Tag Archives: Smoke Inn

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

 

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CigarCraig’s 12 Spectacular Days of Cigar Giveaways 2015 Day 9: Smoke Inn Microblends

Several years ago Abe at Smoke Inn, a chain of ten (or eleven?) stores in Florida, launched his Microblend series. He’s had some of the greatest cigar manufacturers on the planet making small batch, store exclusive cigars for him, including Fuente, Padron, Tatuaje, et cetera. This year Abe has provided two ten count packages of his most current Microblend releases,  the Illusione Pactum and the Pope of Greenwich Village from Drew Estate.  The Pactum is a 5½” x 56 San Andrés wrapped robusto with high priming Nicaraguan filler, a Box of 15. The Pope of Greenwich Village is 6″ x 40, and has the San Andrés wrapper also, with a Connecticut Stalk-Cut Habano binder and fillers of Brazilian Mata Fina and Nicaraguan tobaccos and comes in a bundle of 10.  They both sound delicious, don’t they?  Thanks to Abe and his Smoke Inn staff for sending these along.  Abe also has a weekly radio show and podcast, Kiss My Ash Radio, which broadcasts every Saturday at 10am Eastern, check it out. Steve Saka is the special guest on today’s show.

 

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This is going to cause some confusion….Yesterday’s winner of the Punch Signature Robustos from General Cigar Co. is Eric.  I know there were at least two Eric’s who entered, so it’s the one who didn’t use his full name (sorry Eric W! Try again today). So the Eric who posted around 11:46 AM EST yesterday needs to send me his info. I smoked one of these last night (not from your box!) and it’s a really nice smoke, sweet tobacco goodness and great construction. Thanks to Victoria and all the folks at General Cigar Co.!

 

 

You know what to do now, leave a comment here, check back tomorrow to see if you won!

 

RULES

 

All you have to do to enter is to leave a comment on the post of the day, if you can, try to post what you know or how you feel about today’s present, the folks donating the gift should get some feedback for their troubles! It’s not a condition to win, but it’s nice to have something to read. We did this last year and it benefits everyone. Once you’ve won, you’re out, let everyone else have a chance. Must be over 18 to win. Also, be sure to visit the links for each item. Comments on Facebook, Twitter, or anywhere else will not count, but feel free to spread the word!

Until tomorrow,

CigarCraig

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Big Delicious, Villiger San’Doro and Southern Draw Kudzu Cigars

Room101_BigDeliciousFollowing on the heels of the Johnny Tobacconaut, I came across a lonely Room 101  Big Delicious that is a Smoke Inn exclusive and was released with much fanfare a year or so ago. This is a cool 6¼” x 52 figurado with a dark Habano 2000 wrapper.  You don’t see “Habano 2000” used that much any more, it got such a bad rap for not burning when it came around in the early part of the century (that makes me feel old…, it was around 2000).  The wrapper hangs over the foot so one really gets a nice taste of it off the light. When I see a wrapper folded over the foot, or some variation of that, I tend to just stick the cigar in my mouth and light it up, I figure toasting will burn off that extra wrapper leaf before I get to enjoy it!  Anyway, this cigar was sitting in the humidor, all alone and needed to be smoked, so I smoked it.  It was still big, and still delicious.  It burned well, had loads of deep, rich flavor and was quite satisfying.  These are still available from Smoke Inn and aren’t too expensive compared to a lot of other cigars. I don’t know that age has really improved this cigar, so if you get some, smoke them, I don’t believe they are regular production so they are what they are, still Big, still Delicious! The Website calls it the “The bastard child of Matt Booth and Abe Dababneh!”, I prefer to think of it as their “love child”.

 

Villiger_San'Doro_ToroWhile looking through the IPCPR samples, my eyes landed on a Villiger San’Doro Maduro in a toro size.  This year they released the San’Doro line in three wrapper, the Maduro, the Colorado and the Claro. While the Colorado and Claro are made at Tabacalera Oliva in Esteli, the Maduro I smoked is a Brazilian puro made in Viliger’s factory in Bahia, Brazil.  I’ve smoked Brazilian puros before, and when I smoked this one I didn’t know it was a puro. This was a nice, sweet maduro with  lot of great flavor.  I have samples of the claro (Ecuador Connecticut) and Colorodo (Habano from Nicaragua) in the humidor and I’m looking forward to smoking them, although I expect them to be completely different.  I’m not entirely sure when or if these are going to be offered in the U.S., there seems to be a lot of information pointing towards a European release this month.  I suppose someone will let me know!

 

SouthernDraw_KudzuI smoked a really nice Sindicato Hex Perfecto, and another Leccia Luchador Frogsplash this week, but i’ve discussed those before and there’s nothing really interesting to report. I did receive some goodies from Southern Draw Cigars and couldn’t wait to dig into the Kudzu after having a good experience with the Firethorn a week or so ago.  The Kudzo Toro is 6″ x 52 and has the covered foot again.  Both the Kudzu and Firethorn come in four sizes, a Pigtail capped Petite Corona, a 5½” x 52 Robusto, the Toro and a 6½” x 60 Gordo. The Kudzo has a dark Habano Oscuro wrapper and Binder and fillers from Nicaragua.  It starts off with a punch, and I began to question the wisdom of lighting this up before I had dinner. While it was a stronger cigar, my poor dining judgement didn’t come into play, as it smoothed out and was a solid medium to full cigar which I found to be quite enjoyable. It had some wood and chocolate flavors and smoked evenly until I put it down with under an inch left. I’m quite impressed with this line in my limited experience with them, although they are made at the A.J. Fernandez factory so I shouldn’t be surprised. Thanks to Robert Holt for sending some samples along, very good smokes.

 

That’s it for today, I don’t usually do two posts in one day, so don’t get used to it! While I’m thinking of it, next Saturday, October 3rd, from Noon to six is The Smokin’ Goose festival in Limerick, PA.  This was a great time last year, and this year they are having it right at the store instead of off site.  I plan to be there and am looking forward to it.  Check out The Smokin’ Goose website for tickets and information. A portion of the proceeds go to Cigars For Warriors. Until the next time,

 

CigarCraig

 

CigarCraig

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Tops of The Year, Roberto P. Duran Winner and General Nonsense

Serie Unico_FeralFlyingPigToday’s post is going to be a little of everything. It’s my last day of a 14 day vacation, and I really want to get something accomplished today, so I want to get this done!  I’ve got some top “x” lists,  Some cigars I smoked, and a contest winner!  I’ll start with some cigars I smoked that I found interesting. I generally spend the end of December smoking either cigars that are featured in the giveaways, or cigars I’ve featured in the past and want to revisit, or special occasion cigars.  I smoked a bunch of each this year.  Around Christmas I smoked a Padron 1964 Exclusivo and a Drew Estate Serie Unico Feral Flying Pig.  The Pig was a bit of a surprise, it was the first of this size I’ve smoked. It was super smooth and full of rich flavor and I swear I got some cinnamon at the halfway point. This example came back with me from Nicaragua a year and a half ago, and I would have picked up a couple more when I saw them locally except for the $19 price tag.  The Feral Flying Pig was a “wow” cigar for me, perhaps the best cigar I smoked all year. My wife got me this cool cast iron pig holding what looks like a tobacco leaf for me for Christmas. The Exclusivo was pretty darned good too!

 

RockyPatel_ProhibitionNew Years Eve we stopped in to Cigar Mojo in King of Prussia, PA for a smoke and I picked up some of the Rocky Patel Prohibition cigars that I’ve been wanting to try. These come in glass jars, and one has a San Andrés wrapper and one has a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper, and both are a 6½” x 52 toro.  It seems that most of the Rocky Patel cigars I have, or have had, are a toro size, is it just me?  Anyway, I smoked the San Andreas on New Years Eve and it was a good Mexican maduro smoke.  It was a little smoother than the typical “dirty” sensation you get from Mexican tobacco, and was an enjoyable smoke. I smoked the Broadleaf version New Years Day, after a fun afternoon with my family in our annual tradition of watching the Winter Classic hockey game on TV, while eating and playing with the granddaughters.  I think I liked the Broadleaf version better, it had a nice sweetness that I really liked.  I will smoke a few more of each, as I tend to like both San Andrés and Broadleaf about the same.  Good smokes, interesting packaging as they come packed in glass jars within wooden crates, an homage to bootlegging practices during prohibition. Of course, the parallel being drawn is cigars to liquor prohibition in the ’20s, which it what “they” are trying to do to tobacco, and we know how well prohibition worked out! It gave us organized crime and NASCAR! 🙂

 

Tops

I’m far too lazy to compile my own list of great cigars I smoked over the year. There are a lot of exceptional cigars out there, it’s really hard to go wrong. Quite a few of my colleagues in the blogosphere like to make them, so here’s a short list of some that I came across in no particular order of preference.

http://tobacconistuniversityblog.blogspot.com/2014/12/top-10-dumbest-of-2014.html

http://archive.aweber.com/nomadcigar/GIVxr/h/My_Top_Cigars_of_2014.htm

http://www.stogiereview.com/2014/12/15/top-10-cigars-tgt-edition-2014/

http://www.casasfumando.com/top-10-cigars-2014-tony-casas-edition/

http://www.askmen.com/top_10/travel/top-10-cigars.html

http://top25.cigaraficionado.com/

http://www.thecigarnut.com/the-cigar-nuts-countdown-2014-number-1/

http://www.leafenthusiast.com/cigar-review/

http://www.leafenthusiast.com/daves-choice-cigar-of-the-year_2014/

http://www.cigar-coop.com/p/the-cigar-countdown-began-saturday.html

 

Keep an eye on Halfwheel.com, they usually go through all the sites and put together a consensus, which goes through a bunch of the various top whatever lists.  Keep an eye open for that in the coming weeks.  I think my favs of the year were the Arandoza Red Label (with the White Label right up there), and anything Tortuga.  There are far too many great cigars out there!

 

My list, once again, is a tribute to you, the reader.  Here is this year’s top commentors of 2014! Thank you all for reading along and participating! Without you all I’d be talking to myself!

 

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Contest

 

winnerOf course we start off 2015 with another great giveaway!  Thanks to Roberto Duran Cigars for providing a box of the very tasty Doberto P. Duran Premium Rio Toa. I smoked the Cacique Guama 6 x 60 last night and really enjoyed the smooth,  well balanced and complexity of this cigar. It’s sophisticated.  The winner of these is really going to enjoy them, I think.  Also thanks to the other generous sponsors who over did it and left me with more than I could give away in the 12SDoCG, even in 14 days, as well as the odds and ends I had laying around! Smoke Inn, Drew Estate, 2 Guys Smokeshop primarily.  This time I let RaffleCopter do the heavy lifting for me. It makes things easy for me, but I want to know how you all felt about it. I thought the turnout was rather low, and I don’t know if RaffleCopter is off-putting or what.  Either way, we have a winner. Here’s the screenshot of RaffleCopter’s selection. Congrats to Mark!

 

That’s more than enough for today!  Time to get on with the last day of vacation!

 

Until the next time,

CigarCraig

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CigarCraig’s 12 Spectacular Days of Cigar Giveaways 2014: Wrap Up!

Well folks, it’s finally over!  It was a great couple weeks worth of great cigar giveaways!  We had a never before seen 14 days!  For that we have a bunch of folks to thank.  Please let all these folks know that we appreciate their generosity.  Nobody HAS to give away their cigars!  We certainly appreciate the opportunity to make a bunch of folks happy and maybe turn people on to some new cigars and brands.  Thanks to the following sponsors:

 

 

The Flor de la Reine was the only cigar in the whole 14 days that I had never smoked, but Barry at The Cigar Authority (which is associated with United Cigar Retailers) gives it the thumbs up, so I didn’t have any reservations about including it.  The rest I had smoked in maybe a different size or shape, but I’ve sampled the brand and they are all cigars I really like. There were a total of 274 cigars, three hats, two ashtrays, two t-shirts, two backpacks, a knife, a metal poster, a lighter and a cutter. Shipping costs are yet to be calculated, but I should loo for an official shipping sponsor for next year! Also, there are a couple of people who I missed seeing this year. Please join me in remembering George Satterfield and Dawn Christopher, who’s untimely departure from this plane of existence left huge voids in their families lives. I never met them, but they were frequent visitors to the site, and the 12SDoCG event.  I missed seeing their comments, and their families have my sincere condolences. If it means anything, I dedicate this year’s contests to their memory.  On a positive note, the next contest will be on New Years Eve, and I’m wiping the slate clean, everyone is eligible to enter this one, and it will be some good stuff!

 

Winners!

2014-12-23 08.34You probably want to know who won the crazy Day 14 prize from Miami Cigar and Company, right?  The lucky recipient of the box of Nestor Miranda Collection Habano 46×6, T-shirt, ashtray and back pack is comment number 110, as selected by the random number generator at Random.org.  I adjusted for a post from a prior winner and arrived at Joe K as the winner!  Joe, send me your address so I can get this to you! I actually met Joe at an event a few months ago, so I might be able to save some shipping money and meet him for a smoke someplace!

 

ArandozaWhiteFinally, the winner of the Arandoza White Labels back on day 7 never sent me his address, and I tried e-mailing twice and both e-mails came back as undeliverable So I picked another name from Day 7’s comments!  Smokin_Dave, please send your address! (I’ll e-mail and hope you gave the right address).  It’s probably best if you enter a contest to check to see if you won (although I’m guilty of forgetting that myself!), but at least leave the right e-mail address! I’m not selling the addresses to spammers or anything, I just would like to be able to contact you to send you cigars!

 

That’s all for now!  I hope you all enjoyed the last few weeks!  Thank you for participating, I wish I could send each of you a box of great cigars, but I can’t so you’ll just have to keep taking your chances on these contests! 🙂

 

Until the next time,

CigarCriag

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