Monday, December 15, 2014

Lit Cigar Lounge Top 10 Cigars of 2014

Lit Cigar Lounge Top 10 Cigars of 2014    

For the third installment of our Top 10 cigars of the year, we’re once again limiting the selections to cigars that we carry and to those released since our last Top 10 in December of 2013. Let’s start with our Honorable Mentions – some great smokes that are worth checking out:
  •           La Aroma de Cuba Noblesse – I had my reservations about a La Aroma cigar that retails for nearly $20, but once I smoked it, I got it! The Ecuadorian Habano wrapper is obviously well aged, as this cigar is complex and medium bodied.
  •           La Antiguedad – Another cigar from My Father, the La Antiguedad is the follow up to the 2012 Cigar of the Year, Flor de Las Antillas.  It shares some similarities, as both cigars are box pressed and Nicaraguan puros, but the La Antiguedad is fuller bodied and spicier, with much more of the pepper kick that the Garcia family is known for.
  •           Aging Room M20 ffortissimo – This cigar was extremely limited (only 20,000 total) and priced at $15 for a corona sized perfecto. For those who love aged tobacco and the rich flavors of a high quality San Andres maduro wrapper, the M20 certainly lived up to its hefty retail price.
  •           Fernando Leon Preferido – La Aurora released both the Guillermo Leon and Fernando Leon in their popular Preferido size this year.  While both are great, I loved the Fernando Leon’s medium bodied flavor and depth. The Corojo wrapper on this cigar is flawless and oily. This cigar quickly became my favorite of a great La Aurora lineup.
  •           Montecristo Espada – One of the trends of 2014 was the release of several Nicaraguan versions of storied Cuban legacy brands. The best of the bunch, in my opinon, is the Espada.  Altadis USA partnered with the Plasencia family to create a Nicaraguan puro that is worthy of the Montecristo name.  Flawless construction and a  great balance of sweetness are two reasons why.
  •           Best Buy for 2014 – Foundry Elements Carbon – Taking an idea from the Cigar Aficionado list, I decided to nominate a Best Buy cigar.  The Carbon, a chunky  5.5x60 maduro cigar, has become one of our best sellers. It’s not only friendly on the wallet – the  Carbon is firmly packed with tobacco and has a pleasant medium-bodied profile.

Now for the Top 10!  

With the exception of one or two sold out limited editions, all of these cigars are available at Lit.
  • 10. La Flor Dominicana Capitulo II – The follow-up to Tony Gomez’ debut cigar, the Capitulo II has the same size and box pressed chisel shape as the Chapter I, but these cigars are night and day.  Capitulo II is super strong, with a dark oily wrapper and an easy draw.  It’s sometimes dangerous to have a cigar this full bodied draw so easily!  I like to smoke it slowly, over 2-3 hours so as not to be overpowered.  The flavors are great though – strong notes of leather and pepper.
  • 9. Illusione Singulare 2014 Anunnaki – The fifth release in Illusione’s Singulare series, the Anunnaki is a stout 5 1/4x54 Double Robusto that is just packed with tobacco and features the same silky wrapper as their wonderful Epernay line.  I was blown away by the construction on this cigar and by how slowly it burned.  It’s mild to medium bodied with some delicate fruit and floral notes.
  • 8. Nestor Miranda Collection Habano – Miami Cigar & Co. reblended and rebranded their flagship Nestor Miranda line in honor of the company’s 25th Anniversary. Produced in Nicaragua by My Father Cigars, there are three different blends – Maduro, Habano, and Connecticut. The Habano stands out for me, delivering that signature Pepin spice without sacrificing complexity. Kudos to Nestor and Jason Wood at Miami Cigar for taking the risk to improve upon an already established brand.
  • 7. Drew Estate Nica Rustica – Technically released in 2013, these cigars were such a hot commodity that we didn’t receive our initial order until after the 2013 list was compiled.  For shops, like ours, that aren’t eligible to carry Drew Estate’s more prestigious Liga Privada or Herrera Esteli lines, the Nica Rustica is an able substitute.  It carries an affordable price tag and produces an insane amount of thick blue smoke.  The dark Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper and strong filler blend of Nicaraguan tobaccos give this cigar a great balance of maduro sweetness and spice.
  • 6. Leccia Luchador – Another full bodied Maduro, this time from Sam Leccia, whose fire-cured Leccia Black made our list last year.  The Luchador honors the origins of the San Andres wrapper that it features, with a unique band that pays tribute to the masked Luchador wrestlers that are so popular in Mexico.  This cigar hits you like a dropkick to the solar plexus, but is as complex and intricate as a figure four leg lock!
  • 5. Rocky Patel Decade Cameroon – It’s sometimes hard to figure out which new Rocky Patel release to bring in, since they usually have about five new cigars each year and our space is limited.  This year, however, the choice was easy.  Rocky took his popular Decade blend, the highest rated cigar he’s ever produced, and wrapped it in a delicate, sweet Cameroon wrapper.  The result is a cigar that is extremely flavorful without a lot of strength.
  • 4. EP Carrillo La Historia – Ernesto Perez-Carrillo is most known for his big ring gauge cigars, such as the Serie R he created with La Gloria Cubana, and most recently the INCH series. This cigar is unlike anything he’s ever done, softly filled and box pressed and wrapped in a dark, bumpy San Andres Maduro wrapper.  It’s medium to full bodied, with an effortless draw and notes of dark chocolate and espresso.
  • 3. CAO Amazon Basin – Easily one of the most unique cigars released this year, the Amazon Basin uses a tobacco called Bragança, which is grown organically in the tropical rainforest and harvested every three years by the natives of that region. It has a flavor that’s hard to describe, but bold and delightful. Sadly, these cigars are long sold out, but hopefully we’ll see another release at some point.
  • 2. Padron Family Reserve 50 year – The cigar world was blown away by the Padron Family’s 45th Anniversary cigar, and remains one of the best on the market.  The 50 year is a different cigar than that one – it’s smaller, more of a robusto size, and the wrapper is nearly jet black and oily.  The Padron 50 year is generously filled and is a spicy, full bodied gem of a cigar.  It’s by far the most expensive cigar on this list, but worthy of trying, even if you have to wait for a special occasion.
  • 1. Our cigar of the year for 2014 is the Ashton Symmetry. I was excited when I heard that Ashton was releasing its first new blend in ten years, but wasn’t quite sure where a new Ashton cigar would fit in their already formidable lineup.  They have mild, medium and full bodied blends, all of them fantastic in their own right. The flavor profile of the Symmetry fits somewhere between the VSG and ESG in this regard.  It’s medium to full bodied, but the flavors are nuanced and balanced. Carlito Fuente uses an Ecuador Habano wrapper along with filler tobacco from his farm in Nicaragua,  both a first for an Ashton cigar. The delicate notes remind me of an aged Cuban, but the Symmetry  also contains a nice healthy kick of spice and nicotine.  We’ve had the Ashton Symmetry at Lit for just a couple months, but it’s obvious that this cigar has a place in our humidor for a long time.

Thanks for reading another “Best of…” list!  I invite you to come out to the Lit Cigar Lounge at Snoqualmie Casino to try these or any of our cigars and we can discuss in person!


Josh Weltmer
Lit Cigar Lounge Manager
Snoqualmie Casino 


Lit Cigar Lounge - Holiday Event This Thursday!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Upcoming Events at Lit

Join us this Thursday, December 18 in Lit from 6-8pm as we hold our 5th Annual Holiday event with our good friends from Brown-Forman and Drew Estate.

Jon Stave from Brown-Forman will be on hand with his usual grab bag of white elephant gifts. You may win something great or fall victim to some fun Holiday shenanigans!

We'll have some great drink specials, including a flight of rare whiskies from 2014, including the brand new Jack Daniel's Sinatra Select, and the Woodford Reserve Master's Collection. This year, the Master's Collection whiskey is finished in Sonoma-Cutrer Pinot Noir barrels!

In addition, we will have Alex from Drew Estate on hand with some great deals on all Drew Estate and Joya de Nicaragua cigars. We hope to see you for our last event of the year!

Holiday Gift Items

There's still time to pick up some great cigar-related gifts!

  • - Diamond Crown Holiday Collection $55 - This great set includes three Diamond Crown cigars, including the previously unreleased Cameroon Select, packaged in a beautiful zip up leather case.

  • - Alec Bradley Tubo Collection $55 - Five different Alec Bradley blends, all in Tubos, along with a three torch Alec Bradley lighter.

  • - General Cigar Samplers $25-$60 - Five different samplers, all in wooden gift boxes, perfect stocking stuffers!

  • - Toast Across America 2014 - We have four of these left - 2 unreleased Fuente cigars, an Opus X Shark and Diamond Crown Maximus Shark, all proceeds go to the Cigar Family Charitable Foundation

  • - Xikar Gift Sets - Save up to 40% off the retail price of each item sold separately! We have a $70 lighter, cutter and ashtray set and a $130 Xi3 Carbon Fiber cutter and lighter set.

  • - Partagas 150 Don Ramon or Cohiba Luxury edition - This is the perfect time to get your loved one (or yourself) a rare cigar that you wouldn't otherwise splurge on. Our Partagas 150 ($150) were rolled back in 1995 with a vintage wrapper from 1977 and have been waiting patiently for almost 20 years for you to enjoy! The Cohiba Luxury ($40) is a special cigar aged in rum barrels and limited to only 500 boxes.

Happy Smoking!

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

Monday, December 1, 2014

Couple of Keepers, and One Dud

Snowed an inch or two on Saturday morning, covered just about everything, except the roads. Very pretty outside!
Anyway, I've got a couple cigars that you might want to try, and one to avoid.

First, the keepers: 

Aging Room Quattro F55 
Smoked this one on Friday night out on our back deck, freezing cold outside by the way, but my cheapo patio heater is proving to be worth its weight in gold. 

Not really sure when, where, or why I bought this cigar, well, I guess I know"why" I would buy it - the beautiful dark box-pressed wrapper. This is the kind of wrapper and shape that always catches my eye - love the way a box-press feels. Nice...

So how did it smoke? Fantastic, of course. Smooth and flavorful, not overly powerful in any way. Draw and volume of smoke were right on the money. I asked my lovely wife what she thought of it, and she replied "it's a keeper" as well. 

Time to invest in a few more of these - They're that good!

Now for number two:

Illusione Singulare EL
Limited Edition 5 1/2 x 54

I was up at the Snoqualmie Casino on Saturday night. I started out at the craps tables, but quickly lost what I'd set out to spend. Kind of weird too because I usually win at craps. Anyway, I decided to try my luck at one more thing before heading over to the Lit Lounge - Video Poker at the bar. Glad I did too - can you say: "Winner!" 

Anyhow, the wifey-poo and I stopped by the Lit Lounge after that for a cigar and a few drinks. My friend Josh, El Jefe at the Lit, was there and recommended a very nice limited edition Illusione. I knew it had to be a special cigar because he pulled this one out from the cabinets underneath. Oh yeah, I'm special.... 

So what did I think? In my opinion, probably one of the best cigars that I've smoked this year! I told Josh that he knows my taste all too well, because he picked a cigar that is exactly what I am looking for. Absolutely perfect smoke! 

I might add that this is a limited edition, so don't dilly-dally, get out and try one now before they're all gone!

And now for the dud: 

CAO Flathead Spark Plug
I'll start out by saying that I'm a fan of the CAO Flathead series - they're great cigars! But in my opinion, the Spark Plug doesn't do it at all for me - maybe too strong, too harsh, or maybe it's just a nasty cigar overall. I don't know, I just couldn't warm up to it. I've tried these a few times now and every time they've all turn out to be the same - UGH! Don't like em at all!

Yes, you might want to avoid this one. However, if you like a high-test, ultra strong, kinda nasty cigar, this might be right up your alley. Who knows? 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Lit Lounge - Glenfiddich Kindred Spirit Event Monday Nov 24

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Upcoming Events at Lit

Join us on Monday, November 24 in Lit from 6-8pm as we feature a special Scotch and Cigar pairing called the Glenfiddich Kindred Spirit.

We've joined up with Glenfiddich and En Fuego Cigars in Las Vegas, NV to bring you a unique tasting opportunity. During this event, try a flight of three Glenfiddich Single Malts and a special three wrapper cigar, designed to change profiles to complement each specific whisky as you smoke it.

We'll be offering the Kindred Spirit Flight for $25 for the next month while supplies last, but for one night only, enjoy the Glenfiddich Kindred Spirit flight and cigar for only $15!

We'll have a Glenfiddich brand ambassador in house to educate us on the world's most popular single malt, along with some prize giveaways as well!

We hope to see you there!


There's still time to take part in the Ashton Grand Tour going on all month long. Stop by Lit and pick up your Grand Tour punch card, and as you purchase the different Ashton, La Aroma de Cuba and San Cristobal cigars, you earn free gifts along the way. The first 35 people to complete the tour will be automatically RSVP'd to a special private event in Lit on Tuesday, December 2, where you'll taste the brand new Ashton Symmetry cigar and have the opportunity to try a flight of all three editions of our private Woodford Reserve Snoqualmie bourbons for only $10.


New In Our Humidor

A couple of new items in our humidor to ask for next time you're in:

  • - Illusione Singulare 2014 Anunnaki - The fifth installment of Illusione's fantastic Singulare Limited Edition cigar is here. It's a beautifully constructed, medium bodied all Nicaraguan Toro Gordo. You can read more about it on this article from Cigar Aficionado.

  • - Arturo Fuente Toast Across America 2014 - These special 2 packs of rare Fuente cigars is a fundraiser for the wonderful Fuente charity, the Cigar Family Charitable Foundation. This year's edition contains two cigars in the popular "Shark" size, a box pressed torpedo - one in the Opus X blend and the other in the Diamond Crown Julius Caeser blend. The pack is $50, with 100% of the money going to the CFCF, which provides education and health services to the Dominican Republic.

  • - Dunhill Aged Reserva Trilogia - This is a special release of three different Dunhill Aged Reserva, an elegant and mild cigar featuring aged tobaccos from the 2003, 2006 and 2009 Vintage crops. All three are perfect for putting away for future enjoyment or smoking right away.

  • - Xikar Gift Sets - We've received some beautiful Xikar accessory sets, specially priced for the Holidays. The White Out and Black Out sets feature a Xikar lighter, cutter and ashtray in either all black or all white for only $70! There is also a Carbon Fiber gift set featuring the amazing Xi3 Carbon Fiber cutter and a special edition Axia G2 finish lighter for only $130. Both sets are discounted nearly 50% from buying each separate item individually. Ask us about other cigar related gift sets while you're here!

Happy Smoking!

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

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Rain City Cigars - Toast Across America 2014

Rain City Cigar

2014 Cigar Family Charitable Foundation
"Toast Across America" 
Friday, December 12, 2014 1-6PM 
at Rain City Cigar 
in beautiful downtown Georgetown!

This charitable event will help benefit 2,500 Dominican citizens through the Cigar Family Health Clinic, Community School and Community enhancement Programs. Over one hundred tobacconists have been selected to host this exclusive Cigar Family event, with over 5000 cigar smokers representing all 50 states, ultimately raising over $300,000 for the Cigar Family Charitable Foundation

First debuting in 2003, this unique fundraiser brings together fine tobacconists and cigar enthusiasts from all over the world for one amazing event.

This year the Fuente and Newman families have released two limited edition cigars exclusively for the Toast Across America 2014:

One special Fuente Fuente Opus X
One special Diamond Crown Julius Caeser

These cigars are placed in exquisite commemorative packaging and available through only the best tobacconists at signature Toast Across America cigar events. Thanks to the Fuente and Newman families, the Toast is underwritten so that all proceeds go directly to the Cigar Family Charitable Foundation.

These special packages are available on a First Come - First Served basis only. 

Those who donate $50.00 will not only receive their two special cigars, but will also have the first opportunity to purchase some rare and unusual Fuente cigars that we will be receiving for this event.
These special cigars will be available ONLY to donors during the Friday event.

To make your donation and reserve your Toast Across America cigars, please follow these directions.
  • To make reservations E-mail or call us @ 206-767-3619.  Reservations will be held for 7 days only. After 7 days, UN-Paid reservations will be canceled and offered to persons on the waiting list.
  •  You may come into Rain City Cigar in person to make your donation or mail in your CHECK or MONEY ORDER. 
  • Donations may be made using CASH or CHECK only. No Credit Cards. MAKE CHECKS PAYABLE TO CIGAR FAMILY CHARITABLE FOUNDATION
  • Don't delay! This event sells out every year!
To make reservations E-mail or call us @ 206-767-3619 




Even if you cannot make a contribution, come on down and join the fun.

In conjunction with the Toast Across America, we will also be hosting an in store promotion that day. Rain City Cigar will be offering special discounts on all Arturo Fuente and J.C. Newman products, including:

Arturo Fuente, Fuente Don Carlos, Fuente Hemingway, Diamond Crown Julius Caeser, Diamond Crown, Diamond Crown Maximus and BrickHouse.

  •  5% off each cigar.
  • 10% off five or more cigars.
  • 15% off 20 cigars or full boxes. 
(Excludes Fuente Fuente Opus X & Fuente Anejos)

Fuente Sale Extends Through Saturday 12-13 
with special Fuente cigars available that day to all!

(Limited to stock on hand)

Event Staff
Rain City Cigar

Rain City Cigar | 5963 Corson Ave. S. | Seattle | WA | 98108

Monday, November 10, 2014

Lit Lounge - Meet Nestor Miranda in Person on Tuesday, November 11

Monday, November 10, 2014

Upcoming Events at Lit

We hope to see you on Tuesday, November 11 in Lit from 6-8pm as we're joined by Nestor Miranda, founder of Miami Cigar & Co. for a great event featuring the Nestor Miranda Collection and La Aurora lines.

Nestor has been celebrating the 25th Anniversary of his company along with the launch of the three different cigars under the Nestor Miranda Collection, all produced in Nicaragua by the Garcia family at My Father.

You can read more about Nestor's story and his crazy ride through the cigar boom of the 1990's in this interview with Cigar Aficionado.

In addition to this rare visit from a cigar industry icon, we'll also be doing a "Pick 4" flight special for only $15, where you can build your own custom spirits tasting, choosing from 20 different types of whisky, rum and tequila, including expressions of The Macallan, Patron and Bruichladdich, among others.

Tell your friends, and join us for what should be a great evening!

New In Our Humidor

Here's what's new in our humidor to ask for next time you're in:
  • - Alec Bradley Fine & Rare - This limited edition cigar (30,000 total production) is a complex blend of 10 different tobaccos and the crown jewel of the Alec Bradley lineup. We have just over 20 cigars left in stock.
  • - La Gloria Cubana Trunk Show MG-08 and YG-23 - the third installment of the LGC limited edition Trunk Show consists of two large (7 1/4x54) cigars wrapped with a unique band made of tobacco that you can smoke right through. Here's an excellent writeup from Cigar-Coop.
  • - Rocky Patel Decade Cameroon and Super Ligero - Two new cigars from Rocky. The Decade Cameroon is precisely what you might think: a medium bodied extension of the popular Decade line, wrapped in a mellow and complex Cameroon wrapper. Super Ligero is a full bodied Honduran blend featuring some new fermentation techniques to create a cigar with all the strength of ligero tobacco without the harshness.
  • - Ashton Symmetry - We're the only store in the state to have these cigars early. This line, the first new Ashton in nearly a decade, is officially released on December 2. It's an incredible smoke, strong and complex and expertly rolled. While you're here, ask your tobacconist about the Ashton Grand Tour, a promotion we're running all month where you can earn free cigars along with the opportunity to tase the Symmetry at a special private event on December 2 in Lit.

Happy Smoking!

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

Monday, November 3, 2014

CAO Amazon Basin

I'll start by saying that this is one of the best cigars I've smoked all year! Seriously!

A few weeks back I bought a box of these while at the Washington Cigar & Spirits Festival. My friend Lily, who knows much more about cigars than yours truly, recommended that I give them a try. She raved about how this was such a great smoke! Heck, if Lily says they're good, they've got to be damn good!

Anyway, I remember at the CAO booth when I bought these, the rep gave me a somewhat lengthy description of the process that it takes to get this tobacco to market. He went on to tell me about the virgin land in the amazon rain forest where the tobacco is grown, how it is fermented, packed, and processed. And finally, how it is floated down river in canoes. Canoes, really? He made it all sound so exotic. Since I travel to Brazil every year, I'm going to guess that the story was a bit exaggerated. No big deal though...

That being said, this is without a doubt an excellent cigar! Medium to full body, perfect draw, tons of creamy smoke, and a delicious full flavored taste. Honestly, I'd take this over a Padron. I'm not kidding either - It's that good!

Oh, and the gimmicky label that looks like string wrapped around the wrapper - well those strings are made of tobacco, and yes, you can smoke that too! Taste just fine I might add. Feel free to smoke this cigar right down to the nub, you're gonna love it!

Yes, I definitely would recommend that you give this cigar a try!


Thursday, October 23, 2014

Tatuaje Holloween event at Rain City Cigar

Friday, October 31, 2014 9-6 PM

Welcome to October; the month when the rains come, the temperatures drop and the leaves fall. Oh, and the spiders build webs in front of your door! Creepy!
We are finishing up our regular event season with an all day Tatuaje event on Halloween. You know, Halloween, the day when the Monsters come out! (Hint Hint)

For this all day event we will have all Tatuaje cigars on sale and some spooky deals for you 

  • Buy 3 get 1 FREE!
  • Buy a box, get a 3 pack Tatuaje Black Robustos + a SWAG bag with cool Tatuaje stuff!

We will also be raffling off some of this cool Tatuaje swag:

Tatuaje MONSTER 2014 #7 JEKYLL

We were only allocated seven boxes of Monsters this year. Buy any full box of Tatuaje cigars and you are eligible to purchase one box of Monsters.

Rain City Cigar Event Day Discounts


We hope that you and your friends will join us for this event at Rain City Cigar.
Come early for the best selection!

Can't make it Friday?
No worries, we'll continue to run the specials on Saturday!
(While supplies last)

Event Staff
Rain City Cigar
5963 Corson Ave S
Seattle WA 98108

Monday, October 20, 2014

Lit Newsletter 10/20/14 Oktoberfest This Thursday!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Upcoming Events at Lit

First of all, thank you to everyone who came out and enjoyed our sold out Washington Cigar & Spirits Festival! It was another successful event, and we're already working on ideas for the 5th annual event next year!

Check out this video recapping the event and share with your friends who didn't come! We also have photos from the event available here and here.

Our next event will be Thursday, October 23 in Lit from 6-8pm as we celebrate Oktoberfest! We'll be pouring Ayinger's award winning Oktoberfest beer, straight from Munich, along with Quesada's annual limited edition Oktoberfest cigar - with special deals on both products, prizes and lots of fun! We hope to see you there!

New At Lit

We have a few new cigars along with several new spirits available in Lit to check out the next time you're in, none as special as the re-release of the Partagas 150 Don Ramon, one of the most limited and sought after cigars in the world.

The Partagas 150 Don Ramon is a cigar that was rolled and first released in 1995 to commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the Partagas brand. This cigar features a Cameroon wrapper from the vintage crop of 1977, which means the wrapper on this cigar is 37 years old, and the cigar itself was rolled 19 years ago. We have only 20 of these cigars available at $150 each. Truly a one of a kind cigar!

Here's a quick rundown of what else to look for:

  • - Foundry Wormhole - The creative folks at Foundry Tobacco Co. have released three new blends for 2014, designed as a trip through the Worm Hole of the past, present and future of tobacco. This one is difficult to explain, but this preview from Cigar-Coop does a great job of it.

  • - La Aroma de Cuba Noblesse - This is a limited edition release from Ashton, featuring a Habano Rosado wrapper and medium to full bodied profile. We only have one box of these cigars at present.

  • - Maker's Mark Cask Strength - This one is exciting! Maker's Mark, one of our most popular bourbons has quietly released a limited amount of cask strength whiskey from their reserves. Get this one before it goes away!

We're also expecting limited amounts of both Alec Bradley's Fine & Rare 2014 and Fuente Fuente Opus X cigars in the coming week. Ask for them on your next visit!

Happy Smoking!

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

Monday, October 13, 2014

WCSF 2014 - WOW!

2014 Washington Cigar and Spirts Festival - The BEST one ever! 

The event started at 6 o'clock, but I didn't arrive until around 7 PM. Since my lovely wife wasn't coming with me this year, I wanted to take her out for Happy Hour at Purple Cafe and Wine Bar before I headed east. Nice restaurant by the way.

Anyway, major downpour accompanied by thunder and lightning driving up the mountain, but when I arrived at the casino the clouds seemed to part and I could see a touch of blue sky breaking through. Oh yeah, good sign! 

So like I said, I arrived about an hour after it started, so I didn't wait in line or anything. Also, the Kirkland gang said that they'd save a place at the table for me, so no worries. (Thanks Lily!)

I checked in, got my little punch card thingy for cigars and drinks, and headed into the ballroom.

HOLY SHEET-O! There are a lot of people here! Josh, El Jefe and organizer of the whole event told me that there were 300 tickets, but man-o-man this sure looks like more than that! And I actually mean this in a good way. Seeing so many cigar aficionados in one place is very, very cool!

The layout for the event was somewhat similar to previous years, but with more tables and chairs, at least it looked that way. Cigar vendors were along the back wall, and booze guys were in the middle and along the wall to your right. To your left and in the middle was the food table, and the beer and pretzel guys were in the corner to the left of the ballroom entrance. Tables and chairs everywhere - plenty of seating.

Few things that I noticed about this year's event that might have been different from the past. One was of course the number of people. LOTS of people! The first hour must have had some pretty long lines of people waiting for cigars. When I got there it was still busy, but not THAT busy.

Next the food - REALLY good food this year! I'm not saying that the previous years were bad, but this year was really GOOD! Seasoned steamed red potatoes, sautéed green beans cooked just the way I like them, baked chicken, which I didn't try, penne pasta, also didn't try, and BBQ ribs, which were excellent! I would have loved to have pigged out more on all this food, but I was already somewhat full from Happy Hour with the Wifey-poo.

Also this year they also had a professional MC doing all the commentating. Basically, he was the guy telling you what was going on, what to look for, and throughout the evening calling out the winning ticket numbers for the prizes.

Oh, speaking of prizes, which were great by the way, so this year they did something that I thought was very smart. Instead of giving you a raffle ticket at the door, this year they affixed your ticket to the back of your punch card, and there's no way you're going to misplace that! Brilliant thinking you guys!

Anyway, I really had a good time hooking up with old friends, so cool being able to catch up with my cigar buddies! Met some new people as well. One thing that I've always said about about cigar people, they are probably the nicest and most social group that you'll ever come across!

Outstanding event! Just the fact that we're all here enjoying a fine cigar with some superior spirits and great food is really a unique experience for us here in Washington. I'm already looking forward to this event next year, and who knows, maybe next time I might even win a prize! Don't laugh, it could happen! Seriously!

Congratulations for another spectacular festival Josh! I can only imagine the amount of work and planning that went into it. I know I say this not only for me, but for the entire cigar community here:

Job well done!! 

Sidenote:  I snapped off a few photos  - Click the link below:

WCSF 2014

Monday, October 6, 2014

The 2014 WCSF Event Is This Week!

Monday, October 6, 2014

The Big Day is Finally Here!

We are less than a week away from this year's Washington Cigar & Spirits Festival, Saturday October 11 from 6-10pm. Tickets are going fast and may be gone by the day of the event!

Don't procrastinate - get your ticket today by visiting the Casino box office or through the website,

We've put together another fantastic event, featuring seven of the industry's top manufacturers and over 70 different fine spirits and craft beers. We look forward to seeing you at this year's event!

WCSF Vendor Spotlight - My Father Cigars and Woodford Reserve

This year's event marks the first time that My Father will be participating. We have had a special relationship with the Garcia family, dating back to the early years of Lit, when we hosted Don Pepin twice in the Sno Lounge all the way up until the recent years where we've hosted both Jaime and Janny Garcia for outdoor events.

This year, we'll have great deals on the two latest creations from My Father, La Antiguedad and My Father Connecticut as well as other favorite blends, such as the original My Father, Flor de Las Antillas, and the Don Pepin Garcia Cuban Classic.

Your WCSF ticket includes the 94 rated My Father #1, and while you're at the booth, learn more about this great company and take advantage of event specials that are the best deals of the year on this red hot cigar brand!

We've just received our third installment of the immensely popular Woodford Reserve Snoqualmie Personal Selection! This is a custom bourbon whiskey that our team blended with the guidance of Woodford's master distiller Chris Morris earlier this year.

We chose the whiskeys that comprise the Snoqualmie Reserve XIV for their rich notes of vanilla, caramel and oak and we're sure you'll agree that it pairs wonderfully with a fine cigar! Visit the Woodford Reserve booth at this year's WCSF, try the new blend and take a photo or two at the #WoodfordWay photo booth inside the event!

You can also try the Snoqualmie Reserve XIV at Lit, either neat, on the rocks or in our signature Manhattan or Old Fashioned.

Happy Smoking!

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

Friday, October 3, 2014

Quesada Oktoberfest event at Rain City Cigar

Friday, October 10, 2014 3-6 PM
Quesada Oktoberfest

Oktoberfest is one of the most famous festivals in the world. The yearly celebration attracts millions of people to Munich to partake in the festival, with millions more enjoying the famous beer produced for it.

Traditionally, there is a cigar tent for Aficionados to enjoy a smoke with their brew. This year, the Quesada family has blended a cigar specifically to be paired with the flavorful Marzen-style beer produced for Oktoberfest.

Blended with a variety of flavorful Dominican tobaccos, the Quesada Oktoberfest is available in very limited quantities. Enjoy them with your favorite Oktoberfest beer.

Ed Ryan is our representative for SAG Imports and Quesada cigars and he will have a couple of Oktoberfest cigar deals for you:

  • Buy 4 Oktoberfest cigars, get 1 FREE!
  • Buy a box, get 1 Free + Oktoberfest pint glass & lighter!
  • Buy 2 boxes get the glass & lighter + cap and 5 pack salomon press cigars

Rain City Cigar Event Day Discounts


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, the Rain City Cigar "25 Foot Cigar Lounge" will be open so that you can enjoy your cigars in comfort.

Come early for the best selection!

Can't make it Friday? No worries, we'll continue to run the specials on Saturday!
(While supplies last)

Event Staff
Rain City Cigar
5963 Corson Ave S
Seattle WA 98108

Monday, September 29, 2014

Union Cigar Society Event - Friday, Oct. 3rd

The Society Presents: 
My Father Cigars

Union Cigar Society is proud to present: 
My Father Cigars
Friday October 3rd, 2014 
4 pm - 9 pm

My Father Cigars was created by the Garcia family who are one of the leading manufactures of the hottest cigars on the market today.  

We will be presenting their entire portfolio of cigars which includes:

My Father - Pepin - Flor de las Antillas - La Duena
New lines La Antiguedad & My Father Connecticut,
and many more!!

 Society Promotions:

  • Buy 4 Cigars & get 1 free
  • Buy 10+ Cigars & get 3 free, plus 10% off !
  • Buy 20+ Cigars get a box of 3 event only cigars, a $65 dollar value, 3 additional single cigars, a shirt, cutter, and a  ticket for the Raffle for a Custom My Father humidor, ashtrays, and much more!
20 or more cigars will also get you a Cigar Tasting on an Electric Boat that evening!

*$15 dollar minimum purchase to Partake*in our Amazing Catering with plenty of Food & Drinks to Go Around! Rain or Shine, we will be ready for any weather conditions with heaters for our tent!

Event Time: 4pm - 9pm
Event Date: October 3rd, 2014
Union Cigar Society
2046 Westlake Ave N, Ste 201
Seattle, WA 98109

Monday, September 22, 2014

Padrón Family Reserve - 50 Years

Went up to the Snoqualmie Casino on Saturday night for a cigar and a bit of gambling, I also wanted to get my ticket for the Washington Cigar and Spirits Festival. (coming up on Oct.11)

So Saturday nights at the casino are generally pretty busy, but tonight was exceptionally busy! The only game that I actually wanted to play, Craps, all the tables were totally full. Yes, and I didn't feel like hanging around waiting for a place to open up either. No worries, off to the Lit for a cigar!

At the Lit we saw that the gang was already here, so we asked if we could pull up a chair and join them? Amazing that we found two chairs to pull over to the table! I asked where my friend Josh was, El Jefe of the Lit, and I was told that he wasn't there tonight. I wanted to ask him how ticket sales were going? Pretty sure that they've always hit the maximum numbers for this event, that's one reason why I wanted to get my ticket tonight.

Anyway, I'd heard that the Lit had the Padrón 50 Year Anniversary cigar in their humidor, and since I didn't actually lose any money tonight on gambling, this was the perfect opportunity to blow some serious cash on ONE fine cigar! I won't tell you how much I paid for it, but let's just say that it's the most expensive cigar I've bought in the States this year. I say "in the States" because I've spent a bit more than this on cigars in Canada this year. $$$$

So what did I think of it? Probably one of the best cigars I've smoked so far this year! They're short cigars, just 5 x 54, with a beautiful box press dark wrapper. I couldn't find a thing wrong with it, other than the price of course. I must say that it was as close to perfection as you can get. I loved it!

Would I buy one again? Without a doubt YES! However, it will probably be a very special occasion before I purchase one again - they're damn expensive!

So just before we ventured over to the Lit Lounge, my lovely wife said to me: "We better go and buy your ticket so you don't forget." I told her that I wouldn't forget since this was the primary reason we came up here in the first place. She said "ok", and we went off and had our cigars.
Well, I didn't actually forget about the tickets, but I did forget that the box office closes at 10 or 10:30pm. We showed up just before 11 pm and the lights were off. CRAP!! I should have listened to her! She loves when I say that..

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Canada/New England Cigars

Just got back from a couple weeks vacation on the East Coast - God, what a fantastic time we had! Some pretty cool places we visited, maybe a few sleepy towns as well, but overall a wonderful trip! Hard to be back at work this week... Ugh... 

Few observations when it comes to cigars in some of these places: 

First stop: Montréal

One of the coolest cities in all of Canada. My wife and I just loved it here! So much to do and tons of great restaurants! Easily could live here if it didn't snow. Yah, right... 

Anyway, so finding a good cigar shop isn't all that tough here, and there was a good one not far from our hotel:

It's actually a pipe shop, but they've got an excellent selection of Cuban cigars. Super nice guys working here too, and of course, ils parlent anglais aussi! 

Now you'd think that this being a pipe-cigar shop that you'd be able to enjoy that fine cigar in their shop right? Not a chance! This is Canada, remember! It's almost as bad here as it is over in British Columbia, and that's got to be the worst place for smoking anything! But in Montréal they have a little exception to the rule, which leads me to our next cigar location:

Before we left on our trip, I googled "Cigar Lounges" in Montréal and came up with this place. It was only about 10 minutes by taxi from our hotel, and me being the cigar-fanatic that I am, I just had to check it out! Plus, I think this is the only cigar lounge in town? 

The night that we were there it was pretty cool, and I don't mean temperature wise. Check this out: Concert
There was an outdoor concert going on just across the street and about a million young people having a blast! Stogies Cigar Lounge is on the second floor looking out towards where all the action was, so we had a great place to watch the festivities while enjoying a fine Cuban cigar. Yeah, this place has an excellent selection of cigars, but plan on dropping at least $100+ for cigars and drinks for two people. It was worth it though! What a crazy, but cool night! 

Anyway, this is the little exception to the rule - it's OK to smoke if they have an outdoor rooftop terrace, which Stogies does. We saw one other place where you could smoke cigars, and it too was located on the rooftop of a building. Compared to our neck of the woods, this is more than acceptable. :)

Next few stops went like this: 

Québec City - Didn't see any cigars shops or cigar smoker, but it's a beautiful city though, almost as fun as Montreal - very, very pretty. 

Charlottetown, PEI - Zippo on cigar shops, but really a cute little historic town, "Birthplace of the Confederation." You'll know what I'm talking about if you're Canadian. 

Sydney, NS - Meh, not much to write home about. 

Halifax, NS - I actually liked this city a lot! Weather was just like Seattle in November, but other than that it was fun. You ever get up this way, make sure to check out the Citadel at the top of the hill - very cool! Oh yeah, didn't see any cigar shops. (wasn't looking very hard) 

Bar Harbor, ME - This is another really pretty town, and yes, the lobster is King here! Cigar shops? I didn't see any, but holy crap, what a beautiful place! Really was surprised! I expected it to be like Fisherman's Terminal over in Magnolia, fishing boats and stuff, but no, it's more of a touristy kind of town. Very picturesque! 

Final stop:

Boston, MA

I've definitely got to come back to this city - absolutely loved it! So much to do, so much history, great places to eat, and great people! We had a blast! Probably liked the North End the best - some super good Italian restaurants here! 

What about cigars? Well you'll find plenty of cigar shops, but only one cigar lounge, and that's up in Little Italy (the North End) as well. 

Good selection of cigars, plenty of seating, and we had a waitress that took good care of us. The place was pretty busy too! Thoroughly enjoyed it and I highly recommend that you check it out the next time you're in Boston. It has a kind of 1920's look to it, a little different feel than the Vertigo Club, maybe more rustic, but still very, very nice! 


So the Wifey-poo and I were in search of the perfect lobster roll, since basically we were in lobster country. Out of all the restaurants we tried in Nova Scotia, Maine and Massachusetts, Boston was the winner by far! Now you're probably saying WTF? Maine or Nova Scotia has the best lobster! Well, that may be the case, but as far as putting into a bun and serving it to the public, the beautiful city of Boston came out on top! It was delicious!


Are you planning on going to the Washington Cigar and Spirits Festival this year? Me too! I'm going to try to get up to the casino in the next couple of weeks to get my ticket. Should be fun!


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

My Father Cigars Event @ Rain City Cigar

Friday, September 19th. 2014,   3-6 PM





My Father Cigars

For our next event we will be featuring one of the most famous brands on the market from one of the most famous cigar makers in the industry. My Father Cigars by Don Pepin Garcia!

Don Hanes of My Father Cigars will be here to discuss all the wonderful offerings from the Garcia family; including a couple of new items that were released at this summer's IPCPR trade show.

  • Buy 4 Get 1 FREE
  • Buy 7, Get 2 FREE
  • Buy A Box Or Mix Of 20, Get 6 FREE

(Excludes TAA, La Reloba and Limited Edition My Father / Jamie Garcia cigars)

Rain City Cigar Event Day Discounts


ALL My Father lines on sale:
My Father - Flor de las Antillas - La Antiguedad - El Centurion - Jamie Garcia - Don Pepin Garcia

We will have the "25 Foot Cigar Lounge" up and some cold drinks on ice so that you can enjoy
your cigars in comfort come rain or shine.

We hope that you and your friends will join us for this event at Rain City Cigar.
Come early for the best selection!

Can't make it Friday? No worries, we'll continue to run the specials on Saturday! 
While supply lasts. 

Event Staff

Rain City Cigar
5963 Corson Ave S
Seattle WA 98108

Do You Have Your WCSF Tickets Yet?

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Washington Cigar & Spirits Festival

Tickets are going fast for our 4th Annual Washington Cigar & Spirits Festival! Don't procrastinate - get your ticket today by visiting the Casino box office or through the website,

We've put together another fantastic event, featuring seven of the industry's top manufacturers and over 50 different fine spirits and craft beers. We look forward to seeing you at this year's event!

The event will take place on Saturday, October 11 from 6-10pm in the Snoqualmie Casino Ballroom. We are also offering shuttle service to and from the event for those staying at the Issaquah Hilton Garden Inn. Call 425-837-3600 for more details and to reserve your room.

WCSF Vendor Spotlight - Aging Room & Ardbeg

We're very excited to have one of the hottest new brands in the world represented at this year's WCSF. Aging Room is a brand that focuses on creating small batches of limited edition blends using rare and aged tobaccos.

The Aging Room F55 Quattro was rated 95 by Cigar Aficionado and named the #2 Cigar in the world for 2013.

Not one to rest on his laurels, owner Rafael Nadal has dug deep into his reserve of rare leaf to create Aging Room Bin #1, a full bodied masterpiece of a cigar using select tobaccos dating back to 1997. It's a full bodied cigar with a depth and complexity that can only come with age. The Aging Room Bin #1 is available now at Lit and, like all of our featured boxes, will be discounted 20% during the WCSF event!

Ardbeg single malts are known for their traditional Islay flavor profile - rich, peaty and smoky. They're also known for being the first whisky to travel to space as part of an experiment to see how whiskey matures in a zero gravity environment.

This spawned the idea for Ardbeg Supernova, an extremely rare annual release highlighting the richer, more intense flavors in the Ardbeg spectrum. We'll have one bottle of the Supernova 2014 to sample during the WCSF, so listen for the special announcement during the event and try it! You can read more about the Supernova and the Ardbeg space project here.

Happy Smoking!

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