Blind Cigar Review: Southern Draw | Manzanita Toro

Blind Cigar Review: Southern Draw | Manzanita Toro

Cigar Info

Southern Draw announced a new cigar back in December of 2020, Manzanita, which translates to “little apple.” The name come about years back while Robert Holt was inspecting bales of Habano hybrid. He commented on the deep red oily leaves, simiar to the shimmering “red” bark of a manzanita tree. This tobacco would later become the wrapper of Manzanita.

This cigar was reviewed blind (no bands) by a panel of at least 4 reviewers. They did not know what they were smoking beforehand. The scores are an average of all the reviewers' scores with outliers removed.

The blend for Manzanita uses that Habano hybrid wrapper, Pelo d’Oro, Corojo 99, Habano, and ligero. That is all the blend info given so as not taint anyone’s opinions about the blend prior to trying it. For Now, Manzanita is offered in one size, a 6×52 toro parejo. Later this year, additional sizes will be made available including robusto, toro and gordo. It comes in 10-count boxes that cost $149.99 and is regular production. Annual production for 2021 is 180,000 cigars, 60,000 per size. Like all other Southern Draw Cigars, it is rolled at AJ Fernandez Cigar Co.

Vital Stats:

Vitola: Toro
Length: 6″
Ring Gauge: 52
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Nicaragua
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Factory: AJ Fernandez Cigars de Nicaragua S.A.
Blender: Robert Holt
Number of reviewers: 4 Ryan H. (Ryan H.) John A. (Bostoneo) Alan (Eulogy) Mickey T. (irratebass)
Price: $14.99
Age: 4 Months
Release Date: December 2020
Contributed by: Southern Draw Cigars

Initial Impressions

Appearance: 91

“There are a few small chips in the wrapper but it’s a great-looking cigar overall. The double cap is large and well applied with an almost invisible seam cloaking the tightly packed filler.” –Alan (Eulogy)

Aroma: 93

“On a cold draw, strong notes of tobacco, must, earth, and anise come through in waves. On the nose, familiar notes of the cold draw with an addition of dark chocolate light up the mouth in a flavorful bonanza.” –John A. (Bostoneo)

First Third
Blind Cigar Review: Southern Draw | Manzanita Toro

First Third

Flavor: 93
Strength: Medium
Body/Complexity: Medium

“Intense peppery and leather notes come through in spades for a full-bodied start. Raisins and stewed fruits begin to peak in after the intense start giving the profile an added sweetness and aroma that is sure to be pleasing! By a half-inch in, the body of this cigar has calmed down quite a bit to a solid medium. Near the end, this profile smoothed out into a nice leather, cedar, and creamy malt profile which is a medium-bodied delight!” –John A. (Bostoneo)

“My nose is literally on fire after the first couple of draws very spicy start cayenne plus some. After the first couple of draws, the profile explodes with notes. I can tell I am gonna love this. Very complex and medium-plus in strength. Can already taste raisins and dries fruits on the front. Earth and bread mid-palate. A more calm cayenne spice on the finish. Some cedar and buttered popcorn in there as well. Draw is a little tight but with this profile, I really don’t care. Such a good cigar. Burn is a little wavy but I am not really concerned about that either, we will keep an eye on it.” –Ryan H. (Ryan H.)

Second Third
Blind Cigar Review: Southern Draw | Manzanita Toro

Second Third

Flavor: 92
Strength: Medium
Body/Complexity: Medium-Full

“Into the second third begins with medium-bodied notes of worn leather, black pepper, cream, and cedar are a solid contender for a tasty time. As I go through this third, the tasty profile continues on as if time went unchanged, a nice smooth profile that ends this third in magnificent glory.” –John A. (Bostoneo)

“Very similar to the first third with a bit more pepper found on the draw. Some of the flavors have just shifted their dominance with just a touch of sweetness from the tobacco and a more noticeable level of leather.” –Alan (Eulogy)

Final Third

Flavor: 93
Strength: Medium
Body/Complexity: Medium

“All spice is departed. Only earth and bread remain and it is still killing it. Medium-plus in strength. Buy all the boxes. Such a great cigar.” –Ryan H. (Ryan H.)

“The notes are the same from the beginning in just slightly different presentations of flavors. The final note picks up more anise and leather than the previous thirds. There’s still a touch of sweetness present but it’s more linger flavor at the end of the draw. A little bit of pepper and cedar round out the experience.” –Alan (Eulogy)

Overall Impressions

Draw: 91

“Started out a little too tight but it did lose a bit of resistance at the end giving a much creamer smoke at the end. It wasn’t so tight that I felt I needed to intervene but it was noticeable.” –Alan (Eulogy)

Burn: 93

“Burn was wavy throughout the experience, but I also didn’t care, because the profile is so enjoyable.” –Ryan H. (Ryan H.)

Construction: 95

“Other than a few small cracks that formed it was a very well made cigar. I think that the wrapper is a little delicate and maybe during transport or storage it became a little stressed in some areas. The seams were almost invisible, the large double cap was well applied, and the wrapper was uniform in medium-dark brown chocolate color.” –Alan (Eulogy)

Overall Strength: Medium
Overall Body/Complexity: Medium
Experience Overall: 93

“Buy all the boxes this profile was amazing. Would have loved to give this cigar a better overall but I must be honest. Will make it into my top 15 for this year for sure.” –Ryan H. (Ryan H.)

“Overall, this was a wonderful medium-bodied smoke that I’d surely enjoy again and again. While not the most complex, the great profile of leather, cedar, earth, cream, and black pepper was most enjoyable in the balance each flavor provided during this sample. Definitely check this one out, you’ll like it, trust me.” –John A. (Bostoneo)

“I really enjoyed this experience. If there were no draw issues at the beginning I would have been even more enchanted with it. There were enough sweetness and shifting of core flavors that I never found myself bored and towards the middle, I found the smoke became almost honeyed in texture. I certainly recommend picking one up and could see myself keeping a fiver on hand.” –Alan (Eulogy)

“This cigar decided to give me an uneven burn that will not stay lit, then it decided to tunnel on me. I tried and tried with this cigar, but it would not puff anymore so I pitched it. I don’t think I can really give this a fair review since it went out on me and would not stay lit.” –Mickey T. (irratebass)

Smoking Time (in minutes): 87

ReviewerAppear.Aroma1/32/33/3DrawBurnConstr.Overall
Experience
Ryan H.929293909288889393
John A.959293929295979793
Alan909295929290959595
Mickey T.888585857070707070

To view the complete scores and notes, click here.

Blind Cigar Review: Southern Draw | Manzanita Toro

Blind Cigar Review: Southern Draw | Manzanita Toro
Summary
"I really enjoyed this experience. If there were no draw issues at the beginning I would have been even more enchanted with it. There were enough sweetness and shifting of core flavors that I never found myself bored and towards the middle, I found the smoke became almost honeyed in texture. I certainly recommend picking one up and could see myself keeping a fiver on hand." -Alan (Eulogy)
Appearance
91
Aroma
93
First Third
93
Second Third
92
Final Third
93
Draw
91
Burn
92
Construction
95
Overall Experience
93
93
Great

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