Last year I did a pre-release review of the second release from Iconic Leaf Cigars, the Recluse Draconian. That review was of a robusto size. Today I will be taking a look at the production size of the same blend just in a different vitola; the Sidewinder #2. This particular vitola or shape, will you, is like no other shape on the market to date. Its a hybrid of a box press and your typical parejo (round) shaped cigar. I suppose the flattening out of the cigar gives is a more fuller flavor profile and more forcefully marries the leaves together, creating a different experience as opposed to a parejo shaped cigar.
Vitola: “Sidewinder” #2
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Maduro
Binder: MBC “proprietary”
Filler: Braziago HD, Piloto Cubano, Iconic Ligero (proprietary) & Dominican Ligero (Top Prime)
Cost*: $8.60 (at Tampa Humidor)**
As I look at this cigar laying on its “back” with the band facing me, this looks like a huge cigar. The 57rg looks more like a 60+, but my eyes could be playing tricks on me. Yet, when I take another look, the sides are not as large as the front or back facing of the cigar. This is where the Sidewinder comes into play. It is a hard box press, with rounded edges, slightly rounded sides & an almost chiseled cap. This shape gives a unique feeling in your mouth and is quite comfortable. Its seems almost “oval” shaped, but more flatter than an oval. It fits well in between my fingers and the flatness of it makes for a sturdy hold. The flattened oval shape feels better than an oval or rounded shape cigar. Nobody’s mouth is round, its more of a flattened oval shape, so the Sidewinder feels well in my mouth.
The head of the Sidewinder is firmly packed with a good amount of tobacco in it, so a sharp quality cutter is a must for a clean cut. The head has a flattened shape with crisp edges and narrows slightly to a neatly applied cap. Me being a fan of smaller ring gauged cigars, the cigar feels better in my mouth width ways with the thicker portion of the cigar running parallel to my teeth. The other way is just too uncomfortable to me, but some may like it if they are a fan a large ringed cigars. Also, I suggest a dual flame to toast the foot of this cigar. I used a single flame and it was almost all it could do to toast it evenly. There is a lot of tobacco real estate in the foot of this cigar!
The cold draw is fairly faint, with hints of a light oak. The foot has an aroma of some straw, cinnamon and an even lighter hint of a cocoa.
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This week has been very off and on. The first part of the week, it got down to freezing a few days and then the weekend was one of the best one could expect. I went to a Room 101 Cigar event and got to talk to Matt Booth and he is one cool and laid back guy. We talked about cigars and life in general. We both agreed that the Papi Chulo is one of our favorite sizes and I expressed how I wished it was about an inch longer. I asked him if he had any thoughts of making a Sumatra cigar and he replied “Nothing in the direct future, but definitely in the pipline for future stuff.” I am looking forward to this as he produces some of the best smokes around. All with mainly fuller flavors and a solid medium body.
The weekend, I went to a local Mardi Gras parade that was two blocks away form my house. I met up with some old life long friends and we had a great time. I knew a handful of people on various floats so we got hooked up with beads, moonpies & stuffed animals! I also got a few shots of your typical Mardi Gras madness liquors and glad I didn’t drive as I could have easily overdid it that day. Luckily I kept my composure and retreated back to the homestead afterwards for a few smokes and some quality outdoor time with my daughter.
I had a review lined up to go up on Monday, but the weather was not too favorable for cigar smoking, so it will be pushed out till the coming Friday. So keep an eye out for it.
Cigars International “Legends” Green Label: I was gifted this cigar off of a forum site a year or better ago. It sat in my humidor with the notion that it was made by Puros Indios and “eh, I’ll smoke it one day.” I used to smoke the heck out of some PIs while hunting or working out in the yard and this one brought me back to those enjoyable days. It was a decent smoke for what it was. Nothing too bold or overpowering. Easy notes of a slightly spicy wood, with some hints of coffee and cream. I used a V-cut on it and gave a great draw, tight ashes and even burn. Not a bad smoke for $5 a pop and would make for a great yard ‘gar.
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Punch Rare Corojo is making its annual return, this time with a sleek, retailer-friendly box and an extremely limited new size.
The 2014 release of Punch Rare Corojo features Rare Salomones, a 7.25″ x 57 figurado which is the only cigar in the line that’s packaged in a wooden cabinet-style box. It will sell for an SRP of $7.99 per cigar and will only be available in 2014, until the limited quantity is depleted.
The blend and band of Punch Rare Corojo have not changed – just the packaging and the addition of Rare Salomones. Known for its rich, reddish Sumatra wrapper cultivated in Ecuador, Punch Rare Corojo is made with a spicy blend of Nicaraguan, Honduran and Dominican tobacco, and bound with hearty Connecticut Broadleaf.
Champion – 4 /2×60 25/box $5.40SRP
Double – 6 3/4 25/box $6.30SRP
El Doble – 6×60 20/box $6.80SRP
Magnum – 5 1/4×54 25/box $6.50SRP
Pita – 6 1/8×50 25/box $6.20SRP
Rothschild – 4 1/2×50 50/box $4.90SRP
Elite – 5 1/4×55 25/box $3.90SRP
Punch Rare Corojo Rare Salomones joins the original lineup of these Rare Corojo offerings which are handcrafted in Honduras:
About Punch Rare Corojo
Reintroduced in 2001 after a shortage of wrapper leaves caused the product to disappear at retail for several years, Punch Rare Corojo sold out as quickly as it returned that year. Since then, General Cigar has been able to secure a sufficient amount of the rare Ecuadoran Sumatra wrapper each year for a limited annual release of Punch Rare Corojo.
Miami, FL, March 3, 2014:
Royal Agio Cigars and Drew Estate Tobacco Company are pleased to announce exclusive distribution agreement effective April 1st 2014. Drew Estate will market, sell, and distribute all Royal Agio Cigar brands in the United States.
This agreement expands Royal Agio Cigars’ reach across the broad channels of tobacco distribution throughout the U.S. and provides the opportunity to market Panter, Mehari’s and Balmoral brands in the optimal way.
Boris Wintermans, CEO of Royal Agio Cigars explains: “Although our companies are quite different, there was an immediate chemistry between our two family businesses. Both companies aim for creating purposeful brands for the long run and are committed to making a difference. We both have the ambition to expand in the U.S. market and the Royal Agio portfolio compliments the Drew Estate brand portfolio perfectly.”
“Drew Estate Tobacco Company, including both the Drew Estate premium division and the popular market side called, “Half a Sandwich” has tremendous respect for the Royal Agio team and the special family tradition behind all of their fine cigars,” explains Jonathan Drew, co-founder.
“At Drew Estate, we understand that success comes through purposeful collaboration. That’s why we are so excited about this new partnership with Royal Agio,” according to Drew Estate President, Michael Cellucci.
About Drew Estate:
Founded in New York City in 1996 by two former college fraternity brothers, who shared a dream to become world-class cigar makers. Jonathan Drew and Marvin Samel led Drew Estate to become one of the largest and fastest growing cigar companies in the world. Under their mantra “The Rebirth of Cigars”™, Drew Estate has defied the odds by innovating new elements to the cigar industry with their unique tobaccos and blending styles that have attracted new and old cigar enthusiasts. In their Gran Fabrica Drew Estate, the Nicaraguan headquarters, Drew Estate produces successful brands such as ACID, Herrera Estelí, Java by Drew Estate, Kentucky Fired Cured, Liga Privada, My Uzi Weighs a Ton, Natural, Nica Rustica, Tabak Especial and Undercrown.
About Royal Agio Cigars:
Royal Agio Cigars is a leading global cigar manufacturer offering internationally renowned brands such as Mehari’s, Panter and Balmoral. Established by Jacques Wintermans in 1904 and headed by 4th generation Boris Wintermans, Royal Agio Cigars has always been an independent family company. At the centennial, her Majesty Queen of the Netherlands awarded Agio Cigars with the Royal warrant of appointment. From its home base in the Dutch town of Duizel, cigars are being sent to more than 100 countries worldwide. Production facilities in the Netherlands, Belgium, Sri Lanka and the Dominican Republic combine state of the art technology with the best tobaccos available to result in the highest quality cigars for cigar lovers all over the world.
For more information on both companies, please visit our websites:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Nomad Cigar Company Releases “Connecticut Fuerte.”
Orlando, FL (March 3, 2014) – Nomad Cigar Company is pleased to announce the release of the Connecticut Fuerte: Blended and rolled in the Dominican Republic.
Earlier in the year Fred Rewey, founder of Nomad Cigar Company, outlined his plans for the year, which included the release of a Connecticut cigar.
Created in the heart of the Dominican Republic, Nomad’s first Connecticut wrapped cigar successfully treads the fine line between traditional and progressive.
“The goal was to give traditional Connecticut smokers something a ‘bit more’ but not bury them in spice or strength. The other consideration was that I really wanted to create a cigar Nicaraguan fans would enjoy for their first smoke of the day. It was a very challenging endeavor. So far, the response has been very positive and I am pleased that so many people are taking to it” Said Rewey.
The Nomad Connecticut Fuerte cigar features the Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper, an Ecuadorian Habano Binder, and Both Dominican and Nicaraguan fillers. The cigars come in 20 count boxes and is available in four sizes.
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut
Binder: Ecuadorian Habano
Filler: Dominican Republic & Nicaragua
Corona 5.5 x 44 – $158
Toro – 6 x 52 $170
Robusto Gordo 5.5 x 54 – $170
Robusto 5 × 50 – $158
Nomad has grown considerably in the last year with the 2013 release of the Nicaraguan S-307 and the Esteli Lot 1386.
The Nomad Fuerte is in stock and shipping to all retailers.
More information can be found on Nomad’s website at www.NomadCigarCompany.com
Fred “Godfadr” Rewey, Nomad Cigar Company
Phone: 855-MYNOMAD (or 855-696-6623)
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The past week has been pretty crazy. I was hoping for a relaxed weekend to get some yard work done and maybe start work on my garden. Then reality hit me and I had my daughter’s third birthday to host, an 8+ hour meeting at work on Friday (that started late) and went to Ben Lee’s son’s birthday party at Chuckee Cheese’s. I am all for being there for the kids, but next time if Chuckee is involved, Shawn won’t be! That place gave me one headache I ‘ll never forget. I think every teenager should work there during their freshman year in high school. That would slow down some of the 16 and Pregnant TV shows for sure!
Besides that, the weather got a bit rough here a few nights and had some tornado watches in the area which is crazy seeing its only February! The weekend weather was not much better; muggy, humid and rainy. So I guess I couldn’t have gotten done any of my weekend projects no how.
Viaje Satori Karma (2010): This is one of my favorite Viaje blends ever produced. The Zen is my favorite size in the line, but the Karma is no slouch either. I smoke a Satori every year for my daughter’s birthday who which we named Satori. I have enough Satori (cigars) to smoke one a year until Satori goes to college and then some. With age comes a nice smoothness to the smoke that starts with a small pepper note. Followed by an even smoother woodsy and then a long lasting chocolate or mocha note. I was hoping these cigars would age well, so far they are. They are good fresh and (like most Viaje LEs) are getting better with age.
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BODEGA PREMIUM BLENDS ANNOUNCES PARTNERSHIP WITH ICON MANN™ FOR 2ND ANNUAL “POWER 50” PRE-OSCAR DINNER EXPERIENCE
Los Angeles – February 20, 2014 – Bodega Premium Blends @BodegaCigars today announced their support of ICON MANN™ and the 2nd Annual pre-Oscar event. ICON MANN™ is the leading lifestyle media company “championing the accomplishments and positive dialog surrounding the Diaspora of Black men.” Their impressive list of luminaries span from Award-winning actors/directors/musicians to Fortune 500 businessmen including numerous premiere Cultural Artistes, Media Moguls and Technology Entrepreneurs.
One of the many goals of ICON MANN™, according to its founding partner and CEO, Tamara N. Houston is to “recognize men from multiple countries and a wide array of industries who are using their tremendous professional success to advance the lives of others, be it communities, or nations in some meaningful way.
ICON MANN™ does not specify how this is done or have allegiance to any specific organization for their participation. ICON MANN™ only mandates that our men are involved to great affect so that the measure of success throughout the Diaspora is synonymous with one’s philanthropic commitment.”
ICON MANN™ pre-Academy Awards (Oscar) celebratory dinner will mark the inaugural relationship between the two. Comments Rob Mariani, BPB co-founder, “Bodega’s Reunión Aperitvo and Digestivo blend combination marries itself perfectly to ICON MANN’s very essence: Culture and Fellowship.”
“We are extremely pleased to be ICON MANN’s companion partner for this Oscar event”, stated Bodega Premium Blends’ CEO Gino Domanico aka @Cigar_G. “The cigar industry is like no other. You are not divided by race, religion, social status or political views. Cigar enthusiasts share a bond that is second to none. We’re proud to be associated with these leaders of change”, adds Domanico.
Bodega Premium Blends (www.bpbcigars.com) is a Boutique Brand focused on offering only Premium, hand rolled Cigars. BPB’s mission is Investing in your Life’s moments.
About ICON MANN™
I am making a few minor changes to “Smoked Up”. First of all, I am now going to be publishing it on Wednesday instead of Tuesday. This gives me a little more time to get information organized and releaves me of some of the early week stress. Second, I am changing the format some of the “Cigar Views” section. Nothing major, just some of the layout and possibly the way the views are expressed.
There is finally some better weather in my area and I am glad to see it here. The days are in the mid to high 60s with no more cold weather in sight. I am sure the people in the north are happy to hear this (hahaa). Not too much going on in my neck of the cigar world. Although, there are a few cigar events in the next few weeks that I am looking forward to going to. More on those in the next few weeks.
I went to a local tattoo shop’s (Twisted Anchor Tattoo) 2nd anniversary where they were having a party at. They had free food, drinks, beer and tattoos. They had 6 variations of their logo of an anchor to choose from. You could change the colors, but not the size or design. I went bold and got mine done on my rib cage and that in its self was quite an experience. It was not my first tattoo, and won’t be my last. The rib cage area is not a place I would recommend getting one as it was fairly painful, but I managed “pretty damn good” per the shop owner/artist. My girlfriend’s sister was working up there and they ended up getting some work out of me as well. I didn’t mind; and it got me to the front of the line! They did a little over 100 tattoos that day and some people waited till 11:00 Sunday night for theirs. I’ll post up a pic next week of it when its healed.
Davidoff 1000: I don’t smoke too many Davidoffs, mainly due to the price. I can get a bolder, longer smoke for lesser money. But there are times I want a mellow milder smoke and I grabbed a 1000 from the box I won at the Super Bowl party. It had just about a perfect draw and burn with mild cream and tobacco notes. A hint of caramel popped up as I paired this with some Cuban style Café Bustelo. The bold coffee almost overpowered the flavors in the cigar, but over all a good smoke. I am starting to see how the quality of the cigar is offset by the cost.
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Tuesday, February 18th, 2014
BLUEGRASS CIGAR SUITE NAMED HOUSE OF EMILIO MASTER RETAILER
Nathan McIntyre, House of Emilio National Sales Director announced today that Bluegrass Cigar Suite, Williamstown, Kentucky has earned the distinction of House of Emilio Master Retailer.
“DK, and Jordan Kenner called us out of the blue several years ago having done their research through social media,” McIntyre notes. “They are energetically engaged in online communication, reviews, and add a lot of creativity to being a retail tobacconist. It has been a pleasure to work with them from day one, and now to add this special shop as a Master Retailer.”
“When you have access to such a diverse line up of quality cigars, its difficult not to support it,” states Jordan Kenner, Chief of Social Media Management and Humidor Director for Bluegrass. “Top to bottom, or better yet, left to right, the House of Emilio portfolio provides my customer base a broad selection of awesome smokes that fit anyone’s palate.”
For more information, contact Bluegrass Cigar Suite at (859) 824-0969, or visit them at 1214C Main Street, Williamstown, KY 41097.
Tuesday, February 18th, 2014
Blue Havana II named House of Emilio Master Retailer
House of Emilio National Sales Director Nate McIntyre announced today that Blue Havana II in Alpharetta, Georgia has been named the newest addition to the Master Retailer program.
“Jim Luftman has supported the boutique cigar industry for a long time, and has supported Emilio Cigars from near the beginning” stated McIntyre. “It’s an honor to include him in our Master Retailer family. It takes quite a lot to earn this distinction, and Blue Havana II has definitely earned it.”
“With an estimated 1200 facings in the humidor, Blue Havana II Cigars carries many of the “mainstream” cigars but focuses on the smaller boutique cigar manufacturers,” says Jim Luftman, owner of Blue Havana II.
“In working with the House of Emilio, we have found a distributor whose vision matches our own and we have embraced this vision by carrying a full line of House of Emilio products and becoming a Master Retailer.”
Blue Havana II can be contacted at:
Blue Havana II Cigars & Gifts