Tuesday, November 27, 2007

My Older Brother just picked up a couple bundles from JR cigars. Looks like we'll be smoking some stoogies this weekend when I head down to Cinci to visit.

Check out 5chw4r7z

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Cigar Industry in Jeopardy?

The Largest Tax Increase on any product in the Entire History of The United States is being seriously considered right now, and it is on CIGARS! YOUR HELP IS URGENTLY NEEDED! The proposed taxes in the current Senate Finance Committee proposal will have a devastating impact on the cigar industry putting retail shops, mail order companies, distributors, cigar manufacturers, leaf tobacco growers and several hundred thousand workers in Central America out of business or out of work. Under the current proposal, the cigar tax rate would increase an astounding 20,413% to a maximum of $10 per cigar! All large cigars would effectively be taxed at 53.13% of the manufacturer's selling price. In all of the Internal Revenue Code, no other product is subject to an excise tax that approaches this level. To compound the injury, a "floor stock" tax would be assessed on all products in inventory, and put a majority of the industry out of business in one fell swoop. We need you to act NOW and immediately contact your U.S. Senators!



Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Many different things affect the scent of cigar smoke: quality of the cigar, added flavors, tobacco type, cigar age, cigar humidity, production method (handmade vs. machine-made) and more. Non-smokers subjected to second-hand cigar smoke have many different opinions about the scent of cigar smoke. Some enjoy the cigar smoke, noticing the difference between cigar smoke and the more common scent of cigarette smoke. However, other non-smokers do not appreciate or enjoy the scent of cigar smoke. The most ardent enjoyers of cigar smoking will sometimes keep personal journals of cigars they have enjoyed, complete with personal ratings, description of flavors observed, sizes, brands, etc. The qualities and characteristics of cigar tasting are very similar to those of wine, Scotch, beer, cognacs and tequila. Within a given specification, there are endless varieties. This dynamic is part of the appeal to which cigar smokers are continually drawn.



Friday, June 08, 2007

In 1898, when the Spanish-American War brought Cuba under United States control, American firms began to dominate island industries, including the Cuban cigar industry. The explosion of entrepreneurship in the Cuban cigar industry just after the turn of the century led to the issuance of the Cuban Warranty Seal in 1912 to try to bring some sanity to the proliferation of brands, styles and sizes. Cuban exports remained strong through World War I, but declined considerably afterward.(The record for this period came in 1906, when 257,776,000 Havanas were exported. The biggest drop came in 1921, when thanks to new tariffs, exports dropped almost 61% to just 59,440,000!) In the 1920s, the introduction of the cigar-making machine in the Por Larrañaga factory led to a crisis in the industry, as rollers saw their jobs threatened. A boycott of the machine-made products led to the removal of the machines in 1937 until 1950, but American companies interested in this technology and in traditional, hand-rolled cigars began importing large amounts of Cuban leaf into the U.S. for production there instead of in Havana. These cigars, made of all-Cuban tobacco, were known as "Clear Havanas."
In Cuba, even harder times were ahead as German submarine attacks in the Atlantic Ocean during World War II made Havanas almost unavailable in Europe, their principal market. But after the war, the popularity of Cuban cigars was reinvigorated by the image of the cigar-loving British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and by machine-made cigars, which satisfied the European desire for inexpensive smokes from Havana.(A noteworthy surge in sales occurred in 1944, when 181,313,000 Havanas were exported, the most since 1910!) With its markets restored, the Cuban cigar industry moved ahead until 1959, when the Cuban Revolution changed the political situation and the tobacco industry was nationalized.


Thursday, May 24, 2007

Cuban cigars

Cigars manufactured in Cuba are widely considered to be without peer, although many experts believe that the best offerings from Honduras and Nicaragua rival those from Cuba. The Cuban reputation is thought to arise from both the unique characteristics of the Vuelta Abajo district in the Pinar del Río Province at the west of the island, where the microclimate allows high-quality tobacco to be grown.Cuban cigars are rolled from tobacco leaves found throughout the country of Cuba. The filler, binder, and wrapper may come from different portions of the island. All cigar production in Cuba is controlled by the Cuban government, and each brand may be rolled in several different factories in Cuba. Cuban cigar rollers are claimed to be the most skilled rollers in the world.The label on Machine-made Cuban cigars -- "Manufactured in Cuba"Habanos SA and Cubatabaco do all the work relating to Cuban cigars, including quality control, promoting and distributing and exportation. Cuban cigars are either hand made, or machine made. All bear the statement Hecho en Cuba, on the box or label, regardless of method of production. Hand-finished cigars previously bunched by machine add Hecho a mano, while fully hand-made cigars say Totalmente a mano in stylized text. Some cigars show a TC or Tripa Corta - meaning short filler and cuttings were used in the hand-rolling process.


Thursday, May 17, 2007

C.A.O. Italia

Widely heralded as the producer of some of the world's finest wines, olive oils, and truffles, Italy has been largely overlooked as a source for premium cigar tobacco. "Historically, there have been two types of tobacco seeds that thrive in Italy," said CAO Vice President, Tim Ozgener. "The Geudertheimer seed is grown and used primarily for machine made cigars. The seed grown for CAO Italia, however, is an Italian Habano seed originally brought to Italy from Cuba some forty-plus years ago. This seed is grown in the Benevento region of the southern portion of Italy, located between Rome and Naples. We've experimented a great deal with Italian tobacco and we believe it lends a very unique earthy-sweetness to the blend, one that rounds out the robust, full-bodied flavor profile that is CAO Italia."



Thursday, May 03, 2007

The Montecristo brand was created in 1935 by Menéndez, García y Cía, then the owners of the popular H. Upmann brand of cigars. Having just purchased the H. Upmann marque from J. Frankau & Co., Menéndez and García decided to produce their own subset of the regular H. Upmann line, called the H. Upmann Montecristo Selection. The name for the brand was inspired by the Alexandre Dumas, père novel The Count of Monte Cristo, which was supposedly a very popular choice among the torcedores (cigar rollers) in their factory to have read by the lector on the rolling floor. On the insistence of the John Hunter firm of Great Britain (which would later merge with J. Frankau & Co. to form Hunter & Frankau, Britain's sole importer of Cuban cigars to this day), the name was shortened to simply Montecristo and a new logo was designed for it: the yellow and red "crossed swords" logo the brand still bears today. Through the efforts of Alfred Dunhill, Ltd., the Montecristo brand became incredibly popular worldwide and to this day accounts for roughly 50% of Habanos SA's worldwide cigar sales, making it the most popular Cuban cigar in the world. After the Cuban Revolution and the nationalization of the cigar industry in Cuba in 1961, Menéndez and García fled to the Canary Islands where they re-established the brand, but were later forced to quit due to copyright disputes with Cubatabaco. In the mid-1970s, the operation was moved to La Romana in the Dominican Republic and released for the US market, where Cuba's rights to the brand weren't recognized due to the embargo. Menéndez, García, y Cía is now owned by Altadis SA, who controls its distribution and marketing in the United States. The original line had only five numbered sizes, with a tubed cigar added during the 1940s, but otherwise remained unchanged until after nationalization. With Menendez and Garcia gone after 1959, one of the top grade torcedores, José Manuel Gonzalez, was promoted to floor manager and proceeded to breathe new life into the brand. In the 1970s and 1980s, five new sizes were added: the A, the Especial No. 1 and 2, the Joyita, and the Petit Tubo. Three other sizes, the Montecristo No. 6, No. 7, and B, were released but subsequently discontinued, though the B can occasionally be found in very small releases each year in Cuba. Through the 1970s and 1980s, Montecristo continued to rise in popularity among cigar smokers and firmly entrenched itself as one of Cuba's top selling cigar lines. The Montecristo No. 4 is, itself, the most popular cigar in the world market. In 2004, another new edition to the regular line was made with the Edmundo, a large robusto-sized cigar, named for the hero of Dumas' The Count of Monte Cristo, Edmond Dantès. Montecristo is also regularly chosen to be featured in Habanos SA's annual Edición Limitada selection of cigars with a darker vintage wrapper and there are numerous limited edition releases of special Montecristo cigars for special occasions, anniversaries, the annual Habanos Festival, charities, etc. Montecristo also produces three machine-made cigarillos: the Mini, the Club, and the Purito.



Tuesday, April 24, 2007

U.S. Legislators in Cuba to jump start dialogue

HAVANA (Reuters) - The largest delegation from the U.S. Congress to visit Cuba since 1959 arrived in Havana on Friday seeking to open a dialogue with the communist government of acting President Raul Castro despite White House opposition to such contacts.
The stepping aside of ailing Cuban leader Fidel Castro, who has not appeared in public for four months, has set the stage for ending political hostility dating from the start of the Cold War, they said.
"We sense this is an important time and we hope to meet with officials and hopefully launch a new era in U.S.-Cuba relations," said Rep. Jeff Flake, an Arizona Republican. The six Democrats and four Republicans hope to meet with Raul Castro, who took over July 31 after his brother underwent emergency surgery for an undisclosed illness.
Raul Castro two weeks ago said he was open to negotiations with Washington to settle the longstanding dispute that emerged after the Castros seized power in a 1959 revolution and turned Cuba into a Soviet ally.
The Bush administration, which opposes a "dynastic succession" from one Castro brother to the other, has rejected talks in the absence of democratic reform to Cubas one-party state.
The State Department opposed the trip, delegation members said. "The bottom line is, we think it is the right thing to do," said Massachusetts Democrat Jim McGovern. "I have long thought our policy toward Cuba has been arrogant and dumb."
The visiting legislators said momentum was gathering in Washington for a new chapter in ties with Cuba and changes in U.S. policy are likely next year under a Democrat-controlled Congress.
"The U.S. Congress come January is under a different leadership and I think that on a bipartisan basis there is a desire to engage in dialogue and determine areas where we can agree, despite the fact that we will, I am sure, continue to have profound differences with the Cuban government," said Rep. William Delahunt, a Massachusetts Democrat.
Assistant Secretary of State Tom Shannon, the top U.S. diplomat for Latin America, on Wednesday criticized a greater crackdown on dissent since the younger Castro took over.
Delahunt declined to comment on whether the delegation will meet with Cuban dissidents who are seeking democratic changes.
Flake and Delahunt are co-chairmen of the Cuba Working Group in the House of Representatives that plans to work to relax a ban on travel and a cap on family remittances to Cuba next year.
They favor engagement and trade with Cuba rather than sanctions as the best U.S. policy to foster change on the island.
Delegation members said their requested meeting with Raul
Castro has not been confirmed.



Tuesday, April 17, 2007


During his second voyage to the New World in 1496, Christopher Columbus revisited western Hispaniola, which is now known as the Dominican Republic. To his surprise, he discovered that the Taino Indians of Hispaniola were smoking leaves of cured tobacco. "Cohiba," they called it. Today, Cohiba remains as much a part of Dominican history as ever.

What can I say, this Cigar was one I was excited about. A good draw right off the bat, the aroma was strong but the flavor sure did wow me. At times it went from cedar to berry in flavor, which is rare for me to experience, I usally get a ceder to toast flavor but the zip this cigar had was wonderful. The wrap was great and burned smooth. I enjoyed it very much with my Coffee last night.


Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Cuba Defends its Rights to Cohiba Cigars Havana, Nov 7 (ACN) Cuba is determined to stand up for its right to the Cohiba Cigar brand, which American transnationals are trying to seize with the help of the Bush administration, said Habanos S.A Vice President Manuel Garcia. The executive of the joint venture, a world leader in the distribution of the famous Cuban cigars, pointed out that it is a matter of principles to continue defending the Cuban hallmark "whenever there is a legal framework where we can claim our product." In a press conference, Garcia explained that the Cohiba brand was created by Cubans, "along with the Revolution," adding, "we will continue fighting for our right," reported the Opciones weekly newspaper. He explained that the company's sales have continued a steady rise over the first nine months of this year, and the results for this period are even better than expected, despite the strong worldwide campaign against smoking. Garcia said that even though various European countries have been implementing measures against the habit, the Habanos Corporation has grown in relation to the same period last year. During the press conference, the executive announced the celebration of the 9th Festival of the Habano, which will kick off February 26, 2007. He said the event will be led by the Cohiba, Montecristo, Romeo y Julieta, Partagas, Hoyo de Monterrey, H. Upmann and Jose L. Piedra brands. Experts and regular participants, including smokers, cigar dealers and Habano lovers, have named the Habano Festival the world's most important public relations event in the arena of premium cigars. Garcia told the press that Cuba has been able to introduce itself in all markets of the world except the United States, where the Cuban cigars can not be marketed because of prohibitions against US trade blockade with the island.

Friday, February 16, 2007

It has been quite some time since I posted. So, let us warm things up in this horribly cold weather with a nice cigar and some freinds to smoke them with.