Archive for February, 2012

New Cigar, Heart month & Eviction by Frank Seltzer

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012
Pro Cigar 2012

Pro Cigar 2012

With Pro Cigar over, my guess last week on a new cigar being introduced was pretty close.  The Quesadas, who showed off their new factory, did add to their Q D’Etat line.  I knew they were smoking the first release, the Molotov, but I did not know that the newest one would be the Howitzer in a 6×60 format.  The Q D’Etat is a play on the term Coup D’Etat and the Quesadas have made an all Dominican limited cigar of 1,000 boxes for each size. The brand is designed to generate awareness for the Cigar Rights of America.   The Molotov has already sold out and the Howitzer is scheduled for release around Memorial Day and has a suggested retail price of $9.50. The final one size will debut at IPCPR in August.

Happy Heart Month

I did my part for Heart Month (Feb) by having mine totally revamped.  I obviously made it or you wouldn’t be reading this.  But it has caused me to think even more about what our medical professionals tell us.

A recent study came out which found that smokers lie to doctors.  This comes as news?  The study founded by Legacy—an anti-smoking group so I am happy they spent money on this junk—says one in ten smokers are ashamed.  Really?  The study says smokers don’t like the stigma of smoking.  Well Legacy…whose fault it THAT?  The anti-smoking groups who seek to punish smokers.

Anyway, they say patients will not talk candidly to their health providers.  That is probably true but there is another reason.  When health professionals hear the word smoking, that’s about as far as they go.  “Well, there’s the cause.”  Remember when all you have is a hammer everything looks like a nail.

I know because years ago when I smoked cigarettes, I heard it from my doctors.  Further in an article back at the end of January where the numbers did not add up on lung cancer, they never let the idea of smoking go.

When the Lung Cancer Foundation of America reported 60 percent of new lung cancer cases were in non smokers…it included people who had quit 10, 20 or even 30 years ago.   Bottom line once a smoker….

Now let’s get look at how those statistics get reported.  When they were taking my medical and family history, they asked a lot of questions naturally, but these stood out.

Did anyone in my family suffer from heart disease?  Yes, my grandfather died in his 60s and my father in his 40s.  Next question….Did they smoke?  Well yes, my father smoked cigarettes and my grandfather cigars.

Moving on….wait a minute.  They both died in 1963 and EVERYONE smoked.  Watch the news and John Cameron Swayze had the Camel News Caravan on NBC…hello…. Mike Wallace was smoking…and Edward R. Murrow smoked.  Hell even Walter Cronkite had his pipe. Not to mention Johnny Carson.  See in their eyes, heart disease equals smoking (especially at Baylor Hospital here in Dallas which now refuses to hire smokers or even people on nicotine replacement therapy).  However, they never asked about the smoking habits of my mother who smoked a lot longer than my dad and she lived into her 90s with very few heart problems except as she got into her 80s with her blood pressure.  That did not fit their preconceived attitude about smoking and heart disease.

They picked on the wrong old lady

Finally speaking of people in their 90s,  Jane O’Grady may be kicked out of her apartment.  (Odds are she won’t but we’ll see)  O’Grady moved into the Lakes at Pointe West in Florida in 2005.  The Lakes is an independent and assisted living facility which at the time had no problem with Jane’s smoking.  Then, three years ago, the complex went non smoking, except for Jane O’Grady who continues to smoke in her apartment.  She has been a smoker for 77 years and does not plan on stopping.

The facility suggested she smoke outside which Jane tried until it got cold and she could not stand it so back inside she went.

According to the executive director of the complex in a brilliant media release:

“We cannot ignore the safety issues presented by this situation or the effect it has on our residents’ health and living environment.  Consequently she had made the decision that is is to be required to move out by eviction.”

She is 97 years old and they are talking about evicting her.  However, here is a line that warms the heart.

How did O’Grady react when she was told she would be evicted if she didn’t stop smoking in her apartment?

“I was absolutely stunned,” she said. “I didn’t see it coming at all.”

The first thing she did was call her son, Liam O’Grady, who is a federal judge in Virginia.

“I needed a shoulder to cry on,” she said. “He said, ‘Don’t worry, Mom, I’ll take care of it.’ “

Yeah good plan try to kick out the mother of a federal judge.  The matter is now between the lawyers wanna bet Jane gets to stay?

La Flor Dominicana Air Bender Maduro

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

A couple years ago, Ed and I reviewed the original Air Bender. I remember liking it. The other day, I noticed an interesting display of cigars on Ed’s counter. It turned out to be the Air Bender, but with a maduro wrapper. The blend is the same as the original. The only difference is the wrapper. I hear these are of limited availability as well. I picked some up, got a glass of water, and took some notes. Here’s how it went…


Wrapper: Brazilian Habano

Binder: Dominican Republic

Filler: Dominican Republic

Size: 6.5 x 54

Price: $9.50


Pre-Smoke & Construction:

The wrapper looked nice and had a dark oily surface. It was a little bumpy with small to medium veins, and I could find no flaws. The wrapper had a mild sweet woody smell, as did the foot. The draw was perfect, with a slight resistance. The pre-light flavor was sweet and cedary.

The burn required no corrections, and the ash held for over an inch before falling off.

1 La_Flor_Dominicana_Air_Bender_Maduro cigars


The first third started off earthy and peppery. A woody flavor joined pretty quickly. When passing smoke through the nose, there was a nice smooth pepper that had a nice zing to it. Very slight earthy notes were noticed in the background.

2 La_Flor_Dominicana_Air_Bender_Maduro cigars

The second third saw an addition of coffee. It matched the strength of the woody flavor. Some chocolaty bitterness was right behind it. The pepper remained smooth but started to pack a punch if I wasn’t careful when passing it through the nose. As I approached the end of this third, the sweetness increased, and I started to notice a tanginess.

3 La_Flor_Dominicana_Air_Bender_Maduro cigars

The last third was a combination of espresso, dark chocolate, and wood. Like before, the zingy pepper remained. The strength and body increased a bit, and the flavors were more in your face. Nothing subtle here. It should be noted, by the end of this third, I had quite a nicotine buzz going. Nothing crazy, but I was feelin it.

4 La_Flor_Dominicana_Air_Bender_Maduro cigars


This was a good full bodied, full strength cigar. The flavors, construction, and burn were all good. I can’t really compare it to the original air bender since I haven’t had one in so long. But based on it’s own merits, I enjoyed this cigar. It didn’t WOW me, but for a nice smooth full bodied smoke, this did the trick. I’d recommend it, and I think it was worth the $9.50 I spent.

Cigars: The Perception & the Reality by Tommy Zman

Friday, February 24th, 2012

The gods had blessed us here over the past few days in the northeast with temperatures exceedingly warmer than normal. And when the mercury moves upward, the cigars in my humidor move outward. A couple of nights ago I poured myself a glass of hearty cabernet and plopped on the front porch with a new friend of mine referred to as the JR Ultimate Bruto oscuro. Now I’ve loved the Ultimate line for as long as I can remember, but this new bomb of a cigar comes in at six inches long with a girthy 60 ring gauge, a chubby Honduran that packs a ton of seriously rich flavor. I love a dark Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper and this sumptuous smoke was just screaming out my name, “Smoke me, Zman, come on let’s do this thing, now smoke me!”

Picture 8As I stared at my leafy pal all ready to cut and light, my wife, who had snuck up behind me, said, “Are you talking to your cigar? I knew you were missing some important brain functions over the years, but now you’re talking to your cigars?

“”I always talk to my cigars,” I said in all truthfulness. “People talk to their plants and their pets, and I just happen to converse with the leaves I love.”

“ Converse?” she asked with one eyebrow fully raised, you know that look you get when someone is ready to hit the speed dial number for the insane asylum that they pre-programmed into the phone for just such an occasion. “You mean they talk back to you?

crazy_person_warning_mousepad-p144468674304630971z8xsj_400Whatta ya mean, do they talk back to me, I thought in my smoky brain as she shook her head with full intent on calling that number. Well, of course they talk to me, but at the risk of the local funny farm van showing up at the door, I played it on the cool side.

“Well, of course they don’t actually speak,” I assured her with the hopes she couldn’t tell that I was lying, I mean what cigar lover doesn’t hear their stogies talk to them? “What I meant is that their very essence is what speaks to me. All cigars are different and each one gives off its own wondrous and unique quality and personality.”

With a kind of glazed over stare on her face, it was as if Mrs. Z was dealing with a deranged human, and it’s hard to argue the fact that sometimes, I am indeed a bit “out there.”

“I’ll never understand the attraction,” she said with innocence and honesty. “You take a bunch of dried rolled up leaves, light them on fire, then suck hot smoke from one end until your clothes stink and let’s not even talk about your breath.

photoI guess for an outsider looking in, that is what it looks like, but you can bring anything down to the lowest common denominator if you want to. What is a juicy cheeseburger really but a ground up hunk of bovine carcass? While it is more than just a matter of perception, many who have never smoked a premium hand rolled cigar do look upon it as a disease-ridden, stanky old burning weed. And really, we brothers and sisters of the leaf don’t give a damn what people think of our precious sticks of joy, as long as they show some tolerance and respect for the pastime we love and hold so dearly. But the problem is that so many don’t – they look down upon us as low class pariah, when only a little more than a century ago only the rich and the aristocratic smoked fine cigars as it was considered an act of sophistication. Yes, Mr. Dylan, the times they are a changing.

Lucky for me, my wife wanted no part of smelling my putrid stink stick, um, I mean the sweet scent of my beefy Honduran treasure, as she went back into the house, leaving a call to the nut-hut 8oo number for another day. And I was left alone talking to my dark brown burning buddy once more, assuring my smoldering friend that I would indeed show him (her?) every ounce of my love and affection for the next 45 minutes of our lives together…

…Yeah… maybe somebody aught to call that number.

Til next week, stay smoky my friends,


JR Cigars Blog with the Zman

Sosa Underground

Friday, February 24th, 2012

Thanks to the folks at Sosa for sending me some various cigars. Keep in mind I have never smoked this cigar until doing this review. It’s a first impressions review. I have little information about this cigar company or it’s blends. I jumped at their offer to let me try some of their stuff. So without further ado, here is my first impression of the Sosa Underground.


Wrapper: Habano Nicaraguan

Binder: Nicaraguan

Filler: Nicaraguan

Size: 5.5 x 42

Price: Around $5.50


Pre-Smoke & Construction:

The wrapper was a little rugged looking, but had no real flaws that I could see. The smell of the wrapper and foot was earthy and woody. The cigar was very tightly rolled at the foot and head. This led to a draw that was a pretty tight. The pre-smoke flavor was earthy.

Thankfully, the tight draw loosened up a lot after about 1/4 of an inch. The ash held for under an inch, and I had to do a few minor burn corrections.

1 Sosa_Underground cigars


The first third had a nice peppery zing that didn’t burn at all. As I got further in, a dark sweet earthiness and wood kicked in. After exhaling, the sweet aftertaste stuck to the mouth and lips for some time. It was a simple but tasteful flavor profile.

2 Sosa_Underground cigars

The second third basically kept the same flavors as before. The difference was the strength picked up a notch. The smoke feel became thicker and somewhat creamy. It was very enjoyable.

3 Sosa_Underground cigars

The last third literally kept the same flavor profile as before. The body and strength increased and may have went in to the full range. There isn’t really anything more to add about the last third.

4 Sosa_Underground cigars


This was a solid medium to full bodied cigar. When the initial draws were tight, I was very discouraged and ready for a bad review. To my surprise, things came together quickly. You could say the flavors were simple and one dimensional. But the richness in delivery made up for it. Would I pay for it? Yes. I think it delivers at it’s price point. Thanks again to Sosa for letting me try this cigar.

Nice Ash – Cigar Reviews by Brian Massey

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012
JR Ultimate Bruto

JR Ultimate Bruto

This week our office was buzzing with talk of exciting new cigars, the J•R Ultimate Bruto (in both a natural and an oscuro wrapper leaf) and the El Rey Del Mundo Ronco. These smokes are 6.00 x 60, one of the largest ring gauges we carry. I keep asking myself, “What does this bigger size mean in terms of taste?” Below are my reviews of all three new cigars, along with a brief write-up on larger ring gauges.

J•R Ultimate Bruto Natural

Its construction is great and the wrapper has a nice sheen. Upon lighting, the first thing that hits you is that classic Ultimate taste of cedar. I found that the larger ring gauge makes way for a lighter, smoother smoke; this cigar doesn’t burn as hot and, as a result, the body is not so upfront and full. When you smoke the Bruto, you really do feel like “the man,” and the monster size of it is a true statement to a love of cigars. Construction is superb and this thing burned perfectly smoothly the whole way through. Its ash is a beautiful white and the flavor profile is strong with cedar, cream, and nuts. If you’re looking for a nice change and an upgrade from the standard Ultimate, this is the cigar for you.

J•R Ultimate Bruto Oscuro

The maduro version of the new J·R Ultimate is also 6.00 x 60 and extremely dark and toothy. I prefer the maduro wrapper in the Ultimate line; to me it adds an additional dimension of flavor. With the bigger ring gauge, the cigar smokes a lot cooler and is less full-bodied upfront. Its flavors are amazing and comparable to those of any high-end boutique cigar currently on the market. With earthy notes and hints of cedar, nuts, and chocolate, the oscuro Bruto is truly a very dynamic smoke with flavors that change a lot due to the ring gauge; I believe there is more time for the cigar to blossom as you smoke it. Its construction is excellent and produced a super-strong white ash. The finish is top-notch and leaves you asking yourself why we waited so long to make a J·R Ultimate in this size.

El Rey Del Mundo Ronco


El Rey Del Mundo Ronco

This is a new size in the lineup of the Honduran version of the El Rey del Mundo brand, and, with a 60 ring, it’s a dramatic increase from ERdM’s second-largest cigar in a 54 ring. You can really tell that a lot of care was put into making this cigar: the Connecticut broadleaf wrapper is gorgeous with no flaws, and the cigar is heavy with a very dense feel to it.

Upon lighting, I am greeted with sweet, rustic notes and not one hint of youth. The flavor profile is that of a typical El Rey (but with a much cooler, smoother smoke that I would attribute to the larger ring gauge) and features a smooth, creamy woodiness followed by a nice nutty finish. Its burn was perfect, as was expected from the great construction, and it left a gorgeous white ash. Honduran cigars are known for having some serious body but because of this large ring gauge, this cigar is medium in body the whole way through. All in all, the Ronco is a great new size for this traditional brand, and I’m excited to hear smokers’ reactions upon trying it.

So, why are larger ring gauges so popular anyway?

Right now in the cigar industry, there is a trend toward larger-ringed cigars. I feel that maybe the smoking public is looking for something new and different, and there are always new shapes coming out, such as 54-rings with box-pressed figurados. The bigger ring is beneficial to the cigar and to the person smoking it. For one thing, when you walk around with a monster stogie, it’s empowering. “Look at this monster cigar I’m smoking,” you might think. “I’m not afraid! In fact, I’m enjoying it very much!” Americans… we do everything in excess, like super-size fries and “medium” soda cups that would be an XXL in other countries. So, naturally, our cigars would follow this trend.

What you might not know is that this 60-ring gauge is very good for the cigars’ flavors and quality. For instance, the larger ring allows the smoke to cool off as it funnels through the cigar before it hits your palate. When the smoke is cooler, a cigar’s flavors are easier for a smoker to distinguish and savor without feeling too much heat. A larger ring gauge also slows the burn down, allowing the cigar last longer; to me, that equals more enjoyment! So, before you dismiss this gauge size as being simply too large or daunting, just give it a go. After all, everything is worth trying once, and with the benefits a larger ring gauge offers, you may just find that it makes the cigar you love even better.

Pro Cigar and New Cigars by Frank Seltzer

Tuesday, February 21st, 2012
Pro Cigar 2012

Pro Cigar 2012

This week is the annual Pro Cigar festival in the Dominican Republic. This is only the second one I missed but I think I have a good excuse this time. Anyway, the event started Sunday with arrivals in La Romana and the famed Casa de Campo resort. Yesterday, attendees had the chance to play Pete Dye’s Dye Fore Golf Course (one of three including Teeth of the Dog and the Links), or go on an eco walk, or a Catamaran ride. Today, Tuesday, the attendees go see Tabaclera de Garcia, the one of the world’s largest cigar factories. It is home to Montecristo, H.Upmann, Romeo y Julieta and Trinidad among others.


VegaFina Sumum

VegaFina Sumum

There may be a new cigar making its debut at Pro Cigar. Altadis USA announced late last week that a new cigar was being made at Tabacalera de Garcia. It is a special edition to the VegaFina line called the Vega Fina Sumum Edicion Especial 2010 (sumum is latin for summit). The cigar is supposed to debut this month so my guess is the attendees at La Romana got the chance to sample it. The cigar is a 2010 vintage using Ecuadorian-grown Cuban-seed wrapper that is aged for 2 years. The Dominican binder along with the fillers from Nicaragua, Peru and The Dominican Republic are all aged 3 years. The Sumum comes in one size, 54 x 5 and has a suggested retail price of $6.75.

Up in Santiago, where everyone will be starting tonight, the Pro Cigar participants will spend the next three days visiting the fields of both Davidoff and General Cigar maker of La Gloria and Macanudo along with the factories of both aforementioned companies and the facilities of La Aurora and MATASA. They also will have the chance to visit Intetab—which grows, processes, packs and ships Dominican tobacco the world over. There also will be a tour of the Brugal Rum company, a rafting tour, a beach day or a Catamaran cruise.

What cigars will they be smoking in Santiago, I do not know for certain, one or two usually make a surprise visit like at last year’s pool party on Tuesday night – the Quesadas unveilled their Espana cigars –made for the Spanish market but very popular with the group.

(It became virtually impossible to find them after the first night as word spread about how tasty they were.)

Quesada Q D'etat

Quesada Q D'etat

I do know that Manolo Quesada and some friends were smoking the new Molotov under the Q d’etat which was announced in December. The Molotov figuarado is the first in the series released by the Quesadas to protest the unfair treatment of cigars. It is totally Dominican with a retail price of $7.95.

Later this week, Michael Herklots will, most likely, be unveilling his new cigar for New York’s Nat Sherman.

But there will be a lot more cigars. For the second time, Pro Cigar is handing out a small box of unknown cigars to be identified. Each cigar manufacturer blended up a special cigar named for the tobaccos if the Cibao region. Participants smoke these blends which are not available anywhere else and IF they can identify all of the blends with the manufacturers, they win an all expenses paid trip back to Pro Cigar next year.

Pro Cigar used to have an informal portion to the program which happened on Saturday when most people were heading home. A hard core group got together and played a hold-em tournament. This year, Friday’s lunch will be held up at Camp David Ranch, a cool 2000 feet above Santiago in the mountains. After lunch will be the Pro Cigar Charity Poker Tournament. With only a $100 buy in, the money goes to charity in addition to that raised from the auctions throughout the event (Hospicio San Vicente de Paul –a senior retirement home for low income elders—and the Voluntariado de Jesus con los Ninos—a non profit organization for ill children), the top winners of the tournament get some great prizes. Number one finisher gets a full paid trip back to Pro Cigar along with a special humidor filled with either limited edition cigars or special cigar blends not yet released.

In addition to all the cigars, tours and dinners there also is a lot of rum to drink. Says Manolo Quesada, if Pro Cigar makes a profit, people did not eat, drink or smoke enough!

The Sweet Smell of the Victory Cigar

Friday, February 17th, 2012

This past Wednesday night, my son’s high school hockey team, the Falcons of Jefferson Township, New Jersey, played a first round, single elimination game against local Mountain Lakes, who beat us convincingly, 6 – 0, to end the regular season of play, only a week ago. As I got ready to leave for the game, I cracked open the humidor and picked out a victory cigar, like I do for every game, but to tell you the truth, I 404624_309432459093108_100000790698422_777527_1074692889_ncouldn’t remember the last time I had lit up one of those kind of smokes. We were a “far below” average team this season and none of us parents expected anything more than a decent effort and an end to a very long season. But for some unknown reason that no one can explain, our boys apparently felt a bit different about things that night.

The game was for lack of a better term, completely insane, a roller coaster shooting match that saw the opposing Lakers take a 7 -6 lead with about a minute and thirty-five seconds to go in the game – just another heartbreak for the boys, and us parents, in a hard fought battle… or, was it? With 45 seconds left on the clock, the face off was deep in the other team’s end of the ice, and the coach pulled our goalie to give us an extra attacker. Now my son Tommy is a starting defenseman, and for good reason, as his 5’–10” inch, 195 lb frame works well for clearing forwards from in front of the home team’s cage. The kid had logged 23 minutes of ice time in this 45 minute game on the blue line, but this time, for this face off, coach moved him up on the wing with one intention only: get that big-ass burly Polish body straight to the net and in front of the Mt. Lakes goaltender.

The parents and student fans were stressed out, pacing around their seats, as my heart was pounding with no nails left to bite on either of my hands. We won the draw as the puck was sent to the left corner. A battle for the puck broke out between a scrum of several players, but somehow our forward ended up with possession. Standing at the blue line, my son’s buddy and defensive partner, Ryan was calling for the puck as Tommy was battling for position in front of the cage. As the seconds were ticking away, Ryan took the pass, walked in a few steps and unleashed a low wrist shot through a twisting maze of legs and torsos. Now hockey is a strange game of bounces and oftentimes that three-inch in diameter by one-inch thick hunk of vulcanized rubber can find it’s way through a stockpile of bodies – and this time was one of those times. As my boy was perched in front of the goaltender’s crease, somehow, some way, that black little biscuit found the blade of his stick, then like out of some scripted B movie, it found the back of the net and my boy had tied the game. The kids went crazy, the fans went nuts, and with 35 seconds left on the clock the thought of overtime had our emotions doing the lambada again. But as they say in those crazy As Seen on TV product commercials… “But WAIT, there’s more!”

Picture 2With just 25 seconds left in regulation time, the center ice face off went straight to Tommy, now back in his regular defensive position. He crossed the red line and cranked a slapshot that deflected off an opposing players skates and directly onto the stick of our leading scorer, Wade (once again, think predictably scripted, impossibly heroic B movie.) Well, like nothing I’ve ever seen, Wade just unleashed a one-timer blast that rocketed past the goalie to give us the lead only ten seconds after my son had scored. Everyone in Jefferson blue, from the ice on up went completely out of their minds as I was being fitted for a new straight jacket at that very moment. So as the story goes, (I swear, I didn’t find this tale somewhere and changed the names to make it sound good) we held them off for the final 25 seconds, giving Jefferson an upset victory that everyone will remember and cherish for a very long time.

As Tommy hopped onto the team bus with the boys acting as if they had won Lord Stanley’s Cup, I got into my car and then remembered something… only a few hours earlier I had placed that victory Picture 8cigar in the glove compartment, you know, just in case something ridiculously impossible like this might actually happen. It was one of my all-time faves, a La Gloria Cubana Serie R maduro, a luscious premium stick that was about to be my best buddy in the world for the 40-minute ride home. Guys, if you’re going to celebrate, you had better do it in style, and man oh man, was I ever styling!

The following morning I told my kid I’d let him sleep a little extra, we’d get some breakfast sandwiches, and I’d drive him to school in a hero’s fashion. When he got in the car, he turned to me with a scrunched up nose and said, “Man, dad, this car completely stinks!” I laughed, knowing that it did indeed reek like a Honduran factory, then turned my head to him and said, “Son, THAT right there is the smell of sweet victory.”

Stay Smoky My friends,


JR Cigars Blog with the Zman

Alec Bradley Black Market

Friday, February 17th, 2012

I picked up the Black Market at a local shop. Unfortunately they only had one size, so I was stuck with buying a couple of the Gordo’s. I always keep my eye on Alec Bradley. They make one of my favorite cigars, the Tempus. So with a glass of water, I got to smoking the Alec Bradley Black Market.


Wrapper: Nicaragua

Binder: Sumatra

Filler: Panama, Honduras

Size: Gordo 6 x 60

Price: Around $8.00


Pre-Smoke & Construction:

The wrapper had a nice velvety appearance, with only a couple medium sized veins. The smell of the wrapper had a barn yard smell, and the foot was more earthy and woody. The cigar was rock solidly packed with tobacco. As a result, the draw was way too tight. The pre-light draw flavor was sweet.

The ash held for around an inch or more, and the burn required a couple small corrections. The tight draw really got on my nerves. At the half way point, it loosened up a bit but was still a distraction. The other one I smoked did not have this issue.

1 Alec_Bradley_Black_Market cigars


The initial puffs of the first third was a simple earthiness. Through the nose was an easy pepper. A rich woodiness developed after about an inch. There was an interesting tang that I couldn’t put my finger on. Fruity perhaps? It was so mild I never figured it out.

2 Alec_Bradley_Black_Market cigars

The second third had a pleasant turn of events. The cigar woke up when comparing it to the dull first third. The pepper livened up and had a nice easy zing. The earthy and woody flavors combined nicely. That tang I mentioned before remained in the background and was elusive.

3 Alec_Bradley_Black_Market cigars

The last third didn’t change at all in terms of flavor. The body and strength crept up to the upper medium to lower full range. That’s about it.

4 Alec_Bradley_Black_Market cigars


This was an OK medium to full bodied cigar. I guess Alec Bradley has me spoiled with the Tempus. The Black Market doesn’t even come close. But, this isn’t supposed to be a comparison. I would be curious to try this in a different size. This large size didn’t seem to fit. It is too one dimensional for my taste.

St.Pete Cigar Smoker Event Feb.17, 2012

Friday, February 17th, 2012

JoyaDNicAntDarkCorojoElMartilloRightIf your in the area on Friday, February 17th, stop by       St. Pete Cigar.

Drew Estate and Joya De Nicaragua will be the guests.

The Drew Estate Undercrown and Joya De Nicaragua Antano Dark Corojo will be featured.

As always, if you’re a fan of Acid cigars, they will be available too.

The event starts at 5:30 and ends at 8:30. There will be raffles, food, door prizes and one day only deals. Stop by, I’ll be there for most of the night.










Support your local brick and mortar!

Happy VD by Frank Seltzer

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

Well Valentine’s Day to be specific. I will be spending mine with my wife, thankfully, having made it through open heart surgery on the 3rd. I got 4 bypasses and a new aortic valve. The one thing is I am having a very difficult time reading and typing. I am told it is the meds I am on so I hope this moves out soon. I apologize for any typos especially in this one.

Ok, it is Valentine’s Day, and unlike Tommy, I am one who tries to find ways to keep peace in the household. So the question becomes, we KNOW this is a Hallmark Holiday. We hate it. YET we get to spend most of the rest of the year buying cigars and stuff for ourselves so what you you get the Spousal unit or SO…and how much should you spend. Fortunately for us, all the heavy lifting has been done by one of our founding fathers. Steve Saka. This was done back in the 90s. Here it goes:

Marital Bliss Calculator By: Steve Saka


Let me explain how this works…((ACP + SCP/4)/YM) + 15% = GFW

Above is the SECRET formula for keeping your wife sated regarding your cigar purchases. Here are the details:

ACP = accountable cigar purchases – these are the purchases that your wife knows about in full such as purchases you made in her presence, ones with a credit card trail, etc.

SCP = secret cigar purchases – these are the purchases that you manage to sneak in under her dollar sensing radar. Cash only, no bags, she never sees them enter the domicile – you know the drill.

YM = years married

GFW = Gifts for Wife

First step is to total the value of the ACP with a 1/4th of the SCP. Why even claim a fourth of the SCP? For two reasons, one your wife is no idiot, and she knows damn well that you are buying cigars behind her back so it is best to admit to a 1/4 of the real number outright as a sign of good faith. Also it is an excellent decoy to prevent her from investigating deeper – trust me on this you don’t want her to pull out CA and start totaling the retail value of your collection from the dollar marks listed in the rating section!

Now take that number and divided it by the years married, as a newlywed she is getting a hell of a return, but it will diminish quickly over the years. Ask her about this concept, I am pretty sure she will agree.

Finally add 15% to the total. Why? Cause you are really a good guy, and you want to be fair. :>

So lets see this in action for a 3K a year cigar habit after 3 years of marriage:

$1,800.00 ACP + $1,200.00 SCP / 4 = $2,100.00 / 3 = $ 700.00 + 15% = $805.00 GFW

Basically to keep your lovely wife at bay you must buy her $805.00 worth of extra non-holiday no-strings attached gifts during the course of the year. This will keep her from ripping your head off regarding your cigar purchases. Now I know this seems pretty steep, but keep in mind once you are married twelve years the number drops to a measly $201.25. Trust me my friend this will be the best money ever spent – the formula WORKS!

As Saka noted these are for non holiday gifts, but still you could begin today just to be safe.

Sanity in Indy

JAWS Superbowl party Indy 2012

JAWS Superbowl party Indy 2012

General Cigar turned out quite a few parties in Indianpolis for the Superbowl. One of the biggest was Ron Jaworski’s Jaws Cigar party featuring the CAO OSA SOL and the LaGloria Cubanas Artesanos Retro Especiale . The event was held at Nicly Blaine’s cigar bar and raised money for Jaws Youth Playbook Foundation and the local Gleaners food bank in Indianapolis. It was nice the charity event was held inside because Indianapolis city council had voted for an expansion of the city’s smoking ban just before the Super Bowl. Last last week, Indianapolis mayor Greg Ballard vetoed the measure. You take the victories where you can.

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