The Facts Country of Origin – Nicaragua Wrapper – Indonesia (Sumatra Besuki) Binder – Nicaraguan (Habano 2000 Esteli) Filler: Dominican Republic (Piloto Cubano Viso), Nicaragua (Criollo 98 Viso Estelí, Nicaraguan Habano 92 Quilali, and Nicaraguan Corojo 99 Ligero Jalapa) Size: 5.5 x 52 MSRP: $11.99 – $12.99 (Box can be found for around $120) Backstory I will start this off by saying I have been a fan of Southern Draw Cigars for some time now after trying and loving the Rose of Sharon and The Jacobs Ladder which was sold to me by my local brick and mortar store as a suggestion over a year ago. So when I heard the Cedrus (pronounced as sed-dress), was making its debut at the 2018 IPCPR, I was excited to say the least. I have had a couple of these sticks prior to the review but at a recent event here at the brand new Cigars International store in The Colony, Texas, I was able to sit down with Robert Holt who is the man behind these amazing cigars, and learn a little bit more about this gem. We talked about the inspiration behind this cigar and how the first size in this line is actually a dedication to very close friends of theirs. After talking with Robert over the past year or so at numerous events, one thing you learn about him is friends and family are one in the same. He brings you into the family and is just a stand-up gentleman so to learn that the name for the line came from close friends and supporters, Phil and Shelly Hogan, I was not surprised at all. They have been a steadfast supporting team to Robert and this was one way to show homage to them. Also through our conversation, Robert talked about the design of the box and even that had ties to Phil as its military theme was another tribute to Phil as he is a United States Navy veteran (Thank you for your service Phil and all those who have served and still actively serving, including Mr. Robert Holt). Continuing with the design of the box, you see a large tree front and center and after some research, you can find that the word Cedrus is derived from Cedrus libani which translate to Lebanese Cedar. This type of tree was used to build temples and sailing vessels which goes hand and hand with the navy aspect of the box as well as one of the main inspirations behind Southern Draw which is the ties to their faith. Time To Smoke First Glance: So the first thing you see of course with any cigar is the box. This box can be summed up very simply in one word, stunning. The cream colored box is accompanied by the dark green graphics which just pop off the box in a rustic, yet majestic look. The golden claps the hold the box together give it just enough of a pop to the design but fits perfectly in terms of aesthetics. Once you open the box, you will find 10 stunning belicoso shaped sticks “standing at attention” ready to be plucked and enjoyed at any moment. Each is wrapped in cellophane and once you remove the wrapper, you have a smooth, dark, stunning cigar in your hands. The band color scheme is reversed from that of the box bearing a dark green band with the cream color showing through the outline of the design and the font. Once you see this cigar, you just feel you should be out in the words hiking with it or marching with your brothers in arms. First Third: After cutting my cigar, sitting down with my Angels Envy Rye, I took my first puff of the cigar which was a cold draw and got the earthy notes I was hoping for by the whole design of the cigar. But after lighting, the earthy notes were not the main player here in the first third of the cigar. Instead, it was a silky smooth, creamy start followed by the build up of pepper that very well could have been accompanied by the drum effect of a movie fight scene as its getting ready to ensue. The ash stayed strong through the first third with having to ash just a little bit above the band and the smoke was just fluffy and plentiful. Towards the bottom part of the first third, I did also get some light coffee and chocolate flavors that gave a nice break from the pepper that has been the “main actor” in this film so far. Second Third: This had to be my favorite part of the cigar as the pepper and spice started to build more and more with the fading coffee and chocolate notes mentioned earlier. With the pepper and spice came some wonderful earthy and woodsy notes. They balanced each other perfectly, no one flavor conquering the other, but fighting along side the better good, which in this case, the better good was my enjoyment! The cigar was still smooth but did get a little bolder here and did hit the back of your throat a little bit more but I did not feel it caused any irritation or left no discomfort on the palate. The ash was not as tight as the first third as you can see a bit fell off during the picture, but it was still a very even burn with a very nice white/gray color mix showing the tobacco came from great soil. The Final Third: During this phase of the cigar, the earthiness and woodsy notes have become the prominent flavors and the smoothness of the cigar from the first half has returned. Even as I smoked the cigar nearly to the nub, it never got to hot, and the burn was still just spot on. The final third of the cigar also brought just the perfect ending that you would get from any great cigar or great movie and that was as the movie ends, the main star makes a triumph return and wins your heart all over again and that happened here as the spice and pepper notes that I loved in the beginning of the cigar, made its way back as I finished this wonderful stick. Total Smoke Time: One hour and 32 minutes Final Thoughts: For a cigar that to me was this good, I could leave just a simple statement such as, “Don’t think, buy this cigar now” and I bet you would still thank me! However, its more job to elaborate a tad more so here we go. The Cedrus from Southern Draw will easily win many of you over, especially if you have tried any of their cigars prior. For those who have tried the silky smooth Rose of Sharon and the bold, hard-hitting Jacobs Ladder, I honestly feel that saying if those two cigars met up, put on The Notebook, some Marvin Gaye, and popped a bottle of wine, 9 months later you would get the Cedrus. It is a wonderful medium to medium-full cigar that is similar to the Jacobs Ladder but also is so smooth, which is a big trait of the Rose of Sharon. The balance of flavors and the great burn on the cigar, accompanied by a very reasonable price point for such a great cigar, is one of many reasons why my original statement of “Don’t think, buy this cigar now” still holds true. Cigar Rating: 4.9 out of 5!