Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano Oscuro
Binder: Nicaraguan Ometepe
Filler: Nicaraguan (25% Esteli Ligero, 25% Connecticut Broadleaf)
Size: 6 x 56 Perfecto
Today we take a look at the Southern Draw Cigars Kudzu 2018.
I reviewed the original Kudzu (1-19-2016) and the Code Duello Kudzu (12-25-2016). The former got a rating of 95. The latter received a rating of 96.
This limited edition of the 2018 Kudzu has different leaf stats altogether. This will be a limited production run of 1500 twenty count boxes. After that, you are S.O.L.
This blend goes very well with craft beers including stouts, porters and bourbon barrel ales, and some fine Kentucky bourbon.
The cigar is being released very soon….Go to the Southern Draw Cigars web site and you can buy all their blends. Contact Robert Holt, owner, and tell him you want the 2018 version toot suite.
Finally, the great thing about SD blends is they are bona fide New Breed. Sure, you can wait for months and months for the cigars to age in your humidor. But you don’t have to. These babies are good to go in just weeks.
This cigar goes beyond the pale in its desirability. The wrapper is gorgeous with a very mottled rusty color. You cannot see the full extent of the cigar’s allure in normal light. Shine a photography light on it and it explodes with stunning color.
Parts of the cigar are very toothy while other parts are smooth as glass. A perfecto ain’t no easy roll for anyone. But this fine example of expert rolling technique goes beyond impressive. Invisible seams. Small, unobtrusive veins. The shape is perfectly balanced with a substantial amount of rolling talent to accomplish the brilliant triple cap and tapering to a perfect little nipple at the foot.
AROMAS AND COLD DRAW POINTS:
From the shaft, I can smell red pepper, cream, chocolate, espresso, earth, wind, and leather, Crème brûlée oozing gobs of fatty goodness, malt, cedar, black licorice, slight nuttiness, and nutmeg.
From the clipped cap and the foot, I can smell both red and black peppers; one hitting the nasal passages and one in the back of the throat….caramel, cocoa, coffee, malt, licorice, nutmeg, cedar, cinnamon, and graham cracker.
The cold draw presents flavors of potent spiciness, malt, espresso, cocoa, cedar, nutmeg, and cream.
I have high expectations for this blend. Here we go…
The draw is tight so out comes my PerfecDraw cigar poker. A single swipe and it’s all good.
First up is an unexpected dose of fruit…peaches and plums. Followed by dark chocolate, heavy malts, bright cedar, nutmeg, a potent amount of black pepper that gets stronger with each puff, a nuttiness exudes peanuts and almonds, cumin, honey graham cracker, creaminess, and a touch of dried fruit.
Strength is medium/full from the get go. (I should have eaten something first).
Only an inch in, the cigar blend takes off. Complexity becomes an essential component that the Kudzu gleefully indulges. Transitions are a moving bullet train. The finish is pleasant but I predict it will be a killer very soon.
Very smooth strong cigar. Creaminess hits the top of the pops. Spiciness follows but finds itself non-intrusive to the whole of the experience. Malts are exceedingly influential…giving the slight cocoa and coffee elements a brighter impact.
Dried fruit squeezes in with notes of raisins and dates. Flavors keep moving along never leaving my palate in the dust as long as I pay attention and focus.
If I was sitting in my local B&M and smoking the Kudzu, I’d lose half of the nuanced flavors assaulting my palate. Some cigars just need privacy to really enjoy the blender’s intent. The SD Kudzu is one of those blends. Solitude and reflection. And a jug of bourbon.
The cigar is jam packed with tobacco making this a very slow roll of a cigar. It’s going to be a two hour experience at this rate.
Smoke time is 40 minutes.
I purposely did not look at my review of either Kudzu blends. I don’t want to be influenced by something different. I will look after I finish this review. Remember, I write in real time. No smoking the day before and taking notes. Stream of consciousness without editing except for spell check. A moment in time experience to make it seem more real to the reader.
Very few blenders crank out consistency that the folks at SD are able to do. As a boutique brand, their price points are more than reasonable while the end of days folks see $12 as a starting point for their customers. It seems like every new cigar is in the teens as far as price goes. Who the hell can afford that? I get a dozen emails every day from readers. You’d be surprised how many folks tell me they are on strict cigar budgets and can only pick the perfect blend suited for them as treats and the rest of their dough goes for inexpensive catalog brands. These smokers can only spend $75 for a 5 pack once in a blue moon. Price is important. Greed is offensive.
Robert Holt has maintained his prices in the $10 arena…or less. If SD can produce superb blends for a reasonable price, why can’t others? PR is one reason. Spend a million bucks on the cigars and 3 million bucks on promotion. You are paying for that.
Back to the Southern Draw Cigars Kudzu 2018. Sometimes I just get carried away about stupid price points. And I get a chance to vent on that subject when I come across a brand that doesn’t take advantage of its customer base. Brava SD.
We have flavor bomb status. Holy crap. The Kudzu just hit 5th gear. Flavors are bold and demanding of your attention. My palate is a circus ground for dancing elephants and high wire acts.
No new flavors but the huge list I described earlier are all in play; but massive in their intent. This blend has become perfect for my tastes…as if it were designed just for me.
Trust your Uncle Katman on this…if you don’t snag this new Kudzu blend or any other SD blend, well; all I can say is you are depriving yourself of extreme enjoyment…and you know you deserve to be happier than a snail in clover.
The halfway point reaches me at one hour 10 minutes.
Not a single construction issue. No wrapper cracks. No touch ups required for the char line. I have friends who live in cold weather and experience wrapper cracks on a regular basis. I have the same issue with some cigars. I’m now convinced that the cold doesn’t help but it’s all about the wrapper and its construction. A sturdy cigar don’t need no stinkin’ badges. The Southern Draw Cigars Kudzu 2018 is an extremely well-made cigar.
The Kudzu finds its flavor profile competing with itself. Bold and subtle simultaneously.
What a brilliant chewy blend. My teeth are coated in flavors.
I will save my list of flavors for the last third. A lot of smokers think idiots like me with trained palates are full of it. It is just about time and experience. I’ve been smoking premium cigars for over 50 years. If you don’t pick up on the character of fine tobacco by then; well, it ain’t ever going to happen. Remember, this is just my experience. It is not objective. If you don’t taste half the stuff I do…it doesn’t matter. What does matter is that you know when you are smoking a mind blowing blend.
I haven’t had this much fun with my boxers on in a long time.
Full-bloody-strength. Nicotine forms in the orifices of my brain. Hallucinations are not far behind.
I was hoping to say this is a perfect cigar for newbies due to the absolute smoothness of this full strength cigar. It would definitely be a good learning experience as the character is not to be missed.
I find malts in most cigars. But the Southern Draw Cigars Kudzu 2018 is doubling down on the varieties of malts that exceed my palate’s ability to recognize the differences.
I love the Kudzu. I want to adopt it and call it Kudzu Kohn.
Vitamin N isn’t too bad and I may have overstated its influence. But the bloody blend keeps changing every minute causing mild overload of the sensory glands. My glands are huge and erect. Well, not exactly. But close.
Smoke time is one hour 30 minutes.
If the Kudzu was any more complex, my head would explode. And then I’d never hear the end of it from Charlotte complaining about the cleanup.
This is one of those rare cigars I don’t need anything to drink while enjoying it. Big plus and big smile.
Flavors: Spiciness, malts, creaminess, nuts, dried fruit, cedar, bitter sweet chocolate, strong espresso, nutmeg, cumin, honey graham cracker, and creaminess.
It’s impossible to hang on to one flavor as the transitions move faster than a speeding bullet…able to leap tall buildings, etc.
Sometimes I wish I was like a bunch of reviewers out there who manage to sum up each third in one or two sentences. This is the downside of writing in real time. Ramble on.
The Southern Draw Cigars Kudzu 2018 is perfect. Not a single criticism. Not a single issue. And a flavor profile to die for with massive amounts of complexity.
Strength hits full+. Yet the blend is so smooth that I’ve not passed out. Sophisticated smokers will go ga-ga over the Kudzu. And you newbies…give it a try. You have to raise your capacity for more complex cigars at some point so why not make it with a Southern Draw blend?
The Kudzu is so intense now that I’m ruined for the rest of my smoking day.
Thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Holt for the opportunity to experience the Southern Draw Cigars Kudzu 2018.
Check out the Southern Draw Cigars web site and you can buy directly.
Final smoke time is 2 hours 5 minutes.
Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS
100???? WOW!!! I hope I can get my hands on this!
Phil, ever since the Southern Draw brand has come out, I’ve been a huge fan of their blends. Their corroboration with AJ Fernandez has been nothing short of phenomenal. There’s nothing bad about any of their blends. I’m glad to see you enjoying them. They haven’t really hit too hard out here in SoCal, but I’m hip, and I don’t have a problem going on-line to buy them…the bigger on-line sources have now discovered them.
Outstanding review, sir…
Thank you Vance.
Have not had one of these babies, but will now.
Well finally a cigar that cracks the 3 digits… never have I heard you express yourself so mighty for this cigar… That being said you know I am online looking for them.. Thanks for the review my brother…
Whenever you slobber all over yourself (usually with those few brands), I’m sure the stogie world is set into chaos and the search engines on several sites crash.
Thank you for that bit of fun.
You were not wrong about the ROS from SD, I can’t wait to sample this little treasure.
I’m headed to Maxamar Sunday, I don’t know if they yet carry SD, but a conversion awaits.
I appreciate you immensely, oh Smokey One!
Code isn’t working. Was it a one day special?
Thank you (Insert name here) for the kind and funny comment.
My bad. The correct promo code is katman15
Just ordered a 2 pack of the Kudzu and the nice looking petaca of Rose of Sharon. Been wanting to try some of these cigars for a while, and the high rating and coupon code sealed the deal. Doesn’t look like this limited edition is available on the site, but I’ll keep an eye out for it.
Right now, I’m smoking an EPC Elencos which I ordered based on your rec as well. That’s why it’s such a sucker move for any cigar manufacturer to cut you off after a bad review. When I see you don’t like a cigar, that’s fine, I know I don’t have the same palate. Still happy to give the cigar a chance. But when you go gaga for a cigar, I want to try it ASAP because you get excited like I get excited when I find a killer cigar, and because I know you’re not just shilling for the makers.
Mighty kind words, pard. Much appreciated,
I am smoking mine while reading your review now. First off, this is one of the most amazing LOOKING sticks I’ve ever seen. A box-pressed perfecto that could not have been easy to roll. And this almost burgandy colored wrapper that is smooth as silk…I am just stunned over the beauty of this thing!!
The draw was indeed tight, but two passes with the PerfecDraw and it is…well, perfect. (That thing really is an amazing cigar tool!) First thing I noticed was the pronounced fruit and maltiness, w some cocoa in there. This combo is giving it a very unique flavor profile that I can’t recall tasting recently. Looking forward to seeing how this all goes compared to your experience. I can already see though, that I will likely be buying some of these. Thanks Uncle…will hit the Rose of Sharon for tomorrow’s FCOTD!! (First cigar of the day)
Yes, you MUST get some of these. I smoke a lot of different cigars, and this is the best stick I’ve had in a while.
I noticed your Bronco jacket. I am in Denver and my local B&M (Edwards) doesn’t have them. I will buy some online after payday, but would like to buy a couple of singles until then. If you find any at a B&M in the Front Range area, could you let us know? CHEERS