Archive | May, 2011

Cigar Review: J. Fuego 777 Zero Corona

31 May 2011

j fuego 777 zero corona 2

Like many cigar enthusiasts, I was enamored with the quality and value exhibited by the 777 Corojo when it was introduced in 2009 by Jesus Fuego. That cigar encouraged me to delve deeper into Fuego’s relatively young brand.

J. Fuego by the Miami-based Tabacos S.A. company, as it is called, was launched in 2006 with the help of the Plasencia family. Prior setting off on his own, Fuego had gained industry fame through his instrumental role in developing Rocky Patel’s Vintage ’90 and ’92 lines. Now, his own lineup of creations includes the Natural, Gran Reserva, Origen, Delirium, 777 Corojo, 777 Maduro, and 777 Zero blends.


Quick Smoke: Georgetown Tobacco Caucus Toro

28 May 2011

Each Saturday and Sunday we’ll post a Quick Smoke: not quite a full review, just our brief verdict on a single cigar of “buy,” “hold,” or “sell.”

Caucus is exclusive to the DC-based Georgetown Tobacco shop. According to Georgetown’s website, its name was chosen to honor the efforts of Rocky Patel and others in the cigar industry who came to Washington to help reduce the SCHIP (State Childrens Health Insurance Program) tax hike, effectively limiting the tax from $3 to 40 cents per cigar. The Toro (6 x 50), fittingly made by Rocky Patel, sells for around $7 when bought by the box. It features a Sumatran oscuro wrapper, Nicaraguan habano binder, and filler tobaccos from Honduras and Nicaragua. It’s a medium- to full-bodied smoke with strong, sweet cedary notes with earth and pepper. With excellent construction, it’s well worth picking up the next time you’re at Georgetown Tobacco.

Verdict = Buy.

Patrick S

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Stogie Guys Friday Sampler No. 240

27 May 2011

As we have since July 2006, each Friday we’ll post a mixed bag of quick cigar news and other items of interest. Below is our latest Friday Sampler.

1) A bill is moving its way through the Nevada legislature that would decriminalize smoking in bars that serve food and are only open to patrons over the age of 21. Its supporters cite a 17% drop in revenue and a 10% drop in employment at taverns since the state’s so-called “Clean Indoor Air Act” went into effect in 2006. Cigar Rights of America issued an email news alert this week calling for Nevada cigar enthusiasts to contact their state representatives and encourage them to “restore some freedom, improve the local economy, and send a message to other states considering similar legislation.”

2) Jose Oliva, CEO of the Oliva Cigar Co., won a primary election on Tuesday, securing the Republican nomination for Florida’s House District 110. “Technically, the race on Tuesday was a special primary election,” reports the Miami Herald. “But the results are considered a de facto victory because there is no Democrat on the ballot in the general election on June 28.” Oliva is a “founding sponsor” of Cigar Rights of America and an advocate of lower taxes, smaller government, and business-friendly policies.

3) Graycliff has appointed the Toraño Family Cigar Company as its official distributor in the U.S. “After many years of doing our own distribution, we decided that it was best if we partnered with Toraño to handle that part of our business, so we could focus on the production side,” said Paolo Garzaroli, president of Graycliff, in a press release. “We chose Toraño for the similarity in our family values and because our respective cigar brands will complement each other very well.”


Commentary: A Coach’s Suggestion for More Enjoyment

26 May 2011

Pitchers are often advised to “mix it up.” Without some variations in speed and movement, pitches will become virtually routine to even a mediocre major league hitter, no matter the velocity or break. I have much the same feelings toward smoking cigars.

A heavy-duty La Flor Dominicana Ligero is a different experience when you smoke it after a diet of CAO Golds and Ashton Classics than it is when it caps a week filled with sticks like Cain and El Cobre.

I was struck by this recently after purchasing a box of one of my favorites, Pete Johnson’s Havana VI torpedoes, the Aristas. They’re great cigars and I’ve liked each one I’ve smoked. But after cracking open the box and smoking them for a week or so straight, I felt something missing. I went to other cigars for a few days before selecting another of the Aristas. And, as you no doubt expect, I found that experience more enjoyable.

Now, I know there are cigar smokers out there who light up the same cigar time after time. Virtually any retailer can tell you about customers who come back regularly and pick up a box of, say, Montecristo or Davidoff Aniversario. If they’re out of stock, the smoker will grumble and refuse to try something else.

And I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with that. After all, if there’s one golden rule of cigar smoking it’s that you should smoke what you like, whether it’s a Black & Mild or La Palina. My aim is just to put another possibility out there, a suggestion that I believe could enhance smoking enjoyment.


Cigar Review: CroMagnon Cranium

25 May 2011


If you haven’t heard of CroMagnon Cigars, you can be forgiven since this brand hasn’t been around long. You also probably aren’t on Twitter where brand owner Skip Martin, @ChiefHava/@HavaCigarShop/@CroMagnonCigar, has been Tweeting about it non-stop since earlier this year.

Martin owned the popular Hava Cigar shop in Galveston, Texas, until Hurricane Ike wiped out the store, and a lot of the rest of Galveston, in 2008. Now re-opened as an online storefront (at least for now), it features exclusively CroMagnon cigars and other cigars by Adrian’s Costa Rican (Martin’s co-creator on the CroMagnon).


Cigar Tip: Take Time to Smoke

24 May 2011


[Editors’ Note: In celebration of the five-year anniversary of, we’re updating and re-publishing some of our oldest articles, many of which focused on cigar basics. Our hope is to encourage a discussion among readers and reacquaint the community with important cigar fundamentals.]

I know it’s a cliché but, let’s face it, there just aren’t enough hours in a day. Especially if you’re a cigar enthusiast. Between work, commutes, showers, errands, friends and family, chores, three square meals, taxes, and all the other responsibilities us grown-ups shoulder, how exactly is a human supposed to set aside an hour (well, more reasonably, 90 minutes or more) to enjoy some premium tobacco?


Commentary: Special Cigars for Special Occasions

23 May 2011


You may have noticed that, over the last week, I’ve been somewhat missing in action. I have a good excuse (or, rather, excuses).

For one, aside from playing a little golf and saying goodbye to many great friends and coworkers, my wife and I recently packed up our apartment in Virginia, loaded up our belongings, and drove them to our new home in Chicago. On Friday we closed on our condo (our first home purchase). On Saturday and Sunday we unloaded and began the unpacking process. Today is my first day at my new job.

As exciting and wonderful as all these changes are, I’ve been incredibly busy. I look forward to getting settled in, establishing a new routine, and maybe even taking a few moments to celebrate some big milestones in my life—including my first wedding anniversary, which passed on May 15 with little time for fanfare.

I also look forward to enjoying a few nice cigars. (more…)