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Of Wimps and Men in 2011

Monday, January 3rd, 2011

Okay, let’s set the record straight and call a spade a spade… all of my supposed cigar loving buddies who dissed me on New Year’s Day – you’re all wuss bags and wimps!

Happy-New-Year-2011-86It all started on New Year’s morning when I sent out a gang text message to a collective throng of tobacco laden heathens, that we were all to meet for hours of cigar smoking debauchery at the JR Cigars location in Whippany, NJ. I clearly stated I’d be there from noon to 4pm, giving everyone ample time slots to jump in and out of. We were to meet in the main smoking room where numbers of tv’s were showing college bowl games, the beer was flowing, and good food was being devoured. Yeah, it was going to be a great day for the manly man indeed.

Picture 13So I arrive at JR Headquarters, a monolith of a cigar store and lounge, that is luckily just 30 minutes from my frozen abode in icy northern New Jersey. I hadn’t smoked a cigar in a good three weeks because of the frigid temperatures, and wow, was I ever jonesing for a nicotine rush. As I walked by the lavish bar towards the main room, I said my hellos to the good Picture 10workers I’ve grown to know and love, then perused through the liquor store area that has one of the finest selections or cigar smoking hootch one has VATTED_COM7ever witnessed. I wanted to pick out a few bottles of the good stuff to share with my brothers this first day of 2011, and the choices were endless. Although it was some brutal decision making, I settled on a bottle of smooth and delicious Oak Cross Scotch from Compass Box Whisky, and some tasty 20 year-old port wine courtesy of the fine people at Taylor Fladgate. My buddies were in for a treat as this testosterone filled day was just getting ramped up. Into the main lounge I went while pushing several tables together as to be ready for the crew. Very shortly a collection of stogie sucking Neanderthals would be arriving as I gladly took on the role as grand poobah of this gathering of aromatic misfits. Twas a fine day for those who revel in premium tobacco.

It was now 12:30 and no one had yet showed. It was okay, I figured half of these creatures were sleeping off their New Year’s Eve binging and it was only a matter of time before they rolled in for an afternoon gathering of bullshitting and ball scratching. We are men, hear us friggin roar, god dammit.

Then it happened, the hour of 1 struck, and the test message excuses started pouring in… “I don’t feel good, I was out too late”… “I got in a big fight with my wife and I can’t go anywhere”… “I have house work to do”… My wife doesn’t want me smelling like smoke today”… “I have to watch my kids while the Mrs. shops”… “We’re going to my in-laws who I hate”… YADA, YADA, YADA! Good God in heaven, every one of my so-called pals in tobacco had stood me up! Wimps, losers, and wussbags every one of them! Their wives had forcibly removed their precious jewels and secured them on the mantle, leaving each one of these low-lifes, sackless, and me, completely on my own. Here I was at JR Cigars, the ultimate palace of unabashed manliness – alone and thoroughly dissed by my faux friends in the tobacco-sphere.

So, did I pack it in and call it an early day? HELL NO, as I opened that fine bottle of scotch and torched up the incredibly delicious EP Carillo Short Run I had just picked up in the wondrous humidor just 20 some odd feet away. Penn State and Florida were duking it out on the tube (which come to think of it, is no longer a tube) as I raised my glass of grains, with middle finger held high in honor of my idiot, one-time friends. Screw them, this was the life.

It was 20 minutes to four and last call for the bar keeps, as I took a final puff on the JR Ultimate Belicoso Cabinet Oscuro that I had nurtured for the previous hour or so. Yeah, my pretend friends had dissed me, but I didn’t care. I had just spent four hours in my happy-place and no one could ever take that away from me. No, I wasn’t blitzed as I made sure I was plenty fine to drive, but I sure as hell did smell like Santiago in the D.R. If any of you dumb-ass, whipped mo-fo’s happen to be reading, you missed a hell of a good New Year’s Day, and trust me, I smoked enough premium stoags for every last one of you!

Until next time,

Tommy Z

JR CIGARS Blog with the ZMAN


Handmade DR
Wrapper: ECSU    Binder: NIC    Filler: NIC/DR
Medium-Full Bodied

E.P. CARRILLO SHORT RUNHandmade in the Dominican Republic, these limited release cigars are the first of several small batches of unique blends being introduced by Ernesto Perez Carillo. Only 1,500 boxes of each size have been made. New blends will be released, also in limited quantities, in 2011.

This blend is comprised of rich, complex Nicaraguan and Dominican long filler tobaccos combined with a spicy Nicaraguan binder and an attractive, oily Ecuador Sumatra wrapper creating medium to full bodied, toasty flavors intermingled with hints of sweetness, cocoa, and nuts. The slow burn, solid ash, and long finish also contribute to the success of this cigar.


Handmade HON
Wrapper: ECSU/CTSH/CTBL    Binder: CTB    Filler: HON
Medium-Full Bodied

JR ULTIMATEOur world famous brand, the J·R Ultimate, is 100% handmade using only the best, aged long filler tobaccos. This cigar is every bit as good as (or better than) any ultra-premium brand on the market – bar none. It is available in a vast array of sizes, shapes, and wrappers, from light-green, fire-cured candela to darkest oscuro. J·R Ultimates serve as proof positive that you do not have to spend a fortune to smoke the very best cigars. This brand has won an unprecedented 10 grand gold medals in international competitions.

2010… A Smokin’ Look Back

Monday, December 27th, 2010

Picture 12The years are flying by at a breakneck speed as my children grow older and I have to pee more often. I still love my cigars and enjoyed them more than ever this past year, but that won’t happen today as a blizzard hit the north east, dumping several feet of snow on us and throwing in some whipping winds to boot. The town plow finally decided to show up at 10am and not a soul could get out of our street if they wanted to.

Okay, that’s enough of my whiny bitching, let’s a little look back at the past 12 months…

January -  That awful Haiti earthquake struck. Not a very fond memory.

beaver_300-790929FebruaryThe New Orleans Saints win the Super Bowl. I hardly recall the Winter Olympics being this year, but they were, as the U.S. led with 37 gold medals, the Flying Tomato flew, the Americans lost in an overtime heartbreaker in ice hockey, scaring the living crap out of the cocky Canadians, and gigantic blow-up beavers graced the ceremonies in Vancouver. BTW, they were actually sold on EBAY, I kid you not.

TERMINATOR 3 PREMIEREMarch – The movie Avatar thrilled us movie goers after James Cameron waited ten years to make the movie he could finally make – Dancin’ With Wolves meets the Blue Man Group.

bp-oil-spill2April – A little  known oil company named B.P. kind of f@#ked up pretty good. Then there was that crazy volcano that canceled people’s flights to and from Europe.

0002874609-01-1_03-22-2010May – One of the greatest pioneers of modern day cigar making passed away, as the legendary Frank LLaneza left a legacy of premium hand rolled cigars that will never be forgotten. Bless you, Frank. Gary Coleman said, “What chu talikin’ ’bout Willis?!” for the very last time.

June – Jobless rates hit an all-time high in the U.S. as “CHANGE” is about all we have left in out pockets. The Chicago Black Hawks win their first Stanley Cup in half a century. The Los Angeles Lakers take the NBA title.

July – Spain wins the World Cup of soccer in dramatic fashion. Horrifyingly annoying horns known as vuvuzelas are then outlawed forever from anywhere human beings might dwell.

August – The International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers show introduced a bevy of new brands to the cigar industry in New Orleans, Louisiana.

September – The San Fransisco Giants and long-haired freak, Tim Lincecum take the World Series.

October – Thirty-three Chilean miners were rescued after 2 months of being trapped under ground and one dude was forced to tell his wife about his mistress. Those zany Chileans, I tell ya.

November – North Korea gets all all bully-like on South Korea as Kim Jong-Il fails to realize he looks like a raging queen in those glasses. Nancy Pelosi learned a new phrase: “You want fries with that?”

December – The moron who did all of the Wiki Leaks damage is arrested. You gonna pick up that soap, Julian?

And another year has come and blown by. Jeez Louise,where the hell is it all going? Listen, have a safe New Year’s and let’s all enjoy our premium hand rolled happy sticks for many years to come!

And wouldn’t you know I picked out a few beauties to make breaking in the New Year just right! Click the links and check out these tasty tidbits care of your friends here at JR Cigars.


Handmade DR
Wrapper: CTSH    Binder: DR    Filler: DR
Mild-Medium Bodied

ASHTONHandcrafted in the Dominican Republic by Tabacalera A. Fuente, the Ashton line of cigars is impeccably rolled and consistent from box to box. The blend of 3 to 4 year old, aged Dominican filler tobaccos wrapped in golden-brown Connecticut shade leaves provides a well-balanced bouquet of mild to medium bodied, rich flavors with subtle notes of peppery spice.


Handmade HON
Wrapper: CAM/CTBL    Binder: CTBL    Filler: HON/NIC/DR
Medium Bodied

EXCALIBUR 1066Like the original Hoyo de Monterrey Excalibur, this cigar remains a wonderfully balanced, smooth smoke. However, in this version, the wrappers provide a spicy edge and a long, cedary finish. Available in both a toothy African Cameroon EMS and a dark Connecticut broadleaf maduro, you won’t want to miss out on this enticingly complex smoke.


Handmade DR
Wrapper: ECSU/CTBL    Binder: NIC    Filler: DR/NIC
Full Bodied

LA GLORIA CUBANA SERIE RThe Serie R line is handmade in the Dominican Republic with a blend of Nicaraguan Ligero and Dominican Olor filler tobaccos that are aged several years longer than the original recipe making these cigars more powerful and robust. They are finished with either oily Ecuador Sumatra or heartier Connecticut broadleaf maduro wrappers that add to the bold, yet very mellow flavors and underlying hints of spice. These smokes are characterized by their larger ring gauges that range from 52 to 60, as well as their complexity, easy draw and long finish. Definitely a real treat for the experienced smoker.

Mauled at the Mall Makes It All the More Merry

Saturday, December 18th, 2010

I’m writing this blog on Saturday because I knew that I’d be out of circulation on Monday. But I also thought it was a good idea to write this with the horror still freshly lodged into my fertile brain. What horror might I be speaking of? Why the horror of shopping at the local mall on the Saturday before Christmas. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!

madmax copyYes, for making the attempt, I am a true rubber helmet wearing tard of the first order. As the line up of cars was a quarter mile deep from the entrance, I told my daughter we should head back home, but of course keeping a teenage girl from the mall would be a cruel torture indeed, and of course, we trekked on towards the holiday madness that awaited. Parking several hundred miles from the entrance of JC Penny’s was the only option as the lot resembled a scene from Mad Max, with overturned burning cars and leather clad, mohawk sporting hooligans on motorbikes. The mall was our personal Thunderdome and the mission was to not only shop, but to get out alive.

user1833_1157039308As we entered the flaming barbed wire doors, I pushed my way through the gaggle of misfits and freaks, realizing I needed to head to Sears, which was at the exact opposite end of the mall. Then my daughter wished me well as she broke off on her own, shopping for her boyfriend in Penny’s, as I began my journey across the tiled floor tundra. Exiting the store onto the second floor, Auntie Anne’s Pretzels smelled mighty tempting, but the 30 person deep line assured me that the carbohydrates would have to wait for another time. Embarking upon the Verizon kiosk, I wanted to inquire about the truth of the arrival of the iphone for this coming January, but the 45 minute wait time to santa-angry2speak with a fresh-face 22 year old kid on college break kept my feet moving forward.

As I hit the mall’s epicenter, it was clear that the disgruntled Santa had just about enough of the stinking little yard apes. The thought of quenching my thirst with an iced Starbucks had me salivating, but the half hour long wait filled with crazed Frappachin-ites had me growing weary, tired and hungry. The food court was not far off, but the throng of idiot shoppers like me made it seem like an eternity until I could receive some fast food really fast.  But at that moment while passing one of the mall’s side entrances, I remembered that I had a Punch Champion tucked away in a remote zippered jacket pocket. Sure it was cold out, but I was in survival mode and in severe need of tasty tobacco nourishment.

punch_classic_champion“That smells so good,” said the Friendly’s fry cook who was sucking down a Marlboro on his 5-minute break, as I toasted the end of this luscious chubby Honduran plumbob. Ah, the deep rich flavor of that full-bodied little smoke made my brief detour an enjoyable one, as two big-haired hotties from the salon huddled around me for warmth and a respite from the mayhem taking place on the opposite side of the glass doors just ten feet away. But alas, rest time was over as I headed to the food court, yearning for free samples of bourbon chicken dangling from a wooden toothpick.

“Rike to try bur-bun cheeken,” asked the Asian dude, as I yanked it from his hand as if I hadn’t eaten in a month. And as he turned his head to hand a sample to some elderly sow, I swiped five or six more from his plate, then booked towards the fruit smoothie joint for an uplifting ginseng filled yogurt shake.

Picture 5“Yo-gut ma-cheen bro-keen,” said the hispanic woman in her bro-keen English, as again I was thwarted in this holiday house of doom. But as I turned my head, the sign for Sears was close by, and my mission was almost complete. As I made my way past the table with someone begging for money, I headed towards men’s work clothes in hunt for the elusive Carhardt jacket that my 15 year-old son has asked for. Seems as if this rugged outerwear is now the fashion rage with teen boys this year, and wouldn’t you know it, that the section was picked clean by moms who were piled 6 deep, scrambling to make a last minute score. Damn, this is the one thing my kid really wanted, and I couldn’t believe after the hellacious journey through the mall of death, that my trek would end empty handed. But alas, some grandma placed one of the hooded canvas jackets back on the rack and eureka, it was a large, on sale for $69! Yes, I did it, thought as I headed towards the register, only to see the line of crazed-faced shoppers some 30 cretins deep. The wait was long, but I traveled far and accomplish my goal.

A half hour later I made rendezvous with my daughter in the middle of the mall as she awaited with an iced Starbucks coffee and a big hug for her frazzled dad.

“Thanks for taking me dad, I really appreciate it!” she said with sincerity. “And just for that, I’ll shop with you in any of the stores that you like.”

“Any store?” I asked with my eyebrows raised and a smirk at the corner of my mouth.

WezFaceoff“Sure dad, any store.”

So, we hoped in the car and drove ten minutes up state highway route 10 in Whippany, New Jersey to JR Cigars…my one true home away from home.

“You don’t mind if I wait in the car, dad?” she asked like the good kid she is.

And of course I had no problem as I picked out some much-needed smokes for the Christmas, New Year’s week. Like the infamous Audie Murphy, I had made it to hell and back, but the payoff was oh so sweet and oh so flavorful.

Check out some of the singles I picked out that I recommend you check out for yourself!


Handmade HON
Wrapper: ECSU/CTBL    Binder: CT    Filler: DR/HON/NIC
Medium-Full Bodied

PUNCHThe world-famous Punch brand is handcrafted with all-Cuban-seed black tobaccos. This blend is the benchmark against which all other Honduran cigars are judged, and has been satisfying experienced smokers for decades.


Handmade HON
Wrapper: NIC    Binder: NIC    Filler: NIC/HON
Medium-Full Bodied

ROMEO Y JULIETA HABANA RESERVEIntroducing Romeo y Julieta Habana Reserve cigars…unlike any other Romeo you’ve experienced before. Handmade in Honduras at the Flor de Copán factory, these full-bodied beauties will captivate your senses with the distinguished smoothness of a Romeo intermingled with the rich, hearty flavors of the finest, hand-selected Honduran and Nicaraguan filler tobaccos. Attractive deep-brown, silky wrapper leaves top off the cigars resulting in a more seasoned version of an old favorite!


Handmade HON
Wrapper: NIC    Binder: MEX    Filler: NIC/PAN
Full Bodied

OMAR ORTEZ HONDURAN MADUROThe new maduro version of the Omar Ortez brand is handmade in Honduras with an aged robust blend of Nicaraguan and Panamanian long filler tobaccos, a peppery Mexican binder and a dark, rich Nicaraguan maduro wrapper. These rustic looking babies are loaded with flavor and spice and are sure to satisfy the full-bodied cigar lover. They are packed in unique wooden boxes of 60.


Handmade DR
Wrapper: ECSU    Binder: NIC    Filler: NIC/DR
Medium-Full Bodied

E.P. CARRILLO CORE LINEThe creator of the original La Gloria Cubana cigars, Ernesto Perez-Carrillo, had created yet another winning blend – this one reminiscent of the La Glorias from the 90s. Handmade at Tabacalera la Alianza in Santiago, these medium to full bodied smokes are created with aged, complex long filler Piloto Cubano tobaccos from Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic, two spicy Nicaraguan binder leaves, and an eye-catching, toothy Ecuador Habano wrapper. The rich, creamy flavors accompanied by notes of cedar, coffee, and spice along with the lasting finish will not disappoint you.

A JR Blog Holiday Classic Re-run…

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

Since we’re all obviously fed up with all of the holiday bullsquat, I thought you guys might enjoy some Holiday Blogs of JR past cuz they never stop being funny… and angry. Today, we present you once again with…

Curmudgeons A Caroling

Originally Posted Thursday, December 18, 2008

My 17 year-old daughter, who started driving back in June, was in her glory a few weeks ago when her radio station started playing nothing but Christmas Carols. “Dad, it’s so great and it just puts me in the best Christmassy mood!”

Give it time, girl.

Yesterday we get in her car and she has a different station on. I wonder what gives, and she says, “Aghhhhh, I’m sick of those songs! There are only SO many, and they play them over and over! And besides, Little Drummer Boy is just downright creepy – didn’t his parents get brutally murdered or something?”

THAT’S the spirit, honey! Kind of fun, yet twisted watching a teenager turn into a curmudgeon right before your very eyes.

I told you that back in the beginning of November that department stores started playing those ghastly tunes and I wasn’t mentally ready. But I’m quite sure that the people who work there must be ready to take and axe to their families by now, if they aren’t already on heavy doses of behavior inducing medications.

Let’s get to it…

Grandma Just Got Run Over By a Reindeer is downright grotesque, hillbilly horse hockey. By the way, what has seven teeth and 100 legs? The front row at a Willie Nelson concert. But you knew that.

Johnny Mathis, who supposedly enjoyed his share of candy canes always sickens me with his nuts roasting, and that drunken fool, Jack Frost nipping at his private parts. Who the fark dresses up like Eskimos, other than Eskimos? And kids from one to ninety-two? Oh STFU you nog-chugging douchebag.

NOTHING…I mean absolutely NOTHING is worse than Babsy Streisand’s attempt at joyous Christianity than her album of carols – the most heinous being her liberalized version of Jingle Bells. Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jin – Jing – Jing – Jing Jingle Bells, all the way, way way-up your ass you out of touch, bottle nosed cracker. About ten years ago my wife had it in her shoebox of Holiday faves, but while packing up in January, I took the cassette and flung it off our then condo deck into a small pond that was in the back. That F’er sailed like a Frisbee and hit the water like a Polish scud rocket with a purpose. The next Christmas my wife opened the box enquiring about her “fave” and I shrugged my shoulders while delivering the classic “I dunno.” The other day my daughter told me she heard that song and agreed to how awful it was. I then told her and her brother about the cassette tape and they laughed for an hour. Me too.

And a Walking in a Winter Wonderland may sound swell and all festive to you in the south and west, but try driving in a foot of snow, shoveling your driveway thru blurry eyed headache and back pain, or not playing golf for six months and you’ll want to permanently maim the song’s author.

We all know that Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer is a violent tale of racism filled with pure hatred for those who are different. Of course the social outcast ends up guiding Santa’s sleigh, but what they don’t tell you is how afterwards he is sold into slavery and ends up in a sausage grinder by the following fall. Sick and perverse – yes – but why not tell our youths the entire story?

And yes, Little Drummer Boy is a slow and rhythmically creepy tale of an orphaned kid who’s mom and goat were gang-raped while dad was taken out in a Camel-ride-by shooting. Then the kid plays the drums for the Christ child – and of course the place is crawling with agents and the urchin gets signed to play with a lounge act in Vegas. The little turd ended up rump -a-bum-bumming three sets a night at the Sands before Sinatra and Sammy for about a decade. I read it on Google somewhere. No, really.

And of course, Frosty is a drunken pedophile snowman whose computer was confiscated for having disturbing imagery of carrots in compromising positions. There are just too many to talk of and I’m sure you all can add your own twisted and most unholy thoughts.

Just a Week Til Fatso Breaks Into Your Home (Unless you’re Jewish and going to the movies.)

Ho ho ho, ya ho,

Tommy Z.

JR CIGARS Blog With the Zman

A Curmudgeony Holiday Season

Monday, December 13th, 2010

If you look through the past three years worth of my December blogs, I have done an awful lot of bitching, whining, and moaning about the so-called joyous holiday season. Whether it’s the goddamned car and jewelry commercials, the putting up lights and decorations, or the fact that we are expected to spend the money that we don’t have and put ourselves deeper into debt, I am continuing to become more of a rotten f@#king Scrooge-ass with each an every passing year.

grinchListen, I understand human compassion and the need to help those less fortunate, and I’ve certainly done plenty of helping my fellow man. But every single day there is some high school kid, Brownie den mother, or Salvation Army dude ding-a-linging his bell, hawking me for dough at every storefront and it’s really starting to bug the crap outta me. We’re all feeling the air-vent choking squeeze of this economy and I know in a couple of weeks my wife will be looking for the Lexus with the giant bow in the driveway – and once again, I will disappoint to the max with a sweater that only a cigar sucking Polack could pick out.

My son told me that one of his teachers is giving extra credit if you bring in toys for needy kids. Now I’m always cool with that, but then he told me that the teacher asked for five unopened, unwrapped toys for ten extra points this morning? FIVE TOYS? Are your freaking kidding me?! That’s at least 50 bucks worth of goods and I personally think it’s a hell of a lot to ask for this time of year! I wrote the woman an email asking if she follows the Dow, the unemployment figures, and the economic data reports. Wow, five toys? That’s a ho-ho-ho of a shake down if you ask me.

LEXUS-LS-460bowMan, I just read back what I wrote so far and while I admittedly sound like one hell of a sour Grinchy-grump, I’m going to bet that most of you guys are feeling the same way. Kids across America are begging Santa for XBOX Live, Guitar Hero 27, ipads, ipods, Wii’s and a host of electronic gadgetry, while daddy and mommy are begging their employers to keep their jobs and our government for some well needed tax relief.

I really think it’s time for me to put on some bogus make-shift Santa suit and hang in front of the A&P and beg for cigars. The contents of my humidor is getting dangerously low and if everybody else can mooch and pose these grotesque guilt trips, why the hell can’t I?

stclaus“Excuse me maam, cigars for the needy?” as I don a cheesy stained rat beard while holding out a plastic Halloween pumpkin painted red and green.

“Get away from me you perverted letch! I’m calling the cops on you right now, you sick old p.o.s. dirtbag!”

And I just take it with a grain of salt because that was my wife. And after 8 straight hours of giving it my best, I’d end up with 3 pineapple flavored white owls, 16 pennies, a scorching Dunkin Donuts Latte dumped on my package, and ride in a nice warm squad car.

So is it just me, or are you guys getting more perturbed with every kiss that begins with Kay, the douche bag who went to Jared, and the money grubber at the exit of every local retailer? I want some real suggestions in today’s comments on what we all can do about putting an end to this holiday wallet-emptying madness! Isn’t it time that retailers stopped depending on one month of the year to make up for 50% of their year’s sales? Isn’t it time to tell the little ones that Kris Kringle is a ridiculous fib and that daddy’s 401k is worth about a third of what it used to be? Whatta ya say, boys?

And as an annoying as hell FYI, The night I put my lights up last week, half of the strands blew out. So I went to Walmart for replacements and they don’t make those pieces of crap any longer so I had to by all new lights, take the old one’s down, and climb the frigid ladder all over again. The department manager at Walmart says, “Yeah, those light didn’t work too good, so we discontinued ‘em.” Well… Isn’t that just special.

Hey, if ya want some Holiday cigar gift suggestions, whether for a friend or your most deserving self, check out the Zman’s gift list below. You can never go wrong with the loving gift of premium handrolled tobacco, now can you?


Handmade HON
Wrapper: ECSU/CTBL    Binder: CT    Filler: HON/NIC
Full Bodied

BOLIVAR COFRADIAOriginally created at the Villazon Factory by the legendary Estelo Padron, the Bolivar Cofradia is a bold, robust smoke with heavy flavors of earth and spice. This is a rich blend of the finest hearty tobaccos in the world today, and proves to be his strongest blend to date. This full bodied cigar is intoxicating with its decadent flavors, heady aroma, and intense finish. Packed in heavy Spanish cedar cabinets, it is a cigar crafted for the most experienced of connoisseurs.


Handmade HON
Wrapper: ECSU/CTBL    Binder: HON    Filler: HON
Medium-Full Bodied

EL REY DEL MUNDOEl Rey del Mundo is a classic Cuban brand featuring a symphony of delectable Honduran flavors, impeccable construction, perfect burn and draw, and an enchantingly complex blend of the finest tobaccos. They are available in both Ecuador Sumatra EMS and dark Connecticut broadleaf maduro wrappers. These are arguably one of the finest cigars made in the world today – bar none. An absolute “must try” cigar for all!


Handmade NIC
Wrapper: ECSU    Binder: ECSU    Filler: HON/NIC
Medium-Full Bodied

GENUINE COUNTERFEIT CUBANSThe Genuine Counterfeit Cuban Cigar is a blend of potent Esteli, Nicaraguan Ligero and Viso from the Perez Plantation, mixed with a base of Cuban-seed Seco. Bound with an Ecuadorian binder and rich, silky rosado Ecuadorian Sumatran wrapper, this cuadrado-pressed cigar offers the smoker a velvety-soft smoking experience with a distinct spicy bite.


Handmade DR
Wrapper: ECSU    Binder: CTBL    Filler: DR/NIC/PERU
Full Bodied

JOSE SEIJASThis isn’t just a box of cigars, it’s a trunk of cigars. José Seijas, “el jefe” of Tabacalera de Garcia (the world’s largest individual cigar factory), has commissioned a select group of merchants to sell his own favorite blend: The José Seijas Signature Blend. Fuller in body than the classic Montecristos and Romeos his factory normally turns out, this is a cigar-smoker’s cigar – luxurious, decadent flavors and robust in body. Made in La Romana, wrapped in Ecuador, enjoyed in Heaven!

Ho, ho, ho, my Bro,

Tommy Z


“Hanging” with Clark Griswold Week Two…

Monday, December 6th, 2010

Last week, the wife made me put up the tree a week earlier than usual. And of course, we all know that the tree is a little too “tall and thin.” Yeah, whatever. But the first Sunday in December is always a tradition, where Daddy Z puts up the Christmas lights on the house – no matter how dangerously cold it is and no matter how much frost biting arctic wind is howling and swirling on the roof.

402-hanging-christmas-lightsFor the past ten years it’s been the same, I put on a pot of hot java, break out a couple of hardy smokes, a warm pair gloves, bundle up in layers, get out the big ass metal ladder, and risk life and limb all for the sake of holiday spirit. (Since there are no lawn mowers involved, I figure I should be just fine.)

Now some early Decembers have been mild enough for a sweatshirt and no gloves and that is a joy – but yesterday wouldn’t be the case – low 30’s temperatures and a wind that went right through to the bone was the deal as a heavy wool hat replaced my baseball cap very quickly.

My usual regimen is putting the New York Giants game on the car radio and leaving the doors open. Listening to football while doing the Clark Griswold dance is always a great way to pass the time, but this year I really wanted to watch the game on TV, KNOWING that the Jints would lambaste the Warshingtin Dead Skins (and they sure as hell did.) My daughter was at the game with her boyfriend (her first NFL experience and the first time in the New Meadowlands Stadium) and I wanted to text her every five minutes for live updates. So, I hit the ground running at around 11am, hoping to be done by the one o’clock kick off.

100_3033-1Okay, coffee’s done, now it’s was time to crack open the humidor to pick a couple of smokes that would cut through old man winter’s nasty breath. And two delicious sticks I did pick: The appetizer smoke is a Don Tomas Clasico Robusto, an underrated medium bodied Honduran stick that is very tasty and won’t hurt you in the wallet either. Then for the main course I go with a Hoyo de Monterrey Dark Sumatra Maduro Coronacion, a dark and beefy beast for certain, one that will keep my spirits up while dangling from the porch overhang.

As I spark up that first puppy up, I grab my thermos and toss that rickety steel ladder onto the front of the house, then make the wobbly climb up where the air is thin and is a bit more brisk. With stogie clenched in my teeth I begin the break plastic clip after clip trying to mount the damned string of multi-colored bulbs onto the gutters, while swearing so loud that several neighbors popped their heads outside to see what was going on.

“It’s just the fat-ass Polack doing his lights again!” I hear from across the street. These people know me all-too well.

clarkgriswaldchistmasvacationAn hour has passed, the front is done and now it’s time for above the garage. Cigar number two is clipped and stoked and the flavor of that full bodied Sumatran Hoyo is just oh so delicioso. Of course I can’t feel my feet, but as long as I’ve got my trusty stogies, I know I’ll get through just fine.

NY-GiantsAnd so the second hour passes quickly and I want to get inside for opening kick-off (which doesn’t happen) because like the idiot I often am, I forgot to plug the lights in ahead of time to see what bulbs were out, and of course when I plug her in, only half of them are on and my sewer-laden vocabulary becomes more colorful than the bulbs themselves. Yeah, I’ve gotta get back on the ladder a bunch more times and twist about 20 loose bulbs that work again, but see that there’s still a lot that need to be replaced. And there are no replacements, yet the wife wants me to run out to the Home Depot 20 minutes away RIGHT NOW because it looks “half-assed.”

“TOO DAMNED BAD, WOMAN!” I yell at the top of my cigar filled lungs! “It’s waiting til after the football game and when I can feel my extremities again!” (And yes, including ‘THAT’ one, too.) Surprisingly she’s cool about it and I watch the Giants shred some pigskin as I text with my baby girl for the next three hours.

Another year of decorating success. Nice goin’ Clark.


Handmade HON
Wrapper: HON/CTBL    Binder: HON/CT    Filler: HON/NIC
Medium-Full Bodied

dtclasico-bigThe Don Tomás Clásico is a return to the original, pre-1990 “Cigar Boom” Don Tomás. During the boom years, many Honduran and Nicaraguan tobaccos became scarce and blends changed to tobacco resources from other countries, like Indonesia, Columbia, and Mexico. Now back to its classic Honduran roots, this cigar offers a rich, smooth, and flavorful old-world smoking experience.


Handmade HON
Wrapper: ECSU    Binder: CTBL    Filler: HON/NIC/DR
Full Bodied

HOYO DE MONTERREY DARK SUMATRAA full-bodied line extension to the majestic Hoyo de Monterrey brand, the Dark Sumatra is wrapped in the darkest sun-grown Ecuadorian Sumatran leaf. This blend uses select tobaccos from five nations to provide a rich, robust smoke packed with earthy flavors. This is a cigar for those who crave a heavier, Cuban-style smoke.

Tommy Z,


Of Cigars & Christmas Tree Shopping

Monday, November 29th, 2010

My gut is officially swollen to full-blown holiday standards as Thanksgiving proved again to be a day where blatant overeating is mandatory and the Detroit Lions losing their Turkey bout is inevitable.

Today we endure Cyber-Monday, coming freshly off Black Friday, as the 2010 Christmas rush has landed. I’m sure I speak for Christians everywhere when I say, “I AM NOT READY FOR FRIGGIN SANTA YET!” Holy crap, can we just slow things down a little. Within days we will be bombarded with reminders that “He went to Jared” and that every kiss begins with Kay. And of course that mother f@#king Lexus will be in everyone’s driveways with giant bows on top. I AM NOT READY FOR THIS!!!

ChristmasTreeLot_1Our family has always followed the tradition of having a live Christmas tree in the house, and we always wait until the following weekend after Thanksgiving to pick one out. But for some reason my wife grew a bug up her keester and wanted me to get one THIS past weekend. “But it’s not even December yet,” I cried on deafened holiday ears.

national_lampoon_clark_and_tree“Get a tall thin one this year. Last year’s was too fat!” she reminded me 30 different times as I set out into the 28 degree, blustery afternoon to do my yearly manly call of duty. I can’t even remember what I ate for breakfast, for crissakes, and she remembers what the shape of our Christmas tree was a year ago? (Women certainly have the most bizarre and uncanny bouts of selective memory.)  I guess it’s not a bad deal we have – I do the hunter’s role and go out to bag the pine while the wife and daughter decorate the needley beast. Damn, somewhere over the last few years I’ve even managed to weasel out of hanging the lights – not sure how that happened, but rest assured that next weekend I’ll be risking life and limb as I dangle from a ladder on the roof of the house doing my Clark Griswold impersonation.

So it’s off to Jimmy’s Lawn & Garden where I always find a really nice tree – no matter what the wife says. As I pull the car into the lot, the fire pit is roaring and there’s an exceptionally huge selection of various types of forest pines – maybe because it’s not even December yet – ya think? I’m the only one in the whole lot so I’ve got my pick of the litter, but it’s windy, freezing, and flurrying as I join the workers in gathering around the blaze they’ve got going.

car_tree“The only thing missing is a belt of scotch and a good cigar,” I say to the guys as they hop up and down around the fire. “Any of you gents happen to smoke cigars?”

One college age dude says, “Oh yeah, I love cigars, we smoke ‘em while playing poker at school.”

Okay, I may sound like a major league snob, but you KNOW that this newbie smokes pineapple flavored White Owls or some other unearthly swill that a frat boy can only afford. But being the always prepared Polish boy scout that I am, of course I have a couple of premium handrolled sticks of goodness in the car, just begging to be smoked around a fire pit in a Christmas tree lot! So I break out the goodies – a couple of the new Punch Uppercut toros – and my new buddy and I light ‘em up and yak for a good hour! And yes, I made sure the dude was of age – a senior at a local school.

“Oh my God, this is amazing,” he says as he exhales a billowing puff of smoldering tobacco goodness. “I’ve never had a cigar like this!”

charliebrowntreeOf course, I knew that was the case as my young pal enjoyed the heck out of this leafy treasure. But alas, it was time to pick out a tree as he spent diligent time showing me almost every tree on the lot. After finding the PREFECT specimen, one I KNEW that the wife would love, he cut the bottom, netted that bad boy and affixed it to the top of the Z mobile. Normally I’ll toss these kids a couple of bucks, but instead I gave him the three remaining cigars from my 5-pack and I knew I had made a friend for life!

So, I get home and set the tree up in the stand while the wife is out shopping. The top touches our family room’s 8-foot ceiling as the smell of cold fresh pine wafts throughout the home. “Tis a beauty, Clark, you really outdid yourself this time,” I thought as my wife came in, took one look and said…

“It’s a little too tall and thin.”

Yeah, you have a good week too. The madness has only just begun.



Handmade HON
Wrapper: ECSU    Binder: NIC

Filler: NIC

Medium-Full Bodied

Released in October 2009, the new Punch Uppercut line is bursting with flavor. Handmade in Honduras with an earthy, bold blend of long filler tobaccos and a spicy binder, both grown in Ometepe, Nicaragua, this cigar is perfectly finished with an attractive dark and oily Ecuador Sumatra wrapper. Your palate will be delighted with the rich, deep flavors of tobacco that are accompanied by undertones of coffee, leather and spice, as well as the evenly balanced strength, flavor and aroma from beginning to end. Each cigar has a footband complete with the image of Ometepe and its twin volcanoes.

Tommy Z

JR Cigars Blog With the Zman

Turkey Day and Great Smokes Cometh

Monday, November 22nd, 2010

Okay. The question is: Why the hell is life whizzing by so fast and how the hell can it be Thanksgiving already? Perhaps most importantly, what smokes will I prepare for my day filled with a conglomerate of calories and flying pigskin?

thanksgiving-foodThanksgiving is without question America’s favorite holiday as it is centered on eating until your stomach grows three sizes that day. We stuff our faces for hours on end with a smattering of everything from 27 major food groups, forcing that last hunk of coconut custard pie until we go into Mr. Creosote mode, ala Monty Python style. I find now that I’m getting a little older that I don’t eat as much as I used to because I just physically can’t. That’s not to say I don’t chow down like a psycho, it only means I fill my plate to the rafters three times instead of four, and maybe cut it down to only five different desserts. And now father time plays the cruel joke of giving you acid reflux, where sleeping involves being propped up high on a mountain of pillows so the cornucopia you just devoured doesn’t give you a lava scorching hello at 3:30am.

Lucy-van-Pelt-and-Charlie-Brown-football-298x300Unless you’re Charlie Brown, turkey day isn’t stressful like Christmas, New Years, or even birthdays for that matter. It’s kind of effortless to show up at a relative’s house (or stay at your own) eat drink, bullshit, and watch the Detroit Lions lose again. And if you’re a cigar loving madman like yours truly, having a couple of stellar smokes picked out to enjoy with friends and relatives makes it all oh so special. I’ll usually do a couple of gars with my dad, one early afternoon, one after appetizers, and one between dinner and dessert. The ritual definitely helps you to relax from the massive physical effort of shoveling chow and lifting your glass.

imagesThe men in my family are great lovers of football, and now that a third pro game has been added at night, we can annoy the women even longer. The little ones and the uncles will hit the front lawn for a rousing holiday match of two-hand touch, and every year they ask uncle Z to play, but yours truly has a date with his hand rolled happy stick and a double pour of Macallans 12.

A couple of years ago I found the absolute best way to carve up the bird. Pretty simply get a big-ass sharp knife, chop the legs off first, then surgically remove the breast off of the turkey from each side. Then just drop it on a cutting board and slice it up nicely! Trust me, it is SO MUCH easier than carving it on the damned fowl.

knuckle4Two things I’ve never tried are deep dried turkey and turducken. People who do the fried bird SWEAR it’s the juiciest thing you’ll ever sink your teeth into. The stories of spilling the damned things and burning down the abode scares a lot of folks away. Also the fact that you’re taking a great low-fat food and soaking it in skin scorching grease seems to be excessive, but what the hell, it’s a holiday and that exempts you from keeping your gall bladder clean and healthy. And then there’s the chicken stuffed in side of a duck that is stuffed inside of a turkey that just takes your meal completely over the handlebars. It sounds pretty awesome, but again, excessive, and it just seems like a whole hell of a lot of work.

Okay, cigars… do you have your smoking regimen prepared? I’ve got a few choices in mind and HEY… how lucky are you that this is a cigar website and you can order ‘em RIGHT HERE!!! Gosh, ain’t that a coincidence? I mean, really!

Early Turkey Day Smoke:

It’s gonna be a mild to medium bodied, smooth and tasty AVO CLASSIC.

Handmade DR

Wrapper: CTSH    Binder: DR    Filler: DR

Mild-Medium Bodied

AVO CLASSICA mild yet flavorful cigar fashioned from a blend of Dominican long-leaf filler tobaccos and wrapped in a light Connecticut shade. Avo Cigars are made in the Cibao Valley of the Dominican Republic from premium hand-selected tobaccos, and aged to perfection. The blend of five different tobaccos results in a mild body, rich flavor, and a delightful aroma.

Afternoon Break Smoke:

A medium bodied PUNCH GRAND CRU #2 (One of my all-time faves)

Handmade HON

Wrapper: CTSH/CTBL    Binder: CTBL    Filler: DR/HON/NIC


Made from extra-select vintage three-to-five-year tobaccos, the Punch Grand Cru is a refined version of the classic Punch blend. Wrapped in the silkiest of Connecticut River Valley leaf, this is the smoothest of Honduran cigars.

Post Dinner Smoke:

And then finally, the cigar whose flavor must cut through the turkey, stuffing, taters and gravy, I’m going with the full bodied, Nicaraguan flavor bomb, FRANK LLANEZA 1961

Handmade NIC
Wrapper: ECCR    Binder: NIC    Filler: DR/NIC
Medium-Full Bodied

FRANK LLANEZA 1961Frank Llaneza 1961 cigars are handmade with the darkest Ecuador Criollo wrapper I have ever seen and must have been selected one leaf at a time or fermented over and over and over. You people who know me or have read some of my dribble over the years know that I’ve always said that the difference between a two dollar cigar and a ten dollar cigar is eight dollars… well if there ever was such a thing as a ten dollar cigar – then this is it. These cigars have the Frank Llaneza “Cubanesque” heavier bodied “touch” that made brands like Hoyo, Punch, Excalibur, El Rey del Mundo, and others that he has created such mainstays in today’s premium cigar business. A definite winner in the new chapter of fine cigars for the late great master.

So that’s it my peeps, enjoy the family and friends and we’ll be back for another exciting chapter of JR Cigars Blog with the Zman!


Tommy Z

Ode to the Cigar Bomber

Monday, November 15th, 2010

bombThere’s a knock at the door and you wonder who it could be. Why, it’s the USPS mail guy, and for some reason he’s hand delivering my mail on this very fine Saturday afternoon. That’s odd, he never comes to the door, unless… unless there’s a package. Hey, will ya look at that! My postal pal DOES have a package addressed to me… a big ol’ box, none the less. “Who is it from,” I wonder, as I look for a knife to slice open the packing tape. Damn… no name on the outside, just an address. “Who the heck is it from and what on earth could it be,” I think aloud as I peel back the tape, flip back the corrugated lids and plunge my hands into a sea of styrofoam peanuts! Wait a minute… I feel something in there… and voila, I unearth a monster sized zip-lock bag ensconced in a layer of neatly wound bubble wrap.

Picture 14Scissors! Nurse… hand me the scissors… I’m going in!

Gently I clip around the edges as not to slice the precious contents of this mystery package that has happened it’s way to my front door this ordinary autumn weekend. Like in the Twilight Zone episode, “The Eye of the Beholder”, I unwrap layer upon layer of protective gauze, and as I peel back the final layer, I gasp as my eyes open wide and jaw drops to my kitchen’s granite countertop. But unlike the Rod Serling saga that displayed an image of frightful horror to the medical staff, I have just unraveled a vision of beauty so lovely that birds begin to sing as flowers actually sprout from the very ground.

WOW… Somebody sent me CIGARS!!!

Surprise, Zman, YOU HAVE BEEN BOMBED! Now incase this hasn’t happened to you, bombing is a term when one brother of the leaf sends a fellow toker of tobacco an unannounced package of premium hand rolled goodness. You didn’t ask for it, and you didn’t know it was coming, but it came… it came just the same. And this particular package just happens to be loaded to the gills with enough ring gauge action to get me through ‘til springtime, I tell ya! I mean just look at this golden menagerie of wrapped leafy splendor… Ashton VSG’s, Avo Maduro, Bolivar Cofradia, Camacho 10th Anniversary, CAO Brazillia, Fonseca, Cubano Limatado, Frank, Llaneza 1961, La Gloria Cubana Serie R, Montecristo White, Partagas Black, Punch Grand Cru, and several other cigars that make my mouth water, head spin, and palate yearn for a mid day smoke (or three or four!)

And that’s not all… there’s some Hawaiian coffee, a cigar t-shirt and a hat, and several cutters… but much to my surprise… NO NAME! The devilish do-gooder who sent this care package from the heavens has chosen to remain anonymous! And damn, isn’t that just like a real, honest to goodness BOTL? I can tell you without question that cigar smokers are some of the finest and most generous people on the face of God’s green earth. They give, give, and give, only looking to bring joy to their fellow partakers of the puro. I have seen this type of heartfelt gifting done over and over  (say, I may have even done some of it myself) and it is really what makes cigar connoisseurs worldwide, some of the finest individuals known to mankind.

So here’s to you, oh cigar bomber of the leaf-o-shpere. You give from the heart, pounding our mailboxes with surprise, and filling our humidors with tobacco grown in God’s sun kissed fields. May the good Lord bless you, oh spreader of Churchill cheer.

Tommy Z.


We the People Have Spoken… Again

Monday, November 8th, 2010

I generally don’t like to talk politics on this blog because while we are all brothers of the leaf, our political differences can drive us apart and cause infighting amongst friends. But this past week we saw an election day blood bath occur before our very eyes, sending a message loud and clear to politicos everywhere that we will not stand for your vile and viscous crap any longer. It’s still OUR country and WE the PEOPLE will have the final say EVERY single time.

we-the-peopleI have made it pretty clear over the past 3 years writing this blog, no matter what party they stand for, I believe that ALL fulltime, career politicians are evil scum – true to life gutter-snipes who are without question, the lowest of the low. And even though I do vote for scum (because that’s all there is to choose from), I generally choose who I feel is slightly less malevolent. When Obama was voted in, the people spoke – they wanted nothing to do with a government run by the same party that associated with George Walker Bush. “Change” was the new mantra and the country thought there was new hope. But now two years have passed and our nation’s economy is in a brutal mess as 70% of people surveyed in the exit polls said that our economic situation was by far the number one thing on their mind while standing behind the curtain.

CorruptPolitician31About a month prior to President Obama’s election in ‘08, Nancy Pelosi stated that one of the very first things she would do when he was elected was to have him sign the SCHIP bill – a bill that would subsequently put a massive hurt on the already tax burdened cigar industry. President Bush had vetoed the bill a number of times, pointing out its flaws and points of contention. And was it ever a proud moment for the Speaker of the House as she grinned ear to ear, while as promised, placing the papers before her new Commander in Chief. And it was an even prouder moment for the American people this past week who sent a message LOUD AND CLEAR to Ms. Pelosi that she would soon be the ex-Speaker of the House. I ask you – shouldn’t her first real priorities have been to work hard at fixing our broken mess?

If you think I’m standing up for Bush, you are sadly mistaken. He let a lot of bad mierde take place and the American people sure as hell let him know it. And now, 24 months later, unemployment, housing, healthcare, and all kinds of other ugly problems have no upside in sight and the CHANGE that was promised was obviously the classic political rhetoric that WE the PEOPLE have been used to hearing for more than two centuries. In George Washington’s final speech at the end of his term as President, he warned about the inherent dangers of only having a two-party system to choose from. Thomas Jefferson also warned about big government’s intrusiveness as he strongly spoke against allowing career politicians to exist in our landscape.

In one of my very first ever blog posts here, I called for a voting booth button that simply said, “None of the Above.”  How shocked would the slimy lifetime politicos be to see the results that such an action would produce. But since that isn’t an option, we do have to choose a candidate and there is no question that the elections of ’08 and ’10 have sent a message with a deafening and thunderous scream. The people of Minnesota told Jim ‘Porky’ Oberstar of Minnesota to take his 18 straight elected terms and go the f@#k home by electing Chip Cravaack, a total new comer to politics! 18 straight terms as a career pork barrel producing blowhard is long enough, and as all across the nation this past week, WE the PEOPLE had spoken. Hey, I swear to you that I’m not gloating or taking any kind of pride in what happened this past week, because the U.S. citizens were voting for the lesser of two evils. Independents ruled the roost this time out and that will certainly continue to happen, and the politico stooges of this country simply need to do one thing: Do WTF they say said they were going to do.

All any of us BOTL’s can really do is enjoy a fine premium, hand rolled cigar. And hey, may I suggest a flavorful beaut…

Handmade DR
Wrapper: ECSU    Binder: DR    Filler: DR
Mild-Medium Bodied

CuestaReyCentroFinoThe Cuesta Rey Centro Fino Sungrown is a much fuller-bodied cigar than its cousins in the original Cuesta Rey line. This brand has Sumatran sungrown wrapper leaf from the Quevedo region in Ecuador. The filler is a five-year-old Dominican ligero and the binder is also from the Dominican Republic. This cigar, made by Tabacalera A. Fuente y Cia will appeal to those Cuesta Rey fans seeking more strength in their smoke.

That’s it for today, enjoy the week and somoke ‘em cuz ya gottem,

Tommy Z

JR CIGARS Blog With the Zman

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