Posts Tagged drew estate

BOTL 2013 by Drew Estate

Cigar Review by Matt Zaccheo (guest)
Cigar Photography by Jay L (cigarphoto.net)


Jay’s Notes:

This week we are photographing and reviewing the BOTL 2013 – a corona gorda made by the Drew Estate for BOTL.org online community. The BOTL 2013, a follow-up to well received BOTL 2012 lancero (also made by the Drew Estate), was a limited run and was sold exclusively through online retailer Podman Cigars (* notice Podwika’s signature on the box).

Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
Binder: Ecuadorian Connecticut
Filler: ASP Ligero, Drew Estate Jalapa Ligero
Length: 6”
Ring: 46


Matt’s Review:

Cut: Palio / Straight
Drink: None
Palate: Fresh
# Cigars Smoked for Review: One

Prelight: Underneath the muted brown and cream BOTL band emerges some sexy! A quick look reveals a somewhat rough triple cap which is concealed quite well by the dark and mottled appearance of the Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper: classic spectral shades of brown and inky black with seductive subtle reddish hues. There is a uniform fine tooth and no real appreciable oils. The seams are tight, the pack is very firm, and there is one large palpable vein running the length of the cigar. Off the wrapper … straight tobacco and barnyard. Off the foot… it’s raisin, plum, molasses and dark chocolate … very sweet. The cold draw delivers raisin, milk chocolate and a touch of pepper.

Draw: perfect, comfortable and even throughout. I was a bit concerned prior to the cut/light, as the cigar felt very densely packed.

Flavors: On the first few draws, I was struck with a big pepper blast that hits hard and then almost immediately fades out and lingers toward the back of the palate. There is a core of earth, dark chocolate, and very mild cedar that emerge. The opening is a little sharp and astringent: I get red chile/cayenne on the tip of my tongue and black pepper on the back of the palate and the retro. There is massive smoke … classic DE and very Liga-esque. The initial intense spice is drying on the palate. As I get a bit further into the 1st third, the cedar becomes more evident and there is a sweetness starting to emerge, but my tongue is still a little spice shocked and won’t let it develop in it’s entirety. Just prior to hitting the 2nd third, the acidic/zesty chile and the ruddy/bold black pepper finally find balance with a rich molasses sweetness … and the transition gives up wonderful cinnamon notes that complement the dark chocolate and mild cedar perfectly. Into the 2nd third, the spice on the back of the palate fades out completely. The strength and natural sweetness of the broadleaf are in full effect now. The smoke has become much denser and creamier on the palate. Cinnamon, black tea, and rich coffee notes act to accent a solid core of dark chocolate, mild cedar, and that gritty Broadleaf sweetness. The final third is wonderful: cinnamon, cedar and chocolate. The spice is a distant memory…the smoke is creamy and rich with a huge mouth feel. Overall, the body and strength remained medium plus/full minus throughout.

Burn: A little wavy at times, but straightened out on its own with only one minor touch up. The ash was a ribbed white/grey: dense, tight, and solid.

Construction: Excellent throughout

Descriptive Adjectives: Mayan Hot Chocolate!

Box worthy: Start scouring the secondary market. Should age very well.

Overall: Initial intense diverging spices marry with an escalating sweetness to allow distinct balanced transitions. A bit of a roller-coaster! It was like Santa Fe collided with Hershey Pa!


 

 
 

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Liga Privada Único Serie Papas Fritas

Cigar Review by Matt Zaccheo (guest)
Cigar Photography by Jay L (cigarphoto.net)


This week we are photographing and reviewing the Liga Privada Único Serie Papas Fritas. This petit corona, made at the La Gran Fabrica Drew Estate factory in Nicaragua, is one of the latest innovations from the Drew Estate stable.


Cut: Not applicable.  A quick tug at the pigtail did the job. Not elegant….but efficient!
Drink: None
Palate: Fresh
# cigars smoked for review: Three

Prelight: At first glance, the pigtail cap on this cigar is rather unique and commands some attention. It is more reminiscent of the fuse on an M-80 firework or the stem of an apple. No coil: it stands at attention waiting to be torn off. There is no primary banding, just a simple and attractive boquilla band. The wrapper is dark and mottled with an ultrafine tooth and scant amount of oils. It’s resilient and thick. The seams are tight and the cigar feels uniform and well packed throughout its entire length. Nothing to suggest mixed filler here! The initial aromas off the foot are of sweet tobacco, mild cedar, and cocoa. The cold draw yields more sweet tobacco, cocoa, and leather with some raisin, zinfandel, and port notes.  Once the band is off the foot…it begs to be ignited. Let’s get it on!

Draw: Comfortable and fluent from start to finish

Flavors: Initial notes are of dark chocolate, leather, espresso, and sweet cedar. There is a quick burst of spice (cayenne/red pepper) that fades into the background after the first 5-6 draws….only to be acknowledged again on the retrohale. As the cigar gets going there is no doubt about it: it’s broadleaf baby….in all of its gritty glory! The smoke is dense, lush and creamy. It’s big on the palate. You can chew it! Production is not quite colossal, but it is definitely imposing and impressive for such a small stick. Classic Liga! As the cigar hits mid stride, the leather becomes more dominant. The generic sweetness is given a name: blackstrap molasses. From the dark chocolate and bitter espresso emerges a more dry dusty cocoa. The woody finish transitions from mild sweet cedar to more of a dark cherry and nutty toasted oak with some fleeting vanilla notes. Overall, the flavors are rich and intense. They come in waves and roll effortlessly over the palate. It’s game on and full Nica flavor from the get go! My palate interprets the strength to transition from a medium minus to a solid medium as I hit the end of the first third. Don’t worry….what it lacks in strength it more than makes up for with its vigor!

Burn: Excellent. All three samples were razor sharp. Only a few minor touch ups. Two ash drops and my first ash was 1 ½ inches long!

Construction: The excellent construction of this cigar is truly a tribute that must be paid to the rollers. This is no ordinary short filler……this is the result of passion meets performance. Total smoke time was 45 minutes – 1 hr. and 15 minutes.

Descriptive adjectives: “Little Big Man”. “Petite Power”.  “Liga #4.5”. This is ten pounds of Liga in a five pound sack!

Sleeve worthy: Absolutely

Overall: I have yet to meet a Liga I didn’t like. This was no exception. It is not just a commuter cigar! Take the extra 15-30 minutes…. and slow down….to savor and appreciate the gifts from the torcedors’ chaveta! 


Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
Binder: Brazilian Mata Fina
Filler: Honduras & Nicaragua
Length: 4.5″
Ring: 44

 

- click on photographs (slideshow)-
 

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Jonathan Drew of Drew Estate

It has been a while sinceCigar Industry In Focusseries had an update so I decided to dig through Lightroom catalogs for the right contender. This week we are placing Jonathan Drew of Drew Estate in focus.


Jonathan Drew (stage name – JD) requires very little introduction, if any. In fact, if you don’t know who JD is, you probably have been living under the rock for the last few good years OR you have chosen to ignore today’s Mecca of the cigar industry – Nicaragua. Why did I mention Nicaragua ? Well, if you had a chance to meet Jonathan in person or have read some of his social-media posts, you know that the man lives and breathes Nicaragua. There is that much passion ! In May of 2012, I had the pleasure of visiting La Gran Fabrica Drew Estate and the amount of knowledge, information, tips, tricks and passion that was pouring out of Jonathan’s mouth throughout the trip, was simply mind blowing. If you know Jonathan, you know that he can make your ears “bleed.” I call him the ‘Tobacco Poet.’ Just when you think you know a little bit about cigars and the industry, trust me, you don’t know much. Jonathan Drew and others are uber-cigar-geeks and they will hypnotize you with the cigar knowledge.


Another objective while in Nicaragua was to photograph Jonathan Drew to further contribute to myCigar Industry In Focusproject. When I think of Jonathan, I think of two things: tobacco and Nicaragua so I wanted to include these two ‘props’ while I was making the photograph. While my previous ’Cigar Industry In Focusentries were somehow staged, below photographs were made ‘gorilla’ style: quick movement, rapid in & out bursts, strategically placed focal point, use of negative space, rule of thirds, etc. I was pleased with the outcome. In fact, very pleased with the color version below. If you stare long enough at the leaf, you will find it “pulsating” and/or looking as if it had a 3D finish. 


Please consider the following post:
* Cigar Safari
* Liga Privada Lounge
* Liga Privada Unico Serie ‘L40′
* Liga Privada Unico Serie ‘Feral Flying Pig’
* Liga Privada No9 ‘Flying Pig’
* Liga Privada T52 ‘Flying Pig’

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‘JJ for JJ Day’ Tribute




Today, July 22nd 2012, the cigar community gathered once again to recognize the special ‘JJ for JJ Day’ and to honor the memory of the ‘Little Robusto.’ For those who are not familiar with this tribute, ‘Little Robusto’, who passed away at the age of 3.5months from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), is the son of widely recognized and respected cigar blogger – Jerry Cruz (stogiereview.com). This special day is recognized by smoking a cigar made by Don Pepin Garcia, appropriately called ‘Series JJ.’


In May of 2012, I had a pleasure of joining Jerry Cruz at the Drew Estate’s Cigar Safari trip in Nicaragua. During that trip, all attendees have visited the MyFather Cigars – the company behind Don Pepin Garcia ‘Series JJ’ Little Robusto project. Seeing Jerry Cruz talking & thanking Jaime Garcia and smoking the ’Series JJ’ Little Robusto (as depicted below), was special, even for me – a fellow cigar enthusiast.


Take your time, enjoy your ‘Series JJ’ cigar and remember The ‘Little Robusto.’

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CigarPhoto at Cigar Safari 2012 (after)




In May of 2012, I was able to cross another item off the bucket list – a visit to a tobacco-growing country. Although there is obviously more than one, personally, Nicaragua is at the top of THE list. I was very fortunate to receive an invite from the Drew Estate ‘The Rebirth Of The Cigars’ company to join the famous Cigar Safari trip. I have heard nothing but positive feedback from fellow brothers of the leaf so the Drew Estate didn’t have to wait too long for my acceptance.


Few other fellow cigar enthusiasts have joined the same Cigar Safari trip so I encourage that you visit their websites or magazine, respectively.

- Casas Fumando
- Cigar Brief
- Cigar Explorer
- Cigar Press
- Half Wheel
- Nice Tight Ash
- Stogie Review


The Cigar Safari was not only filled with tons of knowledge sharing, exposure to nuts and bolts of the industry, blending seminars, tasting seminar but also plenty of camaraderie and laid-back conversations lasting through the night, literally. I could attempt to summarize the Cigar Safari play-by-play but I would most likely run out of adjectives so instead, I will highlight few points and let photographs do the rest of the talking.


The amount of knowledge, information, tips, tricks and passion that was pouring out of Jonathan Drew and Steve Saka throughout the trip, was simply mind blowing. If you know Jonathan, you know he can make your ears “bleed.” Well, between him and Steve, they made all of our ears bleed, and some … in a good way ! Just when you think you know a little bit about cigars and the industry, trust me, you don’t know much. Those guys are uber-cigar-geeks and will hypnotize you with the cigar knowledge.


Not only was I invited to the Nicaragua, today’s Mecca of cigar industry, to learn about the craft and the country itself ‘from the ground’, I was given an opportunity to see and absorb all of it from the bird’s-eye view, literally. Never I imagined that I will be flying over Lake Managua in the helicopter, learning about the country, learning about the cigar industry, learning about Joya de Nicaragua & Drew Estate collaboration, with one and only – Dr. Alejandro Martinez Cuenca as the private guide. What are the chances ??? Seriously ! From cigar-geek’s and photographer’s perspective, this was simply – a bliss !


Speaking of knowledge and misconceptions, Jose Blanco dropped a significant load of knowledge during the Tasting Seminar. This is another one of those ‘must attend’ learning classes. Jose will take you through the basics, will challenge your knowledge, will address many misconceptions and most importantly, open your eyes and palate so going forward, you can elevate your appreciation for cigar smoking experience.


There are many other topics that could be covered in this post but I will leave you, the reader, with photographs and have you ponder over the cigar industry and Cigar Safari. No words can describe the amount of work that goes into the production of the product that you and I both enjoy – the premium cigar. One has to see this operation and the beautiful Nicaragua with his/her own eyes to appreciate what I have attempted to illustrate. If you ever decide to pack your bags, don’t think twice … The Cigar Safari is your ticket to the “Nica Paradise.”


At the end, I would like to send a special THANKS to:

- Drew Estate family for their generosity and hospitality – Jonathan Drew, Steve Saka, Pedro Gomez, Johnny Brooke, David Lafferty
– Joya de Nicaragua family – Dr. Alejandro Martinez Cuenca, Jose Blanco, Mario Perez
– Pete Johnson of Tatuaje, Jaime Garcia of My Father Cigars, Gary Griffith of Emilio Cigars
– Oliva Cigar Company
– and others (sorry if I forgot to call you out) who contributed to this amazing adventure !

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