Saturday, December 29, 2012

My favorites of 2012

I have smoked so many great cigars over the last year, there were some that really seemed to stand out in my mind and some that joined my usual rotation. I don't really want to rate one cigar against another but I will post my "Favorite 12 of 2012". Cigars that made the list are cigars i smoked for the first time in 2012 and don't necessarily mean that they were released in 2012. So, with that said, here is my list of 12 favorite cigars that I smoked in 2012. They are in no particular order, and the order that they appear in does not mean anything.

Sosa Cigars Super Selection V

Nomad Cigar Co. Vagabond

Reinado Core Blend

Miami Cigar & Co. Nestor Miranda Danno 2012

Paul Stulac Angel maduro

Espinosa Habano

Ortega Serie D

Underground by Sosa Cigars

La Zona Connecticut

Four Kicks Seleccion No. 5 by the Crowned Heads

Rafaeli's Cigars Maduro

My Uzi Weighs A Ton +11 by Drew Estates

Padilla 1948 Edicion Limitada 2009 Robusto (5x50)

With the Christmas season over and life starting to slow down and return to some type of normalcy, I realized I haven't posted a review in awhile. I haven't had much time to sit down with a cigar in the last few weeks, when I did have a chance it was with a cigar already reviewed here. So here is one I smoked a month or so ago and had stashed away for just such an occasion. The Padilla 1948 Edicion Limitada 2009, to say this was a limited run is accurate. I cannot find any more of these listed for sale anywhere I have looked. I had a couple of these marinating in the humidor for almost a year getting around to lighting them up. From what I can find these were a limited run stick and upon released retailed for somewhere around 8 bucks per stick. I acquired this one from a sampler pack, I believe I purchased from CI at the end of 2011. 

The dark Nicaraguan habano wrapper houses a Nicaraguan binder and filler blend. The wrapper has a rustic look with a bit of oiliness and minimal veins. It was firm and tightly packed with no soft spots or imperfections that I could find. The wrapper offered up notes of barnyard and rich tobacco and the foot had a mild sweetness. I clipped the cap with a perfect cut cutter and the cold draw to be just a bit more firm than I like with notes of molasses.  I had not trouble getting things going with my single flame torch.
The initial third opens with notes of black pepper and an earthy spice. The finish is long and toasty, leaving a natural sweetness on the palate. As I progress into the first third a few caramel notes emerge, as well as, notes of cocoa and some light coffee notes.

Going into the second third the coffee and cocoa notes have developed nicely. The earthy spice has faded into the background but is still present. There were a few cherry notes that popped in and out but were very faint. The smoke has taken on a more creamy texture and the finish has gained a slight nuttiness. 

The earthy spice makes a bit of a comeback in the final third as the coffee and cocoa notes really reach their peak. Some notes of cedar emerge and bring with them a slightly salty component. The caramel notes that were present in the first third start to pop in on occasion in the final third

As I nubbed the last one of these I had, I really wished I could find more. I see that they went for around 19 bucks for a bundle of 20 at some point in time on cbid. The draw was a bit firm on both the sticks i smoked but did open up some at about an inch into the burn. Burn was near perfect on both sticks, requiring only one burn correction between them. For me the coffee and cocoa notes were the predominant flavors but were complimented nicely by the background flavors, especially the woody cedar notes.

You can find more information about Padilla Cigars at their website, find them on twitter at
The Edicion Limitada 2009 may be impossible to find, but if you can find them I recommend giving them a try (grab more than a couple). does have the Padilla 1948 listed on their site for around 6.50 a stick. I will have to order some and see how they compare to the 1948 Edicion Limitada 2009. If you are interested in the Padilla 1948 listed on stogieboys you can find them HERE

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A great deal from Rafaeli's Cigars

Rafaeli's Cigars has a stupendous holiday deal going from now until January the 1st. How about a box of 50 of their tasty cigars? What if the deal was sweetened by a pair if their Templar cuff-links? Well they are also going to throw in a 6 pack sampler. The deal is available on all three sizes and the prices are set to blow minds.

Robusto 95.00
Toro 105.00
Churchill 115.00
And it includes free shipping, a pair of cuff-links and a 6 pack sampler of cigars.

This deal isn't posted on their website but you can take advantage of it by emailing them at or calling them at 213-373-1393.
This holiday special is too good to miss out on. Their cigars are super tasty at a super value. Give them a call today and secure your holiday special at the awesome price.

Monday, December 17, 2012

G.A.R. box-a-day giveaway at RRR

Box-A-Day Giveaway MONDAY – Day 1 of 7
My friends and fellow BOTL are having another major league giveaway. With the recent guest on their cigar chat, George Rico, they will be giving away a box of cigars everyday for a week. That is one of the most wicked giveaways I have ever seen. Be sure to check out the recorded chat with George Rico HERE and the link to the daily giveaway can be found on the front page of their site at Show Rob, Logan, and George Rico some love and be sure to check out their reviews, the guys do a superb job!
Video: George Rico on CigarChat

Friday, December 14, 2012

The bad cigar

Chances are that you have had a bad cigar or two. I have had more than a few cigars that I honestly would say were horrific. I take a different stance on the undesirable cigars than most smokers in that I welcome them. Did I really just say that? Yes, yes I did. The bad cigars that I have smoked really made me appreciate the good ones. I made notes on those that were less than pleasant just like I would a good cigar. I noted the reasons, in detail, that I considered it to be bad. Why all the detail and trouble on a cigar I will probably never smoke again? I note the wrapper and ,when available, any blend information I can find. I do this so if I run across another cigar that is new to me I will be able to compare the two if they are similar. I don't just want to discard a cigar, I want to better understand why I found the smoking experience to be less than pleasurable. I do agree with most smokers that if you want to mature your palate, it is best to stay away from "herfdogs" and "dog rockets" when you can. At the same time each palate is different and your experience with a cigar may differ from someone else you know. I read a review once that said a Ron Mexico cigar, if aged 2 years, would rival an Opus X. If you have seen my review on the Ron Mexico then you know I didn't finish the cigar. I have one in the humidor that is a few months shy of it's 2 year mark and, to be honest, I will smoke it. I hate to call anyone's cigar a "dog rocket", I have heard from owners of cigar companies about the time and effort that goes into developing a cigar. I do agree that not all cigars are created equal. Some are brand lines created by the major retail outlets as cheap "exclusive" offerings. With some exceptions, most of those I have tried have been lackluster and a few down right nasty. I've also learned that just because it's a   2-3 dollar stick doesn't mean it's a bad smoke. I have a few smoking friends that turn their nose up to any stick below 8 bucks. "It's got to be garbage for them to have to sell it for that price" I have smoked 2-4 dollar sticks with more depth, flavor, and over all enjoyment than some of the 10+ dollar sticks I have smoked. I don't judge a cigar based on it's price point or it's band. It's true that band catches my eye before anything else but I don't smoke the band. If the band is beautiful and the cigar is flavorless or grotesque I won't be buying them again. I've learned not to judge a cigar by it's wrapper either. When I first started smoking, the people I asked for advice told me to stick with Connecticut wrapped sticks. I wasn't new to nicotine or smoking just to cigars. I found a lot of them to be too mild and most to be rather flavorless and it almost turned me off to cigars entirely. I have since found some great smokes with Conny wrappers. My best advice to the cigar newbie is to try as many different cigars as you can. Mix it up and try different strengths, wrappers, and blends. I highly recommend samplers because you usually get one or two of each stick in the pack. If you do like I did and try to buy larger quantities, you will probably end up with a stash you're not very excited to smoke. I have my "go to" cigars but I still believe that variety is the spice of life and enjoy exploring the new blends and brands. Cigar smoking should be an enjoyable journey through flavors and aromas. So kick back, light one up, and enjoy the ride.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Boy's Night Giveaway Sponsored by StogieBoys

As noted in the reviews of the Thurman Thomas Hall of Fame cigar reviews, I was sent a pretty sweet prize pack to giveaway by the awesome folks at I am finally getting a chance to get the details posted and get th giveaway started. Like the two previous reviews, I will be using rafflecopter. If you're already following @StogieBoys on twitter and have "Liked" their page on facebook you ahead of the game. The prize pack consists of a StogieBoys T-Shirt, a deck of StogieBoys branded playing cards, a "SB" etched beer (or whatever you should decide to fill it with) pint glass, a StogieBoys V-Cutter (like the one pictured in a few of my reviews), a StogieBoys pocket guide, a book of StogieBoys matches, and of course some cigars. Why call it a Boys Night giveaway? It's everything you will need for a boys night. If you win you will have almost everything you need for a guys poker night. A sampler of cigars, a beer glass, a shirt to wear, cards to deal, a cutter, and some matches. That just about covers it right? Now get those entries in so I can give this stuff away before it gets too comfortable at my house ;-) Good luck to all who enter! I believe this one is going to run for a 1.5-2 weeks. 2 weeks puts the giveaway to end on Christmas Eve. What better way to celebrate a cigar giveaway victory than with a Guys Night after the chaotic Christmas Season.

Cigar sampler: Retail 39.99
T-Shirt: Retail 25.00
Pint glass: Retail: 15.00
V-Cutter: Retail: 6.00 each
SB playing cards: Retail 9.00
Add it all up and this prize pack would retail for a little over 70 bucks. That is a pretty sweet prize pack if you ask me. My inner cigar weasel says keep it, but it must find a new home.
The cigars are listed below

Casa Magna Pairing Sampler - 5 pack (a 39.99 retail value)

This exclusive sampler is a combination of Casa Magna with complimenting cigars that will have your senses peaked! If you love cigars (which I’m sure you do) this sampler gives you the taste you’re looking for without the repetitive selection.
Casa Magna Colorado Churchill
Casa Magna Domus Magnus Optimus
Liga IV Almirate Corona
Padilla Hybrid Robusto
Roll Back MD Toro

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Holiday Gift Ideas For Your Cigar Lover

Cigar smokers are the easiest and the hardest people to buy for when it comes to your holiday shopping list. If you're unsure of what their favorite brand, strength, wrapper type, etc... buying them cigars can be worrisome business. There is always a safe alternative with accessories and even sampler packs. If you purchase them a cigar sampler, they have more than one cigar to choose from and may even have an opportunity to try a cigar that is new to them. With cigar accessories you could be overwhelmed if you are a non-smoker buying for someone who is. I have put together a small list that hopefully will help in the search for a great gift to give that special cigar lover on your list.

Any cigar smoker will tell you that there is no such thing as too many humidors, or a big enough humidor (unless they have a walk-in in their home). The great thing about humidors is you don't have to spend a ton of money to get one that does it's job well and is attractive. Clicking on the pictures will take you to the product on a site for purchase

The Dakkota Jet Black 120 is a very handsome box that will hold up to 120 cigars. It includes a pair of cigar scissors that attach to the lid by a magnet that is mounted inside the lid. The externally viewed hygrometer allows you to keep an eye on the humidity inside without having to open the box. The included Humidifier elements mount flush with the lid and there is a lock to keep children and unwelcome stogie snatchers out. has these for 139.00 and it is sure to please any cigar lover.

Another beautiful box is the Napoleon No.II. It features a glass top, pull out drawers, externally viewable hygrometer, and a plate that can be engraved with the recipients name. If you really wanted to customize a box like this you can use etching cream and a vinyl mask to etch a logo or name into the glass. This box is available on for 99.95 and will hold up to 150 cigars.
This is one I have to admit I have on my wish list I gave my wife for Christmas this year. This is a cool ashtray that comes with a cigar punch and guillotine cutter. It folds up for easy storage or to take with you if you go somewhere. has these for 39.00 and if my wife doesn't stuff one of these in my stocking I'm going to buy one for myself.
The Stinky Jr is a great ashtray for someone who smokes alone or prefers to have their own ashtray when smoking with others. If you have seen any of my reviews, you may have noticed I have one of these myself. It has one stirrup to sit a cigar on between puffs and is a very attractive ashtray. StogieBoys has these for just under 13 bucks.
If you know a smoker that has a smoking lounge or man cave, cigar art to decorate it would make a great gift. There are many options from cigar photography to paintings. Some of the finest I have seen are by Alberto Godoy. has many paintings by Godoy available on museum quality, acid free paper and on canvas. Prices vary depending on the size and medium chosen.

The Xikar MTX multi-tool, which I own and have reviewed here on the site, is one of the best cigar scissors I have found. It is one of my favorite cigar accessories and is very useful. There is a small screwdriver blade for adjusting the flame on a torch lighter, a small poker to help free up a tight draw, bottle opener, and a cigar box opener tool. The whole thing folds up for convenient pocket carry and carries a lifetime warranty. The scissor blades are EXTREMELY sharp and give a smooth cut every time. has the MTX multi-tool for about 33 bucks. If you're cigar lover doesn't have one, they would love one. 
The Football cigar is a unique cigar gift for the football and cigar lover on your list. They are available in a mild body Connecticut shade wrapper or a medium bodied Maduro wrapper. carries these and they are available as a single in it's own box or in boxes of 3. Prices range from 19.99 to 39.99 and would be a great way to celebrate your favorite team's victory.

Speaking of football, if you read my previous reviews of the Thurman Thomas cigars then this might peak your interest. has a Thurman Thomas gift set available for 65 bucks. The set includes 10 of the Thurman Thomas cigars in either Connecticut or Maduro, an engraved 10 capacity humidor, and an autographed photo of Hall of Fame running back Thurman Thomas himself. If you know a cigar loving football fan, especially one who is a fan of Thurman Thomas, this is a great gift idea. 
These are just a few ideas to get the ball rolling. Most cigar lovers I know follow the notion that they can never have enough cigars, cutters, lighters, humidors, or anything else cigar related. I hope this has given you some gift ideas if you were struggling.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Thurman Thomas Connecticut Toro (6x52)

This is the second of the Thurman Thomas cigars I was sent for review by StogieBoys. I have to admit I wasn't as excited about the Connecticut as I was the Maduro, my mistake lol. Lately I have been smoking more Connecticut wrapped sticks, it's only fair to include them on the site, and I have found many excellent and flavorful sticks. This is one of those Connecticut wrapped stogies that you won't be bored with or wonder where is the flavor. The wrapper on the Connecticut reminded me of mocha and had a oily sheen and light tooth. The veins were small and the seams were smooth. Like the Maduro, this is a well constructed stick made in the General Cigar factory in the Dominican Republic. The wrapper doesn't offer much of a smell, save for some very light notes of hay and cocoa and the aroma at the foot is of hay a well. The samples I received were both a bit spongy but had no soft spots or flaws that I could find. I used the StogieBoys V-cutter on the Connecticut, just as I did with the Maduro. The draw was just a tad more free than I usually like but still well within my tolerances. The cold draw offered notes of mildly sweet field grass and hay.
The initial third opens up with tons of flavor with notes of coffee and some light caramel notes jumping out front. Surprisingly the Connecticut offers a bit more peppery zing, especially on the retrohale, than the maduro. The finish is moderate and has a leathery crispness to it. About 3/4 of an inch in the peppery spice calms a bit as the smoke become more creamy. Going into the second third a toasted nuttiness joins the coffee and caramel as a herby spice jumps in on occasion. As I started into the final third the creaminess becomes more hearty and savory. The peppery spice that was present in the first third has made a comeback. It isn't overpowering at all but does leave a nice tingle in the nose and on the sides of the tongue. The coffee notes move to the background as notes of leather and a piney woodiness move in to finish the burn. This was a great stick, consistently medium body and full flavor throughout the burn just like the maduro. This is a Connecticut wrapped stick with more than enough body to satisfy the seasoned smoker. The Maduro and Connecticut have similar flavors, but the way they present themselves are different. Ash held to just over an inch at a time and only one minor burn correction was needed. The Connecticut and Maduro are different enough in flavor profiles to warrant giving both a go. Construction on both was excellent and both were equally enjoyable. The price point on the Connecticut is also around 3.60 per stick, giving you a very nice "bang for your buck" ratio. You can find more info on Thurman Thomas and his cigars at and you will only find his cigars on Thanks again to Sheryl and the great team at StogieBoys for providing the samples for the review. I highly recommend trying both blends in the Thurman Thomas line. Both are available as a single, bundles of 25, and boxes of 25. The Maduro review can be found HERE

Thurman Thomas Maduro Toro (6x52)

The nice folks over at sent me a surprise prize pack for the next giveaway (Details will be posted soon) and also sent a couple of the Thurman Thomas Connecticut and Maduro to review for the site. If you're not familiar with Thurman Thomas, he is a Hall of Fame running back who spent most of his NFL career playing for the Buffalo Bills. Like golf, football and cigars pair well together. I decided to start with the maduro first since I am fan of that maduro sweetness. There isn't a lot of blend information on these sticks, but I can tell you that they are made in General Cigars in the Dominican Republic and utilize Dominican long fillers. The Milk Chocolate brown wrapper has minimal veins and smooth seams. The maduro is rock solid, well packed, and has very little give when pinched. The body offers up the aroma of barnyard and hay and the foot offers some light earthy notes. I used by StogieBoys V-cutter to clip the cap and found the cold draw to be just a tad on the firm side of perfect. The flavors on the cold draw were of cocoa and molasses. The wind is not blowing at all so I used matches to toast the foot and get things started with no problems.

The Initial third opens with some very nice flavors. Notes of cocoa and a nice earthy spice, balanced by the mild maduro sweetness. The finish is moderate and has a caramel-like tone. There is a touch of spice, especially noted on the retrohale, that leaves a tiny tingle on the tongue. As I progress through the first third notes of coffee start to emerge. Going into the second third the cocoa moves to the background as the coffee moves into the foreground. The smoke and the finish have taken on more of a creamy texture as the coffee notes become more rich and really work well with the subtle earthy spice. There are a few woody oak notes popping in on occasion as well. Going into the final third the woody oak notes take on some depth and really start to shine. The caramel-like finish has become more of a dark roast with a bit of a black coffee bitter sensation. This in no way detracted from the smoking pleasure. Construction on the samples I received was excellent and ash held to around 1.5" at a time. The maduro's burn went a touch wavy but always corrected itself with no help from me. Final verdict? For the 3.60 per stick price tag, you're cheating yourself not to give them a try. They are exclusive to StogieBoys and can be purchased as a single or in bundles of 25 and boxes of 25 (like myself, some people love box collecting). You can find more information about Thurman Thomas at and find his cigars only at Once again, thank you to Sheryl and the StogieBoys team for providing the samples for the review. The review of the Thurman Thomas Connecticut can be found HERE