Tag Archives: Sungrown

Island Lifestyle Aged Reserve Cigars and Tommy Bahama Accessories

Last summer I wandered into a Tommy Bahama store in a local mall because they had a sale, and I was looking for a very specific shirt, which they ended up finding for me and I shelled out what to me is quite a decent sum of money for clothing, something I generally don’t do. I was impressed with the service, the follow up e-mail from the store manager the next day, and especially, the fact that a Island Lifestylemainstream store had a nice selection of cigar accessories prominently displayed. I was excited when I received an e-mail from Ryan Frailing,  the Vice President of Island Lifestyle Importers, the exclusive designer and manufacturers of Tommy Bahama cigar accessories, asking if I would like to try out some of the cigars that they were making, along with their accessories. They are going to be distributing the Tommy Bahama line of accessories to traditional tobacconists as well as the Tommy Bahama stores, and created the Island Lifestyle Aged Reserve cigars to go along with them. The accessories were a large, durable ashtray with chrome, movable rests. The ashtray looks like a fine ceramic, but is actually a melamine so if you drop in on your porch it won’t break. It’s emblazoned with the Tommy Bahama logo and is a very nice piece. The other item was a rugged travel humidor, which will hold five 60 ring cigars, or 10 robustos, so it’s a little wider than a traditional Otterbox type case. The fit and finish are very nice, and it comes with a small bead-based humidifying element. It also has the Tommy Bahama logo on the top. They have a nice selection of cases, humidors, lighters and ashtrays.


Island Lifestyle Aged Reserve Maduro ToroThe cigars in the Island Lifestyle Aged Reserve range are Nicaraguan, and while I wasn’t able to find out where they are made, the ones I smoked were nicely constructed, and of the highest quality. They come in three wrappers, a Connecticut, Sun Grown, and Maduro, and in six sizes, Robusto, Corona Grande, Toro, Churchill, Torpedo and Gordo. I had the pleasure of smoking all three wrapper types in the Toro size, which is a 6″ x 54.  Obviously, I started with the Maduro, which was nicely IslandLifestyle_Sungrown_Torobalanced with a touch of the sweetness along with a little coffee bitterness one would expect. I enjoyed it greatly. The next night I went with the Sungrown, which was similar with more earthiness  than the maduro, but still a nice, well balanced smoke. I finished up the trio the next night with the Connecticut (pictured above), which, oddly enough, was my favorite of the bunch. It had a pleasant grassiness typical of that wrapper, and, much like the other two, was a solid medium bodied cigar. There was a little bit of dryness to them, which led me to mistakenly think there was some Dominican in the blend, but the information I got with the cigars says “aged tobaccos from Nicaragua and Connecticut”, so who am I to argue?  I’d smoke these again without hesitation, and, more importantly I think, wouldn’t think twice about sharing these with others. I’m very interested in finding out where these are produced. Thank you to Ryan for allowing me the opportunity to sample your products.


I was going to post this on Wednesday as I usually do, but I got lazy, so here is a rare Friday post.  I hope this doesn’t cause anyone any undue stress!  Until the next time,




1 Comment

Filed under Review

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,





Filed under Review, Take a Cigar For a Walk