JRE Trip to the Eiroa Family Farm in Honduras

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On Sunday, February 20th the Nelson Loguasto crew arrived for a once in a life time adventure in Honduras to visit the Eiroa family farm and JRE Tobacco facilities.

It was a truly amazing experience. Julio and Justo Eiroa treated us all like family and we learned so much about the process of growing tobacco and making cigars. Also at the tour were other cigar retail shop owners and crew that does a weekly cigar podcast (Smokin’ & Toastin’).

Below are pictures from our journey.

BELOW: After leaving the airport, Justo (far right) took us to lunch and Reed got a chance to meet the brother of the President of Honduras (far left).

BELOW: Our private rooms we stayed at during our visit to the Eiroa family farm.

BELOW: Various photos of the view outside our room and our animal neighbors.

BELOW: The view of the valley from Julio Eiora’s home.

BELOW: The Aladino Eiroa sign near Julio’s pool.

BELOW: The family dining room table we enjoyed our meals at each day with Justo and Julio.

BELOW: A sneak peek of the soon to be released Aladino Connecticut that we enjoyed very much!

BELOW: Loading up into the trucks to travel from the main compound (camp aladino) to the farm (camp corojo).

BELOW: Arriving at the farm (Camp Corojo).

BELOW: In order to protect the corojo crop, cleanliness is important. Here, the tires of the trucks are being disinfected. At the top left of the photo, you’ll see people entering a green building where we would each get disinfected.

BELOW: Justo and Pete discussing the farm.

BELOW: Julio leaving the farm as we entered. He gets up early and checks the farm and factories each day.

BELOW: Justo going over the map of the farm.

BELOW: Reed and Pete checking out the farming equipment.

BELOW: Justo beginning the tour of the farm.

BELOW: Justo showing us how small the tobacco seeds are.

BELOW: We begin by seeing where the corojo tobacco begins its growing cycle.

BELOW: Once ready, the tobacco is transplanted to the fields.

BELOW: Justo pointing out the drip irrigation lines that water the crops.

BELOW: A quick shot of the eucalyptus trees that protect the corojo crops by keeping dangerous diseases and molds away from the fields.

BELOW: Workers picking through the primings of the leaves.

BELOW: Once the leaves are picked, they enter the curing barns where they begin their aging cycle.

BELOW: Reed ‘loves’ the corojo

BELOW: A worker rolls an experimental cameroon leaf around my cigar.

BELOW: Reed inspecting the new cameroon leaf.

BELOW: Workers taking down the leaves from the curing barn to send to the sorting factory.

BELOW: We toured the cigar box making facilities.

BELOW: Sunset of the Jamastran Valley, view from Julio’s pool.

BELOW: Evening fun time with Julio.

BELOW: The second day started with a tour of the sorting facility where the workers sort the tobacco leaves. The best leaves are saved as wrapper leaf, the rest are divided into binder and filler piles.

BELOW: Once sorted, the leaves are piled into pylones where they age for about 18 months.

BELOW: Julio inspecting the leaves in the pylones.

BELOW: This room is where the leaves are stacked on racks where the remaining ammonia in the leaves are allowed to escape before they are bundled up and stored away.

BELOW: Workers using a machine that compress then bundle up the leaves to go into storage for future use.

BELOW: Reed having fun in Julio’s yellow antique car.

BELOW: Workers in the rolling factory.

BELOW: A draw test machine to test the draw of each and every cigar made by JRE.

BELOW: Cigars bundled and resting after being rolled.

BELOW: Pete saddling up for his horse back riding journey.

Charter Oak Cigars by Foundation Cigar

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Last year was a fun journey into discovering Foundation Cigars, but I quickly learned that in order to understand Foundation Cigars, you really needed to learn about its President and CEO, Nicholas Melillo.

About Nicholas Melillo

Nicholas Melillo was an integral part of Drew Estate, being responsible for its purchasing and operations in Nicaragua as well as blending. In 2014, Melillo left Drew Esate. In June of 2015, Melillo announced Foundation Cigar Co. and setup its headquarters in the state of Connecticut, near his hometown roots.

“I am assembling my team in the Connecticut River Valley, home to some of the finest and best broadleaf tobacco in the world. I am from Connecticut, I started smoking cigars with my grandfather here, so to incorporate some of that into what we do is very important for me,” Melillo said.

Foundation Cigar Co.

In July of 2015, Melillo and Foundation Cigar Co. released its debut cigar, The El Gueguense, which translates to The Wise Man. This cigar paid homage to Melillo’s time in Nicaragua, as El Gueguense is a folklore in Nicaraguan culture. The cigar received plenty of awards, honors, and high ratings and instantly solidified Foundation Cigar Co. as a serious cigar producer.

What I enjoy about following Nick Melillo and Foundation Cigar Co. is that Melillo is very tuned into social media. He is very sociable online and always appearing in interviews, youtube videos, etc. It enhances the experience of following the brand.

Charter Oak Cigar

charter oak foundation cigar companyAt the 2016 IPCPR, Foundation Cigar Co. officially promoted its Charter Oak line of cigars, which is actually produced by A.J. Fernandez. The Charter Oak maduro, sports a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper.

“I wanted to choose a name that represents the greatest symbol of my home state of Connecticut, the Charter Oak. I wanted to create an economy-minded, everyday smoke for connoisseurs; something tasty and delicious but didn’t break the bank.” Says Melillo.

According to Wikipedia: The Charter Oak was an unusually large white oak tree growing on Wyllys Hyll in Hartford, Connecticut in the United States, from around the 12th or 13th century until it fell during a storm in 1856. According to tradition, Connecticut’s Royal Charter of 1662 was hidden within the hollow of the tree to thwart its confiscation by the English governor-general. The oak became a symbol of American independence and is commemorated on the Connecticut State Quarter. In 1935, for Connecticut’s tercentennial, it was also depicted on both a commemorative half dollar and a postage stamp.

We initially decided to go with the Charter Oak maduro lonsdale and rothschild sizes at our shop. They immediately became a hit among our local shopper. The cigars are incredibly priced and the Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper is very flavorful. This is a cigar that ages extremely well. It’s has those immense notes of chocolate and coffee complexity, so they always pair great with a coffee or espresso.

Additional Resources:

JRE Tatascan Cigar, A Favorite at Our Cigar Shop

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The Tatascan by JRE Tobacco is a huge hit at the Nelson Loguasto cigar store in Greensburg PA. It just has so many things going right for it. The Tatascan, or the Big Boss, or El Jefe as we like to call it.

First of all, we’re able to offer it at fantastic prices. It’s a perfect morning smoke AKA breakfast cigar. We even have some great, smaller sizes perfect for just that role. The option between the Connecticut or Habano wrapper is nice because you can change it up from time to time. These are milder cigars and perfect entry cigars for beginner smokers. For the more advance smokers, we find a lot of our guys will often start or end their night with a Tatascan.

The JRE Tatascan cigars are available for sale from our website.

JRE Tatascan – The Sweet Tip

And so far, we haven’t even mentioned the sweet tip. The Tatascan by JRE now come with lightly sweetened tips to add to the enjoyment of the cigar. It’s not totally ‘flavored’ like some other cigars, just a bit of sweetening on the tip.

Buy JRE Tatascan today!

JRE Tatascan and The Eiroa Family

We definitely enjoy the experience of the JRE Tatascan, and we love supporting JRE Tobacco. JRE Tobacco is a father and son, family operation in Honduras. Julio Eiroa is the founder of the company and runs the company with his son Justo. This past Christmas, Justo actually visited us for a fun-filled cigar evening. Here are photos below:

justo eiroa jre tatascan

julio eiroa jre tatascan

And here’s a brief video clip of Julio giving a behind the scenes tour from the JRE Tobacco YouTube channel.