Archive | October, 2007

Stogie Tip: Have a Happy Cigar Halloween

31 Oct 2007

Last year we published a list of 15 Halloween costumes that could incorporate smoking your favorite cigar.

This year we’ve expanded the list to 20, more than a few of which could be pulled together before you celebrate Halloween tonight:

1. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Whether you’re going as The Governator or one of his gun-toting movie characters, a big cigar won’t look out of place.

2. Michael Jordan. Now in retirement, the greatest basketball player ever never hits the links without a Macanudo.

3. Groucho Marx. Sure, it’s a little dated, but this American icon loved his stogies.

4. Ulysses S. Grant. Some historians say the super-sized prez smoked around 20 cigars a day.

5. Mark Twain. Speaking of the cigar smokers of yesteryear, how about America’s best known cigar-smoking author?

6. Kramer. Just try not to burn down Suzan’s log cabin, or use any racial slurs.

7. Scarface. He was Tony Montana. The world will remember him by another name…

8. Bill Clinton. The former President (and future possible first lady?) got into quite a bit of trouble with his cigars.

9. Monica Lewinsky. (See eight.)

10. Sigmund Freud. Do you think the cigar-smoking neurologist was into cigars because he was envious of his father’s you-know-what?

11. Jesse Ventura. I’d recommend going as his Blain character from Predator. (Note: Jesse is the second future governor from this cast. Did someone say Carl Weathers in 2006?)

12. Hot cigar girl. Enough said.

13. Winston Churchill. Leading (and smoking) England through World War II, this prime minister is by far the manliest British dude ever. By far.

14. Clint Eastwood. Step one: Grab a six-shooter, a cowboy hat, and a Backwoods cigar. Step two: Go kill some Indians.

15. A cigar store Indian. Watch out for Clint Eastwoods.

16. A cigar-chomping communist dictator. Any Pinko Commie like Fidel Castro, Kim Jong Il, or Che Guevara will do.

Tony Soprano smoking a cigar17. The Babe. Maybe the greatest slugger in baseball history, Babe Ruth was known for his love of food, drink, and cigars.

18. Tony Soprano. We may never know what happened after “Don’t Stop Believing” stopped playing, but we do know that this mafia boss smoked a cigar in almost every episode of The Sopranos.

19. Al Capone. If we’re talking mafia bosses, why not be the original? Capone was known for his enjoyment of cigars, booze, and women. Just don’t get syphilis.

20. A Cigar. Sure smoking a cigar while being dressed as a cigar may seem weirdly cannibalistic, but what better way to show your love for stogies?

Got any costume ideas that we missed? Don’t be shy about letting us know your stogie costume in the comments.

The Stogie Guys

Tags: cigars

Stogie Exclusive: I’m a Marathoner and a Cigar Enthusiast

30 Oct 2007

When I tell people that I’m both a runner and a cigar enthusiast, I get some strange looks. Perhaps that isn’t too surprising, especially given the general public’s flawed perception that stogies are horribly dangerous and debilitating.

Activities people usually associate with cigars include drinking, golf, womanizing, pool, and other leisurely endeavors – certainly not running. But on Sunday, five years of novice running and four months of serious training paid off when I achieved my ultimate goal: completing Washington’s Marine Corps Marathon.

As you could imagine, I’m still really pumped (and still really sore). I wanted to share the following photos with you not in a prideful display of boasting, but rather as proof that cigar enthusiasts are completely capable of tackling one of the greatest challenges in athletics.

Marathon 1

Just a few minutes before the starting gun, I’ve got my game face on at Runner’s Village by the Pentagon. It’s Eye of the Tiger time.

Marathon 2

A terrific cheering section, composed of my parents and my girlfriend, helps me crack a smile circa mile 13. Only another 13.2 miles to go.

Marathon 3

Exhausted and exhilarated, I look forward to lighting up a celebratory Punch Champion.

I would be remiss if I didn’t use this opportunity to thank everyone who helped make this accomplishment possible. That list includes my parents, who flew in from Chicago; my girlfriend, who helped me take everything in stride; and several friends and family members, who sent along sports drinks, power bars, and their best wishes.

Patrick A

Tags: cigars

Stogie Commentary: Hey Cigar Industry, Get Your Act Together!

29 Oct 2007

The cigar industry, from field to shop, turns out a great product. But, I’m sorry, that’s about it. As Congress began Thursday to debate a new version of the SCHIP bill that appears to contain the same tax proposals for cigars as did the earlier legislation, I was distraught. But after the industry’s display earlier, I wasn’t surprised.

I wrote an earlier piece suggesting where mistakes had been made and how the industry could do better. The drumbeat of blundering continued, though.

Let me just highlight a few examples: Attacking a program that polls show again and again is supported by a majority of Americans; and denouncing SCHIP as a Democratic socialized medicine ploy when its biggest supporters include such GOP conservatives as Chuck Grassley and Orrin Hatch.

Then, today, I read about how online poker players are lobbying hard on Capitol Hill to get the restrictions on their game repealed. I don’t know if they’ll succeed. But from what I read they’re approaching the issue logically, sanely, and have enlisted strong congressional support.

I hope they’ll be able to afford a cigar to enjoy while they’re sitting in front of the computer trying to make that inside straight.

As for me, I’m crying “Uncle.” Though I firmly believe that the large tax increase proposed for cigars is unfair and counterproductive, I also fear it is now inevitable. Lousy performance has a price, and in this case I’m afraid smokers will be paying the bill for the industry’s ineptitude.

George E

Tags: cigars

Quick Smoke: El Rey del Mundo Petit Corona

28 Oct 2007

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

After Patrick A’s review, I was excited to try this well-proportioned Cuban cigar. Despite an overly tight draw, I found a wonderful profile of deep earth and subtle peppery spices. The finish was pleasant with long fruity undertones, and the construction was solid with an even burn and long, solid ash.

Verdict = Buy.

Patrick S

Tags: cigars

Quick Smoke: Dona Flor Piramide

27 Oct 2007

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

Dona Flor Piramide

From Reserva Especial to Alonso Menendez, we’ve made no secret of our love for the products of Brazil Cigars & Tobacco. The six and ½ inch by 52 ring gauge Piramide by Dona Flor is no exception. A Brazilian puro with a Mata Fina wrapper, this cigar delivers delicious smoke with full flavors of cocoa, molasses, and toffee. Construction isn’t perfect, but with a price of $6 per stick I can wholeheartedly recommend you give one a try.

Verdict = Buy.

Patrick A

Tags: cigars

Stogie Guys Friday Sampler LXVII

26 Oct 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.

Rocky Patel Decade1) In celebration of its ten-year anniversary, Rocky Patel Cigars this week released Decade, the company’s “best blend yet.” Box-pressed with an Ecuadorian wrapper and Nicaraguan binder and filler tobaccos, the line comes in four sizes and will cost upwards of $9 apiece. Cigar Aficionado reports the cigars “will not be available through discount catalogue or online sources.”

2) There have been some new cigar websites going up of late. The Newman Cigar Company, the manufacturer behind Diamond Crown and Cuesta-Rey, has created two new websites to promote its expanded humidor lines: and Meanwhile, United Tobacco and JR Cigars both introduced new blogs.

3) Around the Blogs: Matt has a Fuente Don Carlos. Cigar Jack smokes a CAO America. Stogie Review reviews a Bolivar Cofradia. Keepers of the Flame lights up a MATASA 30th Anniversary. Cigar Beat tries a Cuvee Blanc. Cigar Inspector inspects a Montecristo.

4) Deal of the Week: Three weeks ago, we told you about this sampler of samplers. Now Tinderbox is doing it again. The deal sports cigars from Cuesta-Rey, Punch, Bolivar, and General Cigar (including a Macanudo Gold, a Punch Grand Puro, a Hoyo Dark Sumatra, an El Rico Habana, and a Partagas Spanish Rosado) all for $60. Grab yours here.

The Stogie Guys

Tags: cigars

Stogie News: Smoking Bans Creep from Public to Private

25 Oct 2007

Call it luck or sheer frustration, but has gone almost one month without mentioning the words “smoking ban.” We’ve steered clear of the subject since September 28, to be exact. Between reviewing cigars and talking to industry leaders, we’ve kept ourselves pretty busy with the proposed SCHIP tobacco tax hike.

Unfortunately, our recent lack of reporting on senseless smoking bans doesn’t mean they’ve gone away. Quite the contrary. So, by way of an update, here are a few important items you may have missed. See if you can notice a menacing new trend.

No Paternalism1. In a move that underscores irrational big government intrusion, the Chicago Park District banned smoking in the city’s beaches and parks on October 17. The questionable ban took effect immediately. According to the Chicago Tribune, “If caught smoking within 15 feet of a beach or a playground, smokers can be fined up to $500. Park officials made their plans for the ban public Tuesday, saying the restriction would not only protect children from secondhand smoke but also keep beaches free of cigarette butts.”

2. Maine is proving that smoking bans are a slippery slope. Not satisfied with ominous control over the state’s workplaces and restaurants, anti-smoking zealots are turning their attention to citizens’ apartments and cars. As the Boston Globe reports, “Groups such as the Maine Civil Liberties Union have expressed concerns about the proposed smoking ban in cars, which involves traffic stops and $50 fines. ‘While we do not dispute that smoking has potentially severe health effects, the question is whether it’s appropriate for law enforcement to be given the power to stop and penalize people who engage in an otherwise legal activity,’ said Shenna Bellows, MCLU executive director.”

3. America’s cigar smoker in chief is showing some mixed results. Governor Schwarzenegger signed a law prohibiting Californians from smoking in cars with passengers under 18. But he also vetoed a radical bill that would strip the state’s smoking ban of many of its exemptions. According to Cigar Aficionado, Arnold said, “While more needs to be done to reduce smoking rates, I do not agree that placing further restrictions on business owners is the correct approach.”

It doesn’t take a public policy expert to realize that invasive smoking bans – once relegated to restaurants, workplaces, and bars – are moving closer to our homes, cars, and other private places. This trend is troubling for all cigar enthusiasts, especially those who value personal freedoms and individual rights.

Patrick A

Tags: cigars