Tag Archives: cigars

Sweet Jane, Cornelius and Anthony and Partagas Cigars

Sweet JaneIt’s still cold here in Pennsylvania, so instead of taking my cigar for a walk, I’ve been walking Macha first, then relaxing on the porch in the glow of the propane heater. Monday I felt like I was in the mood for something unique, so I selected a Sweet Jane from Drew Estate and Deadwood Tobacco. The Deadwood “Yummy Bitches” line is basically a variation on the Natural (or soon ” Larutan”). This line, along with the Natural, uses tobaccos from Syria, Turkey and Louisiana, wrapped in a Nicaraguan Maduro wrapper. I don’t recall the Sweet Jane having as much of the saccharine sweetness on the cap that the Natural ( I should get used to calling it Larutan, I’ll blame dyslexia), which for me is a plus. The Cigar has tons of interesting flavor with exotic spices and richness. Like Drew Estate’s Swamp Thangs, I like the variety and change of pace.

 

CorneliusandAnthony_Aerial_ToroLast night I did take a cigar as it wasn’t bitter cold. I chose a Cornelius and Anthony Aerial Toro, it seems that I like the Toros across the Cornelius and Anthony line the best. One might think that an Ecuador Connecticut Shade wrapper would crack in the cold, but I had no such problem. It’s no secret that I’m a fan of the brand in general, my least favorite in the line i like more than maybe 80% of cigars out there. As far as shade wrapper cigars go, the Aerial is up there with my favorites. It has loads of flavor and a great burn. Later in the evening I was honored to take part in Developing Palates Cigar Media 2017 Recap show, with Aaron and Jiunn, Charlie from Halfweel.com, Will from Cigar-Coop.com and Eric from CigaDojo.com. Obviously my style is quite different from the rest of the panelists, but I’ve known all these guys for several years. I hope I had some positive contributions. If you missed it live, check it out on Developing Palates or their YouTube channel, or listen to the podcast version (like I will). There was a lot of interesting discussion.

 

Partagas_Heritage_RothschildTonight I returned to my walk first, smoke later plan, fingers get cold trying to smoke even with gloves on. I gotta get some electric gloves or something. The upside of doing it his way is I get to smoke some of the robusto and Rothschild size cigars that used to be my go to size, but more recently I’ve had more time to enjoy larger vitolas. I’ve been wanting to revisit the Partagas Heritage Rothschild, so tonight presented a perfect opportunity. What’s interesting to me about the blend is the Olancho San Augustin wrapper ( CAO OSA Sol, Cohiba Blue) over a Connecticut Broadleaf binder, with fillers from Dominican Republic, Honduras and Mexico. This another tasty little bugger, rich, chocolaty with some spice. It has a fairly long finish, which I’m still enjoying as I type. The Honduran wrapper is fairly neutral in my opinion, but the rest of the blend is where the flavor is.

 

That’s all for now, I can’t think of anything else to drone on about. Until the next time,

CigarCraig

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A Tortuga Reserva Maduro, a Providencia El Padre and a Joya Black Cigar

On New Years Eve I stopped in to CigarCigars store near my house for a smoke and picked up a handful of Tortuga Reserva Maduro “El Coyote Negro” in the Cedro No. 500 belicoso size. These were, sadly, marked down, and I’d seen this box on the bottom shelf in the past. I think the right thing for me to do is to go back and grab some more.  Of course, Victor Vitale’s Tortuga line has been a Tortuga Reserva Maduro No. 500favorite of mine for several years, and I like to keep a bunch on hand, and this is nowhere near the first time this brand has come up on these pages. I was checking, and I think the first mention of Tortuga was early in 2012, in a piece I wrote after visiting the Reading Terminal Market in Philly, Victor’s home town. The El Coyote Negra No. 500 had some age, the cello was amber, and the cigar was awesome. These have a Brazilian Oscuro wrapper and Nicaraguan filler and binder, and are made in Honduras.  I’ve been hoping to catch up with Victor as it’s been way too long, but the last I heard he was working on another Ora Vivo Armand Assante cigar, which is exciting as I really enjoy those too. I think I’ve liked all of Victor’s cigars since launching Tortuga and Ora Vivo, as I mention in the article from six years ago, I wasn’t overly impressed with his ORTSAC line, although it certainly wasn’t bad (Dave Garofalo owns the ORTSAC brand now). I look forward to catching up with Victor again soon!

 

Providencia_El Padre_TorpedoOdd thing: I can’t remember having dreams about cigars, but yesterday morning I awoke from a dream that was very specifically about Providencia cigars. I’m not sure how that particular brand slipped into my subconscious, perhaps I spotted one or two while rummaging in the humidor recently. I took this as a sign that I should smoke one, so I rummaged again and found an El Padre Torpedo.  This is a very small brand, of the retailers listed on their website, none are in Pennsylvania, which is odd because something makes me think one of the owners of the brand has a Philly connection too.  The torpedo is a 6″ x 52 with a Nicaraguan grown Connecticut Shade wrapper, and Honduran and Nicaraguan fillers and is a really tasty shade cigar.  Their website mentions “mature cigar smokers”, I’m not sure how to take that…I’m old, but I hardly consider myself mature…but it is a great tasting and performing cigar. I had a short, stocky Providencia El Santo (with a Sumatra Nicaraguan Maduro wrapper) on deck for after dinner, but decided that I posted about these two cigars together back in July.  I found the El Padre to be a very nice, full flavored, medium cigar.

 

JoyadeNicaragua_Joya Black_RobustoHave you ever had a cigar that you want to like? You really should like it, because it’s from a company that makes a lot of cigars you really like, and have visited and know some of the principles.  In addition to that, it has one of your favorite wrappers. The Joya Black from Joya de Nicaragua is that cigar for me. I know it’s been highly rated, made lists, and all, I just keep trying this cigar and keep being disappointed. I’ve had a selection in my humidor for the better part of a year, and keep trying them and keep having problems. It’s nothing to do with the flavor, it has more to do with getting the flavor, as there always seems to be a draw issue with the samples I’ve smoked. It’s funny, to me, at least, of Joya’s “Modern Line-Up” including the Red, Black and Cabinetta, I only really like the Cabinetta, and I’ve enjoyed that cigar for a long time. The Red never really did it for me, and now the same with the Black. I’ll keep trying, because, like I said, I want to like this cigar, but if it comes to choosing between the Black and an Antaño of any kind, I’m smoking the Antaño.  Joya de Nicaragua is one of my favorite factories, I’ve visited twice, I know the major people there, and love most of what’s produced there (Fratello, Sobremesa included), so it pains me to not like a cigar from there.

 

A quick rant about top <insert number here>, I’m probably missing out by not doing a formal list.  I see social media posts by many popular cigar makers when their cigar makes a list. By not doing a Top 10 or whatever list that included those who I know would spread it around, am I passing up good exposure?  I post the memorable cigars of the year for me, and I’m comfortable with that. I’m thrilled when my posts get shared (thanks to those who do it!), but I’m here just doing whatever it is I’m doing because I love cigars, certainly not for fame and fortune. I don’t mean this as a criticism of people posting lists, but maybe it sounds that way (I have been called a cynical, sarcastic bastard).

 

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

 

CigarCraig

 

 

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Enclave Broadleaf by AJ Fernandez

AJ Fernandez Enclave BroadleafFirst off, I updated my last post on the Dominion Cigars Black Lotus, it turns out that it was the natural wrapper version, and not maduro. I suck, let’s move past it!  It was a good smoke, whatever it was!  Anyway, Tonight I smoked a cigar I picked up a week or so ago at one of my local Cigar Cigars stores (there are no less than 6 within a 10 mile radius of my house), one I had been anxious to try. I smoked one there the day I hung out for a while and loved it, and very much enjoyed the one I smoked tonight. The cigar, as the title of the posts suggests, is the Enclave Broadleaf by AJ Fernandez.  I picked up a couple of the toro size, a hefty 6½” x 54, with a dark Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper and Nicaraguan binder and filler. This is a fantastic broadleaf cigar with some weight to the smoke, it’s dark, has some sweetness and strength. It burned well, although tonight’s example required one minor touch up as one side burned a little faster than the other. This will be yet another cigar I’ll keep in the humidor, it’s right up my alley and fairly priced in the $8 range.  I remember a time not long ago when I’d bristle at spending that much for a cigar, but it seems like the norm now.

 

If Podcasts are your thing, check out Cigar-Coop’s Prime Time Episode 37 with Jack and Charlie Toraño. It’s an enlightening interview, Will and Aaron get to the bottom of the sale of Toraño Family cigars. I’ll be making an appearance on Aaron’s Developing Palates show next week as they do their 2017 recap.  Should be a lot of fun, although this time of year I think I’ll be doing it from in the house sans cigar, much to my dismay.

 

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

 

CigarCraig

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La Flor Dominicana La Volcada Cigar

LaFlorDominicana_La VolcadaIt’s been uncomfortably cold here in PA, so smoking Churchill size cigars hasn’t really been the best idea, but Jonathan Carney of La Flor Dominicana sent me a few of their newest offerings, the La Volcada (TYJC). This is only available in the 7″ x 50 Churchill vitola and had a neat coiled pigtail cap. The name comes from a Tango dance move, popular in Uraguay, where Lito Gomez grew up.  The La Volcada has a beautiful dark San Andrés wrapper, Ecuador Corojo binder and Dominican fillers grown on Lito’s farm in La Canela.  I braved the elements a couple of times, but really can’t wait for warmer weather to enjoy this cigar again (in truth, I can’t wait for warmer weather period, winter’s just started and it’s been way to cold and snowy for my liking already!).  This cigar is everything I want in a cigar.  It’s got my favorite sweet, earthy, cocoa, espresso flavors, and is very well-behaved, burning cool and slow for a nice two-hour vacation.  I haven’t seen these in stores yet, and they appear to me listed at online retailers, but out of stock at the places I saw, but when these are available, I recommend sampling them if you like the same cigars I like, I doubt you’ll be disappointed.

 

I’ve taken to walking Macha bundled up (she has a coat too), and enjoying a smaller cigar on the porch with the propane heater, smaller cigars are harder to deal with while wearing gloved (and any cigar is impossible with mittens!).  I seem to have a ton of robustos and coronas, so this is a good time of year to smoke some of them. My usual procedure is to walk Macha with a large cigar and finish the cigar on the porch, so this times out about the same. This evening, for example, we bundled up and took a walk, then I came back and lit the heater and a CroMagnon Mode 5, a delicious little perfecto, and last night it was a LG Diez from La Flor Dominicana, which was equally delicious.  They are predicting another snow tonight, and I see where a lot of places in the south had snow that don’t usually get it. My condolences, I’m getting too old for this crap…

 

I still need to hear from the winner of the La Gloria contest, and the giveaway for the cool stuff from Drew Estate is ongoing, so get over there and enter!  Until the next time,

 

CigarCraig

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CigarCraig’s Holiday Giveaways No. 3 – Drew Estate Goodies!

Happy New Year’s Eve to everyone,  2017 is just about in the books, the year went by really fast.  I honestly don’t know what to expect from 2018, but I’ll keep smoking cigars, visiting shops and going to events I suspect. So I wish everyone a safe and happy 2018, and be careful out there tonight!  I’ll be finding an appropriate cigar to smoke this evening, that’s for sure.  Anyway, there’s the business of selecting the winner of the La Gloria Cubana Contest, which includes a travel humidor and a dozen La Gloria LaGloriaCubana ContestCubana cigars. The random number generator selected Trent Berry as the winner!  Trent, please send me your address so I can ship this off to you!  Once again, thanks to Rami at General Cigar Co., Cigar Cigars in King Of Prussia for having a great event with Ernesto Carillo which caused me to open my wallet and end up with a cool humidor to give away, and of course, General Cigar Co, for being an awesome steward of a long loved brand.  Gee, I wonder what today’s giveaway is?

 

Contest (note: not Comic Sans this time Mike P!)

 

DE Contest2017Today’s third and (maybe) final giveaway of the season is a collection of goodies from my friends at Drew Estate. Included are some items that may not be very common in the wild. These are items I’ve received over the course of the year, there’s a Barnsmoker cap from the Connecticut Barn Smoker (I’m not a hat guy), a DE backpack which contained a lighter, ashtray, and other assorted goodies which was from the media party that DE threw at the 2017 IPCPR, some various stickers that I’ve accumulated over the years, some of which are from my last visit to the factory in 2013, and a selection of cigars from my humidor including Undercrowns (and example of each wrapper), a KFC, a Nica Rustica and some Joya de Nicaraguas because Drew Estate distributes them and I have a bunch.  I’ll add to it if I come across more stuff. Once again, it’s not that I don’t appreciate these gifts from Drew Estate, I do, but I like to share my good fortune, and I have lots of “stuff”! You know the de4l, leave a comment here to enter and I’ll pick a winner next Sunday, Jan 7, 2018. As always, thank YOU all for your continued support!

 

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

 

CigarCraig

(I was thinking of making a version of the logo with a party hat and one of those noisemaker, party things, for New Years, but lack the patience for that right now…something for me to work on for next year!)

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