Friday, November 30, 2007

Searching for great cigar gift ideas? Famous-Smoke.com has 'em, and more

By Gary Korb

Famous-Smoke.com has kicked-off the second phase of their online Holiday sales starting with their Holiday Gift Guide. Now appearing on their home page, Famous is offering dozens of money-saving cigar and accessory deals throughout the month of December designed for every budget. Every week Famous will feature three new cigar samplers ranging from 4 to 20 cigars, some of which also come with cigar humidors and other cigar accessories.

In addition to the Holiday Gift Guide, Famous-Smoke.com is also offering online cigar shoppers the opportunity to create their own "customized" cigar samplers for themselves, or as economical Holiday gifts. The "Create-A-Sampler" program, which normally offers one free cigar with every five single cigars purchased, has been reduced to "Buy 4 and One's Free." Shoppers can select from a long list of major brand premium cigars and stock up on their favorite cigars at a significant savings. For every 4 cigars they choose, the cigar of equal or lesser value will be "on the house."

For Famous Smoke Shop customers who can't decide on what to choose, or for "significant others" who would rather let their man (or woman) pick their own cigars, Famous Smoke Shop also offers Gift Certificates.

Phone orders can be placed via Famous Smoke Shop's award-winning customer Service Department by calling 1-800-564-2486.

Finally, for cigar smokers who live in the Lehigh Valley of Western New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania, the Famous Smoke Shop Retail Store, located at 1100 Conroy Place in Easton, PA, will be offering in-store Holiday cigar specials, many of which include free cigars, accessories, and cigar brand merchandise such as hats, shirts, and other items. For more information on in-store specials, customers can call 610-691-8800 or log on to the Famous Retail Store web page.

Monday, November 5, 2007

My Weekend Cigar: Oliva Serie G Maduro Perfecto

By Gary Korb

Having been sick almost all of last week, I was looking forward to this past weekend for two reasons. First, I was able to smoke a cigar again. Secondly, I was excited about being able to light my new outdoor fireplace. Nothing fancy. Just a small, square, cast-iron base enclosed by four mesh screens. Since the weather here has dipped considerably during the past week, my timing was perfect. I stacked up a few small logs on some kindling and voila! - a warm, happy little fire ensued.

As is often the case, I was joined by my good neighbor, Richard from up the street. Today he was treating me to a cigar. He had won a 5 pack of Oliva Serie G Maduro Perfectos on CigarAuctioneer.com two weeks ago and brought one along. I'm a big fan of the Oliva Serie G Cameroon. I've only had a few Serie G in the Maduro, so it was a nice change of pace. Ironically, Richard brought a G Cameroon in the 4½" x 50 Robusto for himself.

The Oliva Serie G Maduro Perfecto is a 5½" x 54 square-pressed cigar that sort of resembles a chocolate kazoo. Yes, definitely one of the more interesting cigar shapes out there. The color was completely even in tone. The cigar was also well-packed, and the foot, which is a bit wider than most typical perfectos, lit evenly and burned true for the entire journey.

This is not a particularly complex cigar. The smoke was smooth, medium in body, and predominately woody in flavor with a clean finish. The natural sweetness of the maduro comes through from the get-go, too. As the cigar burned toward its plump, rectangular center it took on an earthier and spicier flavor, while maintaining a smooth, rich-tasting smoke. Finding it to be extremely consistent in flavor, and impressively resilient to the nippy afternoon wind, I smoked it down to about an inch.

By the time I let go of the cigar, my fireplace had waned to a little pile of crimson and gray matter for a perfectly-timed ending to an enjoyable late-day smoke.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Oops, they're doing it again!

Today I received the following "Take Action" alert from the IPCPR asking everyone in the premium cigar industry, and all premium cigar consumers, to call their respective representatives and urge them to oppose the revised version of the SCHIP expansion plan:

Following votes in both the House of Representatives and Senate, both chambers approved the second version of SCHIP expansion, funded solely by tobacco excise tax increases, specifically the excessive cigar excise tax increase. However, final votes demonstrate that President Bush's veto will withstand a veto override vote.

The pressure will be on those Congressmen and Senators who have voted against the SCHIP bill, HR3693, to vote in favor of the veto override. Take this opportunity to contact your congressmen and congresswomen and urge them to consider an alternative compromise to the current, draconian cigar tax!

You know what to do, and thank you in advance. We did it before and we can do it again. – G.K.