Category Archives: News

Umbagog and Tatuaje Pudgy Monsters Cigars and Fratello News

UmbagogLast week I bought some of the Fratello Fire Crackers from 2 Guys Cigars when they went on sale, and while I was at it, I added a few of Steve Saka’s Umbagog Corona Gordas to my order as I was itching to try them out. The Umbagog is almost the same blend as the Mi Querida, utilizing Connecticut Broadleaf wrappers that  weren’t as pretty (in Steve’e estimation, who else could tell?) as the wrappers on the Mi Querida. I love the Mi Querida, so chances were good that this was a safe buy. The advantage is that the Umbagog is a little less expensive, although I would be hard pressed to tell the difference in a blind tasting. Like the Mi Querida, the Umbagog is made in the NACSA factory in Nicaragua. I mistakenly thought I got the Toro Toro, but upon reflection, I had the Corona Gorda, I thought it looked thinner than the Ancho Larga in its sister line. The Corona Gorda is 6″ x 48, which ten years ago would have been a toro for the most part. It had one of the better burns I’ve had in a non-Dunbarton Tobacco and Trust cigar, they all seem to burn perfectly, which goes along with Steve’s Puros sin Compomiso mantra. It was loaded with sweet espresso and cocoa flavors that I enjoy, and, with the exception of its plain band and odd name, was as great a cigar as I’ve smoked. I’m waiting for the right time (and company) to smoke the Muestra de Saka I have, and continue to gravitate toward a cigar from this company when I want a sure thing.  The Umbagog is a winner, pick them up when you can as they are limited to the “reject” wrappers!

 

Tatuaje_PudgyWolfTonight I grabbed one of the Tatuaje Pudgy Monsters that was in the Oh F*ck I’m Lost pack I got at an event a while back. I had the Drac and the Wolf to choose from and went with the Wolf. I’ve smoked the Wolfman, the 7½” x 54 big old torpedo with the shaggy foot that I want to say was the fourth release in the Monster series back in 2011?  The Pudgy Monsters version is a 5½” x 52 belicoso with the same shaggy foot, that is the wrapper is cut back a half-inch from the end. It’s fun the be able to taste when the wrapper flavor kicks in and understand how much that thin leaf adds to the flavor. This one has an Ecuador Sumatra wrapper, and the rest is Nicaraguan. I remember really enjoying the larger format (TY to Will Cooper, I think it was in a sampler he sent for my 50th birthday, which was a handful of years ago now!). This one had a smooth, nutty, grain flavor with some mellow coffee in the second half and was a really flavorful and pleasing cigar. Burn was flawless. Dammit, now I’m going to have to keep an eye out for more of these, I suspect the samplers are still around, but I’d certainly buy a few of these if they were available singly, which I don’t guess they are. I’m doing pretty good this week, two spectacular cigars!

 

I mentioned the Fratello Firecracker earlier, this is a 3″x 50 format with a long pigtail “fuse” that is a 2 Guys exclusive, and every year it’s made by someone else, Don Pepin Garcia, La Flor Dominicana, RoMaCraft…this year’s is made by Fratello. These usually are a strong blend, I’ve smoked the LFD and Cromagnon versions and look forward to trying Omar’s version, I’m sure it’ll be great. But Omar de Frias has a new Fratello cigar debuting at the IPCPR show that sounds interesting. This one is called the Fratello Naveta, which is Italian for “shuttle” and is a nod to his years at NASA (where he makes a space shuttle look small).

“Blending Fratello Naveta was special as I wanted to translate the ultimate celebration our men and women of the space program felt after a successful mission”. “After being part of over 21 missions nothing beats the feeling of getting our astronauts home safe to their families” said de Frias.

“Colleagues of mine would get together and smoke a very special cigar to commemorate the occasion. This very special blend carries the ultimate feeling of innovation, duty, honor and success” said de Frias.

Fratello_NavettaBlended with an Ecuador oscuro wrapper the blend will be featured in 4 vitolas.

– Robusto Discovery (5 x 50) 10.50

– Toro Endeavor (6 ¼ x 54) 11.25

– Gordo Enterprise (6 x 60) 12.00

– The Boxer Atlantis (6 ¼ x 52) 12.50

Fratello Navetta will be manufactured at Joya de Nicaragua and will be available for shipment in September. Omar de Frias worked at NASA for 12 years prior to leaving to focus full-time on Fratello.

 

I’m looking forward to trying this one!  The presentation looks great!  I’ll get to the Firecrackers in the coming weeks.

 

That’s all for me for tonight, until the next time,

 

CigarCraig

Share

Leave a Comment

Filed under News, Review

A Mi Querida and a Philly Cigar Festival Contest Announcement

Mi Querida Ancho Corta - @stevesakaIt’s a short one tonight! Got a late start due to stopping to give blood on the way home, something I do because I can, it’s the very least I can do to help someone, and my father was a long time donor and hes not here to do it anymore. Of course, they say no smoking for an hour, so I came home and had some dinner and did some yard work before sparking up a Mi Querida Ancho Corta, the robusto in the line. This 5″ x 52 robusto smokes a long time for a smallish vitola, by the time I got done game 7 of the Penguins/Capitals series was well underway. I hate rooting for either team, but I can’t stand the Penguins, so I have to go with the Caps…fingers crossed. Anyway, the Mi Querida is a fantastic Broadleaf wrapped cigar that is a great  bang for the buck in that it’s not inexpensive, but it is well worth it for the flavor and smoking time.  I had said that I was going to stick to familiar cigars this week as I had some dental work done Monday, which went well, thank you for the comments. I smoked a RoMEo 505 and a Perdomo Habano Maduro also this week which I enjoyed a lot, although in the case of the Perdomo, I like the 20th Anniversary Maduro more. It’s been a pretty good week so far, all things considered.

 

Contest!

In Sunday’s post I said I was going to pick a winner tonight, but I lied…er…changed my mind.  I’m going to let the contest run until Sunday.  Head back to the last post (here’s a link to make it easy), and enter for a chance to win a ticket to the Philly Cigar Festival on June 3rd. I’m sad I won’t be able to attend, but someone should go in my place and have a great time!

 

Finally, if you live in Pennsylvania, our lovely legislators are trying again to ban smoking in cigar stores, cigar bars, etc. so get on your state rep and senator to oppose this infringement on our rights and the rights of small businesses (and some large ones) to make a living. I pointed out that it’s anti small business, and just wrong. Seriously, how is a cigar bar supposed to stay open if one can’t smoke? Here is the state’s Find Your Legislator page to help you to find your guys and let them know what you think (in a respectful and logical manner).

 

That’s enough for tonight, gotta watch the end of game 7….until the next time,

 

CigarCraig

Share

Leave a Comment

Filed under Contest, News, Review

An New H. Upmann, Some News, a Discount and Another Philly Cigar Festival Contest!

HUpmannAJFernandez_RobustoI’ve been a little behind on my cigar consumption this week, I did manage to smoke a really nice Joya de Nicaragua Cabinetta No. 60, a cool 6″x 60 perfecto that was really good. this afternoon after getting some things done around the house and yard, I sat down with a new offering from H. Upmann, a robusto made by AJ Fernandez and it’s called H. Upmann by AJ Fernandez. What a crazy name!  It’s made in Nicaragua, has an Ecuadoran Sumatra wrapper with a Nicaraguan Corojo ’99 binder and fillers from Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic. This cigar was very firm to the touch, which gave me some concern, but it had an effortless draw and burned perfectly.  It had what I consider as dark flavors, which I like, as well as a unique spice that I can’t name. It was an intriguing cigar, finally an H.Upmann I like! This is an interesting personal trend, I’ve been underwhelmed by many Altadis products, with some exceptions, but the newer lines especially the ones made in Nicaragua, have been up my alley. The new RoMEo 505 (Placencia) and the Gispert Intenso (AJ Fernandez) have impressed me.

 

My friends at 2 Guys Smoke Shop have revamped their website this week, I’ve included the press release verbatim here, largely out of laziness. Dave Garofalo was one of the first retailers with an online presence back in the ’90s when the internet was a wild and untamed place. It looks a lot better now!

2GuysCigars.com Launches Re-Designed Online Cigar Shopping Website

2guys

2GuysCigars.com operates a long-running online mail order business distributing premium cigars all over the country. The company recently launched an updated version of the eCommerce website to provide online cigar shoppers with an improved cigar buying experience.

 

The new and improved website features a clean and modern design, with vibrant images and easy-to-use navigation. The mobile browsing experience was especially improved, the new fully responsive design provides cigar lovers with the ability to take full advantage of all site features from any mobile device. Cigar lovers will quickly be able to browse sections that feature the site’s massive premium cigar selection as well as finding sections dedicated to cigar sampler packs, cigar accessories, budget cigars, and the newest items in the company’s inventory. The site also highlights the large number of premium cigar brands that are exclusively available from 2GuysCigars.com, allowing them to easily identify and purchase cigars that are unavailable anywhere else.

 

“Even after over 30 years in the cigar business, I’m always looking for ways to improve” said 2GuysCigars.com Owner David Garofalo. “Innovation has always been a big part of the cigar industry, and anyone who isn’t moving forward is falling behind. Our customers loved our old website, but we’ve kept the stuff that made that site awesome while making improvements we think they’re going to like even more. Additionally, with so much of our web traffic coming from mobile devices, we decided to incorporate what I think is the best mobile cigar shopping experience available online today. This new site is something I’m proud to share with our loyal customers, and I want them all to know that in addition to our new site we have many more exciting things in store for them in 2017 and beyond!”

 

The company recently exited the testing phase of the new website and since the switch to the new and improved 2GuysCigars.com, they are reporting significant improvements in a number of key visitor statistics that indicate visitors are already enjoying the new design. In addition to the new site launch, 2GuysCigars.com has added of a number of new premium cigars to their extensive inventory, most recently Tatuaje Monsters, The Angel’s Anvil by Crowned Heads, Serino Royale and Eiroa 20 Year Colorado.

 

To check out the one of the best online retailers visit www.2guyscigars.com or call 888-224-4272.

 

 

I have to find my Stage V Clinger and put it in my pocket tomorrow as I might need it when I’m out and about, but the folks there e-mailed me this week to let me know that me talking about their cigar holder has produced some buzz for them! That’s nice to hear, because I want all the cigars and accessories I talk about here to succeed, because I generally believe in the items I feature here, if I didn’t, I wouldn’t write about them or use them! So, as a thank you, they are offering a special Father’s Day promo code “StageVdad” for $5 off a 4-pack. The special offer can be redeemed right on the Stage V website from May 11-June 11. So if you golf, or just need an extra hand now and then, this is a good product to have!

 

Contest!

The Philly Cigar Festival is fast approaching on  June 3, 2017 and being held in Pottstown, Pennsylvania from 11:00am to 4:30pm at The Norco Fairgrounds. Unfortunately, a scheduling conflict is preventing me from attending this, much to my disappointment. My loss is one of your gains though, as the organizers have authorized me to have another contest and give away my ticket! Of course, the winners are under no obligation to do this, but I’d be more than happy to publish a guest post from one of them (or anyone who attends for that matter), after the event. Again, just putting it out there, no pressure! This is a multi-vendor event, with cigars, beer, food and drink and representatives from thirty cigar companies, . Ticket prices run $150 and $200 and covers a bunch of cigars (the FDA no longer allows cigars to be given away). There are a couple of rules, first is you must be 21, and the other is that this giveaway covers the ticket only, you are responsible for getting there. I understand that this will exclude some of you. Cigars for Warriors will be represented and will be benefiting from the event. So leave a comment to enter and since the event coming up soon, this will be a quick contest, I’ll announce a winner on Sunday, May 14, 2017 (yeah, it’s Mother’s Day…) and I’ll need the winner to contact me so I can send your info to the organizers.  Thanks again to the Philly Cigar Festival, I wish I could make it!

 

That’s all for now. Having some dental work done tomorrow, so it may be a slow week cigar-wise. It’ll probably be old favorites if it’s anything, not sure how I’ll feel this time around.  Until the next time,

 

CigarCraig

Share

8 Comments

Filed under Contest, News, Review

Cohiba News, Cohiba Blue, Sancho Panza and a Cigar Quiz

I mentioned the Cohiba Blue in a recent post, and received some samples to try on Monday. I broke my usual rule to let thing sit, because General Cigar Co. made the announcement today that they have hired a new brand manager to represent the Cohiba brand, Sean Wand that person is none other than my friend Sean Williams of El Primer Mundo fame. I recall hearing him interviewed on a recent Smooth Draws show and he mentioned something big in the works, along with talking about his brand and the fact that he had partnered in a factory to produce El Primer Mundo and Larceny (an offshoot project he did a couple of years ago with Eddie Ortega). Sean’s El Primer Mundo brand pre-dated the FDA predicate date, I want to say, off the top of my head, he debuted the brand in 2006. here is part of General Cigar Co.s press release, in case you missed it on other sites:

GENERAL CIGAR APPOINTS COHIBA BRAND AMBASSADOR

May 1, 2017 — General Cigar announced today that the company has appointed Sean Williams as a full-time brand ambassador for Cohiba. Williams is former owner of El Primer Mundo Cigar Company, a boutique collection of highly-rated cigars made in the Dominican Republic.

“We have brought Sean on board as part of the continued expansion of our experiential platforms,” said General Cigar President Régis Broersma. “Our focus is on deepening retailer and consumer engagement around this pivotal brand in our portfolio. With Sean, we are gaining a passionate cigar maker who is also a connoisseur of the finer things in life. We are confident he will make great strides in further aligning Cohiba with luxury lifestyle activations.”

Sean will bring the Cohiba brand to life at in-store events held at premier cigar shops across the U.S, and will activate the brand at an array of luxury venues across the country. He begins his new role today. Sean joins the company’s expanding team of brand ambassadors featuring Rick Rodriguez (CAO), Jack Toraño (Toraño) and Justin Andrews (Foundry Tobacco Company).

Sean will report to Gus Martinez, director of marketing, and will be based in Atlanta.

As his first order of business, Sean will spend several weeks at General Cigar Dominicana, working closely with the artisans who handcraft Cohiba to become fully immersed in the brand.

Prior to joining General Cigar, Sean founded El Primer Mundo Cigar Company in 2006 and successfully grew his brand internationally with distribution in the U.S., Southeast Asia, Australia and Russia. His commitment to creating superior cigars has resulted in numerous 90+ ratings spanning the cigar industry’s most respected publications.

 

I first met Sean at the 2011 IPCPR show, and have been a fan since. I look forward to seeing him at an event in the near future, if you are going to CI’s Cigar Fest this weekend look him up and tell him I said hello (as well as Rick Rodriguez and Jack Toraño)!

 

Cohiba_Blue_RobustoI mentioned that I broke my rule about letting samples sit for a while before smoking by lighting up a new Cohiba Blue in the 5½” x 50 Robusto size. This new Cohiba uses the Honduran OSA (Olancho San Augustin) wrapper, which we saw on the CAO OSA Sol, and more recently on the Partagas Heritage. The binder is also the OSA and there’s Honduran Jamastran, Nicaraguan Ometepe and Dominican Piloto Cubana in the filler. This cigar smoked well for the first two-thirds, then it got funky and needs some more humidor time. It had a sweet leathery kind of flavor that has promise with some more time to settle. I thought it was a nice smoke, and I will revisit this in a few weeks.

 

SanchoPanza_TripleAnejo_RobustoMonday night I smoked a Sancho Panza Triple Añejo that I had bought last year at a shop I visited called Jacoubs in Ridley Park, PA. I’m used to Sancho Panza being a very reasonably priced good smoke, and smoked a bunch of the Extra Fuerte back about 15 years ago. This one was $9, bujt it had a deliciously dark wrapper, and the make-up sounded like something I’d like.  It has a high-priming Nicaraguan Jalapa Sun Grown wrapper and Ecuadorian Sumatra, US Broadleaf, and Brazilian Arapiraca long-fillers. I’m thinking if this had been a little dryer it would have burned better and given me a better experience, but who’d have thought it would be any different from the many, many cigars smoked from the same humidor? Once again, I could see where this would be a great cigar, the flavor I got was good, but it was too much trouble and burned on the steamy side.  I though maybe my palate was shop, but a Rosalones 460 I smoked last night was a treat! I probably won’t buy another at $9, but the better priced Sancho Panza Double Maduro and Extra Fuerte are keepers.

Quiz

Our friends at Best Cigar Prices are at it again with another quiz! This one was a real challenge, I took it and only scored 80%, I’m embarrassed to say. Two of the ones I got wrong were careless mistakes. Take it and let us know in the comments how you fared!

https://www.bestcigarprices.com/blog/cigar-history-quiz/

That’s all for now. I should have had this done an hour ago but some connectivity problems gave me some fits.  It’s all good now, so until the next time,

CigarCraig

Share

2 Comments

Filed under News, Review

Punch, CAO, La Gloria, Macanudo Goodies Contest Winner

I smoked a handful of great cigars since we spoke last, but I just enjoyed most of them without giving them much thought. I did pick up a handy new gadget that I heard about on KMA Talk Radio last week, called the Poke and Smoke. it’s a handy tool on a key ring that has poke and smoketwo little prongs you can impale your cigar with and smoke it without burning your fingers. It was an impulse buy, and resembles the little handles one pokes into the ends of your corn on the cob to hold it with, and I’ve used it twice now and it works fine. I did notice that it stinks the next day, so I suppose I’ll have to keep tabs on that.  Anyway, I bought a couple and the winner of the contest may find one in with the goodies from General Cigar Co. courtesy of your’s truly.  Before we get to the winner, here’s a little news from General Cigar Co. about their new Cohiba release:

COHIBA BLUE

The world’s finest tobaccos create the most enduring experiences. Cohiba Blue is indeed the cigar for all who desire to live the good life.

Cohiba has always been synonymous with luxury smoking experiences. The brand’s latest collection, Cohiba Blue, takes this to an entirely different level by introducing the notion of inclusive luxury.

Andres Maturen, brand manager of Cohiba said, “With Cohiba Blue, we present collection that speaks to the ethos of the Cohiba brand. Made with a curated selection of tobaccos, handcrafted by renowned artisans, and created for all those who seek the indulgence of a fine cigar, Cohiba Blue symbolizes a life well lived.”

cohibablue_open_left_hrThe Cohiba blending team created a velvety, medium-bodied cigar with a rich, complex taste and enticing aroma. To achieve the desired flavor, they began with a silky, rosado-hued Honduran Olancho San Agustin (OSA) wrapper and took a unique approach by selecting Honduran OSA for the binder as well. The layered wrapper-binder deepens the smoking experience and imparts subtle, earthy notes. The blend consists of Honduran Jamastran, Nicaraguan Ometepe and Dominican Piloto Cubano to provide hints of cocoa and caramel, with a light touch of sweetness. The unique, three-country blend represents the world’s most revered tobacco growing regions and delivers a sophisticated, memorable smoke.

The cigars are protected hand-painted bright blue wooden boxes, each containing 20 flawlessly handcrafted cigars.

Churchill (7.5 X 50); SRP per cigar is $10.99

Robusto (5.5 X 50); SRP per cigar is $9.99

Rothschild (4.5 X 50); SRP per cigar $8.99

Toro (6 X 54); SRP per cigar is $10.49

 

ContestMore on the Cohiba Blue in the coming weeks, but you want to know who won the goodies!  The random number generator spit out the number 23, which corresponds with Olie. It turns out Olie is a very long time reader, and a guy I met face to face at a herf in Reno back in 2009, and had “known” for years before that on the old alt.smokers.cigars Usenet group! Congrats Ted, er…Olie, please send your address so I can get this stuff out your way!

 

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

 

CigarCraig

Share

4 Comments

Filed under Contest, News