Cigar Snob Magazine July August 2021

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JULY / AUGUST 2021

Drink SINGLE MALT SCOTCH p. 35

Regulation WAITING TO EXHALE p. 57

Destination PGA NATIONAL RESORT AND SPA p. 27






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editorials JULY / AUGUST 2021

22 PERFECT PAIRINGS SAINT LUIS REY CARENAS / DEWAR’S 19 THE CHAMPIONS EDITION

24 SUMMER GIFT GUIDE The weather’s heating up and the kids are out of school, which can only mean one thing: summer is here! We’ve got summer gift ideas to get you fit, help you cut your cigar like a warrior, and sauce up those wings. In case none of that goes as planned, there’s some top-shelf bourbon in there to help soothe the ego.

27 DESTINATION PGA NATIONAL We can only dream of bombing drives like Dustin and Rory, but at the recently reimagined PGA National Resort and Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, you can take on the same track the pros do during the PGA Tour’s Honda Classic. Don’t stop there, the new Staple and Match courses bring a fun and innovative element to the game.

35 5 TO TRY: SINGLE MALT SCOTCH 36

GLENMORANGIE – THE NECTAR D’OR / AGANORSA LEAF SIGNATURE SELECTION

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THE GLENLIVET 15 FRENCH OAK RESERVE / FONSECA BY MY FATHER CIGARS

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THE DALMORE 12 / ILLUSIONE FUME D’AMOUR

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GRANGESTONE SHERRY CASK FINISH 25 / HERRERA ESTELI

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ABERFELDY 12 / DAVIDOFF ANIVERSARIO

57 WAITING TO EXHALE The US Food and Drug Administration has turned to a committee of scientists and academics in an effort to re-state the definition of a premium cigar, a definition that was already codified and established. What impact will their findings have on premium cigars and what does that mean for the artisans who make them?

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features JULY / AUGUST 2021

14 LETTER FROM THE PUBLISHER

16 FEEDBACK

18 WHAT’S BURNIN’

42 SMOKING HOT CIGAR SNOB SOME LIKE IT HOT FEATURING ROMEO Y JULIETA ETERNAL

63 RATINGS

80 TWITTER SCOREBOARD

82 INSTAGRAM SCOREBOARD

84 EVENTS 84 TPE INDUSTRY PARTY 85 MONTECRISTO EPIC BLUE

VINTAGE LAUNCH AT MONTECRISTO CIGAR BAR

86 GALIANO CIGAR ROOM 2ND

YEAR ANNIVERSARY PARTY

88 CAVA CIGARS MULTI VENDOR EVENT

90 GRAND CATHEDRAL GRAND OPENING

92 EMPIRE SOCIAL LOUNGE 5 YEAR ANNIVERSARY PARTY

94 TERRIBLE CIGAR CLUB GRAND OPENING

96 OLIVA SUMMER PARTY 98 SIP AND SMOKE 10 | CIGAR SNOB | JUL / AUG 2021


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JULY / AUGUST 2021

VO L . 13 IS SU E 4 www.cigarsnob.com PUBLISHER & EDITOR Erik Calviño SENIOR EDITOR Steve Miller COPY EDITOR Michael LaRocca SALES & OPERATIONS DIRECTOR Oscar M. Calviño PRODUCTION DIRECTOR Ivan Ocampo ART DIRECTOR Andy Astencio ADVERTISING COORDINATOR Jamilet Calviño DIGITAL RETOUCHING SPECIALIST Ramón Santana DIGITAL CONTENT MANAGEMENT Gianni D’Alerta Natalia Marie García CONTRIBUTING WRITER Vic Williams CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS David Benoliel Andy Astencio EVENT PHOTOGRAPHERS Jamilet Calviño Matt Nassif Carlos Gastelbondo Cover Photography by David Benoliel www.davidbenolielphotography.com Cover Model - Kourtney Kellar Cigar Snob is published bi-monthly by Lockstock Publications, Inc. 1421-1 SW 107th Ave., #253 Miami, FL 33174-2509 Tel: 1 (786) 423-1015 Cigar Snob is a registered trademark of Lockstock Publications, Inc., all rights reserved. Reproduction in part or full without written permission from the publisher is prohibited. Cigar Snob is printed in the U.S. Contents copyright 2006, Lockstock Publications, Inc. To subscribe, visit www.cigarsnob.com

(SUBSCRIBE TODAY) - Only $18 for one year (six issues) of -

- Magazine delivered to you Visit: www.cigarsnob.com or write: subscribe@cigarsnobmag.com

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It broke my heart and infuriated me watching Pete DuPré, the 98-year-old World War II veteran, playing the US national anthem on the harmonica at the start of the recent USWNT vs Mexico match while a group of smug-faced US women’s national team players turned their back to him in protest. These young women don’t deserve to wear a jersey with the stars and stripes on it, they simply don’t. I believe in respecting your flag at all times, but I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt if you want to protest during non-national team play. I don’t agree with it but I’m willing to listen to your argument in that case but not here. You are representing your country in a tournament against other countries. When you wear a national team jersey, you are wearing a representation of your flag on your very skin. Your rebellion is naïve and misguided at best. There’s plenty in our history as a country to be ashamed of and God knows there’s plenty in our current state of affairs that needs to change for the better. Does that remind you of anything? Look in the mirror; we’ve all done things we’d like to erase from our past, me included, but we use those experiences and try to get better every day. Without those experiences, we wouldn’t be who we are and we wouldn’t know what we know. What were those USWNT players hoping to achieve with this silly act, other than embarrassing themselves, their families, and their country? Was it worth turning your back on a man who put his life on the line to defend you? Know this, you would be saluting a far more sinister and cruel flag had Pete DuPré and his fellow soldiers decided to turn their backs on your flag. *** This issue is possibly one of the most balanced we’ve ever published. There’s a little bit of everything. There’s the photo shoot titled Some Like it Hot (p. 42) featuring the beautiful Kourtney Kellar smoking the new Romeo y Julieta Eternal. Our senior editor Steve Miller wrote a gut-punch of a story titled Waiting to Exhale (p. 57) on how a new FDA study could define premium cigars as nothing more than a fictitious construct of the tobacco industry. We rated more cigars in this issue than we’ve ever rated in a single issue before (p. 63). The 5 to Try section (p. 35) is all about single malt Scotch and what cigars to pair with them. We even got our friend and phenomenal golf writer Vic Williams to write a story called Destination PGA National (p. 27). Finally, we covered a ton of events in this issue. Go check

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to see if your picture made the cut! Thank you for putting up with my rants and for continuing to responsibly enjoy and support the work performed by an army of artisans throughout Central America and the Caribbean. Keep ‘em lit,

Erik Calviño ecalvino@cigarsnobmag.com



SOME LOVE FOR THE NEW GUY Great podcast, the new host is hilarious. You guys should do an Irish Whiskey tasting. If you do check out Teelings. Keith W. Jr. Via Facebook

Thank you for the kind words. Our “new guy” in the booth, Jim Rodriguez, is definitely quite the character in addition to being an all-around great dude. As far as Irish Whiskies go, you must have gotten a look at our production board as we have the spirit cued up to roll out on the show soon. Stay tuned!

YOU GET A HUG, YOU GET A HUG, YOU GET A HUGE HUG Dear Erik, huge hug to you and your family and all people at Cigar Snob Magazine. Please tell me how I can buy a subscription for Cigar Snob for Europe? Mark B. Via Facebook

Luckily we have a fully vaccinated crew here at Cigar Snob HQ so huge hugs are always welcomed. For subscriptions in Europe or any other far off destinations, the process starts in the same place as US subscriptions. Visit cigarsnob.com/subscribe for details. For the digital version of the magazine, check out issuu.com/ cigarsnobmagazine.

THIS PARTY NEEDS MORE SCORPION How does one go about taking part in the Camacho black scorpion challenge? BigBlueCigarGuy Via Instagram

Andrew Zimmern, are you the BigBlueCigarGuy? Love your show! But I digress. If you go to Camacho’s Instagram page @camachocigars and give them a follow they always have updates on all their new giveaways and contests – including the ones that involve consuming weird sh!t that crawls.

NEED… MORE…. STICKERS… I received an all-white window decal with my subscription. How can I get a couple more? Sam G. Via feeback@cigarsnobmag.com

Those decals are a big hit. We have the ones you’re referring to in our online merch store as well as some newer stickers at cigarsnob. com/shop.

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NEW LIMITED EDITION SERIE V TO CELEBRATE OLIVA’S 135TH ANNIVERSARY Oliva Cigar Company celebrates its 135th anniversary with the Anniversary Edición Limitada, which will feature the Serie V in a 5.5 x 54 perfecto, closed at both ends with a rounded head. It features an Ecuadorian wrapper over Nicaraguan binder and filler. The smokes will come packed in lacquered boxes containing 12 cigars, priced at $10 per or $120 a box. The boxes, limited in production to 15,000, will feature a scene from the Oliva farms in Estelí under the lid and an historical band adorning the front. The cigar begins shipping in October.

J.C. NEWMAN CIGAR CO. PETITIONS TO IMPORT CUBAN TOBACCO AGAIN The last bale of pre-embargo Cuban tobacco in the United States is in J.C. Newman’s Tampa cigar factory. J.C. Newman Cigar Co., the last operating cigar factory in the “Cigar City” of Tampa, Florida, filed a petition with the U.S. Department of State requesting authorization to import Cuban tobacco grown by “independent Cuban entrepreneurs” into the United States. The State Department currently allows American companies to legally import coffee and a few other products from Cuba. If granted, J.C. Newman will be able to import the first Cuban tobacco into the United States in 60 years. “My family has a long history with Cuban tobacco,” said Drew Newman, great-grandson of company founder J.C. Newman. “From 1895 until President Kennedy imposed the Cuban Embargo in 1962, my grandfather and greatgrandfather imported millions of pounds of tobacco from Cuba through Tampa. Our last shipment of Cuban tobacco was the subject of a legal dispute decided by the Supreme Court.” J.C. Newman saved its final bale of Cuban tobacco, which is now the last bale of preembargo Cuban tobacco in the United States. This sixty-year-old tobacco continues to age

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in the basement of J.C. Newman’s historic El Reloj cigar factory in Ybor City. Under the so-called Sec. 515.582 program, the State Department allows “commercial imports of certain specified goods and services produced by independent Cuban entrepreneurs” in order to “help promote [the Cuban people’s] independence from Cuban authorities.” To help support Cuban independence, J.C. Newman is requesting that the State Department include raw tobacco grown by independent farmers in this program. “Prior to the Embargo, far more cigars were rolled with Cuban tobacco in Tampa than in Cuba because Tampa was home to the world’s best cigar factories,” said Newman. “Authorizing the importation of raw tobacco grown in Cuba would allow us to support independent Cuban entrepreneurs and to prove, once again, that we can roll better cigars with Cuban tobacco than Cuba can.”

CIGARS FOR HOPE SAMPLER – HURRICANE ETA & IOTA FUNDRAISING INITIATIVE Oscar Valladares Tobacco, Rocky Patel Premium Cigars, Leaf by Oscar, Nova Cigars, and Cavalier Genève are releasing Cigars for Hope, a sampler box to raise funds for people in Honduras to provide medicine, clothing and food to affected communities, shelters, and hospitals. The country continues to recover from last year’s back-to-back storms, as well as the lingering effects of coronavirus. The limited-edition boxes will have six cigars in a Toro: Wild Hunter Natural 2012 by Oscar Corojo Leaf by Oscar Corojo Nova Platinum Batch Cavalier Genève White Series Rocky Patel Sun Grown Tropical Storm Eta and Hurricane Iota struck Honduras last year with damages estimated at $1.8 billion, impacting 4 million people, with 2.5 million people still in need.

PLASENCIA CIGARS MARRIES TECHNOLOGY AND SMOKING THROUGH SMART CHIPS Plasencia Cigars has partnered with security tech company LegacySecure to install encrypted security chips in the bands and box of the Alma Fuerte Sixto l Hexagon Colorado Claro cigar. The technology allows users to tap their phone against the chip to access information and photos of the cigar, including the blend and testing notes. Users can also rate cigars through the tech. No application is needed to use the chip. “Our collaboration with LegacySecure to bring forth this unique technology is another step in our constant evolution,” Plasencia Cigars CEO Nestor Andrés Plasencia said in a statement. “We look forward to sharing our unique tobacco history with the public while giving them another platform to communicate with us.” The Alma Fuerte Sixto l Hexagon Colorado Claro with the LegacySecure smart chip began shipping in June.

LA PALINA RELEASES 125 AÑOS PACKAGE IN CELEBRATION OF YEAR NO. 125 La Palina announces the release of the ‘La Palina 125 Años,’ a collection of 37 cigars, to mark the brand’s 125th anniversary. The package was introduced at the Premium Cigar Association trade show in Las Vegas. The batch of cigars comes in a turn of the century glass jar humidor. Each cigar has been rolled in the traditional Havana style and finished with a traditional pigtail cap, with tobacco from the Oliva Cigar family. La Palina will also be introducing the KB series in new sizes at the trade show. The KB will come in four sizes, a 4.25 x 40, a 6 x 52, a 5 x 52 and a 6 x 54. It has a Honduran wrapper and Nicaraguan binder and filler. Also, the brand will offer its La Palina Goldie in a 6.5 x 48 to trade show attendees, with an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper, Ecuadorian binder and Nicaraguan and Dominican filler.



MANNY IRIARTE LAUNCHES “FUENTE THE OPUS X SOCIETY”

For more details, including availability, see theoxsociety.com.

Cigar photography and marketing strategist Manny Iriarte announces “Fuente The Opus X Society,” a line of luxury products and accessories from cigar brand Arturo Fuente.

AGANORSA CREATES TWO EXCLUSIVE ANIVERSARIO VITOLAS FOR SUMMER RELEASE, UPDATES PACKAGING

The lineup includes humidors, leather goods, drinkware and luggage, and the first of the products was presented at the Premium Cigar Association trade show in Las Vegas. The collection is headlined by the “El Rojo” y “El Azul” collections, which use the red and blue colors from the Fuente Fuente Opus X red and the Fuente Fuente Opus X 20th Anniversary blue brands. It includes ashtrays, lighters, coffee mugs, and drinkware by Glencairn including crystal whiskey glasses and traditional rocks glasses.

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Aganorsa Leaf will offer its Aniversario Maduro in two new vitolas: a 6 x 54 box-pressed Toro and a 5 3/8 x 48 box-pressed Short Churchill. Both sizes will retail for $13.75 and will begin shipping to retailers in August. They will be packed in units of 10 in limited quantities. The boxes and bands will also be updated to emphasize the Aganorsa Leaf logo. The Toro will be made available exclusively to PCA attendees in July while the Short Churchill will be available only to Aganorsa Leaf Select Account participants. “The Aniversario Maduro blend was a massive

hit last year and there was great demand for this cigar to return to the market,” Terence Reilly, Aganorsa Leaf ’s vice president of sales and marketing, said in a statement. “We also updated the packaging to make it clear this is an Aganorsa blend when consumers see it in the humidor.”

MANIFATTURE SIGARO TOSCANO ANNOUNCES THE RELEASE OF TOSCANO NOBILE IN THE U.S. Manifatture Sigaro Toscano announces the U.S. release of the Toscano Nobile, previously available through the duty-free market, to celebrate the 150th Anniversary of Italy. The 6.5 x 40 perfecto is available in 500 20-count boxes at $9 a stick and $180 a box. The Toscano Nobile is blended in Italy using a Kentucky seed fire cured wrapper and filler grown in Italy and Tennessee. As with all Toscano cigars, there is no binder.



Saint Luis Rey Carenas Dewar’s 19 The Champions Edition

Cigar and spirit pairings happen for any number of reasons; sometimes you plan them out for taste reasons, sometimes you plan them for stylistic reasons, and other times they just happen by chance. This one is a little bit of all three. Our friends at Altadis recently sent us a package. If you watch our MAILTIME videos on YouTube or Facebook, you may remember it. The box contained the newly released Saint Luis Rey Carenas, a line extension of Saint Luis Rey sporting a Spanish flag on the label, along with a bottle of Dewar’s 12. Altadis had devised the pairing because the flavors and experiences of the Saint Luis Rey Carenas matched up well with the Dewar’s 12, and they most certainly do but that’s not what we paired here. You see, at the same time that Altadis was sending us the bottle of 12, Dewar’s was sending us a bottle of Dewar’s 19 The Champions Edition, a bottle that commemorates the US Open golf tournament. Dewar’s sent the bottle for us to feature in a gift guide (sorry Dewar’s but this is better than a gift guide). A couple of days after receiving The Champions Edition bottle, we watched the Spaniard John Rahm start the final round three strokes behind the leader. We made the commitment right then and there; if John Rahm came from behind to win the US Open at Torrey Pines, his first victory in a major, we’d do the pairing with The Champions Edition in his honor. It came down to the wire and took two sensational birdie putts of 20+ feet on 17 and 18 but he pulled it off. Congratulations to John Rahm on winning the 2021 US Open!

THE PAIRING The cigar opens with tons of pepper and black coffee complemented by more subtle hints of cedar, cinnamon, and nuts. Once the whisky comes into the equation, the pepper and coffee are wiped out, leaving a delicious combination of cedar, cinnamon, and roasted nuts which take on a sort of sweet, candied characteristic. The whisky’s rich sweetness is accompanied by oak, honey, vanilla, and toffee with a creamy, full mouthfeel. A perfectly balanced pairing. LOCATION: Empire Social Lounge, Dadeland, Fl.

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r e mm Su

GIFT GUIDE

WHAT BETTER TIME TO GIFT-GIVE THAN SUMMER? CHRISTMAS IS SIX MONTHS AWAY, THE WARM WEATHER LENDS ITSELF TO GENEROSITY, SOME LUCKY FOLKS HAVE BIRTHDAYS, OTHERS HOST GET-TOGETHERS UNDER THE STARS AND GOOD MOODS ARE IN ABUNDANCE. SO HERE ARE A HANDFUL OF SUGGESTIONS, INCLUDING SOME FINE BOURBON WHISKEY, A CLASSY CIGAR CUTTER, A BOOK WITH A NEW TAKE ON AMERICA’S MOTHER ROAD AKA ROUTE 66, SOME FLAVORFUL GRILLING GOODIES, AND A BETTER WAY TO EXERCISE.

ANGEL’S ENVY KENTUCKY STRAIGHT BOURBON WHISKEY FINISHED IN MADEIRA CASKS angelsenvy.com

$229.99 Finished in casks previously used to age the Portuguese fortified wine, Angel’s Envy Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey Finished in Madeira Casks is not the stuff you’re going to be hammering during a summer afternoon of croquet. This is limited-run, elegant, ambitious and looks cool being poured from this stylish vessel.

WARRIOR POET SOCIETY FIGARO CIGAR CUTTER warriorpoetsupplyco.com

$49.99 The Warrior Poet Society presents this simple, compact, stainless steel cigar cutter, and it’s a gem. Italian made, it comes in a leather carrying case and snips quickly and effectively, like a sniper.

STEALTH: GAME YOUR CORE stealthbodyfitness.com

$99.00 The Stealth Core Trainer is a planking device that has a space for your cell phone, with which the user can play video games designed to appease the mind and forget the abs agony. The trainer hits up 29 different muscles, including many you didn’t know you had. It twists, it turns…and did we mention you can play video games?

A SPORTS FAN’S GUIDE TO ROUTE 66 BY RON CLEMENTS

$25.95 If you’ve ever driven Route 66, even part of it, you understand the Americana glory of that ebbing trail, which runs from Chicago to Santa Monica, California. Here’s a unique take on the route, mapping out the sports history landmarks on the route, including some things you had no idea ran so close to the fabled highway. We’re not going to spoil the surprise, but we read ours sitting in Barney’s Beanery in Hollywood, one of the original Route 66 diners.

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DINOSAUR BAR-B-QUE SAUCE dinobbq.com

$5.00/ea The grill is aflame and you’ve gotta make sure it delivers. Go for the hot honey gold, which uses our favorite, serrano chiles, or the red chili sour cherry, which embeds chipotle peppers with cherries for a tangy, smoky taste.


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Destination

PGA NATIONAL RESORT AND SPA South Florida’s Top Tour Stop Boasts New Surprises To Match Its Champion Chops

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f the wind is right on the terrace next to the big putting green at PGA National Resort, or even if it’s not, you can nab an Adirondack chair, spool out a plume of sweet smoke from your favorite post-round stick and expect – OK, imagine – a tiny bit of it wafting into Dustin Johnson’s backyard. Or Justin Thomas’s. Or Brooks Koepka’s. Or Rickie’s or Rory’s. Or Greg Norman’s, Ernie Els’s, or Nick Price’s. Or Jack Nicklaus’s. Or, yes, a rehabbing Tiger’s. After all, you’ve just finished playing the same Champion Course they take on every spring during the PGA Tour’s Honda Classic. You’ve survived its Bear Trap, that trio of back nine holes named, of course, for Jack himself, and generally considered among the Big Show’s toughest stretches. In a way, you’ve shared the air the big sticks breathed while they took dead aim and bagged birdies, and even though your scorecard’s numbers – score, tees played, yardage covered – may not reside in the same zip code as theirs, you and your buddies will always have that connection with the world’s best that only golfers can make. The fact that so many marquee names make their homes just a few miles away, in the well-heeled South Florida enclaves of Jupiter and Hobe Sound, only deepens that connection. You’re in their backyard, right where you deserve to be. Proximity to the game’s biggest stars – and those from other sports, too, including a certain stogiesporting six-time NBA champion – should be enough to make a trip to PGA National memorable. But it’s just name-dropped window dressing. The place stands and shines on its own, now more than ever, four decades since Florida land developer E. Llwyd Ecclestone opened it on 1,800 acres in Palm Beach Gardens, just inland from the

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Intracoastal Waterway – the state’s first major golf destination built west of the Florida Turnpike. There’s much to do and savor and treasure among the swings and puffs and sips and tastes, especially as a $100 million property-wide reimagine/refresh project nears its 2022 conclusion. But it all starts with golf. Before heading out onto the resort’s three full-length courses – The Champion, The Palmer (as in King Arnie) and The Fazio (as in three generations of them), let’s get one

thing straight: No self-respecting golf getaway gang will, from this point forward, leave PGA National without playing its two brand new, groundbreaking layouts – the “fun little nine-hole” Staple, which opened July 1, and the aptly named Match, which opens in September, just in time for the biannual rampup of Ryder Cup fever. Both are likely different from anything you’ve played before, and both are from the mind and heart of Wisconsin-based golf course architect Andy Staples, who has made the most of his first Florida

Top: Arial view of The Staple Course - the new short course at PGA National. design gig by literally leading PGA National into the future of the game while honoring its competitive past. A key part of that equation means retaining the army of young golfers who are just as liable to record highlights of a round on Instagram or TikTok as they are to keep score with a card and pencil. “The golf industry, based on the pandemic, has benefited in the big picture of life with rounds up and everything else,” said Jane Broderick, PGA National’s club manager, the day after Staples cut the ribbon to open his namesake par 3 course. Broderick has been here since 1986, making her the resort’s institutional knowledge incarnate. “So now it becomes, how do you retain that customer you’ve acquired?” That’s the idea behind The Staple, for sure. Built on the former opening and finishing holes of the property’s Squire layout, it’s a bold take on the par-three course concept created for pure enjoyment, highlighted


by intriguing fast-and-firm shot corridors, and in some cases, difficult to reach shelves on the dramatic, undulating greens. With hole distances ranging from 48 to 130 yards, The Staple is ideal for fast-paced, joyous rounds while using just a putter and a few short irons. Heroic tee shots to hole-inhole pin locations throughout, a unique figure-eight configuration with crossings at holes 2 and 3 and 7 and 8 – natural meeting points for social interaction with other players – and an outdoor seating experience complete with firepits and a café /bar area: It’s the perfect day-ender, even for an eightsome heading out there horserace-style, brews and robustos in hand. “Golf has [long] been understood as grandfather’s game, not really appealing to the young,” Broderick adds. “So [with The Staple] we wanted to do something that was different, that put fun back in the game and really created a venue that’s more than just the golf course, more than just a par three. It’s a social venue.” When Staple went up against Florida stalwarts Nicklaus and Rees Jones to get the job pushing the wet and tired Squire into the 21st century, he clearly stated his intention: “To take it to another level in terms of strategy, playability, and most importantly, the fun factor.” He added that he was focused on the “three most innovative trends in the industry – reducing the time it takes to play, increasing player enjoyment, and instilling classic design principles that spur interest in the game of golf.” If The Staple puts that vision into quick-hit action, The Match will take it into uncharted territory. Staple took the Squire’s remaining 16 holes and fashioned them into a full 18 whose angles and curves echo those of some of golf’s most enduring strategic design concepts, ones that just beg for heroic shots and match-play drama. Penalty areas were kept to a minimum in favor of short grass fairways, chipping swales, and grassy hollows. Tees were modified to accommodate everyone from bigbetting sharks to eager beginners, placed in sync with whatever swing

Photos: PGA National Resort and Spa

No.5 on The Staple Course is one example of the dramatic and undulating green complexes players will face when playing this challenging layout.

and impacting the game long-term.”

speed you’re working with. (When in doubt, assume it’s in the high 80s-low 90s range, and choose your pegging place accordingly.) Again, the idea is to allow for a more friendly entry to the game – and take the whole self-inflicted pressure-cooker of raw score out of the equation.

“So [with The Staple] we wanted to do something that was different, that put fun back in the game and really created a venue that's more than just the golf course, more than just a par three. It’s a social venue.”

“If you think about it, the game of golf started as match play,” Broderick said. “And then, golf courses over the years got longer and it switched to more stroke play. But what are the most popular events? What we watch are the Ryder Cup, the Solheim Cup, which are match play, right? So we’re really gonna tap match play, and really encourage people to use match play formats. When they play, we’re not going to have seven sets of tees or markings, we’re going to earmark the maximum yardage and the minimum yardage, and you can tee up anywhere in between. I look at it as taking the history of the sport

As for the resort’s “big” courses, all three merit a play.

Jane Broderick,

PGA National’s club manager The Palmer is one of the more forgiving at PGA National. It’s also one of our most overall entertaining courses for players of all skill levels, especially after a 2019 spruce-up. There are plenty of opportunities for creative shotmaking, and picturesque approach shots abound. Paired with a great series of finishing holes (including

the stunning par 5 18th), The Palmer golf course is all about risks and rewards; it’s genuinely fun and approachable, just like the King himself. The Fazio opened in 1980 as The Haig, Uncle George and nephew Tom’s tribute to five-time PGA champion Walter Hagen. Tom II led its recent renovation to achieve, he said, “that ideal balance where single-digit golfers will be fully challenged while higher handicaps will have a layout ideal for a day of enjoyable resort golf.” He increased greens sizes, reconfigured bunkers and added friendlier “play it forward” tees at 3,255 and 4,187 yards – perfect for families, seniors and beginners. The par-5 4th hole — easily one of the most grueling and difficult of all of PGA National’s 90 holes — is enough to make even a PGA Tour pro blush. You? Don’t worry about it. Choose your box wisely, relax and let ’er fly. As for The Champion, a New York Times piece described it as “7,045 yards of venom, a king cobra of a course that rises without warning

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to strike down the world’s best golfers. Snake charmers may have a better chance of taming it than the players at The Honda Classic.” But attempt to tame it you must, and that means keeping it together long before you even reach the Bear Trap holes of 15-17. The test ramps up pretty much right away at hole 2, a tough tee shot with trees lining the left, OB on the right and a fairway-narrowing bunker in between, with a three-club swing on the approached depending on pin placement. Hole 10, a par 5 with a wide landing area and relatively benign green, is probably the best birdie opportunity, but right on its heels is a brawny par 4 demanding a spot-on second shot over water. Then it’s sweet survival mode for the rest of the round, with the Bear Trap waiting with fangs bared and an appetite for wayward golfers on full display. “They’re holes that you’ve got to be precise on, not very long,” Nicklaus said when his redesign opened in 2011. “On No. 15, when we brought the water into play, it became a

or Wednesday – you’re dusting off your sticks from the cold weather, maybe, or visiting whatever time of year,” Broderick says. “And you pop out for a couple of beers and a cigar and play nine holes on The Staple golf course that evening, just kick back and have some fun. The next morning you get up, maybe you play The Champ. Maybe you play The Palmer, or The Fazio. And in the afternoon, maybe you go out on The Match and settle your bets from the morning.”

out of that bunker but you’ve got to be careful. Those holes are about precision. They’re about guts, what you’ve got in your chest to finish them out.” So, after stirring The Staple and The Match into the existing trio’s heady brew of golfing goodness, how would Broderick put together a multi-day itinerary at PGA National? First, of course, let’s load up that

Top to bottom: The greeting players receive on the 15th hole of the Champions course as they prepare to take on the famous "Bear Trap"; Tomahawk steak lunch overlooking the main pool. Moon Cigars on PGA Boulevard, either of which would also make for a fine post-round wind-down session. Then fire up for the main event: Making memories on PGA National’s manicured

Somewhere along the way, perhaps you’ll glance Rickie Fowler working on his game or sneaking in a quick round with his buds. “We’ll see him the most,” Broderick says. “The other guys pretty much come around during tournament time, but I think they’re going to want to come and play The Match.” Each evening, it’s time to rest up and lather up in your well-appointed hotel room, massage or sweat out any stress in the spa (slated to reopen in early 2022 after a complete overhaul by a celebrated local designer, the other Venus Williams), and find a steak, slab of fresh seafood or other creative dish with your name on it in one of the resort’s restaurants, featuring new menus conceived by celebrity chefs Jeremy Ford and Lindsay Autry. Broderick simply can’t wait for the work to end and the amped-up accolades to begin. “All the rooms have already been renovated, they’re completely done,” she said. “We’re working now through the remainder of the property, transforming it into something that most people can't even imagine. And for people that have been involved with PGA National for any length of time, it’s turning into something that none of us really could even fathom.”

monster. Sixteen, though there’s no water, is always a good, strong hole because of the wind conditions. And 17 is just a little nothing flip wedge, but putting it on the water with the wind coming into your face a lot – if you hit it left, you can get

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portable humidor with plenty of fairway-friendly sticks from the resort’s pro shop selection, or better yet, swing by one of the area’s tobacconists, such as Smoke Inn Palm Beach Gardens on Florida Route 786, or Angry

Bermuda fairways and greens (and, perhaps, making time for a round on The Estate, a Karl Litten design located five miles west of the resort). “You want to come in on a Thursday

For everyone else, it’s high time to go several fathoms deep into the calendar, come up with a week that works, gather the troops and head into blissful golf battle at PGA National, just like the big boys do. They’re more than happy to share their rarefied air – and an Adirondack chair – with you, your favorite cigar, and your dreams of going low.


LIVE LIFE FROM A TO

SOME PEOPLE ARE HAPP Y BEING A TO B. AND SOME PEOPLE WANT THE WHOLE A TO Z VIA ANY WHERE THE Y LIKE THE LOOK OF. JUS T LIKE ZINO DAVID OFF. THE CIG AR S ROLLED IN HIS NAME SUIT HIS SPIRIT OF DISCOVERY.

A UNIQUE BLEND OF FLAVORS FROM A– Z FOLLOW US | @ZINOCIGARS JUL / AUG 2021 | CIGAR SNOB |

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DR GABY KAFIE KAFIE 1901

T RY B OV E DA .CO M @bovedainc

@bovedainc

@bovedausa


SINGLE MALT SCOTCH


GLENMORANGIE – THE NECTAR D’OR commonplace. At least no major distillers were really bragging about their ‘finishing prowess’ until Balvenie started doing so in the 1980s. Simply stated, finishing whisky is the practice of transferring the maturing whisky from its original barrel to a different type of barrel or cask. In Scotland, most whisky begins its maturation in ex-bourbon casks and if the whisky isn’t “finished,” it will simply stay in that barrel for its entire maturation time; 12 years, 15 years, etc. For those whiskies slated to be finished, the spirit will spend an additional six months to two years in the new cask. As I mentioned earlier the idea of finishing makes perfect sense. In fact it’s a concept that whisky novices easily grasp. It’s a known fact that whisky’s color, aroma, and flavor are greatly impacted by the barrel that it is aged in, so why not change up the barrel to add layers of complexity to the final product? The most common finishing in Scotland is the ‘Sherry Cask Finish.’ Sherry is a Spanish fortified wine whose barrels lend sherry finished whiskies an array of dried fruit and spices not typically found in the primary maturation casks.

SAUTERNES’S TURN Seizing upon the success of finishing whiskies, Scotland’s whisky distillers went a little overboard with their experiments. In addition to the obvious attempts with casks originally used to age red wine, fortified wine, and various liqueurs, distillers threw out all of the handbooks and went for it by trying out hot sauce barrels and even barrels used for pickling herring. Some poor distiller’s lackey had to taste these ungodly creations.

SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY SAUTERNES CASK FINISH

46% ABV

FINISHING WHISKY In hindsight it makes perfect sense for distillers to “finish” their whisky but it wasn’t always

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If you’ve ever had the good fortune of tasting France’s golden nectar commonly referred to as Sauternes, you’ve surely wondered what took these distillers so long to employ Sauternes barrels for finishing whisky. The truth is that Glenmorangie, who was the first to finish in Sauternes casks, started distributing The Nectar D’Or in 2010 but the limited nature of the Sauternes casks makes this release sometimes difficult to obtain. The steep price of Sauternes casks makes it unlikely that it will ever challenge sherry as the go-to finishing cask. Almost every year since the inception of The Nectar D’Or, Glenmorangie has been tweaking the specs of this bottling and I suspect it has something to do with improving The Nectar D’Or’s availability while maintaining its

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level of excellence within the range.

THE PRONUNCIATION GAME I’ve learned over the years that there are two types of people in this world; those who try to pronounce names as they were intended, and those who shamelessly don’t give a rip and pronounce names however it rolls off their tongue. What side of this pronunciation fence you’re on will determine how you pronounce Glenmorangie. Correct pronunciation for Glenmorangie is: glen-MORE-angie but if you honestly pull up to the bar and ask for it with the Scottish accent and have no blood ties to Scotland, you’re a third type of person.

TASTING NOTES The Glenmorangie has a delightful nose with rich notes of apple, vanilla, citrus, and caramel. The first sip delivers intense white oak balanced by fruit, and sweet spice on the palate. Go in for a second taste and the flavors just flourish to include lemon zest, custard, Christmas cake, and a slight hint of chocolate. It’s beautifully balanced with wave after wave of complex flavors.

Aganorsa Leaf Signature Selection

PAIRING NOTES THIS IS ONE OF THOSE RARE PAIRINGS THAT YOU COME ACROSS WHERE EVERYTHING JUST WORKS. THE AGANORSA LEAF SIGNATURE SELECTION BRINGS A RICH AND CREAMY PROFILE OF CEDAR, COCOA, AND VANILLA WITH A HINT OF PEPPER. THE INTENSITIES OF THE CIGAR AND THE SCOTCH ARE EVENLY MATCHED ALLOWING BOTH TO JUST DO THEIR THING UNENCUMBERED. THE WHISKY’S VANILLA AND CARAMEL NOTES ARE ELEVATED ON THE FINISH MAKING AN ALREADY DELICIOUS EXPERIENCE SOMEHOW BETTER.


THE GLENLIVET 15 FRENCH OAK RESERVE producing region, Speyside. The River Spey, or ‘Whisky River’ as it has come to be known, gives the region its name and runs 107 miles providing fresh, crystal clear water to some 50 or so distilleries. The river is unique in that its flow continues to increase in speed even as it nears the sea. With an average speed of around 36 mph, the River Spey is Scotland’s fastest flowing river. The whisky regions are laid out by the Scotch Whisky Association and are usually plainly stated on every bottle of single malt Scotch. The region gives us consumers a general sense of what part of Scotland the whisky is from and a vague sense of what we can expect from the spirit. I say vague because you may read ‘Speyside Single Malt Scotch’ on the label and expect a fruity, honeyed dram but get punched in the mouth by a smoky, dry whisky from distillers trying to set themselves apart. For that reason I don’t rely too heavily on region for my decision-making but seeing one of the five regions on the bottle does give me a sense of assurance of quality.

ILLICIT ORIGINS In the 1800s illicit distilling was all the rage in the Livet valley and the Smith family were no stranger to the art. The valley’s remoteness made it a chore for customs officers to come snooping around, which gave distillers plenty of time to hone their craft. Keep in mind that these were farmers who would distill for personal consumption and then sell off whatever they wouldn’t drink themselves. It wasn’t a big business by any stretch.

SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY LIMOUSIN CASK FINISH

40% ABV

WHISKY RIVER REGION Tucked into the northeast corner of Scotland is the country’s most densely packed whisky-

George Smith, and his father before him, rented a farm from the Duke of Gordon. Knowing that most if not all of his tenants were running illicit distilleries, the Duke figured that it was probably best to collect taxes on this product rather than policing its production so he helped push through the 1823 Excise Act. For unknown reasons, George Smith applied for the very first license to legally distill in Scotland; we can imagine that the Duke’s muscle and leverage had something to do with this. Whatever the reason, The Glenlivet is the country’s first legal distiller of whisky.

WHOSE GLENLIVET IS IT ANYWAY?

SPEYSIDE

throughout the valley and well beyond it. By the 1860s the Glenlivet name was being used more as a region than a brand name, a fact that no doubt irked the Smiths who had trademarked the name. In 1881 the Smiths set out to settle this matter once and for all and sued every distillery using the Glenlivet name. In the end they reached a compromise where all others could hyphenate their name with “-Glenlivet” but only the Smiths could call their whisky “The Glenlivet.”

TASTING NOTES The Glenlivet 15 French Oak Reserve is a chill filtered single malt Scotch from the Speyside region. On the nose this whisky is crisp and sweet with notes of apple, toffee, and a delightful touch of floral. TIP: Give the whisky a moment to rest after pouring before you nose it, you’ll get much more from it. The palate starts a bit tight, giving flavors of oak and vanilla, but adding a couple of drops of water changes everything. The sweetness gets amped up incorporating beautiful brown sugar, cinnamon, and pear.

Fonseca by My Father Cigars

PAIRING NOTES THIS WHISKY, WITH ITS BALANCED PROFILE OF SWEET AND ASTRINGENT NOTES, IS EXTREMELY FLEXIBLE FOR PAIRINGS; IN FACT SO IS THE FONSECA BY MY FATHER. THE CIGAR’S CREAMY AND NUTTY PROFILE COMPLEMENTED BY SOFT EARTH AND PEPPER PROVIDES THE PERFECT BASE FOR THE FRENCH OAK RESERVE’S BROWN SUGAR AND FRUIT. AS THE WHISKY LINGERS ON YOUR PALATE, EVERY PUFF OF THE FONSECA TAKES ON A NEW, SLIGHTLY SWEETER DIMENSION THAT WASN’T PRESENT BEFORE, A PERFECTLY HARMONIOUS COEXISTENCE.

News of George Smith’s success spread

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THE DALMORE 12 emblem on their coat of arms. When the Mackenzie brothers bought the distillery in 1886, they displayed their coat of arms anywhere except prominently on the bottle. It was in the bottom left of the label, the back; basically anywhere but where we see it today. While the Mackenzies were clearly fierce hunters and good enough businessmen to buy and successfully operate a distillery from 1886 to 1960, their understanding of branding was not terribly sophisticated. The stag eventually made its jump to front and center after the distillery merged with Whyte and Mackay in 1960.

WHISKY N’ CHILL

SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY SHERRY CASK FINISH

40% ABV

THE 12-POINT STAG Legend has it that in 1263, Colin of Kintail, Chief of the Clan Mackenzie and apparently a badass, was out hunting when he somehow saved King Alexander III from a charging stag. Whether he was hunting illegally on the King’s land or was a member of the King’s hunting party is hard to determine but let’s continue. In recognition for saving the King’s life, the Chief and his Clan were granted the right to use the 12-point Royal stag

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You may have seen the note on whisky packaging and didn’t give it much thought or perhaps you’re the type that looks for the note as a prerequisite to purchase. I’m referring to chillfiltration and specifically any indication explicitly saying, “Non-Chill-Filtered” or “Not Chill-Filtered” or “Chill-Filtering is For Punks,” you get the idea. It’s an odd term. Are you filtering the chill or are you chilling the filter? Before I get to what it actually is, let’s talk about the problem that it solves. Whisky bottled at under 46% ABV will get hazy in low temperatures or when water is added to it. You may have even experienced this yourself. If you have there is a hotline you can call (1-800-WHY-ME) that can set you up with a therapist to help you get over this trauma. But seriously you’ve likely seen the occurrence and probably forgot about it by the time you put the glass to your lips. Personally, beyond the curiosity of “how the hell did that just happen?” I never gave it much thought because it doesn’t affect the aroma, flavor, finish, or any other meaningful characteristic of the whisky aside from the way it looks in the glass. It must matter to someone because many of the larger distillers employ chill filtering as a standard process on their lower ABV bottlings. In simplified terms they chill the whisky down to trigger the haze, then filter out the newly formed particles, let it return to room temp, and bottle it. At this point, a massive argument ensues between hardcore whisky purists and chill-filtering distillers. The purists believe that filtering removes not only the haze particles but also some of the flavors and textures of the whisky, a fair argument to be sure. There have even been some well-known distillers who were on the chill filtering train that have relatively recently

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jumped off. At the end of it all it is up to you to decide how you feel about this. As for me, I don’t think that the haze was a big enough problem to begin with so I’d just as well do away with the practice altogether. At the same time I am not so concerned with it that I will stop purchasing a whisky because they are chill filtering. That seems silly to me. If I enjoy the whisky as it was bottled, I will continue to enjoy it. If a whisky I loved suddenly started filtering and I found that I didn’t enjoy it as much, I’d simply take my business elsewhere. I’m not a fighter I’m a chiller but in case you were wondering, all of the whiskies in this installment of 5 to Try have been chill filtered except for the Glenmorangie Nectar D’or.

TASTING NOTES A complex aroma with a combination of blood orange, spice, and sherry balanced by rich notes of walnut and vanilla. The palate continues with more citrus, sherry, and vanilla but this time it’s accompanied by chocolate and oak. The characteristic that sets The Dalmore 12 apart is how elegantly the sherry cask finish comes through every part of the experience.

Illusione Fume D’Amour

PAIRING NOTES THE FUME D’AMOUR BY ILLUSIONE BRINGS THE PERFECT AMOUNT OF CREAMY, NUTTY CHARACTERISTICS TO THIS PAIRING WHILE HAVING JUST ENOUGH PEPPER AND SUBTLE EARTH TO STAY AFLOAT. THE CIGAR AND SINGLE MALT COMPLEMENT ONE ANOTHER BEAUTIFULLY. THE SMOKE SETTLES THE SPICE AND DRIED FRUIT FROM THE SHERRY CASKS AND THE CIGAR TAKES ON AN EVEN CREAMIER TEXTURE WITH EVERY SIP.


GRANGESTONE SHERRY CASK FINISH 25 In Scotch whisky, an age statement of 12 years means that all of the whisky inside the bottle is at least 12 years old. To put it differently, the age statement is equivalent to the youngest whisky contained within. If you’re working that out in your head and it makes you scratch it, yes some of the whisky in the bottle may be older and often times it is. The distillery’s master blender combines whiskies from different barrels or casks to achieve a consistency across bottles and batches.

TWEAKING THE BLEND Much like a cigar factory’s master blender, the master blender at the distillery maintains the whisky’s consistency year after year. In very different ways, Mother Nature provides the differences that these blenders work so hard to smooth over. In tobacco, growing cycles with heavy rain during the plant’s growth will yield a milder tobacco than cycles with bright, sunny days so the blender adjusts the blend recipe in search of consistency from batch to batch. In whisky, each barrel imparts a slightly different character to the spirit within. Apart from the natural differences in the wood itself, the temperature of the dunnage house plays the biggest role.

SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY SHERRY CASK FINISH

40% ABV

In Scotland, aging whisky is stored in a low, typically single-storied warehouse called a dunnage house. Their architecture is designed to keep the temperature as consistent as possible. You see, if the wood that comprises the barrel heats up, it loosens and allows the spirit to get deeper into the wood. When the temperature cools, the wood tightens back up and pushes the now woodier spirit back into the barrel. Barrels in warmer sections of the warehouse will invariably produce an oakier Scotch, while barrels in sections that are naturally cooler, perhaps from tree cover or other factors, can spend year after year aging and never come close to their warmer neighbors’ oakiness. We haven’t even touched on evaporation, another major factor.

WHAT’S MY AGE AGAIN?

AGED 25 YEARS

No other item on the whisky bottle garners as much attention as the age statement. So much so that when we come across a bottle with no age on the label, we flip it around and upside down looking for it. But what does it mean?

We’ve established the importance of the age statement on a bottle of Scotch; well this bottle of Grangestone Sherry Cask Finish says 25 on it. Whisky this old is not only difficult to find in a neighborhood liquor store but

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when you do find it, the sticker shock usually leaves you in the fetal position caressing the bottle and sucking on the cork like a pacifier. Prices usually start in the $400s and go up from there. With a suggested retail price of $129.99, the Grangestone Sherry Cask Finish 25 is a rock solid value play.

TASTING NOTES The Grangestone Sherry Cask Finish 25 has the quintessential Highland Scotch nose: green apple, honey, ripe fruit, and heavyhanded vanilla. In spite of its 25 years in a barrel, it has a light, golden straw color in the glass; this tells me that no artificial colors were used on this whisky, a major positive. On the palate the whisky is rather delicate and subdued with light flavors of white oak, citrus, and baking spices with a long, buttery finish.

Herrera Esteli

PAIRING NOTES A PURELY COMPLEMENTARY PAIRING, THE HERRERA ESTELI BRINGS LOADS OF FLAVOR BUT NOT A TON OF STRENGTH; THAT’S IDEAL FOR THE GRANGESTONE. THE CIGAR IS SUPERB ON ITS OWN, WITH A RICH AND CREAMY PROFILE OF ALMONDS, SWEET PEPPER, AND CEDAR BUT ACCOMPANIED BY THE SCOTCH THE ALMONDS HIT A CRESCENDO FOR A MOMENT, BEFORE COMING BACK DOWN TO EARTH WITH THE REST OF THE FLAVORS. AS THE SCOTCH LINGERS ON YOUR PALATE, EVERY PUFF BRINGS ANOTHER SPIKE IN ALMONDS BUT TO A LESSER DEGREE EACH TIME UNTIL EVENTUALLY THE ORIGINAL HERRERA ESTELI PROFILE RETURNS. THEN YOU TAKE ANOTHER SIP OF THE GRANGESTONE.

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ABERFELDY 12

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ness, renaming it John Dewar and Sons. In spite of their youth, they managed to grow the business to the point that they outgrew their suppliers, forcing them to build the distillery at Aberfeldy in 1898. With the new distillery pumping out quality whisky for their blends, the company released their flagship Dewar’s White Label. The company went through a series of mergers starting in 1925 until it was eventually acquired by Bacardi-Martini in 1998. Almost immediately after the acquisition, the Aberfeldy Highland Single Malt Scotch brand was born. Up until that moment, every ounce of whisky produced at Aberfeldy went into Dewar’s blends. The first Aberfeldy to be released was the 12 Year Old, later joined by the 16 and 21 Year Olds, as well as Madeira finished version of the 16 and 21. Bacardi-Martini also invested heavily in the distillery and in 2000 opened one of the better whisky education centers at the distillery. Whether you’re a fan of Aberfeldy/Dewar’s or not, a visit to the Dewar’s Aberfeldy visitor’s center is an absolute must for any whisky lover, and if you really want to geek out, enroll in their WSET (Whisky and Spirits Education Trust) approved courses.

Davidoff Aniversario

PAIRING NOTES THE DAVIDOFF ANIVERSARIO DOUBLE R IS IMPECCABLY MADE AND PRODUCES TONS OF THICK SMOKE WITH FLAVORS OF CEDAR, SOFT SPICE, AND RAW ALMONDS. THE PAIRING BRINGS OUT A RICH, ROUNDED SWEETNESS IN THE WHISKY, GIVING IT A VISCOSITY THAT WAS NOT PREVIOUSLY THERE. THE CIGAR’S PROFILE CHANGES TO INCORPORATE MORE OF A TOASTED CHARACTERISTIC WHILE ACCENTING THE CEDAR IN A WONDERFUL WAY. IT TOOK QUITE A FEW ATTEMPTS TO ARRIVE AT THIS PAIRING AND NOW I CAN’T STOP.

SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY 40% ABV

THE SOURCE It’s difficult to understand the single malt Scotch that is Aberfeldy without first getting to know the original reason for its existence. The distillery was originally built to produce the source whisky that would be blended into Dewar’s. Let’s be clear, it’s not the only whisky that goes into the blend; that’s why it’s a blend. But it is the reason the distillery was built. That’s a very different origin story than most distilleries. John Dewar opened a wine and spirits shop in Perth, Scotland in 1846 and by the 1860s he was creating whisky blends. At the time this was a sort of novel idea. After his passing in 1880 John Alexander and Thomas Robert, his 24- and 16-year-old heirs, continued the family busi-

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TASTING NOTES Unlike many of its Highland neighbors, the nose on the Aberfeldy 12 is subtle and delicate and benefits from letting the whisky sit in the glass for a few minutes. There are notes of pear, honey, vanilla, and a slight hint of smoke. On the palate the whisky is light and approachable for newcomers to single malts. Oaky spice is present along with hints of citrus and honey on the back end. You’ll notice that the flavors get sweeter with every subsequent taste.

EDITOR’S NOTE WE PARTNERED WITH TOTAL WINE & MORE (TOTALWINE.COM) TO PUT THIS FEATURE TOGETHER AND PABLO ESTADES WAS INSTRUMENTAL IN MAKING IT HAPPEN. THANKS, PABLO.


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Premiums on Trial as Feds Weigh Fate By Steve Miller

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edro Gómez returned to his native Nicaragua in 2006 from the U.S. armed with a pedigree in international commerce. When he left his country, he was a saddle maker. On his return, he was determined not to do the same thing. Instead, he wanted to be part of the cigar world, one of Central America’s most esteemed and treasured industries.

scientists,” says Drew Newman, general counsel for J.C. Newman Cigar Co., a Tampa-based family operation that has produced cigars since 1895. “They have built careers trying to build public health and are skeptical of tobacco.” Additionally, said Craig Williamson, president of the Cigar Association of America, “what concerns us is the lack of knowledge of the products.

medical practice, will review the millions of pages of studies and accounts of premium cigar smoking, culled from decades of research. The group is reviewing documents that refer to “premium” cigars, with the quotation marks, echoing the feelings of anti-cigar elements that a claim to be premium is in itself dishonest. “There is no such thing as a premium cigar,” Hasmeena Kathuria, who is

Central America that are crowding the U.S./Mexico border, some from the tobacco and cigar producing strongholds of Nicaragua, Honduras and the Dominican Republic. The federal government wants to hand $4 billion over to governments in Central America. The plan, according to the Biden Administration, would combat what it claims to have caused a run to the U.S.-Mexico border –

“I made saddles for nine years and when I got back to my country, I had this degree,” Gómez says. “I went to every cigar factory looking for a job.” But cigar industry jobs are valued in his culture, from the tobacco fields to the rolling tables and on up the ranks. Like treasured union jobs in the U.S., it often takes connections to get one. Gómez, though, caught on with a relative newcomer, Drew Estate. It was co-founded by Jonathan Drew, a New Yorker who scrapped a potential career in law and moved to Estelí, Nicaragua, to realize his dream of making fine cigars. “I took a job doing anything,” Gómez says. Today, he is a factory spokesman for Drew Estate, living in Miami as a self-determination success story that began with adversity in a country that many portray as the Third World. Today, he and his company face a new challenge. A committee of scientists and academics has been asked by the federal government to determine the health effects of premium cigars. If those effects are determined to be as harmful as other products, burdensome regulation looms. The move to appoint the committee, composed almost exclusively of antitobacco activists, comes from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, despite a legal ruling last year that premium cigars do not come close to the characteristics of other tobacco products.

There are people on this committee that don’t know what a cigar is.” The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Committee has met seven times since March, hearing testimony from both its peers in the science field and representatives from the cigar industry. The video of four of these meetings are available for the public to view, so much of the discussion and consideration has been done behind closed doors.

By statute, the FDA has to “study the science” -- a curiously subjective and flexible term given the past 16 months – before coming to a decision.

“It is customary for committees to have closed sessions during the study process in order to discuss the research collected to date, and to develop draft findings and recommendations free from outside influences,” NAS spokeswoman Stephanie Miceli said in an email.

The 14-member panel considering the health risks of premium cigars “is a who’s who of tobacco control

The collection of academics with medical disciplines, ranging from psychiatry and addiction to licensed

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part of the Tobacco Treatment Center at Boston Medical Center, told the committee in one of its first meetings. “The premium cigar is a concept developed by the tobacco industry to escape FDA regulation of all tobacco products…[the committee] should not adopt the fraudulent concept of a premium cigar. “ She also contended that some people inhale cigars and that cigar lounge workers are exposed to secondhand smoke, a suggestion that went unchallenged. Kathuria declined to speak with Cigar Snob. Following the urgings of Kathuria and other anti-tobacco crusaders would create a thorny political scenario in addition to its impact on the cigar industry. The Biden Administration is struggling to control a flood of immigrants from

The Food and Drug Administration has turned to a committee of scientists and academics to determine the health effects of premium cigars after a legal ruling thwarted the agency’s bid to impose restrictions.

corruption and poverty in El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala. It comes at the same time the administration is pushing for restrictions on a livelihood that has lifted thousands out of poverty in several Latin American countries. “These tobacco and cigar jobs keep people from coming to the U.S. to seek a better life,” says Gómez, the Drew Estate strider. While he found himself in a fortunate spot, with advanced schooling in the US and an upwardly mobile instinct, even field workers and cigar rollers are in a better place in those countries. “They provide health care and give younger generations a hope for a good future.”


like Drew Newman, spoke with the committee on behalf of the cigar industry. The definition of premium cigars has been codified, most recently in a court decision last year. Simplified, it states that “premium cigars are defined, in part, as cigars that are wrapped in whole tobacco leaf, contain a 100% leaf tobacco binder, are handmade or hand rolled and do not have a characterizing flavor other than tobacco. “ The same ruling dictated that if the FDA wants to proceed with regulation of premium cigars, the agency must figure out a way to research them.

Burdensome regulations in the United States affect the livelihood of thousands in Latin American countries who would otherwise be living in poverty if not for the cigar industry.

Premium Cigars: How Do They Work?

Putting the brakes on premium cigars in the form of restrictions would no doubt stymie the economies in those countries.

While a Zoom call is hardly the best way to convey information and discuss issues, the pandemic meeting tool of choice lingers, and the tobacco committee is no exception. The meetings in which committee members hear from colleagues are a procession of PowerPoint presentations and studies, some of which appraise premium cigars in the same breath – sometimes in the same classification – as cigarillos and other flavored tobacco products.

Yet the U.S. continues to provide financial support, giving a combined $230 million in foreign aid to Honduras, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic in 2019, including $7.3 million in agriculture funding. “Tobacco in Nicaragua is driving the economy,” says Claudio Sgroi, head of the Nicaraguan Tobacco Chamber. “We made 12 million pounds of tobacco and generate more than money. We are reaching 44,000 employees and we export 176 million cigars. Some go to Europe, some to Asia, but the U.S. is the main place.” If cigars are regulated as any other tobacco product, Sgroi says, there won’t be a lot of brands surviving, as they can’t afford the costs that come with increased registration, levies and whatever else regulation would entail. “A factory that produces 50,000 cigars a day would see a 75 percent reduction, which means 75 percent of people and 75 percent of revenue gone.”

are not as accurate as they are for similar measuring of cigarettes. Some of the findings are dubious and would seem to indicate a deeper look, including the claim that cigars are the most common smoke indulged in by young users, with nearly 1 million insisting they smoked cigars in 2020. A presenter, from the National Cancer Institute, claimed that among tobacco users, more high schoolers smoke cigars than adults. Another source admitted his study had a hard time finding cigar smokers who did not also smoke other tobacco products, and therefore concluded that “noninhalers” of cigars are “nonexistent.”

Some of the testimony is mindnumbingly dull – “analyzing cigars is challenging,” Clifford Watson, a CDC scientist, said as he outlined the various cigar shapes and sizes for the committee. “Nonuniform” is the description of premium cigars in his materials, due to the various vitolas and tobaccos that help make the premium cigar industry so robust.

Other presenters include an FDA representative, a dental school professor, a cancer specialist and various public health officials. A common modifier from each presenter was that premium cigars have not yet been defined and the premium cigar smoker is an elusive species when it comes to measuring health risks.

“Puffing regimen,” “oral absorption,” and “saturated saliva ingestion” are all part of a paper that was presented by Watson, who finally told the committee that the machines used to evaluate cigar smoking

“It’s a little frustrating, as we are restating the historical record of what’s already out there on premium cigars,” says Joshua Habursky, head of government relations for the Premium Cigar Association, who,

Joshua Habursky, head of government relations for the PCA

“It’s hard to say if [the committee] believe(s) premium cigars actually exist,” Habursky says. “They were not instructed to use that definition.” If the study sticks to premium cigars, he said, “they will see that these are vastly different. The fear is that they will conflate everything.” The panel, despite what appears to be a predilection against tobacco, is suitably curious. They asked the invited guests representing premium cigars simple questions that a neophyte lounge visitor might ask. Among the queries: “How long does it take to smoke a cigar?”, “What is the difference in tobacco used in premium cigars and that in other tobacco products?” and “If you don’t smoke for a while, do you suffer

JUL / AUG 2021 | CIGAR SNOB |

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from toxic effects when you start up again?”

Karma Would Have to be a Chameleon

the cost,” Williams says. “I have a customer from Canada, he comes in every time he is in town to buy cigars because it’s almost 50 percent more per cigar in Canada than it is here. What he gets for $15 in Canada is $11 here. And you know the only way they

entrepreneurial streak. Streat joined a group of four other individuals and launched Emperors Cut, joining the cigar community as an African American-owned small business. Among their work is shipping cigars to deployed military servicemen and

To get to Good Karma Cigars in Lubbock, Texas, a drive from any place in the city winds past a blur of smoke shops advertising vapes, e-cigarettes and a staggering amount of flavored tobacco products. Texas Tech University, which enrolls around 30,000 students every year, provides a sizable customer base and the city of Lubbock, with a median age of 29, ranks about six years younger than the rest of Texas. The FDA and any anti-tobacco entity worth its indignation has crusaded against youth-oriented articles, and it’s no mistake that in addition to smoking, patrons of the smoke shops can also buy supplies for smoking cannabis, CBD gummies and other legal pursuits. Diversify those products, the business model demands, driven by the feds. When the FDA came down with its mandates seeking to stamp out vaping and electronic cigarettes in 2016, producers had to register their products with the government, and no new products were allowed. It meant that vaping in 2016 is vaping in 2021. Business remains brisk in the shops, but for cigars, a similar mandate would stilt or even stop new cigars from entering the market. That would be some bad timing. As at most cigar shops around the U.S., business is booming, says Karma General Manager Brad Williams. The Lubbock Karma is one of three in Texas, the other two in Fort Worth and Amarillo. “We had a win last year,” he said, referring to the court ruling that defined premium cigars – to anyone who was listening – and ordered the FDA to convene a study on the specifics of premium cigars. “But the business is already regulated. “

One member of the current panel, Pebbles Fagan, was also on that 2011 committee. It heard testimony from another member of the current panel, Neal Benowitz. If it sounds like the deck is stacked, that’s because it appears to be. In 2018, then-California Attorney General Xavier Becerra signed a letter to the FDA urging it not to give premium cigars a pass when it comes to overseeing smokable products. His predecessor, Kamala Harris, sent a similar note in 2014 to the FDA. Among Harris’ suggestions: “The FDA should prohibit the sale of individual cigars…” Bacerra is secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Harris is now vicepresident.

are going to fund regulation is through a price increase on us.”

No Room for the Humanity “Consumers smoke premium cigars when enjoying recreational activities like playing golf or going fishing, or a social gathering like weddings…,” Drew Newman told the National Academies committee in April. Among the other activities he could have added is the pregame before going on a covert national security military mission. One night in July, air force veteran Darnell Streat and some friends were having a smoke, and one of the party, a special forces member who had just returned from Afghanistan, explained how important cigars can be to soldiers.

HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra has said that all cigars should be governed “under the same regime as other tobacco products.”

women. Streat knows cigars are a treasured pastime among some living in a high-stress environment. These and other nuances of the premium cigars will be variables lost in the science that is eventually presented to the feds. “Like any industry trying to regulate, they should get to know the people and the product that they are reviewing,” says Robert Howard, in-house counsel for Emperors Cut. Among the information the National Academies panel is to present to the FDA in March is a description of the populations who use premium cigars, versus other tobacco products.

Added taxes, which went to 75 cents a stick in 2009, would send some customers packing.

“Cigars become a rallying point for some of these guys,” Streat says. “There are special forces guys who have a tradition of having a cigar before going out on a mission. And they look forward to it to relax a bit before taking off.”

“There are dozens of African American cigar groups. This is a place to find a diverse array of people, not just black, white Latino, but also women,” Howard says. “It’s nice to know this and there are ways for [the government] to do that. They have to engage the industry.”

“I don’t think customers would follow along with a $3 or $4 addition to

When Streat left the Air Force, he took with him a love of cigars and an

In April, the FDA declared its intent to ban mentholated flavors in tobacco

60 | CIGAR SNOB | JUL / AUG 2021

products, the result of a 2011 study by an FDA committee that did much of the same type of review currently being done by the premium cigar panel.

The premium cigar committee is part of a fast-moving effort from the new administration to address the cigar issue, says Habursky, of the Premium Cigar Association. A flurry of regulation activity – moving toward final policy – has come out in the first few months of the year, he said, things that are done without legislation “where unelected regulators can do the bidding,” he said. None have so far directly affected premium cigars, as everyone at the FDA's tobacco division awaits the National Academy report. The committee will likely meet at least a dozen times before issuing its report in March, and it’s already feared what can happen. “The report that comes out in the spring is very consequential,” Newman says. “And it’s frustrating because we can be stuck with a bad report that isn’t fair, and yet the FDA will hold it out as the gold standard. And it’s stacked against us because of who is on the committee.” The waiting is enough to drive someone to pour a few fingers of a fine bourbon to pair with a classic smoke, produced by our hard working Latin American friends. Problem is, if things keep moving in the wrong direction, those friends may have to find new work.


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60 CIGARS PLATE: Aaron Thomas Collection - Blue Smoky Crush Platter (aaronthomascollection.com)


CHURCHILL AJ Fernandez New World Connecticut

91

VITOLA: LENGTH: RING: WRAPPER: BINDER: FILLER:

$ 7.90 Churchill 7 50 USA/Connecticut Mexico Brazil & Nicaragua

Espinosa Crema

Covered with a soft, supple wrapper with minimal veins, this smooth and flavorful blend delivers a core of almond cream, soft spice, cedar, and light coffee. Draws and burns beautifully while leaving behind a solid, compact ash.

$ 9.25

90

VITOLA: LENGTH: RING: WRAPPER: BINDER: FILLER:

No. 1 7 48 Ecuador Nicaragua Nicaragua

EPC New Wave Connecticut

90 89

N I CA R AG UA A flavorful Churchill with a core of smooth pepper, cedar, roasted nuts, and cream accompanied by a hint of vanilla. This medium bodied blend consistently draws and burns well while producing an excellent smoke output.

$ 8.55 VITOLA: LENGTH: RING: WRAPPER: BINDER: FILLER:

Gran Via 7 49 Ecuador Nicaragua Nicaragua & Dominican Republic

Macanudo Inspirado Brazilian Shade VITOLA: LENGTH: RING: WRAPPER: BINDER: FILLER:

D O M I N I CA N R E P UBLI C Delivering a smooth profile of cedar, soft pepper, and earth balanced by notes of vanilla cream and roasted nuts, this well-made blend is covered with an attractive, golden colored wrapper with a beautiful sheen.

$ 10.49 Toro 6 1/2 52 Brazil Mexico Brazil, Nicaragua & Dominican Republic

Don Diego

D O M I N I CA N R E P UBLI C Delivers a profile of nuts, sweet spice, and wood accompanied by a hint of tea on the finish. This mild to medium bodied blend is covered with a light brown wrapper and provides a firm draw and a thin smoke output.

$ 6.91

88

VITOLA: LENGTH: RING: WRAPPER: BINDER: FILLER:

Churchill 7 54 USA/Connecticut Dominican Republic Dominican Republic

Asylum Insidious

D O M I N I CA N R E P UBLI C This thick Churchill delivers a mild core of wood, subtle baker’s spice, and a hint of vanilla cream noticeable on the finish. Covered with a supple, golden colored wrapper, this well-made smoke draws and burns well while leaving behind a solid, gray ash.

$ 6.86

87 64 | CIGAR SNOB | JUL / AUG 2021

N I CA R AG UA

VITOLA: LENGTH: RING: WRAPPER: BINDER: FILLER:

Churchill 7 48 Ecuador Honduras Honduras

H O N D UR AS A mild Churchill covered with a light brown wrapper and finished with a sweet tip. The sugary sweetness dominates the flavor profile while subtle notes of red pepper and wood creep out from underneath.


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LANCERO Herrera Esteli Ct. Broadleaf Tienda Exclusiva

92

VITOLA: LENGTH: RING: WRAPPER: BINDER: FILLER:

Lancero 7 38 USA/Connecticut Brazil Nicaragua

Tatuaje El Triunfador Broadleaf

91

N I CA R AG UA Rich and decadent with a profile of sweet pepper, cocoa powder, cinnamon, and roasted almond balanced by subtle earth and smooth spice. Draws and burns beautifully while leaving behind a solid, white ash. Medium strength.

$ 9.50 VITOLA: LENGTH: RING: WRAPPER: BINDER: FILLER:

Lancero Limited 7 1/2 38 USA/Connecticut Nicaragua Nicaragua

Espinosa Murcielago

N I CA R AG UA A well-balanced blend with an earthy profile highlighted by notes of dark chocolate, roasted nuts, and oak with a touch of sweet pepper on the finish. Produces tons of medium plus strength smoke along a perfect draw and burn.

$ 10.50

91

VITOLA: LENGTH: RING: WRAPPER: BINDER: FILLER:

Lancero 7 1/2 38 Mexico Nicaragua Nicaragua

Illusione ~hl~ Maduro

N I CA R AG UA Ultra-flavorful with a core of intense dark chocolate, sweet cedar, smooth pepper, and a touch of earth. This beautifully box-pressed blend is covered with a dark, oily wrapper and produces an excellent smoke output.

$ 11.15

90

VITOLA: LENGTH: RING: WRAPPER: BINDER: FILLER:

Lancero 7 1/2 40 Mexico Nicaragua Nicaragua

Luciano

H O N D UR AS Opens with a savory profile of pepper, wood, and black coffee accompanied by sweeter notes of roasted nuts and subtle cocoa. This consistently well-constructed smoke is covered with a dark brown wrapper with a toothy texture. Medium strength.

$ 15.00

90

VITOLA: LENGTH: RING: WRAPPER: BINDER: FILLER:

The Dreamer 7 1/2 38 Ecuador Nicaragua Peru & Nicaragua

RoMa Craft CroMagnon

N I CA R AG UA Flavorful and complex with a profile of sweet pepper, earth, toast, and nuts accompanied by a light touch of eucalyptus on the finish. This medium strength lancero produces an excellent smoke output along a flawless draw and burn.

$ 11.75

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$ 12.95

VITOLA: LENGTH: RING: WRAPPER: BINDER: FILLER:

Atlatl LE 7 38 USA/Connecticut Cameroon Nicaragua

N I CA R AG UA Covered with a dark brown wrapper with a coarse feel, this full strength lancero delivers an earthy profile complemented by notes of charred oak, bittersweet cocoa, and peppercorn. Draws and burns perfectly while leaving behind a solid, compact ash.


LANCERO Casa Fernandez Miami Aniversario Serie 2015

$ 13.75

N I CA R AGUA Beautifully balanced with highly nuanced flavors of cedar, toasted almonds, butterscotch, and smooth spice joined by subtle hints of tanned leather and cocoa. Impeccably boxpressed and covered with a soft, supple wrapper. Medium plus strength.

VITOLA: LENGTH: RING: WRAPPER: BINDER: FILLER:

Lancero 7 1/2 40 Nicaragua Nicaragua Nicaragua

Trinidad Espiritu Series No.1

$ 11.00

N I CA R AGUA Flavorful and well balanced with a profile of roasted almonds, smooth pepper, cocoa, and a touch of cinnamon. Consistently well-constructed and covered with a clean, milk chocolate colored wrapper. Medium strength.

92

VITOLA: LENGTH: RING: WRAPPER: BINDER: FILLER:

Fundador 7 1/2 40 Nicaragua Nicaragua Nicaragua

91 My Father No. 4

$ 10.4 3

N I CA R AGUA A consistently well-made lancero with a firm draw and a core of earth and peppercorn accompanied by more delicate notes of chocolate, leather, and savory spice. Medium plus bodied and covered with a clean, reddish brown wrapper.

VITOLA: LENGTH: RING: WRAPPER: BINDER: FILLER:

Lancero 7 1/2 38 Ecuador Nicaragua Nicaragua

La Flor Dominicana Double Ligero

$ 11.80

N I CA R AGUA A potent blend with dominant flavors of cayenne pepper and cedar joined by notes of tanned leather, clove, and smoked meat. This well-made smoke provides an excellent draw and burn while leaving behind a solid, compact ash.

VITOLA: LENGTH: RING: WRAPPER: BINDER: FILLER:

Lancero 7 1/2 38 Ecuador Dominican Republic Dominican Republic

Covered with an oily, reddish brown wrapper finished with a neat pigtail, this medium bodied blend delivers a profile of cedar, red pepper, and ripe fruit accompanied by notes of tanned leather and spice in the aroma.

90 Nestor Miranda Private Reserve

$ 18.00

D OM I NI CAN REPUBLIC

91

VITOLA: LENGTH: RING: WRAPPER: BINDER: FILLER:

Lancero 6 3/4 40 Dominican Republic Nicaragua Brazil, Nicaragua & Dominican Republic

90 1502 Blue Sapphire

$ 13.00

N I CA R AGUA A slow-burning lancero covered with a reddish brown wrapper with somewhat prominent veins and finished with a slightly covered foot. Medium plus strength with a core of cayenne pepper, wood, and earth complemented by a subtle, sugar cane sweetness.

VITOLA: LENGTH: RING: WRAPPER: BINDER: FILLER:

Lancero 7 40 Nicaragua Nicaragua Nicaragua

89 JUL / AUG 2021 | CIGAR SNOB |

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GRAN TORO Plasencia Alma Fuerte Hexagon

93

$ 21.00 VITOLA: LENGTH: RING: WRAPPER: BINDER: FILLER:

Sixto 6 60 Nicaragua Nicaragua Nicaragua

Flor de las Antillas

An impressively constructed, hexagonalshaped gran toro covered with a thin, milk chocolate colored wrapper. This slow-burning blend delivers a balanced core of roasted nuts, deep pepper, and smooth earth joined by a subtle hint of honey and cream.

$ 9.90

92

VITOLA: LENGTH: RING: WRAPPER: BINDER: FILLER:

Toro Gordo 6 1/2 56 Nicaragua Nicaragua Nicaragua

Undercrown Sun Grown

N I CA R AG UA A perfectly constructed gran toro covered with a beautiful, reddish brown wrapper. Delivers a core of smooth pepper, milk chocolate, and caramel accompanied by cream, leather, and a touch of oak. Medium strength.

$ 11.49

91

VITOLA: LENGTH: RING: WRAPPER: BINDER: FILLER:

Gordito 6 60 Ecuador USA Nicaragua

Micallef Prominente

N I CA R AG UA Creamy and smooth with a well-balanced profile of raw almonds, dried fruit, cedar, and a hint of butterscotch all held together by a smooth pepper and earth base. Covered with a neatly applied, reddish brown wrapper with excellent sheen.

$ 11.56

91

VITOLA: LENGTH: RING: WRAPPER: BINDER: FILLER:

Robusto Grande 5 1/2 58 Nicaragua Mexico Panama, Nicaragua & Dominican Republic

Alec Bradley Prensado Lost Art

91 90

N I CA R AG UA Smooth and flavorful with a profile of roasted nuts, pepper, cedar, and sweet cream. This well-constructed blend draws well and produces an excellent output of thick, aromatic smoke. Medium strength.

$ 11.55 VITOLA: LENGTH: RING: WRAPPER: BINDER: FILLER:

Double T 6 60 Honduras Honduras & Nicaragua Honduras & Nicaragua

Arturo Fuente Magnum R Rosado Sungrown

68 | CIGAR SNOB | JUL / AUG 2021

N I CA R AG UA

VITOLA: LENGTH: RING: WRAPPER: BINDER: FILLER:

Super 60 6 60 Ecuador Dominican Republic Dominican Republic

H O N D UR AS A thick, box-pressed gran toro covered with a good-looking, reddish brown wrapper with a supple feel. Produces a rich and creamy profile highlighted by notes of cedar, earth, pepper, and a touch of caramel.

$ 12.70

D O M I N I CA N R E P UBLI C Covered with a clean, light brown wrapper with excellent sheen. This gran toro draws well and produces a core of cedar and spice complemented by a hint of cinnamon and bread in the aroma. Medium bodied.


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GRAN TORO The Oscar Maduro

$ 12.50

92

VITOLA: LENGTH: RING: WRAPPER: BINDER: FILLER:

Sixty 6 60 Mexico Honduras Honduras & Nicaragua

The Wise Man Maduro

Covered with a dark, toothy wrapper with excellent sheen. Delivers an ultra-flavorful and smooth profile of cocoa powder, toasted almonds, and ripe fruit balanced by notes of earth, deep pepper, and subtle oak. Medium strength.

$ 12.20

92

VITOLA: LENGTH: RING: WRAPPER: BINDER: FILLER:

Toro Huaco 6 56 Mexico Nicaragua Nicaragua

Oliva Serie V

N I CA R AG UA A neatly pressed and well-constructed gran toro covered with a clean, dark brown wrapper. This flavorful, medium plus strength blend has a profile of sweet earth, dark chocolate, and roasted almonds accompanied by a note of deep red pepper.

$ 11.5 8

91

VITOLA: LENGTH: RING: WRAPPER: BINDER: FILLER:

Double Toro 6 60 Ecuador Nicaragua Nicaragua

Jaime Garcia Reserva Especial

91

N I CA R AG UA A thick and consistently well-made gran toro covered with a nearly flawless, dark brown wrapper. Produces an excellent smoke output with notes of smooth pepper, cocoa, oak, and a hint of American coffee.

$ 9.70 VITOLA: LENGTH: RING: WRAPPER: BINDER: FILLER:

Toro Gordo 6 60 USA/Connecticut Nicaragua Nicaragua

God of Fire Serie B 2017

N I CA R AG UA Produces a consistent, flavorful core of earth, black pepper, and roasted nuts accompanied by notes of cocoa and black coffee. This medium plus bodied thick toro is covered with an oily, dark brown wrapper.

$ 24.50

91

VITOLA: LENGTH: RING: WRAPPER: BINDER: FILLER:

Gran Toro 6 56 Ecuador Dominican Republic Dominican Republic

Alec Bradley Magic Toast

D O M I N I CA N R E P UBLI C Covered with a dark, juicy wrapper with a ripe fruit sweetness on the lips, this medium plus bodied blend has a core of bittersweet chocolate, espresso, and baker’s spice accompanied by a touch of cedar. Excellent construction.

$ 10.25

90 70 | CIGAR SNOB | JUL / AUG 2021

H O N D UR AS

VITOLA: LENGTH: RING: WRAPPER: BINDER: FILLER:

Gordo 6 60 Honduras Honduras & Nicaragua Honduras & Nicaragua

H O N D UR AS Dark and oily with an earthy core complemented by more subtle notes of cedar, cherry, and molasses. This medium strength blend provides a slow burn along a firm draw.


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TORPEDO Montecristo 1935 Anniversary Nicaragua

92

VITOLA: LENGTH: RING: WRAPPER: BINDER: FILLER:

$ 16.4 3 No. 2 6 1/8 52 Nicaragua Nicaragua Nicaragua

Sin Compromiso

An impeccably constructed torpedo covered with a dark, toothy wrapper with a beautiful sheen. Intensely flavorful with a medium plus strength profile of bittersweet chocolate, red pepper, and sweet espresso complemented by a note of toasted almond.

$ 1 7.95

92

VITOLA: LENGTH: RING: WRAPPER: BINDER: FILLER:

Seleccion No. 2 6 52 Mexico Ecuador Nicaragua

Curivari Reserva Limitada 1000 Series

91

VITOLA: LENGTH: RING: WRAPPER: BINDER: FILLER:

N I CA R AG UA Exceptionally well balanced with a complex profile of dark chocolate, caramel, and vanilla accompanied by smooth pepper, oak, and earth. This medium plus strength torpedo consistently draws perfectly and produces an excellent smoke output.

$ 7.50 Reserva 4000 6 1/4 54 Nicaragua Nicaragua Nicaragua

Ashton VSG

N I CA R AG UA Beautifully balanced with flavors of sweet cedar, milk chocolate, toasted nuts, and deep pepper complemented by a smooth earthiness in the background. Impeccably constructed providing a firm draw and producing an output of aromatic smoke.

$ 12.70

91

VITOLA: LENGTH: RING: WRAPPER: BINDER: FILLER:

Belicoso No.1 5 1/4 52 Ecuador Dominican Republic Dominican Republic

Rocky Patel Vintage 1990

D O M I N I CA N R E P UBLI C Delivers a super-smooth profile highlighted by notes of dark chocolate, roasted nuts, and sweet cedar accompanied by more nuanced hints of baker’s spice and wood. Produces a good output of medium strength smoke along a perfect draw.

$ 11.20

90

VITOLA: LENGTH: RING: WRAPPER: BINDER: FILLER:

Torpedo 5 1/4 52 Honduras Honduras Nicaragua & Dominican Republic

Pio Resurrection

H O N D UR AS Covered with an attractive, dark and oily wrapper, this medium bodied blend has a profile of cocoa, pepper, earth, and cedar complemented by rich cream and smooth pepper. Draws well and leaves behind a solid, compact ash.

$ 11.60

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N I CA R AG UA

VITOLA: LENGTH: RING: WRAPPER: BINDER: FILLER:

Torpedo 6 52 Mexico Dominican Republic Nicaragua & Dominican Republic

N I CA R AG UA Covered with an oily, dark brown wrapper with a gritty feel. A neatly box-pressed blend with a core of muted flavors of earth, oak, mocha, and a touch of pepper. Consistently provides an easy draw and leaves behind a compact, light gray ash.


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TORO Casa Magna Jalapa Claro

$ 6.7 9

92

VITOLA: LENGTH: RING: WRAPPER: BINDER: FILLER:

Toro 6 50 Nicaragua Nicaragua Nicaragua

Camacho Factory Unleashed

91

VITOLA: LENGTH: RING: WRAPPER: BINDER: FILLER:

Toro 6 50 Ecuador Honduras Honduras, Nicaragua & Dominican Republic

H O N D UR AS Covered with a milk chocolate colored wrapper and finished with an exposed foot. Opens with a savory profile of wood, earth, and pepper joined by notes of cinnamon, nuts, and a hint of cream. Medium plus strength.

$ 20.40 VITOLA: LENGTH: RING: WRAPPER: BINDER: FILLER:

Fumador 6 54 Nicaragua Nicaragua Nicaragua

Crux Guild

N I CA R AG UA Opens with a blast of red pepper that settles to incorporate notes of rich leather, dried fruit, toasted almond, and a subtle touch of earth. Beautifully box-pressed and finished with an impeccable, reddish brown wrapper. Medium to full strength.

$ 10.49

90

VITOLA: LENGTH: RING: WRAPPER: BINDER: FILLER:

Toro 6 50 Ecuador Nicaragua Nicaragua

Saint Luis Rey Carenas

N I CA R AG UA A balanced mix of savory and sweet flavors are highlighted by notes of pepper, wood, cashews, and a hint of earth. This medium plus strength toro draws and burns perfectly while leaving behind a solid, compact ash.

$ 8.50

89

VITOLA: LENGTH: RING: WRAPPER: BINDER: FILLER:

Toro 6 52 Nicaragua Honduras Honduras

La Palina Bronze Label

H O N D UR AS Ultra-flavorful with a heavy dose of spice at the onset that settles to incorporate rich notes of roasted coffee, tanned leather, and a touch of cream. Medium plus strength and covered with a thin, reddish brown wrapper with excellent sheen.

$ 9.99

88 74 | CIGAR SNOB | JUL / AUG 2021

Delivers a classic profile loaded with nuts, spice, cedar, and cream complemented by a rich aroma of tanned leather. Box-pressed and covered with a light brown wrapper with excellent sheen. Medium strength.

$ 7.80

Joya de Nicaragua Cinco Décadas

91

N I CA R AG UA

VITOLA: LENGTH: RING: WRAPPER: BINDER: FILLER:

Toro 6 1/2 52 Honduras Honduras Honduras & Nicaragua

H O N D UR AS An attractive toro finished with a reddish brown wrapper and a neatly applied head. This medium strength blend has a core of cayenne pepper, wood, and roasted nuts accompanied by a bitter coffee note on the finish.


TORO Curivari Achilles

$ 9.50

N I CA R AGUA Delivers a balanced combination of cocoa powder, cedar, roasted almonds and smooth pepper. Impeccably box-pressed and covered with a clean, dark wrapper. This well-constructed toro draws and burns exceptionally well.

VITOLA: LENGTH: RING: WRAPPER: BINDER: FILLER:

Mirmidones 54 6 54 Mexico Nicaragua Nicaragua

AJ Fernandez New World Puro Especial

$ 9.00

N I CA R AGUA Balanced and flavorful with a medium plus strength profile highlighted by notes of ripe fruit, black pepper, and dark chocolate accompanied by oak and molasses. Draws and burns perfectly while leaving behind a solid, compact ash.

93

VITOLA: LENGTH: RING: WRAPPER: BINDER: FILLER:

Toro 6 1/2 52 Nicaragua Nicaragua Nicaragua

92 Undercrown 10

$ 12.00

N I CA R AGUA A flavorful, mouth-watering blend with an earthy and sweet profile complemented by notes of black pepper, charred oak, molasses, and dark cherry. Produces an excellent smoke output along a consistently perfect drawW.

VITOLA: LENGTH: RING: WRAPPER: BINDER: FILLER:

Toro 6 52 Mexico USA/Connecticut Nicaragua

Padrón 1964 Anniversary Maduro

$ 16.80

N I CA R AGUA An ultra-consistent toro covered with a dark brown wrapper with minimal veins. Draws perfectly and produces an excellent output of heavy smoke with a profile of dark chocolate, smooth pepper, and earth complemented by a touch of wood.

92

VITOLA: LENGTH: RING: WRAPPER: BINDER: FILLER:

Imperial Natural 6 54 Nicaragua Nicaragua Nicaragua

91 Southern Draw Cedrus

$ 11.24

N I CA R AGUA Beautifully box-pressed and covered with an impeccable, dark brown wrapper with only the slightest veins. Ultra-flavorful with a core of earth and smooth pepper complemented by notes of American coffee, dark chocolate, and chicory.

VITOLA: LENGTH: RING: WRAPPER: BINDER: FILLER:

Toro 6 52 Indonesia Nicaragua Nicaragua & Dominican Republic

Protocol Sir Robert Peel Maduro

$ 11.95

N I CA R AGUA Loaded with flavors of earth and pepper joined by more subtle notes of espresso and molasses. This medium to full strength toro is covered with a thick, dark brown wrapper with a coarse feel.

91

VITOLA: LENGTH: RING: WRAPPER: BINDER: FILLER:

Toro 6 52 USA Nicaragua Nicaragua

88 JUL / AUG 2021 | CIGAR SNOB |

75


ROBUSTO Davidoff Dominicana

$ 21.50

92

VITOLA: LENGTH: RING: WRAPPER: BINDER: FILLER:

Robusto 5 1/8 52 Dominican Republic Ecuador Dominican Republic

Viaje Nicaragua Exclusivo

91

VITOLA: LENGTH: RING: WRAPPER: BINDER: FILLER:

Robusto 5 52 Nicaragua Nicaragua Nicaragua

N I CA R AG UA Flavorful and complex with a profile of cedar, smooth pepper, and nuts accompanied by rich notes of leather and cream. Covered with an aromatic wrapper with a reddish brown hue, this medium plus strength robusto draws and burns perfectly.

$ 8.51 VITOLA: LENGTH: RING: WRAPPER: BINDER: FILLER:

Robusto 5 50 Ecuador Nicaragua Nicaragua

Blackbird Rook Colorado

N I CA R AG UA A slow-burning robusto covered with a goodlooking, reddish brown wrapper with sheen. Provides a firm draw with an output of aromatic smoke with notes of cedar, sweet spice, and bread accompanied by a touch of chocolate and citrus. Medium strength.

$ 7.85

89

VITOLA: LENGTH: RING: WRAPPER: BINDER: FILLER:

Robusto 5 50 Sumatra Dominican Republic Nicaragua & Dominican Republic

La Rosa de San Diego Natural

89 87

D O M I N I CA N R E P UBLI C Well constructed and covered with a light brown wrapper with a slightly coarse feel. This medium strength blend has a profile of wood, salted peanuts, and smooth pepper accompanied by a hint of earthiness.

$ 8.00 VITOLA: LENGTH: RING: WRAPPER: BINDER: FILLER:

Robusto 5 52 Nicaragua Nicaragua USA & Nicaragua

Drunk Chicken Living The Dream

76 | CIGAR SNOB | JUL / AUG 2021

Beautifully balanced with a woodsy core complemented by notes of sweet spice, coffee bean, white pepper, and a touch of vanilla. Consistently well made producing an excellent output of thick, aromatic smoke. Medium strength.

$ 8.80

Villiger San’Doro Colorado

90

D O M I N I CA N R E P UBLI C

N I CA R AG UA An earthy and well-constructed robusto with a core of smooth pepper, savory spices, and wood complemented by a hint of mild coffee on the finish. Medium strength and covered with a clean, reddish brown wrapper.

$ 10.00 VITOLA: LENGTH: RING: WRAPPER: BINDER: FILLER:

Robusto 5 1/2 50 Nicaragua Ecuador Dominican Republic

USA A mild to medium strength blend with a core of wood, spice, and nuts accompanied by a subtle hint of cream. Covered with a light brown wrapper, this robusto provides an open draw and leaves behind a flaky ash.


JUL / AUG 2021 | CIGAR SNOB |

77


CORONA Arturo Fuente Don Carlos

92

$ 9.50 VITOLA: LENGTH: RING: WRAPPER: BINDER: FILLER:

No. 3 5 1/2 44 Cameroon Dominican Republic Dominican Republic

Warped La Colmena

Impeccably balanced with a creamy and nutty profile complemented by smooth spice, sweet cedar, and a touch of cinnamon. Produces an excellent output of thick, aromatic smoke while leaving behind a solid, compact ash. Medium bodied.

$ 16.5 8

91

VITOLA: LENGTH: RING: WRAPPER: BINDER: FILLER:

No.44 5 1/2 44 Ecuador Ecuador Nicaragua & Dominican Republic

Rocky Patel Number 6

USA Delivers an excellent smoke output with notes of cedar, pepper, and nuts complemented by a subtle sweetness on the finish. Consistently well constructed and cloaked in a light brown wrapper finished with a neat pigtail and a covered foot.

$ 8.90

90

VITOLA: LENGTH: RING: WRAPPER: BINDER: FILLER:

Corona 6 44 Honduras Honduras Honduras & Nicaragua

Plasencia Reserva Original

90

H O N D UR AS Balanced and flavorful with a core of earth, light cream, and roasted almonds accompanied by notes of pepper and oak on the finish. This medium strength corona is covered with a clean, milk chocolate colored wrapper.

$ 8.00 VITOLA: LENGTH: RING: WRAPPER: BINDER: FILLER:

Corona 6 1/4 44 Nicaragua Nicaragua Nicaragua

Joya Silver

N I CA R AG UA A consistently well-made corona covered with a light, reddish brown wrapper with a velvet feel. Delivers a medium strength core of cedar, roasted nuts, and smooth pepper complemented by subtle hints of leather and cream.

$ 6.30

89

VITOLA: LENGTH: RING: WRAPPER: BINDER: FILLER:

Corona 5 1/2 42 Ecuador Mexico Nicaragua

Black Label Trading Deliverance Porcelain

87 78 | CIGAR SNOB | JUL / AUG 2021

D O M I N I CA N R E P UBLI C

VITOLA: LENGTH: RING: WRAPPER: BINDER: FILLER:

N I CA R AG UA Ultra-flavorful from the word go with a core of intense pepper, earth, chicory, and cocoa accompanied by a hint of saltiness. Beautifully box-pressed and covered with a reddish brown wrapper with slight veins.

$ 10.00 Corona Gorda 5 1/2 48 USA/Connecticut Nicaragua USA & Nicaragua

N I CA R AG UA Produces an excellent output of thick, heavy smoke with notes of white pepper, charred wood, and bitter coffee accompanied by a touch of vanilla bean. This blend is covered with a light brown wrapper and finished with a neatly cropped pigtail.


JUL / AUG 2021 | CIGAR SNOB |

79


TWITTER SCOREBOARD The cigar world is on Twitter and we aim to keep track of who’s leading who. The following is a scoreboard of the cigar world’s most relevant Tweeples. The list is sorted by number of followers and broken into groups: Top 20 Twitter Cigar Companies & Reps, Top 10 Twitter Retailers, Top 10 Online Cigar Tweeps, Top 3 Twitter Cigar Organizations, and Top 3 Cigar Radio Twitter accounts. If you have the numbers and belong in one of these groups, stand up and be counted! Set us straight via Twitter @cigarsnobmag. TOP CIGAR ORGANIZATIONS

TOP CIGAR COMPANIES ( sorted by Twitter followers ) Rocky Patel @RockyPatelCigar ................................................ Drew Estate Cigars @DrewEstateCigar .................................... Padron Cigar @PadronCigars ................................................... CAO International @CAOCigars ................................................ Alec Bradley Cigars @AlecBradley ........................................... La Flor Dominicana @LFDCigars .............................................. Ashton Cigars @ashtoncigar .................................................... Camacho Cigars @camachocigars ........................................... Jonathan Drew @JonathanDrewArt .......................................... Pete Johnson @TatuajeCigars .................................................. La Gloria Cubana @lagloriacubana ........................................... Xikar Inc @XIKARinc ............................................................... Nick Perdomo @PerdomoCigars .............................................. Davidoff Cigars @Davidoff_Cigars ........................................... Miami Cigar Co @miamicigar ................................................... Punch Cigars @punchcigars .................................................... Ernesto Padilla @PadillaCigars ................................................ AJ Fernandez @ajfcigars ......................................................... La Palina Cigars @La PalinaCigars ........................................... Avo Cigars @AvoCigars ...........................................................

35581 33922 28230 26033 20366 20240 18779 17978 17943 15989 15123 14672 13418 12916 12780 12556 12513 12430 11410 11080

TOP CIGAR RETAILERS & REPS Famous Smoke Shop @FamousSmokeShop ............................. Mulberry St. Cigars @MulberryStCigar .................................... Cigar Hustler @cigarhustler ..................................................... Cigar Row @CigarRow ............................................................ Jeff Borysiewicz – Corona Cigar Co @CoronaCigarCo................ Michael Herklots @MichaelHerklots ......................................... Barry – Two Guys Smoke Shop @Barry2Guys ........................... Lindsay Siddiqi @TheCigarChick .............................................. Cheap Humidors @cheaphumidors .......................................... Buckhead Cigar @BuckheadCigar ............................................

15934 12680 10636 7507 7394 6243 6175 4968 4910 4110

TOP ONLINE CIGAR TWEEPLES David Voth–Sex, Cigars, & Booze @SexCigarsBooze ................. Cigar News @CigaRSS ............................................................ Cigar Events @CigarEvents ..................................................... Cigar Federation @CigarFederation ......................................... Robusto Cigar Babe @RobustoBabe ........................................ CigarHustler.com @CigarHustler ............................................. Cigar Dojo @CigarDojo ............................................................ Cigar Vixen @CigarVixen ......................................................... Stogie Boys @StogieBoys ....................................................... The Stogie Guys @stogieguys ..................................................

80 | CIGAR SNOB | JUL / AUG 2021

141001 16776 14615 11460 10837 10636 8459 8238 8082 7532

Cigar Rights of America @cigarrights ...................................... 14277 Premium Cigar Association @PCA1933 .................................... 8434 Tobacconist University @tobacconistU ................................... 4353

TOP CIGAR RADIO Cigar Dave Show @CigarDaveShow ........................................ 10241 KMA Talk Radio @KMATalkRadio ............................................. 2148 Cigars and Scotch @CigarScotch ............................................ 1921

SOME OF OUR FAVORITE TWEETS, MENTIONS, AND RANDOM SOCIAL MEDIA GOODNESS.

@gstncigar WE’RE GONNA GET AMERICAN ALL OVER THEIR ASSES!!!! 8” x 66 Big Johnny Giant bottle of @ fourrosesbourbon

@finalthirdcigar Smoking this beauty with the man @ tyler.e.jones25 here at The Smoke Pit! Espinosa Laranja Escuro.


HANDMADE IN ESTELI, NICARAGUA W W W. D R E W E S TAT E . C O M JUL / AUG 2021 | CIGAR SNOB |

81


INSTAGRAM SCOREBOARD Since its launch in October of 2010, the cigar world has become enamored with Instagram. Today the ‘Gram is unquestionably the most popular platform on which to share snaps of what you’re smoking and drinking. This scoreboard is sorted by number of followers and broken into groups: Top 20 Cigar & Cigar Accessory Companies, Top 10 Retailers & Reps, Top 10 Cigar Influencers, Top 3 Cigar Organizations, and Top 3 Cigar Radio accounts. If you have the numbers and belong in one of these groups, stand up and be counted! Set us straight via Instagram @cigarsnobmag. TOP CIGAR & ACCESSORY COMPANIES ( sorted by Instagram followers )

TOP CIGAR ORGANIZATIONS

Padron Cigar @padroncigars ................................................... Drew Estate Cigars @drewestatecigar ..................................... Davidoff Cigars @davidoffcigars ............................................. Rocky Patel @rockypatelcigar ................................................. Epic Cigars @epiccigars ......................................................... Arturo Fuente @arturofuentecigars ......................................... Xikar Inc @xikar ..................................................................... Gurkha Cigars @gurkhacigars ................................................. Boveda @BovedaInc ............................................................... Camacho Cigars @camachocigars ........................................... La Flor Dominicana @LFDCigars .............................................. Ashton Cigars @ashtoncigar ................................................... My Father Cigars @myfathercigars .......................................... AJ Fernandez @ajfcigars ......................................................... Oliva Cigar Co. @olivacigar ..................................................... Alec Bradley Cigars @alecbradleycigar .................................... Nick Perdomo @Perdomocigars .............................................. Joya de Nicaragua @joyacigars ............................................... E. P. Carrillo Cigars @epcarrillo_cigars .................................... Plasencia Cigars @plasenciacigars .........................................

Premium Cigar Association @PCA1933 .................................... 12777 Operation: Cigar for Warriors @cigarsforwarriors .................... 11051 Tobacco Plus Expo @tobaccoplusexpo ...................................... 4995

147406 121269 114785 96554 93347 84911 73605 72467 69770 67672 61276 58151 55339 55324 51191 50840 46690 46245 46167 42364

TOP CIGAR RETAILERS & REPS Famous Smoke Shop @famoussmokeshop ............................... Privada Cigar Club @privadacigarclub ..................................... Mulberry St. Cigars @mulberrystcigars ................................... Cigar Hustler @cigarhustler .................................................... The Cigar Culture @thecigarculture ......................................... Master Sensei @cigardojo ...................................................... Angela Yue @angela_yue ......................................................... Michael Herklots @michaelherklots ......................................... La Casa Cigars & Lounge Vegas @lacasavegas ........................ Jeff Borysiewicz – Corona Cigar Co @coronacigarco ................

54811 50084 47387 30029 27407 26361 24951 24331 20612 18115

TOP CIGAR RADIO Cigar Dave Show @cigardave ................................................. 3239 KMA Talk Radio @KMATalkRadio ............................................. 1577 Cigars and Scotch @cigar_and_scotch .................................... 825

SOME OF OUR FAVORITE TWEETS, MENTIONS, AND RANDOM SOCIAL MEDIA GOODNESS.

@womancigar

ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS TO TRY IT... Gurkha The Classic Havana Blend Robusto 5 1/2 x 52

TOP ONLINE CIGAR INFLUENCERS ON INSTAGRAM Delicia-Creator-Influencer @cigarvixen ................................... Cigar Lover @cigarlover12 ...................................................... Eric Theoneandonly @scotchandtime ...................................... Cigars / Smoke.Laugh.Live @world.of.cigars ............................ Nikki @cigarpassionista .......................................................... Liz Cigar Life Style @remarkable_liz ........................................ Melanie Sisco @lilsiscokidd21 ................................................. Elaine Lilley @elainelilleyhawaii ............................................... Girls With Cigars @girlswithcigars ........................................... HERficinado / Cigar Lifestyle @herficionado .............................

82 | CIGAR SNOB | JUL / AUG 2021

83571 62773 49250 38586 37436 33350 29226 28229 27724 27070

@curatedcigar

Undercrown 10 yr!! What an awesome smoke from @drewestatecigar !


JUL / AUG 2021 | CIGAR SNOB |

83


EVENTS TOBACCO PLUS EXPO INDUSTRY PARTY DRAI’S BEACHCLUB & NIGHTCLUB Las Vegas

This year’s Industry Party during the Tobacco Plus Expo was held at Drai’s Beachclub & Nightclub on the rooftop of The Cromwell hotel offering a fine view of Las Vegas. Guests stepped out of the elevators and into some elaborate cocktails, as well as cigars from Altadis and Tarazona Cigars. A premium bar on the pool floor was complemented by a carving station, hors d’oeuvres and other elevated food. Live music (and more cocktails) got the gathering dancing under the desert stars.

Javi Carranza and Oscar Valladares

Darryl Scott, Cigar Mike and MJ

Charlie and Liz López

84 | CIGAR SNOB | JUL / AUG 2021

Dylan Austin, Paul Copeland, Zak Medwin, Eddy Guerra, Lana Fraser and Michael Herklots

Julia and William Burchard

@sistersinsmoke and @Sweet.habana

Monique Junior and Larry Alderson

Dean Parsons, Alex and Saro Berberian and Sam Keshishian


EVENTS MONTECRISTO EPIC LAUNCH MONTECRISTO CIGAR BAR Las Vegas

Montecristo Cigar Lounge, Las Vegas and the Altadis crew hosted the Montecristo Epic Blue Vintage 12 release with an exclusive private event. We paired the new Montecristo Epic with some Johnny Walker Blue Label, which was served in a beautiful blue Montecristo Epic Whisky glass. The goody bag included some cool swag including a lighter, a Johnny Walker stirring set, and a Montecristo pen. Oliver Hyams, Rafael Nodal, Mariana Hinestrosa, Paul Waller and Rich Ivancic

Rafael Ruiz and Eric Douglas

Jorge Ahued and Jenny Hayes

Mariana Hinestrosa, Rich Ivancic, Randy and Ava Silverman

Bob and Mike Peacock

Michael Frey, Ibis Lu and Bart Gerber

James Garcia, Salimah Meghani and Ron

Sahil Ambani and Prutha Thaker

Makenzie Ladd and Chris Gwaltney

Jerry Cutrone and Michael Joseph

JUL / AUG 2021 | CIGAR SNOB |

85


EVENTS GALIANO CIGAR ROOM 2 YEAR ANNIVERSARY PARTY Coral Gables, Fla.

The house was full as Galiano Cigar Room in Coral Gables celebrated its second year in business. The bar was heavily trafficked as live music from Afro23band got everyone on their feet, jamming the tiny space and dancing right up to the band. They wrapped up and DJ Carluba took the crowd deeper into the night. Ozzie and Ciro keep a full calendar of events at Galiano, and this was one of their best. Ozzie and Barbie Gómez, Maggie and Ciro Rodríguez

Yare Álvarez and Eddy Rosell

Jesus Guevara & Diana Somoano

Swensen and TJ

86 | CIGAR SNOB | JUL / AUG 2021

Marina and Nestor Villalobos

Monica Piedrahita, Mirty Branco, Cary Calderín and Tiara Branco

Albert and Patty Sosa, Damaris Gamiz, Mabel García and Alain Sosa

Franklin Forte and Denise Mesa

Heidy Ilisastigui and Alberto Ruiz

Erika Aguirre and Javier Rosario


JUL / AUG 2021 | CIGAR SNOB |

87


EVENTS CAVA CIGARS MULTI-VENDOR EVENT Miami

Cava Cigars in Miami hosted an event for their best customers with reps from AJ Fernandez, Espinosa, Rocky Patel, Casa Cuevas and Flor de San Diego offering some cigar and box specials. Dos Maderas Rum had a rum tasting, while guests enjoyed food, music and dominoes. Music was provided by heralded Honduran violinist Kevin Bustillo. Rafael Rodríguez, Angel Aguayo and Roger Naranjo

Giselle Rosales and Danays González

Jose Jouvin, Jorge Arauz, Michael Worio, Ramiro Ramírez and Carlos Jarquín

Mortier Echavarría, Miguel Cano, Fitzgerald Astacio, Alberto Feliz, Lery Durán and Delfín Pérez

Harold Pérez, Oscar Zamora @menofsmoke and Jerry Pérez

88 | CIGAR SNOB | JUL / AUG 2021

Denise, Alec and Lus Cuevas

Johnny Cortina and Albert Tamargo

Richie Otero, Cesar Cuenca and Jose Morel


JUL / AUG 2021 | CIGAR SNOB |

89


EVENTS GRAND CATHEDRAL CIGARS GRAND OPENING Ybor City

The grand opening of Grand Cathedral Cigars in Tampa drew people from as far as the Dominican Republic. The day-long event included appearances by a full roster of cigar dignitaries, including the Fuentes, the Newmans and many more celebs from the industry. Everyone attending received an exclusive, event-only package of cigars, and the Grand Cathedral’s very own food truck was up and serving.

Mike, Ciro Cascella and Mark

Gervasio Báez and Ileana Borlado

Trey Oliva, Greta Monty and John Oliva

90 | CIGAR SNOB | JUL / AUG 2021

Albert Montserrat and Starky Arias

Joe Phillips, Ken Spraberry, Dan Tiant and Bill Niederer

Liana Fuente García, Lyndsie and Daniel Caldwell

Susan Murad and Jessica Qattawi

Rocky Patel and Eric Newman

Mofé Tyehimba, Virginia Elizabeth and Billie Handfield


Mario Guzmán, Rich Rodenhaus, Janny García-Johnson and Pete Johnson

Bob and Karen Roberts

Stephanie and Sarmed Humiz

Gerardo Salazar, Maria Sosa, Ivon and Lucilo de la Torres

David Salazar, Michael García, Frank Rizzo and Ricky Walters

Gio Bertolotti, Enoc Pallango and Mike Mallory

Dee and Dee III Aguavivas and John J. Oliva

Elizabeth and Rudy Padrón

Odelma "La Faraona" Matos and Rene Guerrero

Mark High, Arlene C. Benton, Neal Ridhter and Angela Yue

Pete and Steven Hernández

JUL / AUG 2021 | CIGAR SNOB |

91


EVENTS EMPIRE SOCIAL 5 YEAR ANNIVERSARY PARTY Brickell, Fla.

The Empire Social Lounge Brickell-Miami celebrated its fifth anniversary in a 1920s Gatsby style event, where attendees were transported to the era of flappers and prohibition, although the latter was NOT in effect. The red carpet, black tie evening featured casino games – including a roulette table and blackjack – a burlesque show, a champagne welcome drink and plenty of great cigars. People dressed for the occasion and then some.

Marjorie and Joel Capín, Ryan and Jordan Leeds and Jason Reznik

Scott Chester, Evelyn Luna and Gabriel Piñeres

92 | CIGAR SNOB | JUL / AUG 2021

PHOTO CREDIT: Carlos Gastelbondo


JUL / AUG 2021 | CIGAR SNOB |

93


EVENTS TERRIBLE CIGAR CLUB GRAND OPENING South Miami

South Miami Mayor Sally Phillips made this a special event, as she came out to do the ribbon cutting for this grand opening, which was also attended by cigar industry legend Benji Menendez. Local eatery Domaine Souviou Wine Bar Boutique came through with some fine food and a wine tasting. About that name: Three friends got together and decided to open a cigar shop in a city full of them. When they told family and friends, they were advised that their idea was terrible. They ditched the advice and kept the name.

Ivis and Fernando Mateos

Sally Phillips, Alejandro Toledo, Grace Cabezas and Nigel Reo-Coker

Jennifer LaPorta and Rafael Prohías

Andre Waugh, DeeLinda Vargas, Melanie Hernández, Sarah Rodrígues, Carly and Jason Robert

Tito Castro and Lynne Lupkes

94 | CIGAR SNOB | JUL / AUG 2021

Nikki Pérez, Juan and Olida Estefan

Paula Solano and Robert Caldwell

Julio Burgos, Benji Jiménez and Carlos Escalona

Cassandra and Marco Suárez


JUL / AUG 2021 | CIGAR SNOB |

95


EVENTS OLIVA HAVANA NIGHTS MIAMI OUTBOARD CLUB Miami

Oliva Cigars had its company party at the Miami Outboard Club with a Havana Nights theme – and it was pure Havana, for sure. Patrons were greeted with a mojito and guys got a Fedora hat while the ladies were given a Bamboo hand fan to stave off the hot summer evening. Music was provided by Los Tres de La Habana. Waiters and bartenders wore guayaberas with the Oliva logo, plenty of Cuban food was available, and Grammy Award-winning singer Albita was among the esteemed guests.

Ian Blanken, Bernie Rodríguez and Fidel Valdés Rodríguez

Oswaldo Carrera, Cory and Mandy Bappert, Stephanie and Adrian Alfonso

Michelle and Ray Esperón

Peter Regalado, Ana Amador, Tere Carranza, Stephanie De Quesada, Albita Rodríguez, Albert and Patty Sosa

Barbie Calviño and Annette Maspons

96 | CIGAR SNOB | JUL / AUG 2021

Sandro Álvarez and Miguel Maspons

Yadira Creighton, Crystal Kacso, Liuvis Pereira, Leiden Espinosa, Rosalba Recio and Maria Elena Palenzuela

Pam and Jeff Nolen and Dulce Rodríguez

Dawn and Dave Wagner


JUL / AUG 2021 | CIGAR SNOB |

97


EVENTS SIP AND SMOKE EMPIRE SOCIAL LOUNGE Brickell, Fla.

This tasting at Empire Social Lounge in Miami’s Brickell neighborhood was led by our very own Erik Calviño and Brown-Forman whiskey specialist Henry Infante. The two experts gave their views on which cigars paired best with the whiskies provided by Brown-Forman, which included Slane Irish Whiskey, Woodford Reserve and Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey. Cigars were provided by Oliva and all proceeds from the ticketed event went to the local Family Resource Center to benefit abused children.

David Mendieta

98 | CIGAR SNOB | JUL / AUG 2021

Erik Calviño, Melissa Vera and Henry Infante

George K and Ken Robinson

Mauro Santos and Erika Cappiello


JUL / AUG 2021 | CIGAR SNOB |

99


100 | CIGAR SNOB | JUL / AUG 2021


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