Tag Archives: Cigar Oasis

AshStay News, a La Gloria Cubana Cigar and a Contest!

I was catching up on some podcast listening yesterday and happened across an episode of Stogie Geeks Podcast with Chaim Kohn of Cigar Oasis. I’ve known Chaim a long time, and he’s been a great supporter of my site, and I’m a fan of Cigar Oasis products. I use a Magna in my cabinet and an Excel in the little New Air, as well as Western Humidor hygrometers here and there.  I heard on the show where Cigar Oasis is distributing the AshStay cigar ashtray now. I’ve been using an AshStay for three years practically every day, and it works as advertised. I still won’t put it in the dishwasher or make my wife clean up after me (as portrayed in the company’s promotional video, which auto plays on their website, beware), but it manages the odor well, and has been a welcome addition to my smoking porch. Hopefully Cigar Oasis does well spreading the AshStay love.

 

Thursday I had a bad cigar day. I’m only going to speak in general terms about the cigars, but I get really annoyed when I draw through a cigar and get no smoke.  If I blow through it looks like I’m electing a Pope, but drawing gives nothing!  I have yet to figure out how this occurs, unless there’s a fold in the bunch that acts as a valve of sorts. The worst part off the evening was when I returned from my walk and put the poorly working cigar down and found a back up, it was plugged. I didn’t get any flavor from either (which could have been a result of drinking a blood orange ginger ale with dinner, but I can’t say for sure), and was left unfulfilled. It was a major bummer. So LaGloriaCubana_Colección Reserva_PresidenteFriday I cracked open the box of La Gloria Cubana Collecion Reserva Presidente that I bought at the event with Ernesto Carillo a month or so ago. I’ve smoked the robusto and belicoso in this line and love them, but this Presidente, a formidable 7½” x 54, was next level stuff. I had some buyers remorse, buying a box of such large cigars, but after smoking one, I am no longer regretting the purchase. While it started a little slow, it moved into the flavors I am familiar with from the smaller sizes, then, BANG, a sweet cinnamon candy flavor that made my day. It was short of Atomic Fireball cinnamon, more like the hard candies. I can’t say how much I enjoyed that cigar, especially after the previous evenings disappointments. It’s a good thing these are such large cigars, or I’d smoke through them quick. I’ve been high on the La Gloria Cubana Collecion Reserva since smoking the IPCPR show samples, and I’m a fan of the brand in general. It’s important to remember that this line is actually made at Ernesto’s factory and not General Cigars, La Gloria Cubana was his baby, after all. This cigar would receive a 99 on my rating scale if I used my rating scale.

 

 

Contest!

I had a couple other cigars I was going to talk about, the Emilio LJZ, and the Jas Sum Kral Red Knight, which were both very good, but I figured I’d get right to a giveaway instead. I had another giveaway lined up, but then as Caliber 4RI was typing this post, it occurred to me that it wasn’t a good fit, and will make more sense in a couple of weeks when I have my annual, scaled back, Christmas giveaways. What does make sense is to give away a great item from Cigar Oasis, a Calibur 4R Digital Hygrometer with a silver bezel. I have one of these, and would happily have deployed this one in one of my humidors, but I’ll be happier seeing someone else enjoy using it. This is a great looking unit as well as being very accurate and functional. It wouldn’t surprise me if a couple of cigars fell into the box when I ship it out, it’s been known to happen.  Usual rule apply, leave a comment on this post to enter and I’ll select the winner next Sunday, December 10, 2017.  Thanks to Chaim for providing this super-cool item! Stay tuned for more great giveaways coming soon, and I’ll be working on sending Secret Santa assignments out this week!  God Luck!

 

That’s all for today, I have to get a ceiling painted and maybe clean out the gutters now that the leaves have fallen.  I can’t believe it’s so close to the end of the year already…anyway, until the next time,

 

CigarCraig

 

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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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IPCPR 2017 – Cigar Oasis Booth

 

I’ve been here in Las Vegas since Monday and have seen many friends and made some new ones.  The venue is the Las Vegas Convention Center, a different location than in the past.  It’s only a couple blocks off the strip, but has a totally different feel  the exhibit space is larger, so it seems more sparsely attended, but many booths seemed busy and it remains to be seen if attendance is down or just more spread out. More on all that later.  I attended several media events, Mambacho Cigars hosted an amazing party at a private residence, Davidoff and Ventura had media briefings in their booths during the show, and I’m heading to a Drew Estate media event tonight. There still seems to be new releases like crazy, in the coming weeks I’ll be closely examining some of them. In the mean time, I paid a visit to the Cigar Oasis booth this morning and took the video below, featuring Chaim Kohn telling us about their offerings and about their celebration of their 20th Anniversary.

 

 

I tried some YouTube live videos yesterday that are available on my YouTube Channel. Today it didn’t want to work so I didn’t do it live, but did post videos as soon as I was done. They are raw and unedited. More to come.  That’s all for now, until the next time.

 

CigarCraig

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NewAir CC-100 Thermoelectric Cigar Humidor

A few weeks ago the folks at NewAir contacted me about test driving one of their new humidors.  I told them I didn’t need another humidor, and my wife would likely kill me if I brought another one into the house.  Their website has pictures of a nicely stocked unit sitting on a kitchen counter, that has about as much of a chance of happening in my house as me running my dishwasher safe AshStay cigar ashtray through the dishwasher!  As much as I didn’t need another humidor in the house, this one looked like something my readers would be interested in. It’s available from retailers we all know, it seems like a good value, and the “wine fridge” humidors seem to be all the rage these days.  So I took on the burden of introducing yet another humidor to the house, at great peril.

 

NewAir Box

NewAir CC-100

 

 

 

Here are the deets on the NewAir CC-100:

Key Features

  • Comes with Hygrometer & Moisture Container
  • Real Spanish Cedar Wood Shelves & Drawer
  • Stores up to 250 of your favorite cigars
  • The interior temperature can be adjusted in increments of 1° between 54°F & 74°F.
  • To properly maintain RH, you need to include a method of adding humidity. For your convenience, a moisture container is included.

 

Let’s take a quick look at this list first, bullet point by bullet point.

The Hygrometer is analog and is inset into the Spanish cedar drawer which is in the top of the unit. It seems to be quite accurate, agreeing with several digital units I put in as a control.  The “Moisture Container” is a plastic tray, and I’m not sure why they include this. I suppose one could put polymer beads in it as a humidity source.  If a novice to cigar storage were to just fill this with water and leave it in there it would mold very quickly.

The shelves and drawer are nice and fit well. I tried re-arranging the placement but they seem best suited to be left alone, the drawer in the top position and the shelves underneath. Good quality, perhaps not enough wood to truly buffer the humidity swings of frequent opening and closing, but an acceptable start. Storing boxes on the shelves gives it plenty of wood to buffer humidity.

It’s well known that humidor capacity is based upon the number of petite coronas (typically Montecristo no.4) cigars that can be crammed into the box. this will easily hold 250 petite coronas, although probably not in boxes. I have about 75 cigars in there now with room to spare. Since this is a retrofitted wine fridge, it’s deeper than it is wide, so it’s possible that smaller boxes could be stored two deep.

The temperature adjustment is where this differs from a traditional humidor. I set mine at 70, and it seems to be right on. This will be handy in the summer months, and after I have had this for a while and feel comfortable with the stability I am storing some of my best cigars in there, as well as keeping my “on deck” review samples in the drawer.

Finally, adding a humidifier. I happened to have a Cigar Oasis Excel siting idle, and decided to give that a try. It’s just about the right size and really doesn’t take up much space on the bottom of the unit. The ribbon cable has to come out the front door (on the  side), once I decide that’s going to be the humidifier of choice, I’ll stick the wire to the side and hide it real good.  This unit is so tightly sealed that I figure Boveda packs or polymer beads of some sort, could work just fine. I actually haven’t heard the Cigar Oasis running much, which is a good sign. Please don’t just fill the included container from point number one with water and let it go, you will end up with a large petri dish.

 

two humidorsOne of the challenges I still have is finding a place to put this. Right now it’s sitting on the floor next to my cabinet. It plugs in, as does the Cigar Oasis, so it needs to be near an outlet. I would love to find a shelf unit to put it, as well as the other desktop humidors, on, as long as it receives spousal support, creating a sort of “tower of humidors” next to the tower humidor. As if it’s not bad enough (or great, depending on perspective) that the focal point of the living room/dining room is already a humidor.  This is where the depth works against the unit, but it’s very close to the same depth as the cabinet (a few inches deeper). I really need to get it off the floor.  If I didn’t have so many cigars, this would be a perfect humidor to have as my only unit, it holds humidity well, maintains temperature well and looks nice. I am so confident in it that I put some of my higher end cigars in it. It gets the CigarCraig seal of approval, I think it’s a very good value.

 

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

 

CigarCraig

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A Flying Pig, a Foundry and a Dominican Big Leaguer Cigar and a House

LPSU_FlyingPigIt’s been a busy weekend.  I took the day off Friday to settle on our new house. It’ll be a while before we get moved in, as there are some things we want to do there, and our current housing remains on the market.  One feature that really sold us on the new house was a large screened in back porch, which will be a perfect place to enjoy cigars!  So Thursday evening after work I took my evening walk with a Liga Privada No.9 Flying Pig. I’ve actually been thinking about smoking one of these or a while, as I haven’t smoked one since June of 2011. Another reason this came to mind is that there’s a Flying Pig Saloon near the house. I have a habit of coming across various incarnations of Flying Pigs, most recently a concrete garden ornament which was $70, too rich for my blood.  Anyway, I think I’ve had this particular Pig in my humidor since early 2011, and I believe the last one I have is from last year, although I believe they were all made about the same time. The shape is cool, it ends too soon, and it’s a tasty little porker. It’s rich and meaty and a fun way to smoke a Liga Privada No. 9.  I actually have never had the T52 or Undercrown Pigs yet, and I have a Feral Pig in the humidor that may need to be burned soon. I like having Ligas around, but they are ready to smoke and I don’t know that they age very well. Good smokes if you can find them, I dig the Pig.

 

Foundry_WormHole_2064_Hell-E-INAs I said, I had Friday off, so we went out to breakfast, stopped at the bank and got a large check,  did some shopping, walked through the house, and went to settlement.  Oddly, the title service rep recognized me (my name) from junior high.  I’ve repressed most memories from that dark and awkward time in my life, but I remembered her name and she knew a lot of people in the neighborhood I grew up in. It always seems like we run into strange coincidences at the settlement table. Anyway, I can’t imagine you care about, so the cigar I smoked on my Friday evening walk was a Foundry Worm Hole 2014 blend HELL-I-EN. Every time I smoke a Foundry cigar I learn a little more about them. A few weeks back Michael Giannini sent me a bunch of cigars, and he sent both sizes of the 2064 blend. This is a larger size, and, in true Foundry fashion, I have no idea what the tobacco make-up of these are.  What I do know is that this cigar is smooth, reasonably mild, and, like I’ve experienced with many cigars in the Foundry and Compounds, Elements and Musings lines, is really enjoyable.  They are all a little bit different than other cigars, and I really like that. I can always expect a unique experience, it may not suit my palate every time, but most of the time I’m satisfied and entertained by the cigar.  Any company that makes a box shaped like my surname initial has to be cool. This was a super smooth and tasty cigar, an experience on a par with a Davidoff. I do have my doubts that there’s tobacco from Mars in the blend.

 

DominicanBigLeaguer_AnniversarySaturday was a rainy, dreary fall day, the kind of day I really dislike.  We ran over the the house to show Macha (the dog….side contest: I’ll send a 5er of my choosing to the first person who can tell me where that name comes from in the comments, and it’s not what the SPCA told us the origin is, it’s what I say it is! It ties into another significant part of our lives here). We made a list and bought some stuff at the store which I may go ever today and install.  After an early dinner I took a walk with a Dominican Big Leaguer Anniversary in a toro size. One of the stops we made on Friday was at a local shop, JM cigars, in Exton, PA. This is a classic cigar shop, and I’ve been going there for years, since I started smoking premium cigars back around 1995.  Anyway, the owner, Jeff, was big on the DBL line when I was in there a few months back and I enjoyed what I smoked.  A few weeks ago I finally had the opportunity to meet and talk to Francisco Almonte, the owner of the brand and he gave me this cigar.  This line pays homage to the Dominican love of baseball. It’s a national obsession really.  Anyway, this cigar showed promise, it had a great flavor, but the mottled wrapper didn’t really want to burn for the first half of the cigar.  It’s possible that it was a fairly thick leaf and since it was such a damp day it took some time for the heat of the cigar to dry it out.  It was still a darned tasty cigar, and I really look forward to smoking the San Andrès maduro in the regular line.  An interesting note, as I usually rely on my friend Will Cooper’s Cigar-Coop.com to fill in some blanks when manufacturer sites are lacking, I could find nothing on the Dominican Big Leaguer, or DBL Cigars. Something must be wrong with his site search.

 

On a peripherally related note, I’ve been snacking on Ritz Bacon flavored crackers spread with The Bacon Jams all weekend.  It’s really hard to have too much bacon, and I was going to put some actual bacon on a couple, but someone polished off the few strips I had leftover from yesterday’s breakfast.  Anyway, what a tasty snack. If you want to learn more about the sweety and meaty goodness that is The Bacon Jams, they are going to be featured on QVC tomorrow (Monday, Oct. 13) in the 5PM EDT hour.  Tune in and buy some, I’m sure they will sell out!  One of the principles of the company, Bruce,  is a cigar smoker and was in the CAO and Flying Dog pairing video we did a few months ago.  Bruce also was involved in the development of the app for the Cigar Oasis WiFi remote, which is very cool, by the way. You want spreadable bacon. You need spreadable bacon.

 

That’s it for now, enjoy some great cigars today! Until the next time,

 

CigarCraig

 

 

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