25 years, Jonathan Drew, the founder of the Drew Estate, has been
revolutionizing the premium cigar industry.
a few years since its inception in New York in 1996, Drew Estate was already
establishing itself as a brand determined to usher in a paradigm shift in the
premium cigar industry. Jonathan traveled to Esteli, Nicaragua, in 1998, with
only $1,800 but the determination to make cigars for sale in the United States.
their name with a traditional cigar in 1998, but the devastation caused by
Hurricane Mitch in Nicaragua put their potential success on hold. Despite the
severe economic constraints they faced, they launched their now-famous ACID
brand between 1999 and 2000. They received their first recognition for their
efforts in 2001, when Forbes magazine published an article titled Cult Brands,
in which they were included alongside well-known brands such as Krispy Kreme,
Apple, and Harley Davidson.
Drew has demonstrated his innovative and avant-garde side, as well as his unmistakable
decision to star in the "Renaissance of cigars," without fear of
challenging industry and consumer conventions. At a time when smoking premium
cigars was considered an elite activity, the Drew Estate saw the potential for
their bold and new cigars to appeal to people of all backgrounds who could
identify with the various expressions of urban art.
result, ACID was born, a pure disruptor associated with Scott "ACID"
Chester, a popular emerging artist of the moment, born and raised in New York,
whose mix of industrial, urban, graffiti, and motorcycle art would make it the
ideal vehicle to publicize it stridently.
Drew stated in an interview published in July 2017 by the prestigious Tobacco
Business magazine that he collects street art from the 1980s, primarily the
early graffiti scene, which included the movements of hip hop, CBGB, Blondie,
Madonna, Basquiat, Andy Warhol, and Rammellzee.  He also stated that art is
his passion and will always be a part of the Drew Estate's DNA, and that his
products are "art, life, and evolution", rather than merchandise.
is that the brand has managed to create a cult-like following among its
followers, with some even getting Drew Estate-themed tattoos on their bodies.
Such recognition has been the foundation of its success and has distinguished
this company's brief history. They went from having a small factory in the
heart of Estel, Nicaragua, to building one of the world's largest premium cigar
factories, where nearly 100,000 cigars are produced daily, close to 2,000 jobs
are created, and more than 20 million cigars are exported annually, in less
than ten years (1998-2007).
Estate was acquired by Swisher International in 2014, which worried its most
ardent fans that the company would lose its soul; however, the eight years
since have demonstrated that the Drew Estate has remained true to its values
and loyal customers.
Jonathan Drew was named a 2021 Tobacco Business Awards winner in its Legacy
Award category. In the interview we mentioned, he was asked what he would like
his legacy to be, and he replied that he hopes that when people talk about
tobacco greats, living or dead, they say "JD and the Drew Estate changed
Some of the
most popular ACID Blue blends are currently available in our store: the very
famous and exquisite ACID Blue Kuba Kuba, which many consider being a highly
recommended unique experience, the elegant ACID Blue Blondie, and the very
popular ACID Blue Krush.
 Jonathan Drew on Reinventing
Drew Estate, Part 1. Tobacco Business, July 3, 2017.