Archive for the ‘La Gloria Cubana’ Category

Some Affordable Cuban-Style Cigars

Friday, March 15th, 2019
Smokers have longed for the taste of a genuine Cuban cigar. Here at JR, we have premium cigars that rival the quality of many of these forbidden pleasures.

Top Cigar Releases From IPCPR 2018

Monday, July 23rd, 2018

I have been to several IPCPR tradeshows over my time in the cigar industry.  In the past few, it seemed to be entering a dark period.  With FDA Regulations looming, there was a dark cloud cast over the show.  Attendance was dwindling, the mood to become one of worry instead of excitement and new products were their but limited.  This year, however, saw a resounding return to form for the most anticipated event of the year for the cigar industry.  Not only was in lighter in mood, it also showcased some of the most anticipated releases I’ve seen in quite some time.

While many companies brought this thunder this year, first we have to talk about Drew Estate.  While the new Corona Viva sizes and the introduction of new cigarillos have been known for a few weeks, the company finally announced the release of two brand new lines for their Liga Privada brand.  First is the store only Liga Privada 10th Anniversary, celebrating more than a decade of success with their highest rated cigar.  Second, we have the Liga Privada H99, a new cigar that will feature a special grown Connecticut Corojo wrapper.  These cigars were certainly the talk of the town, with several articles and even shout outs from other manufacturers.

General Cigar saw one of the most impressive amounts of releases this year.  They are adding a new cigar to their CAO world edition with the introduction of the CAO Nicaragua.  They are taken a bolder approach with their heritage lines with the new Hoyo La Amistad Black and a redesigned Punch from AJ Fernandez known as the Punch Diablo.  Partagas, Macanudo and La Gloria Cubana are all receiving new releases as well, with amazing updated packaging and new enticing blends.

Altadis USA is also flexing quite a bit at this year’s shows.  We are seeing new editions in tow of their most popular Montecristo lines. We are getting a brand new Montecristo Artisan Series and a stunning new addition to the Montecristo Grupo de Maestro line.  We are also getting the first of a new Grupo de Maestro line, the H.Upmann Grupo de Maestro Connecticut, which we are all very excited about.

For the boutique, small batch aficionado, the 2018 IPCPR show unveiled a plethora of new and exciting cigars.  Nick Melillo and the team at Foundation is bringing a new Tabernacle to shelves, this time with a special Havana seed wrapper grown on Nicks personal farm in Connecticut.  Steve Saka showed up in style, showcasing a new line, the Sin Compromiso, and a slightly tweaked, stronger version of the Todos Las Dias known as Mas Fuerte.

Robert Caldwell brought three new editions of some of his best known cigars.  We are excited to be getting an Eastern Standard Habano, A Long Live the King Maduro and a tweaked version of the Anastasia.

Joys of Blogging, New Cigars and Science Doesn’t Matter by Frank Seltzer

Tuesday, June 11th, 2013

You may have noticed a lack of posts recently.  It was not for trying but instead word press decided to be uncooperative.  For about two weeks, none of us could get in.  Oh there were brief moments when it teased us and gae us some hope, but then it went right back to being ornery.  You probably noticed it as well when the freaking blog wouldn’t even load.  Ain’t computers great?


La Gloria Nicaragua

Meanwhile, last time I posted,  I mentioned the release of La Gloria Cubana’s newest and first Nicaraguan cigar, the Serie R Black.  Well I wasn’t sure when they were coming out and guess what?  They are already here.  Actualy have been for a couple of weeks. You know where you can find them.


New Casa de Garcia

Casa de Garcia is a value brand that comes out of Altadis USA.  It is a premium cigar with a not so premium price.  The cigar actually was developed about 3 years ago in response to the SCHIP and state taxes.  The goal was to make a tasty smoke at a great value.  The result was the Casa de Garcia blends.  The newest one if the Nicaraguan blend which uses a dark Nicaraguan wrapper over a Nicaraguan binder and Broadleaf, Nicaraguan and Columbian fillers.  The cigars come in 4 sizes: Corona at 44 x 5.5”; Robusto at  50 x 4.75” ; Toro at 50 x 5.5” and Churchill at 50 x 6.5”.  The retail price is under $2 per cigar.  Of course you can get them for less.

Chapter Two

We are starting to get close to the annual industry trade show and word about new cigars are beginning to circulate.  Nestor Miranda of Miami Cigar is adding to his Casa Miranda line with Chapter 2.  The cigar is being made by the Garcia family at My Father Cigars in Esteli.

The cigar is being billed as a medium bodied one and follows the original Casa Miranda which is made at El Titan de Bronze in Miami.  Chapter 2 used a dark Nicaraguan Corojo wrapper  with a   Nicaraguan binder and fillers from Brazil,  Dominican Republic and Nicaragua.  It will come in 4 sizes, 4.5” x 50 Robusto for $6.35, a 6” x 46 Corona Gorda for $7, a 5.5” x 54 Toro for $7.60 and a 6” x 60 Gran Toro for 8 bucks.  The cigars will debut at the trade show next month.


Starbucks no Smokes

Many people actually like Starbucks coffee.  I never have to me it is bitter.  But different tastes….for years, where it has been permitted, smokers could order their lattes and then go outside to have a cigar or cigarette.  Now that had ended.  Starbucks has decided that local laws are not enough and the company has banned smoking around their facilities starting last weekend.

 The Seattle-based chain says it will start banning smoking within 25 feet of its stores, beginning [last] Saturday, where permitted by its leases. Starbucks spokeswoman Jaime Lynn Riley says the intent is to expand the indoor no-smoking policy to the outdoor seating areas.

“If there were any concerns, we would hope to resolve it amicably.” Riley said, referring to a customer who might be smoking within the restricted area.

 Right because as we know non smokers are rational people.


Science Begone

Ok, we really know smoke Nazis are morons.  And the whole anti-smoking movement is based upon a credo that any kind of smoking is evil.  So you really had to know this was coming as stupid and illogical as it is..

In France, they are going to ban using electronic cigarettes and cigars in public places. Ok you COULD make an argument that smoking in public is bad (you’d be wrong to a great extent but you could make that argument).  But how in the hell can you say that e-cigs or e-cigars (yes there are e-cigars…I have tried one and it was terrible but fun to annoy some people) that do not burn nor contain tobacco are a problem???

The government says more study is needed on the health effects of the electronic devices.  (They will try to find something,)  But here is the real reason according to health minister Marisol Touraine:

Another worry they cite is that the electronic alternative will increase the general temptation to smoke, including enticing those who have quit to start again, or that smokers may use them alongside rather than instead of regular cigarettes.

“This is no ordinary product because it encourages mimicking and could promote taking up smoking,” said Touraine, who announced her plans at a news conference.

 According to Dr. Michael Siegel, ideology trumps science.  He quotes an article that says the Italian health ministry is recommending a ban on the e-cigs as well after France made its decision.  They cited Touraine’s comment that “Smoking an e-cigarette is smoking.”

Dr. Siegel lost it.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

 The truth is: “Smoking an e-cigarette is a step towards quitting smoking.”

 This is the bare fact that so few in the anti-smoking movement seem to appreciate.

 The importance of this story is that it illustrates precisely what is wrong with today’s anti-smoking movement. Instead of being driven by science, as it was in the past, it is now being driven by ideology. This ideology is so skewed that using a non-tobacco device resembling a pen that vaporizes a solution of nicotine and propylene glycol without any combustion or smoke production is considered equivalent to cigarette smoking.

 The upshot of this is that the anti-smoking movement is doing everything in its power to protect cigarette sales from the threat of e-cigarettes. Even the cigarette companies are hoping to shift some of the cigarette market toward e-cigarettes. Not so with the anti-smoking groups. And that’s a tragedy.


You know it is bad when a tobacco control advocate like Dr. Siegel thinks the anti’s are nuts.



Benji shipping, among others, and Florida Beach Ban Toast but Not Hawaii by Frank Seltzer

Tuesday, April 9th, 2013


Back in January I told you about the Benji Menendez Majestuoso coming back out as a permanent addition to the Partagas line..  Well they are shipping now.  In talking with a rep from General Cigar, he told me that the 6” x 46 special Partagas cigar should be hitting shelves this week or next.  That is certainly good news. Since its debut in 2009 the Benji as it is called has been a spectacular cigar.  After the initial release, the line offered a toro in a bigger format, but the cigar’s namesake always maintained that the blend worked best in the 46 ring gauge.  The other cigar will be a new Prominente Benji Menendez which is bigger it will be a 7” x 49.  The cost will be just under $10 for the Majestuoso.  The Prominente will be a buck more.  The blend is Cameroon wrapper over Habano Connecticut binder with Dominican and Nicaraguan fillers.


El Rabito


There is good news and bad news.  In February at Pro Cigar I told you about a special Rabito de Cochino we were given at the festival.  You can tell the Rabito because of its pig tail head in the La Gloria Cubana line.   It was called Special Blend ADP6 on the label for the festival but now comes word that the big Rabito will be released in the next week or so.  It is 56 x 6” and if the cigar is what I think it is, it comes with an Ecuador grown Habano wrapper with Nicaraguan and Dominican fillers.  It has not been confirmed officially by General, the only thing throwing me is that the one at the festival was a 54 ring gauge.  It is the strongest La Gloria to date.   It is a step above the La Gloria Cubana Serie R, which is a great cigar by itself.  The bad news, for some of you, is that A) the cigar is very limited. B)  It will only be available in the Western United States.  The factory is only making 1,450 boxes with 20 cigars in each box.  The price will be $8.


Other new cigars

The Tobacconist Association of America is holding its convention/party this week at Casa del Campo in the Dominican Republic (this probably explains why it is tough to get ahold of people this week.)  Anyways this group is made up of big brick and mortar stores and usually gets special cigars for their shops.  According to Cigar Aficionado, there are several new releases just for the TAA members.


The Avo line from Davidoff is coming out with Movement which will cost $11 and come out in October.  The Movement will be the first box-pressed Avo.  La Flor Dominicana is showing a new Double Press Maduro for $8 and Tatuaje is coming out with the ten year, to mark its anniversary. The Tatuaje size and price has yet to be determined but word is some of the special 10 year Tats are starting to slowly leak out.

Pete said, before touring with the Jonas Brothers, that he was going to do two or three cigars to mark the tenth anniversary of Tatuaje and his 20th year in the business.  One of the cigars is a 5.375” x 48 Perfecto which Cuba calls the Britannica or Celestino Fino.  Jaime Garcia bought the molds from Spain so Pete could make it.  The other cigar is the Edmundo size, 5.375” x 52, kind of a short toro.  This is one of Pete’s favorite sizes. Both the Perfecto and Edmundo will come in his brown label blend which is also known as La Selecccion de Cazador.  He also will be coming out with the original Corona Gorda in the black label series.  Pete says all of his 10th anniversary cigars will cost $10 each.


Florida Beach Ban Dead


Some of the beach communities in Florida tried to ban smoking outside on the beaches.  Those ordinances were struck down by a court in January.  When Florida went smoke free the state set up the rules and that meant cities and towns could not put in place their own rules.  According to the Herald Tribune, the bills which would have let municipalities impose their own rules on smoking are dead for this session. But of course they won’t give up and will be working on it for next time.


Hawaii Beach Ban  Not

A new law went into effect in Honolulu, Hawaii, yesterday meant to stop smoking on the beach.  Honolulu mayor Kirk Caldwell signed the bill which expanded the city’s smoking ban to the sandy areas.  There is a catch however,

A spokesman for the city, however, said the law can only be enforced at Ala Moana Beach for now. Since the other properties are owned by the state, the Honolulu City Council needs to approve a technical amendment before the Honolulu Police Department can issue citations at the remaining locations. The change is expected to take several months. Fines run up to $100 for the first offense, $200 for the second violation within a year, and $500 for additional offenses.

The anti’s are ecstatic of course but not everyone is pleased.

Michael Zehner testified against the measure as part of the Hawaii Smokers Alliance. He is upset that people won’t be allowed to light up in certain spots.

“The fact that our civil liberties are in jeopardy. That it’s discriminatory. It makes no distinction between other types of litter items and tobacco products,” said Zehner.

This will really help tourism.


IPCPR Changing


For the past 9 years, Chris McCalla has been heading the IPCPR’s legislative and governmental issues section.   He has worked with state tobacconists to help fight smoking bans and get tax relief.  Just this year,  Chris worked hard with Arkansas tobacconists to get a 50 cent tax cap in that state.  He has been putting out fires on the state levels.  Based at the IPCPR headquarters in Georgia, his job is apparently being transferred to D.C. and apparently Chris is not moving with it. (That is convenient for state legislative work…wonder which is cheaper Georgia or DC?)  Anyway, the IPCPR advertised for Chris’s replacement on Facebook and in The Hill newspaper. My guess is he will be leaving as soon as his replacement in D.C.  is hired.  He did good work and I’l be sorry to see him go.









The Sweet Smell of the Victory Cigar

Friday, February 17th, 2012

This past Wednesday night, my son’s high school hockey team, the Falcons of Jefferson Township, New Jersey, played a first round, single elimination game against local Mountain Lakes, who beat us convincingly, 6 – 0, to end the regular season of play, only a week ago. As I got ready to leave for the game, I cracked open the humidor and picked out a victory cigar, like I do for every game, but to tell you the truth, I 404624_309432459093108_100000790698422_777527_1074692889_ncouldn’t remember the last time I had lit up one of those kind of smokes. We were a “far below” average team this season and none of us parents expected anything more than a decent effort and an end to a very long season. But for some unknown reason that no one can explain, our boys apparently felt a bit different about things that night.

The game was for lack of a better term, completely insane, a roller coaster shooting match that saw the opposing Lakers take a 7 -6 lead with about a minute and thirty-five seconds to go in the game – just another heartbreak for the boys, and us parents, in a hard fought battle… or, was it? With 45 seconds left on the clock, the face off was deep in the other team’s end of the ice, and the coach pulled our goalie to give us an extra attacker. Now my son Tommy is a starting defenseman, and for good reason, as his 5’–10” inch, 195 lb frame works well for clearing forwards from in front of the home team’s cage. The kid had logged 23 minutes of ice time in this 45 minute game on the blue line, but this time, for this face off, coach moved him up on the wing with one intention only: get that big-ass burly Polish body straight to the net and in front of the Mt. Lakes goaltender.

The parents and student fans were stressed out, pacing around their seats, as my heart was pounding with no nails left to bite on either of my hands. We won the draw as the puck was sent to the left corner. A battle for the puck broke out between a scrum of several players, but somehow our forward ended up with possession. Standing at the blue line, my son’s buddy and defensive partner, Ryan was calling for the puck as Tommy was battling for position in front of the cage. As the seconds were ticking away, Ryan took the pass, walked in a few steps and unleashed a low wrist shot through a twisting maze of legs and torsos. Now hockey is a strange game of bounces and oftentimes that three-inch in diameter by one-inch thick hunk of vulcanized rubber can find it’s way through a stockpile of bodies – and this time was one of those times. As my boy was perched in front of the goaltender’s crease, somehow, some way, that black little biscuit found the blade of his stick, then like out of some scripted B movie, it found the back of the net and my boy had tied the game. The kids went crazy, the fans went nuts, and with 35 seconds left on the clock the thought of overtime had our emotions doing the lambada again. But as they say in those crazy As Seen on TV product commercials… “But WAIT, there’s more!”

Picture 2With just 25 seconds left in regulation time, the center ice face off went straight to Tommy, now back in his regular defensive position. He crossed the red line and cranked a slapshot that deflected off an opposing players skates and directly onto the stick of our leading scorer, Wade (once again, think predictably scripted, impossibly heroic B movie.) Well, like nothing I’ve ever seen, Wade just unleashed a one-timer blast that rocketed past the goalie to give us the lead only ten seconds after my son had scored. Everyone in Jefferson blue, from the ice on up went completely out of their minds as I was being fitted for a new straight jacket at that very moment. So as the story goes, (I swear, I didn’t find this tale somewhere and changed the names to make it sound good) we held them off for the final 25 seconds, giving Jefferson an upset victory that everyone will remember and cherish for a very long time.

As Tommy hopped onto the team bus with the boys acting as if they had won Lord Stanley’s Cup, I got into my car and then remembered something… only a few hours earlier I had placed that victory Picture 8cigar in the glove compartment, you know, just in case something ridiculously impossible like this might actually happen. It was one of my all-time faves, a La Gloria Cubana Serie R maduro, a luscious premium stick that was about to be my best buddy in the world for the 40-minute ride home. Guys, if you’re going to celebrate, you had better do it in style, and man oh man, was I ever styling!

The following morning I told my kid I’d let him sleep a little extra, we’d get some breakfast sandwiches, and I’d drive him to school in a hero’s fashion. When he got in the car, he turned to me with a scrunched up nose and said, “Man, dad, this car completely stinks!” I laughed, knowing that it did indeed reek like a Honduran factory, then turned my head to him and said, “Son, THAT right there is the smell of sweet victory.”

Stay Smoky My friends,


JR Cigars Blog with the Zman

Valentine’s Day, For the Cigar Lovers in All of Us… by Tommy Zman

Friday, February 10th, 2012

With Valentine’s Day coming this Tuesday, I started wondering about who actually invented this holiday that fleeces a man’s pocket right down to his furry little lint balls (hey, watch your mouth Zman, this is a family blog.)… You wonder if it was Hallmark… the jewelry industry… the chocolate companies… the restaurant industry? Just how did this whole money pilfering operation all go down, and why is it basically a woman’s holiday that requires us dumb-ass dudes to do all of the work?

LittleArcher3_cherubAccording to Wikipedia: Numerous early Christian martyrs were named Valentine. The Valentines honored on February 14 are Valentine of Rome and Valentine of Terni. Valentine of Rome was a priest in Rome who was martyred about AD 269 and was buried on the Via Flaminia. The Catholic Encyclopedia also speaks of a third saint named Valentine who was mentioned in early martyrologies under date of February 14. But then Wikipedia entry goes and says: No romantic elements are present in the original early medieval biographies of either of these martyrs.

So while this all ties back to a bunch of robe wearing, bald headed bastids, one has to ask, “Yo baby, where’s the love at?” How the hell did this whole deal get started with jewelry, flowers, candy, and cards? Okay, so get this… There is an additional modern embellishment to The Golden Legend, provided by, American Greetings and widely repeated despite having no historical basis whatsoever. On the evening before Valentine was to be executed, he would have written the first “valentine” card himself, addressed to a young girl variously identified as his beloved, as the jailer’s daughter whom he had befriended and healed. It was a note that read “From your Valentine.”

Picture 8Ah ha, ah ha, AH HA! So it IS a greeting card company who perpetrated this ruse and is responsible for me having to give up a paycheck’s worth of baubles, bangles, and bullshit this coming week! While this newfound information doesn’t actually make me feel any better, I have come up with an angle of my own, something that finally gives us men their fair share this second week of February.

I am contacting everyone there is in the cigar industry to create cigar cards, cigar flavored chocolate, and print up gift certificates to cigar bars, all in the hopes we men can get treated a little special for once – a day where we lovers of the Latin leaf can make this holiday a smokin’ one!

Montecristo is Red, Don Pepin is Blue, maduro is sweet, and so is this god damned awesome box of El Rey Del Mundo Flor de Llaneza!” Wow, was I made to be the guy who is the head of this man-movement, or what?!

Picture 9I think every last one of us guys have spent a collective lifetime fortune on price gouged roses, boxed mixed chocolates (gagging on maple log cocoa crèmes), and rings, bracelets, earrings, and other items of sparkling Jared-type nature. Isn’t it about time that our female partners return the years of favors by showering us with a cornucopia of Nicaraguan, Honduran, and Dominican grown goodness?! Haven’t we provided for our loved ones long enough where we should be shown true love in return, a love for the likes of La Gloria Cubana, EP Carillo, La Aroma de Cuba, and of course, Romeo Y Juliet? Yes I say… hell yes, we dudes deserve it and I will stand up and fight for the rights of CROMAGS everywhere so that we may too experience the leafy tenderness we have always deserved. But unfortunately, I can’t do bupkis this year, cause Valentine’s Day is this Tuesday and we’ll all just have to suck it up and pay for the picked over, triple-priced flowers for just one more year.

So until then, I’ll be working hard for manly men everywhere, making sure that next year, February 14, becomes a day of hand rolled happiness for one and all.

And in the words of the late, great Don Cornelius, I wish you all Love, Peace, and Soul,


JR Cigars Blog with the Zman

Cigars—What Your Guy Really Wants for Valentine’s Day!

Tuesday, February 12th, 2008
Are you trying to think of an unusual and special gift for Valentine’s Day this year? If your sweetheart is a cigar aficionado, then you will score big points with him for your Valentine’s Day gift of cigars or cigar accessories.Women can easily learn to make good cigar gift selectionsDon’t shy away from this gift idea because you think you don’t know enough about cigars to make a sma...

Cigars—What Your Guy Really Wants for Valentine’s Day!

Tuesday, February 12th, 2008
Are you trying to think of an unusual and special gift for Valentine’s Day this year? If your sweetheart is a cigar aficionado, then you will score big points with him for your Valentine’s Day gift of cigars or cigar accessories.Women can easily learn to make good cigar gift selectionsDon’t shy away from this gift idea because you think you don’t know enough about cigars to make a sma...

Cigars—What Your Guy Really Wants for Valentine’s Day!

Tuesday, February 12th, 2008
Are you trying to think of an unusual and special gift for Valentine’s Day this year? If your sweetheart is a cigar aficionado, then you will score big points with him for your Valentine’s Day gift of cigars or cigar accessories.Women can easily learn to make good cigar gift selectionsDon’t shy away from this gift idea because you think you don’t know enough about cigars to make a sma...

Cigars—What Your Guy Really Wants for Valentine’s Day!

Tuesday, February 12th, 2008
Are you trying to think of an unusual and special gift for Valentine’s Day this year? If your sweetheart is a cigar aficionado, then you will score big points with him for your Valentine’s Day gift of cigars or cigar accessories.Women can easily learn to make good cigar gift selectionsDon’t shy away from this gift idea because you think you don’t know enough about cigars to make a sma...

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