First released in 2013 as a nod to Nicaraguan tobacco culture, Drew Estate has breathed fresh life into their Nica Rustica brand, including all-new packaging, an updated name, and a recommitment to the brand itself.
The changes begin with the cigar’s name, as it will now be officially titled Nica Rustica Broadleaf (with the Broadleaf add-on possibly hinting at additional wrapper variants in the future). The most noticeable update is seen on the packaging, moving from black paper-wrapped bundles (which arrived in crates of 50 cigars, split into two bundles of 25 cigars per crate) to traditional 25-count boxes. These boxes feature custom artwork from Drew Estate’s own Richard “Dog” Diaz, lead artist at Subculture Studios.
Diaz draws his inspiration from the colorful colonial houses that make up Estelí’s lively, winding street barrios. Drew Estate is replacing Nica Rustica’s traditional black-bundle packaging with classy wooden boxes that adorn Diaz’s artwork. The “El Brujito” image of a shaman (or witch doctor) that was carved in stone by Pre-Colombian indigenous folk living near Estelí more than 6,000 years ago is retained in some parts of the presentation, but respectfully minimized in the new rendition.
The bands have been tweaked as well, though not as dramatically as the boxes. This includes scalloped cutouts at the top of the band and the added designation of “Connecticut Broadleaf” at the band’s lower third.
Fans of the brand will be relieved to see no change to the blend, continuing the use of a Connecticut River Valley Broadleaf Medium wrapper, Mexican San Andrés Negro binder, and Nicaraguan filler tobaccos from Estelí and Jalapa. The sizes remain as well, featuring Belly (7½” x 54 | belicoso), El Brujito (6″ x 52 | toro) and Short Robusto (4½” x 50 | rothschild). The cigars are priced between $5.04 and $6.48 per cigar MSRP and will begin shipping to retailers this July.