In 2022, Drew Estate introduced a second offering under its Nica Rustica brand, the Nica Rustica Adobe. The Nica Rustica brand originally started out as a project by Drew Estate in which they were experimenting with a locally grown strain of tobacco known as rustica. The rustica (or Nicotaina Rustica) is considered one of the most potent tobaccos in the world as it has a higher concentration of nicotine. Eventually, the project was scrapped, but the company moved forward with releasing a Nica Rustica-branded cigar in 2013. This would be a value-priced Connecticut Broadleaf offering and themed as a cigar that pays tribute to people and culture of Estelí. Up until 2021, Nica Rustica was a steady performer in the Drew Estate portfolio, but was overshadowed by many other Drew Estate brands. It was in 2021 when Drew Estate revamped the packaging of the Nica Rustica line – and rebranded the Nica Rustica release to be Nica Rustica Broadleaf. At the time of the name change, that seemed to open the door for more Nica Rustica products. One year later, Nica Rustica Adobe would make its debut – this time bringing a Habano-wrapped offering to the Nica Rustica brand. Keeping to the theme of paying tribute to Estelí, Adobe’s name refers to the colonial-style homes that are present in the barrios of Estelí. Today we take a look at the Nica Rustica Adobe in the Toro size.
Like the Nica Rustica Broadleaf, Nica Rustica Adobe is meant to be a value-priced cigar. When Nica Rustica Adobe was released, it was priced at $5.20 to $6.48 SRP per cigar. The move was an interesting one because in a market where higher priced cigars are being introduced, Drew Estate doubled down and opted to release a premium cigar with a very aggressive price point.
As Drew Estate has done with several of its releases, Nica Rustica Adobe had a soft launch as an unbanded “Mystery Cigar.” It was packaged with some swag as a part of a Freestyle Live Event Kit made available before one of the company’s Freestyle Live broadcasts. On the May 12 2022, Freestyle Live broadcast, it was revealed the mystery cigar was the Nica Rustica Adobe. If you are keeping score at home, the following Drew Estate lines have been unveiled through Freestyle Live.
Without further ado, let’s break down the Nica Rustica Adobe Toro and see what this cigar brings to the table.
Blend and Origin
In addition to the Habano wrapper, Nica Rustica Adobe utilizes a binder leaf from Brazil and Nicaraguan tobaccos from Estelí and Jalapa for the filler. Production is handled at La Gran Fabrica Drew Estate in Estelí, Nicaragua.
Filler: Nicaraguan (Estelí, Jalapa)
Country of Origin: Drew Estate
Factory: La Gran Fabrica Drew Estate
Nica Rustica Adobe is available in three regular production sizes. Each is presented in 25-count boxes.
Robusto: 5 x 54
Toro: 6 x 52
Gordo: 6 x 60
The Habano wrapper of the Nica Rustica Adobe Toro had a caramel color to it. There was a light coating of oil on the surface of the wrapper. The surface of the wrapper had both some visible veins and some visible wrapper seams.
A straight cut was used to remove the cap of the Nica Rustica Adobe Toro. Once the cap was removed, it was on to the pre-light draw ritual. The cold draw delivered a mix of dusty earth and natural tobacco notes. This wasn’t a bad pre-light draw, but it wasn’t an exciting one either. At this point, it was time to remove the footer band of the Nica Rustica Adobe Toro, toast up the cigar, and move on to the smoking phase.
The Nica Rustica Adobe Toro opened up with notes of earth, wood, sweet natural tobacco, and mixed pepper. Early on, the wood and natural tobacco notes became primary. The earth and pepper notes settled in the background. As the cigar progressed through the first third, the earth notes morphed into a black coffee note. Meanwhile, on the retro-hale, there initially was an additional layer of wood notes. Later in the first third, some mixed pepper also was present on the retro-hale.
By the second third of the Nica Rustica Adobe Toro, the black coffee notes joined the wood notes in the forefront. Meanwhile, the natural tobacco, pepper, and cedar notes contributed to the flavor profile from the background.
The final third saw the wood notes assume sole control as the primary note. The coffee notes diminished into the background, joining the natural tobacco, pepper, and cedar notes. By this point, the natural tobacco notes were the most prominent of the secondary notes. This is the way the Nica Rustica Adobe Toro came to a close. The resulting nub was firm to the touch and cool in temperature.
I was particularly impressed with the construction of the Nica Rustica Adobe Toro. From a burn standpoint, the cigar required minimal touch-ups to maintain a straight burn line and straight burn path. The resulting ash was firm with a silver-gray color. The burn rate and burn temperature were both ideal.
The draw of the Nica Rustica Adobe Toro also performed very well. This is a cigar that had a touch of resistance – making it ideal in my book. The second half of this cigar had a lot of smoke production – something that was reminiscent of what was seen with the Nica Rustica Broadleaf.
Strength and Body
The Nica Rustica Adobe Toro started out as a medium-strength, medium-bodied smoke. For the duration of the smoking experience, the cigar continued to be medium-strength and medium-bodied. There wasn’t much in the way of variance in the intensity levels of the strength and body. When looking at strength versus body, both attributes bland each other nicely, with neither attribute overshadowing the other.
BANDING AND PACKAGING NOTES
When the revamped Nica Rustica Broadleaf was released, Drew Estate moved away from bundle packaging and transitioned to 25-count boxes. In addition, artwork was created by Subculture Studios’ lead artist Richard “Dog” Diaz. I was a fan of these packaging changes. The good news is a similar concept was implemented with Nica Rustica Adobe. In this case, there was more use of the color blue (including on the bands). Overall the artwork and the associated packaging really shined on the Adobe.
First, our numeric scores are done price agnostic. Looking at the Nica Rustica Adobe Toro, the cigar had good flavor, a decent amount of complexity, and excellent construction. I wouldn’t say this had radical or revolutionary flavors, but it more than satisfied me. In the end, the Nica Rustica Adobe Toro scored a very respectable 89 points. Now factor in the price point of $5.76, and this cigar becomes a real bargain in today’s market. This is a cigar that I can easily recommend to any cigar enthusiast. It’s a cigar I would smoke again and buy multiples to keep in my humidor.
Key Flavors: Wood, Coffee, Earth, Natural Tobacco, Cedar, Pepper
Value: Buy Multiples
Photo Credits: Cigar Coop, except where noted
Originally posted on October 10, 2023 @ 6:18 pm