Drew Estate has, over the last couple of years, become quite famous for its Acid line of cigars. Haven’t had a chance to sample any of those yet, but as chance would have it, another one of their flagship lines fell into my lap for review: the La Vieja Habana Celebracion National.
As far as i can tell, its a Nicaraguan puro — i expected a spicy trip all the way. And with Cuban-seed Corojo tobacco used in its construction, a taste of Cuba would probably be evident too. I wasn’t disappointed in either count.
Let me kid you not: this is one hell of an UGLY cigar. Its wrapper is veiny; arguably one the most veiny cigars i’ve ever laid eyes on. To its credit, the wrapper is fairly oily with a nice consistency to it. It feels ok during the pinch test — a tad bit firmer than i would like, but it feels alright overall.
(Image lost) Gray ash, similar to ash from Cuban tobacco
The scent test is another story altogether — i’m not sure what they’ve been growing over there in Esteli Drew but, scent wise, this is probably as close to a Cuban Vueltabajo wrapper without actually being from the famed Cuban tobacco valley! Its aroma reminds me very strongly of a Romeo y Julieta (Cuban) — sharp and tantalizing, full of character. Very nice.
(Image lost) Well formed conical ash; ugly wrapper
It lighted up without much effort, and the first few draws were quite good. Once again; the influence of the Cuban-seed used to grow this tobacco is very prominent. It would take a fairly sensitive and mature palate to be able to tell the difference between the La Vieja and an authentic Cuban cigar (it most closely resembles the mild spiciness of a RyJ). A floral spiciness accompanies each draw during the first half of this cigar. As it burns towards the last third, expect a change to more flavourful, fuller tones. Nothing very special, but interesting in how closely its able to resemble its Cuban cousins.
(Image lost) Nice spicy smoke, good to the end
Verdict: I would smoke this cigar again without too much persuasion. Uncomplicated, straightforward smoke that’s very easy to get into — an ideal daytime cigar. Highly recommended for lovers of Cuban cigars.