Monday, March 26, 2012

Carlos Toraño Virtuoso

A couple photos from the Alec Bradley cigar event on Friday night.

Don Hanes/Alec Bradley Cigars 

Don Hanes and Murad/Owner Tobacco Patch

Event went well - good turn out. I bought a handful of Prensado and Tempus cigars, got a couple AB T-shirts, and of course a few free cigars as well. They had a little raffle at the end of the event for those that had bought stuff, as usual I didn't win anything, but one of the guys that did was kind enough to share the love and handed out a bunch of cigars to everyone. Nice...

Which brings me to this week's review...

I bought this cigar down at the Patch a few weeks back, kind of curious how it would compare to some of my favorite Toraños.

Carlos Toraño Virtuoso Maestro 
Churchill 7.0" x 50

Smoked this on Sunday afternoon down at the Kirkland marina. My lovely bride and I have found the perfect bench down at the end of the dock, it's basically behind that big blue metal wall where they park the Argosy - blocks the wind perfectly!

Anyway, when I bought this cigar I thought it looked pretty good in the store, although seeing it today in the daylight I noticed that it has a big-ass vein running down the entire length of the back of it. JEEZ...

So what did I think? Meh... It was OK. I've got to tell you though that I also smoked a Vault and a Masters over the weekend, so I had a couple very good  Toraño cigars to compare it to. Had I not smoked those two cigars I probably would have rated it higher. One little issue was the draw, had to really puff on the sucker to get the amount of smoke that I like, luckily it did eventually open up, but still didn't produce the billows of creamy smoke that I was looking for.

Taste was good, not great, medium to full-bodied. Smooth, not creamy, and not the rich taste that both the Vault and Masters display.

Would I buy one again? Probably not, sorry. Too many other Toraños that are far superior. That's just my opinion though.

Oh well... 

Side notes: 
Kirkland #1 Chris - Sorry I missed you guys Friday night. I couldn't hang around any longer - 2 cigars is basically my limit. Definitely should have dressed warmer - froze my butt off, along with everyone else I guess. . Hope you found a nice place to eat? 

Nathan - nice meeting you finally! You do indeed know your cigars my friend. We'll have to get together again soon. (neighbor)

Cigar get-together coming up at my place - I'll keep you posted on the date. 

Review of Liga Privada Undercrown by RC

The Undercown has quickly become one of my favorite smokes. In fact it is the only cigar I have bought multiple boxes of.

Many people are familiar with Liga Privada’s T-52 and No 9 smokes. Both are great sticks themselves. The story behind the Undercrown is that Drew Estates’s rollers were smoking too many of the No 9s and T-52’s and were asked by the company to stop. So, they began blending their own smokes, the Undercrown. The result was a cigar with many of the characteristics of the other Liga cigars, but with its own distinct flavors. There are a few different sizes in the Undercrown line, my favorite being the robusto.

Cigar: Undercrown
Size: 5 x 50 (Robusto)
Wrapper: San Andreas Otapan Negro Último Corte
Binder: T52 Connecticut River Valley Stalk Cut & Cured Habano
Filler: Select Brazilian Mata Fina and Nicaraguan Cuban Seed
Strength: Medium-Full

The price is between $6.50 – $7.50 for the robusto size

The Undercrown is a medium to medium full bodied cigar. It has a nice dark wrapper with a nice weight in the hand. The band has the Liga Privada lion with a crown underneath. With a plethora of gaudy bands on the market today, this is one of the classiest I’ve seen lately. The construction of the cigar is great for a smoke in this price range.

After lighting up the cigar you get strong cedars and earth notes, with a little bit of spice. As the cigar progresses the spices subside and you get a light sweetness with cocoa and coffee notes. The cocoa and coffee notes continue throughout the rest of the smoke.

The ash on the Undercrown is very white and this cigar puts off an amazing amount of smoke. The smoke from the Undercrown has its own distinct cedar notes. The draw is almost perfect. It is easy with just a hint of resistance. The burn line on the cigar is also almost perfect. I rarely have to touch up these cigars.

In my opinion this is great smoke for the money. It is a medium bodied cigar with a full body taste. Its construction, and taste profile is similar (and in many respects better) to cigars that cost considerably more. If you haven’t tried one yet I would highly recommend one.

Review by: Ryan

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Lit Cigar Lounge Newsletter, March 19, 2012

Upcoming Events at Lit

Thanks to everyone who came out for our Black Raven and La Flor Dominicana Event. We had a blast!

Here's what's coming up on the horizon:
On Tuesday, March 27 from 6-9 p.m. we'll be featuring Collingwood Canadian Whiskey and Oliva cigars. We'll be joined by Russ Graham from Oliva as well as our old pal Jon Stave from Collingwood, who will be giving away a beautiful Collingwood Humidor.

We have a fun twist planned for this event!

In addition to great deals on Oliva cigars, including the Serie V, Cain and Nub lines, we'll have a Nub long ash contest. The person who can hold the longest ash on their Nub cigar will win a special prize from Oliva.

The Nub is packed with tobacco and makes for some great long ash opportunities. Complete the Nub ash stand (pictured) to win another great prize!

Terra Vista Whiskey Dinner

We have a fantastic whiskey dinner coming to Terra Vista that we would love for all of our Lit customers to know about.

We'll be holding this great event on two dates: Wednesday, April 18 and Wednesday, April 25. Both dinners begin at 7 p.m.

We're featuring some great whiskeys, including our new Snoqualmie Casino Reserve XII and the 2011 Woodford Reserve Master's Collection Rye.

The Snoqualmie Casino Reserve XII is blended by a group of us from F&B here at the casino, including yours truly. For more info, check out

The Woodford Reserve Master's Collection 2011 Rye Whiskey is an extremely limited release that we've been saving for just the occasion. It comes in two separate 375ml bottles - one aged in a new cask and the other aged in a used cask. Read more about it.

We'll be serving these whiskeys along with a refreshing whiskey cocktail paired with a three course whiskey themed RR Ranch Top Sirloin steak dinner. At $110.00 (gratuity included), space will fill up fast!

Make your reservations today by calling Terra Vista at 425.888.8270.

Happy Smoking!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Gran Habano Corojo #5

I had a nasty cold over the weekend and missed out on all the St.Patty's Day festivities - would have loved to have made it down to the Wilde Rover (Irish) Pub - it must have been super crazy, especially since St.Patty's day just happened to fall on a Saturday. Sheesh!

Anyhow, even with this nasty-ass cold, I still was able to get a cigar in this weekend - my weekend wouldn't be complete without one!

Gran Habano Corojo #5
Pyramid (6 1/8" x 52)

So what did I think? Overall, I liked it. Had a great draw, pretty good burn and a sufficient amount of smoke on each puff. Medium-bodied, definitely not mild. The start and finish were a little rough, but everything in between tasted great.

I paired it with a glass a bourbon. Heck, doesn't everyone drink whiskey when they have a cold?

Would I buy one again? Yeah, I probably would. These are somewhat inexpensive and I did like the taste and draw. Too bad they don't come in a box-pressed version...

Side Notes: Just a reminder about the Alec Bradley Cigar Event this Friday down at the Tobacco Patch from 6 PM to 9 PM. I'm looking forward to it and hopefully it'll stop raining by then...

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Rain City Cigar Event March 23, 2012

Friday, March 23, 2012
3-6 pm


Romeo y Julieta
Reserva Real Cigars

YAY! We've survived another Northwest winter and we're moving forward to Spring. That means goodbye to gray, cold & wet and hello to blue skies and warmer weather. That also means that it's time for us to kick off our event season! We're starting things off with an event featuring a tried & true, top selling brand,

Romeo y Julieta Reserva Real

For this event our good friend Steve Martin of Altadis will be here to discuss all things Romeo y Julieta Reserva Real and he will have a couple of deals on the table for you.

The Romeo y Julieta Reserva Real Box Deal
Buy any full box of Romeo y Julieta Reserva Real and Steve will give you five more Reserva Real cigars free + a Reserva Real ball-cap. And, when you buy a box as an added bonus you will be eligible to win an iPad.

The Romeo y Julieta Reserva Real Stick Deal
Buy any three Romeo y Julieta Reserva Real cigars and Steve will give you another one free.

We will of course have our Rain City Cigar event day discounts in place on Reserva Real and all other Altadis products as well!

  • 5% Off Each Cigar
  • 10% Off 5+ Cigars
  • 15% Off Full Boxes Mixed Boxes Of Twenty Or More

Montecristo, Don Diego, Romeo y Julieta, Saint Luis Rey Serie G, Gispert, Onyx Reserve, Frank Llaneza, Trinidad, Primo del Rey, Por Larranaga, Royal Jamaica Gold, H. Upmann, Juan Lopez, Las Cabrillas, Omar Ortez Originals, A. Turrent Triple Play, Vega Fina, SIGLO Limited Reserve, Jose Seijas & Mi Dominicana, Warlock

We hope that you and your friends will join us for this event at Rain city Cigar. In the event that Spring does not fully cooperate or Summer arrives really early, we will have the Rain City Cigar "25 Foot Cigar Lounge" open so that you can enjoy your Romeo y Julieta Reserva Real cigars in comfort.

Can't make it Friday? Not to worry, we've got your back!
Rain City discounts & bonus product extend through Saturday!
(While supply lasts)

Event Staff
Rain City Cigar
5963 Corson Avenue South, Seattle, WA 98108

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Gurkha G5 Avenger Torpedo

This may sound strange, but in all my years of smoking cigars I've never smoked a Gurkha, until now that is. Honestly, I thought I was buying a Graycliff, maybe the big brother to the G2. Heck, when you're in a cigar shop looking at thousands of cigars, they all start to look good at some point. Anyway, this one caught my eye and I bought it.

Light drizzle on Friday night, or was that a heavy mist? Yeah, we've got a bunch of different terms for rain. Basically we're the exact opposite of Southern California where they have just as many ways to describe clear beautiful sunny skies. BTW, on average there are 226 days of cloudy skies in Seattle. Say what!?

Anyway, life doesn't stop for crappy weather, so on Friday night we went out to dinner to a somewhat new place in south Kirkland: Big Fish Restaurant, next to SR-520. I've driven by this place numerous times and always threatened to eat here, but never got around to it or just forgot that it was down this way. Well, Friday night I remembered, actually dinner was between this place and another seafood joint, but Big Fish won out since it was closer. Turned out to be the right choice - great service, nice ambiance, delicious food, and the bill didn't break the bank. Definitely be coming back here!

Anyhow, my lovely wife and I decided to have an "after-dinner cigar" back at the house since there was no way that we were going to stand out in the rain over at the Patch, or even at the VIP seating by Starbucks, way too nasty out.

BTW, do you smoke cigars inside your place? We don't, but on rare occasions like tonight we'll do kind of a half-way thingy where we smoke next to the sliding door that opens to the outside deck - we don't freeze our butts off and the house doesn't smell of cigar smoke the next day. Well, sort of...

So what did I think of the Gurkha G5? Great looking cigar, however the wrapper had a very slight scent of ammonia - somewhat hard to detect at the cigar shop, especially since it's wrapped in cellophane.

I thought that the burned was fine, the draw was good, and it produced plenty of thick smoke. Taste was medium to full-bodied, but more on the full-bodied side. I've mentioned this before, I like a cigar with just the hint of sweetness to it, so this variety didn't really WOW me. Compared to some of my favorite cigars, this was kind of dull. That's just my opinion though. It's not a cigar that I would turn down, but not one that I would buy again. That probably says it best.

For the record I paired this with a glass of Bulleit bourbon, but I think a cup of dark rich coffee would have been a better choice.

Side note: I stopped by the Tobacco Patch earlier in the week and found out that they are having an Alec Bradly Event on Friday, March 23rd. Don Hanes with Alec Bradley Cigars will be there from 6 PM to 9 PM.

Rain or shine I'll most likely be there!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Rocky (RP) Patel Fifty

Too crappy to hang around K-land on Friday night, so of course we drove up to the casino to do a little gambling and enjoy a fine cigar in the Lit Lounge. Strangely enough I won a little money at the craps table, so it turned out to be a good night to splurge.

Rocky Patel Fifty

If you've never tried one of these beautiful cigars, I highly recommend that you make this one of your next smokes. They're not cheap, but in my opinion they're worth every penny. It is an excellent cigar! Something about a box-pressed cigar that has always appealed to me, just feels right in my hand, unique. As an added bonus I paired it with a glass of Snoqualmie Reserve XII bourbon on the rocks. (one of my new favorite bourbons and I've been told that you can buy it at the Snoqualmie Tobacco Store out by the main highway)

Anyhow, this is a medium to full-bodied cigar, probably more towards the full-bodied side, but not overpowering in anyway. Rich taste, nice amount of smoke, and smooth as hell. I loved it! (feel free to buy me a box)

One of these days, you, my fellow cigar-connoisseur, will have to teach me how recognize the nuances of a fine cigar, how to pick out the subtle hints of cocoa or coffee, fruity or leathery, cedar or oak, any of these characteristics I'd love to be able to discern and tell you that I did indeed notice them. Until then, I guess I'm just an aficionado who loves cigars.

Anyway, I was really surprised with this Rocky Patel 50 and I think you will be too. Very, very nice smoke!

OK, so I ordered a few cigars from Jungle Smokes a while back, I think I saw them mentioned on a blog someplace. Anyway, after a couple shipping mishaps the cigars finally arrived at my place.

Holy Crap, and I do mean CRAP, they weren't kidding when they said these come from the jungles of Honduras. Heck, I think they should call them Tribal cigars. Honestly I can't say that I've ever seen a worse looking cigar. I mean no disrespect to the Indians that must have rolled these, but JEEZUS! They were bad.

So how did they smoke? You're kidding, right? They smoked just as good as they looked, that's all I can say.

Side note: Made it down to the Patch on Saturday night. I didn't think it was all that cold, but my lovely wife said that she froze her butt off. Luckily I brought along a quick Robusto.

It was good to chat with the gang again. Can hardly wait for the weather to improve!