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JayMonster

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

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JayMonster

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.

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jtexaslonestar

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.

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JayMonster
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).

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bourboncc

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! :)

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bourboncc

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! :)

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JayMonster
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! :)

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bourboncc
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).

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JayMonster
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.

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bourboncc
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.

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Ejmharris
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.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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bourboncc
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.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

We don't really have much in that price range, but for a few dollars more you can get our Undercrown. If you enjoy maduros, I think you will definitely enjoy it. Very rich and priced right at ~$7.

If you want to try something different, a lot of people love our infused cigars, especially new smokers. Oddly enough, ACID Kuba Kuba was my first cigar when I turned 18, and definitely helped me get into cigars.

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moose

Some good cigar talk in here so far. Put me in the "Cigar Crazed" category, its a bit of a fair weather deal for me though being in Colorado. Hasn't been really nice enough to sit out on the patio and have a good smoke. I love good rich toothy cigars, but can always go for something a little lighter bodied too, I don't discriminate much. I somewhat share the dissent for Acid, or at least I did. I was at the Rocky Mountain Cigar Fest down in Boulder this past summer (pouring wine and enjoying the festivities), and wouldn't you know it, our tent was right next to the Drew Estate guys. The one I tried and somewhat liked was the Red Eye (IIRC, had a different cap wrapper). The guys were great to talk to, the one I remember was Fabian, I can't remember exactly what he said he did with the company, but he was having a good time along with everyone else.

Anyways, that was just my long way of subscribing to this here thread, I think its a good idea. I'll pop in if I feel I can help.

I'd love to work in the industry, how did you get into it bourboncc?

-B

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bourboncc
Some good cigar talk in here so far. Put me in the "Cigar Crazed" category, its a bit of a fair weather deal for me though being in Colorado. Hasn't been really nice enough to sit out on the patio and have a good smoke. I love good rich toothy cigars, but can always go for something a little lighter bodied too, I don't discriminate much. I somewhat share the dissent for Acid, or at least I did. I was at the Rocky Mountain Cigar Fest down in Boulder this past summer (pouring wine and enjoying the festivities), and wouldn't you know it, our tent was right next to the Drew Estate guys. The one I tried and somewhat liked was the Red Eye (IIRC, had a different cap wrapper). The guys were great to talk to, the one I remember was Fabian, I can't remember exactly what he said he did with the company, but he was having a good time along with everyone else.

Anyways, that was just my long way of subscribing to this here thread, I think its a good idea. I'll pop in if I feel I can help.

I'd love to work in the industry, how did you get into it bourboncc?

-B

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JayMonster
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.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

While not the Drew Estate cigars you asked for, I have another suggestion that may be more along your budget. Are you familiar with Consuegra Cigars?

Consuegra are seconds, originally from the Villazon factory (and now I presume from the Danli factory that took over producing these brands for General Cigar), and these are the seconds of brands like El Rey Del Mundo, Punch, Hoyo de Monterrey.

Up through around the early 2000's, it used to be a real challenge to get some of these as they would sell out as fast as they would come in. In particular the #9 Maduro, which is either a Punch, HDM or JR Ultimate in a Dark Marduro Wrapper and a very popular (and tasty) 4.5 x 50 runs about $29.95 (currently on sale for that price at JR Cigars, which is $5 off the regular price) for a bundle of 25. (other sizes and prices vary of course). Even if 1 or 2 in the bundle is plugged, you are still getting some great smokes for well under $2 a stick.

When I used to golf, this was my go to smoke. So if I dropped it, or was made to put it out... so what? And if not... well, I had a great maduro at a great price.

Google "consuegra conversion chart" and you will see the lists of what each of the sizes and bundles of Consuegra match up with in regular brands..

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Ejmharris
While not the Drew Estate cigars you asked for, I have another suggestion that may be more along your budget. Are you familiar with Consuegra Cigars?

Consuegra are seconds, originally from the Villazon factory (and now I presume from the Danli factory that took over producing these brands for General Cigar), and these are the seconds of brands like El Rey Del Mundo, Punch, Hoyo de Monterrey.

Up through around the early 2000's, it used to be a real challenge to get some of these as they would sell out as fast as they would come in. In particular the #9 Maduro, which is either a Punch, HDM or JR Ultimate in a Dark Marduro Wrapper and a very popular (and tasty) 4.5 x 50 runs about $29.95 (currently on sale for that price at JR Cigars, which is $5 off the regular price) for a bundle of 25. (other sizes and prices vary of course). Even if 1 or 2 in the bundle is plugged, you are still getting some great smokes for well under $2 a stick.

When I used to golf, this was my go to smoke. So if I dropped it, or was made to put it out... so what? And if not... well, I had a great maduro at a great price.

Google "consuegra conversion chart" and you will see the lists of what each of the sizes and bundles of Consuegra match up with in regular brands..

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jtexaslonestar
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 annd 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).

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Janko
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).

Steve had Liga Privada created (was his personal blend) because he could not stand ACID. I personally wish Steve would buy the rights to Liga and do it himself, as the "power that b" at drew is the tool of all tools!

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bourboncc
...as the "power that b" at drew is the tool of all tools!

Not really sure who you mean... :skep:

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Janko

Jonathan Drew is owner Drew estates

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bourboncc
Jonathan Drew is owner Drew estates

So in you're roundabout way you're saying that Jonathan is a tool? Surprising to hear, I've never met anyone that didn't immediately like Jonathan. He is a unique character, but is extremely likable, humble, and friendly. Did you have a bad experience with him at some point?

Also, FYI, it is Drew Estate, singular.

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Ejmharris

Any of the cigar experts have thoughts on Gurkhas? Cigar International sent a catalog yesterday (didn't know companies still used catalogs). It had some items I was Interested in pursuing. That last

Page had a deal for 21 cigars for $49. The link is list below. I probably would get the:

Symphony robusto

Double Maduro toro

Widow maker Maduro Churchill

Legend Vintage '01 XO

http://www.cigarsinternational.com/proddisp.asp?item=CS-PT5

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JayMonster
Any of the cigar experts have thoughts on Gurkhas? Cigar International sent a catalog yesterday (didn't know companies still used catalogs). It had some items I was Interested in pursuing. That last

Page had a deal for 21 cigars for $49. The link is list below. I probably would get the:

Symphony robusto

Double Maduro toro

Widow maker Maduro Churchill

Legend Vintage '01 XO

http://www.cigarsinternational.com/proddisp.asp?item=CS-PT5

I have never been a fan of Gurkhas. It is not that they are bad... they just aren't very good, and there is usually better out there for similar money.

If you like Gurkhas, great... then this looks like a nice deal.

But you could also consider the Horn o Plenty sampler (http://www.cigarsinternational.com/prodDisp.asp?item=SP-CIDD212&scSlide=5) which gives you 5 Gurkhas, but also CAO America, Partagas and 5 Vegas as well. For the same $49 you are getting a lot more value, even if you wind up not caring for or hating the 5 Vegas (whenever I get a bundle that includes 5 Vegas, I invariably wind up giving them away).

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Clavius

So if a cigar is "box pressed" does that generally mean it is of somewhat higher quality? Or is there no correlation at all between the two?

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JayMonster
So if a cigar is "box pressed" does that generally mean it is of somewhat higher quality? Or is there no correlation at all between the two?

Boxed pressed cigars are square or rectangular from being tightly pressed into a box.

There is no direct correlation to quality and being box pressed. It is merely a style of packaging. Some swear by it, others swear at it.

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Clavius

Question: How do I cut a perfecto cigar, specifically a Fuente Hemingway Short Story? Do I cut both ends?

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