Wednesday Cigar Post: a Pre-Release Sample, a Custom Cuban? and a Contest!

For my usual Tuesday night walk last night I selected a re-release sample that Victor Vitale had sent me a few weeks ago, labeled Pre-release L.E. 2012. I must assume that this cigar fits into the Tortuga line, which is cool because I’ve really enjoyed the other cigars I’ve smoked in the line, especially the 1950 Maduro. This particular robusto was very tasty and had a perfect draw. Victor is producing very nice cigars lately. I know I didn’t quite “get” the ORTSAC line (the San Andreas is tasty), but the Tortugas really hit the spot for me, and the L.E. 2012 will be one to keep an eye out for!


Today officially marks the 3rd anniversary of My wife gave me the domain for my 46th birthday, so do the math and draw your own conclusions! What began as an idea for a website with a blog has morphed into a blog with far more readers than I ever anticipated. Thanks to everyone who chooses to waste their valuable time reading along! I’m truly humbled. Anyway, in honor of this auspicious occasion, I selected a special cigar from the humidor, a Taboada custom rolled cigar that was a recent gift from my friend George who I had the pleasure of hanging out with in Orlando. I really wanted to smoke this when he gave it to me, and I know he did too, but I had such a bad cold I knew it wouldn’t taste right. This cigar was rolled by retired Cuban roller Rodolfo Taboada Campa, and is a 6½” x 52ish toro with a shaggy, unfinished foot. The cigar lit easily and burned perfectly.  I understand that Taboada uses the entubado method of rolling, hence the perfect draw from start to finish.  I found myself a little perplexed by the flavor.  It was exceptional, don’t get me wrong, I was just expecting a more Cuban experience.  I didn’t perceive any of what I normally expect in Cuban tobacco, it lacked that “twang”, but it was smooth and loaded with flavor. Maybe it was a blend, I don’t know. (*Note – a very reliable source tells me that these are 100% finest Cuban tobacco rolled in Havana by the master.  My only conclusion is that the tobacco must be processed much better than regular production to produce such smooth and wonderful flavor!)     It was the ideal cigar to celebrate the anniversary of my birth, as well as that of Thank you George! I am sorry I didn’t smoke this with you, but I appreciate the special gift.


In honor of the occasion, why not give away a handful of cigars to some lucky reader? I can scrounge up a Tortuga L.E. 2011, maybe a couple of La Gloria Cubana Artesanos de Tabaqueros, and perhaps some goodies that haven’t even hit the shelves yet. It’s hard to say what might fall into the baggie, but there will be at least six outstanding smokes. Leave a comment to enter and I’ll pick a winner on Sunday.  Usual rules apply.


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





Filed under Contest, Review

46 Responses to Wednesday Cigar Post: a Pre-Release Sample, a Custom Cuban? and a Contest!

  1. MattSRoss81

    Congrats on 3 years, Craig! Upset we missed each other at JR Whippany that one time, but maybe sometime soon to celebrate!

  2. Agent 86

    Another great post. Haven’t tried the ORTSAC or Tortugas yet. Still mostly shop local B&Ms and mine don’t really go out of their way for anything new.

  3. Dave with a Y

    Happy 3rd anniversary dude! Hope to see many more. Glad to see the blog doing so well.

  4. eddie martell

    hey brother outstanding contest .good luck and long ashes everyone.

  5. David V

    Glad I found your blog and hope for even more success in the years to come. Enjoy your birthday and thanks for being a great BOTL.

  6. Eric

    Congratulations on 3 years and a successful blog adventure!

  7. Congratulations Craig and continued success on your blog and have a very good birthday.

  8. Storm Boen

    Congrats brother on 3 very succesful years brother!! Keep up the excellent work my friend, thanks for always throwing CATS a bone with reminders of Contests and new released reviews, stories etc. Salute bud, keep it up.

  9. Craig – the reason you have so many readers is because you write great posts! Insightful, honest, and thoughtful…Congrats on 3 years, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

    I got a few of the L.E. 2012s from Vic last weekend. I agree with your assessment. I like ’em. He let me in on the plans for the packaging, I think it’s going to be very cool – elegant and understated.

    /Obligatory Mooch Statement: “PICK ME, PICK ME!!!”

  10. DB

    Happy Birthday not only to you Craig, but to your web site which has brought so many cigar aficionados together. Keep up the good work and I look forward to many more years of excellence.

  11. George Satterfield

    Congratulations !! I really don’t mind wasting my time reading your blog. I’m so glad you have made a success story out of this whole thing. Hope you will keep it up for many moons to come ..

    Your friend George..

  12. Lloyd L.

    Has it only been three years? That means I’ve been following you virtually from the start! Congratulations on the success of your blog; it’s been a pleasure to ‘take a ride’ with you on your cigar journeys.

  13. Mike C

    Happy Bday buddy!

  14. Swede214

    Happy Birthday Craig, Congrats on 3 years, enjoy your blog. Have smoked the Ortsac, I liked it,very good, and as always, thanks for the contest.

  15. Christian Logay

    Awesome Blog man Way to go! keep it goin man…remember, A Writer writes!

  16. Cedric Norris

    Congrats Craig, My first time reading your blog and I like it, keep up the good work.

  17. Happy belated B day and congrats on the three year anni Craig.

  18. Dennis Shaffer

    Happy Happy Craig! Both birthday and anniversary!

  19. Esbern Henckert

    Time seem to stop when you are enjoy a good cigar but life goes on so happy Birthday and congrats on your site going for 3 Years now.. Keep us informed and updated! God bless.

  20. Steve C

    HAPPY 3D BIRTHDAY! Sure do appreciate your review style and your site. Thanks for the contests!

  21. Rob

    Happy Birthday Craig. Have a smokin’ day. Thanks for the contest.

  22. J.A.S.

    Congratulations Craig! Keep enjoying the cigars and share that enjoyment with us through your writings.

    have a wonderful birthday celebration!

  23. foozer69

    wow!! 3 years already, its went fast . nice content and good smokes !1

  24. George U

    Happy Birthday Craig & congratulations on the 3 very successful years.
    I’m glad you enjoyed the cigar and, of course, we know you have the utmost faith in “the very reliable source”. We will smoke one together soon.

  25. Dawn C

    Happy Birthday Craig! Thanks for your wonderful site and for the contests.

  26. Zigarboy

    Great Blog….keep it up. Happy Birthday/Anniversary

    Keep the ashes off your shirt!

  27. Nathan Zimmerman

    Congratulations on your three year anniversary…my how time flies. Was it ’97 when we attended the NYC crawl? Sheesh! Sounds like you had an excellent birthday smoke as well…keep on keepin’ on Craig!

  28. Tim Williamson

    Life is too short to smoke a bad cigar and you help us sort the gems from the duds. Keep up the good work!

  29. Brian

    Craig happy BDay to you and CigarCraig website. I do enjoy “wasting” my time reading LOL. I always get an education while reading. I consider myself a Noob/Novice, but my palate is really starting to open up and I am appreciating more of the nuances/tastes in different cigars.

  30. Freakboy791


    Congrats on the anniversary. The more I read the blog, the more I enjoy it. PS – running low on smokes. Count me in!

  31. irratebass

    Happy 3rd Anniversary!

    Happy 49th Barfday!!!! Hope you get some good smokes!!!!

    I have not had the Tortuga, so here’s hoping I win to try em’.

    Thanks for the contest and all you do for us.

  32. jjo

    Congrats and Happy Birthday! As Marshall Crenshaw sang, “You’re My Favorite Waste of Time”. Well, one of them, anyway. 😉

  33. smoke770

    Congrats and happy b-day.

  34. Rachel M

    Happy B-day!!!!

  35. The Commish

    Congrat’s on your Birthday – Maybe should send some Wisconsin Cheese!!

  36. David

    I’m assuming this is for another custom Cuban. Keep up the good work.

  37. Looks nice, and happy birthday Craig!

  38. TriMarkC

    Wow! Happy Birthday AND Happy Site/Blog Anniversary! You’ve always got great reviews and content, Craig! Hope you can keep up the good work, even if just about to go “over the hill”! ;-p

  39. Ian Massey

    Congrats on 3 years! The Taboada sounds awesome.

  40. jimbobber

    Congratulations! And enjoy the last year of the first half of your life!

  41. N. Craig

    My first month of cigar endulgence. My first time reading your blog. My first stop each week from now on. Add that up and you get 3… Just like the number of years your blog has been growing. Congrats!

    P.S. it’s destiny that I read your blog – our names say so…

  42. BruceK

    Happy Birthday & congrats with the blog success!

  43. JohnG

    Happy Birthday and Anniversary. Many more. Congratulations.

  44. The contest is officially closed. Thanks to all for their kind words and support! There was a really nice cross section of old friends and new readers, I hope you all stick around!

  45. JeffK

    With opening weekend for college football and a tailgate to prepare for I am late getting to your blog this week. Hope it’s not too late to enter for contest!

  46. dave b

    Happy birthday and congrats to your blog. Thanks for all your hard work and time spent. Peace.