Author Archive

Introducing the Spectacular New Black Tie Cigar! By Steve Nathan

Thursday, July 11th, 2013

The New Black Tie Cigars

Just outside the city of Santiago, Dominican Republic, a mere 1,487 miles from Nutley, New Jersey (much farther if you’re driving), is the prestigious Carbonell factory. It is a small operation that produces cigars the old-fashioned way: small batches, long aging and meticulous care to assure that each and every cigar meets the classic old-world standard of excellence that comes from over a century of tobacco knowledge. Sound familiar? Well, the folks at Carbonell employ these principles of excellence found in all of those superb boutique cigars that are taking the industry by storm.


The mastermind behind this operation is Ramón Carbonell, a third-generation tobacco man who has been running this small operation since the mid-1990s, when the Cigar Boom was in full swing. If you know anything about this era, you know that it was a very risky time to be producing cigars. Everybody and his uncle were grabbing any piece of land that could grow cigar leaf to capitalize on the shortage of premium smokes. Lots of these self-appointed entrepreneurs sold subpar crap at astronomical prices and, needless to say, most of these fly-by-night operations vanished as quickly as they’d appeared. Being one of the only surviving independent manufacturers in what I like to call the “dog-rocket era” is a testimonial to Ramón’s commitment to producing some of the finest cigars in the world! If Carbonell could produce such top-notch smokes in that tumultuous era of crummy sticks, just imagine the quality of his cigars today!


Black Tie Cigars

This brings me to his latest creation. It is called Black Tie and, let me tell you folks, I was fortunate enough to smoke a bunch of these in all of the sizes available… and I can unequivocally say that they are delicious!


The words “black tie” conjure images of an evening of elegance, opulence and sophistication that can only be marred by the wife of a famous congressman who has one too many whiskey sours and does a Greg Louganis face-plant into the punch bowl. But once again (as usual) I digress…


Ramón who has overseen the production of thousands of cigars in the last two decades, proudly admits that working on the Black Tie project was a highlight of his distinguished career! Okay, already, enough of the hype; I’m sure you guys are itching to find out what makes this cigar so great… so I’m gonna tell ya!


A gorgeous, oily, rare Brazilian wrapper covers a Sumatra binder and the finest Dominican tobaccos handpicked by Ramón himself (actually his cousin Ernie was going to help but was sidelined with a groin injury at the last moment). The result offers the connoisseur a smoke with a savory spice that is accentuated with sweet, nutty undertones and a lush earthiness that highlights the cigar’s many complex and delightful nuances. While this new offering is fuller in body in flavor, its aging, blending and flawless construction offer an easy draw and delectable aroma that fans of milder cigars will surely appreciate. All in all, it’s truly a classy cigar for everyone.


In short, this is one helluva smoke and the presentation makes it the perfect gift for the best man at your wedding, a go-to cigar for any bachelor party, or the perfect cigar to hand out at your next formal event. So make some room in your humidor because the new Black Tie will definitely be at the top of your smoking list!

Catalog Deal

Congratulations Zman!

Tuesday, June 4th, 2013

All of us folks at JR would like to take a moment to congratulate Tommy (Zman) Zarzecki on his new position as the official spokesman for Famous Smoke Shop.

We wish you good luck… And like you always say …. Just keep it real! 

Famous Zman

One of many from the archives…

Friday, February 22nd, 2013

JRCigar Zman


Now I’ve got to say that one of the things that gets my heart throbbing is the arrival of new cigars at my place of premium tobacco purchase. And nothing gets me giddier than our very own site, JR, as there is an absolute plethora of new brands, new blends, and smiling, happy faces… especially mine!





JR Cigars Blog with the Zman


Thursday, May 9th, 2013

Admit it, aren’t you getting just a little sick of crowding into a banquet hall in some fancy shmancy hotel every year that is jam-packed with vendors handing out their smallest sized cigars and then waiting on a painfully long line just to sample some gourmet French appetizer on a little decorative plate prepared by a chef named Marcel?


Well my fellow herfers and herfettes, the great town of Burlington, N.C the official home of great fried chicken, crappy pizza and most importantly JR Cigars, the World’s Largest Cigar Store, is proud to announce the best dang Cigar Bash on the planet! And we’re calling this cigarapaloozza J.R’s Smokin’ in the Carolinas. So round up all of your buddies or just come alone if you still live in the basement with your parents.


This first-time extravaganza is being held on Saturday June 8th. Start preparing for a 5-hour event that you and your buddies will be talking about for the rest of your life! (Or at least until the beer wears off) cause JR is throwing the coolest cigar bash that the Carolinas have ever seen.


Yes we are offering this special day in honor of you, the most loyal customers on the planet! And we are hoping you all show up because you’re in for one heck of a treat. You my friends will be getting a humungous bag of swag loaded with cigars and more. And while you’re puffing away on all them seegars you will also be stuffing your kissers with an unbelievable BBQ spread that would choke a horse . And did I mention Ice-cold beer… All day long! Hey, what goes better with BBQ and stogies? Nothing!


But that ain’t all folks.. You will actually get to meet and shake hands with some of the cigar industries big guns from Altadis USA, General Cigar, Ashton, Davidoff, Camacho, Nat Sherman, Miami Cigar, Rocky raccoon… Sorry, I mean Rocky Patel (I’m getting a little excited here!), Alec Bradley, Drew Estate, Perdomo, Oliva, Harry Duckworth… Harry Who? That’s the guy that lives in his parent’s basement. And this is just to name a few!


And if the cigars, grub and suds ain’t enough to keep you happy… We’ll also be holding a cigar-rolling contest, a dunk tank, and a very informative cigar training class that’ll be running simultaneously throughout the day, a chance to feel like McQueen, Brando or Eric Von Zippa with the super cool motorcycle simulator from Ray Price Triumph of Raleigh!


Plus we’re offering a tour of our J.R Warehouse, “The World’s Largest Humidor”! And if you’ve never seen it before, this friggin humidor is the size of Romania! It just keeps getting better folks… How’s about pipe trunk sale, Hooters, and famous regional wines from Iron Gate and Hinnant vineyards. You’ll get all this and more for only $114.95!


What?!? You want more? You’re killing us! But you guys deserve it, so we’re sending our Big Kahunas to bribe, cajole and browbeat even more vendors into bringing the best cigars, the greatest food and enough eye candy to make your neck stiff for weeks! (Warning if your neck stays stiff for longer than four hours, consult your doctor immediately!) We’re keepin’ this event personal, so tickets are limited. And so far the response has been overwhelming so grab some tickets now!

Get Your Tickets Now!


Golfing and Cigar Smoking for Dummies by Steve Nathan

Friday, April 19th, 2013

Last weekend, I turned on the TV just for some background noise while I scoured through useless websites on my laptop and it just so happens that the Masters Tournament was on. I understand that this is the prestigious event where the winner gets an ugly green polyester sport coat. Really? If I want to look like my father in all those douchey family Polaroids from the 1960s, I can just drive to Kmart and buy the same jacket without setting foot on a golf course!

But as I read about how to repair a burn hole in my carpet (which I acquired from an evening of reckless cigar smoking), I found it soothing to listen to the subdued announcers whisper cute words like “bogie” and “birdie.”

I guess you can tell by now that I really do not enjoy the sport of golf. Of course, most of you will disagree, as golf is an enormously popular sport as well as being the traditional rite of passage among men who need a special day to bond with each other and talk about how they would like to shtup the head cashier at Pathmark. (Okay, I admit it, that’s just my problem and it has nothing to do with golf. Sorry!) Not to mention that a healthy round of golf is the best way to avoid the dreaded “honey-do” list, or spend the day with the wifey looking for the perfect shower curtain.

From my perspective, it just seems like such an effort in futility—driving a cart 19 miles to hit a little ball into a hole. But I do respect the sport; in fact, it is hard as hell! I even tried playing a few times (actually for about 20 minutes) and with a swing that the Bambino would admire, I still only managed to drive the ball six inches past my left foot!

So why in the hell am I writing about golf? Because I know most of you folks love it. Plus it has some very distinct advantages, the main one being that it is probably the only sport that you can participate in while simultaneously enjoying a great cigar (at least on the courses that still allow it, that is), although I hear that lawn darts and horseshoes are also perfect venues for gnawing on a stogie… but you don’t get to drive a funny cart and wear a bright-orange polo shirt with matching plaid pants. So, being the liberal-minded fellow I am, I thought I would point out what I feel may be the beauty of this great game even though a cocker spaniel could easily figure out that I am undeniably the worst person on the planet to write about golfing since I only played the for that 20 minutes and the only club that I am familiar with is the Elks. (Wow, that joke really sucked, even for me.)

Time: Look, golf ain’t exactly football. There’s no clock… although it would be interesting if another group of golfers could tackle you before you get to the next hole (which would drastically increase the TV audience). So with no time clock and 732 miles of grass, sand and lakes, you have… what? About 10 hours to enjoy at least three quality smokes before you hit the 19th hole?

Outdoors: This one is pretty much self-explanatory: You’re outside and, for the most part, not bound by those repugnant no-smoking laws. So you can take in the scenic grass (“rough”), the sand (“bunkers”) and calming ponds (“hazards”). By the way, I Googled all these terms so I wouldn’t look like a total chump.

And most importantly, you can use this occasion to drink a shitload of beer and talk about the head teller at a certain bank in Old Bridge, NJ, who has a set of knockers to die for! (Oy, that’s just me again; I better lower my dose of Cialis. Speaking of Cialis, when the moment arises, what’s the point of sitting in separate bathtubs in the woods? Wow, did I digress. Anyway…)

Cigars, Cigars, Cigars: Okay, duh… this is the only perk of playing golf that I know about. Considering that you will be lingering on that course for about the same time it would take me to walk from my house to Delaware, this is your opportunity to fire up a big-ass cigar that even the late Ernie Kovacs would marvel at. But, please, be forewarned: If you fire up a powerhouse Nicaraguan when you tee off at 7:00am with just a bowl of Wheaties in your belly, you stand an excellent chance of blowing chunks on those silly spiked shoes with the black tassels that you paid a fortune for. So before you grab your balls, know what strength you can handle when the sun is rising. I recommend starting out mild and then, five hours and 16 miles later when you are on your fifth hole and sixth beer, you can smoke that massive double-maduro five-alarm monster… and you won’t even feel it!

How many cigars? That’s totally up to you but unless you’re a real pro with an ugly green Kmart jacket, you can never totally count on having a great game. But I guarantee that you will always have a great day on the links while smoking your beloved cigar (or cigars, plural, as the case may be).

In summary, it’s always a great experience spending a beautiful spring day on the golf course enjoying great cigars with good friends. If nothing else, it beats a boring day parked in front of the boob tube or having your wife suddenly barge into the bathroom while you are primping in front of the vanity mirror wearing her strapless blue-chiffon evening gown. Trust me, that’s very embarrassing!

Strange Smoking Laws and funny Animal Tricks… Huh? by Steve Nathan

Thursday, April 4th, 2013


Monkey drinking beer

As more and more states adopt repugnant tobacco taxes in a thoughtless (and most likely devastating) attempt to destroy our beloved cigar industry, they are also further kicking us in proverbial nut-sack by creating laws that prohibit smoking in public places such as parks, beaches, bars, restaurants and, in some extreme cases, even your own backyard! But bizarre laws are a part of our worldly culture; many were created several hundred years ago but never taken off the books. I’ll bet you didn’t know that in the state of Florida, you’re breaking the law if you keep a hippo on the roof of a building. And how’s about this one from Maryland: You’re breaking the law if you take a lion to the movies with you unless the theatre is showing Brokeback Mountain, which seems to relax them. And in Idaho, you’re breaking the law if your horse eats a fire hydrant. “Trigger, be a good boy while daddy goes into Walgreens, and please don’t eat that fire hydrant!”

In Colorado, you’re breaking the law if you throw a missile at a car. Let’s all be honest, folks, didn’t you ever wish you had a missile when you are running late for work and are stuck behind an elderly man in his Buick La Sabre with a “Proud Grandpa” bumper sticker driving 25mph in the fast lane?

There is even a law in Champaign, Illinois, that (understandably) makes it illegal for someone to pee in the mouth of his next-door neighbor. “Hey Harry, turn down that blasted TV or I’ll piss in your mouth!”

Well, these same senseless laws are copiously applied to the tobacco industry. Recently, they’ve become more obvious; our whole world is becoming one big giant “No Smoking” sign. Not limited to any one state or any one country, strange smoking laws can be found almost anywhere. So, fellow “bloglodites,” let’s take a look at some of the most ridiculous smoking laws on our planet. And what better place to start then my beloved home state of New Jersey, where we are blessed with 10 months of slush, snow and rain followed by eight weeks of heat and humidity that can rival downtown Cambodia.

While a sign reading “Do Not Feed the Animals” is common in most zoos, New Jersey takes this concept one step further by passing a law that prohibits people from giving local zoo animals cigars or whiskey. But, being that cigars and whiskey are the only specifics named, it leads one to wonder if providing the animals with a nice cold Yuengling and a carton of Lucky Strikes would be frowned upon? I know we are talking about the Garden State, but since The Big Apple is right across the pond so to speak, I must mention this: On a recent trip to the Bronx Zoo, the Mayor noticed that the hippos were very overweight so he has passed a law that they can only have an eight-ounce cup of Mountain Dew with their leaves and nuts. (I promise that was the last New York giant soda joke from me. I just couldn’t resist!)

On to Indiana, then. In South Bend, it is illegal to make a monkey smoke a cigarette. This law goes back to 1924 when a monkey named Gary was found guilty of the crime of smoking a cigarette and forced to pay a fine of $25, as well as trial costs. Luckily, this primate caught the attention of Koko, Gordo and Bubbles, the finest team of monkey attorneys in the state of Indiana, and they were able to prove that he was actually smoking a De Nobli Toscani. After a grueling trial, Gary was acquitted of all charges.

The cozy little coastal town of Newport, Rhode Island, has a law that prohibits people from smoking a pipe after sunset… though any other time is fine! Not knowing this obscure law, I learned the hard way: In 1979, while attending an outdoor Iron Maiden concert, I decided right after the first set, which happened to be well past sunset, to smoke a bowl of Dunhill Nightcap in my favorite Brebbia pipe. Before I knew what hit me I was surrounded by three cops and then handcuffed and taken to the Newport police station! Deathly scared of facing prison time, I tried to convince the desk sergeant that I was just smoking weed like everyone else at the concert. The lead detective summoned a kid named Ernie, who was a salesman at the Pipe World three blocks from the station house, to immediately come down to the interrogation room, where he confirmed that it was indeed the dreaded pipe tobacco. I was subsequently issued a summons for $4.95 and ordered never to return to Newport after sundown.

In the Missouri town of Marceline, minors are allowed to purchase rolling papers and tobacco, but they aren’t allowed to purchase lighters. For 17 straight years after this law was enacted, all that these poor kids could do was to look at their stash longingly with no way to fire it up. Then, in 1976, history was made in little Marceline when a local stoner who went by the name of “Numbnutz” came up with a brilliant idea while cow tipping with a bunch of his nicotine starved friends: “Yo, dudes… let’s use matches!”

Just when you think you’ve heard it all in regards to rules, there is a law in Zion, Illinois, that prohibits owners from giving a lit cigar to any of their domesticated animals. While the law specifically names dogs and cats, it surely applies to any kind of pet such as hamsters, ferrets and goldfish. None of these pets are allowed to smoke cigars, no matter how much they beg and plead. After lying dormant for years, this law was strictly enforced in the spring of 2007 when Jake Vonderhoof and his Yorkshire terrier, Gretchen, were arrested; both were smoking a Punch Café Royal. Vanderhoof is currently serving 10 years at Leavenworth and Gretchen was adopted by a nonsmoking Mormon family in Provo, Utah.

And now for shits and giggles, let’s travel the globe for some more fun-filled tobacco laws.

Australia has a law that bans children from purchasing cigars or cigarettes. This isn’t particularly strange, as many countries have similar and very understandable regulations. However, Australia stands out because children, though they can’t purchase tobacco, are legally allowed to consume it. As long as they get an adult to buy it for them, Australian children are freely allowed to smoke a cigar in front of a policeman, a parent, a teacher or even a kangaroo. Surprisingly though, many kangaroos do not tolerate the smell of cigar smoke. On a recent trip to the Australian Outback, (and I certainly do not condone underage smoking), I was thoroughly enjoying my J•R Ultimate No. 1 in Double Maduro on a particularly gorgeous day when I stumbled upon a kangaroo who asked me in a very rude manner to extinguish my smoke. “Excuse me,” I said, “we are outdoors and I have every right to smoke!” While rubbing her massive hooves in the sand, Mrs. Kangaroo replied, “Look, asshole, my kids can’t stand the smell. Now put it out if you want to keep your balls!” Needless to say, I begrudgingly honored her request.

In France, there even is a law that affects the most essential smoker’s accessory, the ashtray! Yep, your garden-variety ashtray in the land of cheese and wine is considered a deadly weapon. You must be thinking that this is because people can use ashtrays to hit others. Well, you can hurt anybody with just about anything blunt or heavy, so why the ashtray in particular? Okay, let me explain how this started by offering you all a little known fact that is even obscure in most history journals.


Tush Grab

Aristide Briand, a French statesman who was premier 11 times during from 1909 through 1929, was most famous for his accomplishments as foreign minister during the middle and late 1920s. He was hosting a dinner for Henri Philippe Fafoofnik, a renowned French entrepreneur and the inventor of the now famous loofah sponge. After dinner and far too many drinks, Briand and Fafoofnik retired to the study to enjoy a couple of fine Havana cigars and yet more booze. Toward the end of the evening, Briand’s wife, Sofia, entered the study to see if the men would care for some pastry. Abruptly and for no apparent reason other than total inebriation, Fafoofnik grabbed Madam Briand’s tush, prompting an angered Aristide to smash him over the head with a very heavy crystal ashtray. Fafoofnik suffered severe brain damage and spent the rest of his days at the Bicêtre (the Paris mental asylum for men) dressed in a long powder-blue evening gown and entertaining himself by talking to his sock puppet, Lester. Thus, from that tragic day on, in France the ashtray was deemed a weapon.

Well, that’s all for now and thank you for letting me waste your time. All of these laws are completely true. Only the names (and most of the facts) were changed to protect the innocent.

And always remember to smoke ’em if you got ’em. But be careful out there!

My Big fat Jewish Passover Blog by Steve Nathan

Sunday, March 24th, 2013

Moses Malone

For all of our Jewish cigar-smoking friends (which is about 99% of you), Monday at sundown down is the first night of the Passover holiday. And for eight crazy days, the Jewish people celebrate Passover as a commemoration of their liberation over 3,300 years ago by God from slavery in ancient Egypt and their birth as a nation under the leadership of Moses Malone, the legendary basketball Hall-of-Famer who played 19 years in the NBA. Wait! I’m confusing him with the original Moses (Charlton Heston)! Oy, I had a bad knish for lunch and I’m feeling a little verklempthere. Sorry!


Well, as I mentioned, it is estimated that 999 out of 1,000 Jewish men smoke cigars. Why, you ask? Because this gives them something to chew on while their yenta wives are nagging them for the Gold card so they can take the Caddy and go shopping at Bloomie’s




Oh, quit complaining! I know this is a stereotype, but I too am, as they say, “a member of the tribe,” so I have the right to make fun of my people… plus it’s fun! Some folks even call me a self-hating Jew because I poke fun at my peeps and I haven’t been to temple since my Bar Mitzvah. Actually, my parents took me one other time after I officially became a mensch(man). It was on a fateful Rosh Hashanah in 1970 when, right in the middle of the service, Abe Weintraub started passing wind until he cleared out all of aisle six (our aisle). Rumor has it that until his dying day, Abe swore it was the man sitting next to him.


So what the hell does this have to do with cigars? You want I should explain? Well, for one thing, Abe was a big Dutch Masters smoker, and secondly (have patience), I’m getting to the cigar part already. Jeez, you guys are driving me meshuggah (crazy)!




Let me give all you goyim (non-Jews) a brief rundown of the traditional spread that is celebrated on this holiday. The Passover Seder is a Jewish ritual feast that marks the beginning of the Jewish holiday of Passover, and is conducted on the evenings of the 14th day of Nisan (not to be confused with the company that makes the Altima and Sentra) in the Hebrew calendar, and on the 15th by traditionally observant Jews living outside of Israel or Bayonne, New Jersey. Why Bayonne? Who knows?

Seder customs include drinking four cups of wine, eating matzo and partaking of symbolic foods such as horseradish, apples, nuts and lamb (coincidentally, these are some of the exact same flavor notes found on most cigars rated by Cigar Aficionado!). All of these symbolic foods are elegantly and traditionally placed on the Passover Seder table. There is a lot more to this ritual custom, but this is a blog not Hebrew School and, honestly, that’s all I know. Don’t forget that, although I am very proud of my culture, I have not attended a Jewish service since that fateful day when Weintraub cut the cheese.


Anyway, the Seder is performed in much the same way by Jews all over the world (except, oddly enough, in Ethiopia, where the women retreat to the den to watch Jeopardy! and the men line up outside on the porch and do the Harlem Shake. Why? Once again, I don’t know).


As all lovers of the leaf will acknowledge, after a lip-smacking Seder and four glasses of Manischewitz wine (which, in my opinion, tastes like a mixture of prune juice and paint thinner), nothing cleanses the palate like a good cigar. So now, fellow landsman (that’s what we Jews call each other. Just Google it; I’m getting tired of explaining everything! Enough already), is the perfect time to get out the stun gun so you can pry your credit card out of your wife’s sweaty hands and place an order with J•R for some fine Passover cigars.


Oh, and a special thanks to the Alec Bradley Company, which has made a very limited-edition Passover cigar just like they did on St. Paddy’s day with the Filthy Hooligan. This one is called Filthy Bernstein and it’s a solid, earthy smoke with subtle hints of gefilte fish, lox and pickled herring. Hurry… because this cigar doesn’t really exist! So I lied, shoot me!


On a serious note, may you all have a wonderful and blessed holiday. Enjoy good food, family, friends and some fine cigars. Chag Pesach Sameach! Happy Passover from our family at J•R to yours.


Give Ireland Back To The Irish… Please! by Steve Nathan

Wednesday, March 20th, 2013

So, Sunday was St. Patrick’s day. Oh, what a glorious day for the Irish! As the saying goes, there are only two kinds of people in the world: the Irish and those with healthy livers.


Alright, calm down! I was only kidding; some of my best friends are Irish and not all of them are drunks. In fact, one of them only drinks a case of beer on the weekends. Sheesh, everybody is so politically correct these days!


And why the hell would you Tri-Staters want to spend the day in the Big Apple, crowded in like a herd of cattle stuffed behind police lines, watching the big parade and then navigating past the throngs of pimply white kids in green plastic hats puking up cheap whiskey all over Times Square to get back to your car or train?


The good folks in “Nawf Carolina,” where everyone has a friend named Bubba and even toddlers know how to drive

Filthy Hooligan Display

tractors, had a much more relaxing day at the World’s Largest Cigar Store because right here at good old J•R Cigars in the heart of County Alamance, from March 6 until St.Puketricks Day, March 17, we featured a fantastic deal on the Alec Bradley Cigar Company’s brand-new, limited-edition candela-wrapped Filthy Hooligan cigar, which is made with the same well-aged multination blend and double binder used in the extremely popular Black Market line.


This 6.00 x 50 cigar is finished with super-lush, super-green candela leaf straight from the renowned Plasencia farms in Nicaragua, which is just a short 5,034 miles from Dublin, Ireland! And with any purchase of these great cigars, we gave away all kinds of cool stuff like bottle openers, cutters, t-shirts, mugs, Irish hookers and lime -green Rascal scooters for our elderly clientele (actually, I’m not sure about the hookers and scooters; maybe I made that part up).


But for all of you that chose salty corned beef and green beer over a trip to J•R, not to worry; we still have plenty of these Filthy Hooligan cigars in stock sans holiday swag. And whatever you think about candela (green) cigars (and I’m sure it somehow correlates to the taste of raw lettuce or lawnmower clippings), I ask that you give these a try. The nice folks at Alec Bradley have put the long-forgotten green stick (again I use that stupid word) back on the map with these yummy smokes! You will be amazed at how good these cigars taste. And trust me, they had to put a gun to my head to smoke one!


Enough of the shameless advertising, you say? Well, guys, this is a J•R blog, for Chrissakes! We gotta pay the bills, you know!


Big Italian Nick

On a more serious note: Being a swarthy curmudgeon of Russian descent, I feel no real connection to this festive Irish holiday. The extent of my celebration was having a green bagel with my coffee on Sunday morning. But the same cannot be said for some of my coworkers who showed up on Friday in their pseudo St. Patty’s day attire. Say hello to J•R’s “Big Italian Nick”! Top o’ the mornin’ to ya and… fuhgeddaboudit!


Well, that’s it for now, and I would like to personally thank all of you that called in sick today with a mysterious virus bought on by a shitload of green beer and Irish whiskey; I made it to work this morning in record time! In fact, the roads were so clear that the toll collector at the Turnpike was reading War and Peace when I pulled up!

Let’s Make a Deal by Steve Nathan

Thursday, March 14th, 2013

Fellow cigar smokers: As we all know, our economy is in the proverbial crapper. The value of the US dollar is ranked 96th in world value just below Zimbabwe and Uzbekistan. Yet the value of the Latin American cigar is booming. Let me ’splain.

Every knucklehead, even if he’s never smoked a cigar or watched a Marx Brothers movie, will graciously accept one just to feel like Fidel Castro or Winston Churchill if only for just one lousy puff. Even those who feel that a Ziploc bag of two-week-old meatloaf is more appealing than a cigar will take one to appease someone, whether it’s a boss, a father-in-law or the guys coming next Tuesday to deliver the new dishwasher.

So, what’s my point? I don’t know… oh yeah! My point is that a cigar offers one the chance to barter and open doors to lasting favors never dreamed possible. Take me, for example; I always have a stash of genuinely cheap albeit tasty cigars on hand at all times to offer to my irritating neighbors, or to expedite a favor or service. And after reading this painfully boring blog, hopefully you will too.

Now before I begin, remember this fact: Unless it becomes a devout hobby, almost all occasional cigar smokers don’t know squat about them; you can roll up a turd in cabbage and they will believe it was smuggled in from Havana by a congressman if that’s what you tell them Get it? Good!  So (and this is very important), on your next visit to J•R Cigars, add some inexpensive smokes to your order… but you must go to J•R only! Why, you ask?

Because I work here and if you don’t shop here I will lose my job and be forced to collect unemployment because it is hard to find a job when you’re almost 58 years old! Then when the unemployment runs out in three years, I’ll be 61 and living in a trailer park behind the Secaucus, NJ landfill. Then I will quickly realize that I’m totally unemployable and from all the stress, I will most likely lose my bladder control and have no choice but to be a greeter at Wally Mart and wear big-boy diapers. So just shop at J•R so this awful stuff doesn’t happen to me, okay?

Anyway, you have purchased your cheap (excuse me, I mean inexpensive) cigars from J•R only… now what?

Put together a list of all the people you deal with, may deal with or hopefully and sometimes regrettably have to deal with. Then eliminate those who will not accept a cigar under any conditions. A few examples: most nuns, the head of the FDA, the archbishop of Canterbury, the US surgeon general, and the old handicapped lady with six cats who yells at you for parking too close to her driveway.


With this knowledge in hand, I have painstakingly spent hours putting together a list of some tasty but very economical cigars that you should stock up on, along with some ideas about how and when to hand them out. (Actually I didn’t spend hours; I did it during a commercial break of the Ice Road Truckers marathon. I have a tendency to lie a lot.)


Don Mateo

This old-time bundled Honduran classic has been a favorite of old farts and cheap bastards for more than two decades. Feed these to your next-door neighbor occasionally and you will have and unlimited access to his hedge trimmers!


Five Star

This mild, silky smooth bundled handmade is the <i>exact same</i> smoke as some other famous brands that sell for two or three times the price! If offered during routine checkups, these tasty smokes will get you a doctor’s appointment within three hours, even during a flu epidemic.


Red Dot

This mixed-filler baby tastes like those old classic Royal Jamaicans cigars… at a fraction of the cost. Every so often, leave a couple of these in your mailbox with a little sticky note saying, “Thanks for delivering my mail on time. Enjoy!” Do this and, I promise you, your priority package won’t be lying on your neighbor’s front porch during a thunderstorm.



These medium-bodied Nicaraguans are for the guy who says, “I don’t need those fancy $12.00 cigars! These are pretty damn good… and were you doing 80 in a 60 mph zone?”


License, registration, Riata… no ticket! Just be careful with this one; if it backfires, you may be sitting in a cell next to some nut wearing aluminum foil on his head claiming to be receiving signals from Pluto.


Maria Mancini

Okay, boys, I saved the best for last… this cigar is fantastic! It’s a Cuban-style box-pressed beauty that tastes just as good as many cigars costing at least twice the price. Whenever you see that guy across the street with his big house and fancy car, hand him one. I guarantee that, in no time at all, you’ll be sitting in his man-cave basement every Sunday afternoon watching football on his 90-inch flat screen while drinking his imported beer!


And there you have it. Good luck, get creative and have fun. There is a world of opportunity awaiting you with a well-stocked humidor of bargain-basement sticks. (By the way, I really hate when someone calls a cigar a stick. In fact, it makes my skin crawl. But you guys like it, so what the hell?)

Flavorless in New York City by Steve Nathan

Friday, March 8th, 2013

All of you “New Joisey” commuters and native “New Yawkers” may already know that, in October of 2009, the Big Apple’s mayor created an ordinance that restricts the sale of flavored tobaccos throughout the whole city. So, if you’re looking to purchase some “Jamaican Me Crazy” aromatic pipe tobacco or a cognac-flavored corona, you’re in for a big shock.


Per New York City’s health commissioner, “Flavored-tobacco products are marketed to youth, their packaging resembling that of candy and gum, and young people are more likely than adults to try flavored-tobacco products. This law, one of the first of its kind in the country, ensures that youth will be protected from these harmful products.”


Okay, I can understand if the honorable doctor was referring specifically to the monitored sale of those cheapo candy-store flavored blunts sitting on the front counter at the local Quickie Mart and are many times irresponsibly sold to underage smokers with fake IDs, because I sure don’t see a market for those amongst the old farts that enjoy a good machine made cigar. And I surely can’t imagine my 93-year-old Uncle Irving enjoying a blueberry stogie after downing a bagel with a shmear: “Oy vey! What’s up with these farkakte flavors? Where the hell is my Dutch Masters?”


Regulating Tobacco

So, yes, I can see regulating such blatant unregulated abuse of tobacco. But to make a sweeping bill that affects allflavored pipe tobaccos and cigars, no matter where or how they are sold, is pure stupidity that just adds another nail in the coffin for those poor tobacconists that have already been kicked in the cajones with a 75% tobacco surcharge in thecity that never sleeps!


This is just another example of government telling us what to do. For our own health, the King of Manhattan decided he was going to fight obesity as the New York City Health Department became the first in the nation to ban the sale of sugared beverages exceeding 16 ounces at restaurants, mobile food carts, sports arenas and movie theaters. Well, guess what? If I consume four triple cheeseburgers and a bag of Cheetos with my “healthier” eight-ounce soda, I’m still going to eventually be fat enough to have my own zip code! And admit it, most very corpulent (lard-ass) people wash down their bucket of chicken with a diet soda anyway. Perhaps it makes them feel less guilty… but I digress!


Let’s get back to the flavored-tobacco ban. Show me one pimply kid living with his parents and making $120 a week bagging groceries who is walking into a fine tobacco shop and dropping 10 bucks on a Maker’s Mark bourbon cigar, complete with glass tube and fancy melted-wax cap. No way, fella! He’s headed to that Quickie Mart for a 65¢ blueberry dog rocket so he can smoke Latin lettuce in his bedroom without his mom smelling anything suspicious. And he certainly isn’t going to take his whole paycheck and buy an $85.00 Savinelli pipe and a tin of Mac Baren Cherry Cavendish to start his spiral into the depths of tobacco addiction: Unsatisfied by smoking just cherry pipe tobacco, he turns to marijuana, the gateway drug to opiates. And when the opiates become too expensive, he hocks his Savinelli pipe for a bag of crack. And sadly, when he is living in a cardboard box behind the Home Depot, he will forever regret that first bowl of Mac Baren Cherry Cavendish…


Luckily things are a little better across the pond in “Joisey,” where our main man hasn’t seen his shoes since 1983; we are still allowed the guilty pleasure of negotiating a giant Slurpee while loading our pipes with gobs of gooey-casing goodness or smoking any flavored cigar that our hearts desire.


Mr. Mayor, there are much bigger problems to tackle in your city. And one day, if you’re not too busy, maybe you can put on a gas mask and walk into one of your local tobacco shops to see for yourself that you are depriving responsible adults their freedom of choice to enjoy flavored tobaccos… as they have for many years before you interceded. And guess what? I’m also sure you won’t find any nicotine-starved young folks drooling over a jar of vanilla pipe tobacco and begging for a fix.



Cigars… Anywhere, Anytime, It’s a Love Affair, People, by Tommy Zman

Friday, February 22nd, 2013

“Eating and sleeping are the only activities that should be allowed to interrupt a man’s enjoyment of his cigar.”Mark Twain

Okay, yeah, I admit it, I’m crazy about cigars. Sometimes I’ve gotta  step back and take a look at how much I love cigars and I think I freak myself out a whole lot. How can a person have such a passionate love affair with an inanimate object… one that you actually light on fire, no less? And I guarantee that just about every one of you reading this blog feels the same – and you know it… come on, fess up, this is the Zman you’re talking to…

This is just crazy, I mean did you ever really take the time to stop and think about why we love cigars so much, and why we dedicate so much of the time we spend around their brown and leafy existence? Why the hell are we so intoxicated by the sight and smell of hand rolled leaves? What in the name of God makes us crave its brown and oily complexion, where smoking one to the fingernail is all we can possibly think of at any given moment? Are we mad? Yes, we are madly in love with a burning desire that many have felt, but no one has ever been able to rationally explain.

“My rule of life prescribed as an absolutely sacred rite smoking cigars and also the drinking of alcohol before, after and if need be during all meals and in the intervals between them.” – Winston Churchill

I believe that cigar smoking is a celebration of life itself and I can tell you with most certainty that there is no greater pleasure in this world than celebrating an event – any event – with a good cigar. Just how many weddings, bachelor parties, births, job promotions, and championships throughout time have been christened with a premium aged, hand rolled cigar – a ritual that is no doubt becoming endangered by the Anti-smoking zealots of this world. And while many of us enjoy a nice smoke on a daily basis, there is something extra rewarding about celebrating a special occasion by firing up a quality smoke from a tobacco producing nation! I often say after a long-hard day of dealing with life’s curve balls and sliders, there’s nothing like enjoy a nice piece of ash.

“A cigar numbs sorrow and fills the solitary hours with a million gracious images.” – Georges Sand

Now I’ve got to say that one of the things that gets my heart throbbing is the arrival of new cigars at my place of premium tobacco purchase. And nothing gets me giddier than our very own site, JR, as there is an absolute plethora of new brands, new blends, and smiling, happy faces… especially mine! I’m tired of hearing from people who are NOT in the know, spouting un-truths that JR only carries the grumpy old-man brands. There is in fact so much new stuff here in JR-land that your head would spin trying to take count. I’m even having trouble keeping up with it all, as it’s my own personal rule that I’ve gotta smoke EVERYTHING and ANYTHING new that we get in stock!

“Fresh air makes me throw up. I can’t handle it. I’d rather be around three cigars blowing in my face all night.” – Frank Sinatra

Okay, that’s about all the love I can take for the time being. I’ll see you next week and as always, smoke ‘em cuz you gottem,


JR Cigars Blog with the Zman

PLEASE SUPPORT Cigar Rights of America as they continue to deal with congress, the senate, and all US legislators who need to be made aware that our cigars are the best friends we know of and we will fight like hell to keep them in our lives! >>

> CLICK HERE to Check out this week’s J•R CIGARS Weekly Special


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