Double Signature Reserve by Drew Estate
Look who’s on time with their review this week! It’s not Daniel! This week’s review is an interesting one, The Double Signature Reserve by Drew Estate.
The Good Stuff: Drew Estate’s Double Signature Reserve has an interesting little story. As most of you know, Drew Estate sponsors what they call “The Cigar Safari”. The Cigar Safari is basically a 5 day long tour of Nicaragua, and many of the high end cigar factories hosted by Drew Estate. One of the interesting activities on the tour is one where you actually get to blend your own cigar, rolled in the Drew Estate factory. I’ll be the first to admin I’d totally bomb this, and probably make the crappiest cigar ever. But some people have made cigars using tobacco they absolutely love, and become very partial to the blends they put their names on. One of these lucky Safariers (I’m sure that’s not even a word) is Tobacco World owner Robert Wachtel. He created a blend that he fell so in love with, that he actually commissioned Drew Estate to create a mass of these sticks (100 boxes of 24 to be exact) that would be sold only at Tobacco World. These babies went FAST! So as I continue this review, bear in mind that Drew Estate did not blend these cigars, it was created by the mind of Robert Wachtel from Tobacco World in Atlanta, Georgia.
Prelight: Let me just start out by saying, this is a crazy looking cigar. The Double Signature Reserve has such a crazy, toothy wrapper. I even wrote the words “Stupidly Toothy” in my review notes. It feels almost like sandpaper. And to go with it, the wrapper is VERY hard, and gives off such a shine that it actually looks like it could be made form plastic. Outside of the crazy wrapper characteristics, the cigar carries the same orange, and dark chocolate colors as the Liga Privada T-52, in fact it’s the same wrapper as the T-52. The Double Signature Reserve itself is a very beefy, heavy stick. The thick body leads up to a nice, huge double cap before banded off with a dark brown, orange, and gold embossed band. The Front of the band shows the Double Signature Reserve name, by Drew Estate. While the only other markings are the “Dual Signatures” of the cigar blends creators, both Jonathan Drew and Robert Wachtel.
There are no soft spots or any misconstruction on this cigar what so ever. If anything, this cigar is so hard, heavy, and tightly bound that I could probably use it to break into a car of some sort. It seriously has no give to it, no matter how hard I squeeze it, within reason of course. The wrapper had a very nice floral, and cedar scent. The foot however had mainly a strong barnyard and cedar scent.
Probably due to the tightly packed tobacco, the thickness, and the strength of the cigar’s wrapper, The Double Signature Reserve was really tough to clip using my Palio double bladed cutter. Once it pierced the wrapper though, the cut was perfect and clean. The cold draw kicked out some really interesting strong floral, and cinnamon flavors.
Size: 6 x 54 (estimated) – Wrapper: Stalk Cut Connecticut Habano – Binder: San Andreas Mexican – Filler: Dominican Pilito Seco, Brazilian Mata Fina Viso, and 2 different Jalapa-grown (Nicaraguan) Criollo Habana Leaves – Body: Full
First Smoke: As expected, the Double Signature Reserve starts off with a butt-load of pepper, and surprisingly a lot of rich, dark chocolate flavors. I didn’t get the floral taste I was expecting, in fact, the cigar starts out a little flat in the flavor profile, but after a while a bit of grape decided to slip in, brightening up the flavors a bit. Despite the tightness of the tobacco, the draw was extremely loose, but it kicks out a huge cloud of thick, white smoke, as well as a heck of a lot of cedar scented stationary smoke. You would think, due to the cedar aroma the smoke gives off that the cigar would carry more of a cedar flavor. The burn-line has been dead even right off the bat, and produced this awesome tight, white, consistent ash that held on for almost two inches before giving way.
Halfway There: And there it is! The cedar that I have grown to love from the Liga Privada T-52 has finally shown it’s happy face in the Double Signature Reserve. Along with the cedar, there is still quite a bit of pepper, as well as some more dark chocolate, and even a bit of orange peel coming it. I know that sounds like some sort of dessert, but I swear those were the flavors I started pulling out of this. Outside of the flavor change-up I really started to feel the body from the cigar as well. The retrohale was a little too harsh for me, so I didn’t find myself doing it too often. The burnline was still absolutely perfect well into the second third.
Finish: After all was said and done, the Double Signature Reserve took me about an hour and a half to take down. Keep in mind, I am a faster smoker. The final third actually started getting a bit bitter, sadly. But on the plus side, some of that floral taste I picked up from the cold draw started to sneak into the mix, masking a lot of the harshness. The cedar was still in full effect, with the dark chocolate backing it. I got a nice little nicotine kick from this cigar.
Overview: All in all, this was a pretty good cigar. Would I consider it over a Liga Privada? Not in a million years. But when you take in consideration that Robert isn’t someone that comes up with new cigar blends for a living, he did a hell of a job. This cigar was good, but the flavors seemed to fall flat at times. The harsh build up early into the final third was a big turn off for me as well. I really wonder what this cigar would be like in a corona. I think it would be damn good actually. Would I buy it again? Maybe, but not by the box, if they weren’t already sold out, which they are. Would I recommend it? Honestly, not to everyone. Maybe people who love the Liga Privada lines and are interested in a departure from the norm.
Pairing: I paired this cigar with some Obsidian Stout from the Descutes brewery in Oregon. What a wonderful, full bodied stout this is. It’s seriously like drinking cold coffee in beer form. The chocolate, coffee, and malt notes really gave another dimension to a cigar that otherwise wouldn’t have held my attention as much as it did. This cigar would pear perfect with any stout, porter, port wine, black coffee, tea, or something flavorful that would really help bring that little something extra to the cigar.