Review: Drew Estate Cigar Safari Custom Blend 2015

On my recent Cigar Safari trip at the end of January in 2015 I had the opportunity to blend a cigar at the Drew Estate 2 factory. At my past visits I went for something medium-plus and very peppery, and I thought this would be a great opportunity to change things up.

As we toured the factory we were shown pilones of Florida Sun Grown tobacco owned by Jeff Borysiewicz. As we picked up the leaves and smelled them they had this incredible citrus nose. I assumed this was the result of so many years of citrus farms in Florida imparting characteristics to the soil.

I was fortunate enough to be able to use a limited quantity of the leaves as filler in my custom blend.


Vitola: Corona Gordo

Size: 6” x 46 Ring Gauge 

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut

Binder: Habano Jalapa Criollo 98/99

Filler: C-98, Ometepe, Jalapa, Florida Sungrown

Cigars Smoked for this Review: One

Price Point: N/A

Cigar Purchased: Part of Cigar Safari

Quick Note: For this review I used Logan’s rating system. You can view it in detail here.


“I absolutely cannot wait for the first Florida Sun Grown cigar to hit the market.”




Surgeon’s Rating:  86 AKA “A Couple”

The nose here is sweet hay, and light dusty cedar. The draw is perfect with a single v-cut.

My initial impressions are a lot of citrus. It reminds me of nosing the pilone’s at Cigar Safari and what prompted my interest in the tobacco to begin with. There’s almost an aromatic pipe tobacco start and then the draw finishes with a medium strength citrus. Some pepper comes through post draw at a light-medium strength and lingers nicely. As the first third begins to settle in I start to get hints of leather. The retrohale is quite creamy and still has a medium strength citrus finish. The cedar that I was picking up on the nose starts to come through at about the 35 minute mark. A light plus body in the first third.

The first third isn’t quite balanced, the flavors are just out of sync. I feel like it is missing some flavors and wish I had gone with a San Andreas Negro wrapper or an Arrapiraca Oscuro.

The flavor profile starts to get really creamy moving into the 2nd third. Still the same strnegth of citrus but balances out nicely with a finish of light pepper and spice. The smoker production is great and is burning well, especially given these were rolled in February. I start to find myself getting quite a bit of dry mouth and wanting a Flor de Cana rum to reach for.

The last third sees the cedar picking up in strength to medium plus and some tannic bitterness coming in as well. The creaminess from the previous third recedes to just over a light strength level. The cigar is still citrusy through the draw and lingers on the post draw.

The cedar notes continue to dominate the flavor profile and much of the Florida Sun Grown subtleties from the other thirds are being run over. The bitterness falls off at the mid-point.

No question I should have gone with the San Andreas Negro or the Arrapiraca Oscuro wrapper to balance out the flavor profile.

I absolutely cannot wait for the first Florida Sun Grown cigar to hit the market. I will be on the waiting list the moment it is announced.



Pairing Recommendation:

This would pair really nice with an aged rum, mojitos, and most coffee.

Views: 137

Comment by An Phan on June 2, 2015 at 3:15pm

Will time improve it?

Comment by Cigar Surgeon on June 2, 2015 at 4:02pm

The flavors might become better balanced in time but I think it was still a miss on the wrapper choice. This would have been amazing with a San Andreas.

Comment by Charlie on June 2, 2015 at 4:53pm

A T52 and Florida SG would have been a combo for the gods!!!!

Comment by Smokin Logan (Man Angel #1) on June 2, 2015 at 6:16pm
Gotta love a man who does give his own blends high ratings :)

Comment by Cigar Surgeon on June 2, 2015 at 6:23pm

I'm pretty sure I could have stuffed the FSG into a dog rocket and it would have scored an 83 minimum :) Magic tobacco.

Comment by Charlie on June 2, 2015 at 6:42pm

Either that or the FSG is playing tricks on your mind? ;-)

Comment by Cigar Surgeon on June 2, 2015 at 6:46pm

My mind transcends the flavor wheel like a Buddhist monk.


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