It isn't every day I get to review a new cigar from Drew Estate. After all, these guys don't pump out a million different cigars a year, hoping that one of them "sticks" (no pun intended). Instead, the masterminds at Drew Estate seem to be a calculating group, only releasing a different cigar line if there is a good reason to do so, and frankly, I appreciate that.
Today's offering is the much anticipated Nica Rustica. This Connecticut broadleaf wrapped beauty comes in just one size and shape, a 6x52 parejo. When you slip one of these out of the cellophane there will be some things you may notice right off the bat, the first being the distinct rusty appearance of the wrapper, which reminds me a bit of the T52, yet the most unique thing is the aroma. The Nica Rustica has a very pronounced earthy smell. Imagine opening up a bag of fertile potting soil, that's the aroma you will get from this cigar. The Nica Rustica has a small pig-tail and a closed foot, which is interesting because the pre-light draw doesn't seem to be affected.
On to the smoke! I may need to warn you in advance that I will use the term "earthy" a great deal in this review because that's what this cigar is all about, the earth. The earthy flavor is the only way to describe a cigar that tastes similar to the way rich soil smells. It may seem counterintuitive that the flavor of the smell of dirt is good, but trust me, it's highly enjoyable. The Nica Rustica is designed to give tribute to the rich tabacco history in Nicaragua and I believe this cigar does that very well. While the cigar has a rustic appearance and earthy flavor profile, the construction is incredible. In fact, I would go so far as to say this may have been the best performing stick I have ever smoked. Perfect draw from start to finish, a nice tight ash that had to be coaxed into falling off, and a perfect burn line with a cone shaped glowing cherry. I never had to touch up or give any care at all to this stick, as it burned perfectly the entire time.
Lets dive a bit deeper into the flavor of the Nica Rustica. As I have stated earlier, this cigar is all about the rich, earthy flavor, yet you will also pick up notes of coffee; the type of coffee flavor you might get if you bit into a roasted coffee bean. The flavors are not sweet, instead they are dry and at times woodsy with hints of hay. Speaking of the smoke, the amount of smoke billowing out of this cigar is going to blow your mind. Massive amounts of thick, chewy, satisfying smoke - incredible! Even when you are not puffing on the Nica Rustica, it's pumping out smoke like a choo choo train. The flavor's of this cigar might not smack you in the face like a Liga #9 or a T52, but instead provide a very balanced subtle complexity that will have you thinking about the cigar the following day. If you are the type of cigar smoker that likes to retrohale, you are in for a treat, as the Nica Rustica has a gorgeous subtle spice that opens up in yours nostrils.
Drew Estate describes this cigar as medium/full, however I found it to be a solid medium. The thing I like about the Nica Rustica is I could smoke this cigar anytime of day or night, whereas the Liga Privada No. 9 or T52 strikes me as an after dinner smoke, the kind you might end your evening with. This smoke never gets harsh or tar-flavored even down to the very nub, which is a place I rarely go, but with this one I didn't want to put it down.
They say this is a hand-made cigar but I'm not so sure. As I smoked the Nica Rustica, I imagined these cigars growing up through the fertile Nicaraguan soil and being harvested under the watchful eye of El Brujito himself.
Would I smoke this cigar again? This is a no-brainer. YES!!! Not only was the construction of the Nica Rustica perfect in every way, the smoke thick and rich, and the flavors interesting and pleasant, these cigars are ultra affordable! The Nica Rustica is less than 7 bucks per stick and will come in unique 25 stick bundles. Personally, I think they would be a value at twice that price.
Official Dojo Rating 93
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And now for those that have severe Attention Deficit Disorder, we present our 6 second cigar review of the Nica Rustica.