My Hoops Madness Final Four Stogies!

March 31, 2016

If you happen to be a fan of college basketball, then it’s a real good bet that for the last couple of weeks you were glued to your flat screen binge watching the March ritual of Hoops Madness simultaneously playing out on three separate cable channels.

Well, finally after endless hours of little sleep,(and a lot of swearing), this weekend brings the arrival of the Final Four, a prelude to see which two teams will be vying for this year’s top spot in collegiate history. Having smoked a different stick for just about every game watched, I’ve carefully chosen the four stogies that I found the most enjoyable during this tournament. Honestly, with so many favorites resting in my humidor, it is virtually impossible to pick four that I like the most, so to make things easier, I’m going to limit these outstanding selections to NEW brands made exclusively for yours truly- JR Cigar.

Coming in at the #1 spot is the popular Black Lion Maduro by La Aurora. Made by the oldest manufacturer in the Dominican Republic, these black beauties employ the very best aged Dominican long filler tobaccos, a zesty Brazilian binder, and a delectable dark and oily triple-fermented Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper.  Medium to full bodied in strength, these slow burning stogies will really offer a slam-dunk of decadent notes that include black cherry, chocolate, espresso, leather, and honey.

Joining the Black Lion Maduro in the second slot is the top-quality Black Abyss Cigar. Although not a real newcomer, this tasty smoke will give any stick in your bracket a real run for the money, especially since it is so darn affordable! Attentively crafted by Jose Blanco—aka Jochy—the famous cigar master that bought us the highly rated Ether, and Aging Room, this full-bodied gem is a pure delight to smoke.

This well-aged roster includes a silky chocolate brown Mexican San Andrés wrapper, a Corojo binder, and all-Cuban seed Criollo filler from the Dominican Republic.  With a tapestry of bold woodsy notes, and subtle hints of earth, coffee, and cinnamon you can rest assured that these gems will definitely come through in the clutch!


Hailing from the Southern State of Florida, Robert Caldwell is certainly no slouch when it comes to making great tasting premium cigars, and this year’s surprise entry is his new Funfetti Cigars. Barring the peculiar name, this is actually a serious boutique offering with enough complexity to hoist the winning trophy. With just one size,  a 5 × 50 Robusto, this brand lacks the deep roster of its other three competitors, but its medium to full-bodied character and tasty notes of spice, leather, earth, nutmeg, and a sweet creamy finish, may just make it the upset of the season.

Pairing evenly with Funfetti is a smoke that remains very cool under pressure – the super-premium Rocky Patel Ice Cigar. No rookie to the big dance, Rocky has created one top-rated stick after another throughout the years, and this beauty is one of his latest winners!

Ice come to you with the finest selection of aged Nicaraguan binder and filler tobaccos sitting underneath a stunning and delicious reddish brown Habano wrapper. Woodsy in nature with bold notes of earth, cedar, oak, nuts, and soft spice, this medium-bodied stogie will more than hold its own right down to the final buzzer!

Whatever smokes you consider your favorite, be sure to have them on hand for this weekend’s Final Four, and the exciting Monday night championship game. Just be sure not toss it across the room if your team loses!


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