Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Drew Estate Announces new size


Drew Estate Announces Liga Privada No. 9 CORONA VIVA Pre-Release for CIGARfest 2018
Tuesday, May 1, 2018 — Miami FL - Drew Estate announces the pre-release of Liga Privada No. 9 CORONA VIVA exclusively for the Cigars International Super-Store in Hamburg, Pennsylvania for the 15th annual CIGARfest.

The #9 Corona Viva features a Connecticut River Valley Broadleaf Oscuro Wrapper, a Plantation grown Brazilian Mata Fina Binder, and Nicaraguan and Honduran Fillers. Similar in concept to the Undercrown Corona Viva, released in 2012, the No. 9 Corona Viva features the core blend with increased Ligero for a fuller and stronger taste profile.

The Liga Privada No. 9 Corona Viva is the first new release to the core sizes of Liga Privada since its original launch in 2008. The 152mm x 46mm vitola will be packaged in 24-count boxes with an MSRP of $290 per box and a special release letter from Jonathan Drew, Founder & President of Drew Estate, commemorating the launch.

From the Wynwood Safehouse in Miami, Florida Jonathan Drew noted, “10 years ago, Drew Estate created ‘Liga Privada’ the hearty, Broadleaf bully that changed the cigar world forever. Highly coveted, this rare cover leaf tobacco is historically treated as a reward to a select few industry players, reinforcing the bond of partnership between farmer and manufacturer. Thank you for the LP Fellowship of the past ten years, and for contributing to the #De4L mosaic that binds us together and enables The Rebirth of Cigars to live on and Flourish.”

The Corona Viva will be available for the in-store Pre-release launch on Thursday, May 3rd at Cigars International Hamburg Super-Store in limited quantities. Boxes will also be available for sale at CIGARfest in limited quantities. 

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Cigar review: Crowned Heads Mule Kick 2018

I have been doing a walk down memory lane lately, looking back on how long I have been involved in cigars and in writing. All together its been around 34 years. Smoking, writing, selling, buying and even had my own for a while. About fifteen years ago I started on Facebook as GCPuffs and then the website by the same name, before that some articles in magazines under a different name. GCPuffs did well I am very grateful but as you know that site was put to bed for reasons that are my own and Gatornations.com took its place. I started recently to shut it down due to lack of time to spend in it but a very dear friend convinced me not to. I am honored to have met and call friends many in our industry and consider myself lucky. 
Today I’m going through old articles and photos and decided go sit outside with a nice beverage because it is stunningly beautiful out and took with me for the time to spend a fine cigar, a Crowned Heads Mule Kick 2018. Every one is familiar with the story of Mule Kick so lets get to the cigar. 
The wrapper this year is a wonderful Connecticut Habano wrapper that is to me the darkest Mule Kick to date and the pre lit aroma is a tantalizing mix of dark earth and wood with the foot having hints of spice and sweetness. Clipped and lit, it ignites with succulent spice. The smoke is bolder than last year, the flavors of dark earth, aged cedar and spice begin in a dance across the palate. Shortly into the cigar, the music takes off as the indulgent blend shows its colors. The spice is rich and cultured, not abrupt and sharp, the dark earth is enveloped by smoky cedar that flirts with touches of sweetness much akin to that of pecan brittle. 
As I sit complete enthralled by this cigar, I begin looking through old photos from events, IPCR visits and shows. Some are absolutely hysterical if you knew the story of things taking place at the time while some make me smile due to long term friendships with the ones pictured. 
 As the cigar moves into the second third I am yet again thrilled at the balance and immense cavalcade of mouth watering flavors produced. The sweetness remains uniting in harmony with the wood as afore mentioned, the earth as rich as ever but the appearance of a hint of fruit peaked my intense interest. On the retro hale it was as if a faint notice of fresh cut apple could be detected and found it on each draw. Absolutely profound flavor mix that leaves the oral factors in delight.       
Some of the friendships made remain close, and I am thankful for each. There is nothing better than friends who you can talk about anything and laugh at everything with. One night way after a show, four of us sat outside the cigar store feeling pretty good, and all four trying to figure out how to refill a lighter with an empty can, all convinced it was possible due to fumes. I will leave the rest to your imagination.
Taking a long slow draw on this excellent cigar, it moved into the final third where the flavors continued to evolve and morph in boldness and appearance. As I expected and am pleased at, the flavor of leather began to show and this showing through the middle of the accompanying tastes being provided create a parade of well blended and balanced aromas and flavors that indeed bring complete enjoyment. The cigar finishes with a bit more spice and leather but the richness of the flavors still prove themselves. 
If you haven’t  tried Mule Kick 2018 you may want to hurry, I’m sure they won’t last long.


Peace and Smoke,

Gator

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Cigar Review: Crowned Heads Four Kicks Maduro

I haven't written in some time due to simply taking time away. But its time to do what I enjoy and the first cigar up for review is the new Four Kicks Maduro from Crowned Heads. The original Four Kicks is a favorite of mine and I cant count the boxes I have smoked so when I heard of the Maduro version I jumped at it. The cigar is beautiful, with a nice dark wrapper leaf, not overly oily but a nice sheen to it. Construction is spot on and the pre light aroma gives cocoa powder and dark rich earth. I punch cut this cigar and prepped the foot for lighting. The drink of the day is southern sweet tea, the kind that is so dark that sun light is scared to go through it.
I walked outside where I have a nice chair sitting under an oak tree and sat down with the cigar and drink. It’s a beautiful day here, warm but not to hot with a clear sky. It’s the weekend and those who live by us are out and about, some cooking out others  relaxing. Typical southern day.
I torched the cigar and drew deep receiving a mouthful of luscious thick smoke. The cigar opens with a succulent spice mix with that afore mentioned cocoa powder flavor with hints of cedar. Further in, the richness of the tobacco shines as the spice smooths out and the cocoa powder and now smoky wood intertwine to create a lavish network 
of sensations for the palette. The smoke soon takes on a nice creaminess and a hint of, albeit very slight, of a sweetness I cant put my finger on.
As I sit and enjoy this cigar I'm thinking about living in the south and the sweet culture and lifestyle that we share. "Yes Ma'am and no Ma'am, yes sir and no sir" better be in your vocabulary your entire life and if your local store doesn’t sell grits the owner needs to move back north.
As I move into the second third of the cigar, the cocoa powder becomes more of a higher content cocoa and is joined by a deep French roast coffee affair. The smoky wood continues and the entire mix is wrapped delicately in that succulent spice mix giving each draw a roller coaster ride of flavor mixes that enchant the palate and illuminate the senses. That sweetness mentioned before continues to blossom though here and there but each time a tad more pronounced and it reminds me of the flavor of old fashioned molasses cookies but here again, its very slight.
I think everyone born in the south is born knowing how to hunt, fish, make cornbread and know at least two people that know how to make moonshine. And if you ever had chocolate, lemon or custard pie in the south I bet it had two to three inches of meringue on top.
Moving into the final third all the flavors of the cigar continue in their cavalcade of combinations with the spice becoming a little more peppery and the coffee moving ahead of the dark cocoa. Through out the cigar the flavors show the greatness of the blend and give the smoker consistent flavors with an undercurrent of smoky wood. The finish is perfect and leaves one with a smooth creamy smoke.
If you enjoy Four Kicks then this is a must try. But as always, light one up and see what flavors you get because after all, we are all different.

Peace and Smoke
Gator