Macanudo announces Inspirado Red

Presenting Macanudo Inspirado Red

The evolution of Macanudo continues with Macanudo Inspirado Red, a fiery new addition to the top-rated Inspirado portfolio. This bold, full-bodied offering represents the marriage of rich volcanic soil and profound aging techniques to achieve unmatched strength and refinement.

José de Castro, vice president of marketing for General Cigar’s Macanudo brand said, “As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Macanudo, we created Macanudo Inspirado Red to speak to the brand’s unique ability to adapt to the preferences of today’s cigar lovers. Nicaraguan cigars are hot right now. With ‘Inspirado Red,’ we show how nimble the brand can be by introducing a unique, Nicaraguan-forward blend to the line, while highlighting the expertise of the torcederos from our cigar factory in Esteli.”

Dressed in Ecuadoran Habano ligero and blended with rarefied tobaccos including twelve-year aged Nicaraguan Ometepe, ten-year aged Honduran Jamastran and five-year-aged Nicaraguan Esteli, Macanudo Inspirado Red has a hearty Nicaraguan Jalapa binder. Enticing notes of pepper and spice reign, transcending the experience of Central American tobaccos to the point of sublime.

Macanudo Inspirado Red is handcrafted at STG Esteli in Nicaragua and will be available throughout the U.S. in all channels beginning in late March. The line will debut with three frontmarks as detailed below, each presented in 20-count boxes:

Robusto: 5 by 50 (box pressed) – SRP per cigar is $6.49

Toro: 6 by 50 – SRP per cigar is $6.99

Gigante: 6 by 60 –  SRP per cigar is $7.49

Meze Audio 99 Neo Review

Recently I had the pleasure of being included in a worldwide tour posted on Head-fi of the Meze Audio 99 Neo headphones. Below you’ll find my impressions. Before that, a little bit about me and this site…

About Me;

I am by no means an audio professional nor will I ever claim to be without the correct accreditation. Everything offered will be my experience/opinion. Its all subjective and may sound one way to me but different to the next person. In this respect I’ll always accept discussion but never bashing.

The Smoking Greek was first established as a cigar blog. I did have the intention of converting it to cigars and audio, as they’re both passions I extremely enjoy. The Meze 99 Neo marks the first audio type review on this site, however here you won’t find measurements, graphs, etc. The only thing I can and will offer is my personal experience and opinion with audio equipment pertaining to how they sound, build quality, price, packaging, fit, and comfort.

As far as music goes I have a big emphasis on classic rock, rock/pop, some jazz, some classical, and of course Greek music. There will always be a list of sources and songs used. More so than not the playlist might be pretty similar. Now let’s get down to it…



I used my Fiio X5iii mainly for this review. Once or twice I also employed the Fiio A5 amp which really wasn’t necessary but we’ll get to that later.

Apple IPod Classic. Apple IPhone 7S Plus.

My biggest regret was not having the time to hook this up to my Schiit Asgard 2. Again it wasn’t necessary for power purposes but I’m sure the experience would’ve been that much funner, something I soon hope to rectify. (yes that can be considered a spoiler alert.)


David Bowie- Ashes to Ashes, Space Oddity, Starman, Blackstar, Ziggy Stardust, Life on Mars.

Prince- Purple Rain, When Doves Cry, Let’s Go Crazy.

AC/DC- Thunderstruck, Shook Me All Night Long, Big Gun.

Guns N Roses- November Rain, Estranged, You Could Be Mine, Yesterdays, Nighttrain.

Chris Cornell- Sunshower, Hunger Strike, Nothing Compares (Sirius Session Cover)

Aerosmith- Dream On, Sweet Emotion, Rag Doll.

Santana- Yambu, Oye Como Va, Black Magic Woman.

Jefferson Airplane- White Rabbit, Somebody to Love.

Packaging & Accessories;

The Meze 99 Neo came in a nice sized box, tightly packed and organized. The one thing I really loved is the carrying case included. Makes these even more of a bargain.

Fit & Comfort;

I loved the fit that Meze employed here. It feels like memory foam, for lack of a better phrase. The headphones rest on your head like normal, but instead of having to adjust each side they sort of “contour” to the fit of your head. I may sound funny but really enjoyed it. Comfort was also never an issue. Ears never got sweaty, the pads were nice and snug, and I felt no big addition of weight even of an hour or two of use each night.

Build Quality;

The Neo felt nice and sturdy, not that I felt I could slam them up against a wall or anything but I wasn’t overly nervous testing them out. Aesthetically I found them a pleasure to look at as well. Something that really wows me are that these are extremely serviceable. It may say one thing to others but for me it shows a focus on pleasing consumers and keeping them close. My compliments to Meze Audio.

Price Point;

Now here’s another beauty. The Meze 99 Neo are currently listed at $249 USD. This is an absolute steal in my book. More on why as you’ll understand in my review. (yet another spoiler alert.)

Specs from Meze’s Site;

  • Transducer size: 40mm
  • Frequency response: 15Hz – 25KHz
  • Sensitivity: 103dB at 1KHz, 1mW
  • Impedance: 26 Ohm
  • Rated input power: 30mW
  • Maximum input power: 50mW
  • Detachable Kevlar OFC cable
  • Plug: 3.5mm gold plated
  • Weight: 260 gr (9.2 ounces) without cables
  • Ear-cups: ABS Plastic


Bass- Ok, I’m by no means a bass head, but lately in listening to many cans, bass always feels a bit subdued to me. Not the case here. I may have overly enjoyed the bass response with the 99 Neo. The percussion in music was such a pleasant sound to my ears, never muddy, or overtaking. It blended exceptionally well with the kids and highs.

Mids- The mids were smooth, perhaps a tad lacking but nothing that really bothered me. I didn’t feel I was missing anything in familiar music and at the same time not gaining too much. Everything was there and I truly didn’t expect much more especially for a closed back set.

Highs- Never too sharp or harsh. I didn’t ever get that eye squinting high slap you can sense here and there on cans that have a high focus.


Instrument separation was definitely there, although maybe not as detailed as either open back phones or “higher end” closed backs. Again this didn’t really affect my experience. The separation as I said was there and pleasant.


Another great aspect would be that you don’t need to break the bank in driving the Neo. I had no issues with my Fiio X5ii, IPod Classic, or IPhone 7s Plus. I did use my Fiio A5 amp just for fun and it only added to the fun, it was never necessary. Again i do regret not having time to hook these up to my Schiit Asgard 2 but it wasn’t needed to drive them.


If you can’t tell already I thoroughly enjoyed the Meze Audio 99 Neo. I feel that these will be a pair of headphones I can put on for hours whilst either working at my desk at home or just relaxing and getting lost in good tunes. The presentation, sound, build, accessories, price, and serviceability make these an all around no brainer. If there ends up being such a list on this site, The Meze Audio 99 Neo will make my best of 2017 for sure. That’s it for this round with The Greek. Happy listening and may the music always balance it all out.

Greek Scales of Justice


Black Works Studio KATO and KIller Bee Lonsdale Release



February 16, 2017— Black Works Studio (BLK WKS) is pleased to announce the upcoming release of GREEN HORNET “KATO” and KILLER BEE LONSDALE: Hand crafted in Esteli, Nicaragua at Fabrica Oveja Negra.


These cigars are available at select BLK WKS retailer events beginning March, 2017.


“We are very excited to launch these new additions to the Killer Bee and Green Hornet lines. These cigars will be released as event only in very limited quantities. Both of these cigars are unique versions of the original blends and highlight the creativity of our factory. I wanted something special for our retailers who support us with events and these two cigars are exactly that,” said James Brown, creator of BLK WKS and owner at Fabrica Oveja Negra.



Country of Origin: Nicaragua

Wrapper: Ecuador Maduro w/a Candela swirl cap & closed foot

Binder: Nicaraguan Habano

Filler: Nicaragua

  • Petite Corona – 4.5 x 46 (20 count) MSRP $9.50



Country of Origin: Nicaragua

Wrapper: Ecuador Maduro w/a Connecticut linear cap

  • Binder: Nicaraguan Habano

Filler: Nicaragua

  • Lonsdale – 6.5 x 42 (20 count) MSRP $9.00


BLK WKS cigars are an expression of art showcasing the talent, technique and tobacco behind boutique cigar factory; Fabrica Oveja Negra. Available for purchase through Boutiques Unified. For more information contact

Foundry Tobacco Company Presents Temple Hall Estates

Foundry Tobacco Company Presents Temple Hall Estates

History takes many forms, from words in books to stories handed down through generations. Foundry Tobacco Company’s new Temple Hall Estates collection is a story of heritage, best told through smoke.
The Temple Hall Cigar Factory was born of necessity. During WWII, England needed to keep its currency within the commonwealth to support the war effort. As the Brits were among the world’s largest buyers of Cuban cigars at that time, many Cuban cigar masters expatriated to British-held Jamaica to continue to supply this important market. The Temple Hall cigar factory quickly became a big-time player. Years later, when the Castro regime took control of Cuba, Ramón Cifuentes, the father of Partagas, assumed the day-to-day operation of the factory. His legendary attention to detail and exacting standards quickly put Temple Hall on the map, and it became known as one of the world’s premier cigar factories.
When the Temple Hall factory was acquired by General Cigar in the 1960s, Edgar Cullman, then chairman of the company, saw tremendous promise in Ramón and ultimately transferred him to the Dominican Republic where he played a pivotal role in developing the company’s strict standards for cigar making and quality assurance.
Justin Andrews, sales manager for Foundry Tobacco Company had this to day about the brand, “Temple Hall Estates pays homage to the factory in Jamaica, and the people who shared Ramón Cifuentes’ love for the art of cigar making. This new line is made in Santiago, DR, according to the techniques set forth at Temple Hall by Ramón.”
A silky, elegant, and flavorful smoke reminiscent of the cigars crafted at Temple Hall under the tutelage of Ramón Cifuentes, Temple Hall Estates is made with a Connecticut Shade wrapper over a Mexican San Andrean binder. Proprietary Dominican Piloto Cubano leaves grown in Mao, DR and harvested from all three grades (volado, seco and ligero) and Mexican San Andrean long fillers round out the blend and deliver enticing notes of earth and cedar.
Andrews noted, Temple Hall Estates rounds out the Foundry Tobacco Company portfolio by offering a mild, smooth-smoking cigar not previously represented in the FTC Heritage Series which includes Ramón Allones and Bolivar.”
Temple Hall Estates is available in four classic sizes listed below, and is now shipping to cigar retailers across the U.S. The brand will be supported with in-store educational events beginning in March and taking place at cigar shops across the country.
5.5 x 49 – SRP per cigar is $6.99
6 x 50 – SRP per cigar is $7.49
5.25 x 54 – SRP per cigar is $7.99
7.5 x 49 – SRP per cigar is $8.49
# # #

It’s been a while…

Hey there my old friends. The Greek has been on somewhat of a hiatus, and for the I apologize. Life catches up sometimes and focuses shift. Happily I can say most of my focuses have been positive. I won’t bore you with the details.
However I am back. I’ll be sharing my opinions as much as possible and actually will be adding another one of my passions to the site. Personal home and portable audio. So get your palates ready for good cigars, and you ears ready for the bliss of getting lost in your favorite jams with great equipment to do so.
Thanks for hanging in there to whoever reads this. I’ve missed you all!

Epicurean Cigars Gonzo Santeria Cigar Review

Gonzo Santeria

I’m pretty sure Gary’s trying to put a spell on me, as a matter of fact on the cigar industry as a whole. Steven Ysidron has aided him with the creation of the Epicurean Gonzo Santeria. It’s no secret that the House of Emilio has become a powerhouse with a portfolio that will knock your socks off. So how do you think the addition of this cigar will do? Read on for my personal opinion of it…


The Epicurean Cigars Gonzo Santeria is a Nicaraguan cigar composed of a San Andres Wrapper, Double Binder of San Andres and Jalapa, and the filler consists of 2009 Nicaraguan Jalapa and Condega. The cigar is of course distributed by the House of Emilio and available on the Cigar Fed Store.

Construction & Pre Light;

I smoked the Heina, 6×52 box-pressed Toro for this review. The cigar displayed some visible veins and wrapper seams, no soft spots. A sniff of it offered some spice and cocoa on the nose. The foot gave a bit more spice, cocoa, and earthy tones. Lighting was a cinch on I was off…


The Santeria started off with primary notes of coffee, cocoa and earth. Also present were subtle notes of pepper spice and a dried fruit note. The pepper was a little more noticeable on the retrohale. The coffee, cocoa, and earth were the most prominent throughout the first third for me, coca being the lesser of the flavors. The pepper and dried fruit were there but stayed in the background.

The second third saw a rise in the pepper spice and coca. These flavors replaced the dried fruit which had faded into the background. I picked up extremely slight notes of the fruit here and there but it had all but gone later in this third. The cocoa, pepper, and earth became the primary players in the second third, with the coffee following a close second.

The final third saw the earth, spice, and coffee become the primary notes. The fruit, and coca were all but a memory. The cigar was a definite nub-worthy smoke.

Draw, Burn, & Ash;

The draw was great from beginning to end. Never too loose or too tight. Great smoke output.

The burn was excellent. Not exactly razor-sharp, but nothing that required any attention.

The ash held strong for about an inch or so in, after that it only yielded to my tap of the ashtray.


Epicurean cigars has a home run of a cigar here. The complexity, flavor, and strength were all superb. It kept things interesting from foot to nub. I look forward to getting some more of these to enjoy in what hopefully will be upcoming cigar-friendly weather. The only issue I have is the 50 count box. I’m personally not one to buy more than a box of 20 or so at a time, but that’s me. I will without a doubt be purchasing a couple of 5 packs to smoke and stash away to see what age does. The House of Emilio has a great addition to their already robust portfolio with the Gonzo Santeria. Again don’t forget their available on the Cigar Federation Store. As always I thank you for reading and long ashes to all! -Evan

The Greek’s Scales of Justice;

Final Score;




J•R Cigar, the world’s largest cigar store, proudly announces it will now offer their vast, discerning customer base a diverse
selection of highly regarded tobacco products and smoking accoutrements by
Davidoff Cigars. The long-awaited collaboration between these two esteemed leaders in the premium-cigar landscape is
exciting news for cigar enthusiasts

The Davidoff name is synonymous with craftsmanship, sophistication and elegance. Every stage of the cigar making process is controlled by Davidoff, crop-to-shop. It’s a simple way of ensuring unparalleled quality, time after time. Zino Davidoff believed in the importance of time. How it should, at every opportunity, be filled beautifully. Time lies at the heart of the Davidoff philosophy.
It is, after all the one thing everyone at Davidoff – then and now – has dedicated to cultivating, drying, curing, blending and tasting the very best tobacco in the single-minded pursuit of creating the very finest cigars.

Rob Norris, CEO of 800-JR Cigar, Inc., provided his company’s perspective on the Davidoff alliance,
“Our aim at JR Cigar is to offer our loyal consumers the opportunity to taste and enjoy the best and widest variety of Premium cigars in the US. This new collaboration with our partners at Davidoff of Geneva is an exciting new step for us, and if initial sales are anything to go by, our consumers are also incredibly excited.”

To suit the needs of all cigar enthusiasts, J•R will offer the following Davidoff premium cigar lines:

Aniversario Series Mille Series

Classic Series Nicaragua Series

Grand Cru Series Puro D’Oro Series

Maduro Series Special Series

Millennium Blend Series Cigarillos & Small Cigars

To order Davidoff cigars, please call 1-800-JR CIGAR or visit

Drew Estate Announces Undercrown “Dogma” Commemorative Cigar & “5 Days of ‘Dogma’” Giveaway

Miami, FL – Drew Estate announced today their plans to release a new size within their Undercrown cigar line. The size will be called Undercrown “Dogma”, and has been created to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the online community Cigar Dojo. The blend of “Dogma” is based on the Undercrown Corona ¡Viva! and is comprised of Mexican San Andreas wrapper, Connecticut Stalk-Cut Habano binder, and Nicaraguan & Brazilian Mata Fina fillers. The “Dogma” will come in a 6 x 56 box-pressed vitola.

When asked about the “Dogma” project, Jonathan Drew said, “we have been major supporters of Cigar Dojo from the beginning. A handful of Drew Estate employees, myself included, are Dojo members, and we have always been floored by the support Drew Estate has received on the app and website. When Eric (owner of Cigar Dojo) approached us about coming up with this special commemorative cigar, it was a no-brainer. My dad, “Baitfish” Gary, came up with the name ‘Dogma’.”

The “Dogma” will be a limited run of 10-count bundles, and will be sold exclusively through Smoke Inn, a South Florida cigar retail chain, owned by Abe Debabneh. For those based outside of Florida, the cigars will be available through Smoke Inn’s web store. The “Dogma” will be priced at $9.95 MSRP per single and $99.50 MSRP per 10-count bundle.

The flavor profile of the “Dogma” aligns with that of the Corona ¡Viva!, featuring notes of cocoa, earth, and a rich spicy character. If you enjoy the Corona ¡Viva! but would like a longer, 56 ring gauge smoke, the “Dogma” will be a new favorite.

In tandem with the release of the new “Dogma” size, Drew Estate will be running a social campaign and giveaway through their website which will allow consumers to try the cigar before it hits the market. To enter, visit Unfortunately, the giveaway is not available in MA, MI, and VA due to anti-tobacco promotion laws within those states.

The Undercrown “Dogma” will be available for pre-order Friday, March 28th, 2014, through In the meantime, make sure to enter Drew Estate’s “5 Days of ‘Dogma’” giveaway for your chance to try the cigar before anyone else in the country. If you have any questions, please contact Drew Estate’s Public & Media Relations representative, Johnny Brooke, at jbrooke (at) drewestate (dot) com.

About Drew Estate:

Founded in New York City in 1996 by two former college fraternity brothers who shared a dream to become world-class cigar makers. Jonathan Drew and Marvin Samel led Drew Estate to become one of the largest and fastest growing cigar companies in the world. Under their mantra “The Rebirth of Cigars”™ Drew Estate has defied the odds by innovating new elements to the cigar industry with their unique tobaccos and blending styles that have attracted new and old cigar enthusiasts. In their Gran Fabrica Drew Estate, their Nicaraguan headquarters, Drew Estate produces successful brands such as ACID, Herrera Estelí, Java by Drew Estate, Kentucky Fired Cured, Liga Privada, My Uzi Weighs a Ton, Natural, Nica Rustica, Tabak Especial and UnderCrown.

Blessed Leaf Kairos Release!

March 13, 2014! !
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Kyle Hoover and Chris Kelly, the leaders of, a
Christian cigar-based ministry, announce the release of the long anticipated Blessed Leaf
“This is a project that has been in our hearts for over a year. Our vision was to produce a great
cigar with vintage tobaccos and have the proceeds go to ministry and missions efforts.” noted
Kyle Hoover.
“For this project, we went back to our roots: Nicaraguan tobacco! This is a Nicaraguan puro in
the Ezra Zion genre of blending. Since we are doing this for The Lord, it had to be the best work
we could possibly do!” added Chris Kelly.
The Blessed Leaf Kairos is a 52 x 6.25 box press. The wrapper is Corojo 99 Rosado. The filler
includes ligeros from Esteli and Jalapa. Total production is 4000 cigars of 100 boxes and 5
The Blessed Leaf Kairos is produced at the Casa Fernandez factory in Miami, Florida.! !
“We chose the name Kairos because of it’s unique meaning to this project. Kairos is defined as
a specific moment in time when the Divine intervenes directly into your life. To us, there is a duel application. Obviously, as a person smokes the cigar they will have a “heavenly” smoking
experience. Secondly, that the support raised for Christian missions will impact people’s lives
with the gospel of Christ.” added Hoover.! !! The Blessed Leaf Kairos will be available for pre-order on and The official launch herf will be on April 2 on

Miami Cigar to Serve as Exclusive US Distributor of Viva República

Miami Cigar & Sirena Seal

Miami Cigar to Serve as Exclusive US Distributor of Viva República
MIAMI – March 19, 2014

Viva República, Inc. and Miami Cigar Co. are pleased to announce an exclusive distribution agreement effective April 1st 2014. Miami Cigar will sell and distribute all Viva República lines in the United States.
In addition to the brand joining Miami Cigar’s premium product offerings, the brand creator, Jason Holly, is joining the Miami Cigar team. He will concentrate on developing existing brands and work on creating new projects, while visiting accounts nationally for events and sales support. When questioned about the acquisition Jason Wood, VP of Miami Cigar, had this to say, “We plan to increase our emphasis on traditional channels,” he said, “It is time for the cigar industry to see the new Miami Cigar, the addition of (Jason) Holly is exactly what we needed to get a jump start to our 25th Anniversary campaign.”
Founded by Nestor and Mariana Miranda in 1989 the Company is celebrating its 25th year in business.
“We are proud to be adding a growing new brand in the same year we are celebrating our 25th
Anniversary,” said Miranda, “Even after two-plus decades and millions upon millions of cigars, we’re not ready to slow down.”
“I was thoroughly impressed with the Miranda’s and Jason Wood,” said Holly, who attended Harvard University, “We share similar values, key relationships and both see enhanced growth potential resulting from our complementary skills and resources.”
“I am proud to have Viva República in the Miami Cigar family of lines we distribute.” said Wood. “In adding Holly we bring on another valuable team member, who has seen the industry from the traditional retailer’s eye. He is highly creative and can add to our strategy immensely.” When asked about future Viva República releases Holly said he would continue to rely solely on León’s factory. “It’s home. The factory is modern and well run, boasts a fantastic tobacco inventory and is owned by a great friend,” Holly said.
With the pending release of the Nestor Miranda Collection, the addition of Viva República and plans to enhance its sales mechanisms, Miami Cigar could be in for one of its most exciting years since its founding.
“We have spent some serious time evaluating our practices and look forward to implementing positive changes that will enhance our brand identity,” said Wood.

About Miami Cigar Co
Miami Cigar Co is proudly celebrating its 25th Year in Business as a distributer of premium cigars. Founded by Nestor and
Mariana Miranda the company is currently run by Vice President Jason Wood. In addition to the Nestor Miranda brands the
company also boasts the Tatiana, Don Lino and Casa Miranda brands. MCC also serves as the exclusive United States distributor
for La Aurora, S.A.

About Viva República
Viva República was founded in 2012 by former brick and mortar retailer Jason Holly. Holly partnered with Guillermo León and
his La Aurora factory as the exclusive manufacturer of the company’s Viva República brand. In addition to winning an award in
the “Best in Show” category at the IPCPR in 2013, the brands sales have steadily increased. Current releases include Rapture,
Rapture Maduro and Guerrilla Warfare, with new additions shipping shortly.