Distinguished Ruffian

Nica Rustica Adobe Announced From Drew Estate

Drew Estate Nica Rustica Adobe

Drew Estate has revealed the secret identity of the mystery cigar inside its latest Freestyle Live Event Pack … the all-new Nica Rustica Adobe, the second expression in Drew Estate’s value-priced Nica Rustica line. Nica Rustica Adobe’s introduction happened during last night’s “Freestyle Live: Special Edition” broadcast, which aired from 7 to 9 p.m. Eastern on the company’s Facebook Live page (facebook.com/drewestatecigar) and YouTube channel (youtube.com/drewestatecigar).

The Nica Rustica brand is Drew Estate’s homage and tribute to Estelí, Nicaragua, home to La Gran Fabrica Drew Estate. The soul of the lively romantic barrios of Estelí, adorned with their colorful colonial houses, magically comes to life in Nica Rustica Adobe, which will be available in three sizes: Toro (6 x 52), Robusto (5 x 54) and Gordo (6 x 60). While retaining many of the same characteristics as the Connecticut Broadleaf expression, Nica Rustica Adobe is the spicier version, using a Habano wrapper, Brazilian binder and Nicaraguan filler tobaccos from Estelí and Jalapa. Unpolished and unrefined, Nica Rustica Adobe is a medium- to full-bodied cigar that offers load of spice with a bold and very long finish … the perfect companion for adventurous cigar buffs.

Nica Rustica Adobe will be available in 25-count boxes that feature colorful original artwork by Subculture Studios’ Richard “Dog” Diaz, who captures the rugged, robust and rustic essence of Estelí. Diaz’s romantic vision of Estelí also incorporates the city’s official symbol and proud emblem, El Brujito, a petroglyph of a native shaman carved some 6,000 years ago onto a rock on a mountain near Estelí.

“Nica Rustica Adobe is a proud and no-nonsense cigar that represents our strong bond between La Gran Fabrica Drew Estate and its beautiful Nicaraguan home, where the mountains meet the sun,” says Jonathan Drew, Founder and President of Drew Estate. “We are united as one with the proud Estelíanos who work in and run our factory … and who bring the Drew Estate story to life every day around the world. From our house to your humidor, Nica Rustica Adobe is an audacious Habano experience that everyone at La Gran Fabrica Drew Estate is excited for you to try.”

Nica Rustica Adobe provides excellent value for premium cigar smokers, from beginners to aficionados. Toro has an MSRP of $143.93/box or $5.76/cigar; Robusto’s MSRP is $129.93/box or $5.20/cigar; and Gordo has an MSRP of $161.93/box or $6.48/cigar. Guests at tonight’s DE25 Exclusive Pre-Party will be the first to experience Nica Rustica Adobe cigars.

Nica Rustica Adobe will also be featured during a two-day Drew Estate event at The Humidour Cigar Shoppe. Jonathan Drew kicks off the extravaganza with a marquee virtual event on Thursday, May 19, from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. The next day, La Gran Fabrica Drew Estate Factory Spokesman, Pedro Gomez, will host an in-person event at The Humidour Cigar Shoppe from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. with deals on all Drew Estate products available throughout the day. Contact The Humidour Cigar Shoppe at 410-666-3212 or visit humidour.com for more information about these events.

Nica Rustica Adobe will be available for regular distribution to all retailers beginning in August.

The Raji From Smoke Inn & Drew Estate

Drew Estate The Raji

2021 marked the 25th Anniversary of the opening of the first Smoke Inn premium cigar store, and on Friday 05/06/22 Drew Estate and Smoke Inn’s owner, Abe Dababneh, celebrated the landmark achievement with the launch of a special cigar that not only commemorates Smoke Inn’s historic birthday but also honors Abe’s father and mentor, Raji Dababneh. This cigar was blended by Drew Estate Master Blender Willy Herrera and produced at El Titan De Bronze, the Little Havana boutique cigar factory that’s owned by Herrera’s family and where all Herrera Estelí Miami cigars are made. While the top band is visually the same as the Miami release it is a completely new blend and something Willy says is unlike anything else he has blended. Also every Herrera Estelí Miami Smoke Inn 25th Anniversary Raji cigar (yeah I know, it’s a mouthful, deal with it) features a commemorative band around its foot. I was fortunate enough to make it to the event and pick up a couple of boxes so you know a review had to happen, so let’s get into this thing.

The wrapper is the color of dark roasted coffee beans with a fair amount of mottling, some noticeable veins running along the body and a soft powder coat finish. The cigar was firm to the touch but a bit bumpy giving it an overall rustic appearance. The odor from the body is cedar, barnyard and hay. From the foot the hay really stays out and notes of sweet tobacco. The cap cuts easily causing no damage to the body. The cold draw is a little on the firm side but not tight, I get flavors of Licorice, heavy cream some bread and a hint of spice. After all the preliminary things it is time to light this thing.

Straight away the cigar starts off with the taste of well seasoned meat with a nice briny flavor that gets your salivation going when you press your young to the roof of your mouth and a pepper finish that lingers. Smoke production is ample and has a medium weight mouth feel. On the retrohale I notice more of the pepper and a sneaky sweetness hiding.

Moving into the second third of this cigar the meatiness is still present with the spices picking up a bit and the flavor of well aged tobacco that has a slightly sweet floral taste. The burn stays even with no need for touch ups and the smoke continues to billow out leaving a lovely aroma in the room.

In the final third, which is almost always my favorite, the flavor really picks up. At this point the cigar basically becomes a meal with a taste you can nearly chew on. The meat flavor becomes dense and is akin to eating a steak that was prepared just right and finishing with a rich spiciness. The burn line stays even for the duration and the smoke production was like a freight train.

This ended up being a phenomenal cigar that I took down to a nub I really can’t say enough good things. It finished out to a medium/medium full flavor that stayed with me for while after smoking that kept reminding me how good the cigar was. It would pair well with just about anything but my suggestion for a non-alcoholic drink would be a black tea and for booze definitely a nice bourbon on the rocks or bring out the subtle sweetness in the cigar with an old fashioned. If you’re not in Florida to pick one up in person they will be available on Smoke Inn’s website while supplies last and with how good these are they won’t last long. In fact I’m going there now to pick up another box.

FOOT NOTE: The Herrera Estelí Miami Smoke Inn 25th Anniversary The Raji cigars are packaged in 10-count boxes that are adorned with the Smoke Inn logo. Ramping up the celebration and honoring Raji Dababneh even more, Raji’s signature is emblazoned on the bottom of every box. Along with a commemorative Raji ashtray every box purchased between now and the end of August (if stock holds out that long) will give you an automatic entry into the Smoke Inn/Drew Estate Little Havana Weekend Drawing that will be done on September 14th. (The trip time will be determined in October.) Winners will experience a celebratory Dinner Thursday Night Near Smoke Inn’s Headquarters in Boynton Beach. Friday the group will depart to Little Havana where we will tour the legendary El Titan de Bronze Factory where the Raji Cigar was made along with other Little Havana Sites, Plus a Special DE Experience. Lunch and dinner will be provided. The experience will end with a Saturday Morning Special LIVE broadcast of KMA Radio from Smoke Inn HQ with a specially catered Brunch. If you’re not in Florida to pick one up in person they will be available on Smoke Inn’s website while supplies last and with how good these are they won’t last long. In fact I’m going there now to pick up another box.

Wrapper –  Mexican San Andrés

Binder – Nicaraguan

Filler – Nicaragua /Dominican Republic

Website: www.Smokeinn.com

Rating: 4.7 out of 5 pints.

  • Mitch Rockwell AKA El Prez is the founder of Distinguished Ruffian. While starting out as a chef at a young age he was introduced to cigars while cooking for various people. He left that industry and became a Licensed Optician and Hearing Instrument Specialist but, cigars and cooking are his real passion.

Epic La Rubia Robusto

Epic Cigars La Rubia

Welcome back Ruffian family. Today, I’m bringing you a review I promised a couple of weeks ago. I’m tackling a new brand and new cigar, La Rubia, by Epic. Released in 2016, Dean Parsons, owner of Epic cigars, wanted this to be “not your average blonde.” I’m really excited to take this journey with you because I have yet to smoke one before this review. Dean said he worked on this blend for close to a year before he got it how he envisioned. La Rubia (The Blonde) has an Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper, Mexican San Andres binder, with fillers from the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua. This cigar is made at the Charles Fairmorn Factory in the Dominican Republic. This is a 5 1⁄2 by 52 Robusto. The MSRP in 2016 was $7.66. After having Dean on our Ruffian Zoom for the release of the VIP Year 4, I was impressed by his knowledge and his demeanor. Dean is a great guy and couldn’t wait to try his sticks. With all the fluff behind us, let’s get into this cigar.

Upon first glance, the wrapper is golden brown with just one prominent vein running the length of the cigar. After straight cutting this bad boy, the cold draw has leather and vanilla. I spark it up with my soft flame lighter and get to the meat and potatoes of this blend.

The beginning starts out super creamy with a hint of nuttiness. The retrohale has some leather with a tiny white pepper bite on the back of the tongue. Further in, a vanilla sweetness starts to show along with some great oakiness coming towards the end of the first third. The draw is perfect as well as the burn. As expected, it’s on the mild/medium range in both flavor and strength.

Pushing into the second third, some black coffee hits me in the face and the finish still has that nuttiness that was prominent in the first third. The retrohale has a bit more white pepper bite than before. The creaminess is still there, albeit much less than when I started. The strength and flavor are more around the medium range as I move toward the end of this third.

Kicking into the last part of the cigar, there is a SIGNIFICANT leap in body. Super dark espresso jumps my palate while the retrohale has some deep leather and wood notes. Cedar, hazelnut, and vanilla all seem to be present with each different draw I take. The smoke output also drastically increased towards the end of the cigar. Amazing draw and construction continue throughout. I smoke it down as far as I could without burning my lips. One of the best final thirds of a cigar I’ve ever had. Medium strength and Med/Full flavor! Wow!

Well, not much more to say than, DAMN! This cigar is just flat-out good! Not only is Dean Parsons a great guy, but his cigars are also Epic! I’m not a huge Connecticut wrapper fan, but they definitely have their place when they are this good. I’ve just started with this brand and if the rest of their portfolio is as good as this, we are all in for a treat. This could be an anytime smoke, not just for the morning. From a novice smoker to a seasoned vet, this cigar has something for everyone. I suggest you give them a try and maybe introduce someone you know to this cigar. There are plenty of retailers that carry these and have them in stock. Grab them up now and I promise you won’t be disappointed. Smoking time was 1 hour and 30 minutes.

T Money score: 4.5/5. Rebuy Box. Enjoy these cigars with your friends. Get a new smoker to try one, it would be a great place to start. As always, do something nice for someone today and until next time, Smoke Well!

Wrapper –  Ecuador

Binder – Mexico

Filler – Nicaragua /Dominican Republic

Website: www.Epiccigars.com

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 pints.

  • Travis Peterson AKA T Money is the Co-Captain of the Arizona/New Mexico Chapter of Distinguished Ruffians. He started his cigar journey in 2007 and hasn’t looked back. Outside of cigars he has a passion for brewing beer, playing guitar, bowling and golf. He is also a self proclaimed grilling and smoking expert.