Tag Archives: JM Cigars

Contest Wrap-up, a Meet-up at JM Cigars, an Event at Mojo and a RoMaCraft Neanderthal

CC_Logo_xmas_sOK, a regular, non-contest post. How do I do this again?  It’s been a crazy couple weeks, hasn’t it?  Besides the 234 cigars, three ashtrays, two cutters, a lighter, and various other items, including one of a kind art and jewelry, there were some major holidays in there too. Time spent with family is the best part of the holiday for me, but doing this 12 Spectacular Days of Cigar Giveaways is a load of fun too.  My unending thanks to the following companies and individuals who made all this possible, in no particular order: Eric Whitfield, Broc Jackson, Jack at Duran Premium Cigars, David and his crew at 2 Guys Smokeshop, Victoria at General Cigar Co., Fred at Nomad Cigar Co., Victor at Tortuga Cigars, Jason at Best Cigar Prices, Abe and his gang at Smoke Inn, Mel and Ron at MBombay Cigars, Bianca at Gurkha and the folks at Joya de Nicaragua and Drew Estate! As I say every year, I could do this on my own, but it would cost me a fortune! Thanks to all of them and all of you for coming back every day and entering! Next year I have some different plans, but it should still be fun, that is, unless the FDA ruins everything!   We’ll remain positive, keep calling your elected officials and letting them know that premium cigars should be exempt from regulation, and keep up your CRA memberships!


One of the things I did last week in, an effort to save on shipping and meet some new friends, was to hand deliver winnings from Days five and six. It turned out that Mike and Andrew were reasonably close by so we met up at JM Cigar in Exton, PA for a smoke.  Of course, I spent easily twice what I would have spent on shipping on cigars, but that’s way more productive. While shopping I came ERHacross a lone El Rico Habano Maduro Gran Habanaro (double corona) in a box and it look so lonely I had to add it to my cart, so to speak. I haven’t smoked an El Rico in ages, I can remember back in the ’90s when this was one of the strongest cigars on the market, a real powerhouse. It was Ernesto Perez Carillo’s brand that took a back seat to La Gloria Cubana, and I smoked a bunch of them.  It’s a minor brand now with General Cigar Co., only available in three sizes and maduro, where the original version was a natural wrapper. I thought the 7½ x 54 size would be a good size for sitting in the lounge, getting to know new friends, kinda cigar. It was good, but not as good as I remember my last one being, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing as I didn’t want a cigar that would distract me from conversation. As it always seems to be, meeting up to deliver a prize beats USPS every time, I felt like I have a few more friends now, and look forward to meeting up with Mike and Andrew again soon.  Thank you to them for adding to the spirit of the season!


Perdomo20thThursday I ran down to Cigar Mojo in King of Prussia, PA as they were having a Perdomo event and raffling off a tremendous Perdomo 20th Anniversary humidor. I like the Perdomo 20th a lot, especially in maduro, so I bought a hand full (as if I needed more cigars!) and got one chance in the drawing. The winner was a guy who bought a bunch of boxes of the 20th Anniversarys, so it’s hard to begrudge him the win. It was a beautiful box, but I don’t know where I would have put it, so it worked Perdomo20thHumidorout in the end. I thoroughly enjoyed a 20th Maduro Churchill while hanging out and talking to our local Perdomo rep, Joe Winder (who is probably the very first cigar company rep I ever met many years ago at a cigar event in Pittsburgh), CRA Ambassador and all-around good guy, Alan Price, who was working at the shop, owners Wade and Trae and various other customers.  I didn’t win the humidor, but I did put some great cigars in my humidor and had a relaxing afternoon.


Padron64AFHemingwayAs it was a special occasion, I selected some other great cigars that are worth mentioning. For the second year in a row, I took my Christmas Eve walk with a Padron 1964 Anniversary Maduro Exclusivo, obviously a classic Nicaraguan maduro that’s like desert in cigar form. Absolutely delicious. Christmas day, after the kids and grandkids left, I sparked up a Fuente Hemingway Signature Maduro, again, a spectacular cigar that’s not unreasonably priced.  It was rich, burned perfectly and hit the spot. Yesterday Macha and I took a four mile walk with a favorite Nica Rustica Belly, maybe I’m on a bit of a Maduro kick?  I must be, because last night I lit up a cigar that caught my eye and I bought while at Mojo, a RoMa Craft Neanderthal HN, with a San Andrés wrapper. Of all the great cigars I’ve RoMa_Neanderthal_HNsmoked over the last couple weeks, this might have been my favorite. This cigar has a couple of distinctions, first, it has a flat head, and a slight taper at the foot, which I didn’t really notice until I looked at the photo, and it still looks like a robusto, as the size is listed at 5″ x 52/58. Now that I look at it, it may taper from head to foot. It could have been shaped like a pretzel for all I care, it tasted fantastic. Not only does it have a beautiful dark and oily San Andrés wrapper, but it has a Connecticut broadleaf binder, and fillers from Pennsylvania, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic. About half way in to the cigar I got a really interesting and delicious spice, which really intrigued me. This was a $12 cigar and honestly, I don’t think I realized the price point when I bought them, I might not have taken the plunge. I’m glad I did. I’ve heard from people That this was a super strong cigar, and it didn’t hit me that way at all, it was full-bodied and loaded with flavor, but I didn’t feel the nicotine at all. Stellar cigar from Skip and Mike at RoMa! I used a punch in the flat head of the cigar if anyone was curious.


Cigartist1You probably want to know who won the final bonus day contest, the great painting “Wind” by Eric “The Cigartist” Whitfield. It looked like only those who really wanted and appreciated this item entered (or everyone is sick to death of my contests), so I consulted Random.org and got the number 37, which corresponds to KRUK, who I know will give this a good home, despite the relative creepiness of his comment :-).  Bryan, please send me your address so I can forward it on to Eric.  Thank you all, and don’t despair, there could well be a Happy New Year contest!


That’s plenty from me, until the next time,


Cigar Craig




Filed under Contest, Events, Review, Stores

Cigar Rights and Some Alec Bradley Cigars

I usually present the cigars I’ve smoked over the last few days, but I had a weird experience this week, and I’m going to hold off on talking about those cigars until I give them some more humidor time and revisit them. All I’ll say is I smoked two cigars that had a really odd finish, and while they were from the same company,  they were made in completely different factories. Unless they had a common component that had a flavor that just didn’t play well with my chemistry,  I’m going to give them a do-over in a couple weeks. It was weird and had me second guessing myself! In other news, Cigar Rights of America has published a response to the FDA’s deeming document with excellent recommendations on how to respond, and we MUST respond in numbers, or life will change negatively for many thousands of people. Glynn Loope, the director of the CRA made a comment that no cigar related anything should be published without including a link to http://cigarrights.org/fda-response.php. I created a simple animated 125×125 graphic and included it at the top of the right-hand column on this site (scroll down for mobile users), I don’t think my advertisers will mind being bumped down a spot for this. Anyone who wants to use it is free to to so, and if someone with talent in creating graphics (I have none) wants to improve upon it, please do. We need to make an intelligent and unified response to the FDA’s proposed destruction of cigars as we know them.


JMs_AB_JLYesterday was Saturday, and I had received an email earlier in the week that one of my long time favorite local shops was having an Alec Bradley event. I’ve been begging to get email notices about JM Cigars events for years, and finally got on the list! I figured it would be rude if I didn’t stop in. Jonathan “The Player” Lipson, the local Alec Bradley rep, is a good guy and I like Alec Bradley cigars. I smoked a Nica Puro robusto, of course, one of my go-tos, mostly to see if that odd taste I was getting was me or not. It wasn’t, as the cigar was excellent as usual. The event was well attended for a spring Saturday afternoon. I’m not sure if it’s just that Jonathan does a lot of events or what, but I find myself going whenever I see one pop up, and, as a result, I seem to have quite a few Alec Bradley cigars in my humidors. I picked up a few American Sungrown torpedos too, for five bucks these are impossible to pass up!

AB_Maxx_RoboloAfter a blustery storm blew through,  I decided to keep with the Alec Bradley theme, and took a walk with an Alec Bradley MAXX Connecticut Robolo, which is a BestCigarPrices.com exclusive (the size, not the blend It turns out the Maxx Connecticut line is a BCP exclusive, thanks to Jason there for the update).  Something about the 4½x60 size appeals to me, not sure why that is.  This cigar has fillers from Nicaraguan, Colombian, Mexican, and Honduras, with a Connecticut wrapper, which I assume is Ecuador Connecticut judging by the flavor and the price point, however both BestCigarPrices and Alec Bradley’s sites just say Connecticut, so I could well be wrong. These can be had in the five dollar range. I found this to be a really nice, milder smoke with great flavors. The burn and draw were very good, and I burned my fingers a little finishing it up. It probably smoked for over an hour, not bad for a four and a half inch cigar. In the Maxx range, I’ve only had the Brazilian wrapped version, which is exclusive to another retailer, and I really liked that cigar. This one was tasty, perhaps a better choice for earlier in the day than I smoked it, but a very nice cigar. Thanks to Jason at BCP for providing this sample.


That’s all for now.  It’s Mother’s Day, so if you have one in your life, try to do something a little special for her today.  Until the next time,





Filed under Editorial, Review

A Romeo y Julieta Montague, a Padrón and a Paul Stulac Cigar

RyJ_Montague RobustoA few weeks ago, you may recall, we culminated the 12 Spectacular Days of Cigar Giveaways with a special Day 13 featuring Famous Smoke Shop‘s two new proprietary Romeo y Julieta cigars, the House of Capulet and the House of Montague.  Honestly, I always feel better giving away cigars I’ve smoked before and can comment on, but when they have a great pedigree and I know the folks behind them I’m OK with it.  When I was shopping for the Compounds, Elements and Musings Vanadium box a couple weeks ago I decided to pay a little more than I had to and use one of the coupon codes Famous Smoke Shop provided and get a free five pack of the Romeo y Julieta House of Montague Robustos along with it.  Of course, I couldn’t resist smoking one of them this week.  This is a 5″ x 54 chunky robusto with a nice, Brazilian maduro wrapper, with a Dominican Olor binder and Dominican, Brazilian and Nicaraguan fillers.  I found it to be a nice, well made cigar on the medium side with solid chocolate/cocoa maduro flavor. This is a cigar I would share with friends without hesitation, that is if I don’t smoke the four more myself!  Here are the discount codes again, if you happen to make a purchase from Famous Smoke Shop give these a try! Also, if Mickey, the winner of This year’s day 13 wants to send me reviews, I’d be happy to include them here, he can be an honorary “Craig” for a day!


Discount codes:

CAPULET5 – Free 5-pack of Romeo y Julieta House of Capulet with any $75+ purchase

MONTAGUE5 – Free 5-pack of Romeo y Julieta House of Montague with any $75+ purchase

CAPULET20 – $20 off any $100+ purchase of Romeo y Julieta House of Capulet

MONTAGUE20 – $20 off any $100+ purchase of Romeo y Julieta House of Montague


Pardon_3000MadNew Years Eve I stopped in to one of my local shops,  JM Cigars, for a couple cigars and walked out with a few Padrón 3000 Maduros. I would have gotten 2000s, but they didn’t have any maduros at the time. The 3000 is 5 ½ x 52 and isn’t the prettiest cigar, it’s rustic, but it’s a classic Nicaraguan puro which has been on the market for quite a while, and has remained pretty much the same.  Padrón is the model of consistency, and they remain at the top of the heap in the cigar business without releasing new lines all the time.  This is probably why I’ve been negligent in smoking Padrón cigars in the last few years, too many new cigars to smoke!  So, after lighting this cigar Friday evening, I found myself wondering why the heck I let this happen.  This is a great smoke, right in my personal wheelhouse.  It’s got kind of a dry, dusty cocoa flavor, with perfect draw and burn. I must make a note to keep more of these on hand, and maybe even grab a couple of the 2000 naturals to reacquaint myself with that side of the line. As awesome as the Padrón “Thousand Series” cigars are, I know the Anniversary series are even more awesome, but I still have trouble shelling out that kind of dough for a cigar.  I may have to break down and do it one of these days though. I probably haven’t smoked one of the high end Padróns since a Millenium back about ten or so years ago.


PaulStulac_AngelYesterday I figured I’d try something new to me, and selected a Paul Stulac Angel out of the IPCPR sample humidor.  I think I’ve smoked a Paul Stulac cigar before, I seem to recall smoking a Skull torpedo, but I really don’t remember the cigar and I didn’t include it in a blog post. This Angel is another chunky robusto (I was trying to figure out if I had a theme this time, and that theme seems to be chunky robustos, but it was strictly coincidence!) at 5″ x 58, although it didn’t really feel that fat to me. This is listed as “available in Ecuadorian or Brazilian Maduro Wrapper”, and I have no idea which one I smoked, but my guess is the Brazilian Maduro because it was pretty dark and didn’t taste to me like a Habano.  It was a good smoke, well behaved and tasty to a finger burning nub. There was a flavor that was interesting, and maybe a little overwhelming, and I don’t quite know how to describe it except for perhaps mesquite, it was a savory flavor.  This was definitely different from what I generally reach for, which is cool, that’s why there are so many cigars! If they all tasted the same it wouldn’t be any fun. IF the FDA gets a hold of premium cigars we can say goodbye to new and different cigars, so join Cigar Rights of America and write to your elected officials! Paul Stulac is (or was) a Canadian cigar retailer, ask him what it’s like in Canada with their regulations! Blacked out windows, no displays, no events, you can’t even look at the cigars you want to purchase. We don’t want that to happen here!


That’s all I got, until the next time,










Filed under Review

Happy New Year! – Cigars from La Jugada, Valentia, DBL, Asylum and Alec Bradley

Happy New Year everyone, I  hope everyone had a safe New Years Eve! I admit to falling asleep on the couch watching hockey!  I’m old and boring…anyway, best wishes for a prosperous 2014 without too much drama!  By the way, I couldn’t think of anything clever or amusing for a top ten list this year, but I would like to recognize the top 5 active commentors for 2013!  I appreciate everyone’s comments and thank everyone for reading along twice a week!  They are:

  •  czerbe 49 COMMENTS
  •  Agent 86 34 COMMENTS
  •  Craig (Not me, another Craig!) 33 COMMENTS
  •  jjo 33 COMMENTS
  •  George Satterfield 29 COMMENTS


Great job!  I’d send prizes, but most of you have already won something and my postal budget is shot after last week! How about this, cigars are on me the next time we get together (not all that far fetched!). Now you know the numbers to beat for 2014!


La Jugata Prieto ToroEnough nonsense.  Since I’ve been on vacation I’ve smoked a bunch of cigars over the last week.  I started out digging into some La Jugada Samples which were sent to me by the folks at Moya Ruiz Cigars.  I started off with the maduro offering the line, Prieto in a toro size. This cigar has a nice, dark San Andrés maduro wrapper, and the rest of the cigar is Nicaraguan.  I was struck by a distinct and different flavor in this cigar, not at all what I was expecting.  The closest I can come to describing this flavor is burning Mesquite wood. It was a very smokey flavor which was a surprise, and took a while to wrap my mind around.  You know how you grab a glass thinking it’s iced tea and it’s really Coke?  Your mind expects one flavor, when that other flavor, even though it’s a good flavor, hits your palate it just doesn’t seem right, know what I mean?  Anyway, it was a really tasty smoke, and I have a second sample that I may smoke in the very near future just to validate that flavor.


La Jugata Habano BelicosoI also smoked the La Jugada Habano  in the 6 1/8″ x 52 Belicoso size. This cigar, along with the Prieto, are made in Erik Espinosa’s La Zona factory in Esteli.  There are some nice smokes coming out of that factory, in addition to Erik’s own lines, there’s also the Arandoza line, which I’ve enjoyed (see here). This beauty has a Habano wrapper over Nicaraguan binder and filler. This tasted much more like I expected a cigar of this pedigree to taste. It was smooth and full flavored.  I’m glad that it didn’t share that smokey Mesquite flavor that the Prieto had, because I think that set the Prieto apart and made it distinctive. To have that same characteristic across the lines would take away from the uniqueness.  The Habano was very, very good. Both cigars were perfectly constructed too, no complaints there. Thank you to the folks at Moya Ruiz Cigars for sending these along and for adding more cigars to my “to buy” list!  There’s not enough money or humidors for all the great cigars out there!


Valentia LucidoMonday (I think, they all run together over the holidays…I am lamenting having to go back to work tomorrow…) I smoked a Valentia Lucido, which is a 6″ x 56 cigar from the IPCPR show. I was impressed with the mission of this company. They funnel the proceeds of their sales to providing equipment for law enforcement. They do it in such a way that promotes the brick and mortar tobacconist, with donations made in the name of the local shop for every order, as opposed to hogging all the glory for themselves :-). This is a nice way to show local cigar stores in a positive light, and a double benefit as far as I can tell. Another benefit is that the cigar was darned tasty. I will smoke the regular line in the coming weeks, but this Lucido is supposed to be more full bodied than the core line, which gives me the impression that the core line will be quite mild. I really liked the color of the band too, but I’m weird like that.  I found the Lucido to be medium at best, but it had really nice, clean flavors that occasionally raised an eyebrow.  It was unfortunate that the band was attached with a little too much pectin, as it tore the wrapper up and made the last third of the cigar a bit of an adventure, but overall I’d gladly smoke this again.  Kudos to the guys at Valentia Cigars for giving back to the community in more ways than one.


Dominican Big Leager CoronaTuesday I went to my local shop, JM Cigars in Exton, PA to meet an old friend and enjoy a cigar or two without risking frostbite for a change. Jeff, the proprietor, when asked what was smoking well in the humidor, emphatically recommended a cigar called Dominican Big Leaguer. I had recently heard of this cigar in conversation in another shop, so I had to try it.  I smoked the Corona size and it was, indeed, darned tasty. These are reasonably priced in the $5-6 range and I’m told they fly off the shelves (along with the Asylum 13 in the 70 and 80 rings gauges, but that’s not a surprise) I picked up a robusto as well. It was a well behaved, good tasting smoke in the medium bodied range. It was a perfect first cigar of the day right after lunch. It’s a good idea to ask your local shop for recommendations, it can tell you a lot about the way the business it run. Jeff could easily have told me that the Padrón ’64s were smoking well, but he recommended a reasonably priced cigar. Good thing too, I spent way too much on cigars yesterday (more on that another time).


AsylumPremium 6x50After finishing the DBL, I moved on to an Asylum Premuim Toro. I’ve had a few of the Asylum 13 and enjoyed them for the most part (and I still have an Ogre in my humidor, it jumps out and scares me once in a while), so I figured I’d better try one of these while I’m parked in a big, comfy chair for the afternoon.  I liked this cigar much more than the 13. I found it to be very refined and smooth, with good flavor.  This is made by Christian Eiroa with all Nicaraguan tobaccos, and it was probably the best cigar I can recall smoking from Christian since his split from Davidoff. The oily, dark wrapper was really pretty and it burned perfectly with a nice, flat coal. Not badly priced, probably a cigar to try if you like good cigars! It was nice to meet up with a guy who I haven’t seen in 30 years and relax and catch up over some fine cigars!


Alec Bradley_Raices Cubanas RobustoAfter I got home, the dog needed a walk so I reached for a Raices Cubanas Robusto from Alec Bradley.  I was told when I bought this a few months ago to give it some time, as it had just arrived. It’s a nice cigar, but probably better suited to the lounge than the 20° wintery evening. There were tasty flavors that I could tell would be more pronounced in a more hospitable environment.  I’ll hang on the other single I have for a nice, summer day, I hope that day comes soon!  Don’t get me wrong, it was a well made and enjoyable smoke, but there was the potential for much more enjoyment lingering on the periphery. I don’t regret it as the last cigar of the year one bit.


That’s it, I’ve rambled on long enough.  Still trying to get back to some normalcy after December’s craziness! I’m sure things will calm down.  If you aren’t doing anything Saturday around 11:30 am EST, tune in to Kiss My Ash Radio, or listen to the podcast.  there might be someone familiar in their blogger segment!


Don’t forget the discount codes for Famous Smoke Shop!

CAPULET5 – Free 5-pack of Romeo y Julieta House of Capulet with any $75+ purchase

MONTAGUE5 – Free 5-pack of Romeo y Julieta House of Montague with any $75+ purchase

CAPULET20 – $20 off any $100+ purchase of Romeo y Julieta House of Capulet

MONTAGUE20 – $20 off any $100+ purchase of Romeo y Julieta House of Montague


Once again, Happy New Year!





Filed under Editorial, Review

A Visit To Classic Cigar Parlor, an Emilio a NicaHabana and a J.C. Newman

Saturday was an absolutely stunning spring day, barely a cloud in the sky, and temps in the mid 70s. My wife had an event that she wanted to attend with one of her clients, the grand opening of Brad’s Raw Foods new facility in Pipersville, PA.  Neither my wife nor I are vegetarian/vegan/raw food people, but we like to try things now and then, and I must admit I like Brad’s Leafy Kale chips to snack on from time to time, weird as it sounds.  Anyway, that’s all beside the point.  I dropped my wife off and back-tracked a couple miles to Doylestown, PA, where I had stumbled across the Classic Cigar Parlor last year.  I wanted to get back to this shop and hang out and have a cigar, and this turned out to be the ideal opportunity.  The shop is reasonably small, but it’s in the second oldest building in Doylestown, dating back to the 1700s.  There are cabinet humidors lining the walls, and behind the counter is the original colonial style fireplace, and the ceiling has massive open beams.  It’s a cool looking place.  They have a hookah lounge upstairs, that I didn’t visit, as I just wanted to pick up a couple cigars and have a smoke.  Frank was working in the store and was a pleasure to spend an hour or so chatting with.  I shopped around a bit and decided to pick up a few Grimalkin toros, as I gave away my last Grimalkins a few months ago, and as I’m checking out, I see he last couple cigars in an Emilio AF1 box on the counter clearance priced at $5.00 each.  Temptation got the best of me, and I had to buy them all.  I fired up one of the AF1 toros and had a seat, enjoying the cigar, as well as talking with Frank and watching what the customers were purchasing.  The Emilio AF1 is a favorite of mine, rich, dark and delicious!  As I lit it I almost thought I was making a mistake, smoking this cigar in the afternoon, on a relatively empty stomach, but it turned out fine.  It’s a nice, strong cigar, but not overwhelming.  I did have to hold my tongue at one point, hearing Frank tell a customer who said he smoked Cohibas that they had the “original Cohiba family’s cigars that are involved in a trademark dispute” and showed him a box of Dominican, yellow band “Cohibas”.  Can someone please introduce me to someone named “Cohiba”, or, better yet, show me a pre-embargo Cohiba?  The word “cohiba” comes from the Taino Indian term for tobacco that Columbus heard them using 500 years ago, and the Dominican yellow band “Cohibas” have been a knock-off that General Cigar has been fighting with for, I’d guess, 15 years or more, and I’m surprised these still make it onto tobacconist’s shelves.  I suppose I shouldn’t complain about a cigar I’ve never smoked, but  I just don’t like to hear mis-information like that.  In retrospect I should have tried to educate Frank after the customer left, but I’ve tried to do that in the past and it didn’t end as well as I had hoped.  Still a nice visit to a cool little shop.


Earlier in the day we had met my brother-in-law for breakfast and he had just returned from a trip to Tampa, and gifted me a Robusto from Nicahabana Cigars.  From what I gather from their website, they roll cigars on site, not unlike Cigar Factory New Orleans, and have a wide range of sizes and blends.  This cigar was a pretty thing, with a nice, dark, oily wrapper.  I probably should have let it rest in my humidor for a few weeks, but I impatiently fired it up.  It was a beautiful evening and I just wanted to sit on my front porch and enjoy a cigar.  Enjoy I did, although the wrapper turned out to be very fragile in the middle of the cigar and flaked away in spots.  Still, the flavor had a nice zing and was pretty strong in flavor.  It was rich and satisfying.  Thanks to Jeff for thinking of me on his trip, it’s always fun to try a new cigar.  Along the same lines, earlier in the week I had smoked another unbanded Nicaraguan maduro robusto that I picked up at my local shop, JM Cigars in Exton, PA.  He had these enormous 100 count chests of cigars that I had never seen before, and Jeff, the owner, told me that they were made by J.C. Newman.  It was a nice cigar, very well made and even flavored. For $3.75 it was a very nice cigar, and he said he’d been selling them like crazy.


That’s all for now, happy Mother’s Day.  If you aren’t one, you probably have or had one, so do something special for one today!


Until the next time,



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Filed under Review, Stores