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Traditionally, veteran cigar smokers have often belly-laughed at the thought of smoking a flavored cigar or infused cigar—or at best, they snickered condescendingly at those who choose to enjoy one. To some, flavored cigars are like wine coolers to a wine enthusiast—a shallow imitation of the real thing enjoyed by uninitiated noobs. And who could blame them? For years, most people thought of flavored cigars as small tobacco trimmings soaked in a cherry or vanilla flavored ‘brine’ and covered in a sugar-soaked wrapper leaf. As disgusting as it sounds, they were mostly right, especially when it comes to lower quality brands. However, the tides have changed with the introduction of “infused” cigars—a process in which the finished handmade premium cigars are placed in aging rooms and imbued with different flavors and aromas in the humidified air that the cigars “breathe.” The market for these infused cigars has flourished in the last 20+ years as the bar of quality has been raised to new heights. Now many of those veteran cigars smokers who used to laugh at flavored cigars now include infused cigars in their smoking repertoire to expand their palates or to experience a change of pace.
Perhaps the best-known and most popular infused cigars are made by Drew Estate, who blazed new trails in the premium cigar world with the introduction of ACID infused cigars back in 1998. Using proprietary curing and blending methods that are closely guarded secrets, each ACID expression reveals new avenues of sensory exploration that defy definition and spearheads Drew Estate’s mantra--“The Rebirth of Cigars.” Each of ACID’s iconic expressions are 100 percent handmade at La Gran Fabrica Drew Estate in Estelí, Nicaragua, and bridge old-world tobacco traditions with new world innovation to reveal fresh avenues of sensory exploration and delight. From the smooth and elegant ACID Silver line to the fiery and potent character of ACID Red’s selection and hitting all the stops in between. With 30 different vitolas, wrapper varieties and infusions, including Kuba Kuba, the No. 1 selling premium cigar in the U.S., Drew Estate’s ACID cigars present a kaleidoscopic range of indescribable tastes and aromas that can only be understood by experiencing them for yourself.
What’s better than enjoying a great cup of coffee with your favorite stogie? Since 2002, Drew Estate has pioneered new ground by exploring the synergies between robust coffee expressions and premium cigars, beginning with its Kahlua by Drew Estate brand, which is no longer available, then journeying forward with Java by Drew Estate, Tabak Especial and the economically minded Isla Del Sol.
Tabak Especial is the ultimate expression that brings the rich aromas and flavors of coffee and cigars together in one luxurious smoke. The supreme creation of a master barista and a master cigar blender, Tabak Especial is the perfect cigar for your daily grind available in two expressions. Tabak Especial Dulce is luscious and luxurious, satisfying your sweet tooth with notes of coffee and cream, Spanish cedar and milk chocolate. Smooth, rich and earthy with an extra-dark Mexican maduro wrapper, Tabak Especial Negra has notes of savory espresso and chocolate.
Isla del Sol presents a flavorful crossroad between the deep chocolate notes of Sumatra Mandheling coffee beans and the ultra-rich, dark, bold tobaccos which wildly flourish within the Jalapa valley of beautiful Nicaragua. Imbued with coffee-infused sun-blessed goodness, Isla del Sol is available in two varieties. Isla del Sol Sun Grown is that deliciously flavorful mixture of the essence of exotic Sumatra Mandheling coffee, a sun-blessed Sumatra wrapper with sweetened tip and mezclado Indonesian and Nicaraguan tobacco that sanctifies the soul. A little stronger and a little sweeter than its Sun Grown counterpart, Isla Del Sol Maduro is a premium handmade cigar blended with a luscious maduro wrapper with a sweetened tip and Indonesian and Nicaraguan mezclado filler tobaccos that’s perfect for late lazy afternoon enjoyment.
Drew Estate’s most recent exploration into the world of extraordinary infused tobacco experiences is Deadwood Cigars. Bringing the Old West back to life through the sagas of Deadwood’s most notorious saloon and the four enticing women who made the town infamous, Drew Estate reveals the Sugar Skull Stories of the Yummy Vixens of Deadwood—Crazy Alice, Sweet Jane, Fat Bottom Betty, and Leather Rose—puff-by-puff through cigars made from Maduro wrappers and blended with exotic and aromatic tobaccos that amplify the cigars’ natural sweetness. From the mellow Sweet Jane and her hints of coffee, cedar and chocolate, to the pistol-packin’ full-bodied sweet and spicy Leather Rose, the four ladies of Deadwood are sure to capture your heart while captivating your palate.
Thanks to companies like Drew Estate, infused cigars have scaled new heights for many consumers, and they have now taken their rightful place among the elite premium cigar categories. These ain’t the flavored cigars of yesteryear. Nope, they’re premium handmade cigars that millions of adult consumers have enjoyed over the years and they now command shelf loads of humidor space worldwide. Why not check one out for yourself? You just might be in for a very pleasant surprise!!!
In the case of Drew Estate…Absolutely!!! The company follows the same time-honored steps in tobacco growing and curing and handmade premium cigar construction when making one of its infused cigars as it does with all its traditional cigars, such as Liga Privada, Undercrown and Herrera Estelí. Once a cigar is completed, it will undergo the infusion process, which is a closely guarded secret at Drew Estate.
Cigars are like sponges—they “breathe” in the air and can absorb the taste and aroma of other cigars inside a humidor, thus tending to “marry” with the flavor profiles of other cigars. This is especially true if the cigars are going to be stored together for extended periods of time. It’s best to store any infused cigars in your collection separately from your other cigars. A Ziploc bag with a humidification pouch could serve as a good storage option for your infused cigars. Likewise, storing different infused cigars together inside a humidor will have the same effect—the different infusions can “marry” across all those cigars and affect the flavor and aroma profiles.
That completely depends on what sort of experience you want to enjoy. Do you want something with some floral elements? Drew Estate’s ACID Kuba Kuba or ACID Blondie could be the answer. Are you looking for an infused cigar to go with your morning Cup O’ Joe? Tabak Especial or Isla del Sol could hit the spot. Or are you going to enjoy a glass of wine with your smoke? A smooth and elegant ACID 20 or ACID One might fit the bill. Or are you looking for an entirely new and indescribable experience? Any one of the bewitching Deadwood vixens are an excellent choice. To be sure, whatever sort of experience you’re seeking, there’s likely an infused cigar option that’s going to satisfy…and surpass…your expectations!