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03
Nov

Amazon

As I stated in my best cigar books post, proceeds from sale of books would be given back to one lucky reader in the form of a gift certificate. Here is another one. It is a gift card for $43 that can be redeemed on Amazon.com (doesn’t work on .co.uk or .fr).

Just leave a comment on this post to be entered in the draw. The winner will be announced in one week, next Thursday.

PS Want to support CigarInspector.com? Just do your Amazon purchases through this link.

Amazon $43 Gift Card Giveaway

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25
Oct

Screwpop Cigar Ashtray

Last week we had a look at the cigar ashtray made by our friends at Screwpop, and had three samples to give away to our readers. You were over 180 people to participate and here are the three winners, chosen randomly:

  • Steve (almnbroxxx)
  • Craig (daron090)
  • Alex C

Thanks to Screwpop Tool for letting us run this contest and congrats to the winners! Please get in touch with us to claim your prize.

Screwpop Cigar Ashtray Giveaway Winners

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18
Oct

Screwpop Cigar Ashtray

I have a ton of cigar accessories, some of which are pretty specialized. You are probably already familiar with Screwpop; these guys are well-known for their keychain cigar accessories including punch and scissor cigar cutters. I have always enjoyed their products, so I was stoked when I found out about the new Screwpop Ashtray, “the world’s first cigar centric ashtray”, which I’m very a happy to have a chance to try today.

The Screwpop Ashtray is very sleek-looking, and designed out of melamine. Melamine offers a couple of advantages: it is lightweight, and it can stand up to high heat. The tray is pretty compact, and features a perpendicular orientation for the cigar. This allows you to get a nice view of your cigar while you are smoking, which is quite handy if you write a lot of cigar reviews and want to constantly check up on the ash and burn line and so on.

Functionally, there are some other cool features especially for cigars. For example, there is a ramp which the ash slides down from the holder into the bowl. There is also a cylinder which protrudes from the tray which you can use to knock ash off.

Screwpop Cigar Ashtray

All in all, the Screwpop Ashtray is a very cool tray which functions well and is a lot sturdier than it feels (it is rare to find a lightweight material this strong). About my only complaint is that it cannot hold a whole lot of ash, so it can fill up a little quickly – which means that during a gathering, you either need to empty it regularly, or make sure everyone has his/her own ashtray. Aside from that, it is awesome and knocks the socks off of any standard cigarette tray.

Courtesy of Screwpop Tool, we are giving away 3 Screwpop Ashtrays! To enter, all you have to do is comment. We will pick the winners randomly by next Tuesday and post their names on the blog.

Thanks for entering!

You might be interested in these articles too:

Screwpop Cigar Ashtray Review (and Giveaway)

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08
Sep

MBombay Gaaja

Origin : Costa Rica
Format : Toro Gordo
Asylum CigarsSize : 6 x 54
Wrapper : Ecuadorian Hybrid (Connecticut Desflorado & Mejorado 2004)
Filler : Dominican HVA Mejorado Ligero, Dominican Criollo 98 Viso, Ecuadorian Criollo 98 Viso, Peruvian Hybrid Habano, Paraguayan Hybrid Habano 2000 Viso
Binder : Ecuadorian HVA Mejorado Seco
Hand-Made
Price : ~$15.50 each

The MBombay Gaaja is a cigar I have been excited to try because I have been anticipating it for so long, and also because I really liked the previous cigar from MBombay that I reviewed earlier this year – the MBombay Kesara Pyramid. Like the other cigars blended by Mel Shah of Bombay Tobak, the name of this one is a Sanskrit word (pronounced GUY-yuh) meaning “elephant.” The elephant is a symbol of patience, and patience was exactly what Shah needed in developing this cigar.

Just take a closer look at all the different types of tobacco which have gone into creating this boutique blend. No wonder the development process took four years to complete.

If you do some research, you will notice that this size, the Toro Gordo, is presently all that is available. This is because there are literally only a couple of rollers working at the factory to create these cigars right now. Once more personnel are trained, the line should be expanded.

In any case, the wait is over—so let’s set aside our patience and finally check out the Mbombay Gaaja!

Appearance : 5 out of 5 stars
The MBombay Gaaja is very pleasing to the eye and to the touch. The wrapper leaf is a light brown color with only fine veins. This cigar is box-pressed, which gives it a more distinctive shape. The band is also very distinctive with only a colorful geometric design and no lettering on the front. Mbombay always does a lovely job with band design, so this is great to see.

MBombay Gaaja

Construction : 5 out of 5 stars
Draw is on the loose side, but not too loose, and the cigar produces plenty of voluminous smoke. As to the burn line, it stays very even from start to finish. I only had to make the most minor touch-ups.

MBombay Gaaja

Flavor : 4.5 out of 5 stars
Flavors are complex, well-integrated, and difficult at times to describe. Initial notes include wood, natural tobacco, white pepper (pretty faint), banana, and something herbal I can’t identify. There is a light sweetness that never really takes over or offsets the other flavors.

MBombay Gaaja

The second third is very much more of the same—but this is not a bad thing. The sweetness and the spiciness of the peppery note vie for attention, but not in a dramatic or overbearing way. It is more like a dance than a battle.

In the final third, the cedar and herbs have fallen into the backdrop, along with a creamy note I sometimes detected. Natural tobacco is the predominant note, and the pepper/sweetness tradeoff continues. It does get a little harsh down at the nub.

In terms of strength, I would characterize the MBombay Gaaja as medium. Strength builds throughout the duration of the smoke, but in my opinion it does not quite make it into the full category.

All in all, my feelings about the flavors are largely favorable, but a little more variety at moments might have been nice. Still, I really liked the subtle dance between sweetness and spice, which was executed with more grace than it typically is in other stogies. The finish was also long, smooth and pleasant, allowing some flavors to really shine on the palate.

Value : 3.5 out of 5 stars
I am not going to dance around on this point—$15.50 is pretty darn expensive for a cigar. Is the price justified? I think you could argue that it is, given that this is a unique, interesting, and enjoyable cigar. A great deal of care, attention and craftsmanship have gone into its creation, so I can understand the price tag. Still, it makes it hard to afford these except on special occasions.

Overall Rating : 4.5 out of 5 stars
The MBombay Gaaja was worth the wait; it really is a very compelling and original cigar, not quite like anything else I have ever smoked. If the price tag were a tad lower or there was a touch more variety in the flavors, I think it would easily merit a 5/5. I very much enjoyed it and highly recommend giving it a try.

Now the part you’ve been waiting for – the giveaway. Thanks to Mel Shah and MBombay cigars, we’ve got three 2-packs of Gaaja to give away to three lucky readers. That’s ~$30 value per sampler! To enter the giveaway, please share this post on social media using the widget below! You will get an extra entry for each friend that enters the contest via your shared link. Good luck!

MBombay Gaaja Giveaway

Contest is open internationally, you must be of legal age to smoke in your country. Winners will be chosen randomly and announced in one week, next Thursday.

You might be interested in these articles too:

MBombay Gaaja (Review & Giveaway!)

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07
Jul

Don Bernardo El Caballero Three-Pack

Last Thursday we reviewed a line of cigars called Don Bernardo El Caballero. Thanks to Richard Galdieri from Don Bernardo, we had 10 three-packs to give away to our lucky readers, and here are the winners, chosen via randomizer.org:

  • Colin S Schaeffer
  • Jason Gross
  • Rich (rick6string)
  • Kevin W
  • dave (gingerich)
  • Weaver
  • Mark R
  • Jeff Brown
  • Alex (borsay)
  • Doug M (heycoachdoug)

Congrats! Please send us your shipping address via any of our contact methods.

Interested in pre-launch access to Don Bernardo cigars? Just leave your e-mail address at this page (please mention Cigar Inspector when you sign up) and you’ll have all the info and pre-launch access. Enjoy!

Don Bernardo Cigars Giveaway Results

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30
Jun

Don Bernardo El Caballero

Origin : Dominican Republic
Format : Robusto
Don Bernardo CigarsSize : 5 x 50
Wrapper : Dominican Criollo 98
Filler : Dominican Seco, Ligero and Olor, Nicaraguan Ligero
Binder : Dominican Olor
Hand-Made
Price : N/A

A couple of months ago, I was contacted by Richard Galdieri about reviewing a cigar made by his company, Don Bernardo Cigars.

Don Bernardo is not a very well-known name in the cigar world yet, but Richard started in cigar manufacturing in 1989. You will not find a lot of information yet on this boutique line; El Caballero cigars come in three sizes: Montefino (52 x 6.5″), El Rey (57 x 6″), Robusto (50 x 5″). For this review, I tried out the Robusto.

Disclaimer: cigars for this review were provided free of charge.

Appearance : 4 out of 5 stars
The El Caballero Robusto has a medium brown wrapper. There are some noticeable creases, but overall the appearance is very smooth with only the finest veins. The leaf is very oily and has a distinct gleam to it.

Construction : 5 out of 5 stars
Construction is outstanding on this stogie. The burn line was very even and only required minor touchups. Draw was perfect, just tight enough to offer the right amount of resistance.

Flavor : 3.75 out of 5 stars (3.75)
Right off the top you get a burst of spices and pepper. This is somewhat in-your-face, but it quickly cools down. Dessert flavors take over: chocolate and espresso and roasted nuts. The dessert flavors dominate the rest of the experience, but the spices and pepper are still there to balance it all out. The flavors are smooth, but the cigar is definitely leaning toward full-bodied. I wouldn’t characterize this flavor profile as particularly unique, but it is very enjoyable.

Value : N/A
The price is still TBA, and these are not yet available to the general public. So I cannot make a comment on the value yet.

Overall Rating : 4 out of 5 stars
Assuming the price is right, there is nothing to complain about with the Don Bernardo El Caballero Robusto. I very much enjoyed the flavors, and the construction was top-notch. I will be excited to see how these cigars catch on once they are released.

Don Bernardo El Caballero Three-Pack

So what about the giveaway? Courtesy of Richard Galdieri, we’ve got 10 (!!!) 3-packs of Don Bernardo cigars to give away – just leave a comment on this post to enter!

Contest is open to the US residents only, you must be of legal age to smoke in your state. Winners will be chosen randomly and announced in one week, next Thursday.

Don Bernardo El Caballero Robusto (Review & Giveaway!)

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14
Apr

Amazon

As I stated in my best cigar books post, proceeds from sale of books would be given back to one lucky reader in the form of a gift certificate. Here is another one. It is a gift card for $40 that can be redeemed on Amazon.com (doesn’t work on .co.uk or .fr).

Just leave a comment on this post to be entered in the draw. The winner will be announced in one week, next Thursday.

PS Want to support CigarInspector.com? Just do your Amazon purchases through this link.

Amazon $40 Gift Card Giveaway

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31
Mar

The Cigar - Moments of Pleasure

I recently had the joy of receiving a beautiful coffee book for free entitled The Cigar – Moments of Pleasure, by Morten Ehrhorn & Justin Hummerston (official book page). It’s a hardbound book, 312 pages, pretty heavy—and absolutely brimming with information about cigars and gorgeous color photographs.

I’ve read a number of coffee table books about cigars over the years. Some of them are amazing; many more are ambitious, but fall short of achieving their aims.

This one is by far one of the best I have read! The Cigar – Moments of Pleasure covers everything you could hope to learn about cigars—their history, how and where they are made, all about cigar leaves, and even how cigars stimulate our brains. There is research in this book I simply haven’t seen anywhere else. And the photographs and the layouts are absolutely stunning!

The Cigar - Moments of Pleasure

Like a good cigar itself, this is a book you want to spend time with, leisurely turning through the pages, enjoying the experience moment by moment. In fact, there is no better way to do it than while smoking your favorite stogie.

The Cigar - Moments of Pleasure

It is a pricey book, but very reasonable in light of what you are getting—hundreds of pages of color photographs and a goldmine of information; right now on Amazon it is going for $59. It’s well worth the cost; it’s a great book for newbies who are just starting to learn about cigars as well as veteran smokers who want to add to their already-comprehensive knowledge. Anyone can learn something from this book, or just lose themselves in the photos.

And now … onto the giveaway!

I’m excited to announce that, courtesy of Ehrhorn Hummerston, we have three of these books to give away! To enter, all you need to do is leave a comment! The winners will be randomly selected on April 7th (next Thursday). Thanks for participating, and I hope you love this book as much as I do!

Cigar Book Giveaway: The Cigar – Moments of Pleasure

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10
Mar

MBombay Kesara Pyramid - the band

Last week we published a review of the MBombay Kesara Pyramid and we had three cigar samplers to give away courtesy of Mel Shah and MBombay Cigars. Out of more than 170 participants, the three lucky winners (chosen randomly) are:

  • Anthony (23:00 comment)
  • Larry Stocker
  • Joe Mazloom

Each winner will receive a 2-pack containing one Kesara Pyramid and one Vintage Reserve Nikka. Congrats – and stay tuned, we’ve got another giveaway coming up soon!

You might be interested in these articles too:

MBombay Giveaway Winners

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03
Mar

MBombay Kesara Pyramid

Origin : Costa Rica
Format : Pyramid
Asylum CigarsSize : 7 x 54
Wrapper : Ecuador
Filler : Dominican Republic and Peru
Binder : Ecuador
Hand-Made
Price : ~$18 each

If you are shopping at the tobacconist and you spot MBombay Kesara cigars on the shelves, they’ll stand out instantly. They are quite unusual to look at, particularly where the band is concerned (more on that shortly). MBombay is a pretty new brand owned by Mel Shah. You may previously have known him better as the owner of Fame Wine & Cigar Lounge in Palm Springs. Shah’s cigar company MBombay launched in June of 2014 with two different lines: MBombay Classic and MBombay Maduro. The third line, Mōra, debuted that August. At the end of the year, Kesara came out.

Kesara is available in three sizes: a 6 x 52 toro, a 4 ½ x 54 robusto, and a 7 x 54 pyramid. Mel Shah, the owner, sent me a sampler of the pyramids (thanks Mel!), which I am reviewing today. And we’ve got some more cigars to give away, read on for details!

Appearance : 5 out of 5 stars
These cigars are unique inside and out. In terms of appearance, there is a shaggy foot, which is something you don’t see everyday. The Ecuadorian wrapper is a light brown color with some noticeable veins. The tapering pyramid shape is of course unusual as well (the shaggy foot helps to exaggerate it). When you consider what’s inside is a filler made of Dominican and Peruvian tobacco and an Ecuadorian binder, you know you are in for a distinctive experience.

MBombay Kesara Pyramid - the band

The band deserves particular attention as well. It’s a huge band, covering maybe a third of the stogie. The intricate designs that adorn the band are absolutely gorgeous. They are ornate without being ostentatious, thanks to the subtle coloring.

MBombay Kesara Pyramid - shaggy foot

Construction : 5 out of 5 stars
The construction on the cigar is excellent. The burn was steady from the beginning to the end. The draw was also perfect, not too loose or too tight, and the cigar produced plenty of smoke. Ash hangs on nicely for most of the smoke, but it does get flaky in the last third.

Flavor : 4.25 out of 5 stars (4.25)
This is a mild cigar, which somehow is not a surprise given its appearance and packaging. Just as there is subtlety in the artwork adorning the band, there is subtlety in the flavor profile as well. The main flavor I pick up during the first third distinctly is cedar. There is also some sweet natural tobacco, hay, what tastes like cooking herbs, and maybe just a hint of some kind of pastry. This is yet another way in which the flavors mirror the label—intricacy.

During the second third, I pick up a bit of pepper. Dry wood and grain remain the most dominant notes, but there is a hint of something else as well, possibly coffee. It is hard to pick out the individual notes because they are woven so well into the whole. On the final third, I get similar flavors, with maybe just a hint of citrus thrown in for good measure.

Overall, the flavors did not transition all that much. There were subtle changes throughout the experience, but no radical shifts. Strength never tipped above medium. This cigar won’t throw you any curve balls, but sometimes that is a good thing.

Value : 3.5 out of 5 stars
This is the only area where I really have to dock points. I really enjoyed the MBombay Kesara Pyramid, but I am not crazy about the high price tag. Eighteen clams isn’t something I can afford to pay too often for a smoke.

Overall Rating : 4.25 out of 5 stars (4.25)
Aside from the high price, I loved everything about the MBombay Kesara Pyramid. The unusual, distinctive appearance and the excellent construction made me inclined to enjoy this smoke right from the start. The flavors were beautifully blended, and even though they didn’t offer much in the way of surprises, they were thoroughly enjoyable from start to finish. I also loved the fact that somehow this cigar had exactly the kind of flavor profile I would have expected from its appearance and the design elements used in the band and packaging. That doesn’t happen all that often.

At $18 each, you probably won’t be able to smoke these too often, but you should definitely treat yourself to at least one or you’ll be missing out!

Now the part you’ve been waiting for – the giveaway. Thanks to Mel Shah and MBombay cigars, we’ve got three 2-packs to give away to three lucky readers – each pack will contain one Kesara Pyramid and one Vintage Reserve Nikka (one of the Halfwheel’s top 25 cigars of 2015). That’s ~$30 value per sampler! To enter the giveaway, just leave a comment on this post – and please share it with your friends!

Contest is open internationally, you must be of legal age to smoke in your country. Winners will be chosen randomly and announced in one week, next Thursday.

MBombay Kesara Pyramid (Review & Giveaway!)

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