CRA

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

Saturday Cigar Ramblings – Jan 2, 2010

Happy New Year!  For someone who’s been on vacation all week, I just haven’t had the chance to smoke many cigars!  The weather in Southeastern PA has been darn cold.  I find that I just don’t have the tolerance for the cold that I used to have, or it just been windier than usual, in either case, I haven’t been taking my usual cigar walks like I’d like.  I took a short walk last night on which I smoked a very old cigar from a long ago sampler pack that Jenn received from EStix.com.  It was a robusto and I had to practically cut it out of the amber cello sleeve.  It wasn’t a bad cigar, considering it was 10 years old and Dominican.  It had been in the bottom of Jenn’s humidor for the last decade, still in the (open) baggie it came in.  I have 3 more sizes left from the same bag, I’ll let them age a little longer and report back later. 

E-Stix was a joint venture between two guys who met through the alt.smokers.cigars news group. They met on a trip to Honduras to Rancho Jamestran (the Camacho factory) on a mission to blend a special cigar whose proceeds would go to the orphans left in the wake of hurricane Mitch, which devastated Honduras in 1998.  The cigar that was blended was called Esperanza par los Niños, and was a fantastic box pressed maduro.  I have a few of them left that I reserve for Fathers Day and very special occasions.

I had the opportunity to mail a cigar pack to Jim Babjak, lead guitarist and founding member of The Smithereens.  Since I’m very close to the creator of International Beatles Freak Day, and the Smithereens were an I-BFD – Artist of the Month this past year, Jim very generously donated some CDs as prizes for the I-BFD celebration coming up on January 14.  Check out www.I-BFD.com for more information.  Jim is an avid cigar smoker so I sent him a selection of my favorites as a thank-you.  I included a Liga Privada No.9 Parejo,  a CAO LX2 Rob, a Punch Petit Coronation, a Padron Londres maduro and a Camacho Havana Toro.  

Among my Christmas gifts this year was a membership to Cigar Rights of America.  The CRA is a consumer-based, non-profit public advocacy organization that works at the local, state, and federal level of government to protect the freedoms of cigar enthusiasts.  There have already been several instances in the US that they’ve successfully lobbied against smoking legislation such as banning smoking in cigar shops and cigar bars.  I support this worthwhile organization and I recommend them to everyone who is interested in protecting their rights.  Another gift was “The Autobiography of Fidel Castro”, which will be an interesting read.  I also got a 28″ high glass vase.  I’m sure you are asking yourself, “self…how is a 28″ glass vase cigar related?”  Well, it is cigar related, as it’s intended as a receptacle for cigar bands.  I’m off to a good start with about 4 years worth of bands that I’ve been stuffing into bags in my desk drawer.  It may make a good contest in the future – “guess how high the bands go”.  “Guess the number of bands” would require me counting the bands, which is just too much darned work.

That’s it for now.  Hopefully the weather improves or I can get out someplace to have a cigar soon. Selections from the Smithereens catalog, as well as the Autobiography of Fidel Castro are available through my Amazon.com widget on the “cigarcraigslist” page on www.CigarCraig.com.

Until the next cigar,

CigarCraig