Friday night, I finally gave Acid a chance. I am, of course, talking about one of the line of “botanical” cigars made by Drew Estate. (Had you worried there, didn’t I Ma? :) And don’t worry, “botanical” doesn’t mean pot or anything hallucinogenic.)
I’ve been interested in trying out the Drew Estate Acid line for a while now, but I had no idea where to start. A friend helped me decide. At a gathering of former colleagues, he surprised me with an Extra Ordinary Larry. The Extra Ordinary Larry is a cigar from the Drew Estate’s “Purple Line“, with an unusual size that I’d like to call the “Obese Toro” (6 x 60). (And since this is my blog, I’ll call it that. You heard it here first! :) )
Before we get started with my impressions, the vital stats. (Note: As other cigar bloggers have noted, the cigar manufacturer’s website looks pretty nice, but is amazingly useless for anybody interested in any cigar backgroud information. I had to get these from another source.)
The Cigar Stats
Length/Ring: 6 x 60
The cigar was extremely aromatic. You could smell the infused botanicals and essential oils through the wrapper. The odd smell made the cigar was a 15-minute celebrity at the gathering. Everybody wanted a quick sniff before I started smoking. Comments ranged from “wow” and “weird” to “dude, you’re smoking my aftershave!” (Exact quote. Seriously.)
The scent was floral, and though I’m more used to detecting the attributes of traditional cigars, it seemed to be either a rose or even a mild lilac smell. There was also a spiciness that reminds me of cologne or perfume.
Unfortunately, nobody was really prepared to smoke a cigar. Aside from physically possessing a cigar, all the other accessories were missing. So it was a tooth-cutting, cigarette lighter, standing-outside-the-pub experience. Fortunately, the weather was great, and only a little breezy.
In spite of the lack of the proper equipment, this cigar burned very evenly and reasonably coolly. The ash made it to around 2 and a half inches before it dropped.
I think the flavor was pretty interesting. The first third of the cigar smoked much the same way it smelled. Roses, lilacs, grapes and sweet spice. Midway though these flavors seemed to fade a bit but were still present. In the final third, it started to smoke more like a traditional cigar. Slight wood flavors began to creep in. Just before I put it out, it became all spice and pepper and would have been tough to identify as an acid cigar.
The Drew Estate website identifies this as a medium to full cigar, but in my experience it was a light to medium right up until the final third. At the final third it built up power quickly, but was only full for the last 2 or 3 pulls before I put it out. And I had been smoking this cigar more quickly than I normally would. (I had a lot of cigar to get through, and a party full of non-smokers to get back to!)
One of the best indicators of the strength was that it had no affects on my state of mind, no light-headedness and I was easily able to rejoin the festivities without feeling impaired.
The Extra Ordinary Larry is a $10 – $11 cigar, and probably a bit spendy to smoke regularly, at least at at the price you pay for singles. I’m OK with that price range, but only if its a cigar I really, really enjoy. Consistently. And one I would be interested in smoking often.
This cigar was a fun smoke, but probably not a cigar that I’d want to light up every day. There’s a good chance I’d buy more singles from time to time, and only for immediate smoking. But probably not before I try some of the other Acid flavors. (Unless, of course, my friend buys me another!) In the meantime, I’m going be sticking with more traditional cigars. (Since I originally wrote this post on my crackberry, I had an great experience with a CAO Gold. But more on that later.)
A note for newer cigar smokers: As any seasoned smoker knows, you can’t put these acid cigars (or any other type of aromatic alternative cigars) in your humidor with standard cigars. It will ruin the flavor of your other cigars, and probably leave a mark on your humidor’s cedar lining permanently. If you’re thinking about smoking a lot of these, you’ll probably want to buy a humidor specifically for your desired flavor.