If you've been in the cigar game for a minute or two, then you likely have come across the acronym BOTL. It stands for Brothers Of The Leaf. There are also other variations like SOTL and FOTL for "sisters" & "family". One of the fist online forums regarding cigars was BOTL.org and Drew Estate has been an active member since the beginning. They developed the BOTL blend back in 2012 and has been a limited edition line since. The day I smoked this cigar for the review, I received a package from a BOTL. He had sent me a giant bag of bands for me to use for my cigar band artwork. Without my brothers & sisters of the leaf helping out by sending me their bands, I wouldn't have enough materials to work with and continue the craft. I've said it before and I'll say it again: the family of the leaf is the best community ever! So I figured it'd be fitting to take some pictures of BOTL on top of all the bands from my BOTL. Let's fire it up.
Cigar: Drew Estate BOTL Corona Gorda
Origin: Estelí, Nicaragua
Factory: La Gran Fabrica Drew Estate
Size: 6 x 46
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
Binder: Ecuadorian Connecticut
The band is applied properly, veins are faint, and wrapper feels like fresh leather with an oily sheen. Uniformity is decent with only a few bumps & dips. The cap is simple although clean and the seams are excellent.
I used a small straight cut with a tweezer cleanup and the draw was very good/firm. I was able to ride out the whole session without needing to do any more tinkering than I did at the beginning.
This cigar was bellowing smoke, even while idling. I was surprised with how slow the burn was considering it was performing a smoke show the whole time, but didn't seem to chew into the burn line. Speaking of that, the burn line was pretty good. The white ash did a decent job of being somewhat firm. I lost the ash for the last burn pic, so it wasn't rock solid but never flaked out everywhere.
1/3 - The vibe off the foot is one that conjures up a "oh yeah, I needed this". Bold, yet smooth. At the start I taste a snickers bar in a field with notes of chocolate, soft peanuts, and a mixture of clean hay & grass. There is also a very faint spice and a gentle toastiness. Moving onward raisin and dried cherries joint the profile. The retro is awesome with black pepper and juicy steak. The finish is long too, which is perfect when it tastes this good.
2/3 - Into the 2nd third the black pepper and steak notes pull forward. Fields of Snickers is still present with the addition of pistachio nuts. A mild toasty note continues to linger and I can sense anise in the background. Transition is very mild, but I'm totally ok with that.
3/3 - I didn't find hardly any transition into the final third with the exception of the added graham crackers. Still bold & smooth, still chocolately grass, and still singed by toast. I enjoyed this cigar all the way down.
Does BOTL scream complexity? Perhaps not, but I wouldn't let that send the wrong message as this isn't a one-trick pony. The boldness of the black pepper steak coupled with grassy chocolate and accented with spice, anise, and toast certainly made sure that this cigar wasn't boring. In my travels, Drew Estate seems to do very well with Connecticut Broadleaf and I would recommend this one land in your journal.
**Number of cigars smoked for the review: 1