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| Stogies on the Rocks

Cigar Review MUWAT Kentucky Fire Cured - Final Third

Published on February 20th, 2014 | by

11

MUWAT Kentucky Fire Cured

7 / 10

Quick Review

One of the most talked about releases from 2013 comes from Subculture Studios (Drew Estate) and Joya de Nicaragua. The cigar is the Kentucky Fire Cured (KFC) and it hit shelves in December. The reason for all the hype was (besides that it is a Drew Estate cigar) the fact that it contained a fair amount of fire-cured tobacco from the US. The KFC "Just A Friend" is a medium flavored/mild-medium strength cigar that has a mostly smoky, sweet, and earthy profile with very little in the way of complexity or variance.

Stogie Specs

  • Made By:Subculture Studios and Joya de Nicaragua
  • Wrapper:Not sure, Mexican San Andreas and Fire Cured
  • Binder:Not sure
  • Filler:Kentucky Fire Cured and Virginia Dark Fire Cured
  • Average Price:$8.50
  • Ring Gauge:52
  • Length:6"

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review:
Jeremy Yow
Price:
$8.50

Reviewed by:
Rating:
4
On February 20, 2014
Last modified:April 21, 2015

Summary:

One of the most talked about releases from 2013 comes from Subculture Studios (Drew Estate) and Joya de Nicaragua. The cigar is the Kentucky Fire Cured (KFC) and it hit shelves in December. The reason for all the hype was (besides that it is a Drew Estate cigar) the fact that it contained a fair amount of fire-cured tobacco from the US. The KFC "Just A Friend" is a medium flavored/mild-medium strength cigar that has a mostly smoky, sweet, and earthy profile with very little in the way of complexity or variance.

Initial Thoughts

While Drew Estate cigars always get a lot of hype, last year’s release of the MUWAT (My Uzi Weighs a Ton) Kentucky Fire Cured was probably at or near the top of the most anticipated releases.  Part of that has to do with the brand.  But more so (I believe) is that people were curious to see what a cigar with fire-cured tobacco would taste like.  It is a process that would align more closely with pipe tobacco, not necessarily cigars.  Leave it to DE/Subculture Studios to push the boundaries of “the standard” in the cigar industry.

MUWAT Kentucky Fire Cured - Barrel

MUWAT Kentucky Fire Cured – Barrel

While the exact leaf make up of the MUWAT Kentucky Fire Cured has not been divulged, we do know that it contains a fair amount of Kentucky Fire Cured and Virginian Dark Fire Cured tobacco.  The tobacco is smoked by burning maple, hickory, and oak wood in the curing barn underneath the stalk cut tobacco.  The temperature is varied at different stages of the process and saw dust is applied to the wood at the end to produce a lot of smoke.

The MUWAT Kentucky Fire Cured is currently available in three vitolas: Just A Friend (6 x 52), Fat Molly (5 x 56), and Chunky (4 x 46).  We received samples of the Just A Friend from Drew Estate.  While grateful for the samples, their generosity will not be a factor in this review.

Looks

The MUWAT Kentucky Fire Cured is an interesting specimen.  It looks sort of rustic like the Nica Rustica, but a little more woody (if that makes sense).  One thing that caught my eye was the different colors of wrapper used for most of the barrel and then the head.  The head (about 1”) is a darker, maduro shade leaf while the barrel (5”) is a natural shade of brown.

MUWAT Kentucky Fire Cured - Foot

MUWAT Kentucky Fire Cured – Foot

There are a few veins and mostly smooth seams.  The barrel looks like it was slightly squished and is a tad misshapen, but nothing to worry about.  It still looks well packed.  There is also a little bit of glue on the wrapper as well.

The band fits the look of this cigar very well.  It is a darker manila color with black print.  Very simple and “woodsy”, just like the cigar.

Function

Though the cigar kind of looks like a stick of wood, the MUWAT Kentucky Fire Cured is actually quite smooth.  It feels well packed with no soft spots.  There is only a slight give when squeezed.

I was eager to see what the cigar smelled like, knowing that it had a decent amount of smoked tobacco leaf in it.  The foot had a sweet tobacco and smoke (from a grill) aroma.  The barrel was the same as the foot.

MUWAT Kentucky Fire Cured - 1st Third

MUWAT Kentucky Fire Cured – 1st Third

I clipped the cap with my CRA cutter (as usual) and took a few draws.  I got a little worried because the pull was tight and I didn’t get as much flavor as I expected.  I did pick up on the sweet smokiness that I got from the foot and barrel.  Though I don’t smoke pipes, it reminded me of what I imagine some pipe tobacco might taste like.

Smoking

I light the MUWAT Kentucky Fire Cured with my Xikar single flame torch.  It lights up pretty quickly and evenly.  For the most part, the burn is even throughout the cigar.  It does need a little touch up in the final third, but nothing too out of whack.

MUWAT Kentucky Fire Cured - Nice Ash

MUWAT Kentucky Fire Cured – Nice Ash

Thankfully, the draw is better than it was before lighting, though still on the tight side.  Even so, I am still able to get plenty of smoke on the draw, just like you’d expect from a Drew Estate cigar.  I feel like this helped the burn to slow down.  This cigar lasted the amount of time I’d expect a toro to last.

The ash is pretty solid, definitely more so than it looked.  It was white and looked a little flaky, but lasted over an inch at a time.  Even then, I usually had to tap it a few times to get it to drop.

Flavor

Like many, I was both eager to see what the MUWAT Kentucky Fire Cured tasted like, but was also hesitant at the same time.  I’m pretty much a traditionalist and am not a fan of infused or flavored cigars.  I was afraid this might border on falling into that category for me.  Let’s see if I was right or not.

MUWAT Kentucky Fire Cured - 2nd Third

MUWAT Kentucky Fire Cured – 2nd Third

The cigar starts off with a faint smoky flavor, much like grilled meat.  There are also some notes of earth and sweet tobacco.  The flavor is very light, even on the retrohale.  This was surprising given the amount of smoke it was producing.  Near the end of this section, I did pick up on some tanginess as well.

The second third was more of the same.  With the addition of the tangy note, it continued with the smoky, sweet, earthy notes.  Some wood also starts to develop.  The overall flavor does become a little stronger here as well.

The final third sees the tangy note disappear.  The smoky, woody, earthy, and sweet tobacco notes remain.  They continue until the very end.  I was expecting a slight change when it got to the darker wrapper.  I didn’t really notice anything new when it did.

MUWAT Kentucky Fire Cured - Final Third

MUWAT Kentucky Fire Cured – Final Third

The MUWAT Kentucky Fire Cured finished medium in flavor and mild-medium in strength.  Overall, it was rather boring and did not change much as it went along.  Total smoke time was 1 hour 40 minutes.

Would I Buy It Again?

Probably not.

Is It An Everyday Smoke?

Not for me.

Would I Buy a Box?

No.

Conclusion

MUWAT Kentucky Fire Cured - Nub

MUWAT Kentucky Fire Cured – Nub

The MUWAT Kentucky Fire Cured is definitely a unique cigar.  I can’t say I’ve smoked anything quite like it recently (the only thing close is the Sam Leccia Black).  Considering that unique is the goal for this cigar, I’d say they were successful.  It is definitely something that will challenge your palate preferences.  I would have to say it is a challenge that I will not soon take again.

The flavor just didn’t do it for me.  Plus, I just felt like it was pretty boring.  I know the smokiness is supposed to be the main feature, but after awhile, I needed something more and it just wasn’t there.  Though I would say it is worth a try just to experience it yourself, that’s about as much of a recommendation as I can give it.

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  • gene

    Hi Eric a.k.a. Madmen (AMC)
    I’m shooting off a quick note to you. Great marketing with your review week e-mail ! Just like Michael Coreleone said ” just when I think I’m out (SOTR) they pull me back in ! ” You sure you’re not from Madison Avenue ?
    Gene
    P.S. Excuse the literary license, I always check out SOTR !

    • Haha, Thanks Gene! I do not work on Madison Avenue, but my 9-5 is at an Ad Agency, so it’s in my blood I guess.

  • TriMarkC

    I get that the smokiness came through across the entire time, but how does it compare to their existing MUWAT cigars? That to me would be a good test as to how unique it was, the value-add difference between what its built from and what this cigar is.

    • Hold your pants! We’re reviewing the MUWAT line tomorrow 🙂

    • jy617

      It’s been a while since I’ve smoked a MUWAT, but I can say that the two are pretty different. The regular MUWAT to me is more earth, pepper, and some creaminess. This one was mostly the smokey BBQ/Campfire flavor. While interesting, it’s just not my preference. The best thing for you to do is get one of each and do a little comparison.

  • Matt T

    Surprised at the review. I was thinking this would have been a hit. I’ll have to give it a shot one of these days and make up my own mind!

    • Well I think a lot of people really enjoyed it b/c it was so different. It’s good, but not mind blowing for us.

    • jy617

      Yes, I do encourage you to try it. It is worth the experience. I think it will be a hit with a lot of people, but it just didn’t do it for me.

  • ThomasD

    The different wrapper at the head is an Alejandro Martinez Cuenca/JDN thing, as used on their Cabinetta series. Putting a darker, sweeter leaf in direct contact with your mouth increases salivation, and helps control the flavor profile and/or drying aspect of other tobaccos present in the stick.

  • Christopher Adams

    I got two poems from it. They could end up in Vol II of Spanish Cedar, a collection of poems about cigars. I don’t normally do infused, but this was…different. Because it inspired writing, it was a success, though.

  • Whiskey Bravo Charlie

    I smoked my first MUWAT KFC Just A Friend yesterday and found the 1st third to be an amusing flavor that reminded me of hickory smoked bacon. I found myself chasing a fleeting flavor that left me somewhat unsatisfied though. I’m not big on infused sticks, but do enjoy an occasional Drew Estates Java Maduro Corona when I’m working the tractor as I have a tendency to bite down hard/chew on them to keep from clenching my teeth. My local shop is having a hard time keeping them in stock, so some other members must be quite fond of them. I’m going to give it one more try if my shop still has them when I re-stock tomorrow. It is definitely a different smoke that I think will find its niche in the market. Long may your ash grow!!
    Semper Fi!
    Whiskey Bravo Charlie, USMC Ret.

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