Archive for the ‘Connecticut Shade Cigars’ Category

The Nature of Cigar Smokers

Tuesday, August 30th, 2011

For those of you who have been following this smoky blog for the last few years, you know that I have a habit of belly aching about the weather, as it is always interrupting my cigar smoking activities. It’s either, ‘too hot’ and disgustingly humid in the summer, or it’s ‘too cold’ in the winter, with snow and ice freezing my cojones into ice balls when I try to enjoy a smoke. But this past week here in Jersey, we have been hit by some of the most bizarre acts of nature that I have ever seen ‘round these parts.

The Day After Tomorrow (Widesc6093_fLast Tuesday afternoon an earthquake hit the east coast… now I know you dudes in Cali thought it was funny stuff, but for you left coasters, it’s kind of like a snow storm descending upon San Diego. I was sitting in a local diner with my dad when our table started shaking and I said, “Holy crap, did you feel that?” We thought a big truck went by, but thanks to Al Gore’s amazing internet, word spread around the globe in seconds flat. While the cackling old hens in the diner were worrying about a “Day After Tomorrow” scenario, I had one thing only on my mind… what was going to be my cigar of choice when I got home from my shaky meatloaf lunch? An oily Excalibur 1066 Dark Knight?… a full bodied Macanudo Maduro Vintage 1997? Or perhaps the flavorful new Rocky Patel Edge Corojo to ease the pain of the aftershocks? Life is full of difficult decisions, but in times of crisis, a real man will keep his head and deal with the matter at hand. So, like the trooper I am, I went with the Rocky. Seriously, guys… there is no wrong answer, here.

Let’s switch to the present moment as I am writing this blog at the edge of my garage at 9:00 on Saturday night – the wind is whipping and the rain is coming down in over-sized buckets. Hurricane Irene has made its way up the eastern seaboard as New Jersey and New York are next in line for a hammering, following the awful beating the good folks in North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, and Delaware took. I’m actually about four feet from the garage opening and starting to get drenched, but with a Punch Grand Cru #2 clenched firmly between my teeth, no freakin’ dismal act of God named after some angry bitch is gonna stop me from reporting to my Brothers and Sisters of the leaf!

370Cigar smokers are indeed a steadfast bunch, and we will endure conditions that mere mortals would shiver at, all for the sake of our Nicaraguan, Honduran, and Dominican made amigos. It’s pretty damned hard to keep a tried and true cigar smoker down, and this past week sure as hell proved it. Hopefully all of you reading this made out okay and stayed safe and dry, no matter what geographic region you hail from. And hopefully, the power stays on here in Zmanville so I can get this blog of mine up and posted. You know that I do this for ‘you guys’… I give and I give.

It’s 11:30pm, it’s pouring with a vengeance and the trees are bending with the wind. I feel it’s only fitting to leave you with words of wisdom that Carl the greens keeper once made famous, “I don’t think the heavy stuff’s coming down for some time.”


Tommy Z . JR Cigars Blog With the Zman

There’s Only 1 More Day to Jump on our Wacky Macky Weekly Special!

Boy, do we have a deal for you this week on two fantastic items… and at prices that’ll make you think we’re wacky!

Macanudo Vintage 2000 Celebramos Travel Humidor ONLY $59.00!

First, we have 6 of Macanudo’s finest, packed in the coolest sliding upright travel humidor with a hidden humidifying device. The Vintage Celebramos is an unbelievable 5.75 inch by 50 ring gauge Churchill with a Connecticut shade wrapper that’s so perfect it hardly looks real. SAVE $31.00 OFF THE RETAIL PRICE!

Macanudo Vintage 1983-2000 Celebramos Humidor ONLY $99.00!

Second, we have 10 spectacular 5.75 inch by 50 ring gauge Macanudo cigars from the years 1984, 1988, 1993, 1997, and 2000 packed in a leather-covered, cedar-lined humidor that will hold 20 Churchill cigars. It includes a humidifying element inside and a digital display on the outside to check the humidity without opening the box. SAVE $51.00 OFF THE RETAIL PRICE!

An Intrusive Government, You say?…

Monday, August 22nd, 2011

This past week, five major US tobacco companies filed suit against our federal government in a most unprecedented and landmark fashion. Since the FDA has taken over governing cigarette tobacco, they have wreaked havoc with manufacturers, mandating that large, exceedingly graphic warnings be placed on every pack of smokes. And, to add insult to injury, the companies are being forced to pay for the updating of all their packaging!

629268,h=425,pd=2,w=516The FDA has ruled that by October 2012, cigarette manufacturers will be forced to display one of nine grotesque health warnings on all packaging, and the companies are fighting back, taking the FDA to court on the grounds that the ruling basically violates their right to sell a legal product.

“Never before in the United States have producers of a lawful product been required to use their own packaging and advertising to convey an emotionally charged government message urging adult consumers to shun their products,” said a spokesman for the group of companies.

A complaint has been entered in US Federal Court that also says, “This is precisely the type of compelled speech the 1st Amendment prohibits.”

fda_cigar_sm-250pxGuys, this is going to be one hell of a messy fight, one that we cigar smokers should take great interest in. The cigar industry has been lobbying hard to keep FDA regulators out of our humidors, and thankfully, several government officials are behind a bill to do just that. While I don’t have too much good to say about lifetime politicians, sometimes they’ll surprise us and think with their heads, instead of only pandering to get votes. While those kinds of actions are few and far between, we do seem to have a few politicos on our side.

While I am personally not a fan of cigarette smoking, and feel that cigars are an entirely different animal, in this case, a ruling in favor of the butt makers certainly helps the cigar industry, as we are no doubt targets next in line. It is the opinion of many of the anti-smoking zealots that tobacco is tobacco, lumping cigarettes, cigars, and smokeless tobacco into the same category, and to me, that is just wrong. That’s like saying that alcohol is alcohol, which would be putting wine, beer, and whiskey into the same category, when they are all very different types of drinks. Plus, a big part of the FDA’s strategy is to target the minds of children, but as I’ve said on this blog a million times, when have you ever seen kids hanging out, smoking $8 or more Montecristo Reds, TTT Trinidad Reserves, or Hoyo de Monterrey Dark Sumatras? The answer is: You don’t. In my opinion, premium hand rolled cigars are an adult pleasure, created for people who enjoy the relaxing benefits of a finely crafted product…  that yes, is still legal in this here United States of America.

Of course, the FDA won’t comment on any pending litigation, but that didn’t stop Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, calling the FDA ruling ‘frank and honest warnings about the dangers of smoking.’

R.J. Reynolds, vice president and general counsel, Martin L. Holton III, fired back: “Rather than inform and educate, the graphic warnings include nonfactual cartoon images and controversial photographs that have been technologically manipulated to maximize an emotional response from viewers, essentially turning our cigarette packs into mini-billboards for the government’s anti-smoking message.”

My question is as always, if the anti-smoke contingent gets their way and eradicates all forms of smoking, just where will these billions of dollars in tax revenue going to come from? The answer to that one is indeed a scary thought. This is gonna be a hell of a dog fight in public over the coming months, and the outcome will be groundbreaking. Yes, my brothers of the leaf, we certainly do live in interesting times.


Tommy Z . JR Cigars Blog With the Zman

Stock Up on THIS WEEK’S SPECIAL Before It’s To Late!…

Get your mitts on a bundle of 20 Cubita Dominican at 50% off the retail price! For those without a calculator that’s as low as $2 bucks a stick! This great deal ends on August 24th! Go get you some of these classic cigars today!


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Time Flies When You’re Smoking Cigars

Monday, August 15th, 2011

This past winter, many of us across the country endured one the most heinous stretches of miserable weather ever encountered. Rain, snow, ice, and so much awful crap was brought down upon us that I just wanted to bitch-slap Mother Nature so hard that she’d think twice before messin’ with our lives again. It was like a cruel joke, day in and day out, and worst of all, I couldn’t smoke my beloved cigars! When it’s freezing, sleeting, blizzards and what have you, a brother of the leaf just can’t enjoy his favorite cigar under those conditions, I don’t care who you are. Oh I try – set up a portable heater in the garage, bundle up in layers, and wear a good pair of gloves – but 20 minutes after lighting up, I lose feeling in some really important body parts and it’s time to head back into the warmth. And as you all know, there isn’t a worse feeling than having to ditch a half smoked, Romeo Y Julieta Real Reserva, Punch Grand Cru Number 2, or a delicious La Aurora 107. Oh the humanities, indeed.

photoYou see, the thing is, when I can’t smoke my daily cigar, time drags forever as I yearn for warm weather, green grass, and a barbecue dinner with friends and family. It’s amazing how time almost comes to a complete standstill during the winter as I am jonesing like a wacko for some premium aged, tobacco goodness. I get irritable, cranky, and act like a 4 year old who can’t play outside with his favorite toys. My wife thinks I’m an ass and my kids lock their doors and hide in their bedrooms when daddy can’t pound his plentiful puros.

So, FINALLY, the warm weather comes… first Spring, then Summer, and before you know it here we are in mid-August as time has flown by like a rocket sled that’s headed straight back to Christmas, cold weather months, and NO MORE DAILY SMOKES… AHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!

rosie_odonnellSo I ask you, why does time fly during cigar season… you know, the time of year you can sit outside with a cold brew, a couple of you best buddies, and enjoy a hand rolled happy stick? Why is it that the good days spent with your Honduran, Nicaraguan, and Dominican amigos blow by like a jack rabbit on Red Bull, but in the winter the days drag slower than a turtle with Rosie O’Donnell strapped to its back? (Yes, that was a most disturbing visual and I’m sure I speak for the management here at JR when I say I apologize for reaching beyond the normal boundaries, all for a cheap and distasteful laugh. But I can assure you, it won’t be the last time.)

turtle1I guess it’s just human nature that we yearn for the good times, but those good times sure do pass you by if you don’t take the time and make the effort to enjoy them. If you have kids, then you know exactly what I mean. Okay, so it’s almost the end of summer, but that doesn’t mean you’ve gotta think about the future and what is going to come. I say, spend the rest of these nice weather days enjoying the hell out of life, savor that premium cigar, sip that glass of scotch, relish your family and friends, and live in the now, because the truth is, right now is all you’ve really got.

Now does that mean I’ll stop being a moron in the winter, alienate my loved ones, and brood like bratty little school-girl? No, probably not, but I definitely will make an attempt to relax and enjoy what I have in the present… and an imported, premium, hand rolled cigar is the best present a guy could ever give himself.

Until next week my Brothers in Leafdom,


Tommy Z . JR Cigars Blog With the Zman

Now HERE’S a REAL Present For All Our Fans!…

There’s no time like the present to enjoy the moment! Just jump on this JR WEEKLY SPECIAL and you will SAVE $10 BUCKS OFF ALL BUNDLES of RIATA DOMINICAN! Do the math… that’s no more than $1.60 a stick!

This is a no-brainer… get yours NOW!

Offer Valid thru midnight ET, Wednesday, August 17, 2011

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Hello, My Name is Tommy & I am a Tobacco Nerd

Monday, August 8th, 2011

Yes my premium leaf loving pals, just like every one of you, I buy my cigars from JR. For some reason, people are under the impression that I get hordes of stogies for free, but I am indeed a longtime customer, just like the rest of you guys.

Picture 19Now, much like the rest of you, I love shopping for cigars. While the women of our species can spend skads of hours roaming through malls and shopping in one clothes store after another, (insisting that they can’t find a thing to buy), we cigar lovers will have little problem finding a multitude of goodies to purchase in no time at all. Put me in a big room full of premium-aged sticks – I’ll peruse through the shelves pinching and sniffing along the way – and be assured I’ll hit the register with an eclectic selection of long-filler goodness, from several countries that hover around the equator.

I happen to be fortunate that I live within half an hour from the JR Cigars in Whippany, NJ, and have made it my home away from home since it opened it’s doors in the late 90’s. Like all JR Cigar stores, the place is truly the mecca of aged premium leaf, with thousands upon thousands of square feet of leafy goodness to lose yourself in. While I have visited the store hundreds of times, every single time I walk through those doors I get all jacked up like the proverbial kid in the candy shop – only the treats at JR are a hell of lot sweeter if you ask me.

Picture 5The rush one gets from going through various brands of cigars is such a high, and completely unexplainable to those who don’t smoke – especially the wife. (Let’s take for instance, a few of my present faves, the Gurkha Colorado, Bolivar Cofradia, La Gloria Cubana Serie N, Frank Llaneza 1961, and the luscious Belinda Black) They’ll never in all their lives understand what floats our boat and there’s no sense in even trying. And we all know how dangerous it can be to enter a cigar shop with too much cash or a plastic card with room to spend. It’s like when they tell you not to go to the grocery store when you’re hungry. And I don’t know about you, but I am ALWAYS hungry for a good smoke.

Picture 20Then there’s shopping on JR’s relaunched website, which is probably an even worse addiction as you don’t even have to move your fat and lazy culo from your chair, as a plethora of brands and sizes are right there before your finger tips. Just surf and click and the man in brown shows up at your door…and THAT is a major-league high all unto its own! When I order my stoags online, I’m like a puppy waiting for its master to show up, racing to the window every time I hear a car go by the house, and doing everything I can not to pee on the carpet. (Mr. Pavlov would truly have a friggin field day with me.)  And when that big brown truck finally pulls into the driveway, you’d better not be in my path as I make a beeline to the door while practically tearing the box from the delivery guy’s hands. And as you well know, tearing open that box is like a kid on Christmas morning who KNOWS he was a good boy and that Santa brought him exactly what he asked for.

Okay, admittedly I have no life and I should seek professional help, but I have a strong suspicion that you are every bit as bad as a tobacco nerd as I am – or as Lew would refer to us as “cigar weenies.” We are lovers of the leaf my people and there’s no denying this love that cannot be explained. So until next week, I bid you long ashes. Smoke ‘em cuz ya got ‘em. Yes, My name is Tommy & I am indeed a Tobacco Nerd.

HOLY SMOKES… Don’t Miss Out on This Special!…

Grab some popcorn, click on the video box below, and check out the J·R Weekly Special!

te_amo_ny_logoJR is giving us Tobacco Nerds one last chance to get our hands on the handmade gems of Te-Amo New York before they leave the warehouse forever.  And get this…these tasty beauties are going for ONLY A BUCK A CIGAR! That’s right – they’re letting every bundle go out the door for just $24.95. There are limited quantities available SO ACT NOW!

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Monday, August 1st, 2011

Okay, so President John F. Kennedy signed the Cuban Embargo in 1962 forbidding any form of trade with the Hispanic speaking island that resides just 90 miles south of Key West, Florida. And while it may still be illegal to smoke Cuban cigars here in the United States, it doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate the lifestyle of a people rich in history and culture!

Picture 4On Friday, August 12th from 6pm – 10pm, JR Cigar in Whippany, NJ is heating things up with a party like never before as Havana Nights makes it’s debut at the world’s most famous cigar store! There will be SO much going on that your head will spin and your hips will shake while you get your salsa on! I kid you not, it’s an event you don’t want to miss! Just check out what’s planned during the festivities…

• Live Music

• Hot Dancing

• Cool Drink Specials

• Authentic Mouthwatering Cuban Food

• Presidente Beer and Zafra Rum Tasting

• A chance to show off your classic Pre-Enbargo automobile!

• Beautiful models to liven up the joint (Yeah, right, like it really needs anymore livening up?)

• And did we mention… CIGARS, CIGARS, and even more CIGARS!!!

Picture 12I can personally attest to the fact that when it’s comes to cigars and good times, NOBODY does it like JR, and I wouldn’t miss this for the world! Yeah, that’s right, the Zman will be there, devouring the food, pounding the premium smokes, and meetin’ and greetin’ cuz I am a gregarious herfing maniac! And I hear that even my good pal, Mr. Steve Nathan will show his face and maybe he might even smile for everyone. Aye Carumba, this is gonna be a blast!


La Aurora Cigars will be our distinguished guests at this swingin’ Latin-style event, trekking all the way from Miami, Florida! They’ll be featuring specials on their cigars that you will NOT want to miss!

The amazing La Aurora 107 and the delicious Principes will be going at:

Buy 3 Cigars, get 1 FREE!  •   Buy 5 Cigars, get 2 FREE!

Plus… there, will be even more cigar specials and who knows what else these people will pull out at the last minute! Listen, guys, I don’t care where you live, Whippany, New Jersey is the place to be on Friday, August, 12, as a smokin’ Havana Night is guaranteed for all!

Plus… who doesn’t wanna hang with Nathan and the Zman? Okay, you don’t have to answer that!



Tommy Z . JR Cigars Blog With the Zman

Have you tried the La Aurora 107? It is a delicious smoke that’ll have you begging for more!


ORIGIN: Dominican Republic

WRAPPER: Ecuador BINDER: Dominican Republic FILLER: Dominican Republic/Nicaragua

STRENGTH: Medium-Full

la_aurora_107La Aurora cigars have been handmade for over 100 years. The 107 line is crafted with a tasty medium-to-full-bodied blend of six-year-aged long-filler tobaccos from the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua, a smooth Corojo binder, and an attractive sun-grown wrapper from Ecuador to create a rich and complex smoke with lots of flavor.

Don’t Let the Politicos Mess With Our Cigars!

Monday, July 25th, 2011

If you read this blog, then I have to assume that you love cigars. Now, I said love, not like, but LOVE.  For me personally, cigar smoking is a passion and a hobby like nothing else I have ever experienced during my multiple decades here on earth. It’s hard to explain why there is such a love affair between aged, handrolled leaf and myself, but I am admittedly both intoxicated by romanced by premium cigar tobacco… and something tells me that you are, too.

fda_cigar_sm-250pxOver the past few years I’ve talked a lot about the Smoke Nazis and the anti-smoking zealots who want to eliminate all forms of tobacco from the face of the earth, but I haven’t talked much about the people who wish to regulate it – and I’m referring to none other than the Food & Drug Administration.

This is a frightening thought, my fellow Brothers and Sisters of the Leaf. If the FDA has full reign over handrolled cigars, our smoking world may change like nothing we have ever imagined. Let’s face it – whenever government takes charge of something, it becomes an instant clusterf@#k, and the entire cigar industry is pretty damned worried and rightfully so.

freedom_means_choice_2_tshirt-p235564109691893157q6vb_400First off, the beautiful ornate cigar box packaging that has been around for over a century could be replaced by labels, warning of death and disease, in font sizes larger than your head. And cigars stores won’t be able to have any tobacco products visible within their premises, but instead hidden behind closed doors where you would have to ask for someone to retrieve your smoke for you. (With JR CIGARS being the largest walk-in humidor retail stores in the world, I sure as hell don’t have a clue how that would work.) These are just some of the things that have been discussed and I can’t even imagine how it is possible in a country that is blanketed in a flag that stands for freedom and living a life of personal choices.

jr_ultimateThe good news is, I have read that the cigar industry has pushed our senators and congressmen hard to have premium cigars NOT regulated the way other forms of tobacco are. Let’s face it, so much of this is about keeping tobacco out of the hands of children, and children simply do not walk into cigar stores to purchase Camachos, Pepin Garcias, Gurkhas, and Ashton VSG’s that cost them as much as a coveted XBOX game. Thankfully, there is now talk of premium cigars being exempt from the FDA’s rule, which would be a saving grace to the entire cigar industry. But we can’t sit back and just HOPE everything works out all right. It’s up to all of us to email, phone, or fax our government representatives and let then know that they CANNOT take away our passion – a 100% LEGAL product that employs tens of thousands of people in the U.S. and other smaller nations who depend on this export to survive!

Guys, it’s no secret that powerful lobbies like anti-tobacco groups put a proverbial gun to the politicians heads when it comes election time, and the politicos respond with harsh anti-smoking laws, even though just about every single on of them enjoys the rich, smooth taste of a JR Ultimate, Montecristo, Punch, or Trinidad. It is hypocrisy at the highest level, but that is certainly NOT a surprise when it involves those who are full-time holders of office in our nation’s capital. Let’s continue to fight the good fight, people!

TZ.Sig.2Tommy Z . JR Cigars Blog With the Zman


DON’T FORGET TO JUMP ON JR’S 99¢ SHIPPING! This deal is only good thru July 31st, so get your cigar orders in NOW!!!

And this week JR has two… that’s right TWO…Weekly Specials

JR has two weekly specials going to give you one last chance to take advantage of the 99¢ shipping.

Villar y Villar Cigars – All Sizes Just $15!

Picture 4Villar y Villar cigars are handcrafted in Estelí, Nicaragua, with a classic medium-bodied blend of tobaccos from three nations finished with Colorado Ecuador Sumatra wrappers that are available in both Natural and EMS. They are solid, no-nonsense cigars, packed with flavor.

This week JR is doing something unheard of and closing out the entire line of Villar y Villar. Every bundle of 25 is now JUST $15 BUCKS. Buy these before July 31st and the 99¢ shipping can get you a bundle delivered to your door for just $15.99!

La Primadora: Laguito & Presidente $10 OFF!

la_primadora_logoMade in Danlí, Honduras, this cigar is a blend of Honduran and Nicaraguan tobaccos with a charcoal-like flavor. The La Primadora is a consistent smoke at an economical price, and has proven to be a time-honored best-seller.

This week JR is closing out 2 sizes at unbelievable prices that make them under $2 bucks a stick! They are both available in natural Ecuador Connecticut and dark Mexican maduro wrappers.

Get ‘em now before they’re gone or before the offer expires on Wednesday, July 27th!

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