Drew Estate stands out in Esteli, Nicaragua. Eschewing many of the traditional aspects of manufacturing hand-rolled cigars that you'll find in Pepin Garcia's factory, it has a more American flair, with the conversion of construction and marketing at every point in the process. Born of the minds of two Long Islanders, Drew Estate has grown into a substantial cigar manufacturing operation with an incredibly wide range of cigars and its own collection of secrets.
On my recent cigar trip to Nicaragua, I hadn't expected to visit Drew Estate. Hell, I'd never heard of it. I knew a few of the brands it produces but never related them back to Drew, simply because they aren't cigars that I smoke. Most of what comes out of Drew Estate is infused, with Acid cigars the most prominent. I don't look down my nose at those who smoke infused (hey, the point is to enjoy whichever cigar you choose), but I simply don't lean that way. Nonetheless, I was excited to see the factory, if only to deepen the experience.
I'm glad I did.
In addition to seeing an impressive cigar operation and learning of a fun travel alternative, I discovered that Drew Estate is also moving into the traditional cigar market, and its fairly new T9 and T52 cigars are certainly worth more than a few puffs. What's really staggering, though, is the planning and execution that goes into running a segmented operation that draws hard lines between the infused and traditional products.
Gallery: Drew Estate Cigar Factory