Drew Estate MUWAT Kentucky Fire Cured Kyotos
Three years ago, Drew Estate announced the release of their Kentucky Fire Cured cigars, an addition to their My Uzi Weighs A Ton (MUWAT) brand and, like MUWAT, is produced at the Joya De Nicaragua factory. Since the initial 2013 release, the line has expanded to seven frontmarks, not including shop or event exclusives. Vitolas include: Chunky (4 by 46), Fat Molly (5 by 56), Just a Friend (6 by 52), HamHock (3 ¾ by 56), Kyotos (5 ½ by 34), and Definas (6 by 26), and KFCC Flying Pig (4 ⅛ by 60). The Kyotos was introduced at the 2014 IPCPR Trade Show and released early 2015.
The KFC blend utilizes fire cured tobaccos from Kentucky and Virginia. The process of creating fire cured tobaccos that has been in use for over 200 years was explained by Nicholas Melillo in the original press release:
First off, Kentucky Fire Cured is from a stalk-cut tobacco. The initial firing of KFC is done at low heat between 100 F to 115 F degrees and maintained until the color reaches solid brown. Once color is set temperatures increase to 120F- 130F to completely cure down the midrib of the leaf and darken. Once the midrib is dried the temperature will be reduced and the smoke maximized with sawdust to finish the leaf. When KFC hits your olfactory nerve you know it!
Price: $37.97 per bundle of 10
Wrapper: 5 ½ by 34
Smoke Time: 1 Hour
The Kentucky Fired Cured Kyotos wears an extremely dark, almost, black wrapper that is oily, bumpy, toothy, and veiny. To the touch, the tooth feels like a fine grain sandpaper. A few soft spots are found on this small cigar as I examine it from head to foot.
A potent, burnt wood/peatiness greets me immediately upon removing the cigar from the cellophane. It is very similar to the aroma you would get from a tin of English pipe tobacco that is heavy on Latakia. Similar aromas are found on the foot, which are just short of overwhelming. Upon clipping the neatly applied double cap, the dry draw is not nearly as in your face as expected. I don’t even know where to begin on describing the cold draw other than a camp fire in your mouth.
The 34 ring gauge Kyotos lights easily and a copious amount of smoke is being produced even though the draw is bit snug. My concerns are quickly relieved as a somewhat balanced profile opens up the cigar. While there is definitely the English pipe tobacco-like flavor, there is also mixture of woodsy notes more typical to a cigar profile with a faint black pepper in the mouth. Moving the smoke through the sinuses, the black pepper stands out. Three fourths of an inch in, the spice steps up a few notch, a toasted bread flavor joins in, and hiding in the background is a dark fruit sweetness. A salt and pepper, toothy ash is being produced as the cigar burns mostly even.
As the MUWAT Kentucky Fire Cured Kyotos progresses, the sweetness, that is now a combination of fruit and maple, is in stride with the smoky wood flavor. A heavy char flavor lingers in the mouth after each puff and the yeasty bread pulls forward. In terms of texture, the smoke is thick and chewy in the mouth. The ash is surprisingly firm for such a small cigar.
Just prior to entering the final third, the Kyotos decided to die out on me requiring a complete re-light. I must have been doing too much thinking and not enough smoking. The profile is very similar to the previous third, but has developed in richness. Also, a rich cedar flavor that is very enjoyable had entered the profile. Other than the re-light, the Kyotos has performed without issue.
To make things easy, I will begin with the more objective aspects of the Kentucky Fire Cured Kyotos. The cigar was very well constructed and had an appealing ruggedness to it. While the draw was snug, the smoke production was satisfying. The cigar smoked for review burned even for the most part, but it also extinguished at one point, which occurred in multiple samples. Now onto my own personal take. The smoky, pipe tobacco pre-light aroma was almost overwhelming, but once lit the flavor was dialed back and played well with other more “cigar-like” flavors. On the downside, the heavy finish was not overly pleasant and almost fatiguing. Taking price into consideration, a bundle purchase can be recommended, not as a regular rotation smoke, but something different and intriguing to have in the humidor.