Cigar Aficionado

Saturday Cigar Ramblings – Jan 30, 2010

The outside temperature has gone from tolerable in the beginning of the week to frigid.  Wednesday evening I managed to take a Vegas Robaina Famosos for a walk.  Several years old, this hermoso (5″ x 48) was the perfect size for the occasion.  It burned well and tasted great!  I was sorry when I had to put it down.

In the Cigar  Media:

I saw an article on Cigar Aficionado by James Suckling regarding Cuba’s Best Market.  The article throws some numbers around regarding the number of Cuban cigars that are sold in the US, ranging from 20 million to 50 million (with 50 million representing one third of Habanos S.A.’s annual production).  I think that when the embargo is eventually lifted there will be such a huge rush on Cuban cigars that the quality will be terrible, and the rest of the world will be mad at us for smoking up all their cigars!  Cuban cigar hungry Americans will stampede to their local cigar store to try what has been unavailable here for almost 50 years.  There will be abundant fakes and what are legitimate will be mistreated.  I don’t look forward to that day.  While I enjoy the occasional Havana cigar (I like the flavor of them) I don’t think they are better than many cigars currently available.  We are in a time when there are such great cigars being made outside of Cuba that there is room for all of them in the market.

Camacho Cigar‘s website posted some pictures of an event where the inimitable Pauly Shore was spotted with a box of Liberty’s.   Click  here for the pics.  I have been a Camacho fan myself for many years, going back to the first one I had in 1996.

Cigars One to One podcast on Cigarmedia.tv featured Andre Farkas of Viaje Cigars, which were featured on last week’s Dogwatch Cigar Radio podcast.  This sounds like an interesting cigar to try, especially the 50/50 which is blended to be, from the way I understand it, two separate blends which transition from one to the other midway through the smoke.  It just sounds like it would be interesting to try.

A Lehigh Valley TV news outlet reports that Cigars International is opening their new headquarters in Bethlehem, PA on the site of the old Bethlehem Steel.   CI says there will be 50 jobs created.  I hope the state of Pennsylvania realizes that if they had gone through with their proposed tax on cigars this wouldn’t have happened and CI would have moved their operation to Florida.  In related news, CI’s Cigarfest tickets go on sale Monday, February 8.  I have never attended this event, but I’m considering it this year.  If anyone has gone in the past and can tell me about it, please leave a comment or e-mail me. If you’re going this year, please let me know so we can meet up!  Obviously I’m always looking for  new cigar-ventures and this looks like a good one.

Cigar Rights of America reported this week that the Governor of Massachusetts is recommending a tax increase on cigars from the already punitive 30% to 110%. What are people thinking when they suggest such things?  That people are just going to roll over and accept it?  Obviously they aren’t thinking that people are going to buy from out of state and that businesses are going to close and people are going to be unemployed and the state will lose ALL of the taxes instead of increasing their revenue.   Stupid, Stupid, Stupid.  If you haven’t already, please consider joining the CRA to help protect our rights.

Well, that’s all I can manage to go on about right now.  Thanks to everyone for reading and remember that you can subscribe to this blog and receive updates in your inbox!

Until the next cigar,

CigarCraig

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Cigar Reading

In my reading this week I ran across a few items that I thought warranted writing about.

First, the last couple issues of Cigar Aficionado magazine have featured celebrities on the cover who DON’T smoke cigars! Now, CA has not exactly had the reputation of being a down-to-earth cigar magazine, but more of a high end lifestyle magazine with some cigar information. They do have some good articles in the back, and the cigar ratings, while fundamentally flawed, are entertaining. For instance, in the current issue, the highest rated petite corona is the Romeo y Julieta Coronitas en Cedro, a box of which I procured to hand out at my daughter’s wedding. Can’t argue with that one, it’s a spectacular cigar that is fairly priced, and is a cigar that can be appreciated by both the novice and the experienced cigar smoker. Back to the point: Catherine Zeta Jones is beautiful and talented, and Hugh Grant is…Hugh Grant, but there are so many interesting celebrities who actually smoke cigars who could grace the cover, why feature those with no mention of cigars? Rick Nielson of Cheap Trick smokes cigars, my wife Jenn gave him a H. Upmann Coronas Junior when she met him this summer. Certainly there are many better choices.

Next on my recommended reading list is the Fujipub e-mail specials mailing list. I know that my weekend isn’t complete without reading Bobby’s rant which precedes the weeks specials. Fujipub was one of the first cigar websites I came across in 1996 when I began this online cigar journey. He usually gives a Seattle weather report and a recap of what he’s been smoking (from the guy who smokes more cigars in a day than most of us smoke in a month).

Of particular note in the current JR Cigars catalog is Lew’s pitch for Acid Cigars. Lew has been writing humorous copy for his catalogs for quite some time, and this particular item pokes fun at our buddy Steve Saka, who used to work for JRs and now is the President of Drew Estates, the maker of Acid cigars.

Finally, if you’ve got some time on your hands, head over to Joe Jackson’s website and download his essay on smoking bans. While not directly cigar-centric, Joe is a huge opponent of smoking bans. Joe is also an accomplished musician :-).

el_baton

On the cigar front, I smoked an El Baton Robusto which was a wonderfully constructed medium bodied cigar. I had received a coupon for this from J.C Newman some time ago, otherwise I probably wouldn’t have picked one of these up. It is a Nicaraguan, but I couldn’t really put a finger on the flavors. It wasn’t a bad cigar. Also this week I smoked a machine-made H.Upmann Havana, which made for a nice “Take a Cigar for a Walk” cigar.

Until next time,

CigarCraig