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Cigar Review: Drew Estate Kentucky Fire Cured Swamp Thang

Cigar Review: Drew Estate Kentucky Fire Cured Swamp Thang

 

 

Drew Estate announced on July 20th the introduction of the new Kentucky Fire Cured “Swamp Thang” and Kentucky Fire Cured “Swamp Rat” line extensions. The line extension were on display in Drew Estate’s booth (Booth #2403) at the IPCPR Convention and Tradeshow held July 24 – 28, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Sizes available:

  • Swamp Thang Toro: 6 x 52
  • Swamp Thang Robusto: 5 x 54
  • Swamp Rat: 6 x 46

 

Swamp-Thang-5x54-Pack

 

The new sizes will be available in 10-ct green craft paper bundles similar to the current Kentucky Fire Cured lines, as a refill to the new display trays, which will only be available for retail use. Jonathan Drew stated “We continue to demonstrate our leadership in the Fire Cured Tobacco segment, making history as the first company to blend Candela and Kentucky Fire Cured Tobaccos in the premium segment. It is sure not to be like any other Candela cigar you have ever smoked.”

 

  • APPEARANCE

The KFC Swamp Thang is esthetically pleasing to gaze at. The candela wrapper is green in color with very light seam and minimal tooth, the foot is wide open exposing the Kentucky fire cured tobacco adding a nice contrast in color. I’m assuming the darker wrapper near the cap is Mexican San Andres and stands out in contrast with the green after the label. 

The primary band looks typically rustic in paper bag color reading “Genuine Kentucky Fire Cured” rounding the bottom reads “MUWAT” (My Uzi Weighs A Ton) with “Subculture Studios” in the back and on the inside of the label. Pre light aroma was filled with campfire and pungent grassy notes, the cold draw had flavors of sweet cedar, hay and earth.

  • FIRST LIGHT

Upon first light bitter grassy notes with flavors of orange peel. Background flavors of smokey peat scotch with sweet wood chips. There is a pungent aftertaste of the only thing I can describe as a dirty vodka taste, definitely different. The retro was producing white pepper evolving into grassy notes through the nose.

  • CRUISE CONTROL BURN

Heavy grassy flavors have moved up front, what’s surprising is the Kentucky fire cured tobacco taking a back seat to the overly pungent creamy grass flavors of the candela.

Slight flavors of woody chip notes are present but minimal at best. The only way I can describe the flavor of the candela is reminiscent of a wheat grass shot you can take at “Jamba Juice”. The white pepper on the retro has increased slightly still producing a grassy/hay aftertaste.

  • FINAL THIRD

In the final duration I’m just waiting for the candela to burn off so I can get some of the signature KFC flavors that I enjoy so much. Creamy and slightly bitter grassy notes have been the dominating flavors since first light. Once the candela wrapper burned off flavors of smokey peat scotch and hickory notes of spiced BBQ sauce appeared.

Unfortunately there was not much of the vitola left to make a significant difference as the flavor of the candela was just too overbearing. The white pepper increased on the retro with an aftertaste of smokey charred wood flavor.

  • CONSTRUCTION/STRENGTH 

The construction the the KFC Swamp Thang was solid, I’ve encountered candela wrappers in the past that have been thin and prone to cracking, not the case with the KFC Swamp Thang, the integrity of the candela wrapper burned razor sharp throughout with no cracks or separation from the binder.

The ash was solid but dirty flaking off in several directions when tapped. The draw had a slight milkshake type resistance producing thick white smoke. The strength of the KFC Swamp Thang was in the MILD to MEDIUM bodied range, unfortunately there was not much of the KFC taste to decrease the flavor of the candela wrapper.

 

NOTABLE FLAVORS

  • Bitter grass
  • Wheat grass
  • Sweet cedar
  • Dirty Vodka
  • Peat Scotch
  • Hay
  • Spiced BBQ Sauce
  • Smokey Wood Chips
  • White pepper on the retro evolving to Hay/Grassy Notes



Cigars for review purchased from: Barrister Cigars (5 Pack)

Cigars smoked for review: 2

Cigar Smoke Rate: 87

Size: 5 x 54 (Robusto)

Wrapper: Candela, Mexican San Andres

Binder: Undisclosed

Filler: Kentucky Seed Tobacco, Kentucky Fire Cured, Nicaraguan, Brazilian

Consumers, Retailers, and Media who are interested in being the first to try the Swamp Thang and Swamp Rat sizes are encouraged to attend the Kentucky Barn Smoker on October 1, 2016 in Hopkinsville, Kentucky when tickets are released later this year at Barn Smoker

2 Responses to “Cigar Review: Drew Estate Kentucky Fire Cured Swamp Thang”

  • Rob Malgieri Rob Malgieri:

    Drew Estate Kentucky Fire Cured Swamp Thang
    6 x 52 Toro

    There is a lot of charred mesquite on the wrapper aroma. Pre-light draw is also pushing tons of wood smoke that smells like mesquite. Nice construction with the candela two-thirds and the dark Mexican San Andreas (maduro?) on the final third of the cigar.

    First Light
    -Grass (candela, of course!), wood smoke, smoked peat, orange peel (thanks Toar), clove honey, black pepper
    Not as grassy as expected, but there is a nice level of pepper along with that wood fire smokiness. There is even grittiness to the mouth feel and a residual tart/sweetness contrast. I think Toar nailed this with the orange peel bitter, and I picked up a clove honey for sweetness. The smokiness really is reminiscent of a good, peaty scotch, which you just can’t miss in the flavor profile.

    Cruise
    -Grass, hay, smoked peat, charred wood, clove honey, mild black pepper
    There is a touch of bitterness to the Swamp Thang. The candela wrapper maybe? The Thang has mellowed a bit, but the scotch-style smoky peat is still present. There is a lingering pepper bite at the back of the throat.

    Final Third
    – Smoked peat, mild pepper, clove honey
    The bitterness has tapered off, but the scotch peaty smoke is still at the forefront. I am not getting as much grass/hay from the candela wrapper, anymore and I haven’t gotten to the San Andreas wrapper portion just yet.

    – San Andrea wrapped portion: red pepper, smoked peat, wood char
    Now the Mexican San Andreas wrapped portion on the final leg:
    The black pepper is now shifting to red pepper, residual scotch smoked peat, and still some of the charred wood.

    Conclusion
    If you enjoy a campfire, the Swamp Thang will take you to one. The Thang does have a nice, easy draw and sure looks great. Although the candela flavor effect is still evident even after burning off, I think I would have liked the Swamp Thing even more if it was entirely wrapped in a Mexican San Andreas wrapper, although the Swamp Thing name would not have fit as well.

    As always, I recommend all the time at the cigar shop to try something out of your normal comfort level in a cigar . For me, the same cigar over and over again is, well, boring. It’s like sticking to the same beer or wine and never, ever deviating, Boring! Even if it turns out that it is not to your liking, give something different a try, and the Swamp Thang is just that: different.

    Medium strength.

    Rating: A good 87 for uniqueness of flavors and pleasurable, easy draw comfort.

  • Bob Langmaid:

    I haven’t had one… but it sounds like I should!!

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