Friday, September 30, 2011

Great NC seller

As everyone knows, it's difficult for us canadians to find NCs at a reasonable price in a B&M store. So we have to find an online source that has a good selection, good prices, low shipping cost and that you can trust to deliver. Of course, the shipping "logistics" are of the upmost importance.

Used to be that a great place to shop at was Atlantic Cigars, but recently, they've been having problems with shipping to Canada. Still a great vendor, but shipping has "risks"...

So I went on a search for a replacement and I think I found a great substitute : SeriousCigars. They have a great selection and great prices, generally at par with Atlantic (which is already one of the cheapest places to shop at) and often even a bit lower.

I did a test order to see if everything they promised was true, and believe me, it was.
Here's a copy of my receipt :

1.Brick House - Classic - Churchill - Natural - 7 1/4" x 50Single2$5.75$11.50
2.Brick House - Classic - Corona Larga - Natural - 6 1/4" x 46Single2$4.75$9.50
3.Brick House - Classic - Short Torpedo - Natural - 5 1/2" x 52Single2$4.95$9.90
4.Brick House - Classic - Toro - Natural - 6" x 52Single2$5.25$10.50
5.Vallejuelo - Classic - Robusto Gordo - Natural - 5" x 54Single6$5.00$30.00
6.Carlos Torano - Master Series - Robusto - Natural - 5" x 52Single5$5.60$28.00
7.Generic - Punch - Havana Retractable - Varies - 2" x 32Single1$4.95$4.95
8.Nub - Connecticut - 460 - Natural - 4" x 60Single1$5.30$5.30

Sub Total:$109.65
Standard Shipping:$6.50

So you can see that the prices are good and the shipping charge is great. I ordered on Friday Sept 16th and received my cigars on Thursday Sept 29th, which means it took 9 work days shipping time from Texas. Not bad at all, especially for a 6,50$ charge. Most importantly, I didn't have to pay any "extra charges to anyone else".

Everything came very nicely packaged and with a 69% Humidipak to boot. Here's a few pictures of what I received:

Overall a great experience which I will repeat in the future for sure !

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Cuban cigar satisfaction poll

Smithy form FOH (Friends of Habanos) had an interesting poll going this summer, asking BOTLs to vote on their appreciation on a particular cigar every week.

These are the results :

So, are your favorites in there ?

Sunday, September 4, 2011

How to freeze cigars

There is a lot of information on the web about freezing cigars, mostly contradicting one another. So here's a real study done in Japan by real scientists, about the mortality rate of eggs, larvae, pupals and adults of cigar beetles.

PDF : cigar beetle study

It's a bit of a drag to read, so this is a picture of a chart that shows all the stages of cigar beetle growth with the different times VS temperature that it takes to kill the beetles.

So if you want to be sure about killing everything, 1 hour at -20 celcius will do the trick. Now you have to take in account that a box of cigars well sealed in a heavy freezer plastic bag will take longer than an hour to reach -20 celcius in its center. So for good mesure, why not leave the thing in the freezer for 24 hours just to be sure. Think about how long a package of ground beef of chicken breasts takes to freeze : surely in 24 hours it's rock solid. So in my opinion, if meat is frosen hard in 24 hours (maybe less), the center of sealed box should just fine.

Of course, you have to temper the box in the fridgefor a day before and after the freezer to prevent damage to the cigars, just not to have bad condensation inside the box or plastic bag. Some will say before hand isn't necessary, but what's 24 hours more if you'll let the cigars acclimate in your humidor for a few weeks before smoking one ?

So that's 3 days total for absolute piece of mind, small price to pay !

If you are unsure about the temperature of your freezer, put a thermometer in it for a couple of hours and you'll be able to figure out the time frame you'll need.

For reference, the average household freezer is factory set at -17.8 celclius (0 Fanrenheit) and the fridge between 3 and 5 celcius (37 to 41 Farenheit).

I tested my freezer at home and it's at -19.7 celcius. If yours is warmer than -17.8, you have more problems than cigar beetles as the recommended temperature for a freezer to have safe food storage is -18 celcius. You can always adjust the nob in your freezer to make it cooler and re-check the temperature.

The last time I froze cigars I used this method, which I will shorten from now on :

- boxes and singles in vacuum sealed ziploc freezer bags
(I used a straw to extract the air out of the bags)
- 24 hours fridge
- 72 hours freezer at -17.9 celcius
- 24 hours fridge
- humidor

All the cigars came out unharmed, I don't think anyone could ever tell they were frozen by looking, touching or smoking any of my cigars.

So go forth and freeze  !