Back in September last year, Southern Draw announced two new sizes to the Rose of Sharon Desert Rose: the Desert Rose Famous Exclusivo (Exclusive to Famous Smoke Shop) and the Desert Rose Lonsdale. At the time, they also made the original Desert Rose size, Belicoso Finos 5.5×54, a regular production cigar in both 20 count boxes and 20 count bundles.
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. All of our cigars reviewed are shipped to the panelists with Boveda packs to ensure optimal smoking experience.
The Rose of Sharon Desert Rose Lonsdale measures 6 x 44 and rolled like all other Southern Draw cigars at AJ Fernandez Cigar Co. It has a “flag” cap and comes in boxes of 12 designed by Humidif Group USA. Only 4,000 boxes of the Lonsdale were made and they sell for $121.00. The blend for all three Desert Rose cigars uses an Ecuador “cloud grown” Claro wrapper, Nicaragua Habano binder, and filler from Honduras and Dominican Republic – Corojo 99 and Piloto Cubano.
Ring Gauge: 44
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut
Filler: Dominican Republic, Honduras
Factory: Tabacalera AJ Fernandez Cigars de Nicaragua S.A.
Blender: Robert Holt
Number of reviewers: 5 – Estevan Z. (TheRealBanzi) Jake P. (Jake P.) Isaac M. (The Nothing) Jason H. (Jokey Smurf) John I. (John I.)
Age: 4 Months
Release Date: October 2020
Contributed by: Southern Draw Cigars
“Man, love this. Nice sub-50 ring, with a pigtail, and a closed foot. The only worry for me is the wrapper, it’s smooth, oily, and sexy, but has a greenish tint that I’m not liking for some reason. Light brown, nearly tan color overall.” –John I. (John I.)
“The wrapper aroma is light and sweet while the aroma at the closed foot is sweet with a sharp compost note.” –Jason H. (Jokey Smurf)
“Started off just like the pre-light aroma of spice, barn, and leather. Also, a tea-like ring to it that just rattled the taste buds enough. Ended with a peppery wood note.” –Jake P. (Jake P.)
“Opens really dry and sharp, very distinctively on the retrohale. Gets deep in there. Getting a ton of smoke production. Fifteen minutes in and it continues to be very crisp and dry. There’s some soft leathery sweetness apparent on the finish. It’s not displaying a woody flavor, just overwhelmingly crisp and dry.”-John I. (John I.)
“Not as much spice and pepper going on in the second third. Much more subdue. Leather was still there with a wood note but also hay and starchy bread.” –Jake P. (Jake P.)
“Second third moved to a light sourdough note. Bready with a tinge of sourness, I’m not calling it bad. That developed in more of a light Belgian beer flavor. There was still a few kitchen spices buried in the background that could be easily overlooked.” –Isaac M. (The Nothing)
“The final third starts with the floral notes but quickly shifts into a cinnamon heavy feel, making me think of Big Red gum. The finish is becoming longer with a great white pepper on the tip of the tongue. There some great mint and bread note that come and go through the final minutes of the cigar. Nub worthy for sure…” –Estevan Z. (TheRealBanzi)
“Final third completed the trip of the whole cigar by melding all the flavors I noticed in the first and second thirds. Kitchen spices and a light lager beer were most noticeable, with grilled meat flavors coming and going through the finish.” –Isaac M. (The Nothing)
“This cigar really had a nice draw from beginning to end. As a result, the smoke was plentiful and cool.” –Jason H. (Jokey Smurf)
“Very well behaved and quite correct throughout.” –John I. (John I.)
“I liked the visual appearance of this cigar and was very pleased with the burn performance. The ash was firm as well and held on quite well, dropping off in one-inch chunks.” –Jason H. (Jokey Smurf)
Overall Strength: Medium
Overall Body/Complexity: Medium-Full
Experience Overall: 91
“From the moment I picked up this cigar I knew I was in for a treat. It didn’t disappoint. The flavors were ever-changing and kept your attention. The cigar goes out on a high note with the cinnamon bomb flavor profile at the end making me not want to put it down nub worthy and then some. I want a box!” –Estevan Z. (TheRealBanzi)
“Great cigar with plenty of flavors. Did not stay on one flavor too long I felt. Once the spice and barn went you had more of earthy flavor. As soon as that ran for a while a salty tea flavor appears with a nutty note. Very enjoyable. The only downside was the draw was too tight and forced you to really work at it.” –Jake P. (Jake P.)
“This is surely a solid choice for anybody looking for a mild smoke with a great body. I think it was the body that impressed me the most. It really gives full body on the palate but the flavors are still fairly light as is the strength. This could easily be an “any time” cigar that I will enjoy again.” –Isaac M. (The Nothing)
“The appearance and performance were the high points for me. Unfortunately, just like with cooking, the taste is where it’s at and this one is not something I’d choose to smoke again. I’ve never had a cigar taste so strongly of rusty metal and it just never went away. Honestly, it was tough for me to finish.” –Jason H. (Jokey Smurf)
“Flawless construction in a vitola that is a personal favorite, plus pigtails, and closed foot. Unfortunately, this didn’t offer much in terms of flavor. It was dry, and crisp for the duration, with occasional hints of sweetness, some soft leathery notes, and a bit of spice apparent in bursts, but never really reached the point where it was truly engaging. Well made in spades, but not very nuanced.” –John I. (John I.)
Smoking Time (in minutes): 92
To view the complete scores and notes, click here.