Hoyo de Monterrey Hermosos No 4 Anejados (TBS DIC 06) — whiskysnob’s Blog


We’re having our first Anejados today, it’s the first one to show up in my local La Casa.. Vitola: Hermosos No 4 (48 x 127 mm) (Corona Extra). History: a 2015 release, aged Habanos series. Overview: very smooth, oily dark brown wrapper, an aged smoke with an Anejados band, amazing construction, tremendous looking cigar, probably […]

via Hoyo de Monterrey Hermosos No 4 Anejados (TBS DIC 06) — whiskysnob’s Blog

Cigar Advisor Weighs in on the Newest FDA Cigar Regulations


Cigar Advisor, the nation’s premiere online cigar magazine, proudly serves cigar enthusiasts with a uniquely down-to-earth perspective on the enjoyment of premium cigars. The magazine has just published a review of the newly-deemed FDA rule that extends the agency’s intent to regulate more tobacco products — including premium cigars — under the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (FSPTCA). Titled “FDA Cigar Regulation: Effects of the 2016 Deeming Rule,” Managing Editor John Pullo addresses the impact this new authority granted to the FDA will have on the premium cigar market, and the market uncertainties it has created.

“There are a number of ‘untolds’ in the document. These are the numbers, processes, costs and more that the Agency hasn’t defined yet… perhaps, because it can’t. That’s why we wanted to address these regulations — they’re important for cigar enthusiasts to understand,” says Cigar Advisor Managing Editor John Pullo. “They have the very real potential to negatively impact the consumer — and in more ways than just the choice of premium cigars available for sale.” He’s compiled an analysis of the stricter FDA regulations that affect the production, marketing and sales of tobacco products that were announced this month, titledFDA Cigar Regulation: Effects of the 2016 Deeming Rule. Released as a 499-page document on May 5, John examines four of the most prominent issues created by the FDA decision for stronger regulation.

John notes one particular concern immediately: “The damage that is likely to be done to the manufacture and marketing of premium cigars by this decision is sweepingly broad, but done in a way that’s extremely vague. That is worrisome.” He specifically points to the newly-ordered “substantial equivalence” verification process for premium cigars that entered the market after 2007, and how “there is a lot of gray area here.” Pullo argues that cigar manufactures are placed in an immediate disadvantage by the agency, as the inner workings of the tests that FDA plans to run on the products at hand are “unclear, have no benchmarks established, and the costs — and how they’re figured — are seemingly guesses, at best.” He also believes that this ruling places the legalization of Cuban cigars in America in limbo.

The Cigar Advisor analysis discusses the banning of cigar sampling, age verification for the purchase of cigars, and the steps that retailers have already taken to be in compliance with existing age restrictions for the purchase of tobacco products by those under the age of 18. “These laws already exist,” he says.

FDA Defies Congressional Intent…Subjects Premium Cigars To Federal Regulation

Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Center for Tobacco Products released their 499 page final rule that would deem additional tobacco products subject to the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, as amended by the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (“Tobacco Control Act”).  Under today’s release, premium cigars have been deemed and will be subjected to the “option 1” regulatory framework, which in some respects treats premium cigars in harsher terms than that of cigarettes and other tobacco products.

Since the original filing of the proposed rule on April 25, 2014, and the closing of the comment period on August 08, 2014, Cigar Rights of America (CRA) and hundreds of thousands of cigar aficionados across Ameria have been actively advocating on multiple fronts within the Obama Administration that premium cigars should not be included in any form of a final rule.  Unfortunately, the FDA and the Obama Administration have rejected and cast aside any rationally objective approach to developing this regulation.
When Congress gave FDA the authority to regulate tobacco products in 2009, they did so specifically with the stipulation that in order to subject a product to regulation FDA must demonstrate that the specific product(s) possess issues of underage consumption and health and mortality impact through addiction, both which have never been associated with premium cigars. Congressman Hal Rogers (R-KY), Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee stated during the debate on the Fiscal Year 2017 Agriculture Appropriations bill that, “premium cigars were never intended to be in the original Tobacco Control Act.”
Congressional intent can also be seen through lens of legislation, where beginning in the 112th Congress through today, 289 different members of the House of Representatives and 26 members of the Senate have co-sponsored legislation that would exempt premium cigars from FDA regulation.
J. Glynn Loope, Executive Director of CRA, stated in reaction to today’s release that, “the inclusion of premium cigars in the final rule by FDA is yet another clear indicator that the agency never intended on complying with the Congressional mandate in the 2009 Act, and that the agency is clearly overstepping its authority in its zealous pursuit of unjustified regulations.”
Loope went on to further say, “Due to today’s actions by FDA, Cigar Rights of America will continue concentrating its efforts on the pursuit of the legislative exemption adopted by the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations, and CRA is calling on Congress to act this year to protect the premium cigar retail community, the availability of legal products to America’s adult consumers, and to address the political and economic threat that this regulation passes throughout Latin America.”

The pairing of Syndicate 58/6 scotch with a Montecristo Platinum Series cigar

Yesterday, we took to pair the very rare and exquisite 12-year-old Syndicate 58/6 scotch whiskey with a cigar that would complement its rich and intense flavor. There were several cigars I could have chosen for this pairing and I settled on the Montecristo Platinum Series cigar. It is important when pairing a cigar and the drink of your choice that one does not overpower the other.

Syndicate 58/6 scotch whiskey is rich amber gold with shimmering sandy bottom highlights.
Photo Used with permission by The Baddish Group

Although one of the photos shows the scotch in a glass without ice, I did add two cubes of ice after an initial tasting of the Syndicate 58/6. This is a scotch you will want to savor and enjoy unmolested by dissolving ice. Like most lovers of scotch, I like mine cold; and though I would not normally recommend this, it may be worth keeping this scotch chilled in your bar refrigerator or wine chiller so you can enjoy the cold temperature without the ice to affect the Syndicate’s taste as it is rich and smooth.

The Syndicate 58/6 is a premium blended scotch whiskey and is not your average premium scotch. It has a very long history being founded in 1966 by William Muir (Bond 9) Limited (Founded in Leith, Scotland in 1823) and the original blend was distilled in 1954 by Marshall Taplow for their most important customers. In the United Kingdom, Syndicate 58/6 is appreciated by Members of the House of Lords, High Court Judges and a wide range of leading professionals from throughout the United Kingdom. Syndicate 58/6 is blended using a ‘Solera’ system whereby additional whiskeys are blended with the older stock. They include 18 single malt whiskeys and four single grain whiskeys. Syndicate 58/6 still contains small quantities of the 1958 blend and is put in four year old Oloroso Sherry casks which give the whiskey an exceptionally smooth and distinctive taste.


Cigar Review: Davidoff Special R


Yesterday, we smoke and review the Davidoff Special R cigar. Davidoff is one of my favorite lines of cigars and next week I will review their Nicaragua cigar.

The Davidoff Special R cigar as I smoked it on June 1, 2014.
Photo Credit: Karl Dickey  View all 5 photos

The Special R is a mild Robusto with an Ecuadorian wrapper and a 50 ring gauge and is about 5 inches in length. The Special R has been available since 1999 and though not the best Davidoff has to offer, it is still a smooth, affordable and enjoyable smoke. And when I say ‘affordable’, I mean affordable by Davidoff standards as they are a premium line of cigars. The cigar can be picked up as a single stick for around $12 to $13.

Coming out of the Dominican Republic, the Special R will last about 35 minutes or so. I did not find any problems with the draw as some have reported over the years, although it did burn slightly uneven. The uneven burn was not from user error or improper humidity, however, more likely a result of production.


Four Roses Small Batch Bourbon paired with Romeo y Julieta Reserva Real cigar

Today, we will pair an excellent small batch bourbon with one of the finest cigars. Four Roses Small Batch Bourbon is one of the very best light-bodied bourbons available so it is important to pair it with a similar light-bodied cigar. There are several cigars to choose from such as the H. Upmann Monarcas Tubos or Montecristo Junior. For this review I chose the Romeo y Julieta Reserva Real which is a light to medium strength cigar and it turned out to be a terrific combination. Of course, everyone is different in their tastes, which is why it is important to trying things on your own and keep notes of your likes and dislikes. If you keep a journal, such as this, after a year, you will have a full and complete catalog of what suits you best.

So, what is bourbon? Bourbon is a whiskey; however, as they say, “All bourbon is whiskey, but not all whiskey is bourbon.” Bourbon is simply (and legally) American-made whiskey, starts off with at least 51 percent corn and must be aged (stored) in a new white oak barrel which can only be used once. Also, often people think bourbon must be made in Kentucky, but this is not the case – anywhere in America will do.

Four Roses Small Batch Bourbon is one of the best bourbons I have enjoyed. Today, I did so straight (without ice) in a regular glass tumbler so I could enjoy the aroma and taste without dilution from ice. Again, it comes down to how you enjoy your bourbon with or without ice. When ordering at your local bar, it is best to leave out fancy words like “neat” or “straight” if you prefer it without ice, because half the time, the bartender will serve it to you with ice anyway – even at high-end bars. I know some, that prefer their drink with only one ice cube; yet, if not specific when ordering, the glass will come back half full of chopped ice. It’s all in what you prefer, there is no right or wrong way to drink bourbon.