Southern Draw Rose of Sharon
Size: 6.5 x 40
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut
Filler: Dominican Republic & Nicaragua
Factory: Tabacalera AJ Fernandez Cigars de Nicaragua S.A
Cigars smoked for review: 2
Cigars for review provided by: Southern Draw Cigar
Prelight: Nice, soft box-pressed lancero with a velvety, caramel-colored wrapper. The wrapper has a slightly pungent fermented tobacco odor and a manure note to go along. The cold draw is pleasant and “chewy” with notes of dried apple, caramel, natural tobacco, and a very slight white pepper note on the finish.
Beginning: A smokey caramel note is most prominent as I begin puffing this lancero. This is eventually grouped with the normal Connecticut notes of graham cracker and toasted marshmallow. The finish is long, with a sweet, caramel flavor lingering long after each puff. The burn and construction are perfect, with a nice light grey ash that holds on fairly well for a lancero.
Middle: The middle third doesn’t change much, maintaining a smooth, caramel flavor but there is an addition of a sweet cream. All of these flavors meld very nicely together. The burn got slightly wonky at one point, but a quick fix and it was burning straight as an arrow again.
End: The final third gains some strength and body. It is a solid medium strength now, with stronger flavor notes. The caramel takes on more of a burnt sugar and smokiness flavor. And there is a smokey, almost meaty note on the finish.
Final Thoughts: THIS is a very nice connecticut. I had previously tried this blend in a larger vitola, and just wasn’t all that blown away. Which, surprised me because I have really enjoyed all of the other blends from Southern Draw, especially the Pennsylvania, but that’s another article. My point is that, for me at least, the lancero hits a sweet spot in this blend. I'm definitely going to revisit some other vitolas though. I think I may have just had a dud before.
Rating: 90 AKA "Box Split"