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Archive for the ‘Special Edition’ Category

The Sasquatch-a-Dor

10 Nov

For a couple of years now, I’ve been getting requests for photos of the legendary Sasquatch-a-Dor. Well, here they are.

The Sasquatch-a-Dor

The Sasquatch-a-Dor is modeled after a Spanish War-era soldier’s foot locker, complete with brass handles and fittings.

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Posted in Special Edition

 

Padrón Anniversary Series 1964

13 Apr

Synopsis:
Blender: Jorge Padrón
Maker: Padrón Cigars
Filler: Nicaraguan
Binder: Nicaraguan
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Maduro
Flavors:  Woody, pepper, cocoa, sweet, tangy, earthy, nutty, herbal
Draw/Volume/Strength: -1 / 0 / 4
Rating: 9.5

I’ve been waiting for this moment for the past two years.

Today I’m pleased to present to you the Padrón Anniversary Series 1964. And I’m also please to inform you that today is the 2nd Anniversary of the Cigar Sasquatch. As I noted last year, the Cigar Sasquatch existed as such before this date two years ago, but since no one outside of a small group of my friends had heard the words “Cigar” and Sasquatch” used together before that date, and April 13th being the publication date of our very first review, that is our anniversary date.

Photo of Padron Aniversary 1964 Monarca

Padrón Aniversary 1964 Monarca (6½x46)

I’ve smoked literally hundreds of cigars in those 2 years, and reviewed a total of 69 of them; many of the balance will never make it to review, although a thorough scan of the Sasquatch-a-Dor shows that I could easily double my catalog of reviews without acquiring even one additional cigar. Whether this would take another two years will remain a mystery, but there is one thing I know for certain: This is just the beginning.

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International Pipe Smoking Day 2012

20 Feb

In honor of International Pipe Smoking Day (February 20, 2012), the Cigar Sasquatch has put down his cigar and picked up his pipe. This afternoon’s choice is a robust Burley English blend from the world-famous Racine and Laramie Tobacconists at Old Town San Diego. It’s complex and woody, with cocoa and toffee flavors, and a taste of roasted meats.

ENJOY!

Photo of a tobacco pipe.

International Pipe Smoking Day

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Posted in Special Edition

 

Cigar Quotes

31 Jan

Cigar lovers are as diverse and complex as the cigars they smoke. Their little bits of lore and witticism have left us a treasure trove of noteworthy quotations, a few of which I will share with you here.

Photo of a cigar and a humidor.

"Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar." ~Sigmund Freud

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Posted in Special Edition

 

Cigars in the Tropics

11 Jul

I used to be an avid skier. I still enjoy it very much, I just don’t do it as frequently as I have formerly. I’ve been all over the country for skiing. I would plan whole vacations around it, whether to Colorado, Utah, Tahoe, or even locations in Canada. That was my travel activity.

Well, my leisure pursuits have changed over the years, and as it turns out, so has my vacation style. You see, a ski vacation is a busy thing. And as my non-vacation life became more busy, I wanted my vacations to be less busy. I think that makes sense. On a ski trip, you have to get up, get dressed, get your boots on, carry your skis, and spend your day trying to get the most out of your (fairly expensive) lift ticket. It was a lot of fun, but it ends up being a fair amount of work, too.

Photo of Arturo fuente Hemingway Classic cigar resting on a natural lava rock bowl

Arturo Fuente Hemingway Classic (7x48) resting in a natural ash tray.

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Posted in Figurados, Perfectos, Special Edition

 

Father’s Day Special: Padrόn Churchill Maduro

19 Jun

Synopsis:
Blender: Jorge Padrόn
Maker: Piloto Cigars
Filler: Nicaraguan
Binder: Nicaraguan
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Sun-grown Maduro
Flavors: Toasted oak, dark chocolate → cocoa, earth, tobacco
Draw/Volume/Strength: 0 / +2 / 3
Rating: 9.1

In honor of Father’s Day, I’m smoking the Padrόn Maduro Churchill. I selected this cigar for the Father’s Day special for a number of reasons. First, the Padrόn organization is a family operation, and considers quality to be a matter of family honor (in fact, that’s their company slogan). Secondly, the “Padrόn Series” (sometimes called the “Thousand Series” after of the names of several of the vitolas), is considered “Everyman’s Padrόn” for its affordable price and unshakable quality. And though my father is not a cigar man (I’m pretty sure he has never smoked a thing in his life), he certainly is an “Everyman,” as I’m sure many of your fathers are.

What do I mean by that? My dad is an average Joe, hard-working, dedicated to his family, selfless and giving, slow to anger, quick to forgive, a man full of lessons (mostly of the organic kind), who did (and does) his best for a large family of modest means. He’s a man’s man, massive in stature, mild in temperament, and brimming over with experience, the stories of which he freely (and repeatedly) shares at any suitable occasion.

Photo of Padrόn Churchill cigar

Padrόn Churchill (6 7/8 x 46)

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Posted in Churchills, Maduro, Special Edition

 

International Pipe Smoking Day

20 Feb

In honor of International Pipe Smoking Day (February 20, 2011), the Cigar Sasquatch has put down his cigar and picked up his pipe. This morning’s choice is an aromatic blend called “Dr. Charlie” from the world-famous Racine and Laramie Tobacconists at Old Town San Diego. The delicious selection is slightly sweet, with some light raisin notes, and a mellow woody aroma.

ENJOY!

Photo of a tobacco pipe.

Dr. Charlie

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Posted in Special Edition

 

Cigar Sasquatch Special Edition: Graycliff “Fresh Rolled”

12 Dec

Cigars are as unique as the people who enjoy them, and every once in a while, you run into one (a cigar or a person) that defies categorization. On a recent trip to the Bahamas, a member of the Cigar Sasquatch team was privileged to visit the Graycliff cigar factory in Nassau, and sample their fine goods. Among the many treasures he returned with was a small handful of freshly rolled cigars, hand-made while he watched. These are the Graycliff Fresh Rolled.

Cigar production in the 21st century is like manufacturing in almost any other industry, at least in certain aspects. Separation of job functions is central to efficiency, and a visit to a cigar factory may expose you to strippers, bunchers, rollers, and the famous torceadors, along with dozens of other functionalities. And of course there are inspections at almost every step in the process.

In the case of the Graycliff Fresh Rolled, these many functions are consolidated into one person, in this instance, a gentleman named Maurice.

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Posted in Dark Natural, Figurados, Full Reviews, Natural, Special Edition, Torpedos

 

Cigar Sasquatch Special Edition: Cigar Etiquette for the Holidays

09 Dec

As I relax with a cigar before heading out to one of the many holiday parties that I, like most of us, will be attending this season, I can’t help but look forward to the herf which will no doubt take place sometime before the end of the affair. The holidays are a time for celebrations, and for so many, that means enjoying a great cigar and a perfectly-paired beverage to compliment the warm company of friends, family, and colleagues. For some, the cigars enjoyed around the holidays are the only cigars they’ll smoke all year, and to those people I offer my condolences. But whether you’re a regular herfer, or a once-a-year man, there are a few customs and traditions of etiquette that should be observed while enjoying cigars this season.

Cigar etiquette in general has been a matter of discussion among practitioners for years, even centuries. Zino Davidoff, perhaps the second most influential cigar man of the 20th century, wrote famously on the subject, giving us a healthy list of “Dos” and “Don’ts” for cigar smoking. Some of them have become canon for cigar lovers world-wide, such as his suggestion that a puff a minute is a fine pace. Additionally, he advocates allowing the cigar do “die a dignified death” by letting it to go out on its own, rather than mashing it into the ashtray. Others of Davidoff’s guidelines seem to speak to his position as a cigar manufacturer, such as only smoking a cigar about half-way. He does, however, advise against “chain-smoking” cigars, suggesting a 15-minute hiatus is sufficient.

Other admonitions of general cigar etiquette fall into one of two related categories, first, those that emphasize not putting cigar smokers into a negative light among those who don’t appreciate the art, and second, those that remember that cigar smoking is a gentlemanly pursuit, and that we practitioners should conduct ourselves in a manner befitting our gentlemanly natures. These include certain courtesies about where and when to smoke, whether to ask questions about what others are smoking, and the importance of not offending others with the smell of smoke on the clothes or breath.

There is ample fodder for discussion of cigar etiquette readily available on the web, but for our purposes, allow me to enumerate a few guidelines to assist you, the gentle reader, in enjoying your holiday cigars. First, never ask to try someone else’s cigar. You wouldn’t ask to kiss his wife, and you shouldn’t ask to try his cigar. If someone asks you, politely decline, but if you’re so inclined (and equipped), feel free to offer him a fresh one from your stash. The exchange of (unlit) cigars is highly encouraged, but a polite effort should be made to ensure that the cigars given in exchange are of similar quality. If you’re offered a very fine cigar, and only have an average one to offer in exchange, do not decline his generosity outright; offer yours proudly, but with the simple caveat, “I don’t want to take your last great cigar.” If he’s a gentleman, his offer will no doubt stand, but remember that reciprocity of giving is always gentlemanly, so do not hesitate to return his generosity with a fine cigar in the future. On a related note, keep extra cigars on your person for just such occasions.

I live by the long-standing Sasquatchism, “Never apologize for your smoke cloud floating over me in the herf. It is I who should be thanking you.” Likewise, I won’t apologize to you, nor will I seek your thanks, but I will endeavor, inasmuch as it is reasonable, to not negatively affect your enjoyment of a cigar with my smoke cloud, and would appreciate the same in return. Feel free to inquire what cigars your fellow herfers are smoking, and to ask how they are enjoying them, but refrain from offering judgments about the cigar in any way, other than to remark that you may have enjoyed one in the past. If the opposite is true, under no circumstances should you mention it, or criticize him or his cigar.

With regard to the mechanics of cigar smoking, make every effort to ensure your ash drops into an ashtray. This is doubly important when smoking indoors. If your ash misses the ashtray, don’t make a big production about it, but do your best to tidy up as quickly and unobtrusively as possible. And finally, keep your ideas about the proper way to cut, light, smoke, or otherwise enjoy a cigar to yourself. Make your cutter, matches, and torch available to those who may wish to use them, but only give advice on the “hows” and “whys” where it is openly sought.

I for one do not presume to contend that any rule of etiquette is universally applicable, customs and traditions being as diverse as the many cultures of the world. What counts for courtesy and propriety varies widely, but what is universal is that politeness and etiquette do exist, no matter where you are, and their conventions should be followed, as well as possible. And when in unfamiliar environs, I find it best to remember this simple precept: Actions based on respect for your fellow man—cigar lover or otherwise—will always find a home in polite society.

Until next time, this is the Cigar Sasquatch saying, “Love what you smoke, and smoke what you love.”

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Posted in Special Edition

 

Cigar Sasquatch Special Edition: Holiday Gift Guide

04 Dec

Holiday Gift Guide

If you’re anything like me, you get asked one question countless times every holiday season: “What do you want for Christmas?” I also hear a lot of, “I don’t know what to get you, you always get anything you want for yourself.” And while that may be true, I’m forced to ask myself, is it that hard? Sure, I understand. Men are difficult. We’re complex in our simplicity. We’re independent, but love to be a part of the team, we’re rugged, but relish in our creature comforts, we’re predictable in entirely unpredictable ways. But with a little guidance, holiday gift giving—and receiving—can be the joyful and stress-free experience it should be.

No one who has a cigar lover on his or her Christmas list should ever have to ask “What do you want for Christmas?” I can run down the list of guys in my herf and name their top three cigars at three different price tiers, and I can also probably tell you which retailer has the best prices for each of them. But unfortunately our wives and girlfriends, mothers and sisters probably don’t know anything about cigars, and wouldn’t have a clue where to buy them or how much to pay. So this guide is not so much for the cigar lovers out there reading this, but rather, for the ones who have to shop for us. Translation: Men, forward it to your ladies.

The best thing about cigars as gifts is, you can never have too much of a good thing. I never once opened a gift of Montecristos and thought, “This is great, but I’ve already got a box of these.” It’s the ultimate answer to the question, “What do you give to the man who has everything?” Answer: More of what he loves.

Stocking Stuffers

Single cigars are a great treat for the holidays. But if you’re going to buy a single, make sure it’s something special. Most of us have a brand or blend we’ve never bought for ourselves because of the ridiculous price tag. Padron Family Reserve #45 comes to mind. But if you’re not comfortable spending $30-$40 on a single cigar (if you can find it in a single), I suggest going with something big, like the Arturo Fuente Hemingway Masterpiece.  At 9 inches long, it’s certainly an “impact gift,” but with singles readily available at B+M retailers for $18-$22, (and less on-line), it’s a great gift at an approachable price.

Accessories make great stocking stuffers too. The Xikar X8 Carbon Fiber Cigar Cutter is as stylish as it is functional, and with a lifetime guarantee, it’s a step up from the throw-away cutters on the cigar store counter. And most of us have a cigar torch (or two), but this holiday season, set the torch down and grab a handful of Davidoff Giant Cigar Matches. At under $4.00 for a box of 40, they’re probably the cheapest thing you’ll ever find with the name “Davidoff” on them, and are far more reliable than most cigar torches.

5-Packs

Everyone loves a 5-pack. They’re affordable, available, and we can usually get exactly the brands and blends we want. But for this holiday season, think variety, not just in blend, but in size and shape. If your cigar buddy always gets himself the same robustos time and time again, upgrade him to the torpedoes. The Romeo Y Julieta Belicoso is only a few dollars more for a 5-pack than the venerable Bully in the same blend, and makes a thoughtful and impressive gift. Or for an elegant option, the Oliva Serie V Lancero is a highly-rated cigar in the Cuban tradition, delivering loads of flavor in a slim package that most cigar lovers wouldn’t normally buy for themselves.

Boxes of Cigars

Box-quantities of cigars are the ultimate gift that keeps on giving. In one package, you can give hours of satisfying pleasure and enjoyment, and show yourself as a truly thoughtful gift giver. But a word or caution: Make sure it’s something he’s going to love. Now’s not the time to try him on a new blend or to throw something against the wall to see if it sticks. Every cigar lover has a favorite blend, and if you don’t know what it is, just ask! If he’s anything like my cigar buddies, he’ll be happy to tell you all about it. Chances are he even knows where to buy it at the best price.

If you find that the cigars you’re planning to give as a gift are a little out of your price range, shop around. Many retailers offer first-quality premiums in bundle packs that save money in packaging and shipping. I for one don’t care if my Excalibur #1 Maduros come in a box or a bundle pack, as long as I get them. Or for the Cohiba lovers in your herf, consider downsizing to a box of Cohiba Pequeños, small cigars that offer 20 or 30 minutes of great Cohiba flavor, at an affordable price.

And the best thing about giving boxes of cigars, if you’re lucky, your grateful recipient may just thank you with the first cigar from the box!

Holiday gift giving shouldn’t be stressful or difficult. With a little planning, and some advice from our resident Cryptozoological Cigar Lover, you’ll have more time to spend doing what you love, and celebrating the season with friends and family. And that’s about the best holiday gift I can think of.

Until next time, this is the Cigar Sasquatch saying, “Love what you smoke, and smoke what you love.”

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