Tuesday, April 30, 2013

A Fuente Gran Reserva

We were up at the Snoqualmie Casino on Saturday night - crappy weather is the perfect excuse to head up the mountain, plus we haven't been up there in a while. We stopped at McCormick and Schmick's Seafood restaurant at Lincoln Square first though for dinner - great Happy Hour! 

Anyway, back to the casino - you know, out of all the different ways you can lose money here, my favorite way is Craps. I haven't learned all the nuances of the game yet, but I know enough to win more often than I lose. Tonight was another winning night - doubled my money! (Some guy kept rolling 6's! Couldn't believe it...)

OK, off to the Lit Lounge. 

A few of my fellow Kirkland Aficionados were already there and offered for us to join them. Surprising that we found two available chairs to drag over to the table - usually you can't find any on a Friday or Saturday night. Anyway, I ordered a bourbon (Knob creek), and grabbed a J Fuego 2012 out of the humidor. This is the same cigar that I smoked last weekend and I can't say enough good things about it - Fantastic cigar! 

So while we were sitting there with the gang enjoying a fine cigar, my friend Josh (El Jefe) stopped by to chat with us. He handed me a cigar and told me to try it and tell him what I thought? He said that it was a limited run cigar, at least I think he said that? Sheesh, I'm getting old... 

This leads me to today's review: 

A Fuente Gran Reserva

I smoked the cigar on Sunday night after a big dinner.

When Josh gave me this cigar, I asked him how he would rate it on a scale of 1 to 10? He said he didn't want to influence my opinion, he just said to "try it and tell me what you think..."

So what did I think? 
Typical Fuentes taste. I'd have to give it my standard: "Meh, not bad."

Honestly, it does have a nice label and the red ribbon at the foot is a nice touch, but the wrapper, in my opinion, doesn't look appealing - this one appears to be dry and delicate, like it might unravel.

The draw was acceptable, maybe a hair on the tight side - I would have liked a bigger plume of smoke. Burn was uneven - that might have been because my lovely wifey-poo and I were both smoking it; smoked it a little faster than normal.

On the plus side, it's a pretty smooth medium bodied cigar. My better-half seemed to like it more than I did, which is kind of unusual since she generally smokes sweeter cigars, like Java's.

I think if you're a big Fuentes fan, this cigar is probably right up your alley. Personally, I'd take an Oliva or Toraño, but then again, that's just my preference.

Would I buy one again? Well, this was given to me, but I'd have to say "no, sorry".

Josh, I bet you already knew what my opinion was going to be, didn't you? You're a good guy - thanks for the cigar my friend!


Monday, April 29, 2013

Lit Newsletter 4/29/13 Alec Bradley event Tomorrow Night

Monday, April 29, 2013

Upcoming Events at Lit

We hope to see all of you tomorrow night, April 30 from 6-9pm in Lit as we feature Courvoisier cognac and celebrate the launch of Alec Bradley's newest cigar, Nica Puro.

We'll be joined by Don Hanes of Alec Bradley and David Kearns of Courvoisier, who will both have some great deals on their fantastic products. As always, prizes, specials and lots of fun!

Mark your calendar for these upcoming events:

On Saturday, May 11 from 3-6pm, we'll be visited by Clay Roberts of AJ Fernandez cigars as we feature the incredibly popular San Lotano line of cigars as well as Ron Zacapa rum. Our last event with Clay was a fantastic time and we sold every last cigar!

On Friday, May 17 from 6-9pm, we'll be visited by John Watson from Toraño Family Cigars. John will be telling us all about the great cigars from Toraño, including news of the return of Nub cigar creator Sam Leccia, who is returning to the industry with a brand new cigar.

Cinco de Mayo

For the first week of May, we'll be celebrating Cinco de Mayo with a special cocktail menu featuring three drinks perfectly concocted for this time of year.

We urge you to try one or all of these delicious drinks on your next visit!

You'll have to see these great drinks in person, but to tease your tastebuds, some of the ingredients we're using are fresh squeezed citrus, jalapeño peppers and of course, plenty of premium spirits!

Happy Smoking!

Lit Cigar Lounge/Snoqualmie Casino
37500 SE North Bend Way
Snoqualmie, WA 98065

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

J&J Cigars Newsletter & EVENT INVITATION: April 24, 2013

Dear Friends,


On May 7th, we have the privilege of presenting the Regius of London brand to Washington State. The cigar has gathered rave reviews around the world since it hit the European market in 2009. Akhil Kapacee, a finance professional in England, launched the brand after falling in love with cigars. He moved to Nicaragua soon thereafter and began blending the Regius Black Label with Nestor Plasenscia. The Black Label, a Nicaraguan puro, is the only non-Cuban cigar sold at Davidoff of London and impresses even the most demanding lovers of Cuban cigars.

Join us on May 7th at 5pm-9pm to meet Ahkil and to discover this revolutionary cigar for yourself.

Event Details:
  • Buy three, get one
  • Buy six, get two
  • Buy a box of 20 or more, get 5 and a special gift
Adult beverages will be served

 Please call (206) 724-0111 with questions about this event or Regius Cigars


As we leave winter behind and opportunities for cigar enjoyment become increasingly numerous, J&Js inventory is continually growing. In the last few months, we have seen lots of new stock hit the shelves. Here are some highlights:

'Rapture' by Viva Republica: These beautiful cigars are rolled at the Aurora factory in the Dominican Republic. Their sugary barnyard and graham cracker flavor and aroma are distinctive and very pleasing. We have multiple sizes in stock.
'HL' (Holy Lance) Candela by Illusione: This unusual and rare cigar smokes with notes of white pepper and the crisp sweetness of fresh cut grass, distinctively aromatic and candy-like. On the very tail of the sugary bouquet, there is something elusive and unusual that reminds me of the piercing tang of a very hoppy lager. It is uniquely herbal herbal and presents an earthiness that is more like wet stones in the sun than the dark, chocolate qualities we detect in cigars with traditionally cured wrappers. This cigar is very worth trying and will certainly expand your horizons.
'Epernay' by Illusione: Here is another fantastic offering from Illusione. This cigar is of uncommon refinement and quality. Strong notes of roasted nuts, leather, and sweet tobacco are presented both in its aroma and flavor. Although this cigar is very tame in many respects, it definitely commands the attention of the smoker and offers a quality smoking experience that has earned it a loyal following among J&J clientele.
'Noella' and 'Regio' Reserva by Tatuaje: Tatuaje has been famously successful at creating cigars that are met with instant acclaim as they hit the market. Over the years, Pete Johnson has created some amazing cigars for a wide variety of palates and other preferences. There are a few that stand out as being his very best. These two from the 2013 Reserva line are definitely strong contenders. The Noella, in particular, is spectacular. The draw is flawless and the head bellows heavy satin sheets of intoxicating cocoa and buttery vanilla ice cream smoke. The foot only gently leaks any of this goodness thanks to its perfect burn.
'Don Carlos' by Arturo Fuente: This line, and its siblings such as the Hemingway and Short Story, are arguably the best cameroon cigars in production today. No one has mastered the cameroon wrapper like Arturo Fuente and these cigars are proof of that. Each presents the sweet, herbal and coffee notes of the cameroon wrapper with wonderful accuracy and balance. They are light but very flavorful cigars.
'Anniversario' 1964 and 1926 by Padron: These famous cigars are probably not news to you, but they remain among the top rated cigars in the world for good reason. Padron cigars smoke with distinctively rich coffee and chocolate notes, draw and burn with famous ease and control, and present brilliant white ash. The tobacco is well aged, geniously blended, and perfectly rolled. This is one of the most constantly excellent cigars ever made and it goes really very well with a cup of coffee.

'L'Atelier' 46 by Tatuaje: Unlike the other two sizes of this blend from Pete Johnson, the 46 is full of earthy, chocolaty goodness. It smokes with a much more full bodied nature, delivery heavy hits of dark chocolate, leather, and roasted almonds. This line is truly ground breaking and deserves more attention.

'Domus Magnus Centuriones' by Casa Magna: This cigar is spicy, intensely flavorful, and powerful, but shockingly smooth and refined. I honestly have to say there are few cigars that manage to pack so much punch so softly. The very silky, oily wrapper has a reddish hue that by itself is enticing. Many cigars share flavor and aroma characteristics with others. This cigar tends to stand almost alone and presents the smoker with a very enlightening experience.

'Rothchildes' by Illusione: This medium bodied cigar sports a San Andreas maduro wrapper and brings some awesome flavor and aroma to the market at a very affordable price. I detect cocoa powder and roasted almonds on the tongue, and a rich coffee nose. The draw and burn are great.
'Dominant 13th' by Avo: This is the 2013 limited edition cigar from Avo Uvezian. Naturally, the box contains 13 cigars. This is a powerful, strongly aromatic, tasty cigar and is as well balanced as we expect from Avo Uvezian. This cigar is profoundly rich and it packs a serious headiness. As one might expect it smokes like a top-end cigar.
Hope to see you soon!
John Ohm
Owner, J&J Cigars
Cigar Happy Hour - Tuesdays At J&J Cigars!

Every Tuesday from 3:00 until 6:00, J&J Cigars is hosting Seattle's First "Cigar Happy Hour"!

The 1st cigar you purchase from our featured list each Tuesday during Cigar Happy Hour is 50% off!!  This is a great opportunity to try some fantastic new cigars at an incredible price!

So come down and join us every Tuesday this month from 3:00pm until 6:00pm and your 1st featured cigar on the Happy Hour menu for that day is 50% off!!
About J&J Cigars
John Ohm of J&J Cigars has always catered to the needs of the discriminating cigar enthusiast.  Specializing in hard-to-find premium boutique cigar brands, you will find the walk-in humidor of J&J Cigars replete with the finest selection in Seattle.  

Not sure what cigars to try?  Ask John or one of his friendly and knowledgeable Tobacconists for a recommendation and they will be more than happy to help you choose something for your enjoyment.

In need of cigars for Corporate events, Wedding parties, or general Get-togethers?  John Ohm and his staff will be glad to assemble cigar packages custom tailored to your specific needs!

Be sure to stop by or call for the best selection in Seattle, whether fine hand-crafted cigars, premium lighters, handmade briar smoking pipes, or all your humidification needs, J&J Cigars is here for you. 

J&J Cigars - SODO
3207 1st Avenue S.
Seattle, WA 98134
(206) 724-0111

Mon - Fri:    11:00am - 8:00pm
Saturday:     1:00pm - 8:00pm
Sunday:                       Closed

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Lit Newsletter 4/23/13 Alec Bradley Nica Puro Launch Party

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Upcoming Events at Lit

Join us on Tuesday, April 30 from 6-9pm for a great event in Lit as we launch a fantastic new line of cigars from Alec Bradley.

Nica Puro, like its name implies, is a Nicaraguan Puro, that is to say all of the tobacco for this cigar is grown in Nicaragua. It's a little fuller and spicier than anything we've smoked from them thus far. Here's a blog review for your reading pleasure.

We'll be joined by Don Hanes from Alec Bradley, who will bring his bag of goodies, including prize drawings and gifts with purchase.

We'll also be joined by David Kearns from Courvoisier as we feature three expressions of their fine cognac, including the new and deliciously full bodied C by Courvoisier. We'll have special cocktails and a Courvoisier Flight available as well! See you there!

New In Our Humidor

It's been a while since we did a rundown of what's new in our humidor. If you haven't been up to Lit in a while, here's what to try on your next visit!

~ Oliva V Melanio - This was Cigar Snob's #1 Cigar of the Year for last year. We apologize for the delay in getting this in, but the Melanio is finally here! Check out this glowing review from halfwheel.

~ Rio Cigars - Rio Cigars are made in Miami's Little Havana and feature a dark rich San Andres Maduro wrapper over strong Nicaraguan filler tobaccos. It's a relatively unknown brand, but we thought it'd be nice to feature them at Lit, since the owner of the company is one of our regular customers. If you like full bodied cigars, give them a try!

~ Tatuaje Reserva Noellas & Regios - These are extremely rare Broadleaf wrapped versions of the original brown label Tatuaje line made in Miami. Pete Johnson has re-released them for his company's 10th anniversary and they're getting gobbled up quickly by all you Tat lovers. Enjoy while supplies last!

~ CAO Brazilia Carnivale - The Carnivale is a limited edition box pressed 6x60 version of the popular Brazilia line, beefed up with 3 ligero leaves from 3 different countries. The initial feedback from this cigar has been great.

Happy Smoking!

Lit Cigar Lounge/Snoqualmie Casino  
37500 SE North Bend Way 
Snoqualmie, WA  98065

Monday, April 22, 2013

J. Fuego Edición de Familia

Size: 6 1/2 x 54 Toro
Binder/Filler: Nicaraguan/Honduran
Wrapper: Ecuadorian

You already know that I'm a big fan of J. Fuego cigars, but I've got to tell you that this cigar has got to be without a doubt one of the best cigars I've smoked all year! I knew it from the very first puff. You ever see these on the shelf at your local B&M - BUY 'EM!


Side Note:
Just a heads up: Lit is the only retailer in the state of Washington that has the Edicion de Familia. Only 750 signed and numbered boxes of 10 were produced in 3 sizes: Robusto, Toro, and Belicoso. Also, Jesus will be drawing a number between 1-750 and anyone who has an Edicion de Familia box with the matching number will win a 3 Day Fishing Trip on his boat this summer in the Florida Keys. He'll be picking the winner on May 14th, so you still have time to get a box. We have about 7 left. Check his Facebook for details.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Casa Magna & Toraño (black) Maduro


The good, and the “Meh”

The day starts as a promising Saturday afternoon, the house and patio to myself, no kids, no wife, and a friend to share in a smoke.
What could be better, and what could go wrong; well, both happened.

CASA MAGNA – Colorado Churchill

For being a cigar that I had never heard of (that’s no uncommon though), and a label that was unimpressive, this hefty looking smoke was a rather mild and impressive creature.
This was to start my day, an unknown, mystery, open adventure opportunity with a classic name to smoke following just in case.
Happily enough, the weather was cooperating, a sunny afternoon on the patio with some Irish whiskey and the Magna.
I know I’m not the first to review a CasaMagna, as John just did one not a month ago.
This Nicaraguan made Colorado wrapped Churchill blended with the weather, the whiskey, and company perfectly.
Aged about 9 months in my tuperador.

A strong looking cigar, big ring gauge, but oddly light and delicate feel. The wrapper started to split near the foot, but I attribute that to the radical temp and humidity change from my tuperador to the patio.
The binder was not too firm and kept its construction throughout the smoke.
Rating on a scale 1-3, this yields a 2.5

As more medium-bodied and non-earthy cigars are my preference, this one hit home.  The first ½ inch was a little rough, but since I had to use a “bbq stick lighter”, I’ll ignore that all together.
Once things got rolling, the flavor smoothed out quite nicely and continued for about half of the cigar. Not until the last 1/3rd did the flavor change again; this time notably stronger.  The overtones were hard cedar and other earthy notes during the light that mellowed to a nutty medium body flavor.  The later third got stronger as expected, and I could have easily continued, but decided to trade-up (or so I thought) to another stick.
Rating on a scale of 1-3, this yields a 2.5

The draw was excellent!  There was enough flow to enjoy full flavor without too much effort, and the amount of smoke was amazing; whitish-blueish in color and filled the air. This piece tells everyone around that you have a wicked cigar.  Burn remained relatively even without requiring a relight (except for when the rain came in and spoiled patio-time requiring relocation to the garage). It did lose its ash after about an inch or so; don’t expect to hold onto it forever… but this doesn't affect taste or performance.
This cigar drew nicely, smoked heavily, and had an even consistent burn without any signs of being finicky, even on a damp rainy afternoon.
Rating on a scale of 1-3, this yields a 3 for consistency and awesome smoke production.

Overall score for me; it gets an 89%, and a spot in my favorite go-to smokes.

Would I buy more of these:
Absolutely. I forget what I paid, and I’m sure you can look it up online (estimates are about $7).  It made #24 for cigar of the year 2010 by  Could it be better, yes. Did it perform exactly as expected or better, yes but then you’re paying 2 to 3 times as much.
For the price, this siglo is a “must have” in your humidor, and a perfect any-occasion smoke to impress others with your “smoke”.

Toraño Maduro – black label, robust

I have seriously enjoyed the Toraño line to-date.  However, this one had me questioning the reason for such an oddball in the mix; or perhaps I don’t know Toraño as well as I think.
As I mentioned before, the afternoon had taken a weather turn for the worse, and we’re now sitting in the garage avoiding the rain on what was a sunny afternoon.  I am now lighting up this Toraño after having smoked over 2/3rd of that wonderful Casa Magna.  And the downward spiral continues.
Despite being aged for about 4 months, it didn't meet my anticipations.

As with most Toraño’s it is a very fine looking cigar, neatly wrapped in a medium dark maduro wrapper with a pretty dark black label to perpetuate the theme.
The size of this robusto almost looked like a box press (either due to storage causing it, or expansion from not keeping it square).
Aside from this, the construction quality seemed well, but a strong and very firm feel.
Rating on a scale of 1-3, this yields a 2.75

As with all pretty things, there’s always a catch… For this Toraño maduro, the surprise factor results in the flavor; a very strong earthy and dark flavor for a maduro.  I anticipated a sweeter smoke.
Not that this cigar was bad, just that my anticipations were way off, and it does not match my flavor palette.  It started strong and stayed strong, with bitter undertones.  If you like IPA’s or ESB’s, you might consider this as your cigar.
Rating on scale of 1-3, my opinion is a weak 1.75

Draw from this stick was very tight and required a lot of maintenance to keep a good strong burn.  The amount of taste to transfer was minimal compared to the amount of effort required.
The puff-pouf-draw method should be employed on every toke to get any flavor at all, otherwise anemic performance behavior.
Getting and keeping a fire to keep the cigar lit makes enjoyment less than favorable. Overall even burns made up for some of the lack-luster draw and performance.
Keep your lighter handy should this one extinguish on you.
Rating on a scale of 1-3, this yields a 2

Overall score for the Toraño gets a surprisingly low score of 69.5% (that’s a failing mark in school, but an “average” score otherwise). It does do better than a few others I've tried, such as the Helix.

Would I buy more of these:
Since this was a gift, I’m happy to say that I didn't buy it.  Should I have, I would want to know exactly what I’m in for, or otherwise have an unexpected time.
This will not likely make my must-repurchase list, but if I’m given one, I’m sure I can find an afternoon where I need a diaphragm work-out.

Rain City Cigar - H. Upmann Legacy Event

Friday, April 26 2013 3-6 PM

H. Upmann Legacy

For our next event we will be featuring a brand new cigar from the legendary H. Upmann brand

The new H. Upmann Legacy is a beautiful cigar with a silky looking coffee colored wrapper that shouts out "TRY ME!" That wrapper is an Ecuador grown Sumatra leaf from the 2008 crop, a first for the H. Upmann brand. This cigar is also the most full bodied Upmann ever but that just means that it is a rock solid Medium-Bodied cigar. The filler is a Nicaragua & Dominican blend and the binder is also Nicaraguan.

Flavors of Sweet Spice, Nutmeg, Cream and notes of Wood are present in the flavor profile and all ratings we've seen indicate that this is an awesome smoke that is going to be a hit with aficionados everywhere!

Mr. Steve Martin of Altadis will be here for this event to introduce you to the new H. Upmann Legacy cigar. Steve will have a rather unique deal going during this event. When you Buy Two of the new Legacy cigars you will instantly win prizes!

Rain City Cigar Event Day Discounts Will Be In Effect On All Altadis Products
Boxes can be full or mixed boxes of 20 cigar or more 

Eligible Altadis brands are:
A. Turrent, Montecristo, Don Diego, Romeo y Julieta, Saint Luis Rey Serie G, 
Gispert, Onyx Reserve, Trinidad, Primo del Rey, Por Larranaga,
H. Upmann, Las Cabrillas, Omar Ortez Originals, 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 of inclement weather, or excessive sun (lets hope), the Rain City Cigar "25 Foot Cigar Lounge" will be open so that you can enjoy your cigars in comfort.

Come early for best selection!

Event Staff

Rain City Cigar
5963 Corson Ave S
Seattle WA 98108

Monday, April 15, 2013

Gurkha Beauty

Origin: Honduras
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut
Filler/Binder: Nicaraguan and Dominican Republic
Size: 6.5 x 58

I saw these advertised online the other day for 90% off their original price, that included free shipping! I couldn't pass up a deal like that  -  I ordered a 10 pak.

What did I think? Surprisingly, I liked them! Mild to medium taste, nice draw, kind of a jagged burn, but overall a not bad smoke. I might add that you're going to want to take your time to smoke these. I smoked one a little too fast on Friday night and I noticed that they tend to heat up a bit. I took my time smoking one on Sunday afternoon and I enjoyed the heck out of it. Very nice mild/medium cigar.

Would I buy one again? For the price that I paid - HELL YES! Excellent cigar for that price! If you're curious where I bought them, just send me an email and I'll divulge my source. 

Side Notes:
I was up in Mukilteo on Saturday night having dinner with friends. I clicked off this shot with my cheap-o smartphone. Beautiful evening... 

Lit Newsletter 4/15/13 Brewer's Night Event This Friday

Monday, April 15, 2013

Upcoming Events at Lit

We hope you will join us this Friday from 6pm to 9pm, as we host a special Brewer's Night with Sierra Nevada along with a launch event for the new H. Upmann Legacy cigar. We'll be joined by Sierra Nevada's brewery rep, the lovely Sara Williamson along with Steve Martin from H. Upmann, a lovely lad in his own right!

We've got a very cool event planned! Purchase one H. Upmann Legacy cigar and you'll get a scratch off ticket guaranteed to win one of a number of cool prizes. We're big fans of this new H. Upmann release and think it's one of the best values in the humidor. Check out a review here.

We'll be featuring three different beers from Sierra Nevada. Of course, their flagship beer - the reigning champion of Pale Ales. We'll also have a keg of their spring seasonal, the Ruthless Rye, which you can read a review of here. Last, but not least we'll be featuring a beer called Ovila Abbey Quad with Plums, a partnership with a monastery near Sierra Nevada's brewery. Read more about the Ovila project here.

Whiskey Fest is going strong. If you hadn't heard, we've slashed prices on 16 different whiskeys for the month of April, meaning we have the best deals anywhere on great products from Macallan, Johnnie Walker, Glenfiddich and Crown Royal. Take advantage of this great promo while it lasts!

On April, 30 from 6-9pm in Lit, we're excited to launch a new cigar from one of our favorite manufacturers, Alec Bradley. We'll be joined by Don Hanes from Alec Bradley as we unveil the new Nica Puro cigar, the first Nicaraguan Puro from Alec Bradley. Mark your calendar and be the first to try this great cigar with us!

So Nice, We Did It Twice

As you're reading this email, we'll be hard at work deep in the rolling hills of the Kentucky bourbon trail blending the second incarnation of the Snoqualmie Reserve Bourbon at the Woodford Reserve distillery.

We would like to thank you, our loyal Lit customers, for drinking an entire barrel of bourbon, so that we could go buy another one!

What does one do with an empty whiskey barrel? Well, we sent it off to our friends at Black Raven Brewing Co. who have filled it with beer! We'll keep you posted as this project moves along. But in a few months time you will be able to back your Snoqualmie Reserve bourbon with a beer aged in a Snoqualmie Reserve Bourbon barrel.

I can think of nothing nicer!

Happy Smoking!

Monday, April 1, 2013

The Embargo Has Ended! Get your Cuban Cigars at Lit!

Monday, April 1, 2013
April Fool's!

Unfortunately, the Cuban embargo has still not ended.

We'll continue to seek out the best cigars from the rest of the cigar producing world, many of which are as good or better than what's coming out of Cuba.

April is finally here! At Lit, that means we'll be celebrating Whiskey Fest all month long!

These deals are better than you'll find anywhere in the state, so we invite you to come in to take advantage.

Click here to view the featured whiskeys.

Upcoming Events at Lit

Join us on Friday, April 5 in Lit from 6-9pm as we kick off our month long Whiskey Fest with a La Gloria Cubana event at Lit.

We'll be featuring all blends of this classic cigar brand, including some cool Limited Edition sticks such as the Trunk Show LR-1, the Serie R Little Belicoso, and the brand new Rabito de Cochino XL, a cigar exclusive to the West Coast, which we're set to receive on Wednesday.

Enjoy great deals on La Gloria Cigars, prize giveaways and test drive the Whiskey Fest menu! It will also be one of our favorite guest's birthday, so if you see Greg, say hello and challenge him to an arm wrestling competition.

Happy Smoking!