Agile Cigar Reviews are cigar assessments where we use a lightweight, shorter format. These will never take the place of our comprehensive reviews. They are only used on blends we have previously assessed. This might be a blend we are rescoring or giving a score for the first time. It also might be a blend we are looking at in a different size. Today we look at Southern Draw’s Kudzu Lustrum in the Lonsdale size. This is a cigar we previously assessed in the Box-Pressed Belicoso Fino size back in March 2020.
Wrapper: Medio Tiempo Nicaraguan Habano
Binder: Nicaraguan (Ometepe)
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Factory: Tabacalera AJ Fernandez
Lonsdale: 6 x 44
In 2019, Southern Draw Cigars released a limited edition line to commemorate five years in business and called it the Southern Draw Kudzu Lustrum. For this release, Southern Draw Cigars created an offshoot line from one of its original releases, the Southern Draw Kudzu. It’s a blend that is completely different from the original Kudzu highlighted by a high priming Medio Tiempo Nicaraguan Habano wrapper The Kudzu Lustrum was released in two sizes: Belicoso Fino (nationwide) and Toro (for JR Cigar and Casa de Montecristo). Originally we were told that Lustrum was planned as a one-and-done release, but it turns out there was some remaining wrapper still around. As a result, the company would use some remaining wrapper leaves to roll a third size – a 6 x 44 box-pressed Lonsdale. That release would hit the stores in 2021. Today we take a closer look at the Southern Draw Kudzu Lustrum Lonsdale.
One big difference between the Kudzu and Kudzu Lustrum is the Lustrum features 100% Nicaraguan tobacco. In addition to the Medio Tiempo wrapper, the Lustrum features an Ometepe binder. The Ometepe binder is something that the Kudzu and Kudzu Lustrum share in common. As with all Southern Draw Cigars, production is handled by Tabacalera AJ Fernandez in Estelí, Nicaragua. The Lonsdale size was made available in 12-count boxes. At the time the Lustrum Lonsdale was released, the company said it had a production of 15,000 cigars.
The Southern Draw Kudzu Lustrum delivered notes of wood, cedar, coffee, earth, and natural tobacco sweetness. Early on the coffee and wood became primary, and later in the first third, the wood notes became primary. The retro-hale delivered a layer of white pepper. Toward the end of the first third, some white pepper notes also surfaced on the tongue. The white pepper gradually increased in intensity during the second third. The natural tobacco notes which provided some sweetness diminished in intensity. By the final third the wood notes were still primary with the pepper notes a close secondary note. There were still notes of cedar, coffee, earth, and natural tobacco present. The cigar experience finished with a soft, cool nub.
The flavors delivered were medium to full-bodied countered by medium to full strength. During the smoking experience, there wasn’t much variance in the intensity levels. The body maintained a slight edge over the strength. The draw had a touch of resistance – which is something I appreciate on a box-pressed cigar. As for the burn, while it maintained a straight burn line and straight burn path, it needed a frequent amount of touch-ups.
The question many will have is, how does the Southern Draw Kudzu Lustrum Lonsdale stack up to the Belicoso Fino. The Belicoso Fino was a fantastic cigar. The Lonsdale was good, but It simply wasn’t at the level of the Belicoso Fino. Ultimately flavor is going to be the most important attribute. The flavors of the first half definitely outshined the flavors of the second half. Ultimately, this is a cigar I still would recommend one try a sample of first before purchasing. This might be a tougher cigar to find, but personally, I would really like to see the Belicoso Fino return as opposed to another run of the Lonsdale
Key Flavors: Wood, Coffee, Natural Tobacco, Cedar, Earth, White Pepper
Burn: Very Good
Complexity: Medium Plus
Strength: Medium to Full
Body: Medium to Full
Finish: Very Good
Value: Try a Sample
Photo Credits: Cigar Coop