Deep in flavor. Deep in your mind.

Friday, June 30, 2017

18 Sabbaths Cattle Baron Bull Cigar Review: 9th Sabbath

Cattle Baron Cigars
Bull 4 1/2 x 58
WRAPPER: Nicaraguan Habano
BINDER: Dominican
FILLER:Dominican Seco, Nicaraguan Viso

ORIGIN: De Los Reyes, Dominian Republic
NAME DROPS: Phil Zanghi, Debonaire House.

"A muscularly built cigar with a well balanced medium-full profile. Well delivered traditional notes of sweetly piquant cocoa and cedar around a clean tobacco core." [A short (25wd) review as part and parcel of my Four Cigars Reviewed in 100 Words vol. III post. Reprinted with my own express written consent and minuscule editing.]
HERE is a write-up of the Cattle Baron blend in its Trail Boss vitola.
HERE is me talking about the Cattle Baron blend in its Stockyard vitola.

Find out more about this, my 18 Sabbaths project, by clicking HERE.

& now without any further ado, adon't or amaybe -- letuce look at this week's Cattle Baron, gentlepersons:
"A muscularly built cigar with a well balanced medium-full profile. Well delivered traditional notes of sweetly piquant cocoa and cedar around a clean tobacco core." [A short (25wd) review as part and parcel of my Four Cigars Reviewed in 100 Words vol. III post. Reprinted with my own express written consent and minuscule editing.]

Wait. I said that already. Nevertheless, here's a 25 word response to that approx. two month-old block of 25 words. In other words, gentlepersons, welcome to the written equivelent of the joke with long set-up and totally not worth-it punch-line. If ya like this sorta thing, book-mark yer home on the www for that sorta thing.

"He's not that shaggy."

Softening shaft, ribboning line. Stoic draw, tight seams, cool burn. Medium profile'd. Flatter delivery a' traditional notes containing lesser piquancies. Cedar, Swiss Miss, fusty baccy.

Mosquito bite's itch,
harbinger of summer-time's
warm sweet tradition.

I believe that is abundantly clear.
Shabbat Shalom and Gut Shabbos -- and to the Goyim, happy Friday/Saturday.

AJ Fernandez Adds Puro Epecial to New World Line - Cigar News

A(bdel).J. Fernandez, in tandem with his father Ismael, shall release a Nicaraguan Puro extension of their New World line at this year's IPCPR trade-show. The offering is being rolled at Tabacalera A.J. Fernandez Cigars de Nicaragua, in culmination of several year's work on its recipe.
Worthy of mention in making mention of the blend, is that the New World Puro Especial was small-batch released just last year as the Habano Especial. The New World brand itself, begun in 2014, is meant to honor via moniker the Columbus 1492 voyage up-on ocean blue after which tobacco was brought back to the 'civilized world' due to a Jewish man, one Sr. Luis de Torres. A wonderful story, that, yet for another time*.

The A.J. Fernandez Puro Especial shall join the New World and New World Connecticut; this iteration blended with tobaccos exclusively that of Fernandez-owned farms across Esteli. It'll be made available in three formats: a 5 1/2 x 52 Robusto, 648 Short Churchill, and 6 1/2 x 52 Toro. Each vitola shall carry within tobaccos aged three-five years.
*Since ya read this to completion (thank-you), it is "another time," indeed. Gentlepersons, please see my article: Jews in Tobacco - Luis de Torres

Bombay to Unveil Gaaja Robusto at IPCPR - Cigar News

Bombay Tobak hath announced via press release that they shall be adding a third size to their vaulted Gaaja Natural line. The new 554 box-pressed Robusto is set to be their high-lighted offering at the up-coming IPCPR trade-show. It follows its original 6 1/2 x 54 dimension'd Toro* and 2016 IPCPR released Torpedo brethren, each box-pressed as well.
In said press release 'twas noted: “Due to its compactness in the size, it was a real challenge to offer the balance in the strength and flavor in the smaller vitola. We had been experimenting with different proportions of the filler along with the development of our first release.”

Speaking of the blend's proportions:
WRAPPER: Ecuador Connecticut desflorado, Variety Hybrid Mejorado 2004
BINDER: Ecuador HVA Seca Mejorada Filler
FILLER: PerĂº Hybrid Habano, Ecuador criollo ’98, Paraguay Hybrid Habano 2000,Dominican criollo ’98, Dominican HVA Mejorado -- or -- Peruvian, Ecuadorian, Paraguayan, Dominican. 

Humsoever technical (or not) ya get, an exotic blend, that. As well as one worth some good amount of excitement.

Joya Black - Cigar Review

Joya Black
556 Doble Robusto
I am smacked with a sauteed in buttah black pepper and Cavendish* tobacco forefront. Back-drop is a dried candied fruit and dark-cum-bittersweet chocolate. Barnyard under-belly. Then, toward the opening stanza's end: espresso and nuts. Stick appears rustic to eye-balling yet performs admirably. Excellent draw and smoke out-put. Slightly jagged burn-line.

Espresso note becomes driven by its own crema and bitters the profile some. Too, there is an acidic tinny addition to the quite lengthy finish. Flavors seem lacking in richness/roundness. Not as delineated now, simply a flat-imbalanced sour-bittersweet thing. A seasoned hardwood comes aboard, but most else dials back.

A 90-100 B 80-89 C 70-79 D 60-69 F 0-59
WRAPPER: Mexican San Andres Maduro
BINDER: Nicaraguan
FILLER: Nicaraguan

STRENGTH: Medium-Full
ORIGIN: Fabrica de Tabacos Joya de Nicaragua S.A., Nicaragua

"The JOYA line changed the way smokers enjoyed Nicaraguan cigars with the introduction of Joya Red, a medium bodied, full flavor smoke specially designed and blended for the modern smoker. The new Joya Black follows in these footsteps and takes the experience up a notch by incorporating a dark Mexican wrapper and Nicaraguan fillers. Modern in Spirit, fuller in Flavor and Stronger in Attitude, this cigar provides a complex smoke filled with sweet and creamy notes.It is perfect for those who want more." -

Cigar Aficionado rated this offering a 91, saying of it via tasting notes: "A fat cigar draped in an oily wrapper. Its lush draw shows rich earthiness coupled with notes of coffee and vanilla bean. The bittersweet finish hints of baking chocolate."

*"Cavendish Tobacco refers to tobacco that has added flavoring, or which was possibly subjected to heavy pressure in order to produce a sweet taste with a moist texture. American, Dutch, and Danish varieties involve the addition of flavorings; while British Cavendish brings out the natural sugars in the tobacco through pressure applied during the preparation process." - Milton M. Sherman (1970). All about Tobacco. Herein ain't British. Typical flavorings include and which pertain to this Joya Black: sugar, cherry, maple, honey, licorice, chocolate, rum, strawberry, and walnut. Coconut, vanilla, and Bourbon are other Cavendish goodies, lo not found here. And truthfully all that is found here, lasts the opening-third only.

Weekly Recapitulation Volume IV

Four Kicks by Crowned Heads - Cigar Review
18 Sabbaths Cattle Baron Bull Cigar Review: 8th Sabbath
La Flor Dominicana Double Ligero Chisel Maduro - Cigar Review
A Review of Recent Grade A Cigar Offerings
Rocky Patel Catch 22 Sixty - Cigar Review
Drew Estate MUWAT Kentucky Fire Cured Swamp Thang - Cigar Review
Kristoff Criollo - Cigar Review
Drew Estate Undercrown Shade Flying Pig - Cigar Review
Punch Signature Torpedo - Cigar Review

Foundation & Highclere Castle Collaborate in Downton Abbey Inspired Offering - Cigar News
Cornelius & Anthony Announces Lonsdale Cornelius - Cigar News
Camacho Releases 2017 Special Edition Liberty - Cigar News
Cornelius & Anthony to Launch Senor Esugars at IPCPR - Cigar News
Tatuaje Ships TAA 2017 to California Ahead of Tax Hike - Cigar News
Alec Bradley to Release Two Revamps at IPCPR - Cigar News
Warped Ships La Colmena Black Honey 2017 - Cigar News
Crowned Heads Four Kicks Maduro to be Released at IPCPR - Cigar News
Gurkha to Re-release Four Blends for IPCPR - Cigar News
Nomad Re-names, Re-releases First Offering as First Run - Cigar News

On Honey Notes, A Cigar Primer
Blow it Out Yer Nose, or: Retro-haling, A Cigar Primer

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Foundation & Highclere Castle Collaborate in Downton Abbey Inspired Offering - Cigar News

Cigar Aficionado hath busted news as to:
"Fans of cigars and the TV period drama "Downton Abbey" rejoice. A cigar based on Highclere Castle -- the show's primary regal setting—is coming to the International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers trade show." 
Head-lined therein as "Period-Themed," and reported herein for the sheer purpose of asking if the cigar might have a Rosado hue'd top-leaf. Thank-you gentlepersons, I shall be performing here all weak.

No dice, humsoever, as Master-blender and Foundation-owner one Mr. Nick Melillo instead opted for an Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade top-leaf with Brazilian binder and Nicaraguan guts. Says George Herbert, an ancestor of the Royal surname and current owner of Highclere Castle. "I've gained a deep appreciation for the passion and skill that goes into making a super-premium cigar. The cigar itself is an excellent representation of that, and I think my ancestors would be proud it bears the Highclere badge."

The Highclere Castle shall be unveiled in a 748 Churchill, 652 Toro, 5 1/2 x 46 Corona, 550 Robusto, and 542 Petit Corona. All formats are said to pair particularly well with ice cream, binge-watching Soaps, and being left the heck alone, you lousy animal.

Punch Signature Torpedo - Cigar Review

Punch Signature
Torpedo 5 3/4 x 52 Figurado
A somewhat hesitant draw out-of-the-gate; double/triple puffs required. Serves to heat the char a tick much and cause a wobble in need a' re-touch, then a slight runner-threat... all in the opening stanza. Flowering ash. Notes: black pepper and bittersweet chocolate with carob-seed honey lilt. Pumpernickel. Toasted leather-wood-earth under-belly.

Smoke-smoke out-put dials back meow, thus cooling burn and allowing mascara to even lo not perfectly-so. A toasting of profile happens. Bread grows in yeastiness. Leather softens to an oil. Wood hides. Earth becomes nigh compost. Settling and slowing. Queasy like a Sunday morning, as nicotine rises. Ash aerates dryly.

A coffee note enters, finishes in a tick flinty manner. Bit a' scorching on immediate draw gives tongue zetz. Flavors subdue further and sorta huddle to-gether, over-lapping. Draw restricts a bit; purging aids in relieving that and scorching. Line evens further. Slight hibiscus vibe. Pack softens, draw and seams hold.

A 90-100 B 80-89 C 70-79 D 60-69 F 0-59

WRAPPER: Ecuadorian Corojo
BINDER: Connecticut Habano
FILLER: Nicaraguan, Dominican

ORIGIN: STG Danli, Honduras
SRENGTH: Medium-Full
Cigar Aficionado rated the Punch Signature in Torpedo an 89, stating "At first charry and acidic, the cigar settles down to show an earthy, bready smoke with plenty of woody notes and a touch of nuts. Some charriness persists on the finish."

From the Punch website, aka the horse's mouth: "The cigar features a specially cultivated Ecuadoran Corojo wrapper, grown explicitly for this cigar. The wrapper harkens [sic] back to Punch’s historical use of both Ecuadoran and Corojo tobaccos but evolves the brand by giving consumers a fuller bodied, more flavorful, more complex smoke."

Gentlepersons, ya just can't buy the Punch Signature (Torpedo) at either above and lovely site -- but ya can at Cigars City.

Nomad Re-names, Re-releases First Offering as First Run - Cigar News

“The fact of the matter is that when I started I was not really clear on which sizes would work and which wouldn’t. That led to an overrun of two sizes in particular,” said Fred Rewey (via Halfwheel). “A round torpedo and a small perfecto. Recently I discovered that we had a limited amount from the original run and began smoking them. It seemed only appropriate to share these aged beauties.”
Thus, tally Nomad Cigar Co. alongside Gurkha and assuredly a growing list of others re-releasing in lieu of releasing nieu at the up-coming IPCPR Trade-show. Cigar industry buckling under FDA regulations? Partially. Also, every department store suddenly has fanny packs for sale. The boon is all for us though, gentlepersons. Aged cigars err toward delightful, and that fanny pack still makes ya look like a human visual definition of "I quit."

For Nomad hath announced it shall 'again' offer its "First Run," from actual left-over stock of its Dominican Classic line. Available formats to include: Navigator, a 652 Torpedo; and Vagabond, a Figurado of 4 5/8 x 54 dimensions. Dominican Classic, for clarity's sake was the company's inaugural blend and called simply Nomad at the time. The time being circa 2012.

In case you wanna pick up some leaves to make yer own smoke, whilst out at Wal-Mart shopping for a new fanny pack -- Dominican binder twixt Dominican filler with an over-lay of Ecuadorian Habano top-leaf. Act fast, apparently there is existent only 200 boxes a' twenty.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Gurkha to Re-release Four Blends for IPCPR - Cigar News

"We are very excited to bring back some of our most classic and popular cigars. Due to the upcoming laws of the FDA we thought it would perfect to celebrate the most successful predicate brand cigars." Kaizad Hansotia, CEO of Gurkha Cigars, via Cigar Dojo.

For the first time ever, Gurkha will not be unveiling a new cigar offering at the up-coming IPCPR trade-show. This due to the new this year's FDA regulations. In lieu of nieu, gentlepersons shall be made privy to the option of some grand-father'd in smokes for which to purchase -- since we maybe didn't purchase 'nuff a' them the first time 'round.
Master Select (2001) 
BINDER: Honduran Habano
FILLER: Nicaraguan, Dominican

Havana Legend (1999)
BINDER: Honduran Habano
FILLER: Peruvian

Blendmaster’s Cask (updated)
WRAPPER: Ecuadorian Wrapper
BINDER: Nicaraguan
FILLER: Dominican, Nicaraguan

Cellar Reserve 10 year Anniversary
In a press releasing announcing the anniversary project, Gurkha CEO Kaizad Hansotia commented, “The Cellar Reserve was our very first brick and mortar exclusive cigar and it has had continued success and amazing ratings. This cigar speaks to the cigar lover and will be created to encompass everything that is loved of our signature cigar.” (Via Cigar Coop)

Interestingly(?) this maneuver is on account a' the aforementioned FDA sillinesses. Whilst I can understand the finagling of taking a blend 'off the shelf.' I'm surprised the loop-hole is expected to hold for new blends under old names. Or perchance I am missing something. It's been a long month, to-day.

Crowned Heads Four Kicks Maduro to be Released at IPCPR - Cigar News

The original offering of Crowned Heads is set to get Maduro'd for the 2017 IPCPR trade-show. Connecticut Habano will replace the natural Four Kicks Ecuadorian Connie over-top the same puro Nicaraguan guts as ever 'twas. This marks now the third time the blend hath visited the dark-side: first the Mule Kick, then the Belt Buckle -- if yer keeping score at home.

Four Kicks Maduro is being rolled at Tabacalera La Alianza S.A. in the Dominican Republic, under the watchful eye of one Ernesto Perez-Carrillo Jr. (Same spot as the original blend.) Formats shall be: 5 5/8 x 46 Corona Gorda, 550 Robusto, 654 Sublime, and 5 1/2 x 56 Robusto Extra... lacking the Lonsdale and Torpedo formats found in the original.

Drew Estate Undercrown Shade Flying Pig - Cigar Review

Drew Estate Undercrown Shade
Flying Pig 3 15/16 x 60 Pig-tail Perfecto
O range Julius. A bissell cayenne on smooth retro-hale. Buttery cedar meanderings in a generic wood pile array. Tangy sweet earthen under-belly with bright hay attachment. A bowl a' Cap'n Crunch's Crunch Berries in thy second-half.

I ntermittently and only slightly jagged burn-line; over-all an admirably well-constructed and performing cigar in a quite fun and potentially tricky vitola. Billows of pillows (or vice-ersa) of creamy smoke.

N ub remained cool to the touch and smoothly cool a' the draw. Firm, too. Ash coulda grown all on-down in a pale sheath.

K osher? I'd ask my Rabbi, but I probably should just leave him alone already. For soitenly it's just a name, gentlepersons.

A 90-100 B 80-89 C 70-79 D 60-69 F 0-59
WRAPPER: Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade
BINDER: Sumatra
FILLER: Dominican Criollo 98, Nicaraguan Criollo, and Nicaraguan Corojo

ORIGIN: La Gran Fabrica Drew Estate, Nicaragua
BLENDER: Willy Herrera
STRENGTH: Mild-Medium
This is the sixth and latest installment of the Flying Pig moniker'd format, having been released at IPCPR 2016. It appears in the MUWAT KFC and Undercrown dimensions of measure, as opposed to the slightly larger T52, No. 9, and Unico offerings.

I Looked at this blend in its Gran Toro format, previously:
An exceptionally performing Toro with only fleeting nuances around a sunny and zesty mild experience. Hanging around is an attainable natural tobacco with inherent sweetnesses.
FINAL GRADE: A- (From Four Cigars Reviewed in 100 Words vol. VI)

Warped Ships La Colmena Black Honey 2017 - Cigar News

Introduced in 2015, Warped Cigars is now re-releasing their highly acclaimed La Colmena Black Honey. The aforementioned original run was a mere 600 cigars sold to a mere 13 retailers. The 2017 incarnation has already set sail to 67 retailers, but Kyle Gellis of Warped hath yet to disclose a tally of cigars produced.

The 548 Belicoso's pricey sticker price for the Black Honey is an oy gevalt $16.50 per, up a buck from two years back. The blend offers up an Ecuadorian binder twixt a mix of Dominican and Nicaraguan fillers, with an Ecuadorian Habano Oscuro top-leaf over-top.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Kristoff Criollo - Cigar Review

Kristoff Cigars
Criollo Matador 6 1/2 x 54 Toro w/ pig-tail & unfinished foot
Semisweet chocolate hithers and thithers with stiff leathers holding peppercorn-laced pipe tobacco o'er mineral laden earthen under-belly. Much of the first third is spent trying to name that soap. Lifebouy? You'll shoot yer eye out, kid. Draw is wobbly via a spongy packing job with a myriad of softer spots.

Semisweet chocolate hides. Leather flexes ahead of a fleeting wood note addition. Its Cuban homage is them mineral meanderings, gentlepersons. Ash grows thick dark oily and over-insulates char if ya let it. Oil is yer two-third buzz-word in mouf and on slow-nigh too coolly burning shaft. Tobacco note gets fruity-yeasty.

A retro-hale simply forwards the peppercorn whilst too introducing a flinty note as it drops to palate. Something of a pale bitter floral note sidles in. Draw restricts a tick as oils flood sponginesses. Smoke out-put off each end mounts, but fails to leave much aroma in its pillowy wake.

A 90-100 B 80-89 C 70-79 D 60-69 F 0-59
WRAPPER: Honduran Criollo
BINDER: Dominican
FILLER: Dominican, Nicaraguan
(Cuban seed, all)

ORIGIN: Dominican Republic

Manufacturer's notes via the Kristoff company website state re: this offering: "Made in the spirit of an elite Cuban cigar, the Kristoff embodies the taste and richness a true aficionado is looking for. With a rich oily wrapper, pigtail and uncut foot, the Kristoff tastes as good as it looks; it offers notes of toasted almond, hints of spice and a sweet finish. Treat your palate to this incredibly smooth medium bodied cigar."

Other vitola of this blend include:
750 Churchill, 5 1/2 x 54 Robusto, 7 1/2 x 40 Lancero, and 6 1/4 x 52 Torpedo.
Cigar Aficionado took three looks at this blend in its Lancero format:
Most recently -- "Tasting Note: Full of soft spots, this panatela offers some leather and raw earthy notes, but the draw is inconsistent and the finish is vegetal. [83 points]" Then:

Issue: Cigar Aficionado, Oct 01, 2015
Score: 89
A dark, streaky lancero that imparts the sweet taste of Cavendish tobacco with hints of dark chocolate. The finish is a bit flinty.

Issue: Cigar Aficionado, Dec 01, 2010
Score: 89
A long lancero with a tightly wound pigtail at the head. Its firm draw eventually improves, opening up to show earthy notes, leather, minerals and a peppery aftertaste."

Perchance to purchase yer Kristoff Criollo (Churchill) - Box of 20 to-day at Cigars City?

Alec Bradley to Release Two Revamps at IPCPR - Cigar News

"There is a natural succession among these premium iterations. We have taken two well-performing brands that are highly rated and fan favorites, and we introduced unique variations that still live up to their original namesake." Alan Rubin, Brand-owner.
Prensado Lost Art and Black Market Esteli are such stated "premium iterations" of Cigar Aficionado's 2011 Cigar of the Year, and Cigar Journal named Best Honduran Brand, respectively. This tandem maneuver gives AB fans reason to be excited for the first time in a couple of quite meh years. 

The Lost Art shall be a Nicaraguan/Honduran double-binder laid twixt Honduran top-leaf and fillers from Nicaragua and Honduras. There'll be five box-pressed formats of Robusto 552, Gran Toro 6 1/4 x 52, Churchill 750, Torpedo 6 1/2 52, and "Double T" 660. 

The Black Market Esteli shall in turn be too a Nicaraguan/Honduran double-binder lo' with filler and top-leaf via Nicaragua. Formats shall include: Robusto 552, Toro 652, Churchill 750, Torpedo 6 1/2 x 52, and a 660 Gordo.

To be clear, look for these "premium iterations" at the 2017 IPCPR which was bumped from its original date/venue on account a' being so darn popular. 

Tatuaje Ships TAA 2017 to California Ahead of Tax Hike - Cigar News

Tatuaje lead-man Pete Johnson hath reportedly decided to ship his TAA 2017 offerings to his California retailers before the state's massive tax increase doth hit on July 1st. Passing as a ballot measure back in November, the theft -- erm -- tax, will then rise astronomically from 27.3% of wholesale to 65.08%. The rest of the country will have to wait till August for their Tatuaje TAA '17; the good news for them being that they won't be waiting in California.
Ah, but the cigar (which retails for $11.95 now and $15.21 on July 1st, as per Halfwheel calculations [ah, but again the tax]), it's the Tatuaje TAA 2014 blend. Same boxes and bands, and everything. Checking box's date-stamp is yer best bet to decipher date, natch. Sounds like a real phone-it-in effort to me, gentlepersons. In case yer memory sees 2014 as longer-ago than it was: Toro 652 format with Nicaraguan guts under Connecticut Broadleaf top-leaf, hung-over in/unto closed-foot. That's OK, I still hear about some-one's 2000 model car and think "Ooohhh, that's new." I need a better class of acquaintances and a decent multi-vitamin.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Blow it Out Yer Nose, or: Retro-haling, A Cigar Primer

One of the things I get asked about the least is "How should I weather-proof my deck?" In nigh the same neighborhood of infrequency resides "How do you retro-hale?" Yet when I bring it up, I find myself educating. People don't even know to ask? When can I join one a' them teacher unions so that I can stop teaching? It's so tiring! I'll commence.
We retro-hale because it enhances the flavors we can sense. That slight aside outta the way, what we call ‘flavor’ is a combination of taste and smell. Ever sit down to a meal with a plugged nose? Not overly enjoyable, as you can’t taste a thing -- unless it’s day three of the wife’s meatloaf. 

The sense of smell is closely linked to memory. Closer than any other sense, they say. I taste cocoa, potentially. I taste a woodsiness, potentially. I taste a toastiness, potentially. Campfire? S’mores! I remember loving them when Uncle so and so took me camping wherever that place was all them years ago...

Potentially? Yup. A premium cigar is a 100% natural tobacco product. It is derived all from the same plant; in different primings (cuttings) then to undergo differing fermentations. It is grown in varying countries with varying characteristics of their nation’s soil as influences. All said and stated, “Tobacco” is verily a valid response to the query, “What flavors or notes is that cigar giving you?”

Also valid as a response would be, “S’mores.” Valid ’nuff is it that I’d guess you were smoking a San Andres wrapped offering if you told me that.

But wait. There are no graham crackers in the soil or seed or cigar. No marshmallow. No chocolate, well… here we have differing levels of subjectiveness; from potential influences to the sheer metaphorical meandering of remembrances past. Going with the S’more theme, there are times when cocoa may grow near tobacco. Less potentially, or not at all-so, there are no marshmallow fields in any of the major tobacco growing locales.

Lettuce read further to find out how to get more pretend stuff.
I s'pose that is an important question. Retro-haling is simply blowing smoke out your nose. See how that’d help taste, given what we now know of it? Good. You’ll be shocked at the flavors you can bring out of the cigars that you haven’t noticed before with a good sinus-engaging retro-hale.

(& finally)
First, you’ve already triggered your olfactory system by allowing the smoke to rest and play in your mouth, right? There's no crying in baseball and there's no rushing in cigar smoking. Thusly, some is bound to drift upwards -- that’s what smoke does. Ah, but the retro-hale, proper. Simply, hold the smoke in your mouth and refuse to allow it out the same way it came in. Eventually, you will either expire like a gallon of milk in a July windowsill, or ‘retro-hale.’ There might be a small chance you prove to be one of them lizards that breath through their eyelids.

If you’d rather not risk the big chill -- say you have a pretty wife whose 'meatloaf' you enjoy -- facilitate the process by taking a pull, then SHUT YO' MOUF, then brace your tongue against your lower teeth. Finally, push the meat of it up toward your palate whilst breathing out through your schnoz. Try this with a mild offering first as stronger/bolder cigars can pack quite a fetal position rendering punch!

Here is a picture of Jimmy Durante, no reason:
Portions of this article appeared previously at Cigars City within their How To Guides section.

On Honey Notes, A Cigar Primer

The story of honey does not begin to-day. It begins in an eight-thousand year-old cave painting -- and probably before then. Ya ever see that photo of the world’s first camera at its inaugural usage? WHAT CAMERA TOOK THAT PHOTOGRAPH??? Ah, but history and prehistory and Berkeley’s bookshelf that didn’t come into existence until he looked at it -- I digress, gentlepersons.

Lest I threaten being labeled as quasi-intellectual. Again.

The story of honey as a cigar tasting note. "Molasses" and/or "Sugar" are each oft bandied-about and whilst thems are true at times, I feel nigh just as oft that honey would be more true... yet seldom mentioned. So gentlepersons, an exercise not requiresome of logo'd athletic wear: light up your sweetest offering and make with the reading ahead, will ya? What about "Caramel?" "Butterscotch?"

There are hundreds if not thousands of honey varietals. But this again is a cigar-centric look at it all, so we shall limit thusly. too, this honey list is alphabetized, for her pleasure. Too and also, I mention colors. Think color. Top-leaf. Immerse yerself in the experience. Send me money via PayPal. Wanna advertise? Here's my Media Kit.
Acacia: Mild, slightly tangy. Mildly tangy? Floral, lightly. White to pale amber.

Alfalfa: Verily a subtle milky taste, some pale spice notes. White in hue.

Apple Blossom: Apple (natch), in a smell/taste manner. Light to medium amber.

Avocado: Fairly a bold buttery flavor. Dark amber complected.

Blackberry: Delicate and sweet with pale fruit liltings. Very light amber.

Black Mangrove: Thin bodied. Swampy aroma. Sweet brackish flavor. Any ol' spectrum of amber.

Blueberry: Red to purple fruity, blueberry (natch) aftertaste. Medium-dark amber colored.

Buckwheat: Pungently earthy with notes of burnt molasses, cherry, tobacco, and plum. Dark malted grains. Dark brown complexion.

Carob Seed: Bittersweet with vibings of caramel and subtle chocolate. Dark autumn honey brown.

Mesquite: Sweet and warm. Smoky, woody, citrus notes. Medium amber with a brown tint.

Orange Blossom: Hints of you guessed it, tuna. Not really. Light amber to dark amber.

Tawari: Butterscotch writ large. Light amber.

White Sage: Clove. A big floral finish (a new euphemism for funeral -- I mean celebration of life?). Translucent yellow.
Now how was that for an exercise? Zero schvitz! Although a nice walk might do ya good, Fleshy. Maybe an occasional salad... That and all this? Some sweet 'nuff food for thought, methinks.

Drew Estate Swamp Thang - Cigar Review

Drew Estate Cigars
MUWAT Kentucky Fire Cured Swamp Thang Toro 652
Wheatgrass and brackish Black Mangrove honey varietal. Buttery sweet cedar. White/black pepper, cardamom. Scorched hickory. Retro-hale is a furthering of whatever piquant bits noted, with alfalfa/vanilla bean note dropping to the palate. Second-half arrivals are a boozy peat and tangy BBQ sauce. No departures are noted. 

Construction grades quite well across-the-board. Combustion humsoever, sees a worrisome inch-long runner in the first third. This corrects off resting and a lighter-than-ya-might-suppose flick a' the Bic. That stated, the burn-line doth wobble throughout, and ash is a crackly pale flakiness. Typical Drew Estate smoky-smoke out-put which a ninja-trainee could disappear in.

A 90-100 B 80-89 C 70-79 D 60-69 F 0-59
WRAPPER: Candela, Kentucky Fire Cured

ORIGIN: La Gran Fabrica Drew Estate, Nicaragua
STRENGTH: Medium-Full
This Frankensteinian offering comes in three sizes and two names: Swamp Thang Toro (652), Swamp Thang Robusto (554), and Swamp Rat (646). The "Rat" moniker hath been famously used by Drew Estate before, though this vitola is dissimilar to the Liga Privada Dirty Rat (544).

Read my (non Swamp'd) Drew Estate Kentucky Fire Cured MUWAT - Cigar Review wherein I quipped: "There is a pungent cold-nosing of vulcanized rubber-sole leather boots being set afire over seasoned woods. Said fire is then doused by liquid smoke flavoring, which caramelizes in the heat. Interesting!" So clever. And to think, my fourth grade English teacher Mrs. Price was worried I'd waste my talents. And to think, she's dead now.

Much to my surprise, the Candela here displays well 'nuff to mute-some the tire-fire tasting notes of the regular KFC offering. A far more pleasant surprise than finding out my new Rabbi was a woman. Somewhat less of a pleasant surprise than finding out how fulfilling it is to skip Temple and go to my local cigar shop instead. Lettuce say this Swamp Thang is most definitely a surprise worth a try, gentlepersons.

I love Candela.

Whilst I make a habit of only reviewing to the band, for reasons obvious here, I shall state separately that a mocha latte arises whenst Candela yields to KFC, as well a smoked and soy sauce marinated meatiness. Also, I wanted to hit an on-the-nose 100wd count review because reasons. This all lasts a couple/few puffs, big whoop. Get off my back!!! Who needs ya??? Please consider donating to my PayPal.

“We continue to demonstrate our leadership in the Fire Cured Tobacco segment, making history as the first company to blend Candela and Kentucky Fire Cured Tobaccos in the premium segment. It is sure not to be like any other Candela cigar you have ever smoked." and "Pairing the smokiness of Fire Cured Tobacco with the sweetness of Candela wrapper, Kentucky Fire Cured Swamp creates a uniquely balanced, complex and savory cigar; perfect for fans of both Fire Cured and Candela tobaccos." - Drew Estate Ships Kentucky Fire Cured Swamp Thang & Swamp Rat

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Rocky Patel Catch 22 Sixty - Cigar Review

Rocky Patel Premium Cigars
Catch 22 Sixty 660 Gordo (Orange Band)
Simple sweetly toasted notes of walnuts/wood/shells. Traces of baking chocolate. Minimally piquant via mulling spice which becomes lemon-pepper on retro-hale. Lemonade hither and tither, balanced by molasses. Verily earthen from under-belly up. Wobbly burn with slight cracking on top-leaf. Harshes up in the final-third. Finish is somewhat lacking.

A 90-100 B 80-89 C 70-79 D 60-69 F 0-59
BINDER: Ecuadorian Sumatra
FILLER: Honduran, Mexican

ORIGIN: Honduras
"The Catch 22 is a well-balanced medium bodied cigar. A solid earthy core is accompanied with flavors of cocoa as well as a lingering sweetness." - Rocky Patel Website

Grab ya some Rocky Patel Catch 22 Gordo at Cigars City to-day. Speaking a' which: this offering was the subject of the Cigars City Podcast finale/prelude to open-ended hiatus. You can click HERE to listen.