Archive for March, 2011

Press Release: Rare Corojo 10th Anniversary


Richmond, VA—The highly-anticipated 10th anniversary edition of Punch Rare Corojo is about to be made even more exciting with the release of a new, limited edition frontmark which will debut at tobacconists nationwide beginning in late March.

Called Rare Corojo 10th Anniversary, the 5” x 50 frontmark is unique in that it will feature a proprietary Connecticut Corojo wrapper. The new cigar will begin selling in late March for a suggested retail price of $6.50 per cigar until the limited supply is depleted. The cigars will be packed in eye catching cabinet style red wooden boxes and can be easily identified by a secondary red-and-gold band that bears the Rare Corojo distinction.

Padron 1964 Anniversary SI-15 – Cigar Review


When opposites collide is the best way to sum up the meeting of Smoke Inn & Padron. In one corner stands Abe “MING” Dababneh who learned the power of social media and bloggers with the release of the Tatuaje Anarchy. In the other corner stands Padron , who has yet to embrace the power of bloggers and social media while continuing to rely on out-dated print publications who are no longer in touch with today’s smoker. Perhaps this is why Padron went from being my benchmark cigar to getting lost on the shelves of my local tobacconists. Out of site, out of mind.

According to the press release sent out by Abe….

Thursday Morning Cigar Links, The Internet Told Me So


Today, I’m bringing you some of the latest cigar news and events. Hope you enjoy this collection of articles and mixed media. These include pictures of Local cigar events with celebrities, a vintage cigar TV commercial, a new cigar for the Asia Pacific region, and more.

Come on inside to check out whats going on :)

Project “Para Japón” by La Aurora – Support for JAPAN


The following comes from our good friends at…

On March 11, 2011, an 8.9-magnitude earthquake hit the island of Japan — the biggest earthquake in Japanese official record. The tsunami that followed caused unprecedented devastation on a level unseen by the Japanese people since War World II.

The voices and images of desperation have struck deeply in the hearts and souls of the Dominican people whom, for many decades, have built a close bond with Japan. La Aurora Cigar Factory has echoed the expressions of solidarity of its employees and suppliers, and is glad to announce the creation of a special edition cigar to help the humanitarian response to this disaster. “We are very pleased to lay our helping hand to our brothers of Japan by supporting the humanitarian assistance to this great nation,” says Guillermo Leon, President of La Aurora. “When hurricanes have struck the Dominican Republic, Japan was there for us,” Leon added. Proceeds from the sales of this cigar will be donated to the Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief fund through JAPAN TOBACCO IMEX CO. LTD.

E.P. Carrillo New Wave Connecticut Edition – Cigar Review


In late 2009 Ernesto Perez-Carrillo returned to the cigar marketplace, and in a short period of time his cigars have become a staple in many humidors. As the man who created La Gloria Cubana not many people knew the name E.P. Carrillo, now less then a year an a half since his return, casual smokers and aficionados know it well.

According to E.P. Carrillo,

The E.P. Carrillo, “New Wave Connecticut Edition is covered with a beautiful Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper. This cigar breaks the mold of your typical Connecticut – the smoke is creamy with hints of spice that develop to show rich nutty and sweet flavors.” The cigar will be available in four sizes, Stellas 5 1/8 x 42 ($4.50); Brillantes 5 x 50 ($5.25); Divinos 6 x 52 ($6.25) and Gran Via 7 x 49 ($7.00). All prices are MSRP, please allow for variations due to tobacco taxes.

Liga Privada L40 (Pre-Release) – Cigar Review

L40 PreReleaseBand

First a big shout out goes to Steve Valle who is one of the reviewers over at Smoking Stogie. About a week ago, out of the blue he decided to send me some rarities, including today’s cigar. If you haven’t check out the work they do over there, be sure to visit them. Top notch photography, great reviews and most of all good people.

The “LP L40″ is the latest cigar floating around from the guys at Drew Estate. Last year they let some dirty rat’s float around the cigar community and the feedback pretty much sealed the deal to release them. This year it is the L40, a lancero and the Ratzilla which is twice as long as the Dirty Rat are working the same circuit. I have heard the Ratzilla is 100% confirmed for the release but the L40 doesn’t seem to be 100% official yet.

The LP L40 is a bit of a departure for Steve Saka who is not a big fan of the lancero, and according to him the cigar needed to go through numerous tweaks to reach the final blend. He often feels at times that a lancero can be a little bit one-dimensional and he did not want to fall into that trap with this vitola. In fact, he cheated to a degree by going to a 40 ring, allowing him the chance to add one extra leaf to the mix.

Sunday Links


After a brief hiatus last weekend as we began our journey home from the Dominican Republic we are back with the Sunday Links. This whole week I found myself daydreaming of good times that were had and new friendships that were made. I went from 85 degrees and sunny to 35 degrees and raw. April is right around the corner and the best day of the year happened while I was out of town. I can’t wait for spring to fully hit it’s stride.

As we get closer to IPCPR some things are being discussed and travel arrangements are being made. So far I am looking forward to the new lines from Tatuaje the most with the La Aurora 107 Maduro a close second. Also very curious about the cigar coming out from Jon Huber the former director of lifestyles and marketing for CAO. The Crowned Heads should be a winner based on Jons connections in the industry.

La Aurora Cien Anos (100 Anos) – Cigar Review


This review concludes La Aurora week on I appreciate the record number of page views and I thank those who took the time to leave a comment. I do have one question though, what causes a person to leave a comment? It seems like at times we go a while without any comment love and I would like to change that so let me know why you choose to leave a comment or why you don’t.

While at the La Aurora Cigar Factory from 3/17/11 to 3/20/11 we took part in a tasting seminar that was held by Jose Blanco in the conference room. After the tasting was complete Señor Blanco handed us each a La Aurora Cien Anos Churchill with 8 years of age on it. Well I decided to light mine up on the spot, and delve into a cigar legend. Sure I thought about reviewing it, but I was worried about the damage it might incur on the way home from the island nation that I have fallen in love with. As luck would have it, upon exiting the conference room I was handed another one, that made it home in great shape. I let it sit in my humidor for 5 days before today’s review.

La Aurora Trip 2011 Edition, Final Thoughts


What was scheduled to be a short day in the Dominican Republic became a bit of a journey for those of us on the 12:20pm flight back home. I was joined by Jerry Cruz, David “Doc” Diaz, and Mario Takeyama for our final breakfast the morning of our journey. For one of us that would not end until the following evening due to flight delays and long lines at customs.

La Aurora Trip 2011 Edition, Day 3


The final full day began like any other, with an early wake up call to enjoy the view of Santiago. As a person who has lived in the City of New York for 42 years, having one of these rare moments to enjoy the some quiet need to be taken advantage of. I took the time to explore the grounds of the hotel with my camera and enjoy a cigar. As I did a sense of sadness came over me, that I was soon going to leave and that the time spent with friends was coming to a close. With split departure times, the first one being at 6am this was the last full day together.

La Aurora Trip 2011 Edition, Day 2

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As was with my last trip to Santiago in the Dominican Republic I made sure to get up early each morning and be the first one on the deck. The views were just so incredibly scenic, that it was easy to get lost in the moment and bask in the serenity of the mountaintop resort that we would call home for the next couple of days. I sipped my coffee and looked out into the valley before me, for I feel at home in the Dominican Republic.Despite various levels of wealth and poverty everyone has a smile on their face and it is contagious.

Event: Michael Herklots’ Annual Birthday Fundraiser: May 2nd & May 3rd


New York, NY, March 21, 2011– The Sixth Annual Michael Herklots Birthday Fundraiser for Killingly High School’s Learning for Life Fund will be held in New York City on May 2nd and 3rd, 2011.

Monday, May 2, 2011, will be a party at The Carnegie Club (156 W. 56th St., New York City, NY) from 6:00pm until 10:00pm featuring incredible raffles, auctions and premium cigars. Over the years this event has welcomed Chefs Emeril Lagasse and Wayne Nish, Actors Tony Darrow, Arthur Nascarella and Frank Vincent, and friends from around the world. The event is open to anyone who’d like to attend and make a donation.

On Tuesday, May 3, a private dinner will be hosted at the exclusive Grand Havana Room, a private cigar club in the former “Top of the Sixes” space on the 39th Floor of 666 Fifth Avenue.

La Aurora Trip 2011 Edition, Day 1


A funny thing happened in the Dominican Republic, you see I may of or may not of gotten married. But more of that on day 3. For now some back story. In 2010, I was lucky enough to be invited with a group of bloggers to visit the La Aurora Cigar factory in the Dominican Republic. It was the beginning of a beautiful relationship on both a personal and professional level with some really amazing people. When I was approached by Miami Cigar & Company for some input on the 2011 trip, never did I imagine I would be lucky enough to go back again.

Saturday Morning Cut and Light: The Internet Told Me So

Smoking oasis for soldiers: camp Phoenix in Afghanistan   “Members of the Nebraska Army National Guard’s 1-134th Cavalry Squadron have been visiting this small oasis and said it’s the kind of place that makes a difference when serving far from home.”       Steaks and cigars for a good cause:     Good news [...]

News: Greetings from Afghanistan…


I am currently down in the Dominican Republic hanging out with some other bloggers at the La Aurora Factory. So while we are away and there is no scheduled review for the day, I figured I would share an email I got. My business partner was attached to the 101st Airborne in Vietnam and was a member of Special Forces. He spent 21 days in the jungle as a POW before escaping.

While I never served, I know the sacrifices our men and women of the armed force make. I salute them for they are what make our country what it is.

This past week I got an email from Master Sergeant Cole in Afghanistan. It was short, but it means a lot to me that members of our armed forces read this site. He wrote, “Enjoy reading your articles sending you pictures.” We exchanged a few emails and with his permission I share these pictures. If only our politicians could appreciate how much a cigar truly means.

Viaje White Label Project (Candela) – Cigar Review


I really should read the book, How to Make Friends and Influence People. Every now and then someone or something comes along that gets under my skin. The result is I go off on a tangent, and someone gets mad at me. It leads to jokes about my brake lines being cut, and me having to go into damage control to save my ass. Today’s cigar is just that. Today’s company is just that.

For me Viaje is the most annoyingly frustrating cigar company out there. How many limited edition sticks will they copy from someone else? At least with other companies, tracking them down is easy. With Viaje I know no one locally who carries these. In fact I know of one shop that won’t carry Viaje because he considers the owner of Viaje to be a plagiarist.

Amazing Arizona Man: A Cigar Keeps him Alive


Ever wonder what you should do if you accidentally shoot yourself? Well, if look at elderly military veterans in Arizona for hints, you might just find yourself lighting up a cigar.

In Goodyear Arizona, an 82-year-old former military man accidentally shot his leg. And while calmly waiting for medical help, I guess he got bored because he proceeded to light up a cigar.

Miami Cigar & Company NCAA Tournament Pool


As many of you know I have an ongoing friendship with Miami Cigar & Company. Last year they hosted a tournament pool for the NCAA. It was a smashing success and this year they upped the anti… The contest is on Yahoo! and it is free to sign up…

Lots of great prizes, and once again, free to enter

News: AVO 85th LE 2011 *official press release*

I wasn’t going to post this, but it contains updated blend information. Despite being told by Edward Simon directly it was a Dominican Puro, news officially comes out today that it won’t. I welcome this since the cigar now contains my personal favorite, Peruvian tobacco…

Quesada Espana – Cigar Review

Quesada Espana

The Quesada Espana is currently available only in Spain, but there were some floating around the Pro Cigar Festival. Thanks to a friend I was able to get a sample of these to smoke. As of now the Quesada family is undecided if they should release these in the American market as well. The cigar is blended to fit what the Spanish smoker wants. They prefer cigars with lighter wrappers and smaller ring gauges. As a result these come in a corona (5.5 x 42); short robusto (4 x 50); and a traditional robusto (5 x 50) The cigars sell from €5.50 to €6.35.

Although the cigars were aimed at the Cuban taste profile, the cigar is meant to stand on its own, so that the Spanish smoker will find it comparable with his regular Cuban smokes.

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