Archive for August, 2010

Orient Automatic Watch Giveaway

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

This will be stuck to the top of the site until the contest is over. Reviews will still be posted.

CEM5J006UI know what your thinking… A watch giveaway on a cigar review site? When Orient Watches contacted me offering to hold a raffle here, I was hesitant at first. After browsing their website, I saw quite a variety of styles, ranging from the CDBAA001B to the sporty CVZ02002W. After procrastinating for awhile, I figured why not? Let’s give a reader the chance to win a free prize, even if it isn’t cigar related.


The watch we are raffling is the CEM5J006U, and is pictured to the left. It features a stainless steel case, water resistant up to 50M, calendar, stainless steel band, and MSRP is $135.00.


The term “Automatic watch” means there is no winding mechanism or battery. The watch is wound by motion. So your arm movement from walking will essentially wind the watch.



Pretty cool huh? Want to win it? Read on…


First let’s get the rules of the contest out of the way:

1) US residents only please.

2) Must be 18 years or older to enter

3) Leave valid contact email in the email section, or I won’t be able to find you if you win! Your email address will be kept in confidence. I will treat it as if it were my own.

4) Please only enter the contest once.


Now the important part. Entering is easy. Simply leave a comment here on this post. Any comment will do. Suggestions on improving this site, a wacky joke, an insult or compliment directed to me, whatever you choose.

In a couple weeks, I will draw a random winner.


Branching Off The Label

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010
Just got a bottle of Basil Hayden's Bourbon (which I adore) and rather than drinking it, I was perusing the label (which I generally deplore, but I'm on duty, and sometimes you have to learn about liquor the hard way—through reading).

Room 101

Monday, August 30th, 2010

The Room 101 is blended be Camacho. What is Room 101 you ask? From what I could find on the Internet, Room 101 is a brand of luxury items including jewelry, clothing, and various accessories. They decided to add cigars to their lineup, and Camacho did the honors. My first thought was about how gimmicky this whole thing sounded. But who am I to judge without trying the product? I finally gave in and picked up a few cigars, and offer you my review.


Wrapper: Semilla 101 (Honduras)

Binder: Honduras

Filler: Honduras, Dominican Republic

Size: 305 Robusto (5 x 50)

Price: Around $7.50


Pre-Smoke & Construction:

The wrapper looked nice, and you could barely see the seams from rolling. The aroma coming off of the wrapper reminded me of a barnyard. The foot had a milder natural tobacco smell. When squeezing the cigar, I found a few minor hard and soft spots. They were not extreme or of concern. The pre-light draw had a little resistance, and had a slight earthy taste.

The burn required several minor touch up’s, and the ash held for just under an inch.



The first third: An easy, smooth peppery spice was detected when passing smoke through the nose. Wispy earthy notes were constant, along with an unidentified sweetness. The smoke volume was pretty thick with a nice earthy aftertaste.


The second third picked up with that sweet flavor. It didn’t take long before it developed into mocha. The spice remained but lost it’s peppery feel. It just became smoother, sweeter, and easier to pass through the sinus. At the half way point, the smoke feel became creamy.


The last third: The smoke volume increased and became very creamy. It stuck inside of the mouth and had a sweet spicy aftertaste. Speaking of spice, it became smoother and even sweeter. Earthy notes were very far in the background and hard to detect.



This was a very good medium bodied cigar. It wasn’t a “WOW” cigar, but the flavors were good. They changed up enough to keep things interesting. All gimmicks aside, this is a solid cigar and a good smoking experience. The Room 101 is easily worth revisiting, and if you haven’t tried it, I’d recommend you do.

Of Biotches and Cigars

Monday, August 30th, 2010

grilling-tips-10A rare event took place this past weekend where my wife and I were invited to two barbecue parties on the same day. There was one early Saturday afternoon and one in the evening. Actually it’s rare that I get invited to anything at all. I think the fact that I smell like a blend of smoldering Central American tobacco and foul kielbasa farts, 24 / 7, has a little something to do with it. I really can’t think of anything else, and yes, God bless my wife and kids, is right.

I love barbecues and the weather was spectacular – mid to high 70’s, crystal blue sky – making for a beauteous day of gorging, drinking, and woman_angrysmoking until my head and stomach imploded. My wife knows all too well to stay clear of my animalistic rituals and to just hang with her friends. I am not a pleasant site once the chow is served. I’m always first in line and admittedly have a problem with leaving food for the other guests. Hog, horse, wolf, whatever kind of wild creature you want to label me is just fine and dandy as long as my trough is filled and liquid grains are flowing.

punch_classic_championThe first party had a lot of great home cooked Italian delights on the menu such as chicken parm, sausage and peppers, and ziti with vodka sauce – traditional fare for an outdoor fest here in northern New Jersey. Only Paulie Wanuts and Christopher Moltisanti were missing from the picture. I did my double stack load on several reinforced paper plates and headed for somewhere in the shade to consume. After several helpings of pure foodie goodness, a nice cigar was in order, and a dark little Honduran flavor bomb by the name of the Punch Champion was the choice for my mid-chow, palate cleansing.

So I stoke up this oily little plum bob shaped figurado and enjoy it paired with a tasty Belgium brew. Damn this is nice… so peaceful, so fulfilling, so relaxing… until the shrew from about 25 feet away comes over and asks me – no get this – tells me to either move or put it out. I look her in the eyes and ask with total innocence, “Put what out?”

That disgusting weed you’re poisoning the children at the party with.  I said you mean the kids who are inhaling the nitrate laden fat filled weenies, heavily salted deep-fried snack treats, and cans of soda that contain no less than ten teaspoons of white processed sugar? You mean those kids?”

“I don’t need a smart-ass remark, I just need you to move, god dammit.”

Okay, I know I’m at a neighbors house, and I know I shouldn’t cause any kind of scene, but I have been provoked to the limit by some suburbanite house-frau with a kegger around the mid-section and a message on her answering machine that says, “Hey it’s the 1980’s calling and we want our feathered, big-poof hairstyle back.”  So what do I do? I ignore her and continue to puff while she stands there with hand on hip and a look on her face like her tampons needed changing about three full days ago.

“If you don’t move, I will put that out for you,” miss congeniality says in her atomic brazen shrew voice.

Almost motionless, I turn only my eyes upon her and utter the following words in a deadpan tone, “Touch my cigar and you will no longer be able to use those hands for stuffing Big Macs down your gullet, you incredibly rude sow.”

Her head then cocked to one side with a facial expression of horror and discontent.

Before she could get in a word edge wise, I finished my thought – I swear to the Lord I told her, “Now get the f@#k out of my face before I put YOU out.”

Holy good God in heaven, this bitch went psycho berserk – ranting, frothing, flailing her arms and screaming for the host of the party. Now I’m just sitting there, minding my own beeswax, enjoying the hell out of a glorious day, and madame hell-hole starts throwing a tantrum like she just found out that the Price is Right has been canceled.

My pal and his wife come running over, as does my wife, wanting to know what the hell is going on in pleasantville. When they see who is making the trouble my wife and friend roll their eyes as my buddy’s wife grabs Ms. Floating Turd in the Punchbowl by the arm and marches her behind the shed for a little beat down. Seems this broad is a well-known biotch in the town and doesn’t care what she says to people, and how she says it. My buddy (and my nightly cigar companion) is pissed beyond belief and my wife – who hates cigars (isn’t that special) actually sticks up for me. That crazy broad goes so bonkers that she flips over a cheese platter, grabs her ugly little horse-faced vermin she calls children, and starts screaming that she’ll never come to another party in this neighborhood again! Wow – she told us! Now how will I go on through the daily routines in my life?

Eric_Cartman_ChickenloverThank God that everyone at the party was on my side, and even my wife didn’t give me any grief – but she did make me promise that I wouldn’t smoke a cigar at the next party that we were headed to. So I promised, like the good husband that I am.

Oh, who am I kidding. I lit up a Camacho Triple Maduro in the woods on the side of our friend’s house.

And that’s my story, and yeah, I’m sticking to it.

Respect my author-i-tie,

Tommy Z.

JR Cigars Blog with the Zman

Viaje Oro (First Impression)

Thursday, August 26th, 2010

My pals over at the Bonita Smoke Shop gave this to me when I paid them a visit not too long ago. This cigar sat among several other smokes I need to review. Viaje is a boutique cigar company, with very limited distribution and manufacturing. That’s about all I know about the brand. I paired this cigar with water, and here is my first impression of the Viaje Oro.


Wrapper: Nicaraguan Corojo 99 Cafe

Binder: Nicaragua

Filler: Nicaragua

Size: Delicado 6 x 50

Price: Around $8.00


Pre-Smoke & Construction:

The wrapper looked nice, with medium sized veins and no real flaws. I’d say it had an odor of earth or a dark rich soil. The tobacco was packed solid and fairly even. This brings me to the pre-light draw. It was a little snug, but well within my tolerances. It had a nice dark natural tobacco taste with earthy undertones. Overall construction and appearance was very nice.

The ash held for about an inch, and the burn required a few minor corrections.



The first third started with very smooth earthy notes with a nice easy peppery spice. Coffee was up next, and it had an interesting floral tinge to it. The smoke feel was crisp with an espresso finish.


The second third kept that nice peppery zing when passing smoke through the nose. The earthy flavors took a back seat and were hard to detect at times. At about the half way point I started to pick up sweet mocha notes. At that point, the pepper became more of a sweet spice. All the while a coffee/espresso flavor was always present. As this third came to a close, the mocha increased in strength, and the smoke feel became a little creamy and very sweet.


Last third: Picking up from where we left off… The sweet spice remained and left a tingle on the lips and tongue. At times espresso was the main flavor, but on other draws it was pure mocha. All earthy flavors were gone at this point. The smoke was thick and coated the inside of the mouth.



This was a very good medium to full bodied cigar. It had a nice simple start and built into a rich flavor profile. I’m glad Jackie over at the Bonita Smoke Shop gave this to me to enjoy. If you have a chance, pick a few up. I will try more if I get the chance.

Cigar Caddy Contest Winner!

Wednesday, August 25th, 2010

Thanks to everyone who entered the Cigar Caddy Giveaway. We had a pretty good turnout this year.


I drew a name at random and…

STEVE, you are the winner! I have already emailed you for your contact information and we’ll get the Cigar Caddy shipped to you ASAP!

Thanks again to for sponsoring this contest.

Stay tuned, I am working on lining up another giveaway!

Falto Robusto

Monday, August 23rd, 2010

Luis J. Falto, President & CEO of La Garita Cigar Co & Cigarros Falto, Tabacalera Falto Inc, sent me these cigars to review. They come in Robusto and Losdale sizes. There will be a slight blend change on these two cigars from the current wrapper to a new Sumarta Ecuador. The cigars I smoked for this review featured the current Sumarta Indonesian variety.

Thanks to Luis for sending me these cigars to try. As always, I paired this review with water.


Wrapper: Sumatra (Indonesia)

Binder: Dominican Republic

Filler: Dominican Republic

Size: 5 x 50

Price: Around $7.00


Pre-Smoke & Construction:

The wrapper had small veins and a nice looking sheen. The odor coming off of the wrapper was sweet and cedary. The foot had a similar odor, with a slight pepper. The cigar was evenly and well packed, with barely a hard or soft spot. The pre-light draw was good with just a little resistance, and had an earthy, woody taste.

The burn required a couple small corrections, and the ash held for just over an inch.



The first third began with a very smooth and mellow peppery spice was that picked up when passing smoke through the nose. There were nice woody flavors with mild sweet notes hiding in the background. The smoke feel was crisp and dry.


The second third had a touch of earthiness. The sweetness increased in strength a little, and the woody flavors were dominant. The smooth pepper remained when retrohaling, but had an interesting complexity to it. It was sweet with an occasional tinge of fruitiness. The smoke feel became smoother and bordered on creaminess.


The last third went further up in the medium bodied range and bordered on being full. The spicy pepper increased slightly in strength, and was more straight forward tasting. The wood and sweet flavors matched each other in terms of strength, and melded together nicely. Speaking of sweetness, it boarded on chocolate, but wasn’t full blown chocolate. The smoke feel remained the same as before.



This was a very good medium to upper medium bodied cigar. The flavors were good, and switched things up to keep it interesting. Availability is limited on this boutique brand, but I think they are worth trying. Go to their website for a list of shops that carry them and judge for yourself.

Cigar Inventory

Monday, August 23rd, 2010
I'm getting ready to re-stock my personal cigar inventory. I've been fortunate in that most of the cigars I smoke are at work, and supplied as part of our tasting reports. But you've all seen 1. It's got a mix of cigars from the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua and Cuba.

When Life Gives You Lemons, You’re Screwed

Monday, August 23rd, 2010

The entrepreneur is a risk taker – someone with dreams and aspirations of doing his or her own thing, someone that has a special kind of drive and determination to do things “their” way. Entrepreneurial spirit and free enterprise is something that America was built on and separates us from the dictatorships and fascist governments around the world. Those who take charge and show a relentless work ethic have been looked up to with a sense of honor and admiration since the birth of our nation. Well, until last week, that is.

lemonade-standMeet Julie Murphy, a seven year-old enterprising young lass who hails from Oregon City, in the great northwest – a girl who saw her favorite cartoon pig open a lemonade stand and thought it would be a great way for her to earn some extra loot for herself. So Julie and mom set up their own little stand at the monthly art fair in North East Portland, a very grass-roots attraction. Fifty cents for a tall cup of ice cold refreshment was the asking price as her homemade booth sat between a couple of local-yocal merchants. And the girls did everything right by keeping their operation sparkling clean, including sanitizing their hands and covering all open containers. Yes, it was an exciting day for little Julie, until one person by the name of Big Brother arrived at her booth, and life would change in an instant for the pint-sized business owner.

lemonade_standA woman carrying a clipboard from the county health inspector’s office asked Julie to see her temporary restaurant license – at a cost of $120 to purchase – and then promptly shut down the family operation while warning them they could face a $500 fine.

“I understand the reason behind what they’re doing and it’s a neighborhood event, and they’re trying to generate revenue,” said Jon Kawaguchi, environmental health supervisor for the Multnomah County Health Department. “But we still need to put the public’s health first. When you go to a public event and set up shop, you’re suddenly engaging in commerce,” he said. “The fact that you’re small-scale I don’t think is relevant.”

Yes, life has given little Julie lemons but unfortunately they are sour, rotten, and can make nothing more than a heaping tin of fecal merange pie.

While many in our great nation are starting their own Tea Party revolts, it seems that in Oregon, the locals have started a lemonade revolution and have bombarded county officials to the point of national embarrassment.

hezb-nazi1I really have to ask, couldn’t these belligerent bureaucrats have handled this a little better, a little softer, a with just a little more decency? Don’t the county’s paid officials have better use of their time than busting a seven year old, while looking to shake her down for $120 and an accompanying fine? My son told me about this story this morning and I instantly knew it was something that had ZMAN RANT written all over it. Which begs me to ask – why stop at just a fine? Why not bring in state inspectors and Oregon government officials, including the department of sales tax, which I’m sure would have a thing to say about a business that has not been recognized by the state registers office. I’m sure there should be penalties assessed for lack of workers compensation and obvious OSHA violations during construction of the work site. And hey, while we’re at it, I’m sure the IRS wouldn’t be overly pleased with little law breaking Julie, I mean there’s been no application for an Federal Employer’s Identification number and no set up for estimated quarterly tax payments, as well as collection of mandatory FICA, social security, bla, blab bla.

76-big-brotherAnd why stop there? I’m sure the department of Homeland Security would want to know about a possible terror plot involving tampering with the county’s lemonade supply. Concocting food born illnesses is a real threat within our borders and I would think that Julie and mom will be facing interrogation, including tactics such as waterboarding, as no stone should be left unturned when there is the grave possibility of a national security breach. Hey, I’d go as far as putting them on the international no-fly list, I mean you don’t know what these two criminals are capable of doing. And just to let you know, Julie and mom have been released on two-million dollars bail with a court hearing set for later next month.

What in the name of God is happening to this once great nation of ours? When did someone jam a bug so far up our collective asses that everything is a under a microscope and the word freedom is losing its intended meaning with each and every passing day? Light your cigars, pour your scotch and enjoy it while you can, my friends, as we face a fatalistic epidemic involving grotesque political correctness and rampant Big Brotherism. And sorry, bro, I’d invite you in for a refreshing glass of lemonade, but mine was taxed and confiscated in yesterday’s early morning raid. But I’m sure I have a hunk of Soylent Green to share with you.

Damn the torpedoes and full steam ahead,

Tommy Z.

JR Cigars Blog With the Zman

Perdomo Cuban Bullet Version 2.0

Thursday, August 19th, 2010

John, the local Perdomo rep was at Ed’s shop to help celebrate the 5th anniversary of St. Pete Cigars. He was nice enough to hand out a lot of cigars, including what I am reviewing today. The Cuban Bullet was cancelled in 2007. It is now back, hence the “Version 2.0” written on the band. The cigar comes in 3 different wrapper variations and four sizes. As always, I paired this cigar with water. Here’s what I found…


Wrapper: Cuban seed

Binder: Nicaragua

Filler: Nicaragua

Size: Robusto 5 x 50

Price: Around $3.50


Pre-Smoke & Construction:

The tan wrapper had a nice appearance with small to medium sized veins. The odor of the wrapper was earthy/soily, and the foot had earth with a mild pepper. The pre-light draw was good, with some resistance. The pre-light taste was earthy and dark tasting natural tobacco. Overall the cigar was evenly and solidly packed with tobacco, with barely a soft or hard spot.

The burn required no corrections, and the ash held for about an inch.



First third: Earthiness was the dominant flavor. When passing smoke through the nose, there were smooth peppery notes. As time went on the smoke became smoother and maybe a little creamy.


There were no major changes in flavor during the second third. The smoke feel may have become a little thicker and creamier, and there was a woody component added to the earthiness. I can appreciate a simple flavor profile as long as it’s good, so let’s see how the last third went.


The last third had a dominant woody flavor. The earthiness was there but fell back in strength. The pepper kept a little punch, but had a sweet tinge to it. Life before, the smoke feel was somewhat thick and creamy.



This was a decent medium bodied cigar. You picky bastards may not care for it’s simple flavor profile. Factor in the price and I think it’s easily is worth it. For the budget minded, I could see adding this to your daily rotation. Give it a try.

Looking for something?

Use the form below to search the site:

Still not finding what you're looking for? Drop a comment on a post or contact us so we can take care of it!