Padrón Serie 1926 No. 2 Maduro

Padron 1926 Serie No. 2 Maduro

PadronOrigin : Nicaragua
Format : Figurado
Size : 5 ½ x 52
Wrapper : Nicaragua
Filler : Nicaragua
Binder : Nicaragua
Hand-Made
Price : $17 each
More info about purchasing Padron 1926 cigars...

Sometimes it can be a difficult decision when opening the humidor. I have worked hard over the years and finally have somewhat of a respectable collection of cigars to choose from. This time however there were no hard choices or debating to be done. My mind and palate we craving this cigar and man was it right on!

The wrapper on the Padrón 1926 No. 2 Maduro is a gorgeous, silky dark maduro leaf. Just by first glance at the cap you could see the care and precision used to put it on… just perfect. The bands on all of the Serie 1926 and 1964 Padrón cigars are always appealing to the eye. Each has a double band with lovely gold outline and writing and every cigar has its own ID number printed on it. Just another sign of the quality level Padrón puts into their smokes. The pre-light smell portrays an earthy wholeness and the pre-light draw is loose with a rich velvet undertone.

Pre-light Score: 10 pts.

Read the full review of Padrón Serie 1926 No. 2 Maduro...

Free Cigar Tasting Sheet

Cigar Tasting Sheet

We've been asked quite a few times about the best ways to keep track of the cigars you smoke. Some aficionados simply use a paper pad, others prefer storing their tasting notes online, in a private or public blog. Another solution is using a cigar tasting sheet, but it's quite difficult to strike a balance between simplicity of use and enough detail. We decided to give it a try and came up with our own cigar tasting sheet, which uses a 100-points ratings system (we thought it was more common than the 5-stars system).

If you like what you see in the picture above, the cigar tasting sheet is available for download as a printable file to the newsletter subscribers (if you were already subscribed, you should have received a download link via e-mail - check your inbox). Print out the sheet(s), get some transparent sheet protectors and a binder from Amazon, and you're good to go. Here is the newsletter subscription form:

The download link will be in the welcome e-mail. Why subscribe? You'll receive the latest articles from the blog right in your mailbox, plus some contests and offers that are exclusive to subscribers. And, of course, you can unsubscribe at any time.

We hope you enjoy the sheet. Last but not least, please share your feedback and suggestions - we can easily edit some aspects of the sheet if there's a demand. Also, if you need a slightly modified version for your cigar club, just get in touch and we'll see what can be done.

Cigar Release: Hoyo de Monterrey Le Hoyo de San Juan

Hoyo de Monterrey Le Hoyo de San Juan

The Hoyo de Monterrey brand sees an addition to the Le Hoyo line, a 54-ring gauge jawbreaker (by Cuban standards):

Le Hoyo de San Juan is the new heavy ring gauge vitola for a historic line that is reinventing itself and expanding the Serie Le Hoyo. It incorporates in its blend Seco and Ligero leaves coming from San Juan y Martínez, the historic denomination of origin where the brand was born in 1865, bringing to this new vitola the unique consistency and intensity that San Juan y Martínez soil confers to the leaves thar are grown there.

Le Hoyo Series was traditionally known for its slender and medium ring gauges (like the Hoyo du Député). The new Le Hoyo de San Juan vitola, sporting a 54 ring gauge, is characterized by its light flavor. It is an attractive option for those who like a lighter Habano that is delicate and aromatic, as well as exceedingly elegant and complex.

Hoyo de Monterrey Le Hoyo de San Juan

Le Hoyo de San Juan will initially be available in the brand’s classic Cabinet Selection or Slide Lid Box (SLB) of 25 and 10 units.

The boxes also include innovations in the brand’s image. A new adhesive papeleta -rectangular seal- on the short side of the box and also the white ribbon that adorns the boxes of 25 units that will help to identify this new Hoyo de Monterrey vitola.

Le Hoyo de San Juan: Cigar Stats

Hoyo de Monterrey Le Hoyo de San Juan

Brand: Hoyo de Monterrey
Commercial name: Le Hoyo de San Juan
Factory name: Geniales
Dimensions: 54 ring gauge (21.43 mm) x 150 mm (5.9 inches)
Presentation: Cabinet Selection (SLB) of 25 units / Cabinet Selection (SLB) of 10 units

Avo Heritage Short Torpedo

Avo Heritage Short Torpedo

Avo CigarsOrigin : Dominican Republic
Format : Short Torpedo
Size : 4 1/2 x 52
Wrapper : Ecuadorian Sungrown
Filler : Dominican Republic
Binder : Dominican Republic
Hand-Made
Price : ~$8 each
More info about purchasing Avo Heritage cigars...

The Heritage line was introduced as a stronger budget blend within the AVO portfolio. It includes a number of other sizes besides the Short Torpedo that I'm smoking today, some of them have already been reviewed here: the Churchill, the Robusto, the Short Corona, the Short Robusto, and the Toro. AVO cigars tend to be pretty pricey, but you can get all of the Heritage cigars for under $10 apiece. I paid $7.90 for the Short Torpedo, excited to try one of AVO’s more affordable cigars.

Read the full review of Avo Heritage Short Torpedo...

Swisher International to Purchase Drew Estate

Swisher International to Purchase Drew Estate

Big news today in the cigar world (you might already have heard the rumors if you follow the blogosphere closely...). Swisher International Inc. has just announced that they have entered into a purchase agreement with the Drew Estate Tobacco Company. Swisher International is one of the world’s leading tobacco manufacturers, best known for their top-selling brand Swisher Sweets. Drew Estate was founded in 1996, but quickly has grown into one of the world’s most successful cigar companies and is very well known among lovers of premium cigars for brands like My Uzi Weighs a Ton and Liga Privada. As a subsidiary of Swisher, Drew Estate will continue to operate under its current management team. The merger was a decision made for the mutual benefit of both companies.

Speaking about the acquisition of his company by Swisher, Jonathan Drew, co-founder of Drew Estate, stated, “This is a dream come true. From the moment we met the team at Swisher and began speaking of a possible acquisition, it was clear that, as a family business, they understood the culture we have created and completely supported our desire to keep our family at Drew Estate intact.”

Swisher President and CEO Peter Ghiloni commented, “The products produced by Drew Estate and its distribution partners Joya De Nicaragua, Royal Agio Cigars, and Tsuge pipes are top-quality market leaders in their respective segments. The creativity, passion and innovation of Drew Estate employees and management are a perfect match for Swisher, and we look forward to welcoming them to our family.”

This early on in the merger, the details of the transaction have yet to be disclosed. We do know at this point though that the transaction is expected to close during Q4 2014. Stay tuned for more updates as the year unfolds.

H. Upmann Connossieur A

H. Upmann Connossieur A

Origin : CubaH. Upmann
Format : Robusto Extra (Genios)
Size : 5.5 x 52 (140 x 20 mm)
Ring : 52
Hand-Made
Price : ~$15
More info about purchasing H. Upmann cigars...

The H. Upmann Connossieur A is quite a recent release: it started shipping to eligible shops in October 2013. It's a robusto extra or a Genios (factory name), which you might already be familiar with (hint: Cohiba Genios).

Anyway, the first thing to know about this release is that it's only available at La Casa del Habano shops and Habanos Specialists. Habanos Specialist is a label created by Habanos SA to distinguish shops that carry a wide selection of Cubans and can offer relevant advice. There are more than 500 Habanos Specialists worldwide.

The Connossieur A is available in boxes of 25 and is costs around 12 € each in Europe. I picked up a few of those in Prague and was really looking forward to trying them out, H. Upmann being a brand I really appreciate.

Read the full review of H. Upmann Connossieur A...

Joya de Nicaragua Celebracion Torpedo

Joya de Nicaragua Celebracion

Origin : NicaraguaJoya de Nicaragua
Format : Torpedo
Size : 5 x 52
Wrapper : Nicaraguan Habano Criollo
Binder : Nicaraguan Seco
Filler : Nicaraguan Habano Seco and Ligero
Hand-Made
Price : ~$7 each
More info about purchasing Joya de Nicaragua Celebracion...

Joya de Nicaragua is best known for their full-bodied stogies, in particular the Antaño 1970. The Celebracion was designed to mimic the Antaño experience, but not pack such a powerful punch. That way there would be a milder option available for those who prefer milder smokes. Of course, it is still a pretty potent cigar, and many smokers will still consider it to be a full-bodied smoke. I gave it a try and decided I would categorize it as medium-bodied. It’s also very spicy, and the flavors themselves are quiet strong.

Read the full review of Joya de Nicaragua Celebracion Torpedo...

The Bands : the Whole Colour of Tobacco

History of cigar bands

I was recently contacted by Luca Cominelli, editor of an Italian magazine about cigars, CigarsLover. They are at their 6th issue now and the current issue has been translated into English. I checked out the magazine and I can say that CigarsLover's team is doing a great job - there's a lot of interesting content. You will find below an article from this issue about cigar bands, written by Paolo Topa. You can download the full issue here.

The band represents an iconic image for the contemporary smoker, influenced by different factors including the marketing operations of a brand and their need to distinguish themselves from others.

In the past, cigars didn’t have this accessory. They were just packed with the origin label. In 1830, Gustave Bock, head of a Cuban cigar firm, came up with the revolutionary idea to introduce a recognition system for cigars, in order to avoid counterfeiting when exported to the European continent. His idea was simple and very close to our modern copyright: put a paper band with his signature on each cigar so that no one could steal his work. From that moment on, the band became a necessary element to distinguish one cigar from another. Some people believe the band has a second, more practical, aim: protecting smokers’ gloves. In this context we can compare the band with the “Smoking” – born as a smoking jacket aimed to preserve gentlemen’s clothing.

Click here to read the full article...

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