Deep in flavor. Deep in your mind.

1/25/16

Evil Genius Time Machine - Cigar Review

PROLOGUE
Last night on Radio Herf, We hosted the legendary Jose Blanco.
I just wanted to say that. Also here is a link to that herf.

Well, thanks for poppin' by my lil spot on the www and I sure hope, gentlepersons, to see yous again real soo -- Oh. I'd almost forgotten --

THE CIGAR

Evil Genius Cigars
Time Machine
6 x 50 Toro
Nicaraguan Habano wrapper
Nicaraguan Corojo binder
Cameroon & Dominican Republic fillers

Sample courtesy of Alex Hirsch, brand owner.
PRE-LIGHT
Since I've taken as of late to addressing bands, I shall begin there. "Hell-ooo, band!" Thanks for coming out gentlepersons, tip yer waitress on the way out, and remember: I'll be playing here all weAk. The band. Binary science-like things on embossed monochromatic black and then a silver overlay of the logo. Kinda neat with just the right amount of camp, if that's yer thing and this is the place. Secondary band is black, silver-bordered, and reads TIME MACHINE in white 80s-90s sci-fi movie font. There's also the name repeated in a grey font on the background. There ya go, a whole dang paragraph of potentially useless information.

Removing band and its second VERY carefully, as the top-leaf seems delicate, I can confirm an even complexion of cream-splooshed coffee with a goldenrod under-hue and whispered hint of caramel. There's a trace of espresso bean marbling throughout and a thin oil sheen distributed evenly over-top. Minimal veins. Seams are tight but hiccup on occasion. Foot tobacco is mainly auburn with ticks up to dirty blonde, and down to near brunette. Seems packed to a medium density with a single looser tick. Cap has a vein and a lifted notch, no bigs.

Hand-feel is a dry and somewhat delicate thing. Balance is nice, a smallish Toro feat. There's almost a tooth in the 1/3 but it feels mainly dry. (My humi levels are fine, thanks for asking.) One very thin vein surprisingly impedes the hand with a sharpness. Charmin testing reveals an overall rather firm density which begins at the foot in a medium and makes its way to the cap, hardening up to a full. Most of the shaft is a medium +, a quite sturdy one at that. I'm noticing the stick feels a tad light in my hands.

Lifting stick to schnoz, a very heady aroma image of a heavy rain in a field. A tree. A saddle under it. Wet. Warm, too. A summer rain. Very earthy tobacco is on the foot schnoz. Very damp, rich, and sweet. Sweet seems to be off of a fruity vibe. I Old Timer off the cap. Delicate proposition. Some sweetly spiced cedar on the cold draw. Crisp hay undertones. Medium+ draw resistance, nice and smooth. Cold finish is a fruit sweetened, seasoned creamy cedar. Say that five times fast.

"That five times fast."

LIGHT
9:25am
A hickory aroma, sweetened by the seasoned sweet creamy cedar (which I'm starting to dig). Some leather underneath it all. A sort of gently rugged affair.

First hot pull is a very rich earth bordering on compost and I almost wanna say there's a fungus among us. Some muted sweet spices. Secondary notes seem clamoring for the back-up slots, not striving to star. Cedar, leather, wet hardwood, fruity vibe. A separate creaminess sets in on the finish now and it stretches its legs to a robust medium+ length. Second hot one is retro-haled and adds some dusty white pepper, and heightens the red sweet spices. Those then fall from palate to tongue and tingle nicely. Hardwood crisps and almost seems ready to head to the door -- as if it gathered all its stuff in a huff. Cedar is developing well. There's a definite fungal note on the end of the finish now. I hope it finds the creamy mouth-feel. I always wanted to describe a cigar note as Cream of Mushroom. Third hot pull is more o' the same and we are off to the races.

I'm not convinced I caught the burn well with an outdoor wooden match lighting, so I'll retouch and won't reflect on the grading. I will say that the spot where I retouched was right at a loosened seam. Smoke out-put is medium+, room-note is a sweet moist tobacco. Draw is a robust medium+ tension. Ash is light grey to charcoal 80/20, respectively. Burn is still wonked and its line is thick. Mouth-feel is a fruit sweetened creaminess and medium body. Flavors are -medium thus far, and strength hasn't yet moved the dial.
ACT I
Hickory/hardwoods leave. Fungal composted earth is primary and all secondary is a sort of marrying of the cedar and vague fruit impression. Cedar continues to be interesting in its soft creamy seasoned manner. Backing is a struggling at times leather. Finish is a nice sweetness you can make tingle by an occasional retro-hale.

Ash dumps shy of an inch, before I even get out my schmatta. Evil, sure -- the Genius is perhaps yet to come. I do not recall the previous offering feeling so delicate as to its top-leaf. I can hear it whine at almost each pull. Burn strays. I look at the hot-spot and: tunneling. I place it in my $0.99 Walmart ashtray. I hear it crackle. The stick, not the tray.

Very comfy stogie finish to mouth-feel. As I watch, the burn-line is thinning and evening out. A familiar bum walks by my house and yells: "There's my writer!" I bite my tongue against replying: "There's my vagrant!"

I draw slow. Then slow and long. Retouch an unlit bit. Ash is very white now. Notes of leather and mushroom-growing rich earth. I roll off a bit of ash and there's still a tunneling threat, but less of one. Cedar delineates and crisps. I'm nursing it. Like my dad nursed his '73 Plymouth Duster up through the Catskills from '86 Brooklyn. He threw on the heater to help keep the engine from over-heating. It was summer. I try to recall that hotness as I sit now, in my winter Pacific Northwest carport/HQ.

Draw resitance is unchanged. Ash is regrowing sans the pretty whiteness and is back to previous light grey/charcoal 80/20. Packaging has loosened noticeably an inch ahead of the burn. Medium profile.
ACT II
I lose a lot of cedar, all the white pepper, but the hard wood returns. A bit of a green note. Sweet spices lose red notes and then I too lose the spices. Leather firms up a notch and draws some balancing cream to it. The interesting fungal note is on the immediate draw, then gone quick. Very earthy, very sweet. Fruit swirls on occasion. Finish is long and stogie sweet cream.

Primarily then, there is wood and sweet earthiness. Both somewhat moistened by fruit juices. Secondary notes are mushroom and a bleeding over of fruits (which are currently ramping up). Backing is a nice worked leather.

Burn-line is thin+ and even ribbons. Ash is the l. grey/charcoal. I'm noticing a somewhat uneven amount of smoke to my smoke-hole -- even as the draw remains consistent. A bit of wrapper removes itself from the burn via a loosened seam. I remove a near-inch of ash and it's nicely oiled and more dense than I'd have guessed. Tunneling threat is no longer.

At the mid-point, I get a transition of green to a more mature vegetal and it begins to roast and fill out the secondary note cluster. A very worthwhile move. Coming through it now, that's the sole change, but a good one and we coast now a bit. Softening has ceased. Smoke-hole is filled evenly. Creaminess on the mouth-feel toasts a tick. Profile is medium. Strength is mild+.

ACT III
Leather morphs to suede in a reversal of my previous sampling, and a familiar to that sampling charring sets in as the vegetal roasts further and further. Charring goes to the earth, as well. Hints of white pepper return on the retro-hale. I get a vague hint of black tea. I feel like this sampling is attempting to be as good as the first, when I fully was expecting it to be better, having rested.

Black tea is on the finish and its sharpness works well with the creamy mouth-feel. great long legs. Flavors stop changing and settle settle settle. Calm now. And then a nice caramel note nestles into the middle. I'm here in the Catskills now. My dad seems well pleased with his prowess. This kosher pizza tastes like, well, kosher pizza. I'm there, man. Really. Thank you, Time Machine. One seldom gets a chance to relive an experience and enjoy it as fully as one should have the first time around.

You can read more about that trip HERE.

As to the stogie + in my lips. If you excuse me, gentlepersons. I'm set to find myself awash in tobacco and schmaltz of yesteryear -- as the band doth approach and a toothpick is lifted.
NOTES
Evil Genius prides itself on scientifically creating essentially the perfect cigar. I'll speak more now to the first specimen I sampled. Here's what I said about it:
"A stogie plus, I'd say. A great stick to puff on whilst handicapping Portland Meadows (which is what I did). Not an offering of the high maintenance variety. Limited complexities and undemanding flavors. I say "stogie" with my usual undying love. This Evil Genius Time Machine begged a park bench and a swig of Manischewitz. Nice. Uncluttered and unassuming. I say plus, because it showed glimpses of more -- which I will uncover upon further and more well-rested review."
Did Mr. Hirsch succeed in his mad scientist meanderings? I'd say yes. Yes he did. Because there is a something here which mirrors the 'drinkabilty' of Bud Lite. Even the most ardent artisan brewers and supporters of such, would begrudgingly grant this ease of consumption. That said, kudos to Evil Genius on their success.

But if you make a something no one hates -- have you made something anyone will truly love? I shall leave that for the philosophers in their ivory towers of academia.

[My final grade shall reflect a melange of both offerings. As I fear this second was somewhat perhaps less than kosher.]

PAIRINGS
Smoke it in the AM with a cup of joe. Hot cocoa if you're feeling frisky.

FINAL GRADE
****B****

LESS SCHTICK MORE STICK
Smooth/Coarse? Smooth
Sweet/Spicy? Sweet
Mouth-feel? Sweet cream
Strength? Gets sand kicked in face/pocket protector at beach
Draw? consistent but yields inconsistent results
Burn? Oy vey
Construction? See burn
Primary Note(?)? Sweet rich earth to compost

EPILOGUE
10:40am
Please read my full "First Impression" of this offering HERE.

Now if you'll be so kind gentlepersons, today is my dietary cheat day and I have a date with my fridge. Later on, my toilet. I'm a busy man, see. Thanks as ever, for reading.

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