Cigar Review: Southern Draw Jacob’s Ladder Toro

Cigar Review: Southern Draw Jacob’s Ladder Toro

Southern Draw Cigars
Wrapper: USA (Pennsylvania Broadleaf)
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Size: 6” x 52
Strength: full bodied
Price: $9.99

Overall Rating: 9.4

Southern Draw Cigars has been making some great cigars over the past few years, including the Kudzu and Rose of Sharon, but now this veteran owned boutique brand’s newest cigar may be its best. Featuring a Pennsylvania Broadleaf wrapper from Lancaster County, the Southern Draw Jacobs Ladder pay tribute to owner Robert Holt’s son Jacob, while keeping with the flowering plants theme among the core line of cigars. This full bodied cigar is sure to be one of the company’s most sought after cigars.

Pre-Light: The Jacob’s Ladder is both recognizably Southern Draw and something new and special. Featuring a blue and gold Southern Draw band and secondary band with the cigar’s name on it. There’s a piece of cedar surrounding the cigar from the secondary band down. Underneath the cedar, a dark coffee bean colored Pennsylvania Broadleaf wrapper sets off the the blue and gold bands nicely. Like many other Southern Draw cigars, the foot of the Jacob’s Ladder is covered. All in all, the Southern Draw Jacob’s Ladder Toro is a great looking cigar.

There is a great earthy aroma, along with hints of coffee, cedar and cocoa to the Broadleaf wrapper of the Southern Draw Jacob’s Ladder. Since the foot of the cigar is covered, the scents from that part of the cigar are the same as from the rest of the wrapper. The slightly firm pre-light draw allows through notes of cocoa, coffee, black pepper and earthiness.

Burn: From start to finish the Southern Draw Jacob’s Ladder is an even burning cigar. A bright white ash clings firmly to the end of the cigar, and only falls off when tapped against the side of an ashtray. Like all Southern Draw Cigars, the draw on the Jacob’s Ladder is near perfect and allows through a good deal of flavorful smoke.

Flavor: Right from the start the Southern Draw Jacob’s Ladder delivers a smooth mix coffee, rich dark chocolate and earthiness. The cigar begins very smooth with surprisingly little black pepper at the start of the Jacob’s Ladder. As the first third gets going a bit of cedar and mild pepper begin to join the notes of coffee, dark chocolate and earthiness. There’s a slight sweetness to the flavor profile of the Jacob’s Ladder. As the cigar begins to burn into the second third, cedar and black pepper begin to slowly build. Dark chocolate is at the front of the flavor profile while coffee, earthiness, cedar and black pepper blend nicely in the background. There is a wonderful interplay of flavors in the profile. On the retrohale there is a mix of cocoa and pepper. During the transition to the final third, the coffee flavors come to the forefront of the flavor profile, while mingling with still present notes of chocolate, earth and black pepper. Toward the end of the final third of the Jacob’s Ladder the earthiness becomes more prevalent, but never overpowers the coffee, chocolate and pepper flavors.

Overall: There are few things I enjoy more than a great Broadleaf cigar, and the Southern Draw Jacob’s Ladder is definitely a great Broadleaf cigar. The Jacob’s Ladder is made at AJ Fernandez’s factory in Nicaragua, and few people are better at working with Lancaster, Pennsylvania Broadleaf than AJ Fernandez. Dark chocolate, coffee, earth, cedar and black pepper make for a well rounded flavor profile, with a fair amount of interplay between flavors. While the smoothness of the cigar masks some of the strength, the Jacob’s Ladder is a cigar where the strength can creep up on you a bit, making it best enjoyed after a good meal. The Southern Draw Jacob’s Ladder is a great full bodied cigar for the seasoned cigar enthusiast. Having tried the Jacob’s Ladder in each vitola, the Toro is the one that makes for the best overall smoking experience. Personally, I really enjoyed the Southern Draw Jacob’s Ladder, and would highly recommend it to those who like full bodied Broadleaf cigars. This may be my favorite Southern Draw cigar yet.

Pairing: The Southern Draw pairs very well with a good bourbon. I recommend the Colonel E.H. Taylor Small Batch or Hudson Small Batch Baby Bourbon. The scotch drinker will find that a Highland single malt such as a Dalmore 15.

Reviewed by Jonathan David (@toastedfoot)