Tag Archives: podcasts

A Couple Cigars, Cigar Podcasts and the Contest Winner!

Gurkha125I’ve been feeling a little in a rut lately, so I decided to smoke some cigars I hadn’t smoked in a long time, so I started with a Gurkha 125th Anniversary XO,  I thought I liked this cigar more, it wasn’t bad, it was just a little more leathery than I remembered. So the next night I went with a sure thing, A Tatuaje TAA 2015. This box pressed, 5 5/8″ x 54 cigar with a covered foot hit the spot. Sadly, this was the last one in my humidor, but boy was it tasty. Not exactly breaking out of my rut, as I’ve been craving broadleaf and this one hit the spot just right. Smooth, rich and delicious. I think I bought a couple of these a little over two Tatuaje TAA 15years ago, great cigar.  Tonight grabbed a CAO Amazon Anaconda, a cigar I developed a deep appreciation for after bringing some home from the IPCPR show. A couple of weeks ago when I saw Jack Toraño he stuck this cigar in my pocket, so it was conveniently located on top of the humidor. This is the third in the Amazon series, following the Amazon Basin and Fuma em Corda. I wasn’t wow’d by the Amazon Basin like most people seemed to CAO Anacondahave been, but I only tried the second release. I really like the Fuma em Corda, and I really really like the Anaconda (except for the name, I’m not a snake fan), This cigar is made in Honduras with a Brazilian Bahiano Habano wrapper, Nicaraguan binder and Colombian, Dominican, Brazilian Braganca, and Fume em Corda fillers. The only thing I really don’t care for was the piece of tobacco that serves as the band terminates under the cap and feels funny in the mouth. Otherwise it’s a great cigar! Burns a long time and tastes great!  Seems I’m still in that rut.


I’m a bit of a podcast junkie, and just want to list several shows I listen to regularly and enjoy. I’ll be honest, this is driven by just listening to Cigar Coop‘s Prime Time show with co-host Aaron Loomis from Developing palates, where they said some nice things about me. I also listen to the Developing Palates recaps  via podcast, KMA Talk Radio, The Cigar Authority, The Ashholes, DE4Live, Cigar Jukebox, Cigar Chat and Sharing Your Pairings, Smooth Draws Radio, Stogie Geeks, as well as Half Ashed and The Cold Draw Podcasts when they show up.  It all started with Blowin’ Smoke, which was one of the first, and was hosted by an old friend Rob Heming. There are a few others that only show up every now and then. Sometimes it’s a challenge staying up to date.



prizeLast week we had a contest sponsored by Cigar Prop and the Tobacco Locker Cigar Bar featuring four great cigars and a pair of Cigar Prop XCs.  It’s time to pick a winner, and I was hoping to have Kevin of Cigar Prop pick one, but he deferred. My reasoning was that myself and Kevin interjected some comments and that makes it harder to count the comments…and I would have liked to see more “likes” on the sponsor’s Facebook pages.  So I worked it out, and the winner is mike mccainSend your address so we can get your prize to you, and I’m going to send a few cigars from my humidor too, just because I feel like it.  Thanks to Kevin for putting this together and Tobacco Locker for participating. 

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





Filed under Contest, Editorial, Review

An Indian Tabac 10th, a Monte, La Flor Dominicana La Nox and Cigar Podcasts

Just a reminder, there’s a giveaway going on that I posted Friday (here). I’m thinking that I might just throw in a Kilo to sweeten things up a little, and there was something else I though about putting in there, but I can’t remember right now. Anyway, hop on back to that post and enter to win some goodies.  Another topic I was thinking about and wanted to mention before I forget again (sucks getting old) is my podcast habit.  I’m a big old podcast junkie, I have a bunch in my rotation, of course The Cigar Authority and Kiss my Ash Radio are staples, as well as Half Ashed, The Stogie Geeks, Cigar Chat on Cigar Federation, Doc Stogiefresh, and Blowin’ Smoke, although the later hasn’t been updating as much as they used to.  As a matter of fact, Blowin’ Smoke was my introduction to the Podcast genre, and I’ve known Rob for fifteen years (I’ve slept on his couch!), he’s another guy I like despite him being a Penguins fan. There are also a couple that blend subject matter like Cigars in Cinema and Cigar Jukebox that I like. Nor that I think about it, I haven’t seen an episode of The Cigar Guys Radio Show out of Atlanta in a few weeks, I’ll have to look into that. In the past couple months I came across a new one to add to my rotation, and I’ve really taken a liking to.  The Cold Draw is another podcast out of New Hampshire, and is well produced and entertaining. Their cigar reviews are in the form of what they term the “bands off dance off”, where they are blind smoking two cigars on the show and picking their favorite. They have panned Opus X and been smitten with Roly bundles, so it’s fun the hear the panels descriptions. I find Bob, Matt and Nick to be quite entertaining and look forward to the show every week.


ITC_10thAnniversary_SalomonLast Sunday I smoked an Indian Tabac 10th Anniversary Salomon that I’ve had in the humidor for over a year. I actually picked this up at my 50th birthday herf at Cigars International’s Super Store, which means I’ve had it in the humidor over two years! Since ITC was launched in 1996 by Phil Zenghi of Debonaire Cigars and Indian Motorcycle Premium Cigars fame, and left it in Rocky Patel‘s hands shortly after that, one would guess that the 10th anniversary was sometime around 2006, so this was pretty close to a ten-year old cigar by my figuring. It was a really nice smoke, it burned well for a large figuarado, it’s 7 1/8″ x 58, and lasted well over two hours. It was on the milder side, with lots of nice, mellow flavors of wood and nuts with a bit of a creamy quality. I don’t know that this cigar would have been any better if I had procrastinated any longer, and I wonder what this would have been like five years ago or so. It’s always fun smoking a well aged cigar, this one was a treat.


MonteSometime around the middle of the week I grabbed a Montecristo Monte Conde robusto for my evening walk.  I had been putting the finishing touches on my Montecristo White Vintage Connecticut magazine article and wanted to compare. The Monte is totally different from the White line, it’s stronger and has a lot going on with some Nicaraguan, Dominican tobacco in the blend with an Ecuador Habano wrapper. The cigar was 5½ x 48 which is a very nice size in my book. Speaking of sizes, why don’t they list he vitolas on the website?  I think it’s funny that they don’t list the sizes, and it always seems to be the big companies that leave this detail out. Mystifying. Anyway, the Monte is a good smoke, lots of flavor and burned very well. It was a satisfying cigar, and I think in a blind tasting this would certainly compare favorably with a boutique brand.


LaFlorDominicana_La NoxFinally, I smoked a second La Nox from La Flor Dominicana. This cigar is new this year, and is a beauty. It’s wrapped in a dark, oily Brazilian Arapiraca wrapper, with a San Andres binder and Dominican fillers, including Pelo de Oro from their own farms. It seems to only come in a 6½ x 50 Toro size. How do I know all this?  Well, it’s not on their website yet, so I had to hunt around for the info, which included visits to some of my sponsors sites for the details. Do I do anything besides bitch about cigar manufacturers websites?  That’s gotta get old… back to the cigar. I smoked a couple of these, and this cigar is in my personal wheelhouse. It’s dark, both in appearance and flavor, with a palate coating sensation akin to black licorice, of which I’m a fan. It produces a good amount of smoke, and only required a touch up because I’m a picky bastid. Of course, LFD is known for producing strong Dominican cigars, and this one’s no different, it’ got some horsepower to it for sure. I want to say that this is another blend from Tony Gomez, Litto’s son who is very tall, and he did a good job. I liked it. Thanks to Jonathan Carney at LFD for sending these samples.


I made it through another week of not smoking a cigar I didn’t like, which is good. Autumn in this part of the country means the leaves are falling off the trees, generally making a big mess, so I suppose I’ll be on the roof (new as of last week, by the way) blowing the leaves out of the gutters, then I’ll participate in leaf burning the only way I like doing it, tobacco leaves rolled into a tube and savored over the course of an hour or more.


Until the next time,





Filed under Editorial, Review

This Week’s Cigars So Far: Power House, Ashton VSG, American Eagles and Cigar Mechanic

Here’s a brief run down of some of the cigars I’ve enjoyed so far this week, and another short video from the IPCPR show.

Power House by Cuban Crafters – This one one of a handful that Kiki Berger gave me at the IPCPR show last month.  I’ve been trying to find information about them to no avail.  True to it’s name, it starts out with a blast of strength.  I almost thought I wasn’t going to make it through the cigar, it was just too much nicotine for the first inch or so.  It mellowed a little after a while and became a very nice smoke, full of dark flavors.  I have no idea what the make up of this cigar is, but I’m going to guess it has a broadleaf wrapper, and Nicaraguan fillers.  After the initial blast of strength I enjoyed this cigar.  Perhaps some humidor time will mellow that part out of it.  Oddly, samples of Cuban Crafters cigars I’ve had in the past have not thrilled me, but recent cigars I’ve smoked from Tabacalera Esteli have been more to my liking.  Kiki Berger is a really nice guy too, I’m happy and fortunate to have met him at Cigar Safari and spent some time talking to him at the show.


Ashton Virgin Sun Grown Torpedo – Came across this one in the humidor after rummaging for something to smoke and figured it’s time had come.  I have been smoking new and different cigars lately and wanted to go old school.  This large torpedo has been floating around the humidors for 6 or 7 years, had some mottling on the wrapper, but was such a nice, sweet cigar with loads of flavor.  I savored it for about 90 minutes, while sitting on my front porch on a stunningly beautiful August evening, catching up on cigar podcasts.  Sidebar: I am up to about 5 podcasts in my rotation, and I get behind in the summer.  During the winter months I have about 5 hours a week in the car commuting that I am able to listen to podcasts.  In the nicer months I may only have to drive the car to work once or twice a week, if that.  I sometimes take an evening walk alone with a cigar and listen to them, which is nice, but it’s better to walk with someone (usually my son or my wife).  Three of the podcasts I like to listen to are pushing 2 hours long, which is a killer year round! For those curious, the podcasts currently in my rotation are: Dogwatch Cigar Radio, Stogie Fresh 5, Blowin Smoke, Cigar Snapshot, and The Cigar Authority.  I’ve had the pleasure to have met the hosts of all of these on various occasions, even slept on one of their couches on a couple occasions, with the exception of Bill Berris, who hosts Cigar Snapshot.  I do “know” Bill from the old alt.smokers.cigars days though, and one day our paths will cross.  I’ve said before that there are some little things that annoy me about some of the shows, but they all provide me with cigartainment and are worth every penny I pay for them :-).


When I saw American Eagles cigars at the show I thought they were a novelty, I mean, really, a camo cigar?  What if I drop it outside, how will I find it?  Well, this is a serious cigar.  Not only do some of the proceeds go to the Semper Fi Fund, as a thank you to all the men and women who serve and have served in the United States Marine Corps, but the cigars are actually blended by Hendrick Kelner.  Since I’ve been seeing these show up in a couple of major retailers mailings, I figured I’d fire up one of the samples I got from the trade show. I took this cigar for my evening walk, and it’s a darned nice cigar! I smoked this down to about a half an inch, and it remained smooth and flavorful to the end. It looks to me like it has candela, shade and maduro pieces applied to a habano wrapper to produce the camouflage pattern, and I swear I could taste the candela “freshness” here and there. It’s gimmicky, but a quality cigar that is very tasty. This is one that should not be dismissed, if you can find them (little camo joke there…) give one a shot.  Chris Ramos, the sales director was very helpful and generous with his time, thanks to him for the samples.


The American Eagles cigars were sharing a booth with Cigar Mechanic‘s Eric Budman, who was kind enough to not only gift me a couple of his humidifying units to try out, but also took a few minutes to record a little video about his products.  I have to say, since using one of these in a new cooler set up, it’s been holding steady, as has been the smaller unit in my desktop humidor. Check out the video and give these a try if you are in the market for a new humidification device.

Thanks to Eric for taking the time to talk to me and for the samples!

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



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Filed under Accessories, Events, IPCPR, Review, Take a Cigar For a Walk