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Category: Editorial

Editorial: Home Roll Cigar Series | Award Winners

I must admit, when I approached the home rollers on the BOTL web forum about a friendly contest, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I learned that coordinating a series of this type is a big logistical challenge for which I was unprepared.  In the end, it was a good experience for me.  I hope it was also a good experience for those who participated, and especially our readers.

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Editorial: What Should A Cigar Event Be? | Jas Sum Kral – Ristefari 2018

Then there’s something called Ristefari.  Don’t worry if you’ve never heard of it.  By the end of this article you will probably want to go.  Ristefari is the brainchild of Riste Ristevski, owner and founder of Jas Sum Kral Cigars (JSK).  In a nutshell Ristefari is like a cigar event, a cigar festival and a family reunion combined into a weekend. In early March of 2018 I was fortunate enough to attend Ristefari 2018.  Here’s a rundown of some of the best points of Ristefari.

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Editorial: Puro Sabor 2018 | Special Events and Closing Thoughts

As we close out our series on Puro Sabor 2018, let’s take a look at the events that made the week special.  In all honesty, even the everyday lunches were special events.  It seemed like every time we gathered for a meal, the organizers pulled out all the stops and made it a grand occasion instead of just another meal.  One of my favorite things about all of these events was the reality of being able to sit down with people from all over the world, all walks of life, and all manner of experience in the cigar industry.  We were all the same at these events.  It was just an enormous group of friends gathering for a meal, some drinks, and great conversation.

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Editorial: Puro Sabor 2018 | Factory Tours

Imagine a car enthusiast having an opportunity to tour the Ferrari factory in Maranello, or someone who is a collector of fine watches going to visit Patek Philippe in Geneva.  The chance to actually see your favorite products being constructed by hand can be a real treat for the senses, and it can also give a heightened respect for the work that goes into creating these items that we love so much.  For premium cigar lovers the products that we consume are some of the most artfully and painstakingly crafted products in the world. Still, so many cigar lovers still don’t have the first-hand experience of seeing what goes into growing fine tobacco and crafting great cigars.  During Puro Sabor 2018 I was able to visit a number of cigar factories, large and small.  In this second article of the series about the festival I will take you through these factories in the same order that I visited them.

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Editorial: Puro Sabor 2018 | Introduction

In my most recent trip to Nicaragua I was fortunate to attend Puro Sabor 2018.  Puro Sabor is a celebration of the Nicaraguan cigar industry and the people who make it so wonderful. I had previously been to Nicaragua once before, in the fall of 2015, and I was so grateful to be able to go back again. Since there’s so much to cover about this trip I’ll break it into a series of different articles each covering different aspects of the trip itself. One theme that I hope you’ll notice in all of these articles is the people. The people are the most important aspect of every piece of the cigar industry in Nicaragua. Nothing is more important to the industry than its people and it’s the relationships that make the cigar industry in Nicaragua so beautiful and so wonderful.

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Editorial: Don Lucas Cigar Factory | Mundo Autentico – Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

Since I have already been to some cigar factories, I had some idea what to expect. What was so wonderful about the tour at the Don Lucas cigar factory was the close family atmosphere. While it is a small factory by some standards, they do not cut corners on quality or final product. They meet or exceed some quality control and aging standards that I have seen from other manufacturers. They don’t disclose what daily production rates are, but they vary. It all depends on what leaf they have in stock that day that is ready to be rolled. They do not base anything off production quotas, but only on quality standards. I greatly admire that practice, especially considering how rare it is becoming in the cigar industry.

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Editorial: Roll With It – Home-Rolled Cigars

Something fascinating about mankind… We have the capacity to make things. Of course we also have the capacity to destroy or cause problems, but we hope to strive for the good. When we see craftsmanship or creativity many of us are drawn to it like a moth to a flame. In our past, creativity was a kind of survival skill. We had to create new things like shelter and tools in order to survive or improve quality of life. Since civilization emerged, our creativity has morphed into the aesthetic and the artistic. In some cases, it can even take on a competitive facet. We want to know if we can do it better than the other guy, or we want to know if we can do it at all, thereby competing with ourselves. We want to experiment with our own creative nature. We want to know if we can make what we see others make. We want to know if we can make it better. This has always been a part of our nature, and this trait is responsible for some of the most wonderful things that we still enjoy today.

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Editorial- Puro Sabor – Nicaraguan Cigar Festival 2017 – Day 2

Day two started out with a boat tour of Lake Nicaragua, which we had just seen from a distance the day before. Around the edge of the lake are a ton of tiny inlets or small islands created by the nearby Mombacho Volcano in its last eruption. Along the way, we saw a few monkeys, posh houses, and interesting birds. Unfortunately no bull sharks or American crocodiles.

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Editorial: Puro Sabor | Nicaraguan Cigar Festival 2017 – Day 1

The festival starts out in the city of Granada. Although not known particularly for making cigars, it is Nicaragua’s oldest city. I found Granada to be much more tourist-friendly than my previous visit to Esteli. It is Nicaragua’s sixth most populous city. Granada is historically one of Nicaragua’s most important cities, economically and politically. It has a rich colonial heritage, seen in its architecture and structure. Granada was founded in 1524 by Francisco Hernández de Córdoba, and is allegedly the first European city in mainland America.

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Tips & Tricks: 5 Cigar & Beer Pairings from a Cigar Smoker Who Prefers Lighter Brews

IS A MAN ANY LESS “MANLY” BECAUSE HE’S NOT A BEER DRINKER? Speaking for myself, I never fully acquired a palate for the bitter, malty taste of beer. Maybe because I was always a soda drinker I got spoiled by the sugary taste of Pepsi, 7-Up, and the like, which today I no longer drink. Of course, as I matured, I came to appreciate a few beers, but mostly the lighter, sweeter fare.

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