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 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 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.

Sign up for our email to be sure not to miss any events.

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 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 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.