At the 2018 IPCPR Trade Show, Southern Draw Cigars formally introduced a new value-priced line known as 300 Hands. While the cigar was announced just prior to the trade show, the line had a formal unveiling at the actual show. 300 Hands is what is commonly referred to as the number of steps needed to go from seed to store to deliver a hand-made premium cigar to the consumer. Southern Draw Cigars’ Chief Evangelist Robert Holt decided to brand the cigar with this name and pay homage to the people of Nicaragua who are an integral part of the process of cigar-making process.
The people involved don’t just include those who work on the farms or in the factory, but also include the forgotten people such as repairmen and bus drivers. Because many people in Nicaragua live in poverty, Southern Draw Cigars set out to create a charitable angle where the company is donating 25% of the profits of 300 Hands to (according to Southern Draw) “those Nicaraguans that offered us their honest stories and identified specific needs in and around their own communities.” 300 Hands features two distinct blends – the 300 Hands Maduro and the 300 Manos Habano. Today, we take a closer look at the 300 Hands Maduro in the Piramides size..
Charitable giving is something Southern Draw has incorporated into its philosophy and overall mission statement. The 300 Hands project is most interesting because the company has created a more personal conduit between the consumer and the people involved in the cigar making process. This had been done by producing a series of cards for the 300 Hands project that highlight the people involved with the project and their role in the process.
Without further ado, let’s break down the 300 Hands Maduro Piramides and see what this cigar brings to the table.
Blend and Origin
The blend for the 300 Hands is a multi-national one highlighted by a Nicaraguan wrapper. As with all Southern Draw Cigars, they are produced at AJ Fernandez’s Estelí, Nicaragua facility.
Wrapper: Estelí, Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua & Dominican Republic
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Factory: Tabacalera Fernandez
Each of these sizes is offered in 10-count bundles
Petit Edmundo: 4 3/4 x 52
Coloniales: 5 1/4 x 44
Corona Gorda: 5 5/8 x 46
Piramides: 6 1/8 x 52
Churchill: 7 x 48
Southern Draw has provided retailers with a patent-pending vertical display tray that holds 10 cigars of each size from both blends. These also hold the cards representing the people involved with the project.
The Nicaraguan wrapper of the 300 Hands Maduro Piramides had a dark chocolate color wrapper. There was a very light sheen of oil on the wrapper. There were some visible veins on the surface of the wrapper. Most of the wrapper seams were hidden by the dark color of the wrapper. The Piramides cigar had a moderately sharp taper toward the tip.
The band of the 300 Manos is white with blue font. The center of the map contains the text “300 HANDS” with a triangle in the middle of center “0”. The left side of the band contains the text “MADURO” while the right side contains a map of Nicaragua. A white stripe crosses the map with the text “CIGARS OF NICARAGUA” on it. The upper and lower part of the band is finished with a perforated pattern.
A straight cut was used to commence the cigar experience of the 300 Hands Maduro Piramides. For this cigar experience, the Credo Special T cutter with the 36 ring gauge hole was used to get an ideal cut for this figurado and take advantage of the taper. Once the tip was removed, it was time to commence the pre-light draw. The cold draw delivered a mix of mocha, leather, and a slight amount of spice. Overall this was a satisfactory pre-light draw. At this point, it was time to light up the 300 Hands Maduro Piramides and see what the smoking phase would have in store.
The 300 Hands Maduro Piramides commenced with notes of mocha, white pepper, cedar, orange sweetness, and mineral. The mocha notes are what I consider to be a fusion between chocolate and coffee. During the early stages of the 300 Hands Maduro, the mocha notes became primary with an emphasis on the chocolate component. Meanwhile the white pepper, cedar, orange, and mineral notes settled in the background. There was an extra layer of white pepper on the retro-hale.
During the second third, the coffee component of the mocha slowly increased in intensity while the chocolate component diminished. In the background, there was a slight increase in the pepper and a slight decrease in the orange sweetness. In the more distant background were still notes of cedar and mineral.
By the last third, the mocha present in the forefront was now dominated by the coffee component. The pepper, orange, mineral, and cedar remained in the background with the pepper more prominent than the other secondary notes. This is the way the 300 Hands Maduro cigar experience came to a close. The resulting nub was firm to the touch and cool in temperature.
The 300 Hands Maduro Piramides performed very well when it came to the burn. For the most part, the cigar maintained a straight burn path and a straight burn line with what I consider to be a normal amount of touch-ups. The resulting ash was tight and firm with a mostly light gray color. The burn rate and burn temperature were both ideal.
Southern Draw Cigars has always prided itself on having excellent draws and the 300 Hands Maduro Piramides lives up to that expectation. This was a draw that had a touch of resistance – something I personally enjoy. At the same time, the area where the belicoso tip was remove remained firm and allowed for a good draw. In the end, this made smoking this Piramides size quite enjoyable.
Strength and Body
In terms of strength and body, I assessed the 300 Hands Maduro Piramides to be in the medium range. There was a slight increase in the intensity of both attributes, but in the end, the cigar remained in the medium strength, medium-bodied orange from start to finish.
While both attributes were still assessed to be medium, I found the body to have a slight edge over the strength throughout the smoking experience.
As I mentioned when I assessed the 300 Manos Habano, Southern Draw Cigars has historically done a very good job at delivering a very good value priced cigar to the consumers. Before the release of the 300 Hands line, this had been seen through Southern Draw’s QuickDraw line. Like the 300 Manos Habano, the 300 Hands Maduro is in that high-value category. The 300 Hands Maduro Piramides is a cigar that delivered an excellent and well-balanced flavor profile. In particular, I found this blend worked extremely well in the figurado format. The 300 Hands Maduro Pirmadies is a cigar I could recommend to either a novice or experienced cigar enthusiast. As for myself, this is a cigar I would smoke again – and definitely get multiples to keep in the humidor.
Key Flavors: Mocha, Pepper, Orange, Cedar, Mineral
Burn: Very Good
Value: Buy Multiples
Photo Credits: Cigar Coop