Tag Archives: BnB

Epic Cigars, Literally and Figuratively, a Tatuaje and an Event

Tatuaje_ReservaBroadleaf_J21It’s been a busy couple of days, so I figured I’d start the second half of the week right with what I hoped would be a great cigar.  Last summer at the IPCPR show I stopped into Pete Johnson’s booth where he had Tatuaje, L’Atelier, and his other brands represented, and oddly it wasn’t mobbed. In previous years Pete was pretty hard to get a minute with, so I made a point to visit his booth early. I’m just getting started talking with him when a representative of the IPCPR interrupts to introduce a journalist from the middle east somewhere, who proceeded to talk to Pete for a half an hour with me standing right there, then brought in the middle east distributor who went on for another 15 minutes. I patiently waited, but chastised the previously mentioned IPCPR representative later. Members of the media interrupting retailers and vendors is a big no-no, but it’s OK to interrupt other media members. This is part of the reason I have relinquished my IPCPR membership. Point is, I finally got to talk to Pete for a while, which I greatly appreciated, and he showed us the Reserva Broadleaf series, a collection containing the original 6 Seleccion de Cazador sizes, along with J21, SW, K222 and Cojonu 2003 all with a Connecticut Broadleaf Wrapper. The whole Tatuaje_ReservaBroadleafcollection can be purchased for just under $1200, or they are available separately in bundles of ten. Pete gifted me the J21 size, ironically I had just written about the Habano version in a Prime-Living article. The J21 is a standard 5″ x 50 robusto, obviously wrapped in Connecticut Broadleaf with Nicaraguan binder and fillers. I’m not clear on whether this is rolled in Miami or Nicaragua, but it hardly matters, it’s a stellar smoke! Holy crap did I enjoy this cigar! It hit all the points I like, great burn and draw, perfect ash, and flavor like crazy. Dark cocoa and espresso all day long, with some nice spice. I loved it, and I probably put down a half-inch nub. Just what I needed, another $10+ cigar that I fall in love with.


BnBFriday evening I took a ride into the Chestnut Hill section of Philadelphia to visit BnB Cigars where they were having an Epic Cigars event. I try not to miss Dean Parsons when he comes to town, he and Mick, his sales manager and right hand man, were on hand. For a small shop, BnB has a great selection of boutique cigars as well as your standard, bread and butter cigars, packed into display cases around the shop. There’s a cozy lounge in the back too.  Vince does a great job keeping the place stocked with interesting cigars that you don’t see many places around here. I’m a big fan of the Epic line of cigars, which are made in the Dominican Republic in the same factory that Kristoff cigars come from. I picked up some of the new Maduro Fuerte, I figured it would be a safe bet since I love the regular maduro EpicMaduroFuerteline. I also wanted to try the production version of the San Andres with the Epic “E” in light-colored tobacco leaf in place of the band, and pick up some more of the Connecticut Shade La Rubia.  I smoked an Epic Maduro while I was there hanging out, which comes in a 6½ x 54 size called the Compinche, which means “buddy”.  Like the regular Maduro line, this has a Brazilian Arapiraca wrapper, Cameroon binder, and Dominican and Nicaraguan fillers, with more ligero than the standard Maduro line. I loved the cigar, but I didn’t find it to be too strong, at least for my tastes. It burned well, and had some very nice flavors consistent with what I love about the Epic Maduro, and that Cameroon binder ads an interesting flavor to the blend.


Epic_San Andres_Gran OlaYesterday afternoon I camped out on the back porch with the Flyers game on the tablet and smoked the Epic  limited edition Project E San Andrés Gran Ola, also in the 6½” x 54 size. It’s fortunate that I smoked the cigar through the first two periods of the game and I wasn’t smoking it in the last 6 seconds when the Flyers, once again, managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. I might have done unspeakable things to the cigar in frustration, and that wouldn’t have been a fitting end to the cigar. This is also appropriate because Dean Parsons played professional hockey in his native epic_hockeyCanada, so he would understand.  The San Andrés wrapper is not a dark, maduro processed wrapper, it’s more of a milk chocolate-brown, with the E that must irritate the folks at the factory who are tasked with its application. I snipped off the fanned pigtail cap and lit it up, thoroughly enjoying the interesting flavors. I would put this at the upper end of medium with some light spice and creamy coffee notes. I found no flavor change whatsoever when I hit the band, in case anyone wondered. Yet another winner from Dean and Epic Cigars! Very nice smoke, but disappointing hockey game.


CI Ad in Newspaper CouponsMy wife was clipping coupons today from the Sunday paper and came across this one from Cigars International. I’m not promoting this deal at all (although it’s not a bad deal), just thought it was interesting that it appeared in the regular coupons part of a major news paper. I wonder how long this kind of thing will be allowed? We haven’t seen cigarette advertising in what, 30 years? More? Certainly the anti smoking folks must see this and wish they had gotten the item on the bottom part of the ad so they could call for help when they fell over in shock from seeing *gasp* tobacco…I’m sure this kind of ad is forbidden in Australia, where they have plain packaging and curtains covering the cigars in shops. It could happen here, my friends, stay vigilant and keep pressing your elected officials to try to prevent them from ruining a good thing!


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





Filed under Events, Review, Stores

CigarCraig’s Holiday Contest Number Two: Xikar Xidris Lighter and Holt’s Contest Winner

Mi Querida_Muy Gordo GrandeOK, OK, I know, I said I was going to post the winner of contest number one earlier, but I slacked off Friday and went to visit a shop in Chestnut Hill (Philadelphia), PA called BnB Cigars (not to be confused with BnB Tobacco, different company altogether). I’ve met Vince, the manager of this shop on several occasions and consider him a friend, he’s been a long time reader and I was long overdue paying him a visit. Vince as stocked this shop with the most impressive selection of boutique cigars I’ve seen. He’s got the largest RoMaCraft selection anywhere, just a ridiculous depth of product. He also knows way more about some of the really geeky boutique stuff and will be my go to info source on such things, I think. I walked out with a handful of cigars that I had read about, but never seen in the wild. But the motivation to pay this great little shop a visit was my old friend Steve Saka was dropping by, and I had to pick up some more Mi Queridas and smoke them along with Steve and the fine folks there CraigNSteve@BnBat BnB. I smoked the Mi Querida in the larger Muy Gordo Grande size, the 6″ x 56 and loved it. It was a bit smoother than the smaller ring gauges, obviously, which was OK with my for a multiple cigar evening. I also managed to get my hands on Steve’s new 4″ x 48 Gordita size in the Mi Querida line. If it compares to the line like the Short Churchill compares to the Sobremesa line it will be a winner. It’s always educational and entertaining hanging out with Steve, and I was glad to finally get to visit this terrific shop. Thanks to Vince for the hospitality (including a great cup of Twin Engine Coffee that, along with the cigar, prevented me from sleeping most of the night!), definitely a must visit shop in the Philly area (and online, they ship!).


Today’s holiday giveaway is a new Xikar Xidris single flame torch lighter courtesy of the fine folks at Xikar. This one is the very sporty yellow and black version. When Xikar sent me two of these to try out I was honestly torn between this one and the tan with gun-metal, and opted for the tan because I needed a “classy” as opposed to “sporty” lighter in my portfolio. I’ve mentioned before that I’ve been using the Xidris lighter exclusively for the past several Xikar Xidris Yellowmonths and it works great. It’s my go to lighter, it’s got a great heft, yet not too heavy as to pull your pants town, and lights every time, unless it runs out of gas, which isn’t very often because it has a generous fuel tank and a window so you can see when it’s low. Anyway, one lucky reader will win this beautiful and functional yellow and black Xikar Xidris lighter. So leave a comment like usual, I will be picking a winner on Wednesday this time for sure, so stay tuned (spoiler alert: contest number 3 looms). Thanks to Xikar for sending these lighters along for me to try, and going along with my giveaway plans!



I’ve consulted with Random.org’s random number generator and, after taking out a couple of comments that weren’t eligible, it was determined that the winner of the Holt’s $20 Gift Card is Tommy D. Please send me your details so I can pass them on to Holt’s so they can get you your gift card! Thanks to Lexi at Holt’s for making this possible! I like to visit the center city Philly store when ever I’m nearby, and they might even be carrying Sobremesa and Mi Querida sometime soon!  Thanks to everyone who entered, and good luck in the upcoming contests!


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






Filed under Contest, Stores

A Griffins, a Band and a Tortuga EL and Some News

Thursday was a big day for my youngest son and his band, Air Sur La Terre.  They’ve been playing together for a few short months and are really coming together.  They were interviewed on a local AM radio station in the afternoon, the podcast version can be heard here, and played at an open mike night at a coffee house in the area.  While at the coffee house, I decided to take a Griffins 500 for a little walk down the street to check out a new “smoke shop”.  I walked in, cigar in hand, and asked if smoking was permitted, and was told no.  So I turned around and left.  I noticed two cabinet humidors with what appeared to be a very modest selection of cigars.  They seemed to specialize in roll-your-own and “glass wear”, so you get the impression that premium cigars are not the focus.  Now I know, and don’t have to worry about going there again!  On my way back to the coffee house, I snapped a picture of the Griffins in front of the iconic Colonial Theater in Phoenixville, PA.   This theater was immortalized in the classic 1953 movie ” The Blob”.  The kids put on a great two song set, they have videos (I took them with my iPod, so please forgive the quality) as well as their single, “Fade Away” on their website.  The cigar is a classic Connecticut shade wrapped cigar with plenty of flavor and a perfect burn.


Tortuga Edicion Limitada 2011 Torpedo that Victor Vitale had sent me a while back.  The EL 2011 is made in the Dominican Republic with Honduran and Dominican fillers and Nicaraguan wrapper and binder.  It’s a pretty cigar, they wrapper is dark and a little mottled and it’s rolled with a very pointy head.  Draw and burn were very nice, although it needed a few touch ups here and there which can be contributed as much to the breeze as the cigar.  It had a really good flavor, and was solidly medium in strength to me.  If you can find these, try them.  I will admit that of the three cigars in this line, the EL 2011, 1948 Connecticut and 1950 Maduro, the EL was third on the list behind the Connecticut and Maduro, with the 1950 Maduro being my absolute favorite.  The Connecticut and Maduro each had unique flavors that really distinguished themselves to me, and the Edicion Limitada while an excellent cigar, didn’t hit me with any of those surprises.  This is an exceptional line which deserves your consideration, and Victor is a terrific guy, and I appreciate the opportunity to try these special cigars.



On the cigar event side, Butthead’s Tobacco Emporium announced that they are going to host a series of cigar events in their stores in Connecticut which they will stream live video from and offer the same deals to their on-line customers.  This is a pretty cool way to see what’s going on at the events if you can’t get to them yourselves, or live someplace where there are few events.  You can see the press release for this at Cigar Coop’s site here, and here is a sample promo video for your entertainment.

More News

In other news, You may recall a month or so ago I posted an article about the IPCPR‘s Internet Media Membership.  I’m pleased to announce that the organization had decided to change the membership in such a way that the benefits are more equal to the other membership levels.  I still need to figure out the details, but it looks like I’ll be attending the show.  Thanks to last year’s media members for their contributions and to Bill Spann and the board for their consideration.  Also, I’d like to welcome a new sponsor,  BnB Tobacco to CigarCraig.com.  They have a great selection and prices, so check them out the next time you shop.


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




Filed under Events, News, Review