Archive for July, 2010

News: The Week In Review


Normally I would have a little anecdote in the space leading up to weekly news reports but a summer cold that led to a bad back from sneezing and a dry cough that kept me up all night will make this a little bit brief. So without further adieu I bring you The Week In Review….

* Torano Family Cigars has hired Bruce M. Lewis as Vice President of Sales & Marketing. Does the name sound familiar? Well Mr. Lewis was the brand manager for Torano Family Cigars over at CAO International so in a sense TFC has decided to keep it in the family.
* Remy Martin the makers of Louis the XIII Cognac have released

Cigar Review: Hammer & Sickle


I had a good conversation with Victor Vitale at Cigar Expo on the state of cigar blogging and he was really forthcoming to myself and Tom from It was to the point where I hope to run into him at IPCPR and see what is new. The Cigar Agency which distributes also handles the Ortsac cigar and according to their website the Hammer & Sickle has a light medium-body flavor with an aged 5 year Connecticut wrapper and filler that has been aged for 3 years. The Hammer & Sickle is hand made in Santiago, Dominican Republic and is extremely smooth with hints of pepper while coating the palate with a creamy richness.

Do we at agree? Lets find out…

Event: Steve Faccenda CAO Benefit

Join CAO President Tim Ozgener for a very special evening at The Barrister tomorrow (Thursday), July 29th.  Tim will be in-store from 4-10 pm as CAO partners up with The Barrister to raise funds to benefit The Steve Faccenda Childrens Education Fund. Steve Faccenda, a regional sales manager, was a beloved member of our CAO [...]

Cigar Review: Padron TAA Maduro


Trying to track down information on today’s cigar turned out to be a chore. From what I can tell the Padron TAA was made exclusively for 40 stores that make up the Tobacco Association of America of which Uptown Cigar Company is a member. While not on their website I believe they still have these sticks in stock.

So being that it has been a long time since I smoked a Padron 1964 and once considered them to be a favorite of mine. I am curious to see how much my palate has changed since the time where I considered the Padron Principe my benchmark cigar.

Cigar Mondays @ Vetro NYC


New York City has some of the greatest cigar lounges around despite growing legislation that makes it more difficult to enjoy a piece of luxury. The sun is shining, a gentle breeze is blowing and the last thing you want to do is sit inside a cigar shop as summer passes you by. Thankfully rooftops lounges have been popping up, some of which are cigar friendly and I think I have stumbled across one of the best.

Vetro Restaurant & Lounge which is owned and operated by…

News: Smoke A JJ for JJ Recap

If you are a regular reader of this website you will recall that last week we had a fundraiser in the memory of the Little Robusto which was the affectionate nickname for the son of Jerry Cruz from stogiereview. The Little Robusto passed away at 3.5 months old due to SIDS. For the last 3 [...]

Cigar Review: Aurora Puro Vintage 2003


I think we all know the story of Uptown Cigar which was at one time located in Kingston, NY. I was looking at their newly redesigned website when I came across a cigar I never had before. The La Aurora Puro Vintage 2003 and Izzy was kind enough to send me a couple to sample and formulate this review. According to the Uptown Cigar website these cigars which came out in 2008 “is an exceedingly rare cigar (only 12,000 cigars were created) crafted into a beautiful Salamone shape. The Puro Vintage wrapper, an oily, leathery Ecuadorian leaf boasting a lovely reddish hue. This exquisite wrapper hugs a bold mixture of Cuban-seed Dominican long-fillers secured by a Dominican binder. Best of all, every leaf – from filler to wrapper – was cultivated in 2003 and enjoyed a cedar-aging process of five years prior to rolling. This produces an intense variety of chewy, leathery flavors. A touch of spice and cedar complement the medium-bodied core, which is buttery smooth from start to finish.”

Sunday Links


The last Sunday of July and I am fed up with the heat. It really has exhausted all my creativity and the ability to write not that I ever had that ability before. So this week I will cheat some and offer up to you the cigars I think are in the running for cigar of the year. The top 6 in no particular order are:

News: Week In Review


Despite being a relatively slow news week this one flew by fast. IPCPR is approaching and while some sites have broken the news of new brands to be expected while we will wait to see the cigars ourselves at IPCPR. This week features the announcement of Little Puff, a proposed smoking ban in Savannah, GA. and a report out of Israel states nicotine is not addictive.

* Drapers Cigars in Washington DC has been holding its yearly Little Puff for 10 years and this year is #11. The event will be held on September 24th and you can purchase tickets on August 17th and is expected to sell out within hours.
* Mayor Otis Brown of Savannah, Georgia has proposed…

Cigar Review: Don Pepin Garcia JJ Maduro

While I am still going through the pictures that were submitted for the fundraiser it appears we hit our goal target. I will announce this come late Monday afternoon along with how you can contribute. For now I share a review of the Series JJ Maduro that I wrote last year…

Cigar: Don Pepin Garcia Series JJ Maduro
Origin: Nicaragua
Size: 6 x 54 (Sublime / Toro)
Wrapper: Corojo Maduro
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Strength: Med/Full

Cigar Review: Jaime Garcia Reserva Especial


The first time I smoked these cigars were at the launch event over at Cigar Inn. Sadly the cigar that was released that night is different then the current version and I have this on good authority. It seems following the success of the My Father cigar that Jaime put together as a tribute to his father he was “allowed” to create the Jaime Garcia Reserva Especial. The story goes that at the Cigar Inn event Pepin smoked the cigar for the first time and wasn’t very excited about it. So when back at the farm the cigar went under a reblend of sorts and this is the cigar we have today.The cigar features 2 different kinds of Nicaraguan tobacco with one grown by Jaime and the other Pepin. Also the cigar features tobacco grown at the Oliva farm giving us a different more complex cigar then previously smoked.

Events: W. Curtis Draper Little Puff

Washington, DC — July 21, 2010 — W. Curtis Draper, the oldest full-service tobacconist in the District of Columbia will host its signature fundraiser, The 11th Annual Draper’s Little Puff on Friday, September 24, 2010 on the Rooftop Terrace of 101 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC. Festivities commence with cocktails at 6:00 PM courtesy of Jim Beam Global, Future Brands and Republic National Distributing, followed by light fare by Charlie Palmer Steak and Shelly’s Back Room. The program and auction begin at 7:00 PM. Since 1999, The Little Puff has raised nearly $500,000 for many worthy charitable causes.

Three hundred attendees will enjoy Capitol views, fine food, wine and cigars alongside luminaries of the industry…

Smoke a JJ For JJ Fundraiser


For those who do not know and I assume there are not many of you July 22nd, 2010 is the 3rd annual Smoke a JJ for JJ day. The Series JJ is a cigar made by My Father Cigars and we light one up in memory of the Little Robusto. The Little Robusto is the son of Jerry Cruz from Stogie Review who passed away at 3.5 months old due to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. The hardest thing for any parent to do is bury their child and on this trying day for the Cruz family we at want to honor the memory of the “Little Robusto”.

So we do that by donating $20.00 to the American SIDS Institute for every person who submits a photo of themselves smoking a Series JJ to our email (barry at with a cap of $500.00 by the end of the day on July 22nd. Just please note that we will run the photos on Tuesday July 27th when we announce the total money raised that will be donating in memory of the Little Robusto for this worthwhile cause.

Cigar Review: Rocky Patel 15th Anniversary


onfusion as the event at Cigar Inn for the launch of the 15th Anniversary they gave you a round cigar, but the cigar that is coming out on the market is box pressed. Luckily I got the scoop from Rocky who gifted me a box pressed robusto. I was very much impressed and at Cigar Expo he went out of his way to give me another one to smoke.

Well this past week Patrick from Rocky Patel Cigars sent out a lot of samples to bloggers including yours truly..

Sunday Links


My criticism of the CRA caught me some flak on Twitter yesterday. So with the encouragement of ChiefHava I decided to take the time to write about why I think the CRA has failed to date and why I will continue to support it while remaining vocal. I had the chance and sit with Glynn Loope and have a cigar with him at Cigar Inn on a quiet weeknight in NYC. I shared with him my thoughts and while his answer was “we are working on it” nothing has materialized yet.

The fact is that Cigar Smokers cannot win this battle alone. We need to recruit…

Cigar News: The Week In Review


Another active week in Cigar News with stories from local municipalities banning to sale of single sticks to major cities looking to ban smoking at the park and beaches. A cigar company ended it’s relationship with CAO and General Cigar won a big court case over the Cohiba name.

* Carlos Torano Cigars took back its Distribution from CAO and in the process they have a new logo and a new name. Torano Family Cigars celebrates the change with 3 new cigars and a line extension. Torano Family Master, Single Region and Brigade will be Brick & Mortar only while the 50 year will receive the addition of a box press.

Cigar Review: La Reloba Sumatra


A few weeks back I reviewed the Habano release of the La Reloba from My Father Cigars. Released in May of 2010 these cigars pretty much popped up under the radar. The Nicaraguan Puros 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.

How does the Sumatra compare vs the review of the Habano? This is my take and I encourage you to give these cigars a try to formulate your own opinion and let us know what you think.

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

News: Carlos Torano Cigars Changes Name


This seems to be the year of the distribution change in the cigar world. The latest to undergo changes is Torano Cigars which has announced plans to handle its own distribution beginning on August 1st which used to be handled by CAO. They also changed their name to the Torano Family Cigar Company and unveiled a new logo that has some similarities to the logo used by Porsche.

At the IPCPR the company plans to introduced 3 new cigars and a line extension. The cigars which will premier at IPCPR in August which takes place in New Orleans this year before moving back to Las Vegas in 2011.

Site News:13th Floor Contest Winner


First off we at would like to take the time to express a great deal of thanks to Bryan White of 13th Floor Cigars for sponsoring the contest and their support of this website. We had 50+ entries for a 3 pack of 13th Floor Cigars and we tossed the number of entries into a random number generator. The number that came out was the 11th comment which belonged to

Michael Cohen of Texas.

So congrats Michael and enjoy your cigars I hope you enjoy the trip to the 13th Floor as much as I did if not more!

Cigar Review: Old School GR8


I remember the first time I saw this cigar on the shelf at a local tobacconist and it caused me to chuckle. GR8 was very junior high and I wasn’t sure of the name to be honest. It seemed corny and gimmicky. I smoked a few and liked them enough to make them a part of my rotation.

A few weeks ago I went to Tobacco Plaza on Long Island which is where Old School cigars started. And if you remember my review from a few weeks ago of the the Old School Original you will recall how I went gaga over them. In fact I liked them so much I headed back out to the shop which is about 25 miles from house just to buy some GR8 cigars to review on this website.

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