Tag Archives: CigarProp

Providencia El Santo and El Padre Cigars

Providencia_El Santo_PrensadoYesterday I had the luxury of smoking two cigars, so I decided to make it a “theme day” and smoke two that were new to me from Providencia Cigars. The cigars are made in Honduras with Honduran and Nicaraguan tobacco in two blends, the El Padre and the El Santo, The Father and the Saint respectively. Based on the fact that the El Padre is a Connecticut and the El Santo is the maduro, any guess which one I went to first?  Of course, I grabbed the El Santo Prensado, the box pressed, 6″ x 52 toro size. This also comes in a Robusto Gordo which measures 4½”x 58. The details on this cigar are vague according to the information I was provided, it lists the wrapper as Sumatra Nicaraguan Maduro, and “a proprietary blend” of Honduran tobaccos that they grow on their own plantations, and Nicaraguan binder and fillers. It’s impressive that they have their own farms and, one would assume, process their own leaf. small tangent: I think it’s equally impressive that they only produce 25,000 cigars a year between the two blends, and they are priced at $8 each across the board. There is no mention that I could find that they own a factory or in what factory they are produced.  Back to the El Santo. The cigar had a soft box press and was very comfortable in the hand. I lit it up on the back porch as I was receiving text alerts about thunderstorms, which isn’t a problem in an enclosed porch unless the wind gets crazy, which it did not. I had no complaints about the burn and draw, both were exceptional. I generally expect sweetness and cocoa from a cigar that looks like this, but I was pleasantly surprised that it had more of a savory, steak-like feel to it. I liked that it wasn’t your standard maduro (I love standard maduros!), it was interesting, entertaining, and delicious. My mouth watered. Thunderstorms ensued, although not distracting me from the enjoyment. Now I’m looking forward to smoking the Robusto Gordo quite a bit (that’s a size I like to). Providencia El Santo Prensado gets two thumbs up.

 

Providencia_El Padre_RobustoGordoAfter dinner and a couple of Game of Thrones episodes (I’m way behind the curve, I read the book a long time ago, but only recently had the access to the HBO series and they were playing it all weekend). I took a walk with the Providencia El Padre in that Robusto Gordo size. This also comes in a 6″x 52 torpedo, which was their first cigar. The El Padre lists a Connecticut Nicaraguan wrapper, which is not all that common.  The wrapper was a flawless blond leaf with fine veins as one would expect. My only complaint would be that it took a little coaxing to get the bottom side of the foot properly lit, but one it got going it burned like a champ. Smoke production was great with the El Padre as it was with the El Santo, and there was little mildness about it. It was rich and, dare I say it again?, meaty. Not strong, but full-bodied enough to know you’re smoking a cigar, for sure. The wrapper added a creaminess to the mix, and it was an extremely pleasing cigar. After twenty years of sampling all kinds of cigars, from un-known cigars in the boom of the 90s that were just terrible, to boutiques like this one, I’m a bit of a curmudgeon anymore, almost hating the idea of wasting my valuable cigar time with an unknown. It’s cigars like these that keep me doing it (and the strange desire to share my thoughts on a website), the surprise of being entertained and satisfied by something new. Are there the new cigars that I try that meet my sometimes negative expectation?  Sure there are, but lines like Providencia are what keep me experimenting. The fact that they sell for $8 each doesn’t hurt. Good job to the guys behind this line. These are available for sale on their website as well as select tobacconists (listed on the site).

 

Prop1Prop2I’m testing a prototype of Cigar Prop‘s new portable prop, a two piece design that when apart is roughly credit card sized. It works, it holds up a cigar, much like it’s less portable brethren. I have a feeling it will not work well in my wallet flying to Vegas next week, TSA may frown upon it, I’m not quite sure. I have to say, I use one of the Cigar Props every day, whether it’s just to take a picture for Instagram or, as it’s intended, for a place to rest my cigar when I need to do something else.  A handy and good-looking solution to a common problem!

 

That’s all for now. Some may have a long weekend for the 4th of July. I have to work tomorrow, so weekendus interuptus for me, but Tuesday will require some special cigars. One for the anniversary of the USA and one for my wife and I celebrating our wedding anniversary. Guaranteed one of those cigars will have “anniversary” in the name. Stay safe, don’t blow off any body parts, and have a great weekend! Until the next time,

 

CigarCraig

Share

4 Comments

Filed under Review

A Visit to A Little Taste of Cuba in New Hope PA to Meet the Cigar Prop Man!

I’ve made mention of the Cigar Prop, and it features prominently in many of my Instagram  photos and occasionally here. The Cigar Prop is a machined aluminum cigar stand that I use quite frequently, and the creator of this item is a long time reader, Kevin Shahan. Kevin resides in Florida and in addition to being the Cigar Prop guy, is also quite well-known in the bearding community (is that a thing? apparently it is!) as the creator of Irish Beard Balm. Kevin dropped me a note a few weeks back saying he was going to be in New Little Taste of Cuba - Photo by JessicaJersey this weekend so we made plans to meet. The little riverside village of New Hope, PA seemed to be just about in the middle of where he and his girlfriend, Jessica, were staying and where I live, and it just so happened there’s a cigar store there! So we made plans to meet up yesterday. over the last twenty years of interacting electronically with people I’ve gotten used to meeting folks in the flesh that I’ve only exchanged text with, and nine times out of ten it works out, like meeting an old friend you never met before. Such was the case with Kevin. I spotted him on the street, we met, and made our way to the cigar shop.

 

lfdA Little Taste of Cuba is one of two stores (the other in Princeton, NJ) owned by Jorge Armenteros, who is the guy behind Tobacconist University, which is a course that teaches about everything cigar, pipe and tobacco. The shop is right on Main Street in New Hope, ironically in close proximity to a bar called Mojito and a restaurant called Havana. The shop is cozy, there’s a small walk in humidor that features mostly top shelf cigars, Padron Anniversary, Liga Privada, Sobremesa, et cetera. The staff was very friendly and helpful, as one would expect in an establishment who trains other tobacconists. Certainly the focus was on quality over quantity here. I selected a La Flor Dominicana Reserva Especial El Jocko Maduro that has the white Reserva Especial Little Taste of Cuba - Photo by Jessicabands that I’m not used to seeing on this cigar. It’s been forever since I had this cigar, and it was delicious. Perhaps a bit much for noon, before lunch, but I was sitting on a comfy leather couch, talking cigars and stuff with Kevin while the girls checked out some of the surrounding shops. We eventually finished up and went to an Irish pub for lunch. Many thinks to Kevin and Jessica for taking the time to meet with us! Vegas, next time, eh?

 

I can’t tell you how cool it is to meet up with a relative stranger, and it’s like you’re long-lost brothers. I have had the great pleasure of meeting several of my readers, and, so far, none of them have been homicidal lunatics that I could tell. Dave W. is reasonably local and won the last contest, and I would like to meet him for a smoke one of these days (I shipped his goodies as I don’t know when we will be able to meet up), and I’d be pleased to meet any one of you who wastes their valuable time reading my nonsense!. I’ve made great friends through simply loving rolled up leaves, and it’s great any time I get to meet someone I’ve interacted with on-line. By the way, go buy a Cigar Prop or two, I use mine all the time!

 

That’s all for now! I’ve got a Prime Living article to finish writing, and the cigars aren’t going to smoke themselves! Until the next time,

 

CigarCraig

Share

5 Comments

Filed under Stores

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

Share

5 Comments

Filed under Review