Archive for the ‘beginner’ Category

Beginners Boutiques

Wednesday, January 10th, 2018

Hello my friends, Nick Libretti here for JR Cigars.  I am use to saying that in my videos so lets just keep it going in the written word as well.  From my many YouTube videos which at least one person has watched (thanks mom), it is easy to see that I have a wide array of favorite cigars.  A good cigar for me has many factors including my location, what I’m drinking, my mood etc.  However, there are some smokes that I will like regardless.  I have done quite a few videos on beginner smokes, which are always my favorite.  I love being able to pass my knowledge (which is limited ill admit) to a new smoker and seeing how they enjoy your choices.  So for this article instead of doing my generic Beginner Cigar bit, I decided to do something more specific.  Being a fan of the emerging boutique cigar community, I would love to share my picks for the best boutique cigars for the beginner.



Espinosa Laranja Reserva


            Due to the size of the company, some might say that Erik Espinosa is not the epitome of a boutique manufacturer.  I couldn’t disagree more.  Erik focuses on small batches and expert craftsmanship to create some of the finest blends coming out of Nicaragua.  MY favorite among these, which I have discussed time and time again is the Laranja Reserva.  This medium to full bodied smoke is flawless in terms of burn, flavor and draw.  It is wrapped in a Brazilian wrapper with an orange hue to it.  It takes its name from the Portuguese word for Orange, which makes sense.  It has notes of citrus, a little spice and a little sweetness.  Even the band is brilliant, reminding me of a 1950s orange pop bottle, because I use to hang out at the corner store with Tony from down the way.



Warped Maestro del Tiempo


This cigar means the master of time… end of story.  Kyle Gellis has proven yet again that although he is one of the youngest major manufacturers, he is a force to be reckoned with.  His signature style can be seen brilliantly in this delicious little smoke.  It is produced, like many of his cigars, by Casa Fernandez and is crafted with their legendary Aganorsa tobacco.  It has hints of coffee, wood and nuts with a dash of spice towards the end for a great finale.  The 6012R size has become very popular among cigar enthusiasts for both its outstanding characteristics and its limited release.


Tatuaje Skinny Monsters


Its safe to say that Pete Johnson was one of the founders of the boutique cigar community.  He loves to due his event only cigars, special releases and limited brands that make his cigars all the more desirable.  With the MY Father factory being his producer, he is able to combined innovative marketing strategies with some of the best cigars on the market.  No boutique collection is complete with out some of the Tatuaje Monster series.  Pete releases a new blend every year, with each one taking its name from old time movie monsters.  My personal favorite is the Jason, because it is very hard to beat a Tatuaje with a broadleaf wrapper.  For a variety you should check out the skinny monster collection, with each different release being rolled into a perfect Lonsdale size for optimum flavor.


RoMa Craft CroMagnon


In the past half decade, no manufacturer has captured the hearts and minds of the boutique aficionado like RoMa Craft.  Their blends are outstanding, their presentation is brilliant and their creative names make almost no sense to the general public, but that’s the point.  If you haven’t tried a CroMagnon yet, then stop reading right now and go smoke one.  It is a broadleaf beauty that is full in flavor but smooth on the retro hale.  RoMa Craft is a must have for the boutique humidor.




Foundation Tabernacle


            I know you guys saw this one coming.  Nick Melillo has become a dear friend of mine but not because I particularly like him.  I mean he is ok I guess, but I am much more a fan of his products.  Foundation cigars has created hit after hit over the past 2 years with no end in sight.  While I am a huge fan of El Gueguense and its maduro sequel, Nick and I both find ourselves drawn to the Tabernacle.  Its brilliant broadleaf wrapper is grown in the heart of the Connecticut River Valley, which of course is located by the “mighty” Connecticut river.  It is a Connecticut broadleaf at is finest with rich chocolate notes and a nice subtle sweet spice from its Nicaraguan tobacco.  Nick is literally becoming the “Foundation” of boutique cigars. Love ya Nick!

Best Boutique Cigars for Beginners

Monday, January 8th, 2018

What is a boutique cigar? Well, many cigar experts are still trying to give it a definitive definition.  While years ago, many felt as though they had a grasp on what a boutique cigar was, today the term has basically come to be known as small batch.  At we consider a boutique cigar to be a limited production, high quality cigar that is available in some shops but not all.  They are cigars where extra care is taken to make sure each one is perfect, where manufacturers care more about a great, high quality product then simply producing as many as possible. Now there are several large companies that produce a few lines of “boutique cigars”, yet today we are going to focus on the company’s whose primary mission it is to make small batch, limited releases.


The first may come as a shock to new customers seeing as this company is now one of the largest in existence, but there is no doubt that they were one of the founders of the boutique cigar trend.  Drew Estate has been the forerunner in the boutique cigar world since the early 2000s.  The Acid line is considered the boutique infused cigar.  In recent years, we have seen the growth of their premium cigar division, with the Liga Privada line becoming one of the most sought after cigars in the country.


Tatuaje is everything a boutique cigar company should be.  Their blends are among the highest rated every year and their limited edition releases are hunted by their fans all over the country.  They have become incredibly popular due to their yearly Monster series release, a new cigar that depicts an old fashion movie monster.  The small batch Pork Tenderloin is considered the holy grail among cigar enthusiast and can only be found at certain events.



For the beginner, I would recommend they take a look at Foundation, one of the hottest companies in the industry today.  Their El Guegense line was placed in the Top 25 cigars of the year last year and for good reason.  The Tabernacle is one of the best broadleaf cigars available today and the Charter Oak is great value based smoke that maintains a high quality.


In the past 10 years, no cigar company has surged as high as RoMa Craft.  Mike Rosales and Skip Martin care about one thing and one thing only: making incredible blends for their customers.  They are among the most popular boutique cigars on shelves today, with shops constantly running low on the Neanderthal or CroMagnon lines.  They have made a vow to every produce more cigars then they think necessary, thereby insuring that care is taken with each one.


We here at have so many favorite boutique companies including The Crowned Heads, Illusione, Caldwell etc.  The cigars listed above are a great way for a new smoker to see the quality of a boutique blend and the value they bring to the industry.

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