Deep in flavor. Deep in your mind.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Weekly Boxing Review for 5.31.16- Gurkha Viper

I forgot to snap a pre-light shot. My head is elsewheres, gentlepersons.
Mea culpa.
Please listen to this, yesterday's pugilist-centric Kibbitz. It almost served as this week's Boxing Review -- but it felt as if I were being lazy or at least lax in not offering you, Dear Reader, this. So here are three more headlines for yer hopefully pleasant perusal. As always, thank ya kindly for the loan of yer attentions.

Too, there is --

THE CIGAR
Gurkha Viper
7 x 50 Churchill
w. Dominican Habano
b. Dominican
f. Dominican & Nicaraguan

&
THE LIBATION
Starbucks
Pike Place roast
Pour-over brewing method
Packet of Stevia (Albertons house brand)
AREOLA AND POVETKIN KEEP IT POSITIVE
The hand-feel on this Gurkha is silky as all get-out. Box-pressing is on the gentle side and density seems a tick under-stuft. Cold draw notes of highly creamy milk chocolate and cedar, predominantly. White bread and white pepper get added whenst match is applied.

We now know Chris Areola (36-4-1-31) tested positive for marijuana in a sample taken after his December 12, 2015 split-decision victory over Travis Kauffman (30-1-22) in a fight which was scored 114-113 on all cards. A third-round overhand right by Mr. Kauffman landed to Areola's temple, causing sir's tuchus to in turn land on the canvas. Interestingly, the two pugilists had at that time been in the ring with one another for some 200 sparring rounds. No wonder an even-keeled fight was fought. Familiarity often breeds just that.

Also interestingly, and reported above, is Povetkin's second positive drug test for Meldonium, a performance enhancing drug (read: 'roid). Mr. Alexander Povetkin (30-1-22) had the right to request Sample B be tested after Sample A set off every metal detector at the courthouse. He invoked said right and yes, cue metal detector mechanical screechings. Povetkin admitted to using the substance which is banned by The World Anti-doping Agency, but said he last did so in September. Humsoever, that time-frame does not line up with these test results.

Ash piles on loosely and somewhat flakily in grey complected variances. Milk chocolate, creamy cedar, a somewhat immature tobacco with a white pepper attachment which comes across as potentially bite-prone. Dirt underbelly. White bread lacings. Not much of a finish. Mouth-feel is a nicely moistened tingle. Room-note is kind and sweet. A coffee note sidles up to the medium profile. Strength is mild.

(Hippie) lettuce look at these substances briefly, gentlepersons. Allow me my opining of a very certain line drawn betwixt performance enhancing and performance, shall we say, de-hancing. Weed, as the kids call it, is a natural pain reliever (of little clinical proof for a plethora of reasons) which is non-addictive. Meldonium makes one even more Drago-esque than posited in the promotions leading up to the now cancelled Deontay Wilder affair. One substance offers an unfair physical advantage. One substance is a smokeable aspirin which pairs well with Tecate and tacos. Please forgive my sheer envy and usage of Latino life-style stereotypings.

Mr. Areola has been wrist-slapped with a 90-day retroactive suspension, although his victory over Kauffmann has now been deemed a non-decision. Mr. Povetkin has not as of this writing been punished by sanctioning bodies -- but his fight against Mr. Wilder is looking less mandatory by the hour to these eyes. Which should sit well, also to these eyes, with any fan of Deontay.
BELLEW WINS WBC CRUISER-WEIGHT CROWN
And the new...
Mr. Tony Bellew (27-2-1-17) has "fulfilled his dream" upon becoming the WBC Cruiserweight King with a victory over IIunga Makabu (19-2-18) via third-round technical knock-out at Goodison Park this past Saturday.

This glove'd practitioner of life imitating art, as he portrayed "Pretty" Ricky Conlan the lineal Light-heavyweight Champion and pound-for-pound King in Creed, a flick I have not seen -- is currently laying his newfound gauntlet down in front of David Haye (28-2-26). Stated gauntlet has been swiftly picked up, regardless of weight-class, by the Light-heavyweight champion and oft Heavyweight via social media. Truly and verily, I do so wish for Haye to simply go awaye.

Gentlepersons, I am now fully in the "Gurkha experience." Two re-touches on a fercockt burn have yielded limited positive results. Flavor notes are unchanged, lest a dustier delivery of the dirt under-belly. Too there is a vibing in of a sour note attempting at a dry white wine under my tongue.
REMEMBERING JACK DEMPSEY
Born William Harrison "Jack" Dempsey on June 24, 1895, the legend of pugilism died this day in 1983. His reported last words were to his wife, "Don't worry honey, I'm too mean to die." Proving that Hashem doth require the souls of even those tough as nails. I will not attempt a recant in this short space, such a career for the ages, of such an epic man. I only wish you to recall all of this on yer lonesome.

I too shall not dabble in questioning Mr. Jack Dempsy's talents within the confines of any era save for his own -- which he ruled unquestionably so -- even as it unfurled its changes beneath his black-booted feet. Here's to you, good sir, I only wish I'd have a finer cigar offering to raise in yer honor. Doth I sound pretentious?

The Viper offering remains unchanged in sub-par construction combustion. Flavor notes are the same and given on a thin line. The draw is even at medium, but offers varying bursts of smoke to smoke-hole. Sour notes ebb and flow, and their white wine vibings are now mute. At the dawning of 3/3 the line is nigh even at last. Then the stick goes out. 

I'll re-light and tend to my roses, hang some hand-washed laundry on a sunny line. A toasted caramel nuttiness flirts in.

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

EDITOR'S NOTE
In fairness to the Gurkha Viper offering, its last third served me well 'nuff in a stogie sense. Do coffee or a Honey-Do list as suitable pairings. Oh, it went out again.

Herbert Kaplowitz
DIGNITY
September 3, 1940 - May 31, 2001
You are missed. Your memory is a blessing.

Monday, May 30, 2016

"I light this candle to bring peace to the soul of Herbert Kaplowitz ben Nathan Kaplowitz"


1940 - 2001

Kibbitz w/ Kaplowitz Extra Edition Monday Evening May 30, 2016 1.1

Pacquiao v Canelo
Ward v Kovalev

Bernard Hopkins
Porter
Thurman

...and a Cu-Avana Punisher Shorty Edition.

Good times.
Thanks to Darren, Jesse, and Darryl!

Gentlepersons, as always, I thank ya for yer eyes and ear and the loaning thereof.

EDITOR'S NOTE
One day I do hope, I shall recognize Mr. Martin's area code.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Kibbitz w/ Kaplowitz Volume 1 Issue 1 May 29, 2016

We discussed:
  • More FDA hoopla, particulary in reaction to THIS.
  • A quite decent 101 on cigar cutting and lighting.
  • A bit about the potential Canelo/Pacquiao boxing showdown.
Thanks for the eyes and ears, gentlepersons. Each set is appreciated verily.

Fratello Corona - Cigar Review

PROLOGUE
Bought a boilersuit. Zipper broke after one wear. Thanks, Obama.

THE CIGAR
Fratello Corona
5 1/2 x 46
w. Nicaraguan Habano
b. Ecuadorian Sumatra
f. Nicaraguan & Peruvian
Sample courtesy of Omar de Frias, brand owner
PRE-LIGHT
Dark fudgy brown complexion with a goldenrod under-hue carried low and far behind. Hello, my name is Kaplowitz and thanks for reading www.kaplowitz.xyz. Ask a pal if they've Kaplowitz'd today! Nice oily sheen over-top some thin tooth. Betwixt tooth and sheen is some slight espresso bean marbling. Seams are nigh invisible. Veins are notable; one runs from center 1/3 to center 3/3 and picks up a sharply raised ridge in 2/3. It pulls the goldenrod color to the top-leaf surface. Foot tobacco is mousy brown and too, has a tick of a goldenrod under-belly. Looks to be packed to a -full density. At the opposing end, cap sits well affixed but a bit short on the shoulder, and not perfectly shaped. I like the band.

Hand-feel is tooth and sheen, 50/50, and a firm packing off a quick Charmin squeeze testing. No soft spots. Balance is 'natch superb in a Corona format. Heft is weighty for the size. The veins as mentioned form a nice-sized impediment to the hand. More oils rise to the to-leaf as I fumble and fawn. They don't transfer to the hand, humsoever, and my mitt is left feeling dry as a nun on Valentine's Day.

Schnozz notes along the shaft are a chocolate laced black soil. Added at the foot is some light and dusty spiced espresso grinds. I nibble off the cap and furthermore plan on lighting with matches. Very chocolate and cinnamon cold draw off a medium+ tension. Espresso grinds are on the cold finish. There's a tick of tart there, as well. Another cold pull shows a black peppery potting soil.

LIGHT
Toasting the foot lets off a very woody dark roasted java aroma. Black pepper is there, too. Perhaps a hint of leather. First hot pull is black pepper/potting soil alongside espresso grinds up front. Behind is a leathery under-belly which sits quite high. Middling is led by a nice dark chocolate with a creamy core. Rest of middling is a red spice rack spotlighting cinnamon. Big in-the-face flavors. Second hottie is retro-haled to show the spice rack and pepper and to singe my few remaining nose hairs left behind by yesterday's Punisher. Some leathery oils and cream hit my palate as the smoke clears. Third hot one is all aboard, gentlpersons... next stop: more review.

Line is even enough and thin. Ash is white. No softening of pack occurred off lighting. Draw is smooth and even, with a perfect bit of tension. Mouth-feel is light oils and cream with a cushioned tongue tingle. Finish is sweet and clean and medium+ length. There's a hint of purple fruit there in the pepper/spice/coffee/espresso. Room note is a sweet leathery tobacco. Profile out of the gate is a medium+ and strength hasn't hopped on as of yet.
ACT I
Burn-line finds nuts-even. plum note comes into mid-middlings. Smoke out-put perks up a notch. A seasoned cedar comes on at the 1/2" mark; plays intricately with the creamy chocolate core. Fruit goes to the ground espresso beans. Coffee note falls off as the cedar comes in -- perhaps a morphing.

Ash is very solid and stays white throughout. A seam does loosen a hair at the burn, but nothing nigh egregious. Body is filling up on chocolate cream and leathery oil. -Full profile. Strength is now a -medium. Espresso is delivered interestingly, as I still sense ground beans, not brewed. Potting soil gets some sweetness from the plum note. Nothing sweetens the espresso, but its bite registers on my palate at cleansing and kindly so. Occasionally, on the immediate draw, there is a grapefruit vibe. Burn slows its pace. There's a heating up of the flavor profile via a zetzing of cinnamon. Now that grapefruit vibe ins on a retro-hale, as well.

At the end of the opening act, the line wavers some, as he loosened seam at char runs into the ridged vein. I give a lil readily accepted re-touch and all's well after two tugs on the Fratello.

ACT II
That grapefruit vibing is influencing the plum, sharpening and bracing it. Ash is still on in full, although its sheath is a tick more loose. I roll it off, as its insulation was seemingly slowing the burn a bit much for my liking. A singular pull failed to fill my smoke-hole because of it. I'm still having an issue there... too, the packing has softened substantially up and down the shaft. There is 3 1/4" left of the Fratello and the middle of that is very, very soft. I give a big re-light and whilst the foot-smoke snaps back to life, the draw does not as much.

There we go. Resuscitated. I let it rest a bit while I find a link to the previous (2) Fratello Corona I smoked, which had no such issue. As I read it, I notice it did perform somewhat differently. HERE is that post. Here in the now, there is some re-firming of pack density. Notes are a tick bitter and I pull sparingly, allowing it its rest.

A half inch of ash is a silver sheath. Line is straight. A seam loosens again ahead of burn. Flavors all get a touch of plum and ground espresso beans causing somewhat of a marriage bordering on mottling. Grapefruit vibe leaves, but it leaves the plum a bit sour, as if it's not quite ripened. Cinnamon and chocolate begin to rebound as the second act sees its close looming on the horizon. The top-leaf again is having slight problems in igniting evenly. Strength is a medium now.

ACT III
Potting soil comes to the forefront now. I hesitate to use "primary," as we are somewhat on a linear string now. The soil note is interesting enough, though... pulling in plum and chocolate leanings. I re-touch. Smooth sailing to the band insofar as construction/combustion.  A cola note laces in and out. Strength doesn't dial back, but smooths out.
SMOKE TIME:
75mins

NOTES
I do wish to note this is the 3rd offering of this format I've experienced, and neither of the first two had the issues I've mentioned herein. In continued and all honesty, they have all flirted with a linear delivery particularly in their second half. All told, I would consider them a quite nice smoke, albeit one somewhat lacking in complexities.

PAIRINGS
Cuban coffee. Concord Grape Manischewitz. Cola, yer choice.

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

FINAL GRADE
****n/a****

EPILOGUE
brb gtg exchange boilersuit.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Cu-Avana Punisher Intensus - Cigar Review

PROLOGUE
They schmear the top-leaf with pepper juice? I bet I'll be tasting pepper juice. There's Ligero up the wazoo in its guts? Oy gevalt, gentlepersons. Oy vey iz mir. Oh, boy.

THE CIGAR
Cu-Avana Punisher Intensus
6 x 52 Belicoso
w. w/ peppers, it's loaded!
b. n/a
f. n/a
(There just ain't a lotta real good info on the WWW re: this)

Thanks goes to one Mr. Martin for this offering, and many others.
PRE-LIGHT
I actually like the graphic design here on this Cu-Aavana, although I generally dislike the threatening visuals and idea. I'd rather not be dared to smoke an offering, thanks just the same. Nevertheless and as stated, I like the look. Let's start with hand-feel, shall we? As that is noticed firstly by moi. Dry and toothy. Firmly packed sans a soft spot in the 2/3. Feels a tick light in heft and sounds hallow whenst I thump my ring with it. Balance is a hair off, but to be somewhat expected in the given format.

Visually, I'm looking at a matte dark chocolate with some espresso hues added into a somewhat uneven complexion. No real under-hue, a tick of brick red here and there. Tooth ticks the coloring up to a lighter brown here and there. Ligero is darkly visible at the foot as a brunette. The rest therein is brownette. Medium+ density to the eye-balling. Schnoz notes are Simply dark tobacco and soil on the shaft; some nutty red spices get added at the foot. 

I cut the tip with my Xikar surgical precision war machine Xi2. It cuts. Cold draw Is a black bread and chocolate front. Behind is soil and earth and espresso therein. Nutty finish. I don't taste peppers, but I feel them as a bit o' warmth on my tongue and cheeks. Or maybe I've just been brain-washed. Notes are quite dry. There's a chemical aspect there now, as I cold tug a couple more times on the medium+ resistance draw.

Hot peppers and Ligero, I'm glad I'm fresh 'nuff off a bagel and lox. Review spoiler: I taste salty fish throughout the 1/3. Kidding, fresh as a daisy, my palate be.

LIGHT
Black pepper, hardwood, leather under-belly. That's the aroma off toasting the foot of this Punisher Intensus offering. The affair is not an overly easy one, as it's hard to get an even catch on the thing. Worth noting, however, is I am out-of-side and armed with a Bic, because I can't seem to recall to replace my Djeep. First hot pull is thin bitter espresso with some vague pepper addition which is again a feeling as much if not more than a note. Wood. Leather. Black bread and earth. Second hottie is retro-haled out of a misguided and ill-advised sense of review duty. I taste pain. Black pepper and red pepper eventually drop to my palate and ghost my naval cavity, after the storm clears. Third hottie shows some more espresso and a bit of almost molasses via a dark sweet liquidy note an the end of draw. 

Oily mouth-feel. Medium+ profile, -medium strength. Line is a ribbon. Ash is medium to charcoal grey in loose ladder-rungs. At the far end of long finish, a cream is on. It wraps around and into the next pull. Throat is catching a bit. Packing has softened considerably against the light. Draw is down to a medium tension and smoke-hole is a readily satiated and tingly oil-slick. Nice moisture level on that mouth-feel. Smoke off the foot is medium+ volume and spinning off a simple tobacco room-note with some spicy sweetness of nondescript leanings.
ACT I
Dark chocolate comes up, as does espresso, but separately. Nutty notes are mingling with hardwood and it's tough to pull a more definite labeling from my tuchus than that. Strength is a good medium and sharp zetz now. Black peppers steers from up-top. Underbelly is topsoil and black bread. There's an advancing chemical vibe that hits on the immediate draw and stay through the finish. It's sharp and lettuce call it kerosene. I keep expecting more peppers... let me clarify: not more insofar as volume, but array. I'm tasting vastly black and the red is trailing off. A retro-hale is kinder now, but doesn't add to the profile. Wood sharpens a tick there, mayhaps. 

Newer ash is tighter ladder-rungs and a paler shade of grey. Burn-line is evening out, but not even per se. Mouth-feel is actually quite nice. Pace slows a tick here. Out-put of foot-smoke dials back some, but draw stays even and filling as all heck. Softening of pack ceases but as of yet, is not re-firming. Seams hold well, however. An inch of flake gives me a heads up and I drop it in my $0.99 Walmart tray. Molasses comes up. I'm enjoying this Cu-Avana a good deal more than I'd have guesstimated, gentlepersons. Still, there is that kerosene quality.

At the opening act's close, there is pepper and chocolate up-top. Middling is close at its heels and the top there is a bitey espresso. Under that is a hardwood and leather. Then a black bread up from the under-belly to mingle with molasses. Underbelly is kerosene poured into topsoil. My head hurts a little. Profile is -full and strength is a combative medium. Toasted cream darkly laces the festivities.

ACT II
I start the middle act of this Punisher by taking a toke in my Dollar Store hand-held mirror. Its guts/binder/wrapper burn notably even. The line has evened as well, but still there is a more than slight ribbon. Finish and mouth-feel are more pepper juice and it flirts with pulling in some kerosene. Cream goes more to dark chocolate and braces that note. Espresso thins more. Nuts are falling off... perhaps this Intensus has been married for some time. Top-leaf feels a bit less dry now. Smoke pace has quickened. Black bread is now pumpernickel. A dark tobacco rears, then rears again to the primary where it meets peppers. Chocolatey is now a high middling. Hardwood stays static and in doing so, becomes a greater focus as some shuffling happens around it. Molasses is trailing off, perhaps being absorbed into cream.

Kerosene is easing up, but the strength ain't, gentlepersons. It's a hard -full. Profile is at the same height. Body is mostly a heavy oil with butter accompaniment. Packing is as before, draw as well. Combustion chugs along nicely. Salt sets in on my lips. A cup of black coffee is poured into the mix. Remaining espresso note is now a separate bean. Ash clumps on my Chromebook and is skillfully whisked away by schmatta. Peppers soar, but are less delineated than prior. I sense a hint of sarsaparilla... then don't.

ACT III
Strength dials down to a medium+. Either that, or I have entered BEAST MODE, gentlepersons. Very tobacco and cream driven. Profile has become mainly lineal, consisting of, in zero particular order: chocolate, coffee, espresso bean, top-soil, peppers, cream, tobacco, hardwood. Very straight-forward stuffs. I have had many a more peppery stick than this Intensus -- and ones not rumored to the schmeared with the stuffs. Again and as ever, the pepper play seems more a feeling than note. 

Ash is tighter rung'd still, and darker. Combustion/construction are each admirable. Kerosens flows as the profile hierarchy ebbs. Not an entirely pleasant finish, nor clean. Chocolate gets toward fudge now. I'm on the fence here, gentlepersons. Let's say I can see the allure here, but it's far from my wheelhouse. I am sitting on said fence, surrounded by thick grey-white smoke, wispy somewhat, but a lot nonetheless. Kerosene backs off after a couple purgings.

Almonds. I taste burnt almonds. They stay on the finish and sweeten there. As the band doth loom a half-inch away -- we are on a line. I don't see much changing here. If something does, I'll of course note it; if not, see ya in the next section.

SMOKE TIME
90mins(approx.)
NOTES
Altogether a somewhat beguiling affair. As stated, one outside a' my wheelhouse, but I did appreciate it.

PAIRINGS
Root beer. Coffee, black.

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

FINAL GRADE
****B****

EPILOGUE
In the time betwixt reviewing and editing, I visited the local Rose Gardens. Nice spot. I am itchy. Too, I got some new topsoil for my own roses. That is correct, gentlepersons, I am so well-off I purchased dirt. Did so with Ruby Vondella, my mini doxie in tow. I have not recently felt so upwardly mobile.

EDITOR'S NOTE
Reports doth vary on the accuracy of schmeared on pepper oils reports.

Kaplowitz Radio Volume 1 Issue 2 May 28, 2016

Over an Isabela Firecracker offering:

  • I answer "What's next for Floyd Mayweather?"
  • Reveal Project X Blind Cigar Reviews #5 and #6.
  • Spin a yarn about me pa.
  • Make clear that testicle news just was broke re: Suddenbreakingnews.
  • Spotlight the Dunbarton & Trust Sobremesa Cervantes Fino.

Thanks as always gentlepersons, for the loan of yer eyes and ears and time...

Friday, May 27, 2016

Project X: Offering #6 Serie II - Blind Cigar Review (My Father El Centurion)


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

THE CIGAR
*classified*
6 x 54 (approx) Toro, lettuce say.
DECLASSIFIED
My Father El Centurion
ACT I

FLAVORS
Animal: Smoked meat.
Sweet: Bittersweet. Blackberry. Black cherry. Molasses.
Spicy: Black pepper. Nutmeg. Salt. Chili pepper.
Woody: Mesquite wood. Dark roasted coffee. Charred/burnt. Smoke. Toasted. Cedar wood.
Vegetal: Herbs. Citrus.
Earthy: Manure. Peat.
Chemical: Charcoal (hint of)

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

NOTES

  • Tastes like a cowpoke cook-out...
  • ... w/ fruit cup side?
  • Smooth and consistent dry draw.
  • Somewhat of a delicate top-leaf.
  • Citrus-laced red pepper.
  • Dry shaft. Is there anything worse, sirs?
  • Strong mouth-tingle makes some drool.
  • Warm & loose ash. Cue schmatta! 
  • Thin, stiff leather hand and under-belly.
  • Cedar hits hard at start o' 2/3. Then smoked meat.
  • I keep thinking of the Blazing Saddles campfire scene.
  • Room-note is sharp smoke, toasty, char. Some sweetness.
  • ^ finish too, w/ more sweetness. 
ACT II

FLAVORS
Animal: Smoked meat (less) (falls off)
Sweet: Bittersweet. Blackberry. Black cherry. Molasses. Creamy.
Spicy: Black pepper. Nutmeg. Salt. Chili pepper. Cinnamon.
Woody: Mesquite wood. Dark roasted coffee. Charred/burnt. Toasted. Cedar wood.
Vegetal: Herbs. Citrus. (Less. Less)
Earthy: Manure. Dirt/earth. Espresso.

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

NOTES

  • Smoke out-put, pace, and strength all up-tick.
  • Blackberry and cherry become more generic red/purple fruit. Dry but plump.
  • Top-leaf is a bit dry/delicate. Cracks here & there. Cosmetic, only.
  • Fruit and espresso lead with woods close-up. 
  • Toast/smoke/char clears a bit.
  • Strength up a tick again at 3/3 onset.
  • Cedar rebounds on new cream.
  • 2 retouches have been required. Line is nuts even now in 3/3.
  • I taste Blackberry Manischewitz.
  • Cream is quite toasted. Nearly solid.
  • Shaft gets new oils.
  • Smoke is cool and even from light to nub.
  • Clean post finish.
  • I am spitting a lot, gentlepersons.
SMOKE TIME
90mins

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

POSTSCRIPT
In the interest of uniformity, I will be working from a flavor chart via Stogie Fresh. ("Malt" added by moi.)

Sobremesa Cervantes Fino - Cigar Review

PROLOGUE
I reviewed the Torpedo Tiempo format of this offering HERE. I chose to not go the Redux route however, as I feel this Cervantes Fino worthy of its own full review and write-up in light of reasons. "What reasons? You may ask; to which I may reply...

THE CIGAR
Dunbarton Tobacco and Trust
Sobremesa Cervantes Fino 
5 1/4 x 44 Corona Grande
w. La Meca Ecuador Habano Grade 1 Dark Rosado
b. Matacapan Negro de Temporal
f. Nicaraguan GK Condega C-SG Seco, Nicaraguan Pueblo Nuevo Criollo Viso, Nicaraguan La Joya Esteli, C-98 Viso Nicaraguan ASP Esteli Hybrid Ligero; USA Lancaster County Broadleaf Ligero. 

Oy vey, epis!, and et cetera. 

Sample courtesy of Cigars City
PRE-LIGHT
Veins, nigh verily so. They are a visual impediment only, as no ridges or overly broad arteries lead to potential burn issue thoughts. Seams are tight and even. The impediment can therefore be seen as germane to a plot of hand-crafted artisanship, gentlpersons. I kinda dig the band but would like to see a name embossed thereon. Complexion is a tick uneven but from the same pallette. Chocolate brown with a peanut butter under-belly and slight reddish hue beneath a' that. I daresay it's visually complex, this Sobremesa. Sobremesa, of course, translates to "Venti" in Starbucks Frentalian. Cap is affixed well and seems trip'd. Foot tobacco at opposite end of shaft is mousy brown mainly, with a dirty blonde tick or three. Packing there is interesting to the eyeball. Medium dense core and -full outer layer. Thin tooth-trace and nice water-based pomade sheen over-top.

Hand-feel is an exceptionally balanced heft and smooth fingering with just 'nuff grit to feel like a cigar. Light but ready transfer of oils from shaft to paw. Charmin squeeze test results in a medium+ and evenly distributed density. I dig this vitola, gentlepersons, I'm twirling it all fancifully. Schnoz shows aromatic tobacco with a slight chocolate bent along the top-leaf, with some red spice and nutty/wood additions on the foot. Leathery sensations on both hand and nose.

Cold draw time, I free the pull with a deadly accurate machine precision'd Xikar Xi2 cutter. It cuts. Tension is a bit softly airy medium. Leather under-belly sprinkled with earth. Some wooden red spice rack. Cocoa laced and led tobacco. A bit of a honey roasted peanut vibe, particularly on sweet leather cream finish. Quite aromatic leaf on the end of cold finish.

LIGHT
Toasting the foot brings around aromas of earth, aromatic tobacco, leather, and hardwood -- served up in a nice 'nuff melange of notes. First hot pull is creamier than expected and hints at pulling up a coffee note to accompany itself. Very earth/tobacco-centric. Leather under-belly. Spice rack is mid-middlings and muffled with some dust. Cocoa is upper middlings to primary. Settling... settling... some artisan bread... settling. Second hottie is retro-haled and spices, white pepper, and a dropping to the palate of a pale dried fruit. Cream picks up on mouth-feel. Third hot pull is... I wanna say I taste papaya. As well as all other notes listed. I'm getting the impression of theater-goers filing to their seats...

Ash is white and forming a loose sheath, sans flaking. Line is even and thin. Packing has softened a tick off of light, not too much though, and only a half inch down. Draw has found some nice tension and is at a medium+ resistance. Smoke out-put is steady. Room-note is sweet creamy tobacco and leather. Rich, minus being heavy. Profile this early-on is a medium, lettuce say. Strength has nudged but not moved the dial. A seam is a tick loose a bit ahead of burn, but holding.
ACT I
That papaya thingy is gone, but the less-descript pale dried fruit stays. Earth joins cocoa/chocolate in primary. Wood becomes cedar and spins with tobacco in the middlings alongside and atop of bakers spices. Some nuttiness is a high middling, but not the showcase yet. Underbelly is leather laid out over more earth. Earth there is interesting, as there is a slight floral quality. Creaminess weaves throughout the profile. Coffee keeps flowing and ebbing in low middling. Chocolate soars now, at an inch in. 

Burn is a bit wavered, but not requiring aid. Ash holds well and unchanged insofar as complexion/construction. Packing has re-firmed from match light. Mouth-feel is perfect moisture and receiving some clarified butter addition. Fruit is now a decent hint on the chocolate note, and black pepper joins white and sautees. A mace-covered nutmeg peeks out of bakers spice. I sound like a pretentious schmuck, sure -- but this Sobremesa is quite the complex affair. Profile is a nigh medium+ and strength a mild+.

ACT II
Mace and nutmeg get a cardamom finish all their own. I particularly get this effect off a retro-hale, which I've been doing more oft than not. Layers of chocolate and cedar are found there as well. Earth and aromatic tobacco drive from under that. Pale honey-roasted nuts. Floral notes. It's less of a hierarchy, this Sobremesa -- and more an egalitarian jamboree. Leather has some rehydrated pale fruit drip into it at the under-belly. Spices lose much of their dust and really become quite intricate. They make me think apple pie. I like thinking apple pie, gentlepersons.

Construction and combustion hold true and perfected. Line is dead-even. Mouth is a bit of flaky buttered pie crust with a slight cinnamon tingle. Perhaps some white pepper. That white pepper is braced by a pinch of black, sauteed as ever. At the mid-point, there is a greater emphasis on aromatic tobacco. Finish is clean and sweet -- thinly enough to allow a wow amount of nuances of spices. -Long legs there. Nice set a' gams. Muscular yet feminine... this Dunbarton Tobacco and Trust wears stilettos. Classy ones. Not stripper shoes. No one is perfect.

Cardamon steps up and continues its role under a spot-light. Chocolate gets the nuts along with a greater fruitiness. Ya know those Cadbury Fruit and Nut Bars? Yeah. In short, it's a desert stick, this Sobremesa, but not of a diner varietal... there's a pastry chef in the kitchen... and she's gorgeous. Insane, too. I'm slobbering a bit. Burn slows and cream is thickened as the final act draws nigh. The new zetz of cream seems to bee-line to cedar, as if more complexity was needed, oy gevalt! Smoke doth poureth.

ACT III
Aromatic tobacco gets a touch of white tea leaf. Seams continue to loosen a tick ahead of burn, but hold and extend out a strong 'nuff white ash from an even and thin line. Some tannic quality is coming on at the immediate draw. Can I just shut up now and give this thing an A+? Probably, but I do love prattling on...

Fruits are dried pineapple, a lightly candied apple flesh, and plump white raisin. Peppers are vastly white with a slight black bracing; sauteed in butter. Chocolate is that garsh-durned Cadbury Fruit and Nut Bar, as mentioned. Blonde coffee is on to stay, with cream -- some sugar. Seasoned aromatic tobacco, as described already, and earth fill out middlings. Fruity leather under-belly with white wine dousing. Cedar is creamy and spiced just 'nuff to not cloud.

Beautiful construction/combustion notes. Medium+ profile, robust yet gentle. Strength is a kindly medium. Now, I shall shut up. There's some rare Pacific Northwest sun hitting my front porch -- I'm going to it.

SMOKE TIME
95mins 
NOTES
This Sobremesa sounds like a tune sung to one's own palate. Thankfully, I apparently share the singer's ears. As far as mixed metaphors go, I think that's apt as all get-out.

PAIRINGS
Weak coffee or strong tea, milk and sugar. Loganberry Manischewitz. Really, though, pairing is very optional and not necessitated in the least. Enjoy the stick, gentlepersons.

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

FINAL GRADE
****A+****

EPILOGUE

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Weekly Horse Racing Review for 5.26.16 - Man O' War Ruination


THE CIGAR
Man O' War Ruination
(Please to read my full write-up HERE)
5 1/2 x 54 Robusto no. 1
Ecuadorian Sungrown wrapper
Nicaraguan binder
Honduran & Nicaraguan fillers

ITS ACCOMPANYING LIBATION
(as this is not a review, per se)
Cup of coffee (upon saucer, natch)
Starbucks Pike Place
Pour-over brew method
Pack of Stevia (Albertsons house brand)
NYQUIST TO FORE-GO BELMONT
I've stated before, gentlepersons, my confusion as to wherest direct my ire -- toward Exaggerator for dropping the Derby, or Nyquist for dropping his Preakness bid ball. It just don't sit well. Neither too, did an accidental retro-hale whilst lighting up this Man O' War Ruination via AJ Fernandez. Such a zetz, epis! Nose hairs grow back though and quick at my age, and we soldier on.

Does Exaggerator soldier on as well, and pick up two of three Triple Crown jewels? As we know by know, via not living under a rock as well as via reading the headline above, Nyquist will not be making the trip to the Big Apple. I can honestly say, after watching the first two Jewels, that Nyquist being there or not, spiking a fever or not, would do little to impart much on Exaggerator's Belmontian experience. I simply do not believe the pony whom was falling back to a surging Derby Exaggerator at nigh wire and dying in the Preakness stretch-top -- would even be there at the top of Belmont's excruciatingly long stretch. Recall, gentlepersons, when I doubted Exaggerator a proper Nyquist nemesis, I deemed that stretch a more than suitable one.

I'm now thinking my high hopes of Nyquist were the stuffs of dreams. What then of Exaggerator at three of three at three? He's bound to be favored by many; myself amongst them... but looking deeper a name doth appear and with no small legacy. Read on, gentlepersons...

Worthy of note is this Ruination offering seems to have more veins that its prior example (again, a link to my previous and full write-up is above in the profile.) Thickly packed yet Smooth O' Draw with BIG notes of dark rich chocolate and thick espresso. There was some softening of pack against the match, but already at 1/2" in, we are re-firming. Dead even burn. Oak-cum-wine cask, peppers, black bread, dripping red/purple fruits, topsoil, barn, poopy. Room-note is far kinder and just as full as is draw. Strength has yet to tuchus me, but it will.
ON AFLEET ALEX 
The year was 2005. Gas prices were through the roof, Dennis Rader was brung to justice at long last, Michael Jackson wasn't, and Terri Shiavo's sad situation made us all take a big think. In that year's Triple Crown, the Timothy Ritchey trained and Jeremy Rose ridden Afleet Alex reigned vastly supreme in a manner well on Exaggerator's table.

As one of the Derby's favorites, he finished third under a blanket. Later, Mr. Rose admitted to not having been his best performance. Better steerings came in Alex's Preakness two weeks later wherein he and the Derby's win horse, Giacomo flipped finishes. Then, in Belmont, Afleet sure was that, winning by some seven lengths and running the fastest final quarter there since 1969.

Yes, that is all well on the table and mayhaps even in the cards for Exaggerator. I suppose then, screws to ya, Nyquist -- in an answer to whom gets my ire.

The black bread is sweetened by fruit to the point of almost every one's favorite doorstop, Fruitcake. It's a doughier go than the previous offering, if memory serves. Spices and peppers dial back to meet a toasty creaminess. Leather note muscles in and smoothly stays aboard. Red peppers are on a heady retro-hale. Espresso and chocolate, heavy on the palate. Sweet hardwood finish is neat-O. Strength is not menacing as of yet, and I'm a bit pleasantly surprised... it's allowing me a clearer look at flavor nuances. - Full profile; medium strength. More humi-time, perhaps, is to thank.
SUDDENBREAKINGNEWS TO COME 
There is another potential connection of a link in the upcoming Belmont. Fifth-place Derby finisher, Suddenbreakingnews, whom forewent a Preakness go, is slated to run the Belmont Stakes. This gelding has the distance and it comes, 'natch, from his pedigree. In his pedigree, interestingly enough and herein the connection, is one Afleet Alex (Sbn's Mommy's daddy). Funny how this all works, huh gentlepersons? 

He will push Exaggerator, I feel -- and might even win Belmont, if he runs a career-best. His chances are good 'nuff to bet on. As always, humsoever, don't bet the dough dough. Never go in hard on a pugilist being perfect, nor a career-run. 

A clump of ash doth clump as I check on my roses. Smoke is smooth, cool. Black bread, leather, and compost lead. The compost has a slight tang. Espresso gets a caramelized sugar note leading to a Cuban coffee delivery. Fruits seep. A much more pleasant experience than prior, here. Chocolate has a tick of waxiness and mouth-feel maybe errs toward dry, I sip. Oils join a thinning cream. Salts is on my lips, roasted. I detect a separate Full City coffee bean on the finish, a tick sharply so. At the band, I get a wave of strength and... and... thanks for reading, gentlepersons. I think I'm done typing. Big smoky out-put.

K A P L O W I T Z SCALE
(K=least; Z=most)
Appearance W
Construction I
Combustion W
Flavors/Body T
Strength I

Thanks to all, as always and ever, for the loan of yer eyes.

EDITOR'S NOTE
5/27/16
Listening to The Matt Bernier Show just now. Apparently, Suddebreakingnews has just been reported as NOT being a gelding. He's a full horse with a tandem of undescended testicles. Some folks feel that matters. I'm sure Sbn is amongst 'em.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

A Review of Recent Grade A Offerings

"The only yardstick for success our society has, is being a champion.
No one remembers anything else."
- John Madden

Without any further ado, adon't, or amaybe -- Gentlepersons, the champions of May. AKA...

THE A LIST
Saison by Oliva First Harvest 2009 (Project X)

HONORABLE MENTION

"Usually the team that scores the most points wins the game."
- John Madden, not knowing when to quit.

Project X: Offering #5 Serie II - Blind Cigar Review (Rocky Patel Royal Vintage)


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

THE CIGAR
*classified*
5 1/2 x 50 (approx) Belicoso 'oval' press
DECLASSIFIED
Rocky Patel Royal Vintage
ACT I

FLAVORS
Sweet: Buttery. Chocolate/cocoa. Dried fruit. Coffee and cream. Honey.
Spicy: Salt. Mulling spice. Black pepper. White pepper. Orange peel.
Woody: Cedar wood. Toasted.
Vegetal: Alfalfa. Citrus.
Earthy: Moss. Peat.
Chemical: Soap (vibe).
Malt: Cereal. Honey.

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

NOTES

  • Cereal underbelly with raisins over-top. Raisin Bran!
  • Chocolate milk on the side. Orange juice? ...
  • ... a complete balanced breakfast?
  • Lively, alive flavor notes. Clean, fresh.
  • Burn needs a single re-touch.
  • Draw tension is same, results vary.
  • Coffee mounts.
  • Pack softens a tick unevenly.
  • Ash: med/dk grey sheath.
  • Room-note is a bit irritating. 
  • Notes all toast/roast at mid-point.
  • Distinct black tea leaf note enters.
ACT II

FLAVORS
Sweet: Buttery. Chocolate/cocoa. Dried fruit. Coffee and cream. Honey.
Spicy: Salt. Mulling spice. Black pepper. White pepper. Orange peel.
Woody: Cedar wood. Toasted. Tannic. Smoke.
Vegetal: Alfalfa. Citrus. Nuts, roasted. Floral.
Earthy: Moss. Peat. Dirt/earth

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

NOTES

  • Earthy notes dry via toasting on profile.
  • Re-touch needed.
  • Smoke out-put on both ends ramps up & evens-out.
  • Much more eath and wood driven now.
  • Sweetness dials back.
  • Good puttering stick.
  • Cereal stays, loses malt addition.
  • Coffee brews darker.
  • Burn never hits even, sans ribbon.
  • Room-note becomes softer, smoky with a leather quality.
  • At band, a nice floral note is intro'd.
SMOKE TIME
65mins

FINAL GRADE
****B****
EDITOR'S NOTE
In the interest of uniformity, I will be working from a flavor chart via Stogie Fresh. ("Malt" added by moi.)

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Weekly Boxing Review for 5.24.16 - 5 Vegas AAA

THE CIGAR
5 Vegas AAA
5 x 56 Robusto el Fatto
w. Pennsylvania Broadleaf Maduro
b. Nicaraguan
f. Nicaraguan

LIBATION
(as this is not a review, per se)
Diet Pepsi
Poured from a 12oz can into a coffee cup on saucer
... Because appearances, gentlepersons

Firm, stiff, thick, and dark... I don't know where to go from there -- in a PG manner, at least. Plus, it is only 5". Rugged. Seams are shy of tight, but even. Lots of fine-grit tooth. Chocolate, purple fruit, and red spice aroma on the shaft. More red on the foot. Very chocolate compost cold draw.

It's always a tick of a let-down when a prizefight is cancelled; let alone one for a heavyweight crown. Nevertheless, we soldier on. Since then, that is what we do, it is well-known that an army marches on its stomach. 5 Vegas is my cigar comfort food. Too, it pairs most perfectly with a bit of pugilism.

Unrelated: why does Cinco feel to me, my version of Daddy's Te-Amo? Any-ol'-ways...
"I JUST WATCHED TWO SHITE FIGHTS!"
 - Lamentation via Facebook, of my UK pal.

"Let's have a look at them, now."  - Me.

HAYE KOs GJERGJAJ IN TWO
He murderized the bum. Although the bum, on Arnold Gjergjaj has been in the ring with the like of Vlad Klitschko and Tyson Fury. As a sparring partner. Curious, really, that he was felled four times in half as many rounds at the only somewhat above the Mendoza-line power of David Haye. Mr. Haye put in a very normal to himself outing -- outside of the fisticuffs' abbreviated length. He is fast, strong, and carries his hands low and jaw out.

Will Mr. Haye use that jaw in a talking sort of way? In a manner which gets him now, the winner of the upcoming Fury/Klitschko II? What of his countryman, Anthony Joshua? The other fight on 5/21/16 in the O2 Arena might have substantial bearing on A-ing those Qs...

Ash is pale grey with some charcoal and airy in viualized texturing. Very tingly mouth-feel. Woody. Nutty. Chocolate covered raisin vibe. Strength ain't sent me to the sugar bag yet. Profile is a medium+ in a caveman sorta way. Blunt. Black pepper on the retro-hale. Some espresso in the compost under-belly. Line is a tick waver'd, but OK. Draw is smooth but the dang thang rest in great largess in my smoke-hole.

BRIGGS BESTS ZARATE IN FIRST
This prizefight marked the seventh opening round knock-out for Mr. Briggs in his nine comeback fights thus far. Bally-hoo? One or the other, and not both, gentlepersons. Let's say "hoo." Simply because that's what most folks say in response to the name Emilio Zarate.

A man of boisterously motivational and inspirational regret, is Mr. Briggs to mine eyes. His prime, he knows could have been much more, if only he and his actions were. Now, at 44 years of age, he looks to make up for lost time. Or at least cash a paycheck or two more...

That stated, what is next for Mr. Haye might very well be Shannon Briggs. Name + Name = Moolah. Granted, the equation is on a smaller level than other less feasible Haye alternatives. Who wins? Easily and simply, it is Haye long and Briggs short. My money is on Briggs short. Regret + Aging = Motivation. Here you are at a boxing post and math breaks out. My sincerest of apologies.

Interesting to see, is the winner's potentiality in garnering a fight versus the Fury/Klitschko winner. Because neither needs a bout against a prospect. Neither wants yet to be an admitted gate-keeper. There's too little monies in that.
CANELO ABDICATES
From his post Khan fight bravado, it was a somewhat surprise to see Mr. Alvarez hand the WBC crown to Gennady Golovkin. Somewhat. To be clear and in no one's defense: what actually happened was that GGG was already the interim title holder, and Canelo allowed the "interim" to be dropped. Regardless, it looks bad. Yet I will never call a pugilist a coward nor engage in talks of ducking. I will say Canelo is notoriously predatory in his catchweight leanings and GGG is not desperate enough to fall prey.

Nor shall he in the ring, to my guess. That said, it is being reported that talks have hit the skids. Shine on, GGG. Light of the division... your division. Shine on, you star ya.

Notes have thinned some in this Cinco AAA. Strength is up yet manageable even by my lightweight standards. A smooth thin cream sets in on draw and mouth-feel. Quite fruity, a decent and good Maduro. Darker chocolate now. Somewhat of a quick pacing here. The retro-hale picks up some dusty herbs. I taste the backseat of a NYC cab. Is that the Te-Amo? I'm car-sick. Ah, strength is up-ticking. Nice steady smoke out-put off the foot and a satiated smoke-hole, as well.
WILL LARA CUT IN ON THE CANELO-GGG DANCE?
He wants to, don't he? Being as it ain't never proper to answer question with question, lettuce delve. Seeing as though Erislandy Lara gave Canelo at least as much as he could handle in 2012 via a split-decision which some say Canelo was gifted, I don't see a rematch. There's not enough in it for Mr. Alvarez. Golovkin might tinker with the idea if he sets in his mind to clear out the division and not move up in class -- which I do hope he doth doeth.

Mr. Lara is no push-over. His losses to Canelo and Paul Williams let every other boxer let out a sigh of relief. No one wants to fight the sir, ya see. But Golovkin is not typical. He will; but it is not a match on the front of his stove-top. In many a way, I'd prefer this bout as a spectator, but too realize what the sport now needs is for one Mr. Saul "Canelo" Alvarez to step up and allow GGG his reign.

At the band of this 5 Vegas AAA, I get a zetz of root beer. The herbal notes have stayed and stave off a linear affair. Compost matures nicely with a purple fruited sweetness. Espresso flows freely and a nice crema floats atop it. A red and green pepper join the black. Red is on the immediate draw, green on the finish. That green pepper sets interestingly with the herbs. Mouth-feel softens. Nice moisture there. Strength? Is the fight on, or is it that my bell ringing?

I'm enjoying this cigar. I want the cabbie to take the long route, the sun is out and birds are tweeting. I'll just tell him to take the shortest route possible, sit back and long-relax. My porch is a-callin' and I shall abide, gentlepersons. It's at the front of my house, no -- now which-a-way is that? --

K A P L O W I T Z SCALE
(K least, Z most)
Appearance I
Construction I
Combustion I
Flavors/Body W
Strength I

Carlos Cabeza Cigars Serpentine Torpedo - Cigar Review

PROLOGUE
This Carlos Cabeza offering is the first house blend I've written about. It all began this morn with a dissatisfying Googling. Gentlepersons, that's a terrible way to greet the day. What eventually made it all better was the very minisculest of leads via a single comment in a cigar forum. 

I was thatta way led to Havana Alley. I scrolled down their page and there was Little Jewford. There was Kinky Friedman. I poured myself another cup of coffee and rid myself of the first three, then stepped outside.

The phone rang on the other end and Jennifer Nichole answered. She's the co-owner of Galveston TX's Havana Alley Shop & Lounge; as well as the Director of Sales for Kinky Friedman Cigars. She's also easy on the eyes verily, and was too delightfully informative.

With that, solved was the case of many a moon as to what the heck this cigar was in my humidor. Now, lettuce see what it doth do. A thank-you to Mr. Darryl Martin for the kind offering.

THE CIGAR
Carlos Cabeza Cigars
Serpentine Torpedo 6 x 54 (approximation)
Havana Alley House Brand
w. Nicaraguan Broadleaf Maduro/Ecuadorian Sumatra
b.&f. Nicaraguan via Esteli, Ometepe, Jalapa, Condega, and one other place Ms. Nichole forgets.
PRE-LIGHT
Foot ribbon, gentlepersons. Youse know what that does to me. Plus: golden. It's going right into my foot ribbon collection. Secondary band. Band, band. A well and fully-dressed stick. Garmentations aside, There is a nice dose of veins, but none foreseen as any potential impediment to burn. Barber-pole top-leaf is assembled well and evenly. Seams are shy of tight but residing in a nearby suburb on the rapid transit line. Maduro component suffers a tick of an uneven complexion. Light oil sheen over-top. No tooth to speak of.

Hand-feel is that lack of tooth and light sheen. The oils work up on the shaft and my finger-tips as I fumble it around. Balance is notably nice and even, particularly for a torpedo format. Heft might be a tick on the light-side and when I thump it on my thumb-ring, it's nigh flirting with hollow-sounding. Charmin squeeze test reveals a medium density packing with no soft-spots.

Aroma on the shaft, and it is all shaft, baby -- since the foot is closed: aromatic tobacco laced earth with some sweet notes of cocoa and fruit. I cut the tip with my Xikar Xi2 war machine. Very chocolate-fruity cold draw with a definite tobacco note -- seeing as, you know, it is a cigar. Some sweet hay and cedar. Draw tension is a pretty open -medium. There's a soft tangy mineral thing there.

LIGHT
I don't toast closed foot'd offerings. This makes me nervous, but so does drinking several pots of coffee a day. First hot pull is a tick up to medium insofar as resistance. Notes are fruit and black pepper. Sweet aromatic tobacco and earth middling laced with cocoa from a Swiss Miss pack. Underneath is more earth and some creamy hay. Second hottie is retro-haled to black pepper which falls to the palate as a cedar note. Creamy hay under-belly picks up steam. Third hot draw is chocolate coming up to fruit (red, fresh) and black pepper. Earthy middling is interesting... cedar and aromatic tobacco and too pulls up some creamy hay. I think some chocolate drip down into it, as well. Not a lot of delineations, but nice distinct flavors, mingling.

Draw is set at medium tension. Not a lot, if any, softening of pack against the light. Nice slight cream mouth-feel with good moisture level. A hint of cinnamon comes in ans tingles the tongue a tick. I'd say medium profile and mild strength. Burn-line is a bit wonky (I hate not toasting) and ash is 80/20 salt/pepper. Room-note is a leathery light aromatic tobacco. At the end of the medium finish, which is a sweet version of room-note, there is a mineral quality. Calm foot-smoke, but ready to fill me smoke-hole readily.
ACT I
I re-touch here, and as always, first one's on the house. Ash is getting some silver and attempting to form a sheath. Smoke out-put is ramping up a good deal. Very earthy and aromatic tobacco-y. Leather is in the underneath of the middlings now. Cedar really flexes off the retro-hale, and pepper dies back there. Chocolate and fruit play nice.  A half inch of loose ash clumps onto my desk. I ain't even got my schmatta outta my pocket yet. Foot-smoke increases, and smoke-hole gets less filled... I sit the Carlos Cabeza in my $0.99 Walmart plastic tray and chill, boychik.

Things seem a bit better 60 seconds later. Quite fruity. Chocolate has gone to play in the earth-led middlings. I'm no longer convinced there's a hierarchy any longer, just a string of flavors that compliment one another nicely 'nuff. Burn evens on a thin+ line. Ash is pale grey with some streaking silver, and stacking up in a loose sheath. Draw is even. Course is held and we have reached cruising altitude. Profile is a medium and strength maybe a mild+. Packing has softened two ticks, but seams and aforementioned draw, hold. Fruit finds aromatic tobacco. Calm smoke, this. A nice daybreak offering; kind and simple. Undemanding. Just don't demand much from it -- meaning do not over-smoke. 

ACT II
I start here with another re-touch. Each time: Maduro top-leaf. Combustion is a bit uneven and filler burns hot, says a toke whilst looking in my Dollar Store hand-held mirror. Creamy hay is a focus now, as is a new coffee & cream addition. I do believe that the cream is shared by hay and coffee and this draws the notes close together. Diner coffee, nothing pretentious -- unlike my cigar review style, gentlepersons. Burn snags, ribbons again on the Maduro side portion of top-leaf. OK, so the profile and strength are undemanding, the combustion -- a bit needy. Mainly off a less than dense packing, methinks. All notes seem hovering in around and about a sweet and creamy earthiness now. Very soft chew in my lips, as the offering has softened again. A bit less responsive of a draw and a dialing back of foot-smoke hath occurred. Profile is a -medium as I type. 

Flavor notes are: (in changeable order with earthen core) fresh fruit, chocolate, hay, coffee, cream, cedar, leather, black pepper, aromatic tobacco.

ACT III
Band removes and gets placed in my Manischewitz bottle sans incident. A lil citrus rind zetz is added in now, as flavors of the 2/3 blend together comfortably and comfortingly so. Burn is behaving nicely. Tingle is on my palate now, as well as tongue and is nice 'nuff. Cream has lightened. 

One last re-touch and I'm gonna enjoy the last of this Carlos Cabeza offering all on my solitary lonesome. Yes, it is navel contemplating time, gentlepersons. A very nice house brand. Easy like a Sunday morning... just keep a Djeep on hand and fly the friendly skies. There's a touch of salt in clarified butter on my full and sexy lips.

SMOKE TIME
70mins
NOTES
If Ometepe is so rare, why am I seeing it more and more? Asking for a friend, 'natch.

PAIRINGS
Tea done the English way, milk and sugar. Root beer.

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

FINAL GRADE
****B****

EPILOGUE
If I hang my hand-wash out on the line, will spring come and stay this time?

Monday, May 23, 2016

Kaplowitz Television Volume 1 Issue 1 May 23, 2016



CIGAR CONTEST again and still.

Some bit of primer re: about Habano top-leaf cigars.

A tick about how these FDA regulations do not come about before there is a large shift in societal norms... but why/how?

Is Broner right about Mayweather? Why do I insist on talking boxing. I'm still upset about Nyquist and Exaggerator. I like cigars. And the CRA.

Thanks for listening, gentlepersons. I could kvell.

Kaplowitz Radio Volume 1 Issue 1 May 23, 2016

Over a quite nice El Baton offering from J.C. Newman and via Cigars City, I discussed:

Boxing:
David Haye
Shannon Briggs
Alexander Povetkin
Deontay Wilder
Tyson Fury
Vladimir Klitchko

Horse Racing: 
Triple Crown
Nyquist
Exaggerator
American Pharoah.

Cigars: 
The El Baton at hand (courtesy of Cigars City)
A bit of FDA.

Thanks, as always gentlepersons, for the loaning of yer ears.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Isabela Serpentine - Cigar Review (First Impression)

THE CIGAR
Isabela Cigar Company
Serpentine 6 x 54 Belicoso Barber Pole
w. Ecuadorian DeFlorada Connecticut/ Ecuadorian Habano Maduro
b. Nicaraguan Tiempo
f. Nicaraguan


"the level 9 plus rollers and Isabela Cigar company still employ this old timeless method of utilizing a sugar based sealant to “glue” / seal the tres capa on their craft." Johnny Piette, brand-owner and gentleman par excellence.

"Sugar Tip used to be my street name when I was a B-boy back in the day." Me, lying to ya.


ACCOMPANYING LIBATION
Metro Bru
Redeye Quad-shot
16oz. 4 Splenda packs
K A P L O W I T Z SCALE
(K, least. Z, most)
Appearance W
Construction W
Combustion I
Flavors/Body W
Strength O

FLAVORS 
Animal: Meat
Sweet: Sugar. Vanilla. Fresh fruit (pale). Toffee. Caramelized sugar.
Spicy: Salt. White pepper. Orange peel. Mulling spice (light).
Woody: Oak wood. Aromatic tobacco (dense, sunny). Hickory wood.
Vegetal: Floral. Nuts, raw. Citrus. 
Earthy: Dirt/earth. Peat. Espresso (Cuban coffee).
Malt: Coffee and honey (flirtations)

NOTES
Ruggedly handsome cigar with a certain je ne sais quoi. No soft-spots...
... it's like the me of cigars, gentlepersons.
Densely packed. Ton of tobacco.
Draw is a bit snug, but satiating.
Clipping another hair off the cap opens it a tick.
Nice steady foot-smoke swirls a sunny tobacco vanilla laced room-note.
Draw ticks its tension down to a nice medium+.
Sugar backs off at an inch or so in, never minded it. Actually, like it.
Slow smoker with smooth notes. Slight white pepper/citrus tingle.
Almond paste note just up-top of under-belly.
Pale fruits and floral notes juice and dew.
Burns straight down; not a whiff of a hint of an issue.
Pecan addition.
Retro-hale puts hair on yer chest. Lots of hair. Lots. Of. Hair.
Long yet clean finish, sweet aromatic tobacco and white pepper. 
Honey vibing.
Red pepper addition... finely ground into caramelized sugar note.
3/3 oils builds and body/mouth-feel mount in sweet spices.
-full profile, medium+ strength.
White wine vibing.
Beautiful smoker.

SMOKE TIME
100mins
EDITOR'S NOTE(S)
As with Project X offerings, I used herein the Stogie Fresh flavor chart.
Further: a full write-up of this Serpentine blend is forthcoming. I expect my socks to be knocked off on another couple weeks humi-time.
Further yet & unrelated: safe trip to all Preakness participants, and best of luck to each and every gentleperson.