Drew Estate is going on tour across the United States, and eventgoers will be the only ones who have a chance to get their hands on one of the Nicaraguan cigar company's most coveted smokes: the Liga Privada Único Serie Velvet Rat.
Called the Drew Diplomat Event Series, the tour kicks off at 5 p.m. tonight at The Beer Sellar in Newport, Kentucky, and will continue into the summer, with scheduled stops at more than 50 Drew Diplomat Retailers throughout the U.S. The tour will culminate at Drew Estate's second annual Connecticut River Valley Barn Smoker on August 6, held in South Windsor at the same farm that produces wrapper for the company's Liga Privada No. 9 and Liga Privada T52 cigars.
Event attendees will not only have the opportunity to smoke a cigar among other enthusiasts and take advantage of specials on Drew Estate products, but they may also be able to meet co-founder Jonathan Drew as well as master blender Willy Herrera.
Perhaps most importantly, fans will be able to get the limited Velvet Rat cigar. Part of the company's highly sought after Liga Privada Único Serie, Velvet Rat sports a flag-style cap and measures 6 1/4 inches by 46 ring gauge. It features a Connecticut broadleaf wrapper, Brazilian mata fina binder and filler tobaccos hailing from Nicaragua and Honduras. The cigar, which is a toned-down version of the Dirty Rat, was previously released in 2012 as well as at last year's Connecticut Barn Smoker. According to Drew Estate, only 5,000 Velvet Rats will be available, and they are said to have been rolled in January 2015 and aging ever since.
However, in order for a fan to get their hands on a Velvet Rat, a few steps must be taken. First, they will need to sign up as a member (a free process) of the Drew Estate Diplomat program through the company's mobile app. The app, which is available for either Apple iOS or Android, was launched earlier in June and offers Drew Estate fans a mechanism to stay up-to-date on company news and earn points for a chance to win artwork from Subculture Studios, Drew Estate's art initiative. After downloading the app and signing up as a member, fans will then need to make a "qualifying promotional purchase" at one of the tour events, and in turn they will receive a Velvet Rat, while supplies last.
"One of the main goals of creating Drew Diplomat was to connect our Drew Estate final consumers to the retailers who have stood behind our premium cigars for so many years," said Michael Celluci, president of Drew Estate.
While tour stops are likely to be added, the list of events below is final as of today:
06/28/2016 - The Beer Sellar in Newport, KY from 5:00 PM - 8:00 PM