Team Cigar Review: Southern Draw Rose of Sharon Desert Rose

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Cigar Details: Southern Draw Rose of Sharon Desert Rose

  • Vitola: Torpedo
  • Length: 5.5″
  • Ring Gauge: 52
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Wrapper: Ecuador
  • Binder: Nicaraguan Habano
  • Filler: Dominican Piloto Cubano and Honduran Corojo ’99
  • Factory: Tabacalera AJ Fernandez
  • Blender: Robert Holt
  • Price: $11.99
  • Release Date: July 2019
  • Source: Southern Draw

Aaron-Loomis

 Aaron Loomis

Seth Geise

 Seth Geise

 John McTavish

Jiunn-Liu

 Jiunn Liu

Pre-light Experience

The wrapper on the Southern Draw Rose of Sharon Desert Rose is a medium tan and has a few slightly raised veins present as it covers the soft rectangle press. The seams are smooth and pretty well hidden for such a light colored wrapper. The caps are well applied to the tapered head but there is a bit of a pinch at the very top. There are two bands which is the typical structure for the brand with the primary denoting the company name with a pink, black and gold color combination for this line. The secondary band is black, pink and gold and denotes Desert Rose. The aroma from the wrapper is sweet hay with a light earthiness. The foot brings hay and grass with a mild baking spice. The pre-light draw reminds me very much of a peated Scotch and also has a slight spiciness on my lips which completes the experience.

Pre-light Experience

The Southern Draw Rose of Sharon Desert Rose is a lovely Belicoso and beautifully pressed. The tapered finish is fairly extreme and the wrapper sports a coloring that is between Natural and a Light Colorado. The wrapper is silky in texture and there are small veins present throughout. The aroma off the cigar is that of cookies and cream, spices and cedar.

Pre-light Experience

The Southern Draw Rose of Sharon Desert Rose has a fairly firm box press, a Torpedo cap that is almost in a 109 style, and is double banded. Both bands have a similar color style, with the primary band as gold on pink, with gold and black accents. The secondary band indicates ‘Desert Rose’ and is gold on black with pink and gold accents. The wrapper has aromas of sweet hay, almost sickly sweet, with hay and raisin in the foot.

Pre-light Experience

The Southern Draw Rose of Sharon Desert Rose has a latte colored wrapper shade. The construction look and feel is great as veins are well pressed, seams tight, bunch and roll even and head finished off with a well wrapped cap. Nosing the wrapper gives cedar, red pepper and wet barnyard. Nosing the foot tells rich and creamy nuttiness and cedar. Cold draw tells a hint of cedar, red pepper spice on the lips and hay.

First Third

The cigar begins with dry wood, black pepper and mustiness. At a half inch in, the same components are melding well which lessens the dryness of the wood slightly. The retrohale brings toasted wood, mustiness and light black pepper. At an inch in, the black pepper is pretty faint, but has a long finish while the wood and mustiness are up front. As the third comes to a close, a slight black tea note joins the profile. The strength in this third was slightly above medium.

First Third

The first third opens up by delivering some red pepper notes and it is complemented by a nice sweet spice. There is a soft wood profile present and it has a finish of slight creaminess with some noticeable tobacco qualities. I would classify the cigar as being medium-full in body and flavors, and the strength is around a medium level.

First Third

My first few puffs bring flavors of graham cracker with cedar defining the entire post draw. Strong powdered cocoa with a coating mouthfeel as the post draw cedar quickly recedes. Some white pepper starts to join the post draw as the cigar progresses. Desserty on the retrohale with graham cracker, baking spices and cocoa. On the post draw, pepper builds, getting up to medium plus. Cherry hits the end of the retrohale and the beginning of the finish. That post draw pepper is lingering significantly between draws. Bready notes join the cherry and by the 15 minute mark, the pepper has given way to baking spices. The post draw brings in a satisfying creaminess. By the 20 minute mark, cedar rounds out the retrohale with some drying cedar post draw. Cocoa really defines the profile by the 30 minute mark. In the bottom half, the cocoa gives way to the graham cracker. Pepper on the post draw comes back, at medium minus, pushing back against the cedar. There was a substantial number of flavor notes through the first third, and an almost equal number of flavor transitions. There is a lot going on here.

First Third

The first third has a nice buttery/velvety mouthfeel with flavors of cedar, buttered toast and nuts. Retrohaling has the same flavors intact, but with a greater cedar influence as well as a light red pepper spice. The finish is medium length with cedar and toast. Strength and body is at a solid medium.

Second Third

As the second third begins, the profile is toasted wood and mustiness with a slight bitterness. The black pepper and black tea have both left the profile. At a half inch in, a dark roast coffee joins the profile. At an inch in, the coffee has left and it is just musty wood with faint bitterness. The retrohale carries the same musty wood profile. At an inch and a quarter, a fair amount of char joins in. At an inch and a half, some coffee rejoins the profile. The strength in this third remained at slightly above medium.

Second Third

I am in the second third of the cigar now and finding that the flavors have really fallen off. I am getting some creamy aspects to the cigar and it is paired with some wood and red pepper notes. It was not overly complex in the first third, but it really has died off in this third. I would classify the cigar as being medium-full in body, and the flavors and strength are around a medium level.

Second Third

Bread and graham cracker on the retrohale at light plus, with light plus pepper finishing. Baking spices fill up the middle of the profile. Some post draw pepper gives way to aged cedar as the cigar settles in. Tannins join the post draw cedar at the 1 hr mark. Light cocoa joins retrohale as the second half has fully settled in.

Second Third

The second third has a couple changes. For one, the body noticeably becomes thicker and heavier, moving to a medium plus. Second, there is more cedar influence, but important to note the buttered toast and rich nuttiness is still in effect. Strength remains medium.

Final Third

As the final third begins, the profile is toasted wood and mustiness with a light char and bitterness. The retrohale has a more enhanced toast note, but all of the other components are the same. At a half inch in, the char increases a bit. At an inch in, a slight mintiness joins the profile. The strength in this third remained at slightly above medium.

Final Third

I am in the final third of the cigar now and finding a continuation from the second third. I am getting some cream and woody notes, and it has some red pepper with that. The finish is a little hot and I have to put it down sooner than expected.

Final Third

Cedar defines the profile in the last third. Light chocolate and baking spices, with a dry cedar finish once the cigar has settled in. Light bready notes return in the mid profile. By the halfway mark, the cedar takes on a mild char component for the remainder of the third.

Final Third

The last third takes a downward turn such that the buttery/velvety mouthfeel is dissipating. Flavor-wise, it’s cedar leading the pack, followed by nuts and toast.

Burn

The burn was slightly wavy at times, but for the majority of the time was quite straight. The ash held on in inch and a half increments.

Burn

From start to finish, the cigar produced a solid burn line. This was a well burning cigar that presented no problems throughout.

Burn

The burn starts out slightly uneven but tightens up. The ash holds on well up to 2 inches. Burn continues to be even through the second and last thirds.

Burn

Picture perfect burn with no touch-ups, even burn, solid ashes and cool burning.

Draw

The draw was perfect with just the right amount of resistance that I prefer.

Overall

The cigar began with wood, mustiness and black pepper. As it progressed, the black pepper faded away and the musty wood was the prime component the rest of the way. There were moments of black tea, dark roast coffee, bitterness and mintiness. Strength was at slightly above medium the whole way and construction was quite good. The first third of the Southern Draw Rose of Sharon Desert Rose had a nice complexity to it, but after that, things were fairly average. I prefer the original Rose of Sharon to this iteration, but I think a fair amount of people will find something here that they enjoy. I would smoke this again, but I would lean towards the original more often than not.

Draw

The draw was good on the cigar. I was hoping that it would be a little bit tighter with the tapered head, but I found it still a little loose for my liking.

Overall

Overall, the Southern Draw Rose of Sharon Desert Rose is a decent cigar. It has a nice start, but the finish is incredibly disappointing when you take all the thirds into account. I like the level for the strength and body, but the flavors are just lacking. The closest it came to producing a complex smoking experience was in the first third, but even there it lacked depth. I do find it to be a better blend than the traditional Rose of Sharon offerings, but I would have preferred to have the cigar in another format. I would definitely recommend smoking this next to the other Rose of Sharon offerings to see the difference, but I would not classify this cigar as being something worth hunting down.

Draw

The draw is exactly in the ideal zone of resistance.

Overall

It’s always a pleasant surprise when you light up a cigar and immediately know you’re in for something special. The first third was undeniably the best third with a long list of flavors that harmonized to produce a very good experience. The second and last thirds still had enjoyable flavors, but not to the same complexity. I thoroughly enjoyed the Southern Draw Rose of Sharon Desert Rose, and look forward to my earliest opportunity to light one up again. Total smoking time was 1 hour and 41 minutes.

Draw

The draw was also perfect, providing the ideal air flow.

Overall

The Southern Draw Rose of Sharon Desert Rose is another solid offering for the brand. I especially enjoyed the buttery/velvety mouthfeel that the cigar was able to provide for the vast majority of the time. This followed by richness in cedar, nuts, and buttered toast was no doubt a winning combination. The only let down was the last third falling short and the pesky secondary band having a bit too much glue, which ripped off a portion of the wrapper (minor complaint). All in all, a great follow up to the original Rose of Sharon.

Aaron
Seth
John
Jiunn
Very GoodPre
Light
GoodPre
Light
Very GoodPre
Light
Good
GoodFirst
Third
GoodFirst
Third
Very GoodFirst
Third
Good
AverageSecond
Third
AverageSecond
Third
GoodSecond
Third
Good
AverageFinal
Third
SubparFinal
Third
GoodFinal
Third
Average
Very GoodBurnVery GoodBurnAmazingBurnAmazing
AmazingDrawGoodDrawAmazingDrawAmazing
AverageOverallAverageOverallGoodOverallGood

Aaron Loomis

SCORE

6.00

Cost/Point

$2.00

Scoring System

Seth Geise

SCORE

5.35

Cost/Point

$2.24

Scoring System

John McTavish

SCORE

7.52

Cost/Point

$1.60

Scoring System

Jiunn Liu

SCORE

6.82

Cost/Point

$1.76

Scoring System

Team Cigar Review: Southern Draw Rose of Sharon Desert Rose
John McTavishTeam Cigar Review: Southern Draw Rose of Sharon Desert Rose

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