“Smoked Up” No.96

I love living in the south, but sometimes it can be a real pain. The last few weeks have been either cold or rainy. But, the last few weekends have been outstanding so I can’t complain too much. Last week, it rained everyday and today is the first it hasn’t so I am out enjoying it and cleaning up the swamp, I mean yard some.

Nothing too spectacular going on for me in cigars. I did make it over to New Orleans recently and grabbed a few new cigars. Other than a few press releases, not much as been going on. I do have a few reviews I have lined up to go out in the near future. I was having to wait for the weather (humidity) to act right before I reviewed them. I do most of the reviews outside, so the weather has not been my friend in that area.


Quesada Keg

Quesada Keg: The Keg is limited edition cigar from the Placensia factory thats made in time for the St. Patrick’s Day time frame. Blended to be paired with an Irish Stout, this cigar sounds like it is right up my alley. At first, I didn’t care too much for the blend until I popped the cap off a Guinness and the beer opened up the chocolate and coffee flavors in the cigar a good bit. The draw was a tad thick, but other than that, no construction issues. Over all, a good smoke for someone who drinks Guinness.   
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La Marca Cigars Announces LMC Aniversario by Rodrigo Cigars and Tabacalera William Ventura

La Marca Cigars
Monrovia, CA – March 4, 2015 — La Marca Cigars, a retailer in Southern California, is proud to announce the LMC Aniversario, a cigar to celebrate the company’s first anniversary. Last April the shop opened its doors and has since gained the reputation for carrying an assortment of boutique brands. One of those brands is Rodrigo Cigars.

Ken C. Wu, Co-Owner of La Marca Cigars, comments: “Last year, George Rodriguez came to our shop and we hit it off. As we hung out, our conversation drifted towards a collaboration with George and the factory who manufactures his Rodrigo Cigars, Tabacalera Ventura. We love Rodrigo Cigars and knew about the Ventura family’s boutique pedigree, so we were extremely excited about the prospect.”

The LMC Aniversario will be offered in a 5.875 x 46 corona gorda vitola and sold in 10-count boxes. The retail price for the box will be $87.00, with an in-store single cigar price of $8.75. The cigar is medium-bodied and composed of tobaccos from two different countries; a HVA wrapper from Ecuador, HVA binder from the Dominican Republic, along with Corojo 2006, Criollo 98 and Piloto Cubano fillers from the Dominican Republic.

La Marca Cigar

“Henderson Ventura and I set out to make a cigar that reflected what La Marca Cigars is all about – commitment to craft, camaraderie amongst amigos and an undeniably cool SoCal vibe. The cigar, like the shop, is pure boutique. The appearance of the LMC Aniversario is exquisite. From the first puff the blend gives the smoker a uniquely rich flavor blast which increases in complexity with some great cabinet spice notes. The aroma and retro-hale are fantastic and the finish is clean. The Corona Gorda vitola was an excellent choice made by Ken who is not only a shop owner but a passionate tobacconist who cares about giving his customers the best smoking experience possible. LMC Aniversario is small batch done right – from the design concept by “5in5o” all the way to the nub of the cigar. I’m thrilled and honored to work with my amigos on this project,” said George Rodirogo.  
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Duran Big Logo

(Miami, Florida) March 4, 2015— Roberto P. Duran Premium Cigars proudly announces the expansion of its sales force to include industry veteran Strom Farbarik and Carolee Martin. Roberto Pelayo Duran has aggressively bolstered his sales team as this news comes only months after the additions of National Sales Manager Miguel Schoedel, Jack Torano, and Frank Cuden.


Carolee Martin brings along a stellar background as she served as the Department of Defense GS 15 Senior Advisor for Special Operations in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. In Afghanistan Carolee’s passion for cigars led her to become the first female President, of the Tali-banned Cigar Aficionado Club, Camp Gibson Chapter. Carolee was recognized for her contributions, as she was the first inductee into the Xicar Hall of Fame. Carolee’s new role will be as the Southwest Regional Manager.
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Perfect smoke logoAJ Fernndez Logo

(Miami, Florida) February 3, 2015— A.J. Fernandez Cigars, recognized for creating some of the most acclaimed cigars in the industry proudly announces the unveiling of the AJ Fernandez Lounge at The Perfect Smoke Cigar Lounge located at 213 South Lee Street, Salisbury, NC 28144.


The Perfect Smoke Cigar Lounge opened its doors under the helm of owner and operator Darren Moody on July 26, 2012. Darren revitalized a Victorian house built in the 1870’s, were the shop now thrives. Darren and The Perfect Smoke Manager, Jeff Watkins traveled to Nicaragua in December of 2013 to visit various factories which led him to strike a friendship with A.J. Fernandez. Very quickly, the talks of collaborating, to create an A.J. Fernandez Lounge within The Perfect Smoke Cigar Lounge was under way.


“I came away very impressed with A.J. as a person, and his first class operation in Nicaragua. I myself, being a huge fan of his cigars, felt inspired to create the A.J. Fernandez Lounge.”


Once inside the A.J. Fernandez Lounge you are greeted by a life sized mural of A.J. Fernandez, standing in front of his curing barn, at the San Lotano fields. The room is filled with dark leather lounge furniture, in where you are surrounded by images of A.J. Fernandez in his element, either working in the field or rolling new blends. The A.J. Fernandez logo appears throughout the lounge, along with boxes and branded material. The cedar lined walk in humidor is just over 100 square feet in size, featuring over 150 lines of long filler “handmade” cigars, mainly from Nicaragua, Dominican Republic, and Honduras.


The Perfect Smoke is a very unique cigar shop, as it was built out within a renovated Victorian home, from the late 1870’s. Darren was recognized by the Historic Salisbury Foundation, for revitalizing this structure, which is on the Historic Registry. It is located within the “Historic District” of downtown Salisbury (N.C.). Each room of The Perfect Smoke offers a distinct theme spanning from a golf theme, train room, hunting theme room, and a library.


For more information on The Perfect Smoke: www.theperfectsmoke.net or you may call 704-754-8474. Follow The Perfect Smoke on Social Media: Facebook: perfectsmokenc, Twitter: tpscigars, Instagram: dmoody1969

A.J. Fernandez Cigars is based on the rich tradition of the Fernandez cigar legacy. A.J. Fernandez now produces unparalleled, hand-rolled cigars in Estelí, Nicaragua which have garnered numerous top ratings and acclaim from cigar publications and consumers alike.  Today A.J. Fernandez continues the family tradition as he oversees production and manages day to day operations in his factory in Estelí.       


Follow A.J Fernandez Cigars on Social Media here: Facebook: AJ Fernandez Cigars, Instagram: AJFCigars, Twitter: AJFCigars

“Smoked Up” No.95

It has been a little time since my last “Smoked Up” due to internet issues, work draining me and spending time with the family. Satori turns 4 next week and the fact of this just makes me down right old.

None the less, I have had a handful of cigars throughout the past days. I have a review that will go up on Monday of a new boutique cigar. I have also been working on a conglomerate review of some “special” cigars; I’ll just leave it at that. That set of review will be up in a week or two.
LFD Ligero ChiselLFD Chisel Natural: I wish I had a good punch to truly experience the shape of this cigar. I had one that has been on my keychain for over 5yrs and worked quite well. Well, time took its toll on the punch in my pocket and rendered it useless. O-well. I usually look for the Oscuro Chisel, but found this one in the shadows of my humidor. This cigar had a spicy leather and woody charactoristic as well as hints of a somewhat dark earthiness tone. The draw was as good as could be expected as I had to opt to a straight cut, as I had no punch & the pinching of the chisel cap did no good either. All and all, a good smoke, but still prefer the Oscuro. 
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Sosa Headlines 1st Edition Page 3

The Headlines cigar has quite a mix of history. Started by Fusion Cigars and eventually revitalized in early 2015 with the help of Arby Sosa of Antillian Cigar Corp. 2014 was the 50th anniversary of Antillian Cigar Corp and in late 2014, Fusion Cigar and Antillian Cigar Corp signed a distribution agreement. This entailed a few other cigar lines and accessories and will help broaden their piece of the cigar industry.


Size: 6×50

Vitola: Toro (Page 3)

Wrapper: Dominican grown Pennsylvania Seed

Binder: Dominican Olor

Filler: Dominican Criollo 98 (ligero), Dominican Piloto Cubano (ligero), Dominican Criollo 98 (seco) & Dominican Olor (seco)

Factory: Tabacalera, Real, S.A.

Country: Dominican Republic

MSRP: $8*

Accompanying Beverage: Bustelo coffee & a bit of sugar
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La Aurora old logo


(Miami, Florida) January 28, 2015 – The Dominican Cigar Review, noted as the most important cigar magazine in the Dominican Republic, has just made public its choice of “Untamed” by La Aurora as Cigar of the Year for  2014. La Aurora “Untamed” was unveiled last July in the IPCPR Show, in Las Vegas.

The Dominican Cigar Review panel of experts concluded that due to Untamed’ s perfect balance between flavor and body,  and superior construction,  a FIVE STAR rating and the award of Best Dominican Cigar in the year 2014 should be awarded.
Dominica Cigar Review Logo
Untamed by La Aurora is a new development, that combines the tradition of a century, working with the best tobaccos in Cibao Valley, with the will to stay ahead of the curve to provide the market new and distinct products.

La Aurora’s team has achieved an incredible cigar that has no seco leaves in its blend: three different ligero Dominican leaves and a viso Nicaragua, with a binder harvested in Cibao Valley, Dominican Republic, and a precious Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper from the USA.

La Aurora Untamed Box
Guillermo León, president of La Aurora, has shown his satisfaction for the award: “La Aurora’s team has created a really incredible cigar, going beyond our traditional products.  They have successfully created an innovative product that works because of the enormous quality of its tobacco leaves”. Untamed is, for La Aurora, a step towards the future for a company which boasts a centenary in tradition.


Untamed by La Aurora Robusto is 5 x 50, but the complete gama is:


Gran Untamed 7×58

Belicoso 6 1/4 x 52

Gran Toro 6 x 58

Toro 5 3/4 x 54


About La Aurora

Founded in 1903 by the Leon Family, La Aurora is the original cigar factory in the Dominican Republic with a portfolio that includes its namesake brands, La Aurora and Leon Jimenes, as well as, La Aurora Preferidos, Guillermo Leon & Fernando Leon brands.


Follow La Aurora on Social Media: Facebook: La Aurora Cigars, Instagram: @LaAuroraCigars



About Miami Cigar & Co.
Miami Cigar & Co. proudly celebrates its 25th Year in the cigar industry. Founded by Nestor and Mariana Miranda, Miami Cigar & Co. has become one of the premier distributors of premium cigars boasting a portfolio which includes Tatiana, Don Lino and the Nestor Miranda brands. Miami Cigar &Co. also serves as the exclusive United States distributor for La Aurora, S.A and all Viva Republica brands.

Punch Rare Corojo Returns with Two New Frontmarks

GCC_Logo_Color General Cigar announces that Punch Rare Corojo will make its annual return to retail beginning on February 16, 2015. The seasonal collection will welcome a new frontmark and a limited edition size available exclusively this year.

The 2015 release of Punch Rare Corojo marks the addition of El Diablo, a burly 6.5” x 66 cigar, as a permanent new item in the collection. El Diablo will be packaged in the brand’s traditional wooden cabinet-style box and will sell for an SRP of $8.25 per cigar.
>Punch Rare Corojo_diablo_cigar Punch Rare Corojo_diablo_left open

In addition, the brand will launch a limited edition cigar called Rare Lapiz. The 6.75” x 56 tapered smoke will come in a sleek, ten-count box. Rare Lapiz will only be available to retailers through a special trade deal and will be sold until May 15, or when the allotment is depleted.   
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“Smoked Up” No.94

Still going off of last year’s cigar plan, I am trying to smoke more newer cigars. This past week was full of new (to me) cigar; I had a total of seven new cigars. Some where hits and a few were a miss. I don’t usually like to buy my cigars online and like support the locals. But with only a hand full of local shops, their selection of some of the newer cigars is limited. I will be placing a few orders for some newer cigars in the upcoming weeks for personal pleasure and for reviews. I have a handful of reviews lined up as well, so I will be getting back into the swing of a new review each week.


Cigar Views


DE Nica Rustica

Drew Estate Nica Rustica: This cigar, from the looks of a few Cigar Safari Videos, was just a fun side project of the guys at Drew Estate that was never thought to go full production on. The production of this cigar is in swing, but not too sure of a full swing or just a check swing. They can be found, but at times last year, they were quite scarce in some areas. This cigar is a “meat and potatoes” type of cigar for me. One that’s enjoyed after a good hearty meal with a glass of whiskey or bourbon. My choice was Bulleit Bourbon and paired pretty well. I like the looks of a pig tailed closed foot cigar, but they can be tricky. The closed foot does pose a problem at times when toasting it up. A good torch flame is almost a must. And then you still aren’t guaranteed an even toasting. Over all a great smoke for seven dollars and change that I didn’t smoke enough of in 2014.
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Miami Cigar LOGO(Miami, Florida) January 20, 2015— On the heels of coming out with their new image, Miami Cigar & Company closed out an amazing 2014. The company celebrated the end of their milestone 25 years in business with an exclusive Holiday Toy Drive. The function served as the company’s last soiree. It also marked a successful year which boasted a rebrand of the Nestor Miranda Collection.


Miami Cigar & Company worked together with Miami based non for profit Neat Stuff for kids to create a Holiday Toy drive to underprivileged children at the exclusive Grove Isle Hotel & Spa. Featuring cigars from the Nestor Miranda Collection, Tatiana Flavored Cigars, La Aurora Untamed, and Propaganda by Viva Republica the event was a hit as guests paired their favorite cigar with cocktails courtesy of Zafra Rum. Over 400 guests attended who included industry professionals as well as local celebrities to include Roxanne Vargas of NBC 6, TV personality Adriana Catano, Marybel Rodriguez of Telemundo 51.


Miami Cigar & Company Vice President, Jason Wood said: “The 25 year anniversary of Miami Cigar & Co. has been an amazing year as we unveiled the new look Nestor Miranda Collection to rave reviews. Without our local community we never would have achieved this milestone. It is only correct that we celebrate this year with a Holiday Toy drive to benefit local non for profit Neat Stuff which provides new clothing for underprivileged, abused, and neglected children in Miami-Dade. We wanted to thank our partners in this event to include Cigar Snob Magazine, Zafra Rum, Grove Isle Hotel & Spa, NBC 6, and Telemundo 51.” What better way to show appreciation then paying it forward and making the holidays special for children less fortunate?


Miami Cigar & Co. ended the year on a high note as the Nestor Miranda Collection Habano was included in the Cigar Snob Magazine top 25 of 2014. The Nestor Miranda Collection garnered strong ratings as the Connecticut and Maduro received a 91 and 92 ratings respectively from Cigar Snob Magazine. The Nestor Miranda Collection also received strong ratings from Cigar & Spirits Magazine: NMC Maduro 94, NMC Habano 93, and the NMC Connecticut 93.