Cuban Crafters Medina 1959 Miami Churchill

Cuban Crafters Medina 1959 Miami Churchill

Origin : USACuban Crafters
Format : Churchill
Size : 7 x 50
Wrapper : Sumatra
Filler : Nicaragua
Binder : Nicaragua
Price : $214.99 for a box of 25
More info about purchasing Cuban Crafters Medina 1959 cigars...

Thank you to Cuban Crafters for providing me with a sampler to try.

The cigars are rolled by a team of 10 rollers in Miami, rather than at Cuban Crafters' main facility in Nicaragua. This line seems to be the most premium offered by Cuban Crafters and has earned some nice reviews around the web, so I was looking forward to giving them a try.

Read the full review of Cuban Crafters Medina 1959 Miami Churchill...

CAO: The Real Campaign

CAO International have just released the news about their next advertising campaign and I think it's a brilliant idea. The campaign will feature real cigar aficionados and CAO fans - YOU can participate and win a year's worth of CAO cigars if you are selected. Isn't that cool?

Nashville, January 7, 2010: CAO, one of the world’s foremost premium cigar manufacturers, announced today that it will debut a new ad campaign in the January/February issue of Cigar Aficionado magazine.

With the tagline “CAO REAL,” the cutting-edge cigar manufacturer will roll out a series of ads that will feature actual CAO cigar enthusiasts, further reinforcing the emotional cord between the sought-after brand and its consumers. “We’ve always maintained that the success of our brand was and still is consumer-driven,” stated CAO Director of Lifestyle Marketing Jon Huber. “The ‘Real’ campaign is our way of paying homage to our loyal customers and saying ‘thank you’ for your ongoing support. Throughout the coming year, we will essentially be holding an open casting call for CAO loyalists across the country to become the next star of the ‘Real’ campaign. We will be accepting photos, letters, emails, and videos via our website at Candidates that are selected will receive a year’s worth of CAO cigars and will be featured in our ad as seen in Cigar Aficionado magazine.”

Link to the campaign page

Buying cigars in Madrid

In 2009, I spent my Christmas holidays in Madrid, Spain. Not only this is a very beautiful city, but it also has a couple of places that might interest cigar aficionados. Spain consumes more cigars than any other European country. This is why almost every tobacco shop (estanca) has a basic selection of Habanos (Partagas Serie D No. 4, Montecristo No. 4, Cohiba Robusto...) stored in decent conditions. However, some of the shops have a walk-in humidor. I visited two of the most famous cigar shops. Fortunately, they are located close to each other, next to the Bilbao metro station.

Jesus showing me his best Cohibas

Cava Cardenal Cisneros (Google Maps >) has a huge walk-in humidor and a very complete selection of both Cuban and non-Cuban cigars. Jesus, the owner, speaks English and will happily show you what he's got. I purchased some Partagas Serie D No. 3 LE 2006 and the new Regional Edition from Ramon Allones. This is the shop that I truly recommend.

Out of curiosity, I went to the other shop, Cava de Magallanes (Google Maps >), located just a few hundred meters away. There's also a walk-in humidor (which seemed slightly over-humidified to me), nobody was able to speak English though (make sure you carry a pocket dictionary if you're on a visit, English-speaking people are rare birds). However, I was able to purchase a few of Vegas Robaina Maestros.

And if you want to smoke a puro straight away, there is a Vips (sort of cafe-shop-restaurant) on the plaza Glorieta de Queveda which has an indoors smoking area, quite comfortable.

Camacho Liberty 2009

Camacho Liberty 2009

CamachoOrigin : Honduras
Format : 11/18 roll (~ Toro)
Size : 6 x 54
Wrapper : Habano
Filler : Honduras
Binder : Honduras
Release : 2009
Price : $100 for 5 cigars
More info about purchasing Camacho Liberty cigars...

Every summer since 2002, Christian Eiroa releases a special summer cigar in the Liberty brand. The Camacho Liberty 2009 was released in July of 2009, and only 40,000 of these were made. The filler and binder are grown in the Eiroa’s farm in Jamastran, Honduras. For those lucky enough to have a cigar from each release, this would be an interesting comparison among all of them. This is my first experience with the Liberty brand.

Read the full review of Camacho Liberty 2009...

Tatuaje’s New Logo

Tatuaje New Logo

Tatuaje's website has recently been updated with a new logo, direct consequence of a lawsuit with Altadis. Whereas it's definitely more complicated than the fleur de lys (it looks like an elvish rune to me), I am fairly sure that with time it will become easily recognizable by every cigar aficionado. What do you think?

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.

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