La Sirena and Miami Cigar
NEW YORK, NY – December 12, 2013- Following a successful three-year partnership with Miami Cigar & Company, La Sirena Cigars will become independently owned and operated by Arielle Ditkowich as of December 31st, 2013. Ditkowich will remain at the helm, continuing to produce new and exciting blend profiles. Arielle is excited for La Sirena’s continued growth and looks forward to 2014 projects, industry shows and travelling to retail events.
Ditkowich is extremely grateful for everything Nestor Miranda and the entire Miami team has taught her during their partnership and will always look at the Miranda family as an extension of her own. “Miami [Cigar & Company] saw the potential in me to create a boutique brand in a challenging business dominated by men. We worked tirelessly to create distinct blends that appeal to aficionados looking for something unique” Said Ditkowich.
Distribution of La Sirena and Merlion Cigars will remain under the Miami Cigar & Co. umbrella until December 31st, 2013. Starting January 1st, 2014 distribution will be handled by La Sirena. La Sirena Cigars will continue to work with the Garcia Family at My Father Cigars and Guillermo Leon at La Aurora Cigars to make the current Sirena and Merlion Blends respectively.
La Sirena Cigars will be announcing more exciting updates, find out first by following us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @lasirenacigars
La Sirena Cigars was founded in 2009 by Arielle Ditkowich in partnership with Nestor Miranda of Miami Cigar & Co. The La Sirena Original blend, available in six vitolas debuted in 2009 and is rolled in Nicaragua at My Father Cigar Factory. The brand followed up with its second release in 2012, The Merlion, created by La Aurora in the Dominican Republic with the medium bodied, full flavored smoker in mind. La Sirena brand cigars are distributed nationwide and available at over 300 retail stores.
The holidays are in full swing and things here at my house are swinging back and forth worse than a carnival ride. The weather went from wet to cold to warm to comfortable all within a few days. The humidity stuck around long enough to hamper my cigar smokings somewhat. But it wasn’t enough for me to work on my Christmas light display. I am at the home stretch and only have a few hundred left to hang. I have officially ran out of extension cords and will be getting some this weekend to finish everything up.
With the weather and Christmas light display being a high priority, I didn’t get in too many cigars this week. I did get in a review of the A. Flores 1975 Gran Reserva Half Corona from Pinar Del Rio Cigar, so check it out too. I have been enjoying a few good beers here while working out in the yard. My favorite right now in the fridge is the Terrapin Moo-Hoo Chocolate Milk Stout. Its a seasonal beer I highly recommend to try. The Moo-Hoo is followed by the Rogue Hazelnut Brown Nectar, its a very good beer that’s better with nutty nuances with a nice smooth texture to it. I am also liking the Bell’s Brewery Expedition Stout, its one stout beer for sure. Their Kalamazoo Stout is higher up on my likings though.
Arturo Fuente Anejo No.50 (2013): I absolutely love the Fuente Anejo. They are good fresh out of the box, better after a year rest and great after two years. I usually try to get a handful of them when they show up around Christmas time. This particular one didn’t last long in the humidor, as it was from the 2013 Father’s Day run. I still have a stash of various Anejo from many years back. Had awesome cedar, a little pepper spice and a great cocoa/chocolate flavor. The oaky after taste was deep and lingered for a long time. Into the smoke a bit, the smoke got a bit creamier than previously. Had a little thicker draw than I usually like; but it was very manageable. From the good burn came a tight ash that was a dirty white and almost pure white in places.
Released at the 2013 IPCPR Convention, the A Flores 1975 Gran Reserve is one of the newest lines from Pinar Del Rio Cigars (PDR). Master Blender Abe Flores blends PDR cigars in Tamboril, Dominican Republic. Said factory blends and rolls not just PDR Cigars. They also blend and roll a hand full of other cigars for other companies (ie: La Palina, Primer Mundo etc…). If you are wondering where the 1975 comes from, its the year Abe was born.
Size: 3 1/2″ x 46
Vitola: Half Corona
Wrapper: Dominican Corojo 2006
Filler: Dominican Corojo, Nicaraguan Habano
Country: Dominican Republic
I hope every body had a safe and happy Thanksgiving. Mine was pretty low-key. Spent most the day with the fiancé and Satori. A little after lunch time, we went to her parents house for dinner. Afterwards we had a few drinks, relaxed and watched some tv. When I got home, I braved the 35* weather, watched MS State win the Egg Bowl & enjoyed a Drew Estate UF13. I really enjoyed that cigar and is quite possibly one of my favorite DE cigars I’ve had.
My weekend was pretty busy. Started after working Black Friday by going to a local cigar shop. Enjoyed some Knob Creek bourbon and had a few cigars. 1st was a Sons of Anarchy, which I figured it would be lacking for a cigar named after a TV show. It turned out pretty good actually (see below). Then I had a “highly acclaimed” 94 rated Sublimes. To be honest, I really didn’t care too much for it. But willing to give it another go later on. Saturday, I hung up more Christmas lights, worked on my “main attraction”. Sunday, me and the misses went Christmas shopping and had an early Birthday Dinner for her.
Drew Estate UF13: I have been looking for these cigars for a while. Luckily, my local shop got a box in and kicked myself in the butt for not buying more than one. This is one of my favorite DE cigars I have had! Had awesome dark and “meaty” flavors that I like in a cigar. Some creamy dark caramel with charred wood notes and a hint of a dried apricot note as well. Towards the end, I got a nice chalky cocoa flavor that was a nice way to end the cigar. Had an awesome draw, great burn and nice tight ashes. This is a cigar to seek out and buy handfuls of. Reminded me of a Dirty Rat in a way. Larger ring gauge and similar flavors. I paired the UF13 with some Knob Creek Small Batch and Coke (I had to work on Black Friday morning). The only complaint I have with DE LEs is they don’t use enough glue on the caps. Seems like almost every cap on DE cigar comes off too easily. Too much glue on the band, not enough on the cap.
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
ESPINOSA PREMIUM CIGARS PRESENTS
“THE LA BOMBA MIKEY STORY”
Hialeah Gardens, Florida (November 27, 2013) – Espinosa Premium Cigars has released a short film entitled “The La Bomba Mikey Story” today on their website and YouTube Channel. Earlier in the year the company began an advertising campaign to promote the strength of their extremely full-bodied 601 La Bomba line. The first ad introduced a skinny guy with permanent marker writings all over his face and arms, and surrounded by some of the guys from the Espinosa Cigars crew writing on him. The skinny guy, who eventually was nicknamed “La Bomba Mikey” appears to have been overcome by the strength of the 601 La Bomba cigar. This ad also dared cigars smokers to take the “601 La Bomba Challenge” by posting a before and after picture of their experience with the cigar to prove they could handle it.
The follow up ad showed La Bomba Mikey pinned to the back of a police car with the words “Under the influence? Officer, it was a 601 La Bomba, I swear!” After the encouraging feedback, the company knew they had to conclude the story somehow. So they created a short film to conclude the popular series in conjunction with a new promotional campaign “The 601 La Bomba Experience” contest which asks their smokers to submit their own La Bomba experience in video or photo.
The short film and contest details can be view on the company’s website at
The holiday season is getting into full swing. The stores have Christmas music playing, with trees, lights and other holiday accessories out. The weather is getting pretty brisk and Thanksgiving is Thursday as the year is creeping to an end. I hope everybody has a safe and happy Thanksgiving no matter what your plans are. Also realize we don’t have to wait till Thanksgiving (or November) to be thankful. Be thankful every day.
Saturday I spent most the day building Christmas yard decorations. My Dad helped me build a major part of the light display. We worked till late in the night and we finally had to call it quits after the temperature dropped into the 40s. Sunday, I had planned on doing the Bonita Smoke Shop 18th Anniversary review, but it got postponed until yesterday. I ended up adding three extra electrical outlets outside my house. I am planning on a huge amount of Christmas lights this year and wasn’t going to test the current electrical situation at my house. My great buddy Wes, helped me out a lot and made the job much easier. The few hour job turned into many hours after a few minor snags in the plan. But was worth it in the long run. I ended up testing out each outlet with a few hundred lights and found no issues. I plan to keep adding lights to the yard as the days/weeks go by and will post up a video of the who display once I am done with it in a few weeks.
Iconic Leaf Recluse Draconian Robusto*: I did a full review of the prerelease sample of this cigar a while back. The smoke was fairly smooth and had a slightly creamy aftertaste to it. I got a nice amount of a dark chocolate and an easy black pepper. The combination doesn’t sound like it would be pleasurable, but the black pepper wasn’t too strong or “bitey”. The flavors were exactly like I got in the prerelease sample. I am glad to see they kept the blend the same as it is a pretty good smoke! The citrus zest, French bread and coffee flavors I got in the prerelease are still there as well. The draw was great, burn was straight as an arrow & produced massive amounts of smoke. The only difference between the prerelease and the production, was the production was a soft box pressed cigar and the prerelease was a parejo.
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A few months ago I did a review of the Bonita Smoke Shop Time Warp and it hit me as a pretty good smoke for a “house blend cigar”. It was not your typical cheep $3 house blend cigar that’s basically a 2nd of another company or a cheep unbanded cigar from a large distributor/company. The 18th Anniversary s just like the Time Warp in the fact that a lot of time and patience was taken when this cigar came about.
Both the 18th and Time Warp were blended by Willie Herrera (now with Drew Estate) under the watchful eye of Jackie from Bonita Smoke Shop. Rolled using the entubar way at the ETB Cigars factory, in Little Havana, Miami, FL.
Size: 6×50 (Also available in a 6×60 “Grande”)
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra Wrapper
Filler: Nicaraguan and Dominican
Country: Miami, FL
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This week’s smokings has been fairly light. The weather was cold one day, cool the next , rainy another and then warm the next. It wouldn’t surprise me if I ended up with a runny nose by the end of this week. Nothing some bourbon, lemon juice and a few cold pills wont sweat out. I spent a lot of time with friends and family and less with cigars this past week. When the weather gets reasonable at night, I can see a few bonfires and cigars in the making. Work is pretty hectic and been trying to play catch up for the last few weeks. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, but its pretty faint!
My weekend was pretty low-key. Went to a community arts and & crafts festival and found out my hometown has no open container law. Which made me being there a bit easier to manage (haha). After that fiasco, I went to the local shop and watched the AL vs MS State game; that was an aggravating ordeal to watch. But, was happy to see State held AL to only 20 points in the game. That was the least points they have scored all season and I held my head high after that game (being a MS State fan). Seeing MS State is an unranked team and AL could only score 20 points on them was a feat in itself.
East India Trading Co. Red Witch Double Fuerte: A new extension to the Red Witch line that I have found to be a pretty good medium bodied cigar. The Double Fuerte has twice the ligero as the original Red Witch and it shows right out of the gate. It is a fairly good bit stronger than the original and a unhealthy amount of spice right at the start. I also got some hints of nuts and coffee in the flavor profile and I progressed into the cigar, the spiciness of the smoke eased off and let an ample amount of caramel show through. I enjoyed this cigar somewhat for a more fuller part of its predecessor. With an inch plus left, the flavors got off and got tired of touching up the off burn; so I laid it to rest there. The 6×56 size of this cigar is about the limit when it comes to cigars. I like that the blends are somewhat similar and I can get a medium bodied smoke from the original Red Witch and a more fuller evening time cigar from the Double Fuerte Red Witch.
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2013 is flying past me at brisk pace. I usually start my holiday planning after the county fair and Halloween is over. Well, the fair ended last week and so was Halloween, so I am making lists of presents for the ladies in the house & other family. I am also starting looking at my Christmas light display I put up every year. Last year I had a few thousand lights up in the yard. This year will be a little different, I will have more…. WAY MORE! I got an electrician lined up to add a few circuits and outlets outside for the added light count. As much as it would boost my ego tripping a breaker, I don’t really want to this year with the amount I am planning on. My daughter loves the lights and it warms my heart to see the smile on her face when they kick on every night.
I have gotten in a handful of cigars in to review for the next coming weeks. I hope to try to get as many in as I can before the holiday rush hits me. I have at least a month and a half of reviews lined up, so I will be cutting it close this year.
I only had two entries in last week’s “Smoked Up” contest. I will be sending both people an email for their addresses to send the cigars their way.
Ventura Cigar Co. Psyko Seven Robusto: This is an other interesting cigar from Ventura Cigars. I reviewed their 805R a bit ago and was a pretty good smoke and this new blend from them is no different. The first inch or so was so complex, I couldn’t get a grasp on the flavors. When it did settle down, I got a healthy dose of black pepper, some wood and cream. Around the midway point, the sharpness of the black pepper eased off a bit. The easing off black pepper let a nice leathery flavor enter into the mix of flavors. Had a nice, but slightly thicker draw, great construction and long tight ashes. Look for a full review of this cigar later on in the month.
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I am really enjoying the cooler weather we have gotten here lately. I just wish it would make up its mind and stick around! One day its in the 70s, the next its in the upper 80s. Its amazing how I stay from getting sick. The better weather and my new laptop allowed me to get in two cigar reviews this week. Hopefully the weather can stay pleasant and I can keep up the pace on the reviews.
Halloween went well, we went with the “in-laws” to a Trunk or Treat at a Church. Satori had a blast and got way too much candy than a 2 year old should ever have. Satori won the 0-3yr old girl’s costume contest too! Her mom spent a lot of time hand making her costume and was a great success. I went as a “hunter”, wearing full camo… which is not anything unusual for me as I wear camo here and there during the fall/winter.
Saturday, I was the winner of some Commonwealth Cedar Spills after I answered a Rocky Patel trivia question on the Kiss My Ash Radio show. They will be here in a week or so and am looking forward to giving them a try and let you know what I think of them.
Emilio Draig Cayuquero Toro: The 2013 Emilio Draig is called the Cayuquero and I got a few to sample from Emilio Cigars. This year’s Draig had a better draw than the Draig K, although I did sit it outside on the ashtray, got sidetracked and almost forgot about it. So the humidity level of the cigar was a bit on the higher side; causing a tab bit thicker draw and slightly off burn. Started off with some hints of chocolate, cinnamon and a vegetal/floral twang to it. 2nd portion had some smooth wood, and coffee notes. The final portion had similar flavors as the middle portion, yet darker and richer. I didn’t care much for the long finish during the final part. I am on the fence about this cigar. If the draw of the Draig K would have been less snug, I would have liked it over the Cayuquero. None the less, it is a cigar I would suggest to try.
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