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www.cheaphumidors.com has been a partner of the CigaRobbie Radio Program since the beginning and CigaRobbie loves to offer you the listener the best deals on the web. Remember to punch in: C-I-G-A-R-O-B-B-i-E in the coupon box for your additional 10% off your already low, low purchase! Listen live to CigaRobbie on WSRQ Radio 1220 AM / 106.9 FM every Saturday www.wsrqradio.com and listen for CigaRobbie to offer the fifth purchaser on cheaphumidors get's to co-host the program with CigaRobbie, Single Sammy and Eric!

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Saturday, March 27, 2010

CigaRobbie Crew

From time to time I like to assemble the CigaRobbie Crew over at my place for a real man's night, this time I had: the basketball game on the plasma; Johnny Cash playing at a delightful pitch on the entertainment center, and a bevy of single malt scotches, complimented with California and Bordeaux wines. The final missing piece a large assortment of fine handcrafted cigars for us to smoke all night long!

I wanted it to be perfect so I laid out three cigars for each of us to swill our pallets around. 1. Padilla Signature 1932 which commandeered a 93 rating in Cigar Aficionado which is billed as a high priming of Cuban-seed fillers in addition to a rich coffee colored wrapper. Cigar No. 2, Oliveros's XL Bold, with great complexities also a Corojo wrapper cigar. And third one was a surprise from CigaRobbie to his esteemed guests, it was a obscure labled cigar from Texas by the name of Adrian's Cigars, the creator Michael who'd contacted me earlier in the week and wanting me to rate his cigars up against the "big boys", no problem I told him, and he sent me thirty cigars, ten each of his three different lines: a Connecticut Shade, a Havana 2000, and the Maduro. I had the Havana 2000 displayed for the crew as a blind tasted un-banded wonder.

Our pre-dinner cigar was the unknown beauty as we watched the game combined with laughter, and all the sports conversation we almost forgot about the cigar, but this cigar demanded the attention! Between the three of us we have almost seventy years of cigar smoking experience and the CigaRobbie Crew throughout the process kept asking, "what are we smoking?", My reply, "in due time my friends," I could tell from the inquisitive nature that they (Adrian's Cigars) were going over well, plus the added excitement  of not knowing what they were smoking. I heard statements like: Graycliff, Perdomo, and Padron's... Nope, no and nada?" Was my reply! I had to eventually come clean, as we sat at the dinning room table savoring our filets and twice baked potatoes, Mmmmmm, Delicious! By the time we had retired to my patio in full view of the TV while we sipped our single malt scotches we were well into our second cigar, the Padilla 1932, just another great treat. The conversation had gently swayed from the best quarter back ever to the best actor, this conversation always sparks debated with this group. The libations flowed and the cigars got smaller and smaller.

Looking back on it now, I don't really remember smoking the Oliveros, I knew it must of been good as I saw the small butt reminates sitting in my H. Upmann ashtray, I smiled, relishing of the past night. I truly enjoy and treasure these times of fellowship as we debate cigars, sports, girls and politics. They are what keeps me going, the economy maybe bad... But the CigaRobbie Cigar Parties are still going, Oh by the way the whole crew loved the Adrian's especially for the price point. Enjoy my friends, and smoke 'em, if you got 'em!

Check out Adrian's Cigars here: http://www.smokeadrians.com/

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

They call him; "Pepin"!

I stepped onto Calle Ocho Street, in the heart of "Little Havana" Miami, ah the smells, colors and the distant sounds of hustle & bustle of this cultural little burg. As I negotiated my fine big city parallel parking skills right in front of the El Rey de los Habanos Inc., the little shop is all of 4500 square feet at the most, and serves as the American corporate headquarters for one of the most influential families in the cigar industry. It started over a half a century ago, the man was just eleven years old and h$e couldn't think of anything else but tobacco, he would to onto become the best cigar roller ever. As i walked up the street I recognized this young, slender, and smiling women talking to a friend, which probably happens often in this community where everyone knows and looks out for one another, me walking around like a "gringo" like a lost tourist in a strange land, I definitely caught some suspicious stares. She looked at me the very same way but then I saw the look on her face, she being: the beloved daughter of Jose "Pepin" Garcia, and the being half of the namesake of "JJ" cigar line, She being Janny Garcia, the moment she recognizes me her warm Latin smile got even wider. Now let me set this up; The only contact that Janny and I had up until now we had some mixed words that I had reported on facebook about the amount of surplus and production of her father's cigar Co. El Rey el los Habanos Inc., man did she let me have it, but it was done with a sincerity and a kind gesture to tour the larger and more impressive Nicaraguan facilities.

She gave Nikki (my girlfriend) and I, the ten cent tour of El Rey de los Habanos Inc. all the while telling me that we should really go and see the operation in Nicaragua, thinking maybe I was not impressed. I can tell you right now everything I saw that day was impressive, the loyal workers, who many of them have been working with Pepin for decades. I also was impressed while the three of us sat at the board room table and smoking "My Father", robusto cigars and drinking the best Cuban coffee or cafe leche that I have ever had, Janny, right again as she was the one who touted it to be. I was also impressed. I can tell you right now everything I saw that day was impressive like her charismatic style, her beauty and her easy nature, not hard to see why she's the public relations for her fathers company and the apple of his eye. As we sat and talked she kidded me on my feud with her families beloved quasi adopted son "Pete Johnson," (Tatuaje Cigars), my reply, "he does not like the fact I call him "Rock Star", and having only met him once, he probably does not even know who I am. She dismisses that comment and threatened to call and tell him I'm there... We laugh! and I proceed to prod her of questions like: "tell me about the guy they call the "drug lord", she looked concerned at first, and then opened up and said" Your talking about a man named Luis Montesino." Ah, I finally have the name! A name I have been trying to get for months, I had from previous interviews "drug lord", and on big name in the industry actually gave me "Luis", but until now everybody seemed to be tight lipped. For the reading public, this man is someone who drives tobacco prices coming out of Nicaragua, most of the cigars you've smoked have been sold or brokered from "The Drug Lord", now I have people making cigars vehemently deny this, but they are lying. Janny knowing the rumors that have circled about the connection between Luis Montesino and the good name of the Garcia's were probably one of the reason she agreed to set down with me for this interview.

I said there was a report that Jose Garcia borrowed two million U.S. dollars to build the Nicaraguan facility, she laughed and said "I heard it was four million," I started to ask another question and she stopped me and said "let me say this,Luis Montesino who's Cuban and lived in Nicaragua for a while now, and when my father started to go there he met Luis, only natural right?" "Yes", I replied, and she went on to say, "they're both in strange lands, both cigar guys from Cuba and had a lot in common but my father quickly severed ties with him, after an agreement to find a good quality tobacco farm went sour". I shot a question at her and putting her on the spot a couple of times, I asked her if she ever met Marvin Shanken? "Oh yes", she replied, how about... and I preemptively knew the answer of this question but had to ask it: how about James Suckling? This is where the interview got powerful and emotional, knowing Suckling as a huge supporter of anything Cuban, and Janny being from the depressed island. "He is so pro-Cuba, and he did a seminar in Las Vegas last year for the Big Smoke". She then told me "he has no idea how the people live", now I see the tears in her eyes start to well up! My experience with the Cuban culture steeped in rich tradition, heritage, pride and always so respectful to the human race, that a man like Fidel Castro has ripped the heart and heritage of these people. She told me with those brown eye's still moistened with sorrow that her people don't live lives of humans in Cuba, they are more than oppressed, and they live in such poverty. In the same breathe she tells me that her family is not rich, she's quick to point out they are workers.

She is endearing, and I would defy anyone not to like her, and even though I have met her father at an event in Tampa, we spoke through an interpreter. Janny and I spoke to one another like we had known each other for years, and I got the impression this is a quality directly inherited from her father and if I had spoken Spanish he and I might still be talking. I get the impression they are a beautiful, graceful family that sit around a big table full of laughter, food, wine and great cigars. Maybe Janny in terms of total capital your family is not the wealthiest, I do think your are one of the richest, Viva la Garcia!

I would like to point out: after the interview I posted a promo on facebook with the name of Luis Montesino, Janny contacted me right away to let me know it could be very dangerous to mention his name.