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Cigar Review: Drew Estate x Caldwell All Out Kings Smash

12 Apr 2017

All Out Kings - Drew x Caldwell

All Out Kings has been an extraordinarily anticipated cigar since the initial announcement last year. A collaboration between Caldwell Cigar Co. and Drew Estate, the line began shipping only recently.

All Out Kings - 2Here’s how the blend is described on the website set up for the line: “All Out Kings debuts with tobaccos from La Gran Fabrica Drew Estate in Estelí, Nicaragua, including Connecticut stalk-cut and sun-cured Habano wrapper with an Indonesian Sumatra binder and filler comprised of Jalapa Viso, Estelí Viso, Dominican C-98 Seco, and Connecticut Broadleaf Ligero.” Originally, production was planned to take place at the Joya de Nicaragua factory, but ultimately the blend was rolled at La Gran Fabrica Drew Estate.

Sounds intriguing, doesn’t it?

I thought so before I tried one. But the flavors from this smoke just didn’t line up with what I enjoy in a cigar.

First, there was what I can describe only as a dirty taste that I’m guessing comes from the stalk-cut wrapper, a procedure which can produce heavily earthy notes. Then there was the sharp, back-of-the-throat bite that was particularly intense in the first inch or so and came back in the final third.

Much of the cigar—I smoked three of the robusto-sized Smash (5 x 52), for which I paid $69 for a five-pack—exhibited what I’ve come to think of as a campfire taste with some astringency along the way.

On the other hand, the cigar is an extraordinary performer. The draw and smoke production in all those I smoked were excellent, while the burn was razor sharp. The white ash held on tightly throughout.

I can’t imagine this cigar will engender many middle-of-the-road reactions. If it suits your palate, you’ll likely be a big fan; if not, your reaction will probably be similar to mine. And the only way to find out where you fall on the scale is to try one.

All Out Kings comes in four vitolas. The other three are Gimme Your Lunch Money (5.75 x 46), Foreverlast (6.5 x 54), and The Fourth Pose (6 x 54). All are available in 20-count boxes.

For me, this is a tough cigar to rate. All Out Kings is obviously not a bad cigar. It just doesn’t appeal to me. which is why I give it three stogies out of five.

[To read more cigar reviews, please click here.]

George E

photo credit: Caldwell/Stogie Guys

3 Responses to “Cigar Review: Drew Estate x Caldwell All Out Kings Smash”

  1. Brandon Wednesday, April 12, 2017 at 2:53 pm #


    Long time follower, first time commenter. Definitely agree with your rating if not a little lower. To me the two I have smoked these things should not of been released into the market. They need to be aged more and I am sure now that DE is big business they got pressured into putting them on the market thus opening themselves up to honest reviews.

    Hopefully you hold on to your other two I would love to hear what you think of them six months from now. I have a box I am sitting on. They have all the components of a great cigar they just need to get to that sweet spot in my humble opinion. I am actually glad someone actually rated this thing honestly.

  2. BillB72 Wednesday, April 12, 2017 at 3:22 pm #

    I hate to say this, but…

    – The products coming out of Drew Estate today — be they older lines like T52 or Liga 9, or new creations like All Out Kings — are nowhere near the quality of Drew Estate’s heyday (when Saka and Melillo were there).

    – I have not had one Caldwell cigar that was any good.

  3. G. Ceaser Thursday, April 13, 2017 at 8:45 am #

    With 30 plus years in the “game”, AOK is a genuine let down. I keep waiting for “the next great cigar” to emerge from La Gran Fabrica, and unfortunately I just keep getting hype. The review is spot on, and I would add the cigar lacks any complexity, room note is even lackluster. But, my palate is my palate and others may enjoy it. Although I do have to say, the fan boys and girls won’t care one bit.