Archive for category Cigar Events

‘JJ for JJ Day’ Tribute

Another year, another ‘JJ for JJ Day’ tribute.

The concept didn’t change. The ‘JJ for JJ Day’ is a global movement initiated via social media to honor the memory of the ‘Little Robusto.’ For those of you who are not familiar with this tribute, ‘Little Robusto’, who passed away at the age of 3.5months from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), is the son of recognized and respected cigar blogger – Jerry Cruz ( This special day is recognized by smoking a cigar made by Don Pepin Garcia, appropriately calledSeries JJ.’

Take your time, enjoy your ‘Series JJ’ cigar and remember The ‘Little Robusto.’



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‘JJ for JJ Day’ Tribute

Today, July 22nd 2012, the cigar community gathered once again to recognize the special ‘JJ for JJ Day’ and to honor the memory of the ‘Little Robusto.’ For those who are not familiar with this tribute, ‘Little Robusto’, who passed away at the age of 3.5months from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), is the son of widely recognized and respected cigar blogger – Jerry Cruz ( This special day is recognized by smoking a cigar made by Don Pepin Garcia, appropriately called ‘Series JJ.’

In May of 2012, I had a pleasure of joining Jerry Cruz at the Drew Estate’s Cigar Safari trip in Nicaragua. During that trip, all attendees have visited the MyFather Cigars – the company behind Don Pepin Garcia ‘Series JJ’ Little Robusto project. Seeing Jerry Cruz talking & thanking Jaime Garcia and smoking the ‘Series JJ’ Little Robusto (as depicted below), was special, even for me – a fellow cigar enthusiast.

Take your time, enjoy your ‘Series JJ’ cigar and remember The ‘Little Robusto.’

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CigarPhoto at Cigar Safari 2012 (after)

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In May of 2012, I was able to cross another item off the bucket list – a visit to a tobacco-growing country. Although there is obviously more than one, personally, Nicaragua is at the top of THE list. I was very fortunate to receive an invite from the Drew Estate ‘The Rebirth Of The Cigars’ company to join the famous Cigar Safari trip. I have heard nothing but positive feedback from fellow brothers of the leaf so the Drew Estate didn’t have to wait too long for my acceptance.

Few other fellow cigar enthusiasts have joined the same Cigar Safari trip so I encourage that you visit their websites or magazine, respectively.

Casas Fumando
Cigar Brief
Cigar Explorer
Cigar Press
Half Wheel
Nice Tight Ash
Stogie Review

The Cigar Safari was not only filled with tons of knowledge sharing, exposure to nuts and bolts of the industry, blending seminars, tasting seminar but also plenty of camaraderie and laid-back conversations lasting through the night, literally. I could attempt to summarize the Cigar Safari play-by-play but I would most likely run out of adjectives so instead, I will highlight few points and let photographs do the rest of the talking.

The amount of knowledge, information, tips, tricks and passion that was pouring out of Jonathan Drew and Steve Saka throughout the trip, was simply mind blowing. If you know Jonathan, you know he can make your ears “bleed.” Well, between him and Steve, they made all of our ears bleed, and some … in a good way ! Just when you think you know a little bit about cigars and the industry, trust me, you don’t know much. Those guys are uber-cigar-geeks and will hypnotize you with the cigar knowledge.

Not only was I invited to the Nicaragua, today’s Mecca of cigar industry, to learn about the craft and the country itself ‘from the ground’, I was given an opportunity to see and absorb all of it from the bird’s-eye view, literally. Never I imagined that I will be flying over Lake Managua in the helicopter, learning about the country, learning about the cigar industry, learning about Joya de Nicaragua & Drew Estate collaboration, with one and only – Dr. Alejandro Martinez Cuenca as the private guide. What are the chances ??? Seriously ! From cigar-geek’s and photographer’s perspective, this was simply – a bliss !

Speaking of knowledge and misconceptions, Jose Blanco dropped a significant load of knowledge during the Tasting Seminar. This is another one of those ‘must attend’ learning classes. Jose will take you through the basics, will challenge your knowledge, will address many misconceptions and most importantly, open your eyes and palate so going forward, you can elevate your appreciation for cigar smoking experience.

There are many other topics that could be covered in this post but I will leave you, the reader, with photographs and have you ponder over the cigar industry and Cigar Safari. No words can describe the amount of work that goes into the production of the product that you and I both enjoy – the premium cigar. One has to see this operation and the beautiful Nicaragua with his/her own eyes to appreciate what I have attempted to illustrate. If you ever decide to pack your bags, don’t think twice … The Cigar Safari is your ticket to the “Nica Paradise.”

At the end, I would like to send a special THANKS to:

– Drew Estate family for their generosity and hospitality – Jonathan Drew, Steve Saka, Pedro Gomez, Johnny Brooke, David Lafferty
– Joya de Nicaragua family – Dr. Alejandro Martinez Cuenca, Jose Blanco, Mario Perez
– Pete Johnson of Tatuaje, Jaime Garcia of My Father Cigars, Gary Griffith of Emilio Cigars
– Oliva Cigar Company
– and others (sorry if I forgot to call you out) who contributed to this amazing adventure !

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Liga Privada Lounge Grand Opening – Barrister Cigars

On 15JUN2012 I attended the Liga Privada Lounge Grand Opening at Barrister Cigars. In case you have been living under the rock for the past few years, Liga Privada is Drew Estate’s current flagship line. David Mallow’s (owner) establishment has been selected as the third Liga Privada Lounge in the US. In addition to the very broad selection of Drew Estate’s cigars presented at the Grand Opening, the Barrister Cigars shop was and will continue to be decorated with Drew Estate and SubCulture Design Studio Fan Club (club spearheaded by extremely talented artist – Jessi Flores and his team) art work (e.g. paintings, display cigar case, flying pigs, banners, etc). In attendance were: Jonathan Drew – Drew Estate co-founder, Gary Drew (Jonathan’s father), Kevin McCormack (Regional Sales Rep at Drew Estate), and many fellow cigar enthusiasts. Overall, great event as one would expect from the Drew Estate family ! If you are in the area, check out the Barrister Cigars – Liga Privada Lounge. If you are not in the mood for Liga Privada No9, at least you can scope out the place and enjoy SubCulture Design Studio Fan Club art work.

Effective 15JUN2012, the following three locations are your Liga Privada Lounges:

Barrister Cigars (North Lounge)
2565 US Highway 22 W # 2
Union, NJ 07083
(908) 964-3000

Wooden Indian Tobacco Shop (East Lounge)
95 South Eagle Road
Havertown, PA 19083
(610) 449-7001

Leaning House Fine Cigars (West Lounge)
21 1/2 State St
Belle Vernon, PA 15012
(724) 483-2333

Please consider the following post:
* Liga Privada Unico Serie ‘Feral Flying Pig’
* Liga Privada Unico Serie ‘L40′
* Liga Privada No9 ‘Flying Pig’


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CigarPhoto at Cigar Safari 2012 (before)

CigarPhoto is off to Nicaragua attending the Cigar Safari – an event sponsored by Drew Estate ‘The Rebirth Of The Cigars.’ This will be our first cigar trip to the ‘cigar motherland.’ I’m looking forward to learning, sharing, experimenting and most importantly, spending quality time with the Drew Estate family and fellow cigar enthusiasts. Of course, I hope to share my trip live via iPhoneography. If you are interested, check my FB page at I also hope to take few decent frames with my other equipment. That will be shared after the trip.

Pursuit of passion !!!

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