Cigar Ramblings: Hamilton, Maria Mancini, Vegas de Santiago – Thursday January 27, 2011

It’s been a while since I wrote a proper post. It’s been a hectic winter here and circumstances just have not been conducive to smoking some of the cigars I’d like to smoke! However, I need to begin training for my March CigarSafari trip. I’m really looking forward to visiting Nicaragua and Drew Estate, and, considering I will probably smoke a few of their products, I’m going to try to avoid them over the next several weeks. I’m hesitant to smoke something new or unusual considering the winter weather we’ve been having, so I’ve been smoking some cigars that are fairly plentiful in my humidor.

Last week I took a walk with a Hamilton House Torpedo, which was actually quite nice for a cigar that costs around $40 for a box of 25 delivered. I purchased these after I interviewed Mr. Hamilton and still don’t have any more information about who makes them, or what tobaccos are in the blend. I definitely taste Cameroon in these, which I like. I shared these with 4 of my readers and would be interested to hear their thoughts, feel free to use the comments here. I think these were an exceptional value and may have to get another box when these are gone, although I wish I could get to provide me with some information. I know that George Hamilton no longer is involved and seemed a little surprised that they were still around.

I saw an article in the Philly news about these “Blunt Wraps”. The jist of it was that Philadelphia wanted to ban the sale of these things, and the state of Pennsylvania said that they don’t have the authority to ban a tobacco product. I’m not for banning the sale of any legal tobacco product necessarily, but seriously, how would one legitimately use these? I assume they are a homogenized tobacco sheet like one would find on a mass market, machine made cigar. Who among us would have a use for this? I understand the desire to ban these as “drug paraphernalia”, which seems to be the only conceivable use for such an item. Someone please enlighten me as to why someone would buy “Blunt Wraps” if not to roll up and smoke a non-tobacco product.

This week I grabbed a Maria Mancini Robusto Larga for my walk. This is a toro sized Honduran cigar that is a little pricier than the a fore mentioned Hamilton House. I picked up a couple 5 packs of these last year at JR’s in Whippany, NJ. for a little under $10 each. I have a suspicion that one of the 5 packs was mis-marked as maduro, as the wrapper was very dark on this one and a couple others in the box (I routinely break up five packs and put them in an old box for storage). It was a very enjoyable cigar though and it burned perfectly, and I suspect it was a maduro because the flavor was a little bit different than that of the natural wrapper, at least that was my perception. Anyone who has read this blog or known me for any period of time knows that the Maria Mancini line is one of my favorite cigars of any price range and I have had one size or another in my humidors for the last 12 or 13 years. These are $2 cigars that very rarely disappoint.

I’ve been thinking about what to take to CigarSafari. I figure it would be stupid to take any Drew Estate cigars, but I also think I may be a little insulting to take other stuff. I’m on the fence…I don’t want to show up empty handed, but I don’t want to offend anyone either. I kind of assume there will be sufficient cigars available there for smoking during our stay. What do you think the etiquette is for something like this?

This evening I decided I wanted to smoke a Vegas de Santiago Secretos de Maestro Don Luis maduro Lancero.   Several months ago Rudi and Lani at VdS sent me a 5 pack of these after asking which of their cigars I liked.  I told them I liked the shorty and the torpedo but would be interested in hoe the blend would lend itself to a lancero, and, while I was dreaming, in maduro.  Lo and behold a few weeks later maduro lanceros arrived.  I wanted to let these rest a while and tonight I could wait no longer.  I’m really looking forward to smoking the next one either in an indoor situation, or at least a warm, possibly sunny outdoor situation. Still, it was a very nice smoke, pretty smooth and well balanced with a nice flavor.  These cigars can be purchased quite reasonably with an e-mail to Vegas de Santiago or through thier website.   They have a Yahoo group, and will accept orders via e-mail.

This has been a bit of a rambling post, but I suppose I wrote a few meandering posts like this last winter. Look forward to more of these, and I’m hoping to get some more “guest reviews” in the near future to break up the monotony a little.

Until the next time,



1 Comment

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One Response to Cigar Ramblings: Hamilton, Maria Mancini, Vegas de Santiago – Thursday January 27, 2011

  1. TriMarkC

    I don’t know but everyone else, but the random, stream-of-consciousness ramblings of this post was kinda fun to read.

    Re: what cigars to bring to your CigarSafari – first off, bring as many of what ever YOU like. I think you’re thinking of this trip as a one-way conversation – them to you. But from what I’ve read about Jonathan Drew’s intent for these CigarSafari’s he wants to get hard-core cigar enthusiasts to come to his sites so he can learn from them too. You, like many cigar enthusiasts are a walking dream for marketers and R&D teams, so they want to know what cigars you like and why. AND, if they haven’t smoked them, they might appreciate it if you had some of these to share with them. Finally, I think bringing your own cigars shows that you’re not ASSUMING that they’re going to be giving away cigars (nobody likes an expectant mooch!). Share your love with them, and they’re obviously going to share their love of the Drew Estate brands with you.