The cigar made its debut at the 2013 IPCPR trade show.
It is best to let Drew Estate start the brouhaha by revealing quotes from the web site:
“This is a medium to full bodied smoke – it is blended to be rustic – un-polished, un-refined, for hard core tobacco lovers.
“Con Orgullo (with pride) is embedded deep within the people and the culture of Esteli, Nicaragua. Estelianos have embraced the image of “El Brujito” as a sign of pride and display it though-out their city in iron works, graffiti and sculpture. Carved into stone over 6,000 years ago by a flourishing Pre-Columbian civilization, “El Brujito” literally means “Witch Doctor” or to the locals “the Shaman”. Early Shamanic practices included the use of tobacco in ceremonial and medicinal rituals.
“Taste Profile: Dark, rustic, spicy, robust – very long finish.
“Cigar Style: A potent, robust and fulfilling smoke.”
From the press release:
“The artwork for Nica Rustica is made to pay homage to Estelí by using the image of El Brujito, which is displayed prominently throughout the box. El Brujito, which translates into witch doctor or the shaman, is an image found on a rock that dates back to pre-Columbian times that shows a shaman, the earliest known users of tobacco in Estelí.”
The cigars come in one size only. And are distributed in either 25 count trapezoidal bundles or 50 count display boxes.
The cigar is rustic as described. It has a wobbly pig tail and a closed foot. The wrapper is a dark chocolate brown…but almost coal black in the sunlight. The brownish/yellow cigar band conveys the spirit of the cigar. On the back side, is a small El Brujito. The wrapper is very oily and smooth. Seams are literally invisible. There is a myriad of both large and small veins.
I clip the cap, yarmulke style..only removing the wrapper and not the underlying tobacco, and find aromas of barnyard, spice, cinnamon, cocoa, and earthiness.
Time to light up.
The draw is good and the first flashes of flavor are the mighty red pepper and a rich earthiness. Smoke clouds my vision as I try to type. Cocoa quickly joins the group. And then sweetness. The cigar actually tastes rustic. Sort of rough as a cob.
The packaging for this cigar is just magnificent. I guess when you are Jonathan Drew; it’s either go big or go home. And still manages to keep the cigar at a very affordable price. I tip my hat to the gentleman.
A very nutty element appears. A cross between raw cashew and raw hazelnut. Both sweet nuts in their raw form. Like me.
I’ve had this stick in my humidor for 3 weeks. I have to be honest that I tried one the night I got them. They showed off their enormous potential. I probably didn’t have to wait those three weeks. But time is always on your side.
The ash is white with flecks of gray. The char line is the tiniest bit wavy but no worries.
A bit more into the cigar, the nuttiness and cocoa develop more. It helps bring out the creaminess to a higher stage. The red pepper has dissipated quite a bit. Flavors are: Sweetness, cocoa, rich earthiness, nuttiness, creaminess, and spice.
This is a slow burning stick. The cocoa begins to have a dusty sort of flavor. Like shaking an open container of Hershey’s baking cocoa in the air and opening your mouth to let the fine spray of cocoa enter your mouth. I know this is farfetched but this is as good as my tiny brain will allow.
The ash begins to get long and I knock it off. I don’t need no stinkin’ photos of endless ash…and because I’m afraid the ash will fall on to my laptop keyboard. Every time I get cocky, that happens.
The cocoa is very strong in the second third. And keeps building. I have no idea how a rustic cigar is blended but Drew has done it. Remember chewing on good tasting twigs when you and your buddies went hiking; back when there were places to hike near your home and are now condos? That gives you a hint of the flavor profile. A creamy, sweet, chocolate and nutty flavored twig. Wow. That was a stretch.
By the halfway point, this stick has become truly a wonderful experience. Flavors have moved around a bit: Earthiness, creaminess, cocoa, sweetness, nuttiness, and toffee. The burn line continues like a champ.
The draw is still perfect and is easy on the lungs. The strength started out at just below medium body. At the halfway point, it is a tad bit stronger than classic medium. I expect the last third to kick my ass.
The last third doesn’t see much change at the start. Although, I do get a salty pretzel flavor. It is a great tasting cigar. Very complex. Long finish. And a very slow burner. It has taken me close to 90 minutes to get to this point.
And then Wham! The cigar becomes a huge flavor bomb. Creaminess leads the pack with sweetness right behind. And behind those flavors are very bold cocoa, nuttiness, earthiness, saltiness, and toffee. Big bold flavors. The strength has moved to full body.
A nicotine kick begins. This is where I struggle to get past the last inch.
I marvel at this cigar’s complexity. This is one of the best cigars I’ve smoked in a long time. Yeah, 3 weeks in the humidor worked just fine but I am going to allow the rest to really age in my humidor.
A crack forms at the cap and I must glue it. Given how dry and cold it’s been, I am surprised that it took this long to have wrapper issues.
The cigar finishes out with blazing flavors. It is rich and deeply complex. And a testament that a cigar need not cost double digits to be a fine cigar.
For this size of a cigar, it put in some serious smoke time at just under 2-1/2 hours.
And now for something completely different:
The Police….the band, not law enforcement.
My drummer from the last band I was in was Stewart Copeland of The Police. A mere two years after our group fell apart, Stew found Sting and then Andy Summers. I won’t bore you with a Wikipedia history.
I saw in the newspaper that they were coming to Southern California and doing two shows; the first in San Francisco and, the second, in Santa Barbara; about 90 minutes north of L.A.
No L.A. performance.
I got cocky and called Miles Copeland, the band’s manager and Stew’s older brother. Miles got his start with Wishbone Ash, then Caravan, Al Stewart, Renaissance, Climax Blues Band, and my band, Curved Air. (He now is a multi-gazillionaire who handles Sting)
Miles, unexpectedly, was overjoyed to hear from me…although the bastardo fired me from Curved Air because there was trouble in the ranks with the prima donnas and so why not blame the Jew who acted as intermediary between the two camps? That’s right, take the path of least resistance.
The hall was empty when I was allowed in with my ex-wife, Teri. We had gotten back together after 10 years apart. And what better way to show off how important I was than this trip?
I saw Miles and the band standing all by themselves in the corner of the arena. We approached them quietly.
I had changed my look since England. It was New Wave time, baby. So I had a short, good looking haircut, not a giant afro.
I stood just outside their circle and they all looked at me like, “Who the fuck are you?”
Miles jibes Stew with his elbow and motions with his head to take a look. All of a sudden, Stew’s eyes lit up, a big smile across his puss and he grabbed me with both of his lanky arms and lifted me off the ground. And he yelled, “Douche Bag!!!” That’s what we called each other back in the day.
They brought dinner in for us and we had some beers. After dinner, I brought out dessert: the finest Northern CA buds. Spent $400 on half an ounce in 1981. I decided to buy a tiny bit to take with me. You never know. I also had the devil’s drug: Cocaine.
Well, everyone’s eyes grew bigger. Andy lit it up and then passed to Stewart who then passed it to me. And then he passed it to Sting. Stew ripped a mirror off of the wall and we laid out lines of the white death.
Now here is where I made the biggest faux pas of the evening. This was the beginning of their career and I could not for the life of me think that Sting was what his friends called him. Just couldn’t be. Too stupid a name.
So as I passed it to Sting, but I whistled; like a command to a dog and outstretched my hand with the mirror.
Stewart was livid. He looked at me and said, “HIS NAME IS STING!!!”
My shoulders drooped and I apologized, not explaining my reasons for being so rude. It would have only made matters worse.
Apparently, they ran out of the stuff in SF, so the roadies and their personal body guard got wind….I shared the wealth and now we had free traveling powers in the back stage and dressing room area. Didn’t even need those passes that hung around your neck. I was that well known by then to everyone.
I never laughed so hard as when I saw the “Hollywood” types in the Don Johnson jackets and all that weird hair on the women; wondering who the fuck is this guy? Since Santa Barbara University was their only So Cal stopping point, all the music insiders drove up to be part of a happening. They were all dressed up but Teri and I were dressed nicely casual. She looked great and Stew whispered to me, “Where did you get her?” I explained and he gave out a big belly laugh. So as a real pal would, he started hitting on Teri. I didn’t care. I knew where her passions lay. And besides, what is cooler than having a rock star, besides me, make a pass at you?
Quickly, I became a SOMEONE!
In the end, it was a fun night. I got to see an old pal and make new pals. Andy turned out to be the sweetest guy in the world and we talked about the Curved Air days and he and I talked about his illustrious background.
I have only seen or talked to Stew a handful of times since then. He outgrew me. He became a polo playing jetsetter and this poor schmuck did other things not requiring the dough of a millionaire.
What are you going to do? Go figure.
That’s me on the far left and Stew on the far right:
Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS