Posts Tagged With: Drew Estate

Undercrown Shady XX by Drew Estate

Undercrown Shady XX by Drew Estate. When you think “cigars and hip-hop” there is one brand that jumps out. It is Drew Estate. Hip-hop originated in New York, just as Drew Estate. And everybody at Drew Estate loves hip-hop, it is the music you hear at their booth during every trade show. So when Shady Records was looking for a cigar company to collaborate with, Drew Estate was the obvious choice. And so happens. In 2014, 10 tobacconists in the Detroit area had the opportunity to sell Undercrown Shady cigars. These were a limited edition. It was a success, so the next editions were distributed through Drew Diplomat retailers all over the USA.

Now why Shady Records wanted a cigar is simple. The label is the creation of Eminem and Paul Rosenberg, his manager. Rosenberg is an avid cigar smoker. Sometimes it is as simple as that. The Undercrown Shady XX is the 20th anniversary of Shady Records. It is a bolder version of the Undercrown Maduro. The wrapper is Mexican San Andres Maduro with an American Connecticut Habano binder.

The cigar looks mean. A leathery dark wrapper on a short, stomp box-pressed bellicose. The blue and gold band with the lion looks great and the secondary ring with the Shady Records logo matches it. The construction feels great. The cap is smooth and pretty. The cigar has a strong dark aroma. Dark wood, soil, and barnyard aromas.

The cold draw is good. The flavors in the cold draw are raw tobacco and dark chocolate. Wood, leather, and spices. Full, Nicaraguan, bold like the lyrics of Eminem. There is some toast and roasted coffee as well. A few puffs later, a peanut flavor shows up. With plenty of pepper. The cigar is impossible to retrohale due to the strength. The cigar turns earthy, with cedar. Spicy and strong. The final third has pepper, cedar, earthiness, nuts, and roasted coffee beans.

Due to sad family circumstances, I’m not smoking this cigar in my well-ventilated office but in a shed in my parent’s garden. With a heater and the door closed. Within minutes this cigar leaves you gasping for air due to the thick and heavy smoke. The burn is even and the firm ash is white. The draw is good as well. This is a strong cigar in body and flavor. The smoke time is two and a half hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? I actually prefer the regular Undercrown Maduro

Categories: Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , ,

Liga Privada Bauhaus

Liga Privada Bauhaus. Over the past few years, Drew Estate has done some exclusive releases for the European market. For example an Undercrown Shade vitola for the German John Aylesbury Group. And the original release of the Undercrown Maduro Flying Pig was a project for the Dutch group Compaenen. Both John Aylesbury and Compaenen are independent tobacconists combining buying power. But never has there been a European exclusive Liga Privada. Until now. Last December Drew Estate made an announcement. There would be a European exclusive Liga Privada Bauhaus. And it’s available now.

The Liga Privada Bauhaus gets its name from the architectural movement Bauhaus. The Short Robusto pays extra attention to leaf placement within the cigar. The blend takes the European cigar enthusiasts through a newly curated experience. The cigar measures 4½x50 and comes in elegant blue boxes of 12 cigars. The cigars use filler from Nicaragua and Honduras. The binder is bold Brazilian tobacco. The wrapper is a rich earthy Connecticut Broadleaf capa. The cigars come from the rolling tables of the Gran Fabrica Drew Estate in Esteli, Nicaragua.

As all Liga Privada cigars, this is a looker. A stunning black and oily wrapper with character due to the fine veins that run over the leaf. The classic white, gray, and gold band form a beautiful contrast. The Bauhaus name is printed big on the ring. The triple cap is beautiful. The relatively small size fits the look. The construction feels good. The aroma is surprisingly fresh. Fresh wood, floral, and herbal, almost lavender-like.

The cold draw is a little on the easy side. The flavors in the cold draw are floral with a nice spicy kick. From the get-go, this cigar is peppery, sweet, earthy with some leather. It’s in your face immediately, aggressive but in a good way. Almost instantly toast and wood join the previously mentioned flavors. There’s also some coffee. Complex, many strong flavors are battling in the mouth. After the first centimeter, the cigar mellows out a bit without losing its strength. The flavors calm down with spice, nuts, soil, wood, and leather now more in balance. Slowly dark roast coffee takes the spot for the most dominant flavor. Halfway there is more wood with the dark roast coffee. Yet there is also a dry grassy flavor with spice and sweetness. Some puffs later a slightly acidic flavor shows up as well.

The draw is fine. And the air purifier is always working overtime when smoking a cigar from Drew Estate. The burn is nice and straight. The ash is fine when it comes to firmness, yet the color is yellowish-brown. This cigar is full of body and strength. The smoke time is two hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? I can buy bigger Liga Privada cigars for less, so I don’t think so

Categories: 92, Gran Fabrica Drew Estate, Liga Privada, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , ,

Pappy van Winkle Tradition Coronita

Pappy van Winkle Tradition Coronita. A cigar by Drew Estate in collaboration with the famous bourbon brand Pappy van Winkle. Where the fermented cigars are exclusive to the Pappy van Winkle shop. But then the two released the Pappy van Winkle Tradition. It’s available to all Drew Diplomat retailers. There are five sizes available, plus one event only vitola. And a seventh vitola just for Jonathan Drew to hand out.

The 4×46 Coronita is one of the five regular production sizes. The cigar is made with an Ecuadorian Habano Oscuro wrapper. The binder comes from Indonesia. The Dominican Republic and Nicaragua take care of the filler tobaccos. Willy Herrera is responsible for the blend. The cigars come from La Gran Fabrica Drew Estate in Esteli, Nicaragua.

Most of the cigar is hidden with a large ring. A ring with an old picture of a cigar-smoking gentleman. Could it be Pappy himself? The same picture is on the Family Reserve bottles of bourbon. The part of the wrapper that is visible is beautiful. Dark, oily, and smooth. The construction feels good. The aroma is quite strong. Dark, musky, and wood.

The cold draw is great. The flavor is leathery. The first puffs after lighting are strong, leathery with some sweetness, hay, earth, and wood. The mouthfeel is thick. The retrohale is very nice. The cigar has a sweetness that pairs well with bourbon I guess. The sweetness is gaining strength with some spice and a hint of dark chocolate. There is still that slight alcohol flavor as well. The final third has more cedar and a little spice. There is still some leather.

The draw is amazing. The smoke is classic Drew Estate, full and a lot of it. The burn is straight and the ash is reasonably firm. The cigar is medium in body and flavor. There is not a lot of evolution, but then again, it is a short cigar so there isn’t much room for that. It is well balanced and smooth. The smoke time is one hour and ten minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? I really liked this cigar, but 15 dollars for a petit corona is a bit much.

Categories: 91, Gran Fabrica Drew Estate, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , ,

Liga Privada #T52 Flying Pig

Liga Privada #T52 Flying Pig. The fifth and last cigar from the Liga Privada Year of the Rat sampler for the Chinese zodiac Year of the Rat. I reviewed a lot of Year of the Rat cigars, but not this sampler. The complete sampler went up in smoke. The Liga Privada Nasty Fritas went up in smoke earlier, just as the Ratzilla, the Velvet Rat, and the #9 Flying Pig.

After the success of the Liga Privada #9 Flying Pig, Drew Estate decided to release the Liga Privada T52 Flying Pig a year later. The name comes from Jonathan Drew. When he went to Nicaragua to make cigars, people said “he will be successful when pig fly”. So when Drew Estate was successful, JD named a cigar after the disbelievers. The wrapper comes from Connecticut. It’s a Sun Grown Habano that’s been stalk cut. It means that the whole plant is cut and dried, instead of individual leaves. Brazilian Mata Fina makes the binder. The filler is from Honduras and Nicaragua.

As with the Liga Privada #9 Flying Pig, or for that matter any flying pig in the Undercrown line as well, the cool shape gives the cigar bonus points for looks. Drew Estate makes two Flying Pigs and one Feral Flying Pig for the Liga Privada series. Undercrown has three, Sungrown, Shade, and Maduro. The wrapper is even darker and oilier than the #9, with the same leathery, toothy look. The ring is the same design but the gray is brown and the silver logo is copper now. The cigar feels hard but evenly hard. The aroma is slightly dusty with hay, almost like an empty hay shed after the winter.

The cold draw is fine. Once lit the cigar gives coffee, earthiness, dark chocolate, and leather. Dark flavors. The cigar remains earthy and dark, with a hint of dark chocolate. But some spice and sweetness come in as well. The mouthfeel is warm and pleasant. Comforting almost. The retrohale gives notes of roasted nuts. After a third, there is a slight acidity with the earthiness and coffee. There’s also some pepper, but mellow and in the background. The flavors are complex. There is a slight bitterness that hints at dark chocolate or durian without the dark chocolate or durian flavor. Dark spices and pepper are lingering around the corner. Coffee isn’t far gone either. The mouthfeel is turning creamy. The sweetness gains strength, but smokey with an almost meaty mouthfeel. The smoke feels thick, almost textured. With nice barbecue spices. Near the end, the cigar gets more pepper but with a minty aftertaste.

It’s hard to keep the cigar lit in the beginning. But that gets better after half an inch. But once the cigar is burning, it is on. The smoke fills the office and the extraction fan works overtime. The draw is great. The ash is dense and firm. This is an interesting cigar with complex aromas. It is full-bodied and full of flavor. The smoke time is three hours.

Would I smoke this cigar again? I prefer a slightly thinner ring gauge.

Categories: 92, Gran Fabrica Drew Estate, Liga Privada, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , , ,

Liga Privada #9 Flying Pig

Liga Privada #9 Flying Pig. The fourth cigar from the Liga Privada Year of the Rat sampler for the Chinese zodiac Year of the Rat. I smoked several year of the rat cigars during the year of the rat. But this sampler wasn’t in my possession back then. It is now, so I will smoke the complete sampler now.

The unique shape of this cigar comes from an old, turn of the century, cigar catalog. Steve Saka, then CEO of Drew Estate, found that and decided to use it. The Liga Privada #9 blend is connected to Saka, as it was blended for him as well. He is the jefe mentioned on the ring. The cigar has a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper from the United States. The binder is Brazilian Mata Fina. The filler comes from Nicaragua and Honduras. This fat, short perfecto measures 4⅛x60.

Even after more than a decade, this weird looking cigar stands out. Short and fat, but in a perfecto shape with a pigtail. The wrapper is dark and it contrasts the simple black, silver, and white ring. The wrapper is dark and rough, but it fits the shape. Leathery and toothy, like the previous Liga Privada cigars that Ministry of Cigars reviewed. The construction feels good. The cigar has a medium-strong cedar aroma.

The cold draw is good. With a slightly wooden flavor. After lighting the cigar releases leather, earthiness, coffee, and wood. There is also some acidity and a little bit of dark chocolate. The cigar turns more to coffee and soil but with a little hay and a tiny splash of pepper. The chocolate remains and becomes thick and sticky in the mouth. There’s also a nice dose of pepper in the background. Halfway the cigar gives more wood, earthiness even though there is still a coffee flavor with pepper. Chocolate makes a comeback. And even though there is pepper in the flavor profile, it remains subtle so far. Then a honey sweetness shows up as well. Wood, coffee, and chocolate are getting stronger

The blueish smoke is of epic proportions. But that’s the case with every Liga Privada or the related Undercrown. Due to the thickness of the wrapper, the burn has a few issues staying even. The ash is light colored but turns brownish. It’s frayed but firm. This is a cigar full in body, and medium-full in flavor. The cigar is well balanced. The cigar is perfect to smoke to the nub with a nub-tool. The smoke time is two hours and forty-five minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? I like it, but I rather smoke a Ratzilla or Velvet Rat

Categories: 91, Gran Fabrica Drew Estate, Liga Privada, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , ,

Liga Privada Velvet Rat

Liga Privada Velvet Rat. The third cigar from the Liga Privada Year of the Rat sampler for the Chinese zodiac Year of the Rat. I smoked a lot of Year of the Rat cigars during the Year of the Rat. But this sampler wasn’t in our possession back then. It is now, so the complete sampler will go up in smoke. The Liga Privada Nasty Fritas went up in smoke earlier, just as the Ratzilla.

The cigar is the exact same size as the Liga Privada Unico Ratzilla, which we reviewed a few days ago. But the wrapper is different, even though it comes from the same area. The Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper is from higher priming, which means, from higher on the plant. And that equals to stronger, as these leaves are smaller and receive more sun during the growing period.

Just at first glance, you know this is a tasty cigar. A thick, beefy wrapper. Dark, toothy, and leathery with plenty of natural oils. The flag tail is a nice finishing touch to the looks. The simple ring allows the beautiful wrapper to be the center of attention. The construction feels good. A little hard, but evenly hard. The aroma is strong but has a surprising smell of an old wardrobe that hasn’t been opened for a few months. Mixed with some cedar that is.

The cold draw is a little on the easy side. It has an earthy flavor with some sweetness. The cigar has a herbal, spicy profile with a reminiscence of stock cubes. Add some white pepper and you’re there. A sugary sweetness is there as well, with some acidity to bind it all together. In the background, an earthy flavor is showing up. Soon to be followed by a hay flavor. The flavor in the retrohale is sweet but dusty. Slowly the cigar becomes more earthy with milk chocolate. But with a nice twang of citrus, balanced out by sweetness. After a third, the earthiness becomes the dominant flavor. The sweetness grows in strength but there is also some dark spice noticeable. Especially in the retrohale, nutmeg, and cinnamon. That milk chocolate flavor is still lingering in the background. The sweetness is almost raisin-like. The chocolate flavor changes to dark chocolate and becomes stronger. The sweetness turns to vanilla, and the pepper grows in strength. Suddenly there is a honey roasted peanut flavor, unusual but nice. With a balanced dose of pepper.

This is a Drew Estate cigar so the smoke is plentiful. The draw is great. There is not a single complaint about the straight burn either. The cigar is related to the Ratzilla, with the same earthiness. Yet there are subtle differences and this is more of a velvet smoke. So the name is chosen pretty well. The ash is light-colored. This is a cigar that is medium-full in both body and flavor. The smoke time is three hours

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes, I love this Liga Privada Velvet Rat

Categories: 92, Gran Fabrica Drew Estate, Liga Privada, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , ,

Liga Privada Unico Ratzilla

Liga Privada Unico Ratzilla. The second cigar from the Liga Privada Year of the Rat sampler for the Chinese zodiac Year of the Rat. I reviewed a series of Year of the Rat cigars. But this sampler wasn’t in my possession back then. It is now, so I will smoke this Drew Estate Liga Privada series of Year of the Rat cigars. The complete sampler will go up in smoke. The Liga Privada Nasty Fritas went up in smoke a few days ago.

The cigar is a 6¼x46 Corona Gorda. The wrapper comes from the Connecticut River Valley. It is grown under the full sun, making it a broadleaf wrapper. But as with any Liga Privada, the harvesting and curing of the tobacco are far from ordinary. Instead of each leaf picked by hand, the whole plant is chopped down. And then hung to dry. This method is called stalk-cutting. The binder is a sweet Brazilian Mata Fina. The filler comes from Nicaragua and the neighbor to the north, Honduras.

The cigar looks good. A thick, leathery, dark, and toothy wrapper. The flag tail is a nice finishing touch. The classic Liga Privada ring is simple yet tasteful. The construction feels good. The cigar has a slight wooden aroma, like fresh sawdust.

The cold draw is fine, with a mild spicy taste. After lighting, the cigar gives sweet coffee with red pepper. The flavor palate evolves to leather with cedar, mildly sweet yet with a spicy edge. Complex and interesting. The cigar is surprisingly mellow, with hints of gingerbread. It’s not a Liga Privada powerhouse, even though it’s not tame either. The base flavor turns to earthiness. The sweetness tastes almost like honey. After a third, there is more earthiness with milk chocolate, slightly creamy. The flavor profile remains a mixture of earthiness, leather, wood with some spices and pepper. In the final third, the sweetness gains some strength. But it’s still a very earthy cigar. Coffee makes a comeback though. Earthiness is by far the prominent flavor, without overpowering the dark spices, sweetness, leather, and pepper. The balance is great, resulting in a smooth smoke. The final puffs have a little more sweetness and a little more pepper.

The cold draw is fine, with a mild spicy taste. After lighting, the cigar gives sweet coffee with red pepper. The flavor palate evolves to leather with cedar, mildly sweet yet with a spicy edge. Complex and interesting. The cigar is surprisingly mellow, with hints of gingerbread. It’s not a Liga Privada powerhouse, even though it’s not tame either. The base flavor turns to earthiness. The sweetness tastes almost like honey. After a third, there is more earthiness with milk chocolate, slightly creamy. The flavor profile remains a mixture of earthiness, leather, wood with some spices and pepper. In the final third, the sweetness gains some strength. But it’s still a very earthy cigar. Coffee makes a comeback though. Earthiness is by far the prominent flavor, without overpowering the dark spices, sweetness, leather, and pepper. The balance is great, resulting in a smooth smoke. The final puffs have a little more sweetness and a little more pepper.

The draw is great and the smoke, well, it is a Drew Estate cigar. The burn is beautiful and slow. This cigar is medium-full. Both in flavor and body. It is well balanced. The light-colored ash is dense. The smoke time is three hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes, I love it

Categories: 92, Gran Fabrica Drew Estate, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , ,

Liga Privada Nasty Fritas

Liga Privada Nasty Fritas. The younger sibling of the Papas Fritas. And part of the Liga Privada Year of the Rat sampler for the Chinese zodiac Year of the Rat. I reviewed a lot of the Year of the Rat cigar releases, but not this sampler. Time to do so.

The cigar is a medium filler. Made from leftover tobacco and clippings of the Liga Privada T52 and Liga Privada #9 production. In that way, this is very similar to the Liga Privada Papas Fritas but in a different vitola. In a cone-shaped 4×52 Pyramid to be precise. The wrapper is from Connecticut and it’s broadleaf Oscuro. The binder is Brazilian Mata Fina. The filler consists of Honduran and Nicaraguan tobaccos.

This is a funny looking cigar. The shape was clear even though the cigar is covered in blue wax paper. But once unwrapped the cone shape with the short, yet stubby, antenna of tobacco at the head makes this cigar sort of a gimmick to see. The construction feels good. The ring is similar to all Liga Privada rings. Small, simple, with the Liga Privada logo and the name of the vitola. Nothing more, nothing less. The wrapper looks leathery and the aroma is leathery too. The closed foot fits the look of the cigar.

Even with the closed foot, the cold draw is easy. The first puffs are confusing. Leather with cayenne pepper. But also sweetness. And a dry, almost dusty mouthfeel. The flavor in the mouth is nice, but the retrohale gives a dry, yet musty wood flavor in the nose. The cigar doesn’t really develop. Once the first dust is settled, it’s mainly spice with leather and wood. Halfway there’s wood with a mushroom flavor, mild leather, some spice, and some pepper. And it’s all tied together with a mild citrus flavor. But everything is mellow, muted. Nothing like any other Liga Privada. The finale is pure and strong leather with sweetness and white pepper.

The draw is very good. And the smoke, well, this is a Drew Estate cigar so the fire brigade probably had a few calls due to excessive smoke clouds over our office, The burn is great too. The light-colored ash is dense and firm. The smoke time is one hour and thirty-five minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? No, I rather pay a little extra for a #9 to T52

Categories: 88, Gran Fabrica Drew Estate, Liga Privada, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , , , ,

Drew Estate BOTL Lancero

Drew Estate BOTL Lancero. The online community Brothers of the Leaf aka botl.org. Starting in 2010, some manufacturers work with the community and release limited edition cigars. PDR was the first, with Drew Estate following two years later. Since 2013, Drew Estate released several versions of the BOTL.

In 2020, Drew Estate released three sizes for botl. The cigar has an American Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper. There is an Ecuadorian Connecticut binder. The filler comes from Nicaragua. It is available in three sizes, Corona, Corona Gorda, and this 7×38 Lancero

This is not the prettiest cigar. But then again, most Connecticut Broadleaf cigars aren’t the prettiest in the humidor. The harsh sun is beating down on the plants every day, and just like the human skin, tobacco leaves start to look weathered under that constant violence from Mother Nature. But it fits the cigar, a thick oily rough looking wrapper, very dark with some rough veins. Add in the brown and copper-colored band with BOTL printed on it, and it does look appealing. The construction feels good. The aroma is a mixture of floral aromas and dark chocolate.

The cold draw is good. There is a spicy raw tobacco flavor in the cold draw. After lighting it’s very dark chocolate, like 85% or higher. The chocolate remains the main flavor but after a while, little floral flavors, vanilla bean sweetness, and a hint of the leather show up. Slowly towards the second third, there is a spice joining as well. There is coffee beneath the dark chocolate flavor too. The sweetness gets stronger while the dark chocolate bitterness tones down a bit. But it does not disappear. 

The ash is white as the hair of Gandalf. The smoke is a classic Drew Estate. That means thick, white, and a lot. The draw is great. The burn is straight as an arrow. This cigar isn’t as heavy as the appearance might suggest. It’s medium to medium-full in body and flavor. Well, balanced and the sweetness makes it very palatable. The smoke time is two hours and thirty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes

Categories: 92, Gran Fabrica Drew Estate, Nicaraguan cigars, Undercrown | Tags: , , , ,

Liga Privada 10 Anniversario

Liga Privada 10 Anniversario. A cigar released late 2018, which actually makes it the 11th year of Liga Privada as the first boxes were sold in 2007. But the packaging changed to the well known 24 count boxes in 2008. Plus new sizes were added that year. For two years, the cigar was a hidden gem, but then it took off to become the household name it now is. With many offsprings to come. T52, Unico series, Undercrown, Undercrown Sun Grown, Undercrown Shade. And that’s without going into all the different blends in Flying Pig sizes, a vitola reinvented by Drew Estate for the Liga Privada series.

Not being based in the United States, we never expected to be able to smoke this cigar. Only 1000 boxes of 10 cigars were released. Yet when we met up with Jonathan Drew in The Netherlands, he passed us a few cigars to smoke. And that included this unicorn. Made with a Criollo wrapper grown in the Connecticut River Valley. The binder is a rare Mexican San Andres Otapan Negro Último Corte. The fillers come from Honduras and Nicaragua. The cigar measures 6×52.

When it comes to looks, this cigar is a perfect 10. A dark, smooth, and oily wrapper. The closed foot. The unique cap, which is a hybrid of the classic pigtail and a flag tail. Add a skinny, contemporary, and slick black and silver ring and you have the best-looking cigar possible. The construction feels great too. And the aroma, it’s like walking into a leather store. Not overwhelmingly strong, but undeniably a leather aroma.

The cold draw is actually pretty good considering the closed foot. The flavors are toasty and spicy. Once lit, it’s coffee. Strong, black coffee, almost like espresso. But there is some leather too and some earthiness. There is a salty undertone. Slowly but surely toast and cedar comes through as well. The coffee remains the base flavor of the cigar, but now with some green herbs as well. Wood and sweetness get stronger, the mouthfeel becomes buttery. There is also a strong dark chocolate flavor. In the second third, the chocolate becomes stronger, it’s smooth, creamy, yet with spice and pepper. The final third still have that chocolate, with some earthiness. But it’s no longer creamy. There is a mild pepper, some spice, some wood, and a little hay. The wood is slowly taking over, but with sweetness. Suddenly the coffee returns, with dry wood, and spices. Sweetness and pepper completely disappeared.

It is a Drew Estate cigar so the smoke is copious. Thick, full, and voluminous. The draw is great. The white, dense ash is firm. The burn is sharp. The flavors are full and strong. The cigar is strong too. But it’s complex, intense, balanced, and full of character. A testament that full body and full-flavor can still be smooth. The smoke time is four hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? That’s impossible

Categories: 94, Gran Fabrica Drew Estate, Liga Privada, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , ,

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