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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

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

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,

CigarCraig

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,

CigarCraig