Southern Draw Private Blend #3 Habano | Cigar Reviews by the Katman

Wrapper: Ecuadorian
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Brazilian, Nicaraguan, Ecuadorian
Size: 7.5 x 50 Double Corona
Strength: Medium
Price: $11.69 (Can be had for $10 online)

Today we take a look at the Southern Draw Private Blend #3 Habano.
Samples were provided by Southern Draw Cigars.
As of this writing, the cigars are due to be released any day now. You can visit online stores and see that most allow for pre-order purchases. But I’m guessing that in a few days, they will be released.

Production: 11,000 cigars
800 Ten-count IGNITE humi-jars. 300 Ten-count bundles
According to the Southern Draw Cigars press release:
“Memorial Day offers Southern Draw Cigars another opportunity to remember and honor our brothers and sisters who have died while serving in our United States Armed Forces. Our Veteran Owned and Operated company is honored to share the IGNITE 2019 cigar releases benefitting the Navy SEAL Foundation. Once again the Southern Draw Cigars family is joining our premium cigar retailers, sponsors, industry media and supportive consumers to bring awareness and to offer financial support to services that are important to our family. Southern Draw Cigars is also proud to announce the initial launch dates of the NEW cigars as we come together to IGNITE some good.

“We are honored to have Southern Draw Cigars supporting the Navy SEAL Foundation with this promotion. As a company owned and operated by veterans, their commitment to giving back through their IGNITE program is incredible and the Navy SEAL Foundation is thrilled to be named as one of their benefiting charities for 2019”, said Chris Irwin, Director of Partnerships at the Navy SEAL Foundation.

“The Navy SEAL Foundation offers many areas of support and our family has selected two vitally important areas to focus our charitable contributions. 1)Warrior Transition – transition from active duty service into civilian life and 2)Warrior and Family Support – providing strength, resiliency and peace of mind via family support programs,” stated Shelly Hogan.

“The series this year will include 50,000 cigars packed in black enamel humi-jars of 10. There will be six new cigars featured. Each new cigar will come in one blend and one vitola. Boveda has donated a humidity pack for each. Each sale will generate 12.5% of the cost of the jar in money for the Navy SEAL Foundation.
“For more information on the IGNITE Mission, Vision and Values please visit us at”

Cigar Blend Information:

Q2 releases: (Q3 and Q4 release details will be offered at a later day)

1. Private Blend Connecticut #1
Wrapper: Ecuador – Binder: Nicaragua – Filler: Nicaragua and Dominican Republic
Size: Double Corona 7.5×50
Mild+ Body, Medium Flavor
Production: 11,000 cigars
Packaging: 800, 10 count IGNITE humi-jars, 300, 10 count bundles
MSRP: $11.69 single cigar, $116.99 10 count humi-jar (subject to retail discretion)

2. Private Blend Corojo 99 #4
Wrapper: Honduras – Binder: Nicaragua & Honduras – Filler: Nicaragua & Honduras
Size: Rothschild 5.0×50
Medium+ Body, Medium-Full Flavor
Production: 11,000 cigars
Packaging: 800, 10 count IGNITE humi-jars, 300, 10 count bundles
MSRP: $11.49 single cigar, $114.99 10 count humi-jar (subject to retail discretion)

3. Private Blend Habano #3
Wrapper: Ecuador – Binder: Nicaragua – Filler: Brazil, Nicaragua & Ecuador
Size: Double Corona 7.5.50
Medium Body, Medium+ Flavor
Production: 11,000 cigars
Packaging: 800, 10 count IGNITE humi-jars, 300, 10 count bundles
MSRP: $11.69 single cigar, $116.99 10 count humi-jar (subject to retail discretion

A seamless cigar with some large veins. The wrapper has a touch of tooth. The stick feels perfectly filled without soft or hard spots. I have smoked two cigars prior to this review and each performed perfectly.
The wrapper color is brown penny.
This is a big honker of a cigar. It does not burn at break neck speed so I’ve done the 2 hour marathon on one cigar and found the other to be just as tasty as I put it down halfway through and ran some errands and when I returned, the cigar took off from where I left it.

An extremely aromatic cigar with powerful doses of caramel, milk chocolate, gingerbread, cedar, clotted cream, black pepper, brown sugar, floral notes, nutty, and black tea.
The cold draw presents flavors of black pepper, creaminess, milk chocolate, nuttiness, malt, cedar, brown sugar, with some lavender notes.

First thing I should mention is that Robert Holt told me that these sticks were all aged 12-18 months after being rolled.

The draw is right on the money so no need for my PerfecDraw draw adjustment tool. The previous two sticks were identical in their consistency of being rolled with the right amount of ebb and flow.

The Southern Draw Private Blend #3 Habano wastes no time in getting serious. Out of the first puffs comes an assault of flavors that assure my palate it’s on the right track.

An initial spiciness is very upfront but not overwhelming. I like that little kick in the arse to start things.
Voluminous blossoms of smoke fill the air around my head.

An immediate complexity impresses. I must admit that when the chance arrives to smoke a dirigible this length, the first third is merely a warm-up. Not here my children…we have liftoff.

This is the cool part. I am lucky enough to have the opportunity to smoke several cigars per day. By evening time, my palate is a bit crispy. I smoked my first Private Blend #3 Habano as my last stick of the day a few evenings ago. It lit up like a Christmas tree.

My teeth are coated like a warm blankey. The finish is mouthwatering. Transitions are gearing up by first moving slowly and then switches gears and rips into action. Strength is medium+.

Creaminess kicks in, unexpectedly; pulling flavors together.

Southern Draw sets an almost impossible task for themselves. I’ve reviewed 12 of their blends going back 3-1/2 years. Each and every one has received a rave review from me. Each time a new blend is announced, I wonder if they are going to fall prey to success by putting out a less than stellar blend…Holt has yet to disappoint.

Every stick has been unique and a delight to the palate. Hence, SD’s popularity has skyrocketed as word of mouth and cigar reviews have sent them to the heights of one of the most respected boutique brands in America.
Add to that, Robert Holt’s choice to use his platform for humanitarian purposes in helping veterans raises the company’s mission statement to something that should be admired by all cigar smokers.

OK…back to the blend…flavors are bursting like a hot Jiffy Pop. The complexity has dug its feet in. All of the aforementioned flavors, and aromas turned to flavors, are in play. The balance of savory and sweet are spot on. The spiciness is exactly where I like it. Not way in the background but not nasal hair destroyer either.

The sweet juicy center of this candy morsel lies in the second half. As I smoked my first one, that last half so surprised me with its delicacy and intricacies that I had to contact Holt and spew praise like a groupie.

At the time, the cigars had only been in my possession for two weeks. The aging of the tobacco is perfect.
I’ve tried and reviewed so many cigars that claim to help vets or first responders and found them to be less than enjoyable. I had my doubts, even knowing what I know about Southern Draw’s mission, that this would be a great cigar. Man, I was wrong.

Prices vary. I see most online going for around $10. B&M prices will vary due to state taxes.

A whole crazy group of flavors are bouncing off the walls of my palate. Sweet factors of brown sugar, heavy on the gingerbread, chocolate, a touch of dried fruit, and caramel are fantastic. The savory portion of cappuccino, random nuttiness, a wonderful maltiness, cumin, and a hint of vanilla make this a perfectly balanced blend.
The floral aroma fills the room.

35 minutes in…
The Southern Draw Private Blend #3 Habano makes a giant leap forward. The complexity now seems to have only been fooling around in the first third. Now, it is screaming laughter. Holy crap. This is how I like to start my day…an incredible blend that doesn’t allow the smile to leave my face.

Strength is a constant, and smooth, medium/full.
It’s a dessert. No. It’s a main course. No. It’s all too much as I float downstream. Based on my two previous sticks, it only gets better.

Not a single criticism of the burn or construction.
Holt has done it again. A magical and talented blender.

Southern Draw carpet bombed the 2019 IPCPR trade show this summer. There are releases galore. I have no idea how, when most manufacturers put out one or two new blends per year, that SD releases a fist full of great cigars at once.

The cigar is now ridiculous with complexity. The flavors are just mind numbing. They jumble together one moment and disassemble the next into a conga line of distinctive elements. It’s a passion play.

It becomes nearly impossible to compare all the unique SD blends to each other as all are completely different. The SD catalog is a marvel.

The finish does the smoker a big favor. Never suck on a cigar without a break. The experts say the proper way to smoke a cigar is to take a few puffs and then wait a couple minutes or so before hitting it again. Not easy to do. In this blend, the finish is so prominent that there are insignificant differences between actually puffing on the cigar and letting it rest. The finish reigns supreme. The flavors have a snowball effect that stay with me no matter what.

It’s a real battle not to let the Southern Draw Private Blend #3 Habano just dangle from my mouth so as not to miss a thing…but then my photos would show a sloppy disgusting looking cigar cap. None of us wants that.

The halfway point is reached. Some cigars will go a little soft at this point; especially if you live in a humid climate. Not this baby. It is firm and headstrong.

This is not a flavor bomb blend. Sure, it has its socks full of interesting flavors but the blend is so complex that it is a perfect culmination of the big picture dominating the flavor profile. No single flavor stands out among the rest. Peace, love, and harmony.
I take my first sip of water and my head explodes. Thankfully, there is nothing inside so the cat wanders off.

Now I could put the cigar down as the smoke time is reaching one hour. But the blend has captured me. There is no hesitation to see the entire 2 hours through.

Consistency is running the show. No lapses in quality. No linear flavors.

I have the Connie version that I want to review. I’ve smoked a couple of those already and found them to be superb. Normally, I’m not a Connecticut lover but SD has done things with Connie blends that no one else has done…in essence, most Connies are like smoking air to my palate but SD uses its guts to provide a beautiful counterpoint to the delicate wrapper’s influence.

I can count on one hand the number of candela wrapped cigars I like. I’m hoping that Robert Holt ventures into this treacherous territory sometime soon. I bet he nails it.

I could do another list of flavors but I’ve done that already. Instead, I must convey the absolutely incredible working relationship the flavors have with each other. There are a lot of $15+ blends out there that can’t touch this $10 stick. $10 is nothing when you compare the Southern Draw Private Blend #3 Habano to others in the same price range.

I’m writing a PR piece, aren’t I? Sorry, but this cigar is blowing my garters off.

SD is donating a portion of sales to vet charities. The fact that this cigar will take off like a rocket when it hits the market makes me feel good about that.
The cigar forums will be bubbling with word of mouth about this cigar.

95 minutes and counting…
I’m now sitting back in my luxurious office chair with my feet up just enjoying this fabulous cigar. I’m in a Zen cloud.

Having a developed palate makes no difference. This is a great cigar. As long as you know what you like and don’t like, this cigar will twirl your uvula.

The strength increases. Pushing full tilt now. I can still see in both eyes but my left arm is dead so I type with my right hand and my nose.

The last third is manna from the gods.

I don’t normally review two blends from the same manufacturer in the same week but I must review the Private Blend Connecticut #1 as I can’t wait to describe the cigar.

“I Can’t Quit You Baby” by Led Zep is playing. Exactly how I feel.

This is one of the most consistent, balanced, intensely flavorful blends I’ve had in a while.
The nicotine is actually milder than expected. Feeling comes back to my left arm.

I see a big stick and I immediately think that by the time I get to the last third, I will be hallucinating from the Vitamin N. Not here. Not now. It is all under control. I think this is a perfect stick for newbies too. A great introduction into the mastery of blending. And not so strong that you can’t finish the cigar. That’s high art.

Dudes and dudettes, listen to me now…don’t wait. Pre-order this cigar from your favorite online store or local lounge. A fiver at least but, really, get the 10 count. Maybe two of them. These sticks are to be treasured and the best thing is the aging has been done for you. No need to wait 4 months. Two days off the truck or two weeks. It will blow your mind.

The Southern Draw Private Blend #3 Habano comes to a close. A little over 2 hours. Not a lick of harshness. Instead, an intense experience of Palate Joy.
I believe my work is done.
Southern Draw scores big once again…natch.



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1 reply

  1. Outstanding review! I’ve enjoyed Southern Draw cigars. Particularly Jacobs Ladder and Cedrus. I’m really looking forward to trying this Private Blend. When a cigar sucks, you just tell us like it is. Every cigar that received rave reviews from you that I’ve tried have been spot on!!! I’m still floating on clouds from Crook of the Crown.

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