After having The Rose of Sharon at Cats Fest in Texas this year I was very excited to try Southern Draw’s Jacobs Ladder and being a fan of full-bodied cigars my anticipation level was very high. The cigar boasts a dark, full flavored maduro broadleaf wrapper from Pennsylvania. Inside is Nicaraguan long filler including Estelí Ligero and an Ecuadorian binder. Like the rest of their cigars the name comes from a flowering plant, Jacobs Ladder was used in ancient Greece for medicinal purposes, of course there’s also the biblical reference as well as the founders son’s middle name also happens to be Jacob.
The wrapper of the cigar is fairly smooth but has some large veining through portions of it. The roll feels tight and solid all the way along the stick but, as it should, gives when pressed between the fingers. The pre-light draw is not as difficult as I would have expected from how tight the roll felt. (Note: This cigar has a covered foot that I removed to inspect the bunching and aroma. If the foot were left covered the draw would feel more difficult.) The smell has a sweetness to it that reminds me of dried fruit and licorice and the pre-light draw is reminiscent of fresh brewed un-sweet tea.
Lighting was easy and the draw was smooth. With the first few pulls there is a large wave of spice and pepper, it’s the kind of flavor you’d expect from a blend like this. It burns evenly, the ash hangs on for easily an inch or so before I decide to knock it off vs. seeing how far I can go then getting upset when it falls in my lap. It produces plenty of nice heavy smoke that you can almost chew on. This flavor profile carries on for about the first half of the cigar.
Entering the second half the pepper and spices take a back seat to a nice punch of rich sweet tobacco and leather flavor. It’s the kind of flavor you would imagine WWII tank drivers must have gotten from their cigars. The burn remains even throughout the last half of this cigar with the pepper coming back in a bit more again towards the last third and continues to produce plenty of rich smoke.
This cigar was an absolute joy to smoke; in fact I took this guy down to a nub, which I rarely do. While it’s being said that it is a complex flavored cigar I think people are over thinking it, to me this is a great straightforward full flavored and full-bodied cigar. It is clearly on the heavier side so I wouldn’t recommend it for the novice smoker but any seasoned smoker that wants to remember what it’s like to taste what you are smoking should pick this guy up.
Wrapper: Pennsylvania broad leaf maduro
Filler: Nicaraguan long filler including Estelí Ligero
Sizes: Gordo (6 1/2 x 60), Robusto (5 1/2 x 54), Toro (6 x 52)
Price: $9.50 – $10.50