Gran Fabrica Drew Estate

Drew Estate, Esteli, Nicaragua

Liga Privada Unico UF-13

This is an old review that somehow never got posted when it should have been uploaded.

I was in Miami one day and Pedro Gomez hooked me up with these, then still unreleased Liga Privada Unico UF13 cigars. The cigars look amazing with the dark wrapper, that shines from the oil, and the cute pigtail. I see a few veins.
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I cut the cigar with my Xikar cutter and the cold draw was great, I taste some acidic flavors with wood.
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Once lit I taste a full espresso flavor with a hint of wood and some pepper, but the wood disappears quickly. After a centimeter I taste wood again with some coffee and herbs. After an inch I taste more herbs and the cigar is nice and spicy. Halfway I taste more herbs and walnuts, I am loving this cigar. Near the end I taste wood again.
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The smoke time is an hour and a half exactly with a lot of smoke, a great draw and light gray firm ash. I would say this is a full bodied and full flavored cigar.
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Would I buy this cigar again? I would love to but these never made it across the ocean.
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Appearance: 9
Construction: 8
Draw: 9
Burn: 8
Smoke & ash: 8
Aroma first part: 9
Aroma second part: 8
Aroma third part: 8

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Categories: Gran Fabrica Drew Estate, Liga Privada, Nicaraguan cigars

Liga Privada Unico A

This is an old review that somehow never got posted when it should have been uploaded.

This is another Liga Privada Unico, but this one is not for sale, it’s a cigar that you can only get at Drew Estate events in boxes of 2. The cigar is 9 inch long with a 47 ring gauge and it’s a vitola that I like a lot.
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The wrapper is dark, shiny and oily with a few thick veins and a nice little pigtail. The construction feels good and the cigar has a floral aroma to it. The cold draw is perfect.
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I taste earthy flavors, coffee and herbs and the flavors paid fantastic with the vanilla from the Zaya rum I’m drinking. I also taste some sweetness in the cigar after a centimeter but the herbal flavors are dominant, and the earthy flavors are there to support it. I taste a little pepper in the aftertaste.
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After a third I taste herbs with a hint of pepper and a little floral flavors but halfway that changes to herbs, earthy flavors, pepper and leather. After two thirds some salted licorice joins the flavor party and I get a fresh aftertaste.
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Even though this cigar is so long it only lasted me for two hours. The draw was great and like any Liga Privada the smoke was out of this world. The ash is dark, flaky and far from firm. I had some burn issues with this well balanced full bodied and full flavored cigar.
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Would I buy this cigar again? I would love to, still have a few but only the Ilja edition.

Appearance: 8
Construction: 9
Draw: 9
Burn: 7
Smoke & ash: 8
Aroma first part: 8
Aroma second part: 9
Aroma third part: 8

Categories: Gran Fabrica Drew Estate, Liga Privada, Nicaraguan cigars

Liga Privada T52 Flying Pig

This is an old review that somehow never got posted when it should have been uploaded.

When Drew Estate started their factory in Nicaragua most of the people in the industry said “these guys will make it when pigs fly” but they were wrong. But Jonathan and Marvin didn’t take it badly and as a joke they decided to create a cigar called Flying Pig when they achieved what they had in mind.
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The first Flying Pig was the Liga Privada #9, that was a huge success so it wasn’t a surprise that the second release of the limited edition Flying Pig was one of the Liga Privada T52 blend. And that’s the one I’m reviewing.
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The dark wrapper looks great and oily with a beautiful pigtail. The cold draw is amazing and I taste pepper, raisin and dry tobacco.
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After lighting the cigar I taste earthy flavors with coffee and a hint of chocolate, after that the flavors change to pepper, herbs and that earthy flavor, the cigars is nice and spicy with a little bit of sweetness. Halfway I taste spicy herbs with a peppery aftertaste. The flavors change to wood with herbs and pepper towards the end.
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The smoke time was an hour and fifteen minutes with a great draw, a lot of smoke and a good burn. The light colored ash is firm. I would call this cigar full bodied and full flavored
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Would I buy this cigar again? I would love to, still have a few.

Appearance: 10
Construction: 8
Draw: 8
Burn: 8
Smoke & ash: 8
Aroma first part: 8
Aroma second part: 8
Aroma third part: 9

Categories: Gran Fabrica Drew Estate, Liga Privada, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , , ,

Norteño lonsdale

Norteño means northerner and that’s the term Nicaraguans use for the people from the Esteli region and it became a term where Norteños are proud of, the nickname of Real Esteli is ‘el tren del norte’. Norteño is also the second cigar Willy Herrera made under the Herrera Esteli brand for Drew Estate. I got this cigar when visiting the Drew Estate factory in Esteli last May and I’ve been waiting to light it for a review, that time arrived now.
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First thing that I notice is the weird shape, it’s a ring 44 cigar but it ring 50 wide so automatically it’s thin, an unusual shape and I hope pictures do it justice. The Mexican San Andres wrapper, which wrapped a Honduran binder and Nicaraguan filler, has a few veins that make it rustic. The band is simple. The cigar has a very pleasure and quite strong hay aroma. The predraw is fine, I taste some spices and some sweetness.
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A sharp pepper taste, mixed with espresso, that’s my first thought after lighting this cigar. After a few puffs I taste wood and spices, including some pepper. It reminds me of the Herrera Esteli although it’s definitely not the same. Close to a third it’s spices with some sweetness.
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After a third I get a little bit of dark chocolate with pepper. Halfway I also taste wood, the pepper disappears, it’s wood with a salty flavor now. The saltiness disappears, pepper returns again.
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The draw is amazing and as you can expect from Drew Estate, the smoke is thick and copious. The ash is light colored. The burn on this full bodied, full flavored cigar is good. I had to clip the cigar again after two thirds due to some tar built up. And the weird shape? Didn’t bother me at all during the the hour and forty minute smoke.
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Would I buy this cigar again? Yeah, solid cigar, not the best one I smoked but still very pleasant.

Appearance: 7
Construction: 8
Draw: 9
Burn: 8
Smoke & ash: 8
Aroma first part: 7
Aroma second part: 7
Aroma third part: 7

Categories: Gran Fabrica Drew Estate, Nicaraguan cigars, Norteño | Tags: , , , ,

Herrera Esteli Short Corona Gorda

I had smoked some of Willy Herrera‘s blends when he was still at my favorite Miami cigar factory, El Titan de Bronze, so I was really happy when Jonathan Drew gave me a box of the Herrera Esteli corona gorda when I visited the gran fabrica Drew Estate back in February of 2014. When I smoked the cigar I was a bit disappointed and didn’t touch the box for a year. When I gave it a second chance I liked it a lot and now I have to do a review before this box is empty.
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This nice little cigar looks great, a nice smooth and pale wrapper, a classic ‘old fashioned’ cigar band, only a few thin veins and a beautiful cap. The cigar has an odd cardboard aroma. The construction feels good. The predraw is fine and I taste spicy raisin.
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At first I taste coffee, slightly bitter but a pleasant bitter. The bitterness disappears almost immediately and I taste some dry wood with the coffee. This cigar is very cubanesque in flavor, but with flawless construction.
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After a third I taste meaty wood with some pepper in the aftertaste. Later some spices show up too, green herbs like parsley. After two thirds the coffee makes a surprising return. Wood is still the main flavor though, a little spicy.
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The smoke is plentiful as you can expect from a Drew Estate cigar, although it’s no undercrown or liga privada. The smoke is beautiful light blue with gray. The ash is almost white and firm.The draw is flawless, just like the burn. The cigar is medium bodied and medium flavored. The cigar lasted me for an hour and twenty minutes.
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Would I buy this cigar again? You betcha.

Appearance: 8
Construction: 9
Draw: 9
Burn: 9
Smoke & ash: 8
Aroma first part: 8
Aroma second part: 7
Aroma third part: 7
 
Categories: Gran Fabrica Drew Estate, Herrera Esteli, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , , ,

Tabak Especial belicoso negro

Now I swore never to smoke a flavored or infused cigar anymore after smoking the horrible Gorillafinger by Lars Tetens, but people kept saying that the Tabak especial negro was worth trying so I gave the Tabak Especial negro belicoso a try. I got this 5×52 cigar at the Intertabac trade show.
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I smell a chemical chocolate smell, the smell is quite strong too. I do like the band on this almost black cigar with a big vein on the wrapper. The construction feels good. The wrapper tastes disgustingly sweet. The predraw is tight and all I taste is that nasty chemical sweetness from the wrapper.
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I taste an earthy flavor with chemical sweetness. I also taste some leather. After three quarters of an inch I taste leather with that chemical sweetness. The earthy flavors have gone. After an inch the cigar gets less chemical and the sweetness turns floral. Slowly some spicy herbs show up too.
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Halfway I taste spicy herbs with a floral sweetness. I also taste a bit of red pepper. After two thirds I still taste the floral flavors, a hint of nuts and a peppery and herbal aftertaste. Near the end I taste pepper with a nasty chemical floral flavor.
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This cigar lasted me for an hour and five horrible minutes. The draw is great and I got a decent amount of smoke. The smell is chemical. The light gray ash is compact and firm. This cigar is medium flavored and medium bodied.
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Would I buy this cigar again? Not a chance in the world

Appearance: 7 / 10
Construction: 7 / 10
Draw: 8 / 10
Burn: 7 / 10
Smoke & ash: 8 / 10
Aroma first part: 6 / 10
Aroma second part: 7 / 10
Aroma third part: 6 / 10

Categories: Gran Fabrica Drew Estate, Nicaraguan cigars, Tabak especial | Tags: , , , ,

Liga Privada Undercrown belicoso

The Liga Privada Undercrown is the long awaited new release from Drew Estate. The other Liga Privadas, the No.9 and the T52, are hard to find due to limited supplies and this ‘Liga with a twist’ as Jonathan Drew calls them should be more easily available due to the use of a more accessible wrapper. I got this cigar at Intertabac, this belicoso measures 6×52.
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The cigar looks great, the wrapper is almost flawless, the band is awesome and the cigar has a beautiful and unique blunt head. The construction feels good. I smell wood and chocolate. The predraw is fine, I taste a fresh flavor with chocolate and pepper. The wrapper is leathery and thick.
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I taste coffee, earthy flavors and a pepper on my tongue. After half an inch I taste white pepper with some chocolate. I also get some wood flavors. After an inch I taste wood with cacao, the pepper has gone. After a third I taste wood with some cacao and some white pepper.
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Halfway I taste the same flavors but with a fresh acidic flavor, very mild, and some sweetness. The pepper moves to the aftertaste. At the two third mark I taste some cacao on the background with some nuts, herbs and a hint of white pepper. The aftertaste is peppery and mild fresh, like a minty freshness.
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This cigar lasted me for two hours. The draw is great just like the burn. I got a lot of smoke. The white ash is firm. This cigar is full flavored and medium to full bodied.
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Would I buy this cigar again? Whatcha think?

Appearance: 9 / 10
Construction: 8 / 10
Draw: 8 / 10
Burn: 8 / 10
Smoke & ash: 8 / 10
Aroma first part: 8 / 10
Aroma second part: 8 / 10
Aroma third part: 8 / 10

Categories: Gran Fabrica Drew Estate, Nicaraguan cigars, Undercrown | Tags: , , ,

My uzi weighs a ton 5×60

My uzi weighs a ton, yes, that is a Public Enemy song but it is also the latest creation of Drew Estate in cooperation with Joya de Nicaragua. All three sizes have a 60 ring gauge, the only difference is the length, 5 inch, 6 inch and 7 inch. I smoked the 5 inch version which I got from Jonathan Drew at the Intertabac tradeshow in Germany a few weeks ago. Even though it is a 60 ring cigar I was really looking forward to try it as I am a fan of the Liga Privada #9, Liga Privada T52 and the Undercrown.
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The cellophane wrapped cigar comes with a big, modern yet simple and therefore pretty band. The greasy dark wrapper is oily. The construction feels good. I smell a mild wood smell. The predraw is fine and I taste raisin.
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I taste an earthy flavor with spicy herbs although the spice tones down almost immediately. After half an inch I taste a mild sweetness too. After a third I taste some herbs, a bit of wood and a little bit of sugar. There isn’t much development in flavors.
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Halfway the cigar gets a little sweeter and soon after the cigar gets spicy too. I taste spicy herbs with a bit of pepper. After two thirds I also taste some spices. Near the end I taste wood and some herbs.
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This cigar lasted me for two hours. The draw is great and I got a lot of smoke. The pepper and salt colored ash is firm. I had some problems with the burn. This cigar is medium flavored, medium bodied and a bit boring.
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Would I buy this cigar again? Nope!

Appearance: 8 / 10
Construction: 7 / 10
Draw: 8 / 10
Burn: 6 / 10
Smoke & ash: 8 / 10
Aroma first part: 6 / 10
Aroma second part: 6 / 10
Aroma third part: 7 / 10

Categories: Gran Fabrica Drew Estate, MUWAT, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , ,

Liga Privada Undercrown robusto

The Undercrown, there are many stories about the creation of this cigar but the one that I hear most is that the rollers at the Drew Estate factory tweaked the Liga Privada with a new wrapper so that they could smoke a great cigar after they weren’t allowed to smoke the Liga Privada anymore because of the limited available wrapper. I like the story and I was very curious about the cigar as I am a big Liga Privada fan. I got this cigar at the Intertabac trade show from Jonathan Drew as they aren’t available in Europe yet. The Undercrown robusto will make a European debut on the Dutch Big Smoke on october 30th.
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This 5×54 robusto is wrapped in cellophane and will get a € 6,50 price tag for The Netherlands. The band looks like a signet ring and the wrapper is dark and mild oily with just a few small veins. The construction feels good and the predraw tastes like sweet tobacco with some peanuts. The cigar smells like a barnyard with some added sweetness.
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I taste a spicy and mild peppery earth flavor with some coffee and a mild sweetness. Soon I taste spicy earth with herbs and some pepper on the background. After half an inch I taste wood with herbs, the pepper is almost completely gone, the sweetness is completely gone and there is a mild freshness in the flavors. After three quarters of an inch I taste herbs with a mild fresh aftertaste. There is some wood on the background. After an inch the flavors are herbs which are getting more spicy and I taste pepper too. There is a peppery but fresh aftertaste.
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Halfway I taste some sweetness with the herbs and the pepper. The freshness in the aftertaste is getting more pronounced. Soon after I taste a beautiful and well balanced mixture of cedar, pepper, herbs and some sweetness with a fresh and peppery aftertaste. After two thirds the cigar gets a bit more spicy. The flavors are now herbs with pepper, the aftertaste is still fresh and peppery. I also taste some sweetness and a toasted flavor.
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This cigar lasted me for ninety minutes. The draw is great and I got a lot of thick smoke. The burn is beautiful and straight. The light colored ash is firm. This cigar is full flavored and medium to full bodied.
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Would I buy this cigar again? Oh yeah!

Appearance: 9 / 10
Construction: 8 / 10
Draw: 8 / 10
Burn: 8 / 10
Smoke & ash: 8 / 10
Aroma first part: 8 / 10
Aroma second part: 8 / 10
Aroma third part: 8 / 10

Categories: Gran Fabrica Drew Estate, Nicaraguan cigars, Undercrown | Tags: , , ,

La Vieja Habana torpedo

The La Vieja Habana has an interesting history. This was the first Drew Estate cigar, rolled in New York by Antonio Almanzar from 1994 till 1996 when the demand for tobacco, due to the cigar boom, left them without tobacco. They moved the brand to Miami where Perdomo started to roll them until disaster struck again and hurricane season caused a lot of damage in Nicaragua in november 1998. Drew Estate started production again in 2002, in their own factory in Nicaragua and since then there was no more drama. I smoked the 6×54 belicoso with the Habano wrapper.
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The cigar has a dark and mild oily wrapper with lots of veins. The construction feels good and the belicoso has a sharp point. The cigar has a strong wood smell. The predraw is good and tastes like dry tobacco.
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I taste a mild bitter coffee with a hint of chocolate. The bitter flavor disappears quickly and after an inch I taste something musty that is replaced with wood quickly.
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The chocolate slowly gets dominant and halfway I also taste something spicy. The chocolate keeps on being dominant with some herbs on the background, but I don’t care much for the specific herbal flavors. At two thirds the cigar gets a stronger herbal flavor and turns a bit ashy.
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The smoke time of this cigar is an hour and ten minutes. I didn’t get much smoke and the smoke I got was thin. The draw is good, just like the burn. The ash is light gray and firm. This cigar is full flavored and medium bodied.
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Would I buy this cigar again? Nah, I’ll stick to Liga Privada if I want a Drew Estate cigar

Appearance: 7 / 10
Construction: 7 / 10
Draw: 7 / 10
Burn: 7 / 10
Smoke & ash: 6 / 10
Aroma first part: 7 / 10
Aroma second part: 7 / 10
Aroma third part: 6 / 10

Categories: Gran Fabrica Drew Estate, La Vieja Habana, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , ,

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