Oak & Eden Texas Whiskey set to debut

In-bottle Finished, Inspired Whiskey is the genesis behind a Texas Whiskey brand, debuting this month.

WESTLAKE, TX., April 17, 2018/PR Newswire/ — Sanctified Spirits, LLC, producer of Oak & Eden Handcrafted Whiskey proudly announces the introduction of its remarkably smooth, highly original line of in-bottle finished, inspired whiskeys. “Our whiskey is exceptional because of the way in which we finish it, in-bottle”, says Joe Giildenzopf, the company’s CEO.

In-bottle finishing utilizes a masterful combination of Spirit, Wood, Fire and Spice. “We start with Spirit, Straight American Whiskey, in two varieties, Bourbon and Rye. Next, using our patent-pending process, we add Wood, a 5-inch long spiral cut piece of American Oak to each bottle. We call this our “Spire”. The Spire has been exposed toFire (just like a barrel would be) in order to extract flavorful botanicals that when introduced to the bottle adds Spice, smoothness and character to our whiskey” stated Mr. Giildenzopf.

While our whiskeys are in-bottle finished, they’re also inspired. “Inspired Whiskey” has two meanings; the first, obvious meaning is there is a spire in our whiskey. The second, less obvious meaning speaks to the Creation Story when God made Man from the earth and breathed His life into His creation. Similarly, Oak & Eden uses elements of the earth, corn, rye and barley to create a spirit, whiskey. We figuratively put a part of ourselves into our creation to bring it to life, or inspire it. The spire in the bottle is emblematic of this impartation. “Oak” characterizes the origin of our creation and “Eden” the perfection of it.

Oak & Eden subtly honors The Creator by celebrating creators, those who are so inspired that they willingly endure long-suffering to refine their craft and make something that lasts. “We get it. It’s a struggle, long and arduous. That’s why we share our creation: amazing whiskey, inspired from within by our spire, enabling our in-bottle finishing, defining our flavor and perfecting our creation. It is a suitable reward for anyone who puts whatever is in them, out there” claims Brad Neathery, the company’s Creative Director.

Oak & Eden is proud to curate, and commemorate other makers. “For all the makers, we made this for you”. Stories of craftsmen, artisans, innovators, and explorers can be found at http://www.oakandeden.com/stories

Oak & Eden is available in Bourbon, finished with a Toasted Oak spire and Rye, finished with a Charred Oak spire and can be purchased in many Texas liquor stores. Other innovative expressions will be released later this year, in limited, small batch quantities. “In September, we will be releasing a “Cabernet-Steeped” variety, whereby we rest a French Oak spire in cabernet sauvignon for 6 weeks prior to using it to finish, in-bottle, an American Whiskey”, claims Joe Giildenzopf.

Oak & Eden Handcrafted Whiskey is being distributed by Republic National Distributing Company. The company aspires to grow the distribution of the brand to other states soon.

For more information, view http://www.oakandeden.com.

Thank God for Good Whiskey,

Rose of Sharon by Southern Draw Review

I reviewed this cigar a couple of days ago and I am finally able to sit down and type this up. I got the following info directly from http://southerndrawcigars.com/our-cigars/rose-of-sharon/

“HAND CRAFTED IN ESTELI, NICARAGUA – The Rose of Sharon embraces a unique blend that will enhance the current Southern Draw Cigars core line including the Kudzu – Oscuro and Firethorn – Rosado blends.  A very well-balanced cigar with Mild Body – Medium Flavor.

The natural cloud cover of Ecuador has supplied us with a prized wrapper, a velvety feel, gentle sweetness and a toasty burn, our beloved Nicaragua has gifted us with rich and elegant binder and filler tobaccos while the distinct Piloto Cubano of the Dominican Republic adds a dose of boldness and spice that allows this blend live up to its moniker. “She don’t know she’s beautiful!”

Besides the apparent beauty of The Rose of Sharon in its semi box pressed format, the release is a celebration of Grace and the devotion of Sharon Holt as she continues her daily service via strong faith and daily fellowship. “Much like a Rose, Sharon exemplifies our brand with her beautiful soul, humility and a “subtle” boldness which has made an incredible impact on so many lives.  We truly needed to acknowledge her.”

No better way to sum up this cigar than to get it directly from the source. Credit to Southern Draw for the write up. Let’s jump right into the review and see what we get. This will be the first cigar I review using the new point system.

Also available in Toro 6 X 52 and Gordo 6.5 X 60

Blend Profile:

Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sun Grown Connecticut
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan Viso/Seco, Dominican Ligero/ Piloto Cubano
Factory: Tabacalera Fernandez


Appearance/Construction: This cigar is wrapped in a very nice Sun Grown Connecticut that is tan/ khaki color with small veins and tight seams. The wrapper is very smooth with a nice oily sheen to it. The dual bands contrast nicely against the lighter color wrapper. It has the traditional red and gold Southern Draw band and a pink and gold Rose of Sharon band below it.  This is a semi box pressed cigar with a closed foot. This is a very nice looking cigar. There are no soft spots anywhere and the cigar is light in the hand.

20170613_135617-01[1] 20170613_135626-01[1]


Pre-Light: I pick up a lot of barnyard hay and earthy notes from the barrel. The closed foot brings more of the same. I use a V-cutter to open the cap and the cold draw reveals a nice open draw with a slight resistance and notes of hay, earth, nuts, and a hint of pepper.

1st Third: I used a dual flame lighter to kick things off. Once we are good and toasted I am hit with an unexpected punch of red pepper. She looks like a lady but she packs a hidden punch. The pepper lingers in the throat for a bit. Shortly after I pick up so earthy, grassy, hay notes. A bit further in I start to get a light charred wood and nutty profile that takes shape. The pepper has really toned way back but can still be found on the retro hale at times. The draw is open and airy with a little resistance, it is burning cool and evenly. The ash is holding nicely and so far so good in regards to performance overall. As I move into the halfway point, this is certainly a mild-medium strength stick with a nice mixture of flavors.



2nd Third: Moving into the transition, not much changes. I am still getting the earthy, hay, grass, nutty flavors with occasional charred wood and some brief notes of pepper sprinkled throughout. This is a nice Connecticut that packs a little heat in spots but has a nice, smooth blend profile that is on the mild to medium side but is enough to keep you interested. Burn and draw are still good. I am getting a nice amount of smoke from this cigar. The burn line is a touch wavy but it is gusty outside as I smoke this.


Last Third: Again, no real changes going into the final third. This stick is consistent for sure. No major shifts in flavors or big changes as you go. The profile is still very earthy, with only subtle changes from time to time with certain notes swapping places from front to back on the palate. Still a lingering spice/pepper that holds on throughout. The only issues I had with the cigar was that the delicate Connecticut wrapper tore a bit when I attempted to remove the pink band. No real issue and it happens often. The red band came off with a little bit of effort. The burn is a little wavy but again, its really gusty at times today. I required no touch ups and the draw was easy and open all the way through.



Final Thoughts: I have never been a big Connecticut cigar smoker. As I have said before, it’s not because I don’t enjoy them because I do and I have, I just tend to lean heavily, almost exclusively, towards cigars. This was an enjoyable, easy smoking cigar. The flavor was nice, consistent to the point of almost being one dimensional but finding a way to avoid it if that makes sense. Just when you thought the next drag would be exactly the same as the one before, you would find a little something different. It started mild and finished more on the medium side. This is a good cigar for those that prefer a lighter strength cigar but don’t want to sacrifice flavor. It has enough to keep it interesting without overwhelming the palate. Although I didn’t find it a very complex blend, I enjoyed it and I would certainly recommend that you try it for yourself. Don’t let the pink band fool you, it’s a good cigar and no one will pull your man card if they see you smoking it.


Appearance / Construction Score: This is a well constructed, very nice looking cigar. The artwork works will with the wrapper. There were some rough touches with the seam and cap but overall I score this a 14/15.

Flavor Score: Though I am not a big Connecticut fan, the flavor profile of this cigar were good. I would have liked it to be a little more complex for my personal liking but I enjoyed it. I score this a 23/25.

Performance Score: There really were no issues with the burn or the draw. The wrapper did tear a little while trying to remove the pink band. A little glue stick on the delicate Connecticut but no major issue at all. I score this 28/30.

Overall Experience Score: I enjoyed my time with this cigar. At times I found myself thinking it was becoming one dimensional and then it would change up enough to make it interesting. I score this a 28/30

Final Score: 93

93 – 90: Great Cigar. Worthy of a 5 pack or better. I would smoke this regularly.

This is a cigar that I would smoke again. I think a little bit of age on this cigar will make it better and bit more complex as things settle in. This is an easy smoke to pair on a sunny day with a variety of cocktails and wines. 

So there you have it. The first cigar with the new rating system and my thoughts on the Rose of Sharon by Southern Draw. You can find them at many local retailers across the U.S. Including Famous Smoke Shop https://www.famous-smoke.com/search?kw=southern%20draw%20rose%20of%20sharon

I hope you enjoyed this review. I welcome your thoughts, comments or reviews here. Please feel free to share this review on social media and follow me on Instagram, FB and Twitter. Until next time, long ashes and full glasses friends. Peace.