Tag Archives: podcast

Enclave Broadleaf by AJ Fernandez

AJ Fernandez Enclave BroadleafFirst off, I updated my last post on the Dominion Cigars Black Lotus, it turns out that it was the natural wrapper version, and not maduro. I suck, let’s move past it!  It was a good smoke, whatever it was!  Anyway, Tonight I smoked a cigar I picked up a week or so ago at one of my local Cigar Cigars stores (there are no less than 6 within a 10 mile radius of my house), one I had been anxious to try. I smoked one there the day I hung out for a while and loved it, and very much enjoyed the one I smoked tonight. The cigar, as the title of the posts suggests, is the Enclave Broadleaf by AJ Fernandez.  I picked up a couple of the toro size, a hefty 6½” x 54, with a dark Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper and Nicaraguan binder and filler. This is a fantastic broadleaf cigar with some weight to the smoke, it’s dark, has some sweetness and strength. It burned well, although tonight’s example required one minor touch up as one side burned a little faster than the other. This will be yet another cigar I’ll keep in the humidor, it’s right up my alley and fairly priced in the $8 range.  I remember a time not long ago when I’d bristle at spending that much for a cigar, but it seems like the norm now.


If Podcasts are your thing, check out Cigar-Coop’s Prime Time Episode 37 with Jack and Charlie Toraño. It’s an enlightening interview, Will and Aaron get to the bottom of the sale of Toraño Family cigars. I’ll be making an appearance on Aaron’s Developing Palates show next week as they do their 2017 recap.  Should be a lot of fun, although this time of year I think I’ll be doing it from in the house sans cigar, much to my dismay.


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





Filed under Review

Tatuaje Tattoo, Surrogates Bone Crusher and a Six-Zero Cigar

I don’t know if it’s the change of seasons or what, but I’ve been having some cigar troubles lately. I had some cigars that should have been great, but were underwhelming to me. This is frustrating, because I only have a limited amount of time each day to enjoy a cigar, so It annoys me when I get a dud.  It could be that I’ve been munching on licorice for the last week or two, as my boys both gave me some nice black licorice for Father’s Day.


SixZero_RoboloI had to test my palate, so I went to a cigar I’ve smoked several of recently and really enjoyed.  The Six-Zero line is a proprietary brand from Best Cigar Prices made by Boutique Blends in The Dominican Republic. The Robolo is a 4½” x 60, and Best Cigar Prices had a whole range of “house blends” in this size. Oddly, I find the size rather appealing.  This is also a very inexpensive cigar, coming in around $3 each or less.  I love the San Andrés wrapper on this cigar and it burns perfectly. This was the first really satisfying cigar I’ve smoked in a few days, the whole experience, from burn to the flavor, was very good. I’ve only smoked this size in the line, but I like it a lot.  This confirmed to me that my palate isn’t that far off.


Tattoo_CaballeroMonday evening I selected a Tattoo Caballero, the new line from Tatuaje. I picked up a few of these last week and they are in the $5 range, making this a budget line in the brand.  These are made by Pepin Garcia, not in the My Father factory, but his TACUBA factory in Esteli. It’s got a pretty Ecuador Habano wrapper and Nicaraguan fillers.  It starts with a nice dose of pepper, as you might expect.  Mine had a bit of a crooked burn which required some touch ups, but was a very nice smoke. I judge it to be medium bodied. I’ll be interested to see how this smoked after a longer rest in the humidor.


Another cigar I picked up last week was the Surrogates Bone Crusher. I had a really good experience with its sibling the Skull Breaker, so I wanted to give this chunky 5¼”x 55 robusto a try.  Maybe my palate is fatigued a little, because it seems like I’m finding the stronger cigars more fulfilling. This is a strong cigar, but well balanced. It was loaded with dark flavors, no doubt attributed to the Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper. I’m sure this has a slightly different blend than the Skull Breaker, but I found it to be very entertaining.  I was wishing it was a longer cigar by the time I was finished, and maybe left a half inch nub in the ashtray. If you like strong cigars, this line is worth a look.  I’ve been quite impressed with everything from the L’Atelier line that I’ve smoked, which is admittedly few.




I listen to a lot of cigar podcasts, and I recently ran across a very entertaining bunch this week. First, give The Cigar Authority a listen, the latest episode features Victor Vitale, whom I had the good fortune to spend some time with last week. Of course, Dave and Mr. Jonathan are friends too, and I’ve been entertained by their brand of entertainment for some time. I even had the pleasure to be a guest on the show once.  Next up was Kiss My Ash Radio, hosted by another major retailer, Abe of Smoke Inn.  This week’s installment featured several short vignettes with Matt Booth of Room 101 reciting poetry. I laughed out loud at each one. Last, but not least, and on a serious note, The Stogie Geeks this week featured by buddy Will Cooper interviewing Glynn Loope, the executive director of Cigar Rights of America about the pending FDA regulation. I’ve heard Glynn on several other shows, but this one concentrated on the issue at hand for a good hour or more, and was very in depth. Give this a listen as I found it very educational.  Broken record time, support the CRA, make sure you follow the links on their site and comment on the FDA site following their recommendations. It’s quite important that we convince the FDA to leave hand made, premium cigars alone. There have been some positives in the last few days, such as an extension of the comment period and The White House’s Office of Management and Budget acknowledging that there would be a major economic impact if the FDA has their way. Educate yourselves and make your voice heard, or this glorious industry will cease to exist as we know it.


I almost forgot, my son spent the last two days making a cigar box guitar out of a La Gloria Cubana Retro Especiale box.



Nice job! I sounds pretty good too


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


Cigar Craig



Filed under Editorial, News, Review

IPCPR 2013 – Part 2: The Cigar Authority with David Garofalo

I know many of my readers also listen to cigar podcasts, and I’m a big fan.  One of the ones I’ve been listening to for a few years is The Cigar Authority.  It took some time for me to get used to the funny accents 🙂 , but I’m constantly entertained, and have even managed to get mentioned on the show here and there! Usually it’s when I’ve e-mailed to point out some inaccuracy or something that caught me funny, like the time David had eyelid surgery and his graphic description almost made me pull the car over to evacuate my digestive tract.  It’s not always that bad, so I listen religiously every week via the podcast version usually while walking the dog or in the car.


In this portion of the video David tells us about the show.  It’s quite a bit shorter than yesterdays!


If your into the whole podcast thing, give these guys a listen, you can find them at TheCigarAuthority.com or on iTunes.  You can also listen and/or watch live when they broadcast the show on Saturdays from Noon to 2:00 Eastern Time.  One of these days I’ll catch a live show one way or another.

That’s all for now, watch for tomorrow’s dramatic conclusion of the Garofalo Trilogy!  Until then,




Filed under IPCPR, Video

CAO La Traviata, Brazilia And The New OSA Sol

It’s been CAO week so far. Got off to a good start with a CAO La Traviata natural. This was the first of this line I’ve smoked. Why, you ask? I don’t know, I just never came across them in the store until I went out to blow the Living Social Gift certificates I received for Father’s Day and decided to grab one. I had smoked a Maduro, which had been a trade show sample from last year’s IPCPR show, and I didn’t care for it. The CAO brand is like that with me, hit or miss. I really wanted to like the Italia and the Criollo, but don’t like either. The black and gold lines are pretty good, and I really liked the MX2, CX2 and the occasional LX2, and the Cameroon Anniversary was really good (I still have a Tubo from a box I purchased over 8 years ago! So I was a little “eh” on trying the La Traviata after the disappointment of the maduro. However, after all the hype I figured I owed the natural a shot. I’m glad I did, because I really enjoyed the cigar. One complaint about this cigar is that it has the look of a bundle cigar, and specifically I refer to the lack of a discernible cap line, which may have caused the cut to be a bit ragged. This only detracted from the experience a little bit, I can be a little CDO (that’s OCD in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!) about a nice clean cut on a cigar. It burned well and had a pleasing flavor. This is a cigar that I will pick up again.


I took my Monday evening walk accompanied by a year and a half old CAO Brazilia Gol. The Gol is listed at 5″ x 56. For some reason, it seemed closer to 50, but maybe that has something to do with the trend towards 60 ring cigars making 50 the new 42? I don’t know, it just seemed like my perspective is thrown off by all of these beefy ring gauge cigars lately. Whatever the ring gauge, I have enjoyed these in the past, as I tend to like nice, dark, heavy cigars from time to time. This cigar had a very well applied cap and cut very cleanly. Not a whole lot I can say about this cigar other than I enjoyed the heck out of it down to a finger burning nub. Beautiful dark and oily wrapper on these!


After deciding on a CAO theme, I figured it would be a good time to light up the new CAO OSA Sol Lot 50, which was just released at the IPCPR show a few weeks ago. This particular cigar has a nice milk chocalate colored wrapper,and, disappointingly, has that same lack of a discernible cap line as the La Traviata. I know it’s a small thing, and doesn’t take away from the flavor, but it take a little bit away from the overall presentation of the cigar. Speaking of presentation, the box these come in is pretty nice looking! It’s a white box with a green “stripe” weaving across the lid. Very striking! I punched the cigar to avoid the same ragged cut I got from the similarly capped La Traviata and was pleased with the draw. I was also quite pleased with the flavors. This is a solidly medium bodied smoke, it’s smooth, it’s well made, it’s tasty. I will probably smoke the one other sample I have too soon and have to wait until they hit the shelves to get some more because I will be impatient and want to enjoy this cigar again. I only wish that the cigar had been longer, because it seemed to be finished too soon.  I REALLY enjoyed this cigar!


In this video from the trade show, Ed McKenna and Rick Rodriguez tell us about the new CAO OSA Sol:

Apologies for the low volume in the video, but it gets the point across.

One more tidbit:  I came across a new podcast, as if I needed one more in my rotation, it’s called CigarSnapshot.  It’s hosted by Bill Berris, who is another alt.smokers.cigars usenet group veteran.  His format is short, to the point, podcasts, which will fit in well with my habits.  Good Luck Bill!

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




Filed under IPCPR, Review

Cigar Humor – Monday June 7, 2010

What am I doing?

That’s it for now, let’s see your comments on what you think I’m doing in this picture!  Also, thanks to Bob at Dogwatch Cigar Radio for the mention in the current episode.  Check out their podcast for a couple hours of weekly cigar infotainment!




Filed under Humor