Tag Archives: Contest

San Lotano Bull, Aging Room Havao, A Flores AFR-75 Cigars and the Contest Winner

SanLotano_Bull_ToroI’ve been poking around the humidor lately looking for some interesting cigars and came across a San Lotano Bull Toro Friday. AJ Fernandez has been getting a ton of attention lately for his work with other companies, notably General Cigars and Altadis. I figured it would be good to spotlight the San Lotano as the companies own brands seem to be flying under the radar a little. Sure the New World and Bellas Artes get a little attention, but I really enjoyed the San Lotano line, specially the full-bodied The Bull. I find it funny that they called the 6″ x 54 the Toro, seems redundant to me, but what else would you call it?  This cigar has a dark Ecuador Sumatra wrapper, with binder and filler AJ Fernandez’ proprietary tobacco grown on their farms. There aren’t many AJF cigars I don’t like, the Bull is one I really like. It’s got the coffee and spice I want with a hint of wood from the cedar sleeve and a year or so in the humidor. Perfect draw and burn made this a great cigar to end the week.  Abdel Fernandez is a tobacco and cigar genius, his factories make great cigars.

 

AgingRom_HavaoSaturday I had a chance to enjoy an early cigar and I chose an Aging Room Havao Treble, the 6″ x 50 toro. Funny how 50 ring seems small these days, 6″ x 50 used to be the common toro size, now it’s 52 or 54. This is an elegant cigar in size, appearance and flavor. It’s got an Ecuador Connecticut Shade wrapper and Habano Criollo in the filler and binder. I generally stay away from Criollo wrappers, but this cigar works very well with it in the filler. It’s a terrific smoke, it’s loaded with flavor, lots of depth with the creaminess from the shade wrapper. This was an absolutely wonderful cigar for the time, and it was very well-behaved with a perfectly straight burn line. Now that Altadis is distributing the Aging Room line, and Rafael Nodal is working for them, it’ll be interesting to see where this brand goes. I would choose this over a Connecticut wrapped Monte any day of the week, personally, so I hope the competition isn’t bad for the Aging Room brand.

 

AFlores_AFR-75_SanAndres_CatadorI was hunting for a short smoke before going out to see a friend’s band play, and came across a cigar from PDR Cigars that I forgot I had. Maybe I thought it was a L’Atelier maduro as it was face down in the tray, or it just got buried. I actually can’t even recall where this cigar came from. As the size was what I was looking for, I looked closer and was delighted to find that it was an A. Flores AFR-75 Catador, a cool little 4″ x 54 pigtailed robusto. This cigar has a San Andrés wrapper, Criollo 98 Nicaragua binder and Habano D.R., Connecticut Broadleaf & Criollo 98 Nicaragua fillers. Again with the Criollo, interesting. If you haven’t tried this cigar, it’s worth seeking out and dropping a few bucks on, because they are on the high side, this little guy coming in just north of $12. this price point tells me that someone must have given this to me or it was a sample, as I probably wouldn’t have shelled out that kind of coin for such a small cigar. It is a brilliant smoke though, dark espresso and a surprisingly long burn of around an hour. It’s a super premium cigar, but it’s super good, so worth it in my opinion.

 

Contest

 

ContestLast week I threw out a contest for a whole bunch of cool odds and ends that have been accumulating around here and I’ll never use. It seems right to share them with someone who will appreciate them. I’m sure some cigars will be included to keep stuff from rattling around in the box!  I see there were 26 entries, less one for Olie who won the last time. The Random Number Generator at Random.org spit out the number 12 out of 25, which corresponds to Dave Wisniewski, who commented that this would make a nice Father’s Day present. I think Dave is fairly local to me, so either he gets his address to me in a hurry and I can get it out this week, or week work out a meet-up which is always fun.  Dave, you know how to reach me!  Thanks to all of you who took the time to enter, I’ll scrounge more goodies up for a future contest! 

 

That’s all for today, I’ve got a deck that needs power-washing, which isn’t a good activity to enjoy a cigar, so it’ll wait until after!  Until the next time,

 

CigarCraig

 

Share

7 Comments

Filed under Contest, Review

A Fratello Cigars Event, a La Aurora, a L’Atelier and a Contest!

FrFriday evening we took a family trip over to the Wooden Indian cigar shop in Havertown, PA to have a visit with Omar de Frias and his amazing Fratello cigars. When I say family, my wife sometimes joins me on these trips, but this time my son Corey came along, and, at the invitation of the shop owner, Dave, Macha joined us too. Macha loves these outings as she gets a lot of attention and loves everybody. She was well-behaved, most of the time just laying down and relaxing, something I wish she’d do at home when we get back from a long walk and I just want to finish my cigar and she wants to play in the yard! Anyway, she had a great time, and I smoked one of my favorite cigars from last year, the Fratello Bianco Boxer. This is a box pressed torpedo wrapped in a beautiful San Andrés wrapper,  Dominican binder and fillers from Pennsylvania, Nicaragua and Peru. What distinguishes the Boxer from the regular Bianco line, and this holds true with the regular and Oro Boxers as well, is that they use a little extra ligero in the blend. Not only does the cigar smoke perfectly and taste amazing, it’s got a little extra kick! I picked up a few more for the humidor, along with some other goodies, and enjoyed a great evening at the Wooden Indian with my buddy Omar. It was the fist time I’ve seem Omar without his goatee, is that the breaking news here? Omar Shaves Goatee!…only at CigarCraig.com, Sorry Halfwheel and Cigar-Coop, I was first with this bombshell!

 

LaAurora DE ParkYesterday was a beautiful Saturday to go to the track, and my daughter decided to have our grand-daughters joint birthday party in the picnic grove at Delaware Park. We got there early to secure a spot, and while we were waiting for everyone I smoked a La Aurora Preferido Corona in the Diamond or Broadleaf wrapper. Since I smoked this the first time over two years ago the pungency and cloying flavor I got then has settled down and it’s more like what I would expect from an aged Connecticut Broadleaf. It was a little over the top the last time I smoked it, but it was slightly underwhelming to me yesterday. Honestly, I forgot that I didn’t really like this cigar the first time around, but was looking forward to a tasty Broadleaf cigar. I usually don’t choose my granddaughters events to enjoy a cigar, but when it’s reasonably appropriate, like at the track 45 minutes before they arrive, I go for it, and it’s usually something from La Aurora because Aurora is also my daughter’s name and how could she get mad at me, right? It works in my head. Anyway, I didn’t lose all my money, had a nice day playing the ponies and hanging with the family.

 

L'Atelier_LAT38SpecialLast night I rummaged through the Lancero tray and came up with a L’Atelier LAT 38 Special. This 7½” x 38 Lancero was a beauty, with a dark, Sancti Spíritus Ecuador wrapper, binder and filler from Nicaragua rolled at the My Father Factory in Nicaragua. I wanted to smoke something from the Johnson family of cigars, but I was only finding rubustos, and I craved more than that. I have a ton of rubustos in the humidor and should probably just go on a rubusto bender and work them down. There was a time when that was my vitola of choice, but I’ve either gotten more patient or have more time because I want a toro or larger more times than not. I digress, theLAT 38 was a beauty, and the flavor was outstanding. It had the savory and sweet flavor I’d expect more from the Broadleaf than the Sancti Spiritus that the L’Atelier line is known for. I can’t remember when I got this, it may have been at an event at a shop in Colorado I was at back in 2014, but it was good. I haven’t found many cigar in any of Pete Johnson’s portfolio that don’t satisfy my palate. My only complaint with this cigar was that it suffered from Nomex Wrapper Syndrome (Nomex is the stuff that electrical wiring is wrapped with so it doesn’t burn) it required a lot of attention with the lighter, and I was being careful not to overheat the cigar since Lanceros can easily be ruined by smoking too aggressively.  The humidor these are in stays in the mid to low  60s so it wasn’t wet.

Contest!

June PrizeSince we got to the track early yesterday they were giving out hats, and since I’m not a huge hat wearing guy, I figured it might be a good time to have another giveaway. I’ve assembled some odds and ends that have been collecting for a while to go with the Delaware Park hat. There are a couple of bottle openers including one for your key chain from Nomad Cigars, a torch lighter from El Artista, a couple cutters, a highly collectible Matt Booth Room 101 punch cutter, a Ninety Degree magnetic cigar holder and a nice Balmoral flask. As always, a few cigars might fall into the box as I’m packing it up, it happens, I can’t help it! So the usual rules apply, must be of legal smoking age in your municipality, one entry by way of leaving a comment on this post, and have fun! I’ll pick a winner next Sunday, June 11, 2017. 

 

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

 

CigarCraig

 

Share

26 Comments

Filed under Contest, Events, Review, Stores

Joya de Nicaragua, La Sirena and Tatuaje Cigars and a Contest Winner

MiQuerida_AnchoCortaI continued this week’s cigar version of comfort food, smoking cigars I know I love and won’t disappoint. I just haven’t felt adventurous lately. I have some cigars I need to get around to smoking, I just felt like going with great cigars. I sat down and started writing this forgetting I had written about the Mi Querida from Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust on Wednesday. Since I didn’t want to abandon what I wrote, here it is:  Mi Querida is named after Gomez Addam’s often used pet name for his wife, Morticia in the ’60s sitcom The Addams Family…no, that’s not right, it’s actually an idiom for “my mistress”, side-chick or as they say in South Philly, “Goomad” (Saka couldn’t use “Goomad” because Antony Renzulli of Twin Smoke Shoppe named the Churchill in his La Zona made Renzulli line that). By now you’ve read everywhere that the Mi Querida is Saka’s broadleaf cigar, and it’s made at the NACSA factory in Esteli. This factory is better known for making inexpensive bundle cigars like Manteqilla, La Primadora, Villar y Villar, and part of them making Mi Querida, a true premium cigar, was Steve offering his manufacturing expertise to help that factory up their game, so to speak. Anyway, it’s a terrific smoke, and after smoking several sizes in the line, I think this robusto up there among my favorites, although I wouldn’t say no to any of the sizes. Sobremesa was the sophisticated, nuanced offering, Mi Querida is the straight-forward, sweet broadleaf maduro, full bodied flavor bomb. Yummy, well made and a staple in my humidor. I really need to get my hands on some Umbagogs!

 

Joya de Nicaragua Antaño Dark Corojo El Martillo - @joyacigarsAnyway, on with the current smokes of the week. Another all time favorite of mine is the Joya de Nicaragua Antaño Dark Corojo. I had a couple in the 5½” x 54 El Martillo size that Willie Herrera stuffed in my hand at the 2014 Rocky Mountain Cigar Festival. I distinctly remember the occasion, because he was smoking a Villiger Trill, which was relatively new at the time, commented that it was good,  and I was able to educate him on the origin of the cigar. Anyway, I dig the Antaño Dark Corojo a little more than I dig the regular Antaño 1970 line, which I dig a lot. It overwhelms the palate with strong, sweet, spicy and savory flavors and never fails to satisfy my palate. I’ve visited the factory twice and I love the place, along with most of the cigars they produce! There are very few Joya’s I don’t enjoy (the newer Red may be my least favorite), Rosalones, Sobremesa, Fratello…all great smokes from the oldest factory in Nicaragua.

 

LaSirena_DubloonFriday evening I went big. The Salamon is traditionally a 7¼” x 54 figurado, in the Diadamas family, a sizable cigar. The La Sirena Dubloon is exactly this size, is a Nicaraguan puro that was made at the My Father Factory. It has a Nicaraguan Habano wrapper over dual binders of Nicaraguan Habano and Corojo, and Nicaraguan Criollo and Corojo fillers. These were very limited and came in a box of eight, which I am half way through. This box came into my possession four years ago or so, and has been resting comfortably. This is a glorious size for a cigar, given you have the time to smoke one, and given that it’s properly made. With most cigars that are perfecto shaped, where they taper to a nipple at the foot, they are often a bit tight on the draw for the first puff or two. This particular one had a great draw out of the gate, and just kept getting better! It was meaty, savory and exactly what I was yearning for at the end of the week. Beautiful cigar, both in appearance and performance. I doubt there are many of these left in the wild, but if you can find some, grab them. I’ve smoked plenty of both the My Father and La Zona production La Sirenas and love them,  I think the blend ages very well.

 

Tatuaje_Black_CRA ToroYesterday it rained all day. It was cold, wet and nasty. After a trip to a local mall, where I stopped in to check out International Tobacco and see how their transition to new owners has come along (very well stocked, including the new 60 ring Davidoff’s which I passed on due to the $20+ prices. Not that the price was out of line, I just wasn’t feeling it). It’s great to have an oasis in the mall to get away from the hustle and bustle and and relax with a cigar occasionally. I came home and retired to the porch with a cigar that came from the “Oh F*ck I’m Lost” Tatuaje event pack that I had picked up last month. I’m a big fan of the Tatuaje brand, although I’m not a geek about chasing the rare cigars, or memorizing all the details, I wish I was, but there’s too much going on there for my grey matter to process. I asked Pete Johnson what was in the pack, and there were some Pudgy Monsters, something Tatuaje CRA Torocalled a Cheesesteak, and this Black Label CRA toro. I’m guessing this was from the batch that the CRA gives out with a membership or sells in the ten pack. I have a handful of CRA cigars that I’ve amassed over the 8 years I’ve been a member, but never got a Tatuaje. This cigar was incredible. Rarely am I this impressed with a cigar, it was perfection. The flavor was smooth as silk, but there was plenty of it. It had a unique spice flavor that grabbed my attention and wouldn’t let go.  Holy crap this was a good smoke. I’ll have to check out some of the larger vitolas in  the Black line as I don’t remember this flavor, perhaps it’s unique to this special edition. It was worthy of the Poke and Smoke tool.

 

Contest!

To recap, the Philly Cigar Festival is only a couple weeks away, and since I can’t go, John, one of the organizers, graciously offered to allow me to give away my ticket. There are no strings attached to this, but I would be happy to post any pictures and /or feedback from the winners here on my site after the event. In this case, I want to live vicariously!  So I sorted through the entries, and consulted the random number generator, and came up with the number 6, which corresponds to Andrew Tomkovich. Please send me your contact info so I can get you your ticket.  Thanks again to the folks at the Philly Cigar Festival, I’m truly sorry I can’t make it.

 

That’s it for now, don’t forget it’s Mother’s Day! Until the next time,

 

CigarCraig

 

Share

4 Comments

Filed under Contest, Review, Stores

An New H. Upmann, Some News, a Discount and Another Philly Cigar Festival Contest!

HUpmannAJFernandez_RobustoI’ve been a little behind on my cigar consumption this week, I did manage to smoke a really nice Joya de Nicaragua Cabinetta No. 60, a cool 6″x 60 perfecto that was really good. this afternoon after getting some things done around the house and yard, I sat down with a new offering from H. Upmann, a robusto made by AJ Fernandez and it’s called H. Upmann by AJ Fernandez. What a crazy name!  It’s made in Nicaragua, has an Ecuadoran Sumatra wrapper with a Nicaraguan Corojo ’99 binder and fillers from Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic. This cigar was very firm to the touch, which gave me some concern, but it had an effortless draw and burned perfectly.  It had what I consider as dark flavors, which I like, as well as a unique spice that I can’t name. It was an intriguing cigar, finally an H.Upmann I like! This is an interesting personal trend, I’ve been underwhelmed by many Altadis products, with some exceptions, but the newer lines especially the ones made in Nicaragua, have been up my alley. The new RoMEo 505 (Placencia) and the Gispert Intenso (AJ Fernandez) have impressed me.

 

My friends at 2 Guys Smoke Shop have revamped their website this week, I’ve included the press release verbatim here, largely out of laziness. Dave Garofalo was one of the first retailers with an online presence back in the ’90s when the internet was a wild and untamed place. It looks a lot better now!

2GuysCigars.com Launches Re-Designed Online Cigar Shopping Website

2guys

2GuysCigars.com operates a long-running online mail order business distributing premium cigars all over the country. The company recently launched an updated version of the eCommerce website to provide online cigar shoppers with an improved cigar buying experience.

 

The new and improved website features a clean and modern design, with vibrant images and easy-to-use navigation. The mobile browsing experience was especially improved, the new fully responsive design provides cigar lovers with the ability to take full advantage of all site features from any mobile device. Cigar lovers will quickly be able to browse sections that feature the site’s massive premium cigar selection as well as finding sections dedicated to cigar sampler packs, cigar accessories, budget cigars, and the newest items in the company’s inventory. The site also highlights the large number of premium cigar brands that are exclusively available from 2GuysCigars.com, allowing them to easily identify and purchase cigars that are unavailable anywhere else.

 

“Even after over 30 years in the cigar business, I’m always looking for ways to improve” said 2GuysCigars.com Owner David Garofalo. “Innovation has always been a big part of the cigar industry, and anyone who isn’t moving forward is falling behind. Our customers loved our old website, but we’ve kept the stuff that made that site awesome while making improvements we think they’re going to like even more. Additionally, with so much of our web traffic coming from mobile devices, we decided to incorporate what I think is the best mobile cigar shopping experience available online today. This new site is something I’m proud to share with our loyal customers, and I want them all to know that in addition to our new site we have many more exciting things in store for them in 2017 and beyond!”

 

The company recently exited the testing phase of the new website and since the switch to the new and improved 2GuysCigars.com, they are reporting significant improvements in a number of key visitor statistics that indicate visitors are already enjoying the new design. In addition to the new site launch, 2GuysCigars.com has added of a number of new premium cigars to their extensive inventory, most recently Tatuaje Monsters, The Angel’s Anvil by Crowned Heads, Serino Royale and Eiroa 20 Year Colorado.

 

To check out the one of the best online retailers visit www.2guyscigars.com or call 888-224-4272.

 

 

I have to find my Stage V Clinger and put it in my pocket tomorrow as I might need it when I’m out and about, but the folks there e-mailed me this week to let me know that me talking about their cigar holder has produced some buzz for them! That’s nice to hear, because I want all the cigars and accessories I talk about here to succeed, because I generally believe in the items I feature here, if I didn’t, I wouldn’t write about them or use them! So, as a thank you, they are offering a special Father’s Day promo code “StageVdad” for $5 off a 4-pack. The special offer can be redeemed right on the Stage V website from May 11-June 11. So if you golf, or just need an extra hand now and then, this is a good product to have!

 

Contest!

The Philly Cigar Festival is fast approaching on  June 3, 2017 and being held in Pottstown, Pennsylvania from 11:00am to 4:30pm at The Norco Fairgrounds. Unfortunately, a scheduling conflict is preventing me from attending this, much to my disappointment. My loss is one of your gains though, as the organizers have authorized me to have another contest and give away my ticket! Of course, the winners are under no obligation to do this, but I’d be more than happy to publish a guest post from one of them (or anyone who attends for that matter), after the event. Again, just putting it out there, no pressure! This is a multi-vendor event, with cigars, beer, food and drink and representatives from thirty cigar companies, . Ticket prices run $150 and $200 and covers a bunch of cigars (the FDA no longer allows cigars to be given away). There are a couple of rules, first is you must be 21, and the other is that this giveaway covers the ticket only, you are responsible for getting there. I understand that this will exclude some of you. Cigars for Warriors will be represented and will be benefiting from the event. So leave a comment to enter and since the event coming up soon, this will be a quick contest, I’ll announce a winner on Sunday, May 14, 2017 (yeah, it’s Mother’s Day…) and I’ll need the winner to contact me so I can send your info to the organizers.  Thanks again to the Philly Cigar Festival, I wish I could make it!

 

That’s all for now. Having some dental work done tomorrow, so it may be a slow week cigar-wise. It’ll probably be old favorites if it’s anything, not sure how I’ll feel this time around.  Until the next time,

 

CigarCraig

Share

8 Comments

Filed under Contest, News, Review

Punch, CAO, La Gloria, Macanudo Goodies Contest Winner

I smoked a handful of great cigars since we spoke last, but I just enjoyed most of them without giving them much thought. I did pick up a handy new gadget that I heard about on KMA Talk Radio last week, called the Poke and Smoke. it’s a handy tool on a key ring that has poke and smoketwo little prongs you can impale your cigar with and smoke it without burning your fingers. It was an impulse buy, and resembles the little handles one pokes into the ends of your corn on the cob to hold it with, and I’ve used it twice now and it works fine. I did notice that it stinks the next day, so I suppose I’ll have to keep tabs on that.  Anyway, I bought a couple and the winner of the contest may find one in with the goodies from General Cigar Co. courtesy of your’s truly.  Before we get to the winner, here’s a little news from General Cigar Co. about their new Cohiba release:

COHIBA BLUE

The world’s finest tobaccos create the most enduring experiences. Cohiba Blue is indeed the cigar for all who desire to live the good life.

Cohiba has always been synonymous with luxury smoking experiences. The brand’s latest collection, Cohiba Blue, takes this to an entirely different level by introducing the notion of inclusive luxury.

Andres Maturen, brand manager of Cohiba said, “With Cohiba Blue, we present collection that speaks to the ethos of the Cohiba brand. Made with a curated selection of tobaccos, handcrafted by renowned artisans, and created for all those who seek the indulgence of a fine cigar, Cohiba Blue symbolizes a life well lived.”

cohibablue_open_left_hrThe Cohiba blending team created a velvety, medium-bodied cigar with a rich, complex taste and enticing aroma. To achieve the desired flavor, they began with a silky, rosado-hued Honduran Olancho San Agustin (OSA) wrapper and took a unique approach by selecting Honduran OSA for the binder as well. The layered wrapper-binder deepens the smoking experience and imparts subtle, earthy notes. The blend consists of Honduran Jamastran, Nicaraguan Ometepe and Dominican Piloto Cubano to provide hints of cocoa and caramel, with a light touch of sweetness. The unique, three-country blend represents the world’s most revered tobacco growing regions and delivers a sophisticated, memorable smoke.

The cigars are protected hand-painted bright blue wooden boxes, each containing 20 flawlessly handcrafted cigars.

Churchill (7.5 X 50); SRP per cigar is $10.99

Robusto (5.5 X 50); SRP per cigar is $9.99

Rothschild (4.5 X 50); SRP per cigar $8.99

Toro (6 X 54); SRP per cigar is $10.49

 

ContestMore on the Cohiba Blue in the coming weeks, but you want to know who won the goodies!  The random number generator spit out the number 23, which corresponds with Olie. It turns out Olie is a very long time reader, and a guy I met face to face at a herf in Reno back in 2009, and had “known” for years before that on the old alt.smokers.cigars Usenet group! Congrats Ted, er…Olie, please send your address so I can get this stuff out your way!

 

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

 

CigarCraig

Share

4 Comments

Filed under Contest, News