Deep in flavor. Deep in your mind.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Cigars City Podcast - Macanudo Inspirado Orange Tasting & Social Media's Role in the Industry

Gentlepersons, I beseech ya to visit Cigars City.
Press play in the player below to hear us discuss:

  • Social Media's role in our shared hobby of premium tobacco.
  • Tasting notes on the Macanudo Inspirado Orange.

Pretty much, it's all there in the title.


THE CIGAR
Macanudo Inspirado Orange
7 x 50 Churchill
W. Honduran Rosada
B. Honduran Jamastran
F. Dominican Republican Piloto Cubano, Honduran, and Nicaraguan.

Thanks as always, for the loaning of yer attentions.

18 Sabbaths - My Father Le Bijou 1922 - 1st Sabbath

THE CIGAR
My Father Cigars
Le Bijou 1922
6 1/8 x 52 torpedo box-press
w. Nicaraguan Habano Oscuro (Pelo De Oro)
b./f. Nicaraguan

A full review of this offering can be read HERE.
A K A P L O W I T Z Scale review can be read HERE.
All 18 Sabbaths (& more re: the project) can eventually be read HERE.

This offering and the remaining seventeen are courtesy of Cigars City and my mad March Madness skills.
I
Bit of a muffled by cream Peppin black pepper blast on a chewy as heck texture. Death by chocolate richness with a dark tropical floral under-belly. Burn is nice: even enough on a slight ribbon and medium thick line. Draw is medium+ tension and evenly so. Zilch acidity nor bite... smooth and heavy. Ash is palest grey in a flake here and there sheath. At the end of opening act, a roasted meatiness comes in as a note to accompany the creamy chew. Floral bits on the end of draw extend to start of finish with a dark wet fruit addition. Compost underbelly gets espresso poured in along with a molasses vibe. Very rich. Full bodied and -full flavored. Strength is rising but not yet not risen. Smoke out-put is satiating in the smoke-hole and voluptuously calm off the foot -- zaftik when pulled, smoldering when sat.

II
Some sarsaparilla, pardner -- adds to flavor, detracts some from body and syrups up texture. Slight ribbon on burn-line self corrects. Out-put slows on each end. Chocolate sweetens via fruit. Strength leaps to medium. Top-leaf lags a tick in one spot and pack softens notably. Ash darkens but too, firms. Pace of combustion slows. Draw tenses up a tick. Retro-hale is a less creamy and coarser-ground black pepper. Molasses vibe separates from under-belly and is in the lower middlings; a very nice accompaniment to the already there and nuancing woods of mesquite and hickory. Strength spikes up then down to its new medium periodically and kinda uncomfortably. Seam loosens by lagging wrapper. A dry red wine comes in with an acidic lilt. Box-press is rounding-out and the ring gauge seems widening, particularly at char. A charcoal note flirts in.

III
Sarsaparilla is perhaps more of a cola now. A re-light is needed as the stick goes out. Mouth-feel is a tick spitty and flavors are liquidy, but all aboard as ever they was. The waters blend notes a tad, but as a plus, more complexities are spurned out from their nuances. Shoulder comes loose a lil bit and box-press has failed. Finish lengthens and is espresso ripened sweetness. Under-belly drips. Draw is a greater red wine and less sinful chocolate death. Profile is thinner, but less linear and takes up more space than prior. Charcoal has picked up a slight diesel addition which purging cuts back, but don't eliminate. Strength has settled at a medium+ and flavors/body are there as well. Less smooth now and a weighty tobacco tingle in on my tongue and cheeks. Burn-line is ribbony and prone to blisters and an occasional further wobbling, but no re-touch is required. Sharpens a bit at the band and strength spikes up and back. Smoke is tepid at nub and top-leaf is somewhat of a mess with loose seams and wanting to unravel shoulder. Draw is even insofar as tension, uneven in delivery on notes which fall toward linear and mottled. Verily, a black pepper sees ya out -- and the burn doth go out. Palate is a bit o' gravel.
Photo courtesy: Snack Tray.
EDITOR'S NOTE
While written Friday afternoon, pre-Sabbath, this post was obviously not set to "go live" during the Sabbath. I'd apologize for the delay, but ya weren't expecting anything anyways. So there. Next week, we shall begin regularly. As always, thank you for the kind loaning of yer attentions. 

Saturday, July 30, 2016

My Father Le Bijou 1922 - K A P L O W I T Z Scale Cigar Review

THE CIGAR
My Father Cigars
Le Bijou 1922
6 1/8 x 52 torpedo box-press
w. Nicaraguan Habano Oscuro (Pelo De Oro)
b./f. Nicaraguan

Courtesy of Cigars City and my mad March Madness skills.
K A P L O W I T Z SCALE
K least, Z most
Construction O
Combustion O
Flavors I
Body I
Strength I
&
Sweet I
Sour O
Salty L
Bitter I
Umami W
&
Complexity O
Nuance W
Transition W
Balance W
Smoothness O
&
Animal W
Spicy W
Woody O
Vegetal L
Earthy T
Chemical P

SUMMATION
A muffled by cream Peppin black pepper blast on a chewy as heck texture un-muffles sharply and chew thins through the progression of this stick. Too, the construction and combustion soften and uneven respectively. Two full re-touches are needed in its final act. Flavors throughout are a thick then thinning death by chocolate which get watered by a sarsaparilla-cum-cola note. Espresso stays nice 'nuff. Fruits mimic a dry red wine and heavy tropical floral notes ride shotgun. Pale ash is flaky until second half when it darkens two shades and solidifies. Woods are smoked and of a hickory/mesquite bent. Heavy compost under-belly throughout. There is a background of roasting meat umami savoriness. Loose seams, mildly troublesome shoulder, and a failing press. Some combustion woes particularly in the final act when the MF goes plum out twice. Charcoal then a flirting diesel interfere through the second half and purging only somewhat abates. Transitions are there, but serve to down-grade as a whole. The decadent start meets a nigh wispy end of mottled linear bits. A rather spitty mouth-feel after the opening act. Medium to full flavors and body and a medium+ strength that sees unsettling spikes. When good, magnificent. When bad -- disappointingly only slightly above Mendoza's line.
SMOKE TIME
95mins (approx.)

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

EDITOR'S NOTE
You can please to peruse a full written review of another Le Bijou '22 offering HERE. Meow we have a fantastic base-line with which to begin. Begin what? I've already said too much, gentlepersons...

Friday, July 29, 2016

Rocky Patel Vintage 1990 - K A P L O W I T Z Scale Cigar Review

PROLOGUE
[content missing]

THE CIGAR
Rocky Patel
Vintage 1990
6 1/2 x 52 Toro
Box-pressed
w. Honduran Broadleaf Maduro
b. Nicaraguan
f. Dominican & Nicaraguan Ligero

Courtesy of and for sale at Cigars City HERE.
Good cigars bought cheap sent fast. What's not to like?
K A P L O W I T Z SCALE
K least, Z most
Construction W
Combustion I
Flavors O
Body W
Strength P
&
Sweet O
Sour P
Salty A
Bitter O
Umami L
&
Complexity L
Nuance O
Transition P
Balance I
Smoothness O
&
Animal O
Sweet L
Spicy O
Woody W
Vegetal L
Earthy O
Chemical P
SUMMATION
Notes are delivered in a tick hollow wooden vessel at onset, then filed in with a nutty caramel latte replete with a malt addition. Lots of darkly ripe aromatic tobacco. A bit more tension on draw than I find comfy, which led to some coning of burn -- the only ticks against combustion/construction (& slight rounding of press). Altho draw did ease via progressing. Smoked a bit damp, and I keep my sticks dry. Great solid ash-builder. Final act needs some purging to ward off a tick of diesel influence. All told a classical cigar, smooth 'nuff, undemanding, and contemplative. Whilst somewhat lacking in complexity, this RP Vintage 1990 is filled to the gills with a robust yet accessible medium profile of exceptional balance.

SMOKE TIME
100mins

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

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Jas Sum Kral Red Knight - Cigar Review

PROLOGUE
I talked some pony (Del Mar, to be exact) over a previous JSK offering in a Lancero vitola. You can read that HERE. I felt it needed a bit of settling. Lettuce see meow --

THE CIGAR
Jas Sum Kral
Red Knight
6 1/2 x 42 Lonsdale
Closed-foot, Pig-tailed
w. Ecuadorian Habano
b. Mexican San Andres & Jalapa Seco
f. Undisclosed

Sample offering courtesy of brand-owner Riste Riatevski.
Thank ya, sir.
PRE-LIGHT
Closed foot, verily...sealed, really. Pig-tail is long and tightly wound atop a well-crafted cap. Betwixt the twos is an uneven-complected shaft of Hershey chocolate to espresso bean hues with reddish under-tones of variable heights. Seams are tight and even. Veins are present and ridged some in the 2/3 -- vertically aligned, so I see no real potentiality for issue re: burn. Minimal spider-web veinage. Trace of scant tooth here and there, some marbling over-top here and there. It's a decent shade darker in the foot half, than in the other. Band is neat-o kean-o, as depicted above.

Hand-feel sees some impediment via ridged vein(s). Tick dry and leathery, but oils do work up whenst finagled and fumbled. 2/3 is a bit softer packed on the Charmin squeeze than first and final acts. Medium to medium+, all told. Lively 'nuff spring-back. Good balance in the mitt, perhaps lacking in some heft, humsoever. I doth heart a Lonsdale.

Schnozzola! Lemme see. Shaft is a chocolatey fruit sweet tobacco with compost underneath. I decide to circumcise the thing and filler at the foot is the same sweetnesses with a red spice-rack backing. Tobacco is notably light in color and density of packing. Clipping the foot now, a -medium resistance pull adds some creaminess to the nosing notes and some leather nut stuffs to the underneath -- which is a tick drier tan compost. Good earth -- topsoil. Another cold pull pulls up more red spice which lasts through to a cold finish where it's braced by a cordial cherry thing.

LIGHT
Toasting the foot gives a ton of woodsy aromas -- hard and soft, seasoned and nigh wet. Woodsy, see? Eager to burn and easy to light. Although a tick jagged of a first line, it's settling as I type. First hot tug is a very woodsy and earthy tobacco with a rich creaminess. Texture is a voluptuous body of that cream with a zetz of red spice-rack tingle. Cordial cherry lasts a flash at end of draw, then spices and cream rebound in a sweet spicy finish of -full length'd legs. Second hottie is a scorching red pepper retro-hale which calms to a black pepper scorch, which calms to a smack of red spice. Which is to say it takes a spell to calm. Also, define "calm." When it does: sweet cream. Third hottie is same as the first -- perhaps a bit of syrupy molasses added to the sweets. This JSK is a lot about the feels -- rich body and cushioned hot tingle. Tastes are a bit non-descript, but nice.

Ash is pale grey with a shade darker tick or three. Loosely formed and I'm getting my schmatta outta my pocket. Burn is mainly even on a thin line. Seams loosened half a tick on lighting, and pack dot softened a good inch aheada char. Draw is same as ever 'twas and fully satiates my smoke-hole on a sip. Good smoke out-put, not showy but no shrinking violet.
ACT I
Syrupy stuff is a coffee soda concentrate. Spices are forming into the same baked apple offering as my previous Jas Sum Kral. Very Autumn, again. Espresso comes in independent of the coffee soda, to bitter up chocolate to a baking type and the cherry subdues. Bye, cordial. Woods are toasting and sharpening. Mesquite and Hickory with some hard wood shavings. Tobacco is darkening. Cream is building and toasting, too. Savoriness soars in a meaty way. My nasal cavity is a Cajun kitchen, y'all. Not any saltiness and sour bits are scarce, so balance is not grand but not egregiously terrible at all. Texture of smoke is heavy and while creamy, not entirely soft; there are some jagged bits of gruffness. Finish is long and holds all the complexities and most nuances, of this offering.

Pace is a bit quick, but combustion all told, is fine. Construction is a tick less fine as more softening of pack happens. Seams do hold, tho -- as does draw. Room-note is somewhat sharp and dark tobacco, nigh foreboding, gentlepersons. Ash drops at 1/2" increments and is warmly dry, coarse. At the end of the opening act, I taste my leather wallet. I cannot find said wallet -- if you have seen it, please to alert me. I have looked everywhere. This is not metaphor. I'm thinking of cancelling my bank card...

ACT II
Darkly roasted almonds add to the bitter sect, but sans bite. Sweet bits ebb. Smoky. I'm getting blackened Cajun seasoning and when I wipe my mouth, it seems my napkin is made a' leather. Black bread comes in fresh outta the oven. Cream is brulee-ing. Burn is wonking a good bit off a lagging side of top-leaf. Ash has darkened a shade. Smoke out-put has stepped up even more. Profile is a medium+, strength is a -medium.

At mid-point, Autumn is over and winter is here. I'm sitting over a camp-fire and my nuts are roasting in leather paints. Earth backing is bulging black top-soil. Burn requires some Djeep tending to. Black peppers are coarse-ground and taking over from the red flakes. Spices are warm and red under that. Coffee soda stuffs are gone and espresso is a roasted bean. Palate and tongue are a bit dry. A rich and deeply so tobacco takes over -- almost in a pipe reminiscent manner; the cherry is in there now. Black cherry.

At the end of 2/3, shaft oils up, as does mouth-feel, in a leathery way. Fatty meatiness. Pace slows. Ash darkens another shade, but is firmer in build. Strength jumps up to a medium+ to meet the rest o' profile. Toasted crusty black bread muscles. Pack is very softened, though seams and draw hold fast. Tingling eases up, and brulee takes over the stage. A greater balance is being found along with some nicer nuancing. Complexity isn't huge, but in no way is this JSK boring. Notes are dry, sharp, and very delineated. Cherry addition to tobacco is a dried fruit now. Burn-line is imperfect and threatens to blister some, but is in no need of a second Djeeping. Molasses ain't gone, but is something like powdery.

ACT III
A very excellent chew sets in, somewhat due to softening of pack, but too to the vitola. Smoke don't bother even my sensitive eyes as the stick sits in my lips. It is sharp, but not abrasive. Tobacco is somewhat aromatic now -- again, quite pipe tobacco-y. Black bread is all crust and hosts the remaining almond as a vibe therein. Espresso beans. Smoked lean meat. Oils are pulling back, falling off. Black pepper is bonkers on the retro-hale. For all the sharp coarseness, there's no "throat" and 'nuff cream remains to brace. Baking chocolate comes and goes; cherry mainly goes. Tongue is dry, palate is less so. Cajun spices have muted.

Burn-line is more even than ever it were. Ash gets some silver streaks and cracks some. Not a profile which falls in my wheelhouse, but I can see how many would disagree. Very smoky toasty flavors, ends up tickling at -full with a new anise flirtation. At the nub, smoke ain't cool, but kind. A neat fresh cream is poured in and coffee beans are ground on the draw and room-note. Softening of pack ceases.

PAIRINGS
Blackberry or Cherry Manischewitz.

SMOKE TIME
75mins

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

EPILOGUE
I still can't find my wallet.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Diesel Uncut d.CT - K A P L O W I T Z Scale Cigar Review

THE CIGAR
Diesel Uncut d.CT
w. Ecuadorian Connecticut
b. Nicaraguan
f. Nicaraguan

For sale at (and sampling courtesy of) Cigars City HERE.
K A P L O W I T Z SCALE
K least, Z most
Construction W
Combustion W
Flavors O
Body L
Strength L
&
Sweet O
Sour W
Salty A
Bitter W
Umami P
&
Complexity P
Nuance L
Transition L
Balance W
Smoothness W
&
Animal A
Spicy L
Woody W
Vegetal O
Earthy I
Chemical A

SUMMATION
Ballsy, sans grit and/or bite. Nica guts are muted but not muffled by a nicely wrapped Connie top-leaf. Nigh medium strength'd within a classic medium profile. Toasted cream mouth-feel with slight peppery tingle. Green woods mature into sweetly seasoned cedar notes. Some pale lightly roasted nuts, a nice black pepper which is a zetz on the retro-hale. Sweet finish. Rich 'nuff. Smooth but not overly. Smokes well with good construction and excellent combustion on a nice even draw. Exceptionally balanced.

SMOKE TIME
75mins

FINAL GRADE
****Yea****
(On yea/nay scale)

EDITOR'S NOTE
Please press play to here me kibbitz 'bout this offering and MORE below:

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

The Kaplowitz Show

July 26, 2016
Please to press play below:

Gentlepersons, thanks as ever and always, for the kind loaning of yer attentions.
You can pick up yer own Diesel Uncut d.CT offering HERE at Cigars City.

Arturo Fuente Churchill Candela - Cigar Review (Excerpt)

Wonderfully ugly somewheres near the mid-point.
THE CIGAR
Arturo Fuente
Churchill Candela
7 1/4 x 48 Churchill
w. Candela
b./f. Dominican

PERFORMANCE
Medium+ tension of draw, with an even all-the-way out-put to smoke-hole. Foot-smoke was a subdued thing. Two re-lights were needed as I was in no rush to toke. Burn would minimally stray and always self-correct. A re-touch was needed in the final act to ward off a slow runner. Ash was pale to dark grey marble and held to an easy inch, even as it cracked on occasion and flaked some more than I'd like. Packaging never softened and burnt to a firm nub, nor do seams ever loosen.

FLAVOR NOTES
Sweet, sour, and salty. Excellent balance in the sweet and salty realms with each jockeying out a nose in-front throughout. Sour notes paced well behind them and pushed the profile in a quite bright manner. Onset was very floral and vegetal, braced by a salty nigh mineral nod. Sweetness was in the middle act coupled by a tannin quality, and delivered on an acidic underbelly ghosted by some mineral additions. Final third was a soaring of bright floral vegetation with a non-trespassing and cleansing bitter vibe. Mineral ghosts haunted elsewheres. Finish was again I use the word "bright," and lingered in a sour over sweet manner, longer than expected off of delicate draw notes. Retrohale tended toward somewhat sharply acidic, not at all in an unpleasant way.

TEXTURE
A smooth thin creaminess gave a light to maybe medium body. Mouth-feel was perfect moisture with a tick toward spitty at the third act's onset, which corrects via a slight thickening of cream. Cool smoke to the very nub.
K A P L O W I T Z SCALE
K least, Z most
Construction I
Combustion W
Flavors O
Body L
Strength A

Grab a box a' these any-purpose smokers at Cigars City, gentlepersons.

EDITOR'S NOTE
This review was previously published HERE as part of a larger post.

Monday, July 25, 2016

A Review of Recent Grade A Offerings


“Athos liked every one to exercise his own free-will. He never gave his advice before it was demanded and even then it must be demanded twice.
"In general, people only ask for advice," he said "that they may not follow it or if they should follow it that they may have somebody to blame for having given it".”
-Alexandre Dumas, The Three Musketeers
Even Athos would give easily, the advice of smoking these fine offerings:

Ave Maria Argentum Morning Star
La Gloria Cubana Glorias Extra Natural
MBombay Bombay Tobak Gaaja

HONORABLE MENTION
Jenneff Sungrown

Let's hear it for the sticks, gentlepersons. Huzzah!
"We are the champions,
We are the champions.
No time for losers --
'Cause we are the champions of the world."
-Queen
Thanks for another month's loaning of yer attentions!

Diesel Wicked - K A P L O W I T Z Scale Cigar Review

THE CIGAR
Diesel Wicked
6 ¼ x 56 Belicoso 
w. PA Broadleaf
b./f. Nicaraguan

Sample offering courtesy of Cigars City.
I/we spoke about this stick and more (click to play) below:


Click HERE to purchase ya a Diesel Wicked.

K A P L O W I T Z SCALE
K least, Z most
Construction I
Combustion W
Flavors W
Body W
Strength O
&
Sweet W
Sour L
Salty P
Bitter W
Umami O
&
Complexity L
Nuance W
Transition W
Balance O
Smoothness P
&
Animal O
Spicy T
Woody O
Vegetal P
Earthy W
Chemical A
SUMMATION
Takes a bit of time to add flesh to the skeleton insofar as flavors; starts nigh wispy in a Jazz manner with a great focus on un-played notes. Earth and woods with leathery help via oils fill in the blanks. Nuanced, not too complex. Spicy (black/red peppers) more than sweet (black cherry) and not all-told overly balanced throughout. Retro-hale is sharp and not adding to profile. Burn wobbles and blisters but self-corrects. A spicy medium+ profile with medium strength that spikes then holds. Finish is sweet espresso. Worthy of a try, gentlepersons.

SMOKE TIME
95mins

FINAL GRADE
****yea****
(In a Cigars City Podcast context)

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Cigars City Podcast - Diesel Wicked Tasting & IPCPR Preview

Anthony Welsch and myself do a Diesel Wicked cigar tasting and quickly preview IPCPR 2016 releases. Some nods to FDA and thems that fight that. Please to press play to listen via the player below.


As always, I thank you for yer attentions, gentlepersons. 
You can (and should) click HERE to purchase this offering.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

MBombay Bombay Tobak Gaaja - Cigar Review

PROLOGUE
I've given this stick some press, gentlepersons. Meaning I believe it brings something very worthwhile to the table. I wrote about it in a horse racing post HERE and also a Kaplowitz Scale Review HERE. Being the curmudgeon I am and am increasingly so, I see "New," and ask "Why?" insofar as what necessitated this new offering. Lettuce see what necessitated --

THE CIGAR
Bombay Tobak Gaaja
6 x 54 Toro Box-press Colorado
w. Ecuador Connecticut desflorado, Variety Hybrid Mejorado 2004
b. Ecuador HVA Seca Mejorada
f.Seco: PerĂș Hybrid Habano
Viso: Ecuador criollo 98, Paraguay Hybrid Habano 2000, Dominican criollo 98.
Ligero: Dominican HVA Mejorado
PRE-LIGHT
Silky smooth unimpeded hand-feel. Feels a tick light, but has great balance in-hand. Evenly complected Colorado. Charmin test squeeze is a bit soft-sided, but springs back well. No soft-spots. Box-press is rounder on one side than other. On the plus side: box-press is sharper on one side than the other. No veins to make mention of, so I won't; trace amount of spiderweb varietals -- silky smooth all told and as stated. 

Schnoz notes off the shaft are sunny tobacco and minimally so, served on creamy underbelly. Some white spices in the distance. The foot is a tick seasoned with ginger and offers a graham addition. Cold pull is a sweet-tasting medium+ tension. White chocolate and graham cause the sweet; ginger and white pepper, the spice. Bitter and sour are two forms of citrus. Salty and savory (umami) have yet to check in. There's a slight mineral that begs salt on the cold finish. Cold mouth-feel is clean and soft.

LIGHT
Toasting the foot gives off some soft wood shavings aroma and sweetly so. A very light aromatic tobacco, as well. Lights nicely and evenly sans both ado and adon't. Opening hot tug is a white pepper zetz front which is delivered in a silky manner. Nigh immediately spins off a sweetness even as the warmth stays aboard in a bracing manner. 

"Opening features a smooth even draw delivering a sweet flavored forefront with some sour backing via an acidity on a quite creamy medium body. The acidity dials back a few pulls in and [at that moment,] an umami comes into play alongside the sweet creaminess." Is my previous Gajja experience. Interestingly different. Creamy smoothness prevail thru both. Second and third hotties now serve to finish out and over-all reinforce my original observations. Nice consistency, that.

Burn is even 'nuff and its line is of medium thickness. Nice crystal bits in the ash of mainly pale to medium marbled grey sheathing. Draw is nigh brilliant, but the pack density has softened noticeably. Back to combustion: the foot-smoke has really up-ticked its out-put. Room-note is very like the draw with a sweet savoriness. A leathery cookie baking in a wood oven. Pace is a tick quicker than I remember of the previous offerings, but not fast. Profile is medium insofar as body and flavor. Strength is mild.
ACT I 
Umami savory, yes -- via a well-worked and supple leather. Sour notes are added to in the under-belly by way of some blonde coffee. Salt is added to savory on the retro-hale along with a white pepper and new exotic spice from the older white. Very balanced. Rich and well-mannered. A sip fills ya smoke-hole up to over-flowing. Fantastic draw. Finish is lengthening and mainly sweet with a slight bit of bitter. Bitter is a very nice draw addition and really now, this Mbombay offering doth hath nailed finely balanced. Strength is up a tick, gently. Citrus peel bitter notes ebb and flow but never come to a bite, as a deepening of chocolate keep that realm in check. Coffee brews stronger but still lends well to the sour portion. Umami gets a savory cereal grain boost. Sweetnesses get a boost from strengthening chocolate, as well. Too, the graham gets a sugar addition.

I can't stress 'nuff the balance here. Body and flavor lift in even tandem to a medium+ range; strength to a mild+. Texture is a creamy tingle. The ash stays on longer than on previous offerings and as I type, perhaps it is its insulation which wobbles the burn some.

ACT II
Soft wood shavings give cereal grain the leathery boot. Chocolate is big, exotic spices brace it. Graham cracker, lots -- a high under-belly of the stuff. Profile is strengthening and rising, but not fluctuating. Burn has all but self-corrected a rather largess tick of lagging top-leaf. Mouth-tingle is considerable and of white pepper spiciness some ginger. Beautiful complexities on the retro hale, gentlepersons. Like all Bombay offerings, this Gaaja is of an exotic bent -- and perhaps more so than much of its brethren. Too, less overtly. Too, too, it is a heady flavorful thing.

Smoke pours and burn slows. Box press is now a vague oval. Seams have loosened and at the char threaten to pull away, loosened by a slight crack. Shaft has oiled up and so hath the texture some oils added to cream. More tingly and less exotic than the prior two offerings, perchance familiarity erases exotic. A round-eye on his second year of living in the Orient. Moisture in my smoke-hole is a tick spitty. Resting foot-smoke subdues to the point I think it might go out, but a draw satiates smoothly and immediately, offering cumulus plumes.

Seems as though heights have reached a cruising altitude. The in-flight movie should be a Bollywood thing starring Brad Pitt wearing a Joe Dirt 'do.

ACT III
The heightening salted mineral aspect plays nicely here and doesn't rock the balance boat at all. Room-note is an umami-fest and is actually working up my appetite. Methinks this Bombay to be a perfect smokeable apéritif. Umami sensations and ginger-salted minerals delivered sweetly on graham notes, jockey for the lead down the stretch on a medium bodied creamy texture with a slight sour note coming off the chocolatey pace. Some bitter notes are present, just 'nuff so to brace the sweets. Again, nigh supremely balanced, this Gaaja. I could use a more pillowy delivery, in doses. There is a flirting with occasional sharpness.

Less ashy of an affair than in my two previous goes, my schmatta hath not left thine back pocket.  Disheveled top-leaf never shows through to binder and gets smoked through sans affair. Nub is firm and too, vastly rounded. Smoke is cool although my palate is a tick toward parched. Strength wraps up at a bulls-eye medium. At nigh-band, body picks back up in sweet creaminess and yum.

PAIRINGS
Loganberry Manischewitz.

SMOKE TIME
120mins (approx)

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

EPILOGUE

Jenneff Sungrown - K A P L O W I T Z Scale Cigar Review


Funny thing about my wife's Chihuahua, whilst she's prone to bark uncontrollably at a person walking some fifty yards from our house -- when the mailperson comes to the door, knocks, and drops a package off: silence. Funny thing about my Dachshund, Ruby Vondella simply could not care less about either for-instance. She likes her rest.

All this is to say that Mr. Jeff White's package of his fine cigar offerings was left outside my door just this morning, and here I is smoking one now. I know, I know, I should allow some settling. Humsoever, I am quite familiar with Jenneff offerings and gentlepersons, I needed some smokeable comfort food today. So's here I am, indulging myself. Because gosh-darnit, I'm worth -- 

THE CIGAR
Jenneff Cigars
Sungrown 7 x 50 Churchill
w. Ecuadorian Sungrown
b. Dominican
F. Dominican & Nicaraguan 
K A P L O W I T Z SCALE
K least, Z most
Construction O
Combustion L
Flavors O
Body O
Strength P
&
Sweet W
Sour O
Salty L
Bitter L
Umami L
&
Complexity L
Nuance O
Transition W
Balance I
Smoothness I
&
Animal A
Spicy P
Woody I
Vegetal O
Earthy W
Chemical K

SMOKE TIME
115mins

NOTES
  • Solid ash, pale grey, tick of flaking.
  • Ashes in inch-long clumps.
  • Packaging softens a good bit off lighting.
  • Burn wobbles, don't fix, but don't further stray.
  • Verily upfront sweet umami earth/wood. Sour notes balance & back.
  • Very smokable. Smooth texture and great mouth-feel.
  • Nice simple balance. Not a lot of balls, but well-juggled.
  • Some blisters doth occur on line here and there.
  • Draw tension is a medium+ spectrum thru-out...
  • ... at times delivering unevenly.
  • Seams tend to loosen at burn-line.
  • Body fleshes out richly 'nuff after 1/3.
  • Ash doth lilt and nigh flower on occasion.
  • Globings o' glue on foot and primary band. 
  • Spiciness and toasting of notes pick up at mid-point.
  • Pack continually softens and re-firms. Particularly at transitions.
  • A goodly amm't of them (subtle) transitions.
  • Four touch-ups in total. One biggie.
SUMMATION
Smooth textured and lightly strength'd... smokeable. Many subtle and undemanding transitions of a small bit of notes. Sweet woods backed by earth and balanced by kindly un-tart sours. Rich in a slight way. Easy like a Sunday mornin'. Savory in a meatless cereal grain manner. Some combustion imperfections and slighter construction woes, but a relaxing smoke at a fantastic price. Sweetness gets some salty addition on a pleasant finish. They don't all have to be hard, gentlepersons. Verily an attainable and well-balanced all-purpose comfort, this.
FINAL GRADE
****N/A****

EDITOR'S NOTES
N/A, for I don't final grade fresh off the truck. I shall allow to settle and do a full write-up shortly.

Read THIS & THIS to fully grok this posting, please.

Under-dog Postol will win and Hard Aces will show tonight. Or my name ain't Juan N. Dunn.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Some Saratoga History & Look at the Gallant Fox 1930 Travers Stakes

With its Opening Day being tomorrow (July 22nd) I figured it timely --
The track opened in 1863, making the grand ol' gal the third oldest racetrack in America. Since as early as 1847, Saratoga Springs was the site of standard-bred racing. It was on August 3, 1863,  that then current casino operator and too then future US congressman Mr. John Morrissey organized the first thoroughbred race-card on what is now the locale of the Oklahoma Training Track. The current main course opened across the street from the old track in '48 (1848, to be clear). The late 1800s saw a decline for the Race Course via a booming New York scene and its inherent and nigh harsh competition. In 1892 it was picked up by the somewhat less-than-kosher professional gambler, one Mr. Gottfried "Dutch Fred" Waldbaum -- whom too operated the less-than-kosher Guttenberg racetrack in Jersey. Finally the facilities were purchased in 1901 by a group of investors led by Mr. William Collins Whitney, whom made major improvements to both the track's construction and reputation. The first parimutuel betting machines were then installed in 1940, ushering in the modern age of Saratoga. Then came the grandstand renovations of the 1960s which served to double the joint's seating. Presto, here we go.

Saratoga Race Course is home to a metric boatload of important races, gentlepersons. Most notably (and most pertinent to upcoming dalliances herein), Saratoga has home to the country's oldest race of importance, the Travers Stakes, since 1864. Several other major stakes races are held at Saratoga each year as well, including the Alabama Stakes, the Hopeful Stakes, the Woodward, and the Whitney Handicap.
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"I hear you went up to Saratoga and your horse naturally won" Carly Simon, You're So Vain. Well, perchance yer horse was a longshot, then. As Saratoga hath earned itself a reputation and the henceforth monikers of "The House of Upsets," and "The Graveyard of Champions." Famous race horses to lose at the track:

  • Man o' War to Upset in the 1919 Sanford Stakes
  • Gallant Fox to Jim Dandy in the 1930 Travers Stakes
  • Secretariat to Onion in the 1973 Whitney Handicap
  • Rachel Alexandra to Persistently in the 2010 Personal Ensign Stakes
  • American Pharoah to Keen Ice in the 2015 Travers Stakes 

As I stated on the latest Kaplowitz Show: "Steve from San Francisco CA writes: is this mold or plume? Unfortunately, it’s AIDS, Steve." No, no, no -- that's not the one.

"That’s not really a lotta upsets for a track that started running in 1863 -- talk about focusing on the negative. However -- one a those upsets, Gallant fox, I’m drawn to write about -- perhaps that’s the angle I’ll take…" That's the one.
Coming off a triumphantly successful bid to become the mane under the 1930 Triple Crown, Gallant Fox and his connections came to Saratoga not expecting to lose to the 100-1 Jim Dandy, to say the very least -- but he did just that. Verily short after the loss, Gallant Fox’s trainer Mr. “Sunny Jim” Fitzsimmons sat down with a reporter and spoke at length... a length we are lucky 'nuff to still have measure of. I like to allow history to tell itself whenever possible. I'll just focus on this Manolo Estate Serie 32 Habano I'm currently chomping, whilst you focus on --

"It’s the last time that Gallant Fox will race in a muddy track. If the Travers had been earlier in the season I would have advised Mr. Woodward to scratch him out of the race. But as Mr. Woodward was very eager to start him for the Travers and as the season was well advanced and the colt was in fine physical condition I made no protest in sending him to the post.

"Gallant Fox had never even galloped much less raced in mud. His race in the Belmont couldn’t be called a muddy effort because the track at Belmont has a firm foundation and the topsoil on that day was merely wet and a trifle slippery. It wasn’t sticky and holding like the track here on Saturday. There is no nicer track than the one here when it is dry, but after a heavy rainstorm and when it begins to dry out it is heavy and holding.

"I was afraid of the going more for the aftermath of the race than the prospects of having him beaten. Mr. Woodward thinks a great deal of Gallant Fox and would prefer to give up any chance of winning stake events than have him injured. Why, after the race his first thought was about his condition. He said, ‘Is he all right?’ To the horse he said, ‘You did fine old boy. I’m glad you’re not hurt.’

"I wonder if the patrons of the track appreciated the sportsmanship of Mr. Woodward and Mr. Whitney in starting their colts in the Travers under such poor racing conditions. I don’t know how badly Whichone is injured, but he certainly was very lame when I noticed him and he surely will be a long time away from the races. He is a valuable colt and one can’t get his kind every day

"The Travers appears to be particularly unfortunate for colts that have won important races early in the season. Take for instance Reigh Count. He had won the Kentucky Derby of 1928 and was regarded as the best three-year-old of his year. He started in the Travers and finished outside the money, Petee-Wrack, Victorian, and Sun Edwin finishing in front of him. That race too was run in the mud. Petee-Wrack, like Jim Dandy, is a great mudder. He proved it not only that day but in the Suburban Handicap this year by winning over a wet track.

"Reigh Count after his defeat in the Travers came back on a dry track to win the Saratoga Cup and the Jockey Club Gold Cup, the former at one mile and six furlongs and the latter at two miles. Well, I’m going to send Gallant Fox after both of these events. His next start, if all goes well with him and the track is dry, will be the Saratoga Cup on the last day of the meeting. He is in good physical condition, so we’ll take another crack at ’em. I’ve been licked before and I expect to be licked again. But if you’re afraid you’d better remain in the house and keep your horses in the stable. It’s the uncertainty of the sport that makes it so popular. No man has it sewed up."

Now ya know, gentlepersons, more about Saratoga, the 1930 Travers Stakes, and also why they called the man "Sunny." (As the original interviewer made note of.) Have a blast on the morrow's opening day. As always, gentlepersons -- don't bet the dough dough, and thanks for the kindly loaning of yer attentions.
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Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Gurkha Park Avenue Series 44 - Kaplowitz Scale Cigar Review

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

I mistakenly referred to this offering in the Kaplowitz Show below as the Connecticut offering. I also gave some cold notes therein. Interesting to see the Habano toting a 50RG as opposed to the CT's 48. Thanks to my pals over at Cigars City for the kind sampling. 


My all-day corn cushions have proved to go no longer than ninety minutes prior to going mammaries up -- so lettuce get to it, gentlepersons. Today's sense of urgency is a palpable one... 

K A P L O W I T Z SCALE
K least, Z most
Construction L
Combustion L
Flavors O
Body L
Strength K
&
Sweet W
Sour O
Salty P
Bitter W
Umami I
&
Complexity L
Nuance O
Transition P
Balance I
Smoothness I
&
Animal I
Spicy P
Woody O
Vegetal W
Earthy I
Chemical K

SMOKE TIME
100mins

FINAL GRADE
****B****

EDITOR'S NOTES
Bearing in mind: animal as leather, cereal grain umami, and nuts as vegetal.

Thanks, gentlepersons, as always -- for the kind loaning of yer attentions.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

The Kaplowitz Show

July 19th 2016
Thanks for the loaning of yer attentions, gentlepersons. It is vastly appreciated.

EDITOR'S NOTE
If I said Brazilia, I meant Colombia (CAO).

Monday, July 18, 2016

Alec Bradley Sanctum - Cigar Review

PROLOGUE
I don't mean to brag, but I managed to successfully eat a half-cup serving of cottage cheese with breakfast today. The stomach flu hath officially flown and I am back on dairy, gentlepersons. Huzzah, indeed. Now, lettuce look at --

THE CIGAR
Alec Bradley Sanctum
6 x 52 Toro
w. Honduran Corojo
b. Costa Rican
f. Colombian, Honduran, & Nicaraguan
PRE-LIGHT
Brown-colored.

Hello, and thanks for reading Kaplowitz.xyz. Brown is a milky chocolate varietal. Some coffee bean marbling over-top. Underneath is a banana cream hue which ticks up further to the surface alongside a thicker vein or two (in 1/3 and 3/3). Those veins are only thick by comparison and of no foretelling impediment. Overall, veins are scarce. Some shy of medium amount of spiderwebs. Seams are tightly-hewn and even. Cap looks tripled and placed well 'nuff. Foot tobacco is a mainly mousy brown with a strawberry blonde high-light here and there. 

Hand-feel is a shaved peach texture. No bumps/lumps. Medium+ firmness of packing, and evenly so, off a Charmin squeeze. Verily hefty and well balanced. There is a slight pimpling of tooth to the eye, but it ain't felt on the hand. Schnoz is a fairly heady bouquet of one: chocolatey, creamy, nutty, woods. The slight pepper-play of the shaft is enhanced at the foot. Cold draw is creamy red spice on a earth/wood underbelly, which drives. Chocolate is there as the red spice fades. Food notes, feh! A sweetly balanced bittersweet profile with an underlying umami and up-front rich cream. Either way ya says it -- it leaves a salty note on my lips.

LIGHT
Creamy woody earth. That's what I gets off toasting the foot insofar as aroma. Perhaps some weakly brewed java. First hot pull is a salted earth note on a very rich and creamy texture. Finish sharpens a bit as red spices are introduced a bit behind of up-front. Some buttery black pepper is with them and leaves a tingle on the tongue. Wood pushes from the back. Second hottie is a retro-hale introducing a nutty note after a red spice and black pepper tandem front. Some red peppers linger in the wood on my palate. Third pull is richly flavored via a nice balance of primary tastes with the injection of a supple leather riding very close to the full and creamy texture. 

Excellent smoke-output from each end. Draw is a medium tension and a sip doth satisfy. Foot-smoke is a sweet creamy earth/wood mixture of a room-note, and released at a steady pace. Line is dead even. Pack density did not budge against the Djeep lighting. The ring gauge is a bit cumbersome in my smoke-hole, but fits well in my mitt. Medium+ body; medium flavor; low+ strength -- outta the gate and early on.
ACT I
Almond paste. I get that from a lot of Alec Bradley offerings. I get it here too, to be clear. Spices dial back but still strongly contribute. There is a greater space between they and the black pepper with dash of red, but both are very creamy textured as well as flavored. Earthiness gets an animal musk note and umami is triggered as if I'm at a Sizzler. Sour notes notch up via a blonde coffee addition. Bitter too climbs with a darkening of the chocolate notes on the back of more baking stuffs. Mouth-feel is perfect moisture and rich with cream, but a pretty spice doth cleanse the barnacles well, ye matey. 

Combustion and construction hold in a top-flight manner, for any top-leaf, let alone this oft tricky one. Body and flavor equal out at a medium+. Strength is -mild now. Complex, not quite. Nuanced, yes but delivered so smoothly as to nigh forget. I'm getting tired of holding this full-figured lady -- but I ain't getting tired of smoking her, gentlepersons. 

Wood goes increasingly sweet, and cream ramps up throughout. Musk grows, as well in a distinct smell/taste on the draw. Citrus vibes in, but in a non-acidic way. Ash is a pale grey sheath with a singular tick of flake in its solid inch. I have my schmatta out, but just for show, fo' sho. Burn-line is even and of a -medium thickness. As I type, there is a brownish hue coming into the burnt offerings. Toothy crystals are becoming bedazzled. Pace of smoke is a tortoise and the hare, well, screw 'im.

ACT II
Almond paste toasts a tick and I ain't cleaning that fry-pan, gentlepersons. I mayhaps jinxed the combustion, as the line starts to ribbon, then sharply so. Top-leaf seems a tick hesitant. Packing softens a smidgen from line to a nigh half inch down. Draw says consistent. Pacing is almost too slow. I'm doing all I can to allow a self-correction of line which apparently wants to happen. Flavors are unchanged, texture is maybe a hair less creamy in spurts. Personal preference here, but the RG is a bit much for this dainty fella. Umami is mainly in the leather note now, which is mainly in the earthy bits. Verily earth and wood. Too, creamy with a sweetening spice and dialing back peppers.

At the second act's close, and after only a teeny re-touch was mandated, this slow-poke Sanctum has seen its ash darken with a charcoal marbling. It's density has remained unchanged, humsover. Softening of pack ceases. Profile remains holding fast. Very oat bread laced now. All else still on-board. Semi-sweet chocolate oomphs. Wood, earth, leather, vastly. Creaminess re-builds on mouth-feel, tingle is away on vacation. The re-touch responded well, but we're a tick wavy again. I don't make a show of growing ash, but I know some 'a ya does. Don't with this AB, the burn doesn't need that insulation.

ACT III
I'm beginning to feel as tho I've embarked on a three hour tour. Although the weather ain't rough nor is my tiny ship lost. I believe those are the approximate lyrics. I need a person to do my Googling. Also, a female for my email -- thank you, Ted Turner. Just a brilliant quote. There's a tick of a nick in the top-leaf where my mouth rests. It ain't helping the big ring gauge feel comfy therein. Smoke-output from both ends has increased two-fold. A bit of a bitterness is emerging from toastiness. Then: peppers return. This time in a more produce style fashion led by a peppercorn thing. Still, all is creamy and this is not a zetz, per se... more of a welcomed happening.

Other notes become subtle foreground now in the mid 3/3. They act as sweetly bracing nuances to the pepper-play. In short order, red spices join them betwixt top and under-belly. Strength is a gentlemanly medium. I'm excited to have Cheez Wiz atop my lunch of potatoes and eggs -- altho I'm near certain that don't qualify as dairy.

There's a bit of a cardboard vibing in-and-out at the cool and solid nub. Smoke stays of a comfy temp and its texture gets a last dollop of cream at the mid-band.
PAIRINGS
Loganberry Manischewitz to showcase stick; Cherry to showcase kosher wine. I recommend showcasing stick.

SMOKE TIME
125mins

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

EPILOGUE
I'm thinking of unionizing husbands. Demanding workplace rights, etc. Inquire within re: how to assemble or join yer local UAH. #WifeStuffs t-shirts and hats soon. Sign-up is open for our Cigar League.

EDITOR'S NOTE
Please to read the K A P L O W I T Z Scale of this offering HERE.

Alec Bradley Sanctum - Kaplowitz Scale Cigar Review*

THE CIGAR
Alec Bradley Sanctum
6 x 52 Toro
w. Honduran Corojo
b. Costa Rican
f. Colombian, Honduran, & Nicaraguan

K A P L O W I T Z SCALE
K least, Z most
Construction W
Combustion W
Flavors W
Body W
Strength O
&
Sweet W
Sour O
Salty L
Bitter O
Umami W
&
Complexity P
Nuance O
Transition L
Balance W
Smoothness I
&
Animal W
Spicy O
Woody W
Vegetal A
Earthy W
Chemical K

SMOKE TIME
125mins

FINAL GRADE
****B+****
EDITOR'S NOTES
* A full write-up review of this same offering, same stick, is being edited currently 'nuff and shall post in a small tick o' time. Oh, HERE it is.

Grab yers at Cigars City, whom I thank for the sampling. A great spot on the web that I recommend to all gentlepersons both far and/or wide.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Kaplowitz Reads Kaplowitz Installment Three

PLAYLIST
Opening: The Top Three Thoroughbred Match-Races in (Most of) History
12:35: The Graziano v Zale Trilogy & a Master Blends Cuban Crown Cigar
23:20: Pug, Pony, & Puff (Tommy Loughran, Equipoise, & Drew Estate T52)
38:20 CAO Colombia - Cigar Review

As always gentlepersons, the loaning of yer attentions is appreciated verily.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Del Mar's Match Race Arrival and a Jas Sum Kral Cigar

Del Mar came to be as a vision of Hollywood hot-shot Mr. Bing Crosby and his showbiz pals Misters Pat O'Brien, Gary Cooper, Joe E. Brown, and Oliver Hardy. Their goal was to build the first Thoroughbred race track at the Del Mar county fairgrounds, and in doing so, make it the ultimate playground for movers, shakers, bakers, candlestick and movie makers.

When Bing Crosby personally welcomed the very first attendees at the gate of 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd, Del Mar, CA 92014 on Del Mar Racetrack’s very first Opening Day on July 3, 1937, mayhaps little did he know his endeavor would become one of America's most successful race tracks. In '46, Crosby and his glitzy gang sold for a neat bit of profit, but the track remains attached to the inherent ritz of Hollywood. That ain't the only ritz... I mean check out them fancy hats! Oy.

Yesterday was the 79th grand opening of De Mar. I'm not sure when exactly fancy hats came into play, but it's by now just as much tradition as is any other bit of the big and oft star-studded day. Just ask a standout of some forty thousand plus in attendance -- the man whom hand-crafted his elaborate shark-crossing-finish-line headwear. I'm a tick more sure, humsoever and historically, when exactly Del Mar was put on the map.

Lettuce talk 'bout that, gentlepersons. As we doth, might as well light up ...

THE CIGAR
Jas Sum Kral
7 x 38 Lancero Pig-tail/closed foot
w. Ecuadorian Habano
b. San Andres/Jalapa Seco
f. Undisclosed
Veiny. Loose uneven seams. Almost crudely held together. Elaborately adorned. Gentlepersons, I think I dated this cigar in the late 1990s. Good times, came with a second cigar... but that's a story for not another time. Very spicy upfront in a lively and not too punishing fashion. Finishes creamy and darned-nigh cushy at times. Sweet comes up second and well-balances the spiced front. Nice and rich. Body seems a-buildin'.

Ash then dumps at a 1/2" as line was evening out on its own accord. Top-leaf seems lagging in burn behind binder. Balancing out quickly off a re-touch I focus back in on the sweet/meat combo at play in a spicy manner -- although spice has dialed back some off initial zetz. Body apparently tires a tick, too. Sweetness is warm and active. Meat is smoked on the draw and smoothly finishes in a thick leather. Good bit of bitter in the middlings; in food-centric terms: baker's chocolate and espresso -- mainly its crema. Under-belly is a woodsy earth with an slight citrus peel. Burn stays a bit wavy, its ash is an impressive nutrient-rich white showing a nice bit of burnt-offering toothiness, forming in a loose sheath. Bit of a throat catch, bit of a rough palate... let's ya know ya gots a cigar. Reminds me to double up on tonight's Flintstones vitamins.

I'm practically a match-race fiend, but in my opinion and others less fiendishly so, it was on August 12, 1938, whenst Del Mar first and truly came of age. For the first time east came west, by way of the sporting world and its rabid press. See, it was then that the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club hosted a $25,000 winner-take-all match race betwixt Mr. Charles S. Howard's Seabiscuit and the Binglin Stable's (Big Crosby co-owned) Argentine colt, Ligaroti.

In an era when horse racing ranked up there in popularity with baseball, this day was much ballyhooed and was the first national broadcast of a thoroughbred race by NBC radio. In the race, Seabiscuit was ridden by jock extra-extraordinaire George Woolf and Ligaroti by Noel "Spec" Richardson. In front of a record crowd that helped make the fledgling Del Mar race track a success built upon to this day -- Seabiscuit won an exciting and... exuberant battle by a nose. For a few strides, the Argentinian pony held the lead by a snoot; even as the great, good, and super pony broke first from the gate and went straight to the rail. Seabiscuit carried 15 pounds more than his younger foe through a brawl of a race in which both jocks were afterward cited for "rough riding." These shenanigans were high-lighted by Mr. Richardson actually grabbing Seabiscuit's saddlecloth. The inquiry seemed to go on forever; but Seabiscuit's win stood.

Spices return in a baked apple seasoning sorta manner, and doth ride high. Very autumnal. Burn has yet to find what I'd call even, and now some seams loosen around its char. Pack softens a couple ticks, as well and the hand-feel warms. Draw stays at mainly even within the medium range of tension. At times, it is a tick hesitant to fill the ol' smoke-hole. Meat becomes smokier and its leathery attachment a bit more bristled. Umami savoriness gets a dry push via a grain note underneath. Straight up peppers of the black and red variety reside throughout on the retro-hale. A nice caramelized sugar drops to the palate afterward.

There are hints and warnings at potential tunneling through much of the second half. Lanceros are tricky endeavors, both in manufacture and in smoking. Sip slowly, gentlepersons. Burn needs a re-light post the half-way mark as I place the JSK in my $0.99 Walmart ashtray a moment to tend to my son. Seems he knocked my 40's Schwinn over on hisself. Don't worry, gentlepersons -- bike is fine.

Finish flows in bitters and ebbs in sweetness. Some sour notes come into greater roles in a dried red fruit foodie manner. Shaft seems to dry as does my tongue. That sounded dirty... and unsuccessfully so.
K A P L O W I T Z SCALE
K least, Z most
Construction L
Combustion P
Flavors W
Body W
Strength O
&
Sweet W
Sour L
Salty P
Bitter W
Umami O
&
Complexity P
Nuance L
Transition P
Balance L
Smoothness P
&
Animal I
Spicy W
Woody L
Vegetal P
Earthy P
Chemical P

SMOKE TIME
75mins

Not a bad offering -- I'll allow the others more time to settle and do full write-ups of in the future. My thanks to brand owner and gentleman, Mr. Riste Riatevski, for the kind and generous samplings.

EDITOR'S NOTE
Please to consider reading THIS post regarding more match-race history. Have I mentioned I'm a fan, gentlepersons?

I have disabled comments on this blog. Chat at me via the contact tab above.

Thanks as always, for the loaning of yer attentions.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

The Graziano v Zale Trilogy & A Master Blends Cuban Crown Cigar

I
September 27, 1946 -- Yankee Stadium -- Mr. Rocky Graziano was the Rock, natch, and Mr. Tony Zale the Steel. Zale had not fought in half a decade due to WWII service and here he was, in with the younger and hungrier brawler from the Lower East Side of Manhattan Isle. Then there he was, he being Graziano, down for a five-count in the bout's opening round; for apparently steel don't lend itself to ring-rust. Rock soon answered in turn, dropping Zale at the end of the second round for a three-count. Many came to see a Welterweight coronation of Graziano -- what they saw instead, was a slug-fest of historical proportions. Biblical, even. By which I of course mean Torah.

Graziano from the third round on, continued to pound away with the very worst of intent, leaving Zale looking all but alarmingly beat after five. Then came the sixth -- right after the fifth, as one might imagine. One might not, humsoever, have imagined the round's occurrences. Zale, who busted up his right hand back in round two on Rock's cranium, thunked the bum mitt to Graziano's solar plexus and followed it up with a left to Mr. LaMotta's good pal and boyhood chum's beard. Graziano went down and didn't come up.

First hot tug is Chocolate, a dark thick note. It's up-top with a nutty note that's roasted and seems to have a quite leathery accompaniment. As the chocolate wears on from initial draw, it gets seasoned with warm reds. Middings are a heavy coffee and cream, oils from the leather, some pepper-play. Underbelly is farmed rich topsoil with an inherent peat quality and sweet finish. Second hottie is retro-haled to smooth pepper mix of mainly black and white --

Zale had to be darn-nigh carried around the ring for his gingerly performed victory lap. The Associated Press wrote that Mr. Tony Zale "looked like a man who had been in hand-to-hand combat with a buzzsaw, and somehow, much to his own astonishment, had come out ahead." Seems the AP used to have better writers.

 -- but red is there at first zetz and a glimpse of vegetal vibrant green bell is there at end. Tobacco, a heavy dark yet sweet note, lays into the bottom middling and bulges to the underneath. Third hottie is a settling which tells me we are under-way. There's a fudgier chocolate on the finish with that newer tobacco and warm red ghostings. medium+ at least legs.

The bout was named "Fight of the Year" and ranked fifth in a 1996 list of The 100 Greatest Title Fights of All-Time. Each honor came via Ring Magazine. II is oft is seen as the signature bout of the trilogy. 

Flavors delineate yet still serve to enhance one another. A heavy inch of ash clumps off. Black bread enters and starts to drive the profile from within a wood oven. Hickory is a separate and distinct note that is at work in the coffee and cream. Espresso is yet another distinct note which sees parts of itself play with parts of the fudgy yeasty chocolate. Leather seeps greater oils; and a salted buttery note comes into the whole deal. Tobacco note darkens yet further. Herbs begin to enter, lacing the middlings.
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II
July 17, 1947.  It was as hot and as damp as the top of Anna Nicole Smith's 1996 inseam, gentlepersons. Geographically, the setting was Chicago Stadium. Some Second City denizens sitting ringside set the temperature in the arena as high as 120 degrees. Although they also feel their pizza superior to the Big Apple's, so...

A chewy mouth-feel is the now. Still, all is balanced and in the same even-keeled sort of manner. A very solitary and thought-provoking cigar, this Cuban Crown. It's a do not disturb sign on the knob of a locked vault, dig? Nuts are pale and roasted dark, but still fleshy enough to be near creamy. Peppers roast and sedate some on the draw -- retro-hale remains the same zetz with a somewhat smoothed over delivery. Herbs go there to accompany. Hickory gets a creamy cedar bracing. Caramelized sugar turns the espresso Cuban.

At the ringing of the opening bell, Middleweight Champ Mr. Tony Zale went right after his now all too familiar challenger in one Mr. Rocky Graziano, pounding him with vicious shots to the body and raising a lump on his left eye. In the second round, Zale switched his game-plan to attacking the dinged peeper, opening a quite nasty cut. At the round's closing bell, Graziano landed a hard right that rocked and nigh rolled his foe -- sending him seeking for 'twixt round refuge toward the wrong corner.

In the third, Zale went about his continued work of methodically shredding Graziano's eye. Adding to the facial damage, swelling appeared under his other eye as well -- shutting it all but completely. A solid right dropped Graziano but he popped up before the ref could count one. Still, Rocky was in trouble. Zale bombarded him against the ropes through the fourth. It was all too clear that Graziano's vision was not all too clear.

On the stool betwixt rounds four and five, Rocky Graziano's corner took a coin to Rocky's moused-over right eye, and with it, applied enough pressure to break the skin, thus restoring Rocky's vision via a melee and prototypical Endswell tool. Some cite this as Sylvester Stallone's muse in the famous "Cut me, Mick" scene.

Each one of them hundred and twenty degrees soon began tolling upon the non-spring chicken Mr. Zale. In the sixth round, a carpet-bombing of Graziano rights tuchus'd him. When the champion regained his vertical alignment, he was driven to the ropes and blitzed by an even greater hail of hay-makers. Ref. Mr. Johnny Behr called a ceasefire at 2:10 and Mr. Rocky Graziano was at last, the Middleweight King.

At the half-way point, a sweet roasted meat savoriness flows in and I smack my lips. Burn rate is unchanged and I'm almost entranced by this Manolo Estate offering. Box press holds nicely. Ash drops at a very near to slight beyond inch throughout. Hickory verily soars next to the new savoriness. Smoke flies, pours, et cetera. Draw stays same, but smoke-hole gets filled even more so.

Stepping to the ring microphone, the new royalty decreed "Hey, Ma, your bad boy done it. I told you somebody up there likes me." Ring Magazine ranked the fight second on their 1996 list The 100 Greatest Title Fights of All-Time.

III
June 10, 1948 -- Ruppert Stadium -- Newark NJ. A crowd of 21,497 rubber-match spectators contributed to a gate of $335,646.

All notes to construction and combustion hold fast. Ash is a bit more pale of a grey. Notes are a bit more dry but in a near startlingly delineated manner. Luis Gutierrez, I could open-mouth kiss ya for this. But why? When a hand-shake can do. Can you tell I'm buzzed, Dear Reader? I iz. Full+ profile. -Full strength. Nub delivers cool and palate drenching smoke. Box press holds through the point where my fingers toast on the line. Shut up and hand me a toothpick -- I can't get up. For I have fallen. I need to clean up under my desk, it's a mess here...

Mr. Tony Zale fired first on Graziano with a left hook for a count of three in round one, and it never did take long for these fights to develop, gentlepersons. Hurt by a right this time in the second, Rock too gave what he doth received and hurt Zale with his own powerful righty-tighty.

However, in the third round, Zale dropped a still dazed Graziano for a seven-count with a left hook. Shortly after getting up, Graziano was knocked out ice cold by a left hook to the jawbone button. Thus Mr. Zale became only the third boxer to regain the World Middleweight Championship (Al Hostak and Stanley Ketchel were his company).

Shortly post-fisticuffs, a still bombed-out Graziano admitted to his bell never getting un-rung from the very first punch Mr. Zale landed. “I never even remembered the last round,” he said.

"I taste flowers." I wrote. Sometimes I wear a boilersuit when I write -- to remind myself I'm working.
EDITOR'S NOTE
Cigar content originally published, and can be read in full, HERE.
You can hear me read this post HERE.