- Featured Article -

CAO Amazon Basin V2.0

CAO Amazon Basin

At the beginning of 2015, one cigar grabbed my attention for its unique look, flavor, and blend. This cigar, the CAO Amazon Basin, was made from a limited supply of tobacco grown in the Brazilian Rainforest. Called Braganca, it had quite a story and my article of January 2015 reflects just how much I loved… Read More

- Cigar Committee Reviews -

Maestro Del Tiempo, Las Mareas Rebeldes, Caldwell Anastasia, Bellas Artes, Viaje Exclusivo

Cigar Committee Round 5

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 King of Cigar Bargains Still Reigns: the Nica Libre 1990!

Nica Libre 1990

Way back in 2010, I compared the recently released AJ Fernandez Nica Libre 1990 to the established, and much loved, Padron 1964 Maduro. The purpose was to see if a $2.00 cigar could compete with a stick four times its price. A side by side comparison proved to this smoker that indeed, the Nica Libre… Read More

Herrera Esteli Norteño Belicoso Fino; a great homecoming!

nortenoboxopen_575

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

Cuban Cigars in the USA?…don’t hold your breath.

Padron Cohiba

When President Obama announced he was opening talks with the Cuban government, cigar smokers across America rejoiced. After five decades of an embargo, there was finally hope that Cuban cigars would soon become available to consumers in the US. Would we finally be able to buy CCs without looking over our shoulders? Unfortunately, at this… 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?

Still waiting to become mythic.

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