The Jacobs Ladder cigar was launched last year by Southern Draw Cigars as part of a bevy of launches for the small Texas company. The cigar climbed our ladder of top 25 cigars to clock in at #7 for the year and my Stogie Press associate, Steve Ajhar, aptly described it as “smooth strength“, a description I certainly can agree with. So back in April, when Robert Holt and Southern Draw Cigars announced a lancero line extension for the Jacobs Ladder, I was all in with high exceptions having enjoyed other lanceros from the company.
A small refresher on the Jacobs Ladder by Southern Draw Cigars:
- Wrapper: Pennsylvania Broadleaf, Lancaster, USA
- Binder: Maduro, Ecuadorian
- Viso: Nicaraguan (confidential)
- Seco: Nicaraguan (confidential)
- Ligero: Nicaraguan Esteli, Jalapa
The Jacobs Ladder was originally launched in 3 vitolas
- Robusto – 5.5 x 54 (MSRP $9.50)
- Toro – 6 x 52 (MSRP $9.99)
- Gordo – 6.5 x 60 (MSRP $10.99)
The Jacobs Ladder Lancero was added this year, as part of the company’s IGNITE Charitable program. It is described as an exclusive box pressed format known as the TOP RUNG. It officially debuted at Casa de Montecristo coinciding with the Texas Cigar Festival, and as a limited exclusive release, it is now available in a number of Casa de Montecristo retail locations.
I received samples of this dark beauty from Robert Holt for the purpose of reviewing of on Stogie Press.
So let’s see how the Jacobs Ladder lancero stands up to its larger siblings and how it will fair in the Stogie Press, 2018 Battle of the Lanceros.
The Jacobs Ladder lancero, is a soft box pressed lancero that weighs in at 6.5 x 40. The cigar is slightly wider than a traditional lancero and slight shorter. The wrapper is dark and rustic looking yet smooth to the touch with minimal to no veins. Compared to the larger vitolas in the line it is definitely smoother. It is covered with a cedar sleeve like all vitolas in the Jacobs Ladder line and finished with a well applied twisted cap in addition to the characteristic Southern Draw closed.
The samples I received were prior to the launch of the IGNITE program so the bands on this were the same as those on the rest of the Jacobs Ladder line. The final release, available in the IGNITE program, have different bands as you can see in the press release here.
Once I removed the cedar sleeve, I ran the cigar across the nose and picked up a fermented earthy note with some cedar. It seems the lancero picked up more of the cedar from the outer sleeve than the other vitolas I reviewed. The foot was more akin to the other vitolas with notes of nutmeg and pepper with an added hint of dark chocolate.
I was going to bite the cap but decide to slice it with a double blade cutter. I proceeded to give it some cold draw puffs. The cold draw was restricted as one would expect from a closed foot and the notes were much like the larger vitolas with hints of earth and a buttery pepper. There was also a some cedar notes detected.
So far so good. It was time to hit the foot with the soft flame of the burning cedar from the sleeve and see how it performs.
Cigar Review Notes
- As expected I was hit with the strong peppery spice to start things off
- Pepper settled and the true flavor appears – espresso and cedar
- The draw is perfect and the solid ash is bordering on white, indicating a solid combustion
- The burn line is medium in thickness and even all around
- A chocolate brownie note enters to entice the palate
- The ash falls after a bit less than an inch and reveals a perfectly centered and well-formed burn cone
- Like the other vitolas there was a walnut note that mixed in with the chocolate
- Some dry leather enters in the second third
- Where the other vitolas had a medium smoke volume the lancero offered a full volume of smoke making it easy to puff on
- Spice and cut oak aromas waft off the foot
- There is a mouth-watering citrus starting to appear
- Distinct cinnamon notes complete the first half
- I was distracted slightly and it did need to be re-lit
- Strength starts to increase as does the pepper
- The burn line does get a minor wave in it
- Moving toward the final third, the cedar has faded while the pepper and chocolate build through the end
- Finishes as a full strength cigar
- Total Smoking time was 1 hour and 25 minutes
Overall, the Southern Draw Jacobs Ladder lancero was a fine example of a lancero. The burn was excellent from foot to nub and never needed to be touched up but it did need to be re-lit once. The flavors were pretty close to the other vitolas in the line with an added citrus component in the middle and a bit more chocolate. I did not pick up the mint that I found in the larger vitolas. At $9.99 per cigar I feel this is priced right and purchasing a jar helps a worthy charity (Cigars for Warriors).
From a rating perspective, this scored a solid 96 with the only points deducted for the need to re-light and I added a bonus point for being priced right as I would buy a jar of these – especially since it supports a fine charity.