Tag Archives: Monte Pascoal

La Gloria, Marrero, Camacho, Joya de Nicaragua and Alec Bradley Cigars

LaGloriaCubana_SerieREsteli_64It’s October, ant the weather is crappy and everything’s starting to change. I finally got fed up enough with my 6-year-old laptop
Sunday after wasting a whole day waiting for webpages to load and writing my posts, that I ran out and bought a new one. So now I’m working on getting all my files copied off the old one and trying to get used to this Windows 10 nonsense as well as the new keyboard. I’m happy with it so far, I just have to find the graphics program I’m used to and install it and how it works, and generally get used to it. To celebrate, I grabbed a favorite cigar in a size I’ve never had. This 64 ring gauge La Gloria Cubana Serie R Esteli was a gift from Mark last week when we met up in Maryland.  I love the flavor of this cigar, and while I probably wouldn’t have chosen this size, it was a spectacular smoke and it was just what the doctor ordered after a hectic day.  I find the Brick & Mortar only Esteli a richer and more flavorful cigar when compared to the Serie R Black that came out at the same time and is only found in the mail order sites (and their B&Ms if you’re lucky enough to visit one). The 6¼” x 64 Serie R Esteli smoked very well for a god 2 hours.  I’m a LGC fan in general, but this line is my favorite of the bunch.


Marrero_TesoroMio_6x60Monday I learned a valuable lesson, don’t select a mild cigar to smoke after eating Cajun food. OK, this is something I already knew, and one of the pitfalls of smoking trade show samples that are unfamiliar. The Marrero Tesoro Mio 6×60  is an Ecuador Connecticut wrapped cigar with an Indonesian binder and Costa Rican/”Proprietary” fillers. The second half seemed to cut through the damage done by the Cajun spices a bit better, either due to the cigar picking up strength or the spices from the food wearing off, but it turned out to be a very tasty mild cigar.  Marrero was a new brand to me this year, I never heard of them before, but there have been so many really great cigars being made in Costa Rica lately I wanted to give them a try. I’m impressed so far, I say give them a try if you come across them.


Camacho_AmericanBarrelAged_ToroSince I already smoked one cigar out of the sampler I got from Davidoff, I figured there’s no reason not to start smoking my way through it. The next cigar in there that sparked my curiosity was the new American Barrel Aged Toro from Camacho. This one got a lot of hype at the show, they had a large flaming display at the booth, I suppose having to do with aging the tobacco in charred bourbon barrels.  It took me a bit to make that connection, since I don’t drink and really don’t have the knowledge base in that area anymore. On a side note, did you know there was alcoholic ginger beer? We went out to eat yesterday at a local pub, the Flying Pig Saloon, which has hundreds of beers on the menu, but also has pretty great sandwiches.  I ordered a ginger beer since I knew they had it, and was brought an alcoholic  ginger beer which I, not knowing any better, poured and took a sip of before looking at the bottle.  Had I known, I would have been specific, but I suppose it being a bar and all I shouldn’t have been surprised the waitress jumped to the conclusion she did. They probably only keep the non-alcoholic ginger beer for mixers, and I’m probably one of the few who orders it as is.  Anyway, I had a great sandwich with all the food groups: chicken, beef and bacon.  Where was I?  The Camacho American Barrel Aged Toro.  This is a unique cigar in that it uses a  bunch of USA grown leaf, a Broadleaf wrapper and binder (noted as “American” in the literature, but one can assume Connecticut), more American Broadleaf in the filer, as well as Pennsylvania Maduro (probably more broadleaf) and the Corojo that they age in the bourbon barrels. I really enjoyed the cigar, it would have been a better choice to follow the spicy Cajun dinner, it was a bold, full flavored cigar. I don’t have the frame of reference to pick out any bourbon flavor as it’s probably been 30 years since I had a sip of whisky (or whiskey, I know there’s a difference, I just don’t know what it is), and then it was something like Old Granddad.  I enjoyed it, I’d smoke it again, and I’d certainly keep some on hand, it was quite enjoyable and a bit different from what I expect from a Camacho. A cigar that lives up to the hype.


JoyadeNicaragua_CuatroCibco_ReservaEspecialThursday I grabbed the new Joya de Nicaragua Cuatro Cinco Reserva Especial.  It’s no longer the company’s 45 anniversary, and the Cuatro Cinco that they came out with last year (or the year before? I lost track), was spectacular. I went into this year Reserva Especial with expectations of a better version of the original, as unreasonable as that seemed.  This is another cigar that employs barrel aging, and the major difference between this cigar and the original seems to be that they used a Dominican binder where as the original release was a Nicaraguan Puro.  One geek note here, I find it interesting that they refer to the binder as “a carefully selected volado Dominican binder”. The term “volado” sticks out to me. In Nicaragua, the primings are generally referred to as Seco, Viso and Ligero, going from the bottom of the plant to the top. In the DR, they use the terms Volado, Seco and Ligero, which really goofed me up the time I took part in a blending session in the DR.  So to translate from DR to Nicaragua, Volado=Seco, Seco=Viso and Ligero=Ligero. I guess my point is that a lower priming Dominican binder technically shouldn’t have a lot of flavor, and maybe that what I found missing from this cigar, at least in comparison to the original Cuatro Cinco.  If the Cuatro Cinco was a more refined version of the Antaño Dark Corojo (which is my impression), then this Reserva Especial is a more refined version of the Cuatro Cinco.  It was smooth, elegant with a rich, but never overpowering flavor. I enjoyed it once I got past my preconceived notion of what I thought it would be.


AlecBradleySanctumI wrapped up the week with a visit to a newer local shop, Cigar Brothers in Berwyn, PA.  Jon Lipson from Alec Bradley was there doing an event, so I dropped in for a smoke. It was too rainy and crappy for a walk anyway.  I picked up a couple of the new Sanctum in Toro and Gordo which I had yet to try. I was looking for Coyol, which I’ve heard good things about, but they didn’t have any.  The Sanctum has a Costa Rican binder and fillers from Columbia as well as Honduras and Nicaragua, which give it a little different flavor.  It’s got a nice looking Honduran Corojo wrapper as well.  Both Cigar Brothers were there, Craig and Chuck, and I enjoyed a pleasant evening smoking a tasty cigar and chatting with these fine gentlemen.  It would have been nice to have seen more people there, and as much as I like the set up of this store, with a large, fully humidified sales floor downstairs, and small, intimate lounge areas upstairs, it doesn’t lend itself to events too much. If the weather is nice and they put up a tent in the parking lot it’s great, and if you want to meet s couple people for a quiet smoke and conversation, this place is  great. The selection is very good too. I enjoyed the heck out of the Sanctum, as I do many of the Alec Bradley offerings. I missed visiting the booth at the show, they were busy whenever I walked by, but I came home with a couple of the new offerings too which I look forward to trying.


The Monte Pascoal brand from Brazil is once again being distributed in the US by Multiverse Commerce in the Boston Area. I have a couple Double Coronas on deck that you will hear about soon, and they will be announcing some specials that will allow my readers to get some great discounts and specials in the near future. I’ve wondered what became of this line, as I have been a fan for several years now, but I think the Double Corona is about the only size I never smoked so there won’t be any comparisons. Monte Pascoal was rather known for blending each size a little differently too, with the larger vitolas being a good bit milder than the smaller. I’m looking forward to revisiting this old favorite anyway, so stay tuned for more info and some discount codes.  Also, The Smoking’ Goose multi-vendor event which was supposed to have been yesterday in Limerick, PA was postponed until Saturday, October 17, so there’s still time to get tickets at TheSmokinGoose.com.


That’s about it for now, until the next time,






Filed under Review

A Shop Visit with a La Gloria Cubana, a Great Wall and a Monte Pascoal

Serie R Esteli_cigarAs you well know, I’ve been tiring of smoking in the cold lately, so I paid a visit to a local shop on Sunday afternoon for a smoke. Lightn’Up in Glenmore, PA is only about 5 miles from home, and I pass it just about every day. I haven’t made a habit of stopping there because the inventory has been quite thin over the last few years. I heard that the store, along with it’s sister store in nearby Frazer, PA, was recently purchased by the CigarCigars chain which is growing steadily in the south-east PA area. I wanted to see what had changed, and the inventory is vastly improved. I selected a couple La Gloria Cubana Serie R Esteli, a CAO Flathead V642 Piston and a huge Foundry Compounds, Elements and Musings Uranium (I have to admit to a fascination with the Foundry line, and I dig the skeleton band on the Uranium. When I’m smoking a 7×70 I can’t say. This, along with the Carbon, are going to be regular production cigars, the rest in the Compounds, Elements and Musings line are limited editions). I sat down and lit up the LGC Esteli, which I like quite a bit. I think it’s the best in the Serie R line. It was the typical cigar shop scene, a few guys sitting around shooting the bull while the History Channel is on the TV. Yes, I wondered why there wasn’t some Olympics on, but there was a show about the White House (actually history programming on that channel, who’d think it?). They close at 4 on Sundays, which isn’t a bad thing, I was there for two hours enjoying the smoke, and it was good. Glad to see the shop improving. It’s in a good spot and is certainly convenient to me. I need to go visit their other recent acquisitions in my county. I was not impressed with the Frazer location when I stopped in last year, and I haven’t visited G&G Cigars in West Chester since they took it over. I’ll be interested to see how they have changed.


Great Wall_TudorAfter I got home and ran out for Chinese take-out, I figured it would be a reasonably good time to try a cigar I got at the IPCPR show. for the last several years I’ve seen the huge, elaborate booth of the China Tobacco Chuanyu Industrial Co. Limited. I’ll admit that entering the booth held little interest to me. I guess I’m a little closed minded, I see premium cigars as a Latin American product, and it’s hard for me to associate cigars with anything else. I have to applaud the companies persistence, it has to cost a bundle to bring this enormous booth to the show every year, and I honestly don’t recall seeing a lot of traffic there.  My friend Mitchell  passed his bag from the booth on to me, and I’ve been passing up sampling the coronas that were in with the glossy 50+ page brochure. I figured I already had a great cigar earlier in the day so I figured this was the time to try something outside my comfort zone. Not many things bother me more than wasting quality cigar time on a sub-par cigar.  The cigar is called the Great Wall Tudor No. 2, and is about 5 1/8″ x 42.  It is described as having Indonesian wrapper and binder and “domestic” filler, which I assume is grown in China. I was expecting the worst, given I’m not a fan of Indonesian wrappers, but it wasn’t a terrible smoke.  It was fairly neutral, with some interesting flavors. It burned and drew well, I should hope that a factory that turns out five billion cigars a year (I’m assuming that not all are handmade). I’ve smoked worse, and I have a couple more floating around including a Great Wall Flourishing Age III, which is cello wrapped with a handy pull tab that’s described as “sweet flavored”. This one may wait for a while.


MontePascoal_BelicosoMonday  evening I selected a Monte Pascoal Belicoso for my evening walk. This 5½” x 52 cigar was given to me last year by a gentleman know as Matt Ross on Cigar Federation and Twitter.  I met Matt up in New Jersey last year when we had a bit of a herf at Cigar Emporium in Lyndhurst, NJ.  I figured I was meandering from the traditional tobacco regions with the Chinese cigar, so it wouldn’t hurt to smoke something from south of the equator.  This is a Brazilian puro, wrapped in Mata Fina, but not a maduro Mata Fina like we are used to seeing.  These are terribly tasty smokes, and I can’t recall smoking one that misbehaved.  The laws are such in Brazil with their regulation that it’s costly and difficult to introduce new blends.  This is precisely what the FDA would like to see happen here in the US, which will virtually eliminate the need to walk into your tobacconist and ask “what’s new?” Good reason to support all the efforts out there to keep the FDA out of our humidors (CRA).  Many thanks to Matt for the cigar!  It was greatly enjoyed.


That about concludes today’s journey around the world!  Until the next time,






Filed under Review, Stores

Sunday Cigar News, a Monte Pascoal and Another Joya de Nicaragua

Today’s installment is going to be a short one.  My wife and I are heading to New York City to meet some friends at Club Macanudo this afternoon and want to get an early start. Is it unusual to drive 2½ hours just to smoke a cigar or two?  When you can manage it, it’s well worth the time to meet up with friends you only see a couple times a year. I bet it’s been ten or twelve years since I was at Club Macanudo.   I’ll select some special cigars to take along to enjoy, and we’ll have a good time in the big city.  In other news, a week from today I’ll be on my way to Nicaragua for a return visit to Drew Estate’s Cigar Safari. This may interrupt my usual posting schedule a bit, but I will endeavor to post updates along the way as time and technology allow.


Monte_Pascoal_MinutoTo recap a couple cigars I smoked this week, I slipped in a Monte Pascoal Minuto Thursday before going to an abysmal Flyers game which left me so disgusted that I didn’t bother stopping in the cigar bar for a post-game smoke.  These are dynamite little cigars, and this one may have had a year or so of age, which didn’t hurt it.  I enjoyed the heck out of this small Brazilian Puro.  If you don’t see these in your local shop, you can use the code “MPCGRS10” on CigarFromBrazil.com to get %10 off any purchase on the site. I’ve smoked a bunch of cigars in this line and they are tasty smokes.


JdN_AntanoDarkCorojo_ToroSaturday I took an afternoon walk with a Joya de Nicaragua Antaño Dark Corojo.  I thought I knew what this cigar was, but the size didn’t match up to any of the sizes listed on the website.  It was a 6″ x 50ish box pressed cigar, it certainly wasn’t the 54 ring gauge Poderosa. Then I remembered when I met up with Peter from ACigarSmoker.com last year he gave me a sampler of Joyas from an event they had recently had which had 4 or 5 toros, of which this cigar may have been included.  Anyway, this line is one of my favorites for flavor, although I can stand a little less power.  It also evokes some great memories of smoking one in the factory in Esteli two years ago.  Sadly, this particular example was a little tighter than I would like and it gave me a little more frustration that pleasure. I’m sure I’ll have the chance to smoke another one of these in the next  week or so.  I still love the flavors in this cigar and am never deterred by the occasional bad experience.



From Cigar Rights of America:


S. 772 Joins H.R. 792 – As Key to Warding off FDA Regulation of Cigars

With an historic act of political leadership for all those that have a passion for premium cigars, U.S Senator Bill Nelson, D-Florida and U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, R-Florida, have again joined together in a spirit of bi-partisan leadership to send a loud and clear message to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration – “Leave Our Cigars, Alone!” Early this morning, it was assigned the bill number, S. 772.

However, Senators Nelson and Rubio are not alone this year in the launch of a bill to protect premium cigars from destructive regulations by the federal government.

In another display of bi-partisan cooperation, a diverse coalition of U.S. Senators have joined S. 772 as original co-sponsors. They include Senator Mary Landrieu, D-Louisiana (and Chair of the Senate Small Business & Entrepreneurship Committee); Senator Jon Tester, D-Montana; Senator Bob Casey, D-Pennsylvania, and Senator David Vitter, R-Louisiana.

Cigar Rights of America commends the leadership of these Senators for our cause of Cigar Liberty from the tyranny of federal regulation. To have such legislation filed two years in a row, is a testament to the perseverance of all that share in the camaraderie of a great cigar. It is recognition by these members of Congress that by the FDA even contemplating the regulation of cigars, the agency is going beyond their legislative intent.


H.R. 792 Climbs to 61 Members of the U.S. House of Representatives!

This month’s new co-sponsors of H.R. 792 include: Dan Benishek (Michigan); Tim Huelskamp (Kansas); Steve Chabot (Ohio); Trey Radel (Florida): Bill Huizenga (Michigan); Todd Rokita (Indiana); Dina Titus (Nevada); Andy Barr (Kentucky); Glenn Thompson (Pennsylvania); Howard Coble (North Carolina); Chris Collins (New York); Lee Terry (Nebraska); Robert Whitman (Virginia); Kurt Schrader (Oregon); William Owens (New York); Frederica Wilson (Florida); Patrick McHenry (North Carolina); Wm. Lacy Clay (Missouri); Bill Shuster (Pennsylvania); and Kerry Bentivolio (Michigan).

Please call their offices and commend their leadership for Cigar Liberty. Go to the full co-sponsor list, and if your member of Congress is not on it, call them and say “SIGN ONTO H.R. 792 and S. 772! Or…you’ll remember on Election Day.”



“Operation Cigar Liberty” needs you. In the spirit of H.R. 792, let’s put 792 (at least!) petitions from each Congressional District in America, into the U.S. Congress. That’s 344,520 petitions. All you need to do is fill in the blanks, and we take care of the rest. Starting today when you fill this out, it will automatically go to both of your U.S. Senators, and member of the U.S. House of Representatives. ACT, TODAY!



And on the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue…

It’s official. The Obama Administration is proposing a fresh new round of tax increases (to the tune of 93%!), and this time on your cigars! President Obama wants new cigar taxes to go for education programs. SCHIP just wasn’t enough. Fortunately, that’s why there are three branches of government, and such a proposal should meet with strong resistance in the House of Representatives, and hopefully the Senate, as well.

Call The White House at 202-456-1111 and say “NO NEW TAXES, ON MY CIGARS!”


TAKE ACTION: Help Exempt Premium Cigars From FDA Regulation!

H.R. 792 / S. 772 – Traditional Cigar Manufacturing and Small Business Jobs Preservation Act

Between April 26, 2010 and December 21, 2012 the U.S. Food & Drug Administration publicly posted their intent to deem cigars as subject to federal regulation. Therefore, it’s incumbent upon the cigar enthusiasts of the United States to voice their opposition to any proposed new regulation of premium/traditional cigars by the United States Government.

Some of the measures FDA could consider, as we believe they are, include:

  • Ban on walk-in humidors, self serve cigar displays, and mail-order cigar sales;
  • Ban on all flavored cigars, that are enjoyed by legal-age adults;
  • Deface ornate, decorative cigar boxes, often considered an art form with grotesque images;
  • Ban on cigar events where free cigars (samples) could be available to legal-age adults;
  • Limits on cigar marketing and advertising;
  • Imposition of new ‘user fees’ [tax] on cigars, to finance regulations;
  • Limits on special release and small-batch cigars, due to mandates that cigar blends be submitted to FDA for pre-approval before release;
  • Limits on nicotine levels on cigars to near zero, severely impacting the flavor of cigars;
  • Ban on marketing cigar merchandise.


We urge you to easily take action now by clicking the button below!



It’s very important to write to your elected officials and implore them to co-sponsor these pieces of legislation!  Our ability to enjoy premium cigars and all the great things associated with it depends on it!  I promised I’d dig up some info on the New Jersey Cigar Festival, which, by the way, would not be possible under FDA regulation of premium cigars!  See how important this is?


This year’s NJ Cigar Festival will be held on Saturday, May 11, 2013, from 11am – 4pm at the Park Avenue Club in Florham Park, NJ.

We hope you’ll be able to join us for what promises to be the New Jersey Cigar Event of the year!

As an attendee, you’ll have direct access to some of the most famous names in the industry, including Jon Drew, Jose Blanco, George Sosa, Arielle Ditkowich, Maria Martin, Antonio Lam and Willy Herrera. (Willy is even bringing a new, as-yet-unreleased blend with him, just for Festival attendees.) And My Father Cigars will be joining us, as well!

There will be plenty of product to buy at special prices, which you can enjoy while indulging in a buffet lunch featuring the delicious food that Park Avenue Club has become known for through New Jersey. And, of course, there will be free massages and hot towel shaves.

You can purchase tickets here, or visit Barrister Cigars (2565 Route 22 West in Union, NJ) and buy your ticket(s) in person using cash or a check and get a free cigar.


Looks like a great event featuring a great bunch of people!


That’s it for today!  Until the next time, 





Filed under News, Review

Winner of Day 13 of CigarCraig’s 12 Spectacular Days of Cigar Giveaways!

We’ve finally reached the end of this amazing journey. It was a wild ride, and I’d go so far as to say that this was one of the best cigar related contests out there. Over the course of two weeks we gave away 265 cigars and a bunch of t-shirts, hats, cutters, ashtrays and even a lighter. I could never have pulled off such an enormous project on my own, so I have to thank some people before I announce the final winner for 2012. First my wife, Jennifer, who puts up with my insanity, moderates the new comments while I’m at work and is my greatest supporter.  Thank you for making this year great.  Of course the sponsors need thanking for offering all the great stuff we had to give away. They are:



Foundry Cigars/General Cigar Co.

Tobaccos Mata Fina USA

United Cigar Retailers

Villiger Cigars North America

Toraño Family Cigars

AJ Fernandez Cigars

Emilio Cigars

The Cigar Agency 


CAO Cigars/General Cigar Co.

Oliva Cigars 

Drew Estate


All of these folks provided an unprecedented amount of wonderful stuff.  Thank you to all of them for their participation!  The next group that I want to thank are you, my readers!  Without you I’d just be doing all of this for my own amusement, and I get tired of my same old jokes!  Thanks to all who entered the contests.  I hope some of you stick around as I wander through my cigar journey.


DE_UndercrownSo, once again I’ve been torturing you with minutia, when all you really want to know is if you won the box of Drew Estate Undercrown and all of the associated goodies that come with it!  We had 98 entries and Random.org selected 87.  By my count that is cigarsonist.  Please send me your contact information so I can ship all this stuff off to you!


I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, etc.  I’ll be back on Sunday, maybe I’ll put together a list of my favorites of the past year, or something like that.  Hard to say what I may pull out of my sleeve!


Until then,








Filed under Contest

CigarCraig’s 12 Spectacular Days of Cigar Giveaways Day 3: Monte Pascoal Cigars

The first three days have started with technical difficulties that threatened to drive me insane!  If you are seeing this, then I guess everything is back to normal.  It seems that I ran out of room in my database, bad timing, eh? I threw money at the problems and got it fixed, so we are back in business! By the way, I’ve seen a couple entries that looks like they may be duplicates (same IP address, different name).  Let’s keep it to one entry per person please?  Anyway, the winner of the box of Foundry Wells cigars on Day 2 of CigarCraig’s 12 Spectacular Days of Cigar Giveaways  is chekk12. Congrats! Send me your info so I can ship this box along to you!


Day 3 features 11 delicious Monte Pascoal cigars courtesy of Wes Genzel of Tabacos Mata Fina USA, LLC.   Wes is making his second appearance in as many years (I know, this is only the second year…), and I always enjoy seeing him at the annual trade show.  He’s a super nice guy and the Monte Pascoal cigars are super nice as well.  The winner of today’s contest will receive 11 cigars, there’s a 5 pack of Robustos, a 5 pack of Minutos and a Belicoso.  I’ve personally smoked all of these sizes and they are all excellent!  I really like the 5 pack packaging that is new this year as well, very handy!

You know the drill, leave a comment for a chance to win and check back tomorrow to see if you won and see what tomorrow’s prize will be!


Until tomorrow,




Here’s how you enter: leave a comment.  That’s it, plain and simple.  Tweets don’t count, but feel free to spread the word, only comments on this page count as an entry.  Each day there will be a different prize and the winner will be drawn from that day’s comments. The winner will be announced on the next day’s post. The contest is open to everyone, even if you’ve won one of my contests in the past six months, but once you’ve won, you are ineligible to win again in this series of contests. All prizes will be mailed as soon as I get a chance to go to the post office, or whenever the sponsor decides to ship, whichever is the case, so don’t make me chase down your address!  Please e-mail your contact information to 12days@cigarcraig.com as soon as possible!



Filed under Contest