Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Davidoff announces its global launch of the Limited Art Edition 2016 in collaboration with Olivia McGilchrist


An edition as exceptional as the 10 perfecto cigars beautifully held in a box finished with one of the 7’000 unique stills from McGilchrist’s video ‘from many sides’.

Art Basel
June 16 – 19, 2016
Basel, Switzerland

Davidoff Limited Art Edition 2016 by Olivia McGilchrist


Basel, Switzerland, May 31, 2016 – Davidoff is proud to announce the global launch of its second
Limited Art Edition in June 2016 at Art Basel, Switzerland, in collaboration with Jamaican-French artist Olivia McGilchrist.

The Davidoff Limited Art Edition 2016 consists of a cigar edition limited to 7’000 unique boxes, each featuring an exclusive still extracted from McGilchrist’s video ‘from many sides’. Each box will carry 10 perfecto cigars, an exceptional format, which only 10 experienced Davidoff torcedores (cigar rollers) are able to craft.

The beauty of the perfecto format lies in the fact that the aficionado can actually taste the wrapper and binder as both flavours come through exquisitely. The Habano Ecuador wrapper exudes a creamy richness first, before giving way to the spicy, peppery flavour of the Dominican Piloto binder. The essence of Dominican Mejorado filler tobaccos also comes through as the cigar unfolds its complexity and sweetness with flavours of milk coffee and oak wood, ceaselessly delighting the palate of the aficionado. In the second third, a fruity sweetness with a floral hint appears, while the oak wood flavour shifts smoothly to a licorice note.

This cigar is exceptionally well balanced and has a delicious creaminess. Towards the end, the flavours increase in intensity, leaving an unforgettable impression.

Flavour and tobacco notes

Wrapper: Habano Ecuador
Binder: Piloto from Dominican Republic
Filler: Piloto Visus, San Vicente Mejorado Seco
Yamasá Seco and 2 San Vicente
Mejorado Visus tobaccos from different zones
Aroma: Mellow and complex
Strength: ●●●○○ (medium)

Collector’s Edition
Additionally, a highly limited run of Collector’s Editions consisting of one of sixteen numbered editions of the commissioned video, a cigar box featuring a unique still image from the video, and a signed certificate by the artist, will also be released at Art Basel. Visitors to Art Basel will also have the opportunity to immerse themselves in a 3D virtual reality video piece by McGilchrist.

With this second Limited Art Edition, Davidoff continues its long history of engaging with artists and designers. “Davidoff is committed to supporting contemporary art and bringing international recognition to the important creative voices emerging from the Caribbean. The Limited Art Edition generates more exposure for the artists while it helps to support the Davidoff Art Initiative residencies and programs worldwide,” said Hans-Kristian Hoejsgaard, CEO Oettinger Davidoff AG. ‘from many sides’ offers a rich and multi-sensory experience which we are excited to share with new audiences, beginning with those at Art Basel.” Part of the revenues generated by the Davidoff Limited Art Edition 2016 will be dedicated to sustaining the Davidoff Art Initiative and supporting artists from the Caribbean.

About the Artist
Olivia McGilchrist is a Jamaican-French visual artist whose works explore themes of translocation and issues of Caribbean cultural identity by juxtaposing parallel realities through photographs, video installations and virtual reality. Born in Kingston Jamaica to a French mother and a Jamaican father, McGilchrist grew up in France and the UK. In 2010, she completed her Master’s in Photography at the London College of Communication (LCC) and in 2011, she moved back to Kingston to work as a curator at the National Gallery of Jamaica (NGJ) a lecturer in photography and new media at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts (EMCVPA). Her work has been shown worldwide, including in Jamaica, Trinidad, Barbados, Grenada, Brazil, the US, the UK, and France. In 2013, she won the Trinidad & Tobago film festival and ARC Magazine New Media Prize.

“My work is innately aligned with my Caribbean background and is informed by a desire to foster deeper connections to the cultural identity of the region,” said Olivia McGilchrist,“‘from many sides’ comes from the intersection of the exploration of the myths and stories of the region with the ways in which new media technologies allow us to re-envision how these stories are told. A guiding question in my practice is to ask by what means contemporary lens-based media works as a storytelling tool, allowing us to be closer to our more authentic selves.”

About the Davidoff Art Initiative
The Davidoff Art Initiative supports contemporary art and artists in the Caribbean, strengthens art organizations, and fosters cultural engagement between the Caribbean and the rest of the world. It brings opportunity and visibility to the art and culture of the wider Caribbean region, including the Dominican Republic, where much of Davidoff's production and many of its employees are based, extending the company’s long-standing commitment to artistry, craftsmanship, community, and quality.

About Oettinger Davidoff AG
Oettinger Davidoff AG with sales of over CHF 600 million and 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 the other is 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. The Oettinger Davidoff AG business is anchored in a strong “crop-to-shop” philosophy, having pursued vertical integration from the tobacco fields in the Dominican Republic, Honduras and Nicaragua to the worldwide network of over 70 Davidoff Flagship
Stores that complement a network of strong Appointed Merchants around the world.

About Art Basel
Art Basel stages the world's premier art shows for Modern and contemporary works, sited in Basel, Miami Beach, and Hong Kong. Defined by its host city and region, each show is unique, which is reflected in its participating galleries, artworks presented, and the content of parallel programming produced in collaboration with local institutions for each edition. In addition to ambitious stands featuring leading galleries from around the globe, each show's singular exhibition sectors spotlight the latest developments in the visual arts, offering visitors new ideas and new inspiration.
artbasel.com

Media contacts:
For further information, images, or to arrange an interview, members of the media may contact:

Oettinger Davidoff AG
Manager Davidoff Art Initiative
Albertine Kopp
+41 61 279 3612

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Famous 75th Padron Anniversary A Famous Smoke Shop Exclusive

Rarely do I get the opportunity to smoke a true top-shelf cigar. I've found sometimes they live up to the hype and sadly sometimes they don't. However, the Famous 75 Padron Anniversary cigar really hits the mark!

This Famous Smoke Shop exclusive was created to celebrate Famous Smoke Shop's 75th anniversary and let me say right up front, it's a great cigar.

The Famous 75th Padron Anniversary is filled with Nicaraguan tobaccos and covered with a nearly vein-free Maduro colored wrapper that's rolled on with seamless skill. Checking the body, the  box-pressed cigar is packed firmly full length plus it's finished off with a tight triple cap. 

From the cold foot there's a faint aroma of sweet, fermented tobacco while the free cold draw had notes of oak and light brown sugar. Once burning, the Famous 75th Padron Anniversary cigar produced large mouthfuls of medium bodied smoke with tasty notes of sweet caramel, cocoa and a hint of oak. Pairing this cigar with a smooth, earthy medium roast coffee really enhanced the cigar's sweetness.

As the razor sharp burn neared the mid-point the flavor mix drastically shifted to a mix of earth, oak and leather, The sweetness came back after a few more puffs, but the second half of the cigar had more of an earthy flavor base.

Moving into the final third is when the real transformation began. By now the body was well into the medium/full range while the flavors took a big shift. There were now flavor nuances of toast, brown sugar, earth, leather and charcoal. The cigar finished its sixty-five minute burn with gobs of creamy smoke and my favorite "burnt mocha" finish; a mix of cream, coffee, cocoa and charcoal. Tasty!

This Famous 75th Padron Anniversary cigar is near the top of my top-ten all time favorite cigars. Give the a try for yourself. Again, the Famous 75th Padron Anniversary cigar is a Famous Smoke Shop exclusive so you can only find them in their store.

Rated 96

New Cigar Release: Blessed Leaf Theophany From Ezra Zion Cigars



This project began when we stumbled upon the most gorgeous and fragrant Corojo wrapper ever. We knew it was something special and had to be blended as such. No normal filler would do!

After calling in a few favors, we procured the "dream" tobaccos worthy of this project. Literally, the filler tobacco is so old in this cigar that you can taste the age! It's phenomenal!

Flavors begin with a bold leather wave across the palate. Blasts of vanilla, white pepper, and caramel give way to a luscious creamy finish. Elegantly full-bodied, strength through the retrohale is strong--but silky from the mature vintage Ligeros. 

As the cigar progresses, notes of cocoa powder, walnuts, and marshmallow begin to emerge. The final third introduces a beautiful red pepper spice, dark chocolate bar, cedar and whipped cream. 

Theophany is a decadent and luxurious smoking experience. We think it's gonna take the top spot in your humidor! Only 695 of these cigars were made and they available only from the Ezra Zion Store.

Davidoff Announces Official Opening Of Flagship Store And Cigar Lounge In Houston, Texas


Davidoff is proud to announce the official opening of its Flagship Store and Cigar Lounge in Houston, Texas. 'Davidoff of Geneva - since 1911' Houston occupies a spectacular 2,000 square feet premium space in Oliver McMillan's upscale River Oaks District - located in the Houston loop.


The store is a beautiful illustration of Davidoff's global retail concept, which features a luxury environment and guest experience. Guests are ushered into a premium cigar retail space, flanked by a walk-in humidor and luxury lounge. Private lockers are also available for lease by customers looking to store their personal collections.


"Oliver McMillan's destinations are renowned for combining an outstanding array of luxury retail stores and premium restaurants, and it is an ideal location for us provide an unrivalled experience for Houston's cigar aficionados," says Jim Young, President of Davidoff of Geneva North America. "Our Houston store is an exceptional addition to our portfolio of now five company-owned properties, including three in New York and one in Atlanta, as well as licensed boutiques in Las Vegas and our hometown of Tampa, Florida."


'Davidoff of Geneva - since 1911' Houston features an expansive selection of premium cigars with Davidoff as the centerpiece. An inviting retail space displays a selection of the finest accessories. The interior and architectural design is inspired by the traditions of the Dominican Republic, the home of Davidoff. In addition, a selection of custom art created by Dominican artist Fausto Ortiz and hand curated by Hans-Kristian Hoejsgaard, CEO Oettinger Davidoff AG, adorns the walls.

To commemorate the opening and to celebrate the new presence of 'Davidoff of Geneva - since 1911' Houston, the company has commissioned "The Houston Exclusive" cigar, a beautiful Belicoso format that introduces sweet notes of coffee, leather and spice. These complex flavors provide a medium to full bodied smoking experience with a lot of character along with an intensely pleasurable aroma. The Houston Exclusive is only available at the Houston store.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Drew Estate Announces New Florida Sun Grown “FSG” Cigar Line

Miami, FL – Today, Drew Estate announced their newest brand, “Florida Sun Grown”. This new brand features tobacco grown just outside of Orlando, Florida, in partnership with Jeff Borysiewicz, owner of Corona Cigar Co.

The new Florida Sun Grown cigar line will feature four new sizes, listed below:



Robusto (5 x 54), MSRP $230/20ct box
Toro (6 x 52), MSRP $260/20ct box
Belicoso (6 ½ x 54), MSRP $280/20ct box
Sixty (6 x 60), MSRP $300/20ct box

The FSG blend features Florida Sun Grown tobacco as an accent tobacco, which adds nuance and depth to the blend, but also features select Nicaraguan fillers. The binder is a Habano seed tobacco from Honduras and the cigar is finished off with a lush Brazilian wrapper.

There will also be a Limited Edition Trunk-Pressed Toro (6 x 54) with an MSRP of $150/10ct box. This limited edition size will feature its own unique blend, which utilizes a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper, Mexican binder, and Florida Sungrown filler tobacco, along with fillers from Nicaragua and Honduras.

The Florida Sun Grown line was blended by Drew Estate Master Blender Willy Herrera over the course of the past two years, during which Drew Estate has been fermenting and processing the new Sun Grown tobaccos. When asked about the new tobacco, Willy stated that, “it was a unique challenge working with the Florida Sun Grown tobacco. It was something completely new to me, and it took me numerous blends to figure out how to incorporate it into a blend I really loved. The final blend we’ve come up with is one I’m extremely excited about, and I can’t wait to see what everyone thinks of this special new tobacco.”

When asked about his experience growing this tobacco, Jeff Borysiewicz, owner of Corona Cigar Co, said that, “this has been one of the most difficult challenges of my life. Tobacco growing is just as much an art as it is a science, and growing tobacco in this area of Florida was totally uncharted territory. It took a lot of trial and error to get it to where it is today, but we couldn’t be happier with the way it’s smoking.”

Drew Estate Founder Jonathan Drew reflected on his history with Borysiewicz: "My first memorable experience with Jeff Borysiewicz was at 1am in the morning inside the DE factory in Estelí, Nicaragua.  We spoke until 3am, while DE's first seven packaging girls and myself prepared for the launch of ‘NATURAL Cigars by Drew Estate’.  It must have been 2000.”

“The next morning, after sleeping only a few hours, I drove a rented car four hours to Managua on that pothole crater-ridden Pan American Highway just to bring Jeff some samples of what would later become ‘Industrial Press Cigars’. Friendship founded, boom, for life.

Here we are, now 17 years later and ready to make magic happen again. Florida Barn Smoker and the FSG Label bring me back to the earliest days when we had nothing but a dream."

The new Florida Sun Grown line will hit store shelves in June of 2016, and will be available exclusively at Corona Cigar Co. To be among the first to try the new Florida Sun Grown blends, attend the Florida Barn Smoker on June 4th, 2016 (http://barnsmoker.com).


About Drew Estate

Founded in New York City in 1996, Drew Estate has become one of the fastest growing tobacco companies in the world. Under their mantra “The Rebirth of Cigars”TM, Drew Estate has led the “Boutique Cigar” movement by innovating new elements to the tobacco industry with their unique tobaccos and blending styles that have attracted new and traditional cigar enthusiasts. In their Gran Fabrica Drew Estate, the Nicaraguan headquarters, Drew Estate produces a variety of brands such as ACID, Herrera Estelí, Herrera Estelí Norteño, Kentucky Fired Cured, Liga Privada, MUWAT, Natural by Drew Estate, Nica Rustica, Pappy Van Winkle Barrel Fermented Cigars, Tabak Especial, Undercrown, Florida Sun Grown, and Java by Drew Estate.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

The New Look of Flor de Selva





May 18, 2016
HOLLYWOOD, FL -- Maya Selva Cigars, U.S. is officially launching the newest branding evolution of our flagship brand, Flor de Selva, complete with an updated logo, cigar ring plus footer, and streamlined box beginning June 1st, 2016. 

The evolution comes as a culmination to the global success of the brand, in an effort to modernize the marketing elements and bring a higher level of sophistication to its familiar look.  Twenty-one years of operation and expanding markets across the Americas, Asia, and continued success in Europe have warranted a greater reason to tie the brand to its origins, the culture and people of Honduras.  

The brand still uses the Harvestress as iconic figurehead for its logo, however in a more prominent and elevated position.  For the ring, Flor de Selva cigars will now each have a personalized ring per vitola, and its footer will showcase an updated signature and a tactile rendition of the "petate," which is a Mayan symbol representing the "foundation" or "base" of a structure.  The elegant, traditional cedar packaging boxes will be stamped with the new logo and will continue the tradition of earlier versions which include the name of each vitola and its box count.

The updated Flor de Selva collection can be viewed in its entirety at this year's IPCPR trade show in Las Vegas, Nevada, in late July,
2016.  Retailers will begin to see the new branding arrive with their orders in early June.
---
Press requests and questions regarding the new branding should be directed to Katherine Agurcia, Operations Manager of Maya Selva Cigars, U.S., at katherine@mayaselvacigars.com.   

Monday, May 16, 2016

Enclave Robusto From A.J. Fernandez Cigars

Today we look at another top-shelf masterpiece brought into this world by A. J. Fernandez Cigars, the Enclave Robusto.

Quick Details
Size: Robusto 5 x 52
Wrapper: Habano Rosado
Binder: Cameroon
Filler: Nicaraguan

Coming to us from the famed Tabacalera Fernandez factory, the Enclave Robusto comes wrapped in a classy Colorado Maduro colored Habano Rosado wrapper. Looking at the Enclave Robusto you can see the virtually vein free, toothy, wrapper is rolled on with seamless skill. The cigar is packed well full length and from the cold closed foot there's still a light aroma of sweet, fermented tobacco. 

 After clipping the triple cap and putting a flame to the closed foot the first medium bodied puffs of smoke are sweet and spicy with notes of caramel, cedar, and a bit of pecan. Testing the retrohale, it was spicy, yet mild. 

As the razor sharp burn reached the midpoint of the Enclave Robusto there was a hint of anise while the brown sugar sweetness gained some momentum. I paired this cigar with a dark roast coffee and found it a quite tasty combination. The coffee enhanced the sweetness in the cigar while the cigar brought out the coffee's hidden spice.

By the final third the body moved into the medium/full range while the cedar spiciness picked up a notch or two. The Enclave Robusto finished it's sixty minute burn with a sweet creamy mix of caramel, nuts and charcoal.

Overall the Enclave Robusto from A. J. Fernandez Cigars produced a nice smoking experience and will now be a mainstay in my humidor. Give it a try I bet you'll like it too!

Rated 94

Thursday, May 12, 2016

FAMOUS SMOKE SHOP INTRODUCES BAPTISTE BY OLIVA CIGARS

New full-bodied blend will be offered in four shapes with a select Ecuadorian wrapper

EASTON, PA – Famous Smoke Shop, the leading online distributor of discounted premium cigars, specializing in offering the web’s widest selection of cigars at the lowest prices, has just added a new, affordably-priced line to its stable of Oliva cigars. Named "Baptiste by Oliva," the line features a full-bodied blend of diverse Nicaraguan long-fillers rolled in a flawless Ecuadorian-grown Habano wrapper leaf.

Presidente (7" x 52) MSRP- $5.81/cigar
Grand Robusto (6" x 60) MSRP - $6.15/cigar
Toro (5½"x 54) MSRP - $5.63/cigar
Torpedo (5½" x 54) MSRP - $5.81/cigar

The name was reportedly inspired by the character, "Andre Baptiste," the ruthless Liberian dictator played by Eamonn Walker in the 2005 film, Lord of War, starring Nicholas Cage, which may account for the knife-shaped "t" in Baptiste as seen on the label. 

However, as Famous Smoke Shop Brand Manager, Tarah Sutter, points out: "The smoke may be 'decadent,' but it's not wicked like the Baptiste character in the movie; although you could say that it's 'wicked-good.'"

Baptiste offers a well-balanced, full-flavored smoke imbued with an earthy-spicy character that reveals notes of cedar, black coffee, and a hint of pepper on the finish.

"Those who enjoy smoking cigars like the Oliva Serie O, Oliva Serie V, and Vindicator by Oliva will find the new Baptiste by Oliva cigars especially satisfying, as well as cigar smokers who are typically drawn to the best full-bodied Nicaraguan cigars," added Ms. Sutter.

See more information on Baptiste by Oliva cigars here.

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
800-564-2486

Davidoff Announces Opening of Cigar Lounge in Phoenix, AZ


Basel/Phoenix, May 12th, 2016 - Davidoff celebrates the opening of its newest lounge in Phoenix, AZ on May 19th, 2016. The Davidoff Lounge at Ambassador Fine Cigars will provide an upscale cigar sanctuary in the Phoenix / Scottsdale metro area.    

The 2,000 square feet Davidoff Lounge at Ambassador Fine Cigars was designed with the cigar connoisseur in mind.  The concept offers a selection of refined natural materials inspired by tobacco fields and the Dominican Republic. It delivers a warm brilliance and comfortable atmosphere to enhance the cigar experience. The engaging design of the lounge creates one large, seamless space connecting refined custom décor, architectural features, art, and a well-appointed conference room.
  
Jim Young, President of Davidoff of Geneva USA, comments: “We are delighted to announce the opening of the new Davidoff Lounge at Ambassador Fine Cigars in Phoenix, AZ. We are particularly excited to do this in partnership with Vartan Seferian who has been an outstanding Davidoff partner. Vartan embodies our standard of excellence building upon the legacy of Zino Davidoff.” 

Regarding the opening, owner Vartan Seferian commented, “Our partnership with Davidoff has resulted in a truly unique environment. I’m thrilled to provide my customers with a new opportunity to experience a lifestyle of time beautifully filled.”  

Distinctive architectural details in the lounge include a backlit 12’ slanted ceiling and a special commissioned art piece by the New York City duo URNY. The unique 3 dimensional art installation compliments the fusion of cigar pleasure and Arizona’s unique and spiritual landscape. All decorative elements give each Davidoff Lounge a recognizable stamp of quality and luxury. 

Store Location: 
Ambassador Fine Cigars 
10810 N Tatum Blvd. #140 
Phoenix, AZ 85028 
(480) 905-1000 

Store Hours: Monday – Friday: 10 am to 7 pm Saturday/Sunday: 10 am to 5 pm  

Davidoff Lounge Hours: The lounge is open 24 hours to private members  

About Ambassador Fine Cigars 
A high degree of customer service and care has always been a top priority for Ambassador Fine Cigars since its humble beginnings in 1997. Since then it has grown substantially, winning two Davidoff Golden Band Awards along the way. Outside of the main lounge, amenities include an elegant boardroom offering members a private space to conduct meetings and hold private dinner events. Custom-built humidified lockers welcome private members to store their personal cigars at any time. On the retail side, the 1,000 sq. ft. walk-in humidor is a mecca for cigar enthusiasts yearning for an unmatched selection. Finally, a custom bar offers sprits and catering opportunities, adding to the exceptional member experience. Day passes are available for guests, thereby welcoming all non-members to enjoy lounge amenities for a day. Indeed, Ambassador Fine Cigars is known for providing an atmosphere of friendship and camaraderie to all its patrons. 

About Oettinger Davidoff AG  
Oettinger Davidoff AG with sales of over CHF 600 million and 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 the other is 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. 

The Oettinger Davidoff AG business is anchored in a strong “crop-to-shop” philosophy, having pursued vertical integration from the tobacco fields in the Dominican Republic, Honduras and Nicaragua to the worldwide network of over 70 Davidoff Flagship Stores that complement a network of strong Appointed Merchants around the world.   
  
Media contact: 
Oettinger Davidoff AG Corporate Communications 
Hochbergerstrasse 15 
CH – 4002 Basel 
Tel. +41 61 279 36 24 

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Fitbit Blaze--Way Off Topic, But Important To Me

Well as luck would have Paula got a great deal from work and we both purchased a Fitbit Blaze. With my luck I now have a fitness tracker that doesn't do a very good job of tracking anything other than sitting and sleeping. 

Anyway I've been dealing with Fitbit support since Friday when I sent off the initial support request. They answered me on Monday which is in the "OK" amount of time but it's went down hill since then.

To backstory this a bit, my tracker doesn't always track active minutes accurately, and at times needs to be rebooted when it won't track active minutes at all. 

All I do is walk. Most days I take the same route at the same speed anywhere from once to four times daily. Sometimes the Fitbit will count active minutes, sometimes it won't.  Along with that, it doesn't track heart rate with any accuracy no matter where it's placed on my arm or how tight or loose it is. I've tried just about everything.

My initial support request listed most of that information, including the point I've rebooted the unit several times. I was dumbfounded when my reply came and the first thing mentioned was to reboot and re sync. Hello! Didn't you read the original email?

After several emails back and fort with the tech explaining how the unit works--but he didn't have a clue--that since I was manually choosing the "walk" function, it wouldn't track active minutes, but I would earn badges. Badges? I don't want no stinking badges, I want to track my active minutes and heart rate. I replied back that I understood that, but then why when I choose walk it sometimes gives me active minutes and sometimes not. Hmmmm.

So  after those few emails on Monday, no reply until today. Today I received a follow up from a different tech and guess what I was told to do to fix it? You guessed it, reboot. OK, so now we have the second tech that didn't read the original support request or the email string between me and the first tech. Ugh!

I'm old, I'm overweight, I'm trying to get into better shape. I purchased the Blaze just to track my heart rate, (shhh, don't tell Fitbit), but luckily I'm smart enough too know when I'm working to hard without a heart rate monitor.

I'll keep you posted if this ever gets resolved but since it's been seven hours since I replied to the second tech with no response I think they are hoping I go away.

To sum it up, not only am I not happy with my Fitbit Blaze, I'm not happy with their support department. I owned a data center at one time, I know what quality tech support is and it's not this!



Introducing the NEW AVO Syncro Nicaragua Fogata

Turn Up The Tempo, The Unexpected Awaits.
Introducing the NEW AVO Syncro Nicaragua Fogata


 

PINELLAS PARK, FL - MAY 11, 2016 – Inspired by the worldly lifestyle of cigar legend Avo Uvezian, AVO Cigars turns up the tempo with a second release under the highly-rated Syncro Series – the new Syncro Nicaragua Fogata.  

Having savored the spicy, sweet notes from Isla Ometepe, the AVO Syncro Series now ventures deeper into the rugged landscape of Nicaragua – collecting and composing wilder, richer, more intense flavors. Venturing north into the dark, mountainous soils of Nicaragua’s Esteli and Condega regions, our master blender has captured the strength and spice from this rugged, yet fertile terrain.  

“AVO Syncro Nicaragua Fogata delivers new frontiers in cigar experiences. Pulsing with the rhythm of Nicaragua’s more intense Esteli and Condega tobaccos and composed with the softer, creamier notes of our Dominican grown tobacco, aficionados will savor every note and be delighted by the fusion of wild complexity blended with unprecedented harmony.” said Charles Awad, Senior Vice President, Global Marketing and Innovation.
    
“Fogata, meaning Bonfire or Campfire in Spanish, was a great inspiration for this new cigar, it is one of my favorite settings to share unforgettable and intimate moments with my closest of friends. With Syncro Nicaragua Fogata, we went off the beaten path in search of more intense taste experiences and are proud to now share with you this vibrant new blend in our portfolio,” explains Avo Uvezian.  

THE FOGATA EXPERIENCE:
Composed with faraway notes from Ecuador, Mexico and the Dominican Republic and paired with the spicy sweetness of Nicaraguan tobacco, AVO Syncro Fogata is an intense yet perfectly smooth and balanced cigar. As soon as the flame touches the cigar, one is greeted with a wildly exotic flavor profile, revealing its artful composition from the very beginning. The blend plays with the palate in terms of strength and aromas influenced by the Visus and Ligero filler leaves from Nicaragua and Dominican Republic. The remarkable flavors of coffee, salt, cedar wood, citrus and sweetness are alluring and compliment the overall intensity.   

This is your calling to go deep into the untamed heart of one of the world’s most celebrated tobacco regions. An opportunity to unearth the vibrant spirit that lurks within. To synchronize your wilder side with the harmony of AVO. Enticing you to once again, Savor Every Note.  

BLEND INFORMATION:  
Wrapper: Habano 2000 Clara (Ecuador)  Binder:  Negro San Andreas (Mexico) Fillers:  Esteli Ligero (Nicaragua)  Condega Visus (Nicaragua)  Yamasa Visus, Piloto and San Vicente Ligero (Dominican Republic) 
THE AVO SYNCRO NICARAGUA FOGATA LINE UP:  
Short Torpedo 20 cigars 52 RG x 4 1/2 $  8.90
Robusto 20 cigars 50 RG x 5 $  9.90
Toro 20 cigars 54 RG x 6 $ 10.90 S
Special Toro 20 cigars 60 RG x 6 $ 11.90  

LAUNCH AND AVAILABILITY:  
The new AVO Syncro Nicaragua Fogata will begin shipping nationwide on June 27, 2016 in the United States, while the global launch is anticipated for 2017.  

ABOUT AVO CIGARS:  
AVO Cigars started when the brand's founder, Avo Uvezian, a legendary jazz and cigar composer of global fame met the cigar master blender Hendrik Kelner in 1982 in the Dominican Republic. A fruitful cooperation between cigar pianist and cigar composer began to develop which resulted in the launch of the AVO Classic Series; an almost immediate success. Two creative masters collaborated with one purpose: help aficionados to “SAVOR EVERY NOTE” in life through delightful cigars. Avo Uvezian is a man of the world who savors every note to the fullest. He cherishes every moment in life with passion and shows insatiable thirst for connections with people from all walks of life.   

MEDIA CONTACT (US):  Scott Kolesaire Senior Brand Manager Davidoff of Geneva USA scott.kolesaire@davidoffusa.com
MEDIA CONTACT (GLOBAL):  Melanie Büscher Manager Media Relations & Public Relations Oettinger Davidoff AG melanie.buescher@davidoff.com

Cuban Stock White Label Box-Pressed Toro From Cuban Stock Cigars

Every now and then you come across a real gem of a cigar and the Cuban Stock White Label with it's twenty years of aging* just happens to be one of those gems.

The Cuban Stock White Label Box Pressed Toro is draped in an oily, seamless and nearly vein free, Colorado colored, sun-grown Dominican Havana wrapper. From the cold foot there are light notes of sweetly fermented tobacco to the nose and after clipping the triple cap there's a mild hint of spicy graham cracker from the free draw.

Right from the start the White Label provides large mouthfuls of luxurious mild bodied smoke with a bit of spice right on the tip of the tongue plus there are some sweet sugar in the raw nuances. Testing the retro-hale there are pleasantly mild notes of sweet oak. 


As the sharp burn line progresses up the cigar's body a nice oil line develops above the burn while both the sweetness and the spice increases. At the midpoint the sweetness fads for a bit being replaced with notes of toast, pecans and oak. Eventually the sweetness comes back but now it's more like buttery caramel. The cigar provides a long medium bodied finish with nuances of caramel, toast and a touch of campfire.

To sum things up this Cuban Stock White Label box-pressed Toro from Cuban Stock Cigars was a joy to smoke. Paired with a high-end medium roast coffee the combination was fantastic. If you get a chance to smoke this cigar, I recommend you don't pass it up. 

Rated 95

 *Created with Dominican tobacco from 1993 and aged ten years after rolling. 


Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Cuban Stock Cigar Co.'s New Dominican Factory Doubles Production Capacity


Cuban Stock Cigar Co. just opened its new factory in the tax-free zone in Tamboril, Dominican Republic. President and company founder Yaniv Levy states, "After twenty years in our two previous factories, and with the pressures to increase output as our reputation grows, it was time for this new facility. Before this move, our total production space was less than 10,000 square feet, we now have 20,000 square feet, enough to carry us well into the future."

 "Tamboril's tabacaleros are among the country's best.  Since better working conditions create better cigars, these artisans deserve a comfortable, uncrowded, well-lit and temperate environment.  The new facility is a major improvement in that respect.  Tamboril is closer to workers' homes, easing their transportation needs.  The high-bay construction is cooler and brighter, with new, modern and more functional facilities."

Since the new building only opened in late February, the company is currently gearing up.  Levy has hired forty new workers, and that number will grow to 100 in a few weeks. Instead of being limited to 1.8 million cigars a year, the capacity to produce 10 million annually is a reality.  For example, aging and fermenting rooms are a generous 1,200 square feet each.  Levy estimates his cigar output will rise from present levels to 3 million before long.  "With over twenty active brands," he explains, "many with several shapes and sizes, we didn't wait a moment too long in meeting that goal.

“Cuban Stock is known for the quality of its cigars, using the best tobacco grades and long fermentation.  This is true with bundles and cigarillos, value-priced cigars like Everyday Joe, and boutique premium cigars with up to ten years' aging Reserve, Triumph, Limitado and 231.  At present, the Chubbys and Delicioso lines are runaway best-sellers, and their production will be more than adequate.

Although Cuban Stock Cigars does not sell direct to consumers, its Web site (www.CubanStockCigars.com) allows visitors to browse the entire company catalog.  To complement the increased output, Levy is preparing to build a comprehensive sales force, and invites interested parties to contact him.

231 Rock Hill Rd. Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004
Phone: 800-380-8617      E-Mail:info@cubanstockcigars.com

Monday, May 9, 2016

Foot Pain-Way Off Topic--But Important To Me

I'm posting this because maybe someone else reading this blog may have the same problem as me and perhaps this information will help. You too have probably seen the advertisements on television talking about diabetic nerve pain. Well I've had this type pain for about ten years now, but over the last six months it's become almost unbearable.  

Finally, enough was enough and I went to see a doctor for answers. Well I'm not diabetic, yet, keyword "yet". The doctor told me that even if I had developed diabetes over the past six months I wouldn't have this much pain already. After a bit of bantering back and forth he finally asked if I had frostbite as a child. Well thinking back I did have a mild case back when I was five. He explained that even though it was mild, it was probably the root cause. OK, the cause was solved, but make it go away. The doctor told me that there are no cures only medications that will mask the pain and if over the counter pain killers help that's what I should do. OK, that's an answer, but how do I fix it?

Now on a mission to find the answer I went on a week-long search for shoes that may fix my dilemma. Sure I found lots of orthopedic shoes with claims they would help or even eliminate the pain, but you know me, the cheap ash that I am, I couldn't shell out $200 + for one pair of shoes. Eventually my searching on Amazon.com paid off. I came across the Skechers GoWalk 3 Shoes. Reading through the reviews one person relayed these shoes had completely cured her husband's diabetic nerve pain. Well that sounded pretty good to me and since the shoes were under $80 I was now on the hunt for a pair of my very own. 

We have a Skechers discount outlet here on the north side of town so we elected to make a run across town to pick up a pair instead of waiting for an Amazon order to arrive. That turned out to be one of the best decisions I've ever made.

I put the Skechers GoWalk 3 shoes on before we did a bit more shopping and almost instantly my foot pain was gone! Believe it or not, while wearing these shoes, I have NO foot pain at all. It's almost like magic. These shoe work so well I'm either buying or ordering another pair today.

If you have any thoughts or questions about this, let me know.

Have a great day!


Friday, May 6, 2016

Press Release: Drew Estate Announces 2016 Barn Smoker Event Program & Dates


Friday, May 6, 2016 — Miami, FL – Today, Drew Estate announced the 2016 Barn Smoker Program, which includes the new Florida Barn Smoker as well as the annual Connecticut Barn Smoker and Kentucky Barn Smoker. Barn Smokers are a completely unique experience, bringing the cigar smoker to the farm level, where they experience first-hand tobacco growing, processing, and finishing.

Florida Barn Smoker, June 4, 2016, Clermont, Florida - Drew Estate will join Corona Cigar Company’s Jeff Borsiewicz on his Clermont, Florida farm, where they will highlight the unique agricultural aspects of Florida Sun Grown Tobacco. Drew Estate has been fermenting FSG in Estelí, Nicaragua since 2013 and will be officially releasing the new FSG cigars at the scheduled store event at Corona Cigar Company that same evening following the farm experience. 

Connecticut Barn Smoker, August 6, 2016, South Windsor, Connecticut - Drew Estate will host the second annual Connecticut Barn Smoker, held in the legendary Connecticut River Valley. Drew Estate will be joined by their agricultural partners in Connecticut, the farmers who are responsible for growing some of the most sought after tobaccos in the world. Drew Estate utilizes these tobaccos in brands such as Liga Privada, Undercrown, ACID, and Nica Rustica.

Kentucky Barn Smoker, October 1, 2016, Hopkinsville, Kentucky - Drew Estate will host the third annual Kentucky Barn Smoker in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, the heart of the American Dark Fire Cured tobacco production. Drew Estate will, once again, display a live fire curing of Kentucky Seed, Kentucky Grown tobaccos and will demonstrate the fire curing process from start to finish.

The Barn Smoker Event Program was founded in 2014 with the first annual Kentucky Barn Smoker in Hopkinsville, Kentucky and was followed up in 2015 to include the Connecticut Barn Smoker in the Connecticut River Valley. Last year, over 1,000 consumers, retailers, media members, and agricultural partners joined Drew Estate in Kentucky and Connecticut for full days of premium tobacco agricultural immersion. There were several stations highlighting key harvesting and curing processes, such as the stalk cutting of Connecticut River Valley Broadleaf Tobacco and air curing of these premium tobaccos. Most notably, Jonathan Drew and our partners in Hopkinsville, Kentucky first presented to consumers a live demonstration of the time-honored tradition of fire curing Kentucky black tobaccos.

From his Wynwood, Florida office, Jonathan Drew stated that, “Drew Estate has pioneered agricultural tourism in the tobacco sector. Barn Smokers are an extension of our critically acclaimed Cigar Safari program, where we invite over 500 consumers a year to our home in Estelí, Nicaragua – La Gran Fabrica Drew Estate. Barn Smokers are all about the American tobacco experience, and they are our way of demonstrating our commitment to transparent and authentic production to the final consumer, while celebrating artisanal products with roots to the American tobacco industry.”

Drew Estate will be announcing ticket prices and availability through their email newsletter. Visit www.barnsmoker.com and register for their email newsletter to be the first to know when tickets for each event go live. Tickets are limited in nature and have sold out within 24 hours historically for each event. 

Drew Estate will be announcing ticket prices and availability through their email newsletter. Visit www.barnsmoker.com and register for their email newsletter to be the first to know when tickets for each event go live. Tickets are limited in nature and have sold out within 24 hours historically for each event. 

About Drew Estate

Founded in New York City in 1996, Drew Estate has become one of the fastest growing tobacco companies in the world. Under their mantra “The Rebirth of Cigars”TM, Drew Estate has led the “Boutique Cigar” movement by innovating new elements to the tobacco industry with their unique tobaccos and blending styles that have attracted new and traditional cigar enthusiasts. In their Gran Fabrica Drew Estate, the Nicaraguan headquarters, Drew Estate produces a variety of brands such as ACID, Herrera Estelí, Herrera Estelí Norteño, Kentucky Fired Cured, Liga Privada, MUWAT, Natural by Drew Estate, Nica Rustica, Pappy Van Winkle Barrel Fermented Cigars, Tabak Especial, Undercrown, and Java by Drew Estate.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Last Call By A. J. Fernadez Cigars

Long-time readers already know that I'm a huge fan of any cigar A.J Fernandez produces or has a hand in the blending of. The newest cigar in the A.J. Fernandez line, the Last Call is no exception. Due to it's size the Last Call is a fairly quick smoke, but it's packed with huge flavors and the icing on the cake is, the Last Call comes packed in boxes of 25 with a suggested retail price of just $5.00.

According to the official press release, the Last Call was originally made in small batches for A. J. to enjoy with guests at home during NFL Football games. However, and lucky for us, due to it's success A. J. decided to put this cigar into regular production to release as a brick & mortar exclusive addition to the "Portfolio Series"

Quick Details
Size: Corona Gorda 4 1/2 x 48
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano Rosado
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan

The Last Call comes covered in a seamless Colorado Maduro wrapper with a triple cap and a closed foot. Feeling down the body the cigar is firmly packed with no soft areas. 

With it's closed foot, there wasn't really an aroma from the foot, but once the cap was clipped surprisingly the draw was free with a fruity fermented tobacco flavor.

After lighting, the first medium bodied puffs contained flavor notes of oak and mild cinnamon with some underlying sweet fruitiness. 

By the time the sharp burn reaches the cigar's mid point more flavors come and go. There are notes of pecan, brown sugar and leather. 

In the final third the oak picks up again plus there is some caramel and charcoal. The Last Call finishes it's forty-five minute burn in the medium/full body range with a nice blast of spice plus some sweet floral notes. Darn tasty in my opinion.

One thing unique to this cigar, the smoke left my mouth watering. No, not like a heavy nicotine hit that requires a sip of water to get over, it was more like what I experience at times from a top of the line coffee. It was a nice.

Overall, with the flavor mix and price point of the Last Call I don't think you can go wrong here, but pick up a few and try them for yourself. Well done A. J.

Rated 93


Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Limitada PB5 From Crux Cigars

Nearly a year ago I had the opportunity to meet Jeff and Casey from Crux Cigars at a Cigar Train event here in Spokane. Jeff was kind enough to hand me a pre-release Limitada PB5 to try.  Well it was dark that night, the event was fun and for one reason or another I just didn't do a review. 

Since that time I've had the chance to smoke several Limitadas so a review is long past due. I found the PB5 to be a solid cigar back then and a solid cigar today. Read on to find out why.

Quick Details
Size: Cuban Box Press: 5.75 x 54
Blend: Unique
Wrapper: Engañoso

Construction of the Limitada is nothing short of superb. Covered with an oily, Maduro colored Engañoso wrapper you'll see that it shows only the finest of veins, it's rolled on with seamless care and there's a tight triple cap. 

From the cold foot there's an aroma of sweetly fermented tobacco and after clipping the triple cap the free draw has notes of spicy cocoa. The first medium/full bodied puffs contain flavor nuances of cocoa and some light spice. As the razor sharp burn moves up the body there are other deep, rich flavors of oak, leather, toast and nuts. Entering the final third there are floral notes followed by some full bodied caramel, fruit and charcoal with a nice spice pop right at the end.

Overall I found the Limitada PB5 to be another high quality, great tasting cigar from Crux Cigars. If you get the chance to smoke one, I wouldn't pass it up!

Rated 94


Monday, May 2, 2016

Subculture Progeny By Acid Cigars

As most of you probably already know, I'm not really a fan of infused cigars, but I do smoke one every now and then. However, there is always a reason to never say "never". Along comes the Acid Subculture Progeny another Famous Smoke Shop exclusive cigar and I really enjoyed it. Why? Well not only was it a quality constructed stick, it has a great flavor mix and that won me over.

Quick Details
Shape: Cuban Corona 5 1/2 x 46
Country: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Mexican San Andres

This Acid Subculture Progeny starts out with a seamless, Colorado colored wrapper that contains a few smaller veins. Feeling down the body, it's packed fairly well, plus it has a closed foot and a tight triple cap. Even with the closed foot, there was an intense floral and fruity aroma radiating from the cigar.

With the closed foot the cigar was a breeze to light. The first light/medium bodied puffs from the free draw contained notes of very light peppery spice mixed with sweet fruit. The fruit flavors reminded me of my favorite chewing gum as a kid, Wrigley's Juicy Fruit.

Since the cigar was infused there's not much to report as the razor sharp burn moved up the body, but there was a nice increase in spice in the final third creating a sweet and spicy medium bodied finish.

You can grab these Acid Subculture Progeny Cigars from Famous Smoke Shop for a mere $4,58 each in boxes of 20. There's a good chance if you like infused cigars you'll love these! Like I said I'm not an infused cigar fan, but this was a tasty cigar.

Rated 93