Tag Archives: Hemingway

A Short Story, a Big Payback and a Couple Rocky Patel Fifty-Five Cigars

Fuente_ShortStory_MaduroFinally over the sinus thing for the most part, I trust my taste buds again, without question, and I know this because I smoked a Fuente Short Story maduro Thursday that was just a wonderful little cigar. I’ve had this in my humidor for a while, I figured since I just got some maduro Best Sellers, and I got off to a late start, this 4″ x 49 perfecto would be perfect. The Short Story has been around for as long as I can remember, which, in cigar terms, is a little over 20 years. It’s a cigar my wife would smoke when she enjoyed cigars. Back then it was just in the Cameroon wrapper, and is still a delicious cigar. The maduro has a broadleaf wrapper and has a little “dirtier” flavor to me, which I love. It’s rich, earthy and dark chocolaty. I have various Hemingways in my humidor, it seems I buy the maduros when I stop in Holt’s, they always seem to have them. It’s amazing how the Fuentes can make a cigar that tastes the same over the last  years! One odd note on the Short Story: while the rest of the Hemingway line has “Hemingway” on the boxes, the Short Story does not, yet it’s listed under that line on Fuente’s website.


BigPaybackFriday I was in the mood for a substantial cigar, so I went with a Room 101 Big Payback Hueso, the 6″ x 60 gordo in the line. I picked some of these up last summer when I was at Cigars International’s downtown Bethlehem store when Matt Booth was hanging out there. Ironically, I was listening to Matt on Kiss My Ash Radio while enjoying this cigar. I was a little bit behind, so the episode was two weeks old. Any time Matt appears on any show it’s a treat, full of surprises, he’s a hoot. Unfortunately, Matt is leaving the cigar industry and Davidoff is reportedly selling of the cigar under the Room 101 brand. the Big Payback line is/was a budget friendly line, a Nicaraguan Puro rolled in Honduras. I really like these cigars, in both the Nicaraguan wrapper and the Ecuador Connecticut wrapper, it’s a solid cigar that I find very appealing. I just got a box (10) of the Uncle Lee, I suppose I need to put some more of the Big Paybacks on the shopping list before they are gone for good. It’s a great cigar for a little over $6.


Yesterday my wife and daughter wanted to do some shopping at the King of Prussia Mall, one of the largest malls in the country and only fifteen minutes down the road.  One of my favorite things about shopping with my wife is that I can let her shop while I go to International Tobacco and sit and have a cigar. It usually ends up being a very costly cigar, but that’s OK.  Yesterday the selection was RP 55 Coronakinda slim, and the humidor tends to the classic side, without a lot of boutiques, they do have Davidoff, Padron, and many of the usual suspects. They have a coffee bar with soft drinks and are generally quite hospitable and friendly. I usually look for something I haven’t had, of course, so I picked up a couple of the Rocky Patel Fifty-Five, a “Corona” (4″ x 55) and a Toro for later. Since the Fifty-Five is inexplicably not listed on the website, I linked to Famous Smoke Shop’s listing for this, and would like to direct you to the new ad in the right sidebar. If you make a habit of shopping at Famous, click through the ad and maybe I’ll make a little dough on the side to support my “research”. They also offer a discount code, so we both win. Anyway, I lit up the pudgy little perfecto and was intrigued with the flavor. They say this cigar has Nicaraguan fillers and wrapper, and a Costa Rican binder, which you don’t see every day. RP 55 Corona-damageI got a mintyness throughout the smoke that was different and enjoyable. Unfortunately, there was a bit of chip at the cap of the cigar that I didn’t notice which resulted in the wrapper coming off completely with about an inch and a half left. I probably could have gotten a replacement if I had let the shopkeeper cut it for me, but I’m a DIY kinda guy and carry my own tools, so I didn’t press the issue. I haven’t had this kind of thing happen in a very long time, and I don’t expect it from a $9+ cigar. (As I write this, I think of the last time I wrote this and it was about another RP cigar….bad luck, I guess). Verdict: loved the flavor, hated the fact that the wrapper came off and I had to mess with it at all.


RockyPatel_Fifty-five_ToroSo intrigued by the flavor of the little 4″ x 55 “Corona” was I  that I look my evening walk with the Toro version of the Rocky Patel Fifty-Five. I suppose I should get one of these for my own 55th birthday in a year and a half, these were made to celebrate Rocky’s 55th birthday. As 55 is an unusual ring gauge for a cigar, I suspect a lot went into making these with special molds and all. The Rocky Patel Fifty-Five Toro is 6 ½” x 55, and has the same make-up as the little guy, both cigars have a bit of a taper at each end, which in my mind puts them into the perfecto category. I gave the Toro a much closer inspection, I certainly didn’t want to repeat the experience I had earlier in the day. I was pleased to find no flaws in this cigar, although the draw was a little on the restricted side until it got going. I found the same mintyness, with an occasional minty-cinnamonyness here and there. It was very intriguing to me, it’s so rare that I encounter an unusual flavor in a cigar any more.  While I wasn’t thrilled dropping north of $11 on a cigar, this one really didn’t bother me, I found it so interesting and special. I also don’t mind spending a few bucks in a local shop that provides the service of “husband day-care” while the better half shops, if people don’t spend money there it won’t be around!


In some news, I received an e-mail from Gaby Kafie of Kafie 1901 Cigars announcing that they are opening, or have opened, their own factory,  “Tabacalera G. Kafie y Cia”,  in Danli, Honduras. They were previously working with the Reyes family’s factory, having their cigars made along side such classics as Puros Indios and Cuba Aliados. Last year, Dr. Kafie introduced the Kafie 1901 Coffee with proceeds going to Cigar Rights of America.  Best of luck to Dr. Kafie and his family, I know he has a strong passion and hope he has few obstacles to success. Also of note is General Cigar Company‘s announcement that they will be adding Temple Hall Estates to their Foundry division’s FTC Heritage Series. the original Temple Hall Factory opened in Jamaica in the ’40s, and the Connecticut shade wrapped cigar will pay homage to that factory. This line joins the re-imagined Bolivar and Ramon Allones brands in the Foundry line-up. Will Cooper has the full story here.


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










Filed under News, Review

A.Fuente, an Emilio and a Sunday Morning Camacho Cigar with Family

Thursday evening I found myself on the phone with Verizon support.  I had been fighting with them about the upstairs TVs that we were initially promised would work without a box, only to find that we needed a special box.  Not that $4 a month is a lot for the box, but it  was the principle of it, and they figured out a way to give me a box for free so we could have more than one TV in the house again.  I had to call to get the box activated, and had been looking forward to an evening cigar. After several minutes listening to the planet’s worst hold music, I decided to grab a cigar and wait on the porch for them to pick up.  I grabbed an Arturo Fuente Hemingway Best Seller, put the phone on speaker and fired it up.  I’ve long been a fan of the Hemingway line, at least from the Signature down, as anything larger just doesn’t do it for me for some reason.  I would have preferred a Short Story, since I didn’t know how long I’d have, but I didn’t have any on hand.  The Best Seller is a great cigar.  I love the “Camerooniness” of the line, that wrapper really really is delicious on these.  It’s not too cheap of a cigar, but I had picked a few of these up last year with a Groupon for half off, so they weren’t too bad.  I got about half way through before the representative picked up and I went inside to get squared away, which did eventually happen.  I went back out and re-lit the cigar, but I didn’t get to smoke as much of it as I’d have liked.  Still, a terrific way to temper the frustration of having to deal with phone support.   I really think they want you to hang up, but I wasn’t giving them the satisfaction!


Friday evening’s walk called for a good smoke, so I grabbed an Emilio AF2 BMF and my elder son and I hit the bricks (concrete mostly, but actual bricks in a few places…it’s just an expression!).  I had picked a few of these up at my local shop a few months back.  Needless to say, this is a solid cigar, and sizable at 6″ x 58, truly a big MF!  I find this to be milder than the AF1, but loaded with flavor, a little sweet, and delicious.  I blame myself for this, but it’s a much better warm weather cigar than cold, but that’s my problem.  I wanted to smoke it, and the colder weather wasn’t going to deter me.  Still a solid smoke, highly recommended by me for whatever that’s worth!


I had picked up an odd cigar at my local shop, JM Cigars in Exton.  It was labeled with the shop owners name, and I was told that it was made by Rocky Patel (but I bought one anyway!).  This was a 6½” x 48 cigar, with what looked like a dark Habano wrapper.  Unfortunately, it burned a little crappy and was pretty ho-hum in flavor to me.  I don’t smoke a lot of RP cigars anyway, as they don’t really suit my palate for whatever reason.  Maybe I don’t smoke the right ones, maybe the breadth of his lines confuses me and is a pit of a turn off, I don’t know.  I still like to try peoples house or personal blends, and this experience won’t stop me from picking up the occasional oddball cigar when I see one.  I was told at the shop that this batch wasn’t as good as the first batch, but just because I didn’t care for it doesn’t mean that it isn’t someones favorite cigar, and for around $4 it was worth trying.


Sunday morning my wife, youngest son and I went out to breakfast with my brother-in-law, who was in town visiting.  My son, Christian, recently turned 18 and has been enjoying the occasional cigar, sometimes with me, sometimes with his friends.  As can be expected from someone in his demographic, he’s been digging the Acid line, trying a few here and there.  So Christian, my Bro-in-law Jeff and I stopped at JM Cigars for a post breakfast digestif.  Jeff had asked me to recommend an inexpensive daily smoke a while back and I told him to try the National Brand robustos from Camacho, which he loves (and he’s from New Jersey, so he gets a real good deal purchasing in PA because of the taxes).  I wanted something all three of us would appreciate so I grabbed a handful of Camacho Habana Monarcas.  I’ve loved this line for years, and haven’t had one in forever. Even though I typically don’t care for Criollo wrapped cigars, this one works really well, I thoroughly enjoyed it from start to finish.  The cigar is light enough for the novice and has enough flavor and body for someone who has a cigar or two a day or a long-time cigar nut like myself.  It was nice to sit in the lounge and chat for a while. Myson and his uncle share the rock climbing gene, so they have a lot in common, and Jeff and I are roughly the same age and have known one another for 26 or so years, so the three of us, despite the disparity of ages, were able to have a nice, relaxing hour or so with a fine cigar and one-another’s company.  It also went a long way toward aiding in the digestion of an over-indulgent breakfast!



The annual Habanos Festival just ended, and I wasn’t there.  I did notice an interesting press release about the lots in the auction that is held every year. Looks like a nice box, but the price is a little steep for me!

Cohiba Cigar Humidor Sold for 475,500 USD, Equipped With Microprocessor-Controlled Adorini Humidifiers.

Humidor bought by Italian entrepreneur at 14th Habanos Festival in Cuba. The humidor comes with microprocessor controlled adorini humidifiers, 520 Cohiba cigars, and remote-controlled hydraulic system to open the humidor.

Why the heck you’d need to open your humidor from across the room is beyond me, but it sure sounds cool!  I guess you have to let those 520 Cohibas living inside get a breath of fresh air once in a while.


Anyway, that’s it for today, until the next time,




Filed under Review, Stores, Take a Cigar For a Walk

Happy Thanksgiving, a Fuente Hemingway and a Special Offer!

First off, let me wish my US readers a very Happy Thanksgiving.  I’m quite thankful for my family, as well as all of the cool opportunities that have been presented to me this year.  Thanks to all of my readers. Who would have thought that scribbling down my random cigar thoughts would entertain people!  (OK, my wife thought so, I’m thankful to her for giving me the site!)


Anyway, Wednesday evening is my traditional “Take A Cigar For A Walk” night, and since it’s practically a Friday, I chose a nice cigar to start the long weekend.  I came across a lonely Arturo Fuente Hemingway Signature that came to me by way of my good friend and UK Fuente distributor, Mitchell Orchant.  This is a long time favorite that I haven’t had in years.  I smoked a bunch of these in the ’90s, and have a lot of great memories associated with this cigar.  I love the flavor from the Cameroon wrapper, and the 6″ x 46 perfecto shape is just about perfect.  It was a great cigar, although it burned faster than I would like as it was over too soon.


Special Offer!

I received an e-mail today from Travis at PipesandCigars.com with the following offer for you, my loyal readers.  I took a look at the site and was pleasantly surprised.  The selection and pricing is top-notch and they even have singles. I like the feature they have that lets you build your own sampler. Check them out.


PipesandCigars.com is releasing a 2012 Cigar Calendar. This calendar features two of the greatest things in the world – beautiful women and fine cigars. Each month features an eye-popping female along with an eye-popping deal on the featured brands. A calendar sure to add some spice to your office or smoking lounge, and also sure to give you the best values on your favorite smokes. To get your free copy, subscribe to our special offers mailing list by simply sending an e-mail to mailinglist@pipesandcigars.com with your mailing address. We’ll start off your subscription with this free calendar along with a free cigar. Calendars & cigars will ship the week of December 5th. Enjoy!








So check out PipesandCigars.com and e-mail them to sign up for their e-mail list and get a calendar and a cigar, how can you go wrong?  If you find yourself in the Albany, NY area look them up and tell them I said hello!


Enjoy the holiday!







Filed under Contest, Review, Stores

Take a Cigar for a Walk: A Short Story And A Note from Tommy

After a particularly difficult day which included more of the demon snow and various work related lunacy, I decided to dig deep into the humidor and pull out a lonely old Fuente Hemingway Short Story for my evening walk.  For many years this was a favorite of my wife’s, and every one I came across went her way.  This one has been in my humidor for the better part of a decade just waiting for her to ask for it.  She informs me that that day will probably not come as she has gotten away from cigars, so I decided last night was the night to smoke it.  As I said, it’s been many moons since I enjoyed a Hemingway of any size, so I clipped it a lit it up.  It took a few minutes to burn past the tip and open up, but when it did I got that wonderful, although milder than I remembered, Cameroon goodness which I enjoy so much.  For a tiny cigar this one lasted for my entire 1+ mile walk and even had a little left for the all-important cool-down period on the front porch.  I haven’t priced these recently, but I remember when they were $103 a box, and $4 was a lot to pay for a little cigar, but this is a cigar that everyone who likes cigars should enjoy.  I’ve smoked most of the Hemingway line and the only one I never cared for was the Classic, which always had a metallic taste to me.  I bet I haven’t had a Signature in 10 years.  I may have a couple more floating around the humidor, I thin kI have a Work of Art in both Cameroon and Maduro wrappers, and there might be a Best Seller hidden someplace.  I’ll wait for warmer weather to smoke them as they are all well aged and I may have missed some of the subtleties of the Short Story smoking it in the cold as I did last night.

Here’s the latest from Tommy Berry:

This past week was a bit different for me! I spent some time outdoors, which with a desk job as an architectural designer is a nice change every now and then. I spent two days doing some surveying for a current project. Now, I could have smoked me a cigar or two…or even three each day…but I failed to remember my traveldor. However, I spent a total of six hours walking…walking…climbing…and only getting to enjoy my Copenhagen Moist Snuss/Snuff. (A habit that I don’t wish on anyone…but I guess it’s a cowboy thing down here in Texas!) Anyway, I was able to get in a lot of constant walking…a lot! It was a blast to be outdoors, but I have to admit that from my recent walks…I am very sore! That though is a plus…as obviously I am exerting some energy during each walk. I hope to get out for some time with a cigar and the next walk tonight (Monday).

With all of this going on, I have failed to “weigh in”. I have a goal to use this challenge to not only get healthier…but to lose weight as well. Soon, I will begin to update you with my current weight…helping more with accountability…in regards to actually losing weight…which will require eating less and properly…more often.

I would love to hear from some of you, if you are being challenged by this (in addition to those that have already commented on past posts) and what your thoughts and/or suggestions are.

Until next time…long “walking” ashes to ya!

Great to hear Tommy moving in a positive direction with his personal goals!  Let’s continue to support him through comments here or wherever you might encounter Tommy, as well as by taking a cigar for a walk yourself.  My offer still stands to publish any other guest reviews you wish to submit.

I’m going to try to make it to The Wooden Indian Tobacco Shop in Havertown, PA Saturday as they are having a Drew Estate event.  They had sponsored a recent Cigar Safari Trip and I’m looking forward to hearing about their trip.  I’m sure it will be the subject of a future article.  They have one of two Liga Privada Lounges in the country and it’s very nice as well as an enormous walk-in humidor.

Tommy stole my “Until the next time” line, so Adios Amoebas!




Filed under Guest Review, Review, Take a Cigar For a Walk