April 2nd, 2014
Custom cigar accessories can be the perfect addition to any aficionado’s collection, making their hobby a personal one and impressing other enthusiasts. A laser engraver is used to craft the lettering or image and can be used to create nearly any message or look a person could want. The engraver is also extremely safe and uses a low power setting that doesn’t affect the durability of the item or the taste of the stick.
Ashtrays, cutters, humidors, lighters, holders and stogies can all be turned into custom cigar accessories. With a variety of items available, an aficionado can find the perfect item for their message or image. They can be used for weddings, the birth of a child, Christmas gifts, birthdays or anniversaries. They are also perfect for building or maintaining a close relationship or friendship, using a humorous or uplifting message.
A laser engraver can create some interesting PR options. Branding them with a corporate logo or slogan makes them the perfect swag for conventions or other corporate events. In fact, they may be the only swag people are happy to receive at an event. Handing out personalized stogies or items to an important client can make a powerful impression, especially if they touch on something important to the client. This could be a good way to help close a deal or forge a partnership that pays dividends for the business.
A classic contrast image is achieved when a laser engraver works at a low power setting. It is completely safe for any custom cigar accessories, including stogies. In fact, the laser doesn’t even penetrate the wrapper, so it doesn’t alter the blend’s chemistry in the slightest. Because the engraving can be used with so many things, it’s best to opt for the service through a company that offers a large selection of items. Serious Cigars is one of Houston’s largest suppliers of cigars and tobacco goods and also provides premium laser engraving. Contact an expert with the company at (281) 397-9800 and learn how personalized items can enhance your smoking experience.
March 25th, 2014
The Hex Nicaraguan cigars by Sindicato are one of the first releases by the new company and represent a concerted effort by many large retailers in the industry to give aficionados what they want. Headed by Jim Colucci, a former Altadis USA executive VP, this company has a unique command structure that the business hopes will put it ahead of competitors. This blend features several dark, natural flavors that should garner interest from enthusiasts around the world.
An Ecuadorian Habano wrapper adorns the stick and binders, and fillers from Nicaragua finish it off. It comes in five sizes, including Robusto (5 x 52), Figurado (5 1/4 x 52), Toro (6 x 54), Perfecto (6 1/4 x 52) and Churchill (7 x 54). The stick is medium brown and sharply made, with a slight amount of oil and a beautiful pigtail cap.
The initial third of the Hex Nicaraguan cigars evoke a number of bold coffee and earth flavors. A sweet tobacco note emerges soon into the initial third and takes over the profile. In the second-third, the tobacco and earth are still the boldest flavors but they are joined by some leather, wood and barnyard in the background, along with the coffee. During the final third, some black pepper and spice give the blend some heat, which becomes slightly intense by the end of the smoke.
Construction is what sets this stick apart from most. With a precisely rolled and sharply wrapped blend, the burn and draw both perform extremely well. This medium bodied stick with its outstanding construction is a worthy choice for a wide variety of aficionados and preferences, a major priority Sindicato set for its opening effort.
March 19th, 2014
YES! The PsyKo Seven Cigar Is Bold and Flavor-filled.
During the 2013 IPCPR Trade Show, one of the youngest companies made a huge impression with its eye-catching and flavorful releases, including the PsyKo Seven cigar. The Ventura Company hasn’t been around that long, but its early success makes it a brand to look out for. Its newest release combines a clever look with uncommon flavors that are uncommonly well-developed. Rolled at the Tabadom factory in the Dominican Republic and created by Henke Kelner, this stick is making major waves in the tobacco community.
This cigar is reddish brown with just a few small veins and a rich oily sheen. It is available in four formats, including Gordito (4 x 58), Robusto (5 1/2 x 50), Gordo (6 x 60) and Toro (6 1/2 x 48). The most interesting part of the smoke’s appearance, though, is its band. The primary band is huge and is made to look like a prescription scrip. On the scrip are a number of in-jokes and references to the company and its employees, so it is worth holding onto. Under the primary band is a smaller secondary band that features the name of the stick in bizarre lettering.
In the first-third of the smoke, a strong blast of cedar comes through clearly, though it quickly tapers off and allows other flavors to step up. Some nuts, spice, grass and savory tastes move into the profile once the cedar pulls back and, before long, the savory flavor takes on a steak-like taste. The steak flavor moves into the lead position and pushes the rest of the profile into the background. In the second and final thirds, the steak flavor is developed well and even the texture of the smoke evokes the feeling of chowing down on a juicy cut of meat. The grass, cedar, nuts and spice all help add body to the profile and give the mild to medium-bodied stogie an interesting collection of flavors.
Reviewers had nothing bad to say about the PsyKo Seven cigar, praising the burn, draw, flavor and look of the smoke. This stogie completely modernizes the quality and history of Dominican cigars. Though Ventura Co. is a young business, they have already hit their stride in the blending world.
March 6th, 2014
Ted’s Patron infused cigars are another of the company’s stogies that come flavored with premium liquor. The unique “seasoning” process that goes into every stick imparts a unique flavor into the profile that can’t be found anywhere else. In many cases, when a cigar is flavored, it comes off fairly weak, but the tequila comes through clearly in this blend. Like the brand’s other smokes, each stick comes in an individual glass tube, so a humidor is not needed for them.
This cigar comes with an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper, a Dominican Piloto Cubano binder and Dominican and Mexican fillers. It is seasoned with the tequila giant’s Añejo tequila, which brings some sweetness to the profile. During the crafting process, the tobacco leaves are suspended above the tequila, so the aroma works its way into the blend. It is available in a single format, a 6 x 50 Toro and features a band that looks almost identical to the tequila company’s own label.
The initial third of Ted’s Patron infused cigars start with a bold combination of tequila, wood, cedar and natural tobacco flavors. Reviewers note that the tequila is the primary note and is bolstered by the wood and cedar flavors. In the second-third, the tequila remains the boldest note, with the cedar and wood still providing the bulk of the background notes. There is also some honey in this part of the stick, imparting some sweetness into the smoke. During the last third, the tequila moves back into a secondary role while the cedar, wood and a bold spice take the lead position. The smoke ends with a nice refreshing smoothness.
Patron infused cigars are medium bodied and medium in strength and are perfect for an enthusiast that normally likes a nice liquor with their sticks. The burn and draw are both strong and help make this unique experience an enjoyable one.
February 28th, 2014
New tobacco companies are joining the industry all the time, but Ezra Zion Cigars manages to stand out with its incredible attention to detail with each of its blends. The company derives its name from two children that the founders lost, remembering them through the company their parents founded. The company owners are the same people who created Cigar Federation, a social networking site geared toward tobacco enthusiasts. As a result, they know what smokers are looking for in their blends.
Since the brand’s beginnings, it has released four blends, each of them well received by the community. These include the Jamais Vu, Tantrum, FHK and Eminence. All are produced out of Nicaraguan factories and emphasize a minimalistic look.
The Jamis Vu comes with a Corojo wrapper, a Criollo binder and Cuban Tiempos, Visos and Ligeros. This blend is still among the most popular Ezra Zion cigars and evokes strong floral, earth and wood notes, backed up by a balance of sweet and spicy flavors.
The Tantrum’s name was inspired by the surprise a new parent experiences when their tiny newborn cries for the first time. This smoke is only available in a small vitola, a 4 2/5 x 44, but it packs a flavorful punch. Among these flavors are some cedar, cocoa, pepper, nuts and salt.
The FHK stands for “fathers of Hoovers and Kelly,” which pays homage to the founders’ rich genealogical heritage. It comes with a San Andreas Maduro wrapper, a binder from Indonesia and fillers from Brazil and Nicaragua. It produces leather, oak, cocoa, cream, earth and espresso flavors.
The Eminence is the fullest stick the company offers and has a rough, rustic appearance. With a lot of tooth, veining and several visible seams, it is not going to win any beauty contests. However, it offers a strong mix of earth, nuts, leather, chalk and caramel flavors.
Ezra Zion Cigars is just getting started and isn’t even two years old yet, but it already has the success of many brands much older than it.
February 27th, 2014
When the existing Oliveros brand launched Boutique Blends Cigars, they hoped to focus on creating fresh, complex smokes for the knowledgeable connoisseur. Since the formation of this new production and distribution branch, they have done just that. The exciting announcement came just in time to correspond with the 10th anniversary of the original company’s industry beginning and the continued leadership of Rafael Nodal, Alina Nodal, and Hank Bischoff.
Prior to the original start of the brand, two award winning smokes were introduced and later transferred to the company’s new spin-off. The first was the complex Swag Puro Dominicano in 2010, which was followed up by the full-bodied Aging Room Small Batch M356 in 2011. The brand has since seen numerous line-ups added to the brand in addition to the original restructuring that took place across the board.
The spring of 2012 brought the very first stogie to Boutique Blends Cigars since its initiation. The Aging Room Havao Connecticut was released as a limited short batch smoke constructed of Ecuadorian bred Connecticut Seed and Dominican Havano Criollo leaves. The complex flavors of cream and lumber are detected from the pre-lit draw on through to the end. The Aging Room line saw the addition of its flavorful Small Batch Sumatra Quattro Prensado shortly after, while new masterpieces have continued to be released ever since. They include Aging Room’s AR Maduro, M356, and M21, while the Swag collection added the South Beach and Swag S sticks to its line-up.
Not only has Nodal and his brand achieved their primary goal of constructing innovative smokes, they have created a diverse array of stogies to acquire. From the straightforward Swag to the contemporary Aging Room, the Oliveros born brand continues to expand and keep smokers coming back for more.
February 4th, 2014
Some stogies stand out for their look or flavors, but the Gurkha His Majesty’s Reserve cigars are most likely to get attention for their price. At $900 a stick, there may be a little sticker shock, but these stogies are the iconic status symbol in the tobacco industry. Much of this flavor is derived from a rare cognac that has been aged for several decades.
The Gurkha His Majesty’s Reserve cigars come with a Connecticut maduro wrapper that’s been aged for 15 years and 12-year-old Dominican binder and fillers. Only 75 boxes of 20 stogies each are released each year, and every one is infused with a bottle of Louis XIII cognac. This cognac is aged for at least 40 years (some bottles are aged for around 100 years) and is harvested from the iconic Grande Champagne region of France. The stick itself is milk chocolate in color and is silky smooth to the touch. Reviewers detected a combination of leather, chocolate and cognac flavors on the pre-light draw.
The first third of the smoke starts off with a strong pair of cognac and nutty flavors. Some aficionados also tasted some sweet sugary notes and a little black pepper in the profile. During the first third, though, the cognac and nut flavors are the most apparent. In the second third, the nutty and cognac flavors are backed up by some black pepper and chocolate notes. Near the halfway mark, the chocolate and pepper take control of the profile. During the last third, the pepper, nuts, chocolate and cognac produce a unique combination of flavors that holds strong until the finish.
In addition to the delectable flavors, the smoke performs extremely well, with a sharp burn and a comfortable draw. The Gurkha His Majesty’s Reserve cigars are limited in number and can be difficult to find, so any aficionado that wants this memorable experience will need to purchase them before they’re gone for the year.
February 4th, 2014
The RoMa Craft Intemperance EC XVIII cigar is the brainchild of Skip Martin and Michael Rosales, both accomplished blenders who have joined forces under their own brand. So far, Martin and Rosales have launched a few major successes, including this blend. The follow up to the much lauded CroMagnon, this stick is designed to be more accessible with its milder strength and also comes with a unique look.
This smoke is wrapped in an Ecuadorian Connecticut and includes a binder and fillers from Nicaragua. It has a rustic look with an exposed foot, which gives the smoker a different feel and taste, unaffected by the wrapper. The stick is available in four formats, including Charity (4 x 46), Virtue (4 1/2 x 52), Faith (5 x 50) and Industry (5 1/2 x 54). Reviewers detected a combination of pepper, grass and barnyard notes on the cold draw.
The initial third of the RoMa Craft Intemperance EC XVIII cigar starts off with some strong spice, cedar and cream notes. Before long, the spice fades a little into the background and is accompanied by some honey, vanilla and sugary sweetness. In the second third, reviewers tasted more of the same, though the cream takes charge in this part of the stick. The cedar and spice are still noticeable in the back, along with the vanilla and honey. During the last third of the stick, the cream and spice are the strongest, backed up by some leather, vanilla and honey.
With a medium body and mild strength, this blend is ideal for smokers looking for strong flavors without an intense nicotine punch. It is also put together immaculately, which helps produce an excellent burn and draw. In all, this is a stick that all aficionados should add to their humidor.
February 4th, 2014
La Gloria Cubana, The Twin Series cigars, are a reimagining of one of the company’s most popular blends. The release is broken up into two boxes of 10 stogies each. The first is known as Lady La Gloria (LLG) and comes with an Ecuadorian Sumatran wrapper. The second is called Rival Twin (RT) and comes with a Connecticut Broadleaf. There is a narrative focus behind the blend that concerns a pair of sisters striving to outdo the other in tobacco blending. Representatives from the company have stated that this is just the first part of the story.
Both smokes have a rustic look with some veining and an oily feel. They are available in a single size, a 7 x 58. Both have identical band designs, yet are produced with different color schemes to differentiate them. The LLG is a bit lighter than the RT, though both are dark brown in hue. Their prelight draws are similar and produce sweet tobacco, coffee and leather notes.
The first-third of the La Gloria Cubana, The Twin Series cigars, begins with some clean and fresh tobacco notes that remain dominant throughout the initial third. Some reviewers detected a little citrus and most agreed that there are coffee and sweet notes in the background. The RT also packs a little black pepper into the profile and is a bit punchier. In the second-third, the black pepper becomes more prominent in the RT while the LLG rides the same combination of tobacco and coffee flavors. During the last third, the tobacco is still the dominant note, but the coffee and some leather flavors play strong secondary parts. The black pepper in the RT is very bold near the end of the smoke, and the LLG produces some sweet syrup notes that resemble maple syrup.
The La Gloria Cubana, The Twin Series cigars, scored high among aficionados in burn and draw, and are both around medium in body and strength. The RT is noticeably stronger than the LLG, however. Aficionados may have some trouble finding these, though, because they are only available in limited quantities, most of which will be sold on the west coast. For this reason, enthusiasts around the country will likely have to go online to find them.
February 4th, 2014
Michael Giannini’s Foundry cigars are a bold collection of steampunk inspired stogies. Giannini has long been a fan of the genre and has brought the look and feel of steampunk to his smokes. Currently, there are three lines in the brand, including the Original, the Elements and Compounds, and the War of Currents. Also, each of the blends is named after an iconic author, scientist, inventor or natural element. In most cases, the blend details have been withheld, ensuring a pleasant surprise for the aficionado.
There are four blends in the Original line, including Talbot (5 x 60), the Wells (6 x 50), the Lovelace (6 1/2 x 54) and Caylay (6 1/2 x 60). Each of the four is named after an important science fiction author and comes with a one of a kind band fitted with a gear, a classic steampunk icon. Each of the blends is close to medium in body and strength, and notable flavors include oak, earth, espresso and leather.
The War of Currents is dedicated to the historical competition between Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla regarding their implementation of electricity. There are six blends in the line, each associated with an important location in either inventor’s life. These include Menlo (5 x 60), West Orange (5 1/2 x50), Shoreham (5 1/2 x 54), Auburn (6 x 50), Madison (6 x 54) and Belgrade (6 x 60). This line of Foundry cigars produces a range of flavors including tobacco, cream, pepper, caramel and nuts.
The Elements and Compounds line is the latest and extremely ambitious addition, with 18 blends in total. Each blend is named after a natural element or compound and comes in a unique form of packaging. For example, the Plutonium blend comes in a case shaped like a bundle of dynamite. All but two of the blends (Carbon and Uranium) are on a limited release and will be gone once exhausted.
Giannini’s interesting and flashy projects are sure to generate a lot of buzz in the industry, but they don’t just stand out for their looks. Each of the Foundry cigars is built extremely well and comes with a delicious set of flavors to please any aficionado.