Tag Archives: Emilio

Packing for IPCPR, Some Emilio Cigars, a Regius, a Aging Room and a New World Connecticut

Grimalkin_TorpedoI’m frantically packing and readying for the trip to New Orleans tomorrow, but I figured while my new shed is being built in the back yard I’d recap some great cigars I smoked this week.  Who knows what I’ll smoke over the next four or five days, and I haven’t loaded the travel humidor up yet. I will probably take an assortment of favorites as I won’t be taking notes on many cigar I smoke while I’m there.  Anyway, Sunday I drove down to  the Wooden Indian in Havertown, PA to meet Alex, our local House of Emilio rep and the son of the owner there. The Wooden Indian apparently cornered the market on Emilio‘s Grimalkin line, which was replaced by La Musa a few years ago, supposedly just re-named. I picked up a few torpedos and smoked MiaDora Robustoone there. This cigar has aged well, it was made at the My Father factory, a well-known secret that I imagine it’s OK to spill since the Grimalkin brand is no more.  Smooth, tasty and well-balanced sum up this smoke.  When I got home I smoked another cigar from the Emilio line up, the Mia Dora.  This is a stronger smoke, rich flavors of tobacco and well made.  I’ll certainly see Alex and the House of Emilio brands at the show.


Regius_ExclusivoUSA_Fat PerfectoSince I’m on vacation, I had a three-day work week, which means cramming 5 days of work in, and Monday was a bit stressful.  A month or so ago Cigar-Coop send me some cigar in an unnecessary reciprocation for me sharing some Inca Secret Blends with him.  One of the cigars he sent was a Fat Perfecto from Regius‘ Exclusivo U.S.A. line. This cigar is a 60 ring by 5½” cigar in basically the same shape as the Feral Flying Pig, closed on both ends with a coiled “bun” type of pigtail cap.  I really enjoyed the refined flavors in this cigar. It wasn’t strong, but loaded with flavor and burned well.  It had a great balance, and even I could appreciate the nuances and delicate flavors. The is a classy stick, many thanks to Will for sharing this one with me.


AgingRoom_Havao_CanonNot wanting to stress out my palate for the upcoming trip, I decided to go Connecticut shade for a few days. I smoked an Aging Room Havao Tuesday, which I had picked up when I saw Rafael Nodal at Cigar Mojo last month.  This cigar is a fine example of a Connecticut (Ecuador, they almost all are now), cigar with a lot of flavor.  I’ve really enjoyed this cigar before, I guess that’s why I bought a handful at the event. They aren’t priced badly either. This is another terrific shade wrapped cigar, as well as the next one!


AJFernandez_NewWorldCT_ToroLast night I took my wife out for her birthday, and when we got home I took a walk with an AJ Fernandez New World Connecticut. Once again, we have an Ecuador Connecticut cigar that isn’t bland, mild and boring!  This one was actually a bit stronger than the afor-mentioned Havao.  Loads of smoke, plenty of flavor, and quite easy on the eyes!  This cigar, as well as the original New World, can easily become staples in the humidor, and aren’t badly priced either.  I am really looking forward to dropping by their booth this year, even though AJ doesn’t speak much English, he’s always gracious and he makes some damned fine cigars!  Many thanks again to Gabriel for sharing these, and I look forward to seeing him again at the show too!


I can only hope the cigars I smoke at the show are as enjoyable as these last  several were. It’s really getting harder and harder to find crappy cigars now days.  Even cigars I don’t particularly care for are quite good, it’s been a while since I’ve had a poorly made cigar, and they all seem to have some redeeming qualities.  Pray the FDA doesn’t come a long and goof everything up!


Until the next time, which really will be from the IPCPR show,





Filed under Review

Another Nomad, a Joya de Nicaragua, Emilio Cigars and a La Aurora

Nomad_S-307_TorpedoAnother week has gone by and another bunch of cigars smoked.  After hanging out with Fred Rewey last week, I decided I had better smoke that Nomad S-307 Torpedo that I had removed from cello because I was going to smoke it, and put it away in favor of the Esteli Lot 8613 I was handed. I really hate trying to put cigars in cello tubes, I don’t know how the workers in the factories do it, but I suppose if you do it eight hours a day, you get pretty good at it. The 6 ½ x 52 torpedo has a nice box press, a rich Ecuador Sumatra wrapper, Ecuador Habano binder and Nicaraguan fillers.  It’s rolled in the AJ Fernandez factory, but Fred had his hands in all aspects of the blending. I guess I’ve been picking these up here and there, because I find I have a good handful in the humidor, and I can’t get upset about that (I did find that Lot 1386 this week). The cigar is a great smoke, it’s earthy and spicy and has a hint of sweetness. It’s a cigar I enjoy quite a bit, as I said, I’m not unhappy about having a few of these in the humidor.


JdN_Antano1970_GranConsulI went with a trusted friend on Thursday, the Joya de Nicaragua Antaño 1970 in the Gran Consul size. The Gran Consul is 4 ¾” x 60 cigar with a tapered head, making it feel like it’s not a 60 ring.  I gave it a V-cut this time, and had a good burn and draw, and ample amounts of smoke. This is a tasty Nicaraguan Puro, and is full bodied and spicy. I prefer the Dark Corojo over this line but only by a slim margin. JdN is one of the few major cigar companies that I have a hard time thinking of a cigar they make that I  don’t like. I have a slight bias in that I’ve been to the factory a couple times, but the cigars they make hit my palate just right almost  all the time.  I think the size of this particular cigar makes it fun and interesting to smoke, I guy I’m weird that way!


Emilio_AF1_toroFriday there was some news that confirmed what many of us may have been wondering. It appears that Gary Griffith has retired from Delaware Cigars, Emilio and House of Emilio.  Gary blended the Emilio brand, and built the boutique distribution company known as the House of Emilio.  In his honor I smoked an Emilio AF 1 Toro that’s been hanging around the humidor for a couple years. I really like what Gary did with AJ Fernandez and the San Andres wrapper on this cigar, making it a sweet flavor bomb. I had my hand on the corona size, but decided to go with the Toro instead. The Toro is a little mellower than the corona, but I enjoy taking the additional time to smoke a toro. As much as I enjoy smaller cigars, I like my daily vacation to be a little longer sometimes! I know the House of Emilio will continue on supporting the six brands in it’s stable, and I hope the Emilio line lives on, both as an homage to the family that owns Delaware Cigars, and Gary who created it.  I hope Gary comes out of hiding every once in a while, he’s an interesting guy with a great knowledge of tobacco and just a bunch of fun to be around.  Enjoy your golden years with Dora!


LaAuroroa_100Anos_PreferidoNo1Yesterday was a fun filled and action packed Saturday. We went to our eldest granddaughter’s 4th birthday party, then came home and did some yard work then drove my son back to his place in Philly. I was ready to sit down and relax with a fine cigar after that! But, as usual, I spent the first half of my cigar taking my evening walk, and it was a beautiful evening to do it. The cigar I selected was a La Aurora 100 Años Preferido No.1 which was a gift from Barry Stein back when he first sold his old website and took the job with Miami Cigar and Co. You may recall four years ago when my granddaughter was born, I happened to spend the afternoon with Guillermo Leon of La Aurora, and started my own tradition of smoking a Puro Vintage 2003 whenever a granddaughter is born (I can only have two more granddaughters kids!). Of course, the significance of all this La Aurora talk is that my daughter’s name is Aurora, so I’ve always been partial to the brand, even if there are quite a few cigars in their range that aren’t to my taste. The Cien Años is a cigar that I really enjoyed. The pefecto shape is really cool and fun to smoke, and it burned perfectly down to a finger burning nub. I really enjoyed this smoke on several levels, the cigar was great, and I made me think of my family and friends. Can’t ask for much more than that.


The latest issue of Prime Living Magazine should have hit the shelves in Texas, wherever fine magazines are sold,  and in the Gentleman’s Room section you’ll find an article on the Macanudo Estate Reserve. You can read the magazine online if you are outside of their distribution area, or get to the article on their website. Also, if I had one complaint about the House of Emilio, it would be their website theme. I can’t tell you how off-putting that silly background is, the whole concept seems like it was stolen from another site…:-)  On another note, the folks at The Cigar Cork sent me a sample of their cigar tube. I kind of tried to talk them out of it, but they were persistent. Now I need to figure out how to actually test and review it. I suppose I can put a cigar in it and leave it roll around the floor of the car for a few weeks and see what happens. If I carry this thing in my front pants pocket I’ll either get looks of disgust or admiration, neither of which I’m comfortable with…it’s a nice tube, certainly large enough for a 60 ring cigar, so stay tuned for more on that. Their retail presentation with the holders and actually selling cigars in them is pretty spiffy.  Anyway, today is another beautiful spring day, and I’m not going to spend it sitting at my desk!  Enjoy your week.


Until the next time,






Filed under Review

A Mia Dora, a CAO Cigar, a Psyko Seven, a Epicurean, a Jingle and Conan in Cuba

Emilio_Mia Dora_RobustoI received a nice bunch of cigars from Gary Griffith of The House of Emilio this week which included some new coronas from some of the great companies in their stable, as well as a couple of the Emilio Mia Dora robustos. I had one I picked up at an event a few months back that I had been waiting for the right time to smoke and figured now tat I had a couple more, the moment was Sunday.   This cigar is a 5″ x 50 robusto with a Habano wrapper and Nicaraguan binder and filler.  The cigar is a tribute to Gary’s fiancé, Dora.  The cigar smoked very well, producing copious amounts of smoke and a savory flavor. Much like Gary’s Draig line, there is a distictive charred meat flavor to my palate.  I look forward to sampling this cigar again.


CAO_Area9_VT6Monday I grabbed another cigar from the CAO Area 9 collection, the VT6. This collection of six cigars are all from the original CAO lines which have been in storage for anywhere from five to twenty years, and could be anything CAO made during that time period. I know I had smoked this cigar before, and have a feeling it may have been a Gold Vintage. I was a slightly box pressed toro with what looked to me like a darker Ecuador Connecticut wrapper, and had a sourness that I don’t particularly appreciate in a cigar.  It burned reasonable well, and was certainly well aged.  This is a fun sampler, the only cigar that one can identify by appearance alone looks to be a CAO America, which I don’t think I’ve ever smoked.  I grab one every now and then when I am feeling experimental.


PsykoSeven_RobustoTuesday I selected a cigar I’ve wanted to revisit since I first smoked it over a year ago when I sat in on the Cigar Authority show. I only got to smoke about half the cigar during the show, and I wanted to finish it, but the second half got cleaned up in the aftermath of the show.  I came by one at the Rocky Mountain Cigar Festival and was very happy. This robusto is a generous 5½ x 50, and features a primary band that covers the majority of the cigar, which a secondary normal band underneath so you don’t forget what you are smoking. The cigar is buttery smooth, and has a very pleasing mellow flavor. I really enjoyed the heck out of this milder cigar, it’s got a Dominican Hybrid wrapper, Mexican Sumatra binder and multi-country blend in the filler.  There seem to be some terrific cigars coming from Ventura Cigars, and I think this is one of them.


Epicurean_Carnavale_Petete CoronaTonight I dipped into the cigars from Gary Griffith and selected a petite corona from Steve Ysidron’s Epicurean Carnavale line. I was looking for a fairly quick smoke, and this seemed to be the smallest of the selection.  This cigar is listed in several outlets, both media and retail, as 5½” x 48, and is most definitely not, even with the box press, it’s a 40 ring gauge if anything.  It is a really comfortable and elegant size, much like a short lancero. There can be no mistake that this was the petite corona as it said so on the barcode sticker. this cigar was probably my favorite of the week so far, and the Psyko Seven set the bar pretty high. It had a nice sweetness that was a nice digestif to the Fish and Chips dinner I had at a nearby brewhouse. The burn and draw were perfect and is smoked longer than I anticipated, as evidenced by the late hour this edition will be posting. I can’t think of an Epicurean Cigar that I didn’t really like, and this is the best of the bunch.


Today my wife presented me with a jingle she had made for me through a site called Fiverr, and I think her $5 was money well spent. Here it is with a video visualization.


Tonight on TBS is Conan O’Brien’s Cuba show which could be quite interesting.  Conan is a laugh riot, and I try to stay awake late enough to watch the show. I have the DVR set just in case. I thought it was funny when the show’s twitter account followed me today (@TeamCoco), then I received an e-mail with a list of links to the show segments in my e-mail. I guess it’s pretty cool that they sought out my site, it shows that my Google ranking isn’t too awfully bad, I guess! If you miss it tonight, here’s the list of links they sent:

“Conan In Cuba” Open


CONAN Highlight: Watch the first four minutes of Conan O’Brien’s one-man mission to meet the Cuban people and make some friends.  (live now. Worldwide)

More from tonight’s show (TBS 11/10c) – live 5:30 am ET:

Conan Joins A Cuban Salsa Band


Conan learns the importance of the Cuban clave beat and wows the band with his 8th grade Spanish skills. (live 5:30am ET. Worldwide)

Conan Takes A Cuban Spanish Lesson


Thanks to Maestra Yolanda, Conan masters the Spanish tongue twister about three sad tigers. (live 5:30am ET. Worldwide)

Conan Visits The Havana Club Rum Museum


Conan learns the rich history of Cuban rum before tasting a flight of Havana Club’s best with his guide Gretel. (live 5:30am ET. Worldwide)

Conan Learns To Dance Cuban Rumba


Dancing is a huge part of Cuban culture, inspiring Conan to take an intensive lesson to master the erotic rumba. (live5:30am ET. Worldwide)

Conan Visits Havana’s El Malecón


Conan makes friends with Cuban youth on the famous waterfront promenade, and picks up a few bad habits… (live5:30am ET. Worldwide)

Conan’s Havana Rooftop Sunset


Conan admires Central Havana at the end of the day, and imagines how CNN would report on it. (live 5:30am ET. Worldwide)

Conan Visits A Cuban Cigar Factory


Conan tries his hand at rolling La Corona cigars, but unfortunately his stogies just don’t measure up. (live 5:30am ET. Worldwide)

Conan Dines At A Cuban Paladar


Conan enjoys authentic Cuban cuisine at a paladar, a family-run restaurant located in a private home. (live 5:30am ET. Worldwide)

Conan Says Goodbye To Cuba


Conan recounts the wonderful time he had in Cuba and the amazing people he met. (live 5:30am ET. Worldwide)

That’s more than enough for now. I was going to tell a story about my first major cigar herf experience, but I’ll save that for another post.


Until the next time,





Filed under Review

Tortuga, Evil Genius White Chapel, Debonaire and Nomad Cigars

We are settling in to the new house, and with the rain over the last few evenings I’ve really been diggin the large screened in porch! Since I’ve been trying to get projects done I’ve smoked some small cigars and have been using my new AshStay ashtray from ashstayAshstay.com.  I mentioned this last week and thought it was really cool, although there’s no way I’ll be running it through the dishwasher (it’s dishwasher safe!).  I like that I can close it up when I’m done and empty it after the cigars are out and it doesn’t stink or anything! It’s a little lighter than I thought it would be, but I don’t anticipate it getting blown around the enclosed porch. It’s a simple and elegant solution!


Tortuga_Reserva215_RegaloSunday after painting the office/den I took a walk with a Tortuga Reserva 215 Regalo, which is at this point unreleased.  I probably shouldn’t talk about it too much, but someone will have a chance to get their hands on these in the coming weeks, so I figured I’d build some hype.  The cigar is a chubby toro, 6″ x 54, and comes wrapped in a cedar sleeve with a green ribbon on the foot.  The wrapper is a beautiful Ecuador Connecticut shade and I assume that the rest of the cigar is Nicaraguan.  I really enjoyed the smooth and creamy texture of this cigar that isn’t a mild shade wrapped cigar. It’s loaded with medium bodied flavor.  It’s hard for me to find a Tortuga that I don’t love, and this is another fine example.  A perfectly made, perfectly satisfying smoke that was a nice treat at the end of a long and busy weekend.


EvilGenius_WhiteChapel_3,5x50Monday it was raining, so before staring on my baseboard project in the den, I selected a little 3½ x 42 half corona from the Evil Genius Cigars White Chapel line.  I got a couple of the Evil Genius robustos from brand owner Alex Hirsch (a fellow Pennsylvanian) at Goose’s Smokin’ Goose fest and hadn’t quite found the time to do them justice, so When I saw Alex last week at the Wooden Indian he gave me this little half corona.  These cigars are made at the La Aurora factory, and you would think the White would be the milder cigar. Wrong!  This is a potent little powerhouse with enough pepper in the retrohale (I don’t like that term, but I don’t know what else to call passing the smoke through the nose) to almost make me sneeze!  I’m very much looking forward to digging out the robustos and smoking them. This is a very nice cigar and Alex is slowly getting these out in the market, so keep an eye out.  Definately a tasty little 45 minute smoke!


Debonaire_First DegreeTuesday was more of the same, rain and a project, so I took another little cigar I’ve been holding on to out on the porch.  Phil Zanghi originally started the Indian Tabac line in the ’90s, went into partnership with Rocky Patel, who eventually bought Phil out. Phil has kept himself busy in the machine made cigar market, but a couple years ago he launched the ultra premium Debonaire line of cigars.  The Debonaire First Degree is a tasty little 4″ x 44 perfecto with Central American and Dominican tobaccos that burns perfect and has a nice, savory flavor.  This was another 45 minute smoke that was satisfying.  This sample came from the Rocky Mountain Cigar Festival.  I have smoked a few of the Debonaire line, and found them to be excellent cigars.  You can hear about these pretty regularly on the Stogie Geeks and Cigar Authority podcasts.


Nomad_S-307_RobustoTonight I got a bit of a walk in with a Nomad S-307 Robusto that I bought last week at The Wooden Indian when I was there for the House of Emilio event.  These are made in Nicaragua at the AJ Fernandez factory and are Nomad’s first regular production Nicaraguan cigar. The wrapper is a nice, dark brown Ecuador Sumatra with a Ecuador Habano binder and Nicaraguan fillers.  The box press is very comfortable and it took a V cut very nicely.  This has the kind of burn I love, flat and even, and the draw was perfect. It was bold, but not overpowering, and had a nice peppery sweetness.  To get you warmed up for CigarCraig’s 12 Spectacular Days of Cigar Giveaways, Fred Rewey is having his own contest, The Nine Days of Nomad going on right now.  Click HERE to enter.


As long as you are warming up for CigarCraig’s 12 Spectacular Days of Cigar Giveaways, here’s a non-cigar contest you can enter.  Rebeat Magazine is giving away six books that are perfect for any Beatles fan!  I happen to know most of the authors and these are excellent books. Click on over and enter their contest!


Also, click on the Famous Smoke Shop banner on the left and use the promo code “CRAIG15” to get 15% off a $50 or greater purchase! That’s it for now, I need to go try to get some insulation hung before bed!  Until the next time,





Filed under Review

Crux Cigars and a House of Emilio Event at The Wooden Indian

Crux_NinfamaniacDarkFriday night’s smoke was an interesting one. Back in August I picked up an interesting cigar, the Crux Ninfamaniac Dark.  This is a cool 7″ x 33 cigar is based on an old Cuban size, the Ninfa. The difference is that the Cuban Ninfa size is a parejo, and this Ninfamaniac is tapered on both ends. It’s a really nice looking cigar and it’s priced pretty reasonably, about $6.  I should have picked up the lighter wrapped version as well, the difference being that the dark version has a sungrown Habano wrapper grown in Jalapa, while the lighter one might be shade grown (I’m assuming based upon the description on their website, listing one as “Habano Jalapa” and one as “Habano Sungrown Jalapa”. Having not visited Jalapa, I can’t say if the grow shade grown wrapper or not).  This cigar is fun to smoke. It’s got a great flavor, rich, chewy, really nice. It burned very well and had a burn time similar to that of a Robusto sized cigar.  An added benefit is that it’s easy to manage with gloves on, which is an important thing when it’s flippin’ cold out!  I can see keeping some of these around, they don’t take up a lot of space!  Based on this cigar, I look forward to trying their other offerings, for a new company it seems like they’re doing things right.


imageSaturday I went down to Havertown, PA to the Wooden Indian for a House of Emilio event.  The owner of the shop’s son, Alex, recently became the northeast area rep for Emilio, and Gary Griffith was also on hand. I haven’t seen Gary in quite a while, which is a shame because he doesn’t live far away, but I’ve been missing his Delaware Cigar Festival for he last couple years and we just haven’t crossed paths.  They did something a little interesting that I imagethought was pretty neat. They had made samplers up of cigars from five of the House of Emilio brands, in mild, medium and strong categories. I picked up one of the medium samplers, which included a 1502 Nicaragua, a Nomad S-307, an Emilio Mia Dora, a 1502 Ruby and an Ezra Zion FHK. For $28 this was a really nice selection.  I also picked up a 1502 Black Gold Toro and an Ezra Zion Tantrum PA.  I promptly lit up the 1502 Nicaragua and proceeded to catch up with Alex and Gary.  I also was hanging out with a couple of Social Media celebrities from the north Joisey area, Matty Rock and Peter Totaro, who stopped in for the imageevent (and went on to visit the cheese steak shops in Philly, much to the delight of the local economy! Imagine turning these two loose in the Reading Terminal Market!).  Also in attendance was Alex Hirsh, of Evil Genius Cigars. The 1502 Nicaragua is a fine cigar, certainly medium and well balanced. I think I prefer the Ruby and Black Gold lines, but this was certainly a great cigar.  I followed that up with the Ezra imageZion Tantrum PA, with is a longer version of the Tantrum, measuring 6½ x 44.  Once again, this was a very good smoke.  I think the added length tempers the blend a little as the Tantrum was a very strong cigar.  Full of hearty flavor and it burned perfectly, although I dropped an ash on the way to the ashtray. The shop had a lot of traffic, which is probably pretty normal for a cold Saturday afternoon.  Dave Mayer had a lot of interesting and hard to find cigars in his shop, including some of the original Ezra Zion Inceptions, and some hard to find Liga Privada Unicos.  As always, it was a great event, if you find your self in the Philadelphia area, The Wooden Indian has to be a shop to visit.


Nomad_C-276_RobustoWhen I got home I took a walk with the dog and a Nomad C-295 robusto. This is a nice, box pressed robusto that is made at the AJ Fernandez factory in Esteli. The blend has five filler tobaccos, including some from Ometepe, for which the cigar is named in a rather roundabout way.  In Fred Rewey’s own words: “The name C-276 also has a back story. The “C” is for Concepción, one of two volcanoes on Ometepe Island. “276″ is the square kilometers of the island.”  I’ve really enjoyed this cigar in the past, it’s loaded with dark, lush flavors, just like a strong espresso, which is a profile I enjoy. This is probably better if you haven’t already had two cigars over the course of the day, but it has the horsepower to cut through and deliver a satisfying smoking experience. On a side note, I’m hooked on the ScrewPop Punch 2.0, as I have been using it exclusively. It makes a clean punch like a hot knife through butter. By the way, I finally got in touch with Jeff K, and his ScrewPop Punch (and maybe something to test it out on) will go out in tomorrow’s mail. Back to the Nomad, it’s a darned tasty smoke, worth a try.


That’s it for today, back to the new house to do some work so we can get moved in next week. Also, the 12DoSCG humidor is almost filled to capacity! It’s going to be a pretty amazing couple weeks, folks! I just have to get to taking some pictures and getting the posts ready to go. Until the next time,







Filed under Review, Stores