Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Cigar Samplers: Match the Perfect Cigar With the Perfect Drink

Three of the most popular reasons for purchasing cigar samplers are:

1. You are a new cigar smoker, and want to find what you like.

2. As a gift for a cigar smoker.

3. You are a cigar smoker who wants to try something new, but you are not sure what.
If those are the only reasons you buy cigar samplers, you are forgetting the best reason. A tasting party with your cigar aficionado friends is an enjoyable and relaxing way to spend an evening. Tasting party? Yes, a tasting party. With a variety of cigars and drinks you try new flavors, looking for that perfect match between cigars and drinks to bring out just the right flavor of both.

Easy choices for a match to cigars are cognac, a whiskey or bourbon/scotch, rum, and port. They are traditional and safe, but they are just a starting point. Don’t just think of alcoholic beverages either, many non-alcoholic beverages match well with cigars also. A good non-alcoholic drink with a wide range of choices to choose from is coffee. Whether your choice is an espresso, cappuccino, or a simple dark roast many coffees are a good match for cigars.

So, how do you choose a good pairing? Trust your taste buds; it is what the experts do. Master cigar makers and whiskey distillers trust their eyes, nose, and their taste buds when looking for the perfect ingredients for cigars and whiskies. You can do the same, experiment and try different drinks with your favorite Corona; and don’t forget the non-alcoholic drinks too.

Does a perfect match of cigar and drink exist? Yes it does, but it is different for each person. Some combinations can even bring out flavors not apparent in the drink or the cigar alone. Here are some simple guide lines to help you find your way.
When experimenting with a new combination try keeping mild cigars with mild drinks, medium with medium, and full bodied with full bodied. This keeps a strong cigar from over powering a mild or medium drink and vice versa.

With rum a rule of thumb that will help in your experimentation is match the color of the rum with the color of the cigar wrapper. Light wrapper with light colored rum and darker colored wrappers with darker rums usually work well.

With beer try to stick with hops beers to start, matches can be found with wheat and other beers. But, the bitterness of hops plays well with a good cigar. And don’t forget bottled beer either. A Heineken with a Corona Padron is a good match.

For non-alcoholic drinks, try coffee, tea, juice, soft drinks (yes colas and even root beer), and water. Do not under estimate the power of water to bring out the full flavor of your cigar.
Have your friends over for a tasting. Our cigar samplers are perfect for an evening of trying different cigars with different drinks. Here’s to your perfect match.

Contact us to begin the journey to your perfect match.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Cigars - A Celebration Smoke

There is nothing like passing around the cigars to demonstrate that a celebration is taking place.
Throughout history, cigars have been right there along with cake, champagne, balloons and music, helping to enhance, usher in, emphasize and enjoy the memorable moments in peoples' lives.

When a bundle of joy is welcomed by a family, Dads offer their pals an "its a boy/girl" cigar.  This custom is not only an announcement of the addition to the family, but also a proclamation of the joy of the event.

It is not uncommon to see brides and grooms and their buddies lighting up cigars at a wedding reception.  It is almost like a ritual smoke. We have done it!  We are moving on to adulthood and we are bonding with the enjoyment of a good cigar and its lovely smell.

Maybe it is in our DNA.  It is believed that natives of the Island of Hispaniola (now the Dominican Republic) passed along the use of tobacco to Christopher Columbus and crew.  It was reported to be widely used across the Caribbean Islands in those times and smoked in the form of a primitive-style cigar.  One can imagine that the cigars were used to welcome the Europeans.  The natives of that region were sharing a pleasure with the rest of the world, and most likely cigar smoking was a part of a shared meal and perhaps even symbolized the offer of peace, new friendships and new bonds. Cigar smoking spread throughout Europe and the evolution of the cigar as a means of celebration certainly must of taken hold throughout the world after that.

New job, a promotion, holidays, of course, Columbus Day...they all deserve a celebration smoke!  It's for fun; it's bonding with friends; it's tradition and flavor.

For information, contact us

Thursday, November 6, 2014

The Cigar Lifestyle Resurgence

You remember the scene from old cartoons and movies, an expectant father paces in the waiting room, a nurse bursts through the door and announces the baby has been born, and the father jubilantly passes cigars out to excited friends and family who shake his hand and pat his back enthusiastically. There's a reason that passing cigars out to friends is linked closely to celebrations and major accomplishments. Cigars are an affordable luxury, a pleasure that can be enjoyed alone but are even better with great company.

Throughout many generations a cigar has represented power, affluence, sexuality and even intellect. The act of smoking cigars has had increases and declines in popularity through the years, and now we are seeing an increase in cigar smoking and the culture and lifestyle that surrounds it. Groups of cigar smokers have been able to find each other online and form smoking clubs that have led to amazing cigar shops, clubs and bars.
A recent Fox News Radio story, "Smoking A Cigar Is Not Just An Act; It's a Lifestyle," talks about the joy of cigar smoking, which is celebrated in society today without all the uppity refinement of a few decades ago. Vip Jaswall introduces his interview with Rocky Patel, saying,
"Choosing a cigar is a very sensual experience. From the color of the leaves, to the natural oils that are emanated, to the width and length desired, to the touch and feel in your fingers and finally to the taste of the smoke. Rocky takes appreciation of cigars from a wistful smoke to becoming a talking point worthy of one’s intellect."
When you're looking for cigars to enjoy alone or with friends, for a big celebration or just because, please contact us, we carry Rocky Patel cigars as well as a wide selection of your favorite brands.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Humidors: Getting the Most Out of Your Investment

If you want to keep your cigars at their optimal freshness then you will want to invest in a quality humidor. A humidor is an special box or a room designed to store and age cigars. To ensure accurate moisture, the humidity level should range between 70 to 75%. If your cigars become to dry, they can be prone to cracking and shrinking.
The beauty of every humidor is reflected from the inside out. Most interior linings are made from either Spanish or American cedar. Some use Honduran mahogany.
Spanish cedar is a member of the Mahogany family that is imported from Brazil and other countries of Central and South America. It is often  preferred because of the unique spicy aroma that acts as a repellent against tobacco worms. Furthermore, it has a high capacity for moisture absorption which helps prevent mold.
American cedar has a high resistance to decay and a low resin secretion. If you are a cigar novice this may be a good choice because of its economic value.
Honduran mahogany has the same humidity qualities as Spanish cedar however, is not as fragrant. Over time the scent of the cigar can overtake the wood, making the lining prone to tobacco worms. Like American cedar it is also quite affordable.

Humidor Classification
A Walk-in is commonly used by cigar bars or stores. It is usually a room that is either built or converted to be used as a humidor.
Cabinet humidors are usually stored on the floor like a piece of furniture. The humidor's beauty will often accentuate the room, giving it a touch of elegance. On average they can hold 1000-5000.
Table humidors are usually kept in a central location because they are often quite heavy. They come in a variety of materials such as leather, marble, glass or traditional wood. The capacity ranges from approximately three hundred to several thousand.
Personal humidors are small and may be used by those who are semi-regular smokers. They can often be kept for personal storage or displayed on special occasions. The capacity ranges between 20-75.
Travel humidors may be enjoyed by both the novice and aficionado smoker. The capacity is usually between 2-10.
A well built humidor will increase its asset value by maintaining the freshness of your cigars.  Whether simple or extravagant, the materials used is a matter of personal preference. Choose the humidor that fits your lifestyle and indulge in your investment.
For more information about our product please contact us

Friday, October 24, 2014

Tips to Enjoy a Cigar Like a Pro

We all start at the beginning with everything new we do in life. Enjoying a finely crafted cigar for the first time is no different. So, with that in mind, we've put together a few tips on the proper etiquette for cigar smoking so you can enjoy the experience without looking like a novice.


Choose the Right Cigar
If you're new to cigar smoking and you're offered a selection of cigars, it's wise to choose a milder, longer, fatter cigar. Most new cigar smokers make the mistake of choosing a shorter, thinner cigar. The problem with this choice is that short, thin cigars produce a hotter, more intense smoke. When smoking your first cigar, take it slow. It will be much smoother and will make for a more pleasant experience.  One puff every minute or so should keep it lit and ensure it does not burn too hot.

Remove the Cellophane
Need we say more…unless you like the smell and taste of burnt plastic?

Leave the Band On
This is mostly a matter of choice. However, trying to remove the band right off the bat may destroy the cigar, causing it to unravel. Although some cigar smokers remove the band for collecting, it's best to leave it until later. This will not only keep the cigar from unraveling during the smoke, but also show others that you have good taste in what you smoke. You can always remove the band towards the end of the smoke. The heat produced from the ember should loosen the adhesive of the band, making it easier to remove.

Cutting Your Cigar
Trying to smoke a cigar without cutting just makes you look like an amateur. Although you've probably seen guys bite the end off of their cigar before lighting it, it's not the best way to go about it. First, if you bite the end off your cigar you may bite too deep and destroy the wrapper, causing it to unravel. Second, biting the end off leaves a ragged end and you will get a mouth full of tobacco.  However, this is not necessarily a bad thing as some people like to chew on their cigars before and during the smoke. Finally, cutting the cigar lets others know you have a bit of class and style. Using a guillotine cigar cutter or cigar punch gets the best results without cutting too deep.

Cigar Lighting
Nothing will destroy the flavor of a cigar quicker than using the wrong lighter. Most cigar aficionados will agree that using a Zippo style lighter will fill the cigar with the taste of lighter fluid. If you must use a lighter, it's best to use a butane torch or soft flame lighter. However, most long-time cigar smokers refuse to use anything but wooden matches or a cedar stick from the box. They claim that using cardboard matches, or anything else, imparts a distasteful flavor that lasts throughout the cigar.

Don't Inhale
Cigar smoking isn't like smoking a cigarette. Cigar smoking is more of a relaxing social hobby in the company of others. A cigar is enjoyed slowly; like sipping a fine wine, not chugged like a cold beer on a hot day. For those reasons among others, cigar smokers don't inhale. Not only is inhaling bad form and ill-advised, it may make you look a bit foolish and give you a case of the “green-gills”. Nothing screams amateur like choking, gagging and wheezing from the thick smoke filling your lungs.

It's About the Taste
Cigars are about taste, they are not about the nicotine. In fact, talking about the taste of a good cigar is the most common way groups of cigar smokers bond with each other. Even if you are new to cigar smoking, most will appreciate your take on the brand being smoked. You can speak to them about how the cigar tastes when first lit and how the flavor changes as you smoke. You can also talk about the way it reacts on your palette and how it burns. Attention to details, such as these, will let others know you are one of them, and can appreciate a finely made cigar as much as they do.

When You're Done, Set It Down
Finally, when you're finished enjoying your cigar, simply let it go out in the ashtray. It's not proper etiquette to snuff a cigar like a cigarette. Since premium cigars maintain a certain humidity level (at least the good ones do), they don't stay lit unless puffed. Furthermore, cigars are not usually saved to relight later. Not only does it look a bit tacky to pull half a cigar out of your pocket, but they don't taste nearly as good.

Whether you're a novice cigar smoker or a seasoned veteran, following these rules for etiquette are of the utmost importance. Cigar smoking is something that is savored, enjoyed and shared with others.
To talk more about cigar smoking etiquette or any other cigar-related topic, please contact us. We are more than happy to help out fellow cigar smokers, anytime.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Cigar Samplers When You Don't Know the Boss's Brand

Winter holidays are coming and it's that season when we all wonder what to get the boss. You know the boss loves a great cigar and you know the boss is picky about cigars. So, it's a gamble - make points by getting one of the favorite cigars, or not by getting something else the boss throws away later?

Why not give the boss cigar samplers? This says you know a great cigar is important to your boss, and it also says you know your boss likes more than one type of cigar. It says a lot that you know your boss's likes and dislikes, it shows you pay attention.

You can get a sampler that includes cigars from one blend, or you can get a sampler such as the Sweet 16 sampler that includes two cigars from 8 great blends. There are many samplers to choose from, and you don't have to choose on your own. We'd love to help you choose the best sampler so you score those points with your boss.

Before you contact us to get the perfect cigar sampler for your boss, we want to give you some advice on timing.

If you are going to purchase the cigars more than a week before you give them as a present, we'd suggest you also purchase a Humidipak. The Humidipak isn't expensive and it will keep the cigars from drying out before you give them as a present. Including the Humidipak will also help your boss who might want to keep the cigars at the office for a few weeks.

Ready to make those points with a cigar sampler holiday present? Just contact us  and we will make it easy for you!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Winston Churchill was the most famous cigar smoker in history

Winston Churchill, the great British statesman who led his country during the darkest days of World cigars. According to his profile in Cigar Aficionado, he discovered the joys of cigars while visiting Cuba as a war correspondent in 1895, covering the rebellion against Spanish rule. Thereafter he would consume between eight and ten cigars a day, though he would often allow them to burn out so that he could chew on them. He has an entire room at his home at Chartwell in which he regularly kept between 2,000 and 4,000 cigars at one time.
War II, was rarely without his favorite

As with most cigar fanciers, he preferred Cubans. He typically smoked Romeo y Julieta cigars as well as La Aroma de Cuba. He often smoked his cigars with a glass of brandy, combining two pleasures at once. He made certain that he was never far from his favorite cigars or deprived of them for very long. On one occasion, during a high altitude air flight, Churchill had a special oxygen mask devised so that he could continue happily puffing away in an unpressurized cabin at 15.000 feet.

On another occasion, when attending a luncheon with King Ibn Saud of Saudi Arabia, Churchill was informed that neither smoking nor drinking was allowed in the royal presence because of the king’s Muslim beliefs. Churchill duly informed the king that smoking and drinking were as sacred a rite for him, and the abstinence of the same was for His Majesty. Ibn Saud graciously accepted the point.

Churchill has been associated with cigars perhaps more than any other celebrity in history. Few photographs exist of the British statesman that do not include a cigar between his teeth or smoldering between his fingers. So great is the association that his name adorns a number of cigar brands.