Ped is back with cigar reviews

“Alec Bradley Spirit of Cuba”

I decided on a Saturday morning to visit my tobacconist on the open market, while looking threw his humidor I came across a cheap stick call “Spirit of Cuba ” by Alec Bradley. Not expecting much for € 2,50 I was pleasantly surprised by it. The first thing I like about the cigar is fact you have too cut the off it, I always find it a joy to be able to cut the end off your own cigar. it’s a ritual for me and adds to the joy of smoking it, a lot of the cheaper cigars can already have pre- cut ends on them. Of course this doesn’t stop me smoking them I just prefer to have my own ends to cut. The wrapper is light brown and well constructed I would say no cracks or flaws in it each leaf tightly bond as it should be I found a lot going on with this smoke. Pre – light draw was nuts, floral and sweet tobacco. First third no spice, but some tangy coffee notes, maybe some leather. The floral undertones are there like in the prelight. Burn was even, 1.5″ flaky light gray ash before it falls off. Draw was fine. wrapper is toothy and thin, very lacy veins. Decent construction. Stick is firm when cold but softens up to a leathery sponginess once warmed up. gets No nicotine buzz, but I actually prefer that. Burns surprisingly slow. Second third the tanginess moves to the front. Too much I’d say for my pallet. A touch of spiciness enters in. Floral still there. Band peels off no problem and I must admit for a lower grade cigar they made a nice band for it. Small 1cm crack in the wrapper appears where he band was. Still very even burn. No touch ups needed yet. Room note is toasted Beer-nuts (remember those?) on leather. . I gotta commend the burn. It’s perfectly straight still going into the last third. The crack has grown to a full inch now. A good cheap morning smoke on the weekdays flying solo. I’d buy again if the opportunity presents but won’t seek it out. A great Cigar however if your looking for inexpensive to fill your humidor up a little.

” Joya de Nicaragua Rosalones ”

The JdN Rosalones is a discount stick that manages not to scream “discount”. The wrapper is velvety in texture with a definite orange-red, rust-colored hue that we like. The band’s color choices and embossing might not be up to “premium” standards, but they are nice enough. The second band is completely unnecessary of course. Besides that, the presentation is fine.
Pre-light draws on the Rosalones produce a pure cigarette tobacco flavor. It’s a flavor that strongly resembles the smell of a freshly opened pack of Marlboro. Nothing else can describe it. The Joya de Nicaragua Rosalones produces a thick, wavy burn line during the first third that improves slightly over the course of the smoking experience. The cigar’s tight ash falls just before an inch and there’s a good ratio of foot/draw smoke. Speaking of the draw, resistance is great and the cigar also handles long rests between puffs well. Overall, this burn is steady and reliable. First puffs on the Rosalones are pure spice. This is not a black pepper, but a particularly hot and long-lasting capsicum that strikes the back of the tongue for long periods between puffs. The nicotine strength isn’t full, but the pepper note is very defined and a little singular at first. A bit more depth develops toward the end of the first third.
Strength picks up and matches the intense spice in the flavor core. There are occasional hints at more complex, savory undertones during the middle and final thirds. Nothing develops enough to balance the capsicum spice that takes on a dry, grittiness in the second half. For the price, it’s hard to beat the Joya de Nicaragua Rosalones. This cigar’s singular flavor does produce an interesting twist or two. There’s probably not enough going on with the Rosalones. It’s good, but it can’t really compete with the better € 5-8 sticks. But hey, it doesn’t have to.

cuppla thingz

While it has bee a few days since any new content has appeared, DO NOT BE alarmed.. I have not given up smoking and the black cars have not come for me.
Sutliff South Seas- I recd this in the mail the other day and on a day after a snow and with temperatures warming i immediately popped the tin. Warm temps sun and a cob on the beach came to mind as I filled the bowl and set it down to dry a bit while I sipped on a CHocolate Porter. Lighting the still a bit damp baccy took a while but once it held the light the flavor and aroma of the tropics came thru. Rum, Coconut and some fruit emanated in my palette along with the chocolate from the porter.. Though it was only 50 degrees is felt like an island beach. I enjoyed it so much and for further research I packed it with me for an all day smoke experience to really put it thru its paces.
Same results, Delicious as an all day smoke.. Enjoyed it all day except for a mid day lunch smoke of a Quorum Corona. Definitely a buy again aromatic for spring an summer smokes.
Sutliff Mans Best Friend- As a lover of plain smoking baccys with no or very little casing I found this tobacco to be an interesting choice. A smooth toasted Burley cube blended with premium grade Latakia and Lemon Virginia Flake. Cased with a uniquely mild rum top dressing to produce a subtle pleasing flavor and room aroma.The cubes work well in a wider bowl as they are hard to fit in the smaller bowls. So I grabbed my SAntia bulldog for the day and loaded her up A very nice step back into reality on a stressful morning . NIce nic, great flavor. Easy light and smokeability.. Very flavorful with the latakia and lemon essence in the mouth. Definitely a classic reborn. Similar to Barking Dog but smoother and not as rough a smoke..

Sweet smokes

GQ Tobacco Sweet Brown Maple Pigtail

From GQ tobaccos website

thin, hand spun twist. Made from strong Virginia’s and soaked in sweet Maple sugars. The resulting tobacco is ideal for slicing up and smoking in a pipe. The thin nature of the rope makes this more flavoursome than the thicker (Irish) twist, but more teedious to cut. We also carry this as a cut twist, perfect for loading straight in to the pipe. To smoke this is very rich and strong tobacco. The smoke is peppery with lots of earthy and musky flavours. The added maple, adds a little extra sweetness, but in no ways makes this your usual aromatic. Carries a very high nicotine hit too and is ideal for those who want a good replacement to cigarettes. A big hit in a short time frame, ideal in a small pipe for 5 minute smoke breaks.

This tobacco is also enjoyed as chewing tobacco. Thin pigtails like this have been chewed by first sailor and then miners, drivers and anyone else who cant smoke in there daily routine. When chewed, a sweet and very spicy flavour is released. Much stronger than the Oliver Twists and other Gawith Hoggarth Black (steamed) twists. Not recommended for those new to chewing..

GQ tobacco always carries this with Extra Flavour, so it may be a little sweeter than brought elsewhere. Even with the extra sugars, this is still a spicy smoke or chew!

Tobacco is made by Gawith Hoggarth and not available in the states. I was lucky enough to get a few samples from the “underground tobacco railroad” and it is worth the endeavor

Mark Twain cigar


In addition to being a true American treasure, Mark Twain was rarely seen sans cigar. The man’s list of positive attributes didn’t stop there – humanitarian, novelist, humorist, scholar, plus world class jump roper and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu master. Just kidding about that part. Mark Twain cigars also happen to bring an extensive list of positive attributes to the table. All smooth and mild, all tasty, all extremely affordable, all monster Churchill sizes ranging from 7”x50 to 8”x54. Draped in a silky Connecticut shade wrapper and generously filled with an aged blend of Nicaraguan long-fillers, Mark Twain delivers a flavorful, mild to medium-bodied experience. Notes of oak, cream, white pepper add to a rich tobacco core, completing a mellow but eventful 60+ minutes of your time.

Available thru Cigars Internationa. For 3 bucks, these big boom sticks are the ultimate value-priced handmades. Definitely worhty of this weeks Under 4 buck sticks for weekend enjoyment.

Friday tidbit

For all of you who don’t listen to the Pipes Radio Podcast. Last nights episode gave us a little tidbit as to the Chicago Pipe show. Apparently the integration of pipe and tobacco is catching hols. Apparently Missouri Meerschaum will be introducing 4 new tobaccos under their own brand.. These tabacs are being blended by Russ Oullette, the master blender for Hearth and Home.. I can hardly wait.

I am also hearing rumors of Seattle Pipe Club and Sutliff introducing some new blends at the show.. Will keep you informed as we learn more.

Shiloh, a blend from Old Virginia Tobacco Company


By Rod Ellis

Shiloh, a dark and bloody day during a dark and bloody period in US history.
Brother killing brother, kinsmen firing on kinsmen, the fate of the nation and the fate of an entire group of oppressed people hanging in the balance. Union soldiers ultimately won a two-day battle in western Tennessee, one of several turning points in the Civil War.

Shiloh, a blend named for that battle, is created in the spirit of that battle’s aftermath. Old Virginia says of it, “rum and maple, with cured Virginia pipe tobacco were fondly enjoyed by soldiers of both the Blue and the Gray.” Indeed, although I am grateful to have seen no muskets fired today, I must say that I find it a comfort and a cause for contemplation after a day in the battlefields of life.

Aromatics are not my first choice. I like a few, but I find that a very few make it to my list of possible dailies. After several bowls, todays in a church warden Rhodesian crafted from morta wood and dedicated to aromatics, I have added Shiloh to that list.

I find the tin note delightful. It reminds me, gently, of both grandma’s kitchen and granddad’s liquor cabinet. Both forbidden places, yet both a source of stolen moments and secret delights. It is full and flavorful to the sniff, yet kind to the senses.

The room note is equally fine. I’ve tried it in the presence of several others with all saying that they at least liked it and most reporting that they loved it. A couple even asked that I fire up a second bowl.

The taste is delightful to me. The rum and maple are there in distinct portions, but nowhere near dominant. The Virginias provide a sweet backdrop, pleasing corners of my palate that the rum and maple left untouched.

The blend burns well, leaving only a pile of ash at the end of the smoke. I’ve enjoyed it in briar, ceramic, and morta, with the same results in each case. Not once have I noticed any significant bite. If you like rum, maple, and Virginias, and even if you aren’t a fan of aromatics, I commend it to your attention.

Old Virginia Tobacco Company has seven stores operating in the Washington, DC area. You can find them online at

Old Virginia Tobacco Company

Balkan Luxury Blend 957

Many years ago the was a blend called Balkan Sobranie 759. A rather smooth tasting Balkan made up of mixture of rich Virginia, Latakia and rare Yenidje tobaccos. Unfortunately it is not made anymore.
However a tin of the original, now aged tobacco, was distributed, prior to the 2011 CHicago Pipe SHow, to master blenders to try and reincarnate.. The 3 winners were then released under the Black House, Balkan Luxury Blend 957, and Blue Mountain.
Being a Balkan lover of the old school Balkan Supreme by Stokkebye I was quite impressed with the 957. Carl at Sutliff really outdid himself with this blend. It is a fulfilling all day smoke filling the palate with the sweetness of the orientals and the aroma of the Latakia and Cavendish with a smidge of Perique for spice. To this palette it is far better than the Black House and Blue Mountain as they are a heavier bland blend which make it difficult to smoke bowl after bowl during the day.

I can smoke this continually all day and not get bored. My palette enjoys this. As will yours.

Largo Regular

Born in the Great Outdoors. Whether you are fishing, hunting, or just sitting around enjoying a nice warm campfire, you will savor the smooth smoke our blenders made for your enjoyment

Straight burley and Virginias with no casing and a ribbon shag cut. Nothing special in this baccy but a tasty smoke. I saw this in a gift shop the other day for $1.79 for a pouch so I thought I would give it a try. I had one of my trusty cobs ready to go. The baccy was on the dry side but had some moisture. The scent was outdoorsy without the fragrance of casings. So I tried it.

A few bowls now have passed thru my cob. Still an all around decent smoke. A def keeper for this curmudegeon.

sweet cob tuesday smokes

Factory Throwouts no 59


Factory Throwouts Number 59 Sun Grown Lonsdale cigars are quality mild to medium-bodied smokes that sell for a great, low price. The Factory Throwouts Number 59 cigars use aged filler tobaccos from the Dominican Republic to produce fine, complex flavors that can only come from quality, cured tobacco. Those delicious flavors are combined with a luscious, sun grown Ecuadorian wrapper to make a cigar that generates a solid, satisfying, and mild to medium-bodied smoke. The quality flavors of these machine-made Lonsdales make for a fine experience as an easy-going, after breakfast smoke, or for enjoying a good cigar during a long drive. Don’t let the term “throwouts” throw you off. These really are quality smokes for an awesome price!

Usually available at Thompson but my B and M carries them at sub 2 dollars a stick.. One of my go to smokes in a pinch. This was my Sunday morning smoke as I went for a stroll this morning. Very mild and flavorful and burns even even under the harshness of the morning cold and light snow flurries. Definitely worth a mention on the under 4 dollar smoke list.

Sweet smokes

Sutliff CD Blend

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Days like I have had the last 2 I have just wanted to smoke a tobacco that has flavor and will stand the test of not got getting boring bowl after bowl.. That tobacco has been CD Blend the last 2 days.. Hearty and flavorful.. Reminiscent of the classic tobaccos you just smoke.. This tobacco is a reblend of the old House of Windsor Country Doctor.. Burley, Virginia, Latakia, Flake and Perique combine to provide that Old Time flavor that will take you from first cup of coffee, thru the soda to the beer and straight to the whiskey before bed.. A great classic smoke.. Enjoyable from Sun up to Sundown