CigarCraig’s Holiday Contest Number One! Holt’s Cigar Company

OK, so we all know now that I won’t be doing what I’ve done for the last five years, and that’s running a huge daily cigar giveaway featuring box upon box of great cigars and assorted goodies. That means I don’t have to spend countless hours writing posts, getting up early, choosing daily winners, shipping packages, all during the busiest time of the year. But, that doesn’t mean there won’t be some great giveaways!  Today we are kicking things off with the Holiday Gifts from Holt’s Cigar Company.  Click HERE to shop at Holt’s Christmas and Holiday Cigar Gift Shop where they have curated a lovely selection of cool cigar gifts!  I love visiting the store when I’m in Center City Philly and generally spend more than I want picking up great cigars. Today’s giveaway is for a $20 Holt’s Gift Card, which can be used in the store or on their website. Buy yourself something nice for yourself or someone else!  The usual rules apply! Leave a comment on this post to enter, and I’ll announce the winner on Wednesday, December 14, 2016. The winner will need to e-mail me their address so I can pass it on to Holt’s so they can send you the card!  Must be 18 to enter and a resident of the U.S. (sorry international folks!).


Quick anecdote about Holt’s. It was the summer of 2000, and I had some extra cash on hand that I wanted to turn into cigars. Holt’s had a ridiculous sale on bundles of El Rico Habano, I think something ridiculous like $20 for a bundle of 25 or something. So, before driving into the city on a hot, muggy Saturday, I check the website to make sure they were open, yup, open ’til 5.  Got into the city and parked by 4:15, walked up to the store to find them closed with a sign saying their summer hours were until 4pm. I was pissed. Even in 2000 it would have been a simple thing to update the website with the summer hours, especially in late July, well into summer. When I finally got home I sent an e-mail to Holt’s complaining and suggesting that they update the website to reflect the actual hours. A couple days later I received an e-mail from the Sr. VP apologizing up and down and offering to send me the El Ricos gratis. I was quite impressed with the service, and continue to be a customer of Holt’s largely for that reason. A little history on the El Rico Habanos: These were originally made by Ernesto Carillo at his El Credito Factory before the sale to Swedish Match, and they were butt-kickers! They were spice and power bombs before such a thing was fashionable, and I loved them. The company sold in 1999, and the El Ricos I received in this story were a milder version of the blend (they were a corona extra size if I remember correctly). They were still excellent cigars, but they weren’t quite as special as the original blend. I smoked a bunch, and gave a bunch away, and wish had gotten more, especially for that price.  I think the current version of the El Rico Habano is very good, but for some reason gets no marketing push from General Cigar, and it’s a shame, it’s a brand with a lot of history. I’d be willing to bet many reading this have never heard of the brand.


Sobremesa SCSo I usually post about some cigars I smoked over the previous few days, and I did smoke some cigars. My practice is generally if I don’t have something nice to say, I don’t say anything, but that can be misleading and lead people to think a particular cigar (and if you follow my Facebook/Instagram/Twitter feeds you’ll see my daily smokes) isn’t to my liking. In one case this week, the cigar didn’t really do anything for me, in another two cases I loved the cigars, but one was one I’d smoked a lot before, and the other was one that got interrupted and I can’t wait to smoke again. I will say that the Sobremesa Short Churchill, Nestor Miranda Corojo and Henry Cay Tattoo are exceptional. I hate trying new things when it’s as cold out as it’s been, although I did get some propane for the porch heaters. So you’ll just have to be happy with a chance to win a nice Holt’s gift card today!


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








Filed under Contest

50 Responses to CigarCraig’s Holiday Contest Number One! Holt’s Cigar Company

  1. Howard Glaeser

    Live Holts, great shop!

  2. April

    Miss you my friend and all the cigar talk on the latest. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  3. Curt williams

    Nice post

  4. Mike McCain

    woohoo! Craig found a way to kick off the 12 days of Craigmas!!
    looking forward to the secret santa too

  5. Billy werner

    Winner winner chicken dinner

  6. Brian Impson

    Was there ever really a doubt that you’d be doing a Christmas giveaway? No surprise here that you’d find a way. Thanks Craig.

  7. Steve W.

    Small one is better than none!

  8. Jeff Ketcham

    Cool story and I also like those El Ricos, I think I have a few pretty old ones lurking in the bottom of a humidor somewhere, will have to go fishing for it soon. Glad this holiday tradition is back!

  9. KRUK

    I believe that’s where VV got his start! So cool! Happy H9lidays everyone!

  10. Tommy D

    Thank you Holts!

  11. Bruce Wienckowski

    Thank you, Craig! Always good to hear when a retailer makes an effort to right things!

  12. Czerbe

    Craig we are well overdue for a get together

  13. Chris Brose

    Holts also has some crazy good sales from time to time. Thanks again for hosting Craig

  14. Mike W

    I’m in! Thanks to Craig and Holts!

  15. I had not heard of those El Rico’s before. I’m a big EPC fan and would love to try some. Thanks Holt’s. Happy Holidays.

  16. Mike Perry

    I went shopping at Holt’s during a Christmas trip to Philly back in 2001. Found a 4 year old box of JR Ultimates on the shelf. My buddy Victor introduced me around to the staff and I ended up getting the “friends and family” discount! Plus, they sell a cigar named after me:

  17. Duane Holmes

    Thanks Craig, I knew you’d figure something out.


    Great story, and they do have some very nice gift packs there. 🙂

  19. Frank Germaine

    I love Holt’s never been there but online 4 sure! Thanks Craig

  20. paul1954

    the El Ricos sound intriguing. I might have to try them if I get the chance. Thanks, Craig.

  21. Joel Scott

    Thanks for doing this Craig for your followers. I have never had the opportunity to go to Holt’s brick-and-mortar but I have purchased from them many many times and have always had a great experience.

  22. Patrick

    Well done Holts and Craig for getting us a Christmas away from the FDA

  23. Dan Colley

    I’m a recent first-time patron of Holt’s cigar store. They offered a box of “12 Honest Men” which were a lancero version of the Crowned Heads “Jericho Hill”.. I smoked one, which was outstanding, then put the rest away for a while. The price point on that dozen cigars was the proverbial offer that I couldn’t refuse. I’ll be going back to them.

  24. Allen

    Lov shopping at Holts.

  25. Lonnie W. Brooks

    I have never shopped at Holt’s yet, but I hope to soon. Now if I could only win the gift card, all that would be made much easier…. Thanks Craig.

  26. Thanks for continuing to try and do the giveaways even though the 12 days has been ruined by the FDA. Good luck everyone

  27. atllogix

    Thanks a lot Craig! Still at it even though the Feds have clamped down on our industry.

  28. Donald Santos

    My girlfriend surprises me with cigars from Holt’s a few times now she loves buying from them

  29. Freakboy791

    I always go for the “buy 4 get one free” deal. Holt’s has been a favorite for years. Super knowledgeable staff, great selection and prices.

  30. Far out man! Merry Christmas Craig!!

  31. Joshua O

    Thanks Craig for the chance at a Holt’s gift card. I love their mystery samplers, and this would cover that but it’s been sold out for months. Maybe it’ll be back after the holidays with a bunch of nice leftovers.

  32. You know honestly that is what I dislike most about review blogs is that in general they never post anything negative and that leads to us buying things that are not good. Just because you review a certain cigar negative doesn’t mean that you hate the whole company either but a cigar review blog should include both positive and negative’s

  33. Randall Simon

    I really enjoy your reviews and shopping at Holt’s.

  34. Chase Abernathy

    Merry Christmas, Craig!

  35. Thomas James Shannon

    Great job. Keep them coming.

  36. Steve C

    Thanks for the give away! Holt’s is a great place to shop online, ordered several times. Always Happy.

  37. I’m going to have to try those El Rico’s!

  38. Never done any business with Holts. Chad’s comment is interesting, though. I would say that I tend to agree to some extent, although I would say that exploring mixed feelings is helpful, too. Like for example, the Sobremesa is a beautiful cigar, yet despite Saka saying that the release schedule was good, I get the feeling they still need some time to integrate. I haven’t tried the Tattoo, but had the original Clay for the first time in years. It still had that squashed shape I remember. I also tried the newer Broadleaf version which was interesting, very syrupy.

  39. Thanks a lot Craig! Still at it even though the Feds have clamped down on our industry.

  40. Derek C

    Holts always has good deals! My wife stumbled upon them when looking to buy me a humidor and I’ve been hooked since.

  41. George Householder

    The fact this is the only company where i can get Rocky Patel Ocean Club is worth it.

  42. Commish

    Thanks for the give away Holts!

  43. Thank you Holts, will have to put you on my bucket list for cigar stores, LOL.

  44. Swede Lindstrom

    Thank you Craig and Holt’s for doing this for Christmas.