Royal Gold Cigars is one of the new kids on the block, but when you look at their back story, they really aren't that new. The fact is that Royal Gold Cigars is the premium brand launched by Swisher International. Yes, THAT Swisher. So, what is the best way to launch a new premium line of cigars? You come out strong and work with one of the hottest names (if not THE hottest) in the cigar industry. This is how the Royal Gold Nirvana Cameroon Selection by Drew Estate came to be.
Royal Gold Nirvana Cameroon Selection
Factory: La Gran Fabrica Drew Estate
Wrapper: African Cameroon
Binder: San Andres Negro
Filler: Nicaragua - Esteli and Jalapa
Release Date: Nirvana is scheduled to ship to retailers on February 3rd
Samples for review were provided by Royal Gold Cigars
Pre-Light: The Nirvana has a very cool look. The red and gold band is an eye catcher with its gold leaf embossing and image of tobacco fields. The main band features the Drew Estate name, while the gold foot band is embossed with the Royal Gold moniker.
The Cameroon wrapper was the color of cinnamon and sported a few large veins. The wrapper gave off notes of dried fruit and hay. The cold draw was perfect and I tasted dried cherries, baking spice and a nice brown sugar sweetness. The construction was on point which is what we have come to expect from Drew Estate.
Beginning: Have you ever sat down to watch a movie that you REALLY wanted to see and it started out really slow? The Nirvana was just like that. There is very little information about this cigar out there, so while I was looking forward to smoking it, I had no idea what to expect. Given that it was a Drew Estate release, I was expecting some fireworks, so I was a bit disappointed when it didn't start out with a lot of flavor. After ten minutes or so, things started to pick up. There was a nice sweet note that tasted like a warm graham cracker with a little melted butter on it. That was joined by a mild baking spice on the front of the retrohale. The spice kicked up a notch at the one inch mark and balanced the sweetness nicely. At this point, the Nirvana was mild-plus to medium-minus in the strength category.
Middle: There were some interesting developments in the middle portion of the Nirvana. A cedar note appeared at the two inch mark and added a nice woody aspect to the profile. Things leveled off at this point for an inch or so, with the profile consisting of the warm graham cracker sweetness, cedar and baking spice. This was far and away the most enjoyable part of the experience. The strength stayed in the medium-minus range.
End: The flavor profile stayed pretty consistent as the cigar came to a close. There was little change in profile or strength.
Final Thoughts: The wrapper had a major influence on the Nirvana from the get go. That warm sweetness was a major component from the start and was the main thing I enjoyed about this cigar. It was not what I would have expected from a Drew Estate release, given that many of their cigars are in the medium to full range. So, what are my final thoughts? I enjoyed my smoking experience and I really liked the profile, but it left me wanting a bit more. The flavors were defined and well balanced, but it lacked that "HOLY $#!&" factor. I liked it, but I didn't love it.
Recommendation: This is going to sound strange, but I would recommend this cigar to every cigar smoker I know. I just got finished saying that I didn't love it and now I'm saying that you should buy it, so I can see how that is a bit confusing. The reason I am so quick to recommend this cigar is because I think the vast majority of smokers out there will enjoy it. There will be varying degrees of enjoyment, of course. Some people out there will absolutely LOVE it and I think Catfishbluezz is one of those people. On the other hand, some people will think that it's pretty good, but not great. So, if you like the mild to medium stuff, then I suggest you grab the Nirvana ASAP. If you are into full strength and body, then I still think you should check it out, but don't expect another Drew Estate powerhouse.