Archive | June, 2011

Cigar Spirits: Knob Creek Single Barrel

30 Jun 2011


I’ve always been a fan of Knob Creek. I recall my father picking up a bottle at some point when I was in college, and I remember it tasting far better than the Jim Beam I had grown accustomed to drinking at school. (Coincidentally, Beam makes Knob Creek along with other small batch bourbons that I’ve come to enjoy, including Booker’s and Baker’s.)

But I didn’t realize Knob Creek came in a Single Barrel edition until a friend recently bought me a bottle. (He owed me after he polished off most of a bottle of my Baker’s.) Sure enough, late last year Knob Creek came out with its first single barrel Knob Creek. (more…)

Cigar Review: Alec Bradley Select Cabinet Reserve Gran Robusto

29 Jun 2011

alec bradley scr 2

I was browsing my local tobacconist in Chicago the other day when I came across a display of Select Cabinet Reserve cigars. Alec Bradley introduced this line back in 2009, but I couldn’t remember trying any of the five vitolas.

I decided to purchase three Gran Robustos (5.5 x 60) for $7.50 apiece. I can’t say I was particularly drawn to this thick size—I’m usually not a fan of cigars wider than 52 ring gauge—but, for one reason or another, I gravitated to it over the line’s more traditional formats: Robusto (5 x 50), Corona (5.5 x 42), Torpedo (6.1 x 52), and Churchill (7 x 48). (more…)

Cigar Review: Drew Estate My Uzi Weighs a Ton

28 Jun 2011


When Jonathan Drew announced the release of his personal blend—named My Uzi Weighs a Ton (presumably after the Public Enemy song) and available only in sizes with a 60 ring gauge—I assumed the cigar would be another full-bodied flavor bomb.

And when it came to light that the cigar would be made at the Joya de Nicaragua factory, known for producing full-bodied cigars, I considered my assumption confirmed. As you’ll see below, I was wrong.


Cigar Tip: Redefining the Cigar Vacation

27 Jun 2011

CHARLOTTE AMALIE, ST. THOMAS — When you think of the phrase “cigar vacation,” images of factory tours in Honduras, Nicaragua, or the Dominican Republic often come to mind. As well they should. If you want to learn as much as possible about the artisan craft of handmade cigars, there’s no substitute for observing and talking to the fine people who make them, in their native environment no less.

To me, though, a cigar vacation can mean many things. My recent trip to St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands certainly qualifies in my book. Here’s a pic from the hotel balcony:


Quick Smoke: Paul Garmirian Gourmet Corona ’93

26 Jun 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.”

There are may reasons why Northern Virginia is a good place to be a cigar smoker, including having PG Cigars’ flagship shop nearby. There, you not only can buy every hard-to-find PG smoke currently made, but they also sell a number of cigars with well over a decade of age on them. This corona, for example, was rolled back in 1993. Despite the often mellowing effects of age, it has plenty of flavor with leather and cedar notes and a musty tinge. It’s well-balanced and medium-bodied with flawless combustion. If you’re ever in the neighborhood, it’s well worth picking up.

Patrick S

photo credits: Stogie Guys

Quick Smoke: Gurkha Assassin Churchill

25 Jun 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.”

An amazing combination of full strength and full flavor, this 7.5-inch cigar uses tobacco from four countries to create a slow-burning, satisfying smoke. The rough Brazilian wrapper has a wonderful pre-light aroma and combines with the Peruvian and Nicaraguan filler to drop flavor after flavor on the tongue like a tobacco piñata. The Assassin has been part of the Gurkha line since 2009. I should have smoked one sooner.

Verdict = Buy.

George E

photo credit: Cuban Crafters

Stogie Guys Friday Sampler No. 244

24 Jun 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) With so many state and local governments passing laws that restrict the rights of smokers, it’s nice to report that one state is repealing anti-smoker restrictions. Last Friday, Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval signed a law rolling back the statewide smoking ban that was originally passed in 2006. Now, owners of free-standing bars and taverns (even those that serve food) can decide for themselves whether they want to allow smoking on their property as long as they prohibit anyone under 21 from entering.

2) In another move towards increased cigar rights, the New York State Senate passed bill S. 3410, which places a cap on the state’s highest-in-the-nation 75 percent tax on handmade cigars. The modest, but critical, cap would limit that tax to $1.00 per cigar. As we reported last week, despite the tax hike, the state has been losing revenue as consumers buy cigars online or through mail-order from lower tax states. The New York Tobacconist Association is now pushing for the State Assembly to take up the bill and encourages New York residents to contact the leadership in the Assembly and their representatives in support.