A Cigar of My Own Blending, a 777 and a Grimalkin Contest!

In March of last year my son and I went to Nicaragua for Drew Estate’s Cigar Safari.  One of the many cool things we did on the trip was to blend a cigar at the Joya de Nicaragua factory. The exercise highlighted Nicaraguan tobacco, there were Seco, Viso and Ligero leaves from Condega, Jalapa and Estili to choose from, as well as Habano Criollo, Dark Corojo and Ecuador Connecticut wrappers and Habano Volado, Sumatra and Ecuador Connecticut binders.  It was quite the experience touching, smelling, looking at all these leaves, and watching how each leaf burned.  I selected the Dark Corojo wrapper and Sumatra binder, along with Condega Seco, Esteli Viso and a blend of Condega and Esteli Ligero.  The factory rolled five robustos for each of the attendees which were delivered to us on our last night.  I smoked one of these after about 3 months and was amazed, and the one I smoked Friday evening was no less amazing.  It burned perfectly, even burn, nice flat coal.   It was vaguely  reminiscent of the Antaño Dark Corojo, no surprise there given the wrapper I selected.  I have 3 left, and it will be fun to pull them out after another six months or so.  On this occasion my son, who had traveled with me, joined me with an Acid Kuba Kuba Maduro.


Yesterday, after napping through a near comeback by the Flyers (helpful hint, don’t get down 6-0 and expect to win…) I needed a pick-me-up so I grabbed a J. Fuego 777 Maduro Belicoso for an afternoon walk.  I have really been enjoying the cigars in the J. Fuego line.  So far I’ve loved them all, but the Maduro 777 has been my favorite.  Dark, rich, and savory, this cigar is always a treat for my taste buds.  Normally I’m not a fan of Criollo wrappers, but this one is done just right.  These aren’t priced too bad either.  I could smoke these all the time.  I will probably shy away from this shape in the future though, as it wanted to shoot out of my mouth easier than most figurados for some reason, maybe it’s oilier than most torpedos and belicosos I smoke!


It’s contest time again!

It seems like just yesterday I was in daily contest mode!  December’s 12 days of Spectacular Giveaways was a huge success (for the winners and the USPS for sure!).  Thanks again to all of the sponsors for taking part.  A few weeks ago I went to visit Gary Griffith of Emilio Cigars at the Peoples Plaza Cigar-ette City location and he gave me these two Grimalkin mugs for a future give-away.  The future is today, my friends,  so leave a comment on this post to enter and I’ll post the winner on Wednesday.  The mugs are magic!  they look like the one on the left until you put hot liquid in, then the eyes appear!  I’m also going to include a Grimalkin Robusto from my humidor, and you never know what else might fall into the box as I’m packing it up!  I will have to try to get some more of these before they change to La Musa.   Many thanks to Gary for providing me with these collectors items to give away!


That’s it for today!  Enter the contest, tell your friends and enjoy the day!  I understand there’s some sort of sporting event on today…oh yeah, the Flyers and Rangers game this afternoon!

Until the next time,





Filed under Contest, Review, Take a Cigar For a Walk

39 Responses to A Cigar of My Own Blending, a 777 and a Grimalkin Contest!

  1. Kyle Keckler

    One of these days when I have the time I would love to take that Cigar Safari. I would love to be able to blend and age my own sticks. Keep up the good work and I’ll keep reading. Thanks.

  2. MoBarbq

    Those are some cool-looking mugs, Craig! Kinda reminds me of those old ball-points that had a revealed “lady” sans clothing, when you turned it upside down. And in this case, taking a cue from the Walker: Texas Ranger theme, the “Eyes of Grimalkin are upon you.”
    That Cigar Safari sounds great, maybe if I start saving now, hmmm.

  3. alaine benard

    nice review, cigarcraig! especially enjoyed the cigar safari insiders report, since that particular trip is on my bucket list. being a huge drew estate fan, i’ve read tons on their cigars/company, but did not know safari participants get the pleasure of creating their own.

  4. Steve C

    Thanks for the reviews and contests. THANKS to all your sponsors! I’m waiting for racing to start, Go Tony!!

  5. Chris McCann

    I’m also a J. Fuego fan, but I haven’t tried the 777 Maduro yet. I’ll definitely pick some up in the near future. Thanks for the interesting posts and contests!

  6. Allen

    Some great reviews Craig, was able to enjoy a few cigars the last couple of days thanks to pulling into Bahrain in the Persian Gulf. Tried various cigars from a Monte Cristo White label, a Black Pearl and a Guantemenara and few other off brands. There enjoyed over a few frothy beverages. I will have to try and do one of those Cigar safaries sounds like a good time. Thanks for the reviews and contest.

  7. Lloyd L.

    Those are cool coffee mugs! I haven’t won anything in several months, Craig, so I’m hoping my fortunes will turn this time!

  8. Those are some awesome mugs, great writeups

  9. George Satterfield

    The mugs look very cool indeed, Love the story of blending your own cigars.. The DE cigar Safari is definatly on my list of things to do..Keep up the good work..
    George, Pacific Northwest..

  10. Nice looking mugs there, and if I do win thrown in some of those 777’s they are awesome! (I’m only halfway serious)

    Thanks for ther contest.

  11. Paul Czysz

    I love the Emilio AF1s and can’t wait to try the Grimalkin. Also, nice mugs.

  12. Agent 86

    Great sounding cigars Craig. I hope to someday be able to afford a cigar safari.

  13. tim

    Thanks Craig,
    Early morning here on the left coast on the back porch under the patio heater with a cup of Sumatra and a JDN Antano. My life is good!!
    Keep it up and good luck to everyone on their favorite teams today.

  14. For those interested, you can read my full CigarSafari trip reports here:

    I recommend it, and I hope to go back one of these days to see what I missed.
    (not an entry :->)

  15. I’m a big fan of all the Emilio cigars & looking forward to the new releases. Those are some pretty cool coffee mugs. *fingers crossed*

  16. Joel Scott

    Thanks for the review on the 777. I’ve been wanting to pick up a 5 pack and try them for myself. Now with your recommendation I’m going to go ahead and get some. Thanks for the great review. Those mugs look pretty cool.

  17. Mugs look cool and the cigar s.afari seems amazing. Just smoked my gremalkin and the band blew away, need another one for my collection. Nice contest as always.

  18. Jake

    Congratulations on your blend. Guess you’ll have to make another Safari once those last 3 are gone.
    Thanks to Gary for the mugs, and thanks to you for the stick!

  19. DB

    Great looking mugs Craig! I am thrilled to read about your cigar blending experience and by the sounds of it you struck gold with your efforts…Well done!


  20. Bud Taylor

    Excellent article and great review! Had to have been a fantastic trip. Made me want to fire one up right now!

  21. jimbobber

    The Cigar Safari sounds like great fun!

  22. JeffK

    Sounds like a great trip, your cigar looks great too. Thanks for the contest.

  23. jjo

    That personal cigar sounds great, Craig. I would love to have one of those mugs, not to mention the Grimalkin, which I can’t get here yet.

  24. Freakboy791

    Grimalkin. Good stuff.

  25. Swede214

    What a great idea, cigars and coffee [Cup’s]. Thanks for the contest, and great comment 0n the Flyers and Rangers.

  26. Zigarboy

    Mug me with some cigars…..please!

  27. Paul Tyler

    Have heard great things about the stick and who wouldn’t want those cool mugs…thanks for putting together the contest!

  28. foozer69

    nice review, THANKS for sharing the wealth!!!

  29. Smokin Aces

    I’m a big fan of the site brother & I would love to win this contest. The mug looks awesome & I would really like to try the Grimalkin.

  30. Fantastic contest! Those are pretty sweet looking mugs.

  31. Wil

    How much dose a Safari run, that could be one of those save for it and enjoy thoroughly trips for my dad and I.

  32. Dave with a Y

    Your blend sounds great. Those mugs are great also.

  33. czerbe

    big big fan of Gary and what he is doing down there… Go Flyers!!

  34. Sean Flaherty

    Grimalkin looks nice. Good luck!

  35. That sounds amazing! I’d love to try blending my own cigar, it’d be a fun experience. I’d also be thrilled to watch someone roll a cigar, but I’m sure it’d get boring quick.

    Great story!

    Peter G

  36. Brian

    The Cigar Safari is definitely on my bucket list. I hope to be fortunate enough to go some day. As for the Grimlikin I have had the opportunity to enjoy that line as well as others from Gary. Keep up the great reviews. BTW just watched Flyers loose in a shoot out to those lowly Islanders. Ugh!

  37. Brian B

    Thanks for the contest!

  38. Smokin'JoeL

    I finally had the oppurtunity to try a Grimalkin and really enjoyed it. Will have to pick up some more before the “change”.