We smoked a lot of cigars in 2014 and now it’s time to announce our top 10 cigars of the year. Just a quick bit of information on how these are selected is below. Since we have always prided ourselves on the notion of the “everyday man (or woman)” style of review, our Top 10 is not going to be limited to just cigars that were released in 2014, but that we tried for the first time in 2014. We smoked just over 100 different cigars for review in 2014 and we are pleased to present to you our Top 10 of the year as well as 5 Honorable Mentions, click here or below to see who made the list, watch the reviews see our ratings.
Miami, FL – Drew Estate announced today that the Liga Privada Único Serie Ratzilla would be launched as a limited holiday release to retailers participating in Drew Estate’s Drew Diplomat Retailer Program.
Retailers who participate in the Drew Diplomat program are given priority allocations on new cigar releases, limited editions, and commemorative cigars and products. Diplomat retailers are also granted access to Drew Estate’s boutique brands, including Liga Privada and Herrera Estelí. In addition, Drew Diplomat retailers receive seasonal releases such as the Ratzilla, and receive priority incentives for in-store events and promotions.
Prior to this formal release, the Liga Privada Único Serie Ratzilla was handed out to a few friends at the IPCPR tradeshow in 2011, and then introduced at Casa de Montecristo in Chicago in 2012 with an extremely limited production of 50 12-ct bundles.
The Liga Privada Único Serie Ratzilla, produced at La Gran Fabrica Drew Estate in Estelí, Nicaragua, features a Connecticut River Valley Stalk Cut & Cured Sun Grown Habano Wrapper, a Plantation Grown Brazilian Mata Fina Binder, and Nicaraguan and Honduran Fillers.
Jonathan Drew, speaking from Hopkinsville, Kentucky, stated: “We are excited that the Ratzilla is the first Drew Diplomat Retailer Holiday Seasonal Release. The Liga Privada Único Serie Ratzilla is the next logical progression in the Dirty Rat legacy.”
When reached for comment at the Drew Estate offices in Miami, FL, Rich Cutler, VP of Global Sales at Drew Estate, said that, “we placed the order with our Production Team at Drew Estate almost a year ago when we were preparing the Drew Diplomat Retailer Program. We’re so glad they’ve become ready just in time for the holidays. We hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season and enjoys these cigars with family and friends.”
To view a list of Drew Diplomat Retailers who will be receiving the Ratzilla, visit http://drewestate.com/ddrp.
Drew Estate Tobacco Co. announced today the release of the first “Tienda Exclusiva by Willy Herrera”, a concept cigar by Willy Herrera. Made at La Gran Fabrica Drew Estate in extremely small batches, the Tienda Exclusiva line is specially crafted for one retailer per release, with only a few releases scheduled per year. The inaugural “Tienda Exclusiva by Willy Herrera” blend was produced for the owner of Barrister Cigars in Union, New Jersey, David Mallow, following the 2013 New Jersey Cigar Festival. When asked about the blend, Willy Herrera responded from Estelí, Nicaragua: “This was one of the blends that I was working on through 2012 and 2013. David smoked it at the Festival and kept coming back for more. Eventually, he smoked every cigar I had brought, which I thought would be enough for the entire week! I knew he loved the blend and it felt right assigning it to him for my first Tienda Exclusiva.” David Mallow, owner of Barrister Cigars, said that, “the ‘Tienda Exclusiva by Willy Herrera’ is a truly beautiful project that I am honored to be involved with. It’s no secret that Willy is one of the most talented tobacco blenders out there, and we can’t wait to have the cigar in our humidor.” As stated previously, every “Tienda Exclusiva by Willy Herrera” blend is a limited quantity production cigar made at La Gran Fabrica Drew Estate. Jonathan Drew noted, “I recommend you don’t sleep on this one. These are one and done. Willy has a lot on his plate right now as Master Blender of La Gran Fabrica Drew Estate. As I’ve said before, ‘Boutique is in the Heart’ and Willy has spent so much time creating and experimenting with blends. We have some real gems out of the blends he has worked on. Now, it’s time to get them into production.” The “Tienda Exclusiva by Willy Herrera” for Barrister Cigars is packed in 10-count boxes and will sell for $12.00 MSRP per cigar, plus applicable state taxes. They will be offered for sale on September 2nd from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM at a Barrister Cigars event in Union, New Jersey, with Willy Herrera and Jonathan Drew hosting the event. In the meantime, enter the “Tienda Exclusiva by Willy Herrera” giveaway for your chance to win the first box of this Tienda Exclusiva release, signed by Willy Herrera. Enter at http://drewestate.com/exclusiva.
Miami, FL – Drew Estate announced today that they would be releasing new extensions in their ACID, Kentucky Fire Cured, Herrera Estelí and MUWAT lines at the 2014 IPCPR tradeshow in Las Vegas, NV next week. The new cigars will include the following:
• Acid Blondie Maduro – A maduro version of Drew Estate’s popular Blondie. Featuring a San Andrés Valley Maduro instead of the Connecticut Shade wrapper used on the current Blondie, the new ACID Blondie Maduro will appeal to those who desire Blondie in a bolder blend.
• Kentucky Fire Cured Sizes, “Delfinas”, “Kyotos”, & “Hamhock” – The Kentucky Fire Cured line is being expanded by three sizes: the Delfinas (6 x 26), the Kyotos (5 1⁄2 x 34), and the Hamhock (3 3⁄4 x 56). All three sizes are based on the original KFCC blend, which features smoked tobaccos as well as dark air cured tobaccos.
• Herrera Esteli Norteño – The “Norteño” showcases extensively aged tobaccos from the Estelí and Jalapa growing regions of Nicaragua, coupled with a spicy Honduran binder and a rich, bold Mexican San Andrés maduro wrapper. The “Norteño by Willy Herrera” will be available in the following six vitolas at select Herrera Estelí retailers nationwide.
Coronita – 4 x 46
Corona Extra – 4 3/4 x 48 Belicoso Fino – 5 x 50 Robusto Grande – 5 1/2 x 54 Toro – 6 x 50
Lonsdale Deluxe – 6 1/2 x 44
• MUWAT Nightcrawler – A 4 1⁄2 x 50 Short Robusto based on the stronger Bait Fish blend. A bigger Bait Fish, for fans of that blend. Drew Estate’s customers asked for it, and they delivered. The MUWAT line will also debut a new packaging style at the IPCPR tradeshow.
When asked about the new line extensions, Drew Estate president Michael Cellucci stated that, “we are always looking to improve our brand portfolio at Drew Estate. We strongly value customer feedback, and many of these new sizes were directly influenced by customer input. We believe that there is a cigar for every palate in the Drew Estate portfolio.”
Stick Review Rating: 94 (Excellent)
Drew Estate announced today that Willy Herrera will become the “Master Blender” of Drew Estate, effective immediately. Herrera was originally recruited by Drew Estate
to create a signature brand illustrating his Cuban heritage and “Cubanesque” blending style. After working with him over the past three years in Nicaragua, Drew Estate determined he was suited to lead their blending team. This represents a major change for Drew Estate, marking the first occasion where someone of Cuban descent has held a top-level position at the company.
Herrera’s new responsibilities will place him at the front and center of Drew Estate’s blending team, which will allow him to channel his passion and energy into creating new blends and maintaining Drew Estate’s current signature blends.
Herrera’s talents were honed over the eight years of “on-the-job training”, running the El Titan de Bronze factory in the Little Havana neighborhood of Miami, Florida. His responsibilities at El Titan de Bronze included tobacco purchasing, production, blending and quality control.
Jonathan Drew, company co-founder, had this to say about Herrera:
“Authenticity is the key factor that originally attracted the DE shareholders to Willy. I personally know the challenges and skill set necessary to lead a premium cigar factory at all stages of development, fifteen employees to fifteen hundred. Willy has the main ingredients, passion, humility and confidence to achieve great results. It is important for me to clarify that Willy is not in charge of running La Gran Fabrica Drew Estate. His position is a newly created, specific role – built around his greatest talent, Master
Blender. We intend to challenge Willy in expanding his blending universe, from Liga Privada to Kentucky Fire Cured. This will not be easy for him. Willy will report directly to me, and I am not an easy person to work for. I am very demanding and require absolute excellence when it comes to creativity.”
Stick Review Rating: 91 (Very Good)
Miami, FL – Drew Estate announced today their plans to release a new size within their Undercrown cigar line. The size will be called Undercrown “Dogma”, and has been created to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the online community Cigar Dojo. The blend of “Dogma” is based on the Undercrown Corona ¡Viva! and is comprised of Mexican San Andreas wrapper, Connecticut Stalk-Cut Habano binder, and Nicaraguan & Brazilian Mata Fina fillers. The “Dogma” will come in a 6 x 56 box-pressed vitola.
When asked about the “Dogma” project, Jonathan Drew said, “we have been major supporters of Cigar Dojo from the beginning. A handful of Drew Estate employees, myself included, are Dojo members, and we have always been floored by the support Drew Estate has received on the app and website. When Eric (owner of Cigar Dojo) approached us about coming up with this special commemorative cigar, it was a no-brainer. My dad, “Baitfish” Gary, came up with the name ‘Dogma’.”
The “Dogma” will be a limited run of 10-count bundles, and will be sold exclusively through Smoke Inn, a South Florida cigar retail chain, owned by Abe Debabneh. For those based outside of Florida, the cigars will be available through Smoke Inn’s web store. The “Dogma” will be priced at $9.95 MSRP per single and $99.50 MSRP per 10-count bundle.
The flavor profile of the “Dogma” aligns with that of the Corona ¡Viva!, featuring notes of cocoa, earth, and a rich spicy character. If you enjoy the Corona ¡Viva! but would like a longer, 56 ring gauge smoke, the “Dogma” will be a new favorite.
In tandem with the release of the new “Dogma” size, Drew Estate will be running a social campaign and giveaway through their website which will allow consumers to try the cigar before it hits the market. To enter, visithttp://drewestate.com/dojodogma. Unfortunately, the giveaway is not available in MA, MI, and VA due to anti-tobacco promotion laws within those states.
The Undercrown “Dogma” will be available for pre-order Friday, March 28th, 2014, through SmokeInn.com. In the meantime, make sure to enter Drew Estate’s “5 Days of ‘Dogma’” giveaway for your chance to try the cigar before anyone else in the country.
We smoked a lot of cigars in 2013 and now it’s time to announce our top 10 cigars of the year. Just a quick bit of information on how these are selected is below.
Since we have always prided ourselves on the notion of the “everyday man (or woman)” style of review, our Top 10 is not going to be limited to just cigars that were released in 2013, but that we tried for the first time in 2013.
We smoked just over 130 different cigars for review in 2013 and we are pleased to present to you our Top 10 of the year!…Click here to see them all!
Stick Review Rating: 89 (Very Good)