Tag Archives: La Gloria Cubana

CigarCraig’s Holiday Giveaways No. 3 – Drew Estate Goodies!

Happy New Year’s Eve to everyone,  2017 is just about in the books, the year went by really fast.  I honestly don’t know what to expect from 2018, but I’ll keep smoking cigars, visiting shops and going to events I suspect. So I wish everyone a safe and happy 2018, and be careful out there tonight!  I’ll be finding an appropriate cigar to smoke this evening, that’s for sure.  Anyway, there’s the business of selecting the winner of the La Gloria Cubana Contest, which includes a travel humidor and a dozen La Gloria LaGloriaCubana ContestCubana cigars. The random number generator selected Trent Berry as the winner!  Trent, please send me your address so I can ship this off to you!  Once again, thanks to Rami at General Cigar Co., Cigar Cigars in King Of Prussia for having a great event with Ernesto Carillo which caused me to open my wallet and end up with a cool humidor to give away, and of course, General Cigar Co, for being an awesome steward of a long loved brand.  Gee, I wonder what today’s giveaway is?

 

Contest (note: not Comic Sans this time Mike P!)

 

DE Contest2017Today’s third and (maybe) final giveaway of the season is a collection of goodies from my friends at Drew Estate. Included are some items that may not be very common in the wild. These are items I’ve received over the course of the year, there’s a Barnsmoker cap from the Connecticut Barn Smoker (I’m not a hat guy), a DE backpack which contained a lighter, ashtray, and other assorted goodies which was from the media party that DE threw at the 2017 IPCPR, some various stickers that I’ve accumulated over the years, some of which are from my last visit to the factory in 2013, and a selection of cigars from my humidor including Undercrowns (and example of each wrapper), a KFC, a Nica Rustica and some Joya de Nicaraguas because Drew Estate distributes them and I have a bunch.  I’ll add to it if I come across more stuff. Once again, it’s not that I don’t appreciate these gifts from Drew Estate, I do, but I like to share my good fortune, and I have lots of “stuff”! You know the de4l, leave a comment here to enter and I’ll pick a winner next Sunday, Jan 7, 2018. As always, thank YOU all for your continued support!

 

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

 

CigarCraig

(I was thinking of making a version of the logo with a party hat and one of those noisemaker, party things, for New Years, but lack the patience for that right now…something for me to work on for next year!)

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CigarCraig’s Top Five Memorable Cigars of 2017

This is a little early but Sunday’s post just might be another contest and I don’t want to confuse things! I was trying to get this posted Wednesday, but things weren’t working out the way I wanted them to! Just like last year, my criteria is simple, a cigar that I consider “Memorable” is one I smoked, made a positive impression on me to the point where I really want to smoke more of that cigar.  I noted last year that this format, in no particular order, would keep me off Halfwheel’s Consensus list, but I just recently came to find out that my 2016 was included on their 2016 Awards: The Consensus Top 25 Cigars which included at least three of my five most memorable. So, without further ado, here’s my list of memorable cigars of last year.

 

LaGloriaCubana_Colección Reserva_PresidenteI’ve been a fan of La Gloria Cubana cigars since the mid-nineties when I started really getting into the premium cigars. Back then they were made by Ernesto Perez Carillo in Miami and later the Dominican Republic and were excellent. Time has passed, along with ownership of the company, and Ernesto has gone on to do his own thing, but he came back to partner with General to make the Coleccion Reserva. one a side note, the current contest running now until Sunday includes ten of these great cigars, and let me tel you it’s going to be hard to let go of them! I kid, I’m happy to share such great cigars. These are manufactured at Ernesto’s  Tabacalera La Alianza in the Dominican Republic using materials from both companies. I like them so much I bought a box of the Presidente size for full retail! This cigar exemplifies the cooperative nature of the cigar industries where competing companies work together. It doesn’t always work, but in the case of the La Gloria Cubana Coleccion Reserva is does. Smoking one with Ernesto at a local event puts it at the top of my most memorable list ( I know, I said it was in no particular order!).

 

CorneliusandAnthony_SenorEsugars_RobustoCornelius and Anthony makes an appearance again this year, I still go to the Cornelius Toro as my “go to” special occasion cigar, but there aren’t a lot of cigars in their portfolio that I don’t like. OK, I don’t think there are any that I don’t like. OK, OK, there aren’t any I don’t like! This year they released two new lines, the Aerial with a Ecuador Connecticut Shade wrapper,  and the Señor Esugars with a San Andrés wrapper, which is my second selection on my memorable list. These are made at the La Zona factory in Esteli. I really dig this cigar, which, like the Aerial, has a super secret US grown binder. they are tight-lipped about the origin of the leaf they use, but considering the Bailey family has been growing tobacco in Virginia for 150 years, one cant help but think it’s grown in Virginia. It certainly adds a unique component to the cigars, and the Señor Esugars hits my palate just right. There’s a super cool dog on the box too. Full disclosure: Cornelius and Anthony is an advertiser on CigarCraig.com, but the only effect that has on my opinion is in that bearing contacted by them to advertise put them on my radar, and meeting Steven Bailey and his team adds to the memorability.

 

SouthernDraw_Jacob'sLadder_GordoSouthern Draw Cigars has been on my radar for a while, but at this year’s IPCPR I finally got to meet Robert Holt, his wife, Sharon, and their family. Upon meeting, Robert did a convincing job of knowing who I was and was generous with his time.  Robert is a gentleman, a veteran, a spiritual man and is behind some of the best cigars coming out of Tabacalera AJ Fernandez.  New to me this year was the Jacobs Ladder, his Pennsylvania Broadleaf flavor bomb. The name hints at his commitment to family and faith, and the cigar is awesome. I’m currently on the hunt for more, because it’s one I want to smoke more of, and it’s an especially good choice for the cold weather we’ve been having as the weight of the flavor cuts through the crisp air.  The Rose of Sharon is also a stellar offering in the Ecuador Connecticut wrapper (there should be little doubt by now that a maduro is almost always winning out over a shade wrapper with me!), it’s among the best out there (the above mentioned Aerial and the Fratello Oro get honorable mentions).  So that makes the Southern Draw Jacobs Ladder my third memorable smoke of 2017.

 

OscarHabano_SixtyNext up is another cigar I really enjoyed this year, the Oscar Habano. Funny think about this one is that I had bought some of the Toro  and Gordo sizes an really enjoyed them, but it wasn’t until  I had the Robusto that was part of 2 Guys Smokeshop‘s Contenders pack that I really saw the beauty of this cigar. Listen to The Cigar Authority tomorrow (Saturday 12/30) to see if they get it right and select this cigar as the Cigar of the Year. As I think about it, I may dig out the one toro I still have and smoke it today. Oscar makes some great cigars, the Leaf by Oscar line is very good (there’s another Ecuador Connecticut cigar that’s really good!), it’s nice that he made something exceptional to put his name on (wait…his name is on the Leaf by Oscar isn’t it?) Great smoke, I hope 2 Guys Smokeshop makes the right call on this one.

 

FSG ToroFinally, I really can’t get enough of the Florida Sungrown from Drew Estate. This uses tobacco that’s grown on Jeff Borysiewicz’s (Corona Cigar Co.) Farm where he’s growing Corojo tobacco, the first time Cigar tobaco has been grown in Florida for something like 40 years. Willie Hererra blended the cigar using Nicaraguan and Honduran tobaccos with the Florida leaf adding that little something different in the flavor.  I have to admit, it was a toss-up between the FSG and the Undercrown Sungrown, both are exceptional and I really dig them, but the FSG has a great story and inches out the Undercrown by a hair. Drew Estate continues to bring new and interesting cigars to the market, I have to admit that I rather liked the new Acid Kuba Candela too. While I’m more of a traditional cigar smoker, this one was a treat, the bitterness of the candela wrapper offset the sweetness of the infusion. Good stuff.

 

That’s it for my five most memorable cigars of the past year. There were probably others that I thought were excellent but didn’t have the little extra to make them stand out. The La Palina El Año 1816 was on my list too, I just need to smoke a few more before I can make a strong recommendation (the La Palina Classic Maduro I smoked last night was really quite tasty too!).  Hopefully 2018 brings some new and interesting cigars. Once again, thanks to all the readers and sponsors, without whom I’d be typing for my own entertainment!

 

That’s all for now, don’t forget the contest! Until the next time,

 

CigarCraig

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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CigarCraig’s Holiday Giveaways No. 2 – La Gloria Cubana Cigars and Humidor

Before we get to today’s giveaway, I better announce the winner of the last one!  The winner of the Gurkha Goodies Giveaway, as selected by the random number generator at Random.org is Jeffrey Martin!  Please send your address so I can get this shipped to you on Tuesday!

 

Contest!

 

La Gloria Cubana Contest 1A couple of months ago I attended an event at a local shop which featured Ernesto Perez Carillo, but was a General Cigar Event. It would be confusing if one wasn’t aware of Ernesto’s involvement with La Gloria Cubana, which was his baby until he sold it to General. It was a treat to see him and get to talk to him for a bit, and I talked myself into buying a box of the new La Gloria Cubana Coleccion Reserva, just to have Ernesto sign it for me. I don’t usually do that, but it was Ernesto, and I’ve been a huge LGC fan for decades. I love the cigars, so I’m in good shape there, and wanted to share some with La Gloria Cubana Contest 2a lucky reader. One of the “gifts with purchase” for buying the box was a cool La Gloria Cubana Serie R travel humidor, along with a fiver of the Coleccion Reserva La Robusto, and Rami, our local rep, threw in another fiver.  So there’s a travel humidor, ten great cigars, along with a couple of others from my humidor, a Serie R Esteli and a Serie N JSB.  As you can see the travel humidor will hold 11 cigars, but not 12. Thanks to General Cigars for helping me out with this one and giving me the chance to hang out with a legend in the cigar biz, as well as making great cigars!

 

You know the rules, leave a comment to enter and I’ll pick a winner next Sunday, which is New Years Eve. Today is Christmas Eve, so Merry Christmas to all. I’ve been smoking some favorites lately, and will pick out a couple of special cigars for today and tomorrow, no doubt.  So, until the next time,

 

CigarCraig

 

 

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AshStay News, a La Gloria Cubana Cigar and a Contest!

I was catching up on some podcast listening yesterday and happened across an episode of Stogie Geeks Podcast with Chaim Kohn of Cigar Oasis. I’ve known Chaim a long time, and he’s been a great supporter of my site, and I’m a fan of Cigar Oasis products. I use a Magna in my cabinet and an Excel in the little New Air, as well as Western Humidor hygrometers here and there.  I heard on the show where Cigar Oasis is distributing the AshStay cigar ashtray now. I’ve been using an AshStay for three years practically every day, and it works as advertised. I still won’t put it in the dishwasher or make my wife clean up after me (as portrayed in the company’s promotional video, which auto plays on their website, beware), but it manages the odor well, and has been a welcome addition to my smoking porch. Hopefully Cigar Oasis does well spreading the AshStay love.

 

Thursday I had a bad cigar day. I’m only going to speak in general terms about the cigars, but I get really annoyed when I draw through a cigar and get no smoke.  If I blow through it looks like I’m electing a Pope, but drawing gives nothing!  I have yet to figure out how this occurs, unless there’s a fold in the bunch that acts as a valve of sorts. The worst part off the evening was when I returned from my walk and put the poorly working cigar down and found a back up, it was plugged. I didn’t get any flavor from either (which could have been a result of drinking a blood orange ginger ale with dinner, but I can’t say for sure), and was left unfulfilled. It was a major bummer. So LaGloriaCubana_Colección Reserva_PresidenteFriday I cracked open the box of La Gloria Cubana Collecion Reserva Presidente that I bought at the event with Ernesto Carillo a month or so ago. I’ve smoked the robusto and belicoso in this line and love them, but this Presidente, a formidable 7½” x 54, was next level stuff. I had some buyers remorse, buying a box of such large cigars, but after smoking one, I am no longer regretting the purchase. While it started a little slow, it moved into the flavors I am familiar with from the smaller sizes, then, BANG, a sweet cinnamon candy flavor that made my day. It was short of Atomic Fireball cinnamon, more like the hard candies. I can’t say how much I enjoyed that cigar, especially after the previous evenings disappointments. It’s a good thing these are such large cigars, or I’d smoke through them quick. I’ve been high on the La Gloria Cubana Collecion Reserva since smoking the IPCPR show samples, and I’m a fan of the brand in general. It’s important to remember that this line is actually made at Ernesto’s factory and not General Cigars, La Gloria Cubana was his baby, after all. This cigar would receive a 99 on my rating scale if I used my rating scale.

 

 

Contest!

I had a couple other cigars I was going to talk about, the Emilio LJZ, and the Jas Sum Kral Red Knight, which were both very good, but I figured I’d get right to a giveaway instead. I had another giveaway lined up, but then as Caliber 4RI was typing this post, it occurred to me that it wasn’t a good fit, and will make more sense in a couple of weeks when I have my annual, scaled back, Christmas giveaways. What does make sense is to give away a great item from Cigar Oasis, a Calibur 4R Digital Hygrometer with a silver bezel. I have one of these, and would happily have deployed this one in one of my humidors, but I’ll be happier seeing someone else enjoy using it. This is a great looking unit as well as being very accurate and functional. It wouldn’t surprise me if a couple of cigars fell into the box when I ship it out, it’s been known to happen.  Usual rule apply, leave a comment on this post to enter and I’ll select the winner next Sunday, December 10, 2017.  Thanks to Chaim for providing this super-cool item! Stay tuned for more great giveaways coming soon, and I’ll be working on sending Secret Santa assignments out this week!  God Luck!

 

That’s all for today, I have to get a ceiling painted and maybe clean out the gutters now that the leaves have fallen.  I can’t believe it’s so close to the end of the year already…anyway, until the next time,

 

CigarCraig

 

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An LH Premium Cigar and a La Gloria Cubana Event

LH_LaVidaIslaMonday I smoked a cigar from the IPCPR show that Nick Syris (LH Premium Cigars & Smooth Draws Radio) gave me when I saw him in Island Jim’s booth. He was exhibiting in the same booth because 3R Cigar Distributors in Pittsburgh is distributing LH Premium cigars, as well as 1502, Leaf by Oscar and Island Jim cigars. The cigar Nick gave me is a collaboration between Nick and Island Jim Robinson, which was to be called La Vida Isla, but is moving forward as a “special edition” called the “Nick & Jim P.B.E”, Pre-Banded Edition. I know, the example  smoked had a band, but the band Nick used on the samples is one he uses for his non-US LH brand. The cigar has an Ecuador grown Vuelta Abajo seed wrapper and binder and Nicaraguan & Peruvian fillers an is made in Costa Rica. This was a fantastic cigar, rich and meaty with the nice little spice that the Peruvian tobacco has (and I really like Peruvian tobacco). This is a medium bodied cigar that I could smoke every day.

EPC_LGCLast night I attended an event at the International Tobacco (or is it CigarCigars, I’m not sure they’ve officially rebranded the store since acquiring it last summer) in the King of Prussia Mall. Yes, it’s a cigar shop in a mall that you can smoke in! I’ve talked about it before, let the wife shop in the largest mall in the country and hang out and smoke cigars, it’s a beautiful and dangerous thing! Anyway, they had a ticketed event featuring La Gloria Cubana cigars featuring Ernesto P. Carillo, who founded the La Gloria Cubana brand and sold it to what is now General Cigar Co. in 1999. Of course, Ernesto now owns EPCarillo Cigar Co. I’ve been fortunate to have met a lot of people in the cigar business, but this is only the second time CC_KOPI’ve met Ernesto, and he’s someone I hold in high regard, as I was a huge fan of his La Gloria and El Rico Habano brands in the 90s. There were 30 tickets sold for the event, and there were some of the people from several of the twelve stores in the CigarCigars chain (I think there are 5 or 6 of the stores within a ten mile radius of my home). Included in the ticket price were three La Gloria Cubana cigars, the new Coleccion Reserva in robusto, a Serie R No. 5 Natural and a La Gloria Corona Gorda Maduro from the original line. I lit up the Coleccion Reserva, I’ve smoked and enjoyed some IPCPR samples of this cigar, and in Ernesto’s talk he disclosed that the blend is a hybrid of the old El Rico Habano and the La Gloria Artesanos de Miami. It’s no wonder I like this cigar. It was a great event with hors d’oeuvres and Jim CC_EPCBeam spirits (of which I don’t partake). One of the things Ernesto also talked about was the way the cigar industry cooperates, crediting several people for helping him in the 90s when La Gloria exploded after getting a high rating in Cigar Aficionado, forcing him to open a factory in the Dominican Republic to try to meet the demand.  This was evidenced even now by the fact that he is, once again, collaborating with the company which bought his brand. Great event with a legendary cigar maker and a great bunch of people. Thanks to Tom, Rami, Steve Mike, Tom and the rest of the staff for a good evening.

LaGloriaCubana_Colección Reserva_TorpedoTonight I did something I rarely do and lit up another La Gloria Cubana Coleccion Reserva, this time in the torpedo. I had a Serie R Esteli the other night which is a cigar I have really enjoyed over the last few years, along with its maduro counterpart. Perhaps the Coleccion Reserva is my new favorite in the LGC line. Is it the fact that I now know that it has a connection to the El Ricos of old that I loved? the cigar is perfectly balanced, has a touch of sweetness and spice and is a tasty smoke. Burn was perfect and flavors were awesome. It’s a good thing, because I bought a box and had Ernesto autograph it. I don’t have a lot of autographed boxes, this one joins Jorge Padron, Nick Melillo and Bernie Parent. I continue my 20 year love affair with La Gloria Cubana cigars, and my LGC dedicated humidor is overflowing!

That’s all I have for tonight, until the next time,

CigarCraig

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