Tag Archives: 2 Guys

An New H. Upmann, Some News, a Discount and Another Philly Cigar Festival Contest!

HUpmannAJFernandez_RobustoI’ve been a little behind on my cigar consumption this week, I did manage to smoke a really nice Joya de Nicaragua Cabinetta No. 60, a cool 6″x 60 perfecto that was really good. this afternoon after getting some things done around the house and yard, I sat down with a new offering from H. Upmann, a robusto made by AJ Fernandez and it’s called H. Upmann by AJ Fernandez. What a crazy name!  It’s made in Nicaragua, has an Ecuadoran Sumatra wrapper with a Nicaraguan Corojo ’99 binder and fillers from Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic. This cigar was very firm to the touch, which gave me some concern, but it had an effortless draw and burned perfectly.  It had what I consider as dark flavors, which I like, as well as a unique spice that I can’t name. It was an intriguing cigar, finally an H.Upmann I like! This is an interesting personal trend, I’ve been underwhelmed by many Altadis products, with some exceptions, but the newer lines especially the ones made in Nicaragua, have been up my alley. The new RoMEo 505 (Placencia) and the Gispert Intenso (AJ Fernandez) have impressed me.

 

My friends at 2 Guys Smoke Shop have revamped their website this week, I’ve included the press release verbatim here, largely out of laziness. Dave Garofalo was one of the first retailers with an online presence back in the ’90s when the internet was a wild and untamed place. It looks a lot better now!

2GuysCigars.com Launches Re-Designed Online Cigar Shopping Website

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2GuysCigars.com operates a long-running online mail order business distributing premium cigars all over the country. The company recently launched an updated version of the eCommerce website to provide online cigar shoppers with an improved cigar buying experience.

 

The new and improved website features a clean and modern design, with vibrant images and easy-to-use navigation. The mobile browsing experience was especially improved, the new fully responsive design provides cigar lovers with the ability to take full advantage of all site features from any mobile device. Cigar lovers will quickly be able to browse sections that feature the site’s massive premium cigar selection as well as finding sections dedicated to cigar sampler packs, cigar accessories, budget cigars, and the newest items in the company’s inventory. The site also highlights the large number of premium cigar brands that are exclusively available from 2GuysCigars.com, allowing them to easily identify and purchase cigars that are unavailable anywhere else.

 

“Even after over 30 years in the cigar business, I’m always looking for ways to improve” said 2GuysCigars.com Owner David Garofalo. “Innovation has always been a big part of the cigar industry, and anyone who isn’t moving forward is falling behind. Our customers loved our old website, but we’ve kept the stuff that made that site awesome while making improvements we think they’re going to like even more. Additionally, with so much of our web traffic coming from mobile devices, we decided to incorporate what I think is the best mobile cigar shopping experience available online today. This new site is something I’m proud to share with our loyal customers, and I want them all to know that in addition to our new site we have many more exciting things in store for them in 2017 and beyond!”

 

The company recently exited the testing phase of the new website and since the switch to the new and improved 2GuysCigars.com, they are reporting significant improvements in a number of key visitor statistics that indicate visitors are already enjoying the new design. In addition to the new site launch, 2GuysCigars.com has added of a number of new premium cigars to their extensive inventory, most recently Tatuaje Monsters, The Angel’s Anvil by Crowned Heads, Serino Royale and Eiroa 20 Year Colorado.

 

To check out the one of the best online retailers visit www.2guyscigars.com or call 888-224-4272.

 

 

I have to find my Stage V Clinger and put it in my pocket tomorrow as I might need it when I’m out and about, but the folks there e-mailed me this week to let me know that me talking about their cigar holder has produced some buzz for them! That’s nice to hear, because I want all the cigars and accessories I talk about here to succeed, because I generally believe in the items I feature here, if I didn’t, I wouldn’t write about them or use them! So, as a thank you, they are offering a special Father’s Day promo code “StageVdad” for $5 off a 4-pack. The special offer can be redeemed right on the Stage V website from May 11-June 11. So if you golf, or just need an extra hand now and then, this is a good product to have!

 

Contest!

The Philly Cigar Festival is fast approaching on  June 3, 2017 and being held in Pottstown, Pennsylvania from 11:00am to 4:30pm at The Norco Fairgrounds. Unfortunately, a scheduling conflict is preventing me from attending this, much to my disappointment. My loss is one of your gains though, as the organizers have authorized me to have another contest and give away my ticket! Of course, the winners are under no obligation to do this, but I’d be more than happy to publish a guest post from one of them (or anyone who attends for that matter), after the event. Again, just putting it out there, no pressure! This is a multi-vendor event, with cigars, beer, food and drink and representatives from thirty cigar companies, . Ticket prices run $150 and $200 and covers a bunch of cigars (the FDA no longer allows cigars to be given away). There are a couple of rules, first is you must be 21, and the other is that this giveaway covers the ticket only, you are responsible for getting there. I understand that this will exclude some of you. Cigars for Warriors will be represented and will be benefiting from the event. So leave a comment to enter and since the event coming up soon, this will be a quick contest, I’ll announce a winner on Sunday, May 14, 2017 (yeah, it’s Mother’s Day…) and I’ll need the winner to contact me so I can send your info to the organizers.  Thanks again to the Philly Cigar Festival, I wish I could make it!

 

That’s all for now. Having some dental work done tomorrow, so it may be a slow week cigar-wise. It’ll probably be old favorites if it’s anything, not sure how I’ll feel this time around.  Until the next time,

 

CigarCraig

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An Enclave and Cigars on a Friend’s Deck in February: Kristoff and La Flor Dominicana

AJF_Enclave_ToroThe weather has been unseasonably warm here in SE PA, 70s in February? I love not having to bundle up for my evening walks, or thaw my fingers with the propane heaters when I get home.  I can’t help to think we are going to pay for what has been a mild winter with little snow in March, but I’ve enjoyed this great weather! Any way you look at it, Spring is on its way, and that’s a great thing. So Friday evening’s cigar was an AJ Fernandez Enclave Toro, a 6″ x 52 covered foot beauty (the covered foot was this weeks trend as it turns out). I’ve been abusing myself lately, last week  I tripped and fell, and Friday I burned the crap out of my mouth biting into a pizza roll. Pizza Rolls, when microwaved according to the directions, attains internal temperatures approaching that of the sun. Not exactly a high-brow menu choice, granted, but a guilty pleasure that just needs to be handled a little more carefully. So, I didn’t want to smoke something unfamiliar and miss something with a compromised palate ( not that my palate is anything to write home about).  The Enclave is a familiar cigar, known to have excellent flavor, burn and be strong enough to taste, but not so strong as to do further damage. Did I know this came in a broadleaf wrapper too?  One more cigar for my shopping list, I suppose, because the Habano wrapped version is a great smoke, an easy choice for a “go-to” list.

 

Kristoff CTSaturday I decided I wanted to get out for a smoke, so I dropped my amigo Mike a note and he invited me over to have cigars on his deck. He told me the cigars would be on him, which is weird for me because I’m accustomed to being the one to provide the smokes. Mike only lives a few miles away, and we met when he won one of the presents in a 12 Days of Spectacular Giveaways a couple of years ago and got together at a local shop. We’ve become good friends since.  So I selected a cigar from Mike that I hadn’t had before, a Kristoff Connecticut Robusto. Kristoff is a brand that I hear about all the time, but I haven’t smoked a great many of their offerings. I don’t know why that is really, they look great, I love the Epic line of cigars that is made in the same factory as the Kristoff, and they have a huge portfolio of cigars with yummy sounding names, like San Andrés and Cameroon and Habano. Also, a lot of them have a pigtail cap and a closed foot, both features I like. It doesn’t get much better than sitting outside on an unexpectedly warm, sunny day enjoying a great cigar with a friend.  This Connecticut was a medium bodied smoke with nice flavors, not really heavy on the typical grassy Connecticut shade flavor, but a nice, mellow smoke. As the wind kicked up a bit with a front coming in, the burn stayed even and this was a very satisfying cigar.

 

LFD FirecrackerMike generously offered me a La Flor Dominicana Double Ligero Firecracker, from 2 Guy’s Smoke Shop‘s Firecracker series. Last fall I had the opportunity to smoke the Cro-Magnon version in this series, with was quite awesome (read about it here, ironically, I also featured the Cigar Prop in the same post, and look forward to hearing Kevin talk about that on Kiss My Ash Radio that aired yesterday). The Firecracker is a 3¼” x 50 with a long tail that makes it resemble an M80 firecracker, and the blends are generally on the stronger side to go along with the theme. 2 Guy’s usually has these in time for the 4th Of July, and this year’s iteration is made by Fratello Cigars. I think Mike was willing to part with this cigar because he was a little intimidated by it, having heard that it was unbearably strong. This one also had a covered foot, making it the third cigar in a row for me with that particular feature. The cigar started off with a burst of strength, and some extra flavor from the wrapper. I kinda feel bad for smoking this cigar, because while it was strong, I don’t think it was too strong that Mike wouldn’t have enjoyed it. I do greatly appreciate the chance to smoke this great little cigar, which timed out perfectly as a front rolled in dropping the temperatures and bring a thunderstorm. Again, thanks to Mike for his generosity and hospitality (don’t forget to check out Mike and his daughter’s site, WineadorArt.com, to customize the glass on your humidor, cabinet or wineador. I’m thinking of commissioning a piece for my cabinet…).

 

I guess I’m going to have to reach out to John Budka, the winner of last week’s contest, as I haven’t heard from him yet and want to get the goodies mailed out. That’s all for today, until the next time,

 

CigarCraig

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A Hand Rolled Cigar, a Chillin Moose, and a La Antigudad

First a couple housekeeping items!  I sent Tim his prize from  the ScrewPop contest yesterday, but I haven’t heard from Jeff Ketcham yet!  Jeff was a prize winner in the 12 Spectacular Days of Cigar Giveaways in 2011 and 2012, so I probably have an address someplace, but I hate to ship without verifying addresses.  I suppose I’ll drop him a note if I don’t hear from him soon. I sure hate having to chase people :-).  Speaking of the 12 Spectacular Days of Cigar Giveaways, it’s on pace to commence on December 12, and if I had to start today I could pull off a 8 Crazy Days of Cigar Giveaways (don’t think it hasn’t crossed my mind, 12 days is a long stretch at an already busy time of year!) thanks to the generosity and expedience of several of this year’s sponsors!  The prize coolerdor is filling up and it’s likely to be another exciting couple of weeks!  If you aren’t already, subscribe to the e-mail list (on the left sidebar) so you get a reminder when I update, which in the case of the 12 Spectacular Days of Cigar Giveaways will be daily!  So get ready to join in the fun, I already have some great cigars lined up.

 

HandRolledCigars_2GuysThursday evening called for a short smoke.  Last year when we went up to New Hampshire for a weekend we paid a visit to 2 Guys Smokeshop in Nashua to spend some time with David and Mr. Jonathan and I picked up a couple of David’s Hand Rolled Cigars that he had for Halloween.  As you can see in the picture, this is about a 4″ x 50ish cigar wrapped in a paper wrapper similar to a Tootsie Roll candy wrapper made at the Camacho factory.  I cant find any information on this cigar as it was a limited release, but  remember them coming in jars. I think it’s a risky play packaging cigars to look like candy in this day and age, but I understand that it’s Dave’s bit of a middle finger to the nannies.  Anyway, the cigar was pretty good, nothing really memorable or outstanding, just a nice, solid half hour smoke that behaved itself and was satisfying. I’m still stuck on using the Screwpop punch, which worked very well on this cigar (and the rest of the cigars I smoked this week, so I don’t have to repeat myself!)  I have one left from last year, but I kinda wished I had bought more, as I can see that it would be fun to have a pocket full of these to share, perhaps on Halloween night while the dad’s are walking around with their kids. I’m sure that’s politically incorrect, but the heck with it!

 

ChillinMoose_CoronaFriday evening I wanted another shorter smoke, so I went with a Chillin’ Moose Corona from Foundry Tobacco.  This is a budget cigar, comes in under $3.00 here in PA and is from the mind of Michael Giannini. I like the size of this corona, 5 ½” x 45, and features a  blend of Nicaraguan, Dominican, US Broadleaf, and Mexican San Andres tobacco with an Ecuador Sumatra binder and a Connecticut Habano Rosado wrapper.  That’s an impressive list of tobacco for a very inexpensive cigar.  It is a very good cigar for the money, but, once again, it’s not particularly interesting, but it served its propose in being a good companion on my evening walk and giving me some entertainment. I’m a moose fan from way back so the packaging appeals to me, it’s a Chillin’ Moose! I also am a fan of the Foundry line in general, I enjoy the innovation and know I’m in for something unique and different when I light up a Foundry cigar.

 

LaAntiquidad_ToroSaturday after a nice steak dinner out with my wife, I came home to a La Antiqudad from My Father Cigars. This one was the Toro size, which is 5.6″ x 55, which is very close to the  size of the Robusto in that line, which is 5.2″ x 52.  This is a box pressed cigar with an Ecuador Habano Rosado wrapper surrounding a double binder of Nicaraguan Criollo and Corojo and Nicaraguan fillers from Esteli, Condega and Jalapa.  I really enjoyed the rich,  thick flavors that this cigar started out with. It had the “Pepin” spice to start out that seems to be a hallmark, and mellowed out about half way though. The burn was perfect, with one exception. At one point I noticed it flattened out in the flavor department, and the wrapper had stopped burning. I relit it and the flavor came right back, which tell you how much the wrapper contributes to the flavor. Good cigar, I’m glad I have a robusto in the humidor for another time. One other thing about this cigar is the band, which is absolutely beautiful and classic.

 

That’s it for today. Off to the new house to cut down some more shrubbery to make way for a fence that’s going in on Wednesday.  Good fences make good neighbors and Macha need a safe place to run around when we aren’t taking our walks!  So until the next time,

 

CigarCraig

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A Relajado, a CAO Flathead, and a Byron Cigar

Relajado_RobustoThursday I revisited the Relajado Robusto, which is a house brand from Best Cigar Prices. The cigar is made by General cigar, the trademark rounded head gives that away.  Despite the band being pretty cheesy, and looking like a cheap bundle cigar instead of a reasonably priced boxed cigar, this was pretty darned nice. It reminded me a little of the Macanudo Cru Royal…a little…it has an Ecuador Habano wrapper and Dominican and Nicaraguan fillers. This is a mild to medium cigar that has some sweet leather flavors.  It burned OK, not razor straight but not needing correction. Nice smoke, but the band kills me on this, Based solely on presentation, I’d definitely pass this up on the shelf (figuratively, this is only available at Best Cigar Prices).  I’ve mentioned this to Jason there, so I’m not blind-siding him.  I hope to get up-state to Drums, PA to visit these guys one of these days. Thanks to Jason for sending these along to try, so far I’m quite impressed with the exclusive cigars from BCP. I really like the Six-Sixty and the Alec Bradley Star Insignia too.

 

CAO_Flathead_CarbA few weeks ago I lied to you.  I said that I had the CAO Flathead Big Block 770 in my humidor, when I actually had the Carb 660. I’m sorry, it won’t happen again.  I took Friday off from work to get some things done, and one of the things I got done was taking this CAO Flathead Carb 660 for a walk.  Our dog and I took a nice long walk while I smoked this 6″ x 60 square pressed cigar. I am going to have to bite the bullet and get one of the 7x70s just to complete the set, I suppose, as I really enjoy the dark roast coffee, cocoa flavors these cigars have. I think I like the Camshaft the best of the bunch, 5″X 56 is just an all around more manageable size and of the three of four sizes I’ve smoked I liked that one the best in terms of balance. I can make the assumption that the 7″ x 70 won’t be as good as the 6″ x 60, but I like to collect the data first hand.  That’s not to say I didn’t like the Carb, I did.  The square press makes it feel smaller than the 60 ring, and it burned unusually well. This line is loaded with Connecticut Broadleaf goodness. I know there are loyalists and purists who poo-poo the CAO line in the General Cigar era, but they are missing out. Rick, Ed and their team have really made some good cigars for CAO, and the Flathead line is, so far, my favorite. I purchased this Carb, as well as the Piston I smoked previously, and I’ll buy them again.

 

Byron_LondinesesSaturday was a rainy day, so my plans to do some yard work were put off once again.  I ran a couple errands and took a chair out to the garage and lit up a cigar I’d been trying to find a good reason to smoke since Dave Garofalo, of 2 Guys Smoke Shop, gave this to me at the IPCPR show last year.  The Byron line of cigars is made in Costa Rica by Nelson Alphonso.  Señor Alphonso is the gentleman responsible for most of the modern Habanso S.A.  packaging, the jars and humidors, all the fancy stuff. He started making cigar in Costa Rica under the Byron, Attabey and Bandolero marques a few years ago. I smoked the Byron Londineses, which is 5½ x 54.  These are seriously pricey cigars, they come in a beautiful ceramic jars, not unlike the Cuban special editions. As far as the tobaccos involved in these, it’s a big secret, but I seem to recall hearing that they color sort the filler leaves to make sure the flavor is consistent. This certainly adds to the cost of production.  I knew going in that this was a pricey cigar, but I had no idea it was a $30 cigar.  You know me, I’m a cheap bastid, I think the most I’ve paid for a cigar is around $12.  I did smoke this with an open mind and a clean palate and it was a wonderful cigar.  At one point, I swear I had a hint of buttered popcorn in the middle of the cigar.  It came and went quickly, but it was there. The rest was a buttery smooth, flavorful cigar that burned perfectly.  This was quite a nice smoke and I appreciate Dave giving me the chance to try a cigar I certainly wouldn’t purchase for myself.  I was told once that a small amount of Cuban product is allowed by law based on weight, so the heavier the packaging, the more Cuban ingredients could be used.  I found this to be hard to believe, and I haven’t been able to verify it, but I’ve smoked the Byron and Bandolero and there’s a little “Twang” in both that is reminiscent of Cuban tobacco.  Considering Señor Alphonso’s close ties to the Cuban cigar Industry, he certainly has access to Cuban tobacco, or he was able to find other tobaccos that replicate this profile. I don’t suppose we’ll ever know, and if anyone knows anything about this loophole in the trade embargo, please let us know!

 

That’s it for today. I’ll be looking for a cigar later today to either celebrate the Flyer’s victory, or console myself. I hate weekend afternoon games, I have so many better things I could be doing. I suppose if it’s rainy like it is today it makes it a little easier to handle.  Until the next time,

 

CigarCraig

 

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CigarCraig’s 12 Spectacular Days of Cigar Giveaways 2013 Day 4: Leccia Tobacco

We had another great turnout yesterday, and the cigars were, once again, spectacular!  Part of the fun of doing this is putting new and interesting cigars in peoples hands that may not have had the opportunity to try them otherwise.  The  Atabey is such a limited and exclusive cigar (and expensive!) that not many people will have access to them. Big thanks again to David Garofalo at 2 Guys Smokeshop for providing the winner, chekk12,  the chance to sample these! Congrats to the lucky winner!  Send your address so we can get these beauties to you. Today’s another day, and another contest!  Check it out:

 

One of the highlights of this year was the return of Sam Leccia to the cigar industry.  The IPCPR show was abuzz, it was next to impossible to get an interview with him, but I did, and we enjoyed spending a few minutes with him and his lovely wife in his end of the Toraño booth.  He made a splash with two unique cigars, the Leccia White, and today’s present, the Leccia Black. In addition to a Leccia Tobacco t-shirt, we have a box of Leccia Black Petite Rothschild. This box of 21 4″ x 48 cigars feature the “Dark Fire” Kentucky tobacco which gives these a distinctive smokey flavor.  These are really good (as are the White!).  Sam knocked it out of the park with these debut cigars, some lucky reader will have a box in their humidor soon!

 

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Thanks to Jack Toraño and Sam Leccia for providing today’s gifts! You know what to do next! Load up the comments!

 

Rules

Here’s how you enter: leave a comment.  That’s it, plain and simple.  Tweets don’t count, but feel free to spread the word, only comments on this page count as an entry.  Each day there will be a different prize and the winner will be drawn from that day’s comments. The winner will be announced on the next day’s post. The contest is open to everyone, even if you’ve won one of my contests in the past six months, but once you’ve won, you are ineligible to win again in this series of contests. All prizes will be mailed as soon as I get a chance to go to the post office, or whenever the sponsor decides to ship, whichever is the case, so don’t make me chase down your address!  If you are the winner, please e-mail your contact information to craig@cigarcraig.com as soon as possible! That’s it, leave a comment to enter and good luck. Check back tomorrow to see if you won and enter tomorrow’s contest!

 

Until Tomorrow,

CC_Logo_xmas_s

 

CigarCraig

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