Delaware Cigar Festival, La Palina, Art Deco and Hammer + Sickle

The fifth annual Delaware Cigar Festival will be taking place on Saturday, September 17 at the Delaware Park Racetrack. I’ll be attending this fine event and will bring you highlights. Delaware Park is a beautiful racetrack, and if you like to play the ponies or slots, it’s the place to be.  Many manufacturers and their reps will be in attendance and  it looks like it will be a good time.  I’m a little embarrassed that I I have managed to miss this event in the past and it’s only about 40 minutes down the road from me.  Looking forward to attending, and thank you to Gary Griffith for making this possible (and making damned tasty cigars!).


The the best cigar I had this week was the La Palina El Diario Robusto. The El Diaro line is La Palina’s “lower priced” line, compared to the $20 price tags on the original line that came out a couple years ago an is made in the Graycliff  factory in the Bahamas. The El Diaro is rolled at the Raices Cubanas factory in Honduras, and carries a $10-11 price tag. It is most definitely an excellent cigar. It’s smooth and perfectly rolled. I’d happily smoke these all the time if they were a little more wallet friendly, but it’s been well established that I’m a cheap bastard.  Bill Paley is a super nice guy though and he’s producing some exceptional cigars.


Nestor Miranda Art Deco Robusto Grande – This 5½ x 54 cigar was one that I bought on my Father’s Day cigar run. They come in a nifty tin instead of a box. If this had a handle on it it would make a fine lunchbox! It was a good cigar, no doubt. I don’t have a great deal of experience with Pepin Garcia’s cigars, admittedly, so I don’t readily pick up his signature on this, but it certainly was well made and it either grew on me as I smoked it, or the flavors in the second half were more in line with my preferences than the first half. I started out thinking it was just another DR blend that was “eh”…worth the try though…and not terribly priced.  Frustratingly, there is no information about this cigar on the website, and it’s not exactly brand new.


Hammer + Sickle Robusto and Berlin Wall Robusto  – These were samples from the IPCPR show. An old friend, Mike, was working at the booth, and I was very happy to catch up with him. We had met at a large herf in Vegas in 1999, known in the alt.smokers.cigars circles as Boondoggle 3, which consisted of about 300 cigar smokers taking over the ballroom at the MGM Grand for 3 days. Stories from that event are legend amongst the on-line cigar community of the era, and are easily Googleable, so I won’t go into that further. Anyway, Mike was kind enough to hook me up with some samples and introduce me to Victor, the owner of The Cigar Agency, who imports and distributes the Hammer + Sickle brand, as well as ORTSAC and others. I smoked both the regular Hammer + Sickle robusto as well as the new Berlin Wall robusto. The former I found to be a fairly typical Dominican cigar, well made, but nothing that really grabbed me. Keep in mind that most Dominican cigars don’t hit me the way I like to be hit, flavor wise, so that’s not as bad as it sounds. The Berlin Wall, on the other hand, was much more to my liking, no doubt due to it being made my Camacho and consisting of a blend of Honduran, Dominican and Nicaraguan leaf. The copper band is a very nice touch. I took the Berlin wall on my evening walk, and the ash, although it wasn’t the prettiest, held on for nearly a mile!  Both of these cigars come in unique packaging. The Hammer + Sickle is in a crystal box, and the Berlin wall is packaged in a marble box with a relief of the Brandenburg Gate on the lid.  Very innovative.

Here is a video of Victor Vitale from the show, talking about the Ortsac 1962 cigars:


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





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Filed under Events, IPCPR, Review, Take a Cigar For a Walk

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