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  1. #1
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    Remedial Cigars 101-A (still no question too goofy)

    Since the old thread is old and locked, and since I have pulled the what are you smoking thread off topic a few times, I thought it would be worth reopening this thread for questions about cigars, wrappers, humidors, etc.

    I don't claim to be and expert, but thanks to living within striking distance of 3 JR Cigar locations, and having had the pleasure of learning quite a bit about cigars (and smoking way too many of them) with Lew Rothman (former owner of JR Cigars), Steve Saka (another brilliant cigar mind at JR Cigars), Martin Mayorga (before he abandoned cigars for the coffee business) and some others,

    I have a lot to share, and as I have already learned, there are others here as well that I am cetain will chime in as well with their own knowledge and cigar experience.

    So, got a cigar questions... ask away... the only stupid question is the one you have, but fail to ask.

  2. #2
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    Re: Remedial Cigars 101-A (still no question too goofy)

    I'll bite. What is your recommendation for a good cigar shop? No names needed. Just some guidelines that one looks for in a shop to get the best selection.

  3. #3
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    Re: Remedial Cigars 101-A (still no question too goofy)

    Quote Originally Posted by jtexaslonestar View Post
    I'll bite. What is your recommendation for a good cigar shop? No names needed. Just some guidelines that one looks for in a shop to get the best selection.
    Now, I think this is one I am going to have to rely on somebody else to answer. As I said, I am within 1/2 hour of three JR Cigar locations, 2 in NJ and the one in Midtown Manhattan (sadly, the one downtown closed not long after 9/11).

    As such, I have a very grandiose (to put it mildly) scale shops to compare anything else to. That, and the ability to get great cigars online from places like jrcigars.com, Cigars International, Holts, etc, rarely do I find myself needing to go into a shop I do not know.

    That being said, there are certain things I do tend to look for at the time when I find myself shopping elsewhere. (Like recently on a trip to Baltimore).

    If there is a hygrometer in the humidor, take a peek. If it is 80% humidity or higher, I will pass. Too wet is just as bad as too dry. It can breed mold and will take a while for the cigars to be dry enough to be smoking ready.

    Traffic. Low volume places are great for finding hard to find items. It is also a great way to find old stock you may not want. True tobacco can be aged (I have sticks in my cooler-dor that date back more than 10 years), but I don't want old tobacco without knowing how well it has been taken care of over the years.

    Back to the humidor.. If it gets too much light (close to a picture window, or has a picture window), I will pass. Same for humidor "cases" I prefer a place that has a separate climate controlled "room" over a place that only has display cases with sliding glass. Those cases will almost always lead to the humidity being too low, too uneven or in some cases too high as the humidor fights the leaking of humidity from the case.

    All of this though is my personal rules of thumb (but like I said, I have rather high standards because I am lucky enough to be able to have them). Somebody else may have some other more general (and perhaps less strick standards than I).

  4. #4
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    I'll go ahead and subscribe to this thread and add my 2 cents whenever I can. I've worked in the cigar industry for a little over 2 years and have visited our factory in Nicaragua 7 times and counting during that time. I've picked up quite a few nuggets of info along the way that might be helpful to those starting out.

    EDIT: JayMonster, not sure if you're aware but Steve Saka has been president of Drew Estate for a handful of years now and is one of my bosses. Small world!
    Love bourbon? Post your reviews at bourbon.cc.

  5. #5
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    JayMonster, not sure if you're aware but Steve Saka has been president of Drew Estate for a handful of years now and is one of my bosses. Small world!
    Love bourbon? Post your reviews at bourbon.cc.

  6. #6
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    Re: Remedial Cigars 101-A (still no question too goofy)

    Quote Originally Posted by bourboncc View Post
    JayMonster, not sure if you're aware but Steve Saka has been president of Drew Estate for a handful of years now and is one of my bosses. Small world!
    I lost touch with Steve a long time ago, so... No, I had no idea. Spent a lot of time learning a lot from the man as he was a fixture at every herf we had back then (which of course happened to be at the Whippany office where he worked). He is definitely a great guy.

    Guess I will have to stop bashing Drew Estates now. (Still can't show any love for ACID though... sorry).

  7. #7
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    Re: Remedial Cigars 101-A (still no question too goofy)

    Quote Originally Posted by JayMonster View Post
    I lost touch with Steve a long time ago, so... No, I had no idea. Spent a lot of time learning a lot from the man as he was a fixture at every herf we had back then (which of course happened to be at the Whippany office where he worked). He is definitely a great guy.

    Guess I will have to stop bashing Drew Estates now. (Still can't show any love for ACID though... sorry).
    Have you tried any of our newer traditional smokes? Liga Privada and Undercrown both get a lot of rave reviews from consumers and media. I was a cigar reviewer before I started working at Drew Estate (singular, btw) and have been a fan of the Liga line since then.

    I'm actually headed to Nicaragua on Sunday with Saka and Jonathan Drew, and a group of guys from the BOTL.org forums. Should be fun.
    Love bourbon? Post your reviews at bourbon.cc.

  8. #8
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    Re: Remedial Cigars 101-A (still no question too goofy)

    Quote Originally Posted by bourboncc View Post
    Have you tried any of our newer traditional smokes? Liga Privada and Undercrown both get a lot of rave reviews from consumers and media. I was a cigar reviewer before I started working at Drew Estate (singular, btw) and have been a fan of the Liga line since then.

    I'm actually headed to Nicaragua on Sunday with Saka and Jonathan Drew, and a group of guys from the BOTL.org forums. Should be fun.
    Nope, to be honest I have not touched or even looked at anything from Drew Estate (no s) since I tried a Dirt many moons ago. It went ACID (don't remember exactly which one), Natural and Natural Dirt. Three strikes and I crossed Drew Estate off my list.

    They seem to be very polarizing. Seems most either love or hate them. I have so far... hated them. Maybe it is time for another shot with one of the new lines.

    Have fun in Esteli.

  9. #9
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    Re: Remedial Cigars 101-A (still no question too goofy)

    Quote Originally Posted by JayMonster View Post
    Nope, to be honest I have not touched or even looked at anything from Drew Estate (no s) since I tried a Dirt many moons ago. It went ACID (don't remember exactly which one), Natural and Natural Dirt. Three strikes and I crossed Drew Estate off my list.

    They seem to be very polarizing. Seems most either love or hate them. I have so far... hated them. Maybe it is time for another shot with one of the new lines.

    Have fun in Esteli.
    Yea the three you tried were all either infused or had a sweetened tip. I don't smoke those very often. You are right, they are definitely polarizing.
    Love bourbon? Post your reviews at bourbon.cc.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by bourboncc View Post
    Have you tried any of our newer traditional smokes? Liga Privada and Undercrown both get a lot of rave reviews from consumers and media. I was a cigar reviewer before I started working at Drew Estate (singular, btw) and have been a fan of the Liga line since then.

    I'm actually headed to Nicaragua on Sunday with Saka and Jonathan Drew, and a group of guys from the BOTL.org forums. Should be fun.
    Bourbon cc, I am pretty new to cigars. What would you recommend from Drew Estates that won't put a whole in the wallet and is readily available? I have a couple cigar stores in the area that do have good selections. I have also ordered online. I have tended to like Rocky Patel maduro 2nds. Great cigar for $3-5 each, IMHO. Most of what I have tried and liked have been maduros.


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