Tag Archives: David Ortiz

A Partagas, an Alec Bradley and a Big Papi Cigar Contest Winner!

It was a rough week for me, as the last week of August always is. Not to complain or anything, but growing up having an end of summer birthday sucks almost as much as a Christmas birthday, at least for me. It signals the end of summer, and as the years progress time passes faster and faster, so summer went by in the blink of an eye. I guess if you don’t like summer, it’s not a big deal, but I love summer. On top of all that, I was plagued by migraines for some reason. So it wasn’t a great week, no reason to dwell any further on that, it’s time to move on. I managed to smoke a couple great cigars this week, and I need to pick a couple Partagas_SeriePNo2winners of the Big Papi by David Ortiz cigar prizes.  So, for my birthday I was conflicted, should I smoke a known favorite cigar or smoke a “special” cigar and risk disappointment? I took the risk and went with a Partagas Serie P No. 2 Havana that probably came home with me from a wedding we attended in London in 2006 (this very weekend, actually, (Happy Anniversary Karyn and Mitchell!). The Hunters and Frankau rep was  handing these out, and the grooms father stuffed a few in my jacket pocket. So this Havana cigar had been in my humidor for 11 years, should have been plenty of time to recover from its journeys! I was quite surprised by the floral qualities this cigar had, it was really delicious and entertaining to smoke as it was never boring with the interesting flavors that it presented. It burned perfectly too, with a great draw, which is a plus. It turned out to be a great choice and a very good smoke, quite different from my regular fare as well as being different from what I remembered and expected.



AlecBradley_BlackMarketEsteli_RobustoYesterday I was migraine free for the first time all week, so I dug into the IPCPR samples and found the new Alec Bradley Black Market Esteli, their newest edition to the Black Market line. This cigar comes in  Churchill, Gordo, Robusto, Toro, Torpedo sizes, of which I smoked the 5″ x 52 Robusto. It has a Nicaraguan wrapper, a double binder of Nicaraguan and Honduran and Nicaraguan fillers. I need to further explore this line, but this just might replace the Nica Puro as my favorite Alec AlecBradley_BlackMarketEsteliBradley cigar. It was very rich and satisfying, the burn and ash were simply beautiful, and it had unique and interesting flavors that appealed to me. There was a sweet spice that I rarely taste in a cigar and it makes me smile when I do. I smoked a few other cigars this week, a little CLE corojo from 2014 that wasn’t appealing, and a Mombacho Liga Maestro that was very leathery, too much so for my taste, I’m afraid. These are both lines that I feel like I should explore further, on the CLE side, even though I’ve known Christian for 20 years, the cigars I’ve smoked from CLE haven’t tripped my trigger, the Asylum line I like, but I guess I just haven’t smoked enough of the CLEs. I’m late to the party with Mombacho and need to smoke more of their cigars. As far as the Alec Bradley Black Market Esteli, that’s a winner for me! See below for some pictures from IPCPR of their latest offerings.


Alec Bradley has added some nice accessories this year too, as well as some small format cigars. I’m looking forward to checking out the new Prensado Lost Art as well.



Big PapiOK, it’s time to wrap up the series of contests featuring cigars from El Artista Cigars, we had a huge Exactus Super Colosus, the Pulita 60 Aniversario and finally, the Big Papi by David Ortiz, which I’ am about to announce the winners! Thanks to Carolyn and Keith for making all this possible! We will have two winners, one gets a five-pack of Big Papi cigars and a lighter, and the grand prize is a box of 20 Big Papi cigars! The runner-up is Matt Hopper! The grand prize winner is (drumroll please)… Randall Simon! I’ll need both of you to send me your addresses so we can get these out to you!  Thanks to all who followed and congrats to the winners! Stay tuned for more contests coming up! 


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






Filed under Contest, IPCPR, Review

Pulita 60 Anniversario Winner and One More Contest! Big Papi by David Ortiz!

We have three winners to select from last week’s contest and another contest! 

Pulita 2paul1954 is the winner of the two pack of Pulita 60 Anniversario and an El Artista Torch Lighter!

Pulita 4smoke770 is the winner of the four pack of Pulita 60 Anniversario and a lighter

Pulita 10And Bob Borgeson  is the winner of the ten count box of the Pulita 60 Anniversario,  El Artista ceramic ashtray & lighter!

Congrats to you all!  Please send me your addresses so I can get these out to you!


Big PapiThe Big Papi by David Ortiz was released last year, and David Ortiz’ appearance at the IPCPR show drew a big crowd from all accounts, I had a conflicting appointment so I missed it. You can read my thoughts on this cigar, and others in the El Artista family here. The Big Papi by David Ortiz is a 6″ x 54 toro with a Ecuador Habano wrapper, Criollo 98 binder and fillers from Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic. We’ll have two winners this time, the runner up will get a five pack of Big Papi by David Ortiz and the grand prize is a box of Big Papi by David Ortiz! My friends at El Artista have been very generous with this series of contests, so make sure you check them out, they make some very nice cigars. So that’s it! Leave a comment on this post to enter! I’ll announce the winner next Friday, September (ugh!) 1st, 2017.

Here are a couple pictures of the limited edition Big Papi Humidor from the El Artista IPCPR booth.

Big Papi humidor closedBig Papi humidor open

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




Filed under Contest

Cigars From El Artista: Exactus, Big Papi, Pro Ambar and Pulita

This just happened to work out great, because as I was smoking some cigars from El Artista this week, I got a new ad from them (top right on the side) with a Cigarmas contest for you all to enter. Since I’ll be taking a break from CigarCraig’s 12 Spectacular Days of Cigar Giveaways this year, here’s a chance to win some great stuff anyway.  The contest will run from tomorrow, 12/1/2016 to 12/12/16. Click the graphic and upload a picture of yourself in your holiday finery!


Tabacalera El Artista has been around since 1956 in the Dominican Republic, and has been flying under my radar until recently. When they approached me about advertising on my site I was intrigued, and I picked up a handful of their cigars from Best Cigar Prices (yeah, another advertiser) on my own dime. Among them was the Puro Ambar and the Exactus, and I also managed to acquire a couple of their Pulita and Big Papi, newly released  by Boston Red Sox baseball player David Ortiz. The release of the Big Papi was delayed by Exactus Classic Robusto - @elartistacigara brief play-off run, as they weren’t going to release it until Mr. Ortiz officially retired from the sport. I started off with the Exactus Clasico in the 5″ x 54 Robusto size. This cigar has an Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper leaf over Dominican Criollo 98 fillers and a special wine-fermented binder leaf. Look for a better take on this cigar in the future as the conditions I smoked it in were not conducive to getting the best experience. It was windy and cold the day I took this cigar with me for my walk home from the store, and while it was a nice enough cigar, it was on the mild side and lost given the weather, which was better suited for a strong, broadleaf cigar. These are also available in a “Super Coloso” size in the Connecticut and Maduro, running around $45 each for an 11″ x 90 cigar. I seriously doubt you will see a review of that size here.


Big Papi by David Ortiz_ToroThe Pig Papi by David Ortiz is a 6″ x 54 toro with a Ecuador Habano wrapper, Criollo 98 binder and fillers from Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic. I grew up watching National League baseball, so the whole designated hitter thing was always a little foreign to me, and I understand that Big Papi was a DH (designated hitter, I’m sure he’s a really nice guy, he smokes cigars!). Pitchers were never really great hitters anyway, so not having them bat seems like a good enough idea. This cigar was really quite good, creamy with some spice and nuts, with a good burn. While I was impressed, I can see where this will benefit from some humidor time and can’t wait for baseball season to try another one (not a big fan, but baseball=warmer months, which I am a fan of).


Puro Ambar_GranRobustoThe Puro Ambar Gran Robusto was next up. This cigar was a 5¼” x 54 size, and has all kinds of hybrid tobaccos from El Artista’s farms in the Dominican Republic. The Wrapper is “T13”, a three tobacco hybrid, the fillers are Dominican Criollo 98 and another exclusive hybrid, and the wine fermented Criollo 98 like the Exactus. As a non-drinker, and never a wine fan when I was, this is lost on me, although that may have been the unique and interesting flavor I found in the cigar. Like the other cigars from this manufacturer, the construction was top-notch. This is an earthy cigar, pleasant, but lacking the sweetness I like in a cigar. This might be my least favorite of the three, but certainly not without merit.


Pulita_60Aniversario_RobustoTonight I went with the Pulita 60 Anversario robusto, a classic 5″ x 50. This cigar honors the founder of El Artista, Ramón “Pulita” Rodriguez, with his original six tobacco blend. The wrapper is a Negrito from the DR, and the last time I heard of Negrito tobacco was from Robert Caldwell’s  The King is Dead.  It’s a chocolaty wrapper, very nice looking. The binder is the Criollo 98, and fillers are an interesting mix of Dominican, Nicaraguan, Colombian and Pennsylvanian tobaccos. This was easily my favorite of the bunch, even though it was raining like crazy, thankfully my enclosed back porch was nice and dry. This was a slow burning cigar, with a lot going on in the flavor department. It tasted of well-aged tobaccos, with some coffee and cocoa, some damp earth and sweetness. It was interesting and held my attention. It’s funny, I hadn’t heard of this cigar until my amigo Mike mentioned it to me a couple of weeks ago, apparently it was featured on The Cigar Authority and included in their care package (a cigar of the month club of sorts which supplies cigars to smoke along with the show). I guess I zoned out during that part of the show that week, I usually pay attention better. Tasty cigar.


OK, so we know that I’m not going to spend 14 days having rapid fire contests this year, which isn’t any fun for anyone, and I’m sorry about that. Don’t be surprised if there aren’t some contests popping up here and there though. I had mentioned doing a secret Santa kind of thing, and if there’s still interest among the readership, I’ll put it together. It’s a little tricky, I have to trust everyone to behave themselves appropriately, and I haven’t really ever administered such a thing, but I have some idea how to do it. Let me know in the comments.  That’s all I got for now, until the next time,





Filed under Review

Cigar News featuring Diamond Crown, Big Papi, Psyko Seven and Montecristo

Happy Thanksgiving to all my U.S. readers! Today will be filled with food and family here in a few hours, so I’m going to be real lazy and put out a post with a bunch of news items that have recently come across my desk (and I slacked off last night and didn’t get a post out). I hope everyone has a great day!


Diamond Crown

Diamond Crown Black Diamond Box Open Emerald

First up is the long-awaited release from J.C. Newman, the Diamond Crown Black Diamond. This has been in the works for years, I’ve heard stories of how they settled on a blend, then tweaked it again, and finally have it ready for release tomorrow, Black Friday.  What a coincidence to be releasing the Black Diamond on Black Friday! Something tells me there was some thought put into that.  Anyway, I’m anxious to get my hands on this, I’ve got two Diamond Crown Lounges within about a ten-mile radius so I should be able to find one. I fondly remember smoking my first Diamond Crown in Las Vegas in 1998, good stuff, I can’t wait to try this one.


Big Papi

Next we have news from El Artista about the launch of the Big Papi, a cigar that I have on hand and will be smoking in the very near future, along with some other goodies from the company.



(New York City) – El Artista Cigars hosted the first event featuring David “Big Papi” Ortiz at Central Bar & Lounge in New York City on November 3, 2016. Over 200 were in attendance including pitcher Cici Sabathia, premium cigar shop owners from all over the country, as well as fans, friends, and family of David Ortiz and El Artista. “This is a celebration to recognize the hard work everyone has put into the launch of this new line,” says Radhames Rodriguez, President of El Artista Cigars, “and we are very happy to see everyone enjoying the cigar.”

David OrtizDavid Ortiz was the star of the party. He signed cigar boxes and hats and took photos with partygoers. Jonas Santana, Marketing Manager for El Artista Cigars states, “David will be at several events in the US in 2017, this is just the first of many to come.” El Artista expects Mr. Ortiz will make appearances in California, New York, New Hampshire, Florida, Dominican Republic, and elsewhere before IPCPR 2017. According to El Artista management, “David is all in for Big Papi events and he is committed to the brand 100%; expect big things from Big Papi in 2017.”

El Artista will hold a series of in-store tastings as well as meet & greet events featuring David Ortiz in 2017. The schedule will be posted on the El Artista website: http://elartistacigars.com/


Psyko Seven

Psyko Seven is a cigar I really like, in both the original natural wrapper and the maduro, which, of course, I prefer. I look forward to trying this Connecticut as I do enjoy a good Connecticut from time to time.


November 2016 – Inviting cigar aficionados to “Reach into the Dark to Find the Light,” Ventura Cigar is pleased to reveal PSyKo Seven Connecticut, the third blend in its much-admired PSyKo Seven Collection.


PSyKo Seven Connecticut is expertly crafted in the Dominican Republic with an exclusive blend of premium of seven tobaccos. It sits apart from others in the PSyKo Seven collection with its lighter wrapper, serving up a more mild-bodied experience. This smooth cigar invites enthusiasts to disconnect from chaos and commotion, to take a step back from the reality of the everyday, and enjoy a rich, flavorful experience.


Housed in a sleek, black box, and enveloped with a white prescription form that encourages people to “medicate their mind,” there are three vitolas available: Robusto 4.75 x 50, the Toro 6.25 x 48, and the Gordo 6.00 x 60.


“The PSyKo Seven Collection has enjoyed a lot of attention,” says Jason Carignan, Chief Marketing Officer at Ventura Cigar Company. “It’s known for offering up high quality sticks at a great price, earning 90+ ratings from top cigar publications. It’s a favorite of both the retailer and the consumer, so we added PSyKo Seven Connecticut to round out the line, and give our enthusiasts more to explore, and more to connect with.”


A solid choice to pair with friends and family, PSyKo Seven Connecticut will enrich and relax holiday festivities with a post-meal smoke and a dram of whiskey. All three vitolas will be shipping to retailers in late November. Please visit venturacigar.com for additional information.



Finally we have another in a long list of collaborations with A.J. Fernandez, this time Monticristo is introducing a JR Cigars exclusive.


Montecristo Crafted by A. J. Fernandez


Burlington, NC – Santa Clara, Inc. is beginning broader distribution of the newly introduced Montecristo Crafted by A. J. Fernandez line of cigars. Montecristo Crafted by A.J. Fernandez is collaboration between the Altadis U.S.A. Montecristo brand and Tabacalera Fernandez and is being crafted exclusively for Santa Clara, Inc.


Made in Nicaragua from the finest Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper, San Andres binder, and Nicaraguan and Honduran filler, this box-pressed, oscuro-wrapped cigar is an eye-catching masterpiece.


An icon, Montecristo has been the benchmark for luxury and quality since 1935. With this long tradition of excellence, the Montecristo name can only be entrusted to craftsmen capable of building on this proud legacy. A. J. Fernandez has been chosen by Altadis U.S.A. to add his name to the history of the Montecristo brand for this new, exclusive cigar.


A. J. Fernandez began his career creating cigars for some of the biggest names in the industry before launching his own brands. His brands developed a cult following among cigar aficionados. And his factory, which began with just 6 rollers, now produces over 9 million sticks a year.


The Montecristo Crafted by A. J. Fernandez is available in five sizes – Churchill 7 x 50, Figurado 4 x 52, Gordo 6 x 58, Robusto 5 x 52 and Toro 6 x 50, with MSRPs ranging from $9.95 to $12.50 and in box counts of 10 cigars – and delivers a range of bold flavors from sweet to savory with notes and nuances of dark cocoa, espresso, leather and licorice.


“We are extremely proud to deliver to the market this collaborative project between two exciting entities. The blend they put together really makes a statement for both companies and I can’t wait to hear the customers reaction”, said Rob Norris, President of Santa Clara.


Montecristo Crafted by A.J. Fernandez will be available to the public on December 1, 2016 at www.jrcigars.com.


That’s all for today.  I hope to enjoy something special today after the dust (and dinner) settles. Not sure what that might be yet, but I’ve got all day to think about it and thankful to have plenty to choose from!


Until the next time,




Filed under News