Tag Archives: diesel

Diesel, H. Upmann, Hoyo and Enclave Cigars and Groovy Guy Gifts

Diesel_Grind_RobustoI got on another one of my thematic kicks this week, smoking cigars from different companies, all made at the same factory. Coincidentally, I generally enjoy cigars from this factory, which fits in with my desire to smoke cigars that I like! Hedonistic, I know, but I avoid eating food I don’t like, so smoking cigars I don’t like doesn’t make much sense. Fortunately, there don’t seem to be many cigars I just can’t stand, but there are cigars that hit my palate just right and I like spending my daily vacation time with. Anyway, I started this experiment with a Diesel Grind, which has been around for a while but, as of this year, is being distributed be General Cigar, where it was previously distributed by Meier & Dutch, which is owned by Scandinavian Tobacco, who owns General. It’s confusing, I know, but M&D is basically mail order for retailers, where distribution by General is supported in person by their excellent sales force. Anyway, I almost wasn’t going to even mention the Diesel, except it fit in with my theme. Not that it was a bad cigar, it wasn’t, it just didn’t “wow” me. It has a Habano wrapper, Nicaraguan binder and filler, and was a great size for my late start, and watching the Flyers on the porch. The robusto is a shade under 5″ by 50 ring and the burn was perfect. For $6 this is a nice cigar, maybe my palate was off (I had attended a presentation earlier that evening that left a bad taste in my mouth!) I have some of the original Diesel Unholy Cocktails that I should revisit, I really liked that cigar, although I really never explored the whole line.


H.UpmannAJChurchillFriday I try to end the week with a cigar I really like, so I went with the new H. Upmann AJ Fernandez (are you catching on to the theme?). I had picked up a few in the Churchill size a month or two ago and have really enjoyed the blend. Unfortunately, there are precious few cigars in Altadis line that I really like. I’ve had abysmal luck with the Yarguera H.Upmann, and the Banker doesn’t do it for me. Havana H. Upmanns have been a different story. I do like a number of the Montecristos, especially the White Vintage Connecticut oddly enough. The new RoMEo 505 I really like, the rest of the line I can take or leave. I keep trying their cigar though. Anyway, the Upmann AJ Fernandez is really good, it appeals to me on several levels. the wrapper is Ecuador Sumatra, the binderis Corojo 99 and the fillers are Criollo 98 and Piloto Cubano, It’s sweet, a little nutty, a little bready, very well-balanced and delicious. I’ve smoked a couple of sizes of this and need to smoke some more. The Churchill is a beefy 7″ x 54, burned well, drew well, overall was a great cigar to wrap up the week.


Hoyo_LaAmistadSilver_ChurchillI switched back to General Cigars for a Saturday afternoon smoke. It was a beautiful day on the porch, for late October it was comfortable and sunny. Today is the opposite, I’m afraid. Anyway, I selected the Hoyo La Amistad by AJ Fernandez, again in the Churchill size. I really hope you’ve picked up on the them by now. Hoyo’s interpretation of the Churchill is slightly more traditional, this one was 6-7/8″ x 48. I’m not sure why people can’t make a Churchill 7″ x 47 any more…but this one was close. I really like the size of this cigar, actually, very elegant and comfortable. This is the second blend in the La Amistad line, the “gold” came out last year, and the “silver” is this year’s release. It has an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper, Nicaraguan Habano binder and fillers from Estelí, Condega. This is another winner, although I think I prefer the “gold” over the silver. Maybe the “silver” is a little more refined or something, not that that’s bad. I also think these needed some more humidor time as the example I smoked yesterday got acrid at the band.  The La Amistad Gold is an exceptional cigar, the silver has the potential to me exceptional also.


AJF_Enclave_ToroLast night, after spending a great few hours with the grand-daughters while their parents went out to dinner, I headed to the porch with the Flyers on the iPad for a cigar. I was torn between a Hoyo La Amistad Gold, a Foundry Time Flies and a RoMEo 505, when I spied a lonely Enclave Habano. So I figured I’d wrap up the AJ series with a cigar AJ Fernandez made for his own company instead of someone else’s.  I’ve been on the lookout for the Enclave Broadleaf, just haven’t come across them in the wild yet, I’m very interested in sampling that one. The Enclave Habano is a nice cigar, it’s got a Habano wrapper as the name implies, a Cameroon binder and Nicaraguan fillers. I usually find that cigars with Cameroon in the blend have a disincentive flavor,  but I didn’t get that in this one. I found it to be rather earthy and woody. I smoked the 6″ x 52 Toro, when I should have smoked a shorter cigar, but what the heck, right? Burn was perfect with a flat burn, and I love a closed foot. I like the Enclave Habano, but I’m really jazzed about trying the Broadleaf. Flyers won, spent time with the grandkids, it was a good evening.


FireintheHoleIf you find yourself in the market for personalized gifts, I came across a nice site for such things. Groovy Guy Gifts offers a wide variety of guy stuff that they personalize and turn around with surprising quickness. they have several cigar related goodies, and I came to possess their “Fire in the Hole” triple jet lighter this week. From order confirmation to delivery was only three days, impressive FireintheHole2considering that it was engraved. I’m well familiar with the maker of the lighter, it’s a slim, powerful three jet lighter with a nice heft and a small flip-out punch on the bottom, far smaller than I’d be inclined to use (7mm?), but serviceable in a pinch. The engraving is crisp and clear and it’s presented well in a gift box. Groovy Guy Gifts does a nice job, has quick and reasonable shipping and is a pleasure to deal with.


That’s all for now, although nothing new here really. I felt like I had to make up for a lazy Wednesday post. As I thought about it, I gotta disagree with the bit about deferring to the regulars, I think in a retail environment every customer should be welcomed and afforded the same level of customer service. That long-term customer who spends lots in your store was once the guy walking in for the first time. If I walk into a shop for the first time I don’t expect to have the red carpet rolled out, but I don’t expect the clerk, owner or whatever to finish his conversation with his regulars before acknowledging me. Common sense is key for all parties involved. Until the next time,






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My Visit To The New Cigars International Superstore In Hamburg, PA

Friday I took a vacation day so that I could visit the newest super store in the Cigars International empire in nearby Hamburg, PA.  My eldest son, Corey, and I drove up for the grand opening celebration. The first thing one sees when approaching the location is the Cabela’s store that sits on a hill, you can see this place for miles.  The Cabela’s is enormous.  In the shadow of Cabela’s is the newest Cigars International store.

Mike, who appeared to be the general manager, gave us a little tour of the place, along with Joe Winder, our local Perdomo rep.  He walked us through the cigar store area, pointed out the downstairs bar and lounge complete with a pool table, then took us upstairs to the second bar and lounge.  We walked around the outdoor deck and saw the view of the surrounding area.  Across the parking lot they have an amphitheatre.  He told us that they have a state of the art sound and entertainment system, if there’s a band playing in the amphitheater he can pipe it into any or all of the bars and lounges in the building.  They also have what they call the “Man O War room”, a private meeting room overlooking the store as well as a lounge dedicated to the armed forces.

Corey and I bought some cigars and sat down in a couple comfy leather chairs to enjoy a smoke and take in the surroundings.  The waitstaff is very attentive, they have waitresses moving throughout the store, inside and out, taking care of your beverage needs, and rumor has it that they have an agreement with the neighboring Red Robin restaurant where you can place an order and have it delivered in fifteen minute intervals.  Did I mention the size of the store?  You may or may not have visited the Cigars International Super Store in Bethlehem, PA, or JR‘s in New Jersey, or even Corona Cigars in Orlando.  If you haven’t, you’ve probably seen pictures or heard stories about the enormity of those stores (the JR’s in North Carolina don’t count, as the cigar stores are located inside big outlet stores with every consumer good imaginable).  This new location is easily twice the size of any of the aforementioned shops.  I’d venture to say that Corona in Orlando may have them beat in variety of cigars, they just have a ridiculous number of facings, and I can’t speak to the 2 Guys and Smoke Inn chains as I have yet to have the pleasure of visiting them.  It’s the biggest full service cigar store and lounge I’ve seen.  At 4 o’clock they had the official opening, and half of the place cleared out to get in a line outside that went clear out to the parking lot. Everyone received a gift bag with a Gurkha Beauty cigar, a $5 CI gift card, and a commemorative pint glass, which Corey and I got on the way out (prompting a return to the cashier to purchase some more cigars, clever bastards!

It was nice to hang out in a comfortable setting and have a cigar with my son for the afternoon, get a chance to hang out with Dave Lafferty of Drew Estate for a while and see Nick Perdomo again.  These pictures don’t do the place justice.

Antelope: is that Undercrown lion looking at me?


While there I smoked another Alec Bradley MAXX Brazil robusto that was delicious, and Corey had a Diesel Grind Robusto (I picked up a couple on his recommendation and smokedone on my evening walk, a very nice, smooth smoke!)


Until the next time,





Filed under News, Stores

CigarCraig’s 12 Spectacular Days of Cigar Giveaways Day 10: AJ Fernandez/Emilio

We’re getting close to the end, I sure wish I could run contests every day, but I think 12 days in a row is enough for just about anyone.  We’ll go back to monthly (or as the spirit moves me) after the first of the year.  I can always find something to give away!  Now, once again we consult Random.org for a number, and that number is 3.  So would Brian please e-mail me so I can send you your gift certificate! (I save postage on this one!)


Today on CigarCraig’s 12 Spectacular Days of Cigar Giveaways we have a selection of cigar from AJ Fernandez!   We have two San Lotano Oval Toros and two San Lotano Habano Robustos.   Cigar Journal just named the San Lotano Oval as #2 best cigar of 2011, and it is a really nice cigar!      Co-sponsoring today is Emilio Cigars.  The AF series are made and named after AJ Fernandez and are exceptional cigars!  Gary Grifith has provided 3 each of the AF1 and AF2s.


Thank you to Clay Roberts at AJ Fernandez  and Gary Griffith of Emilio Cigars for their generous contributions, and to AJ for making exceptional cigars!


You know what to do! Leave a comment to enter and good luck!


Until tomorrow,






Filed under Contest

Random Cigar Musings – Wednesday March 10, 2010

I’ve been on a maduro torpedo kick this week.  After Saturday’s Diesel Unholy Cocktail, I followed it up on Sunday with a very nice CAO Brazilia Samba.  The Samba is a 6¼ x 54 torpedo with a Brazilian wrapper and Nicaraguan binder and filler. I enjoyed this cigar quite a bit.  It burned very evenly and was on the stronger side of medium bodied. Cocoa, coffee and some spiceyness were the dominant flavors, ones that I expect and enjoy in this line.  I am pretty sure I got this one at the CAO party at the Palms in Las Vegas at the 2008 IPCPR show.  They handed out a handful of CAO, Toraño, and Henri Wintermans cigars at the door and Lynyrd Skynyrd provided the entertainment.  Quite a cool evening.

Last night I picked out a Toraño Exodus 1959 – 50 Years Torpedo.  Slightly shorter than the Samba at 5½ x 52, it also sports a Brazilian wrapper and Nicaraguan filler, but with a Honduran binder.  Similar in flavor to the CAO, but I found it milder.  I was a little disappointed by this one, I expected stronger flavors.  The construction was top notch of course.  I’ve had good experiences with this line, too bad this one didn’t live up to my expectations.  I picked this one up at Cigars International last fall when they had a Toraño event at the Superstore in Bethlehem.  I have a couple  Casa Toraño Maduro Lanceros for which I have high hopes.

After all the dark wrapped torps this week I decided I needed to change it up a little tonight and grabbed a Camacho Corojo Candela Monarca.  I know, I should have saved this for March 17th, it being the appropriate emerald green for St. Patrick’s Day. The cigars from this box have all been rather loosely rolled, giving them a very free draw.  I found out some time ago that if I pierce the cap with a Cigar Spike, it makes for a perfect draw. These are a strong cigar, although the candela wrapper tempers the power that the Corojo line is famous for a little.  These can still overwhelm if one isn’t careful. I find them a nice change of pace.  I still have several from a box I purchased a few years ago from Rock’s Smoke Shop in East Stroudsburg, PA. so smoking one next week isn’t out of the question.

Don’t forget, only a couple day left to get your entries in for this month’s contest.  Click here and leave a comment with your guess!  Thanks once again to the fine folks at Drew Estate for providing outstanding prizes!

Until the next cigar,



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Filed under Contest, Review