Jordan Alexander III Corojo Announced

DALTON, PA. Jordan Alexander III Premium Cigar Company’s newest release, the Jordan Alexander III Corojo will begin shipping to retailers on February 2, 2015. Originally announced as a mid-Fall 2014 release, the release will instead now mark the first release of 2015 for JA3 Cigars.

The new blend is manufactured by the Quesada Cigar Factory and will largely replace JA3’s current corojo blend (See August Press Release for details on rebranding/release). The Jordan Alexander III Corojo is constructed with a Dominican Corojo wrapper, Dominican binder, with Dominican and Nicaraguan filler. This release is available in four vitolas; robusto (5 1⁄2 x 54), toro (6 x 52), double toro (6×60), and belicoso (6 x 52). The three parejo vitolas feature a pigtail cap and closed foot.
Read the rest of this entry »

“Smoked Up” No.93

2015 has started out with the utmost of crappiness. Tuesday morning I was heading into work and was greeted with a broken window and one of my pistols was stolen from the truck. I was cold, tired and now severely aggravated. I usually conceal my pistol in the truck when I leave it for the day, but failed to do so Monday afternoon. I had to wait (in the cold) for the police as I called during the middle of their shift change. After everything was reported and such I found out they hit a few other vehicles in the area. So I got a unexpected day off from work to get a new window put in. While waiting for the glass company, I did get to enjoy a Ortega No8 Natural with a cup of coffee. Then ended the day with a well aged Viaje Oro Edicion Limitada DT. So the day wasn’t such a loss.

Let’s hope the rest of the year gets better!

Ortega No8 Natural


Cigar Views


Perdomo Gran Cru SG

Perdomo Grand Cru Sungrown: I don’t smoke too many Perdomo cigars. The ones I do like are their stronger blends and my favorite is the 20th Anniversary Sungrown. I haven’t had too many of the Gran Cru, but it reminds me somewhat of the 20th. I liked the little bit of spiciness and oak of the blend, but in a smooth package. Not as strong as the 20th, but almost as good.
Read the rest of this entry »

Cigar Media Association Announces Nominees for 1st Cigar Industry Awards

The Cigar Media Association is pleased to announce the 1st Cigar Industry Awards. With the establishment of the Cigar Media Association in 2014, the 14 members involved in the association wanted to create an award ceremony where they could honor and celebrate the companies and individuals in the cigar industry. This marks the first time a collaborative effort among various brands of the cigar media have come together for such a process.

As this is the first year, the 14 members have created three categories, but they plan to add more categories in the coming years. There are so many wonderful individuals and companies in the industry, that it is only appropriate that more categories be added over time to honor them. As this is the first year though, there are three categories and those categories are:

  1. Cigar of the Year: Our first category, Cigar of the Year, was an easy and practical category to come up with. Everyone always talks about Cigar of the Year, but we wanted to have 14 members come together to decide what cigar is truly Cigar of the Year. To quality was simple, the cigar needed to be released in the 2014 year and nominated by a Cigar Media Association member. Each member was asked to nominate five cigars for this category, and that left the association with a maximum of 70 cigars to vote on. Of course, multiple members votes on similar cigars, so it was easy to determine which cigars led the pack. From there, we took the five cigars with the highest votes and submitted them back to the members where there will be a final vote.  The winner of Cigar of the Year will be announced January 16th, 2015.
  2. Brand of the Year: Our second category, Brand of the Year, was a category that was created to recognize all brands on the market. This was a category that did not look at a specific cigar and that cigar’s accomplishments that year, but rather looked at a brand as a whole and how well received it was that year and the impact it had. In some ways, this is the big picture award, but at the same time, does not take into account a brand new release. You can look at a company that re-branded itself, a company that re-blended some past releases, or nothing at all. This company could go to that brand that did not have a huge victory, but a lot of subtle ones throughout the year. Like Cigar of the Year, we asked all the members to think of the five brands that the biggest impact on the cigar industry that year. From there, we took the five brands with the highest votes and submitted them back to members for a final vote. Like Cigar of the Year, the winner of Brand of the Year will be announced January 16th, 2015.
  3. Online Media Member of the Year: Our third and final category, Online Media Member of the Year, was a category that was created to recognize the media site that delivered terrific content throughout the year. This award is given to the media member who best exemplifies what the Cigar Media Association is about, and provides the industry with a reliable and enjoyable source of content. This is an award given to the member that constantly delivered content to his or her readers throughout the year. All members of the association in good standings were able to qualify for the award, and each member was asked to vote for three members for the award. Once we had the three with the highest votes, we submitted them back for members for a final vote.  The Online Media Member of the Year will be announced January 16th, 2015.   
    Read the rest of this entry »

Shawn’s 2014 Cigars of the Year

2014 has been quite a year and has moved on by in leaps and bounds. This year has had its ups and downs with the family, friends and cigars. My focus over the last months have been on my family and trying to spend more time with them. My daughter will be four in February and is a handful, but one well behaved toddler and I enjoy every minute I can have with her. I’ve had friends and family pass away or injured seriously this year that really made it sink in that I was needing to spend more time with those close to me. With that being said, NTA has somewhat suffered in the lack of reviews and news that I wanted to get out. I apologize, but hope you all understand. Thanks for sticking with NTA and not giving up on our love for cigars.

Over the last few years, the making of my Cigars Of The Year list was quite a task and usually took a week or better of thinking and trying to remember the cigars that stood out that year. My camera on my phone was a handy tool for this scrolling through numerous cigar pictures but there was no way to remember how good or great they were. This year I started a spreadsheet on my computer with the names of the cigars I smoked with a 0-5 rating in .25 increments. I don’t use ratings in my reviews as I just describe the flavors and experiences of the cigar and whether I like it or not. There were quite a few cigars with 4s and a handfull with 2s and below. A few cigars that came out this year I didn’t care for, but they saw a lot of rage for them on social media. This just shows you that taste is very subjective and what I like, you or another cigar reviewer may totally hate.

I wish I could do a list composed with all 2014 new releases, but there are quite a few that I couldn’t or didn’t get ahold of that I wanted to. Many were not sold locally or sold only online. I like to support the local shops, but next year I will have to venture more into online ordering to be able to try more new cigars. My list is composed from all the cigars I smoked in 2014. I made a plan to try to smoke as many new or cigars that I would normally pass up this year. I was fairly successful at the plan, but there are still quite a few I wished I would have tried. My “variety plan” worked out so-so. There were a few cigars that I usually pass up that I tried that were fairly tasty and a few I know why I passed them up in the past.

All that rambling over with here are my favorite cigars I smoked from 2014. The list is in no particular order, except with my Cigar Of The Year.


Runner Ups

My Father La Antiguedad Robusto

My Father La Antiquedad – I found this cigar at a B&M some 30+ miles from my house. I really didn’t have too high of hopes for it, but wanted to give it a shot seeing it was new, so I only grabbed one. One the way home, I toasted it up and was amazed by how good this cigar was! A lot of My Father Cigars are bold and strong with good flavors. This cigar hit me superbly that morning as it had great flavors in a package that wasn’t too strong. I wished I would have grabbed more when I was there the first time, but didn’t think twice to grab a few more the next time I was there.  
Read the rest of this entry »

CAO Italia CIAO (Robusto)

CAO has one of the most extensive lines of cigars on the market today. Most of them are very affordable and there is quite a spread of flavor profiles in their line up. The CAO Italia was one of the first cigars I tried from CAO some years ago. I didn’t particularly care for it and pretty much gave up on the CAO lines. Some time afterwards, I grabbed a Brazilia GOL and really enjoyed it. So the Brazilia saved CAO in my eyes. I was given the chance to review the Italia by CigarsCity recently and at first I was not too enthused about reviewing the cigar. But I bit the bullet and figured maybe my previous experience with the cigar was a fluke, so I went ahead and gave it another go.


CAO Italia 4

Cigar Stats

Size: 5×56

Vitola: Robusto

Wrapper: Honduras grown Habano Maduro

Binder: Honduras

Filler: Italian (Benevento), Nicaraguan, Peruvian

Price: $5.10*   
Read the rest of this entry »

“Smoked Up” No.92

I hope everybody had safe and happy holidays. Things are finally slowing down here enough for me to get to work on NTA. Our Christmas was pretty good, Satori racked up on toys as she must have been on Santa’s good list!




I did get another tattoo the first of December. I had thought about the design, I am sure many of you will recognize, for quite a while. I was a bit skeptical  on going through with the tattoo until I did some research on it and this is what I found:

This Cherry Blossom represents the ever-changing seasons that are experienced
throughout one’s lifetime as well as the concept of a short, yet beautiful life.
The tattered leaves this blossom bears signify the storms we have weathered
together as a family and those we have yet to weather.  Finally, the intact and
unblemished core of this blossom represents the unfaltering and un-moveale
nucleus of our family unit.

With that being said and the struggles I’ve been through in my past life and recent past family life, this was a no brainer. I got this tattoo done at the Due South Tattoo Expo by the amazing artist Azha Sanders. I will be getting quite a few more by her in the near future.



I am composing my 2014 Cigars of the Year and it will be out on Tuesday. I was trying to get it out before then, but with a lot going on with the family, I didn’t have much quality time to devote to the list.


Cigar Views

Black Label Trading Co Salvation

Black Label Trading Company Salvation: I have enjoyed quite a few BLTC cigars as they each have their own unique flavor profile and not two are alike. The Salvation has a somewhat spice start to it with an earthy, leathery and cedary core. Most Black Label Trading Compay Cigars are in the $9-13 range. This is the uppermost area of my “sweet spot” price and pushes the limit as wether its a good value or not with me. It was an interesting smoke, but not something I would smoke on a regular basis as the price is a bit on the steep side.   
Read the rest of this entry »


(Miami, Florida) November 25, 2014— A.J. Fernandez Cigars, known for producing consistently highly rated cigars will introduce a limited batch of New World Connecticut cigars for a one-night only sit down dinner event taking place at the world famous “Cigar Inn” located in New York City.  Event will take place on Monday, December 1, 2014 at Cigar Inn located at 1016 2nd Ave. NY, NY 10022.

 New World Conny

New World which was collaboration between A.J. Fernandez and father Ismael Fernandez has been received with rave reviews. To celebrate the success of New World, A.J. Fernandez Cigars and Cigar Inn will partner for a limited seating dinner event featuring a course meal by Rothmann’s Steakhouse. The exclusive event will also feature a premium whiskey pairing hosted by Gentlemen’s Jack to introduce the unveiling of the New World Connecticut.  Cigar Inn is one of the most notable cigar shops in the nation and boasts the only Cigar Aficionado endorsed cigar lounge.


The New World Connecticut to be introduced at the event will be a Robusto 5 1/2 x 54

Wrapper: Connecticut Shade U.S.A.

Binder: San Andres Mexico

Filler: Nicaragua, Brazil   
Read the rest of this entry »


Hialeah Gardens, Florida (December 5, 2014) – Erik Espinosa of Espinosa Premium Cigars proudly announces the release of The Backroom Series, an Espinosa Lounge Exclusive.  The Backroom Series will feature cigars exclusive and limited only to Espinosa Lounges.

Its first release, “The Alibi”, is a secretly blended, 6 x 48, Small Churchill, wrapped in a dark Ecuadorian Habano Oscuro wrapper.  The Alibi is made at Erik Espinosa’s own La Zona Cigar factory in Esteli, Nicaragua.

The Alibi Cigar

Said, Erik, “My guys have been pushing me to get some limited and exclusive stuff out there.  I have been waiting for the right time and never at the expense of our core lines, which remain our company’s priority.”  Added Erik, “At the end of the day, we are cigar makers, it’s what we love to do.  This gives us a chance to be creative and an opportunity to further showcase our factory, La Zona.”   
Read the rest of this entry »

“Smoked Up” No.91

It has been a few weeks since the last “Smoked Up” was out. Since then I have been pretty busy at work and home with not a whole lot of free time to spare. Work has been busy with us getting things ready for Black Friday and the holiday selling season that’s upon us. At home, I have been getting the house decorated, cleaned etc.. for the holidays. Most of my free time has gone into putting up my thousands of Christmas lights. My daughter loves them and it keeps me out of trouble doing them. I have about 5,500 up right now, with plans and materials to put up over 1,000 more! My house looks like Christmas has thrown up on it!


I won’t be putting in the weekly news this time due to the lapse in issues of “Smoked Up.” Most of the recent cigar news can be found on the sites listed on the right listed under the “Friends of NiceTightAsh” column. I won’t put up all of the cigars I smoked during the last few weeks; just the ones I jotted notes of on.



Davidoff Melenium

Davioff Melenium Blend: This cigar is in my top 5 (or so) Davidoff cigars. It had great flavors that were a bit more than the core line of Davidoffs. It was not as mild, but more of a solid medium bodied cigar with some dark wood notes that paired well with a few fingers of some Blanton’s Single Barrel Bourbon. Worth the price? Possibly so on a special occasion.


Ave Maria Crusader

Ave Maria Crusader (Robusto): I had one of these a while back and couldn’t remember how it was, so I figured why not give it another go. It wasn’t no award winner, but a solid medium bodied smoke. Had somewhat smooth woody notes with a nice creaminess that appeared here and there. This would be a good morning smoke accompanied by a cup of light to medium roast coffee.    
Read the rest of this entry »

“Smoked Up” No.90

Looks like the hot weather in 2014 is a thing of the past. The temps have been dropping into the low 40s at night and peaking at around 70s during the day. I love this type of weather, but don’t like the cool nights. I started work on my “smoke shack” with my heater, tv, laptop area etc…. I do this once a year to combat the cold due to I have to smoke outside. One day I’ll have a smoking room!


Cigar Views

 Ezra Zion Tantrum PA

Ezra Zion Tantrum PA: I really enjoyed the first release of the Tantrum, but the size had me wanting more than it could offer. Then, the PA Limited Edition was released in a larger (longer) size and I was thrilled to see a sample of if on my doorstep. This cigar was one of the best cigars I have had all year. I won’t go into too many flavor details as I am going to do a full on review of it next week. But this is one cigar I suggest to search out over many other LE cigars this year.  
Read the rest of this entry »