Drew Estate Tabak Especial Robusto Oscuro: Coffee, cocoa and good company
When I first found out that the cigar of the month from Cigar Club London was going to be a Tabak Especial Robusto Oscuro – a infused stick from Drew Estate – my mind went straight back to the Acid Blondie that I had the misfortune of smoking back in early 2020.
I will admit to enjoying a few flavoured cigarillos back in my early days of smoking, but I soon realised the nuances of flavour to be found in the tobacco itself and swiftly moved on. When reading in to the tasting notes on this cigar, namely espresso coffee and chocolate, I thought I’d give it a go. After all, it couldn’t be any worse than the aforementioned Acid Blondie… could it?
The cigar was very well-wrapped in its cellophane and a ziplock bag, but even through the layers of packaging I was still getting aromas of sweet espresso. As a precaution, I decided to keep the Tabak Especial Robusto Oscuro in another ziplock bag near to, but not in my humidors so that I didn’t run the risk of tainting my other cigars whilst it lay in wait to be shared on Instagram Live with other members of Cigar Club London. That time came one Saturday afternoon in late February.
With my triple espresso coffee in hand I sat down to smoke and discuss the cigar with other club members on a live stream. One thing that had been discussed when the cigar first arrived was its raggy foot. Apparently this was to allow the smoker to taste the filler and binder before the wrapper started to burn so that you could better pick out the flavours at the start. I was very interested to see if this would be the case.
Sliding the Tabak Especial Robusto Oscuro out of all its protective wrapping I was almost overwhelmed by the intense nose of dark chocolate and coffee, especially on the foot. Whilst it is not uncommon to smell hints of chocolate and coffee from a maduro wrapper, these were not merely a feint smell. This was a full blown coffee shop working with freshly ground coffee beans and a super rich chocolate cake baking in the oven!
The cold draw was something to taste. Every year my mum makes a massive fruit cake at Christmas and slathers it in royal icing. I tend to leave most of the icing as it can get too sweet from my liking. The wrapper on the cigar tasted exactly like this icing sugar, complete with the egg white that turns it into royal icing. Needless to say it stopped me in my tracks and this saccharine flavour remained on my lips for the full duration of the smoke.
In fairness to the cigar, the first draws did have gentle hints of coffee, but these were only subtle. The retrohale was surprisingly not at all sugar-loaded. Notes of cardamom came through which gave a welcome relief from the overall sweetness of the Tabak Especial Robusto Oscuro. But what impressed me the most was the construction and smoke.
A beautiful white ash started to build up with a perfect edge on the wrapper that you might have thought had been drawn with a ruler. The smoke was chocolatey and voluminous with gentle ribbons trailing seductively from the foot. When the ash finally gave up hanging on and dropped in to my ashtray, I was left with a perfectly formed 1.5 inch ball with no crumble.
Towards the middle of the cigar I started to notice nuances of cedar and tobacco, but the wrapper really did just about all the talking and barely let any other flavours get a word in edgeways. In its final throes I finally got to properly taste the coffee and cocoa that I would have expected to be present throughout the Tabak Especial Robusto Oscuro. That being said I did smoke it down to the final inch before laying it to rest.
Drink wise, I paired it first with a good strong coffee and then a dark rum, but in hindsight I would probably go for a glass of Cynar over ice were I to smoke the Tabak Especial Robusto Oscuro again.
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Drew Estate Tabak Especial Robusto Oscuro Cigar Details
Drew Estate Tabak Especial Robusto Oscuro Review Summary
Somewhere in here there was a very nice cigar. For me the sweet wrapper took away from the flavour of the cigar but I couldn’t fault the construction, burn and beauty of the smoke.
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