CigarHawk Group wraps up first bourbon barrel pick.

Why on earth would anyone want to buy an ENTIRE barrel of bourbon? How expensive is that? Are you a bunch of alcoholics? All questions I have been asked. The answers are a bit more complex than one would think but also pretty simple.

First of, I didn’t buy an entire barrel for me and me alone. Will I keep some of the bottles for myself, of course I am. This barrel purchase is a way to celebrate our group, represent our group, bring people with a common interest together and a way to share experiences and memories for a long time to come.

Is it expensive? Well, yes and no. Collectively it’s a large sum of money upfront but when you have individual people sharing the cost, it breaks down to about what you would pay MSRP per bottle anyway with the biggest exception being that these are the only bottles from this barrel in existence. You cannot buy them in stores and once they are gone, they are gone.

Are we a bunch of alcoholics? LOL. I debated even entertaining this one as I do every time someone ask me this. I hardly think that 1 2 oz. pour at the end of some days (not every day) qualifies one as an alcoholic. I also think that the ability to go days and even weeks without a drink speaks for itself. So moving on… We enjoy good bourbon and decided to do something as a group that was just for us. It’s more about bringing people together and having this in common. Believe me when I say this would not fit in the budget for most alcoholics. There are much cheaper routes to go if that were the case. Excuse me while I fix myself a drink…oh wait.

So why New Riff? There are a number of reasons for this if I am being honest. First and foremost, I was introduced to their product from a member of our cigar group (Thanks Erick B) and I really liked their product. I did some research and found out their story, which is very cool, and I reached out to them. Through months of back and forth, their rep (Aly) was extremely helpful and always took the time to answer questions and help us navigate all of the things we needed to get done. She was/is absolutely terrific to work with. Living in NC and having alcohol run through the ABC stores created a challenge so we had to find a way to make this work. I presented a problem and New Riff gave us a solution that worked. It was legal, it was simple, and it was easy. So for the most part, this was another leading factor for the decision. My wife and I made a trip to meet Aly and tour the facility back in July and the experience just confirmed that we were making the right choice. I was able to try more of their product and get to know more about the company and the people that work there. New Riff is everything that is right about “small” business and a start up company just knocking it out of the park. You can feel when you walk in the place that everyone wants to be there and they have a great sense of pride in the work they do. “Well they should, they are making bourbon.” Making and enjoying it are completely different things and while I am sure there are perks to the job, the work and science, trail and error that goes into making their product is still work.

If you are a member of our FaceBook group then you probably read the post I made about the story behind the bottle and the name we chose for it. Our first barrel is named “The Gonz” for a member, admin and really good personal friend of mine that really got me into bourbon and is battling this terrible disease that starts with C. (Disclaimer: F*CK CANCER). You can read more about it in the group. I really don’t want to add all of that here in the blog. Long story short is that this started out as just a group pick that we would do with a group of 10 members that was scheduled for 2020 and things happened to expedite this date, Stolen Throne Cigars joined the mix to help us move things up (those guys are amazing) and thus “The Gonz” came to be. He had no idea why, and all was revealed at the pick, which was awesome to be part of. This story has humbled me, opened my eyes to the fact that there are still some absolutely generous and honorable people in the world and I am honored to have them in our group and consider them friends. Some of them I have yet to meet in person. When people ask why an entire barrel? This is why. This is exactly why and exactly what this community is about.

So fast forward to Sept 6th, 2019. We arrive in Newport, Ky and we are greeted by our single barrel Ambassador Alina A. and we gather in the lobby where we are greeted by a sign that welcomes us to our pick. We started our day with an in depth tour or the entire process from the story of how they came to be all the way through production. Alina did a fantastic job with the tour. When we finished there, we took the short drive over to the West campus for the pick. Our tour continued as we went through the history or the West campus building (I won’t spoil any of it in case you want to visit) and through the process of the barrels, storing, dumping and bottling process.

Once that was done, it was time to get down to what we went there to do. Drink bourbon! We walked into the open area where 24 amazing barrels patiently waited to see if it was there time to shine. We were given clip boards with tasting notes of each barrel and we were asked to pick our individual top 5 that we were interested in. After 10 minutes or so, we went down the list and narrowed those 24 down to 5 that received the most votes. Once that was done, those 5 were opened and we were able to “thief” liquid from each one and they were placed in unmarked bottles and taken into the tasting room. Once everyone had an opportunity to thieve, we were taken into a beautiful room and were seated at a large conference room table with 5 glasses in front of us, a tasting book, pen, water, pretzels, etc.

We were given instructions, given samples of all 5 barrels we picked and were left alone to sample, debate and narrow our choices. Going in I think every one of us had some concern and reservation about this part of the process. We discussed this afterwards and agreed that we all had the same concerns. You are trying to get 8 individual people, all with different taste buds to agree on the same thing. Luckily for us, this part was much easier than we could have imagined. Right out the gate as we nosed each glass, one glass really stood alone from the others. As we started to taste each one, 2 were pretty much eliminated quickly, and then there were 3.

In the end 6 of us all agreed that glass number 5, the one that stood apart from the rest in color and on the nose, also stood alone in flavor and the other 2 had it as their second. Glass number 5, barrel #15-4835 was selected as the very first CigarHawk/Stolen Throne group pick.

I cannot put into words properly just how amazing this process was. 5 of the guys I had never met before and I couldn’t have hand picked a better group of strangers to do this with. New Riff really made our experience one that we will never forget. To top that off, of course, being able to have “The Gonz” himself be there to be part of it was the main reason it happened when it did so that just pushed an already amazing experience over the top.

This will forever remain as one of my most favorite days and memories. All because 2 groups that had never met before, who were united through the love of cigars and bourbon decided to spend a bunch of money on an entire barrel of bourbon. If I could replicate the experience, the emotion, the brotherhood, the enjoyment, and sell it for what that barrel cost, it would be a steal and I would become a billionaire overnight.

I cannot wait for our trip back to pick up the bottles and the empty barrel and see the response and feedback we get from the selection we made. Some probably won’t like it and that’s always the risk right? We are talking taste buds and flavors. What we all agreed on and decided on may be something those that pitched in to be part of will not like. For those people, I can only offer this. It is all subjective, we cannot please everyone and a group of 8 people collectively made this choice so I feel we had a pretty good range of palates making the decision. If nothing else, know that you are part of history and a part of a great group that pulled together for a great cause and made a bucket list trip happen for a great person.

We intend to do these picks at least once a year so we will open up spots for people that want to attend one and be part of a pick with us. We will have to navigate the rules of NC as each distillery does things a bit different and it isn’t always this easy to make happen. Personally I have every intention of working with New Riff and building that relationship for a long time to come. As there products age, they bring more and more product to the market, I can definitely see us being able to do enough with them to keep us all very happy.

I hope you enjoyed this article. I know I didn’t do the experience justice but I tried. Enjoy the photos. If you aren’t part of our FB group, make sure to apply (FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS). Failure to answer the questions will result in you being denied.

Until next time #LongAshesFullGlasses.

BLTC announces Hawaii Kato

Black Label Trading Co. – Hawaii Kato

September 9, 2019 — Black Label Trading Company is pleased to
announce the release of Hawaii KATO as an R. Field Wine Co. exclusive;
hand crafted at Fabrica Oveja Negra in Esteli, Nicaragua.
“Hawaii KATO is our third Hawaii exclusive For R.Field Wine Co. and
I’m very excited about it. It’s a tweaked version of our event only “Kato”
cigar, with a larger vitola and a stronger version of the original blend. We
will be launching this cigar at an R. Field Wine Co. event at the Prince
Waikiki Hotel in Honolulu, October 4, 2019,” said James Brown, creator of
BLTC and partner at Fabrica Oveja Negra.
Hawaii KATO will be available at R. Field Wine Co. Honolulu, HI.

Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Ecuador Maduro with a Candela Swirl
Binder: Nicaraguan Habano
Filler: Nicaragua
Robusto– 5 x 48 (10 count) MSRP $10.00
Black Label Trading Company is redefining the standards for cigar
making. With a “less is more” philosophy, Black Label Trading Co. creates
hand crafted premium cigars of the utmost quality in small batch, limited
For more information email Marvin Chang, or
Instagram marvinc808.

Advice for cigar beginners

Disclaimer: This is simply my opinion. These are either things I have done or wished I had done as a new cigar smokers years ago. There are plenty of other options/opinions out there so take it for what it’s worth. Of course this is the internet so we get all the “know it all” types pointing out all sorts of things from things we should have mentioned to spelling errors. It’s a cigar and bourbon blog for God sake. If you have that much time and concern to critique a personal blog, well…I ‘ll just leave it at that. If this was a term paper I might be a bit more concerned but anyway…moving on.

So I often get asked about the best cigars for beginners or I want to get into cigar and bourbon pairings, etc. As recently as today I had someone reach out to me about what cigar to pick, what site to order from etc.

First things first, forget pairings. That will come. You have no idea what your cigar profile is at this point so trying to find a cigar you like is priority #1 right now. Trying to match something you have no idea you will even like to a bourbon you may be familiar with is pointless. Let’s try to narrow down the cigar first.

Instead of trying to randomly order something online, my suggestion is to research articles like this online or take a drive to a reputable cigar shop/lounge and work with someone there. Do your home work and read reviews online about the staff, knowledge, and selection before going down to Brad’s Vape’s and Sticks (disclaimer, random name I picked here and no way represents any actual business. If there is a store out there by this name this is solely coincidental and I accept no liability for slander). Take a trip and be honest with the person in the shop and explain that you are new and are curious about trying cigars. If you have tried them before and you have an idea of what you had before, tell them honestly what you liked and didn’t like about it. If you are brand new I would expect them to offer you something mild or even something like a Drew Estate Acid infused cigar. I can’t smoke them now but truth be told I started with a Monte Cristo White Series and fell into Acids for a bit as I worked into enjoying non infused cigars. For about the first 6 to 9 months, I tried Acid, Natural, Isla del Sol, etc. Slowly my taste changed and I was able to try some mild to medium, then medium to full and now my flavor profile is full blown full bodies cigars almost exclusively. Great story I know. Back to our regularly scheduled program. My point to all of this is try non-infused and if you like it cool but don’t be afraid of the infused stuff and don’t feel like you will be there forever. Some people simply don’t have the palate for it and that is ok too. The cigar snobs will disagree. Ignore the noise. Your money, your palate, your experience. If they want you to smoke other things by all means request they purchase them for you, then simply move away. Cigar etiquette 101 is never criticize other smokers choices. You like what you like and don’t try to impress anyone.

Once you make your selection, I suggest finding reviews or tasting notes from different sites about that specific cigar. Make sure you find the exact cigar, same size etc. as tasting notes do vary with different vitolas (sizes). I encourage you to find videos about proper cutting and lighting of a cigar as well. Improper cutting and lighting can ruin your cigar and experience with it. Take your time to properly cut your cigar and try pulling (sucking) through it prior to lighting it. Watch video reviews or read up on reviews about it. Try learning about how different cuts will give you different draw options. If you have a cigar that is super tight and hard to get air through, it is likely plugged and will ruin your experience. Let the shop you bought it from know and hopefully they make it right. I have reviewed a tool here called the PerfecDraw and it can be great for those issues. The draw can make the experience great or horrible. Too open and too tight are both a problem. Take note of this. There should be a little resistance, similar to drinking a milkshake through a straw. It should not be wide open like sucking air through a straw of so hard you practically turn blue trying to get smoke through it.

Once the cigar is lit, (make sure you do not inhale cigar smoke into your lungs) try to understand what notes you might be tasting. It will be overwhelming at first and you may be like “I have no idea” and that is fine. If you decided to follow a reviewer wither through a blog or a video, try to identify the things they are describing. Even if it is just one or two things, that’s great. Most importantly, take notes. a written journal will help tremendously. I did this and I actually started putting them on FB for my own tracking purposes. Whatever you chose to do, this is very beneficial. Keep in mind that every reviewers palate is different and you may not pick up anything they are describing. Always take reviews with a grain of salt. Some of the top reviewers out there have palates that just aren’t compatible with mine so there is no value in me reading/watching them because I cannot identify with what they are describing. They aren’t wrong and neither am I. Note what you like and what you don’t like.

Make notice of strength as well. If you feel yourself getting sick, there are a couple of things that may be in play here. You can be inhaling into your lungs, which is common for cigarette smokers, or you may be smoking too fast. You should try to take a puff of your cigar every 1 minute or 1 minute 30 seconds or so. Enjoy it but do not rush it. It is meant to be enjoyed and if you take your time with it so what? I am by far one of the slowest smokers I know and I really don’t care. I know that when I smoke fast I get sick so what is the point in rushing it and ruining the experience? If you do start to get sick, sugar helps. I have also found that peppermints help to calm an upset stomach (but it will destroy your taste buds) and lots of water as well.

Cigar flavors will change from third to third. (Cigars are generally referred to in thirds.) If you like a cigar in the first third and it changes, stick with it because it will likely change again. On the flip side, if you don’t like it, if you can stick with it, wait for the halfway point or last third. Some cigars just aren’t for you and that is fine too. I have had a number of cigars that I really wanted to like and they didn’t fit my profile. It doesn’t mean it’s a bad stick, it just simply isn’t for you. However, WRITE THAT DOWN or note it, take pics whatever, because that info is super valuable to you and the person helping trying to narrow your profile.

I try to identify beginner cigar smokers palates to a shotgun filled with buckshot. You are all over the place. The goal of any good tobacconist is to narrow that down each time you smoke and report back to them so they can start to narrow that down to a single shot from a hand gun and you are hitting the bulls eye every time. Once you find what you really like, start looking for alternatives to that cigar that stick within that general profile.

I did the exact opposite of this and I tried everything I could find and what it got me was a bunch of wasted money and no real idea of what I liked.

Your best friend is a good employee that understands tobacco and listens to you. Unfortunately they can be hard to find. If you get a suggestion from them that you don’t like, let them know. If it happens again, it may be time to consider a different option. Regardless, track the cigars the tried and didn’t like. Again, this is good info. As you navigate your way into what you like, keep in mind that your taste and palate may very well change.

If you gravitate towards medium rare rib-eyes, high proof bourbons, and dark red wines, black coffee, you may not enjoy a mild cigar. Connecticut cigars are generally the mildest of the cigars on the market, however, do not fall for the “darker the wrapper, the stronger the cigar” saying and vice versa.This is not always true. You might enjoy something more medium to full but this is all trial and error. As you move through your cigar journey you may want to revisit something you didn’t like before. What may have started out as too heavy or harsh may be right in your wheelhouse months/years later. This is the beauty of the industry. As someone that smokes very dark cigars almost exclusively, there are times that I really enjoy light colored Connecticut cigars. You will learn over time and research that mild cigars with coffee can be a great way to start the day and open up your palate to other cigars you will smoke throughout the day.

Once you have your profile narrowed down and you have 3 to 5 cigars that you really like/love, then and only then would I experiment with trying to pair them. This is another world all of its own. Just like cigars, everyone’s taste buds are different so even doing pairing with guys I know that have similar taste as myself, we find ourselves picking up different notes and enjoying pairings to different degrees.

The final thing to understand about cigars and cigar pairings, is like what you like. Don’t try to force yourself to taste things you hear or read in reviews. This is all 100% subjective as I stated before. And, while cigar manufactures try hard to be consistent, not all cigars are the same. I have had entire boxes of the same cigars and very few were consistent.

Like I said before, this is simply some tips and pointers I wish someone had shared with me. If this the be all end all of Cigars 101, no. Not even close. This is one opinion and a recommendation that you do your research and explore. I do suggest narrowing that exploration with the help of someone that has some knowledge and not just looking to sell you cigars. Otherwise, you will end up spending a ton of money as I said.

Hopefully this helps. My final suggestion is to join a solid cigar group like CigarHawk Group on FB and now on MeWe since FB has banned cigar and alcohol content to some degree. We are on Instagram and Twitter as well.

Feel free to ask questions, drop some comments and suggestions. Until next time, #LongAshesFull Glasses. Peace.


Wild Turkey Master’s Keep Cornerstone Rye – 109 Proof – 9 & 11 year old Rye

Thee Wild Turkey. This distillery and I have a deep love affair. I believe Wild Turkey is the most consistent distillery in the last 50 years of distilling in Kentucky. Yup, that’s right, Wild Turkey. You see they have only two mash bills – one for bourbon and one for rye. It’s quite impressive. So with that, here is my first whiskey review on CigarHawk….oh and Drink More Turkey!

Nose: You will not want to stop smelling this glass. A warm and inviting vanilla marshmallow smell. It follows up with a hint of sweetness. There is absolutely no ethanol here.

Taste: Very bold up front. A peppery vanilla taste meets the forward palate. The forward palate lasts quite awhile. Honey immediately follows. The spice never fades. This is absolutely the most impressive thing about the taste. 

Finish: A solid lingering finish. The honey moves to the mid palate. The sweet spice carries all the way through. It’s warming in a good way. The spice comes back around to the forward palate which is unusual for any pour. 

Overall: Eddie Russell has done it. His father distilled the infamous “Christmas Rye”, which is something of legend. Eddie has landed himself another anchor to cement why he will be just fine the day (the unfortunate day) Jimmy steps back as Master Distiller at Wild Turkey. Cornerstone Rye has become (that’s right past tense) what it’s name says, a cornerstone. I am extremely impressed with this profile and will be purchasing more before it’s gone. Do yourself a favor, grab one before that happens. Cheers!

Score: 9.5/10

Added Water: After 5 drops of water, the spice dissipates. After 10 drops of water, it is sweet sweet honey all the way through.

*Full disclosure: I warm my palate before tasting any bourbon. Typically with a potato vodka. It’s always treated me better and I feel I get a much better nose and finish by doing this.

Celebrating 243 years of one sweet victory….and American whiskey!

Whiskey claims to itself alone the exclusive office of sot-making.

Thomas Jefferson
A Stolen Throne Crook of the Crown with a 13 year old WhistlePig Rye Whiskey from the Bourbon Society of Central Florida.

It is July 5th. Independence Day is over. Although for some reason I do not want to stop celebrating that sweet victory that is 243 years old. Independence Day is my favorite holiday. I love it more than Christmas. Hell, I love it more than my own birthday. Which leads me to one massively important point. American Whiskey is the best whiskey to ever grace this planet.

Without our Independence from Great Britain, we would have never been gifted what the Founding Fathers spent so much time working on. I know what you’re thinking, the Declaration of Independence….WRONG! It was whiskey. You see, the way I look at it is quite simple: the Declaration of Independence was simply a document to give America the freedom to distill the best liquid to grace Earth.

Now, now, I am moderately joking. It serves as one of the greatest historical documents of all time (taxation IS theft). The greatest country in the history of mankind formed as a result. The freedom to write this piece is evidence of that. Yet, for some reason I always come back to whiskey. So with that, I believe a toast with some fine rye whiskey is in order. George Washington did it and he arguably drank more than any other President. Something about it must be good, right?

So toast we will to the greatest country in the world. To all those who did and continue to sacrifice so much for our freedoms, we say thank you. I will always love Independence Day. Cheers everyone!

Cigars or Bourbon? I say both!

If I cannot drink Bourbon and smoke cigars in Heaven than I shall not go.

Mark Twain

My name is Bryan. Bourbon is just my thing.

State of distillation: Florida

Rick house: Tampa

Floor: 33614

Taste profile: Forward, a good kick in the mouth, with subtle hints of citrus, cut to the chase, and good laughs.

My name is Bryan Brantley. In 2016, my bourbon love affair began, or as some may call it, my date of distillation. Bourbon is unique as we all know, yet most of us didn’t start by drinking bourbon. We usually picked up another cheap spirit and called it a day. This is what makes bourbon so beautiful. We all end up here. Bourbon is meant to be a spirit we enjoy in brotherhood (or sisterhood – shoutout to the bourbon women!). Enter my goal: to bring more people together over this brown water that is so cherished.

As I embark on this blog journey I encourage all of you to try something new. After all, that is how it all begins. For those who may not be familiar, I will post weekly bourbon reviews and suggestions of what is available at different price ranges. Once a month I will dive into my favorite pour and smoke pairing during that time. I will also post pictures of what I find along the way.

I want to personally thank Scott for inviting me to join the Cigar Hawk blog. I am roughly a year into the cigar game but thoroughly enjoy my humidor being full. As the Hawk himself would say, “Long ashes, and full glasses!” Cheers everyone!


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Claudio Sgroi President & Master Blender E:


Cosecha 2014 is the latest release from the successful yearly limited edition Cosecha line in the market since 2012. GRANADA, NICARAGUA. – (June 18th, 2019). Mombacho Cigars S.A. announced today that the highly anticipated Cosecha 2014 is shipping worldwide. Cosecha 2014 is a vintage Nicaraguan puro and will be available at select cigar retailers in the near future. The cigars will be distributed to retailers around the globe once they reach the warehouses Mombacho uses to serve its international markets. “True vintage is almost impossible to find in the cigar industry and we have created a cigar that showcases the best of Nicaraguan tobaccos with Cosecha. Cosecha 2012 was great and Cosecha 2013 was even better, Cosecha 2014 will surprise the aficionados once again.” said Claudio Sgroi, President and Master Blender of Mombacho Cigars. “Cosecha is a project that has been in my heart since the day I started working with Mombacho and I am thrilled to share it with all of you now” added Sgroi. The Spanish word “Cosecha” translates to “harvest” in English and is the perfect name to convey the genuine vintage nature of the Cosecha line. The Cosecha 2014 is the third release of this limited vintage line and features Nicaraguan tobaccos harvested in 2014. The cigars have been in the aging room at Casa Favilli, Mombacho’s state-of-the-art factory in Granada, since early 2016. Currently, Cosecha 2015 cigars have already been rolled and are resting in the aging room at Casa Favilli and Cosecha 2017 will be soon in production until ready for distribution in 2022. Cosecha 2014 is a 6 x 52 toro with a pigtail cap and is available in 10-count boxes with an MSRP of $21.95 per cigar. A total of 750 boxes were produced and they will be shown at the IPCPR in Las Vegas at the booth #2867. ABOUT MOMBACHO CIGARS Mombacho Cigars S.A. is a “totally made by hand” cigar company established in 2006 that entered the US market in 2013. The international interest in Mombacho has grown rapidly and Mombacho cigars are now available in 15 countries around the world. Mombacho produces all of its cigars at its state-of-theart factory Casa Favilli, in Granada, Nicaragua.

For more information please contact Claudio Sgroi, President & Master Blender of Mombacho Cigars, at – 30 – | f/t/i: @MombachoCigars

The tricky topic of “pairings”

One of the most common things I get asked when I ask about new content and things people would like to see more of is pairings. Cigars and spirits, cigars and wine, cigars and foods, etc. This is not only one of the most requested topics but it is by far the hardest topic to do. Simply by the sheer numbers of combinations that are available to us I would venture to say would be in the billions. Which, when you consider it, is a very good problem to have! If we only had 5 cigars and 10 spirits to pick from, it would be no problem.

I will be the first to admit that the topic is one that really appeals to me as I love to try new things but the overwhelming number of options make it a challenge I am not sure I want to tackle. Not only that, it is also highly subjective. Much like cigar reviews, it comes down to each individual. You may find certain flavors and notes that I simply just don’t get. Lord knows I read reviews and wonder what the hell is this person smoking because I have never gotten Lucky Charms Marshmellows covered in Dr. Pepper in my cigar profile…ever. Not even smoking an Acid.

My other thought about this topic is that I am honest enough to admit that my palate is not well rounded enough, IMO, to do the topic a lot of justice. Not saying that I wouldn’t be willing to give it a shot but just know that it may not be of much value. Again, a super subjective topic. I have done bourbon tastings and cigar tastings with friends and rarely to we all agree on the notes and flavors. While we may find some common undertones and primary notes, the subtle differences varies greatly across the group.

Another thing to consider with pairings is your own personal range and likes. As someone with a heavy palate that really enjoys medium rare steaks, red wine, bourbon and maduro cigars as my go to options I am going to have a real challenge doing pairings on things like Connecticut’s with white wine, beer or vodka. While those may make for some absolute dynamic pairings, I am not sure I would be able to enjoy them.

I have a ton of respect for people like James Brown of Black Label Trading Company and Black Works Studio that was heavy in the wine industry and has trained his palate as a sommelier. I believe this is what makes him so successful as a cigar blender. That is someone who I think would provide some serious pairing options because of his experience.

Another thing that plays a HUGE factor in creating perfect pairings has nothing at all to do with taste. It has everything to do with experiences. I can remember one of my most favorable pairings was something I rarely even drink and when I do, the first few sips are terrible. I was at a work conference in Scottsdale, AZ with my now current boss (we had just met for the first time) and he found out I was a cigar guy. He was a scotch guy. I am not. I am a bourbon fan but scotch has not been favorable to me. I gave him a cigar and he purchased us a Lagavulin. For those that know, or don’t, this is like drinking campfire smoke from the heavy peat. Drinking it now, it takes me a few sips to ease into it and I wonder what the hell was so different about it from what I remembered. What I remembered was that drink, in AZ, paired with a Padron 1964 maduro and the atmosphere and conversation was one of the best experiences I have had, making it one of the most memorable pairings in my recollection.

To sort of wrap this up a bit, my suggestion is to try different things, take notes on each. Write down pros/cons, likes/dislikes of the cigar you are smoking and whatever you are pairing it with. As you experiment I think you will find trends and patterns in the flavors and profiles of things you like and you don’t. If you have a cigar that you absolutely love and a wine or spirit that you absolutely love, try pairing them if you don’t already. I have done that in the past and have been really disappointed in the findings. Sometimes the flavor combinations actually overpower or work against each other. Once you have put together a solid list of 5 or so choices, switch them up. Try a cigar you had more pros than cons and pair them with a drink you maybe had more cons that pros and see if anything changes. It’s a super challenging and fun thing to do. Keep making tweaks and changes to your pairings until you lock one down that you absolutely enjoy. Then start all over. Lol. That is the game and that is what makes it such a fun and interesting topic, Variety is the spice of life and we are blessed to be able to sample so many different things. Stop smoking the same cigars you always have, stop being the “I’m a XYZ man/woman, I only drink this or smoke that”. Life is too short to be narrow minded. If you have some favorite pairings, please feel free to comment and share.

Thanks for reading and following. Make sure you share this article with friends and follow us on Social Media. Until next time, #LongAshesFullGlasses

BLTC revamps its core lineup

PRESS RELEASE – Black Label Trading Co. PRESS RELEASE June 17, 2019 —

Black Label Trading Company (BLTC) will be debuting new artwork and packaging for its core-line at this year’s IPCPR in Las Vegas. Visit Booth #2463 to see the display. Royalty, Salvation, Lawless and Last Rites have each been given unique artwork designed by James Brown, creator of BLTC. These cigars are part of the original core-line that BLTC launched in 2013. Benediction was also part of the original core-line but will be replaced with Porcelain to complete the spectrum of BLTC’s five core-line cigars. New Packaging will begin shipping after IPCPR. “I’m very excited for the re-boot of the BLTC Core Line. Black Label is celebrating its six year anniversary and it was time to change things up a bit. I believe every cigar has it’s own personality and tells a story. I wanted to give our core products the chance to tell that story through unique artwork for each line. It was also time to tweak the blends a bit. The blends didn’t change, I just played with different proportions of the original tobaccos creating a new, unique version of the cigars,” said James Brown, creator of BLTC and partner at Fabrica Oveja Negra. “Black Label Trading Company is redefining the standards for cigar making. With a less is more philosophy, Black Label Trading Co. creates hand crafted premium cigars of the utmost quality at their own factory in Nicaragua.” Visit BLTC Booth #2463 at this year’s IPCPR 2019 to place your orders.

Protocol Sir Robert Peel Announced

Pennsylvania (Monday June 17, 2019) —

Cubariqueño Cigar Co. announces the release of the Protocol Sir Robert Peel as a regular production release for the 2019 IPCPR trade show in Las Vegas. The Cigars will be offered in a natural & maduro format. The Protocol Sir Robert Peel is produced at Erik Espinosa’s La Zona Factory in Estelí, Nicaragua. The cigars will be available in a 6 x 52 box press format in boxes of 10. MSRP has been set at $119.50 per box. The blend incorporates an Ecuadorian Rosado wrapper covering Nicaraguan binder and fillers.

The second blend utilizes the same filler but a Pennsylvania Broad Leaf wrapper. The cigar will become available nationally at the 2019 IPCPR located in Las Vegas. Sir Robert Peel is regarded as the father of modern day policing. Cubariqueño Cigar Co  again pays homage to the profession of its owners Bill Ives & Juan Cancel who are police officers. We left no stone unturned for this release. Both cigars are smoking phenomenal and we took the packing up to the next level stated Juan Cancel. Cubariqueño Cigar Co. will again be partnered inside the Espinosa booth at the 2019 IPCPR Trade Show in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Protocol Official Misconduct Corona Gorda

Cubariqueño Cigar Co. announces the release of the Protocol Official Misconduct Corona Gorda as a new size & regular production release for the 2019 IPCPR trade show in Las Vegas. The Official Misconduct will continue to be produced at Erik Espinosa’s La Zona Factory in Estelí, Nicaragua. This second size in the line – Corona Gorda – will be available in a 5 5/8 X 46 format in boxes of 10. MSRP has been set at $99.40 per box. The blend incorporates an Ecuadorian habano wrapper covering a Nicaraguan binder as well as filler tobaccos hailing from both the Estelí and Jalapa growing regions of Nicaragua. Cubariqueño Cigar Co. offered a select amount of boxes at our 4 Year Anniversary Party on June 1st to our loyal supporters attending the event. The cigar will become available nationally at the 2019 IPCPR located in Las Vegas. Cubariqueño Cigar Co. will again be partnered inside the Espinosa booth at the 2019 IPCPR Trade Show in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Protocol Themis Corona Gorda Release

Cubariqueño Cigar Co. announces the release of the Protocol Themis Corona Gorda as a regular production release for the 2019 IPCPR trade show in Las Vegas. The cigar was originally introduced as a Famous Smoke Shop exclusive on September 8, 2018. The cigars will continue to be produced at Erik Espinosa’s La Zona Factory in Estelí, Nicaragua. The Themis Corona Gorda will be available in a 5 5/8 X 46 format in boxes of 10. MSRP has been set at $99.40 per box. The blend consists of an Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper with Nicaraguan binder and fillers. Cubariqueño Cigar Co. & Famous Smoke Shop have had a great relationship and success with this line and are excited to offer this cigar to all of our retail partners. Cubariqueño Cigar Co. will again be partnered inside the Espinosa booth at the 2019 IPCPR Trade Show in Las Vegas, Nevada