April 18, 2014

Cigar Review: VegaFina Sumum Edición Especial 2010 Toro

What I find hysterical is that this post was actually published for a short period of time without an introduction. It just goes to show that when you set up a review in advance that you better make sure the review is ready to be posted. I am sure I had plans of writing an introduction, I always do, but I totally forgot. To that, I apologize Altadis. I am honored that you reached out to me and sorry that I returned the favor with no introduction.

April 16, 2014

Cigar Review: CroMagnon Fomorian Barber Pole

I have to begin by saying that when you start at La Gran Fabrica Drew Estate and then head over to Nica Sueño there is a massive difference in the factories. Besides size, number of rollers, cigars being produced and bottles of Flor de Cana, there are noticeable differences between the two companies. In both factories I felt very welcomed, and while the two are very different, I loved them both about the same. While relaxing in Nica Sueño, which did not seem like a factory as much as a work space/man cave in the garage, I was able to drink some terrific rum, smoke tobacco from Pueblo Nuevo, talk with Skip and then smoke some regrowth ligero from Lancaster, PA. (Yes, that tobacco was a beast.) It was such a great experience and so last night I was remembering my time in the factory and decided to light up a cigar that was given to me but is not being released. The cigar is the Fomorian Barber Pole, and I felt that it was important to get the review up quickly while remembering my time with Skip and after thoroughly enjoying the cigar.   

Cigar Review: Debonaire Sagita Petite

Every cigar smoker knows Rocky Patel and Rocky Patel Premium Cigars. What some don't know is that before he was Rocky Patel Premium Cigars he was Indian Tabac Cigar Company. He did not use his name because at the time he did not feel comfortable enough in putting his name on the brand. What a lot of people don't know is that he had a business partner when he first started and that partner was a man by the name of Philip S. Zanghi III. Zanghi eventually parted with ways with Rocky and would remain out of the industry for many years. Then in 2012 he returned and he made a return with Debonaire Cigars. Partnering with Daniel Sinclair, Zanghi returned with the Debonaire brand, and it was a brand that was limited to three vitolas. Eventually in 2013 he added two vitolas to the line and one of those vitolas was the Sagita Petite.

April 14, 2014

Right Place, Right Time, Right Vision: The Story of Drew Estate

The Drew Estate Mural
The Drew Estate compound can be found in the city of Estelí, Nicaragua, two hours north of Managua,  and on the western side of the Rio Estelí on the Puente Panamá Soberano, a small road that connects with the Pan-American Highway. Drew Estate is both a company and a factory and each departs from the traditional character of practically every other company and factory in the city.  However, it is precisely these unusual, distinctive and colorful elements that have made Drew Estate what it is today after 18 years in the industry. Some may ask how it is possible for a company of this kind to have survived as long as it has? The answer lies in the fact that it is a company that has had a vision from its earliest years. Jonathan Drew himself stated that, if they had not come up with the vision of the future as far back as the early 2000s, they would have been a company lost at sea many years ago, one struggling to find the shoreline. I had the good fortune to tour the Drew Estate facilities at the beginning of April, and I can tell you with absolute certainty that, behind its colorful façade—one that might be mistaken for the venue of a college rave—there is a well-oiled machine that is programmed down to the smallest detail.

Cigar Review: A. Flores Gran Reserva Half Corona (PDR Cigars)

When you plan on making a cigar that is shorter than four inches in length and has a ring gauge of a 46 you have some work cut out for you. Yes, the cigar is fairly easy to make in terms of making the cigar, but blending it correctly and having it be great is a whole different story. Since the H. Upmann Half Corona was released in 2011 non-Cuban manufacturers have been obsessing over this cigar and wanting to one up it. There are two competitions right now: who can make the best biggest cigar and who can make the best smallest cigar. Well, last year PDR Cigars decided that they would enter into the fray and make a small Half Corona in their new A. Flores Gran Reserva line. The cigar was shown off and released last year, but the company recently did another media blitz on the cigar to grab attention.

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