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The winner of the $39 Amazon gift certificate is Adam (22:19 comment). Congrats! Please get in touch to claim your prize.

Long ashes everyone - and stay tuned for more contests in future!

PS If you would like to support, feel free to make your Amazon purchases through this link. Thank you!

Tincup American Whiskey

Tincup American WhiskeyTincup American Whiskey is a product which, if you believe the marketing materials, is made in Colorado by Jess Graber, the same guy who created Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey. I don’t want to dwell on the details here too much (I’m more interested in trying the whiskey), but if you dig a little deeper, you will find the marketing is deceptive. Tincup definitely is not distilled in Colorado, and it is actually only bottled by Strananhan’s.

Even though the label doesn’t say “bourbon” anywhere on it, the high corn content makes it one. The reason it’s not on the label is possibly the fact that the rye content is higher than you would typically expect from a bourbon. The rye, corn, and malted barley actually are farmed in Indiana and not Colorado, but water from the Rocky Mountains is apparently blended into the mix, which presumably is the other reason the “Colorado” label is stamped under the name of the whisky.

Tincup American Whiskey comes in an attractive bottle debossed with the Tincup name and logo running vertically up the sides. The blue label wraps around the top of the bottle. Inside, the liquid is a bright amber color, which incidentally stands out nicely against the blue label.

When I uncap the bottle, I smell caramel, apples, spice, and a hint of oak. It kind of puts me in mind of apple cider, between the scent and the color. Tasting it, I’m surprised that the apple doesn’t come through as much as the other flavors of caramel, rye, corn, and spices. The finish is mild, but it lingers, and presents a slightly different flavor profile. Now the apple is coming out, and a hint of some other dried fruit. The cinnamon spice is still prominent, and there’s a sweetness that tastes like vanilla.

I wouldn’t say this is the most unique bourbon whisky I’ve ever tried; the flavor profile is pretty standard. I like the way the notes transform on the finish, though, and the flavors are plenty enjoyable. I’ve seen it sell anywhere in the $27-$37 price range. I’d say that at the lower end of that bracket, it’s a reasonably good deal for a pleasant, enjoyable drink. At around $37, however, I think it is a bit steep for something that isn’t all that standout or groundbreaking—and is sold through deceptive marketing tactics.

Tincup American Whiskey: Summary

Colour: Amber.

Nose: Apple cider: applies, caramel, spices and oak.

Palate: Caramel, sweet corn, rye, cinnamon. Vanilla, apple, dried fruit on finish.

Amazon $39 Gift Certificate Giveaway


As I stated in my best cigar books post, proceeds from sale of books would be given back to one lucky reader in the form of a gift certificate. Here is another one. It is a gift card for $39 that can be redeemed on (doesn't work on or .fr).

Just leave a comment on this post to be entered in the draw. The winner will be announced in one week, next Tuesday.

Cohiba Coronas Especiales ’98 (Vintage Review)

Cohiba Coronas Especiales

Origin : Cuba
Format : Laguito No. 2Cohiba
Size : 6 x 38 (152 x 15.08 mm)
Box code : EL – March '98
Price : roughly $12/cigar for current production
More info about purchasing Cohiba cigars...

Cohiba Coronas Especiales are regular production cigars, but difficult to find in aged or vintage condition. I purchased this box about 8 years ago for a little under $400. I have no idea what these would be worth today, but I’d guess significantly more.

Read the full review of Cohiba Coronas Especiales ’98 (Vintage Review)...

Choosing a Humidification System for Your Humidor

Humidification systems for a humidor

If you’ve bought a humidor, why would you need to add a secondary humidification system? It may sound counterintuitive, but if you’re in this situation, you know that humidors don’t always do their jobs perfectly. Sometimes they simply are not very efficient. As a rule, you want your humidity level to be somewhere around 68-72%.

Some humidors will run a little lower than that, and may need a boost. Other times, they may run around the lower end of that range, and you might prefer a bit more humidity (72% instead of 68% for example). Or you might have a humidor with a seal that isn’t perfect, and lets some of the humidity leak out. Perhaps you have an older humidor that you bought or inherited, and it simply doesn’t work as well as it could. You also may have dryness problems if you suddenly add a big batch of dry cigars to your humidor. Those cigars will suck all the humidity right out of the air, which can then ironically cause all your stogies to dry out.

Whatever your situation, you can give your humidifier a boost (or simply a replacement...) by adding a humidification system. There are a number of low-cost products you can buy which will help you to maintain the humidity level that you want. These are all cheap, easy solutions, and they can save you money if you don’t want to replace your humidor. Let’s take a look at some popular products and their pros and cons.

Read the full review of Choosing a Humidification System for Your Humidor...

Aging Room Maduro Mezzo

Aging Room Maduro Mezzo

Origin : Dominican Republic
Format : Toro
Size : 6 x 54
Wrapper : Nicaraguan Maduro
Filler : Dominican
Binder : Dominican
Price : ~$8-9 each
More info about purchasing Aging Room cigars...

The Aging Room Maduro was one of five new blends from Rafael Nodal’s Boutique Blends in 2013. Nodal specifically created the Aging Room brand in order to produce small batch releases using rare tobaccos. The Aging Room Maduro is quite a popular and critically acclaimed cigar, and could easily become the mainstay blend for the line. It is available in five vitolas, the Presto, Rondo, Mezzo, Major and Alto. For this review, I smoked the Mezzo, which measures 6 x 54.

Read the full review of Aging Room Maduro Mezzo...

H. Upmann Super Corona

H. Upmann Super Coronas

Origin : CubaH. Upmann
Format : Corona Gorda
Size : 5 5/8 x 46 (143 x 18 mm)
Box date : SCO – August ’00
Discontinued in 2002
Price : Roughly $6/cigar in 2000, now approximately $20-25/cigar
More info about purchasing H. Upmann cigars...

With the 2014 Bolivar Editión Limitada resurrecting the “Super Corona” name, I decided to try the long discontinued H. Upmann Super Corona (“HUSC”). I really like the H. Upmann line and I always enjoy an aged H. Upmann. I had one remaining single HUSC from a fiver as well as an unbroken box (same box code). I reviewed the single but have included photographs from the unbroken box. As these are smoked and become very hard to find, I think we could see market values rise to $700/box in the next few years.

Read the full review of H. Upmann Super Corona...

A. Flores Serie Privada Capa Habano

A. Flores 1975 Serie Privada Capa Habano SP52

Origin : Dominican Republic
Format : Box-pressed RobustoPDR Cigars
Size : 5 x 52
Wrapper : Ecuador
Filler : Nicaragua, Dominican Republic
Binder : Nicaragua
Price : $9.75 each
More info about purchasing A. Flores Serie Privada...

Abe Flores is a big name in the cigar world, but may not be a name you know well, because he has spent a great deal of his career doing contract work producing cigars for other brands. He has become known for his own Dominican boutique cigar brand however, Pinar del Rio (PDR). In 2012, he decided to craft a cigar under his own name. The result was the A. Flores Serie Privada.

All the A. Flores Serie Privada cigars include Nicaraguan Habano binders and a combination of Nicaraguan Habano and Dominican Corojo as the filler leaves, but two different wrappers were produced: the Ecuadorian Habano (“Capa Habano”) and the Maduro Habano Ecuador (“Capa Maduro”). According to PDR, “The Habano wrapper delivers great complexity and a creamy, cool, medium-body cigar. Best way to describe this is creamy sweetness with a touch of spice at the finish … The Habano Maduro wrapper is a medium-body cigar that starts with some natural sweetness, then delivers some spice.” For this review, I smoked the Capa Habano.

Read the full review of A. Flores Serie Privada Capa Habano...