At the 2016 IPCPR, Caldwell Cigars and Drew Estate announced a collaboration between Robert Caldwell, Willy Herrera, and Jonathon Drew. That collaboration would be known as the All Out Kings blend. There were limited pre-release samples at the show, but I was not lucky enough to have received one. In fact Willy Herrera, the master blender for Drew Estate felt the cigars needed more time in the aging room before they would be publicly released. The official release date was pushed out to March of 2017 and I commend Willy, Robert, and Jonathon for having the patience to hold back shipment until the cigars were properly matured.
My fellow Stogie Press associate, Alton Otto, presented me an All Out Kings Foreverlast at our monthly meeting last night. I chose to not smoke it then, but it did not last more than 12 hours in my humidor as I decided to fire it up today as my first cigar of the day. I wanted to have a clean palate for this experience, as the All Out Kings was one of the most anticipated cigars of the year and it certainly deserved a proper review.
Some background on the All Out Kings
The All Out Kings (AOK) is available in 4 vitolas and packaged in 20 count boxes.
- Smash (5 x 52) MSRP $14.00
- Gimme your Lunch Money (5 ¾ x 46) MSRP $12.50
- Foreverlast (6 ½ x 54) MSRP $14.90
- The Fourth Pose (6 x 54) MSRP $15.80
As you can see the costs of the All Out Kings are not cheap.
According to the Drew Estate press release:
Jonathan Drew from his Wynwood, Miami Safe House stated, “Collaboration with Caldwell and Willy was super fresh. It was great to watch the magic come together from each of the crews . There is a lot of creativity birthed into ALL OUT KINGS, which will resonate from the cigar taste profile to the imagery that smashes the expected. This is an extended family collaborative that knows how to get down.”
Robert Caldwell noted:
“People have been asking me for years when I was planning to release a Nicaraguan cigar. When John started kicking around ideas with me, I knew it was our time to let the ball roll in Nicaragua. It is a great compliment to our company to be able to work together with Drew and Willie and the Swag Cave Crew on this special project.”
The blend of the All Out Kings is described as:
- Wrapper – Connecticut Stalk Cut and Sun Cured Habano
- Binder – Indonesia Sumatra
- Filler – Jalapa Viso, Esteli Viso, Dominican C-98 Seco, and Connecticut Broadleaf Ligero
The tobaccos used in the blend are from La Gran Fabrica Drew Estate in Esteli.
Willy Herrera explained his experience working with Robert Caldwell:
“Working with Caldwell was challenging because he is very specific on what he likes and does not like with a maduro blend. Creating a cigar that he could enjoy while still staying true and giving it my signature spice was a delicate balance that I looked for in our numerous blending sessions at Joya and Drew.”
The All Out Kings is draped with a heavily mottled, dark brown, lightly veined, wrapper that has a slight sheen to it. It has a sweet nut and fruit aroma on the foot and a well fermented sweetness along the shaft. It has a simple cap with a with a wide border that makes cutting it easy. The draw is a bit restricted with a hint of earth and pepper that evolves as you roll it about before lighting.
The All Out Kings is adorned with copper and grey band that has a copper crown in the center with three fists punching the crown. The words All Out Kings are printed to the left of the crown.
For this review I sampled the All Out Kings Foreverlast vitola
Cigar Review Notes
- Initial puffs offer spice and a note I can’t place – Willy you have me stumped!
- Pleasant volume of smoke
- Malt enters
- Bright white ash
- The malt sweetens after the first inch with a lingering spice on the lips
- Aroma has notes of spice and subtle sweet caramel
- If you are familiar with the Drew Estate Liga T52 you will recognize the continuous billowing of smoke off the foot
- Burn is perfect so far – ash falls after inch and half with a well centered burn cone
- Fairly thick char line with some oils showing
- Cedar enters blending well with the spice and sweetness
- Burn gets a bit wavy in the second third. I am trying to figure the puff rate to get the heat to burn the hearty wrapper
- Creamy smoke jsut keeps pouring out of this
- Citrus, spice, and a dry leather notes play well togeather through the second third
- Strength is medium plus at the half way point
- Aroma shifts to a toasted oak/vanilla
- Burn corrects without a touch up
- Sweetness continues to evolve
- Spice increases at the end of second third and the aroma further morphs into a Cubanesque floral
- Final brings notes of citrus and light pepper
- Medium Plus in Strength
- Total Smoking Time was 1 hour and 40 minutes to the nub
Overall, the patient collaboration between Caldwell Cigars and Drew Estate on the All Out Kings has created an excellent cigar that was pleasing with flavor and aroma. The only issue I had, was the intermediate burn issue with the wave that eventually corrected itself. The All Out Kings is a pricey smoke but it delivered a slow hour and 40 minutes of pleasure so I would say the price may be justified. I would certainly recommend the All Out Kings and I would like to try some of the other vitolas in the line up. Since this is a 2017 release, it is a contender for the Stogie Press top 25 cigars of the year.