La Gran Llave, Gurkha and Tatuaje, and a Stage V Clinger Contest!

LaGranLlave_TorpedoI’m getting ready to go away for a few days, so this will be early and brief!  I just want to touch on a few cigars I smoked this week so far, and have another little contest!  More on the trip when I get back.  Since it was in the cigar news last week that AJ Fernandez had acquired the La Gran Llave brand that they had been making for Michael Argenti I thought I’d revisit one of the box pressed torpedos that Michael had sent me last year when he launched the brand. There is no change in factory as the cigars were made by AJ Fernandez anyway, it seems that the company has been going crazy acquiring brands, also recently buying the Sosa brand, which had been made by Fuente for as long as I can remember. I really like the La Gran Llave Reserve, it’s a nice, sweet cigar with a beautiful San Andrés wrapper. The burn and draw were perfect and it was a satisfying smoke. I have a sampler with the other sizes that I will get to eventually, but this 6½ x 56 box pressed torpedo sets the bar pretty high. Jeff at my local JM Cigars recommended it to me to when I was there a couple of weeks ago and I passed as I had some in the humidor already. I failed to take note of the price, but I think the line ranges from $6-$9ish.


Gurkha_Cask BlendMonday I tried the Gurkha Cask Blend in the 6″ x 58 perfecto size, which came from the IPCPR show and has been resting in the humidor since July. This was a perfectly fine cigar, normal cigar taste that was neither offensive, nor exceptional. It seemed to have a Nomex wrapper, you  know, that stuff they wrap wires in so they don’t catch fire?  I had to refill the Tommy Bahama pocket lighter after I was done smoking it, because the darned thing wouldn’t stay lit!  I mentioned the storage before so you don’t think it was my fault, as I smoke from the same humidor all the time with no issues. Might have been a better cigar if it had burned right, but that part of the experience detracted from the overall enjoyment. Since its “wrapper, binder and filler are highly guarded proprietary secrets” I can only tell you it was made in the DR. If there was some booze component to it I have no frame of reference any more. When it burned, it wasn’t a bad cigar. I know many will say it was a Gurkha, what did I expect, but there are several cigars in the Gurkha portfolio that I think are quite good. It occurs to me that I smoked one of these in 2015 and didn’t seem to have the burn problems.


Tatuaje_Black_PetiteLanceroTonight,  since I’m on vacation for the rest of the week, I treated myself to a Tatuaje Black Label Petit Lancero, which I think was a gift from my amigo Goose at Goose’s Cigars in Limerick, PA. This is a 6″ x 38 cigar that was sans cello, and I’m weird, I like the protection of the cello in the humidor, I noticed this one had a chip in the wrapper at the foot, so it had to go! What a delightful cigar, thick, right smoke with sweet, earthy flavor that was terrifically satisfying for a rainy night while I was comfy in my enclosed porch. I used an 9.5mm punch (with is the Vansapproximate inside diameter of the ScrewPop punch, by the way) which is my go-to for a lancero. it was a completely yummy way to end the day and start the vacation. I also celebrated receiving my kid’s Christmas present to me today, an awesome pair of custom, one of a kind Vans!



Stage V Clinger

Cigar not included. Actual color and branding may vary.

I slacked off on this one over the holidays, it was there for me to give away, and I failed. So you have a chance to win a Stage V Clinger cigar holder. I use one of these from time to time and find it to be a gentle way to hold a cigar on those occasions where a proper rest or ashtray isn’t available. This is designed for the golfer, but has many other applications. It has a strong pair of magnets, a hook and loop strap in case there’s no metal to “cling” to, and the jaws are gentle enough to not squish or damage the cigar. Leave a comment to enter, and I’ll announce a winner on Sunday. Thanks to Marissa at Stage V for offering this cool item.


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





Filed under Contest, Review

22 Responses to La Gran Llave, Gurkha and Tatuaje, and a Stage V Clinger Contest!

  1. Howard Glaeser

    Love to win!

  2. I love your new shoes Craig! The La Gran Llave Reserve sounds pretty awesome, as always: great review!

  3. Joel Scott

    Those shoes are sweeter than sweet!

  4. KRUK

    This should go to a golfer sir! Maybe even a former PGA teaching pro out of Florida and Wisconsin? Sounds better then that clip thing I use now when I golf that destroys my cigars!

  5. Derek Carpenter

    Love the Tat Black Lancero damn fine smoke!

  6. Jeff Ketcham

    That Tatuaje Black sounds great, on to the try out list it goes. Thanks for another contest, holder would come in handy when it warms up enough to golf again.

  7. Dan Colley

    I, too, like the black-labeled Tatuajes. (and the red, and the brown !!!)

    I had one of those cask aged Ghurkas not too long ago and didn’t have any burn issues. A shame that you did because it was one of their better efforts. I thought it to be pretty good.

    I really need that cigar holder. I spend so much time in my car that I need someplace to park a cigar while I’m out of the car.making a delivery. That looks pretty nice and I’m sure I can figure out a way to use it on the road.

  8. WOW! This would be fantastic for the golf course… no more losing your cigar, or forgetting it on the previous hole…LOL


    Those are some nice shoes! I have had burn problems with Gurkha, too. And love the Tatuaje. Thanks for the reviews, as always.

  10. Brian Impson

    Shouldn’t there be a Macanudo in that cigar holder? I watched M*A*S*H for years. Klinger was spelled with a K.

  11. Al

    Enjoy reading your articles, keep up the good work….then again its never work when you love what you do.

  12. Randall Simon

    Cool shoes need to get me some.

  13. William Williams

    Love your new shoes.. thanks for the contest..

  14. paul1954

    yes, I love the shoes, too. I have one of those clip things, as well. It seemed like a good idea at the time.

  15. Patrick

    The tat black is a favorite of mine for sure. I’m trying to get my friend to start stocking them right now.
    Gurkha has some very fine blends. You just have to stay away from the big house licensed blends. I love the 18 year corojo, it’s a dream.
    No need for a cigar holder here, I am my cigar holder. I don’t golf and I’m retired so I can sit and smoke without doing stuff.
    Life is good.

  16. Kirk

    Looks great. Like to own one for our summer corn-hole matches in the back yard.

  17. Kyle Brewer

    Thoroughly enjoy your blog. As a newbie to the cigar experience I find it enteraiming and helpful for different cigars to try our! Thanks for the blog!

  18. Donald Santos

    Sounds like a good holder for the avid golfer

  19. Can you just give away those shoes… I love them. Awesome Gift

  20. Jay A Reiniger

    I’m in love with the name

  21. Texican8

    Love the Tat Black. Need to pick up some more.

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