The Vanderburgh Blog

A selection of postings from unique humidor creations, to poetry to life experiences. Enjoy.

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Smoking Irony

Smoking Irony

by Christopher Robin Adams

“No smoking in the library”,

so I changed course:

            no lighter,

            no clipper,

            no ashtray,    

            no protective tube,

            and no cigar.


I went mental and picked up a book.

The Cigar Roller

took me to a distant past,

one denied me and my thin wallet:


            land of historic soil

            and home of Cuban leaf.


I wandered the hills with Pablo Medina,

            met his playmates and, later,

            was introduced to his early conquests.

We lit our first cigars

and then rolled our first sticks,

            thereby beginning a lifelong love of cigars.

We worked our whole life in the shade of tobacco leaf;

it filtered every movement and every thought.


instead of relighting my stick,

            I sip my black coffee;

instead of flicking ash into ceramic,

            I flip pages.

In time and for awhile,

            I forget smoking and enjoy cigars.

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Richard Hennessy Cognac Humidor

Richard Hennessy Humidor1 THWe had the privilege of creating a limited series of humidors for Hennessy Cogac.  The first batch was designed to fit a bottle of Hennessy XO and 12 Mombacho Cigars.  The second humidor was a a custom one-off humidor to fit a very rare bottle of Richard Hennessy signed by Maurice Hennessy himself.

It was a priviledge to work on this project.  Enjoy the photos.


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Bespoke Chessboard Humidor.

vanderburgh chessboard humidor THThis was a fun and interesting project.  First of all, the client wanted to integrate the chessboard as a permanent feature.  I thought that it might be nice to have the option to remove the board in case it wanted to be used seperately on a table.

All seemed fine, until we received the chessboard itself.  It was a cherished piece that was passed down for many years.  The years had definitely taken its toll on it as it was badly warped in on many planes.  Working with warped wood is often difficult, so we figured out a unique way to install the lid, while still being made removable.

Enjoy the photos!


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Smoke Opens up My Eyes

Smoke Opens up My Eyes

by Christopher Robin Adams

We are not human beings trying to be spiritual; we are spiritual beings trying to be human. - Sarah Ban Breathnach


Begin with the mind.
What we know.
I know Tres Reynas’ dark wrapper
will be stronger than my milds,
but the ring’s curious script grabs me,
                        draws me in;
its deepened black and gold flourishes ,
            like midnight Merritt Island
            with my NASA brother starring skyward,
                        watching stars,
                        dream talking life and growing wise,
moves me deeper into memory and tribute to his life well lived.
            One night, he suggested The Cookoo’s Nest for my next read;
            since then, the book has burrowed into conversations,
            reminding me that appearances deceive,
            but our minds rescue us with tools,
            just as the queen rescues the king
                                                if he pauses, thinks to ask.
This cigar’s not for writing;
three queens won’t hold a light.
they knows not why I acquired it.
Perhaps, they’re trying to be a cigar,
even as I try to be a human.
Matter can be deconstructed,
but it cannot be destroyed.
My deconstructed brother talks to me now
            through the smoke of time and this stick;
he reminds me of our evenings under stars
and of our minds bright as those very windows to heaven.
With forgiveness, I light the Tres Reynas, again,
            to help them become a better cigar
            as they help me to become a better human being.

Christopher Robin "Kit" Adams,
UCF Florida Writing Project/Mentor
Facebook: Spanish Cedar

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Crush and Roll West - Humidor

crush roll west vanderburgh humidor THCrush and Roll West Charity Humidor 2009

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Lou Rodriguez Cigars Humidor

When Lou Rodriguez first commenced his cigar company, he wanted to start off with a grand entrance with some custom humidors for his brand.  He contacted us to build a few custom humidors for his new cigar brand launch.  

Here are some images of the project which perfectly aligned with the quality of Lou's cigars.  If you haven't tried Lou Rodriguez' cigars, you are truly missing out.  My personal favourite cigar is the Premier Edition.  Have a look at Lou Rodriguez Cigars and pick up a box.  Let him know that you heard about them here.

Enjoy the photos.


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Chief Hava Humidor

Limited Edition CHE 'Chief Hava Edition' Humidor

The Hava Cigar 'Chief Hava Edition' humidor was a very intricately and carefully planned completely custom cigar humidor that we created for our friend Skip Martin who was a co-owner of the Hava Cigar Shop and Lounge in Galveston, Texas.


The Story of the CHE.

Many of you know, that Galveston took a hard hit from Hurricane Ike in 2008, and unfortunately the Hava Cigar Shop and Lounge was one of the many shops that got wiped out from the storm.

The humidor was created from solid Sapele Mahogany, and was 'quarter sawn' from the tree. This means that the wood has been cut similar to how a piece of pie is cut. This gives unique grain characteristics in the wood, and beautiful black and golden stripes are revealed through the grain.

This custom humidor was made in our 'raised panel' style, and because of the construction details, the beauty of the solid woods is very much emphasized.

However, you dont notice the intricate details of this humidor until you actually open the lid.

Inside we created a very unique tray, where the air slots (usually strips cut in the tray) were actually part of the Hava Cigar logo.

Not only that, but after the tray has been removed, the beauty of the polished black granite bottom shines through and offers rich and luxurious character to the whole entire humidor.

The entire humidor is lined with 1/4" Spanish Cedar, which - because of its unique characteristics is a perfect wood for aging cigars.

Skip's preference on humidification is the Boveda system, which required a custom made shelf integrated on the underside of the lid, perfectly made to fit just the right amount of Boveda Packs.

Finally to top the whole project off, we engraved, upon Skip's request, a poem called CRIMSON written by Carl Sandburg.

So enough of us talking about this humidor, let Skip say it for us:

Skip's Testimonial

"My custom humidor arrived this afternoon. After removing it from the shipping materials, I spent almost an hour examining the intricate details and the craftsmanship.

While these are easy to appreciate on a superficial level, I want to convey what this humidor means to mean on an emotional level.

First, it is an enduring representation of the passion and quality I put into my cigar business. As you know, my store was destroyed by Hurricane Ike in 2008. The inclusion of my business logo into the design will ensure that I am reminded of that period of my life every time I open the lid.

Second, the addition of the Carl Sandburg poem CRIMSON on the underside of the lid reminds me of the legacy of my father and grandfather, and my experience as a boy on the outskirts of their ‘circle of men’….smelling their cigar smoke and absorbing their wisdom.

This is so much more than a box to me. I can’t thank you enough."-Skip

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Cro Magnon Cube Humidor

The Cro Magnon Cube Cometh. 


Vanderburgh Humidors was honored to be selected by Adrian's Costa Rican cigars to build the very unique Cro Magnon Cube humidors. 


The Cro Magnon Cube is all hand-made with solid black walnut, and hand dyed to a deep black finish.  The  intricate Cro Magnon logo was inlayed carefully with an intriguing white pearl finish. 


The humidor sports a removable solid Spanish cedar basket which allows humidification packs to be placed all around the cigars offering 360 degree humidification control.  Sealed with a neoprene O-ring and accented with a rich black granite floor the Cro Magnon Cube humidor is truly a unique, bold humidor reminiscent of Cro Magnon cigars themselves.  Visit Adrian's Cigars for more details on the delicious Cro Magnon cigars.


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Jameson Cigars Limited Edition Humidor

Jameson Cigars Limited Edition Humidor  Continue reading

Papa John's 1971 Camaro Humidor

Papa John Pizza's executive team approached us recently for a very special project:  "Create for us a custom cigar humidor that looks like Papa's famous 1971 Camaro, and by the way ... have it ready for us in 4 weeks - in time for Papa's surprise 50th birthday".

It was that moment that my dark roast coffee dropped as fast as my jaw.  Good thing I wasn't smoking a cigar at the time.Papa Johns 71 Camaro Front Final Concept MD

So off to my design Mac I went, creating a 3D concept that mimicked Papa Johns prized posession ... his showcase 1971 Camaro.  If you don't know the story about Papa's Camaro, read it here.

So we began the challenge of creating a humidor with design elements of Papa's Camaro, including matching gold metallic paint, striping and form factor.  Three and a half weeks later, Papa's humidor was complete including gold metallic automotive finish, professional taping, spanish cedar lining and one-of-a-kind shape.  According to Michele Heuglin, one of Papa's Executive Team upon receiving it simply said:  "GOT IT; BEAUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUTIFUL!!!".

What more can I say?

Happy Birthday Papa John, and thanks for the priviledge of working on this project.



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1800s Steamer Mahogany

Enjoy our discovery of some wood that came from a steamer vessel built in the 1800's.  Many layers of lacquer cover these old boards and watch how our planer removes the age and reveals character not seen for over a hundred years!


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Crotch Mahogany and Walnut Humidor

Tom is a jeweler from Los Angeles and wanted something special, just for himself.  Tom has an appreciation for fine things and wanted to incorporate a rare wood into his humidor design as well as some personalization.  Tom sent us a solid silver plaque to inlay into the top of his humidor and chose some rare crotch mahogany to accent the walnut in his humidor.

The humidor turned out beautifully with an entirely removable solid Spanish Cedar lining.

Notice the unique secret drawer deep enough to hold some cigar accessories like lighters and cutters.


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The Beatles Humidor - Hand build with artistic pyrography.

The Beatles Humidor MDThis beautiful humidor was made from fine American Walnut naturally oil-finished and was for a customer in Singapore.

  • Solid American Walnut - beautiful grain
  • Artistic pyrography by Dumitru Muradian - took 12 days to complete.
  • Solid 3/16" Spanish Cedar lining
  • 1/2" Thick Premium Granite floor
  • Personalization
  • American Made solid-brass hardware.
  • Holds about 100 cigars
  • Passive Humidification



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Exotic Cocobolo Humidor

A beautiful solid-wood Cocobolo humidor made for a great client in Colorado, USA.  Some of the features include:vanderburgh classic cocobolo humidor 2 MD

  • Solid exotic Cocobolo hardwood body
  • Solid brass hinges
  • Spanish Cedar lining
  • Artistic interior layout with unique humidifier tray and Cocobolo accents
  • Brass alloy peg accents
  • Granite floor
  • Digital hygrometer
  • RH Crystal humidifier



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Rare Cocobolo Humidor

vanderburgh classic cocobolo humidor 2 MDA beautiful solid-wood Cocobolo humidor made for a great client in Colorado, USA.  Some of the features include:

  • Solid exotic Cocobolo hardwood body
  • Solid brass hinges
  • Spanish Cedar lining
  • Artistic interior layout with unique humidifier tray and Cocobolo accents
  • Brass alloy peg accents
  • Granite floor
  • Digital hygrometer
  • RH Crystal humidifier


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Nothing Dies in Spring

Nothing Dies in Spring (or, On the Porch with Roger)

by Christopher Robin Adams

“Nothing dies in spring, least of all love.”
(p4) Jack Downs Buried Treasure

Cigars die daily,
as does my Te-Amo,
and shortly thereafter Roger’s Montecristo,
    flavorful birth to death
after having reached out to us from Mexico
and ashed away with us
on a peaceful Florida summer afternoon.
Love, though?
A different story from Roger.
“I want a divorce” arrived to visit him,
    free will and all.
Promises died that day,
    along with Roger’s peace of mind
    and his casually dedicated attention to his wife.
The Turrent family, though,
has been working 133 years making fine sticks
    that from first taste
        always promise a beautiful relationship.
We’re hoping this relationship will    
spring to spring,
fall to fall,
    faithful to its promise.

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Happy Bob and the Cone

Happy Bob and the Cone

by Christopher Robin Adams

Like me,
he sits on the veranda
and watches birds as cars zip past us,
    squeal to stops at the nearby intersection,
    then, goosed on gas, continue their journeys;
he observes pelicans and doves and hawks
    soaring and slicing through blue,
    sitting seemingly easily and still on wires overhead
    and moving north or south in formation.
We talk Del Sols and Monte Cristos,
and he clues me in to the cone,
    the cigar ash with ember embedded,
    indicating a perfect roll of leaf
    and leading to an even burn,    
        a smooth draw,
        and continued heat,
    despite pauses for conversations or journaling.
In a more relaxed work than his youth,
    where factories and docks built his formidable size,
he laughs much,
    partly because, in spite of the days humid wrap,
    he has a cone,
    and I am still seeking one.

- Kit Adams

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Smoky Blue Boats

Smoky Blue Boats

by Christopher Robin Adams

I almost didn’t see the boats,
blue as the sky,
cloudy azure against the sea’s indigo,
as my Perdomo Champagne bit the jet’s flame,
            keeping a chunk of it for itself,
            and returning the rest to the lighter,
and then allowing bluing smoke
            to mingle with the sky
                        between the boats and me.
In this perfect day on a Nagril beach,
the boats’ rust,
dripping, running down their sides,
seemed liked storm clouds,
biting into the beauty drawn up on the beach,
thunderheads taking over
by edging in at first,
then – unchecked – sweeping over,
            conquering the boats
and their fine crafted lines
            but leaving me and my Caribbean view
            and my Perdomo wisping into it.


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I Am the Designated Driver

“I Am the Designated Driver”

by Christopher Robin Adams

Sounds funny, doesn’t it?
You see,
no one enters a cigar lounge to lose control.
No one has to take away anyone’s keys.
No feelings are hurt.
No one falls down.
Finally, binge smoking is self-regulating:
            it’s a waste of a good stick and fine tobacco,
            it burns or bitters or both,
            and money goes up in smoke with no return.
Considering that the rolled leaf
            traveled thousands of miles to find a two-jet,
            patiently hung out (often years) in distant barns,
            and sweat given in trade was itself hard-won, frivolous misuse of cigars just doesn’t make sense. 
So, we relax in control of our faculties,
and we reflect on the day
as molecules of tobacco transform in order to send
            smoke to sky,
            ash to tray,
            and taste to tongue.
This interesting distribution of the leaf
            pays compliment to the grower,
            the cutter and roller,
            the shipper and seller,
            and to the user.
The designated users enjoy time in the lounge,
            and all present are glad they did.

- Kit Adams


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Secret Cocobolo Humidor

The Secret Cocobolo humidor is a truly one-of-a-kind humidor using one of my favourite and unique exotic hardwoods:  Exotic Cocobolo.  Cocobolo Walnut Secret Carving2 LGCocobolo is an oily wood that is very difficult to work with - however with some patience and the correct technique - the wood gives up it's smooth, satin and rich character.

In order to get the perfect finish the Cocobolo must be sanded in 6 time consuming stages.  150-200-400-600-800-1000 grit sandpaper.  Then hand-rubbed and oiled to bring out the beautiful cognac tones. 

My Craftsman, Ryan Shervill came up with a brilliant idea to provide a secret way to open the lid on the humidor without sometimes unsightly latches or keyholes.

Pressing down on the ebonized walnut trip on the right of the humidor releases the latching mechanism invisible on the exterior.  It's a brilliant design.

Further specifications:

  • Size: 17 x 9 x 6 (44 cm x 23 cm x 16 cm)
  • Weight: 22 lbs! (10 kg)
  • Body: 7/8" (220 mm) solid Exotic Cocobolo
  • Accents: Ebonized Walnut, hand-carved
  • Hardware: Solid brass
  • Floor: 1/2" (13 mm) solid granite
  • Seal: Traditional lip Spanish Cedar
  • Interior:  1/4" (63 mm) solid Spanish Cedar
  • Cost: $2900



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