contest

Take a Cigar for a Walk (in the Snow) – Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010

Here in South-Eastern Pennsylvania we rarely get more than a foot of snow at a time, let alone three storms in a season.  Today we got about 20″ on top of the 24″ or so we received on Saturday!    After spending the day going in and out trying in vain to keep ahead of the mounting snow, I realized I needed to take my walk to the local convenience store to pick up a Powerball ticket!  I had pulled a Chateau Real Maduro Gran Cru out to give to the snowplow guy when I saw him, but when he didn’t come around again I decided it was too much trouble to put it away.  I love these cigars, they have enough flavor and are constructed well enough to withstand the blizzard.  It was so good that I hung out on the porch for a few minutes after getting home to finish it off. Incidentally, I used my Drew Estate cutter on this cigar and got a perfect cut.  Remember to leave me a comment on Monday’s Blog posting for a chance to win one yourself! 

I have been contemplating making some website changes and moving this blog to a WordPress blog hosted on the CigarCraig.com server.  Have a look at the beta version at http://www.cigarcraig.com/blog/ and let me know what you think.  If anyone has any advice on how I can put an E-mail subscription on there I sure would appreciate it.  I have some other minor concerns, but that is the one item that is keeping me from taking it live.

That’s it for now!  I’m REALLY looking forward to spring!

Until the next cigar,

CigarCraig

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Saturday Cigar Ramblings – Jan 23, 2003

Maybe I should just name this blog “Cigar Ramblings”.   When spring rolls around and I am back to smoking cigar more regularly I’ll be able to dream up some better post titles! 

Anyway, this week I received a box of Chateau Real Gran Cru Perfecto Maduros from JR Cigars Weekly Special.  I have really enjoyed the Chateau Reals in the past and $59 for a $140 box was too good a deal to pass up.  These are another traditional blend from Drew Estates wrapped in a Mexican maduro leaf.  While I usually prefer a corona or robusto, it was hard to pass up this beautiful perfecto.

Meet the CigarCraig.com Contest Selection Committee

Last Friday I held a contest here with the prize being a couple cigars I picked up at Holt’s Cigars when I was there.  Today I conducted the highly scientific and conclusive selection process and a clear winner has been selected.  Please watch this short video of the actual selection.  My judges are beyond reproach and the results are final.  Ellie (not pictured here) made the final selection.  The video was edited for time which did not effect the outcome of the selection.

Click here to see the video or go to http://www.cigarcraig.com/video.html to see the video.

The winner as selected by the famous and proprietary cat method is DJ from Boston, apparently your “here kitty” approach was a success!  Please e-mail me your mailing address so that I can get your prize in the mail!  Thank you to everyone who participated.  I’ll be having another contest in February so keep your eye on this space.  You can also subscribe to this blog and receive an e-mail every time a new blog is posted so you don’t miss out!

Until the next cigar,

CigarCraig

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,

CigarCraig

Cigar-ventures – Jan 10, 2010

Last night I did something I don’t make a habit of doing, I smoked a cigar in the house.  I don’t do this too often because, as I am writing this, I can still smell the lingering aroma of the CAO CX2 that I enjoyed while watching the Philadelphia Flyers beat the Tampa Bay Lightning.  After enjoying the Don Lino Africa the night before, I wanted more of that Cameroon flavor.  Interestingly, the CX2 is no longer listed on the CAO website, but a little research turned up that this is now a Famous Smoke Shop exclusive.  I had thought that I got this particular cigar in July 2008 at the IPCPR show, but I’m thinking I must have had it longer than that.  This sports a Cameroon wrapper and binder and was a really nice cigar.  I managed to get almost two hours out of this robusto.  As much as I enjoy the smell of cigars, and as nice as it is to sit back and relax in your living room with a good game and a cigar, I am not a big fan of “the day after” aroma. This practice will be reserved for special occasions.

Sunday my wife suggested we go to the mall so she could do some shopping and I could hang out at the cigar shop and have a cigar.  The King of Prussia Mall is one of the largest malls on the east coast.  International Tobacco is conveniently located in the mall, however it has an outside entrance and access to the mall is through a corridor.  All malls should have such an arrangement.  The shop has a decent selection of mostly traditional brands and they are priced reasonably well considering the mall location. There was a game on the TVs and the bar had coffee and soda available.  I bought a Casa Magna Belicoso to smoke there while my wife shopped.  I chose this one because it had been Cigar Aficionado‘s top rated cigar of 2008 and I was curious to see what the hype was all about.  It looks like someone forgot to update the website for this brand, and there isn’t a lot of information out there.  These are supposed to be sold in shops only, so I guess it’s not surprising that there isn’t a lot of info on the web.  I  took a seat at the bar and lit my cigar.  The Casa Magna was a good cigar, and the $6 price tag is not bad for a good cigar. I guess I was expecting it to be a really great cigar, but  I just didn’t think it was as good as Cigar Aficionado made it out to be.   Still, if you need to go to the mall, King of Prussia mall has an oasis in the middle of shopping mayhem where a guy can park his butt for and hour or so and have a cigar!   

Please remember to go to the Austin Chronicle and place your votes for the 25 Smokin’ Figurados, and leave a comment on the last blog post for a chance to win their CD (and a couple cigars to go with it!).  Also, I’ve changed the appearance of this page, please let me know what you think.

Until the next cigar,

CigarCraig

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 www.ryjhabanareserveoffer.com.

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 http://www.austinchronicle.com/feedback/musicpoll/09/ and vote for the Figs!

– AUSTIN BAND OF THE YEAR: 25 Smokin’ Figurados
– AUSTIN SONG OF THE YEAR:  “I Wash It Down”
– 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”

CONTEST!

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 Amazon.com widget on the CigarCraig.com “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,

CigarCraig

The CigarCraig.com Contest Series

CigarCraig has decided to give stuff away!  In the coming months, I will be having random contests within my blog.  I will attempt to have a least one give-away per month inserted into my regular blog posts.  They will not be announced or appear in the blog title.  Your entries will be in the form of comments to the blog. If you’re new to commenting on my blog I  will need to be approved by me, so don’t get all freaky if your post doesn’t show up right away, I’ll get to it as soon as I can. I will keep the comments open for 48 hours, after which time I will close the comments and a winner will be selected.  In the case of random drawings, I will employ the fairest of selection techniques, which involves spreading the entries out on the floor, staring at them intently, and waiting for one of the cats to lay down on the winner.  One entry per person or you risk being shunned for all eternity. Contests will be different every time, and the prizes will vary, but will always be cigar related and worth your trouble.

Today’s contest prize is a very cool box opener/pocket knife from our friends at Drew Estate .

To enter, please use the comment box at the bottom of this blog post.  In the comment, I want the punch line to your best joke. A valid entry will be, for example, “why the long face?”** The best entries  will be the ones that make me laugh without me knowing the joke. Make sure you use a valid e-mail address so that I can notify the winner, which will also be posted in the following blog post.   Today’s contest will close on Friday, December 11 at 6:00 pm.

This is a great opportunity for you to subscribe, either RSS feed or e-mail, so you never miss an episode.  There are links to both on the right-hand side of the blog page, and there is an RSS link in the left column of www.cigarcraig.com.

Until the Next Cigar,

CigarCraig

**”A horse walks into a bar and the bartender says:_____”