Archive for November, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving


Tis the season to be thankful. There are a lot of people who I owe thanks to in 2010 and the list would be to long. But a quick thanks to Miami Cigar & Company, EP Carrillo, La Palina, Uptown Cigar, Camacho Cigars, The Cigar Feed, Stogie Review, Stogie Guys, Cigar Inn, The Cigar Chick, The Smoking Hot Cigar Chick, Timothy Black, Buckhead Cigar, Jerry Cruz, Chief Hava, Cigars Thomas, Sonny, D’Crossier Cigar, Pinar Del Rio, Rocky Patel, Ron Melendi, Michael Herklots, New York Tobacconist Association, Gary Arzt, Sabor Havana, Guillermo Leon, Jose Blanco, Amaury Abreau, Jose Manuel, Nestor Miranda, Don Pepin Garcia, Janny Garcia, Eddie Ortega, Pete Johnson, Toasted Foot, Casa Fumando, Litto Gomez, Christopher Lenzo, Tobacconist University and Cigar Right of America for their continued fight against the powers that be even if we don’t see eye to eye at times.

But must of all we are thankful for everyone who takes the time out of their busy days to check out this site and make it what it has become

May you be lucky enough to get the wishbone blessed enough to have your wishes come true.

Event: Meet Manuel Quesada at Fume, NJ

Flyer within…

Cigar Review: Padron 46 Years Natural


46 Years. The Padron Family has been making cigars since 1964 which is, 46 Years. That is a hell of a long time in business, though it shadows some of the other big names in the business. In the past my bench mark cigar was the Padron 1964 Principe Natural; but over time Padron fell of the radar for me. I think that is largely in part because as a reviewer I am always looking for a new cigar and to maintain brand loyalty is hard. Also, add to the fact that Padron hasn’t really been social media friendly they haven’t been in my eye as much as when I used to pick up a print magazine which I never do anymore.

Last year the 45 Years won cigar of the year from Cigar Aficionado and this year they are hoping to repeat. My top 3 are pretty much set in stone for my own list which will come out next month but will this cigar change that?

Making a Statement

Recently on twitter I had the chance to speak to @EPCarrillo about how walking through an airport with an unlit cigar gets many looks from you. This reminded me of a time I was in a location with an unlit cigar and a lady began to cough. I had to tell her, “let’s not get [...]

Cigar Review: Tatuaje Anarchy


A few months back a website appeared on the Internet promoting Tatuaje Anarchy and a lot of people were intrigued to what was going on. But the mystique as to what or who was behind it was answered relatively quickly due to some copyright searches. In case you still don’t know what the Tatuaje Anarchy is about, allow me to explain.

Abe who owns Smoke Inn in Florida has had a great relationship with Pete Johnson from Tatuaje and he approached him about doing a cigar for his shops 15th Anniversary. A new cigar, size and blend that would be a limited edition but made in enough quantity that people should not have a problem getting these. Given the success of this great marketing campaign that is no small order.

Cigar Review: La Sirena

La Sirena

La Sirena is the newest cigar to be distributed by Miami Cigar & Company and it is being produced by the My Father factory in Nicaragua. If that wasn’t reason enough to be excited. the cigar features a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper. But before we get into the particulars allow me to give you some back story about this cigar.

I first got to smoke a few of these when the concept was coming close to reality. Having known brand ambassador Arielle Ditkowich and her family for some time I was asked to try one and that first one left me less then impressed. But then again any cigar short of the mildest of mild would of done that time. It was 11:00 I hadn’t had my morning coffee or breakfast. The strength of the cigar was multiplied at that time of the morning. Well fast forward a few weeks and I smoked one under proper smoking conditions and it was at that time I fell in love with these sticks.

Event: A Benefit to Give Back

Marines Corp Seal Plaque 1

We have all heard stories about soldiers who have had their lives changed because of the sacrifice they have made fot our country. We have also heard stories about families and how it has changed their lives. Sometimes it happens so close to home that a whole community feels the effects. Such is the case in Monroe Township, NJ.

On November 30th my good friend Jim Ryan will be hosting an event at his bar/restaurant for Marine Lance Corporal Colin Pascik who lost his legs during a tour of Afghanistan in the short 2.5 weeks he was there. I would like to take the time to publicly thank Jason Wood over at Miami Cigar & Company, Dave Lafferty from Drew Estate, Dylan Austin from Camacho and Jon Huber at CAO who have graciously donated cigars for the fundraiser. I also know the New York Yankees have donated tickets.

Ryan’s Pub & Sports Bar is located at 299 Spotswood Englishtown Road Monroe Township, NJ 08831-8626 and I plan to be there for a while for this worthy cause hope to see you as well and there is an area out back to enjoy a stogie under some heaters.

Cigar Review: Leon Jimenes Don Fernando #4 *Updated*


Recently the La Aurora Cigars factory brought us a cigar by the “Big Cat” Guillermo Leon with his Signature Collection. However before Guillermo was ready to be at the helm of this storied cigar factory his father had a cigar that was his go to smoke. The Leon Jimenes cigar box I have been told at one time stated in Spanish, “Made especially for Don Fernando Leon” and while I haven’t seen a box in quite some time I cannot comment if this is still the case today.

I was given one by The Cigar Chick a few weeks ago and I managed to get a couple of more from Tobacco Plaza so I figured it was time to give my take on cigar made for Guillermo Leon’s father.The La Aurora website states…

Event Recap: La Sirena Pre-Launch Party


With the official launch for La Sirena a few days away (Friday Nov. 19th) a soft launch was held in Long Island for friends and family. The event started at 3pm at Tobacco Plaza in Great Neck where people got to spend time with Arielle the brand manager for this new cigar made in the My Father Cigar Factory exclusively for Miami Cigar & Company. Also on hand was Guillermo Leon a long time friend of the store which features the La Aurora Lounge to promote his new signature cigar and Jason Wood from Miami Cigar.

After some Zafra rum and Presidente was consumed at Tobacco Plaza a cast of 100 people headed over to OEVO Restaurant where we smoked, drank, ate and laughed while enjoying some great cigars that consisted of the Leon Jimenes #4, Guillermo Leon Signature, 1495 Connecticut, 107 Robusto and of course La Sirena.

Cigar Review: La Palina “The Pasha”


According the the La Palina website, The “Pasha” is named for Bill’s father, William S. Paley. As founder and chairman of CBS, William reached into every home in America. It was his interest in promoting the sales of the family cigar company through the use of radio that led him to the broadcasting business. Though known as “The Chairman” at work, he was jokingly known as “Pasha” at home.

Pasha was a term for a high rank officer in the Ottoman empire political stytem, but the question that needs to be answered here is whether or not this cigar is a high rank in the Tobacco empire.

Thank You!


While I never served in the military, my life has been touched by various members of the military. I wanted to take the time to honor 2 of them specifically.

1) My good friend Charlie aka Stogieman who hosts an event up at Schlessingers Steak House in NY every year to honor and raise money for Wounded Warriors. The Quad State Herf attracts 200 people from all around this great nation of ours including many who have served in the military. So I personally thank Charlie for his works and his service.

2) My business partner, associate and friend who goes by the name of “Sonny” who was a member of Special Forces attached to the 101st Airborne in Vietnam. Not only did he make it back despite being a POW at an outpost somewhere in the central highlands but he went back a few other times to look for POWs. The stories he has shared with me about his capture and time as a POW have moved me more then anyone can realize. He is a true American Hero and I am happy to call him a friend.

But this holiday is so much more then 2 people.. It is about everyone who has served our great country many of which have sacrificed their lives to protect our freedoms. So I say, Thank You Veterans, and enjoy your day. You deserve it, and our endless gratitude for your commitment.

Happy Veterans Day

Cigar Review: La Flor Dominicana Air Bender Chisel


So the other night on Twitter I asked what cigar to be reviewed on Monday and which cigar to be ruled today. As luck would have it the Air Bender Chisel was today’s cigar and I got to spend some time last night with Andrew who is Vice President of Sales for La Flor Dominicana and the new northeast sales rep, Peter. We chilled in Cigar Inn on 2nd Avenue smoked some cigars and finished off a bottle of rum. Well at least Andrew and I did since Peter was driving and didn’t want to drink. We kept the conversation light, didn’t really discuss anything blog worthy and shared a bunch of laughs. It was a good time, and had the feel of a couple of friends hanging out to enjoy a smoke.

Press Release: Tim Ozgener Departs Cigar Business

TIM OZGENER DEPARTS PREMIUM CIGAR BUSINESS Richmond, VA—General Cigar announces that CAO President Tim Ozgener has decided to pursue personal business interests in his hometown of Nashville, TN, thus moving on from his 16-year career in the premium cigar business. Ozgener, son of company founder Cano A Ozgener, joined the original family business in 1994 [...]

Cigar Review: Oliva V Maduro 2010


So over the past couple of weeks my local shops got in their allotment of the Oliva V Maduro 2010. I picked up a couple of sticks here, and a a few more there. This was a huge change from the 2009 edition for me as I purchased 2 boxes last year but out of those 20 sticks, 18 of them had horrible draw issues and it left me turned off. Sad to say over the past year I didn’t nearly smoke as many Oliva cigars despite having a great relationship with the local rep. I was just turned off by the “wasted money” of 2 boxes with bad draws.

So here we are in 2010 and the question is, Will these 2010 V Maduro’s be as great at the 2008 batch, or a horrible as the 2009 version. Or perhaps fall somewhere in between. Here is my answer… How does it compare to yours?

Event Recap: Laura Chavin at Nat Sherman

The following was submitted to me by a friend of “Widely regarded throughout Europe for its superlative quality cigars and the exemplary construction of its accessories, Laura Chavin has finally decided to hop the pond. In doing so, it has enlisted Nat Sherman, “Tobacconist of the World”, to assist in its endeavors and on [...]

Cigar Review: Augusto Reyes Sixth Generation


When I got back from IPCPR I put this cigar in my to smoke soon humidor because I was really curious about the cigar. I met Augusto Reyes Sr. and Jr. on day one of the cigar show and I was really intrigued. Not only were they both down to earth but Jr has this energy about him that screamed excitement about the cigars and the show. Well needless to say more stuff kept piling on top of it, and the cigars got lost in the shuffle.The cigar was launched in June of 2010 and was blended by Jr for his father. Even though they stole a page out of the Pepin’s playbook it is always nice to a homage to a parent.

I believe the Reyes Family was a supporter of the Twitter Brother Of The Leaf Cocktail Hour, so kudos to them for donating sticks to an amazing event.

Cigar Review: Tatuaje HCS


Yesterday I spent the evening in Philadelphia since my job took me into South Philadelphia earlier in day and has become custom I stop over at Holt’s for a few cigars and a trip upstairs to Mahogany. While chatting with Lee the assistant manage he showed me the new Pete Johnson stick, the Holts Cigar Shop exclusive. The HCS also known as “tattoo” was a nice will find.

According to the Holt’s website, “Our good friend Pete Johnson has hooked us up with another outstanding gem! Tatuaje HCS is ”Tattoo” Pete’s latest project out of the Garcia factory and it could be the finest cigar he’s ever made. It could be the silky-smooth Ecuadorian wrapper he chose to finish the cigar with, or the aged Nicaraguan fillers that create the foundation of these treats, but whatever it is these cigars are a delicious, absolute must-try. A rich, earthy-core of flavor gives way to sweet notes of cedar, creamy leather and spicy pepper as you revel in the full-bodied smoke. Pete may be kicking himself for making this masterpiece a Holt’s exclusive, but we aren’t complaining.”

What are my thoughts you may ask? Read on to find out!

Cigar Review: Singulare Phantom LE 2010


Note to manufacturers, cigars with white bands and light colors are hard to photograph. That being said the Singulare is the latest offering from Dion Giolito in terms of a new brand. Sadly finding these locally have been hard and I had to rely on my friend Izzy from Uptown Cigar Company to send me some for review. The reason they have been so difficult is a few retailers I visit were hesitant to order these after the Nosotros which they deemed to be a failure. While I am not sure if I agree with that it is the reasoning behind my difficulty in getting these sticks.

Having met Dion in New Orleans I didn’t get much time to talk to him about these but the sticks are a limited edition, and come in boxes of 15 of which only 1000 boxes were made. I cued up some Social Distortion and I lit up the cigar and below is my opinion on them.

Press Release: La Sirena Cigars


MIAMI, FL – It’s believed that life on earth originated in the ocean, and now Miami Cigar & Co., makers of the highly-acclaimed Nestor Miranda Collection and Tatiana flavored cigar line, has brought life to a new full-bodied cigar selection inspired by a mythical sea creature. Blended and manufactured by Don Jose “Pepin” Garcia in Nicaragua, La Sirena cigars, Spanish for “mermaid,” will make their Earth debut in Chicago, IL on Friday, November 19 at Casa de Montecristo. The launch will be attended by newly appointed Brand Ambassador, Ms. Arielle Ditkowich. Ms. Ditkowich will also be traveling nationwide to help introduce and promote the La Sirena line.

Places to Smoke: Monte’s of Santa Fe

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Located in the heart of Santa Fe is a cigar shop that would rival any big city smoke shop and in most cases it would stand above. In a free standing building of adobe origins sits Monte’s of Santa Fe with a well stacked humidor containing everything from Macanudo’s to Opus X and a nice [...]

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