Review: Drew Estate Nica Rustica El Brujito

This Drew Estate Nica Rustica El Brujito came to me from Johnny Brooke at Drew Estate.  He was kind enough to send me a cigar to sample and review.   Not long after reviewing the Nica Rustica I purchased a bundle Corona Cigar Co. in Orlando, Florida on a recent trip.

This cigar kicks off the first in my ‘best of 2014’review list for Non Cuban cigars. 




Careful nosing here reveals rich fermented tobacco, cedar, spices and a hint of coffee and chocolate.  It’s not often that I find this much going on before lighting up and I spent a great deal of time carefully examining the Nica Rustica.



The Nica Rustica El Brujito sports a closed shaggy foot with a pig tail cap.   The cigar measures 6” by 52 ring gauge in the toro vitola.    First featured introcued at the Las Vegas IPCPR in 2013, and released in late 2013.

El Brujito means “Witch Doctor” or, to the locals of Esteli, Nicaragua, “the Shaman”.   The El Brujito symbol was carved into stone over 6,000 years ago. 




First Third

The flavors here are cedar, with a complex sweetness.  The sweetness starts out with low strength and builds in intensity with each draw.  As the first third establishes itself I’m able to taste a subtle leather flavor coming through post-draw.  

At the halfway point of the first third I’m tasting an earthy moss combination post-draw.

Middle Third

Sweetness and hay going into the second third.  I start to get some raisins a few minutes in and some cedar with indistinguishable dried wood coming through on the post-draw.

Last Third

Largely earthy notes with more raisin and dried fruit in the last third.  The sweet fruit flavors and earth balance each other out nicely.

As the last third winds down there is cedar, dried earth with the sweet fruit flavors falling to a very subtle background strength.



Great draw with excellent smoke production, which is no surprise given the manufacturer.  The Nica Rustica had a nice clean burn from start to finish with a tight ash.   Total smoking time was just a hair over the 2 hour mark.


Singles of the Nica Rustica will only run you $7.  A 5-pack is around the $32 mark.  You can also get these in a bundle of 25 for around $135 which is an outstanding value.

Final Word:

You won’t find the Nica Rustica El Brujito as complex as any of the Liga Privada line but it is a very enjoyable cigar.  I’m looking forward to some warmer weather so I can revisit this review and enjoy another Nica Rustica.  At the price they’re going for, you should absolutely pick some up to try for yourself.


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Comment by Matt Ross on January 10, 2014 at 7:50am

Good review, John.  I reviewed a sample from IPCPR back in July, and then I smoked an official release version in November and I sensed an obvious difference in my enjoyment levels. There could be several reasons for this (and probably are), but I'm attributing it mainly to the fact that I think the IPCPR sample might have had a bit more rest.  My point - I think, unlike some other DE offerings, if you revisit this in a few months you will enjoy it even more.

Comment by Generally Useful Jared on January 11, 2014 at 4:30pm
Not to mention a good quality 2 hr smoke for $7 - hard to beat (if you can get a hold of one!)
Comment by Duncan Riley on January 12, 2014 at 1:14pm

My local guy is selling this for $34.85 per stick! are they worth it? (in new Zealand btw)

Comment by Smokin Logan (Man Angel #1) on January 12, 2014 at 1:54pm

I think if people think the Nica Rustica is a "poor man's" Liga Privada, then a lot of disappointment is going to happen. I would rather personally smoke the Undercrown Corona Viva.

Comment by Cigar Surgeon on January 12, 2014 at 3:33pm

$35 for a Nica Rustica is pretty steep Duncan.  I'd wait until you land in Calgary and we'll hook you up here.

Comment by Duncan Riley on January 12, 2014 at 3:41pm

sounds good Surgeon. I will hold you to that :) I agree with Logan. isn't the Undercrowns supposed to kind of be the poor mans/alternative ligas? I wouldn't put anything else in that category.

Comment by Matt Ross on January 12, 2014 at 5:08pm

The Undercrown, when it was initially released, was viewed as a "poor man's" Liga - the Nica Rustica is a bit different altogether.  With that said, outside of the Undercrown Corona Viva, I would take the Nica Rustica over an Undercrown any day of the week.  I also would never spend $35 on one.

Comment by Generally Useful Jared on January 12, 2014 at 5:59pm
If he's in NZ though, if they have the hyper-restrictive tobacco laws, they just might be that pricey.


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