Don’t you dare call this a Swisher! Ok, now that I have gotten that little PSA out of the way let’s dive into the Nirvana Cameroon Selection.
Binder: Mexican San Andres
Filler: Nicaraguan, Honduran
Vitola of Eval: Corona Gorda (6.0″x46)
The Nirvana is a project birthed from a collaboration between Royal Gold Cigars and Drew Estate Cigars. According to the Drew Estate site: “The wrapper is grown by small farmers who, when it’s time to cure the tobacco, clear an area of land and construct a rustic curing barn. This completely natural process translates into a leaf almost devoid of disease and also produces some of the best tasting Cameroon leaf in the world. The origin of the Cameroon seed varietal is Sumatra Indonesia, which has been grown in Africa for over 60 years.”
Drew Estate was founded in New York City in 1996 and it quickly became one of the fastest growing tobacco companies in the world. Drew Estate produces a variety of brands such as ACID, Herrera Estelí, Kentucky Fired Cured, Liga Privada, MUWAT, Natural, Nica Rustica, Tabak Especial, UnderCrown, and Java by Drew Estate.
Royal Gold Cigars, founded in 2013 by Alex Goldman, is a company known for creating premium cigars through partnerships within the industry. They are best known for brands such as Casino Gold, Kismet and Gold Strike.
Many cigar enthusiasts were a little concerned about the state of Drew Estate Cigars when they acquired by Swisher International (SI) in October 2014. Most people know SI from their popular line of tobacco products like Swisher Sweets. True cigar aficionados do not consider a “swisher” a true cigar; however, when speaking with Jonathan Drew right after the 2014 announcement he assured all who were in attendance at The Smoker’s Abbey that the quality of his brand will not change and that this opportunity would afford him the chance to concentrate more on great blends with greater resources.
Now getting into the stick in hand. I chose the Corona Gorda, one of the smaller ring gauge sizes for this particular line. The Nirvana’s Cameroon wrapper is slightly bumpy and is a medium shade a brown (darker than that of a Connecticut yet lighter than a Maduro). The visually pleasing band is various shades of brown and gold foil complete with a picture of a Estelí and raised letters.
The Nirvana is well constructed and I did not encounter any problems while enjoying the cigar. There was no need to relight or retouch once it was lit. The filler is fully packed and I got every bang for my buck. I appreciated the fact that even though the construction of the cigar seems to be dense, it had an easy and smooth draw. I detected earthy notes as well as pepper. Though not a really big fan of pepper in my cigars, it wasn’t so prevalent in this stick that it would deter me from smoking it again. I also tasted some fruity notes and hints of cedar. The complex flavor lasts throughout the entire smoke and it paired perfectly with the Glenlivet single-malt scotch whiskey (aged for 12 years) I had after a very, very long day at work.
The Nirvana by Drew Estate cigars for this eval were purchased at UPtown’s Smoke Shop.