cigar podcasts

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 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,



Friday Cigar Ramblings – Jan. 15, 2010

It’s the end of another week. Tonight’s “take a cigar for a walk” cigar was the Perdomo Fresco Torpedo. This is a budget priced bundle cigar, I had purchased a single a few weeks back out of curiosity for around $3.00,  bundles can be found for under $50. This was a pretty cigar with a Connecticut shade wrapper and measured a hefty 6½” x 54. It was mild to medium with a nice creamy flavor and an even burn. I really had no complaints about this cigar and will pick up a couple more sometime. The band is enormous and shiny! Good for 2 miles!

In today’s cigar news Swedish Match (Macanudo, Partagas, La Gloria Cubana, etc.) and Scandanavian Tobacco Group (CAO, Toraño) announced plans for a merger. You can read Frank Seltzer’s article about it on Cigar Weekly. My good friend and tobacconist Jason told me a couple years ago that the industry was consolidating, a prediction that is coming true.

As I’m typing I’m sitting in on the Dogwatch Cigar Radio‘s live Stickam chat. This was the first time I’ve done this and it’s interesting to listen in on the recording of the podcast. The folks in the chat are quite friendly. Stickam seems to be a little unstable though as it keeps losing the connection.  In the end, they went on to record the podcast without Stickam.  They had just returned from a trip to Estili, Nicaragua with a group of listeners.

Click to Enlarge

A few weeks ago I posted about going to Holt’s flagship store in Philadelphia. I’ve put together a modest prize pack from that trip (and I’ll probably throw another cigar or two in before I send it out) which is the prize in this months contest. The rules are simple: Post a comment to this blog post, about a cigar, constructive criticism, whatever. The winner will be selected in the usual manner: The entries will be spread out on the floor in front of me and I will gaze at them intently, the first one that one of the cats sits on will be the winner. I will e-mail the winner for their mailing address.  The contest will run until Friday January 22.

Until the next cigar,


Random Cigar Ramblings

I was going to take a Camacho Triple Maduro for a walk this evening, but it’s just too darned cold out.  I took a National Brand corona for a walk on Monday, not a bad cigar once you get past the sweet cap, but I think I prefer the maduros in this line. Certainly decent $2 cigars.

I was listening to the Stogie Fresh 5 podcast today and Doc answered an e-mail about reviving a cigar that’s been outside of a humidified environment for an extended period.  He suggested putting the cigar in an empty cigar box with a humidity source for a week then move it into a humidor.  This sounds like a lot of work to me to make a dried out cigar smokable.  My advice would have been to put it in the bottom of your humidor and forget about it for a year or so.  Either the cigar has dried out to the point that the majority of it’s oils have gone and it won’t ever taste as good as it once did, or it didn’t dry out that much and it will taste OK.  Either way you have to treat it as an experimental cigar anyway…you didn’t know you had it in the fist place, just forget about it and let it re-humidify slowly and if it’s good you got lucky, if it sucks, you really haven’t invested too much time in its rehab.  I once was given a Cuban Romeo y Julieta tubo of some sort that had been in a desk drawer for years.  I put it in my humidor for a few years and when I smoked it was terrible.  It had lost all it’s oils and nothing was going to bring them back.  Chalked it up to experience and moved on, no loss.  Has anyone ever tried reviving a dried out cigar?

Seinfeld had some great cigar related episodes, didn’t it?  Kramer burning down George’s girlfriends cabin with gifted Havanas, Kramer becoming golfing buddies with the guys from the Cuban consulate to score cigars, and bringing in Cubans and finding out they were Dominicans (and people instead of cigars!)…classic.  There were many cigars intertwined in the plot lines over the nine seasons it aired.  Where are the cigars in today’s sitcoms?

As we head into the holidays I want to make a point of thanking everyone for reading.  I’ve got some great ideas for the blog and the website for the coming year, but none of it matters unless people look at it. Thank you.

Until the Next Cigar,


Packing for a Cigar Trip

Well, Friday I’m off to Reno for a cigar event.  A bunch of great folks I met through the alt.smokers.cigars usenet group years ago get together every November in Reno to smoke cigars, hang out in the CalNeva sportsbook, smoke cigars, have a few meals, hang out, smoke cigars, etc.  This is the 11th year that Bob Greene has been holding this event, called H.A.R.D, or Herf At Reno Dammit!   I’m looking forward to seeing some old friends I haven’t seen in 9 or 10 years or so.  When we go on these cigar adventures, I think most of us are more concerened with what cigars to pack than what clothes to pack, right?  We have to think of what cigars we want to smoke under what circumstance, and what cigars we want to gift.  So I spent some time packing cigars, as well as a couple articles of clothing and some toiletries.   I know, it’s an illness…

I hope to be able to post a blog entry during the event, so watch this space for an update.   I also hope to get some photos uploaded to Flickr.  Until then, check out this weeks Dogwatch Cigar Radio podcast.  There’s a great interview with our friends Gregg and Tim of the 25 Smokin’ Figurados, a great band with cigar and libation pairings for their songs on their website.   As always, please feel free to leave your comments, I look forward to reading them.

Until the next time,


A Sunday In Phoenixville, PA

Sunday was a beautiful autumn day and I wanted to take a ride on the scooter (2005 Yamaha Majesty 400).  Last week we had come across a shop we hadn’t seen before, right on the main drag in Phoenixville, down the street from the historic Colonial Theater (one of the locations where the 1958 classic “The Blob” was filmed).  I decided it was as good a time as any to take a ride, check out a cigar store, and hang out with an old friend.craig_jeff_101109 I called my childhood friend Jeff, and we arranged to meet at the shop.  I arrived to find The Twisted Leaf closed, despite the fact that the sign in the window, as well as their website, said they were open from 12-5.  (There’s more to this that I’ll save for a future post, short story is: if you are going to say you’re open, you should be open!).  Fortunately I had a back-up plan in another Phoenixville shop, aptly named Cigar Cigars.  We spent some time in the humidor looking at the selection.  This shop has a pretty decent range of cigars.  When Jeff and I reconnected earlier this year, we discovered that we shared an appreciation for cigars, although I’m probably a little more of a fanatic than Jeff.  I wanted to select something on the milder side, since Jeff had mentioned Macanudo, so I was looking for something along those lines.  I noticed the Macanudo 1968, which I hadn’t yet tried, but have read many reviews and heard about them on the podcasts.  I was surprised to see the Trompeta in a box separate from the regular display box, and priced under $5. mac68_trumpeta_1 I was surprised by the price, so I grabbed two and we took them to the clerk.  As they rang up at $7, I was asking the clerk why they were so much cheaper than the regular 1968 line.  It turns out that the box in the humidor was mis-marked, so we got a good deal.  Jeff picked up the tab for these, which is something I’m unaccustomed to, in my world, I’m the one who supplies the cigars…but Jeff, thank you, my friend!  The Trompeta is a brand new shape in this line, a figurado which tapers from 40 to 60 ring guage over 5 inches.  It was a very tasty cigar, much stronger than the regular Macanudo line.  I really like this format, it has the comfortable hand and mough feel of a corona, and the cool burning of a robusto.  Very nice cigar.  Hopefully Jeff will read this and add his thoughts in the comments of this blog.  We smoked the cigars in the shops lounge area, seated on leather couches with a game on the TV.  It was a very nice way to spend a couple hours.  cigarcigarsI picked up a couple cheappies on the way out, something called “Rebels Choice”, which I’m guessing is a house brand, this chain of stores used to be called Rebel Valley, these were priced at $1.95 for a corona.   They look to have a shade grown wrapper, I will certainly comment on these in a future post.  The other item that caught my eye was a tubo called 3×3.  These are packaged in a plain aluminum tube, which contains an unbanded robusto (they had a churchill too).  It also looks like a shade grown wrapper, and, after doing a little research, it appears these come from Davidoff of Geneva.  I look forward to trying the 3×3, the Davidoff factories in the Dominican Republic are legendary for thier production of quality crafted cigars.  I expect a mild and flavorful cigar with an impeccable burn.  If this can be accomplished in a cigar that retails right around $3.25, I will have to get more of these.   One cigar I had in mind for Jeff to try and didn’t see on the shelf was the Santa Damiana, which I thought would suit his tastes.  These are a really tasty mild to medium cigar from the cigar making giant Altadis.   It turned out to be a great day to take a ride, have a cigar with a freind, and just sit for a couple hours before embarking on what turned out to be a very long work week.

Thank you for taking the time to read, and please feel free to comment.  I would really welcome the input.
Until next time,


Random Thursday Thoughts

I had just typed a masterpiece of a post, but I did something wrong and it vanished.  You’ll have to trust me, it was brilliant.   I got so aggravated when I lost the last post that I forgot most of what I wrote.

The jist of it had to do with the various podcasts I’ve been listening to on a regular basis.

I load these on my Zune and listen to them in the car (when I have to use the car) and when I take a cigar for a walk.  They all are distinctly different and entertaining, but they also have some aspects that annoy me.   They all feature a cigar review or two, Rob Heming’s Blowin’ Smoke takes the panel approach and can be brutally honest.  Bob and Dale of Dogwatch compare their tasting notes, they are pretty objective, and have fairly different pallates.  Doc Stogiefresh only reviews cigars he really likes, there’s rarely a bad review.  I would recomend these to anyone who has the inkling to listen to cigar podcasts, with an honorable mention to The Mind Of Men podcast, which has a regular cigar segment.

Until next time,