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Old 04-30-2020, 08:27 AM   #1
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Default Cigar Federation

OK, Cigar Federation is not a place I have done business with in the past. It appears to me that they are an outlet for a lot of "boutique" cigars. That's cool.

I am curious about them, but skeptical at the same time. Why? Let me 'splain...

I lived the cigar boom of the mid-late 1990s and there were all sorts of cigars that came on the market. They would get what tobacco they could find (often the stuff that the long-time houses had rejected), and then they would put together their "you've-never-had-a-cigar-this-good" blend, sell it a outrageous prices, and people would buy it.

Yes, there are more educated smokers today - and I'd like to think that those here (myself included) are among that list! But is it possible that the right wording may even hoodwink the wary? They do call it marketing so that people buy things - sometimes things they do not even need.

So, yeah, I am a bit leery.

Anyway, somehow I got onto their email list... I have been seeing them advertise new things coming in on a regular basis. And, as I said somewhere else, a lot of the newer stuff I have not tried. I have dipped my toes in the water in that regard thanks to a couple packages I received in the last couple months.

So, talk to me about Cigar Federation's blends that they are exclusive to them. Anything I should seriously consider if I see it?
Something I should avoid?

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Old 04-30-2020, 09:43 AM   #2
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Talking Re: Cigar Federation

Okay well for starters, I found an article that should help shed a little light on the background of Cigar Federation:

https://cigarnoise.com/ezra-zion-cig...ar-federation/

It would be misleading for me to say much about them before that acquisition though because I've only in recent years begun shopping at Cigar Federation. If I remember correctly, it was Weelock here at this forum that first sent me a cigar from that company and I remember it being so good that I made it a point to check more of their stuff out.

As far as their sourcing of tobacco, I honestly have no idea..I mean, if you read the page for each individual cigar they sell, they usually give a pretty decent back story for most of them, usually listing the types of leaf that goes in to the cigar, and sometimes even where specifically the leaves came from. But then, imho Cigar Federation also has a tendency to...embellish just how good some of their cigars are in their descriptions.

That said - I would say that about 70% of the time, those descriptions are pretty accurate because they have a *lot* of really really tasty cigars. I've really only had a couple cigars from them that I wasn't impressed with, and most of the time that was only because the cigars didn't have a strong enough body for my taste and that I think is just a matter of preference.

One of the good things I've found about them is that they have a lot of cigars that perform well above their price range, the Mexican Hot Chocolate being one that comes to mind.

With all that considered, for me, I'm not as concerned about where the leaves come from (provided it's not stolen or previously used as toilet paper) so long as I truly enjoy the cigar. I'm aware of some companies using unwanted/leftover tobacco and then labeling it as boutique but generally that's why I never buy more than a 5er of an expensive cigar so I can determine for myself whether it's worth the price before buying boxes.

Anyway, that's just been my experience and I'm sure others are different, but that's a really good question Todd and I'll be curious to see what others have to say in this thread about Cigar Federation!

P.S. their Leche de Mama line is one of my absolute favorite NCs, I always buy up as many as I can when they are in stock and recommend them to everyone that will listen!
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Old 04-30-2020, 11:10 AM   #3
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Default Re: Cigar Federation

Todd, I feel ya. But like Michael mentioned, the few of their cigars I’ve tried have been tasty. But hard to drop the money on an something you’ve yet to try.

I’ve been looking at their monthly sampler as a way of trying some of their offerings.
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Old 04-30-2020, 12:01 PM   #4
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Default Re: Cigar Federation

I order occasionally from Cigar Federation or the related Ezra Zion. I’ve never gotten a bad cigar from them. But, I also have never gotten a cigar that truly lived up to the hype and price. I guess the over the top ad copy triggers my cynicism and I end up wondering if I got taken somehow. So, once in a while, I indulge my curiosity and buy a fiver. Who knows, maybe this is the cigar that will redefine the meaning of cigars as we know them?
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Old 04-30-2020, 02:08 PM   #5
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Default Re: Cigar Federation

The over-the-top hype on each release is an Ezra Zion (EZ) trademark. Before Cigar Federation (CF) was acquired by them, CF sold mostly boutique cigars and had their own line of exclusive cigars and limited releases (ex., the Color Project), and many of them were quite good. EZ never sold any cigars except their own regular release lines and the occasional ultra-limited release (which usually numbered in the low hundreds of cigars), and many of these were quite good, and a few were even spectacular. But the EZ marketing tactic was always the over-the-top hype speckled with lots of BS. Since their limited releases were so few (maybe 4-5 a year), the marketing emails and hype was infrequent, and unobtrusive. But as their fanboy club grew, the price on their offerings started to jump up by $10 per 5 pack, so I bought fewer and fewer. I've smoked some great EZ cigars, and I've sold many that were disappointing after I bought them.

Now that EZ owns CF (and Nomad Cigars, too), the bombardment of emails all proclaiming that each cigar "is the best one ever made", "an ultra-limited, micro-batch" and "you gotta buy them now, these will sell out" becomes less and less believable with each email they send. I used to be a frequent customer of both sites, and now I won't even open their emails most days because I know it will be its "fake cigar news". Oh, and some of the limited run releases supposed to be limited in number, never to be made again . . . well now they are made again and not so exclusive or limited. Heck, as I go through my emails, I see there have been 5 "ultra-limited, micro batch" cigars released since April 27!
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Old 04-30-2020, 02:35 PM   #6
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Default Re: Cigar Federation

Here is the latest from CF... I got their note that Stolen Throne is back in stock. I clicked the link, and here is what I found. Highlights mine. While I have not had this particular stick yet, this hype is a bit over the top for me.

**CIGAR FEDERATION EXCLUSIVE!!*

This is a momentous day! STOLEN THRONE IS BACK IN STOCK!

Stolen Throne launched last year and fast become the fastest growing and most popular new brand in the industry! They've been working with master blender Noel Rojas in Texas to create cigars that are truly phenomenal! (If you've smoked one, you understand how insanely good they are!)
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Old 04-30-2020, 02:56 PM   #7
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Default Re: Cigar Federation

Quote:
Originally Posted by RevSmoke View Post
Here is the latest from CF... I got their note that Stolen Throne is back in stock. I clicked the link, and here is what I found. Highlights mine. While I have not had this particular stick yet, this hype is a bit over the top for me.

**CIGAR FEDERATION EXCLUSIVE!!*

This is a momentous day! STOLEN THRONE IS BACK IN STOCK!

Stolen Throne launched last year and fast become the fastest growing and most popular new brand in the industry! They've been working with master blender Noel Rojas in Texas to create cigars that are truly phenomenal! (If you've smoked one, you understand how insanely good they are!)
Heh. Yeah that's a perfect example of their emphatic/over the top marketing
But imo, despite the excessive exclamation points and hype, Stolen Throne Crook of the Crown is an excellent cigar at the end of the day. Easily the strongest Maduro I've smoked in the last year and packed with flavor. Planning to buy 20+ more if I can just find them in stock during a sale.

But yeah some of their stuff is hit or miss - and I agree, they write about each one like it's the best cigar ever created so I definitely understand the hesitation. I've always found that it pays to look up more than 1 review for a given cigar and/or look for feedback here at the Asylum.
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Old 04-30-2020, 04:48 PM   #8
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Default Re: Cigar Federation

Quote:
Originally Posted by RevSmoke View Post
H
Stolen Throne launched last year and fast become the fastest growing and most popular new brand in the industry!
Never even heard of 'em.
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Old 05-01-2020, 07:44 AM   #9
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Default Re: Cigar Federation

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Never even heard of 'em.
My point!
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Old 05-01-2020, 10:09 AM   #10
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Default Re: Cigar Federation

Good grief guys, you are killing me. So many cigars at cigar federation and as luck would have it, you've picked one of the best cigars I've smoked from them as an example.

I maintain that the Crook of the Crown is a great cigar, I have a few left and if you guys want to try for yourself, pm me and I'll send one as proof. I don't care if they say they've hired Oscar the Grouch as blender and Elmo as head of marketing, a good cigar is a good cigar.
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Old 05-01-2020, 04:38 PM   #11
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Default Re: Cigar Federation

I love CigarFed but I don’t love all their cigars but they do have some very nice hits imho to my palate.

I don’t get spun up on marketing as I see it no different from Cigar International and it reminds me of the good old early CI, JR, and Rocky spats.

CigarFed is Ezra Zion so if you like EZ, then you will like Cigar Fed.

I didn’t buy the Stolen Throne but it’s not exclusive to CigarFed. I didn’t get it as generally anything Indonesian is a non-starter with me.

Based upon gomeitsmybday endorsement, think I will pick up a 10 pack and it’s only because of a brother on this forum has tried the cigar or I just would not bother. Too many damn good cigars to try.

I did look up some alternate information on the cigar and found this review.

https://kohnhed.com/2019/06/10/stole...by-the-katman/

Is CigarFed boutiques over priced? They sell out as they are small batches so that means they are not over priced.

Is CigarFed exclusives a good value? I would say generally no as you are paying for a small lot tobacco which does not benefit from volume breaks and I wouldn’t say you can’t get cheaper better to your palate but if variety and something different is a value to you, then CigarFed cigars are a good value.
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Old 05-01-2020, 05:58 PM   #12
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Default Re: Cigar Federation

Modify above, can get cheaper, not can’t. Sheesh
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Old 05-01-2020, 07:20 PM   #13
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Default Re: Cigar Federation

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Originally Posted by Weelok View Post
Based upon gomeitsmybday endorsement, think I will pick up a 10 pack and itís only because of a brother on this forum has tried the cigar or I just would not bother.
Dave hold off on that order!! I just remembered I added a Crook of the Crown to the sampler I just sent, so you can smoke it before deciding to buy.
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Old 05-01-2020, 08:13 PM   #14
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Default Re: Cigar Federation

Quote:
Originally Posted by gomeitsmybday View Post
Dave hold off on that order!! I just remembered I added a Crook of the Crown to the sampler I just sent, so you can smoke it before deciding to buy.
Firing it up now!
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Old 05-01-2020, 08:25 PM   #15
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Default Re: Cigar Federation

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Originally Posted by Weelok View Post
Modify above, can get cheaper, not canít. Sheesh
Hell, I guess I said it correctly originally but unnecessarily confusing. If I confuse myself, well, other normal people should be fine.....
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Old 05-01-2020, 08:25 PM   #16
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Default Re: Cigar Federation

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Originally Posted by gomeitsmybday View Post
Good grief guys, you are killing me. So many cigars at cigar federation and as luck would have it, you've picked one of the best cigars I've smoked from them as an example.

I maintain that the Crook of the Crown is a great cigar, I have a few left and if you guys want to try for yourself, pm me and I'll send one as proof. I don't care if they say they've hired Oscar the Grouch as blender and Elmo as head of marketing, a good cigar is a good cigar.
I am not saying they are not good cigars, I just am laughing at the hype.

And, I am wondering if some of their "exclusives" are all worth the price of admission.

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Old 05-01-2020, 11:45 PM   #17
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Default Re: Cigar Federation

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Originally Posted by gomeitsmybday View Post
Dave hold off on that order!! I just remembered I added a Crook of the Crown to the sampler I just sent, so you can smoke it before deciding to buy.
Well, I finished the Crook of the Crown and Iím super grateful you sent me one to try. The cigar has a lot of good flavors with nuts, leather, wood, and a hint of sweet cocoa the Indonesian tobacco characteristic of dry finish was strong and that is typical of what I experience in Indonesian tobacco.

In retrospect, I would not pull the trigger on a purchase just due to the strong dry mouth finish. I donít mind a bit of that but even with a beer it was making my mouth dry.

So far, the Steel is a definite buy and the Cowboy is a five pack buy as itís STRONG! Well, off topic so nuff said. Another thread.
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Old 05-02-2020, 06:56 AM   #18
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Default Re: Cigar Federation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Weelok View Post
Well, I finished the Crook of the Crown and Iím super grateful you sent me one to try. The cigar has a lot of good flavors with nuts, leather, wood, and a hint of sweet cocoa the Indonesian tobacco characteristic of dry finish was strong and that is typical of what I experience in Indonesian tobacco.
Fair review, I don't particularly mind the drier finish, but then I also don't mind a beverage that has a dry finish either, so more a matter of taste I believe! I'm hoping to grab more because I think they have some good potential for aging. Glad you managed to see that before getting a 10 pack.

@ Todd I totally agree, the marketing is certainly almost comical at times
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Old 05-06-2020, 03:20 PM   #19
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Default Re: Cigar Federation

OK, I just received my first order from here... (I know, I am supposed to be up north, but nobody wanted to cover my service for me - nor do the Zoom Catechesis with my youth, so I came back for part of the day.)

Anyway, they look like nice cigars, but we will see what they taste like. I had gone over to get some Mexican Tacos(?), Red Hot Choke Me Peppers(?), Mexican Hot Chocolate(?), or whatever they are called, just to try them. Well, when I got there they were sold out. So, I figured what else should I try? I remember someone here liking the Whipped Cream, so I put a 5er in the cart, looked around for other things and ended up with some Jimi (or was it just, HendriX) in the cart.

I just realized why the 'schtick' at CF is familiar, it sounds like Lew Rothman of the old JRCigar magazine days.

HendriX
as described...
We're extremely excited to offer you the newest Factory Direct Boutique exclusive...HendriX.

Backstory: A few months ago, I was smoking with a buddy in the cigar industry. His brand is one of the most popular boutique brands in the world...with the rating and awards to prove it!

He gives me this cigar and tells me to try it. As I'm lighting it up he says "This cigar was gonna be the top price point cigar in our portfolio. MSRP was gonna be $15. But we decided to use a little bit different wrapper, so now we have a few bundles of these to smoke ourselves."

After smoking it for a few minutes (and LOVING it!) I told him, "I've got to have these for the FedHeads! This blend is so smooth and so rich. People will go as crazy for this blend as I am!"

After a little arm twisting...he finally agreed!


I also got Whipped Cream
The hype on this one was:

**NEW AND IMPROVED BLEND!**

The Factory Direct Boutique releases just keep getting better and better and better!

I'm just gonna flat-out say it. Whipped Cream should be a $10 cigar. Period!

The tobacco used in this baby and the Class 7 cuban rollers that handmade Whipped Cream are some of the best we've ever worked with.

And it shows in the cigar! Like, BIG TIME!

Whipped Cream is RIDICULOUSLY tasty! It will probably induce you to mutter a little profanity to yourself because of how amazing the flavors are when you first light it up. (You know what I'm talking about. We've all done it.)


Well, they both went into the freezer. I will have to review them later and let you know what I think. Considering the hype, they better seriously deliver. I will be honest, no matter what!

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Old 05-06-2020, 04:36 PM   #20
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Default Re: Cigar Federation

I agree that the schtick is reminiscent of Lew’s old line of BS. I used to enjoy reading his catalogs! But, if you read Lew’s copy for a while, you could tell what he thought was really good and what was just being sold. I haven’t been able to pick that up with Cigarfed. Maybe I’ve gotten denser in my old age?
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