Trident aka Roman

Trident aka Roman

Cigar Lover; Scotch Drinker

I’m a solid product of the 1980’s and love everything about that decade…well almost. But anyway, we are here to discuss some cigar business. I have been enjoying cigars since the late 1990s, and my first box purchase was when I was 18 years old, and I still remember what it was. It’s definitely a shame I don’t have it anymore. I started to review cigars about 4 years ago, because it was a fun way to get people together and talk about cigars. One day someone had the bright idea of putting our thoughts up on a website, and the rest is history. It is humbling at shows when manufactures and other people in the industry recognize us, and ask for our opinion on things they are working. What a wonderful feeling.
One of the main reasons I enjoy cigars is because of the community. It is one of the best groups of people I belong to, and probably the most generous. Cigars bring all of us closer together. Also, cigars provide a lot of opportunities for people, and can take you places, including various parts of our great country, and also internationally.
Since expanding my palate to various Latin American countries, I have found myself gravitating towards Nicaraguan cigars. Some of my favorite cigars are produced by AJ Fernandez, Tatuaje, My Father, Illusione, Drew Estate and Viaje.
My other passion is whiskey. I started the slippery slope of whiskey more than 5 years ago, and quickly decided that scotch is my preference. I do prefer Scotch from Isley, such as Ardbeg, Lagavulin and Laphroaig. But, I do enjoy a variety of scotches from all of the country, just depends on the cigar pairing.
Come join me for a Cigar and Scotch.

 

 

Favorite Cigar (current): AJ Fernandez Last Call

Preferred Flavor Profile: Chocolaty Leather

Number of Years Smoking: 18

Grumpy aka Dan

Grumpy aka Dan

Cigar Lover; Gin Drinker

I was 18 on a family vacation in Playa Del Carmen when my uncle and dad brought back fresh rolled cigars from Cozumel.  They had a few extra and asked if I wanted to try.  The relaxation, bonding, and laughter that followed during that first cigar started a life journey that has influenced every aspect to who I am.  Sure it’s a bunch of aged leaves rolled into a shape then burned, and a cigar is just a cigar.  However it’s the friendships, memories, and experiences that come with smoking cigars that bring me back every time.  I’ve been lucky to have met the men and women in the cigar community who would give you the shirt off their back and it brings back that old world, helpful and trusting nature that is so often overlooked in the fast paced world we’re in.  My goal is that the experiences and tastes I share will help those old and new in the hobby, another perspective on the experience they are having as well.  Where it comes to libations, I try and hang with my friends, however I’ve found that whisky just doesn’t cut it for me, just how people gravitate to various cigars by origin.  Recently I’ve come to experience gin and the vast array of flavors each one brings.  Smoke what you like, drink what you like.  Enjoy life and take an hour to relax.

 

 

Favorite Cigar (current): Tatuaje Cojonu 2012 Broadleaf

Preferred Flavor Profile: Medium Spice Leather and Barnyard

Number of Years Smoking: 16

Bear aka Matt

Bear aka Matt

Cigar Lover; Scotch Drinker

I am 41 years old and currently reside in South West Michigan. I have been smoking cigars seriously since 1994. Over that time period, my palate has evolved to really prefer and gravitate to Nicaraguan puros/blends.  I would consider myself more of a boutique whore: Tatuaje, Illusione, Roma Craft, EloGio, Curivari, My Father, Surrogates/L’atelier, and Reinado are all in my wheel house and daily rotations. I started smoking cigars to relax and unwind. I continue to smoke cigars for the many great people taht cigars have introduced me to, and the places the hobby has taken me. I think we are smoking in an amazing time right now, with regard to the quality of tobacco and skill of the blenders, coupled with a renewed focus on quality. My other interests outside of cigars include fly fishing for trout, salmon, and steelhead throughout the Great Lakes tributaries and rivers, sporting clays, and upland bird/duck hunting. When it comes to liquid, my palate runs the gamut through bourbon, scotch, and craft beer, but I usually pair the majority of my cigars with unsweetened iced tea.

 

Favorite Cigar (current):

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Hatchet aka Drew

Hatchet aka Drew

Cigar Lover; Scotch Drinker

Spring 2012 was my year of enlightenment, I bought my first cigar and quickly discovered a new passion, a moment of relaxation i was missing, a new community of friends. I also enjoy a glass of whiskey neat, fast cars, guns, golf, and the great outdoors (who doesn’t ?!?).

As a cigar smoker, my preferences have a tendency to hop between Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic. I really enjoy Fuente and Davidoff when I’m craving a Dominican smoke, and when only a Nicaraguan will hit the spot my go to brands are Tatuaje, Aj Fernández, Roma Craft, and Padron. Many other great brands satiate my desires, but the above list is made up of the brands i most often find in my hand.

When it comes to a drink, my tastes bounce around, i love bourbon, red wine, and beer, not necessarily in that order. Recently i have developed a taste for cognac and armagnac, unfortunately i live in Michigan, and well, our liquor distribution and supply is woefully lacking, to put it lightly.

 

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Lucky Bastard aka Josh

Lucky Bastard aka Josh

Cigar Lover; Scotch Drinker

Born in ‘82
Lifetime resident of the Mitten and proud husband and father of three beautiful kids

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I began my foray into this cigar hobby in 2012 when a friend of my brother’s allowed me into his home and handed me my very first cigar and wouldn’t accept any payment or collateral which turned out to be a shining example of the cigar community as a whole.
In early 2014, I earned my handle by winning a large humidor in a raffle at a massive cigar herf and really began to dive headfirst into the hobby as I set out to fill it.
My first ever WOW moment was with an Arturo Fuente Añejo Shark. My favorites include but are not limited to Tatuaje (and L’Atelier), My Father, Viaje, Fuente, La Flor Dominicana, Drew Estates, La Palina, The Crowned Heads, Illusione, Warped, Asylum/CLE, Etc. so in essence my favorite flavor profile does tend to change wildly based on my mood but seems to center around smooth rich smoke with cream, a little spice/pepper through the nose, Espresso, and buttery/bread. If I had to name an all-time favorite cigar, I’d probably say “this one”.
For Spirits, I’m a bourbon and Craft beer Enthusiast. My favorite bourbon brands include, and again are not limited to, Basil Hayden’s, Old Weller, Elijah Craig. Beer brands- Founders, Dark Horse, Bells.
Over the past couple years, I developed true friends in these LNL Hooligans (and several others through an exclusive cigar club) and never looked back. The cigar community is home and I am blessed to know so many great and unique individuals through this shared hobby.

 

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Sully aka Phil

Sully aka Phil

Cigar Lover; Scotch Drinker

Born and raised in the great city of Chicago. I became enamored with cigars in 2010 and haven’t looked back since. I enjoy cigars with tobacco from all over the world. My favorite tobacco comes from Indonesia with Nicaragua coming in a very close second. When I started smoking my first cigar was an Oliva G Torpedo that I fell in love with and purchased my first box.

When it comes to reviewing anything cigar or libation related I am very straight forward and do it purely for love of the industry. I always challenge myself to try everything once and try to enjoy what craftsmanship behind it regards of the outcome.

In an industry like this I hope to offer you solid reviews that you can use to help enhance your cigar knowledge to help you make a solid choice when you are at your local brick and mortar.

Enjoy the industry and support those who support it.

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Sticks aka Brad

Sticks aka Brad

Cigar Lover; Scotch Drinker

My journey into cigars started probably like a lot of people’s, I turned 18 and ran to the store to buy myself a pack of backwoods and swishers.  Who didn’t love those high quality cigars back in the days of being naive.  I would go to the local store and pick up a hand rolled here and there but really had no idea what I was grabbing.  That fad lasted only about a year and then I kind of fell away from the cigar world for a while since none of my friends were really into it, I just slowly got lost.  Fast-forward to about the lovely age of 25 when I started to get back into it.  I had 2 kids with the third on the way and then that’s when the habit started to really get going.  Small little wood humidor with my 5-10 sticks and I thought I had some really good cigars.  What really got me hooked was once I discovered a forum for cigar lovers on a retailer’s website and their generosity really showed me that my little wood humidor would not be sufficient.  I was gifted tons of great cigars and I started to try as many as I could get my hands on to really dive into what my likes/dislikes were.  I discovered that I can enjoy cigars from any region and any manufacturer but if I really had to choose my go to cigars would come from Crowned Heads, Tatuaje, Drew Estate, My Father and Don Pepin or some from that forbidden place south of Miami.

When it comes to the libations end of things I’m from Wisconsin so there is nothing like a good cold beer with a cigar but I do enjoy a nice pour of bourbon, rum and scotch.  I will always have a bottle of Four Roses, Zaya and Angels Envy in my cupboard.

 

Favorite Cigar (current): Tatuaje skinny Frank or the Crowned Heads Tennessee Waltz

Preferred Flavor Profile: Hay/Barnyard

Number of Years Smoking: 6

Robin

Scotch Enthusiast

I started my scotch education during a year spent studying abroad in Edinburgh.  Initially my goal was to learn the difference between the major regions which seemed daunting at the time, but soon I could tell a Highland from a Speyside.  Digging into each style in depth I began by exploring the easily approachable scotches of Speyside, learning about different cask finishes and how aging changes the character of a whisky.  Upon returning to the US I discovered Whiskyfest and became a regular attendee.  This allowed to me to try a vastly larger number of whiskys than I had been exposed to before and introduced my to Islay.  Prior to drinking Laphroaig’s Quarter Cask I found the peatness and smoke of that island unapproachable, but quickly discovered a richness and complexity that I found lacking in some of the less bold scotches I had drunk before.  I began collecting scotches that fit my palate and then expanded into bourbon and whiskey from around the world.  Cultivating relationships with various liquor stores I quickly developed a whisky buying problem which was compounded by multiple moves around the country.  I was lucky enough to befriend a group of like mind individuals during 3 years in Michigan, who helped me unload some of my collection while introducing me to their favorites and teaching me about cigars which I have always enjoyed, but know precious little about.
I’m back on the East Coast now, but still an avid scotch drinker and collector.  I hope to share with you some of my favorite drams so that you can inform your own tastes and choose accordingly from the vast array of whiskey on the market today.

 

Favorite Scotch

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Phil

Scotch Enthusiast

I would consider myself a beer and scotch guy first, mostly. I do smoke cigars but much more rarely than everyone else in this group. I live on the west side of Michigan and have some great connections here to be able to get my hands on some of the more difficult beers from many of the amazing local breweries we have here in Beer City USA.

 

My claim to fame has to be getting Roman into great cigars and whiskey. Roman’s knowledge and experience with cigars has far surpassed mine since, but when we first met 7 years ago, his smoking habits were all over the map.  As soon as I introduced him to a Don Pepin Garcia Blue label he fell and love, and as you can all see, the rest is history.  Together we went nuts delving into the boutique cigar world.

 

A few years later we started a scotch and cigar club. The buying power of our scotch club helped Roman and I to try some excellent whiskies from around the world, starting my passion for whiskey.  Even though I moved to the west side of Michigan, I still pursue the scotch passion, and occasionally dabble in the cigar world.  

 
I’m looking forward to sharing my headfirst dive into the Whiskey world with you, and hopefully some craft beer and other fun libations soon.

 

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