Friday I had the opportunity to take the day off from work and venture into Philadelphia to visit Twin Smoke Shoppe, the oldest cigar shop in South Philly, and one of the oldest in Philly. This is a great neighborhood shop, complete with a city cop sitting there enjoying a smoke, and a collection of “goombahs” sitting around busting one another’s testicular appendages. I went because I saw that Dean Parsons of Epic Cigars was going to be there, and I am a fan of Epic Cigars so it made a great excuse. Also, it turned out Sean Williams (El Primer Mundo) was in town and hanging out there too. I like hanging out with both of these dudes. I bought some Epic cigars and lit up a Maduro Lancero. The Maduro Reserva line has a dark and oily Brazilian Arapiraca wrapper, Cameroon binder (I love the maduro over Cameroon combo) and Mostly Dominican fillers with a Nicaruguan viso for good measure. I am a fan of the Maduro Reserva line in general, and the lancero is at the top of the list. This cigar burned perfectly, had a great, rich cocoa/espresso flavor with a tinge of spice. It was a winner, and I’m glad I have a few more in my humidor.
I followed the Lancero with Twin Smoke Shoppe’s owner, Anthony Renzulli’s house brand, Renzulli Goomad, a 7″ x 48 Churchill made by Erik Espinosa at La Zona. The Renzulli has a Habano Rosado wrapper, and Nicaraguan binder and filler. They have four sizes available, Cing U Bezz: 4 x 46 (SRP $5.00), Cuz: 6 x 54 (SRP $7.99), Minchia: 6 x 60 (SRP $8.99) and Goomad: 7 x 48 (SRP $7.99), all named with terms from the local South Philly Italian slang, apparently a Goomad is a mistress, or girl on the side. It’s hard to go wrong with anything from La Zona, and the Renzulli was a nice smoke, medium bodied, fairly rich and well balanced and generally pleasurable to smoke. So, if youse find yourself in south Philly, stop in Twin Smoke Shoppe and smoke a Renzulli in their beautiful lounge. Great store with a lot of history, hospitable staff and a great selection. It was great to get to spend some time hanging out with Dean and Sean for an afternoon, in a great shop.
Then it snowed (officially 28+ inches with lots of drifting). Yesterday, in between reasonably futile attempts to shovel the driveway, I sat down in my cozy back porch with my propane heater (enclosed, protected from wind and snow), and smoked another Epic Maduro Reserva, this time on the opposite end of the size spectrum from the lancero, the Gordo. This is a 6″ x 60, same general make up of the lancero (although I assume the lancero skips the ligero, perhaps Dean can chime in on that). This cigar was more cocoa than espresso, the larger ring seems to give it a creamier sensation than the lancero. I enjoyed the heck out of it, every bit as much as the lancero but for different reasons. The Gordo had the same beautiful dark, oily wrapper and loads of rich smoke. I never had a hint of a burn problem, and it smoked for just about two hours while I recovered from snow shoveling. If you haven’t tried the Epic line, give them a shot. Dean tells me they are doing very well in Germany and gaining some ground in Canada too, with good reason. They are all excellent cigars that suit my palate perfectly.
OK, here’s some random cigar stuff that I’d like to bring to your attention. First, Mike Capuzzi was the winner of the Tortuga present in the 2015 12SDoCG and I met up with him to deliver his prize, then we went to Suburban Tavern last week. There seems to be an Italian thing going on, Tortugas are from South Philly native Victor Vitale, Capuzzi, Renzulli…someone get me a cannoli…but I digress. A week or so ago Mike’s daughter came up with a product to customize the glass on the front of Mike’s wineador, and they were kind enough to give mine an upgrade as well. They launched Wineadorart.com offering this product to the cigar smoking public. They offer beautifully printed, high quality adhesive decals that look great on the glass of any humidor, not just wineadors. Check out their site at http://wineadorart.com/ see what they have to offer.
A year or so ago I featured a guy making cool lamps out of cigar boxes, and have come across another one. This time it’s Brady from Helio Designs making some steampunkish lamps, not only with cigar boxes, but some other cool designs too. These are pretty cool, mancave-worthy designs. I always try to think of something creative to do with cigar boxes, and it seems whenever I come up with an idea someone’s already done it. I made a birdhouse once, but it didn’t hold up to the weather. Anyway, just one more cool thing I came across that I thought you all would enjoy seeing.
Finally, Please welcome the latest addition to the CigarCraig.com family of sponsors, Altadis USA. They recently released a new extension to the Henry Clay line, which I’m looking forward to sampling after enjoying the Henry Clay Tattoo so much, the Henry Clay Stalk Cut. here’s the press release:
Henry Clay Stalk Cut by Grupo De Maestros
Fort Lauderdale, Fla. – Henry Clay, the legendary premium cigar with a devoted and growing niche following, announces its newest line, Henry Clay Stalk Cut by Grupo De Maestros.
“Stalk cut” is a tobacco-harvesting method in which the entire stalk is cut and hung to dry in the tobacco barns. This method allows the tobacco to retain its natural nutrients to yield richer, more flavorful leaves.
The Henry Clay Stalk Cut blend was developed through the knowledge, experience, skill and care of the Grupo de Maestros, an elite brotherhood of master blenders and cigar makers. Combined, the Maestros bring with them over 250 years of experience and have united to create a rare experience for adult cigar enthusiasts.
This Dominican cigar features a dark Connecticut Broadleaf Vintage 2012 wrapper, Dominican Piloto Vintage 2010 binder and Dominican Olor Vintage 2012, Dominican Piloto Vintage 2012 and Nicaraguan Criollo Vintage 2013 fillers. This blend of exceptional tobaccos generates a full-bodied smoke, bold and robust with earthy notes.
Available in three sizes:
Gran Corona (Pig Tail) 46 x 6”
Robusto 50 x 5”
Toro 54 x 6”
Priced between $8.00 and $8.50, the Henry Clay Stalk Cut cigars will be packaged in sleek, 20-count boxes accented with silver and black edging. Shipping early January of 2016, the Henry Clay Stalk Cut by the Grupo de Maestros will have adult cigar enthusiasts eager to light up.
Sounds like a pretty good smoke. Anyway, that’s it for today. I’ll be killing myself clearing snow today, lots of white stuff in the driveway, and I’ll need to be able to get the car out tomorrow to go to work. I’m sure I’ll find something to smoke when it’s all done! Until the next time,