Due to several requests, I’m killing two birds with one stone. This review is going to be long, so please stick with me here.
CI Legends has turned into a vicious monster with razor sharp claws and long, pointy teeth. In the beginning, we asked 4 of the world’s most recognized premium cigar makers to compete for the best $5 handmade. A blend of their choice rolled into a nice, 5.75” x 54 shape. Since this time, 4 more top manufacturers have created a blend that, we as a whole feel, fits the mold of this enormous CI Legends project.
The latest Legends have landed. Submissions by two manufacturers positioned on opposite ends of the cigar world spectrum, La Aurora and Drew Estate. One, the oldest cigar factory in the Dominican Republic, a name known for creating some of the world’s finest traditional cigars in the world. The other, a factory bubbling over with creativity and originality that, within just over 10 years in the business, has grown famous for its combination of old world traditions with unconventional tobaccos and unchartered blending processes.
Right off the bat, I am going to tell you that I enjoy these cigars. Think about it, if we didn’t like them, we wouldn’t have added them to the series. It took months filled with countless samples to finalize these submissions. And, in addition to rejecting plenty of samples from these manufacturers, others have sent promising hopefuls that didn’t make the cut. Legends is a roaring success, we want to keep it that way.
Legends La Aurora
As expected, La Aurora’s submission is a solid mild to medium-bodied cigar, with a little more emphasis on the medium side of things. It opens with a creamy, chewy burst that, thanks to the dark Nicaraguan wrapper, slowly molds into a rich, smooth smoke. A blend of Corojo, Dominicano Cubano Piloto and Nicaraguan tobaccos (all from 2001) offer a woodsy flavor and aroma riddled with spice, while the toothy maduro-like wrapper leaves behind a pleasant sweetness after each puff. As per the usual, performance is not a factor. La Aurora is a finely tuned machine when it comes to quality control. Slow, straight burns, consistent flavor and easy draws are commonplace, and this soothing cigar is yet another example of the factory's prowess.
Legends Drew Estate
Throw all assumptions out the window. Once people hear Drew Estate, they think one of two things, 1) I love their stuff or 2) ick, flavored! Wake up, Drew Estate does not make flavored cigars, and saying so in the presence of Jonathan himself could cost ya a limb. In my eyes, it’s safe to say that Drew’s submission is one of his best creations to date, as it seems to be a fusion of Kahlua, Natural and traditional cigars all rolled into one relaxing smoke. The tobaccos incude a Connecticut shade leaf grown in Ecuador, while the long-filler combination employs Dominicano Cubano Piloto and Nicaraguan leaves. Silky in appearance, this chestnut colored handmade is extremely creamy in character. There’s a little bit of pepper throughout, complementing the subtle, hazelnut-like sweetness. As expected, the aroma is nothing short of luxurious. Sweet, enjoyable and only evident while the cigar is burning – no, you will not notice an ACID or Natural-esque aroma after opening the box, which also puts the creativity of Drew Estate on display.
There you have it, the latest inductions into the CI Legends Hall of Fame. 2 more fantastic cigars from big name makers that won't break the bank.