Drew Estate Natural Root

10 May

Blender: Jonathan Drew
Maker: Drew Estate
Filler: Unk
Binder: Ukn
Wrapper: Ukn Maduro
Flavors:  Earthy, cocoa, herbs, coffee, subtle sweet maduro.
Draw/Volume/Strength: -1 / 0 / 3
Rating: 9.0

The Natural line from Drew Estate is an interesting concept, and possibly even more intriguing if you understand its place in the Drew Estate catalog. I selected the Root (5×55), one of 11 cigars in the line, each vitola being a blend unto itself (with the exception of the Root and Root Delux, which are presumably the same blend, as are the Jucy Lucy and Big Jucy[sic], and the Dirt and Dirt Torpedo).

Photo of Drew Estate Natural Root Cigar

Natural Root (5x55)

If this concept sounds familiar, you may be more right than you know. The Unico Serie (which includes one of my favorite cigars from last year, the Dirty Rat) is set up the same way, with each new incarnation being a unique vitola and blend. It may be going too far to say that the Natural line is the forerunner to the Unico Serie, but I will suggest that they are both born of a similar notion.

The blends themselves are a mystery, though like all Drew Estate cigars, it’s a safe bet that they contain no shortage of Nicaraguan tobacco. Beyond that are tobaccos from Spain, Italy, Turkey, and Louisiana, with wrappers from Africa, Mexico, Indonesia, and the U.S. So for specifics, I have none to offer on the Root, other than to say that it’s an “infused” cigar (do not say the “F” word—flavored), with (according to company literature) the essence of mocha cappuccino.

The first thing I’d like to mention about this cigar is the bouquet. It seriously smells like a chocolate bar. The roll is rock-solid and seamlessly finished, with a shaggy foot (meaning that the binder and filler extend beyond the wrapper about a half inch). The first impressions of flavor are earthy and dense, with an interesting combination of cocoa and herbs behind. The mocha cappuccino infusion is subtle at most. It really just hints at it, which reinforces a long-held argument of mine about Drew Estate’s infused cigars: They are premium hand-made cigars first and foremost. The infusions are the icing on the cake.

The draw from a full cut is slightly tight (-1), producing a moderate smoke volume (0) of medium strength (3). The ash is pure white and nicely scaled, holding to just under an inch, and is somewhat flat, with truncated cones. The earthy palate remains stable and enjoyable throughout, with coffee and cocoa ever-present in the background, along with a hint of maduro sweetness. It smokes to an inch and a half nub in about an hour, the 5-inch Robusto length running out without ever turning bitter.

Overall I rate this cigar 9.0. The construction is excellent, the flavors are enjoyable, and the infusion is balanced and subtle, persistent and pleasant, an excellent pair with morning coffee or a mellow aged rum.

Until next time, this is the Cigar Sasquatch saying, “Love what you smoke, and smoke what you love.”

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