Why the FDA Has It All Wrong
By now, we’ve all heard the news: the FDA has given us a look at what they’re thinking about doing to the cigar industry, vis-à-vis new regulations. Pending though they may be, it’s only a matter of time and outspokenness before they decide how hard to come down on cigar lovers. At the heart of the issue is how premium cigars are to be defined…they already have been, by various state legislatures; but now it’s time for the Feds to come up with something they feel is more formal. And the definition of what a premium cigar “is,” is really the subject of the debate if we’re to have any reasonable shot at the FDA moving away from regulating premium cigars. Continue reading
New Cigars in the News
H. Upmann Legacy “Special Edition Wood Mold Gift Set”
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Cigar enthusiasts can now experience the remarkable heritage of one of the most trusted premium cigar brands with the limited edition H. Upmann Legacy Special Edition Wood Mold gift set, coming soon to Famous Smoke Shop. Each 10-pack of H. Upmann Legacy Toro premium cigars comes set in a rustic wooden cigar mold featuring the H. Upmann logo engraved on the front with a retail price of $75.00.
Traditionally, cigar rollers used these wooden molds after the tobaccos were bunched together and wrapped in their binder leaves to compress the cigar to its shape and form.
“Owning an H. Upmann Legacy Wood Mold is to own an important part of history.” said Janelle Rosenfeld, VP of Marketing, Altadis U.S.A. ” This traditional wooden mold gift set will surely impress and delight long after the cigars have been enjoyed,” she added. Continue reading
If “sometimes a cigar is just a cigar,” could the same be said for cigar lighters? Maybe, but like cigars, the tools for igniting them are almost as multitudinous as bird species. For the purposes of this post we’re going to focus on the most popular jet lighters used for lighting cigars, as well as how and when to use them. From single jet designs like the XiKAR EX Windproof lighter, to lighters with special tools, like the Vertigo Golf lighter with its built-in divot tool, to the Vertigo Intimidator with its four jets and futuristic design, there’s a torch lighter for every cigar lover. Continue reading
We all do it. When buying cigars, we leaf through the catalog or dissect the website looking for a deal. Open emails that scream about savings of 50, 60, 70% or more on great cigars, then pore over the coupons to find out which deal saves the most cash while bringing home the most cigars. Inside all of us is a hardcore cigar value hunter – which, I assume, is why you’re here as well. But even the most budget-conscious among us is willing to drop a little extra coin now and again for a “good” cigar. But are we really just burning up money that could be better – or more smartly – spent?
In a word, “yes.” Continue reading
Davidoff (the distributor of Avo Classic cigars) has always been synonymous with super-high quality offerings and this smoke fits that billing to a T. Let me first say that while it’s a medium bodied cigar (maybe leaning to the lighter side for some), that sure as hell doesn’t mean light on flavor. Let me be blunt by saying that this stick is drop-dead delicious – incredibly smooth with a toasty flavor and an aroma that has passersby saying, “Damn, that smells good, what are you smoking?”
I hadn’t enjoyed an Avo in quite sometime, mostly due to the fact that I’m always off trying so many of these new ligero-laced flavor bombs that seem to be all the rage these days. Now, I’ve always loved smoking Avo cigars in the past, and when I lit this one up for the review, I realized that there’s a damned good reason that this is referred to as the “Classic”. Continue reading
This is an article about Nicaraguan cigars. It’s not about Cuban cigars, Dominican cigars, or cigars from any other country, for that matter. If you look at the brands that have been scoring some of the highest marks these days, the Perdomo 10th Anniversary Champagne cigars, or the My Father Le Bijou 1922 cigars, for example, they are produced in Nicaragua (primarily in Estelí), using a decent dose of Nicaraguan tobaccos in their blends, or a mix of Nicaraguan and other tobaccos.
One of the reasons Nicaragua is so ideal for growing great-tasting tobacco is that the geography and climate are very similar to Cuba’s. The cigar tobacco growing region has three valleys – Estelí, Condega, and Jalapa – each with its own unique soil and minerals, which respectively impart their own distinctive flavor to a cigar’s blend when properly fermented and aged. Continue reading
If you haven’t noticed, I’ve been reviewing a few mainstay cigars recently, such as this, the Excalibur Cigarillo. That’s not to say I have anything against them. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. The truth of the matter is we got all the new stuff from IPCPR last year and had to review all of them. This left the poor mainstays in the darkness of the bottom shelf in my humidor. Alone, cold, and unloved. Well it was about time we dug them up and gave them some attention with today’s Excalibur Cigarillo review.
Now I know some of you out there are uninterested in cigarillos, and don’t consider them real cigars. I urge you to consider this: Excalibur Cigarillos are one of the most searched for cigars in the United States, and a top seller in the world. From the most stuffy café in the heart of Paris, Hollywood Boulevard in Cali, to the Piazza del Popolo in Rome, people world over smoke these little pups because they’re pretty damn amazing for what they offer- a cheap, quick smoke that offers a great flavor and appealing aroma. Continue reading
One of the subjects I’m often asked about is, how to spot fake Cuban cigars. That’s a good question, too, because despite the fact that Cuban cigars are still illegal for American cigar smokers to purchase, some choose to do it anyway. Is it because they’re still considered “forbidden fruit,” or is it that most cigar smokers believe Cuban cigars are still the world’s best? It’s more like a combination of the two; cigars made in Cuba are so great you just have to get your hands on some, even if it means risking losing them to U.S. Customs. And they’re not cheap, either. That is unless you’ve been bamboozled by a hustler who will sell you a box of so-called “Havana’s” at a great price while you’re vacationing somewhere in the Caribbean. Chances are, they’re fakes. What’s that old saying? “A fool and his money…” More on that later.
Yes, at one time Cuban cigars actually were the best and had virtually no competition. Zino Davidoff realized this in the early part of the 20th century, and was one the first European retailers to introduce Cuban cigars to the world. Later, when he began producing cigars under his own name, they were made in Cuba. Additionally, when you see someone smoking a cigar in old movies from the 1920′s to the 1960′s (and very likely even after the 1962 embargo), you can bet they were smoking Cuban-made cigars. Continue reading
Talk about being taken for granted: the Romeo y Julieta 1875 – let’s call it the original Romeo – has been around in name form for better than 130 years. Some like to think of this cigar as “old faithful,” because they can go back to it time and time again for a quality cigar experience. But even though it’s got heritage, many smokers have “been there, done that” with it – and it doesn’t get a lot of looks anymore, as people develop their palates and look to move on in search of new tastes. In a way, it’s like the first girl you kissed: you might remember her name, but chances are you can recall a lot more of the situational details after you moved on to other girls and started playing “hide the salami.” But let’s be real – Romeo y Julieta cigars have launched a million cigar enthusiasts into the hobby…and that is why we pay it a visit today. Continue reading
I’m so pumped to give the CAO Brazilia cigar review. This week’s round of reviews were drawn from a hat, and I think I won the draw. Of course maybe I just think that because this is one of my all-time favorite cigars. I mean just look at the thing – beautiful dark Arapiraca wrapper, covered in oil, aged a little bit. CAO Brazilia cigars are right in my wheelhouse, and I’ve smoked more than my fair share.
However, I feel it necessary to educate you fine consumers of cigars on the risks an oily wrapper may have. Because this cigar looks like it was dipped in a jug of 5W-30 motor oil, you can expect it to burn a little slower than usual. Sure, it offers amazing flavor and you don’t want to let the oils dry out because the result would be a bland, flaky, cracked piece of garbage. But because oils can build up more heavily in random spots on the cigar if it starts to dry out a bit, it can cause a slower burn in those areas that retain more oil while the rest burn at a consistent rate. This can obviously cause burn issues. Continue reading