If you want to continue to enjoy premium cigars as a passion and hobby, don’t just make a comment to the FDA – make it a Damn Good Comment. If you’ve already spoken out about exempting premium cigars, thank you. Speaking up and speaking out is a big help for us all, as cigar enthusiasts. If you haven’t, there’s less than one week to go: the FDA closes its comment period on 8/8 for the submission of comments, data and research on the proposed deeming rules that will determine the future viability of the premium cigar industry. Continue reading
Why The Dominican Republic Grows Great Tobacco
Though Nicaragua has become the breeding ground of choice for many tobacco growers, in terms of sheer numbers, The Dominican Republic remains El Rey (the king) of the Central American tobacco-growing nations. The DR accounts for more than half of the cigars sold in the United States. Of course, the Dominican had a big lead. After the Cuban Revolution in 1959, many of Cuba’s best growers and blenders emigrated to the DR. Most histories of Dominican tobacco production credit Carlos Toraño Sr. for introducing Cuban seed to the country, which we know today as Dominican “Piloto Cubano;” though it should be noted that many other Cuban tobacco men brought their seeds with them to other countries such as Honduras and Nicaragua. Continue reading
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
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
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
Mild, small cigars… okay, you might be thinking that they’re not for everyone, but I’ll go on record saying, yeah, I think they are. Hence, the Macanudo Ascot.
When I took a trip to the General Cigar factory in Santiago in the Dominican Republic, there were just gazillions of premium hand rolled cigars everywhere. I not only had my pick of the litter of tasty treats to choose from, but so did the thousands of people working there. But what took me by great surprise is that so many of the employees were smoking the Macanudo Ascot. In fact, the guy who was enjoying them the most was then, CEO of the company, Daniel Núñez. Continue reading
I wanted to go back to my cigar smoking roots so I could do an Antonio y Cleopatra Grenadier cigar review, and no- I’m not talking about my college days at Groovy UV. Antonio y Cleopatra cigars have a certain… let’s say stigma about them. If you were ever rebellious or live in Colorado or Washington State, you know what I’m talking about. For those that don’t (most likely my mom and dad), don’t worry about it. But what’s terrible about this stigma is that we break away from how popular these cigars really are and what they offer. Continue reading