Working my way through the Fusion of Flavor Sampler from Pipes & Cigars I decided that my next victim would be the Isla del Sol. I was encouraged by the “sunny disposition” of the label to bring it along as a friendly smoke to enjoy on yet another trip into Kelowna. We were going via a back-road and therefore there would be just a little more time to enjoy a smoke, so I dared to indulge.
I was delighted that it was another Drew Estate creation; thus far I’ve been rather enjoying their Acid line of aromatics, and therefore this had great promise for me! The wrapper was a warm and welcoming Colorado shade; the cap was a solid double cap.
Cigars International says:
Yet another gem from Drew Estate’s creative genius, Isla del Sol combines a deliciously infused Nicaraguan premium with an everyday price that can’t be beat. Each cigar comes loaded with a rich blend of aged Nicaraguan tobaccos inside a beautiful, chocolate-brown, ‘Sun-Blessed’ Sumatra wrapper. Each of the filler leaves has been carefully infused with the enticing nuances of premium, Sumatran Mandheling Bean Coffee, while the wrapper is finished with a delightfully sweetened cap. Expect a rich, creamy core with ample notes of mocha and coffee, complemented by a luxurious aroma. Best of all, at this price, it’ll be easy to enjoy the scrumptious flavors of Isla del Sol cigars on a daily basis.
Isla Del Sol by Drew Estate cigars are imbued with a sweet coffee flavor unlike anything you’ve ever tasted in a flavored premium handmade cigar. Wrapped in a dark, sun-kissed Sumatra wrapper, each Isla Del Sol cigar has a triple Nicaraguan leaf mix, or tripa mezclado blend, infused with a Cuban-style mojo of exotic Sumatra Mandheling bean coffee, and garnished with a sweetened cap. The smoke is deliciously flavorful and smooth with an aroma that will entice even the non-cigar smokers in the room.
Hopefully I inhaled the wrapper note. Indeed, it was coffee and cream, as anticipated! Well, now we were about to combine two of my favourite things in the world; coffee and cigars. And Sumatran coffee at that! Does it get any better? I opened up my travel mug and scrutinized the contents to be sure there would be enough coffee to last the duration of the smoke. And there was. Whew!
I clipped the cigar with my single-guillotine cutter and it clipped easily. The pre-light draw was excellent; sweet and pleasant, and it enhanced the taste of the tobacco.
The first third lasted through the about fifteen to twenty minute trip along the Commonage back-roads. The first few draws were deliciously touched with golden hay and honey elements. But I couldn’t discern the coffee in the aromatic blend.
Hmm; I thought my coffee would be the perfect compliment; but I suspect that it was probably overpowering the casing. I see this as a good thing. My big complaint about most aromatic cigars is the overwhelming flavouring. Generally manufacturers seem to be trying to drown out the tobacco taste, which I think is not only fruitless, it’s disgusting. Seriously, aromatic cigar makers:
Drew Estate seems to understand that the purpose of flavouring is to compliment the natural tobacco elements, not to smother them. As a result, even hard-core veteran cigar smokers who are purists will occasionally indulge in a flavoured Drew Estate cigar for a change of pace.
So, that being said, I put aside the coffee for the second third to settle into a genuine appreciation of the smoke. I love the idea of a dark, sun-aged Sumatran tobacco wrapper blended with the taste of dark, sun-aged Sumatran coffee.
And I found the second third to be outstanding. It reminded me of a quality latte in a good coffee shop. I know you’re probably disappointed that I didn’t say “cappuccino” but it’s simply too sweet for that. And there’s a creamy element also. The sweetening effectively cancelled out the typical “second third bitterness.” My only complaint is that as a mild-medium-bodied cigar, I was not hindered by nicotine overdose, so I smoked it rather quickly. The second third lasted until we reached the Kelowna Airport, which is about another fifteen minutes.
The final third, which lasted another fifteen to twenty minutes, increased that coffee element and picked up something mocha-like. I was distinctly reminded of a Coffee Crisp chocolate bar, which was a pleasant surprise since I can no longer eat them due to allergies. I like my coffee . . . smoldering? When I reached downtown Kelowna it still had not gone out and I had to stamp and stub it.
Anyway, a very good smoke and a nice change of pace, for all the reasons I’ve already mentioned. In this lady’s perspective the Isla del Sol has earned: