Archive for July, 2009

CAO Brazilia

Friday, July 31st, 2009

Anyone who knows me has heard me brag about tobacco from Brazil. My taste for tobacco from that region came from smoking Dona Flor and Alonzo Menendez cigars. The CAO Brazilia differs in that only the wrapper is from Brazil.

Thanks to Cigars Direct for sponsoring this review. You can check out their CAO Selections and the Brazilia at their site. I filled up a glass of water and sat down to do the review. Let’s see how it goes this time around.


Wrapper: Brazil

Binder: Nicaragua

Filler: Nicaragua

Size: Gol! – 5 x 56

Price: $5.00


Pre-smoke & Construction:

The first thing I noticed about this cigar was how packed and firm it was. The pre-light draw was a little tight as a result, and had a sweet earthy taste. Overall, the wrapper looked great with very small veins. When I sniffed the wrapper, I was reminded of a barn yard and rich soil (earthy). The foot had a sweet earthy smell.

I did no burn corrections, and the ash held firm for over an inch. The stiff draw loosened up and became a distant memory.



The first third opened up with a simple, smooth and great earthy flavor. A smooth pepper morphed into a sweet spice mixed with slight mocha.


The second third had a nice sweet spice that was similar to cinnamon mixed with pepper. A tinge of mocha combined with coffee and wood. Earthy notes would become sweet and then revert back to a more traditional rich soily taste.


The last third went well, but didn’t open up like I thought it would. Woody flavors were dominant. There was mocha present, but it was hard for me to detect. Peppery notes came back and were fairly strong and smooth. An interesting combination of coffee and cinnamon offered a nice zing to the mix. Good times.



This was a good full bodied cigar. The flavor profile wasn’t as rich as the Itilia, but that’s really my only complaint. The flavor profile was interesting and changed up a bit to hold my interest. I would definitely recommend any fan of a full bodied cigar to give the CAO Brazilia a try.

The Outer Limits of Beer

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009
Sam Adams came to visit the other day, which is always liberating. Rather, I should say it was Jim Koch, the mastermind behind Samuel Adams and the Boston Brewery. He has such zeal for brewing that it's always exciting to talk beer with him. Which is what we did...sort of.

601 Green Label

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009

I don’t consider myself a Don Pepin Garcia fan boy, but you’d probably think different after reading some reviews on this site. After enjoying the 601 Red Label recently, I had to try some of the other Pepin blended 601 cigars. The green label seemed to be the next logical choice. I wonder if this will live up to my expectations. Let’s see what happened when I grabbed my usual glass of water and sat down with the 601 Green Label.


Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano Oscuro

Binder: Nicaraguan

Filler: Nicaraguan

Size: Tronco 5×52

Price: 5 – $6.00


Pre-smoke & Construction:

Inspecting the wrapper, I found it visually appealing. The dark wrapper had a few veins and I could see glimmering specks of oil. This thing was well on it’s way to having plume. Squeezing the cigar, I found a couple tight spots, but otherwise was consistently packed with tobacco. Sniffing the wrapper revealed a grassy, earthy, sweet natural tobacco scent. The foot had minimal smell, with slight sweet earthy notes. Clipping the cap, I found the draw was a bit too snug, but I could live with it. The pre-light draw had a rich earthy taste with hints of pepper.

The ash was solid, taking effort to knock off after letting it get to a couple inches in length. The burn required no corrections, and the tight draw loosened up a bit to a more acceptable level.



The first third… Right after I lit up, I was hit with pepper. Note I wasn’t “Blasted” with pepper. It was rather smooth and easy to smoke. Shortly afterwards, dry mocha notes came into the flavor profile. To rap things up, a sweet cinnamon-ish spice rounded everything out.


The second third went well. That familiar pepper combined with that spicy sweet cinnamon and had a bit of a bite. Don’t get me wrong, there was no harshness, but this definitely isn’t a beginner cigar. The mocha remained fairly strong as well, while hints of nuttiness lingered. Full bodied and nice…


The last third did a similar thing that the red label did. Instead of intensifying, the strength actually calmed down a bit. All the while, the body picked up the pace a little if that makes sense. I guess what I mean is the nicotine punch calmed a little, while the flavors stood out more. About the flavors… Dry mocha remained with a sweet spice and pepper. The pepper helped retain a little punch but not over the top. Nutty flavors increased as well and rounded out the flavor profile.



This was a good cigar that went into the full bodied range. I wouldn’t give this to a beginner or occasional smoker though. But for those who enjoy medium and full bodied cigars, I’d recommend this without hesitation. Pepin – You’ve done it again!

The Wealthiest of Windbags

Monday, July 27th, 2009

List of 12 Top-Earning Show Host Personalities on AOL today:

1. Oprah Winfrey — $275 million
2. Dr. Phil McGraw — $80 million
3. Simon Cowell — $75 million
4. Howard Stern — $70 million
5. Rush Limbaugh — $54 million
6. Donald Trump — $50 million
7. David Letterman — $46 million
7. Judge Judy — $45 million
9. Ryan Seacrest — $38 million
10. Ellen DeGeneres — $35 million
11. Jay Leno — $32 million
12. Tyra Banks — $30 million

Holy Christ on the cross, that is a lot of moolah, folks. The 12 people combined make a total of 802 million dollars. That, my friends, is just outright obscene.

You know, I look at this and wonder what the hosts of old would be making by today’s standards – names like Johnny Carson, Dean Martin, Dick Cavett, Dinah Shore, Merv Griffin, Mike Douglas and other greats of their eras. The present day top dozen is a weird and eclectic mix of so-called stars and iconic windbags, for sure.

Let’s take a look-see…shall we?…

#12. Tyra Banks.
Wow, I don’t get it. Ok, she’s a supposed super model. I don’t think she’s so hot and she is a crappy show host. The drama she tries to portray is staged, forced, and uninteresting. I saw an episode of her show once where she went back to her high school and they showed her yearbook picture, and of course today’s Tyra looks SO NOTHING like she once did, that I think calling her a super model is a farce. Everything is fake: nose, cheeks, boobs, hair – there is no natural beauty. But may I say that for thirty mil, I too would get a new shnaz and a big ol’ pair of hooters. Come on people… don’t hate me because I’m beautiful.

#11 Jay Leno
If you know anything at all about this guy, he has worked so goddamned hard to get where he is. The man is relentless and dedicated. Okay, so his car collection is worth more than the gross national product of Guadalupe., but everybody’s gotta have a hobby, right? The tonight show is an American institution and to me, the host is supposed to get major bucks. I have no problem with Leno on this list and by all rights, he should be a lot higher up the ladder, if you ask me.

#10 Ellen DeGeneres
I’m sure you Neanderthals are expecting some crude lesbians jokes and what not, but I’ve actually always like DeGeneres. She’s a funny comedian and a decent show host because she’s sincere and down to earth. Unlike Rosie, Ellen is pretty much unassuming, and looks like a regular everyday guy. She’s not offensive in anyway and has worked incredibly hard to be accepted. Face it, to come out as she did took a lot of balls, which she just my have, but that’s not the point. What is the point? Not sure, but she makes a hell of a lot of dough as the only openly gay person on the list. Kudos to Ms. D. (I said balls…heh, heh.)

#9 Ryan Seacrest
Whatever you think of this unassuming dwarf, he has invented himself as a brand and has marketed himself quite well. Every week he stands up to Simon Cowell’s acerbic assholiness, and that alone should be worth mucho dollars. The imp just signed a three years deal on Idol for 45 mil. And for some reason, chicks dig him. I think being #9 on this list may have something to do with it.

#8 Judge Judy
WTF? I was blown away by this one. Judge Judy is like Jerry Springer with a gavel. It’s retard television and I simply cannot believe what this bossy old broad makes. A real statement of our mindless culture.

#7 David Letterman
He wanted Carson’s job and didn’t get it, he has a queen for a band director, and now makes more money than Leno. Plus the dude gave up cigars for health reasons. I just can’t respect that.

#6 Donald Trump
The 50 mil only refers to the money he makes as host of the Apprentice. He’s a brutal windbag, his hair is an endangered species, his daughter is gorgeous, as are his string of wives. And even though he’s a megalomaniac of mammoth proportions, I like his friggin show. I don’t know why exactly, but I probably should have a mental examination. Did I mention his daughter is friggin hot?

#5 Rush Limbaugh
Love or hate him, the man is brilliant and has created his own cottage industry. Sure he’s one-sided and full of himself to know end, but the guy has a faithful listening audience every single day, and 50% of those people hate him more than Satan himself. As much as he is a staunch Republican, his best material comes when a democrat is in office. 54 million sure is an awful lot money to talk on the radio, ain’t it?

#4 Howard Stern
Love or hate him, the man is brilliant and has created his own cottage industry. Sure he’s one-sided and full of himself to know end, but the guy has a faithful listening audience every single day, and 50% of those people hate him more than Satan himself. Wait a minute, didn’t I just say that? Stern has successfully pandered to the cretin in all of us and for that, I applaud the guy. He has given credibility to satellite radio and fake breasted, hot dog swallowing lesbians everywhere.

#3 Simon Cowell
Before American Idol, I believe Cowell was making about 30 grand a year. Yes, he’s a sour prick with a bad haircut, but in my opinion, there’s no other real reason to watch the show. HE reportedly wants 100 million next season or he’ll walk. Paula’s leaving so I say give it to him. Give the limey bastid whatever he wants. He IS that show.

#2 Dr. Phil
You have got to be f@#king kidding me. No really, you’re jerkin’ my Ghurka, right? Guys, they don’t make blowhards any worse than this chrome domed Freudian slip. I’d rather watch a George Forman Grill infomercial than spend an hour with that baloney headed, sham. And I really laughed when that fat shyster came out with a diet book. But at 80 million a year, he’s the turkey necked prick laughing all the way to Fort Knox.

#1 Oprah
That’s it… just Oprah. You don’t need the last name, cuz she’s all that. Mindless house fraus across the world worship this broad like a goddess and I will NEVER in all my days understand the attraction. Men simply don’t get Oprah. Although if I was on one of those shows where she’s giving out cars or some crazy shit like that, maybe it would help sway my feelings. She made Dr. Phil of Shit and Rachel Ray, and any guest who appears on her show gets 12 trillion hits on their website and shops for a Lamborghini the following day. Listen guys, no matter how you slice it, 275 million dollars is sick money and no person on this earth, especially a broad with zero talent, should have this much power. That’s right, she doesn’t have a talent. She don’t sing, dance, spin plates or nothing. She’s just Oprah, and I don’t get it.

So that’s it. What say ye? Anything other than begging for boob shots like the knuckle-dragging apes many of you truly are?

And for the record, God, I hope I can make that list.

Tommy Z.

JR Cigars Blog with the Zman

Don Pepin Garcia “Blue”

Saturday, July 25th, 2009

I’ve been on a bit of a Pepin kick these days. When I saw the blue label sitting on the shelf of some random shop in the area, I had to pick a couple up for review. I can’t remember the name of the shop, but I do remember the selection was limited, and the humidity was way to high for cigar storage. I had to let the cigars rest a bit in proper storage before lighting up. After a small meal, I grabbled the usual cup of water and got to the review…


Wrapper: Corojo Oscuro

Binder: Nicaragua

Filler: Nicaragua

Size: Invicto 5 x 50

Price: Around $7.00


Pre-smoke & Construction:

The cigar was visually appealing. The brown wrapper looked oily with a few veins here and there. Sniffing it revealed a slight sweetness and wood. Sniffing the foot had more of a peppery odor and actually made me sneeze. When I squeezed the cigar, I found no soft spots. If anything, it was a little too firm for my liking. The pre-light draw, as predicted, was a little snug and tasted of sweet earthiness.

I had to do a few burn corrections, and the ash was rock solid for well over an inch. The tough draw loosened up quickly after lighting and became a distant memory.



As I suspected, the first third opened up with a blast of peppery spice. A smooth earthiness followed, with a thick feeling texture afterwards. After an inch or so, the pepper calmed a bit and leveled out.


The second third kept that peppery edge, but at the same time smoothed out into what would be the theme for the rest of the cigar. A sweet earthiness remained while hints of coffee and mocha came and went. One puff, there they are, the next, gone. Repeat this for the entire third. Good times…


You’d think the last third of the cigar is when it would reach it’s peak intensity. Not the case this time. That peppery “Pep” remained but calmed down a lot. It still had a nice zing, but like I said, it calmed down substantially. This allowed the sweet earthy notes to shine and mingle with coffee and slight woody flavors.



This was a really good full bodied cigar. It had that signature Pepin blend I so much enjoy these days. I’m a fan of spicy foods and a good cigar with smooth blasts of pepper. I appreciate how the initial draws told me to “Pay attention!” Don Pepin Garcia – You’ve got a winner here.

Camp Smokes

Friday, July 24th, 2009
My buddies and I took our children camping this past weekend. We pulled up to a small island off the Connecticut coast and waded ashore, using a small raft to bring in the kids. We started unloading the gear while the boys and girls began playing, enjoying the water and sand.

Contest! Win a Cigar Caddy Travel Humidor

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009

Thanks to the folks at, you have a chance at winning a Cigar Caddy Travel Humidor. I’ve been using one for a few years and couldn’t live without it.


The Cigar Caddy is like a Tonka Truck for your cigars. It is made of fiber-glass reinforced ABS resin that is virtually indestructible. It can store around 15 cigars, and it is also waterproof for up to 100 feet.

To enter,simply leave a comment here on this post. Then subscribe to the newsletter by entering your email address in the form below. A winner will be drawn at random in a week or so.

About the newsletter… I subscribed to it, and I’ve found that it contais useful information, an instructional e-book, and deals available at Cheap Humidors. Your email address will be kept in confidence.

Enter now!


All participants must be 18 or older. Valid entries require subscribing to the Newsletter along with a comment here on this post. Enter now!

Cigar Tastings

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009
Jack Bettridge and I were chatting last week after we both wrapped up the taste test for the September/October issue of Cigar Aficionado . By the way, you guys are gonna love the cover subject....I'll say no more. We recalled how our taste tests used to be a lot more difficult.

Perdomo 10th Anniversary Criollo

Tuesday, July 21st, 2009

Ed and I are back for our monthly visit to The Stogie Review. In this episode we critique the Perdomo 10th Anniversary Criollo. I reviewed this cigar by myself a while ago and had a slightly different experience. But overall, both times were enjoyable.

In this episode we give a shout out to The Cigar Nut, and mention a contest starting July 23rd here at Stay tuned!

This video runs a little long at 29 minutes, so set some time aside and see what we have to say about the Perdomo 10th Anniversary Criollo.

For MP3 audio, click here.

What I’ll Do on My Summer Vacation

Monday, July 20th, 2009
My wife wants to vacation in Niagara Falls this summer. And I don't. It's an argument that I won't win, but it goes something like this: "But, honey, Niagara Falls is for honeymooners and we're already married with kids.

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