Deep in flavor. Deep in your mind.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

MBombay Mora - Cigar Review

PROLOGUE
I wrote up a sneak-peek of sorts of this stick HERE.

THE CIGAR
8 1/2 x 38 Lancero
w. Dominican Republic
b. Ecuador
f. Ecuador, Peru, Dominican Republic

Sample offering courtesy of Mel Shah, MBombay brand owner.
PRE-LIGHT
Looks and feels leathery -- of the softened varietal. Pig/fan-tail cap, shaggy foot. Veins, but none so large as to impede the burn. Seams are tight and even. Complexion is a mottled thing of natural beauty. A peanut butter-chocolate with more PB around the several spiderweb veins. Shaggy foot is a good 1/2" long; more than 'nuff to highlight in a nice zetz MBombay's Peruvian usage, methinks. There's a slight water-spot in the mid 1/3. Large ornate trademarked band is a flying carpet which flew. It ain't present. Just the one ya see in the above photo. Aforementioned shaggy foot is in monochromatic keeping with the offering's shaft.

Hand-feel is a bit outta balance, but forgivable entirely, given the Mora's format. Texture is smooth mainly, and light, thin oils get worked up as it's fingered. No lumps or ridges. Charmin squeeze testing results in medium density and evenly throughout. Feels maybe a tick light in the heft, but it is a 38RG, only. Thunks full-sounding against my ring.

Schnoz notes along the MBombay's shaft are light tobacco and delicately sweetened earth via a cocoa whispering. Nuttiness, pale sweet and blanched, is added at the foot. I Xikar the cap. Cold tug is a fairly open -medium tension. Very sweet light notes, but too very distinguishable -- cocoa and a creamy hazelnut. Cocoa is firm, not powdery. Not cake-like, though. A chocolate tea biscuit sorta thing. Cold finish is a clean earthiness. More cold pulling shows more of that cocoa/chocolate/tea biscuit stuff. Hazelnut gets middling. Earth under-belly and medium leg'd finish.

LIGHT
All is calm in my carport, wind-wise. I opt for my favorite means of igniting -- wooden matches. Shaggy foot takes a few ticks longer, but is willing and catches evenly. Quite the leathery aroma on toasting the foot. Some white pepper addition. First hot pull shows a tick more draw resistance than the cold ones and is very hazelnut. Chocolate separates from biscuit and is a light but prominent cocoa. Tea biscuit vibe, stripped of chocolate, picks up a graham quality. Hazelnuts leave a very fleshy mouth-feel. White pepper is in on the fun. Second hottie is retro-haled and is a toasting of nuts and roasting of white pepper. Quite graham cracker as it drops to my palate. Hazelnuts are so fleshy as to almost be creamy. Third hot tug brings in some pale exotic spices alongside the white pepper. 

Packing has softened a good tick off of burn, but construction holds. Combustion is nice, and now slowing into the wrapper, evenly so. Ash is medium to dark grey tight ladder-rungs. Line is thin. Draw, even. Room-note is a yeasty tobacco, and sweetly so. Some creamy hay as well and perhaps. Very kind and unassuming. Profile is a medium and strength is light thus far.
ACT I
Shaggy foot ash dumps expectedly so. New ash is mainly very pale grey. Tea biscuit note is quite interesting. Graham seems dialing back. White pepper is enough to cleanse the palate and add dimension. Cocoa is playing well with the natural tobacco. Very earth-driven profile. Hazelnuts are prominent. Very accessible delivery of notes. Exotic pale spices on the white pepper keep good interest. 

Primarily, there is earth and hazelnuts. Middlings are a new blonde coffee note that plays off the nuttiness from afar. Cocoa is high middling and very tobacco'd. tea biscuit is there. Graham flits in and out. Spices and white pepper is the low middling. A suede note seems to want to back in the under-belly... for now it's working with the earthiness which wraps around from up-top. 

Ash is 50 shades of medium grey and still in tight ladder-rungs, but lilts to one side a bit. Line is even with a small spot of slight waver. Room-note is very toasted tobacco with a cocoa sweetness. Packing looks to be re-firming. Profile is still a medium, strength has softly appeared in a -medium manner. Many main notes are dry, cocoa, exotic pale spices, pepper, tobacco, graham, etc... but there is a softness to them as well -- particularly in the earthiness. Not moist per se. Cushioned. This softens the potential harshness therein. Hazelnuts, too, are almost juicy. Very nice. Suede continues to take shape underneath.

White pepper dials back. Earthy note soars. Hazelnuts hold. Cocoa seems to have tangled up remaining pepper and the spices. Fairly complex there. That tea biscuit continues to entertain. Blonde coffee is absorbing much of the graham. Salted clarified butter oils work up on the shaft and into the mouth-feel. Great moisture level there and a very slight spiced tobacco tingle.

At the close of the opening act, we are very earthy and this earthiness is toasting well. All other flavor notes hold. Finish is lengthening warmly and sweetly. Mouth-feel is thickening a tick. Burn is evening out on a -medium thickness line. Ash is unchanged. Toasting and thickening actions notch us up to a medium+ profile, but on somewhat delicate notes. Strength is a medium. Some blending is occurring within the coffee/cocoa/nutty realm. Draw tightens a bit again, nothing which restricts flow of smoke to smoke-hole. still in medium to + range. Graham gets some cinnamon vibing. A new light honey note ebbs and flows in the middling now.

ACT II
Remaining white pepper and exotic spices are now sweetened with the light honey note. Flavors all mingle with one-another, yet stay mostly delineated. Coffee has dropped down. Suede has, as well. Earth wraps the profile. It's not swampy but not dry. Dew-y? Sweet hay is in there with it. Cocoa ups a tick. This is how we cruise for a stretch. Ash doesn't quite make an inch. I brush it off my lap with a schmatta. Burn pace slows. Smoke out-put is average. 

Coffee leaves and a white tea comes on to replace it as our nod to warm beverages. Spices go there and dang, gentlepersons -- fairly interesting. Very subtle nuances in this Mora. If one ain't fawning over it, one might simply say "earthy." But much more is happening. Graham and cinnamon vacate. That tea biscuit forges onward in mildly excelsior ways. Ever taste pink or Himalayan salt? That. And there, I described the mid-point transition. One more thing -- cocoa is a lightly toasted powder now.

Coming out of that, suede sits back in the Mora's underneaths. Earth still is there... and everywhere, really. Burn is dead-even. Hazelnuts are less fleshy, more roasted. OK, gentlepersons: Earth, hazelnuts, cocoa, tea biscuit, white spices of far-off lands, white tea, Himalayan salt, clarified butter, suede, earth. There ya go -- and mainly in that order. Earth note gains more tobacco in the top-note realm. 

Combustion becomes a bit hesitant at the end of center-act. A tug whilst looking in my Dollar Store hand-held mirror clues me in on some filler not igniting. Top-leaf near it lags, and I re-touch via Djeep. Quite roast-toasty of an earthy profile now. Suede goes to leather under-belly. Profile and strength hold. 

Why has Lifetime taken off Frazier midday reruns? Why is Logo awash with The Nanny? Why must I suffer so? Woe, thy name is moi. The MBombay recovers nicely off that retouch, but flavors seem to be dialing back. Earth/tobacco and leather sandwich the remaining notes of tea and tea bisquit, spices, and cocoa. Toasting continues. A tick of top-leaf lifts up along a seam at char.

ACT III
Tea biscuit toasts somehow into a rye bread note. I didn't see that one a'comin', gentlepersons. Earth and bread drive. There is a diminishing of spices and cocoa. A hardening of leather. I squish my sammiches when I grill them in a frypan. That. Tea ducks down. A retro-hale drys my sinuses on a zetz of roasted pink salt.

Draw loosens to a medium. Loose tick of wrapper done smoked through easily. Just as I'm about to get a bit on the bored side of meditationing, a caramelized sugar soars to the forefront of this Mora. After a couple/few more tugs, a smoked meat is introduced from clear outta left field, it's too laced in the room-note all around me. Spices return. I puff greedily as the band comes into view.

Smoke remains cool. Profile robustly shows me the door at a medium+. I stay seated in this imaginary over-stuffed leather couch; pretend to not take my cue to leave. Someone done slipped meat in my sammich and served it with a nice dessert. Sugary and silky black coffee comes in. Notes are smoothly delivered. A whispered surprise: "Gotcha." Nub is pouring smoke and a soft chew sets in-between my lips. I reach for my toothpick. Pull on a newly heightened hazelnut with hickory accompaniment. Strength up-ticks woozily, nicely.

SMOKE TIME
80mins(approx)
NOTES
Wait a sec... clearing head... I lost my train of thought, gentlepersons. Completely. Whatta fine cigar, that Mora.

PAIRINGS
Spiced tea. Dr. Pepper. Loganberry Manischewitz.

K A P L O W I T Z SCALE
Appearance W
Construction W
Combustion O
Flavors/Body T
Strength L

FINAL GRADE
****A-****

EPILOGUE
A bit into the 3/3 of this MBombay offering, I messaged a pal. Said message to unsaid pal read: "More and more, I'm convinced the 3/3 is what separates a good stick from a fine one." This was during a lull wherein I thought this cigar was spent. Then, well, ya read the above review.

Now if you'll be so kind as to allow me my leave, I'm gonna strike when the iron is hot and whilst my indirect and vague wishes are being granted... I shall have my dark-skinned petite secretary on the morrow. Perhaps.

Oliva Serie O Maduro - Cigar Review

PROLOGUE
I have, gentlepersons, been looking forward to this sucker. Also been batting around the idea of a Milk Toast recipes collection addition to this blog. Fearless. I am fearless as a blogger. For now --

THE CIGAR
Oliva Serie O
7 x 50 Churchill
w. Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro
b./f. Nicaraguan Habano

"Serie O Maduro is a Nicaraguan Puro. Made in the original Cuban tradition of growing the same Habano seed in diverse regions of the country to produce a distinct blend. This blend was achieved by growing Habano in Esteli, Condega and Jalapa Valley." OlivaCigar.com 
PRE-LIGHT
First thing I notice is the stick's uneven complexion. So much so, that there's almost a barber-pole look to it along one seam in the 2/3. Seams are also a bit uneven and on the loose side. Barely any veins and absolutely zilch insofar as potential impediments to burn. Cap is nicely affixed. Foot tobacco is a shock of reddish auburn and dirty blond highlighted; packed to a medium density sayeth mine eye. That uneven complexion is of the dark fudge espresso bean variety. No real under-tone, just more of what's up-top... very dense coloring. Over top of it is a nice even sheen resting on a bit of toothy top-leaf.

Hand-feel is nicely balanced and is packed medium+ off a Charmin squeeze, with a dip down to medium in the 2/3's end. Schnozzing the shaft and the foot is an all-round dark rich tobacco with spicy soft chocolate characteristics. Texture is mainly smooth with just a hinted catch of tooth. No ridges, no lumps. I employ my Xikar cutter to cut. It cuts. Cold pull is more of the schnoz with the addition of a heavy cedar note. Tension on the draw is a good medium+ and seems to firm up the more I draw -- to a point -- than it loosens to a near medium. Chocolate sweetens as I tug. Kinda nice. Very straight forward.

LIGHT
Very cedar aroma on toasting the foot, some accompanying of sweet roasted mixed nuts. The Djeeping is a somewhat patient affair, but ends in a very even lighting. First hot pull is again the heavy tobacco note with chocolate and spice qualities. Spices are cinnamon and nutmeg with some hint of clove. Chocolate is soft and almost chewy -- like fudge or an under-baked brownie. A peppery cedar comes in on the finish and seems medium+ in leg-length already. Second hottie is retro-haled to nice black pepper and the already noted spices upon its clearing. Draw is very chocolatey. Finish is quite cedar. A third pull is a straight-forward continuation with a sweetening of the finish and a creamy texture on the mouth-feel.

Profile is a lush medium, strength is a mild+. Room-note is a densely rich tobacco laced with spiced cedar notes. Burn is a slight ribbon, but even 'nuff. Line is almost invisible. Ash is white with just the least bit of charcoal by the toasting. Some flake, loose ladder-rung growth. Packing softened considerably off of lighting. Very smooth draw delivering velvet-smooth notes. Already, the strength mounts to -medium. Flavors delineate and a compost of grape leaves lie underneath sweetly.
ACT I
Lots of red to purple fruits at the end of draw and laced throughout the profile. They start high-up and drop very quickly to the compost under-belly. Primary notes: chocolate darkens and is near sinful gooey; its softness is braced by a seasoning of the cedar. Red spice rack is in the lower middling. Dark fleshed nuts are mid-middling. Tobacco, black and deep, is the rest of the middling as well as the driving force. Finish is cream-textured nuances of the draw notes and medium+ leg'd.

Ash clumps at well shy of an inch, before I even get my schmatta outta my pocket. Very powdery. foot-smoke is a low+ out-put. Smoke-hole fills easily. Tongue is coated with thick oils and palate is fairly crisped via cedar. Fruits pick up some tannic vibes, then notes. Nuts are mainly pecan-like. Chocolate retains its goo, and a cakey texture forms around it. Yeasty, somewhat. Black pepper is finely ground and softly delivered, entirely on the retro-hale. Red spice rack dials up a tick, but remains swell. Profile is holding at an across-the-board medium, but very robustly so. Ya know what, gentlepersons? Lettuce consider the profile a medium+ and the strength a medium.

Regrown ash is same as prior, with closer ladder-rungs. Foot-smoke up-ticks a tick or two. Cedar leaps ahead of chocolate in the high-up. Coffee, dark roasted and poured black, settles into middlings. Fruits dial back a step on that new introduction. Some hardwood shavings sidle up to the cedar. A leathery thing is on my palate, particularly in the finish, which has lengthened to a somewhat chewy -long. Draw resistance is a bit more tense, but fine. Chocolate hits sooner and more intensely, but leaves sooner. Dark and rich tobacco bulges from upper middling into the top note. Very relaxing offering, this Oliva. Keeps getting richer and smoother and darker. At the end of the opening act, a wine cask note appears on the retro-hale, RH drops to the palate in a nutty manner.

ACT II
Room-note sharpens in a tannic sort of manner. Construction and combustion are unchanged. Profile is locked in, as well. Cap has a very black forest cake taste when dangled cold in the lips. There's a tad bit of mineral vibe there, as well -- which wraps around to the finish and builds on the tongue with some roasted salt. Compost underneath is velvet. Pace of smoke adds to the relaxed mood of this Serie O. Burn ribbons a tick more. Pack softening ceases. Black pepper is a mere sauteed hint. Ash will not hold. Smoke out-put builds. Burn goes a tick astray, but I hold off on a re-touch. Chocolate regains its stride. Strength goes up to medium+ and tannic quality leaves, but dark fruits stay and gravitates toward compost spine. Becomes a bit of prune.

Very strong notes, and maturely sweetened ones at that (natch, Maduro), with some good nuance involved. Not a overly complex offering, but flavorful. Burn corrects itself. Ash flowers a tad. Leather oils build smoothly. Moisture level on the mouth-feel is a bit on the wet side, but not drooly. I keep thinking Manischewitz, which one might take as grape, but there is no small amount of cherry in that stuff... black cherry, then. It sits alongside the prune and sure, grape. Mid-point is all about this fruity playfulness. Cedar sweetens and softens. Chocolate is beautiful. Dark tobacco now dips downward into the compost. Hardwood shavings are sprinkled about. Red spice rack dials back and seems to want to seek out the chocolate, getting a bit lost in there. A great after dinner offering... unfortunately I am having it pre-lunch. Still very enjoyable. Even the head-spinning strength is kind.

My sole complaint is a very flaky ash. Well, a less ribbon'd line would be grand, too. Pace slows after the mid-way. Even more calm now. Room-note is creamier and shows more chocolate. I'll be a monkey's uncle if Oliva don't never fail to impress. Coffee goes to a syrupy espresso with a lovely crema. This introduces a nice bite that keeps the dessert aspects from building up too a sickly extent. A bit less velvety now, but still very smooth and also somewhat more entertaining. Caramelized sugar flows in and let's name it a Cuban Coffee. Pecans get an almond addition and roast more. They seem to climb on the shoulders of that crema. Complexities are therein. Gotta love a complex Maduro, eh? I smack my lips and trigger a deeply dark and gooey chocolate -- as if I just ate a brownie. Although its been awhile, as I haven't done that since I was a Boy Scout.

Profile is up to a -full. All C/C notes hold. Flavors have settled into lock-steps. Strength is... hold on... I'm staggering inside for a pinch of sugar. OK. Dark, oily, deep, big notes -- but still nuanced and complex. Subtle under-happenings as well. Just lovely. I already lament this Oliva's end. A toasty note comes further in on a black bread note -- doughy but firm. Warm.

ACT III
Black bread gets a bit of artisan crustiness here. Chocolate, cedar, and tobacco all marry -- not mottle -- over-top in the primary. Occasionally, the chocolate falls back to middling. Fruits are in the in-between and pinched a tick. Cuban Coffee begins to drive. That aforementioned bread, toastiness albeit softly so, permeates the middle. Leathery oils are low mid. Under-belly is a sweetly nuanced compost which seems a tick higher. Top-notes sag under their own weight. Still rather dimension'd. Red spice rack has a tick more warm cumin in its profile, mainly on the retro-hale. The new spice hints at a meatiness here.

Ash is a touch less flaky and a bit of medium grey tinting sets in. Packing is quite soft. Seams loosen but hold well. Strength seems to dial back to a medium. Profile holds at -full. Heightened compost backing is really flexing now. As the band loometh nigh, we are bread-y and compost-y, veril-y. Sweetnesses begin to act as nuances within those notes. Only chocolate stands alone in a now toasted cream fashion. Smoke is cool, even, and smooth... while retaining just a hair of keep-ya-interest-oomph. Fruits fall off. Cedar comes back in high on a retro-hale and soars on the next pull. It's a creamier and sweeter wood now, seemingly borrowing from the chocolate.

The Oliva Serie O ends in a creamy chocolate'd cedar note on the up-top. Bread and Cuban Coffee bulge in the middling with a smaller red spice accompaniment. Underneath is a high compost which seems to have absorbed nearly all there ever was here, withing its dark tobacco core. Very interesting delivery, that.

Profile is a medium+, strength a gentlemanly medium. Burn-line is a tick raggedy again and the ash flakes slightly more. Smoke is cool, and so is I, gentlepersons. So is I.

SMOKE TIME
110mins
NOTES
Much of the nuance/complexity is due in part to a shuffling of notes, which I'm unconvinced is intended. Very darkly and richly satiating insofar as flavors. Not an entirely clean finish, a flaky ash, and a mildly erratic burn-line detract and distract from a very pleasing and robust profile. Strength sticks with ya for a bit longer than normal, post smoking.

PAIRINGS
Manischewitz Concord Grape. Any ol' cup a' joe. Root beer. (Actually, there's an almost sarsaparilla vibe in the final act.)

K A P L O W I T Z SCALE
Appearance W
Construction W
Combustion W
Flavors/Body T
Strength W

FINAL GRADE
****A-****

EPILOGUE
This sampling marks the first time I employed my newest review tool in its official capacity: a Dollar Store hand-held mirror. In it, I saw that on many a pull, leaves were not evenly ignited. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Weekly Boxing Review for 4.26.16

Gentlepersons, another week hath unfurled itself before us. Ain't it ever, though? Not a lot of boxing news bits, but I'm willing to light up this Kafie Sumatra and type at ya -- if yer willing to read. And if you find yourself further willing to read even more so, consider glancing toward my full write-up of this offering. Mind you, I am now pulling on the Toro, not the Robusto.

Like I said, not an exceptionally busy week, but we did get a chance to see:
GOLOVKIN KO WIN OVER WADE IN TWO
"Of course it's impressive, but we already know what Triple G can do to that level, and we also know what Triple G can do to the level above that... and through no fault of his own... we haven't been able to see what he could do to the level above that. Because they won't get in with him." Max Kellerman after the GGG/Wade bout.

I picked six rounds. I wanted to pick four. Never woulda guessed a mere two. Never woulda guessed Wade not showing up in a step-up bout. Seems I forgot that GGG ain't no gate-keeper. Plus, he seems not to suffer fools via keeping a pugilist around to 'get work in.' Mea culpa, I assure ya.

Sergey Kovalev, sitting at ringside for this prizefight, saw what most expected to see. And what some very smart folks (me) thought would take a few ticks longer... namely, a complete dismantling. G shifted right through Wade's reach advantage, undeterred, but hit by, some pitter-patter firings. Lettuce not ourselves make with the pitter-patter -- Dominic Wade could not stand in the ring against Gennady Golovkin. Although it bears mentioning that Wade caught G with a stiffer zetz coming in, than was the counter which dropped him in the opening round.

In the bout's second and final round, we saw Wade's inexperience leading him to improper pacing. He could have held. He might even have been able to keep Golovkin at bay -- but did not. Perhaps a more seasoned version of Mr. Wade could have extended to the fourth, fifth, or even sixth ding of the bell. But, too, he'd have possibly needed some more sting in his leather. Nevertheless, a one-two dropped Wade again -- then it took just a singular two to finish off the fisticuffs festivities. I shall now digress and second what it was Mr. Kellerman stated so succinctly and so obviously so.

Golovkin is now thirty-four years of age. He is no longer to be considered a pugilistic spring chicken (although he's not once been plucked, so to speak). So what is next for the fella? What of his legacy? Mr. Kovalev's appearance at ringside is of course intriguing. However, I personally don't feel it mandated that Golovkin should move up in weight for better opponents. I feel it is enough to 'simply' rule one's own division. This is why while the comparison of champions across eras is fun stuffs, it's nigh impossible of a riddle to solve. Each great in each division in each era -- has differing levels of opposition. I'd like Golovkin to rule this now's Middleweights. Shan't that be enough, gentlepersons?

As to a potential moving up to Light Heavyweight. Kovalev tags GGG once coming in: lights, they go out. Remember, G is a counter-puncher... Wade even tagged him... Kovalev's nom de ring is "Krusher..." 'nuff. As to the always wished for Canelo v Golovkin for a unified MW strap: well, that'd be something of a stepping up into the next weight class, too. Alvarez would enter at 175*, easy. And would be all the more heavy for his trainers to carry out. THAT is the fight which needs to occur. Give Mr. Golovkin his reign, I say. We already know G concurs.

*Bearing in mind Wade tipped the scales at that mark. Also bear that Canelo/Wade is comparing apples/bruised apples.
KOVALEV VS WARD: SIGNED
You gotta kinda worry about anyone stepping into the ring against The Krusher. Especially if they're stepping in with ring rust, especially especially -- of the chronic variety, a la a famously semi-in/active Ward.

Dan Rafael tweeted out on April 23rd that "Kathy Duva says again the Kovalev-Ward contracts are signed for fall. She says it's best fight that can be made in #boxing." Yes gentlepersons, this is what passes as journalism these days. Also: I have a blog. Too: an opinion. A couple/few of 'em, really --

Firstly being that the best fight for boxing is the aforementioned allowing Golovkin to take Canelo out. Secondly and mayhaps extending to thirdly; let's look at Kovalev/Ward. The fight is apparently contingent upon both pugilists, and their records, remaining intact. Neither Sergey Kovalev (his next fight being set for July 11 vs Isaac Chilemba) nor Andre Ward should find much issue in meeting that criteria. Although if Ward does so via simple inactivity -- again -- it'll be a quick night's work for Kov. Either way, humsover, I don't see how Ward wins. I can see how he survives, maybe. Although he ain't no B-Hop... insofar as mindset or shoulder-roll.
G-d bless the Light Heavyweight division. This fight will be as entertaining as -- analogies continue to not exactly be my forte, gentlepersons.
CANELO VS GGG
Lemme put a finer point on what I've previously touched on. Are we looking at a sad replay of Mayweather/Pacquiao fighting past the fight's expiration date? That's a query which has already begun being bandied about. To answer in briefest of terms: nah. Money v Pac-man taking so dreadfully long to bear by then dried fruit was the exception and not the rule. To answer in a tick longer form and with greater reason given, Mexican fight fans would be more than willing to quit their support of their red-headed brethren lest he fight. Alvarez is as keenly aware of this as he is familiar with a myriad of fast-food menus. That was a decent enough analogy, I s'pose.

Mark my words: CANELO vs GGG - CINCO DE MAYO 2017.
That's the sixth-round KO I foresaw for Golovkin. Except it happens in the eighth.
CHOCOLATITO UD OVER McWILLIAMS ARROYO
Ramon "Chocolatito" Gonzalez saw his ten knock-out streak come to an end in the GGG under-card. Still, it was via a shut-out scorecard domination of Arroyo. A Clinictito! Maybe? Yeah, I don't like it either. But ya gotta like Mr. Gonzalez. Always a blast to watch, he, the Flyweight world king, pound-for-pound champ, and mayhaps most technically correct boxer in the sport today.

Interesting to notelatito (yeah, no) is that Chocolatito weighed in the day of the fight at an unofficial 126 pounds.

A final word: Hats off to Mr. Arroyo for hanging in there. It took gutsatito. I need to stop doing that.
Actually, I take back what I said at the onset of this posting. Stuff happened. It always doth. There's always some bit of pugilism to ponder. "You can observe a lot just by watching," to quote Yogi Berra. Until next week, gentlepersons, may all your pic-a-nic baskets be full. &

Goodnight, Samuel Horwitz. Wherever you are.

Monday, April 25, 2016

A Review of Recent Grade A Offerings

"And find I'm a number one,
Top of the list.
King of the hill --
A number one."
- Frank Sinatra
Been a nice month, April. 
Can't wait to smoke May's flowers.
THE A LIST

HONORABLE MENTION

Special thanks to:
Mr. Darryl Martin
... and to all you gentlepersons for your eyes and ears. My appreciation abounds.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Radio Herf 04242016

Your weekly Radio Herf go.

Mel Shah of MBombay Cigars pays us a visit. We talk talking to the kids about your cigar hobby, and social media within the cigar industry. Mr. Shah makes with the goods as far as being the proverbial fountain of information. Seder stories are exchanged, as well.

Great show!

Thanks again to Mr. Shah, and as always to you all -- for the lending of yer eyes and ears. It is quite appreciated.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Rocky Patel Rosado - Cigar Review

PROLOGUE
Prince has died. 
May his memory be a blessing.

THE CIGAR
Rocky Patel Rosado
6 x 60 Natural Double Toro (Pig-tail)
w. Ecuadorian Sumatra (Natural)
b/f. Nicaraguan & Dominican

Exclusive to Famous (No link).
Sample courtesy of Mr. Kurland at Cigar Reserve (Yes LINK).
PRE-LIGHT
Bearing in mind that this Patel offering is far more Raspberry Beret than Little Red Corvette insofar as MSRP terms -- and that this shall be the first and last Prince lyrical reference of this write-up; lettuce make with the commencing.

Eyeballing from cap to foot, we got the tight and fairly lengthy pigtail and quite nicely so. Some tooth. Veins are present and a couple are noticeably so -- but none speak to potential burn hazards, per se. Seams are nigh invisible and evenly crafted. Foot tobacco is an 80/20 auburn/brunette with a smattering of dirty-blonde high-lights. -Full density therein. The shaft, from sheen down -- shows just trace amounts of sheen, actually. Underneath that is some espresso bean marbling, then a milk chocolate even complexion. A tannish undertone lends to the matte vibe the nigh sheen-less Patel puts forth. There's a slight pimple in the 3/3 via water-spot.

Hand-feel is dry tooth. Heft and balance are each verily nice 'nuff. Charmin squeeze test is a firm grading. No soft-spots. Schnozzing the shaft, I get whiffs of tobacco and spiced leather. Spices are more pronounced and a cocoa vibe is added at the foot. I employ my gifted Xikar Xi2. It cuts. Very smooth draw off such a tight packing. Medium+ tension with just that tick of resistance I like, personally. Cold draw notes mimic the schnozzing. Leather seems to be creamy. Cocoa comes in with a red spice rack. Vastly a nice tobacco. Some nuttiness on the cold finish. Pulling on the Patel, I notice I get a lot of leaf crumbs in my smoke-hole.

LIGHT
Toasting the foot, I get straight boot leather insofar as aroma. Perhaps some tobacco under-belly. First hot pull is a pepper-spiced tobacco. Very long finish which ends in a dose of creamy chocolate. Second hottie is retro-haled to red pepper which lands on my palate into creamy leather. Settles > red spice rack > cocoa. Third hot one shows itself laced with a nutty vibe, and 'pepper' becomes black pepper. Red pepper is dialing back. Black stuff is tongue-tingling.

Free re-touch on the wood match outdoors lighting. Pack softened a tick and about an inch off burn at that lighting. Ash is 70/30 salt/pepper and somewhat flaky already. Draw is even. There's a charred hardwood on the retro-hale, after the peppers subside. Chocolate firms up. Mouth-feel is spiced-creamy and of decent moisture levels. Nice simple offering, this. Burn has yet to even, humsoever. Line is thin.
ACT I
My jaw hurts. 60RG. Thanks, Obama. Packing softens more, seams hold, draw is unchanged. Flavors are chugging along. Room-note is a somewhat sharp leathery tobacco. There's no obvious backing, so to speak. Perhaps some thin dry earthiness. Imma have to re-touch again before more waver. There sets in an odd chemical vibe that makes me think of blister-pack plastic. 

Just shy of an inch in, and the now 50/50 salt/pepper ash flakes but holds. Burn is still wavy. A bitter black bread note has met with the nuttiness (roasted almonds) to make a bit of bite now. Kinda scrambling the other notes. A simple tobacco is primary. Cream is almost off the radar. Chocolate is hanging on as more of a cocoa powder. Black and red peppers have mottled and shall be now referred to as "pepper." They don't help with the bitey bite. Hardwoods, charred, are middling notes as well. Leather has sunk to cover thinly the dirt/earth backing. Finish is medium+ length with a hint of sugar in it. Mainly a cocoa vibed tobacco that begins very pepper. 

At the end of the opening act, I allow stick to sit a couple minutes after purging. Burn evens and ash still holds, but darkens. It's ready to fill my smoke-hole off that rest -- nice. Bite ebbs and leather soars to meet the tobacco as a primary tandem. Middlings are cocoa, pepper, black bread w/ almonds and hardwoods. Underneath is a more clearly dirt/earth note. Plastic vibe is gone. Ash is still intact and now darker.  

Profile is a medium, strength hasn't come about yet. Retro-hale is bitey and actually and strangely -- not recommended.

ACT II
Burn cones a bit after I roll off the insulation of the first act's ash. Packing has re-firmed. On a raspberry beret budget, this Rocky Patel shows excellent construction. Flavor notes are simple and straight-forward. Throat catches some. A tick of top-leaf lags (re-touch). Oh, the ash I rolled off had a surprisingly dense oily core. Peppers dial a tick down and sugar gets caramelized. after coming back on-board. Black bread vacates the premises. Strength up-ticks to a high-end low.

Leather and tobacco lead the way still. Middlings fall back further and are led themselves by a spiced cocoa. Peppers and hardwoods follow, all else is gone. Dirt/earth backing remains and solidifies. A nice 'nuff smoke. Not bland, not punishing. Not demanding in any real way either good nor bad. The black bread bite doth flow on occasion, but too, ebbs. Mouth-feel is a tick crisp. Some coffee would go well.

Transition brings on a further caramelized sugar note. Ash pales and is nigh a sheath. Burn behaves well 'nuff in a slight ribbon. Some coffee and cream sets in. New notes are upper and lower middlings, respectively. A small top-leaf bugaboo crack gets smoked through. Toasty note laces the profile. Packing softens one and a half ticks. Black bread comes in sans bite and stays in the toasty. I don't mind this Rosado one bit. I ain't wowed, but not upset neither, gentlepersons. Could use less bite, tho. Too, the re-touches are plentiful, as I flick my Djeep.

Draw loosens to a medium, but offers the same even smoke-hole ratio. Flavor notes smooth and flatten a tick. Profile is a medium +; strength a - medium. Notes re: construction hold. Mouth is a tick sharp. Finish is far shorter and simply tobacy.

ACT III
Generic sweet and spicy tobacco and leather primary here. I shall hastily reverse that order a couple pulls later. Lots more smoky smoke out-pour and a room-note of the same vein as draw. Toasty. A compost note replaces earth/dirt backing and carries it higher. Smoke is fairly warm now. Ash goes dark toward band; and light again as it enters said band, and I reach for my toothpick.

Room-note is a pleasant leather-led now nigh aromatic tobacco. Profile ends as a robust medium; strength -medium. Very much a well-drink level Rocky Patel offering. Meaning it's a nice stogie, with RP distinguishing notes. Does that last bit make me sound haughty? Good, gentlepersons. I've very much an image to uphold, gentlepersons. 

SMOKE TIME:
120mins (approx)
NOTES
Everyday serviceable in a workman-like fashion. Perhaps more-so in a less obese RG.

PAIRINGS
Pair up, Gentlepersons. A nice mocha latte thingy. Manischewitz Loganberry (and if you find a NW point of purchase, please to pass along that 411).

K A P L O W I T Z SCALE
Appearance O
Construction W
Combustion L
Flavors/Body O
Strength P

FINAL GRADE
****B-****

EPILOGUE

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Project X: Offering #15 - Blind Cigar Review (Drew Estate MUWAT)


'Natch by now, I will break down flavors into categories as you will see below. I then shall note any flavor which arises. Too, I will grade according to my K A P L O W I T Z Scale guidelines. This all shall be noted and notated at every 1/3.

I will then offer a final grade ruling. THEN, on ye next Radio Herf (check yer local listings), Mr. Darryl Martin shall reveal what it is that I reviewed. We'll kibbitz 'bout it.

Blind review, yes? Oh, yes. Blind review.

THE CIGAR
*classified*
Toro, mayhaps -- forgot to measure.
DECLASSIFIED
Drew Estate MUWAT
5 1/2 x 52 Robusto
w. San Andres Negro
b. Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade
f. Brazilian Mata Fina & Nicaraguan
ACT I

FLAVORS
Animal: Smoked Meat.
Sweet: Caramelized Sugar. Molasses. Toffee. Creamy. Sugar. Fresh Fruit.
Spicy: Black Pepper. White Pepper. Chili Pepper. Licorice/Anise. Orange Peel. Salt.
Woody: Hickory Wood. Cedar Wood. Charred/Burnt. Toasted.
Vegetal: Nuts, Roasted.
Earthy: Espresso. Heavy Tobacco. Chicken Coup. Dirt/Earth.
Chemical: Charcoal.
Malt: Rye.

K A P L O W I T Z SCALE
K being the least, Z the greatest
Appearance W
Construction W
Combustion O
Flavors/Body I
Strength P

NOTES
  • Explosion of dark notes on first hot pull.
  • Black bread, heavily and uncharted.
  • Pepper --> Sweets --> Woods delivery.
  • 1/2" in, zetz in yer face dials back a tick...
  • Gets some complexity within the sweets.
  • Seems have been somewhat loose, but even since pre-light.
  • Sweets are thickening, adding on. Particularly a muscular cream.
  • Line is wavy, ash 85/15 Salt/Pepper.
  • Salt and sugar come on in tandem.
  • Very substantial hand-feel.
  • Mouth-feel is a half-tick toward both dry and drooly.
  • Once every few pulls is like taking a bite out of an apple.
  • Black bread goes to a rye; malt influenced.
  • Powdery ash clumps on not my schmatta (lap).
  • Very black pepper retro-hale. Very nice for how strong it is.
  • Finish is an elaborate thing, very long.
  • Great draw. 
ACT II

FLAVORS
Animal: Smoked Meat (more meat, same smoke). Manure. BBQ.
Sweet: Caramelized Sugar. Molasses. Creamy. Sugar. Fresh Fruit. Blackberry. Coffee & Cream. Vanilla.
Spicy: Black Pepper. White Pepper. Chili Pepper. Licorice/Anise. Orange Peel. Salt. Cloves.
Woody: Hickory Wood. Cedar Wood. Charred/Burnt. Toasted. Smoke. Aromatic tobacco. Oak wood.
Vegetal: Nuts, Roasted (less). Alfalfa (finish).
Earthy: Espresso. Heavy Tobacco. Chicken Coup. Dirt/Earth. Manure. Peat.
Chemical: Charcoal (less).
Malt: Rye (less).

K A P L O W I T Z SCALE
Appearance I
Construction I
Combustion W
Flavors/Body T
Strength W

NOTES
  • Berries come in. So sweet. So dark. So Peppery.
  • Ramping upward and composting of earth notes.
  • Burn evens more, still a ribbon.
  • Retro-hale is intensely pretty. Awe-ful. Sneezy.
  • Profile to a -full.
  • Pace slows, simmers.
  • More sweet notes, balanced by new spicy cloves.
  • Red pepper zetz.
  • Ash darkens, built a tad loosely.
  • Strength ^ ticks. Way ^.
  • Pack softens evenly, holds exceptionally.
  • Foot-smoke: sharp.
  • Creamier mouth.
  • Beautiful draw continues unfettered.
  • A bit fat for comfy in mouth and even hand.
ACT III

FLAVORS
Animal: Smoked Meat (smoke catches back up). Manure. BBQ.
Sweet: Caramelized Sugar. Molasses. Creamy. Dried Fruit.
Spicy: Black Pepper. White Pepper. Chili Pepper (more). Salt. Cloves.
Woody: Hickory Wood. Cedar Wood. Charred/Burnt. Toasted. Smoke. Oak wood. Paper.
Vegetal: Nuts, Roasted (more). Alfalfa (finish).
Earthy: Espresso. Heavy Tobacco. Chicken Coup. Dirt/Earth. Manure. Peat.
Chemical: Charcoal (back to I). Tar.

K A P L O W I T Z SCALE
Appearance W
Construction W
Combustion O
Flavors/Body I
Strength I

NOTES
  • Every. Wood. On. Chart. (Save for wine cask.)
  • Combustion falters a tad, nurses back.
  • Seam loosens.
  • Flavors bitter.
  • Purge, purge, purge.
  • Smoke out-put thickens voluptuously so. 
  • Fruit dries. Apple has left the carport.
  • Ash pales back to onset. Flakier.
  • R/H is very red pepper.
  • Some falling off of flavors, mottling.
All peppers (sans green) and all woods throughout. Lots of sweet notes a good amount of which dropped off in the 3/3. Not very clean in that Act III. Not an entirely clean end, but a very long finish that was quite complex. -A Smoke until closing act. Srenghty but not uncomfy. Ham-fisted notes.

SMOKE TIME
115mins

FINAL GRADE
****B+****

REMEMBER: Tune into the next Radio Herf (check local listings) for the reveal.
POSTSCRIPT: In the interest of uniformity, I will be working from a flavor chart via Stogie Fresh.
Thus ends Serie I of Project X
I'm tearing up -- mayhaps it's the foot-smoke?
EDITOR'S NOTE
A very special thanks to Mr. Darryl Martin. As well as to all who've read and partook in the Radio Herf reveals.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Weekly Boxing Review vol. 1 Week of 4.19.16

Gentlepersons, another week, another... well... seven days lettuce say. As I decided to write up this inaugural write-up, a sampling of Mbombay Mora was found stufft into my mailbox -- the Lancero format (I speak of the cigar and not the mailbox, mind ya.) 

THE CIGAR
MBombay Mora
8 1/2 x 38 Lancero
Shaggy foot and pigtail/twisted fin short cap thing
w. Dominican 
b. Ecuadorian
f. Dominican, Peruvian, Ecuadorian

I pinch off the cap (gasp) and don't take a cold pull (gasp) cuz this ain't a full review-- that'll be coming. And off an offering which has had sufficient rest in my humi. Here, breathe into this paper bag, it's OK. I tore into this one like a kid on Chanukah's eighth day, because: Mbombay. Burn-line makes a lovely transition off shaggy foot and onto wrapper -- and didn't we just talk on Radio Herf about this yesterday? Notes of natural tobacco with an aromatic lilt and a dirt/earth under-belly. Exotic tangy spice retro-hale. Middlings of sweet cedar, roasted nuts, and a caramelized sugar vibe. Underneath it all is a clean and bright hay note. Draw is an even medium+ with just a tick of tension. Burn is even, ash medium grey ladder rungs. Pace is -medium. Very nice. Thanks, Mr. Shah, indeed.
GGG SIGNS WITH NIKE
I don't full-on care, gentlepersons. Neither do I half-on, if pressed. I suppose it is nice to see GGG hit the commercial level pull of the other two fellas he's joined here in Roy Jones, Jr. and Andre Ward. I too suppose it nicer yet, to see any pugilist currently garnering this sorta mainstream deal. Speaks well to the sport, it doth. Or at least not poorly.

Carmelized sugar ramps up, and in perfect balance as does that tangy foriegn spice rack. On many occasion, these MBombay offerings feel as though I've had my passport stamped. I do not have a passport. Very cool burn. Very sedate out-put and room-note. (natural tobacco with the sweetness minus tanginess). Very ready to evenly fill my smoke-hole on an easy pull. White pepper comes in, as does a graham cracker vibe which spins to the now note of caramelized sugar. Ash clumps to my QWERTY, missing my schmatta by mere cm. 

Why then, in light of my meh, am I keen on inserting Golovkin chatter into this? To speak briefly of his upcoming April 23rd fisticuffs vs Dominic Wade. I Smell danger. Not simply coming from Wade, but coming from a look down the road at Canelo. See, GGG wanted Canelo, he did. It's hard to not look past who's standing smack in front of ya. Also, with an 18-0-0-12 record, Dominic Wade is on an upswing. He can still be a great one -- even if only in his and his handler's eyes. He's coming off a win against Soliman the Ugly, a nice step up. Granted, Sam Soliman is no Golovkin, but he is tricky and did fuel Wade's upward trajectory. Kid's riding high as a pin-up on a torpedo-shaped bomb. 

Verdict? Wade gets a zetz or two in on GGG. Might even stand him up, if he catches him early. It should all be over within four. A fun 'nuff four, nonetheless. Depending on how invincible Wade thinks he is, a cringe inducing two rounds might be tacked on. It'll be interesting to see what's next for the young man. Even more interesting, yet -- Golovkin v Alvarez. Not really. Canelo is made for Gs's style. 
OSCAR DE LA HOYA: KEEP PROS OUT OF OLYMPICS
Here's a topic I spoke briefly to on my latest Sabbath Smoker. Ash pales on the Mora and pull is a half-tick more resistant. Even delivery and on par with prior. Woods come in. An oak and a cedar -- upper middlings. Nuts are pine nuts. I'm three inches into the Lancero. Still very tobacco driven with greater aromatic tendencies now, and spiced as before, with exoticness. Leather comes in underneath. Lots of flavors and completely not overpoweringly so. Profile is classic medium, strength mild, finish medium+ leg'd and complex as heck (see future full write-up).

Nevertheless, what I stated in the Sabbath Smoker, re: Pros in the Olympics, is that they have too much to lose, not enough to win, and a deck stacked against them. It would seem the main complaint at issue is our pros would run roughshod. Well, over the hosting country's wiminz, mayhaps -- but not the competition, I feel. The game is different, and as such requires a different strategy and mentality. One that would be hard to adopt, and if adopted, perhaps harder to leave behind than the aforementioned wiminz.

What I mean to say is that Olympic style boxing is fencing in mittens. Whilst doing so at a fast pace. It'll be as foreign to US professional pugilists as are the spices in this Mora to myself. If ya win? You beat an amateur, big whoop. If ya lose? You lost to an amateur, BIG WHOOP. I should say two things:
1. I have a week gut and sensitive palate. The other ol' one-two. I, like Roseanne and Dan Connor, keep all my spices in the salt shaker.
2. The brilliance here in this Mora, is the brilliance of all I've smoked in the MBombay line. Namely, it is a foreign land I',m in, but I've found the McDonald's. This is not a disrespect. This is to say when you travel with Mel Shah, he makes you feel at home.
Ash darkens again. Burn-line is thin and unwavering. Draw is dead-even. Cedar and spice are primary. white pepper rises to carry the middling from within its middling. Leather is there, as well. Pine nuts, too. Kind of a swirling tobacco center. Remaining mentioned previously notes are therein. Underneath is that Mickey D's, a simple lightly sweetened sunny hay note. 
ERROL SPENCE TKO 5 OVER CHRIS ALGIERI
Say ya wilt about Algieri, and oy vey, I know I have -- but he gave Khan some nice trouble and Pac-man dropped him six times, on the way to failing to end it. Mr. Spence scored a fifth round technical knock-out on the sir. Impressive. Some time has passed, sure -- but impressive. 

Now I'm getting a tea leaf note from the Mora. The chew is very soft in my mouth. The foot-smoke kind. I let it dangle in my lips. I'm coming outta the mid-transition point. Cedar flies high and that exotic spice rack is on its heels, or tail feathers, in a more apt metaphor. Mouth-feel is a pleasant slight tingle. Perfect moisture. Spicy retro-hale and there's a black pepper there, now. It's on my caramelized sugar palate. Pine nuts, too. Maybe other pale fleshy nuts. Lots of cigar talk sounds dirty. That in mind, the Mora has a dry hand-feel to its shaft.

Let's critically assess the fight, shall we? Spence's feet were wide, as were his punches. He plodded (all be it quickly 'nuff) ahead minus head movements or jabs. All things which are forgiven against a jitter-footed and feather-fisted opponent a la 21-3-0-8 Agieri. There were several wild Spence misses that Algieri missed making him pay for, instead just back-peddling off of. Straight back, back-peddling. Here's something else from the Devil's Advocate files: Spence caught him off-balance, going backward, and flush on his jaw. The response? Chris Algieri popping up from a quick knee.

All told, young Errol Spence did what ya do. He handled a newly-minted and tailor-made gatekeeper. Now he wants Kell Brook and more so, his IBF Welterweight Crown. What do I see? Well, gentlepersons, lettuce instead ask what I'd like to see. I'd like to see how Spence reacts to being frustrated. My gut-guess is rather poorly and brat-ish. But at the end of the day, and with the Brook match-up specifically, he will be frustrated, but comfortably so. Meaning he'll never be taken into deep waters because Brook's style is again tailor made for Spence. We'll see some flaws more clearly, though. Sometimes it's better to be lucky than good. 

Although luck doth run out. 
HAGLER/HEARNS TURNS 31
Ah, Bob Arum's "The War." Tax Day, 1985. I re-watched this for the ump-teenth time just a few ticks ago. Truly great fight, 'natch. I applauded the YouTube video at the close of round one, wherein Hearns nearly ends Hagler fresh outta the gate. I sighed in an elated fatigue at the close of round two wherein Hagler goes to righty then southpaw again; working constantly on the inside after shaking off the Hitman's terrible power. I always liked better Hearns' lesser known nom de ring, "Motor City Cobra." I just felt the need to be on record there. Also: I absolutely love Marvin Hagler.

Spices spicen up, and black pepper flies up to meet them in the primary section. Previous primary notes fall close to, but not into, tobacco core -- I get a lot of tea leaf when it all settles. Just for an instant. I remove the band, and in doing so, pull the top-leaf a tick outta place. Mea culpa, gentlepersons. Smoke is cool. Mouth is warm. Palate a bit roughed, but this ain't the day's first cigar, let's just say. Strength is up to a mild+ and profile sees a medium+ upping. Ash keeps my schmatta earning its keep; and a laundering. 

Some floral vibes in at the immediate draw and only reappears at the far-end of finish. With about two inches to go, I swig big from my Stevie sweetened coffee cup, as this is not a full review. Vastly, we are cruising. Tobacco in the core gets a tick deeper and bolder. There's more spice than pepper. Black pepper aids in the tobacco happenings. White pepper goes to the cedar. I swig again. Coffee soars through the stratosphere... wait. Never mind. This is why reviewers whom pair with their reviews are complete and total drek. In my humble opinion. Nub is quite soft. Smoke is cool. Draw is even. The leaf I cracked upon band removal is a non-issue.

We all now it ends in round three with Hearns on his back, then draped over Richard Steele. With a victorious Hagler donning the Jim Ross coined (or re-coined?) proverbial crimson mask -- But gentlepersons -- watch it again. See if it don't just get yer blood pumpin'. Ironically and ultimately, the Motor City Cobra got his predicted KO 3. Although I'm sure in not the way he foresaw. 

Happy 31st, gentlemen and "The War." I'm off to do some push-ups -- I got all this energy, ya see. 

K A P L O W I T Z SCALE
Appearance W
Construction I
Combustion T
Flavors/Body I
Strength A

EDITOR'S NOTE
Goodnight, Samuel Horwitz, wherever ya are.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Rocky Marciano v Archie Moore (1955) & Gurkha Crest (Redux)


The following, gentlepersons, is a redux of a previously reviewed Gurkha Crest offering. So allow me that spiel...

This is not meant to be a stand-alone review. Please read my original review of this stick HERE prior to reading this Redux. Notes will in a large way be in response to the original write-up. K A P L O W I T Z SCALE will be utilized. Cigars in Redux shall be broken down into -- the... wait...

[BUT WAIT THERE'S MORE! I'll be breaking down this offering into rounds with a blow-by-blow walking through of Rocky Marciano v Archie Moore from '55.]

Why Redux? Different vitola, blend tweaks, and simple second chances are the leading reasons. Flights of fancy play a part, as well. Please note that if something is unchanged from original write-up, in this Redux, I won't redundantly state it. If it happened therein, it happened herein.
A couple notes re: fisticuffs via BoxRec --
  • Moore was attempting to become the first reigning World Light Heavyweight Champion to win the World Heavyweight Championship.
  • The fight was postponed 24 hours because of Hurricane Ione.
  • Attendance at Yankee Stadium was 61,574.
  • Marciano was a 4 to 1 favorite.
RD. 1
Feeling out, verily. Rocky and Mongoose. Two well apt names even within a seeming lull. Gurkha gives me notes of aromatic tobacco in a brown paper bag. I get some nuances being hid by red spices with a musky under-belly. Burn is a ribbon off a Djeep outdoors lighting. Puring off foot smoke and into my smoke-hole smoke. Rock pawed some lefts, Moore a decent right.
RD. 2
Rock gets it on the button with a shortish right off a left feint and is down for a four-count. Tying up, lotsa in-fighting. Marciano bleeds from a busted nose and still noodle-legged at the round's end. He ends it with a half-hearted flurry. HERE is an interesting LA Times article about this round from Moore's perspective. Sweet chewy flirtation is on now. Creamy but not a pillowy sort. A firm mattress. Mulling spice spilt all over the sheets. Very leather, yes? Yes. Kinky. Leather has a sharp dustiness to it. Marciano's poker face is lacking. Eyes are a' poppin'.
RD. 3
Spices come back a bit and a roasted pepper hits the retro-hale. Moore is really out-thinking Marciano on the inside, particularly and most notably. Cut reopens over Rocky's left peeper. Marciano scores a hard right -- maybe his first true zetz of the evening. Rocky Marciano is in the fight gentlepersons; lands solid left at the bell. I taste honey... thin and fragrant. Foot-smoke is amazingly prolific. What's the announcer say? Something like Moore is a trickster but 15 rounds is a long time. Eerily ominous, that. Pace of Gurkha is blazing.
RD. 4
Moore gets the ring cut off on him, squeaks out, eats a right. Gets in a situation on the ropes. Archie rocks Rock now. Moore comes away with the brunt of the oy gevalt.  Moore's hands are lower now, gets his chin out there and Rocky finds it. Archie's dazed, for sure -- but makes Marciano miss a lot more than he lands. At the bell, both men appear fatigued. Moore lands a half-strength short throat-punch from under-neath post bell and Rocky has the most unreadable or perhaps potentially misjudgeable smile as he heads a bit queerly to his corner. Gurkha is medium+ profiled and nada as to strength. Honey lends orange rind from mulling spices and rejuvenates it to its own orange blossom end. Finish is a sharp aromatic tobacco with red spice ghostings. Re-touch attempt is a near inferno inducing thing.
RD. 5
Marciano looks punched out on the stool. Not to be out-done, Moore's hair is an unholy mess. The Mongoose is just so hard to hit. Marciano has such a so simplistic way of hitting. I'm almost frustrated just watching. I do wish Moore would keep his hands higher -- for appearance sake, at least. More blood from Marciano's nose. Lull of a round, but one controlled by Archie Moore. Mulling spice drops hard off the table like a Super Jew curveball and the primary is vacated. Oak shaving in. Char notes in. Slight chemical vibe on the finish. Leather thickens in workboot fashion. Burn attempts to even on its own. Slight caramelized sugar in remaining red spice section of mullings.
RD. 6
Moore don't worry much about getting in a corner, because he don't worry much about getting outta said corner. Seems to be more upper body movement on the part of Rocky. He gets lower, too. And then suddenly, a right hand fells Moore off not much more of a set-up than I made mention of already. Officially, it was scored a four-count. Moore goes straight to the ropes and Marciano throws leather by the ton, digging in down and up-top on Moore. Lotsa pennies in the jar body work with lotsa fight to go. Marciano does a solid minute of brutalizing with a lead right, including another knock-down to the count of eight at the 10-second mark. Moore's got his left but it ain't a lot. Marciano eats that left as soon as he lets up on those exaggerated bobs and weaves. Moore gets back to his corner and looks shellacked and shell-shocked. Red fruit brings chewiness back in this time far more sweetly -- lip-smackingly so. Charring note is a sorta balance. the black crumbs on a slice of jelly toast. Burn is nice. Ash nice, too.
RD. 7
Marciano spends much of this fight seemingly half-gassed. This round, 3/4 so. Moore scores a couple rights and looks amazingly fresh as a daisy, when you'd expect far more of a black-eyed Susan. Marciano is back to too straight up & down of a posture. Gotta be his bad back, methinks. Last minute of seventh looks a lot like last minute of sixth -- except: no damage. Moore won the round but at its end, had virtually no legs under hisself. Gurkha: fruity work boots, please insert yer Village People construction worker joke here. I roll off an inch+ of ash. Smoky note. Construction is far superior to the previous Crest I did that write-up of. Burn re-wobbles.
RD. 8
Moore's right eye closes up, or darn nigh. Marciano takes the lead. The ol' Mongoose is having trouble getting loose of the ropes -- and it's not due at all entirely to Marciano. Whenever Rock takes the lead, as he does now,  the bout has the motion of occurring in the ocean. Slowish rights and lefts swung wide, feet dug in, bobs weaves feints slow as them punches... it sounds harmless, but in watching it -- it's menacing as heck... amazingly powerful. Nonetheless, the round is fought at a near odd half-speed. Moore circles left off the ropes, settles at another set of ropes, but his tired frame allows momentum to rock him further left still, toward and into a Marciano good right. He's saved by the bell but looks as spent as 88 cents at yer local Walmart. Chocolate malt note comes in where the previous offering's dry cocoa failed. Smoke continues to pour and now thickens whiter. For all the smoky-smoke -- not a lot of room note... an aromatic and leathery tobacco. "I think the end is close..." Spooks the announcer yet again. Pace of Gurkha slows.
RD. 9
Why the fight ain't stopped on the stool is beyond me, gentlepersons. Moore still gets a nice zetz in, straight pawing through the widely thrown barrage. A right hand snaps Marciano's head back, and is returned with a left which downs Moore for the somewhat anti-climactic ten-count. 1:19 of the given round. Sharper and drier on the palate tongue cheeks. Not the most pleasant of mouths. I take a swish of seltzer. A sip of seltzer. Another. Ash is quite white and silver in spots. Flaky but not loose sheath.

Remember that round-four Marciano grin. It's there again with a greater grimace influence at fight's end when the ring announcer, dropping his Kreskin leanings, states his certainty at Rocky going for 50-0 and never looking better. This was Marciano's last fight. He retired with a record of 49-0, with 43 KOs. The Mongoose Archie Moore seemed ill-impressed at the in-ring post-pugilism addressing.

K A P L O W I T Z SCALE
K being the least, Z the greatest
Appearance P (previously) O (redux)
Construction P (previously) L (redux)
Combustion L (previously) W (redux)
Flavors/Body W (previously) I (redux)
Strength A (previously) A (redux)

POST-FIGHT
Mouth-feel smoothes. Flavor scope does not narrow as previously. Packing softens a couple ticks; seams hold fast. Smoke coolly floods smoke-hole. Greater honey albeit with less orange blossom additionings. A vanilla vibe. A seam loosens at 3/3 and hampers the burn a tick. Char dials back and allows a more favorable toasty thing in. Shape flattens at one side and burn runs up ahead there, opposite of loosened seam/top-leaf. Re-touch is less voosh.

Notes mottle despite my purgings, but they do soften some on leathery oils. Vastly, the 3/3 is verily a lightly aromatic tobacco with vibings of smoky leather and malt attachments.
FINAL GRADE
****C (previously)****
****B (redux)****

Oh, the fight --

Lotsa pictures. Some words. Decent 'nuff smoke. It's cold in my carport, gentlepersons; I hope ya enjoyed this post -- and as always, thank ya for the eyes. Now if you'll be so kind, I think I'll now venture into the sun just a tick. Maybe I'll take a not-a-Gurkha something with me...

EDITOR'S NOTE
Age, as I've said elsewhere and now here, is a Gurkha's best pal. This stick was received at the same time as the other, and kept in the same fashion.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Radio Herf 04172016 - Manolo Estate Herf

Gentlepersons! A special Radio Herf wherein we all #SmokeManolo -- the Manolo Estate Cigars Serie 32 Habano, to be exact. Brand owner Luis Gutierrez stops by to walk us through the stick, his blending process, and his vision for the company.

As always, thank ya ever-so kindly for the eyes and ears. Too, thanks verily to those whom partook.