Posts Tagged With: Jonathan Drew

Undercrown Shade Flying Pig

Last march I published a review of the Undercrown Flying Pig, original release, and it became the Cigar of the month march. Soon after that someone with ties either to Drew Estate or their local distributer Royal Agio contacted me (I of course know who he is and for whom he works, but I won’t disclose that information on his request) and asked me if he could use that review since the cigar was being re-released in The Netherlands and that was fine by me, as it would help promote my blog too so a fine win-win.


During our chat he asked me if I had smoked the Undercrown Shade Flying Pig and since they haven’t been released in The Netherlands I could only reply negative. He offered to send me one as a thank you which I gladly accepted. A few months earlier I would have declined due to the wrapper but recently I’ve been starting to enjoy Connecticut Shade wrappers and this cigar is made with an Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade wrapper, a Sumatra binder and filler from the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua. Not too long after a package arrived with 2 Balmoral Anejo Lanceros (cigar of the month May), two Kentucky Fire Cured Robusto and two of the Undercrown Shade Flying Pigs.


Lets start with the construction, it is immaculate and there are bonus points for the unique shape.  I love the little bomb size with the pig tail. The name is an inside joke, when Drew Estate started a lof of people in the industry said that “this company will make it when pigs fly” so after Drew Estate became an established company JD decided to name a cigar ‘Flying Pig” as a nod to the people that expected him to fail. The wrapper is pale with quite some shine and a few veins. I love the ring, I like the color scheme better than on the original Underground. The ring is white with the logo and all the details in gold and a second white ring with a golden outline and golden letters Shade. The ring print quality is high too. The aroma quite strong for a Connecticut Shade cigar with hints of straw, hay, leafs and grass.


I cut the cigar with my xikar butterfly cutter since punching wasn’t an option due to the pig tail. The cold draw is fantastic and tastes like raisin and hay. After lighting I taste a earthy flavor with a hint of pepper. I also taste some freshness and sweetness. After a third the cigar gets spicy and quite strong for a Shade cigar. I still taste the earthy flavor but with a little mustiness that belongs to Connecticut Shade wrappers with some lemon, salt and a strong pepper aftertaste. These flavors stick with the cigar till the end.


The smoke is typical Drew Estate, full, thick and a lot of it. And I love it. The draw is great, almost perfect. The burn needed a little touch up though. The white ash is firm and beautiful. The cigar is medium bodied and full flavored, stronger than I expected from a Connecticut Shade cigar. The smoke time is almost an hour.

Would I buy this cigar again? They aren’t available here, and I prefer the Undercrown Flying Pig but this is a good stick.

Score: 91
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Categories: 91, Gran Fabrica Drew Estate, Nicaraguan cigars, Undercrown | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Cigar of the month March

Over the last month I reviewed 9 cigars and the cigar of the month march is:

Undercrown Flying Pig XLR with a 92 score.

March was the first month I rated a cigar below 80 points, but then again, the Undercrown Flying Pig XLR was a very pleasant surprise so overall it was a good month with two cigars that let me down.

Now as for the complete list of cigars I smoked in March for Cigarguideblog:

1) Undercrown Flying Pig XLR (Nicaragua) 92 points
2) Rocky Patel Super Ligero Lancero (Honduras) 92 points
3) La Flor Dominicana NOX Toro (Dominican Republic) 92 points
4) Kristoff Pistoff Corona Gorda (Dominican Republic) 91 points
5) Alec Bradley Black Market Robusto (Honduras) 90 points
6) Don Labalet Robusto (Netherlands) 89 points
7) Fratello Boxer Torpedo (Nicaragua) 89 points
8) Viaje Circa 45 #1 Robusto (Dominican Republic) 83 points
9) Plasencia Reserva Organica Limitada 2001 Torpedo (Nicaragua) 77 points

The Undercrown Flying Pig was a huge surprise as it was not the gimmick I suspected it was.

Categories: Cigar of the month | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Undercrown Flying Pig XLR

Now years ago, before Agio (Balmoral) and Drew Estate partnered up and decided to distribute each others products on their home market, the company I worked for was the official Drew Estate distributer in The Netherlands. Now, don’t think Drew Estate dumped us for Agio, months before Drew Estate and Agio partnered up we decided to stop distributing Drew Estate. Even though we stopped distributing we still maintain a very friendly relationship with everybody at Drew Estate, I’ve been at Jonathans house in Miami, I’ve been to the factory in Esteli twice and all after our professional relationship ended, so we are good.


Jonathan loves The Netherlands and because of that we were able to get something cool, exclusive for the Dutch market back in 2012. We decided to go with Undercrown Flying Pigs, the Flying Pigs made their appearance in the No.9 and T52 blends but were never done in the Undercrown blend. Drew Estate made little less than 200 boxes of 12, just for the Dutch market and they sold out quick. Being close to the fire I snagged a few boxes myself but up till today I have not smoked one myself, time to change that. These cigars have had almost 5 years of age to them. The Flying Pig is a unique shape, a short little perfecto 4 1/2×60 with a pig tail (how can you call it a flying pig if it doesn’t have a pig tail right?). The name comes from the early days of Drew Estate when people said Drew Estate would make it as a company ‘when pigs fly’ and the flying pig series is their answer to the skeptics. The blend is a little tweaked from the regular Undercrown and consist from a San Andres Negro wrapper, a double binder (Connecticut River Valley Stalk Cut & Sun Grown Habano) and filler from Brazil (Mata Fina) and Nicaragua (Habano).


The wrapper is gorgeous, dark, almost no veins, the pig tail is beautiful. The ring is the regular Undercrown right with the up side down crown with a lion head on top in blue and gold, the sides say undercrown but the nice detail is that on one side it’s mirrored and the back of the band shows the Drew Estate logo, the famous Manhattan Bridge. The construction is flawless and thats a testament to the quality of the rollers since this vitola is a pain in the ass to make according to Jonathan. The cigar has a strange but pleasant aroma, a medium strong aroma of a forest after rainfall in the autumn.


Because of the pigtail punching the cigar is out of the question so I used a flat cut to cut the cigar. The cold draw gives me the right amount of resistance, with a hay and pepper flavor. I used a soft flame to light the cigar and straight on I taste some coffee, not bitter though and not too strong with a little pepper and a little wood. Soon I taste a wonderful cedar, a warm cedar with cinnamon, nutmeg and cocoa. Slowly the cocoa is taking the overhand and I also taste some cumin. Soon the nutmeg comes back with some lime.

After a third I taste dry leaves, hay and a little citrus and a little salt. The cocoa is back too, mild and on the background. The citrus is growing halfway. The cedar returns after two thirds again with a little cocoa on the background. Near the end, after I used my nub tool, I taste a nice amount of pepper with the cocoa.


The draw is very good. The smoke starts out medium thin and that surprises me since all Liga Privada and Undercrowns I smoked so far were smoke bombs. The smoke slowly gets thicker though. The ash is snow white and dense. The burn is good, not razor sharp but good enough not correct the burn.

Would I buy this cigar again? I’m glad I gave a few boxes left. I always thought that this was just a gimmick cigar but I like it better than the regular undercrown. This full flavored cigar is full bodied. The smoke time is about 90 minutes.

Score: 92

92

Categories: 92, Gran Fabrica Drew Estate, Nicaraguan cigars, Undercrown | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A great book about Nicaraguan cigars

Somewhere in the autumn of 2014 my then employer Sasja van Horssen was approached by his friend and lifestyle journalist Marcel Langedijk with the question if we could help him setting up a trip to Esteli, Nicaragua for him and photographer Jesaja Hizkia and get him in touch with some cigar manufacturers for interviews and pictures in the factories. Marcel, who has been to Nicaragua more often, thought it was time that Nicaragua got a beautiful coffee table book about the cigar lifestyle too, a book nobody ever did except about Cuba and that the time was right for a book about Nicaragua considering the growing sales numbers, superb quality and the growing appreciation for Nicaraguan tobacco, not just in the USA but also in the rest of the world. Nicaraguan cigars dominate the ‘top 25’ lists the last few years and so a book seems appropriate.

I set up a trip, meetings at Joya de Nicaragua, A.J. Fernandez, Rocky Patel, Plasencia, Oliva, Padron and Drew Estate as requested, personally I would have added Perdomo as a major player too, Nica Suenos from my friend Skip Martin and back then I hadn’t met Noel Rojas yet otherwise I would have added him too and interviews with a few boutique brand owners, and I got to come along as I made all the appointments and had all the contacts, my then employer went along as translator as he’s fluent in Spanish. At our hotel, Los Arcos, I met Hector from Espinosa Cigars/La Zona and after seeing the La Zona factory Marcel and Jesaja decided on the spot that they had to be included in the book too, just as the Fe Y Alegria school we visited, a school that’s being supported by Pronica, a foundation that I helped to get started for with & for my then employer.

The name of the book is Cigaragua, a name that Marcel came up with after a few glasses of Flor de Caña. We were having some drinks and cigars at the courtyard of Los Arcos when Marcel just blurted out that name and immediately said “no, that’s to cryptic” but Jesaja and I were sold, perfect name. The next morning Marcel changed his mind and started to like the name more and more, and decided to go forward with the name.

The 12×12 inch coffee table book is not just about tobacco but also shows Esteli, Jesaja Hizkia took a lot of great pictures that are included in the book. The book is now available in Dutch and English and Spanish, German and possible French translations could follow in th near future. I know there are plans to release it in the United States as well but Marcel didn’t say when even though I asked, so if you want to know when the book is being released in your country contact Marcel or Sasja van Horssen.

Other than setting up this trip and proof reading the book before it went to the printer, I am not involved with the book, I gain no money from sales or promoting the book. But I like the book (and Nicaraguan cigars) so much that I wanted to spread the word about the book anyway.

Here are some pictures I took from the book (with my iPhone):

 

And I shot a little video: Cigaragua video on youtube

Categories: Misc | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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: , , , , , | Leave a comment

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: , , , , | Leave a comment

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: , , , | Leave a comment

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: , , , | Leave a comment

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: , , , | Leave a comment

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: , , , | Leave a comment

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