Cigars

Drew Estate Cancels 2020 Barn Smoker Season and Deploys “The Barn Smoker Goodwill Act”

Drew estate Barn Smoker

Today Drew Estate announces the cancellation of the 2020 Barn Smoker season due to ongoing health concerns surrounding COVID-19.  Additionally, Drew Estate creates the “Barn Smoker Goodwill Act of 2020.”

Barn Smokers are among the highlights on Drew Estate’s calendar every year, and an opportunity we cherish to share in a one-of-a-kind experience with the cigar loving community.  After significant consideration, however, Drew Estate has determined that it is necessary to make this difficult decision in order to ensure the safety of our staff, the staff of the incredible farms with whom we partner, and, of course, the thousands of Barn Smoker attendees who travel across the country to take part in our extraordinary American Tobacco Experience.

While we are disappointed that we will not be able to hold the festivals at the farms this year, Drew Estate is proud to announce the introduction of the “Barn Smoker Goodwill Act of 2020,” which is designed and funded to show appreciation, love, and fellowship to our inner circle during the difficult times we are all facing.

The Barn Smoker Goodwill Act works in the following manner … All Attendees who purchased a ticket at any/all tier levels will immediately be refunded 100%.  In addition, each ticket holder will be asked to submit their address via this link and Drew Estate will be shipping free of charge the complete 2020 Barn Smoker Swag Set that they would have received by attending their ticketed event. This package does not include cigars and will be shipped out by August 1st.  Beyond this, Drew Estate will donate $10,000 per Barn Smoker, for a total of $50,000, to Cigars for Warriors, doubling down on our commitment to our deployed troops.

Finally, on the date of each scheduled Barn Smoker, Drew Estate will launch a two-hour “Virtual Barn Smoker Herf,” hosted on Facebook Live, open to everyone.   While these Herfs are not designed to be exact Barn Smoker replicas, we plan on celebrating each date together.  These unique experiences will include the Drew Estate Ambassadors and our Farmer Partners – and tell a new part of the story not previously showcased during our usual Barn Smoker Festivals.

The dates for the Virtual Barn Smoker Herfs (hosted on www.facebook.com/drewestatecigar ) are below with times to be announced closer to the event:

  • Pennsylvania Barn Smoker Virtual Event: July 25th, 2020
  • Connecticut Barn Smoker Virtual Event: August 8th, 2020
  • Kentucky Barn Smoker Virtual Event: September 26th, 2020
  • Louisiana Barn Smoker Virtual Event: October 4th, 2020
  • Florida Barn Smoker Virtual Event: November 14th, 2020

From the Wynwood Safehouse, Jonathan Drew Founder and President of Drew Estate adds, “It is with great sadness that we’ve come to this decision.  Barn Smoker, alongside Cigar Safari, are the experiential programs that we are most deeply connected to here at Drew Estate. I’m also incredibly appreciative to our Consumer Engagement Team, who architected the concept of the “Barn Smoker Goodwill Act of 2020” … in my opinion, going above and beyond for our supporters, our extended family, who had made plans to join us on the sacred farms.  We thank you for your love and support … always #De4L!”

Flor De Selva Maduro

Flor De Selva 25 years ago Maya Selva started Maya Selva Cigars with the Flor de Selva in France. Since then the brand has grown and several lines have been added to her portfolio along with distribution to over 30 countries including the US. About a year ago I was gifted a some of her cigars and having smoked a few, and liked them, I thought it was about time to write about the smoking experience I had with them.

The wrapper is the color of roasted coffee beans. It has a nice oily sheen to it and is a but toothy. There is noticeable veining and the seems are tight, the body of the cigar feels full and well rolled. It has the smell of raisins, coffee and cedar. The cap cuts leaving no damage to the cigar and the cold draw has a prominent cinnamon flavor.

In the first half I enjoyed flavors of spice, coffee, and damp earth. The draw was easy but not loose, it produced a fair amount of medium weight smoke and burned evenly.

In the second half the the peppery spice remained but now had the addition of a wood flavor along with bitter dark chocolate that lasted for the remainder of the cigar. Smoke production remained consistent with the first half and the burn stayed sharp.

Knowing how long this company has been around and now knowing how good the cigar is I wish I had heard of them sooner. For those of you who normally shy away from maduros don’t be on this one, it does not have the heavy strength people generally associate with a maduro. To me it lands right around medium so this cigar is accessible to everyones profile. If you see them in your local shop make sure you pick up a few.

Year Of The Rat (2020) Liga Privada Unico Serie

Year Of the Rat Unico SerieThe Unico Serie, we all know it, we all like it, and we all try to get our hands on them. While the original 2016 release of Year of the Rat was challenging (to say the least) to get a hold of, Drew Estate’s launch of the Liga Privada Unico Year of the Rat 2020 will be available at upcoming Drew Diplomat events to coincide with the Chinese New Year.

Now, normally I don’t waste time talking about the labels or packaging, you have eyes, you can see what it looks like, I don’t need to describe it to you. However in this case it bears mentioning. While the bands are your classic style DE Unico bands the gold foil really makes this cigar stand out and makes you feel a bit like Charlie unwrapping his Wonka Bar to find the Golden Ticket underneath.  Once the foil is removed the wrapper underneath has the color of dark aged rawhide. While the seams are nice and tight, there is some veining noticed giving it a great rustic look and feel. The cigar feels well rolled and full but complies when pressure is applied with the fingers.

The smell from the body is earthy with notes of fresh cut wood and a chocolate sweetness, the sweetness is more prominent from the foot. The cap cuts with no issues and from the cold draw flavors of rich tobacco and chocolate are present.

The first half starts with the taste of red pepper and earth with a good meatiness to it. There is loads of smoke production that’s nearly heavy enough to chew on. The draw is easy and it burns evenly.

In the second half the flavor becomes even greater. A rich mocha coffee flavor comes to the front with pepper kicking its way in on the finish. It ended with a soft creamy finish, similar to reaching the bottom of a latte with a splash of licorice on the finish. The burn remained even and only had to be re-touched with the flame once due to operator error. The smoke production remained full and heavy for the duration of the cigar.

While each article is summed up by saying I enjoyed the cigar (this is because I choose to only write about cigars I like, who wants to waste their time reading, or writing, about a bad cigar) this was really a lot of fun to smoke. The flavor was very rich and complex combined with impeccable craftsmanship, this is one I smoked down until my fingers burned because I didn’t want it to end. The Year Of The Rat 2020 is only available for purchase at Drew Diplomat Retail events. Each store hosting a Drew Diplomat event will be able to purchase up to four boxes that will be made available for sale to us consumers. So while it might be a little difficult to find its worth searching out a DDRP event and pick up as many as you can get your hands on.

Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
Binder: Brazilian
Filler: Nicaraguan and Honduran
Price: Around $16.00 – $18.00 a stick, of course you know there always discounts on box purchases at events so grab a box.
Rating: 4.9 out of 5 pints