Southern Draw Kudzu Toro
You probably noticed things were little quiet around here for the last two weeks. Between a small vacation with my wife and kids to the Copper Country in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and Tony still recovering from his birthday bash and brewery tour, cigar reviews took the back burner for awhile there. I am glad our unpaid intern Jeff hasn’t been slacking it! Now that I am back to reality, here we are again with another cigar from Southern Draw. This time we are taking a look at the Southern Draw Kudzu Toro.
Like all other Southern Draw lines, the Kudzu is produced at AJ Fernandez’s Tabacalera Fernandez factory in Nicaragua. The Kudzu features a double fermented Habano Oscuro wrapper over Cuban seed Nicaraguan filler and binder tobaccos. Three vitolas are available in the original Kudzu blend including: Robusto (5 1/2 by 54), Toro (6 by 52), and Gordo (6 1/2 by 60). Additionally, three line extensions with distinct blends have been added including the Axil Lancero (6 1/2 by 50), the Code Duello Semi Box Pressed Perfecto Double Ometepe (5 by 58), and the Code Duello Semi Box Pressed Perfecto Double Oscuro (6 by 56).
I previously reviewed the Southern Draw QuickDraw Pennsylvania HERE. You can purchase the Southern Draw Kudzu from our site sponsor Famous Smoke Shop. Make sure to use coupon code “CASASAVINGS” for $15 off orders over $100.
Vitola: Toro Box-Pressed
Size: 6 by 52
Wrapper: Habano Oscuro
Smoke Time: 1 Hour and 30 Minutes
Southern Draw’s Kudzu wears one ugly wrapper with its crazy color variations from medium brown to black, a couple stitch-like veins, and two tears in the leaf. To the touch, the wrapper is velvety smooth, which is a surprise considering the rustic appearance. This box-pressed 6 by 52 cigar is evenly filled from head to foot with no soft spots to be found.
A big aroma of barnyard greets me from the wrapper, while barnyard and dirt come across on the closed foot. Upon cutting the cap, I find a stiff draw as flavors of rich cedar, cherry, and cinnamon are found on the dry draw.
The Kudzu journey begins with a warm cedar and decent amount of spice, followed by yeast and sweetness. While there isn’t a big pepper flavor at the start, there is certainly a good amount heat going on in the mouth. The finish is rather clean with a faint earth and pencil shaving flavor. A large section of the Habano Oscuro wrapper is struggling to burn, but I am unwilling to break out my lighter just yet.
There is an ebb and flow going on with the sweetness as I move into the second third of the Southern Draw Kudzu. The warm cedar remains, but darker flavors of earth and black coffee have arrived. At the midway point of the cigar, the flavors are in the medium to full realm. The spice has calmed, but a more pronounced pepper flavor has developed. Even though the draw remains firm, the smoke production is sufficient and I don’t feel like I am having to work to enjoy this cigar. I have hit the tipping point and I am breaking out the lighter to hopefully fix this whacky burn.
The Southern Draw Kudzu Toro takes on a whole new dimension in the last couple of inches. The profile is less aggressive, but remains rich, and a mellow coffee and cocoa take center stage. After the touch-up in the last third, the cigar is performing well, allowing me to close out this cigar with ease.
Robert Holt and the rest of the crew are doing something right over at Southern Draw Cigars. And it doesn’t hurt when you pair up with one of the hottest manufactures to make your cigars either. The Southern Draw Kudzu delivered notes of cedar, spice, coffee, earth and cocoa. I did not see the transition in the final third coming, but it turned out to be my favorite part of the cigar. Both samples smoked for review had some burn issues, one worse than the other. But when all is said and done, I am still fan of this blend.