Thursday, December 17, 2015

La Aurora Earns Two Dominican Cigar Awards

Master blender Manuel Inoa comes away with the “Cigar Personality of the Year” award.

(Miami, Florida) December 16, 2015 – The Dominican Cigar Review, noted as the most important cigar magazine in the Dominican Republic, presented the third annual Dominican Cigar Review Award with La Aurora taking home top honors in two categories.

The Dominican Cigar Review Awards ceremony brings together journalists, celebrated industry authorities, manufacturers etc. to celebrate and award the best of the best in the tobacco industry. La Aurora proudly accepted the award for “Best Factory Tour” and La Aurora’s Master Blender, Manuel Inoa accepted the “Cigar Personality of the Year” award.

Master Blender Manuel Inoa, with La Aurora since 1996, is recognized globally as an ambassador of not only La Aurora, but of the cigar industry as a whole. Inoa’s experience in tobacco encompasses more than three decades. This isn’t the first time Inoa was recognized. The Dominican Cigar Review also noted Untamed, which was awarded Best Dominican Cigar in 2014.

The “Best Factory Tour” award is very dear to Guillermo Leon. It represents his heritage, and the legacy of his forefathers, while educating the public, about the delicate process to produce handmade premium cigars. The La Aurora Factory tour was also voted, as the number one attraction in the city of Santiago, by Trip Advisor.

La Aurora’s Director of sales and marketing, Gustavo Velayos, said, “We are thrilled as a company that La Aurora came away with two awards. This shows without a doubt, the passion and work that begins with our Master Blender Manuel Inoa, and radiates to our entire organization.”

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.

For media inquiries and interviews, please contact Creativas Group at

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Kris Kachaturian Retires From A.J. Fernandez Cigars

AJ Fernandez and family to take over distribution

(Miami, Florida) December 7, 2015— A.J. Fernandez Cigars, recognized for creating some of the most acclaimed cigars in the industry, announces that managing partner, Kris Kachaturian will soon retire and shift into an advisory role for the brand. Kachaturian will continue in day to day operations for the time being, to ensure a smooth transition.

Kris Kachaturian, former Managing Partner of A.J. Fernandez Cigars stated: “I recognized A.J. as a tobacco prodigy, when I first met him in Nicaragua 10 years ago. I am proud to have worked alongside him, to create the A.J. Fernandez Cigar brand. I now wish to retire from the company, and focus my energy on my family. “

 A.J. Fernandez said: “I am truly grateful for Kris’ business partnership, and everything he has contributed to the success of the A.J. Fernandez Cigar brand. While Kris is no longer my business partner, he will continue to be my family and confidant.”

 A.J. Fernandez and family will now oversee distribution of the A.J. Fernandez Cigar brand. The U.S. distribution center will also move to a new location at 2695 West 81st Street Hialeah, FL 33016.

A.J. Fernandez Cigars exploded onto the scene with the popular and innovative San Lotano Oval. A.J Fernandez later introduced New World which attained the 2014 Number 1 Cigar of the year by the expert tasting panel at Cigar Journal. A.J. Fernandez recently unveiled his newest creation, Enclave, at the 2015 IPCPR in New Orleans.

 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.

 For more information please visit our new website:

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

For media inquiries and interviews, please contact Creativas Group at:

Wednesday, November 11, 2015


Limited edition cigar honors 75 years of family tradition and commitment to excellence

EASTON, PA – "I do not consider a sale complete until the customer is satisfied," says Famous Smoke Shop CEO Arthur Zaretsky, who took over the modest New York City cigar store that his parents' established in 1939. Now located in Easton, PA, today Famous Smoke Shop is the leading online distributor of discounted premium cigars, specializing in offering the web’s widest selection of cigars at the lowest prices. Several thousand miles away, in Nicaragua, Jorge Padrón has been carrying on his family's primary mission: making cigars of "exceptional quality," while striving to give cigar smokers "the confidence that each cigar is perfect," as his father has done since 1964. In celebrating over seven decades of quality and integrity, these two second-generation cigar men have collaborated on the release of an exclusive, limited edition Padrón cigar – the Famous 75th Padrón Anniversary cigar.

Famous 75th Padrón 1926 Series cigars are made in one size, a 5" x 54 box-pressed robusto rolled in two wrapper choices – Nicaraguan Habano natural or Nicaraguan Habano maduro. Presented in boxes of 10 cigars, these puros are exquisitely handcrafted with 5-year-aged Nicaraguan tobaccos offering a smooth, creamy, well-balanced smoke brimming with Padrón's signature earthy-spicy, full-bodied flavor profile. Only 3,000 boxes have been made, and like all Padrón Cigars, they will have individual, serial-numbered cigar bands.

Arthur and Jorge, both born of humble beginnings, both focused on providing the best to their customers; throughout their combined 115 year history they have built companies that today are honored fixtures of the cigar world, respectively. Jorge's father, Orlando, owned and managed cigar factories in Nicaragua and Honduras. Like the progeny of many tobacco growing, cigar making families, Jorge worked closely with his father since childhood, traveling with him daily to the office, learning every aspect of the cigar business.

Likewise, Arthur Zaretsky learned the retail side of the business from his parents, David and Rose, who owned the original Famous Smoke Shop on West Broadway in Manhattan. Virtually living behind the sales counter, Arthur worked 80 hours a week to support the family business. After his father passed-away, Arthur continued to work with Rose, whom the customers affectionately called "Rosie." While Rosie took care of the customers, Arthur began building the little cigar store into a thriving direct mail business from their new location on West 39th Street.

Living and breathing a passion for cigars, Arthur and Jorge have come to recognize and appreciate what their families have created. Backed with confidence and a commitment to quality and customer satisfaction, both men took what their families had built and grew them into prosperous internationally-renowned businesses.

"Both Jorge and I owe a lot to our parents and the values they taught us," said Mr. Zaretsky. "So, in celebrating our 75 year legacy as Famous Smoke Shop, and in the spirit of family, we celebrate you – our customer – with this special cigar from Padrón."

About Famous Smoke Shop

Famous Smoke Shop is the nation’s #1 discount retailer of premium cigars online, offering one of the largest selections of handmade cigars, machine-made cigars, cigar humidors and accessories. Famous offers the web’s lowest prices on a wide selection of cigar brands including Acid, Davidoff, Macanudo, Romeo y Julieta, Ashton, Padron, Oliva and Perdomo cigars, and many more. Famous offers their customers the best prices on all premium cigars as well as friendly and knowledgeable customer service.

Famous Smoke Shop
90 Mort Drive
Easton, PA 18040

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Press Release: Gurkha's Cellar Reserve Is One Happy Family Of Fine Cigars

Fort Lauderdale, FL - Gurkha Cigars has completed the line of Cellar Reserves with the new release of the Cellar Reserve Platinum cigar. With each of these releases, the Cellar Reserve family of cigars has been one success story after another.

"When developing the new Cellar Reserve Platinum, our idea was to provide a rich and complex smoking experience for the consumer," said Juan Lopez, National Sales Director and in-house blender. "Due to the enormous success we've had with the Cellar Reserve lines made in the Dominican Republic, we felt that it only makes sense to expand the flavor profile by adding aged Nicaraguan tobaccos."

The Cellar Reserve Platinum is a blend of 12-year-old tobaccos in the filler and is the first of the Cellar Reserve cigars to use Nicaraguan tobacco. It was just released this summer at the IPCPR trade show in New Orleans to rave reviews and ships to retailers this month!

It comes in three sizes: Hedonism (6 x 58), Kraken (6 x 60) and Solara (5 x 58) and retails for $7.99 to $9.99 per stick or $200 for a box of 20 cigars.

The history of the Cellar Reserve family begins in 2007 with the release of the original Cellar Reserve cigar. It grew with so much success that Gurkha's founder and CEO Kaizad Hansotia decided to expand the line.

"When we were introducing our 'brick and mortar' brands, we wanted something that was going to stand out in the marketplace," said Hansotia. "We created the original Cellar Reserve to be an all Dominican cigar. It sold incredibly well, so we made a second cigar that we launched in 2012. We called it the Cellar Reserve Limitada and it features a Maduro wrapper. In 2014, we modified the cigar again and introduced the Cellar Reserve Edicion Especial. That cigar is made with 18-year aged tobacco and a Corojo wrapper. Finally this year, we decided to bring the blend to Nicaragua and created our first 12-year aged Cellar Reserve from that country and launched the Cellar Reserve Platinum! The entire family of Cellar Reserves are tapered with a pigtail at the cap that has become a signature of the brand."

Despite the Cellar Reserve cigars being in one family, each has a different flavor profile. The vintage Gurkha Cellar Reserve uses the finest quality 15-year-old aged tobacco, an oily Criollo 1998 wrapper and 15-year old Dominican filler. It's rated a 97 and named Top 10 Cigar of the Year.

The Gurkha Cellar Reserve Limitada is a rich and robust cigar using the finest quality 15-year aged tobacco with a Brazilian Arapiraca Maduro wrapper. It has a 90 rating.

And the Gurkha Cellar Reserve Edicion Especial has a Corojo wrapper and 18-year aged tobacco. It rated a 93.

Gurkha produces eight million cigars per year that are sold in more than 28 countries worldwide. They have an impressive array 48 brands of flawlessly handcrafted, premium cigars in a variety of strengths, tasting profiles, and price-points. No matter what your taste, there's a Gurkha cigar that's perfect for your palate. And each Gurkha brand has its own artistically created packaging further separating that brand from any other.

For additional information, visit

Friday, October 30, 2015

The Belvedere™ Flavor Smart Smoke® E-Cigar

A while back I had the opportunity to review The Belvedere™ E-cigars from Smart Smoke® and found them to be high quality, top of the line products. Here are the links to the original reviews; The Belvedere™ and The Belvedere™ Slim

Today we look at newest models in the Smart Smoke® e-cgiar line, The Belvedere™ Flavor.  The Belvedere™ is now available in six flavors: original (cigar), cherry, grape, honey, huckleberry and vanilla. I've now had the opportunity to review five of the six.

Here's what I found while testing each flavor:

Original - soft, light notes reminiscent of fermented tobacco and brown sugar with a hint of rum
Cherry - bright, sweet and mouthwatering, much like a cherry lifesaver.
Grape  - soft, subtle and fruity notes with a long semi-sweet aftertaste.
Honey - nice notes of honey, sweet but not too sweet, with a pleasant lingering aftertaste.
Vanilla - light, creamy and sweet with a warm glowing aftertaste.

If you've been reading my past reviews, you know I'm not really a fan of flavored cigars. However, after testing The Belvedere™ Flavor Smart Smoke® E-Cigar, I must admit these e-cigars are pretty darn tasty. 

Let's recap a bit and talk about the overall construction.

Looking at the Belvedere™ E-cigar from Smart Smoke® it has the appearance of "just another e-cigar" but, it's far from it. Inside the Belvedere™ there are soft and subtle features that make it the cream of the crop.

On the outside it looks just like many of the other e-cigars that are flooding the market. It weighs in at, a slightly foot heavy, 1.7 ounces and it measures about 6" x 46 ring.

The durable wrapper is printed with a tobacco leaf pattern and it's rolled on tightly full length, However the key difference in the Belvedere™ is the bite area. The head of this e-cigar looks like all the rest, but it's not. The Belvedere™ has much softer bite area providing a more realistic "cigar-like" experience.

While the flavors are excellent and the construction is top notch, for me, the highlight of the Belvedere™ is vapor production. I can tell you, these e-cigars really pump out a high volume of vapor. For my puffing style this model produces more vapor than any other e-product I've tested.

The Belvedere™ Flavor Smart Smoke® E-Cigar sells on for $14.99 with free shipping. Hop on over to their site and check them out!! 

Rate 9.9

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Press Release: Famous Smoke Shop Announces the Release of their Exclusive Cigar #Famous

Famous Smoke Shop is a leading online distributor of discounted premium cigars. The company specializes in offering the web’s widest selection of cigars at the lowest prices. Famous has just released #Famous to their repertoire of exclusive cigars available at .  In conjunction with this release a detailed video review on their new cigar #Famous is offered in association with their digital cigar and men’s lifestyle magazine Cigar Advisor. [Click Here for Video Review]  Cigar Advisor is an online cigar magazine that brings a fresh, irreverent, and down-to-earth perspective on all things cigars to thousands of smokers. In addition to educational cigar content and behind-the-scenes cigar industry articles from some of the business’s top names, Cigar Advisor delivers an array of content about a variety of topics of interest to people who enjoy the cigar lifestyle.

#Famous has been a highly anticipated release in the cigar industry due to its immense flavor and nearly flawless construction. This line has been blended by Nestor Plasencia and rolled in his factory in Nicaragua using a flavorful and semi-spicy Nicaraguan wrapper along with a mild blend of filler tobaccos to mellow the smoking experience out while still maintaining a taste that appeals to mild to full bodied smokers alike.

Cigar Advisor Copywriter and Cigar Reviewer Jonathan Detore said of #Famous ‘This is one of the most revolutionary cigars to hit the market in a long while. The flavor is a mix between creamy, nutty, vanilla, with a sweetness that brings all these notes together for a smoking experience that is nothing short of spectacularly relaxing. It’s great in the morning with a cup of coffee, preferably with some cream and sugar, or even at night after a meal as a dessert cigar. Really, it’s a great any-time of day smoke. What’s even better is the humidification jars these stellar cigars come in. It’s an air tight humidification jar that ensures each shipment of cigars is fresh from Famous shipping the cigars, to the customer receiving the cigars. For the price, you can’t get much better than #Famous.”

#Famous cigars are now available at Famous Smoke Shop, and is packaged in innovative humidification jars with the 4 x 38 Petite Corona vitola coming in a jar of 36 cigars, and a 6 x 50 Toro vitola coming in jars of 19. The individual MSRP on the Petite Corona is $2.28 and the MSRP on the Toro vitola is 4.14. People interested in learning more about #Famous Cigars or Famous Smoke Shop should visit or call 800-564-2486. For those interested in learning more about Cigar Advisor, log on to

Famous Smoke Shop
90 Mort Drive
Easton, PA 18040


Thursday, October 15, 2015


The group known for their fundraising activities, hosts event October 3oth for a great cause.

(Miami, Florida) October 15, 2015— The 9th Annual Port Authority Police Society Cigar Night,  taking place on Friday October 30, 2015, brings together consumers, manufacturers, and personalities of the cigar industry for a great cause. Event to take place at the Graycliff Banquet Hall 122 Moonachie Ave Moonachie, NJ 07074 from 8PM to Midnight.

Juan Cancel, organizer of the PAPHSINC said:” I can't recall seeing an event with so many cigar companies, coming together for such a noble cause. At our first event, nine years ago we had 75 guests. Today we have 350 supporters attending, with tickets selling-out within a couple of weeks.”
This year’s event will feature a welcome cocktail hour, courtesy of La Hoja Cigars, four-course dinner, and live music.  Event goers will receive over 20 cigars, courtesy of the 30 plus cigar sponsors. Guests will have the opportunity to dine, smoke, and mingle, with “cigar royalty”.
Proceeds from tickets sales will benefit PAPHSINC and their humanitarian endeavors locally and abroad.  The overall goal is to change the lives of children, who suffer social and economic difficulties. Some of the work they do include: working closely with the Boys and Girls Club of America, with programs to prep young students for the SAT’s. Funds are also used to sponsor inner city little leagues, field trips and, they also provide a yearly scholarship to a community college for a young adult in the field of criminal justice. From helping to build homes or paying a teacher’s salary for an entire year in the Dominican Republic, the overriding goal of the PAPHSINC is to change a Child's future and aiding them to rise above the challenges they were born into.

Those who wish to keep the party going can attend the “official after party” at Cigar Emporium from 12:30AM to 3:30AM.  The after party will feature an event by A.J. Fernandez himself. Expect live music, lite bites, and refreshments. Cigar Emporium is located at 607 Ridge Rd, Lyndhurst, NJ 07071

For tickets and more information about The 9th Annual Port Authority Police Hispanic Society Cigar Night please visit:

Cigar Sponsors to include: Nat Sherman, Drew Estates, Rocky Patel, General Cigars, Viva Republica, Gurkha, Espinosa Cigars, Black Label Trading Company, Foundation Cigar Company,  Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust, Flor De Gonzalez, Hermosa, Villiger, Ventura Cigars, Arandoza Cigars, MoyaRuiz, Caldwell, Primer Del Mundo, Epic, Boutique Blends, La Hoja, Que Vida, El Galan, Dominican Big Leaguer, Capa Dura, Sosa, Alec Bradley, Franklin Cigars, Puros De Santiago, Cubariqueño Cigar Company, Kuuts, Crowned Heads, Headlines, AJ Fernandez, Fuente, Dram, Roberto Duran, Enki, Tatuaje, Ortega, Cigar Dojo, Adelphia Cigars, La Flor Dominicana, D'Crossier, Asylum, Cubanacan, XIKAR La Sirena , Debonair , La Barba Boutique Cigars, Padilla, CAO, CigarSnob Magazine

For media inquiries: please contact Creativas Group Public Relations via:

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Press Release: A.J. Fernandez To Make Rare Appearance At The 6th Annual Tampa Cigar Bash

(Miami, Florida) October 13, 2015— A.J. Fernandez, known for consistently producing highly rated and sought after cigars, is scheduled to represent his brand at the 6th annual Tampa Cigar Bash presented by Tampa Humidor, this October 24th, 2015. The Tampa Bash is one of the premier multivendor events which yearly attract over 600 event goers.

A.J. Fernandez said,” I rarely leave Estelí, Nicaragua as I like to keep strict quality control over our tobacco fields and production of our cigars. Now that my father, Ismael Fernandez, is working alongside me, I am now able to make a hand full of appearances to thank the consumers that have allowed me to carry on in my family tradition of tobacco. I look forward to spending time with colleagues and event goers at the Tampa Cigar Bash.”

The Tampa Bash, hosted by Tamp Humidor will take place on October 24 at the Pepin Distributing Hospitality Center located at 4121 N. 50 St.  Tampa, Florida. Tickets are still available at:

A.J. Fernandez Cigars exploded on to the scene with the popular and innovative San Lotano Oval. A.J Fernandez later introduced New World which attained the 2014 Number 1 Cigar of the year by the expert tasting panel at Cigar Journal. A.J. Fernandez recently unveiled his newest creation, Enclave, at the 2015 IPCPR in New Orleans.

For more information on the Enclave and all other AJ Fernandez material please visit the newly design website at

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 along with his father Ismael oversee production and manage day to day operations in his factory in Estelí.

For media inquiries please contact Creativas Group Public Relations via:

Monday, October 5, 2015


Padilla will change their current logo to avoid any potential consumer confusion
with logos used by La Aurora 

La Aurora agrees to allow Padilla to sell out of current inventory before changing logo

October 5, 2015- La Aurora, the original factory in the Dominican Republic, and Padilla Cigars have finally signed an amicable agreement in which La Aurora will allow Padilla Cigars to use an alternate version of their current logo, "to reflect a sufficiently abstract version of a lion design to avoid confusion in the market place and make a separate commercial impression in the minds of the consumer". Padilla Cigars agrees to abandon an existing US Trademark Registration with La Aurora’s consent.

La Aurora, owned by the León (lion in Spanish) family since 1903, uses the iconic lion to identify their products (La Aurora, León Jimenes, Family Reserve and Untamed) since 1926 and the American consumer has already related the symbol of the lion with La Aurora. For that reason, La Aurora claims ownership of the lion as a symbol of their brand of cigars and related products. Current Stock

The agreement states that Padilla Cigars may use an abstract lion to prevent consumer confusion now and for all releases in the future. La Aurora will allow Padilla cigars the right to sell out of their remaining inventory of non-tobacco materials with the commitment from Padilla Cigars to not go back to the old design. La Aurora also agrees not to go against any third parties who may purchase these products during the sell off period.

La Aurora is exclusively distributed in the U.S.A. by Miami Cigar & Co.

About Miami Cigar & Co.
Founded in 1989 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, Viva Republica and Hf Barcelona brands.

Gabriel Piñeres
Principal, Creativas Group Public Relations, Branding & Events
786.541.7411 Direct //305.255.4762  Office// 305.437.8176 Facsimile 

Monday, September 14, 2015

Press Release: Out of the Box - Boxed Gift Sets

This holiday season we will once again be racking our brain for that one gift that "WOWS" our friends and loved ones and leaves others thinking "Why didn't I think of that?!"  That gift is definitely a Gurkha Cigars Gift Set.  Gurkha Cigars, the company known for crafting the most expensive cigars in the world not only make cigars for diverse pallets but also for diverse budgets.  With gift sets that range from $33 to $30,000 there is an option available for every cigar lover in your life.  Gurkha is not only recognized for the quality of their cigar but for their ornate and embellished boxes and packaging.  When someone purchases a Gurkha box they have something they want to keep forever and hand down for generations.  They are all unique and beautiful.  Just look at some of the examples below.

And if you think that smoking cigars is just for men, check this out.  A recent survey from the International Women's Cigar Society of women cigar smokers found that:
48% smoke 8+ cigars per month
87% own a humidor
54% own a travel size humidor
95% get cigars as gifts

Check out some beautiful options for the holiday season in the Dropbox link attached. Please look at the Gurkha Holiday Gift Guide and then all hi-resolution images for each of these items are in this same link.

Login Information :
Password  - beachcigar

Thanks so much for your consideration and make it a great day!

Stacey Schrager

Bean Box Coffee Subscription

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

True Mokha Java by Bean Box Coffee

Here's another nice coffee, blended by Bean Box Coffee, their True Mokha Java. The roasted beans for this blend are supplied by two roasting companies in Seattle, Conduit Coffee roasts the Mokha portion while Fundamental Coffee roasts the Java. Mixed together these beans brew up an interesting cup of coffee. 

Right from the bag I had a pretty good idea this would brew into a very nice cup as the aromas of cocoa and coffee rise from the bag and greet my nose. 

As you can see in the picture, some of the beans have a bit of oily caramelization present, and I like that. To me oily means sweet and I anticipate there will be some sweetness from these beans. 

Once the beans are ground into coffee and hot water is introduced on the pour, the aroma transforms as there are now notes of ripe tree fruit and some light earthiness blending with the cocoa. 

The freshly cupped brew has a nice praline aroma: caramel, pecans and chocolate and the first sips are sweet and medium bodied. The mouthfeel is slightly syrupy with a hint of crisp acidity that gives the coffee a clean, mouthwatering palate wash. As the coffee cools in the cup the body and the syrupiness both continue to develop. 

Hot, the coffee shows flavors of light fruit, cocoa and a hint of earth but this changes throughout the temperature range. The first flavor change comes as a hint of pecan that grows as the fruitiness fades. Eventually the pecan notes are replaced by more of a smooth earthy, cocoa mixture. 

Overall with it's changing mouthfeel, body and flavor profile I thought this True Mokha Java by Bean Box Coffee brewed into a delightful, complex cup of coffee.

Rated 95

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How To: Personal Sized Sun Tea

Summer is winding down, but I get to everything thing eventually.

What's up with the jar you ask? Well even if you didn't ask, here's a quick tip. 

Back a few  months ago I reviewed the Collar Cold Brew Coffee Starter Kit. The kit came with a twenty ounce Ball jar, a lid and a straw. 

I drink quite a bit of green tea so an idea popped into my head; why not use the jar for sun tea. Well I gave it a try and it worked like a champ, I liked the twenty ounce jar so well that the next step was a quart jar. Now I drink a quart of green sun tea almost every day.

I'm sure many of you probably already do something like this, but hey, I did figure it out eventually. 

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Private Selection Maduro Toro By Cuban Stock Cigars

It's been awhile since I've reviewed a cigar from Cuban Stock Cigars, but they have a great line that I've really enjoyed in the past. Today we look at The Private Selection Maduro Toro. 

The Private Selection line comes with two wrapper choices, Connecticut and Dominican Maduro. On they describe this cigar as mild. Well here we have a difference of opinion. Read on and find out why. 

Construction of the Private Selection is exquisite. From the striking blue, yellow and gold band to the practically vein free maduro colored wrapper the cigar just looks like it needs to be smoked. The blemish free Dominican maduro wrapper is rolled on with seamless care, the cigar is packed well full length and it's finished off with a nice triple cap. 

Aromas from the cold cigar are rich and hearty. From the cold foot there are notes of rich fermented tobacco with a hint of ripe fruit, while the flavor from the free cold draw is reminiscent of sweet molasses. 

Once the foot is toasted and burning the first puffs have medium/full bodied flavor notes of earth, brown sugar and cocoa with a slightly dry finish that leaves behind a sweet aftertaste. As the fairly even burn line moves up the cigar's body the wrapper starts to develop an oily gloss that continues to build until the nub. 

Around the mid point more flavors of oak and cream jump into the mix as the strength builds into the full range. 

By time you're into the final third, you'll know this is a full bodied cigar. The Private Selection maduro toro finishes its fifty-five minute burn with an overall sweet flavor mix consisting of ripe fruit, charcoal, brown sugar and cocoa. A very tasty finish by my standards.

Overall I thought the Private Selection Maduro Toro By Cuban Stock Cigars provided a high quality and rewarding smoking experience. With the combination of its top of the line construction, a nice burn time and a great flavor mix this cigar is a winner in my book!

 Rated 94

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Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Nestor Miranda Collection Maduro Toro From Miami Cigar and Company

I originally reviewed this entire line in a smaller vitola right after the initial release. Today we look at the Nestor Miranda Collection maduro toro from Miami Cigar and Company.

The first thing you'll notice about this toro is the size. Coming in at 5.5" x 54 it's a bit shorter and a bit fatter than a normal toro, but I thought it provided a really nice smoking experience. 

After the cigar's size you'll notice the impeccable construction starting with the sturdy maduro colored Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper. Like I said, this wrapper looks stout. It has some tooth, it contains only smaller sized veins and it's rolled on with seamless care. Under the wrapper there's a Nicaraguan binder covering  a mix of fillers from the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua and Peru. The cigar is firmly packed full lenght and there's a nice triple cap to finish it all off in style.

From the cold foot there are aromas of sweet fermented tobacco to the nose and the slightly firm draw is both sweet and spicy with a hint of cocoa. 

Once burning the first medium/full bodied puffs deliver notes of cocoa and spice across the palate plus there's a sweet aftertaste on the lips from the wrapper. As the slightly wavy burn moves up the cigar there are additional notes in the first half of light black pepper, toast, dark brown sugar and more cocoa. 

By the second half the wrapper has developed a deep oily sheen as the body moves into the full range and the flavor mix shifts a bit. There are now notes of leather, earth, coffee, molasses and more cocoa. 

After sixty minutes of smoking pleasure the Nestor Miranda Collection maduro toro finishes up nicely well into the full body range with bold flavors of cocoa, earth and charcoal. 

Overall all I really enjoyed this cigar. It had a nice burn, great flavors and I really liked the size. You can find these at as singles, in 5-packs or by the box. Check them out and see what you think!

Rated 94

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Monday, August 17, 2015

Java Gunung Biru by Fundamental Coffee

The Java Gunung Biru by Fundamental Coffee has hearty notes of spice, pepper, and earth that grip your palate and say "I'm here!" But at the same time there are light, almost hidden, nuances that will heighten your sipping experience.

Fundamental Coffee Company
Seattle, WA
Coffee: Java Gunung Biru
Roast: Dark
Brewing method: Pour-over
Sample provided by: Bean Box

Doing a pour-over this Java Gunung Biru brews a cup of coffee that is both medium bodied and full flavored. The first hot sips bright and crisp with some light acidity, but as the coffee cools the body develops producing a palate warming syrupiness. 

Not only does this dark, oily, roast have complex body characteristics, the flavor nuances are complex as well. While the main flavor notes are a bold, spicy mix of pepper and earth, there are subtle notes of sandalwood, peat, tobacco, cocoa and tree fruit that peek out, then hide throughout the temperature range.

I found the Java Gunung Biru from Fundamental Coffee free from defect, with a low natural sweetness and no bitterness. On a side note the flavor profile is strong enough to handle cream and sugar if you so desire. 

Rated 93

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Friday, August 14, 2015

Acme Route 66 Hot Rod From Acme Cigar Company

Here's a new stick I've been eager to try since reading the press release back in July, the Acme Route 66 Hot Rod (robusto), created by the Acme Cigar Company

Once this well packed cigar is free from the cellophane it looks great. The oily, seamless and vein free, Colorado Maduro colored Ecuadorian Habano wrapper covers a Jalapa Criollo binder over Nicaraguan, San Andres and Dominican long fillers. Plus it's finished with a tight triple cap. 

From the cold foot the nose picks up radiant aromas of sweetly fermented tobacco mixed with cocoa, while flavors from the free cold draw are reminiscent of ripe tree free mixed with cocoa. 

After toasting and lighting the foot, the first medium bodied puffs fill your mouth with smoke that's sweet with a creamy mouthfeel, plus there are tasty flavor nuances of fruit, cocoa and toast. As the even burn line moves up the body an oil ring develops on the wrapper while other notes of earth, and honey join the mix.

In the second half the body moves toward the full range with added hints of charcoal, coffee and dark brown sugar. Once you're into the final third you'll find this is a full bodied cigar with a deep flavor base. 

The Acme Route 66 Hot Rod finishes its fifty minute burn full bodied with bold, rich flavors of espresso, charcoal and dark chocolate. Very tasty indeed! 

On the Acme Cigar Company web site they say, "Acme Route 66 is a premium cigar priced as an everyday smoke".  With a sub $6.00 MSRP for the Hot Rod, I think they're right and I've found a new go-to cigar!

MSRP- Hot Rod 5x50, $5.90. Chopper 7x48, $6.40. Big Red 6x54, $6.90. Tandem 8.5x52, $7.40

Rated 95

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Oettinger Davidoff Appoints New Head Europe And Global Travel Retail

Martin Kaufmann becomes Senior Vice President Europe and Global Travel Retail of Oettinger Davidoff AG. He will be joining the company on September 1, 2015. Albert Manzone, Head Europe, will be leaving the company and Christian Vonthron, Head Global Travel Retail, will be taking early retirement.

Basel, 14 August, 2015 – Oettinger Davidoff AG, the worldwide leading manufacturer of premium cigars, headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, has appointed Martin Kaufmann (48) as Senior Vice President Europe and Global Travel Retail, effective September 1, 2015. Martin Kaufmann is joining Oettinger Davidoff from the Estée Lauder Companies, where he served as Senior Vice President and General Manager North America for Aveda. Martin spent his early career at the Gillette Company, where his last position was Business Unit Director DACH (Germany, Austria, Switzerland) for Braun. He continued at Procter & Gamble after P&G acquired Gillette, first as Global Marketing Director Braun Male Grooming, and then took on positions of increasing responsibility and complexity. Before moving to Estée Lauder in 2012, Martin was Managing Director Europe, Middle East, Africa and Latin America for P&G’s Wella Haircare.

Martin Kaufmann is German, but grew up in the French speaking part of Switzerland and is bi-lingual in German and French, fluent in English and manages in Spanish and Italian as well. He holds an MBA from the University of Bayreuth in Germany, and undertook Executive Education at IMD in Switzerland. He has lived and worked in Frankfurt, London, Geneva and New York. Martin and his family are moving from Minneapolis, USA, to Basel in August.

Hans-Kristian Hoejsgaard, CEO of Oettinger Davidoff AG, said: “With a track record of transformative leadership in branded consumer goods in global and regional roles, I am confident that Martin Kaufmann will make a significant contribution to accelerate growth in Europe as well as in Global Duty Free. With this combined new key role in my senior team we will be better equipped for our future challenges and continue our company’s transformation.”

Martin Kaufmann added: “I am very excited to join Hans-Kristian and the entire Oettinger Davidoff team to help driving the company's business toward accelerated growth in Europe and Global Travel Retail. Oettinger Davidoff's portfolio of strong brands and its leadership in that space makes it extremely compelling to me. And personally, I very much look forward to moving back to Switzerland, where I grew up.”

Albert Manzone will be leaving the company after three years of significant contribution to the European business of Oettinger Davidoff.

Christian Vonthron, who launched the Duty Free department at Oettinger Davidoff in 1997 and has led the impressive development to where our Global Travel Retail business is today, will take early retirement. He will be available to Oettinger Davidoff for future project work and will remain its representative on the board of TFWA, The Tax Free World Association, until the 2015 TFWA World Exhibition & Conference in October.

About Oettinger Davidoff AG
The CHF 1.23 billion Oettinger Davidoff AG, with over 3,600 employees around the world, traces its roots back to 1875 and remains family owned to this day, with two distinctly different businesses: one that is focused on FMCG distribution in the Swiss market and one dedicated to the core business of producing, marketing and retailing premium branded cigars, tobacco products and accessories. The premium branded cigar business includes Davidoff, AVO, Camacho, Cusano, Griffin’s, Private Stock, Zino and Zino Platinum. Oettinger Davidoff AG is anchored in a strong “crop-to-shop” philosophy, having pursued a vertical integration from the tobacco fields in the Dominican Republic, Honduras and Nicaragua to the worldwide network of almost 70 Davidoff Flagship Stores.

For further information:
Oettinger Davidoff AG
Paloma Szathmáry
SVP Corporate Communications
Hochbergerstrasse 15
CH - 4002 Basel
Tel. +41 61 279 36 24

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

1502 Black Gold Corona From Global Premium Cigars

Here's another tasty treat from 1502 Cigars, the Black Gold corona. Impeccable construction flavors and burn combine to make this cigar a real winner. 

Covered in a seamless, vein free maduro wrapper, corona looks like it will be packed full of flavor and let me tell you it was. 

From the cold foot, rich notes of cocoa and toasted tobacco greet the nose while the free cold draw has nuances of cocoa and sweet, ripe tree fruit. 

Once toasted and burning the first medium bodied mouthfuls of smoke again have the pleasant flavors of toasted tobacco and cocoa. Within a few puffs the flavors start to shift as notes of earth, oak, brown sugar, ripe fruit and molasses mix to offer a different flavor experience with nearly each puff. 

As the razor sharp burn moves up this cigar into the second half, the flavor mix continues to shift. with notes of burnt oak, charcoal, espresso and more cocoa that hold until the finish. 

The 1502 Black Gold Corona finishes its forty-five minute burn with flavors reminiscent of burnt mocha; charcoal, coffee, cocoa and a touch of sweet cream, while leaving behind a sweet aftertaste on the lips and palate. 

Overall this was a great cigar with it's top notch construction, great burn and complex flavor mix. If you haven't tried any of the 1502 Cigar line, I think you're really missing out on some great cigars. 

Rated 94

Sample provided Global Premium Cigars a member of House of Emilio

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Gurkha Announces Exclusive Partnership With The Ritz-Carlton To Provide The Ultimate Cigar Experience

TAMARAC, FL - Guests of the luxury hotel chain Ritz-Carlton now have the unique ability to enjoy the world's most expensive cigar, the His Majesty's Reserve by Gurkha Cigars, on site at Ritz-Carlton's nationwide.

Starting with the Ritz-Carton in Half Moon Bay, California, through Fumar Cigars, the industry leader in high-end on-premise cigar programs, the very exclusive $2,000 cigars will now be sold. Making it even rarer is the fact that the cigars are produced in a very limited edition -- only 75 boxes are made annually.   

The Gurkha His Majesty's Reserve is a very special cigar. Famous not only for its unique price point, it also has an incredibly distinctive aroma and taste. It's a blend of 15-year-aged Connecticut Maduro wrapper with 12-year-old Dominican binder and filler that's aged with one full shot of the world’s finest cognac: Remy Martin's Louis XIII. Louis XIII Cognac is a blend of 1,200 eaux de vie from the Champagne region of France, aged between 40 and 100 years old in oak barrels that are several hundred years old as well. Louis XIII Cognac alone sells for about $2,400 a bottle.

"With the His Majesty's Reserve, Gurkha has set the standard for super-premium luxury cigars," said Gurkha Founder and CEO Kaizad Hansotia. "They're super sexy cigars. A cigar to smoke only for those who not only expect excellence but demand that standard of quality every time. The amazing taste and aroma of Gurkha's His Majesty's Reserve are something that you will never forget."

And now the His Majesty' Reserve, one of the many reasons Gurkha's are known throughout the world as the Rolls Royce of Cigars, can be enjoyed at Ritz-Carlton's throughout the U.S.  

The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay is located 23 miles southwest of the San Francisco International Airport. It is a 261-room destination spa and coastal golf resort. For information, visit

Steeped in legend and rich in history, Gurkha Cigars were named after Nepalese warriors whose bravery impressed the British soldiers. The company was purchased by Hansotia in 1989 with the intention of giving the cigars as unique gifts to customers of his family's watch business. As a result, the company has been reborn and become one of the most famous brands of luxury cigars in the world. Bill Clinton, Bill Gates, Carlos Slim and an assortment of global dignitaries, world leaders, government officials and celebrities as well as the Special Forces and Seal Team Six are all clients. Having extraordinary quality, premium blends of tobacco and a reputation for unparalleled excellence, Today Gurkha produces eight million cigars per year. They are sold in more than 50 countries worldwide. Each Gurkha cigar provides a luxurious experience different from the last. Visit for additional information.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Punch Signature Torpedo

Punch Cigars are another line I'm pretty fond of. I've wanted to give this Signature a spin ever since it was released.

This Punch Signature Torpedo contains fillers from the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua with a binder from Nicaragua. All of these tobaccos are wrapped in a Colorado Maduro colored Ecuadorian Corojo wrapper that's cultivated just for the Signature line. 

Construction of this torpedo is solid. It's packed firmly full length, the hearty wrapper has nice tight seams and there are only a few smaller veins showing. 

Checking the cold aromas there are notes of sweet fermented tobacco from the foot, while the free cold draw reminded me of spiced peaches, plus there's a lingering sweet and spicy aftertaste. 

After toasting the foot, the first puffs from the burning cigar are medium bodied with nuances of nuts and toasty fermented tobacco.

The second third was the real sweet spot of this cigar. While the flavor mix wasn't complex there were well rounded robust flavors of earth, brown sugar and a hint of cocoa as the strength moved into the full range.

In the final third the burn ran off enough to warrant a correction as the Punch Signature finished off with notes of peat, earth, molasses and  touch of cream. 

Overall this Punch Signature Torpedo provided a nice smoking experience with its seventy minute smoking time, quality construction and solid flavors.

You can find the Punch Signature series online at Mike's Cigars as singles, in five-packs or by the box.

Rated 91

I would like to thank for providing this sample for review. 

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Friday, August 7, 2015

Yemen Haraaz Red by Conduit Coffee Company

Complex and flavorful best describe this Yemen Haraaz Red Coffee roasted by the Conduit Coffee Company. It's another fantastic top-shelf coffee coming from the Bean Box line-up that's hearty enough to be a morning coffee, yet delicate enough to call a specialty coffee. 

Conduit Coffee Company
Seattle, WA
Coffee: Yemen Haraaz Red
Roast: Medium - City +
Brewing method: Pour-over
Sample from: Bean Box

From the bag to the hot cupped brew, this Yemen Haraaz Red radiates a wine-like fruitiness that hits your nose from several feet away. 

The first sips are bright and crisp, but at the same time full and rewarding. There's an initial earthy, black tea mouthfeel and flavor, leaving behind a pleasant fruity, wine-like, mouth watering, aftertaste that seems like it will last forever. 

As the coffee cools, a smooth syrupiness develops, the notes of earth subside and warm peach flavor notes dominate.

This Yemen Haraaz Red by Conduit Coffee Company truly is a top-shelf roast with it's complex mouthfeel and flavors. If you get a chance to brew these beans, don't pass it up.

Rated 95

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Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Archduke Ferdinand Pipe Tobacco by Sutliff Tobacco

Over the past week I've discovered that neither do I smoke a pipe often enough nor do I review enough tobacco. 

One problem with reviewing tobacco is the fact that pipe tobacco can't be mail ordered into WA and that really bites. Speaking bite, or lack there of, let's take a look at the Archduke Ferdinand blend from Sutliff Tobacco that I was given to review by Cigar Train.

This Archduke Ferdinand tobacco is a blend of seven different sub-blends according to the can it came in. From the can it has a thick, sweet  and pleasant vanilla aroma. 

Once my pipe was packed and burning the first puffs were mild and flavorful. Of course there were notes of vanilla, but there were hints of smoky tobacco and a bit of mild spice. The noom note was aromatic vanilla and there was no tongue bite present.

After the second light, a bit of bite developed, but it was well within my mild limit and the strength moved into the medium range.

Overall this Archduke Ferdinand tobacco by Sutliff Tobacco provided a nice smoke which I've been enjoying several times a day for the last week. I've really enjoyed the flavors, the room note and the lack of bite.

Bite: 1
Flavor: 4
Strength: 2.5
Room note: 4.5

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Tuesday, August 4, 2015

1502 Emerald Corona From Global Premium Cigars

A 5 1/2 x 42 box -pressed Corona, with superior construction from 1502 Cigars. What's not to love?

I was pretty excited to give this 1502 Emerald Corona  produced by Global Premium Cigars, a spin. 1502 Cigars are one of the House of Emilio line of brands.

The first obvious observation about this cigar is the top of the line construction. The Colorado Claro colored wrapper is vein free and practically seamless, plus the cigar is packed well full lenght. 

Checking aromas from the cold foot and free draw, there are notes of toast, fermented tobacco and some light Spanish Cedar spice with a pleasant aftertaste that lingered for several moments.

Once burning, the first mild bodied puffs contain notes of nuts, toast, caramel and sweet tree fruit. As the clean burn line moves up the cigar a nice oil sheen develops on the wrapper and there are added flavors of oak, brown sugar, light charcoal and white pepper.

The Emerald Corona finishes its fifty minute burn more into the medium body range with a nice mix of toast, oak and earth. 

Since this cigar was a Corona, I thought the fifty minute burn time was fantastic. If you add that to the top of the line construction and the great flavor mix, this 1502 Emerald cigar is a real winner. 

Rated 93

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Carmen Geisha Panama From Kuma Coffee

If you appreciate fine coffee like I do, here's another superb sample that I was lucky enough to get my hands on. The flavors of this Carmen Geisha Panama were sweet and bright with a crisp, lively mouthfeel. Is this another "top shelf" coffee? Let's find out...


Kuma Coffee
Seattle, WA
Carmen Geisha Panama
Roast: Medium - City +
Brewing method: Pour-over
Sample from: Bean Box


From the bag the Geisha supplied prominent notes of coffee and sweet tangerine. Once ground the aroma was reminiscent of sweet, yet tart Meyer lemon. The pour-over created yet another shift in the aroma that reminded me of raspberry jam. 


Extraction on this pour-over was perfect. The first sips of Carmen Geisha Panama were bright, clean and full of life, with a cleansing palate wash. As the coffee cooled, a light syrupiness developed, yet it still had the same mouthwatering effect across the palate and a lingering sweet aftertaste. 

Flavor Notes

The first hot sips had amazing notes of sweet tree fruit with light notes of clean citrus, like a mix of plum, tangerine and lemon. As the coffee cooled a touch of warm spice and a hint toast developed. 

Final Thoughts

Overall this Bean Box sample of Carmen Geisha Panama From Kuma Coffee was strictly "top shelf". With a fantastic mouthfeel and delightful flavors it's one of the finest coffees I've had the opportunity to sample.

Rated 97

Check out Bean Box they offer some of the best coffee's I've ever sipped delivered right to your door every month!

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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Gurkha Showcases First-ever Lancero With The Classic Cigar: Havana Blend

Fort Lauderdale, FL - In keeping with consumer demand, Gurkha Cigars, known internationally as much for their super premium luxury cigars as well as for their innovation, has created their first Lancero-sized cigar in The Classic Cigar: Havana Blend.

"Gurkha Cigars has a reputation for out-of-the-box thinking," said National Sales Manager Juan Lopez. "We follow the market closely and listen to what consumers and our clientele are asking for. The Classic Cigar: Havana Blend Lancero fulfills that demand."

The Classic Cigar: Havana Blend created by Lopez and CEO Kaizad Hansotia is part of the company's East India Trading Company line. "After a few years of searching for the right wrapper and combination of tobaccos, we created this beautiful Nicaraguan masterpiece," said Hansotia.

It has a Mexican San Andres wrapper over Nicaraguan binder and fillers. It's medium bodied and full flavored with earthy, nutty undertones. It retails for $8 a stick. 

"You can really taste the San Andres wrapper," said Lopez. "The Classic Cigar: Havana Blend is a cigar worthy of its name. And it has already received a rating of 93! We are very proud at how well this cigar has been received and also at how well our entire East India Trading Company line has grown."

In creating the East India line Hansotia added "The goal at Gurkha is to always to make a cigar for every palate without sacrificing quality. We want every consumer satisfied with what he or she finds when smoking a Gurkha cigar."

Today Gurkha produces eight million cigars per year. They are sold in more than 50 countries worldwide. Each Gurkha cigar provides a luxurious experience different from the last. Housed in a beautifully appointed facility in South Florida, Gurkha has core brands, limited edition brands, super premium luxury brands and an entire line of innovative and affordable brands through its East India Trading Company line. 

Steeped in legend and rich in history, Gurkha Cigars were named after Nepalese warriors whose bravery impressed the British soldiers. The company was purchased by Kaizad Hansotia in 1989 for all of $149 with the intention of giving the cigars as unique gifts to customers of his family's watch business. The cigars were such a big hit that Hansotia realized he was on to something. He began to expand the line into what it has become today, one of the most famous brands of cigars in the world.

For additional information, visit