Tag Archives: Veritas

Rolling Thunder, Veritas and Hoyo de Monterrey Cigars

RollingThunder_50CalMaduro_RobustoWhile I was at the IPCPR show I stopped by the Veritas booth and while I was waiting to meet and talk to Chris Weber, I spoke with Dave Cribbin about this Rolling Thunder cigars.  This week I smoked the Maduro .50 Caliber robusto, and I had every intention of smoking the Connecticut and Habano versions, but some other things came up. When Dave gave me the samples I had him mark the maduro since I couldn’t really distinguish between it and the Rolling Thunder IPCPRHabano (the Connecticut is on the darker side too, but it’s a bit lighter). I believe these are in the “Pre-War Vintage” line, there’s also a “Boot Camp Blend”, which the website indicates is on the milder side. The Maduro has a Nicaraguan wrapper and binder, and fillers from Honduras (Habano) and Nicaragua (Jalapa and Esteli). This 5″ x 52 robusto, as I alluded to before, has a lighter shade maduro wrapper (or the Habano is dark), and was a very meaty, savory cigar, no real sweetness, but savory. I really liked the cigar, it was different than a typical maduro, and was well made. I am looking forward to smoking the other two samples I have.These are sold on the website, and there’s also a place to make an additional donation to Cigars for Warriors, which is nice.

 

Veritas_ToroI finally did get to talk to Chris Weber of Veritas Cigars at the show, he’s from Delaware, which is down the road from me, and I’d seen him checking in to local shops on social media. I smoked the Veritas toro this week and was really impressed. The 6″ x 52 toro, my preferred size, has a Brazilian Arapiraca Maduro wrapper,  Dominican Olor binder and fillers from Peru, Colombia, Nicaragua & Dominican Republic. This one had the sweetness I like and was quite and exceptional cigar. The band is plain, black with white borders, and from the back it could be mistaken for another popular brand, but it’s not. The similarity is that it’s a terrific cigar, but it stands on its own in flavor and quality. This is a cigar I’ll be smoking more of, for sure.

 

Hoyo_LaAmistad_RobustoI usually write a post on Wednesday evenings, but I blew that off to head back down to the Wooden Indian and have a smoke with Jack Toraño of General Cigar Co. I always seem to miss hanging with cigar makers, reps and brand owners/managers/evangelists, whatever, when I either find out they were in the area too late, or am at work while they are visiting stores during the day. When I saw Jack was in the vicinity, I reached out to him and he let me know he was stopping by the JackTWooden Indian. I picked up a few cigars while there (weekday special: buy 5, the 6th is $1!), and lit up a Hoyo La Amistad by AJ Fernandez. This isn’t a new cigar to me, and is one I really enjoy, which is why I bought more considering I still had some at home in the humidor. It was great catching up with Jack, a true gentleman and good dude. Always nice to see Rami, our local General rep, too. Thanks to Dan and Todd for hanging out a bit past closing time!

 

Hoyo_LaAmistadSilver_ChurchillI picked up a couple of the new Hoyo La Amistad Silver while I was at the Wooden Indian, they only had the Churchill size, which is OK because I like Churchills and don’t smoke enough of them. A 6 7/8″ x 48 just doesn’t seem that big these days! This is another cigar from Tabacalera Fernandez which consists of an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper, Nicaraguan Habano binder and Nicaraguan fillers (Estelí, Condega). When I was talking with Jack about his fondness for the original Hoyo La Amistad, he said that the new-this-year Silver was even better. This surprised me because the original is really good, the Silver is better?  I have to say that I really did enjoy the Silver, until it got to the last two inches when it got a little funky, but it’s pretty new and should definitely be stellar with some age. For me it’s on a par, and I can’t really say how it was different, it just was, and quite enjoyable. More to come on that one.

 

That’s all for tonight, I had thought of a clever contest concept, but then I forgot what it was! So when I remember it, I’ll put something together, although I did meet m contest quota for a bit, didn’t I?  I’m sure you’ll disagree!   Anyway, until the next time,

 

CigarCraig

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Diner en Blanc, Veritas 412 and Camacho Nicaraguan Barrel Aged Cigars

DEB1While not a cigar event, Dîner en Blanc is an annual event held in 70 cities around the world. People wear all white, pack a picnic dinner, and go to a secret location which isn’t revealed until you arrive en masse at the place. This year the Philadelphia version was the largest ever, with 5300 people meeting at various places around the city in groups, toting tables, chairs and coolers, again, all wearing white. I wasn’t able to accompany my wife last year, so this was my first time experiencing this sort of thing. We met at the Convention Center and walked to Franklin Square, one of Philadelphia’s five original squares, which became a park in 1838. It has a fountain, merry-go-round, miniature golf course and a playground. 5300 people lined up their tables, many with elaborate place DEBCigarssettings, and shared a meal, then partook in dancing and general fun. I’m told security was heightened, but it wasn’t overly apparent, and I suppose it was helpful that the park is in the shadow of the Philadelphia Police headquarters   It was pretty darned cool. All these different people, just hanging out having a good time. Of course, I took event appropriate cigars along and the Traveling Tobacconist was there with his 30 foot Airstream “CigaRV” mobile cigar lounge. I smoked a Montecristo White Series robusto and a Fratello Bianco, while my wife had a Leccia White. The Fratello Bianco was the corona, sadly my last one, I think this was a special event only size, and it was exceptional. There were a surprising number of people hanging out smoking cigars, many of whom you could tell were first timers. It was a great party, and I was happy to have been a part of it.

 

Veritas_The412_ToroFriday I was looking for something new and exciting to end a busy week, so I rummaged through the IPCPR samples and came upon a cigar from a reasonably local company that I hadn’t had a chance to catch up with until the show. Veritas Cigar Co. is based in Newark, DE, not far from me, and I wanna say I encountered this brand in 2011 at the Delaware Cigar Festival, but they’ve changed some things since then.  I selected The 412 in a toro size. This is a unique and powerful blend! It has a Pennsylvania wrapper, Mexican binder and fillers including more Pennsylvania and ligeros from Condega & Esteli. It had a lot of pepper and cocoa and was very enjoyable, although quite heavy. This was one of the few cigars I had to put down with a bit under two inches to go. I have a couple more samples, and I think I have a large Connecticut shade wrapped Solomon from them going back to 2011 someplace. I am looking forward to sampling more and catching up with them at a local event.

 

Camacho_NicaraguanBarrelAged_GordoYesterday I went with a new Camacho cigar, the Nicaraguan Barrel Aged in the Gordo size. I chose the gordo size because we were taking a long walk to get Powerball tickets (I wonder if we won?) and I wanted a longer smoke. The NBA follows the American Barrel Aged, which has tobacco aged in bourbon barrels, this one has tobaccos aged in rum barrels (and some outlets clam that even the rum barrels are aged, “aged in some of the world’s oldest Nicaraguan rum barrels” was one quote i found. Again, spirits are not my forté, so I have no way of knowing if the nice sweetness in this cigar is from the rum or inherent in the tobaccos, but it was a very good, smooth, enjoyable cigar. I’m looking forward to trying other sizes in this line. I’ve liked Camacho cigars since smoking my first one in 1996, and have seen quite an evolution in the brand, obviously watching as they transitioned from Christian Eiroa to Davidoff, and while they are doing a lot of different things now than they were then, the quality and interestingness (making up words here) is there.

 

That’s all I have for today. Don’t forget the contest running from Friday to Friday this week, and stay tuned for more (hey KRUK….patience!).  Until the next time,

 

CigarCraig

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La Sirena, Davidoff and a Room 101 Cigar an News from Veritas Cigar Co.

 

 

La Sirena Trident SidebySideHappy Easter Sunday to all who celebrate! Every year I think I should let a cigar dry out for a while then re-humidify it and report on the process, but that seems like it could be sacrilegious to some, so I don’t do it. The first reason I don’t do it is because I don’t want to commit a sin against cigars, and then there’s the whole resurrection comparison that wouldn’t float with some people. So completely unrelated to that, Friday I found myself in the mood for something from  my friends at La Sirena Cigars, and I went deep into the dwindling supply of the original La Sirena Tridents, the ones made at the My Father factory. Now days they are made at La Zona, and are still excellent, and here’s how to tell them apart if you come across them in the wild: the new one’s have the second, thin band that’s under the enormous band centered on the primary band, and on the old ones you can see the thin band before you remove the large one. I strongly recommend buying all you can carry of the old ones if you come across them, they have aged spectacularly.  This four-plus year old cigar burned perfectly, had great savory flavors with a bit of a spice in the beginning and hints of sweet tobacco throughout. If I could go back in time I would, at a minimum, leave this box alone for four years, and, ideally, stock my humidor with boxes upon boxes of La Sirenas. That’s not to say that the current production of La Sirenas aren’t great too, and I’ll be interested in seeing if I’ll be kicking myself for smoking most of the box of Devines before the four or five-year mark. I wonder how the five-year old Dubloons I have in the humidor are faring?

 

Davidoff_Chefs EditionYesterday I smoked another of the Davidoff Chefs Edition cigars as I will be featuring that in an upcoming Prime Living Magazine article. If you feel so inclined, you can see  my articles in the Gentlemen’s Room section of the Prime Living Website.  I wrote put a lot of information about this cigar in last week’s post about the event at Davidoff of Geneva in NYC, so I won’t reiterate it here, except to say that some additional research has turned up that the wrapper is Ecuador Habano. There are some places you might find it listed as Dominican Habano, but that would be incorrect based on credible sources. Anyway, after smoking this cigar in a crowded social situation, and relaxing in private, I maintain that it is an wonderful cigar, not without some strength, loaded with flavor and I can see where it would pair well with food. I was going to snap a picture of me smoking the cigar with one of our chickens on my lap and say it paired well with chicken, but I was too busy enjoying the cigar. Every cigar should smoke this well, of course, every cigar doesn’t have a $30 price tag.  Good smoke for a special occasion, which for me was a nice Saturday afternoon.

 

Room 101 Big Payback HuesoLast night I took a walk with the Davidoff’s cousin, a Room 101 Big Payback Hueso, the 6″ x 60 Nicaraguan Puro. This cigar is a bit of a polar opposite of the Chefs Edition, it’s one sixth the price at around $5, it comes in boxes of 50 for less than the price of a box of ten of the Davidoff. It lacks the finesse, sophistication and nuance of it’s fancier relative, but it’s still a pretty darned tasty cigar!  My example had a burn that was very good, I had to re-light it a couple of times because I wasn’t paying enough attention to it, but that’s on me. In this particular instance I would have been better served with the Robusto size version of this, the Hueso smoked for about 2 hours, not that I didn’t have the two hours to spend, I guess maybe, as the second cigar of the day, I was just ready to do something else after about an hour and a half. Davidoff is selling down the Room 101 lines, and they will no longer be in production, which is a shame, as there are several blends I’ll miss, and this reasonably priced line is one of them. I only have a handful in the humidor, I guess I should grab some more before they are gone.

 

Finally, I constantly receive press releases with the request to pass them on, and you know that I m not the guy who posts a press release the minute I receive it. Plenty of people do, nothing wrong with this, if it fits with your style, go for it. I don’t feel the need to repeat what other people do if I can help it.  That being said, I did receive this from the folks at Veritas Cigars and something makes me think they are based in my general vicinity someplace, I remember running into them at the Delaware Cigar Festival back in 2011 or 2012. Now t’s my mission to go out and find some of their cigars.

 

Veritas Cigars proudly announces that Chris Weber has become the Chairman and Chief Operating Officer of Veritas Cigars. “Like anything worth doing, this has been a labor of love for all those who have brought the brand to its current state of excellence, and I stand behind this cigar line, made great by the challenges I’ve faced, and I am poised to bring the brand to new heights,” stated Mr. Weber. To facilitate the continued evolution of the company, Veritas is moving Nicaraguan production to the fabled Black Label Trading Company’s factory, Oveja Negra, and the innovative expert cigar master James Brown. “In working with James I came to love his passion for blending and am excited to be working together to bring Veritas Cigars to the next level,” stated Chris. When asked about the new addition to his factory James Brown stated, “this is a tough industry for small companies. It’s hard to get the attention you need to create a premium product. Our goal is to help support other boutique brands and grow the premium-cigar market.” The transition will take time to complete with new product being scheduled to hit retailers at the end of July of this year.

 

Oddly, I have not smoked many cigars from the Black Label Trading Company lines, which is something else I’ll have to work on. That’s all for now, until the next time,

 

CigarCraig

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G.A.R., Liga Privada, Veritas, a Contest Winner and Another Macanudo Contest!

This nice looking G.A.R. Opium STK toro was handed to my by my old friend Frank Seltzer at the Drew Estate blogger party at this years IPCPR show. He gave it to me without any comment at all, and I’m sure he has no affiliation with Gran Habano. I started removing bands (three of them in all, the foot band had to go first!) and lit this puppy up. To start out, it’s a nice looking cigar, 6” x 50, which oddly felt larger than 50, but I measured it and it certainly was a 50 ring gauge. It smoked very well, and while I didn’t taste poppy seeds or any other interesting flavors, it was a nice, solid, tobacco flavored cigar. It’s a good cigar although not one I think I’d go out of my way to find. I need to try more cigars from George Rico and Gran Habano.

 

Friday I celebrated the end of another week with a Liga Privada No.9 Parejo. I’ve been sitting on this particular one for about 2 years, and, wow, what a wonderful cigar. Perfectly made, perfect balance of flavor and strength. I actually purchased this at an event at the Wooden Indian (the old store) where we first met Marvin Samel. Just a super cigar that I smoked to within a half inch of it’s life.  I still have one of the first Liga Privada No.9 cigars with a plain band from 2007.  Mike Staiber, formerly of Drew Estate, presently of Oliva, gifted me this cigar at an event a while back.  I’ll probably let it get to five years old or so before I fire it up, just to see how well it aged.  It’s all I can do to keep my hands off the meager supply I have, they are so good.

 

Saturday I took a walk with a Veritas MMXI 6” x 60 Maduro, which I got at the Delaware Cigar Festival. This was about the blackest maduro I’ve seen in a long time. I’ll be honest, my first thought is that it was dyed, and the contrast between the fillers and wrapper was quite stunning. Whatever the process involved, I enjoyed the cigar quite a bit, it needed a couple touch-ups but burned nicely. I’m told that these are made by Blue Mountain Cigars in Esteli, and the maduro cigars pictured on their website look just as black. Like I said, I enjoyed the heck out of the cigar. This is the cousin of the Veritas DEA 7¼” x 58 Solomon Connecticut cigar that is accompanying the Rosie Napravnik bobblehead that some lucky reader is going to win.

 Contest!

Thank you to everyone who entered.  It’s been a little amusing to me to see how many visits I had this week from people searching the phrase “Rosie Napravnik Bobblhead”, or something similar.    Thanks go to Delaware Park for unwittingly providing part of the prize, and Veritas Cigars for allowing me the opportunity to purchase the other part of the prize!  So, as usual, I assigned each entrant a number based the time of their entry. Swede214,  please send me your contact information so I can send you your prize!

 

Another Contest!

 

I still have some Macanudo Millionaire 4-packs to give away, and I better do it quick since the deadline for entry is September 30, 2011.  So I’ll hold my October contest a little early.  Leave a comment on this post to enter, I’ll select a winner next Sunday, October 2.  Don’t forget to visit MacanudoMillionaire.com to enter to win the trip to Vegas and a chance at a million bucks!

 

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

CigarCraig

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The Delaware Cigar Festival and Another Contest!

Saturday, September 17 marked the long awaited fifth annual Delaware Cigar Festival, organized and hosted by Gary Griffith, the Premium Cigar Manager of Delaware Cigars and the creator of Emilio and Grimalkin Cigars.  The event took place at Delaware Park, which is already one of our favorite places in the area to go and waste some money on the ponies, or drop some pennies in the slots.  The event was unique, as it is a big herf disguised as a charity event, although Gary won’t use the charity aspect to promote it.  The format is that the manufacturers and reps sell their samples for $3 each, with all of the proceeds going to charity, which this time benefited the family of a slain police officer (news report here), this was just in the last few days and quite tragic.

 

Photo Courtesy of Charlie Greenbacker

For your entrance price you got a bag with about 20 or 25 cigars (nice stuff too, I looked!) and assorted swag, a nice picnic buffet with burgers, dogs, chicken, ribs and beans, and the opportunity to talk with the assorted cigar makers and reps who were there.  Brands represented were:  Inked Magazine, Rocky Patel, Arturo Fuente/JC Newman, Emilio Cigars with brand creator Gary Griffith, Drew Estate, Altadis USA, Oliva, Perdomo, La Sirena with Brand Ambassador Arielle Ditkowich, La Flor Dominicana, Cigar Rights of America, EO Brands with Eddie Ortega, Miami Cigar, General Cigar, 262 Cigars, Kristoff Cigars, El Primer Mundo with Sean Williams, Veritas Cigar Co., and The Cigar Agency. Keith Park from Prometheous was also there.  All of these companies donated TONS of stuff, either cigars that were sold for $3 each, or stuff to be raffled off (we bought 10 tickets didn’t win a darned thing!).  The attendance was capped at 300 people, including staff, press and exhibitors, so it was a nice sized crowd. It was rarely a problem to have a chat with the vendors.

 

In addition to getting to schmooze with some of my friends on the manufacturers side, I was able to hang out a bit with some fellow blogger types such as Barry from ACigarSmoker.com, Walt  from StogieReview.com and Michael from CigarEvents.com.  I also had the great pleasure of meeting one of my readers, Charlie, who won big in the raffle give-aways!  These events are always about the people, and you just don’t meet nicer folks that those associated with cigars for some reason!

 

What a wonderful event that I would recommend highly next year if you are within a 3 or 4 hour drive.  Gary is a fine gentleman and I appreciate him welcoming myself and my wife for the afternoon.  It’s refreshing to see a retailer put on a “not for profit” event, and to have so many people there enjoying cigars and camaraderie.  I’d love to see more manufacturers participate in the future as the event is for good causes and shows the cigar business in a positive light.   The only downside was that the weather could have been a little nicer, it was overcast and under 70 until we drove off the premises, then the sun came out and it was nice!  Hardly anyone’s fault.  I managed to win about $4 on the ponies over the course of the day too!

 

In honor of the event, I’m going to have another quick give-away!  I know, I JUST had one that ended this week, but we got a couple Rosie Napravnik Bobbleheads at the park for Racing Fan Appreciation Day and I thought I’d combine it with a beautiful Veritas Connecticut Salamone that I purchased from the Delaware based Veritas Cigar Co. at the event.  So leave a comment to enter, and I’ll pick a winner next Sunday, September 25th.

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

CigarCraig

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