Category: Buying Guides


buying cigars online

Famous Smoke Shop offers both a world-class B&M cigar lounge as well as an industry-leading online retail site.

Buying cigars online is the more common means for purchasing premium cigars, rather than buying them at your neighborhood brick & mortar tobacco store. Some cigar smokers buy exclusively online for price, selection, and convenience, while others prefer the experience of a store where they can see the product “in-person.” Then there are those who buy their cigars both online and at their local tobacconist. Let’s take a look at the advantages and disadvantages to both. Continue reading

Author:

Gary Korb has been writing and editing content for CigarAdvisor.com since its debut in 2008. An avid cigar smoker for over 30 years, during the past 12 years he has worked on the marketing side of the premium cigar business as a Sr. Copywriter, blogger, and cigar reviewer. A graduate of the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, prior to his career in the cigar business, Gary worked in the music and video industry as a marketer and a publicist.

boutique cigars

Aging Room Quattro f55 cigars are terrific boutique cigars that brought home one of the industry’s highest honor for 2013 beating out lots of the big guys.

When we think of boutique cigars, a ton of thoughts race through our minds fumbling for an answer as to what “boutique” actually means. This made my job of pointing out the top 10 boutique cigar brands a royal pain in the butt. However, in the great office debate of 2014, we came to agree that boutique is more about the high quality of the tobaccos used, unequivocal flavors presented via an artfully executed blending and rolling process, and size of the company in comparison to the rest of the industry. Continue reading

Jonathan DeTore

Author:

My job here is pretty simple - I write stuff, I post stuff to Facebook, and I take it to the house consistently at the weekly slam drunk contest. I do it all while sipping on a fine glass of cognac at my desk (don’t tell my boss), and wearing cashmere slippers. Let’s just say "The Hef" has nothing on me.

Gary Korb

Cigars and humidors are like horses and saddles. We associate them as a dependent set, but you don’t need a saddle to ride a horse, and you don’t need a fancy wooden humidor to store cigars. There is one catch, however: You and the horse will survive without a saddle, but your cigars won’t survive without some form of humidification. For the purposes of this post, I’m talking about wooden desktop cigar humidors, not coolerdors, tupperdors, or other makeshift storage units. Continue reading

Author:

Gary Korb has been writing and editing content for CigarAdvisor.com since its debut in 2008. An avid cigar smoker for over 30 years, during the past 12 years he has worked on the marketing side of the premium cigar business as a Sr. Copywriter, blogger, and cigar reviewer. A graduate of the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, prior to his career in the cigar business, Gary worked in the music and video industry as a marketer and a publicist.

Marvelous Maduros
Baccarat Rothschild
CAO Gold Maduro RobustoCarlos Torano Signature Robusto
La Aurora Escogidos Robusto
La Gloria Serie N Glorioso
Nub Maduro 464T
Perdomo Grand Cru Robusto
Saint Luis Rey Serie G No. 6
Alec Bradley Tempus Terra Nova
Rocky Patel Vintage 1990 Robusto

 


A Short Primer on Maduro-Cured Tobaccos

By Gary Korb

Spanish for “ripe,” when you think of a “maduro cigar” one of the first words that comes to mind is “dark.” And that’s the idea. The longer tobacco leaves are fermented, the darker they get. Note that there is no specific “Maduro” leaf, as there is say, a “Corojo” or “Criollo” leaf. Cigar smokers who think maduro cigars are strong will be surprised that this extra fermentation process actually makes the leaf milder and most often sweeter, as well. This natural sweetness is the result of exposing the leaves to extra sunlight during the growing period. Moreover, the leaf essentially “tans,” becoming darker, and also produces more oils. For this reason, the leaves used for curing most maduro wrapper are taken from the top two-thirds of the plant. Suffice it to say, the strength of full-bodied maduro cigars is due more to the filler used, like ligero, than the darkness of the wrapper.

The secret to getting good Maduro leaf is dependent on one of several fermentation processes based on what the Master Blender wants to achieve in terms of color, flavor and strength. Connecticut Broadleaf, Habano (Cuban seed),
and Mexican-grown Sumatra are the most commonly used leaves for fermenting and curing Maduro. However, as you can see by the list of cigars featured in this month’s sampler, Brazilian-grown leaf has become a staple for its thickness, oily sheen and spicier character.

So how does a maduro leaf attain its dark color? One technique is to ferment the leaves longer at a much higher temperature, generally around 150-degrees, rather than the average 110-degrees used to ferment “Natural” wrappers.

Some blenders use a method called “cooking.” During this process, the leaves are placed in a steam chamber that can reach temperatures as high as 180-degrees or more. As a result, the leaves not only attain an even darker color, they’re also milder in flavor. This is one way to produce “Oscuro” wrapper, the darkest and often the oiliest of maduro leaves.

There is also a third “shortcut” method which most veteran Master Blenders detest. This process involves using dyes and sugar to darken and sweeten the leaf. If you notice some stain on your fingers or lips, the wrapper was most likely made using this process. It may even be a well-made and flavorful cigar, but once the cat’s out of the bag, it’s a buzz kill for a lot of cigar smokers.

It’s likely that you’ve had at least a few Maduro cigars by now. That said, if you haven’t had the pleasure of smoking a well-made cigar with a naturally fermented maduro wrapper, you’re missing out on some marvelous smokes.

*Price is a sale price, and subject to change.

Author:

Gary Korb has been writing and editing content for CigarAdvisor.com since its debut in 2008. An avid cigar smoker for over 30 years, during the past 12 years he has worked on the marketing side of the premium cigar business as a Sr. Copywriter, blogger, and cigar reviewer. A graduate of the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, prior to his career in the cigar business, Gary worked in the music and video industry as a marketer and a publicist.

torpdedo cigars
601 Blue Label Maduro Torpedo
777 By Jesus Fuego Belicoso MaduroAlec Bradley Family Blend T11 Natural
Alec Bradley MAXX The Curve Natural
CAO MX2 Beli Maduro
Gispert Belicoso Natural
La Aurora Preferidos Connecticut #1
Mi Barrio El Billetero Dark Natural
Montecristo White #2
Rocky Patel Olde World Reserve Torpedo MaduroOliva Cain 654T MaduroOliva Serie O Torpedo MaduroOnyx Reserve Belicoso # 2 MaduroRomeo y Julieta Reserva Real #2St Luis Rey Serie G Belicoso Dark Natural*Price is a sale price, and subject to change.

Tapered Head Heaven

By Gary Korb

In case you haven’t noticed, the cigars in this month’s Buying Guide sampler are all tapered head cigars, also referred to as “Figurados.” A figurado is also identified by its non-straight-sided shape, which is why they are given names like Torpedo, Belicoso, Pyramid, Diademas, Perfecto, and Double Perfecto (tapered at both ends). Not surprisingly, the names of these frontmarks originated in Cuba. Since figurados are commonly rolled to wider ring gauges, they naturally offer more flavor and complexity. Moreover, by design, the atypical tapered head is intended to concentrate the smoke as it passes through the head’s narrow pathway. The narrower you make the cut, the more concentrated the smoke, whereas the wider you make the cut, the thicker the smoke.

To the novice, Torpedo cigars, Belicosos, and Pyramids look identical, but there is a difference. Torpedoes have a rounder tapered head with a body that’s a little thicker in the middle (traditionally bulged),
a flat foot, and are normally about 6 to 6? inches in length. Belicosos are generally about the same length as Torpedoes, but have a much sharper head. Pyramids share the same pointed head as Belicosos, but the body tends to flare out to a wider ring at the foot. Of course, frontmarks are named at the discretion of the manufacturer. For example, the Mi Barrio “El Billetero” is a Belicoso with a fancy name. Most Pyramids (or Piramides), are labeled as a “No.2,” like the legendary Montecristo No.2.

Figurados are often higher in price, too. One reason is the extra tobacco used in the cigar. But it has more to do with the skill required to roll them properly, which is why figurados are only assigned to the factory’s most experienced tabaqueros. If you’re a regular cigar smoker and have never smoked a figurado, you’re really missing out on some marvelous cigars.

Tip

How to clip a figurado

V-cutters tend to be the most effective way to clip tapered head cigars. Here’s why: For one, the V-cutter clips the head of the cigar leaving a cleft-shaped cut. It should be deep enough to give you a good draw, too. A standard double or single blade cutter will also do the trick, but if you cut the head too far down, the wrapper could unfurl, and there’s little hope for repairing it. Cut it too short and you may have a draw problem. That said, if you prefer using a double blade cutter, here’s a fool-proof way to get a good cut: Open the cutter and lay it flat on a table. Place the head in the middle of the cutter, clip it, and test the draw. The first clip will probably be too short. If so, repeat the process, take another draw, and see if it improved. It usually takes about two or three cuts to get the cigar to draw well, plus, you’ll keep the wrapper intact. This also allows you to customize the amount of smoke you want to draw through the head.

Xikar VX Cutter

 

Author:

Gary Korb has been writing and editing content for CigarAdvisor.com since its debut in 2008. An avid cigar smoker for over 30 years, during the past 12 years he has worked on the marketing side of the premium cigar business as a Sr. Copywriter, blogger, and cigar reviewer. A graduate of the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, prior to his career in the cigar business, Gary worked in the music and video industry as a marketer and a publicist.

During the Holiday Season it’s so hard to keep from tripping over ads and articles on “Great Gift Ideas!” I figured I might as well get in on it too, with my own guide to finding the perfect cigar gift. So, I’ve kept it simple. Here are five great gift ideas in five respective categories and various price points, that you can hint at to your wife, girlfriend, best friend, business colleagues or, you can tie a string around your finger like Uncle Billy in It’s a Wonderful Life, so you can remember to buy them for yourself. These are just suggestions, there are plenty more great gift ideas and deals to be found as well. I left the prices out, because they are subject to change and may even be on sale or include offers.

cigar gift

Cigars: “Father & Sons” Buying Guide #11 Sampler

A sampler always makes a great gift. Here’s a dynamite collection for the cigar smoker who’s just starting out or has been smoking cigars for decades. I like this sampler because it’s got lots of cigars (16 in all!), big brand variety, and the price is extremely reasonable. Plus, they’re all made by the best in the business like The Fuentes, Eiroas, Garcias, Ozgeners, Toraños, Padróns, Perdomos, and Plasencias. Ranging from mild to muscular, these are “must-smokes” no cigar smoker should be without.

 

Xikar Xi2 Fiberglass cutter

Cutters: Xikar Xi2 Fiberglass Cigar Cutters

CLACK! That’s the sound of a Xikar Xi cutter opening. When it comes to cutters, I’ve seen more Xikars in the hands of cigar smokers than any other make. That’s because they’re cool-looking, ultra sharp, guaranteed for the life of the cutter, and most importantly, they work! The Xi2 fiberglass series is very affordable, and the tear-drop shape provides maximum grip strength for the cleanest cuts ever – even up to a 56 ring. Don’t fiddle with the cheapo cutters. Get yourself or your giftee something they’ll appreciate for years to come.

 

Vector Heatran Triple Flame Lighter

Lighters: Vector Heatran Triple Flame Cigar Lighter

I recently purchased this Vector Heatran lighter for myself and I love it. IMO, Vector has proven to be one of the more reliable makers of cigar lighters, and this triple flame is especially good for toasting and lighting cigars from a 50 to 60 ring gauge. It comes in several colors, is very affordable, and it has a fuel viewing window, which I would suggest you look for in any cigar lighter you buy. It really comes in handy. This lighter also has a handy cigar punch on the bottom, in case you forget your regular cutter.

 

Deauville Tobacco Leaf Inlay Humidor

Humidors: Deauville Tobacco Leaf Inlay Cigar Humidor

Here’s a humidor that says, “I love the leaf.” The tobacco leaf on this well-made, dark maple humidor is bordered by hand inlays, that add an attractive touch of class to this case. Features include Spanish cedar lining, brass hardware, quadrant hinges, a large rectangular oasis foam humidifier, brass/glass analog hygrometer, top tray, plus a lock & key with a yellow tassel. Its affordable price and 125 cigar capacity also make it a great value. Cigar smokers always need more room eventually, and this humidor will allow you or your giftee’s collection to grow without having to buy another humidor sooner than you wanted.

 

Cigar & Accessory Kits: Horn of Plenty Super Sampler

cigar gift set

For the cigar smoker who wants it all, THIS is a very cool gift at a ridiculously low price. Perfect for the new cigar smoker, this item comes with just about everything but the kitchen sink. You get our bestselling Capri humidor plus 20 cigars chosen from among the world’s best-known brands such as Alec Bradley, CAO, E.P. Carrillo, Oliva, Macanudo, Romeo y Julieta, Tatuaje, Cohiba, and too many more to mention. But that’s not all! You also get a guillotine cutter, torch lighter, seasoning kit, humidifier, humidifying solution, and much more. This is a fantastic gift idea valued at over $296, for way less than you’d expect to pay.

 

So, check your list twice, take a look at these items, and browse around. There’s something for every cigar smoker at affordable prices, and you can do all your cigar gift shopping without having to deal with mall mania.

Happy hunting!

Note: Thanks for visiting our 2011 holiday gift guide – but you need to get with the times! Check out our cigar gifts guide for over 15 ideas perfect for any cigar smoker on your list!

Famous Smoke Shop

Author:

The world's fastest, friendliest, and best place to buy cigars! Since 1939, Famous Smoke Shop has prided itself on offering the freshest, largest selection cigars at the most competitive prices, and customer service that can't be beat.

Smoking Guide
big cigars
Famous Buyer’s Guide
15-cigar sampler #16
Open Wide
and SAVE!

Wide ring cigars have suddenly become all the rage. What’s the reason? Maybe cigar smokers just want more for their money, especially these days. Now you can get even more for your money in this very affordable all-star sampler with 15 voluptuous cigars ranging from 56 to 66 ring. Add this bevy of buxom beauties to your cart now.

A $99.74 value,
NOW YOURS for ONLY
$49.95
Buy Now

777 By Jesus Fuego Grande Maduro
CAO America Potomac
Conuco Sixty
Famous Nicaraguan 3000 Grande Robusto
Gran Habano Corojo #5 Imperiales
Antaño 1970 Gran Consul
La Floridita Limited Edition Magnum Maduro
Maxx The Freak
Nub Cameroon 466BPT
Oliva Cain F 660
Olor Fuerte Magnum
Perdomo Cuban Parejo Epicure Maduro
Romeo Habana Reserve Toro
Rocky Patel Rosado Sixty
Saint Luis Rey Serie G No. 6
 

Big Beefy Cigars Are “In”

By Gary KorbFirst it was skinny Lanceros that offered more wrapper flavor. Now it’s long, wide-ring cigars that offer more filler flavors. (Coincidentally, I’m currently working on an article for CigarAdvisor.com about how this 60-ring trend has come about.)

The 6″ x 60 format is called a “Double Toro” or “Grand Toro” due to their mostly six-inch length and extra wide diameter. Looking at this month’s sampler, the largest ring cigar is a 66 – that’s just over an inch wide. If you think those are big cigars, you should have seen the Galaxia from Perdomo’s original Cuban Parejo series. Rolled to 10″ x 100 ring, Perdomo was also one of the first brands to market an all extra-wide-ring edition. Big cigars would rear their chubby heads occasionally as manufacturers like Rocky Patel, Oliva, and CAO began adding Grand Toros to some of their lines. Then, in 2006, Alec Bradley Cigars launched their MAXX line which had two Grand Toros: “The Freak” at 6 3/8″ x 60 and “The Vice” at 6 1/2″ x 62. More recently, Romeo y Julieta Reserva Real has added a 6 x 60 “Magnum,” and E.P.C. Cigars has the “El Decano” in their New Wave Connecticut series.

 

One of the reasons for this big fat cigar trend is, extra-large cigars provide more tobacco and smoking time for the money. Plus, some cigar smokers believe big cigars are stronger, though this is not necessarily the case; for as one manufacturer told me, “Large ring cigars offer a large volume of smoke, thus increasing the flavor profile.” If there’s any one advantage at all to smoking a Gran Toro, it’s that the blenders are able to experiment with more types of filler tobaccos, which translates to producing more complex cigars.

Tip

Some wrapper attributes that make a difference in flavor

wrapperCigars are sorted in the factory by color. The reason for this is so when you open the box, each cigar’s wrapper is virtually the same shade, which makes the cigars more appealing to your eye. But there are a couple of other things about the wrapper you may find interesting: If the wrapper is darker, thicker, or has more noticeable seams, the cigar will be somewhat stronger in flavor.

 

Prices effective 9/18/2011 through 10/31/2011.

Author:

Gary Korb has been writing and editing content for CigarAdvisor.com since its debut in 2008. An avid cigar smoker for over 30 years, during the past 12 years he has worked on the marketing side of the premium cigar business as a Sr. Copywriter, blogger, and cigar reviewer. A graduate of the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, prior to his career in the cigar business, Gary worked in the music and video industry as a marketer and a publicist.

Smoking Guide
summer cigars sampler pack Buyer’s Guide Sampler #1410 Super Summer Smokes
at 1 Low Price!
Better than a bottle of sun block, and much tastier, too, this month’s Buyer’s Guide Sampler #14 includes 10 of the bestselling Summer cigars at a great price. Handcrafted by the leading manufacturers, these “boys of summer” cover the entire range of strengths, a big variety of wrappers, and a good assortment of shapes. So, grab a beach chair, a cooler, your cigar cutter & lighter and ride this big wave of flavor. Certain to make all your Summer days bright, sunny, and delicious, order yours now while they last.

$34.95
Buy Now
A $59.32 value

601 Maduro BP (Blue) Robusto Maduro
Baccarat Rothschild
Famous Nicaraguan 3000 Grande Robusto
H. Upmann Vintage Cameroon Belicoso
Antano 1970 Gran ConsulLa Floridita Fuerte RobustoOliva Serie G RobustoPerdomo 10th Champagne RobustoRomeo y Julieta Reserva Real ToroTatuaje Havana VI Nobles

Hot Fun In the Summertime

By Gary KorbAhhh…Summertime. Baseball, beaches, mini-golf, adventure parks, barbeques, cold beer, iced-tea, convertibles, motorcycles, camping, the din of the neighborhood ice-cream truck combing the streets, and of course, great cigars to while away the hours of those long summer days and warm summer nights. This is the time of year that cigar smokers, especially those who’ve had to wait out the winter, can take advantage of some great deals and stock up. Plus, there’s nothing like being able to sit outside with good friends and share the pleasure of smoking your favorite cigars. 

So, is there such a thing as a “summer cigar.” Maybe…maybe not. According to a recent CigarAdvisor.com survey, Do the cigars you smoke change depending on the season?, about 73% responded that they did not change the cigars they smoke. Perhaps a summer cigar is a cigar that’s longer than what you normally smoke because you have more time for cigars like Churchills, Presidentes, Torpedoes, etc. during the summer months.

I’m pretty certain that a lot of cigar smokers have specific cigars that they prefer only for the beach, the golf course, or sitting out by the pool, whatever. But even if most cigar smokers prefer to stick with their regular cigar regime year-round, chances are they’re also looking for something new and different to smoke. That’s where summertime can also play an important role in educating your palate. When you’re more relaxed it’s easier to appreciate the nuances of your new discoveries. I hope you find some great new cigars this summer to add to your regular rotation. In the meantime, see you in September!

Tip

Are you a “fast smoker?”

Do you find that you smoke through your cigars rather quickly? If you notice that your cigars often turn bitter, it could be that you’re puffing too hard and/or too fast. If so, here’s a good solution: SLOW DOWN! A good rule of thumb is to puff on the cigar about once a minute. I refer to this as letting the cigar “smoke itself” between puffs. It helps the cigar burn cooler, and helps you appreciate the cigar’s aroma, too. Taking fewer puffs can also help make more full-bodied cigars a little more manageable. Finally, allowing even more time between puffs during the last third will also help keep your cigar from turning prematurely bitter.

 

 

Author:

Gary Korb has been writing and editing content for CigarAdvisor.com since its debut in 2008. An avid cigar smoker for over 30 years, during the past 12 years he has worked on the marketing side of the premium cigar business as a Sr. Copywriter, blogger, and cigar reviewer. A graduate of the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, prior to his career in the cigar business, Gary worked in the music and video industry as a marketer and a publicist.

Smoking Guide
CI-FAM-GUIDE12 Buyer’s Guide Sampler #12

12 of the best cigars you
should be smoking

Our Famous Buying Guide sampler #12 consists of “Sleepers,” or great cigars that tend to fly under the radar. The names alone tell you this mouthwatering set is in a league of its own. You get 12 cigars in all, some which you may have missed over the years, plus some new discoveries. Valued at over $69, this “underground” collection is designed to edify your palate and open your mind. Order yours now!

$29.95
Buy Now

Alec Bradley Overture Robusto
Conuco Robusto
Capoeira Professor
Carlos Torano Signature Robusto
El Cobre Double Fuerte 5x50
El Triunfador #4
E.P. Carrillo Encantos
Famous Nicaraguan 6000 Robusto
H. Upmann Vintage Cameroon Robusto
La Floridita Fuerte Robusto
Perdomo Patriarch Robusto
Famous VSL Nicaraguan Robusto
Sleeper Cigars – What’s up with that?
By Gary Korb

As I define them, “Sleepers” are good cigars that have caught the attention of a few, but for the most part have been overlooked by the majority of cigar smokers. There could be any number of reasons these cigars have gone unnoticed, but rather than speculate as to why, let’s focus on how to find a good Sleeper cigar. (Of course, you could order this month’s cigar Buying Guide sampler #12.)

Shameless self-promotion aside, cigar samplers are most often the source of a good Sleeper, since many cigar samplers have a few “unknowns” among them. It seems that cigar smokers tend to compromise when it comes to variety samplers, too. They’ll take a couple of unknowns because, 1) most of the cigars in the pack are those that they already recognize, and 2) the pack is usually discounted enough to justify the purchase. Ironically, this is usually how they find that outlying Sleeper, too.

 

Experienced cigar smokers know they can find good cigars at well below prices they would pay for luxury-priced selections. That alone speaks to something I’ve pointed out time and again: experiment, experiment, experiment. That said, price isn’t always the issue. As you experiment, you may just as easily find a $10 Sleeper as a $3 Sleeper.

 

Another thing Sleepers have in common is, most of them are made by many of the world’s leading blenders. If a cigar smoker has enjoyed certain name brands in the past, they’re more likely to try a stick made by say, Pepin Garcia, Nick Perdomo, Rocky Patel, Ernesto Perez-Carrillo, or Carlos Torano, to name a handful, even if the cigar is a private blend.

 

Finally, by finding these undiscovered gems, it’s very likely you’ll tell your friends, and in turn, you can actually help the brand find an audience.

tip

cigarcap

How much of a cigar’s cap should you cut?

You only need to slice off the cap itself, about 1/16th of an inch, and generally no more than 1/8th will do it, and should result in a little round disc. Even if you don’t get the entire cap, as you smoke the cigar and the head gets more saturated, it will open wider naturally. If you feel it necessary to cut a little deeper for draw purposes, note that triple capped cigars tend to hold up better because they also protect the cigar’s shoulders. Moreover, never clip a cigar below its shoulders as the wrapper may unravel on you.

 

 

Author:

Gary Korb has been writing and editing content for CigarAdvisor.com since its debut in 2008. An avid cigar smoker for over 30 years, during the past 12 years he has worked on the marketing side of the premium cigar business as a Sr. Copywriter, blogger, and cigar reviewer. A graduate of the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, prior to his career in the cigar business, Gary worked in the music and video industry as a marketer and a publicist.

cuban heritage cigars
CI-FAM-GUIDE10 Buyer’s Guide Sampler #10
A “fair and balanced” sampler! 15 of Cuba’s best legal cigars, and more.One of THE BEST collections we’ve ever assembled for our buying guides! An affordable 15-cigar sampler featuring classic “Cuban Heritage Cigars” brands that were taken from the island and made abroad after the Communist Revolution. It includes names you know and love, like Montecristo, Romeo y Julieta, H. Upmann, Trinidad, Gispert, Punch, Cohiba and many more. Get yours now!
$59.95Buy Now
* While supplies last! A $102.56 value
Cohiba RobustoFonseca 5-50Gispert RobustoH. Upmann Vintage BelicosoHoyo De Monterrey Sabrosos MaduroLa Gloria Cubana WavellMontecristo #2 TorpedoPartagas RobustoPunch RothschildRafael Gonzalez RobustoRomeo y Julieta BullySaint Luis Rey Rothchilde (no cello) MaduroSan Cristobal SupremoSancho Panza ValienteTrinidad Toro While you’re at it, add this to your order and SAVE!

BK-PRL-2005HAVAPerelman’s Pocket Cyclopedia of Havana Cigars – Third Edition
A $12.95 value! Now only $1.00 with your Buyer’s Guide Sampler purchase!
Perelman’s Pocket Cyclopedia of Havana Cigars Third Edition provides complete coverage of Cuban brands, shapes, sizes, history and more! One day, you might just be in a position to buy some genuine Cuban cigars. Get this guide and be prepared. A must-have, especially if you travel extensively.


How Castro created a new cigar industry
By Gary Korb

The names are familiar. Cohiba, Montecristo, Romeo y Julieta, H. Upmann, Hoyo De Monterrey, Punch, Partagas, and more, all of which are identified with Cuba’s “Golden Age,” when cigars were king and Havana was the brightest star in the Caribbean. Then, in January 1959, came the ultimate buzzkill. Fidel Castro and his Communist regime force Batista out, and shortly thereafter begin nationalizing the tobacco farms. Families such as the Tora?os, the Plasencias, the Perdomos, Olivas, Padr?ns, and others had little choice but to leave their native country, some with nothing more than the shirts on their backs and some loose change in their pockets. Generations of master tobacco growers and cigar makers were uprooted taking their talent, and thankfully, their seeds, not only to the United States, but to other Caribbean nations such as The Dominican Republic, Honduras and Nicaragua. However, these weren’t any ordinary ?migr?s; they had an undying passion for what they did.

They had the last laugh, too. Not only did they build a new cigar industry, but they took it to new heights. Today they all produce cigars that have not only equaled the quality and flavor of Cuban cigars, but far exceeded their expectations. As a result, many of the classic brands listed above have been reinvented, and in most cases become as lauded and coveted as their Cuban originals. But don’t thank Fidel. Thank the families who, through their sheer determination and innate resourcefulness found a way to continue their fine tradition of growing great tobacco and producing great cigars.

How to help keep your cigars from turning bitter in the last act

Some cigars start out great, but turn bitter near the end. Often it’s just the nature of the cigar, but if it happens a lot, it may be more about your smoking technique. Cigars naturally build up bitter-tasting tars as they burn. If you draw too hard and/or too often, even more tars will build up in that last section. So here’s one solution: When you get down toward the band, let your cigar rest longer between puffs. About two minutes should do it. By taking it slow during that last act, you’ll preserve more of your cigar’s core flavors, and get more cigar for your money, too.

 

 

Author:

Gary Korb has been writing and editing content for CigarAdvisor.com since its debut in 2008. An avid cigar smoker for over 30 years, during the past 12 years he has worked on the marketing side of the premium cigar business as a Sr. Copywriter, blogger, and cigar reviewer. A graduate of the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, prior to his career in the cigar business, Gary worked in the music and video industry as a marketer and a publicist.