Archive for the ‘infusion’ Tag

ACID One by Drew Estate Cigar Review

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

ACID one by Drew Estate

ACID one by Drew Estate

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

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

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

ACID one by Drew Estate

ACID one by Drew Estate

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

ACID One by Drew Estate

ACID One by Drew Estate

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

ACID One by Drew Estate

ACID One by Drew Estate

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

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

ACID One by Drew Estate

ACID One by Drew Estate

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

Advertisements

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.

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 ACID Def Sea Subculture Cigar Review

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

Drew Estate ACID Subculture Def Sea Perfecto

Drew Estate ACID Subculture Def Sea Perfecto

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Drew Estate Acid Subculture Def Sea Perfecto

Drew Estate Acid Subculture Def Sea Perfecto

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

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

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

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

Drew Estate Ambrosia Kaya Cigar Review

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

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

Drew Estate Ambrosia Kaya

Drew Estate Ambrosia Kaya

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

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

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

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

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

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

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