One of the main things experienced cigar enthusiasts learn is that there’s always something new to learn about cigars. The exchange and passing along of cigar knowledge is a time-honored tradition in world of cigar smoking, as experiences BOTLs and SOTLs share their experiences, tips, and tricks with new smokers just starting to become interested in the hobby. We put together this little test so you can see how much of an expert you are, pit your knowledge against your smoking buddies, and maybe teach you something new! Continue reading
Today I introduce to you the short video we at Famous Smoke Shop put together advising all of you who love cigars about the inherent dangers that exist if the FDA gains control over the cigar industry.
The reason we did this is simple: our beloved industry is in REAL danger and this piece outlines pretty clearly what bad things could happen to your cigars – from the manufacturing, the way you are allowed (or not allowed) to buy them, and lastly… even possible extinction.
While the feedback has been astounding to this video presentation, I’ve heard a few clamorings on the internet forums where certain people simply don’t believe what we’ve stated, calling it pure conjecture and hype. And to that, I can say, if you continue to believe that, you have been very sadly misinformed.
LISTEN TO ME… I have personally spent a lot of time with people like Glynn Loope, the Executive Director of the lobbyist group, Cigar Rights of America, as well as owners and top executives of many of the cigar manufacturers. I have learned first-hand about the intentions behind FDA cigar industry regulations and there isn’t a person who works in this business who takes this lightly, whatsoever. And, I can assure you that no one takes this more serious than the people at Famous. Continue reading
So I was forced to provide my Padron 1964 Anniversary Maduro cigar review, which of course meant smoking this terrific cigar counted as part of my daily “work”. Oh the sacrifices I make in the name of entertaining cigar content.
When we think of the top three cigars we have ever smoked, everyone’s list should include the Padron 1964 Anniversary Maduro. There is very good reason for this too, as these have been some of the most consistently highly rated cigars ever produced. Each cigar uses a minimum of 4 year aged tobaccos before it is rolled using only sun-grown natural wrappers (as opposed to shade grown) which gives a lot more flavor to the overall bouquet of the smoke, or a rich maduro wrapper. Both options are made in a box-pressed shape. I personally prefer the maduro to get more of that sweet, rich flavor, and luckily for me, that was the blend selected for this cigar review. Continue reading
The Famous Cigar Blog… We’re Baaaaack!
So the Famous Cigar Blog is back here at Famous Smoke Shop and it’s truly better than ever. Why do I say that? Because this is Famous – we do everything bigger and better than anyone else out there, and we say that with a proud confidence. We love cigars, we live the lifestyle and immerse ourselves in the culture.
For some reason, the powers that be picked yours truly to write this Welcome Back Blog, hopefully because of my witty and whimsical Polish / Italian north Jersey persona… or it could be that the other writers are stuck in traffic this morning. But hey, whatever the reason, if you know me at all, you know that I am one passionate son of a bitch when it comes to talking about the world of the hand rolled tobacco goodness. Continue reading
Have you seen any of the news this past week? The calendar is kind of weird right now – since 4th of July fell on a Wednesday I’m sure that many people made it a 5-day weekend (and more power to you). In case you missed it, there was another jobs report, and much yelling and screaming ensued; everyone yelled at each other about whether “the Mandate” was a tax or a penalty. Gov. Romney was riding a jet ski, and the President was riding a bus. It’s been a little (too) quiet, though, about where the effort stands to exempt premium, hand-rolled cigars from FDA regulation. So as we wrap up another week full of political news/noise, I thought it was a good time to drop in a few recent updates on the standing of the legislation pending in Congress, HR1639/S1461 – The Traditional Cigar Manufacturing and Small Business Jobs Preservation Act. Continue reading
Cigar tunneling, a circumstance in which a cigar’s wrapper leaf doesn’t burn, causing a cave-like formation in the foot of the cigar, can be caused by several factors: The purpose of the binder leaf is to help all of the tobaccos burn at approximately the same rate. Therefore, if the wrapper is too moist, too thick, or too oily, it may not burn at the same rate as the filler and binder. (Maduro and Oscuro wrappers tend to be much oilier than most shade grown and other “natural” wrapper leaves.)
There are many different tricks and theories on how to light a cigar. I wanted to share one of my favorite tips that will help you get the most from your smoke. When toasting your cigars, etiquette dictates that you’re not supposed to let the flame touch the tobacco at the foot. Rather, the flame should be held close enough to the tobacco to get the foot glowing without it catching fire. Once you see red (so to speak), gently blow on the foot until the entire surface is glowing all the way out to the last ring.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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!
Make no mistake: the Department of Health, through the FDA, is crusading to erase tobacco, including cigars. Don’t believe me? According to Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius:
Until we end tobacco use, more people will become addicted…Now is the time to fully implement proven and effective interventions… to help end this public health epidemic once and for all.
Only 3 years ago, Deputy Secretary Bill Corr worked as an anti-smoking lobbyist. Are THESE the people you want in charge of cigars at the federal level?
FDA regulation of cigars will begin with a ban on mail-order sales, but even your local smoke shop isn’t safe. Take a good last look at your local walk-in humidor, because under the new FDA regulations, displaying cigars will be illegal. Instead they’ll be kept in a stock room, under lock and key. You can forget browsing for cigars – you’ll have to ask for them by name.
But hey, at least it’ll be easy to keep track of new brands: FDA regulations will force manufacturers to spend upwards of six-figures just to get new a blend approved. Your favorite boutique cigar brands will wither and die, leaving only the largest manufacturers to introduce a new blend or two per year.
Don’t expect to sample those new blends, either: free samples will be illegal, as well as cigar events. Even if you’re brave enough to buy a box sight unseen, the FDA is likely to mandate near-zero levels of nicotine. How do you suppose THAT cigar will taste?
To add insult to injury, if passed, YOU will be paying for all this new regulation in the form of income and new cigar taxes. Surely the Founding Fathers are spinning in their graves!
When a government acts against its citizens’ interests, it’s time to make your voice heard. Urge your Senator and Representative to support the Traditional Cigar Manufacturing and Small Business Jobs Preservation Act today.
Click the button below, even if you’ve already done so. Your voice counts, and it ONLY TAKES A MINUTE!
Imagine walking into a smoke shop (for argument’s sake, let’s call it “Leaf“). You’re greeted by the friendly folks at the retail counter. You wade past wood shelves neatly lined with humidors, pull open a heavy wooden door, and proceed into the 2,000 square foot humidor.
“Can I help you find anything?” the clerk behind the counter asks.
As you ponder the myriad of cigars before you, how are you feeling? Confident? Confused? Excited? Overwhelmed? There’s no right answer; but I’d like to address a couple cigar misconceptions I’ve noticed are held by many beginner to intermediate level cigar enthusiasts.
The first misconception is that many cigar smokers focus too much on wrapper color. Believing that the wrapper color is indicative of the cigar’s strength, the tendency is to reach for an extra-pale shade grown wrapper. This is one of the cigar misconceptions that can cause a smoker to take a pass on a stick they might really enjoy.
While there may be a slight correlation between strength and wrapper color, it’s unreliable at best. The color of a wrapper has more to do with the actual flavors of a cigar than with its strength. That comes from the filler blend, and the ligero leaves, in particular. Located at the top of the tobacco plant, these leaves receive the most nutrients and sunlight, and are therefore the strongest and fullest-flavored.
The second of the cigar misconceptions I’m addressing today is that smaller cigars are less potent. Anyone who has ever smoked a fresh Fuente Fuente OpusX “Power Ranger” can tell you this one is dead wrong. Sure, a smaller vitola may look less imposing, but its diminutive diameter makes for a stronger smoke.
Counter-intuitive? Sure, but if you think about it, the smaller ring gauge means that you are smoking a greater ratio of wrapper leaf to filler blend. The result is more concentrated flavors than offered by its larger-ring counterpart. While a Churchill may have more total tobacco than a Lancero, its milder-tasting smoke may be easier on the novice- or occasional-smoker’s palate.
One final word: there’s no substitute for experience, but good advice goes a long way. Never be afraid or embarrassed to ask for advice from the guy or gal behind the counter. High-quality smoke shops like Leaf take pride in training their staff to cater to your taste preference and experience on a personal basis.