Hialeah Gardens, Florida (September 17, 2014)

Sarsaparilla was very popular drink in the old west and was often believed to be a remedy for a number of health conditions. Sarsaparilla remains popular to this day because of its distinct and complex flavor.

Eric Guttormson, AKA Master Sensei, owner and operator of the popular Cigar Dojo app, has collaborated with Erik Espinosa from Espinosa Premium Cigars to create a cigar that pays homage to the warm, full, complex flavor of the old-west Sarsaparilla.

Sarsaparilla Cigar

Sensei’s Sensational Sarsaparilla is a 5.5″ x 52 Belicoso cigar that is draped in a gorgeous San Andreas maduro wrapper and filled with a secret blend of some of the most flavorful and interesting tobacco you will ever smoke. Sensei’s Sensational Sarsaparilla is a full-bodied, complex cigar with just enough strength to balance the intense flavors.  
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Richmond, VA — General Cigar Company today announced the acquisition of the Toraño Family Cigar Company brands. This acquisition will strengthen General Cigar’s market position and enhance the company’s product mix to deliver greater value and innovation to its retail customers and consumers. It will also allow General Cigar to further expand its exceptional portfolio of leading brands by offering opportunities within the company’s international footprint, while presenting significant growth potential in the domestic market.

Spanning almost 100 years, Toraño Cigars has a vast history that encompasses every area of the cigar industry, from growing to manufacturing, to ultimately the creation of their own brands.  Production of Toraño’s portfolio including the popular Exodus, Reserva, Casa Toraño, Vault and Master Collections will remain unchanged.   

“Smoked Up” No.84

Summer is finally winding to an end. The days are not as hot and the nights are a tad bit cooler. I can’t wait till the nights when I can sleep with the windows open and enjoy the cooler evenings. Although the summer is ending, the humidity isn’t. With that being said, even though the nights are not as hot, the humidity doesn’t help with my evening cigar enjoyment.

I would have enjoyed a few more cigars this week, but a self-induced injury occurred to me the first part of the week. I was out mowing the yard and saw a wasp fly into a cedar bush. I really hate wasps as they are pretty mean and I don’t want my daughter getting stung by them as she loves to play outside. I grabbed my wasp killing spray and gave the bush a nudge with my foot where the wasp went in. Little did I know, I wasn’t only nudging the bush, I was nudging a wasp nest the size of a softball! The nest had about a dozen or so wasps on it and at least four or five lit my ankle and lower leg up. I ran out of spray quick, then headed to the store to get more and came back and reeked havoc on the nest with two cans a blazing. After it was all said and done, I counted 15 dead wasps on the ground. So I was lucky to only get stung by four or five! My ankle and calve swelled up and made it hard for me to walk. Missed some time from work because Benadryl makes me sleepy. The sleep also stopped my cigar enjoyment this week as well as getting this installment of “Smoked Up” until today.


Cigar Views


CAO FLathead Camshaft 554

CAO Flathead Camshaft: This cigar has been resting for about a year (or possibly more). I like the box press toro size of it a it made a good “road trip cigar.” The ash held tight via the square press and 54ring gauge and never jounced loose even with the rough suspension of my 4×4 truck. Started out fairly stout with dark earth, leather and cocoa. But around half way, I started loosing it for the cigar. It started to fuzzle out and lost some of it flavor strength. To the point at which it was almost bland to me. I really enjoyed this cigar when it was fresh, but aged it seemed to have lost its lackluster.   
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MIAMI, FL – August 29, 2014 -   Antillian Cigar Corporation, owner of the popular cigar brands Sosa, Underground and 60 by Sosa, is happy to announce that it will be the exclusive U.S. distributor for The Cigar Cork, Arandoza Cigars, Headlines Cigars and Doña Nieves Cigars. 

“We are excited to bring these boutique brands under the umbrella of the Sosa family,” stated Arby Sosa, creative director and sales manager for Antillian Cigar Corp.  He explained, “With this being the year of our 50th Anniversary, the Sosa family looked at the cigar landscape and realized that ‘strength in numbers’ is the future.  Why did I choose these brands to distribute? If you know me, you know I’m a simple guy.  Each product had something different and interesting to offer, and I believe this collaboration with innovative concepts will allow all of us to remain competitive in this business.”


Under this arrangement, the Antillian Cigar sales staff will bring The Cigar Cork and the Arandoza, Headlines and Doña Nieves cigar brands to market while each company will continue to focus on its own product development, brand expansion, and manufacturing.

About Antillian Cigar Corp:

The Sosa cigar tradition began with Don Juan Sosa, a small tobacco grower in the fertile Taguasco region of Cuba at the turn of the century. By the 1920′s, his farm had become one of the largest tobacco-producing haciendas in Cuba. Over the next 30 years, Don Juan’s son, Arturo, and grandson, Juan, manufactured cigars for sale in Cuba and abroad. In 1964, Arturo and Juan opened their first factory in Miami, FL.  The factory closed in 1980 and moved operations to the Dominican Republic. In 1996, Juan B. Sosa began with the Fuente family and manufactures various lines of cigars of out the Fuente factory.  Today, the legacy of quality, handmade cigars made in the Cuban tradition continues with master blender, Juan B. Sosa, alongside his wife, sons and nephews.


About The Cigar Cork:

The Cigar Cork is a patent-pending division of Maine Lobster Steamer, LLC, a registered 100% Veteran Owned Company.  The Cigar Cork is a re-usable cigar humidification/flavoring system that stores and humidifies cigars in an airtight pressurized tube designed to give you years of use.  Each closing of the Cigar Cork tube reseals and pressurizes the tube ensuring an unsurpassed cigar preservation environment.  Each tube can fit up to a 7 x 60 cigar or hold smaller cigars.


About Arandoza Cigars:

Arandoza Cigars is owned by Robert Arango and makes the Red, White and Blue Label cigar lines out of the La Zona factory in Nicaragua.  The wrapper used for these cigars is Habano, Habano Oscuro and San Andreas Capa Negra and will be available in 9 sizes.  The strength of these cigars is medium to full-bodied.


About Headlines Cigars:

Headlines Cigars is owned by Dee Aguasvivas and Ulises Delgado.  The cigar is a 100% Dominican cigar using Andullo tobacco and made out of the Tabacalera Real Tamboril.  The wrapper used is Pennsylvania Seed and Habano Oscuro grown in the Dominican Republic.  It will be available in 6 sizes, and the strength of this cigar is medium to full-bodied.


About Doña Nieves:

The Doña Nieves brand of cigars is made in Nicaragua in the factory of El Galan owned by Felix Mesa.  It is a medium to full-bodied cigar.  The wrapper used is Habano and will be available in 3 sizes.

Lone Star State Cigar Co. Announces Release of SP3

Steve Parker, owner of Lone Star State Cigar Co. located in Allen and Plano, Texas, announces the release of the SP3.

The SP3 is blended by Ezra Zion Cigar Company exclusively for Lone Star and will only be available through their retail locations.

“We hit up the Ezra Zion boys to do something special for our shops. I told them the profile we wanted and what our customers were purchasing most from their blends, and they hit it out of the park for us.” said Parker.

The SP3 is a Nicaraguan puro. Wrapper is a gorgeous dark corojo laid over a blend of tobaccos from several valleys in Nicaragua. It will be available in 3 sizes: 7×48 churchill, 5×50 robusto, and 46×6 corona. Due to contractual obligations, the factory of origin and total production numbers will remain undisclosed. Prices will range from $6.50-$7.50 depending on vitola.

“It’s an honor to be asked to make a house exclusive. Steve is a good friend and fellow Texan, so it’s a thrill to do a project with him.” stated Chris Kelly.

The SP3 is named in homage to Stephen Parker III, the owner’s son and namesake. It will be released at two launch events scheduled for September 4th and 6th at the Allen and Plano locations respectively. Events begin at 5pm.

“Making a cigar as a tribute has a long tradition in this industry. We’re glad we could be a part of a project that represents a Father’s love for his son.” added Kyle Hoover.

For more information, please email or visit

“Smoked Up” No.83

I not only enjoy cigars, from time to time I enjoy a pipe as well. I have been dabbling with the enjoyment of a pipe for a few years now. Recently on Aristocob’s YouTube page, I found out that CVS Drugstore had all of their tobacco products on clearance. Most were at 75% off already as they will be tobacco free by October. I heard they were getting out of the tobacco business and was looking forward to grabbing up any pipes they had there when the clearance started. I did such thing, but looked like I was beat out by others. I did walk out with a Missouri Meerschaum pipe for $1.82! I’ll be back tomorrow to see if they have any cheep pipe tobacco left to smoke during my upcoming camping/hunting trip. So if you are looking for a cheep knock-around pipe, check out CVS quickly.

Missouri Meerschaum


A few years ago, I bought a Xikar Xi3 Titanium Nitrade cutter that I absolutely loved. The price was a bit landish, but other than that, I had no complaints with it. I took it camping with me last year and somehow, it never made it back home. I searched all my gear bags for it with no luck. Since then I have been using cheap $5 plastic cutters that worked ok for about two or so months before they got dull. I kept two at the house and one in the truck. Some how, I misplaced all three over the course of the past week. I was heading to a buddy’s to smoke with him when I realized this and didn’t have time to search for any of them. I stopped at a B&M on the way, grabbed a smoke and a cheap cutter. The cutter was cheaper than I would have liked, but that’s all they had at the time. The darn thing didn’t even cut through a 48ring cigar before it gave up on me!! Morale of the story: stick with what you know will work and don’t buy uber-cheep cutters!


Cigar Views

Black Label Trading Company Morphine

Black Label Trading Company Morphine: Back in late 1999 was the last time I can remember me ever being on any Morphine. The name of this cigar has a lot of attributes that it needs to live up to. I was expecting a jaw dropping, amazing, kick in the pants smoke. Although it was tasty, it was nothing that wowed me very much for the $11 price tag on it. Had flavors of a dark cocoa and mixed woodsy notes all that were a med-full strength. After halfway, a black pepper note arose, but never got too out of control. The draw was on the tighter side of things as I find that common with many lanceros. With about 3/4 through the cigar, a large void appeared and immensely affected the burn and drawn some. Not a bad smoke, but for the $11, there are better lanceros (many are cheaper priced).    
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“Smoked Up” No.82

To think, I was looking forward to this summer! I was tired of the cold of the winter and dreaming of the summer. The dog days of summer are here and now I am looking forward to the fall! Cooler days means more outside cigar smoking, a few hunting and camping trips. Most of my cigar enjoyment of the past week was inside and not much outside as it was very hot and muggy outside. I was hoping to get a review in on Sunday, but a family occurrence came up and family first!

My friend is doing quite well and has improved quite a bit. She is a lot more active, remembers people and has more control of her muscle movements. She is not talking as of now, but can respond with head shakes. She finally was awake enough to see, recognize and acknowledge me this weekend. That alone was a great burden off from out of the back of my head as I thought her memory would be gone. She was moved to a physical therapy rehab place yesterday. With that being said, she is going to “make it” and will need a few months of rehab to train her muscles to function “normally.”

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


Viaje Arya 2014

Viaje Satori Arya: With the Viaje Satori being one of my all time favorite cigars (the Zen specifically) I was excited yet perplexed at the new smaller size. To me,this is a petite robusto, but its claimed to be a robusto at 48×4.5″and I like the size itself. The cigar was pretty darn tasty and I enjoyed it fresh with no age; which is odd for many Viaje LEs. I got some nice cocoa, slight pepper, some creaminess and a bit of spice here and there. I was drinking a Monster Java Kona Blend drink that eased off the pepper and slight spice, added to the creaminess as well as added a bit of sweetness to the cocoa. Will this new size take over as my favorite size? Yes and no. Yes because the size in itself was nice to enjoy on a warm summer’s evening. But no, seeing I have a box and a half of the original release Satori Zen still! I save the Zen and smoke on my daughter’s (Satori) birthday in February every year. But I can see myself grabbing a handful or three of these as they are smoking slightly better fresh than my previous experiences with the Zen size right off the shelf. I think they will age well, but possibly age quickly and muffle out faster than the Zen. 
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Jordan Alexander III Premium Cigar Company Rebrands

DALTON, PA. Jordan Alexander III Premium Cigar Company officially announces a rebranding of the company to include a new logo, band, and release. The new logo, which will be incorporated into future releases and marketing materials, can be seen attached to this release. Replacing the original “lions and crest” logo, this design exemplifies the family tradition theme of JA3Cigars. The rebranding logo is based on the Alexander Family Coat of Arms.
Partnered with the rebranding of the company, JA3Cigars is proud to officially announce a new blend produced through the Quesada Cigar Factory, expected to be released mid-Fall of 2014. Replacing the current corojo blend, the new release (known as the Jordan Alexander III Corojo) is constructed with a Dominican Corojo wrapper, Dominican binder, with Dominican and Nicaraguan filler. The Jordan Alexander III Corojo will be available in four vitolas; robusto (5 ½ x 54), toro (6 x 52), double toro (6×60), and belicoso (6 x 52). All vitoals except the belicoso will feature a pigtail cap. The new release will feature a new band, incorporating the “Alexander Coat of Arms” logo, which will be unveiled with the release.

Jordan Alexander Logo

Retailers interested in carrying the Jordan Alexander III Corojo are asked to contact or call 1-866-216-3349. Shipment priorities are given to current retailers and are first come, first serve.


“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:


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:



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