This past January, Southern Draw unveiled a new project that would involve input from their 10,000 most loyal consumers, retail partners, and media members. Southern Draw Peccadilloes involves crowed sourced feedback to determine the company’s next regular production blend for 2023.
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 motto behind this project is, “we hear you; we trust you and we are open to your opinions.” Each participant receives a pack of 4 cigars, or Peccadilloes. These unreleased blends are to be smoked and rated via the Southern Draw QR code portal.
Here is an excerpt their QR survey:
PECCADILLOES – “Small Sins” – Over the last 10 – 20 years, for one reason or another, many of our favorite thin or “small” ring gauge cigars, specifically 38 – 46/100ths of an inch in diameter, have vanished from the market. Sure, we enjoy the larger cigars; however, we take a step back in time, honoring tradition and applaud the highly skilled hands that deliver our most consistent smoking experiences, refined skills required to produce some classic small sizes. This opportunity is for those that don’t always demand larger and more powerful, we are returning a focus to the quality of the smoking experience over cost or image. Southern Draw Cigars has kept a secret for years. That secret being the existence of a variety of blends, each has been skillfully rolled in small ring gauges, their purest form. Withholding the existence of these for so long as we grew our brand, we have adopted a project name using the Spanish term Peccadilloes, which translates in English to “Small Sins”.
No blend information about the cigars is given until after the cigars are revealed, although the No 8. Laurel is clearly a barber pole. 10,000 4-packs of the Peccadilloes were made and sent out for feedback. All 4 of the cigars come in the same 6 x 42 corona size. The are all rolled at Tabacalera AJ Fernandez de Nicaragua, SA, in Estelí, Nicaragua. The company says the packs are sold at cost, or about $20.00, meaning each cigar is about $5.00. The final blend is expected to cost more.
Ring Gauge: 42
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Factory: AJ Fernandez Cigars de Nicaragua S.A.
Blender: Robert Holt
Number of reviewers: 4 – Mickey T. (irratebass) Kevin A. (Kevin A.) Jason H. (Jokey Smurf) John A. (Bostoneo)
Age: 2 Months
Release Date: January 2022
Contributed by: Blind Man’s Puff
Initial Impressions – Southern Draw Peccadilloes No. 8 Laurel
“I am a big fan of barber pole cigars, and this one is very nicely done. Very oily sheen, and very nice barber pole pattern of Maduro and what appears to be Habano, it does not look light enough to me to be shade-grown. Another plus is it is one of my favorite sizes, the corona. It is 6″ long and appears to be 42-43 ring gauge The surface of the cigar is fairly smooth with just the slightest amount of tooth, and there are some small raised veins running throughout.” –Kevin A. (Kevin A.)
“On the nose, scents of damp earth with a lingering sweetness entice the senses. With the cold draw, creamy earthiness with a hint of black pepper splashes the palate.” –John A. (Bostoneo)
“The cigar starts off with notes of walnut, espresso, and a corn flake-like cereal note. Retrohale has an almost grain whiskey-type burn, with a little bit of cedar and citrus on the finish. So far, this is starting off very interesting and much different than any barber pole cigar I have previously experienced. Strength is just into the medium range, and I would put the body at medium-plus, as the flavors are prominent and easy to detect. Burn and draw are on point as well. So far, early on, this is a pleasant experience” –Kevin A. (Kevin A.)
“The first puffs of this barber pole gave a sharp blast of pepper that quickly faded into a nice, woodsy oak. Through the nose the smoke is sharp and hits hard, almost like a blast of wasabi…” –Jason H. (Jokey Smurf)
“Moving into the second third, wood notes are the primary base of flavor here in a mild to medium-bodied format. With sawdust and light pepper notes in the retrohale, this cigar smokes very well with the excellent construction. Temporary notes of dark chocolate, light leather, and slightly sweetened spice notes give surprise appearances throughout this third.” –John A. (Bostoneo)
“Into the second third not much has changed. There is a hint of nuts and some coffee notes on the finish. This third is definitely more subtle and flavorful than the first third. It’s more up my alley in the strength department too. It’s very mild right now. ” –Mickey T. (irratebass)
“The third portion has given me a complete transition and is absolutely a different Cigar than the first two thirds. The mouthfeel is peppery and leaves my palate tingling but the flavors are now chock full of baking spices and the smoke is really aromatic. Through the nose, the smoke is still quite sharp but is becoming more pleasant to retrohale, which I really enjoy. ” –Jason H. (Jokey Smurf)
“The strength has picked up again at the beginning of this third. This cigar is keeping me on my toes that’s for sure. The cigar is tingling my lips right now. The strength is not unbearable, but it did catch me off guard. I’m still getting those cherry notes and some baking spices with black licorice notes at the moment. ” –Mickey T. (irratebass)
Overall Impressions – Southern Draw Peccadilloes No. 8 Laurel
“It does not get much better than this, especially with this size of a cigar” –Kevin A. (Kevin A.)
“I had no issues with the burn of this cigar. I won’t cash the burn razor-sharp but I never needed to touch it up which is nice and allows me to concentrate on the experience. ” –Jason H. (Jokey Smurf)
“Construction was good. The cigar never got hot on me and gave me about 1/4 of an inch of ash with each tap. ” –Mickey T. (irratebass)
Overall Strength: Medium
Overall Body/Complexity: Medium
Experience Overall: 91
“Overall this was a good cigar. It went from a medium to mild and back to medium in strength probably because of the barber pole wrapper. It kept me on my toes and made me pay attention as I smoked it. There weren’t too many flavors really. The biggest flavor I picked up was cherry notes along with some wood (cedar and oak), some coffee, and black licorice at the end. I would smoke this again for leisure instead of as a review and I may enjoy it a bit more. If you’re looking for a cigar that will keep you invested give this a try.” –Mickey T. (irratebass)
“While the overall experience was good, if the cigar developed the way it was heading vs taking a left turn to bitter bordering on harsh, it would have received a much higher rating from me. If I was able to pair it with a mellow bourbon or aged rum, it would probably be a much better experience. This would even work with an Anejo tequila I think. I look forward to revisiting it. It seems to me like this could be one of the Southern Draw Peccadilloes, but I’m not 100% sure. Guess I will have to wait and see! ” –Kevin A. (Kevin A.)
“This is a story of the individual parts of this cigar. Initially, I wasn’t convinced I would enjoy the smoke because it really blasted my sinuses on the retro. Each portion, however, changed so significantly that I almost felt like I was smoking a totally new cigar after the transition. Because of the transitions?, I was fully engaged with the smoke and really enjoyed it. I would gladly smoke another!” –Jason H. (Jokey Smurf)
“Overall, this is a dependable cigar with a great mild to medium-bodied profile that is very reliable the whole duration of the session. Construction, burn and draw were all superior compared to the typical baseline, providing an excellent technical smoking experience. With all these observations, I can confidently conclude that this would be an excellent everyday smoke that isn’t unique per se, however stable and enjoyable an easy to reach for anytime you feel like lighting up.” –John A. (Bostoneo)
Smoking Time (in minutes): 79
To view the complete scores and notes, click here.