SGDG Magazine

Cigars: Jay-Z Partners with Cohiba

Cigar aficionado Shawn Jay-Z Carter has partnered with stylish stogie brand Cohiba Red Dot to create the Comador Cigar collection. Cohiba’s master blenders spent two years developing Comador’s elegant taste in the Dominican Republic.

The Comador Cigar comes in three inceptions. The Comador Toro Box houses seven cigars for $210, the Comador Travel Humidor case houses seven cigars for $350 and is part of his highly-publicized and highly-criticized “New York Holiday”.

“Handsomely covered in fine, grained leather, the two-door hinged humidor is lined with solid mahogany to seal in and emit moisture—while supporting your cigars’ maturation. Kitted with a hygrometer that maintains moisture at perfect levels, the humidor is crafted with a storage area and ventilated cedar tray that organize and protect up to 63 cigars. This beautiful investment piece comes with a sealed, screw-top metal travel cylinder that lets you carry your favorite cigars to parties, clubs, and other festive gatherings. A fabulous gift for the cigar lover on your holiday list—or for yourself.”

Barneys New York will donate 100 percent of sales from the “New York Holiday” items to the Shawn Carter Foundation. Take a closer look at the Cohiba Comador Cigars by Jay-Z below. Does this collaboration make you want to puff, puff or just pass?

Music: “Almost Blue” by Chet Baker

“Almost Blue” is a song by Elvis Costello (Declan Patrick MacManus) that appears on his 1982 album Imperial Bedroom. This song was also performed by Chet Baker and appears on the album Chet Baker In Tokyo (1987) one of my favorite songs when I’m relaxing and smoking a cigar.  The groove is epic and surprisingly Chet Baker voice just enhances my relaxation. I would recommend every cigar lover try some of his music, your guaranteed to enjoy his smooth style and melodies.

One of Chet Baker’s last recordings was this Elvis Costello-penned song from the Bruce Weber film “Let’s Get Lost.”  Although a drug-addled mess towards the end of his life, musically this recording finds him in top form on horn and vocals. It’s ironic how someone with such a warm tone could be so definitively associated with cool jazz…

Click Here To Listen on YouTube

Track Listings

Disc: 1
1. Stella by Starlight
2. For Minors Only
3. You’d Be So Nice to Come Home To
4. Arborway
Disc: 2
1. Four
2. Almost Blue
3. Beatrice
4. My Funny Valentine
5. Seven Steps to Heaven

Buy CD Online: One Night in Tokyo

Cigars: La Flor Dominicana’s Factory Pressed

La Flor Dominicana’s Factory Presses have been some of the most well-regarded cigars for quite some time. The Factory Press idea came to Litto Gomez as a way to show his customers how the factory pressing process worked. He ended up releases large boxes that were filled with box pressing trays to give his customers a closer look at how the sharp pressing on the cigars is achieved.

The first Factory Press was released in 2005, with subsequent releases almost each year. At the 2013 IPCPR Trade Show in Las Vegas, La Flor Dominicana showcased the release for 2013-2014, the Factory Press Limitado. This cigar is quite large, measuring in at 6 ¼ x 60.

While many, if not most, of the Factory Press releases were shipped in cases that contained individual pressing trays, this release is being sold in 12-count boxes, that are more like the individual trays.

This particular Factory Press is being characterized by LFD as the second release of the Factory Press Limitado, and does not have an accompanying Roman Numeral, like the other Factory Presses. The cigar’s band carries a simple F.P.L. to designate which cigar this is.

For this release, Litto Gomez sought out the darkest Ecuadorian Sumatran wrappers he could find. This specially aged wrapper is combined with Nicaraguan binders and Dominican long fillers.

Atlantic Cigar still has a decent amount of inventory on the LFD Factory Press Limitado. If you are interested, you can check it out here. This is a limited release, so once the cigars are sold, that’s it.


The Factory Press Limitado carries a smooth wrapper that has a mottled dark brown color. The veins are hardly visible. For a cigar that is a “gordo” size, it feels very manageable due to the box-pressing. The cap is well applied. Overall, this is a very attractive looking cigar.


Before lighting the cigar, there are smells of mild and sweet tobacco accompanied by fruit rind and hard candy. The cold draw has flavors of hard candy, raisins and cedar.

1st Third:

There was a mild pepper spice at light, joined by flavors of cedar and an initial sweetness. The draw offered slight resistance, which produced good amounts of smoke. The cigar started medium-bodied. Flavors of apple peel lingered on the palate and was later joined by some woodiness, which developed into molasses and hickory.

2nd Third:

The smoke on the Factory Press Limitado is remarkably cool. The cigar stayed steady throughout the middle, with the hickory and molasses sticking around. Some citrus notes develop in the background. The hickory presented occasionally more as a cedar note. the smoke is remarkably cool, stiff ash, hickory and molasses stick around. The cigar remained medium-bodied. The ash was nice and stiff, hanging on for over an inch.

Final Third:

The spice returned in some measure at the end of the cigar, but instead of a peppery spice, it presented more along the lines of nutmeg and cinnamon. The sweetness hung around and was accompanied by licorice, sweet hickory, molasses and some saltiness. The cigar stayed medium-bodied until the end, though the nicotine content was a bit sneaky.


The La Flor Dominicana Factory Press Limitado was much sweeter and more medium-bodied than I expected considering a lot of other LFD releases. The sweetness was balanced nicely with some interesting fruit, wood and mild spice, so that it never became overwhelming. The box-pressing goes a long way to making the sheer size of the cigar much more manageable. The Factory Press releases have always been a favorite of mine and this cigar fits into that trend nicely.

Cigars: Alec Bradley Sun Grown Blend

This is the description from Cigar Aficionado: “The Alec Bradley American Sun Grown Blend will have a Nicaraguan core of Estelí and Condega filler tobaccos and a Jalapa binder, the same as found on the Alec Bradley American Classic. But instead of a Honduran Connecticut seed wrapper, American Sun Grown will wear a sun-grown Habano leaf from the Jalapa region of Nicaragua, making them Nicaraguan puros. The Sun Grown cigars are being rolled at Plasencia Cigars in Estelí, Nicaragua.”

Creaminess shows up early and envelops the spice. There is a pie crust component to it…sweetness. And then here comes the Nicaraguan cocoa experience. It bathes my mouth in delectable dark chocolate. And with it, is the taste of almonds to round out the candy bar experience.

Less than an inch in and this cigar is showing off its pedigree. It is a meaty cigar. It quickly gets close to full body at this point. There is an Illuision quality to it. That dark deepness. The depth of character. I love this cigar. And I have nothing to do with the Alec Bradley folks.

The trick is to let them rest a bit. Do not smoke these sticks upon receipt. Give them a month and you will be rewarded.

As the first third ends, and the second begins, the power of the cigar strengthens. The pepper increases like a good Nic cigar should. There is plenty of flavor going on…the baking spices, the meatiness, that oak barrel flavor, and the beloved cocoa and creaminess.

This is a cigar you don’t want to end. I’ve always been an A/B fan but this is something really special. And they’ve shown the world that you can make a boutique cigar for less than $9. In fact, half of that.