Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano Rosado
Binder: Mexican San Andrés
Size: 5.5 x 54 Belicoso Fino
Today we take a look at the new Southern Draw Firethorn Augusta.
Samples were provided by Robert Holt.
Factory: Tabacalera AJ Fernandez de Nicaragua SA
According to Cigar Coop (9-9-20) (He said it best)
“Southern Draw Cigars has announced a new extension to its Firethorn brand known as Firethorn Augusta. It’s a release that will debut as an exclusive to Cigars International on November 11th, coinciding with the release of Veterans Day.
“Augusta Firethorn features a unique variation of the vitola featuring changes in both the rations and aging of the same tobaccos. The blend incorporates a Habano Rosado wrapper from Ecuador, a San Andres Maduro binder from Mexico and Nicaraguan filler. Augusta Firethorn will be an ongoing release with an annual production of 50,000 to 75,000 cigars. The cigars are being initially released in a 5 1/2 x 54 box-pressed Belicoso Fino packaged in ten-count mazos priced at $99.99. A total of 1,000 mazos will initially be available. In Q2 of 2021, the Firethorn Augusta will be available in 20-count boxes.
“Southern Draw Cigars prides itself on being a U.S. Veteran family-owned and operated business. For Firethorn Augusta, the company partner (sic) with Arizona-based JMG Graphic Works to come up with a new logo that represents the long service history of Southern Draw’s U.S. Veterans.
“Working with Jonathan at JMG was an inspiring process as we looked to update our branding while preserving the heritage that is behind the original backstory of the Firethorn mark. We shared our combined military service history in Georgia that spanned fifty years (1942 – 1992) and their team intuitively understood just who Southern Draw is and what Augusta, Georgia means to us,” explained Southern Draw’s Chief Evangelist Robert Holt in a press release.
“We were extremely excited to bring to light what the Southern Draw brand stands for through the Firethorn redesign and the forthcoming redesign of all related product branding,” said Jonathan Gollins, founder of JMG Graphic Works. “Here at JMG, we look to capture the story creatively. We looked to tie in elements of the Southern Draw family’s military service at Ft. Gordon, formerly known as Camp Gordon and home to the U.S. Army Cyber Command and U.S. Army Signal Corps, the inspiration of the Firethorn at the most prestigious tournament in all of golf and the soul and deep musical influences of long-time Augusta resident, James Brown who began his illustrious music career by entertaining military troops at Camp Gordon including members of Robert Holts family that were serving in Augusta in those days. Each element emphasizes the products’ relationship with the people and places and invoke a visual story for the brand. Augusta, Georgia and the supportive military community has a deep meaning to the Southern Draw family.”
“The Firethorn Augusta is the eighth cigar in the 2020 Fall Release Collection with a single package option of 1,000 10-count mazos of Belicoso Finos – 5.5×54 which have been expertly box pressed with an original production date May 2014. The blend is a unique variation of the original Firethorn, embracing changes in both ratios and aging of the same select tobaccos: Wrapper: Habano Rosado – Ecuador, Binder: San Andres Maduro – Mexico, Filler: Proprietary – Nicaragua. (annual production of 50,000 – 75,000 cigars, Q2 2021 and will be available in 20-count boxes).”
The cigar has 5 years of aging after it was rolled.
The first impression is how crisp the box press is. It has sharp corners that can shave a mouse. The wrapper has a shiny coat that makes the brown bag/copper color shimmer.
The wrapper is smooth as my tush. The tip is about as perfect as they come as far as its symmetrical appearance. The transition is so smooth, there could be 53 caps on it and I wouldn’t be able to tell….smoooooth and glide. Seams are virtually invisible. And no errant veins apparent. A good-looking stick. And the double bands are tight and classy.
SMELL THE GLOVE:
I truly hate clipping the cap. It’s like a baby yelling at the moyel to stop before he proceeds with the Bris(circumcision). So, I gently remove the cap while singing “Tradition” from “Fiddler on the Roof.” It cuts clean as if I did this everyday…wait…er.
First up is a beautiful warm milk chocolate aroma with some deep creamy coconut at play. There is a dark honey component that brings along a spicy floral note…like honeysuckle. A delightful orange rind citrus makes my nasal hairs do the hully gully. A touch of white pepper, cedar, malt, and dried fruit complete the contract.
The cold draw presents flavors of strong chocolate covered orange slices, floral notes, white pepper, café au lait, cedar, and creaminess.
The draw is spectacular…so I put away my PerfecDraw draw adjustment tool for another cigar.
This cigar is very heavy in the hand. And none in the bush. No idea what that means. It seemed lyrical in my head.
The cigar teases. Light notes of white and red pepper. Spicy cinnamon. A thick chocolate malt. Some expensive coffee drink from Starbucks with caramel. With whipped cream, not foam. There is a gooey dark honey influence above the fray. And half BBQ sauce that gives me the tomatoes redolent with spices.
Sweetness is coming from an output hand of rich and decadent caramel. I can feel it melting in my mouth. My palate is doing pushups readying itself for the onslaught. It does 3 and then collapses…my palate is old.
The first half inch is better than the sweet spot of a lot of expensive boutique blends.
I got Chris Stapleton on. I like this guy. If born at the right time, he would have made a great addition to the Allman Bros.
The burn is straight and true.
Strength is medium. Great start for a morning cigar.
And it switches to Gov’t Mule. These are great omens.
The BBQ rub becomes stronger adding onion, clove, cumin, and red pepper. This cigar makes me hungry.
The Firethorn Augusta has me completely relaxed and ready to take a nap at 11:30a.m.
As the second third begins, the blend ramps up its forcefulness. Flavors stand out like me hanging out in Haight-Ashbury in 1966. Just a short haired kid there for the day with his dad. Couldn’t figure out why all the beggars zoomed in on me…”Got any spare change, brother?” Bought my first cigarette roller and a blacklight Jimi poster.
The cigar tastes crusty. Like a fine sourdough bread. But coated in a honey/caramel glaze. The chocolate is laying back and darting through the tulips holding hands with a nice coffee influence. A smoked mesquite comes forth. There are so many flavors in the play yard right now, that I can barely keep up with defining them. Seek and destroy missions. There it is…a rich beef jerky element that isn’t sweet, but rather, a deep beefy taste from a good cut of meat. The citrus plays hide and seek. One moment, it’s tart and sweet…then it is sweet like candy.
My first sip of water rushes signs of varied floral notes, it ups the ante on the dark honey, almonds, and pecans.
The wonderful thing about this blend is that it is in permanent flux. It keeps transitioning from one flavor arrangement to another…in just increments of an inch.
The balance is gorgeous. It is smooth as glass. The spiciness of peppers lays back exactly in the right place for my palate. Never overwhelming, but it found a perfect background place to augment everything it touches.
The creaminess is now Bozo crazy. I have chocolate cream pie, lemon cream pie, and pumpkin pie. The cinnamon lilts a lovely fantastic. Everything has been assigned its duty…and is running like a smooth execution of delight. This stick keeps you interested with every puff. The finish on my palate lingers forever; changing only when more puffs are desired. I wish I could bottle the cigar’s finish. Make it a cologne.
Strength remains at a perfect medium. It does not waver. If the cigar was stronger, I don’t know if I’d taste the nuances. And there are plenty of tidbits floating free that want their due attention.
Needless to say, the complexity is off the charts. At the same time, this is not a showoff blend. It doesn’t scream to the heavens. Instead, it whispers into the part of your brain that likes pleasure. For guys my age, this is close to sex…without the Popsicle sticks and rubber bands.
The burn has maintained an even keel. Not once have I needed to touch up the foot.
SRV. “Leave My Girl Alone.” Now I’m swaying to the vibe.
My second sip of water and my palate explodes like a 14-year-old boy.
Time has no meaning. I’m in heaven. The music, the snow falling outside, and this cigar…puts me into a delirium.
The complexity takes a giant leap and now floods my brain with endorphins. It is so intense that I’m nearly plotzing…I’m verklempt.
I haven’t had this good a time since Amsterdam 1975.
Every flavor tidbit I’ve described is in formation doing a tag team ballet. They rush around transitioning like a mad ferret.
The savory v. sweet balance is as perfect as it comes.
This blend is perfect for my palate. My puny brain bellows, “Huzzah!”
A reminder…when I review a cigar, I find flavors that are detailed as hell because my concentration level is so high. I have no distractions. Just me and Augusta. When I smoke casually during the day, I miss out on some of the nuances. So, you guys that don’t taste the kitchen sink, no problem. Besides, this is my opinion, my palate, and my experience. If you cannot pick up detailed flavors, it doesn’t matter; what does matter is how much you enjoy the cigar.
A lot of smokers get angry over smokers who find baked Camel and fried cheese sticks in the flavor profile. I get it. But if you want to improve your palate, find a reviewer you like and read along while you are smoking the cigar and see if it helps you distinguish the subtleties.
The maltiness is sky high. It’s a chocolate covered malted milk ball. But doused in caramel and honey. The nuttiness excels and turns into a nougat…smooth and dense.
My PerfecDraw draw tool makes a perfect roach clip. I intend on using it for this cigar.
The stick is nearly done. No harshness. No bitterness. No mustiness. It’s perfect.
I’m anxious to try the new Manzanita.
The strength finishes out at the same medium potency it started with.
My body is coated in lovely smoke bringing out decadent aromas. This is a cigar I wish my father and grandfather were alive to smoke.
And we finish out this lovely journey with Traffic’s “Dear Mr. Fantasy.”
A great blend. Mr. Holt never fails to come through with flying colors. Kudos.
Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS