Drew Estate Subculture ACID Toast
Today’s review comes as a special request from Clayborn Foster III from Facebook. If you haven’t liked us already, make sure to head over to the Casas Fumando Facebook Page and do that soon. It will definitely come in handy for the upcoming round of contests we’ll have coming up… A few days ago Clayborn posted on our wall asking if we had a review of the Subculture ACID Toast on the site by Drew Estates Cigars. We didn’t have one yet but I happened to have one in my humidor so now here we are! If anyone has a request for review let us know in the comments, on Facebook or on Twitter (@Dalamscius and @TonyCasas) and we’ll do our best to get one up here for you!
So the Subculture ACID cigar line is made by Drew Estates and promotes itself as an Aromatic cigar experience with cigars infused by botanicals and herbals. The “Subculture” reference here is a slight addition to the regular ACID line. The Subculture series is a somewhat limited blend and are slightly similar to some core lines in the Drew Estates inventory. You can tell the Subculture versions apart from the regular ACID cigars by it’s unique gold/orange/red gradient band.
In this case, the Toast is a balanced blend of the Herbal and Botanical infusions from the ACID lineup. A lot of the other ACID cigars tend to be either Herbal or Botanical, but not both. All of the tobacco leaves used in ACID cigars are cured in a large room called the Cuarto Aromatico (Aroma Room) for a period of many months. Only after being in this top-secret room are the leaves rolled into a finished cigar.
The ACID cigars have made a large impact in the cigar world and have quickly grown to some of the top selling cigars in the industry. The appeal here is that the infused flavors offer a little more appeal to people who aren’t regular cigar smokers. On the flip side, Drew Estates tried to strike a balance that even regular cigar enthusiasts could pick up one of these cigars and still enjoy them since they contain some premium Nicaraguan tobacco.
I used to enjoy the odd infused or flavored cigars way back when I first started getting into the hobby but they fell off my radar quite awhile ago. I happened to have a couple ACID cigars left from a sampler tin I purchased roughly 3 years ago and probably have not smoked many infused at all since that time. I had a few bad experiences with flavored and infused cigars that I decided to stay away. But here I am going in for a full review on a popular infused cigar line. Will my opinion of the infused cigars change? Read on to find out!
Cigar: Drew Estate Subculture ACID Toast
Drink: Hockley Valley Brewery Dark Ale
Vitola: Toro (6 x 50)
Price: About $6 (Got mine in a sampler)
Burn Time: Almost 2 hours
• The construction of the Subculture ACID Toast is clean and smooth with very few veins running along it
• The wrapper is a deep chocolate color with a few dark brown splotches
• The double cap atop this cigar is very clean and neatly finished
• On the other end, the foot shows signs of a full and neat filler
• The cigar has some spring to it when squeezed and is a bit softer just below the cap
• The cigar clipped cleanly and easily without much effort
• I’m happy to say the draw feels just a tad open but mostly in a good range
• The toasting of the “Toast” was even and fairly quick, leaving me with a nice glowing foot
• First impressions of the burn are positive as I truck through the first inch with a nice tight line
• I’m happy to report that the burn has been great going through the first half, sharp and clean without any need for touch-ups
• The burn was fantastic right to the end without the need for a single touch-up
Smoke & Ash:
• This Subculture ACID Toast is a smoke machine at the start, pumping out a ton of smoke from each draw and matching that with a ton of smoke while resting
• The ash seems to be presenting with some nice white and light grey colors, starting out fairly clean and strong without any flaking to worry about
• It’s very easy to get a good mouthful of smoke on this cigar with little effort
• First ash lasted nearly 1.5 inches and it fell as I was snapping some pictures. At least it hit the floor and not my lap! lol
• The ash continues to produce some clean lines and a nice white color
• The clean ash continued to surpass the 1 inch mark each time although I somehow managed to make it fall off while taking pictures all the time…
• The wrapper aroma on the Subculture ACID Toast has a strong dirt and earth type of smell, along with a bit of floral notes
• The foot has similar aromas of dirt and floral notes but with less intensity, there’s definitely no secret that this is an infused cigar
• There is a ton of sweetness when this cigar hits your lips, it’s like putting candy in your mouth. In this case it still tasted sorta earthy and now some herbal notes too
• The pre-light draw brings just a bit of earth to the table, not much else
• Despite all the sweet, dirt, earth and floral notes on the pre-light there is surpringly few of these elements left on the first few draws
• The initial draws brought mostly woodsy notes and a bit of sweetness, but I think that could be from my lips touching the wrapper and not from the actual smoke
• Within the first inch I actually started picking up a touch of spices, maybe a slight white pepper thrown into the mix along with more smooth cedar flavors
• So far the finish has been somewhat dry and flavorless and the body is mostly in the mild to medium range
• The retrohale has a very light bite to it and a woodsy yet dry finish
• The spicy notes died out shortly after they appeared and I still have a nice balanced woodsy flavor going
• Every once in awhile I get hints of other flavors like cooking spices, leather, earth a,d even some grassy notes but they seem to come and go
• The dryness on the finish settled down a bit and the sweetness of my lips is adding an interesting dimension to the whole mix
• The flavors definitely began to intensify near the end, some more of the spice came back and the woodsy notes are still there. The sweetness on my lips is still around as well which helps balance it all out
• The intensity continued to build into the final inch and started turning just a bit harsh while the cigar also started burning a bit hot
I came into this cigar with a bit of fear…haha. The last few infused cigars I had that I can remember were bad experiences and so I had a negative preconception going in. I’m happy to say the Drew Estate Subculture ACID Toast was not the terrible cigar I was bracing myself for. It’s different and unique, but not terrible by any means. The strong aroma and sweetness on the lips is something to get used to but if you accept it I found they added to the flavor profile quite nicely. The flavors on the cigar were not overly complex or too deep but they were fairly enjoyable. Probably my biggest gripe here was some of the dryness this cigar was giving me. Sometimes a nice woodsy cigar with a sweet touch is exactly what you are looking for, and if that’s the case you would probably like these! I can’t speak to how the 3 years aging in my humidor affected these though so take that into account as well. This may have dulled the infused flavors but I’d have to try a fresh one to be sure, just a thought…
Today’s pairing comes from another local brewery called Hockley Valley Brewery located in Orangeville, Ontario. They pump out a variety of Traditional English brews and in today’s case we have a Dark Ale. I’ve also paired their “Black & Tan” with the La Aurora Preferdidos 1903 Ruby and their Stout with the My Father LE 2010. Now, the can doesn’t say “Award Winning” for nothing, this is a smooth and tasty dark ale with a hefty helping of malt and slight espresso notes. The whole thing is balanced, and tasty and goes down super easy. I wasn’t exactly sure what to pair this cigar with so I took a guess and I think it worked out ok. Next time I think I would vouch for a lighter ale, something blonde or amber instead. Maybe even a soda or some sparkling water would go well here.