Thursday, February 24, 2011

Macanudo Vintage Maduro 1997 Toro Review

Macanudo Vintage Maduro 1997 Toro - 6 X 54. Wrapper - Connecticut Broadleaf Vintage 1997, Binder - Honduras (Havana Talanga), Filler - Dominican, Brazilian, Nicaraguan. Medium bodied.

Initial taste - Earthiness & wood.

First third - Spiciness, earth and a very enjoyable bittersweet dark chocolate taste along with the woodiness.

Second third - Spice, earth, bittersweet dark chocolate but now the woodiness is gone.

Last third - Continuation of the spice, earthiness and the bittersweet dark chocolate. Long finish of spice and dark chocolate.

Construction was very good - very dark wrapper (almost black), with little or no veins. Burn was good producing a salt & pepper colored and somewhat flaky ash that held on. Draw was perfect.

I was impressed with the flavor profile as well as the complexity and great balance. I particularly liked the bittersweet chocolate flavor. This is a limited release line with a fourteen year old Connecticut Maduro wrapper leaf. MSRP on this vitola is $8.99. Although medium bodied, this cigar can be enjoyed after lunch as well as after a hearty dinner. Very bold flavors. Highly recommended.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011






MIAMI, FL – February 23, 2010 - Today Studio Tobac’s Executive Board announced that renowned artist and cigar enthusiast Rick “HutcH” Hutchings will make very special, limited edition Studio Tobac cigar cutters.

The cutter is built on the popular XIKAR “Xi” style frame, but nothing except this mechanism is stock. HutcH’s specialty is scrimshaw and he hand-carved each cutter’s handles; plus the Studio Tobac emblem is screened on each cutter’s body. Every cutter will come with a custom leather pouch that is also stamped with the Studio Tobac logo.

The cutters will not be for sale at any price. They will be available at select tobacconists as grand prizes during the 2011 Studio Tobac World Tour. Details of this tour are forthcoming in early 2011.

Rick “HutcH” Hutchings began carving custom cigar cutters in 2002. His scrimshaw work is featured on the Bowie knife carried by Dolph Lundgren in the 2010 movie “The Expendables.” He also carved a “skull” cigar cutter that was gifted to Slyvester Stallone at the wrap of that movie.

Studio Tobac Executive Board member Ian Hummel states “When I approached HutcH about doing these cutters I didn’t think he’d be available to do 100 hand-made pieces. I was surprised and very happy that he made time for this project. The cutters look absolutely fantastic.”

HutcH comments “I got a call from Ian [Hummel] and was asked to design a custom cutter for Studio Tobac. The tattoo-style leaf and logo were naturals for scrimshaw on a cutter. I hope anyone that gets one of these cutters will appreciate the fact that each and every one will be hand-made by me; from the scrimshaw-carved handle down to that hand-sewn leather pouch.”

Rick “HutcH” Hutchings can be reached at or call 502-836-2871. He expects to have a website up after January 1st, 2011 featuring his art work.

Jon Huber creates "Crowned Heads Cigar Company"

Jon Huber, the former director of lifestyle marketing for C.A.O. International Inc., has put together a new cigar company with three former employees of C.A.O. The new company will be called "Crowned Heads LLC."

The new company will be headquartered in Nashville. Crowned Heads will consist of Jon Huber, Mike Conder, (formerly C.A.O.'s senior VP of marketing); Michael Trebing(formerly C.A.O.'s creative media manager), and Nancy Heathman,(formerly C.A.O.'s graphic designer).

Crowned Heads will be a boutique company that already has begun to meet with tobacco brokers to develop a brand and by year's end it hopes to have a cigar line with five sizes on the market. The new company's objective is to try to take cigar smokers "behind the scenes" to see how a company develops its products.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011





MIAMI, FL – February 22, 2010 - Studio Tobac today announced plans for their 2011 World Tour. Bryan "The Show" Scholle, Studio Tobac's Ambassador, will travel The United States and Europe visiting an elite group of cigar retailers. Bryan’s transportation will be a brand new 2011 Corvette Grand Sport, fully customized for Studio Tobac. At each tour stop, Bryan will be rolling cigars and educating consumers on all of Studio Tobac's latest Cain and Nub projects.

"I'm really excited to hit the road for Studio Tobac," commented Scholle. "It's an honor that The Oliva Family and Studio Tobac trust me with this huge responsibility. I can't wait to meet the shop owners and cigar smokers. This is going to be a great time."

In addition to cigar rolling, there will be many other exciting things happening at each tour event:

Consumers can enter-to-win the custom 2011 Studio Tobac Corvette Grand Sport with Heritage Package. This 430 horsepower sports car, featuring exclusive Cyber Gray paint, is a track-oriented Corvette with wider wheels and tires, special suspension tuning and unique exterior details. The Corvette Grand Sport achieves a 0-60 time of less than four seconds, pulls 1.0 g on the skid pad and still boasts an EPA-rated 26 mpg.

At the end of the Studio Tobac World Tour, one lucky winner will drive away in the custom 2011 Studio Tobac Corvette Grand Sport with Heritage Package.

A very special 6 cigar sampler will be available as "gift with purchase" on all sales of Studio Tobac cigar boxes. Each cigar in the sampler will be unavailable anywhere else. The cigars are:

1. Cain F Lancero – Cain F blend in a lancero format, presented in an aluminum tube

2. Cain FF torpedo – 6x54 torpedo; a stronger blend of the Cain F

3. Cain Daytona Short Robusto – Daytona blend in a sampler exclusive 4.5x50 short robusto size

4. Nub Habano Perfecto – the first Nub perfecto ever created. 4.5x60

5. Nub San Andreas Maduro – 4x64. A new size and a wrapper never before used on Nubs

6. "ST/DS-100," an unnamed, full bodied, maduro prototype cigar.

“We wanted to do something special for the 2011 Studio Tobac World Tour. The sampler is our way of thanking the consumers who support our brands and our events” states Executive Board Director Jose R. Oliva. “Plus, we wanted to showcase our prowess at creating small-batch, ultra-limited, unique cigar blends.”

Also, each tour stop will feature a grand prize: A custom Studio Tobac cigar cutter created by artist Rick “HutcH” Hutchings. These cutters were meticulously hand-crafted one piece at a time. The cutters will not be for sale at any price.

Lastly, the 2011 Studio Tobac tour will feature the “swag” that completes any cigar event: Cigar bags, matches, cutters, shirts, hats, etc.

Consumers should expect to be blown away by each and every event. For complete details, contest rules, and a list of each tour stop, please go to

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Altadis Changes Cigar Division

Altadis U.S.A. Inc, is changing the management structure of the company. Altadis has created a new premium cigar division in the United States, separating it from the company's mass-market division that sells machine-made cigars.

Javier Estades, the sales and marketing director for Imperial's European and international division, will now be general manager of premium cigars, U.S.A. Javier Estades has been the sales and marketing director for Imperial's European and international markets. The change is effective immediately.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Torano 1959 Exodus 50 Years Short Churchill Review

Torano 1959 Exodus 50 Years Short Churchill - 6 X 48. Wrapper - Brazilian Arapiraca Sun-Grown, Binder - Honduras (Jamastran), Filler - Nicaragua (Esteli and Pueblo Nuevo). Medium - Full bodied.

Initial taste - Spice, wood & earth.

First third - Spice, dry earthiness, subtle sweet dark cocoa and mineral notes.

Second third - Spiciness continues with the dry earthiness, wood, sweet dark cocoa and mineral notes.

Last third - Spice, earth, wood with sweet dark cocoa and mineral notes. Long finish of spice and earthiness.

Construction was very good - nice dark brown wrapper with some bumpiness. Burn was excellent - dark gray ash that held on. Draw was perfect.

A very good cigar that commemorates the 50 years it has been since Cuba’s Marxist communist regime took over the country and exiled the world-renowned tobacco and cigar families, including Torano. I found this cigar to be of excellent complexity and balance. I really enjoyed the flavor profile of this cigar. MSRP of this vitola is $7.00. I definitely recommend trying this cigar.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Room 101 by Camacho "The 323" Toro Review

Room 101 by Camacho "The 323" Toro - 6 X 50. Wrapper - Honduras (Semilia 101), Binder - Honduras, Filler - Honduras & Dominican. Medium bodied.

Initial taste - Spicy cedar.

First third - Spice, wood and cinnamon.

Second third - Strong spice, wood, cinnamon and some earthy notes.

Last third - Continued strong spice, wood and cinnamon. Long finish of spice and wood.

Construction - beautiful silky brown flawless wrapper. Burn - razor sharp gray ash that held on. Draw was perfect.

A very enjoyable cigar that although isn't terribly complex, still has a very good flavor profile. The Semilia 101 wrapper is grown exclusively by Camacho Cigars for this line and is very tasty. Nicely balanced as well. MSRP for the Toro is $8.20. I recommend this cigar especially if you like a strong spice and woody flavor profile.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Macanudo Cru Royale Robusto Review

Macanudo Cru Royale Robusto - 5 X 50. Wrapper - Ecuadorian Habano, Binder - Dominican (La Vega Especial), Filler - Dominican, Brazilian, Nicaraguan. Medium bodied.

Initial taste - Very dry woodiness.

First third - Wood, spice and a dry leather taste.

Second third - Spice increasing, wood and an earthiness emerging.

Last third - Spice and now a raisin/fruity earthiness and leather. Long finish of spice and earth.

Construction was very good - slight oily sheen to the wrapper and no major veins. Burn was good - a slight crooked burn but a light gray ash that held on. Draw was perfect.

A very good cigar blended by the legendary Benji Menendez. I thoroughly enjoyed the way this cigar evolved with great balance and complexity and the earthy flavor - no doubt the result of the Brazilian Mata Fina in the filler. I know that General Cigar lists this as Medium bodied, but I would consider it more of a Medium-Full bodied smoke. MSRP for the robusto is $5.79 which I feel is a very good value. I would definitely recommend this cigar.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Ashton adds a new size to the La Aroma De Cuba line

Ashton has added a size to the La Aroma de Cuba line called the "Marquis" which measures 5.75 X 48. It is the only vitola in the line with a ring gauge thinner than 50. Apparently this size was only available by attending in-store events when initially released about a year ago. Due to the popularity of the size, Ashton decided to release it as a regular production vitola.

The "Marquis" will come in gift boxes of 10 cigars and will have an MSRP of $6.00.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Torano Cigars "Master by Carlos Torano" BFC Review

Torano Cigars "Master by Carlos Torano" BFC - 6 X 60. Wrapper - Ecuadorian Habano, Binder - Nicaragua (Esteli), Filler - Nicaragua (Esteli & Jalapa). A collaboration between Torano Cigar's master roller Felipe Sosa and Carlos Torano. Full bodied.

Initial taste - Dry woody flavor.

First third - Woody, spicy, some cinnamon and leather emerging.

Second third - Wood is the predominant flavor followed closely by spice, leather and hints of cinnamon and a honey-like sweetness.

Last third - Wood, spice, leather and notes of cinnamon and honey. Long finish on the palate of spice, wood and leather.

Construction was excellent as with all Torano cigars - slight veins on an otherwise smooth wrapper. Burn was sharp producing a light gray ash holding on for an inch or so at a time. Draw was perfect.

Another terrific new cigar from Torano with perfect balance, great complexity and a flavor profile that is very enjoyable. And with a MSRP of $6.95 for this size, this is a must try cigar that is both excellent tasting as well as very affordable. Definite recommend.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Casa Magna supporting retail Brick & Mortar shops with latest promotional ad in Cigar Aficionado

Casa Magna / SAG Imports continues to show support for retail B&M shops with their latest promotional ad on page 50 in Cigar Aficionado where you can either scan the code on the page with your smart phone QR reader app or you can email your request to and receive a special coupon good for one FREE Casa Magna cigar when you purchase three Casa Magna cigars. Valid through 3/31/11.

I applaud SAG Import's willingness to work with retail shops in these difficult times. It shows that there are manufacturers that actually do care about the local tobacconists.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Cain F Lancero Review

Cain F Lancero - 7 X 38. Wrapper - Nicaragua Habano, Binder - Nicaragua, Filler - Nicaraguan Ligero (Jalapa, Condega, and Esteli). Full bodied.

Initial taste - Dry cedar & spice.

First third - Cedar, spice and leather. Near the end of the first third, the spice is more prevalent followed by the leather, cedar and a citrus flavor that begins to emerge.

Second third - Now the flavor profile gets really good - strong spice and a flavor that I can only describe as a lemon - citrus type flavor with the leather and the cedar fading into background. Great balance and smoothness.

Last third - Strong spice, lemon citrus leather and some notes of cedar. Very long tasty finish of spicy citrus leather.

Construction, burn and draw were perfect. The burn produced a razor-sharp dark gray ash that held on.

A fantastic, rich cigar with great balance and very good complexity. Easily one of my all-time favorite lanceros. One of the impressive aspects is the smoothness associated with this cigar for being such a powerhouse. This is the result of the triple fermentation process that the ligero leaves are put through. MSRP - there isn't a MSRP because The Cain F Lancero, will only be available in a sampler as a “gift with purchase” at Studio Tobac World Tour events in 2011. Expect to see The Cain F Lancero packaged in an aluminum tube. Highly recommended but be forewarned to have a full meal before smoking this gem.