Saturday, February 28, 2015

A Long(mire) time coming!

Sorry it took a couple of extra days. But finally...
We have a winner for February's Cigar of the Month!
Albert Quackenbush! It's you!!

The four Joya Reds from Joya de Nicaragua are coming in your direction shortly!

And guess who is their travelling companion!

This guy!* But in book form.
Four cigars, though, not two!

Thanks to everyone who entered! And this next giveaway is going to be another bonanza! We're going to tell you about it in just a nanosecond, but as a hint, it will involve this:

Details coming soon!

*If you don't know, this is Robert Taylor as Walt Longmire from the (now) Netflix series Longmire, which is based on Craig Johnson's book series.**

**If you have the chance, you should listen to the books' audio versions, which are narrated by the most awesome George Guidall.***

***You know how everyone wants Morgan Freeman to narrate their lives? I would make George my first, second, and third choices.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Two Cabelleros, One Shared Brain

There are no words...

for how creepily alike...
these two are.
I love them anyway, dagnabbit. It's like a BOGO*

*Buy one, get one. Although I didn't really BUY Cabellero #1--unless you count the $30 I spent on one month of, which is where we found each other.**

**You can get anything on the mighty, mighty internets!***

***Including the cigars they're smoking here!--the LFD Special Football Edition, which is available here. Only 400 boxes were made. Between the Cabelleros, they have 5 of them! Hurry!

We want you to be a twit(terer) with us!

Did you know we're on Twitter? We're totally on Twitter. You should follow us: @cigargal.  And by us, I mean me. Valentino technically is the face of the blog and the Twitter account, but I am the girl behind the curtain. I'm the Great and Powerful Oz to his Emerald City.

The other day, as I was RESEARCHING...something...and accidentally wound up on Twitter in the search for...something researchy, I came across a really cool picture:

I asked if I could share it with you all, and Tony Rubio (@ThCigarBrothers) said, Sure! (By the way, you should check out his superfun website here.)

So...enjoy! And if you're interested in sharing photos or funny stories or whatever, please contact us (me) at!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Words you should know: Box-pressed or: Pretty shoes or: You're welcome on so many levels

Heh heh. You said "box."*

Valentino prefers order over chaos, balanced rather than asymmetrical, following recipes rather than winging it.  You get the picture.

Now picture the complete opposite. That's me, a swirl of off-balanced chaos who thinks recipes are mere suggestions.

And yes, box-pressed cigars make me swoon. (Probably like Valentino does, with all his order...)

Here's the dealio: Imagine you're squished into a space for months on end. Eventually, you're going to take the shape of the space--kind of like super uncomfortable shoes you keep wearing because they're so darned cute.
Like these gorgeous and very sparkly shoes, which I want very much,
although I have nothing to wear them with. [source]

Rumor** has it, the idea of the box-pressed cigar came from trying to squeeze as many cigars into a box as possible and has the added benefit of keeping the little buggers from rolling off the table. Or the other way around. The source that shall not be named has had one too many shots of Patron anejo to be considered reliable.

Just TRY and roll off the table! I dare you.
(Apologies to Robert Conrad.)
And because the leaves are all squished tightly together, the cigar will burn more slowly. Valentino wants me to point out that if you're in a rush, go for the round cigars--even if they're about the same size. I'm nodding in agreement because the other night, we stayed way later at Habanos (our home away from home) than we initially intended. He wasn't thinking about the time discrepancy when he lit up the Alec Bradley Diamond Rough Cut.

Here is the joy of this particular box-pressed cigar--no regular squared-offness for these folks. Oh no! They've been smushed into (just as the name implies) diamond-shaped cigars.*** And by smushed, we actually mean...

Well, you should check out Cigar Aficionado: "According to Sam Phillips, vice president of marketing for Alec Bradley, the inspiration for the cigar's diamond shape came from the rollers at Plasencia Cigars, the factory in Nicaragua where Diamond [is] produced. Factory workers there apply a rolling technique known as the "accordion method" where each leaf is folded in a wavy pattern, in a shape reminiscent of an accordion. Or, to brand owner Alan Rubin and his right-hand man Ralph Montero, a diamond."

Seeee? (Sorry for the lousy picture.
I didn't want to bother Valentino,
who is watching the University of Kentucky
basketball game. Go sports team!
A line extension of the Nica Puro,**** the Diamond Rough Cut has an extra leaf, according to our friendly, neighborhood Alec Bradley representative Drinnan Thornton. He also reminded me the 6 1/2 x 52 box press is a limited edition, which means you'd better run out and get some before they're all gone.  Pinky swear you won't be disappointed with the rich flavor AND you'll get a fantastic box to keep your treasures in. Or, you know, your blog mascot:

Will practicing his George Costanza.
You're welcome [source]


*You: What are you, seven?
Us: (sheepishly) Maybe.

**We can't tell you our sources--because if they're wrong, they don't want to be identified.

***This is the point where a lesser writer would allude (or shout) the adage that "Diamonds are a girl's best friend." But we shan't go there, even though I'd be more than happy to show you more sparkly shoes:
****Which means it's purely Nicaraguan--wrapper, binder, and filler are from Nicaragua. The wrapper is Nicaraguan Habano, for a bit of extra kick.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Premium 70/70 Lounge or: 70% chance I've been drinking from the lead cup

Honest to everything, sometimes I am the dumbest person ever to walk the earth. Or lie on the couch on Earth. Or have snacks on Earth. Or second-hand smoke on Earth.*

When this happens, my BFF (Hi Jame!) will look me straight in the eye and ask, "Have you been drinking from the lead cup?"

The answer is probably yes. Here's why:

1. I lived in Westport, MA for umpity gajillion years and never knew the Premium 70/70 Cigar Shop and Lounge existed. Westport is not a big place. There's no reason we haven't been going in there for umpity ages. I never connected the giant neon CIGAR sign outside to We Like Cigars.

Look what I was missing:

Look at this delicious lounging area.
Valentino could smoke and chat up a storm with the regulars here!
(We hear they're wicked nice!)
(Obvs they're not in the picture. I'm not THAT bad!).
BTW, I could totally second-hand smoke here.
I could write here. Let's be honest. I could nap here no problem. 


You guys! You have to go here and be amazed at all the great cigars in this massive humidor that made Valentino weep with jealousy--even though this is a shop and we aren't (although the new humidor makes us look a lot closer). You'd be jealous of these humidors too! You should visit them to see for yourself. We'll meet you there!
So very very pretty. And what's inside is pretty great too!

[Here's an extended aside-too big for a sparkle--Premium 70/70 is hosting a J Grotto event on Friday, February 20, 2015. We've told you a million times about how much we love all things J Grotto and adore their creator, Paul Joyle, he of Mr. J's Havana. Clear your calendar and get your butt there. We'll probably go! ::runs to tell Valentino I'd like to go::]

Anyway, while we were at 70/70, Valentino picked up one of these little babies (below) to smoke while we pestered Manager and Awesomely Cool Guy*** Nolan Perry. You have to go and you have to say "Howdy!" to Nolan. He's super fun to talk to and he knows about one thousand cubic tons of cigar things.

And when you go, say "Well helloooooo" in that creepy way to Los Carajos, "All the power & flavor of a full sized Ligero concentrated into a quick smoke that will surely leave you yelling its name… in a good way!" according to the La Flor Dominicana website.

So very very tasty!

So...this 4 x 34 is the new house favorite for a quick smoke--for example when Valentino is waiting for me to get my crap together and leave the house, even though I was ready to go three minutes prior.**** I'm thinking I should buy this for him, since my losing things and getting sidetracked is a regular occurrence.

Perfect packaging if you have OCD.

In case you didn't know, because you don't live on Planet Earth, "La Flor Dominicana is one of the premier Dominican cigar producers known for growing full-flavored and full-bodied Dominican tobacco on their La Canela farm. They then carefully age and roll these tobaccos into some of the best-selling cigars in the world." [source

We recently emptied out the overstuffed humidor and split the goods into its newly-arrived 2,000-count twin. Guess what we found as we started sorting? Yep! Lots of LFDs because--hand to the heavens--there's not a bad one in the bunch, so each time we're at an event, we buy more new things to try and old favorites to stock up on. Contrary to popular belief, I am not an enabler.*****

"Offered with a variety of wrappers, the La Flor Dominicana Little Cigars provide the same great tobacco flavors that fans of La Flor Dominicana have come to expect but in a smaller package. These short smokes are guaranteed to give you your cigar fill in a shorter smoking time with medium to full-bodied smoke and terrific flavors." [source]
Speaking of none of that, guess who lives at Premium 70/70!!!

Bob the Cat!!
How can you not love a place with a cat?
You thought I forgot I was making a list, didn't you?

2. So--70/70 Cigar Shop.
I'm embarrassed at how long it took me to figure out what the shop name means.  I'm not saying it took a couple of days to click. I mean MONTHS! Maybe even YEARS! I can't remember.

I looked at Valentino the other day, all proud of my perhaps deleaded-cup brain and said, "Did you know that the 70/70 shop name means the perfect temp and humidity?"

He didn't actually say, "No der," but I could see his thought bubble. It read "No DER."******

3. Before we walked into this amazeballs shop, standing outside in the effing freezing cold, we agreed, "We're not buying anything while we're here."

Hahahaahahhahhahhah. As if that could happen--us walking out of a fabulous shop empty-handed. Obviously he's been sipping from the cup as well.

[As another aside too big for sparkles, we did walk IN empty-handed. We hadn't planned to visit the shop, so we left Will at home. When I introduced myself, Nolan said, "Where's Will?"]

Anyway, we plucked these from the shop's magic humidor, with Nolan's help. We like to ask shopkeepers what they're enjoying and what they recommend.

Jaime Garcia!
Matilde Renacer!
Quesada Oktoberfest in two sizes!
Quesada 40th Anniversary!
LFD 1994 from the stein!
And the baby LFDs!
One is trying to escape!
We're going to write about these cigars in the near future--and I promise not to forget.  Although I can't promise I won't get distracted choosing a pair of earrings or shooing Will out of the humidor--so no actual timeframe... but someday! Someday!!
In the meantime, we'll see you at Premium 70/70 in Westport, MA!
*Keeping it relevant, people.
**Me yelling, for emphasis.
***His official title, according to me.
****I swear I am not doing girly things, like my hair. I'm usually looking for my other glove or Will or running back upstairs to get earrings or a scarf. I am Valentino's version of unorganized hell. And proud of it.
*****Lie. I'm a total enabler. Does it make you happy? Get it!
******In case this phrase isn't common in your land, it essentially means, "What are you, fucking stupid?" in a  more sarcastic and much nicer way. 

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Here's a short story about a Short Story--and an amazing place to get them.

Once upon a time, a couple of guys, let's call them Frank and Anthony (which works out because those are their names), had a "dream of making cigars more accessible to Americans who appreciate a good quality smoke without the hassle of having to deal with a time-consuming trip to a cigar shop." And thus, they created

For those of us in the northeast, who have access to a cigar shop about every twenty feet or so,* we forget that the rest of the country doesn't necessarily roll (haha) that way. (We're sorry.) In fact, you guys have to roll a very long way in order to lay your hands on a premium cigar. (Still sorry.)

Case in point: My boy now lives in Clarksburg, WV. "Let's go to a cigar lounge!" I suggested enthusiastically as Valentino and I prepared for our first trip there.


"What do you mean?" (I don't like being told "no" for any reason. Consider yourself warned.)

"No smoking indoors in West Virginia except..." I forget the rest because I was busy thinking about how he has to drive to that far-off land to purchase cigars. Plus, I have a limited capacity for listening anyway.

So he has to order them online.

This is the point in the story where Frank and Anthony re-enter, for they are much needed in the cigar world.

Hi Frank! Hi Anthony!
"We're cigar fans too," they say on their website. "Some of us are true aficionados, others haven't developed as deep [an appreciation] for cigars but instead enjoy them on special occasions. Either way, we're here to help make sure whatever your purpose and level of passion for cigars, we exceed your expectations and make your experience a great one."

I love that they're regular guys and can understand the cigar needs of both other regular guys (and gals) like me but can also chatter all day with folks like Valentino who know tons and tons of things about tons and tons of things.

And where do these brilliant conversations occur? Where can we travel to visit out new friends Frank and Anthony? Grab the next internet bus and go to These guys are a B&M (brick and mortar store) located inside the internet! (They're very tiny people.) That means no pesky overhead to pass on to you!

These guys have a full bounty of cigar friends you've probably been searching for--especially if you're living in the cigar dead zone: The Fuente Hemingway Series! Perdomo ESV Sun Grown! La Gloria Cubana Churchills!** And that's just for starters!


As a writer, I am required by law to love the Hemingway series. But I would anyway--even if I were a pastry chef or a public relations executive, or stay-at-home-mom.*** "Unlike the original Fuente line-up that is much more mild, the Hemingway category of cigars is not for the new cigar fan or the beginner [because of it's strength. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't try these babies--just be prepared!]. These sticks are packed with flavor and deliver an experience you will struggle to find anywhere else," according to the website--and the sentiments are reinforced by, um, the rest of the cigar world.

The Fuente Short Story, one of the company's most sought-after cigars, is readily available at, as are the Best Seller, Classic, Signature, and Masterpiece. Yep. They're all sitting there, resting in perfect humidity, waiting to go home with you.

A couple of those Short Stories (Storys?) made their way to Casa Awesome, courtesy of Frank and Anthony.
Hey! Nice ring!

Just like having a short story read to you can be a magical experience, so can second-hand smoking this Short Story. The sweet and pepper flavors blend together like a perfect couple who live a perfect(o) life. (Kind of like we do.) (Oh, quiet. It's mushy but true.)

These Dominican cigars (with a choice of Cameroon or Maduro wrappers) are handmade, as you would expect from the Fuente family, using the generations-old perfecto molds. Valentino noted the cigar's rich taste and smooth smoke, but I lingered on my sweet and rich flavors. Just like a good short story, this Short Story left us both satisfied, lingering on different, but equally delightful details.****
Speaking of delightful details, the folks at are committed to customer service--and for us, that's everything. While many companies say they pride themselves on an excellent customer experience, Frank and Anthony and the gang kick customer service ass.***** Here are some examples of that ass-kicking:
  • Most cigars ship the day you order them! No waiting!
  • They only list in-stock items on the website!
  • Free shipping on orders over $49!
  • If you poke around on the website, you're going to see some cigars you've been dying to find! I found them for you! You're welcome!(::cough:: Opus X Lost City Lanceros ::cough::)
  • All cigars are stored 68-72 degrees relative humidity. (Great for cigars; terrible for my hair.)
Because is essentially a B&M on the internet, you're going to make friends with these folks with your first order. And they're going to be your friends for a long time. Almost like being there.  And when you get there******, tell Frank and Anthony that Penny and Valentino said "Hi!"

The End.

For now.

*Exaggeration, but not by much

**If you're wondering why we chose to use these as examples, we'll tell you: Anthony sent us each of these to fall in love with--because there really isn't any alternative. Why? Because we are awesome. And they are awesome AND cool!

***I've been all these things, so I'm speaking with authority here.

****We're going to tell you about the Perdomo and La Gloria Cubana soon.

*****In case you don't speak Penny World yet, that means super duper great.


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