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Cigar Review | Drew Estate Undercrown ShadyXX

It’s Stog o’Clock, and this time, I check out the Drew Estate Undercrown ShadyXX. This cigar was made with Paul Rosenberg, president of Shady Records, to celebrate the company’s 20th anniversary. It comes in one size, a 5 x 50 box-pressed Belicoso, and retails for $10.40. A Mexican San Andres wrapper adorns a Connecticut Stalk Cut Habano binder and fillers from Nicaragua and Brazil.

Drew Estate Undercrown ShadyXX

Let’s Get Started

On the cold draw, the Undercrown ShadyXX produces a raisin-dominant dried fruit flavor. The wrapper gives off a rich earthy aroma while I smell much the same out of the foot. Once lit, rich dark cocoa and black pepper appear. Through the nose, sweet cocoa is touched by a hint of black pepper. The finish exudes black pepper, leather, and earth.

Drew Estate Undercrown ShadyXX

First Third

Twenty-five minutes in, the first third comes to a close. On the draw, I pick up cocoa with black pepper and espresso. Through the nose, red pepper blends with oak. The finish gives me grassy earth and black licorice. Strength and body settle in at medium-to-full.

Drew Estate Undercrown ShadyXX

Second Third

The second third ends around fifty minutes. Strong black pepper and bitter cocoa dominate the draw. On the retro-hale, sweet cocoa is tamed but present along with vanilla. There is more black licorice on the finish with leather and grassy earth. Strength and body remain consistent at medium-to-full.

Drew Estate Undercrown ShadyXX

Final Third

An hour and twenty minutes in, the final third sees the end. On the draw, I get more black pepper and cocoa. Through the nose, sweet cocoa and vanilla are topped off with additional black pepper. The finish hits me with more black licorice and even bolder black pepper. Strength and body finish out at medium-to-full.

Drew Estate Undercrown ShadyXX

Overall Thoughts

The Drew Estate Undercrown ShadyXX is a solid cigar. It produces a lot of bold, dark flavors that work well together with a decent amount of complexity. Aside from a brief wavy burn and required touch-up in the final third, construction was on point with huge plumes of smoke.

Price is competitive with other cigars on the market, and I would say this is one of the best blends currently in the Drew Estate portfolio. These cigars are a limited production, so they’re a bit hard to come by. I recommend giving the Undercrown ShadyXX a try if you can find it!

Smoke on!

-Noah (CutLightSmoke)

Cigar Review | Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust Mi Querida Triqui Traca No. 552

It’s Stog o’Clock, and this time, I do a full review of my #1 cigar of 2019, the Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust Mi Querida Triqui Traca No. 552. This beefy 5 x 52 Robusto retails for $10.75 and features a Connecticut Broadleaf No. 1 Dark Corona wrapper with a Nicaraguan binder and fillers from Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic.

Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust Mi Querida Triqui Traca

Pre-Light

On the cold draw I taste bitter, damp fruit notes. The wrapper produces a rich musty molasses aroma while the foot smells similar. Once lit, I pick up toast and molasses. Through the nose, toast blends with sweet cinnamon and brown sugar. The finish consists of cocoa and coffee.

Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust Mi Querida Triqui Traca

First Third

Thirty minutes in, the first third closes out. On the draw, I pick up coffee with brown sugar and smoked almond. Through the nose, I find light cinnamon and oak notes. The finish hits me with rich molasses and deeper coffee alongside light black pepper. Strength is a steady medium while body is very full.

Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust Mi Querida Triqui Traca

Second Third

The second third wraps up at one hour. The smoke off of this Mi Querida Triqui Traca is extremely thick and chewy. The draw continues to give me coffee with molasses and underlying tart cherry. On the retro-hale, cinnamon picks up with a delicious gingerbread note. Coffee turns to espresso on the finish with a complementing molasses and leather core. There is no change to strength or body.

Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust Mi Querida Triqui Traca

Final Third

The final third wisps away at one hour and forty minutes. On the draw, black pepper and molasses dominate with occasional hints of tart cherry. There is more gingerbread through the nose with hints of cherry and orange peel. Leather comes up front on the finish with smoky oak and more coffee. Strength finishes at medium while body closes out very full.

Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust Mi Querida Triqui Traca

Overall Thoughts

The Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust Mi Querida Triqui Traca No. 552 is simply a phenomenal cigar. It displays an impressive amount of complexity with flavor depth beyond most blends. Construction is spot on with a perfect draw and sharp burn. It’s certainly a finger-burner.

One of the most satisfying elements of this cigar is the density of the smoke with a rich chewiness. It’s also one of the rare cigars that provides an enormous level of flavor without being overpowering on strength. There’s a reason I named this cigar my #1 of 2019 – I can’t stop smoking these. This is one of my favorite cigars of the last decade, and you just have to try it!

Smoke on!

-Noah (CutLightSmoke)

Cigar Review | Warped Serie Gran Reserva 1988

It’s Stog o’Clock, and this time, I check out the Warped Serie Gran Reserva 1988. This cigar was made as a nod to the birth year of Kyle Gellis, founder of Warped Cigars. It comes in one size, a 5 ¼ x 50 Robusto, and it retails for $9. The blend consists of all Nicaraguan tobaccos with a Corojo 99 wrapper.

Warped Serie Gran Reserva 1988

Pre-Light & First Light

The cold draw is loose with cedar and fruity notes. The wrapper gives off a nutty leather aroma, while the foot smells similar with a fruity note. Once lit, I pick up oak with cashew. Through the nose, there is deep toast and white pepper. The finish gives me nutty cedar and brown sugar.

Warped Serie Gran Reserva 1988

First Third

Twenty-five minutes in, the first third comes to a close. On the draw, I pick up nutty caramel with sweet cream and toast. Through the nose, I find more toast with cinnamon spice. The finish is delightful with toasted marshmallow, brown sugar, and leather. Strength and body settle in at medium.

Warped Serie Gran Reserva 1988

Second Third

The second third gets me to fifty-five minutes. The draw consists of black pepper and floral notes alongside citrus. On the retro-hale, spice settles down and turns into a sweeter cinnamon on top of cookie dough notes. There is more leather on the finish with a sourdough toast and hints of marshmallow. Both strength and body remain at medium.

Warped Serie Gran Reserva 1988

Final Third

The final third wisps away around an hour and a half. On the draw, I pick up more black pepper and citrus on top of leather. Through the nose, cookie dough persists with hints of marshmallow. The finish displays dried fruit and leather with the return of brown sugar. Strength and body finish out at medium.

Warped Serie Gran Reserva 1988

Overall

The Warped Serie Gran Reserva 1988 is a phenomenal cigar. Flavors are mouth-watering, and complexity is solid. Burn and construction are perfect, and the cigar gives off huge plumes of smoke. I have no complaints about this cigar whatsoever.

This is one of those cigars you wish lasted longer every time you smoke it. The price is extremely competitive and makes this treat an exceptional value. It’s a box-worthy blend, and I highly recommend it.

Smoke on!

-Noah (CutLightSmoke)

Cigar Review | CAO Session Garage

It’s Stog o’Clock, and this time, I check out the CAO Session Garage. This cigar retails for $8.59. It features a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper with a Dominican Vega Especial binder and fillers from Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic. The Session line is a nod to Rick Rodriguez’ “Sessions” with friends smoking in his garage. It’s touted as something any smoker can enjoy.

CAO Session Garage

Pre-Light

Pre-light, the wrapper produces a rich barnyard and fruit aroma, while I smell the same out of the foot. Once lit, there is black pepper and saltiness on the tongue. Through the nose, I pick up subtle cedar and cocoa notes. The finish is bitter with a lead and graphite note.

CAO Session Garage

First Third

Twenty-five minutes in, the first third comes to a close. On the draw, I find black pepper with damp wood. Smoke is thick and oily. Through the nose, I pick up prune and black pepper notes. The finish offers leather with clove and ginger. Strength and body settle in at medium-to-full.

CAO Session Garage

Second Third

The second third gets me to fifty-five minutes. The draw consists of black pepper and char. On the retro-hale, black pepper and toast dominate with subtle raspberry. The finish hits me with more leather and clove with an oiliness coating my tongue. There is no change to strength or body.

CAO Session Garage

Final Third

The final third ends at one hour and twenty-five minutes. On the draw, there is more black pepper with leather. Through the nose, I pick up sweet toast and black pepper. On the finish, more leather and clove blend together, but the last 10 to 15 minutes present an unpleasant and bitter graphite flavor. Strength and body finish out at medium-to-full.

CAO Session Garage

Overall Thoughts

CAO Session is an okay cigar. It displayed excellent smoke output and construction, but it was generally underwhelming. For the most part, flavors are enjoyable enough, but the profile is somewhat simple.

The big downside for me is the bitter graphite flavor the cigar finished with in every sample I smoked. It doesn’t present itself until the very end, but it’s what sticks in my mind most. As with any cigar, I always recommend trying it for your own evaluation, but the price doesn’t justify the CAO Session for me.

Smoke on!

-Noah (CutLightSmoke)

Cigar Review | Black Star Line Cigar El Milagro Nicaraguan Sun Grown

It’s Stog o’Clock, and this time, I check out the Black Star Line Cigars El Milagro Nicaraguan Sun Grown. This cigar retails for $15.99 and comes in a 6 x 54 Toro. The name of the company represents an African-American owned business founded by a firefighter with El Milagro bands nodding to first responders.

Black Star Line Cigars El Milagro Nicaraguan Sun Grown

Pre-Light

El Milagro Nicaraguan Sun Grown features a Nicaraguan Sun Grown wrapper with an Ecuadorian binder covering Dominican and Nicaraguan fillers. The cold draw reveals a flavor of damp earth. Off the wrapper, I pick up a manure and leather aroma, while I smell fruity leather out of the foot.

Black Star Line Cigars El Milagro Nicaraguan Sun Grown

First Light

The first light gives me buttery toast and nutmeg on the draw. The retro-hale offers me cedar and toast. On the finish, white pepper mixes with cedar and caramel toast. Smoke output is voluminous with an easy draw.

Black Star Line Cigars El Milagro Nicaraguan Sun Grown

First Third

Twenty-five minutes in, the first third closes out. On the draw, I find salty cedar with nutmeg and buttery toast. Through the nose, there is light leather pairing with spicy toast. The finish gives me more buttery toast on top of cedar. Strength and body finish out at medium.

Black Star Line Cigars El Milagro Nicaraguan Sun Grown

Second Third

One hour in, the second third burns down. There is a delicious combo of cedar and leather with melting buttery toast on the draw. On the retro-hale, I get more spicy toast alongside leather. The finish hits me with notes of white pepper and more cedar paired with more buttery toast that occasionally turns to a buttery dill weed. There is no change to strength or body.

Black Star Line Cigars El Milagro Nicaraguan Sun Grown

Final Third

The final third wisps away at an hour and a half. On the draw, I pick up more salty cedar on top of floral notes and leather. Through the nose, cinnamon comes into play pairing nicely with toast. The finish is delightful with rich flavors of leather, buttery toast, and floral notes. Strength and body finish out at medium.

Thoughts

The Black Star Line Cigars El Milagro Nicaraguan Sun Grown is an excellent cigar. It delivers big on flavor with a most notable buttery toast element that pairs perfectly with everything else. Construction is top notch – no surprise coming from El Titan de Bronze – and smoke output is plentiful.

The only downside of this cigar is the high price tag. However, I’m inclined to say it feels worth it to me, and the cigar is neutral enough in terms of strength and body to please just about any kind of cigar smoker. I highly recommend it if you can swallow the price.  

Smoke on!

-Noah (CutLightSmoke)

Cigar Review | Jas Sum Kral Rudy’s Exclusive 2019

It’s Stog o’Clock, and this time, I check out the Jas Sum Kral Rudy’s Exclusive for 2019. This cigar is a limited extension to the original Zlatno Sonce blend, and it comes in the same size as the previous JSK Rudy’s Exclusive – a box pressed 6 ½ x 42. The cigar retail for $13 and comes packed in boxes of 10. Production is limited to 100 boxes and sold only at Rudy’s Shop in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Jas Sum Kral Rudy's Exclusive 2019

Blend

The blend on the Rudy’s Exclusive 2019 features an Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper, but the tobaccos within remain a mystery. Riste Ristevski, owner of the company, has acknowledged the presence of ligero and corojo, but no other details have been released.

Jas Sum Kral Rudy's Exclusive 2019

First Third

Twenty-five minutes in, the first third closes out. On the draw, I pick up spicy white pepper with nutty cedar and leather. Through the nose, peanuts blend with spicy cedar. The finish offers up earthy hay on top of spicy honey and white pepper. Strength and body settle in at medium-to-full.

Jas Sum Kral Rudy's Exclusive 2019

Second Third

The second third finishes around one hour. I find citrus notes complemented by nutmeg and leather. On the retro-hale, flavors remain consistent with the addition of toast. The finish displays damp earth and white pepper. There is no change to strength or body.

Jas Sum Kral Rudy's Exclusive 2019

Last Third

An hour and a half into the cigar, the final third rolls to a stop. There is more citrus and nutmeg dominating the draw. Through the nose, sweet toast pairs well with white pepper. On the finish, I pick up bitter earth with more white pepper and a subtle hint of caramel. Strength and body finish out at medium-to-full.

Jas Sum Kral Rudy's Exclusive 2019

Final Thoughts

The Jas Sum Kral Rudy’s Exclusive 2019 is a good cigar. It’s reminiscent of the original Zlatno Sonce with that signature punch the original powerhouse Connecticut delivered so well. Flavors are enjoyable with solid complexity keeping it interesting, and presentation is beautiful.

My only complaint about this cigar would be the snug draw. Throughout, I had to pull the smoke harder than I personally prefer. I’ve smoked almost a box of these with varying levels of draw resistance, so it seems some of these may have simply been rolled a little tight. However, the draw issue is minor enough to be tolerable, and it’s a tasty cigar I’d recommend trying if you can find it.  

Smoke on!

-Noah (CutLightSmoke)

Cigar Review | Southern Draw Kudzu LUSTRUM Belicoso Fino

It’s Stog o’Clock, and this time, I check out the Southern Draw Kudzu LUSTRUM in the Belicoso Fino size. This 5 ½ x 52 box-pressed cigar was created to celebrate Southern Draw’s fifth anniversary. This initial run is limited to 2,500 bundles of 10.

Southern Draw Kudzu LUSTRUM

Kudzu LUSTRUM features a Nicaraguan Medio Tiempo Habano wrapper covering a Nicaraguan Ometepe binder and Nicaraguan fillers. Retail price is set at $11.89, and the cigars are packed in camouflage paper bundles.

Southern Draw Kudzu LUSTRUM

Pre-Light

The wrapper produces a rich leather aroma, while I smell dried fruit out of the foot. The cold draw gives me flavors similar to the pre-light aroma. Once lit, there is rich leather and earth with saltiness on the draw. Leather and cocoa come through the nose. Heavy smoke output and a perfect draw are notable. The finish brings saltiness through with coffee and earth.

Southern Draw Kudzu LUSTRUM

First Third

Thirty-five minutes in, the first third comes to a close. On the draw, oak and leather coat my palate. Through the nose, I pick up nutty toast with black pepper. The finish offers up rich cocoa and coffee. Strength and body settle in at medium-to-full.

Southern Draw Kudzu LUSTRUM

Second Third

The second third gets me to one hour. Salty earth and citrus complements continued oak. On the retro-hale, I taste what I can only describe as a delicious spicy sourdough loaf. There is more cocoa on the finish with dried cherry and leather. Strength and body remain medium-to-full.

Southern Draw Kudzu LUSTRUM

Third…Third

An hour and a half into this gem, my final puffs wisp away. On the draw, there is buttery toast with black pepper and more citrus. Through the nose, more spicy sourdough notes pair well with dark coffee. I find no distinguishable changes to the finish, and strength and body finish out at medium-to-full.

Final Thoughts

The Southern Draw Kudzu LUSTRUM Belicoso Fino is a phenomenal cigar. The depth of flavors on this cigar are where it really shines. It’s not the most complex smoke, but the notes coming through are rich and full. It begs to keep being smoked, and it’s one of those cigars you simply itch to have again. I’m inclined to say this is now the crown jewel of the Southern Draw portfolio, and I highly recommend you get a bundle or two before they disappear.

The Southern Draw Kudzu LUSTRUM was my #4 cigar of 2019. Check out my entire top 25 list of the best cigars of the year here.

Smoke on!

-Noah (CutLightSmoke)