Cigar Inn has always been a great place to smoke, and now patrons can expect even more. For just $20, anyone buying a box of cigars can have a custom design painted right on to their box. All customers have to do is submit a photograph to be painted on the box and wait about two weeks.
From the Cigar Aficionado release:
“All paintings are being done by New York-based artist Elena Yakovleva. Yakovleva, a graduate of Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, is the talented artist that Cigar Inn commissioned to paint a mural for its 1016 2nd Avenue location.”
I don’t often buy boxes of cigars from anywhere, let alone Cigar Aficionado (NY tobacco taxes are killer), but if I ever do buy an exclusive from Cigar Inn, this will definitely be a feature that I’ll be tacking on.
Heads up New York cigar smokers: the Cigar Inn just released an announcement of an upcoming dinner event featuring the newest cigar from Montecristo: the Connoisseur Edition No. 2. According to the announcement this cigar is the follow up to the popular Montecristo New York Connoisseur Edition (No. 1), which featured and Ecuadorian Habano wrapper and a box pressed design. I’ve smoked that cigar many times, and it is a really fantastic cigar, so I can’t wait to see what Montecristo has planned for the #2.
The dinner will be held at the Cigar Inn (2nd Ave location) on July 17th at 7:00pm. There is no ticket information or price information – so not really sure what is up with that or if they even want people to show up – but it’s worth looking in to.
The Casa Magna Colorado was the #1 Cigar Aficionado cigar of 2008, and it was the first cigar to make me say “wow” (after the CAO Italia in my earlier cigar smoking days). For the money, it is incredibly hard to beat this cigar, but be warned: do not smoke this on an empty stomach or without something to drink, preferably something that will not crowd out the magnificent complexity of this cigar. I smoked this cigar at Cigar Inn.
The first thing to notice on (any cigar), the band, is gorgeous. Black, gold, white, and red colors are applied to a thick, textured material. MAGNA figures prominently on the band, with “Colorado” placed below. This cigar has an average amount of veins, and can (at times) burn a bit off, but touchups are few and far between. There is also a good amount of tooth, and some plume, on this cigar. The draw is nearly always perfect (on the slightly restrictive side). The stick is triple capped. Off the foot is tastes of nuts and berries.
Taste & Smoke Characteristics
The first thing I notice about the smoke from this cigar is the texture. The Colorado is well balanced between an almost creamy texture mixed with a bit of spice that coats the palate. Immediately discernible notes are coffee, roasted nuts, black pepper, and a slight saltiness that hits the tip of my tongue. This cigar delivers loads of flavor.
In the second third of this cigar, coffee becomes prominent, with an added note of chocolate. The smoke remains cool and smooth, even into the last few minutes of the cigar. All the while, the nuts, black pepper, slight saltiness, and coffee transition in prominence.
If you haven’t already, smoke this cigar. For the price, it is difficult to find a better full bodied cigar that stays complex and smooth all the way through. This is not a beginner cigar, or something to smoke in the morning. Also, beware of pairing a drink that will overpower as you’ll lose the complexities.
The Cigar Inn, with two locations in Manhattan, manages to have an atmosphere that is incredibly sophisticated and extremely friendly.
My first stop today was the 1st Ave. location of Cigar Inn, where I spoke with Bill Sakih, the owner. This smaller store and lounge, which can hold about 15 customers at a time, has been around since the mid-90s. Soft jazz was playing in the background, as two small groups of men seated on leather couches chatted about sports and current events-the regulars as Billy called them. “This place is really friendly, a place where people create friendships. The regulars go out to dinner, take trips, plan golf outings…”
In addition to the large walk-in humidor with an impressive selection, the store sells all sorts of products for men: ties, cufflinks, shaving supplies, money clips and watches. Additionally, Cigar Inn is a great place to shop for smoking accessories: pipes, ashtrays, lighters and cutters.
If you’re looking to buy a humidor though, your best bet is to head to Cigar Inn’s other location on 2nd Ave. near 54th St., which has been open for about 2 years. The humidor selection is top notch. They also carry all of those various products for men, with the bonus of having a fully functioning barbershop. You have to call ahead for an appointment.
Billy was quick to boast that the 2nd Ave location has the only lounge and humidor that is endorsed by Cigar Aficionado magazine. The lounge is magnificent, with leather couches and armchairs, flat-screen televisions, great natural lighting, and plenty of space. And the humidor is, or course, fully stocked with one of the best selections in New York.
After chatting for a while, I asked Billy what he was smoking these days, and he handed me a La Aurora, his current favorite. “On the house,” he said. I’ll definitely be back to let him know what I thought.
Long story short: both Cigar Inn locations are fantastic spots to smoke a cigar. As soon as you get a few hours free, drop by one of Cigar Inn’s two locations, kick back in a lounge chair, and enjoy a good cigar. You’ll be glad you did!
Update: I tried that La Aurora. It was really complex. It began really solid, and mild. As I got further in, it became really spicy, with more of a medium flavor. The last third was a little harsh. (That might just be my tendency to smoke a cigar down too far.) But, it was a really interesting smoke. I’ll definitely try another La Aurora.