Monthly Archives: August 2013

La Hermandad Costa Fuerte Cigar Review

La Hermandad Costa Fuerte

A recent gift bag of goodies from Vikki at PDR Cigars landed me this new beauty by El Primer Mundo, the La Hermandad Costa Fuerte. Having heard good things about El Primer Mundo and PDR I looked forward to smoking after a few days rest in the humi.


La Hermandad is composed of an array of various areas. The wrapper is  5 year aged Bahia Brazil, the binder Dominican Olor. The fillers a mix of Dominican and Nicaraguan consisting of Corojo 2006 of the Dominican, and Crillo 98 of Nicaragua.

Construction & Pre-light; 17/20

The cigar had a few prominent veins and slightly visible wrapper seams. It had a toothy look and feel, but felt packed extremely well. Sniffing the cigar gave some wood notes and pepper, the foot more of the same. A straight cut to the cap offered a dry draw consisting of wood notes more to the cedar end of things, slight coffee notes, and pepper.

Flavor; 18/20

The Costa Fuerte began a tad light. The first two or three puffs gave me the cedar detected in the dry draw, but it wasn’t till about 5 puffs in that the journey truly began. The cigar’s core flavors made a great appearance. I noted cedar and coffee notes as the primary players, at times joining to form a creamy profile, then yielding to the finish of pepper. The pepper wasn’t terribly strong, yet offered a nice little kick. I figured with the word Fuerte used I’d be getting a bit more… I did later.

The second third stayed true to the core flavors of cedar and coffee, but at times I detected some earthy tones. Then came the pepper, definitely a stronger presence in this third as compared to the first. It was never anything too harsh but added a little more of a kick, which I welcomed and enjoyed.

The final third continued with most of the flavors, save the coffee and earth. The pepper and cedar were still there, and at times I thought I noticed a sweet component. The pepper kept up with the nice strong presence but again never was too much. No problem nubbing this beauty out.

Draw, Burn, & Ash;

The draw was perfect from beginning to end. Plenty of smoke output. Very enjoyable. 20/20

The burn was razor-sharp for the first and majority of the second third. Towards the end of the second third I did get a little funk going on, a couple of shots with the lighter helped it. The final third burned great. 17/20

The ash was nice and tight for the most part. I experienced a little flaking in my burn troubles, but nothing major. 19/20


La Hermandad Costa Fuerte was a very enjoyable smoke. I highly recommend keeping an eye out for it. I know I will be. I also would like to add, that with a little age, this already really good cigar will be a really great cigar. I see a good amount of them going into my aging humi and my regular rotation as well. I think El Primer Mundo and PDR have a great seller, in my humble opinion. As always I thank you for reading and long ashes to all! -Evan

The Greek’s Scales Of Justice;

Final Score;




Project Mañana


Click Here to Donate to Project Manana!
Welcome to Cigar Federation’s Raffle for Project Mañana!
Several weeks ago, Brian Berman of Project Mañana contacted Matt at Cigar Federation with regard to sponsoring of a child in the Dominican Republic. As discussed in the above video, Matt left that phone conversation trying to think of how he could help his friend Brian and Project Mañana to the best of his abilities. That led to Cigar Federation jumping on-board and Cigar Federation’s Raffle for Project Mañana.
Our goal over the next three weeks (beginning today, 8/19, and ending Friday, 9/6) is to generate as much funding for Project Mañana as possible. We have reached out to many of our favorite cigar manufacturers for support and now, we’re reaching out to you! With your help, we have the ability to change the lives of numerous children in the Dominican Republic – together!
You can find the full list of prizes below, but the list will continue to grow as we receive more donations from manufacturers over the next 3 weeks. We urge you to support this initiative as soon as possible to help us reach our goals. As a bonus, we’ve announced that the person who donates the most money will automatically receive the Crowned Heads prize pack! In the event there is a tie for this honor, the person who donated that amount first will receive the prize, so make sure to get your donations in early!
Additionally, while we are limiting prizes to one per person (winning the Crowned Heads prize pack is excluded – so you can win the CH prize pack AND another prize), if you donate $260 or more, you will be eligible to win TWO prizes. So, theoretically, if you donate $400 and are the highest donor, you will win the CH Prize Pack and have the chance to win TWO other prizes as well!
As stated, during the week of Sept 8th (the official date is to be announced soon), we will conduct a Live Special Edition of Cigar Chat to announce the winners. All entries will be compiled into a spreadsheet and we will use to pick the winners. If you have any questions, please contact Matt or Logan from Cigar Federation through a direct message. If you would like to email Logan, you can do so at
Good luck to all and thank you for supporting Project Mañana!

How your donation will be used: All proceeds will be allocated to the the building of Nutrition Center & Dormitory.
List of Current Prizes
HIGHEST AMOUNT DONATED: Prize Pack from Crowned Heads:
Box of Headley Grange Corona Gorda
Box of Four Kicks #5
Camo Four Kicks Trucker Hat
GRAND PRIZE: Dominican Republic Adventure Experience:
3 days / 4 nights in Santiago, Dominican Republic
Meals, Lodging, and Transportation (airfare not included)
Visit to Project Mañana’s private school & nutrition center in La Yaguita de Pastor
Visit to Project Mañana’s nutrition center in Villa Gonzales
Visit to working cigar factories (optional)
Beach day at Sosua Beach (lunch provided on the beach, under palm trees)
1) Prize Pack from Drew Estate Cigars:
Box of Feral Flying Pig
Feral Flying Pig Shirt
Liga Privada Hat
Liga Privada Crystal Ashtray
2) Prize Pack from Ezra Zion Cigars: Added 8/19
Box of Tantrum’s
3) Prize Pack from Emilio Cigars:
Box of Quetzal Torpedo
4) Prize Pack from Paul Stulac Cigars:
20 Count Bundle of Phantom Torpedo’s
5) Prize Pack from Fratello Cigars:
20 Count Box of Fratello Corona’s
6) Prize Pack from Nomad Cigars:
20 Count Bundle of Renegades
Nomad Cigars T-Shirt
7) Prize Pack from AKA Cigars:
Box of Hybrid DEA
AKA Respect Hat
AKA Hybrid Hat
AKA Dog Tag
8) Prize Pack from Ortega Cigars:
Box of Serie D Maduro No.10
9) Prize Pack from AKA Cigars:
Box of Hybrid DEA
AKA Hybrid Hat
AKA Dog Tag
10) Prize Pack from AKA Cigars:
Box of Respect 2012 Anchors Away
AKA Hybrid Hat
AKA Dog Tag
11) Prize Pack from Ortega Cigars:
Box of Wild Bunch “Wild Bill”
12) Prize Pack from Cigarmy: Added 8/27
Box of Room 101 Namakubi
13) Prize Pack from Miami Cigars:
10 Count Box of Nestor Miranda Grand Reserve 2012
14) Prize Pack from Espinosa Cigars: Added 8/27
10 Count Box of 601 La Bomba Napalm’s
610 La Bomba Ashtray
XL 601 La Bomba Warhead Shirt
15) Prize Pack from TL Johnson Cigars:
Box of Legend Reserve 63 Maduro Toro’s
Red TL Johnson Cigars Shirt
Grey TL Johnson Cigars Shirt
16) Prize Pack from TL Johnson Cigars:
Box of Legend Reserve 63 Habano Toro’s
Red TL Johnson Cigars Shirt
Grey TL Johnson Cigars Shirt
17) Prize Pack from TL Johnson Cigars:
Box of Legend Reserve 63 Habano Toro’s
Red TL Johnson Cigars Shirt
Grey TL Johnson Cigars Shirt
18) Prize Pack from 1502 Cigars:
9 Count Box of Ruby Torpedo’s
3 Count Box of Black Gold Conquistadors
19) Prize Pack from Miami Cigars:
10 Count Box of Anoranzas

Blessed Leaf

Kyle Hoover, co-owner of Ezra Zion Cigar Company and, announces the launch of a new cigar-themed Christian ministry, Blessed Leaf.
“Blessed Leaf is a unique idea, something that has never been done before. It’s a faith community–or in more basic terms–an “online church” for cigar smokers.” noted Hoover.
On, aficionados can create a profile page to join the Blessed Leaf community. Members can post content, access media, read faith-based articles and cigar reviews designed to strengthen them in their Christian walk.
“I know two things: The Bible and cigars. This is the culmination of a dream to bring those two passions together. My prayer is that this is a catalyst for cigar enthusiasts to become closer to Jesus, whether they have a relationship with Him now or not.” Hoover continued.
Beginning September 4th at 6pm CST, “Blessed Leaf LIVE!” will air on the homepage. This hour long show serves as the weekly service and will air every Wednesday evening. It will be hosted by Kyle Hoover and Chris Kelly. Guests will include believers from all around the cigar industry.
“A major part of this vision is the Featured Contributors. I want to create a platform where these guys can share their testimonies and teachings that will bless and encourage the members of Blessed Leaf. These are BOTL that either work professionally in the cigar industry or are avid cigar smokers in full-time pastoral ministry. Guys like Brian Berman, Kip Fisher, Nate McIntyre, The Don Fonseca, and my pastor Niles Holsinger will be posting some life-changing stuff.”
For more information visit Follow on Twitter and Instagram: @Blessed_Leaf

G.A.R. DELI CUSTOM CIGAR ORDERS George Rico announces the launch of G.A.R. Deli custom blended cigars out of Little Havana factory


George Rico announces the launch of G.A.R. Deli custom blended cigars out of Little Havana factory.

G.A.R. Deli Custom Orders – August 16, 2013

Miami, Florida – G.R. Tabacaleras Co. Cigar Factory.  About three years ago, George Rico envisioned developing a project where his customers could create their own cigar blends without having to go through the very costly process of coming out with a line.  This concept became a service now being offered at his G.R. Tabacaleras Co. factory in Miami, known as G.A.R. Deli.   According to Rico, G.A.R. Deli was one of the primary reasons the Miami factory was opened.  The factory was supposed to be a place where George could experiment and create unique and limited lines in the United States, and at the same time give the customer an opportunity to experiment in the blending process of their very own cigar.  A customer interested in blending their own cigar can select their own wrapper, binder, and three types of fillers from a G.A.R. Deli sample kit of tobaccos.

Ohlone Cigar Lounge event in Fremont, CA 6/4/13         Fujioka’s Wine Times event in Honolulu, HI  6/6/13

Last June, Ohlone Cigar Lounge of California and Fujioka’s Wine Times of Hawaii, hosted G.A.R. Deli cigar blending events.  Guests of the events were each given samples of all the different tobaccos that George had available at the Miami factory to put a blend together.  They received their own blending sheet where they listed their preferred wrapper, binder, and fillers for their blend.  Those guests were able to place an order with the factory to have their blend prepared by a cigar roller at G.R. Tabacaleras Co. and receive a box of their custom cigar.


G.A.R. Deli orders are not limited to blending events. Customers can blend in person with George Rico in Miami or a G.A.R. Deli custom order can be made by contacting the factory directly at G.A.R. Deli tobacco kits can be mailed directly to anyone interested in blending their own cigar. Customizing your blend will also be made available online when construction of the G.R. Tabacaleras Co. website is complete.

G.R. Tabacaleras Co.
1792 SW 8 Street, Miami, FL  33135

Copyright © 2013, G.R. Tabacaleras Co. All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
1792 SW 8 Street, Miami, FL  33135

George Rico S.T.K. Miami American Puro Cigar Review


Missing out on IPCPR was a real downer. Thankfully a few people in the business didn’t forget the Greek. Natasha, from G.A.R. Cigars recently contacted me and was gracious enough to send me a couple of these fine offerings to try out. After smoking one, and soon after having to deal with a sinus cold, I finally smoked another and compared notes from the first. The result is the review of this great cigar.


The George Rico S.T.K. Miami American Puro is composed of a Connecticut Habano wrapper and binder. The fillers consist of Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and Kentucky Fire Cured tobaccos. I’ve really been enjoying these Fire-Cured blends. It will be available in Robusto, Toro Grande, and Corona Gorda. Each box will contain 20 cigars, and should be available in September.

Construction & Pre-Light; 17/20

The cigar showed a few veins, wrapper seams, and had a toothy look and feel. It felt packed very well with no soft spots. The pre-light sniff offered some cedar and charred wood notes, of course the Kentucky Fire Cured. There was also a note of spice. The foot showed off mostly a nice smoky aroma along with some pepper. After a straight cut to the cap, the dry draw offered more of the Kentucky Fire Cured tobacco notes with pepper and cedar.

Flavor; 17/20

The American Puro started off with a nice offering of cedar notes, pepper, and a charred wood note. A bit into the first third I also noticed a nice accent of nuts added to the profile. For the most part the cedar and pepper were the dominant notes in the first third, along with the charred notes following close second.

The second third continued with the cedar and pepper. The pepper seemed to give a little more kick now. The charred wood or smoky notes were also a little more on the forefront in this third. Towards the end of the second third I also noticed a leather note making an appearance.

The final third was mostly of the pepper and smoky notes. The cedar, nuts, and leather were all out of the picture. It was a nice strong finish but in no way too strong. Taking it down to the nub was an enjoyment.


Draw, Burn, & Ash; 

The first one I smoked gave me a little trouble in the beginning. Nothing too dramatic but the pull had me worried. It ended up correcting itself within the first 5 pulls. Other than that the draw was perfect.  18/20

The burn was fabulous. Razor-sharp from beginning to end. Neither cigar I smoked required touch-ups. 20/20

The ash was equally impressive as the burn. It was strong, not flaky at all, and held at least to the first band and probably would’ve even further if I hadn’t decided to tap the tray. 20/20


I’ve been enjoying this fire-cured tobacco offerings as of late, and the American Puro is a tasty, solid addition to this class of cigar. The construction quality is evident in the burn and ash, and the flavors are extremely enjoyable. I look forward to their release and would love to see what age does to these types of cigar. I think George Rico has a great seller in the American Puro. Come September, I for one know that these will make it into my humidor, both for smoking and aging. As always I thank you for reading and long ashes to all! -Evan

The Greek’s Scales of Justice; 

Final Score;















El Cedro Cigars Unveils Initial Offerings


NEW YORK CITY, August 1st 2013—Anwar Elboustani experienced what he calls “love at first smoke” while stationed in Iraq as a translator in the U.S. Navy. In early 2013, nearly ten years later, Elboustani founded El Cedro Cigars, a new boutique brand inspired by the men and women of America’s armed services. Today, the company is proud to unveil its initial offerings to the American market.

El Cedro, or “The Cedar,” refers to the ancient Mediterranean cedar trees which dot the mountains of Lebanon, some of which date back nearly 2000 years. “I chose the cedar tree because to me it embodies eternity,” Elboustani said. “I want ‘The Cedar’ to memorialize those who have fallen for the freedom that every American enjoys.”


El Cedro cigars are produced by the Kelner Boutique Factory in the Dominican Republic. The new cigars utilize a Dominican wrapper and binder. The filler contains a special blend of Dominican and Nicaraguan ligero tobaccos to deliver a taste that is at once thoroughly Dominican but that also delivers a unique kick of strength and flavor.

“For my initial offering, I wanted to offer a cigar that would be enjoyable to the novice and veteran smoker alike,” Elboustani said.


The cigars will be showcased in two sizes: Robusto at 5 ½ x 50 and Corona Gorda 5 ½ x 46. Boxes of the Robusto size will be offered in 18-count boxes, while boxes of the Corona Gorda will be offered in 20-count boxes. El Cedro cigars are available at a suggested retail price of $7 for the Corona Gorda size and $8 for the Robusto size.

Elboustani plans to host several release events throughout New York City in August and September. Like and Follow El Cedro Cigars on Facebook and Twitter to receive event invitations.

p: 347.933.5119