February 20, 2011 | By Miguel Schoedel
The Maduro Leaf
Today’s industry is full of great dark cigars. These cigars are some times referred to as maduro or even the darker Oscuro. Maduro simply translates to ‘Ripe’. These maduro leaves are a result of longer and extended fermentation methods that turn the tobacco from brown to a deep dark Colorado or even near black. Not every leaf has the qualities or the ability to become maduro. The natural fermentation that all cigar tobacco goes through can be tough on sensitive or thin leaves. It truly takes a seed strain that can hold up to the rigorous methods it takes to get that beautiful maduro color.
This leaf is greatly miss understood. Some think all maduro cigars are strong. The truth is the strength of the cigar comes from the filler leaves. The blend usually consists of milder ‘seco’ leaves with medium ‘viso’ and the full bodied ‘ligero’. This is what truly dictates the cigars body and power. In fact the maduro leaf it self tends to have sweetness from the sugars being able to develop from the longer fermentation period.
February 4, 2011 | By Miguel Schoedel
What it means to be boutique?
In today’s premium cigar industry there are a never ending amount of brands being bought or created on a monthly basis. These past few years we have seen Davidoff of Geneva acquire Dom Rey (Cusano Cigars) and Camacho Cigars. We have seen the merger of CAO International with General Cigars (Macanudo, Partagas). Over the last two or three decades we saw brands like Punch and La Gloria Cubana go from boutique to under the control of major cigar conglomerates. Not to mention the largest company in our industry Altadis USA (Montecristo, Romeo & Julieta). They continue to grow their portfolio of mostly Dominican made ‘Cuban Brands’. These cigars are usually top quality and widely distributed and easy to find.
November 29, 2010 | By Miguel Schoedel
"10 Cigar Commandments" by Miguel M. Schoedel
It is that time of year again for most of us red blooded cigar smoking Americans, Where just the thought of smoking out doors could be a freezing proposition. The weather dropping can wreak havoc on our cigar smoking opportunities and the storage of those prized cigars. I fill up my humidifier in my cabinet three times as much as I would in the warmer months. So what is a cigar connoisseur to do? If you are like me you have lost the ability to smoke in your house due to a thing called marriage and children. The next best thing is to find a great local brick and mortar shop to befriend. Support your local tobacconist…and always remember the ‘10 Cigar Commandments’. These rules have been passed on from generation to generation.
September 29, 2010 | By Miguel Schoedel
Baseball and Cigars, A winning Combination
night the oldest professional Baseball Team was crowned the National
League Central Champions for 2010. They did it in typical Cincinnati Red
Leg dramatic fashion. Jay Bruce led off the bottom of the ninth with a
solo walk off home run from Tim Byrdak of the Houston Astros. They
clichéd their first post season appearance since 1995. It was great to
see them achieve this in front of the home crowd. I watched it live on
TV with my Wife relaxing at home.
Watching the post game celebrations were the best part. The players pulled on their ‘National League Central Champion’ shirts and a few even sported goggles. Numerous bottles of Champaign for the celebration were uncorked. The bottles of sparkly and cans of beer all being poured over players, coaches, managers and the owner. The thing that struck me was the number of baseball players pulling out stogies of all sorts. I saw light colored, dark colored, parejos, figurados all being lit and puffed on by the champs. Some had bands most did not. The only cigar I could make out was the popular non infused Drew Estate La Liga Privada no.9. It was great seeing ball players enjoy a good cigar after such a great achievement. At one time a gentleman mostly likely in a suit and fedora could lite up a cigar in the stands while watching Americas past time. Back in the day you could take in a Reds game at old Crosley Field and enjoy an IBOLD cigar. For many years this cigar was made in Lima, OH today its machine made and produced in Indiana. Baseball and Cigars always had a way of being linked together. From many players whose faces adorned boxes of cigars such as Babe Ruth or Al Simmons. Today the Tradition continues with former players like Luis Tiant promoting his own brand of cigars.
September 15, 2010 | By Miguel Schoedel
You will never forget your first time
I was nineteen years old attending the University of Cincinnati, a broke college student. By that time I had smoked over a hundred different cigars from CAO Maduros, Fuente Flor Finas, Ashton Classics, Te-Amo Red Labels, Indian Tobac Super Furtes, Carlos Torano’s and many more too numerous to name. I spent weeks saving money reading Cigar Aficionado trying to decide on what would be my first box. Would it be the Avo’s that I loved so much or the Hoyo de Monterrey’s that I smoked every weekend. I took this decision very seriously. After all I was use to digging into my humidor and having a dozen different cigars looking back at me all begging to be smoked. This would be a commitment of 25 of the same cigars and same shape. I couldn’t afford to make the wrong decision.