The Rise of Nicaraguan Cigars

padron cigars Gotham CigarsIf you have been one of the many who focuses your attention on Dominican cigar companies, it is time to broaden your horizons. Despite political upheavals in Nicaragua, the country is poised to become the next great leader in fine cigar production as Americans shift form Dominican products to those of great Nicaraguan cigar houses.

The Troubled History of Nicaraguan Cigar Makers

The political history of Nicaragua has made many investors fearful of becoming involved in the companies that produce admittedly fine cigars from this nation. The changes in power could cause many growers and cigar makers to move to Honduras or even the Dominican Republic, given the right set of circumstances.  Ironically, this is one reason the DR has become the go-to location for fine cigars; the former Sandanista coup forced many of the cigar makers out of the country.  However, it is unlikely that such a sudden revolution would occur again or that any company would be forced to quickly relocate.

The fact remains that the soil, climate and willing labor force in the country has made it too attractive for any serious cigar company to ignore.  Nicaragua is poised to become the next big thing in cigars for those who want great smokes and low prices.

Nicaraguan Cigars The Next Great Smoke?

While cigar production accounts for only $50 million in revenue for this Central American country, the four factories that produce these great cigars are rising in importance as Americans discover them.  The top companies include:

  • Padrón.  This company needs little introduction to cigar aficionados as it has been in business for many years, producing incredible cigars such as the 80th Anniversary edition.  This company includes great flavors such as dark chocolate in its cigar production, producing truly flavorful smokes that have given it a reputation as innovative.
  • Tabacalera Oliva Tabolisa.  The Oliva family has released many great cigars, but one of the best is the Master Blend line that features rich, robust tones that set it apart from many blander offerings by bigger companies.
  • Tabacos Puros de Nicaragua.  This company has survived the ups and downs of Nicaragua’s political situation and has been producing quality cigars since the 1970s.  These rich, satisfying cigars are reminiscent of Cubans with their bold flavor and deep tones.
  • Tabacalera Cubana. Tabacalera Cubana is the “new kid on the block,” but experienced growers and rollers give this company an edge when it comes to producing the wonderful cigars they are growing famous for.  The owner and his son worked in Cuba’s Las Vilas area, and claim that Nicaraguan tobacco approaches the fine quality of Cuban.
  • Drew Estate.  Eclectic and original, Drew Estate’s blending and unique sizes have created a cult following.  Drew Estate is also noted for valuing Nicaraguan cigar makers and tobacco enough to place a factor there, giving solidity and appeal to this market.
  • Alec Bradley.  Like other cigar makers, Alec Bradley has given credence to Nicaraguan tobacco with its Nico Puro, the first cigar made by this notable firm from all Nicaraguan tobacco.

Nicaragua is making its mark with quality tobacco, inventive rollers and increasingly high-end output.  If you have not tried a Nicaraguan cigar, do yourself a favor and enjoy one today.  You will be pleasantly surprised how great this country’s products are!

Great Flavors in the Gurkha Legend Toro Maduro

Let the flavor revolution begin – The Gurkha Legend Toro Maduro Cigar

Given its steady growth throughout the industry, the Gurkha Cigars has definitely earned its trusted name and honest reputation.  With over 100 different cigars, this cigar brand has received exceptional ratings of “90,” “91,” and “89” by Cigar Aficionado due to their great cigar flavors and high quality sticks.

The Gurkha Cigar Company was founded by Kaizad Hansotia.  From the moment that he began making these cigars he knew that he wanted his packaging to be different than the traditional packaging.   ”I wanted my packaging to practically jump off the shelves! You have to hit all the senses; every detail is noticed. I wanted to create a piece of furniture with cigars in it” said Kaizad.  To this day the Gurkha brand is known for their premium sticks, great cigar flavors and the use of unique and artistic packaging.

Characteristics of Gurkha Legend Toro Maduro Cigar

The Gurkha Legend Toro Maduro cigar is rated 89 by Cigar Aficionado.  This stick features a Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro wrapper which is exquisitely rolled around the aged eight year Dominican filler to create a perfect medium-bodied smoke.  When starting to smoke this cigar there are notes of earthy flavors as well as a hint of chocolate and leather.

Buy Gurkha Cigars at the lowest prices online at GothamCigars.com and save with your premium cigars today! - Click here
Gurkha Cigars known for their cigar packaging, quality and great cigar flavors in every stick.

The cigar flavors come off very strong from the beginning, you don’t have to wait for it to burn more to really taste it, however as it continues to burn all of the flavors begin to , mellow and blend well together.  The Gurkha Legend Toro Maduro is definitely worth a second, third and fourth glance, and at such a good price, all you need to enjoy this is a cigar cutter and the drink of your choice.  This 5 pack retails at $90, however at Gotham this cigar 5 pack is a steal at only $59.99 and it comes with a custom Xikar cigar lighter.  This cigar and lighter combo is a great gift for any cigar lover, and an even better addition to any humidor.

Visit Gotham Cigars to read more about The Gurkha Legend Toro Maduro Cigar, find answers to all of your cigar, humidor and cigar accessory questions and to order from the finest selection of quality cigars at the most affordable prices on the market.

Rocky Patel Decade – A Decade in the Making

Why 10 years is worth the wait for Rocky Patel Decade Cigars

It takes 10 years to make Rocky Patel Decade Cigars, and I for one am glad it does.  Rocky Patel Cigars has been producing some of the better cigars lately, mostly because they take their time and aren’t interested in churning out more cigars when they can produce quality premium cigars.  It’s this dedication and integrity that has won over the hearts of aficionados, and the Rocky Patel Decade, with its notes of black cherry and a nutty finish is a testament to their cigar craftsmanship.

Characteristic of the Rocky Patel Decade

With a smooth draw and a delicious mixture of robust flavors, the Decade is a picturesque portrait of a rich, creamy cigar smoking experience.  The detailed double band and beautifully oily, fine Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper also showcase this cigar in a very pleasing presentation. The Rocky Patel Decade Cigar is artfully rolled and box-pressed, allowing for a comfortable draw and an even burn all the way through.

Buy Rocky Patel Decade Lonsdale premium cigars at the lowest prices online at GothamCigars.com and save! - Click hereWhether you are a novice cigar smoker looking to widen your palette, or you are a pure cigar connoisseur constantly searching for unique new blends to try, the Decade Lonsdale from the Rocky Patel Cigars Family is definitely worth a second, third and fourth glance.

Visit Gotham Cigars to read more about The Rocky Patel Decade Cigar, find answers to all of your cigar, humidor and cigar accessory questions and to order from the finest selection of quality cigars at the most affordable prices on the market.

Shop Rocky Patel Decade Torpedo

Quantity: 20 Cigars
Wrapper: Natural
Size: 6 1/2 x 52

A History of Acid Cigars and Drew Estate

The story behind Acid Cigars

Despite their name, acid cigars do not contain any hallucinogenic substances. “Acid” is actually an acronym for Arielle Chester Industrial Design. This term describes the uniquely colorful label rather than the cigar itself. In fact, the artist Scott Chester inspired Jonathan Drew and Marvin Samel-founders of the Drew Estate cigar company-to develop the acid line of cigars. The dominant hue of each label is designed to convey information about the flavor and aroma. For a relatively recent start-up, Drew Estate’s sales and reputation among serious cigar smokers and sellers has soared. This ascendency is largely due to its line of acid cigars.

Drew Estate began its journey to the top in New York City’s World Trade Center in 1995. Drew and Samel-college fraternity brothers turned business partners-opened a modest kiosk in the WTC’s retail mall. Selling cigars that were rolled elsewhere in Manhattan, the pair then developed their own brand. In an effort to reach out to retailers and distributors, they attended a 1998 trade show in Orlando and promptly earned accolades for their brand from industry authorities, including Cigar Aficionado magazine. Their success was reversed, however, by a Central American hurricane that devastated tobacco crops. Without an inventory, the future of Drew Estate looked bleak.

Both Drew and Samel knew they needed their own production source, so Drew took borrowed capital and moved to Nicaragua to establish a factory. In spite of local suspicion, Drew labored diligently to make the new facility operational. The idea of acid cigars was conceived during this period. The widespread availability of herbs and other botanicals in Central and South America made the plan even more viable. While Samel continued to manage U.S. operations from New York, Drew began earning the grudging recognition of the Nicaraguan tobacco farmers because of his work ethic and willingness to innovate. Today, the facility occupies 96,000 square feet. Unlike strictly functional cigar factories, the Drew Estate plant is known for its ornamental architecture and ubiquitous paintings and prints.

Acid cigars are easily credited with the success of Drew Estate. Infused with a variety of botanicals, herbs, oils, and wines, the acids, as they are called, possess appealing flavors. But Drew Estate is quick to reject the word “flavored” when it comes to acid cigars. As they see it, flavoring is an industrial application unrelated to the creation of the acids. Flavoring is fast and cheap. By contrast, acid cigars take time to manufacture and are composed of only the highest quality ingredients. The actual infusion process, however, is a patented secret held tightly within the walls of Drew Estate. They do reveal, though, the fact that the rolled cigars are encased in plastic and stored in a cool room. This binds the infused flavors to the tobacco.

Acids are categorized by color-coded lines

Acid cigars are categorized by color-coded lines. Blue line cigars are considered the most traditional of the acid brand. The Acid Blondie, for example, has a subtly sweet taste that calls honey and cream to mind. The Kuba Kuba is known for its tantalizing aroma, though it is sharper in flavor than the Blondie. Among the blue line, the Kong Cameroon is the most robust in flavor, infused with red wine, herbs, and essential oils. The Krush is a miniature version of the Blondie, but not lacking in terms of flavor or scent. The blues come in distinctive shapes; most are smoked in about 20 minutes.

The red line of acid cigars tends toward more intensity. Smokers of the Acid Liquid detect roasting cashews amidst the other spices and plants infused in the cigar. They also report a toasty burn that makes for an enjoyable smoke. Characterized by a torpedo shape, the Nasty does not live up to its name. The good news is that it lives the name down, emitting scents of cocoa beans and rose petals, according to a recent favorable review. Like the blue line, the reds have their own Krush version of mini-cigars. These are infused with the same components as the Liquid.

For a mellower experience, Drew Estate offers the gold line of acid cigars. The Acid Atom Maduro is the only acid cigar where the tobacco itself eclipses the herbal additives in terms of taste and aroma. Earthiness, on the other hand, contains white pepper to enhance the flavor and smell. This may be the reason that Earthiness is considered the fullest bodied of the acids. Cold Infusion Tea is akin to a scented candle, giving the smoker a whiff of freshly cut pine and homemade peach cobbler. Again, Drew Estate offers smaller Krush versions of this smooth line.

The purple line is all about aroma, though taste is still an important factor. The Roam has a pleasant creamy flavor, but is dominated by a floral scent. Roses and sweet spices mark the aroma of Extra Ordinary Larry, which is the most botanically dense of all the acid cigars. If a shorter smoke is desired, the C-Note is available as a cigarillo with no reduction in flavor or distinctive smell. All four lines provide variety in taste and smell by formulating numerous infusion combinations. In so doing, the widest range of cigar smokers are satisfied.

Such popularity is evident when sales are tabulated. Acid cigars rank as top sellers among many large cigar retailers that market acids to newbie smokers and veteran aficionados as a way to break the routine. Forty percent of Drew Estate’s 30-million dollar income is attributed to the sale of acid cigars. Ordering their supplies from the factory in Esteli, Nicaragua months in advance, online retailers like Gotham Cigars recognize the careful and lengthy process required to obtain these quality cigars. Because the makers of acid cigars value their retail partners, Gotham and other sellers can buy and sell acids at discounted prices.

Retailers and Manufacturers

The significance of the relationship between cigar retailers and cigar manufacturers cannot be understated. In the interest of passing on the savings, sellers must be able to fetch a fairly cheap price when obtaining their inventories. Before risking markdowns at the wholesale level, on the other hand, cigar makers must have confidence that the retailer can move the product. Globally, cigar sales rose by nine percent in 2011, the U.S. being the largest market. This is good news, but manufacturers do not view all retailers as equal. Established sales and marketing operations with proven track records will always have the advantage when negotiating prices.

For over 10 years, Gotham Cigars has been moving acid cigars at competitive prices and with superior customer service. Fast and secure shipping are combined with an ordering process that ensures privacy and security. Special offers are available regularly. In addition to acid cigars, Gotham has an expansive inventory of handmade, machine-made, and filtered cigars, as well as cigarillos, cigar tins, and humidors. Gift certificates are available on request. Combining high-end products with cheap prices, Gotham Cigars is a one-stop shopping site for cigar lovers. Visit this retailer at www.gothamcigars.com.

Hav A Tampa Cigars – Cigar Review

Hav A Tampa Cigars – Little cigars with big taste

Learn more about Hav - A - Tampa little cigars online at GothamCigars.com - Click hereHav A Tampa Cigars are one brand of little cigars I thought I would never write a blog post on.  In fact, machine made cigars aren’t really something I see as all that different, with regards to their taste and smoking characteristics.   I mean, I am so used to reading elaborate reviews of premium handmade cigars that I kind of forget that  I have been smoking Hav-A-Tampa Little Cigars Regular for decades and I love them.  Not that they don’t deserve a review, I guess I kinda took them for granted.

I not going to try to convince you into smoking machine made or little cigars.  That’s your choice.  I have smoked great premium cigars and they are fantastic, but I just can’t get enough of these little cigars when I don’t have enough time to enjoy a fine premium cigar.

A little bit of background information about Hav-A-Tampa Little Cigars.  They are made by Altadis in Tampa Florida.  This is the same company that manufactures Backwoods, Dutch Masters, Phillies, and handmade brands such as Romeo y Julieta, Montecristo, Don Diego, and Gispert, among others.  So you know you are smoking a good quality cigar.

Since I was a little boy, I always remembered my dad smoking his Hav A Tampa’s and they smelled so good.  Years later as an adult I started smoking cigars, but I was never able to find them at my local convenience store.  Until one day I stumbled into a cigar store and there behind the counter was the little gold pack I remembered from my youth.  As soon as I lit one up it brought back so many memories; I immediately remembered the smell of my Dad’s garage and the taste was surprisingly full bodied for a little cigar.

Characteristics of Hav-A-Tampa Little  Cigars

Buy Hav - A - Tampa Little Cigars at the lowest prices online at GothamCigars.com - Click hereHav-A-Tampa Little Cigars flavor and aroma are terrific.  They are mild and very smooth.  I usually smoke one after dinner or on the weekends, and they go perfect with a glass of cognac.   They use a blend of Honduran and Dominican Tobacco as primary fillers which give them a great taste.  I usually smoke the Natural flavor.

What can I say about the price, they are a bargain!  I always order mine from Gotham Cigars and their prices can’t be beat.  I call and the friendly sale representative just repeats my last order, and ships them the same day.

Hav a Tampa’s are a great everyday cigar. I would recommend them to anyone that likes to enjoy a good quality cigar at a low price. I seriously consider them one of the finest little cigars ever made for the small cigar smoker. Nothing comes close to the taste and enjoyment of these little fellows.

 Shop Hav-A-Tampa Little Cigars

Manufacturer: Hav-A-Tampa
Package: 10 Packs of 20 Cigars Each
Strength: Mild
Wrapper: Homogenized Tobacco Leaf
Flavors: Regular, Sweet

CAO Brazilia GOL – Cigar Review

CAO Brazilia GOL – The cigar aged to perfection

The CAO Brazilia GOL is more than likely one of my favorite “working” cigars”.  Let me explain.

The CAO Brazilia GOL Cigar is a full bodied cigar lovers delight from  CAO Cigars - Click here to learn more.I play bass. In a working blues band. And I smoke cigars the entire gig. I have to use a holder when I’m playing otherwise I start drooling on myself during a long song…can’t take the stick out of my mouth. And I generally smoke downgraded cigars because I really don’t have the opportunity to enjoy it because I’m focused on playing.

But this was Summer Fest. We had two sets to play and that’s it. We got there early to unload our gear. When that was done, we could relax and get something to eat, people watch and light up a good premium cigar.

Everyone brought their favorite cigars to smoke during the down time. I brought some CAO Brazilia. I insisted that I go first. I handed out my CAO Brazilia GOL Cigars. A stick made of Nicaraguan filler and binder with a wrapper made of Brazilian Bahia. Seductively dark with a gorgeous oily sheen.

The CAO Brazilia GOL is a 5 x 56 stick. It’s firm in the hand without a single soft spot. All 4 of us bring the vitola to our shnozolas and breathe in the cocoa and espresso aroma. Lawdy, it’s like an intoxicating perfume for men.

Flavor Characteristics of the CAO Brazilia Gol Cigar

I pull out my Xikar cutter and snip the cap. I toast the foot, breathing in the cocoa aroma. I bring the stick to my mouth and immediately get the taste of a nutty, woody, earthy flavor profile. Huge billows of smoke emit from the end. Soon, our little table is causing so much smoke, it looks like we’re on fire. The CAO Brazilia has an easy draw. The construction is excellent. It’s so dark, it’s almost impossible to see the moderate amount of veins. It’s advertised as a full bodied, full flavored cigar. And I agree. My favorite.

We all settle back with the CAO Brazilias and a libation from the beer vendor. The festival attracts a lot of people and soon guys are stopping and asking what we’re smoking? A few even offer to buy cigars from us. We smile and pretend to fall asleep. One of us always stays awake, points at us, and just says “Narcolepsy.” The inquirers walk away quickly.

A peppery spicy taste joins the profile. I’m not quite a third into it and what I’ve been waiting for happens: cocoa and coffee. It’s very dark chocolate and very dark coffee. It’s immensely satisfying. The cocoa brings with it some malty flavor. And the natural sweetness oozes like oil.

A couple guys walk by and show us their CAO Sopranos that are in their pockets. We tip our hats.

The tribute band that’s performing is playing the worst Doors music I’ve ever heard. The guy doing Jim Morrison keeps losing his wig and his attempts to mimic the sensual moves that Morrison was famous for, completely falls flat. He looks more like he’s constipated. And now it’s time.

I’m into the second third of the CAO Brazilia. The cocoa and coffee falls a little into the background. There’s a slight wisp of licorice and cherry. The ash hasn’t fallen and we are competing to see who can keep it on the longest. The ash is pretty solid so to this point it’s not much of a competition.

As bold as this cigar is, it never gets harsh or bitter. A bit of cinnamon shows up in the last third. And the cocoa and espresso are really ramping up again…with more sweetness.

CAO Brazilia GOL and Pepsi Max – Who Knew?

Pepsi Max and CAO Brazilia GOL go well together - try it sometime.I run over to a vendor and grab a Pepsi Max. I do this every time I smoke a CAO Brazilia. The cocoa is such a dominant, yet subtle, flavor that I like to take a few puffs and then a swig of Pepsi. It tastes exactly like the old fashioned Chocolate Pepsi we would get at Bob’s Big Boy restaurant in high school. When I explain what I’m doing, everyone runs over to get a soda. It’s like dessert. It’s just an unbelievable taste. Some people have their druthers about what they drink while smoking; whether its alcoholic of just bottled water. Try this and tell me I’m wrong.

We are all smoking this cigar to the nub because we can. It doesn’t get hot like most cigars do. A creaminess settles in to add a broad flavor profile. I have to get another soda. This combination should be illegal.

As the cigar comes to an end, we are holding a nub between our fingers. Skip asks if I brought any more. I nod. Everyone smiles.

We hear a voice. “The old farts that play blues….you’re up next.”

We struggle out of the wood chairs, groaning as we do so, and wobble up to the stage.

Shop for CAO Brazilia GOL

Size: 5 x 56
Strength: Full
Wrapper: Brazil Bahia
Filler & Binder: Nicaraguan
Box of 20: $76.95 (save $59.05 off regular retail prices)

CAO Brazilia GOL Flavor characteristics summary: Cocoa, Dark Chocolate, Nutty, Espresso, Mild Spices, Licorice, Cinnamon, Malty, Sweet Tobacco,Well-Balanced, Full Flavored, Complex.

Acid Kuba Kuba – Cigar Review

Acid Kuba Kuba – The most aromatic premium cigar

Buy Acid Kuba Kuba Cigars at the lowest prices online at GothamCigars.com - Click hereTwo of my friends and I drove down to Key West last weekend and enjoyed some great Acid Kuba Kuba Cigars.We woke up at the crack of dawn, got our backpacks and hopped into my friend’s Jeep Wrangler. The morning was hot but the gentle wind from the road while riding with the top down made it really enjoyable.  What a scenic three-hour drive; we saw mangroves and beaches as we went from key to key on man-made bridges.

On our way we stopped at a beautiful beach in Bahia Honda Key called Sandspur Beach.  The beach was very secluded and the atmosphere was extremely laid back and relaxing.  The small waves crashing into the white sand produced the most relaxing sounds, which made us not want to leave.

We decided to take our stuff down to the beach and spent a few hours relaxing in the sand.  We set our towels and our cooler right off the water, and unwound while enjoying some cold beers.  To make it even better I had a box of Acid Kuba Kuba Cigars for us to enjoy.  I was saving them for a special occasion but what better occasion than this.

Buy Acid Kuba Kuba Cigars and SAVE BIG with your purchase on premium cigars. -Click hereI opened the box and immediately we could smell the captivating aroma. The friendly sales rep from Gotham Cigars had told me Acid Kuba Kuba Cigars were the most aromatic of the Acid Cigars and among the most flavorful, and boy was she right!

Characteristics of Acid Kuba Kuba Cigars

Wrapped in a dark, oily, and virtually seamless Sumatra wrapper the Acid Kuba Kuba Cigars produced a mellow rich flavor and sweet taste.  Ringed in metallic blue, this cigar has the perfect combination of the finest mild cigar tobaccos deliciously infused with all natural herbs, essential oils, and a touch of floral botanicals.

The cigar smoked perfect.  This robusto-sized cigar is a medium-bodied smoke that is not too light and not too strong. It’s just right!

Buy Acid Kuba Kuba and other Acid Cigars at the lowest prices at GothamCigars.com- Click hereThe only bad part about it was when it was over.  We suddenly realized we had spent almost four hours just laying there enjoying our conversation and smoking those fantastic cigars. But we needed to go; we stilled had a long way to get to Key West.  I must admit, it was a bit painful leaving that beach spot and getting back in the Jeep. When we got to Key West we went to a bar and had an awesome lunch.  Overall the road trip was a success; we enjoyed the beach, the food, and a fantastic cigar.  I would recommend Acid Kuba Kuba Cigars to those seeking total relaxation from the daily rigors of life.

Shop Acid Kuba Kuba Cigars

Shape: Robusto
Size: 5 x 54
Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Sumatra
Flavor Characteristics Summary: Sweet Floral Taste, Mild-to-Medium Bodied Cigar
Price: Box of 24  $148.95 (save $26.89 of regular retail price)