Deep in flavor. Deep in your mind.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Camacho Imperial Stout Barrel-Aged - Cigar Review

Camacho & Cigar Dojo
Imperial Stout Barrel-Aged
650 Toro

Have you listened to my "Hairy Legs in a Floral Sundress" Kaplowitz Radio: July 30, 2017? Please do, gentlepersons. After fully reviewing the title, my wife raves: "It's insensitive." I think it's on iTunes et al, if I did it right; but listen HERE from any device at any time.
Veiny and not too tightly wound -- a lot like moi. It doth burn cleanly tough, and tightens up-on progression. Dense silvery ash. Retro-hale is a schnoz fulla wasps. Notes of Dark chocolate and fruit syrup with heavy peppercorn. Sarsaparilla-espresso drenched peaty compost under-belly. Twixts are a top & bottom melange.

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

WRAPPER: San Andres Maduro
BINDER: Hondran Corojo Maduro
FILLER: Barrel-Aged Honduran Corojo Maduro, Brazilian Maduro, Dominican Maduro

ORIGIN: Diadema Cigars de Honduras, S.A., Honduras
Photo: Snack Tray
Vice President of Marketing for Davidoff of Geneva USA, Mr. Dylan Austin: "We could not be more excited to share the results of this project with everyone. Imperial Stout Barrel-Aged is something we’ve been working on for more than a year and the result is so unique. We took our Triple Maduro blend as the base, and aged the Original Corojo Maduro fillers in spent bourbon barrels, which then held Ten FIDY Imperial Stout. The taste experience is one of a kind."

Cigar Dojo owner Eric Guttormson, via press release. "Without question the Cigar Dojo/Camacho Imperial Stout Barrel-Aged is the most complex project we have ever been involved with. For our seventh special cigar release, we wanted to stretch the boundaries of what could be done with a small-batch, craft cigar. The flavor that the tobacco has developed from the barrel that was once used for bourbon and then Ten FIDY Imperial Stout is truly a work of art." The fella just rubs me the wrong way even as I read that. Oh, well. 

Owner of Smoke Inn Cigars (to which this offering is exclusive), Abe Dababneh, "Bourbon, Beer, and Cigars, what’s not to love about the new Dojo Imperial Stout Barrel Aged made by Camacho Cigars?! Smoke Inn couldn’t be more excited to be a part of this unique project that will never be replicated."

I wrote this Camacho Triple Maduro - Cigar Review forever ago. Again, that is the base of this blend.

Sample courtesy: Mr. Toar Campbell, 

Ya got some barrels that Bourbon was aged in. 
Then them same barrels were used to age a stout. 
Then they were used to age some a' this leaf.
Then I got dizzy on my porch whilst not tasting a lotta tastes.

"Tisha B’Av, the 9th day of the month of Av (Jul. 31 - Aug. 1, 2017), is the saddest day on the Jewish calendar, on which we fast, deprive ourselves and pray. It is the culmination of the Three Weeks, a period of time during which we mark the destruction of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem." - Chabad.

... what better a reading accompaniment than:
"You Nazy Spy! was the first American comedy film to satirize Adolph Hitler and Nazi Germany. It beat, by nine months, Charlie Chaplin's The Great Dictator, out of the starting gate. It also helped in the making of The Great Dictator in a not-so-subtle digs aimed at those trying to censor the Chaplin film..."Please, gentlepersons, read my full review a' The Three Stooges - You Nazy Spy! (1940).
Photo: Snack Tray

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Hit & Run by Matt Booth & Robert Caldwell - Cigar Review

Hit & Run
654 Toro

Yippee ki yay, gentlepersons.
A study of leather. Attachments therein of a glass a' Arnold Palmer, apple blossom honey, floral spices. Shotgun is a hazelnut coffee, brewed medium. Primaries are an old bicycle with huge front-wheel... big wheel is leather. Middlings are buttery cedar with some exotic spices. Under-belly is sweetly-spiced earth/creamy suede.

Cream pours into poured coffee. Retro-hale is a white pepper thing with tick a' wasabi. Vanilla graham cracker note hits finish. Chicken broth. Citrus and black pepper come on in. Sugar, then caramelized sugar. Finally, a hint of Mr. Goodbar. The confection, not the 1977 flick from Judith Rossner's book.

Performs admirably via smooth draw; even though sometimes un-perfected burn (no re-touch). Smoky-smoke is voluminous. Excellent pacing. Seams start tight, heat towards invisible. Ash builds silver-white and well, in a sturdy sheath. Visually: a moderate amounta' tooth and quite-some veins. Canvass is shopping-bag colored with underneath goldenrod; some greenness twixt.

A 90-100 B 80-89 C 70-79 D 60-69 F 0-59
WRAPPER: Ecuadorian Habano
BINDER: Indonesian
FILLER: Dominican

ORIGIN: William Ventura, Dominican Republic
NAME DROPS: Matt Booth, Robert Caldwell

This is so much finer than All Out Kings, Mr. Caldwell's previous collab (with Drew Estate).

Read mo' 'bout this blend in: 
Matt Booth: The Sequel | w/ Robert Caldwell & AJ Fernandez - Cigar News.

As this 'goes to print,' the Royals are tied at six with the BoSox in the sixth. IT'S THE DEVIL'S BALLGAME. Let's get that 10th straight win, KC...

Sample courtesy Toar Campbell:
Another 'un, too. I'll be giving that some age and expecting a solid A of it. Call me a Chinese dad, but I'll have my expectations, gentlepersons.

Somewhat of disclaimer, here: this is, I believe, an IPCPR show sample. I've known them-such things to change before going all full release. Yer mileage may vary if you light-up in half a year.

Friday, July 28, 2017

18 Sabbaths Cattle Baron Bull Cigar Review: 13th Sabbath

Gentlepersons, have yous yet listened to...
"The Weakest Rink" Kaplowitz Radio: July 28, 2017?
Please to do-so.
Cattle Baron Cigars
Bull 4 1/2 x 58
WRAPPER: Nicaraguan Habano
BINDER: Dominican
FILLER:Dominican Seco, Nicaraguan Viso
STRENGTH: Medium-Full

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

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 -- lettuce look at this week's Cattle Baron, gentlepersons:

I notice two things re: this CB before cutting, lighting, or even schnozzing.
1) the cello is getting some yellow,
2) The shaft of the thing has smoothed noticeably.

Last Sabbath's notes, from top-to-bottom are below in brackets.
This week's notes shall yea, nay, and/or expound briefly up-on 'em.
[Mulling spice] Spices seem more nuanced/exotic -- orange more lemon-y.
[Creamy Cedar] Creamy = Creamsicle
[Milk chocolate] White chocolate; which ain't chocolate at all.
[White pepper]
[Peppercorn] Cracked, sauteed.
[Peanuts] No.
[Butter] Clarified. See: sauteed cracked pepper.
[Peanut butter]
[Car-a-mel] Butterscotch?
[Earth/dirt] Sweeter than I recall.

I got nothin' to add, just wanted to complete the amble set.

Read my latest Gentlepersons Weekly, and sign up to receive more a' them whilst there. A new one'll be coming out sometimes Saturday-ish. (And every sometimes Saturday-ish.)
Malka ben Noach

Weekly Recapitulation Volume VIII


Thursday, July 27, 2017

On Ink Color How To, Jeans Fashion, & Hand Kissing Etiquette

No cigar to-day, gentlpersons.
Lo, there is an announcement at the end of this post.

(to what, I do not know)

I like pencils. Not mechanical pencils. The ones ya need to sharpen. The yellow ones ya need to sharpen. The yellow ones ya need to sharpen, that have pink erasers with a bit of green on their silver metal band. I'm particular. I'm a neurotic mess.

In the up-cycled chili can I employ as a pencil holder, there is also a Sharpie marker or two and the most curious and confounding writing implement know to gentleperson-kind -- a blue and white Bic pen with four different-colored inks in it.

Which color to use when? Don't worry, through research, I have it all sorted: A modern and somewhat superficial take on this matter seemingly endorsed by Bic dictates:

Red = Important and urgent.
Blue = Important and semi-urgent.
Black = Important and not urgent.
Green = Not important or urgent.

This seems to speak only to to-do lists and the jotting down and organizing of notes/messages. A deeper and more correspondence driven understanding does too exist (outside of Bic canon), so let's try it on for size:

Red = Correcting errors. Used in bookkeeping, as well.
Blue = Social correspondences.
Black = Business correspondences.
Green = Stock-taking.

As in all other matters, there are caveats here.
Further down that rabbit-hole:

Some office work requires the use of blue ink so as to easier distinguish originals from copies. In keeping with this, a Notary Public will most likely hand you a blue pen.

Further into the aforementioned realm of bookkeeping:

Red = Debits.
Black (Less often blue) = Credits.
Green = Recordings that offer no change in value.

Green serves in tutoring circles for a secondary correction beyond red. The interesting niche life of green plays a hand in political and government offices, as well. Letters written in by citizens are replied to if notated with green ink.

In the end, perhaps it is succinctly enough put by John Morgan in his Modern Manners:

"Black remains the most correct and distinguished choice. Blue is very much in second place and is thought more suitable for women than for men. Blue-black is only appropriate for schoolboys. Coloured inks, although more acceptable than before, are still considered very suspect in traditional circles."

Except for the fact I personally disagree.

If you take all evidence in mind, blue seems the best, if not safest bet -- if you ever find yourself frozen again. Its lone drawback being the risk of appearing overly familiar in a formal correspondence. However, I feel that if that great of a transgression would be at stake, black would be an obvious choice and not requiring of a weighing of options.

Plus, stylistically speaking, blue pops well as compared to oft characterless black -- yet remains near universally acceptable. If you write in red ink as par for the course, you probably also write in all caps. And have no friends. This is all too much, I've decided to exclude the four-ink Bic from my up-cycled chili can I employ as a pencil holder.
(Frequently Unasked Questions)

Great question, and one I am not told is in follow-up to another Frequently Unasked Question (FUQ) "CAN I WEAR MY SWEATPANTS TO THE CIGAR LOUNGE?" The short answer is of course ya can. Though too, there is no shortage of caveats by which to abide. I Shall list 'em. For the lounge and for the world out-side it:

  • Straight-legg'd blue jeans only.
  • Dark (blue) rinse, non-distressed. 
  • Set 'em loosely up-on thy hips. 
  • No designer stuffs of triple-figured MSRPs. 
  • No embellishments nor bedazzlementations.

Sweet baby Moses in a hand-basket sent on-down the River Nile, just get a pair or three of 501s or 505s in a dark blue rinse. Must everything be so complicated???

  • Cuffs are cool, but not mandated*. 
  • Wear and tear must met joyously & occur organically.
  • Always wear a black leather belt.
  • Never wear a chain'd wallet.
  • Patches are for 1930s ten year-olds.

One must surprisingly be more careful in wearing jeans than sweatpants. It is a matter of authenticity, gentlepersons. Unless yer a cattle Wrangler (pardon the punintentional 'branding') -- you might easily look the costuming poseur. Or like Obama... remember them Dad Jeans a' his? Worse than the bicycle snap-shots. I don't know how his hubby puts up with him.

I digress. So precious few of us are farm-hands or cattle-pokes. All of us schvitz. See how sweatpants are more authentic, then? Be ever-so vigilant out there.

*Did ya know that Greasers used to ash their hand-rolled smokes in their cuffs? Brilliantly charming.

I prefer black slacks myself.
I also only wear grey sweatpants.
(frequently unasked questions)
Whatever happened to hand kissing?

Firstly I ain't no lady, so yer barking up the somewhat wrong tree here.

That is to say that the sad decline of hand kissing is due more to the optioning of the fairer sex, since it is up to the lady to instigate the gentlemanly response of a kiss to the back of her hand.

According to Sam Hane, noted decorum expert and freehand banjo player available for weddings and funerals, there is a grand total of two (2) socially acceptable times to kiss a lady's hand:

If you already know the lady, and she offers her hand to be kissed, or
If you are being introduced to her, and she offers her hand to be kissed.

Note: "and she offers her hand to be kissed."

Let's not surrender this gentlemanly gesture as lost to the ages, however. There exists such a thing, of which my dad was amazingly apt at, as offering a cue by extending your own hand toward hers. It acts like a handshake but you cradle the feminine hand with its palm down. You can from there either continue on, or leave it as a simple handshake -- the decision is yours, based on her retaliatory cue.

I will say that the ladies ate my dad, and his hand kissing, up. I will also say that you need testicles the relative size of watermelons to pull this off correctly.

How-to Pull it Off Correctly

1. Wait a couple of beats for the lady to present her hand. If you aren't in a Margaret Mitchell novel, you will have to cue her as previously discussed. If she does cue for a hand kiss, make certain that the cue is overt and obvious back-of-her-hand-to-ceiling gesturing plus noticeable expectation on her part.

2. To cue her as to your hand kissing agenda, again, as discussed prior, rotate your hand-shaking so that you present your hand palm up, thus creating a cradle for her own. Offer up now a, "My pleasure." STOP here, if not cued further.

[If cued further]

3. Hold her hand gently, of course, in yours. Place two to three of your fingers around the bottom tips of her fingers, and your thumb around the outside tips of her middle and ring fingers.

4. Bow gently, or give the hint of a bow, over the center portion of the back of her hand. Lift her hand slightly toward your lips to shorten the distance between you. OMFG I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU'RE ACTUALLY DOING THIS.

5. Kiss the center of the hand once gently with your lips. According to Sam Hane, once again, do not make contact with the hand if this is your first time meeting said lady. That would be remarkably scandalous, you wanton swine.

Dad made contact.

Tips & Warnings

Make sure your lips are well dry before kissing the lady's hand.

Be confident and loose when performing this ritual.

This is best when done in such a way as to be informally mocking the formal, by employing its own methods. Dig?

Go get 'em, tiger.
& try and duck that round-house right response.
The KAPLOWITZ RADIO hiatus' end doth loom nigh... 
This not cigar related and quite oddly random posting is perchance of prophetic significance.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

The International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers Association (IPCPR) to Raise Trade Show Rates - Cigar News

IPCPR prices keep rising from their already arm and a leg beginnings. At least they're keeping the industry safe from crippling regulations that'd cost an arm and a leg to abide by*.
Coming to the 2018 International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers Association trade-show: a rate-hike. One to the tune of three USD per square foot for all booth display spaces. IPCPR CEO, one Mr. Mark Pursell, cited the impetus behind the increase as two-fold: 1) the heightened expenses of fighting the FDA deeming regulations and, 2) the increasing cost of the facility -- which the show wound up in via getting bumped from its original locale. 

What's more, all this comes on the heels of a late last year price-hike in IPCPR membership rates. 

*They are not.

Drew Estate Swamp Rat - Cigar Review Redux

Drew Estate Cigars
MUWAT Kentucky Fire Cured 
Swamp Rat 646
From my initial Drew Estate Swamp Rat - Cigar Review posting:
"This Swamp Rat review is some-portion Redux, seeing as I done this Drew Estate Swamp Thang - Cigar Review. Same blend, differently named according to format. Unfortunately, noted at-top, this format very much more than the 652 Toro Thang -- mimicked the Drew Estate Kentucky Fire Cured MUWAT experience insofar as tasting notes. As to construction(draw)/combustion(line) issues, I warrant them egregious 'nuff as to perchance I "pulled a bad one." Fortunately, I have another Swamp Rat for a Redux."

I now light-up that 'nother one...
Original review in brackets, Redux response following that:

["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." Me, re: the KFC Muwat, and too, here. Uh-oh. Cold nose translates directly to warm draw and the first-half tastes thusly: tire-fire. Too, there exists a nigh constant need to retouch through blistering and wobbling. A snug draw is yet another issue. As the second-half closes in, a caramel apple is added to black pepper and leathery cocoa. All told, quite brackish and alkaline of an affair, gentlepersons.]

Oy gevalt, the bouquet. Profile here is a half-tick more subdued, and of the same vein. Sans woods, it is delivered softer, if not smoother. There is a puckering a' char-line yielding thick mascara. Too, a slight curvature of burn -- but nowheres near-so herein, as the previous offering therein. Nice, smooth draw un-like the first go at this offering; easy and satiating/saturating. Carmel apple takes longer to appear, and is quieter of an addition, but as stated, all is more mellow. Still brackish alkaline, humsoever. Then an under-that black pepper and leathery cocoa, faintly.
[Notes of wheatgrass and Black Mangrove honey come aboard after caramel apple entrenches -- making this offering more familiar to its Thang brethren. Alfalfa. Less peppery bits allow for a look at other piquancies which present somewhat exotically. Turmeric and ginger. Still with the brackish and alkaline tendencies, although lesser-so. Tire-fire dials back, as well. Espresso crema. Bitter dark chocolate vibings. Tongue is a-tingle a tick past pleasantly-so, but throatiness don't occur. Less performance issues here, to be sure -- tho by no means perfected. A pull of decent espresso joins the crema as Candela gives way to Fire-cured over-lay in final third. Too, a less bitter attachment to the still slight chocolate and a nice 'nuff smoked hickory.]

Wheatgrass and Black Mangrove honey follow the same tardy by comparison schedule of caramel apple's appearance and entrenchment. Delivered in the same manner, too. This 'un was always less peppery, and now lesser-so -- but no interesting piquancies rise-up in its wake. Espresso crema. Bitter dark chocolate vibings? None yet. That's how the second-half starts.

Once well into it, a re-touch is mandated via already mentioned stuffs. Then, I purge. Then: Espresso crema, fleetingly so. Bitter dark chocolate, strongly -- then poof. Latakia pipe 'baccy front; tire-fire caboose. I'm just not a fan of this Kentucky Fire Cured stuff, and the Candela don't off-set it here in the Rat as much as in the Thang -- which is surprising since this is slimmer. Flavors dial back now. A salty herbal minty thing or thang introduces itself. I re-touch once more again, 'bout an inch from the KFC over-lay.

A comparison twixt offerings. Here we see less re-touches and superior draw, but more muted of a profile in zetz and complexity. Still with the 'swampy' brackish drivings.

Two peanuts walk through a tough neighborhood.
One is assaulted.
I feel assaulted and a-salted.

FINAL (redux) GRADE: B
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

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).

“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

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Joya Black - Cigar Review Redux

July 25th 1990: George Brett hits for the cycle in a KC Royals’ 6-1 victory over the Blue Jays in Toronto. This marked the second time he done-so, the first coming against Baltimore O's 11 years earlier in 1979.
Joya de Nicaragua
Joya Black 5 1/4 x 50 Robusto


  • Black, red, & cayenne pepper
  • Maple syrup
  • Mulling spice
  • Hardwood
  • Cuban coffee
  • Anise
  • Lemonhead candy
  • Soy Sauce

Construction/combustion almost completely sans woe. There's a lotta 'baccy in this Joya Black, gentlepersons. Makes for a long smoke-time off an excellent pacing. Draw is a medium+ tension, so if you like 'em more open, ya might kvetch a tick there. Smoke doth heat up a tick as the band looms nigh.

I understand that many a blender blends to the Robusto size these days, as to yore whenst the Corona format was widely employed. I don't like it, but I understand. That stated, this Robusto showed a bit of what I'd hoped previous vitolas* woulda... in an almost 'nuff manner.

I still find this Joya Black to be too sinewy for my liking, with powerful notes lacking in roundness. I have too, a Toro looking size which I shall stash at the bottom of my humidor (which is too close for comfort to the top of my humidor) for a rainy day in some aging from now. Perchance 'tis a blend put out young.

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

ORIGIN: Fabrica de Tabacos Joya de Nicaragua S.A., Nicaragua

Double Robusto: Joya Black - Cigar Review
Nocturno: Joya Black - Cigar Review Redux

Before lighting-up this cigar, I called Eugene Emeralds to get tickets to tomorrow's game against the Salem-Keiser Volcanoes. It's Snack Trays birthday and we're gonna party General Admission style. We all know the cool kids prefer bleacher seating. As doth my velcro wallet.

Now, the Shea Stadium bleachers were something. At least in the early 1980s whenst last I had my tuchus in 'em. It was myself, Dad, and Dad's pal Benny. Benny was a self-employed gentleperson. He passed bad checks, then played the ponies with his earnings. How many bad checks I ain't sure, but certainly one too many. He was caught and spent a stint in Rikers, then Up-state. Funny thing, even after time served, banks still want their monies.

His mom had recently died and left him tens of thousands of inheritance dollars she socked away after earning it by cleaning rich people's toilets. She made my dad promise her that Benny would get it. So they hatched a plan. She left it all to him. He then somehow handed it over to Benny.

As a thank-you, Benny took us to see the Mets take on the Cubbies. We left in the sixth with the Mets down 6-0. "Look how far down below us all the birds are flying," Dad said. "There's ice on my chair," Dad said. He also kept looking at my nose for signs of it bleeding. Benny dropped us off at home in his Lincoln. I can't recall how we got to the ballpark -- I wanna say we took the train.

Of all things, I recall how well Benny drove. Strange thing for a kid to make note of. He was decisive and smooth. Alert and poised. The Lincoln roared with some quite controlled get-up to it. I made mention of it a couple days after, and Dad said he drove for a living. For years, I assumed he was a cabbie, till told differently.

I wonder whatever happened to that fella. I tried tracking him down a few years back, but his remaining buddies weren't the talkative sorts. Even a woman named Brenda -- the father of her son who was a tightly-kept secret which maybe only Dad knew. Before anyone asks, he never told me.

A Review of Recent Grade A Cigar Offerings

It's Cigars of the Month time, gentlepersons!
Huzzahs abound, for another 1/12th trip 'round the sun.
"Sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn’t commit, these men promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to the Los Angeles underground. Today, still wanted by the government, they survive as soldiers of fortune. If you have a problem - If no one else can help - and if you can find them - maybe you can hire the A-Team."

Gentlepersons, below is a list as shallow and pedantic as Lois Griffin's meatloaf. It is a list of recent (July '17) cigar offerings I humbly found to be worthy of A (- to +) review ratings.

{Names are links to full review.}

Attempt to hire the A-Team by first visiting Cigars City.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Martinez Cigars Don Antonio - Cigar Review

Martinez Cigars Don Antonio
Escogito Maduro 650 Toro
Leaves a rather refreshing and moist mouth-feel via finish of light syrup front, lemongrass rear. Immediate draw is maple wood and sweetbitter chocolate fruit & nut bar. A bissell black pepper through-the-schnoz brings a mug a' Americano in its wake. Somewhat herbal/vegetal middlings. Compost under-belly. Performs excellently all 'round.

Easy & straight-forward, a smooth-mild actor playing a calm-jaunty role;
leaving a pleasant, at times floral, sweet note in room and in smoke-hole.

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

WRAPPER: Brazilian Maduro
BINDER: Sumatra
FILLER: Dominican, Nicaraguan

STRENGTH: Mild-Medium
ORIGIN: 171 West 29th Street NYC, USA
I like Rocky Road ice cream. Strawberry ice cream is what happens when my wife shops. I found myself liking it. I became fearful. This is how men get turnt into them transsexuals; disliking their own fidget-spinners. Whom wants to talk some football? The Chiefs are looking like a .500 squad.

"Since 1974, Martinez Hand Rolled Cigars Factory has produced some of the very finest cigars available anywhere in the world. All Martinez Cigars are made by hand in our factory in midtown New York City, by the most talented rollers, expertly blended with the finest tobaccos. We proudly maintain the tradition begun by our founder, Don Antonio Martinez, honoring his talents, skills and memory. As owner Jesus Martinez says, "I’m sure that a Martinez cigar is one of the best you will ever smoke."" - Martinez Cigars website.

In speaking with brand-owner Jesus Martinez, I gained a bit of insight as to the history of this Don Antonio blend. On the heals of their first blend, a Dominican puro, Jesus’s father found more and more of his customers asking after milder cigars. Enter this Don Antonio, which Jesus named after him in homage some-time there-after. A Connecticut wrapper and this, the company's first Maduro. My, how palates have changed. Who the heck asks for milder smokes these brawny and bearded days? Moi, that's whom.

As to Jesus and his cigar industry journey, his father Don Antonio, was a cigar roller in Tamboril and came to the US at the dawning of the 1970s. He at first worked here with a NYC based Cuban-roller and in a couple years, opened his own shop which still stands to-day. Jesus was raised in the shop, helping customers and learning the business. Now it's his and he's going strong, with a keen eye on the future and remembrance of the past. Currently ain't so bad neither...

If ya get a chance to visit Martinez Cigars, yer guaranteed a primo hang-out. As you sit and shoot the feces -- you know, for feces and facial gestures -- watching as the rollers prepare yer next round.

"Royals sweep White Sox with fourth walk-off win of homestand," reads the head-line. My guess is only Moustakas returns next year. Lettuce make this 'un count. Carpe season, gentlepersons.
Summer Cuts.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Gilberto Oliva Reserva Blanc - Cigar Review

Gilberto Oliva 
Reserva Blanc
650 Toro
Buttery smooth of mitt and mouf. A singular zaftig vein catches the eye but not the char nor fingers. Heckuva even draw and burn-line. White pepper then black-some through the schnoz. Accompanying piquancies are a nutmeg/clove red melange. Sweet cream braced by salted/toasted almonds. A flavorful 'baccy core.

Almonds churn out then put forward complexities spawning coffee bean turned diner joe; oak-cum-cedar. On far end a' finish a refreshing minty cayenne hits tongue-tip. Buckwheat honey, thinly. Butter clarifies, mounts. Tobacco core gets leathery influx. Sweet leathery room-note with woodsy backing. Construction/combustion are an open highway cruise control. 

Ash builds well in a heather-grey stack ' dimes, and it's quite windy on my porch. Salt smoothly-smacks creamy lips. A floral/herbal quality lays on palate after retro-hale. Milk chocolate on immediate draw and again on extending finish. Pacing is admirable, draw stiffens an un-egregious half-tick nigh cool temperature'd band.

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

WRAPPER: Ecuadorian Connecticut
BINDER: Ecuadorian
FILLER: Nicaraguan

ORIGIN: Nicaragua
For the first time since the Oliva family sold their cigar manufacturing/sales operations a year ago... and for a goodly handful a' years prior: Oliva hath just released an entirely new brand. This Gilberto, to be clear. Consisting of a pair a' lines, the Gilberto Oliva Reserva Blanc of this here review, and the due-out-later-this-summer Sumatran top-leaf'd Gilberto Oliva Reserva. (Guts are same in each.)

Named by Oliva in homage to their patriarch, Gilberto Sr. is best known for his work as a tobacco grower. As an aside, when Oliva sold to J. Cortes in 2016, they kept the fields. Sr. began growing in 1969 Nicaragua, and would go on to plant leaf in Honduras, Mexico, Panama, and the Philippines.

Note: this cigar was originally announced under the nom de tobacco of Facundo. Originally announced... a cigar by this same name was announced back in 1995, and rolled by Plasencia. With its moniker quickly shortened to simply "Oliva," it would usher in the start of what's really one a' my favorite brands, gentlepersons.

Smooth and pristinely balanced, don't dare, gentlepersons, sleep on this Gilberto Oliva Reserva Blanc offering. Perchance, I tell myself this, as I tend to over-look Oliva till I smoke one -- every time.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Villiger La Flor de Ynclan - Cigar Review Redux

Villiger Cigars
La Flor de Ynclan
748 Churchill
A thin vanilla cream made tangy by a medicinal citrus note. Acidity lasts longer than in the Robusto* but hits less egregiously. Tick better complexity/roundness. Brown sugary through-out. White progresses to black pepper, particularly through schnoz**. Sharp cedar/blonde-roasted java. Suede-enveloped dirt under-belly. Tastes a bit raw. Pack softens but draw holds well; slight curvature to burn. 

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

WRAPPER: Ecuadorian
BINDER: Indonesian
FILLER: Nicaraguan, Dominican

ORIGIN: ABAM factory, Dominican Republic
BLENDER: Jose Matias Maragoto
*I originally reviewed this Villiger La Flor de Ynclan blend in its Robusto format.
You can also learn a whole bunch 'bout sweatpants fashion by checking that out.

Gentlepersons, please do check-out my latest Gentlepersons Weekly.
Whilst there, sign-up to receive more. Also, get yer No-prize!
Mike Weinstein of New Joisey already got his!

** I added that sentence/note post-posting and up-on some thought. It is a subtle thing, easily buried-some by the over-all tanginess. Humsoever, I did feel remiss in allowing it un-noted.

Friday, July 21, 2017

18 Sabbaths Cattle Baron Bull Cigar Review: 12th Sabbath

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

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

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 -- lettuce look at this week's Cattle Baron, gentlepersons:
At the time of yer reading this, I'd have watched my Royals take on the White Sox on Facebook Live. The future is now and I ain't worn nothing but sweatpants for weeks.

I recall the first time an image was sent to me via phone. I had just dropped my daughter at her mom's. The image was of the kid, sent by Mom. She was smiling there in my phone, she has my smile, magically sent to me as I drove down a Maryland road. A few moments later, I received a second image, same sender -- of Mom's boobs. I made a quick U-turn. I'm fairly certain I was wearing jeans.

I too recall sitting next to my dad on a Marine Park bench, listening to our Mets lose on a transistor radio. I'm fairly certain Dad was wearing sweats. Rumor has it he was wearing jeans when he walked into the Brighton Beach Brooklyn Public Library Branch and asked my mom where the newspapers were, and what time she was getting off.

Read my latest Gentlepersons Weekly, and sign up to receive more a' them whilst there.

Cigar Reviewing & Grading FAQ

After sitting on a stock-pile of queries for going on two years now, I've decided to cobble together publicly what I've already answered many-a-time privately. This FAQ shall be updated HERE as more trickle in. The questions herein are shortened to get to the meat of the thing.
How do your letter grades correspond to numerical values?
This was asked before I begun including the following key in each review posted:
A 90-100 B 80-89 C 70-79 D 60-69 F 0-59
Lettuce look at B, and then take that to cover the other letter grades, shall we? B on-the-nose is 85. Too, so is 84 and 86. 86 to 8 is a B+, and 80-84 is a B-. There-a-bouts. Mileage varies. If I wanted a direct numerical correlation, I'd a' used numbers. Why do I not use numbers? Because I don't.

Why don't you use a number style of grading?
As stated above, because I don't. I'll 'splain just this one more again: whenst I set out reviewing cigars, I was keenly aware I was not, say, Cigar Aficionado. I could not fathom that number gatherers would want my take alongside CA, Cigar Journal, Cigar Snob, etc. To be clear, I do not know if them last two employ numbers. I do not read them. Humsoever, you get the gist.

How much rest off the truck do you allow a sample prior to review?
At the very least, unless noted in the write-up, a week. Most of what I receive has spent upwards of that time in transit, so it feels about right. My local B&M offerings are an immediate go; or I would find another B&M.

How many cigars do you review per day?
One. In the beginning, more than one, but that was nigh a couple years ago. At times I'll do a Redux on a second offering that day, but only on a fuller blend and only on a clean palate. How clean? Clean 'nuff to eat off of.

Why don't you always review in thirds?
18) not every cigar operates thatta way,
3) I don't like following other people's formats.
A note on formats: I do use 'em. Word and syllable counts, meter, rhyme schemes, etc. I simply bury them in drab prose. Ever get something I wrote stuck in yer head? That.

Do you take price into account in your final grade?
Not the grade per se, but I do mention MSRP if it bears mention. Say if a stick is worth it or not. Say if a stick is a splendid value. Prices are changeable, and I write for all eternity.

Do you eat or drink while reviewing?
No. On the rarest of occasions I do, I say-so.

What do you mean by "complex?"
There are two ways a cigar exhibits complexities:
1) notes are deeply nuanced and them notes dance in their under-bellies,
2) transitions

How do you calculate balance?
Intensity levels of flavor/body/strength should be on-par or meaningfully close, and all the basic tastes should be met: sweetness, sourness, saltiness, bitterness, and umami. Also piquancy, which is not a basic flavor since the brain is sent those signals via a different method.

In your reviews, you sometimes only refer to strength. What does that mean?
Over-all "intensity." A mean of flavors/body/strength.

Why don't you mention any aging on the cigars you review?
I do if it bears mentioning.

Why do you employ different review styles?
Boredom. Artistry.

What cutter(s) and lighter(s) do you use?
In a review, I use a nice cutter I won't promote here because they do not pay me to do-so. I light with wooden matches or the occasional Bic, as I smoke out-side and wind is oft a female canine. I used to swear by D'Jeep, but their quality hath sadly diminished. As an aside, I bite or pinch on my own time.

How far down do you smoke during a review?
I stop reviewing at the band, or traditional band-point. Then, I tooth-pick the heck outta it, if warranted.

Do you note the retro-hale?
Yes, if notable. Please read my reviews.

Why don't you use more images or at least ones in color?

Do you review Cubans?
No. I do not judge peoples.
Nor do I review Cuban cigars. If /when they become as readily available as other country's offerings, I shall.

Weekly Recapitulation Volume VII

Deadwood Sweet Jane - Cigar Review
18 Sabbaths Cattle Baron Bull Cigar Review: 11th Sabbath
Martinez Cigars Pasion - Cigar Review
Drew Estate Undercrown - Cigar Review Redux
Fallen Angel - Cigar Review Redux
Villiger La Flor de Ynclan - Cigar Review
Drew Estate Undercrown Shade - Cigar Review Redux

Veritas Announces Nueva Nica Line at IPCPR - Cigar News
CLE Highlights Azabache at IPCPR - Cigar News
Ernesto Perez-Carrillo ... La Gloria Cubana Colección Reserva - Cigar News
My Father Cigars La Opulencia Shown at IPCPR - Cigar News
Black Label Trading Co. Resurrects Deliverance - Cigar News
La Palina Goldie Toro Shown at IPCPR - Cigar News

IPCPR 2017: A Retrospective
Cigar Reviewing & Grading FAQ
Donate to Kaplowitz.
Brand-owner/Rep: Media Kit.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Drew Estate Undercrown Shade - Cigar Review Redux

Drew Estate Undercrown Shade
7 x 48 Churchill
Again with the Orange Julius. White pepper. Acacia honey in tea. Buttered popcorn. Caramel apple. Zestiest zetzes of the thus-far sampled vitola (Flying Pig, Gran Toro). Sweetly sharp cedar joins heightened pepper on retro-hale; angel food cake sets on palate post that. Excellently performing smooth draw, even line, pack density.

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

STRENGTH: Mild-Medium
ORIGIN: La Gran Fabrica Drew Estate, Nicaragua
BLENDER: Willy Herrera
Please to scope, gentlepersons: Drew Estate Undercrown Shade Flying Pig - Cigar Review. This, obviously, is a Redux a' that.


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- (as part of Four Cigars Reviewed in 100 Words vol. VI)

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

IPCPR 2017: A Retrospective

Soitenly gentlepersons, opting to focus on the positive is the way to go. In keeping on the sunny-side, always on the sunny-side, not herein shall mention be made of Kafie 1901's curious IPCPR trade-show no-show in the same calender year they've expanded into their own factory. Positives only! Not the stagnant now Altria-owned Nat Sherman. Nor the saddest "Wahoo" ever recorded in the Lavida Habano booth, as to the not-in-attendance Lavida Isla. I just ain't going there. Don't even ask. 'Nuff, I say! Folding beach chairs, tho? ...
Instead, here is a magnificent seven, whom's surely caught my attention from afar. I was not there in body, only in soul. I am unfortunately on a rigorous schedule of hair-washing, gentlepersons. Yous understand. The travelling may have messed up my follicular vitality.

In a truest of unveilings, one that no one even in the My Father sales force foresaw, the La Opulencia was ta-da'd to all's astonishment. I am on record that its Super Toro format will be Cigar Aficionado's Top 25 #2 the very next time 'round. Ya heard it here first. If inaccurate -- ya heard it elsewheres... maybe even nowheres. Huh? Nothing.

Matt Booth and Robert Caldwell intro'd their well-hyped Hit & Run offering. I was unimpressed by the previous Caldwell All Out Kings well-hyped collab offering, but if all else fails The Truth shall set us free. 'Cause it is AJF's world and we are just paying thankfully rather affordable rents. Plus, whom don't like retro video games? Me. Still, sounds fun.

Jas Sum Kral Didn't even have to show at the show to make my list of show-stoppers. Instead, the boutique as... pardon my French brand continued to feed its cult-like following by making all aware of their restocking via fun lil emails along the way. Nothing coulda re-stated their mission like avoiding the Vegas fracas entirely. Genius!

Rocky Patel Let loose a tandem of offerings which caught a tandem of eyes or two with their Hamlet 25th and the return of their Rocky Patel Fifty. That Hamlet, a Sr. Paredes follow-up to his original and inaugural non-Cuban go, is sure to show highly (bronze mayhaps) on the CA 25 -- perchance, copper.

Fratello Cigars came in with a strong tailwind blown courtesy of a Washington Post "This NASA analyst left a $200,000 job to sell cigars" write-up of owner Omar de Frias. Too, they showed the Fratello Navetta, which I erroneously reported as translating to "A whale's vagina." It should be yuge, nonetheless. A moment of curiosity doth hit me, when Mr. Frias was surprised at the aforementioned Post comments, which were somewhat anti-tobacco. What would one expect these days? Pfft, mainstream. Retro video games sound funner now.

The water tower looked cool. Dope, even. But wherest Drew Estate really spit fire was with the national release of their Florida Sun Grown and new Undercrown Sun Grown. I have stated if I were just a smoker, and mayhaps had a thicker wallet, I'd be AOK with just smoking the Undercrown line. I doth do think that the Undercrown Sun Grown has me the most a-flutter of the show releases.

Enclave Broadleaf! From the AJ Fernandez website: "This bold blend is accentuated by an earthy, full-flavored select Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper. A delightfully robust cigar with a symphony of flavors from AJ’s homegrown Nicaraguan binder and filler tobacco. A full bodied masterpiece!" I say we could be looking at the numero uno right here, gentlepersons -- in the Cigar Aficionado sense. Especially if the first third floors, as typically, that's as far as those fellas smoke 'em. Read my Cigar Aficionado on Cigar Aficionado to fully understand, please.
So very much to look forward to.

I found it strange that Mbombay was so quiet at the show. Last year, I looked to them to potentially crack the g/class ceiling and enter into the Top 25 I keep mentioning. Then they came out with even more Gaaja goodnesses. Great cigars. I so wanted Mel Shah to roar. Too and unrelated, I really miss Las Cumbres [sad emoji].

Thank-you for reading this reverse compliment sammich of an editorial i cobbled together whilst burning fat burgers for lunch with the sole purpose of sharing my own links and upping my blog hits. GARBAGE!

(Frequently Unasked Questions)

What of 'em? The following is a look into the world of socks, writ in largess:

The fashionistas almost to a gentleperson agree:
  • White socks are only for exercise.
  • Wear dress socks with dress shoes.
  • Avoid looking like you are wearing booties by avoiding the same color as your shoes.
  • Match them to your tie, shirt, pocket square, or even your eyes. Something.
Humsoever, they are fercockt in their thinking.

Gentlepersons, here's your sock drawer contents:
  • Black socks.
  • White socks (no grey cushion fanciness).
  • No socks. 
Novelty. The key to novelty is two-fold. It is to be delivered both casual and unexpected. Same as joke-telling. If wearing a sports coat, a blazer, or even a suit with white socks is good enough for all 20 Three Stooges (21, if you count Emil Sitka), it's good enough for the likes of you. Or me. Too, going sans socks is a good way to showcase your casual. I mean what says you care less what people think than, well, nothing? (JSKVirus)

As far as dress socks: nope. I changed my mind on them. Just nope.

As far as rolling socks down or wearing them to their full height: wear the proper socks. Ya want short socks? Wear short socks. Similar here, to selecting the proper format of cigar for estimated smoke session time allotment.

On a final note, women like a man in plain white boxers and black socks. Trust me. Don't ask them, for they lie.

Villiger La Flor de Ynclan - Cigar Review

Villiger Cigars
La Flor de Ynclan
Robusto 550

  • Caramelized sugar, then brown stuffs. Then nigh molasses.
  • White pepper, black through the schnoz.
  • Medicinal sweet orange. Visions a' orange degreaser. Mellows quickly.
  • Cedar w/ mulling spice addition, and building in creaminess.
  • Cafe Americano intensifies throughout.
  • Suede-cum-leather, then thickly.
  • Golden dirt with sweet hay attachment. Slightly fusty malt.
  • Chamomile lilt.
  • Richness/roundness takes too long in coming on not 'nuffly.
  • Balance and complexities: somewhat lacking.


  • Burn-line is thick & wonky, but even 'nuff to stave off re-touch.
  • Pack softens/puckers up at char.
  • Draw is even with a say medium+ resistance. Double/triple puff it.
  • Ash shows some flakiness; don't so-much build to much.
A 90-100 B 80-89 C 70-79 D 60-69 F 0-59
WRAPPER: Ecuadorian
BINDER: Indonesian
FILLER: Nicaraguan, Dominican

ORIGIN: ABAM factory, Dominican Republic
BLENDER: Jose Matias Maragoto

I done a Redux Review of the Villiger La Flor de Ynclan in its Churchill format.

Chairman of the board of Villiger Soehne AG, Heinrich Villiger: "The La Flor de Ynclan cigar has been an ongoing labor of love for us. We feel that there is a difference between a good and great cigar, Matias Maragoto and I hope you feel the same."

Firstly an old Cuban brand, then an eventually discontinued Villiger 2007 re-launch, this marks the third iteration of the La Flor de Ynclan moniker (after altering the blend). The charmed time, I hear.
Frequently, I'll not be asked certain questions. 'Nuff so, that I think it's high-time I at long last address 'em in a new series of work I shall call: Frequently Unasked Questions. These shall consist of cigar-centric queries pulling mainly from etiquette and primer dimensions.

Now, without any further ado, adon't, or amaybe...

Yes. From there to three-piece suit. I give that spectrum because I feel the true query is "How slovenly may I dress?" Lettuce just cover, then, all what I know a' sweats. For some care is required and I feel it to be a topic of no small import. And one close to my heart. Close to my thighs...

One must first understand that thou shalt not wear plastic and/or nylon. I'm speaking herein of cotton or cotton/poly blend, heavy knit materials... elastic waist... introduced in the 1920s by one Mr. Emile Camuset... Savvy? Good. Furthermore, there are three (3) appropriate and/or acceptable colors of which to opt, cigar lounge or not: grey, black, and navy blue. Furthermore, furthermore? Soitenly!

  • GREY: The classic. The go-to. The cannot miss. Dress down-to-up; light to dark hue'd.
  • BLACK: Formal to funky, the more well-worn and age-d, the more toward funky.
  • BLUE: Wear sparingly. The novelty sock a' allowable sweatpants. 

What's more, only wear sweats with elastic cuffs, lest ya look like yer wearing PJs, and that ain't cool. Never wear anything with a logo unless you are on that particular corporation's pay-roll. Actually -- no designs at all. Try not to go all sweat tuxedo in matching tops and bottoms. In grey, you'll look like Rocky. In black, a puppeteer. In navy blue, a police academy flunky.

Sweatshirts? Glad ya unasked. Color wheel spins under the same afore-listed rules -- BUT -- only wear full zip-up fronts. NO PULL-OVERS. Instead, wear a long-sleeved white T-shirt. White T-shirts are a topic for another FUQ. Quite important, they. Perchance the very most-so.

A popular somewhat related unasked question is:

Care and maintenance of sweats: Shave off pills with a disposable razor. Wash inside-out on gentle cycle. Hang dry. That'll insure less pills to shave. Now get out there and hit up yer B&M, gentlepersons.
Sounds good.

More style & fashion? Read about my new Velcro wallet in Kaplowitz: Gentlepersons Weekly Vol. 4, and sign-up to receive weekly emailings.

Throughout time and again yester-day, teams line-up to help the Damn Yankees succeed at their own expense. Clippard ain't worth a bag of chips -- which is what I imagine his arm sounds like when he puts his Sox on in the morning.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

La Palina Goldie Toro Shown at IPCPR - Cigar News

La Palina Cigars doth did choose to unveil its newest and sixth iteration of their Goldie at IPCPR 2017. This year's offering is a 652 Toro, easily if not creatively moniker'd the La Palina Goldie Toro. The initial Goldie release occurred back in 2012 via a 638 Petite Lancero known less easily yet more creatively as the Laguito No. 2. La Palina's Goldie hath since become a yearly offering, each in a different format.
A roll-call of vitolas reads thusly: Laguito No. 2 in 2012, Laguito No. 5 in 2013, Laguito Especial in 2014, Laguito Robusto Extra in 2015, Dalia in 2016, and the one that warranted this write-up (I s'pose) the Toro. The Goldie recipe is together'd in the good ol' USofA at the El Titan de Bronze factory. It consists a' an Ecuadorian binder laid twixt Nicaraguan and Dominican guts with an Ecuadorian top-leaf over-top.

Cigar-Coop: "The Goldie line was created as a tribute to Goldie Drell Paley, the wife of Sam Paley – who originally founded the La Palina brand back in 1896. It is meant to be a tribute to the accomplishments of women in the cigar industry. Once again, Miami’s El Titan de Bronze will be the factory where the Goldie is made and once again the roller will be Maria Sierra. Sierra is a 95 rated, category 9 roller trained by Fidel Castro’s personal roller Eduardo Rivera Izarri as well as Avelino Lara (Cohiba). The blend incorporates a high priming medio tiempo leaf – something only found in about 10 percent of tobacco plants." Will soitenly do bring it.