Archive for the ‘Dominican Cigars’ Category

Romeo y Julieta Cuban Review

Wednesday, July 11th, 2018

When it comes to the history of Cuban cigars, the name of Romeo & Juliet carries with it notions of quality, craftsmanship, and tradition.  It is regarded among Habanos cigar smokers worldwide as one of the finest cigars in production.  While the Cuban cigar version has always been in high demand due to its quality and status, its Dominican cigar version is amongst the most purchased cigars in the United States, available at cigar stores across the country.

The brand formerly began in Cuba in 1875 by two men, Inocencio Alvarez and Manin Garcia.  Even in its early years, this Cuban Cigar brand became highly respected and quite popular.  It was entered in tasting contests around the world and was awarded several gold medals for the best Cuban cigar.  They pay homage to the Dominican cigar today, with the medals present on the cigar band.

Since the turn of the century, the Romeo y Julieta brand is still seen as the first choice for a true Cuban cigar aficionado.  They were the favored cigars of the great Winston Churchill.  His endorsement of the cigar did so well for the brand, they eventually named a signature size after him, a size that is still their front mark – the Churchill.  This was a Cuban cigar for the boutique smoker, the luxury smoker, and the elegant smoker.

All seemed to be going well for the brand until, like many cigar manufacturers, political unrest forever changed its history.  Following the Cuban revolution and the nationalization of the cigar industry, the brand was moved to its current location in La Romana, Dominican Republic.  There, at the famed Tabacalera de Garcia factory, the ever-so-popular Dominican Romeo is produced.  It is without a doubt one of the most popular cigars on the American market and can be found in every brick and mortar store.  Cuba still maintains the rights to the Cuban cigar lines and continues to produce them to this day.  It still maintains its very established reputation with the Habanos cigar smokers around the world.

The difference between the Cuban and Dominican cigars that carry the Romeo name is simply location.  They are both high quality premium cigars that are popular amongst their respected demographics.  While the Cuban Cigar stores are not allowed in the US just yet, the Dominican Romeo Y Julieta can be purchased right here at JR Cigars.

Hear from our cigar aficionado and his break down the differences of the two types origins:

Browse a great range of Romeo y Julieta Cigars.

Cuban Cohiba Review

Wednesday, July 11th, 2018

When thinking of Cuban cigars, there is one name that pops into the head of all seasoned Habanos cigar smokers. That name is Cohiba Cigars.  For half a century they have been among the highest rated and most revered Cuban cigar brands on the market.  For being the most popular and well-known Cuban cigar in the world, Cohiba has a quite unique past.

Unlike other Cuban cigar brands such as Romeo y Julieta or Partagas, the start of the Cohiba brand was relatively late.  In fact, it is one of the first Cuban cigars created after the Cuban revolution.  A local cigar roller was crafting hand-rolled Cuban cigars in his house and selling them to Fidel Castro’s bodyguard.  One day he gave one of these premium Cuban cigars to Fidel, who instantly fell in love with the blend.  He turned this man’s house into the El Laguito Factory, where Cohiba Cuban Cigars are still made today.  For many years the Cohiba Cuban was made only for Fidel Castro and a few close friends who were also Habanos aficionados.

In 1968, the state sponsored Cubatobaco formerly launched the brand onto the world cigar market.   Cohiba comes from the ancient Taino word for tobacco.  These cigars were to be produced on a limited scale and to be of higher quality than any other Cuban cigar.  In the early 1980s, Cuba really made a push to make Cohiba a full production line, making it more readily available in the world’s Cuban cigar stores.

With Cohiba being completely under Cuban control with no immediate copyright or trademark problems, in 1978, the name was taken by General Cigar and registered for distribution in the United States.  Calling them the Red Dot Cohibas and using exclusively Dominican tobacco,  The Dominican Cohiba brand became immensely popular during the boom of the 1990s and remains a top of the line Dominican cigar even to this day.

The only real difference between the Cuban and Dominican Cohiba cigar is just where the tobacco is rolled.  They are both high quality, premium cigars.  If you live in the US, there are no Cuban Cigars near you, however, you can go to JR Cigars right now to enjoy the Dominican version of the legendary Cohiba Cigar.

Hear from our cigar aficionado and his break down the differences of the two types origins:

Browse a great range of Cohiba Cigars.

General Wins,Non-Smoking Doesn’t Pay and Bye Duke by Frank Seltzer

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013

Cohiba is a name in cigars that is well known.  Like most Cuban brands the mark has two owners… the Cuban Cohiba and the Dominican version made by General Cigar since the early 1980s.  General Cigar trademarked the Cohiba name back in the 80s, but Cuba has been fighting that for the past 16 years.  Cuba has been losing the fight, but General Cigars has to keep defending itself.  The latest win for General was late last week when the US Trademark Trial and Appeals Board basically threw out Cuba’s claim with prejudice ( meaning they cannot refile).   According to the news release:


The TTAB ruled that because the federal courts have held that Cubatabaco may not sell Cohiba cigars in the U.S. or acquire any interest in the Cohiba mark, Cubatabaco lacks any property interest in the Cohiba mark.  Cubatabaco therefore has no standing to challenge General Cigar’s registrations of the Cohiba mark.

General Cigar’s President Dan Carr said, “This ruling once again affirms what we have believed all along: That Cubatabaco has no merit in challenging General Cigar’s ownership of the Cohiba trademark in the United States.”



Those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it.


Ever wonder about the wisdom of banning smoking in casinos?  A couple of years ago, Atlantic City tried to outlaw smoking in all casinos. The ordinance lasted about a week and was immediately repealed after the casinos lost a ton of money.

But aren’t we always told that non smokers would flock to anyplace that banned the evil weed and the money would flow. (Restaurants, Bars, Casinos) I know this to be a crock.  Back in the 90s, I was working for Hollywood Casino which, at the time, owned the Sands Casino in Atlantic City.  As a forward-looking experiment, the Sands opened a second floor casino that was totally non-smoking.   Hollywood wanted to see if the whole non smoking thing was true. Alas it wasn’t.  We were shooting a video at the casino and were able to use the whole second floor as a studio because it was completely free of gamblers….nobody wanted to play there. The experiment did not last very long as the casino brought back smoking to the second floor and the gamblers returned.

Which brings us up to today.  Revel Atlantic City was supposed to be the dream casino.  Huge, on the beach it was an upscale place and it opened almost a year ago.  Oh and one more thing, it was sooo cool the owners decreed Revel would be SMOKE FREE.  No nasty smokers anywhere around the place so everyone could breathe easier and the gamblers would flock in. Not so much.  Revel is in bankruptcy court with  1.5 billion dollar debt.  So as the company works its way back out, one of the first thing it is doing is to open up smoking on the casino floor.

Guess those high end non smokers never came. They will keep trying though.



Bloomberg keeps on giving


When we reported on Bloomie’s latest stunt for putting cigarettes out of sight and setting up a new enforcement program two weeks ago, we seemed to have missed something.  Buried inside the legislation is a mandate that sets a minimum price for cigarettes and cigarillos of $10.50 per pack.  Hummm…wonder what that minimum pricing will do?  Oh yeah continue to have New York lead in counterfeit and bootlegged smokes  as we earlier reported NYC is already number 1 in that regard (about 61% of all sold cigarettes in New York are bootlegged or counterfeit), guess Bloomie wants to keep that record going.



Jay Z smokin

We already know cigars are popular with some musical artists.  As we reported back in February, Pete Johnson of Tatuaje fame went on the South American tour with the Jonas Brothers (all of whom are legal to smoke and happen to like cigars)  Pete’s job was to keep them supplied with their favorite Tats…smokes that is.  Well now comes word that Jay Z is going to step it up a bit.  The Rapper is going on tour this summer with Justin Timberlake and in the contract for the concerts is a rider specifying a gentleman’s club will be set up back stage….it will be a place where Jay Z’s personal cigar roller can work unimpeded.  Yup Jay Z will have his own roller. This according to the British tabloid the Sun


“Jay met this cigar expert at a friend’s private party recently. He had been hired to roll cigars for guests in a smoking room,” a source in the rap star’s camp told the tabloid. “They were chatting for ages about the origins of tobacco and all the different types and then Jay-Z offered to have him on board for the tour dates. It goes well with the nature of the tour where there’s going to be a lot of whiskey and cigars.”


And Justin Timberlake’s new single Suit & Tie which was done in collaboration with Jay Z  has a the video showing cigars and whiskey flowing freely.  Should be a fun tour.


Bye Duke


DukeYa know it sucks having older dogs and today our home is a lot emptier.  Last fall,  we had to put Jake down and Monday it was Duke.  It was a tough call on Duke because he had been frail and probably in some pain for a while, but when he didn’t want to go for a walk, we knew it was time.  We never knew just how old Duke was.


We got him in a rescue situation where a vet called us to say that he had been dropped off by his owners and since they were going on vacation they did not want to board him so they were asking for him to be put to sleep.  We immediately went up to that vet and picked Duke up and brought him home.  He was within an hour of being put down and that was 8 years ago.  He had bad hips ever since we got him but over the past few months they were getting worse.  He had trouble sometimes standing, yet other times when on a walk his tail wagged and he had a ball.  I hate judgement calls like this but I think he was trying to tell us, it was time– of course he always wanted to please.


He had a good life but still it does not make it any easier.  He was a great dog and I miss him.



Pro Cigar and Birthday by Frank Seltzer

Tuesday, February 26th, 2013

Hangover Helper


The week-long Pro Cigar 2013 is over.  Wow what a time it was.  I am not saying anything about the amount of alcohol served during this period but at Corporacion Cigar Export (the home of Augusto Reyes) they had a very special set up for the morning tour….and many people took advantage. (I am not saying who, but you know who you are….and the Bloody Marys were very good.)

While on the subject of Corporation Cigar Export, they do something unique here, the rollers are on salary rather than being paid per piece.  The company believes it gets better results from the rollers this way.


Also, next door is a retreat called Debonaire House much like the Drew Estate Cigar Safari, with the exception that it is much more upscale and intimate.  Some of the rooms are suites and the chef came from New Orleans.  What a nice place for lunch…and I can imagine dinner.

At MATASA in the afternoon, after the tour, Michael Herklots passed out three blends for a new Nat Sherman cigar that the Quesadas are working on.  Herklots used the time for a focus group on the blend, packaging and price for this limited edition, which should hit by the summer trade show.

The White Dinner at the monument in the center of Santiago, is always a special treat.  You overlook the whole city while having a fine dinner.  We were given another pack of cigars, the La Gloria Cubana Rabito as I mentioned before (although it was called Special Blend ADP6) and a Don Carlos Robusto.  We also got the 2012 Limited Edition from EPC and a Davidoff Master Edition.  (Some very nice cigars.)

One Cigar per Day

Friday brought a tour of La Aurora—the oldest cigar factory in the Dominican Republic. Well this factory is not old in fact it is very modern, rather it is the company which began in 1903.  Often people want to take tours of cigar factories and La Aurora used to have a replica factory where it made Preferidos over at Centro Leon.  That factory is gone, and now, the company is opening up its factory to anyone. (If you want a tour, just call them  809-734-2563 and note the usual tour guide only smokes one cigar a day…but it is a 16 inch 1495. ) The biggest addition is a new company store where you can actually purchase La Aurora products and accessories.  The tour of the facility includes everything from the highest end hand rolled cigars to less expensive machine mades (Tatiana flavored cigars some of Altria’s Black and Milds are being made here).

La Aurora is the dominant cigar seller in the Dominican Republic and one of its top sellers it the Principe which is a value brand.

This year also marks another milestone for La Aurora.  3 years ago, the company released the La Aurora 107 to mark that anniversary, and this year, I think I like this better. The company had Dominican rum maker Barcelo come up with a very special 8 year old rum just for La Aurora…the La Aurora 110 Rum.  This rum has the touch of sweetness you expect from Barcelo, but more overtones of vanilla, chocolate and even a bit of orange.  The president of Barcelo—Jose Alberto Garcia- showed us a little trick to drinking this special rum.  Add 3 whole coffee beans and then let the rum warm up for a few minutes.  The coffee beans do not affect the taste per se, instead they add to the aroma and add a hint of coffee to the aftertaste.  It was very unusual and delightful.  The company is only making 3,000 bottles a year—those of us attending the La Aurora tour were presented with one. (If you visit the La Aurora tour gift shop, you can buy one, provided they have not sold out…only 15 bottles a month will be sold.)

Yuri Guillen at Centro Espana


The festival wrapped up Friday night with its Gala Dinner and party at the Centro Espana.  Dinner was terrific and the gala raised nearly $70,000 for Voluntariado de Jesús con los Niños –a non-profit organization to help sick children– and the Sociedad San Vicente de Paul — a retirement home for low income seniors.    Can’t wait until next year.

Happy Birthday Rocky


Today is Rocky Patel’s birthday. (Mine is tomorrow)  Today Rocky is marking his 51st year and to celebrate, he is coming out with a new cigar the ..well the name is Roman Numerals for 2/26 which would look like IIXXVI.  According to the birthday boy himself,

“ We decided to make a cigar for my 51st birthday and the box is a gorgeous lacquered box all white with simple black lettering and roman numerals which spell out 2/26/61.  It is a pretty full-bodied cigar made out of our Nicaraguan factory and it has a broadleaf wrapper and it has Nicaraguan fillers and one leaf from Jamastran and I consider the cigar medium to full very rich.  Price is 12.50 and should come out around March 15. “

Rocky also says they are working on a fuller bodied Xen from his brother Nish which will be out a little later.


Pro Cigar Underway by Frank Seltzer

Tuesday, February 19th, 2013


Pro Cigar 2013

Well the big cigar party in the Dominican Republic is underway.  It began over the weekend in La Romana where participants came in to begin the week long smoke event and today will tour Tabacalera de Garcia—Altadis USA’s huge factory that makes Romeo y Julieta, Montecristo and others.

The annual festival, now in its 6th year, is a chance for cigar smokers to visit the factories, fields and generally hang out with some of your favorite cigar makers.

Pro Cigar is the Dominican group that represents all the major cigar manufacturers on the island. It works to promote the Dominican Republic as Cigar Country making the finest cigars in the world, as well as working on issues that would affect the business. I say all because just a week ago it was announced that Litto Gomez and Ernesto Perez Carrillo have joined the organization.

This means that the trade group represents Altadis USA with its above named brands and factory, General Cigar (maker of Macanudo, Cohiba and La Gloria Cubana among others), La Aurora (maker of La Aurora, Leon Jimenes and Guillermo Leon), MATASA (maker of the Quesada lines and Fonseca), Tabadom Holdings (maker of Davidoff, Zino and Avo), Tabacalera  A. Fuente y Cia (Fuente, Opus X),Tabaquisa (Juan Clemente), Corporacion Cigar Export ( Augusto Reyes) and now La Flor Dominicana and EPC Cigars.

The fun in Santiago kicks off tonight and then continues to build until the big gala dinner on Friday.  We’ll bring you further reports on this.

Diplomatic Help

No doubt Pro Cigar was a big factor in letters that were sent to the FDA, State Department and White House from the ambassadors of the Dominican Republic, Honduras and Nicaragua warning about the damage to their respective economies should the FDA begin to regulate cigars.

The letter says

“If history is any precedent, some of the regulations that could be imposed by the agency would prove disastrous to the centuries old cigar industry that provides more than 350,000 jobs among our three nations, and represents millions of dollars in export revenue. No regulatory measure should threaten such jobs, and hence raise the specter of political and economic consequences within our region.”

Whether anyone at the FDA can read is another matter.

FDA Will Rule

It was the present delivered to anti tobacco advocates right before Christmas…the administration’s Unified Agenda and Regulatory Plan…it covered everything from workplace safety to you got it tobacco regulation.  On December 21, the FDA indicated it would issue rules by April subjecting additional tobacco products to its control.  According to Troutman Sanders law firm:

What is clear is that while the FDA has not issued a specific proposal to regulate cigars, pipe tobacco, electronic cigarettes or other tobacco products, it has indicated it intends to take some action. This proposed rule seems to lay the foundation for the FDA to take that action. What is also clear, is that the Obama Administration continues to place tobacco regulation as one of its priorities for the next four years.

And that could be a major problem for cigar makers.  Even Roll Call agrees that something is coming up soon.  But of course moronic democrats like California’s Henry Waxman are pushing the FDA hard on tobacco…including cigars because, you know, it is for the children.

 “I’m pleased to see the FDA has begun to enforce the law. I continue to call on them to take forceful action to protect the public health with the authority given to them,” Waxman said in a statement. “We need to take action to stop tobacco companies from exploiting loopholes and continuing to addict youth.”

Yeah like banning flavoring in tobacco except the most popular one…menthol cuz the President smokes that.  Right.  Hypocrite.

New Bill

IPCPR announced that on Friday the 15th, a new bill was introduced in Congress to protect premium cigars. There were 12 co-sponsors initially this time…

Reps. Bill Posey (R-FL) and Kathy Castor (D-FL) introduced H.R. 792, the ‘‘Traditional Cigar Manufacturing and Small Business Jobs Preservation Act of 2013.” This legislation is a crucial step forward in protecting the premium cigar retail industry from undue regulation by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) aiming “[t]o amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to clarify the Food and Drug Administration’s jurisdiction over certain tobacco products, and to protect jobs and small businesses involved in the sale, manufacturing and distribution of traditional and premium cigars”.

We had a lot of co-sponsors last time (221) but need more to get it through.  As Rocky Patel told me last weekend in Hawaii, after spending the week in Washington, because of some language changes, “I think we are going to get a lot of momentum.  We have not lost one congressman as sponsor from the last session and we are going to pick more up.  We are making a real push this year and want to get about 300 sponsors,  At that point we can attach to bill to a vehicle that will move through Congress.”

Let your voice be heard! Contact your legislator here and urge them to support H.R. 792!

Old Man Winter Don’t Like My Cigars, by Tommy Zman

Friday, February 8th, 2013

You know, I admit that I do tend to write about the weather a lot, but it seems there really is a lot to talk about these days. I know that I’m always griping about it being too hot or too cold or too wet, yada, yada, yada. But hey, living in New Jersey, I think I had a right to bitch about Sandy, so cut me a little slack, huh?

The weather really does effect smoking conditions for us who are in lust with the Latin leaf, and the north east has certainly dealt with some serious cold this Winter, making it virtually impossible to enjoy a good long smoke. Trust me, I’ve got a heater in the garage but it just doesn’t do a whole lot, and it’s just no fun when the important body parts start to go numb on ya… come on, bro, please don’t make me spell this one out, huh?

Now I admit, I do force myself to get outside and toast up many of the gars I loaded up on from the JR Catalog and website over the holidays. I mean, I got SO MUCH good stuff that I can only open the lid to my 200 humidors so long before I just bite the bullet to go stand outside and look like a smoking popsicle. I’ll get three of my stogie loving buddies to join me in my quest, as we huddle around a fire pit as my neighbors refer to us as the frozen four. A little rum, a little scotch and a nice big ash Nicaraguan maduro is certainly a beautiful thing, but when those important parts start freezing up, it’s time for thawing out inside.

And now it’s Thursday as I write this blog on the eve of yet another storm that is to blanket the entire north east with a ton of the flaky white stuff. I hate when they use the word “blizzard” as there have been a ton of false alarms in the past, but I can tell you that after that bitch Sandy rolled through these parts, there isn’t a soul who’s taking any predicted storm lightly.

For me in north western New Jersey, the weather geeks are saying six inches to a foot, but they’re calling for 2 feet up around Boston and up to 3 feet up in Maine! Damn, I hope we’re all spared from this crap, but just in case, I stocked up on bottled water and firewood and we’ll get some food supplies tonight even thought I’m sure the supermarket has been pretty much raided. Of course you’ve gotta top off the gas tanks, and good thing we did with the last storm as the gas shortage was just awful for two weeks.

But from this blog’s perspective, it really is important that you have your good cigars picked out and ready for smoking in case you become a housebound hermit for a few days. During Sandy we had no power for a week and we had an electric stove which I told Mrs. Zman NOT TO BUY, but noooooo, what do my opinions count. So just a few weeks ago we purchased a gas stove and a shit load of fire wood so hopefully we can ride out any outages… good God I do not want to go through that again.

So that’s it from the frozen tundra of Sopranos country as we brace for another snow covered slamfest. I’ve got the 12 year old scotch ready, and a bevy of hand rolled happy sticks as my ammunition.

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! >>

Smoke ‘em cuz ya gottem my friends,


JR Cigars Blog with the Zman

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

Super Cigar Smoking, Food-Fest Sunday by Tommy Zman

Friday, February 1st, 2013

I hate when all of these advertisers have to refer to the NFL Championship as the Big Game because of trademark infringement. It’s the friggin’ Super Bowl and I really don’t know why you can’t say, “drink this sugar-laden tooth rotting juice during the Super Bowl,” or “fill up on these heavily salted, empty calorie snack garbage chip things during the Super Bowl.” From what I’ve heard, the NFL is actually listed as a non-profit organization but you sure as hell could have fooled me and everyone else on this earth.

This week we have a really nice match up of two teams that deserve to be there. First off you’ve got brothers as the respective head coaches of either team, a complete story in of itself. The 49ers have a young quarterback that has shocked the league since filling in for their injured starter. And the Ravens have a QB who is ready to climb to the pinnacle… and of course there’s a linebacker who just doesn’t want to go away, but this Sunday, it really is the guy’s retirement party.

Me – I’m just having a quiet little family get together – with enough food to go to the moon and back about five times. You name it, I think we’ll have it… Buffalo and BBQ wings, homemade pizza (Mrs. Zman’s specialty), Swedish Meatballs (thank you Ikea) tater skins, jalapeno poppers, chili cream cheese dip, weenies in da blanket, finga sammiches, pulled pork sliders, chips, dips, assorted nuts and cheeses, and ice cold craft brews pouring all throughout the evening.

Now, of course I will partake in premium tobacco goodness throughout the entire day. I’ll start light to medium, move up to medium for the pre-game festivities, at half time I don’t have a single urge in my body to watch Beyonce lip sync so I’ll be at the edge of the garage with some medium to full sticks… and finally when all is said an done, a full bodied maduro and a belt of good scotch will be the perfect finale.

As for the commercials, I used to live for them, but in my opinion, they have just sucked over the past 5 years or so. A couple of years ago, EVERYONE went crazy over the Darth Vader kid but the next day when I asked what was the product, NONBODY could tell me, which in my mind is a 2 million dollar FAIL.

Okay my buds, finally I have the official estimated statistics when it comes to the Super Bowl Sunday chow down…

• 1.2 billion Chicken Wings • 50 million cases of beer, 325 million gallons (An increase in the sales of beer compared to the average daily total = $11.8 million) • 15,000 Tons of Chips (lining up each and every chip would produce a trail of almost 293,000 miles – not quite 1.5 times the distance to the moon, or 6 feet per American) • $237.2 million spent on soft drinks at grocery stores during Super Bowl week • 8 million pounds of popcorn • 12 million pounds of avacados (That’s enough to cover Louisiana Superdome end zone to end zone in more than 27.5 feet in avocados.) • 2.5 million pounds of nuts • 30% increase in sales of processed-cheese loaves during Super Bowl week • 30% increase in sales of frozen shrimp • Frozen Pizza is the top Super Bowl seller at grocery stores • Fans at the game will eat 5,000 pounds of hotdogs. (If you laid those hotdogs end-to-end, they would stretch more than 5 miles.) • Average number of attendees for a Super Bowl party: 17 • Average number of calories consumed during the Super Bowl: 1,200 calories per person

As far as my prediction… this one is so close to tell… Does Joe Flacco finally join the elites with Ray Lewis going out on top… or does Colin Kaepernick become a national hero making his head coach look like a world class genius? Damn… I really have no clue… I think I’ll just watch and keep my yap shut this year.

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! >>

Smoke ‘em cuz ya gottem my friends,


JR Cigars Blog with the Zman

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

The 5 Step Process of the Anti-Smoking Zealot, by Tommy Zman

Monday, March 19th, 2012

If you are a lover of the aged leaf, then you are well aware that over the past few years that we cigar smokers have simply become the lowlife pariah scum of the earth in the eyes of the anti-smoking zealots of our world. We basically can’t smoke ANYWHERE indoors anymore, they won that battle… and now these haters are trying to get rid of our precious puros for good.

Picture 7 copyWhat I find to be so incredibly ironic is that the Smoke Nazi contingent claims that we cigars smokers are rude, when in actuality, they are indeed the rudest, nastiest, and most obnoxious bastids to roam the land. We are basically looked upon as diseased laden lepers who should be banished from all society. They treat us with massive disrespect as if we have absolutely no rights at all and I’m completely sick and tired of it…. aren’t you? Of course you are!

This past weekend, on a gorgeous mid-60’s degree day, I took a little day jaunt into Little Italy in New York City. After a great big authentic Italian meal, I love nothing more than walking the streets with a nice premium hand rolled cigar as I take in the sights, sounds, and the smells. Now, here I am in the middle of the street, walking along when a couple of these zealots decide to give me their ten pounds of grief as they walked past me a good 25 feet away on the side walk. After getting treated so rudely by these self-righteous cretins time and time again, you’d really think I’d be used to it by now. But I guess it’s just the blatant disregard for human decency that really has me bewildered every time. What’s amazing is that every one of these indignant schmucks have the same exact act down pat, as if they attended some class on how to abuse the hell out of anyone they catch smoking. So I have come up with the 5-Step process that the Smoke Nazi’s have developed and shared with their fellow fascists across the globe. (All they need is a uniform, knee high black boots, and a high step kick to complete their attempt at world dominance.)

Okay, after much research and pure unadulterated abuse, I have decided to share this most wretched 5-Step method with my beloved Brothers and Sisters of the Leaf…

photoSTEP 1. The Look – As they walk anywhere in your cigar smoking presence, these acerbic foes will start out with a distasteful look on their face – the kind of look one does when perhaps your load-encrusted septic overflows into your living room. They want you to know that something has gone awry, and this pungent look is what leads directly into…

STEP 2. The Deadpan Glare – Now their head has turned in your direction, as you are the present recipient of the stare of doom. The eyes squint, the brow furrows, and the scowl on that puss is so twisted and vile that you start to wonder if perhaps you called this person’s mother an unsavory epithet in another life.

STEP 3. The Cough – or should I say the BIG FAKE cough that bellows through the street as if the black plague has found its way into the 21st century. Rottweilers are jealous of this pseudo-bark, and the coughers do not care that one hell of spectacle is being made in public.

STEP 4. The Wave – To accompany the dreaded howling cough, the hands begin to wave in front of their face with such ferocity that one would be convinced that the person was being attacked by a strain of killer bees. The Wave, combined with the cough is an amazing site to see, one riddled with ignorance, guile, and blatant stupidity.

STEP 5. The Confrontation – When all attempts at ruining your cigar smoking experience has failed, the psycho-zealot will have the oversized pair of cajones to get in your face and confront you. They will let you know with a brazen fervor that your cigar stinks and they do not like it. Yes, they will have no regard for manners or human decency at this point in the game, and if it were the Old West, 95% of these rude sons of bitches would be mowed down in broad daylight.

Now it’s the 21st century and our culture has supposedly evolved into a civilized lot, but me thinks that someone needs to inform these indignant anti-smoking goons that you simply cannot treat fellow human beings in this manner. Agreed? I think so.

Well, that’s my little public service announcement for my cigar loving fans and friends who need to remember that we have the right to live the way we choose and there isn’t an anti-smoking punk who can take that away from us.

Remember, as Always, Stay Smoky My Friends,


JR Cigars Blog with the Zman

Feel the Warmth From My Cigar by Tommy Zman

Friday, March 9th, 2012

Okay, every one of you guys know by now what an incessant whiner I am when it comes to the weather – especially the miserable winter months where smoking outside is a great discomfort and my weekly cigar intake drops dramatically. But this winter here in the north east has definitely been on the milder side with almost no snow to even speak of. And while that pretty much sucks for ski resorts, guys who plow, and the hardware store that is stuck with fifty full pallets of ice melting pellets, it sure as hell is a relief from shoveling that white crap, and worse yet, driving in it. And with a daughter on the roads and a son who gets his license in 10 days, trust me when I say that I don’t miss that stuff for a second.

Picture 4But as I sit here on my patio perfecting the hunt & peck typing method to a tee, it is 68 degrees here in early March, probably about twenty degrees warmer than the norm, and again, I am not minding it one damned bit! And just who is keeping me company while I write this weekly missive, but a thoroughly delicious Alec Bradley Tempus, a stick that resides on the fuller bodied side, and is enjoying being in the great outdoors every bit as much as I am.

For you BOTL’s in the south and all year warm weather places, you are most envied by us four honeybadger1season dwellers, and please know that it does get a bit tiring hearing you guys tell us, “why don’t you just move” – like hey, why didn’t I think of that – wow, guess I don’t really need this big red Staples EASY button. But right now most of us in the upper US regions are enjoying the hell out of this unusual weather, and enjoying a good cigar outside goes right along with the territory. Normally, right about now I’m going stir crazy, bound inside the house, jonesing like a mutha for a hand rolled happy stick. But thankfully Mother Nature has put the jonesing on hold, and for that I seriously want to take a brief moment to thank the old gal. And I say “brief” moment because anyone who has spent their life in the north knows that three-feet of the frozen white stuff can drop from the sky a couple of days from now, giving us that, “and you thought it was almost springtime” blizzard from hell. Much like the famed Honey Badger, Mother Nature don’t give a shit.

SanCristobalOkay, I think I’ve pretty much got all I can out of this AB Tempus, and good thing I thought ahead and brought along this dark-ass San Cristobal to help me finish out this bloggy. Man, another seriously impressive flavor bomb from the JR collection of finely aged premium tobacco products. I may have never been a boy scout, but when it comes to cigar smoking, this paunchy Polack is ALWAYS prepared! You know, I really do have a rough life writing this cigar love-fest, day in and day out. It’s hard work being a cigar blogger and I want you to know that I give my all for you guys, continually smoking the best stogies all for the purpose of your much needed entertainment. Pretty soon the wife and boy will be home and I’ll toss some charred carcass on the Weber, probably sneaking in a short robusto, all while planning on what cigar to smoke with my single malt night-cap. Damn people, I am friggin exhausted just typing those thoughts!

It’s this unusual warmth that has me in such a good mood while the neighbors drive by and wonder things like, “when is that moron going to get himself a “real” job (much like my loving wife thinks on a daily basis.) But I know that YOU guys appreciate the blood and sweat I’m spilling onto my laptop as this Pepin made Nicaraguan encourages me to keep on giving all that I’ve got. I know my purpose, and I’m proud to serve you all.

Well, I just looked and it’ll be 35 degrees here tomorrow morning. I knew that little tease Momma Nature couldn’t keep this up for more than a couple of days. But right now, I’m gonna get all metaphysical and stay in the present while I thank the Big Guy above for giving me the strength and courage to continue on doing what I do for YOU people.

You know… I think there’s a couple of icy cold bottles of Stout in the fridge. I give and I give…

Stay Smoky My friends,


JR Cigars Blog with the Zman

Cigar Tobacco Legislation: Chalk One Up for Us by Tommy Zman

Friday, March 2nd, 2012

U.S. District Judge Richard Leon is a man who knows common sense, and more importantly, knows a propaganda filled, spineless agenda when he sees one.

This past week in a ruling that effects the entire tobacco producing world, Judge Leon told the FDA & the US government that their proposed grotesque graphic labeling of cigarette packaging was indeed: UNCONSTITUTIONAL.

67373892_310335571_Unconstitutional_answer_1_xlarge_xlargeHell, yeah… Here Come Da Judge! (Showing my age with that one right there.)

Several months ago I wrote about Judge Leon’s decision to put a temporary injunction on the FDA’s labeling effort, but now it has come to a head and the gubmint has been given an official smack down – FINALLY – by a guy who understands the Constitution of the United States, and doesn’t take crap when it is doled out in extra-pungent proportions.

In his official 19-page ruling, Leon wrote, “The graphic images here were neither designed to protect the consumer from confusion or deception, nor to increase consumer awareness of smoking risks; rather, they were crafted to evoke a strong emotional response calculated to provoke the viewer to quit or never start smoking.”

Good Lord… someone in Washington actually possesses a brain AND a soul. Somebody get me a JR BRUTO!

It has come down to the fact that the FDA has been found in violation of the First Amendment and even though the ruling was for cigarette packaging, you have to know that if the FDA had won, cigar packaging was to be next in line – desecrating the industry’s ornate boxes and bands while destroying 150 years of tradition in an instant. I think this landmark decision also takes away some of the FDA’s ammo in trying to regulate the cigar industry, showing the public that many of their motives are unscrupulous with an agenda far reaching outside the boundaries of their jurisdiction: meaning the elimination of all tobacco products from the face of the earth (which btw, is my own personal and humble opinion, but you know that I damn-well speak the truth.)

p10b“Although the FDA conveniently refers to these graphic images as ‘graphic warnings,” Leon cited, “characterizing these graphic images as ‘warnings’ is inaccurate and unfair as they are more about shocking and repelling than warning.”

Seriously guys, can you even believe that there’s someone like this even alive in our nation’s Capital? (Hmmmm… maybe a La Gloria Cubana Serie R would be a worthy celebratory smoke…)

Last November, five of the major tobacco manufacturers filed suit against the government, accusing them of violation of their freedom of speech. And, make no mistake about it my Brothers and Sisters of Leafiness, this is indeed a victory in the cigar world’s continual fight against the clueless anti-smoking tyrants who use questionable logic and suspect data to further their “take no prisoners” agenda.

One more very frightening thought to ponder if the Judge had ruled in favor of the vile and offensive labeling is that it would have opened the door for the government to attack other industries in the same manner, such as meat, snack food, desserts, soft drinks, and liquor. And while I applaud the decision of this magistrate, I wonder if he REALLY knows what a profound effect that his ruling has when it comes to Americans rights and freedoms, now and for the future. This is truly HUGE, my friends, and while it is a victory for those who exercise their constitutional right to enjoy a legal adult product, we must all continue to stay vigilant and fight for what we believe to be rightfully ours.

In the closing of U.S. District Judge Richard Leon’s ruling, he says with absolute conviction, “The government has failed to carry both its burden of demonstrating a compelling interest and its burden of demonstrating that the rule is narrowly tailored to achieve a constitutionally permissible form of compelled commercial speech.”

TRANSLATION: Up Yours, Dude.

Stay Smoky My Friends,


JR Cigars Blog with the Zman

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