Brand: Southern Draw
Line: Jacob’s Ladder
Size: Robusto (5.5 x 54)
Wrapper: Pennsylvania Broadleaf
Binder: Ecuadorian Maduro
Filler: Nicaraguan, including ligero from the Esteli region
Cigars smoked for review: 1
Cigars for review provided by: Southern Draw Cigars
Quick Note: For this review I used Cigar Federation's rating system
The wrapper was an extremely dark brown and had an oily shine to it. There were some noticeable veins but most of the cigar was smooth and felt very solid to hold. This cigar was great to look at and that’s not normally something I focus on too much. The royal blue bands with the gold, the cedar, and that closed foot gave this cigar a fantastic visual appeal.
The cigar smelled of barnyard, leather, and had kind of a musty floral quality too. I didn’t get much from the prelight draw due to the closed foot, but I did pick up a good amount of black pepper spice on the front of my tongue and lips, in addition to a musty leathery quality.
After lighting the closed foot and taking a few puffs I got a huge amount of black pepper spice and this super rich bittersweet flavor that reminded of pure cacao powder. The pepper continued to build and was the primary flavor until I smoked about ¼ inch into the cigar. At that point the pepper started to back off and the cigar opened up with very earthy flavors, toasted dark wood, and a bittersweet dark chocolate flavor. About halfway through the first third the black pepper backs of further to a more comfortable, but still strong level, and the oaky, chocolate and earthy flavors meld together nicely. In addition to the black pepper spice there was also a hot sauce type of spice that would linger on the sides of my tongue. There is not doubt that this is a full bodied, full strength cigar. The cigar produced tons of thick white smoke and the oily nature of the wrapper became apparent as I could feel the oils on my lips after smoking for a while.
The second third opens up with oaky charred wood flavors, and espresso notes, along with more of that bittersweet cacao flavor, and a touch of caramelized sugar sweetness. These flavor elements combined with the spice would linger on the finish and reminded me of cinnamon. As I progressed through the second third I started to get a very savory, almost BBQ meat type of quality. It really reminded me of opening up a smoker toward the end of smoking a brisket.
I didn’t notice a major transition from the second third into the final third but as the final third progressed the caramelized sugar notes faded away and the smoked meat and charred smokey wood flavors really came to the forefront. There was also some earthy natural tobacco notes in the mix. The bittersweet chocolate flavor would make an appearance every now and then, but was not constant. The cigar came to an end with intense charred wood flavors but it never became bitter or unpleasant in any way.
Total smoking time: about 1 hour 30 minutes
From start of finish this is a full strength, full bodied, and full flavored cigar. Be prepared for this thing! That being said, it is definitely not strength for the sake of strength. I loved the flavor profile and subtleties that this cigar offered. From start to finish the Jacob’s Ladder produced a massive amount of thick white smoke and it had one of most oily wrappers I have ever seen. Highly recommend this cigar to anyone who enjoys full bodied and strength cigars.
This is a cigar that will be able to compete with stouts and even barrel aged stouts, and any bourbon/rye. I also think this would go well with a peated scotch.
Jason’s rating: 95 (AKA Box Buy)