A look at Alex’s Personal Cigar Accessories

Here is a quick tour of my personal accessories I use on a daily basis. They range from, Xikar cigar cases 5 cigar 3 and 1, Cigar Leather bag, S T Dupont X-Tend Torch Lighter, S T Dupont Liberte Chinese Lacquer Torch Lighter, Blazer super duty torch lighter, draw openers, punch cutter, scissor cutter, Xikar cutter, vector extra large torch lighter, stinky ashtray and my collection of cigars.

Cohiba Atmosphere Cancun Mexico

 While traveling for business in Cancun after speaking to the hotel concierge about visiting La Casa Del Habanos he told me that there is a restaurant in the outskirts of Cancun called Cohiba Atmosphere which I never knew existed. Cohiba Atmosphere is a cigar club and restaurant with Art Deco design in Cancun geared towards cigar lovers. It has a walk-in humidor with lockers, a lounge area and a restuarant with patio and live Cuban music.

Manager, George was generous to offer me a Cohiba RobustoIMG_7426

The building is beatiful from outside and inside. That night they offered a 5 course meal and Live Cuban music which made the scene very relaxing. The manager was called George and gave us a great service. I took a video from the restaurant and the humidor as well as George explaining his restaurant in English and Spanish. Enjoy

Videos

Visit to Santa Clara Cuba

 This summer I decided to go to Santa Clara and relax for a week in one of the resorts and enjoy some Cuban music and Cuban Cigars. Santa Clara is famous for Che Guevara museum and the revolution battleground.

Santa Clara smoking Montecristo Edmundo

Upon arrival at the resort, I light up a Cohiba Siglo I right at the entrance. I immediately noticed that cigars taste better in Cuba as the humidity makes the flavor rounder and somewhat sweeter. The resort was great including its beaches as I always say, Cubans have one the most beautiful beaches in the world. Next day I went to the tourist information desk and asked the tour operator about Santa Clara Tours and Cigar Factory. He mentioned I can go with the bus with rest of the people or get a taxi, round trip which gives us a private tour with less price for 5 people. We signed up and next morning we left early in the day.

Our tour guide, Livan, was waiting for us in Santa Clara city center and took us around the churches and important buildings. At the local church I noticed this Cuban guy smoking cigar which I took a quick picture.

 

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The local church kept birth certificates from 1700s.

 

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After the city tour we headed for the cigar factory in Santa Clara which apparently makes 33 brands from rolling to boxing. Unfortunately I was not able to take pictures in the factory so instead I decided not to worry about the pictures and enjoy the environment. Upon entering the factory, this beautiful aroma of cedar and Cuban leaf just opens up your senses and creates this beautiful experience. They were rolling everything from Partagas to Cohiba including the Edition Limitadas. We walked through the rolling tables and onto the sorting, boxing and packaging and the lady showed me some of the 2010 Edition Limitadas such as Paratas Serie D and Romeo Jullieta Wide Churchils. You heard it right, Wide Churchill and not Short Churchills. After the tour was over the lady offered us some under the table cigars for $5 each which turn out to be fake.

 Fake Cohiba

Afterwards we head to a government store to buy Cuban cigars. Here is the video of the lady showing me the La Gloria Cubana Deleciosos which I ended up purchasing for $233. This is the first Cuban Regional Edition Cigar released in 2010 and contains 25 beautiful cigars. Rest of their selection was regular cigars which you can find everywhere but prices were excellent.

La Gloria Cubana Deleciosos Jar
Cuban Regional Edition Cigar 2010

 

Next, our friends asked the tour guide to find them some under table cigars from sources he has. Livan took us to this strange looking house which apparently was the fake cigar hub. The guy took out some fake cigars including some original authentic cigars which I think was stolen from the factory before their final stamp. See pictures below.

Fake House
Fake cigar house

 

Fake Cigars
Fake Cigars

Real Cigars
Real Cigars

I smoked one of the fake cigars which was really bad and tasted like green leaf and one real one which was Montecristo Open Eagle which was excellent and you can see from the burn that the cigar was packed.

Montecristo Open Eagle

Overall it was a great trip and I am planning to go back in November. I will post more reviews on my trip later on.

Visit to La Casa Del Habano Cancun – Mexico

La Casa Del Habano - Cancun Mexico

In June I had to travel to Cancun for business for just a couple of days and same as every new city I visit, I researched about the cigar stores and cigar related destinations (if any). Cancun was not an exception. Before my trip I went to La Casa Del Habanos website at (http://www.lacasadelhabano.cu/) and checked the Mexican locations so I can pay a visit. I found there is one location in Cancun and one in Playa Del Carmen which is a small beach town close to Cancun. I managed to call the Cancun location and spoke to David, store manager/owner. I asked him about his selection and he mentioned he also has a few boxes of Edmundo Dantes EL Conde 109 left which is a Mexican regional edition cigar released in 2007 and 2008. Upon my arrival I went down to the store which is located in the middle of Zona Hotelera(Hotel Zone) in Cancun. The La Casa Del Habanos store looks very nice and it has an old authentic feel to it. See pictures below.

Selection is great and prices are 2x the Cuban prices because of local taxes and duty on imported cigars. David had a nice house cigar which was an Ecuadorian Wrapper,  Cuban Filler and Binder which made it into a very nice blend. I selected a couple of Edmundo Dantes and David offered me one his house cigars to smoke right there and give him feedback. The smoke had a nice complex aroma with full body and dark chocolate finish. I definitely recommend it. David explained to me how the humidor system works and I took a short film from him explaining his system. Enjoy the short video.

Montreal – La Casa Del Habanos Cigar Lounge Visit

lasCasa

I always looked forward to going to Montreal and visiting the famous La Casa Del Habanos store and have a smoke in their beautiful lounge. We had a weekend get away trip to Montreal and on the way back I made a stop in the store. 
Its located in the beautiful street of Sherbrooke in Montreal. The staff was very friendly and gave me a run down of all the cigars, specially new 2009 limited and regional releases.  The only thing is you must buy the cigars from their humidor in order to smoke it in the lounge which makes sense. There was also a box of new Cohiba Gran Reserva which I was only able to look and not touch. They went for $180 each single. wow.

Anyways, I picked up a Petit Robaina, new Canadian Regional Edition 2009 Release which is simply a Petit Robusto Cigar. I figured what is better than trying a cigar made for Canada in a Canadian cigar lounge.

After picking the cigar I walked into the lounge and sat down on comfy leater sofa. The lounge is done tastefully and there is lots of comfortable leather seats and other folks were having cigars and nice classic music was playing in the background. There is a full bar at the very end of the lounge which serves everything from coffee to spirits. The staff recomended a 10 year Fladgate Port to pair with the cigar which was a good choice and is my favorate drink.

I light up the cigar and I must say that Petit Robaina is one of the better Canada regional releases I have smoked e.g. Bolivar. It was a nice full body smoke with good amount of nicotine. It burned really well and the complexity was there but a little young to get them all out. Mostly tobacco flavor with hints of cedar and coffee which was balanced and tasty. The cigar went a little bitter on the last third and I had to lay it down. Overall it was a very pleasent experience smoking Petit Robaina at the La Casa lounge.

I have been to several cigar lounges in the past like the Casa Fuetne in Vegas but I really enjoyed this one. I totally recommend visiting La Casa Del Habanos cigar store/lounge if you don’t mind the high cigar prices in this store AND specially that we are not able to smoke in Toronto cigar lounges.