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Acid Cigars. An innovation in the tobacco industry

Posted by on 12/10/2021
Acid Cigars. An innovation in the tobacco industry

In the tobacco industry, the name Jonathan Drew, founder of Drew States, is synonymous with innovation and creativity.

Drew, born in New York and with no previous business experience, decided to set up a small retail cigar kiosk at the World Trade Center in New York. To do this, he partnered with Marvin Samel, his fraternity brother, and in 1996, they began to sell the cigars they bought in Nicaragua.[1]

They soon chose to make their own cigars and in 1998 they moved to Nicaragua, where, after just over a year, they launched their Acid brand, which quickly gained popularity so high that it propelled Drew State to the top of the industry.

Although Acid cigars could be classified in the category of flavored cigars -mostly machine-made and sprinkled with the flavoring substance- they actually represent a great innovation, because they are made with a different method than the one that was used until then. These are premium cigars, made from the finest long-fill tobaccos, infused with a wealth of spices and exotic herbs, pushing the boundaries of the notion of the traditional cigar and challenging its guidelines.

Although it is known that an infused cigar is one whose leaves are treated before production to incorporate an additional flavor to the natural flavor of tobacco[2], the infusion process that Drew State uses for its Acid and the rest of the infused cigars that they have in the market is unique and is kept in the strictest secrecy.

However, the company has revealed some clues about the final stage, which they say is key. Apparently, the finished cigars are wrapped in plastic and placed in special rooms where they are exposed to previously tested mixtures of herbs, essential oils and different flavor extracts, which slowly spread in the wrappers and fillings. Wrapped cigars remain in that curing process for three to eight months for new flavors to permeate the tobacco, resulting in truly unique floral aromas and flavors.

Acid cigars are coded on four lines that are identified by colors: blue, red, gold and purple. Although within each line there is such a variety of tastes and flavors that they are very difficult to describe, the classification by colors allows us to distinguish certain characteristics of the cigar such as its body, its strength and its power. Their broad portfolio includes blends that range from smooth to full-bodied, and also they come in an astonishing variety of shapes, wrap colors, and sizes.

All lines are made at La Gran Fabrica Drew Estate in Estelí, Nicaragua, with the most select cigars from that country. Acid Blue is perhaps the most prominent of the brand and the most popular is the Acid Blue Kuba Kuba, although Acid Blondie is also highly sought after due to its small size. However, it is true that all these exotic mixes are very attractive to a diverse audience that ranges from seekers of new experiences to traditional smokers who decide to venture out and try them. An inescapable evidence of the success of Acid is this figure: it represents about 40% of Drew State's annual sales and according to some, it is one of the four or five main brands in the US market for premium cigars.

Acid  cigars should not be aged once purchased because their flavor tends to decrease; they should also be kept in their original plastic packaging and away from other cigars so that the flavors do not mix. 

 

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