Friday, February 27, 2015

Davidoff of Geneva USA Announces Flagship Store in its Hometown, Tampa, FL


Basel/Tampa, February 27, 2015. 

Davidoff of Geneva USA will cement its commitment to the Tampa Bay area with a new “Davidoff of Geneva -since 1911” store in late 2015. Situated in the MetWest International Retail Village the 5,000 square foot store will be the largest Davidoff Flagship Store in the world. This will be the company’s first licensed flagship store outside of Las Vegas, NV. Davidoff of Geneva USA will open the new location in partnership with Jeff & Tanya Borysiewicz, successful owners of Orlando based Corona Cigar Company.



To create a destination in the Cigar City, the new “Davidoff of Geneva - since 1911” will feature a completely humidified store filled with premium cigar retail space, multiple lounges both indoor and out, private lockers, as well as an elegant full service bar serving premium alcoholic beverages.
Jim Young, President of Davidoff of Geneva North America, comments: “We are delighted to open a new “Davidoff of Geneva - since 1911” store in our home market. We are particularly excited to do this in partnership with Jeff and Tanya who have been outstanding Davidoff partners for quite some time. They know how to provide consumers with a premium retail experience, they know our entire product portfolio, and they know our company.

“We're thrilled to expand our retail operations and to serve cigar enthusiasts in the Cigar City of Tampa. We look forward to creating the "Ultimate Cigar Experience" in a community with such a long history of cigar manufacturing and rich cigar culture,” says Jeff Borysiewicz, President of Corona Cigar Company. “It's an honor to be partnering with Oettinger Davidoff, the global leader in premium cigars and luxury cigar stores, and it is exciting to be building upon the legacy that Zino Davidoff started over 100 years ago.”



About Corona Cigar Company
Jeff Borysiewicz is the president & founder of Corona Cigar Company, an Orlando based chain of premium cigar retail stores and bars, which has grown to become one of America’s leading Brick & Mortar retailers of premium cigars. Borysiewicz has been heavily involved in Cigar Rights of America after founding the organization in 2007, and tirelessly helps the industry to fight actively every day to protect the freedom of adult cigar aficionados to enjoy cigars.



About Oettinger Davidoff AG
The CHF 1.2 billion Oettinger Davidoff AG with over 3,500 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 include Davidoff, AVO, Camacho, Cusano, Griffin’s, Private Stock, Zino and Zino Platinum. The 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.



A Century of Davidoff
Henri Davidoff, who emigrated from Kiev to Switzerland at a time of political unrest, opened his first store in Geneva in 1911, laying the foundations for today’s worldwide network of 65 Davidoff Flagship Stores. Henri’s son, Zino Davidoff, learned the trade from the ground up. He resided for several years in Central and South America to deepen his knowledge. In 1930, he returned to Switzerland and thereafter successfully managed the business over four decades. Zino Davidoff transferred the family business to the Oettinger Group in 1970.

Davidoff appeals to connoisseurs all over the world who seek to embrace the art of living and pleasure. The premium brand Davidoff stands for a culture of conscious enjoyment and reflection in today’s hectic world. Davidoff learned over the years that time is the ultimate luxury. Zino’s pleasure in this was the starting point for the global brand of Davidoff, a brand that connects people all around the world. A brand that fills the unforgettable moments in life with the joy and pleasure of elegance and beauty – “Time Beautifully Filled.” In 2011, the company launched the Davidoff Art Initiative, which has quickly become an influential platform to bring international attention to art and artists in the Caribbean and in particular the Dominican Republic.

Media contact:
Oettinger Davidoff AG
Corporate Communications
Hochbergerstrasse 15
4002 Basel / Switzerland
T +41 61 279 36 24
media@oettingerdavidoff.com
oettingerdavidoff.com / davidoff.com

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Colombia El Paraiso By Zoka Coffee

Bean Box Sample 3
Zoka Coffee Co.
Seattle, WA
Colombia El Paraiso
Origin: Colombia
Reigon: Cayun, Cachipay
Roast: Medium - City +
Brewing method: Pour-over
Price: BeanBox.co - $21 - 12 ounce bag

This Colombia El Paraiso By Zoka Coffee, the third of four roasts featured in the February package from Bean Box is yet another amazing and complex Seattle roast. 

From the bag there are notes of cinnamon toast, sweet stone fruit and a hint of bright raspberries. After giving the bean a quick grind there's a transformation in aroma to sweet, yet slightly tart raspberry. Once the pour-over is complete the notes of raspberry are still present, but nuances toasted walnuts are the most prominent. 

Sipping from the hot cup is where this roast really shines and it wasn't at all what I'd expected. The first sips were very bright, fresh and clean with a wash that wakes the palate bringing it to life for the day ahead. The mouthfeel did surprise me, but it was the flavor profile that really caught me off guard.

With the sweet and spicy aromas of toasted nuts and berries found earlier, I expected flavors to match, but that's not what I found. A pleasantly bright, slightly sweet wash of green tomatoes and a hint of spicy cinnamon rushed across my palate.  As the coffee cooled in the cup the mouthfeel became smoother and the notes of raspberries and toasted walnuts gain became more noticeable until they dominated at the end.

I found this Colombia El Paraiso By Zoka Coffee to be complex, refreshing and an exciting change of pace from the normal grind. 

Rated 94

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

CAO Sinister Sam

Well here it is, the final review of the CAO "Holiday Series", the Sinister Sam. Based on the America, the Sinister Sam has the dual wrapper, but as you can see in the picture, it's applied in a unique way. 

Like the other cigars in the series, the CAO America Sinister Sam is 6 1/2" x 52 and was a limited run of 2,000 boxes of 14 cigars. I feel extremely lucky to have gathered all five cigars in the series with many of them coming from Cigar Train.

Toast is both the main aroma and flavor from the cold cigar. The draw is free and construction of this cigar is simply solid. Once toasted and burning the mild/medium bodied initial flavors are a mix of toast, oak and pepper. After a few puffs the pepper fades as it's replaced with some sweet cream. 

Once the burn hits the maduro section the cigar transforms completely in both strength and flavors. The cigar moves into the medium/full bodied range and the flavors shift to a mix of chocolate with charcoal, molasses, and peat.

After sixty-five minutes the CAO America Sinister Sam finishes with flavors of toasted oak and charcoal. 

Overall this was an interesting cigar. With the dual wrappers it was like having two cigars in one. I've really enjoyed these Holiday Series cigars and I hope CAO puts out a few more in the future. 

Rated 92

Monday, February 23, 2015

Kilenso Ethiopia by Slate Coffee Roasters

Bean Box Sample 2
Slate Coffee Roasters
Seattle, WA
Kilenso Ethiopia
Origin:  Kilenso Mokonisa
Reigon: Sidama, Ethiopia
Roast: Medium - City +
Brewing method: Pour-over
Price: BeanBox.co - $19 - 12 ounce bag

This Bean Box sample of Kilenso Ethiopia by Slate Coffee Roasters is definitely a specialty coffee in my book. Although it's only February, this Kilenso Ethiopia roast has earned the year's highest rating to date. Let's see what I found...

Immediately upon opening the bag the vivid aromas of strawberries with a hint of cocoa rise and greet the nose. After grinding the whole beans the aroma shifts a bit and develops a hint of blueberries to go with the cocoa and strawberries. 

Once hot water is poured over the grounds the aroma swells and fills the room with gentle notes of sweet blueberries. After the pour-over was complete I expected a warm sweet blueberry aroma from the cup, but I was wrong. From the cup an aroma of warm glazed doughnuts greeted me. This aroma was so captivating that I sat for several moments taking in the bouquet rising from the cup before taking the first sips. 

The first sips were bright and clean with nuances of sweet, plump blueberries and a hint of the sugar doughnut, reminiscent of a warm, buttery, blueberry pancake. I've sampled other Ethiopian roasts with notes of blueberries, but this roast was different. Instead the normal tart flavors found in other roasts, this was sweet, more like plucking a plump, ripe berry right from the bush and tasting the explosion of sweetness a the berry ruptures in your mouth. As the coffee cools, smooth and luxurious best describes the mouthfeel, plus there is a warm lingering aftertaste of blueberry pancakes. Simply delicious!

For my personal tastes I feel this Kilenso Ethiopia by Slate Coffee Roasters would be a great addition to breakfast, or sipped as a nice after dinner cup to wind down with. 

Rated 97

Friday, February 20, 2015

Unholy Cocktail From Diesel Cigars

Here's another first for me, the Unholy Cocktail From Diesel Cigars. A.J. Fernadez month at Cigar Train was good to me providing some nice cigars I hadn't previously smoked. 

Covered in a stout, oily, maduro colored wrapper this 5" x 56 torpedo looks like it means business. From the cold foot there are notes of sweet fruit and fermented tobacco, with the same fruitiness found from the free draw. It did disappoint me that when the foot band was removed, a dime-sized chunk of wrapper left with it.

Once toasted and burning the cigar produced hearty mouthfuls of smooth, rich, full bodied smoke with nuances of black pepper, leather and fruit. Additionally the smoke and the wrapper left behind a pleasant, lingering sweet aftertaste. 

As the razor sharp burn moved up the body the pepper quickly faded being replaced by notes of toast and cocoa. In the final third flavors of fruity chocolate, espresso, earth and a hint of anise joined the complex mix. 

With a sixty minute burn time and a complex full bodied flavor mix this Unholy Cocktail was a real treat. This cigar is definitely one I'll smoke again and again. 

Rated 93


Thursday, February 19, 2015

Guatemala Juan Pira From Indaba Coffee

Indaba Coffee
Spokane, WA
Guatemala - Juan Pira
Origin: Santiago, Atitlan
Price: $10.00 - 8 ounce bag.

I've wanted to stop by Indaba Coffee for some time now but as you know I don't get out much. Well today I did get out and I did stop by their store. 

Indaba Coffee has a great looking storefront in an area of town that drastically needs revitalized. Along with their effort to revitalize that area of Spokane, for each bag of coffee sold, Indaba donates one meal to our local Second Harvest Food Bank. I tip my hat to Indaba Coffee and say, well done!

While there, the barista on duty created a pour-over of their Guatemala, Juan Pira coffee for me to sample. While I wasn't in charge of the grind, the water temperature or the pour-over, their coffee is definitely worthy of a review.

From the hot cup a pleasant aroma of cocoa and walnuts rose to great me. The first sips were bright and crisp with a cleansing palate wash. As the coffee cooled the mouthfeel became softer and the syrupiness increased. 

The coffee starts with flavor nuances of bright grapefruit, sweet caramel and walnuts, leaving behind a pleasant sweetness on the palate with a hint of saltiness. As the coffee cools the citrus shifts to more of a sweet plum flavor while the notes of caramel and walnuts bloom. 

Overall the Guatemala, Juan Pira is a nice roast with complex body and flavors, that was free from defect. Check out their website IndabaCoffee.com. Also take a moment and read the post on their Indaba Downtown Project, it's a great project with local and global impact.

Rated 93


CAO Cigars Angry Santa

Here's the forth installment of the "Holiday Series" from CAO Cigars, Again this is a cigar I picked up from Cigar Train my favorite local cigar shop.  

So far I'm really enjoying this holiday series from CAO and the Angry Santa is no exception. Based on the Traviata, the Angry Santa is 6 x 52 and like the others, production was limited to 1500 boxes of 14 cigars. 

To begin it's covered with an oily, seamless, Colorado Maduro colored wrapper that's nearly vein free. Once toasted and burning there are big notes of medium bodied sweet cocoa that hit your taste buds right up front. The cocoa is soon followed up by nuances of toast, nuts, oak, caramel and some brown sugar.

The burn was razor sharp full length and a nice oily gloss developed on the wrapper just above the burn. After seventy-five minutes of enjoyable smoking the Angry Santa finished with nice flavors of caramel and oak.

So far I've really enjoyed this series of cigars, but I'm sad to say there's only one more cigar to go.

Rated 93




Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Nicaragua Cerro Del Cielo By Caffe Vita

Bean Box Sample 1
Caffe Vita Coffee Roasting Co.
Seattle, WA
Cerro Del Cielo
Origin: Nicarauga
Reigon: Mozonte, Nueva Segovoia
Roast: Medium - City +
Brewing method: Pour-over - Iced
Price: BeanBox.co - $18 - 12 ounce bag

This Nicaragua Cerro Del Cielo By Caffe Vita, is one of the four roasts featured in the February Bean Box package.

When the bag is first opened an aroma of sweet and nutty stone fruit hits your nose, but that's only the beginning of what this coffee has to offer.

Once the beans are ground the aroma reminds me of the bright fresh aroma you get as you zest an orange. However things quickly change as hot water is introduced during the pour-over. Both the wet grounds and the cupped coffee produce a sweet aroma of pecans and Mandarin orange.  

From the hot cup the first sips are perfectly balanced, there's a hint of brightness but at the same time it's smooth and creamy with a soft, clean palate wash. Moving down through the temperature range the brightness increases a bit at first, but then softens to smooth and creamy with a syrupy mouthfeel. 

With the complex body comes a complex flavor profile. The hot brew starts out with hints of sweet Mandarin orange mixed with toffee and pecans. As the coffee cools the orange notes increase then fade away leaving behind just the notes of smooth toffee covered pecans. The flavor profile was simply amazing. 

Just for fun, I tried this Cerro Del Cielo iced, and guess what? It was fantastic. I brewed the sample as a pour-over then immediately put it over ice. This resulted in a smooth tea-like mouthfeel with the flavor of toffee coated pecans. It was so good I could drink it every day. 

Rated: 96

Sample The Best Coffees From Seattle - The Bean Box

I came across the "Bean Box" the other day and thought it would be a great product to share with everyone. The Bean Box contains four sample bags of coffee from some of the finest coffee roasters found in the Seattle, Washington area. With a $20.00 price tag and free shipping this is great offer for coffee lovers that like to sample new roasts without breaking the bank. 

Each Bean Box contains; 
*Four 1.8 ounce bags of whole bean coffee.
*Four unique roasts each month.
*Free shipping within US.
*Shipped fresh within 2 days of roasting. 
*Roasters profiles, tasting notes and brewing guide.

On the BeanBox.co web site you can order a single box for yourself, as a gift, or chose their monthly subscription service.

If you wish to sample larger quantities, you can subscribe to their monthly or bi-monthly service for a single 12 ounce bag. Again the coffee ships fresh and there's free shipping in the US.

There will be reviews posted on all four of the coffee samples in the coming days. Not to spoil it, but I've already sipped one sample and the beans produced an amazing up of coffee.

******

Get your own Bean Box! They offer some of the best coffee's I've ever sipped delivered right to your door every month!
Bean Box Coffee Subscription

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Grimalkin Robusto by Emilio Cigars

This cigar was reviewed on dangumm.com all most three years ago to the day. For some reason it didn't get published here. So today I am fixing that. Why? Well Cigar Federation announced today they found some Grimalkins from Emilio Cigars stashed away and this was one of the most memorable cigars I've ever smoked. Had the first cigar smoke for the review  not had a tight draw, this cigar would have earned a 96 or 97 rating. It's that good...
****
For this review I strayed away from the norm of smoking only one cigar and then writing the review based on that experience. The first stick had the same complex flavor profile, which you will learn about below, but the draw was so tight it took nearly all my might just to get a puff through it. So in the name of fairness I smoked the other cigar I was saving for a special occasion.

Construction: As I examined this cigar the construction is striking; the wrapper that has a nice oily sheen is nearly perfect with only one fine vein and seams that are almost invisible. The cigar is firm, but not to hard and the band is truly unique: actually seeing a picture of this cigar's band is what lead me on the quest to try this brand.

Pre-light: There is not much of a cold aroma from the wrapper, but the foot is a different story. The aroma from the foot has mixed notes of fresh cut flowers and sweet fruit. The cold draw on this cigar was perfect with a cold flavor mixture of spicy cedar and fruit. When I tasted the wrapper I'm rewarded with a nice sweet cream and almond flavor mix.

First third: To remain true I used a match to toast the foot and light this cigar. The first few puffs were a mild mix of earth and spicy cedar, there's no pepper, bite or bitterness at all and the aroma from the fair amount of white smoke carries a hint of vanilla that is almost like a mild pipe tobacco scent. At about the one inch mark the earthiness fades and is replaced by a nice mix of coffee and toasted nuts. I elected to knock the light/dark grey striped ash at the one and a half inch mark, but it was firm and would have held on longer.

Middle: Nearing the mid point the burn is still razor sharp and the draw on this cigar is perfect. The flavor mix held sold for a bit but now is shifting to more of a sweet, nutty, tobacco mixture of flavors and the body has now moved up into the medium range.

End: As this cigar burned down to the end, the flavors were shifting with nearly every puff; fruit, nuts, coffee, earth, leather, toast and cedar all entered into the mix at one time or another and the wrapper developed more sweetness as time went by.

Overall: This is the type of cigar I want at the end of a rough day when I sit down with a brandy to decompress. With no bitterness and no bite present anywhere in this cigar you would be hard pressed to find a smoother smoking stick. I will be adding a few more of these to my humidor for those days when you want nothing but to relax.

Rated 94

Monday, February 16, 2015

Black Market Robusto by Alec Bradley

I reviewed the Black Market as a Churchill three years ago and loved it. Here's a link to that old Churchill review if your interested. So today, let's take a look at the robusto and see how it holds up. 

This well packed cigar is covered by an oily maduro colored wrapper that just looks good. The construction is seamless, there are only the finest of veins in the wrapper and the cigar it topped off with a tight triple cap. 

Testing the Black Market cold, from the foot there's a nice aroma of cocoa and after clipping the cap, the free draw has nuances of spiced fruit. 

From the burning cigar the first flavors were a medium bodied mix of cocoa, fermented tobacco and a dash of black pepper. Fading quickly the pepper is soon replaced by notes of toasted oak. Around the mid point the burn had canoed up one sided and needed a correction but it burned true after that. 

In the second half the burn produced an oily sheen on the wrapper half  plus there were additional flavor notes of wheat straw, caramel, and chocolate. 

After seventy-five minutes the cigar finished in the full bodied ranged with a flavorful mix of chocolate and toast. 

Overall other than a hole in the wrapper just below the cap and the burn running off a bit, this Black Market Robusto was a pretty nice cigar that I would definitely smoke again. 

Rated 91

Saturday, February 14, 2015

LA GLORIA CUBANA RIVAL TWINS - THE FULL STORY



CHAPTER 1

This 7 x 62 cigar is a beast. It's covered with a super oily maduro colored wrapper with only the finest of veins, it's packed well full length and it has a triple cap. I hate to add, but the wrapper had a 1/4" hole just below the bottom band.

Cold there are strong notes of rich fermented tobacco from the foot and the free draw has notes of spicy cedar with hints of fruit. Once the Cigar is burning there's a huge blast of medium/full bodied chocolate, followed by oak, earth and dark chocolate. In the second half there were other notes of sandalwood, ripe tree fruit, molasses, barnyard and cream.

After sixty minutes, one relight and four burn corrections I gave up on this stick. Looking at the ash I could see the burn problems were caused by an off center bunch, its really too bad since the flavor mix of this Chapter 1 was outstanding. Rated 88



CHAPTER 2

What we have here is another beast, at 7 x 64 it's even larger than the Chapter 1. It has a dark oily, toothy, Oscuro colored wrapper with some visible seams, but there are no holes in this one. A good looking, tight triple cap holds it all together. Testing cold aromas the foot smells like fruity sweet tea, while the free cold draw gave me a blast of spicy cocoa.

Once burning there are medium bodied flavors of cocoa, rich fermented tobacco, ripe plum, brown sugar, cream, oak, leather, chai tea and coffee. The one hour and fifty-five minute smoking experience ended with a medium/full bodied espresso flavored finish.

A nice oil sheen developed on the wrapper in the second half and this Chapter 2 had a complex flavor mix. However, like it's twin this cigar was again plagued with burn problems as the canoeing needed serious correction three times. Rated 90

CHAPTER 3

This 8" x 52 ring monster is covered with a great looking, stout, oily, Colorado maduro colored Ecuadoran wrapper with fairly small veins and transparent seams. From the cold foot the mix of Nicaraguan and Honduran fillers give off an aroma of over-ripe tree fruit. After cutting the triple cap, the free draw produces a dry red wine like flavor.

From the burning cigar, the initial flavors are a mix medium to full bodied mix of barnyard, cocoa and over ripe fruit. As the burn enters the second third, there are flavors of raisin, molasses and honey. By this time the wrapper has developed a deep oily sheen and the body has moved into the full range. The final third finishes with notes of flora, brown sugar, oak, charcoal and caramel. 

Overall this was a nice cigar. It had a tasty flavor mix, a fair burn line and a ninety minute burn time. Rated 92


CHAPTER 4

The rich, oily, Colorado colored Honduran wrapper is seamless and practically vein free. From the cold foot, there are aromas of rich fermented tobacco and over ripe tree fruit to the nose. After clipping the triple cap, the free cold draw has nuances of sweet oak.

Once the foot is toasted and burning the cigar produces a nice volume of smooth, medium bodied smoke with flavors of fruit and chai tea. The burn line on this stick was razor sharp and as the burn moved up the body, a deep oily gloss developed on the wrapper. There were other flavors of brown sugar, toast, caramel, oak, cocoa and a hint of anise. After one hour and twenty-five minutes this mammoth 8 x 52 double corona finished with notes of rich caramel and white pepper.

This Rival Twin Chapter 4 was one nice cigar. It had great flavors, a nice burn line and a fantastic smoking time. If you haven't tried any of the Rival Twin series, you really should! Rated 94

EPILOGUE

The Rival Twin Chapter 4 by La Gloria Cubana Cigars is the final cigar in this four part special series; or is it?

The other day I asked Michael Giannini, Director of La Gloria Cubana Cigars that same question, his reply: "Is Rival Twin Series Chapter 4 the final chapter……all I can say is to be continued?" Well done Michael!

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Friday, February 13, 2015

Sulawesi Toarco Toraja A By Velton's Coffee

Velton's Coffee - Evert, WA
Sulawesi Toarco Toraja A

Origin: Sulawesi, Indonesia
Reigon: Ngariama, Central Province, Kirinyaga East
Roast: Light/Medium
Brewing method: Pour-over
Price: $18.50 - 16 oz.

Bright, crisp and clean, yet smooth soft and syrupy. That best describes this Sulawesi Toarco Toraja A, city + roast from Velton's Coffee. Along with the complex body and mouthfeel, this roast has an amazingly complex flavor range.

From the bag the whole beans give off a pleasant aroma of rich caramel with a hints of chocolate and sweet citrus. Once the beans are ground, the dry aroma changes a bit releasing notes of sweet caramel and stone fruit. The pour-over the aroma swells into the room with notes of sweet citrus and more caramel. Once brewing is complete, the are notes of cocoa, caramel and sweet citrus rising from the cup. 

The first sips from the hot cup are bright, crisp and clean with a mouthwatering palate wash. There are flavors of sweet caramel with just a hint of bright lime. As the coffee cools the flavors change as does the body. The bright lime fades being replaced with sweeter citrus, while the sweetness of the caramel becomes more pronounced. As this flavor shift takes place the mouthfeel gets softer and a bit heavier. At the lower end of the temperature range, the citrus fades completely as it's replaced with a hint of soft, silky and syrupy chocolate mixed with the caramel. 

I was impressed with this Sulawesi Toarco Toraja A from Velton's Coffee. It produced a clean cup free from defect with complex body, mouthfeel and flavors throughout the sipping range. 

Rated 94

Thursday, February 12, 2015

CAO Mx2 Rabid Reindeer

CAO Rabid Reindeer Cigar
I get a real kick out of reviewing "series" cigars and this is the third installment of the "Holiday Series" from CAO Cigars, the Mx2 Rabid Reindeer. Again this Holiday Series cigar came from Cigar Train here in Spokane. 

Like the others in the series, the 6 1/2 x 52 Rabid Reindeer is a limited release of 2000 boxes of 14 cigars, but the Rabid Reindeer is based on the MX2.

Construction of this cigar is near perfect. The stout, oily, maduro colored wrapper appears seamless, there's some sandpaper-like tooth and it's nearly vein free. There's a nice triple cap and the cigar is packed well full length. 

From the cold foot there's a hearty aroma of earthy cocoa and the free cold draw reminds me of  spicy cocoa. 

Once burning the cigar produces a nice amount of medium bodied smoke with nuances of stone fruit, cocoa and fermented tobacco. As the razor sharp burn moves up the body there are other notes of toast, earth, and leather with a lingering chocolate aftertaste on the palate. 

In the final third the strength moves into the full body range and the flavors shift to a mix of charcoal, cream and chocolate, my favorite "burnt mocha" mix. This was a very tasty cigar. 

I thought the Rabid Reindeer was a nice cigar. It had a seventy minute smoking time, a razor sharp burn, great flavors and the wrapper developed a deep oily sheen as cigar turned to ash. 

Rated 94


Davidoff Cigars Unveils The First Exclusive Editions 2015.

Davidoff Cigars unveils the first Davidoff Exclusive Editions 2015. 

Unique cigars tailor made exclusively for key Davidoff retail partners globally


Basel, February 2015. 

To celebrate the successful business relationships between Oettinger Davidoff AG and its indespensible business partners around the world, Davidoff Cigars has created Premium Exclusive Editions designed for its Davidoff Flagship Stores, Appointed Merchants and top Travel Retail Accounts. The Davidoff Exclusive cigars that make up these various Editions are as unique and distinctive as a country, a city or a city’s skyline. Blended to match the palates of those who will have the opportunity to enjoy them, they will be available in limited quantities only.

“At Davidoff, our mission is to fill the aficionados’ time beautifully, delighting and surprising aficionados and key retail partners worldwide, by crafting exceptional cigars and creating unrivalled retail experiences. With these bespoke Exclusive Editions, we are taking service and experience to a higher and more personal level,” says Charles Awad, Senior Vice President Marketing & Innovation at Oettinger Davidoff AG.

The following Davidoff Exclusives are planned in 2015:

Davidoff Exclusive Hong Kong (available only in Davidoff’s Flagship Stores in Hong Kong)

Davidoff Exclusive Tokyo (available only in Davidoff’s Flagship Stores in Tokyo)

Davidoff Exclusive Heinemann (available only in Heinemann’s top Duty Free shops)

Davidoff Exclusive Madison Avenue (available only in the Davidoff Madison Flagship Store)

Davidoff Exclusive Russia (available only in Russia)


About Davidoff Exclusive Flagship Store Editions
An elegant bespoke Exclusive Edition is now available for customers of Davidoff Flagship Stores and key retail partners. Store managers can choose their own blend according to their local customers’ taste preferences as well as a customized second ring. Each cigar box will feature a store identifier and the skyline of the city which is home to the Flagship Store or a design relevant to the retailer. These editions will be very limited and will be an exciting proposition for cigar collectors.

Launch and availability
The Davidoff Exclusive Edition 2015 boxes will be available in limited quantities at Appointed Merchants in the US, starting in March 2015 (and at the beginning of every year), as well as at specific Davidoff Flagship Stores/Depositaires worldwide from March 2015.

Media Contact:
Oettinger Davidoff AG
Corporate Communications
Hochbergerstrasse 15
CH – 4002 Basel
Tel. +41 61 279 36 24
media@oettingerdavidoff.com
oettingerdavidoff.com
davidoff.com

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Quorum Shade Toro

Today we have another nice budget cigar, the Quorum Shade Toro. For a budget cigar, this stick was pretty impressive. Let's take a deeper look and find out why. 

Covered in a silky smooth, shade grown Connecticut wrapper, this Quorum looks like it could quite easily retail for around $10.00. The construction is seamless, the wrapper contains only the finest of veins, it's packed firmly full length and it's topped off by a triple cap. 

From the cold foot there were rich fruity notes of fermented tobacco, while the free cold draw produced toasted tobacco notes with a hint of spice mixed in. 

The first draws were mild bodied and smooth with flavors of cream, toast and again, a light hint of spice. As the sharp burn line moved up the body, the cigar's flavors shifted to an earthy mix of oak, earth and leather until the burn reached the final third.

In the final third the sweet cream came back, plus now there was lots of light brown sugar added in. The cigar finished its fifty minute burn in the medium body range with a mix of sugary sweet cream and caramel. I thought it was a very tasty finish.

Overall the Quorum Shade Toro was a top of the line budget cigar. It had great construction, a nice burn and a good tasting flavor mix. I did think the flavors were a bit soft and hard to separate at times but this cigar would make a great before breakfast smoke at an unbelievable low price. 

You can find these Quorum Shade Toros at NeptuneCigar.com priced at just $2.30 per single or only $29.95 in bundles of 20.

Rated 92


GURKHA CIGARS TO RELEASE SECOND SUPER PREMIUM LUXURY CIGAR"MAHARAJA"


Fort Lauderdale, FL - The world's finest and most expensive cigar maker --Gurkha Cigars -- has reached new heights once again with the release of its second super premium luxury cigar, 'Maharaja.'

While Gurkha's original super premium luxury cigar the 'His Majesty's Reserve' is infused with Remy's Louis XIII Cognac at $2,400 a bottle, the 'Maharaja' will not be infused. It is a secret blend of the best quality tobaccos available. The beautiful maduro wrapper pairs Dominican binder and fillers to create a smooth and sweet taste on the lips. To be enjoyed by true cigar connoisseurs, the Gurkha Maharaja is medium bodied and one of a kind. It retails for $500 a stick. 

"The limited edition 'Maharaja' has set a new precedent for premium tobacco," said Kaizad Hansotia, founder and CEO of Gurkha Cigars. "We're excited to be able to pair these rare leaves in such a magnificent and flavorful way. It's been a while since our first release of the 'His Majesty's Reserve' in 1996 and we think this cigar will set a new standard for an exclusively luxurious smoke to become the 'king' of all cigars. I couldn't be more proud of what we've accomplished with the 'Maharaja.'"

As with all luxury premium Gurkha Cigars, the 'Maharaja' will be available only in small quantities -- boxes of 10 cigars -- and in limited release -- only 100 boxes will be sold. Also, in keeping with the Gurkha tradition of presenting cigars in unique, award-winning artistic packaging,, the 'Maharaja' will be presented in an exquisite wooden humidor. 

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, Gurkha now offers 48 distinct brands of cigars. The Gurkha Cigar Group Inc. is located at 6600 Hiatus Road, Tamarac, FL 33321. For information, visit www.gurkacigars.com or call 1-888-GURKHAS.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Grind Double Toro By Diesel Cigars

Once again, here's a cigar from this month's Freight Train package the Grind Double Toro by Diesel Cigar

Let me say, this Grind is one nice looking cigar, plus at 6 x 60, it's big. It's covered in a seamless, practically vein free Colorado Claro colored wrapper, with the finest of veins. The cigar is packed well full length, it has seamless construction and it's topped off with a triple cap. 

Checking aromas on the cold cigar, there are notes from the foot of fruity, fermented tobacco. After clipping the cap, the free draw again has a fruity flavor but there's a bit of mild spice to make things interesting. 

Once the cigar is burning the first mouthfuls of medium bodied smoke tease your palate with the same mix of spicy, fruity, fermented tobacco found in the cold draw. It's actually a pretty tasty mix. As the sharp burn line progresses up the body other flavors of toast, leather and light brown sugar join  the mix. 

In the final third the body jumps up into the medium/full range and the cigar finishes its seventy-five minute burn with flavors of coffee, cream and lots of sugar. 

Overall the Grind Double Toro was a nice cigar. While it wasn't overly complex the Grind had a smooth and steady, great tasting flavor mix, a nice smoking time and top of the line construction. Also, the Diesel Grind is a Brick & Mortar exclusive, so if you want to give one a test drive talk to your local shop. 

Rated 92

Monday, February 9, 2015

Long Live The King: My Style Is Jalapeno Lancero From Caldwell Cigars

Long Live The King My Style Is Jalapeno
Once again thanks to the monthly Cigar Train "Freight Train" package I have another Caldwell Cigar to review, the Long Live The King, My Style Is Jalapeno Lancero. 

A nifty looking band and an oily, seamless, nearly vein free wrapper lead me to believe this will be another great cigar from Caldwell Cigars. Let's see if I'm right. 

Before we really get stared, I have to wonder, what kind of name is, "My Style Is Jalapeno", for a cigar. Well I think it's a pretty good one myself. However, it did make me wonder if this cigar was a pepper bomb. Well I can gladly say, it wasn't. 

Starting with the Corojo wrapper you can see in the picture it has a bit of color difference from one end to the other, but that's OK, plus in true lancero style, it's capped with a nice, tightly wound pigtail.

From the foot I pick up a really mild cedar aroma and after clipping the cap, the free draw has a light spicy cedar taste.

Once the cigar is burning the first medium bodied flavors were a sweet mix of brown sugar and oak. As the burn  moved up the body there were other notes of leather earth, and hint of light red pepper. The pepper wasn't tongue-burning hot, there was just enough to know it was there. 

After fifty-five minutes the cigar finished with mixed flavors of toasted oak, and brown sugar. 

This cigar had been resting in my humidor for over two months now, but in the first inch it had to be re-lit three times. After that the cigar burned flawlessly.

Rated 91



Oettinger Davidoff and Quintessentially Lifestyle Unveil The Hourglass Lounge

Oettinger Davidoff and Quintessentially Lifestyle unveil the Hourglass Lounge

Oettinger Davidoff and Quintessentially Lifestyle unveil the Hourglass Lounge, the world’s first members-only luxury concierge service dedicated to filling the cigar aficionado’s time beautifully.


Basel, February 2015. 

Oettinger Davidoff, creator of some of the finest premium cigars, has joined forces with one of the world’s leading luxury lifestyle concierge service, Quintessentially Lifestyle, to launch the Hourglass Lounge: this first global luxury concierge service dedicated to the cigar aficionado.

“The Hourglass Lounge will delight and surprise aficionados worldwide by delivering unique and unrivalled experiences – following our philosophy of “Time Beautifully Filled”. If time is one of life’s greatest luxuries, nowhere is it more richly filled than in the Hourglass Lounge,” says Hans-Kristian Hoejsgaard, CEO of Oettinger Davidoff AG.

The Hourglass Lounge enables its members to enjoy unparalleled levels of service: from responding to their everyday needs to fulfilling their extraordinary requests and wishes. This service is designed to fill the cigar aficionado’s time beautifully, exquisitely, and exclusively with unforgettable experiences.

“We are thrilled to be working with Quintessentially Lifestyle, one of the world’s most renowned luxury concierge services. The Hourglass Lounge helps aficionados around the world to have more time in life to enjoy exceptional cigars and live incredible experiences thanks to its expert around-the-clock concierge support. It is the ultimate cigar aficionado luxury for those who believe that time is the ultimate luxury,” says Charles Awad, Senior Vice President Global Marketing and Innovation at Oettinger Davidoff AG.

Hourglass Lounge members now have a place where VIP treatment, unlimited access to unparalleled privilege and indulgence come as standard. A place where unique and inaccessible experiences will be expertly tailored for aficionados: from a round of golf with a golf legend enjoying exceptional cigars to an unforgettable trip over the Great wall of China or an exclusive dining experience with their favorite celebrity chef – the possibilities are as wide as imagination can be.

A time pressured daily life also becomes easier as simple requests are handled by the Hourglass Lounge concierge, solving pressing practical problems such as booking a table at the best restaurant in town, reserving tickets for the hottest show or securing access to an exclusive party.

That level of customer service is also evident in the innovative “Bespoke Lounge & Cigar Cellar Design by Davidoff/Atelier Oï”, where members can have their personal cigar cellar and lounge designed by a renowned Swiss design team and carefully crafted for them to enjoy cigars in the comfort of their own home. Or, as the world’s first concierge service utterly dedicated to the cigar aficionado, the Hourglass Lounge can ensure its members their chosen cigars will be ready for them, wherever and whenever they want them, VIP access to enjoy some of the world’s finest cigar lounges and events or new Davidoff blends; and unique, limited editions to be experienced before anyone else in the world.

Further information about the Hourglass Lounge
Each Hourglass Lounge member will have round-the-clock instant access to a team of Concierges who are knowledgeable, fully trained, and committed to delivering worldwide service excellence, available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

With core offices in London, New York, Hong Kong, Dubai, Geneva and Munich, the Hourglass Lounge, serviced by Quintessentially Lifestyle, is able to provide a truly global yet localized service with a personal touch.

For more information on fees and membership details, and to register, please visit www.hourglasslounge.com, or call the general registration office +41 22 592 7926.
For US registration, please call +1 347 549 4093, and for registration in Asia +852 6963 0030.

About Quintessentially Lifestyle
Since its inception in London in 2000, Quintessentially Lifestyle has been providing Members with its award-winning lifestyle management services. From giving specialist advice and exclusive benefits, through to unparalleled access to the world’s most exclusive, and elusive, items and locations, Quintessentially Lifestyle facilitates its Members’ every request and desire - solving both pressing practical problems as well as aiding all-important life decisions and key moments. The wider Quintessentially Group is a collection of over 25 sister businesses covering every facet of the aspirational lifestyle market, guided by highly-skilled professionals in their specific fields. Its success has been referred to as “unprecedented” by The Sunday Times.

About Oettinger Davidoff AG
The CHF 1.2 billion Oettinger Davidoff AG with over 3,500 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.

Media Contact:
Oettinger Davidoff AG
Corporate Communications
Hochbergerstrasse 15
CH – 4002 Basel
Tel. +41 61 279 36 24

Friday, February 6, 2015

Shadow From Roast House Coffee

Shadow From Roast House Coffee
Roast House Coffee
Shadow
Location: Spokane, WA
Reigon: Sumatra, Mexico, Nicaragua
Roast: City + - Full City +
Brewing method: Pour-over
Price: $15.45 - 16 oz.

Here we have another top of the line coffee, Shadow from Roast House Coffee. These beans brew into a cup as complex as the regions they're grown in. 

Aroma from the beans and ground coffee mainly has notes of cocoa, but there's also a faint hint of oak that makes things interesting.

As water is introduced during the pour-over process, sweet notes of cocoa and warm bread rise to greet your nose. Once the brewing is complete, the aroma rising from the cup has notes of sweet caramel. 

Sipping from the cup, the first sips are light, clean and brisk with a clean wash across the palate. As the brew cools it becomes heavier with a smooth creamy mouthfeel and a soft lingering aftertaste. 

Not only does the body change in the cup but so do the flavors. The first sips contain notes of lightly sweet caramel with just a hint of oak. Once it cools the caramel slowly fades away only to be replaced with notes of creamy chocolate and the same light hint of oak. 

I think this Shadow roast is a nice any time of the day blend. In the beginning it has the brightness to wake your palate, then it gets smooth, creamy and deeply satisfying.

Rated 94




Tryst No. 2 Robusto Vanilla-Spiced Rum E-Cigar

Tryst No. 2 Robusto Vanilla-Spiced Rum E-Cigar
Here's another great tasting e-cigar the Tryst No. 2 Robusto Vanilla-Spiced Rum E-Cigar. Featuring e-juice made in the USA, these Tryst e-cigars are a pretty sweet deal. Again, this is another nice example of a cigarette alternative that gives me cigar-like satisfaction.

Like I mentioned before, these American made e-juices from Tryst have fantastic flavor. With this e-cigar vanilla reigns as the prominent flavor, but there are hints of spiced rum underneath and it creates a nice mix.  To date, other flavored e-products I've tried don't compare at all to the Tryst e-cigar flavors.

So far all the Tryst products I've tried have top of the line construction and I haven't had any negative issues.

Add together great taste, health benefits and reduced cigarette costs, Tryst e-cigars are a real winner for me. Give them a try!

You can find Tryst e-cigars at Famous Smoke Shop. The No. 2 Robusto sells in 12 packs for $152.99. Since each Tryst Robusto is the equivalent of eight cigars a 12 pack equals out time wise to 96 cigars and that's a real deal.

Rated 9.6


Thursday, February 5, 2015

CAO Cigars Evil Snowman Maduro

CAO Cigars La Traviata Maduro Evil Snowman
Today we have the second installment of the "Holiday Series" from CAO Cigars, the La Traviata Maduro Evil Snowman. You know by now that good packaging gets me all the time and this Holiday Series CAO Cigar I picked up from Cigar Train caught me, hook, line and sinker. But that's not all, there was a really nice cigar under this limited series band. Let's take a look and see what I found. 

So this is what I found. The Evil Snowman is covered by a nice oily, slightly toothy Maduro colored wrapper that shows only the finest of veins. The cigar is packed well full length and had a light barnyard aroma from the foot. After clipping the triple cap, the draw was free and there were flavor notes of lightly spiced oak. 

Once burning the mild bodied Evil Snowman produced a large volume of smoke with an initial flavor mix of toasty fermented tobacco, cocoa and oak plus it left behind a nice chocolate aftertaste. 

In the second half the wrapper developed an oily sheen as the cigar burned and the flavors took on more of an earthy tone with notes of molasses, damp earth and leather. 

Nearing the eighty minute mark, the flavor mix shifted to a medium bodied blend of oak, charcoal, chocolate and a hint of cream. I thought it was a pretty tasty finish. 

Overall I thought the Evil Snowman was another great cigar from CAO Cigars. It had a nice flavor mix, a long smoking time and a sharp burn full length. I think these are getting a bit hard to find now, but if you happen across one, I'd buy it.


Rated 94 

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

VIVA REPUBLICA LIMITED-EDITION CIGAR: JAILBREAK



VIVA REPUBLICA ANNOUNCES LIMITED-EDITION CIGAR:
JAILBREAK


Miami, Florida- Viva Republica, a premium handmade cigar manufacturer is ready to launch a limited edition, one of a kind blend named: Jailbreak. Jailbreak is the latest in unique and innovative lines put forth by Jason Holly, President of Viva Republica.

Jason Holly said” Jailbreak is a new concept in where a Lancero is buried inside of a 6’X 58 cigar trying to escape. I decided to create this unique cigar in dedication to my stepfather who recently retired as a Superintendent of the Dallas State Correctional Institution.”

The cigar features a double-wrapper (Dominican Corojo and Ecuadorian Habano), undisclosed double-binder and features 10 different filler leaves. The lancero/center-chamber is rolled and aged prior to being re-rolled into the 6 x 58, which is then aged again.

Holly said,” The cigar offers a flavor profile that is quite unique, it's a blend that would be very difficult to replicate in a traditional cigar format.”

The MSRP for Jailbreak is $12.50. Only 300, 20 count boxes were produced. Jailbreak will begin shipping later this week.


Retailers can order the cigars from Miami Cigar & Co., the exclusive American distributor of Viva Republica.

ABOUT VIVA REPUBLICA
Viva Republica is a boutique premium handmade cigar manufacturer with all of its production being provided by La Aurora, S.A. Miami Cigar Co. serves as exclusive United States distributor
www.vivarepublica.com


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.

Indaba Downtown: A Funding Project With Local and Global Economic Impact.

I ran across this funding project on Twitter today. Since I'm a coffee nut and it's a local project, I feel the "INDABA Downtown" project deserves as much promotion as possible.

INDABA COFFEE

INDABA Downtown: A Funding Project With Local and Global Economic Impact.

Help bring "good" coffee to downtown Spokane.

Indaba Downtown


The summary below is directly from the funding page.

" Short Summary

Hi, I’m Bobby Enslow, the owner and founder of INDABA COFFEE. After spending time working in South Africa for an HIV/AIDS clinic, I returned to my home town of Spokane, WA with a renewed passion for the poor and a dream to start a socially conscious coffee business.
This indiegogo campaign is to raise money for our second location downtown! It’s been five years since we opened our first location in West Central, and now we are ready to take our business to an up and coming area of downtown. This location will allow us to raise even more money to fight hunger in the Inland Northwest and continue to pioneer specialty coffee in the area. Living and working in West Central, the poorest neighborhood in the State, the largest need we’ve seen is access to food. This is why when we started roasting in 2014 we committed to donate a meal for every bag of coffee sold.
At the end of our first year of rolling out our fight against hunger, we have helped to provide over 2,100 meals through our partnership with Second Harvest Food Bank. With this new location downtown, it is our goal to provide over 10,000 meals in 2015. A lofty goal, but with your contribution, it can become a reality. "


See, I told you it was a worthy project, hop over to their funding page for the full story. And please do me one  more favor, once you're done there, visit indabacoffee.com.


Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Rocky Patel Catch Twenty-Two Sixty

I plucked this Rocky Patel Catch Twenty-Two, Sixty right off the shelf on my last visit to Cigar Train. With the high tobacco taxes in WA, and a retail price under $7.00, this Catch Twenty-Two is darn nice stick. 

This 60 ring beast is packed well from head to foot, plus the Honduran and Mexican long fillers are covered in an oily, slightly toothy, Maduro colored Corojo wrapper.

Aromas from the cold foot are a mix of light spice and rich fermented tobacco. Once the cap is clipped, the free cold draw has sweet notes of fermented tobacco.

From the burning cigar, the first large mouthfuls of medium bodied smoke have flavors of oak, leather, cocoa, and more fermented tobacco. In the second half the strength builds into the medium/full range and more flavors join in. There's a bit of black pepper, some peat, earth, brown sugar and burnt oak. 

After seventy-five minutes the Catch Twenty-Two finishes it's burn with flavors of charred oak and chocolate. It was a pretty taste mix.



Overall this Rocky Patel Catch Twenty-Two was a nice cigar. It had a good burn line, balanced flavors and it produce gobs of smoke from both ends. Nice!

Rated 92

Short Month, Big Contest - February Cigar Contest


Okay, it's February already and here's the new monthly contest we promised.

This month it's an 8-pack of cigars all from my own personal stash. No sponsors, just me.

To enter the only requirement is subscribe to our mailing list and "POOF" you're in! It's that easy.

Here's the line up:
1- La Gloria Evil Twin
1- Mark Twain
1- CAO Nasty Nutcracker
1- John Starks
1- Man O' War
1- El Baton
1- Camacho Ecuador
1- Ave Maria

This package has an MSRP over $75.00


You must be of legal smoking age for your state to enter. 

Here's The big bonus, if you're already subscribed, you're already entered in this month's contest!

The contest ends 2/28/2015 and the winner will be notified via email or Twitter. Good luck!

This won't be a high-volume list, probably only one per month and maybe a special announcement here and there. 

Subscribe to our mailing list







Past Winners

January Contest: Randy May
Year End Contest: Chase Abernathy
Christmas Contest: Bob Langmaid

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