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ThirstyinOhio

Cigar Safari

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ThirstyinOhio

I recently got back from Drew Estate's Cigar Safari. For those who don't know what it is, it is a 3 day trip to Esteli, Nicaragua hosted by Drew Estates where they teach you everything you could possibly want about making cigars. This trip is an all inclusive drink eat, drink (no bourbon so if you go bring your own), and smoke adventure.

On day one they pick up the entire group, limited to 15 people per safari, from Managua. As soon as you got on the bus, top of the line Drew Estate cigars were passed around along with beer. A half hour later we stopped at a great steak house for lunch and to introduce ourselves to each other. After lunch it was back on the bus and more cigars and beer for the 2.5 hour ride and to Drew Estates in Esteli. Once we arrived and shown to our rooms we were given a tour of the grounds and given the rest of the day to smoke cigars, drink, relax, and recover from the flights in.

The second day after breakfast we went out to a tobacco plantation and learned everything about growing and harvesting tobacco from the seeds all the way to harvesting and curing the tobacco in curing barns. After lunch we went to the Joya cigar factory and were given a step by step tour of production from how the age, select, blend, and roll their cigars. Then we had a blend your own cigar session and then back to Drew Estates for dinner and relaxation.

The third day we toured Drew Estates massive factory complex in similar fashion to Joya's but with even more detail including smoking fresh Liga Privada's from the rolling floor capped off with a blend your own cigar session that with a huge variety of tobacco leaves to choose from compared to Joya's. We also toured Drew Estate's Subculture art studios where some guys, including my brother in law, decided to get tattoos. The night was capped off with them brining in a band who played 80's rock music. They couldn't speak a word of English, but could sing and play pretty damn good.

The next day we all packed up bright and early and hopped back on the bus for the 2.5 hour bus ride back to the airport and headed back home.

The whole thing reminded me of the Kentucky Bourbon trail except with even more information and in depth look at the industry. It was done very well and our guides were fantastic. If you ever get the chance and you love cigars, I highly recommend you go. I'm not a heavy cigar smoker and normally have one or two a week at most (and even less during the winter), but I ended up smoking damn near 30 over the 3 days. The only down side is that I didn't get to try the Pappy Van Wink cigars because they were not ready, but from reviews that I've read, I didn't really miss out on much.

Edited by ThirstyinOhio

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BourbonJoe

Sounded like a great time. I would like to do this trip sometime.

Joe

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smokinjoe

That does sound really cool. How were the lodging accommodations at DE? What's ballpark cost for the trip? Would you go again?

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greatgoo

Very cool. Patrick told me you went on this trip. I love the Liga Privada line.

After spending that much time at Drew Estate, what is your favorite cigar that they produce?

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ThirstyinOhio

My favorite Drew Estate (and favorite cigar of all time for that matter) is the Liga Privada No 9. The others in the LP line are good too, the dirty rat, velvet rat, T52, UF-13, and so on, but the No. 9 is what stands out above all others. For non D.E cigars, it would be a Monte Cristo #2. Its way different than a No. 9 but I just love how smooth it is.

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ThirstyinOhio
That does sound really cool. How were the lodging accommodations at DE? What's ballpark cost for the trip? Would you go again?

Some people had to share a room with one other but I and 4 other guys had our own rooms, but we did have to share a bathroom (one bathroom for 2 people). You stayed right on the Drew Estate grounds and had access to the swimming pool and lounge area (which was constantly stocked with cigars) so you never felt like you crammed all together. The safari itself was about $650 which included accommodations, all food (including the restaurant), cigars, and booze/beverages, . The costly part was the airfare which was about $1400, but we went first class so that added to the price.

Would I do it again? Probably in a few years. There was a guy on our trip who had gone 4 out of the last 5 years so he obviously enjoys it.

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oke&coke

Sounds like a really good time.

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smokinjoe

Thanks, TIO. Price sounds very good, too. I have to say, I would like to do that.

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ModestGlutton

That sounded like it was a great trip. Hope to make the voyage out there one day. Though I don't smoke that much anymore I would just be filling my pockets up and trying to smuggle as much as I could back to my humidor.

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