Thursday, August 30, 2012
I ran across a deal I coudn't pass up on CigarsInternational.com. It was for a whitetail glasstop humidor and 10 sticks for the "no freakin way" price of 29.99. That is below the regular price of the humidor alone, so I jumped at it. I received it in the mail 3 or 4 days after ordering and immediately seasoned the humidor. I also grabbed a ziplock bag and calibrated the hygrometer using the salt method. I left it to do it's thing and after returning home from work the next day it was ready to go. I left a already calibrated hygrometer in the hole while seasoning to be sure of when the RH stabilized inside. I used a crystal jar humidifier and a shotglass of distilled water to season it overnight. Some might say that is overkill but if the box was thirsty I wanted it to be able to get plenty to drink. I stuffed 50 cigars in it and waited to see if the RH would hold. 9 days later I can report it's holding at 69-70%, when I can stay out of it. It came with a divider which is my only gripe about the box. I wanted to place the divider in the middle but due to the protruding hygrometer it has to be placed just to the left or right of the unit. I know that's no big deal but it bugs me just a tad. Other than that one thing, I have no complaints. I bought cigars and the box was pretty much a freebie. I now have one more humi to add to Mount Humidor and it does it's job of protecting my sticks. Even at full price this box is worth it, in my opinion. I should mention it came with the metal ring hygrometer and a floral foam type humidifier element, which I replaced with a CI bead type element and threw the foam one in a drawer. The bead type requires less babysitting and to me just works better. The normal retail price on this box is 39.99 from Cigars International and very much worth that. It looks good, holds humidity, and I can peek in on my smokes without messing without opening the box.
Some say you cannot sharpen a cigar punch, it's a round blade. Well I beg to differ! If the manufacturer can put an edge on a cylindrical blade, then why is it not possible to sharpen one yourself? Enter my gun and mechanic background. I have always found it easier to make a special tool or find one that may not have been created for the task you're asking it to do. Sometime you have to think outside the box of cigars. A tool designed for chamfering and deburring spent bullet cases when reloading, does a good job of sharpening a punch. It can be used to sharpen outside, inside, or both. The pointed end is for the inside and the other is for the outside edge. I know you can mail your warranty equipped punch in for sharpening, but how long does it take to get back? With this simple tool, ranging from 14-20 bucks at midwayusa.com you can do it yourself in seconds. The key is applying very light pressure to ensure you don't take too much metal off while sharpening. These things are designed to shave edges and do a very good job at it. The fact that it is tapered allows it to sharpen a variety of sizes. You could even make a punch to take camping or fishing out of a spent shell case. if you're like me taking anything you are attached to camping or fishing usually means losing it. Just find the shell with the size mouth you want and use this tool to get it razor sharp. I would not recommend storing this "bullet" punch that you have made inside your herf a dor with your cigars, the residue left behind by firing the shell will most likely taint your cigars. Carefully drilling a hole near the rim of the shell case would allow you to attach a keyring, chain, or a piece of paracord. I hope you found this useful and I recommend practicing on a cheapie before using this on a more expensive punch. Just like when sharpening a knife, it's all about the right angle and pressure. Slow and steady wins the race!
Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Nomad Cigar Company will no longer be offering the option to buy directly from their website. Like it or not, I agree his move does help to better support the B&M shops and online boutique-only stores. I noticed after IPCPR that Nomad cigars were available on www.cigarstix.com, a fact that i appreciate now. My local B&M's find the word boutique to leave a bitter taste as it rolls off the tongue, which makes it pretty difficult to procure some boutique brands. Below you will find the press release from Nomad Cigar Company.
Nomad Cigar Company Takes Stand With Cigar Shops
Orlando, FL – August 28, 2012 – To show support for brick and mortar cigar shops, the Nomad Cigar Company discontinued it’s direct to consumer online sales pages.
“Really, I never wanted the online portion of the business long term. It was necessary to get the word out about Nomad, particularly as a new boutique cigar maker, but now it is time to leave the cigars in the hands of shops around the nation that need to be supported.” Said Fred Rewey, Nomad’s Founder.
The move was not an easy one, especially for a start-up boutique cigar maker.
In doing so, the Nomad Cigar Company temporarily loses customers that are not living near a brick and mortar location. Secondly, and perhaps most importantly, Nomad loses out on the profit that comes with direct online distribution.
“I am not going to lie, the profit of direct to consumer is nice –particularly for a new company. But, I have to look long term. My goal was not only to create a solid cigar; I wanted to also support the cigar industry as a whole. I believe this keeps things moving in the right direction.” Rewey added.
It is no surprise that as more and more cigar makers have supported sales online, Rewey’s move, especially from a new company, is music to the ears of some shops.
Rewey said, “Look, I think you need to have some sort of online sales for those customers that simply can not get to a shop. But, the pricing does not need to be at the expense of local shops around the nation that bust their butts to create a great cigar smoking experience.”
Those going to Nomad Cigar Company’s “purchase page” are now greeted with a brief open letter from Rewey explaining his stance. Rewey is hoping for continued growth and Nomad’s Cigars showing up in more and more retail shops.
Nomad Cigar Company was launched earlier this year with a well-received cigar and some groundbreaking innovations; such as Rewey putting his Twitter name (@Godfadr) on the cigar band.
He is hoping that his continued support of brick and mortar retail stores will help him grow his brand long term.
Interested retailers can contact the company directly for info on pricing, cigars, etc..
Nomad Cigar Company
Phone: 855-MYNOMAD (or 855-696-6623)
Monday, August 27, 2012
I recently picked up a few of these in a sampler pack after seeing so many pictures of them posted on people's timeline on twitter. The Lot 23 name refers to a tobacco field in close proximity to the Perdomo factory. All the tobacco used to make the Lot 23 is grown on this field, which I thought was very cool. The band is attractive despite it's subdued color scheme. The brown and blue on a matte khaki band work very nicely. The dark brown Nicaraguan broadleaf maduro wrapper houses a Nicaraguan filler and binder. There are a few decent sized veins and smooth seams. Upon a closer inspection of the wrapper I noticed it had some tooth to it and was velvety smooth. The body offered a barnyard scent and the foot had a sweet spicy aroma. I used the new punch on this one as well, which took a nice clean circle out of the expertly applied double cap. Perdomo draw tests their cigars to ensure a good draw so pre light draw was perfect. The cold draw had an earthy sweetness to it. I used the new z-plus torch to toast the foot and light it, which was a very easy task. The first third opened with notes of coffee with a touch of leather. There was a bit of spice and sweetness on the retrohale. The finish had a delicious pea-nutty sweetness to it. The second third brought notes of dark chocolate and spices with an occasional smokey oak. The ash was a dark gray and held to about 2 inches before falling into my lap ( I should be used to that by now). In the final third the coffee and leather notes were still present as the dark chocolate tones gave way to more of a sweet cedar. The sweetness and spice still maintained a nice balance. The body stayed at medium throughout the burn which was near perfect, requiring no touch ups. I believe www.stogieboy.com has these for around 5.00 a stick if you buy them as a single and around 4.00 if you buy by the box ( but this size is on back-order at the time of my review) That link is HERE. This is nothing short of what I have come to expect from Perdomo, excellent construction combined with a great flavor profile and flawless burn. You can find more information about Perdomo Cigars at perdomocigars.com and on twitter as http://twitter.com/PerdomoCigars. Nick and Janine are some of the nicest cigar people you will ever encounter and take pride in their cigars. They are more than happy to interact with fans of their brand on twitter, and do so on a daily basis. This is a great cigar and would be a pleasure to burn regardless of the time of day. I look forward to trying these in the natural wrapper as well as stocking the humidor with a few more of the maduro. www.stogieboys.com
Friday, August 24, 2012
As a lot of my posts have started, this also is a prize from a episode of Cigar Chat Live. It was great getting to meet Antonio Lam through the webcam on Cigar Chat. He really has a passion for cigars and a strong vision for where he wants his brand to go. The first in his line is a Nicaraguan Puro, which is the core of his line. He also released the Grand Empire Reserve earlier this month, which I will have to try to find so I can review. If you want to see the Cigar Chat video from RobbyRasReviews it can be found HERE. Reinado means "To Reign", in case you were wondering. The beautiful Nicaraguan Habano Rosado wrapper was a medium brown and had a reddish hue. The smell of the body was of sweet molasses and a bit of hay. The foot offered more smell of the sweet molasses and rich tobacco. The veins were very light and smooth and the seams were perfect. There were no soft spots to be found on this tightly packed gem. I punched the double cap and cold draw was a bit firmer than I like but still very manageable. The cold draw flavor was of sweet, rich tobacco. I toasted the foot and lit it up with my new Z-Plus butane zippo insert and had no issues getting it going. The First third started with creamy notes of roasted nut and a complex blend of spices. The finish had a nice spice with the perfect amount of sweetness, which left a hint of molasses on the tongue. About an inch into it, the draw opened up a bit and was perfect. The second third brought in a sweet cedar tone with subtle hints of leather and something resembling cinnamon popping up from time to time. Somewhere around the half way point I had to check the band to see if someone had switched out my cigar. The creaminess started to fade as everything took on a new found savory richness. As this occurred notes of cream and coffee came to light as the finish reminded me of peanut butter. There was a kick in spice on the retrohale as well but nothing overpowring. The ash held to just over 2 inches and was a medium gray color. Going into the final third the sweetness that had faded a bit in the second third made a comeback. Notes of sweet cedar, tea, and leather with an occasional hint of what resembled licquorice were present in the final third. This was almost like smoking three different cigars in one. The flavor shifts were off the chart and very complex. All I can say is Reign on Antonio Lam! You can find more information about the Reinado Brand at www.reinadocigars.com and you can find Antonio on twitter at http://twitter.com/reinadocigars. If you have not yet had one of these, then you are missing out! This was an instant rocket to my top 5 list and is absolutely box-worthy, in my opinion. I must also mention that about an inch into this there was a massive thunderstorm that threatened my ability to finish it. The cigardian angels watched over me and kept me from getting struck by lightening until I nubbed this cigar. The burn went a bit wild about half way in but I attribute this to the mist of rain that was blowing on me the whole time I was smoking it. I cannot wait to find someone close that carries the Grand Empire Reserve, I have not doubt that it is an excellent cigar as well. As soon as I can procure a few I will report my findings here. Thanks again to RobbyRasReviews and Antonio for the cigar chat giveaway. You can really taste the passion and commitment that went into these cigars in every puff of delicious smoke. Price point on this size is about 7.50 per stick and are available from www.cigarstix.com. and the link to Reinado at cigarstix is HERE
I ordered one of these for the very first humidor I purchased. It is good for 25-50 cigars a cording to the website. I was expecting the same type of gel that you find in one of their jar humidifiers but these are more of a bead. You can hear them soaking up the liquid as they crackle a bit. They swell in size and release just the right amount of moisture to keep your box sitting at 70%. I used mine first in the CI cigar bands mosaic 20 capacity humidor. When i ordered the 50 cap thar took it's place i moved it to the new one. So far RH on both boxes this has been in has remained very close to 70% (68-70). So the advertised capability is spot on. Mine now resides in a whitaile glasstop 50 cap humidor which was also purchased from CI. I only have to charge it once every couple of months, unlike the foam type that came with the box. If you have a 20-50 cap humidor and don't want to babysit the humidifier then this is a great addition. I paid somewhere around 10-12 bucks for mine and it works very well.
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
I picked this interesting stick up at my local B&M (Cigars and Fine Spirits) one day as I browsed the selection in the walk-in. It's dark wrapper and the bat on the band caught my eye, I figured it would be worth a try. Murcielago is spanish for bat, thus the bat on the band. This stick has been in the humidor for about 4 months, I honestly had forgotten about it. The seams were invisible on the dark Mexican San Andreas Maduro wrapper. Inside is a Mexican binder, surrounding a Nicaraguan filler. Murcielago is from EO Brands and was created by Erik Espinosa and Eddie Ortega, with help from Don Pepin Garcia. With those three names involved it has to be good, right? It was box pressed but not the sharpest angles, creating more of an oval shape. The body had a barnyard scent and at the foot, the smell of rich sweet tobacco. The veins were very minimal and the wrapper had so imperfections. It was tightly packed with no soft spots that I could find. I clipped the cap with my scissors and the cold draw was just a tad on the tight side of perfect, with the taste of sweet tobacco. Two matches later and the foot was toasted and I was smoking. The Initial third opened with a fair amount of spice with notes of earth, leather, and cream. The spice did calm a bit after the first inch or so as a fruit-like sweetness came and went. The gray ash held for about two inches between ashes. The second third took on more buttery, toasty notes with the pepper finish getting some nuttiness as well. The flavor profile seemed to lose steam entering the final third, there were no real notable changes. The butter notes became more pronounced as the pepper picked back up just a tad with some light oaky notes. It was an enjoyable cigar with great flavors. I usually try to stick to cigars that are Toro size or smaller but only saw this one in the churchill size. In my opinion, a churchill's burn usually outlives it's flavor profile's complexity. The construction quality is nothing short of excellent, which is not a surprise considering the names involved in it's creation. I believe this one was around 7.00 bucks at my local shop for this size, which is about what you would expect for this cigar. Would I buy again? Yes, in fact, I may stop in tomorrow and see if I can pick up a couple of robusto.