Stogie’s of the Week

Tim: Tatuaje Noella Reserva (2009)

Paul: Opus X BBMF Natural 2009

Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Strength: Medium/Full
Vitola: Corona
Size: 5 1/8 x 42
Age: 3 yrs
MSRP: ~$8.00

Origin: Dominican Republic
AKA: “Big Bad Mother Fucker” / “64 ring-gauged figurado
Wrapper: Opus X rosado w/maduro wrap at the top and foot
Binder: Opus X blend
Filler: Opus X blend
Strength: Full
Vitola: Figurado
Size: 6″ x 64
Age: 3 Years
MSRP: ~$40.00-$100.00

Mark Jr: Fuente Fuente Forbidden X

Stogie Santa: 2005 Camacho Liberty

Origin: Dominican Republic
Wrapper: Dominican Republic
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: Dominican Republic
Strength: Full
Vitola: ?
Size: 6 3/8″ x 49
Age: 9 years
MSRP: $295.00

Note: Includes a bottle of Calvados, apple cognac made in France)
X in the Bottle

Origin: Honduras
Wrapper: Honduran Maduro
Binder: Honduras
Filler: Honduras
Strength: Medium
Vitola: Perfecto (11/18)
Size: 6″ x 52
Age: 7 Years
MSRP: $13.99

This week we are drinking

Tim: Smith Woodhouse 10 Year Old Tawny Porto

Paul’s List

  • Casa Magna Domus Magnus Centuriones – Padronish, nuff said.
  • San Cristobal De La Habana La Punta – Still easily one of my too 3 cuban smokes, could be number one! Floral notes with wood flavors, so good they don’t last long in my humidor.
  • La Aurora Puro Vintage 2004 – Excellent smoke, perfect burn, draw, and construction, A+ smoking experience. Needs a little age, but awesome flavors (subtle spice with sweet tobacco) and great complexity
  • Ramon Allones Specially Selected – I like this smoke, good cuban change of pace cigar for me, lots of earth, not your typical cuban flavor profile.
  • Tatuaje Anarchy – The most bland Tatuaje ever, could not find much flavor, and what I did get was not very enjoyable
  • Montecristo Edmundo – Nice light cedar flavor, this is my new morning smoke! Goes great with coffee and isn’t a really heavy or strong cigar, but is filled with flavor.
  • Punch Double Corona – Weird burn and draw, but still very enjoyable. Nice flavors throughout, a bit more bold in the flavor and strength department than several other similar cigars from Cuba.
  • Partagas Serie D #4 – Still one of my favorite cuban cigars, like It far better than the RASS or Bolivar Petite Corona, tons of flavor and very complex.
  • Paul Garmirian Reserva Exclusiva Corona – I like the panatella better, but thats like saying you like duck better than top sirloin. Outstanding flavors on this cigar, not a lot of change (if any), but a solid smoke.
  • Illusione Singulare Phantom LE 2010 – Awesome smoke, my favorite Illusione. Such amazing flavors this cigar delivers, very enjoyable!
  • Opus X Forbidden X Lancero 2009 – Lots of leather, touch of sweet flavor, snug draw. Just okay, not amazing.
  • La Flor Dominicana El Jocko – Super old cigar, was still full bodied and had an awesome sweetness. This cigar was from 2003.
  • Hoyo De Monterey Churchill – This was also a great stick, the flavors were not as well balances as some of the other Cubans I smoked, but still a solid smoke. These need lots of age, and are good when not aged, but really come to life after 4 years. Overall, very enjoyable, and box worthy.

Tim’s List

  • Ortega Serie D No. 6 – This Corona from Eddie Ortega (formly of EO Brands Inc) features a Mexican San Andreas wrapper, and a binder/fillers from Esteli, Nicaragua. I paired a glass of Fonseca 10 year Old Tawny Port. Wow! What winning combination. The Ortega Serie D began with some cocoa and coffee notes and quickly transitioned to earth, leather, and pepper. I really enjoyed the smoke and will be picking up more of these soon. “Box Worthy”.
  • La Aurora Puro Vintage 2004 – This was my disaapointment of the week. It is one sexy looking cigar. Unfortunately, it seemed to be a little under filled and consequently burned hot. I countered the effects by less frequent draws and was presented with a bread like flavor profile with the additional appearance of spice and burnt caramel that would take turns on my palate. The last third was a wash, as it became too hot to finish. Consequently, I am going to hold off on making an assessment until I can revisit.
  • Tatuaje 109 Federal Cigar 90th Reserva – This cigar was a limited run created for Federal Cigar in New Hampshire last year. This 7 x 50 Nicaraguan cigar features a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper. An opening of cocoa quickly transitioned to bitter sweet chocolate, leather, and pepper. The pepper was subtle at first but increased in strength as the cigar progressed. Burn and draw were good. An interesting cigar but it did not “wow” me either. If you come across a few singles (they are sold out now) I would grab a couple to try.
  • Romeo y Juiletta Short Churchill – Box date on these are June 2011. While not as smooth and tastey of the 2010’s I recently reviewed here, still an enjoyable mild/medium body smoke. I cannot wait to smoke another! “Box Worthy”
  • Gran Habano Corojo #5 Imperiales – A friend gifted me this 6 x 60 monster. I was working late Monday night from home, so I decided to fire this bad boy up. This stick features a Nicaraguan Corojo wrapper, Nicaraguan Habano binder, and Nicaraguan, Mexican, and Costa Rican fillers. The burn and draw were perfect and I would describe the strength and flavor as a solid medium. It was a good smoke but didn’t change up much. Having smoked the Habano #3 in the past, I do find the darker flavors of that stick more to my liking. Still a solid smoke the money and I would recommend it to anyone who wants a medium strength smoke while they work arond the yard. “The Angler”
  • Kristoff Kristania Toro – Released at IPCPR 2011, this Kristoff retails for less than $6.00 and offers some nice flavors including coffee and vanilla. Burn and draw were decent. For the money a definite smoke I could keep around for when I am fishing or grilling. “The Angler”.
  • Padilla Miami 8&9 Belicoso Finos – Wow what a great smoke. This Nicarguan Puro from 2008 was a gift from fellow BOTL, Will. Thank You, it has been a while since I had one of these! This blend was created by Don Pepin Garcia and this particular size was an exclusive to CI (2008-2009). “Box Worthy”

Stogie Tech: Using Cigar Auction Sites

How it works

There are few auction sites on the Internet. The two that we have used most are CigarBid (From Cigars International) and Cigar Auctioneer (From Famous Smoke). Once you create an account you are able to place bids. When you create an account you give them a Credit Card number to keep on file. Then you choose when you want to have your cigars shipped, as they will ship once a week in a batch. For example, Cigar Auctioneer charges $5.99 flat rate shipping and ships to me every Wednesday. This means everything I bid on before Tuesday at midnight will be included in that shipment and usually arrives at my house on Friday.

Its also important to get to know the different auction types and terminology:

  • Lots – A “Lot” is an item or a group of items that has been posted for auction. For example, “Arturo Fuente Don Carlos Robusto”. Note that a lot can contain one or more items.
  • English Auctions – In an English Auction, a lot is offered for sale at a given starting price. Bidders bid the highest price they are willing to pay for that lot. At the closing of the auction the lot is sold to the highest bidder at their bid price.
  • Yankee Auctions – A Yankee Auction is a variation of the Dutch Auction where one or more identical items are offered for sale at the same time. In cases where a lot contains multiple identical items, at the closing of the auction, the highest bidders win the merchandise at their bid price as opposed to paying the price determined by the lowest qualified bidder (as in a Dutch Auction). (NOTE: Auto-bidding is not available for a Yankee Auction)
  • Free Fall Auction – Unlike other auctions where the price is driven up by bids, the Free Fall Price is driven down by us and you decide what you are willing to pay. Free Fall Auctions allow you to purchase an item at a discounted price, eliminating the bidding process.
  • QuickBuy – QuickBuy allows you to purchase an item at a discounted price, eliminating the bidding process.
  • CAUTION: Stay away from any auction site that charges you to bid, its pretty much a scam. Sure, you can bid $1.00 on a box and win, but everyone is paying for bids. So items that get a lot of bids make up for the box you got for a buck. Its just a scam, read about it in the forums for more information.

    MORE CAUTION – Take notice on bids where you are bidding on single cigars and multiples. For example, sometimes its not clear whether the price is for EACH cigar or the entire lot. You can get yourself into trouble if you start bidding $30 on 5 cigars, and thats the cost per cigar not for all 5.

When you want to bid on cigars, here are some rules

  • Rule 1: Decide the maximum price you are willing to pay before you bid – This is the most important rule. Ignore what anyone lists as the MSRP. When you find something you want to buy on auction, search around on the Internet and your local B&Ms and see who has the lowest price. Then, when you bid, make sure you are at least 10-20% below that price (Don’t forget you have to pay shipping).
  • Rule 2: Be mindful of the shipping cost and frequency – Sometimes I will bid on something and forget that I am outside my shipping window. So, I may have a box and 3 5-packs on the way, but the 3 cigars I just bid on won’t come until next week. This is when I will bid on more stuff, just to offset the shipping.
  • Rule 3: Set a reserve if you can – Reserves are great, and I love the English auctions. It really allows me to say “I would pay as much as $X for that”, set my reserve, and forget about it. The cool part is sometimes you get it for the initial bid! Example, if I need to bid $100 on a box of cigars to be the highest bidder, but would pay $125, I set my reserve to $125. If I win the lot for $100, its a score!
  • Rule 4: Use Favorites or Watchlists – This allows you to keep track of stuff you are interested in, which is nice. I will look at all of the stuff available on auction, and add the good stuff to my watch list for later. On Cigar Auctioneer you can look at future auctions too.
  • Rule 4: Get a Larger Humidor – If you start getting good at this, you’re going to need more space! I use a giant cooler with beads to store my overflow stuff. Who knows, you may be able to win a new humidor on auction cheap!

Stuff I have won on Auction recently

  • La Aurora Puro Vintage Salamone 2003 – 5-Pack $29.00
  • La Aurora Puro Vintage Salamone 2003 – 5-Pack – $41.00 – So I got 10 of these for $70, meaning $7.00 each. MSRP is $20.00 each, and CI is selling them for $16.95 each.
  • Gurkha Cigarnivore No. V Sampler – 18 Cigars – $34.00
  • La Aurora Preferidos LE Lancero Cameroon (Single) – My Winning Quantity 5 of 7 – $7.00 Each
  • Guillermo Leon Corona Gorda – 5 Pack – $19.00
  • Blazer CG-001 Cigar Lighter $30.00
  • Alec Bradley Black Market Robusto 5 Pack $22.00
  • Padron 3000 Box $112.00
  • La Riqueza No. 4 5 Pack $15.00
  • La Aurora Escogidos Robusto 3 @ $3.00/each