Cigar Review: Swamp Thang

Cigar Review: Swamp Thang
Size: Robusto (5 x 54)
Wrapper: Barrel-Fermented Kentucky Fire-Cured (Top); Dominican Candela (Bottom)
Binder: Unknown
Filler: Unknown
Price: $8.29 MSRP
Samples were provided by the manufacturer

It’s been a long awhile since I have officially reviewed a Drew Estates cigar. So when the opportunity arose to check out the Swamp Thang, the memory of my review of their MUWAT Kentucky Fire-Cured returned to me. The Swamp Thang is unique in that it utilizes both the Kentucky Fire-Cured wrapper and a Candela wrapper, which in my mind is an unusual pairing. Their own press release highlights this:

“By pairing this deliciously sweet candela wrapper with the smoky & tasty Kentucky Fire Cured tobaccos, an eerie mystery has been revealed for a unique and powerful experience.”

No constructions issues were present in the review cigar. The Swamp Thang is definitely an attractive cigar, the candela wrapper almost having the appearance that a cigar was ‘dipped’ into a swamp. Pre-light aromas on the candela wrapper gave me floral and leathery notes while the Kentucky Fire-Cured portion gave me hickory and strong campfire notes. The cold draw was a mix of leather, hickory, and spice. I opted for a punch for this review, in part because we were cleaning the house and ended up finding this exact punch we lost some time ago.

The draw was balanced throughout the Swamp Thang’s smoking, giving initial flavor notes of a lighter, woody taste (thinking that is the candela wrapper), rich hickory from the Kentucky Fire-Cured wrapper, leather and spice that permeated the lips and tip of the tongue.To me, the cigar starts at the medium-to-full bodied in terms of strength; however, I found that nine minutes in that many of the flavors and strength mellowed. The mellowing was enough to tip the strength of the cigar down to the medium bodied range. While the hickory, leather and spice died down, the lighter wood and new leafy/earthy notes took over. By the halfway point, the wood notes began taking over the cigar and by the 50 minute mark, the strength of the cigar began creeping back up in a rather quick fashion. The last inch gave me heavy wood and hickory notes, very reminiscent of campfire aromas. This finished the cigar out with a total smoking time of 1:21.

I did encounter a few burn problems throughout the smoking of this cigar. It started out burning uneven, but then returned to an even burn to where the uneven portion of the Candela wrapper became marooned in ash. From there, I had several instances of correcting a burn. Those were the only problems I had with the Swamp Thang.

Prelight: 2/2
Construction: 1.5/2
Flavor: 4.5/5
Value: 1/1
Total: 9/10

To recap the Swamp Thang:

  • Drew Estates is right: This is a unique cigar. I enjoyed the interesting flavor profile from the pairing of Candela and Kentucky Fire Cured wrapper. If you are looking for a cigar that is vastly different from what everyone else is smoking, this is one to check out.
  • This cigar isn’t probably one I would share with new smokers as it is so different from most offerings in the market today. Still, I wouldn’t shy anyone away from this either.
  • Easily under $10 a cigar which is a positive in my book and priced appropriately for what you get.
  • I scored this and the MUWAT Kentucky Fire Cured the same at the end of the day. For my palette, I prefer the MUWAT Kentucky Fire Cured over the Swamp Thang by a small margin (because of the richer flavors) but I can say that I wouldn’t ever turn one of these down.
  • This is one I would love to sit around with my cigar-smoking friends to get their reactions to. A campfire and adult beverages may have to be part of the deal…

A big thank you to Drew Estates for the samples. And thank you very much for reading. I look forward to the next time I can share my thoughts with you.

Jon Siddle

Jon enjoyed his first premium cigar in 2004. Before becoming a founding member of Leaf Enthusiast, he contributed to Cigar Spy before becoming a regular on Tiki Bar Online. You can find him on Instagram at @jonsiddle.

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