Monday, December 31, 2012

My Final Post for 2012

I smoked a lot cigars this year...and I am actually working on a list if the Top 10 (maybe Top 25) of the Cigars that I enjoyed in 2012. There is more activity to be posted not to mention adding to my written Journal the last few bands and notes from the cigars I smoked in December.

One of the first smokes I had when we returned from Maul, was the Graycliff Crystal PG, which I paired with a Big Wave Ale, from the Kona Brewing Compnay.  The Graycliff line is relatively expensive, $20 or so per stick, this particular stick was part of a Groupon promotion, $100 worth of Cigars for $45)  that I was aloud to purchase without purchasing the actual Groupon.  The nice thing about this Groupon is the Cigars were well aged, some 10 years or more.

New releases, I like trying new releases, however on occasion they let you down.  This was the case with the Foundry, General Cigar Co's, attempt at creating a "Boutique Cigar"  The metal gear on the band is interesting but I think the weight contributes to construction issues that I, and many others, have experienced with this cigar (see second photo). This is the 6 x 50 or "Wells" which is its given name...

This A Torrent Puro Corojo Robusto is rich in flavor and complexity....

How about the age on this here Avo Signature Robusto...

Sunday is for football, which requires a bit of a longer smoke, here is the Jose Seijas Signature Series Belicoso.  This cigar was very well received in 2005 and 2006, having Cigar Insider named Seijas Signature Series the best cigar made in the Dominican Republic in its December 2005 issue. Cigar Aficionado chose Seijas Signature Series as one of the 10 best cigars of 2006, and Robb Report included it among its Best of the Best!

Due to a heavy travel schedule I missed the West Valley Cigar Club dinner this year.  Churchill's Fine Cigars in Glendale held a private tasting for 21 members (as that is the number of cigars in a box) of the Papacayo XXL, a lovely little 6 x 60, and thanks again Chet for providing the Yuengling.

Until some Brothers of the Leaf got together and sent a friend who was diagnosed with Testicular Cancer I never tried a Xikar HC Series Cigar.  That sounds odd but here's the back story a few weeks back a  few of us, who connected on #Twitter, chipped in $10 to purchase a pick me up gift for Scott.  When Xikar got wind of this, they donated to our cause a Xikar Lighter, we in turn sent him  Xikar Cigars and Visa Gift Card.  

Below is the Xikar HC Series's to Scott's nuts!


Did you know Tesla has a dealership in Scottsdale, AZ? Yup that's right it's in a Mall!

I think I am one of the few that actually enjoy the Zino Platinum lines, I haven't had a bad cigar from this line
This is the 643C ( or 6 x 43 Corona)...Now if only I could procure the Zino Mobile lounge to chauffeur me around for interviews that would be awesome.

Great Cigar from Gurkha, I believe it is one of the Master Select's that has been sitting in the humidor of Ambassador Fine Cigars for a long time.and yes that's a v-cut!

So 12/21/12 was supposedly the end of days, in fact I learned that the time that this was to occur was 11:11am.  So I arrived at Portofino's Fine Cigars at 11am and lit up an Illusione 68.  The world did not end, but damn I enjoyed this cigar.

All I want for Christmas

I got neither...

I've been getting some flack about not visiting my old friends at the Scottsdale Location of Ambassador Fine Cigars, so I made an appearance to spread my Christmas Cheer.  Here is the 2012 Holiday Edition Cigar from Viaje, the Candy Cane. AKA a Barbershop Pole Cigar.  This Cigar comes in one size a 6 x 54 and has closed foot and has been described as an entertaining cigar.

Illusione has become one of my is the Illusione mj12 which to me is a stellar cigar in Construction, Appearance, Flavors and Price!

This had all the makings of a disaster! I carefully selected this cigar from my humidor, walked outside to side smoke and damn near walked through the glass arcadia door! the Cigar was the first thing to make contact with the door! It smoked great with really no other issues other than my own stupidity.

Romeo y Julieta used to be my go to smoke. Since Grady Watson told me I wasn't aloud to smoke any more of these I really haven't smoked any of them, then when LJ arrived it was on! On liker Donkey Kong.  Here is the Romeo y Juliets 1875 Anniversario Robusto (5 x 52)

This year I have a few Cusano's none of which blew my socks off.  This one different the Cusano 10th Anniversary.  As I understand it Michael Chiusano hoped to mimic the blend of the Montecristo #4 Habano, and apparently he got damn close!

So that's it another year in the books.  I'll close the book with my top 25 cigars that I smoked in 2012.  There is no particular order to My Top 25

  • Cuenca y Blanco 
  • Ortego Series D Maduro
  • La Aroma de Cuba Mi Amor Reserva
  • CLE Corojo
  • San Lotano Oval Maduro 
  • My Fathers Flor de las Antillas
  • Emilio AF-1 
  • Tatuaje Cojonu 2012
  • Nat Sherman Timeless Collection Hermoso
  • Four Kicks Selection #5
  • Tatuaje Old Man & the C (2012)
  • Aging Room F55
  • Aging Room Havao
  • Tatuaje TAA 2012
  • L'Atelier LAT52
  • El Suelo Prado Belicoso
  • Asylum Premium Torpedo
  • Trocadero Cambon
  • Perdomo 20th Anniversary Maduro
  • 262 Revere Toro
  • CAO Concert
  • Room 101 Daruma Mutante
  • Crowned Heads Headley Grange 
  • San Cristobal Papacayo XXL
  • La Duena Belicoso #2 
Onto 2013....

Monday, December 3, 2012

Back to Life Back to Reality

One final pic from the Island of Maui. Last Tuesday  my wife and I talked about what will happen since I am unemployed, uh semi retired, will we relocate and if so where will we relocate to.  This contemplation occurred while sitting on Wailea Beach as I enjoyed the Big Kahuna Maduro.

Back to the topic at hand; events are in full swing this month in Phoenix and last Friday was no exception. Ambassador Fine Cigars in Peoria held a Villiger Cigar Event.  This is an interesting cigar company as they are based in Switzerland.  Several years ago I remember having one of their 1888 at an event at Ye Olde Pipe and Tobacco, it was OK.

This year Villiger added two new cigars to their lines the Villiger Talanga, and the Villiger Colorado which is a  wrapped in Jalapa Colorado leaf...I was surprised, then again both cigars are manufactured in Nicaragua. I enjoyed one of the Villiger Colorado's. It was a nice medium-full bodied cigars, that drew evenly, burned fairly evenly and did not require a single touch up or relight.

Since I had my first Four-Kicks, from Crowned Heads, earlier this year i have been waiting to try the Headley Grange. Which is named after the recording studio where Led Zeppelin recorded the song "When the Levee Breaks." The Cigars are part of a collaboration Ernesto Perez Carrillo, Jr., and Tabacalera La Aliana SA., Next up from the Crowned Heads will be the Limited Edition Mule Kick.

It is never OK to wear a Cowboy Hat (a Black One at that too) and Deck Shoes.  I don't care who you are...Eric., crap like that will get you hung in Texas.  Oh by the way the Cigar is a Nat Sherman Timeless Collection #2.  Love this Cigar, Love it.

Finally, Several months ago I was given a very special limited edition Romeo y Julieta 125th Anniversary Churchill.  Part of the 1875 Collection this particular cigar had been sitting in my friend Rob's humidor for 12 years.  The cigar is a blend of Peruvian, Dominican and Nicaraguan fillers with an Ecuadorian wrapper and a broad-leaf binder.  I had saved this Cigar for a very special occasion, the birth of our first grandchild, LJ. 

John Stephen Sutto IV
AKA Little John or L.J for Short

Monday, November 26, 2012

Herfing Island Style!

As our annual vacation comes to a close, we have one more night, I am going to reflect on a quest.  A quests to find a cigar or cigars at or even close to the MSRP!  Ok disclaimer Hawai'i has a 40% wholesale tax and taxes the hell out of tobacco products.

I began this quest on Tuesday at the Wailea Gift Shop here at the hotel. Let's just say their prices were ridiculous and the selection was miniscule. I had two choices a Cohiba Crystal Corona Tube for $26.99 and a Macanudo Cafe Crystal Tubes That was just under $16.99.

Last night Rhea and I had our 3rd anniversary dinner a Humuhumnukunukuapua'a (little fish big name) and they had the Arturo Fuente Short Story as their featured Cigar. Yup $18 for a Cigar that normally hovers around the $6 range.

The ABC Store, essentially a hawaiian convenience store, has a small selection of cigars.  What intrigued me  was the Kauai Cigar Company that filled the stores "Humidor." The Humidor is basically what amounts to a desktop humidor.

I inquired about the two cigars they were offering the response I got was one is light the other is dark.  OK I can live with the fact your are not a tobacconist, what my research indicated is that the Kauai cigars are the result of growing, curing, fermenting, and aging, on Kauai, some of the finest tobacco in the world. The filler cigars contain premium, all natural, Sun Grown Kauai Tobacco.

The light cigaar  tobacco is wrapped in a Connecticut shade leaf grown in Ecuador. This cigar is described as a silky cream like cigar has a medium to full bodied taste.

The dark wrapped is a Habano leaf grown in Nicaragua. It is a full bodied smoke and is filled with deep complex flavors. 

The seed actually an Old Generation  Pinar del Rio and the cigars are rolled in Nicaragua. Single sticks retail for $13.40 and they area also avaialble in a 3 pack and a sampler pack containing 6 cigars for $99.The Vitola's even have Hawaiian names.  Below is the Momona, which at a 50 x 5 3/4 is esentially Robusto.

Yesterday, we made our way to Lahaina and I literally stumbled into Sir Wilfred's. I learned that  the name of the store, was inspired by the character “Sir Wilfred” in Agathie Christie’s “Witness for the Prosecution”. Sir Wilfred liked to drank cognac and smoked cigars.

The original store had Maui’s first walk-in cigar humidor, tobacco, pipes, and accessories. Not being able to survive, selling only tobacco, pipes, cigars and accessories, they decided to add coffee and tea.  Today the store has three large wall humidors contain cigars in every price range, from the names we all know and love.

I picked up two of the Big Kahuna, Sir Wilfred’s signature cigar, and is is a hand-rolled premium cigar made from Honduran filler and binder, a Connecticut wrapper and rolled in the Camacho Factory.  I picked up two their corona's at $4.99 a piece! 

Couple of we realized two things
1. we had a convertable and
2. It was a 45 mile drive back to the hotel.
Disclaimer, I smoked the lighter of the two on the ride home. This was an OK cigar on the mild side and not overly complex. I did not exeperience any construction issues and the burn was fairly even and did not require any touch ups.

I am totally up for this? Are you?


Monday, November 19, 2012

Almost a Months worth of Catching up

It's 3:15am and all is well except for the fact I am up at 3:15am . So considering I haven't updated my blog in almost a month I figure what better time than now

I don't get it but whats with the trend of big ring gauges?  Anything over a 54 is just too large.

Here is the Rocky Patel Vintage Connecticut 1999 Sixty.  This little cigar is  is a 6 x 60 and is on the mild side and unfortunately I experienced some construction issues

When I smoke a cigar I like to do a little research.  My research primarily consists of the back story of the cigar and sometimes the manufacturer.  The CAO Concert is the second release since CAO was taken over by General Cigar. This is the CAO Concert Amp, which is a 5 1/2 x 48 and has a price point of under $7 a stick.

Brandon at Cigar King is a good friend and follows my twitter, @JRWeigand, he knows my palette and an often points out what is new in the humidor.  Here is the Oliveros Sun Grown Reserve Robusto. 

When Matt Booth was in town, I grabbed the Room 101 Daruma Sucio a 7 x 48,  Matt told me the best size in the line was the Mutante a 7 x 38, Damn it he was right! Well hell he should be after all he is the blender!

We interrupt this blog for an important message. CAR PORN! here is a 1958 Lister Corvette or is it.  I think it a Replica.

Trick or Treating was good to me this year.  I was gifted a Tatuaje Lil Drac from the 2012 Little Monster Series.  A 5 x 48 short torpedo, which is reminiscent of one of Dracula's fangs.

One of the hard to find cigars in the Roma Craft Line,  Very particular about who carries this brand.  I found them that Big Sticks Cigars in Mesa Arizona.  I started with the Intemperence Line.  The name Intemperance goes back  to the Temperenace Movement of the 19th century that saddled us with joyless years of prohibition in the United States. The branding is intended to draw attention to the modern temperance movement that  targets smoking tobacco in place of alcoholic beverages.

The Intemperance comes in two different wrappers. The first, called the EC XVIII, is an Ecuadorian Connecticut which eluded to the Temperance Movement’s origins in rural Connecticut and the 18th amendment that established prohibition.

The second is the BA XXI, a Brazil Arapiraca celebrating the ratification of the 21st amendment which repealed this experiment.


 I am really enjoying the Room 101 Brand Cigars, per Matt Booth this is NOT a boutique cigar, but a Salon Cigar.  Here is the Namakubi Papi Chulo at nice little 4 x 42.

Well be back after this short break.

And We're back it is now 9:42am and we just finished packing for our annual Thanksgiving trip to Maui.  After the year we've had we need this and need it bad.

Below is an La Palina El Diario Robusto, El Diario translates in English to “The Daily” that is fitting as this could become another go to cigar! I paired this with a Dogfish Head 60 Minute Ale. 

Not one to talk about house blends unless they are a good value stick for the money.  Recently Portofino's Cigars opened in Central Phoenix and I was given one of their house blends. Retailing for on $3.15 a stick I was pleasantly surprised with the burn, which did not require a touch up, the construction, and the blend itself.  If I am not mistaken this cigars was manufactured by the fine folks at Oliva

The week prior to the Big Smoke in Las Vegas is event season in the Phoenix Metro Area.  Among the festivities Cigar King hosted their 2nd annual Scottdale Cigar Week. While not part of Scottsdale Cigar Week earlier this month I was able to spend some time with Glen Case at Ambassador Fine Cigars in Peoria.  Glen in the  the man behind Kristoff Cigar. Once you meet Glen he becomes well Glen.

The cigar chosen for this event was the Original Kristoff Maduro. 

When there are so many shops for you to chose from, you almost set a goal of trying to find something you havent seen anywhere else.  While visiting with Jimmy, the proprietor of Scottsdale Cigars and Gift, I stumbled upon the Murcielago, which means bat,  from Espinosa and Ortega.  This is a fine collaberation from my friend Eddie Ortega, Erik Espinosa, and Don Pepin Garcia.  There was some construction issue which I blame on the stores humidor but otherwise enjoyable.

I have begun to ramp up for Maui, by picking up six packs my favorite Hawaiian Brewery, the Kona Brewing Company.  This week I paired a Camacho Jamastran Gigante which was well just genius.The Camacho Corojo Gigante  fat cigar with an oily wrapper. It draws very easily and was enjoyed on a cool crisp day in the PHX

The 262 Line of Cigars is becoming one of my favorite boutique cigar.  I  picked up this 262 Ideology Box Pressed Toro when Clint Aaron was in town.  The Story behind this cigar is awesome,  from the 262 Website each cigar in the 262 line refers to the American Revolution or our Constitutional right.  Heres what Clint says about the Ideology
The passion to create great cigars. The fortitude to transcend the opposition. The resolve to smoke free. The collection of beliefs and doctrines the guide our thoughts, words and actions. Our Ideologies are what make us who we are. They’re often shaped by our parents, friends, or heroes and often change or grow throughout our lifetimes due to new experiences and insights. Whatever your Ideology was 5, 10, 15 years ago, as a cigar lover, you now know that those in power will exploit any opportunity to gain more control over our daily lives…and you know that it is wrong.
At 262, we believe as our country’s founders did; that our government should never be allowed to hold our God-given rights and liberties hostage in the name of “progress”. We believe it’s long past time to take back control of our own lives and be the creators of our own prosperity

A Final thought,  Getting Old SUCKS, here I am 46 years old sitting out on the Hillbilly Hilton (tm)
reading, watching TV while enjoying a cigar and I am wearing a sweater and reading glasses.

Off to Maui tomorrow morning at 9am,  I am looking forward to vistiting  Sir Wilfreds Coffee and Cigars in Lahaina during the trip.
Until then Aloha, Mahalo, Keep A Tight Ash