Archive for November, 2011

Liga Privada Unico Series L40 Lancero – Cigar Review

Liga Privada L40 Band

Last night I was lucky enough to be invited to the Nat Sherman event for the launch of the Liga Privada L40 lancero. The cigar which was launched at two locations, the first being Casa de Montecristo in Chicago, and the other was attended by over 50 guests in the Johnson Room at Nat Sherman. Prior to the event a great Q&A was set up by Michael Herklots in the executive meeting room prior to the party.

JD told of their humble beginnings in a kiosk in the World Trade Center back in 1996, his graduating law school in 1998, and moved to Nicaragua.

Judge Rules New York City Flavor Ban is Allowed Under FDA Law

Courtesy of Thomas A. Briant Tobacco E-News via IPCPR New York City – November 29, 2011– A federal district court judge has issued an order upholding a New York City ordinance that bans the sale of all flavored tobacco products, except cigarettes, that contain a constituent or additive that imparts a characterizing flavor other than [...]

Gran Habano STK Zulu – Cigar Review

I wish the Cigar Industry could find a way to better market itself. As a whole they do so much for charity and people that unless you are a cigar smoker it tends to go unnoticed. In these times we need any and all positive press that we can gather. The Gran Habano STK Zulu [...]

Happy Thanksgiving!


Can you believe how fast the year went? Christmas is right around the corner and before you know it so is 2012. If you believe in the Mayan calendar the end of world is near too.

As we spend time with a good cigar, football and family I wanted to take the time to thank people who mean a lot to me over the last year. I am bound to forget someone so I apologize in advance.

Bonita’s 18th Anniversary Blend – Cigar Review


I’ve been a little lax on the reviews over the past few weeks due to this not being my favorite time of the year. Things should be back to normal in a week or so. Today’s cigar review is available only through our sponsor Bonita Smoke Shop. The cigar comes out of the El Titan de Bronze factory, and was blended by Willy Herrera. If that name sounds familiar, Willy Herrera blended the Casa Miranda from Miami Cigar & Company and recently left ETB to become a part of the Drew Estate team.

According to the Bonita Smoke Shop, “Bonita’s 18th Anniversary cigars epitomizes all that is desired in a high quality premium hand rolled cigar. Custom blended of the finest tobacco and made expressly for Bonita Smoke Shop. Bonita’s 18th Anniversary cigar is an extremely well balanced cigar, with a delicious crescendo of flavor, in the medium flavor profile range.”

Four Kicks – Cigar Review & Contest

Four Kicks Band

If you use social media, or read cigar blogs chances are you already heard about Four Kicks by Crowned Heads. If you haven’t then you must not be a true cigar geek like me and my fellow twitter-holics. In case you fit this bill, Four Kicks is by Crowned Heads a company started by former employees of CAO. The company which features Jon Huber former marketing genius for CAO follows many of the same promotional ideas used in the past. Before the brand was launched there was T-Shirts, Stickers, and Baseball Caps. In fact, you can win one of those caps by leaving a comment at the end of this review.

The cigar is made in the Dominican Republic for Crowned Heads under the watchful eye of EPC Cigars at Tabacalera LaAlianza. Ernesto Perez Carrillo has seen a lot of success, fast since he began he own label after a similar buyout but the Scandinavian Tobacco Group. One can say this was a match made in heaven as both have a similar past.

Tatuaje Cojonu 2012 Pre-Release – Cigar Review

Tatuaje Cojonu 2012 Band

Back before Halloween I took a trip to Philadelphia to Holt’s to hang out with Pete Johnson at the release of his Monster Series cigar, The Wolfman. At the event if you bought a box of cigars you got a 3 pack of Tatuaje cigars, one of which was the Cojonu 2012. The cigar is not slated to come out until 2012, and Pete admitted to me that these are a little young. However, being the Tatuaje whore that I am 2 weeks is as long as I could wait before reviewing one of these cigars.

The cigar will be released as the standard 2012 with a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper and a Capa Especial version with a Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper. The cigars will be released in 25 count boxes. According to a thread on the the Saints & Sinners forums, Pete was toying with the idea of releasing a 20 count box that has 10 of each wrapper in it. Time will tell, if that comes to fruition when these cigars are release in March, 2012.

Illusione MJ 12 Maduro – Cigar Review

Illusione MJ12 Band

2011 has been a big year for Dion. First he came out with one of the best candela cigars I have ever smoked. Then he moved his cigar shop Fumare located in Reno, Nevada into a bigger location. Lastly, some sizes (CG:4, 88, 888, and MJ 12) of the Illusione Original Documents got the Maduro treatment. The cigars don’t look like your typical maduro, but more on that later.

The MJ 12 shows the mind of Dion at work. A believer of some conspiracy theories the MJ 12 was named after the Majestic 12. The scientists that allegedly were assigned to the Roswell incident in 1947 by President Harry S. Truman. The original MJ 12 release was wrapped in silver foil to acknowledge the alleged cover up by the US Government. This time around, the MJ 12 Maduro is wrapped in black foil.

Oliva V Maduro 2011 – Cigar Review

Oliva V Maduro 2011 Band

Oliva Serie V Maduro Especial is a limited edition cigar released yearly and truly a treat with only 30,000 cigars produced with a different size created each year. This complex blend of Nicaraguan long filler tobaccos with a specially fermented Jalapa Valley ligero held together by a Nicaraguan binder. The cigar is then finished with high priming San Andres maduro wrapper grown in the fertile San Andres valley in Mexico.

Undercrown by Drew Estate – Cigar Review

Undercrown Band

For fans of the Liga Privada you might have noticed a bit of a shortage lately, and perhaps it is that reason to why the Undercrown was created. As the stories go, the rollers on the factory floor were told to smoke less Liga. The press release states, “Undercrown is a liga blended on our factory floor by the best of our Liga Privada torcedores for themselves due to our request that they smoke less of the cigars they were crafting. Incorporating many of the same rare tobaccos, but of different vintages and primings, the cigar they created was no mere replacement. Earthy, creamy, spicy with a delicious black tobacco sweet finish, Undercrown is an exceptional smoking experience of uncompromising quality and flavor that deserves to be smoked by all.”

The result is a cigar can basically be called the half-brother to the Liga Privada line. Will the cigar become the black sheep of the family or will it be widely accepted. That is the question that can only be answered over time. But here is my opinion none the less.

Q & A With Jon Huber of Crowned Heads


The company with some of the biggest buzz lately in Social Media has yet to release a cigar. Crowned Heads which was formed by former employees of CAO has Jon Huber in the limelight once again. Huber who was the Director of Marketing before the company was bought by Scandinavian Tobacco Group has used social media to perfection to create a buzz for a cigar that no one has any idea of what it will bring to the table. Four Kicks is slated to be released soon in limited numbers and the stores that have been announced as retailers are already fielding calls on the smoke.

I recently reached out to Jon Huber asking if he would take the time to answer some questions, and he was kind enough to do so…

Thunder by Nimish – Cigar Review

Thunder Band

Thunder by Nimish Desai is the first cigar by the cousin of Rocky Patel. Made in Honduras the cigar is labled as a medium to full-bodied smoke. The cigars will be available in 3 sizes and retail for between $5.00 and $6.00. The sizes are Short Robusto (4.5 x 54) w/pig tail cap, Toro (6 x 52) and Torpedo (6.25 x 52). On a footnote I am writing this review on Saturday night as snow falls in New York City. There is a solid 2″ on the ground with another 1″ to 3″ due overnight. The temperature is a frigid 34 degrees Fahrenheit with a real feel temperature of 17 degrees, Fahrenheit. I know some will say that this weather is out of whack because of it, but I say Global Warming is a myth and an urban legend. I don’t ever remember snow or temperatures this cold, ever.

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