- Featured Article -

Become A Cigar Flavor Detective!

Nat Sherman cigars

For many of us, discerning the subtle flavors of a fine cigar is not easy. On the surface, a cigar tastes like tobacco. Sure, we can tell if we like it or not, but to deconstruct the elements within a cigar’s flavor profile requires, experience, imagination, and the right set of circumstances. Here we will… Read More

- Cigar Committee Reviews -

Caldwell All-Out-Kings; Davidoff Winston Churchill Late Hour; Serino Royale; The T AJ Booth Caldwell; Vallejuelo Gran Toro

Robustojoe Round 11

The Rules. Each month, a group of experienced cigar smokers participate in tastings of five new cigars. All smoke one of the selected cigars each day, and it is the first cigar of the day. All cigars are paired only with water, and are purchased at the same time from the same vendor. The cigars are stored for at… Read More

- Encore -

The Odd Couple: pairing a cigar with a Bloody Mary

Robustojoe's Bloody Mary

Sunday brunch is always a treat, especially when a cigar lover can smoke one of his/her favorite morning smokes. Coffee goes well with a mild cigar, and the leisurely pace of a long breakfast is conducive to the enjoyment of a fine puro. Plus, that first cigar of the day is exceptionally enjoyable. But what… Read More

Buying Cigars in Cuba: a smoker’s dream come true.

Havana Tourists

A few weeks ago I made my first trip to Cuba. It was a trip planned last year with a group of cigar aficionados, and needless to say, we were excited to finally visit the renowned birthplace of cigars. For this article I will focus solely on the “cigar experience” while in Cuba, leaving all… Read More

On the road in Pinar Del Rio, Cuba

Vueltabajo Hotel, Cuba

About two hours west of Havana lies Pinar Del Rio. It’s the town near the Vuelta Abajo where the best Cuban cigar tobacco is grown. Here is a video I took while visiting the region on Feb. 21, 2017. Visiting Cuba for the first time was quite an education. A full article is coming soon.

Herrera Esteli Norteño Belicoso Fino; a great homecoming!

After a few months of dealing with a non-life threatening medical condition, (I’ll spare you the gory details), I’m finally back doing what I love most…smoking fine cigars! My first cigar after this short hiatus was new to me, and something I had purchased just prior to my abstention: the Herrera Esteli Norteño Belicoso Fino by… Read More

When Good Cigars Taste Bad, part 2.

Cromagnon Fomorian

(In Part 1, we discussed a number of factors that influence cigar flavor. Here, in Part 2, we look at them again, and offer a few new observations on the subject of cigar flavor perception.) After ten years of smoking cigars, I am struck by how every cigar I light has a unique quality that… Read More

The Last Word On Cigar Cellophane.

Cigar Cellophane

Well, maybe it’s not the last, last word, but for the benefit of newbie cigar smokers, it’s a subject worth revisiting. When I first started smoking cigars in 2005, I was very confused. The amount of information regarding cigars seemed overwhelming. To add to my confusion, opinions seemed to run in polar opposites. This was… Read More

And the Best Cigar Lighter is…not a cigar lighter.

Blazer Torch Lighters

Finding the right cigar lighter is a personal matter. We all have our preferences, and there are lots of lighter styles from which to choose. But ultimately, what we cigar smokers require from a lighter is universal: a solid flame that lights each and every time we pull the trigger. That’s not a lot to… Read More

Traditional Cigar Flavor…does it really matter?

Illusione and Liga Privada

How many times have you smoked a cigar in public, and had someone ask, “Is that a Cuban?”? When you explain why it is not, they are always surprised to hear that great cigars can be made outside that large Caribbean island. Without getting into the endless debate of Cuban (CC) v. Non-Cuban (NC) cigars,… Read More

The Best Cigar We’ll Never Smoke…

Edicion Limitada

We cigar enthusiasts are a fastidious bunch.  We research our purchases carefully, always looking for the best cigars at the best price.  We peruse endless reviews and ratings with anticipation, hoping to uncover the next great cigar.  But, as it turns out, no amount of web surfing, or magazine reading will ultimately lead us to… Read More

Cigar Aging: is it worth the effort?

Updated 12/2014 Ever notice that the highest rated cigars are usually aged Cubans?  In Cigar Aficionado, these cigars are listed in the esteemed Connoisseur’s Corner.  There, it seems, the oldest cigars get the highest scores.  For example, in the December 2011 issue, a 1956 H. Upmann no. 120 hit a perfect 100.  Coming in second… Read More