“Smoked Up” No.81

Life is good. Things are looking up in my neck of the woods. Work is going great as we are about a week ahead of schedule and the boss’s attention is now off of me and my crew. My friend has been progressing very strongly over the last few weeks. She is more alert & active each day. She does have her memory as she remembers her family and they have asked her if she remembers me and she shook her head “yes”, smiled & crept tears of joy when they told her I would over to see her this coming weekend. Today she stood up with some assistance and that alone is a feat in itself considering the shape she was in a week ago.

Thanks to everybody who has kept her in your thoughts and prayers over the last few weeks. It means a lot to her, her family and I.

Not much going on in my cigar world. I have had a new (to me) cigar or two. The heat has still kept the number of cigars that I have enjoyed a little low. But the AC of the local B&M has sure been a blessing on Sunday afternoons. I will be heading back to NOLA this Saturday and hope to see Crescent City Cigars has their new shipment of IPCPR orders in as I love Armando’s taste in cigars.



Cigar Views

RP Edge Maduro

Rocky Patel Edge Maduro: I have never particularly cared too much for the Edge line up until the Habano line came out two years ago. I fell in love with that cigar as it ha great flavors, good smoke time and a good price. I haven’t had a maduro Edge in quite a few years. I now remember, it just doesn’t do too much for me. I thought a cup of coffee would help enhance some flavors, but it didn’t do too much for the cigar. Had an excellent construction as that was no issue. But the flavors just weren’t anything beyond “ok” for me. Lots of cocoa and some dark chocolate notes as well as hints of wood and a light white pepper. Not a bad cigar by any means and the price is right on, but just not one of my go-to Rocky Patel cigars.  
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(Miami, Florida) August 11, 2014— A.J. Fernandez Cigars, recognized for creating some of the most acclaimed cigars in the industry proudly unveils a 13 minute documentary which went live today and can be seen on the home page of their website at:  www.ajfernandezcigars.com.


A.J. Fernandez, who has blended consistently highly rated cigars, is documented in a way that gives the viewer just a glimpse of the passion and expertise which has led many to consider him a tobacco prodigy.

 AJ Documentary image004

Kris Kachaturian, Managing Partner of A.J. Fernandez Cigars said: “I have always stated that A.J. Fernandez will be known as a legend in the cigar industry in only a few years. I felt it was important to take advantage of the present time to document our journey. For those who are not able to visit our factory, we present them with this documentary which will bring the factory to them.”


Public Works, an award winning boutique creative agency based out of Denver, Colorado spent a week at the factory in Nicaragua and created a very unique documentary. The film is composed of beautiful cinematography, music, time lapse photography, education, and history in a way which communicates the A.J. Fernandez Cigars story in a very soulful manner.


The documentary is being announced on the heels of A.J. Fernandez’s unveiling of his latest brand, New World, which was created along with his father Ismael Fernandez who recently joined A.J. Fernandez Cigars after his retirement from the Plasencia family.


To view the documentary please visit:  www.AJFernandezcigars.com.



About A.J. Fernandez Cigars:

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.80

From the amount of cigars I smoked the past week, I would say things are looking up. I added two cigars to my trip itinerary of seeing my friend at Oschner’s in New Orleans. It so happen to be a La Palina cigar both ways and made the solo trip a lot more manageable for me. My friend is getting better day by day in small steps. She is fully out of her medical coma and awake more and more. She has two thirds less the IVs going into her and out of the neurological intensive care unit; but in another ICU now. She is making more eye contact and looked to want to talk to me, but she is still pretty drained and I told her to save her strength and “Stay strong Nell.”

Thanks to everybody who has kept her in your thoughts and prayers over the last few weeks. It means a lot to her, her family and I.



Cigar Views


 Black Label Salvation

Black Label Trading Co Salavation: A pretty tasty smoke that had a healthy amount of spice, dark charred wood through out the cigar. Had an excellent draw and burn with long tight ashes. For about $9 and change, this is a smoke I would recommend. Looking forward to trying a few other Black Label cigars in the near future as this one did not disappoint at all.   
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Recluse Cigars Featured in Movie Premier on the Hallmark Channel

We at Recluse Cigar Company are proud to be the featured cigar in tomorrow nights world television premier of The Ultimate Life movie on the Hallmark Channel at 9pm. (EDT) 8/02/14.  We would like to thank our movie industry friends for their support.  Lets all tune in tomorrow night and blow the ratings off the roof at the Hallmark Channel and show support for our friends in Hollywood who show their support for the premium cigar industry!

Recluse Movie


“Smoked Up” No.79

The past week has been one of the most challenging ones I have had in a long time. With my good friend still in a medically induced coma over in New Orleans, she has be on my mind a great bit.  As well as me juggling four major projects at work at one time; this week has been rough on me. I got to see my friend shortly on Thursday and a good bit longer on Saturday. They are only allowing “immediate family” to see her. But her parents consider me family as I was once to be their son-in-law. Friday, they started to reduce her sedatives & on Saturday she started waking up very slightly for a few seconds at a time; but still “out of it.” I got to see her beautiful eyes a few times. The nurses say she may or may not know who I am right now, but she knows I’m there due to the way her vitals change when she looks at me. That right there made the trip all worth while & her outlook was getting a lot brighter! They are hoping by the end of this week or first of next, she will be completely out of the medical coma and more alert. I will be making another trip to see her this weekend as well as many more in the future.

Thanks to everybody who kept her in your thoughts and prayers last week. It means a lot to her, her family and I.

When I was in New Orleans to see my friend, I stopped off at Crescent City Cigar’s newest location in Metairie, LA. I was needing a cigar to calm my nerves. To say this shop is small is an understatement. But the boutique cigar selection is extremely hard to beat! My good buddy Joe made the trip with me to keep me company and we enjoyed a Elogio Habano Exclusivo Crescent City Cigar while there. This is a great smoke if you like Elogio! I grabbed a few handfuls of newer boutique cigars and will try and get a few reviews on them soon.


Cigar Views



Crux Nifamaniac Dark: I have always wanted a Nifamaniac and I happen to pick one up while in New Orleans (get your mind out of the gutter!!). This perfecto/lancero is just a cool looking cigar with a nice wrapper aroma to it. It reminded me of the Javelin from La Caridad del Cobre in its shape. The cigar had a nice slightly thick draw and I needed to keep a lighter handy as it went out a few times on me (my fault). Had nice dark chocolate, slight black pepper and a slight creaminess on the finish. Overall, for about $7, I will be getting a few more of these as I really enjoyed it.   
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“Smoked Up” No.78

This issue will be on the shorter side. 99% of the news was released last week prior to the IPCPR Trade Show. Also, a dear friend of mine is in a medically induced coma. She is a diabetic and her sugar got too low, too fast. She has shown signs of improvement today, but I am not in too high of spirits the last few days. If you could do me a favor and keep my friend Janelle in your thoughts and prayers her, her family and I would greatly appreciate it.


Cigar Views


Oliva Siason: For a “budget” Oliva cigar, it was not bad at all. For about $6, it reminded me of a mellower “O” with a little bit of sweetness. Would be a decent cigar to keep around the humidor for a nicer yard gar or for a novice cigar enjoyer looking for a bit more strength and flavor than an entry level Connecticut cigar. For the price, its worth it.  
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CAO Brazilia and Flying Dog Gonzo Imperial Porter Pairing

The CAO Brazilia line has been a go-to cigar when it comes to CAO. I have a fondness for Brazilian wrappers and the darkness they add to the flavor profile. The Gol is my favorite size, but occasionally I will toast up a Lambada.

The Gonzo Imperial Porter just sounds like a good brew to me. I am a fan of pretty much anything with Imperial in the name. This notates a higher alcohol content than a non-imperial beer. And I have liked many porter style beers I have came across as well. BeerAdvocate rates this beer at a 90 meaning “outstanding”. Ratebeer gives it an overall score of 99. With those two scores, I believe I am in for a nice treat today with this pairing. Although the 9.2% ABV is not the highest alcohol content I have ever had, I still prepaired myself by having a large pizza & chips before the pairing. I let that settle and cleansed my palate prior to the pairing for a more fair review.



Cigar Stats

Beer Stats

JR Cigar Announces Black Abyss

Fans of premium-quality San Andrés wrapper leaf are gonna want to check out, Black Abyss, a brand-new handrolled premium cigar crafted by José “Jochy” Blanco, the guy who grows the leaf for a bunch of Boutique Blends cigar brands, including Aging Room and Swag, both of which have collected tons of high ratings in cigar magazines (the Aging Room Quattro F55 Concerto took second place in Cigar Aficionado’s top 25 of 2013).


Black Abyss is handmade at Tabacalera Palma in the Dominican Republic and, while it is full bodied, it’s cleverly designed for not just smokers of super-strong cigars. It’s got that big, rich, bold flavor often associated with a San Andrés wrapper and it does contain some potent ligero leaf, but along with the blend’s hearty, zesty notes of dark coffee, this cigar begins and ends with a sweetness while a smooth creaminess remains throughout, making it a great choice for medium-bodied cigar fans who want to step it up in strength.

Black Abyss’s construction is top-notch, as evidenced by its extremely even burn and draw, which are made even better by an exceptionally appealing aroma.

Jochy Blanco’s Black Abyss is made in four sizes (each featuring a somewhat sinister name: Banshee, Cerberus, Hydra, and Wraith) packed in boxes of 20 cigars. If all that’s piqued your interest, you’ll be glad to know that Black Abyss cigars are also pretty reasonably priced. Starting in July, you’ll find them exclusively at JR Cigar.

“Smoked Up” No.77

The past week has been a hot and muggy one here in South Mississippi. Every day there has been an afternoon rain shower that almost ruined my afternoon smoking plans. Although the rain didn’t last long, the 95+% humidity did. With that being said, I didn’t smoke many cigars this past week. Mainly I smoked the CAO and Flying Dog Brewery pairings. I did get another tattoo this past Friday on my arm. It was an addition to one that I had gotten done three years ago.



Cigar Views



Senorial by Jose Blanco: After Jose Blanco left Joya de Nicaragua, he went on a world tour. Seeing this, I figured he was tasting the world of tobacco and was planning a cigar blend for him or another company. That was just it, he started his own company with the “Senorial” being his first blend. This cigar was high on my radar this summer and was actually excited to see it on the shelves at my local B&M. This was a pretty tasty medium bodied smoke that I figure would be a bit more fuller. If you like a nice Dominican cigar, this is definitely a cigar to try. Had nice very smooth wood, light black pepper with an ample sweetness on the back half of the draw.

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A.J. FERNANDEZ to Introduce New Brand: New World



(Miami, Florida) July 11, 2014— A.J. Fernandez Cigars, known for producing consistently highly rated and sought after cigars is proud to unveil “New World” at the 2014 IPCPR in Las Vegas. New World will be showcased as a value brand featuring the same quality, consistency, and workmanship that is expected from A.J. Fernandez.  The New World Cigar brand is the first blend in where A.J. Fernandez and father Ismael Fernandez come together


Master blender A.J. Fernandez has created New World. A unique cigar which pays homage to the discovery of then “mystical smoking leaf” called tobacco by the Europeans when their ships landed in what is now called the New World. In November 1492, Jerez and Luis de Torres first observed natives smoking as they were searching for the Emperor of China. Not knowing they landed in what is now known as Cuba, they came across natives that made rolls of palm and mais leaves in the manner of a musket formed of paper with tobacco on the inside. One would light one side and drink the smoke out of the other.

new worlds

A.J. Fernandez said: “The New World Cigar relates to expanding one’s knowledge and questioning the status quo by discovering our personal New Worlds as we go through life. 
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