Peterson Standard System Pipe Refurb

This was another pipe that I had the opportunity to clean up for a friend. Check out the before and after pics!






The stem had a bit of oxidation and chatter on it so I started with wet-sanding the stem. I used 500 grit, 1000 grit, and 1200 grit sandpaper. I then cleaned and sanitized the inside of the stem with pipe cleaners and high proof vodka. The finishing touches on the stem are two buffings, one with red tripoli and one with carnauba wax.

The bowl got a good reaming and during the reaming I discovered some unevenness in the bottom of the bowl. I cleaned out the carbon dust, sanitized the bowl, and let it dry. To even up the bowl I used a professional grade bowl coating. I slightly topped the top of the bowl to remove blackening. I then cleaned and sanitized the shank which took quite a bit of scrubbing with high proof vodka due to a build up of tar. The bowl was finished with a buffing of red tripoli and a buffing of carnauba wax.

Here is the finished product!






Thanks for looking!

Undercrown Sun Grown Toro Review

This review is going to be a little different because of the circumstances I was in. Although, cigar reviewers would always love to be in perfect conditions it often isn’t that way. Many cigar smokers don’t get the chance to smoke in perfect environments either. The same is true of myself. I decided I was going to risk the cold and the rain to smoke a cigar. This is a cigar I have smoked before and I enjoyed the first time but I wanted to see if my opinion changed when the circumstances changed. Here are my thoughts!


Blend Profile
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra, Sun Grown
Binder: Habano, Sun Grown
Filler: Nicaraguan and one leaf of ligero from Honduras
Vitola: Gran Toro, 6×52

Appearance & Smell
This has a rich, almost clove-type smell to it. It also smells creamy and earthy. The appearance is a beautiful brown with almost a hint of red to the wrapper itself. Maybe the label draws that color out a bit.

Smoke Preparation
I used my trusty Xikar Xi1 to put a flat cut on the cap and then employed my Xikar Enigma double torch to light the cigar.


Burn & Draw
Even being outside on a rainy and windy day, I couldn’t have asked for a better burn. I didn’t have to touch this cigar up once. I simply kept a nice rotation on it while I smoked and it stayed pretty even throughout. The draw was perfect by not being too tight or too loose.


Strength & Body
I would say the strength of this cigar is definitely a solid medium. The complexity was really nice in the body. I picked up earth, cream, nutmeg, and a hint of spice. It was easy to follow the transitions without being overwhelmed by a myriad of flavors. I think it was very well blended.

Final Thoughts
I was pleasantly surprised when going back to this cigar. I enjoyed it just as much the first time even though my circumstances sucked. I would have smoked it even further down but I couldn’t feel my fingers anymore so I decided it was time to go in! With all of that being said, if you enjoy medium-bodied cigars then you should definitely give this one a try. This cigar brings a unique combination of flavors to the table that a lot of other blenders haven’t been able to produce. Let me know what you think of it!

Source: Purchased Locally
Brand Information: Drew Estate Cigars


Alec Bradley Fine & Rare 2017 Review

I have not had a great deal of experience with the Alec Bradley Fine & Rare series’. But a fellow cigar smoker gave me this beauty and I couldn’t help myself.



Blend Profile
Wrapper: Honduras
Binder: Honduras
Filler: Honduras and Nicaragua
Vitola: Torpedo

Appearance & Smell
On the wrapper I smelled a lot of creamy sweetness. The foot gave me an earthy but also creamy smell. The appearance is very smooth, not a lot of veins, and a nice medium colored wrapper.

Smoke Preparation
I used my Xikar Xi1 to put a clean flat cut on the cap. Then I used a Xikar Enigma double torch to get a good even light.



Burn & Draw
This was an easy and even light. The draw was slightly easier than most but not too light. As I started to really get into the cigar, it started burning uneven (as you can see above). I touched up the cigar multiple times throughout my smoke. The draw stayed consistent throughout the whole cigar.



Strength & Body
Medium, medium, medium. It really stuck to the medium body of strength. I enjoyed the simplicity of the blend. The tobaccos didn’t change too much throughout the smoke. The initial smells were pretty spot on as to what the tastes would be: Creamy and earthy.

Final Thoughts
This was a cigar given to me by a friend and I know it’s not a cheap smoke. With that being said, I enjoyed it even though it had it’s problems. I don’t like having to touch-up a cigar multiple times while I’m smoking it. I did enjoy the flavors but I also wish that it had a little more depth to it.

Source: Friend
Brand Information: Alec Bradley




Stanwell Prestige Pipe Refurb

The same friend who sent me the Peterson Emerald also had this beautiful Stanwell Prestige that needed some love. Here is the refurb!






The stem received my usual oxidation removal treatment. I wet-sanded the stem with 500 grit, 1,000 grit, and 1,200 grit. I sanded around the faint “S” logo on the top of the stem to try and save it as much as possible. The stem was sanitized and cleaned on the inside. To finish it up I buffed the stem with red tripoli and carnauba wax.

I reamed the bowl and discovered that it had a few grooves that had started burning into the briar itself. I sanitized the bowl after reaming. To prevent further bowl damage I used a professional grade bowl coating on it to even it out and protect it. I cleaned the top lightly but didn’t want to get too aggressive because I wanted to keep as much of the rustication as I could. The shank received some cleaning and sanitizing. To finish the bowl it received a buffing of red tripoli and carnauba wax.

Here is the result!






Thanks for looking!

Aging Room Quattro F55 Concerto Review

I recalled having smoked this cigar about 3 years ago but didn’t really remember much about it. I had the chance to got back and revisit this unique smoke so I had to do it!



Blend Profile
Wrappers: 2003 Sumatra Wrapper
Binder: Habano Dominicano
Filler: Habano Dominicano
Vitola: Concerto, 7×50

Appearance & Smell
This cigar smells like creamy dirt with a dash of oak. The box press looks really good. It’s a nice medium brown, a little on the lighter end of the spectrum.

Smoke Preparation
I used my Xikar Xi1 to put a clean flat cut on the cap. Then I used a Xikar Enigma double torch to get a good even light.



Burn & Draw
This cigar took no time at all to light. It was an easy light and the draw was perfect. The box press was great and did not make the draw too tight.



Strength & Body
This cigar was a solid medium with no doubts about it. It stayed consistent in strength throughout. Body had enough complexity to keep me intrigued through the whole cigar. There was this earthy cocoa that lingered from beginning to end.

Final Thoughts
I would definitely purchase this cigar again. The earthy cocoa with a little bit of oak made it a delight to smoke. I don’t usually go for cigars this long but the box press made it easy. I liked the box press with the 50 gauge. For any of you smokers that tend to clench your cigars while you work on other things, this cigar really makes that easy to do.

Source: Purchased Locally
Brand Information: Aging Room Cigars



.50 Cal Habano Cigar Review


A friend of mine recently got picked up as a rep for Rolling Thunder cigars. He has been looking to get into the industry for awhile and here was his chance! I got a call from him last week and he asked if he could stop by and give me the rundown on these .50 Cal cigars. I wasn’t familiar with Rolling Thunder cigars or with the .50 Cal line, so I was excited to try some new-to-me cigars. Here is the info and my thoughts on it!

Blend Profile
Wrapper: Habano
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Vitola: 5×52 Robusto

Appearance & Smell
This cigar has a reddish/brown look to it. The veins are noticeable but don’t detract from a solid look. The smell is earthy with notes of cedar and a little pepper.

Smoke Preparation
I cut this cigar with a flat cut by using my Xikar Xi1. The cigar was lit using my double torch Xikar Enigma.



Burn & Draw
This cigar lit up easily with a good draw. The draw was easy and enjoyable. The cigar was well-constructed but it was not the tightest roll. I had to ash the cigar about every half inch in fear that it would drop off when I didn’t want it to.



Strength & Body
In terms of strength, this was a solid medium. Maybe even a little medium-plus towards the end. The body was lovely and showed some flavors like earthiness, cedar, red pepper, and a little bit of cream.

Final Thoughts
This cigar was very enjoyable! I would gladly smoke this again on my own dime. These cigars are made at the Placencia factory in Esteli, Nicaragua. The tobacco is tasty, the burn was good, and it’s hard to beat for a cigar under $10. If you happen to see one in your local shop, don’t be afraid to grab one and try it out!

Source: Gift from a Friend
Brand Information: Rolling Thunder Cigars



Peterson Emerald Pipe Refurb

I had the chance to get my hands on this Peterson Emerald and clean it up for a friend. Check out the transformation!






The stem received my routine love. I wet-sanded off the oxidation using 500 grit, 1000 grit, and 1200 grit sandpaper. I then sanitized the inside of the stem and cleaned out any gunk that had made a home there. To finish the stem it received a buffing of red tripoli and a buffing of carnauba wax.

The bowl received a reaming to clean off layers of unnecessary carbon build-up. After reaming it, I discovered that there were a couple of inconsistencies in the wood. I decided to sanitize the inside of the bowl and then put in a professional grade bowl coating to even it out. I then lightly removed the blackening from the top of the bowl. After that I sanitized and cleaned the inside of the shank very thoroughly to remove all of the tar build-up. The shank ring received a shining with some steel wool. To finish it up, the bowl also received a buffing with red tripoli and carnauba wax.

Here are the results!






Thanks for looking!

RoMa Craft 2018 CRAFT Cigar Review

Ahhhh yes, the lure of the “hard-to-get” or “hard-to-find” cigars is always a constant for regular cigar smokers. The RoMa Craft 2018 CRAFT cigar has a similar lure, not that it is super hard to find or necessarily purchase, it’s just a smidgen bit more difficult than a regular production cigar. The reason this one is a little harder to get is because there are only 2,000 boxes made. In addition to having a limited supply, when RoMa fans find them, they buy them… ALL. Boxes, five packs, singles, they simply clean out their local sources.

I was lucky enough t get my hands on a few and here are my thoughts!


Blend Profile
Wrappers: Ecuadorian Connecticut Candela, Pennsylvanian Broadleaf Maduro
Binder: Ecuadorian Habano Ligero
Filler: Pennsylvania Broadleaf Double Ligero GRS-1, Nicaraguan and Dominican Criollo
Vitola: 5×60 Figurado

Appearance & Smell
The candela really pops at the end of this cigar and with the stripe towards the head. The candela is very eye catching in contrast to the dark maduro. In addition to the candela contrast, the cone shape that they call figurado made me do a double take. The smell was very interesting. The candela pieces really gave me hay and earthiness, the madder gave me cream, earth, and roasted nuts.

Smoke Preparation
I used my Xikar Xi1 to put a clean flat cut on the cap. Then I used a Xikar Enigma double torch to get a good even light.


Burn & Draw
It took me a little bit longer than normal to get it lit and burning the way that I wanted to. I can say that it burned very evenly from the get-go. I was surprised by how good the draw was and how evenly it burned throughout the whole smoke. I was concerned that the unusual shape might adversely affect the smoke but it turned out to be really good. The ad held really well. As you can tell from the next few pictures, this was a very well constructed cigar.


Strength & Body
This is definitely not what you would consider a typical candela cigar! That Pennsylvanian Broadleaf Maduro really packs a punch. It’s not overwhelming but I would definitely put it in the medium-plus to full strength range. The body is really lovely. When I got to the middle of the cigar I was really enchanted by the complexity of the flavors from the different tobaccos intermingling.

Final Thoughts
Would I smoke it again? Yes and I plan to! Would I search all over the world and pay “whatever the price” to get one? No. They are really great smokes but I suggest not paying over the MSRP of $15. If you get the chance to grab one and smoke it, then I would definitely suggest it. It was worth the money and the time. Well done to RoMaCraft for accomplishing a fantastic release of CRAFT 2018!

Source: Purchased Locally
Brand Information: RoMa Craft Tobac






Avo Classic Robusto Review


I have only smoked a couple different Avos so when a friend of mine came to town and offered me a chance at an Avo classic, I said YES! So here we are, I got to smoke a cigar and you get to read about it.

Blend Profile
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut
Binder: Dominican
Filler: Dominican
Country of Origin: Republic of Dominica
Vitola: Robusto, 5×50

Appearance & Smell
This is a good looking cigar! A light brown color that isn’t as light as most Connecticut wrappers. The veins are prominent but really take away from the look for me. I really like the subtle band, it’s a far cry from what Davidoff has done with the Camacho line. Instead it looks… classic! How fitting?

Smoke Preparation
If you have been following me, you already know I tend to gravitate to a flat cut, so why change now? I used my Xikar Xi1 to put a flat cut on the cap and my Xikar Enigma double torch to get it lit.


Burn & Draw
I could not have asked for a better burn and draw! I didn’t have to touch up this cigar once because it burned so evenly. I was even outside on a windy day and with a little cigar rotation the burn stayed perfect. The ash held on very well, the construction was fantastic. The draw was in that perfect medium range, not too loose and not too tight.


Strength & Body
I felt that the entire cigar was mild through and through. This cigar didn’t have a lot of complexity but I was okay with that. The notes I was picking up on the cigar made it good that it wasn’t changing constantly like other cigars. The body was really creamy, with fresh dirt and some cedar.


Final Thoughts
I really enjoyed this cigar! The construction was flawless and that helped make it a good experience. I would definitely purchase this but strictly for mild cigar moods/events. Events like golfing, when you are outside on a sunny hot day, or if you are purchasing for a friend who doesn’t smoke very often, this would be a great cigar to grab. If you are into heavy smokes, spice, or a lot of complexity, this cigar probably isn’t for you. For those of you who do smoke it, let me know what you thought about it!

Source: Gift from a friend
Brand Information: Avo Cigars


Dunhill Pipe Refurb

I have had the opportunity to work on a couple different Dunhills and they are always a pleasure to work on. Before you think to yourself, “Well of course it is because of the prestige and the price tag! It’s really more about the reasons that Dunhill maintains the prestige and such a high price tag: Quality materials and craftsmanship. I can tell the difference in vulcanite stems that I work on and overtime I touch a Dunhill, I can feel the quality. Well, this refurb was for a friend and I hope you enjoy the before-and-after pics and he enjoys the smoke. Cheers!






The stem just needed a good cleaning with oxidation removal. I wet-sanded the stem with the grits of 500, 1000, and 1200. The stem was then sanitized and cleaned in the airway. The finishing touches were a buffing of both red tripoli and carnauba wax.

I reamed the bowl and was surprised to find the first mistake I had ever seen in a Dunhill! When drilling the shank into the bowl, they slightly over-drilled and went a little bit into the far side of the bowl. It wasn’t by any means a large drill mark but when being smoked, it created a bigger “hole” if you will. I don’t usually like to bowl coat Dunhills but I did on this one. After the reaming, sanitizing, and cleaning, I put in a professional grade bowl coating to help prevent that imperfection from getting worse or spreading. I then worked on getting some of the grime off the top of the bowl without hurting the rustication. I used a lot of q-tips and vodka. The shank was also cleaned and sanitized. The finishing touches were again buffing with both red tripoli and carnauba wax. Man! That really made the silver shank band shine!

Here is the finished product:






Thanks for looking!