight Ligero Habano

Cain Straight Ligero Habano

Being that I am new to cigar reviews, I spend a lot of time reading other sites and blogs. One name stood out as of late and its all over the internet. The Cain Straight Ligero is all over twitter, blogs, review sites, and even the buzz in local stores. Needless to say I jumped at the first chance to get my hands on one of these bad boys that I could, getting a pre-release kit courtesy of Sam Leccia himself. He was kind enough to send a few of these out before release to cigar reviewers all over the Internet.

The Cain line of cigars (at this point I believe is is just a habano, and a maduro) are the newest release from the nimble hands of Sam Leccia, maker of the famous NUb cigar line. The Cain will be announced to the world at this year’s International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers Event that took place this past week in New Orleans and is by far one of the most anticipated cigars to make face in this years event.

Cain Straight Ligero

Cain Straight Ligero

The Good Stuff: The Cain Straight Ligero cigar is, as obvious of its name, a ligero based cigar. Ligero tobacco is the absolute top leaves from the tobacco plant. These leaves are not only said to be the strongest of the entire plant due to the excessive amount of sun they absorb, but the most flavorful as well. Taking it one step further has always been a trend when it comes to Sam, and the Cain in no doubt withholds that tradition with its triple fermentation process. Easily said, the ligero tobacco leaves are fermented three different times, producing massive amounts of heat withdrawing the strongest, and most flavorful tobacco possible while at the same time producing the longest burning tobacco. Although the Cain states “straight Ligero” the tobacco in this cigar are blended with Seco tobacco to produce a true burn.

Cain Straight Ligero

Cain Straight Ligero

Size: 5×50  –  Wrapper: Ligero Habano  –  Filler/Binder: Ligero  –  Origin: Esteli, Nicaragua

Prelight: The Cain I happened to receive was a Belicoso (torpedo) habano. Which is actually my favorite shape. The construction of this cigar is magnificent. Absolutely no flaws, or soft spots. When I recieved my package UPS did a good job banging the hell out of the box, so I wasn’t sure what condition the contents would be in. The Cain Habano boasts a very dark, very smooth, chocolaty brown wrapper. This actually threw me off, and for a while I thought I actually had received the maduro. From what I hear I’m not the only one who made that mistake. There were very little veins. The banding itself is remarkably simple. A black and gold band, stating the words Cain Straight Ligero is soft script; the perfect touch, the Cain speaks for itself.

First Smoke: As a trend in most traditional cigars I have had recently the Cain Habano took quite some time to get lit under the gun of my single flame colibri butane torch. The first tastes were that of a woodsy cedar arrangement, followed shortly by sharp pepper spice. The Cain’s spice was incredibly strong and flavorful, and at times actually tickled the back of my throat while the strength of the tobacco made my eyes water. The draw was decent sized, and very thick. It wasn’t wrapped too tight, just tight enough not to let the immense taste over-power the smoker. The Cain, even in its beginning stages, has to be by far the strong cigar I have ever smoked. The scent of the Cain was well-paired with its cedaresque smells, mixed with that of leather and spice. The ash built up for well over an inch before giving way.

Cain Straight Ligero

Cain Straight Ligero

Halfway There: I am so taken by the strength of the Cain, and the length of the burn. I can’t believe I have been going at this cigar for over an hour an I am barely reaching the halfway point. I’m not babysitting this guy either, I am hitting the hell out of it and the remarkably smooth smoke, with the great flavor is allowing me to do so. The taste is still hanging in there, and has yet to change, or decrease. The strength of the Cain has increased a bit by this point, while the burn is INCREDIBLY perfectly even.

Finish: When all was said and done the Cain Habano took me little over two and a half hours to smoke down to the nub. Again, I was going at this cigar like a champ. I am so blown away at the consistency in burn, flavor, and strength. Even towards the very end of this cigar, it was still a very smooth, enjoyable smoke. I took this down and one sitting, needless to say I was a bit light-headed and disoriented when I stood up for the first time.

Cain Straight Ligero

Cain Straight Ligero

Overview: The Cain is one hell of a cigar, and anyone who has had one should be privileged. Because of the strength, and flavor, I wouldn’t recommend this cigar to any novice smoker, or those with weak stomachs. But anyone who has ever enjoyed a few good, stronger cigars this one’s for you. I would buy this again, and plan to do so in the very near future.

Camacho Corojo Monarca Cigar Review

This week’s review (although a little late) is Camacho’s Corojo Monarca.

Comacho Corojo - Image courtesy of cigar.com

Comacho Corojo - Image courtesy of cigar.com

Although I am an infused cigar smoker, these were sent to me via a campaign Camacho was running. I’m not going to go into details, just know that because of this campaign I will not be posted any pictures of the cigar I took myself. There is good reason for this, and if you wish to see some just shoot me a message and I’ll send them right over. Outside of the Liga Privada No. 9 this will be my first tradition cigar review, so go easy on me.

The Good Stuff: The Camacho Corojo is one of the strongest cigars in the world, it boasts a complex blend of strong tobacco grown in Honduras from a rare seed smuggled out of Cuba during the embargo. Camacho Corojo is a connoisseurs cigar in that it is appreciated by enthusiasts who have over a decade in the hobby and a distinctive and experienced palate capable of differentiating all of the complexities of this cigar. Camacho Corojo is full-bodied and full-flavored. The annual production of Camacho Corojo is limited, making them difficult to come by at times.

Size: 5 x 50  –  Wrapper: Corojo  –  Flavor: Full-bodied  –  Country: Honduras

Prelight: The cigar is made-up of a dark, rich, oily wrapper that is extremely well constructed. The wrapper itself is very “maduroesque” looking. The cigar itself is very soft, with no noticeable signs of problem areas. There are quite a few larger veins but nothing that will get in the way of enjoyment. The sent of the cigar is very earthy, and almost dirty (but in a good way). The cigar sports a very rounded double cap.

First Smoke: This cigar took quite a bit of time and maneuvering to get lit properly. That caught me a bit off guard as well as how tight the draw seemed to be. After a few larger hits the draw loosened up quite a bit and became incredibly large with huge clouds of very thick smoke. The first tastes were that of a strong cedar flavor, backed by lots of spice, and even a bit of leather. The strength of this tobacco is definitely evident in this smoke. I remember turning to my wife and actually saying “Holy crap this is a strong cigar”, a few times.  The cigar is burning pretty even at this point, but it did ash a whole lot sooner than I though. About a quarter of an inch in. Hopefully this isn’t a trend.

Halfway Through: I am still blown away by the massive strength of this cigar. I’m used to “girly” infused cigars, nothing of this magnitude. It keeps things interesting. The flavor is still very consistence. My tongue and throat are taking a beating to the black pepper spice taste. Its really good actually. The burn is remaining consistent, and the ash is staying on a lot longer now. The only downfall is I am having to touch this cigar up quite a bit for the burn to remain evenly lit. A lot of people mind this, I don’t. Any excuse to play with fire keeps me entertained.

Finish: As much as I wanted to nub this cigar I couldn’t quite make it. I’m not used to these massively powerful cigars, and quite frankly it kicked my ass a bit. I admit defeat. I did get pretty close though. The taste remained almost perfectly consistent throughout the smoke, where as the cigar itself started out incredibly strong and only grew as I smoked it. One note is the fact that I walked away from this cigar with very little after taste. My mouth was a bit puckered by the strength of the tobacco, but it didn’t have that cigar aftertaste to it.

Overview: The Camacho Corojo is one hell of a cigar. I wouldn’t recommend it to any beginner cigar smoker, but definitely a seasoned one. This cigar left me very light headed, and in awe of its flavor, and power-packed strength. I will have this one again I am sure.

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.

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).