Enter the IPCPR Inside the Box Contest!

Here’s a chance to win a trip to the IPCPR show in Vegas, with reimbursement for airfare and two night’s hotel stay for two for July 27 and 28, 2016. The only thing you have to do is write a statement of between 100-500 words in length, in English, about why you want to attend the Trade Show and about your experience with pipes and/or cigars.  Click on the graphic, or go to http://www.ipcprlegislative.org/insidethebox/ to enter.

 

 

I’d love to meet one of you at the show, if you win, please let me know so we can make arrangements to hang out and walk the IPCPR show floor together.  Stay tuned for another great cigar and swag giveaway here in the very near future!  Don’t forget to contact your legislators and urge them to oppose the FDA regulations!  If the FDA has their way, this could be the last IPCPR show as we know it!

 

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

 

CigarCraig

 

Please, if you haven’t already, go to the following links and sign the petitions.

https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/do-not-enact-fdas-option-1-final-rule-premium-handmade-cigars

https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/prevent-fda-overreach-and-stop-them-their-attempts-regulate-premium-cigar-industry

Join Cigar Rights of America!

 

 

 

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Yargüera, Tatuaje, Padilla and La Palina Cigars

Yarguera_TorbustoI’m not  going to rail on about the FDA thing, although I will continue to make comments about it. I’m afraid if I start every post with a rant it will get old and the message will be lost completely. So I’ll continue to talk about the cigars I’m smoking, even though many of them won’t be available in a few years, and the people who made them will be destitute thanks to our government’s lack of anything resembling common sense. The first cigar I want to talk about is maybe the only one that could weather FDA regulation because it comes from Altadis, the Yargüera H. Upmann in the Torbusto size, a 5 ½” x 56 short torpedo with the same cinnamon bun cap like the Toro and Robusto in the line. The wrapper is shade grown in Honduras from a hybrid of Criollo 98 and a seed that came from Cuba in the 60s.  I was told when I picked this cigar up that the Toro and Robusto were perceived as better by the shop patrons, I suppose I need to try them now too. This wasn’t a bad smoke. It had some trouble staying lit, even though I had it in the humidor for about a month.  It had a pleasant enough flavor, which, combined with the fact that I paid $9 and change, kept me interested. As I said, I’ll give the other sizes a try, maybe the folks at the shop were right in saying the Torbusto wasn’t as good as the others. I will admit that there really hasn’t been much released under the H. Upmann brand over the years that had really excited my taste buds.

 

Tatuaje_TAA2015Friday I made a momentous life decision, which I’ll talk more about as things progress. No offense, but there are a few other people I need to tell before all of you! It doesn’t involve cigars except that I wand to smoke some great cigars to celebrate. So I grabbed the Tatuaje TAA 2015 that was a generous gift from reader Dan C. I was glad to have a chance to try this cigar again. I smoked one last year right after they hit the shelves when I found myself hanging out at The Humidour in Maryland for an afternoon. I really enjoyed the cigar, but, like the Henry Clay Tattoo I smoked there, it was a little bit wet, and they were both reasonably new releases at the time. So I was happy to smoke this after six or so months rest, and I have no doubt Dan keeps his cigars right.  What a perfect smoking cigar, a nice flat ember, and straight burn with an even burn, requiring no touch-ups. The flavor was wonderful, with that initial blast of broadleaf from the closed foot, through the espresso and cocoa flavors I love.  The only way to improve upon this cigar would be to offer it in a double corona size,  it was gone too soon.  Than you again to Dan for sharing this with me, it’s much appreciated. If the FDA gets its way, no more TAA cigars. Tatuaje cigars are working their way into my rotation.

 

Padilla_LaPilar_noSaturday was a rainy mess of a day, so instead of napping the day away I had a cigar on the porch. I’ve been making plans to go to the IPCPR show, and I realized I still had some samples from last year’s show, so I grabbed a cigar that Ernesto Padilla gave me when I met him. Funny I hadn’t met him before, so Victor Vitale introduced us as they are good friends and make cigars in the same factory. The cigar is a Padilla La Pilar Series No. 4 Robusto, a 5″ x 54 Ecuadorian Habano Oscuro wrapped, slightly box pressed little beauty. I enjoyed this cigar quite a bit as I sat in my enclosed porch listening to the rain and dreaming of a day with sun and warmth, it’s been a crazy spring here in PA.  This cigar was well-behaved and had a nice, nutty-woody flavor.  These are reasonable priced at about $5 a stick, even though it has two bands!  Don’t visit the Padilla website though, there’s something funky going on there, Ernesto is a graphic guy, it’s hard to believe he doesn’t have that squared away.  I linked to Famous’ website if you want further information.

 

LaPalina_Nicaragua_prereleaseLast night I lit up a pre-release cigar  that Clay Roberts of La Palina Cigars gave me a month or so ago when I met him at a Wooden Indian event. La Palina has been a great friend of the site for several years, and while I haven’t smoked a bunch of their higher end cigars (because I’m a cheap bastard), I really enjoy a bunch of the “normal” priced lines, especially the Maduros. So the unbanded cigar Clay gave me is a new La Palina Nicaraguan, which, I believe, will be released at the trade show in July. I hope so, because this was a spectacular smoke.  It had a dark and oily wrapper, and that’s about all I can tell you about the blend. I can tell you that it was loaded with dark flavors, the usual espresso/cocoa that I love, along with some spice and maybe some dark fruit. I can’t wait to get my hands on more of these. It will be a monumental shame if cigars like this one can’t be produced, or cost a fortune if they are, thanks FDA.  This new La Palina Nicaragua was exceptional. While I’m thinking about Nicaragua, when all the people in that country are left jobless due to regulation, who do you think their government is going to turn for aid? The US, or, worse, China, who is already putting a canal through Nicaragua to compete with the Panama Canal.  Should a Government Agency have the right to destroy foreign economies?

 

That’s it for now. I have a lot of things to worry about over the next few weeks, thank goodness I have a few cigars to distract me. We’re off the a Philly Pops show in Philly today, not sure if a Holt’s visit will be on the schedule or not, but we always have fun.  Until the next time,

 

CigarCraig

 

 

Please, if you haven’t already, go to the following links and sign the petitions.

https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/do-not-enact-fdas-option-1-final-rule-premium-handmade-cigars

https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/prevent-fda-overreach-and-stop-them-their-attempts-regulate-premium-cigar-industry

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Several Bugatti Cigars and Some FDA Stuff

Before I get into the cigars, please, if you haven’t already, go to the following links and sign the petitions.

https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/do-not-enact-fdas-option-1-final-rule-premium-handmade-cigars

https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/prevent-fda-overreach-and-stop-them-their-attempts-regulate-premium-cigar-industry

I’m really quite surprised at the limited turnout so far.  If you can, talk it up in your local shops and lounges, I’ve long been of the mind that the majority of guys in cigar shops aren’t involved online and may not know about all this stuff.  Tobacconists should be educating their customers, but that may not always be the case.  Besides joining Cigar Rights of America and filling out their letters to your representatives, there are some other ways you can support the effort to save a bunch of our friends and favorite cigars from extinction. I mentioned Gaby Kafie’s Coffee project with a portion of the profits going to CRA. Also, Smoke Inn is offering some great T-shirts to support the cause, head over to https://www.smokeinn.com/FDA/  and pick up a shirt or two.

 

Bugatti_QuattroSan Andres Maduro_ToroA couple months back I posted about the Bugatti Ambassador Robusto and subsequently received some more samples of Bugatti cigars, the Bugatti Quattro San Andrés Maduro, the The Boss Classic and the Bugatti Signature.  I actually bucked tradition and started with the Signature, but circumstances prevented me from finishing the cigar. So let’s put things in the proper CigarCraig order and start with the Quattro San Andrés Maduro. The cigar I smoked was the Toro, 6″ x 52, but it also comes in a Churchill, Figurado and Robusto. It’s got a San Andrés maduro wrapper,  Dominican Olor binder and fillers from The Dominican Republic and Nicaragua. This one tasted like a San Andrés Maduro, it was sweet and earthy and full bodied. The burn was perfect as was the draw. It was a great cigar.

 

The BossClassic_RobustoLast night I selected The BOSS Classic Robusto.  This is a Brazilian wrapped cigar that tastes like a good Connecticut shade. It’s made by Henke Kelner in the Dominican Republic and has Peruvian, Nicaraguan, and Dominican fillers. These are also available in Churchill and Toro, this one was a 5″ x 54 rubusto. Again, the the construction was excellent, and the cigar smoked great. I enjoyed a relaxing hour and a half on my porch on a rainy evening. It was a very tasty and satisfying cigar.  This may be exclusive to Cigars International, as the “Cigars” link on the Bosscigars.us website goes with to CI’s product description. Regardless, it’s a tasty medium bodied cigar.

 

Bugatti_Signature_RobustoTonight I sat down with the Bugatti Signature robusto again, Sunday’s didn’t work out through no fault at all of the cigar’s., stuff happens. The Signature Robusto is 5″ x 52 and has an Ecuador wrapper, which I would assume is Habano.  The filler blend is Nicaraguan, Brazilian and Pensylvanian, with a Dominican binder. Again, the burn and draw were exemplary. This cigar was a pleasure to smoke, it’s on the fuller side of medium with nice, woody flavors and a bit of sweetness.  I liked this cigar quite a bit,  some sources cite the PDR factory as the manufacturer, and I like a lot of the cigars from PDR.  Often cigars “celebrity” names, whether it’s a sports personality or a sports car, are sub-par, but the Bugatti line seems to be legitimate, the cigars I’ve smoked have been on the high side of really good.  While the BOSS and Signature lines are on the pricey side, the  San Andrés is quite reasonable. thanks to Frank at Bugatti for sharing these treats with me.

 

That’s enough for tonight. Don’t forget your homework, sign those petitions and write or call your elected officials to let them know you think the FDA is overstepping their bounds and will put thousands of people out of work and negatively effect the economies of several of our neighboring countries. Until the next time,

 

CigarCraig

 

 

 

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Another Tatuaje, La Gran Llave and Herrera Esteli and Some Cigar News

Kafie 1901 Coffee Co copyI’m going to start with this item from Gaby Kafie of Kafie Trading Co., maker of the Kafie 1901 cigars.  In an effort to help the CRA fight the impending FDA regulation, which, by the way, directly threatens Gaby’s business as well as MANY others, He has created the Kafie 19801 Coffee Co.donating a percentage of each sale to Cigar Rights of America to help in the fight. Here’s the text of the press release:

 

KAFIE TRADING COMPANY, LLC INTRODUCES KAFIE 1901 COFFEE CO.
TO HELP SUPPORT CIGAR RIGHTS OF AMERICA.

In light of the recent news delivered by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regarding total regulation of the premium cigar industry, our family has decided to take action, but we need your help. We cannot do this alone.

Earlier this year, we decided to introduce to market a specialty grade organic coffee from Honduras. Our family has been in the coffee business since 1933 in Honduras. Our new line “Kafie 1901 Coffee” is intended to give coffee lovers an experience like no other. Quality is our utmost focus. This Grade 1, Organic, 100% Arabic bean coffee from select farms in Honduras will be the ideal pairing for a premium cigar. We are also proud to announce that all of our coffee will be roasted and packaged in the United States, thus creating jobs here at home. As with all our offerings, we guarantee the finest quality product.

With the FDA dropping this bombshell on us and the entire premium cigar industry, our business plans have now evolved. We have taken the initiative to partner up with Cigar Rights of America (C.R.A.), under the guidance of Executive Director Mr. Glynn Loope. In an effort to protect our rights as cigar makers, brand owners, retailers, and connoisseurs, a percentage of each sale will benefit the mission of Cigar Rights of America. The C.R.A. works to protect the premium cigar industry in the United States, and throughout Central America. Now more than ever, we all need to come together and fuel this common cause.

We feel strongly that this venture will not only raise much needed funds for the C.R.A., but it will also create a greater awareness of the attack we are under. It is essential that we all unite towards this common goal.

Our coffee will be available through a participating retailers network. Inquiries are welcome. Your feedback and support is greatly appreciated.

Together we can make a difference,
Dr. Gaby Kafie
President and Founder
Kafie Trading Company, LLC

It’s very important that we continue to contact our elected officials to let them know that what the FDA is doing is over-reaching and unconscionable. They are going to put thousands of Americans out of work, and tens of thousands in Latin America.  It’s unnecessary and wrong, and it needs to be stopped.

 

Tatuaje_HavanaVI_NoblesThursday I took a half-day from work as my wife and I were going to a concert in the evening (read the review on my wife’s site here), so I selected a robusto for a pre-concert walk. I had received a great little care package from regular reader, Dan, containing, among other things, a couple of the Tatuaje Havana VI Nobles and I was itching to give one a try.  First off, I’m confused as to why these aren’t listed on Tatuaje’s website, I thought this was a pretty common line, and I see them listed at all the major and not so major online retailers. I’m quite sure I’ve seen these in brick and mortar retailers too, and may even have bought one or two there. So why this line isn’t listed on the site is anyone’s guess. Whether it’s on the company website or not, it’s a solid smoke, medium bodied, delicious cigar. It had some nice Mocha notes and a little spice and burned perfectly and was a perfect accompaniment for a walk on a beautiful spring day. Thanks to Dan for sending it, and I will get to the others very soon!

 

LaGranLlave_TorpedoFriday I dug into some samples I received from Michael Argenti recently, samples of his new line, La Gran Llave. according to a Cigar Aficionado article from February announcing the line, the blend consists of a dark Mexican San Andrés wrapper, an Ecuador Habano binder and Nicaraguan fillers. These are made at the AJ Fernandez factory, and, quite frankly, they look like cigars made there, and that’s not a knock.  The torpedo I smoked was beautiful, box pressed and pretty flawless. I was actually surprised to read that it had a San Andrés wrapper, which I read after smoking it. It didn’t look, feel or really taste like a San Andrés wrapped cigar, and I can usually pick that sort of thing out, or, I should go look again. It was a great tasting cigar, a little coffee, some woody notes, a very enjoyable smoke. It was a quality cigar, and I look forward to further exploring the blend.

 

HerreraEsteli_TAA ExclusiveYesterday I selected a cigar that’s exclusive to Tobacconists Association of America (TAA) from Drew Estate, the Herrera Esteli TAA Exclusive.  This is a 6″ x 52 size which is a common vitola with Drew Estate, and is Willie’s first cigar with a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper, and has a Brazilian Mata Fina binder and Nicaraguan fillers. I’ve enjoyed the Herrera Esteli line in the past, it’s an elegant blend, very refined and flavorful. The addition of the Connecticut Broadleaf gives it a meaty flavor, at least on first lighting, which was unexpected. I lit the cigar and it took me a while to figure out that It had a flavor quality like a grilled steak. Very interesting. It burned well enough, although it hit a stretch in the middle where it took some effort to keep burning. It could have been that there was a lot of moisture in the air since it just rained, or a void, but I don’t get a lot of problems with Drew Estate cigars. It was odd, but easily overcome and didn’t negatively impact the experience.  There’s now two TAA cigars I’d pick up (no TAA stores around though!), and I’ll revisit the other one this week hopefully. Another good one from Willie Herrera and Drew Estate.

 

That wraps this weekend’s post up. I received some other press releases, but everyone else posts those anyway, there was new information from Córdoba & Morales Cigars, Gran HabanoSchrader Cellars and Fratello. I hope the fact that I rarely post the press releases doesn’t stop people from sending them! It’s just that a bunch of others already do it.  If you want me to post that information, I’ll work it in, just let me know

 

Until the next time,

CigarCraig

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Tres Lindas Cubanas La Negrita, La Mulata and La Clarita Cigars

A few weeks ago I received three lovely torpedos from Yvette at Tres Lindas Cubanas Cigars, and if it sounds like I start every review like this it’s because I like to let new arrivals rest a few weeks in the humidor before sampling them. I think it’s especially important when I only have one example to give it the best possible chance of performing well. There have been cigars I had several of that I smoked shortly after receiving and I knew upon smoking that they needed more time. People are kind enough to share their precious TresLindasCubanas_La Negrita_Torpedobabies with me, they deserve to me treated well.  Yvonne and Yvette Rodriguez are the twin sisters behind the brand, they are first generation Cuban-Americans, and are passionate about cigars.  The three cigars are the La Clarita, La Mulata and La Negrita, the Conecticut, Habano and Maduro respectively. I bet you can’t guess which one I started with! Monday I lit up the Maduro wrapped La Negrita, a 6½ x 52 torpedo with a beautiful dark, oily wrapper.  All the cigars are made in Esteli, with Nicaraguan binders and fillers. The La Negrita was an excellent cigar, heavy flavors of espresso and dark chocolate, exactly what I love. I couldn’t not smoke this one first, and I was so glad I did, although that often leads to disappointment down the road (it didn’t). Great cigar.

 

TresLindasCubanas_La Mulata_TorpedoTuesday I smoked the Habanos wrapped La Mulata torpedo.  The best I can tell, this one is a Nicaraguan Puro (the Maduro might be too, the information I got didn’t specify), it was medium to full-bodied and loaded with sweet earthy flavors. While the La Negrita had a draw that I would consider perfect, just a bit of resistance, the La Mulata had a very free draw, it’s fortunate that I snipped only a little bit off the perfect torpedo head. This small opening eventually let to a bit of tar ooze, which I snipped off before I got any of the nastiness on my lips, which can run the rest of the cigar experience. Still, this was a very nice smoke.

 

TresLindasCubanas_La Clarita_TorpedoTonight I lit up the Ecuador Connecticut La Clarita. Shade wrapped cigars can go a couple different directions, they can be really good, or mild and flavorless. This example is anything but the later, it was full flavored and medium bodied. It had that nutty flavor that generally comes with the Ecuador Connecticut wrapper, probably my second favorite of the set.  It had a very open draw like the La Mulata, it would have been very easy to over smoke it and make a hot, nasty mess, but I smoked it gently and got a great, tasty smoking experience. It was very well-balanced and flavorful, I liked it quite a bit.

 

All three were well made, flavorful and satisfying to smoke. These may be hard to find, but while there isn’t a great deal of information about the cigars on the Tres Lindas Cubanas website, there is a list of retailers who carry these cigars and they are available for sale on the website. Keep up the good work,  Yvette and Yvonne, and thank you for sharing the fruits of your labor with me!

 

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

 

CigarCraig

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