23 July 2009

CIGAR REVIEW: Avo Uvezian - Companero L.E.

This past weekend, along with my friend John Vanore (Certified Retail Tobacconist), I smoked the new AVO UVEZIAN - Companero, Limited Edition. It is made with Nicaraguan, Honduran, and Mexican fillers; double Costa Rican and Columbian binders; and a Nicaraguan Jalapa wrapper. The Toro vitola felt great in the hand and had a soft, oily, Colorado or slightly darker wrapper with a fantastic, sweet aroma which I spent several minutes enjoying. The firmness was just right, with no soft spots or visible flaws and a straight cut revealed an excellent draw. It lit easily and produced a thick blue / grey smoke and firm ash. It presented a very pleasant medium body, which began to develop slight strength and mild undertones as it reached the mid-way point. Once into the second half, it became more robust and got slightly stronger around the sides of the tongue. It maintained its medium body and excellent draw throughout, even as it developed into a mildly spicy finish.

Overall, the AVO Companero L.E. is a very pleasant, high quality cigar. I recommend it for relaxing alone or enhancing quality time with your mates. I look forward to smoking another one.

04 July 2009

B&M REVIEW: Support Your Local Premium Tobacconist

Ladies and Gentlemen, our rights as Americans to enjoy luxury tobacco products have long been under attack. The Declaration of Independence promises us the Unalienable Rights of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness, yet our government continues to assail us with regulation and punitive taxation. If you want to continue the legal enjoyment of luxury tobacco, one of the things you have to do is support your local Premium Retail Tobacconist.

Luxury tobacco is about the mature enjoyment of life according to your individual tastes and having the right to do so. By patronizing Premium Brick & Mortar (B&M) Tobacconists, you are casting a vote to preserve those rights. Note the word Premium is italicized. That is because I am not talking about a cigarette retailer, a "smoke shop" that sells sub-standard products, or a "hookah club" filled with teen-aged and twenty-something, hippie wanna-bees that are really just a front for drug distribution and use (we have several of those where I am at). Your premium retailers work very hard to educate themselves on literally thousands of products and to bring you some of the best. All this while under constant pressure from government regulation and taxation, smokerism, and groups of people who actually think they not only know better, but ARE better than us and therefore are going to make us live the way they see fit, and lets not forget about Internet cigar retailers either. Keep in mind though, there is nothing inherently wrong with providing a product to consumers at a lower cost, that's just competition in a free market economy. Buyer beware though, you can't touch or smell or examine in any way that cheaper cigar you buy over the Internet, and there is no one to ask questions of or advice from either. To combat this, your Premium B&Ms have to do much more than just provide us with a product for purchase. They have to provide a great deal of expertise in a tobacco-friendly and welcoming environment that fosters camaraderie and relaxation.

Anyone who knows me can tell you that I don't just Talk The Talk, I Walk The Walk, so I am taking this opportunity to support a Premium B&M, with more reviews to come in the future. One of the finest I have ever patronized is THE HUMIDOUR, located at 10721 York Road, Cockeysville (Baltimore County), Maryland 21030. THE HUMIDOUR is entirely family owned and operated which is evident in the way they treat their customers. The first time I walked in the door they treated me like I had been coming there for years. The smiles, jokes, and good-natured ribbing flow freely from the staff and the clientele think of it more as a social club than a retailer. There is a distinct sense of community within those walls and many new friends have been made there. They are well known and highly respected within the luxury tobacco industry, as evidenced by their outstanding selection of high-end and hard to find products. They provide a comfortable lounge for their customers which boasts several flat screen TVs, computers, free Wi-Fi, coffee, and snacks. They also offer lockers and even a private club on the second floor known as CLUB ASHTON, which is of course sponsored by ASHTON Cigars. Additionally, they host several cigar events each month with some of the top names in the business and also sponsor one of the biggest annual luxury tobacco events in the region, "SMOKE ON THE WATER", the proceeds of which go to local charities. THE HUMIDOUR is also one of the most pro-active B&Ms in the region, fighting hard against the oppressive taxation and legislation that is pervasive in Maryland.

If you find yourself in the area, I invite you to come in and enjoy what THE HUMIDOUR has to offer. In the mean time, be sure to patronize the Premium B&Ms in your area and be proactive in your support and defense of your dwindling rights to enjoy luxury tobacco.

10721 York Road
Cockeysville, Maryland 21030

02 July 2009


My fellow Americans, I wish you all a happy, healthy, and safe Independence Day.  The 4th of July isn't about cook-outs and long weekends; it's about a group of people who had the courage and wisdom to put their petty personal differences and interests aside and stand together for what was right at the risk of their very lives.  It's about a group of people who stood together and said, We Are Americans!  
Because of their courage and sacrifice, we get to enjoy our cook-outs and time with friends and family.  Unfortunately our society and our government has strayed from the morals and principals of the Founding Fathers.  This holiday weekend I ask you to exercise your right to enjoy a great cigar and an adult beverage of your choice and take a few moments to reflect on the true meaning of being an American.  I know I will.