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Tips from The Cigar Guys

@TheCigarGuys on TikTok (The Cigar Guys Podcast)

Here why we think you should keep inexpensive, but great cigars inside your humidor at all times. 

Reason number one: if you have a friend that joins you while you’re smoking a cigar, most likely, he or she is going to want to smoke a cigar as well. Maybe they forgot to bring one, didn’t have one already, or weren’t aware you were kicking it like a G. It’s common courtesy to offer a cigar to your guest, especially if you were already planning to smoke one. But cigars can be expensive sometimes, especially if you enjoy quality, premium cigars. That’s why having a bundle of inexpensive cigars, like the Eleven 02 House Blends, would be your best bet for making your guests happy without making your wallet sad. 

Reason number two: Maybe you yourself don’t know what you want to smoke: you’re being indecisive or you just have no idea what you’re in the mood for. Instead of potentially wasting $15-$20 dollars on a cigar you may or may not enjoy, have some quality house blend cigars on stand by. You know they’re reliable and taste great, it’s the safe bet.

Reason number three: If you’re in a rush, you don’t have a lot of time on your hands, grabbing a less expensive, plentiful cigar could be your best bet. You can still smoke your cigar, but you won’t feel too bad if you have to get up and leave suddenly. Reason being is the cigar was only a few dollars and you still have plenty in your humidor.

Reference video:

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HOW TO: Retrohale Cigar Smoke

Man exhaling smoke through his nose, retrohaling.

There’s a special technique that cigar aficionados use to get the most flavor out of their cigars? It’s called retrohaling. Before you smoke your next cigar, make sure you know how to do it properly. Retrohaling is a great skill to learn, but it takes a bit of knowledge and practice to ensure you are doing it correctly. Not to worry, we will show you how it’s done.

What is retrohaling? Essentially, it’s exhaling smoke out through your nose. And no, this does not require inhaling the cigar smoke. Retrohaling is the “second step” to simple cigar smoking. For beginners, the easiest thing to do is exhale most of the cigar smoke through your mouth first to avoid burning your nostrils. Then, with the remaining smoke, swallow (do not inhale) and the smoke will exit through your nose. 

The reason many cigar smokers retrohale is because a majority of the flavor is actually detected through the nose. Just like when it comes to food, the nose plays a huge part in flavor. If you plug your nose while eating a meal, you won’t be able to taste as well as when your nose is unplugged. Your palate is only going to give you the basic flavor profiles, but to experience more flavor, utilize your nose. Retrohaling will bring out more spicier notes, but it also brings out the sweeter side, like notes of hazelnut and cocoa. 

When starting out, we recommend you retrohale only a few times while smoking your cigar. This will help you to not get overwhelmed. Once you’re used to it, retrohaling comes more naturally and you can practice it more and more. Don’t stress about trying to retrohale with every puff, most cigar smokers do it occasionally throughout the cigar. Utilizing this new skill will allow you to enjoy more hidden flavors when smoking cigars.

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Article by Ash Quarterly

Original article found here:

The Dragon of Albania.

man holding a box of albanian cigars

I was uncharacteristically late meeting the gentlemen of 1102 Cigars. When I arrived, Zach and Alex were joyfully tipping back old-fashioned’s. Executive Cigar is the ideal environment for having a cordial conversation, and we got into their origin story without hesitation. Brothers Zach and Mark teamed up with a college friend, Alex, to form the company. Mark could not join us to talk about their freshman effort, Besa. The manufacturer, who will remain a secret for now,

suggested that they should white label an existing cigar. Still, 1102 insisted on choosing their blend and worked through several iterations before they got precisely what they had in mind. The result is not trivial, considering they have only been smoking cigars for four years.

The trio has established a high standard for quality, as demonstrated by Besa’s dynamic and complex flavor profile, which has an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper and an Ecuadorian Sumatra binder. The filler is Nicaraguan and Dominican. The first third emanates Cedar and general woodiness with white pepper that finishes quickly. The second third opens up with a buttery hazelnut and baker’s chocolate. The cedar and pepper notes are everpresent.

Overall the cigar is medium-bodied with an absence of intensity. The draw is ideal, and the smoke production is generous. In my opinion, Besa is best paired with a Mint Julip, Moscow Mule, or Pimm’s Cup.

The name Besa was chosen for the Albanian code of Honor, which demands that one must keep his promises regardless of personal cost. Besa, as practiced, solidifies a deep fraternal bond that has allowed the Albanian people to survive countless hardships, invasions, and political upheavals. 1102 also furnished the label with a portrait of Skanderbeg, a famed General, and national hero. The label is replete with Symbols imbued with meaning to the Albanian people. They are a conduit to the mental and spiritual architecture of shared culture. Besa provides an opportunity to explore the human condition that has developed within broader political, social, cultural, and religious contexts. There is a seductive quality to Skanderbeg’s story. The tales of high adventure are full of intrigue, double-crosses, shifting power structures, and heroic battles. That being said, one should be cautious when drawing hard and fast conclusions based on a surface-level analysis of any story, regardless of how it makes one feel. Historical narratives present a genuine danger because of their tremendous emotional significance. So often, political parties and religious institutions use them as brutal means to a tragic end. The past rarely tells us how to navigate the present because the zeitgeist is not similar enough to have an exact historical analogy. None of the historical minutiae is present in 1102’s celebration of Skanderbeg or Besa.

To some degree, all generations feel lost or unable to voice a collective restlessness. Symbolic representations of shared experiences can open the way to powerful explorations of that anxiety and lead to therapeutic encounters. I sense that the unease and restlessness felt by millennials is the deconstruction of objective truth to condemn Metanarritives as “structures of power” meant to legitimize claims of the dominant paradigm. Skanderbeg’s proud visage on Besa’s label is an antidote to the abyss of post-modernism. That is to say, the trio of 1102 is proud of Albanians, led by Skanderbeg, because they reclaimed their birthright from the Ottoman empire on September 2nd, 1457.

On a side note, our confab about history was punctuated by Daniella, a lovely bartender with magnetic charm, who gracefully joined the conversation and replenished our drinks. Our captivating encounter with Danella was the perfect intermission that realigned the discussion. When the cigar was exhausted and our knuckles burnt, we shared every bit of news or rumor in the cigar community. I wholeheartedly recommend you seek out Besa. To find participating retailers, you can visit

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Jefe Cigar, Whiskey, & Wine Fest


The Eleven 02 Cigars team will be one of the many boutique vendors at the Jefe Cigar Event at Lake Eola Park.

General Admission tickets are on sale now for $30. You’ll have access to 40+ cigar, whiskey, beer, and wine vendors. Enjoy free samples and access to sweet deals from your favorite brands.

VIP – Get access to the ULTRA VIP Tents and get a Swag Bag (Bottle of Whiskey, 20 Cigars, Shirts, Gift Cards, Gifts $400 value), Couches, ANS, Luxury Bathroom Unit, Premium Catered Food, Champagne, and High-End Spirits and more! ULTRA VIP Tickets are $250.

Jefe Cigar Festival is dedicated to supporting local charities. A portion of all ticket sales will be donated to OFD Hockey Club.

Be sure to get your tickets now: Jefe Cigar Whiskey & Wine Fest 2022 Tickets, Sat, Sep 10, 2022 at 6:00 PM | Eventbrite