Episode 303: Gurkha Seduction


DESCRIPTION: The Gurkha cigar company has built a reputation as a luxury brand with extraordinary packaging and a wide range of cigars. But with uncertain financial times ahead, and a bevy of anti-tobacco legislative initiatives on the horizon, Gurkha, as well as every other cigar company has to be anticipate big changes in 2012.

Gurkha Seduction Grand Robusto

After a successful run at CAO, Gary Hyams recently joined team Gurkha as the president and CEO. Since then, Gurkha has released three new cigars that represent the depth and breadth of the refueled company and that clearly mark the aspirations and new trajectory of things to come.

Today’s featured Gurkha is the Seduction, a dark and sultry stick with vintage Gurkha presentation and flair. The Seduction starts with a Colombian Corojo filler, nestled in a Dominican Olor binder and finished with an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper.

A box of Gurkha Seduction

The Seduction comes in four sizes: a 6 x 55 Rothchild, a 7 x 55 Churchill, a 6 x 60 XO, and at a MSRP: $6.80 per stick, the cigar I’m featuring today, the 5-inch by 55 ring gauge Grand Robusto.

FEATURED LIBATION: Samuel Adams Bonfire Rauchbier
The Bonfire is a Rauchbier, which is the German word for Smoked Beer. Once upon a time, all beers were Rauchbiers, so to speak. With the ancient methods of drying green brewer’s malt over open fires, all grains picked up smoky flavors and passed them on to the beers made from them. So, the Rauchbier is a very ancient beer varietal.

• Doc speaks about how manufacturers bring their cigars to the market from concept to delivery and talks about his participation in the process.

SPECIAL SF5 SEGMENT: Interview with Gary Hyams, President and CEO of Gurkha Cigars.

La Caridad del Cobre Muerto Grande, La Charada no. 64

DOC’S CIGAR POSTSCRIPT: La Caridad del Cobre La Charada Maduro, No. 64 Muerto Grande
I featured this cigar in Episode 241 on Sunday, October 3, 2010. The remainder of my small batch of cigars has been resting in my humidor for 1 year, 5 months and I pulled out my last two samples for this review.

Gurkha Cigars
Samuel Adams Bonfire Rauchbier
Stogie Rate Online
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Episode 302: Iron Horse


DESCRIPTION: This week’s featured cigar is from the Dominican Republic and its name is Iron Horse. Starting at under $48 a box for the Robusto, Iron Horse promises superb quality with low financial risk. But what’s it got under the hood?

A duo of Iron Horse Churchills

The cigar starts with a mix of Dominican Cuban-seed Criollo ’98 long-fillers that are then bound in a Dominican Olor binder. That bunch is then dressed in a dark Maduro wrapper from the Dominican Republic, which is intended to add some sweetness to the blend. Together you’ve got a Dominican puro that won’t shag your pocketbook.

The cigars are manufactured in a small Dominican factory and the Iron Horse is billed as, “An honest smoke at an honest price.”

Iron Horse in action

FEATURED LIBATION: Pere Jacques 2010 Belgian Style Ale
Today’s featured brew is the Pere Jacques Belgian style ale. It is one of the several vintage beers made at Goose Island Brew Pub. It is brewed with loads of malt and Belgian yeast and is purportedly a fruity, malty ale. According to the company, Pere Jacques’ complex flavors stand shoulder to shoulder with the Belgian Dubbels enjoyed in the world’s finest beer bars. While, at the dining table, it’s the perfect alternative to a glass of vintage port. It weighs in at 8% ABV.

• The new StogieFresh.info site is now 99% complete
• The new look at StogieRate.com is also complete with a much tighter integration between Stogie Rate and Stogie Fresh.
• On a sad note: A Good Friend Passes Away.

SPECIAL SF5 SEGMENT: Glynn Loope, Executive Director Cigar Rights of America

Guillermo Leon Corona Gorda

DOC’S CIGAR POSTSCRIPT: Guillermo León Corona Gorda
This week’s postscript cigar is the Guillermo León, Corona Gorda, which is made at the La Aurora Factory in the Dominican Republic. I first featured this cigar in Episode 240 on Sunday, September 26, 2010. These cigars have been resting in my Aristocrat Mini cabinet humidor for 1 year, 4 months and I pulled out my last sample for this, the second and final, postscript review.

Iron Horse at Famous Smoke
Goose Island Beer
The new Stogie Fresh 5 podcast web page
Stogie Rate Online
Cigar Rights of America
Buy Stogie Fresh Accessories

Episode 301: 2012 Las Vegas Tour


Photo of Fremont CasinoDESCRIPTION: Christina Fontecchio of The Boss Cigars, Bruce Oda and myself, were determined to risk our very lives to bring you the best of what the city of Las Vegas has to offer the cigar smoker. We braved the sights and sounds, the gambling, food, libations, star impersonators, and, of course, the primo cigars to serve as your guides to the cigar life in the city.

This pilgrimage was for the purpose of learning more about the cigar establishments and the cigar smoking opportunities in the city, for spreading the word about Crush & Roll West 2012 and so that Christina could continue her education in the art of making premium cigars. During this week’s cigarcast, I will recount our adventures and provide you with some tips for your upcoming trip to Las Vegas, Nevada.

• Look for a new tighter integration between the Stogie Fresh reviews and StogieRate.com.

Cigar Shops and Rolling Factories
Cigars tried
Libations tried
Our Gambling luck

Christina learning how to bunch tobacco

Christina learning how to bunch tobacco

Bruce and Doc smoking at Casa Fuente

Bruce and Doc smoking at Casa Fuente

Pheasant Cigars: 2800 West Sahara Ave, Suite 6A Las Vegas, NV 89102
Paul Kovacic Jr. (702) 368-1700
Vato Cigars: Binion’s Casino 128 Fremont St. Las Vegas, NV 89101
Paul and Sarah Vato (702) 366-7327
Havana Cigar Bar:  3900 Paradise Road Las Vegas, NV 89169
Johnny Devito (702) 892-9555
Don Vicente Cigar Co.  624 S. Las Vegas Blvd. Las Vegas, NV 89101
Vicente “The Don” Perez (702) 386-9117
Don Pablo Cigar Company  3049 Las Vegas Blvd. #25 Las Vegas, NV 89109
Eric Boye and Marlene Moreau 800-537-4957

Don Pablo Maduro Corona
Don Vicente Connecticut Torpedo
Don Vicente Maduro Churchill
Fuente Añejo Xtra Viejo Churchill
Fuente Fuente Opus X Petit Lancero
Fuente Fuente Opus X Perfexion No. 4
Fuente Fuente Opus X Forbidden X 13th anniversary
Havana Cigar Bar, House Cigar Connecticut Robusto
Vato Aloha Blend (Maduro) Kuai (Torpedo)
Vato Cuban Blend Lancero or Panatela
Warlock Robusto

Stogie Rate Online
Stogie Rate for iPhone
The Boss Cigars: Christina Fontecchio

300th Stogie Fresh 5 Cigarcast


DESCRIPTION:  This week, I’ll be celebrating along with you and with the help of several of my friends and I’ll be reminiscing about the highs and the lows of delivering a weekly podcast over the course of 6 years.

300th Aniversary Episode graphicMost of all, I’ll be enjoying a good stogie and libation and sharing my experience with all of you as I always do. Thank you for the 300th time for sitting in with me and partaking of the leaf together. Welcome to the 300th Stogie Fresh 5 podcast.

FEATURED CIGAR: Davidoff 2011 “White Edition:
The Davidoff Limited Edition cigar for 2011 is called the “White Edition.” Like most Davidoff Limited Editions, the White Edition comes in just one size: the graceful Belicoso Supremo Format. The cigar is presented in an impressive white lacquered box of 10 cigars.

The cigar is a Dominican puro, with the tobaccos coming out of four different cultivation areas in the Dominican Republic. Before processing, the tobacco was aged for more than five years gaining their characteristic, balanced and smooth flavors.

Davidoff 2011 White Edition box

Eddie DeJong: Vanderburgh Humidors
Jim Barrett: Mind of Men podcast
Skip “Chief Hava” Martin: Galveston Bay Tobacco, LLC
Bill “Maytag Man” Berris: CigarSnapShot podcast
Jim Robinson: The Cigar Station

Davidoff Cigars
The NEW Stogie Fresh Website
Vanderburgh Humidors
CigarSnapShot Podcast
The Cigar Station
Chief Hava’s Smoke Signals Blog
The Mind of Men Podcast
Stogie Rate Online



DESCRIPTION:  The CAO OSA Sol, sports a proprietary wrapper tobacco cultivated in the celebrated Olancho, San Agustín valley in Honduras. Olancho San Augustín yields the acronym OSA, which is where the name OSA Sol originates. The blend is then balanced with a Connecticut Broadleaf binder and a blend of Nicaraguan and Honduran filler.

A box of CAO OSA SolThe box’s eye catching color scheme celebrates the whitewashed curing barns located on the farm where the tobaccos were cured and the wave inlay suggests the water sources that supply the tobacco.

OSA Sol launched in three sizes, each coming in boxes of 25. Today’s featured cigar is 6-inch by 54 ring gauge Lot 54 Toro, which retails for around $6.25 per stick.

FEATURED LIBATION:  Andre Jacquart Premier Cru Champagne
This week’s featured champagne is estate grown and bottled. It is 100% Chardonnay from a Premier Cru Rated Vineyard, which is the second tier in the classifications system just behind Grand Cru. Barrel Fermented and Barrel Aged for 8 months, this bubbly weighs in at 12% ABV.

• Moving into the year 2012
• The launch of the new StogieFresh.info site
• 2011 Stogie Fresh: Honor Roll Best Cigars of the Year
• Launch of the new Stogie Fresh podcast site
• Next week is our 300th podcast episode

Di Fazio Maduro Double Robusto


I first featured the Di Fazio Maduro in Episode 239 Sunday, September 19, 2010. These cigars have been resting in the Stogie Fresh humidors for 1 year, 4.1 months and I pulled out a couple more this past week to give them another look.

CAO Cigars
Andre Jacquart Champagne
2011 Stogie Fresh: Honor Roll for our Favorite Cigars of the Year
New Stogie Fresh 5 Podcast Site
Stogie Rate Online
Stogie Rate for iPhone
Buy Stogie Fresh Accessories