Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Little Big Smoke

Rocky's 9th Annual "Little Big Smoke"
Charity Cigar event for MS
October 15th, 2009

Named the "Little Big Smoke" we set out to bring a "Big City" style event to cigar smokers in Upstate New York. The evening features about 20 cigar samples per attendee, dinner, wine, scotches, and microbrews. Each attendee is also eligible for door prizes donated by Rocky's and various suppliers. This year we are limiting the event to the first 200 attendees. Be sure to circle this date on your calendar. With your help we have made this event the most popular event for MS in central New York. Last year's event was sold out weeks in advance!

This year's event is scheduled for Thursday, October 15, 2009 and we are expecting another sell out.

* Thursday, October 15* 6:30-?
* Barbagallo's
* 6344 E Molloy RdEast Syracuse, NY 13057-1145(315) 437-7715

Ticket Information
MS Resources ofCNY is handling tickets and reservations.
Tickets are $130 per person or $145 at the door.
MS resources can be reached as follows:
. MS Resources of CNY. PO Box 237
. East Syracuse, NY. 13057
. ph. 315-438-4790

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

CAO Brazilia Cigar Review

CAO Brazilia
5 x 56
Wrapper: BrazilBinder: NicaraguaFiller: Nicaragua

Tonight I'm feeling good about my cigar review. I love maduros, I love big flavors and I'm lighting up a CAO Brazilia Gol. The exterior is very smooth, with the cap so finely cut it looks to be one with the cigar. Very nice aesthetically- the wrapper color is dark as pitch, leading me to wonder if this has been colored rather than naturally fermented- no worry though it's slow and easy from CAO, all naturally fermented.

I'm happily impressed that this cigar is as smooth as any I've smoked, and that's right from the outset. I'm pleasantly surprised that there is no bitterness from the torch lighter and it quickly rounded out to a nice full ember. It remains smooth and lacking bite but I must add it is not lacking taste- I consider this a full-bodied smoke. The burn continues even and cylindrical. The ash is typical, nothing to report other than its salt and pepper appearance.

When I really want to taste a cigar I use a smoker's technique to inhale through my mouth but exhale thru my nose, I find its one of the best ways to fully experience the power of a cigar. I immediately pick up a few characteristics in the smoke that weren't apparent before. Mainly I taste a cedary wood in the smoke, the smoke is very cool and not burning my nose. My next taste is a sweetness which adds to my enjoyment.
I'm at the half way point and can find nothing but pure cigar enjoyment here. The sweetness is more "caramely" that before. Hats off to the blender of this cigar, it tastes the same 2/3 smoked as it did at the beginning. I never had to relight this -as I often do smoking at work, and I have been rewarded with cool, tasty, cigar pleasure.

Pick this up for a very nice cigar.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

La Flor Domincana Double Ligero 452 Maduro

La Flor Domincana Double Ligero 452 Maduro 4 x 52 Wrapper, Filler, & Binder: Nicaraguan Here is another cigar that follows the current trend of short, powerful, cigars. This cigar like the Nub, is designed to provide the flavor, taste, and duration of a larger cigar, while shaped as what might be termed as a "robusto gordo", short and extra fat.

This cigar has a rough look to it, but not overly veigny, its a dark maduro wrapper in color, visually a nice start to this cigar. My experience says to anticipate a full- flavored tsunami in this short cigar , I shall see shortly. My ignition goes fine, well light, and the ash begins with a typical ligero look, grey and white speckles mixed into small waves of ash.

The first taste is just as Litto intended when blending with Ligero....full pedal to the metal flavor. The Double ligero is definitely adding an extra kick of taste on this cigar. By all means this is full bodied , but like a well made cigar it lacks harshness and bite.

This cigar is only 4 inches and I'm impressed with the way its rolled. I took several repeated hits off this and the smoke never heated up. The cigar was a cool as an 8 inch Double Corona, again in my view nicely constructed. The flavor actually improved as I got to the middle of this cigar, and it stayed lit although I was forced to retire it to the ashtray several times during my sampling. The ash held up nicely which is common in cigars of this style.

I'm taking this cigar to the nub, I might be looking for a toothpick to smoke this to an obscenely small nub because I'm an unabashed full flavor guy and this is the real deal. If you've got a taste for flavor and like being taken to the limit but don't have a lot of time....here's a fine choice of cigar.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Trinidad Habana Reserve Review

Trinidad Habana Reserve
Short Churchill
4 1/2 x 54

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Cubano
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Honduran and Nicaraguan

The benefits of a cigar store job is the ample supply of free cigars. It's not like I never have to purchase but the reps and the boss are quick to share samples. I must its easy to enjoy cigars when the boss is providing the smokes. Tough job but like they say someone's got to do it! Tonight's gratis smoke is the Trinidad Habana Reserve Short Churchill.

My initial impression begins with the name, Short Churchill. This is definitely one of those brands that takes liberties with the frontmarks. This is a Robusto, or a Rothschild at 4 1/2 x 54 and by any other name, but in the world of cigars sometimes the traditional name gets a tweak perhaps to get it to stand on a crowded humidor shelf. Regardless of a cigar's name it has to taste good, so on with the review.

The Short Churchill wrapper looks to be a medium brown shade, very few veins if any, and looks to be a high quality wrapper. The next delightful surprise is the pig tail cap. Each cigar in this line is finishes with a small twist of leaf that resembles a micro- sized pig tail. This is actually a traditional Cuban finish to a cigar and in my opinion is a refreshing feature on this cigar. The pig tail causes no change in my traditional guillotine cut, I just look for the shoulder of the cap and have a go at it, the pig tail and a nicely measured piece of the cap fall into my deep bowl ashtray.

My ignition goes nicely with a Xikar Torch lighter. A slight pepper taste meets me at the outset. The ash that develops is salt and pepper in appearance. This cigar has smoothed out nicely as I move from the first to the second inch. It has a woody flavor, perhaps some lingering influence from cedar aging, but it makes it taste unique. The ash sifts easily to my ashtray, light and airy, falling with ease with hardly a tap.

Each draw thru the second half of this cigar delivers a light sweet flavor, almost like caramel. This is an enjoyable taste, leaving no after taste, a very clean tasting cigar. The burn has been perfect all the way to the end. When I consider the unique qualities of this cigar, in both appearance and taste along with a very reasonable price I have to say this is one I'd pay for....

Monday, June 22, 2009

Nub Maduro

Wrapper: Brazilian Maduro
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan

This starts out visually as not your average Maduro.
This is a rich, dark chocolate color with a wrapper that is very smooth, not veiny. At ignition I taste a familiar pepper first taste. It changes with in the first inch to a smooth, full bodies smoke. This is full bodied but not so mush that you're reaching for a bottle of water, or taking a break from this 4 inch cigar. At its heart this is a beefy, smooth delightful cigar. Everything a Nub aims to be. The 60 ring combines with its length makes this smoke much more like a Toro than a robusto. I taste a bit of salt along with a touch of heated pepper as I near the end of this one.
The ash has held on all thru this cigar and as I out it down for that last time tonight, the ash gently falls to the bottom of my Sticky Ashtray.
I think I'm wanting more now that I see it expired...but my shift has wound down and paper lies ahead for me. Maybe tomorrow on the deck or while mowing the grass, that may be a great Nub moment.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Partagas Black Label Man Cave Sweepstakes!

Cigar smokers have to check out this cool promotion from Partagas. Partagas Cigar is running a sweepstakes giving away a $10,000 "cigar cave" to be built in one winner's house. Call it what you will, a "man cave", smoking room, its a free make over in the home of one lucky cigar smoker-why not you! To close the deal and get your entry selected you've got to impress the judges however. They'll want to read, or view your creative plea for your own "Man-Cave" and they will pick the one guy they feel is most deserving so get creative to make yourself stand out in a smoke filled crowd- pictures or video will help. For smokers in Central New York you can enter by purchasing a four-pack of Partagas Black Label cigars at Rocky's during our Partagas Black event Thursday 6/18 from 4pm-7pm or by visiting http://www.partagascigarcave.com./ If you're legal smoking age you're eligible to enter the contest.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Havanna Nights - Fundraiser

The Boys and Girls Club of Syracuse held a "Havana Nights" Fundraiser last night and Rocky's supported the event with a booth selling cigars. The event was held at the home of SU Assistant Basketball coach Bernie Fine and his wife Laurie. They kindly opened their home to hundreds of guests in support of the Boys and Girls Club. The night featured a fashion show, poolside bazaar, a Cuban band, salsa dancers, plenty of drinks and food and of course cigars. Rain was a threat all night but we told the crowd to smoke cigars it's a natural rain stopper!

The crowd of about 350 was ladies at a rate of about 4 to 1, which made selling cigars a bit tough ....until the free cocktails furnished by my cigar-mate and liquor rep Bob Fiore kicked in. Little by little the ladies broke down and had some fun smoking cigars. We stocked some smaller smokes like Acid C-notes just for this occasion, and the female smokers were eager to partake.

Mark " Buda" Cowlin, pictured, took care of cigar set up and sales and as always worked the crowd and had fun doing it. He brought me a Liga #9 from Drew Estate and I must say it really is a special smoke, more on that in another blog.
The guys who attended were enjoying our selections of Padron 1926, Mac Gold, Romeo, and Ashton VSG and we enjoyed brisk sales, but things got interesting later when some genuine cigar babes stopped by to cap their night. These gorgeous women selected a few sticks from Drew Estate and showed real skills in lighting their cigars. One girl said she had worked at Bistro 238 back in the day it was a Syracuse cigar bar...it showed, she really could handle a cigar torch.
Our night was winding down at this time and these girls were headed to the pool to dangle their toes in the deep end and enjoy their cigars....now that's an invitation that could have been trouble. But what is was for me was a nice finish to an excellent fundraiser as I headed home to wind down and call it a night.

This was Rocky's first hook up with the Boys and Girls Club, but we look forward to being involved again in the future.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Padron 3000

Padron 3000
5 1/2 x 52

The work cigar of the day is the Padron 3000 natty - fresh from the humidor display box. The 3000 is ever so slightly box pressed. By that I mean you can still tell its round, but when you roll it in your fingers it gives of just a hint of the four edges of a box press. Visually the corners are there, but again just slightly. Construction is perfect. Smooth from head to foot, typical in Padron appearance, slight veins, not too rough. Cap is perfect. A quick snip with the cutter, blast from the torch and I'm off and puffing. The taste of this cigar is a bit woodsy, with cedar notes. Aged well in the box I'd imagine imparting the nuances of the cedar packaging. I'm working, but if I could get to a deck, porch, or boat I'd be in heaven smoking this cigar, the woodsy taste just makes me think outdoors. I've yet to taste a Padron that wasn't an excellent smoke and I think this brand's reputation is well noted.

Reviewers before me have called this full-bodied, but I think by today's standards I would grade this as medium. I don't think I'm alone is the feeling that my tastes have become more demanding, and what was once full is now medium. The Padron Series 3000 and 2000 are a few of our best selling cigars in the humidor. As I reach the nub of this one it's no wonder why.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Rocky's Cigars "Back Deck" Cigar Social

Rocky's Cigars held the first Cigar Social of the fair weather season last night on the outdoor deck of Mohegan Manor in Baldwinsville, NY. The cool temps- May 11 and only in the mid-50s- did not deter 25 cigar smokers from lighting up a San Cristobal by Don Pepin Garcia, and sampling some excellent Single Malt Scotch. The "Scotch Babes" handled the tasting and I have to say the surprise of the evening was the Scapa single malt. I enjoyed the unique flavor of this scotch. It is made without a few common techniques found on most Single Malts. Namely the malted barley used in Scapa is completely un-peated. It lacks the smoky character often associated with Single Malts. Its very clean and refined with the subtle flavors of Malt shining through.

The first time smokers of the San Cristobals were impressed with the balance of Don Pepin's blend. Truly a work of a cigar master. Full-flavored without being overpowering. To me that is "cubanesque", showing off the nuances of the tobacco without any harsh, bossy punch. Our restaurant host, Dennis Sick, made sure the smokers had their fill of lite bites and snacks on the deck, and since the food on the menu is stellar he was rewarded with about 16 folks staying enjoying dinner and cocktails in the Blue Dining room. Since one success breeds another we will be holding another "Social" in June the date is TBA.

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Monday, May 11, 2009

Tabak Especial by Drew Estates

Toro Negra

Shape: TORO
Country of Origin: NICARAGUA
Length: 6 INCHES
Gauge: 52
Wrapper: MADURO
Flavor: COFFEE
Filler: LONG

The first thing you notice about a Tabak Especial is the nearly open end at the foot. The stick looks like it just came of the roller's bench. The unique foot doesn't look too out of place considering the odd packaging used by Drew estates. Each box offers up the cigars laid out in a bed of tobacco leaf shavings, or small bits. Its like a nest of tobacco and its a cool look. So as I mentioned the rough looking foot seems appropriate for this cigar. The second thing you notice is the hint of coffee in the tobacco. I don't know what it is but coffee in my view is a nice flavor for a cigar. The Java by RP comes to mind, tasty. This cigar is another tasty treat if you're looking for something a bit different... The lighting went better than expected. I was concerned the loose end would create a loose leaf burn but it quickly evened out. I'm impressed with the flavor of this cigar, and this time I'm referring to the tobacco flavor, it's just intense enough to not be considered mild. The coffee infusion does not overwhelm the total profile of this cigar. But the aroma is pleasant, like the aroma of coffee in your house when a pot is brewing first thing in the morning. I smoked this in the evening and enjoyed until the very end... but this would be an excellent morning cigar in my view.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Ashton #10 Maduro Review

Dave B.

Ashton #10 Maduro

Since I began my new career as a cigar reviewer, I must say my nights at work have become much more enjoyable on the slow evenings. Tonight I'm smoking an Ashton #10 Maduro to take me to closing time at Rocky's Cigars. It's a Sunday so it's a bit quieter than most nights and for now I'm at peace to enjoy my favorite wrapper, Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro. The wrapper is a bit veiny in my fingers. A close look reveals a few leaf veins running diagonally around the cigar, none so large as to be a nuisance, just a perfect example if the great maduro leaf. Visually a tasty start...my first taste after the light was excellent no bitterness as I sometimes notice for the initial torching. The ash develops a nice speckled gray/white pattern of color. I notice in the first inch the burn is a perfect circle, as you should expect from a cigar from a maker the quality of Ashton. After a bit of a rush in the store I had to relight my cigar as is often the case while I smoke on my shift. But no matter, the re-light was just as tasty as the first draw. I saw none of the sticky bitter juices gathering at the cut as in my experience can occur on a re-light relight. I finished this cigar enjoying a smooth flavor from foot to head. The maduro is from a gentle natural fermentation, the dark rich color is all tobacco no colorings added. I find the Ashton Classic to mild for my taste but this Maduro offers me the step up in flavor that I desire in a good smoke.


Oliva Series O Toro Review

Blogger Dave B.

Oliva Series O Toro
Wrapper: Sun-Grown Habano
Binder: Nicaraguan Habano
Filler: Nicaraguan Habano

Another cigar at work...tough job here at Rocky's Cigars....The night has slowed after store buzzed early as we held an in store Oliva Tasting...at 8:30 pm I snagged an "O" Toro form the display and now the enjoyment begins. I am an unabashed Oliva fan so the bias is in place. As always -well made, no noticeable blemishes or imperfections... Lit like any fine cigar would with a torch on the foot.... hot and glowing red/orange.

The first flavor was just a hint of pepper. Maybe a result of ignition? I wait for a change as I smoke it. Near the middle I am rewarded with a bit of a flavor change as I begin to get a touch of sweetness from the blend. I consider this a medium bodied smoke no where near as ful-blast as the V Series. I smoked as I wrote and had no problem with the cigar staying lit.


Wednesday, April 29, 2009

La Flor Dominicana 452 Maduro Review

Blogger Dave B.

La Flor Dominicana 452 Maduro4 x 52 Perfecto, nice shape, well made.

Oily Sheen like many deep, dark, La Flors, make sit look very tasty.

Light beautiful. Great even burn, cigar remained nicely soft in my fingers, tasted peppery. Ash did not hang quite long enough for my liking, but fell into the ashtray cutting back to the glowing embers in perfect fashion. I had to relight it once and that was no problem at all. If you enjoy full bodied smokes like I do, this is a must try. It's flavorful, but very smooth.

I would rate this as high as any cigar I've smoked...but I am a La Flor fan...so I am biased!

Oliva Connecticut Review

Blogger Dave B.

Oliva Connecticut Reserve
Ring Gauge: 50
Length: 5.00
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
MSRP: $4.50

Tasting notes: Smoked while working at Rocky's Cigars. Excellent aesthetics. Well made, Conn wrapper is perfect. Light easily.

Mild, smooth first taste.

Nice Aroma, first Third, ash very salt n pepper in appearance. Stayed lit even after put down to wait on customers. I had one relight and it went perfect, no change in taste. I'm an Oliva fan, so this one is going into my rotation, even though I'm a smoker of more full bodied cigars.