Misc

Stoptober

In many countries around the world, October is the month to try to stop people to smoke under the name ‘stoptober’. This morning I got invited to a Facebook group called Aficionados Liberation Front, a group that was founded to troll the yearly anti-tobacco protest in front of the Intertabac trade show. Now the group is targeting the Stoptober movement, and you can join. How? See the copied message below:

“Dearly appreciated fellow partisans,

After a 2 year silence we feel the time is right for another playful guerilla action against the anti smoking lobby. This time we will attempt to hijack the hashtag #stoptober on facebook and instagram.

Plan of action: Share pictures of the cigars you smoke in october on your personal FB page and instagram account and add #stoptober as a comment. When posting on your FB page make sure the post is set to public. Wouldn’t it be fun if people clicked the hashtag all they’ll see is pictures of cigars being smoked? 😂 We feel we actually are with great enough numbers to pull this off but please also invite other aficionados to join us.

Hopefully we can be as successful as with our last playful guerilla action in 2015 against an anti-smoking group that was protesting at Intertabac that year.

As you may remember we hijacked their Facebook page by bombing it with selfies in which we enjoyed our beloved cigars. This is what their paged looked like: http://docdro.id/atjcZ7l

When you scroll through the 137 document keep in mind their page was suposed to be anti tobacco. 😂 They haven’t been protesting at Intertabac in 2016 en 2017. 😂

Let’s see if we can be just as successful.”

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I love this industry

I mentioned it a few times, I used to work in the cigar industry as a sales rep, in The Netherlands and that’s not one of the biggest markets out there. And because of my work I met a lot of cigar manufacturers, either in Europe or at their factories in Nicaragua.

What strikes me, amazes me actually, is the way the manufacturers treat me and that amazed me again last weekend at Intertabac. I mean, I was just a sales rep in a small country yet when I walked onto the trade show floor A.J. Fernandez spotted me and started waving at me trying to get my attention instead of the other way around, José Oliva whom I hadn’t seen in years walks up to me, at the Cigar Journal award show Alejandro Turrent walks over to me to say hi instead of the other way around, Frederik Vandemeliere (J. Cortes) takes a selfie with me on his phone and a few years ago Nick Perdomo tapped me on my shoulder to introduce his wife Janine to me. Those are just a few of the times where I thought “this should be the other way around”.

I love this industry, I love the warmth, the people, I made real friends in the years that I was lucky enough to be part of this industry.

Here are a few pictures I took at Intertabac, I missed a lot of photo opportunities because I usually don’t like them, but hey, once in a blue moon right?

 

And a big thank you for Sam Morales & Jessi Flores for hooking me up with two unique pieces of art for my man cave

Categories: Misc

Jas Sum Kral in The Netherlands

Last weekend Riste Riatevski, owner from the Jas Sum Kral brand was in The Netherlands for the Dutch Big Smoke, other guests were Alex Svensson (Cigar.com), George Sosa (Alec Bradley), Abe Flores (PDR), Juan Martinez (Joya de Nicaragua) and Tom Mulder (La Sagrada Familia).

Because of my friendship with Riste we hung out and I acted as his host and driving during the few days he spend here. We made a short movie about the JSK trip.

 

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My lancero collection

I love lanceros and I even have a dedicated lancero humidor, as you might have seen on a video I posted a while back. While updating my inventory on stogierate.com I took pictures of the content of the dedicated lancero humidor, why not show them off? Almost 400 lanceros, including some unicorns.

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A full week of reviews

There are a lot of cigar groups on Facebook and in some of those groups people like to combine days with cigar brands, like Tatuaje Tuesday and Fuente Friday. Since I have so many unpublished reviews and need to post a lot I decided that this week will be a week dedicated to the weekday – cigar combinations and I came up with a few of my own.

This week I will post a review every day, monday to sunday, all with the name tied to the weekday, here’s the list:

Murcielago Monday
Tatuaje Tuesday
Warped Wednesday
Taboo Thursday
Fuente Friday
Santiago Saturday
Sosa Sunday

 

Categories: Misc

My man cave & humidor

About three years ago, right after I came back from Nicaragua the first time, I got the keys to house I bought. I bought a place where I could built a man cave and a walk-in humidor.

Before I lived in an apartment and everything smelled of cigar smoke, so I wanted a place where I could smoke cigars without contaminating the rest of my house, the house I bought is perfect. Indoor garage on the ground floor with a extra room, that room I turned into my man cave. First floor is kitchen and living room, second floor three bedrooms and a bathroom.

Now you want to see the man cave and the walk-in? Click on this link and you’ll see a short video.

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New sorting order

If you notice something different on my blog today, you are right. Instead of having the cigars sorted by country and then by brand I made some changes, the cigars are now sorted by brand only but you can also sort on country, rating and I’m currently working on the factories too. The last one is a lot of work and I don’t have all the information (yet?) so that will be the hardest, and probably most incomplete, sorting order on my blog.

Categories: Misc

A great book about Nicaraguan cigars

Somewhere in the autumn of 2014 my then employer Sasja van Horssen was approached by his friend and lifestyle journalist Marcel Langedijk with the question if we could help him setting up a trip to Esteli, Nicaragua for him and photographer Jesaja Hizkia and get him in touch with some cigar manufacturers for interviews and pictures in the factories. Marcel, who has been to Nicaragua more often, thought it was time that Nicaragua got a beautiful coffee table book about the cigar lifestyle too, a book nobody ever did except about Cuba and that the time was right for a book about Nicaragua considering the growing sales numbers, superb quality and the growing appreciation for Nicaraguan tobacco, not just in the USA but also in the rest of the world. Nicaraguan cigars dominate the ‘top 25’ lists the last few years and so a book seems appropriate.

I set up a trip, meetings at Joya de Nicaragua, A.J. Fernandez, Rocky Patel, Plasencia, Oliva, Padron and Drew Estate as requested, personally I would have added Perdomo as a major player too, Nica Suenos from my friend Skip Martin and back then I hadn’t met Noel Rojas yet otherwise I would have added him too and interviews with a few boutique brand owners, and I got to come along as I made all the appointments and had all the contacts, my then employer went along as translator as he’s fluent in Spanish. At our hotel, Los Arcos, I met Hector from Espinosa Cigars/La Zona and after seeing the La Zona factory Marcel and Jesaja decided on the spot that they had to be included in the book too, just as the Fe Y Alegria school we visited, a school that’s being supported by Pronica, a foundation that I helped to get started for with & for my then employer.

The name of the book is Cigaragua, a name that Marcel came up with after a few glasses of Flor de Caña. We were having some drinks and cigars at the courtyard of Los Arcos when Marcel just blurted out that name and immediately said “no, that’s to cryptic” but Jesaja and I were sold, perfect name. The next morning Marcel changed his mind and started to like the name more and more, and decided to go forward with the name.

The 12×12 inch coffee table book is not just about tobacco but also shows Esteli, Jesaja Hizkia took a lot of great pictures that are included in the book. The book is now available in Dutch and English and Spanish, German and possible French translations could follow in th near future. I know there are plans to release it in the United States as well but Marcel didn’t say when even though I asked, so if you want to know when the book is being released in your country contact Marcel or Sasja van Horssen.

Other than setting up this trip and proof reading the book before it went to the printer, I am not involved with the book, I gain no money from sales or promoting the book. But I like the book (and Nicaraguan cigars) so much that I wanted to spread the word about the book anyway.

Here are some pictures I took from the book (with my iPhone):

 

 

 

And I shot a little video: Cigaragua video on youtube

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Refrigerator to humidor conversion

A few weeks ago I posted a small video on youtube and dedicated a post on my blog about my dedicated lancero humidor. It is a 1950’s or 1960’s refrigerator from Bosch that was still in working condition when I bought it of the Dutch version of graigslist.

My dad, who’s much more of a handyman than I am, helped me out, he did most of the work to be honest. First we ripped the engine out, then removed everything from the inside, installed sliders for drawers. Then my dad made the drawers from plywood and birch, lacquered them so they are humidity resistent.

I installed a Hydra XL and some led lighting and its now (almost) full with lanceros only.

 

 

 

 

Categories: Misc
 
 

An introduction

Cigarguide is a website with reviews of cigars from all over the world. Some cigars have been given to me by the blog sponsors, others I have bought or traded or have been gifted to me by friends.

About me: Born in 1972 I started to smoke cigars on a vacation to Singapore and Indonesia december 2005. At Singapore airport we bought some Cohiba Siglo II, Montecristo #4 and Romeo y Julieta tubos #2 which we smoked in Indonesia, every night a cigar and a glass of whisky. I liked that so much that I decided to keep smoking cigars when I got back.

On the way back I maxed out my creditcard at the cigarshop at Singapore airport. Back in The Netherlands I smoked a few cigars a week and noticed different flavor profiles in different cigars. That sparked an interest, before I always thought a cigar was just a cigar, so I started to look for information online and discovered that cigars are just like wine, whisk(e)y, cognac, lots of different flavors depending on the blend, the soil, the tobacco used, the shape and more. Smoking cigars became more than a nice way of spending the evening, it became a passion.

Here I am, a few years later and I visited places I never thought of visiting before I smoked cigars, made lots of new friends both here in The Netherlands as in the United States, Canada, Nicaragua, Honduras, Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Germany, England, Belgium and Asia. I got to meet a few of the key figures in the industry and have even worked as a cigar sales rep. Who could imagine that the handful of cigars I bought halfway across the world would have such an impact on my life, such a positive impact.

Now as for the reviews, those are my reviews, my thoughts and my opinion and mine alone. Maybe you agree with my opinion, maybe you don’t, it doesn’t matter because every single review on every single thing in the world is an opinion and we all have our opinions. I’m just lucky enough to live in a country where I can voice my opinion, unlike a lot of people even in cigar producing countries. Feel free to comment if you agree or disagree or have any questions, but keep it respectful.

Categories: Misc

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