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Spotlight Brand: Rocky Patel ITC Super Fuerte Maduro

The Return of a Super Star.

Rocky Patel started his illustrious career in the cigar industry in the 1990s, and hasn’t looked back. Over two decades, he has amassed a portfolio of highly rated premiums and an army of enthusiasts who constantly clamor for his cigars. Now, Mr. Patel is going back to his roots with the re-release of his ITC brand. Made in Honduras and comprised of the same tobaccos used in the original, these cigars are true testament to Rocky’s massive success.

Rocky Patel ITC Super Fuerte Maduro is wrapped in a Connecticut Broadleaf and brimming with long leaves from Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica. Medium to full-bodied, Super Fuerte Maduro is abundantly flavorful with notes of black pepper, leather, and cocoa. A perfectly balanced cigar that will surely entice fans of the original ITC line and attract a new generation of enthusiasts.

Q & A: To Rock the Band or Not

Should you remove the band from your cigar while enjoying it?

10/08/17 | by CG in New York, NY


This, like so many etiquette questions solely relies on the individual, but there are a few schools of thought on the subject. Some believe that leaving bands on will avoid damaging the cigar, because glue can to the cigar wrapper.
There those who believe that they should be removed when enjoying premiums with others. The idea here is that the price of a cigar shouldn’t matter, nor should the brand when you’re in the company of friends and family, so taking the band off levels the playing field. 
I don’t like to take chances, so unless a band covers more than half of the cigar, I leave it on. 

by John

Review: CAO Fuma em Corda

John Exotic Flavors From CAO

CAO may be one of the most adventurous cigar brands in the business. Its blends take enthusiasts off the beaten path with tobaccos procured in regions not often utilized by most cigar brands. A prime example of this is CAO’s Fuma Em Corda, literally translated to “smoke on a rope.” Named for a process native to Brazil, part of Fuma Em Corda’s blend of long fillers consists of Brazilian Arapiraca tobacco that is twisted into a braid and left to ferment. This tobacco is combined with long fillers from Nicaragua, Honduras, and Brazil, and encased by a Honduran Colorado Oscuro wrapper. 

Something that strikes me as brilliant about this cigar (and all of the cigars in the CAO Amazon Basin Series) is the branding. Each cigar has a rustic appearance with a thin string of bound tobacco replacing the band. I tend to gravitate toward cigars with little details like this, because it shows a real appreciation for the tobaccos used, plus it just looks cool. 

As for the cigar itself, the flavor is as unique as its aesthetic. Notes of espresso, caramel, and black pepper give this medium to full-bodied premium a truly unique profile with exquisite complexity. What’s really unique about this cigar is the fact that you can actually burn through the “band” without any adverse effects, because as mentioned, it’s made of tobacco. 

CAO has definitely cornered the market when it comes to exotic cigars and Fuma Em Corda is a prime example of this. Well-made with flavor to spare, this cigar is an absolute gem that will certainly impress any aficionado looking for something a little different. 

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Article: Picking Premium 2nds

By: John Moralis

Many of us have fallen victim to the dreaded vultures who pick our humidors dry and leave us with scraps, but with careful planning and an extra humidor, it can be avoided. Yes, you read that right. An extra humidor stocked with cigars you don’t mind giving away will solve the dilemma of your guests smoking aged cigars you’ve been saving for special occasions.

You won’t need a big humidor to satiate your guests’ appetites, just something that can hold upwards of 50 cigars. That will be enough to hold a bundle or two of overruns or factory seconds. I know, seconds and overruns don’t have labels or boxes, but the attractive price tag does not mean inferior quality. The shade of cigar wrapper may be too dark or light to meet factory standards, or they’re made using short-fillers. Either way, they’re perfectly serviceable with good construction and tons of flavor. But what should you buy? I’m glad you asked.

Humidor Choice

First, you’ll want to wow your guests, so it’s all about the presentation. I’d suggest picking up a Whitetail Glasstop Humidor or a Maestro Burl Humidor. Both are beautifully crafted and hold up to 50 cigars, so you can stock up on premium seconds and overruns for all of your entertaining needs.

Pinar Del Rio Overruns

These are my go-to cigars for family gatherings. Technically they’re not seconds, but rather firsts without the label. Sometimes PDR makes too many cigars, and these are what remain. My biggest complaint is that you don’t know which blends you’re getting, but if you’ve enjoyed as many PDRs as I have, you’ll eventually make an educated guess.  

Nicaraguan Sweet Seconds

This particular selection is a bit of an oddity for me, a guilty pleasure if you will. I’m generally a medium to full-bodied kind of guy. I like my cigars straight up, no sweetness, but for some reason, these seconds make regular appearances in my circulation cigars — especially with a cup of coffee. Nicaraguan long-fillers are encased by a golden brown Nicaraguan wrapper with just a touch of sweetness on the cap. If you’ve got an early morning fishing trip planned with your buddies, this is the perfect cigar to hand out.

Rocky Patel Vintage 2nds

Rocky Patel’s Vintage cigars have a sterling reputation. While Mr. Patel’s Vintage blends are worth every penny, they have this habit of taking a chunk out of the ol’ bank account. Luckily, I discovered Rocky Patel Vintage 2nds. These bundles are the fine quality you’d expect from Rocky Patel, with some slight color variances that didn’t meet his standards...which translates to big savings for you and a cigar that will definitely wow your guests.

Super Premium Seconds

Just utter the names Punch or Hoyo de Monterrey to any enthusiast, and you can bet they’ll be lining up to help clear out your humidor. So when I first laid eyes on this generous bundle, it was love at first sight: twenty-five cigars from powerhouses Punch and Hoyo de Monterrey for a fraction of what you’d pay for a box. Even though you don’t know what you’re getting as all of the cigars are unbanded, you can rest assured that all of the handmades are of the highest quality.

While premium seconds and overruns are a fantastic solution to your depleted humidor, be sure to choose cigars that you’ll enjoy as well. My rule of thumb: don’t give away handmades that you presume are inferior. Sample several brands and vitolas to test quality and flavor before making a decision on what your go-to cigars will be. After all, your friends and family trust your taste enough to raid your humidor, so don’t disappoint them.

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