Archive | December, 2006

Stogie News: Stogie Year In Review

27 Dec 2006 will be taking a few days off for the holidays so we can relax, recharge, and have a few cigars. Our hiatus will conclude on January 3, 2007 when we will resume posting daily content.

But before our little break begins, we figured a quick look at the first year of was in order. Here are a few of our favorite posts from 2006:

– On May 15 we officially launched with this article.

– On May 16 we introduced our readers to La Rosa Cubana, which makes handmade cigars in the heart of New York City.

– On May 25 we told you about our experience smoking cigars with best selling author P.J. O’Rourke.

– On June 1, in one of many Stogie Tips, we described the proper way to cut a cigar.

– On June 5 we documented the first of many casualties of the Washington, DC smoking ban.

– On June 15 we told the sad story of how anti-smoking zealots managed to take the cigar our of Winston Churchill’s mouth.

– On June 30 we described how, despite thousands of empty seats, the Washington Nationals rebuffed our proposal (backed by JR Cigars) for a Cigar Night at RFK Stadium.

– On July 5 we gave you some tips for smoking cigars on the golf course.

– On July 14 we introduced the first of our many weekly Friday Samplers.

– On August 10 we reviewed our first Cuban cigar, the Cohiba Siglo V.

– On August 23 we gave some suggestions for selecting a drink to enjoy with your cigar.

– On September 7 we announced a contest to win two tickets to Cigar Artisans 2006. The winner, George Edmonson, later joined as the Tampa Bureau Chief.

– On September 20 we filed an exclusive report on what cigars the New York Mets chose to celebrate their National League East Title.

– On September 26 we gave some suggestions to cigar producers for displaying names and other vital information with their cigars.

– On October 2 George Edmonson filed his report on Cigar Artisans 2006.

– On October 5 we told you about some crazy guys that run marathons while smoking cigars.

– On October 11 we gave some advice on how to avoid the pitfalls that came from the mid-90s cigar boom.

– On October 26 we told you about the sad news that nearly half of Americans support tobacco prohibition.

– On Halloween we gave you some suggestions for cigar-friendly costumes.

– On Election Night we provided live results for the many anti-smoking initiatives on ballots around the country. The next day we wrapped up the results.

– On November 21 we explained that trying to restrict the freedom to smoke isn’t a liberal or conservative thing…It’s an anti-smoking thing.

– On November 28 we gave some tips for giving the gift of cigars.

– On December 4 we told you about the Stogie Guys’ adventures in Ybor City.

– On December 11 we gave just the third perfect five out of five rating to the Padrón Serie 1926 No. 6.

– On December 18 we unveiled the new look of the website.

– On December 21 we told you what we really want for Christmas this year.

                                  Looking back, it certainly has been quite a year. We look forward to providing you with more news, reviews, commentary, and tips in 2007.

                                  The Stogie Guys


Stogie Reviews: Saint Luis Rey Rothschild Maduro

26 Dec 2006

saint_luis.gifNot long ago, Total Wine & More opened a new store not far from me. Now I don’t care much about wine, but the “& More” part is a winner. This chain – at least the shops near me – has excellent cigar prices and a good selection of mainline brands.

Checking out the cigars, I noticed two boxes of Saint Luis Rey Rothschilds (five inches by 54 ring gauge) side-by-side: natural and maduro. I seemed to recollect smoking a few in the past and finding them agreeable. And at $1.99 apiece, how could I resist? I picked up one of each, thinking it would be interesting to compare the experience of each wrapper.

I started with the maduro. It was thick and felt tight to the touch. I clipped it and the band popped off easily. That was about the last easy part of the smoke. It was difficult to get lit evenly, and even more difficult to draw.

slr.jpgWithin a quarter of an inch, I was operating with my tool of choice, a paperclip, to try to open it up. That seemed to work for a while, but I was soon sucking hard again just to draw any smoke. So, back to the paper clip. Several more times. In between those operations, I was tending to the burn.

The taste? I hardly had time to notice. It began with a touch of spice, then a bit of toast, but by the first inch they were replaced more or less by harshness and a bitter finish. By the time I put it down, it had become virtually tasteless.

Now, it’s possible the problems were my fault. But I put the two cigars in my box nearly a month ago, and my humidity is in the 65 percent range, so I find it difficult to believe there was too much moisture. We’ll see how the natural performs when I review it in a future article.

Overall, I think my memory of the Saint Luis Rey failed me, as did this cigar itself. I’m afraid I can only give this one out of five stogies.

[To read more cigar reviews, please click here.]

George E


Merry Christmas!

25 Dec 2006


Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

We’re taking the day off to celebrate with friends, family and good cigars. We strongly suggest you do the same.

The Stogie Guys

Stogie Guys Friday Sampler XXIV

22 Dec 2006

In our ongoing effort to make as entertaining and reader-friendly as possible, each Friday we’ll post a sampler of quick cigar news and stogie-related snippets to tide you over for the weekend. We call ‘em Friday Samplers. Enjoy.

rpatel.jpg1) Hurray for the Germans who recently rejected a total ban on smoking. Europe’s largest cigar market continues to be more tolerant of smokers than its continental neighbors. Maybe that’s because smoking bans remind Germans of the Nazis, who were ardent anti-smoking zealots.

2) Every month Smoke Magazine holds two drawings. One winner gets a box of AVO cigars made by Davidoff while the other gets cigars to review for an upcoming issue of Smoke. You’ll notice that their site lists winners every month, and that last September’s winner of the cigars for review was a certain “Patrick Semmens of Arlington, VA” who just happens to also be a founder of Sign up here so you too can be a winner.

3) Speaking of Smoke Magazine, they only recently got their fall issue online (why it took so long we have no idea). Anyhow, check out this interview with Rocky Patel, who’s cigars have fared very well here at

phs22.jpg4) Here’s something we never thought would exist: cigar-flavored maple syrup. Made with the very strong (four stogie-rated) Joya de Nicaragua Antaño, the creator recommends using it to make the distinguished old fashioned cocktail. At we appreciate the old fashioned too. We just prefer our cigar next to, rather than in, our glass!

5) Finally, here’s another fantastic deal for you. This web-only special includes a dozen cigars including top notch brands like La Gloria Cubana, La Perla Habana, Hoyo de Monterrey, CAO, Punch, and Onyx. And they also throw in a case and hat, all for under 30 bucks.

Use this link for the special deal: Ultimate Cigar Sampler

The Stogie Guys


Stogie Commentary: Our Holiday Wish List

21 Dec 2006

As we’ve said before…Tis’ the season for gift giving!

So your Stogie Guys each came up with a few items that we really want this year. (Screw peace on Earth!) Feel free to tell us what you want in the comments section.

Patrick A:

3mgolf.jpgPadrón Millennium 1964 Series – As my December 11 review details, I enjoyed the Padrón Serie 1926 No. 6 immensely. And since I haven’t had the opportunity to try anything from the Millennium 1964 Series, perhaps nothing would be finer than to find a few of those sticks under the tree.

Montecristo Golf Set – Had I been especially good this year, I might have asked Santa to bring me this Montecristo golf club set. The clubs I have now are great (except when I’m swinging them), but wouldn’t three woods, nine irons, a mallet-style putter, and a sleek bag sporting the famous Montecristo logo look badass on the links?

Rocky Patel Java – I’ve had my eye on this box of 12 Javas for some time. A quick glance at our archived reviews page shows Rockey Patel cigars have tested well at, and I’d sure love to try a few more.

Patrick S:

davidoff.jpgDavidoff 12 Cigar Sampler – What few Davidoffs I’ve had I really, really enjoyed. But usually the price leads me to spend my cigar budget elsewhere. Hence, this would make a perfect gift. With 12 different cigars from Davidoff’s many fantastic blends, this super sampler would let me try all that the legendary brand has to offer.

CAO’s Brazilia vs. Italia: Artistry of Champions – Since CAO’s Brazilia line is one of my favorites, I was pretty intrigued when the company put this very unusual set of figuardos out. But I was left with one important question: Can you really smoke those 96 ring gauge trumpets? I’d sure like to find out!

The Companero – This nifty accessory is literally all you need to enjoy a good party: a combination cigar case, flask, torch, and double cutter.

George E:

La Flor Dominicana Ligero Mysterio – A cigar I’m eager to smoke, but one with a price tag that’s pretty intimidating. I’m also the kind of guy who’d probably want to wait for some “special occasion” to light it up, rather than smoking it when I bought it. But as a gift, that would be special enough to warrant immediate smoking.

Michael Schwab Commemorative Mug for Peet’s 40th Anniversary – I like to drink coffee when I’m smoking. This mug is an attractive way to savor the java.

Arturo Fuente Sun Grown Double Chateau – Just the sight of that shiny black band at the foot is enough to guarantee smoking pleasure. These consistent, rich beauties are always enjoyable. And when you can’t find the Mysterio, these are likely to be available.

JR Gift Card – Sooner or later, I’ll be driving up I-95 in North Carolina. What better way to spend a few minutes than winding through the towels, remaindered books, NASCAR paraphernalia, and all the other trinkets they wouldn’t take at South Of The Border to the humidor room? A fabulous opportunity to try singles that you might otherwise not see, to check out bargains, and to simply enjoy yourself.

The Stogie Guys


Stogie Reviews: Thompson Corojo Cubano Robusto

20 Dec 2006

It’s probably safe to say that most cigar enthusiasts are weary of, and perhaps turned off by, the so-called “house brands” of many large stogie companies. Whether it’s the ultra-low prices, the cheesy packaging, or their gimmicky sales pitches – let’s face it – these sticks frequently get a bad rap.

thompsonCCAnd often deservingly so. But wouldn’t it be nice to cut through all the crap to find at least one cheap major house brand that’s very smokable? Well, you may not have to look any further than the Corojo Cubano Robusto by Thompson Cigar.

No, we’re not pulling your leg. And we’re certainly not going to tell you that one of these sticks is comparable in taste or physical attributes to a well-constructed premium cigar. But, honestly, this really isn’t a bad smoke.

The five inches by 50 ring gauge Robustos are composed of Dominican binders and fillers, wrapped in rich and rugged Honduran Corojo leaves. The shiny, metallic-looking gold and red bands are a nice contrast to the wrapper, albeit a tad hokey. Despite a couple large veins, we couldn’t find any serious physical defects on our sticks.

Once lit, the cigar produced an earthy taste with heavy notes of leather, coffee, and a little mocha. The second and finishing phases yielded more spice and graham. This is certainly not what you’d call a complex stogie, but it has a fairly enjoyable flavor.

We noticed even burns throughout the hour-plus smoke with a draw that put up some, but not too much, resistance. The only drawback on construction is that the ash would not hold firmly off the foot, even for an inch or so. (Patrick A found this out the hard way when a pile of gray flakes ended up on his lap.)

If you go into this smoke with high expectations, you’re going to be disappointed. But at 98 cents apiece (when you buy 50), that’s probably not going to be a problem. If you’re looking for a very cheap way to beef up your humidor stock with satisfactory golf course grade smokes, however, the Thompson Cubano Corojo Robusto wouldn’t be a bad choice. Taking into account the extraordinary value of this cigar, we give it three and 1/2 out of five stogies.

[To read more cigar reviews, please click here.]

Patrick A and Patrick S

Stogie News: Club Macanudo Opens in Miami

19 Dec 2006

Following success in New York, Washington, London, and Jakarta, General Cigar recently opened another Club Macanudo lounge in the cigar city of Miami. The 2,500 square foot space is located in the private Havana Club at Miami City Club.

clinton.jpgAccording to General Cigar, owner of the Macanudo brand, the club’s December 15 opening was a star-studded event that included musical performances by Jon Secada and Arturo Sandoval. Many recording artisits were also in attendance, and famed record producer Scott Storch’s birthday was celebrated in the Macanudo Club lounge.

In a press release, Cooper Gardiner, vice president of marketing for General Cigar, said, “The Club Macanudo lounge at the Havana Club represents a golden opportunity. Not only is the lounge a luxurious embodiment of the Macanudo brand, it also affords us an opportunity to share the Club Macanudo experience with cigar connoisseurs in South Florida.” As the closest city in the United States to Cuba, and a city with a large Cuban population, Miami has had a long and rich association with cigars.

The Havana Club at the Miami City Club is a members-only establishment located on the 55th floor of the Wachovia Financial Center, the jewel of the Miami skyline. The 15,000-square-foot Club boasts a 360-degree view of Miami and its surrounding waters.

Membership to the Club is limited to 800 members who have access to the club’s private humidor, 24-hour concierge service, conference room, and business center, along with other perks. Havana Club members will also enjoy membership to the Downtown Athletic Club, as well as reciprocal memberships to more than 150 clubs worldwide, including the other Club Macanudo locations. As a private club, Club Macanudo is not affected by Florida’s draconian anti-smoking laws.

The Havana Club at the Miami City Club will carry an array of General Cigar’s premium offerings including Macanudo Vintage and Macanudo Gold Label, Partagas 160 and Partagas Limited Reserve Decadas, Cohiba XV, and La Gloria Cubana Reserva Figurados.

General Cigar also tells that they are discussing the creation of a special La Gloria Cubana line that would be available exclusively at the Club.

For reviews of General Cigar’s offerings, visit the Stogie Reviews Archive.

Patrick S