Tag Archives: The Cigar Authority

The Cigar Authority’s 400th Show Quick Trip

TCA 400I’ve been listening to The Cigar Authority podcast for several years now, actually, I had been listening for a few years since being a guest on the show in October of 2013. Since it was a holiday weekend and nobody travels on Thanksgiving weekend, so my wife and Macha and I decided to take a little road trip to Salem, New Hampshire to crash she show. The show is recorded and webcast live from the new Studio 21 Podcast Cafe in 2 Guys Smokeshop. This was my first visit to this shop, I’d visited the Nashua store before. The shop is huge, with a nice downstairs lounge, an upstairs lounge, and the cafe. The walls of the shop are lined with humidors for singles, and, like the Nashua store only smaller in scale, there’s a large humidor stacked with Contendersunopened boxes. The selection is excellent, as is the staff. I picked up a couple Todos las Dias and The Wise Man Maduro and lit up a Wise Man while watching the show. I also picked up the 2 Guys Cigar of the Year Contenders pack, consisting of the eight cigars that are in the running for that honor. I plan to smoke them and cast my vote. Check it out on their site, it’s a hell of a deal and I have only smoke one of the cigars of the eight (actually two after today, that Wise Man Maduro was excellent). I’m looking forward to taking a week and smoking through the set.

 

CookiesWe brought some special cookies for the guys from our friends at Farmhouse Bakery in PA. We know what these guys like. Beautiful and delicious cookies and gluten free! Thanks to my wife, Jenn, for making that happen!

 

Sean, the barista makes impressive coffee creations, I kinda wish I’d tried the nitro, but the Cuban coffee was amazing. Some highlights of the visit personally was getting to catch up with Ed Sullivan, who I hadn’t seen since 1999, as well as Dave Garofalo, Mr. Jonathan and Barry Stein. Also met Dave from Cigar Hacks, another podcast that’s coming out. Macha was well Wisemanbehaved, you can hear here bark a couple of times if you listen to the show. I was surprised and honored to have been invited to join the show for the last segment, although I pretty much froze up on a couple of questions. If I’d have been smart I would have mentioned the CigarCraig’s Secret Santa. There’s still plenty of time to get in on it, by the way, email me your name and address if you want to join the fun. I smoked the Garofalo Maduro also which was very good, made by Perdomo, although time constraints and distractions left me unable to really concentrate on it. It was a good time, and I heartily recommend paying 2 Guys a visit if you find yourself in southern New Hampshire.

 

TurkeyI hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. Sorry I skipped my usual Wednesday post, I spent the week smoking some of my favorite cigars, a Mi Querida, an Undercrown Sungrown, a Davidoff Winston Churchill The Late Hour, and following my Thursday feast with a Cornelius and Anthony Cornelius toro. All great cigars, I just had a hankering for some favs last week! Next week I’ll get adventurous again. So that’s all for now, until the next time,

CigarCraig

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Sobremesa, Alec Bradley Prensado, and Tatuaje The Jackel Cigars

PopLast Sunday my wife and I spent the day in  Philly, it was a Pops day. We went to the Art Museum for a Pop Art exhibit, and then to the Philly Pops concert. On the walk from the Art Museum to the Kimmel Center I enjoyed the heck out of a Sobremesa Corona Grande, the smallest in the line at 5¼” x 44.  For anyone who hasn’t been paying attention, here is the blend details of Steve Saka’s freshmen release: Capa (wrapper): La Meca Ecuador Habano #1 Rosado, Capote (binder): Matacapan Negro de Sobremesa_CoronaGrande_ArtMuseumTemporal, and Tripa (filler): Nicaraguan Gk Condega C-SG Seco, Nicaraguan Pueblo Nuevo Criollo Viso, Nicaraguan La Joya Esteli C-98 Viso, Nicaraguan ASP Esteli Hybrid Ligero, and USA Lancaster County Broadleaf Ligero. I wish every cigar maker provided half the blend information that Steve does. This little guy was a great cigar for wandering the streets of Philly, it burned well, has the same refined, nuanced flavor of its larger siblings, but with a little sharper “Pop”, which was appropriate for the theme of the day. Stopped by Holt’s on the way back to the train after the concert and picked up a couple of cigars for no real reason, it was nice to see Zack again. It was a good Day.

 

AB_Prensado RobustoLater in the week I smoked the Alec Bradley Prensado Robusto which was the subject of last week’s The Cigar Authority show, and part of their Care Package. I smoked it while listening to the podcast, as I never seem to catch it live.  This cigar had a couple year’s age on it, and was quite smooth and flavorful, but I didn’t get the “cinnamon roll” flavor Dave Garofalo got.  For the last few weeks Dave has been finding obscure song snippets to play when he finds the flavor, one week it was Poptarts and butter, we can only hope he doesn’t find a peanut butter and jelly flavor, or we’ll have to hear the incessant “Peanut Butter Jelly Time” bit…if this shows up on the show I’ll know he stole the idea from me!  Anyway, it was a good smoke, to bad it gave me a head cold…

 

Tatuaje_TheJackel_CDMThis is the first head cold I’ve had in a long time, and it moved through pretty quick, thankfully. It was annoying enough that I didn’t want to smoke anything I wanted to mention here, so I smoked a few favorites that I have a handful of, and the were good. I still have a little congestion, but yesterday I was ready for something a little bit special.  I selected the Tatuaje The Jackel, an exclusive to CDMCigars, and Casa de Montecristo in Chicago. This is a big torpedo, 6¾” x 56, with the wrapper coming up short on the foot by about ¾”. I had a good time with this cigar. It started off pretty bold with some sweetness and spice, then when the wrapper started burning it got a bit creamier. The Sancti Spiritus wrapper leaf really tamed this down from the brash start. It was very enjoyable, burned well enough only requiring an occasional touch up, and was hard to put down. I’ve been trying to broaden my limited Tatuaje experience as of late, I’ve been missing out on some great smokes, so prepare to get bored with my new-found attention to this brand.

 

That’s all for today, I’ve got a Noon appointment with my TV, the Flyer’s try to avoid elimination once again. I’ll need a great cigar after the game either way, I think. Before I forget, give a listen to The Stogie Geeks lastest show with Glynn Loope of the CRA. they give a lot of great information on the looming FDA regulations. Until the next time,

 

CigarCraig

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La Boheme, Nomad Therapy and a Quesada Cigar from Casa de Montecristo

LaBoheme_PittoreSince we last spoke, which was only Friday, I’ve not had the chance to smoke too many cigars, but I did try to smoke good ones! I’ll have to rewind to Thursday, when I selected a La Boheme Pittore (5 1/8″ x 52) from a prior month’s Cigar Authority Care Package, to smoke while I listened to last week’s show.  I should have smoked the Eiroa Classic Prensado, which I really look forward to smoking, but it was a 4″ x 48 size that I knew wouldn’t fit into the time allotted, it would leave me wanting. I’ll get to the Eiroa eventually, but I had the La Boheme that I missed previously, and I was looking forward to smoking Rafael Nodal’s latest creation too. The La Boheme, named after the famous Puccini opera (and I didn’t have to look that up, just so you know!) with sizes are named after characters in the opera, attempts to blend Rafael’s passions of cigars, music and Cuba, and I felt a little bad that I was listening to a cigar podcast while smoking this instead of listening to the opera. This is yet another cigar that I will be smoking again, it was very good, with a hint of that twang that’s a signature of most Havana cigars. Burn and draw were outstanding and it was a very enjoyable smoke. Another job well done from the folks at Aging Room Cigars.

 

Nomad_TherapyMaduro_ToroFriday evening I celebrated the end of another week, as well as my youngest son’s 22nd birthday, with the Nomad Therapy Maduro Toro.  This line is made at Tabacalera Fernandez in Nicaragua, and the maduro uses a Pennsylvania broadleaf wrapper, which Abdel Fernandez is reasonable famous for working with. Besides the PA wrapper, which I like a lot and it’s grown right down the road from where I live, this cigar had a Habano binder grown in Jalapa, and Nicaraguan filers.  One can’t buy boxes of these, they are presented in trays that retailers can refill with bundles, lowering the cost. That’s not to take anything away from the premium nature if the cigar, it’s not a cheap bundle offering. I had no issues with the burn and draw, and the flavor was awesome! A little sweet, a little spice, a lot of flavor, and it’s right up my alley. Great, another cigar I need to buy…thank you to Fred for including this and it’s Connecticut Shade and Habano siblings with the 12SDOCG offering back in December!

 

Quesada_Espana_FabulososYesterday we had an odd February day with temps in the 50s, so I grabbed a big cigar and took Macha for a nice long walk, 3.1 miles to be exact.  The cigar came in a selection of cigar sent to me by the online arm of Casa de Montecristo in Chicago, CDMCigars.com. I’ve been to the Casa de Montecristo in the Chicago area and it’s spectacular, and the members lounge which I weaseled my way into is just about as good as it gets. The cigar I selected was the Quesada Sellecion España Fabulosos, a 7″ x 54 corona doble. This line was originally blended for the Spanish market to offer an alternative to Cuban cigars, and was a bit of a unicorn for a while, now they are available in the US, although not widely. The blend consists of a Ecuador grown Arapiraca wrapper, Dominican binder and fillers from Connecticut (broadleaf), the DR and Nicaragua. Here’s wear my general laziness bites me in the ass.  The cigar could have been a little dryer, and that’s my fault, as I placed the bag of samples, along with the Boveda pack, in the bottom of the cabinet. I’ve found before that this is a bad idea, and I didn’t learn. So I’ve removed the Boveda pack and put the rest of the cigars on the top shelf to lose a little moisture. While this cigar didn’t smoke as well as I’d have liked, it still was a terrific tasting cigar and smoked for over two hours. It was rich and creamy with hints of spice. I only have the H-Town lancero to compare this to, and it’s quite different, as the lancero is a lot more potent as one would expect.  The folks at CDMCigars.com also included the Beli-Lance, a 7″ x 40 with a belicoso head, along with a bunch of other exclusive cigars that I look forward to smoking. If you find yourself in the Chicago area make Casa de Montecristo a destination.

 

That’s it for now, it’s supposed to be milder temperatures again today, but we may get more snow and winter stuff this week. Until the next time,

 

Cigar Craig

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A La Gloria Cubana, a Sobremesa and a Contest Winner!

Monday evening I sat down with a cigar that was in The Cigar Authority care package, that I thought was going to be featured on the current show. I wasn’t disappointed to hear Steve Saka on the show talking about his new Sobremesa cigar, and I wasn’t disappointed with the La Gloria Cubana Trunk Show Liga No. 6, but I was a little mad at myself for not paying attention to the show line-up so I could smoke the cigar along with the show, as the Care Package program intends. I need to pay better attention.  But the cigar was fantastic. LaGloriaCubana_2002TrunkShow No6To my recollection, the La Gloria Cubana Trunk show started back around 2000, and I remember meeting up with some friends after they attended a Trunk Show at Holt’s in Philadelphia, and it happened to be the day my twin niece and nephew were born. This cigar was from 2003, and was a Cameroon wrapped figurado, it seemed like the same shape as the Punch Champion. I hate to give away anything for my friends at The Cigar Authority, but this cigar was too good not to talk about.  The burn and draw were perfect, these cigars were lovingly stored by Dave Garofalo for the last thirteen years or so, and the cigar smoked like the well aged vintage cigar that it was. The flavor was sweet and mellow, very smooth, and very full flavored.  The Cameroon wrapper was perfect, it’s amazing that this fragile wrapper held up so well.  I’m a La Gloria fan from way back, and I wish I had tried this when it was originally released, but I’m thrilled I had the chance to try it now.  If you are a listener of The Cigar Authority show, and you have $20 a month to spare on the care package, I recommend it. There have consistently been well over $20 worth of smokes and it’s a great way to try some new cigars and interact with the show.    **UPDATE** – After listening to the show when they smoked this cigar, Dave Garofalo revealed that this cigar was made from the same components that made up the Partagas 150 which was released in 1995.  The Cameroon wrapper was 18 years old then, making this cigar’s wrapper 38 years old! This La Gloria Cubana Trunk Show Liga No. 6 was the Partagas 150 in a special shape, and was a once in a lifetime smoke, and it’s next to impossible to find any information on the internet about this.

 

SobremesaTonight I took a drive down to Cigar Mojo in King of Prussia, PA and bought a few Sobremesa cigars since hearing about them on the aforementioned podcast.  I got a couple of the El Americano 6″ x 52 toros and a couple of Corona Grande 5¼” x 44 coronas.  This line was the subject of the one interview I posted from the IPCPR show (here). I’ve known Steve Saka for going on twenty years, I first had occasion to talk to him on the phone back in 1996 when I took part in his Monthly Officious Taste Test that he posted on the alt.smokers.cigars Usenet group, and later on the Cigar Nexus website, where I ended up rating the Cuban Montecristo No. 2 a dog rocket (long story). I met him in person by Cleopatra’s Barge in Caesars Palace in Las Vegas at a cigar party he was a part of throwing called Boondoggle in 1997 (the link is to one of my very first websites! Embarrassing, I know).  We’ve kept in touch ever since, and I’ve seen him get into the cigar industry, first working with JR Cigars and then with Drew Estate. Obviously I’ve been chomping at the bit to try his solo effort, the Sobremesa, from his new company, Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust.  I chose one of the El Americanos and put the other three cigars in the humidor for a rest. Steve cautioned not to expect a powerhouse like Sobremesa_El Americanothe Liga Privada, which began it’s life as something for him to smoke when he started working at Drew Estate. I can say that he is spot on, as the Sobremesa is quite the opposite.  This cigar is a complex blend, it is made up of La Meca Ecuador Habano #1 Rosado wrapper, Matacapan Negro de Temporal binder (Mexican) and five fillers: Nicaraguan Gk Condega C-SG Seco,  Nicaraguan Pueblo Nuevo Criollo Viso, Nicaraguan La Joya Esteli C-98 Viso, Nicaraguan ASP Esteli Hybrid Ligero and USA Lancaster County Broadleaf Ligero. It’s a beautiful smoke, very refined, a nice bit of bright cinnamon spice. I would have thought the PA ligero would have given it more punch, but it really was a nice, medium strength cigar that is quite unique in my opinion. Even if I didn’t know Steve, I would have been entranced by the flavor of this cigar. It’s going to be hard to leave the other cigars I bought sit in the humidor for too long. I really didn’t need to find another $12.50 cigar that I think is a good value…thanks Steve! 🙂

 

ContestOK, on to the  winner of this month’s giveaway. I added two cigars to the selection, a Kilo Robusto and a MUWAT, Kentucky Fire Cured Hamhock (I had it in my pocket and didn’t get around to smoking it ans was too lazy to put it away!).  SO that brings it up to 12 cigars and the Stage V Cigar Clinger.  There were 78 entries, and Random.org tells me comment number 20 is the winner. James Appello needs to send me his address so I can send these goodies out.  There won’t be a First Wednesday giveaway in December as I will be, once again, trying to pull off the 12 Spectacular Days of Cigar Giveaways. Thanks to everyone who entered, I expect to se you all entering next month.  Thanks to the folks at Stage V Cigar Clinger, and Southern Draw for pitching in some goodies.

 

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

 

CigarCraig

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First Wednesday Contest Two Days Late, and a Kilo Cigar

I missed the Wednesday post, it’s been a hellish week at work, so I blew it off. I asked on the Cigarcraig.com Facebook page if anyone minded if I posted it late and the sentiment was positive.  It seems people love the chance to score some freebies!  So I rummaged through the humidor and pulled out about 10 cigars and found some other odds and ends. More on that later, I have a couple of cigars I want to talk about first!

 

 

Kilo_RobustoI signed up for The Cigar Authority Care Package, which is a monthly care package of cigars that they are going to smoke on the show during the course of the month, so I dropped the folks at 2 Guys a note asking to include a couple of the new Kilo cigar (and charge me for them) that is the creation of Barry Stein. Barry created a version of this cigar when he was working for Miami Cigar and Co., and it’s been re-imagined through the United Cigar Group and made by Noel Rojas who makes the Guayacan line.  I received the care package along with the Kilo cigars last week and smoked a robusto this week.  The cigar is made up of an Ecuadorian habano wrapper,  with Nicaraguan Corojo 2006 binder and three ligero fillers from Aganorsa and Rojas’ farms.  This is a strong cigar, with lots of flavor.  It burned perfectly, much like the Guayacan toro I smoked later in the week to compare. Kudos to Barry for realizing a dream and bringing a very nice cigar to market. Good smoke, but not for the feint of heart. The idea behind the care package is to smoke the cigar that corresponds with the show, preferably while watching The Cigar Authority show live on Saturdays. I generally find myself listening to the podcast version during the week, so I try to remember to smoke the cigar while listening. there have been some spectacular cigar included in the packages I’ve received. It’s an entertaining show and is in my regular rotation.

 

Contest

 

contestI pulled some favorites out of the humidor, as well as a sampler of Southern Draw cigars, and a Stage V Cigar Clinger.  The Southern Draw sampler includes a Kudzu, a Firethorn and a Quick Draw Pennsylvania, all tasty smokes from the A.J. Fernandez factory. Also included is a Nica Rustica Belly, an Arandoza White Robusto, a Classic Cigar Habano Blend from East India Trading Co., a Tortuga Reserva Cedro Belicoso, a Buena Vista Short Churchill, a Six-Sixty Robolo and a Black Abyss Toro (the last two from the factory that makes Aging Room and Señoreal).  All cigars I like to smoke.  It’s hard to say what else might fall into the shipping box when it goes out. Usual rules apply, if you’ve won in the past few months you’re out, just leave a comment here to enter. I’ll pick a winner next Wednesday (maybe), November 11, 2015.

 

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

 

CigarCraig

 

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