Archive for December, 2010

Beer and Cigars, A Match Almost Made In Alabama

Photo via AL.com

If you’re ever in Birmingham Alabama, you ought to stop by this great little watering hole. In the Highland plaza, there’s a liquor store called the Highland Package Store. It is family owned and run by Jimmy Gorji and his brother David. They recently expanded into the space next door and plan to make it into; you guessed it, a Cigar Lounge!

Top 15 Cigars of 2010

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Every year many cigar smokers look forward to the yearly release of Top Cigars from Cigar Aficionado. In fact I know one person from New Jersey who usually uses that list to make a large purchase of boxes as put out by that magazine. Love them or hate them manufacturers want to get on that list. However, the last few years I have not agreed with many cigars that make the list. While the Casa Magna is a great stick was it really deserving of cigar of the year?

The criteria to make out list is simple, it had to be released in 2010.

Tobacco News: No More Ugly Signs

Photo courtesy of Sott.net via creative commons license

At the end of last year, New York City’s health department created a rule requiring all bodegas, convenience stores, and tobacco shops to post some really gruesome signs of diseased lungs, brains and teeth – to discourage people from buying cigarettes.

Just this past June, the New York State Association of Convenience Stores joined forces with big tobacco’s big three (Philip Morris, Lorillard and R.J. Reynolds) to fight the rule [queue star wars theme], saying that the rule violated the retailers’ First Amendment rights, and breached a law stating that only the federal government can regulate cigarette warnings and advertising.

Cigar Review: La Flor Dominicana Factory Press III

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Today’s cigar constitutes the final review of 2010. It’s been a great year for cigars and I have been trying to fit about 25 cigars into my Top 15 List which I will publish on December 31st. For my last review of 2010 I picked the La Flor Dominicana Factory Press III. Over the years La Flor Dominicana has fallen on and off the radar for me and with the emergence of the Air Bender into the market LFD has become a staple of my repertoire once again. Also I got to spend some time talking to Litto Gomez and his warmth and charm has made the brand that much more attractive. Perhaps that is a little vein of me, but a person behind the cigar can make or break the company.

Martell To Release Cohiba Cognac

Photo Via Elitechoice.org

[Martell Cohiba Cognac is] the perfect tipple to sip with a Cuban Cohiba Cigar, the cognac has a strong, intense and fully rounded flavour that perfectly compliments the strong taste of the tobacco. With liquorice and almost nutty tangs, Cohiba Cognac is produced from the finest Martell Cognac made with grapes from the ‘Grande Champagne’ area of the cognac region.

Cigar Review: Rocky Patel Vudu

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Well being that I am currently snowbound in New York City I figured I would do a bonus review. Rumour has it the Sanitation Department of New York City is involved in a work slow down and that is why it is taking so long to dig out. The reason for the slow down, well it seems that a lot of people have recently been demoted lately due to budget issues and that their is an upcoming contract negotiation around the corner.

A while ago I was sent a Rocky Patel sampler back from Famous Smoke Shop who is an advertiser on this website. According to the Famous website the Rocky Patel Vudu is…

Cigar Review: Zino Embassy Selection 2010

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The Zino Embassy Selection Limited Edition 2010 is the next to last cigar on my list to smoke before I compile my Top 15 list of 2010. Having loved the 2009 version I was eagerly waiting the 2010 release and according to the Davidoff of Madison website, “As a tribute to the ambassador of luxury, Zino Davidoff, and his illustrious legacy, we’ve created the next offering in the “Zino Embassy Selection”—the Limited Edition Belicoso. It features the Selection 702 Ecuador Sun-grown wrapper, a new piloto binder and a unique blend of piloto and three different ligero tobaccos. It’s once again quintessential Zino—powerful yet refined, spicy and sophisticated with impeccably good taste. The velvety rich smoke delivers a crescendo of flavor and strength, complemented by a savory finish and captivating aroma. “

Sunday Links

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Ah the last Sunday of the year, a year that has flown by. It seems as I get older the years go by quicker. While I know they all move at the same pace it seems funny how much time is beginning to fly by. Even yesterday as I was driving around town on Christmas Day looking to see what was open I stumbled upon a barber shop. I needed a haircut and since no one was present I decided to get my hair cut. The result was more proof that I am indeed getting older. As the hairs fell off my head I was shocked at the amount of gray that was present but thankfully there is no bald spot yet and the hairline isn’t receding.

It’s funny I set off to write about the blizzard happening in NYC right now but I got side-tracked. As a kid I couldn’t wait for it to snow now all I can think of is the potential heart attack of shoveling out my driveway after 15″ of snow falls.

For now the Sunday Links…

Cigar Commentary: Extravagant Cigar Expenses, Or Bandwagon Journalism

Brian Sayler

Just recently, I came across an article in the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle about cigars. I thought to myself, cool! But then I realized that it was an article about how a director of the Rochester, NY Airport purportedly misspent public funds on cigars.

Readers Choice Top 10 of 2010 & Contest Winner

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About a week or so ago I asked everyone to leave a comment with their top 5 cigars of 2010. From that list we were able to put together a top 10 list of 2010 according the the readers of acigarsmoker.com. Ties were settled by the actual ranking of where a reader placed the cigar in their list. I agree with many of the choices on this list, but I can tell you my number 1 cigar of the year is different then what is on this list.

We will share our Top 15 of 2010 on New Years Eve… But for now allow me to congratulate Garrett Warner from Wisconsin on being randomly chosen to win a $100 gift certificate from Famous-Smoke.com. Garrett has been contacted by email and I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas and a joyous Holiday Season.

Cigar Review: Casa Fernandez Arganorsa Leaf

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As the year comes to a close and we are getting ready to release our list of the best cigar of 2010 we find ourselves in a rush to get to some cigars that we missed earlier in the year that had a significant buzz to them. One of these cigars is the Casa Fernandez Arganorsa Leaf. In the past the cigars produced by Casa Fernandez aka Tabacalera Tropical were the first Pepin cigars, and recently Alec Bradley. Also our friend Danny at Tobacco Plaza on long island has his Old School Original brand produced at the same factory.

According to the Casa Fernandez website this cigar is blended by Cuban Masters utilizing tobacco from the valleys of Condega, Jalapa and Esteli in Nicaragua from Cuban seed tobacco. The box pressed cigar is available in 3 sizes, Robusto (5 x 52); Toro (6 x 54); and a Torpedo (6.5 x 52).

La Aurora Broadway Launch @ Cigar Inn

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On December 20th, 2010 La Aurora Cigars launched their latest blend which is specific for the New York market called Broadway. The cigar which I reviewed last week was met with much fanfare by those in attendance. Those who smoked the cigar at the event that I got a chance to talk with raved about the cigar.

This past summer the stte of New York passed a 75% OTP tax which has effected the cigar prices tremendously. According Guillermo León…

Surgeon General misrepresents the dangers of second-hand smoke

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Just recently, the U.S. Surgeon General issued a press release about secondhand tobacco smoke. The U.S. Surgeon General says that even brief exposure to secondhand smoke can trigger a heart attack and inhaling even a tiny amount of tobacco smoke can cause cancer.

In response to this press release, Dr. Michael Siegel*, a Professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences at Boston University, says that “it is simply not true that even brief exposure to secondhand smoke can cause cardiovascular disease,” and that “inhaling the smallest amount of tobacco smoke does not lead to cancer.”

La Aurora Broadway Contest Winner

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We want to thank everyone who entered our contest for a 3 pack of La Aurora Broadway cigars. I personally would like to thank Jason Wood who sent me a few of these for my enjoyment. We have another contest ending in a couple of days so stay tuned for that announcement. There was 31 comments left, with 3 from myself and Ed. Which makes it 28, however 2 of those comments were duplicates so there was 26 in total.

We through the 26 numbers into a random number generator and the winner is..

Event: New Jersey Cigar Festival

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Seems like cigar festivals are becoming more and more the rage. While they do help promote the community and bring people together one has to wonder when it becomes overkill. Thankfully we have not yet reached the case and a new one is starting up right across the river from my hometown.

The New Jersey Cigar Festival will be held on Saturday, April 2, 2011 at Bears & Eagles Riverfront Stadium in Newark!

Cigar Review: Gurkha Para la Gente

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As more and more manufacturers come out with cigars for the New York Market which is suffering from a 75% tobacco tax I wonder how long before some other states ask for the same treatment. The latest New York exclusive is from Gurkha who this week released the Para la Gente (For the People) cigar with a big party at De La Concha in NYC. Sadly, I was unable to attend the event but my friend Danny from Tobacco Plaza in Long Island managed to secure me a couple of samples.

I never met a Gurkha that I liked and I was hesitant to smoke today’s cigar but I was happy to see that Gurkha had the consumer in mind and these cigars which are available in bundle format are cheaper than the other releases to come down the pike lately. The Gurkha Toro for instance is $8.00 however, it is available as a bundle only and not in the lavish boxes Gurkha is know for.

Sunday Links

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Well after spending the better part of Sunday morning and early afternoon trying to install a plugin called User Photo I have put it to rest. The end of the year is approaching us and many changes are in store for the cigar industry. Earlier this week we broke the news about a merger happening between Miami Cigar & Company with La Aurora Cigars. As a partnership one has to assume some of the La Aurora catalog will have a reduction in price.

Featured Lounge: Hotel Cigar Bar & Custom Cocktails

Photo Courtesy of Marriott.com

For those of you that are in the Charlotte North Carolina area, I envy you! As of today, there is this great hotel cigar bar there (at the Charlotte Marriott Center) that features delicious cocktails. I’ve often heard people pairing their prized premium smokes with less than premium beverages… to each their own. But for some Sacrilege!

Cigar Review: Broadway Series by La Aurora Cigars

Broadway Series by La Aurora

The cigar companies are coming to the aide of the New York Tobacconists. This week saw the release of two new cigars for my hometown market and today following up the interview with Rene Castaneda where he discusses the Broadway Series and he also talks about Miami Cigar & La Aurora becoming one company we share our thoughts on the Broadway Series by La Aurora.

As I stated in another review…

Breaking news: Wedding Bells for La Aurora and Miami Cigars?

Happy Holidays!

I just got back from a holiday party at the Cigar Inn in NY and boy do I have some news for you! Here’s a sneak peek on how things may look in the near future.

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