Cigar news you can use; Guest cigar blogger, Craig Vanderslice

Cigar news; Craig always had a great deal of insight and smarts about cigars.

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Providencia Spectrum and Espinosa Comfortably Numb Cigars and Other Stuff

Happy Father’s day. Later today I’ll smoke the last cigar from a box of cigars I bought for Father’s Day in 2000. It’ll be a hard cigar not to save, but I’m going to bite the bullet and light it anyway. I didn’t smoke the whole box one every Father’s Day, it took a few years for me to develop that tradition. I had smoked a few and shared a few, but over the years I had a few gifted to me as well to supplement the inventory, thanks to Mike Perry for extending my tradition for a few years by sharing some of his aged stash with me! So today will see the last Esperanza Para Los Niños toro, a cigar made by Christian Eiroa in 1999 with the help of some guys from a usenet group who met up in Danli and selected this blend and sold it with proceeds going to children orphaned by hurricane Mitch. $85 a box was a fortune for me at the time, a bargain now for an excellent cigar, which was heavy bodied, not unlike the old Camacho Triple Maduro. It’s always an adventure smoking a 20 year old cigar, I’m rather looking forward to it, but it’ll come with some sadness as I’ll never have another! I still have the box someplace though!


On to some cigars I actually smoked! I went on a brief Southern Draw bender on the heels of their press release announcing the cancelation of all of their public events for the rest of the year due to pandemic concerns. Personally, I find this to be a responsible decision, as areas that seem to be lax in their preventative measures seem to have a higher infection rate, and who amung us doesn’t want to protect their families? I think the Rose of Sharon Desert Rose is one of the top Connecticut shade style cigars out there, and the Kudzu Lustron is definitely a top notch cigar as well! I smoked both, they are the same box pressed torpedo vitola and are delicious. Speaking of box pressed torpedos from a Texas-based cigar company, I also smoked a cigar from Providencia Cigars. This cigar is called Spectrum, and my assumption is that it has an autism charity connection, considering the colorful puzzle pieces on the band. I can appreciate this theme. If I were to guess, I’d say it was 5″ x 52ish, and the only information I have on it is that it has a Sumatra wrapper that was characterized as delicate and thin. I was advised to avoid wind and humidity due to the fragility of the wrapper, so I did. This is an abso-friggin-lutely delicious cigar! As with just about every Providencia cigar I’ve ever smoked, the cigar burned perfectly. This was the rival of another Sumatra wrapped, honduran made cigar I love in flavor, balance and overall enjoyability (Don Juan Calavera). There’s a sweetness that I really dig, I really have to buy a mixed bag of old-timey hard candy and try to isolate that flavor, but there’s a candy sweetness that makes this cigar a great desert smoke. Absolute joy. I don’t have any idea what the availability of this is or was, but try it if you can.


I believe the Espinosa Comfortably Numb Vol.1 is a Meier and Dutch distributed brand, which is the distribution arm of Cigars International. I picked this one up a few years ago at the CI store in Hamburg when Erik Espinosa was there the day Cigar Fest tickets went on sale. I was just there for the spectacle of it all, hundreds of people lined up outside for hours in the freezing cold for tickets, not my bag, baby. This is a toro with an Ecuador Habano wrapper, Corojo binder and Nicaraguan fillers and is surprisingly mellow. It almost smoked like a shade wrapped cigar. It doesn’t have the grassy flavor, but it does have a sweet, nutty flavor that is pretty nice, and it seemed to have aged pretty well. I say “aged”, it was February of 2018 when I picked this cigar up, so, it’s hardly aged compared to a lot of things, but it held up. Tasty cigar, and not badly priced. I’d be very tempted to sample the madur version, the Vol. 2, the next time I happen to be in a CI store, or if I see it in a shop. Older folks will note the Alton Kelley/Wes Wilson inspired band design.


Speaking of “aging”, I smoked one of the Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust Famous Smoke Shop 80th Anniversary cigars from last October last night and it was spectacular. There’s not a lot of Saka’s cigars I don’t like, but this one is pretty special. Well, on with the day, have a great one, until the next time,



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