Tag Archives: Take A Cigar For A Walk

National Hex Day, Room 101 and Man ‘O War Cigars

You’ve no doubt seen this, but in case you haven’t:



Sindicato Cigar Company, based out of Boca Raton, FL, has announced that January 18th will be “National HEX Day” incelebration of the release of their second Premium brand, HEX.  All consumers who visit participating retailers andrepeat the phrase “HEX ME!”, will receive a FREE HEX cigar, while supplies last.

Participating retailers will have stick and box promotions for the day, along with limited edition HEX t-shirts forgiveaways.

Consumers who buy 3 or more HEX cigars during the “I’ve been HEX’D” weekend will be automatically entered in the “HEX giveaway promotion”.  Winners will be announced on February 15th.  The Grand Prize winner, along with his retailer, will visit the Nicaraguan factory of Omar, Omar Jr., and Alexis Ortez, where HEX cigars are handcrafted in Condega. In addition to a visit to the Condega factory during this 3 day trip, the lucky winner and his retailer will visit the NACSA factory in Esteli, makers of Sindicato’s Affinity brand cigar.

The lucky winner will also visit the Aganorsa factory of Eduardo Fernandez, maker of the highly anticipated Sindicato brand cigar. This Puro Nicaraguan beauty is blended by Master Blender Arsenio Ramos utilizing only the rarest and finest aged tobaccos of Fernandez’s farms in Jalapa, Esteli and Condega.

In addition to the Grand Prize winner, there will be prizes for a total of 10 consumers, who will each win a 25-count sampler of HEX’s 5 sizes.  The 11 total winners will also receive a 5-count sampler of the Sindicato Puro Nicaraguan cigar by Arsenio Ramos.  

To find the nearest retailer selling HEX cigars, please visit out retailer locator at www.sindicatocigars.com



Room101_Namakubi_ChingonSunday was a reasonably nice day for this time of year in this part of the US. I needed a nice, long walk, so I selected a Room 101 Namakubi Ecuador Chingon, a Salamon shaped cigar measuring a whopping 8″ x 60 ring gauge at it’s largest point. This is an enormous cigar for a winter day! I spent over two hours with this cigar, about half of that walking around the neighborhood with the dog, and it was a really nice smoke. I’ve smoked a few of it’s smaller siblings which I probably enjoy more, but if you have the time, this is a really tasty smoke. I have one more in the Ranfla size, which is only 5½ x 50, which I bought at an event last year on Matt Booth’s recommendation. This Chingon was a gift from a business associate, thanks Mike! In retrospect, I should probably have waited for a nice, sunny summer day in the pool for this one, but I was in the mood for a nice, long smoke, so this certainly fit the bill.



ManOWar_Skull Crusher
I inadvertently fell into the theme trap again, and chose another Salomon shaped cigar for Monday’s walk. The Man O’ War Side Project: Skull Crusher. This was an IPCPR sample, and I loved the look of this cigar.  It had a dark, oily Pennsylvania Broadleaf wrapper and was a 5¾” x 56 perfecto with the foot closed and finished off, as if it were capped.  I suppose this could have been clipped off, but I burned through it with the lighter.  This is a STRONG cigar! It crushed my skull!  The black pepper was prominent throughout,  although it either mellowed out near the end or I grew accustomed to it!  I couldn’t smoke this cigar too often, and I have a pretty high tolerance for strong cigars.  The other thing this cigar had in common with the Room 101 was that there doesn’t seem to be a website for either brand.  I’ve linked to retailers websites for more information if you need it.


That’s it for now.  I’m going to try to get out for a walk if it finally stopped raining, this weather has really been annoying! Maybe I’ll smoke my last Hex cigar.

Until the next time,










Filed under News, Review

Memorial Day Weekend Cigars: a JD Hightower, an American Eagles and a Humidor Review

JD Hightower_3

Shown with a 5×44 corona

Sunday turned out to be a beautiful day, warmer than Saturday, but still breezy. I decided that the time had come to finally smoke a cigar that was given to me last year at the IPCPR show by Victor Vitale. The cigar in question was the JD Hightower 6″ x 70 box pressed cigar. I’ve been waiting for the right time given the size of this monstrous cigar. Its roughly the size of a king size Milky Way candy bar. I also have had bad experiences with Victor Sinclair cigars (made by Jose Dominguez, the JD in the name of the cigar) to the extent that I’ve sworn I’d never smoke another one, but since Victor Vitale made this for Jose, I figured it deserved a shot. The first challenge is finding a cutter that would handle this. Normally a large ring cigar is do-able in most cutters, but I knew the Xikar XV wasn’t going to do the trick. I picked the Drew Estate Bulletproof perfect cutter and it worked fairly well, although I had to trim a little bit of binder off with a pair of scissors. The draw was perfect, and it burned relatively well over the course of the two hours it took me to smoke. I very much enjoyed the blend, it was a tasty smoke. It had nice, savory flavors that were enjoyable throughout the cigar. I can’t say that it was a very comfortable cigar to smoke or hold. While the box press minimizes the 70 ring gauge a little, it’s still huge and unwieldy. While I’ve grown accustomed to the 60 ring cigars, 70 is just too big. I’m not sorry I smoked it, I had a beautiful 2+ hours enjoying it on a lazy and beautiful Sunday afternoon. This was yet another nice smoke from Victor Vitale.



IMG_0515[1]Monday was Memorial Day, and I decided to take the dog for a walk at nearby Valley Forge National Historic Park. I selected my last American Eagles Robusto to smoke for a couple reasons. First, the American Eagles is a nice cigar, well made and tasty. They support the military by donating part of their profits to Semper Fi, and it’s got a patriotic theme. The final reason was because I always feel conspicuous smoking in a public place, and I figured if the cigar was camouflaged it would stand out less. IMG_0513[1]I always figure someone might say something about me smoking a cigar, and I can respond with something like “a cigar? I don’t see a cigar, what are you talking about?”, but perhaps this is yet another one of those things that’s only funny in my head. Anyway, we started at the Memorial Arch, and probably walked a good 5 or 6 miles around the outside of the park on the multi-use trail. It was a stunning day, the cigar was great, smooth, mild and full of flavor, and nobody looked askance at the fact that I was smoking a cigar. Puccio and I were plenty tired out after that walk and went home for lunch (we had gotten an early start).


CC_CigarSafariBlend2013After lunch I decided it was time to try out one of the cigars I blended on my recent Cigar Safari trip. As I said before, I went into the blending session there determined to recreate the blend I had made two years prior, but all the tobacco, like the proverbial shiny object, distracted me and I decided to get creative. I went into specifics in my post about the blending session a few weeks ago.  All in all I really enjoyed the cigar. There was a lot of flavors dancing around between the San Andreas Negro wrapper, the Cameroon binder and the Mata Fina, all pretty sweet tobaccos in my book. I will certainly be interested in seeing how these age, and I’ll compare them at some point to my blending attempt from two years ago. These were rolled by the Liga Privada pairs, so the construction was without flaw, it burned perfect, had a nice, flat coal and an even burn and draw. I hated to put it down.



Humidor Review


AdoriniHumidor2This will be an ongoing project over the next several months. The folks at HumidorDiscount.com sent me their Adorini Cedro Deluxe Humidor to evaluate and report upon. Initially I’m very impressed. This shipped from Germany, and only took a few days. It was packaged very well, it was boxed, bubble wrapped, then had a retail box that was lined with 1/8” styrofoam. The humidor was in it’s own cloth bag inside the box, and contained some dividers, Write-on tabs which attach to the dividers to label your stock, a bottle of humidor solution, and brass humidifier with a polymer media, and a small dial hygrometer. The humidor itself while reasonably plain (I think there is an elegance in it’s simplicity), is solidly built with walls that are a full inch thick, and the lid closes on a nice cushion of air telling me that it seals well and AdoriniHumidor1should be made right. Heck, my The Griffins humidor HAS to be locked or the lid doesn’t close all the way, and doesn’t close with a woosh. It also features “Unique ventilation ribs (“RibTech”) for improved air circulation within humidor”, and I like the hidden magnetic plate in the lid that allows the hygrometer and humidifier to be positioned wherever you want it on the lid without screws or glue or anything. So far I’ve added some of the enclosed solution along with some distilled water to the humidifier and will start seasoning it. When I think it’s ready I’ll fill it up and see how it does. I’ll be keeping track of it’s progress and posting that here on a weekly basis. My personal modus operandi when it comes to humidors is to let them do their thing and not get too worked up about daily monitoring (read: I’m lazy), so that will be a feature I look for, holding temp and humidity and not having to fiddle with it much. Thanks to Silvia at HumidorDiscount.com for allowing me the oportunity to evaluate one of your humidors.



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






Filed under Accessories, Review

A Nub, an Arandoza, and Herfin to the Oldies! A Good Cigar Week

First off, a little administrative bitching business. I mentioned before that I have just changed web hosting companies, and with that transition came some minor changes to the URLs associated with older posts. Without getting into the boring details, if anyone out there has a link to a post of mine, please edit out the “/blog” part and everything will be fine! I have things set up so that any click on one of those old links redirects to the home page, which isn’t ideal, I really want people to be able to find what they are looking for. I’m open to suggestions from those more technically adept at this stuff than I am. Enough of the minutia, on with the cigars!


Nub464T_MadThursday evening I was in a maduro kind of mood, so I grabbed a Nub Maduro for my walk. This 464T was from a sampler I purchased from a Thompson’s auction which I wrote about here. There’s just something about these squat little torpedos that appeals to be, but they are not easy to smoke while wearing gloves.  Fortunately, it wasn’t that cold out, so I avoided either losing it or burning the gloves!  It was a tasty smoke.  Dark, oily, delicious, everything I was looking for.  I think I have one left from that sampler.  I actually haven’t touched the Connecticut Nubs yet, and I have a couple of each of the Habano and Cameroon. 


ArandozaBlueFriday evening I arrived home to find my brother-in-law visiting, so after dinner we grabbed some cigars and took the dog for a walk before the hockey game.  I had recently received some more samples from Robert Arango of his Arandoza Blue Label cigars.  This is a robusto that’s made at Erik Espinosa’s La Zona factory in Esteli with a Nicaraguan Habano wrapper.  I enjoyed the tobacco sweetness that this well made cigar gave me.  To me it was a nice, well balanced smoke that gave me an hour of enjoyment.  My BiL smoked an Alec Bradley Maxx Brazil which he enjoyed. I knew he liked the Alec Bradley line and knew he hadn’t tried one.  He is an infrequent cigar smoker, so I knew the Maxx Brazil would be a smooth and flavorful smoke for him.


Saturday was date night, my lovely bride and I went to Atlantic City, NJ to see the legendary Chubby Checker perform at Resorts International.  I had planned to stop at one or two cigar shops in the area, but that didn’t end up happening, and considering New Jersey cigar prices, I’m not really too dissapointed.  I ended up having a pre-show Joya de Nicaragua Cabinetta Robusto while winning at a slot machine before the show.  I love this smoke, it’s a perfect all-around, any time of the day smoke to me, and I just enjoy the heck out of them.  Strange, since my first instinct is to gravitate toward the maduros, but this cigar does it for me.  I loved this cigar even before I had the pleasure of watching them rolled in the factory.  Great smoke in any size, but i f you happen to come across the lancero, treat yourself.  Chubby put on a heck of a show, and my wife an I felt quite young in the crowd.  I was sure someone was going to break a hip!  I doubt any of the attendees are reading, so my risk CC02162013of offending anyone is minimal, but some of those blue haired old biddies were really shaking it!  The man really puts on an entertaining show.  After the show I was feeling optimistic when I sat down at a slot machine with my voucher from the previous session and lit up an Undercrown Corona Viva!.  I got about 2 inches into the cigar before the slot machine had gobbled up all of my previous winnings.  Oh well, between Jenn and I we only dropped a couple bucks into the machines, we had some fun. I wasn’t leaving that Corona Viva! behind, so I carefully extinguished it for the walk through the casino, which is largely smoke free, by the way. I finished the cigar on the ride home.  This might be my favorite size in this line, but I’ll be honest, put any Undercrown in front of me and I’ll be happy to smoke it!  Here’s a little video of Chubby from last night:

That’s it for this Sunday edition. Until the next time,







Filed under Events, Review, Video

A Casa Magna, a Partagas 1845 and a Villiger – Now it’s Too Darned Cold for Cigars!

Over the last two days the temperatures have dropped significantly here, into the teens and single digits.  This, of course, means it’s time for smaller cigars, or worse, no cigars at all!  Now here’s the dilemma: the smaller the cigar, the harder it is to hold while wearing gloves!  So I got to thinking, maybe I’m going at this wrong.  Maybe I should smoke some larger cigars that are easier to manage with gloves?  Well, that sounds good on paper, but then you get into a great cigar and you don’t want to put it down!  Then you have to be outside longer and freeze more (or burn through more bottled LP gas in a barely adequate heater).  So I’m torn between the small cigar I can’t smoke all of because my fingers will freeze, or potentially  wasting a larger cigar and/or freezing my ass off in addition to my fingers!  Then there are some smaller cigars that I don’t want to waste in the cold!  Cigars that I know will have some complexity that’s lost in the cold air. You’d think a Nub would be a good choice, but they too can be unwieldy with gloves on. And what if you like mittens?  You’re screwed trying to smoke a cigar wearing mittens. Seriously, I can handle about 30 degrees without any wind or precipitation pretty comfortably, but once the mercury drops lower than that, or it’s windy,  it’s too damned cold and I really can’t enjoy the experience as much.    That’s my rant to today, now on to some tasty smokes!!


CasaMagna_DomusMagnus_PrimusPrevious paragraph aside, Sunday was a almost balmy January day with temps near 50.  After the Flyers lost once again, I took Puccio (that’s the dog, we call her Pooch) for a nice walk with a cigar that the fine folks at StogieBoys.com sent me to smoke, a Casa Magna Domus Magnus Primus.  This cigar is a beauty.  It’s 6½” x 55 with a nice box press.  The cap is finished with a neat little pigtail which is a nice presentation that I, for some reason, always like, but you have to cut the thing off to smoke the cigar so it doesn’t add too much to the smoking experience.  Beautiful cigar with a lovely sun grown wrapper adorned with a very classy band as well as a foot band.  So we’ve established that it’s a good looking stick, and I’m happy to say that it’s a great tasting stick as well.  It burned perfectly to a tiny nub and had a very rich and meaty flavor that was mouth coating and quite satisfying.  I quickly forgot how upset I was with the Flyers and got lost in the cigar, it’s that kind of smoke.  It was like a great steak, it was that satisfying.  I’ve only smoked a couple of the Casa Magnas and this, by far, is the best one I’ve had, and is a cigar I can’t wait to smoke again! Thanks to Sheryl and the folks at StogieBoys.com!


Partagas1845_PCTwenty-four hours later and it’s gone from pretty comfortable for January to pretty darned cold!!  I decided it was the perfect time to smoke a nice, little Partagas 1845 Corona Extra.  This is a great size regardless of the weather.  It’s 4½ x 46, which is a good inch shorter than what I think of when I think Corona Extra, but I like the size anyway. I received a four cigar sampler quite a while ago from General Cigar Co. and really enjoyed the middle two sizes, saving the smallest and largest cigars for the right time (the largest is a 7¼” x 54 Double Corona that just seems enormous).  While the draw was a little snug on this little cigar, it had a very enjoyable flavor like it’s larger siblings and burned well.  I smoked it to a finger freezing nub (see above), it was good.  This is another cigar that has that dense, meaty delicious smoke that hits the spot for me.  Very nice, I am surprised this one didn’t have more of a push at the IPCPR show, I can’t actually remember it being prominently featured in their booth (I’ll go back through the pictures, I’m probably wrong…).


VilligerExport_SampleLast night was the coldest yet, and the dog was pestering me for a walk, so I grabbed a Villiger Export Maduro for a short walk.  This is a machine made “dry cured” little square pressed cigar that has long been a favorite.  I guess it gets cold in Switzerland, so it makes sense to smoke one of these in the cold!  Another advantage is that these don’t need to be kept in a humidor, so they don’t fall victim to some of the nastiness that can occur when moisture meets cold air!  These are like little chocolate bars, it’s hard not to just eat them when you peel off the paper wrapping, but don’t, these taste better when smoked.  I actually hadn’t had the maduro before now, the natural has been an old standby for years.  I liked the maduro just fine, and will smoke them interchangeably with the naturals because I don’t get a whole lot of difference.  Nice smoke, didn’t last the ¾ mile walk, which is good because I couldn’t wait to get inside to watch the Flyers lose once again.  These are great little quick smokes you can leave in your glovebox or desk drawer.  Highly recommended.


So that’s what I have for now.  I hope the darned weather warms up a little before long!  I know, I shouldn’t complain, there’s a lot of places colder, wetter, snowier, rainier than it is here, but I complain, what can I say.


Until the next time,




Filed under Editorial, Review

IPCPR 2012 – Oliva and Studio Tabac Cigars and a New Shop Visit

After enjoying the heck out of a Cain Daytona No. 4 the other night I figured it was about time to dig into some IPCPR  show samples and see what the deal was with the new Oliva Serie V Melanio Torpedo.  I smoked this cigar during my Thursday evening walk.  Since we moved from a house “in town”, where I could walk to the local convenience store, or around the neighborhood, or a bunch of places, I now live in a more rural area where my walking options are more limited.  As usual, it’s never about the destination, but the journey, so I just walk down the street for a while then turn around and come home to finish my cigar on the deck or back porch.  I’ve been taking my son’s dog along and she loves all the new smells and sights, such as deer and the occasional fox.  Back to the Melanio.  What a beautiful cigar, just about perfect in appearance, 6½” x 52 and nicely box pressed.  The Nicaraguan tobaccos in the blend are largely from Jalapa, which accounts for the bit of sweetness in this very powerful blend.  It’s a pretty great cigar.  I’ve  enjoyed the few Serie V’s I’ve smoked and this one is a really nice addition to the line.


Friday evening I selected a Cain F Maduro that was in the same batch of samples from the trade show. My usual experience with Cain cigars tells me to leave these rest for a year or so to mellow out a little, but in the interest of providing timely information and experiences, I had to smoke this gorgeous robusto.  The cigar was about 5 x 50 with an oily, dark Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper. While this was certainly a powerhouse, it was loaded with deep, dark flavor.  I love the Cain line in general, especially with a little age, and the Daytona is a wonderfully well balanced smoke on the high end of medium, but I sure hope I come across this maduro again.  What a fantastic smoke.


While at the trade show I had the opportunity to sit down with Bryan Scholle, the face of Studio Tabac, and talk about what’s new.  Here’s a little video we took at the show, many thanks to Bryan for taking a few minutes to talk to me.  It was the first time we’d met, and it was like we’d know one another for years.  Bryan is a very cool  guy, if you have a chance to catch him on the Studio Tabac tour, do it.


In Other News

Yesterday I stopped in to the new Total Tobacco shop in Newtown Square, PA, not far from home.  This shop is a part of the Delaware Cigars empire, so Gary Griffith was on hand for the grand opening.  They are still waiting for some displays and fixtures, but the large walk-in humidor is very well stocked with many fine cigars.  I could have gone nuts, but I showed some restraint and only picked up a couple cigars I’ve wanted to try, but haven’t seen locally, notably, a Room 101 OSOK as well as a Cro Magnon EMH.  I’d be shocked if there’s another retailer in the area that has the RoMaCraft Tabac line, but there were all of the CroMagnon sizes as well as Aquataine in Connecticut shade and maduro.  They have a great selection and the prices are in line with the pricing we enjoy in Pennsylvania.  I’ll make a point to stop in from time to time to see how the shop progresses.  One downside is that there’s no smoking in the store, but the selection makes up for that and they have chairs on the sidewalk outside to enjoy a smoke on a nice day.  It’s always nice to see my friend Gary and I wish them the best of luck with this new location.


I’ve gone one quite long enough, that’s all I have for now.  Until the next time,








Filed under Events, IPCPR, News, Review, Stores, Video