Drew Estate has been on a landslide roll since the release of Liga Privada back in 2007. Their meteoric rise from infused cigar giant to truly premium cigar manufacturer has been a roller coaster ride that includes such heralded releases as the aforementioned Liga, but also Undercrown and Herrera Esteli. Continuing their plunge into the non-infused market, Drew Estate will launch a new cigar called Nica Rustica in mid-October. As the name implies, this is not meant to be the prettiest cigar, rustic in appearance and taste. Jonathan Drew, founder and head of Drew Estate, has stated this is a cigar meant for hardcore tobacco lovers, un-refined and un-polished, and medium to full bodied. Coming in just 1 size, a 6 x 52 parejo, and packaged in 50 count crates containing 2 25 count bundles, the packaging continues the rustic theme. Drew Estate also took the time with this project to create a tribute to their home of Esteli, Nicaragua by using “El Brujito” throughout the packaging. “El Brujito” is a shaman or witch doctor and the drawing you see on the packaging is an image found on a rock in Esteli that dates back to pre-Colombian times. This image refers to the shaman as the earliest known users of tobacco in Esteli. It is one of the most anticipated cigars of the year and will be found on our shelves very soon. Keep an eye out on our website and in store for more info and the ability to purchase this cigar soon. Now onto the particulars of the Nica Rustica.
Size: Parejo 6 x 52
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadlead Mediums
Binder: Mexican San Andres Negra
Price: $6.95/stick or $155.95/bundle of 25 *estimated pricing until released
Appearance: The name Nica Rustica does not try to hide exactly what this cigar is: a stick that will win no beauty pageants. From the tobacco covered foot to the imperfect pigtail with a rough and gritty looking wrapper, this cigar definitely fits the Rustica moniker. The wrapper is a dark chocolate like color with a slight oily sheen and some light tooth. The band has an old-time feel to it, yellow in color with Nica Rustica in red that has the appearance of a stamp over the top of the paper. “El Brujito” is featured on the back of the band where it is glued together to keep it on the cigar The pigtail is a simple straight twist at the top, no fancy twists or fans for this stick. There is something to be said about the simplicity in this cigar; it is done in a way that doesn’t feel like Drew Estate was trying too hard but shows the attention to detail they have become known for.
Pre-Light Aroma: With the closed foot on the Nica Rustica it is hard to get any sort of idea what to expect flavor wise. When you can smell the blend of tobaccos on an open foot you can have an expectation as to what to expect. With the Nica Rustica, you get just the wrapper, which brings a cocoa creaminess through the nose, soft and subtle in it’s presentation with a hint of fruit sweetness. Once I remove the cap, the dry-draw brings a singular flavor of a soft milk chocolate to the palate. It is a wonderful taste that covers the entire palate and leaves a lasting taste on the lips and tongue.
Once I burn through the covered foot and light the entire foot, the Nica Rustica explodes with a depth of flavor I wouldn’t have expected. The milk chocolate I picked up from the wrapper is very present but there is a sweet earthiness and a nice almond flavor coming through as well. Through the nose you can really pick up the milk chocolate flavor. The cigar absolutely billows smoke, not surprising considering how Liga Privada and Undercrown both do so, and each draw brings a large cloud of soft and thick smoke onto your palate. There is a lingering sweetness on the palate between puffs that is pleasant but not overpowering. At the start the cigar is medium in strength but seems to be creeping to the medium-full range in the latter portions of the cigar. The burn line is even through this third and the ash holds for an inch before I tap it off, a sign of the great construction of this stick.
Into the middle of the Nica Rustica a spice begins to develop on the back of the palate, a delicate, soft spice that mixes well with the milk chocolate sweetness. The nut and earth like flavors of the first third have dissipated, being replaced by the spice and a slight caramel like flavor that comes into the profile every few puffs. The retrohale has taken on some of the spice though the sweet chocolate flavor is still the dominant profile in the nose. The finish is where the nuttiness continues, lingering on the palate after the smoke has left your mouth. Strength has crept into the medium-full range, not quite peaking in the true full bodied arena. Burn has remained good, though a bit wavy, nothing that needs correction, while smoke production is still well above average.
The final third creates a unique and delicious finish for the Nica Rustica. You have the milk chocolate and nuttiness from the first third coming together with the caramel and spice of the middle to create layers of flavor that excite the palate. None of the flavors overpower the other, rather they dance on the tongue in a carefully choreographed routine sure to be memorable for those who partake. Finishing in the medium-full strength range, this is a good cigar for later in the day, though I can see myself enjoying them with coffee on some mornings. While the flavors create a nuanced and complex profile, this is indeed a cigar fitting of the Nica Rustica name. It isn’t as polished as the Herrera Esteli, nor as refined as the Liga Privada, yet it will easily fit into an everyday rotation for many smokers. It brings some great flavors to the table that balance well with the strength level, all while not trying to achieve the level of sophistication of some of Drew Estates other creations. The hype behind this product will definitely be met for most cigar enthusiasts and that is a very good thing. While they aren’t on store shelves yet, be sure to keep an eye on CigarKing.com for more info, or contact us at 800-669-7167 for more information.