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dataz722

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I know we have some cigar smokers here and I am looking for learn about them. Any advice or good sites you could point me towards?

Last night I went to a store with a walk in humidor and they were selling "grab bags" for 20 bucks. They had 10 cigars in them. Most of them still had their price tags on them and for the most part they are all right around 9 or 10 each so it seems like it was a good deal. They are probably old but I doubt I will know the difference right yet.
 

williec30

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I know we have some cigar smokers here and I am looking for learn about them. Any advice or good sites you could point me towards?

Last night I went to a store with a walk in humidor and they were selling "grab bags" for 20 bucks. They had 10 cigars in them. Most of them still had their price tags on them and for the most part they are all right around 9 or 10 each so it seems like it was a good deal. They are probably old but I doubt I will know the difference right yet.
have you been to CigarBid yet? very addictive... you have been warned ;) the forums there are decent... tons of information, albeit you must 'pick and choose'.

here is another forum that i like to browse...
 

EonBlue66

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The only advice I have is to try as many as possible, you will find what you like. I found that I like mellower cigars like Partagas & Hoyo's. There are several forums that have a wealth of info.

BTW a good cigar is excellent with a nice stout.
 
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dataz722

dataz722

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I just stumbled across cigarbid a few minutes ago but I dont know enough yet to have any idea what anything is. I have also spent the last couple hours looking at a forum but I dont seem to like it. Decent info but the people on there seem like a bunch of EAC's. The site layout kind of sucks too.
 

flyangler18

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What did you grab? Perhaps someone here can offer some quick reviews. I'm partial to Ghurka and Partagas myself.
 

williec30

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I just stumbled across cigarbid a few minutes ago but I dont know enough yet to have any idea what anything is. I have also spent the last couple hours looking at a forum but I dont seem to like it. Decent info but the people on there seem like a bunch of EAC's. The site layout kind of sucks too.
i agree with you... it's been the same site for over 5 years that i know of. it was a much different place back when i joined; the popularity of the commercial site has killed the forum.

there is the official cigar aficionado site... but that forum is becoming a bit unwieldy as well.
 

llazy_llama

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When I was in Japan, I mostly ordered my cigars from Cigars, Pipes, Pipe Tobacco, and Smoking Accessories at PipesandCigars.com

Quick service, and excellent product. If you can use forums/friends to help you figure out what type of cigars you like, it's an excellent site to order from.

FYI: I don't think I've ever heard 3 people tell me they didn't like Monte Cristos, Baccarats, Davidoff (little pricey), or Cusano 18s. Baccarats especially are a serious crowd pleaser. Nice and mild, not too spicy.
 
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dataz722

dataz722

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Ok they are:

there is one that just says Montecristo- no brand or anything. The sticker with the barcode on the wrapper says montecristo plat-t

Montecristo mini belicoso

Oro Rojo royal jamaica

Victor Sinclair series 55 corojo

Victor Sinclair series 55 Cameroon

Victor Sinclair series 55 Sun Grown (that on is somewhat short)

Omar Ortez Robusto. These aren't really labeled and I think I had 3 but not sure because I didnt notice the sticker til this morning. If they were all the same then it wasn't too bad. Seemed a little on the strong side for me.

Don Diego Royal Palms. I started to smoke this on tonight and didn't really care for it. I just it off and put it back in the metal tube. Don't know if they are smokable again or not.

I also got a "Humidor Bag" its basically a big thick zip lock bag with a humdipak in it. Its supposed to work as well as a humidor for 6 months.
 
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dataz722

dataz722

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i agree with you... it's been the same site for over 5 years that i know of. it was a much different place back when i joined; the popularity of the commercial site has killed the forum.

there is the official cigar aficionado site... but that forum is becoming a bit unwieldy as well.
Are you talking about the forum on cigarbid? I wasn't talking about those but didn't know if you somehow knew what other site I was talking about.
 

kaiser423

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That's not a bad grab bag for what you paid. The montecristo in the tube is far and away the best one in there. Those Victor Sinclair's aren't bad, he seems to have problems with consistency so I've shied away.

I second cigarbid. Another cigar site is cigarutopia.com if you're looking for a loony community to be a part of.

I'd say to get yourself a small cooler, and some heartfelt cigar humidity beads for 65% and toss them in the cooler. I have a cooler with about 300 cigars, and a half pound of beads. Every month I wet a paper towel with distilled water and toss it under the beads. Everything stays the perfect humidity.

As far as building your collection, find a site and see if you can't get a trade or something with someone for a bunch of singles. I received about 40 singles, including some big hitters like Padron 64's and Opus X's for about $80. Of course, I got luck though :rockin:

I'd say that Padron is about my go-to brand. But there's also a ton of other good cigars out there; I try not to pay more than about $8 a cigar, even for the best cigars you can usually shop around and find them for that online. I'll pimp dukecitycigars.com -- their my local brick and mortar, and they have some serious deals if you sign up for their newsletters. They're currently running 20% off on all singles, and a lot of their prices are about as cheap as you'll get 'em. They even gave me 50% on the box of Padron 1926's that I bought for my wedding!

My best bet is to say just start with the strong brands like Fuente and Padron which you can get for $5 a stick, and branch out from there.
 

BrewinJack

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So your looking into the world of cigars... I would totally second the idea of making your own humidor.I would say of that bunch you bought the 55 sungrown looks the best in this light. But the monster to its left looks good too.

There is a differnce between people who collect and people who smoke. I have met alot of people who call themselve collectors and wouldn't know how to light up and enjoy a proper cigar to save their lives, and i also have met people who smoke every cigar they ever buy and never save anything but the band to remember. Not that either is a bad idea or in my view incorrect in anyway

Thats your biggest question, what are you doing with cigars. If you think of your self as a smoker then get a humidor which can hold 20 - 40 cigars at 65-72% humidity and enjoy a smoke when ever you have the time to sit down for an hour or two with nothing to do but puff. Its a great relaxing experience. Try everything at least once and write your favorites down or at least save your bands. I put mine in two jars, one jar for good, one for bad.

If you think of yourself as a collector then get a standard pop cooler big enough to fit a 12 pack in and a bag of humi-beeds, or the round humidifiers that you can mount on velcrow inside the cooler, one on the top and one on each side about half way up will do about 80-100 cigars depending on the size, it should say on the package when you buy it how many each will do. Then when ever you buy cigars always buy at least two of every single stick you buy. Buy samplers, and grab bags. But make sure you find a good steady smoke that you like enough not to touch your collection on a daily basis.

Those are my sugestions. Other then that i could tell you more then you want to know about cigars. To show you how much of an obsession it is with me i recently ordered a sampler seed pack of tobaccos around the world. 600 seeds with varieties like Havanna (real cuban seeds imported via Britian), Sumatran, Brizillian, 2 types of Dominican, 2 US types, and a few others. I am gonna grow these seeds Hydroponically to preserve there native genetics and start to cure, maduro, roll, and age my own cigars.

I find i like medium/full bodied cigars. Specfically the dark maduro wrappers. Some great brands are CAO, La Gloria Cubanna, Drew Estates, Oliva, Rocky Patel, Predomo, Maroma. All have reasonably priced smokes of sevral differnt fillers, binders, and wrappers. If money is an issue, Factory seconds (cigars which are rolled by rollers just learning there trade, or cigars which dont meet the high quality standards of the factory) are often high class smokes at a very reasonable price, which also have the ability to surprise you.

I would sugest FamousSmokeShop.com, they have great prices and unbeatable service, along with an unbeatable sampler selection. Also they have a wholesale auction section where you can get great cigars cheap in an ebay like auction style. I also go to Cigars.com who have great monthly deals but also higher prices. Also get to know the owner of your local cigar shop, they tend to be laid back guys who like to see people try new things. I know the two cigar shop owners in my area on a first name basis and i often get good deals and free smokes for being a loyal customer.

If you any questions, keep posting, or PM me i love talking cigars

Enjoy and smok'em in good health

Cheers
 

gratus fermentatio

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I know we have some cigar smokers here and I am looking for learn about them. Any advice or good sites you could point me towards?

Last night I went to a store with a walk in humidor and they were selling "grab bags" for 20 bucks. They had 10 cigars in them. Most of them still had their price tags on them and for the most part they are all right around 9 or 10 each so it seems like it was a good deal. They are probably old but I doubt I will know the difference right yet.
I used to enjoy almost anything from Arturo Fuente, especially the Romeo y Julietta. Partagas makes a nice cigar as well. You might pick up a copy of Cigar Aficionado for some brands & styles. Now I'm a non-smoker, but I sure did enjoy a good cigar; I still love the smell of the walk-in humidors. Regards, GF.

EDIT: Damn I miss smoking cigars!
 
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dataz722

dataz722

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WOW!!!!! That was alot of help from you guys. I am always looking for more though so whatever you want to talk about i will be more than happy to listen. :)

Does anyone know anything about that bag that I got. Will it really work well enough until I get a humidor? Speaking of humidors is there much difference from brand to brand? Since I am just getting started in this I really dont want to spend a lot of a humidor so anything that could be reccomended probably in the 25-50 count range?

edit- in response to brewinjack about collecting or smoking. I will probably be more of a smoker but I will not smoke very often. Probably when I am brewing and golfing mainly. I could see myself smoking alot in the summer but barely at all in the winter thuogh. But I would also like to have a few really nice ones for special occasions.
 

kaiser423

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WOW!!!!! That was alot of help from you guys. I am always looking for more though so whatever you want to talk about i will be more than happy to listen. :)

Does anyone know anything about that bag that I got. Will it really work well enough until I get a humidor? Speaking of humidors is there much difference from brand to brand? Since I am just getting started in this I really dont want to spend a lot of a humidor so anything that could be reccomended probably in the 25-50 count range?

edit- in response to brewinjack about collecting or smoking. I will probably be more of a smoker but I will not smoke very often. Probably when I am brewing and golfing mainly. I could see myself smoking alot in the summer but barely at all in the winter thuogh. But I would also like to have a few really nice ones for special occasions.
Yea, definitely enjoy the smoke. That's the key :rockin: Nothing like lightingo ne up, and knowing _exactly_ what you're going to be doing for the next hour - taking life slow and taking it all in.

You can probalby find some really cheap, simple humidors online at cigarbid.com or people selling them through craigslist. I always ended up junking my small humidors; they never seemed to seal properly.

If you want cheap and don't care about appearances, it's hard to beat a cheap cooler from a dollar store, and some beads. If you really want to keep it cheap, you can do some other stuff; but the beads are about the best because they pull humidity from the air when it's too humid, and put it back in when it's too dry. Most other solutions just put humidity into the air until it reaches a certain percentage.

that's good that you're starting off cheap; it can get expensive fast. Resist the urge to buy a box, and just keep sampling!
 

llazy_llama

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Does anyone know anything about that bag that I got. Will it really work well enough until I get a humidor?
Yeah, I've used those bags from time to time, and they worked well for me. I don't know that I would trust them for 6 months unless you live in a fairly humid area. I had success using them for about 4 months until my humidor arrived, but I was in a very humid environment. YMMV.
 

williec30

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If you want cheap and don't care about appearances, it's hard to beat a cheap cooler from a dollar store, and some beads. If you really want to keep it cheap, you can do some other stuff; but the beads are about the best because they pull humidity from the air when it's too humid, and put it back in when it's too dry. Most other solutions just put humidity into the air until it reaches a certain percentage.
i concur as well... while you are just getting started, go get a cooler and use beads to keep it humidified. you will however need to keep an eye on the temp, keep it in a cool place. temp in theory should be below 70-75... anything more than that and you will risk bug growth.

the humi bags are great for travel and such... i wouldn't count on them lasting more than a few weeks.
 
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dataz722

dataz722

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I have read a little about the coolers but its seems like you still need boxes so that it will hold the moisture. Since I dont have any boxes (and don't intend to buy any by the box anytime soon) would it still be a good idea?
 

williec30

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I have read a little about the coolers but its seems like you still need boxes so that it will hold the moisture. Since I dont have any boxes (and don't intend to buy any by the box anytime soon) would it still be a good idea?
not sure what you mean... if you have a container inside the cooler with beads in it, you will be fine. it is good to have a few cedar boxes in the cooler... go to your local cigar shop, they normally sell spent boxes for a few dollars.
 
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dataz722

dataz722

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Ok, I thought even with the beads you still needed something absorbant in there. I guess that is only with the sponges then. I never even thought about trying to buy to old boxes from the store.
 

flyangler18

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I have a smallish humidor that I keep a few sticks in, but you really can't beat the Igloo style humidor. Functional and the price is right.

As far as cigars, read the reviews and chat up your local tobacconist. Just as my taste for a particular beer changes seasonally or with my current meal, so does my taste for a particular stick or 'strength' of a blend. I've recently become enamored of the CAO Criollo. Lovely tasting and smooth smoking cigar.
 
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dataz722

dataz722

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You guys should post up some pics of your humidors.
 

menschmaschine

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Hey Mike, I've been smoking cigars (in any kind of serious way) for about 10 years now. I also used to work nights and weekends in a nice tobacco shop in the KofP mall.

There are a lot of great cigars out there and there are a lot of crap. One thing to keep in mind is that a different brand name may not mean that much of a different cigar. Many brands are produced by the same parent company and rolled in the same factory by the same rollers. Major manufacturers include Altadis, General Cigar, Fuente/Newman, Davidoff, Padron, La Flor Dominicana, et.al. These manufacturers (Cuba aside) probably make up at least 80% of the handmade cigars readily available to Americans out there.

Cigar construction is divided up into 3 parts: filler, binder, and wrapper (plus a "cap", but that's made with the same leaf as the wrapper). It can take 20 years to become a "Master Roller". A would-have-been great cigar can be a bad experience if it's poorly rolled (too tight). The filler is a blend of various tobaccos to give the cigar it's core flavor character and nicotine presence. The binder is of similar leaf to the filler and it's purpose is to hold everything together. The wrapper is the most delicate leaf and lots of care is put into producing this leaf.

First you have to decide whether you like stronger cigars or mild cigars... or want to start mild, then move into stronger cigars. Here is a very generalized description of cigars according to strength:

Strong: medium colored (wrapper), may have an amount of dark tobacco in the filler (look in the "foot)... this may be strong ligero tobacco, often not very long (this is because ligero tobacco (strong) is a short leaf and they can fit more whole ligero leaves proportionally in a shorter cigar than they can in a longer cigar). A good example is Fuente's Chateau Sun Grown or a Joya de Nicaragua Machito.

Medium: medium to dark colored. Maduros are typically medium-bodied. Length is variable. Flavor varies from bland to chocolatey (maduros). A good example are most Punch or any of the standard line Padrons.

Mild: Usually light colored due to the connecticut shade wrapper. Flavors are smooth, creamy. Some smoke like air (Macanudo!). A good example is any Ashton (made by Fuente).

I love pretty much anything by Fuente. Start with them and you can't go wrong. They have many different brands and a whole range of mild to strong cigars. Try an 8-5-8 Natural... it's their flagship smoke, medium bodied, nice flavor. No one ever accused them of making a bad cigar (that I've ever heard). Plus I've met Carlito Fuente and he's a great guy with a deep passion about cigars... plus he gave me an unreleased Opus xXx Maduro out of his pocket.;)

Sorry for the long post... you've got lots of great info on here already (except for the Baccarat comment:eek:). Cigars are a passion of mine so I love talking about them... kind of like brewing.:)
 

kaiser423

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not sure what you mean... if you have a container inside the cooler with beads in it, you will be fine. it is good to have a few cedar boxes in the cooler... go to your local cigar shop, they normally sell spent boxes for a few dollars.
Yes, just buy some boxes from the store.

Having extra cedar and/or boxes just acts as a dampener to the shock of when you re-fill. If you're low, then the extra moisture in the boxes helps keep the right humidity. Like if you add a bunch of cigars, it helps keep up with hydrating them.

It also helps when you add a lot of water, the boxes absorb a lot of that, dampening the humidity shock if you over-hydrate. They're a good idea to have, but not absolutely necessary if you're careful about adding more cigars and water.

That said, you'll beat the hell out of your sticks if you keep them loose (or even in wrappers) in a humidor or cooler that holds more than 20 sticks. All that shuffling around without protection takes its toll. Boxes should only be a couple of bucks a pop, so do it!
 

williec30

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spanish cedar helps repel tobacco bugs and it is generally accepted that the aroma enhances a cigars aroma, so definitely a good thing to have wood boxes in the cooler if you go that way.
 
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dataz722

dataz722

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Don't apologize for the long post at all. Im more than happy to learn all that I can. I am in the process of reading through stogiefresh.com
 

flyangler18

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Maybe this is best for another thread, but I'd love to hear what people's current favorites are.

I've not enjoyed a cigar in several weeks, but CAO Criollo, especially the Mancha 5 5/8" x 46, is a perennial favorite with me.
 

menschmaschine

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spanish cedar helps repel tobacco bugs and it is generally accepted that the aroma enhances a cigars aroma, so definitely a good thing to have wood boxes in the cooler if you go that way.
Tobacco beetles start as microscopic eggs already present in the cigar. The easiest way to avoid having them hatch is to not let them get over 80°F. I don't think they mind the Spanish cedar too much. I've seen beetles hatch and wallow in Spanish cedar in >80°F temps.

When ordering cigars in the summer months, some cigar smokers will freeze the cigars to kill any potential beetles, then a day or two in the refrigerator to minimize wrapper-cracking potential (sudden temp change), then into the humidor.
 
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dataz722

dataz722

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Maybe this is best for another thread, but I'd love to hear what people's current favorites are.

I've not enjoyed a cigar in several weeks, but CAO Criollo, especially the Mancha 5 5/8" x 46, is a perennial favorite with me.
If noone else minds I wouldn't mind it just going on in here. Easier to keep track of. But for me and any other cigar newbs could you please add just a little description too. Just basiclly average price and mild, strong, etc. Nothing too detailed is necessary. It would probably be really over my head even if you did.
 

Aleforge

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Great thread! I enjoy a cigar now and then but honestly don't know jack about them. It would be nice to be enlightened by some of the experts on here!

I never knew about the "bugs" in them however... lol
 

kaiser423

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Tobacco beetles start as microscopic eggs already present in the cigar. The easiest way to avoid having them hatch is to not let them get over 80°F. I don't think they mind the Spanish cedar too much. I've seen beetles hatch and wallow in Spanish cedar in >80°F temps.

When ordering cigars in the summer months, some cigar smokers will freeze the cigars to kill any potential beetles, then a day or two in the refrigerator to minimize wrapper-cracking potential (sudden temp change), then into the humidor.
As have I had a beetle outbreak when my AC failed over a weekend I was gone. It was a Cuban that started the outreak! The cedar did not matter one bit. But the aroma is nice :D

This is true about freezing. Most all big distributors, and most all cigar manufacturers freeze their cigars at some point. Due to some fumigation and the freezing, the very very large majority of cigars can get up to 80%+ and not have an outbreak. But just one cigar with one surviving beetle egg is enough to destroy boxes.

After my outbreak, I froze everything for a couple of days and it worked.

Right now, I'm a Padron man: 3000's or 1964's/1926's.

Other current go-to cigars are Partagas Black, CAO Black (only CAO I like, personally; all their advertising grates on me), any from the Rocky Patel Edge line, and some Torano 1916's and other "years".
 
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dataz722

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I actually just picked up a few more today. I have a pretty big project that I need to get done tonight and its relativly nice out. I was looking forward to sitting out on my deck smoking a cigar, drinking a beer and banging my work out. I bring everything out there and walk back inside to get an ashtray and when I walk back out it starts raining. SON OF A BITCH!!!!! So now I am stuck in the basement on a stool that is killing my ass. On the bright side though the Leon Jimenes that I got is really nice. I just wish I had bought the churchill instead of the corona.
 

Marko73

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One of the best cigars I have had in recent years was the Cusano 18 Double Connecticut. It was very smooth and had a great mellow taste throughout the entire smoke.
 

menschmaschine

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I actually just picked up a few more today. I have a pretty big project that I need to get done tonight and its relativly nice out. I was looking forward to sitting out on my deck smoking a cigar, drinking a beer and banging my work out. I bring everything out there and walk back inside to get an ashtray and when I walk back out it starts raining. SON OF A BITCH!!!!! So now I am stuck in the basement on a stool that is killing my ass. On the bright side though the Leon Jimenes that I got is really nice. I just wish I had bought the churchill instead of the corona.
Sorry for the rain. We didn't get any down here. I'd brag about my smoking room in my house complete with mechanical ventilation, but you probably don't want to hear that right now.:D

Also, a few suggestions:

Be very careful about cigar store sales people's cigar recommendations. Sometimes and at some cigar shops, they either don't know what they're talking about (but sound like they do) or love new cigar smokers so they can unload some of their stuff that's not moving. Plus they're going to be biased to their own preferences, which you may or may not like.

Also, don't rely on Cigar Aficionado's ratings. It's certainly not bad to take a look at them and keep them in mind, but one of their biggest blunders is giving this cigar (Onyx Reserve Mini Belicoso) a 94 rating... trust me, the rating should have been barely in the 80s much less the 90s. That particular CA issue also ran full page adds for Onyx... hmmm.;)
 

Smogre

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JRs is a good site and they're running a nice deal on 5ers right now.
Check out Cigarweekly.com. It's very similar in personality to here and the folks are great.

Check out the trader section and sign up for a newbie sampler trade with the older timers. They'll send you a bloody fine assortment of smokes in exchange for something they already know they like.

Oh and yeah, I have some connies with about 8 years of age on them and they're smokin like a dream right now. :) Everyone laughs but I smoke the hell outta them now.
 
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dataz722

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The guy seemed to know what he was talking about but he could have also just been a good bull****ter and I would never know the difference. Here is what I got

Olivia Connecticut Churchill- $6.79
CAO Gold Corona $4.30
Leon Jimenes 300 Corona $6.49
Ashton Classic Corona $6.35
 

menschmaschine

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That's a pretty good selection. The Ashton would be my pick of the bunch. The CAO Golds are not bad, if you get one that's rolled well.

Thinner ring gauges are more difficult to roll. So, I'm selective with the less-expensive thinner ring gauge cigar. In a cigar rolling factory it generally works like this: The cost of the cigar is directly proportionate to the skill of the roller. Cheap cigars are rolled by "novices" and expensive cigars are rolled by master rollers. Did you ever see "Factory Seconds" or "Factory Over-runs"? There's really no such thing. They're actually "practice" cigars rolled by novice rollers with lower grade tobacco.

I love the Corona size. Not too big, not too small. The Fuente Opus X No. 4 is a corona. I picked 2 up at Holts in Philly last weekend... yummy.
 

menschmaschine

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This is worth a watch...
[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wgRVdYwLJG0]YouTube - PTG Studios Features Arturo Fuentes Cigars[/ame]
 

Aleforge

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So is the Cohiba a craptastic cigar? I have had a bunch of those along with the something labled "short story" , Punch and the above Fuentes.

And something with the word Acid in it not to long ago but I can't remember what exactly.

Ya you could say I am an expert.....:drunk:
 
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