Category Archives: Contest

Dominion Cigar Black Lotus Maduro and the Contest Winner

Dominion_Black Lotus_RobustoIt seems like I haven’t smoked many cigars since my Wednesday post, and I guess I’ve only smoked three, two of which weren’t worthy of mention for various reasons. My back porch is relatively cozy with the propane heater going, considering evening temperatures have been in the single digits. The cold still has an adverse effect, I had a Nub Habano 464T that was several years old that just didn’t work right, and a Toraño that I will revisit as I’ve heard great things about it, but it was lost on me.  So, as usually happens this time of year, I’ll focus on one particular cigar, in this case, it’s an IPCPR show sample from a Canadian company called Dominion Cigar.  Their first cigar offering was the Black Lotus, made at Tabacos De Oriente in Honduras, came out in 2014, followed by the San Andrés maduro version last year, which I smoked yesterday.  The band, as well as the dark wrapper, are rather appealing in appearance, the band features a purple lotus flower. I have to admit, I’m a little confused about what this cigar actually was based upon the information on the website. It looked and tasted like it could be the maduro, but the website states that the maduro only comes in a Toro size, this was clearly a robusto. There is some ambiguity in the description, I’ll just quote it here and let the reader decide if it makes sense:

In mid 2016 Dominion launched a maduro version of its very successful Black Lotus cigar. The blend itself is very similar to the natural, but features a Honduran six priming Sumatran binder, and a Nicaraguan habano maduro wrapper. The outcome is a cigar with smooth rich flavours of dark molasses, and creamy tobacco. In late 2016 Dominion also launched a maduro version of the Black Lotus featuring a Mexican San Andreas wrapper. The Black Lotus maduro is available in one vitola, a 6 X 52 Toro.

BLack LotusMaybe I smoked the original “natural” ( I guess), wrapper, but I don’t think so. The wrapper looked darker than pictures of the Honduran Habano wrapped version. I suppose an explanation could be that the robusto is a new vitola in the line and the website hasn’t been updated yet (in the six months since the trade show?). I’m going with my original impression that this is a maduro, maybe not San Andrés, but maduro, for sure. There were hints of the molasses as indicated in their blurb, with a bit of dark dried fruit sweetness. I found it to be rather mild, but a very nice cigar, well-behaved after an initial uneven burn, which could just as easily have been a lighting issue on my part. I’ll reach out to the folks at Dominion and hopefully they will clarify some things for me, but it was a really nice cigar that I would happily smoke again. I have one each of their Flor de Claro and Dominion Classic in toro size that I’ll smoke when the temperatures climb above freezing.

 

***Update:  I received the following clarification from the folks at Dominion Cigars:  “Some clarity on the Black Lotus blends, as the website says, the original Black Lotus is a natural, and comes in three vitolas as mentioned, 5 X 52 Robusto, 6 X 50 Toro and 6 X 60 Gordo. The colorado shade wrapper is darker, but it is still a natural not a maduro, so what you smoked based on the picture you posted in a natural. The Black Lotus maduro only comes in one vitola as mentioned on the website, in a 6 X 52 Toro. You can tell the difference between the maduro and natural, as the maduro has a secondary band that says maduro on it, you wouldn’t know that unless you actually had one of course. As far as what wrapper is in the maduro, their are two different wrappers, but only one in the United States which is the Mexican San Andreas.”  Thanks to Bernhard for setting me straight. Now I am very interested in smoking the maduro!

 

Contest!

DE Contest2017Today is going to wrap up the third in the series of Holiday contests.  I know I’ve put a lot more work into the contests in the past, but I like to think the goodies I’ve been able to give away have been unique and worthwhile. These unauthorized contests are my way of sharing my good fortunes. This final edition featured some great stuff from Drew Estate, stuff that the DE collectors might drool over, and maybe isn’t out there everywhere. I love it, but I love to share even more.  So, I’ve consulted with the Random.org random number generator, and it pointed me to Kirk.  If I don’t hear from Kirk this week, I’ll e-mail him or otherwise track him down! It’s amazing to me the number of names that appear on every contest, going back several years, I thank you all for reading along as I enter the ninth year of doing this! Many thanks to Drew Estate for the goodies, great cigars and good times they’ve provided me over the years!

 

That’s all for today, until the next time,

 

CigarCraig

 

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CigarCraig’s Holiday Giveaways No. 3 – Drew Estate Goodies!

Happy New Year’s Eve to everyone,  2017 is just about in the books, the year went by really fast.  I honestly don’t know what to expect from 2018, but I’ll keep smoking cigars, visiting shops and going to events I suspect. So I wish everyone a safe and happy 2018, and be careful out there tonight!  I’ll be finding an appropriate cigar to smoke this evening, that’s for sure.  Anyway, there’s the business of selecting the winner of the La Gloria Cubana Contest, which includes a travel humidor and a dozen La Gloria LaGloriaCubana ContestCubana cigars. The random number generator selected Trent Berry as the winner!  Trent, please send me your address so I can ship this off to you!  Once again, thanks to Rami at General Cigar Co., Cigar Cigars in King Of Prussia for having a great event with Ernesto Carillo which caused me to open my wallet and end up with a cool humidor to give away, and of course, General Cigar Co, for being an awesome steward of a long loved brand.  Gee, I wonder what today’s giveaway is?

 

Contest (note: not Comic Sans this time Mike P!)

 

DE Contest2017Today’s third and (maybe) final giveaway of the season is a collection of goodies from my friends at Drew Estate. Included are some items that may not be very common in the wild. These are items I’ve received over the course of the year, there’s a Barnsmoker cap from the Connecticut Barn Smoker (I’m not a hat guy), a DE backpack which contained a lighter, ashtray, and other assorted goodies which was from the media party that DE threw at the 2017 IPCPR, some various stickers that I’ve accumulated over the years, some of which are from my last visit to the factory in 2013, and a selection of cigars from my humidor including Undercrowns (and example of each wrapper), a KFC, a Nica Rustica and some Joya de Nicaraguas because Drew Estate distributes them and I have a bunch.  I’ll add to it if I come across more stuff. Once again, it’s not that I don’t appreciate these gifts from Drew Estate, I do, but I like to share my good fortune, and I have lots of “stuff”! You know the de4l, leave a comment here to enter and I’ll pick a winner next Sunday, Jan 7, 2018. As always, thank YOU all for your continued support!

 

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

 

CigarCraig

(I was thinking of making a version of the logo with a party hat and one of those noisemaker, party things, for New Years, but lack the patience for that right now…something for me to work on for next year!)

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CigarCraig’s Holiday Giveaways No. 2 – La Gloria Cubana Cigars and Humidor

Before we get to today’s giveaway, I better announce the winner of the last one!  The winner of the Gurkha Goodies Giveaway, as selected by the random number generator at Random.org is Jeffrey Martin!  Please send your address so I can get this shipped to you on Tuesday!

 

Contest!

 

La Gloria Cubana Contest 1A couple of months ago I attended an event at a local shop which featured Ernesto Perez Carillo, but was a General Cigar Event. It would be confusing if one wasn’t aware of Ernesto’s involvement with La Gloria Cubana, which was his baby until he sold it to General. It was a treat to see him and get to talk to him for a bit, and I talked myself into buying a box of the new La Gloria Cubana Coleccion Reserva, just to have Ernesto sign it for me. I don’t usually do that, but it was Ernesto, and I’ve been a huge LGC fan for decades. I love the cigars, so I’m in good shape there, and wanted to share some with La Gloria Cubana Contest 2a lucky reader. One of the “gifts with purchase” for buying the box was a cool La Gloria Cubana Serie R travel humidor, along with a fiver of the Coleccion Reserva La Robusto, and Rami, our local rep, threw in another fiver.  So there’s a travel humidor, ten great cigars, along with a couple of others from my humidor, a Serie R Esteli and a Serie N JSB.  As you can see the travel humidor will hold 11 cigars, but not 12. Thanks to General Cigars for helping me out with this one and giving me the chance to hang out with a legend in the cigar biz, as well as making great cigars!

 

You know the rules, leave a comment to enter and I’ll pick a winner next Sunday, which is New Years Eve. Today is Christmas Eve, so Merry Christmas to all. I’ve been smoking some favorites lately, and will pick out a couple of special cigars for today and tomorrow, no doubt.  So, until the next time,

 

CigarCraig

 

 

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CigarCraig’s Holiday Giveaways No. 1 – Gurkha Goodies

Most will remember the good old days, before FDA scared all the manufacturers away from giving away cigars, when we called this ” CigarCraig’s 12 Spectator Days of Cigar Giveaways “. Many times it went beyond 12 days due to the generosity of the manufacturers. Over the five years we did that we put well over a thousand cigars in consumers hands, along with a ton of accessories and SWAG (actually not the best use of the acronym for Stuff We All Get). Last year I did a scaled back version which gave me more time to spend with my family and was easier on my shipping budget. So it’s high time to get the holidays rolling with some CigarCraig Giveaways! These will run for a week, with the winner for today’s giveaway being announced next Sunday. Usual rules apply, leave a comment here for a chance to win and you must be of legal age in your municipality.

 

Contest!

Gurkha Prize Pack CC2017We’ll start off the giveaways with some goodies from Gurkha. Like the other items in this year’s giveaways, these gifts were unsolicited, a random collection of promotional items I’ve collected over the years and want to share with my loyal readers. Included in the Gurkha present is a Gurkha mouse pad, a Gurkha flask, a super cool Gurkha cutter (that I’d keep if I didn’t have so many darned cutters!) and some cigars from my humidor.  The cigars include a Founders Reserve from this year’s IPCPR and an East India Trading Co. Classic Havana Blend Robusto, as well as a sampler from the 2015 (I think) IPCPR show which includes Cellar Reserve 12 year (Platinum) and 18 year (Edición Especial), The Classic Cigar: Havana Blend, A Royal Challenge Maduro, a Heritage and the Cask Blend, all in, more or less, Toro-ish sizes. I’ve smoked all of these and they’re all great cigars. Thanks to Gurkha for the goodies and good luck everyone!

 

Gurkha Cutter CC2017

Gurkha Cigars CC2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That’s all for today, until the next time,

 

CigarCraig 

 

 

 

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Smoking Contenders and the Contest Winner

It snowed in some unusual places in the US over the last few days, but it’s not that unusual here. Yesterday it snowed a few inches in PA, so I painted a room, and managed to smoke a cigar in between coats. Unfortunately, I also smoked an entire cigar while on the phone with a major retailer trying to work out a delivery issue. I suppose the cigar prevented me from losing my mind…anyway, I spent this week smoking though 2 Guy’s Smokeshop‘s Cigar of the year contenders pack that I bought while I was there a couple of weeks ago. Included in the pack were: Aladino, Eiroa First 20 Years Colorado, Luminosa by Crowned Heads, The Oscar Habano, Perla Del Mar Maduro, Vegas Cubanas, Wayfarer by Serino Cigars, and The Wiseman Maduro. These are all in robusto format, except for the Wideman Maduro which is in a corona size, and is on the schedule to smoke today. Being slightly CDO (which, as we know, is OCD in alphabetical order like it should be), I smoked them in the order they were listed on the insert in the box. 

 

AladinoAladino: this is from JRE Cigars, Julio and Justo Eiroa, father and brother of Chrsitian Eiroa. The cigar is authentic Corojo grown on the Eiroa’s farm in Honduras. This was a 5″x50 robusto and I was really quite happy smoking this cigar. It was a great start to the pack, and was my favorite so far 😀.

Eiroa First 20 Years ColoradoEiroa First 20 Years Colorado: CLE cigars is the company Christian Eiroa formed after selling Camacho to Davidoff. This cigar celebrates his twenty year anniversary in the cigar industry. This was a 5″x50 with a severe box press, and was a beautiful cigar. Christian worked with his father on this cigar, a Honduran puro.  Vastly different from the Aladino, didn’t do it for me, which is consistent with my feelings on most of Christian’s cigars now.  Funny, I loved the Camachos when he made them, CLE and Eiroa don’t seem to fit my tastes.

LuminosaLuminosa by Crowned Heads: I’m not normally a fan of Crowned Heads, but I am a fan of Ernesto Carillo, so this one was  little confusing. I enjoyed the cigar, it had an interesting flavor, but the look of the cigar was “bundle-ish”. The orange band made me think of the Don Jose bundles from the 90s. Preconceived notions aside, it was a pretty good smoke, but to me it was just another Ecuador Connecticut cigar. I’m absolutely mystified that this cigar doesn’t appear on the Crowned Heads website, but the guys at 2 Guys felt is was in the running for their cigar of the year.

OscarThe Oscar Habano: Another cigar from Honduras, this typically has a candela leaf outer sleeve, along the lines of the Leaf by Oscar. The candela leaf was absent on the Contenders samplers, I’d be very suspicious if Dave Garofalo came out with a new Candela cigar in the near future. I know he’s a fan of the green leaf (…that’s a joke, son). The Oscar has jumped to the front of the line for me. This was a solid cigar with great flavor and just a darned pleasure to smoke. I have a toro floating around the humidor I think, and have smoked the 6×60 and really enjoyed them, but, like I mentioned to Oscar Valladares when I met him in an Elevator in Vegas, I’m a fan of his work.

Perla del MarPerla Del Mar Maduro: this is a budget line from J.C.Newman, and it a nice smoke.  I like a maduro, and this is a good one, although maybe I’m becoming a snob, but it just didn’t have anything special enough to warrant COTY consideration. I wouldn’t pass one up, it’s a solid choice for someone who can’t or won’t spend a lot on a cigar. That said, I wasn’t left disappointed or unsatisfied.

Vegas Cubanas_InvictosYesterday I smoked the Vegas Cubanas and  Wayfarer Cigars. The Vegas Cubanas is an old brand from Don Pepin Garcia that was re-issued last year. It’s got a Corojo Rosado wrapper and Nicaraguan fillers. This is the cigar that prevented me from losing my cool on the phone with customer service. This was another Wayfarer by Serino Cigarsenjoyable cigar, the presentation is beautiful, and the cigar smoked well.  The Wayfarer is the latest from Serino Cigars. It’s blended to be similar in profile to the cigars out of Havana. I can see that to some extent. It was a 5″x52 robusto with an Ecuador Corojo wrapper. This is an interesting line in that they use some construction details that are reminiscent of the Cuban cigars. I enjoyed the cigar, although I like the cigars in the Serino Royale line better.

So that leaves us with The Wise Man maduro, which is the maduro version of the El Güegüense from Nick Mellilo’s Foundation Cigar Co. I smoked the Toro Huaco a couple of weeks ago and it was fantastic. I think, for me, it’s going to come down to this or the Oscar for my vote, not that my vote carries much weight. 2 Guys COTY is based in part by votes, but also in part by sales in their three stores and on-line.  I’ll be interested in hearing about the winner, which will be announced on The Cigar Authority. Will they get it right?

 

Contest!

Caliber 4RIt’s time to pick a winner of the Western Humidor Calibur 4 R digital hygrometer, courtesy of my friends at Cigar Oasis. I’m a little annoyed with myself, Chaim of Cigar Oasis gifted me a really nifty lighter in celebration of their anniversary, and it, along with my Xikar MTX scissors, were put someplace that I can’t remember! I rarely lose things, I know I packed it someplace for a trip and can’t figure where. Anyway, the winner of the hygrometer is Christopher Brose.  Please send me your address so I can ship this out! I need to get my Secret Santa packed up and shipped too! Thanks again to Cigar Oasis for the cool prize!  

 

That’s enough for today. Just so you know, the stuff about 2 Guys and their COTY and Cigar Authority are unsolicited. I bought their contenders pack with my own money and the opinions expressed are my own. Heck, none of the contenders are even advertisers. I’ve got no skin in the game, just thought it would be fun to see how my thoughts match up with theirs and throw them a bone!  Until the next time, 

 

CigarCraig

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