Tag Archives: Señor Esugars

CigarCraig’s Top Five Memorable Cigars of 2017

This is a little early but Sunday’s post just might be another contest and I don’t want to confuse things! I was trying to get this posted Wednesday, but things weren’t working out the way I wanted them to! Just like last year, my criteria is simple, a cigar that I consider “Memorable” is one I smoked, made a positive impression on me to the point where I really want to smoke more of that cigar.  I noted last year that this format, in no particular order, would keep me off Halfwheel’s Consensus list, but I just recently came to find out that my 2016 was included on their 2016 Awards: The Consensus Top 25 Cigars which included at least three of my five most memorable. So, without further ado, here’s my list of memorable cigars of last year.

 

LaGloriaCubana_Colección Reserva_PresidenteI’ve been a fan of La Gloria Cubana cigars since the mid-nineties when I started really getting into the premium cigars. Back then they were made by Ernesto Perez Carillo in Miami and later the Dominican Republic and were excellent. Time has passed, along with ownership of the company, and Ernesto has gone on to do his own thing, but he came back to partner with General to make the Coleccion Reserva. one a side note, the current contest running now until Sunday includes ten of these great cigars, and let me tel you it’s going to be hard to let go of them! I kid, I’m happy to share such great cigars. These are manufactured at Ernesto’s  Tabacalera La Alianza in the Dominican Republic using materials from both companies. I like them so much I bought a box of the Presidente size for full retail! This cigar exemplifies the cooperative nature of the cigar industries where competing companies work together. It doesn’t always work, but in the case of the La Gloria Cubana Coleccion Reserva is does. Smoking one with Ernesto at a local event puts it at the top of my most memorable list ( I know, I said it was in no particular order!).

 

CorneliusandAnthony_SenorEsugars_RobustoCornelius and Anthony makes an appearance again this year, I still go to the Cornelius Toro as my “go to” special occasion cigar, but there aren’t a lot of cigars in their portfolio that I don’t like. OK, I don’t think there are any that I don’t like. OK, OK, there aren’t any I don’t like! This year they released two new lines, the Aerial with a Ecuador Connecticut Shade wrapper,  and the Señor Esugars with a San Andrés wrapper, which is my second selection on my memorable list. These are made at the La Zona factory in Esteli. I really dig this cigar, which, like the Aerial, has a super secret US grown binder. they are tight-lipped about the origin of the leaf they use, but considering the Bailey family has been growing tobacco in Virginia for 150 years, one cant help but think it’s grown in Virginia. It certainly adds a unique component to the cigars, and the Señor Esugars hits my palate just right. There’s a super cool dog on the box too. Full disclosure: Cornelius and Anthony is an advertiser on CigarCraig.com, but the only effect that has on my opinion is in that bearing contacted by them to advertise put them on my radar, and meeting Steven Bailey and his team adds to the memorability.

 

SouthernDraw_Jacob'sLadder_GordoSouthern Draw Cigars has been on my radar for a while, but at this year’s IPCPR I finally got to meet Robert Holt, his wife, Sharon, and their family. Upon meeting, Robert did a convincing job of knowing who I was and was generous with his time.  Robert is a gentleman, a veteran, a spiritual man and is behind some of the best cigars coming out of Tabacalera AJ Fernandez.  New to me this year was the Jacobs Ladder, his Pennsylvania Broadleaf flavor bomb. The name hints at his commitment to family and faith, and the cigar is awesome. I’m currently on the hunt for more, because it’s one I want to smoke more of, and it’s an especially good choice for the cold weather we’ve been having as the weight of the flavor cuts through the crisp air.  The Rose of Sharon is also a stellar offering in the Ecuador Connecticut wrapper (there should be little doubt by now that a maduro is almost always winning out over a shade wrapper with me!), it’s among the best out there (the above mentioned Aerial and the Fratello Oro get honorable mentions).  So that makes the Southern Draw Jacobs Ladder my third memorable smoke of 2017.

 

OscarHabano_SixtyNext up is another cigar I really enjoyed this year, the Oscar Habano. Funny think about this one is that I had bought some of the Toro  and Gordo sizes an really enjoyed them, but it wasn’t until  I had the Robusto that was part of 2 Guys Smokeshop‘s Contenders pack that I really saw the beauty of this cigar. Listen to The Cigar Authority tomorrow (Saturday 12/30) to see if they get it right and select this cigar as the Cigar of the Year. As I think about it, I may dig out the one toro I still have and smoke it today. Oscar makes some great cigars, the Leaf by Oscar line is very good (there’s another Ecuador Connecticut cigar that’s really good!), it’s nice that he made something exceptional to put his name on (wait…his name is on the Leaf by Oscar isn’t it?) Great smoke, I hope 2 Guys Smokeshop makes the right call on this one.

 

FSG ToroFinally, I really can’t get enough of the Florida Sungrown from Drew Estate. This uses tobacco that’s grown on Jeff Borysiewicz’s (Corona Cigar Co.) Farm where he’s growing Corojo tobacco, the first time Cigar tobaco has been grown in Florida for something like 40 years. Willie Hererra blended the cigar using Nicaraguan and Honduran tobaccos with the Florida leaf adding that little something different in the flavor.  I have to admit, it was a toss-up between the FSG and the Undercrown Sungrown, both are exceptional and I really dig them, but the FSG has a great story and inches out the Undercrown by a hair. Drew Estate continues to bring new and interesting cigars to the market, I have to admit that I rather liked the new Acid Kuba Candela too. While I’m more of a traditional cigar smoker, this one was a treat, the bitterness of the candela wrapper offset the sweetness of the infusion. Good stuff.

 

That’s it for my five most memorable cigars of the past year. There were probably others that I thought were excellent but didn’t have the little extra to make them stand out. The La Palina El Año 1816 was on my list too, I just need to smoke a few more before I can make a strong recommendation (the La Palina Classic Maduro I smoked last night was really quite tasty too!).  Hopefully 2018 brings some new and interesting cigars. Once again, thanks to all the readers and sponsors, without whom I’d be typing for my own entertainment!

 

That’s all for now, don’t forget the contest! Until the next time,

 

CigarCraig

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Cornelius and Anthony Cigars Event at Wooden Indian

Still trying to shake this cold, nothing tastes right which is the worst!  However, when one of one’s favorite cigar brands is doing and event at one’s favorite cigar shop, one has to bite the bullet and man up.  I’ve gushed about The Wooden Indian often. I have about a dozen cigar stores within a 15 mile radius of my house, and I visit them all periodically, but the one that’s the furthest, Wooden Indian, is the one where I feel like I’m welcomed as part of the family. I know the people at all the other shops, I like them and all, and they all have their forte, but I find myself at Wooden Indian most often. I suppose it helps that my daughter and her family live about a mile from the place and I can stop in and say hello, but it’s the staff and events that make me stop in the shop. It should be made clear that I’m not the consumer who stops in the shop for a daily smoke, I’m happier smoking from my own humidors on my walks or on the porch, so I generally only go to shops for events or to meet up with someone. I value my friendship with Dave and his staff at Wooden Indian, there are many great shops in the greater Philadelphia area, but this one stands out.

 

I got a message from Jose Galvez, who’s our area rep for Cornelius and Anthony Cigars, as well as other La Zona partner brands, to stop in to the Wooden Indian as they were having an event. Of course, when I received this message I was already on my way.  In addition to my frequent gushing about the shop, I’ve also heaped praise on the Cornelius and Anthony brand, as they are probably my favorite overall brand of the last two years.  The Miami CandA_WImade Cornelius line I put right there with Davidoff, Sobremesa, and whatever other high-end, medium and complex and delicious cigars you can think of. Their other lines, the Daddy Mac, Venganza, Meridian, and the new Aerial and Señor Esugars are all excellent cigars made at La Zona.  In addition to really liking the cigars, I find the aesthetic part of the experience very pleasing, the bands are classy and appealing to me, and the box art is very cool. I bought a handful of cigars and lit up a Señor Esugars Corona Gorda which I could actually taste. I won’t say it tasted like it should because of my cold, but it didn’t taste terrible and I nursed about two hours out of it. It’s always nice to see Todd Vance, Cornelius and Anthony’s Director of Sales, and we were entertained by his playlist, which featured both kinds of music, county and western, although I found the country rendition of Purple Rain slightly disturbing. I can’t wait for this funk to lift from my head so I can just spend a week smoking through the Cornelius an Anthony line, which is highly recommended by me, for whatever that’s worth.

 

You can read my thoughts on the IPCPR booth and releases, along with an interview with Stephan Bailey HERE.

 

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

 

CigarCraig

 

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IPCPR 1017 – Cornelius and Anthony Cigars

C&ABoothOf course, one of the primary destinations for me at this IPCPR was the Cornelius and Anthony booth, where I was welcomed by Steven Bailey, Courtney Smith and Todd Vance.  The first video I shot with Steven I was to find out, much to my dismay, had no audio, a problem that would rear it’s ugly head again (the great video I did with Matt Booth was sans audio, which didn’t come to light until I was home, nobody commented that it was silent, and a video interview with anyone with no audio sucks, especially with someone as CorneliusandAnthony_Cornelius_Lonsdaleentertaining as Mr. Booth). Steven was gracious enough to grant me a do-over, which is presented below.  Naturally, as my luck would have it, YouTube Live wasn’t cooperating that day either, but I usually have options.  As is apparent to the casual CigarCraig reader, I’m a big fan of the Cornelius and Anthony line, and was anxious to sample the newest offerings. Debuting at the show were two new lines and a new size in the Cornelius line, which is made at Al Titan de Bronze in Miami. This new size is a Lonsdale, a 6½” x 42 cigar with the same Ecuador wrapper and binder and Nicaraguan and Dominican fillers. I couldn’t help but smoke one this week.  I’ll make no bones about the fact that the Toro is my favorite in the Cornelius line, but I think the Lonsdale, due to it’s narrow ring gauge, has a little more bite, and might be perceived as stronger than the smooth and creamy Toro. It still smokes very well, like a high-end cigar should, and has the same rich, complex flavors that the larger rings have. Smaller ring cigars burn hotter and seem stronger because the flavors are sharper, so I smoked this slowly like I would a lancero. I very much enjoyed this cigar.

 

CorneliusandAnthony_Aerial_RobustoThe new offerings are the Aerial and Señor Esugars, adding a Ecuador Connecticut and Mexican San Andres to the line. The Aerial is an Ecuador Connecticut wrapped cigar with a USA binder and Nicaraguan fillers. Not a mild cigar at all, solidly medium to my palate, but an absolutely beautiful cigar. I smoked the Robusto, and it comes in Gordo, Toro and Corona Gorda, which are consistent sizes across the brand. I like the fact that they stick to the four classic sizes. The USA binder intrigues me as I know that the Bailey family has been growing tobacco for 150 years, one can’t help but wonder if this is something grown on their farms in Virginia or a PA or Connecticut leaf. Whatever it is, it works, as the smooth, velvety smoke has a sweetness and a hint of spice that is very pleasurable. The Aerial is a great addition to the Cornelius and Anthony line.

 

CorneliusandAnthony_SenorEsugars_RobustoThe Señor Esugars has the dark Mexican wrapper, with the USA binder (same as the Aerial?) and Nicaraguan fillers. This, along with the Aerial (Daddy Mac, Venganza and Meridian) is made in the La Zona factory in Esteli. The box has a great likeness of Steven Bailey’s dog Oscar, who Steven calls Mr. Sugars, sporting a derby, very cool imagery, another consistent theme. I just want to scratch that dog’s big, fluffy ears! Besides the cigars being great, the color and design of the bands and boxes appeal to me. Sorry, I don’t care how great a cigar is, if it has a crappy looking band it’s going to color my perception. Back to the Señor Esugars. Trade show samples and the fact that I’ve only let them rest for a couple weeks besides the point, this is destined to be a fantastic cigar. I would have like it to be a little drier, my fault, but it had some strength, and some rich, sweet flavors that are on the dark side that I enjoy. I want to smoke this with a Cuban coffee, I just rarely get the chance to make it. It’s another great addition to the line. I really have a hard time picking a favorite of the La Zona blends, Mr. Bailey and co. are really making some great cigars, they have the right people on board to present them and sell them. Super stuff, I’m glad they are on the shelves of some of the stores in my area, and I recommend them highly.

 

 

 

 

 

Until the next time,

 

CigarCraig

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