Sunday, February 24, 2013

Cigars and Other Happenings

Lots has been happening around the Hillbilly Hilton of late. The biggest happening was that, after 3 long months of searching, I finally went back to work.  I accepted a position with the West Valley View.  A twice weekly, 100% advertising supported, newspaper with a distribution of just under 80,000.  

It's hard to explain but once the "ink gets in your blood" there is something about the smell of  ink going on the paper and noise when a 12 unit web press is running. I have experienced this only once before. When I spent a lot time around the CART, Champ Car/Indy Car Series and was often heard saying "I love the smell of Methanol in the morning"

For me this is also the first time since 2006, that my commute is actually less 45 minutes. The offices of the West Valley View are about 5 miles from the house and I'm loving it. Community Newspapers are a completely different environment, than working at a metro daily, and I am glad to back in this environment.

The end of my being  a "ward of the state," a euphemism for unemployment, was celebrated with an Epicurean Armando Gutierrez (AG) Vintage 2007 from Steve Ysidron.  I would describe this cigar as fairly  complex with a variety of flavors. Construction seemed to be a bit of an issue and several touch ups were needed.  All in all it was good smoke and I believe that it will only get better with a month or two in the humidor.

Monday was President's Day and I couldn't think of a better cigar to smoke than the Reagan 40th from my friends at Ezra Zion.  In a nutshell the Reagan 40th, the first in the Ezra Zion Honor Series, is flavorful and well constructed. It did not require a single touch-up and well I smoked it down to the nub.  As of this writing the Ezra Zion is available, in Phoenix, only at Goodfellas Cigar Lounge.  Shaun actually sold out eight (8) boxes in three (3) day's!  EIGHT BOXES IN THREE DAYS!

Reaganomics is making a comeback with this cigar!

We have a good little group in the West Valley Cigar Club. All totaled I think there are about 100 members.  At our monthly meet-ups we usually have about 20-25 members in attendance   During the summer months, our meet-ups are held at one of three locations, Fair Oaks Cigars, Ambassador Cigars West, or Fine Ash Cigars. When it is cooler we meet on the cigar friendly patio of Johnny Foxes Public house in Peoria. 

The meet-ups at Johnny Foxes you bring your own cigars, in which case Thursday was Good Day for Guinness and an Emilio Cigars AF-2

Last month I was fortunate to spend a bit of time with Lana Frasier, the premium event manager for General Cigar Company.  This Partagas Series Z perfecto was a gift from Lana.  Thanks Lana and it was a pleasure meeting you.

Until next time...


Friday, February 15, 2013


So it's been about two weeks since I announced that I had been asked to be a Disseminator or "Brand Ambassador" if you will, for Emilio Cigars and the lines that they distribute,  These lines are some of the hottest boutique brands on the market and include in no particular order Nomad Cigar Co, 1502, Epicurean, Guaycan, Rodrigo and Herederos de Robania.

These brands have been rewarded with, for lack of a better word, 90 plus ratings by several industry publications and websites. To help you, my readers and followers, identify the Emilio Cigars and they lines they distribute I will use the hashtag #Disseminator to those mentions on this blog.

A couple of weeks ago I received a message from the Atlantic City Cigar Company, that I had won a bundle of Padilla Habano Reserva Torpedos.I have smoked one or two of them but as it is a fairly new release, August 2012, it does need some time to rest in the humidor to realize its full potential 

I love it when I head into cigar lounge and a customer or employee tells me that I have to try something new.
That was the case with the EH Cultura the end result of a collaboration with between Edgar Hoill and CLE.
I liked the unique shape and size of this vitola called a Trompeta which is a  4 1/2" x 38 x 54 ring gauge.  This Cigar is a Nicaraguan Puro in its finest form 

Epicurean Cigars (#Disseminator) is the brainchild of Steve Ysidron, formerly of Savinelli, and launched almost a year ago,  The first two cigars were the Armando Gutierrez (AG),which is a tribute to Ysidron's Great Grandfather, and the Gonzo.  The Gonzo is a limited release cigar that is has or will have a total of 50,000 cigars produced in 5 sizes. At the IPCPR, in August of 2012, Epicurean announced the third cigar in the line, the AG Azul.

As of today, I have enjoyed the Gonzo, a 6' x 52  box pressed cigar, that I smoked to the final half inch.

My last post, talked about the Emilio Cigar (#Disseminator) AF-Sauve, AF-1 and  AF2   there are two other lines in their portfolio the La Musa (formerly the Grimalkin) and the Draig K.

In the La Musa lines there are two blends to tickle your palette  The medium bodied Mousa and the fuller bodied Melete. I can tell you these cigars did not disappoint.  Again it is no wonder that the Mousa received a 92 rating in the May/June 2012 issue of Cigar Snob!

Ah the Draig K, been wanting to try this one for a long time.  I knew of one place in the PHX that was fortunate to have this in their humidor. I was on the east side of the valley for an interview so it made sense to swing by Fox Cigar Bar in Gilbert for a cigar and a cheesesteak from Geno's.

Full disclosure here I do not think this establishment is affiliated in any way shape for form the with the Original Geno's in Philadelphia, but they do have Tastykakes!

Dark and Oily, and due to the wrapper ability to retain moisture, it was recommended to me the that Idry box the cigar for 24 hours before smoking. A day or so before I wanted to smoke this bad boy, I took it out of my humidor and placed it in a non humidified travel case with a cedar lining. This really helped with along the way, I did not have to relight or touch up this cigar, and the burn was even, consistent with the other cigars from Emilio. I would describe the cigar as medium bodied but full of flavor. 

BREAKING NEWS: (#Disseminator) Goodfellas Cigar Lounge, as of yesterday, is the ONLY store in the PHX to have the Ezra Zion line of cigars in its humidor and according to Shaun, at Goodfellas,  they are flying off the shelves! So Go Getcha Self Some! NOW! Like right this very minute!

Ezra Zion debuted in July of 2012, and lets just say the reviews are nothing short of phenomenal. Yesterday,  I enjoyed the Jamais Vu, one of the last with the Inception label on the foot.  I must say this cigar lived up to the "hype."  I can only imagine what will happen to this cigar after it rests in the humidor for a while.

Currently there are two cigars in Ezra Zion's portfolio. The Reagan 40th is the first cigar released under Ezra Zion Honor Series banner, and is a tribute to our 40th President.  I am saving this cigar, for a battle of the Presidents with Jon Shattuck (@cigarguy86) who has an Obama 44 from Segovia Cigars in his humidor.
There is no doubt in my mind the Reagan 40th will dominate this battle.

During an interview ast week, on Cigar Chat, the folks at Ezra Zion revealed that they have three new releases planned for 2013. One of the releases will be the 2nd cigar in the Honor Series which will be a tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, and will be called the MLK.  Thinking about future releases I'd like to start lobbying for a fellow Brother of the Leaf, the great NYC Mayor and America's Mayor Rudolph Giuliani be named to a future Honor Series Cigar.

Until next time....

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Go figure on this one, while heading into a super secret  meeting to plan a super secret event to occur in  November, I was pointed in the direction of this little gem The Perdomo P2 Limited Edition 2008.  The cigar is a medium to full bodied that is extremely well balanced. BTW The Chairman tried to swipe the bands for his collection, Homey don't play that! I need it for my Journal!

Continuing to work my way through the Emilio family of Cigars, yesterday I took from my humidor, which by the way is FINALLY stabilized nicely at 68-70%, the Emilio AF-1. The  last time I had one of these was, back in September, during a launch party at Fine Ash Cigars here in Avondale.   This Cigar is currently available in two locations in Arizona, Fox Cigar Bar in Chandler and Goodfella's Cigar Lounge in Phoenix.

This cigar has a dark and somewhat oily San Andreas Maduro wrapper. I smoked it down to the nubbin, again using my small eyeglass screwdriver to hold the nubbin try to get every thing out of this Robusto that I could.

Logic dictates that the next cigar I smoke should, in theory, be the AF-2

Anyway, Super Bowl Sunday tomorrow, not sure where I am going to watch the game. Rest assured there will be plenty of cigars.

Stay tuned for information about the Super Secret Event in November.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Exciting News

  1. Spread or disperse (something, esp. information) widely

Earlier this week I as was asked to be part of a pilot program for Emilio Cigars called the Disseminators.  Emilio Cigars is the manufacturer/distributor of the AF Series (AF Suave, AF-1, AF-2), Series H, Draig K, and the La Musa lines of cigars.  Additionally Emilio Cigars distributes the Ezra Zion, 1052 (GPC), Epicureon, Rodrigo, Herederos De Robaina, Guayacan,and Nomad Cigar Co., brands of Cigars.

Gary Griffith, Owner of Emilio Cigars, announced the formation of the Disseminators on his blog, From Seed to Smoke earlier today.  Click on the link to learn more about what I will doing in my role as a Disseminator.