Accessory Review

Random Cigar Ramblings – Jan 8, 2010

One of the Christmas presents we received this year was an enormous cigar lighter….er…a  table-top patio heater from my brother-in-law Mario.  I decided to test it out tonight as a cool down after my cigar walk.  Last year I needed to lose a few pounds, so I developed a fitness program which entailed nightly walks in my neighborhood accompanied by a cigar.  My theory is that if I just took a walk in the freezing cold I’d go once around the block and haul ass inside where it was warm.  The cigars forced me to keep walking until the cigar was done.  A robusto is good for about a mile and a half, a toro or torpedo is good for 2 miles, and a Churchill would get me about 2 and a half miles.  Through watching what I ate and the cigar walks I was able to drop 23 pounds in 13 weeks, and I’ve kept most of it off.  Tonight I grabbed a  Don Lino Africa Kifaro, which is a 2 mile, I mean 6 ¼” x 52, torpedo that I picked up when I visited Holt’s last week.  The evening was crisp, 27 F with a wind chill making it feel like 14. Under these conditions a mild cigar can get lost, but this cigar had a really nice flavor, and the ash held on for almost 2 inches.  The Cameroon tobacco in the blend really came through, and if you like the Cameroon flavor profile, which I do, I think this is a cigar worth trying. The heater was helpful while I finished off the cigar, but is really only meant to take the chill off a brisk evening, it lacks the horsepower to heat up more than a small area on such a cold evening.  This will be a great addition to the deck on those spring and fall evenings after the sun sets and it gets cool.

Sometime last May I placed an order for a special deal on a sampler of Romeo y Julieta Habana Reserves which appeared in several magazines.  I thought $7.95 for a Robusto, a Toro, a Churchill and a Belicoso was a great deal.  The ad said that it would take 6-8 weeks.  I had forgotten I’d placed the order until last week when a $7.95 charge showed up on my credit card and UPS dropped off a package.  Maybe I misread?  Was it 6-8 months?  Worth the wait anyway, I think the Belicoso retails for about $6.50 so 4 cigars for $8 is pretty good.  I think this offer is still available at

The Austin Chronicle is holding it’s annual music poll again this year and our friends the 25 Smokin’ Figurados, who placed in the top ten in 2 categories last year, are in the running again.  Please head to and vote for the Figs!

– AUSTIN BAND OF THE YEAR: 25 Smokin’ Figurados
– AUSTIN ALBUM OF THE YEAR: “Divine Spirits, Holy Smoke”
– BEST NEW AUSTIN BAND: 25 Smokin’ Figurados

Under BEST PERFORMING BANDS, please fill in the band’s name in the following categories:

– ROCK: 25 Smokin’ Figurados
– INDIE: 25 Smokin’ Figurados
– NONE OF THE ABOVE: 25 Smokin’ Figurados

Under BEST AUSTIN MUSICIANS please vote for Bryan Anderton,Gregg Kirk, for producing/engineering “Divine Spirits,Holy Smoke”


After you vote, leave me a comment here letting me know you voted and I will select a winner at random to receive a copy of the 25 Smokin’ Figurados CD “Divine Spirits,Holy Smoke”!  This contest will close on Friday, January 15, 2010, at which time I will announce a winner.  The CD is also available for purchase through the widget on the “cigarcraigslist” page, among other places.  These guys are great cigar fans, they even have cigar and drink pairings for each of their songs on their website.

That’s it for now!  Until the next cigar,



CigarSpike Review


A few weeks ago I received a friend request on Facebook from the folks at and was a little intrigued and curious.  My first thought was: what’s the difference between this and, say, the awl on my Swiss Army knife, or any other sharp object to pierce the cap on my cigar?  I’ve been using a single blade cutter for years, needless to say I was skeptical.  I decided to take a $3.00 chance on 3 of these and they arrived in a #10 envelope in today’s mail.

These are a heavy plastic, similar to a heavy guitar pick.   I tried one tonight out on a Montecristo #5, which had a pretty flat head.  I moistened the cap a little and pushed the Cigar Spike into the cigar.  It just seemed to make too small a hole, so I gave it a little twist to open it up.  before_after The draw was a little tighter than I prefer, which I attributed to being used to the full cut of the guillotine cut.  I was getting a decent smoke volume though, so I soldiered on.  The Monte #5 was a tasty little cigar which was a few years old.  It had that little bit of a citrus tang to it that I’ve noticed before in the smaller Montes.  This is a small cigar, 4″ x 40 ring gauge,  which was burning surprisingly slowly.  I was curious at this point so I pulled out my cutter and lopped off the end.  This particular cigar was a little tight, so it wasn’t a real good test of the Spike.  Still a darned tasty cigar, but I’ll  try the Spike again on my next cigar.  I have some Camacho Corojo Candelas that  usually have a  pretty loose draw that will be interesting to try this on.  I put one on each of my key rings, mostly because I can see myself losing these easily, but I can see an advantage to having something to put a hole in a cigar if I’m caught without the necessary tools.  I’ve certainly spent $3.00 more foolishly than on three of these Spikes, I’ll keep trying these and report back after further testing.

Until next time,


Postscript 10/3 – I tried the Spike again with the Camacho that has had a very loose draw and it really made a difference.  The cigar burned well and smoked with the firmness that it should.  There seems to be a place for this tool, the trick is knowing in advance how the cigar will draw.  I’m guessing pierce first, then cut if it seems restricted.  — CC