My Father’s Day Esperanza para los Niños, a Trilogy of Cigar Stores and Some News!

esperanza_churchillWhen we left off I was enjoying Father’s Day with my kids and granddaughter.  After they went home I lit up the Esperanza para los Niños Churchill. This was my last Churchill, from a handful generously gifted to me by a friend who won a box in the mid ‘00s. A few of these examples had an odd burn problem around the three quarter mark, and a hint of ammonia, which was odd for a 10 (at the time) year old cigar. This one was perhaps the best example I’ve smoked in a long time.  It was rich and delicious and satisfying. This cigar was made Christian Eiroa at Rancho Jamastran in Honduras in 1999 to benefit the children that were orphaned by hurricane Mitch in 1998.  Do you know that he had trouble giving the proceeds of the sales to orphanages because the money came from tobacco?  Unbelievable. Anyway, he finally was able to put the funds to good use and get it through peoples heads that the kids needed food and clothes, not some moral judgements. Anyway, the good news is that where I thought I was left with two Esperanzas after this one, I actually have three!  There was another torpedo in the humidor that I didn’t know about! So for the next two Father’s Days I’ll smoke torpedos, then in 2016 I’ll smoke the toro from the box I purchased in 2000.


Monday rolled around and my daughter gave birth to our second granddaughter, another beautiful little girl who they named Calla Violet.  My wife and I kept our two year old granddaughter, Willow, overnight and know why we finished having kids when we were thirty!  I’m only speaking for myself, but I’m now too old to keep up with a two year old for very long!  Pop’s celebratory cigar would have to wait. Tuesday after visiting mom and baby in the afternoon, I managed to light up a Drew Estate Liga Privada Dirty Rat from 2009, before they released them commercially, which was dynamite.  Age may not really improve this cigar, but it didn’t hurt it too much, it was a tasty smoke.


While we were coming home from the hospital we noticed an odd shop in one of the strip malls along Germantown Pike in East Norriton, PA.  Then we passed the Black Cat Cigar Shop, then we saw SmoKings, all within about a one mile stretch.  Tuesday, after visiting momma and baby and surrendering granddaughter no.1 to her daddy, we stopped at these three shops.  The first was called Hillcrest Tobacco and Dollar Store, an unlikely combination!  Of course, we had to visit. This store was kind of a mess.  The majority of the store was typical Dollar Store junk, with various cabinet humidors lining one wall.  Saying that the stock could have been merchandised better is understating, but they did have a fairly large selection that was well priced and in good shape. This would be a fine place to grab a few sticks.  I picked up a pair of the new H. BlackCatUpmann Legacy robustos for $4.99.  Next we stopped at Black Cat, which is a very nice place. I last visited this store when it was in Philadelphia on Sansom Street in a little place that was packed solid with cigars and stuff.  This stand-alone store had a very nice lounge area and a large walk-in humidor. The selection was very good with a generous selection of boutiques.  I hate to admit it, but I walked out of there with an Asylum 13 Ogre, just because I figured I had to smoke one eventually and I couldn’t make myself purchase the 6 x 80 (even though it was cheaper!).  This is a nice place to stop in, buy some cigars and sit and enjoy one or two. Note: H. Upmann Legacy Robustos – $6.60. The last place we happened to notice right after Black Cat was SmoKingsSmoKings, located within 25 feet of a Starbucks, oddly enough! This is another little smokeshop with cabinets down one wall, reasonably neatly merchandised, although my CDO (that’s OCD in alphabetical order as it should be) would have me either alphabetize it or group it by manufacturer or something that made sense.  I did find some Cain F tubed lanceros for $6 and change that are awesome and scarce.  The young man at the counter was enthusiastic and beginning to sample cigars.  I cautioned him on the Cain F. Another nice place to stop to pick some sticks up. They actually had a SmoKings branded cigar that looked like it was either wrapped in a leaf instead of cello, or had the world’s ugliest wrapper. It was priced at $7.99 and the clerk didn’t know anything about it, so I passed. My wallet has moths flying out of it by this third stop on the Germantown Pike impromptu cigar crawl. H.Upmann Legacy Robusto – $5.75.  It was my first real foray up that particular road in Montgomery County, PA and I was surprised to find three shops with properly kept cigars in a one mile stretch, and of course I had to stop at them all and buy cigars, as if I needed more…


As you can tell, it’s been an exciting week!  I’ll leave you with this press release about the upcoming Cigarnival Event hosted by Famous Smoke Shop up the road from me in Easton, PA.


Famous Smoke Shop Hosts Cigarnival 2013 – The Nation’s Premier Cigar Event

Famous Smoke Shop is hosting their annual cigar festival, featuring leader cigar makers meeting with guests and distributing a wide variety of their premium cigars. Attendees will also enjoy gourmet food, live music, craft beer, wine, spirits, raffles, and a casino with prizes sponsored by Drew Estate.


Easton, pa – June 19, 2013 – Smoking premium cigars has become more popular than ever. It’s also one of ways men (and women) of all stripes can bond and share their affinity for, as cigar smokers call it, “the leaf.” For this reason alone, the Cigar Expo “Cigarnival,” held annually at Leaf Cigar Bar & Restaurant on the premises of Famous Smoke Shop in Easton, PA, is one of the most highly-anticipated cigar smoking events of the year for cigar smokers near and far. This year’s event will begin Friday, June 28th at 12:00 PM with a pre-vent party sponsored by Gurkha Cigars, and continue through Saturday, June 29th.


Most of the biggest names in the cigar industry will be represented including Alec Bradley, Altadis U.S.A., Arturo Fuente, Davidoff, Drew Estate, General Cigar, Oliva, Perdomo, Rocky Patel, Tatuaje, Carlos Toraño, Xikar, and over 25 more vendors. Cigarnival guests will get to meet their makers up-close and personal while rubbing elbows with 400 other cigar enthusiasts. Shuttle service will also be provided to take guests to and from their hotels to the event.


“This year’s theme is music,” said Leaf COO, Jeff Brown. “Performances by a variety of bands will run continuously throughout the day and night. Plus, our award-winning restaurant staff will be preparing gourmet dinners for each night, including a grandiose lunch buffet for Saturday afternoon. People can see the entire menu on the Cigarnival website.”


Guests will also have a wide choice of libations which include a number of craft brews from Founders, Troegs, Goose-Island, Yuengling, and others, as well as plenty of water and soft drinks. Additionally, Miami Cigar & Co. will be sponsoring the “Hooch Hut” where guests can sample a special selection of wines, spirits, and more.


Friday morning, registered guests will play in the 6th Annual Camacho Golf Outing at Whitetail Golf Club in Bath, PA. Golf carts, drinks, a buffet, and Camacho cigars are all included. Prizes for closest to the pin and the longest drive will be awarded, and anyone scoring a hole-in-one will win a trip for two to Camp Camacho in Honduras.


Friday night, Alec Bradley Cigars will host the after party, while Saturday night Perdomo Cigars will close the show with a 20th Anniversary party. Also returning to the main event will be The Drew Estate Casino. Depending on the number of chips they’ve accumulated, players can claim any number of prizes from Drew Estate swag to cigars, including a year’s worth of cigars, or Drew Estate’s Cigar Safari in Nicaragua. Thousands of dollars in raffle prizes will be also given away, plus deals on just about every brand in The Humidor at Leaf Retail Store, and much, much more. For a complete listing of event festivities, visit


“We’ve been putting on this event for a while now, and I always look forward to the thank you emails we get every year from so many of our attendees,” said Brown. “For some reason, I have a good feeling that this year my inbox is going to be overflowing.”


For more information call 610-559-8800 or visit



Friday, June 28 & Saturday June 29, 2013

Leaf Cigar Bar & Restaurant at Famous Smoke Shop

90 Mort Drive, Easton, PA 18040

Information: 610-559-8800


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


CigarCraig (or “Pop” in some circles!)



Filed under Editorial, News, Review, Stores

3 Responses to My Father’s Day Esperanza para los Niños, a Trilogy of Cigar Stores and Some News!

  1. Dennis

    Congratulations my friend! Sounds like you’ve had fun this week.

  2. commish

    Congrat’s Grandpa!!! Thanks for the update on some of the recent “smokes”.

  3. George Satterfield


    First of all Congratulations on the new granddaughter! Love my grandchildren bunches. That was very cool to find that many shops in such a short distance. Here in Washington you’d be hard pressed to find that many cigar related shops in a hundred mile radius. I would love to have just one within a half hour from home. Thanks fro all your great reviews and look forward to seeing more in the future.


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