Tag Archives: La Gloria Cubana

Punch, CAO, La Gloria, Macanudo Goodies Contest Winner

I smoked a handful of great cigars since we spoke last, but I just enjoyed most of them without giving them much thought. I did pick up a handy new gadget that I heard about on KMA Talk Radio last week, called the Poke and Smoke. it’s a handy tool on a key ring that has poke and smoketwo little prongs you can impale your cigar with and smoke it without burning your fingers. It was an impulse buy, and resembles the little handles one pokes into the ends of your corn on the cob to hold it with, and I’ve used it twice now and it works fine. I did notice that it stinks the next day, so I suppose I’ll have to keep tabs on that.  Anyway, I bought a couple and the winner of the contest may find one in with the goodies from General Cigar Co. courtesy of your’s truly.  Before we get to the winner, here’s a little news from General Cigar Co. about their new Cohiba release:

COHIBA BLUE

The world’s finest tobaccos create the most enduring experiences. Cohiba Blue is indeed the cigar for all who desire to live the good life.

Cohiba has always been synonymous with luxury smoking experiences. The brand’s latest collection, Cohiba Blue, takes this to an entirely different level by introducing the notion of inclusive luxury.

Andres Maturen, brand manager of Cohiba said, “With Cohiba Blue, we present collection that speaks to the ethos of the Cohiba brand. Made with a curated selection of tobaccos, handcrafted by renowned artisans, and created for all those who seek the indulgence of a fine cigar, Cohiba Blue symbolizes a life well lived.”

cohibablue_open_left_hrThe Cohiba blending team created a velvety, medium-bodied cigar with a rich, complex taste and enticing aroma. To achieve the desired flavor, they began with a silky, rosado-hued Honduran Olancho San Agustin (OSA) wrapper and took a unique approach by selecting Honduran OSA for the binder as well. The layered wrapper-binder deepens the smoking experience and imparts subtle, earthy notes. The blend consists of Honduran Jamastran, Nicaraguan Ometepe and Dominican Piloto Cubano to provide hints of cocoa and caramel, with a light touch of sweetness. The unique, three-country blend represents the world’s most revered tobacco growing regions and delivers a sophisticated, memorable smoke.

The cigars are protected hand-painted bright blue wooden boxes, each containing 20 flawlessly handcrafted cigars.

Churchill (7.5 X 50); SRP per cigar is $10.99

Robusto (5.5 X 50); SRP per cigar is $9.99

Rothschild (4.5 X 50); SRP per cigar $8.99

Toro (6 X 54); SRP per cigar is $10.49

 

ContestMore on the Cohiba Blue in the coming weeks, but you want to know who won the goodies!  The random number generator spit out the number 23, which corresponds with Olie. It turns out Olie is a very long time reader, and a guy I met face to face at a herf in Reno back in 2009, and had “known” for years before that on the old alt.smokers.cigars Usenet group! Congrats Ted, er…Olie, please send your address so I can get this stuff out your way!

 

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

 

CigarCraig

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Toraño, CAO, Punch and Hoyo Cigars and a Contest!

Torano ExodusI kind of got stuck in the General Cigar tray of the humidor this week and revisited a few cigars that I may not have really liked the first time around (or subsequent times as it turns out). I started out with the Toraño Exodus on Sunday, not even thinking that it might have been the only cigar in my humidor that was seasonally appropriate. Someone brought this to my attention and I quipped that I had passed it over several times over the past few months since I didn’t really like it the first time I smoked it last summer. Age has benefited this cigar, that was an IPCPR show sample in the 5″ x 54 robusto size. This latest version of the Exodus, the first since General Cigar bought the brand, has a Honduran San Augustin wrapper, Connecticut Broadleaf binder and Dominican, Honduran and Mexican fillers. I didn’t care for this the fist time I smoked it, but this one six months later was pretty darned tasty, it still started off a little sour, but it was greatly improved.

 

CAO_ConsigliereI followed that later in the day with a CAO Consigliere Associate, the robusto in the line that is basically the return of the Sopranos line, without the licensing fees that went along with the original. This is a 5″ x 52 robusto, and the first time I smoked this was in Las Vegas the night before the trade show opened when I ran into Rick Rodriguez and Ed McKenna of CAO at the Circle Bar in the Venetian Hotel. I had not previous experience with the Sopranos line, and I was told that this used the same blend as the original, Brazilian wrapper, Honduran binder and Colombian, Dominican, Nicaraguan fillers. I like sweetness in a cigar, and this cigar doesn’t have much sweetness, but it’s a god smoke if you like cigars on the savory end of the spectrum, which will come up again.  Monday I went with one of my favorites from CAO, the Flathead in the v660 Carb size, the one that placed high in Cigar Aficionado’s list a couple of years ago, I really like the Flathead line, although the 770 is a bit unwieldy.  I still liked the Consigliere, it was a nice cigar.

 

Punch_Signature_PitaLast night I went back to the Punch Signature Pita. I’ve liked a lot of Punch cigars, I should like this one too, but it’s another one that doesn’t hit my palate right, I’m afraid. It’s a classic 6″ x 50 toro, with a Ecuador Corojo wrapper, Connecticut Habano binder and Dominican and Nicaraguan fillers, what’s not to like?  I’ve smoked this in this size and the Robusto size, neither of which tripped my trigger unfortunately. It was lacking any sweetness and was very leathery to me. Certainly there are people who like this profile, it doesn’t thrill me. I can’t tell you how many Punch Rothchilds I smoked in the 90s!

 

Hoyo_RobustoTonight I picked out a year old Hoyo Robusto, the first couple I smoked last year I had draw problems with, I’ve also enjoyed a great many Hoyo de Monterrey cigars over the years, and the newest Hoyo La Amistad General Cigar made with AJ Fernandez last year is a really good smoke. This Hoyo has a Habano shade grown wrapper from Esteli, an Ecuador Sumatra binder, and Esteli, Ometepe and Pennsylvania fillers. I enjoyed this cigar a lot more now that it draws right, although it’s another cigar on the savory side, but it smoked well and I enjoyed it.  I think I would still lean toward the La Amistad when making a choice, but the Hoyo exceeded expectations.

 

Contest!

ContestSince I smoked a bunch of General Cigar products this week, and I have some goodies still hanging around, it’s a great time for me to have another giveaway! This is the last of the goodies I received a few months ago, we have a cool CAO Flathead Steel Horse metal sign, a Punch bobblehead, a Macanudo Colibri cutter (similar to the CAO cutter I used all week which worked great!) and a pair of La Gloria Cubana Cigar Scissors. As sometimes happens around here, I get sloppy when I’m packing the box and cigars fall in, previous winners can attest to this.  Usual rules apply, leave a comment on this blog post to enter, I’ll select a winner next Wednesday, April , 26, 2017.

 

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

 

CigarCraig

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La Palina, Macanudo and Foundry Cigars, and the Contest Winner

LaPalina_Black Label_Petite LanceroI had a hankering for a La Palina cigar this week and chose a 6″ x 40 La Palina Black Label Petite Lancero that I bought last year at an event at a local shop. I’ve been a fan of the line for about five years or so, and tend to like the darker cigars in the line, although I fail to find fault with many of the cigars. The Black Label is made in the Dominican Republic at the PDR factory, with a Brazilian wrapper, Dominican and Nicaraguan binders and  Dominican and Nicaraguan ligero fillers. It’s a nice, stronger cigar with some great sweet and dirty flavors, very much to my liking. The 40 ring gauge format gives it some bite, burning a little hotter than the larger rings. This is one of my favorites in the range. Thanks to the folks at La Palina for their support over the last five yeas or so.

 

If you get a minute, take a look at the beautiful Saladini cigar cutters at Italian Pottery by Merchant of Prato.  Click the link here or click the graphic at the top of the right sidebar.  The Coltelleria Saladini knifemakers date back to the mid-19th century and make some beautiful items. Cool stuff!

 

Macanudo_Mao_RobustoIn honor of our contest this week I dug into the IPCPR samples of the new Macanudo Mao robustos. The Mao uses tobacco grown from seeds from the ’60s, from a varietal used in the original Macanudo, actually cross breeding it and growing in the Mao region of the Dominican Republic. I had the good fortune to have visited this beautiful farm back in 2011. This cigar had the typical excellent construction of a Macanudo, and was not mild, I put it right at medium, with a load of interesting flavors. It had a citrus-like acidity and some hayish earthiness. Yeah, I make up words sometimes. This was a limited release, and comes packaged in individual coffins, like several of the limited Macanudo Estate Reserve releases of the last few years, stunning packaging.  Worth a try, if nothing more than to see what magic can be worked with fifty year old seeds.

 

Foundry_Time Flies_550Tonight I gave blood voluntarily this time (regular readers will remember my last post where a stumble left me bloodied and sore), and after getting home and carbing up, I grabbed another General Cigar newbie, the Foundry Time Flies in a rubusto size.  This is another cigar that was made at AJ Fernandez’ factory in Esteli, it has a Habano 2000 Ecuador wrapper, and the binder and filler are Nicaraguan tobacco cultivated by AJ and his collective of Nicaraguan farmers. I’m already a fan of the vast majority of the output of General’s Foundry division, and this is no different, as a matter of fact, it may be the most widely accessible blend so far. It’s another medium bodied cigar, it has a nice spice and a smooth, rich flavors. The burn was perfect, like a cigar that would cost much more than whatever this cigar costs, wait, I have to go look….OK, I see these for $6.38 for a single at one outlet. I want to find other sizes of these to try, although my La Gloria Cubana/Foundry humidor is a little full right now, I need to do something about that. This and the AJ Fernandez made Hoya were definite highlights of last year’s IPCPR show for me.

 

Contest!  

OK, I need to select a winner for the goodies from General Cigar Co., a Punch Bobblehead, La Gloria Cubana scissors and a col Macanudo cutter. I have several cutters like this and really like using them, they seem to hold up well.  I plugged the numbers into the random number generator at Random.org and came up with the number 3. By my figuring, the third comment was from John Budka! Please send me your address so I can send you goodies, be warned, I am sloppy when I pack boxes, sometimes cigars fall in. Thanks again to Victoria and everyone at General Cigar Co.!

 

One last note: tune in to Kiss My Ash Radio Saturday because Kevin Shahan will be on talking about his CigarProp, a beautifully machined cigar stand that I’m proud to use, and you heard about it here first! Kevin has been a long time reader and friend, I hope Abe isn’t too rough on him! I kid. That’s all for now,  until the next time,

 

CigarCraig

 

 

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Tabaquero, Punch and Montecristo Cigars and a Contest

tabaqueroThursday evening I ended up smoking a Tabaquero by Hamlet Paredes from Rocky Patel in the robusto format after hearing an interview with him on the Smooth Draws Radio show (I think they ripped off me website design, at least in concept!). What a fascinating story this guy has, and a very interesting cigar! For a guy who was used to blending cigars with Cuban tobacco, that is to say not a great deal of variety, he made a very interesting blend of Nicaraguan fillers, Mexican and Brazilian binders with a Mexican wrapper. If this had some Peruvian tobacco in the blend it might just be the perfect cigar for me! This isn’t the first one of these I’ve smoked, although it is the first robusto, and it’s a cigar that I should put more of in my humidors. I love the  strong, straightforward flavors of sweet earth, cocoa and coffee, which is very rich and palate coating. This is probably my favorite Rocky Patel cigar, with the Super Ligero coming in second, although there aren’t a great many RP cigars that do a lot for me.  Great cigar for me, and I’ll continue trying other sizes. I may look at the new Sungrown next time I see it in a shop, I’ve heard good things.

 

I would have been talking about another cigar here, one that a co-worker gifted me a few weeks ago, but something weird and stupid happened about a third of the way into the cigar while I was taking my evening walk. For some reason I stumbled and did a face plant on the street, smashing the cigar, scraping my chin and nose, among other scrapes and bruises. Macha was there to lick my face and see if I was OK, which I really didn’t know if I was or not yet. This whole thing surprised me because I’ve been walking for a long time, and thought I had it down pretty good. So I came home, cleaned myself up, and grabbed a Punch London Club Maduro to try to wrap my head around this turn of events, it freaked me out!  Ironically, it was on this exact date in 2012 I wrote about the London Club, it what I like to think was a pretty good article comparing the Punch and Hoyo de Monterrey lines. Give it a read and let me know what you think. I still have a few of both the Hoyo Sabrosos and Punch London Clubs, they are great little 5″ x 40 cigars, is it a thin corona or a fat panatela?  The Punch has maintained it’s richness and full flavor over the five years they’ve been in my humidors. The Broadleaf wrapper is oily and flavorful and the burn was perfect. This was a great choice to ponder the evening’s events.

 

MontecristoYesterday was a beautiful day for mid-February, temperatures in the 60s, which is a good 50 degrees over what it could be. Still feeling out of sorts, I napped a bit, and hung out in the yard with Macha and a Montecristo White Vintage Connecticut No. 2 torpedo. This is a 6″x 50 torpedo with the taper such that it feels like a smaller cigar than that. This cigar is made in the Dominican Republichas a vintage 2008 Connecticut Shade (Grown in U.S.A.), Nicaraguan binder and fillers from the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, and Peru. I do like cigars with Peruvian tobacco, and I like this cigar, although I think I like the Double Corona (really a Toro, but OK) a bit better. It’s a milder cigar, with that grassyness you’ll get from the US Connecticut Shade wrapper, and a nice little spice. Certainly a quality cigar, and a good mid-afternoon choice.

 

Contest!

ContestIt’s been a while, so let’s give some goodies away!  Since I had Punch on my mind, I have a Punch Bobblehead, along with a Macanudo branded rubberized Colibri cutter and a pair of La Gloria Cubana Branded scissors. It’s always possible some cigars might fall into the box when I pack it up too, I get sloppy that way sometimes. Leave a comment here to enter, I’ll pick a winner on Wednesday! Usual rules apply, one entry per person and only comments here on this post will qualify.  Must be of legal smoking age to win.  Thanks to Victoria at General Cigar Co. for the giveaway goodies!

 

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

 

CigarCraig

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Villiger 1888, La Gloria Cubana, Inca Secret Blend and More Tommy Bahama Accessories

Villiger_1888_RobustoTrying to get back into the swing of things after the holidays still, and with the remodeling going on in the house, my cabinet humidor has been a little hard to get into without moving furniture. Fortunately, there are other humidors around that I can get to, so I’ve been grabbing cigars out of those. One of the cigars I selected this week was a new Villiger 1888 robusto, re-issued this year in new packaging. This was originally released in 2009 and was the first handmade, premium cigar that  had the Villiger name. This one has an Ecuadoran wrapper, Mexican binder and Dominican and Nicaraguan fillers made in the DR. I found it to be a well made, flavorful cigar, which burned well. It had a bit of sweetness and a floral component and was on the mild side.  I liked this cigar.

 

La-Gloria_Serie-R_Esteli_Maduro_cigarI have one desktop humidor that just contains La Gloria Cubana and Foundry cigars, which was accessible. I’ve been smoking La Gloria Cubana cigars for twenty years, but the Serie R Esteli blends that have come out in the last couple years are my favorites, so finding the new La Gloria Cubana SErie R Esteli Maduro No. 54 right on top didn’t bother me at all.  This cigar has a dark Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper over Nicaraguan binder and fillers. As General Cigar has done with several lines, they have a brick and mortar version, the Esteli, and the catalog version, the black. With the original Serie R Esteli and Black having a Nicaraguan Jalapa wrapper, I thought the Esteli version had a deeper, more satisfying flavor, but the Maduro varieties I think are on a par with one another. The Esteli Maduro is rich, sweet and a very nice cigar.  I’m a maduro fan, but I love both varieties of the Serie R Esteli. Funny, I was never a huge fan of the regular Dominican Serie R, which was one of the original large ring gauge lines in the late ’90s.

 

IncaSecretBlend_MonumentoTonight I selected an Inca Secret Blend in the new Monumento shape, which is a classic 6″ x 52 torpedo. The Inca Secret Blend is the US market version of the Inka Secret Blend that was an exclusive to the UK market through Mitchell Orchant’s C-Gars Ltd.  The cigar is a Peruvian Puro, manufactured at Tabacalera del Oriente in Tarapoto, Peru. Gennaro Lettieri is the owner of the factory, and I’ve met him several times. I’ve told this story before, but I recall sitting outside the Casa Fuente in Vegas with Mitchell and Genaro in 2013 while they sampled test blends, which were all horribly plugged leaving ashtrays filled with cigars that had been smoked less than an inch. It wasn’t until the next year that I had the chance to sample the finished product, which came in a toro and 6×60 size initially. This year they released the torpedo, robusto and a 6″ x 40. I love cigars with Peruvian tobacco in the blend, and the Peruvian puro is surprisingly good. It’s on the mild side, and reminiscent of a milder Havana, with a sweet little twang, not surprising since one of the creators of the cigar has lived on a steady diet of Havanas for most of his life.

 

Tommy Bahama 4I’ve been taking a break from using my trusty Xikar tools for the last few weeks and using some of the Tommy Bahama line of lighters and cutter. Both lighters have detailed, embossed logos on both sides and the cutter has the Tommy Marlin design on one side, and the side with the switch to open the spring-loaded blades just has Tommy Bahama name and a little gold marlin.  These have a very classy gloss black finish. The cutter and pocket lighter have leatherish cases to keep them in good shape. the cutter has two very sharp blades which close effortlessly and provide a clean cut. It’s got some weight to it, and seems solidly built. The pocket lighter is also hefty, larger and heavier than the Xikar Xidris Ive been using, with a similar side trigger, but has two jets. Tommy Bahama 5This is the first dual jet lighter I’ve had, and I like it. Is it twice as good as one?  I don’t know, but it does a nice job and lights every time. It has an adjustment wheel on the bottom with a  flip-up turny thing. I filled it a week ago and it’s still ¾ full, which I can tell because there’s a handy little window which is very easy to see the fuel level. The table lighter is a beast, it’s  large, has four jets and twin side triggers. It really throws off some BTUs, I think I mentioned that holding it about six inches from the foot of the cigar looks like the foot of the cigar is re-entering the earth’s atmosphere like an Apollo capsule. The one thing it lacks is the fuel window, but I suppose the idea is that it doesn’t wander too far away from the can of butane, it being far too large to carry around. The folks at Island Lifestyle tell me these are becoming available in stores other than the Tommy Bahama stores, they are working on getting them into brick and mortar retailers. It’s nice to have good tools, and I think these are pretty good out of the box, I’ll keep using them to see how they hold up over time.

 

That’s more than enough for now, until the next time,

 

CigarCraig

 

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