Archive for June, 2010

News: Revised 601 Bands

Earlier this week we posted the first look at the new artwork for EO Brands cigar the 601. I was lucky enough to be sitting down to lunch with Eddie Ortega and my distinguished colleague Tom Johansmeyer from when some of the comments started to come in. I informed Eddie about the comments and he said that due to many similar comments the bands would get slightly reworked.

Below I share with you the artwork that will grace the 601 Series of cigars…

News: Pennsylvania Cigar Tax Defeated!


Early today the senators of Pennsylvania voted against a tax on cigars for the states 2010-2011. It is the second time that Govenor Ed Randall tried to levy a tax on cigars but thankfully the govenernment saw that tobacco is an important part of the stats employment. With Pennsylvania broad-leaf growing in popularity and the numerous tobacco warehouses throughout the state providing a significant amount of jobs to small communities it was important for this tax not to be passed.

News: Pete Johnson Talks Futures, Monsters & Music


I am a huge fan of Pete Johnson and I do not attempt to hide that. Not only are his cigars my go to smokes but he has been nothing short of great to me. I got the chance to talk to him with Tom from the other day at Cigar Expo and Pete was very forthcoming with tons of information. In part one of a 2 part interview Pete talks about The Verite Futures, The Monster Series and Music. The interview quickly went downhill though which caused Pete to label it as the most fucked up interview he has ever done…

News: Cigar Taxes with Jose Blanco


This past weekend Tom Johansmeyer from and myself got to spend some time with various manufacturers at Cigar Expo held at Famous Smoke Shop. During the course of the event the big topic of conversation was tobacco tax. With NYC just raising the OTP tax to 75% and Pennsylvania looking to set there tax at 30% it is not a time good for cigar smokers. What started off with the concept of a joint interview with Jose Blanco from La Aurora Cigar Factory was carried by Tom as one of the Oliva reps called me away to discuss something else.

To hear what has to say read more…

Event Recap: Cigar Expo 2010


On June 26th, 2010 in Easton, PA Famous Smoke Shop had its annual Cigar Expo located on the complex of it’s massive warehouse and retail establishment. I was invited to the event by Gary Korb who runs Cigar Advisor for Famous in order to cover it from a press perspective. I did not receive cigars from Famous, but did get some from the manufacturers.

Cigar News: New 601 Cigar Bands

When I got to speak to Rocky Patel last week at the Cigar Inn event for their new cigar the 15th Anniversary one of the things Rocky mentioned is the 601 would be going though a redesign. Well over at the EO Brands Forums Eddie Ortega has released what the brands will look like for now.

According to Eddie Ortega he emphatically states, “we are re-designing the packaging on the 601 and will be launched at the 2010 IPCPR in New Orleans. Just the packaging, just the packaging. Absolutely 100% the blends will remain the same, and Pepin continues to manufacture the cigars regardless of what you may have heard through the grape-vines.”

Sunday Links


So America is out of the world cup which means a lot of my fellow Americans can pretend to stop liking soccer. I’m willing to bet with Team USA out of the tournament that numbers go down on the amount of people who watch the games here in my great country. Those of you with a team still in contention I wish you luck but me personally I can’t wait for real football to begin.

I spent yesterday at Cigar Expo which is hosted by Famous Smoke Shop with Tom from cigar reader who claims to work as an international assassin. The two of us decided to work together since we would wind up cross linking each other anyway. We realize that there is plenty of traffic for everyone who runs a cigar website so why not work together instead of asking a lot of the same questions, the result; we got some great interviews which will pop-up throughout the week.

For now the Sunday Links

Cigar News: The Week In Review


With the fight in New York over the last couple of weeks in regards to the tobacco tax increase which recently passed from 46% to 75% the week has felt a little bit slow. However there were a few things that caught our eyes.

* Davidoff NYC General Manager Michael Herklots is working with Don Pepin Garcia and the My Father Cigar Factory located in Nicaragua that will be exclusive to the Davidoff NYC locations. Both Cigar Reader and myself got to sample these cigars and we can’t wait for the release.

Event Recap: Drew Estate Dinner @ De La Concha


In the grand scheme of things I have not been smoking cigars for long. Sure 15 years doesn’t make me a novice, but it wasn’t long enough to truly enjoy the art of cigar smoking when it wasn’t considered taboo by society. I missed out on fine dining and being able to light up a cigar afterward. I missed out on being able to light up in a bar as I sipped my Johnny Walker Blue. I really had no idea what it was like to smoke in a time where I wasn’t considered a second class citizen.

That is until last night.

Cigar Review: Arturo Fuente Gran Reserva Maduro


Tomas is back with another review, this time it is the Arturo Fuente Gran Reserva Maduro. I’ve been enjoying delicious cigars since 1988. I was only 20 years old then, in the US Army and stationed in Frankfurt, Germany. At that time I was only familiar with the machine made cigars. My Grandfather, Guadalupe Cantu [...]

Cigar Review: La Reloba Habano


The La Reloba is a cigar that was release in May of 2010 by My Father Cigars and is available in 4 sizes and two different wrappers. The Nicaraguan Puro has a Sumatra & Habano version and they are available in Corona, Robusto, Toro and a Torpedo. The best news is the cost of these cigars which will be under $6.50 a stick MSRP.

Cigar: La Reloba
Size: 5 x 50 (Robusto)
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Strength: Medium

Rocky Patel talks EO Brands

At the recent event at Cigar Inn for the Rocky Patel 15th Anniversay I got to spend some time with the man himself and among the things we discussed was the EO Brands acquisition which he was gracious enough to discuss briefly on camera. Come on inside and read more to see the video

News: World’s Largest Cigar/Gran Habano Corojo #5


Famous Cigars is hold their expo this week and I will be in attendance thanks to a press pass extended to me. At the event Gran Habano Cigars will be unveiling there new Corojo #5.

This is going to be called the “Gigante” which means very large or giant.In this case, the word Giant fits the bil. This is a real cigar made with the long fillers you would find in any cigar shop. The difference here is the size. The length is 18.9 feet, with a width of 3.3 feet and a height of 5.2. I have no idea what the gauge would be.

Cigar Review: La Palina 1896

La Palina, The Pasha

Samuel Paley emigrated from the Ukraine in the late 1800. Arriving in Chicago he worked as a lector in a cigar factory. During his personal time he studied cigars and is interest in the industry grew. In 1896 he oped his own cigar shop and an adjacent factory called the Congress Cigar Company. The first cigar he ever produced was named for his wife Goldie Drell Paley. In 1910 the company moved to Philadelphia and Sam’s son joined as Vice President of Advertising.

Enamored with radio, William sponsored a radio show in Philadelphia called “The La Palina Hour”. The advertising increased the sales and this led to William purchasing 5 radio stations which was the inception of the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) and was known as “The Tiffany Network”. In 1926 the Congress Cigar Company was liquidated after Sam retired.

News/Review:Pepin to Produce Cigar for Davidoff NYC GM

IMG NY Store 1.325

Last week at the event we ran on the rooftop of Rick’s Cabaret the general manager of Davidoff NYC stopped by. During the course of this event Michael Herklots handed Tom from Cigar Reader and myself an unbanded cigar. As the oily wrapper had my eye he explained that he was working with the Pepin family on a new cigar that would be sold exclusively at the Davidoff shops in New York City.

Sunday Links


Father’s Day. A day to spend with dad either in person or in spirit. Today i reflect back on the days I spent with my dad when he was still alive. I remember the times we played catch in the park. I remember the day he wore shorts to a baseball game in September when the temperature was 40 degrees. I remember the day I saw him talking into a spoon as if he was DJ announcing a song that just came on the radio. I remember the first time we shared a drink together. I remember the day he explained to me how the penalty kill works in hockey for umpteenth time. I remember the day he took a bible with him to teach me to drive because he needed all the help he could get. Today is a day to reflect on dear old dad, but it should not be the only day. Life is short, and sometimes things are taken from us way to soon. Enjoy it while you can, but never forget it either.

Rocky Patel 15th Anniversary Cigar @ Cigar Inn


am on fire. 3 posts in one day is a record for me. I am not trying to be Tom from but there is so much happening this week that I have to get it out there. I am sure in the middle of the week when I am stressing on what to write about I will regret not banking this one, but I had to share more thoughts.

Cigar Inn in NYC had an event today for the pre-release launch of the 15th Anniversary from Rocky Patel. If you purchased a box of cigars you received another box for free of a one of kind 15th Anniversary.

Cigar News: The Week In Review


New York City is under siege. Governor Patterson is seeking to put people out of work and shut down small businesses throughout the state. A proposed raise in the Cigar Tax of 75% percent is being pushed through the senate. Sadly our government believes raising the cigar tax will help increase revenue when it has been statistically proven to have a negative effect. Only this time around it will cost jobs and shut down many small business throughout the state.

Event: La Palina Launch


On Thursday night June 17th, 2010 a cigar that was originally released in 1896 had a resurrection as it was officially introduced to the world on the roof top of the world famous Empire Hotel in New York City. It seems that the cigar gods were on the side of William C. Paley, owner of [...]

Cigar Review: Quesada Tributo


The other night at our event on the rooftop of Rick’s Cabaret the owner of Fume Cigars gifted me with a few Quesada Tributo cigars for review. The Tributo cigar has been something I have been looking forward to smoking since I heard of its release. A follow up to the Quesada 35th Anniversary the cigar utilizes a special hybrid wrapper which was created using the seeds of the Corojo, Habano 2000, Habano Vuelta Arriba and Sumatra in Ecuador. The cigar itself is a tribute to members of the Quesada family who have passed on. It comes in 4 sizes.

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