Welcome to 2016 with Sobremesa, CAO, Bolivar and Joya de Nicaragua and Tops of 2015

It’s 2016 already!  It’s hard to believe we’re now in the second half of the second decade of the 21st century! Hopefully everything remains status quo in the cigar industry with the pending FDA nonsense and all. Today wraps up an almost two-week vacation for me, I have to summon the will to get up and go to work tomorrow! But I managed to squeeze a lot of fun in that two weeks.  My wife and I celebrated New Year’s by ringodriving to Cleveland, OH to visit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame there.  We got there Wednesday afternoon after driving all day, wandered into the casino around the corner from our hotel, and it smelled funny. I expect casinos to have a smokey aroma, and this one smelled clean.  Very strange, apparently Ohio has a pretty strict indoor smoking law, so we didn’t spend very long there. It was damned cold there too, so smoking a cigar outside wasn’t happening either.  Luckily, on the way back from visiting the Hall of Fame, which was great, cousinsBolivar_550although it seems like the singers and guitar players get all the glory, very few drum sets on display, we visited Cousins Cigars.  This shop had a smoking area, was ringed with cabinet humidors, and had a very nice classic selection. I picked up some of the new Bolivars and lit one up, and it was very good.  Is still don’t care for the bands, but the cigar is right up my alley, rich, dark and full flavored. It was a great way to end 2015, and the gentlemen in the lounge were very friendly and welcoming, and Sam, the shopkeeper was excellent as well.  I’d say this is a place to visit if you find yourself in Cleveland.


Sobremesa_El AmericanoMy first couple cigars of 2016 were pretty great. I started off with a Sobremesa El Americano Friday after driving home, mostly through snow.  As I’ve come to expect, this is a complex and delicious cigar with subtle and nuanced flavors.  Definitely a special occasion cigar. I still want to try the Robusto Largo size, but so far this is my favorite of the sizes I’ve tried. Yesterday I took a nice walk with a CAO Flathead Steel Horse Apehanger, ironically, the subject of the last giveaway CAO Flathead Steel Horse Apehangerof 2015, the winner of which will be announced in a bit. I really like the Flathead line in general, and I like what they did changing the wrapper from the Connecticut Broadleaf on the box pressed line, to a Connecticut Habano Oscuro on the round Steel Horse line. I  can’t imagine whoever wins these will be unhappy as they are a really good smoke to my palate. I still can’t figure out why the Steel Horse line extension isn’t listed on their website though, JoyadeNicaragua_CuatroCincoReservaEspecial_Toroyet the fact that the 660 Carb was Cigar Aficionados number 3 is noted (as it should be).  I finished off the day with a Joya de Nicaragua Cuatro Cinco Reserva Especial Toro. This cigar was released at last year’s IPCPR show, a tweaked version of the 2013 Cuatro Cinco that celebrated the companies 45 year anniversary. I guess Cuatro Siete was awkward. To me, this is reminiscent of the Antaño Dark Corojo with the rough edges knocked off. Its much more refined and smooth.  This is another great smoke to wrap up the New Years holiday.


While everyone else in the blogosphere is posting their lists of favorite cigars of the year, It was a very weird year for me, and with everything that went on for me personally, I will continue my tradition of not making a list. It gets easier every year not to make a list!  There were a lot of great cigars, and everyone’s palate is different. Kudos to everyone else for putting forth the effort to complete these lists.  For me, once again the important thing is the interaction with the readers. I resolve to do a better job of responding to the comments here, I appreciate every one of them and will do better at following up.  So my top five list is my loyal commentors:




Somehow Dan missed  commenting on 28 posts this year, as I hit an even 100 posts in 2015. So there’s your goal for 2016, make the list! I really do appreciate everyone reading along with my nonsense, thank you!


SteelHorse_LROn the contest results! This one actually got more entries than any of the 12 Spectacular Days of Cigar Giveaways this year. Maybe I need to rethink the way I do the December contests!  I have a few months to think about it.  The random number generator gave me 38, which corresponds to Bob Langmaid!  Please send me your address Bob! Hopefully you’ll share some of these with the other Langmaids I’ve seen entries from in contests over the years!  🙂  Once again, many thanks to Victoria at General Cigar Co. for sending this great box along to give away, and to Ricky Rodriguez and Ed McKenna at CAO for making great cigars. Please don’t expect another contest for a while, I’m all giveaway’d out!


That’s it for today!  I’ve got a Prime Living article due this week that I have to finish up this week, and some Christmas cleanup yet to do around the house, and a lot of “last day of vacation” stuff to get to, including taking a nice cigar for a long walk!  Until the next time,







Filed under Contest, Review, Stores

19 Responses to Welcome to 2016 with Sobremesa, CAO, Bolivar and Joya de Nicaragua and Tops of 2015

  1. Congratulations to my friend Bob, sweet win. I am very proud to have made the “top Five” List on your blog. My goal is to exceed that in 2016. All the best for you and your family in 2016.

  2. Thanks so much Craig!! I will definitely share these beauties! Can’t wait for my son to wake up so I can Tell him!! Happy New Year!!

  3. Congrats Bob! Craig- I live in the Cleveland area and Cousins has multiple locations. There is also Dad’s as well (Same owners to my knowledge) I have never been to this Cousins cigar before but I can tell you that the other one was a really nice place as is Dads. I hope you enjoyed your time in Cleveland! The indoor smoking ban took place before the casino was built which is why you wot smell a hint of anything other than clean. Still blows my mind they don’t allow smoking in a casino. What fun is that? Awesome giveaway as well my friend!

  4. If you’re keeping score Bob is now in the lead in comments. It’s early yet, lots could change! 🙂

  5. Patrick

    Congrats to the winner. Those are great cigars. Proud to be in the top five with my botl and friend Mark. I love your style Craig, thank you for what you do for us.
    Life is good!

  6. Tommy D

    Congrats on the win Bob

  7. jjo

    Congrats to Bob! I see that Dan is already slipping. 😉

    Thanks Craig for all the hard work!

  8. Dan Colley

    Craig, you KNOW that I only post a comment when there is a contest going on, right? (Just kiddin’ !!)

    This was a great year for your blog. I found several cigars that were to my liking that I would not have had a chance to smoke otherwise. Thanks for that.

    All the best to you and your wife for a terrific new year.

  9. Sobremesa was one of the first of 2016 for me too!

  10. I believe I am currently tied for the “comment” lead! Only one way to go from here! I’m looking forward to having a cigar as I’m on Drs. orders to not have any tobacco for 7 weeks. Currently beginning week 5, but who’s counting. Nothing serious going on. Dental work needs to heal. I offered to be the experiment to see if one would heal quicker if tobacco was introduced. I guess I’m the only one who thought it was a good idea. Merry New Year Craig and Craigettes.

  11. Perietta Migranté

    congrats to Bob!

    Craig, thx very much 4 all the time and effort which u dedicated 2 the GAW! the prizes were absolutely awesome! to eliminate suspicion, plse consider using the random # generator 4 further contests and post a video on 1 of the social media platforms, of the generator choosing the winner. the other rule which prohibited more that 1 prize for each participant was also fair.

    i want to wish you a healthy, happy and prosperous 2016!

  12. TriMarkC

    Craig – Happy New Year!! I’m glad I finally got to herf with you this past year; we’ll definitely have to make that happen again this year, too!

    Regarding contests, I like your current rules – they seem fair. But perhaps you can use your data from commenters, too. For example, during December’s 12 Days of Christmas you could have one of the days just for those that have already commented.
    Or a contest in January using just the names of your top 25 or 50 or XX commenters of the prior year (excluding those that won in 12 Days).
    Or perhaps you can post your top ## commenters (those with more than one) for the year the day before 12 Days, and prior commenters can “bid” their additional entries into 1 or more of the 12 Days’ contests (ex: if 100 comments, then I might ask in my comments to bid 20 of those 100 as extra entries on a CAO day, 50 of those on a Tatuaje day, and my remaining 30 on a day with an Xicar prize. All my other days would just count as a normal 1 entry). These are just ideas but intent is to encourage more commenters & comments throughout the year, and reward those that do.

    And I hope to follow Dan’s lead and comment more consistently. For the Ward! 😉

    Good luck, and health, in this coming year!

  13. Patrick Geer

    Congrats to Bob. And thanks for these great, short and honest reviews. I always enjoy them. 🙂

  14. Charlie H.

    So glad to be on the “Top 5” list 😉
    Congrats BobDog!
    btw Craig, the Robusto is imho the best size in the Sobremesa line (for me) but I haven’t tried the Churchill size yet (doubt I will because of the size).

  15. Swede214

    Thanks for all the work on 12 days of Christmas.

  16. Jared

    Happy new year to my cigar brothers 🎉🎉