Sunday we took a drive to Skippack Village, PA to check out Top Shelf Cigars. Skippack Village is a quaint little shopping area with all kinds of little shops and businesses. We located the cigar shop, which is tucked away in the back of a building. It was pouring, which it hasn’t really done all summer, so I shouldn’t complain, but couldn’t it rain overnight, or during a working day? It should always be nice and sunny on days off….but I digress. The shop has a nice little patio area, and I’m told that they have an event there on the first Thursday of every month with a cook out and specials which is very popular. I may have to try to catch one of these events in the near future. Anyway, it’s a nice little shop. They have cabinet humidors lining the outside walls with a counter in the center, so the store is in a “U” shape. On one side they had a couple couches and a TV. The humidors were well stocked, which is a departure from the mostly empty boxes I’ve seen in a lot of stores recently. I was impressed with the selection, they had a fair amount of what I consider to be reasonably priced lines, which are often absent in some of your nicer shops. Most of the major brands were represented, as well as a selection of their house brand, which I believe the gentleman there said was made by the folks at Don Leoncio/Pinar del Rio. They didn’t have a lot of the new items in yet, but were making room. The regular Cain line was marked down, for example, and, as if I needed any more cigars, I felt compelled to pick up a couple each of the Habano torpedos and Maduro 660s for $4.95 each. If you find yourself in the Montgomery County, PA area stop in and have a cigar. I’m pretty picky about cigar shops, and this one carries my seal of approval (worth the paper it’s printed on…..)
Some of this weeks cigars:
Emilio AF2 – the last of a pair that Gary Griffith sent me. I finally got to meet Gary at the IPCPR show. Yup, the guy operates not 25 miles from my home and I have to go 3000 miles away to meet him, pathetic, I know. Gary is a great guy, and introduced me to a few folks at the show which I’m grateful for. He also is 3 for 3 with the cigars he’s generously shared with me, the Grimalkin, and the Emilio AFs 1 and 2. I really dig all of them, and really can’t pin down a favorite, I like each one for different reasons. The AF2 is just a lovely medium to full bodied cigar that I enjoyed with my last bottle of Reed’s Ginger Brew, on my front porch watching the rain come down.
Cusano CRA Edition – I don’t have too much information on this, except that it came as a result of my renewal of my Cigar Rights of America membership last December. It has what I’m going to guess is an Ecuador Connecticut wrapper that gave the smoke a dry mouth feel and had a little bit of acidity. Not a bad cigar, but, to me, it wasn’t particularly memorable either. Unfortunately I went 0 for 2 on the CRA cigars, as the Casa Fernandez wasn’t exceptional either. Can’t complain, they only cost me $2.50 each over and above the cost of the membership, and are for a good cause. Every year I hope for a CRA edition Opus or Liga Privada…hasn’t happened yet. Still, it’s nice for the sponsoring manufacturers to provide some different cigars for joining. If I may vent a little: As a CRA member, I find it a lttle insulting when the CRA gives away a years membership, AND a 10 pack of the CRA edition cigars with the paid admission to certain events. I don’t want to take away from the events, because we NEED cigar events, and the CRA NEEDS members to fight so that we can continue to HAVE cigar events. But I feel like giving away the memberships ($35 for the membership, $99 for the 10 pack of cigars, $125 for admission to an all day event, admittedly a great deal for the attendee) defeats the purpose of raising funds for the organization. I guess I feel like my contribution is going toward giving other people free memberships instead of fighting for our freedoms. Of course, the gamble is that all the people receiving the free memberships will join next year, but I think the majority will either expect a free renewal at the event next year or won’t even think about contributing because it doesn’t represent a value to them (it was free). Anyway, I think giving the memberships away dilutes the funds available to fight the fight, and I don’t think I like that…your opinions and comments are welcome and appreciated, maybe I’m not seeing the whole picture and someone will set me straight! Again, no offense to the event that I have quite obviously failed to name, I wish I could attend, it sounds like a good time!
I haven’t really dug into the trade show samples this week, but here’s a fun little video from the show:
That’s about all I have for now, until the next time,