Tag Archives: Murcialago

Murcialago, Providencia Trinitas and Cornelius Lonsdale Cigars

Murcialago_RobustoLast week one of the cigars I picked up at Cigars International’s Espinosa event was the new Murcialago. I remember when this came out int the EO Brands days, it was Eddie Ortega’s go-to, made at the My Father Factory with a rich, dark San Andrés wrapper. These had a red bat-shaped band, appropriate since murcialago is Spanish for bat.  Seems like a long word for bat, but that’s neither here nor there. I remember the original release being sometime in the 2011 area. In the Ortega/Espinosa amicable divorce, Erik got custody of the Murcialago brand, and it hibernated for a few years. Recently the brand has re-emerged, and I grabbed a few of the red banded robustos, as well as a silver banded Churchill. I know the latest release, with the silver band, is being made at AJ Fernandez’ new San Lotano factory in Ocotal, Nicaragua, but I’m not sure if the red banded cigars were made there or La Zona. I suppose it would have been prudent of me to ask that question of Erik while I was talking to him.  The Robusto is a box pressed 5″ x 54, and, given my recent avoidance of robustos, I’m surprised I didn’t get the toro instead, perhaps they were out.  The cigar smoked as one would expect it would, perfect burn and draw, dark, rich flavors of espresso and some spice. I recall really liking the old version, but it’s been so long since I smoked one I can’t really draw a direct comparison, but it was good and I liked it.


Providencia_The TrinitasYesterday afternoon I decided to give the Trinitas from Providencia Cigars a try. These cigars are made in Honduras with Honduran and Nicaraguan tobacco. This cigar came to mind because I know two of the company principles are from the Philadelphia area and are big Eagles fans. Apparently the Eagles won a big game, and were recognized with a parade in Philly last week, and I’m sure Ray and Jim wish they had been there. All this Eagles stuff in the news made me think of Providencia cigars for some reason, so I pulled out the Trinitas to give it a try. This is a beautiful 6½” x 52 perfecto with a box press, and has “Triple Ligero” on the band.  Curiously, their website notes that it has Lijero, whether this is a typo or linguistic difference, I don’t know. I give them points for keeping their site up to date, so I give them a pass.  This Trinitas was only recently released, and is a small batch cigar, and is offered in boxes of ten or bundles of 11.  I was expecting a much stronger cigar, given the triple ligero descriptor, but what I got was a medium bodied, very refined and well-balanced cigar that was really very good.  It had some sweetness, and earthy/nutty flavors that were quite enjoyable on a rainy Saturday on the porch watching the Olympics.  These are not widely distributed, but I’ve had very good experiences now with all three of their lines, the El Padre and El Santo are also excellent. Even though they aren’t in a lot of shops, they do offer their cigars for sale on their site. These cigars are worthy of sampling, in my opinion.


CorneliusandAnthony_Cornelius_LonsdaleLast night I came across my last IPCPR sample of the Cornelius and Anthony Cornelius Lonsdale. I received a couple new samples last week, and I’m sure it’s common knowledge that this brand, is on the top of my list recently. I cracked a box of Señor Esugars toros earlier in the week and am really going to have trouble not smoking them all up real fast, the cigar was awesome. I’ll smoke another one soon and give it more attention here. For me, in all six Cornelius and Anthony lines, the toro is the size that does it for me. That being said, this year’s release of the Cornelius in the Lonsdale size intrigued me. I recapped my IPCPR visit along with a video with Steven Bailey back in August, you can check that out here. My initial impression of the cigar remains the same as the first smoking, the 6½” x 42 Lonsdale may seem a little stronger than the Toro largely because a narrower ring cigar is going to burn a bit hotter, making the flavors sharper. People always think there’s some magic wrapper to filler ratio that makes smaller ring cigars taste different, but it’s the heat. Certainly the blend proportions have to change across a range of ring gauges, but if proportions were exactly the same, the thinner cigars would still have a sharper flavor, easily confused with more flavor, because it inherently burns hotter. It’s a fact. This Lonsdale presents all the elegance and subtlety of the Toro, but with a little more oomph, making it a similar, but different experience.  I like it, I like it a lot.


I’ve been slacking on my midweek posts over the last couple weeks, winter blues, I guess, but, if you watch my Instagram feed, I’m still enjoying a daily cigar, although I’ve been quite hedonistic in my choices lately. I get home from a long day at work and want to relax with a cigar and just enjoy it without worrying about thinking of something to write about it. I’ve always been pretty open about the fact that I’m in this for the enjoyment, when smoking cigars, or writing this blog, feel like work, it’s not fun anymore!  Anyway, it’s time to get on with my day, until the next time,




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A Room101, an Alec Bradley, a Mucialago, a Nestor Miranda and More Cigar Events

As a follow up to last week’s mention of some of the great cigar events coming up in the next few months, I left out a couple of good ones.  The Western Pennsylvania Cigar Crawl is in May and by this writing is likely sold out.  This is an old fashioned bus crawl run by Rob Heming of the Blowin’ Smoke Podcast. I’ve been on this crawl once in it’s 11 or so years of operation and it’s quite a bit of fun, if you think hanging out with a bunch of guys smoking cigars while you visit cigar shop after cigar shop and eat a lot of great food is fun, which it is.  Another upcoming event is the 1st Annual CATS Cigar Festival. C.A.T.S. is the Cigar Aficionados Trades and Sales Facebook group, which is a very active group of cigar lovers that is closely affiliated with the Op:Cigars for Warriors group that puts cigars in the hands of out active duty soldiers. It’s a weekend long event starting Friday evening, May 24 and ending Sunday, May 26 in San Antonio, TX.  Check their Facebook page for more information.  More great events with great folks.


Wednesday evening I got off to a late start so I was looking for something on the smaller side.  I had picked up a Room 101 OSOK Filero a few months back when Gary Griffith opened his Total Tobacco store in nearby Newtown Square, PA.  It was pricey, but I knew it was a cigar I wanted to try.  Under the paper wrapper, and beneath the tissue wrap was a beautiful little perfecto, measuring 4½ x 52.  What a great little smoke. The smoke was thick and loaded with heavy flavors and really was what the doctor ordered to releive the stress of the day.  I absolutely loved this cigar and it’s my second favorite Room 101 cigar now, after the San Andreas (anyone surprised?)  Great smoke, get them while you can.


Thursday my wife and I went to the Flyers game and we stopped in the cigar bar again where I smoked a little Punch London Club maduro while we waited for everyone to get out of the parking lot.  The little Punch is a go-to winder smoke for me along with it’s Hoyo de Monterrey sibling, the Sabroso.  Friday I grabbed an Alec Bradley Family Blend VR1, a 5½ x 50 parejo with a fancy pigtail cap.  This is a cigar that probably came from either the trade show or an Alec Bradley event where I bought some cigars. I enjoy quite a few of the Alec Bradley cigars, and this one was very good.  I wish it had burned a little better for me, but cold weather smoking has it’s pitfalls, and one of those is that cigars don’t always burn like they should.  Let’s face it, cigars are tropical critters, and they want to be smoked in warmer weather!  Still a solid smoke with pleasing flavors.


Murcielago_Toro_GrandeSaturday evening my wife and I went out to the Parx Casino at Philadelphia Park for an evening of slot machines, and I whipped out a nice Murcialago Churchill.  This is a favorite of mine, and this was the last one of a handful I bought at the 2011 Delaware Cigar Festival.  Rich, meaty, loaded with the nice, dark flavors I love in cigar bearing my favorite wrapper leaf, all together now: San Andreas Maduro!  I haven’t had one of these since they changed production yet, but I’m confident that Eric Espinosa will continue making these with the same flavor and consistency that I love, as other cigars from his La Zona factory in Esteli have been very nice.  I’ll have to re-stock and see!  We had a great time at the casino and didn’t leave broke, so it was a winning night.


Finally, this afternoon I took a nice walk with a Nestor Miranda Special Selection Connecticut robusto. This was a pretty 5½ x 54 cigar that while milder than I like, had some nice sweetness that kept me smoking it to a finger burning little nub.  It burned perfectly and had a snug draw, but was perfectly relaxing and a fine way to end the weekend. Of course, Nestor is celebrating his 70th birthday this week, so if you see him, wish him a Happy Birthday!


Over the last week, and coming weeks, I have been transitioning CigarCraig.com to a new hosting provider, so there’s a possibility that there may be a few bumps in the road.  I’ve been trying my hardest to make this as seamless as possible, but it’s hard to say what might happen with the domain gets transferred. I currently have CigarCraig.net up and running on the new host, and hope that there aren’t any interruptions.  Please bear with me if there are, I’ll be driving myself crazy to get things restored to some kind of normalcy ASAP.


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




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Take a Cigar For a Walk: Xikar HC, Murcialago, Tommy’s Guest Review No.2 – Sunday February 20, 2011

Well, we’ve been walking and smoking this week.  I started out taking a Xikar HC Criolllo Robusto for a walk and I was sorely disappointed with this cigar. I just didn’t dig the flavor of this one, and I felt especially let down given the $8.00 price tag. Criollo wrappers just don’t seem to do it for me, I can recall not liking the CAO Criollo line either, although I really wanted to.  I will have to make a conscious effort to avoid this wrapper in the future.  To be fair to the cigar, it was very well made and burned perfectly. I purchased this cigar at a Xikar event at a local shop last fall and was a little put off by the high prices of this line.  I rather expect to be “wowed” by a cigar in this price range.  I have a Connecticut ans a Habano still in the humidor, I enjoyed the Habano, although I don’t remember being particularly “wowed”, I hope the Connecticut is more to my liking.

Here’s another guest review by Tommy Berry Jr., he’s been taking a cigar for a walk and sending me his reports:

“Yea! I just got back in from a 60 minute walk. The night wasperfect…around 60 degrees, cool air and a bright moon. I watched an episode of an A&E show, Heavy…I have been watching the series since it started, but tonight it got me off my feet and on to the streets. I put my headphones on, played a couple of Gypsy Kings albums, selected my cigar…cut it and lit it as i began to walk. Tonight’s cigar of choice was a nice CAO Gold Maduro Robusto. I really enjoy the strength of this particular cigar and smoking maduros while walking…at least for now. I loved how this cigar kept its ash very well, stayed lit the entire walk and burned perfectly without any flaws. I thought I was smoking it rather slowly, but I finished it to the nub within about 55 minutes. This may be due to my swinging arms and the cool breeze that we had here tonight. Either way, I would recommend this cigar to anyone interested in a maduro.

Like I said earlier, the walk was great. I have a knee that has been bothering me from walking the last time in below freezing weather…but it did not hurt until the last few minutes. This was a Blessing for sure! Our neighborhood is very hilly, which is a great challenge for the walk. I walked about 80% of it at a rather quick pace…then started getting slower as time ran down. I was glad for that feeling as it made me feel as if I was doing something good with my body. I look forward to next walk…and the best part about it is thinking of which cigar will I smoke next!”

Keep up the good work, Tommy, and thank you for your continued contributions!!

I finished off the week with a Murcialago Robusto.  This jet black, San Andreas wrapped, box pressed beauty is not a cigar I would characterize as delicate, subtle, or even refined.  It grabs you by the lapels and says “hey, you’re smoking a cigar”!  It’s got a strong flavor, but isn’t really a strong cigar, if that makes sense.  It burned very well and was quite enjoyable.  I purchased this cigar at an event last summer that Eddie Ortega of EO Brands was the guest of honor.  While this isn’t a particularly complex cigar, it’s one I enjoy for it’s boldness. I was pretty bummed when this one was finished as I enjoyed it right down to about a half an inch.  It was a 60 degree February day in Pennsylvania, not something that often happens and a welcome change from the fairly harsh winter we’ve been having.

That’s all I have for now, it’s been terribly windy here today, which is one weather condition that I just can’t enjoy a cigar in, so I hope it dies down before long (and the trees near my house stay vertical!)

Until the next time,



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The Week’s Cigars: Camacho, Murcialago, CAO – Friday, September 17, 2010

Sunday evening my family went to our local park to see the final installment of the Concerts in the Park series which featured Liverpool Beat, a Philadelphia area Beatles tribute band. I took along a Camacho Connecticut 11/18 to smoke during the show. Both the band and the cigar were excellent. The 11/18 is a perfecto shape of sorts, looks like a toro with a bulging middle (not unlike myself), at 6″ x 48/54/48 ring gauge. The Connecticut wrapper, which was flawless, tempers the strength of the blend a bit, but it’s still a formidable cigar strength-wise. I like the Camacho line quite a bit, but the lines that lean more toward medium are my favorites, the Havana line, Connecticut and, yes, the Corojo Candela are cigars that suit my palate the best. The band played a rousing set of early Beatles hits in costume and in character and were very entertaining. You can see my wife’s review of the band on her site Beatles-Freak.com.

On Thursday I noticed a tweet from Eddie Ortega (@eddieor) of EO Brands that he was traveling to the Philly area and visiting a local shop. My son and I took the 20 minute drive to Old Havana Cigars in West Chester to say hello. Eddie greeted us like an old friend. I picked up a handful of Murcialago robustos and lit one up (it was the traditional “buy 3, get one” deal, I got 3 robustos and got a free 601  Robusto). I lit up the Murcialago and hung out with Eddie for a while. Old Havana Cigars is a nice shop with a spacious lounge in the back. The walk-in humidor is also quite large and seemed well stocked. I have only stopped into this shop once before and found their prices on the high side, but I’m a cheap bastard and am easily sticker-shocked. The Murcialagos were in the $6 range and the 601s were around $7, which isn’t bad, all things considered. The cigar was very nice. It had a dark Mexican maduro wrapper that was very pretty. The burn was good and it had a nice, full flavor. I gave my son one and he enjoyed it as well. Here’s some cigar math for you: I purchased 3 cigars and got one free. I smoked one and gave one to my son, I walked out with two cigars. My son purchased 3 cigars, got one free, AND Eddie hooked him up with another cigar. He walked out with 5 cigars. Something went horribly wrong for me! Generally the rules of Bad cellphone pic!  Forgot the camera again!cigar math are that when you go to a herf or an event, no matter how many cigars you smoke or gift, you always seem to come home with more than you took (which, in fairness, I did). I just have to assume that every once in a while there has to be some karmic correction or something. What comes around, goes around. In all seriousness, I take great pleasure in gifting a cigar, and to know that my son enjoyed the cigar and doesn’t mind hanging out with his old dad for an evening is worth much more to me than the cost of a fine cigar.  I took a little tangent there… It was a very nice evening hanging out with Eddie, who is a great guy and quite a character, as well as the folks at the shop. We spent quite a while chatting with one of the locals, a lawyer we’ll call “Alex”. Chatting with “Alex” reinforced my opinion that cigars can bring folks together that perhaps normally wouldn’t have the chance to interact with one another. We came across so many little things we had in common in a brief chat that it was pretty incredible. All in all it was a nice way to spend a rainy Thursday evening.

This Just In!

In the “new inmates in the humidor” department, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to buy a box of Chateau Real Small Club Coronas on JR Cigars Dutch Auction this week.  As I’m sure you know, I really enjoy this line and I fear that it is going away.  I’ll get some confirmation on that, but I picked up the box of 32 for under $50 delivered, which I thought was a dynamite deal for a cigar I like.  Heck, I’ve paid more than that for cigars I don’t like!  I also threw in a couple of cheap Klip-it key ring punch cutters to make me feel better about the $8.95 shipping charge.  Believe it or not, in 15 years of smoking cigars I’ve never owned a punch.  I figured for a whopping $1.25 I’d get a couple and see how they work.  s I’m writing this I’m enjoying a  CAO Black Bengal that I punched.  I have not particularly enjoyed this cigar in the past, but this one is very nice.  I doubt very much that the punch has anything to do with that, perhaps a couple more months in the humidor has helped, or maybe something else.  This is a nice, medium smoke that I’ve been enjoying on my deck as I type.  The burn has been dead even and except for a little flakiness in the ash, it’s exceeded my expectations.  The punch will find a home on my key ring for sure.

That’s about all I have this time, until the next time,




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