Drew Estate combines success with the fine art of cigar making

For nearly 25 years, Jonathan Drew, the founder of the Drew Estate, has been revolutionizing the premium cigar industry.

After only 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.

They made 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.

Since then, 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.

As a 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.

Jonathan 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. [1] 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.

The truth 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).

The Drew 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.

In 2021, 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 the world".

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.


[1] Jonathan Drew on Reinventing Drew Estate, Part 1. Tobacco Business, July 3, 2017.


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