Southern Draw Jacob’s Ladder Brimstone | Cigar Reviews by the Katman

Wrapper: Pennsylvania Broadleaf USA
Binder: Pennsylvania Broadleaf USA
Filler: Nicaraguan, Dominican (Triple Ligero)
Size: 6 x 56 Perfecto
Strength: Full
Price: $11.99

Today we take a look at the Southern Draw Jacob’s Ladder Brimstone.
Samples provided by Robert Holt.
After a couple bum reviews, I decided to play it safe and go with a brand/blend I know will twirl my palate.

From Southern Draw:
“Factory: AJ Fernandez Cigar Co.
Blender: Robert Holt
MSRP: $11.99
Release Date: July 2019
20 count boxes and bundles
Full production 150,000 per year”

From Brimstone Press Release:
“AUSTIN, TEXAS — JUNE 3, 2019 — Southern Draw Cigars’ boldest blend will rain down its vivid interpretation of wrath with the Jacobs Ladder – “Hail,” “Fire,” and “Brimstone” – the names applied to each of its triple ligero filler tobaccos.

“Brimstone, a moniker referencing the Bible’s passages about fiery torment, is the fifth size of the Jacobs Ladder selection, and uses a patiently aged Pennsylvania Broadleaf USA wrapper, a Maduro USA binder, and a potent new filler combination consisting of three different ligeros from Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic.

“The Brimstone is a very full-bodied, full-flavored bomb that burns uniformly and yields a beautiful white ash. The company believes this new size of Jacobs Ladder remains #boldbutapproachable and it is hand-made by AJ Fernandez Cigar Co. in Esteli, Nicaragua.

“Jacobs Ladder is the popular cigar blend named in part for Ethan Jacob, the son of Founders, Robert & Sharon Holt. A limited number of samples of the new 6″ x 56 perfecto will ideally be available from the hands of Ethan Jacob who has plans to share this line extension with media members and current valued retailer partners of Southern Draw Cigars. The unveiling of the Jacobs Ladder – Brimstone (the name was shortened to fit on the secondary bands and boxes) is scheduled for June 30, 11 a.m. in Booth #3061. The company is keeping images of the new releases under wraps to further benefit those that attend IPCPR.”

The wrapper is the color of squid ink. It has significant levels of tooth in some areas and smooth as my tush in others. The prior practice sticks were packed solid, as is this one, but each one had perfect resistance and a clear draw. Didn’t have to use my PerfecDraw draw adjustment tool on any of them.

A good perfecto is a bitch to roll. The configuration and construction of the Brimstone is spot on. A work of art. Seams are visible. Lots of small veins. A beautiful triple cap. And very heavy in the hand.

Aromas are delicate: Dark chocolate, cream, black pepper, nice floral notes, Heath bar, notes of black coffee, spiced rum, cedar, malt, and barnyard.
The cold draw presents flavors of chocolate covered caramels, licorice, black pepper, cream, espresso, cedar, malt, and toffee.

All of SD sticks are aged extensively after rolling. But this baby isn’t a stick I found to be ready quickly. I’ve had them a couple months and the blend is now ready for my palate. I smoked one last night and the beauty of the blend came shining through. So, don’t hurry…be patient if you want to get the best from the cigar.

The draw is impressive as it jettisons huge plumes of smoke covering my head in a cloud of fragrant aromas.

Caramel hits first with a big dose of creaminess. Then, followed by just the right amount of spiciness from the black pepper; not overpowering…just as l like it.

Complexity bursts wide open on the first puffs. This is a dark and intense blend. It lies heavy on the back of your tongue. This is a blend for sophisticates of the leaf. It will kill newbies.
I love a cigar that starts off with a fanfare and fireworks. Holt is so damn consistent. He is proving to be a real mover and shaker in this industry with his long stream of hits.

Flavors widen the spectrum: chocolate, licorice, salted caramel, sweet balsamic notes, prune Danish, and poppy seed cake. I will be attacked for that list…

The burn is good.
Transitions are in motion. Nice long toothy finish filigreed with a phalanx of tidbits. (I have a Thesaurus).

The classic rock station is on point today. Natch. I’m smoking a great blend. How do they do that?
They played The Tubes a couple minutes ago. Damn. What a great 80’s band that I haven’t heard in ages.

The blend is dense like a day old matzoh ball.
Strength is medium/full.
Complexity increases the peace with each puff and a sip of water produces a variety of surprises.

I don’t retrohale any longer. It screws up my sinuses. This would be a good blend for those with functioning sinuses.

One of the great consistencies of SD blends is that they are packed to the gills. None of this crap where the cigar has the weight of 3 toothpicks. These sticks allow for a slow, and gratifying, enjoyment of the tobacco sausage.
Strength hits full and I’m swooning. Hot damn.

Like all good sticks, time passes too quickly.

There are flavors that are simmering waiting to be exposed that I can’t put my finger on. I believe with a couple more months of humi time, this cigar will cross the International Dateline and its molecules will become even more cohesive and a juicy treat for the senses.

I believe that AJ does his finest work in collaboration with Southern Draw.

The cigar is just going Bozo crazy now. The balance is unequaled. It is so potent a blend that I’ve gone blind in one eye…the one I don’t need. Yet, through the magic of CGI, it is smooth as glass. The sweet and savory elements are on the money. I gotta’ brag on the finish. It has been impeccable. It never goes away and is intensified with a sip of liquid.

“All Along The Watchtower” is playing. One of my all-time favorite Jimi tunes.

Flavors are one. The cigar is whole. The Southern Draw Jacob’s Ladder Brimstone is killing me with kindness.

Ever ride the Tea Cups at Disneyland? This is nothing like that. More like the Matterhorn. Besides, I’m not a big fan of vomiting in public.

The halfway point hits at 45 minutes. A blink of the eye. This is a cigar you savor and relish like the first time you went to the Whisky A Go Go.

It is an official flavor bomb now: Chocolate, espresso, malt, creaminess, salted caramel, dried fruit, cedar, spiced rum, toffee, that lovely poppyseed cake, and a hint of orange citrus.
The burn has been exemplary. Just gorgeous.

Southern Draw has made a pact with the Cosmic Muffin. No duds or even average blends in the huge collection. And I still have several blends yet to review from 2019 IPCPR. Robert Holt is quickly becoming a force to be reckoned with in the boutique cigar industry. He is a young man; especially from my vantage point. I cannot even fathom the skills he will have procured 20 years from now.

I’ve reviewed 15 SD blends, including this one, in the last 3-1/2 years. The giant steps SD has taken is breathtaking. Yeah, I’m a big fan.

This is odd. The cigar is a mind blower and a killer. It is one of the strongest cigars since I reviewed the Cigars International Exclusive, Fraternal Order Black in June. But I’m not getting any sense of overload from excessive nicotine. I’ve jinxed it. Clicks and whistles will be the only sounds emitting from my open maw during the last third.

“Cold Shot” by SRV. Beautiful.

Dudes and Dudettes…another must try that encourages the emotional need to hold it dearly next to your breast.
Earlier undescribed flavors find themselves being exposed: ginger, smoky meatiness, the balsamic sweetness, a variety of citrus elements, butterscotch, and a super-rich aged tobacco component.

OK. I blasphemed. The nicotine hits. I’m probably more sensitive to it than others as I’ve never smoked a single cigarette.
Construction has been top notch and without recriminations. No touch ups required. An excellent draw throughout.

“Communication Breakdown” by Led Zep. Am I on a roll, or what?

I consider myself lucky to be friends with Mr. Holt. I’m sure, I’m one of thousands of people he has met that feel the same way.

Oh no…The Eagles. In one of my recent reviews, I dissed them and got an email from Dr. Rod Kurthy (PerfecDraw) reading me the riot act about this. He has been a big fan. But please don’t hold this against him…he is a good man. Just misguided.

The blend has reached its zenith in the last third. It is screaming laughter.

If it were any more complex, it would work for the Pentagon. The balance is untouchable. The finish is friggin’ ridiculous. The level of smoothness is sinister with ulterior motives.

Throughout this experience, none of the flavors have gone into hiding. They continue to build upon themselves bringing on exponentially intense complexity that boggles this puny brain.
I’m at complete peace. I love everyone.

OK. The price. $12.00. One of the few in this price range worth every shekel; plus some. You get a stellar blend that lasts and lasts like a Tootsie Roll Pop. Or a visit to the dentist.

I’ve given SD a lot of 100 ratings. So, today I’m reducing that number so as not to look like a sycophant. But it does deserve a 100. For my palate, it’s perfect.

And we serendipitously finish with The Spencer Davis Group’s “I’m a Man.” Robert Holt…you da’ man.



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7 replies

  1. Man, i smoked one of these this past Saturday. I certainly do not—nor will I probably ever—have your palate prowess. Balsamic, prune, and poppyseed, WTF!? Okay, maybe prune because I did almost shit my pants during the last third. I kid, the cigar is delicious. Dark but not muddy, black but not murky-I have a thesaurus also. I could only afford a handful of these, so I’ll take your advice and put the others away for a couple of months. I did feel the first one I smoked could benefit from a little time, but I was impressed regardless. I usually am anytime I smoke a Southern Draw product. Anyway, thanks for the review Katman. Keep up the stellar work. I’m a big fan.

  2. Thank you, Darryl.
    SD is one of the most consistently great cigar companies, boutique or catalog, on the market.
    Robert Holt just has that magic touch.

  3. Great review! Always a very entertaining read!!!

    Cheers from Bayview, Wisconsin

  4. “I could run away to Spain,
    but I’d just get tied again!

    I could run off to Jamaica,
    if this bondage I could breaka!!”

    Great stuff, absolutely the best band to see live in the 70’s & 80’s. NOBODY put on a show like the Tubes did.

    I received this cigar in the Cigar Federation’s,
    COTM Club batch.

    It’s stewing in the humidor…. can’t wait for the timer to ding!

    Fee Waybill & Re Styles rolled out in full bondage leatherwear on the back of a Harley @ the Big A in 1977, opening for Alice Cooper. They were booked to be on the whole tour.

    They stole the THUNDER of the Festival on the 1st day, and were fired the next day.

    Long live Rock & Roll!

  5. Jesus, man could you change the channel? Come on, man. I had a rough night and I hate the fuckin’ Eagles, man!

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