The year 2019 was an important milestone in the history of Drew Estate Cigars. It would mark 20 years since the company launched its ACID brand. ACID is the company’s line of infused cigars that essentially laid the foundation for the entire company for the next two decades. The company celebrated 2019 with a variety of ACID projects capped off with two special releases that launched at the 2019 IPCPR Trade Show. These releases included the ACID 20 and the ACID Kuba Arte. Both cigars pay homage to the 20th anniversary, but in particular, the ACID Kuba Arte pays homage to the roots of both the ACID brand and Drew Estate. Today we take a closer look at the ACID Kuba Arte.
ACID Kuba Arte is a limited edition release. The cigars come packaged in humidors designed as a water tower with graffiti art on it. The origins of Drew Estate trace back to the DUMBO section of Brooklyn, New York. It’s a neighborhood near the Brooklyn side of the Manhattan Bridge (which adorns Drew Estate’s logos to this day). The neighborhood is known for its graffiti art and water towers on the top of buildings. There were seven collectible humidors for ACID Kuba Arte featuring artwork from five New York graffiti artists (Chino, Doc, Scotch70, Queen Andrea, and Kers).
Without further ado, let’s break down the ACID Kuba Arte and see what this cigar brings to the table.
Blend and Origin
ACID Kuba Arte consists of an undisclosed Broadleaf wrapper over an Indonesian binder and Nicaraguan fillers. Par for the course with the ACID line, the Kuba Arte is an infused cigar. Also par for the course, the details of the infusion used on the Kuba Arte are not disclosed.
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Factory: La Gran Fabrica Drew Estate
ACID Kuba Arte comes in one size – a unique 5 13/16 x 54 torpedo. The cigars come packaged in the 20-count water tower humidors. As mentioned there are seven water tower humidors. A total of 1,750 sets of the seven water tower humidors were created. The blend to ACID Kuba Arte is the same for all seven of the water tower humidors.
The Broadleaf wrapper of the ACID Kuba Arte has a roasted espresso-bean color to it. There is a good amount of mottling on the surface on this wrapper along with a light coating of oil on it. There were some thin visible veins and thin visible wrapper seams. The torpedo vitola has a moderate taper toward the tip.
There are actually two bands on the ACID Kuba Arte with one band placed under the other. The lower band consists of a graffiti art design of bright colors. Sitting over the band is a black band with silver trim. The center of that band is a silver-colored water tower. To the left of the tower is the text “HECHO A MANO.”.The right side consists of the text “ACID” in a font reminiscent of a spray can art. Just below that is the text “KUBA ARTE” also in silver font.
Using my Credo Special T cutter with the 36 ring gauge hole, I placed a straight cut into the ACID Kuba Arte to remove the tip. Utilizing a cutter with a small ring gauge allowed for taking advantage of the tapering of the cigar and smoking it with a smaller surface area. After removing the tip, it was on to the pre-light draw. The cold draw delivered notes of licorice and sugar (from the sweetened tip). While it was a sweeter-flavored pre-light draw than I prefer, it still was a satisfactory one. At this point, it was time to light up the ACID Kuba Arte and see what this cigar brings to the table.
The ACID Kuba Arte started out with more notes of licorice and sugar. The sugar component was a residual effect of the sweetened tip and subsided rather quickly. The licorice moved into the forefront and became a primary note. A chocolate note emerged at the forefront with the licorice. Meanwhile, a natural tobacco note and a slight herbal spice emerged in the background.
Later in the first third, the chocolate morphed into a coffee note. The coffee along with the licorice notes remained in the forefront. As the ACID Kuba Arte moved through the second third, the residual sweetness from the sweet cap dissipated. Meanwhile, the herbal spice notes slowly increased in intensity -, particularly past the midway point. By the end of the second third, the herbal spice had moved into the forefront. Meanwhile, the natural tobacco notes remained in the background.
By the last third, the herbal spice notes began to have a slight edge over the coffee and licorice. There were still notes of natural tobacco present in the background. One distinguishing characteristic during this part of the smoke is that there was a bitter component from the coffee that was more dominant than during the first two thirds of Kuba Arte. As the cigar experience of the Kuba Arte came to a close, the cigar had a nub was soft to the touch and cool in temperature.
In terms of the burn of the ACID Kuba Arte, this was a burn that wanted to meander from time to time. This was rectified with some touch-ups along the way, and this seemed to do the trick. The resulting ash was light gray skewed toward the firmer side. The burn temperature was ideal, but this cigar did seem to burn a little fast (average smoking time was 52 minutes).
The faster burn rate could be attributed to a draw that was definitely on the open side. For the most part, I was able to control the combustion of the cigar, but this cigar seemed to want to smoke fast. Meanwhile, this was a cigar that produced abundant layers of smoke.
Strength and Body
The ACID Kuba Arte is not going to be a cigar to deliver a nicotine kick. This is a cigar that is mild in strength for the first two thirds, and crosses into mild to medium territory for the last third. In terms of the flavors, the Kuba Arte falls in the mild to medium-bodied range. Like the strength, the body kicks up a notch in the last third and moves into medium territory.
In terms of strength versus body, the body maintained the edge with this cigar.
One ancillary note before summing up the cigar experience. The Water Tower Humidor really works and maintains an ideal humidity I’ve had a Boveda pack in there for nearly four months and it still doesn’t need changing.
This review is at the 1981st one on Cigar Coop, but as far as infused cigar reviews I believe this is only our second one. It also is definitely the first ACID review. Cigar Coop has not avoided infused reviews, but at the same time, it’s not our focus. That being said, the ACID Kuba Arte certainly had a lot of buzz and thus it’s being reviewed today. I’ve seen a couple of cigar sites say they use a different methodology with infused cigars than with traditional cigars. There is no such thing here on Cigar Coop as an infused cigar is scored the same way as a traditional one. Typically infused cigars don’t score well in the areas of complexity and balance. Surprisingly, there was a decent amount of complexity to this cigar. As for balance, it was a different story. It wasn’t so much that the infusion took over the flavor profile, but this cigar got bitter in the second half – and simply detracted the overall experience.
I’m not adverse to smoking an infused cigar – and there are some that I really like. This one isn’t a bad cigar, but it might be one you try first before picking it up.
Key Flavors: Coffee, Chocolate, Licorice, Natural Tobacco, Herbal Spice, Sugar (Cap)
Burn: Very Good
Strength: Mild (1st 2/3), Mild to Medium (Final Third)
Body: Mild to Medium (1st 2/3), Medium (Final Third)
Value: Try a Sample
News: Drew Estate to Launch ACID Kuba Arte at 2019 IPCPR
Source: Drew Estate
Brand Reference: ACID
Photo Credits: Cigar Coop, except where noted.