Blue Havana II Cigars & Gifts

News, Events and Other Random Thoughts

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Blue Havana II Press Release

May 7th, 2008 · Comments Off

BLUE HAVANA II Cigars & Gifts

6320 Atlanta Highway Suite 8

Alpharetta, GA  30004

Press Release

Contact: Jim Luftman

Phone: (678) 867-2886


May 5, 2008

Jim Luftman achieves certified retail tobacconist status

ALPHARETTA, GA, May 5, 2008: Blue Havana II Cigars & Gifts and Tobacconist University announce that Jim Luftman, owner of Blue Havana II Cigars & Gifts, has successfully completed the curriculum, and passed the examination, to become a Certified Retail Tobacconist.  Under development for over ten years, Jim is one of the first retail tobacconists nationwide to successfully complete this course.  Jorge Armenteros, president and founder of Tobacconist University, expects several hundred tobacconists to attend the online university by the end of 2009.


Tobacconist University provides free educational resources for consumers and professional tobacconists.  The academic curriculum is an open-source model where credible luxury tobacco industry members can contribute their knowledge, experience, and wisdom.  Tobacconist University academic curriculum is absolutely free to everyone.  Their vision is to set and support the highest standards of excellence in product knowledge, appreciation, and professionalism throughout the luxury tobacco industry.  In that process, they create value for consumers, retailers, sales forces, and manufacturers while enhancing relationships, service, professionalism, credibility, and opportunities for the whole industry.  Above all, Tobacconist University is preserving the luxury tobacco industry for generations to come.



Blue Havana II Cigars & Gifts is the premier destination for cigar aficionados in the Alpharetta, Milton and South Forsyth County area. Their 250 sq ft humidor is stocked with a great selection of premium cigars and high quality accessories for the cigar smoker. Blue Havana II features a comfortable cigar lounge offering free Wireless Internet Access, two High Definition Satellite TVs, a game table and a small conference room for our customers. Blue Havana II Cigars & Gifts is located in the Village at Crooked Creek (1/2 mi S of McFarland Pkwy), 6320 Atlanta Highway Suite 8, Alpharetta. 678-867-2886


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Postman 5/6/08

May 7th, 2008 · Comments Off

I think UPS and FedEx may be mad at me today…. I’ve made them work awfully hard!  Here are some highlights of what came in:

  • Miami Cigar – Don Lino 1989 Maduro
  • Don Pepin Garcia – backstock for our May 23rd event including the DPG Series JJ Maduro
  • Ashton – Classics and VSGs!
  • Perdomo – Habano Maduro and Corojo

Comments OffTags: The Postman's Report

Postman – 5/5/08

May 5th, 2008 · Comments Off

It’s been a pretty exciting day opening packages today.  Look what the postman brought!

  • La Aurora Barrel Aged
  • Camacho Signature Blends Travel Case
  • Rocky Patel Lancero Sampler

Comments OffTags: The Postman's Report

Measuring Cigars

May 2nd, 2008 · Comments Off

A cigar is measured by length and ring gauge (diameter). The length is measured in inches. The ring gauge is measured in units of 1/64th of an inch. A 64-ring cigar would be one inch in diameter. Most cigars are between 32 and 52-ring size. For example, a cigar that is called “8 x 48″ is 8 inches long and 48/64ths of an inch in diameter. The girth determines how much of the cigar’s burning tip is exposed to air. The fatter the cigar, the slower and cooler a cigar smokes because more of the filler is exposed to air. The shape is the length balanced with a particular ring gauge.

Comments OffTags: Cigar 101

From the Postman – 5/2/08

May 2nd, 2008 · Comments Off

La Flor Dominicana came in today:

  • Cameroon Cabinets
  • L300s, L400s
  • DL250 Oscuro, DL700 and the new DL654s!
  • Coronados

Comments OffTags: The Postman's Report

Postman – 5/1/08

May 2nd, 2008 · Comments Off

The UPS guy stopped by with a box from Camacho:

  • Baccarat
  • La Fontana
  • Camacho Triple Maduro
  • Camacho Corojo

It’s the beginning of the month and I expect more packages in the coming week!

Comments OffTags: The Postman's Report

May 2008 Newsletter

May 1st, 2008 · Comments Off

Thank you to the following folks for some great events last month!

    • Rick Ardito and Drew Estate Cigars
    • Jeff Tinnell and CAO Cigars
    • Area BOTLs (Brothers of the Leaf) from
    • Harp II Irish Pub

Website Redesign

Check out and see our new and improved look!  Be sure to check out our blog.  Thanks to Debbi from Virtual Goldmine Graphics for our new design.

Country Club Update

Blue Havana II Cigars in now the cigar supplier at three area country clubs!

  • Georgia Tech Club at Echelon
  • Polo Golf and Country Club
  • The Manor Golf and Country Club

If you are a member at one of these clubs and want a specific cigar stocked there, let them know.  If you know of a country club in need of premium cigars, let me know!

May Calendar of Events (click here for our online interactive calendar)

Color KeyPromotion
Cigar Event
On The Tube
Offsite Event

May 2 – 12pm-6pm: TGIF – 20% off all cigars smoked in the lounge

May 3 – 10am-6pm: Bikers’ Dream 12th Anniversary Party – Come enjoy LIVE music, food, vendors, door prizes, and much more!!! Bikers Dream of Atlanta, 5960 Atlanta Highway, Alpharetta, GA 30004

May 3 – 7pm-?: NASCAR SPRINT CUP Crown Royal Presents the Dan Lowry 400 @ Richmond International Raceway

May 5 – Cinco de Mayo – Celebrate the Mexican Revolution with chips and salsa here while you enjoy a smoke.  Visit our neighbor, Tocayo’s Mexican Resturant, for some great food and margueritas!

May 6 – National Teachers Day – All teachers receive a free cigar with our appreciation

May 9 – 12pm-6pm: TGIF – 20% off all cigars smoked in the lounge

May 10 – 7pm-?: NASCAR SPRINT CUP Dodge Challenger 500 Darlington Raceway

May 11 – Mother’s Day  – All mothers receive a free cigar with our appreciation


May 12 – International Nurses Day – All nurses receive a free cigar with our appreciation

May 16 – 12pm-6pm: TGIF – 20% off all cigars smoked in the lounge

May 17 – Armed Forces Day – All members of the armed forces receive a free cigar with our appreciation

May 17 – 7pm-?: NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race Lowe’s Motor Speedway

May 23 – 4pm-10pm: Don Pepin Garcia Cigars Rolling Event – Join us for a very special event, as we welcome a Factory Roller from the El Rey de los Habanos factory in Miami.  Al always we will have Buy 3 Get 1 Free Specials, Hourly Raffles and Food catered by From Havana To U.  This is a DONT MISS event!

May 25 – 12pm-2pm: FORMULA 1 GRAND PRIX DE MONACO (Monte Carlo)

May 25 – 12pm-?: Indianapolis 500

May 25 – 5pm-?: NASCAR SPRINT CUP Coca-Cola 600 Lowe’s Motor Speedway

May 30 – 12pm-6pm: TGIF – 20% off all cigars smoked in the lounge


Cigar Review by Brian Hewitt – The Griffin’s Maduro Toro

Cigar Stats:
Size: 6 1/4 x 52
Wrapper: Connecticut
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: Dominican Republic
Smoking Time: 2 hours 
Price: ~$8.80 

The Pre-Smoke
It’ll be honest, it took me a little while to figure out just which vitola this cigar was. It’s a toro, but it has a head that makes it looks like it might be a belicoso. Rest assured though, there is no Griffin’s belicoso. With that initial mystery of the cigar solved, I began my inspection. Right off the bat I noticed something that made me very happy. The fairly straight forward white band was nicely loose on the cigar. Not loose enough that it would fall off, but loose enough to make remove incredibly easy. Without having even taken a cold taste yet, I was developing warm, fuzzy feelings for the cigar.

As I checked out the wrapper, I noticed a couple of superficial holes in the wrapper of one of the cigars, and large veins in both. The wrapper itself was a rustic, mottled-looking maduro color, alternating between black and dark brown shades. The wrapper had the scent of a pile of freshly raked leaves. It’s interesting how scent can form strong ties to memories, because this aroma almost gave me a flash back.

The Burn
The story here is a bit different between the two cigars I smoked for this review. There clearly was a flawed cigar and a normal one, and the difference first presented itself in the burn. The flawed cigar initially had a draw that was a little too tight in the beginning, and actually produced some tar toward the end of the first third. After wiping and reclipping, the draw opened up and the tar went into remission until the final third. I also noticed this stick had a flakier ash than the second unflawed cigar.

There isn’t too much to say about the unflawed cigar. No tar, no draw issues, solid white ash and a good burn line. It was exactly what you would expect from a good cigar.

The Flavor
Based on what you already know about the burn, you suspect that the flavors differed in the cigars I smoked. You’re absolutely right. The funny thing is that I actually enjoyed the flavors in the flawed cigar more than the normal burning one. When the tar wasn’t present, that is.

The flawed cigar was had more of a mild but rich cocoa and coffee that was slightly sweet in the first third, while I found the normal cigar to have more earthy and rich tobacco flavors with a little bit of creaminess. In both cigars, I was impressed with how cool and smooth the smoke was.

The second third remained cool but unfortunately the flawed cigar developed it’s first bubbles of tar which were not pleasant before returning to the rich cocoa flavors that were present in the first third. The normal cigar took on a savory, almost beef jerky flavor which was actually pretty enjoyable. Some of the same cocoa elements were present in this third also.

The final third was moved up into the medium fullness range and I got a bit of chocolate, some sweetness and a faint bit of coconut. The flawed cigar had a reappearance of the tar flavor (but no visible tar), followed by the a savory fuller flavor.

The Price
For a cigar produced by Davidoff, I was a little surprised that this cigar comes in well under the $10 mark. I don’t have any complaints about the price, but I think it’s just high enough to put it in that one-a-week range for most people.

The Verdict
In spite of the flaws of the one cigar, I enjoyed The Griffin’s Toro Maduro. I wouldn’t say it’s a very complex or varied cigar. Right up front you’ll have a good feeling for whether or not you’ll enjoy the cigar, because it remains pretty constant throughout. Fortunately for me, I enjoyed the flavors, both times. I also really enjoyed the coolness of the smoke for the first two thirds. For some reason that aspect of the experience really stood out. Because of the overall mildness, I’d recommend this as a good cigar to pair with your morning coffee.


Liked It: Yes
Buy It Again: Maybe
Recommend It: Yes









New in the Humidor


  • Los Blancos
  • La Aurora Barrel Aged


Monthly Specials

  • All DREW ESTATE CIGARS – 10% off singles, 20% off boxes
  • All CAO CIGARS – 10% off singles, 20% off boxes
  • La Tee Da! Effusion Lamps – 20% off (great Mother’s Day gift)


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Postman – 4/29/08

April 30th, 2008 · Comments Off

Got a couple of small boxes today (end of the month is easy on the UPS guy!)

  • Oliva Serie V
  • Fuente Short Story, Flor Fina 8-5-8, Chateau Fuente

Comments OffTags: The Postman's Report

Fridays at Blue Havana II

April 29th, 2008 · Comments Off


Every Friday from noon till 6pm (when there is not an event) all cigars smoked in our lounge are 20% off!

Come unwind after a long week, make some new friends and enjoy your favorite cigar.

Comments OffTags: Blue Havana II Events

Construction – The Parts of a Cigar

April 26th, 2008 · Comments Off

Wrapper - The wrapper is the outside layer of tobacco on a cigar. It gives a cigar one of its primary flavor components. Wrappers are usually very high quality leaves, and are available in colors ranging from double claro, the lightest to Oscuro, the darkest. Wrappers are very important to the taste of a fine cigar.

BinderBinder leaves are the intermediate leaf used to hold the bunch of filler tobacco together. These vary considerably from one manufacturer to the next.

Filler - Filler is the bunch of tobacco found at the center of the cigar. Generally the filler is responsible for determining how strong a cigar will smoke. There are two types of filler: long filler, which contains the whole leaf running from the head to the foot of the cigar, and short filler, comprised of scraps of tobacco (often the trimmed ends of long fillers).

The blending of wrappers, fillers and binders determines the overall flavor of a cigar. There is an art to blending tobaccos and as you smoke different cigars, you will notice how the various tobaccos interplay with one another.

Comments OffTags: Cigar 101