Join Us and Aganorsa Cigars in Supporting Out of the Pits Dog Rescue

Join Us and Aganorsa Cigars in Supporting Out of the Pits Dog Rescue

James & Sons Tobacconists and Aganorsa Leaf Cigars Team Up to Benefit Out of the Pits Dog Rescue

For every Aganorsa Leaf cigar purchased now through May 25th, $1 will be donated to Out of the Pits dog rescue.

(Aganorsa Leaf cigar brands include Guardian of the Farm, JFR, Lunatic, and Miami.)

Join James & Sons Tobacconists for an

AGANORSA LEAF CIGARS EVENT

Friday, May 25th, 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm
360 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, New York

Event Specials on Aganorsa Leaf Cigars
Buy 4 and get 1 free; Buy 10 get 3 free; Buy a box get 5 free and a cutter.

DRAWING

When purchasing Aganorsa Leaf cigars now through May 25th, you will also be entered for our drawing to win prizes for the event: 

WIN an entire box of Guardian of the Farm Apollo cigars
(Rated Cigar Aficionado’s No. 8 Cigar of the Year)
Other prizes include a $50 store gift card and James & Sons swag

James & Sons Tobacconists Sign Five-Year Contract with NYRA to Become "Exclusive Cigar Vendor" for Belmont Stakes and Saratoga Meet

James & Sons Tobacconists Sign Five-Year Contract with NYRA to Become "Exclusive Cigar Vendor" for Belmont Stakes and Saratoga Meet

Proud to Continue the Tradition of Cigars as a Social Aspect of Thoroughbred Racing

SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY – Just about everywhere you look at the Belmont Stakes and Saratoga Race Course, you’ll find a diverse population – men and women, adults young and old – of horse racing fans enjoying smoking cigars.  That’s why James & Sons Tobacconists of Saratoga Springs, New York is proud to announce that it has signed a five-year partnership with the New York Racing Association (NYRA) – operators of the three largest thoroughbred horse racing tracks in New York State – to serve as the “Exclusive Cigar Vendor” for the Belmont Stakes and the entire race meet at historic Saratoga Race Course.  James & Sons Tobacconists is honored to be providing the premium cigars that have a long tradition of being part of the social experience in thoroughbred horse racing at Belmont and Saratoga race courses. 

For the second consecutive year, James & Sons Tobacconists will be the exclusive cigar vendor on site for the Belmont Stakes Racing Day which will take place on June 9, 2018, at renowned Belmont Park, located in Elmont, New York, just 15 miles from New York City.  The Belmont Stakes is the third leg and “final jewel” of thoroughbred horse racing’s prestigious Triple Crown (following the Kentucky Derby on May 5th and Preakness Stakes on May 19th).  The track gates open at 8:30 am, with the main attraction, the Belmont Stakes, scheduled for approximately 6:30 pm, providing plenty of time for a share of the nearly 70,000 horse racing fans in attendance to puff on their favorite stogies while taking in the event.

In addition to the Belmont Stakes, James & Sons Tobacconists is the exclusive cigar vendor at historic Saratoga Race Course for the entire six-week racing meet, running from Friday, July 20th through Labor Day, Monday, September 3rd.  Steeped in tradition dating back to 1863, the picturesque Saratoga Race Course is home to the oldest thoroughbred racing meet in the country positioned across the street from the National Racing Museum and Hall of Fame.  Located in the Eastern region of upstate New York, the track draws more than 1.1 million attendees each summer.  Several of the most important races in North America, including the Travers Stakes, known as “The Mid-Summer Derby”, take place at Saratoga Race Course each year.

Since the Belmont and Saratoga tracks were first opened, cigars have remained a social part of the horse racing experience, adding to the pageantry of the sport’s social experience.  As part of its agreement with NYRA, James & Sons Tobacconists will be selling cigars from an elegant newly-constructed permanent store with a television to view the races. 

Unlike most sporting venues, NYRA has fully embraced cigar smoking at its race courses.  At Saratoga, everywhere outside of the buildings is cigar friendly, including the seating and walking area on the mat next to the track and clubhouse, the paddock-viewing area, and the large picnic area containing approximately 850 tables.

The James & Sons Tobacconists track store at the Saratoga Race Course – which first opened for the 2017 meet – sold a wide variety of approximately two dozen different cigars each day.  The biggest-selling brands at the track include 7-20-4, Alec Bradley, Ashton, Avo, Camacho, Davidoff, Arturo Fuente, Kristoff, My Father, Nat Sherman, Padrón, Perdomo, Rocky Patel, and the highly-sought-after James & Sons hand-rolled cigars. 

The store’s exclusive cigar blender and roller, Franklin Pichardo, can be found most weekends during the Saratoga meet at the James & Sons Tobacconists track store with a crowd around his rolling table watching as he constructs their house blend of cigars.  The cigars, exclusive to James & Sons Tobacconists, are blend of Dominican and Nicaraguan tobaccos rolled with Connecticut, maduro, and barber-pole style wrappers in multiple vitolas, including coronas, toros, torpedos, Churchills, and salamones, among others.  Franklin learned the craft as a teenager at the Fuente factory in Tamboril, Santiago on the Dominican Republic.  Working there for 15 years, Franklin was the exclusively roller of the Fuente Fuente Opus X Perfexcion No. 2.  After the racing day is over, he continues to attract a crowd of onlookers in the evenings while rolling outside of the James & Sons Tobacconists store on bustling Broadway, where track goers are finishing their days at the restaurants and shops.

Throughout the horse racing meet at the James & Sons Tobacconists store on historic Broadway in downtown Saratoga Springs, customers from all aspects of the horse racing industry – owners, trainers, jockeys, stewards, stable workers, veterinarians, members of the media, and handicappers – come through our door to select sticks from our humidor’s finely-curated selection of premium cigars to smoke at the track that day.  Many of the customers are handicappers who can be found in the store’s plush leather chairs marking up their racing forms while watching the TVG horse racing network.  (In each of the last two racing seasons, TVG has broadcast live from the store during the Saratoga meet.)  For many horse racing fans and those in the racing industry, smoking cigars in one of James & Sons Tobacconists’ four clubby lounges – including two that are available 24 hours a day exclusively to our cigar club members – is an integral part of their daily Saratoga experience.

James & Sons Tobacconists is a successful decade-old cigar merchant located in an architecturally-significant Victorian era building.  Saratoga Springs is a thriving year-round destination with an exciting, culturally sophisticated vibe and one of the greatest main streets in America according to Travel & Leisure Magazine.

James & Sons Tobacconists has an excellent reputation in Upstate New York that is growing to a wider audience thanks in part to its new track stores at Belmont and Saratoga race courses.

DOUBLE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING YETI MERCH AT OUR CAMACHO CIGARS EVENT ON FRIDAY, APRIL 27th

DOUBLE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING YETI MERCH AT OUR CAMACHO CIGARS EVENT ON FRIDAY, APRIL 27th

Purchase Two or More Camacho Cigars Now Through Friday to Double Your Chances of Winning YETI Coolers, Tumblers and Camacho Cigars

Everyone buying two or more Camacho Cigars at James & Sons Tobacconists between now at Friday, April 27th will receive double the amount of tickets for our drawing giving away YETI merchandise and Camacho cigars totaling nearly $900.

James & Sons will host a Camacho Cigars event on Friday, April 27th that will include special deals on Camacho cigars and a drawing giving away a YETI Tundra 45 hard cooler ($350 retail), YETI Hopper 20 soft cooler ($250 retail), YETI tumblers, and Camacho cigar packs.

Exclusively this week, you will double your chances of winning YETI merchandise by buying Camacho cigars:

Buy 2 Camacho Cigars, Get TWO Tickets for YETI merchandise drawing
Buy 4 Camacho Cigars, Get SIX Tickets for YETI merchandise drawing
But 10 Camacho Cigars, Get SIXTEEN Tickets for YETI merchandise drawing
Buy 20 Camacho cigars, Get FORTY Tickets for YETI merchandise drawing

Cigar Master Franklin Pichardo Rolling at Derby Party, Saturday, May 5th

Cigar Master Franklin Pichardo Rolling at Derby Party, Saturday, May 5th

New Stock of Premium Cigars Blended and Rolled Exclusively for James & Sons Tobacconists

Among the finely-curated selection of premium cigars available in its Spanish-cedar-lined walk-in humidor, James & Sons Tobacconists is proud to offer an exclusive line of house cigars, blended and rolled by cigar master Franklin Pichardo. James & Sons Tobacconists just reloaded its stock of premium house cigars blended and rolled exclusively for its Saratoga store and now is a good time to stock up or give them a try. 

Franklin has been producing our exclusive house cigars for years. They're made of Dominican and Nicaraguan tobaccos rolled with Connecticut, maduro, and barber-pole style wrappers in multiple vitolas, including coronas, toros, torpedos, Churchills, and salamones, among others.

And with Spring finally arriving, horse racing begins to have a greater impact in the community, with the Oklahoma training track open, the harness track running, increased media attention on Triple Crown races, and several local Kentucky Derby parties taking place on Saturday, May 5th.

We're happy to announce that our exclusive cigar master Franklin Pichardo will be in town rolling cigars on Saturday, May 5th at the James & Sons table at Saratoga National Golf Club Kentucky Derby Party. James & Sons will have nice selection of premium cigars for attendees to enjoy as well as Franklin's freshly-rolled cigars.

During track season, Franklin can be found most weekends at the James & Sons Tobacconists track store at historic Saratoga Race Course with a crowd around his rolling table watching as he constructs our fine cigars. Franklin will likely be smoking one of the cigars he rolled or an exclusive Arturo Fuente cigar.

Franklin learned the cigar craft as a teenager at the Fuente factory in Tamboril, Santiago on the Dominican Republic. Working there for 15 years, Franklin was the exclusively roller of the Fuente Fuente Opus X Perfexcion No. 2.

After his day is over at the track, Franklin continues to attract a crowd of onlookers in the evenings while rolling outside of the James & Sons Tobacconists store on bustling Broadway, where track goers are finishing their days at the restaurants and shops.

Stop in to James & Sons to load up on our exclusive house cigars rolled by Franklin, join us at the Saratoga National Golf Club Kentucky Derby Party, and be sure to visit our track store at the Saratoga Race Course during the racing meet.

NEW YORK CIGAR TAX HIKE DEFEATED IN STATE BUDGET

NEW YORK CIGAR TAX HIKE DEFEATED IN STATE BUDGET

Final NYS Budget Excludes Gov. Cuomo's Proposed 160% Tax Hike on Cigars

ALBANY, N.Y. -- Thanks to the grassroots efforts of cigar enthusiasts, tobacconist, small businesses, and trade associations across the state, the final state budget bills being adopted by the New York State Legislature and to be signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo does not include a tax hike on cigars

In January, Gov. Cuomo proposed an executive budget with $1.1 billion in new taxes and fees, including raising the state excise tax on cigars from 28.5 percent to a whopping 75 percent, a stunning increase of 160 percent.  Representatives of New York’s cigar trade associations promptly jumped into action by working the halls of The State Capitol to kill the plan.  The State Assembly proceeded to pass a one-house budget bill supporting the tax hike, while the Senate adopted one opposing it.  The one-house bills identified priorities for legislative leaders in negotiating a final state budget.

Like many small businesses and tobacconists across the state, James & Sons Tobacconists had grave concerns about the significant spike it would have had on cigar prices – creating a massive black market in the same way that the state’s cigarette tax hike has – and forcing many tobacconists and small businesses across the state to close.

On February 28th, James & Sons Tobacconists owner James Kommer’s New York Post article “New York is Begging for a Black Market Cigar Industry” was published, the first media attention on the issue.  It made its way around social media and was featured on the Empire Report (New York’s version of Drudge Report).  Publications like Cigar Aficionado, Tobacco Business Magazine, and tv and radio media followed suit with stories on Cuomo’s harmful cigar tax hike. 

Thanks in part to the increased media attention, a grassroots coalition of cigar enthusiasts, tobacconists, small businesses, and trade associations (New York Association of Convenience Stores, New York Tobacconists Association, International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers, and Cigar Rights of America) were able to generate a wave of New Yorkers contacting their state legislators to urge them to oppose Gov. Cuomo’s harmful cigar tax hike

Our voice was heard in the halls of The State Capitol in Albany and we prevailed!  Victories like these are far and few between in deep blue northeastern states like New York.  Thank you to everyone who took action to save our small businesses and spare cigar enthusiasts from this draconian tax hike.

This statewide win comes on the heels of our successful local efforts to defeat a proposal in Saratoga County, where James & Sons Tobacconists is located, that would have prevented tax-paying residents aged 18 to 20, including a large number who serve in the military, from purchasing cigars.

MEDIA STORIES ON CUOMO’S CIGAR TAX HIKE

New York is Begging for a Black Market Cigar Industry, by James Kommer, New York Post (Feb. 27)

Cigar Prices Could Rise Under State Budget, WGRZ Buffalo Channel 2 (Feb. 28)

Cigar Prices Could Go Up Under State Budget, WHEC Rochester Channel 10 (Mar. 1)

New York Tobacco Retailers Fear Consequences of Proposed Tax Hike, Tobacco Business Magazine (March 5)

New York Looks At Raising Cigar Taxes, Cigar Aficionado (March 6)

New York Cigar Voters – Say No To Premium Cigar Tax Increase By Governor Cuomo, Cigar Rights of America (March 7)

Score YETI Merch When Buying Camacho Cigars at James & Sons

Score YETI Merch When Buying Camacho Cigars at James & Sons

Everyone buying two or more Camacho Cigars at James & Sons Tobacconists between now at Friday, April 27th will be eligible to win YETI merchandise totaling nearly $900.

A raffle drawing will be held at James & Sons every Friday in April to select someone who will win a YETI tumbler and a 4 pack of Camacho cigars ($70 retail per set).  

James & Sons will host a Camacho Cigars event on Friday, April 27th that will include special deals on Camacho cigars and a raffle drawing for a YETI tumbler set as well as a YETI Tundra 45 hard cooler ($350 retail) and a YETI Hopper 20 soft cooler ($250 retail).

You can enter the raffle drawing to win YETI merchandise by buying Camacho cigars:

  • Buy 2 Camacho Cigars, Get 1 Raffle Tickets for YETI merchandise
  • Buy 4 Camacho Cigars, Get 3 Raffle Tickets for YETI merchandise
  • But 10 Camacho Cigars, Get 8 Raffle Tickets for YETI merchandise
  • Buy 20 Camacho cigars, Get 20 Raffle Tickets for YETI merchandise
     

UPDATE ON NYS CIGAR TAX HIKE: ASSEMBLY SUPPORTS CUOMO'S PLAN, RAISING THE STAKES. TAKE ACTION NOW!

UPDATE ON NYS CIGAR TAX HIKE: ASSEMBLY SUPPORTS CUOMO'S PLAN, RAISING THE STAKES. TAKE ACTION NOW!

Following NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo proposing a massive 160 percent cigar tax hike in his 2018-19 Executive Budget, the NYS Assembly and Senate passed their own one-house budget plans yesterday. The one-house bills identify priorities for negotiations on a final budget due by April 1st.

The Assembly’s budget resolution supports Cuomo’s massive cigar tax hike while the Senate opposes it. As budget negotiations intensify, this should NOT give comfort to cigar smokers and small businesses. The three sides will have to negotiate a final budget which may end up hiking cigar taxes.

Gov. Cuomo’s cigar tax hike would cause a dramatic spike in cigar prices and likely cause the closure of several tobacconists and small businesses across the state.

TAKE ACTION NOW TO DEFEAT CUOMO’S MASSIVE CIGAR TAX HIKE. NYS SENATORS NEED TO HEAR FROM YOU!
Please take action by contacting your NYS Senator to encourage them to oppose the cigar tax change in Gov. Cuomo’s proposed budget. Here are three easy steps:

1. EMAIL YOUR SENATOR USING THIS ONLINE TOOL:  https://account.votility.com/enterprise/IPCPR/ec/461…

2. CALL YOUR SENATOR:  Dial 518-455-2800 for the senate operator. Tell them you want to contact your senator and give them your five-digit zip code to be connected to your senator’s office.

Suggestion for What to Say: “Hi, I'm (name) from (town). I'm calling to urge the Senator to OPPOSE Gov. Cuomo’s budget plan to change the state’s cigar tax (Part U of SB 9509 and AB 9509), which would hike state cigar taxes, harm several small businesses.”

3. SHARE THESE FACEBOOK AND TWITTER POSTS WITH YOUR FRIENDS

ACT NOW TO STOP GOV. CUOMO'S MASSIVE CIGAR TAX HIKE

ACT NOW TO STOP GOV. CUOMO'S MASSIVE CIGAR TAX HIKE

As NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the NYS Legislature work towards negotiating a final 2018-19 state budget -- due by April 1st -- a massive 160% cigar tax hike is being considered. The plan would cause a permanent spike in the price of cigars, force consumers to the black market (purchases online, out-of-state, and from Native American retailers), and likely force many small businesses across the state to close. As a cigar consumer, you have the power to speak out to stop it from becoming law. 

ACT NOW TO STOP THE CUOMO CIGAR TAX HIKE BY CONTACTING YOUR STATE SENATOR BY CLICKING HERE.

Tell your NYS Senator you OPPOSE the cigar tax hike proposed in Cuomo's Executive Budget.

More details on the plan may be found in James & Sons Tobacconists owner James Kommer's recent New York Post article here.

Win the Ultimate Sports Fan Experience!

Win the Ultimate Sports Fan Experience!

ANNOUNCING AN EVENING OF MIRACLES: 
MIRACLE ON ICE FANTASY CAMP
with the 1980 U.S.A. Olympic Hockey Team

Sunday, March 25, 2018
Lake Placid, New York

With each purchase of a box of cigars at James & Sons Tobacconists completed by Tuesday, March 20th, you become eligible to win the ultimate hockey experience for you and your guest with the 1980 USA Hockey Team members.

The package includes:
- Meet and greet with the team
- Team-signed USA ’80 hockey jersey presentation at Herb Brooks Arena
- Cocktail reception and dinner at the Olympic Sports Complex
- Lake Placid bobsled experience ride
- Evening mingle in the hospitality suite at High Peaks Resort
- Overnight lodging

WINNER WILL BE SELECTED FROM A DRAWING HELD AT THE STORE ON TUESDAY, MARCH 20 AT 7:00 PM. 
WINNER MUST BE IN ATTENDANCE TO CLAIM YOUR PRIZE.

James Kommer's New York Post Article on Gov. Cuomo's Massive 160% Cigar Tax Hike Plan

James Kommer's New York Post Article on Gov. Cuomo's Massive 160% Cigar Tax Hike Plan

NEW YORK IS BEGGING FOR A BLACK-MARKET CIGAR INDUSTRY
By James Kommer, New York Post, February 27, 2018

In an attempt to close New York state’s $4.4 billion budget deficit, Gov. Cuomo proposed a package of $1 billion in tax hikes and fee increases as part of his 2018-2019 Executive Budget unveiled in January.

Among the list of “revenue raisers” is a proposal to change the formula for the way state excise taxes on cigars are calculated. The new rules would make the cigar taxes based on invoice costs instead of manufacturing costs, beginning on Sept. 1. If passed, this would raise state cigar taxes from the industry standard of 28.5 percent to 75 percent.

What would this mean for the consumer? A cigar currently on the shelf for $8 would increase to nearly $11 due to the tax hike.

Cuomo’s proposal comes just five months after Mayor de Blasio signed a tax hike into law prohibiting cigars from being sold for less than $8 per stick and added a 10 percent tax. The impact? What were once less expensive cigars selling for $5 now cost $8. And a cigar with a suggested retail price of $9.50 now costs nearly $14 before sales tax.

Should Cuomo’s proposal become law, it would likely bring about the closure of some small businesses and cost jobs. That’s why the New York Association of Convenience Stores is opposing the tax hike. According to its president, Jim Calvin, the hike “would backfire by driving customers of licensed, tax-collecting convenience stores to tax-free cigar outlets in search of cheaper prices, costing us business.”

State tax hikes on tobacco products in the past have shown one thing: raising taxes actually decreases state revenue. State collections from tobacco sales dropped from $1.5 billion to $1.2 billion over the last five years as tobacco taxes have jumped and smokers, especially cigarette smokers, have increasingly purchased from out-of-state shops.

Despite this fact, Cuomo’s budget estimates the latest cigar tax hike would generate an additional $23 million in revenue annually, showing that the proposal is nothing more than part of a desperate attempt at plugging the state’s deficit that has grown on his watch.

New York’s high taxes and limited enforcement have driven consumers to purchase their cigars and tobacco products from tax-free Native American, Internet and border-state retailers. And yet, according to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, despite New York’s highest-in-the-nation cigarette taxes, it still has the ninth-highest adult smoking rate.

Simply put, New York can’t afford to enforce the laws already on the books and its anti-smoking tax policies are costing the state (and city) billions of dollars in lost revenue.

Cuomo’s new cigar tax hike would further harm small businesses and put more people out of work.

James Kommer is owner of James & Sons Tobacconists in Saratoga Springs.

Saturday Whiskey and Bonfires Event at Saratoga Winery

Saturday Whiskey and Bonfires Event at Saratoga Winery

An Event Supporting the Saratoga WarHorse Foundation

Saturday, February 24th, 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm

The Saratoga Winery

462 Route 29 West, Saratoga Springs, New York

  • Cigars from James & Sons Tobacconists
  • Whiskey from Upstate Distillery
  • Smoked BBQ Menu
  • Live Music by Patrick Sharrow
  • Bonfires
  • Saratoga WarHorse Raffles
  • Free Admission

10 percent of bar sales will be donated to Saratoga WarHorse

 

Alec Bradley Prensado Lost Art Cigars One of the Best Recent Releases Available

Alec Bradley Prensado Lost Art Cigars One of the Best Recent Releases Available

Six years after Alec Bradley’s classic Prensado Churchill received Cigar Aficionado’s Cigar of the Year, the Prensado has made a return with the new Lost Art series.  If you enjoyed the original Prensado, you’ll enjoy the new one.  According to Alan Rubin, owner of Alec Bradley, Prensado Lost Art was created to compliment the original Prensado line, with a “natural succession” through introducing “unique variations that still live up to their original namesake.” 

Prensado Lost Art is produced in Honduras at the well-regarded Raices Cubanas factory, which has produced other brands such as 7-20-4, Illusione, Viaje, La Palina, Padilla, and Casa Fernandez.  Lost Art is produced in five vitolas, all of which are box pressed, including Robusto (5”x 52), Gran Toro (6¼” x 52), Churchill (7”x 50), Torpedo (6½” x 52), and Double T (6”x 60).  For this vertical tasting, the Churchill, Gran Toro, and Robusto vitolas were sampled.

The tobaccos used for the Prensado Lost Art include a flawless, smooth, oily Honduran Corojo wrapper, double binders using Nicaragua and Honduras tobaccos, and fillers from Nicaragua and Honduras. The constructed is immaculate, with double caps, tight seams that are virtually invisible, and some occasional small veins that have been rolled flat.  To the touch, the cigars feel just right, with a bit of spongy give when pressed between two fingers.  When smoked, they have a medium draw that provide a good amount of smoke.

Churchill

The Prensado Lost Art Churchill initially offers earthy notes and flavors of toasted bread, a touch of citrus, salt, and spicy pepper, leaving a dry, medium finish on the palate.  About an inch and a half into the cigar, the flavors became less earthy and more rich, rounded, and complex, with notes of cream, charred cedar, and toasted walnuts.  Midway into the cigar, it becomes more refined and remains complex, with notes of cedar and spicy pepper in the front and a long finish (you can taste the cigar in the mouth long after exhaling).  For the final third , the strength and flavor complexity intensifies, with a lovely touch of mustiness (like that found in some Davidoff and Avo cigars) and vanilla in the background.

This Churchill was an impressive start to the vertical tasting.  According to Matthias Clark’s Fine Tobacco NYC Blog the Prensado Lost Art Churchill, “is full of charisma and is, dare I say it, a bit of a show off. The flavors come and go, playing off of each other wonderfully, making this a worthy follow up to the original Prensado line.”  I concur.

Gran Toro

The Gran Toro initially offers rich, complex smoke containing flavors of cocoa, cappuccino, and a touch of cedar and hazelnut in the background.  The cigar is medium bodied and finish is medium in length.  The flavors remain well balanced and complex in the middle third of the cigar, with more prominent notes of cedar and an exquisite sweet creaminess.  The last third is nutty, with some somewhat harsh notes that appear in the background on a few draws (the only shortcoming of any of the Lost Art cigars tasted).

Robusto

The Robusto started off with an impressive, complex blend of flavors, including black pepper, cedar, bittersweet chocolate, and espresso.  It’s the richest of the three cigars sampled.  The flavors and body are medium-to-full and have a short finish.  The second third of the cigar become more creamy and nutty, with the spiciness moving to the background with a touch of wood.  The smoke is smooth and quite enjoyable.  Woody notes stand out in the final third, with creamy and nutty notes in the background.

All three of the vitolas sampled burned quite well, with either a sharp edge or slightly wavy (never varying by much more than a quarter-inch).  The cigars did not require any relighting or touching up.  The ashes were flaky and light whitish-gray color that fell off after about an inch.

Cigar Aficionado's recent tasting of four of the vitolas in the Alec Bradley Prensado Lost Art series awarded the cigars an average of 90 points and the Churchill size received a score of 93 points from the Fine Tobacco NYC Blog.

Overall, the Prensado Lost Art Churchill, Gran Toro and Robusto are damn good cigars worthy of being deemed natural successors of the original classic Prensado.  They’re easily some of the best recent releases on the market and worth every cent.

NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo Proposes Massive Cigar Tax Hike

NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo Proposes Massive Cigar Tax Hike

Governor Andrew Cuomo proposed a massive annual statewide $23 million tax hike on cigars as part of his proposed Executive Budget released in January.  This would be accomplished by changing the way state cigar taxes are calculated, which would result in a 160 percent tax hike (raising the current tax rate of 28.5 percent to 75 percent).

One analyst recently estimated that a cigar currently on the shelf for $7.00 would increase to $9.50 due to the tax hike.  And for a box of 20 of these cigars, the increased taxes would add an additional $50 to the price.  For more expensive cigars, the increase would be even greater.  Should the proposal become law, it would likely bring about the closure of some small businesses and lost jobs. 

In an attempt to close New York State’s $4.4 billion deficit, Gov. Cuomo proposed a package of $1 billion in tax hikes.  Despite Republican Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan responded to the proposed package of tax hikes with a bold “No”, Republicans have failed kill similar cigar tax hikes in the past.  

Historically, when New York finds itself in financial deficits, it has turned to cigar tax hikes. In 2009, the state hiked taxes on cigars from 37 percent of the wholesale price to 46 percent. The following year, cigar taxes went up again to become the highest in the nation.  In addition to the tobacco tax, cigars are subject to a 4 percent state sales tax.  

Stay tuned to see how Gov. Cuomo’s proposed cigar tax hike plays out in the budget negotiations this year.  Republicans hold a narrow majority in the State Senate, which the Democrats will try to take away in the November elections this year. 

Gov. Cuomo is also up for re-election this year.

Hidden Gem: Partagas 1845 Extra Oscuro Rothschild

Hidden Gem: Partagas 1845 Extra Oscuro Rothschild

There is a wide range of great cigars for every palate in the humidor at James & Sons Tobacconists, with many of the boutique and limited edition cigars selling quite well. There are also several exquisite sticks that are sometimes overlooked for one reason or another. On our Facebook page, we’ve been trying to highlight some of these hidden gems (including bargain-priced cigars) that don’t quite fly off the shelves, but we consider having been overlooked due to their high quality. That’s the case with the Partagas 1845 Extra Oscuro Rothschild, which is masterfully crafted, delicious, and inexpensive (costing less than $10).

The Extra Oscuro (“blackish” or “dark” in Spanish) is a bold, full-flavored cigar crafted with a pitch-black U.S.A. Connecticut-grown Havana-seed Oscuro wrapper, La Vega Especial binder from the Dominican Republic, and a powerful blend of Ligero fillers from Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic. 

Oscuro wrapper leaves are typically taken from the top priming or uppermost part of the tobacco plant. Oscuro provides a smaller, thicker and spicier leaf than traditional Connecticut Broadleaf. These leaves are sometimes also called the corona (“crown”) or medio tiempo (“half time,” meaning they’ve been left on the plant 50 percent longer). The extended exposure to sunlight causes the leaves to begin curing on the plants, creating darker, richer, and more flavorful leaves prior to the typical fermentation process.

After being harvested, the dark Connecticut-grown Partagas Oscuro leaves are fermented for a shorter time and at lower temperatures than typical broadleaf tobacco. After fermentation and before manufacturing, the Oscuro leaves are aged in barrels, which cause them to become even darker, almost totally black. 

The cigar sampled for this review is a Rothschild size measuring 5¼” with a ring gauge of 50. It is constructed quite well, with a thick, oily, slightly veiny wrapper and tight seams (especially for the thickness of the leaf). To the pinch, it has uniform sponginess which provide just the right amount of draw when lit. 

The special process required for the Partagas 1845 Extra Oscuro’s tobacco results in an equally rare and unique flavor profile that is similar to some of the powerful, distinctive full-flavored sticks produced by Don “Pepin” Garcia’s Nicaraguan factory for Pete Johnson’s L’telier Imports under the Surrogates brand (such as the Bone Crusher, Animal Cracker, Skull Breaker cigars, which are also available from James & Sons Tobacconists). Partagas’ 1845 Extra Oscuro compares well to fine boutique brand cigars, and, at such an affordable price, is quite noteworthy.

After lighting the cigar, you can tell that the it is complex yet smooth, offering a unique blend of well-balanced flavors, including rich notes of charred wood, robust espresso, a touch of pepper, sweet black licorice, and leather. Thanks to the Oscuro tobacco wrapper and Ligero fillers, the complex, full flavors and long finish on the palate are reminiscent of the way a peaty Talisker Scotch, smoky Lapsang Souchong black tea, or blue English stilton cheese awakens and delights the palate. The finish or aftertaste is just as pleasing as when it first touches your lips.

The cigar produces a good amount of aromatic smoke that is a pleasure to take in. It burns evenly without requiring any relighting and has a white flaky ash. 

If you’re looking for an affordable hidden gem in the humidor at James & Sons Tobacconists, the Partagas 1845 Extra Oscuro Rothschild is one worth trying.

James & Sons Super Bowl Party

James & Sons Super Bowl Party

Sunday, February 4, 2018
Bravo Restaurant, 3246 South Broadway, Saratoga Springs
Doors open at 2 pm.  Food at 5 pm.  Kickoff at 6:30 pm.

Limited availability.  First come, first served.
Sign up and pay at James & Sons Tobacconists.
$40 in advance or $50 at the door.
Includes cigar, tortellini, braciole, chicken marsala, meatballs, dessert and coffee.  Cash bar. 
 

Cigars and Italian Dinner for Charity

Cigars and Italian Dinner for Charity

A benefit for the
Stand Up and Play Foundation
Capital District of NYS Chapter

Friday, December 16, 2017
6:00 pm to 10:00 pm
$50 per person

James & Sons Tobacconists
360 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, New York

RSVP to Christopher Zito at cmzito@gmail.com 

Stand Up and Play Foundation is a volunteer-based nonprofit organization that is changing the lives of wheelchair users and amputees thanks to a remarkable piece of equipment – the Paramobile – that allows them to stand up and play sports. The foundation provides a unique combination of adaptive equipment and well-trained volunteers to give users a previously unimagined level of freedom and independence.  With your help, the Stand Up and Play Foundation Capital District Chapter will be able to provide local wheelchair users and amputees the opportunity to participate in sports, improve their health and well being, and simply have a good time. 
 

James & Sons Tobacconists Christmas Party

James & Sons Tobacconists Christmas Party

JAMES & SONS TOBACCONISTS CHRISTMAS PARTY
Friday, December 8th, 7:00 pm to close

Join us at the store for an enjoyable night that includes
Food from Hattie's Restaurant
Beverages served by a professional bartender
The serenading sounds of Jimmy "Suits"
Great deals on Foundation Cigars

SPECIAL DEALS ON FOUNDATION CIGARS
The Tabernacle, The Wise Man (El Güegüense), Highclere Castle, Charter Oak
Buy five and get one free
Buy a box and get five free

Cigar Sale, New Fuente Cigars, Holiday Party

Cigar Sale, New Fuente Cigars, Holiday Party

BLACK FRIDAY CIGAR SALE

James & Sons Tobacconists is offering savings of 15 to 30 percent on a wide selection of great cigars this week, including on Black Friday, through Monday, November 27th. Stop in to restock your humidor. 

NEW TO THE HUMIDOR

The James & Sons Tobacconists humidor now has one of the highest rated and hottest cigars on the market: the Arturo Fuente Don Carlos Eye of the Shark. According to Cigar Aficionado, which recently rated it a 94, "[i]ts lush draw delivers big notes of cedar, nuts and leather with a finish that smacks of cider. Tasty and complex."

In addition to the Eye of the Shark, we have several new boxes of Arturo Fuente Anejos, an annual limited release of cigars using the same premium aged binder and filler tobaccos as the acclaimed Opus X series.  The wrapper is USA Connecticut-grown broadleaf aged three to five years, including part of that time in cognac barrels.

HOLIDAY PARTY FRIDAY, DECEMBER 8th

James & Sons Tobacconists annual holiday party is once again upon us. Join us at the store beginning at 7:00 pm on Friday, December 8th for great food from Hattie's, the serenading sounds of Jimmy "Suits", and an enjoyable evening of cigars and drinks. All are welcome.

Highclere Castle Cigar Launch Event

Highclere Castle Cigar Launch Event

James & Sons Tobacconists is proud to announce that we will be hosting a very special launch event for the premier Highclere Castle Cigar on Monday, November 6th from 2-4 pm. Special guests will include George Herbert, 8th Earl of Carnarvon, and master blender Nicholas Melillo, founder of Foundation Cigars

Globally recognized as the iconic face of the award-winning television drama Downton Abbey, Highclere Castle is now producing a cigar reminiscent of those enjoyed there during the 19th and early 20th centuries.

To create and produce the cigar, Highclere Castle Cigar Company has partnered with world-renowned cigar producer Nicholas Melillo, the former head of Drew Estate Nicaragua. Nicholas formed Foundation Cigar Company in 2015 to craft hand-made cigars in Estelí, Nicaragua, and Highclere Castle is the latest cigar in Foundation’s exceptional line.

Highclere’s rich cigar history goes back to 1862, when cigars were first introduced to England. The tradition at Highclere Castle has always been to retire to the library after dinner for a cigar and whiskey. In 1922, the current Earl’s great-grandfather undoubtedly celebrated his and Howard Carter’s discovery of King Tut’s tomb with a cigar in hand. Recently, Highclere Castle’s archivist discovered letters and personal account records of Lord Carnarvon’s cigar purchases in the early 1900s from dealers in London as well as the Ritz Hotel.

Melillo subsequently crafted a cigar that reflects that historic flavor profile and smoking style. The Highclere Castle Cigar is hand rolled in Estelí, Nicaragua, using a Connecticut Shade wrapper, and both Criollo and Corojo from the volcanic soils of Jalapa and the island of Ometepe. The binder is made from Mata Fina, a dark tobacco from Brazil. The blend is finalized with an exclusive hybrid seed the company has named Nicadán. The resulting smoke is exceptionally creamy and elegant, with notes of pepper, citrus, leather and fireplace.

Alec Bradley Cigar Event

Alec Bradley Cigar Event

James & Sons Tobacconists will be hosting an special event featuring Alec Bradley cigars on Thursday, November 2nd from 6 pm to close.

A representative from Alec Bradley Cigars will be at the store to introduce customers their wide selection of well-regarded cigars, including the newly released Fine & Rare BR1213, Prensado Lost Art, and Black Market Esteli cigars.

Special deals include:

  • Buy 4 event cigars get 1 free
  • Buy 10 event cigars get 3 free
  • Buy a box of event cigars and get 5 free

Cigar Dog® Apparel

  • Save 15 percent off of all Cigar Dog® apparel, including hoodies.

Exclusively for Black Diamond Cigar Club Members

  • Save 20% on boxes of event cigars

The Fine & Rare BR12-13 is a limited release 6” torpedo with a ring gauge of 52. The cigar is medium- to full-bodied smoke using ten different blended tobaccos.  The cigar received a rating of 92 from Cigar Aficionado and only 2,000 boxes were produced.

Prensado Lost Art is Alec Bradley’s long awaited follow-up to its 96-rated 2011 Cigar of the Year. It is a rich medium- to full-bodied cigar with a Honduran Corojo wrapper, a dual binder of Nicaraguan and Honduran tobaccos, and fillers blended from the same countries. The Lost Art is available in five vitolas: Robusto (5”x 52), Gran Toro (6¼“x 52), Churchill (7”x 52), Torpedo (6½”x 52), and Double T (6”x 60).

Black Market Esteli is a medium- to full-bodied cigar with a wrapper made of Nicaraguan tobacco, a binder of Nicaraguan and Honduras tobaccos, and the filler is Nicaraguan.  Black Market Esteli is available in five vitolas: Robusto (5”x 52), Toro (6”x 52), Torpedo (6½”x 52), Churchill (7”x 52), and Gordo (6”x 60).

James & Sons Tobacconists is located at 360 Broadway (corner of Phila Street; across from the historic Adelphi Hotel) in Saratoga Springs.