Archive for February, 2011

My Father “S” Special – Cigar Review


A few months back at an event in De La Concha I was hanging out with many cigar all-stars when I asked Jose Ortega what the S cigar was, and he explained it was a cigar given out with the purchase of cigars from My Father. Since it was a joint event that day with Miami Cigar & Company I took advantage of deals on the La Sirena and La Aurora 107 and I missed out on getting an S. Those who know me, know I will almost never ask for a cigar directly but I asked Jose if he had any extra around and sadly he did not. He informed me some of the My Father staff would be joining us at Cigar Inn later and he would try to get me one.

Sunday Links


You know winter is coming to an end when Spring Training begins in Florida and Arizona. Sure we all love our winter sports like football and hockey, but nothing beats the nightly ball game and a cigar with your favorite adult beverage. As a Yankees fan this spring is a little different then the past. We knew who our 5 starters were, who was going to make up the bullpen and the only position up for grabs was utility infielder. This year as a fan of the Bronx Bombers things are a little different. Who will be the backup catcher, who will fill out 4 and 5 in the rotation and who will win the 4th OF slot as well as the utility infielder. It’s that time of the year to make predictions so here we go.

Saturday Morning Cut and Light – The Internet Told Me So

Photo courtesy of

In a new weekly feature, staff writer Ed Chin takes a look around the globe to let us know about various news articles, celebrity cigar sights, other reviews, and more.

This week features events in Cuba, more New York City craziness in the tobacco world, a possible sale of the brand Royal Jamaica, Cuban sales in China, a shoplifting story and Chad Ochocinco, or is it Chad Johnson again?

As well as pictures!

San Lotano Maduro by AJ Fernandez – Cigar Review


As I have written before, I feel AJ Fernandez is beginning to make a solid mark on the cigar industry and is the next big thing. Inside many cigar shops people don’t know his name yet, but those who have shopped the catalogs do. (Editor: If you shop the catalogs get out of them and support your local economy and brick & mortars). Here are some of the cigars made by AJ Fernandez – Diesel, Man O War, Arganorsa Leaf, Ave Maria, 5 Vegas AAA and many more.

Abdel J. Fernandez is a third generation cigar-maker who runs Tabacalera Fernandez in Nicaragua. He traces his cigar roots back to San Luis, Cuba where his grandfather started the San Lotano brand prior to the Cuban Revolution of 1959. Before venturing out as a cigar-maker, AJ was a protege of Alejandro Robaina, one of the top cigar makes in Cuba.

In 2010 the AJ Fernandez decided to return to his roots and revived the long since discontinued brand, San Lotano. Produced in Esteli, Nicaragua at one of the large cigar factories in the region the San Lotano comes in a Connecticut, Habano, or Maduro wrapper.

Cigar Review: Litto Gomez Small Batch #3


In the grand scheme of things La Flor Dominican has not been around for a long time. Born in 1996, 2 years before I began cigar smoking the La Flor Dominicana line of cigars has risen in popularity quite fast and are considered by many to be a staple of cigar shops around the country. At a recent event I was told by a friend to try the Small Batch #3 and I decided to take the plunge on this expensive stick in NY due to the taxes.

The Small Batch #3 features 2004 vintage tobacco from Litto’s farm in La Canela for both the filler and binder. The wrapper on this cigar is Sumatra-seed and Dominican grown that gives it a dark, oily complexion. The small batch #3 is billed as a full-bodied masterpiece with lots of flavor and and smoke. Does it live up to it’s billing? This is my opinion but I urge you to smoke one and make that judgement for yourself.

Breaking News: Jon Huber Creates A New Cigar Brand, Crowned Heads

crowned, heads, Jon Huber

…it’s like when you meet the woman you wanna spend the rest of your life with; you just KNOW. Up to that point, you’ve dated women who have each had their assets and good attributes–but there was a certain ‘something’ that just wasn’t ‘there’…..and then you meet THE ONE. And then everything changes. You stop thinking about other women. You stop looking at other women. All you can think about is her; and you know it is right. It feeeeeeels right. You eat, sleep, breathe, and dream…….HER. Do you know what I mean?

New York Tobacco Tax Update


In 2010 the state of New York delivered a wallet crushing blow to cigar smokers with an “other” tobacco tax increase to 75%. This wound up being a compromise as the Governor of the state originally called for 90%. The state was led to believe the new tax would raise millions and millions of dollars more, despite critics telling them the measure would be revenue negative. The implementation of the tax increase forced people to shop for cigars out of state, where the taxes were lower.

Cigar Review: Arturo Fuente Hemingway Signature Maduro


Recently I was at Tobacco Plaza of Great Neck to hang out with some friends, smoke some cigars, laugh, and enjoy some good food at the monthly events they run. This time around they had some specials on various cigars throughout their shop. But the one thing that caught my eye was the Arturo Fuente Hemingway Signature Maduro. When I saw them I picked up a handful of them and I smoked one right away and put one more aside for the review today. The rest are in my humidor aging where they will remain for special occasions. The reason I went right for these was because of the effect the Work Of Art Maduro cigars had on me back in the day, and how much they remind me of my Dad. The maduro line is ultra rare and does not appear often so who knows when I might see these again.

Sunday Rant & Links


I woke up this morning and I saw a discussion on social media that got under my skin. So I lit up a Fuente Anejo in an attempt to relax some before my rant, but you know what it doesn’t really matter. It seems the debate on whether or not to use numbers in a cigar review was up for discussion last night. It really amazes me that as approaches it’s 3rd anniversary that the use of a numerical rating is still debated. If you do not like them, do not use them. It’s a simple as that. It amazes that 3 years later this is still a topic of conversation.

Saturday Morning Cut and Light – The Internet Told Me So

leonardo dicaprio, smoking a cigar

My morning sessions start with a pot of coffee and a trip to my humidor to select a cigar. (In the evening, substitute bourbon and beer for the coffee.) The cigar is all about the ritual – selecting the right cigar to go with my mood, the time of day; taking it out of the cellophane, inhaling the fragrance of the wrapper, admiring the label, the workmanship (the better cigars are still handmade by someone with skilled hands in another culture thousands of miles away), snipping its head, lighting it, those first few draws, and watching the smoke infiltrate my den. The ritual helps get my creativity flowing.

Cigar Review: La Aurora Gold Preferidos Tubo


Last year I was part of a group of bloggers that was graciously invited by Miami Cigar & Company to the La Aurora factory in Santiago, Dominican Republic and I had the time of my life. In fact, I considered the trip to a be a life changing event. Not only did I make great friends within the blogging community I managed to stay close with Jason Wood from Miami Cigar & Company as well as Amaury Abreau, Manuel Innoa, Jose Manuel, Jose Blanco and Guillermo Leon from La Aurora. As luck would have it, I got invited back this year with a new group of bloggers. While there from March 17th to 20th I will working on a series of stories for The Cigar Network Magazine. Stay tuned because on Sunday we will tell you how to get a subscription for 15% of the regular rates.

Event Recap: Launch Party, Esquire Home @ Nat Sherman’s


So was it a furniture store or a cigar shop? To tell you the truth, it was a little bit of both. For the most part, the cigar displays and counters stayed the same but the lounge area and a top floor office transformed into a very classy cigar-encouraged man space. It was like converting the leather furniture section of a Crate and Barrel into a smoking lounge.

F’in awesome!

Cigar Review: LFD Air Bender Lancero


I spent the day at Little Taste of Cuba in Princeton, NJ which is a a shop owned by Jorge from Tobacconist University. In there humidor they had a cigar that I have been dying to try for the longest, the La Flor Dominicana Air Bender Lancero. I smoked one today earlier in the shop and made a few notes and now I am lighting up the second one to get my review for the day up. I had another cigar lined up but the day but I really wanted to review this one, so here we are.

Cigar: La Flor Dominicana
Size: 7.5 x 38 (Lancero)

Press Release: Toraño Sponsors A Casino Night to Benefit Children

Torano sponsors Children's charity event

Toraño Sponsors A Casino Night to Benefit Children!

The Toraño Family Cigar Co. again teamed up with South Florida’s non-profit, Neat Stuff. This time it’s a fabulous casino fundraising event at the exclusive Coral Gables Country Club. The Neat Stuff Casino Night hosted over 300 guests as they “gambled” for a good cause. Neat Stuff is a non for profit whose main focus is to provide brand new clothing to abused, neglected, and underprivileged children.

New Site:


I became friendly with Jay Luto a while back through Twitter to the point where I have gone to some events in Jersey to hang out with JerseyJay from time to time. He always had a camera in hand and it was obvious he was more then just a hobbyist. At a recent event for Miami Cigar Company. He told me about his forthcoming website of cigar photography that was due to launch. Well that time has come, and this is truly an excellent site of some great photo work.

According to his website, The blog is a platform to share his two passions, hobbies, healthy addictions – cigar smoking and photography.

Cigar Review: Tatuaje Havana VI Angeles


According to the Tatuaje Cigars website this cigars are blended in the style of the flavorful yet Medium Bodied Cuban Cigars. The cigars are rolled in Nicaragua using select Nicaraguan tobaccos and classic Cuban blending with a beautiful Cuban triple-cap. Made at the My Father Cigar factory these stay true to the pride of El Rey de Los Habanos.

Sunday Links


I just read up on Saint Valentine on the web, and there is nothing to suggest that this martyr of the Catholic church has anything to do with the traditions of modern Valentine’s Day. The feast of St. Valentine first occurred in the year, 496 and it was established by Pope Gelasius I. In fact no one really is sure who Saint Valentine was as he appeared in various martyologies. Throughout history he has been described as a priest in Rome, a bishop or priest in Interamna or a Martyr in the Roman province of Africa. Knowing that what I am about to say isn’t sacrilegious makes me feel more comfortable knowing that God will not strike me down for this view, but I will probably further secure my seat in hell. For me, I picture hell as being a room full of excellent cigars but not having anything to light them with.

Saturday Mixed Bag

Good afternoon everyone. Today I wanted to bring to you the hottest cigar news of the Internet. Here we go:

Looks like Cuban Crafters has a voyeuristic web cam of their rollers. I think it’s a good idea but it kinda looks like a convenience store cam. You can sometimes see customers stroll through.

Cigar Review: CroMagnon Knuckle Dragger


To the best of my recollection it was about a month ago Skip Martin started talking about a cigar he was creating with Michael Rosales. Skip Martin owned a cigar shop in Galveston, TX before it was destroy by a Hurricane and Michael is the man behind Adrian’s Cigar. Both men have a vast knowledge of tobacco and based on Skip’s personals tastes I assumed this was going to be a knock you on your ass strong cigar. Well a few weeks back Skip started taking orders on the first batch of the new cigar, which he was selling as part of a sampler pack called, The Taxonomy.

I’ve been friendly with Skip via the website and Twitter and I had met Michael down at IPCPR in New Orleans last year so I bit on the sampler pack which contained 10 cigars to see what it was all about

Cigar Commentary: Cuban Man Celebrates 111th Birthday with a Cigar

Photo Courtesy of

Ignacio Cubilla Banos, a Cuban man, just celebrated his 111th birthday last month by lighting up a fine hand-rolled Cuban cigar and counting a wad of cash that was gifted to him.

According to the pictures, Ignacio really enjoyed the festivities held at his house in Havana, Cuba, where he was joined with his family. He has 11 children, 40 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren. One of his kids, who lives in Miami, even sent him a wad of cash.

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