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Spotlight Brand: Rocky Patel Sun Grown Maduro

Sun Grown gets a bold Maduro.

Rocky Patel has built his stellar reputation by adhering to rigorous quality control, ensuring each cigar that bears his name has unparalleled construction and consistency. His blends are repeatedly rated among the best and widely sought after, and his new Sun Grown Maduro is a worthy addition to his portfolio.

Rocky Patel Sun Grown Maduro is unabashedly bold, featuring an oily Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper over dual binders and Nicaraguan long-fillers. An unquestionable feast for the seasoned full-body aficionado, the exuberant and broad flavor profile will provide a complex and balanced experience. With expert construction, and remaining flavorful down to the nub, these cigars are bound to take up space on the top shelves of connoisseur’s humidors everywhere.

#2 Cigar of 2016 – '95' Rated by Cigar Aficionado

Q & A: Why are Maduro wrappers dark?

Why are Maduro wrappers dark?

1/30/17 | by FG of Vancouver, WA


Maduro wrappers are one of the most popular options for enthusiasts today. Let’s learn a little about these alluring and flavorful wrappers.

Maduro is not only used to describe the color of the wrapper leaf but it is also a term for specific varieties of air-cured, cigar tobacco. These tobaccos must go through longer fermentation at hotter bale temperatures before they’re ready for use in rolling. With this in mind, it’s possible to call a cigar sporting a very dark Habano, Sumatra, or Cameroon wrapper a “maduro cigar”, but true maduros can actually only feature a tobacco leaf that requires that extra processing. Some popular examples of these tobaccos are Broadleaf from Pennsylvania (Diesel) or Connecticut (Rocky Patel Sun Grown Maduro), Costa Rican Morron (Gurkha Genghis Khan), San Andres Negra (La Aroma de Cuba), and many others. So again, a particular cigar may be maduro dark in color, but it doesn’t mean it’s made with a maduro wrapper. Simple, right? Remember these tobacco varietals are generally greener, thicker leaves that are grown in full sun, so even before the curing or fermentation processes begin, they’re already darker in color.

After the leaves are picked and air cured, the maduro tobacco leaves obtain their coloration through either one of several natural processes, or through a shortcut like steaming or dying (luckily for fans of good maduro, these shortcuts are seldom used in today’s industry). The natural processes all essentially consist of the leaves being stored stacked upon themselves, sometimes with physical pressure added in the form of weights or presses. Within a stack or ‘pilone’, the heat increases naturally and can be manipulated by turning the leaves over and rearranging them (this cools) or adding extra weight and pressure (this will increase the heat). It is during this fermentation that the leaf goes through some serious changes. Substances called carotenoids (the same type of substance that gives carrots their orange hue) break down, not only darkening the color but significantly changing the flavor as well. By allowing the leaf extra time in these conditions, the factory will have a good supply of sweet, spicy, and savory dark maduro leaf to utilize in their blends.

by Tim

Review: Alec Bradley Coyol

Tim A Lancero to long for.

Alan Rubin is no stranger to using Honduran tobaccos in his blends to award winning results. His Coyol is no exception to this strategy, as the Honduran and Nicaraguan tobaccos used in this recipe combine to create one of my new favorites. Grabbed one out of the humidor for two reasons: #1 – the brand… I have loved the Tempus and Prensado for years, and have really enjoyed the few Mundials I’ve recently sampled. #2 – the size. A petite lancero is rather unique in today’s cigar scene, and seemed like a good choice for my afternoon session. Smoked slow and deliberate, the Coyol exuded big flavor and character from the get go. There’s a pleasant sweetness throughout, but not saccharine-y or overbearing. I usually get a savory, almost meaty nuance from other Alec Bradley blends, not so much with this lancero. I wasn’t pairing this with tea, but I kept coming back to that type of flavor sensation – slightly tannic, slightly astringent, with an herbal heavy finish. Very fresh and clean tasting; this blend is bright without many of the “dirty” earth flavors that can muddle a complex profile like this. Nubbing both samples of the Coyol I acquired for this review, I can say they were consistent, medium-bodied, unique, and enjoyable. Acquire a few for yourself, no regrets.  

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Article: Expert Tip: Keeping Warm this Winter

​​​​​By: Kelly Luciw

Now that the holiday rush is behind us, we can catch our breaths and relish in the thought of having an entire year until it starts all over again. But let us not focus on the past, and instead look toward the future… a new year, and new beginnings. Let’s keep the celebration going and enjoy ourselves with pleasant company, exceptional cigars, and drinks that we all can raise a glass to. Here at, we’re keeping you warm in these frigid temperatures and happy well into the new year with the wonderful pairings of top-notch premiums and oh so delightful libations.

First toast goes to Alec Bradley Tempus Maduro and El Dorado 12-year old rum. With a smooth character and intense, full-bodied flavors of espresso, Alec Bradley Tempus Maduro is the ideal premium to pair with the mouth-watering sweetness of El Dorado 12-year old rum. With rich flavors of fruit and spice, hints of honey, and an elegant, dry finish, El Dorado unites with this cigar effortlessly, complementing the bold flavors of this perfect end-of-day premium.

Next is the ’94-rated Oliva Serie ‘V’ and Buffalo Trace Bourbon. With top-quality, specially selected ligero leaf, Oliva Serie ‘V’ is loaded with flavor and layered with enticing notes of leather, pepper, and earthy undertones. Pair this full-bodied premium with the rich and complex taste of Buffalo Trace Bourbon, and you have one exquisite taste that is filled with hints of toffee, candied fruit, and vanilla. The long finish of Oliva Serie ‘V’ is complemented by the smooth finish of Buffalo Trace Bourbon. Pair these two up together and prepare your palate for one savory smooth ride.

Man O’ War Ruination, a creation by AJ Fernandez, and the 12-year old single malt scotch, Balvenie DoubleWood, takes their place as our next pairing for the New Year. Delivering a bold, robust experience, Man O’ War Ruination offers rich flavors ranging from leather and earth to hints of oak. Pair up this premium with the distinct character and cinnamon spiciness, sherry, and nutty sweetness found in Balvenie DoubleWood Single Malt Scotch, and you’ve got yourself one noticeably hearty experience rounded out with a long, warm finish.

Continuing to raise our glasses, we give a toast to the unique qualities of Ave Maria Reconquista and Villa Pozzi Nero d’Avola. Nero d’Avola is the varietal of grape—a native Sicilian grape—used in the production of this opulent, full-bodied vino. Ave Maria Reconquista is the only premium featuring a Brazilian Habano Oscuro wrapper. Couple this full-bodied yet balanced cigar with core flavors of earth, tobacco, pepper, and a toasty finish with the stark intensity and purity of this seamless Sicilian red wine, and you’ll soon find more reasons to celebrate.

Wrapping up the New Year festivities is Graycliff Double Espresso Series and Sazerac Rye Whiskey. Graycliff Double Espresso Series is one full-bodied premium with a balanced core of chocolate, spices, and coffee with sweetness. To maximize your palate, pair it with the notes of spice, candies, citrus, and hints of licorice found in Sazerac Rye Whiskey. The combination of these two presents a big finish, offering an experience that truly is the perfect dessert to any celebration.

As we ring in the New Year and make our way through the cold, keep warm this season with pairings that are sure to satisfy. Take delight in the months ahead, and celebrate the wonderful tastes of top-notch premiums complimented by the warmth of a smooth beverage. And from all of us at, we are raising our glasses and toasting our premiums to another year.

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