V o lu m e 2 · N u m b e r 1
A C i g a r L i f e s t y l e M ag a z i n e f o r M e n
M. Misti Cigar Co. Crown Jewel Cigars Marching on! Cigar Politics James Acord: A Story of One Man’s Passion Joe Sweigart: The Cigartainer Team La Gloria Cigar Reviews
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In Review Cigars
A C i g a r L i f e s t y l e M ag a z i n e f o r M e n
V o lu m e 2 · N u m b e r 1
ou’ll notice, no doubt, several changes in this issue of CIR. The magazine started out only a year ago with a one-person staff driven by a dream. Now, thanks to a growing, loyal advertising base and people like you, the magazine gets better with every issue. We hope you enjoy the new design and layout, and that CIR continues to provide you with an even greater appreciation for the luxuries we all appreciate. As we continue to expand, we remain committed to keeping you graciously informed on the cigar lifestyle. Whether it’s a cigar review, cigar accessory, or the latest car, we will provide you with the best information available on the subject for free! This is only made possible by our growing list of advertisers and a loyal readership base. And so, dear readers, Thank You! I also want to touch briefly on the subject of our cigar smoking freedoms. As you know, it is more crucial than ever to support your local tobacconist and the groups that stand
up and fight for cigar smokers. That’s why, starting in this issue, we’ve partnered with Cigar Rights of America. In each issue, the organization will be bringing us the latest news from the legislative realm of the cigar world. I encourage you to get involved with groups like CRA and help educate the public about cigars and what the potential loss of freedom to smoke them is really all about. And toward that end, in an effort to further promote the enjoyment of fine cigars, we are proud to announce that CIR will be sponsoring two cigar events. The Cuban American Cigar Festival April 2, 2011 in West Palm Beach FL and the Colorado Cigar & Brew Festival in Copper Colorado. They both are designed to further the enjoyment and promote the cigar lifestyle as well as help educate on the subject of cigars. Both events will be weekends to remember and we hope that you will join us. Ticket and exhibitor information can be found at www.cigarsinreviewmagazine.com. I welcome your comments and feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org. CIR
Publisher: Joseph A. Baker | Senior Editor: Skip Press | Associate Editor: Jessica Baker | Contributing Editors: Bill Marsano, Skip Press, Tony Katz | Contributors: Frank Seltzer, Jerry Ison, Martin A. Berrios, Luke Steele, Andy Josker, Francis Liztinger, Tony Bellatto, Glynn Loop, Joe Lordi, Bryan Infante | Marketing: Mike Baker | Photographer: Doug Chandler | Graphic Design: JeffClark.com | All Rights Reserved © 2011 Cigars in Review For subscription information please visit us at: www.cigarsinreviewmagazine.com To inquire about article submissions email: email@example.com Advertising inquires can be directed to: firstname.lastname@example.org
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H U M I D O R · TA L K
Cigars In Review
Tony Katz Smokes America
very New Year, many people work on resolutions made at near the stroke of midnight. At the tick of the clock that made 2010 part of the historical record and provided the promise of 2011, people were thinking about losing weight, making money, or making other potentially life-altering decisions - all because a calendar changed its numbers. I did none of that. Nothing I have ever accomplished in my life came from a resolution made on New Year’s Eve or Day. It has never come from talking about doing something. Rather, the great things in my life have only come from doing something. Before 2011 started, I was doing one in particular - trying as many new sticks as I could. And not only sticks…new places, as well. Not just in my town, but all across the nation. I named it the Tony Smokes America Tour. Certainly, part of my doing was just for the fun of it. New places, new cigars, new conversations, new people, new insights. Fun is the reason why I encourage everyone to do the same thing. The enjoyment of a stick, as I have discussed previously, is about the people you are surrounded with. And yes, though I will be trying many more cigars throughout 2011, you would be hard pressed to find me with a Panatela in my hand, because a 34 ring gauge just doesn’t get me going. I have found specific cigars, and specific places, that make me feel comfortable, and that’s more fun. I know the owner, I know the guys, I know where my favorite cigar is in the humidor. I even know the code for the free wi-fi. When I started Tony Smokes America, I had the experience of being in another town, 4 Cigars in Review
where I met a friend who lived in another state. The chairs were different, the humidor was different, the cigars were different (the first time I ever ran into a San Lotano Maduro or a Liga Privada). The guys in the shop were different, and there were a fair amount of women coming in and buying cigars, as well. Yet I sat down feeling as much at ease as I would in one of my normal spots, and I spoke with my friend as if no distance existed between us. Soon we were engaged in a conversation with the five guys sitting around us. We talked business, and politics. I enjoyed my San Lotano Maduro, and some guy sat down and started telling off-color jokes he was reading off his Blackberry. And a bunch of guys who never met before were laughing like guys who had known each other their entire lives. This is happening in cigar lounges and shops all around the country. It’s happening right now as you read this. It’s happening where you smoke. I want in on those conversations. I want in on that laughter. I want in on what someone else is thinking, and is there something I can learn from it. And, yes, I want in on all of those cigars that I haven’t smoked, and know nothing about. For example, early in my tour I was surprised to learn that my Liga Privada T52 was made by Drew Estate. My surprise turned to triumph when I lit up, and realized I had made a great choice. I’m not saying that your resolution to lose weight in 2011 wasn’t admirable. (But how have you done with it so far?) If you did well with it, I hope you enjoyed buying that new suit. For me, I started off 2011 learning what else was out there, who else was out there, and how I could enjoy all of it even more….one herf at a time. Hope to see you soon. CIR
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THE CIGAR LIFESTYLE
2011 Will be a Full Year for Cigar Politics By J. Glynn Loope, Executive Director Cigar Rights of America
t is appropriate for our first piece for Cigars in Review to address the upcoming legislative season. Now is the perfect time to discuss the significant docket of known anti-cigar measures (as well as some positive legislation) that will be addressed by Cigar Rights of America and other industry allies in 2011. On the issue of smoking bans, the opposition continues to be creative in its attacks on limiting the places one can enjoy a cigar. They always state “We’re not trying to prohibit use, just not there.” Well, the there is getting harder to find. We have signs of hope, however, so let’s begin with some of the positive ones. With new governors in Kansas and Wisconsin that each came out publicly during their campaigns for changes in state smoking laws, there could be legislation to modify the existing statutes. There is a growing grassroots movement to support such actions, and this momentum, because of one election, needs to be furthered along. Michigan, too, is prime for changes to their young smoking ban, with existent legislative support in each of these three states for change to smoking regulations. Also on the positive news front, there has been legislation introduced in Illinois that would loosen the smoking regulations for casinos. There are two measures that have been advanced going into the 2011 legislative cycle
that could address the fact that the state has lost over a half-billion in gaming revenue, due to its prohibitive smoking ban. Though the 2011 docket is full for those seeking additional smoking regulation, the following are ‘front and center’ in the national fight for protecting the simple ability to enjoy a cigar: Indiana – Once again, Representative Charlie Brown has introduced a statewide smoking ban bill. Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels said he would sign such legislation. CRA will be supporting the efforts of the gaming (www.casinoassociation.org/) and licensed beverage (www.indianalba. com) organizations in this battle. Strangely enough (though not unlike the Galveston, TX smoking ban issue), the Indiana Chamber of Commerce is supporting the ban. Whatever happened to Chambers of Commerce being pro-business and antiregulation? Texas – Again, a statewide smoking ban will be introduced in Texas. CRA will be supporting the work of the Texas Cigar Merchant’s Association (www.txcma.org/) in this annual fight. Additionally, there will be legislation in 2011 to offer greater (smoking) control at the local government level, as granted by the state in Oklahoma and Wyoming. CRA will oppose both. continued on page 13 Cigars in Review 7
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Cigar Politics continued CRA remains engaged and concerned about the pending tobacco control policy in Buffalo, New York. This proposal would impose sweeping new fees, advertising and marketing restrictions, zoning restrictions (on where tobacco can be sold) and related enforcement steps that set a horrid national precedent for local tobacco policy. It does not discriminate between cigarettes, smokeless, and cigars, and would add a level of burden to local shops that comes on the heels of new state taxes that further threaten the livelihood of the local retail tobacconist. The proposal must be defeated, or seriously changed. At the national level, cigar enthusiasts have to remain engaged on the issue of FDA regulation of tobacco, and cigars specifically. On a weekly basis, CRA and associated national trade groups monitor the actions of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration – Center for Tobacco Products. Since the agency posted on April 26, 2010 (and again in December) that cigars were in their regulatory crosshairs, we all must remain vigilant in this effort. The wisdom of having a consumer-based movement for cigars will surely come to light when the call for public comment is made for any such regulatory measures for cigars. As you can see, the legislative agenda is packed, and all of the items that need to be addressed for Cigar Nation have yet to come to light. As 2011 unfolds, additional tax, regulatory and associated nanny-state policies will have to be fought, and defeated. This, however, is a process and fortunately politics goes in cycles. Over the last twenty-four months, smoking bans have been reversed and tax measures have been defeated. The problem is not universal, merely indicative of what can happen across this nation. Let’s work together in 2011 for a brighter day, for the passion that we share, of a great cigar. CIR
Looking for a unique speaker for your next event?
Invite Joe ‘the Cigartainer’ Cigartainer’Sweigart Sweigart Author of the popular book Long Ashes, Baby
Joe is very entertaining and knowledgeable about a wide variety of subjects - especially luxury tobacco.
* Cigar Clubs * In-store events * Corporate clients * Golf outings Joe is an Ambassador with Cigar Rights of America and knows the current political climate. Joe is a Certified Sales Tobacconist with Tobacconist University so he knows premium cigars. Joe is friends with top cigar industry leaders like Hendrick Kelner, Benjamin Menendez, Carlito Fuente, Guillermo León, and many others so he knows what is happening in the industry.
Book Today by calling Joe at 404-441-4438 or email email@example.com
BTW - Joe will bring signed copies of his book and great cigars so that everyone can enjoy, Long Ashes, Baby!
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T I M E
THE CIGAR LIFESTYLE
Spring 2011 By Joe Lordi
hen the harsh winds of winter calm and the hazardously icy roads thaw, my favorite season approaches. I step outside and see the long-awaited sunshine, take my first breath of warm fresh air, and I know it is time to light a celebratory cigar. Life is too short to enjoy such glorious pleasures as the dawn of spring without a great smoke. I feel the same way about interacting with those I love while wearing a cheap, mass-produced watch unworthy of my wrist. My approach is to value time, and honor its passing. Spring is reliable, fresh, clean, beautiful in its simplicity, and there are plenty of watches that are possessed of similar qualities. So, like my cigars, I want the best. Watches such as the F. P. Journe Chronometre Bleu, with a rare 39mm Tantalum case, striking midnight blue dial, and matching supple leather strap, will draw envious glares at your favorite jazz club, and perfectly embody the spirit of your favorite Blue Note album. A more understated timepiece, such as the Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde, provides tasteful contrast with its juxtaposed furnace-blued lancine hands, black Roman numerals, and brilliant white Grand Feu enamel dial. Such a watch foregoes a busy dial filled with unnecessary complications. It offers a relatively blank canvas waiting to reflect the adventures of your daily conquests. The Chopard L.U.C. Extra Plate is similarly minimalist. Its slim profile and luxurious caviar black dial looks perfectly elegant peeking out from beneath the sleeve of your dinner jacket as you pour another glass of champagne for a beautiful (and, by now, very impressed) girl. These 14 Cigars in Review
are timepieces well suited for a season of arguably more indoor pursuits, but still look and feel great while you slip out of your opera seat during intermission to light up a petit corona on a balcony. If you are seeking wearable luxury that is a bit more affordable, look no further than the Georg Jensen Henning Koppel chronograph (available with quartz or automatic movement) The legible dial, round stainless steel case, and subtly avant garde features are reminiscent of legendary Bauhaus styling. The chronograph is rather useful when you take your classic car out of the garage for a few time trials, and equally impressive to your covetous friends. In contrast, for those to whom luxury is an afterthought, who prefer to seize the day by taking a few Camachos onto the hiking trail, or sit by the fire with a few buddies and a robust Padron, the rugged Hamilton Khaki Automatic is reliable and honestly unostentatious. To select an appropriate watch is as much a statement of personal taste as picking the right cigar. Watches that are thin, classic, or austere, resonate tasteful confidence. They reinforce the notion that one doesnâ€™t need a diamond encrusted phallic enhancement on the wrist to be a chivalrous gentleman of great pride. CIR
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Mark Mistie Jr.
The Crown Jewel Boutique Cigar Story
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by Ann Cevis
Defying the Odds… In the summer of 2010, the Southeastern region of the United States got a powerful introduction to a new cigar series. With the Florida release of their Crown Jewel Boutique Cigar, M. Misti Cigar Company defied expectations by earning great reviews from well-respected critics. Humble Beginnings… In the contemporary marketplace, most large new businesses start as a result of years of market research, planning and strategic investments. Venture capital and big money consultants get together with ideas that are based on experience and expertise aimed at maximizing profits. Mark Mistie Jr.’s model was similar, but not as elaborate. The goal of his company was to restore the “Old World” quality and cigar manufacturing tradition, with a focus on creating the greatest cigars ever made. The company was also ready to support its new product line with hands-on customer service support and promotions. Started from scratch with nothing but a vision and a dream, Mistie knew he needed a new business methodology, no matter how passionately he went about creating unique brands with a focus driven by quality. Most critics of the cigar industry felt it had passed its time due to multiple legal tax issues, and that opportunities were passé. Any new company would face large companies with longer history, established ties to the industry, and huge advertising and inventory budgets. On the surface, it appeared as though Mistie’s company had a disadvantage in the marketplace, not just on the surface, but in reality. “Most industry research demonstrated a positive and stable side to the industry,” he says, commenting on what he faced. “But let’s not forget the ‘forbidden’ business terms such as passion, celebration, and fun.”
As he considered the challenges, Mistie reflected on some advice from his father: “Be careful of naysayers, of all the can’t doers, of everyone that tries to hold you back. Focus on achieving your goals, believe them, and see for yourself. Maintain the persistence, discipline, commitment and, most importantly, the belief to take action to get the results.” Unstoppable Desire… Mistie borrowed monies from family and friends to get the process started. Within a year of payless efforts, declined savings and accruing debt, he finally convinced a private investor to take on the Crown Jewel development project. Despite many sleepless night and extensive travel, he was determined to succeed, working out of sheer self-motivation. He secured marginal results, but always kept his head up and a smile on his face. He woke up every morning more motivated than the day before to achieve his goals. He stayed motivated by a quote from one of his favorite movies: “It ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit, how much you can take and keep moving forward.” He discovered that identifying the product and positioning it for success wasn’t the hard part. Trying to identify the litmus for a great cigar product was the risk. Passion For Excellence.... In the search for cigar perfection, M. Misti Cigar Company extended enormous resources in creating
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Question and Answer session with Mark Mistie Jr.
. When you started, did you feel that the lack of brand / name recognition was a deterrent? . No, it was a definite opportunity. Think about it. In 1938, Seabiscuit, the little horse that nobody wanted, beat the likely winner War Admiral and became a symbol and inspiration for everyone. Crown Jewel is capable of doing the same. The Crown Jewel has a unique opportunity to create its own legacy - one that will be focused on maintaining a tradition of quality cigars.
. The cigar industry really has two classes, the big name companies with timehonored brands and the smaller boutique style companies. First of all, hasn’t each and every one of the major brands at one time or point in their company history been considered a boutique brand? For example, the La Gloria Cubana brand story would certainly support my point. More importantly, there should be nothing wrong with creating a cigar that is of high quality, driven by the tradition and craft of hand-rolled cigar construction, thus maintaining uniqueness in the marketplace. In terms of company vision, our basic principles will never change. We will continue to expand our markets by consistently creating the best cigar available in today’s cigar marketplace and supporting it through unparallel customer and product support programs.
. What is your mission; what will ensure your company’s future success? . The focus of our company builds on three basic beliefs and principles: 1. Product quality over quantity production levels will never supersede our quality standards. We will use only the most rare and best-quality aged tobacco leaves, selectively grown for our respective lines. 2. Superior Customer Service - we will consistently present our valued customers with the very best in cigar blend product innovations, customer rewards and support programs, and will always respond to customer feedback, recognizing that little details can go a long way 3. Employee / Staff Recognition - We recognize that our employees are the foundation and backbone of our planned success. We will pay competitive wages and provide advancement, ongoing training, and income incentives. These are the guiding principles for our company.
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. Today’s market place is flooded with boutique brands, many of whom a few industry snobs classify as “gringos” with limited vision. What makes the Crown Jewel different?
. Tell us a little about your brand identity? How was it designed?
. From a design standpoint, we believe we have been solid from day one. Bringing in an outside graphic design firm to work with our internal team allowed us to extend and modernize our brand design without moving away from the prestige and timeless design history of the cigar industry and heritage. We take pride in each and every cigar we produce, from the wrapping and dressing of the individual cigar sticks to the promotional graphic support we provide. We are proud to have our name on the logo.
. Why should someone buy a Crown Jewel cigar when there are so many others in the market place? . Cigar smokers are fortunate. There are many great cigars in today’s marketplace; it’s just a question of selection. This industry is driven, for the most part, by larger companies that spend tens of millions of dollars on advertising to create their image and increase their production levels. The simple answer? A Rolls Royce is made by hand one piece at a time with select parts. In the same tradition, our Crown Jewel premium cigar line is consistently constructed in an “Old World” style by skilled mastered cigar rollers, blended using only the rarest and best of tobacco products, and then properly stored and packaged with pride. The more enjoyable answer? Here’s one of our Torpedo Habanos, please smoke it. We’re proud of our manufacturing team. Like any classic, this cigar – and the Crown Jewel – will stand the test of time on a foundation of over a century of Cuban cigar manufacturing history.
what they think may be the worlds’ greatest cigar; the Crown Jewel. Its evaluation and research period included over a year of product development and sourcing that included interviewing over 40 manufacturers, and testing countless blends. Finally, Mark Mistie Jr. selected the true “gem” of the cigar manufacturing industry, the Beovides family. With a history that dates back over 100 years and two generations of tobacco growers and manufacturers, the family expressed a true passion for creating only the finest “Old World” Cuban style cigars. Utilizing their secrets and experience, this group of skilled Cuban estate tobacco growers, manufacturers, marketers, and distributing experts focused their expertise and passion into making the Crown Jewel the number one cigar in the world. “Old World” quality starts with beliefs and concepts. Cigars used to be all hand-rolled, quality-crafted products, until technology took over in most cigar companies. The Beovides manufacturing facility, founded and managed by Cuban cigar aficionados with ancestors that date back three generations, hand-rolls the Misti cigars. This is no small statement; with a decline of quality master cigar rollers, cigar rolling is becoming a lost craft. “At Crown Jewel Boutique Cigar we are determined to bring hand-rolling back and Cigars in Review 19
will never jeopardize product quality to meet production levels,” Mistie states, insisting on the importance of understanding the process. Making a hand-rolled cigar is complicated and slow. Select tobacco is grown on the plantation and harvested by skilled hands before being sent to the factory for baling. Aging the baled tobacco can take anywhere from eighteen months to nearly two years before a master blender selects tobacco in the correct portions for blending and rolling. Each quality is considered carefully, based on the master’s years of experience in producing the desired results. After bunching, pressing, and wrapping, the cigars are individually inspected and placed in storage. Going the Distance… As Mark Mistie Jr’s business grew, he recognized the talent he had come to know and respect when he created the M. Mist`i Cigar Co. Board of Directors. The Board is composed of seasoned business professionals from the tobacco, marketing, resort development, and financial industries. All board members are active shareholders that share the passion and experience needed to create a true “Old World” premium cigar. They oversee product development, quality control, and expansion of the Crown Jewel Line, working with and through its creative team. The Board of Directors and executive management team share a passion, commitment and promise that their company will only produce the highest quality cigars. The Crown Jewel premium cigar line has been created to assure that all generations can experience the pleasure of a truly great cigar. Nevertheless, product movement was initially slow, given the company’s oldfashioned “door to door, store to store” approach to selling products. Their niche was what most critics defined as the company’s weakness – specifically, its size. This became the essence of its strength, however, because of the ability to support the product it sold, 20 Cigars in Review
assist its retailers and distributor partners in turning their inventory, using and expensing funds for launch parties, promotional giveaways, themed events and sweepstakes promotions. All company efforts were devoted to increasing the bottom line without sacrificing quality for volume. “Our company has constantly delivered value and demonstrated it without appearing too aggressive,” Mistie says. “Retailers will buy a new premium cigar line if it produces income, and is serviced and supported better than the bigger and larger leading cigar manufacturers. In this business, small is huge.” The initial market entry for the Crown Jewel Boutique Cigar line was June, 2010. The product was introduced on a test basis in one of the most competitive cigar states in the nation: Florida. Now the company enjoys the retail participation of well over 100 retail tobacco shops and higher-end country clubs through out the state of Florida, with reorders exceeding all projections. The Future… In 2011, the company will continue to carve its way through the states of Louisiana, Texas, Nevada, and Pennsylvania while increasing their product profile to include an exciting and unique premium Costa Rican and Panamanian cigar line, all focused on the greatest cigar construction, blend, and smoothness of flavor. Mark Mistie’s focus remains much the same as when he first formed the company, and he has not forgotten his beginnings. “We humbly thank our loyal customers for their loyalty and support,” he says. “We won’t let you down.” Crown Jewel Cigars has proudly been rated 91 by Cigars in Review Magazine. CIR For more information on Crown Jewel Boutique Cigars you can call toll-free at 877.336.3159 or visit them on the web at www.CrownJewelCigars.com
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B E E R
THE CIGAR LIFESTYLE
here is something to be said about sitting next to your loved ones around a fire,
even better when you’re sharing a good
Eating my farm-to-fork hamburger of locally grown beef and elk coming from North Country Brewing’s own farm, glazed
cold beer. Not long ago,
with homemade BBQ sauce, I took a sip of
I traveled to a cozy town
homemade root beer and thought, I still
in Western Pennsylvania
haven’t tried the beer yet! I soon found out
called Slippery Rock to
I was in for a treat - North Country’s Paleo
enjoy some good brews at
IPA and Cask versions were definitely the
the local North Country
stars. At 6.2%, the Paleo had a hoppy but
Brewing Company. If you live on the East
very balanced character, easily approach-
Coast of the U.S., you’ve probably heard of
able. Its wonderful floral nose made this
Rolling Rock pale lager out of Latrobe, but
beer a very easy one for people trying to
North County’s own fine brews are highly
get into the craft beer scene, and perfect for
recommended. I began learning about them
people already enjoying it. The cask-condi-
in a 19th century house that once served as
tioned beer was amazing, same characteris-
a mortuary and furniture company, now
tics but the N02 lent an amazing creaminess
transformed into a Aspen-esque cabin
that I found unmatched in the craft beer
courtesy of local hardwoods and materials
circuit. If your travels ever take you the way
you might never think were recycled. As
of Appalachia, North Country Brewing
explained on the menu:
Company in Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania should be a must stop for your choice of
“One can sit down at a booth handcraft-
frothy lust. And keep an open eye for the
ed with black walnut and curly maple left
Slippery Rock Beer and Wine Festival,
from the Ubers furniture store, slip a penny
which happens every September. CIR
in the crack of an original 1805 beam, or
rest a beer out back on the slate bar top which was once used as a walkway to the funeral home.” 24 Cigars in Review
August 12 – 13, 2011 Copper Mountain Resort in Copper, Colorado Don’t miss this professionally managed multi-day event at the Copper Pavilion and surrounding decks & grounds for outdoor displays and smoking. The event will feature samples of cigars and local brews and will also showcase local merchants offering lifestyle products and services. The Festival will be marketed throughout the Rocky Mountain communities and into the front range cities reaching nearly 2.5 million people. The Festival will be held in conjunction with Copper Mountains popular Guitar Town event which is a blues guitar event celebrating its 5th year. Guitar Town regularly draws thousands of people to the mountain for this weekend-long festival.
Here’s your opportunity to secure an exhibit or sponsorship at the Colorado Cigar & Brew Festival.
Exhibit and sponsorship opportunities are available on a limited basis. For information on exhibiting at or sponsoring the show, call Chris at 570-972-5173. Information is also available at www.coloradocigarandbrewfest.com or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
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La Tradicion ad
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A Cigar Primer By Jerry Ison
hether you’re a long time cigar aficionado or a neophyte puffer, cigar enjoyment may be enhanced simply by knowing a little cigar specific facts and lore. The word cigar is believed to be from the Mayan sik’ar which is a derivative of their word for tobacco, sik. Whatever the origin, the cigar definitely had it’s beginning in the lands and islands of the Caribbean. It is believed the cigar dates as far back as 3000 to 5000 B.C. Not only is Christopher Columbus credited with introducing the New World to Europe, but he also introduced Europe to the pleasures of New World tobacco and especially cigars. Two sailors in the Columbus expedition reported watching Caribbean natives rolling dried and shredded tobacco leaves in palm leaves and smoking the primitive cigar. The sailors took up the practice, probably the first Europeans to enjoy tobacco. It wasn’t long until cigars were being enjoyed by the conquistadors, Spanish explorers and settlers in the New World. Cigars smoking quickly became part of the Spanish and Portuguese daily life. The French ambas-
sador to Portugal, Jean Nicot, introduced smoking to the French and lent his name to the eponym, nicotine. Smoking was rapidly taken up in Italy and neighboring counties like Holland and Belgium. The British isles were introduced to tobacco after Sir Walter Raleigh’s many American voyages. Unlike the mainland of Europe, however, the British were more likely to smoke tobacco in a pipe. The first cigars in the form we know them today were made in Spain early in the 18th century. By the late 1700s cigar factories were built in France and Germany. The Dutch began making cigars from the tobaccos grown in their colonies in the Far East. Cigar smoking really took off in Europe after the solders returned to England and France after serving in Spain during the Peninsular wars of 1808 to 1814. These men had taken up the enjoyment of the best cigars available at the time and made cigar smoking as trendy and popular among men as afternoon tea. Cigars have since been sought after and enjoyed by kings, statesmen, generals and common folk alike. Cigar smoking may have peaked about the turn of the twentieth century. It has been estimated that four out of five men in America enjoyed cigars. With the introduction of pre-rolled cigarettes, cigar smoking dropped steadily until the great resurgence of cigar enjoyment which began in the early 1990’s and has in many instances replaced cigarettes. Handmade cigars especially have again taken on a significant and more prominent place among the connoisseurs of fine tobacco. CIR Cigars in Review 27
Joe Sweigart: The Cigartainer W
e all know the joys of smoking cigars - the rich aroma, the mix of bold and subtle flavors, and the inherent camaraderie that comes when smoking with friends. But have you ever considered the entertainment value of a good smoke? If not, Guillermo Leon Visits Our Exhibit you’ve never met or heard of Joe Sweigart, sweetheart, Elaine. That was more than forty better known as Joe the Cigartainer. some years ago and they became a team in Joe first exercised his entrepreneurial every respect. nature at the tender age of six after being One thing Elaine did for Joe was to taught the proper way to shine shoes by get him into the cigar business. In the late his father. Joe mastered the art quickly and eighties, he and Elaine moved to Atlanta began shining shoes for his father and his where Joe worked selling Yellow Page ads father’s friends. and Elaine worked at professional sales jobs. As a ten-year old, Joe took on the seven In 1991, she was hired as the Georgia and day a week job of delivering the local paper Tennessee territory representative for the door to door. Since then Joe has worked at General Cigar Company. In short order, she a myriad of jobs. He was a short order cook was promoted to the position of Premium at fifteen and held that position all through Cigar Specialist handling the entire Southhigh school. He worked degreasing forty eastern United States. To build goodwill, she millimeter cannon barrels for the Army. He would sponsor cigars at high profile events was a bill collector for the Chrysler Corpohosted by local tobacco stores. These funcration, and an iron worker at the infamous tions are where Joe developed an interest in Three Mile Island Nuclear Power Station. enjoying the pleasures of cigar enjoyment He ran for political office, was a purchaswith entertainment. ing agent for the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, and many other After a four-day Retail Tobacco Dealers jobs. In one year, he had more than a dozen of America show held in Orlando Florida W-2’s! in 1995, Joe came up with the concept for a During these career changes, Joe made new venture - private label cigars. a few mistakes, but more often learned He returned to Atlanta determined to enough to frequently make the right decionce again flex his entrepreneurial muscles. sions about his life. None was more right Joe found a cigar label maker who would than when he married his high school produce short runs for him and ordered 28 Cigars in Review
his first batch of custom labels. These labels were red with the gold imprint “Your Logo Here”. He drove down to Ybor City, Florida and took delivery of cigars he had ordered from Bob Saitta, the owner of El Sol Cigars. Joe put together his cigars and the “Your Logo Here” bands in the parking garage of the Orlando Convention Center where the PGA merchandise show was under way. He may not have known it when he entered, but this event was going to supply him with the validation of his plan. One
to make the perfect cigar match with his clients. There were ups and downs, with more downs, until he convinced world famous quality cigar maker La Aurora in the Dominican Republic to craft a cigar that met Joe’s requirements. The new Millennium Cigar proved to be exactly what he had desired, a great smoke from a reputable and reliable source. In the next year, due to market changes and many other factors, Joe began a relationship with the Davidoff cigar maker Tabadom. This, along with the cigars he was getting from La Aurora, finally satisfied his long sought goal of consistency. This would soon prove, however, not enough to assure a successful business venture. Joe had a great product and a loyal following, but the market was getting crowded and dealers were reluctant to make room for more boutique brands. After narrowly escaping bankruptcy thanks to an unexpected loan from Tony Fratelli, Joe’s very first private label client and an old friend who owned an Atlanta restaurant. This loan provided the necessary funds to keep the Private Label Cigar Company viable and allowed Joe the time needed to regroup. During the transition, Joe’s son Mike learned to use computer Henke Kelner Explains How He Makes Our Cigars programs to design logo bands. Joe decided to leave the importing of of the exhibitors was Specialty Cigars, the all the cigars to one of his associates who world’s largest purveyor of cigars for the golf was a cigar distributor in his own right. industry. Their business needs meshed and This change in direction was brought about Private Label Cigars was born. They do busibecause, as Joe describes it in his book, Long ness to this day. Ashes, Baby, “the strong winds of events The next couple of years Joe spent trying were blowing.” continued next page
… he and his partner and expert torcedor, Jorge have dreams of owning a public cigar factory with its very own luxurious lounge. Joe also has a new idea for another venture, but for now insists it must remain a secret. continued Cigars in Review 29
The company turned over all the importing, distribution and warehousing of the Millennium cigar to Joe’s associate. In 2001, they did almost two events every month in places like New Orleans, St Louis, Hilton Head and Las Vegas. The Cigartainer theme drastically altered the approach to these events. Instead of focusing on the cigars, he focused on the end users and used talented cigar rollers at the events. Joe and Elaine brought along Millennium cigars to hand out along with those created by the torcedors, the rollers. Their marketing and presentations began to appeal to more and more corporations and organizations that appreciated Joe’s memorable approach of intriguing and entertaining people with presentations and showmanship. Some of those clients read like a who’s who of American business: IBM, Pitney Bowes, Chrysler, Equity, and Conde Nast met Joe, as did celebrities like Kevin Costner, Dr. J, Cuba Gooding Jr., and many others. Joe’s ability to connect with those to whom he is presenting and his natural “people person” personality coupled with a serious dedication to his craft has made him a very in-demand personality. In 2010, Joe became a Certified Sales Tobacconist by Tobacconist University and an Ambassador with Cigar Rights of America. When asked what lay ahead, Joe said that he has several speaking engagements scheduled at cigar clubs and golf clubs. Also, he and his partner and expert torcedor, Jorge have dreams of owning a public cigar factory with its very own luxurious lounge. Joe also has a new idea for another venture, but for now insists it must remain a secret. “Check with me down the road and maybe I’ll let Cigars in Review Magazine in on it!” he chuckled, then closed with his special blessing, “Long Ashes, Baby!” CIR Check out Joe’s websites at: http://longashesbaby.com/ http://www.privatecigarbrands.com/ http://www.cigartainment.com/ 30 Cigars in Review
La Tradicion Cubana Cigars— Traditional Excellence
you have enjoyed reading Smoke magazine, Pearlman’s Cigarcyclopedia and a lot of cigar blogs out there, you surely have heard of La Tradicion Cubana Cigars. This brand has many different lines under its wing, including (but not limited to): La Tradicion Cubana – Rated exceptional Sabor Cubano: Rated excellent Under Contract Brands: Casa Gomez Natural: Rated exceptional Casa Gomez Maduro: Rated exceptional La Caridad del Cobre natural: Rated excellent La Caridad del Cobre Maduro: Rated exceptional Jameson Declaration: Rated excellent Jameson Black Label: Rated excellent Jameson Red Label: Rated exceptional The proprietor, Luis Sanchez, has spearheaded La Tradicion Cubana Cigars since they started in 1995. Even though 1995 marked his official entry into the cigar business, the Sanchez family roots reach all the way back to 1928 and the Pinar del Rio region in Cuba. This heritage and knowledge are attributing factors to the
success Sanchez’s company has enjoyed, as evidenced by the high ratings his brand has achieved throughout both the blogosphere and traditional media. In this company, there is something for everyone. Whether it’s a good mild cigar or a strong maduro, La Tradicion Cubana offers it in their portfolio. Whether you seek a robusto or Churchill-sized cigar or one with a ring gauge over 60, you’ll find it. If you desire superbly uniqueness, consider “The Great Pyramid” which is an 8½ inch cigar with a 96 ring gauge (yes, 96)! Since Sanchez has his own factory in the Dominican Republic (Tabacalera LTC, SA), he has the ability to ensure the manufacturing process sticks to traditional cigar-making methods and that no corners are cut or expenses spared that might adversely impact a pleasurable smoking experience. No matter what your taste, desire, or which brand his factory produces, you can be assured each La Tradicion Cubana cigar is a quality product that was made to impress…which it definitely does. CIR Cigars in Review 31
A Story of One Manâ€™s Passion
Turned into a Utilitarian Work of Art by Andy Josker
hat do blood, sweat, passion, tradition, and leather have to do with cigars? Well, a lot if James Acord has anything to do with it. Acord is the proprietor of Turtle Moon Studios , a master leather worker who has been creating beautiful and functional art in that timeless media for the past 35 years. He specializes in fly fishing and cigar cases made entirely by hand at each and every step of the entire painstaking process. The cigar cases he creates are so detailed and pleasing to the eye that you could very well keep one on your mantle for decoration when not using it to protect your precious puros. One of the most impressive and amazing aspects of Jamesâ€™s work concerns the fact that he utilizes no machines to create his masterpieces, relying instead on antique tools, hand stitching, and hand carving to complete his work. When you look at his finished products, the atten-
32 Cigars in Review
The hallmarks of his work are meticulously drawn, tooled, and then hand painted. Elegant hand stitching, a rich antique look and feel are given to all the surfaces. The processes are done by Jimmy alone, not in cottage industry or assembly line style, but carefully, and lovingly. Each piece is hand signed, dated, and numbered.
Cigars in Review 33
34 Cigars in Review
James Acord’s craftsmanship has not gone unnoticed by people that know quality. In the fall of 2009, James was asked to make some exquisite leather three-finger cigar cases for OK Cigars of New York in SoHo. tion to detail makes it hard to imagine it
there like James Acord. Sometimes people
was completed in such a traditional manner.
do enjoy getting a product that is quickly
The overall effect gives you an appreciation
manufactured and readily available, but like
of work that is unparalleled by the machine-
a great cigar that only gets better with age,
made accessories on the market today.
a longer wait for work of arts like the wares
James Acord’s craftsmanship has not
made at Turtle Moon Studios results in a
gone unnoticed by people that know qual-
masterpiece you can use with delight, then
ity. In the fall of 2009, James was asked to
pass down for generations to come. CIR
make some exquisite leather three-finger cigar cases for OK Cigars of New York in SoHo. Needless to say, they turned out bet-
James and his wife, Susan Acord created Tur-
ter than most high-end cases produced by
tle Moon Studios (www.TurtleMoon.com) in
very large and reputable manufacturers and,
1990. Susan is a nationally recognized painter
since everything was done by hand, each
and fiber artist who has always enjoyed as-
case was a unique work of functional art
sisting her husband with his work. On top
of being an expert leather worker and artist,
In today’s society that is sometimes
James also teaches mixed media workshops all
overshadowed by technology, it is a re-
around the country with Susan and enjoys his
lief that there are still expert artisans out
time away from the shop fly fishing. Cigars in Review 35
36 Cigars in Review
la gloria story
La Gloria’s Teamwork by Frank Seltzer
It was 1992 when Ernesto PerezCarrillo’s La Gloria Cubana began to take off. El Credito, the little Miami cigar company founded by his father in 1968 with only one roller, would soon become a powerhouse. La Gloria Cubana grew throughout the cigar boom of the ‘90s and at the end of that decade, Perez-Carrillo sold his company to Swedish Match (General Cigar). At the time of the sale, Perez-Carrillo brought
in Michael Gianinni, a national sales manager with 18 years of cigar business experience, to help continue La Gloria’s growth. Gianinni joined El Credito in January of 2000, and he and Ernesto spent the next nine years growing the business, adding to the base La Gloria with lines like the Serie R and the Artesano de Miami. In March of 2009, Ernesto left El Credito to form a new company with his children – E.P Carrillo. Gianinni, who had moved into the marketing role for General Cigar, with Ernestos departure became the face of La Gloria. Gianinni partnered there with Rick Rodriguez – an apprentice to legendary cigar maker Benji Menendez and officially titled a cigar master in training to find ways to showcase the cigar lifestyle to consumers. In November of Cigars in Review 37
2009, while at the Big Smoke in Vegas, Michael and Rick joined Yuri Guillén – who had been running the El Credito factory in Santiago since 2003 – and the three decided to form Team La Gloria as a means of pushing the brand forward. At one point during the Vegas trip, while sitting around a slot machine, the trio formulated the idea of what would become the La Gloria Serie N using Nicaraguan tobaccos. The Serie N was one of three new lines added last year, with the Serie R Pequeño more of an extension. The Artesanos de Tabaqueros the followed, which combines Connecticut and Ecuadoran Sumatra wrappers, was Rick Rodriguez’s idea. To make the double wrappers work, Rick turned to Benji Menendez, who made it become a reality. The Artesanos de Obelisco blend came from Michael and Yuri but again, it was Benji who suggested the size to intensify the flavors. Making the Serie N was not easy. Michael had the idea to bling out the cigar with a little Connecticut Shade “N.” How hard could it be? Turns out, it was very difficult. After the debut of the cigar at IPCPR in the summer of 2010, Team La Gloria was down in the factory. Michael explains: “Yuri 38 Cigars in Review
At one point during the Vegas trip, while sitting around a slot machine, the trio formulated the idea of what would become the La Gloria Serie N using Nicaraguan tobaccos.
said we should stay away from the rollers because they are very angry with us. We went into the factory anyway and saw there were three ladies cutting the N’s out. The N’s were all over the rolling table, in their hair, and even on their faces. Ricky looked at me like, we gotta get out of here. The first day, three ladies did a thousand cigars. The second day we went back in and there were 10 ladies, the third day15 ladies. We had over 250 thousand cigars already rolled and they said you know this shipment is going to be late. We finally got them out, but it was not easy.” Yuri feels the factory is becoming more exciting. “I feel proud of what we are doing. We are changing the mindset of the people in the factory. All the way around, it is a
thousand people working and thinking. We have supervisors innovating every day; they have given me many many new ideas. I get so many sometimes, it is overwhelming.” In fact, some of the new Team La Gloria products due out later this year have not come solely from Yuri, Michael and Rick but from ideas shared by others in the factory. The Team is also pushing new media. The Team La Gloria website (lagloriacigars. com) has a blog and behind the scenes videos. According to Rick, “We are not pushing sales, it is just a place where people can find out about us.” Michael reveals they have about 5,000 people following them on either the Web or Twitter. “It’s a kick in the ass for us!” CIR Cigars in Review 39
40 Cigars in Review
THE CIGAR LIFESTYLE
by Tony Bellatto
W I N E
new breed of talented and dedicated winemakers is emerging in the Pacific Northwest to remind the French, once again, that the U.S. will always be a dynamic force in the global wine market. For decades, Washington and Oregon have been synonymous with fruit growers. Recently I sat down with my friend David Forsythe, winemaker and general manager of Mercer Vineyards, to experience some of his trendsetting wines. He is making Cabernet and Sauvignon Blanc blends that match the fruit and acid balance of New World wines with the earthy leather of the Old World. It’s also worth noting that David also produces coveted Fuji apples at Mercer. Perhaps his knowledge of fruit growing in general is a reason why the neo-Bordeaux
style of Mercer wines may bridge the gap between the traditions and successes of the Old World and the contemporary culture of 21st century American viticulture. In any event, as of late, these northwest U.S. “Rhone Rangers” have been producing world class Bordeaux, Burgundy, and Rhone Varietals. The Yakima Valley in Washington State is nestled just south of Seattle and the Columbia Valley on the west side of the Cascade Mountains. Here, vintners Owen Roe and Mercer crank out some serious Cigars in Review 41
vino. As we know, soil content and weather are crucial to producing good fruit for wine, and the vineyards that Owen Roe and Mercer use all have favorable growing seasons. The days are long and cool, allowing the fruit to ripen fully with low acidity. The diversity of soils in this region allow for immense differences in varietals from vineyard to vineyard, giving each wine its own sense of place or “terroir”. In Yakima, Bordeaux varietals flourish, but there is also a hodge-podge of Rhone Varietals like Syrah, Mouvedre, Cinsault, and Viogner Talking about this AVA always makes me want to drink wine, so I usually choose a 2008 Owen Roe, Red Willow Vineyard, or Chapel Block Syrah. They are all tantalizing. I love cult wine producers. They have an unprecedented ability to choose the most unique sites from which to make wine, and their personal involve-
Tasting this wine should be exciting, and it always is. My palate savors white pepper and a slight earthiness. There is inky blueberry, strawberry, and rhubarb, with hints of vanilla and balanced acidity on the finish. In all, it reminds me of a “fruits of the forest” pie. This wine has a nice long finish and may be drunk alone, with food, or with your favorite Maduro. I’ve enjoyed the wine so much I inquired about its richness, and learned that the Red Willow vineyard is situated at about 1200 feet above the Lake Missoula flood plane and does not have the classic Yakima soil, which is often overwhelmed by nutrients and rich sediments. The “starved” soil at Red Willow thus gives lower yields but it also densely concentrates the fruits, producing a wine that has nuances of Old World winemaking with a touch of New World finesse.
Tasting this wine should be exciting, and it always is. My palate savors white pepper and a slight earthiness. There is inky blueberry, strawberry, and rhubarb, with hints of vanilla and balanced acidity on the finish. ment includes insistence on knowing what each and every bottle will taste like. The color on the Red Willow Syrah is a stunning brilliant ruby with definitive clear edges, showing how the glorious youthfulness of this wine. After admiring the beautiful colors typical of this varietal I stick my schnoz right into the glass to smell the spicy cedar that reminds me of my humidor, and the luscious hints of cherry and anise take me to my grandma’s house on Sunday afternoons. 42 Cigars in Review
There are few wines that can match the approachability and complexity of The Yakima Valley. I love the fruit forward wines in the mountain districts of California, but sometimes I crave the earthy and spicy tones of Bordeaux and Rhone. Try them; you’ll see. CIR www.mercerwine.com
Wake Up Smokinâ€™ These cigars are nestled within a pound of Grade A Dominican coffee beans that naturally aromatically ferment them in the box, where they are aged for an additional six months.
Breakfast Blend 6x50 12 count
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There are NO artificial flavors or additives. The shaggy foot on each cigar helps to absorb the flavor directly from the beans, and each cigar has an authentic cuban style pigtail cap.
Espresso Blend 6x50 12 count
Cigars in Review 43
M E D I A
THE CIGAR LIFESTYLE
The Black Keys- “Brothers” [Nonesuch Records] By Bryan Infante
rothers,” the LP that garnered four Grammy Nominations for the Black Keys, is certainly one of the buzzworthy albums of the year. While it is trendy among twentysomething indie circles, it is certain to grab the attention of blues and classic rock enthusiasts in general. The album, though typical in structure, is truly captivating . . .sounds like a Pink Floydbecause of mood and style. Written by inspired blues rock album that was only two individuproduced in the vein of the Beatles’ “Abbey Road.” als, Dan Auerbach (vocals, guitar) and Patrick Carney (drums, The best song on the album, “Unknown production), “Brothers” sounds like a Pink Brother,” which was written about AuerFloyd-inspired blues rock album that was bach’s late brother-in-law whom he never produced in the vein of the Beatles’ “Abbey met, draws from 50s-era love ballads to perRoad.” fectly capture the agony felt by the clearly afflicted vocalist. “We’ll smile like pictures The 6th studio album by these garage of you as a boy before you retire to heavenly rockers is barely flashy and mostly raw. joy,” Auerbach sings, creating a perfect viTracks such as “Black Mud,” “Sinister sion of his sentiment of emptiness. Kid,” and “I’m Not The One” are the most blues-oriented, each possessing the har“Brothers” is recommended for any monic sensibility of a pop song while being individual who is interested in modern rock inundated with hard grooves from Carney or simply wants to hear some authentic and inspired vocals from Auerbach. Moreblues tales. Two different bonus tracks are over, even the more commercial tracks on available for the album, one (called “Ohio) “Brothers” succeed due to the fact that the through theblackkeys.com and one (called lyrics convey a sense of modern and authen“Howlin’ For You” [feat. Prins Thomas Distic hardship, an ethos yet to be captured by komik]) via iTunes. CIR other blues bands of the same variety. 44 Cigars in Review
Wine Ratings 2007 Caldwell Rocket Science Proprietary Red
2009 Sineann Resonance Vineyard Reserve Pinot Noir, Oregon
Elegant bright fruit with hints of anise. Classic Bordeaux varietals, earthy and dusty but overlaid by classic California fruit. 94pts $50.00
Already a rare wine, the producers at Sineann selected a FEW barrels of the oldest, and most sought after grapes in Oregon. Floral, fragrant nose luscious cherry and red fruit character on the palate with plenty of depth and complexity. A long, lusty finish provide one of the best Pinot’s I’ve ever tasted not to mention one of the best wines Ive ever had. $70.00 99pts TB
2007 Solnia, Rioja Spain Developing Amarone (rasin and candied fruit) characteristics and a little brownness in olor. Great Value. Scrumptious red fruits combined with old world tastes of Spain. Drink now 90 pts $12.00
2004 Marti Fabria Selecion Vineys Velles , Emporda Spain Another great one from Spain, this is the great Masa Carreras’ little brother. 70% Grenache, 10% Carignan, 10% Tempranillo, 5% Syrah, and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon give this wine a balanced and age-worthy appeal. On the nose there is some Bubble gum with bright red fruits on the palate. 92 pts $20.00
2009 Sineann Red Table Wine, Oregon, United States Never Disappointing, Sineann remains one of my favorite producers. An interesting blend of Pinot Noir, Cabernet, Zinfandel, Cabernet Franc and Merlot seems a little off kilter unless you taste this $20 gem. If you can find this proprietary red at your local shop pick it up. This wine with its soft fruit, white pepper and tobacco suits well for all your parties where you have guests that enjoy wine in general. This is the quintessential definition of a table wine with the finesse of the big cult classics 98 pts $20.00
2009 Jaffurs Syrah, Santa Barbra California This wine has a beautiful ruby color with a spicy and dark fruit nose reminiscent of the Rhone Valley but with less earth. Tannin is nice and approachable but firm with medium acid. Loads of black fruit balanced with slight earthy spices a nice tapering finish with fleshy plum notes. $35.00 94pts TB
2008 Owen Roe Chapel Block Syrah, Red Willow Vineyard, Yakima Valley Washington. At only 335 cases this wine is a true cult favorite. Brillant Ruby color and a nose of cherry and spicy anise. White pepper and a slight but not overbearing earthiness makes this Rhone Ranger ready to drink now or in 5-10 years. Imagine this wine with a nice a hearty meal or stew. $60.00 96pts TB
2006 Nostoros Malbec, Mendoza Argentina Susanna Balbo and her husband Pedro Marchevski (Ben Marco) produce less than 200 6 packs of this limited high-end cult malbec. The color on this wine is a midnight ruby and the nose is full of smokiness, candied fruit and mocha. Firm acid with medium acid gives lots of red and black fruit pie with some black licorice and hints of pencil shavings. $100.00 95pts TB Cigars in Review 45
46 Cigars in Review
THE CIGAR LIFESTYLE
R AT I N G
Top Cigar picks forSpring 2011 Porto Rico | Falto Cigars • Privilegio Mi Viejo Liga #8 Wrapper: Corojo Ecuador Binder: Dominican Republic Filler: Dom./Brazil/Nicaragua Ring Gauge: 48, Length 6 3/8 Price: $7.00
Smooth spotless wrapper. Pleasant earthy characteristics Vanilla bean, nutty and leather undertones. Has a smooth creaminess that becomes toasty with evident caramel tones. Classic medium body cigar
USA | Arganese Cigars • Espresso Blend Wrapper: Maduro Habano Binder: Cuban Corojo Filler: Dom./Nicaraguan/ Brazilian Ring Gauge: 50, Length: 6 Price: $8.00
Wrapper has some small veining with a shaggy foot. Rich flavors of espresso, coffee beans, spice and hazelnut can all be found. A rich and at times creamy tasting cigar. Perfect for anytime. Grind up the pound of express beans that the cigars are wrapped in for a great start to any ones day.
USA | Illuminati Cigars • Shield: Wrapper: Habano Ecuador Binder: Nicaraguan Filler: Nicaraguan Ring Gauge 50, Length 5 Price: $9.00
Honey and cardboard greet you from the very first puff. Subtle hints of citrus and damp earth are also found. The cigar takes on a pretzel like character as your progress but retains a nice subtle sweetness. Even burn and a great draw.
Cigars in Review 47
USA | Torano • Single Region Jalapa Wrapper: Nicaragua Binder: Nicaragua Filler: Nicaraguan Ring Gauge 50, Length 7 Price: $6.95
Starts off with a heavy earthy leathery flavor, with hints of espresso. Overall it is slightly rough, but it warms up to a smoother sweeter texture, with notes of spice akin to jalapeño.
93 USA | Illuminati Cigars • Mondo Nuovo Wrapper: Connecticut Ecuador Binder: Nicaraguan Filler: Nicaraguan Ring Gauge 50 Length 5 Price: $8.25
Clean looking cigar. Filled with a nutty spice flavor. Hazel can also be found. A strong spicy finish. Has a nice draw and even burn. Very consistent flavoring through the entire cigar. A high quality cigar.
93 USA | Palomino Cigars • Monica L. Wrapper: Connecticut Binder: Dominican Filler: Dominican Ring Gauge: 44, Length: 6 Price: $6.50
Beautiful brown wrapper, near flawless. A dry grassy start with the occasional hint of spice. Its toasty flavors combine with a somewhat creamy undertone. A great mild body cigar.
USA | Casa Gomez Cigars • CG Wrapper: Ecuador Binder: Honduran Filler: Nicaraguan/Dominican Ring Gauge: 52, Length: 6 1/2 Price: $7.00
A well made cigar that is attractive and firm to the touch. Perfect burn combines with flavors of nuts, dry spices, molasses and a leathery undertone. Firm draw and beautiful white plums of smoke. A mild to medium body cigar.
48 Cigars in Review
USA | La Tradicion Cubana • LTC Wrapper: Ecuador Binder: Honduran Filler: Dominican Ring Gauge: 54, Length: 6 1/2 Price: $6.00
Wrapper has small tiny veins. Spice flavors await you as you light this beauty up. Toasty notes combine for a nice smooth and creamy cigar. Even consistent burn. And great draw.
USA | Arganese Cigars • Breakfast Blend Wrapper: Connecticut Binder: Olor Dominican Filler: Dominican/Nicaraguan Ring Gauge: 50, Length: 6 Price: $8.00
Rustic Connecticut shade wrapper. Shaggy foot with mild smooth flavors ranging from coffee beans to light spices. Light airy draw with a perfect burn. Produces light plums of aromatic smoke.
USA | Crown Jewel Cigars • Wrapper: Ecuador Binder: Ecuador Filler: Dominican Ring Gauge: 50, Length: 7 Price: $9.25
Beautiful Colorado shade wrapper. A pleasant spice and peppery mixture greet you as you begin to explore this cigar. Hints of white chocolate and toasty mellow flavors are also found. Nice even burn. A well made cigar with consistent flavor.
USA | Di Fazio Cigars • Connecticut Wrapper: Ecuador Binder: Indonesia Filler: Honduras/Nicaragua Ring Gauge:60. Length: 5 Price: $8.00
The wrapper is very well constructed. nice draw; Light and Airy at the beginning, this smoke developed into creamy, butter nut flavors with a firm toasty backbone. This cigar, despite its intimidating size, is very approachable and great to get into with a glass of creamy California Chardonnay at a sizzling summer BBQ.
Cigars in Review 49
USA | Palomino Cigars • Santa Ana Barber Pole Wrapper: Dominican Binder: Dominican Filler: Dominican Ring Gauge: 52, Length: 6 Price: $9.00
Attractive looking barber pole wrapper. Great draw and a nice even burn. Starts off with a peppery overtone that quickly includes hints of hazel nuts. Undertones of sweet molasses emerge throughout the smoking experience. Flavors of spice and several toasty notes round out this well made cigar.
USA | Di Fazio Cigars • Name: Maduro Wrapper: Nicaraguan Binder: Honduras Filler: Honduras/Nicaragua Ring Gauge: 60, Length: 5 Price: $8.00
The wrapper on this cigar is very pretty. The color is great, and the draw is also very nice. Baking chocolate on the palate, with a nice balance of bitter and toast. Slightly uneven burn, very approachable yet refined cigar that would go great with a vintage port or cognac.
USA | Casa Gomez Cigars • Havana Sunrise Wrapper: Ecuador Binder: Honduran Filler: Nicaraguan/Honduran Ring Gauge: 48, Length: 7 Price: $ 4.60
Gorgeous golden brown wrapper. Some veining but otherwise a attractive cigar. Dry grass at initial light. Quickly spice flavors emerge with creamy smooth wood undertones
USA | La Tradicion Cubana Cigars • Sabor Cubana Wrapper: Brazilian Binder: Ecuador Filler: Dominican Ring Gauge: 52, Length: 6 Price: $7.00
A impressive cigar . Beautiful maduro wrapper. Tiny veining. Hints of black licorice, pepper, spices and leather all are found. Creamy plumes of smoke billow out of this beauty.
50 Cigars in Review
Nicaragua | Nub • 464t Wrapper: Nicaragua Binder: Nicaragua Filler: Nicaragua Ring Gauge: 64, Length 4 Price: $5.50
If you like a medium to full body cigar this is a great one. Well made beautiful looking wrapper. Full of spicey notes and a hint of cedar. Perfect draw and burn.
Porto Rico | La Garita Cigar Co • Delirio Cabinet Select Wrapper: Dominican Corojo, Binder: Dominican Corojo, Filler: Dominican / Nicaragua Ring Gauge: 42, Length 6 1/2 Price: $5.50
Nice looking cigar with some slight veining. Subtle flavors of spice and pepper. Underlining tones of roasted almonds and cocoa powder. Has a earthy finish.
Columbia | Camino Real Cigars • Cabinet Selection Wrapper: Columbian Binder: Columbian Filler: Columbian Ring Gauge: 50 Length: 6 Price: $4.99 A nice cigar. Spicy flavors combine with earthy notes. Hints of bark and under tones of sweet licorice. Perfect burn. A good quality cigar from Columbia.
Columbia | Don Jose Correa • Doble Capa Wrapper: Ecuadorian/ Colombian Binder: Colombian Filler: Colombian Ring Gauge: 47, Length 7 Price: $6.99
The cigar is mild with a subtle fresh sweet woodiness throughout with a slight firmness to the draw. The overall taste is one of damp autumnal leaves and hints of dried coffee bean.
Cigars in Review 51
Cigar Festival Join us 0n April 2, 2011 for a great day of cigar smoking bliss.
• Free Cigars • Free Food • Door Prizes • Live Cigar Rolling • Bar • Cigar Accessories • Live Entertainment
For tickets or to inquire about being a exhibitor contact us at 330-612-9505 or 561-308-7230 More information can be found at www.cigarsinreviewmagazine.com www.palomino-cigars.com
Come meet some of the finest boutique cigar manufactures in the world. Each attendee will receive 40 Premium cigars and a complimentary cigar bag to carry your cigars. Win a variety of prizes. Come meet Joe Sweigart from Cigartainment and enjoy his live cigar rolling demonstrations. Free food and 2 free drink tickets with your $50 general admission ticket.
at theCuban American Club 886 Pike Road West Palm Beach, Florida 33411
Sponsored by Cigars Cigars in ReviewIn Review Magazine & Palomino Cigars