Last month, Southern Draw Cigars released its first major batch of Corona Gorda line extensions to the three blends of its QuickDraw line of cigars. The QuickDraw line of cigars is a line of “connoisseur-size” cigars available in three blends – Connecticut, PA (Pennsylvania) Broadleaf, and Habano. As the name indicates, the QuickDraw is meant to provide a cigar geared for a short, quick cigar experience. These cigars are also offered to consumers at a value price point. The new Corona Gorda line extensions were first announced last year – prior to the August 8th, 2016 deadline for pre-market approval put in place by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Today, we take a closer look at the Corona Gorda of Southern Draw Cigars’ QuickDraw Habano line.
For the first release of the QuickDraw Corona Gorda line extensions, it was offered as an exclusive to Famous Smoke Shop. Brand owner Robert Holt explains the logic behind that decision:
“Famous Smoke Shop and Southern Draw Cigars are coming off a wonderful Veterans Day Appreciation event, which was highlighted by our mutual commitment to Cigars for Warriors and our active duty military personnel. This partnership has provided an ideal opportunity to join forces again to distribute the first release of this exciting new line extension of our QuickDraw blends.”
Without further ado, let’s break down the QuickDraw Habano Corona Gorda and see what this cigar brings to the table.
The QuickDraw Habano is highlighted by its dark Ecuadorian Habano wrapper over Nicaraguan binder and filler tobaccos. As with all Southern Draw Cigars, the company works with AJ Fernandez’s Tabacalera Fernandez facility.
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Dark Habano
Country of Origin: Nicaragua (Tabacalera Fernandez)
The introduction of the Corona Gorda line extensions brings the number of vitolas in each of the three blends to three. The three sizes are consistent across all of the QuickDraw blends. The QuickDraw Corona Gordas are offered in 25-count boxes.
Petit Corona: 4 1/2 x 44
Short Panatela: 5 1/2 x 40
Corona Gorda: 5 1/2 x 46
The dark Ecuadorian Habano wrapper of the QuickDraw Habano Corona Gorda I smoked had a dark cinnamon color to it. The wrapper had a slight amount of mottling on it as well as a light coat of oil. The wrapper was on the smooth side., The visible veins were on the thin side while the darker color of the wrapper did a good job at hiding the wrapper seams. Consistent with the other blends in the QuickDraw line, the QuickDraw Habano Corona Gorda features a pig-tail on the cap and slightly closed footer.
The band and packaging of the QuickDraw Habano features the new mostly green color scheme that was exclusively introduced to the QuickDraw Habano line. The band is highlighted by the text “QUICK DRAW” in gold font over a green background. The color of that background is slightly darker at the center. Below the text is a gold ribbon-like design with the text “HABANO” in thin, dark font. There are gold adornments going around the band. To the left and right is the text “Hand Made” – also in white font on a darker section of the background. Finally, the band is finished in dark trim.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
As opposed to pulling the pig-tail off the QuickDraw Habano Corona Gorda, I opted to use a straight cut to remove both the cap and the pig-tail together. I then proceeded with the pre-light draw ritual. The cold draw delivered a mix of natural tobacco and mixed fruit sweetness. Overall, I considered this to be a satisfactory pre-light draw. At this point, I was ready to light up the QuickDraw Habano Corona Gorda and see what the smoking phase would have in store.
The QuickDraw Habano Corona Gorda started out with notes of natural tobacco, wood, and fruit sweetness. The fruit sweetness almost had a dry wine quality to it, however, it was closely tied to the tobacco notes and the overall sweetness very much had a tobacco feel (i.e. it wasn’t dessert) to it. The natural tobacco and fruit/wine sweetness moved to the forefront early on. Meanwhile, the retro-hale delivered an extra layer of red and black pepper.
Later in the first third, some chocolate notes emerged with the natural tobacco and fruit/wine sweetness. The cigar still very much maintained a “tobacco profile”. The combined sweetness from these notes came down a notch and that seemed to work well with the overall flavor profile. Occasionally, I still picked up a woody note in the background. There was now some mixed pepper notes that also were present on the tongue.
Toward the midway point, the chocolate notes became the primary component of the sweetness that was in the forefront. As the QuickDraw Habano Corona Gorda moved into the second half, the natural tobacco started to become more prominent. By the end of the second third, the natural tobacco was the primary note with chocolate and fruit/wine relegated into the background.
The last third of the QuickDraw Habano Corona Gorda saw the natural tobacco remain as the primary note. There was an increase in pepper in the background. In addition, I found there was still some of the chocolate fruit/wine sweetness. This is the way the QuickDraw Habano Corona Gorda came to a close. The resulting nub was firm to the touch and cool in temperature.
Burn and Draw
Overall the burn to the QuickDraw Habano Corona Gorda performed pretty well. While there was a slight amount of jaggedness on the burn line, the QuickDraw Habano Corona Gorda maintained a straight burn path. This jaggedness was more cosmetic and didn’t require much in the way of additional touch-ups. The resulting ash was light gray and skewed toward the firmer side. The burn and burn temperature were both ideal.
The Southern Draw Cigars company prides itself on the draw of its cigars. With the bar set high, the QuickDraw Habano Corona Gorda comes through with flying colors. The draw of this Corona Gorda had a touch of resistance – which is something that I like. In addition, the QuickDraw Habano Corona Gorda produced a nice amount of smoke.
Strength and Body
I found the QuickDraw Habano Corona Gorda to have the right amount of boldness to it. At the same time, this cigar won’t overwhelm you with a nicotine hit, nor will the flavors weigh too heavy on the palate. This is a cigar that delivers a medium strength and medium to full-bodied smoking experience. Both attributes have a nominal increase in intensity, but in the end, the QuickDraw Habano Corona Gorda remained medium strength and medium to full-bodied.
In terms of strength versus body, I found the body to have the edge from start to finish.
Two words came to my mind after smoking the QuickDraw Habano Corona Gorda – flavor bomb. On top of that, this cigar delivers the whole package – excellent construction, a nice amount of complexity, and of course great flavor. While normally I don’t like a good dose of sweetness on the cigar, with the QuickDraw Habano Corona Gorda it’s a different story. While I mention analogies like chocolate, fruit, and wine, the sweetness also has a terrific natural tobacco component – and that is something that I consider a huge plus. Overall, this is a cigar I could recommend to an experienced cigar enthusiast or a novice looking for something bolder. As for myself, this is a cigar I would easily smoke again – and one I’d recommend for a box purchase.
Key Flavors: Natural Tobacco, Fruit, Dry Wine, Chocolate, Pepper, Wood
Complexity: Medium to High
Body: Medium to Full
Value: Box Purchase
News: Southern Draw Announces QuickDraw Corona Gorda Initially Heading to Famous Smoke Shop
Source: Southern Draw Cigars
Brand Reference: Southern Draw
Photo Credits: Cigar Coop