Published on 2012-11-20 08:09:32
It has truly been our honor to serve the cigar needs of our brave soldiers abroad. Because the mission is so large, however, we have decided to join forces with Operation: Cigars for Warriors, an organization whose sole mission is to collect and dist
Published on 2012-09-18 11:12:15
If you've ever had the opportunity to meet him, chances are you’ve noticed it too. Whether he's talking to customers or retailers - anybody, really - Rocky Patel exudes a genuine passion for premium cigars. And that’s pure Rocky: the hardest-working man in the cigar business; a guy who logs more than 300 days on the road a year, yet still relishes the opportunity to travel the world and putting his cigars in the mouth of his consumers.
It's precisely that commitment that drives him to protec [..]
Published on 2012-08-31 13:33:55
Over the years, I've received many emails asking me whether it's OK to put cigars in the freezer or the refrigerator. Let's start with the latter. NO WAY JOSÉ! True, refrigerators are made to keep foods fresh, but even though cigars are somewhat related to veggies by their nature, the humidity in the fridge is much too low to keep the leaves moist, and your cigars will eventually dry out.
So what about the freezer? Now that's a different story. Though I'm really not a fan of storing cigars in t [..]
Published on 2012-08-17 07:39:33
It's fair to assume that if you smoke cigars you already have a lighter; maybe even several of them. Cigar lighters are sort of like pens. Odds are you've got a number of them at your disposal, but there's probably one you use most often. That said, if you're not sure which lighter to use for your cigars, what follows is a brief description of the options available to you.
Basically, you've got two choices. A soft flame lighter, and the more popular torch, or jet flame lighter.
Soft Flame Lighte [..]
Published on 2012-08-01 13:53:14
Cigars and humidors are like horses and saddles. We associate them as a dependent set, but you don't need a saddle to ride a horse, and you don't need a fancy wooden humidor to store cigars. There is one catch, however: You and the horse will survive without a saddle, but your cigars won't survive without some form of humidification. For the purposes of this post, I'm talking about wooden desktop humidors, not coolerdors, tupperdors, or other makeshift storage units.
Now that we've established w [..]
Published on 2012-07-23 16:00:31
I have that lightning-strike of a reaction from time to time, since I sometimes like to cruise ebay on my laptop while smoking a cigar on the patio (viva wi-fi!). I like history, and looking for historical or vintage items. So I search for the same stuff from time to time: sixties-era Slingerland drums, collectibles that reference my vacation spot in New England, and vintage Donatus-style cigar cutters. Occasionally I find some gems, so I decided to just type in “vintage cigar” and see what [..]
Published on 2012-07-09 08:37:57
Have you seen any of the news this past week? The calendar is kind of weird right now – since 4th of July fell on a Wednesday I’m sure that many people made it a 5-day weekend (and more power to you). In case you missed it, there was another jobs report, and much yelling and screaming ensued; everyone yelled at each other about whether “the Mandate” was a tax or a penalty. Gov. Romney was riding a jet ski, and the President was riding a bus. It’s been a little (too) quiet, though, abou [..]
Published on 2012-07-03 14:10:13
Sorry this is coming a few days after the fact – but I’m still getting my feet back under me after Cigarnival 2012. My original thought was to write something that was a grand recap of everything that happened here at Leaf this past weekend, but “when someone sings his own praises, he always gets the tune too high.”
I could bang the drum loudly and give you some fancy write up about how fantastic Cigarnival 2012 was (it really was), how many people were there (lots), how big the raffle w [..]
Published on 2012-06-04 12:30:09
Not too long ago, I wrote an article for CigarAdvisor.com about how I used an ordinary household condiment to repair a wrapper that was unfurling on my cigar. The way it happened was, I had mistakenly clipped the cap of my cigar a bit too low. I've seen some guys chop their cigars below the shoulders and the wrappers have remained intact. However, more often than not, over-cutting the cap will result in unraveling of the wrapper leaf, which is what happened in my case. Even more annoying is when [..]
Published on 2012-05-15 11:23:19
It's no secret. By purchasing your premium cigars online you can save a lot of money. There's only one catch; you have to wait for your cigars to be delivered. As a result, I'm often asked how long mail-order cigars should be allowed to rest before smoking them.
Technically speaking, premium handmade cigars should be ready to smoke right out of the factory box when they arrive at the store. If everything was done right at the factory, including the aging time, and the cigars were properly stored [..]
Published on 2012-04-30 09:44:51
Tunneling, a circumstance in which a cigar's wrapper leaf doesn't burn, causing a cave-like formation in the foot of the cigar, can be caused by several factors: The purpose of the binder leaf is to help all of the tobaccos burn at approximately the same rate. Therefore, if the wrapper is too moist, too thick, or too oily, it may not burn at the same rate as the filler and binder. (Maduro and Oscuro wrappers tend to be much oilier than most shade grown and other "natural" wrapper leaves.) [..]
Published on 2012-03-23 12:26:30
When toasting your cigars, etiquette dictates that you're not supposed to let the flame touch the tobacco at the foot. Rather, the flame should be held close enough to the tobacco to get the foot glowing without it catching fire. Once you see red (so to speak), gently blow on the foot until the entire surface is glowing all the way out to the last ring.
During this process it may appear that the entire foot is lit, but that's not always the case. Some people are impatient, and once they see "the [..]
Published on 2012-03-12 10:02:14
OPERATOR: Hello, Cigar Order Hotline. How may I help you?
CALLER: What would you suggest for a new cigar smoker who wants to move up to something better than the cheap gas station cigars available near my home?
OPERATOR: Certainly. Can you tell me what cigars you've been smoking?
CALLER: Swisher Sweets, Garcia and Vega, Phillies; whatever they have at the time.
OPERATOR: I see. Those are machine-made cigars.
CALLER: What's that mean?
OPERATOR: The cigars are made with tobacco scraps that are mix [..]
Published on 2012-03-09 12:47:31
A Short Primer on Maduro-Cured Tobaccos
By Gary Korb
Spanish for "ripe," when you think of a "maduro cigar" one of the first words that comes to mind is "dark." And that's the idea. The longer tobacco leaves are fermented, the darker they get. Note that there is no specific "Maduro" leaf, as there is say, a "Corojo" or "Criollo" leaf. Cigar smokers who think maduro cigars are strong will be surprised that thi [..]
Published on 2012-03-05 07:36:09
According to an informal poll I conducted five minutes ago expressly for this article, 95% of cigar smokers enjoy an ice cold glass of suds alongside their favorite stogie. Among those who responded, some prefer their puro with a couple generous fingers of whisky, rum or tequila. Others prefer a well-made cocktail. Still others take their smoke with wine, port, brandy or cognac.
Whatever your preference, the research suggests that cigars and libations are a fine-tuned combination guaranteed to p [..]
Published on 2012-02-27 12:36:45
A natural "solution" for cigar smokers with sinus problems
I've suffered with sinus troubles most of my life. Clogged sinuses, sinus headaches, you-name-it. Whatever problems are commonly associated with the nose, chances are I've had them. Moreover, as someone who smokes cigars for a living, I occasionally find my sinuses stuffed-up. I also believe it's related to how many cigars I've smoked in a day. In the past, I would usually take a decongestant, but a couple of years ago I discovered the [..]
Published on 2012-02-09 12:51:00
It's happened to everyone who smokes premium cigars - the bad burn. Whether it's the cigar going out on you too fast, canoeing, or the wrapper coming undone, a bad burn is one of the most frustrating things that can happen. Since a bad burning cigar requires so much extra work, maybe a better word would be "irritating." Often times, you've spent so much time getting the cigar to straighten out, you don't even remember how the darn thing tasted.
There are several factors that contribute to a bad [..]
Published on 2012-02-06 08:21:14
*Price is a sale price, and subject to change.
Tapered Head Heaven
By Gary Korb
In case you haven't noticed, the cigars in this month's Buying Guide sampler are all tapered head cigars, also referred to as "Figurados." A figurado is also identified by its non-straight-sided shape, which is why they are given names like Torpedo, Belicoso, Pyramid, Diademas, Perfecto, and Double Perfecto (tapered at both ends). Not surp [..]
Published on 2012-02-03 10:16:15
I recently received the following email from Cliff, one of our CigarAdvisor.com readers who writes to me pretty often, usually with a question or a comment about cigars. He had seen the newsletters in which we offered "blind" samplers.
The first blind sampler had 4 cigars, all the same cigar, without their bands. You had to guess the blender. The second blind sampler had 5 different cigars, all top-flight luxury cigars, except you didn't know what you were buying until you opened the package and [..]
Published on 2012-01-18 13:07:22
Here's a recent thank you care package we received from the Tali-Banned Cigar Club, operating out of Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan. In it was the club's challenge coin, a flag flown Christmas Day on our behalf and more. We are so proud and so humbled to have received it.
The recurring theme in all of these thank you letters seems to be that our servicemen and women enjoy cigars as a little piece of home. We're only too glad to have provided these brave men and women some small measure of comfort [..]
Published on 2012-01-10 11:46:05
Have you ever noticed how many things are seasonal? Fruits and veggies, sports, ice fishing - even beers are seasonal. You might opt for an IPA or a refreshing pale ale during the summer, and a Porter or Stout during the winter. Could the same be said for premium cigars? Why not?
Using the beer example above, bolder cigars would be smoked during the late fall and winter months, while lighter-bodied cigars would be smoked during the late spring and summer. As always, it's a matter of personal pr [..]
Published on 2012-01-09 10:05:29
Famous Smoke Shop proudly supports our soldiers with Cigars for Troops. We recently deployed a care package to Kandahar, Afghanistan, where it was received and distributed by Capt. Robert Hughs. Here is his "Thank You" note, along with some pictures he sent.
Capt. Robert Hughs writes,
"Thank you for the cigars, from the many teams in Kandahar, Afghanistan: Army, Air Force, Navy and Afghans. We appreciate the good smokes!"
(Capt Hughs, an Afghan Police Officer and Maj Diaz enjoy some good smoke [..]
Published on 2011-12-15 08:13:30
During the Holiday Season it's so hard to keep from tripping over ads and articles on "Great Gift Ideas!" I figured I might as well get in on it, too. So, I've kept it simple. Here are five great gift ideas in five respective categories and various price points, that you can hint at to your wife, girlfriend, best friend, business colleagues or, you can tie a string around your finger like Uncle Billy in It's a Wonderful Life, so you can remember to buy them for yourself. These are just suggestio [..]
Published on 2011-12-02 12:11:58
I recently ran a survey question on Cigar Advisor asking if cigar smokers rotated their accessories. After all, you rotate your cigars, so why not your accessories? As of this writing, 37% did not rotate their accessories, per se, they just wait until one or the other breaks and buy a new one. But running second at 31% was "It depends on the cigar."
This may sound like an off-beat topic, but as I get a lot of my subject matter, it came from my own personal experience. One night, I was about to l [..]
Published on 2011-11-18 13:28:13
With about an inch to go, I put the matchstick in the stub.
When it comes to table manners, remember how your Mom would tell you that there are only certain foods you can eat with your hands such as hot dogs, fried chicken, pizza, fries, etc. I wonder if there are such rules when it comes to smoking cigars down to the nub. For example, is it proper to use a tool to get those last few puffs out of a really good cigar?
I bring this up because of something that I did a few nights ago. I was smoking [..]
Published on 2011-10-28 07:17:18
OPERATOR: Hello, Cigar Hotline. How may I help you?
CALLER: I recently bought some cigars and put them in a container while I seasoned my new humidor. When they were in the container maybe I had too big a humidifier in the there or something, because they are really squishy. If my cigars are that soft they are probably too moist, right? If so, is there a way to get the extra moisture out and save them?
OPERATOR: Yes they are too moist and there is a way to get them back to normal. Was the contai [..]
Published on 2011-06-17 15:17:22
I promise this is relevant to cigars, so please…bear with me.
The Loudness War has seen recorded music compressed into oblivion, forsaking dynamic range (the difference between quiet & loud parts) for apparent loudness throughout any given trac
Published on 2011-06-09 08:37:17
In September of 2010 I wrote an article on aging Seconds and Bundle cigars. As I was writing that piece I went off on a tangent I began to write about some of the misconceptions about bundles. Realizing I had the makings of a follow-up article, I sav
Published on 2011-05-31 15:25:59
Why is it when we have a problem with our cigars the first thing we want to do is blame the manufacturer? It's unbelievable, the number of Customer Service emails I've seen, which include claims against a factory, based on a customer's belief that th
Published on 2011-05-31 08:06:25
Buyer's Guide Sampler #12
12 of the best cigars you
should be smoking
Our Famous Buying Guide sampler #12 consists of "Sleepers," or great cigars that tend to fly under the radar. The names alone tell you this mouthwa
Published on 2011-05-27 07:21:20
After taking the cigar world by storm several years ago with the introduction of two unprecedented "firsts" for premium cigars, Sam Leccia has struck out on his own with a new line of cigars produced and distributed through his new, aptly-named Sam L
Published on 2011-05-25 07:38:35
Cigars are sold in a number of ways. You've got your boxes, bundles, singles, and your samplers. The latter has become the most economical way to buy cigars because you don't have to commit to a full box, and five cigars is a comfortable enough amoun
Published on 2011-05-13 10:40:36
I bought a box of Artisan Nicaraguan Maduro Toro a week ago when they were on sale. Not only was the price right, but there was a free offer that included a 12-pack sampler of the entire Artisan Collection. Although the sale is over, the free offer
Published on 2011-05-06 16:03:29
I make no secret of my preference for smaller cigars, with a 50 ring gauge generally being the largest I'll buy. If you're like me in that regard, and if you enjoy the challenging complexities of a full-flavor cigar, then I highly recommend the Oliva
Published on 2011-04-29 08:20:49
You know how to whistle, don't you, Steve? You just put your lips together and blow."
- Marie Browning (Lauren Bacall) in To Have and Have Not
A while back I blogged about cigar lighting techniques. In the article, I referred to one of the methods a
Published on 2011-04-28 07:50:50
Published on 2011-04-27 16:23:50
If you're a cigar-smoking Mom or Dad, I want to hear from you.
Like any good father, I want what's best for my kids. With my oldest still under 4, they're still pretty far removed from chats about sex, drugs, and rock 'n roll. But sooner or later, th
Published on 2011-04-22 15:21:34
One of the more familiar elements of smoking cigars is that some tend to taste bitter in the late innings. Bitterness can be caused by any number of factors. It could be the blend itself, or it can come from drawing too hard or too often on your ciga
Published on 2011-04-21 10:25:11
Padron cigars - what's the first thing that comes to mind when you see (or hear) those two words? Speaking for myself, it's not a word; first I get a flash of an image of the cigar, specifically the band, but what really comes to mind is their unique
Published on 2011-04-20 13:47:51
Between the economy and my third kid on the way, it's getting harder and harder to justify a night out at the bar. But when an old friend calls you up out of the blue and wants to get together for drinks on a weeknight, what else is there to do?
Published on 2011-04-15 15:21:34
What's that Ben Franklin quote about death and taxes? Oh yeah: "...in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes."
Sure enough, even a 3-day reprieve didn't stop Tax Day from getting here. Haven't filed yet? I suggest you s
Published on 2011-04-13 09:02:22
Buyer's Guide Sampler #10
A "fair and balanced" sampler! 15 of Cuba's best legal cigars, and more.
Published on 2011-03-30 15:59:11
A few days ago, while admiring the cigars along the Famous Smoke Shop retail store shelves, a colleague of mine said, "There are just too many cigars." As I continued to browse, I thought about all the cigars I've smoked over the years, yet there wer
Published on 2011-03-28 14:47:44
Exactly 2 Fridays ago I enjoyed the finest cigar I've had in years. What was it, you ask?
Truth be told, it was nothing special: an old El Rico Habano Corona Gorda - admittedly a good cigar, but not exactly a "super premium." What made the cigar so f
Published on 2011-03-24 08:21:31
Here's a nifty topic that crosses my path every now and then - rotating your cigars. According to a CigarAdvisor.com poll, 54% of cigar smokers surveyed said they rotate their cigars on a regular basis. So what is "rotating," and what are its benefit
Published on 2011-03-15 13:29:02
Yes! Depending on the color of the wrappers on your cigars, their character can shift from a small to even a significant amount of flavor. Read the following excerpt from an article posted on CigarAdvisor.com titled: A Wrapper's Contribution to Cigar
Published on 2011-03-11 15:48:45
This winter was, in a word, brutal. Between record snowfalls and cold temps, the northeast was all but pounded back into the last ice age. Cigars outside became a near-impossibility, and with the exception of my desk at work, I found myself restricte
Published on 2011-03-09 14:54:02
As we already know, the best place to store your cigars is in a properly maintained humidor. However, there are some cigar humidors, like cabinet style humidors, et. al. that are big enough to accommodate entire boxes of cigars. One of the most often
Published on 2011-02-28 14:31:43
OPERATOR: Hello, Cigar Order Hotline. How may I help you?
CALLER: I recently ordered a couple of boxes of cigars from both Famous Smoke Shop and CigarAuctioneer, and I noticed that neither order shipped with any type of humidifying device. I'm new t
Published on 2011-02-11 15:41:50
It's official: CigarExpo 2011 has been announced! For more details, head over to our Retail Store page, or check it out on our Facebook Fan Page. While you're there, make sure you "like" us for Facebook-exclusive deals.
This year's event promises to
Published on 2011-02-04 15:03:14
I recently overheard a dubious piece of advice to a budding cigar smoker: "Pick a cigar that matches your body type," the would-be advisor pontificated, "this way you won't look silly. Big people should smoke big cigars, and small people should smoke
Published on 2011-02-01 16:24:27
Please bear with me while I climb on my soapbox and rant for a minute or two.
On occasion, while enjoying a cigar in mixed company, my nostrils have suffered the slings and arrows of outrageous odor. This is a direct result of stubbing out of a cigar
Published on 2011-01-28 13:25:52
Your cigars are some of your most prized possessions. So if you plan on traveling with them, make sure you have a good cigar travel case. Cigar travel cases basically need to do two things: 1) protect your cigars, and 2) keep them fresh.
The most com
Published on 2011-01-27 07:13:19
Opus X BBMF Maduro. Tatuaje T110's. Well-aged Padróns. Original-release Padilla Miami 8 & 11's. Various regional-release (ahem) "contraband" cigars.
These are but a few of the cigars I may never smoke, though they slumber comfortably in my humid
Published on 2011-01-26 13:05:55
Cigars are, by nature, delicate objects. It's one of the reasons most premium cigars are wrapped in cellophane; it protects the wrapper leaf and helps maintain moisture during shipping. If you're like most cigar smokers and order cigars online, the q
Published on 2011-01-20 15:16:43
Cigars have traditionally been smoked in celebration of Life's greatest moments. Just had a baby? Have a cigar! Got that big promotion? Have a cigar! Burned your mortgage? Have a cigar! Won the championship game? Cigars all around!
I've never really
Published on 2011-01-18 16:13:26
"If your wife doesn’t like the aroma of your cigar, change your wife." – Zino Davidoff
Ha - that's rich.
I love cigars. My wife hates them. But I love her, and keeping her happy ensures (or at least enables) my own happiness.
Published on 2011-01-13 15:46:16
If your cigars give you cigar breath, no problemo, amigo. There are several effective ways to combat "cigar breath." The key to ridding your palate of all that foulness is to reduce the amount of smoke residue from your cigars while you're smoking, a
Published on 2011-01-12 16:23:56
Know what sucks about winter? It's not the cold weather, shoveling, driving in the snow, growing a beard, or wearing flannel. In fact, in many ways, I rather enjoy these manly pursuits.
No, what REALLY creases me is getting sick.
Folks huddle inside
Published on 2011-01-07 15:18:40
Whatever your foreign policy views, I'm sure you'll agree that supporting our troops is one of the most important things we can do. Stateside and abroad, these brave men and women nobly endeavor to protect our way of life from all threats, foreign an
Published on 2010-12-30 14:13:42
I found myself stuck in the bottom of a ravine. I had decided to hike, alone, in the area of Apache Junction near the Superstition Mountains. I am an experienced climber and made the fatal mistake: Arrogance.
I had slipped on some shale and fell forw