Category Archives: Drew Estate

Over at the Half Ashed forums we have a little “cigar pass” going on. Each person involved sends two unbanded cigars to another person in the “Blind Review Pass.” For the next few weeks I’ll be posting (with permission) those blind reviews. If you have never smoked a cigar blind, or unbanded, I would highly recommend it. Get some friends together and trade cigars with the bands removed, or have your wife take some bands off a few sticks in the bottom of your humidor. You’ll be surprised at how much a band can affect your perception of a cigar.

Today’s review is Ken’s last one! He sent it while I was in England and then I didn’t check my messages…my bad!

Unbanded 6 x 46.

Smell of barnyard and raisin prelight.
Chocolate wrapper. Dry draw subtle.
First third. Very tight draw. Hard to get anything but earthy notes and spice through the retro. Feels nica. Not sure though. Tough to tell with the draw.

Second third. Still tight draw but notice leather and a cocoa. Having trouble still with the draw but definately thinking nica.

Final third. This is definately Nicaraguan and reminds me of a pepin made cigar. The draw opened up and finished pretty good.

The Reveal
Awesome guess, Ken! The first I sent was a Córdoba and Morales I think, and I said this one would be easier. By your description you shouldn’t be surprised to hear this was a Corona Viva!! Just weird that you had a crap draw from DE…Well done!

Drew Estate Undercrown Corona Viva

Drew Estate Undercrown Corona Viva

Rocky Mountain Cigar Festival (Preview)

I spent the last weekend in Broomfield, Colorado at the Rocky Mountain Cigar Festival (RMCF). I have some stories to tell about this awesome event, but before I write it all out I thought I’d share some highlights with everyone.

Yes, these are (most of) the bands from all the cigars I smoked during the weekend.



We smoked the whole way there and back…

Riding there

Riding home

These cigars were included in the ticket price! (Mine, Tom’s, and Rich’s)

Grab bag

I got to meet and chat with a lot of my favorite cigar makers and reviewers…Pete Johnson, Delicia (Cigar Vixen), and Jonathan Drew!

Pete Johnson

Pete Johnson

Delicia, the Cigar Vixen

Jonathan Drew

Jonathan Drew of Drew Estate was cutting and lighting a free Liga “A” for anyone who wanted one.

Liga "A"

Liga “A”

A few of the stogies from throughout the day at the Rocky Mountain Cigar Festival…

Iconic Leaf Recluse Amadeus

Iconic Leaf Recluse Amadeus

Oliva Serie G (box pressed Churchill)

Oliva Serie G (box pressed Churchill)

Liga Privada "A"

Liga Privada “A”

Butts and Rabbits!!



All in all I came home with around 80 cigars!


Cigar News for Friday, August 8th 2014

Industry News

As you may or may not know, the cigar industry’s biggest trade show finished up last week. This year’s IPCPR (International Premium Cigar and Pipe Retailers) was held in Las Vegas and boasted a wonderful turn out by cigar makers and retailers alike. Here are some in-depth looks at the show, brought to you by the industry leaders of cigar media.



Cigar Federation

New Cigars

With so many new cigars, it’s impossible to cover them all. However, I do have an exclusive scoop on a few of the new cigars that Poor Richard’s will be receiving from IPCPR.

Drew Estate’s Undercrown is in store now, along with the Nica Rustica.

New Padilla cigars are on shelves.

The new Gurkha Cellar Reserve is in-house now. I reviewed the 2013 here.

The incoming list of cigars has me drooling. here are my top three picks that I will be rushing out to buy as soon as they arrive:

Joya Red – If it is half as good as I’ve heard, I’ll be filling my humidor. Here’s a look at the Joya Red from Cigar Federation.

Illusione “R” Rothchildes – This is a budget line from one of the industry’s top boutique companies. It’s not new, just new to Montana.

Tatuaje Tattoo – Another budget cigar, this time from Pete Johnson. I love the Havana VI, so this is an exciting release for me. Here is the Half Ashed episode where they reviewed it.

Drew Estate Undercrown Corona Viva

Drew Estate Undercrown Corona Viva

Drew Estate Undercrown Corona Viva

-Country – Nicaragua
-Wrapper – San Andreas Otapan Negro Ultimo Corte
-Binder – T52 Connecticut River Valley Stalk Cut & Cured Habano
-Filler – Brazilian Mata Fina and Nicaraguan Cuban Seed
-Size – 5 5/8 x 46
-Price – $7, $8 and change local

Appearance, Pre-light
The Drew Estate Undercrown Corona Viva has a lovely dark brown wrapper with a little bit of marbling. The veins are all small, but there is something unique about them. It’s a bit hard to explain, but I’ll try. Most of the time, if a cigar has prominant veins, they follow the direction of the wrapper from foot to head. With the Undercrown Corona Viva, the main vein curves in the opposite direction if the wrap. Very pleasing to the eyes. The wrapper and foot smell musty and oaky. The cigar is evenly firm along its length with hardly any give at all. The cold draw is very woodsy. As a side note, I think the band is exactly what Drew Estate is going for with their phrase, “The rebirth of cigars.” It is modern, but at the same time very classic looking. But since we don’t smoke the bands…

Undercrown band

Undercrown band

First 3rd
Some cigars take a few puffs to really come alive, but the Drew Estate Undercrown Corona Viva brings the flavors right away. The first puffs collide with my taste buds like Hobbes slamming into Calvin when he opens the door. I immediately pick up wood, earth, and an very slight espresso flavor. The retro-hale is leather in the extreme and has a tingle to it, but it is nice enough to allow me to push all the smoke out my nose. Something that sticks out about this cigar is the blinding white ash. I read once that ash color has more to do with phosphorus/calcium/magnesium levels in the soil than the actual quality of tobacco, but the effect is still quite cool. Also, this is a cigar that you can see little fibers sticking up close to the burn line, another thing I find visually appealing. Once into the cigar about an inch the intensity of flavors pulls back a little. It maintains a woodsy core with a complementary earthiness. The burn is wavy but even, with an occasional scalloping (thanks Kip!) that self corrects. The strength is a solid medium.

Corona Viva first 3rd

Second 3rd
The ash holds on for almost the entire first third and when it breaks off there is zero coning. The woodsy flavor stays dominant in this third, and a little bit of spice (not pepper) comes in along the edges. I love sweet drinks with earthy and/or woodsy cigars, and I have to admit the temptation was too great for me to not take the occasional sip of Coke to pair with this smoke. I would also suggest rum, or even a dark, fruity wine, but stay away from a smoky scotch as those flavors could cancel each other out rather than complement each other. The retro-hale smooths out at this point and is showing some wood along with the leather. Strength has moved up to medium-plus at this point, and I would call the flavor full. A great combination!

Second 3rd

Second 3rd

Last 3rd
At this point I’m regretting not eating a heftier lunch, but a couple spoonfuls of sugar balances out the nicotine and is setting me straight. Let me be clear, the Corona Viva isn’t overly strong, but you’ll want more that a small bowl of macaroni salad in your stomach! Like the first half, an oaky woodiness is still the main flavor. Some pepper is appearing now, and the retro-hale is quite prickly in my nostrils. The smoke is really smooth still, and a very subtle sweetness has appeared now and then in the last third. I can’t quite pinpoint the flavor, but it is dark and a little fruity. At this point I’m burning my fingers, so it’s time to say ‘bye to this great smoke from Drew Estate.



I don’t smoke the Undercrown Corona Viva every single day, but whenever I run out of them I immediately pick some more up. The flavors are amazing, even if they’re not what I reach for on a regular basis. I want to age them for a few years to see what happens, but I’m not disciplined enough to keep them around! I highly recommend them to any cigar smoker. Now if we all pitch in and bug the guys at Poor Richard’s enough, maybe they’ll start carrying them so we don’t have to go to the “other shop.” :)

Flavor – Full
Strength – Medium/Full
Body – Medium-plus
Construction – Good

When combining the uniqueness of this cigar’s flavors with its decent price, I have to say Drew Estate has a winner that deserves a…
3.5 out of 5

Weekly Cigar News for June 15th – June 21st

New Cigars

  • Nice Tight Ash brings us news of a new size in the Kentucky Fire Cured line from Drew Estate — the Flying Pig! These are 4 inch by 60 ring gauge cigars that are tapered at both ends. The KFC blend (don’t chuckle…) uses tobacco from Kentucky that is fire cured, as opposed to air cured like most cigar tobacco.
  • Coop has the scoop! CAO Cigars and Flying Dog Brewery are coming out with a beer and cigar sampler that will 4 different cigars and 4 different beers to pair with them. Check out the details here.
  • Alec Bradley is getting bigger and bigger…check out the story of a new 7 x 70 cigar called the Texas Lancero over at

Industry News

  • There is a new book out called “Tobacco Sheds- Vanishing Treasures in the Connecticut River Valley.” The book is a coffee table-style tome that portrays these sheds from Vermont to Connecticut. Check out the write-up on Stogie Guys.
  • The IPCPR has announced that Mark Pursell will be the new CEO of the organization famous for its summer trade show. Get the details at Cigar Federation.
  • Half Wheel reports that the FDA has extended the deadline for comments on their deeming document regarding cigar regulation. Cigar-Coop has more good news: the SBA has submitted a comment in our favor!

Weekly Cigar News for June 8th – June 13th

New Cigars

  • Direct from Jonathan Drew…”FLYING PIG UNDERCROWN on the production floor in Nicaragua. The UCFP in the photo just came off the bunchero bench and are about to go into the press for 30 minutes per side. Soon thereafter, the wrapper will be applied and the Flying Pigs head to a holding room, where they rest one night before moving to Quality Control. I’m amped up to bring some of the pre release UCFP boxes to the event with Oxmoor Smoke Shop in Kentucky on June 18th, 2014. Hope to see ya there if your nearby.” See it here.
  • We like beer here in Montana. Samuel Adams and Ted’s Cigars are once again bringing us a beer-and-cigar combination. The Brewlywed Ale Seasoned Cigar will release June 16th, and the beer itself will be released for one day, on the 18th. I’ve indulged in the Samuel Adams Utopias beer/cigar combo before, so this sounds exciting. Get all the details at Cigar-Coop.
  • We are as familiar with Alec Bradley cigars as any other these days, so fans of larger ring gauges will be pleased about the new sampler of 6 x 60 sticks they are offering. Once again, Coop has the scoop.


Industry News

  • The Joya de Nicaragua “Red” has been renamed the “Canonazo.” Check out the story over at The Cigarmy.
  • HalfWheel has some disturbing news about an extension to the CHIP Act that has been filed in the Senate. This Act single-handedly raised the price of our cigars, and it looks like it could continue.