A Bunch of Cigars, A Shop Visit, and A Contest!

After a busy few weeks of chronicling my trip to General Cigar Dominicana, it’s time to try to get back into a normal routine. I haven’t smoked too many cigars since my return.  When I got back I had a terrible cold, so I didn’t waste too many cigars, and the ones that I optimistically tried tasted pretty bad.  I kept it to cigars that I knew pretty well to gauge my taste buds.  After a week or so, I was pretty well back to being able to enjoy a cigar.


One of the first cigars I had was a sample from the IPCPR show.  I ended up with a bunch of cigars from Brun Del Re, a cigar maker from Costa Rica.  This was a cigar from their Don Corazza line, which is a cigar made from Dominican and Nicaraguan tobaccos.  The size was a 4″ x 60 which isn’t listed on their website.  The cigar started with a nice, unique flavor, which turned a bit sour in the second half.  I have a robusto in this line yet, as well as robustos in three or four of the other lines.  Unfortunately, I have some pre-conceived notions about show samples from companies like this.  It’s not fair, I know, but there have been so many cigars I’ve smoked in the past that have just been “same old, same old”, and failed to impress. These are nice looking sticks and I’ll certainly smoke them with an open mind.  I may not get to the rest of the samples until spring, as I smoke fewer cigars in the colder weather, and tend to stronger ones.


I enjoyed a Monte Pascoal Robusto as well last week, courtesy of Wes Gensel, of Monte Pascoal cigars.  This is a Brazilian puro, was awarded the best Brazilian cigar by Cigar Journal Magazine at their awards ceremony last July in Vegas, and is a very nice smoke.  Perfectly constructed and a pretty cigar with a nice flavor.    This is the first larger vitola I’ve smoked and I actually liked it better than the petite corona. On the full side of medium, this is a cigar you should try if you get a chance.


Last weekend we had an unusual October snowstorm, which dumped about 4 inches of wet snow on our area.  We were fortunate to not lose power as many in the area did, nor did we have any limbs down on our property.  I took my usual Saturday walk with a Cuban Crafters Powerhouse.  I chose this because it was a cold and nasty day and I wanted something that would cut through the crappy weather.  I mentioned somewhere that if I’m going to have my cigar get wet while I’m smoking it, I prefer it’s on a 90 degree day in a pool.  As rotten as the weather was, this strong cigar was quite enjoyable.  Any cigar that can hold up to wet snow and still provide a satisfying experience must be OK.  This is a 6″ x 54 pigtailed toro that has a Nicaraguan Ligero binder, which strikes me as unusual.  This is probably the first Cuban Crafters branded cigar I’ve really liked, but certainly not the first from Tabacalera Estili and Don Kiki Berger.


Halloween is always a traditional stogie night for me, and this year I opted for one of the coronas that I blended at Cigar Safari.  The first one of these I smoked was at the 3 month mark, and it was spectacular.  This one, while really good, was not as good as the first.  I suppose as these age they will certainly change, I’m hoping that they will get better rather than worse.  I shared one of these with my son yesterday and he enjoyed it.  Seven left.


My mid-week walk got off to a late start so I stuck with a shorter smoke.  A Gran Habano Habano #3 that was sent to my by one of my readers, Lloyd Ladrillono.  I’ve been seeing these in catalogs, and they had a really interesting booth at the trade show which I never managed to visit, and the cigars look great and seem to be priced well.  Lloyd was kind enough to share these with me and I appreciate it.  I really enjoyed this robusto, it had a sweetness that I like a lot.  This cigar hit me just right, it worked the way it should and tasted great.


I finished off the work week with a Murcielago Toro Grande which I bought at the Delaware Cigar Festival from Eddie Ortega. I like Eddie a lot, and I like the Murcielago more.  The San Andreas maduro wrapper is beautiful and delicious.  This one went a little sour at the band, but I think some humidor time will solve that problem.  If I can keep my hands off the couple I have left, I’ll see if that’s the case, but this is a perfect cold weather cigar for me.


Saturday I took a drive to Pottstown, Pa. and paid a visit to Cole’s Tobacco.  My wife had seen a picture of the store on one of the local radio station’s websites and did some research which led us to the visit.  They have been there for a century and it’s the first I’d heard of it.  In addition to a reasonable sized walk in humidor, they sell roll-your-own tobacco, candy, all kinds of stuff like an old fashioned news stand.  They had the largest selection of Lars Tetens cigars I’ve seen in 15 years, we picked up a bottle of Lars’ Steak Sauce for the heck of it, I certainly wasn’t going to smoke any of his cigars!  Anyway I walked out with a couple of Kristoffs that I hadn’t seen before, and had a nice chat with the proprietor, a young guy named Courtney.  No lounge that I saw, but not a bad place to get some cigars if you find yourself in downtown Pottstown, PA.


To wrap the week up I smoked a Oja Anniversary perfecto on my Saturday walk.  This is a semi-box pressed cigar with a Brazilian Samba wrapper that is rustic and oily.  It has a very dark, rich flavor and burned well, despite it’s rough appearance.  This was a sample sent to me by Luis Garcia, the brand owner.  This is one of the cigars made by Kiki Berger in Nicaragua that I alluded to earlier that I really like, the whole line is good, but this anniversary edition is really nice. It commemorates the brand’s first anniversary, which is a little odd, but the cigar works, so who cares?


I haven’t had a contest in a while, so I have a Drew Estate cap and a Liga Privada cutter to give away this time.  I might as well throw in a Stogieboys.com Cigar Journal along with it as well as a C-Gars Ltd. ring gauge card. I can’t be trusted NOT to include a cigar or two in a prize package. Leave a comment for a chance to win, and a Tweet with a link to this page (mentioning @cigarcraig so I see it) will get you an extra entry.  I’ll draw a name at random next Sunday, November 13, 2011.  Good luck!


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




Filed under Contest, Review, Stores, Take a Cigar For a Walk

18 Responses to A Bunch of Cigars, A Shop Visit, and A Contest!

  1. jimbobber

    I really enjoyed this blog entry; the number and variety of cigar experiences made for a fun read. Thanks Craig!

  2. Agent 86

    Nice prize package. I’ve really been enjoying the articles on your trip. Almost makes me feel like I was there.

    Interesting assortment of cigars today, Very few I’ve heard of.

  3. foozer69

    nice contest! even better reviews ehanks!!

  4. Duane Holmes

    Thanks Craig, good reading as always. I have had the displeasure of trying most of the Brun Del Re line. I say that because I believe the price point does not match the cigar. I’ve smoked $2 a stick cigars that had better flavor and burned a lot better. I kept trying them hoping to find a winner with no luck.

  5. Nathan Zimmerman

    Keep up the good work Craig. I enjoyed your reports of the General Cigar trip. can you spell “envious?”

  6. Phil

    Great reviews as always, appreciate your insight. Agree with the others also, that those are some good prizes this go around too.

  7. MoBarbq

    Thanks for another blog, Craig. Enjoyed it.

    I hope that the Brun del Re cigars turn out as good for you, as Vegas de Santiago… another good cigar from Costa Rica. Have a smooth transition into your winter smokes!

  8. Kip

    Hey Craig…First visit here after seeing your post on Cigar Federation. I like your freeform writing style, it lends itself well to keeping interest up. I’ve bookmarked you!

  9. Good Morning Craig…Thanks again for the fine reviews. Your mention of Lars Teten cigars really brought back some great memories of my first cigar experiences. I need to find some more of those!

  10. Tad Smith

    Another great edition. love the casual language of your reviews. Nice contast package as well. Keep up the great work.

  11. Sounds like some cool prizes, id like to enter this contest. As for Lars Tetens cigars, ive reviewed a couple, and have a couple more to review.

  12. Swede214

    Hi Craig, nice review, you did some smoking, seven cigars, not bad for feeling not so good. Did smoke the Monte Pascoal by chance this afternoon, warm, but cloudy here in the mid-west,did like it, nice taste, enjoyed it.

  13. Steve C

    Thanks for the reviews and the contest!

  14. PhillyCigarGuy

    Hello Craig. Please enter me into the contest. Anything Liga is my weakness! Thanks.

  15. Allen Chieze

    Craig a great read, reading back over your last few during your trip made me think that i was there on the trip with you. Maybe some time soon when the time comes for me to retirefrom the Navy i can be able to take the time to do some of those wonderful trips. Been real busy myself lately with work and preparing for yet another deployment over to the Persian Gulf area. Will need to stock up on some cigars before i leave. Thanks again for the descriptive and informative posts.

  16. jakrell

    I really enjoyed reading this. You are on my list to read now. Thanks for the contest!

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