All posts by Pippin

I am a part time journalist and a full time cigar and pipe tobacco reviewer. If you enjoy "the leaf," Why not join us over at Cigarweekly.com. I personally have 30ish years of knowledge to share and I consider myself one of the lesser experts.

News from Southern Draw

January 13, 2022 – Austin, Texas

Southern Draw Cigars is turning to 10,000 of our most loyal consumers, valued retail partners and media members, to select our next new brand. 

In a very traditional industry – premium handmade cigars – the company decided to create a very modern Quick Response (QR) portal, accessed from any mobile device, to allow participants to input valuable information including cigar reviews, ratings and recommendations, the very data that will be used to determine a new brand to be launched by Southern Draw Cigars in 2023, with plans for a similar campaign that will bring a follow up launch in 2024.  For years, our loyal consumers have offered to test our sample blends, and in some cases, they have smoked a few, but we wish to empower them by harnessing the power of the crowd, to heed their collective feedback and to deliver a product chosen by them, meaning cigar blend, size, and format. 

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My list

Before I post my list, realize that these were mostly released in 2021.

Here is a list, not in any order other than alphabetical, of the cigars that really impressed me that were released in very late 2020 and 2021. There were many other cigars that did not rate a 95 or better, according to my palate, but if you read my reviews you can count on anything rated 85 or better.

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Stillwell Star Bayou No. 32 Toro from DTT

This is one of the new series of cigars from Steve Saka blending select pipe tobaccos with Nicaraguan filler. It has a Grade A Ecuador Habano wrapper over a San Andreas Negro binder. The pipe tobaccos are Bright and Red Virginia leaf with St. James Parish Perique. The wrapper is smooth with some light veins. The aromas from the foot are light with some spicy notes. The cold draw is perfect.

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Oliva V 135th

This is the latest Oliva release and it looks great. A reverse torpedo with very light aromas from the foot but hearty cocoa and coffee notes from the perfect cold draw. Today’s beverage is a Founders KBS Espresso Stout.


Initial flavors are robust with cocoa, coffee and spices. The smoke is thick and smooth. The ash looks good but the burn is a bit off. It will probably self correct. The body of the ale is a perfect pairing.

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