Tag Archives: Nomad

A Fratello Cigars Event, a La Aurora, a L’Atelier and a Contest!

FrFriday evening we took a family trip over to the Wooden Indian cigar shop in Havertown, PA to have a visit with Omar de Frias and his amazing Fratello cigars. When I say family, my wife sometimes joins me on these trips, but this time my son Corey came along, and, at the invitation of the shop owner, Dave, Macha joined us too. Macha loves these outings as she gets a lot of attention and loves everybody. She was well-behaved, most of the time just laying down and relaxing, something I wish she’d do at home when we get back from a long walk and I just want to finish my cigar and she wants to play in the yard! Anyway, she had a great time, and I smoked one of my favorite cigars from last year, the Fratello Bianco Boxer. This is a box pressed torpedo wrapped in a beautiful San Andrés wrapper,  Dominican binder and fillers from Pennsylvania, Nicaragua and Peru. What distinguishes the Boxer from the regular Bianco line, and this holds true with the regular and Oro Boxers as well, is that they use a little extra ligero in the blend. Not only does the cigar smoke perfectly and taste amazing, it’s got a little extra kick! I picked up a few more for the humidor, along with some other goodies, and enjoyed a great evening at the Wooden Indian with my buddy Omar. It was the fist time I’ve seem Omar without his goatee, is that the breaking news here? Omar Shaves Goatee!…only at CigarCraig.com, Sorry Halfwheel and Cigar-Coop, I was first with this bombshell!


LaAurora DE ParkYesterday was a beautiful Saturday to go to the track, and my daughter decided to have our grand-daughters joint birthday party in the picnic grove at Delaware Park. We got there early to secure a spot, and while we were waiting for everyone I smoked a La Aurora Preferido Corona in the Diamond or Broadleaf wrapper. Since I smoked this the first time over two years ago the pungency and cloying flavor I got then has settled down and it’s more like what I would expect from an aged Connecticut Broadleaf. It was a little over the top the last time I smoked it, but it was slightly underwhelming to me yesterday. Honestly, I forgot that I didn’t really like this cigar the first time around, but was looking forward to a tasty Broadleaf cigar. I usually don’t choose my granddaughters events to enjoy a cigar, but when it’s reasonably appropriate, like at the track 45 minutes before they arrive, I go for it, and it’s usually something from La Aurora because Aurora is also my daughter’s name and how could she get mad at me, right? It works in my head. Anyway, I didn’t lose all my money, had a nice day playing the ponies and hanging with the family.


L'Atelier_LAT38SpecialLast night I rummaged through the Lancero tray and came up with a L’Atelier LAT 38 Special. This 7½” x 38 Lancero was a beauty, with a dark, Sancti Spíritus Ecuador wrapper, binder and filler from Nicaragua rolled at the My Father Factory in Nicaragua. I wanted to smoke something from the Johnson family of cigars, but I was only finding rubustos, and I craved more than that. I have a ton of rubustos in the humidor and should probably just go on a rubusto bender and work them down. There was a time when that was my vitola of choice, but I’ve either gotten more patient or have more time because I want a toro or larger more times than not. I digress, theLAT 38 was a beauty, and the flavor was outstanding. It had the savory and sweet flavor I’d expect more from the Broadleaf than the Sancti Spiritus that the L’Atelier line is known for. I can’t remember when I got this, it may have been at an event at a shop in Colorado I was at back in 2014, but it was good. I haven’t found many cigar in any of Pete Johnson’s portfolio that don’t satisfy my palate. My only complaint with this cigar was that it suffered from Nomex Wrapper Syndrome (Nomex is the stuff that electrical wiring is wrapped with so it doesn’t burn) it required a lot of attention with the lighter, and I was being careful not to overheat the cigar since Lanceros can easily be ruined by smoking too aggressively.  The humidor these are in stays in the mid to low  60s so it wasn’t wet.


June PrizeSince we got to the track early yesterday they were giving out hats, and since I’m not a huge hat wearing guy, I figured it might be a good time to have another giveaway. I’ve assembled some odds and ends that have been collecting for a while to go with the Delaware Park hat. There are a couple of bottle openers including one for your key chain from Nomad Cigars, a torch lighter from El Artista, a couple cutters, a highly collectible Matt Booth Room 101 punch cutter, a Ninety Degree magnetic cigar holder and a nice Balmoral flask. As always, a few cigars might fall into the box as I’m packing it up, it happens, I can’t help it! So the usual rules apply, must be of legal smoking age in your municipality, one entry by way of leaving a comment on this post, and have fun! I’ll pick a winner next Sunday, June 11, 2017. 


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






Filed under Contest, Events, Review, Stores

A Montecristo Pilotico and a Gurkha Cellar Reserve Cigar

Yesterday was April 1, and I was tempted to post an April Fools post announcing that I was changing focus to vapes, but I wasn’t committed to the plan enough to register vanderslicevapes.com and put the web pages together. Maybe next year…wait, I’ve given it away, haven’t I?  It would have been a lot of work and I didn’t have it in me yesterday and the idea didn’t come to me until yesterday. I did see some funny ones yesterday, though. Mark Weisenberger (I hope I spelled that right), the new VP of Marketing at Rocky Patel, and former Northeast sales manager, put out a press release about Rocky adopting Hamlet Peredes which was pretty funny. Of course, Fred Rewey of Nomad Cigars is a comedian, he announced his Nomad soap on a rope, is he planning on going to prison soon? Over on Halfwheel.com, Brooks continued his April Fools tradition of seriously reviewing absurd cigars, this time the 20″ x 80 La Aurora La Stravaganza. I think he’s still waiting for the smoke to travel the 20″ from foot to head! Happy April Fools! I failed to do any pranking at all yesterday.


Didn’t do a lot of smoking this week, instead I went to a Flyers game Thursday, in which they beat the Islanders mostly just in the first period, scoring 5 goals with two players recording Gordy Howe Hat Tricks! I had said there was no reason for me to go to the games any more since they closed the cigar bar and made the whole building smoke free, but we got tickets real cheap and hadn’t been to a game for a while. I loved it when they had the cigar bar there, it was preferable to go after the game and have a cigar while everyone else sat in their cars in the parking lot waiting to get out. Bernie Parent was always there to having a cigar, I wonder where he goes to smoke after the games now? So I took Thursday off, Friday it rained like hell and I decided not to go to a Romeo y Julieta launch event and camped out on the porch with a Montecristo Pepe Mendez Pilotico Toro. This was a re-do for me, Last September I wrote this:

Montecristo_PiloticoPepeMendez_toroAnother IPCPR sample was a new one from Montecristo, the Montecristo Pilotico Pepe Mendez in the Toro size. This toro is a 6¼” x 52, and has an Ecuador Sumatra wrapper, Dominican binder, and both Nicaraguan and Dominican Pilotico fillers. The Pilotico varietal is an old seed that Pepe Mendez brought from Cuba in the ’60s and revitalized in the Cibao Valley in the DR. There was some of  this tobacco in the Montecristo 80th anniversary cigar that was out last year. It was hard to find anything bad to say about this cigar, it burned right, it had nice flavors along the leathery lines, with a hint of sweetness. It’s one of those cigars that is, no doubt, a very good cigar, but not in line with my preferred flavors. There are a few Montecristos I really like, most on the mild end of the spectrum. The box is cool with an old-timey suitcase motif, paying homage to Pepe Mendez’ travels in the 60s to find the right area to plant his prized seeds.

The one thing that changed this time was that I found that I enjoyed the leathery flavors more than I did previously. Perhaps some humidor time helped, or, just as likely, I ate something different this time that effected my perceptions. Whatever the reason, I enjoyed the flavor of this cigar and will smoke it again without hesitation.


Yesterday I was rummaging through the humidor looking for something to smoke and I came across the tray with the Gurkha cigars. I seem to have amassed a load of cigars, not bragging or complaining, but it sometimes makes it hard to make a selection, especially when I want to smoke something and talk about it here without smoking the same rotation all the time and getting boring (which is what the FDA wants, by the way, so head to CigarRights.org and use their forms to write to your elected representatives). So I grabbed the Gurkha Cellar Reserve Platinum in their Hedonism size. Gurkha also threw out an April Fools funny yesterday:



The $1,000,000 Cigar Is The Most Expensive Cigar Ever


Fort Lauderdale, FL – Gurkha Cigars has created the world’s most expensive cigar ever!  The handcrafted stogie retails for a cool $1,000,000 and is delivered to customers’ door by a messenger who will only handle the cigars with white (kit) gloves.  The cigar is infused with Remy Martin’s Black Pearl Louis XIII, which retails for $165,000 per bottle.

Created using Luxion Technology (luxion.com)

The cigars are rolled by a select group of hand rollers who are blindfolded throughout the process to allow their senses to guide their movements naturally and minimize distraction during this artistic process.  The cigar is made with filler from ancient lands in the Himalayas with tobacco that has been watered exclusively with Fiji water.  The wrapper is gold leaf and the band is encrusted with diamonds totaling five carats.

Created using Luxion Technology (luxion.com)

“The Gurkha clientele is use to only the best and Gurkha continuously produces only the best,” said Kaizad Hansotia, CEO of Gurkha Cigars.   “This cigar is only for those who want the most exclusive, most luxurious and most ostentatious experience a cigar can offer.”

Gurkha Cigars are known throughout the world for their premium and luxurious cigars, so it’s no surprise that they are the most sought-after cigars around the globe. Gurkha produces 12 million cigars per year that are sold in more than 70 countries worldwide. And while Gurkha is known for its exclusivity, it has an impressive array of 105 brands of flawlessly handcrafted, premium cigars created in a variety of strengths, tasting profiles, and price-points. No matter what your taste, there’s a Gurkha cigar that’s perfect for your palate. For additional information visit www.gurkhacigars.com.




It’s a little unfortunate that it didn’t occur to me until after I read it that it was an April Fool, I mean, a one million dollar cigar from Gurkha doesn’t seem that implausible at this point, right? Anyway, back to the Cellar Reserve Platinum. I like the Hedonism size (I kind of identify with the name too), it’s a fat, pigtailed perfecto along the lines of the Feral Flying Pig from Drew Estate’s Serie Unico line, 6″ x 58. It’s got an Ecuador wrapper and Nicaraguan fillers and just a pretty straight-forward leathery/nutty profile to my palate. It was good, burned right and whatever factory makes these does a good job.  There are several cigars in the Cellar Reserve line that I like, and, for all the criticism Gurkha gets, I think their brick and mortar lines are pretty darned good.  (note: looking back it appears that I smoked this and wrote about it back in September of 2015, fortunately, I liked it then too! I smoke too many different cigars and can no longer remember them all!)

OK, both cigars were re-dos….sorry about that! I’ll work on smoking some more interesting cigars this week! That’s all I have for today, until the next time,




Filed under Review

Nomad, Capo de Mundo, El Centurian, Neya and Torano Cigars and a Contest Winner

Nomad_TherapyConnecticut_ToroIt’s been a long week for me, we had a holiday weekend, then four days of trying to wrap up a thirteen year career at my day job, and prepare people to take care of all the stuff I did. Now I’m between jobs, I start the new one next week, don’t you know I manage to break a couple molars Thursday?!  Who knows what the dentist will say when I get there Tuesday, there might be a smoking hiatus in my future…but I’m hopeful that they can be saved.  Anyway, I have a bunch of cigars worth talking about today, so let’s get on with it. Monday I managed an early cigar, so I chose a Nomad Therapy Connecticut. The Therapy line comes in three blends, two sizes each (Toro and Robusto) and goes to retailers in refillable trays. This isn’t a bundle cigar though, it’s a really nice, high quality smoke. This one had an Ecuador Connecticut wrapper, San Andrés binder and Nicaraguan filers. I enjoyed this for a milder, very smooth, yet quite flavorful shade cigar. It burned well, drew well, and tasted good. Another very nice cigar from Fred Rewey, and I’m looking forward to trying his new SA-17.


CapodeMundo_Maduro_RobustoTuesday I smoked a cigar  bought on a visit to a shop in Ridley Park, PA a few months ago. We were in the area for another event and ran across Jacoub’s Cigars, a nice little cigar and hookah shop with a lounge and a well appointed walk-in humidor. I picked a few cigars up that I hadn’t tried yet, including some of Jacoub’s own brand, Capo de Mundo. I bought robustos in the maduro and Corojo, but they also have a Connecticut version. As one would expect, I smoked the maduro first. The Capo de Mundo was a good smoke, it had what one would expect from a maduro cigar, cocoa/coffee and a little bit of sweetness, all things I like. I don’t know that $9 is an appropriate price point though, I get that it’s a small production, that certainly plays in to the price, but I didn’t find that it had enough going for it to warrant the price. This would be a great $5 cigar for me, but there are many other cigars from $5 up to the $9 range that excite me more. I’m afraid this was unremarkable, not a bad cigar at all, just not different from a hundred other maduros. I look forward to seeing what the Corojo brings to the table. This, my friends, is about as close to a negative review you will get from me.


ElCenturianFriday evening my wife wanted to get out, so we went to the King of Prussia Mall, which is probably the largest shopping mall on the east coast. One of the very nice things about this mall is that it has a cigar shop which my wife refers to as “Husband Day Care”, something she borrowed from Dave Garofalo at Two Guys in New Hampshire. Anyway, it’s certainly nice to stop in for a cigar instead of wondering through racks of ladies clothes in various stores. International Tobacco has a nicely stocked walk in humidor (is a Davidoff retailer) and a bar with coffee and soda available. I bought a handful of My Father El Centurian H-2K-CT in the Corona size, which is closer to a robusto at 5½” x 48, not that I’m complaining, that’s a near perfect size as far as I’m concerned. This cigar has a hybrid Habano 2000 wrapper grown in Connecticut, wrapped around components grown and processed by the Garcias in Nicaragua. This was a terrific smoke, with that typical My Father spice in the beginning then some nice sweet, savory flavor throughout. It turns out that this size was perfect for the time it took my wife get tired of shopping, after 30 years I have a good idea how long it takes. I’m glad I bought a few, I love the size and it’s a tasty and interesting cigar. It was nice to be able to relax with a nice cigar, baseball on the TV and pleasant conversation with other patrons and Tom, the owner. If I could afford it, I’d send my wife shopping more often :-).


Duran Neya_BigJackYesterday was a two cigar day, after getting some things done around the yard and house, I sat down with a Duran Premium Cigars Neya F8 Big Jack. I really like the flavor of the F8 line, I’ve only smoked this size and the 6 x 60 Yankee, and they come in a bunch of sizes, some of which are quite close to one another (5 x 52 Patriot, 5 x 58 Gringo, 6 x 56 Toro, 6 x 60 Yankee,6½ x 54 Loyalist and 7 x 70 Big Jack). One can assume that this range might be trimmed in the coming years if the FDA requires mega-bucks approvals for each size. Anyway, the line features an Ecuador Habano wrapper and Nicaraguan binder and fillers, and smoked really well. It’s sweet and smooth and quite good to my palate. the “Big Jack” is a 7″ x 70, named after the very recently former marketing and sales manager Jack Toraño, who has just left the company to join General Cigars as the face of the Toraño brand, a wonderful move in my opinion. Having an actual Toraño on board for the centennial of the brand is certainly key, and Jack is well known and loved in the industry. Anyway, the Big Jack was a tasty cigar and took me well over two hours to smoke. My only gripe with the cigar (and I’m sure Jack never tires of hearing this), is it’s just too damn big! I’ll happily smoke any size in this line, but 70 ring gauge is ridiculous. Great cigar though, even down to the last inch and a half, and after sitting id down and running an errand. I’m sure Jack’s talents will be missed at Duran Premium Cigars, but I’m glad to see him “home” with his family brand.


Torano_CRA_ToroAfter dinner, I dug deep and found a Toraño toro with a Cigar Rights of America band, which came either when I joined CRA in 2009, or renewed the year after. I have no idea what the blend on this toro was, it had the  burgundy Toraño band like on the Casa Toraño line along with the CRA secondary band. I have a bunch of the CRA cigars in the humidor from renewing every year, I’ve yet to get a CRA Opus or Liga yet though. This cigar was just fine. Good, savory flavors, and a razor sharp burn with a flat ember. The ash fell off by itself a couple times, no big deal as I was out walking, had it done that on my new patio carpet I might have been annoyed. Certainly you can’t run out and buy these, so my opinion means nothing really, except to go join the CRA if you haven’t already and maybe you’ll get one of these, or some other good cigars. Which is a good segue to the final paragraph of this post!




FDA ShirtLast week I offered a T-shirt (which I purchased from Smoke Inn) and a handful of cigars from my humidor, including a few that I threw in over the course of the week that weren’t pictured. I honestly thought the turnout would be better than it was. Maybe I didn’t include enough great cigars, or maybe it’s a commentary on the over-all apathy among the cigar smoking public, I don’t know. It’s good for the folks who entered, as it increases the odds. Trust me, when these FDA regulations take effect, it’s going to be much harder for me to have giveaways! Anyway, thanks to all that entered, and thanks for Abe dropping by and commenting and for his dedication to the cause. He certainly won’t be able to offer his Micro-Blend series with the regulations as they are. So, the winner of the T-shirt and cigars from CigarCraig’s humidors is…..KOPTim. Tim, please send your contact info so I can get this stuff to you, or, better yet, if I remember correctly, you’re in the area, lets meet up for a smoke and hand-off! Thanks for all who entered and shared, you can still go to https://www.smokeinn.com/FDA/ and buy a shirt or two to support the cause.


That’s more than enough for today! Look for a single cigar focused mid-week post or two as I have a bunch of interesting samples to get to and I’ve been rather selfishly smoking for myself this week! I also want to get a few posts in the bank, so to speak, in case there’s some dental interruption (fingers crossed). Until the next time,







Filed under Contest, Review, Stores

La Boheme, Nomad Therapy and a Quesada Cigar from Casa de Montecristo

LaBoheme_PittoreSince we last spoke, which was only Friday, I’ve not had the chance to smoke too many cigars, but I did try to smoke good ones! I’ll have to rewind to Thursday, when I selected a La Boheme Pittore (5 1/8″ x 52) from a prior month’s Cigar Authority Care Package, to smoke while I listened to last week’s show.  I should have smoked the Eiroa Classic Prensado, which I really look forward to smoking, but it was a 4″ x 48 size that I knew wouldn’t fit into the time allotted, it would leave me wanting. I’ll get to the Eiroa eventually, but I had the La Boheme that I missed previously, and I was looking forward to smoking Rafael Nodal’s latest creation too. The La Boheme, named after the famous Puccini opera (and I didn’t have to look that up, just so you know!) with sizes are named after characters in the opera, attempts to blend Rafael’s passions of cigars, music and Cuba, and I felt a little bad that I was listening to a cigar podcast while smoking this instead of listening to the opera. This is yet another cigar that I will be smoking again, it was very good, with a hint of that twang that’s a signature of most Havana cigars. Burn and draw were outstanding and it was a very enjoyable smoke. Another job well done from the folks at Aging Room Cigars.


Nomad_TherapyMaduro_ToroFriday evening I celebrated the end of another week, as well as my youngest son’s 22nd birthday, with the Nomad Therapy Maduro Toro.  This line is made at Tabacalera Fernandez in Nicaragua, and the maduro uses a Pennsylvania broadleaf wrapper, which Abdel Fernandez is reasonable famous for working with. Besides the PA wrapper, which I like a lot and it’s grown right down the road from where I live, this cigar had a Habano binder grown in Jalapa, and Nicaraguan filers.  One can’t buy boxes of these, they are presented in trays that retailers can refill with bundles, lowering the cost. That’s not to take anything away from the premium nature if the cigar, it’s not a cheap bundle offering. I had no issues with the burn and draw, and the flavor was awesome! A little sweet, a little spice, a lot of flavor, and it’s right up my alley. Great, another cigar I need to buy…thank you to Fred for including this and it’s Connecticut Shade and Habano siblings with the 12SDOCG offering back in December!


Quesada_Espana_FabulososYesterday we had an odd February day with temps in the 50s, so I grabbed a big cigar and took Macha for a nice long walk, 3.1 miles to be exact.  The cigar came in a selection of cigar sent to me by the online arm of Casa de Montecristo in Chicago, CDMCigars.com. I’ve been to the Casa de Montecristo in the Chicago area and it’s spectacular, and the members lounge which I weaseled my way into is just about as good as it gets. The cigar I selected was the Quesada Sellecion España Fabulosos, a 7″ x 54 corona doble. This line was originally blended for the Spanish market to offer an alternative to Cuban cigars, and was a bit of a unicorn for a while, now they are available in the US, although not widely. The blend consists of a Ecuador grown Arapiraca wrapper, Dominican binder and fillers from Connecticut (broadleaf), the DR and Nicaragua. Here’s wear my general laziness bites me in the ass.  The cigar could have been a little dryer, and that’s my fault, as I placed the bag of samples, along with the Boveda pack, in the bottom of the cabinet. I’ve found before that this is a bad idea, and I didn’t learn. So I’ve removed the Boveda pack and put the rest of the cigars on the top shelf to lose a little moisture. While this cigar didn’t smoke as well as I’d have liked, it still was a terrific tasting cigar and smoked for over two hours. It was rich and creamy with hints of spice. I only have the H-Town lancero to compare this to, and it’s quite different, as the lancero is a lot more potent as one would expect.  The folks at CDMCigars.com also included the Beli-Lance, a 7″ x 40 with a belicoso head, along with a bunch of other exclusive cigars that I look forward to smoking. If you find yourself in the Chicago area make Casa de Montecristo a destination.


That’s it for now, it’s supposed to be milder temperatures again today, but we may get more snow and winter stuff this week. Until the next time,


Cigar Craig



Filed under Review

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