Friday, June 25, 2010

Litto Gomez Event

Last night I attended the Litto Gomez of La Flor Dominicana event at Tobacco Plaza in Great Neck, NY. When Litto is in town, I make it a point to go down and see him. Being in New York, I don't get to see Litto as much as I would like to so I was looking forward to the event. Getting to the event was another story, we had a bad storm blow through the area just prior to the event. Trees were knocked down and power was out all around Long Island but luckily the shop had electricity. A good crowd was on hand to see Litto and there was a great selection of La Flor Dominicana products available for sale. I chose to try the "Air Bender" which I had heard many good comments about. I was not to be disappointed, I found it to be medium to full bodied with a nice leathery, somewhat sweet spice. Very enjoyable. Perfect draw and burn as well. Litto will be at the Famous Smoke Shop Cigar Expo on Saturday June 26, 2010 and I will be there as well. I am looking forward to attending this event which is held outdoors and the weather promises to be warm and nice. I will have a recap of the event after it is over. Until then, happy smoking!

Scott Smyth

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Augusto Reyes Sixth Generation Robusto

Augusto Reyes Sixth Generation Robusto - 5 X 50. Wrapper - Nicaraguan, Binder - Dominican, Filler - Dominican, Nicaraguan. Medium - Full bodied.

Initial draw - Dry cedar wood and spice.

First third of the cigar reveals the dry wood continuing with the spice increasing and an interesting leathery malt taste as well. A sweetness begins to emerge as I approached the halfway point.

At around the halfway point, the sweetness that I detected in the beginning became a chocolaty sweet leather flavor, peppery spice and notes of the cedar in the background. Nicely balanced thus far.

The last third continued with the sweet chocolate leather, spice and underlying cedar. Balance continues to be very good and a nice long finish of leather, spice and the sweet chocolate.

Construction was excellent, burn was razor sharp with a nice light-colored gray ash, and draw was perfect with lots of smoke.

I really was impressed with this cigar as it had very good complexity and balance. The long finish was quite enjoyable as you could savor the flavors after each draw. MSRP on this vitola is $5.80 which makes this cigar a good value in my opinion. Highly recommended.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

What to drink with your cigar?

I know many people pair scotches and beers with their cigars but to be honest, I usually drink cold seltzer water when I smoke. I find that it really refreshes my palate and allows me to enjoy the cigar I am smoking that much more. It is especially good when reviewing a cigar. It is the only thing I will drink when I do a cigar review.

I have begun to drink rum more often when I smoke. Some of my favorite rums are Ron Barcelo Imperial, Babencourt, which is a Haitian Rum, Havana Club 7 (if you can find it), Barcardi and Ron Zacapa. I know that there are many other rums out there to try but these are what I have had so far.

As far as scotches go, I really haven't tried too many scotches - Johnnie Black, Chivas Regal, Makers Mark (which I really liked) - that's about it. Cognacs, I really have to learn more about as I know there is much to learn and try - Courvoisier, Remy Martin, Hennessey, Martell etc. I will update more as I venture into the world of cognacs.

Until next time, happy smoking!


Cigar Lounge locker rentals - are they really worth it?

A few weeks ago, I ran a poll on my cigar blog asking if consumers rented lockers at their local cigar shops/lounges and the majority of people that responded - 82%, indicated that they did not. This percentage did not surprise me as I myself do not rent a locker because I don't see the purpose of doing so.

Most lounge's policy is to charge a yearly fee for the cigar smoker to rent a locker to store cigars in. In most cases the lounge requires that you can only store cigars that are purchased in that particular lounge. I feel that is just wasting money as you are just buying cigars and putting them in a locker and paying a yearly fee to do that. The cigars in your local lounge are already stored in a humidor (usually a walk-in one) and you can go and select whatever cigar you want and just pay for what you will smoke. Now if I could store overflow stock of my own cigars in a rented locker, then that would be a benefit to me. I would have extra storage and I could have cigars in the locker that maybe the shop doesn't carry. I do understand the lounge's point of view not to allow this because renters could just purchase cigars elsewhere - like online and store them in the locker and smoke those cigars ;instead of purchasing cigars from the shop/lounge itself. In that case, I would charge a higher rental fee and make a one cigar minimum purchase for each visit. Perhaps if the lounge is a membership-only and the locker price is factored into the membership for the lounge, then I think that this policy would have a better chance of working.

This of course is my own personal humble opinion, but as the poll on my blog indicated, I am not the only one that feels that renting a locker is not really worth the extra money.

Scott's picks for some underrated cigars

People have asked me to talk about some cigars that I feel are good but maybe do not get much mention, or are too new to the market, so I have decided to talk about cigars that some may or may not have heard of, and that I feel are good or even very good cigars.

In no particular order, Alec Bradley has a newer line called Family Blend which I really have been enjoying lately. Leathery and spicy this cigar has a good price point and is very consistent. Pinar Del Rio has some really good cigars but their PDR 1878 Cubano Especial Madura Capa is a fantastic smoke. Very good msrp as well. AJ Fernandez is the latest up-and-coming cigar blender. His cigars are sold through Internet only and include some really nice cigars - Diesel which is a tasty complex cigar for about $3.33 ea. La Cuna is another good line of his as well as the Sol Cubano Cabinet Selection. All of these are either medium to full bodied. Cuban Crafters has a couple of very tasty cigars in the Cubano Claro and the Cupido Tuxedo. Nestor Miranda 1989 is an excellent cigar with a very good msrp. Blended and made by non other than Don Pepin this cigar is a premium tasting cigar at economical prices. Matasa has a line of cigars that is very underrated in my opinion with the Viso Fuerte. I really like this line as it is full bodied and very tasty. Very good price point as well on these.

If you really want to get economical, Famous Smoke Shop online has the Nicaraguan Maduro and the Habano. Both are very good cigars at very low prices. You can sometimes find them on auction at the Famous website.

These are just some of my personal choices. I have more to mention in future postings. Until then, happy smoking!


Cigar Wishlist

Scott's Current Cigar Wishlist: (in no particular order)

La Rebola (especially the Sumatra wrapper)
La Flor Dominicana Air Bender
Jaime Garcia
EP Carillo Short Run
La Traviata Maduro
Avalona Juke Red Lancero
Padron Family Reserve No. 45 Maduro
Cubao Maduro

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Calibre 58 Review

Calibre 58 - Nestor Miranda. 4 X 58. Wrapper - Nicaraguan Rosado, Binder -Nicaragua, Filler - Nicaragua. Medium - Full bodied.

Initial taste - Strong wood and spice.

First third of the cigar reveals flavors of spice, cedar and leather in order of dominance. Very enjoyable.

At the halfway point, some changes in the flavor profile began to take place. The spice was still in the forefront, but the leather really began to pick up but it also took on a tangy almost citrus aspect to it. There was also an emergence of a sweet caramel flavor that I often get with Rosado wrapped cigars. The cedar was now more of an underlying flavor at this point.

The last third of this cigar had an orange peel, tangy leathery taste along with spice and the sweet caramel which is a combination that I really enjoy. Cedar was still in the background. Long finish of sweet leather and spice.

Construction, burn and draw were perfect. Nice light-gray ash with a razor sharp burn.

Calibre 58 is available in both Robusto and Torpedo vitolas (4 X 58), and in two wrappers - Rosado and Oscuro. I was very impressed with this cigar's flavor profile and complexity and with an MSRP of $4.60, It is an excellent value in my opinion. I would definitely have this cigar in my daily rotation. Highly recommended.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Quesada Tributo "Julio" Robusto Review

Quesada Tributo Julio (Robusto) 5 X 50. Wrapper - The wrapper is a hybrid that is made of Habano 2000, Corojo, Habano Vuelta Arriba and Sumatra grown in Ecuador, Binder - Honduras (Jamastran region), Filler - Dominican and Nicaraguan ligeros. Full Bodied.

Initial lighting is a blast of pepper, leather and wood which quickly settles down to smooth enjoyable flavors of sweet nougat, tangy leather, spice and wood.

By the halfway point of this cigar, there is a kaleidoscope of complex flavors. The sweet nougat continues along with the tangy/citrus leather, spice, wood and now I began to get a nutty flavor as well. All balanced very well together and very smooth.

The last third reveals more of the same flavors - nougat/caramel sweetness, tangy leather, spiciness, woody, nutty and now there is a cinnamon taste emerging. Very enjoyable and again super smooth. Long tasty finish of sweet, citrus leather and spice.

Construction was perfect - a gorgeous, oily chocolate brown wrapper without any veins. Excellent burn - a dark gray ash that held on for two inches before falling off. Perfect draw with lots of billowy smoke. MSRP on this vitola is $6.50.

This is an excellent cigar that delivers a full bodied, complexity of very enjoyable and well balanced flavors. The cigar never got hot or harsh. I smoked it right down to the nub when I had to stop before burning my fingers. What I like about what the Quesadas are doing, is that they are raising the bar and really thinking outside the box with different and unique wrappers on their cigars that offer the cigar smoker a variety of different flavors at affordable prices. I highly recommend trying.

Monday, June 7, 2010


For Immediate Release
June 7, 2010
Contact: Victoria McKee Jaworski
General Cigar Co. Inc.
732 721 0317 or 732 580 5215


Richmond, VA—What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas, unless you win the $2,000,000 prize in the second annual" Macanudo® Millionaire contest.

Macanudo®, America’s number-one-selling premium cigar brand is once again teaming up with ( Playboy to award two lucky consumers and their guests with the grand prize in the Macanudo Millionaire promotion, an all-expense paid, three-day, two night trip to the ( Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. While in Sin City, they will be treated to a VIP evening at the ( Club , where they will be accompanied by three Playboy Playmates who will stand in for Lady Luck when the contestants and their guests are dealt a hand of poker. If either the contestants or their guests receive a straight flush, they will win the $2,000,000 prize.

Alison Waite, Playboy’s Miss May 2006, is featured in the contest’s website enticing Macanudo smokers with the lure of Las Vegas and the chance to win a cool two million dollars. Flanked by two fellow Playboy Playmates in her call to entry , Alison encourages consumers of legal smoking age to visit their favorite U.S. tobacco shop between June 7 and August 31, 2010 to purchase a specially-marked four-pack containing Macanudo CafĂ©, Maduro, Robust and Gold Label cigars. On the pack, consumers will find details about how they can enter the contest via brief essays expressing their desire to win the trip to the strip and the chance at the $2,000,000 prize.

Consumers can also enter the promotion by visiting or by purchasing cigars through participating online cigar retailers. No purchase necessary. For official rules, visit .

Debo Mukherjee, vice president of marketing for General Cigar, parent company of Macanudo comments, “The Macanudo Millionaire contest generated tremendous buzz and excitement last year. It was only fitting that we decided to run it again, this time ‘upping the ante’ to $2,000,000. A weekend in Las Vegas, complete with a VIP evening at the Playboy Club epitomizes the brand’s connection to socializing with friends. The $2,000,000 prize speaks for itself.”

The winners of the Macanudo Millionaire contest will be selected on or before September 14, 2010 and will be dealt a hand of cards for the chance to win the $2,000,000 at the Palms Hotel and Casino on November 13, 2010. Additional details about the Macanudo Millionaire weekend in Vegas will be posted on the HYPERLINK "" official contest website .

Updates about Macanudo Millionaire will be posted to the contest’s dedicated Facebook ( and Twitter ( accounts.

About Macanudo Cigars
Since their introduction in 1968, Macanudo cigars have been a favorite among premium cigar connoisseurs. The brand continues to be the best selling premium cigar brand in the U.S. and also sells in more than 90 countries worldwide. In addition to the base brand of Macanudo cigars, the brand also features these collections: Macanudo Maduro, Macanudo Robust, Macanudo Gold Label, Macanudo Vintage and Macanudo 1968.

Macanudo cigars are produced by General Cigar Co. Inc., which manufactures and markets handcrafted cigars for the premium market. Committed to delivering cigars of the finest quality, General Cigar also produces Macanudo, Cohiba®, Partagas® Hoyo de Monterrey®, Excalibur®, La Gloria Cubana® and several other leading premium brands. In addition, the company grows its own premium Connecticut Shade wrapper tobacco, as well as natural and candela wrapper in the Dominican Republic. General Cigar also operates Club Macanudo®, a cigar bar in New York City. Based in Richmond, VA, General Cigar sells through tobacconists nationwide. For more information, please visit .

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Joya De Nicaragua Cabinetta Serie Toro Review

Joya De Nicaragua Cabinetta Serie Toro. 6 X 52. Wrapper - Ecuadorian shade grown (for 3/4 of the cigar) Nicaraguan Criollo (for the last 1/4), Binder - Nicaragua, Filler - Nicaragua. Mild-Medium bodied.

For this particular cigar, I decided to break-down the review into quarters instead of thirds because the cigar has a very unique wrapper which is 3/4 Ecuadorian Connecticut and 1/4 Nicaraguan Criollo.

Initial taste when first lit, was that of spice and cedar. Smoking into the first quarter of the cigar, the spice picks up along with the cedar and a creamy/bready flavor as well.

The halfway point of the cigar was interesting. The spice began to diminish to become more of an underlying taste. Creamy cedar and bread were still predominate, but now a pleasant, sweet wine-like flavor emerged.

The third quarter which was the last part of this Ecuadorian shade grown wrapper was still the creamy cedar, not as bready; with the sweet wine taste becomming more prevalent but not overpowering. Slight spiceiness still present. Up until this point, the finish was long with cream, cedar, spice and sweet wine.

The last quarter of this cigar was the Nicaraguan Criollo wrapper which really changed the flavor profile of this cigar. Flavors of an earthy leather with a strong presence of spice and a very enjoyable sweet molasses taste. These flavors remained for the last quarter of the cigar. Long finish of leather, spice and molasses.

Construction was good - it did begin to unravel a little bit in the third quarter of the cigar. Burn was crooked with a flakey ash. Draw was perfect with copius amounts of smoke. Price point on this vitola is $6.05.

I am not a big Connecticut wrapper fan, I really have to be in the mood for one but I did enjoy this cigar, especially the last quarter with the criollo wrapper. I do recommend this cigar if you smoke a fair amount of connecticut wrapped cigars and like a nice change of pace at the end.