Southern Draw Fraternal Order Blue Corona | Cigar Reviews by the Katman

Wrapper: Nicaraguan Corojo ‘99
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Brazilian, Nicaraguan, Honduran
Size: 6 x 42 Box Pressed
Strength: Medium
Price: $8.75 ($7.00 at Cigars International)

I reviewed this blend in late July in the Toro size. It didn’t go well. I have reviewed 25 different blends from SD in the last 6 years. Every single one a winner. I found myself flummoxed. Robert Holt is one of those rare animals that gives a shit about the blends representing his name. He hasn’t gone off to sell bundles of seconds or thirds, bundles of value priced $1.75 sticks, or lowered his high standards. I find that in most cases, boutique brands go for gold once the smoking world is familiar with their brand. I call it the Rocky Patel Memorandum. Sell anything to keep the owner in a gold-plated Rolls Royce. Damn the customer base. Make money, more money, and then even more money.

I am reviewing the same blend in the new corona size today. I’ve smoked a couple and found them to be what I always expect from Southern Draw. Consistency of quality.

So, what happened? No idea. It is like I’ve smoked two completely different blends. I am not a tobacco expert. If you are looking for a civil analysis from me, go to the back of the queue. I will let this go as an unsolved mystery. I’ve always been leery of claiming I got a bad cigar…what does that mean? I mistakenly got the one with Polonium? I did notice, after that first review, that my teeth glowed when I turned the light off.

From Southern Draw’s Press Release (October 12, 2021):
“Southern Draw Cigars has delivered a NEW size edition of the Fraternal Order Blue for 2021, a beautiful Corona 6.0×42 (box pressed) that will be packaged in the 10-count paper mazos; just as each of the Fraternal Order Blue, Black and White releases of years past. More information on this new release will be forthcoming from Cigars International so stay tuned.”

This is only available at Cigars International.

I’ve always liked a crisp box press. It lures me like sirens to the dreaded rocky shoals…where I make it out alive only to be eaten by wild ferrets.

There is a sheen of oil that elaborates the seal brown and espresso hued wrapper. Some noticeable veins but I’m being picky. Seams are jam up and jelly tight. Tobacco is evenly distributed. No soft or hard spots. The cap is so seamless that I need my reading glasses and a flashlight to count the caps. There are two caps.

The wrapper is smooth but has little areas of forbidden territory that have some grit to them. Just feels right in the hand.

Aromas of floral notes, dark chocolate, cedar, malt, spearmint, rich espresso, licorice, black cherries, root beer, and barnyard.

The cold draw presents flavors of black pepper, dark chocolate, espresso, caramel, root beer, black cherries, malt, and brown sugar.

The draw is spot on, so I put my darling PerfecDraw draw adjustment tool back in Sammy the Cat’s tool belt. He likes to help out around the house. It’s like having a second wife. Pushy bugger.

Joe Cocker “With a Little Help From My Friends.” This bodes well for the cigar.

I light up using my industrial sized blow torch and we are off…immediate notes of character show up leading me to believe that serious complexity is about to kick in at any moment.

This little Corona is pumping out plumes of smoke that rivals Chernobyl.

Flavors attack like when Charlotte finds out I bought cigars. Legs and arms all akimbo and no prisoners taken. There is nice savory v. sweet thing happening…chocolate, more red pepper than black, a deep richness that puts me on the swing outside on a sunny day in Milwaukee. (That never happens). The brown sugar and those black cherries should sit atop the creaminess that begins to pour from the cigar’s snout.

Half an inch in and we have the always elusive complexity. I just know that if a cigar starts out with a kick to the groin, I am going to have a good time.

The balance shows up very early. Flavors align themselves against the wall and mama measures and marks each one for future reference. The cigar is selling creamy peanut butter and vanilla ice cream. The spiciness is exactly what I hope for in a blend…the right kick in the arse but does now overwhelm the flavor tidbits.

Transitions begin. I put my thumb out to hitch a ride and I remember I lost it in a bizarre gardening accident. The finish is warming up like a pig wearing nutria.

I cannot believe you can purchase this cigar for only $7. This is nuts. Proves that all those ridiculous priced sticks with fancy names and poor performance should be ashamed of themselves. This cigar could easily sell in the $10-$11 range, and no one would be the wiser…because the blend delivers the goods. I’m having a real good time.

A couple other elements appear: raw cashews, sunflower seeds, and orange rind.

Remember that my palate is not your palate. Your experience may be totally different and that’s OK. The important factor is that no matter the skill of your palate, you do know what you like and what you don’t like. You will most definitely like the FOB Corona.

I should snag some of the Toros. The difference between my Toro review and this Corona is night and day. Go figure. I once had a crystal ball, but my doctor cauterized it. I’m fine now.

I’m a big fan of the Corona Gorda and Corona sizes. They tend to be more intense than a much bigger cigar. I still like big cigars, but they must be saved for when I have 3 hours to kill. This Corona will be an hour or less smoke. Perfect for when you need to cram in a cigar to keep you sane. Based upon reader’s comments, most should be in a facility. I have great guilt over this. Did I make them nuts or do nutty smokers read me because they are too much like me?

Complexity is soaring. The balance hasn’t changed and improves with every puff.

I hit the sweet spot early. Charlotte complains about this to me all the time…well, birthdays and anniversaries actually.

The blend has taken a big leap. It sucks me in like a hungry wild boar…until it figures out I keep kosher. (Not really. I’ve always loved bacon).

Just like you can buy a preacher’s certificate online, you can also buy a rabbi’s certificate…which I did years ago. Yet, no one has let me near their newborn boys with a circumcision tool. Is there any trust left in the world?

The little Corona takes its time because it is beautifully solid. Gov’t Mule is playing. The Allmans would have been very proud of these boys.

The char line is military spec. I always…let me repeat that…I always have burn issues with box pressed sticks. Not today my dears. No char line issues. No construction issues. Just a slow-motion Disney’s Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride. I grew up near Anaheim and I only went on that ride once in my life. The Disney people frown on projectile vomiting.

The cigar is now morphing. It actually changes direction. Strength has been a solid medium; but now is teasing me with hints of medium/full. Which will be followed by nicotine that my wussy brain dislikes. I get through nicotine bouts by dunking my head in the toilet and flushing a few times. Try this at home. You will see I am right.

The baseline of this blends settles into the abstract of the tobaccos used to build it. Another great example of the whole shines above the sum of its parts. Is Generalissimo Francisco Franco still dead? I was called in to verify and I swore he winked at me.

One thing I truly adore about SD blends…After throwing them naked into my humidor, I can usually smoke one a week later and get a huge blast of the blender’s intent. I can taste the passion in every SD blend.

Mr. Holt is so reliable that I never question the purchase of a new blend.
Oye Como Va.

While the baseline is undisturbed, the blend seeks out tangents the way I do.

Speaking of which…I zoomed Rob Jones of Cigar Talk yesterday. I get interviewed tomorrow and the show will air on Nov. 15. Rob seems to be a brother from another mother. This will be the first time I’ve ever been interviewed. And I’ve not shown myself in the 10 years I’ve been reviewing. This interview is going to be a shock to everyone’s sense of propriety. I do expect that my readers will have an Ah Ha moment after watching me rant. Everything will make sense. I am ready to pull the trigger on that condo in Guam in case the interview forces me to leave the country.

The Blue has everything going for it…complexity, balance, depth of character, richness, and a willingness to look the other way when I don my leather head gear with the red ball attached. I am able to speak with that thing, but I can’t pronounce consonants.

Strength hits medium/full with extreme prejudice. I feel light as a feather and I swear I rise several inches above my chair…I will be right back…need to change my Depends.

The FOB has me swimming in a sea of swarming simbas.

Your palate could have been damaged by excessive use of Metamucil and it will still blow your tiny brain away into the heavens above.

Sips of water excite the molecules of the tobacco. Aforementioned flavors have not moved an inch. My fragile palate says I dig a pony.

In 1975, I was coming out of the Fender Sound House on Tottenham Court Road and as I grabbed for the glass door to leave, McCartney was on the other side attempting to get in. I went into shock and my muscles froze. He kept shaking the door. I came out of my coma and let go of the door. I had a million things I had prepared to say if I had the odd chance of ever meeting him. He said, “Thanks mate.” And all I could do was nod without any capability of speech.

The term ‘well-rounded’ is overused. But it describes this blend to a tee.

The nicotine is crawling up my leg. I throw my colostomy bags at it and I’ve stalled the inevitable.

Main flavors are assorted bakery items, creaminess, black pepper, orange zest, chocolate covered grasshoppers, malt, and sweet cherries.

“Rocky Mountain Way” is playing. I remember seeing Joe Walsh play it live on TV in the early 70’s. When I saw the coolest looking bassist swaying and playing a fretless, it was at that moment I realized I needed my own fretless.

The cigar is in cruise control. Nothing is missing. Nothing needs to be added. Tapioca pudding with chocolate sprinkles.

I’ve reached the one-hour mark and still have 1-1/2” to go.

If I disappear for a while, it is because Charlotte is trying to get me involuntarily committed to a mental ward. I’m going to fight this by making the docs read my reviews…uh-oh.

Robert Holt and I did a road trip, and we met the Dalai Lama. Mr. Lama said Robert could stay but I had to leave. I should have had a couple twenty-dollar bills to hand over, but I wasn’t thinking.

The sweet spot intensifies. I’m on cloud 8.78. So close.

The nicotine turns out not to be life threatening as it calms way down.

I use a roach clip I bought in Haight-Ashbury in 1969 to nub the cigar.

As the cigar is close to giving up its ghost, there is not a hint of roughness, harshness or heat.
Construction has been top notch. Beans on toast.

You, my dear readers, must snag some. A fantastic blend for pennies on the dollar. Everyone can afford this cigar.

I have an unexpected vision. But it’s in Farsi so I don’t know what it is saying to me.

What a lovely experience. I should take down the Toro review but then I don’t mind when readers think I’m nuts.
You can only get them at Cigars International.
Mention me and maybe I can get them as a sponsor again.
Carry on…



2 replies

  1. Purchased a 10er from CI immediately after reading this review. Guess my buying hiatus can start anew from today (…thanks Phil – LOL!…). I was able to get an additional 20% off by using this coupon code: CIAFFCJO20.

    After they acclimate, I’ll be excited to try one in a few weeks.

  2. Make it good! Excited. Looking forward to the interview.

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