Aging Room, Liga Privada and Royal Gold Kismet and Casino Gold Cigars

Thank you all for the kind words about my deer/car incident. There’s a lot of ways it could have turned out much worse, and it sounds like the car will get fixed so I’ll have my sexy black Toyota Yaris back in a few weeks!  I was ready to shop for a used car, something I could pay cash for, but I’d rather have MY used car back, I know where it’s been! I’d have a hard time replacing my Undercrown window sticker anyway!  In other news, this week the announcement came that Swisher International is purchasing Drew Estate, which caused quite a stir in the cigar community. All the folks analyzing this who have no idea about the inner workings drive me a little crazy. As far as I’m concerned, Jonathan Drew and Marvin Samel are very intelligent business men, they wouldn’t have built what they have if they weren’t, and if they are happy, I’m happy. If nothing else, it gives them the ability to do the things they do best without having to worry about the business side as much. The people criticizing this don’t want anything to do with Swisher’s products for the most part. My only concern is the fact that Swisher may not have as big an interest in seeing premium cigars separated from non-premium cigars as far as the FDA is concerned, however now they have a greater interest in doing so. It will be interesting to see what other business moves happen in the cigar industry.


AgingRoom_QuatroF55_ConcertoSunday I selected a Aging Room Quatro F55 Concerto, a nice Churchill from Boutique Blends.  I’ve had trouble with many cigars in this line, they tend to put a physical hurtin on me!  I love the flavor, but more times than not they overwhelm me for some reason. Very few cigar get to me the way Aging Room cigars have recently!  this is doubly interesting since it’s a Dominican cigar. I had no such trouble with this size, it was delicious and perfectly behaved.  I’m not surprised that this was the number two cigar of the year last year in Cigar Aficionado, it was a very nice way to finish the weekend. I’ll not be afraid to smoke this line again.


LigaPrivadaNo9_CoronaMonday, after hearing the Drew Estate news, I figured I’d smoke something interesting from the Liga Privada line.  Last year around my 50th birthday I received a very generous package from my friend Will Cooper, whom you may know from and  In this package was a corona sized Liga Privada No.9, with the story that Steve Saka had these made for his own consumption and shared some with Will. The question is how it compared to the Dirty Rat, which is a similar size. Certainly the Dirty Rat is a stronger cigar, however this No.9 had some age, and the Dirty Rats I’ve had recently also were four or five years old. It’s hard to compare under those circumstances, but the No.9 in the corona size was very nice, although I think the toro size remains my favorite in the line.


Royal Gold_Kismet_ChanceI had a couple cigars from Royal Gold, which, ironically, is reasonably new premium cigar division of Swisher International, from when I talked to Alex Goldman at the Famous Smoke Shop Cigarnival back in June. I had smoked and enjoyed the Cameroon wrapped Nirvana, which is made by Drew Estate a couple months ago and had the Casino Gold and the Kismet in the humidor. The Kismet Chance is a 5½” x 46 corona gorda, although thinking back I thought it was a robusto. This is a Dominican puro made at Agusto Reyes factory in Santiago.  I found this to be a very mild and well made cigar, but it was fairly unremarkable. It burned nicely and wasn’t offensive, just didn’t really stand out to me in any way.


Royal Gold_Casino Gold_QueenTonight I smoked the Royal Gold Casino Gold HRS in the Queen size. This is a 5¾x52 cigar made by Placencia in Honduras.  I don’t know if it’s because I have a cold coming on or what, but this one fell flat for me too.  Ever have a cigar that isn’t plugged, but draws poorly? Ever wonder why you can blow through a cigar and produce tons of smoke, but drawing produces very little?  I wonder that all the time, and I wondered this again tonight.  It did open up in the second half, and I wonder if the very damp evening air had something to do with it. Chalk it up to experience.  I smoked these this week because I wonder how much attention the Royal Gold division is going to get now that Swisher owns a premium cigar company, factory and all.


That’s all I got tonight. I’m watching the Flyers play their arch enemies the Penguins, and they are winning for a change.  I have some great friends that are Penguins fans, but I like them anyway. Until the next time,







Filed under Editorial, Review

5 Responses to Aging Room, Liga Privada and Royal Gold Kismet and Casino Gold Cigars

  1. Glad you enjoyed it.

    One comment on the Swisher and FDA thing. I think Swisher spending a boatload of money is a statement enough to say they are committed to protecting premium cigars. I’m not sure what there position will be going forward, but I would expect them to be working closer with the CRA and CAA on this stuff.

    Let’s go Flyers.

    • Thank you again for the opportunity to sample that rare Liga. I agree that it is now in Swishers best interest to protect their investment, and I’m quite sure it’s a BIG investment.

  2. TriMarkC

    Hey Craig! I’ve had similar issues with Aging Room – they tend to overwhelm me, as well. Have you had DE’s LP T-52? I actually prefer those to the T-9. That said, I still have the T-9 Jonathon Drew gave me at an event in the first year they were introduced — I think I’ll smoke that baby for my birthday in a couple weeks. Take care!

  3. Dan Colley

    Hey, Craig. Thanks again for the generous gift pack. Those are some nice, top-shelf cigars !!!

    I, also, had my curiosity piqued when a friend told me of the merger (or sale, or whatever it is) that occurred between Swisher and Drew. At first, I thought it a bit odd, but after some thought, it doesn’t seem that strange. Swisher’s business has its roots in flavored cigars while Drew, while involved with Acid, apparently does not base its business in flavored cigars. From what I have learned from some former co-workers at the FDA, it seems that the Agency has found, based on comments received, a stark division in the opinions about the categorization of cigars between flavored and non-flavored products.

    I believe Swisher, being essentially a single-product company, fears for their business life and see the merger with Drew to be a lifeboat. They have merged with a company that is solid in the hand-rolled premium cigar business yet is not naïve about flavored cigars. It is likely that Drew has a strategy on tap to deal with whatever the FDA regulations eventually look like and Swisher may share that position. As you mention, the up side for Drew likely rests in Swisher’s business acumen serving to relieve the Drews from the heavy business strain of running a business and not just formulating and making cigars.

    This is pure speculation on my part, but it seems to fall into place.

  4. Charlie H.

    I want one of those No.9 Coronas sooo bad to add to my Liga Unico collection! Id cut my right nut off for one of those, I wonder if Coop has any left? Great reviews Craig, keep um up!

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