Deep in flavor. Deep in your mind.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Padilla Miami 8 & 11 - Blind Cigar Review

B"H
Project X
Offering #5 Serie III

INTRO
I don't even want to smoke. Mr. Martin, facilitator of Project X, insists. Must be something special, this.

THE CIGAR
Padilla Miami 8 & 11
5 x 54 Robusto
w. Ecuadorian Habano
b. Habano
f. Nicaraguan
K A P L O W I T Z SCALE
K least, Z most
Construction T
Combustion T
Flavors I
Body W
Strength L
&
Sweet W
Sour L
Salty P
Bitter W
Umami O
&
Complexity I
Nuance T
Transition O
Balance T
Smoothness T
&
Animal O
Spicy O
Woody W
Vegetal O
Earthy W
Chemical K
SUMMATION
Almost ridiculously nuanced and complex. Rich, heavy and in the second half chewy, but always sunny and not burdensome to my palate body with 'nuff tingle to lighten the load. Yes, that sentence was, in fact, structured perfectly. Silky smooth texture. Impeccably balanced. Soaks my cheeks in gooey goodnesses. Densely and firmly chock fulla tobacco both in hand and smoke-hole. Thick solid burnt offerings of pale grey hue sheathing. Dead even burn-line of a thin+ thickness. Seams stay tight, packing firm. Big smoke off each end. Citrusy leather room-note. Luxurious even to the supple oily leather hand-feel. Finishes sweetly with a perfectly balanced bitterness on an oil slick mouth-feel of superb moisture level -- then cleanly and sans chemical attachment. Strength is a perfect medium, 'nuff to float my head in a lovely way. I'd like a box a' these if yer listening, Santawitz. Draw is a tick tighter than I like, but that's supreme nit-pickery and germane to the chock fulla tobacco.

In mostly no particular order, flavor notes include: Red pepper. Cayenne. Tobacco (oily and aromatic). Brown sugar, caramelized. Nuts, candied. Cedar, deeply toasted. Apple. Cherry. Cream (creme brulee). Olive wood. Peach. Caramel. Coffee. Oak. Vanilla. White pepper. Peanuts, honey-roasted. Cinnamon. Nutmeg. Leather. Citrus zest on r/h. Salted butter. Bourbon? Don't mind if I do, gentlepersons. Perhaps post-review. Chocolate, richly dark... mayhaps darkly rich... think Ricardo Montalban tellin' ya. 

SMOKE TIME
75mins

FINAL GRADE
****A+****
OUTRO
Good golly, Miss Molly. Chewy and light.

EDITOR'S NOTE
This Padilla had, according to Mr. Martin, a good year a' humi-time on 'er.

L'shalom

Macanudo Inspirado Orange - Cigar Review

B”H

INTRO
A previous sampling of this Macanudo offering was smoked on THIS Cigars City Podcast.

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

Pick these up at Cigars City.
PRE-LIGHT
Lettuce address the cigar. "Hell-ooo, Cigar!" 
First noticed is a very pale water spot bit of top-leaf at nigh cap. Beyond that blemish all is even complected in a chocolate-y varietal. Under-hue is Sunny Delight and the orange band singed into my retinas. Minimal veins and  fair dose of spider-web veins along-with. Seams are tight and even. Cap is well-affixed and spinning around to the foot, a mono-chromatic auburn is there and packed to a medium+ density. 

Sweetly spiced cocoa is the schnoz of the shaft. At the foot, a peppered nuttiness is added in. Hand-feel is a medium+ density with a lively spring-back to the slight give. Evenly packed sans soft/hard spots. Great balance and heft. Smooth oily mitt. Some lumps along the shaft.

Cold draw is a fruit (apricot?) nutty (pecan?) chocolate with a thin malt attachment. Red and sweet spices. Sweet tea, a tick on the cold finish. Citrus. Earth, golden.

LIGHT
An aroma of chestnuts roasting over an open hardwood fire or something like that vision happens as I toast the foot. toasts and lights a bit slow off a denser than eye-balled packing. First hot pull is white pepper and coffee with cream as the primary, with a high up middling of cocoa then spice rack. Under-belly is a woodsy earth. Texture is smooth and creamy. Second hottie is a retro-hale which steps up the white pepper and drops a richening cocoa to my palate. All other notes hold. Third tug is a thin musk addition with a citrus under it.

Draw tension is a quite firm side of medium+, but both satiating and loosening. Burn is even 'nuff off a medium thick char-line. Some softening happened off lighting, but already seems correcting. Smoke out-put is shy of full, but robust nonetheless. Room note is a leathery sweet earth with a wood spine. Profile at this stage is a comfy classic medium.
ACT I
Bread and leather notes enter in. A peach vibe. Bread is a Hawaiian one on the immediate draw and again at finish. Finish has nice sweet legs with a fruity lilt on a leathery oil mouth-feel. Smoke is creamy without being overly weighty. Burn doth ribbon some. Ash is pale grey with both heather grey marbling and silver ticks. Light flaking on a sheath/ tight ladder-rung split. 

Apricots and peaches and cream. Some citrus pith. A growing mild fusky bit which is substantially muted as compared to the previous of these Inspirado Orange I done smoked. Nicely balanced. Rich without being sickly and muffling nuances. Complexities are mounting via fruits playing with earth/wood/fusky bits. Chocolate weaves throughout these twirlings. Cedar comes on in a separate realm all its own... sweetly so. White grapes in one pull and then a dry white wine in the next -- straight to the middlings.

ACT II
Ribbon-y line smooths a couple ticks. Ash grows its entire opening act and I roll it off... it don't wanna at first. Smoke out-put grows to white voluptuousness. Draw tension is a medium resistance now. Cedar has hit primary status and has crisply braced the boundaries of notes. A cleansing tangy citrus note flows in rather heavily. Tea muscles. Sheath is a tight ladder rung with less flakiness than a John Wayne WWII flick. Floral nectar. Light honey. Graham. Neat-O. Salt. Malt hits notes of floral, bread, and chocolate. I taste strawberry. 

Shaft oils up and so do my cheeks. Burn wobbles a tick and I re-touch. Packing has softened a couple ticks. Combustion is not fantastic, per se. Mulling spice is now. Construction is nice other than softening... tight seams, even draw. Body seems to be dialing back as is finish's leginess. Chocolate rises. Fusky is dissipating some and allowing the nice maltiness to be center-stage. 

ACT III
Musky, fusty meet with tangy and end in a lighter malt. Sheesh. Burn re-wobbles. Packing is nigh spongy. Ash darkens. Some mottling of notes to the extent of hidden. Sorta dampened. Toastiness is attempting to stave this off -- but wine is splitsville. As is some fruit. Cedar stays on but loses some bracing abilities. Strawberry remains. Pith and apricots gone. Honey and floral are done. Retro-hale adds a tick more of white pepper, but too a mineral quality. Shoulder comes loose. Texture remains smooth oily creaminess.

More smoke. Toastiness is enforcing well 'nuff, but flavors which fell off aren't coming back. No bite, and that's good. Earth is moistening moistening and steering profile. Leather comes up. Very soft nub which delivers cool smoke. Floral notes show me the cedar door. And I might need another re-touch before a toothpick.
PAIRINGS
Loganberry Manischewitz -- but not more than maybe.

SMOKE TIME
100 mins

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

OUTRO
Went to a ballgame last night. Left at the seventh inning stretch with a foam finger and fancy promotional baseball, on account a' coming with my six year-old. GO EMS!!! They looked good. I must say gentlepersons, I did as well.

L’shalom

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

AJ Fernandez Enclave - Cigar Review

B"H
INTRO
Tonight, gentlepersons, I am off to the old ballgame.

THE CIGAR
AJ Fernandez Enclave
7 x 52 Churchill Closed-foot
w. Habano Rosado
b. Cameroon
f. Nicaraguan (including a proprietary Piloto Cubano)

Sample courtesy of Cigars City.
K A P L O W I T Z SCALE
K least, Z most
Construction W
Combustion W
Flavors W
Body O
Strength L
&
Sweet W
Sour W
Salty A
Bitter O
Umami P
&
Complexity L
Nuance W
Transition
Balance I
Smoothness I
&
Animal A
Spicy P
Woody O
Vegetal W
Earthy W
Chemical K
SUMMATION
Somewhat acidic and bordering on bitey in the 3/3. Less rich and full than I'd hoped; particularly after the second half. Balanced, but in a rather dull sense of the word. No true transitions. Flavors are nuanced, but never dance with one another to build complexities. Bittersweet finish on medium+ legs with an again acidic lilt. Mouth-feel is a bit spitty. Post finish is clean 'nuff. 

Chocolate, light and vegetal, like a carob note. Cedar. White pepper. Cream, toasted. Cinnamon, Apple cider. Sweet spices. Yeasty bread. Coffee. Earth, rich. Peat vibe. Floral, white. Red dessert wine. Salt, roasted. Aromatic woodsy tobacco. Texture is smooth, but gets a tick throaty via progression.

Draw is a tick tighter than I like and I like a tick tight, but opens some after the initial third. Top-leaf bulges and cracks at the secondary band -- simply cracks at the primary... but all is smoked thru well. Smoke out-put is average+ off each end, smoke-hole feels a half-tick less than satiated at times. Ash is flaky and oft drops (cue schmatta). For a 52rg, this Enclave seems a bit of a jaw-breaker. In closing, I shall close post-this: I believe AJ's issue with the Connecticut wrappers, which I have mentioned in the past and now mention knowing full well this ain't, is an underlining issue with subtlety. Many of this master blender's offerings simply fall well outside of my wheelhouse. 

SMOKE TIME
115mins

FINAL GRADE
****B****
OUTRO
GO EMS!!! Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jacks... or booze... or smokes. PayPal @nsk57033. Daddy needs a new pair o' everything.

L'shalom

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Cigars City Podcast - Macanudo Inspirado Black & Two Cigars a Day

B"H
This one's for you, Mr. Fuji.
May his memory be a blessing.

August 28, 2016
Please press play below:

We taste a Macanudo Inspirado Black offering, talk about the health benefits of smoking two stogies a day, and increase our vocabulary to include both "Pith" and "Fusty."

Oh, and I am now famous.
EDITOR'S NOTE
Recorded on a new platform which did NOT pick up a passing by motorcycle gang.

L'shalom



Saturday, August 27, 2016

My Father No.4 - Cigar Review

B"H
THE CIGAR
My Father No. 4 
7 1/2 x 38 Lancero
w. Ecuadorian Habano Rosado
b./f. Nicaraguan

Sampling courtesy of Cigars City, where ya can snap up some of yer own HERE.
K A P L O W I T Z SCALE
K least, Z most
Construction T
Combustion T
Flavors I
Body W
Strength O
&
Sweet W
Sour W
Salty L
Bitter W
Umami W
&
Complexity T
Nuance T
Transition O
Balance T
Smoothness I
&
Animal I
Spicy W
Woody T
Vegetal O
Earthy O
Chemical K
SUMMATION
Sweetly smooth with a wonderful sour balance on a wooden under-belly which steers high and prominently so. Citrus never gets acidic in an unfriendly way. Weighty body in a sunny fashion. Finishes in a sweet bready way with a malt attachment on -long legs which end in a pith note, then cleanly. Burn is even on a thin+ line which self-corrects an occasional ribbon in no time flat. There is a slight tunneling threat at the start of 3/3 but too, self-corrects. Ash builds white and solid on even and close ladder-rungs with an occasional and slight heather grey streak. Room note is aromatic tobacco with an inherent sweetness and woody drive. Smoke-out-put is nigh full yet kindly so. Draw is an even light side of medium+ tension throughout; satiating smoke-hole fully but not in a ham-fisted manner. Verily, this My Father is a complex and nuanced thing; but not overtly or flamboyantly so. All 'round muscular, but not in a bullying sense. Excellent. The stick does go out on me once, at mid-point, but re-lights well. Smoke stays smooth and cool to the somewhat softened nub.

Flavor notes in mainly no particular order are: white and black peppers. Hazelnut. Cream. Caramel. Cedar, sweet. Oak, lively but not green. Leather. Meat. Citrus rind with almost three full ticks of orange pith. Peat. Dirt. Nutmeg led medium to dark red spices -- chili, cumin, cinnamon. Coffee, roasted to full city and heavy creamed heavily. Salt. Papaya, dried. Rye malt. Orange Julius and Nutella are each on my tongue and palate respectively, at brilliant glimpses.
SMOKE TIME
75mins

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

EDITOR'S NOTE
This my Father offering had roughly eight months of age on it. 

L'shalom

Friday, August 26, 2016

18 Sabbaths - My Father Le Bijou 1922 - 5th Sabbath

B"H
Stock photo courtesy: www.kaplowitz.xyz
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 are courtesy of Cigars City and my mad March Madness skills.
I
I just had lunch. Box a' Mac & Cheese with a can of tuna thrown in. I suppose what I'm saying is, let's start this Sabbath smoker with a look at its performance -- its construction/combustion -- because I taste canned mercury, overwhelmingly so. Minimal veins and nigh invisible seams of even assemblage. No soft/hard spots. Medium draw with just a hint of a whisper of tension. White ash with some pale grey by toasted foot burnt offering. Even 'nuff but imperfect line of a thin manner. The usual Le Bijou soft corners and nice heft. Excellent balance in the mitt. Great smoke out-put from off each end.

Texture of smoke in smoke-hole is softly smooth. Easy like a pre-Sabbath morning. Slight tingle to tongue. Excellent moisture level on the mouth-feel. I dip my widdle toe into the flavor waters... on a retro-hale... I'm 'bout 3/4" in... I'm lying on my cement porch n the fetal position. Fire -- not smoke -- is pouring out my nostrils and I smell burnt hair. Liquid fire. Napalm? Mommy? As this calms, my head pulsates a tick. Strength. I taste, immediately, a tin can. Are there any other notes to performance I can throw in? Drats, covered 'em all. Darn my efficiency. Room-note! Burnt nose hair and tuna fish. I already washed my hands and doused 'em in rubbing alcohol. I'm an inch in and am wondering as to the pros and cons of switching to a career in selling insurance. Real estate? Avon? Easy, Kap.

Smoke looks different off the foot. Same amount, thinner than voluptuous. Kate Morse, not Anna Nicole Smith. I love a fun-sized gal. 

End of opening act. Black pepper, sharp. Crust only of a black bread. Tobacco, darkly heavy with a thin diesel note. Cocoa. Not yet ripe fruit. I feel/taste produce peppers on spikes of nic. Some espresso pours in nicely as 

II
arrives. Espresso is very nice and thick, then thins in two pulls. Thus far, the flavors have all been rather thin and bleeding together. Corners are rounded at the char and an inch on down the shaft. Bread is getting some gluten. Yeast. Then falls off. Molasses comes in. Thins. Fruits ripen but are not yet plump nor juicy. Wood rushes into lower middlings. Hard cedar? Some toasted oak. A wine cask. No grains beyond black bread happenings. I am barely holding onto cocoa. Primarily tobacco core; dark and stormy like night. Astringent vibe grows to note on finish. Almond slices... toasted heavily and somewhat bitey. Smokiness drips liquidy into the profile. 

Draw tightens to a medium+ but satiates the same as ever. Fully but unkindly in bits. Ash is a tick darker and more flaky. I grab for the schmatta in my back pocket. Smoke is blue-grey gunmetal complected. Burn is even on a thin line. Seams hold fast. Profile is a medium body with medium+ flavors which run together -- minimal if any delineations. Strength is a -full. Is this some type of practical joke?

Picture it. Indiana. 1997. A phone call.
Me: Yes, I have a bad back. 
Bowling alley attendant: Sorry.
Me: Nah, I just need to roll with a light ball.
BAA: We have lighter balls.
Me: Like for kids?
BAA: Well, yeah...
Me: Sir. Are you offering me the chance to play with kids' balls?
BAA: ...
Me: Disgusting!
BAA: ...
Me: Sir, I do not ruin the lives of innocent children to chase my own filthy desires.
BAA: Is this some type of practical joke?

III
More thin notes. Diesel palate and astringent tongue. What happened here? How do I file this data? Mottling. A bit headachy. A good bit spitty. Weak compost, peppers black and produce, thinning tobacco in an OTC pipe manner. Do you have Prince Albert in a can? 

I lay the Bijou down betwixt its secondary and primary bands. 
EDITOR'S NOTE
Written prior to the Sabbath. Gut Shabbos, gentlepersons... happy Saturday, goyim.

L'shalom

Cigars City Podcast Playlist

B"H

L'shalom

Audio Cigar Reviews Playlist

B"H

L'shalom

Thursday, August 25, 2016

A Review of Recent Grade A Cigar Offerings

B"H
"You're simply the best.
Better than all the rest,
Better than anyone --
Anyone I've ever met."
- Tina Turner
Without any further ado, adon't, or amaybe -- gentlepersons, I give ya simply the best of August. AKA...
THE A LIST
Tatuaje Havana VI Verocu

HONORABLE MENTION(S)
Well ain't that already a heckuva list, gentlepersons?
Onward to September and some whisk(e)y Grade A Offerings, perchance?
Advertisement.
L'shalom

On the Next Cigars City Podcast...

Fallen Angel - Cigar Review

B"H

Please press play below:

As always, I am thankful for the kind loaning of yer attentions, gentlepersons.

L'shalom

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Ave Maria Immaculata - Cigar Review

B"H
PROLOGUE
An AJ Fernandez Connie? What can go wrong? Oh -- New World
Slowly I turned...

THE CIGAR
Ave Maria Immaculata
6 x 50 Toro
w. Ecuadorian Connecticut
b./f. Nicaraguan

Pick 'em up at www.CigarsCity.com -- whom I doth thank for this sampling.
PRE-LIGHT
The band and its secondary are elaborate and too, very goy. Very Catholic Church-y. I first notice a quite healthy sheen over-top the shaft. Smooth eye-balling. Minimal veins and nigh tight seams on a milky coffee even complexion. Nicely affixed cap. Foot tobacco is a monochromatic brownette packed to a medium+ density. There is a tick of crimped vein way up in the 3/3.

Light oily and smooth hand-feel. Great hefty heftiness. Balance of weight tips a tad toward cap. Charmin squeeze shows a medium+ density and hard snap-back, zero soft-spots. Schnoz notes on the shaft are a caramel and white pepper on a dirt/hay. At the foot there's a simple amplification of that -- maybe some weak latte additions.

Pale nuts and fresh grass high-light the cold draw. Some light cocoa with a white pepper cinnamon vibe. medium tension on draw. another cold tug and then another -- cream, more white pepper.

LIGHT
Very hay and dirt foot toasting aroma. Some non-descript sweetnesses therein, mayhaps off a wood note. Excellent even and eager toasting and torching. First hot pull is a fresh cedar with a white pepper attachment which ain't overly smooth but not in wallop fashion. Lots of artisan white bread in the high-up secondary. Second hottie is retro-haled to a white pepper zetz which falls to the palate in a creamy caramel. Toasty tobacco, then. Third hot draw is more toasty, cedar flexing, weak latte muscling or trying to. White pepper is up-top with that cedar. Caramel and bread load up the middling. a nice toasted tobacco enforces the hay/dirt under-belly. Creamy throughout, still -- I'd hesitate to say smooth, per se. There is still a green nigh bite that is roasting off (hopefully).

There's zilch insofar as softening of pack off lighting (Bic, out-doors). By the by, I cut with a Xikar Xi2. Burn is dead-even on a medium+ thick line. Ash is a pale medium grey sheath at a half inch meow. Silvery bits.
ACT I
Pale nuts mount -- which, gentlepersons, is how white babies are made. <rim-shot> Green nigh bite is subsiding. Artisan white bread is toasting. Cedar is getting at once more creamy and more roasted. Caramel is starting to lace the under middlings in an interesting and complexity adding manner. White pepper is dialing back. There's a distant vibe of light melon on the finish, which is a medium legg'd thing of sweet cedar, mainly. Perhaps the thin latte stays on.

Texture is smooth, and notes are somewhat getting there. Heavy white smoke out-put off each end. Nice even draw. 
Combustion and construction are each a beaut until further notice, which I don't foresee. Room-note is a sweet aromatic tobacco and quite pleasant. Profile? Sure. Body is a mild-medium and flavors are a medium. Strength is mild. Lettuce talk mouth-feel: gruff tingle. A pins and needles thing which seems out of keeping with the Immaculata's profile. Great moisture level, tho.

I'm starting to think AJ has trouble with Connecticut offerings. I'm uncertain if I'd take this over the CT New World. This one tries, but sometimes that's the madrefuckero, as my friends south of the border might say.

ACT II
There are complexities and nuances herein -- to somewhat finish my thought at the close of Act I. There is a sweetening now, a sugar entering the cream. Still, there is a sharpness I've yet to quantify... and as I type, it comes to me. A budget-friendly white wine tang. Pine nuts are the nuts now. Cedar is devolving into a generic soft wood. Caramel up-ticks on the back of the sugar intro. White pepper is on the retro-hale and mouth-feel, only. Middling begins to burst with toasted bread. Under-belly is getting a deeper aromatic tobacco lilt. I get vanilla, then I don't. I get graham cracker, then I don't. I believe they sink, both, into the latte which is still thin but now an autumn-style beverage. This gets added to the room-note, which too seems sharpening. Nutmeg. Some suede is in the under-belly.

Combustion and construction stay impressive, even though I said I'd not mention. Very well-built stick, this Immaculata. Strength is moving the meter a kindly half-tick. Ash builds great and its insulation seems to do no harm. Chemically, there is a growing soapy bit.

ACT III
Here's something, gentlepersons: ginger. Replete with a white floral note attachment and a recurring of vanilla vibe. So I got that goin' for me, which is nice. Still, not as smooth a character as I'd like. A lemon rind is flowing in, further tang. Acidity is much a thing now and really sticks to the palate.

Burn suffers its first bugaboo by way of a blistering tick of top-leaf. Gets burned through. With the citrus joining weak coffee, the final act is quite sour, knocking the profiles balance fercockt a bissell. This Immaculata tries (and does) do more than the New World Connie, but we've already covered that. 

Construction/combustion are selling points; ending with a firm nub and cool smoke.
PAIRINGS
Loganberry Manischewitz.

SMOKE TIME
85mins

FINAL GRADE
****B****

EPILOGUE
"There is no try, only do." - Yoda
"Doo bee doo bee doo." - Frank Sinatra

L’shalom

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Tatuaje Havana VI Verocu - Blind Cigar Review

B"H
Project X
Offering #4 Serie III 
THE CIGAR
Tatuaje Havana VI Verocu 
No. 9 4 1/2 x 49 Petite Robusto
w. Nicaraguan Rosado Oscuro
b./f. Nicaraguan

K A P L O W I T Z SCALE
K least, Z most
Construction O
Combustion W
Flavors I
Body W
Strength L
&
Sweet W
Sour L
Salty L
Bitter W
Umami T
&
Complexity I
Nuance W
Transition L
Balance T
Smoothness I
&
Animal W
Spicy L
Woody I
Vegetal O
Earthy O
Chemical K
SUMMATION
Superlative balance. Great complexity, very good nuance. Softly textured accomplished sans a creamy muffling -- tho cream is present and toasted. Rich, savory, with a weighty body. Bittersweet draw and sweetbitter lingering finish with a great set a' legs. Non-acidic and zilch bite. Quite aromatic room-note, sweet and warmly spiced. Strength uniformly increases throughout and never wallops. Mouth-feel is a bit toward damp, but never spitty. Profile moistens with progression, but never gets bogged down nor mottled. 

Warmly toasted woods both hard and cedar, and spiced cocoa. Then a dark bread, rye malt attachment. Dark fruits, ripe and wet. Espresso made sweet with an accompanying molasses. Smoky. Cream. Toasty. Finely ground black pepper particularly on retro-hale... travels with a nice salted buttery note... saute. Applejack -- not Apple Jacks -- Applejack. Potpourri. Berry. A certain booziness. BBQ. Leather oils. Barnyard. Grain. Candied almond slices on finish. Not exotic, but not generic, red kitchen spices with an herbal quality... gourmet Americana. 

Pack softens noticeably off burn and then throughout, but seams and draw aren't affected. Although at times draw expresses a tick of a lag on its own. Supple leather hand-feel. Ash is flaky and prone to cracking, but a nice very pale grey with a silver tick here and there. Smoke out-put is somewhat helter-skelter as to volume on each end. Fails to, at times, satiate smoke-hole fully. Lends to a rustic assemblage which seems germane and not missteps per se. Burn is never exceptionally even and requires a couple retouches in a shorter than average format. Blisters once. Speaking to the shorter format, a very nice pacing which offers a very decent smoke time. Draw and shaft warm up at the band, nicely so.

SMOKE TIME
65mins

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

EDITOR'S NOTE
Thanks, Mr. Martin!

L'shalom

Monday, August 22, 2016

Stoogies & Stogies: Cu-Avana Punisher Shorty & Brideless Groom

B"H

THE CIGAR
Cu-Avana Punisher Shorty
4 1/2 x 60
w. Habano
b./f. Nicaraguan

I blind-reviewed a previous peppery Punisher perusal pHERE.

THE ACCOMPANYING LIBATION
Spot of tea
PG Tips
Sprinkle of Stevia
(Think of this tea as the 5 Vegas High Primings of tea, hence "Tips.")

&
A handful of Planters dry roasted peanuts.

I wet the cap of this Cu-Avana in my mouth and it burns my tongue. What's wrong with me? Why do I do this to myself? Hi. My name is Kaplowitz, and thanks for stopping by www.kaplowitz.xyz -- yer place on the world wide web to celebrate Shemp's last day. Cigars, boxing, horse racing, and jokes... all with an air of vaudeville and lilt of Yiddish.

Poor ol' Shemp does have more than his unfair share of naysayers. As you know, I rank him myself, as the deepest and most layered of Stooges. I hold fast to his inherent character complexities, as I hold fast to this being the reason that he is overlooked in favor of his little brother Curly, all too often.

Brideless Groom has something for both sides of the Shemp Howard fence. It is at once an opportunity to enjoy his own personal tour de farce, and it also serves as an equal opportunity to see him get his nose for real busted by the lovely Christine McIntyre. The blonde bombshell of Stoogery plays Miss Hopkins here, one of the women Shemp pursues as a potential wife so that he might cash in on his inheritance of half a million 1947 bucks. The injury happens as she pummels him in a classic situation misunderstanding, ending with him prat-falling through a door.

Let me here all at once digress and delve.
On wooden match light, I get the sensation of a Mexican dinner served on a too hot restaurant plate. Don't tell me not to touch it. Don't make it so hot! Also, don't tell me to not think of an elephant, will ya? But the dinner, it's all there, con carne. Green chili peppers, sour cream, I even sense beans. Black. There's even a rough salted starch... tortilla? ... on the retrohale. A 1/4" later, there's cinnamon led red spices and all the rest of the peppers. Black, red, white. White finds some dried red/purple fruit and lingers into the vanilla vibe'd finish. Habanero and jalapeno join in. I'm schvitzing here!

Finish is shorter than the big draw notes of this Punisher Shorty would lead ya to believe. At the end of the day, this bad boy leaves a pretty clean palate. Floral notes take off in juicy dark tropical aloha ways.

This short is very, very slapstick heavy for the Shemp era. Because of this, even the ant-Shemp among we Stooges fans tend to enjoy this offering. The plot is an already familiar one for its time that, as mentioned, involves the death of Shemp's uncle, the ensuing inheritance, and its caveat. Shemp must be married to collect - and married in a hurry - seven hours to be exact. This is possibly in homage to Seven Chances, Buster Keaton's 1925 flick that is borrowed from heavily here. This is a time-sensitive scenario where the ticking clock acts as a very important and comedic character.

Moe: Do you remember your Uncle Caleb?
Shemp: Do I? That old tightwad. He'd steeal flies from a blind spider.
Moe: Well he just died and left you 500 bucks
Shemp: Why that old skinflint (double take) 500,000 bucks? (cries) Poor uncle Kaleb. Like I was saying, he was a swell guy. Give ya the shirt off his back and throw in the buttons, too.

Here we see the verbal give and take that Shemp offers Moe, who must have reveled in the opportunity thereof, because he always longed to be more of an actor. "Sure, and Chaplin wanted to play Hamlet." Moe Howard lamented at the close of his illustrious career.
Advertisement.
A wood which was in the underbelly of scorched compost comes up and distinguishes as a well-seasoned cedar. Dark roasted coffee cooked in a cowboy manner over a hickory campfire, that's happening now. Mouth tingles out onto lips and then threatens my chin. There are some whom say these are schmeared with pepper juice. There are some whom say they are not. All told, there ain't a lot said on these that ain't half rumor. Me? I hate a good mystery. Licorice! Didn't cowboys eat licorice? It's very cowboy, this Punisher. No... bandit. NO! BANDITO!!! Pass me another taco, hombre... and an Alka-Seltzer, boychik.

Ash falls off in a surprise hot oil clump. Shaft is warming, too. I think I'll allow it a tick of a siesta. The PG, gentlepersons, actually holds up well, and the pinch of Stevia gives a bissell sweet zetz. Line is mainly even. Some softening has occurred, but draw has always been a medium+ tension and seams doth holdeth. I get some very dark rich chocolate I don't recall having in the first offering. That said, I don't read my stuff. Good deal of sweet here now; sweat too -- as the peppers ain't dialed back a bit.

Larry gets to show some non slapstick chops here, as well:
Larry: You just got seven hours to get yourself a bride.
Shemp: it can't be done, no woman is interested in me.
Larry: Maybe not, pal. But if ya look real hard, you might find one interested in a half a million bucks!
Shemp: Maybe ya got something there...

Moe and Shemp's phone booth scene is a must see gag that highlights Shemp's physical talents, one of which is his quite ugly, and chock-full of trademarked character, mug. There is a subtlety in Shemp's slap-stick that I completely adore.

Speaking of gags, Brideless Groom features longtime Stooges foil and almost-Stooge, Emil Sitka's famous "Hold hands, you lovebirds!" (The line is engraved on Sitka's headstone.) My dad referenced this line often, as to why he always held my mother's hand. It was so that they couldn't hit each other as easily.
All along, Shemp is pursued by his enamored student, as he is a Professor of Voice, the tone-deaf Miss Dinkelmeyer portrayed by Dee Green - which I talk about here. Of course, at the short's end, the gal gets the guy and the Three Stooges show a women's rights tilt far beyond their years.

Brideless Groom is a woman's world wherein women chase men as they see fit, and unapologetically so. A penniless Shemp sadly strikes out, but a potential half-millionaire Shemp is prey to be stalked by strong-willed women with their own worldly agendas.

A brilliant side-gag here unfurls as the women fight over Shemp's inheritance. As Larry is about to knock out a dame with the butt of a gun, Moe offers his famous, "You wouldn't hit a lady with that." He then takes the gun and gives him a larger one, adding, "Use this it's bigger." Equal Rights meet Gun Rights and The Three Stooges show their social libertarian bent. I swoon.

Burn slows, shaft stays warm, but in the 3/3 of a four incher -- there ain't a lotta wiggle. Tea is splendid. The Punisher finishes cleanly and the tea sits nicely there. While this 'un is sweeter than the last, the sweetness is less delineated. I can't help but wonder if my libation -- any libation -- muddies up the salivas. Mouth-feel is clean and not as tingly as you might think with all the peppers. Great moisture level there.

Line is more even. Pack softening has ceased. My lips and around 'em more than make up for the surprising lack of mouth tingle. I feel somewhat wind-burnt. Nub is hot but smoke is cool... but kinda burns, anyways. There's dos scoops of raisins at the band(ito). 

Watch this romp with delight, and follow it up with Husbands Beware, which uses stock footage from here. We do all know of Fake Shemp, no? My word... All told, fence-sitters in the Shemp highly contested arena of such, are very likely to land in the far greener Pro-Shemp grasses after viewing Brideless Groom. Or well they should.
THE SHORT
The Three Stooges
Brideless Groom
s. Moe, Larry, & Shemp
d. Edward Bernds
w. Clyde Bruckman
p. Hugh McCollum

EDITOR'S NOTE
All content published previously at www.kaplowitz.xyz.

L'shalom

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Cigars City Podcast - AJ Fernandez New World CT & the FDA Loses!

B"H
Yer weekly dose of Cigars City!
Please press play below:

The FDA loses a lawsuit over labeling changes.
We taste an AJ Fernandez New World Connecticut offering.
Listener mail is answered.

Thanks for tuning in!
L'shalom

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Padilla Single Batch - Kaplowitz Scale Cigar Review

B"H
Photo credit: Oregon School of the Blind.
THE CIGAR
Padilla Single Batch
Perfecto 4 1/2 x 6
w. Ecuadorian Sumatra
b. Honduran
f. Brazilian, Dominican, Honduran
K A P L O W I T Z SCALE
K least, Z most
Construction T
Combustion I
Flavors O
Body O
Strength P
&
Sweet I
Sour O
Salty A
Bitter L
Umami P
&
Complexity P
Nuance P
Transition P
Balance I
Smoothness T
&
Animal O
Spicy L
Woody W
Vegetal L
Earthy O
Chemical K
SUMMATION
Medium profile and quite classically so. Somewhat acidic, but sweetly so and delivered on a fruity cream -- done correctly and adding well to that balance which surrounds a wood core. Verily rich of an offering considering that medium profile. A nice sweet then sour finish of longer legs than expected. Post finish is clean 'nuff. Creamy texture with the slightest of white pepper tingles. Mouth-feel errs toward dry, but not egregiously. Flavor notes, in a mainly food-centic and completely alphabetized manner include: Apple cider. Coffee, a weak coffee & cream diner brew. Cream with a fruity addition. Dirt, sunlit. Floral bits, pale. Leather oils. Lemon. Spice, autumn varietal. White pepper. Suede. Woods, soft. For all that, the flavor is a tick flat. 

Construction is lovely in an oft tricky format (Perfecto). Burn is even through and through, giving burnt offerings of a pale grey with some medium grey marblings; grows solid and long with just a tick of flake. Minimal veins and tight seams all the live-long. Moderate + a tick smoke out-put from each end. Very good medium pull resistance. A mere bissell softening of pack, but nothing seen in performance. Very smokeable and in a personal favorite vitola. Nice smoke time via a neat-o pacing. Never transgresses. Never wows. An offering that keeps it simple, stupid. Ya won't go wrong if ya try.

Easy smoker in a fun format, lacking in complexity and nuance. Stick it in yer smoke-hole and forget about it. Look cool sans hassle. Repeat.
SMOKE TIME
75mins

FINAL GRADE
****B****

EDITOR'S NOTE
I was awoken at dawn's crack -- called her an Uber and made myself coffee. Opened my Chromebook and logged into Facebook. I always like to check FB first off and right away, so that I know how to decipher world news and current events via my friends list's professional pundit opines. What'd I see? My notifications alit with news of this stick. The Padilla Single Batch in Perfecto -- Cigars International -- a buck for a 5-pack and s/h on the house? I couldn't pass it up. Didn't even try. I close deals... it's what I do. Boom.

I don't normally do this, but I know many of ya gentlepersons have closed this deal, and by now have smoked this offering. So I ask: what'd ya think? Comment below*.

Thanks as always, for the loaning of yer attentions.

*I have disabled comments.

Friday, August 19, 2016

18 Sabbaths - My Father Le Bijou 1922 - 4th Sabbath

B"H
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 are courtesy of Cigars City and my mad March Madness skills.
I
Another Sabbath, another Le Bijou 1922. This one has started off in red wine soaked black pepper and gourmet fudge brownie chocolate. Creamy. Composted under-belly has a sweet fruitiness and wooden brace. Dark hardwoods and a burgeoning sweet seasoned cedar. Middling is espresso and cream, not a latte -- separated notes. Texture is a heavy smooth cream and mouth-feel is a soft tingle on perfected moisture. About 3/4" in, heavy floral notes drop into upper middlings. Almost a perfume on the immediate draw's smell/taste. Then, in a pull or two, the espresso and cream are sammich'd by an underneath nuttiness -- a sweet pecan.

Combustion is nifty on a smooth pacing and even line. Ash is white with a singular flake on an other-wise sheath. Draw is a tick firmer than other Sabbaths, but satiates. Packing softened half a tick on lighting, but press and seams hold fast. Room-note has a candied red spice on it. Very dark aromatic tobacco thickly hangs in white clouds. Draw loosens to a medium +. After an inch, burn threatens a wobble. Closes out the first half, insofar as construction, with a re-firming of pack and easier draw. Wobble seems self-correcting. A robust medium in terms of flavors. medium+ body, and a menacing -medium opening strength.

Wine dries sweetly and fruits ripen. Chocolate picks up and it's a Cadbury Fruit and Nut bar. At an inch, the dark aromatic tobacco from the room-note hits the draw. Leathery oils flood into the cream. Aspects of the middling begin to tease complexities as the mingle; their individual nuances hum along and deepen. A seasoning hits the tobacco a couple puffs hence. Rosemary. The first girl I kissed was named Rosemary. Rosemary D'...Something. We were twelve or so. She had a mustache. Rosemary D'Moustache? The dangers of coming of age in an Italian Brooklyn neighborhood. Flavors liquefy to a lush syrup -- woods stay firm and brace. Very leathery and at the opening act's end, meaty.

II
Interesting how the syrupy flavors are in ways more delineated than whenst they was dry. I just took a pull of straight rosemary, which seemed to be drying and accompanied by a nice saltiness which is left behind on my cheeks. Black pepper hasn't been muted, but muffled in the syrup. On the retro-hale, there it is in a boom. Lots of leather too, dry. Nicely cuts the syrup. A new sarsparilla mounts. A Porter vibe. Cream toasts on the draw, and in the mouth is almost again Porter -- a head which heavily laces the glass. Almond slices join in with the pecan. Strength slowly mounts to a medium+ but stays comfy. Full-flavored and high medium+ body mayhaps -full. Meaty -- a beef consomme. Grains -- dark and heavy. The barley fed to gladiators. Perfume'd floral notes get pushed ahead by fruits -- blood red and dark purple drippings. 

Burn is even with only an occasional slight ribbon. Draw is now a nigh perfect tick o' tension. Post finish shows a hint of diesel. Purging abates that. Box rounds a decent bit, but affects performance, nil. Tremendous smoke out-put from each end. A heavy tingle sets upon my mouf. Tobacco darkens into the compost. Combustion slows as the final act is set. 

III
Verily compost and it's absorbed the wetter notes of red wine and syrup, with half-baked fudgy chocolate in its forefront. Not far beneath is a wood-steered herbal and bready aromatic tobacco with barley grain. Profile is a full/full with a medium+ strength. Very nicely balanced. Rich don't begin to describe it. Espresso seems to hold it all up, and rather high. Perfume laces about. Some cream is lost in profile and in texture due to a bissell further dieseling, purging is recommended.

At nigh band, corners are lost, shaft flattens. Smoke heats up a half-tick as the draw opens to a medium, tho remains comfy. Burn is dead-even. Combustion is a boss, with a silvery burnt offering. Each Sabbath gets better, gentlepersons -- what's not to like?
EDITOR'S NOTE
Written prior to the Sabbath. Gut Shabbos, gentlepersons... happy Saturday, goyim.

L'Shalom

Thursday, August 18, 2016

On the Next Cigars City Podcast...

Check yer local listings HERE.

CAO Pilon - Cigar Review

B"H
Please press play below to listen:


KAPLOWITZ SCALE
K least, Z most
Construction L
Combustion O
Flavors W
Body W
Strength O
&
Sweet T
Sour O
Salty P
Bitter W
Umami I
&
Complexity O
Nuance I
Transition O
Balance T
Smoothness T
&
Animal W
Spicy L
Woody W
Vegetal L
Earthy I
Chemical K
SMOKE TIME
70mins

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

L’shalom

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Blind K A P L O W I T Z Scale Cigar Review - La Hoja Edicion 1962 Maduro - Offering #3 Serie III

B"H
PROJECT X, gentlepersons.

THE CIGAR
La Hoja Edicion 1962 Maduro
5 3/4 x 56 No. 9 Toro Box-press
w. Mexican San Andres
b. Dominican
f. Dominican Piloto Cubano & Nicaraguan
K A P L O W I T Z SCALE
K least, Z most
Construction W
Combustion L
Flavors W
Body W
Strength W
&
Sweet I
Sour O
Salty P
Bitter W
Umami O
&
Complexity I
Nuance I
Transition T
Balance I
Smoothness W
&
Animal I
Spicy L
Woody I
Vegetal W
Earthy L
Chemical K
SUMMATION
Rich yet intricately and delicately balanced, particularly in the sweet/sour realm -- backed by quite a BBQ note. Cedar and mesquite toast roast but never scorch. Sweetness is vastly low hanging apples and the wood limbs they cling to. Apple BBQ sauce. Bitter ramps up at half-way mark on a mocha note. Spice and white pepper are mainly on retro-hales and drop to palate in a bittersweet nutty manner, then to tongue in a kindly tingle. Finish is apple/wood and espresso. Mouth-feel is nice moisture level and already mentioned tingle. At times it errs toward dry, but never transgresses. Transitions well and gently so. Bitter realm flexes a new mocha -- then smokiness -- then a leathery venison quality -- then its oils. Post-finish is clean and pleasant sans chemical stuffs. Strength sneaks up with a war hammer in the 3/3. From an L to a W on one puff. Texture is a pleasant 'nuff creaminess which toasts throughout and stays cool to the nub.

Hand-feel is toothy and dry; a tick unwieldy. Lotsa tobacco, stay awhile. (I actually feel like I stayed longer than the clock said.) Combustion is a nice slow pacing but uneven and require-some of a couple re-touches. Nigh canoe-threat. A tick of tunnel threat. Some blistering. Ash is grey with light flaking but very densely core'd, yet too it lilts side-long off the uneven char. Press and packaging hold to half-way mark, then round/soften but maintain. Draw is a 99% medium tensioned ending in a satiated smoke-hole.  Smoke out-put is delicately robust off each end... a heavily starched lace curtain.

SMOKE TIME
110mins

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

L'shalom

CAO Brazilia - K A P L O W I T Z Scale Cigar Review

THE CIGAR
CAO Brazilia
Samba 6 1/4 x 54 Torpedo
w. Brazilian
b./f. Nicaraguan

Sampling courtesy of Cigars City.
You gentlepersons may purchase this offering HERE.
As always, drop my name at checkout to have an additional 15% tacked onto yer purchase.
K A P L O W I T Z SCALE
K least, Z most
Construction W
Combustion O
Flavors O
Body L
Strength O
&
Sweet O
Sour W
Salty L
Bitter O
Umami L
&
Complexity O
Nuance I
Transition P
Balance W
Smoothness O
&
Animal P
Spicy L
Woody I
Vegetal O
Earthy I
Chemical L
SUMMATION
Listen HERE. Post audio: some sulfur and an up-tick in strength.

SMOKE TIME
90mins (approx)

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