While many cigar manufacturers are part of some long standing family tradition, there have been quite a few who simply were unimpressed with the quality of the cigars they were smoking. Take a look at Avo Uvezian for example. After smoking many unimpressive Cuban cigars, he decided to take matters into his own hands and eventually developed the luxurious Avo line. The same can be said about JSK founder Riste Ristevski. The Macedonian American, who was primarily a Cuban cigar smoker, noticed that many people who were involved in the boutique cigar market were actually just front men, and not really involved in the tobacco side of the business. While people such as Nick Melillo, Robert Caldwell and the RoMa Craft team are heavily involved in the tobacco end of their business, there are others who are merely creative forces. Riste wished to make his own line and combined Cuban flavor with his own touch of boutique style.

 JSK stands for Jas Sum Kral, which means “ I Am the King” in Macedonian. With several lines already released, Riste has already made quite a name for himself in very short amount of time. JSK cigars are a terrific blend of traditional Cuban esq techniques and styles mixed with a modern and hand crafted flair. If you are in the mood for something with a good amount of spice, id highly recommend going for the Red Knight. This Nicaraguan gem utilizes a stunning Ecuadorian Habano wrapper along with a Mexican and Nicaraguan double binder for a bold and complex profile.

 Where JSK has a unique place in the boutique market is with their Toothpick 2.0 line. This is a mix filler, everyday priced cigar that has all the flavor and complexity of a great boutique smoke but at a much lower price, so more aficionados are able to try it out. It comes in either a rich and robust San Andres Maduro wrapper or a spicy and zesty Habano wrapper.

 The team at Serious Cigars is proud to now be an official retailer of JSK cigars and encourage all of our customers to try them out right here.

The Leaf by Oscar is one of the most unique and interesting cigars released in the past decade. When first walking by it, you would think it was some weird novelty cigar. However, this limited smoke, available in 4 different wrappers, was recently ranked as as one of the top 10 most asked for cigars at brick and mortar stores. That’s right, a cigar that is barely out of its infancy was ranked along side Arturo Fuente and Padron as the most requested. That is insane for any cigar company, especially one with as unique a story and theme as the Leaf.

 The Leaf by Oscar started as a project between cigar store own Island Jim and master blender Oscar Vallardes. I do not know who thought to cover each cigar in a tobacco leaf, but it was a genius marketing idea. Each cigar is hand rolled at Oscars factory in Honduras. They come in several different sizes and 4 different wrapper varieties which include a Maduro, Connecticut, Sumatra, and Corojo. This gives everyone the opportunity to find the perfect cigar for there palate.

 Upon opening the outer leaf, the cigar inside looks absolutely perfect. It is one of the finest Honduran cigars iv ever had the pleasure of smoking. It has a complex yet subtle profile with each layer of tobacco working in concert to create a plethora of rich and enticing flavors. The construction is outstanding, with a long even burn and plenty of smoke out put.

 The Leaf by project has lead to two more versions that are soon to be released including the Leaf by Jim and the Leaf by Esteban, however it all started right here with Oscar. Be sure to pick up your Leaf by Oscar today at Serious Cigars.

 The American cigar industry is a strange entity. I am not talking about the cigar market mind you, but the actual manufacturing of premium cigars in the United States. I was once only rivaled by Cuba, with Florida producing hundreds of thousands of cigars a year. However with government intervention, limited area for growing and import taxes, it soon became easier to plant, cultivate and roll the cigars in their country of origin, like say Nicaragua. However, Florida is still steeped in the cigar culture, and companies like JC Newman are among their most legendary stars.

 The company began in 1895 with Hungarian immigrant Julius Caesar Newman rolling cigars in his families barn in Cleveland, Ohio. At the time, most of there cigars were rolled using Cuban tobacco, as were most cigars in the world. In the mid 1950s, the company was moved to its current location in Ybor City, Florida due to its closer proximity to Florida. Following the embargo, JC Newman found itself with its primary source of tobacco, and began looking for alternate ways to create there cigars. After purchasing the famed Cuesta-Rey brand, the company became one of the first importers of Cameroon tobacco in the United States.

 Innovative techniques such as this helped JC Newman remain afloat while many other cigar manufacturers in Florida began to fail. Later on, they began a long and storied partnership with Arturo Fuente. The Fuente family still rolls many of JC Newmans most famous brands such as the Diamond Crown series and JC Newman helps them with distribution.

 A few years ago, in order to facilitate the manufacturing of there own cigars, the company opened up a factory in Esteli, Nicaragua. However, they still haven’t forgotten where they came from. They are one of the biggest voices of the cigar industry in the country and have helped fight for our industry time and time again. They still have their factory in Ybor City and have no plans on closing it down anytime soon.

 Enjoy the full line of cigars from JC Newman right here at Serious Cigars.

Its that time again my friends. It is time to press your luck and see if you could be the lucky winner of our Weekly swag contest. We have been so lucky to have such great partners int his endeavor with companies like Drew Estate, Foundation Cigars, Room 101, Alec Bradley and The Crowned Heads providing us with an endless stream of giveaways. This week is brought to you by one of our dearest friends and the tallest man in the industry, the great Robert Caldwell.

 Robert is already a legend in the cigar community, creating some of the most interesting and unique blends available. From the Eastern Standard to the recent The T, Caldwell cigars continue to provide you with outstanding smokes and a cool, vintage style. This weeks prizes include a Caldwell 4 flame lighter and a wooden picture, a prize that is a mainstay at Caldwell Cigar events.

 So for you new folks out there, here’s how it works. Go to either our Facebook page, or our Instagram page. You’ll see the picture of this weeks prize. Like, share and comment, and you are automatically entered to win. Best comment wins so make it good! Make sure to check out more great articles here on Rons Corner and our full inventory of cigars and accessories at Serious Cigars.

Imagine this, if you will. It is the dawn of a new millennium and the cigar boom has come to a tragic end. Several brands are discontinued following the normalizing of the market and there are more cigars then people know what to do with. Many companies just began pumping out smokes with subpar tobacco just to get them out onto the market, resulting in a plethora of below average cigars.

While many companies either slowed down production or waited on new blends, Robert Levin and the team at Ashton decided to step up. They were going to create something unique and intense that only true cigar aficionados would appreciate. 18 years later, that cigar is still considered not only one of the best full body’s ever made, but also one of the best cigars ever rolled.

 The Ashton VSG was first launched in 1999. Like all the Ashton name brands it is hand rolled at the legendary Arturo Fuente family factory in the heart of the Dominican Republic. It uses aged Dominican filler and binder tobaccos for a rich and bold center. The VSG in the name refers to its Virgin Sun Grown wrapper, an Ecuadorian leaf that is oily, spicy and dark.

 The Ashton VSG was one of the first, full production full body cigars to come out of the Dominican Republic, following other great Fuente cigars such as the Opus X. Each puff delivered a complex burst of flavors including notes of nuts, cedar, pepper, spice, and a sweet zest towards the end. The construction was nearly perfect and the smoke out point was immensely impressive. Not many cigar smokers had seen something like this at this point in the industry.

 For the next 2 decades, the Ashton VSG as been considered one of the finest cigars ever made and a must have for fans of full bodied and full flavored smokes. It has been consistently been given ratings in the 90s and was ranked in the top 25 cigars of the year as recently as 2014. That is not just a good cigar, that is a dynasty. Enjoy the full line of Ashton cigars right here at Serious Cigars.

Dion Giolito is the master of his domain. Illusione doesn’t have that many cigars, certainly not as many as lets say Fuente or Montecristo, yet each line is highly coveted and receives rave reviews. The Illusione Haut 10 was named as one of the best cigars of the year and received countless 90+ reviews. Besides his outstanding blends, Dion also has one of the most unique and creative minds in the business, adding touches of conspiracy theories and secret societies to his lines  There latest release wasn’t even originally created by Dion, but he took a once forgotten brand and turned it into another fire release.

 The OneOff brand was originally created in the early 2000s by a man named Andrea Molinari, an Italian who ran a high end cigar lounge in Milan. He contracted the cigar out to the Plasencia family who created the blend. It was a very popular boutique brand for a few years before being bought and sold a few more times and eventually being forgotten, until now. Dion bought the OneOff brand in 2017 and intended to bring it back to life, which he now has done.

 The OneOff is now being brought back to Nicaragua, albeit to a new factory. Tabacos Valle de Jalapa, the master minds behind Warped and Casa Fernandez. Dion has refused to comment on the actually blend, but we can assume that Aganorsa tobacco will be involved.

 Illusione Cigars are always hot, so I wouldn’t wait on this one. Enjoy the brand new Illusione OneOff right now at Serious Cigars.

 There is an old saying that behind every great man is an even greater woman. This is an idea as old as time and still holds true today. It is easy to take this quote and apply it to cigars. Behind every great cigar, is a great accessory. Think about it, you can have the best cigar in the world but if you only have a bic lighter and a dull knife, you will not be able to enjoy it the proper way. Like cigar manufacturers, there are several top of the line accessory companies that will provide you with the best possible products to enhance your cigar experience. While I am a huge fan of companies like Colibri and Lotus, my heart has always been with the Xikar brand.

 From its Humble beginnings in the mid nineties to an industry powerhouse, Xikar has remained at the forefront of cigar accessory technology since its inception. You would think there are only so many ways to make a cutter and lighter… well you would be wrong. While Xikar started out making simple, yet high grade products, they first revolutionized the industry with there XI model. Now known as the teardrop cutter, the XI has been the mainstay of the company for years. They range from a simple steal models all the way to high end engraved versions commanding hundreds of dollars. They use the finest grade steel to make sure the cutter is always sharp.

 A few years ago, Xikar again showed their imaginative and unique style when they released the highly anticipated XO cutter. This circle cutter uses revolution gear technology to provide the best possible cut, hands down. They even added a slight viewing portal so you can see the gears work together when you are cutting your smoke They created the best cutter to use on the best cigars.

 With FDA regulations stalling the production of new cigars slightly, the past two years have been the era of the accessory, and Xikar is at the forefront. Enjoy the full line of Xikar products right here at Serious cigars.

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