Last weekend I stopped in at International Tobacco in the King of Prussia Mall (one of the largest in the US, located just outside Philadelphia). I stop in here whenever I visit the mall, they have a nice coffee bar where you can sit and have a cigar and rest up from all the shopping :-). When I was there I found out that they were having a Camacho event to celebrate the addition of that line to their product mix. I like Tom Smith, the area Davidoff/Camacho/Cusano rep, so I figured since it’s 20 minutes or so down the road I’d stop in.
Having picked up a handful of Camacho Corojo Maduro Monarcas that I didn’t need last weekend, I purchased a couple Room 101 Daruma Lanceros and a Mostro (5″ x 60), and a couple of LegendArio just because I hadn’t t tried either and Tom recommended the Daruma. I got 2 of the 5 free for the event, which eased the financial pain a little . I sparked up one of the Lanceros and got to socializing. Tom introduced me to a gent named Chris, who was a former blogger, and we struck up a conversation about all things cigar. Chris introduced me to his friend Jay, who lives down the road from me. We had a terrific discussion of cigars, among other things, and I look forward to running into these guys again one of these days. The cigars was as outstanding as Tom had indicated. It was full bodied as one would expect, and the beauty of the Lancero format is that it forces you to smoke it slowly and really savor all that it has to offer. It was a very nice evening. Tom, the owner of the shop does a nice job with events, and I look forward to seeing Tom, the Davidoff rep again in the near future.
This seems like an appropriate place to throw in the video interview I did with Matt Booth at the IPCPR show. I managed to catch Matt right as the show closed and he graciously consented to spend a few minutes with me. Matt is a super-cool dude and his cigars are pretty awesome too. Which reminds me, did they have the Room 101 San Andreas at International Tobacco and I missed them? Anyway, here’s the video:
Back to the retailer sponsored “reviews” I’ve been doing all week. The last two cigars I receive from Cigars International were the Genesis The Project by Ramon Bueso Robusto and an El Mejor Robusto. You may recall the last time I said that I started smoking this in order of my personal interest. I hadn’t heard of the Genesis The Project cigar until receiving it, and the name Ramon Bueso wasn’t familiar to me. The wrapper was very mottled and wrinkly, which doesn’t really show in the picture here. I thought the band was reminiscent of the Liga Privada band, adding a little to my preconception. Just a disclaimer, these opinions and biases are my own. The Genesis was a pretty powerful cigar and, despite it’s ugliness, it performed well. It wasn’t exactly my cup of tea, but it certainly had plenty going for it. I’d say if you like a full flavored cigar with some strength, give this one a try.
As far as the El Mejor is concerned, I’ll admit to having a bias based on my impression that this is strictly a house brand. I’ve learned over the years to have lower expectations of house brands, that’s probably wrong, but that’s the way I feel. This cigar had an attractive, milk chocolate colored Corojo wrapper and lit and burned quite nicely. Once again, this one didn’t exactly wow me, but it was a solid, straight up cigar, certainly not a waste of time, and something I would smoke again, and I did smoke both cigars to a finger-burning nub, if that says anything.
I really appreciate Scott sending me these samples, and I hope to get to meet him this Friday when I go up to Hamburg, PA for the grand opening of their newest Super Store. I know some folks consider CI, Famous and the like, the Walmart of cigar stores, and I can see their points, especially when those people own local shops in the areas where these large companies open stores. Considering what we face from the government where cigars are concerned, I have trouble finding fault with someone who’s willing to shell out millions of dollars to build a cigar store. I am looking forward to seeing the new store, but there’s a lot to be said for the personal experience of sitting down in a small, family owned tobacco shop and enjoying a smoke!
One last thing, and you’ll have to act fast! I’ve been tweeting this week about a little contest. Today is the 2nd Annual #TickNTweet Virtual Walk, which benefits the Tick Borne Disease Alliance in their efforts to to help us build awareness, promote advocacy and support initiatives to find a cure for Lyme and other Tick-Borne diseases. I am a Lyme disease sufferer myself, so this is something important to me, especially since I live in the worst county in the country for Lyme disease. If you go to our page and make a donation, I’ll choose a random person and send a 5 pack from my humidor, and I promise there will be some great cigars in there. I personally appreciate any consideration you may give to this. Today is the last day to get in on this. Thanks!
That’s more than enough for today. Hopefully this storm that’s been getting all the hype doesn’t cause too much damage (Walmart’s water aisle was empty! There’s going to be plenty of water falling from the sky folks!). Stay safe out there!