Team Cigar Review: Drew Estate BOTL Corona Gorda

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Cigar Details: Drew Estate BOTL Corona Gorda

  • Vitola: Corona Gorda
  • Length: 6″
  • Ring Gauge: 46
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Wrapper: Broadleaf
  • Binder: Ecuadorian Connecticut
  • Filler: Nicaragua
  • Factory: La Gran Fabrica Drew Estate
  • Blender: Willy Herrera
  • Price: $10.00
  • Release Date: August 2019
  • Source: Drew Estate

Aaron-Loomis

 Aaron Loomis

 John McTavish

Jiunn-Liu

 Jiunn Liu

Pre-light Experience

The wrapper on the Drew Estate BOTL Corona Gorda is on the darker side of medium brown and has some darker marbling. The seams are all well pressed but carry a darker color which makes them easily visible. The seams are easily visible as they are slightly raised while the head is finished off with a well applied double cap. The band is reddish brown with gray borders and gold text and artwork. It denotes the line name and has the company logo on the back. The aroma from the wrapper is wood and subtle stewed fruit while the foot brings wood and plum sweetness. The pre-light draw is a sweet and airy cedar.

Pre-light Experience

The Drew Estate BOTL Corona Gorda has a UPC code designed to stay intact when the cellophane is opened. Aromas from the cigar wrapper include a sweet oak, approaching a bourbon barrel sweetness, with some bread or yeast components underneath. From the foot, there is sweet wood and hay.

Pre-light Experience

The Drew Estate BOTL Corona Gorda has a rustic and hearty maduro wrapper shade. Veins are roughly pressed, seams tight but visible, even bunch and roll and well wrapped cap. Aromas from the wrapper give rich and dense cedar, moss and light black pepper. Aromas from the nose tell nuts and dry red pepper spice. Cold draw tells cedar, hay and faint barnyard.

First Third

The cigar begins with lightly charred cedar, black pepper and light mustiness. At a half inch in, the char has left the cedar and the black pepper has become quite faint. A quarter inch later, the black pepper picks up a bit and has a long lingering finish. The retrohale shows a wonderful depth of cedar along with a nose tingling amount of black pepper. At an inch in, the cedar is really detailed in it’s performance while the mustiness and black pepper are even in the background. As the third comes to a close, the cedar and mustiness are even while the black pepper is in the background, but it maintains its very long finish. The strength in this third was slightly above medium.

First Third

Sweet, creamy wood to open the first third. Light stewed raisin comes through as it settles in. Chocolate notes come through around the one inch mark, as post draw cedar settles into the middle of the profile. As the cigar progresses, medium strength baking spices come through at the end of the draw, and bleeds into the post draw. An earth component comes through at the end of the draw nearing the close of the first third.

First Third

The first third’s flavor profile creates a medium plus viscous body with flavors centered around cocoa, baking spices, star anise and cedar. Retrohaling gives a nice dry red pepper spice pop and roasted nuts. The finish is fairly long with cedar and baking spaces sticking to the rear palate. Strength is medium plus.

Second Third

As the second third begins, some light char returns to the cedar. At a half inch in, some dry earth joins the profile, right behind the lightly charred cedar and mustiness while the black pepper has left. The retrohale is a mix of cedar, dry earth and light mustiness. At an inch and a quarter, the char has left the profile and it is now an even mix of cedar, dry earth and mustiness. The third wraps up with the same profile. The strength in this third bumped up to medium-full.

Second Third

Cedar and earth, both with a lingering flavor on the palate as the second third opens. Light plus baking spices take up the middle of the flavor profile. Light sweetness joins the retrohale. Approaching the halfway point, earth has fallen off, leaving cedar to define the post draw.

Second Third

The second third’s flavor profile becomes spicier, showing more baking spices and red pepper spice. Also, the profile is a bit unrefined with some trailing tobacco ash notes. Strength and body is still medium plus.

Final Third

The final third continues on with the even mix of cedar, dry earth and mustiness. The retrohale is now musty cedar and light dry earth. At an inch in, the dry earth has a slight lead over the musty cedar. At an inch and a half in, some char returns to the cedar. The strength in this third remained at medium-full.

Final Third

Creamy cedar as the cigar moves into the final third. Light plus earth settles into the post draw almost immediately. As the last third progresses, earth begins to push into the middle of the profile, lingering between draws.

Final Third

The final third continues the second third’s trend. An overall spicier, slightly unrefined, bitter and ashy profile. Strength and body finishes medium plus. The worst part of it is these notes take away from the once good notes of cocoa, baking spices, star anise and cedar.

Burn

The burn line was slightly wavy at times but never needed any attention. The ash held on in inch and a quarter increments.

Burn

Overall, I rated the burn to be good. It started out straight, but required a re-light at roughly the 30 minute mark.

Burn

Burn performance was very good aside from a couple quick touch-ups to get the burn line back on track.

Draw

The draw was perfect through the first half and then tightened up slightly the rest of the way.

Overall

The cigar began with lightly charred cedar, black pepper and light mustiness. The char left fairly quickly and the cedar showed great detail and depth. The second third saw the char return for a bit and some dry earth join the the profile. The final third saw some char join in for the last half of the cigar. Construction was very good and strength was medium-full most of the way. The Drew Estate BOTL Corona Gorda started pretty nice as the cedar showed amazing detail and depth, maybe the best I’ve ever seen. As the cigar progressed, the dry earth drowned out the detail of the cedar and brought the overall experience down some. I never smoked the original BOTL, so I can’t compare to how they match up, but I really dug what the first third was showing and just wish the dry earth would have held off to let it shine longer. The price point is OK, so it’s not too much of a deterrent. I’d come back to this on occasion and would recommend people give this a try to see what they think.

Draw

The draw was well into the resistant spectrum at roughly 3 to 3-1/2 notches.

Overall

I’ve smoked past releases of the BOTL from Drew Estate and always found them to be right around the good to good plus level. With the Drew Estate BOTL Corona Gorda, the first third is the high water mark for flavor, and unfortunately the middle and last thirds provide a fairly linear and average flavor profile. Uncharacteristically for a Drew Estate cigar, the draw was quite resistant, and the cigar went out at one point. There isn’t anything here that grabbed my attention and I would gravitate towards a previous BOTL release. Total smoking time was 2 hours and 14 minutes.

Draw

Draw was flawless, giving the ideal air flow.

Overall

This was an average tasting experience. The Drew Estate BOTL Corona Gorda started with a nice medium plus body and strength profile giving flavors of cocoa, baking spices, star anise and cedar. But at around the second third mark, the flavor profile started breaking down, becoming spicier and ultimately leading to a bitter and ashy finish. I hope time will help marry the flavors better. At this point I would not recommend it.

Aaron
John
Jiunn
GoodPre
Light
GoodPre
Light
Good
GoodFirst
Third
GoodFirst
Third
Good
AverageSecond
Third
AverageSecond
Third
Average
AverageFinal
Third
AverageFinal
Third
Average
Very GoodBurnGoodBurnVery Good
Very GoodDrawAverageDrawAmazing
AverageOverallAverageOverallAverage

Aaron Loomis

SCORE

5.85

Cost/Point

$1.71

Scoring System

John McTavish

SCORE

5.45

Cost/Point

$1.83

Scoring System

Jiunn Liu

SCORE

6.00

Cost/Point

$1.67

Scoring System

Team Cigar Review: Drew Estate BOTL Corona Gorda
John McTavishTeam Cigar Review: Drew Estate BOTL Corona Gorda

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