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Postcards from Cigar Safari in Nicaragua

29 May 2012

As you’ve no doubt seen if you’ve been following us on Facebook or Twitter over the past week, Patrick A and Patrick S participated in Drew Estate’s Cigar Safari in Estelí, Nicaragua.

First and foremost, we’d like to thank all the fine folks at Drew Estate and Joya de Nicaragua for showing us an amazing time on the incredible trip, especially Jonathan Drew, Steve Saka, Jose Blanco, Mario Perez, Pedro Gomez, and Johnny Brooke. We learned a ton and our passion for fine cigars was reinforced four-fold—as was our understanding that we have so much more to learn about tobacco. But that’s a learning process we embrace.

We know you embrace learning about premium cigars as well, and in that spirit we have a plethora of photos, videos, and other content to share with you from our recently concluded adventure. The video content is forthcoming shortly. In the meantime, we thought we’d share some of our favorite photos from the trip.

We had a tremendous group of guys for this trip, pictured here. Included are such notables as Jonathan Drew (red shirt and cap), Steve Saka (lower right), Doc Stogie (black CroMagnon shirt), and Brian Berman and Mark Brownlee of CRA.

The Drew Estate factory has a sense of style all its own, including this beautiful mural painted along the back of the factory and near the entrance to Subculture Studios, the nerve center of the company’s artistic creations.

As you might imagine, there were plenty of smokes available to us during the trip, and we weren’t shy about taking advantage of this awesome luxury. From Liga Privada No. 9 and Undercrown to Liga Privada T52 and Unico Serie, Cigar Safari was a great way to sample (and re-sample) all of the finest offerings from Drew Estate. The MUWAT Bait Fish, for example, was a favorite of ours as a potent post-lunch smoke with some dark coffee.

In addition to touring the Drew Estate and Joya de Nicaragua factories, we were also treated to a tour of the Oliva Tobacco Company’s Nicaprosa operation in Estelí. The company, not to be confused with the Oliva Family of Cigars, grows top-notch tobacco for many of the world’s best cigar makers, including Drew Estate.

The inside of the Drew Estate factory is pristine and highly organized. Everything about the company—from its commitment to consistency to its two-tiered approach to quality control—underscores how hard Drew Estate works to deliver a premium product. And they do so by treating their employees well, providing such valuable benefits as life insurance where most other cigar factories do not.

Patrick A and Jonathan Drew examine a tobacco leaf at the Oliva Tobacco Company.

Patrick S smokes an unwrapped Feral Flying Pig fresh off the binder/filler bunching table. This unfinished cigar doesn’t look pretty, but sampling a stick sans-wrapper helps one understand the role the wrapper plays in the overall profile.

We have so many more photos to share from this wonderful trip—way more than it makes sense to post here. So check the rest out in this slideshow. And feel free to leave a comment if you have any questions about any of the pics.

We’ll circle back shortly with the video content from our trip.

The Stogie Guys

photo credit: Stogie Guys

15 Responses to “Postcards from Cigar Safari in Nicaragua”

  1. Skip Martin Tuesday, May 29, 2012 at 3:51 am #

    Nice shirt Doc!

  2. Francisi Tuesday, May 29, 2012 at 8:26 am #

    Looks fucking amazing. Can't wait to see the videos. I hear Steve Saka is a virtual encyclopedia of tobacco.

  3. cigarphil Tuesday, May 29, 2012 at 10:01 am #

    Thanks Guys, the slide show was wonderful. Living large in the tropics , it was a delightful treat for the weary mind. Everyday as I roll around the neighborhood with that days selection is a mini holiday. Keep up the good work. People who don't smoke cigars are deprived.

  4. Phillip Tuesday, May 29, 2012 at 12:56 pm #

    Can't wait for the video content! The photos are great!

  5. Heavy Tuesday, May 29, 2012 at 9:56 pm #

    Thx guys great stuff. I love the LIGA 9 & T52 and smoke the Undercrown on occasion. My question to you guys is that I find the Undercrowns to be somewhat inconsitant. Sometimes they taste great with hints of the LIGA and other times they have little or mild flavor. Can you shed some light on this as to possibly why this is ? Thx and I love your web page… Heavy

    • Patrick Semmens Saturday, June 2, 2012 at 11:55 am #

      Can't say I've noticed much inconsistency in the Undercrowns I've smoked, but you shouldn't be expecting the same flavors/body from Undercrown as you do from LP, even though they blended with similar tobaccos. The main difference between the two is that Undercrown is maybe a 6 on a 1-10 scale of body and LP/T52 would be more of an 8 (at least in my opinion).

      As for variation within the Undercrown line, the only thing I've found is that size makes a big difference. The Corona Viva has bolder flavors because of its smaller sizes (binder-wrapper/filler ratios, and also burns hotter), while the opposite is true of the 6×60. Could that be the difference you're noticing?

  6. Robison Crusoe Thursday, May 31, 2012 at 11:53 am #

    great job, I don't smoke but I love the smell of CIGARS, and appreciate this CORPORATION bringing bread to the table of many of my fellow citizens that with the worldwide economy is suffering as well, and to contribute with the economy of my fractured country's economy, thank you guys…those tours will help a great deal as well…I just had a tour myself in ESTELI city, to the tobacco fields and took a lot of beautiful pictures !!!

  7. Jonathan Drew Thursday, June 7, 2012 at 12:16 am #

    SKIP …!!!!! Where is my damn shirt ???


  8. slideshow Wednesday, May 1, 2013 at 7:00 am #

    Very interesting breakdown, indeed. It’s nice to have such information available in one location and some ideas for new and different directions to take to help one stand out.

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