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Cigar Review – Metallica S84 Shade to Black by Drew Estates

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Cigar Review – Metallica S84 Shade to Black by Drew Estates


Brand: Drew Estates
Vitola: Robusto 5 x 50
Filler: Nicaraguan Maduro and Pennsylvania Broadleaf Maduro
Wrapper: Connecticut ShadeBinder: Connecticut River Valley Maduro
Smoking Time:  49 minutes
Body: Medium
Flavor: Medium
Price: $11.99

What Makes it Special:

Jonathan Drew, Founder and President of Drew Estate exclaims, “I just walked inside our humidor here at headquarters and viewed the new white Blackened box sitting alongside the original black Maduro. All I can say is ‘WOW!!’ It’s so in your face, I love it. The new S84 Shade to Black is a must-try for any Connecticut Shade smoker. It’s like a deep, dark, rich Connecticut that’s smooth as silky velvet, plush with triple plushness. Rob Dietrich, Blackened’s Master Distiller, has been one of my best friends for almost 15 years. He brought Hetfield into the mix and I brought Willy and the DE brand team. This project is dope. We’re having fun with it.”

I couldn’t have said it better, so I queued up some Ride the Lightening (1984’s release) and away we go:

Visual/Prelight Draw:

A very smooth almost but not quite oily shade wrapper gives nothing much but partially green drying hay and some honey, but a sniff at the foot gives a dark oily earth belying the rollercoaster ride we’re about to go on.

First Third:

My first puffs after an easy light give hay, white pepper, and the mild but dark fruity sweetness of dates. The latter comes from all that Maduro, with spice leftover from the broad leaves. The ash holds quite well here up to an inch with no problem. Getting well into the first third the retro hale adds some saltiness and coffee notes.

Second Third:

Moving into the middle third the white pepper stands out with an oily almost cashew nuttiness on the retro. The room aroma is white pepper and salt and, despite the large amount of smoke, dissipates quickly. As we get to the dead middle of the stick I get a flavor combination almost like buttered noodles with white pepper. A very interesting combo though short-lived as this complex cigar moves on. The burn is almost razor-straight and never requires any attention.

Final Third:

Rounding the corner to the final third the white pepper is a bit more muted and the hay comes back from the start, with a gentle honey flavor on the retro-hale along with that hint of salt. The smoke production remains high and there’s just enough pepper to keep the edge of your tongue tingling. Also, I’ve noticed I haven’t required a drink at all, which is always a sign of a well-balanced cigar in my opinion.


Well, I have to give the caveat that I don’t smoke many Conneticuts by choice, but this may be the closest to what I would design. It gives memories of the EP Carillo New Wave Connecticut, but with the Maduro undertones much more subdued for the most part, almost like a new level of refinement on the same idea. At 5×50 for the Robusto for essentially a dozen bones I am surprised they didn’t just give me another half inch or more and make it a toro for that price, so I have to say while a decent value for a Connecticut with all the above components, I wouldn’t fault you for thinking there could be more value there. Whether you’re a conny smoker or not this one can be paired with coffee, flavored iced teas, IPAs or flavored Wheat beers, and delicate Rye whiskeys with ease, perfect for the coming summer months, and with such a mild aroma may also have a good home at your next guys’ poker night where stronger aromas may offend in the tighter company.

Final score: All this considered and with the excellent construction I’ve scored this one at a 93!



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