Thursday, January 14, 2010

Help the people of Haiti

I know a lot of us would like to help the people of Haiti by making a financial contribution to a reputable charity. Gary Ellis, the people of Altadis Cigars and the Montecristo Relief Organization have stepped up to the plate by making a $25,000 donation to the Food for the Poor, a group already providing immediate assistance to the people in Haiti. In addition, Altadis will match your contribution dollar for dollar and have pledged up to an additional $125,000.

This an excellent opportunity to make your donation work twice as hard helping people that desperately need your help. Any amount will make a difference...$25, $50 or whatever you can afford.

Please join us and contribute.


Jeff Borysiewicz

President & Founder

Click here to read Altadis' press release pledging to meet up to $125,000 in donations

If you would like to contribute and have your donation matched by the Montecristo Relief Organization, please send checks made payable to Food For the Poor:

Montecristo Relief Organization., Haiti Earthquake Relief
c/o Altadis U.S.A.
PO Box 407179
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33340-7166

Food For the Poor is a 501(c) (3) non-profit corporation and your donation can be tax deductible.
Our help is needed now, so time is of the essence. Altadis will be matching funds donated by February 15th.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The cigar of the year goes to The Padron 45th Anniversary Maduro

And the cigar of the year goes to The Padron 45th anniversary Maduro. Actually I'm going to be reviewing both the Padron 45th Maduro and the 44th Natural. Let me start by giving a fond hello to one of my great friends scrappy, " Padron the finest Dominican cigar ever made!" I'm just kidding Padron's are the finest Nicaraguan cigars ever made. Now to the reviews the Padron 44th and 45th are limited family reserve cigars that were made to celebrate the anniversary of the Padron cigar company being in business for 44 and 45 years respectfully.

Let me start with the Padron 44th. This was a great way to start 2010 for it was my New Years cigar. I sat on the back porch at my wonderful in-laws home in New Orleans, LA smoking this amazing cigar. The construction and presentation of this cigar was spectacular as usual. For those of you who know me know that I love Padron cigar almost as much as I enjoy breathing.

The pre-draw on this cigar was very open and the there was a spicy tingle on my tongue.

At first light the burn was perfect and the notes that were released were a sweet spice and a little nutty. The ash was perfectly white. The aroma had hint of a cocoa smell to it. The cigar burned great all the way through. About half way down the cigar started to mellow out and there were a few more notes present such as cocoa and vanilla. I smoked this cigar until there was practically nothing left. I didn't want to put it out. When I was done smoking it I placed it in the ash tray and still enjoyed the aroma that was emitted into the air as the cigar went out.

I recommend purchasing this cigar if you are able to find it. This cigar I've seen from $30 to $50 and it's worth every penny.

Now the Padron 45th family reserve maduro. For those of you who know me know that I said this was going to be the cigar of the year about two months before the list was released. What a well deserved reward for this stunning cigar. My beautiful wife and I both enjoyed this cigar on my birthday. I waited for this cigar to be released for months and when it came out I went to pick up my box while on my way I called everyone to ask them which box I should buy. I came to the conclusion that I should buy the natural because I was afraid my wife wouldn't enjoy the Maduro wow I was wrong. When I arrived at my local establishment I had the Maduro waiting for me I walked through the door as the owner lit my cigar for me without even asking me if I wanted to smoke. Well he knows me very well of course I wanted to smoke that awesome cigar. As I'm checking out he tells me to call my wife and tell he how much I love her. As I did he slid the Maduro box into my bag. Wow was a surprise that was that my wonderful wife bought me a box of the Maduros because she knew I really wanted them both but I would only get one. That was such a thoughtful gift thank you H. Now to the review.

This cigar has a dark oily wrapper with a double band on it. The presentation is phenomenal on all Padrons but on this one they hit it out of the park. The pre-light draw was amazingly open and tasted a bit leathery.

At first light the cigar burnt perfectly. The taste started out with an earthy cocoa flavor. Within the first third, I got notes of cocoa, earth, wood, and sweet spice. Around the middle, the cigar got stronger and there was a more solid earthiness and chocolate. The final third of the cigar got a bit stronger not much stronger, but just enough to balance this wonderful stick.

I highly recommend purchasing this cigar. The price for this cigar can range from $25 to $40.

I hope you enjoy either or both of the rare treats.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Cigar Bars in Airports?

Great video from Fox Business News.

My personal feeling is that this may be a new trend for the next decade..."Cigar Bars" or "Cigar Lounges" that require minimum purchase and/or membership to enjoy. Think of it as a Delta Sky Club that specializes in fine cigars, coffees, etc.

I had the opportunity to visit the Graycliff Cigar Bar in the Nashville, TN late last year! I was really impressed!!

Best of luck to Graycliff on their expansion of these venues and if you're in Nashville, TN or Nassau, Bahamas, stop in and enjoy a nice cigar!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Cigar Aficionado Top Cigars of 2009

Well, Cigar Aficionado's Top 10 list of cigars is now complete. I will have to say that in my opinion, this is one of the best (and most expensive) Top 10 lists in quite some time. I actually had a chance to sample the "My Father" cigar yesterday...all I can say is WOW - What a GREAT CIGAR! I have been lucky enough to enjoy all cigars on the list but the Cubans and the #1 Cigar. Due to the price of the #1 rated cigar, I have not had a chance to sample it yet. I'm hoping to enjoy one of those on a special occasion soon!

All-in-all, I am impressed with more of the new cigars that have come out this year with smaller productions. Hopefully, my favorites will make it on the remainder of the Top 25, which is due out tomorrow.

Best and Long Ashes to all!!


NY Lawmakers Have LOST It!

Not only is this a tactic to scare consumers, but it's absolutely ridiculous!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Cigar Aficionado Top Cigars of 2009

The time has come! The Cigar Aficionado Top 10 Cigars of 2009 has begun it's countdown! Today - #10, 9, and 8! The remaining Top 25 Cigars will be listed later this week. How many are on your list??

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Best Cigars of 2009

There has been a lot of talk about the "Best Cigars of 2009". My question is best what? Best rated, best selling, best new cigar, most requested, most talked about????

Instead of strictly going by ratings by magazines such as Cigar Aficionado, I've compiled a list eleven cigars that stood out above the rest for a variety of reasons.  So here's my informal list of some of 2009's "Best Cigars":

Padron Family Reserve No.44 & No.45 - Both of these cigars fall into the categories of Best New Cigars, most requested, most talked about and highly rated. About the only category these don't fall into is "Best Selling", because very few of these cigars were made available for sale.

The Padron Family Reserve No.44 is the rarest of the two and is a torpedo shaped cigar that is available to only a handful of cigar retailers. If you can find them, they are available in boxes of 10 and 50. Each box is signed by the entire Padron Family.

The Padron Family Reserve No.45 is a toro sized cigar and was sold to a few hundred retailers, but each retailer received only a few boxes. (Plus the were boxes of 10, so 5 boxes equaled only 50 sticks.)

Fuente Fuente Opus X "Lost City" - Another cigar that created a lot of buzz but is very limited. Each year Keith Park from Prometheus and God of Fire cigars teams up with Carlito Fuente to create a special edition Opus X gift set and humidor collection. These limited edition cigars are a great way to support the Cigar Family Charity Foundation, as a portion of the proceeds goes to supporting this special charity foundation in the Dominican Republic.

Tatuaje Boris & Drac cigars - These two cigars from Pete Johnson definitely created the most "buzz" in 2009. When Pete Johnson posted a list online of where to buy these cigars, our phone system lit up like a Christmas tree. We could have sold out of these in about 10 minutes, but instead we did our best to spread the wealth and limited sales to just one cigar per person. The frenzy caused by these cigars reminded me of the cigar boom in the 90's when people practically got in fist fights over boxes of Opus X. Again, the Boris and Drac were red hot cigars but on the bottom of our list of best sellers because we had less than a few hundred of these cigars to sell.

E.P. Carillo Edicion Inaugural - Ernesto Perez Carillo is back to being an entrepreneurial cigar maker now that he has been left the corporate world and said good-by to the sinking ship of Swedish Match and General Cigar. (Ernesto was the man behind the famous La Gloria Cubana brand of cigars.) His new E.P. Carillo has been a huge hit with our sales staff and our hard core cigar guys. It is great to see Ernesto's first new product launch turn out to be a great success!

Liga Privada T52 - Drew Estate's Liga Privada is one of our best selling cigars in our retail stores and their new T-52 Stalk Cut and Flying Pig has been a huge hit. There has been a lot of buzz about Liga Privada cigars and people that have smoked them keep buying more and more. Supply on these is still spotty but most of the time they are available.

Diamond Crown Grid Iron Greats - One of my favorite new cigars for 2009. There was not as much buzz about this cigar as I expected but everyone who has smoked this cigar absolutely loves it. Diamond Crown Grid Iron Greats is available only at Diamond Crown Lounges and this cigar is worth seeking out. Part of the proceeds from the sale of these cigars goes to the Grid Iron Great charity.

Casa Fernandez Arsenio - Casa Fernandez cigars have been steadily gaining popularity (especially the Lancero size). In 2009 Paul Palmer of Casa Fernandez cigars released a special robusto size that was named after Arsenio Ramos who is Casa Fernandez/Aganorsa Tobacco's master cigar blender and tobacco agronomist. Arseno is a legend in his native Cuba and is quickly gaining the respect of the cigar public in the U.S.

Avo Companero - One of the early hits for 2009, the Avo Companero has been a great seller and has put a smile on the face of many cigar smokers! The Avo Companero was released as a special edition cigar to celebrate Avo's 84th birthday. Avo is hands down the "Top Cigar Ambassador" of the past decade.

Corona Nicaraguan 10th Anniversary - This cigar made our list because it has been such a huge hit since we first released this cigar. In fact, it is our overall best selling cigar for 2009. This is another great cigar made by the team of Paul Palmer, Arsenio Ramos and Aganorsa Tobacco. At less than $3 a stick, this is definitely one of the best cigar values of the year.

Don Pepin My Father Le Bijou - Don Pepin and his son Jamie have been hot for the past few years. But I have to admit, I wasn't sure about the Le Bijou cigar being a hit. I thought the name was too difficult for folks to pronounce and thought there may have been too many Don Pepin cigars on the retailer's shelves. Turns out I was wrong and people love this cigars. Sales have been strong enough for it to make our Top Ten 2009 cigar list.

There have been quite a few "Honorable Mentions" for 2009 including Room 101 by Camacho, La Traviata from CAO, Cain from Oliva, El Baton & Brick House from J.C. Newman, Davidoff Colorado Claro, Tatuaje Tubos, Acid Kuba Kuba Maduro, Alec Bradley Prensado, the Flip video recorder (I had to throw that in there just because I like it so much!)

I'm sure there is going to be some grumbling from some cigar makers because they weren't included as a "Best of Cigar of 2009". All I got to say is "At least it didn't cost you $20 grand a page in advertising and not make my list!"

Happy New Year!

Jeff Borysiewicz

Friday, January 1, 2010

Cigars Dropped For New Year's

Reposted from Rich Pereleman

Los Angeles, December 30, 2009- The apple will fall in New York City to mark the start of the new year on Thursday evening, but cigars will be dropping in two Pennsylvania towns to bring in 2010.

In Red Lion, the traditional cigar raising will take place in the downtown area, culminating a celebration that will begin at 5 p.m. The giant cigar commemorates the history of the area, which has a rich cigar-making tradition; the ceremony includes a giant lion (with a red mane, of course) holding a 100-pound, 8-foot, 3-inch long cigar in his hands, which is raised to the top of City Hall . . . which used to be a cigar factory!

In Richland, a giant cigar will mark the midnight hour and the start of 2010 at the Richland fairgrounds. The local American Legion Post has teamed up with John Hay Cigars to sponsor the drop, with the cigar itself fabricated by H.W. Brown Signs.

The Lebanon (Pa.) Daily News reported that the Richland area was also a cigar-making hotbed about a century ago. Area historian Earl Ibach will be on hand with copies of his new book on the area's cigar history, Tulpehocken Cigarama, detailing the cigar industry that once employed thousands in Richland and nearby Newmanstown, Myerstown, Stouchsburg, Womelsdorf, Robesonia and Strausstown.

New Year's Cigar Celebrations

There is no better way to ring in the New Year than with a cigar, a cocktail and people you enjoy being around.  Last night many people did just that, including me! 

My first cigar of choice were a Diamond Crown Maximus Perfecto that was a special cigar given to me by Eric and Bobby Newman.  They created this shape in honor of their grandfather and they were sold in special Diamond Crown 110th Anniversary humidors that were available a few years ago.  (We still have a few of these cigars available at our downtown Diamond Crown Lounge.)  The cigar was outstanding, packed with flavor and medium in strength.

My second cigar of choice was the new Fuente Fuente Opus X Lost City perfecto.  This cigar is not only rare because Carlito Fuente didn't make many, but extra rare because it was given to me by Keith Park, the owner of Prometheus and God of Fire cigars.  Trying to get a free cigar out of Keith is like trying to get candy from the Grinch.

I must say that the Lost City Opus X was a big surprise because it was not too strong for me.  I loved it!  (By the way, I paired both the Opus and the Maximus cigars with Corona Cigar's famous hand crafted Flor de Cana Mojito...mmmmm)

I ended the night with a desert cigar - a Tabak Especial from Drew Estate.  Go ahead and laugh, but I like the occasional flavored cigar!

I hope you had a happy new year!


Jeff Borysiewicz