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ACID Cigars: A Cult of Personality
According to Perelman’s Pocket Cyclopedia of Cigars, “The creative force behind this brand is Scott “Acid” Chester (see this week’s featured video) who brings his flair for industrial design to the artisanal product and the endlessly inventive mind of Jonathan Drew on the blending side.” You could even say that ACID cigars are the “bread & butter” of Drew Estate Cigars; for without the worldwide success of ACID, Drew Estate would not have been able to produce its critically-acclaimed “traditionally-blended” cigars like their Liga Privada selections.
One of the biggest misconceptions about ACID cigars is that they are flavored. During a recent interview I did with Jonathan Drew I asked him about this. His response was both surprising and educational:
“We have always been ‘traditional’ cigar smokers, as well as ‘infused,'” said Jonathan. “However, we are not ‘flavored’ cigar blenders. Premium cigars come in two distinct classes: ‘Premium Traditional,’ and ‘Premium Infused.’ Both are premium, and that’s what you have to keep in mind.”
That said, a lot of “traditional” cigar smokers tend to avoid ACID cigars, while generally speaking, a great many cigar smokers smoke both Premium Traditional and Premium Infused cigars. The difference between flavored cigars and infused cigars is, the tobaccos in flavored cigars are literally flavored with natural extracts and/or artificial flavors like vanilla, cherry, rum, grape, etc. Premium Infused cigars are made with tobaccos which have been infused with herbal and botanical essences. Therefore, when you smoke an ACID cigar, you don’t taste flavors, you savor the aromas, which rarely, if ever, go unnoticed, and usually receive compliments. Moreover, unlike some flavored cigars, ACID cigars are handmade with prime longfiller tobaccos and high-grade wrappers.
Even cigar smokers who don’t smoke ACID, or those who only smoke cigars occasionally seem to know them. Just the other day I was in a music store and I handed the manager my card. His eyes widened so I asked him if he was a cigar smoker. He said his brother was into cigars; as for himself, he only smoked every so often, but when he did, he liked to smoke ACID cigars.
Another misconception is that ACIDs are typically smoked by college students, younger adults and women. The truth is, there is no “typical profile” of the ACID cigar smoker; the cigars’ popularity spans practically every demographic.
“Drew Estate cigar smokers [in general] seem to be anything but typical,” says Jonathan. “We are generally a wiley bunch. But if there were a ‘profile’ of some sort, the elements of a cigar that would be important to them would be, 1) a perfect draw every time, 2) a ‘full-taste experience,’ 3) a great ‘nose,’ and finally, a consistent cigar year after year.”
Whether or not you’re a “traditional” cigar smoker, an ACID cigar is worth trying at least once, if only because they are so dissimilar from what cigar smokers typically smoke. You might want to start with the most popular vitolas like a “Kuba Kuba,” “Blondie,” “1400cc,” “Cold Infusion Tea,” “Extra Ordinary Larry,” or “Toast.” If rich, complex tobacco flavor and aroma, especially aroma, are among the key attributes that draw you to certain cigars, there’s no reason not to smoke ACID. It’s all in there. Sure, they’re not for everybody, but to the cigar lover who regularly smokes ACID cigars, there’s an added cult-like bond that goes beyond just being another “brother of the leaf.”