Pipes Magazine » Pipe Tobacco Reviews

Search Forums  
   
Tags:   

Kibo On Drew Estates

(19 posts)
  • Started 4 years ago by kibo
  • Latest reply from seadogontheland
  1. kibo

    kibo

    Member
    Joined: Mar 2014
    Posts: 243

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Hey all, since my "Kibo On OTCs/Pouches" ongoing thread has been so warmly received, I've decided to take up another review series, this time for the Drew Estate Pipe Tobacco tins. I recently grabbed the 8 tin sampler set from P&C, and I'm halfway through them already, so it seems a good time to start to me!

    I have to preface this one a bit: You see, I've been a cigar guy too, all along. If you unlock and open my humidor, its all DE, all the way, all 150 or so sticks. To me, for all the stogies I've puffed down, Drew Estate could do no wrong. ACIDs, Undercrowns, Liga Privada, My UZI, etc....I love em all, and keep a great many on hand when I can. So when I heard DE was putting out pipe tobacco, I watched like a hawk....and any time my local B&Ms got them...they sold out before I could get there. Fast forward through months of bad luck and such, and here we are...and well, no one's perfect. NO ONE. So, let's go in the order I popped them...

    That means we'll start off with Harvest on Hudson. When I popped the tin open, the rush of apple was satisfyingly intense. Like fresh apples, fresh apple cider and fresh apple juice, with some apple wood smoke under it all. The tobacco itself was slightly moist but not oversaturated. Wild colors and cut variance throughout, like a myriad fall leaf pile. Easy pack and a match light in my MM Legend brought a nice full bodied tobacco flavor drawn through a newly cored Granny Smith...then an aftertaste of McIntosh and Golden Delicious. A retrohale brought out Fuij-esque sweetness with the Granny Smith rich/bitter taste...all the while, there was no mistaking that this was quality pipe tobacco here. It was great tobacco with a lot more. All the way, it burned smooth, easy, and surprisingly no danger of bite. Easy and fulfilling, depth enough to be the only thing you're doing but smooth and ready enough to be your all day dragger. Burnt to nice light ash, no dropoff throughout the whole bowl, and no gurgle. Harvest on Hudson gave me something I never knew I wanted; a damn fine apple flavored pipe tobacco. To call it in cinematic terms, this is your thoughtfully made feel-good movie; you can sit back and take it at face value or you can analyze for deeper meaning, and either way you'll most likely be happy at the end of it all and willing to revisit for more perspective.

    "Ask not for whom the bone bones; it bones for thee."
    Posted 4 years ago #
  2. User has not uploaded an avatar

    Anonymous

    Unregistered

    Posts: 3,086

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Good review. I like quite a few of the DE baccy's. Meat Pie is my fave but Harvest on the Hudson was very tasty.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  3. kibo

    kibo

    Member
    Joined: Mar 2014
    Posts: 243

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    On to the next one...Gatsby Luxury Flake. I shook my head at the name...I hated 'The Great Gatsby' when I had to read it in school. I thought it was dry, overhyped, and lackluster. This tobacco is ill-named in that regard, as while its namesake did nothing for me, this tobacco is full of great high quality flavor, a sweet tin note that I couldn't quite nail down did nothing to prepare me for the deep sweetness and round taste. Honestly, I expected something else, but after the first and second satisfying sessions with this flake, I cannot recall what it was. This tobacco truly gave me a pleasant, if at times a bit hot, smoke. There is the only true downside to this one; in each pipe I used, Gatsby Luxury Flake got invariably hot about halfway. Cob, briar churchwarden, briar dublin, and homemade bamboo pipe, all became almost too hot to hold the bowl. The smoke had a harsh almost biting (I dropped to a single shallow sip every 3 minutes or so to avoid a burn) heat in the second third. Even letting GLF air out for a couple hours did not tame this. However, with practice and caution, GLF can provide a good smoke...just pay attention to it and sip, sip, sip! If this were a movie, this is your tense thriller with a true surprise twist in the final act. If you're too casual and inattentive, it might not seem to make sense, but to the attentive and patient, this is true gold, even if it could be off-putting to some.

    This brings us to Heirloom Cherry...I never have been a big fan of cherry tobaccos. I love cherries, I love cherry pie and cherry turnovers and cherry danish...but I just am not a fan of cherry tobacco. When I popped the tin, I thought I just drowned in a jar of maraschino cherry juice after binge eating cherry pie and snorting diced cherries. I've never smelled such an overpowering cherry scent. My family members in every room of the house could smell it...downstairs, in the basement, in the master bedroom, in the kitchen...and I was on the porch. The slight breeze LITERALLY blew this into the house and everyone knew it. I was prepared for the absolute worst when I packed the bowl...I could taste the cherry through the pipe without even putting a char to it. Fire touched tobacco, cherry pastry flavor filled my mouth...a third of the bowl passed and I realized that even mighty Drew Estate could let me down. I relaxed and settled in to the smoke...and into the second third of it, the cherry diminished. It was still there, but only an afterthought, a ghost of a memory, the gasp of bourbon in your first breath after the shot. Doughy flavor dominated the smoke the rest of the ride, with the cherry fading farther away with each puff. I did not hate this tobacco...but I do not believe that I will ever bother to buy it again for myself. I have mixed some of it with some tambolaka, and some with some DE Toasted Black Cavendish, to see how they jive. As a film, this is a light comedy with some low brow or cheap humor; sure, there is a market for it, and it's probably worth a watch for almost everyone, but it's not going to be everyone's favorite. Its okay to enjoy it, its alright to laugh at the dirty jokes, but some people will turn their nose up at it, some folks with adore it, and most will fall in between.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  4. mso489

    mso489

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Feb 2013
    Posts: 25,252

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Good to see some reviewing on aros. They are only about a quarter of my rotation, but they are a
    huge part of the pipe tobacco market, and they don't get commensurate attention on Forums. Most
    of us smoke at least some aromatics, in rotation or occasionally.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  5. kibo

    kibo

    Member
    Joined: Mar 2014
    Posts: 243

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Thanks rsuninv! I haven't gotten to Meat Pie yet...I'm fighting the temptation,as that smell is just so inviting. Even through the tin, I can almost taste it. I've heard such amazing things about it, that I really want to save it for last. I started with Harvest by pure accident, funny enough...I blindly grabbed a tin, thinking I had Central Park Stroll on top of the stack...and that's what we call a 'happy accident'! Mso, I hear you...I have a good deal of aros in my rotation, even though some folks might think I'm not an aro fan. I actually keep Lane MV-1000, Russ' Snow Drift, Peter Stokkebye 24 Nougat, and Peter Stokkebye 38 Highland Whiskey in my jars at all times, right along with my EMP, Black House, and Peter Stokkebye Luxury Twist and Luxury Bullseye. A good aro is every bit as sound as a good English or Balkan....they have to be well crafted with good quality ingredients. Or as a chef friend of mine once told me "You make some good stuff with junk ingredients...but you ain't gonna make a five star knockout meal with canned and frozen; you need fresh and you need quality."

    Cheers guys, and hope you enjoy the rest of my reviews; I'll have more coming for sure!

    Posted 4 years ago #
  6. kibo

    kibo

    Member
    Joined: Mar 2014
    Posts: 243

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    This upcoming weekend will see at least one more tin get opened and tasted, so I best get up to speed!

    After the Heirloom Cherry, my unwavering faith in DE was shaken a bit, and with new-found hesitation, I popped the tin of Toasted Black Cavendish. The note was easy and sweet, inviting enough...like molasses and almost honey...and a slight pastry aroma, to my nose. It was a smell that made me think of baking. Moreso than the HC-cherry pie connection, at that...TBC made me think of molasses cookies and date pinwheels and poppyseed rolls...and also of the Maple Festival in Myersdale...a hot, natural-sugary sweetness like the heated maple syrup to make candies and to have the sugarin' off. It put a cornucopia of desserts in the air, all coming from this multi-hued cake of tobacco. The bits of tobacco were all stuck firmly together, but fell apart at a touch; shades of brown all the way to black, it had lighter colors than I expected to find. It packed smoothly, and as I became more confident and comfortable with DE's judgement again, I sat on the porch and put fire to flavor. The first few pulls brought HEAVY sweetness to my tongue. I knew right away, if ANY of these tins would be a biter, this was an alligator. 90% of the time you're going to be alright, but there's that one-in-ten chance that it'll get you, and probably because you got lazy or distracted. Toasted Black Cav, I'm almost ashamed to say, ended up biting me. I got halfway through, and the boss came to ask me when I'd be done. I told her soon...she said "Ten minutes?" I said fine...and I got cocky, overconfident, and plain old stupid...because I tossed the first lesson TBC taught me right out the window. I sipped fast at first...it was fine. Warmer, but still forgiving. Then the sips got longer...and the bowl got a little warmer...and my mouth got numb. I didn't think it was too bad, and tried to go back to light sips...damage was done, as my post smoke bottle of water told me. That's what happens when you rush though, so this was purely my fault. Despite a fast time in the first go, I went right back to it after some recuperation time. Same dance, only without a bite. I took my time, and in the bottom third, I hit some gurgle. I retrohaled a few sips and it solved itself easily. I found that this is a top to bottom, very even, yet markedly sweet tobacco. The molasses/sugary syrup taste is there all the way through. There is a bit of nice quality tobacco taste but it is enveloped by the sweet. My call on this is that it is nice for a dessert smoke, too sweet for me as an early morning smoke, and light enough to be flexible through temperatures. I want to have a tin of this for in the fall, and for winter's snowy evenings, as I think it'd make a nice companion after a good meal. As far as a cinematic impression, to me, DE Toasted Black Cavendish can only be one thing;a sappy, super-cuddly, overtly saccharine romantic comedy. There are many who would love it, and truly could get by on this and nothing else...but for many of us, it will be a 'once in a while' thing...or maybe shoe-horned into something bigger, it could balance and enrich something else, but as a standalone, it can easily be far too sweet for regular consumption.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  7. kibo

    kibo

    Member
    Joined: Mar 2014
    Posts: 243

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    The weekend brought horrid heat and humidity that just plays hell on my brain (ever since the TBI in 2011), so I didn't do much smoking...but what smoking I managed, I devoted to this endeavor. I got out the tin of Grand Central, and set to it...counting on Drew Estate to provide a good smoke, since it was likely all I'd get out this weekend. It almost can go without saying that the tin-popping ceremony begets a visual and textural presence of quality. The note on this one was interesting...I could smell things that were sweet and fruity but not easy to pin down at first...it dawned on me this morning, it was the scent of figs and dates, maybe even some currants too. I've heard many people say coconut and apricot...the apricot flavor is nearly an afterthought if and when it shows up...I have not tasted coconut in it though, and I am a HUGE fan of coconut. The aroma is pleasant, and the room note is apparently not bad either, as the neighbors caught a whiff of it on the wind and said it smelled nice. This is a very mellow blend to taste though; the fruity goodness is there, but it is a layered fruit undernote behind rich quality tobacco. The flavors present themselves as a solid, unified feeling. If you're a fan of the ACID cigars, this is as close as their pipe tobacco comes to being 'like' ACIDs, if only in that it is such a multi-layered flavor profile. This is a lovely aromatic for all, even if you are 'not an aro guy' or still rather new to piping. As for film, this one doesn't quite hit a genre so much as a catch-all phenomenon:I am referring to when you see a good movie but the trailers and commercials showed all the best parts...you feel like you've seen it before, and it is still great. It is well made, inviting, intriguing, and up front from the opening to the finish. All in all, buy a ticket for this one, enjoy the trailers (popping the tin open) and take great comfort in knowing that you will experience those thrills in detail through the feature.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  8. gtclark

    gtclark

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Oct 2013
    Posts: 538

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Great reviews, Kibo! I also found the Grand Central and Toasted Black Cavendish to be very decent aromatic smokes. Keep 'em coming!

    Posted 4 years ago #
  9. virginiacob

    virginiacob

    Senior Member
    Joined: Dec 2013
    Posts: 463

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Great reviews on the DE blends. I also enjoy Harvest on Hudson and Grand Central as well.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  10. kibo

    kibo

    Member
    Joined: Mar 2014
    Posts: 243

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Thanks guys! Just a quick aside, I really am addicted to the Harvest on Hudson. I don't know if its because it is so good, or if its just because it's the only true apple smoke I really know of, but I see more tins of it in the future. I've also mixed up Heirloom Cherry and Toasted Black Cavendish 50/50, and am actually enjoying them more together than either one separate. Together, there's something that awakens between them...if you've ever had maple sugar candy, then you know that flavor as it dissolves in your mouth....imagine that with a spoonful of cherry pie filling and a sip of good moonshine...that little bit of oomph, that slight warm tingle just pops up out of nowhere. I was stunned the first time, curious the second, and just confused as all hell on the third sitdown with that mix. I keep notes one when I mix,blend,flavor, or otherwise treat any tobaccos, and this is tagged "Unexplained, Excellent, 2 ingredients, equal mix". I just got a Forever Stem for my MacArthur, and I fully intend to load that sucker with this mix, and see how it performs on the long haul. Only 3 more tins to go....then Drew Estate needs to introduce a new one!

    Posted 4 years ago #
  11. kibo

    kibo

    Member
    Joined: Mar 2014
    Posts: 243

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Here it is... The review of the final three Drew Estate products we will start with 7th Avenue blonde. At this point its almost rote: The Drew Estate tobaccos are very good quality, opening a tin always produces a positive experience and rich smells. There's no drop off in expectations. After hearing so many positive things about Seventh Avenue blonde I was very optimistic and well I wasn't disappointed I wasn't exactly as fanatical as others, either. Each time packing the bowl, I ran into the same experience. it took a couple of lights get started but once lit, the seventh Avenue blonde was a nice easy vanilla smoke maybe not anything truly stand out kind of a vanilla caramel beginning which tapered to just a pure vanilla; not exactly an extract vanilla but not a supersweet vanilla either. I can honestly say that somebody's everyday smoke, just not mine. I don't have anything bad to say about 7 th Avenue blonde it just doesn't stand out to me. As far as vanilla tobaccos are concerned, seventh Avenue blonde is about as good as you could hope for. As far as films are concerned seventh Avenue blonde is not so much as genre as it is a phenomenon. 7AB is like when you're sitting down watching TV and that summer blockbuster from 10 years ago comes on the channel. You remember it was good and you know it's worth watching again so you don't change the channel.

    This brings us to Central Park stroll. I honestly think that this one was the dark horse of the eight tins available. The back of the tin mentions notes of vanilla and 'chokolate'... The tin also states that you would get the feeling you're standing outside a bakery. My experience with opening the tin and even through the smoke was more of being in a confectioners where they are actively making various candies and fudges, the air thick with rich, sweet smells. It took two lights every bowl and once started, Central Park stroll awaken with a rich flavor of caramel and vanilla bean. If this tobacco has a downfall, it is the need to be relit frequently. However, this need for extra attention comes with a benefit; With every relight a new flavor awakens. Upon my first relight the flavor of chocolate not only appeared but dominated the finish of the first third. Quickly after this, I had to relight and this relight brought a flavor like a rieson candy, a chocolate caramel which lasted until the bottom third of the bowl. It was then I had to relight again, and this time a multilayered vanilla flavor took the stage with the caramel and chocolate far in the background. The vanilla was a nice mixture vanilla bean, vanillin, and an artificial vanilla extract flavor. In the world of aromatic pipe tobaccos, it is very easy to have too much going on flavorwise. Drew Estate produced a wonderful tobacco with multiple flavors that play well off of each other. The list of flavors could have been a wretched mix resulting in an unsmokable blend. This is like that "catch all, surefire" "something for everyone" big budget movie: an action film with a romantic subplot and a villain that teeters on the line between suspenseful and horror movie terror. Most of the time, the mix doesn't work, but when it does it is fantastic. Buy a ticket for this Drew Estates blockbuster.

    And I saved the most highly regarded for last. Of course I can only mean Meat Pie. I have heard so many people speak so overwhelmingly in favor of this blend that I had to save it for the end. Often when there is this much hype associated with anything, the potential for catastrophic disappointment is very real. Fortunately, this is a Drew Estate product and that means the expectation leans more towards living up to the hype. From the strong smoky smell of the Latakia, I was looking forward to a bold spicy smoke. Imagine my surprise when I took that first smooth draw and realized that this is no lat bomb. One light was all it took to get started, and for the next 40 minutes, I enjoyed a deeply satisfying, smooth, surprisingly mellow smoke. I never expected how accessible yet complex this blend would be from the tin note. I have smoked a few English blends, a couple of American style, and handful of Balkan blends and I can easily confidently say The Drew Estate meat pie would be a terrific introduction for anyone beginning in the nonaromatic world. As a film, meat pie stands as a timeless classic. To me, meat pie is the Seven Samurai of English blends; It may not always scratch the itch but it will never disappoint, and enduring goto when you just aren't sure what you want.

    So to sum up this wonderful venture, none of the Drew Estate tobaccos are lacking, but there are three absolute standouts. For the aromatic lovers, Harvest on Hudson and Grand Central are absolute knockouts and certainly not to be missed. For non aromatics, meat pie is an essential. Also of note, Gatsby luxury flake is also very satisfying smoke, but I don't know that I would always need it on hand. But as they say, everyone's a critic, and your mileage may vary. Thank you all for reading, I hope you enjoyed this trip to the theaters with me(Kibert? Kibo -Ebert?) and due course pick up these Drew Estate tins. Happy smoking everyone. I'll be picking this thread back up when Drew Estate graces us with new tobacco.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  12. kibo

    kibo

    Member
    Joined: Mar 2014
    Posts: 243

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Probably old news to most of you but here's what I found for the horizon...

    Tsuge “The Four Seasons” and “The God Series” Pipe Tobaccos – Tsuge Pipe will be debuting eight new pipe tobaccos at the 2014 IPCPR tradeshow in Las Vegas, NV. The eight blends are broken down into two lines: “The Four Seasons” and “The God Series”. Each line will feature four different blends, available in 50g tins at an MSRP of $14.95 for “The God Series” and $12.95 for “The Four Seasons”. The eight blends are expected to hit store shelves in October of 2014.

    “The Four Seasons” is a line of aromatic blends that are meant to capture the essence of the four distinct seasons in Japan. The names of the blends are below:

    “Spring: First days of Spring”
    “Summer: Summer Daydream”
    “Autumn: Mystery of Autumn”
    “Winter: Winter’s Embrace”

    “The God Series” is a more traditional collection, featuring Latakia, Perique, Virginia, Burley, Dark Fire Cured and other select tobaccos from across the globe. The names of the blends are below:

    “Fujin: God of Wind”
    “Raijin: God of Thunder”
    “Ryujin: God of Dragon”
    “Gunjin: God of Samurai”

    So...next updates sometime in November/December area?

    Posted 4 years ago #
  13. kibo

    kibo

    Member
    Joined: Mar 2014
    Posts: 243

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Apologies, I just realized I forgot to credit the source of the previous post. I was so excited about the news, I failed to state that it came from the Drew Estate official webpage. No harm intended, I just forgot myself in my joy.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  14. griffonwing

    griffonwing

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Nov 2014
    Posts: 529

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Looks like I might have to spring for the sampler as well. I have heard good things about Meat Pie, and your review on Harvest looks great. Good reviews!

    Hoody Hoo! Roll for Initiative, Monkey-boy!
    Posted 4 years ago #
  15. User has not uploaded an avatar

    Anonymous

    Unregistered

    Posts: 2,128

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    I actually really enjoy the Gatsby luxury flake. It is the only one I my wheelhouse of the DE line, since I don't smoke aromatics and the only other non-aro is a latakia/english blend, of which most I am not very fond. The GLF does need to be smoked with care and the pipe really makes a difference. It is an especially sweet Virginia, in fact the only Virginia/Cavendish blend I enjoy of the ones I've tried(MB Navy flake, 4th Gen 1931, et al.) I think I enjoyed it more as the Cav for whatever reason had a more natural sweet flavor than others, and the Virginias were in the foreground. Also, a stronger nic level than the others, which was good for me as the others were a bit mild in that department IMO.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  16. kibo

    kibo

    Member
    Joined: Mar 2014
    Posts: 243

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Hey all, been a while since I've been around. Lots of life stuff, won't bore you with that mess. I just wanted to offer further updates on the DE stuff.

    Gatsby - as Anon mentioned, GLF really performs differently pipe to pipe...I dare say it was not as enjoyable in my meers, but was excellent in a cob and my Magic Inch...As it ages and mellows more, it loses some of the sweet highs but stays pleasant.

    Harvest - Still love this one. The apple flavor is such a pleasant, comfortable experience. One of my favorites, and I highly recommend.

    Central Park - Another favorite, this one has been a walking tobacco for me, I keep the tin in my favorite jacket.

    Blk Cav - Not bad on its own, but I've taken to using it in my home made blends.

    Heirloom Cherry - Not terrible, but another one I took to using for my homemade blends...I made a Manhattan with some home made Black Velvet VaBur and a Tribuno vermouth yellow Virginia...turned out exceptional, and the HC stands distinct in the blend...I like to toss some in the bottom of the bowl, for the effect of eating the cherry after the drink.

    Meat Pie - Nice and easy like Sunday morning, I have a crowd of a few guys this one comes out with, we sit and have a beer or three and smoke our non-aros.

    7th Ave Blonde - Still enjoy it, but once my last tin of it is finished, I don't think I'll stress out to get more...it's a once in a while kind of thing to me.

    Grand Central - The longer the tin mellows, the more the fruit flavors 'separate'...fresh tin smokes had a lot going on at once...but tins that have breathed a bit have every bit as much going on, but in a more orderly fashion. Funny to say, I can't pin which way I actually prefer, but I love this one both ways. Got a sweet tooth? Grab the Grand Central!

    Posted 4 years ago #
  17. User has not uploaded an avatar

    sthbkr77

    Member
    Joined: Mar 2015
    Posts: 224

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Thanks Kibo. I can really get behind your reviews as so far our experiences are completely in sync. I too wanted to enjoy the Cherry but just could not force myself into it's arms. I look forward to follwing more of your reviews for some time to come.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  18. joshb83

    joshb83

    Senior Member
    Joined: Feb 2015
    Posts: 314

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Great reviews on the DE aromatics. My first pipe tobacco was the Heirloom cherry...I was not impressed but continued to try others, I'm glad I didn't let me get discouraged. Now I don't mind DE's cigars, but the cherry could have been omitted from their pipe tobacco lineup and I'd be fine with that:) great reviews, I look forward to reading more.

    "If you can't send money, send tobacco."
    -George Washington to the Continental Congress, 1776
    Posted 4 years ago #
  19. seadogontheland

    seadogontheland

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Oct 2014
    Posts: 614

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    I don't like aros, but I found all the information you conveyed and your reviews to be excellent, full of passion for what you like...thanks for all the description!!

    Life is good...I have truly been blessed.
    Posted 4 years ago #

Reply

You must log in to post.

 

 

    Back To Top  | Back to Forum Home Page

   Members Online Now
   ashdigger, ssjones, laa2, pappymac, gatorlope, captainsousie, jpmcwjr, fishnbanjo, transpose, dochudson, spartacus, autumnfog