Last Saturday, Aug. 12, Drew Estate hosted approximately 900 of its biggest fans—both consumers and retailers—at the Dunn & Foster Farms in Ellington, Connecticut, for the 2023 Connecticut Barn Smoker.
The ultimate American tobacco experience, Drew Estate’s Barn Smokers are completely unique events where Drew Estate shares its ardent passion for the tobaccos that go into every Drew Estate cigar with its legions of avid fans through fellowship, education and appreciation. The Dunn & Foster Farms are the spiritual home of Drew Estate’s Liga Privada cigars where all the regal wrapper leaf for every Liga is grown.
New for this year’s Barn Smokers every event with a VIP lunch beginning at Noon. During the VIP experience, 150 guests enjoyed premium spirits and appetizers before savoring delicious BBQ and all the fixin’s prepared by Ed Randolph of Handsome Devil BBQ. VIP guests received unique VIP Barn Smoker swag; the special Ambassador cigars from Drew Estate Founder and President, Jonathan Drew; Drew Estate’s Master Blender, Willy Herrera; and La Gran Fabrica Drew Estate Factory Spokesman, Pedro Gomez; and most exciting of all, the all-new Liga Privada H99 Flying Pig!!!
For the main event, which kicked off at 2 p.m., guests received their Barn Smoker cigar pack and swag upon entrance. Lighting up their cigars, they settled under a tent to learn about the day’s program from Jonathan and John Foster, owner of Dunn & Foster Farms. Then the crowd was divided into smaller groups to begin their Liga Privada educational tour, learning every step that Dunn & Foster and Drew Estate perform to grow the tobacco and blend it into the cigars.
After the educational tours, guests enjoyed mouthwatering BBQ prepared by Bear’s Smokehouse before spending the rest of their Barn Smoker odyssey picking up cigars and swag at each of the interactive brand activation experiences for BLACKENED Cigars, Undercrown, Herrera Esteli, Joya de Nicaragua, Pappy Van Winkle, Deadwood and Subculture Studios, while enjoying beats spun by Drew Estate’s own D.J. Eli and live music performed by Those Guys, a classic rock and Top-40 band out of Newport, Rhode Island.
The 2023 Connecticut Barn Smoker ended well after the sun had disappeared on the western horizon with the Cigars for Warriors raffle. Cigars for Warriors is a 501(c)(3) charity that supports deployed American service men and women by providing them premium cigars to enjoy. In total, the charitable organization has shipped more than a million cigars overseas in the last decade. As part of their entry packs, each guest received a raffle ticket to win one of nearly 50 one-of-a-kind swag items designed and created by Drew Estate’s own Subculture Studios. Guests could also buy more raffle tickets directly from Cigars for Warriors to increase their chance of winning. At the end of the night, the Connecticut Barn Smoker raised more than $22,000 to help Cigars for Warriors continue its mission to serve deployed service members around the world.
The last Barn Smoker for 2023, the Florida Barn Smoker, is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 11. Like every Barn Smoker this year, tickets sold out just a few days after Drew Estate announced its 2023 Barn Smoker program during its April 27 “Freestyle Live: Special Edition” broadcast. To make sure you don’t miss out on future Barn Smokers, be sure to follow Drew Estate’s Barn Smoker website (barnsmoker.com) and social media channels, including our Facebook page (facebook.com/drewestatecigar) and YouTube channel (youtube.com/drewestatecigar).