Friday, September 27, 2013

History Series: Acid Cigars by Drew Estate


When you hear these two words: Acid or Drew Estate, you think of two very important people: Jonathan Drew and Marvin Samual. These two exemplify what hard work, passion, and dedication can bring you. Both Jonathan and Marvin attended college together and formed a friendship that would later become business partners. In 1995, they formed that business partner relationship and opened a small kiosk in the original World Trade Tower building. They sold cigars to the various business men and woman working there. This modest start proved to be at best shaky for them, but they forged ahead and eventually launched their own cigar line called, La Vieja Habana. Their line proved to sell quite well out of their kiosk.

In 1997, Jonathan and Marvin attended the yearly RTDA show where they were warmly greeted by industry insiders. They received high accolades for the Vieja and came away from the show invigorated and with renewed hope. It also made them realize that they needed to start their own production facility in Nicaragua. After borrowing money, Marvin and Drew purchased a facility in Nicaragua and dove in head-first. Jonathan moved to Nicaragua and began immersing himself in the craft that he loved. Everything from the growing and cultivating process to fermentation and rolling. Jonathan learned from the ground floor up. He slept on an old dilapidated mattress in the facility and was the first one hard at work every morning. Then of course, there was the whole running of the facility that JD had to learn. Everything from hiring and overseeing the rollers, to finding the perfect tobacco.

It's during this time that the ACID brand was born. With a vast array of botanical oils, spices, and herbs available in South America, JD began experimenting with infusing these natural ingredients into the tobacco. Wine was also added and the result was a truly unique line of cigars. In the early part of 1999, JD returned to New York with his new blends. To accomplish what would prove to be a successful line of cigars, a third element was added. An aspiring artist named, Scott “ACID” Chester who worked in whats called the DUMBO scene. This was a mixture of graffiti, urban, and industrial design made for unique packaging and never before seen art in the cigar industry. Marvin and JD launched the ACID line at the 1999 RTDA show in Las Vegas, NV. The ACID line proved to be an industry hit in the flavored botanical cigar realm.

The Acid cigar lines have gone on to become some of the most popular cigar lines for all those who enjoy rich botanical, herb, and spice laden cigars. For JD and Marvin, this daring and at times shaky business venture proved to be a genius move. Through the good and the bad, their passion never wavered. The result of that dedication was the birth of a brand new expansion of the cigar industry, ACID by Drew Estate.

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