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Spotlight Brand: Tatuaje La Casita Criolla

Born and raised in America.

Tatuaje has quickly become one of the most popular brands available. Launched by Pete Johnson, the buyer for the Grand Havana Room, everything bearing the Tatuaje name seems to skyrocket to the top of the ratings.

Like the other lines from Tatuaje, La Casita Criolla finds a way to set itself apart from industry. The blends stands with few as a cigar comprised of 100% American tobaccos. The wrapper, binder, and filler are all 100% USA Broadleaf tobaccos. That's right, from the good ol' U.S. of A. The wrapper leaf is a dark, rich, oily, Broadleaf wrapper that exudes a nice chocolaty and espresso flavor. The binder and filler produce a nice creamy texture to the blend while adding to a light finish. This medium-bodied delight will make you proud of the fantastic tobaccos grown right here in our backyard. As usual with Tatuaje, quantities are limited so act fast if you want to get your hands on these.

Q & A: Champagne & Cigars?

I've never tried a cigar with champagne. With New Years around the corner, what's a good pairing?

12/06/12 | by JK of Muskogee, OK


​​Honestly, if you pair a cigar with any beverage, and you enjoy it, then it's a good pairing. Simple as that. However, Champagne is quite a unique beverage to pair with a cigar and believe it or not, scientifically it's one of the best alcoholic beverages to pair multiple cigars with. Why? Champagne is more carbonated than any other alcoholic drink, which actually helps cleanse your palate. It is also a bit sweet and dry, so it pairs very well with mellow to medium-bodied cigars with a moderate finish. Therefore, you can enjoy a few different cigars throughout the course of New Years, without switching up your drink and without destroying your taste buds. Give it a try and let us know what you think.

by Dave

Review: Varina Farms Breakfast Blend

Dave Wake Up With This Breakfast Blend
Toro (6.0”x52): The toro really allows for the flavors to open up. The fatter ring gauge allows for a cooler burn and emits a smoother smoke than the robusto. Not overly complex, the blend is perfect as a cigar to pass the time but flavorful enough to really focus on the depth of the flavor. Pair this with a nice cup of coffee and you’ll be in heaven.

Churchill (7.2”x54):
Jumping up a ring gauge again, the Churchill loses a little bit of flavor that makes the Toro so good. But the same principles apply here. Smooth consistent flavor that’s perfect to pass the time. Even though we’re in the middle of winter, keep this on your radar for a round of golf or tailgating. The flavorful, consistent blend is mellow enough for when you’re socializing yet flavorful enough if you have a moment to yourself. Plus, the aroma is fantastic.

Robusto (5.2”x50):
Don't let the wrapper color fool you. It's darker than most Connecticut cigars but still presents those smooth Connecticut flavors you enjoy. If you're not a fan of spicy cigars, you'll love this robusto. A robust, earthy sensation will stimulate the tip of your tongue while the finish encapsulates your entire palate with earth and a hint of cedar. This pairs incredibly well with your morning cup of coffee.
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Article: Organic Tobacco

With the “organic” craze catching on worldwide; I’m not surprised that a certain amount of interest has taken hold here in our cigar industry. While items deemed “certified organic” must maintain certain guidelines depending on country of origin, the central premise revolves around uncorrupted virgin soils growing a crop with nothing more than the use of natural fertilizers; no chemicals of any kind can ever be used. When you think about the natural, non-additive nature of premium, long filler tobaccos and handmade cigars, you may be inclined to think that all premium cigar tobaccos are grown organically. However, tobacco, like many plants, is subject to disease. And in some cases, genetically engineered seeds and special fertilizers are frequently used to combat these diseases, improve yields, and provide a better finished product in terms of flavor, nicotine content, and combustion. Therefore, it is safe to say not all premium cigar tobacco is grown organically.

Many years ago I had the pleasure of visiting the late Silvio Reyes in Granada, Nicaragua. Granada is the oldest colonial city in Nicaragua. For most, Nicaragua is a place well-known for cigar production, but it’s also a frequent hot spot for eco-tourism, surfers, and missionaries who are all drawn to the vast natural wonders of Nicaragua. Granada remains the crossroads for all visitors. Silvio Reyes, an avid cigar lover, master blender, and owner of Granada’s most popular cigar factory, successfully brought these cultures together with his passion for cigar making. Silvio combined this deep passion with natural and organic agricultural processes, creating a truly unique cigar experience for all visitors of his town. Sadly, in 2012, Silvio Reyes passed away due to surgical complications but his vision has lived on with his family, who continue his business. The family’s secret rests in both their seeds and their location. Every winter, a hybrid Cuban and native Nicaraguan seed is planted on the family’s farm, situated at the base of the Mombacho Volcano, one of Nicaragua’s largest and most active volcanoes. This nutrient rich soil is ripe with nitrogen, allowing the tobacco to grow without the help of any unnatural fertilizers or chemicals. It is this soil where Silvio Reyes chose to grow Verdadero Organic, the industry’s only cigar made with 100% organic filler tobaccos.

Debuting some five years ago, Verdadero Organic has taken on a life of its own. Its organic fillers emit a unique raisin-like flavor profile perfectly complemented by a golden Connecticut wrapper. Building on this inaugural launch, 2013 promises to be an exciting year as the people at Dona Elba Cigar Co. roll out the second edition of Verdadero after more than five years, in honor and in memory of Silvio Reyes. The initial samples we received were some of Silvio’s last work and are considered his finest blending efforts by those close to the factory in Nicaragua. Using all Organic fillers once again, but in a heartier, spicier recipe, this new edition dubbed “OSG,” a.k.a. “Organic Sun Grown,” comes finished with an oily, Cuban-seed wrapper grown in Nicaragua’s most fertile soils at the base of the Mambacho Volcano. Some of the same unique aromas presented in the original Verdadero shine through in this new Verdadero OSG, but these unique nuances are presented in a stronger, spicier format to satisfy the demand of discerning aficionados looking for a little more ‘oomph’ in their cigars.


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