Craig Vanderslice's Blog (207)

Guest Reviews: The Brick by Toraño and Viaje Exclusivo

As you may or may not know, my father, Paul Vanderslice, passed away on Thursday morning, he would have been 81 today.  I am honored to present not one, but two reviews from honorary Craigs today. These two gentlemen generously lent their talents to give me a day off, which I greatly appreciate. The upside for you, the reader, is that you are treated to some actual cigar reviews. :-)  My dad was a career music educator, US Navy veteran, lover of baseball and…

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Added by Craig Vanderslice on March 29, 2015 at 8:23am — No Comments

RomaCrafts, Perdomo and a Contest Winner

It’s been a roller coaster week, and things aren’t any better today than Wednesday. My 80-year-old father drove himself to the hospital last Saturday with tightness in his chest and just not feeling right, and on Wednesday, just when my mom thought she was going to bring him home,  they found a thoracic aortic aneurysm and flew him to another hospital in the area…

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Added by Craig Vanderslice on March 22, 2015 at 9:07am — No Comments

La Sirena Cigars Contest!

I’ve had some unexpected family issues arrive which require my attention so instead of my regular Wednesday post you’ll have to settle for a contest. I’m sure you all will cut me some slack. The giveaway this time is sponsored by my friends and site sponsors at La Sirena Cigars. The prize is a sampler of cigars from the La Sirena portfolio: there’s a couple of the new Oceano, a Stixx, a Jaxx, a Jaxx LT, a Merlion, a new La Sirena Trident, and I’ll probably include an old La Sirena…

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Added by Craig Vanderslice on March 18, 2015 at 9:08pm — No Comments

A 1502 Corona or Two or Three, an Ezra Zion, and a New Humidor

I’m on a House of Emilio kick this week. Enrique at Global Premium Cigars recently released his three core lines in corona sizes, and I was lucky enough to have a couple of each arrive in my mailbox a week or so ago. Thursday I grabbed one of the 1502 Cigars Black Gold Coronas, who would expect otherwise?  I’ve been a fan of the 1502 line in general and the Black Gold in specific.  All the coronas are 5½ x 42, and are box pressed, and my ScrewPop 2.0 punch was the perfect diameter to…

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Added by Craig Vanderslice on March 15, 2015 at 8:14am — No Comments

A Great Big Toxic Cigar, Half a Toscano 1492 and an Arandoza

This isn’t going to be too long a post, we went to a local Vietnamese restaurant for dinner tonight and apparently Vietnamese cuisine isn’t a good match for my digestive tract!  Scratch that one off the list!  We have a shopping center within a half mile of the house that has a bunch of interesting eateries, and we’re working our way through. So far Cheeburger Cheeburger is a winner for dinner, and The Bacon Press is an obvious choice for breakfast and lunch (not open for dinner, the…

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Added by Craig Vanderslice on March 11, 2015 at 8:52pm — No Comments

La Gloria Cubana, Padron, Rocky Patel and a New Tortuga Cigar

With so many new cigars to smoke, I decided to go with some old favorites and not so new cigars this week. We had probably the biggest snow of the year this week, and it was only about 10″, but it’s still enough to mess up the roads. Hopefully this is the last we’ll see of the white stuff (I know a lot of the country has seen their fair share this year). I’m celebrating the return of Daylight Savings Time here today as well.  It’s gotten a lot easier now that most of the clocks change…

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Added by Craig Vanderslice on March 8, 2015 at 5:29pm — No Comments

A Mia Dora, a CAO Cigar, a Psyko Seven, a Epicurean, a Jingle and Conan in Cuba

I received a nice bunch of cigars from Gary Griffith of The House of Emilio this week which included some new coronas from some of the great companies in their stable, as well as a couple of the Emilio Mia Dora robustos. I had one I picked up at an event a few months back that I had been waiting for the right time to smoke and figured now tat I had a couple more, the moment was…

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Added by Craig Vanderslice on March 4, 2015 at 9:58pm — No Comments

Punch, Ora Vivo, Quesada cigars: Go Big or Go Home!

For no other reason than I had the cigars and time, I smoked some large cigars this week.  Punch has come out with two new sizes in the Rare Corojo line, the Rare Lapiz, a figurado, and the great big El Diablo, a 6½” x 66 box pressed monster.  You’d expect a cigar called Rare Corojo to have a Corojo wrapper, right? It has a Ecuador Sumatra wrapper, a Connecticut Broadleaf binder and fillers from Nicaragua, Honduras and The Dominican Republic, with no real mention of Corojo tobacco in…

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Added by Craig Vanderslice on March 1, 2015 at 10:03am — No Comments

Brick House, Leccia Luchador and Arturo Fuente 8-5-8 Cigars

I continue to have trouble NOT reaching for maduros and darker wrapped cigars! I guess it’s a winter thing, I’ll try to reverse the trend, but, honestly, I’m loving most of the cigars I’m smoking lately! The My Father Connecticut I smoked a week or two ago was a really good change, but I have to wonder how I would have felt smoking it outdoors in the cold. The darker, heavier wrappers just seen to hold up better both structurally and in flavor, when the mercury…

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Added by Craig Vanderslice on February 25, 2015 at 7:50pm — 1 Comment

Smoking Evil Genius, Rodrigo and Daniel Marshall Cigars

It’s been a cold and busy week. We managed to schedule the furnace and water heater installation on the coldest day of the year. It all went well, we now have efficient heat and hot water, and all is right with the world.  It was brutally cold here this week, too cold most nights to walk the dog, but fortunately the screen porch (with plastic up covering the screen) runs twenty or thirty degrees warmer than outside with a space heater running. It’s a tolerable place to enjoy a cigar…

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Added by Craig Vanderslice on February 22, 2015 at 9:39am — No Comments

My Father Connecticut, Oliva Orchant, a Little PDR, and a Toraño

Sunday afternoon I took the two mile trip to the cigar show since it was bitterly cold and windy.  I finally smoked the My Father Connecticut Toro.  This is a 6½” x 54 Ecuador wrapped beauty is made from tobacco grown on the Garcia’s farms in Nicaragua (except the wrapper) and cut and lit nicely. I was quite impressed with everything about this cigar. It burned perfectly, had a great draw and gave me a nice hour and a half or so of relaxation. I have been spending more time at this…

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Added by Craig Vanderslice on February 18, 2015 at 9:38pm — No Comments

La Aurora Untamed, La Palina and Recluse: All Maduro, All Dominican, All Tasty!

The La Aurora Untamed is a new release from the oldest cigar maker in the Dominican Republic, and is a departure from the norm in a few ways.  As it’s name suggests, the Untamed is a strong cigar. It’s got a dark, rustic Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper surrounding Dominican and Nicaraguan fillers.  The packaging is also a departure from the traditional and classy presentation of the rest of the La Aurora line, with a noticeably agitated lion’s head roaring in front of what appear to be…

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Added by Craig Vanderslice on February 15, 2015 at 9:31am — No Comments

Macanudo, Leccia, Tortuga and Montecristo Cigars

Sunday was supposed to be much warmer, in the 50s, but I don’t think it got out of the 40s. I still managed to get two cigar walks in. I started with a Macanudo. I know what you’re thinking, but this was the Estate Reserve no. III robusto from the 2013 IPCPR show. The Estate Reserve uses Dominican tobacco for the binder and filler, which is aged eight to ten years, and a proprietary wrapper leaf grown by a private grower in the Connecticut river valley. The cigar is silky smooth and…

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Added by Craig Vanderslice on February 11, 2015 at 8:21pm — No Comments

Smoking Semi-Traditional Cigars from Rocky Patel, Perdomo and La Flor Dominicana

I titled this the way I did because it seems like there are three basic categories when it comes to cigar brands, the old school, the boom brands that stuck, and the newer boutiques. Obviously the brands with Cuban names fall into the first category, Partagas, Montecristo, as well as Macanudo, which has been around since way before the mid-90s cigar boom. Then there are brands like Perdomo, Rocky Patel, La Flor Dominicana, that started in the 90s, either had a family tradition in the…

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Added by Craig Vanderslice on February 8, 2015 at 8:30am — No Comments

An Ortega Mini Cigar, a Nestor Miranda and a Short Story

It’s been Maduro week so far!  Monday turned out to be very cold and windy, and after taking Macha on a car ride (she loves the car) to PetSmart for a little outing in lieu of out evening walk, I hit the back patio with an Ortega Mini Cigar in maduro.  Oddly, I was about to grab a little A. Flores Gran Reserva half corona when I came across the Ortega Mini Maduro from the 2013 IPCPR show. These are both made in the PDR factory in the Dominican Republic, which didn’t occur to me until I…

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Added by Craig Vanderslice on February 4, 2015 at 9:11pm — No Comments

A CAO Flathead and a Headlines 1st and 2nd Edition by Fusion Cigars

I’ve only got a few cigars to feature today, largely for two reasons. First is I came home from work Friday with a screaming migraine, the second wave of which I woke up with today), and yesterday I just managed to get too much accomplished in one of our new house renovations.  I attribute this weekend’s migraines to the weather, they are calling for snow and rain again, and that’s generally a pretty normal trigger. The room wave been working on lately is a 12×10 room between the…

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Added by Craig Vanderslice on February 1, 2015 at 3:07pm — No Comments

A 1502 Ruby Cigar, a MUWAT and a Merlion Sea Lion

Cold and snow, but fortunately not any where near the snow that was predicted or our neighbors to the north got! I can’t complain too much about this winter so far.  It’s only really dissuaded me from taking my evening cigar and Macha walks a couple times, and the enclosed porch has been fairly comfortable.  If we can get through the next six weeks or so without too much bad weather I’ll be happy. I still look forward to basking in the warm sunshine with a cigar! On Sunday evening I…

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Added by Craig Vanderslice on January 28, 2015 at 7:54pm — No Comments

San Cristobal Revelation, Dubnium and Bernie Parent’s Vezina Cigar

To touch once again on the issue of Cuban cigars I brought up last time, or to expand upon it, I suppose, the issue of fakes was brought up.  I was saving that for a separate discussion, so here it is.  There will be no shortage of criminal behavior in this regard. How many people unfamiliar with cigars would be able to spot the difference between a Partagas Serie D No. 4 and a Rosa Cuba robusto without bands?  It may look like a worthwhile investment to have some bands made and but a…

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Added by Craig Vanderslice on January 25, 2015 at 9:30am — No Comments

Ezra Zion, East India Trading Co. Classic Cigar and an Orchant Seleccion by Oliva

With all the talk of the lifting of Cuban Embargo, and all the speculation that goes along with it, it got me thinking about what happens when the embargo is actually lifted and Cuban cigars make their way to US retailers shelves. Of course, there will be a huge number of people who want to try what was the forbidden fruit, and the Cuban cigar industry will be struggling to meet the demand.  It seems to me that opening the US market will effectively double that demand. One point I…

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Added by Craig Vanderslice on January 21, 2015 at 8:12pm — No Comments

Finishing Up the La Aurora Preferido Coronas and Bernie Parent at Goose’s

Thursday evening I smoked the Ecuador (Sumatra) La Aurora Preferidos corona.  While this was an exceptional cigar, it had a hint of bitterness that put it in fourth place flavor-wise among the one I’ve smoked thus far in comparison.  That’s not to say it wasn’t better than many cigars out there, it just didn’t hit my palate as favorably as the others. The construction was perfect and no oozing tar! I’ve got the Maduro (Brazil) and the Broadleaf coming up, I hope I didn’t set the bar…

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Added by Craig Vanderslice on January 18, 2015 at 9:25am — No Comments

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