If you travel due west from the Miami International Airport, you will run right into the new Drew Estate headquarters, in Doral, Florida. Unfortunately, this is not a place for tourists to visit, but while Cigar World was in Miami, we thought we should spend some time with our friends at Drew Estate, so we spent the entire day with the team in Doral. 

Arriving at Drew Estate

The new building is huge and decked out as you would expect any Drew Estate building to be with art provided from Subculture Studios. They even have a faux retail shop in the building that puts all their best swag on display with their vast array of Drew Estate brands. 

We want to give you a bit of background on Drew Estate before we jump into our visit. Drew Estate is a new generation brand of cigars. The founders, Jonathan Drew and Marvin Samel did not come from a family of cigar makers, nor are they from Cuba. The two started small in 1996, with a 16 square foot kiosk in the World Trade Center in NYC. In 1998, Jonathan (known to many as JD) headed to Esteli, Nicaragua to perfect the blends while Marvin held down the fort in NYC. Through hard work, dedication and some help from friends, family and people in the industry, the two were able to build this company that is known for the Rebirth of Cigars.

Drew Estate has a vast brand portfolio that includes ACID, Deadwood Tobacco Co, Tabak Especial, Kentucky Fire Cured, Pappy Van Winkle Barrel Fermented, 20 Acre Farm, Undercrown, Liga Privada, Nica Rustica, Herrera Esteli, Isla del Sol, La Vieja, Ambrosia, Subculture and of course Factory Smokes. The personality of the brand is represented very much through the artwork on the packaging, and there is no lack of personality in this company. 

A couple of years back, we were able to attend a Barn Smoker, which is an annual event held on the farms in which Drew Estate grows some of their tobacco. While at this event, we got to meet many of the Drew Estate consumers, who nurture the spirit of Drew Estate with a passion. These consumers could be described as no nonsense, unapologetic, and bad ass. They like to smoke their cigars, they like Drew Estate and they love tobacco. They also hold JD in high regard due to his perseverance, dedication and authenticity. These events truly embody the Drew Estate ideology and culture, so we recommend heading to one this year. The dates and locations have been posted and tickets are still available. https://barnsmoker.com/events-and-tickets/

You can also see the personality and dynamism of the Drew Estate brand through their brand ambassadors, Pedro Gomez, Willy Herrera and Izola (Izzy) Woods. As well as any of the Drew Estate team that you might catch on one of their Freestyle Live shows on social media or their charismatic sales team with boots on the ground, selling these cigars into local tobacconist shops.



Okay, so back to our day with Drew Estate. We spent the morning hanging out with Pedro, Izzy, Chris Turco and Ricardo Ortiz, two members of their international marketing team. They showed us around the building, provided us with amazing Cuban coffee, and sat down to do some interviews. Today, we are going to share with you some of our interview with Izola Woods, so grab a cigar, your favorite drink and enjoy the conversation we were able to have with Izzy from Drew Estate.

Cigar World x Izola (Izzy) Woods

Jean: Tell us a little bit about who you are and what you do with Drew Estate.

Izzy: My name is Izzy and I’m a Lifestyle Ambassador for Drew Estate Cigars, so that pretty much details and entails everything cigar related within the culture of cigars. Food pairings, liquor pairings, travel, experiences… So that is what I do with the company.


Jean: Where has been your favorite place to travel to?

Izzy: Oh, my goodness. I have my destinations, but I think any place could be your favorite. Within the United States, I love Miami. I currently live in Miami. I have lived in Chicago, Texas, Kentucky, and each one has their own distinct thing or experience that you can only get from that area. International travel to Europe is definitely on my bucket list.


Jean: Where do you like to smoke here in Miami?

Izzy: A lounge is always great, but the one thing about Miami is that you can pretty much smoke anywhere here. It’s very cigar friendly. Just hanging in the backyard, going to the beach, going to a lounge or cigar bar, it’s so smoke friendly here that you don’t need to have a favorite. Each lounge is different. There is like the “man cave” lounge and the very upscale heels and lipstick lounges. Wherever you go, you have access to being able to smoke. Go on a boat tour and bring your cigar. No matter where you go in Miami you are going to have a great time.


Jean: Do you have an area of Miami that you like the most?

Izzy: Girl! Oooh ok.  I love Brickle. It’s beautiful. It has food, shopping, clubs, and nightlife. I also love Coconut Grove. It’s very pretty. You can have lunch there right on the water and has great destinations, like Monte’s has been here since Miami has been around. Go there on a Friday night for live music, peel and eat shrimp, and crab legs. You can go to Coral Gables, very historic Miami. I’m a foodie, so I am all about the restaurant scene, so those are the areas I enjoy spending the most time in.


Jean: In your role at Drew Estate, what is your favorite thing about meeting all these different consumers?

Izzy: The consumers are what make Drew Estate. I was a consumer with them before I started to work for them. We have something that relates with every consumer from Factory Smokes for the budget conscious consumer and Liga for the luxury lifestyle consumer, so no matter what you do, with Drew Estate you are going to find a cigar. I think that is what attracts the consumers to us and us to the consumers. We have the best fans in the world. They support us, show up to our events to help us set up, help us break down at the end of the night. They are truly our real ambassadors. I have been in lounges, and someone may not know who I am, and they will ask me what I’m smoking and then they will say, “Oh, you’ve got to try this Drew Estate cigar. It’s the best cigar.” Then they will tell the story for us. You feel like a proud mamma with your chicks. It’s them that make us great. 


Jean: What made you want to work for Drew Estate?

Izzy: It wasn’t that I sought out working for Drew Estate, it kind of found me. I was in education for twenty years and I did tastings on the weekends to make extra money. Then I got into this lifestyle of smoking and everything just fell into place. I was looking for a career change and this company found me. Being with this company doesn’t feel like working. I enjoy what I do. Every day I get to smoke cigars, I get to preach the gospel of Drew Estate and it’s an easy spin. Of course, we work hard, and that can be a misconception. We work hard and want to make sure that our consumers are always excited about our products and will go out there and spread the word about Drew Estate.


Jean: What is your favorite event to attend?

Izzy: Most definitely the Barn Smoker. Just because you get such a gathering of consumers from the US and the world. Any of the events are fun. I have seen consumers drive hundreds of miles to attend an event. We have two new events coming up this year that I am excited about. The West Coast Situation and the Family Reunion in Kentucky.


Jean: Outside of Drew Estate events, what do you like to attend

Izzy: I like live music. I like tastings or liquor experiences. I am certified in bourbon, so I am always looking for those different kinds of experiences. I love to fish too. 


Jean: Really?!

Izzy: Yeah, I’m a country girl, so I grew up in southern Illinois on a farm, so I enjoy just sitting out with a little pole on the pond just relaxing…


And if you want to hear more about what Izzy has to say, you will have to wait for our next Woman Crush Wednesday article, where we will be featuring Izzy and getting her take on being a woman in the cigar industry and much more!

Join us for A Day with Drew Estate- Part 2, where we interview Pedro Gomez and discuss more of our day’s activities with the team.

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