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Happy Thanksgiving!

26 Nov 2015

Thanksgiving will be taking November 26 and 27 off to enjoy that most American of holidays: Thanksgiving. (We will return on Saturday for our regularly scheduled daily coverage of the world of cigars.) Known for food, family, friends, and football, Thanksgiving is a perfect time to enjoy a fine smoke. Have a safe and happy holiday!

The Stogie Guys

photo credit: Flickr

Cigar Tip: Have a Happy Thanksgiving… with Cigars (2015)

25 Nov 2015

With football on the TV, turkey in your stomach, and family gathered, Thanksgiving is a great day to enjoy a fine cigar (or several). So, as we have for the previous eight years, today the team tells you what cigars we’ll be firing up after our big meals.

Patrick A: After the big meal, I’m not sure if I’ll be in the mood for some strong black coffee or a dram of full-bodied bourbon poured neat. Probably both, I suppose, and probably in that order. Either way, I think the Neanderthal SPG will be an excellent pairing choice—not to mention a bold smoke for a sure-to-be-full stomach. This Mexican San Andrés-wrapped power-bomb from Skip Martin’s RoMa Craft Tobac is loaded with all the pepper, oak, and espresso I’ll be craving. I look forward to celebrating my favorite holiday with Neanderthal’s intensity and strength, as well as its significant dose of nicotine to get the metabolism moving.

Patrick S: Spending Thanksgiving with family is great, but it does make smoking a post-dinner cigar less convenient. I’ll probably just pop onto the back deck with a whiskey sometime after dessert and  hope it isn’t too chilly. For that reason, I’m planning on sticking with one of my favorite smaller format cigars, the Illusione Epernay Le Petit. The small (4.5 x 44) petite corona shouldn’t last more than 45 minutes, but if the 100+ previous Le Petits I’ve smoked are any indication, the ligero-free Nicaraguan puro will feature a balanced combination of coffee, wood, and creamy notes in the mild to medium range. That should be just right before joining the family inside to watch the conclusion of the Turkey Day football showdowns. Of course, if it isn’t too chilly out, I’ll follow it up with a second, more full-bodied cigar and stream the game on my phone.

George E: Our plans for Thanksgiving are somewhat unsettled, and so is my cigar smoking. I’ll undoubtedly fire one up sometime during the holiday, but when and where I’m not sure. A lot depends on the dining schedule. If we eat at home, I’ll likely smoke on the deck (the forecast is near perfect here in Florida) and my choice will be Nick Melillo’s El Güegüense Robusto. I have smoked only one Robusto, but it was among the best new cigars I’ve had this year—a spicy, strong, smooth Nicaraguan puro. If we go out, I may traipse to the nearby cigar shop afterward to light up and watch a little football. Since I haven’t been there in nearly two months, I’m sure there will be many new offerings to tempt me. If so, I’ll let you know what I had.

Previous cigars the team designated as Thanksgiving smokes include:


Not a bad list, eh? If you’re so inclined, feel free to let us know what you’ll be smoking tomorrow in the comments below. And be sure to have a safe and joyous Thanksgiving.

The Stogie Guys

photo credit: N/A

Stogie Guys Friday Sampler No. 457

20 Nov 2015

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.

Regis Broersma1) General Cigar, a subsidiary of Scandinavian Tobacco Group, the world’s largest manufacturer of cigars and pipe tobacco, has appointed a new president. “Regis Broersma becomes new President of General Cigar Company… [He] is Dutch-born and has a comprehensive, international background in sales, marketing, and general management,” reads a press release. “Regis Broersma has worked in the cigar industry since 2002 and has a great passion for cigars.” Broersma (pictured) succeeds Dan Carr, who was dismissed earlier this month. “In addition, Scandinavian Tobacco Group assigns the responsibility of its entire global handmade cigar businesses to an Executive Vice President. Craig Reynolds assumes this responsibility, which includes General Cigar, its international business, and Cigars International, which is a leading online retailer in the U.S.”

2) Nomad has announced a new cigar called H-Town San Andrés Lancero, which will be exclusive to Stogies World Class Cigars, a large tobacconist in Houston that also sells cigars online. It joins the series of exclusive lancero smokes made for the retailer by brands like Room 101, La Palina, Fratello, Alec Bradley, Tatuaje, and Quesada. The first Nomad H-Town San Andrés Lancero release will be 2,000 cigars (200 boxes of 10) which will retail for $8.50 apiece. “I am honored to be a part of a very exclusive group of blenders participating in this series,” said Nomad founder Fred “Godfadr” Rewey. “Lanceros offer a flavor experience that cannot be found in other sizes.”

3) Inside the Industry: The Cigar Association of America, the industry trade group that represents cigar manufacturers, recently announced it has selected Javier Estades as its new chairman. Estades is the Chariman of Tabacalera USA, a division of international cigar giant Imperial Tobacco, which oversees Altadis USA.

4) Deal of the Week: recommends Bespoke Post, a monthly collection of awesome items delivered to your door. Past boxes include fine bar accessories, shaving kits, coffee, and more. You can skip or purchase every month. Next month will feature an exclusive cigar offering from E.P. Carrillo, including previously unreleased cigars available only to Bespoke Post subscribers. Click here to sign up today.

The Stogie Guys

photo credit:

Stogie Guys Friday Sampler No. 456

13 Nov 2015

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.

75th Anniversary1) Online retailer Famous Smoke Shop and Padrón have announced the Famous 75th Padrón Anniversary cigar (5 x 54), a box-pressed robusto that will be offered with either a Nicaraguan Habano natural or Nicaraguan Habano Maduro wrapper. Only 3,000 boxes of 10 have been made. The cigars will retail for $21 apiece. “Both Jorge [Padrón] and I owe a lot to our parents and the values they taught us,” said Arthur Zaretsky, head of Famous Smoke Shop. “So, in celebrating our 75-year legacy as Famous Smoke Shop, and in the spirit of family, we celebrate you—our customer—with this special cigar from Padrón.”

2) 262 Cigars is celebrating its fifth anniversary with its sixth blend. Suit & Tie, as the line is called, will debut in December in two sizes—a box-pressed Toro and a Lancero—both of which will be sold in 10-count boxes with an MSRP of $125 per box. “I was at the factory and this particular blend grabbed a hold of me,” said 262 founder Clint Aaron in a press release. “I wanted to wait until the timing was right, so we put it on the back-burner… [Later] I was on a road trip, and all of the sudden it hit me like a ton of bricks. That blend would be perfect for a short-run to coincide with our five years of being in the industry.”

3) Inside the Industry: CAO has shipped two limited edition cigars (both 6.5 x 52) as part of its annual Christmas-themed release. This year the two cigars are Wicked Winter and Stingy Scrooge. Wicked Winter features a Honduran wrapper, U.S. broadleaf binder, and Honduran and Nicaraguan filler. Stingy Scrooge uses a Connecticut Habano wrapper, Brazilian Arapiraca binder, and a combination of Dominican, Honduran, and Nicaraguan filler tobaccos. They sell for $8 each in 14-count boxes.

4) Deal of the Week: The highly-anticipated (and highly-rated) Sobermesa, the debut offering from Steve Saka‘s Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust, is now available at Smoke Inn. Use the code “Stogie10” to get 10% off your order. And be sure to move quickly; Sobremesa is likely to sell out.

The Stogie Guys

photo credit: Famous Smoke Shop

Stogie Guys Friday Sampler No. 455

6 Nov 2015

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.

BLK WKS1) Yesterday, Black Label Trading Co. (BLTC) creator James Brown announced a new “small-batch cigar line” called Black Works Studio. “Part of the motivation for opening our own factory, Fabrica Oveja Negra, was to experiment and develop unique blends highlighting Nicaraguan tobacco,” said Brown in a press release. “Black Works Studio (BLK WKS) is my first opportunity to use our factory as my playground. Blending cigars is my passion and I ended up with several blends and ideas on the shelf [so] the time was right to launch a new brand.” Three cigars are expected before 2016: NBK (6 x 46, $9, Ecuador Habano Oscuro wrapper), Killer Bee (4.5 x 46, $7.50, Ecuador Maduro wrapper), and Rorschach (5 x 38, $4.30, Ecuador Habano wrapper). A national launch party for BLK WKS will be held on December 11 at Club Humidor in San Antonio. The current BLTC lineup includes Last Rites, Benediction, Royalty, Lawless, and Salvation. Fabrica Oveja Negra was opened early this year in Estelí.

2) Drew Estate is launching a new cigar called Acid Chi-Town, which will be exclusively distributed by Arango Cigar Co., a wholesale distribution company based in Northbrook, Illinois. The robusto-sized cigar (5 x 50) will feature a Cameroon wrapper around Nicaraguan tobaccos. “Arango Cigar Co. has been a long-time ally of Drew Estate,” said Michael Cellucci, president of Drew Estate. “We’ve built a great relationship over the years… We’re excited to work with them on Acid Chi-Town as we continue to bring new and fresh ideas to the popular Acid cigar brand.”

3) A recent editorial by the Tampa Tribune highlights what is at stake for Cigar City if the FDA regulations crack down on cigars: “Last year, outraged citizens sent more than 80,000 messages to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in an effort to save Tampa’s last cigar factory from a bureaucratic noose. Yet the FDA’s decision on the matter still has not been made public, and legislation that would resolve the issue is mired in Congress, despite strong bipartisan support. The fate of J.C. Newman Cigar Co. in Ybor City is at stake. It is the last working cigar factory in Tampa, which once had 150 factories and was renowned as the Cigar City. If the FDA does not adopt sensible rules on premium cigars, the factory’s 130 jobs could be lost. So could the city’s association with the cigar industry, which began when Vicente Martinez Ybor relocated his cigar factory from Key West to Tampa in the 1880s.”

4) Deal of the Week: Looking to try some of the many new releases but don’t want to commit to a five-pack? This “Hot New Sampler” features eight high-end new releases for just $80. Included are the following cigars: Amadeus Habano Sidewinder 3, Johnny Tobacconaut Ranflactic, Casa Magna Domus Magnus II Marcus Arelius, El Güegüense Toro, Rocky Patel 20th Anniversary Toro, Matilde Oscura Toro Bravo, Espinosa Especial No.1, and Murcielago La Lune.

The Stogie Guys

photo credit: BLTC

Stogie Guys Friday Sampler No. 454

30 Oct 2015

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.

Year of the Monkey1) Davidoff has announced a limited edition cigar called Chinese Year of the Monkey 2016. The toro (6.5 x 50) will feature a pigtail cap, a Habano Rojiza Corte 3 wrapper, a Mexican binder, and a blend of filler tobaccos from Nicaragua, Peru, and the Dominican Republic. It will be packaged in bamboo boxes of 10 (only 8,500 boxes) and be available at tobacconists starting in November for $340, or $34 per cigar. “Davidoff found its inspiration for this new 2016 Limited Edition in the character traits of the Chinese zodiac sign of the Monkey and in the noble material associated with the cultures of South and East Asia—bamboo,” said Charles Awad, senior vice president of marketing and innovation at Oettinger Davidoff AG.

2) Earlier this week the e-cigarette trade group Tobacco Vapor Electronic Cigarette Association (TVECA) caused a stir by leaking what it claimed was a draft of the FDA’s deeming rules, which includes regulations for cigars. Although the FDA refused to confirm the document’s authenticity (they didn’t deny it, either), the group claims the draft is what was submitted by the FDA to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for final approval. Notably, the document includes option 1 for regulating cigars, which means no exemption from the FDA’s pre-approval process for any cigars introduced since early 2007, a prospect industry insiders say would be devastating. If authentic, the document seems to confirm what we’ve been hearing throughout the rulemaking process, which is that the FDA wants to take a hard line against premium cigars, while the OMB has been pushing for an exemption for handmade cigars. Since the rule is now in the hands of the OMB, cigar enthusiasts can only hope OMB will continue to push back against FDA’s overreach in this step of the review process.

3) Two Guys Smoke Shop, a three-store chain in New Hampshire, has begun a cigar box drive for Cigars for Warriors, a charitable organization dedicated to providing premium cigars to active duty U.S. military members serving overseas. Two Guys Smoke Shop is collecting boxes (and matching each box up to 500) from October 30 until Thanksgiving. There is a donation box set up at each Two Guys Smoke Shop location, and you may even donate online at (by leaving a message in the comment box) or by calling 1-(888)-2-CIGAR-2.

4) Deal of the Week: Smoke Inn currently has a very limited number of the annual Tatuaje Halloween cigar in stock. It’s called The Hyde, a follow-up to last year’s The Jekyll. If history is any guide, you should move very quickly if you’re interested.

The Stogie Guys

photo credit: Davidoff

Stogie Guys Friday Sampler No. 453

23 Oct 2015

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.

Fratello The Boxer Series

1) Inside the Industry: Fratello Cigars has announced its first limited edition offering. Called “The Boxer Series,” it’s an offshoot of the Fratello Boxer cigar, a vitola in the original Fratello line that came out last year. “We tweaked the Fratello blend, box-pressed the cigar, and people loved it,” said Fratello owner Omar de Frias of the original Boxer. The Boxer Series will only be available as a wooden five-pack that resembles a cigar mold, and only 3,000 packs will be made. Each has four new sizes—Boxeador (6 x 54), Boxero (5.5 x 50), Boxista (5 x 48), and Boxerito (4.75 x 46)—along with one original Boxer (6.25 x 52). The packs will retail for $45 and begin appearing at retailers in mid-November.

2) Even though the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) only formally submitted its final rule regulating cigars and other tobacco products to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) last week, a group of eleven anti-tobacco senators are already agitating for the rule to be rushed through this final step. By statute, OMB has up to 90 days to finalize the rule, but the process can take longer if extensive discussions between agencies become necessary. Instead of letting the process take place at a normal pace, the Democratic senators sent a letter to OMB demanding the rule be implemented “as soon as possible.”

3) Trying to track down a bottle of the ever-elusive Pappy Van Winkle now that the annual release of the Van Winkle bourbons has arrived? Good luck. The folks over at Bourbonr may not be able to find you a bottle, but they’ve developed a release map in the spirit of bourbon enthusiasts trying to help each other. They also have a helpful guide on how to hunt bourbon.

4) Free Cigar Giveaway: readers who register at CigarsFor.Me this week will once again be registered to win a free five-pack of cigars. CigarsFor.Me specializes in recommending premium cigars after visitors fill out a Palate Profile. It’s fun, easy, and this week you can win free smokes. Click here. And congrats to last week’s winner: Darrylyn B. from Hickory, North Carolina.

5) Deal of the Week: Looking to stock up on lots of cigars for as low as $2.50 each? Check out these mystery grab bags. While you don’t know exactly what will be included, given this list of cigars, you can be sure you’ll be getting your money’s worth.

The Stogie Guys

photo credit: Fratello Cigars