Monday, November 23, 2015

Oliva Serie G Toro

Country: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Nicaragua
Filler / Binder: Nicaragua
Length: 6”
Ring: 50
Cost: $5.69

Appearance (0-20):  Typical of the Oliva branding, the band is a cream colored set with gold and maroon, stating the series of the cigar below it. It’s set against a deeper brown Cameroon wrapper with minimal veins. Everything looks pretty solid overall with no negative points to emphasize. There is nothing outstanding on the appearance per say, but also nothing to complain about.
                                                Score: 18

Construction (0-20): The initial feel is that of a solid cigar. No gaps in the tobacco within the stick that can be felt to the touch. The initial cut left a small amount of debris, though not too excessive. The prelit draw is slightly tight, but it opened up quite easily post lighting and ended up being just a hair looser than what I would prefer. The burn began completely even but over time began to run slightly to one side.
Score: 15

Strength (0-20): Billed as medium strength, but truthfully it sits a lot more toward the lower end of that spectrum.
Score: 17

Flavor (0-20): The first puffs from the Oliva Serie Ggive off a wonderful creamy flavor with some peppery spice. These flavors mixed give a nice balance that is complimented within the first third by both dark chocolate and woodsy undertones. Eventually the chocolate becomes much more predominant, along with the pepper, whereas the cream fades back a bit. The final third has a much more prominent coffee flavor with a hint of cream and some leathery flavors.
Score: 18

Value (0-20):  For under $6.00 per smoke, it’s a solid choice. Comparatively speaking, it is in line with a number of other good selections in the $4 to $6 price point.
                                               Score: 17                                                      

Additional Notes: Provided by the folks at Famous Smoke. Paired with water.

Overall (0-100):  Oliva tends to stay pretty consistent with its offerings and this one falls in line with that theory. It’s got a pretty standard look, which again works with keeping to the branding that they are trying to convey. Typically, I have found that the construction on most Oliva cigars is pretty solid, though this one doesn’t quite fit that. Examples include the Serie V, Master Blends III, Serie O, and of course the Serie G Maduro. Further, the proposed strength doesn’t quite meet where it should. Where it lacks in some areas, it does excel in others. It’s a pretty solid choice for a sub-$6 cigar especially given the flavors – which are a nice complex mix of cream, pepper, dark chocolate, wood, coffee, and leather. I would hope to snag a few of these in a package deal, as they are a nice flavor profile. 

Score: 85

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Famous Smoke Shop introduces FOUR KICKS "BLACK BELT BUCKLE" cigars

EASTON, PA – How many cigars have you smoked that were inspired by the lyrics of a song? If you've smoked some of the selections from Crowned Heads Cigars, chances are you already have. Now, Famous Smoke Shop, the leading online distributor of discounted premium cigars, specializing in offering the web’s widest selection of cigars at the lowest prices, is introducing a new exclusive edition from Crowned Heads: "Black Belt Buckle" cigars – the first-ever line extension to the bestselling Four Kicks cigars edition.

"Black Belt Buckle" cigars have the same Nicaraguan long filler & binder tobaccos found in the original Four Kicks blend (rated an "Outstanding" '91' by Cigar Aficionado), finished in a rich-tasting Connecticut Broadleaf maduro wrapper. The result is a medium-bodied smoke that exhibits the balance, complexity, and "Cubanesque" flavor profile of the original Four Kicks Habano wrapper recipe, augmented by the sweeter nuances found in prime Connecticut Broadleaf.

"Having the opportunity to play upon the original binder-filler with a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper has always been in the back of my mind, and soon, it will be a tangible product that will be enjoyed by cigar enthusiasts around the globe," said Crowned Heads Cigars president, Jon Huber.

Four Kicks "Black Belt Buckle" was made in a very limited production of only 10,000 cigars. The release will consist of 1,000 boxes, each with 10 cigars presented in the classic shape - Corona Gorda (5 5/8" x 46)

The cigars will have an across-the-board MSRP of $7.96/cigar, and are expected to arrive in-store on December 3, with preorder sales starting Thursday, November 19.
Oh, about those song lyrics that provided the inspiration for the name. . .
Huff men don’t take no nonsense / 
He’s here to rectify /
He’s got his black belt buckle / 
And the red man's fire in his eyes.
- "Four Kicks" (Kings of Leon)

“The Four Kicks brand will always hold a very special place in my heart, as it was the first release under the Crowned Heads umbrella," added Mr. Huber. "We're also very excited to be able to team up with Famous Smoke Shop and bring Four Kicks 'Black Belt Buckle' to the marketplace."

More information may be found by clicking here.


Famous Smoke Shop introduces new exclusive Alec Bradley cigars

EASTON, PA – "We have one goal: to give you, the cigar smoker, an unforgettable experience," says Alec Bradley Cigars president, Alan Rubin.  The company behind such critically-acclaimed cigars as Tempus, Prensado, and Black Market, Alec Bradley Cigars has just released the 1600 Brazilian "First Crop" selection as well as the Alec Bradley 1633 line of cigars which will be sold exclusively by Famous Smoke Shop, the leading online distributor of discounted premium cigars, specializing in offering the web’s widest selection of cigars at the lowest prices.

The new edition's numerical moniker represents the year 1600, when tobacco was first grown in Brazil, and each Alec Bradley 1600 Brazilian cigar boasts a dark brown Brazilian Habano wrapper from a rare "first crop" harvest that lends an outstanding piquancy to the flavor and aroma. The core blend consists of Nicaraguan long-filler tobaccos from Estelí and Jalapa, Honduran Jamastrán, plus a Costa Rican binder. The result is a well-balanced, full-bodied smoke that reveals layers of earthiness, sweet wood, and a subtle spiciness.

The 1633 in the name pays tribute to year when the first tobacco plant is believed to have been grown in Connecticut, which is the state in which this cigar’s wrapper originates. Under the leadership of Nestor Plasencia, these cigars are rolled and carefully inspected to ensure each cigar enjoyed is consistent and of the highest quality from one to the next, before being boxed up and shipped to Famous Smoke Shop’s massive warehouse in Easton, Pennsylvania where their company is located.

Alec Bradley 1600 Brazilian "First Crop" cigars are presented in boxes of 20 in the following popular sizes: Churchill (7" x 50), Gordo (6" x 60), Toro (6" x 52), Robusto (5" x 50).Suggested retail prices range from $118.20 to $148.20 per box, but Famous prices will reflect a measurable discount, and each size will also be available in both 5-packs and as single cigars.

"We're especially pleased to partner with Alec Bradley for this new selection by including it in our ever-expanding portfolio of high-quality house brands," said Famous marketing director, John Lamberti. "Cigar smokers drawn to dark, full-flavored cigars will find the Alec Bradley 1600 Brazilian selection extremely enjoyable as a solid afternoon or after-dinner smoke."

Alec Bradley 1600 Brazilian "First Crop" Blend Information:

Wrapper: Brazilian Habano
Binder: Costa Rica
Filler: Nicaraguan Estelí, Nicaraguan Jalapa, Honduran Jamastrán

The blend on the Alec Bradley 1633 is complex and very involved. As stated previously, this cigar features a smooth Connecticut wrapper, providing subtle nuances of savory flavors and aroma. The core intensifies the flavor with a Costa Rican binder and longfillers from Panama, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Although it looks light and mild, this offering is a rich and creamy medium bodied cigar that is sure to strike a chord with anyone who likes mild bodied cigars yet wants to try something more daring, or the true medium bodied fan who enjoys palate pleasing full-on flavor.

Famous Smoke Shop and Cigar Advisor Copywriter and Cigar Reviewer Jonathan Detore was able to try the 1633 before it hit the shelves, in order to provide a more in depth review of what those who buy a box of their own should expect. He says of the cigar “The Alec Bradley 1633 has a great balance of smooth and rough, if that makes any sense. It’s got a smooth, cool draw, but hits you with some slight spice and strength. This is a perfect example of when to not judge a book by its cover. It looks mild because of the Connecticut wrapper, which is stereotypical for mild cigars. However, by bringing in heavy tobaccos from Nicaragua along with the sweet Honduran longfiller, you are left with a medium bodied well-rounded smoke.”

Alec Bradley 1633 Cigars are available in four sizes – a 7 x 50 Churchill, a 6 x 60 Gordo, and a 6 x 52 Toro, and a 5 x 50 Robusto. With Famous’ full box discount pricing, customers can enjoy this new offering in boxes of 20, with individual retail prices ranging from $5.91 to $7.41 per cigar. People interested in learning more about Alec Bradley 1633 cigars or Famous Smoke Shop should visit or call 800-564-2486.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015


EASTON, PA – "I do not consider a sale complete until the customer is satisfied," says Famous Smoke Shop CEO Arthur Zaretsky, who took over the modest New York City cigar store that his parents' established in 1939. Now located in Easton, PA, today Famous Smoke Shop is the leading online distributor of discounted premium cigars, specializing in offering the web’s widest selection of cigars at the lowest prices. Several thousand miles away, in Nicaragua, Jorge Padrón has been carrying on his family's primary mission: making cigars of "exceptional quality," while striving to give cigar smokers "the confidence that each cigar is perfect," as his father has done since 1964. In celebrating over seven decades of quality and integrity, these two second-generation cigar men have collaborated on the release of an exclusive, limited edition Padrón cigar – the Famous 75th Padrón Anniversary cigar.

Famous 75th Padrón 1926 Series cigars are made in one size, a 5" x 54 box-pressed robusto rolled in two wrapper choices – Nicaraguan Habano natural or Nicaraguan Habano maduro. Presented in boxes of 10 cigars, these puros are exquisitely handcrafted with 5-year-aged Nicaraguan tobaccos offering a smooth, creamy, well-balanced smoke brimming with Padrón's signature earthy-spicy, full-bodied flavor profile. Only 3,000 boxes have been made, and like all Padrón Cigars, they will have individual, serial-numbered cigar bands.

Arthur and Jorge, both born of humble beginnings, both focused on providing the best to their customers; throughout their combined 115 year history they have built companies that today are honored fixtures of the cigar world, respectively. Jorge's father, Orlando, owned and managed cigar factories in Nicaragua and Honduras. Like the progeny of many tobacco growing, cigar making families, Jorge worked closely with his father since childhood, traveling with him daily to the office, learning every aspect of the cigar business.

Likewise, Arthur Zaretsky learned the retail side of the business from his parents, David and Rose, who owned the original Famous Smoke Shop on West Broadway in Manhattan. Virtually living behind the sales counter, Arthur worked 80 hours a week to support the family business. After his father passed-away, Arthur continued to work with Rose, whom the customers affectionately called "Rosie." While Rosie took care of the customers, Arthur began building the little cigar store into a thriving direct mail business from their new location on West 39th Street.

Living and breathing a passion for cigars, Arthur and Jorge have come to recognize and appreciate what their families have created. Backed with confidence and a commitment to quality and customer satisfaction, both men took what their families had built and grew them into prosperous internationally-renowned businesses.

"Both Jorge and I owe a lot to our parents and the values they taught us," said Mr. Zaretsky. "So, in celebrating our 75 year legacy as Famous Smoke Shop, and in the spirit of family, we celebrate you – our customer – with this special cigar from Padrón."

About Famous Smoke Shop 

Famous Smoke Shop is the nation’s #1 discount retailer of premium cigars online, offering one of the largest selections of handmade cigars, machine-made cigars, cigar humidors and accessories. Famous offers the web’s lowest prices on a wide selection of cigar brands including Acid, Davidoff, Macanudo, Romeo y Julieta, Ashton, Padron, Oliva and Perdomo cigars, and many more. Famous offers their customers the best prices on all premium cigars as well as friendly and knowledgeable customer service.

Famous Smoke Shop
90 Mort Drive
Easton, PA 18040

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

#Famous Toro

Country: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Honduras
Filler / Binder: Nicaragua
Length: 6”
Ring: 50
Cost: $4.14

Background:  Famous has released this offering, the #Famous as a collaboration with Nestor Plasencia. This marks Famous Smoke Shop’s move into the infused cigar market. They sell the cigars both in house at their brick and mortar location as well as online. It is listed as a mild smoke with an infused edge to it.

Appearance (0-20):  A very light natural Connecticut wrapper flanks the outside of this cigar. There are a couple of minor physical blemishes that can be seen on it, but nothing of extreme note (tobacco spot, etc). The wrapper is a really neat looking design to it, with the actual “#” being set directly in the center of the Famous “F”. Its centered in a circle that swirls outward. The red and black designs along with silver and white are well done.
Score: 18

Construction (0-20): Sadly, where this one looked really good I had some reservations about it. The wrapper was softer (not an issue), but I could feel a few minor dips when pressure was applied that caused me a bit of worry. It felt as if there may be some gaps in the tobacco that would lead to this having some burn issues. Upon cutting, there was a bit of debris, and while it wasn’t excessive it was more than a normal cuts’ amount. The draw was slightly loose, and the burn never suite got to that ideal straight line. It wasn’t terribly out of whack, but enough that it was noticeable.
Score: 13

Strength (0-20): Mild. There really is nothing more to say than that, its exactly as it is billed – a completely mild cigar.
Score: 20

Flavor (0-20): As I have noted in the past, I actually enjoy flavored or infused cigars. It has just the slightest bit of bitterness like a light coffee. It’s creamy and has a nice vanilla flavor to it. There are some slight derivations of caramel and other small spices, but it’s generally singularly noted. As it smokes down further, the intensity drops slowly.
Score: 15

Value (0-20):  $4.14 for a single stick isn’t a bad price for the size, but in the same there are a number of other flavored cigars that I would personally opt to spend a little extra on. The value is also slightly decreased due to the construction.
                                                                      Score: 15                                                      

Additional Notes: Provided by the folks at Famous Smoke. Paired with water.

Overall (0-100):  I wanted to note, before giving the total overall write-up, that I smoked 3 of these to get this review and had similar results with each. So this really is a conglomeration of all of three of them.

This is Famous Smoke Shop’s first foray into production of flavored / infused cigars, so it’s not too much of a surprise that it has some smaller missteps. The construction could absolutely use some work since it feels like it could have been produced / wrapped a bit better. The packing was loose at points, which affected the draw and burn, and the cut wasn’t clean. The complexity also wasn’t quite there, but then again it doesn’t always need to be complex.

Flavorwise, it’s a pleasing taste of something akin to a coffee with some vanilla caramel coffeemate poured into it. But that being said, it is less sweet than some of the other alternatives on the market. On the positive side of things – the branding is outstanding and the strength is dead on for where it was being marketed. Is this the sign of things to come?

Famous put on its water wingies and got into the shallow side of the pool with this offering. And that itself is a big thing since it’s a new market for them. And this isn’t too shabby for a first try. I personally think this is a decent smoke for the price, but not one that knocked my socks off. I actually do look forward to see if they do something more with flavored lines in the future, and perhaps improve on this first step. Will they make it to the deep end of the pool? Time will tell. But for now, this one is worth a whirl as a flavored alternative.

Score: 81

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Drew Estate Announces ACID Chi-Town, Arango Cigar Co Subculture Exclusive

Miami, FL – Drew Estate has announced that they will be releasing a new Subculture cigar through Arango Cigar Co in Northbrook, IL. The new cigar will be called ACID Chi-Town, and will be available exclusively through Arango.

The new ACID Chi-Town will be presented in a glass tube in a 5 x 50 vitola. The blend features a Cameroon wrapper and Nicaraguan fillers. The cigars will be packaged in 18-ct boxes emblazoned with ACID branding. The ACID Chi-Town will begin shipping to Arango in November of 2015.

Drew Estate President Michael Cellucci stated that, “Arango Cigar Co has been a long-time ally of Drew Estate. We’ve built a great relationship over the years and can always rely on them to do right by us. We’re excited to work with them on ACID Chi-Town as we continue to bring new and fresh ideas to the popular ACID cigar brand.”

Look for the new ACID Chi-Town to hit Arango’s shelves in the coming weeks. Make sure to follow all of Drew Estate’s news by following them on social media at @drewestatecigar.

About Drew Estate

Founded in New York City in 1996, Drew Estate has become one of the fastest growing tobacco companies in the world. Under their mantra “The Rebirth of Cigars”TM, Drew Estate has led the “Boutique Cigar” movement by innovating new elements to the tobacco industry with their unique tobaccos and blending styles that have attracted new and traditional cigar enthusiasts. In their Gran Fabrica Drew Estate, the Nicaraguan headquarters, Drew Estate produces a variety of brands such as ACID, Herrera Estelí, Herrera Estelí Norteño, Kentucky Fired Cured, Liga Privada, MUWAT, Natural by Drew Estate, Nica Rustica, Nirvana, Pappy Van Winkle Barrel Fermented Cigars, Tabak Especial, Undercrown, and Java by Drew Estate.