Category Archives: Cigars

Happy New Years fellow Enthusiasts!

I want to wish you all a happy and successful new year and that you may all enjoy the finer things in life! I started off the year working with a bang, cranking out plots and words for three new stories, and had to take a cigar break Tuesday!

First cigar of the year was NOT up to blog standards, but was still a good, tasty stick. I had heard a lot about the Arturo Fuente Double Chateau Fuente by one of the guys who smokes them at Grants so I picked one up.

Definitely a good stick for an occasion when I want something more mild to medium with creamy, woodsy notes.

As for drink, nothing spectacular has hit my palate yet. We’ve gotta work on that!

More soon!

Cigar Shop Update – Tobacco Road

Hello Folks,

Just got back from Tobacco Rd and thought I’d post a few pictures of their smoking lounge.

The nice leather chairs have provided me with a comfortable seating arrangement that’s allowed me hours of reading/smoking time.

As for selection, they offer the following:

Ashton (including one of the VSG sizes)
Romeo y Julieta Habano Reserve, Reserve Real and 1875
Arturo Fuente (including the Short Story)
H. Upman
Casa Magna
Partagas Black
Avo
Punch
Macanudo
Montecristo
Sancho Panza
Joya De Nicaragua
Rocky Patel 12 year Vintage
RP EDGE (robusto size 5X48 I think)
Cohiba
Acid
Oliva V, O and G series
Hoyo De Monterrey (Excalibur)
And a cuban seed house blend robusto and torpedo. The robusto is available in EMS or Maduor and I like the maduro bettter. It’s better constructed, not as strong but still a sweet, tasty maduro.

I’m not sure which NUB she’ll be bringing in but she’ll have those too. I’ve had those and they’re pretty good.

Most of the prices are lower than SF and I wonder if that’s due to taxes. The shop itself has to overcome ridding itself of the ghetto element so I understand they may be phasing out cigarette sales and some of the more less lucrative products that tend to attract the element as I call them, but Kathrine is determiend to give cigar smokers a place to call home.

She’ll be installing a TV soon in the lounge. I’ve been allowed to bring in alcohol under the “don’t act a fool” rule. My question is, once she rotates some of the stock out, what would you like to see in the humidor?

I’d like to see Padron, Cuesta Rey, Tatuaje, Punch Uppercut, along with an expansion of the RP line. How about you?

The shop is located at 14th and Franklin, close to 12th St. BART station. Come on down and enjoy a smoke!

Cheers!

Cigar Review: Carlos Torano 1916 Churchill

Carlos Torano Churchill
7X48
Cameroon Wrapper
Nic/Honduran Filler

Wow is all I can say. Another Torano hit for me. I picked these up a few weeks ago and got a damns teal for a five pack. Sporting an African wrapper with Honduran and Nicaraguan filler, this cigar has a fine, soft and sensual taste. Not as oily as the previous Torano Signature I reviewed or the La Riqueza I’ve yet to review but just enough . The flavor profile changes in thirds, starting out with an earthy sweetness that builds up to that oily tastiness. Smooth chocolate flavors round out the end.

The draw was a little tough but that may have been my fault. The cigar lit well, has solid construction and will be one I’ll keep in my humidor for awhile. I enjoyed it with nothing as I’m too broke to buy beer or scotch right now LOL! This is a well balanced cigar with a changing profile.

From Cigar.com

he Carlos Torano 1916 Cameroon is a cigar that pays homage to the family’s roots. Using a rare African wrapper and the finest Honduran fillers, the cigar stands out as one of the best cigars ever made by the Toranos. The aroma is tangy and spicy with a medium to full-body. When enjoying this cigar, it is easy to think about the rich history of the tobacco industry and the dedication of the blenders and rollers. The Carlos Torano 1916 in particular provides a glimpse into a bygone era when cigars were a staple of class and sophistication. This cigar is among the best Cameroon cigars available and is ideal for cigar lovers who enjoy tobacco from the Cameroon region.

I have to agree. The Cameroon wrapper is just so tasty ūüôā Smoke time was about two hours. The price is definitely right too at about $7 a stick from Cigar.com.

Cigar Review: Tatuaje Artistas Torpedo

Tatuaje Website

The Artistas is a 6 1/8 X 52 Torpedo

Pete Johnson has done something in the cigar industry that not many people have. He’s made a quality cigar that’s quickly shot to the ranks of top scoring by cigar magazines across the board. Reviewers love his cigars, smokers love them, and now you’ll find out that I love them.

I had my first Tatuaje a week ago at the Occidental but I purchased the Artistas at Grants in San Francisco. I was hoping for something like La Riqueza (which i’ll review shortly) but what I got in the first third of this Nicaraguan puro was a nice spice. Upon lighting, the pre aroma brought out spice and sweetness. The smoke wasn’t so thick like a Padron. The draw easy, the construction, solid.

I had an inch of bright white ash before it fell off. And it burned pretty quickly.

The first third hit me with spice and sweetness. The next third had an oiliness I’ve grown to associate with La Riqueza that can only be described as just..yum! The last third had for me a combination of the two, but tasted so good that I smoked it to the nub.

From the website:

Wrapper: Nicaragua
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua

Blended in the style of the flavorful yet Medium Bodied Cuban Cigars.
Cigars are rolled in Nicaragua using select Nicaraguan tobaccos and classic cuban blending with a beautiful Cuban triple-cap.
Staying true to the pride of El Rey de Los Habanos.

I picked this up for a little over $8 and my only regret is I didn’t get two. Even the one I smoked yesterday with my crappy cold affected palate picked up on the nuances of his well crafted cigar.

I enjoyed this cigar with a glass of Glenfarclas 12 year single malt Scotch. The pair worked well together because the scotch is not overpowering and nor is the cigar.

Cigar Review: Carlos Torano Signatureseries Robusto

Among one of the best blends from the Carlos Torano family of fine cigars. Carlos Torano Signature cigars are flawlessly handmade with a robust, complex-tasting blend of Dominican & Nicaraguan Cuban-seed Ligero long-fillers, a broadleaf binder, and an oily, sun-grown Brazilian Maduro wrapper. – From Famous Smokes who seems to have better prices than some of their competitors.

igar: Carlos Torano Signature
Origin: Nicaragua
Size: Robusto 5 x 52
Wrapper: Sun Grown Brazilian Maduro
Binder: Broadleadf
Filler: Dominican Cubano Ligero, Nicaraguan Habano Ligero

 

I had a very long day in front of the computer handling edits in my normal job as an erotic romance author and needed a cigar.¬† I lit this up looking for something different than my normal Padron or Cuesta Rey and seeing as how I have a few of these now in my humidor along Fonsecas and other stuff, I figured I’d try one again.

Wow, what flavor!  Peppery spice hit my palate upon lighting up that mellowed into a toasty flavor with undertones of refined earth and dark coffee.   Due to the maduro wrapper I picked up notes of cream too.  Firm ash that held on for the first inch suggested good construction.

I smoked with this Roibos tea in front of the Good News Cafewhile reading.¬† I’ll probably try to pick up a box or so.

Torano Signature Robusto

A very nice smoke that lasted about an hour or so.¬†¬†¬† The maduro leaf used brings out a lot of flavor and even an hour or so later I’m still tasting it.¬† Nothing about this cigar is overpowering though it’s rated as a medium bodied cigar.¬†¬† FYI, tis is one of the only maduros the Torano family makes and will become a staple in my humidor.¬† I picked this beauty up in a five pack from Cigarbid at a decent price but checking out box prices at Cigar.com puts it at a similiar price to my beloved Padrons.

Cigar Review: Cuesta Rey 898 Cabinet

The Cuesta Rey 898 cabinet is a 7  X 49 cigar with creamy, mellow flavors made from the famous JC Newman and Fuente family is alwayas a favorite of mine.  A cameroon wrapper gives a slightly toothy edge to the mellowness from the Dominancan binder and filler.

I just discovered that there is a maduro version of this cigar!

I picked up my first 898 Cabinet at a shop I refuse to name and sat down with it.¬† The burn was good, even and the draw was a little tougher than other Cuesta Rey’s I’m used to (like the #60 torpedo) but for the price on a mild to medium bodied cigar, it can’t be beat.¬† Smoke time was about an hour and a half but you have to remember my smoke time is going to vary depending on where I am smoking at.

Buy from JR Cigars

new cigar shop in Oakland!

Wednesday I was at Grants smoking with some of the regulars and on our way out I was talking to Mike about local places to smoke in Oakland, saying that as a rule there ARE none I could go to unless I brought my own smokes.

He turned me onto a new place that was supposedly having a grand opening Friday the 6th on 14th and Franklin that actually had a small room in the back to smoke at.

Today I popped in to Tobacco Road just to check it out.¬† I met the owner’s son Marcus, walked into the humidor and found stuff at reasonable prices (Romeo y Julieta 6X54 Havana Reserve for $7.23 or thereabouts vs Grants same size stick at almost $9.) among other things.¬† Marcus told me they had a room behind the humidor for smoking and showed me.¬† I asked if I could ilght up and sit for a spell, he was cool with that.

So I lit up, and another older gentleman came in and was talking to Marcus.¬† Before long we were all talking about other shps in the country and in California.¬† Then Marcus’s mother Kathrine came in and greeted us.¬† She’s the owner and a very relaxed, cool woman.¬† With a background of real estate, a passion for family owned business and a desire to treat her clients right, she seems to have put together an honest business and given Oakland something it desperately needs:¬† A smoking lounge without fear of the anti smoking police, need for hush hush conversation (ie I can talk about my fetish writing openly) and a cozy environment.

We talked for about an hour about her passion, plans for the shop and how we can grow the business from the cigar side.¬† The front of teh store is clean but is basically a “cigarette shop” front but once you pass the front counter you’lls ee the walk in humidor, a few accesories on display and then down the hall come to the lounge.

Tonight I walked in and things were stil out of place as they were putting the finishing touches on things, but after about an hour I calleda friend of ine to come down and smoke with me.  He picked up a Macanudo and a Hoyo De Monterrey at better prices than Beverages and More AND the cigars were fresh.  MIke sat down in one of the large leather chairs, lit up and we takled for about an hour and a half before they closed.

The selection included Rocky Patel’s Edge and Edge Light, RyJ, Macanudo, H. Upman, Oliva, Sancho Panza and a few others.¬† The humidor is not as large as Grants but Kathrine assured me that they’re ordering, expanding and going to carry more brands as they develope a loyal following.

The beauty is, like Grants I can bring in my own alcohol as long as I don’t act a fool.¬† Meeting Kathrine and her son reminded me of when I first sat down at La Salle when it was still open when Roy Bird (formerly of the Harlem Globetrotters) welcomed my gf and I in to have a smoke and a drink.¬† She’s not “old white man stuffy” but warm and friendly.¬† And open to questions and ideas for helping the community.

I like that.

Friday the 6th is their grand opening party and they’re located at 417 14th St. ni Oaland just off 12th Street BART station.¬† I’ll still frequent Grants because that’s comfortable and the cigar selection is larger, and the people really make it what it s, but this is closer and I can feel a warmth from it already.

Btw, for those interested, Tobacco Road has their own cuban seed brand of cigars that will be available for purchase at around $6 a stick.¬† I have yet to smoke one but once I do, you’ll hear of it first, here!

I hope to see you all there sometime!

CIGAR REVIEW: Padron 4000

I’ll have to admit, this is my go to cigar when I’m at Grants and can’t make up my mind.¬† For the money, EVEN with the higher taxes in California, this cigar is priced at around $10.40 (tax included) and is a 6.5 X 54 stick that boasts a dark wrapper which is a little veiny but still has that gritty character that up close looks tasty.

Upon firing it up, spice notes and leather are clearly present.  The draw is open like the lower Padrons (2000 and 3000) but the cigar burn time is much longer.  Light gray ash and a pleasing aroma from the smoke make for a good visual.  As the cigar burns, the leathery flavors turn earthy and the spice mellows.  I usually end up chewing these cigars, just because at the end of my day as a writer I need to stay away from the keyboard as LONG as possible and this cigar generally provides me with almost 2 hours of smoke time.

This is one of the first Nicaraguan cigars I’d ever smoked and enjoyed.¬† It’s a full puro – meaning all the tobaccos come from a single country and will give you a feel for the land, similar to terroir in wine.

I typically like to enjoy this cigar with a smooth scotch, probably Glenfiddich.