Wrapper: Ecuadorian, Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan, Dominican
Size: 6 x 52 Toro
Today we take a look at the new Southern Draw Fraternal Order ‘White’
Samples were provided by Cigars International.
Factory: Tabacalera A.J. Fernandez (Nicaragua)
From Alexander Gougher of Cigars International:
“Last year I had the opportunity to work with Robert Holt to develop 2 cigars exclusive to our retail stores. They hit the shelves May 28th.
The line is called Fraternal Order ‘White’ and ‘Black.’
The ‘White’ is a barber pole design.
The ‘Black’ is a 7 x 60 San Andrés Maduro Gran Gordo.
“I‘m really proud to have had the opportunity to work with Robert. He gave me the nickname, Paco. Paco is Estonian for “Little Hedgehog that swims with the fishes if you don’t sell my cigars.”
“But, you won’t find these two blends on the CI website. Got to get them in-store. That’s why not many people have had them.”
The Fraternal Order blends will only be available through Cigars International’s retail locations including Bethlehem, Bethlehem (Downtown) and Hamburg, Pennsylvania and The Colony, Texas.
I will give you Alex’s home phone number, cell number, and social security number so you can order these SD sticks.
SIZES AND PRICING:
Single – $9.75
Pack of 10 – $79.99
Single – $10.25
Pack of 10 – $84.99
Nice looking barber pole with nearly evenly distributed sections of Ecuadorian and Maduro. Some veinage. The oily wrapper glistens in the sunlight. Except, it’s been raining for weeks here so my imagination is at work.
The stick is very hard. Packed to the gills. The triple cap is flawless without seams. And to the touch, it’s like a baby’s bottom.
SMELL THE GLOVE:
This baby is chock full of delicious aromas: Chocolate, espresso, malt, creaminess, caramel, nougat, black cherries, cedar, barnyard, almonds, smoky meat, black pepper, and red-hot cinnamon.
The cold draw presents flavors of black pepper, cinnamon, creaminess, cedar, chocolate, espresso, marzipan, licorice, and cherries.
The stick needs a swipe with my PerfecDraw draw adjustment tool. There is blockage in the cigar band area. Done and done.
The draw is now perfect.
An avalanche of flavors assault the beach: Red pepper, creaminess, chocolate, cedar, black cherries, cinnamon, caramel, mixed nuts, ginger, vanilla, and a touch of lime citrus.
The finish immediately kicks into high gear spreading warmth and comfort to my palate. I am smacking my lips uncontrollably like a dog. Not a little teacup dog, but a big ol’ dog. My wife enters and asks me to stop making those odd noises. I nod my head and ignore her.
Man, this cigar is delicious from take-off. Transitions begin. And complexity wastes no time in spreading its charm.
Strength reaches medium/full right away with no remorse. I see hallucinations in my future.
It strikes me how well-rounded this blend is from the beginning. Balance needs no warmup. Based on my first bout with this cigar a week ago and this time, this is not a blend for newbies who want to maintain their consciousness. I like strong cigars and this baby is going to fall into that category. Like many others, I find my first cigar of the day tastes best on an empty stomach; hence a potent blend will kick my arse.
The classic rock music I listen to is rockin’ it this morning. Good sign.
A sip of water and explosions can be heard all the way to the Strait of Hormuz.
So far, this blend lives up to the standards set by some great cigars made by Southern Draw Cigars. But it’s different. The potency is new. I can taste the AJ dark and foreboding influence. There is no screwing around here.
This blend is definitely designed for those with a sophisticated palate. Flavors whizz by like an Indy car. So many things going on for this puny brain to catch up to. It’s bold. It’s flavorful. It’s complex. Transitions galore. And an incredible finish.
And then the cigar smooths out. The rougher edges causing my brain to spin calm down to the point that my shoulders relax and I lean into the blend.
Another cigar whose sum is greater than its parts. A perfect cigar for those whose palates aren’t well developed but know what they like and what they don’t like. They will like this baby.
Despite the fact that Supertramp is playing, I’m having a good time.
I grab my water bottle over and over to treat myself to the waterfall of flavors the water inflicts. It’s not often that a finish is this spectacular. I find myself spacing out and just sitting here staring at my laptop screen while my lips smack incessantly. Snap out of it.
And this is only the first third. Wow. There is high anticipation to see what the second half brings to the table.
The complexity makes a quantum leap. Wasn’t expecting that. It is at a new level of semi-consciousness. No shit. I find myself being careful about what I say next because SD makes some fine stuff. But this may be the most complex and bold blend from Holt.
Kudos to Alex Gougher and Robert Holt and the team around them for this daring blend.
It is so different that it is a total departure from any of the previous blends from SD. Growth is good. Especially if you’re my age and the shrinking process has begun.
This is how a $10 stick should taste. No complaining from me about overpriced sticks.
Damn fine cigar. Caramel, cocoa, espresso, black pepper, cinnamon, black cherries, licorice root, ginger, cedar, pie crust, molasses, raisins, and a whole bunch of elements that are obscure but add heartily to the overall flavor profile.
Strength remains at medium/full but inching towards Chernobyl.
Pat Benatar is playing. Remember the early 80’s? Who of you did not have a crush on that babe? I did.
And then the moment is ruined because Frampton’s “Show Me the Way” is playing. I don’t get the attraction to that song.
Want to know a secret? The Southern Draw Fraternal Order ‘White’ has only had less than two weeks in my humidor. And it’s belting out flavors like it has been aged for years. Nice. In just one week since my first try, the cigar has blossomed like a rose.
In this second third, the power calms down. It is mellower. Smoother. The rough edges are gone. It is on a new journey. This is amazing.
My vision returns. Sammy the cat is no longer speaking to me in tongues.
Holy shit. What a great fucking cigar!! It can actually read your mind. I expect the C.I.A. to move in on this blend and use it for mind meld research.
Watch for photos of Robert Holt to be slightly different as a doppelganger is used by the government agency to replace him during their experiments.
Fruitiness. No, not me. A big dollop of assorted fruits cross the threshold. Summer fruits, berries, and citrus make a huge entrance. Sonovabitch.
As I understand it, this blend is a 2019 limited edition and therefore the probable reason for CI and its stores to keep it in house. If it were to show up on their web site, it wouldn’t last a day.
The blend is on an upward trajectory of brilliance. It has turned into a monster blend. Every single puff brings something new to the table and doesn’t let go of the leash it has on your palate.
I’m a lot more clever in my writing when I hate a cigar. Sorry.
I suggest you guys and gals start planning road trips to PA and TX to snag some of these. Or at least, you must know someone that lives near a CI B&M. Make them do the heavy lifting. The Southern Draw Fraternal Order ‘White’ is a must have.
“Monkey Man” by the Stones. Take it Mick.
Because the stick is packed, it’s a slow roll. I am at the halfway point and almost an hour in.
The burn has been exemplary with no issues. The construction is excellent…just that one plug that was easily fixed. Smooth sailing since.
The eventual summer head cold has hit us here in Milwaukee. I’m just getting over it which is why I have been AWOL from reviewing the last week. My nose is still a little stuffy but the flavors emitted from this cigar breach that encumbrance and forge ahead with stunning intensity.
I’ve been sipping WhistlePig Rye Whiskey this last week. It would be the perfect accompaniment to this blend. Gotta try it with my next stick.
I plan on reviewing the Southern Draw Fraternal Order ‘Black” tomorrow. I have smoked one and found it to be one of the strongest cigars I’ve ever smoked. Expect a lot of gibberish in that review…more than usual, anyway.
Especially, since it is a ginormous 7 x 60 Gran Gordo. It took hours to smoke to keep from passing out.
The Southern Draw Fraternal Order ‘White’ does not disappoint. Man, I’m digging it.
And now we are all in…the strength makes the room sway. Yet, the flavor profile is as smooth as ice.
Super complex…this may now be my favorite SD blend. Good on ya’ boys from SD and CI.
I immerse my head in a cold bath of ice water for two minutes and I’m ready to resume.
Spicy cinnamon toothpicks, gobs of sweet fruit, dark chocolate, super strong espresso, cedar, malt, black and red peppers, lime citrus, sugar cookies, savory smoked meat, honey almonds, and licorice.
A curry influence erupts.
This is now a very potent cigar blend. But it is only medium strength compared to the Black. Oy. I will have to gird my loins for tomorrow’s review. Not that I don’t like becoming incapacitated from a cigar…it’s all for the study of experimental science.
I realize that this review is going to frustrate the hell out of smokers because of its limited availability; but you need to find a way…this baby is not to be missed.
Both blends come in 10 count bundles. And very affordable at only $8.00 per stick. If I had blind taste tested this stick, I would most certainly expect the price point to be in the high teens. I cannot believe this quality can be had for only a pittance.
It took a little over 2 hours to complete. No harshness. No bitterness.
And many thanks to Alexander Gougher from CI for thinking of me.
Like I said, find a way.
And now for something completely different:
Once again, the Butch “Eddie Munster” Patrick chronicles…
We had a PR agent that booked us on damn near every talk show in the U.S. It got to the point that I really got to know Butch’s history while attending a gazillion talk shows listening to his interviews. So much so that I could have pretended to be him.
I bring this up because whenever we sat in the green room, the host of the show or the production assistants always mistook me for Eddie. I really didn’t think I looked anything like him but you have to remember that he had been out of the spotlight for years. No one knew him as an adult. At the time we met, Butch was parking cars at his father’s several poker palaces in Gardena.
Back in 1982, The Mike Douglas Show was still on TV. It was one of those daytime talk shows that started in the 50’s and lasted til the early 1980’s. It was Douglas who allowed John Lennon and Yoko to be co-anchors for an entire week and allowed them any guest they wanted. That took some balls. You gotta give Douglas props for that.
When the show was on its last legs, it went from normal syndication to airing on TBS. My press agent got Butch Patrick a guest spot to promote our “Whatever Happened to Eddie?” project.
This adventure was actually easy peasy. Instead of flying all over the country, all we had to do was drive to Hollywood from Long Beach.
I went to all the TV show interviews and all the radio interviews with Butch. I needed to make sure he arrived on time and sober.
I had my own idea of how an entertainment manager should look and bought an expensive 3-piece pin striped suit. I looked exactly like Alexander Haig.
The show taped late afternoon. We arrived and were ushered to the Green Room which was a holding area for the guests.
The two major guests were Barbara Eden and Earl Holliman. Of course, everyone knows Eden as the Genie…but Earl Holliman was a character actor. He played the cook in the legendary sci-fi movie from the 1950’s called, “Forbidden Planet.” He also played Angie Dickinson’s side kick cop on “Police Woman” on TV. He found himself being liked by John Wayne and appeared in several of the Duke’s films. (I met Wayne while doing bass session work for legendary actor Chill Wills in his Huntington Beach recording studio.)
Meeting Eden was a thrill and she was even more gorgeous than on TV. She also had a boyfriend the size of the Hulk with her. This guy’s job was to be intimidating and it worked. I wanted to approach Eden but I didn’t want to get body slammed by her bodyguard.
Due to my years in the music industry, I became used to meeting movie stars and rock stars. I learned the patter to engage them…but the moment you behave like a fan, you were dead. So, I had to act like a peer. Talk about everything but never go into crazy mode bringing up questions that turned the subject off. All my time in the biz, I never asked for a single autograph no matter how much that hurt.
Holliman and I struck up a conversation and I told him about the burgeoning birth of MTV and rock videos. We, of course, had brought our rock video that accompanied our song. The more we talked, the friendlier he got.
We did talk about the classic “Forbidden Planet.” I grew up on that flick. Earl liked talking about it and he said he felt he was miscast. I freaked. I had to convince him that not only was he not miscast but was great in the role. Big smile on Holliman’s face.
Just before the show started, we heard Douglas enter the green room from his dressing room. He heard Butch and he said, “I know that voice. Hello Butch.”
I got to meet Douglas and I was shocked at how old he looked. They had enough pancake makeup on him to bury him in it.
Douglas took one look at me all dressed up and seemed to be stunned. My first thought was this…I was thin, in good shape, had all my hair, and was a good looking kid.
He thinks I’m gay. I mean, he literally did a double take when he saw me. We shook hands and I swear he looked afraid of me.
So, Butch did his shtick in a very good interview but it was cut short because a washed-up magician/mentalist, The Amazing Kreskin, was hogging Butch’s time. Even Douglas was perturbed because at one point, he rolled his eyes. I’d never seen a talk show host look disgusted on camera because he couldn’t get rid of a guest. This Kreskin tool wouldn’t let up with his stupid Magic 101 tricks.
When it was over, Butch and I left and walked down the corridor to the elevator. Earl and Douglas both leaned out of the doorway to say goodbye; and Earl yelled, “See ya Phil. Take care. Have a good one.” I was thrilled and told Butch. We got into the elevator.
As the doors closed, I told Butch how cool Holliman was.
Butch turned to me and said, “Earl Holliman is gay.”
All I could think of was I gave Earl my business card. Would he call me for a date?
He called a couple weeks later. He asked if I wanted to go somewhere cool that would surround me with movie stars. I made excuses that between my work at the recording studio and the Butch project that I just didn’t have time. Earl was clearly disappointed.
Holliman called a week later for the same reason. I told him I wasn’t gay and he hung up on me. I wanted to say “I go fag. You die.” But “Analyze This” hadn’t been released yet, so nothing clever came out of my mouth. Just like my cigar reviews.
Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS