Alec Bradley: The Name of Perfection

alec bradley maxxWhen smokers talk about a perfect wrapper, binder, and filler that make a tasteful cigar, the first brand that probably comes to mind is Alec Bradley. The cigar is a unique mix of true quality and excellence. Alec Bradley, founded by Alan Rubin, has become a household name and has occupied a special place in the cigar industry. Elegantly handmade with selective tobaccos from different parts of the world, the cigar tempts smokers with its unique flavor. The medium to full-bodied cigar is made in Honduras with fillers from Honduras and Nicaragua.
This hand rolled cigar carries binders from Indonesia and Honduran wrappers. The most popular variety of the cigar is Alec Bradley Maxx and Alec Bradley Tempus. The cigar brand has some popular product lines that include Bogey’s Stogies, Occidental Reserve, Trilogy, Maxx, Cuban Spirit, Tempus, Prensado, Select Cabinet Reserve and Tempus Family Blend. All brand name products give smokers happiness and satisfaction when they smoke an Alec Bradley cigar of their choice and preference. The cigar is consumed by a large number of smokers from all corners of the world. For a smoker that searches for a relishing aroma and rich taste, the cigar produces an opportunity to taste perfection.

Beauty and Perfection of a Cigar: Romeo y Julieta

A spicy and creamy smoke produced by an elegant cigar not only gives smokers a flavorful taste but also makes them feel refreshed and charged. Romeo y Julieta is such a cigar that gives all its smokers around the world an unforgettable, rich taste. The cigar has received the greatest ratings from the cigar magazine “Aficionado.” The cigar brand has won numerous awards and created a special place within the cigar industry. The cigar is made to give all its smokers what they want and expect from a perfect smoke.

Romeo y Julieta is immensely popular around the world among customers who love to consume a perfect smoke. The cigar has been named after the immortal characters of William Shakespeare’s tragedy of the same name. Available in different shapes and sizes, the cigar has been conferred with the highest ratings and gold medals for its unique taste and quality. The medium to full bodied cigar comes in high quality and affordable prices. The elegantly handmade cigar has cedar-aged Dominican long filler tobaccos and silky, aromatic Indonesian TBN shade grown wrappers that make it complete.

Daniel Blumenthal Dies at 94

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Industry luminary and father of two, Daniel Blumenthal, died of complications from Alzheimer’s Disease at 94 years old last Wednesday in Paramus, New Jersey. He dedicated his life to his family and philanthropy after retiring in 1998, but Blumenthal’s legacy in the cigar world was impressive.

Before leaving the industry, Blumenthal was the chairman of Villazon and Co., the Honduran company that manufactured the non-Cuban versions of Hoyo de Monterrey and Punch cigars. He also owned both brands prior to selling them to General Cigar in 1997.

Like many, Blumenthal started young, working in his father’s retail cigar stores in New York City when he was only 14 years old. By the 1950s, he had his own cigar shop in Manhattan and was the sole importer of the Cuban El Rey del Mundo and Ramon Allones brands as well as a major purchaser of Cuban tobacco that went into Clear Havana cigars—cigars made in the United States with Cuban tobacco.

Having predicted the Cuban embargo, Blumenthal and his business associate, the late Frank Llaneza, had enough foresight to buy as much Cuban tobacco as they could find on the market before the embargo took effect. They purchased shipments of unwanted Cuban tobacco from Garcia y Vega and Blumenthal continued to blend the Cuban stock into the Honduran-made Punch and Hoyo de Monterrey brands until the 1970s. (Blumenthal bought the U.S. rights to the brands in 1965.)

He is survived by his wife, Gloria, and his daughters Germaine Link and Desiree Abboud.

Source: Cigar Aficionado Magazine

Entertainment, The Old-School Way

cigar rollingEver heard of Grisel Valdez? She is known as one of the 300 “cigar factory readers” in Cuba. Cigar factory readers go around to the cigar factories in Cuba and entertain cigar rollers throughout the day.

Started 150 years ago, cigar readers have become a big tradition in Cuba, and all the factory workers appreciate it. Instead of using radios and TVs as entertainment, Grisel stands in front of the workers and reads poems, novels, and newspaper articles out loud. She takes great pride in what she does and enjoys chatting and interacting with the workers throughout their work day.

Most of the workers spend 10 hours a day monotonously rolling cigars so it feels good to put a smile on their face. They are constantly updated on current events in Cuba and learn things they never imagined learning.

“A lot of us did not get past ninth grade (early secondary school) so this helps us to improve ourselves and stay up on the news, because we are here for 10 hours without knowing what is happening in the outside world,” explained a worker, Irse Martinez, at the H. Upmann building in Centro Habana, where the Montecristo brand is made.

This tradition dates back to 1865 when the workers used to pool their money together to pay the readers to keep them entertained for the day. Now the companies are paying these readers, but not much…Grisel makes about $14 a month, but doing what she loves.

Light a Cigar with Three Matches

Executive editor, Gordon Mott, of Cigar Aficionado shows us how to light a cigar using only 3 matches without cutting the head off or drawing. After seeing this video we were a bit curious because it was something we’ve never tried before. He says this method allows you to really taste the true flavor of the tobacco.

I like to light my cigars as quickly as possible, and this method seems to take a good 5-6 minutes, but is something worth trying at least once. Let us know your feedback once you’ve tried this method. Do you notice a difference in the taste of the tobacco? Is this something you would consider doing regularly?

Check out the video!

– Compliments of Cigar Aficionado

Choosing the Right Cigar Cutter for YOU

How about biting off the end of a cigar with your teeth? There are ways to go around this primitive method. Why ruin a beautiful cigar by chomping off the end, not to mention the leftover bits of cigar in your mouth, this is why it’s important to choose a cigar cutter that is right for you and the cigars you smoke.

First off, you shouldn’t be using a dull blade if you want to achieve a quality smoke. There are 4 types of cutters that are commonly sold: guillotine cutter, scissor, v-cutter, and cigar punch.

The most effective kind, based on feedback and experience, is the the guillotine cutter. These come in single blades and double blades, with double blades being more effective.  Two blades allow equal pressure to be applied on both sides and pass each other in the middle to create a smooth cut. Just make sure you buy a gauge opening larger than the size of cigars you like to smoke, or you’ll be stuck biting off the end!

You can also use a cigar scissor, and a well-made one can produce a really nice, neat cut. The downfall to scissors is that even if they are a bit dull, they can still mangle your cigars. However, they will cut just about any ring gauge. Just make sure you are willing to spend a bit more money to buy a quality scissor that is durable and sharp or you risk fraying the caps.

V-cutters aren’t that popular but I’ve noticed they can be effective for cutting tapered head cigars like Torpedos, but that’s all I’ve been able to master. This style of cut exposes more filler and permits a good draw…resulting in a more concentrated smoke. Just don’t expect to cut thick gauge cigars using v-cutters.

Lastly, there’s the cigar punch. These are easy to carry on you, as a lot of them allow you to attach them to your keychain for that emergency smoke! Instead of cutting off the cigar’s top, these will punch a hole through the center of the cap about 1/4 of an inch. Aficionados say the punch cut are preferred for cigars using mixed or short filler tobacco because it keeps bits of tobacco from getting into your mouth.

Proper Cigar Storage

One of my friends recently started getting into smoking cigars. Of course if you buy and smoke it immediately, you don’t have to worry about storage. However, if you decide to buy a bunch to keep around on a rainy day, you need to know the right way to store them. My friend was totally unaware of how to store a cigar, so he just kept them on his dresser, out in the open. As soon as I found out, I quickly told him that he can’t do that. I mean he can, but his cigars will either dry out or in a worst case scenario, become infested with beetles.

Cigars must be stored properly to avoid deterioration. The first thing you need to know is that cigars must be stored in a humidor until they are ready to be smoked. There are tons of humidors out there to choose from, ranging from large to small (we have many cigar humidors on our site). A humidor basically controls the air flow to keep the humidity level between 70-75 percent. Keep in mind not to keep your cigars in an air-tight container, as this can cause a moldy environment without air circulation.

Keeping your cigars too dry or too moist can create bad conditions. The humidity level must be just right, and the temperature inside the humidor must be around 70 degrees. Anything below, and you risk drying out your cigars. Anything above, is grounds for beetle infestation. The microscopic larvae are embedded  in the leaf and high temps or humidity allow them to hatch and destroy any cigar they are in.

Humidors are easy to maintain. All you need to do is make sure it is closed properly and make sure to add distilled water to the humidifying device periodically. Also, do not place your humidor in direct sunlight, like near a window where the sun shines in. This raises the internal temperature of the humidor.

PRESS RELEASE: Mike’s Cigars

BAY HARBOR, FL.–Mike’s Cigars Distributors Inc., a premier national distributor of cigars and cigar accessories and major cigar brands like Macanudo, Montecristo, Romeo y Julieta, and Cohiba in the U.S., announced last week that company President, Mr. Oscar Boruchin, will be retiring after more than a 50 year career in the cigar business.

Mr. Boruchin, who joined The General Cigar Corp. in the early 1960s, became a partner at Mike’s Cigars in 1985 and later succeeded the late Mike Mersel as company President. Under his leadership, Mike’s Cigars transitioned from a regional cigar warehouse and an exclusive cigar wholesale supplier into a major cigar mail-order house and Internet call center, eventually emerging as one of the top five national cigar retailers in the United States. Mr. Boruchin announced his retirement last week and he will be succeeded immediately by Oded Ben-Arie. Read the life story of Oscar Boruchin here.

Mr. Ben-Arie joined Mike’s Cigars in 1991 and has been serving the company as its Chief Executive Officer since 2005. Mr. Ben-Arie assumed the position of President and CEO and he will continue leading the company as it completes the transition in the hi-tech Internet age. Mike’s Cigars is one of the big three independent cigar mega-stores in the United States with retail and wholesale Internet websites and mail-order catalog services, offering premium cigars from most of the cigar manufacturers worldwide.

Mike’s Cigars is one of the top independent distributors of cigars, cigar samplers and cigar accessories in the world, carries over 1,000 different brands, including its flagship Licenciados, Bauza, 898 Collection, Chevere, Old Fashioned and Mike’s 1950 brands. They also feature all the major national brands like Macanudo, Punch, Montecristo, Romeo y Julieta, La Gloria Cubana, Partagas, Excalibur, Cohiba, Hoyo de Monterrey, Arturo Fuente, Oliva, H Upmann, Rocky Patel, Punch, Alec Bradley, Perdomo, and many others. In 1993, Cigar Aficionado gave the Licenciados Toro, Mike’s top-selling brand, the highest rating ever given until then to a non-Cuban cigar. In addition to its flagships, the company stocks about 10 million cigars in its inventory on any given day.