Illusíone Singularé 2010 Phantom Tuesday, May 24 2011 

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Country: Honduras
Wrapper: Nicaraguan
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Size: Toro 6.0′ x 50 ring

The Phantom is the 2010 version of Illusione’s Limited Edition “Singularé” cigar line. It is a refined looking toro with a handsome wrapper that has the look of fine leather. It is a mild to medium bodied smoke.  Not much spice to be found here which is unusual of a cigar that uses all Nicaraguan tobacco. It starts off light and mild with creamy flavors of cedar and toasted tobacco with a subtle bit of earthiness. Eventually it picks up a bit. The flavors are consistent but develop more body and there is an added floral undertone and a bit of sweetness that adds some complexity. This was an excellent smoke and a very different profile for Illusione.  I found it to be even lighter and more mild that some of the Epernay line. Still mild doesn’t mean flavorless as this stick had plenty to offer. I feel like I use this word a lot when talking about various cigars from Illusione, but it fits so I’ll use it again… Elegant. This cigar has a very refined and elegant feel to it. Grab some if you can still find them.

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And the winner is… Wednesday, May 4 2011 

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Thanks to the incredible generosity of all the cigar smokers out there that donated to the Ride for Kids this year, I was able to raise $2937.00 for the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation.  You can read all about the Ride in my event recap here.

As promised, I took the names of all my donors from this blog and the various cigar forums around the internet and put those names in a hat to draw for a winner of a 5 pack of premium cigars from my personal stash.  That 5 pack includes a Tatuaje Monster Series “The Frank” and an Opus xXx along with 3 other top-shelf cigars.

And the so the winner is…   Patrick from the Stogie Review Fan Forum.  Congrats Patrick and thank you very much for your donation.  And thank you to everyone else whose generosity has provided much needed help for these brave sick kids.

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A.Fuente Hemingway Signature Rosado Tuesday, May 3 2011 

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Country: Dominican Republic
Wrapper: Sun Grown Rosado
Binder: Dominican
Filler: Dominican
Size: Perfecto 6.0″ x 47 ring

Lately I haven’t been able to hangout at my local cigar shop or on the online cigar forums as much as I once was.  Life happens and with a wife, a dog, and two small kids my free time is nearly non-existent.  So I was very surprised when I walked into my local shop after being gone for a while to find these new Hemingways sitting in the humidor.  I guess I have fallen a little out of touch.  after letting sit in my humidor for the past month I am ready to spark this thing up as see what we have here.

I know very little about this version of the Hemingway.  Is it a one time deal, a very rare release, or only somewhat rare like the Maduros?  I have no idea but I bought a couple just in case I never see them again.  Glad I did.  the Rosado wrapper is a nice change-up for this smoke.  The Signature Maduro is probably my all time favorite Hemingway Series cigar.  I like this size and the Maduro wrapped version is just spectacular.  The Rosado is nearly as good in a completely different way.  It has a mild spice with a touch of cinnamon in there, all stacked on top of a core of leather and wood.  I even picked up some subtle flashes of what I’d describe as applewood at times.  It is a smooth medium body smoke and a real treat.

2011 Triangle Area Ride for Kids Recap Monday, May 2 2011 

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This past Sunday was the 8th annual Triangle Area Ride for Kids out at Jordan Lake. There were over 760 participants in this years ride and we raised $109,824.00 for the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation.  The weather was fantastic and the ride was a blast.  I couldn’t get a wide enough angle with my little point and shoot to capture all the motorcycles but you can see there was a sea of bikes at the event.
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We had the Cary Police Escorting us on the ride with their spiffy new department motorcycles.
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I had my bike all polished up and spiffy for the ride. Best looking bike there if I do say so myself 😉  (more…)

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