Cigar review of Brick House, J.C. Newman Cigar Company, New York outdoor smoking ban

Brick House

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Let's ban outdoor smoking next...not!

Many of you may be aware of a proposed outdoor smoking ban in New York City. The topic was raised in an editorial in the November/December 2010 issue of Cigar Aficionado magazine. I want to add my voice to the mix on the general topic of Outdoor Tobacco Smoke (OTS), and the too-far-reaching bans that have been implemented, or are being considered.

New York City may implement a smoking ban for all parks and city-controlled outdoor spaces. New York is reportedly citing a somewhat vague study from 2007 that states there is a "lack of empirical data on outdoor smoke levels." However the study does conclude that, "it is possible for OTS to present a nuisance or a hazard under certain conditions of wind and smoker proximity." It is on this study that the Anti-Smoking-Nazis of New York City seem to be basing their case.

Now, I have stated before (and I firmly believe) that smokers need to be mindful of their smoke; and I acknowledge the potential hazards that smoke can cause individuals who are exposed to it in certain indoor spaces. I will even go so far as to say that I am not completely opposed to certain legislation aimed at addressing it.

While it is bad enough that legislation in some cities has all but killed the concept of a cigar bar -- but banning smoking on public golf courses and city parks is going way too far! For starters, the study upon which New York is basing the legislation does not appear to have any scientific basis for its conclusions. Phrases like "lack of empirical data," and "it is possible to present a nuisance" do not provide clear-cut evidence of a hazard. Not even close! Cigar Aficionado points to a critique of the study and cites some interesting data points.

First, a non-smoker would have to be within 18 inches and downwind of a smoker to experience exposure that might approach levels of smoke found in an indoors space. Second, if the non-smoker is downwind, the exposure to second hand smoke is virtually zero! So, unless you are planning on kissing me, downwind, while I am smoking, there is no real issue. If not, please shuffle your feet a couple of steps away from me, or better yet, position yourself upwind from me and breathe easy! Is that asking too much of your fellow human being here in the land of the free? Maybe so.

So, stop at your local park or public golf course, fire one up and – let's get smoking! You may not have that same right tomorrow.

Cigar Review:

Brick House

Wrapper: Nicaragua-grown Havana Subido
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Size: 6 inched by 52 ring gauge
Price: $6

Oliva O MaduroThe J.C. Newman Cigar Company is America's oldest family-owned premium cigar maker. The Brick House brand was an early cigar brand for the company. The original was a Cuban cigar, and the re-launch of the brand is composed of Nicaraguan tobaccos.


I was just hanging out on a sunny, but cool autumn day on the side porch, the propane heater on low to keep the chill away. I was prepping the cigar for a smoke with my Colibri double guillotine cutter, while finishing the last couple of sips of my coffee.

Look and feel

This cigar is what I would call a value cigar, a good cigar for a fair, reasonable price. I do not expect perfection in a value cigar and the Brick House, though it was not perfect, did appear to be solidly manufactured and felt balanced in the hand. I did note that the cap application was a little sloppy, but it would have no impact at all on the tobacco quality or the smoke itself – so I wasn't overly concerned. The wrapper itself had some natural oils evident, but it did not seem to look like anything special.

Aroma and Taste

I found the Brick House to have some woody notes, cedar and oak most notably; occasionally some sweetness was also evident, but it was always complementary and never anything too sweet. I thought it burned admirably and I don't recall having to touch it up excessively. I found the taste profile to be subtle, certainly not bold in nature. I also did not find the flavor profile to be very complex – though it did exhibit some changes throughout the cigar. The aroma was pleasant, both pre-lit and after lighting. The smoke was never overpowering, but it was nothing special either.

RATING: 8.8 (on a scale of 1 to 10) – I found the Brick House to be an overall good smoke, and the cost makes it a no-brainer. I found it to be a medium-bodied smoke, but the flavor tended to the mild side. All types of cigar smokers should be able to enjoy it.

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Cigar Quote

"It has been my experience that folks who have no vices, have very few virtues." – Abraham Lincoln