New Year Giveaway Winner

Thanks to everyone for participating in our new year giveaway.

The winner is Richard, who chose a Zippo Blu lighter. The item has already been ordered from Amazon, he should receive the prize shortly.

Stay tuned for more contests in 2010!

The Pipe Files #1: Choosing a Pipe

Smoking pipes

Here’s a little something different for our readers. Instead of a pipe tobacco review, I’m putting together a few tutorial posts on getting started in the world of pipes. The first of them is on how to choose a pipe.

There are a variety of types of pipes, all of which with a variety of styles. Most pipes are categorized into Cobbs, Briars, Meershaum, and Clay.

Cobb pipes

Cobb pipes (photo above) are typically made with Corn Cobbs and have a very rustic country look. Stereotypes often associate corn cobb pipes with rednecks or hicks which, to say, can be true or false depending on who you're talking with. Most Corn Cobb pipes have a wooden/plastic stem and also have paper filters which you may or may not take out, depending on your preference.

Read the full review of The Pipe Files #1: Choosing a Pipe...

Palio Combo. Part 2: Cigar Case

Cigar Case

This is the second installment of a three part series I have doing on this combo from Cigar Solutions. I will review each item individually and then the combo as a unit.

Up for review this time is the Walnut 2 Cigar Case.

Walnut 2 Cigar Case
Price: ~ $10

Appearance : ★★★★★
The case is very attractive with a satin oil finish on the outside with semi-hidden brass hinges. The inside is natural wood finish. I received several comments about it when using it at my local shop. It also comes with a felt bag that is meant to keep the case from getting scratched.

Construction : ★★½☆☆
The felt bag that comes with the case seems well made and is double sewn at the seams with a draw string to close it.

Cigar Case

The case seems solidly built with the previously mentioned brass hinges. It also has four earth magnets to hold it closed. Unfortunately, there are some major design flaws: The cigar case is fine when storing a lancero or petite corona. When trying to store anything larger than a 52 ring gaguge, the case will not completely close. The case is also not air tight and does not have any kind of humidification. Anything you carry in the case will have to be smoked that day.

Ease of Use : ★★★★★
It’s not going to get any easier than this: open case, put in cigars, close case.

Value : ★★☆☆☆
At $10 you could do better for a case, even though this is attractive. If you want a wood case and understand its limits, it’s okay.

Overall : ★★★☆☆
As I said earlier this is an attractive case. However in practice, it’s kind of useless except for small ring gauge cigars. You can get a Cigar Caddy 2 cigar case for the same price which is air tight and has a humidity device. The Cigar Caddy 5 cigar case is just $2 more and the Cigar Caddy 10 cigar case is just $3 more! So if all you need is a cigar case and you aren’t going for the looks, I would say pass on this case and get a Cigar Caddy or similar.

Disclosure: is not affiliated with Cigar Solutions.

A. Fuente Hemingway Classic Maduro

A. Fuente Hemingway Classic Maduro

Arturo FuenteOrigin : Dominican Republic
Format : Perfecto
Size : 7.0″ x 48
Wrapper : Broadleaf Maduro
Filler : Dominican
Binder : Dominican
Price : $15 each
More info about purchasing Arturo Fuente Hemingway cigars...

With the Holiday Season just passing into the rear view I figured I’d wrap the festivities with a Hemingway Maduro Classic. The Hemingway Maduros always make an appearance on tobacconists shelves every year around the Holidays. The particular cigars for this review are from the 2008 run. The Classic seems to be one of the harder to find vitolas of the Hemingway Maduros. At least I rarely ever see them. More common at the shops in my area are the Signature Maduros and Works of Art Maduros. Even the Hemingway Between the Lines seem to be more common around here than the Classic Maduro.

Read the full review of A. Fuente Hemingway Classic Maduro...

2009 Blog Highlights: Winter

In the "Blog Highlights" series, we are taking a look back at the best cigar reviews & articles published on in 2009. Enjoy.

Partagas Shorts

Partagas Shorts

In January, after the successful redesign of the blog, there have been some very nice reviews. One of them concerns the Partagas Shorts (read the review), a great Cuban petit corona, that even managed to make it in the list of best Cuban smokes of 2009.

H. J. Bailey

Don Ramon 660 Maduro

Soon after that, Nathaniel reviewed two cigars from H. J. Bailey, Connecticut & Maduro (read the review), manufactured at the Camacho factory in Honduras.


We also had a few discussions that generated a fair number of interesting comments. One of them concerns our preferences when it comes to cigars. Another one tackles the implicit etiquette rule following which one has to remove the band while smoking a cigar.

Cigar of the Week: Cubao

Cubao is hand-crafted in Esteli, Nicaragua, at the Don Pepin Garcia's factory, for United Tobacco, creators of the 601 series. Released in 2008, the brand immediately gained popularity among cigar aficionados. In 2009, the maduro version was released and also had a fairly warm welcome.

Cubao No. 3

  • Jason, in his review of the Cubao No. 3 Lancero, says that its reputation is fully deserved.
  • Cigar Jack, in his early June 2008 review of a pre-release stick, predicts success to this cigar - and he was fairly right.
  • As for the Cubao Maduro, Adam at Fire Up That Cigar says that despite it being a good cigar, there are many alternatives if you're looking for a good maduro.

Where to get it?

The prices vary depending on the vitola. The cigars come in boxes of 20, the approximate prices are $140 for a box of No. 2 (torpedos) and $115 for a box of robustos (No. 4).

Tatuaje the Drac

Tatuaje Drac

TatuajeOrigin : Miami, FL
Format : Torpedo
Size : 6 3/4 x 52
Wrapper : Nicaraguan Habano Maduro
Filler : Nicaragua
Binder : Nicaragua
Price : ~$13 each
More info about purchasing Tatuaje cigars...

Pete Johnson, brand owner of Tatuaje, has been releasing annual special edition cigars around Halloween he calls the Monster Series. One of this year's releases, and the subject of this review, is the Drac-2009. Before I go any further, let me address some major issues which have surrounded this cigar. The Dracs were shipped in painted and lacquered, coffin shaped boxes which have been at the root of the primary complaint. There have been numerous complaints about a terrible odor emanating from the box and even some about that odor and even a flavor having been imparted to the cigars themselves. The Drac is a Halloween themed cigar which of course, had to be released by 31 October, but according to Pete Johnson the box maker in Nicaragua wasn't able to complete the boxes until shortly before the release date. This resulted in the boxes not having time to air out before they were packed, wrapped in cellophane, and ultimately shipped. When opened by B&Ms or individual buyers at their final destination, the trapped odor from the paint and lacquer has poured out. The second complaint about these cigars is that many of the wrappers were damaged when the boxes were opened and the cigars were still "wet."

Read the full review of Tatuaje the Drac...

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

We wish you a very happy new year 2010, full of success and achievements! Thank you for your continued support and keep on reading the blog, just like in 2009 we'll make sure to bring you quality cigar-related information this year.

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