Tag Archives: StogieBoys

A Couple of Thurman Thomas Cigars, A Macanudo and CRA News

Since it’s a new legislative session in Washington D.C., there is a new bill in the house to exempt premium cigars from FDA regulation. It’s more important than ever to write to your representative and ask him or her to co-sponsor the bill.

 “The premium cigar industry supports about 85,000 jobs – from manufacturers to small retailers – throughout the United States,” said Congressman Bill Posey.  “Washington bureaucrats should turn their attention to promoting private sector job growth and protecting our rights, not chipping away at our freedoms through bureaucratic overreach.”

Cigar Rights of America makes it very easy to e-mail your representatives. Go to their site or the IPCPR site to send an e-mail.  Just fill in the blanks.  Do it. Now. I’ll wait. 🙂 

 

ThurmanThomas_MaduroToroA few weeks ago I received some samples from StogieBoys.com of their Thurman Thomas Hall of Fame line of cigars. I’m not a football fan, so at first I had Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas in my head, and former senator Strom Thurmond, and even Thurman Munson’s name made an appearance  I come to learn that Thurman Thomas was a Hall Of Fame Football player who likes cigars and for whom this cigar is named. I suppose it would have been more appropriate to feature these a couple weeks ago when the game with all the hyped up commercials was on, but I had just received them and I wanted to let them rest. Here’s one of the problems I face here in the blogosphere: a handful of bloggers receive the same samples so everyone is featuring the same cigars on their sites. I like to give new arrivals a couple weeks rest in the humidor so often I am a couple weeks late smoking the cigars that everyone else reviewed already. I’m ThurmanThomas_NaturalTorosure you’ll have seen a handful of reviews of these, and the Arandoza and Cuenca cigars are recent examples that spring to mind (both excellent smokes, by the way). Anyway, I received Toro sized samples of the natural and maduro versions of this cigar.  The cigars are very nice looking, the wrappers are both nice and clean, and they are rolled in the telltale style of  General Cigar Co., they have the rounded head that all of the GCC products have. Of course, I chose the maduro first and it lived up to my expectation. It was a nice, smooth, tasty basic maduro.  Consistent in construction and flavor from start to finish.  The natural version had a familiar flavor, I know I’ve smoked something very similar before.  It was a reasonably mild smoke, but the flavor was very nice, leathery kind of flavor. It was pretty smooth, like it’s maduro sibling.  These were both very nice cigars for the $3.95 price point.  I wouldn’t say they were particularly surprising, but good, no-nonsense cigars that were satisfying and easy to smoke.  Thanks to the folks at StogieBoys.com for their support and for sharing these smokes.  

 

Macanudo1968_RobustoLast night I reached in the humidor and came out with a Macanudo 1968 Robusto. I figured I’d keep with the General Cigar Co. theme.  This was different from the Thurman Thomas cigars by quite a bit.  First, it’s actually stronger and spicier, which sounds strange for a Macanudo. I recall back to my first premium cigar experience back in the mid 1990s.  A buddy and I picked up a couple of Macanudo Duke of Devons to smoke on our lunch break to see what the fuss was with the premium cigars.  We had been enjoying our Gacia y Vegas and Backwoods at lunch time every Friday and were ready to take the next step.  Of course, we didn’t have cutters, so we pierced the caps with knives or whatever we had, and lit these babies up.  It’s actually a wonder I went any further with premium cigars after that, as I remember it being kind of a non-event.  I really didn’t get the flavor I thought I would.  I was a cigarette smoker at the time, so obviously that had something to do with my need for more flavor.  I can honestly enjoy a regular old Macanudo nowdays, but it took a long time to get to this point. I’ll stand by my assertion that there’s not a damned thing wrong with a Macanudo Maduro, it’s a tasty smoke.  I digress. The 1968 has some strength and is a nice smoke that I’ve enjoyed on many occasions and under varied circumstances.  It’s one of those cigars I pick up when I can’t decide what to smoke and I’m quite happy.

 

I just wanted to throw this out to anyone who is looking for embroidered or printed stuff, I’ve had amazing luck with Queensboro.com lately. I’ve gotten four polos embroidered for around $36 delivered.  Try buying plain polos for that! The link is  my referral link, I’ll get $25 credit if someone uses it.  That’s my shameless plug of the day.  You should use E-Bates too, it puts a couple extra bucks in your pocket every quarter.

 

That’s it for this installment, until the next time,

 

CigarCraig

 

 

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A Room 101, a Cuenca 5 Anniversary and Some News

I’ve been taking a little break from cigars since it’s been so bitterly cold out and I haven’t felt like freezing my tuckus off.  Friday I finally said enough is enough and grabbed a cigar to take for a walk in the snow with the dog.  One good thing about snow when the temps have been so low is that it tends to be very powdery and doesn’t require a lot of effort to shovel. It didn’t hurt that we only got about an inch.  This was my kind of snow storm!

 

Room101_SA_213So, after last weeks discussion about gloves and cigar sizes, I figured I’d try a corona.  I figured it had sufficient length to handle with gloves, yet is small enough that it wouldn’t take two hours to smoke.  A few weeks ago I bought a couple of Room 101 San Andreas  213, which is a 5.5 x 44 corona. I really like this size, and when it’s cold and I haven’t had a cigar in a few days I typically reach for a San Andreas wrapper. Out of all the Room 101 lines, this one is, by far, my favorite. It’s rich and flavorful and perfectly constructed. I had just received a Screwpop Cigar Punch which i used with excellent results. The punch is a little larger than the one I’ve had, which was the perfect size for the corona. I also successfully opened a bottle of ginger brew with it! Anyway, I love this line of cigars, I know I’m in for a treat when I light one up. They are pretty fairly priced at around $5.50  which  appeals to my inner cheap bastard.

 

Cuenca_5AnniversarySaturday was a pretty nice day with temps climbing into the 20s so I decided to go large. Cuenca Cigars in Hollywood, Florida is celebrating their 5 year anniversary and are marking that milestone with a cigar made for them by AJ Fernandez, the Cuenca 5 Anniversary. This is a huge 7″x 54 box pressed torpedo that’s got a beautiful dark wrapper. This is normally far too large a cigar for outdoor winter smoking, but it’s funny how balmy the 20s feels after several days in the teens! This was a very enjoyable smoke, I smoked it to a finger burning/freezing nub.  Well balanced, nice little spice in the flavor and perfectly built.  This is a nice cigar, and I really look forward to smoking another one when it’s warmer and I can really relax and enjoy it.  Check out the press release for Cuenca Cigars Anniversary celebration here, and more information about the Cuenca 5 Anniversary cigar here.

 

News

I receive press releases all the time and some of my peers do a great job of posting them on their sites almost immediately.  I think that’s great, and I appreciate it.  Personally, I don’t have the ability to react that quickly and generally choose not to post them as opposed to repeating what others have done already.  We all have our little niches that make us different from one another.  That being said, once in a while I come across something interesting that I haven’t seen elsewhere.

I received a request from a gentleman named Hugo Melo, the president of Hispaniola Cigars, asking me to post his press release.  The press release can be found here, as well as other news outlets. According to the press release: “The Taino aborigines of the Dominican Republic attributed spiritual qualities to smoking tobacco during their ancient rituals. It was believed that smoking the tobacco leaf would elevate them to “Turei,” translated literally as “Heaven.” Hispaniola Cigars is proud to announce that in January 2013, the spiritual experience of the Tainos will be resurrected by Turei Cigars.” I haven’t heard of Hispaniola Cigars myself, and they seem to be based nearby in North Joisey. I’ll keep an eye out for them.

In other news, I’d like to welcome StogieBoys.com to the CigarCraig.com family of supporters.  They are offering a deal if you sign up for their mailing list.  They will send you three cigars and a V-cutter if you sign up to get e-mails ($4.99 to cover shipping, so really you are getting the 3 cigars for $5, quite a fair deal!).  I’ve been working with these folks for quite a while and have been a customer as well and they are a class act. You may recall that they started out the 12 Spectacular Days of Cigar Giveaways strong with a nice prize pack, and we’re already working on an upcoming giveaway.

 

That’s about all I have for today.  It looks like temps will be climbing into the 30s today, so I may have to find something interesting to smoke before the 6:00 Flyers/Tampa Bay game!  Hopefully the Flyers didn’t use up all their goals last night.

 

Until the next time,

CigarCraig

 

 

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Winner of Day 13 of CigarCraig’s 12 Spectacular Days of Cigar Giveaways!

We’ve finally reached the end of this amazing journey. It was a wild ride, and I’d go so far as to say that this was one of the best cigar related contests out there. Over the course of two weeks we gave away 265 cigars and a bunch of t-shirts, hats, cutters, ashtrays and even a lighter. I could never have pulled off such an enormous project on my own, so I have to thank some people before I announce the final winner for 2012. First my wife, Jennifer, who puts up with my insanity, moderates the new comments while I’m at work and is my greatest supporter.  Thank you for making this year great.  Of course the sponsors need thanking for offering all the great stuff we had to give away. They are:

 

StogieBoys.com 

Foundry Cigars/General Cigar Co.

Tobaccos Mata Fina USA

United Cigar Retailers

Villiger Cigars North America

Toraño Family Cigars

AJ Fernandez Cigars

Emilio Cigars

The Cigar Agency 

NewestCigars.com

CAO Cigars/General Cigar Co.

Oliva Cigars 

Drew Estate

 

All of these folks provided an unprecedented amount of wonderful stuff.  Thank you to all of them for their participation!  The next group that I want to thank are you, my readers!  Without you I’d just be doing all of this for my own amusement, and I get tired of my same old jokes!  Thanks to all who entered the contests.  I hope some of you stick around as I wander through my cigar journey.

 

DE_UndercrownSo, once again I’ve been torturing you with minutia, when all you really want to know is if you won the box of Drew Estate Undercrown and all of the associated goodies that come with it!  We had 98 entries and Random.org selected 87.  By my count that is cigarsonist.  Please send me your contact information so I can ship all this stuff off to you!

 

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, etc.  I’ll be back on Sunday, maybe I’ll put together a list of my favorites of the past year, or something like that.  Hard to say what I may pull out of my sleeve!

 

Until then,

 

CigarCraig

 

 

 

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Alec Bradley American, ORTSAC 1962, Nestor Miranda and Brick Cigars

Can I start out by stating that this is my least favorite time of year? It’s dark when I get up, it’s dark when I get home, and the temperatures are dropping. It makes it harder to smoke larger cigars and really be able to relax. My evening routine usually involves walking the dog with a cigar. I’ve been walking with cigars for years, at least walking keeps me warm and I generally walk for half or more of a cigar and finish the other half off while I “cool down”.  An added benefit is that I get a little exercise while I enjoy a smoke. I have found that stronger cigars tend to hold up better in the cold and milder cigars tend to get lost.

 

Wednesday I grabbed an Alec Bradley American Sungrown robusto that I had purchased a couple weeks ago at the Cigars International grand opening. I had wanted to try these since they came out and this was the first time I thought to buy some. I love the American Classic blend, it’s a really nice cigar that’s smooth and tasty and well priced. I hoped for something a little bolder from the Sungrown version and I wasn’t disappointed. It was a very tasty cigar that was quite satisfying.  At the $5 price point this is a must try, along with its American Classic sibling.  Both are excellent smokes at a really reasonable price.

 

Thursday I went with a ORTSAC 1962 San Andreas from The Cigar Agency. I had smoked a sample at the IPCPR show reluctantly, and I say that because I love San Andreas wrappers and when Victor gave me a sample at the show and I lit it up, I was concerned that smoking it at the show wouldn’t give me the best opportunity to enjoy it.  I find it very awkward to walk into a venders booth smoking someone else’s cigar, and I had an appointment shortly after I spoke with Victor.  I was thrilled when a couple more showed up in my mailbox a few weeks ago.  If I’m honest, and I try to be, I’m not a huge fan of the regular ORTSAC 1962 Bulletproof, it just doesn’t suit my palate.  However, the addition of the San Andreas wrapper makes all the difference for me.  It’s got just the right balance of strength and rich flavors that I crave, especially in the colder months.  It’s a primo smoke and I’m looking forward to giving the Habano wrapped version a try as well.  These shouldn’t be tough to miss on the shelves as they are packaged in colorful EVA material zippered boxes that are unique.  This one’s a winner.

 

Friday evenings I usually grab something special, and this time it was a Nestor Miranda Grand Reserve 2012 which arrived a few weeks back in an unexpected package from Barry at Miami Cigar Co.  This is a beautiful torpedo with a nice Connecticut Broadleaf , another favorite wrapper of mine.  This cigar had a really nice  feel, it was appealing in both appearance and flavor.  I have not smoked many cigars from the Nestor Miranda Collection, but the few I have smoked I’ve enjoyed.  This cigar was no different, although I think this is a better cigar for a nice sunny and warm afternoon than an evening walk.  I get as much enjoyment out of watching a cigar burn as I do smoking it sometimes.  This is a very limited release and I’m thankful to Barry for sending a couple my way, otherwise I probably wouldn’t have had the chance to try it.

 

A few weeks back the folks at Stogieboys.com sent me a selection of  The Brick line from Toraño.  These were all larger vitolas which gives me the additional challenge of finding time to smoke a large cigar.  I grabbed the Torpedo yesterday to putter around the yard.  It was a nice day, and I took the dog out for some play while I smoked the cigar.  This dog is full of youthful exuberance and likes to run when she gets a chance.  Thinking I could give her a little more room to explore I took her toward the back of the yard on the 25 foot cable, wrapping it around my hand like a super long leash.  She saw something and bolted at about the same time I let my guard down and pulled me off my feet, of course the cable squished my hand and I let go, and she took off through the woods.  I tried to follow, but the prickers and underbrush slowed me down and I lost track of her. I actually did a somersault when she first bolted and the ash stayed on the cigar!  I ended up putting the cigar down to go hunting for her and came back to it later, but at some point the wrapper developed some cracks and started to flake away.  I didn’t exactly give this cigar the attention it deserved.  The good news is that this is an inexpensive bundle cigar that doesn’t skimp on quality and flavor.  I have to admit that I wouldn’t have opted to smoke this if I were just going to be sitting outside on a beautiful fall day relaxing, but it gets high marks for dog chasing!  I still have a Churchill for another day, hopefully a warm day, and I thank the folks at StogieBoys.com for sending these samples and for sponsoring a day in the 12 Days of Cigar Giveaways coming in December.

 

I’ve droned on enough, it’s time to run some errands so I can find something nice to smoke this afternoon.

 

Until the next time,

CigarCraig

 

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Cuban Bullets, A Tortuga Cigar and Some Random News Items

In the past few weeks I’ve been approached by a few retailers asking me to “review” products for them. This is something fairly new to me, but of course retailers are as much a part of the cigar industry as manufacturers, one couldn’t exist long without the other! I figure I’ll do a quick series of posts highlighting these retailers and the products they shared with me. Unless otherwise noted, all I receive from these companies are a couple sample cigars. I’ll only accept these kind of offers from companies who I have patronized myself, and feel comfortable recommending. My hope is that fostering relationships such as this leads to possible contests so that I can get goodies into the hands of my faithful readers. Enough of the disclaimers and altruistic mumbo-jumbo!

 

I received an e-mail from Sheryl at Stogieboys.com offering to send me some samples for review. I became familiar with Stogieboys.com a few years agoe when they offered a Groupon which I purchased and subsequently turned into a box of Hoyo de Monterrey Sabroso Maduro, a really nice short smoke that I enjoy quite a bit. I talked to Paul, one of the owners on the phone and via e-mail and even featured a discount code here for a while. Anyway, they sent me a couple Cuban Bullet toro maduro cigars to smoke. I can remember the Perdomo releasing the original version of this in the late ‘90s or early ‘00s in torpedo shapes and the cigars were mixed filler and very well priced. These cigars have “Version 2.0” on the bands. The first thing I noticed and questioned was that the two cigars they sent had noticeably different wrapper colors. One of the ways that manufacturers can offer a good cigar at a low price is to cut out costly steps in the manufacturing process, like color sorting. I haven’t had one of these in 10 years or so, and I found this to be a very nice smoke. The smoke was reasonably heavy and it burned and drew perfectly. I have had plenty of cigars that cost twice as much or more that didn’t burn as well as this one. It was a really enjoyable smoke all the way to the end, when I put it down with under an inch left. There was a little bit of a burnt taste off the light, but it smoothed out quickly. That may have been a result of a hasty light.

 

With the second, lighter colored sample I took a little more care in lighting. This cigar had a little bit tighter draw than the first, resulting in a bit less of the full flavor and strength of the first. It was still very nice and was a pleasant and relaxing experience. I suppose this is another concession made to keep prices down, less consistency.  If I hadn’t enjoyed the first one so much I wouldn’t have had high expectations for the second, but I was looking for a repeat performance and I got a bit of a different cigar, which I kind of anticipated given the color difference of the wrapper.  I took my usual pictures of each cigar, but inadvertently deleted them and had to settle for stock photos.  Pissed me off, but nothing I can do about it!  Anyway, this is a nice smoke that is very well priced. I honestly couldn’t tell if it was mixed filler or long filler. A nice, inexpensive smoke from Perdomo that I’ll pick up from time to time.

 

Yesterday afternoon I sat down on the patio in the nice, warm October sunshine and enjoyed a Tortuga 215 Edición Limitada 2011 Torpedo.  This is a really nice Nicaraguan and Dominican blend made by Victor Vitale in the Dominican Republic.  It’s a super smooth yet full flavored cigar with outstanding construction. I smoked this while catching up with the audio portion of Stogie411 and soaking up some fall sunshine.  The Tortuga line consists of this Habano (I think) wrapped cigar, a Connecticut 1948 and a Maduro 1950, all of which are outstanding examples of the roller and blenders arts, with the Maduro being my absolute favorite.  Delicious cigars that are, unfortunately, not widely available.  Thank you to Victor for sharing these with me and congrats on your recent nuptials!

 

News

The November issue of National Geographic arrived yesterday featuring a map of Cuba on the cover with the caption “On the Edge Of Change”.  I’ll be interested to read this article to see what it’s about.  Also in the news, there are rumors once again that Castro has had a stroke and is on death’s door (article here). Certainly rumors of Castro’s death have popped up many times, and how long will Fidel be dead before the Cuban government admits it?  In some real news, StogieReview reports the impending opening of another Cigars International Super Store in Hamburg, PA (an hour north of my location), right next to Cabellas, which could mean a testosterone filled field trip for many of us.

 

That’s enough for now, it’s another beautiful day in SE PA, I may have to smoke a cigar sometime today!!

 

CigarCraig

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