SmokeGood DrinkGood Magazine

Cigars: Caldwell Cigars Innovation Passion Development

Robert Caldwell has burst onto the boutique cigar scene like some sorta supernova, and it seems like there’s no stopping his meteoric rise. You see, he makes cigars his way he scours farms across the globe for the best tobacco leaves, tests and retests his blends until he gets the exact flavors he’s looking for, and keeps production limited in an effort to deliver a superior product. I’m telling you once you try a Caldwell cigar you will count yourself among his growing legion of fans.

Years of blending, generations of expertise and centuries of tradition have all factored into the making of great cigars — and Caldwell Cigars is no exception. Innovation, passion and development by companies such as theirs have been key in the effort to bring you the best cigar smoking experience known to man since he first rolled up a leaf and smoked it. And it’s hard to argue that with hard work like this, the premium cigar world is now the best it’s ever been.

EASTERN STANDARD CIGARS

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Eastern Standard cigars have begun earned a reputation as a head-turner…and with the boutique cigar market on fire, Caldwell is surely deserving of a slice of the action with this one. Part of the Caldwell Collection, Eastern Standard utilizes “Grade A” tobaccos, all rare and hard-to-find. Meant to smoke on the milder end of the range, Caldwell Eastern Standard does it and then some, rounding out to medium via the Dark Connecticut wrapper. The flavors are fat and complex; order now, and see…

KING IS DEAD CIGARS

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The King Is Dead cigars come by way of Robert (Wynwood Cigars) Caldwell. The company uses very rare tobaccos, like the 2008 Dominican Negrito wrapper used on this selection. The core blend uses various amounts of vintage Dominican Corojo Ligero, Negrito Viso, and HVA (Habano Vuelta Arriba) with a Corojo binder. A short blast of cedar, sweet spice and red pepper open the show, then taper-off to a mostly cedary and very satisfying medium-full puro. ORDER A BOX NOW and taste for yourself.

LONG LIVE THE KING CIGARS

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Long Live The King cigars come from Robert (Wynwood Cigars) Caldwell. The company uses very rare tobaccos, like the shimmering 2008 Corojo Dominicano wrapper used on this selection, while the core blend uses various amounts of vintage Corojo Ligero Dominicano, Viso Pelo De Oro Peruano, and Habano Ligero Nicaraguense. The cigar starts out with a blast of earthy spice, quickly settling into flavors of dark tobacco and cedar, while building to a very exotic full-bodied smoke.

BLIND MANS BLUFF

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Caldwell Cigar Company has made waves in the cigar industry. For the annual IPCPR Trade Show of 2015 Blind Man’s Bluff was featured. Blind Man’s Bluff features a Ecuadoran Habano wrapper, a Criollo binder from Honduras, and fillers composed of San Vicente viso from the Dominican Republic and Criollo ligero and what Caldwell calls Generoso ligero sol from Honduras. Rolled in Davidoff’s Agroindustrias Laepe S.A. in Honduras, the same factory where Camachos are produced these cigars are perfectly crafted.

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The LifeStyle: The Life Of Davidoff Cigars Is The Life Of Zino Davidoff

The story of Davidoff Cigars is much different than any other cigar manufacturer today. Generally speaking, a cigar company was either born in Cuba and moved after the Revolution, or simply started up somewhere in the U.S. or Latin America. Not Davidoff Cigars though. No, the story all starts with one man: Zino Davidoff. The eldest of four children, Zino was born to a Jewish family in present day Ukraine while it was still under the control of Soviet Russia. His parents were tobacco merchants in Kiev, with many loyal customers searching out their products. However, due to political turmoil and heavily anti-Semitic sentiments that reached almost genocidal levels, his family emigrated to Geneva, Switzerland in 1911 for a better life, opening a new tobacconist shop in 1912. After his schooling was finished, he traveled to South America to tour around the tobacco fields and learn more about the cigar trade in Argentina, Brazil, and Cuba where he eventually ended up working for two years.

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Upon returning to Switzerland in 1930, he took over his parent’s shop and grew the modest storefront into a booming business as a result of his newfound knowledge of cigars and tobacco in general. Along with continuing the business’s tradition of blending custom made cigarettes, Zino started importing premium hand-rolled Cuban cigars, and to store them in the proper environment, he invented the first ever climate-controlled humidor in the basement of his shop.

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Perhaps the biggest moment for Zino was when he received a call from SEITA, the French tobacco monopoly during WWII. Basically, the Nazi’s were goose stepping all over France and the French didn’t want the Nazis to confiscate the two million habanos they had stored in a customs warehouse. Zino jumped on the opportunity to buy them all up and his shop was the only store in the world with a consistent supply of premium Cubans. The money he made by selling these cigars funded what is now the most premier cigar manufacturer in the world, Davidoff Cigars. Originally it started with only Cuban blends such as the Chateau lines, but Zino’s ties with Cubatabaco ended when quality started to falter under the state owned monopoly’s hands. Zino personally set ablaze over one hundred thousand of his own cigars saying they were not fit to be smoked due to the low standards.

He eventually opened his Dominican operation in 1990, right before the American cigar boom, and Davidoff Cigars soon became the king of the cigar world. With the transition to the Dominican factory, Zino created the flagship Davidoff Aniversario line, popular among every cigar circle and a testament to the quality and flavor Davidoff is known for. Throughout the years, and to keep up with the ever changing palates of consumers, in 2001 the Davidoff Millennium came into existence – a strong yet still wonderfully flavorful smoke for the ages. In recent years, the company made waves of husky-kid-nailing-a-cannonball proportions with their brand new Davidoff Nicaragua being premiered in late 2013 and the acquisition of Camacho Cigars from Christian Eiroa.

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When you buy and light up a Davidoff Cigar, you’re not simply buying a stogie to smoke. You’re buying a rich history that started in turmoil, suffered through two World Wars, the Cuban Revolution, yet still maintained the standard of excellence Zino’s father held in that small tobacco shop in Kiev. Today, Davidoff is still going strong and will continue to create premium cigars that will be appreciated by even the most discerning smoker.

Today

Davidoff Cigars are to the cigar world as Bentley is to the car industry. There’s simply no better recognized brand in the entire world. Of course, many believe these to be the cigar of the bourgeoisie; they’re nothing short of an amazing cigar meant for anyone to enjoy any moment of the day. They’re known for their absolutely flawless quality control, having the best of any cigar manufacturer in existence, and incredible overall consistency.

Cigar Line

Escurio
A night in Rio inspires an adventure of taste

Winston Churchill
There is only one Winston Churchill. There is only one cigar to bear his name.

Oro Blanco
The rarest cigar for the rarest of moments.

Classic
Fresh floral scents mingle with earthy, woody notes, and the barest hints of a sweet, clean, creamy aftertaste.

Mille
Mille series redefines the timeless elegance of the Classic Blend with slightly wider ring gauge formats.

Nicaragua
The new Davidoff Nicaragua – Discovered by and appreciated by those in the mood to explore.

Grand Cru
Leaves from carefully selected fields are used to create this unmistakable blend: woody, slightly spicy, with an earthy aroma.

Puro D’Oro
Exceptionally pure and deeply rich, the Puro d’Oro blend was created using only the finest tobaccos from the Dominican Republic.

Millennium Blend
The Davidoff Millennium blend celebrates a transition. A beautiful shift to to a new millennium filled with fresh horizons.

Special
Davidoff’s Special Series marks the renaissance of emblematic classic shapes; robustos, culebras, perfectos and other figurados.

Aniversario
The exquisite aroma and carefully balanced blend of tobaccos declare the Aniversario range worthy of the most important times.

Maduro
The Maduro series presents intense yet smooth aromas of nuts, caramel, and honey with sweet twists of dark chocolate and chili.

Primeros
Imagine being able to stop life momentarily and enjoy time to pause and reflect.

Limited Editions
Superlative craftsmanship is supported by deep heritage all in the service of delivering unforgettable moments of pleasure.

Royal
Davidoff’s Royal Series is expertly and meticulously crafted for life’s happiest occasions.

Colorado Claro Line
The Davidoff Colorado Claro line is based on the Special line formats but carries a very rare wrapper.

Cigarillos
First created over 40 years ago, Davidoff cigarillos are now the most popular cigarillos in the world.

Checkout the Davidoff Website

Distilled Spirits: Thomas H. Handy Sazerac Worlds Best American Award

Thomas H Handy was the first to use a rye whiskey in a Sazerac cocktail, and for this, we can only raise our glasses and thank him. Buffalo Trace, however, do much more than that by honouring him with the Thomas H Handy Sazerac Rye Whiskey, which is released annually in their Antique Collection. Last year’s Thomas H Handy was Jim Murray’s “World Whiskey of the Year”.

Bright, candy and spice nose; chocolate covered maraschino cherry, late minty mouthfeel, fresh cut wood. Super spicy, nutmeg and cinnamon. Bright and balanced, expresses very well in the heat. Sweet, candy with pepper, bold and forward. Medium to long finish with hints of cinnamon and nutmeg. Loved the balance and complexity.

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Chocolate truffle, nutmeg, cinnamon buns and black vanilla pods on the nose. A touch of ginger cake. Strong and heavy. Crème brûlée topping, drying oak and a big hit of bluebird toffee. Packed full of flavour, if not a little too dry. Long and lingering wood. A good example of extreme oak maturation.

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About Buffalo Trace

Buffalo Trace Distillery is a family-owned company based in Franklin County, Kentucky. The distillery’s rich distilling tradition dates back to 1787 and has included such legends as E.H. Taylor, Jr., George T. Stagg, Albert B. Blanton, Orville Schupp, and Elmer T. Lee. Buffalo Trace is a fully operational distillery producing bourbon, rye and vodka on site and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Buffalo Trace has won seven distillery titles since 2000 from such notable publications as Whisky Magazine, Malt Advocate Magazine and Wine Enthusiast Magazine. Buffalo Trace has also garnered more than 170 awards for its wide range of premium whiskies. The distillery is part of the Sazerac family of companies, which has operations in New Orleans, Louisiana; Franklin County, Bardstown and Owensboro, Kentucky; Fredericksburg, Virginia and Baltimore, Maryland.

 

Cigars: Pete Johnson and My Father Integral Players in the L’Atelier Cigar Brand

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L’Atelier Cigars are the stogies you need to get. Just get a load of the names behind the brand! You have Pete Johnson, the same guy behind Tatuaje, and My Father who manufactures these hand-rolled beauties under the watchful eye of the Garcia family. It’s no wonder with these two legendary names running the brand that L’Atelier was ranked #12 in the world in 2013.

About L’Atelier Cigars

If you don’t know about the astounding L’Atelier Cigar brand, then it’s time to get acquainted. It’s important to point out two names when talking about this incredible brand: Pete Johnson, and My Father. Both are integral players in how these gems came into existence, and the reason they were named among the top cigars in the world by multiple review boards.

It all started when master blender Pete Johnson decided he wanted to create a new line of cigars that departed the same feel as his other extremely well-known brand Tatuaje. The objective in making L’Atelier was to provide smokers with a premium hand-rolled cigar, composed of well-aged tobaccos, to offer complex flavors with a classic Cuban feel. He immediately went to one of the only people who truly understands what that fine Cubanesqe style is: his long time business partners and close friends, the Garcia family of My Father Cigars.

Growing up in Cuba, Don Jose “Pepin” Garcia obtained firsthand tobacco experience starting at the age of 11 when he started working in a cigar factory. In his time there he learned how Cuban cigars are made, and the flavor profiles of a traditional smoke. Proudly, he mastered the art of blending and rolling, eventually utilizing his skills to open his own company in 2002. It was a year later that Pete Johnson and Pepin Garcia joined forces to produce Tatuaje cigars. Almost a decade later, they embarked on a new project to blend and manufacture L’Atelier Cigars.

Customers lined up early to get their hands on this new Cuban inspired offering molded after the Cohiba Behike in both flavor and construction. Complete with loads of complexity and topped with a traditional pigtail cap, their inaugural line, simply entitled L’Atelier LAT 52, LAT 46, and so on, was an instant success with brick and mortar shops, which struggled to keep them in stock. Soon after came a slew of line extensions such as El Suelo Cigars, Surrogates Cigars, and Trocadero, all of which followed suit as top sellers world wide. It goes without saying this line is very highly praised and still keeps cigar shops stressing about replenishing their inventory.

L’Atelier Cigars are as hard to get as it is to say their name. But fear not, Famous Smoke Shop’s massive inventory of these premium hand-rolled cigars allows you to pick some up at the lowest prices on the market. Each are hand-rolled to precise standards to ensure consistency, and offer its beholder a slew of complex medium to full-bodied flavor and strength. Pick up the L’Atelier Cigars you want from our large inventory now at Famous Smoke Shop discount prices, and relax with flavor.

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What do you get when you take Pete Johnson, his brother, add a couple of friends to the mix, and make a cigar? Answer – L’Atelier. Blended by Pete Johnson, and hand-crafted in Pepin’s My Father Factory, each cigar shows up to the big stage well prepared. Dressed to impress, each L’Atelier comes cloaked in a bold new wrapper leaf known as ‘Sancti Spiritus’ – a hybrid of Criollo and Pelo de Oro. Grown in the misty valleys of Ecuador, this beautiful leaf boasts a wonderful aroma, and houses a rich core of Nicaraguan long-fillers. Together, this recipe strikes up medium to full-bodied smoke, containing meaty notes of spice, cedar, earth, dried fruit, and a long hearty finish. The cherry on top is a beautiful pigtail cap. Click Here to Purchase

 

La Mission du L’Atelier

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La Mission du L’Atelier, roughly translated to the mission of the workshop, was inspired by a French winery renown for strong and hearty red wines. L’Atelier is known as a small batch producer of exquisite cigars, and with Mission du L’Atelier they’ve outdone themselves.

Hailing from the My Father factory in Esteli, Nicaragua, La Mission du L’Atelier is the strongest blend yet for L’Atelier. Coming dressed in a Mexican San Andres wrapper over Nicaraguan long-fillers, including the revered Sancti Spiritus leaf, the cigar is stunning in appearance. Medium to full-bodied, and box-pressed with a pigtail cap, the cigar includes robust notes of chocolate, pepper, coffee, leather and wood, and boasts complexity and depth of flavor. La Mission du L’Atelier is an enchanting and pleasurable cigar, and will soon occupy the top shelves of humidors everywhere. Click Here to Purchase

L’Atelier Surrogates

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Blended by Pete Johnson, and crafted in Don Pepin’s My Father factory in Nicaragua, each Surrogate was masterfully created to serve up four unique and completely different experiences. This time around, their goal was simple. To create a new series of cigars, limited-edition in nature, that would be readily available to the consumer without breaking the bank. A winning combination if you ask me. Here’s the bottom line: Surrogates deliver the goods as promised. Click Here to Purchase

L’Atelier El Suelo

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Enter the new El Suelo by L’Atelier. Meaning ‘the ground’, or ‘the soil’ in Spanish, El Suelo was crafted as an every day offering equipped with an everyman price tag. And the exciting part is, it doesn’t skimp on a single thing. Blended by Pete Johnson, and hailing from Don Pepin’s Tabacalera Cubana factory, each cigar is well-balanced, medium in body, and provides plenty of big-time flavor. At play is an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper, draped over a core of Nicaraguan and Connecticut Broadleaf long-fillers. The end result is a cigar exuding notes of leather, earth, nuts, roasted coffee bean, and undeniable hint of sweetness. Boasting a resounding similarity to L’Atelier’s pricier offerings, El Suelo is worth far more than the asking price. Click Here to Purchase

L’Atelier Trocadero

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L’Atelier is new on the cigar scene, but already things have quickly started heating up for the buzz-worthy brand. And making things even more exciting is Trocadero. Blended by Pete Johnson, and crafted in Don Pepin’s Tabacalera Cubana factory, Trocadero goes where few brands dare, bundles. But honestly, you’re a fool if you pass up on these legit handmades all because of a box, because there’s a lot to be enjoyed here. Draped in an Ecuador Habano rosado wrapper, and jammed packed with Nicaraguan long-filler tobaccos, each Trocadero wrangles up a pleasant mild to medium-bodied profile. Notes of toast, leather, nuts, earth and gentle spices round out this highly satisfying, highly affordable handmade. Click Here to Purchase

The LifeStyle: Lashes & Mustashes Mobile Luxury Lounge

Owned and Operated by: Joyce “Cigarfoxy” Larkins

Smoking a cigar is not a pastime, but an experience.  I started Lashes & MustASHES to bring the luxury, class and sophistication of my favorite cigar lounges to clients who look to make their next event, party or business retreat truly memorable.

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There’s nothing quite like the experience of enjoying my favorite cigar, surrounded by plush leathers and wood with music or a sporting event playing in the background. Engaging in conversation with my fellow leaf lovers – while sipping on a glass of rum, cognac or vintage port – is something I hold dear to my heart.

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Cigars are a symbol of a luxurious and comfortable lifestyle, an activity enjoyed with class, refinement and tact by millions of people across the country. In fact, cigars are one of the few pleasures available to our troops overseas in Iraq and Afghanistan. It also has a certain sense of mystery, something that is unlike any other tobacco product.

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Lashes & MustASHES was created to offer enthusiasts a smoker-friendly, luxurious destination to enjoy their favorite cigars at any location of their choosing. We bring something remarkably special to your business, club or venue, providing your guests with the opportunity to enjoy the company of their friends and colleagues in a relaxed and elegant atmosphere.

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In addition, we have a stake in our community. A percentage of our profits go directly to “BENEFIT G.O.A.L.S”, a non-profit organization committed to helping male student athletes from single-parent homes make their first step towards higher education.

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If you’re looking to stand out from the crowd, try out one of our portable cigar lounge experiences. I am confident that you’ll find that it brings a completely new level of class and variety to your next outing or event.

Lashes and MustASHES brings portability to the finest elements enjoyed by Cigar and Pipe Smokers in a welcoming upscale Cigar Lounge environment.

CIGAR LOUNGE AND LUXURY RECREATIONAL VEHICLE RENTAL
The Cigar Lounge Veranda and the Luxury RV Land Yacht Travel Trailer each provide stocked humidor with premium cigars, plush leather seating, media options, signature hostess service and can be rented for 4 hours or multiple days.

CIGAR & CIGAR ACCESSORY SALES & SERVICES/ CIGAR HOSTESS SERVICE
Lashes and MustASHES is licensed to sell Tobacco products. However, our environments are a “Bring your own Alcohol” arrangement. Whether its for a private poker game with 10 friends or an event with 300 attendees, we can customize the right Cigar Hostess Service Experience for your event.

BRAND ENHANCEMENT/CUSTOMIZATION-CANOPY/VEHICLE WRAP SERVICE
We work with existing establishments like Night Clubs, Country Clubs, Professional Sports Arenas, Corporations, etc. to become an extension of their events team to deliver a unique value added Customer Appreciation experience.

Email: jlarkins@lashesandmustASHES.com
Website: http://www.lashesandmustASHES.com

Cigars: La Flor Dominicana Six Very Different and Distinct Blends

La Flor Dominicana entered the cigar market by distinguishing itself as one of the first cigar factories to produce what are today called “boutique cigars.” Originally released in 1996 under the name, Los Libertadores, the brand was later changed to La Flor Dominicana (Dominican flower), inspired by the beautiful purple flowers that bloom on the tobacco plants when they reach maturity.

Since 1998, the La Flor brand has grown exponentially. As a result, they have created a wide selection of ground-breaking blends that offer flawless construction, awesome flavor, perfect balance, and shimmering wrappers. It’s not surprising that most of their cigars have achieved some of the highest awards and here are 6 of my personal favorite. #smokegood

LA FLOR DOMINICANA LA NOX CIGARS

LFD LaNox

La Nox cigars show just how dark LFD can get. Released at IPCPR in 2015, this ultra dark cigar bearing the name The Dark in Latin, is something completely different from their main lines. Using a mix of Dominican fillers and a Mexican San Andres binder, the La Nox is then rolled in a special, ultra dark and oily Brazilian madruo wrapper. The result is a taste that is completely unique int he industry. It’s rich, bold, and exciting. Pick up your box now.

LA FLOR DOMINICANA DOUBLE LIGERO CIGARS

LFD Double Ligero

Double Ligero cigars were introduced in 2003 using a powerful blend of Dominican longfiller and binder leaves finished in silky Ecuadorian wrappers that shimmer with a dark and oily patina. Among the many shapes is the outstanding-rated Chisel, featuring a wedge-shaped head, handcrafted in your choice of a dark natural or an even more savory Maduro wrapper leaf. Flavors of wood and coffee bean dominate with sweet notes on a long, spicy finish. In a word: Awesome!

LA FLOR DOMINICANA ORO TUBO CIGARS

LFD ORO Tube

Oro cigars are a truly special cigar made by one of the elite manufacturers in the industry today. According to Litto Gomez, this line was made to be an amped up Coronado blend. He is spot on with his description of this cigar. Blended magnificently in every way with a lot of punch on the back end making this a perfect after dinner smoke. Pick up your 5 pack today before they are all gone.

LA FLOR DOMINICANA AIR BENDER CIGARS

LFD AirBender

Air Bender cigars have become a sure-fire favorite cigar enthusiasts who seek full-bodied flavor and exquisite construction. Natural or maduro Ecuadorian Habano wrappers seamlessly encase the most select, perfectly-aged Dominican long-fillers grown on Litto Gomez’s La Canela farm. The result is a very smooth, flavorful cigar with lots of body, says Litto. You’ll enjoy a creamy, spicy and woody smoke laced semi-sweet tobaccos notes throughout. Add some to your cart today!

LA FLOR DOMINICANA CORONADO CIGARS

LFD Coronado

Coronado by La Flor cigars boast a spectacular Nicaraguan Sun-Grown Habano wrapper with a rich buttery patina. At the core are Dominican Sumatra and Piloto Cubano longfillers bound in a savory Dominican Corojo leaf. Thick, creamy smoke oozes effortlessly over the palate revealing a marvelous mixture of wood, leather and toffee flavors with notes of cocoa and coffee bean on the finish. The smoke is bold, balanced and brimming with complexity. Another ‘must-smoke cigar’ from Litto Gomez.

1994 BY LA FLOR DOMINICANA CIGARS

LFD 1994

1994 La Flor Dominicana holds a very special meaning to the company that brought you some of the highest rated cigars year after year. The 1994 commemorates Litto and Ines Gomez’s 20th year with the LFD cigar brand they created. Dominican longfillers and binders are dressed in an oily Mexican San Andres natural wrapper, with 4 sizes to choose from. If you’re a fan of LFD, you should only expect yet another cigar with stellar flavor and a full bodied strength profile. Get yours now!

The LifeStyle: Cigars and Fashion With Shelly Bloom’s Fashion Clothiers

Cigars and fashion when tailored together is a work of art. Shelly Bloom and Tony Pichs make it happen daily in the heart of South Florida. Dressing up has always been part of any special occasion which is one reason that cigars and fashion are so easily coupled. Cigars are a symbol of festive events much like dressing up is inherently part of any special event. Conversely, cigars are no longer a strange exotic fruit that the common man rarely gets to indulge in.

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Cigars are ubiquitous, cigar publications dot the landscape, bloggers create cigar related information in volumes, YouTube channels illustrate cigar centric material, and celebrities further espouse the mystic of cigar culture. However, with all the populism and ubiquity of cigars there still remains the festive and fashionable nature of cigars. Dressing the part takes a backseat but a seat nonetheless.

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If you walk into the cigar lounge dressed like a beach bum you will be greeted like any other patron, you can still lay back on the leather couches, bask in the darkness of the wood toned architecture, but the most important part of the experience, the people, will suffer. Dressing the part enhances the experience like smiling on the phone improves the voice it works. I could use a makeover myself and I plan to consult Tony Pichs get ready.

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Company Information

Fashion Clothier’s was started in 1964 by Nathan Bloom. Shelly Bloom joined Fashion Clothiers in 1964, along with Linda Bloom in 1973 after the passing of Nathan Bloom. Shelly Bloom’s Fashion Clothiers is one of the last standing Men’s Clothing Stores in South Florida.

Led by owner Shelly Bloom and 28 year partner Tony Pichs, Fashion Clothiers has grown into the leading Men’s Store in South Florida. Selling 4,000 Men’s Suits annually has attracted the attention of the local and South American markets.

Shelly Bloom’s Fashion Clothiers continues to lead by offering the “Buy One Suit And Get 19 Additional Units Of Clothing” for FREE. Priced only at $349.00!

Linda Bloom has managed Fashion Clothiers with Tony Pichs for almost 30 years and we are now celebrating our 50th Anniversary!

Come In And Celebrate With Us!

Shelly Bloom’s Fashion Clothiers
2650 NW 5th Ave
Miami, Florida 33127
Tel: 305-573-5890
Website: http://www.shellybloom.net/
Email: pichstp@yahoo.com or sbloomsh@aol.com

Cigars: Falling in Love With Brothers From the House of Emilio Cigar Family

As you know from Twitter, I enjoyed my long loving affair with the AF 2 from Emilio Cigars. But hearing a whisper that I needed to experience the other brother, AF1, I sought him out and added him to my regular line up of Sunday luvrs.

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And ohhh was I happy I did … Mmhmmm

Emilio Cigars AF1 was so good looking. The San Andreas Maduro wrapper with Nicaraguan filler & binder drew me into him quickly. Just the luscious look of this gar made me lick my lips in anticipation to our Sunday date.

Dark & sleek with a delectable pre-lit scent of cocoa & cedar from the wrapper & foot, my mind imagined how the date could play out. I stole a brief kiss of a cold draw tasting a preview of coffee and nuts.

With excitement for the date beginning, I lit AF1 & drew in the dimensional smoke into my mouth, held for a bit savoring these first flaves in each puff. The 1st Third held flavors that make me take notice quickly — silky caramel mixed with cafe au lait with a background of pepper spice. Further into the Third brought a slight creamy cocoa flavor.

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With satisfaction building, the 2nd Third held my interest with the continuation of coffee bean flavors with a touch of raisin, wood with a background spice. The cigar burn is perfect with the smoke billowing through the room leaving a seductive scent in the room. Completely enraptured with my AF1 cigar, I barely noted people staring at us. I knew they wondered what I was smoking … their heads cranning to see what had caught my attention and held on tight.

My love affair with AF1 continues into the Final Third with a rich, chocolate taking center stage with a balanced mix of espresso & spice playing a more dominant role. I love the way AF1 commands attention. Intricate, dimensional, and smooth. I thoroughly enjoyed my experience with this cigar. AF1 held me tight and soothed away every wrinkle from my day.

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But to compare the Emilio brothers AF 1 & AF2 isn’t possible. I love them each for different reasons and constantly switch luvrs all the time. AF1 is delectable, but AF2 is sumptuous.

What’s a cigar smoking girl to do ?

Can’t I just keep it in the family & continue to love them both for different needs ? Mmmhmmm that’s the plan. I suggest you try them too.

All about House of Emilio: http://houseofemilio.com/emilio/

Wishing you long ashes —

Robusto Cigar Babe

@RobustoBabe

Cigars: Kuuts Cigars, By Compañia Hondureña de Tabacos

If you’re thinking to yourself, I never heard of this brand, you are in good company, because all of your true-blooded American smoking buddies haven’t heard of them either. That is until now. Kuuts isn’t some new kid on the block, in fact they have 15 years under their belts handcrafting premium cigars for the European market. Now that their Compañia Hondureña de Tabacos Company is open for business in Danlí, Honduras, they have finally come to Wall Street and Main Street with blends that are both delicious, and affordable…From the moment you start tasting these great smokes, you will realize what you have been missing for the last fifteen years!

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Kuuts

Excellent balanced taste, not easy to find.
Smoked and earthy notes. Perfect combustion and smoke.
Enjoy its remanining wooden and sweet flavour

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Miró

Miró Cigars are a product of a prime selection of perfectly fermented tobacco. Their distinct aroma precedes their intense, profound, slightly matured flavors that slightly intensify the further you get into them. The Miró brand of cigars is a full bodied cigar that is sure to make any ordinary occasion into an absolutely unique one with the incredible flavors and aromas given off by the perfect blend of a Sumatra wrapper, Nicaraguan binder and combined Nicaraguan and Honduran filler.

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Placeres Reserva

Placeres Reserva, spanish for Reserved Pleasures are completely hand made by Master Rollers from a standing tradition of ancestry and heritage passed on from parent to child. This heritage comes from such regions such as Honduras, Nicaragua and other parts of the world in order to obtain a quality product and an excellent price for such a premium cigar in today’s market. The Placeres Reserva is a medium to full bodied cigar that features a Nicaraguan Habano wrapper with a Costa Rican Binder and combined Nicaraguan and Honduran filler in order to produce the incredible flavor and aroma that this cigar has to offer.

Zapata

Tabacalera Zapata

Our cigars are manufactured by our master rollers in a unique ambiance that reproduces the olden times of cigar manufacturing. An aroma of tobacco, wood, spices, sun, love and dreams, with the authentic artistry of a master roller pouring his soul into every turn as he finishes each masterpiece. The Tabacalera Zapata brand is a medium bodied cigar that features a uniquely primed Honduran Connecticut Oscuro Wrapper with an Honduran binder and a combination of Honduran, Nicaraguan and Jaltepec tobaccos for the filler in order to give this blend its well-balanced flavor.

 

Compañia Hondureña de Tabacos

Our cigars are manufactured in the Danli Region of Honduras in our factory, Compañia Hondureña de Tabacos, a.k.a. CHT. These cigars are hand made in the traditional way by master rollers with the finest of tobaccos from different regions such as Honduras, Nicaragua, Ecuador and many more. We strive to create blends in order to achieve a balance of flavor, aroma, and strength capable of satisfying a wide range of consumers from the beginner to the most avid of aficionados.

Although the Danli region is the source for a large percentage of the cigars manufactured for worldwide distribution, we have the advantage of owning and operating our own factory. Our factory has the capabilities of producing over 6 million cigars a year. With 98 pairs of rollers working in a family atmosphere, CHT has the ability to keep all aspects of the manufacturing process under one roof. This helps us keep the quality and consistency of our cigars at the highest of standards.

Our cigars are produced with you the consumer in mind. While striving to achieve excellence and nothing less, our cigars are sure to be loved by all types of smokers.

MariNavarro

For More Information Contact:
Mari Navarro – Rep. for the State of Florida

Cigars: An Interview with José Blanco

Today I had the chance to interview cigar industrialist José Blanco. José has been in the cigar industry for many years. He began his career as a salesman for a Dominican rum maker. He is known for his time at La Aurora as a blender and Sales Director and for his time as Senior Vice President of Joya de Nicaragua. What many may not know is he sold cigarettes for years before he graduated to cigars.

Before we get started Jose I want to thank you for doing this interview with SmokeGood DrinkGood Magazine. Now let’s dive in…

Q: José when did you have your first cigar?

A: When I was 16 years old with my father and uncle.

Q: How did you get started in the cigar industry?

A: My great-grand father, grand-father, father and uncle all grew tobacco. My uncle finally opened a cigar-factory in 1936. Tabacalera Palma is now run by his son, my cousin, Jochy Blanco. I was however working for La Empresa León Jimenes for about 30 years in several divisions but I was always a part of La Aurora´s smoking panel. I am also related to that family too on my mother´s side.

Then, in 1999, La Aurora finally moved me officially to their premium cigar division for which I was a blender and Sales Director.

I stayed with La Aurora until 2011 when I felt it was time to start my own cigar. But when Alejandro Martinez Cuenca offered me the position as his Senior VP I thought it would be interesting to work in Nicaragua for one contract before moving back to the Dominican Republic to create my own cigar-brand.

Q: What is your favorite part of making a cigar?

A: Everything! Thinking of the concept of the next project, the profiles of that cigar, smoking pure-grades, figuring out the actual blend and smoking my way through to the exact blend, there are many details to blending. The moment the smoking panel and I have agreed on the final blend to be used is extremely exciting!

Q: What advice would you give a novice smoker?

A: Have an open mind; do not listen to all “expert-friends” around you trying to impose their favorite brand or origin. Try to learn to retro-hale (blow through the nose without inhaling) to really feel the profile on another level. Try to learn strength-levels, sizes and ring-gauges. Smoke your way through different brands, origins and strength-levels and find the profile you like. In the same time, read all types of education you can find; ask questions but know who to ask… And enjoy!

Q: What advice would you give an advanced smoker?

A: Take your time, be open-minded, and be open to more knowledge, no one knows it all in cigars, stay humble and you will know even more. While you still regularly smoke your favorite sticks still be open to other brands and origins. Keep learning would be my advice, there is always more to learn in this field!

Q: What would you consider your best cigar?

A: I cannot choose between these two, but it would be the La Aurora 100 Años in 2003, out in 2004, and the Señorial 65th Anniversary from 2014. These are two Dominican Puros with each exceptional tobacco, each with many years of age and a long meticulous blending. The fact that they are both Dominican puros has nothing to do with them being my two favorite blends from my experience so far. I love to blend different origins, there are so many tobaccos that I love and use, these were my only puros. The way they were blended, the exceptional crops and everything that went into them made them very unique and memorable cigars each in their own ways.

Q: What are 3 key things that go into making a new blend?

A: There are far many more than 3 things. As I always say in my seminars there are 6 key-things to think about: Flavor, Strength, Aroma, Complexity, Balance and a good long finish. Note, the good long finish is not the end of the cigar; it is how the profiles stay lingering in the smoker´s mouth for a long pleasant time, tingling on the lips and a nice feel, not a bad after-taste which would ruin the experience. Then there is so much more… percentage of each leaf, positioning of each leaf and more…. This is endless.

Q: What is one lesson you learned from being at La Aurora and Joya that you carry with you today?

A: There is no “one lesson” because in our industry, both from the internal blending side and the business side, of which I did for both these companies; there is so much to take into consideration! It is very complex work which is what I love about it. I would say that it´s a shame that so few try working for both these cigar countries. We are all one thriving toward the same goal and working in the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua is of course extremely similar and interesting to see certain details in each of our traditions; but that would be a lesson that both my wife Emma Viktorsson and I keep telling to everyone we can in this industry: Dominican Republic and Nicaragua work together, we are in the same boat.

Q: What has been what you consider your greatest accomplishment and failure?

A: Assuming that we are talking about my professional life, well every good cigar is an accomplishment and the business following that cigar continues that accomplishment. I do not feel like I have one greatest accomplishment or a failure either… My line of work is too complex to feel one of each.

Q: What is one thing people would be surprised to learn about you?

A: Again I cannot think of anything… I have been thinking but cannot think of one. I used to train a little league team in baseball and basketball, but that was many, many years ago, it might look surprising now……lol. We are planning for European football (soccer) though for my little son so I can´t help much this time……..lol.

Q: What made you decide to host seminars?

A: I started hosting seminars around 12 years ago at La Aurora. It was my idea and I prepared and staged them together with my friends at La Aurora. The reason was that smokers need a lot more education! Back then there were some misconceptions but most of all a lack of knowledge. However what is worse are the misconceptions!!! Social Media has created fast communication and unfortunately the false information travels fast too and the misconceptions are growing. I did them under Joya for my time there, and now under my own company, Las Cumbres Tabaco; but in any case it never talks about a company´s cigar or any brand, it is just pure education.

Q: What is your favorite quote?

A: My own quote I´ve been saying for years: No matter how perfect a cigar is, one´s favorite, only one thing can ruin it, here it comes: “Never smoke next to an asshole.”

Señorial Cigars

In February 2014, his own company, Las Cumbres Tabaco was officially founded by himself and his wife Emma Viktorsson, to carry Jose´s own cigar, Señorial. Everything about Señorial cigars and Las Cumbres Tabaco have been created within the family, from the blend (blended by himself) to the production at Tabacalera Palm, to the name and designs by Emma.

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Señorial is the first cigar released from Jose Blanco’s newly formed company, Las Cumbres Tabaco.

For more information in detail checkout Emma Viktorsson´s blog called The Cigar Enchanteress.