Tops of The Year, Roberto P. Duran Winner and General Nonsense

Serie Unico_FeralFlyingPigToday’s post is going to be a little of everything. It’s my last day of a 14 day vacation, and I really want to get something accomplished today, so I want to get this done!  I’ve got some top “x” lists,  Some cigars I smoked, and a contest winner!  I’ll start with some cigars I smoked that I found interesting. I generally spend the end of December smoking either cigars that are featured in the giveaways, or cigars I’ve featured in the past and want to revisit, or special occasion cigars.  I smoked a bunch of each this year.  Around Christmas I smoked a Padron 1964 Exclusivo and a Drew Estate Serie Unico Feral Flying Pig.  The Pig was a bit of a surprise, it was the first of this size I’ve smoked. It was super smooth and full of rich flavor and I swear I got some cinnamon at the halfway point. This example came back with me from Nicaragua a year and a half ago, and I would have picked up a couple more when I saw them locally except for the $19 price tag.  The Feral Flying Pig was a “wow” cigar for me, perhaps the best cigar I smoked all year. My wife got me this cool cast iron pig holding what looks like a tobacco leaf for me for Christmas. The Exclusivo was pretty darned good too!


RockyPatel_ProhibitionNew Years Eve we stopped in to Cigar Mojo in King of Prussia, PA for a smoke and I picked up some of the Rocky Patel Prohibition cigars that I’ve been wanting to try. These come in glass jars, and one has a San Andrés wrapper and one has a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper, and both are a 6½” x 52 toro.  It seems that most of the Rocky Patel cigars I have, or have had, are a toro size, is it just me?  Anyway, I smoked the San Andreas on New Years Eve and it was a good Mexican maduro smoke.  It was a little smoother than the typical “dirty” sensation you get from Mexican tobacco, and was an enjoyable smoke. I smoked the Broadleaf version New Years Day, after a fun afternoon with my family in our annual tradition of watching the Winter Classic hockey game on TV, while eating and playing with the granddaughters.  I think I liked the Broadleaf version better, it had a nice sweetness that I really liked.  I will smoke a few more of each, as I tend to like both San Andrés and Broadleaf about the same.  Good smokes, interesting packaging as they come packed in glass jars within wooden crates, an homage to bootlegging practices during prohibition. Of course, the parallel being drawn is cigars to liquor prohibition in the ’20s, which it what “they” are trying to do to tobacco, and we know how well prohibition worked out! It gave us organized crime and NASCAR! 🙂



I’m far too lazy to compile my own list of great cigars I smoked over the year. There are a lot of exceptional cigars out there, it’s really hard to go wrong. Quite a few of my colleagues in the blogosphere like to make them, so here’s a short list of some that I came across in no particular order of preference.


Keep an eye on, they usually go through all the sites and put together a consensus, which goes through a bunch of the various top whatever lists.  Keep an eye open for that in the coming weeks.  I think my favs of the year were the Arandoza Red Label (with the White Label right up there), and anything Tortuga.  There are far too many great cigars out there!


My list, once again, is a tribute to you, the reader.  Here is this year’s top commentors of 2014! Thank you all for reading along and participating! Without you all I’d be talking to myself!





winnerOf course we start off 2015 with another great giveaway!  Thanks to Roberto Duran Cigars for providing a box of the very tasty Doberto P. Duran Premium Rio Toa. I smoked the Cacique Guama 6 x 60 last night and really enjoyed the smooth,  well balanced and complexity of this cigar. It’s sophisticated.  The winner of these is really going to enjoy them, I think.  Also thanks to the other generous sponsors who over did it and left me with more than I could give away in the 12SDoCG, even in 14 days, as well as the odds and ends I had laying around! Smoke Inn, Drew Estate, 2 Guys Smokeshop primarily.  This time I let RaffleCopter do the heavy lifting for me. It makes things easy for me, but I want to know how you all felt about it. I thought the turnout was rather low, and I don’t know if RaffleCopter is off-putting or what.  Either way, we have a winner. Here’s the screenshot of RaffleCopter’s selection. Congrats to Mark!


That’s more than enough for today!  Time to get on with the last day of vacation!


Until the next time,




Filed under Contest, Editorial, News, Review

15 Responses to Tops of The Year, Roberto P. Duran Winner and General Nonsense

  1. Oh my, thank you Craig! What a fantastic start to the New Year, Thank you to Roberto Duran Cigars and all the other sponsors as well,

  2. Cmatt777

    Craig, It’s funny you use the term “wow” cigar. I’ve used that term myself but sparingly. I can count the wow cigars I’ve had on one hand.

  3. Thanks Craig! Hope the vacation was enjoable. Congrats Mark!

  4. $19.00 BUCKS ! ! I’ll try “ONE”. Hope Timothy’s Cigars Shop in Bay City, Michigan has them. Yeah, I think he reads your Blog.

  5. jjo

    Craig, you’re not allowed to talk to yourself. Thanks for another year of great info, insights, and even rants. 🙂

  6. I prefer using Rafflecopter. I’ve always just used my e-mail and never linked it to my FB. I like that you don’t have to sign up for it. There’s no password to remember. I do see where people new to it would shy away from it though. Just my $.02

  7. Mike McCain

    another contest? outstanding…hopefully, the bronchitis will be through before the thaw sets in

  8. Dan Colley

    You are in the “NO DANGER ZONE” when it comes to talking to yourself. There are too many of us !!!

    I was amused by your “cinnamon” comment. I had the same experience recently. About three months ago, I was smoking one of the Tatuaje Pudgy Monsters (I forget which one) and about 1/3 to 1/2 the way through the cigar, there was a DEFINITE flavor of cinnamon. It was brief and was a first for me and I haven’t experienced it since. It’s probably one of the last things that you would expect when smoking a cigar !!!

    I’m going to dig that Roberto Duran cigar tonight and take it for a dance. I hear too many good things about it to leave it alone for too much longer.

    Here’s wishing you a very happy new year. All the best to you and your family.

  9. Kevin D. Shahan

    Congrats to you Mark. With a name like VanSledright, I assume you to be a Dutchman?

  10. Tommy D

    Thanks Craig…I am new to your blog. I preferred the method you used in the 12 days of Christmas. I couldn’t get the new method to work on my phone. Have a great new year!

  11. damn it, i missed a give-away. who knew you’d do another one so soon?

  12. Commish

    Looking forward to another year of suggestions. Thanks for the links to review some.

  13. wm2slc

    Congrats to Mark and thanks Craig for the contest. I like RaffleCopter, was one of your entries to Tweet daily? Also, a link to get additional entries will have us post to other boards and blogs. Just a thought.. Talk to Josh at Rafflecopter, great guy and very helpful.

  14. Having only just discovered this site, it’s awesome to see some great giveaways that compliment the wealth of information here. I’m a big fan of the honest, down to earth reviews so far.

    Working my way back in time through the posts, looking for stick ideas to add to the collection!

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