HBTC Review: Factory Smokes by Drew Estate Maduro Toro

In mid 2018, Drew Estate announced the the line called Factory Smokes. They were brought to market as a budget-centric offering that align with the Undercrown family of cigars. A Maduro, CT Shade, and Sun Grown wrapper made up three of the four Factory Smokes, wit the fourth being the ‘Sweet’ which has a Habano wrapper and sweetened head. I purchased a handful of the Maduro version a few weeks ago, and decided to give it the HBTC review treatment.

In addition to the Toro reviewed here, the Factory Smokes Maduro is also available in a 5 x 54 Robusto, 7 x 50 Churchill, and a 6 x 60 Gordito. Each with an MSRP around $2.00/cigar.

Factory Smokes Maduro Toro
MSRP: $1.70
Size: 6 x 52
Origin: La Gran Fabrica Drew Estate (Nicaragua)
Wrapper: Maduro
Binder: Indonesia
Filler: Indonesia

The cigar looks pretty good. The color is a little splotchy, but it is cleanly rolled. It feels extremely light for the size, and when I cut the head, a shower of little tobacco bits cascade down. The wrapper smells a bit like a campfire, but the foot has a distinct pepper and barnyard note. The cold draw is almost zero resistance with more of that barnyard note, and some kind of vegetal note.

Act I
The beginning of the cigar has a vast amount of smoke output. I get some of the pepper and vegetal notes right away. As it starts to open up, some cedar and a strange metallic flavor come in to the profile. Just a mild hint of sweetness rounds it out on each puff. The retrohale is peppery, and also has a musty note.

Act II
In the middle of the cigar, that metallic note comes to the foreground. The secondary flavors are still there, like cedar, a little bit of sweetness, and a mild pepper. Some of that mustiness comes in and plays tug-of-war with the metallic note. At this point, the retrohale reminds me a little of chewing on aluminum foil and peppercorns.

The ending of the cigar goes somewhat dark. The flavors at the front are mostly made up of the vegetal note, kind of like burned asparagus. The cedar and sweetness are barely holding on, and that metallic note just refuses to let go. If anything new is there, it’s a very faint chalkiness. The retrohale is still just pepper, mustiness, and metal.

The world of Premium Cigars has similarities to many other products. One main similarity that sometimes holds true; You get what you pay for. While it is true that you can find extreme budget offerings that can stand up against the mainline-priced cigars, and so-called top shelf smokes that underperform, in most cases, price will be echoed in the experience. This cigar (with 3 purchased and smoked) was just something I would not reach for again. Could I get a cigar for cheaper? Maybe not, but I am willing to fork over a buck or two more if it gets me a better smoking experience. I think everyone should try it, and decide for themselves.

Factory Smokes Maduro Toro – How Bout That Cigar?
Rating: How Bout Try One?
Overall Score: 72
PAD: +0.0 (What is PAD?)
Flavor Summary: Metallic, Vegetal, Pepper, Cedar
Strength Assessment: Mild-Medium
Source: Cigars for this review were purchased by HBT Media LLC

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