Quick Smoke: Tatuaje Reserva Broadleaf Collection Regios

10 Sep 2017

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.”

This gritty-looking cigar is loaded with flavor and packs a punch from start to finish. Part of a special Tatuaje creation introduced last year, this Pete Johnson blend features a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper over Nicaraguan binder and filler tobaccos. My colleagues have already reviewed a few of the ten Broadleaf Collection sizes. This vitola (5.5 x 50) is a treat with a pleasant mix of wood, pepper, and sweetness.

Verdict = Buy.

George E

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Drew Estate

Quick Smoke: Sosa Limitado Stout Torpedo

9 Sep 2017

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.”

This cigar had been resting in one of my humidors for about four years before I lit it up last night. It features a Nicaraguan Habano wrapper around an Indonesian Sumatra binder and filler tobaccos from Ecuador and Nicaragua. It is handmade made in Miami at Santiago Cabana Cigars with production limited to 800 cigars per month (only one roller is used to make the Sosa Limitado Stout Torpedo). With an asking price of about $15, you’d expect quite a lot. Unfortunately, while the Torpedo’s soft, rounded flavors of oak, raisin bread, and sweet cream are enjoyable enough, they’re simply too flat and too lacking in complexity or depth to make this a worthwhile investment.

Verdict = Sell.

Patrick A

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Weekly Cigar News Sampler: Industry Braces for Irma, Cigar Makers Help in the Wake of Harvey, and More

8 Sep 2017

As we have since July 2006, each Friday we’ll post our sampling of cigar news and other items of interest from the week. Below is our latest, which is the 546th in the series.

1) At the time of this writing, Hurricane Irma is a category five storm with a potential path of destruction that includes several major cigar-producing and premium tobacco-growing regions, including Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and South Florida. Irma threatens tobacco fields, factories, warehouses, shipping operations, and administration facilities. Obviously, with a natural disaster of this magnitude, cigars are not a top consideration, nor should they be; make no mistake that human lives are at risk, as Irma has already tragically left 13 dead. That said, it bears reporting that this storm may have a considerable impact on the cigar industry. To give you an idea of the severity of the hurricane: “Irma’s 185 m.p.h. wind speeds persisted for more than 24 hours, the longest period ever recorded. The French weather service described it as the most enduring superstorm on record,” reports the New York Times. With respect to Cuba, “The National Hurricane Center said hurricane conditions are possible from Matanzas all the way to the tip of Cuba and could begin in the watch area by Friday,” reports the Miami Herald. “By Saturday, Irma is expected to dump four to ten inches of rainfall on eastern and central Cuba with isolated downpours of up to 15 inches.”

2) Speaking of hurricanes, Cigar Aficionado published an interesting feature yesterday about how Houston-area tobacconists are dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. The story includes several heartwarming anecdotes that demonstrate the charitable nature of the industry. “One of the more notable relief efforts from the cigar industry has come from Tabacalera USA, the premium cigar division of global tobacco giant Imperial Brands PLC. Together with ITG Brands, the Imperial-owned companies donated $50,000 to the American Red Cross for Hurricane Harvey-related assistance in Houston and other affected areas.” Additionally, the article goes on to point out a special project by Erik Espinosa of Espinosa Premium Cigars that donates 100% of proceeds to victims of the storm. “Espinosa is calling the cigar One Love, which comes in red, white, and blue packaging with an image of Texas and a heart covering the Houston area. The Nicaraguan cigars are sold exclusively through Stogies World Class Cigars in Houston and have raised $5,000 for hurricane relief.”

3) Inside the Industry: With all the hurricane talk, it is worth revisiting how RoMa Craft Tobac was founded in the aftermath of a hurricane nearly a decade ago. Back then, RoMa Craft co-founder Skip Martin was the owner of the Hava Cigar Shop in Galveston, Texas. In 2008, Hurricane Ike hit Galveston hard, and Skip’s shop was one of its casualties. While you never want to see a business destroyed by a natural disaster, there was an upside for cigar smokers: Skip shifted his focus from selling cigars to making cigars. The rest is history.

4) From the Archives: How many gadgets can manufacturers come up with to complicate the simple act of smoking? A lot, as we explored many not-so-essential contrivances and contraptions that have been pushed in the cigar world.

5) Deal of the Week: StogieGuys.com recommends Bespoke Post, a monthly collection of awesome items (think fine bar accessories, shaving kits, wine, workout gear, coffee kits, and more) delivered for just $45. You can skip or purchase every month. Sign up here.

The Stogie Guys

photo credit: Google

Cigar Tip: Ten Do’s and Don’ts for New Cigar Smokers

6 Sep 2017

When you’ve been writing about cigars for as long as we have at StogieGuys.com—more than 11 years, actually—it can seem like every subject imaginable has been covered. Sometimes it’s necessary to take a step back and remember that not all of our readers have been with us for years, and not everyone is a seasoned cigar veteran.

So this one is for the beginners. Those smokers who’ve just gotten into the hobby. After all, we like to think of our site as free of snobbery, judgement, or condescension. New smokers are most welcome here and encouraged to ask questions (either via comments or otherwise).

In honor of you, the new cigar smoker, here are ten do’s and don’ts addressing some questions you may have and, hopefully, helping you get off on the right foot.

Don’t ask your local cigar shop for Cubans. Now, let’s be honest. Some shops may have a stash of Cuban cigars for regular customers. But it’s still illegal, and you can get off on the wrong foot by bringing up the topic.

Don’t bring your own cigars into a shop to smoke. It’s in poor taste, and a slap at the store owner who has to pay rent.

Don’t buy too many cigars at first. Your tastes will almost certainly change along the way and so will the cigars you enjoy. Also, focus more on samplers and less on boxes.

Don’t obsess. Whether it’s humidity levels or finding a new limited edition release, don’t let pursuit create stress. That’s the polar opposite of the mental state cigars should help create.

Don’t flick the ash like it’s a cigarette, and don’t stub out the cigar when you’re done. Just leave it in the ashtray to die on its own.

Do pay attention to what you like and dislike. Note things like the blender and tobaccos. That can help suggest other cigars to try and to avoid. Keeping a simple cigar journal can help with this.

Do experiment. There’s a vast world of cigars out there, and if you limit yourself too soon you run the risk of missing out.

Do listen to informed smokers to gain information and insight, but don’t take anyone’s word as gospel. Remember: The best cigar in the world is the cigar you like the best.

Do select a cigar size appropriate to the time you have for smoking. And when you have it lit, take your time. Smoking is not a race, and you don’t want to overcook the tobacco.

Do enjoy yourself. That’s what it is all about.

For further learning that’s a little more structured than search engines and perusing blogs (all of which are great resources, by the way), check out our Cigar University.

George E

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Cigar Review: Tatuaje Reserva Broadleaf Collection Especiales (Laguito No. 2)

5 Sep 2017

Limited run? Check. Boutique manufacturer with a solid reputation among cigar enthusiasts? Check. Outrageous packaging requiring a sizable investment without the opportunity to first try a single? Check. Tweaking existing blends to create exclusivity? Check.

If there were ever a product release that just screams “FOR CIGAR NERDS ONLY,” the Broadleaf Collection from Pete Johnson’s famed Tatuaje brand is it. Fortunately, after burning through quite a few of these, I am happy to report I consider this purchase money well spent.

As we’ve noted previously, with the FDA deadline just days away at the time, the 2016 IPCPR Trade Show saw a flurry of new cigar announcements, as expected. Tatuaje was no exception. And I don’t think I have to go out on a limb when I say fans of Tatuaje were most excited for the new Tatuaje Reserva Broadleaf Collection. Rightfully so.

The Reserva Broadleaf Collection consists of a whopping 100 cigars selling for $1,200, featuring ten each of the six original Miami Seleccion de Cazador (Brown Label) “HUNTER” sizes, plus the J21, SW, K222, and Cojonu 2003 blends (check out our previous musings on cigars from this collection here, here, and here). Each has its normal wrapper replaced with a Broadleaf wrapper. Fortunately, while the collection was set to only be available in 5,000 master cases of 100 (pictured above), Tatuaje has since said some will be released in boxes of ten of each size.

The master cases of 100 began arriving at retailers earlier this year. Included are ten Seleccion de Cazador Especiales (7.5 x 38), a lancero from the famed Brown Label line—which was introduced by Johnson in 2003 as an “old world, full-bodied, Cuban-style cigar.”

Ordinarily, this cigar has an Ecuadorian wrapper around its Nicaraguan binder and filler tobaccos. This version, however, sports a thick, rustic, toothy, heavily veined Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper. Along with ample oils and rich pre-light notes of coca powder and dried apricot, Especiales also boasts a handsome triple-cap accented with a pigtail. The cigar is firm yet the cold draw is average. A helpful secondary band of black and gold denotes “Reserva Broadleaf” to eliminate any confusion with the original.

After setting an even light, I find a medium-bodied, slightly spicy profile with a thick, chalky texture. Flavors include cayenne heat, espresso, caramel, leather, rye, and chocolate. The draw is impressively smooth for a lancero, the smoke production solid, the resting smoke sweet and aromatic, and the burn is off to a great start.

As the cigar progresses, black pepper spice comes to the fore along with black cherry, cinnamon, and more pronounced espresso. The intensity builds at the midway point and beyond with the final third weighing in as medium- to full-bodied. All the while, the combustion properties remain solid.

I will resist the temptation to compare this to the Ecuadorian-wrapped Seleccion de Cazador Especiales because (1) it has been too long since I’ve smoked that cigar and (2) I’d prefer to evaluate this Broadleaf Collection lanerco on its own merits. All told, this is a wonderful, balanced, satisfying cigar that commands your attention from light to nub. For that, I award it an excellent rating of four and a half stogies out of five.

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

Patrick A

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Quick Smoke: La Aurora Preferidos Ecuador No. 2

3 Sep 2017

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.”

La Aurora’s super-premium Preferidos line doesn’t seem to have the luster it once did. (For example, I bought this single from a well-known internet retailer for under $5.) That doesn’t mean it isn’t a well-made cigar. The small, 5-inch perfecto has a ring gauge of 54 at its widest point. It features a slightly mottled Habano sun-grown wrapper from Ecuador with a Dominican binder and filler from the Dominican Republic, Cameroon, and Brazil. The cigar’s bold flavors include leather, cedar, coffee, and tannic notes. If you can find it for around $5, like I did, it is well worth it.

Verdict = Buy.

Patrick S

photo credit: Stogie Guys

 

Quick Smoke: Joya de Nicaragua Antaño 1970 Robusto Grande

2 Sep 2017

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.”

I’ve been on a bit of an Antaño 1970 kick lately. Can you blame me? I find this Joya de Nicaragua line delivers outstanding performance and value time and again. Most recently, I picked up a Robusto Grande (5.5 x 52) from my local tobacconist for $6.95. This Nicaraguan puro sports a dark Habano-seed Criollo wrapper and a full-bodied profile of dark cherry, leather, espresso, and both red and black pepper. With outstanding combustion properties and a sub-$7 price, the Antaño 1970 Robusto Grande is very easy to recommend—especially to veteran cigar enthusiasts who crave body, spice, and a balanced, smooth delivery.

Verdict = Buy.

Patrick A

photo credit: Stogie Guys