Archive for the ‘cocoa’ Tag

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.

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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.

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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REVIEWS
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
The Connecticut is smooth and creamy while the mad… – Hubert Novaks

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