Archive for July, 2018

The Gentleman’s Guide to Smoking a Fine Cigar

Monday, July 30th, 2018

Some of the most talented and renowned gentlemen in the world enjoyed a lifelong relationship with their cigars. So much so, the enduring image of these men still features a cigar hanging from their mouth.

Sir Winston Churchill, Groucho Marx, John F. Kennedy and Babe Ruth knew how to smoke a cigar with style and panache — and they did it with an effortless elegance. In fact, legendary British Prime Minister Churchill has inspired many cigars over the years that bear both his name and his image, including the Davidoff Winston Churchill.

By brushing up on the basics and practicing regularly, you can smoke a fine cigar like these exceptional gentlemen once did.

Buy the Right Cigar

The process starts with the right purchase. A great smoking experience requires a quality cigar, so you need to know what to look for. Of course, you can buy one of the world’s most respected brands with a degree of confidence. These include the likes of JR, Montecristo and Romeo y Julieta (a particular favorite of Winston Churchill’s).

However, you need to know that the cigars you’re buying have been well looked after. Buy your cigars from specialist tobacconists — who know how to store and care for them properly.

Start When You’re Alone and Relaxed

The famous people in history renowned for their cigar smoking made it look effortless. Their cigars looked like a permanent appendage, and gave these formidable men a certain gravitas. But they perfected the art of smoking cigars over many years — usually in private.

Take your more comfortable seat, and try to block out the rest of the world for a few minutes. Pick up your cigar, and inspect it for imperfections. Once you’re happy you have a quality product in your hand, smell it. A great cigar has an unmistakable scent. If yours hasn’t, there’s probably something wrong with it.

Cut Your Cigar

Every gentleman cigar smoker has his own cutter. Some receive their cutter from their father or grandfather, while others have an extensive collection. Choose a cutter that looks stylish, and gets used to keeping it on your person at all times.

Most cigar smokers now use a simple guillotine cutter, which is effective and inexpensive. Exactly how much you need to cut off depends on the cigar. You need to remove enough to get a good draw, but remove too much and the cigar will fall apart. Cutting perfectly and in various environments takes practice. But the easiest way is usually to use the edge of a table — with the cutting end of the cutting hanging over it. Insert the end of the cigar into the cutting hole, and slice it off.

Lighting a Cigar

Try not to use cheap cigarette lighters to light your cigars. Not only do they spoil the image you’re trying to create, the fluid used in them can affect the flavor of the cigar. Always use a match or a butane torch lighter to light your cigar.

Lighting a cigar while it’s perched in your mouth can look sophisticated and effortless, but some smokers believe it makes the cigar too hot. Hold your cigar a foot or so away from your body, and light it as evenly as you can.


The more you smoke cigars, the more you’ll feel comfortable with them. You’ll eventually develop your own smoking style. You might, for example, prefer to smoke cigars with your favorite whiskey. Or you may prefer an after-dinner cigar with coffee.

The only thing you need to remember is not to inhale like you would with a cigarette. Take your time with it, and don’t feel you have to get your money’s worth before it burns out. Cigars are designed to burn slowly, so savor the experience and smoke at your own pace.

Finally, don’t crush your cigar like a cheap cigarette when you’re finished with it. Lay it on your ashtray, and it will slowly burn out on its own.

Over time, you will naturally develop your own style and routine. As long as you have quality cigars

The History of Cigars: From Ancient Times to the Modern Humidor

Friday, July 27th, 2018

Cigar smokers today can choose from a vast selection of premium cigars sourced from all over the world. However, it has taken more than 1,000 years for cigars to evolve to where they are today. Here’s what you should know about the history of the cigars in your humidor.

The First Cigars

Precisely when cigars were invented is unknown. What is certain, though, is that native tribes in Central America were smoking primitive cigars for many centuries before Europeans arrived. The earliest known image of a cigar appears on a Mayan pot dated to the 10th century, but it’s entirely possible that the native peoples of Central America had already been smoking them for some time before that. The Mayan word for the act of smoking, sikar, may have also been passed on to Spanish explorers and adapted into the Spanish word cigarro.

Cigars Reach Europe

When Christopher Columbus first visited Cuba in 1492, he observed the natives smoking primitive cigars similar to the ones smoked by the Maya. Columbus would go on to introduce tobacco to Europe, where smoking was initially met with disdain. Over time, though, the Spanish and other Europeans would begin to enjoy smoking tobacco leaves.

As tobacco from the New World became increasingly available, small cigar-making workshops in Spain started to emerge. The modern cigar is generally dated to the early 18th century, by which time tobacco consumption was extremely popular. The cigar industry would undergo a massive change in 1758, when the world’s first tobacco processing factory opened its doors in Seville, Spain. This factory, which was controlled by the Spanish monarchy, marks the birth of the modern cigar industry.

The Cigar Industry Grows and Matures in Cuba

As demand for cigars grew in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, production in Spain struggled to keep up. As a result, the cigar industry found a new home in the Spanish colony of Cuba, where Columbus had first witnessed natives smoking early cigars. Cuba’s climate was perfect for growing tobacco, and the island was soon the cigar manufacturing capital of the world. During the 19th century, many cigar companies were founded on the island, including a few that are still popular with cigar lovers today. Punch, for example, got its start in Cuba in 1840. This period also saw the cigar industry branch out into nearby Florida, particularly the cities of Key West and Tampa.

Cigars Become a Status Symbol

Though cigars have always been a luxury, the 19th and early 20th centuries saw them become symbols of wealth and status. The expense of importing them from Cuba made frequent cigar smoking a pastime of the rich, who could afford as many cigars as they wanted. Since that time, cigars have been widely associated with wealth and success in the business world.

Cigars in the Last Century

Cigars were at the height of their popularity in the early to mid 20th century. Even in England, where smoking had been stigmatized under Queen Victoria, cigars were made more acceptable when a newly-crowned Edward VII famously said “Gentlemen, you may smoke” to his guests after a dinner event. By 1960, Americans alone would consume about 7 billion cigars annually.

Nevertheless, the popularity of cigars did begin to fade in the second half of the 20th century. Sales declined significantly going into the 1980s. In the early 1990s, though, a global cigar boom began that produced the industry as it exists today. Demand for cigars skyrocketed, creating pressure to increase supply. It was in this time that countries such as Nicaragua and Ecuador became major tobacco suppliers. Today, cigars are back in style, and modern aficionados are enjoying the plethora of new premium brands produced by the cigar boom of the 1990s.

Cigar Trends: Flavored Cigars

Thursday, July 26th, 2018

As per usual, the Millennial generation has once again served to be the catalyst for an interesting trend. This time, Millennials have taken to flavored cigars, making them become increasingly popular among people of all ages. That said, the following is a closer look at one of the latest trends for cigar smokers: flavored cigars.

Available in both machine-made and hand-rolled forms, flavored cigars are all the rage among those who enjoy smoking but also enjoy a variety of different sized cigars. Allowing smokers to simultaneously unwind and enjoy the aroma and taste a vast array of flavors, they are becoming wildly popular among adults and are even catching on with some older adults. Likened to smoking hookahs, the reason cigar trends are taking center stage is due to other similar trends presently permeating pop-culture.

More Info on the Cigar Trend

Younger smokers seem to be switching from big, bulkier cigars to their smaller, more slender counterparts, in favors of little cigars and cigarillos. Yet another reason for the popularity of flavored cigars, the smaller size allows for sampling multiple cigars at a time.

While there will always be a market for traditional cigar products, there’s a strong trend toward flavored cigars.

Brands to Buy

Are you considering trying some flavored cigars and need more information on which brands have the best flavors for your taste buds? Definitely consider the following:

  • Drew Estate – The genius company behind brands such as Acid (the Acid Blue Kuba Kuba is one of the most widely smoked flavored cigars in existence), Undercrown, and more, DE has lots to offer in terms of flavored cigars. For instance, Acid brand boldly fuses new school taste with old school flavor, offering a variety of cigars perfect for those looking to try something bold and different. Flavors include bold mixes such as Acid Krush Blue, which brings a bold mix of herbs and botanicals to create a uniquely bold, creamy flavor.
  • CAO Cigars – Another brand looking to take cigar smoking to the next level, this brand offers unique flavors such as Cherrybomb, Moontrance, and the ever popular, Eileen’s Dream.
  • Other Notable Brands – If you are looking for some fruit infused cigars as well as other unique combinations, check out the following brands: Thompson, Victor Sinclair, Cojimar, Panama Jack, Tatiana, Al Capone, Gurkha, 5 Vegas, and Oliva, among many others.

While traditional products promote a more old-school vibe of relaxation and freedom, newer, flavored product promote embracing novelty, and variety.



IPCPR: Rock Patel – Tavicusa

Monday, July 23rd, 2018

The 2018 IPCPR Tradeshow was a big showing for Rocky Patel.  He showcased several new releases including two new cigars in his Hamlet line and the return of the fan favorite known as the Old World Reserve.  However, there was one cigar that really caught our eye at the show, a cigar that pays tribute to the 10 years since Rocky built his legendary factory in Nicaragua.  It represents years of hard work, ingenuity, and creativity that has made Rocky Patel one of the biggest names in the cigar industry and takes its name from that legendary factory in the heart of Esteli, Nicaragua.

The Tavicusa is a stunning cigar hand rolled in the factory that bares its name.  It is crafted with aged tobaccos from the main growing regions of Nicaragua including Jalapa, Esteli, and Condega.  It is then cloaked in a remarkable San Andres maduro wrapper which adds in notes of dark chocolate and coffee.  Combined that with the zesty and sweet aroma from its Nicaraguan blend, and you get a spectacular medium to full bodied cigar with great construction and complex profile.

The Tavisuca represents the pinnacle of cigar manufacturing, being hand rolled at one of the leading and most innovative factory in the world.  When looking for the best, new cigars of 2018 make sure the Rocky Patel Tavicusa is at the top of your list.  Check out this and many more brand new cigars right here at JR Cigars.

IPCPR: AJ Fernandez – Bellas Artes Maduro

Monday, July 23rd, 2018

AJ Fernandez has been quite busy the past few years.  Not only does he have his own, name brand cigars, he has been doing a massive amount of work for other manufacturers as well.  He has several new releases with General, such as a new Ramon Allones and Punch, as well as Altadis USA with new Montecristo and Romeo Nicaraguan additions being announced at the 2018 IPCPR tradeshow.  This doesn’t even include his work with Foundation and Southern Draw, for which he is a major part of their manufacturing effort.  However, AJ has not forgotten his fan favorite lines and this year we are pleased to see a new addition to his beloved Bellas Artes line.

AJ announced the new Bellas Artes Maduro at the 2018 IPCPR tradeshow.  It is hand rolled at the legendary Tabacalera AJ Fernandez in the heart of Esteli Nicaragua.  It uses aged Nicaraguan filler tobaccos as well as a rich San Andres binder.  It is then cloaked in a spectacular Brazilian Mata Fina wrapper, which AJ does not normally use but felt was the perfect fit for this cigar.

It’s rich, powerful and almost perfectly constructed.  Each puff delivers a complex plethora of smoke with notes of dark chocolate espresso, and a delectable sweet spice.  This box pressed beauty showcases the versatility of AJ, using tobaccos he didn’t use to in order to create something new and exciting.

The 2018 IPCPR tradeshow has been a rollercoaster, with so many new and exciting cigars that it’s going to be hard to see which one would be my favorite.  However, its safe to assume that the new AJ Fernandez Bellas Artes Maduro is definitely going to be at the top of that list.  Check out this and all other new releases right here at JR Cigars.

IPCPR: My Father – La Gran Oferta

Monday, July 23rd, 2018

The 2018 IPCPR trade show showcased more new cigars than I can even keep track of.  So far, this has been one of the best years in recent memory for cigar releases.  From the new Liga Privada lines to the a slew of new, flavorful smokes from General Cigar, there was a lot of talk about which cigar is going to become the major fan favorite.  Amongst my group at the show, there was one cigar we just couldn’t get out of our minds.  That cigar is the newest release from the Garcia family and the team at My Father cigars.

The cigar is known as the My Father La Gran Oferta, which translates to the “the Great Offer”.  It is an absolutely exquisite smoke, hand rolled with the finest tobaccos in the world.  It starts out aged Nicaraguan filler and binder tobaccos plucked from the Garcia family farm in Esteli.  The finishing touch is an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper that is so flavorful, I don’t even know where to start.

The combination of aged tobaccos puts this cigar on par with anything I’ve smoked in the past few years, even some of the best Cuban cigars on the market.  It is complex yet subtle, with each layer playing its part.  It isn’t too strong, or too mellow, it is honestly as close to perfect as I’ve seen from a brand new cigar.

The Garcia family is amongst the best known and most beloved families in the cigar industry.  Along with Padron and Fuente, they have more highly rated cigars than any other manufacturer.  I can see the My Father La Gran Oferta not just being well received, but being the signature cigar of the year.  Check back right here at JR Cigars for more information s the newest cigars from the 2018 IPCPR trade show start to arrive.

IPCPR: The Crowned Heads – Court Reserve XVIII

Monday, July 23rd, 2018

Since 2011, Jon Huber and his team at the Crowned Heads have dazzled us with innovative cigars, enticing blends and a retro, Americana theme.  Each one of their releases, from their first cigar, the Four Kicks, to their highly sought after yearly release Las Calaveras, The Crowned Heads has risen to be one of the top producers of boutique cigars in the country.  At this years IPCPR trade show in Las Vegas, Jon, and his team unveiled their newest venture, a cigar that acts as a sign of appreciation to their devoted fan base.

The cigar is called the Crowned Heads Court Reserve XVIII.  Explaining the name choice in an official statement Jon stated “ “The genesis and inspiration of the company name ‘Crowned Heads’ was a far cry from anything ‘royal;’ however, over the years the Crowned Heads legion of supporters has been quietly and reverently referred to as our ‘Court’. By literal definition, a court is an extended royal household, which in some cases would be comprised of thousands of individuals. CHC Reserve was crafted specifically with a spirit of gratitude and humility towards those and for those that have supported Crowned Heads over the years.”

We have seen similar releases in recent years, such as the Room 101 Big Payback, which was essentially a high end smoke with a budget price as a reward to Matt Booths loyal customers.  The Court Reserve is hand crafted in the work renowned factory of Ernesto Carrillo.  It uses aged Nicaraguan filler tobacco along with an Ecuadorian binder and stunning Mexican San Andres wrapper.

This was a big year at the 2018 IPCPR show.  Some of the most exciting releases in years are heading to retailers soon, including the Crowned Heads Court Reserve XVIII.  Keep checking here at JR Cigars for updates and inventory information for all the newest cigar releases.

IPCPR: Drew Estate – Liga Privada H99 Connecticut Corojo

Monday, July 23rd, 2018

10 years ago, Drew Estate bestowed upon the cigar world one of the most popular and highest rated cigars in history.  The Liga Privada is no longer just a cigar line, but a brand name on its own.  Its symbolic lion logo can be seen on ashtrays, hats, cutters and even tattoos.  It has become a symbol of power, flavor and above all quality.  While we have seen additions such as the T52 and the little brother line, Undercrown, fans of the brand have been waiting in earnest for a new release under the Liga Privada flag.  Well, at this year’s IPCPR trade show, our prayers were answered.

Drew Estate has announced the release of the Liga Privada H99 Connecticut Corojo.  It is handcrafted with a blend of aged Honduran and Nicaraguan filler tobaccos.  It is held together with a bold and rich Mexican San Andres binder.  The finishing touch is a stunning Corojo wrapper grown in the heart of the Connecticut River Valley.

According to a press release from Drew Estate, the H99 will be featured in a single toro size for now, although more sizes are planned for later.  This rich blend of tobaccos promises to deliver a rich and complex blend that is spicy, rich and slightly sweet.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I can hardly wait for this cigar.  I have yet to be disappointed with any Liga Privada or Unico release.  Each one of this cigars has its spot in my regular rotation, and I’m willing to be the H99 will find its place right there as well.  Although a shipping date has not yet been announced, keep checking back here at JR Cigars for more updates and sales info on the brand new Drew Estate Liga Privada H99 Connecticut Corojo.

Top Cigar Releases From IPCPR 2018

Monday, July 23rd, 2018

I have been to several IPCPR tradeshows over my time in the cigar industry.  In the past few, it seemed to be entering a dark period.  With FDA Regulations looming, there was a dark cloud cast over the show.  Attendance was dwindling, the mood to become one of worry instead of excitement and new products were their but limited.  This year, however, saw a resounding return to form for the most anticipated event of the year for the cigar industry.  Not only was in lighter in mood, it also showcased some of the most anticipated releases I’ve seen in quite some time.

While many companies brought this thunder this year, first we have to talk about Drew Estate.  While the new Corona Viva sizes and the introduction of new cigarillos have been known for a few weeks, the company finally announced the release of two brand new lines for their Liga Privada brand.  First is the store only Liga Privada 10th Anniversary, celebrating more than a decade of success with their highest rated cigar.  Second, we have the Liga Privada H99, a new cigar that will feature a special grown Connecticut Corojo wrapper.  These cigars were certainly the talk of the town, with several articles and even shout outs from other manufacturers.

General Cigar saw one of the most impressive amounts of releases this year.  They are adding a new cigar to their CAO world edition with the introduction of the CAO Nicaragua.  They are taken a bolder approach with their heritage lines with the new Hoyo La Amistad Black and a redesigned Punch from AJ Fernandez known as the Punch Diablo.  Partagas, Macanudo and La Gloria Cubana are all receiving new releases as well, with amazing updated packaging and new enticing blends.

Altadis USA is also flexing quite a bit at this year’s shows.  We are seeing new editions in tow of their most popular Montecristo lines. We are getting a brand new Montecristo Artisan Series and a stunning new addition to the Montecristo Grupo de Maestro line.  We are also getting the first of a new Grupo de Maestro line, the H.Upmann Grupo de Maestro Connecticut, which we are all very excited about.

For the boutique, small batch aficionado, the 2018 IPCPR show unveiled a plethora of new and exciting cigars.  Nick Melillo and the team at Foundation is bringing a new Tabernacle to shelves, this time with a special Havana seed wrapper grown on Nicks personal farm in Connecticut.  Steve Saka showed up in style, showcasing a new line, the Sin Compromiso, and a slightly tweaked, stronger version of the Todos Las Dias known as Mas Fuerte.

Robert Caldwell brought three new editions of some of his best known cigars.  We are excited to be getting an Eastern Standard Habano, A Long Live the King Maduro and a tweaked version of the Anastasia.

Joya de Nicaragua Clasico

Friday, July 20th, 2018

Being not only the oldest cigar factory in Nicaragua but one of the oldest in the world, it is safe to say that Joya de Nicaragua is among the most knowledgeable and distinguished cigar manufacturers in the industry.  They have created some of our favorite full-bodied cigars such as the Antano and the brand new Joya Red.  They have gained quite the reputation for complexity, full strength, and intense flavor.  However, they began their journey more than 50 years ago with a much more mellow blend.

The Joya de Nicaragua Clasico was one of the first cigars to roll out of the factory and was among the favorites for politicians and White House officials.  While it was still manufactured for a while, Joya and Drew Estate are now releasing a revitalized version, that you will only be able to find here.

The Joya de Nicaragua Clasico uses aged Nicaraguan tobacco for the filler and binder.  Unlike many of the Joya releases, this blend uses certain strains of tobacco that are exceptionally mellow and smooth.  Combining this with a stunning Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper, this is a creamy, velvety smoke, perfect for your first cigar of the day.

While the Clasico has been around for years, Drew Estate and Joya have decided it is time to resurge the cigar, and we are glad we did.  With brand new packing and slightly tweaked blend, the Clasico is back and better than ever.

This new blend will no longer be available at any cigar store.  In fact, we have worked with both Joya and Drew Estate to offer exclusivity to our customers.  So if you are looking for a fresh take on an aged classic… enjoy the Joya de Nicaragua Clasico today at JR Cigars.

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