Just starting to make its arrival into our humidors is an exciting new offering from our friends at Drew Estate. A couple years back they introduced us to the Nica Rustica El Brujito which proved to be a rousing success in our stores. The name was basically just shortened to Nica Rustica since it was the only version in the line but now the El Brujito has a couple of friends joining in! El Brujito is a 6×52 vitola and his new friends are the Short Robusto which is a 4 ½ x50 little smoke and the Belly which is a 7 ½ x54 torpedo or belicoso shape. We now have a 3 stick lineup for Nica Rustica that fit nicely into an updated and very attractive display box.
Being a big fan of the original Nica Rustica El Brujito, I decided to step outside the box and give the Belly a try. This is a fairly big brute of a cigar and I guessed correctly when I thought this smoke may take a couple hours to smoke. In fact it was closer to two and a half hours before this Belly finally ended. The basics of the Belly are the same as the others in the Nica Rustica lineup. A rough looking and almost rustic appearing Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper wrapped around a Mexican San Andres negro binder surrounding a filler of tasty Nicaraguan tobacco. Those are some pretty flavorful tobacco leaves and this cigar does not disappoint if you are looking for a superb and powerful smoke.
Initial aromas of earth and leather and cocoa are evident prior to lighting up this Belly. Upon lighting, I notice the huge amount of smoke produced just like the original Nica Rustica. Lots of earth and cocoa in the beginning and the ever present pepper of Nicaraguan tobacco starts to creep in. For those who like to retrohale to get the full flavor and experience, be warned, it is a bit harsh at first but eventually mellows out. This cigar definitely builds in strength and in flavor as it slowly burns and while starting out as a strong-medium it builds to a full strength and full flavor at the halfway mark.
The draw was easy and the burn was absolutely perfect right to the end. The smoke stays fairly consistent in flavor from beginning to end which was both good and bad. Lots of earthy flavors, cocoa notes, hints of leather, and some strong white pepper prevail and they are great flavors with a bit of complexity. The down side is the flavors never change very much over the two plus hours it takes to smoke the Belly. Overall, this is a great smoke with a ton of flavor and a lot of strength that pairs well with a nice bourbon, a glass of Cabernet, or a strong dark beer or stout. A cigar not for the faint of heart or a beginner but outstanding for the experienced smoker!
Steve Mungeer, ABC Fine Wine & Spirits category manager: premium cigars and craft beer, Certified Retail Tobacconist
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