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Spotlight Brand: H. Upmann by AJ Fernandez

A Bold Co-Op between H. Upmann and AJ Fernandez.

With a history dating back over 170 years, H. Upmann has established itself as being one of the most storied brands in the industry. Its portfolio honors a deep Cuban heritage, and each cigar is produced using time-honored traditions that have made the H. Upmann brand appealing to enthusiasts throughout its storied past and in the present.

Collaborating with blend master AJ Fernandez, H. Upmann takes this premium to a whole new level, appealing to enthusiasts who are looking for a bolder blend with classic appeal. H. Upmann by AJ Fernandez is a medium to full-bodied cigar that features an Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper masking Criollo '91 and Piloto Cubano fillers. The flavor profile is sweet and balanced with notes of roasted nuts, spice, and cocoa—a cigar that will fit beautifully into H. Upmann’s already prestigious line of cigars. 

Q & A: Damaged Wrapper Solutions?

A Couple sticks in my humidor have cracks in the wrapper, any tips to fix?

6/29/17 | by MK From Emmaus, PA


Generally, a cracked cigar isn’t the end of the world. If the crack starts at the foot, and is less than an inch long, you can easily cut that part off and enjoy and abridged version of the cigar in question. If the damage goes beyond that, a repair could be in order. Start with picking up some pectin or acacia powder at the grocery store (both can be found in the baking aisle). Next, find a piece of tobacco from a cigar with a similar wrapper (i.e. unravel the nub of a cigar that you’ve already enjoyed). 

To begin the repair, mix the pectin or acacia powder with distilled water to make a paste. Next apply the paste to the piece of wrapper you procured from the nub, and finally apply the patch. Wait for it to dry, and your cigar will be ready to enjoy.

by John

Review: Brick House Connecticut

John A Mellower Brick House

Easily one of J.C. Newman’s most popular cigar lines, Brick House has cornered the market on top notch cigars at an unbeatable price. Each blend is beautifully balanced with a pleasing aromas, and a throng of satisfying tasting notes. The original Brick House cigar was well-received by both fans and critics, and earned a well-deserved spot in Cigar Aficionado’s top 25 cigars of 2010. The maduro blend also received high marks with a ‘91’ rating just this year. 

With such high acclaim, it was only a matter of time before J.C. Newman added a Connecticut wrapped offering to its lineup of Brick House cigars.

Masked with a pristine Connecticut Shade leaf and brimming with sweet smelling long fillers, Brick House Connecticut is love at first sight. The cold draw offers classic Connecticut notes of sweet cream, a touch of cedar, and some nuances of earth. I noticed more pepper in the first few puffs of this cigar, with notes of vanilla and roasted nuts. I was actually surprised by the spice. Not over the top, but more pronounced than I was expecting. The pepper lingered throughout, but became less present throughout the burn. The finish was short, but sweet, and overall this cigar presented complexities not often found in run of the mill Connecticut blends. I would call this an absolute homerun for Brick House. It offers the same complexities and spice of more expensive fuller-bodied cigars, but can be enjoyed as an everyday cigar. I’ve probably enjoyed close to a box of these since we got them in our warehouse, and I’m probably going to buy another just as soon as I make room in my humidor, or I just may buy another humidor specifically for these beauties.

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Article: Sturdy Matches - Seasonal Beer and Cigar Pairings

By: John Moralis

The leaves will soon be changing, the air cooling down, and the craving for a robust beverage will beckon. While cigars are a welcome indulgence any time of year, cooler temperatures warrant a libation with a sturdier profile. In anticipation of fall and winter, brewers release fuller-bodied beers. While pairing these seasonal brews with premium cigars is an absolute treat, flavor profiles must be taken into account for a balanced experience. Full-bodied cigars can overshadow brews with delicate flavors, while beers with striking profiles can steal the spotlight from a mellow handmade.

Here are a few libation suggestions that strike a balance for a more enjoyable experience you won’t soon forget.

BROWN ALE The flavorful, yet often overlooked, brown ale is a fantastic autumn beer and is a natural pairing for cigars. With nutty undertones, a strong malty flavor, and a faint sweetness, brown ales pair beautifully with medium to full-bodied cigars like Man O' War or Obsidian White Noise . Both blends are rich with notes of cedar, pepper, and coffee, which complement a brown ale’s muted sweetness and hints of toffee and chocolate.

PORTER Another fantastic companion for cooler weather, porter is often misunderstood because of its dark appearance. While they look menacing, porters are actually mild and can easily be overshadowed by a stronger cigar, so a mellow to medium-bodied cigar like Macanudo Maduro  or 5 Vegas Gold Maduro pairs perfectly with a nice porter. Both blends feature a dark brown wrapper, but like their brew-mate, looks can be deceiving. The cigars’ smooth and creamy profiles will accent a porter’s subtle notes of coffee and licorice.

BARLEY WINE Those feeling a bit more adventurous may want to consider a barley wine. These brews, gaining in popularity, are known for being full-flavored, complex, and a bit of an oddity in the craft beer world. They have nuances similar to cognac or brandy and their alcohol by volume (ABV) is generally on the higher side (between 8% and 16%). The flavor profile is also unique, in that it has a subtle molasses-like flavor with bountiful notes of caramel and malt. Traditional barley wine styles are best paired with a full-bodied cigar to balance the boldness. La Herencia Cubana , La Palina El Diario, and CAO Brazilia have enough natural sweetness and spice that will stand up to a barley wine’s pronounced profile.

STOUT For anyone craving something on the sturdier side, nothing sticks to the bones and satisfies your thirst quite like the classic stout. Dark and creamy with a full-bodied consistency, stouts have a reputation for their traditionally bold flavors. Strong notes of chocolate, coffee, and molasses will stand up to a medium to full-bodied cigar like Ave Maria Argentum or Drew Estate MUWAT. These cigar blends are perfect pairings because of their equally bold, balanced body, and complex flavor profiles.

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