Author Archive

Walt White – Slimming Down Dad

Friday, June 26th, 2015

I’ve been out of the cigar blog thing for some time now. It wasn’t a conscious choice. Nothing specifically caused it, or so I thought. It took quite some time before I really figured out what change has distracted me from reviewing cigars. I still smoke them, for the record.


Remember Walt from Stogie Review? I’ve known him for a number of years. Recently, he’s been changing some things in his life too.

Read on…

I tend to keep personal things personal. Struggling with weight fell into this category. Walt, on the other hand, did the exact opposite. He decided to hold himself accountable to his family, himself, and literally everyone. He has decided to be healthy, and document the journey on a podcast called Slimming Down Dad.

Check it out at

What does this have to do with me? After listening to the first two episodes, I was compelled to join him on episode three. You can check it out HERE. We get a little long winded here and there, but I think the episode turned out well. I hope you join in and encourage Walt.

As for this site, I’m not sure when regular posts will return, or even if they will. I’m leaning towards finding a happy middle ground.

Arandoza White Label

Sunday, June 15th, 2014

I’ll be digging into the stuff sent to me soon, but for now, I’m trying to get through cigars I’ve bought locally. The Arandoza White Label is something I stumbled upon at Ed’s shop recently. There isn’t a lot of information out there on this brand, but no matter, what counts is the experience. Let’s get to it.


Wrapper: Nicaragua

Binder & Filler: Nicaragua

Size: Robusto 5 x 52

Price: 6 to $7.00


Pre-Smoke & Construction:

This was a nicely constructed cigar. It was evenly rolled and packed. The wrapper glistened in the light, and had a woody and earthy smell. The draw had slight resistance, and the pre-light flavor was woody and earthy.

There was plenty of smoke volume. The burn line got wacky from time to time, but I never had to correct it. The ash was flowery, and held for about an inch.

1 Arandoze_White_Label cigars



The first third opened up with pepper. It wasn’t over the top, but it had that undeniable Nicaraguan zing. Up next was wood, sweetness, and an associated sweet bitterness.

2 Arandoze_White_Label cigars

Pepper calmed down in the second third, but it didn’t go away by any means. It was matched with wood and bitter sweetness. Earthiness and coffee lingered in the background. The smoke feel became crisp.

3 Arandoze_White_Label cigars

The last third kept the same basic flavors, they just differed in degrees of strength. Sometimes wood was the dominant flavor, and other times, bitter sweetness was at the front. A few times, that strong pepper was the only flavor.

4 Arandoze_White_Label cigars


This was a good, eventful, medium to full bodied cigar. The cigar snob in me liked the fancy double bands and pretty wrapper. The price wasn’t bad either. If you’re a mild smoker, use caution on passing too much smoke through the nose. That pepper could get you.

La Flor Dominicana N.A.S.

Sunday, June 8th, 2014

It’s been awhile since I’ve done a review, and as you’d expect, I’m very backlogged. I couldn’t decide what to smoke, until I ran across the N.A.S. by La Flor Dominicana. It is a cheroot, which means it was hand rolled, but not pressed in a mold. This results in one ugly looking cigar. The blend is all Ligero tobacco, but, you’re probably wondering what the name means. Nasty Ass Shit. Let’s see if this thing lives up to it’s name.


Wrapper: Dominican

Binder & Filler: Dominican

Size: 5.5 x 42

Price: Around $8.00


Pre-Smoke & Construction:

Did I mention how ugly the cigar was? Otherwise, it was well constructed. I could feel knots when squeezing, but, I would expect this from a cheroot. The wrapper had almost no odor at all. The draw was a little snug, but a small clip opened it right up. I picked up woody and earthy notes on the pre-light draw.

The ash held for about a half of an inch, and there was plenty of smoke volume.

1 LFD_NAS cigars



I was expecting a blast of pepper in the first third. Instead, I was greeted with a dark, smooth, woody flavor. Earthy notes lingered behind it, but it was subtle. After about a half of an inch, I started to get hints of pepper. It was a warm, flavorful pepper, maybe cayenne.

2 LFD_NAS cigars

The second third kept the same woody core. The pepper increased in strength, and had a sweet, almost cinnamony tingle. Yes, we make up our own words at Earthy notes fell far in the background.

3 LFD_NAS cigars

The pepper increased in strength in the last third. It kept the tingle I mentioned before, but took on a black peppery feel. Wood remained the main flavor, and earth was more noticeable.

4 LFD_NAS cigars


This was a good full bodied cigar. It burned better than I expected, and tasted good. Anyone who knows me can predict my complaints. The price is a bit high for a smaller cigar. If I were to be extremely critical, it would be the name. N.A.S. just makes me say “Nasty Ass Shit” in my head. Print the name on the label, it’s ok, they are only words. Seriously though, price and appearance aside, this was a nice little smoke.

St. Pete Cigar Smoker Event & State of the Biz

Tuesday, May 13th, 2014

Mark your calendars for May 16th. From 4 to 8pm, St. Pete Cigar is having a La Aroma De Cuba Smoker event. If you drop by before the event date, make sure to get a ticket for a free $10.00 cigar.


On a side note, a couple of you may be wondering… Read on

Is Tom announcing a great comeback of cigar reviews? Is he ending the site? He dropped off the face of the cigar blog earth, what’s going on? Where is Ed?!

Nope, no great comeback is planned. Will I attempt to do reviews? YES. The site isn’t going away. There is no strife or events that have taken me away from this place. Ed is still plugging away at St. Pete Cigar, and I visit twice a week. For now, nailing down free time to do proper video reviews eludes us. It’s still in the cards though.

I still smoke cigars daily. In real life, everything is status quo. In fake cigar clique world, I’m one hundred percent removed from it. It took some time, but, I MADE IT! I suggest you look into it too. Log off of twitter and facebook, and make memories that are yours. Buy a cigar, and enjoy it alone, or with a friend.

There will be some changes around here though. No more paid advertising. I will keep banners of businesses I like, at no charge. Yep, the site will operate in the red, financially speaking. My goal will be one review a week, maybe more, maybe less. Obviously I won’t turn down cigars sent to me for review.

Oh… to both of you who have sent me emails, I’ll be in contact soon.

Tatuaje 10th Anniversary

Sunday, October 27th, 2013

I picked up these cigars at Ed’s shop. As you’d expect, the namesake of the Tatuaje 10th Anniversary is self explanatory. I have heard that this blend is the same as the original brown label. In essence, it is a re-release of that cigar.


Wrapper: Ecuador Habano

Binder: & Filler: Nicaragua

Size: Robusto Bon Chasseur 5.4 x 48

Price: $9.95


Pre-Smoke & Construction:

The wrapper had a nice appearance, and had a scent of earth and hay. The cigar was consistently packed, and the draw was free. The pre-light flavor had earth, leather, and wood.

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

1 Tatuaje_10th_Anniversary cigars


The first third had a pretty even mix of earth, leather, and wood. The aftertaste was dark and peppery. As I transitioned into the second third, black coffee joined in.

2 Tatuaje_10th_Anniversary cigars

The second third took on a tinge of sweetness. Earth, leather, and wood remained. Coffee increased in strength, and the pepper became more like an even mixture of heat and spice. The smoke feel was thick, and clung to the inside of the mouth.

3 Tatuaje_10th_Anniversary cigars

The last third had a nice combination of cocoa and coffee. Earthiness, leather, and wood became a background note. This allowed the coffee, cocoa, and pepper to really stand out. The smoke feel was dry and sweet.

4 Tatuaje_10th_Anniversary cigars


As expected, I really enjoyed this cigar. It was medium to full bodied, and well balanced. The price is a bit high for a robusto. I could see this being an occasional treat, but at almost $10.00 a stick, I won’t smoke them often.

Aging Room M21

Sunday, October 20th, 2013


If you watched Ed and I review the Aging Room Maduro, you may remember him mentioning this cigar. Ed claimed it to be the strongest cigar in his shop. The M21 is of very limited production, so I jumped at the chance to review it.

This time around, I am without Ed. My intent was to do a written review. After making some changes with how we record video reviews, this became more of an excuse to do a technical test.

So, take 8 minutes, and see what I have to say about the Aging Room M21.

Audio Only – Right Click, Save As

La Gloria Cubana Serie R Esteli

Tuesday, October 15th, 2013

Thanks to General Cigar for sending me some samples to review. The Serie R Esteli was released in September, and is only available at brick and mortar stores. You can read more about it at their website.


Wrapper: Jalapa Sol

Binder & Filler: Nicaragua

Size: 6 x 54

Price: $6.49


Pre-Smoke & Construction:

The wrapper was dark, shiny, and flawless. It had a mild earthy and woody smell. The cigar was solidly packed, with a few soft spots here and there. The draw had the right amount of resistance, with a cedary pre-light flavor.

The ash held for just about an inch, and the burn required several corrections.

1 La_Gloria_Cubana_Serie_R_Esteli cigars


Without much delay, the first third opened up with woody and bitter sweet flavors. An easy pepper was noticed in the nose, and back of the throat. It had just the right amount of zing.

2 La_Gloria_Cubana_Serie_R_Esteli cigars

The second third took on a bitter sweet cocoa flavor, mixed with pepper and wood. From time to time, I swore that floral notes would appear, and quickly go away. As I approached the end of this third, the strength and body picked up, and coated the mouth and lips.

3 La_Gloria_Cubana_Serie_R_Esteli cigars

For the most part, the last third kept the same core flavors of bitter cocoa, pepper, and wood. There was an added peppery, cinnamony  tingle on the lips, and top of the mouth. The smoke feel took on a cooling effect. It was similar to menthol, but with a peppery zing.

4 La_Gloria_Cubana_Serie_R_Esteli cigars


This was a good medium to full bodied cigar. I enjoyed the ramp up of flavor, body, and strength. Everything was balanced. I think the price point it spot on as well. For a good, reliable lunch or dinner smoke, this fits the bill.

Sindicato Affinity

Thursday, October 10th, 2013

Thanks to Smoke Inn for sending me a couple samples to review. You can read more about the Sidicato brand at their website. The concept behind Sindicato is interesting, and it looks like they are trying to appeal to wide range of smokers.


Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut

Binder: Nicaraguan

Filler: Dominican & Nicaraguan

Size: Corona 5.5

Price: Around $6.00


Pre-Smoke & Construction:

The wrapper was smooth looking, with no visible flaws. It had an earthy and nutty odor. The cigar was very solidly and evenly packed. This caused a draw that was on the tight side. It barely fell within my tolerances. The pre-light flavor was earthy, with cedar.

The burn required a couple small corrections, and the ash held for about 3/4 of an inch. It should be noted, after lighting up, the draw became much better.

1 Sindicato_Affinity cigars


The first third was a pretty even mixture of earth, nuts, and mild pepper. The smoke feel was very smooth, and bordered on creaminess.

2 Sindicato_Affinity cigars

The second third kept the same flavors, but there was an added sweet creaminess.

3 Sindicato_Affinity cigars

Yep, the last third was basically like the two before it. The big difference was strength and body. It became medium and smooth.

4 Sindicato_Affinity cigars


This was a good mild to medium bodied cigar. For the most part, it was a typical Connecticut wrapped cigar. I could see this boring some of you picky smokers out there. As for me, I could see this being a good companion to a cup of coffee. Any time after lunch, and it may not do it for me.

Aging Room Maduro

Sunday, October 6th, 2013


Ed is back again, and this time we reviewed the Aging Room Maduro. This cigar is made by Boutique Blends Cigars, also known as Oliveros. This is a clean, cool burning, refined, sweet, peppery smoke. There were minimal changes, but subtle differences from third to third kept it interesting. At times, we were stumped. Yes, even Ed is challenged from time to time.

Set aside 19 minutes and see what we thought.


Audio only, Right Click, Save As

Brick House Maduro

Monday, September 30th, 2013

I used to smoke the Brick House years ago. It is a cheap, consistent, reliable smoke. I moved on, and they fell off of my radar. Recently, I ran into the Maduro version, and had to try it. Keeping with tradition, the price was reasonable too.


Wrapper: Brazilian Arapiraca Maduro

Binder: Nicaragua

Filler: Nicaragua

Size: 6.25 x 60

Price: Around $7.00


Pre-Smoke & Construction:

The wrapper had an odor of hay and poop. The cigar was evenly packed, and bounced back when squeezed. The draw leaned on the tight side, but fell within my tolerances. The pre-light draw had an earthy, bitter, leathery taste.

The ash held for just about two inches, and the burn required a couple small corrections.

1 Brick_House_Maduro cigars


The first third had a dry cocoa flavor. Notes of coffee hid behind it. The smoke feel was a bit dry, with a mild spicy finish. Basically, everything was smooth.

2 Brick_House_Maduro cigars

The second third kept the same basic flavors. The sweet spice went up just a notch in strength, and took on a sweet tone. Cocoa and coffee were equal in strength, and made for a nice flavor profile. The smoke feel was a bit dry, yet it took on a slightly creaminess.

3 Brick_House_Maduro cigars

The last third went up another tick in strength, but stayed in the medium range. Cocoa and coffee remained the dominant flavors, and sweet spicy notes followed behind. Woody flavors would come and go. Everything remained smooth, from beginning to end.

4 Brick_House_Maduro cigars


This was a good, middle of the road, medium bodied cigar. No frills, and no twists and turns here. Just a consistent, good cigar that easily meets the price point. I could see this going well with coffee. I will definitely revisit this cigar.

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