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Staff Reviews

Southern Draw Jacob's Ladder Brimstone Staff Review

Zack D. D's picture

Zack D.

I’m smoking a Southern Draw cigar called Jabob’s Ladder Brimstone, which is a heartier version of the original Jacob’s Ladder release. I’m firing up Brimstone in a 6-by-56 Perfecto, one of a couple of small-batch sizes the company produces annually in this blend. Southern Draw cigars are blended by AJ Fernandez, and they’re handmade at his factory in Estelí, Nicaragua.

I was looking for a sweet but strong cigar to smoke after a big barbecue. In my earlier review of the original Southern Draw Jacob’s Ladder, I enjoyed a bold mix of malty and peppery tasting notes. I’m expecting Jacob’s Ladder Brimstone to offer a similar but spicier profile. The main differences between the two cigars have to do with the tobacco on the inside. Both blends are finished in a dark and oily Pennsylvania Broadleaf wrapper, but in Brimstone a robust American-grown binder replaces the Ecuador Maduro binder used in the original blend. In Brimstone you’ll also find Dominican Ligero tobacco blended with the original’s Nicaraguan long-fillers, which add more zest to the cigar’s taste.

Southern Draw Jacob’s Ladder Brimstone is a nice-looking cigar. The bottom half is covered in a cedar sleeve while a pair of purplish-blue cigar bands, with gold lettering, adorn the top. After slipping a meticulously crafted Perfecto from its cellophane, fresh out of a new box, strong aromas of cedar, earth, and damp coffee grounds fill my nostrils. The wrapper is dark and rugged in appearance, a common look for Pennsylvania Broadleaf.

The foot and the head of the cigar taper. A gentle squeeze between my fingers reveals an even density of tobacco throughout the shape. Generally, the most talented rollers at a cigar factory roll Figurados, like this Perfecto, because assembling long-filler tobaccos in a non-symmetrical shape takes more skill.

The very tip of the cigar’s foot is open, and that’s the only part you have to ignite when you’re lighting a Perfecto cigar. The draw will be tighter at first but that’s intentional. You mostly taste the wrapper leaf in the first few minutes of smoking a Perfecto too. The Pennsylvania Broadleaf on Brimstone offers peppery and charry notes of dark fruit and espresso the second I toast it and start drawing. Due to the way Perfectos are shaped, the intensity of the cigar shifts from the beginning to the end because the ratio between the binder, filler, and wrapper tobaccos continually changes.

There is a touch of mineral and white pepper as the binder and filler tobaccos fully ignite with the wrapper. Jacob’s Ladder Brimstone becomes bitter momentarily, but luckily the effect is short-lived. Creamy and peppery notes of mesquite, dark chocolate, raisin, and wood stimulate my taste buds over a meaty foundation. Despite the cigar’s spicy tendency, its texture is reminiscent of fresh bread. Hints of nutmeg and molasses remind me of the original Jacob’s Ladder cigar as I smoke past the middle section and the ring gauge of this bulbous Perfecto begins to narrow.

Jacob’s Ladder Brimstone becomes more intense at the end. Malted chocolate notes offer balance alongside the cigar’s spicy, leathery profile. The finish is long, earthy, and full-bodied. I wish its meatier flavors were more pronounced, but it’s a solid smoke from Southern Draw overall. Considering the company produces a limited number of cigars in this blend annually, I recommend smoking one when they’re in stock. You won’t be disappointed.


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