Back in June of this year, Drew Estate announced the 2020 return of the limited edition “Brothers of the Leaf (B.O.T.L.) – Brown Label” cigar as a Brick & Mortar exclusive for Drew Diplomat retailers. The BOTL cigar platform was originally created in 2012 to pay homage to the brothers and sisters of premium cigar culture and passion, those with extreme knowledge and true fellowship of premium leaf. The line was shelved since 2013, and was re-introduced in 2019.
This year, 2020, you know the year – where anything can and seems to happen, Drew Estate introduced the latest incarnation of the BOTL. Well, it is the same as the 2019 incarnation, and like 2019, it is a limited production cigar, but the company is not saying how limited.
The blend is descibred as:
- Wrapper – Connecticut Broadleaf
- Binder – Ecuadorian Connecticut
- Filler – Northern Nicaragua
As in 2019, it is expressed in three “aficionado” vitolas and are packaged in 15-count wooden boxes:
- Corona (5 x 44) MSRP $8.93/cigar
- Corona Gorda (6 x 46) MSRP $9.60/cigar
- Lancero (7 x 38) MSRP $10.26/cigar
For this review, I sampled two Drew Estate B.O.T.L. lanceros.
The Drew Estate B.O.T.L lancero, is a beautiful looking cigar with its rich and oily dark brown wrapper that is silky smooth to the touch and interestingly light on blemishes, considering it is a broadleaf. There is practically no noticeable veins. It feels solidly packed, with no soft spots detected and it is nicely capped. The only thing that would make this even more special is if it had a traditional twist cap to finish it.
The cigar is adorned with a single brown and gold band that has an exposed translucent top and bottom. The acronym “BOTL” is printed in gold in the center with the phrase “Brothers Of The Leaf” printed in gold below it. The back of the band displays the Drew Estate bridge logo.
As I ran the barrel along the nose, I did not pick up much pre-light aroma, but the foot exuded a pungent fermented leaf note with a hint of spice.
I used my double blade Xikar cutter to slice the cap straight and proceeded to take some long cold draw puffs. I say long, because the notes were developing nicely through the perfectly restricted draw, starting with a natural sweetness that grew the more your puffed on it and eventually adding a gentle peppery spice. Tasty indeed!!
With all the pre-light exams out of the way, I moved to warm the foot with with my single flame torch, bringing the foot to an even orange glow as I drew in a heavy dose of white pepper that awoken the nasals. Follow along as I burn the BOTL to ash.
Cigar Review Notes
- Initial puffs greet the palate with a white pepper shot
- Woody notes and natural tobacco sweetness join the profile as the pepper slowly recedes
- Light grey ash forms on a well behaved, thin char line
- Baking spice aroma wafts off the foot filling the air around me
- Full volume of mouth filling tasty smoke
- Ash fell in a small chunk revealing a flat burn cone
- Like the best ligas Drew Estate offers, the smoke billowed off the foot keeping the burn even
- Sweet cedar notes enter and the aroma shifted to a cocoa butter scent
- Mild spice enters moving through the second third
- Medium strength
- The spice is joined with a delicious vanilla cream note through the final third
- Strength ends at medium-full
- Total Smoking Time was 1 hour and 50 minutes to the nub
Overall, the Drew Estate 2020 BOTL Lancero was an elegant and pleasurable smoking experience from foot to nub. The almost two hour journey was filled with well balanced flavors and shifting aromas that kept the palate intrigued. Designed for aficionados is certainly an apt description of this gem. This is most definitely a box buy and let some age a little. I rate this a solid 96.
Point Deductions: (-1) Flat Burn Cone
Bonus Points: (+1) Buy a Box; (+1) Straight Burn Line; (+1) Positive experience is the same through multiple samples