Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Cigar review: Crowned Heads Court Reserve XVIII

Every so often, something special comes along. After all the years in cigars its rare that i am surprised at any new release. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that there are not cigars I'm really pleased to see come out, it is just not much surprise. but this year is different. Last weekend I had a project I wanted to work on, some art that I have been meaning to get to. Took a photo in Colorado several years ago of a very old barn and I wanted to get it on paper. Having a day with out pressing matters, I gathered my supplies and set up in my office at home. I took a sheet of parchment paper and attached it to the board and set out the technical pens I love to use. I never draw with out a cigar so for today's work I picked out the new Crowned Heads Court Reserve XVIII. The band is beautiful, and the Mexican San Andres wrapper has a nice touch of oily sheen to it with its deep rich color. Once cut, the pre light draw gives hints of aged tobacco, nutmeg and a very nice hint of orange zest. This was unexpected and very pleasing.
lighting up, I had to smile because there is no waiting for flavor from this cigar. Right from the start it gives you a bounty of delectable flavors. Spice and peanut brittle combines with the citrus zest producing an elegant smoke. Further into the first third, the aroma is awakening the senses as the peanut brittle morphs into more of an oven parched peanut affair with a mild sweetness reminiscent dark malt. Combine this with the taste of the rich tobacco being emitted and you have a profusion of engaging flavors.
As I was thoroughly enjoying the cigar, I began my work on the project at hand. I began with a 7H pencil lead and carefully laying out the building, framework and environment. Once done, I began with a .13 technical pen, laying in the outlines of each board, post and roofing. 
As I began to start applying texture to the board surfaces of the barn, the cigar was moving well into the second third. The citrus zest was still present as is the parched nuts. The mild sweetness as before mentioned was not as pronounced but yet the taste of the dark malt has enveloped with the parched nuts giving a deep rich smokiness to the cigar. Each draw presents the flavors in an entangled web of combinations, switching placement in manifestation of placement. The citrus zest I mention is captivating due to the fact that its affect upon the savoriness of the blend. It is a perfect match, not over powering but ever present, causing the amplification of the cavalcade of tastes. exquisite to say the least.
Board after board, placing line work and shadows. Creating the appearance of age and wear. Spending time with a magnifying glass as to get each identifying mark accurate on the building. 
Moving into the final third, the flavors have elevated somewhat. More intensity each singularly and unified. A deep smokiness, rich in the essence of the tobacco coated the combination as if drawn by an engineer. An appearance of nutmeg began to show as was first gathered in the pre light which caused the the mix of zest, nuts and now dark wood to be completely pleasing in every aspect.
Finishing this cigar had me wishing for another but here again, work needed to be finished on the drawing at hand.
When this cigar hits the shelves treat yourself to some and see what you gather from it. No ones ever tastes the same things as we are each individual smokers but the great expectation is in the smoking.

Peace and Smoke,

The finished work

Friday, June 21, 2019

Cigar review: Southern Draw Firethorn

These days I write when I have time and unfortunately, there is never enough. But certain cigars will cause me to stop and write when I am impressed by them. One such cigar is Firethorn from Southern Draw. The construction is wonderful with a even leaf color and few veins. Once cut, the prelight draw gave hints of aged tobacco and earth with a touch of wood. Once the torch went to work, the first few draws gave a nice hit of pepper with roasted nuts. Shortly after the start, the pepper remained zesty but not overbearing with the roasted nuts coming through more mixing with a slight sweetness that reminded me of caramel you find in some candy bars but just enough to show. The richness of the tobaccos shown through perfectly in the flavors. Deep into the first third, a hint of smoky wood began to show.

I took this cigar and walked out side under the carport, a time to relax and unwind which is rare. I love old blues, BB King and more, so I turned on the tuns and let them play as I prepped my grill to set it up for smoking.

As the wood and coal were being set in the fire box, the Firethorn was showing its colors. The deep pepper spices that wrapped around the flavors so well that in each draws they blended smoothly. The roasted nuts was much akin to deep roasted pecans and the slight caramel sweetness still touched each puff. The smoke in the second third was thick and velvety, and the wood that had begun to show now gave its flavor in a smooth undertone under the rest. This cigar does not stop in amount of flavor, giving a wall of a splendid combination.

Thoroughly enjoying this cigar I fired up the grill and began to set it up for the next few hours.  Roast as well as a brisket where prepared and waiting for just the right time.

I poured a nice beverage and turned the music up as the final third moved in. The flavors were more pronounced, changed in place, with hints of raisins coming in put not to a point of interference but enough that it made for a very enticing smoke. The last puffs of this wonderful cigar gave that great spice with a touch more wood. The Firethorn is a win, and one fine cigar. Do not miss this one.

Peace and Smoke,


Monday, June 10, 2019

Southern Draw Announces expansion to the CEDRUS line

Southern Draw Cigars expands the CEDRUS line.  National launch date announced.

The award winning CEDRUS – THE HOGAN, Belicoso Fino 5.5 x 52 will now have shelf mates in humidors across the country as the Southern Draw Cigars family announces three NEW line extensions for IPCPR 2019.  Each release is part of the Anniversary releases the company will share throughout 2019.

“The CEDRUS blend once again showcases a powerful “late harvest” Besuki wrapper that was grown in the fertile soils of the Jember Region of Java, the finishing touches on a unique blend that we believe is in a class all by itself.  Our family was blessed to source this rarely available, top-quality wrapper, with its’ rich brown color, distinct “green chili” spice flavors and herbal aromas that are attributed from being expertly air-cured followed by a multi-stage fermentation process,” offered Robert Holt – Founder of Southern Draw Cigars.  “The new line extensions embrace the uniqueness of the entire blend, including the use of  an aromatic Habano 2000 grown under cloth in Esteli and the bold Habana 92 (a hybrid originating from the Corojo of Cuban origin) grown in isolated QuilalĂ­, a high mountain region about 160 miles north of Managua.  This “alphabet soup” of distinct tobaccos, form an artful composition known as C-E-D-R-U-S”, added Holt. 

The Southern Draw Cigars family will celebrate the NEW releases during a National Launch Event with long time valued retail partner Club Humidor of San Antonio, Texas on August 2, 2019. (Event time is TBD). The CEDRUS boxes and bundles will be on display for the very first time in Booth #3061 during IPCPR 2019 – Las Vegas, NV from June 28 – July 2. There will be a limited number of samples made only available to select media members that have supported the brand and current valued retail partners of Southern Draw Cigars, whose accounts are also in good standing.
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Factory: AJ Fernandez Cigar Co., Esteli, Nicaragua
Wrapper: Besuki TBN – Indonesia
Binder: Habano 2000- Esteli, Nicaragua
Viso: Piloto Cubano – Dominican Republic
Criollo 98 – Esteli, Nicaragua
Seco: Habana 92 – Quilali, Nicaragua
Ligero: Corojo 99 – Jalapa, Nicaragua
Robusto 5.5 x 54 (box pressed)
Toro 6.0 x 52 (box pressed)
Gordo 6.5 x 60 (box pressed)
Number of Cigars – 50,000 per size released for 2019, full production of 100,000+ cigars in all subsequent years
Packaging: 20 count boxes (standard SDC boxes) and 20 count refill bundles (standard Southern Draw Cigars boxes apply)
Price – $11.99 – $12.99 each MSRP
Release Date – August 2, 2019 – National Launch Event – Club Humidor (San Pedro), San Antonio, Texas
Ship Date – August 15 & October 15 & December 15, 2019 – for all IPCPR 2019 orders