Ceron Premium Cigars is Industry’s Hidden Gem

Ceron Premium Cigars is a timeless tale born of passion with a commitment to use only the finest tobaccos on the planet. Javier Ceron, founder and president of Ceron Premium Cigars, vows to deliver a product that is sure to deliver an exceptional experience for today’s most discerning cigar smokers. According to Ceron, craftsmanship stretches well beyond the rolling process. It begins with the planting of the seedlings and extends through the entire development from curing, fermenting, aging and packaging. “Before I decided to launch my own brand I spent…

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Why Cigar Aficionados Love Lanceros

Think of a lancero as the equivalent of drinking Scotch whiskey neat, as opposed to a cocktail, and you get the idea of what the lancero is all about… By George Rodriguez owner of Rodrigo Cigars Aside from the elegant profile, the traditional Cuban vitola is loved by cigar aficionados because it often delivers more flavor than other traditional sizes. A common belief is that the wrapper leaf gives the cigar its defining flavor. This is true when the binder and fillers are made up of lower primings to help…

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DBL Cigars by Francisco Almonte

Why Dominican Big Leaguer? One cannot speak about the Dominican Republic without mentioning the nation’s two greatest passions – baseball and cigars. Dominican Big Leaguer Cigars (DBL) is the brainchild of Francisco Almonte.  Francisco started working with tobacco at the age of 7, deveining leaves for his father, and by the time he was 12 years old, he was rolling cigars. Tobacco quickly became his passion and creating fine premium cigars became his mission. Francisco had the unique opportunity to work under the tutelage of two of the world’s most…

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Cigar Review: Evil Genius – Time Machine – Londsdale

A nice, solid smoke using a rare combination of tobaccos to bring you a unique experience that is very satisfying. The Time Machine is the third release by Evil Genius Cigars and its first under the company’s new branding. Evil Genius is a boutique brand that is experiencing healthy growth as it expands beyond its Pennsylvania roots. For more detailed information on Evil Genius Cigar Company, click here. I first met the Time Machine this past July at the International Premium Cigar and Pipe Retailers trade show (IPCPR) in New…

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The ‘Mad Science’ Behind Evil Genius Cigars

Evil Genius cigars is the brainchild of Alex Hirsch, a cigar enthusiast from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania who brings a unique perspective to the art of blending. Hirsch, who has been smoking cigars for more than 20 years, brings passion, knowledge and science to the cigar industry. “My former business partner was doing some lab work analyzing premium cigar blends trying to better understand them that way,” said Hirsch. “He had replicable data.” That “replicable” data translated into a company that produces carefully crafted cigars based on analysis and market research. The…

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Cigar Review: Las Cumbres Tabaco – Freyja – Valhalla (Robusto)

– A cigar worthy of her name! It is a brilliant showcase of Dominican tobaccos that offers incredible flavor, beautiful construction and a very satisfying smoking experience. Freyja is the second brand launched under the Las Cumbres Tabaco umbrella, a company owned by Jose Blanco and his wife Emma Viktorsson. Freyja, named after a Viking goddess of beauty and fertility, was a ‘secret project’ blended by Emma, without the help of Jose Blanco. I met Freyja prior to her launch at the IPCPR trade show in New Orleans this past…

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Fusion Cigars is Building a Lasting Reputation by letting ‘Taste be your Judge’

Fusion Cigars is a fairly new boutique cigar company that is gaining a lasting reputation with smokers. It is a Florida based company owned by Diogenes (Dee) Aquasvivas that, since its early 2015 rebranding, is distributed by Antillian Cigar Corporation (Sosa Cigars). “Our cigars are different,” Aquasvivas revealed. “Our cigar, Headlines, is a blend that is original, doesn’t taste like anything else on the market today. It is an easy, pleasant smoke with pleasant aroma.” Headlines is the company’s first brand with its third blend under the Headlines umbrella scheduled…

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Las Cumbres Tabaco – Señorial Natural Maduro – Lonsdale

A complex cigar that is smooth, balanced and very satisfying The story behind the Señorial is that of true passion. This is Jose’s third release under his brand Las Cumbres Tabaco. Like all of his work, The Señorial uses top-quality premium tobaccos from his cousin, Jochi Blanco’s farm Tabacalera Palma in Tamboril, Santiago on the Dominican Republic. Señorial’s father, Jose Blanco introduced me to his darling at the 2015 IPCPR (International Premium Cigar and Pipe Retailers trade show) just days before it was released to the general public. I am…

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Cigar Review – Corona Project Limitada Vol. 1 by Rodrigo Cigars

It was a hot and humid afternoon here in central NJ where the thick air was sucking the life out of me, so I hibernated in my air conditioned cigar cave with a premium cigar and a cold brew. My cigar of choice was the Corona Project Limitada Vol. 1 by Rodrigo Cigars. Rodrigo Cigars is a boutique brand that is making quite a name for itself, and the passion behind these cigars could not be more evident with its flawless construction, striking appearance and savory flavor profile. The Corona…

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Jose Blanco Unveils New Señorial Cigars Coming to IPCPR

Jose Blanco is back at it. His company, Las Cumbres Tabaco is set to release an expansion on his flagship blend, Señorial, at the 2015 IPCPR Trade Show next week. Blanco is adding a Lancero vitola to the original Señorial blend while also releasing a Maduro brand, Señorial Maduro Natural. Both cigars are manufactured at Jochi Blanco’s Tabacalera Palma factory. The new Maduro is not simply the original Señorial blend cloaked in a Maduro wrapper leaf. When Jose Blanco makes a cigar he ensures that tobacco ratios and the type…

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Cigar Review: La Hoja Reserva Limitada

A full-flavored, medium-strength cigar with a complex profile that will appeal to smokers who enjoy more flavor than strength The La Hoja Reserva Limitada 1962 is the company’s third release since its rebranding late last year. This one is touted as being a ‘regular release but limited in yearly production.” I was introduced to the La Hoja Reserva Limitada 1962 when her father, Willie Flores, introduced us at his cigar shop, The Cigar Room in Fort Lee, NJ a few months back. After months of rest in my Daniel Marshall…

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History Behind Freyja – Emma Viktorsson’s First Blend

Freyja – sweet and emotional, strong and powerful, spicy and mysterious – a goddess in every sense of the word. The history behind Emma Viktorsson’s first ever blend, Freyja, is a captivating tale of emotion, strength and love. “I am Swedish born and for my cigar I felt drawn to show my real actual roots – Sweden and Scandinavia,” explained Viktorsson. “I have always been intrigued by the Vikings. I studied and learned as much as I could with the help of Danilo Popovski, a dear family friend.” In Norse…

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Jose Blanco Blending Seminar at Sanj’s Smoke Shop

Jose Blanco was in town for a jam-packed weekend of blending seminars around the Garden State. He kicked off his tour at the Smoking Dog cigar lounge in Maple Shade, NJ on  March 18 and capped off the four-day sold out tour at Berkeley Humidor in Berkeley Heights, NJ on March 21. In between the Smoking Dog and Berkeley Humidor events, Jose held seminars at two other locations, Smokin’ in Ridgefield and Sanj’s Smoke Shop in Bloomfield. Because of the overwhelming number of ticket requests, Sanj was forced to host…

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La Hoja Cigar Co. 1962 – A Rare Look Inside a Unique Cigar Co. – ‘Where Tobacco is the Conversation’

La Hoja Cigars is a contemporary cigar company built from a storied past of ‘old school’ Cuban traditions. The founding family has escaped Castro’s persecution, has overcome societal stigmas, and has emerged from two devastating lawsuits. Today the company, which was founded by Willie Flores and Carlos Gomez, has risen from the ashes as one of the best-selling boutique cigars in the United States. It was 1962 and Cuban cigar makers were on the move. The Great Cuban Exodus was under way and Carlos Flores, the father of Willie Flores,…

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Cigar Review: Macanudo Cafe Tudor

It was a frigid evening in January as the gray of winter finally settled over New Jersey. I had just dug myself out from underneath a snow storm that clobbered most of the Northeast with up to three feet of snow. Luckily, New Jersey was sparred the worst of it. However, I still had an urge to nestle next to my fireplace with a premium cigar and a fine cup of coffee, so I drifted out to my cigar cave with the night’s choice of smoke, Macanudo Cafe Tudor. Macanudo…

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Epic Habano Cigar Review

It was a frigid evening in January as the gray of winter was settling over New Jersey, so I decided to nestle next to my fireplace with a premium cigar and a fine cup of coffee. I moseyed out to my cigar cave, which is tucked away in my backyard, with an Epic Habano Corona Extra in one hand and a Starbucks coffee in the other. This Epic Habano was a gift from her father, Dean Parsons, and I owe him a million thanks for introducing me to this Dominican…

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Epic Corojo Reserva – Double Corona

This Epic was a gift from the North East sales representative, Victor Lucatorto and I owe him a million thanks for introducing me to this Dominican dame that is a bit stronger than her sisters, Maduro Reserva and Habano, but is just as flavorful, if not more. Epic is a fairly new boutique brand that is quickly making quite a name for itself, and the passion behind these cigars could not be more evident with its flawless construction, striking appearance and savory flavor profile. This Latina is produced at the…

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Up Close and In-Depth with Dean Parsons, Founder of Epic Cigars

Inquisitive factory tours and an innocent social gathering at a local watering hole transformed a thriving real estate broker into a boutique cigar brand owner. Dean Parsons, founder of Epic Cigars, was enjoying a night out on the Dominican Republic after a long day of touring the Fuente, Davidoff and Aurora cigar factories when he met a couple of guys named Eddy Fontana and Rolando Villamil. Unbeknown to Parsons, Villamil is a master blender with 35 years of experience in the cigar industry. He was behind all the original Kristoff…

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Pain Killer by GTO Cigars – Robusto

A well-balanced full-bodied, full-strength cigar that is satisfying and savory. From GTO Cigars website: “GTO Cigars is a small batch, boutique manufacturer who meticulously scrutinizes each cigar leaving our factory at Tabacalera GTO Dominicana. We control every step of the cigar manufacturing process from the plating of the ‘Piloto Cubano’ seeds in the fertile soil of the Valle del Cibao to selecting, growing and then cultivating the tobacco plants to the fermentation and aging of the tobacco leaves. Our rollers are some of the most experienced in the Dominican Republic….

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Jordan Alexander III Legend Corojo – Toro

An incredibly well-balanced cigar with an elegant appearance and savory flavor profile that will satisfy even the most discerning cigar smoker. From the website of Jordan Alexander III “The story of Jordan Alexander III Premium Cigar Company begins with family and friendship. We found a deep passion in the stories and lifestyle that a simple smoke brought to us. Spending years learning about the blends, the methods, and the simple pleasures of the industry, we began a venture to build a legend. Officially being launched to the public in 2013, the Jordan…

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La Flor Dominicana Cameroon Cabinet – Chisel

One of the industry’s most sought after sticks that is a far cry from your ordinary Cameroon wrapped cigar From LFD Website: “Our Cameroon Cabinets are very limited because we only use dark and oily aged Ligero Cameroon wrappers. We blended these cigars with Dominican and Nicaraguan filler and binder.” The LFD Cameroon Cabinet Chisel is one of the industry’s most sought after cigars because it was once an extremely rare stick. Back in December of 2011 when it was released there were only 500,000 sticks available. Today, because of…

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Royal Gold Cigars, Kismet – Luck (6×50)

A boring cigar that lacked complexity and excitement that I wouldn’t go out of my way to find From Royal Gold Cigars website: “Produced by the Augusto Reyes Family at Corporacion Cigar Export in Santiago, DR – Kismet is a true labor of love.  It is a Dominican PURO (all Dominican tobacco) using six different tobaccos grown by the Reyes family at various locations in the Dominican Republic. The blend takes full advantage of the varied climates and rich soils of this beautiful country. Kismet is an Urdu word meaning…

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Las Cumbres Tabaco – Señorial – Paco Rubusto

“It’s an amazing cigar. It is the strongest, fullest body that I have blended. If it is not my best blend ever, it is in my very top two.” –          Jose Blanco   The story behind the Señorial is that of true passion. The final product took more than 30 test blends and seven months of relentless determination for Jose Blanco to deliver his highly anticipated release, Señorial. It is rolled using well-aged, (4 years) top-quality premium fillers from his cousin, Jochi Blanco’s farm Tabacalera Palma in Tamboril, Santiago on…

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Dominican Big Leaguer – Big Papi (6 x 54)

If you are not familiar with the Dominican Big Leaguer (DBL) brand of premium handmade Dominican cigars, then you don’t know what you are missing. They are complex, flavorful, full-bodied smokes that will rock your palate, for sure. Up until recently I didn’t know much about the company or the cigars until I was invited to attend a DBL event at Mane Street Cigars in Woodbridge, NJ on Friday, May 16. The story behind the brand and the founder is quite fascinating. DBL was founded by Master Blender Francisco Almonte…

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