For those that have met and know Robert Holt, owner of Southern Draw Cigars, you know he is a devoutly religious and caring person. In fact he is known as the Chief Evangelist of Southern Draw Cigars. So it is by no surprise that the latest creation coming from Southern Draw is the Rose of Sharon, named in honor of Robert’s wife Sharon. Robert stated:
“to celebrate “the Belle” of Southern Draw, Sharon Holt, whose calming hand, tireless devotion and personal touch have defined the culture of the Southern Draw brand.”
A duplicity in meaning with a center core of love and caring, the Rose of Sharon, dates back to biblical times, all the way back to King Solomon’s reign, where sometime between 971 and 931 BC he is attributed to writing the Song of Songs (Song of Solomon). It is at the start of this song that the verse “I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys.” is found.
Well, a rose by any other name would be still a rose, but in the case of Southern Draw Cigars the Rose of Sharon is an excellent cigar that certainly stands on its own and deserves to be shoulder to shoulder with the rest of the fine Southern Draw Cigars lineup.
The company describes the Rose of Sharon blend as:
- Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sun Grown Connecticut
- Binder: Nicaraguan
- Viso: Nicaraguan
- Seco: Nicaraguan
- Ligero: Piloto Cubano, Dominican
The Rose of Sharon is available in 3 vitolas, each packaged in 20 count boxes
- Robusto – 5.5 x 54 MSRP: $9.00
- Toro – 6 x 52 MSRP: $9.50
- Gordo – 6.5 x 60 MSRP $10.50
A special 2-count Petaca Case will also be available for the Toro with an MSRP of $25.00
I recently received samples of each vitola from Southern Draw Cigars, and this review is a compilation of the notes from smoking each one.
The first thing you will notice about the Rose of Sharon is the pink secondary band on the cigar. It declares this as the Rose of Sharon, written in gold ink. The pink color is aptly chosen as it honors his wife and the entry of spring. The primary band is the traditional Southern Draw band used also on the other lines. Moving past the bands, I am struck by the smooth and silky golden brown Ecuadorian wrapper. Each vitola is finished with a closed foot and well applied cap.
From an aroma perspective, there is distinct tobacco sweetness and hay aromas along the barrel and off the foot. In fact, you can pick up the aroma inches from your nose. I did note a hint of cocoa on the Gordo. Most definitely a fragrant cigar, even before lighting it up.
I cut the cap on the Gordo and the Robusto but used a punch on the Toro. Either way the cold draw offered a perfect draw with a touch of spice and white pepper.
After rolling it about and savoring the pre-light invitation flavors it was time to fire up the Rose.
Cigar Review Notes
It should be noted that the term Rose of Sharon has been applied to a number of plants, not just a rose, and since I do not have any rose bushes on my property, I chose to use my various blooms including my flowering Magnolia for some of the photos. The Magnolia is such a beautiful and fragrant flower and I think Sharon would appreciate the pictures.
- Pepper early in burn with a hint of nut
- Sweetness is hiding in the background
- Nicotine hit early, giving me the nicups – each vitola has the same effect
- Tight well-formed medium grey ash resting on a thick char line
- Sweet citrus breaks though after a half-inch of burn
- Smoke is solidly full with a creamy texture and palate filling
- Sweetnesss build through the first third
- Spicy fruit aroma
- Coffee bean pushes into the mix rounding out a delicious start to the journey
- A most interesting Apple Cinnamon note enters – I thought it was a fluke but it appeared again in the Gordo and the Robusto
- The tight ash held on through the first third on the Toro and Robusto, it fell a bit earlier on the Gordo.
- Decent burn cone is revealed
- Coffee builds as does the strength in the second third
- A cedar component wraps the flavors
- Long nut finish
- Very smooth smoke starting in second half
- Sweet almond entering
- Dark chocolate notes enter in the final third – you know that 85% kind or even baking chocolate
- Medium strength
- Total Smoking times:
- Robusto – about 1 hour
- Toro – 1 Hour and 20 Minutes
- Gordo – 1 hour and 40 minutes
Overall, the Southern Draw, Rose of Sharon, was a magnificent cigar with some unique flavors in the profile. The burn was perfect and trouble-free throughout. This certainly is a cigar I could smoke anytime of day, with its medium strength and full flavor. I am sure any cigar enthusiast would enjoy this. If you are looking for a Mother’s day gift for your smoking mom, check out the 2-count Petaca Case. Click this link for a list of Southern Draw retailers. Once again I would like to thank Robert, Sharon, and the Southern Draw Cigars team for the samples.
And Now This!
For those that have not read the Song of Songs, here it is, a beautiful set of verses that praises the glories and delights of love between a man and a woman, an element of God’s good creation. Note the reference to the apple tree in verse 3. Perhaps that was where the Apple Cinnamon note I was getting came from – Robert you amaze me!
I am a Rose of Sharon,
a lily of the valleys.
2 Like a lily among thorns
is my darling among the young women.
3 Like an apple tree among the trees of the forest
is my beloved among the young men.
I delight to sit in his shade,
and his fruit is sweet to my taste.
4 Let him lead me to the banquet hall,
and let his banner over me be love.
5 Strengthen me with raisins,
refresh me with apples,
for I am faint with love.
6 His left arm is under my head,
and his right arm embraces me.
7 Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you
by the gazelles and by the does of the field:
Do not arouse or awaken love
until it so desires.
8 Listen! My beloved!
Look! Here he comes,
leaping across the mountains,
bounding over the hills.
9 My beloved is like a gazelle or a young stag.
Look! There he stands behind our wall,
gazing through the windows,
peering through the lattice.
10 My beloved spoke and said to me,
“Arise, my darling,
my beautiful one, come with me.
11 See! The winter is past;
the rains are over and gone.
12 Flowers appear on the earth;
the season of singing has come,
the cooing of doves
is heard in our land.
13 The fig tree forms its early fruit;
the blossoming vines spread their fragrance.
Arise, come, my darling;
my beautiful one, come with me.”
14 My dove in the clefts of the rock,
in the hiding places on the mountainside,
show me your face,
let me hear your voice;
for your voice is sweet,
and your face is lovely.
15 Catch for us the foxes,
the little foxes
that ruin the vineyards,
our vineyards that are in bloom.
16 My beloved is mine and I am his;
he browses among the lilies.
17 Until the day breaks
and the shadows flee,
turn, my beloved,
and be like a gazelle
or like a young stag
on the rugged hills.