Tag Archives: 2 Guys Smokeshop

The Cigar Authority’s 400th Show Quick Trip

TCA 400I’ve been listening to The Cigar Authority podcast for several years now, actually, I had been listening for a few years since being a guest on the show in October of 2013. Since it was a holiday weekend and nobody travels on Thanksgiving weekend, so my wife and Macha and I decided to take a little road trip to Salem, New Hampshire to crash she show. The show is recorded and webcast live from the new Studio 21 Podcast Cafe in 2 Guys Smokeshop. This was my first visit to this shop, I’d visited the Nashua store before. The shop is huge, with a nice downstairs lounge, an upstairs lounge, and the cafe. The walls of the shop are lined with humidors for singles, and, like the Nashua store only smaller in scale, there’s a large humidor stacked with Contendersunopened boxes. The selection is excellent, as is the staff. I picked up a couple Todos las Dias and The Wise Man Maduro and lit up a Wise Man while watching the show. I also picked up the 2 Guys Cigar of the Year Contenders pack, consisting of the eight cigars that are in the running for that honor. I plan to smoke them and cast my vote. Check it out on their site, it’s a hell of a deal and I have only smoke one of the cigars of the eight (actually two after today, that Wise Man Maduro was excellent). I’m looking forward to taking a week and smoking through the set.


CookiesWe brought some special cookies for the guys from our friends at Farmhouse Bakery in PA. We know what these guys like. Beautiful and delicious cookies and gluten free! Thanks to my wife, Jenn, for making that happen!


Sean, the barista makes impressive coffee creations, I kinda wish I’d tried the nitro, but the Cuban coffee was amazing. Some highlights of the visit personally was getting to catch up with Ed Sullivan, who I hadn’t seen since 1999, as well as Dave Garofalo, Mr. Jonathan and Barry Stein. Also met Dave from Cigar Hacks, another podcast that’s coming out. Macha was well Wisemanbehaved, you can hear here bark a couple of times if you listen to the show. I was surprised and honored to have been invited to join the show for the last segment, although I pretty much froze up on a couple of questions. If I’d have been smart I would have mentioned the CigarCraig’s Secret Santa. There’s still plenty of time to get in on it, by the way, email me your name and address if you want to join the fun. I smoked the Garofalo Maduro also which was very good, made by Perdomo, although time constraints and distractions left me unable to really concentrate on it. It was a good time, and I heartily recommend paying 2 Guys a visit if you find yourself in southern New Hampshire.


TurkeyI hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. Sorry I skipped my usual Wednesday post, I spent the week smoking some of my favorite cigars, a Mi Querida, an Undercrown Sungrown, a Davidoff Winston Churchill The Late Hour, and following my Thursday feast with a Cornelius and Anthony Cornelius toro. All great cigars, I just had a hankering for some favs last week! Next week I’ll get adventurous again. So that’s all for now, until the next time,




Filed under Stores, Trip Report

IPCPR Prep and a Few Cigars Leftover From Last Year

I realize I missed Wednesday’s post. I had a busy week trying to prepare for taking the coming week off and I didn’t take the time to write anything. I’ve been busy making appointments and trying to plan my short time at the show. I also need to test out YouTube live today at some point so I can use that to share some interviews and give people an idea of what the show is like. This will be my 8th show, and I still have no idea what to expect. I also just added an iPad to my technical arsenal, leaving the laptop home (and actually writing today’s post on it while enjoying coffee on my back porch, I already love it!) I’ve written posts on my iPhone before, but my eyes aren’t what they used to be, this is much better. So today I’ll be packing clothes and cigars for the trip and continuing to binge watch Game Of Thrones, which has had zero cigar content so far. So, let me tell you a little something about a few cigars I smoked this week.


Fratello FirecrackerIt seems like it was so long ago now, but Tuesday was the Fourth of July and I smoked the new Fratello Firecracker from 2Guys Smokeshop‘s annual Firecracker line. The Firecracker is a 3 1/2″ x 50 short robustly with a long tail like a fuse.  The last few years have given us the LFD Double Ligero Firecracker, the RoMaCraft Cromagnon Firecracker and several iterations made by Don Pepin Garcia, including the original which is a regular production. I’m a fan of Fratello cigar which is well documented, so when these hit the market I quickly ordered a fiver, pity I didn’t spring for a box. This little bugger has everything I like about the Fratello with some punch. The special little something that the Peruvian leaf brings is there, this is a great little cigar. My only wish is for this in the Bianco blend! I finished the day with a Padron 1964 Exclusivo, skipping my annual civil disobedience Havana since that’s not any big deal anymore!


House of LuckyI came across a few cigars leftover from last year’s IPCPR show and figured I’d better smoke them already, one was from a company called House of Lucky, which has a retail and wholesale operation in south Florida. They have a wide range of cigar made in Nicaragua and the few I’ve sampled have been quite good. I started getting emails with their specials a few years back and finally met them at the show last year. It was one of those things where they just happened to be next to someone I knew, otherwise I might have missed them. I smoker their Especial Maduro box pressed corona yesterday and liked it a lot. It claims to have  “long leaf Nicaraguan tobacco from the regions of San Andres, Esteli, and Honduras”, which I find a bit confusing, but good cigar makers can’t always be good writers. This cigar is called corona, but it’s 5″x 48, quite close to their 5″x50 robust. If they were mixed in a bundle nobody would notice, and at a very reasonable $6 price, nobody would care. Honestly, this was my kind of cigar with all the great dark, rich flavors I like and it’s priced well.


CrossfireI smoked a cigar from Crossfire Cigars, their Platinum in a Gordo size that was pretty good, and I have enjoyed a lot of their cigars in the past, but when I went to do some research I found the website to be “forbidden” and there hasn’t been any social media activity from them recently. Crossfire was a faith-based company, using the proceeds from the cigar sales to do mission work in the Dominican Republic, so I can imagine jumping through all the regulatory BS wouldn’t be attractive to them. It was a good cigar, nothing particularly special, just not a waste of two hours. Enjoyable and tasty, just not mind blowing. I feel like there are so many cigars it really takes a lot for a cigar to be distinctive and memorable sometimes. I guess I’m getting jaded in my old age.


I could go on, but I have some things I need to do today before tomorrow’s early flight to Vegas. That’s all for now, until the next time,






Filed under Review

Contest Wrap-up, a Meet-up at JM Cigars, an Event at Mojo and a RoMaCraft Neanderthal

CC_Logo_xmas_sOK, a regular, non-contest post. How do I do this again?  It’s been a crazy couple weeks, hasn’t it?  Besides the 234 cigars, three ashtrays, two cutters, a lighter, and various other items, including one of a kind art and jewelry, there were some major holidays in there too. Time spent with family is the best part of the holiday for me, but doing this 12 Spectacular Days of Cigar Giveaways is a load of fun too.  My unending thanks to the following companies and individuals who made all this possible, in no particular order: Eric Whitfield, Broc Jackson, Jack at Duran Premium Cigars, David and his crew at 2 Guys Smokeshop, Victoria at General Cigar Co., Fred at Nomad Cigar Co., Victor at Tortuga Cigars, Jason at Best Cigar Prices, Abe and his gang at Smoke Inn, Mel and Ron at MBombay Cigars, Bianca at Gurkha and the folks at Joya de Nicaragua and Drew Estate! As I say every year, I could do this on my own, but it would cost me a fortune! Thanks to all of them and all of you for coming back every day and entering! Next year I have some different plans, but it should still be fun, that is, unless the FDA ruins everything!   We’ll remain positive, keep calling your elected officials and letting them know that premium cigars should be exempt from regulation, and keep up your CRA memberships!


One of the things I did last week in, an effort to save on shipping and meet some new friends, was to hand deliver winnings from Days five and six. It turned out that Mike and Andrew were reasonably close by so we met up at JM Cigar in Exton, PA for a smoke.  Of course, I spent easily twice what I would have spent on shipping on cigars, but that’s way more productive. While shopping I came ERHacross a lone El Rico Habano Maduro Gran Habanaro (double corona) in a box and it look so lonely I had to add it to my cart, so to speak. I haven’t smoked an El Rico in ages, I can remember back in the ’90s when this was one of the strongest cigars on the market, a real powerhouse. It was Ernesto Perez Carillo’s brand that took a back seat to La Gloria Cubana, and I smoked a bunch of them.  It’s a minor brand now with General Cigar Co., only available in three sizes and maduro, where the original version was a natural wrapper. I thought the 7½ x 54 size would be a good size for sitting in the lounge, getting to know new friends, kinda cigar. It was good, but not as good as I remember my last one being, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing as I didn’t want a cigar that would distract me from conversation. As it always seems to be, meeting up to deliver a prize beats USPS every time, I felt like I have a few more friends now, and look forward to meeting up with Mike and Andrew again soon.  Thank you to them for adding to the spirit of the season!


Perdomo20thThursday I ran down to Cigar Mojo in King of Prussia, PA as they were having a Perdomo event and raffling off a tremendous Perdomo 20th Anniversary humidor. I like the Perdomo 20th a lot, especially in maduro, so I bought a hand full (as if I needed more cigars!) and got one chance in the drawing. The winner was a guy who bought a bunch of boxes of the 20th Anniversarys, so it’s hard to begrudge him the win. It was a beautiful box, but I don’t know where I would have put it, so it worked Perdomo20thHumidorout in the end. I thoroughly enjoyed a 20th Maduro Churchill while hanging out and talking to our local Perdomo rep, Joe Winder (who is probably the very first cigar company rep I ever met many years ago at a cigar event in Pittsburgh), CRA Ambassador and all-around good guy, Alan Price, who was working at the shop, owners Wade and Trae and various other customers.  I didn’t win the humidor, but I did put some great cigars in my humidor and had a relaxing afternoon.


Padron64AFHemingwayAs it was a special occasion, I selected some other great cigars that are worth mentioning. For the second year in a row, I took my Christmas Eve walk with a Padron 1964 Anniversary Maduro Exclusivo, obviously a classic Nicaraguan maduro that’s like desert in cigar form. Absolutely delicious. Christmas day, after the kids and grandkids left, I sparked up a Fuente Hemingway Signature Maduro, again, a spectacular cigar that’s not unreasonably priced.  It was rich, burned perfectly and hit the spot. Yesterday Macha and I took a four mile walk with a favorite Nica Rustica Belly, maybe I’m on a bit of a Maduro kick?  I must be, because last night I lit up a cigar that caught my eye and I bought while at Mojo, a RoMa Craft Neanderthal HN, with a San Andrés wrapper. Of all the great cigars I’ve RoMa_Neanderthal_HNsmoked over the last couple weeks, this might have been my favorite. This cigar has a couple of distinctions, first, it has a flat head, and a slight taper at the foot, which I didn’t really notice until I looked at the photo, and it still looks like a robusto, as the size is listed at 5″ x 52/58. Now that I look at it, it may taper from head to foot. It could have been shaped like a pretzel for all I care, it tasted fantastic. Not only does it have a beautiful dark and oily San Andrés wrapper, but it has a Connecticut broadleaf binder, and fillers from Pennsylvania, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic. About half way in to the cigar I got a really interesting and delicious spice, which really intrigued me. This was a $12 cigar and honestly, I don’t think I realized the price point when I bought them, I might not have taken the plunge. I’m glad I did. I’ve heard from people That this was a super strong cigar, and it didn’t hit me that way at all, it was full-bodied and loaded with flavor, but I didn’t feel the nicotine at all. Stellar cigar from Skip and Mike at RoMa! I used a punch in the flat head of the cigar if anyone was curious.


Cigartist1You probably want to know who won the final bonus day contest, the great painting “Wind” by Eric “The Cigartist” Whitfield. It looked like only those who really wanted and appreciated this item entered (or everyone is sick to death of my contests), so I consulted Random.org and got the number 37, which corresponds to KRUK, who I know will give this a good home, despite the relative creepiness of his comment :-).  Bryan, please send me your address so I can forward it on to Eric.  Thank you all, and don’t despair, there could well be a Happy New Year contest!


That’s plenty from me, until the next time,


Cigar Craig




Filed under Contest, Events, Review, Stores

CigarCraig’s 12 Spectacular Days of Cigar Giveaways 2015 Day 2: Selected Tobacco

Day two features some very special cigars courtesy of David Garofalo and the fine folks at 2 Guys Smokeshop, United Cigar Retailers and  Selected Tobacco.  It’s Saturday, so don’t forget to tune in to The Cigar Authority show at Noon Eastern Time, maybe the boys there give us a little shout-out?  Anyway, today’s present is a 3 cigar sampler consisting of an Atabey, a Byron and a Bandolero cigar in re-usable humitubes, and a super cool Atabey porcelain ashtray. Retail value before taxes is $200. I’ve had the good fortune to have smoked each of these cigars and they are of exceptional quality, all made in Costa Rica under the watchful eye and ridiculously high standards of Nelson Alphonso.  These are special occasion cigars that are a real treat!

PACK 3 BRAND - 2Atabey Ashtray 1


We are off to a fine start!  I need to get in the swing of getting up early and writing a little something and choosing a winner, but that’s my problem! It’ll get easier right up until it’s time to wrap the whole thing up!  I hope everyone enjoyed day one, there’s plenty more to come!  The lucky recipient of the Duality cigars from Best Cigar Prices is David Nichols! Please send me a message with your address so I can send these goodies out to you! The Cabinet is jam-packed and I need to make room! Thanks again to Jason and everyone at Best Cigar Prices, and keep in mind you can get 10% of and $.99 shipping every day with the discount code CRAIG1099.


Now is the Time to Contact 
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan & Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell
Since the Tobacco Control Act took effect, cigar patrons, retail tobacconists and manufacturers from across the premium cigar industry have been fighting in Washington, D.C. to preserve the simple enjoyment of a premium cigar – to protect that enjoyment from a threatening bureaucracy at the U.S. Food & Drug Administration.
At this very moment, Congress is debating the federal budget, and regulations that can be addressed to prevent massive loss of jobs and the destruction of the cigar industry is a part of that debate.
The House of Representatives and the Senate needs to hear from you! Now is the time to add your voice to the fight to preserve premium cigars.
Please contact today, the Office of House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY)
and tell them Premium Cigars Must Be Exempt From FDA Regulation!
Please note, the lines may be busy, and voice mail box may be full, but please continue to reach out until your voice is heard!



If the FDA has their way, where will be no more giveaways like this!  Take a few minutes and make the calls!


You know what to do now, leave a comment here, check back tomorrow to see if you won!



All you have to do to enter is to leave a comment on the post of the day, if you can, try to post what you know or how you feel about today’s present, the folks donating the gift should get some feedback for their troubles! It’s not a condition to win, but it’s nice to have something to read. We did this last year and it benefits everyone. Once you’ve won, you’re out, let everyone else have a chance. Must be over 18 to win. Also, be sure to visit the links for each item. Comments on Facebook, Twitter, or anywhere else will not count, but feel free to spread the word!


Until tomorrow,





Filed under Contest

Tops of The Year, Roberto P. Duran Winner and General Nonsense

Serie Unico_FeralFlyingPigToday’s post is going to be a little of everything. It’s my last day of a 14 day vacation, and I really want to get something accomplished today, so I want to get this done!  I’ve got some top “x” lists,  Some cigars I smoked, and a contest winner!  I’ll start with some cigars I smoked that I found interesting. I generally spend the end of December smoking either cigars that are featured in the giveaways, or cigars I’ve featured in the past and want to revisit, or special occasion cigars.  I smoked a bunch of each this year.  Around Christmas I smoked a Padron 1964 Exclusivo and a Drew Estate Serie Unico Feral Flying Pig.  The Pig was a bit of a surprise, it was the first of this size I’ve smoked. It was super smooth and full of rich flavor and I swear I got some cinnamon at the halfway point. This example came back with me from Nicaragua a year and a half ago, and I would have picked up a couple more when I saw them locally except for the $19 price tag.  The Feral Flying Pig was a “wow” cigar for me, perhaps the best cigar I smoked all year. My wife got me this cool cast iron pig holding what looks like a tobacco leaf for me for Christmas. The Exclusivo was pretty darned good too!


RockyPatel_ProhibitionNew Years Eve we stopped in to Cigar Mojo in King of Prussia, PA for a smoke and I picked up some of the Rocky Patel Prohibition cigars that I’ve been wanting to try. These come in glass jars, and one has a San Andrés wrapper and one has a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper, and both are a 6½” x 52 toro.  It seems that most of the Rocky Patel cigars I have, or have had, are a toro size, is it just me?  Anyway, I smoked the San Andreas on New Years Eve and it was a good Mexican maduro smoke.  It was a little smoother than the typical “dirty” sensation you get from Mexican tobacco, and was an enjoyable smoke. I smoked the Broadleaf version New Years Day, after a fun afternoon with my family in our annual tradition of watching the Winter Classic hockey game on TV, while eating and playing with the granddaughters.  I think I liked the Broadleaf version better, it had a nice sweetness that I really liked.  I will smoke a few more of each, as I tend to like both San Andrés and Broadleaf about the same.  Good smokes, interesting packaging as they come packed in glass jars within wooden crates, an homage to bootlegging practices during prohibition. Of course, the parallel being drawn is cigars to liquor prohibition in the ’20s, which it what “they” are trying to do to tobacco, and we know how well prohibition worked out! It gave us organized crime and NASCAR! 🙂



I’m far too lazy to compile my own list of great cigars I smoked over the year. There are a lot of exceptional cigars out there, it’s really hard to go wrong. Quite a few of my colleagues in the blogosphere like to make them, so here’s a short list of some that I came across in no particular order of preference.












Keep an eye on Halfwheel.com, they usually go through all the sites and put together a consensus, which goes through a bunch of the various top whatever lists.  Keep an eye open for that in the coming weeks.  I think my favs of the year were the Arandoza Red Label (with the White Label right up there), and anything Tortuga.  There are far too many great cigars out there!


My list, once again, is a tribute to you, the reader.  Here is this year’s top commentors of 2014! Thank you all for reading along and participating! Without you all I’d be talking to myself!





winnerOf course we start off 2015 with another great giveaway!  Thanks to Roberto Duran Cigars for providing a box of the very tasty Doberto P. Duran Premium Rio Toa. I smoked the Cacique Guama 6 x 60 last night and really enjoyed the smooth,  well balanced and complexity of this cigar. It’s sophisticated.  The winner of these is really going to enjoy them, I think.  Also thanks to the other generous sponsors who over did it and left me with more than I could give away in the 12SDoCG, even in 14 days, as well as the odds and ends I had laying around! Smoke Inn, Drew Estate, 2 Guys Smokeshop primarily.  This time I let RaffleCopter do the heavy lifting for me. It makes things easy for me, but I want to know how you all felt about it. I thought the turnout was rather low, and I don’t know if RaffleCopter is off-putting or what.  Either way, we have a winner. Here’s the screenshot of RaffleCopter’s selection. Congrats to Mark!


That’s more than enough for today!  Time to get on with the last day of vacation!


Until the next time,




Filed under Contest, Editorial, News, Review