Wednesday, January 28, 2015

February Cigar (and more!) of the Month: Joya Red! or: "I see famous people."

UPDATE! We upped the ante! Not just two cigars--at least FOUR! And who knows that else, besides the book. It's a Joya de Nicaragua Cigars Bonanza!!! Keep reading for all the deets!!! What are you still doing here? Go!

First of all,
to Lancero Arsonist (@Wm2slc on twitter), also known as Bill Williams!
He won the Kristoff prize pack for the January Cigar of the Month giveaway!

"A cigar for the modern smoker. It offers a vibrant and extremely pleasant experience you will enjoy anytime, anywhere. Classy, as always, but a lot more fun."

That's how the Joya de Nicaragua website describes the Joya Red, and I have to say, they're right.* Having been a advertisement copywriter, I can say that the words used to describe a product or service are generally hyperbole wrapped in the slightest bit of truth, with a dash of WTF. So while a lot of ad copy "reads pretty," it generally lacks substance.**

Here's what we're talking about: Launched at the 2014 IPCPR, the Joya Red is a Nicaraguan puro, which brought it near and dear to Valentino's heart before he ever took the cutter from his pocket. More specifically, the wrapper is Nicaraguan Habana, Nicaraguan binder, and Nicaraguan (Jalapa, Condega, Esteli) filler.

In this case, though, no hyperbole or WTF were used in creating this ad copy. Just a lot of truth. According to an article on the Cigar Coop website, "[T]he company said they moved away from their abundant use of ligeros and thick wrappers and made use of more viso leaves." Less strength than Joyas generally have, apparently led to much more flavor, according to our hero, who gave me details later.
I was away at a writing conference, while Valentino whooped it up at a Drew Estate event at Habanos.*** (Honestly, every time a Drew Estate event happens, I'm somewhere else. Dagnabbit!) Apparently, our friendly, neighborhood Drew Estate rep (Hi John Hart!) pushed the Red in Valentino's direction.

About three puffs in, our hero called me and said, "This cigar is fucking good"--before even uttering "Hello." That's pretty high praise, considering he is one classy dude who holds etiquette in high regard. I could almost see the red hearts rising from the cigar smoke as I heard him enjoy the Red.

I was kind of in the same overly-focused mindset during his call and started telling him about how I was hanging with my new BFF, New York Times best-selling author Craig Johnson, the writer of the Longmire books, upon which the now-Netflix, once-A&E, series is based. Valentino was not suitably impressed, as he should have--and usually would have--been. That's how good the Joya Red is. I would like to say I hung on his every word, but, um, no. That's how good a storyteller Craig is--his Wyoming drawl lingered in my brain just as the Joya RED committed itself to Valentino's sensory memory.

For this month's giveaway, we thought we'd marry the subjects of this ill-fated conversation and offer you the opportunity to win this:

I've been holding onto this book for a couple of months because Craig and I promised each other we'd talk on the phone and call it an interview and we'd chat about cigars and books and other things we love.  But since then, so many things have happened, both good and bad, and now Craig's in France. As much as I love you guys, I'm not calling France for you.

Did I mention he signed it for you? Because he totally did.
But I also had these cigars in the queue to give away for February, with the whole Valentine's Day, red hearts, tie-in and all.

So you can enjoy this book of short stories while enjoying the cigars. Oh! I guess I should tell you about the book. That would help. Let's start with this: "Twelve Longmire short stories available for the first time in a single volume—featuring an introduction by Lou Diamond Phillips of A&E’s Longmire." [source]****<--[Follow the sparkles for an additional description.]

Don't forget to also watch the series if you haven't already. And read all the Longmire books, because they are really really good--and even better if you listen to them.  The audiobooks are available on iTunes. Any and all of those are perfect activities to accompany a Joya Red, which also offers you a variety of opportunities--four vitolas, that is: Short Churchill (4 3/4 x 48), Robusto (5 1/4 x 50), Toro (6 x 52), Cañonazo (5 1/2 x 54).

This is Craig in the airport on his way to France,
as part of his European book tour.
Many opportunities. Many awesome combinations, and any one (or all) of them sure to be a winner.  Trust us. We know things. And we're as trustworthy as a Wyoming small town sheriff--although we can't pull off that hat nearly as well as Craig or Longmire does.  

Here's how to enter:

So here's what we need you to do--one or two or three of the following:*****

1. Follow us on twitter! We are @cigargal <--obviously Valentino had no say in the making of that twitter handle. Sometimes we're even funny.

 Be sure to leave your twitter handle in the comments below--otherwise we won't know you're following us to be in the running for the Joya loot!

This is us--just so you know you're following the right folks!

2. Like Will the Travelling Owl's Facebook page.

Be sure to tell us your name in the comments below, especially if you post anonymously, so we can be sure you're vying for the loot <--(rhymes with hoot!) and not one of his already awesome friends.

Yep. That's Will. He's checking his Facebook page.
3. Sign up to receive our blog posts right smack dab in your inboxes! The sign-up box is right below the giveaway picture on the right hand side.

No special directions here--we can consult the list of subscribers!

The winner  is chosen on the 25th (ish) of each month--because my birthday is on the 25th, and what better way to count down to the blessed event than to give something away?

*A couple of years ago I would have said "spot on," but now that everyone says it because of some reality TV show or another, I've banished it from my vocabulary.

**Insert your own metaphor, simile, or blonde joke here.

***Drew Estate has the exclusive US distribution rights to all the Joya de Nicaragua cigars sold in this country, which is why that brand demanded attention at the DE event.

****From amazon: "Ten years ago, Craig Johnson wrote his first short story, the Hillerman Award–winning “Old Indian Trick.” This was one of the earliest appearances of the sheriff who would go on to star in Johnson’s bestselling, award-winning novels and the A&E hit series Longmire. Each Christmas Eve thereafter, fans rejoiced when Johnson sent out a new short story featuring an episode in Walt’s life that doesn’t appear in the novels; over the years, many have asked why they can’t buy the stories in book form.
"Wait for Signs collects those beloved stories—and one entirely new story, “Petunia, Bandit Queen of the Bighorns”—for the very first time in a single volume, regular trade hardcover. With glimpses of Walt’s past from the incident in “Ministerial Aide,” when the sheriff is mistaken for a deity, to the hilarious “Messenger,” where the majority of the action takes place in a Port-A-Potty, Wait for Signs is a necessary addition to any Longmire fan’s shelf and a wonderful way to introduce new readers to the fictional world of Absaroka County, Wyoming."

*****Or all three! That's three chances to win! Wahoo!


  1. I followed the Will the Travelling Owl - Al Quackenbush

  2. Not an entry, but I LOVE Longmire. Incredibly well written and love the show. Great giveaway!

    1. You're our winner this month! Please email your mailing address to me at!

  3. I follow on Twitter @wataugariver

  4. I Like Will the Travelling Owl's Facebook page

  5. this is really cool. That's awesome man. maybe one day it will make it's way to us ? maybe.

  6. Twitter is @jaketcham
    Jeff Ketcham

  7. Twitter- @ImaTexican8
    FB- Chase TexicanEight
    Cool giveaway. Thanks guys!


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