Camacho Box-Pressed (BXP) Launching Nationwide in February
– An intense spin on our classic blends, a new bold journey to embark on –
General Cigar Co. is a leading manufacturer and marketer of handcrafted cigars for the premium market. The company is owned by Scandinavian Tobacco Group. Committed to delivering cigars of the finest quality, General Cigar’s skilled artisans produce Macanudo®, Cohiba®, La Gloria Cubana®, Partagas®, CAO®, Punch®, Hoyo de Monterrey®, Excalibur® and several other leading premium brands in the company’s Dominican, Honduran and Nicaraguan factories. In addition, the company cultivates proprietary tobacco which is used exclusively in its blends and has a dedicated R&D practice that develops new varieties of tobacco and revitalizes vintage seeds. General Cigar also operates Club Macanudo®, a cigar bar in New York City. In 2010, General Cigar entered into a joint venture agreement with Plasencia Group to expand its leaf growing and processing expertise and increase its access to tobacco. Based in Richmond, VA, General Cigar sells through tobacconists in the U.S. and exports select products to 62 countries. For more information, visit www.cigarworld.com.
As I get older and older, its been a while since I’ve heard “last call” as I don’t frequent the bars long enough to hear it anymore.
A.J. Fernandez has his hands in quite a few blends of cigars for others besides his own. Recently he has collaborated with General Cigars with their Hoya La Amistad which is a great smoke and I’ll be taking a look at it in the near future. The Last Call cigar had its debut around the start of the 2016 NFL Football season. Prior to its retail release, the cigar was passed out to A.J.’s friends, at his house, around the last part of a football game as a “Last Call” cigar of the evening. The smaller vitola of the cigar was perfect for someone who finished a prior cigar, wanted another smoke, but had a little bit of time left. The cigar was a big hit with A.J.’s friends and it was decided to produce it for the masses. This scenario is pretty similar to the Man O War Puro Authentico history being a personal blend eventually made for retail.
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano Rosado
Wrapper: Mexican San Andrés Maduro – rabito cap & closed foot
Binder: Nicaraguan Habano
Toro – 6.25 x 48 (20 count) MSRP $10.00
Lancero – 7 x 38 (16 count) MSRP $9.50
With it being the first of 2017, I hope everyone had a safe & happy holiday season. Prior to 2016, I typically enjoyed 1 to 3 cigars in a day. 2016 was way different as I was lucky to have 2 or 3 a week. I didn’t get to try a sliver of the cigars I had on my “Try List.” I didn’t get in no where near enough reviews as I should have. My daughter started school this year which means I had more on my plate this year than last. With her school functions, homework, various dance classes and recitals, I was pretty wore out. My typical day starts at 4am and usually ends around 8 or 9; not leaving me much quality time to sit down with a cigar (to review or just enjoy). Then, the closest local shop went up for sale middle of the year. With that being said, the owner didn’t get many, if any, new cigars in from there on out so I didn’t frequent it often. I would have to travel 45mins or more to a stocked B&M. I was either pressed for time or didn’t want to travel the distance to get to the other shops. I also was saving and pinching pennies all year to try to save up for a summer Florida vacation, car tag, birthdays, Christmas etc…
With all that being said, I won’t be publishing my 2016 Top Cigar list. I wish I could, but my list of cigars smoked was not as vast as I wished it to be and wouldn’t be a fair list in my opinion. What I am going to do is post up a few pictures of some cigars, in no particular order, that may have made it to the list this year.
I have made some 2017 cigar related New Years resolutions:
- Try to get to local B&Ms more frequently.
- Try more cigars I wouldn’t typically try.
- Visit the closest B&M more as a new owner has taken over & see if the offerings have increased.
- Order more online if I can’t find a particular cigar locally. (I only made one small online order in 2016 and it was for some pipe tobacco.)
- Make or find time to enjoy more than 2 or 3 cigars a week.
- Try to publish a weekly or biweekly cigar review (new or old cigars).
- Try to publish more cigar news (not personnel changes or things of that nature).
- Looking at doing B&M tour posts and possibly shop owner interviews.
Here are a few contenders of my favorite cigars I smoked in 2016. Some of these may or may not have made it to the list had I had a better selection to go by. Not all of these cigars were released in 2016, many are older than 2016 release.
I have to be 100% honest and say I haven’t had too many Dunhill cigars in my smoking history. They have came off to me as too mild and mellow for my likings. Before the deeming FDA regulations took place, I received a package with the Aged Maduro and I really was in no hurry on trying them. Until I saw a few other BOTLs that were saying pretty good things about it, so I figured lets see what its all about. The first few I had, I was pretty shocked how good it was and was like no other Dunhill I’ve ever had. From that point on, I had to get a review out.
The history of the Dunhill company starts in 1907 with Alfred Dunhill opening a tobacco shop in London. Alfred mainly dealt with blending pipe tobacco, making pipes and selling cigars. He didn’t start producing cigars until much later in the 20th century. Dunhill never produced a maduro cigar until the Aged Maduro came about at the 2016 IPCPR Trade Show.
Vitola: Short Robusto
Wrapper: Sun Grown Ligero Maduro
Country: Dominican Republic
Cost*: SRP per cigar is $10.45
Available in three sizes in 10ct boxes:
Marevas– 5.13 x 42; SRP per cigar is $9.45
Short Robusto — 4 x 54; SRP per cigar is $10.45
Short Churchill – 5.5 x 54; SRP per cigar is $11.95
Inspired by the hit Fox TV Show “Empire” comes the Lucious Lyon cigar from Meier & Dutch. Along with the cigar, is a line of accessories is being launched; crystal ashtray, 75ct humidor, cutter, and a lighter designs by Xikar. Meier & Dutch is a b&m distribution part of Cigars International which is owned by Scandinavian Tobacco Group. The cigar has a limited production and is available in three sizes:
No. 1 (5.5 x 50) Robusto MSRP $12.50
No. 2 (6 x 54) Torpedo MSRP $14.40
No. 3 (6 x 52) Toro MSRP $13.80
Wrapper: Connecticut Shade
Binder: San Andres
Filler: Mexican and Dominican
Country: Honduras at the HATSA factory
Price: $10.50 (via 5pk here)
If you have never had a Rocky Patel cigar, you must be fairly new to cigars or living in a cave. Rocky Patel has been making cigars from mild to full body, with everything in between, for quite some time now; all at a fairly reasonable price. I have enjoyed quite a few Rocky Patel cigars over my many years of cigar smoking. But there is still quite a few I haven’t tried yet. Recently Holt’s Cigars offered me the chance to try a few of those I haven’t tried yet for a few reviews via their Rocky Patel Luxury Collection Toro Sampler. This sampler has 2 each of the toro size of “Ocean Club”, “Velvet Edition”, “Renaissance”, “Decade 10th Anniversary” and “Vintage 1990.” I had never tried the Ocean Club nor the Velvet, so I was looking forward to them as the others are good solid smokes. The sampler sells for less than $30 and for 10 cigars, that’s a great price. Where else can you get a toro for $3? Not to mention the sampler comes in a wooden box and not a cellophaned bundle like some samplers do.
I did a previous review of the Velvet which you can read it here. This time I will be taking a look at the Decade 10th Anniversary, which has been one of my go-to Rocky Patels. I usually enjoy it with a cup of black coffee and this time will be no different. This time I will pair it with some Buddy Brew Cubano coffee. A small back story on how I found Buddy Brew Coffee: For the last year or better, my 5yo daughter has been obsessed with going to Legoland Hotel and Resort in Winterhaven, FL. She has been watching numerous YouTube videos of the place and I decided to bite the bullet, and take the family down there (my wallet is still burning) this past July. Visiting Florida in July is something I don’t recommend, but she had a blast and was worth every penny. After a few days there, we went to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium to see Winter the dolphin who has a prosthetic tail who she is obsessed with as well. On the way home I wanted to do something simple for me and ended up at one of my favorite breweries, Cigar City Brewing in Tampa for a tour. They have a Cubano Espresso beer that I fell in love with and ended up bootlegging a few cases back to MS. While waiting for the tour, a Buddy Brew van pulls up to deliver their coffee that goes into the beer. As luck would have it, I purchased a bag of fresh roasted whole bean Cubano Espresso coffee there. This said coffee is what I will be pairing the Decade with.
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra
Price: $3 (In sampler). $11.40 (Single)
The Decade has one of my favorite wrappers, the Equadorian Sumatra. Its got some decent sized veins on it, deeply applied double cap all in a slightly box pressed shape. The foot has an aroma of lightly charred wood, nuts and hints of nutmeg with a slight spice kick. A straight cut gives off a very easy draw with flavors of a slight vegetal taste with some woodiness to it. Note: I did dry box this cigar some before the review.
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Ezra Zion has been in the cigar business for a hand full of years. One of my favorite cigars from them is the Tantrum PA as it made my favorites list in 2014. Over the last year or so, they have released quite a few ultra limited released cigars. When I say ultra limited, I should say uber limited as some of the releases don’t go past 1000 cigars. The Eminence is one of their older releases in which you can get a 5pk of the 7×48 churchill for less than $45* at the Cigar Federation Store or other B&Ms and online retailers. The thing that really caught my eye was a quad cap. A triple cap has started being the norm for many manufacturers and the edition of the quad cap seems interesting or possibly overkill. None the less, the cigar has a nice rich dark brown San Andres wrapper with Nicaraguan binder and well aged fillers. The cigar has a slight box-press to it which somewhat hindered the draw as it was a little tighter than I prefer. The burn was nice, but not perfect. From that were a mix of gray, dirty white and a light brown ashes that lasted around an inch or so.