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Spotlight Brand: Fonseca Vintage

Aged a full 5 Years! 

The Fonseca line is a well-renowned brand of cigars hand rolled in the Dominican Republic. They are everything an aficionado has come to expect from a great Dominican cigar.

It takes some of the most experienced hands in the business to make a cigar that has deep roots in Cuban history, and Manuel Quesada is considered one of the most knowledgeable tobacco men in the Dominican Republic. He was the first to blend the famous Romeo y Julieta brand outside of the Dominican Republic and, today, has a portfolio filled with highly rated brands.

This brand was introduced in 1998 and offers a seamless Connecticut-seed wrapper. Stronger than most Connecticut-seed wrapped cigars, Fonseca Vintage has a medium-to-full-bodied taste with a nice, crisp finish from the aged Dominican fillers. Not overly complex, the cigar remains consistent throughout with a smooth, cedary base including hints of vanilla and espresso. This truly is a must-have blend for fans of Dominican cigars.

Q & A: Cleansing Your Palate

What is the best way to cleanse your palate after enjoying a cigar?

3/29/12 | by KG of St Paul, MN

​​As stronger and stronger cigars become the norm in the industry, enthusiasts will find their cigar’s flavor remains on their palate many hours after the cigar has been extinguished. This isn't a bad thing, but sometimes you want a fresh palate after a cigar especially if your tasting wines, scotch, or food. So how do you get rid of it? Start with water at room temperature. This should do the trick for a little bit and it might even help cleanse the palate for medium-bodied cigars. For stronger blends though, start with dry crackers. The texture and dryness of the crackers will help remove any of the remaining flavors that linger on your tongue. However, the best way to cleanse your palate is to use any citrus based food or beverage (i.e. anything made from oranges, lemons, grapefruits, etc, including sorbet). The acid of the citrus cuts right through the cigar's flavor and leaves your palate feeling refreshed. 

by Bryan

Review: Gurkha Genghis Khan

Sean G Genghis Khan
Churchill (7.5”x52): It's been a while since we touched base with this blend so we wanted to go ahead and give it another review. By this point in time, the cigars have been aging for a few years due to the lack of new production, and this churchill is tasty. Definitely not as potent as it originally was, but the super smooth and creamy flavors you receive are worth the exchange. The sweetness in this blend presents itself a bit more while the hearty, spicy finish remains rather mellow - perfectly balanced. Many cigars age better than others and this is one of them. Only issue with the churchill is by the 5th inch, the balance begins to fade away and you're left with a stout, robust character and builds in strength until the finish. Some may find that good, others not so much. Personally, this is a great blend that got better with age.
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Article: Interview With Jonathan Drew

Alex Svenson: Jon, thanks for joining me today. I don't have to tell you this, but your Liga Privada brand is one of the best-selling cigars on the market - can barely find it in stock anywhere. Now you rolled out Undercrown; is that a Liga Privada​ of the same caliber?

Jonathan Drew: It is definitely true that Liga Privada changed the way people think about Drew Estate Tobacco Company, but it also caused some issues for us at the same time. As the brand hit an iconic cult status in and of itself, many of our supporters became upset since we couldn't supply enough of the brand. This was never meant to be the case, as we only released Liga Privada to 50 accounts nationwide from day one. We could never have anticipated the demand for this boutique brand. Now to answer your question, Yes, Undercrown is loosely considered part of the Liga Privada family for "certain reasons."

AS: Certain reasons?? You're being a little cryptic here. Care to elaborate?

JD: Of course. To put it simply, Liga Privada No. 9 comes wrapped in a Broadleaf Ligero leaf from the Connecticut River Valley -- super premium and limited leaf. As I mentioned earlier, we fell short on supply versus demand for Liga Privada since we refused to sacrifice quality for quantity. To make matters worse, we realized our buncheros on the factory floor were smoking Liga Privada like they were going out of style. We have hundreds of buncheros and free cigars are a perk for them at our we simply asked them to stop smoking Liga Privada and they understood the situation.

AS: So your factory guys are smoking your limited product because they are allowed to... so you tell them to stop, and just like that they stop? What am I missing here?

JD: Ha! Yes, brother, indeed. Sorry for the big build up and all that, but you know that I'm a simple man who likes to make everything more complicated than necessary. Anyway, this is where things got magical on the factory floor. A few of the best Liga Privada buncheros and supervisors created their own blend that drove everybody in the factory crazy. I mean, Steve Saka, Nicholas, Marvin, me, my dad; everybody was impressively shocked by the blend - and we all called it Undercrown​. We had to make a few thousand of them and taste them over the following year and a half to ensure they aged as beautiful as the No. 9. We were blessed on this one, and Liga Privada Undercrown was born.

AS: What a great story. So why did you decide to keep Undercrown in the Liga Privada family?

JD: Undercrown is a function of resource, isn't it? When the Drew Estate production floor could no longer smoke Liga Privada No.9, they became resourceful and looked to the same tobaccos as Liga Privada No.9, same vintages of leaf; but used parts of the plant that we had not been using for the base Liga Privada No.9 blend. So, simply put, Undercrown is made from the same tobaccos, same crops completely as is Liga Privada No. 9, just from different primings of the plant.

AS: Jon, thanks for all the great info on Liga Privada. We understand you have a bunch of different aliases. Want to share your list with us?

JD: Sure. JD, JDizzle, Snacki, Green Hero, Valle Verga, Section 8, Punky, and Fat Chop. Please look for my Facebook profile as "Jonathan Drew" and "Jonathan DrewTwo." Both are really me, not some housewife somewhere who is a social marketer. 

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