Deep in flavor. Deep in your mind.

12/13/15

Black Ops Rubicon Torpedo - Cigar Review

PROLOGUE
4pm
“I'm fed up to the ears with old men dreaming up wars for young men to die in.” - George S. McGovern

Big gold wrapper/foot band, I think it's supposed to look like a bullet. They come in an ammo can instead of a cigar box. With a BAD ASS beanie and a little pill that makes yer willy hard if you can't do it all on yer lonesome. Kidding. Band is BAD ASS, too. Skull.

Ya know, if this is gonna work at all, I'm gonna have to remember this is a cigar review and not a marketing review. I won't even say, then, that this stick screams "Twenty year-old frat-boy in basketball shorts and backwards baseball cap." I just won't say it. I shall, as said and instead, focus on --

THE CIGAR
Gurkha Cigars
Black Ops Rubicon Torpedo
Pennsylvania Broadleaf Maduro wrapper
Brazillian binder
Dominican Republic, Panama, and Honduran fillers
Courtesy of Cigars City
PRE-LIGHT
Peach fuzzy hand-feel on a marbled Maduro that isn't as dark as you might expect. It's a cup of joe with a half slosh of milk and caramel under-tones -- even complected, but not heathily so. Couple blemishes, couple large veins that feel smooth but still look broad enough to potentially affect the burn. Lotsa big spider veins. Not a great amount of sheen, but some. Seams are visible but tight and even.  Cap is a bit of alight, tobacco at the foot is three distinct shades of plain brown sans entirely of undertone. Shades are of of tan, brown, dark brown. Looks like a medium and evenly distributed density. Although a Charmin squeeze is quite spongy and not at all springy. Final third feels like one big soft spot.

Schnoz! A ripened tobacco (natch) with a compost note which errs toward fruity but shy of compote. A cup of joe from across the diner. At the foot, it's sweet spices and darker, closer coffee. Some cocoa creaminess far underneath. I Old Timer off the cap and a cold pull is cherry and compost with a coffee and cream finish. In the transition from draw to finish, there's a brief chocolate that reminds me of a Swiss Miss pack. The draw resistance is loose+ to maybe a -medium. Maybe.

The tip, it's worth noting, is very sweet, I'm not saying its sweetened per se -- just notably sweet. It leaves a sugary fruit on my lips and palate akin to a syrupy cherry soda.

LIGHT
Sharp compost comes at me off toasting the foot. It's backed by a simple wood note. That taste from the tip is still in my craw and it's started to taste concocted. The first hot draw is surprisingly stiff, in a swampy way. Resistance is a medium+ at first, then another quick and harder pull sets it to a medium. We'll call that the first hot draw for argument's sake. It's mainly a compost pull with cherry syrup in it that keeps not hitting my palate correctly. There's some loaded up coffee there, too -- cream and sugar. Cream goes to an already nice-sized mouth-feel/body and sugar goes to the cherry in such a way as to taste fake or candied, not a cherry, cherry. Second hot draw is retro-haled to give a nice pepper addition which is kind in nature, and not course. A third hot pull is a lotta black cherry and compost and secondarily of coffee and slight chocolate.

Ash is a nice pale grey ladder rung with no overt flakes, burn-line is a ribbon, but a thin one. draw resistance is medium, but I still don't get a good smoke-hole full. The packing at the end of 1/3 has softened a tick. Room-note is a simple sweet composted tobacco. Foot-smoke is plentiful and shows some wood notes. Not bad, not wow. Let's see how it develops...
ACT I
I take another hair and a quarter off the cap and now we got smoke, gentlepersons. Back to the cold pull's light+ resistance. Unfortunately, the smoke I'm pulling in has a good bit of bite. This subdues after two pulls, but does not go away just yet. And the cap is getting swampy. I'm finding the candied cherry, let's call it maraschino, to be a bit drool-inducing. Retro-hale shows a bump up of pepper bite and some dusty sweeter un-delineated spices. Draw is not terribly delineated in its entirety and has a wood coming on. Primaries are technically a singular note of compost. But as far a flavors, the maraschino is too a primary, although it comes from within it. Secondary notes are coffee with cream and sugar -- roasted darker and brewed stronger now, and a distant chocolate that seems to be trying to join for a mocha. Good deal of bite. Bite ain't not a flavor neither.

It's a stogie for the Generation Y folk. Or whichever gen is now 20 couple years old.

Packing has softened two ticks but has settled to a near evening out. Ash holds in the same way as previously stated. Burn-line stays the same, too -- with the addition of a bit of it threatening to run. Mouth-feel is cream and at once drool-y and near dry. Finish is a layover of the primary flavors with a sharp zetz and is of medium+ legs in again an odd maraschino manner. Smoke output on both ends is a medium+ easily. Foot note is sharp wood and pepper. Room-note is sharpening, as well with an almost leather addition crisping up the sweetness of before.

Ash is rolled off at an inch to show a nicer bit of oil and density than I'd have guessed at. Profile is medium.

ACT II
Every time it's on the verge of becoming a pleasant stogie, a bite ramps up and its ghost stays well past its death in a charcoal manner. A retro-hale is not recommended as all it does is bring this on and not add a bit of anything else. Flavors, to be clear, are unchanged as of yet. I take that back -- it seems the cream is pulling out. It attempted to toast, I believe, but it instead got lost in the bitterness and might have mixed into that charcoal. Construction softens a tick an inch past the burn. There's a crack in the ash brought on by the burning of a heavy vein.

Maraschino is dying back into the compost on the start of the draw, but remains on the end of draw and through finish minus much of its syrups. Coffee lost its cream and the sugar is in a sweet type of purgatory, unable to attach anywhere else. An inch of ash clumps off and is warm, with less oils. Wood comes in on the draw with a leathery undertone. They attempt at backing the remaining flavors. All told, we are transitioning and its not without its potential. Drool  has left and moisture evens out. There's a zing on my palate and in my throat. Body ups a tick with the leather and wood additions and my chest is nice and warm. Nicotine comes in on a nice and not Kamikaze wave. I'd say we're at a medium+ profile.

At end of the transition, the sugary sweetness abates and a truer cherry comes back in. It ain't bad, but it ain't kind. It's headed to the bitey charcoal. Smoke out-put is much, and a good much prickly. The burn has evened even as the line stays a ribbon. Packing holds.

At the end of act two, a dark molasses joins in to fend off a recurring of bite. Its ghost is still a pissy one. That molasses morphs to a vanilla and finds the cherry, saving it from the charcoal abyss. Leather remains a backing. Wood becomes a near oaken flavor. Primary flavors are compost and mocha (which finally occurs. Secondary notes are cherry, vanilla, and that generic wood. It ain't bad. Serviceable, but the bite is always right around the corner. The unkind charcoal ever-present in ebbs and flows. Speaking of which, the molasses is fading and now is mainly on the finish with a fainter mocha and even further back cherry. A black cherry, now once again.

I keep thinking there isn't a lot to relay here, but looking back, I'm surely writing a good bit o' words. I can't help but wonder how some aging would help this stogie. Perhaps eliminate some bite. Speaking of, a retro-hale now has some sweet spices at its end and the pepper is met with a tad of that black cherry. The ribbon burn is evening.

ACT III
Compost is richer now and a bit more dry. It's more of a topsoil of black dirt and yes, charcoal. I wish to heck the sharpness would leave the mouth-feel. Zing is fine; bite is not. The ash darkens up a handful of ticks now. Something like a black bread note comes in and with it, it's all bite. Flavors fall off except for a black coffee which joins the black dirt charcoal (they've officially melded) as primary. Secondarily there is pepper and really, that's about it. Leather backing is still there but a ways away and very stiff. Nic is a notch up. Finish pulls back its legs and is all bite. Sweet spices take a surprising swing, miss, and hit the canvas face down.

Murkiness sets in with the bite and my palate deserves better treatment. It doth ache and is abraded. Smoke-output is blinding on account of volume and irritation. Someone pours a bucket of water onto the charcoal and oy vey.

I'm at the band, and tapping out as far as reviewing, gentlepersons. I'll pour some Pepsi, ready a toothpick, and sees ya in a sec. I dab my forehead with my near clean schmatta, in a attempt to gather my aplomb.
NOTES
I feel dirty inside.

PAIRINGS
Pepsi was nice. Knowing you didn't pay much, nicer. As I said, I'd like to smoke one of these Rubicons with a bit of age on it. Perhaps after it graduates college -- or gets tossed out. Beer pairs tragically with cigars, I never recommend it. Try this offering with the Champagne of Beers. Bong-style, dood. DOOD!

FINAL GRADE
****C+****

EPILOGUE
5:15pm
Walking to barber pre-this cigar to get a hard part cut into my Gatsby and also my fade tended to, I stole a Camel from Mrs K to smoke along the way. Long story short: I burned a hole in the palm of my fingerless gloves. I was holding the cig in that manner, because I was shielding its cherry from the rain which I was stuck in. Not the best set of circumstances, but they left me quite handsome, nonetheless.

Genlepersons, now if ya need me, I'll be the guy cursing in the corner of the room with a needle, thread, and probably bleeding from a finger or three, staining my already stained fingerless gloves. Thanks for reading, as always.

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