American Legion Cigar by Blanco, a Joya Red and an Asylum 13 Ogre or Two

Following the holiday weekend we’ve been busy around Casa CigarCraig.  I’ve still managed to smoke some great cigars along the way.  I picked out some reasonably new cigars to smoke and have enjoyed them.  Also, I received a copy of Prime Living magazine today from Houston which has, I’m proud to say, my first published cigar piece. You can see the digital version at, my article is on page 55 (which is page 57 in the digital version). I wanted to write an introduction to the world of premium cigars, I hope I was able to present a small part of what goes into making a cigar in laymen’s terms, in a way that non-cigar geeks can appreciate the wonders of the premium cigar.  I hope it goes over well!


American Legion_ToroSunday afternoon I picked out a cigar that David Blanco gave me at the Cigarnival last week, the American Legion toro.  Blanco Cigars makes this cigars, and the proceeds go to the American Legion, which both David Blanco and his father are members.  The American Legion is the nation’s largest wartime veterans service organization and focusses on service to veterans, service members and communities. A Habano Rosado Nicaraguan wrapper is very attractive, and the filler is a blend of Nicaraguan and Honduran tobacco. The cigar was very good, it had a nice, medium bodied sweet flavor which should have a broad appeal.  This was a great cigar to wrap up the Independence Day weekend!


Joya_Red_ToroTuesday evening I selected the new cigar from Joya de Nicaragua, the Joya Red.  Dr. Alejandro Martinez Cuenca, the owner of Joya de Nicaragua, handed me this cigar at Cigarnival, I believe they are due to be released at the upcoming IPCPR show in a couple weeks. The folks at Joya blended this Nicaraguan Puro to be a milder alternative to the more powerful Joya de Nicaragua blends, although I find that their Cabinetta, a personal favorite of mine, to be quite mild. The Red hasa a Nicaraguan Habano wrapper, and binder and fillers from Esteli, Condega and Jalapa. The cigar burned perfectly, and was another nice, sweet medium bodied smoke. This seems less refined than the milder Cabinetta, but it was well balanced and delicious. It has the terrific flavor of the Antaño lines, with a fraction of the strength. This is a great smoke for any time of day.


Asylum13_Ogre_5x50Monday evening (and there’s a reason I’m going out of order), my wife and I drove an hour and a half south to Bel Air, Maryland to meet our friends Jude and Rande for dinner.  They were visiting family in the Washington, DC area and this was mid way between us. We went to a nice place called Loonies Pub, which was a sports bar which had some great food. The crab nachos were really good, and I had an excellent fish and chips, a personal weakness. Of course it was a no smoking establishment, so I had a cigar on the drive home.  I smoked the same cigar again tonight, which brings the chronological order back where it should be!  I smoked the Asylum 13 Ogre in the new robusto size. I spoke with Tom Lazuka of Asylum Cigars at Cigarnival, and thanked him for making the Ogre in reasonable sizes, as I enjoyed the flavor of the original, but the 7″ x 70 size was not particularly comfortable for me to smoke.  The Ogre is a barber pole style cigar with a Habano wrapper over a candela wrapped cigar. I like the color combination of the green and brown, and the result is a smooth smoking cigar with the richness of the Habano juxtaposed with the refreshing flavor of the candela. While the example I smoked in the car seemed a little wet from being in the car in a leather case on a pretty humid day, it was still pretty tasty, although it turned a little funky in the last third. The one I smoked tonight was pretty spectacular. It burned perfectly and is a cigar I can see reaching for frequently. I want to pick some of these up in the 6″ x 60 size too, but this 5″ x 50 robusto is really a winner in my book, and no doubt my favorite cigar from Fabricas Unidas.


Even though I’m not going to the trade show this year, I have a good supply of new and interesting cigars to choose from over the next few weeks.  That’s it for now, until the next time,






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3 Responses to American Legion Cigar by Blanco, a Joya Red and an Asylum 13 Ogre or Two

  1. Craig

    Look forward to trying the new Joya Red. I have really enjoyed all the JdN cigars, especially the Antano 1970. I took your recommendation a while back and picked up some of the Rosalones from CI and have been pleased with them. They turned out to be a good everyday smoke when the time called for it.

  2. Dan Colley

    I also am looking forward to the new Joya Red. I’ve been a fan of the Antano for a year or so, since a friend showed me what I had been missing !!! The Antanos are great, the Cabaneta was a bit mild for my tastes, but this one sounds like it will be right in my wheelhouse. Thanks for the review and the tip.

  3. Kevin D. Shahan

    A well written piece in Prime Living. Congrats!

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