Fade to Black…. Monday, Sep 10 2012 

Well, the 1st step in shutting down Matt’s Cigar Journal happened well over a year ago when I stopped publishing to the site.  The next step in this drawn out process has begun.  The domain mattscigar.com is going away.  I have changed the primary domain of the website back to the wordpress default, cigarsbymatt.wordpress.com.  Until my custom domain officially expires in December  mattscigar.com will still work by automatically redirecting folks to the wordpress url.  In December that will cease to work as well and mattscigar.com will be gone for good. The site will still be up and inactive until I finally decide I am ready to take the last step and take the site offline entirely.  Until them my outdated cigar reviews will still be around for the random internet traveler to stumble across…..

Time to Retire…? Thursday, Jul 28 2011 

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For the past 6 years now I have been writing about my experiences with a wide variety of cigars. I have thoroughly enjoyed it and everything that came along with it.  I truly appreciate all the people who have read my blog whether it was just one time or if you were a loyal reader from the beginning and all in between.  I hope some of what I have publish here has been interesting at the least, and perhaps even occasionally helpful to some.

I feel it is time to “hang it up” and smoke just for smoking’s sake at this point.  I still enjoy a wide variety of cigars on a regular basis and plan to continue doing so but I seem to have lost my desire to put forth the effort to write about them here on the blog.  I prefer now for my hobby to remain more true to its stated purpose of relaxation and escapism, removing anything that even resembles work from the equation.

I will keep the site up indefinitely and will maintain the domain name at least through 2012 in case I find that retirement from blogging is a mistake and feel the need to take back up the torch and begin writing again. I guess you can call it the “Brett Favre Caveat”.  Plus I still hope the blog can serve as a bit of reference material for folks.  But for now I am done. I suppose I shouldn’t rule out the possibility of an occasional post here and there should the mood strike, but right now it just doesn’t seem likely that it would happen very often if at all.  Running a one man blog can be a bit cumbersome because all the responsibility for content falls on you.  Maybe when I am ready to get back into this I’ll come up with a different idea or different medium/outlet for my reviews.

Thanks again everyone and I will see you at the cigar shop, or on the forums, or on twitter, or perhaps on Google+.

-Matt
twitter: @lorax429
Forum screen name: Lorax429
Gmail:  Lorax429 (use my gmail account to find me on Google+)

Slowing Down Tuesday, Dec 7 2010 

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Some of my more regular visitors have probably noticed I have slowed down quite a bit on the reviews lately.   I was excited to see my blog turn 5 years old this past June, but in a way it was bitter-sweet.  I have really enjoyed publishing this blog but lately I have felt a little burnt out.  Writing the reviews has started to become more like a chore rather than the fun it once was.  Because of this I want to take a step back for a little while, but I do not want to just go and kill this site that I have loving labored on for over 5 years now.  I have come up with an idea that I hope will allow the blog to survive until I am ready to get back into this again full-bore.  It may be on life support but I won’t let it die out completely.

I plan to continue to publish reviews as regularly as I feel the need to.  The difference is, most of them will be much shorter and without all the background information I usually put into a write-up on a cigar.  It will just be a brief description o the cigar and its flavors, and perhaps my opinion.  I’ll try to include photos with each short review as well.  This will hopefully keep fresh and new content coming up on the site yet not be so labor intensive for me as I research cigar and company to provide the kind of detailed reviews I have in the past.  Who knows, this could even lead to more postings if this turns out to be a fairly easy and fun way for me to post reviews.

Time for a Top 5 Update Friday, Aug 27 2010 

I was browsing around my site the other day reading some old reviews and just checking out some of the areas of the blog I don’t look at everyday. While on my click-a-bout I came across my top 5 smokes page and noticed it had been a while since the last update to my list of favorite cigars. I reflected a bit on what was included in the list a decided is was time for an update. It had been long enough since the last up date that I consider this a major revision so now we have Matt’s Top 5 Smokes v3.0. So if you are at all interested in what my current favorites are, go check it out.

August Hiatus 2010 Sunday, Aug 1 2010 

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As is my custom, I am preparing to take a month long break from cigars during the month of August.  It is wicked hot here in North Carolina in the month of August and it makes for a good time to take a break and reset/refresh the palate.  I have a review or two queued up that I may decide to post in August just to keep things fresh.  I also usually find something else to post about during the month so the blog doesn’t shut completely down while I am on my break.  I am really in need of the break this year as I feel I have gotten a bit worn down in a lot of different ways.  Anyway, be sure to check back at least once in a while during the next month as there is bound to be something new posted and then we will be back int the full swing of things come September.

5th Anniversary Review: Cohiba Robusto Reserva (2003) Wednesday, Jun 23 2010 

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Country: Cuba

Today my humble little blog turns a whopping 5 years old. In internet years that is old. Sites on the internet come and go like leaves in the wind and it seems to be especially true of cigar related blogs. Considering that, I am rather proud of my little corner of the internet and how long it has managed to hang on, or more accurately perhaps; how long I have managed to hang on and stay committed to keeping this thing going. So today I celebrate 5 years of cigar reviews and mediocre writing with a very special smoke that my readers helped me to pick. During the first half of June I posted a poll asking my readers to help me decide which cigar I should review to mark this special milestone. There were 5 stellar cigars to choose from and in the end the Tatuaje Reserva SW Maduro was just barely edged out by an equally special Cohiba Robusto Reserva from 2003. So here we go, to celebrate Matt’s Cigar Journal’s 5 Year Anniversary, I give you the Cohiba Robusto Reserva…

In 2003 Habanos, SA release a special edition box of Cohiba cigars.  It was the Cohiba Selección Reserva and it contained 30 cigars in an assortment of sizes including six robusto sized cigars.  To see photos and get all the vital statistic of the cigars that came in this box check out the Cuban Cigar Website by clicking here.  I find it a very useful reference for information on Cuban cigars.  My sample was very generously given to me by Brother of the Leaf who happened to own a bar in Denmark.  I had always hoped to make it over there and check out his bar and smoke a cigar with him but as it happens we have lost touch and I am not sure where he is anymore.  I have been saving this very special cigar for a special occasion and I am happy to be finally putting it to flame in celebration of 5 years of blogging about my passion for fine hand made cigars.

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This Cohiba has a very classic looking wrapper like light brown leather.  It is adorned with a normal Cohiba band and a second black and gold band displaying the Reserva designation.  The draw is absolutely perfect.  I used Gordon Mott’s  “Three Match Technique” to get the cigar lit.  Right from the very start this cigar is smooth and buttery.  There were creamy notes of vanilla and hint of citrus with a nice floral aroma.  It wasn’t long before it starts to change up.  The flavors became woody and leathery with a bit of spice and I started to get a bit of salt and pepper on the lips.  The aroma is still very floral.  Underneath it all is that classic Cuban earthiness and twang.  Half way through and this is already one of the most amazing cigars I have smoked.  There are flavors I can’t even figure out how to identify.  As I made my way through the smoke the cigar kept changing.  there were flavors of coffee, nuts, vanilla, honey, fruit, leather, and more.   There was lots of that Cuban earthiness mixed in as well and the cigar went from sweet to spicy and back to sweet, the flavors always smooth and creamy on the palate.  The flavors were full and rich but never overpowering and it had only a mild nicotine punch.  The cigar was an absolute joy to smoke from start to finish.  I can’t imagine a better choice of cigar to celebrate my blogs 5 Year Anniversary.

Poll Results: 5 Year Anniversary Review Wednesday, Jun 16 2010 

So here are the results of the poll.  It was a close race between the two cigars that were at the top of my personal list, the Tatuaje Reserva SW Maduro and the Cohiba Robusto Reserva.  It is funny because the last time I did a poll like this for my 100th review, I had a Tatuaje Black and a regular Cohiba Robusto on the poll and those two did the best on that poll with the Tatuaje just barely winning out over the Cohiba.  This time it is the Cohiba that edges out the Tatuaje.  I guess I know what kind of cigars you guys like.

So Matt’s Cigar Journal will have a review of the 2003 Cohiba Robusto Reserva for the blogs 5 year anniversary which is on June 23rd.  Thanks for voting and helping me decide which special smoke to celebrate this milestone with.  Check back on the 23rd to see the review.

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Poll: 5 Year Anniversary Review? Tuesday, Jun 1 2010 

So later this month, Matt’s Cigar Journal will be turning 5 years old.  Five years in Internet age is like 50 in human years.  Sites come and go virtually every second on the web, so for me to have kept this thing going for 5 years feels like an accomplishment of sorts for me.  A big anniversary like this deserves to be celebrated so I am going to review a special cigar for that day and I am going to look to my readers to help me decide what it will be.  Please take a moment to answer the poll question and let me know which of these cigars you think is most appropriate for Matt’s Cigar Journal’s 5 Year Anniversary Review. You can leave comments on this post if you’d like to elaborate on your vote.  I only possess one of each of the cigars listed in this poll so it will be a special event when I smoke it.  The review will be posted on June 23rd, the day my blog turns 5.

I will shut down this poll on June 16th and announce my selection.

Another Change to the Ratings System Tuesday, Jan 26 2010 

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It is the year 2010 and if classic cinema is any indicator, we are lucky to still be alive.  Anyway, with a new decade comes yet another change to my ratings system. Click here or the link on the left sidebar to read all about it.

Coming Soon: The White Band Project 2010 Tuesday, Dec 15 2009 

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OK.  Not very original, but it conveys the message…

I am teaming up once again with Jamie from Zen and the Art of the Cigar to do another Blind Review Series.  Last year Jamie and I exchanged three cigars each. The criteria for which was price range.  We each selected one bargain cigar, one mid range, and one expensive premium cigar for the other to sample blind.  We each removed the manufacturer’s band and replaced it with a plain white band with a number on it.  Then we each went off, smoked the cigars and wrote our reviews.  After that was all done, we got together and revealed what it was that each one of us actually smoked.  It was a lot of fun, very interesting, and popular among our readers.  We decided we wanted to do it again, but this time we are switching up the format a bit.

Taking a page out of Camacho’s book we are going to run this series of reviews kind of like Camacho’s Black Band Project.  Again we are going to exchange three cigars each, but this time all three cigars are going to be from one manufacturer but they will be three different blends from that cigar maker.

All of this will be happening soon.  The plan is to exchange cigars shortly after the new year begins so be sure to check back and follow the series.  These are always a lot of fun and the results are always interesting.

Big News!!!! Friday, Dec 4 2009 

http://mattscigar.com

OK, maybe not BIG news, but it is kind of exciting to me. Matt’s Cigar Journal now has a new URL address. You can now access Matt’s Cigar Journal at http://mattscigar.com. Short, sweet, and to the point. I like it.

Feel free to update your links, bookmarks, etc. But no worries if you don’t. The original wordpress.com URL will still work. You will simply be redirected automatically to the new URL.

Out Sick… Again… Thursday, Oct 22 2009 

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I don’t know why this seems to happen to me every fall, but I am sick again.  Actually I am just getting over being sick, but I have a lingering upper respiratory issue that is hanging around so I need to stay off the cigars a little longer.  That is the reason there isn’t a new review up this week.  It was supposed to be a review of one of the new Cain cigars.  I hope to be back up and smoking next week if I’m lucky at which time I’ll review one of the Cain’s.  I haven’t settled on the Habano or Maduro yet so it will be a surprise.

On Hiatus Wednesday, Aug 5 2009 

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So every August I take a break from smoking cigars. If you’ve been a reader of my site for a while, you already know this. If you are new to my blog I’ll offer this brief explanation. I like to give myself a break, to reset and refresh my palate. Also it is wicked hot in NC in the month of August and usually just don’t feel like smoking out in the heat and humidity. I’ve talked about it before here and here.

I will be back at it in September. Some things I am working on for my return include a side by side comparison review of the original 2006 Tatuaje Reserva Noellas made with an oscuro ligero wrapper and the current 2009 version that sports a broadleaf wrapper. I also plan on reviewing the Liga Privada No.9 and the Illusione ~hl~ along with my reviews for CigarsDirect.com.  I hope to come up with an interesting thing or two to post about this month while I am on this break to make sure the blog stays active.

Avo’s 83rd Birthday – Compañero Dinner Monday, Apr 6 2009 

My local cigar shop, Empire Cigars, hosted a dinner on Avo Uvezian’s 83rd Birthday tour.  The event was held in downtown Raleigh at Sullivan’s Steak house.  It was an amazing event and a real bargain to attend.  Everyone got dinner, wine, dessert, and 4 free cigars.  The food was amazing.  If you click the picture of my signed menu below you can see what we had.  I went with the Filet which I believe the majority of the men in attendance chose as well.  What’s better than a good steak with cigars?

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Of course it was Mr U’s birthday celebration so of course there was Birthday cake. (more…)

Updated Top 5 list Friday, Mar 20 2009 

I was looking at my Top 5 List and figured it was far enough out of date that it warranted an update.  There is a new number 2 and a new number 5 resulting in two very good cigars falling off the list.  The original Oliva Master Blends and the Perdomo Edición de Silvio Cameroon still rank among my favorite smokes, but the Hoyo and the Cruzado that now rank in my Top 5 are superb cigars.  Truth is, trying to rank cigars that are this good is a difficult exercise so really this list reflects my feelings at the time I am writing it.  As I have said before, it is a very fluid thing that changes in my head far more often than it does on this site.  If you are interested, you can find Version 2.0 of my Top 5 the same place it has always been.

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