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.

PCA on the Subject of Responsible Marketing

Dear PCA Members,

Our industry’s greatest argument against overregulation is that we do not fall into the scope of concerns levied against most tobacco or vapor products. Even the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) acknowledges premium cigars and pipes have a negligible impact on youth tobacco consumption and, according to the latest government studies, adult consumption patterns are not typically consistent with addiction. Furthermore, FDA’s enforcement data shows specialty retail is the most certain way to assure legal adult sales for any type of tobacco product. PCA encourages our members to take the necessary steps to ensure that this record is fortified and promoted to internal and external audiences.

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Drew Estate Launches ACID 20 Connecticut Toro

In 1999, Drew Estate unleashed ACID cigars onto an unsuspecting premium cigar world, bridging old-world tobacco traditions to new-world innovation with iconic taste and style … placing Brooklyn, New York, onto the premium cigar map with distinction. The groundbreaking ACID became the tip of the spear for Drew Estate’s rise from a homegrown nasty little posse working on Jay Street in the DUMBO neighborhood of Brooklyn to the global premium cigar and lifestyle company it is today.

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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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Southern Draw Cigars announces a NEW release and BIG changes.

Southern Draw Cigars LLC, a family-owned company of Austin, TX emerges from its own “COVID fog” and is excited to announce that we are changing the way we support the great premium cigar communities that have helped us learn and grow as a brand. We believe the best way to connect and share our mission is face to face, over a cigar, and only then can we enlist the power of social media to chronicle and capture the true personal connections. 

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PCA Announces [Virtual] International Policy Summit

On October 6, 2021, the Premium Cigar Association will hold a virtual International Policy Summit, hosted in collaboration with Light em Up Lounge. This Summit will cover a wide range of topics including tax, trade, and commerce, the impacts of the charitable efforts and community, and the employment and operations of the premium cigar industry. The summit will be moderated by Reinhard Pohorec of Light em Up Lounge, who will serve as the master of ceremonies and will be joined by panels of experts, policymakers, and dignitaries to discuss the international implications of the premium cigar industry. “We at the Premium Cigar Association are excited to be the first body, internationally and domestically, to hold a policy summit of this kind. Please join us on October 6th for a half day of international policy discussion as well as major goal setting for the future of the premium cigar industry” -Scott Pearce Executive Director of the Premium Cigar Association.
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