A Beginners Guide to ACID Cigars
Infused cigars, in some form or another, have been around for decades. The originally started as a homemade project by taking cigars and dipping them in cognac or brandy to add a sweet flavor. This eventually led to manufacturers adding in artificial flavors, such as vanilla or various fruits, to make the cigars more appealing to a mass audience.
Even today, many infused cigars are not taken seriously by some cigar aficionados. That is, except for ACID. What Jonathan Drew and his team did for the infused cigar is remarkable. He was able to make an infused product that was cool, relevant, and above all a very good cigar. Today, we are going to take a dive into the ACID brand and look at its history, different styles, and brands.
The Start of ACID
Many people believe that ACID was Drew Estates’ first brand, but that is actually not the case. Jonathan and Marvin actually started with a line known as La Vieja Habana. It wasn’t until 1999 that the ACID line began to take shape.
This was the year that the team collaborated with now renowned DUMBO artist Scott “Acid” Chester. Scott is well-known for his industrial style graffiti art, and it was a combination of his artistic talents and Jonathans’ blending practices the helped the brand take off.
ACID was immediately set apart from the rest of the infused cigar industry. First and foremost, these cigars were crafted using aged, long-filler tobaccos. If you take away the infusion process, you will still have a solid, premium cigar. The brand also doesn’t use fake flavorings in the blending process, instead, it relies on essential oils and aromatic herbs to give them their distinct flavor.
The second characteristic that sets ACID apart, is how the cigar is stylized and marketed. It has deep roots in the artistic urban world of late 90s Brooklyn, a connection that still holds true today. With its creative names and artistic bands and boxes, the ACID line has become not just one of the most popular infused cigars, but one of the best-selling cigars in the US.
ACID Brands to Try
Over the past 20 years, ACID has expanded to include many sub-brands, so decided which to try may seem a bit overwhelming. So, I’ve put together a few recommendations of not only the more popular lines but also some personal favorites as well.
ACID Kuba Kuba
The Kuba Kuba is by far the best-selling ACID and a staple of cigar stores across the country. It was one of the original ACID blends and helped to elevate Drew Estate from a unique, small boutique company to the giant it is today.
Rolled by hand in Nicaragua, The Kuba Kuba uses aged Nicaraguan filler tobaccos for a smooth and flavorful center. It is then cloaked with a Connecticut shade wrapper for depth and additional notes of cream. Each cigar is then infused with the secret ACID mix of spices and herbs for that signature flavor.
ACID Deep Dish
Here we have another entry from the Blue line of ACID cigars but in a much different format. The Deep Dish takes the signature blend of ACID and elevates it with a unique size and shape.
The Deep Dish uses the same blend of oils and herbs as the Kuba Kuba, yet in a thicker, box-pressed size and with a new wrapper. The Sumatra leaf adds in touches of leather and coffee, giving it a well-rounded and balanced profile.
ACID Kuba Arte
Last year was the 20th Anniversary of the ACID brand. To celebrate, two decades of excellence, Drew Estate released two limited edition ACID products. While the ACID 20 is an impressive cigar, it was the special edition Kuba Arte that made me fall in love with the brand all over again.
The ACID Kuba Arte is hand-rolled in Nicaragua at the Drew Estate Factory. It uses a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper over an Indonesian binder and Nicaraguan fillers. The cigar is then infused with ACID’s signature blend of herbal oils and spices, giving it a rich and creamy flavor with dashes of sweetness and with a greater offering of complexity.
The packaging of the Kuba Arte is just as spectacular as the cigar. Each box is actually a miniature water tower, coming in five different designs, each created by a famed Brooklyn graffiti artist. This design pays homage to the origins of the ACID brand and as a look to a bright future.