Unofficial NFL Team Cigars

Unofficial NFL Team Cigars


Thinking about what cigar to smoke for the Superbowl or during the regular season next year to help best encourage your local team?

Not sure what that cigar is?

Life would be easier if there was a “Kansas City Chiefs” cigar but unfortunately, that’s not the case because:

A.) It would cost a ridiculous amount of money to have a cigar be the “Official” cigar of           an NFL team and

B.) Good luck getting an NFL team to associate with anything tobacco related; what do you think this is, 1955?

Lucky for you, I have come up with the “Unofficial” NFL Team Cigar List.  Depending on who you are, where you live or who you root for, you may be left saying, Hey, I get the relationship, but thats a really crappy cigar.  Well, that’s okay, you probably have a crappy team, too but you just don’t realize it.


New England Patriots:  262 Revolution … There that was simple. Although it should be an Opus X or Cuban Cohiba considering all the records they have.  I’m from New England, want to fight about it?

Buffalo Bills:  Buffalo Trace Cigar … There really isn’t anything too exciting about Buffalo and no one can really name 5 people that play for them.  So, how about a cigar that most people haven’t heard about made by Buffalo Trace bourbon (actually very good stuff).

Miami Dolphins:  Padilla Miami … Most cigars should remind you of Miami, so I picked one with the name in it. Moving on…

New York Jets:  Tatuaje Avion … Avion means plane. Their cheerleaders are the flight crew…see what I’m doing here, just go with it, it’s a better cigar then the jets deserve.

Pittsburg Steelers:  Foundry Carbon … There weren’t any cigars with the word steel in the name. Carbon is as close as we’re getting here. Just be happy I didn’t make a Ben  Roethlisberger joke, trying to keep it PG here.

Cincinnati Bengals:  One Shot One Kill by Edgar Hoill … Get it, that’s a playoff joke!

Baltimore Ravens:  Evermores …That’s what ravens say apparently and it’s a cheap cigar which is how they play.  If Ray Lewis was still playing it would have been the Esteban Carrera’s 187.

Cleveland Browns:  Not much here, Louis Tiante played for them for a while and he has his own cigar now, or just go with a Padron Brown Label.  Sorry for the lack of creativity but you named your team after a color.

Indianapolis Colts:  Lucky Cigar… it’s a real cigar, just go with it. Get a boxed pressed one so it doesn’t roll around, even downhill, like Trent Richardson.

Houston Texans: Joya de Nicaragua 1970 Antano Big Bull … It’s a bull, your logo is a bull, that’s all you’re getting.

Jacksonville Jaguars: Humo Jaguar … *See Houston Texans* also this cigar will never win any awards, so you have a lot in common.

Tennessee Titans:  St. louis Rey Titan Maduro … could of used it for St. Louis Rams as well. It’s an O.K. cigar, not bad, not too great either.  Ironic huh?

Denver Broncos:  Someone out there i s making a cannabis joke right now but again we’ll stay PG and say the Casa Magna Colorado. It won cigar of the year… once.

Kansas City Chiefs: LFD Capitulo Dos … A strong cigar and if you suck it down fast you’ll be in…wait for it…Misery.

San Diego Chargers: Foundry War of Currents … self-explanatory.

Oakland Raiders: Camacho Blackout … black hole, very dark/mean cigar.  Have high hopes but left kinda feeling let down.


Dallas Cowboys:  Anything by the Lone Wolf Cigar Company … That’s Chuck Norris’s cigar company, he was Walker Texas Ranger.  What more do you need?

Philadelphia Eagles:  Since there are no cheese steak flavored cigars just go with a Partagas 1845, it has a big honking Eagle on the band.

New York Giants:  Either Empire State by Alec Bradley or the 7×70 Ogre by Asylum 13 … One’s more New Yorky, the others a giant, have your pick.

Washington Redskins:  Anything by the Indian Tobacco Company … Of course Alec Bradley’s Dirty Hooligan, LFD’s Air Bender, or Ted’s Patron Cigar would also work as those three have had pressure on them to change their name and logo…just saying.

Carolina Panthers:  Carolina 4 Blend … It has Carolina in the name. Don’t think, however, that because Cam Newton sucks this cigar will as well, nice every day smoke.

New Orleans Saints:  Perdomo 12 Year Double Aged … These cigars have been aged normally for 10 years then 2 more years in charred bourbon barrels.

Atlanta Falcons:  Peach Flavored Tatiana…they’re from Georgia, and if you like them you probably like little dainty peach flavored cigars.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Tampa Trolly … Again like Miami, most cigars should remind you of Tampa, with such a rich history of cigar production it’s too bad they have to have a crappy football team and so get a crappy cigar to reflect that. Shame.

Seattle Sea Hawks:  Rocky Patel Java … Starbucks. That’s all I have to say.

Arizona Cardinals:  E.P. Carillo Cardinal … Again should be self-explanatory. I will say that both the cigar and the team seems to get better every year.

San Francisco 49ers:  Factory Throwout #49 … You use to be good, you use to be able to afford things such as high end cigars and quality players from time to time, but you’re just living in the past. You’re a factory throwout #49.

St. Louis Rams: Ram-Rod … A nice domestic cheroot, if you can think of anything better, let me know.

Green Bay Packers: Anything box pressed would work, but let’s just go with the LFD Double Claro … It’s green and there are no cheese flavored cigars to my knowledge.

Detriot Lions:  Although there are many cigars with a lion as their logo I’m opting for the CAO Flathead … It’s a cigar/motorhead themed cigar and more creative than saying, “La Aurora.

Minnesotta Vikings:  L’atelier Surrogates Skull Breaker … Has a Viking theme to it more than anything else I’ve come across.

Chicago Bears: The easiest one on the list, Ditka by Camacho/Davidoff …’nuff said.


Tobacco Haven

Brookline, NH



Remember, Remember the 21st of November…Scotch Night

Last night marked our first Scotch pairing/sampling/guzzling show ever. The event had been sponsored generously by Rocky Patel Cigars and Max Bichler, Rocky Patel Cigar Rep Extraordinaire and Amazing Race runner-upper.

scotch night 1

On a cold November night 45 brave souls gathered in our lounge and left all their troubles at the door. Three brands of scotch were paired up with three premium Rocky Patel Cigars and the shenanigans lasted well into the night.

I want to thank Max Bichler and Rocky Patel Cigars for their contribution to a night most of us will never forget or never remember, all the patrons that came out to support the event (It was so hard to twist your arms!) as well as Father Douglas for ringing out his church bell 12 times at 7AM this morning in the small town of Brookline, NH in memory of the 12 bottles of Scotch put down the night prior

scotch night 2

Last night’s pairings listed below:

Rocky patel 1999 Vintage Dalwhinnie

The Vintage 1999 brand showcases the oldest true Connecticut shade wrapper on the market. This mild, smooth cigar compliments the pale, exquisite wrapper delivering all the toasty notes. The finest mild cigar that’s best described as creamy, buttery, nutty – or simply nuttery!

To be paired with

Dalwhinnie 15 year

Dalwhinnie 15 Year is smoky, but the nose has a deep, soft, honeyed sweetness: caramelized fruits, hints of thick cream, and a light touch of fennel and sharp citrus. Thick in the center and very gentle, it’s that chunkiness in the middle that is the secret to its beauty


Rocky patel 1992 Vintage

A true medium bodied smoke with a nutty aroma and hints of spice and espresso. The Vintage 1992 features refinement and zest from a 10-year-old Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper, balanced by Dominican and Nicaraguan fillers and a Nicaraguan binder. The consistently smooth Vintage 1992 is highly renowned, earning a 91 rating on multiple occasions.

To be paired with

Glenlivent 15 year

The Glenlivet 15 Year Old French Oak Reserve has an intense and sweet aroma with hints of citrus fruit and cedar wood. The taste is well-structured with an interplay of fruits and spices. This is a beautifully balanced, rich and mellow whisky with a long creamy finish that both connoisseurs and enthusiasts will love.


 Rocky patel Platinum laphroaig 10 year

Platinum is a medium-to-full-bodied cigar with rich, complex flavors and notes of dark chocolate, sweetness and a long earthy finish. Platinum is a blend of Nicaraguan filler from our farms in Esteli and Condega, accompanied by binder from San Andreas with a Connecticut broadleaf wrapper.

To be paired with

Laphroaig 10 year

Aromas of new shoe leather, iodine, smoked trout, flowers, intense grain, soft cheese, peat-reek and dried seaweed. The palate entry is pleasantly smoky and grainy sweet; the midpalate flavors range from olive brine, seaweed, iodine, and wood smoke to baked pear, toffee and marshmallow. Concludes warm and toasty


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The Litto Show! -or- An LFD Event

as sung to the tune of “The Monster Mash”

litto at TH

 I was working in the shop, after the sun fell

When my sniffer sniffed a pleasant smell

The old men in the lounge swapped their regular lies

When suddenly, to my surprise!


It’s LFD, an LFD event!

LFD Show, it was heaven sent

It’s LFD, the whole evening  I spent

At LFD, at an LFD Event!


The door swung open at the front of the store,

In walked a familiar face who had been here before

It was Litto Gomez, like a rockin’ ghost

To share with us the new Capitulo dos!


It’s LFD, an LFD event!

LFD Show, it was heaven sent

It’s LFD, the whole evening  I spent

At LFD, at an LFD Event!


Unreleased sticks were passed around

An unused ashtray couldn’t be found!

Rum & Cokes were handed to every soul

A classic New Hampshire shindig was Litto’s goal


The scene was hoppin’ and fun was had by all

Everyone was jumpin’, it was the event of the Fall

Then abruptly while everybody was  feelin’ carefree

Breaking through the side wall came John Gallogly!!!


It’s LFD, an LFD event!

LFD Show, it was heaven sent

It’s LFD, the whole evening  I spent

At LFD, at an LFD Event!


It’s LFD, an LFD event!

LFD Show, it was heaven sent

It’s LFD, the whole evening  I spent

At LFD, at an LFD Event!

Cigar Costumes

Halloween is getting closer and as always I try to plan my costume around the idea of being able to smoke a cigar in costume and have it go hand in hand with my costumes concept. Still not sure of what I am going to be for Halloween but here are some good cigar smoking acceptable costume ideas.

  • Fidel Castro – Went as him one year. Pretty easy costume to throw together. Most of it (Besides a big fake beard) I was able to pick up at my local Salvation Army thrift store. I bought two bundles of cigars and handed them out at the bar.
  • Groucho Marx – Another easy costume, all you need is a suit, glasses, and ridiculous fake eye brows and mustache (unless you already have a ridiculous mustache and eyebrows, then God love ‘ya.)
  • John Wayne/Clint Eastwood – Throwing this one in the same category as they both played similar rolls as the rough necked stubborn cowboy or the rough necked stubborn soldier. Usually always with a cigar. Remember though John Wayne’s cigar = short with a big ring (like a Nub) and Clint Eastwood’s cigar = long with a small ring (Usually ugly looking too like a El Credito War of Flavors or a Parodi)
  • The Penguin – Getting a little more complex here but still easy to do with some accessories (monocle, cigar holder, top hat, etc.) I like this one because If you don’t take the cigar out of your mouth to talk it adds to the character….Mehhhh!
  • “Bad Version” – Throwing all these into one category. Best way to explain this is through example. One year I went as “Evil Papa Smurf” I painted my entire body blue, wore red shorts and a red inside out Santa Clause hat. I had an ammo belt around my shoulders, a toy machine gun and you guessed it…a cigar.
  • Champion- I find a cigar goes well with any sports related costume as well whether its generic like a prize fighter or NASCAR driver or jockey or someone specific like Michael Jordan or Babe Ruth, the cigar helps add to the post victory celebration.
  • George Burns – no need of explanation.
  • Hugh Heffner – Got a nice robe? Great. Don’t have a nice robe, use this costume as an excuse to get one. Wear pajama pants and an ascot. Best part of this costume is all those girls at the bar who dress as Playboy bunnies, well, they’re just going to want a picture with you.
  • Sports coach –Lombardi, Ditka, Red Auerbach, Tom Hanks from “A League of Their Own,” you name it. Another easy costume that you can probably get from Good Will.
  • Lex Luther – Metropolis’s most infamous super villain. There will probably be half a dozen Supermen, but only Lex Luther. The trick is to smoke that cigar like your shipment of kryptonite and Uranium just pulled into port. Online search for an image of La Flor Dominicana’s Vice President of Sales “Jon Carney,” He looks just like him
  • Gaston – I don’t know, my wife says I’m egotistical and self-absorbed, maybe that’s why I was routing for this villain from Beauty and the Beast. This “man’s man” definitely enjoyed sitting in his lodge room smoking a cigar surrounded by his animal head trophies.
  • The bad guy from Robocop III – Okay pretty obscure, but some people think the more obscure the better. I actually had a friend go one year as the security guard who got tied up and dragged into the bathroom towards the end of Terminator 2.
  • El Guapo – The bad guy from “The Three Amigos.” In my opinion one of the best bed guys of all time. Make sure to use the word “plethora” a lot and maybe carry around a sweater in a gift box. Really who doesn’t want to be a bad-ass Mexican warlord?

There you have it, not bad for a start. Any other Ideas out there please email us and We’ll add it to the list! Hoped this helped and thank you for reading!

Synchronized Lounging or Cigar Lounge Anomalies


Having been in the cigar business for years I have noticed odd and unusual occurrences in our Lounge as well as many others. Whether these situations stand out due to their ironic nature, coincidence, or whether it is just a group situation which occurs outside the “bell curve” of social norms, some pretty funky things happen when you watch a cluster of customers smoke cigars together. Call me Jane Goodall but I started documenting my observations for three reasons; the benefit of the cigar-blog-reader, the sake of science, and because it’s pretty damn funny.

The Waiting Room to Hell: This is when the lounge is full of older, unfortunate, miserable, vulgar, cutthroat bastards. It would be as if a guy named Virgil took you on an epic voyage of the underworld and right before you met a dog with a corkscrew tail and three heads you walked pass a waiting room and peered in.

Statler and Waldorf: The two old guys from the Muppet Show. We have them as customers. Every now and then they come in together and feed off one another and decide to give a condescending, sarcastic play by play of the actions of the rest of the cigar shop. Usually this is only steered in the direction of the staff however no one is really truly safe.

The Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre: We have chairs. We have nice comfy leather chairs. We have a poker table with chairs as well. But for some reason, once in a blue moon everyone is standing up against the wall. I assume the same force in nature that guides a hundred birds around and tells them to turn at the same time or that causes flowers to all lean in the same direction also causes this.

The Odd Couple: One of my favorites, this happens when two people who seem as if they would never sit down and talk for an hour or two are brought together in the lounge by the love of enjoying a great cigar. For example, a young, punk rock, horror movie enthusiast with an orange Mohawk and half a dozen facial piercings sitting down and having a great conversation with a formally dressed, older retired conservative gentle man. As a side note you can usually tell it’s a good conversation because more than often the Ellen Show or something similar will be on TV without them paying any attention to what they are watching.

Land of the Lost: This anomaly happens when everyone in the room is dressed in a style of clothing from a different generation. For example sometimes Everyone in the lounge is dressed like they live in the early 1900’s, usually it’s your younger hipster Mumford and Son’s look-a-likes and a couple older bowtie wearing, halicap adorned gentlemen. Another example is last week I had a crowd of people that look like Bruce Springsteen and the East Street Band from the early 80’s.

Parliament: Happens more often than usual. Someone breaks out the politics and the floor is now open for debate. A true “Parliament Lounge” is when it gets so heated that people actually start to stand up when they talk.

Lull: When a lull comes over the crowd. The funny thing about this is it usually happens for two completely different reasons; either everything is so tranquil that all the customers smoking have reached nirvana or that things are so tense or awkward between the people in the lounge that no one dares spark up (no pun intended) conversation.

Wallstreet: When everyone in the lounge is on their laptop or ipad doing business or checking emails. My favorite is when they break out the Bluetooth and you have 6 people all wearing headsets and no one is talking to the person sitting next to them and all you can hear are deadlines and numbers and ”What do you mean Karen didn’t receive the disclosure act!?”

Prohibition: Sometimes customers will bring in a bottle of their favorite spirits into the lounge. What usually happens is they will open them, drink half and not want (or legally be allowed to) bring the other half home with them. This leads to them hiding or stashing them somewhere in the niches and nooks of the room. People forget. Fast forward 6 months and in every draw you open or behind every book you take off the shelf there’s a bottle, just like they had to stash a hundred bottles because a team of 1920’s federal prohibition agents were kicking in the front door. One day I found a bottle duct taped to the bottom of the coffee table.

Huey, Dewey, and Louie: Can only happen when there are three people in the lounge. Pretty simple: One person is wearing a red shirt, one person is wearing a blue shirt and one person is wearing a yellow shirt. (Usually the yellow is the rarest) Can also work with hats but you only get half points for that.

That’s the list so far, please comment with any strange and unusual lounge circumstance that you have noticed while enjoying a cigar at your local tobacconist!

ebook Honduras cigar guide

Movies and Television in the Cigar World

It has been a long lasting tradition to take famous and well known media and use its popularity to try to sell cigars. Many famous cigars today are stemmed from famous novels and plays of their time. For example in Cuba 150 years ago, much like in the United States, many people were illiterate and the only media that they would have would be traveling plays or musicals. Seeing how much the people enjoyed these (and liking them themselves) the cigar manufacturers would create cigars using these names to remind people of the wonderful shows that they witnessed. This is where cigars such as Romeo Y Julietta, Montecristo, and even Punch (based of the old “Punch and Judy” puppet shows which were popular in England at the time) stemmed from.

Today the cigar industry is still using the practice of tying in media into their brands, the only thing that has changed however is the media. Movies, and now even more than before, television have taken over and it seems like every year a brief walk through the humidor will reveal the popular shows/movies of the day. Here is a list of some of the current cigars I have come across that are either directly or loosely related to current movies and TV:

1              CAO Soprano’s Edition: The most obvious and well known example, CAO shelled out a lot of dough in order to use the name, but it works. Who doesn’t want to feel like Tony Soprano when lighting up a stogie?

2              Heisenberg by Quesada: Quesada came out with these little cigars in a 10 count box with the Heisenberg equation on it which pretty much states that the more we know, the less we realize we know. The concept being that Quesada wanted to create a cigar without releasing any information on the blend itself so that the smoker would have no preconceived notions going into it and take it for what it was. Ironically and I’m sure not-so-coincidently, the TV show “Breaking Bad” was national success with the main character’s nickname “Heisenberg”.

3              Limited Halloween boxes by Tatuaje: These cigars come out every year in October and only to select stores. Every year is named for a famous (or infamous) monster from the film industry. For example: Franks and Dracs (for Frankenstein and Count Dracula), The Mummy, The Wolfman, Jason (from Friday the 13th)etc. Some of these will come out in what they call “dress boxes” bearing a likeness to the monster itself (Jason’s dress box looked like a hockey mask)

4              La Palina KB and KBII: La Palina, a newly revived older brand featuring the image of a woman came out with these two cigars at about the same time. Much like Quentin Tarantino did when he released his movies “Kill Bill” and “Kill Bill 2”. Although on paper no one could probably tell you what the KB stands for (dodge the lawsuit!), the reps/brokers in the industry refer to it as the Kill Bill.

5              Foundry: This is an offshoot company owned by General Cigar which although does not have any cigars based specifically on a TV show or movie, they are fashioned in “steampunk” style with names like “Wells, Lovelace, Talbot, and Cayley”, authors of Victorian era futuristic novels. Steampunk fashion and lifestyle has been gaining steam (pun intended) and popping up in cinema such as “Oz: the Great and Powerful” and “Hellboy”

6              Baccarat: Okay, this one is a stretch, but it is my own theory that this cigar owned by Davidoff was given its name because Baccarat is James Bond’s favorite game. It could have been Texas Hold’em or Five Card Draw but that doesn’t relate to 007. One can only imagine the price tag a company would have to pay in order to use anything copyrighted by the James Bond franchise.

7              Psyko Seven:  A cigar released by the Ventura Cigar Company…right around the same time as the movie “Seven Psychopaths” I’m sure there is no coincidence there, they’d probably just give you the more admirable reply of “It’s an Asylum 13 knock off”.

8              Sons of Anarchy by Black Crown: There is a popular TV show about a bad-ass motorcycle gang (very hells angels-esc) called “Sons of Anarchy”. Now the TV show has its own cigar with the logo on the band and everything.

9              Duck Dynasty by Ted’s Cigars: There is a popular TV show about a hillbilly family who struck it rich (very Beverly Hillbilly-esc) called “Duck Dynasty”. Now the TV show has its own cigar with the logo on the band and everything. (Ted’s Cigars also makes a Patron cigar, A Gran Marnier cigar and a Maker’s Mark cigar)

10           Dark Knight by Hoyo de Monterrey: This cigar came out before Batman and way before the movie “The Dark Knight”. If anything Bruce Wayne stole the idea from HdM! (of course having the same name I’m sure has not hurt their sales.)

There you have it, the first ten I could come up with, please comment if you can think of any specific ones or are able to come up with some connections or theories. Thank you for reading.

Wedding Cigars

So, you’re getting married, congratulations!  Whether you’re a regular cigar smoker, a-nice-day-BBQ- cigar-smoker or a maybe a once-a-year-cigar-smoker, this probably is the only day you can get away with smoking a cigar without her, or really anyone, saying anything to stop you.  Don’t let it go to your head; they always give the guy tied to the post facing the firing squad a smoke too.  Of course, you can’t be the only one smoking, that would be rude and because it’s your wedding day, you are expected to get the cigars, and by “get” I mean buy.

Now read carefully as we only get married two or three times in life, so you won’t want to screw this up. In a perfect world, let’s say there are going to be a hundred people at your wedding.  It would be great to “get” four boxes of 25-count Ashton.  Ashton is a great cigar.  One hundred people, one hundred cigars, perfect.  You have this all figured out already.  However reality…cold, obtrusive reality will trip you up when you’re not looking and laugh at you on the floor.  She’s going to find out that you want to spend $900 on cigars and call you out on it and probably because it’s close to the wedding day (any time up to a year or so) start crying and tell you that you’re selfish.  Usually this will all happen in front of your friends.  But you love her and you want to make her happy. Plus she really wants that harp player playing non-stop for 30 minutes while everyone is walking into the church, for the bargain price of $2,800.

So, what to do now?  My formula is take the number of people attending and cut it in half then shave some off the top.  One hundred people, half will probably be guys, so now we are down to 50.  However, some of those probably don’t smoke cigars (or have girlfriends) while others are probably seven years old and if you give them a cigar, you’re going to jail.  Nothing like spending your wedding night with Bubba. Down to let’s say 35 people now. Here is the tricky part, some guys (including yourself) might smoke two cigars while some woman will opt to smoke one, too. So back up to 40-45 cigars.

So we have the number, now what do we buy them?  Again, Ashton’s are nice but do you want to buy everyone, including people who may have never smoked a cigar before, a $12 cigar? Let me tell you what I did.  I bought two 20 count boxes of something that I liked that was mild to medium and didn’t cost an arm and a leg. Remember if the ice sculptures, singers, and magician aren’t there because you can’t afford them, you’re going to have hell to pay.  I personally went with two boxes of Perdomo Lot 23 (one Connecticut and one maduro) they’re good, smoke nice, and cost around $85 for a box of 20.  On a side note, it is important for you to like the cigars and for them to be a cigar which has a taste that never gets old to you.

Reason 1:  If there are any left they’re yours.

Reason 2, “I can’t smoke a cigar right now? But pookiebear it’s the cigar I smoked on our wedding day I thought it would be romantic”. actually works a lot better than you think it would.

So, you have two twenty-count boxes now.  I found it was best at this point to get about five or six really nice high end cigars for you and the groomsmen.  This is your time to splurge.  Even if those six cigars end up costing as much as the two boxes you are still coming in under budget, which means that you’ll be able to afford the table centerpieces with the waterfalls.

Some other great cigars at a great price to get for weddings are the Alec Bradley American Classics, The Arturo Fuente 8-5-8 Naturals, The E.P.Carillo New Wave Connecticut Brillantes and the San Lotano Connecticut Robustos.  As for the special few cigars, go over to the high-end case and get those cigars that you’ve been looking at for a year but haven’t been able to justify shelling out the dough for.  This is the right time, believe me.

A Brief History of Cigars in the United States

Okay, here is so far what I have gathered about the history if cigars in America. This has all been told to me by word of mouth from different people in the cigar industry as well as historians and antiques dealers. I will try to keep it in chronological order to the best of my ability however I am known for going off on tangents.

Tobacco itself was first grown as a cash crop in North America by the settlers of Jamestown in the 1600s; it was their primary source of income. It was widely used however not as much in cigar form but in chew and pipe tobacco form. George Washington grew tobacco.

Enter the 1800s up to the Victorian era, here cigar smoking is common while comparatively cigarette smoking is still considered rare. The cigar industry is an important one and represents a significant amount of the work force (here mechanized cigar rolling is not yet developed or still too impractical.) Cigar manufacturers begin moving their factories from Cuba to places like Tampa and Key West Florida. For example Vincente Martinez Ybor (ever hear of Ybor City?)

In the late 1800s Workers in New York are rolling at home and being paid by the cigar. It was not rare to enter a household of 6 and see everyone (including children) sitting in the kitchen rolling cigars. Cigars now at this time were much different than cigars are now. Just about every shape is a perfecto size and the ring gauge is far smaller than some of the monsters that we have today. If you come across an antique cigar cutter chances are it is only good for cutting a cigar with a tapered or torpedo tip to it.

Moving forward most cigars in the United States are made up of Cuban Tobacco. There are two types of Cuban cigars, the first is your regular Cuban cigar made entirely of Cuban tobacco and produced and rolled and entirely manufactured in Cuban and shipped to the United States. The second being cigars called “Clear Havana” cigars which are made using Cuban Tobacco but rolled in the United States (or elsewhere such as Germany, etc.)

February of 1962, no more Cuban Cigars due to a trade embargo. For political reasons, but more important safety as well as their lively hood many important Cuban figures flea Cuba and look to reopen factories elsewhere in the world with similar climates/soil. Joya de Nicaragua is the first cigar factory to open up in Nicaragua in 1968 (they still have some workers in the factory today that have been there since the doors have opened) while Christian Eiroa (from Camacho and CLE fame)grew up in Honduras when his father was the first to bring the cigar industry to the country.

The boom of the 1990’s hits, some say due to a scandal involving then United States President Bill Clinton. Cigar sales in the United States grow overnight 500% nationwide. This caused two things to happen. One, business men who had absolutely no knowledge of cigars were opening up factories and producing cigars to try to get rich quick. This caused the average quality to plummet. (I heard a story from a Cigar Company President about how he was talking to a man who had just bought a cigar factory during the boom and the man told him that his workers were harvesting the cigars off the trees and putting them in cellophane.) The second impact on the cigar boom is that it introduced many people to cigars which many believe caused the snowball effect of cigars getting stronger and stronger. In 1990 for example the strongest cigar on the market as “Punch”. When Ernesto Carillo created the La Gloria Cubana Serie R no one had ever smoked anything like it.

Today cigars have perhaps stopped competing for strength (at least in the past couple years or so) but have taken on competing for size. The first cigar with a 60 ring gauge came out from the Gran Habana Factory and the first 70 ring gauge was a JFR made by Casa Fernandez only a few years ago. Today Asylum 13 has released an 80 ring cigar (to make the 70 ring look more normal the owner answered when asked about the large ring.) and Cro Magnon  has released a $100 cigar called the” Femur” which is a 133 1/3 ring gauge.

In the years to come some important things which stand to change the cigar world as we know it now are the impending threat that the FDA, haven taken over tobacco legislation, may impose strict guidelines to premium cigars as well as the rumor of how (with Fidel Castro out of the picture) the Cuban trade embargo may be lifted after 50 plus years.

Please comment and let me know what you think we will see occur in the cigar industry in the years to come. Thank you for reading!

Cigar Education: Cigar Speak

This is the fifth blog in the series which is designed to further educate, you, the consumer about the cigar world. This blog touches on the meanings of some of the more complex words used in the cigar world in terms of describing the parts of a cigar, the size/shape, the blend or the age. Again we would like to think Perdomo Cigars for allowing us to use the information off of their webpage.

Anillo – Band
The ring of paper wrapped around the closed head of most cigars that often contains colorful graphics, the brand name, country of origin, and/or indication that the cigar is hand-rolled.

The mixture of different types of tobacco in a cigar.

The smell of a fine cigar. Inappropriately stored and/or dried-out cigars will lose their bouquet.

The amount of air that gets pulled through a lit cigar. It can be too easy (hot) or too tight (plugged).

The taste that lingers after a puff. Finishes vary with mild cigars having very little finish while stronger, more full-bodied cigars have distinctive flavors that tend to linger.

The foot of a cigar is the end that is lit.

Refers to the strength of a cigar.

Literally translated it means Havanas, a denomination of origin for Cuban cigars.

The closed end of the cigar; the end you smoke.

A room, or box designed to preserve the proper storage of a cigar or promote aging by maintaining a relative humidity level of 65-70 percent and a temperature of approximately 65°F to 70°F.

Ring Gauge
The width of a cigar based on 64ths of an inch. A 32 ring gauge cigar is 32/64ths of an inch thick, or 1/2 inch in diameter. A 48 ring is approximately 3/4 inches in diameter.

The area where the cap meets the body of a cigar. Cutting the shoulder will often cause the cigar to unravel.

A Cigar roller.

As with wine, it refers to the year the tobacco was harvested as opposed to the year the cigar was made.

Ridiculous But Not Necessarily True Stories while I smoked a Cigar

true stories picture

So here are some whoppers for you to indulge yourselves with.  I will warn you, some of these stories may be true, although most of them probably aren’t.  All of them, however, did include a cigar.  More examples of how cigars have changed history.

  • Late September 1998; I am sitting down smoking a Montecristo White Churchill at home, while deep in thought with my studies, when my friend asks me a question about forecasting the financial movements of the Pacific Rim Economy over the next 6 months. I don’t recall his specific question, but its answer eluded me at the time. I looked at him and said, “I don’t know off the top of my head, but let me Google it,” making me the first person to use “Google” as a verb.
  • A couple years ago, my boy Macklemore and I were at another friends penthouse apartment in Brooklyn. Everyone was smoking La Flor Dominicana Airbender Chisels. As always, the party “got jumping” pretty good.  I looked at Macklemore and said, “Woah, I don’t know if the ceiling can hold us!”
  • While smoking a Perdomo Champagne Noir Robusto, as is my weekly ritual every night that I watch Game of Thrones, having not read any of the novels and with no prior research, I have been able to predict who was going to die in each episode before the opening credits ended.
  • Several years ago I smoked an Oliva G Toro and while smoking it was able to beat “WATSON” in the preliminary rounds of Jeopardy. Because it was the preliminary rounds, they were not aired on television but I think NBC was pressured by IBM to keep me off the game show.
  • Late one night after smoking several Casa Magna Robustos, knowing I had to work very early the next day but being faced with the dubious burden of hosting a keg party, I decided I would pull an “all-nighter.” I opened up the case of Red Bull that I had purchased to get me through the next day and starting mixing it with a then not as popular German spirit known as Jagermeister and the Jager-bomb was created.
  • I once shook hands with Wayne Newton while I smoked a Romeo y Julieta, who had shaken hands with Bob Hope who had shaken hands with FDR while FDR smoked a Romeo y Julieta.
  • I once met a man who told me that he had found the fountain of youth and unlocked the secret to live forever. “Every cigar you smoke, you live one more day” said the 87 year old man. That was the first time I met Avo Uvezian.
  • Once while smoking an E.P. Carrillo New Wave Connecticut, I rode a mechanical bull as Ernesto Carrillo watched. His face stayed unsympathetic and stern the whole time.
  • Mick Jagger once told me that while visiting Esteli, Nicaragua, he and a few friends after a long night of drinking and smoking cigars broke into a chicken coup on a drunken whim. The next day he was inspired and perfected his trademark chicken dance.
  • I once met Joe Perry outside of Boston. I was standing up against the wall of a shopping plaza smoking a Rocky Patel 1990 Petite Corona. I asked him if he was related to Steve Perry from Journey.  He told me he was not.
  • The first time I ever smoked anything, it was underneath the stairs in the back of the Hampton Beach Casino Ball Room with the band “Bad Company”
  • I have been to two Super Bowls in my lifetime. The first was Superbowl XXXVIII where I met Justin Timberlake. He had come up to me before the game and wanted to know what cigar I was smoking.  I gave him one of my Ashton VSG Corona Gorda’s. We got to talking about the meaning of life, as you usually do when enjoying a cigar with great company.  I told him that it is always important to stay spontaneous.  Then In Super Bowl XLVII while sitting in a luxury box, I saw they had the old time lighters like you would see in a 1980’s Cadillac.  I needed a light so I pressed it in and then everything went dark.