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Ligero Tobacco Shop | Buford GA | Blog | 678.926.3260

Tuesday, August 08 2017

Flor De Gonzalez (FDG) Cigars was founded in 1993 by Arnaldo Gonzalez. Having been raised in the tobacco fields of Las Villas in Santa Clara, Cuba, Arnaldo was primed for growing tobacco since an early age. His father and grandfather were both tobacco growers in Cuba, however his father passed away at an early age, leaving him to learn under his grandfather. By the time his grandfather too passed, Arnaldo had come to develop a strong passion for tobacco and a foundational knowledge which he would later use when entering the industry himself. After leaving Cuba in 1980 to escape an oppressive communist regime, Arnaldo worked in Hialeah, Florida for many years towards his dream of owning his own cigar factory.

After its establishment, FDG Cigars got its start by manufacturing a few hundred cigars every week in Hialeah, Florida, which were then sold at the factory’s storefront. This humble beginning would eventually blossom into the thriving manufacturer that FDG Cigars is today, distributing thousands of cigars to retailers across the United States. In 1997, the vast majority of production moved to Nicaragua with the intention of producing high quality cigars that are affordable to the everyday smoker. Arnaldo also began growing tobacco in Ecuador in 2004, paving the way for production of exceptional quality Connecticut, Habano, Sumatra and Broadleaf wrappers. The FDG Gold Series is the flagship original premium cigar released in 1993, and is expertly handmade and blended with the best tobaccos from different regions around the world. More recent products include the specialty line 90 Miles which contains high quality fermented and aged tobacco from Nicaragua, and the Spectral, which received the top 25 cigar award of 2015 by Cigar Snob Magazine.

Arnaldo’s youngest daughter, Yadi Gonzalez-Vargas, joined the business in 2002 after gaining knowledge of the industry from her father. Yadi oversees the Miami operation of the company, which specializes in boutique lines of cigars such as the Gold Series. In addition to this stateside operation, Yadi manages the company’s manufacturing in Nicaragua, as well as oversees distribution and the handling of private label clients. She is fully hands on with the complete operation of the business, and is a true expert of the process behind the careful blending and skillful handmade crafting of cigars.

Join us on Saturday, August 26th in welcoming Yadi Gonzalez-Vargas to Ligero Tobacco House for a meet and greet opportunity as well as to enjoy her cigar hand rolling demonstration. We will be having cigar deals all day as well as a prize raffle, and as always, you may be compelled to also enjoy a cup of our authentic café Cubano (Cuban coffee) along with your cigar! 

Thursday, June 15 2017

About Foundation

With a dedication and mission to provide the best hand-made cigars to connoisseurs around the world, Foundation Cigar Company has been able to deliver masterful blends that exhibit unparalleled quality with a keen sense of heart and passion. Behind the artistry is founder and master blender Nicholas Melillo AKA Nick R Agua. Many remember him for his tenure with the world renown Drew Estate, having coordinated the purchasing and blending of their massive Nicaraguan-based operation as executive vice president of international operations. With nearly twenty years of love and dedication to the tobacco industry, Melillo can skillfully combine timeless traditions with the styles of the modern-day cigar. Having traveled the globe on a mission to seek out the most exceptional tobacco, production of his cigars was established in the valley of Esteli, Nicaragua.

El Güegüense

Foundation Cigar Company’s debut occurred at the IPCPR convention in 2015, and soon after earned a spot in Cigar Aficionado’s top 25 cigars of 2016. El Güegüense, or “The Wise Man”, takes its name after the satirical masterpiece of Nicaragua’s signature folklore that embodies their culture surrounding music, dance and theater. This medium to full bodied cigar features a blend of Cuban Criollo g8 and Corojo 99 varieties, and is harvested in the areas of Jalapa and Estelí. With a slight honey and pepper aroma and intense woody or cedar flavor, this rich cigar seeks to honor the great dance, or Gran Baile, that has been prevalent throughout Nicaraguan history.

Charter Oak

The Charter Oak cigar was born from the desire to create a delicious everyday smoke for cigar enthusiasts while keeping cost in mind. Featuring the most prized Cuban seed leaf varieties from the Estelí and Jalapa regions of Nicaragua, this cigar originates in the same fertile valley in Connecticut that Nick Melillo was born and raised. Available with either the famous Connecticut shade or broadleaf wrapper, you can expect a mellow to medium strength smoke that burns slowly while emitting a satisfying aroma.

The Upsetters

Representing the future of infused-cigar smoking, The Upsetters features a unique blend of Jamaican cow tongue leaf and the finest Nicaraguan leaf through use of a tradition known as “Caribbean atmospheric herbal infusion”. Jamaica has a history of hailing the underdog, and upsetters are known as the rude boys who stirred things up, creating reggae music, fighting tyranny, and smoking old-style Jamaican cigars. Melillo travelled to Jamaica in 2015, in search for the finest tobacco and old style Jamaican blending techniques, and shortly after this exquisite cigar was born. In order to truly appreciate the incredible flavor that is offered by this cigar, you’ll have to try one for yourself.  

The Tabernacle

A Ligero Tobacco House favorite, the Tabernacle is Foundation Cigar Company’s newest release. Featuring a Connecticut broadleaf wrapper, it contains a blend of Mexican San Andrés binder and filler tobacco from Honduras (Jamastran Valley) and Nicaragua (Estelí & Jalapa Valley). Upon lighting, you will notice the smoke is heavy from the get go with a firm draw, producing a black pepper spice flavor with hints of dessert chocolate and expresso on the palate. The Tabernacle is an excellent choice for enthusiasts who can appreciate a bold yet flavorful cigar.

 

Nicholas Melillo of Foundation Cigar Company will be joining us at Ligero Tobacco House this Saturday June 17th from 3-7PM. Stop by for a chance to chat with the genius cigar blender, and take advantage of the cigar deals that will be offered. As always, you may be compelled to also enjoy a cup of our authentic café Cubano (Cuban coffee) along with your cigar!

 

Thursday, May 25 2017

What makes a good wrapper?

The wrapper is arguably the most vital component of the cigar, contributing to most of its flavor. Ever pulled off a piece of the wrapper that was hanging off, only to reveal the blander tobacco filler underneath? Definitely not as pleasant to smoke. Your wrapper should be free of all blemishes, and large enough to smoothly cover the entirety of the cigar. The four main wrappers which you will most commonly find are Connecticut, Corojo, Habano, and Maduro.

Connecticut

The Connecticut wrapper is made of a leaf that originates in, you guessed it, Connecticut, USA. It is grown primarily within the Connecticut River valley which also runs through Massachusetts and the southernmost part of Vermont, making it one of the only significant tobacco exports from America. The seed, which is also grown in Ecuador, is typically grown and nurtured under protected environments which block out external light, giving this wrapper the nickname “Connecticut Shade”. These growing conditions keep the color of the wrapper very light, contributing to its mild, woody or cedar flavor. Notable cigars that we carry with a Connecticut wrapper include the My Father Connecticut, and the AJ Fernandez New World Connecticut, which offer tasteful blends while being characteristically mild and easy to enjoy.

Corojo

The Corojo wrapper, known for its peppery and spicy flare, was first grown in the early 90s in Cuba’s world renown Vuelta Abajo tobacco-growing region by a man named Diego Rodriguez. Since then, the robust wrapper has transitioned to being grown mainly in Honduras. Due to its susceptibility to mold and other conditions that interfere with the growing process, the corojo seeds need to be handled with intensive care. Holding a slightly darker color than the Connecticut, you can pick up the La Aurora Corojo, or Joya de Nicaragua Antano Dark Corojo by Drew Estate to get a taste of the rich wrapper.

Habano

Similar in color to the Corojo, the Habano wrapper is also from Cuba, although grown mainly in Nicaragua today. Smoking a cigar with this wrapper provides a much heavier and spicier flavor, while being very dense with nicotine. These cigars may be a tad bit too strong for beginner smokers, but can offer quite a delicious and flavorful experience nonetheless. Try an AJ Fernandez San Lotano Habano, or RomaCraft Aquataine for a taste of this spicy wrapper.

Maduro

The Maduro wrapper is the darkest of the four, and have the longest growing process from seedling to leaf. Packed with oil and earthy richness, a proper Maduro wrapper will be able to survive years of aging while still maintaining its thickness and un-blemished quality. Although dark in color, these cigars will often create a sweeter tone, giving it the nickname “dessert smoke”. For those wanting to try this bold wrapper, we recommend the Espinosa 601 Maduro, and the Casa Fernandez Aganorsa Leaf Maduro.

Honorable Mentions

There are a few other types of wrappers that are worth mentioning, the first of which is the candela wrapper. This wrapper is easy to spot, with its distinctive green color. This wrapper is often considered the mildest, with a sweet and grassy flavor. Think spring time cigar. The candela wrapper takes the least amount of time to age, and done in such a way that it locks the chlorophyll in, giving it its color. A good cigar to pick up with a Candela wrapper is the Illusione HL. Next, we have the Sumatra wrapper, which is grown in Indonesia. This dark wrapper is known for its cinnamon flare, and often offers a milder full bodied smoking experience. A favorite with this wrapper is the Aging room f55 Quattro. Third, we have the Camaroon wrapper, featured in the Oliva Nub 460 Camaroon. This wrapper has a “toothy” quality to it, which refers to its rougher texture. Characteristically smooth and dominated by a more woody or toasty flavor, it is one of the more difficult wrappers to grow and work with. Last, we have the Oscuro wrapper, which is extremely dark, often called the double Maduro. These wrappers offer an even deeper and richer smoke than the Maduro, since it is left to ferment for a longer amount of time. A notable cigar with some kick is the La Flor Dominicana Ligero Cabinet Oscuro L500.

Most of the cigars mentioned in this post can be picked up at Ligero Tobacco House to be enjoyed in our smoking lounge or in the comfort of your home. As always, you may be compelled to also enjoy a cup of our authentic café Cubano (Cuban coffee) along with your cigar!

 

 

 

Thursday, May 04 2017

Fable Cigars, owned by duo Sean Kremenetski and Mitul Shah, is a company still in its adolescence that seeks to share a meaningful and personal story through the creation of their cigars. Their debut to the industry happened early last year with the release of Fourth Prime, after nearly two years of careful and deliberate crafting. Fourth Prime exists to tell the story of the number seven, which is the fourth prime number. For those of you who may have slept through math class while in school (I know that we sure as hell did), a number is prime when it is divisible only by the number one and itself. Seven is the number of perfection, safety, security and rest, and holds great significance within our society. There are seven days of the week, with God’s sabbath being on the seventh day. Seven colors in the rainbow. Seven seas, and seven continents. Not only has this masterful blend been curated to deliver a superior smoking experience, but also one that is mindful of the artistry behind its creation.

Fourth Prime is produced at Fabrica de Tabacos NicaSueño S.A. in Esteli, Nicaragua, which is the factory run by another one of our cigar favorites, RomaCraft. This medium to full bodied cigar features a Pennsylvania Broadleaf wrapper, Ecuador Habano Ligero binder, and Nicaraguan/Dominican Republic Filler. Offering a broad range of flavors, you can expect to taste hints of mild sweet chocolate and an incredible earthiness that is both bold and creamy. With hints of caramel, vanilla, pepper and cedar wood, its strength begins to pick up the longer it burns.

Fourth Prime was originally released in four compelling sizes, each lending more creativity to the story behind them. The Sapta (Gran Toro) is derived from the Indian cultural term Sapta Rishi, translating to “Seven Sages”, which are considered prominent religious figures representing the traditional Saints of contemporary religion. This size also has a personal connection to Mitul Shah through his roots in Indian culture and religion. The Mersenne (Robusto Extra) refers to the 17th century French monk Marin Mersenne. Mersenne was a philosopher and mathematician who is credited with contributing greatly to early prime number research, and being “the center of the world of science and mathematics during the first half of the 1600s”. The personal connection here is tied with Sean Kremenetski, whose parents were mathematicians. The Mi (Gran Corona) is the traditional naming convention for E, one of the seven musical notes. Do-Re-Mi-Fa-Sol-La-Ti, remember? The last is the Doc (Petit Robusto) which is named after Doc from the tale of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Being the headstrong, stubborn, self-proclaimed leader of the seven dwarfs, this cigar serves as a reminder to never take ourselves too seriously.

As the sole retail carrier of this cigar in all of Georgia, Fourth Prime can be picked up at Ligero Tobacco House to be enjoyed in our smoking lounge or in the comfort of your home. As always, you may be compelled to also enjoy a cup of our authentic café Cubano (Cuban coffee) along with your cigar!

 

Monday, April 24 2017

The All Out Kings cigar was revealed at last year’s International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers trade show, becoming one of the highest anticipated cigar releases of the year. After being delayed from their expected November product launch, the cigars have officially hit shelves as of March. Although marketed as a Caldwell product, this cigar was created as part of collaboration between Jonathan Drew and Willy Herrera of Drew Estate, and Robert Caldwell of Caldwell Cigar Company. In an interview with Cigar Aficionado, Herrera expressed that he delayed the release of the cigar because he felt it was not ready to be released, because “The stalk-cut Connecticut Habano wrapper is very thick and oily and required a bit more time in aging rooms to ensure that it smoked and tasted right”. 

 

The unique blend features a Connecticut Habano wrapper, Indonesian Sumatra binder, and a filler blend made up of Connecticut broadleaf ligero, Dominican corojo 97 Seco, Nicaragua viso from Estelí, and Nicaraguan viso from Jalapa. During a press release, Herrera commented on the planning process behind the All Out Kings. Because Caldwell is not typically a maduro smoker, they had to meet somewhere in the middle with regards to the strength of the cigar. The result was the selection of specific primings of Connecticut Habano wrapper that are flavorful, yet subtle, and is the same wrapper found on Drew Estate’s top-selling Liga Privada T-52 cigar. Upon lighting, you will immediately notice an excellent draw and large amounts of creamy smoke, with hints of caramel, pepper, milk chocolate, and of course a unique spicy note which is a characteristic of many Drew Estate blends.

 

This exquisite cigar can be picked up here at Ligero Tobacco House, to be enjoyed in our smoking lounge or in the comfort of your home. As always, you may be compelled to also enjoy a cup of our authentic café Cubano (Cuban coffee) along with your cigar!

 

Tuesday, December 06 2016

Clearly, not all cigars are created equal. From time to time, we will feature a cigar of the month for your education and enjoyment. Our aim here is to be more than a simple cigar shop. We want to be a center of cigar excellence!

With that in mind, our Featured Cigar for the month of December will be The Tabernacle from Foundation Cigar Company.  Using a blend of prime Nicaraguan tobaccos grown on A.J. Fernandez's La Soledad farm, plus filler from Honduras and a Mexican San Andrés binder, the star of this line is the dark, flawless Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper that completes this latest masterpiece, which is also made at Fernandez's factory. The result is a full-flavored bevy of earth, spice, red pepper, sweet cedar, and chocolatey notes.

Feel free to stop by our cigar shop and partake in one of these amazing smokes. While you're here, enjoy a nice cup of Cuban coffee as you sit back, relax and enjoy our shop. We have two big screen TVs for you to catch up on all the sports news. More than just a smoke shop, our cigar lounge is a place where you can get away from it all and just relax with some friends. 

Located just minutes away from the Mall Of Georgia in Buford, our smoking lounge is a great place to come while the others deal with traffic. Just drop in our place for a fine cigar or two, some great Cuban coffee and some good times. We have free Wifi, so do all your shoping online. Now, this is the way to shop! 

We have customers coming in from all over Lawrenceville, Buford, Suwanee and even as far as Dacula and Sugar Hill. Stop in to our little cigar shop and stay awhile while you enjoy the cigar shop with some friends. You'll be amazed that a place like this exists. 

 

 

    Acknowledgements

    Many of the spectcaular cigar photos on this site courtesy of Tom Cremers of Cigarleaves Photography. Thank you Tom.

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    Ligero Tobacco House
    2828 Buford Drive
    Suite 400
    Buford , GA 30519
    678.926.3260
    info@ligerocigarshop.com

     

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