Perdomo Event at Cigar Mojo, Perdomo Habano Maduro and Sungrown Cigars

Last night I paid a visit to Cigar Mojo in King of Prussia, PA where they were having a Perdomo event. When I pulled into the parking lot, which is reasonably large, I was lucky to find one vacant space, and lucky I have a small car!  The place was packed, I think the crowd was larger  for this event than any I’ve been to at this particular shop.  In attendance for the event were Nick Perdomo and his PerdomoHabanoMadurowife, Janine, Arthur Kemper and Joe Winder. This time of year in this part of Pennsylvania there are a lot of cigar people around due to this weekend’s Cigars International Cigarfest. I never had any interest in Cigarfest, 3000 people per day, lined up for a glimpse at their favorite cigar maker isn’t for me.  I’m sure it’s fun, just not my kind of fun.  I bought some Perdomo cigars upon arrival, I opted for some of the Habano series as opposed to the usual 20th Anniversary Maduros that I enjoy so much. I lit up a Perdomo Habano Maduro  Epicure (6″ x 54) and spent the next two hours hanging out, talking to the Perdomo folks and some of the attendees. The Habano series features wrappers that are aged in bourbon barrels, and the Maduro was a nice, medium bodied cigar with subtle flavors of cocoa and espresso, right up my alley. At one point, Nick told us some stories of event attendees going to great lengths to get his autograph or a picture with him, including sliding a magazine under a stall door.  Nick is very appreciative of his customers, and goes out of his way to greet everyone and thank them. It was quite an event, loads of great people and great cigars.

 

Perdomo_HabanoSungrown_RobustoTonight I selected a Perdomo Habano Sungrown Robusto (5″ x 54) that came in a sampler of the three versions (Maduro, Sungrown and Connecticut) from last year’s IPCPR show.  This was a really nice cigar, sharing the seco from  Condega,  viso from Jalapa and ligero from Esteli as the Maduro (and Connecticut), with a bit of a spice and an earthy flavor. It’s amazing the difference the wrapper makes. The Robusto burned perfectly, where the Maduro last night had a little bit of an uneven burn which required some touch-ups. I’m going to credit nine months in the humidor for the perfect burn and draw of the robusto, although another thing Nick mentioned last night was that they can draw test something like eighteen cigars per minute in the factory, and they draw test every cigar.  While the 20th Anniversary Maduro is on my “goto” list, these Habanos were very enjoyable, and the bands are really classy too (and they come off easily!). Nick showed me some pictures of the Pearl drums that are being made for him, and each shell features the Perdomo logo. They will be quite beautiful, right up there with my own 1966 Ludwig Holiday kit in Black Diamond Pearl :-).

 

That’s all for  now, until the next time,

 

Cigar Craig

 

 

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Sobremesa, Alec Bradley Prensado, and Tatuaje The Jackel Cigars

PopLast Sunday my wife and I spent the day in  Philly, it was a Pops day. We went to the Art Museum for a Pop Art exhibit, and then to the Philly Pops concert. On the walk from the Art Museum to the Kimmel Center I enjoyed the heck out of a Sobremesa Corona Grande, the smallest in the line at 5¼” x 44.  For anyone who hasn’t been paying attention, here is the blend details of Steve Saka’s freshmen release: Capa (wrapper): La Meca Ecuador Habano #1 Rosado, Capote (binder): Matacapan Negro de Sobremesa_CoronaGrande_ArtMuseumTemporal, and Tripa (filler): Nicaraguan Gk Condega C-SG Seco, Nicaraguan Pueblo Nuevo Criollo Viso, Nicaraguan La Joya Esteli C-98 Viso, Nicaraguan ASP Esteli Hybrid Ligero, and USA Lancaster County Broadleaf Ligero. I wish every cigar maker provided half the blend information that Steve does. This little guy was a great cigar for wandering the streets of Philly, it burned well, has the same refined, nuanced flavor of its larger siblings, but with a little sharper “Pop”, which was appropriate for the theme of the day. Stopped by Holt’s on the way back to the train after the concert and picked up a couple of cigars for no real reason, it was nice to see Zack again. It was a good Day.

 

AB_Prensado RobustoLater in the week I smoked the Alec Bradley Prensado Robusto which was the subject of last week’s The Cigar Authority show, and part of their Care Package. I smoked it while listening to the podcast, as I never seem to catch it live.  This cigar had a couple year’s age on it, and was quite smooth and flavorful, but I didn’t get the “cinnamon roll” flavor Dave Garofalo got.  For the last few weeks Dave has been finding obscure song snippets to play when he finds the flavor, one week it was Poptarts and butter, we can only hope he doesn’t find a peanut butter and jelly flavor, or we’ll have to hear the incessant “Peanut Butter Jelly Time” bit…if this shows up on the show I’ll know he stole the idea from me!  Anyway, it was a good smoke, to bad it gave me a head cold…

 

Tatuaje_TheJackel_CDMThis is the first head cold I’ve had in a long time, and it moved through pretty quick, thankfully. It was annoying enough that I didn’t want to smoke anything I wanted to mention here, so I smoked a few favorites that I have a handful of, and the were good. I still have a little congestion, but yesterday I was ready for something a little bit special.  I selected the Tatuaje The Jackel, an exclusive to CDMCigars, and Casa de Montecristo in Chicago. This is a big torpedo, 6¾” x 56, with the wrapper coming up short on the foot by about ¾”. I had a good time with this cigar. It started off pretty bold with some sweetness and spice, then when the wrapper started burning it got a bit creamier. The Sancti Spiritus wrapper leaf really tamed this down from the brash start. It was very enjoyable, burned well enough only requiring an occasional touch up, and was hard to put down. I’ve been trying to broaden my limited Tatuaje experience as of late, I’ve been missing out on some great smokes, so prepare to get bored with my new-found attention to this brand.

 

That’s all for today, I’ve got a Noon appointment with my TV, the Flyer’s try to avoid elimination once again. I’ll need a great cigar after the game either way, I think. Before I forget, give a listen to The Stogie Geeks lastest show with Glynn Loope of the CRA. they give a lot of great information on the looming FDA regulations. Until the next time,

 

CigarCraig

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Cornelius & Anthony Cornelius Toro Cigar

A few weeks ago I heard from Courtney Smith, the Director of Brand Development at Cornelius & Anthony Premium Cigars . I’ve known Courtney for many years from her tenure with another cigar brand, and have heard good things about the Cornelius & Anthony Brand.  Cornelius & Anthony Premium Cigars is the cigar division of the Bailey family’s 150 year old tobacco company S&M Brands.   S&M Brands is best known for its Bailey, Tahoe and Riverside cigarettes and its portfolio of other machine-made tobacco products, which includes little cigars. The family has been growing and brokering its tobacco for five generations.

 

CorneliusandAnthony_Cornelius_ToroThe cigars I received are the Cornelius & Anthony Cornelius Toro.  The Cornelius is made at the El Titan de Bronze factory in Miami’s Little Havana. The blend is an Ecuador Habano wrapper, Ecuador binder, and Nicaraguan fillers and the toro is a traditional 6″ x 50. These are also available in a robusto and corona gorda.  I smoked the first sample Monday evening, and it was a spectacular cigar.  I would have smoked the second sample on Tuesday, but I seem to have contracted a bit of a cold, so I wanted to wait until I could properly enjoy another one of these, I was that impressed. The construction was perfect, I always appreciate a cigar that burns straight with a flat ember, it tells me that great care was taken to select tobacco that all burns at the same rate, no easy feat. It was a smooth, flavorful smoke, creamy, with some sweetness and spice along with some wood and nuts.  I was quite happy smoking this cigar, it’s easily approachable by a novice, and satisfying enough for a seasoned smoker. I can’t wait to kick this cold so I can smoke the other one I have. The $15 price tag may be off-putting to some, but it’s well worth it for a special occasion.  I really like the presentation too, the bands are visually appealing and the cigar is beautiful.

 

Many thanks to Courtney for sharing these great cigars with me.  Until the next time,

 

CigarCraig

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Avo Syncro, RoMaCraft Cigars at SMoKE Manayunk and a Tatuaje

Avo_SyncroNicaraguan_RobustoThere are so many cigars out there, it’s really hard to smoke them all, yet I keep trying!  I’ve smoked the Avo Syncro Nicaraguan in the Short Robusto and Toro size and, like many Avo cigars, I found them enjoyable, but isn’t really get what the hype was. Perfectly good cigars, but nothing particularly special to me (I really liked the XO though). A couple of weeks ago my friends at Famous Smoke Shop send me some of the Avo Syncro Nicaraguan and I was excited as I really want to like these and appreciate the opportunity to try them in another size. The robusto is a box pressed 5″x 50, with a milk chocolate-brown wrapper, which is actually Ecuador Connecticut,  and it has some Nicaraguan Ometepe, Dominican and Peruvian fillers. It’s a solid smoke, medium bodied with some balanced and interesting flavors. So far, this might be my favorite in the bunch, it’s got a little sweet, and a little spice, quite entertaining. I may try to sneak another one of these in today, the Short Robusto might fit my walk today from the Philadelphia Art Museum to the Kimmel Center for the Philly Pops concert. Thanks, once again, to Cory at Famous Smoke Shop for sharing the Avo Syncro Robusto with me.

 

Friday evening we went down to SMoKE Manayunk to visit with Skip and Mike of RoMaCraft Tobac as they have been on a tour of Philadelphia cheesesteak purveyors and have been taking breaks to have cigar events. First, a little about SMoKE and Manayunk. Manayunk is a very hip main street area in Philadelphia, with loads of bars and restaurants, so there were a ton of younger 20-SMoKE Manayunksomething folks around, and it was pretty impressive how many came in to hang out and smoke cigars. SMoKE is BYOB, so many people brought in their own beer, wine or liquor and they have refrigerators behind the bar. Kosta is the owner, and has a very god staff headed up by Spencer McGuire, who recently left his post as brand manager of Emilio Cigars.  The staff is attentive, constantly emptying ashtrays and seeing to the customer’s needs, as well as helping people in the large and well stocked humidor. The lounge is 3000 square feet, has a very industrial, distressed feel to the decor, and is welcoming and comfortable. The only downside is the parking. I found out the hard way that on street parking can cost $26 if you exceed the 1 hour limit, which I guess I was supposed to know without signing close by (oddly, the “Parking Enforcement” vehicle was parked a car ahead of me and was there longer than I was…I hate double standards!). So the $10 lot nearby would have been a better deal it turns out. It was starting to get crowded when we left, which is pretty cool for a cigar lounge.

 

FomarianSo I perused the selection of RoMaCraft cigars they had, and settled on a couple of the Candela Fomorians (I spelled that wrong elswhere), a Neanderthal  Shallow Gene Pool, and a couple of CroMagnon Atlatl lanceros, since I like lanceros and Kosta has probably the best selection of that vitola in the area, so when in Rome…anyway, I lit up a Fomorian (along with Mike and Skip) and proceeded to hang out. I’ve known these guys since 2011, which is about when they launched the CroMagnon line, and they make some outstanding cigars. The Fomorian is the CroMagnon blend of Cameroon binder and Nicaraguan fillers, with the Broadleaf wrapper replaced with a fragile Candela wrapper in the 5″ x 56 EMH size.  The combination is really quite amazing, there’s the sweetness of the Cameroon, the depth of the Nicaraguan, with that refreshing flavor of the Candela. Along with the long ago discontinued Camacho Candela, this is the best representation of a Candela cigar I’ve had the SGPpleasure of tasting. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve enjoyed a few, but this one has some giddyup to it, great cigar.  I followed that with a little Neanderthal Shallow Gene Pool, the smaller (4½ x 52) sibling of the Neanderthal HN, which I absolutely loved. This cigar has a San Andrés wrapper and a Pennsylvania Double Ligero, which is unusually high in nicotine. You wouldn’t know it, the cigar is very smooth with a great flavor.  If these weren’t in the $11+ range, I would smoke these all the time, so good. Interesting to note, lots of nicotine before bedtime makes for a restless night with crazy dreams, at least that was my experience. It could be that, as Skip pointed out, I’m the oldest young guy he knows, which I took as a compliment since I’m pretty old…anyway, it was a great night, smoking great cigars and hanging out at a great place with great folks.

 

Tatuaje_Reserva_J21Yesterday was a beautiful spring day, and after getting some things done around the yard, I relaxed on the porch with a Tatuaje Reserva J21. These are made in Miami with a Habano Ecuador wrapper and Nicaraguan binder and filer. This is a 5″ x 50 robusto and is quite an attractive cigar, listed as a full strength offering. This was exactly what I needed after working in the yard and running errands. It started out with some spice and moved to espresso, which we all know I like. It was refined and elegant, and I really liked it. I smoke fewer Tatuajes than I really should, because whenever I smoke one it’s a treat. For some reason, in my mind, it’s a cigar that’s special, in much the same way an Opus or Padron Anniversary is. I don’t why I feel that way, but it’s in my head for some reason, and I don’t end up picking them up as often as I should. I’ll work on changing that.

 

That’s it for today, until the next time,

 

CigarCraig

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Martinez Cigars Pasión Piramides

A couple of years ago I visited Martinez Cigars at 29th and 7th in Manhattan, and I picked up a selection of robustos, among them
the Pasión, which I enjoyed.  The factory is a little store front near Penn Station, where they have three rollers producing all of their cigars. Two of them work in a pair, with one bunching and one applying wrappers, and the other guy spends the majority of his time rolling small cigars that they sell a ton of to mostly walk it customers. They have a basement aging room, where their cigars age for at least six months. I remember this from my visit, so if things have changed in the last year and a half since my visit, I apologize. If you find yourself in Manhattan,check this place out.

 

Martinez_Pasión_PiramidesA few weeks ago, the folks at Martinez sent me a little three cigar box of their Pasión in the Piramides size, a 6″ x 52 figurado. The Pasión line is wrapped in a Nicaraguan wrapper with fillers from Nicaragua and Honduras. These are very nice cigars, they have a quality that reminds me of a Cuban cigar, both in the way they are rolled and the basic flavor. They are earthy with a hint of sweetness, but mostly a savory flavor. Considering these are manufactured in one of the most expensive cities in the USA, these are reasonably priced in the $10 range, and are well worth a try.

 

Many thanks to Chris at Martinez Cigars for sharing these cigars with me.  That’s all for today, until the next time,

 

CigarCraig

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