A Montecristo, an Alec Bradley, Stage V Clinger and Some News

It’s been a weird week, and I really only smoked a couple cigars for this post. I found myself grabbing some old favorites that I’ve talked about before during the week, so I’ll talk about the two new cigars I smoked and pass on some news that came through my inbox, as well as an accessory I’ve been playing with.  One of the highlights of the week (two, actually) was the new Montecristo White Vintage Connecticut from Altadis in the oddly named MonteWhiteVintConnDouble Corona size. I say it’s oddly named because it’s only 6¼” x 50, which is more of a toro in my book. I expect a Double Corona to be closer to 7 5/8″ x 49, then again, I like a Churchill to be  7″ x 47 too.  I’m writing about this cigar for my column in an upcoming Prime Living Magazine issue, so I smoked a few.  First note is that it’s a pricey cigar, coming in around $12.50 in not cigar tax PA.  This uses a Connecticut shade wrapper grown on Altadis’ farms in Connecticut, and you get the pungent aroma and taste of alfalfa on the pre-light. Some may call this barnyard, but that grosses me out a little so I’ll go with alfalfa.  Hey, this is good stuff, I’ll have to use this in my article.  Anyway, if I had to pay $12.50 for a cigar, I’d certainly want it to be as good as this cigar was. Perfect burn and draw are expected and expectations were exceeded. It had a very smooth, yet rich flavor, it was creamy with a hint of citrus sweetness, and a little bit of pepper from the Nicaraguan and Peruvian leaf in the filler blend.  This was a great smoke, probably great in the morning with a cuppa joe, but stood up nicely in the evening, even after some ill-advised buffalo sauce with dinner. Overall a delicious cigar, in my opinion, maybe the best non-cuban Montecristo I’ve smoked.


Stage V ClingerA few weeks ago I received a cigar holding device called the Stage V Clinger (the V is a Roman Numeral 5, so it’s a Stage Five Clinger for those curious). I used the strong magnets on this coated spring steel cigar clip to attach to a chair on the porch (which, fortunately for this trial, was steel). The magnets are strong enough to hold it securely on a magnetic surface. If you find yourself without a ferrous metal surface to attach to magnetically, they include a Velcro strap as well.  The spring in the jaws of this device are very gentle, there’s just enough pressure to firmly grasp the cigar without damaging it.  I’ve only tested this on the chair, with little or no jostling.  I have not tried it on a treadmill at the gym, on a bike out on the trail, skydiving, or on a golf cart (which, by the way, is the main marketing demographic for this), but I imagine it would work in at least some of those situations. It’s a well made accessory that will hold your cigar if you need it.  I just thought of something I need to try…strapping it to the leash to hold my cigar when I take my evening walks with Macha…stay tuned for an update.


AlecBradley_NicaPuroRosado_RobustoThe other noteworthy cigar I smoked this week, strike that, I smoked several noteworthy cigars, a La Sirena Doubloon Salamone on Sunday that was quite great, and a really good Asylum Straight Jacket, both of which had spent at least the last year in the humidor. The other cigar I wanted to mention was the Alec Bradley Nica Puro Rosado. The original Nica Puro is one of my go-to cigars, it’s among the cigars with “Nica” in the name that came out in 2013 that really tripped my trigger and are regulars in any semblance of a rotation I might have. I ended up with one of these as an add-on at an Alec Bradley event with Jon Lipson at Cigar Brothers in Berwyn, PA a few weeks ago, and really was looking forward to smoking it. This is all Nicaragua, wrapper, binders (two of them) and fillers, covering the three main growing regions in the country.  I really enjoyed the cigar. The rosado wrapper gives this a little sweeter, a little “cleaner” flavor, if that makes sense.  I think this can interchange with the original Nica Puro as a go-to cigar for me, while it’s still all Nicaraguan, the rosado wrapper just brings something new and interesting to the table.



Here are a couple press releases that came through my inbox this week, reproduced verbatim in the laziest, least journalistic way possible.


Two Guys Smoke Shop & Cigars for Warriors – CIGAR BOX DRIVE

(New Hampshire) – Two Guys Smoke Shop, a three store chain of cigar shops in New Hampshire with locations in Salem, Seabrook and Nashua have begun a Full Cigar Box Drive for Operation: Cigars for Warriors.

Cigars for Warriors top priority is collecting then dispersing premium cigars to American Service Men and Women serving in combat zones (Air, Land and Sea). As a way to honor, show respect and thank those putting it all on the line for us back home.

Cigars for Warriors receives requests from many soldiers who have no one in the U.S. to send care packages to them, and would otherwise receive nothing. This mission is one of great importance as we understand that some of these fine men and women would not be able to enjoy well-deserved moments of reassurance and relaxation without the generosity of sponsors and individual donors.

The mental health benefits of a premium cigar are unsurpassed for our troops, especially with considerations that cigars are the #1 requested items by our Warriors. Two Guys Smoke Shop asks that we band together and give thanks to our Service men and women by donating a full box of cigars to Cigars for Warriors. Two Guys Smoke Shop will not only collect but will match a box of cigars for every box donated (up to 500 Boxes) from October 30, 2015 till Thanksgiving Day – November 26.

Give THANKS to our Troops, our Warriors, our Service men and women by buying and donating a full box of premium cigars for a Warrior. There is a donation box set up at each Two Guys Smoke Shop location and you may even donate online at www.2GuysCigars.com by leaving a message in the comment box that the box is for the warriors or by calling 1- (888) 2–CIGAR-2 (1-888-224-4272)


One quick note on this first item. Unfortunately, Ben Edmundson, who was instrumental in the operations of Op: CfW, passed away this week. I have no doubt that the team there will continue providing this service to our troops, but the cigar world lost a great patriot and he will be missed. I never met him, but had correspondence with him the times I sent cigar donations to him for the troops.  My condolences to his family, both genetic and otherwise.


From my buddy Omar:




Springfield, VA (October 15, 2015) – Fratello is unveiling their first limited run The Boxer Series. “The 2014 release of the Fratello Boxer was a great success for our company.  We tweaked the Fratello blend, box-pressed the cigar and people loved it,” said de Frias.  The boxer series was born from the success of the Fratello Boxer.   

The Boxer Series will only be available as a five-pack format with a limited production of 3000 units. Four new sizes are being introduced in this limited run with the same blend as the Fratello Boxer.  

The Boxer (6 ¼ X 52)

Boxeador (6 X 54)

Boxero (5 ½ X 50)

Boxista (5 X 48)

Boxerito (4 ¾ X 46)

The boxer series will debut at W. Curtis Draper Tobacconist in Washington D.C November 18th 2015.  It will begin shipping to retailers nationwide after the event.  Retail value is 45.00

For a list of Fratello Cigars product offering please visit www.fratellocigar.com/thecigar for a description.


Finally from our friends at Drew Estate:


Drew Estate Announces ACID Supercell, Subculture Exclusive for Fogue & Bates in Tulsa, OK

Thursday, October 29, 2015 — Miami, FL – Drew Estate will be releasing a new Subculture cigar for Fogue & Bates in Tulsa, OK, called ACID Supercell. The new cigar will be released at an in-store event at Fogue & Bates on November 19th, 2015. Supercell will be available exclusively at the Fogue & Bates retail shop.

The new ACID Supercell is presented in a 4 ¾ x 43 vitola, and the blend is based on the ACID Toast blend. ACID Toast has become a popular choice among ACID smokers who are looking for a fuller-bodied ACID cigar. The blend features a maduro wrapper from the San Andres Valley and has rich tobacco notes underlying the sweet taste of the ACID infusion.

When asked about the new ACID Supercell, Jonathan Drew said that, “James George at Fogue & Bates understands the ethos of Drew Estate. He has become a virtual extension of our vision, and drives it straight to consumers in the Midwest market. The new ACID Supercell has been meticulously created to honor James for everything he has added to our journey. The Supercell is stupid fresh. If you find yourself in Tulsa, definitely stop by Fogue & Bates. It’s an awesome shop run by an awesome team that we call family. ”

James George, owner of Fogue & Bates, commented that, “The Supercell project started four years ago, with the idea that the Toast is my favorite ACID blend. The one problem was that the larger size was sometimes too large for the occasion. Sometimes you just don’t have an hour to commit to a cigar. From there, Supercell was born. After four years and several blend iterations, the Supercell blend is what we’ve landed on, and I’m extremely excited about it. My relationship with Drew Estate over the years has been a fantastic partnership, and I truly believe that Drew Estate is the most innovative company in the industry. I’m happy to be partnered up with them for Supercell.”

To learn more about Fogue & Bates, call or visit their retail store at:

6929 East 71st Street
Tulsa, OK 74133
(918) 488-0818

To follow all of Drew Estate’s news, follow them on social media at @drewestatecigar.


That about wraps it up for today, the first day of Standard Time here in PA and around much of the country. I personally hate Standard Time, sure it’s light earlier, but it’s friggin dark by the time I get home. That means it wont be long before it’s freezing cold and snowy and crappy, and I want my summer back!  I’m going to have to button up the smoking porch and get the propane heaters out. Oh, and finally, here’s a question that’s been keeping me up at night (not really), but a couple weeks ago Halfwheel reported that CAO had a Pumpkin Spice Cigar hitting shelves, I never heard anything else about this, never saw any, and am left wondering if this was a “The Onion” type of  post poking fun at CAO or just to see what the reaction would be or what. Was there really a CAO Rider’s Revenge?  Enquiring minds want to know! Until the next time,


Cigar Craig



Filed under Accessories, News, Review

4 Responses to A Montecristo, an Alec Bradley, Stage V Clinger and Some News

  1. Rider’s Revenge was a legitimate release. I have seen it in the stores.

  2. Dan Colley

    Normally, I steer away from puros. Apparently, I got one that was just one-faceted and based on that, I just avoided them altogether. That is until I tried the AB Nica Puro. Like you, I found it to be a very nice cigar that is a regular for me. I look forward to tasting the rosada-wrapped. Normally, the “roses” have that small but detectable difference that gives the variety that most of us look for.

    I’m curious. I read something last week about a leak of the FDAs recommendations that went to OMB. Have you heard anything about FDA recommending that the exemption for premium cigars NOT be approved? That is the scuttlebutt.

  3. Dan Colley

    I meant to include my condolences to Ben Edmundson’s family and friends, both at home and abroad. While I didn’t know him either, I respected the work he did for our Veterans, who can ALWAYS use a good smoke. Rest in peace, Ben. Fair winds and following seas.

Leave a Reply