Archive | March, 2007

Guest Quick Smoke: Padilla Signature 1932 Robusto

31 Mar 2007

Each Saturday and Sunday we’ll post a Quick Smoke: not quite a full review, just our brief take on a single cigar. The following is a Guest Quick Smoke, submitted by a reader. If you’d like to submit your own for publication, please contact us here.

Sitting outside on Saturday enjoying the warmth of the sun, I found this five inch by 50 ring gauge smoke to be full-bodied and extremely full-flavored. The wrapper is beautiful, a luscious tan Cuban-seed leaf grown in the black, fertile soils of Nicaragua. Inside, a hearty core of long-leaf tobacco awaits, ready to deliver an intoxicating experience. The flavor is incredible with sweet notes of cinnamon and leather. Building in spice and intensity, the cigar was flawless in construction and burn. A special cigar for special occasions.

Verdict = Buy.

Submitted by Sam Chisholm from Mendon, MA

Tags: cigars

Stogie Guys Friday Sampler XXXVII

30 Mar 2007

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

1) Since Editor in Chief Patrick Ashby is a native Chicagoan, how could we pass up sharing this story with you? Cigar Aficionado recently named The Windy City the “the most elegant city in the United States in which to smoke cigars.” With its abundance of stogie-friendly hotels, bars, restaurants, cigar shops (including the oldest one in the nation), and blues and jazz joints, how could one argue? In some locales, like Mike Ditka’s Restaurant, you can be ridiculed for not smoking. Heck, you might even be lucky enough to get chewed out by Da Coach himself. If you’re looking for an excuse to visit “the city with the most beautiful urban center in this country,” click here to order tickets to the Big Smoke (coming up on April 10).

2) In case you missed it, cigar-smoking politicos Arnold Schwarzenegger and Rush Limbaugh duked it out on Rush’s syndicated radio show last week. After some childish name-calling from both sides (including “closet liberal” and “irrelevant”), the Governator sent Limbaugh an autographed humidor featuring the governor’s seal on the lid.

3) In our last Friday Sampler, we opened the door to Quick Smoke submissions. After all, the more reader feedback on, the better. (Besides, this should also help lighten the workload for our seven-days-a-week cigar website.) We’ve already received a decent number of great submissions, and we look forward to sharing them with you over the next few weekends. If you haven’t already done so, please consider sending one in today.

4) Deal of the Week: In previous Friday Samplers, we told you about a deal that includes 12 premium handmades, all from names you recognize: Rocky Patel, Gurkha, Macanudo, Partagas, La Gloria Cubana, Hoyo, Punch, and more – plus a hat and travel case. Now they’ve got the same deal, with the same great price (only $29.95), but they’re also throwing in a 13th cigar. The deal now includes two CAOs (the Brazilia and the new Gold Maduro). To grab one today, click here: Baker’s Dozen Deluxe Sampler.

The Stogie Guys

Tags: cigars

Stogie News: Cigars for Troops

29 Mar 2007

No matter what your opinion on the war in Iraq, one thing that shouldn’t be divisive is supporting our troops. And cigar smokers, retailers, and manufacturers have answered the call by sending cigars to soldiers fighting abroad so, at least for a little while, these brave men and women can enjoy one of life’s most versatile luxuries. Come to think of it, what other extravagance can be enjoyed just as easily in war-torn Falluja (pictured below) as on the local golf course or in a wood-paneled bar room?


This recent news story from Olympia, Washington is just one of many such examples:

With the flight to the Middle East imminent, Picasso Bros., a cigar shop in Lacey, gave about a dozen soldiers assigned to the company’s 2nd Platoon a proper send-off recently.

There were decorations and snacks inside, but the soldiers, some accompanied by their spouses, stayed outside to enjoy the warm evening, the light conversation, and a quality cigar or two.

“It’s really nice because we haven’t had a chance to relax in quite a while,” said Staff Sgt. Wayne Demetriff, 30.

“They’ve kind of accepted me as part of the Picasso Bros. family,” he said.

His love of cigars proved addictive. The number of soldiers who smoked cigars grew and some gave up cigarettes for them.

In addition to organizing the send-off, store manager Nicole Blocker secured $2,000 worth of cigars for the soldiers. Some were gift-wrapped and distributed at the send-off, and the remainder will be shipped to Iraq.

“She called each of the manufacturers, and they were more than happy to send a box or two to these guys,” said store owner Michael Karch, who also owns a store in Centralia.

Alexander bought a traveling humidor, which stores cigars at an optimum humidity, to protect them from Iraq’s brutal heat.

If you want to send some cigars to the troops, you can find information in any number of places.

Most cigar forums have a thread about stogies for the troops, many retailers would probably be interested in sending cigars if asked by a loyal customer, and some online stores like have a special section where you can buy products to send to the troops (with the proceeds often also going to support the troops). The site also lets you find a soldier deployed in harms way to send a care package to.

Also, if there is interest, we would more that willing to help organize and contribute to a shipment from readers.

Patrick S

Tags: cigars

Stogie Reviews: Bolivar Cofradia No. 554

28 Mar 2007

Sometimes you just know a cigar is going to be full-bodied as soon as you remove the cellophane. Sometimes just peeling back the clear plastic reveals instant aromas which hint at the powerful smoke that’s to come.

Such was the case with this five inch by 54 ring gauge Bolivar Cofradia No. 554. Before lighting, the Honduran and Nicaraguan tobaccos yielded heavy aromas of spice and earth.

I hadn’t even struck a match and I could see why General Cigar calls Bolivar “a heroic tradition all its own,” a bold tribute to “the great liberator.” As it turns out, Simón Bolívar – the brand’s namesake – was the leader of various independence movements in South America during the early 19th century.

But enough history. The stogie sports a dark, rich-looking Ecuador Sumatran wrapper with a few protruding veins. While the end of the leaf began to unpeel after I clipped the head with my double guillotine cutter, I was able to correct that over time with some trusty saliva.

Once I finally lit the smoke, I immediately noticed full flavors that reminded me of rye toast and clove. Very pleasing. And despite the heavy taste, I didn’t find the cigar too harsh (like Puros Indios).

I would have enjoyed the smoke even further, however, if the earthy flavors were balanced by some sweet tastes. But balance just isn’t in this cigar’s nature.

Aside from the aforementioned small problem with the wrapper, I incurred no construction flaws. An even burn was easily attained and maintained, and the draw was clear. Each puff produced a lot of smoke.

Overall, this cigar performed quite well – especially considering its friendly price of about $4 per stick. If you’re looking for a bold smoke with heavy earth flavors, give the Bolivar Cofradia No. 554 a try. It earns a decent three and ½ out of five stogies.

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

Patrick A


Stogie Commentary: The Cost of ‘Smoke Free’ Air

27 Mar 2007

We try not to wax too political (or economical) here – after all, we prefer cigars to politics – but every once in awhile a political pundit just gets the whole smoking ban issue perfectly right. In this case, it’s famed George Mason University economist Walter E. Williams.

Smoking MoneyIn a recent column, Dr. Williams explained that when anti-smokers use the government to ban smoking, they ignore economics and common sense:

The cost to nonsmokers to impose their will on smokers, say, in a restaurant, bar or airplane, is zero, or close to it. They just have to get the legislature to do their bidding. When the cost of something is zero, there’s a tendency for people to take too much of it. You say, “Williams, in my book, there can never be too much smoke-free air!” Here’s a little test. Say your car’s out of gas and stuck in a blizzard. You wave me down for assistance. I say, “I’ll be glad to give you a lift to safety, but I’m smoking in my car.” How likely is it that you’ll turn down my assistance in an effort to avoid tobacco smoke? You might be tempted to argue, “That’s different.” It’s not different at all. The cost of a smoke-free environment is not what you’re willing to pay.

Say you don’t permit smoking in your house. When I visit, I offer to pay you $100 for each cigarette you permit me to smoke. Instantaneously, I’ve raised the cost of your maintaining a smoke-free environment. Retaining smoke-free air in your home costs the sacrifice of $100. Of course, I could offer you higher amounts, and economic theory predicts that at some price, you’ll conclude your 100 percent smoke-free air isn’t worth it.

Air that’s either 100 percent smoke-filled or 100 percent smoke-free is probably sub-optimal. At zero prices there will either be too much smoking or too little smoking. The problem in our society is that laws have created too much smoke-free air. To a large degree, it’s the fault of smokers, who haven’t created a cost to smoke-free air.

My rule is by no means absolute. There are instances where I put up with zero-priced smoke-free air, and there are other instances where I don’t. It all depends on the cost to me. I think other smokers ought to adopt the same agenda. Say you’re asked to do some volunteer work. You might answer, “Yes, if I’m allowed to smoke.” This strategy might also be a nice way to get out of doing something without saying no. Just ask whether smoking is permitted.

The economic lesson to extract from all of this is that zero prices lead to sub-optimal outcomes, and it doesn’t just apply to the smoking issue. How would you like zero prices at the supermarket or clothing store? If there were, what do you think you’d see on the shelves when you arrived? If you said, “Nothing, because people would take too much,” go to the head of the class.

All too often, anti-smoking zealots overlook the adverse consequences smoking bans impose on individual freedom and like in this case sub-optimal economic outcomes. They cant be bothered with these realities in their furor.

Many thanks to Dr. Williams for this important, straightforward column.

The Stogie Guys

Tags: cigars

Stogie Reviews: Camacho Select Robusto

26 Mar 2007

Camacho is known for producing good, potent cigars. The Select is good, not potent. It’s a medium-bodied smoke that was blended by Julio Eiroa to satisfy his preference for cigars with less kick than those favored by his son, and company president, Christian Eiroa.

I recently had a five inch by 50 ring gauge Robusto at a local cigar shop. It was a fine companion to a relaxing hour with the newspaper and TV.

The Select begins with considerable strength and pepper. But about a third of the way down, the strength diminishes and the pepper is replaced by wood and leather, as well as warm tobacco flavors. The burn was sharp, the finish was nice, and the stick was never bitter or harsh. Smoke was thick and the draw was good from beginning to end.

The Robusto lists at $5.95 for singles and $142.80 for a box of 24. Internet box prices seem to run about $10-$15 less.

On the other hand, I would have to take issue with Camacho’s advertising boast that it is “the best Cameroon wrapped cigar ever made.” They are fine cigars, but for me they lack that little extra that sends it over the line from good to really good, or even great. I certainly would not avoid the Select, but I also can’t see myself going in search of another either.

Still, the Camacho Select Robusto earns a rating of three and 1/2 out of five stogies.

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

George E


Quick Smoke: La Rosa Cubana Churchill

25 Mar 2007

Each Saturday and Sunday we’ll post a Quick Smoke: not quite a full review, just our brief take on a single cigar.

This massive eight inch by 50 ring gauge Dominican is a boutique smoke, rolled in the heart of mid-town Manhattan (of all places). Back in May 2006, the Robusto was the subject of a full review. With a mild, leathery flavor, notes of sweet hay, and a price of only $4 apiece, I can easily recommend this stogie. Perfect for a sunny morning. Order yours online here.

Verdict = Buy.

Patrick A

Tags: cigars