We’re in the middle of the holiday season, a very busy time for many, so cigar opportunities have been few and far between. Couple that with the cold weather we’ve been having and I’ve had to be creative about getting a cigar experience in. Today my 20-year-old son and I took the train into Philly and went to Holt’s Cigar Company on Walnut Street. Holt’s is one of those “cigar mecca” kind of places that one must visit at least once in their lifetime. It’s part of the holy trinity which includes any of the JR’s stores and Cigars International. (One might add Famous to the list as well, but I haven’t yet made it there, and it’s inclusion would foul up my whole “holy trinity” angle.) Holt’s store consists of an outer area where they have accessories, pipes, pens and other hardware. Then you move into the large walk-in humidor section, with shelves upon shelves of cigars, the sales counter with Opus X, Ashton VSG, Padron Anniverasio, Fuente Anejo and other high-end goodies displayed. Beyond that there are several other displays on the floor. In the back of the store is a lounge area with chairs and a very nice woman who brings beverages and seems to oversee the area. On our visit the lounge was filled. After taking a couple passes through the store looking at all of the yummy choices, I stumbled upon an end cap with 3 and four packs of various cigars. These appeared to be items that they no longer carried or odds and ends of various brands. I picked out a 4 pack of Don Lino Africa Kifaro torpedos and a 3 pack of Trinidad Coronas. Corey (my son) and I lit up a couple of Trinidads and spent the better part of an hour wandering around the store, chatting with the staff, and enjoying our cigars. I found the Trinidad corona to be a very nice, mild, middle of the day on an empty stomach cigar. It burned really well and for $3.33 each was quite a bargain. I’m looking forward to the Africas, as they have always looked good, and $3.50 each for the torpedos seemed like a great way to finally try them. The reviews I’ve read in the past have been favorable, and they just seem like something I’d enjoy. While the staff there is quite friendly and helpful, I was surprised to hear one salesmen recomending the Liga Privada No.9 and saying it was Drew Estate‘s first non-flavored cigar, which is inaccurate. The La Vieja Habana was actually the first cigar they ever produced, well before the Acid Cigars. I would have offered a correction, but it didn’t really seem worth the trouble, and I did interject that the Liga Privadas are great cigars.
That’s it for the last installment of 2009. This year has seen the beginnings of CigarCraig.com. The coming year will hopefully see some new content on the website, along with more contests here on the blog, as well as more varied cigar experiences and reviews. Many thanks to everyone who’s chosen to waste their valuable time reading and supporting this!
Hava a Happy (and safe) New Years!