If there is one state in this great nation that is all about cigars right now, it is the great state of Texas. The state is home to some of the country's hottest cigar retail locations, and is also becoming a hotbed for the emergence of new cigar companies. The cigar smokers in Texas seem to be more united than any other state, and if you pay attention to social media you will see plenty of BOTL Texas Chapter stickers, and no BOTL stickers for the other 49 states. Feeding off of this trend, last year we saw the emergence of a new company hailing from Texas. The company is led by US Veteran Robert Holt, but it is more than a one man show and is also composed of other US Veterans. The company is called Southern Draw, and it is a company that's goal is to pay homage to Southern Culture. They kicked off their inaugural year with three lines: Kudzu, Firethorn, and Quickdraw, and today I look at their second line, the Southern Draw Firethorn.
Offered in three vitola offerings, all modern day traditional vitolas, I was provided the toro for review. The toro is your standard toro and measures 6" with a 52 ring gauge. It features an Ecuadorian Habano Rosado wrapper, and underneath that is a Mexican binder with Nicaraguan fillers. The cigars are made in Esteli, Nicaragua at Tabacalera Fernandez, and the cigar itself comes with a closed foot. There are two bands present on the cigar, and the color of the bands really match the wrapper coloring. The toro is rolled well and has a nice firmness throughout. The color of the wrapper is that of a solid Colorado, and it has a nice red clay coloring. The wrapper is smooth in texture and it has a few veins present throughout. The cigar shows an aroma of nuts, toast, and leather, and with the closed foot you are getting the same notes.
The first third begins by showing some quality tobacco notes, and it has some nutty and toasty qualities with that. I am getting some graham cracker, sweet spice, and caramel notes with that, and it is a solid flavor profile. It is a very balanced cigar in terms of flavors, and one that I could enjoy in the morning, afternoon, and evening. I would classify the strength and body of the cigar as being between medium and medium-full, and it goes well with the flavors being delivered. There is a cool draw with the cigar and it is producing a nice bit of smoke with each puff. The construction is dead on as well, and it has an even burn line with a nice charcoal ash on the end. So far, the cigar is off to a solid start and I look forward to the second third.
The second third is really divided into two sections, and that is when you begin to see some transitioning in flavors. The first half of the second third is very similar to that of the first third, and it is showing those toast, nutty, graham cracker, sweet spice, and caramel flavors, but as I move further into that third I begin to get some espresso and cafe mocha flavors. It is a nice second third, and it grows well off of the first third. The construction is top notch in the second third, similar to that of the first third, and it is producing that even burn line with solid charcoal ash on the end. The draws are cool, giving off a nice bit of smoke, and I would say that the strength and body are still at that level between medium and medium-full.
The final third is very similar to the second half of the second third, and it is showing some nice cafe mocha flavors with those toasty, nutty, and caramel flavors. There are some earthy aspects present as well, and it is showing a nice finish in terms of the flavors being delivered. Overall, the flavors have been enjoyable and fairly consistent, but the change up at the halfway point was great. The construction remains perfect in the final third of the cigar and it is showing that even burn line with solid charcoal ash on the end. The draw is cool to the nub, and it continues to deliver a nice bit of smoke with enjoyable flavors. It smokes at a level between medium and medium-full to the end, and it is a nice finish to the cigar.
Firethorn is a solid release and I believe Southern Draw is off to a good start with this being one of their first blends. I never expect a new company to have a home run in their first year, but it is very important that a company have a good foundation to build the brand off of for future releases. Firethorn is that blend, and it is a blend that makes me look forward to future projects from the company. The cigar itself delivers some solid flavors from beginning to end, and it is a flavor profile that I really enjoy. It is not overly sweet or spicy, but balanced and delivers a profile that many can connect with. Along with that, the cigar has excellent construction and a nice body and strength level to match the flavors. Overall, I give the cigar a solid 88 rating and I look forward to he company's next project and current production releases.
Seth's Humidor Rating: 88
* cigars for this assessment were provided to me by Southern Draw Cigars