Tag Archives: Adorini

Some Thoughts on IPCPR 2017 and a Few Minutes with Steve Saka

I’m back from the annual trade show and trying to get organized. First and foremost, I’d like to extend my thanks to  The Wooden Indian in Havertown, PA for their support, I couldn’t have attended without Dave’s help. They will be having their annual pig roast supporting Drew Estate Charities on September 16, and I think this will be an event not to be missed. The Wooden Indian raises more money for Drew Estate Charities than any other shop in the country, and I heard that from Jonathan Drew with my own ears. Trust me when I say that if you are a Drew Estate fan, you won’t want to miss this event. Again, thanks to Dave for helping me attend this years IPCPR show.

 

Gala1All in all I thought the IPCPR did a great job with this years show, considering a relatively late change of venue. General Cigar Co. sponsored the opening gala Monday night and absolutely killed it. Open bar, loads of food (carving stations! They had frickin carving stations!) DJ and places to sit and relax. While there seemed to be fewer other manufacturers there as there have been in the past, I saw a full compliment of Perdomos in attendance, family and staff alike. To the Perdomo’s credit, they were also present at the hotel bar where many congregated in the off hours and fully were a part of the IPCPR trade show. Altadis sponsored the breakfast Breakfast 1meeting on Tuesday with a tote bag with cigars and info for each attendee. I personally was less than thrilled with the keynote speaker, Rudy Giuliani.  His nearly one hour speech was far too political, did way too much bashing of the former administration, and made bad analogies and offered poor council in my opinion. I have a hard and fast rule in a cigar lounge, no talking politics or religion.  I regret staying through the whole thing, honestly. I’m sure my views on this my not be popular, but it is what it is. I liked Ron White’s keynote speech in 2011 a thousand times more. Other than getting started on that down note ( for me, at least) the show was it’s normal labyrinth of vendors, most of which were relevant to the industry. I question the one vendor with cell phone external battery cases that had a team of aggressive salespeople insisting that you tell them what phone you have so they could sell you a case. I heard one report of them breaking someone’s case removing it to demonstrate theirs. The second time I was harassed I just told them I had a flip phone and kept walking. Now that I think about it, I only saw them the first day, so perhaps the IPCPR dealt with them. I’ll share more thoughts on the show in future posts, but it seemed like while retailer attendance may have been low, several people I talked to were happy with the orders that were written.

 

SakasquatchI’ve known Steve Saka of Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust for 20 years and actually found myself near the spot we first met face to face in Caesars Palace near Cleopatra’s Barge back in 1997. Knowing Steve that long has given me some advantages over the years but I never push that and generally keep a respectful distance at the show as he always seems to be busy, which is a good thing for him. In keeping with his “Sakasquatch” theme, I snapped a picture with the night vision camera ( like they use in all the best squatch hunting shows!) and titled it “The elusive Sakasquatch in his natural environment”. I guess one would have to have watched one of those shows to get the joke. My only regret is not having tagged “Finding Bigfoot” on the Instagram post. However, as the show closed on Thursday and I was getting ready to make my exit, I came across Steve engaged in an interesting activity that I thought was unique and wanted to share. I’ll be surprised if any other cigar media outlet has this kind of information. Check out the video below.

 

 

ProtocolAfter a nap on Friday following a red-eye flight home, I sat down with a Protocol Corona Gorda which was fantastic, and I wanted to try out a couple of gifts I received from a couple of companies whose products I am I huge fan. I have a couple great desktop humidors from Adorini, and they have a punch cutter that has two sizes of punch and a magnetic closure. The larger punch is bigger than I’ve ever seen, slightly over 1/2″ in diameter.  I’ll be putting this through it’s paces, I can’t wait to use it on a CAO Flathead 660. Cigar Oasis celebrates its 20th anniversary this year and gifted me a Jetline dual flame lighter (with a flip out punch on the bottom). Fortunately it made it through TSA undisturbed in a checked bag. Put a Cigar Oasis in an Adorini humidor and you never have to worry about your cigars. The Protocol was excellent, and Juan and Bill hooked me up pretty good with samples, which are resting from their journey. More on Cubariqueño in a future post.

 

That’s enough for today, I need to try to get back into going to work mode for tomorrow, it sucks going back after a week of fun. Until the next time,

 

CigarCraig

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A Bunch of Cigars: UF-13 Dark, Reinado, Draig, NicaRoma and a La Gloria Cubana

LigaPrivada_Serie Unico_UF13I’ve had a good cigar week so far!  It started Sunday afternoon when I decided to treat myself to one of my rare Liga Privada Serie Unico UF-13 Dark.  I know when I want to have a really outstanding cigar experience I can rely on something Liga Privada or one of it’s cousins from Drew Estate, an Undercrown or a Chateau Real (maduro).  So I hit the back deck with the UF-13 dark and clipped off the fancy fan tailed cap.  An aside, I always feel a little bad lopping off fancy caps.  I love the look, it really ads to the presentation, but it’s such a waste of the roller’s time making something that’s going to get cut off right off the bat.  I know, they are sitting there all day making things that have the sole purpose of being burned away to ashes, but that’s the way my twisted mind works.  Always thinking in terms of practicality.  Anyway, the UF-13 Dark is a fabulous example of the art, and is a tasty cigar.  Loads of lush, full flavors and tons of smoke.  It ranks up there with my favorites in the the line.

 

Reinado Grand Empire Reserve_RobustoAfter a special dinner out with the family at a fairly new Italian restaurant up the road from us  (I had a chicken parmigiana the size of a dinner plate, which I also enjoyed for dinner Monday night) I pulled out another sure thing cigar, a Reinado Grand Empire Reserve in the original robusto size. this cigar was given to my by brand owner Antonio Lam when we met up in New Jersey a few months ago.  Once again, a perfect cigar. the draw and burn were dead on perfect, and it was loaded with flavor.  Like the earlier cigar, it was full and lush and satisfying. I’m glad these are coming out in more sizes, because the toro I smoked a while ago was great, more of a good thing!  As often happens, I was sad when this cigar was done!  If you can get your hands on these do it!

 

Monday evening after some running around, a corona was going to fit into my evening walk rather nicely, so I thought I’d give the Emilio Draig K corona another shot.  I was less than impressed with the first corona I smoked, but I recall really digging a pre-production toro that Gary Griffith had given me last year.  I had hoped some humidor time would help, and this had been in my humidor over 6 months.  I likened this cigar to an over roasted coffee (who’s brand will remain nameless due to their recent smoking policy) with dark, almost burnt flavors.  The jet black Columbian maduro wrapper was reminiscent of the original Habano2000 wrapper that came out in the late 90s that was  often compared to Nomex, which is a flame retardant material often used on electrical wiring. This wrapper didn’t want to burn and required frequent touch ups and relights.  I can safely say that this is just about the only cigar in Gary’s stable of cigars, and brands he distributes, for that matter, that I really have trouble with.  That’s not to say I didn’t burn my fingers nubbing it, I’m the eternal optimist when it comes to cigars, and I almost always find some little thing to enjoy.  Often it the time relaxing with a cigar that makes me forgive a lot.  Oddly, I’ll continue to try these when I have the opportunity.

 

Villiger_NicaRoma_ToroTuesday was “something new” night, and I went with a cigar from the folks at Villiger that I hadn’t tried yet. The NicaRoma line is a Nicaraguan cigar that is 60% long filler and 40% Grade A Picadura, Picadura being a fancy word for scraps or chaveta cuts left over from the rolling tables.  I’m certainly no snob when it comes to cigars, and I like a budget cigar as much as the next guy.  This line comes in Ecuador Connecticut, Habano and Maduro wrappers and is on;y available in a toro size.  Guess which one I had to try first? Of course, the maduro, which is Mexican San Andreas, do I have to say it’s my favorite wrapper?  Anyway, I gave this the V-cut and it drew and burned perfectly.  This is a very nice smoke to my palate, not complicated, but plenty of medium bodied flavor that has those dark coffee and cocoa notes I like so much.  the website lists the MSRP on these at $3.99, certainly well worth it and deserving of a try. It wasn’t until the very end of the smoke that I got any sense that it has short filler.  I look forward to trying the other two wrappers, and thank you to Anne at Villiger for sending these along.  I’ve already shared a few and hope to be able to include a guest review in the near future.

 

LaGloriaCubana_Rabito de CocinaFinally, this evening I decided to smoke a La Gloria Cubana Rabito de Cochina, which comes three cigars to a little plexi-topped coffin box.  These cigar have been around since the 2011 IPCPR show where I was first introduced to them. They are a 6½ x 46 cigar with a curly pig-tailed cap, wrapped in a ribbon.  I picked up the box of three on a visit to Cigars International’s store in Hamburg, PA on my last visit, I think they set me back about $10, putting them on a par, price-wise with the NicaRoma, which is astounding.  The construction is what I’d call a Cuban style, as it’s a loose roll, with a very free draw.  I have mixed emotions about this cigar: on the one hand, I’m glad I still have two left, on the other hand I’m sad that I only have two!  This was a terrific cigar, as long as you smoked it gently like one would a lancero.  It had nice, well balanced flavors and was an excellent representation of the La Gloria brand.  Considering you can get three excellent cigars for, basically, the price of one, these aren’t just a great way to spend an hour or so, but very good value.  I AdoriniHumidor2have been keeping these in the Adorini Cedro Deluxe Humidor from HumidorDiscount.com which has been working very well. I’ve only had it a few weeks, and it was very quick to get set up and ready to go.  So far I would have no problem recommending this humidor.  It’s not a cheap humidor, it’s certainly well made and works quite well!  My thanks to HumidorDiscount.com for letting me try this humidor out.

 

I’ve rambled on long enough here!  Sunday’s post will undoubtedly have something to do with the Cigarnival at Famous Smokeshop’s location in Easton, PA on Saturday.  I’ve never been to an event of this kind, so I’m not sure what to expect, but I hope to see a few friends there!

 

Until then,

CigarCraig

 

 

 

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