Bob Hritsko reviews a new cigar every month. Send all questions and comments for Bob to firstname.lastname@example.org.
December 28, 2011
Bob revels in the delight of the beautiful and full flavored La Gloria Cubana Artesanos Retro Especiale.
July 21, 2011
Life pretty hectic these days? Bob suggests slowing down to enjoy a good cigar like the flavorful Tatuaje Havana VI.
April 25, 2011
Choosing the right cigar requires you to engage virtually all of your senses, and while everyone's tastes are different, there are several factors to keep in mind when deciding.
March 24, 2011
Any cigar lover who finds himself in New York City needs to stop at the Nat Sherman store, a tobacco retail shop full of history and great smokes, like the Westside 711 Gotham and the VIP Carnegie.
January 28, 2011
The best place to catch a college bowl game? Bob votes for New Orleans, the perfect party environment to enjoy some football and a full flavored and spicy Rocky Patel 1961 cigar.
November 19, 2010
Bob is burning mad at New York City's proposed outdoor smoking ban. While this Big Apple initiative may be rotten, he likes the Brick House cigar from family-owned J.C. Newman.
October 21, 2010
Good things sometimes come in small packages. Bob overcomes his initial skepticism and finds a lot to love in the small but tasty Nub from Oliva.
August 26, 2010
He may not recall his high school homeroom number, but Bob recalls all the good qualities of the well-made and tasty Room 101 from Camacho, the product of a master cigar maker.
July 23, 2010
Bob talks about competition and the great American pastime, with an insight into parenting. Oh, and he reviews the 601 Serie Box-Pressed Maduro (Blue), a blue-blood cigar with a rich flavor.
May 21, 2010
Bob recommends not rushin' through a smoke, offering a Spring Break story about his own experience with Russians before praising the smoothness of the Oliva Serie O Maduro.
April 22, 2010
Bob goes to paradise, only to find that prisoners have more smoking freedoms than he does! Read Bob's take on smoking in Hawaii and the rustic Omar Ortez Belicoso.
March 18, 2010
While chiming in on the commotion caused by the Canadian women's hockey team celebration, Bob reviews the Punch Upper Cut, a consistent smoke that offers good value.
January 22, 2010
Even the great tobacco state of North Carolina has outlawed public smoking. Bob offers a backyard solution for fellow cigar fans while reviewing the super-premium Padron 1926.
December 18, 2009
Bob offers holiday greetings along with his final cigar review of the decade, a look at the Gurkha – Archive 1887, a peppery smoke with some underlying chocolate and cocoa flavors.
November 27, 2009
Tired of the sameness he sees on his cross country treks, Bob hits some unique cigar bars and tries the Partagas Spanish Rosado, a good value smoke with a sweet and spicy taste.
Macanudo Robust (10/29/2009)
He drives! He scores! He's fined for smoking? Michael Jordan's recent warning for smoking a cigar on a public golf course caught Bob Hritsko's eye, as did the hearty Macanudo Robust.
Rocky Patel Edge – Corojo (09/30/2009)
Most cigar smokers would love to get their hands on a Cuban, but that's easier said than done. Instead, Bob recommends a cigar with a Corojo or Criollo wrapper or blend. In particular, the Rocky Patel Edge – Corojo is a flavorful and full-bodied smoke with a slight peppery taste.
J. Fuego Gran Reserva (08/28/2009)
Before you toss a moldy cigar, make sure it's not actually plume that you're seeing. Bob details how to tell the difference between the two and the steps you should take to keep mold off quality cigars like the full-bodied J. Fuego Gran Reserva, which ranks as one of Bob's top-three smokes of all time.
Ulysses S. Grant liked to smoke cigars, but would you like to light up and burn a Grant? Our sultan of smoke got to do that not once but twice, with $50 Louixs super-premium cigars. Still, those are cheap compared to Gurkha's Black Dragons, which cost more per case than a couple of Cadillacs.
The healing properties of a good cigar (06/18/2009)
Bob takes time to remember the late Tom Long, who was a good friend as well as an early Bullz-Eye fan and supporter. Bob shares his thoughts on the healing power of tobacco, and the comfort found in whiskey and cigars like the go-to Arturo Fuente.
Fonseca 5-50 (05/15/2009)
A good book, like a good cigar, can bring enjoyment and inspiration – and both can help pass the time between chores on a Saturday afternoon. Bob reviews the Fonseca 5-50, a mild yet flavorful smoke that he enjoyed while reading Ted Turner's autobiography.
Perdomo -- Habano Maduro (04/17/2009)
The lure of illegal smoke is powerful. With plenty of cigars claiming to be authentic Cubans, Bob has the facts on the fakes, and advises against smoking the real thing. Instead he suggests a terrific, and legal, Perdomo Habano Maduro, with a great look and rich taste.
Camacho Havana (03/20/2009)
Bob opens the door to online education with his thesis on "Perelman's Pocket Cyclopedia of Cigars," a reference book that also has a website full of good smoking information. He uses the Camacho Havana as a study aid. A well-made, medium-bodied study aid.
Perdomo ESV '91 (02/12/2009)
When economic times are tough, the tough smoke the best. Cigar Czar Bob reflects on the advice from screen legend Errol Flynn to put your best foot forward, and fires up a premium Perdomo ESV '91. This rich and creamy cigar is a treat for the novice and experienced smoker alike.
Alec Bradley -- Tempus (01/15/2009)
Bob continues his lesson on cigar shapes with the figurado styles. Also, he reviews the Tempus, a new offering from rising star manufacturer Alec Bradley whose rich and earthy smoke reminds Bob of the Central American roots of the tobacco.
Man O' War (12/05/2008)
Size matters. So does shape, especially when you're holding it in your hand. We're talking cigars here. (What were you thinking about?) Bob discusses the various shapes of cigars and reviews the excellent Man O' War, a complex and earthy smoke in the robusto size.
Padron – 1964 Anniversary (10/09/2008)
Bob cites examples of cigar smokers, driven to the fringe of society by the "pleasure police," who have been treated unfairly in pursuit of their favorite vice. But he relaxes with a medium-bodied Padron 1964 Anniversary, a complex and flavorful cigar that he had been saving for almost a year.
H. Upmann – Reserve Maduro (09/05/2008)
Fact or fiction? Cigar lore presents a number of legends and Bob, our sage of smoking, sets the record straight with his Fab Four myths, uncovering some truth to a few of them. He also reviews the brand new H. Upmann Reserve Maduro, a well-made and flavorful cigar that is priced just right.
Padron 2000 & the Flor de Oliva (07/22/2008)
In these trying economic times there are bargains to be had, even for "luxuries" like cigars. Bob offers up two suggestions for inexpensive smokes that just happen to be excellent -- the Padron 2000 and the Flor de Oliva. Both are very tasty and have a tasty price tag under $5.
Romeo y Julieta: Viejo (07/11/2008)
Cigar bars have changed over the last few years, likely in response to anti-smoking laws, Bob opines. He reviews a tasty Romeo y Julieta Viejo, a new product from a venerable cigar maker, and commends its look, feel and taste.
Camacho Havana (06/27/2008)
Florida gets Bob's vote as the most cigar-friendly state in the union, with its long tradition of cigar making and smoking, and wide range of cigar bars. He enjoys a gift from his brother by sampling a Camacho Havana, and marvels at its medium strength, spicy taste and reasonable price.
Le Artesanos de Miami (06/13/2008)
Some of the best cigars on the market today are coming out of Havana. No, not Cuba; "Little Havana" in Miami. Bob sampled the Le Artesanos de Miami during his last trip to Little Havana, a long-lasting "looker" of a cigar with a peppery spice and a rich aroma.
Vieux Carre (05/30/2008)
Everything is smooth and laid back in the Big Easy, where cigar smokers are welcome, Bob reports from his trip to New Orleans. He sampled a hand-rolled Vieux Carre, purchased right on Bourbon Street. It's a smooth and mellow cigar, easy on the palate but a little heavy on the price tag.
Gurkha Symphony '101' Maduro (05/16/2008)
Mark Twain once wrote, "No one can tell me what is a good cigar...for me." Bob suggests that you smoke whatever the hell you want in honor of Mr. Twain before reviewing another selection from one of his favorite boutique cigar makers, the complex and fairly mild Gurkha Symphony '101' Maduro.
CAO Mx2 (05/02/2008)
That whirling sound you hear is Bob's mind as he plots to escape from the wife and find refuge in his hammock with a cigar. He offers tips on how to work just enough to enjoy a good smoke, like the CAO Mx2, a smooth and balanced maduro with a good burn, medium body and bittersweet taste.
La Gloria Cubano – Maduro Figurado (Miami made) (04/04/2008)
Bob follows the advice of fellow writer Mark Twain: "I have never let my schooling interfere with my education." He also schools us on the La Gloria Cubano made in Little Havana, a premium smoke with an earthy taste and nicotine kick that looks and feels like a great cigar.
Indian Tabac – Super Fuerte Maduro (03/21/2008)
Learn the difference between a well-aged cigar and a moldy stick of brown leaves, as Bob discusses plume, the evidence of proper aging. He then samples an Indian Tabac Super Fuerte Maduro, a rich smoke that is light on nicotine, but packs in flavor and maintains a steady burn.
Gurkha Symphony (03/06/2008)
Seems the organic trend has spilled over from the food arena and into cigar smoking. Bob Hritsko looks into the oxymoronic "organic cigar," then settles back to enjoy the Gurka Symphony, a traditional smoke from a major player that is mild and nutty, but somewhat inconsistent in build and taste.
Gurkha – Class Regent (02/22/2008)
What could be better than putting top-notch cigar tobacco in the hands of a great manufacturer? Bob put a Gurkha Class Regent to the test, and found it to be strong and complexly flavorful, complementing a good cup o' joe. But watch out for the nicotine content that can stagger even a veteran smoker.
Torano: 1959 Exodus Silver (02/08/2008)
Fine craftsmanship and attention to detail are keys to the enjoyment of a number of man's pleasures: sports cars, wine and cigars, to name a few. Bob, who frequently observes the quality of cigar construction, reviews a 1959 Exodus Silver from the Torano family, the best in the biz.
Saint Luis Rey (01/25/2008)
Anti-smoking laws have made it difficult to find a place to enjoy a good cigar away from home, but Bob finds cigar bars a smoking oasis when he travels. He reviews a tried and true Saint Louis Rey, a strong, woody smoke from a family of independent cigar makers.
Arturo Fuente – Hemingway Short Story (01/11/2008)
Make new friends but keep the old, the saying goes. Each year, the cigar industry rolls out a new batch of smokes, which Bob says is your chance to try something different. But don't forget old friends. Bob visits with the Arturo Fuente Hemingway Short Story, the best short smoke on the market.
La Tradicion Perdomo Reserve – Cameroon (12/07/2007)
Light up a victory smoke! President Bush recently vetoed a bill that would have raised taxes on hand-rolled cigars. To celebrate, Bob reviews a La Tradicion Perdomo Reserve – Cameroon, a premium cigar that is balanced, medium-bodied and peppery with a good, even burn.
Dunhill Signed Range (08/28/2007)
The dog days of summer can make sick puppies of your cigars. Bob offers tips on how to keep the temperature and humidity of your humidor in a safe range. He also comments on the Dunhill Signed Range, an exquisite smoke whose balanced and diverse taste is well worth the price.
Partagas Black (08/01/2007)
Bob reports on a proposed federal tax on premium hand-rolled cigars, tucked into a bill on medical care for poor children, that could shoot the cost of smoking to unaffordable levels. He reviews the Partagas Black, a strong spicy smoke that would go well with a glass of port after a steak dinner.
La Vieja Habana (07/25/2007)
Bob muses that while baseball is still an enjoyable pastime, it would be even better if fans could smoke in the stadiums. The Sultan of Cigars reviews the La Vieja Habana Leather Patch, a smoke that gained in quality after it sat on the bench (okay, in the humidor) for a few months.
Flor de Oliva (07/18/2007)
Independence Day has come and gone, but that won't stop Bob from paying tribute to the men and women who serve to defend his right to ignite both cigars and fireworks. He reviews the Flor de Oliva, a good tasting smoke with a nice even burn, the better to light a Roman candle.
Carlos Torano: Signature Series (07/04/2007)
Women are making up a larger portion of the cigar world -- buying, smoking and even selling smokes. Bob welcomes the fair gender to the society of the leaf, while enjoying a Carlos Torano Signature Series, a rich and sweet smoke with hints of espresso and cocoa.
La Aroma de Cuba (06/26/2007)
While sand and water offer a relaxing summer environment, they can be hell on cigar smokers. Bob offers some tips for traveling to the beach with your smokes, and enjoys a poolside La Aroma de Cuba, a peppery but elegant cigar that offers hints from the island of cigar Nirvana.
Perdomo Reserve Champagne (06/19/2007)
For some people, it takes a kick in the pants – or the humidor – to get them to realize that foreign politics can affect commerce in America. Bob gives his take on world affairs and Cigar Aficionado magazine while enjoying a smooth and tasty Perdomo Reserve Champagne cigar.
Pueblo Dominicano II (06/13/2007)
Hurry up and wait! Hurry up and wait! It's enough to drive a man to...smoke. Bob vents his frustration about the DMV and a slowpoke tire dealer, but realizes that a smooth and tasty Pueblo Dominicano II can balm his wounded soul. It's not a Cuban, but it's very good and made only 100 miles across the ocean.
La Gloria Cubana Serie R (Maduro) (05/29/2007)
Bugs can get in your stick, lay eggs and make a real mess. We are, of course, talking about cigars. Bob explains how to identify and eliminate cigar beetles before sampling a bug-free La Gloria Cubana Serie R (Maduro), a smooth, medium-bodied smoke in the Cuban tradition.
Arturo Fuente Curly Head (05/22/2007)
Bob takes a trip down memory lane as he reviews an Arturo Fuente Curly Head, a cigar he first sampled in his early smoking years. Although the price is nice and the pedigree refined, the Curly Head proves to be a harsh smoke with little to recommend it to the accomplished smoker.
Lauro's Corona Especial (05/15/2007)
Bob continues his dissertation on the anatomy of taste and the taste profiles of tobaccos grown in different countries. He also ventures into the little-known world of Mexican cigars and samples Lauro's Corona Especial, a medium bodied flavorful smoke.
Playboy by Don Diego (05/08/2007)
Science and savor meet when Bob discusses how taste buds can decipher millions of combinations using only four basic taste sensations. Along with his lesson on human anatomy and cigar leaf flavors, Bob dissects the Playboy by Don Diego, a smooth but complex smoke.
Felipe Gregorio Dominicana (05/01/2007)
Boutique cigars are made with care in small batches and offer unique quality smokes. Bob describes the experience of smoking the Felipe Gregorio Dominicana, a slightly sweet, earthy and nutty cigar with lots of smoke. Bob suggests sampling boutique brands like this to enjoy the good life.
Gurkha Expedition (04/24/2007)
Winston Churchill may be the most recognized cigar smoker in history, lending his name to a cigar size: large and in charge, just like the man. Bob samples a Gurkha Expedition, a boutique-brand smoke that has a balance of flavors featuring cedar, spice and some nuttiness.
Padron #3000 Maduro (04/17/2007)
Miami and its environs – Miami Beach and Little Havana – are excellent examples of the good life and cultural diversity, and the home of premium cigars. Bob recalls a recent visit to this cigar haven, a trip that introduced him to the rich and smooth Padron #3000 Maduro.
Camacho Coyolar Puro (04/10/2007)
The "puro" cigar refers to one made from a single type of tobacco, allowing the smoker to judge the qualities and attributes of a regional tobacco. However, Bob finds that the Camacho Coyolar Puro is a bit too strong and powerful and could knock even an experienced smoker on his ass.
Rocky Patel Vintage 92 (04/03/2007)
A lawyer turned cigar maker, Rocky Patel offers a line of distinguished cigars and a model for how to sustain a business started in a cultural boom. Bob profiles the man and one of his best smokes, the rich, luxurious and full-bodied Vintage 92.
Rocky Patel Vintage 90 (03/20/2007)
In the second part of his report on humidors, Bob explains that proper preparation is essential when setting up your new cigar storage system. Hritsko details how you can create a good home for cigars like the Rocky Patel Vintage 90, a long, mild smoke from an up- and-coming cigar maker.
Bob explains why it’s important to store your cigars in the correct atmosphere, in the first of a two-part report on humidors. Hritsko adds that “old” isn’t a bad word and length matters, reviewing the 7+ inches of the Puros Indios Viejo, a complex and pleasing smoke.
Peterson Gran Reserva (03/07/2007)
The laws of economics, sometimes as rigid as the laws of physics, don't always apply to cigars: Great quality and big taste do not necessarily result in a smoke with a great big price tag. Bob reveals evidence to support that theory in his review of the Peterson Gran Reserva.
Hoyo de Monterrey Excalibur Maduro (02/27/2007)
March Madness is nearly here again, and Bob can think of no better way to celebrate than lighting up a good cigar. The smooth, mild and diverse Hoyo de Monterrey Excalibur Maduro is an excellent smoke for the dollar and, Bob says, would make for a good celebratory cigar come tourney time.
Romeo y Julieta Reserva Real (02/20/2007)
A "man room" isn't a bathroom or caveman's lair, but a comfortable place in the house where a man can hang out, light up a good cigar and maybe catch a football game. Bob finds the Romeo y Julieta Reserva Real to be a good all-around smoke for both newbies and seasoned smokers.
Punch Double Maduro (02/13/2007)
Cold and snow in the winter months shouldn't deter a dedicated cigar smoker who follows Bob Hritsko's tips for cold- weather smoking. If you can't find a warm inside environment, he suggests enjoying a "short smoke" outside and recommends the Punch Double Maduro.
5 Vegas Gold: A good, mild smoke (02/06/2007)
Public smoking bans make the old saying "smoke 'em if you got 'em" a lot easier said than done, but that won't stop Bob from enjoying the 5 Vegas Gold cigar from Honduras. It's mild enough for the inexperienced but complex enough to appeal to the seasoned smoker.
El Rey del Mundo: It's not all about Cuba (01/30/2007)
It's commonly believed that Cuban cigars reign supreme over the more… um, legal and readily available variety, but is that fact or fiction? Bob admits that most of the Cubans he's had have been good, but the El Rey del Mundo proves that there are high quality cigars coming from other regions too.
Vintage Cameroon: One nice smoke! (01/19/2007)
While H. Upmann is known for its consistency, their varities nonetheless tend to vary in terms of taste and strength. Bob reviews H. Upmann's Vintage Cameroon, a blend from multiple countries.
Introducing the reviewer (01/19/2007)
Bob Hritsko introduces his views and goals for his new cigar content. One such goal is to provide some regular insight, guidance and a little knowledge into this vice, er ... "hobby."