Archive for the ‘Esteli’ Tag

Cruzado Dantes Cigar Review

Another one of Dion Giolito’s masterpieces is under review this week. The Cruzado.

Cruzado

Cruzado

I have heard of these cigars, but most shops locally in El Paso, Texas don’t even carry Illusione cigars, so unless I was to receive these as a gift or trade, I probably never would have got my grubby little paws on one.

Luckily, a great little shop by the name of Tobacco Road recently jumped on the Illusione bandwagon and not only started stocking Illusione cigars, but Cruzado as well. Adam, the owner of the shop, actually gifted me a few of the Cruzado cigars in hopes to spread word of the brand. If you’re ever in town, Tobacco Road is a must-stop.

The Good Stuff: As stated earlier, the Cruzado line of cigars is another line blended by the mastermind himself, Dion Giolito. The Cruzado line was released in mid 2008. With the success of Dion’s Illusione lines the Cruzado had quite a bit of hype to live up to. Unlike the full-bodied Illusione cigars the Cruzado is best described as a medium to full, with complex flavors, soft spices atop leather and general creaminess. The size I have recieved is the Dantes Robusto. The Cruzado is blended by Dion, and then rolled in the Raices Cubanas along with the rest of the Illusione line.

Size: 5 x 48 –  Wrapper: Nicaragua Criollo  –  Binder/Filler: Nicaraguan/Honduran  – Strength: Medium

Cruzado

Cruzado

Prelight: The Cruzado’s wrapper is very firm to the touch. There were no soft spots whatsoever, actually quite the opposite. The wrapper was nice and oily, but at the same time it seemed a bit firmer than what I was used to. As most of Dion’s cigars the Cruzado sports a nice, rounded triple cap. I really wish more cigar manufacturers would take a que from Cuban construction and triple wrap their caps. The cap seems to be the only portion of the cigar I ever really have any problems with. not only is the wrapper a nice, milk chocolate shade of brown, but it also carries with it chocolate scents with hints of spice. The foot of the Cruzado smells very leathery with notes of nutmeg.

Cruzado

Cruzado

Cold Draw: I cut this particular cigar using my Palio double-bladed cutter. The cut was very clean, and there were no signs of misconstruction upon the slice. The cold draw was very spicy, with timid hints of what I could only categorize best as German pastry.

First Smoke: The Cruzado was wrapped a bit too tight for my liking. I was able to pull a decent draw off of the cigar but it took far more hits than I am used to. Almost instantaneously I was smacked in the face with a burst of pepper I wasn’t expecting. Other flavors were oats, bread, spice, cinnamon, nutmeg, leather, and again the German pastry. The Cruzado didn’t leave much of an aftertaste, just the slight lingering tobacco taste that is expected when smoking cigars. The burn started off well but is beginning to get slightly wavy. It’s still too early into the cigar to tell how this will affect the overall experience. The Cruzado is a great retro-hale cigar, clean, non-burning. I got about and inch and a half into the Cruzado before the ash gave way for the first time.

Cruzado

Cruzado

Halfway There: Shortly after I reached the halfway point the draw began to open up a whole lot more. I was no longer having to hit this cigar three or four times to get the massive burst of smoke I wanted. The burn line did get a bit wavy and I had to touch it up, I don’t see any further issues with it though. The flavors are holding their own. At this point the pepper is no longer in the mix, more spice, vanilla, oats, and bread. I’m really quite surprised how slow this cigar is burning. The smoke is thick and very light in color where as the ash is a whole lot darker than what you would normally expect out of any cigar. It’s not really flaky, but it isn’t really packed either.

cruzado5

Cruzado

Finish: There was a slight harshness to the nub of the Cruzado, but not anything serious. It may be in part to the massive smoking I did early into the cigar. The Cruzado finished very smooth otherwise. There was no nicotine feel. Overall the Cruzado was an incredibly smooth smoke. The pepper made a quick return towards the end of the cigar, but just enough to effect the aftertaste. After the halfway touch-up I had no further burn issues at all. The flavors finished off very Vanilla Coffee Creamery, with Oaky Leather and hints of pepper.

Cruzado

Cruzado

Overview: Although the Cruzado had great flavors, and was extremely smooth, it was just a little on the light side for my taste. This isn’t to say I won’t have it again. I actually think the Cruzado will be one of the few Medium smoke I will have in my regular rotation. This is a perfect cigar for novice and casual smokers.

Cruzado

Cruzado

Drew Estate Natural EGG Maduro

I’ve had a Drew Estate EGG Maduro sitting in my humidor for a while now, just waiting for its turn on the chopping block. This week his day has come.

Drew Estate Egg Maduro

Drew Estate Egg Maduro

This is a pretty interesting cigar. Unlike most standard cigar shapes, Drew Estate’s “egg” actually bubbles out in the middle to form an egg looking vitola.

Drew Estate Egg Maduro

Drew Estate Egg Maduro

The Good Stuff: If you can look past the extremely strange shape of the Natural Egg Maduro you will notice that it, alongside all cigars produced by Drew Estate sports flawless construction, as well as a complex blend of only the finest natural tobacco leaves farmed in Drew Estate’s own tobacco farms in Esteli, Nicaragua. I am not entirely too sure why on earth they came up with this cigar, maybe just for novelty? I’m not convinced outside of a “different” experience that there is actually any science in the shape. Drew Estate is the king of  different and unexpected.

Size: 6 x 42/70/42  –  Wrapper: Natural Maduro  –  Origin: Esteli, Nicaragua

Drew Estate Natural Egg Maduro

Drew Estate Natural Egg Maduro

Prelight: The first thing I noticed what the weight of this cigar. I expected it to weigh a lot more than it actually did due to the massive build up of tobacco in the center. But alas, it weighed slightly more than a similar length standard cigar. Hopefully this means it’s loosely packed and will have a nice, wild draw. The wrapper is a very dark, creamy chocolate color. The head and foot sport an extremely small ring size. There is no doubt on my mind that this will be an interesting smoke. The wrapper smells very natural/dry/leathery with a touch of cocoa. The cold draw is VERY loose, with slight tastes of mocha, and caramel spice.

Drew Estate Natural Egg Maduro

Drew Estate Natural Egg Maduro

First Smoke: I’m pretty excited about the EGG, its not every day that you get to smoke something as interesting as this. I’m also a big fan of Drew Estate’s Natural line, so if its anything similar, it won’t be less than stellar. The foot of the cigar took to my flame rather well, lighting up really quickly. Getting the first draw off the EGG however was a chore in itself. I had to hit the crap out of this cigar to get my first draw. You could actually hear the wind ripping through the center of the EGG. Once the draw came however, it was on! The EGG produces a massive freakin’ draw with plenty of lingering thick smoke. Retrohaling this cigar was a breeze. The EGG carries with it a very sweet, natural taste, with hints of cashew, coffee, graham cracker, and leather. The cap is extra sweet on this one. I enjoy sweet caps, but I know a number of cigar smokers do not. The burn line is extremely wavy straight from the start, but with a construction such as this you can’t expect it to burn perfectly. This is a pretty tasty cigar, it resembles the “Natural Root” to a tee. The EGG smokes more stationary than any other cigar I have ever seen. Not to mention each time I go in for a draw the front of the EGG blows smoke rings. It’s actually pretty interesting. The smoke isn’t bad smelling at all. Very creamy tobacco/coffee scent.

Drew Estate Natural Egg Maduro

Drew Estate Natural Egg Maduro

The picture above is entitled “the dying crane”. There has been rumors going around that you can actually make it through a whole EGG without the cigar ashing. As you can see above almost instantaneously I am having an ash issue. The foot of the cigar is already trying to break free. We’ll see how the rest of the cigar holds up.

Halfway There: As soon as I started to actually hit the “egg” part of the EGG I am smacked in the face with a strong, spicy, pepper taste. It literally comes out of no where. It’s accompanied by a subtle citrus flavor. Each time I put the EGG down it takes about five to six extremely strong puffs to get my first draw. This is semi-annoying but it comes with the territory, and the massive draw almost makes up for it. Because you have to hit the cigar so hard you can feel it heat up VERY early on a lot more than it should, not to mention the EGG is already pretty awkward to hold. Just after I passed the center of the cigar the pepper flavor balanced out and almost disappeared. We are back to natural/graham cracker/ coffee. This cigar is incredibly smooth.

Drew Estate Natural Egg Maduro

Drew Estate Natural Egg Maduro

The above picture is entitled “the elephant and the empty bottle of Chimay”. I am really surprised that the ash is still holding on. Even the foot that was giving me problems is hanging in there.

Finish: Oddly enough, there was no plugging, no tar build-up nothing. The cigar smoked creamy, smooth, and consistent all the way though. There was little no signs of any aftertaste. What resided was only that of a faint cardboard taste. And with cigars, a soft cardboard after-taste isn’t bad at all. I felt little to no signs of nicotine. The coffee notes carried all the way through, but the consistent graham cracker, natural taste is what won the flavor war. One of the most interesting characteristics of this cigar is this:

Drew Estate Natural Egg Maduro

Drew Estate Natural Egg Maduro

That’s right, the ash actually lasted the ENTIRE length of the cigar. Pretty interesting, even the troubled foot is still on there. About 3/4’s of the way through I stopped resting the cigar on the ashtray. I really just wanted to see how far this thing would go. Very surprising.

Overview: Drew Estate’s Natural Egg maduro is a fun smoke. It’s very smooth, sweet, and pleasantly scented. The cigar itself too about two hours and ten minutes to smoke, so prepare to ge acquainted with this cigar. I would smoke another one for sure if I happen to stumble across it. This cigar is really just the novelty. You can get similar draw, tastes, and burn out of the Natural Dirt Torpedo, and the Natural Root. I would recommend this to a seasoned smoker looking for something a bit different to have a some fun with. But I don’t see this becoming part of my regular rotation anytime in the near future.

Natural Egg Maduro and Chimay Blue

Natural Egg Maduro and Chimay Blue

This Natural EGG maduro was paired with a nice bottle of Chimay blue, trappist ale.

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.

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.

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.

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.