February 01, 2014

Drew Estate Kentucky Fire Cured (MUWAT) Just a Friend (6 x 52)

Video review HERE.

Kentucky Fire Cured Cigars, which are an extension to the MUWAT brand are also produced at the Joya de Nicaragua factory. In development for over 2.5 years, this extension to the MUWAT line of premium cigars was inspired during a trip to the Dominican Republic where Jonathan Drew and Steve Saka were visiting the Universal Leaf tobacco pre-industry facility.

“I remember it as if it were yesterday” states JD. “Fritz Bossert (President of Universal Leaf), Steve Saka and I were smoking Liga Privada T52s in the fermentation area when I noticed a pilon of Kentucky Fired Cured tobacco. We took the wrapper off the T52 and placed a thick Kentucky Fire Cured leaf in its place. The taste and aroma were simply amazing, but there was just one huge problem – the cigar would not burn properly, and is one of the reasons of the lengthy process it took to get ‘KFC’ to market.”
Nicholas Melillo, Executive Vice President of International Operations, was tasked with working on a solution to the burn issue in conjunction with Fritz Bossert, experimenting with using the fire cured leaf in the wrapper leaf position as well as using limited amounts as part of the filler.

From the Drew Estate website and Nicholas Melillo, Chief of the Broadleafs, “First off, Kentucky Fire Cured is from a stalk-cut tobacco. The initial firing of KFC is done at low heat between 100 F to 115 F degrees and maintained until the color reaches solid brown. Once color is set temperatures increase to 120F- 130F to completely cure down the midrib of the leaf and darken. Once the midrib is dried the temperature will be reduced and the smoke maximized with saw dust to finish the leaf.

MUWAT Kentucky Fire Cured will be Available in three sizes: 6 x 52 “Just a Friend”, 5 x 56 “Fat Molly” and a 4 x 46 “Chunky” in the familiar MUWAT craft paper bundle. Americana style graphics adorn these new packs.

This cigar is basically the same as the original MUWAT with the exception of the wrapper. The cigar is very dark and you can make out 2 colors of the wrapper; one above the band and one below. When I did the video review I was not aware that there are actually 2 separate wrappers involved but found out after I removed the band. You will see this in the video. The cigar is dense and weighty.

The test draw after cutting the cap was very good. The flavors at light up were a sweet cedar with a lot of coffee and black pepper notes. There are some cream notes that remind me of whipping cream. There are also some citrus notes between the cedar and cream. The finish is a smoky cream with quite a bit of lingering pepper. The pepper is a black pepper and I rate it at an 8 at this point.

About 2 inch in the cigar has settled down into sweet cedar, nutmeg, dark chocolate, and coffee. There are a lot of deep, dark flavors in this cigar. The pepper remains very good. The finish is unchanged. The lingering black pepper is very nice. The cream notes I spoke about earlier are now gone. I would call the cigar medium to full bodied. The burn is very even. If you remember, they had burn issues with the original version of this cigar but they have worked them out.

About 2 1/2 inches in the flavors are a sweet, rich cedar, nutmeg, cocoa, and coffee. The cocoa and cedar are both showing some richness and a thick sweetness. There are also some charred oak notes intermixed in with all the flavors. The finish remains unchanged. The cigar is still medium to full bodied. There continue to be a lot of dark flavors in this cigar.

With about 2 inches remaining I removed the band and discovered that there are 2 separate wrappers. The one at the end near the band is darker and much coarser. I am anticipating a flavor or strength change, or both, when I get to the second wrapper. I am unsure as to why they made the cigar this way.

Into the second wrapper the cigar is now full bodied. This wrapper is very thick and coarse. There are a lot more charred oak notes now.  You still have cedar but the cocoa is gone. There are more coffee notes and the dark chocolate is back. The pepper is still good but it's probably a 7 or 7.5 now. The finish has been very nice throughout; charred oak on a toasted cream. There was a definite strength and flavor change when I got to the second wrapper.

The wrapper at the end was so coarse I had to touch it up. The notes at the end are charred oak, sweet cedar with some richness, coffee, and dark chocolate. This cigar had a lot of nice points. Very nice flavors. It made some little changes here and there. The cedar and cocoa combination was very good. The cigar ended up full bodied and took about 1 1/2 hours to smoke. These are not easy to find but well worth your trouble if you do. This is a very good addition to the MUWAT line. There are a lot of dark notes in this cigar and it has very good sweetness.

Score: 92

You can get KFC Just a Friend cigars HERE. See all the KFC cigars HERE.

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