Archive for June, 2011

Press Release: Rocky Patel & EO Brands

News came down the pipeline today officially announcing the release of some new EO Brands, and Rocky Patel sticks. While some of this has been around for a while, the press release I guess makes it official.

Artwork: Nestor Miranda Grand Reserve

Here is a sneak peak at the finished artwork of the limited edition Nestor Miranda Grand Reserve. The cigar is set to be released at the annual IPCPR trade show in Las Vegas in mid July, 2011 and should be in retailers shortly thereafter.    

Speak Out! Keep the FDA out of your Humidors!


It seems every year politicians preach about making government smaller, but yet it seems to get bigger and bigger. The latest mind-boggling issue is that the FDA wants to get involved in the cigar industry. When will enough be enough? It is time to stand up to the local politicians and put our foot down while we still have a voice to do so. The land of the free, is not so free anymore my friends.

As Obamacare inches further toward reality, the government will look to control various aspects of the issues they consider to be a burden on the health care system. First is various forms of tobacco. We’ve lost the right to smoke in various places including our own private property. If we don’t stand up here, what will be next. In the 1900′s the people stood up to prohibition, and it is now time to stand up to prohibition 2.0.

First Look: Tatuaje Wolfman


If I wasn’t sitting in a cigar shop last night on Long Island, I probably wouldn’t have posted this but since it was a topic of conversation I figured I would write about it. Today on Twitter, Pete Johnson who is the mastermind behind the Tatuaje brand shared some info about the upcoming release in the Monster Series line. First thing was a picture of the Wolfman (see below). He also answered the question that was the topic of conversation last night and the answer was these will be available in both dress and non dress boxes.

The Wolfman will be a 7 1/2 x 52 Box-pressed torpedo, with a Sumatra wrapper grown in Ecuador. The band will be brown with red writing which Pete describes as “Ugly”. Production is set to be at the same number as last year, 666 numbered dress boxes and 1300 plain boxes.

Press Release: Berger & Argenti to Debut ENTUBAR CRV AT IPCPR 2011


Berger & Argenti announced today that ENTUBAR CRV will debut next month at the 2011 IPCPR Convention and Trade Show in Las Vegas.

CRV stands for Connecticut River Valley. And the cigar is a medium-full flavored, super-premium extension of the sensational ENTUBAR cigar brand. It’s blended with Nicaraguan and Dominican tobaccos with a U.S. Connecticut #1 Grade Shade-Grown wrapper, ENTUBAR CRV comes in boxes of 20 cigars and available in five (5) distinct vitolas: Corona Macho (4 5/8” x 48); Robusto (5 3/8” x 54); Double Corona (7 5/8” x 54); Torpedo (6 7/8” x 56) and Gran Toro (6 5/8” x 54).

Tatuaje 7th Capa Especial – Cigar Review

Tatuaje Capa Especial Band

The 7th Capa Especial is a new release from Pete Johnson over at Tatuaje. The 7th has been available in a Habano wrapper from Ecuador with the 7th Reserva featuring a Connecticut Broadleaf. The Cap Especial version of the 7th features a Sumata wrapper.

The change between the 3 cigars is amazing, and proves the importance of the wrapper on a cigar.

Q & A with Jose Blanco

Jose, thank you for taking the time to teach me more and more about tobacco everytime we meet. As a fellow Yankee fan we share a common bond that is only surpassed by our love of cigars. I look toward the time when we can sit back and enjoy a cigar together.

News recently rocked the cigar world that Jose Blanco was stepping down from his position at La Aurora and retiring. Now that the dust has settled we got to catch up with Jose Blanco who is currently enjoying himself on a European vacation. During our brief conversation, one can read between the lines and say he left the door open a bit for a return to the cigar industry and this might not be the end of his career.

Event Recap: Joya De Nicaragua at Nat Sherman

Dr Alejandro Martinez Cuenca, Joel Sherman, Michael Herklots

Great things are happening at Nat Sherman’s flagship store.

Last week on Thursday, was at Nat Sherman, hanging out with Dr. Alejandro Martinez-Cuenca – the president of Joya de Nicaragua (JDN) cigars. When I got to the Nat Sherman Flagship, Pat Felitti (the Master of Hospitality) greeted and escorted me to their exclusive Johnson Club – where I briefly met up with Michael Herklots (now in charge of Nat Sherman’s brand).

New York State Assembly Fails To Vote on Cigar Tax Cap June/2011


I am siting here writing this post when I was under the impression that today would be another day for the Assembly to hear various bills and vote on them. On Friday June 24th, acting speaker Rivera ended the day by saying “Let me remind you, Monday is another legislative day”. So I thought there was hope for the Tax Cap in my home state. Well this morning I went to the state assembly website, and it stated the sessions ended on Friday.

This led me to call Speaker Sheldon Silver and his office, where I was informed that the sessions were indeed over. To be sure, I followed up with a call to Peter M. Rivera’s office as well and they informed me the Assembly was done for the summer, and that was an error. What does this mean?

E.P. Carrillo Short Run 2011 – Cigar Review


One of my favorite cigars last year was the Short Run from EP Carillo. Like many limited editions they tend to disappear and you are left wanting more. Well, the time of the year has come for the 2011 Short Run to be released and I picked this up from Buckhead Cigar. Since the inaugural release in 2009 I have become a huge fan of this company.

The Short Run 2011 has been released in 3 sizes. They are Bombones (4 7/8 x 50); Canonazos (5 7/8 x 52) and Inmensos (6 1/4 x 60). I believe they retail from $6.00 and up. This year’s version uses a Ecuadorian Habano wrapper compared to the Sumatra last year.

The Tampa Bay Rays Get Censored


What makes someone want to change history (aka the Winston Churchill treatment)? Apparently, wanting to be “politically correct” is enough for Tampa Bay Rays to change theirs.

Sometimes, baseball teams have throwback nights where they don jerseys from yesteryear. This year, the rays have a throwback jersey chosen for the July 2 game. It’s a recreation of the Tampa Smokers design; but they aren’t exactly the same as the originals.

Casa Magna Domus Magnus Limitada – Cigar Review


Due to come out in 10 count boxes sometime near the trade show the Casa Magna Domus Magna is made at Plasencia Cigars in Nicaragua. The cigars are blended by Manuel Quesada and the Plasencia family and is set to be released in two sizes. The Maximus (6.5 x 55/$9.95) and the Optimus (5.75 x 52/$8.95). The cigars are box pressed with a pigtail cap.

According to Quesada, “It’s a totally different blend. The wrapper is a sun-grown Jalapa wrapper, and we have blended for the wrapper. It’s a totally different taste. I would consider them a little stronger and a totally different direction in the taste.” Which leads me to ask why they are releasing them under Casa Magna and not a new limited edition line. Suffice to say there is a few aspects of the cigar industry I just don’t get. I mean if you aren’t a fan of the line you might not try these. If you are a fan of the line, you might not like that they are different.

New York State Assembly Passes Flavored Cigar Bill


As we all sit in New York and wait for the Assembly to vote on bill A1093 and hopefully approve the tax cap for cigars at $1.00, the only worthwhile news to come out involved flavored cigars. The New York State Assembly banned the sale of flavored cigars and tobacco in non cigar shops by a score of 102-0. This will protect brands like ACID and Tatiana. In recent weeks the bill was re-worded to protect cigar shops from selling tobaccos of this type. The bill made it illegal to sell flavored tobacco and cigars in places like drug stores, convenience stores, and bodegas. The move was made to limit the amount of product being sold to non-traditional smokers in an attempt to stop teens from rolling blunts.

Update: The State Senate has yet to pass this, and it is currently blocked and won’t become official to next go around, if at all as the senate is no longer in session.
The State Assembly will reconvene on Friday, June 24th at 9:30 or 10:00 am. Live coverage can be seen via the State Assembly website.

Video: Kurt Van Keppel Talks IPCPR ’11


We recently caught up with Kurt Van Keppel from Xikar where we had the chance to ask him to give up a quick rundown on what to expect from IPCPR in 2011. Well, it turned out to be just that. This 100 second video features some information on new cutters, lights and cigars. Xikar is a sponsor of this website, so be sure to visit their website. We proudly endorse Xikar products and own various lighters and cutters from them.

Read More to see the video…

Smoke Inn Microblend Series & Radio Show

Abe from Smoke Inn in Florida has sent out information on his third micro-blend series cigar to be released this year. You may recall that earlier in 2011 was the Tatuaje Anarchy, followed by the Padron 6 x 60. Well this time it is my My Father Cigars and called the El Hijo. The cigar will feature a select 2009 harvest Ecuadorian Habano wrapper with binder and fillers from Nicaragua. The cigar will come in a 5.5 x 52 with an unfinished foot. Only 650 boxes of 15 are being made, and the cigar is being labeled as medium to full bodied. These should be available in August of 2011.

With Cigar Dave no longer being carried in South Florida, there was a void in the airwaves for those seeking Cigar information. Well, Abe has stepped up to that, and this Saturday he launches Kiss My Ash radio on 94.3 WZZR from 9am to 10am Eastern time. The show which can be heard live and on-line can listen to on-line via the website,

IPCPR 2011: La Aurora Sneak Peak

With the trade show in Las Vegas inching closer and closer, some details were released exclusively to about the new offerings from La Aurora. This trade show will be the first with Guillermo Leon as the new owner of the oldest factory in the Dominican Republic. Not much should change as Senor Leon has been at the helm for a while, but the amount of new releases coming from the company shows they are ready to proceed full steam ahead.

The production of the La Aurora 107 Maduro may not be ready for sampling at the show, but there are plenty of others to keep those interested as it looks like another banner trade show should be in the cards.

MSRP is to be determined, and more details to follow!

Press Release: Willy Herrera Joins Drew Estate


Miami, FL – On June 15th, Willy Herrera, formerly the blender and master cigar maker of El Titan de Bronze, joined Drew Estate. Willy is bringing his unique cigar skills and talents to this dynamic, rapidly expanding premium cigar manufacturer. He will be responsible for creating and crafting handmade, traditional cigar blends under his own moniker within their Esteli, Nicaragua-based La Gran Fabrica Drew Estate and will report directly to Drew Estate’s executive board.

Pedro Martin Ruby – Cigar Review


Pedro Martin is a legendary master blender, whose career began in Cuba and stretched to over 70 years in the industry. The cigars are rolled in Esteli in a factory that employs only 23 rollers owned by Eduardo Fernandez, but is not associated with Tropical Tobacco. Maria Martin is the founder of this new brand and is the daughter of Pedro Martin. She worked as the President of Tropical when it was still owned by her father. When he fell ill in 2001 he sold the company to Eduardo Fernandez. Maria then became the National Sales Manager for Camacho Cigars and helped build the brand until its sale in 2008 to Davidoff. In the spring of 2010 Pedro Martin passed away and this fueled Maria to bring back her father’s legacy. So along with Ammer Cabrera who is the VP and Co-Founder they have begun to introduce the cigars to the world.

Today is the first of 3 cigars from Pedro Martin that we will feature on the site. According to the company, The Pedro Martin Ruby is a medium-plus strength cigar with a Sun Grown Corojo wrapper. The Pedro Martin Ruby line is available in 6 x 60; Churchill (7” x 48); Robusto> (5” x 50); Toro (6” x 52) and a Torpedo (6 ¼” x 52).

Cigar Education Sells Cigars


Selling cigars is not about selling cigars. More often than not, it’s about the feeling a smoker gets once he (or she) purchases that cigar (says Christian Eiroa). Sometimes, the cigar smoker expects a little more at a brick and mortar store. That little something extra can be the shop keepers’ personalities, cigar blending sessions, or even deeper knowledge about …

Dion Unveils Cruzado Packaging Change


Ah the power of social media, and what one can learn on Twitter. Dion Giolito who’s bio reads, “Cigar Brand owner – illlusione – Cruzado – Epernay – Cuchillos Cubanos – Stray Dog – Singularé 2010 EL. Straight-up boutique cigars for heavy cigar enthusiasts” shared with the cigar community his changes for the Cruzado Packaging. From a band tweak to slimmer boxes for the retailers the subtle changes seem to be a huge plus.

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