CigarAdvisor interviews CAO’s Master Blender, Rick Rodriguez, who describes how he wound-up working in the cigar business. Starting in sales as the territory sales manager for North and Central Florida, Rick learned the tools of the trade from some of the most highly respected and innovative tobacco men including, the late Edward Cullman Jr., Daniel Nuñez, Edwin Guevera, and Benji Menendez, to name but a few.
Rocky Patel takes you on a virtual tour of London’s best places to enjoy cigars in a city with one of the strictest smoking bans in Europe. Rocky zeroes-in on several luxury hotels, all of which have smoking terraces, as well as great places to wine and dine. From cognac and cigars in The Garden at the Dukes Hotel, to Cuba Libre, a Cuban restaurant that’s so authentic you’ll think you’re in Havana, to J.J. Fox & Robert Lewis Tobacconists, serving London’s most exclusive clientele for over 200 years, click here to unlock the entire article.
Entrepreneur, master cigar blender, and world traveler, Rafael Nodal writes about what he discovered on his visits to Prague and Moscow during the past five years. The two Eastern European cities that have largely sold Cuban cigars, have opened their eyes (and mouths) to cigars sold in the United States. To find out why Cuba is losing its market share to cigars from The Dominican Republic, Honduras, and Nicaragua.
This month Nick Perdomo has plenty to talk about. Starting with how Tabacalera Perdomo rolls big ring cigars like their 6″ x 60 Habano Gordo, and the importance of draw testing cigars, as well as other methods the factory uses to ensure quality control. Nick also explains the wrapper stripping and sorting procedure that ensues before the cigars are rolled. Plus, you’ll learn why they final age the tobaccos in Bourbon barrels, and get a “virtual tour” of their aging room, where the cigars rest until they’re ready to be packaged. To get the whole story, click here.
Cigar Advisor Cigar Reviews: get notes, thoughts and impressions from our experts as they smoke and rate the Macanudo Vintage 2000.
Nestor Plasencia Jr. has also already grown some excellent Nicaragua shade wrapper in Jalapa, but now he’s upped the ante by growing it in the uber-fertile soil of Estelí using Connecticut and Habano seeds. Nestor has only harvested one crop, which is still fermenting, and will be planting a second field again this month. However, the process is not only to grow top-grade shade wrapper, but to build a team of people who have the knowledge and skills required to achieve excellent results
Christian Eiroa wears a lot of hats as a cigar maker, and they’re all necessary to keep his employees paid and the lights on. But blending is probably the most entertaining and rewarding part of it all, even if it can also be the most disappointing and frustrating. It’s both soaring joy and crushing heartbreak, sometimes on the same day.
People love to say things like, “you get more complexity out of a bigger ring,” or “they burn cooler.” By that rationale, should we expect to see a regular-production 90-ring cigar? It’s rumored that there’s one heading to the market, actually. It’ll probably sell like hotcakes. To each their own, I guess, but with all due respect, I am not a fan. Making and smoking cigars, there’s better balance and flavors in smaller rings – you get the best of both worlds.
This month Nick Perdomo continues his factory tour by describing how both natural and maduro wrapper leaves are fermented. Sun Grown wrappers are fermented at lower temperatures than filler, while Maduro wrappers are fermented at higher temperatures. Nick also gives props to the managers who oversee production, which includes the bunching and rolling phase, making “Cuban wheels,” and several rounds of quality control inspection. Additionally, readers will get to see how Perdomo rolls their unique-looking, artillery-shaped Torpedoes.
Throughout his 44 years in the cigar and tobacco industry, Larry has traveled the world many times over, learning almost all there is to know about the plant. Palombo's long journey through the world of tobacco has made him one of the premium cigar world's most respected individuals.