Friday, March 27, 2015

Guess who's back?

Greetings all.  Wow it has been a long time.  I cannot believe that I have been gone for 4 years!  A lot has happened to me since my last entry.  Most notably I am on my 3rd job.  I became an Uncle (twice!) which I am super excited about.  I moved in with my girlfriend and we have this amazing apartment.  This apartment has a great deck off the back where I will be spending a lot of time this summer.  And after the long harsh winter of 2014-15, I cannot think of a better place to be.

One of the Jobs I had was a short stint back in the cigar industry at Habana Premium Cigar Shoppe.  My time there gave me plenty of opportunities to smoke some of the greatest cigars. I have to say that I am very pleased with some of the trends over the years. My favorite being the massive influx of amazing cigars coming out of Nicaragua.  Factories like the My Father, Drew Estate, and AJ Fernandez are pumping out great cigars every year.  These cigars have strength, but don't skimp on flavor or complexity.  Cigars like the New World from AJ Fernandez, Nica Rustica from Drew Estate, and La Antiguedad from My Father are all perfect examples of having medium full/full cigars that don't lack flavor at all.  Also these cigars a very reasonably priced, which is another trend that I like.  For a while in New York it was almost impossible to find a high quality cigars under $10/stick. Thanks to the geniuses in our state government that thought they would make so much money by raising the taxes to 75% on the wholesale.  But now the taxes have been lowered and the companies are coming out with cigars under that $10 mark.  Its been a great trend. 

There are some other trends that I absolutely do not like or understand.  First of all, I don't understand the obsession with large ring gauge cigars. 60+ ring gauges a are so popular that even companies like Davidoff felt the pressure and made a 60 ring gauge cigar. I understand that people feel that bigger I better.  That they are getting their money's worth.  With  cigars the most expensive leaf is the wrapper.  The wrapper gives most of the flavor.  The binder and filler is usually the less expensive tobacco.  So In order to have more flavor, use less filler and binder.  And what happens when you use less binder and filler?  You get smaller ring gauges! Every time I smoke a 60 or larger, I feel like I am smoking air.  They are just not for me.  Yet they are extremely popular.  Brands like Asylum have become some of the best selling cigars because they make cigars up to 80 ring gauge.  Now they don't only make large cigars.  Their Asylum 13 robusto (5x50) is amazing.

So needless to say I still have a passion for cigars.  I have been thinking about this blog and what direction I want to take with it.  One of the other things that I have gotten into over the past few beers has been expanding my tastes in beer.  I have grown to love stouts and porters.  Still don't really like IPAs yet.  I'm trying.  I used to think they  tasted like tree bark, but a good friend of mine said the  hoppyness reminded him of grapefruit.  Since he said that, its now what I tase and I can tolerate some of the milder IPAs.  So I believe that I will be pairing a beer with each of the cigars I smoke on my deck.  I'm very excited about this and I hope that I have the ability to bring some sort of entertainment to you.  I mean who doesn't get excited about cigars and beers?

As always, let me know what you  think.  Leave me a comment of a pairing that you want me to try.

Smoke a good one!

Andy aka agctribefan

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Tomorrow is my last day.

So Friday will be my last day at I'm gonna miss it quite a bit. I've met some extremely wonderful people in my time here. The gang here is extremely dedicated. They are a fun loving bunch of hooligans. Everyone is always laughing and making jokes, yet we all get our work done. I have to say it is one of the best work settings that I have ever been around.

Through my time here I got to learn a lot about the tobacco industry. I now know a lot more about pipe tobacco than I ever thought I would. I have also learned a lot about the cigar industry. I feel I have grown a lot as a cigar smoker. Trying stuff that I never would had if I continued on the path I was traveling along before this job.

I also met some great people in the industry. Even got to meet some of the big guys like Marvin Samel, Avo, and Nick Perdomo. Its been a "Cigar Geek's" (my boss likes to call me that) dream. I want to give a shout out to Scott Bendett for giving me a job when I needed it the most. I truly appreciate all that you have done for me.

So now that I am leaving, my cigar smoking will go down quite a bit. I think my girlfriend will be doing the happy dance about that fact. I will still have them from time to time, just not as frequent. So with that I think I should smoke as many as I can get. Its only fitting right? So yesterday I smoked a couple. I had a Perdomo Exhibicion Corojo. I like Perdomo cigars. I like them a lot, but am I crazy that I think almost all of his stuff tastes the same? I know there are differences in each line. But these taste like the Patriarch which I think are very similar to the Lot 23 which I also think are very similar to the Habano line, and so on. I don't know. The only line that I don't like is the Gran Cru Maduro. I hated it as you can see in one of my earlier blog entries. The Exhibicion was good. The construction was awesome. The amount of smoke that came out of that cigar was very impressive. Very decent flavor. They are a good everyday type cigar. That's kinda how I feel about all Perdomo cigars. Good not great. I'm just waiting for one to absolutely blow me away.

The other cigar that I had yesterday was a Rocky Patel Edge Corojo. Think I was on a Corojo kick yesterday. I have to say that my cigar of choice from Rocky Patel is the Sun Grown with the Edge Maduro closely behind it. The Edge Corojo has never really got my juices flowing. I smoked it quickly at the end of the day. It was better than I remember. Once again it had flavor that you come to expect with a corojo. It was quite enjoyable. I'm gonna have to reconsider these again.

So now that my last day is almost here I have to celebrate. So I'm asking you, How should I celebrate? Good cigar? Nice dinner? Leave a comment letting me know what you think I should do. My next blog will be about what I ended up doing.

Thanks for checking me out and as always:

Smoke a good one!

Andy aka agctribefan

Friday, August 5, 2011

Trying a few new ones!

Well I finally got a new job. I loved where I currently work, but it is time for me to move on. I need to make good on my incredibly expensive degree. I'm really excited to be working in a manufacturing setting again.

That being said, I have been celebrating this week with some new blends from the IPCPR trade show. The first one I tried out was called "My Uzi Weighs A Ton." Its the newest creation from Jonathan Drew and Joya de Nicaragua. This thing was a massive 5 x 60 beast. This is the smallest in the line. I have to say that this thing really caught me by surprise. I absolutely loved it. Draw was nice. When I first lit it up an amazing flavor hit me with some very very slight sweet notes. But it was not strong at all. I was expecting a swift kick in the face. Did not get that at all. So I thought at least. Here I was smoking away and got to about half way down when I realized that my hands were starting to sweat. I was sitting in the air-conditioned lounge thinking to myself "man is it getting warm in here?" I started to get the sweats, so I decided to get up and walk around. Not the best of ideas. This thing is totally kicking my ass. So much that one of my co-workers comes out and tells me I look like crap. It ramped up quickly. I was amazed. I consider myself to be a full strength smoker, and this was the first cigar to get a reaction like this. I'm not gonna lie, I kinda liked it. The cigar had sneaked up on me.

I also went camping over the weekend and got to smoke two cigars by a fire. Is there really anything better than smoking a nice cigar in front of a campfire? I smoked a Rocky Patel Vintage 2003. It was like the other vintages. Great construction, nice prelit aroma, and remarkably under whelming. Don't get me wrong, its a decent cigar, just not my cup of tea. I think I would have to try it again sometime to really give a good review of it. It just seemed like it was very similar to everything else done by Rocky.

The other cigar that I had on the camping trip was given to me by my good friend Mike Uhren. Mike is an extremely talented artist that speciallizes in cigar art. His website is Please check it out. Well back to the cigar. He gave me a Liga Privada MF-13. All I have to say is WOW! This stick was amazing. Take the #9 and smooth it out even more, and you have the MF-13. When these come out I will do everything I can to hoard these. The flavors are amazing. The burn was laser tight. Its another one that builds in strength and has complex transitions of flavor. If you are lucky enough to have one of these right now, smoke it. You will not be disappointed.

There are a few others that I tried but I will save those for another time. The Casa Fernandez Aganorsa leaf was really nice. The 601 La Bomba was incredibly strong. The newest CAO was one that I will be seeking out.

So Please tell me what you think. Leave comments and as always:

Smoke a good one!

Andy aka AGCtribefan

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Smoked two good cigars

Have I ever mentioned that I love the time of year when the IPCPR come around. Its a cigar junkie's Christmas. All the cigar companies are releasing their newest lines and the rumors start flying. I get giddy when I hear about the newest additions to the Liga Privada lines. Also everyone wants see what the newest member of Tatuaje monster series is gonna look like (Wolfman looks awesome btw). We also get to try some of the new releases.

So the other day I got to try Kurt Kendall's newest addition to his very popular 7-20-4 line. Its called the 7-20-4 1874 series. It gets its name for the year that the original 7-20-4 factory opened. Now this cigar is a little different from the original 7-20-4 line. It features a Habano wrapper from the Jalapa region of Nicaragua. I found it to be a medium bodied cigar with a nice pleasant finish. I have just started to retro hale out of my nose a tiny bit. That usually makes my eyes water and I start sneezing. Its not a pretty site. But for this cigar it did not produce that reaction. It was a pleasant surprise. I actually got a slightly tangy, almost tart taste, right off the bat. It reminded me of a granny smith apple. It was really unique. After about the half way point, it turned over to bit of spice mixed in with some nice earthy flavors. I have to say I really enjoyed this cigar as a change of pace.

Today I got to try something that I ordered for the shop. This is not a new cigar but I have wanted to try it for a while. It was the Gran Habano Azteca. My friend Alex joked that it is the cigar of choice for the Apocalypse. I have to say that this is one of the most amazingly packaged cigars that I have seen. It comes in 20 count boxes that are shaped like Aztec ruins. The cigars have a very intricate top band that is rather large. A smaller band is on the foot that states the size. The Azteca is wrapped in a very dark San Andreas Maduro leaf. I have really been enjoying the San Andreas Maduros lately. Its supposed to be a full flavored cigar, but I felt it was more of a heavy medium. Not really full. I had a nice coffee undertone. Toast was the over prevailing flavor. It burned smooth and never got hot. I nubbed it right down to where I couldn't hold it any longer. The price point makes it even more enjoyable. I have a good feeling that these will do very well in the shop.

I can't wait for my boss to get back from the show to see what we are getting. Hopefully he will bring some back for me to sample. So what is everyone looking forward to seeing coming out of the IPCPR show? Feel free to leave a comment of things you would like to hear about, or just leave a comment about what you like/don't like about my blog. And remember please check out

Smoke a good one,


Friday, July 15, 2011

What a great night!

I started off last night with a softball game. Our team has been kinda down lately, especially after a we got 4 hit last week. So this week we had to turn it around. An boy did we. Everyone was hitting. I went 4-5 with a 3b, 2b, and two singles. Easily should have been 3 triples but we did not want to run up the score. We won the game 22-13. It was a good win and I was happy.

So after I decided sit out side on the patio with a beer, my book, and a nice cigar. After having that great cigar the day before I was hoping to keep thing on a roll. So I grabbed a Panacea Red 560 (again thanks to Brett). I grabbed a bud Light Lime and my book. i know what you are think "Yuck, Bud Light Lime!" I just happen to like it. I walk outside and it is just absolutely gorgeous out. Big bright moon, roughly 75 degrees out, just perfect. And to top it off, one of the restaurants across the street had a band outside on their patio that was just playing some nice mellow music.

Now to the cigar. The Panacea Red started off not at all how I expected it to. Just by looking at it, it had a nice dark toothy wrapper. But when I lit it, all I could taste is a weird sweet taste. It was hard to explain. The flavor did change from beginning to end. At about the half way point the sweetness was gone and a good rich leathery taste became the most prevalent flavor. The burn was probably the sharpest burn I have ever seen. And the ash was one of the firmest i have ever seen. I didn't try for a long ash, but I could have seen this thing lasting for at least 3 inches. It was actually hard to knock off. Overall this cigar started off a little weird, but finished with a bang. The construction was one of the best I have ever seen. I could definitely see myself trying this again. I wonder if the sweetness was just an anomaly.

The combination of the crazy moon, the drink, the good cigar, good music, and my book (Game of Thrones) made this just a wonderful evening. I hope to have many more like this.

Smoke a good one,

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Man I've been busy.

Well I haven't had a lot of time for blogging. I have had some time to enjoy some great cigars. I started working at Habana Premium Cigar Shoppe in Albany NY. Actually more specifically I work on their website Man what an experience it has been working at such a great place. I have met some incredible people and been fortunate enough to try out some amazing cigars.

One of the perks of working at a B&M is that you get to try out some samples from time to time. For example, I was lucky enough to sit down with my new friend Brett who is a rep for 262 cigars, Rodrigo cigars, and Panacea cigars. He treated me to an amazing Rodrigo Classic Toro. The Rodrigo has an amazingly balance flavor. Just enough spice to remind you that you are smoking a cigar, but not overpowering. The construction was impeccable. It burned smooth and was never hot. The leathery flavors with an earthen undertone made this something that I will be looking forward to smoking again. Thank you Brett.

So its good to be back in the swing of things. I can't wait to see what the IPCPR show has in store for us this year. Look for some great new releases. I know I can't wait. Thanks for taking a look.

Smoke a good one,

Friday, February 19, 2010

I'm gonna start up again

Just wanted to let anyone who reads this that I will be starting this back up again soon. I've smoked some really good sticks (tat black tubo, Tat Drac, Flying Pig, Alec Bradley SCR, Montecristo #4, Bolivar Coronas Extras) since the last post. I've just been a little lazy in getting the reviews written. Part of this is because my local B&M has moved and upgraded their lounge. The lounge is amazing but it is difficult to review a cigar without being distracted by some of the great people that visit the lounge. Expect to see some more reviews from me in the next few weeks.