Cigar Review

Protocol’s Sir Robert Peel Maduro

Sir Robert Peel MaduroIt’s been nearly a year since the initial article announcing the release of Protocol’s Sir Robert Peel went up so it felt like it was time for a review. The Sir Robert Peel marks another police themed cigar from Bill Ives and Juan Cancel, owners of Cubariqueño Cigar Co. These themes are fitting for them being that both are now retired LEOs. Created at the La Zona factory in Esteli, the Protocol Sir Robert Peel comes in a 6”x52 box-pressed toro size and is offered in both a natural wrapper as well as the maduro.

The wrapper has a lovely dark brown color with just a hint of red to it. The seams are tight and most of them are difficult to find, there is some veining but not remarkable making this a smooth feeling cigar in general with a soft velvet like finish to it. The firmness is what you would anticipate from a boxed pressed style and adds the the overall handsome look to it.

From the body I get notes of wood, chocolate, spice and dried fruit from the foot. The cap cuts causing no damage to the construction. The cold draw is easy and gives flavors of cedar, earth and some chocolate.

The first half is loaded with a creamy, spiced flavors leaving me wondering how to accurately describe it. The best I can come up with is spiced butter you would spread on toast. (I know, I know, I try to stick to realistic flavors of tobacco when describing cigars, none of that fresh baked blueberry muffins with a dash of all spice shit, but in this case the butter reference is really the only way I can describe how smooth this smokes.) The smoke production is plentiful and the weight of it on the tongue adds the the over all creaminess feel of the smoke. The burn has a bit of wave to it but no need for a touch up.

In the second half the spices start to retreat a to the back and a decided cedar and earth note comes to the front. Thanks to the ample soft weighted smoke production the smoothness of this cigar remains for the duration. Since the draw is on the light side it makes it easy to get full pulls off of it filling the senses with flavor however, restraint has to be used not to plow right through it. The last have burns evenly and the ash holds tight.

You don’t have to be a detective to figure out that the Sir Robert Peel from Protocol is truly a great stick. This cigar comes in at what I feel is medium full in strength and lands between medium full to full in flavor which is right up my alley. While it might be a bit more than your novice smoker might go for I would say to stay away from it, after all how can you expand you’re palette if you don’t try something new. If you see this in your shop grab some and if you don’t see them in your shop ask them to bring them in.

Wrapper: Pennsylvania Broadleaf
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Price: Around $10.00 a stick.
Rating: 4.7 out of 5 pints


New World Oscuro From AJ Fernandez

AJ Fernandez New World OscuroThe New World line from AJ Fernandez marks the first time he and his father Ismael have worked together to make a cigar. They consider this line to be a nod to the discovery of tobacco by Christopher Columbus and its introduction to the rest of the world in 1492. This core line debuted in 2014, then followed by New World Connecticut in 2015 and New World Puro Especial in 2017.

This cigar comes covered in a dark chocolaty wrapper that has very little veining and feels smooth to the touch. The seams are hardly visible and has the expected firm feeling from being box pressed. The body has the smell of cedar, earth and a bit of sweetness. The cigar cuts easily causing no damage, the preflight draw is easy and there is a noticeable flavor of dried apricots.

The first half inch has a good pepper kick to it but quickly settles into a more mellow smoke. It has a fresh baked bread like feel to it with chocolate and pepper on the finish. The smoke production is ample and it burns even requiring no touch ups.

The second half finds the spice and pepper intensifying again, there are loads of pepper with just a touch of sweetness and ends with the flavor of dark chocolate and pepper. Others have equated it t a Mexican hot chocolate and I’d say that’s probably a pretty accurate description. There is plenty of heavy weighted smoke given off and a burn that remains perfect for the entire cigar.

When it comes to finding cigars that are good but won’t break the bank the choices start to dwindle however, with the New World line you’re in luck. The chance to get a complex yet smooth cigar for under $8.00 is not easy these days. I felt this cigar landed on a profile of medium full to full combined with what I think was a fair amount of nicotine strength (everybody’s opinion is different on this and this is just mine) made this a great cigar. When you see them in your shop get at least a handful, at this price you can’t lose.

Wrapper: Dark Nicaragua
Binder: Jalapa
Filler: Ometepe, Condega, and Estelí
Price: Around $7.00 – $8.00 a stick
Rating: 4.6 out of 5 pints


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 ) 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!”