Deep in flavor. Deep in your mind.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Casa Cuevas Cigars Maduro in Robusto - Cigar Review by Kaplowitz

"Have you Kaplowitz'd to-day?"


WRAPPER: Mexican San Andres
BINDER: Nicaraguan
FILLER: Colombian, Dominican, & Nicaraguan

STRENGTH: Medium-Full
PROFILE: Sweet/Spice

FORMAT: Robusto
ORIGIN: Tabacalera Las Lavas factory, Dominican Republic

Ten Things About the Casa Cuevas Maduro:

  1. Deeply sweet and pepper-spiced hardwood overtones
  2. High-up undertones of bitter and savory aspects.
  3. Dark & somber-so notes
  4. Roasted and toasted campfire feels. Never chars/bites.
  5. Rigid delivery eventually settles into a heavy creaminess.
  6. Very smooth character, considering its rugged profile.
  7. Finish shortens a bit (bitter-sweet w/ spicy addition) Ends with charcoal lilt.
  8. Not overly complex but the intent seems to be a straight-forward one.
  9. Combustion is flawless in this and across the Casa Cuevas portfolio.
  10. Construction is flawless in this and across the Casa Cuevas portfolio.

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


"Casa Cuevas Cigars are a new brand to the US market, but I wouldn’t call this their first rodeo. Casa Cuevas is a family owned business that first started in the tobacco industry four generations ago in the Pinar Del Rio valley of Cuba where they cultivated tobacco. Today, they operate out of their Tabacalera Las Lavas factory in Santiago, Dominican Republic. Out of this factory, they have produced cigars for well-known brands such as Gurkha, Sam Leccia and Carlos Torano. The Casa Cuevas line is just the first to bear the family name." - Cigars International

"In the 19th century, Juan Cuevas, Spanish immigrant from Santander, began what was to be a family business which now spans four generations. Like others fortunate enough to live and work in the Pinar del Rio province of Cuba, Juan commenced cultivating tobacco, turning it into a successful business. ... So it is that, after decades of manufacturing premium cigars for notable brands, it was decided that the time had come to produce and market a high-end, premium cigar that would bear the Cuevas name." - www.CasaCuevasCigars.com

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"57" Kaplowitz Radio

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Casa Cuevas Cigars Connecticut in Robusto - Cigar Review by Kaplowitz

"Why not Kaplowitz?"


WRAPPER: Ecuadorian Connecticut
BINDER: Nicaraguan
FILLER: Dominican & Nicaraguan

STRENGTH: Mild-Medium
PROFILE: Sour/Sweet

FORMAT: Robusto
ORIGIN: Tabacalera Las Lavas S.R.L., Dominican Republic

KAPLOWITZ SCALE
[K=least, Z=most]
(primary note)

sweetness: O (candied cashew)
sourness: W (lemon rind)
saltiness: A
bitterness: L (orange pith)
savoriness: P (pale oats)
pepper-spice: L (white pepper)

complexity: L
balance: I
smoothness: I


KAPLOWITZ SCALE
[K=worst, Z=best]
(notes - good/bad)

construction: T (perfect draw/--)
combustion: T (slow, even burn/ --)

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

"Casa Cuevas Cigars are a new brand to the US market, but I wouldn’t call this their first rodeo. Casa Cuevas is a family owned business that first started in the tobacco industry four generations ago in the Pinar Del Rio valley of Cuba where they cultivated tobacco. Today, they operate out of their Tabacalera Las Lavas factory in Santiago, Dominican Republic. Out of this factory, they have produced cigars for well-known brands such as Gurkha, Sam Leccia and Carlos Torano. The Casa Cuevas line is just the first to bear the family name." - Cigars International

"In the 19th century, Juan Cuevas, Spanish immigrant from Santander, began what was to be a family business which now spans four generations. Like others fortunate enough to live and work in the Pinar del Rio province of Cuba, Juan commenced cultivating tobacco, turning it into a successful business. ... So it is that, after decades of manufacturing premium cigars for notable brands, it was decided that the time had come to produce and market a high-end, premium cigar that would bear the Cuevas name." - www.CasaCuevasCigars.com

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57K/R 

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Casa Cuevas Cigars Habano in Robusto - Cigar Review by Kaplowitz

Have you Kaplowitz'd to-day?


WRAPPER: Ecuadorian Habano
BINDER: Nicaraguan
FILLER: Dominican & Nicaraguan

STRENGTH: Medium-Full
PROFILE: Spice/Sweet

FORMAT: Robusto
ORIGIN: Tabacalera Las Lavas factory, Dominican Republic

Spicy & sweet toasted overtones are bright but rich and both mingle as well as stay delineated. Nice. Undertones are not dark, per se, but not as bright and display a lightly toasted bitter savoriness with influences from up-top seeping into 'em. Citrus swirls top to bottom then bottom to top throughout, with a slight salty attachment. Toasty turns nicely roasty in the 3/3. Suprememely balanced and as complex as all get-out. Quite nuanced for a rather bright blend. Excellent depth of very thoughtful & well-orchestrated notes.

This Casa Cuevas is simply all a Habano should be and I am a Habano nut.
  • Spice (clove, paprika, cumin)
  • Pepper (red, white)
  • Chocolate (milk & cocoa butter)
  • Coffee (mocha latte)
  • Wood (cedar)
  • Cream
  • Citrus (lemonade)
  • Suede
  • Grain (cereal)
  • Earth (dirt)
The body is rico suave, mi amigo. Rich & smooth, my friend. Softly-so with the slightest of tip-of-tongue tingle. Finish is long and a beautiful settling of the draw which really allows you to enjoy its complexities. Ends clean and stays verily cool of temp from gate-to-wire. Strength is a gentlepersonly trickster who'll sneak up on ya but you'll both enjoy the bit of a head swoon.


Combustion offers me the sole opportunity here to bitch, as the burn operates on a slight to slight+ curvature. Ash grows well & firmly tight. Smoky-smoke is of an admirable volume, both passively and actively. Pacing is even-keeled and travels slowly. The room-note is a snoot-full of overtones and is another selling point of this offering.

Construction features no hard/soft spots and its packing barely budges from pre-light to well-formed & cool nub. Seams remain nigh invisible. The draw is a perfect medium-tension all the live-long.

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

"Casa Cuevas Cigars are a new brand to the US market, but I wouldn’t call this their first rodeo. Casa Cuevas is a family owned business that first started in the tobacco industry four generations ago in the Pinar Del Rio valley of Cuba where they cultivated tobacco. Today, they operate out of their Tabacalera Las Lavas factory in Santiago, Dominican Republic. Out of this factory, they have produced cigars for well-known brands such as Gurkha, Sam Leccia and Carlos Torano. The Casa Cuevas line is just the first to bear the family name." - Cigars International

"In the 19th century, Juan Cuevas, Spanish immigrant from Santander, began what was to be a family business which now spans four generations. Like others fortunate enough to live and work in the Pinar del Rio province of Cuba, Juan commenced cultivating tobacco, turning it into a successful business. ... So it is that, after decades of manufacturing premium cigars for notable brands, it was decided that the time had come to produce and market a high-end, premium cigar that would bear the Cuevas name." - www.CasaCuevasCigars.com

"57" Kaplowitz Radio 

Monday, May 28, 2018

"Fifty-Seven" Kaplowitz Radio w/ Boston Jimmie of Stogie Press

Have you Kaplowitz'd to-day?


Myself & special-guest Boston Jimmie of www.StogiePress.com talk shop re: the role of blogging & social media in the cigar industry. After, of course, exchanging nigh pleasantries and slim origin stories.

Press play below:
Thanks for listening, Gentlepersons.

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This episode was brought to you by:
www.CigarsOfHabanos.com
www.CaldwellCigars.com
www.IllusioneCigars.com

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Cigar News Weekly Report: MBombay, Crowned Heads, Bespoke, & Cohiba

"All the news that's fit to poach."



A short time ago, Bombay Tobak unveiled a Torpedo format of its MBombay Classic. This offering has been available only as part of a 5-pack sampler... till now. Now, the thing will be a regular production addition to the co. portfolio. In 25ct. boxes. In August.

The impetus behind this all is not a change in leaf but in hands. Previously only 2 Buncheros & 2 Rollers were properly trained in the crafting of this vitola. Now, that tally of Adept has tripled. The blend which they are bunchero-ing and rollero-ing features an Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade top-leaf over Ecuadorian binder, then guts from Nicaragua, Peru, and the Dominican Republic.

CROWNED HEADS + SHORE THING CIGARS

Shore Thing Cigars, a Floridian retailer, has collab'd with Crowned Heads to birth the Shore Thing Exclusive. Because naming things is only hard if you make it hard. The shop is owned by Paul Copeland and Luke Bryan. I am assured Luke Bryan is a star. I've not ever heard of him. Funny, though, that he calls Nashville his hometown -- & so does CH. Not funny haha, more funny peculiar.


The cigars are rolled at Ernesto Perez-Carrillo Jr’s Tabacalera La Alianza factory, wherein a Nicaraguan binder is laid twixt Nica innards and Ecuadorian Sumatra skin. This in the singular size of Corona Gorda. Oh, and they are a pricey $15 per. However, it is nice to see the Huber - music tradition continue.


BESPOKE AGED OFFERINGS

Begining at the upcoming 2018 IPCPR trade-show, Bespoke Cigars will send to market not one but TWO line extensions featuring factory-aged goodnesses within. The packaging is slated to different from regularly aged boxes. As to the particulars, there'll be a 4-year-old Daughters of the Wind Solomones for $25 & for a mere $15, the same-aged Traditional Super Belicoso can be nabbed. As far as production, we're talking a slight 50 20ct. boxes & 3.5K offering, respectively.

The Traditional facing uses the same blend across all-aged boards: a DR wrapper & binder w/ guts from DR, Nica, Peru, and US. 

COHIBA SILENCIO

Cohiba has announced a new event-only & with other-purchase release which will primarily follow brand ambassador Sean Williams around.  It'll be offered in a Toro format with Nicaraguan wrapper, Cameroon binder & fillers of Nicaraguan & Dominican origins.

Williams also played a role in the Silencio's blending. Made at the STG Estelí factory and sent off in 10ct. boxes. it is considered "limited but not limited edition" by the man himself. When I asked Cohiba for further information, they replied: "Who are you?"

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"Fifty-Six" Kaplowitz Radio 

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Weekly Recapitulation Vol. LII


BLOG POSTS

Cigar News Weekly Report
Gran Habano Cigars S.T.K. Zulu Zulu "Mas Paz" White
Gran Habano Cigars S.T.K. Zulu Zulu "Mas Paz" Black
Caldwell Cigars Savages in Piramide - Cigar Review

PODCASTS

"Fifty-Six" Kaplowitz Radio
Stick Men: Episode Twenty-One

Read last week's Recapitulation HERE.

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s/o to K/M sponsors:
Illusione Cigars: for your cigar comfort. www.IllusioneCigars.com
Caldwell Cigars: creation | innovation | ambition. www.CaldwellCigars.com

Friday, May 25, 2018

A Review of Recent Grade A Cigar Offerings


"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 (May 2018) cigar offerings I humbly found to be worthy of A (- to +) review ratings.

THE A-LIST
{Names are links to full review.}


HONORABLE MENTION


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Thursday, May 24, 2018

Caldwell Cigars Savages in Piramide - Cigar Review by Kaplowitz

"Why not Kaplowitz?"


"Caldwell’s Savages is a limited edition extension ot [sic] the Long Live the King line. Although it’s [sic] blend is undisclosed it is creamier and nuttier than Long Live the King and The King is Dead flavorwise. Savages is available in 5 vitolas in 10 count boxes. Only available to existing Caldwell accounts." - www.CaldwellCigars.com

"One avenue that cigar makers have to bring new cigars to market is to take an existing blend and modify it somehow – make it stronger or lighter, change the wrapper, put out a limited edition tweak of the blend, and so on. Such is how Savages -- one of Caldwell Cigar Co.’s latest releases -- came to be. It starts with one of Robert Caldwell’s debut lines, Long Live the King. Announced in February 2014 ..." - www.Halfwheel.com  (2016)

Caldwell Cigars is a sponsor of K/M.

WRAPPER: Habano
BINDER: Dominican
FILLER: Dominican & Nicaraguan

STRENGTH: Medium-Full
PROFILE: Spice-Sour/Sweet
FORMAT: Piramide (650)
ORIGIN: Dominican


Overtones feature an outta the gate front-loaded toasted pepper-spice which is quite bright & a tick or two fusty. This is accompanied by a dusty, bright sour-sweetness. Undertones are a lightly roasted/salted bitter note carried on a savory herbal thing akin to a chicken broth but that's an absurdity best left for an upcoming bullet-point segment of this review. Nicely balanced in a movable fashion. Complex, though lacking the depth to be nuanced. The complexities come mainly in the play twixt sour and spice. Really rather interesting.
  • Pepper (red peppercorn & white)
  • Spices (ginger, nutmeg, clove)
  • Citrus (grapefruit)
  • Cream (spiced)
  • Honey (orange blossom)
  • Booze (rum)
  • Herbal (rosemary, thyme)
  • Wood (apple)
  • Meat (well, poultry)
  • Hay
  • Earth (dirt)
The savage's body was muscular, his sweaty pecs glistened in the sun... this Savages' body sees a growing creaminess more-so than diminishing spicy zestiness -- altho that spice does dial back. Its medium-full body is rather rigid yet richly-so. The texture here is a bit too coarse to be smooth but is non-abrasive. No bite. Finish is a complex sweet-sour thing after initial spice zest. Ends cleanly. Mouth-hole temp is tepid. Strength-wise, this Caldwell gives a nice & kindly swoon.

Combustion operates on a bit of a curvature with the occasional blister to char-line. Burns at a nice even and fairly slow pace. Gives off a hair less than a moderate amount of passive smoke, whereas the draw gives a moderate quantity. Ash fails to make an inch and presents dryly. 

As far as construction, since that's next up in my template, the draw is a bit too snug particularly as the Piramide tapers down. Its seams see some loosening ahead of burn but hold-fast on-down. No hard/soft spots. Nub retains its shape well.

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

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56 K/R

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Gran Habano Cigars S.T.K. Zulu Zulu "Mas Paz" Black in Corona Gorda - Cigar Review by Kaplowitz


"Shortly before last year’s IPCPR Convention & Trade Show, George Rico announced his latest project-- ZULU ZULU Mas Paz Edition. It was an extension to Gran Habano’s S.T.K. line of cigars made in Miami. ... Mas Paz gets its name from the Colombian street artist Federico Frum, who goes by the name Mas Paz. The packaging for the release was designed by Mas Paz and a portion of the sales will be donated to La Casa de la Madre y el Niño, an orphanage in Bogotá, Colombia." -www.Halfwheel.com

I reviewed the Zulu Zulu white HERE.
(There's also some more backstory there.)

Gran Habano Zulu Zulu Black
WRAPPER: Ecuadorian Connecticut
BINDER: Nicaraguan
FILLER: Nicaraguan

STRENGTH: Mild-Medium
FORMAT: Corona Gorda
ORIGIN: G.R. Tabacalaeras, USA

Wait, so you're telling me the "White" blend is stronger than the "Black" one? Does Louis Farrakhan know about this horseshit??? Sour notes lurch ahead of their sweet overtone brethren but do, themselves, have some sweetness. Very bright tones laced with light herbal and floral notes which rather uniquely fill the bitter note realm. Undertones are a separate bitter which is lightly toasted and a vegetal savory aspect. Pepper-spices are hither & thither, ebbing & flowing. Mellow all-round. Other than that light toasting, the notes are rather raw. Even with the rawness and sour lead, there is no bite and scant acidity. Saltiness attaches to grain in the 3/3. Mild-medium at its flavor apex.

Nicely and interestingly balanced. Though I wouldn't claim this GH to be complex, nor would I claim it to be attempting that. Some light nuances stave off boredom. Unfortunately, the thing is about as deep as... something not so deep? It's a bit early in the day for analogies, Gentlepersons. In fact, it's as early as... ah, fuck it.
  • Spices (cardamon, allspice)
  • Citrus (orange & lemon pith)
  • Herbal (lemongrass, cilantro, white tea leaves)
  • Floral (chamomile)
  • Pepper (white)
  • Butter
  • Peanut butter
  • Grain (cereal -- Corn Flakes?) 
  • Earth (hay, dirt)
I already dealt-some with the body, I'll add here the keywords of: soft, smooth, cool. Finish is virtually nonexistent as one might expect from what one's read thus far. Some slight tanginess. It does finish quite clean, tho. To the extent that twixt puffs, it a lot like not smoking a cigar at all. The strength of this Zulu Zulu cannot go to the beach for fear of having sand kicked in its face. Makes for a pretty chill experience, though. Mild bodied & mild strength'd, to put it all or both plainly. It's a tick like an aperitif for another smoke.

Combustion is very cool for as fast as it is. Needs to be puffed oft. A bit of a wavy line happens if you let it overly cool/rest. As far as construction, the thing is rolled rather softly, but not as softly as the White. No isolated hard/soft spots.

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


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Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Gran Habano Cigars S.T.K. Zulu Zulu "Mas Paz" White in Corona Gorda - Cigar Review by Kaplowitz


"Created many years ago for his private collection, by George Rico himself. This unique blend of cigar comes in two different wrappers, a Connecticut or a Habano wrapper. Each box features art commissioned by Rico from Colombian-American artist and friend, “Mas Paz”. The Zulu Zulu is a limited run, part of the S.T.K. Miami line." - www.GHcigars.com

Gran Habano is a sponsor of K/M. As of this writing, it is 62 degrees & mostly cloudy. I am wearing jeans and a white t-shirt.

[A link to my Zulu Zulu Black review will be HERE upon its publishing.]

Gran Habano Zulu Zulu "Mas Paz" White
WRAPPER: Nicaraguan Habano
BINDER: Nicaraguan Habano
FILLER: Nicaraguan

STRENGTH: Medium
FORMAT: Corona Gorda
ORIGIN: G.R. Tabacalaeras, USA


KAPLOWITZ SCALE
[K=least, Z=most] 
(primary note)

sweetness: W (softwood)
sourness: W (blonde coffee)
savoriness: P (oat grain)
bitterness: L (earth/dirt)
pungency: L (white pepper, cardamon)
saltiness: K (dashed into savoriness)

complexity: P
balance: I
smoothness: I

KAPLOWITZ SCALE
[K=worst, Z=best]
(notes - good/bad)

construction: O (excellent draw/soft, lumpy roll)
combustion: O (Great smoke out-put/ fast burn)

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

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K/R 56

Monday, May 21, 2018

"Fifty-Six" Kaplowitz Radio


"Have you Kaplowitz'd to-day?"
[Press play below to do-so.]

Wherein I smoke/review a La Barba Red in Robusto & discuss:
  • Do cigar reviews matter?
  • The DIY ethic.
  • Carpet cleaning tips.
  • Fuck the FDA.
  • News (powered by www.StogiePress.com)
Thanks for listening, Gentlepersons.

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This episode was brought to you by:
www.CigarsOfHabanos.com
www.CaldwellCigars.com
www.IllusioneCigars.com

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Cigar News Weekly Report: Villiger, Room 101, Caldwell, Gran Habano


VILLIGER DO BRAZIL

Brazil is no stranger to Villiger Cigars, although an excellent premium smoke remains a stranger to Villiger. But that's just my opinion and this is news. Hard-hitting news. [BOOM.] Of the cigar industry. Nevertheless, Villiger has been importing Brazilian leaf since Wild West days; then in the groovy 70s, that paved the way for a Brazilian subsidiary & factory called Charutos Tobajara Limitada. Fast-forward to the now, the co. is opening a larger place to roll their wares, Villiger do Brazil. The latter replacing the former. An in with the old, out with the new sorta thing. The aforementioned subsidiary now has hung on it the nom de tobacco of Villiger do Brasil Limitada. All is still occurring in the city of Feira de Santana, state of Bahia.

At the time of my poaching this story the Brazil locale produces, as ever, only Brazilian puros: San’Doro Maduro, Corrida, & Celebration. The last two of which are Euro exclusives.

ROOM 101 FARCE

Matt Booth retired. Then, six months later, unretired. But his second wind has until now been collabs under other brands. Enter Farce, Room 101's re-intro. Rm101 is Booth's brand, in case ya didn't know. Now you know. And it is fully launched. There were some pre-launch fussings in the form of plain bundle Toro offerings of the blend in 'Zona then some greater circulation BUT NOW WE ARE FULL FUCKING THROTTLE, MOTHERFUCKER. To the tune of Robusto, Gordo, Lonsdale, & event especial Petite Corona. I believe the packaging is fancy now. I'm not either entirely sure nor a big news source.

The blend lays an Indonesian binder twixt Dominican, Nicaraguan, Pennsylvanian guts & Ecuadorian top-leaf. There is also a sliver of a secret in the filler. I for one hope it's bacon. They'll be rolled in the DR @ Tabacalera William Ventura. Robert Caldwell’s Down & Back LLC will be distributing.


CALDWELL THE KING IS DEAD SLEEPING BEAUTY

Rejoice! For the Sleeping Beauty is already on the market. It's the very-latest iteration of (the) The King Is Dead blend. & get this: Perfecto! My fave. The Dominican Puro comes in 24ct. boxes and I fucking want one.

GRAN HABANO TUBOS

Gran Habano has announced that their Gran Robusto formats of the Connecticut #1, Habano #3, Corojo #5 and Corojo #5 Maduro blends will be available in clear tubos & 10ct. boxes. They are currently available for special orders but not arriving in retail humis till the IPCPR Trade-show in July.

Both Caldwell Cigars & Gran Habano are sponsors of K/M. [BOOM.]

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"Fiddy-Fi" Kaplowitz Radio

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Weekly Recapitulation Vol. LI


BLOG POSTS

Cigar News Weekly Report
Flor de Gonzalez 90 Millas (Miles) Unidos - Cigar Review
Odds & Ends at the Ides: May 2018
Hiram & Solomon Traveling Man - Cigar Review
Illusione Cigars Garagiste - Cigar Review


PODCASTS

"Fiddy-Fi" Kaplowitz Radio
Stick Men: Episode Twenty

Read last week's Recapitulation HERE.


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Keep me going.
Keep me GROWING.
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s/o to K/M sponsors:
Illusione Cigars: for your cigar comfort. www.IllusioneCigars.com
Caldwell Cigars: creation | innovation | ambition. www.CaldwellCigars.com

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Illusione Cigars Garagiste in Gordo - Cigar Review by Kaplowitz


"The new line is named Garagiste, which is the name given to a group of winemakers in the Bordeaux region of France who emerged in the mid-1990s that produce “garage wines” in reaction to the traditional style that had been prevalent in the past. The blend of the cigar incorporates an Ecuadorian habano wrapper as well as corojo viso and criollo viso tobaccos, both of which originate from a specific farm in the AGANORSA fields of Nicaragua." Halfwheel (2016)

Cigar Aficionado rated this offering a 90.

The co. site says of it: "A blend of Nicaraguan Criollo '98 and Corojo '99, with an emphasis on Ligeros from 2 regions. It's finished with a Capa Fina'grade AAA Colorado Habano Ecuador wrapper. Medium to full-bodied."

I smoked this Garagiste blend in Episode 40 of Kaplowitz Radio. Live from my Cari Porte. Illusione is a sponsor of mine, which has nothing to do with nothing. Smoke more Illusione. Fucking, please?

Thank-you.

Ten Things About This Stick:

  1. Overtones of bitter Oolong tea leaves & bracing Maplewood ride tandem with a residual maple syrup and black pepper sweetness, alongside nutmeg. Sweet earth and grain undertones. 
  2. Top-soil & pumpernickel -- dark chocolate shavings, too. why not?
  3. Notes are dark and deep. Dark and Deep simply must be the name of a porno, no?
  4. Roasted? Yup. Toasted? Yeah. Charred? You betcha.
  5. Soft and strong. I rate the texture of smoke to be: Sumo.
  6. Smoothly textured, too. Some heightened temp in the mouth and upon the hand.
  7. Finishes a bit short and ends with a charcoal lilt.
  8. Nicely complex, but loses some dat in second-half.
  9. A runner threatens twice, then goes plum out at the half; then keeps wanting to go out. Torchings add a sharp bite. Big tsuris re: construction. Ash is quite flaky on top of it.
  10. Construction is verily soft of packing but evenly-so. The draw is open and quite hesitant.

WRAPPER: Ecuadorian Habano
BINDER: Nicaraguan
FILLER: Nicaraguan

STRENGTH: Medium-Full
FORMAT: Gordo
ORIGIN: Tabacos Valle de Jalapa S.A., Nicaragua

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

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"Fiddy-Fi" Kaplowitz Radio

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Hiram & Solomon Traveling Man in Toro - Cigar Review by Kaplowitz

"As we noted in previous articles on Hiram & Solomon, they moved operations to the Plasencia factory in Nicaragua this year and worked with Master Blender David Blanco from Blanco Cigars to update the blend. That move has been paying pretty big dividends for the company as the cost of production has decreased and that decrease has been passed through to the consumers. Another benefit of the move was the quality of tobacco they have access to. As this will be the second re-do of a Hiram & Solomon cigar since they moved I can certainly say the tobacco source made a difference." - Stogie Press 

I've been underwhelmed by the H&S portfolio so far. I'm just about OK calling this a schtick brand. Not a novelty cigar, but a cigar which is geared toward a bit of schtick which if you enjoy, you'll enjoy. Niche stick? You get the gist. Freemasons seem to have gotten gaudier and deeper in douchebaggery as of late. btw Does anyone else notice this? Lots of bling. Oh well.

This from Cigar Reviews by The Katman
The definition of Traveling Man as described by the Masons:
"If they are truly masons it is simple to find out. All you have to do is ask them "Are you a traveling man?" If they respond with, "Yes I am. I am traveling from the west to the east." Then you ask them "And what is it that you seek in the east?” They should respond with “I am seeking the point of illumination."

Seems like a thing that if true, should be a better-kept secret.

I'mma light this thang...

Quite dry overtones of a sweet pepper-spiced hardwood-cum-cedar. Sweetness is part of a crisp natural 'baccy parcel, pepper-spices are bright black pepper with a bit of darker smoked paprika & clove. Undertones are a stiffly toasted leather savory bracing and not much else. through the opening third, then thereafter, a vague red/purple fruit sweetness enters. Not very balanced. Complex 'nuff for the above notes. It always strikes me as odd, when reviewers give a laundry list of notes only to site a lack of complexity. Nicely nuanced with deepening notes. Retro-hale is sharp and don't add 'nuff to warrant the ouch. Medium-full flavor.

The body is a medium-full, as well but hampered-some by a rigid dryness. Smooth in a talc fashion. The finish lingers well in a sweet-bitter manner but unfortunately ends in a bit of charcoal charring. 

Strength is a robust medium. I can't tell if this headache is coming from this Traveling Man or my growing To-Do list. Does get a bit throaty then chesty in 2/3 & 3/3, respectively. 

Combustion is a selling point here. Burns on a razor-line. Grows a tight silver ash to an easy inch at a time. Slowly paced, though not laborious. Could use a bit more passive smoke out-put but active out-put is quite, well, active. Room-note is a slightly irritating spiced leather wherein the charcoal end is noticeable. 

Construction features a great draw; medium tension'd and smoothly-even from gate-to-wire. There are some noteworthy amounts of softening pack density to the point it seems under-stuft. Odd, given the long smoke-time. Cosmetically, the shaft is quite lumpy. Seams hold fast, although loosen a cunt hair up by the char. Smoke temp warms in the 3/3.

All told, this Traveling Man trumps the rest of the Hiram & Solomon portfolio. Yes, I have smoked the Veiled Prophet. 

WRAPPER: Indonesian Sumatra
BINDER: Indonesian
FILLER: Brazilian Arapiraca, Habano Jalapa, Habano Ometepe and Dominican

STRENGTH: Medium-Full
FORMAT: Toro
ORIGIN: Plasencia Factory, Nicaragua

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

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"Fiddy-Fi" Kaplowitz Radio 

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Odds & Ends at the Ides: May 2018


Here's the deal-iO this ides up-date:
  • Kaplowitz Media/Stogie Press Collaboration
  • Caldwell Cigars own May @ the K/M Facebook Group
  • New K/M sponsor: Cigars of Habanos
Them's the bullet-points, lettuce delve...

My Fellow Gentlepersons,

Not a lot of odd & ends to relate this Ides but what there is, is B I G. First, might I again be offered the chance opportunity to bitch about my injured ribs? My spring allergies? I'm the boss and I say yes. To keep things positive, though, I'll soon be shaving my back because WOOHOO: wifebeater weather looms nigh on the horizon.

With that, we shall commence... Or digress...

Firstly, I was a press release! Again!!! You can read it in full HERE but the gist of it is that I have a new Kaplowitz Radio segment Powered by Stogie Press. Every K/R for about 10mins., I'll talk about the weekly article there-which pertains to cigar happenings in social media. Will it be a blast? Does Nick Era paint on his beard? Yes. Yes, he does and yes it will be.

Then there's this lil ol' nugget: Caldwell Cigars "owns the night" + the month of May @ the Kaplowitz Media Facebook Group, where I'm proud to have them proudly sponsor K/M (as well as appearing all over my fucking blog). I love it. Love them. & like some of you Gentlepersons.

Finally, lettuce all welcome aboard new K/M sponsor, Cigars of Habanos. With my readership growing both in&outside the USofA, this one is for the Euros & Asia, mostly. But don't fret Mr. & Mrs. Mainstreet America... there are offerings for you there, as well. Go check 'em out. #MAGA

Till the ides next,
Kap

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"55" Kaplowitz Radio 

Flor de Gonzalez 90 Millas (Miles) Unidos in Belicoso - Cigar Review by Kaplowitz


" ... Back in 2016, the company released an interesting extension to their successful 90 miles line. For those that may not be familiar, 90 miles is the distance from Key West, FL to Havana, Cuba. The original line was created to pay homage to the sacrifice of the many Cuban refugees who made the arduous journey to America to escape the Castro repression including the company’s founder, Arnaldo Gonzalez, who made the journey in 1980. Though Arnaldo grew up with tobacco in his veins, he would not see such work until 1993 when he opened a small factory from his home [in] Hialeah, Fla. ...

"the company decried to use a barber pole method fo[r] wrapping the cigar where the two different leafs used int he [sic] wrapper signified the two countries, Chiba and the United States. ... She [Yadi Gonzalez] added that the barber-pole design of the Unidos is inspired by the changes taking place both in Cuba as well as in the relationship between Cuba and the United States, with the two wrappers symbolic of the two countries." - Stogie Press

Now I'll just weigh in on this dang thing...

Both bright and dark overtones, in that particular order. A sweetly toasted front of cocoa butter & maple syrup with a backing of bitter/sour: a dark roasted coffee with an acidic almost charred cream addition. Darker undertones are a pepper-spice/savoriness of black & roasted white pepper medley seasoning a somewhat rehydrated beef jerky. Flirts with a bit of an astringent interference to its complexities, which are there, but a bit helter-skelter. Nicely 'nuff balanced. Medium-Full flavor zenith.

Body is a medium thing with a sharp almost fluid smoothness. Soft but not richly-so insofar as texture. Finish is of moderate length, consisting of a thinning out of the draw. Ends somewhat dryly and somewhat affected by that astringent note. The temperature in my smoke-hole remains cuke-cool.

Mild-Medium strength.

Combustion avoids the wavy mascara-line pitfall of many Barber Pole offerings. Ash builds to an inch at a time, tightly-so. Pacing is quite nice. The room-note is rather sharp (yes, this belongs within the confines of combustion). The construction is sans hard/soft spots and features an excellent draw of medium tension. 

WRAPPER: Connecticut Shade Grown & Ecuadorian Habano Maduro
BINDER: Dominican & Nicaraguan
FILLER: Nicaraguan

STRENGTH: Medium
FORMAT: Belicoso Barber Pole
ORIGIN: Agroindustrial Nicaraguanse de Tabacos, Nicaragua

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

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"Fiddy-Fi" Kaplowitz Radio

Monday, May 14, 2018

"Fiddy-Fi" Kaplowitz Radio

"Why not Kaplowitz?
55KR

Wherein I give you my newest segment:
Social Media News Powered by Stogie Press
w/ a special guest Tony Crack of Stick Men

Tony: Cubanacan Torpedo
Me: Oliva Connecticut Reserve

We also chatted about:

  • Other stuff

Thanks for listening, Gentlepersons.

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This episode was brought to you by:

www.CaldwellCigars.com
www.IllusioneCigars.com

s/o Havana59 Cigar Distributors 330.524.8660
& www.StogiePress.com

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Cigar News Weekly Report: Warped Cigars, CAO, Smoking Jacket, & Tatuaje


"All the news that's fit to poach."

WARPED CIGARS MOON GARDEN

Insufferable hipsters, rejoice. For at the 2018 IPCPR Trade-show your favorite brand, Warped, has a new 'un a-comin'. It's, of course, a small batch limited production cigar which you probably haven't heard of, called Moon Garden. Plus get this -- Lancero. Now that is going to look great, poking out from yer lumberjack beard. Careful, some of the essential organic gluten-free oils you rub into that thing are quite flammable.

Aganorsa Leaf, the artist formerly known as Casa Fernandez, will be rolling it out of their TABSA factory in Esteli. What makes this Lancero different? The blend will employ a high-priming Medio Tiempo leaf. This is the calling card of other Warped offerings such as the Flor de Valle Sky Flower and Maestro del Tiempo 610R. The full Moon Garden blend is: Nicaragua Corojo ’99 top-leaf, Nica binder, & Criollo ’98 guts. The 650 10ct. boxes of will be decorated w/ Japanese watercolor artwork. Sure that country is responsible for historically unspeakable atrocities... but Origami, too.

CAO ESTELI

CAO Cigars is now yet another part of the Tobacconist Association of America (TAA) Exclusive Series parcel. Earlier this week or late last week, dunno but, General Cigar Company unveiled the CAO Estelí. It's a blend of Nicaraguan Jalapa top-leaf over Honduran binder, Nica Seco, Honduran, & Dominican guts. This multi-nation offering is in one-size only -- a 654 Toro Grande, packaged in 10ct. boxes of which 1,500 have been made. It'll be readily available @ TAA retailers come August.

SMOKING JACKET LIMITED EDITION II GRAN TORO

One Hendrik Kelner Jr. of Smoking Jacket Cigars, via Halfwheel, announced that The Smoking Jacket Limited Edition II will be made a regular production offering upon the 2016 debuting cigar's 2018 IPCPR Trade-show return. A Toro thing, which sees a Dominican binder laid twixt DR, Nicaraguan, and Peruvian innards, & top-leaf o' DR Corojo -- will be presented in 10ct. boxes.

TATUAJE RESERVA SW SHORT

The Tatuaje Reserva SW Short, shipped this week. Friday last, Pete "Don't Call Me Dick" Johnson of Tatuaje was at Honolulu's Fujioka’s Wine Times for the big launch on the big island. The stick measures 4 3/4 x 47, a less lengthy version of the Tatuaje Reserva SW blend. That blend checks in at a Habano Rosado Claro wrapper over-to Nicaraguan binder & filler. They're being rolled outta El Rey de los Habanos in Miami, 'Murica. #MAGA

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Fifty-Four Kaplowitz Radio

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Weekly Recapitulation Vol. L


BLOG POSTS

Cigar News Weekly Report
La Flor Dominicana (LFD) Suave
Gran Habano Cigars Persian King
Cain Daytona by Oliva
Kaplowitz Radio Cigar News Powered by Stogie Press

PODCASTS

Stick Men: Episode Nineteen
"Fifty-Four" Kaplowitz Radio

VIDEO

Cu-Avana Punisher: Stick Men Review

Read last week's Recapitulation HERE.

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Keep me GROWING.
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s/o to K/M sponsors:
Illusione Cigars: for your cigar comfort. www.IllusioneCigars.com
Caldwell Cigars: creation | innovation | ambition. www.CaldwellCigars.com

Fridays are for Stick Men. Sorry.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Cain Daytona by Oliva Cigars in Robusto - Cigar Review by Kaplowitz


"The Cain Daytona is the fourth blend in the Cain brand under the Oliva Family of Cigars. The three previous blends (Habano, Maduro, and F) had garnered a reputation for being some pretty stout cigars. The Cain Daytona can be summarized as an amp’d down version of a Cain. The following came from the Studio Tobac web-site: The CAIN DAYTONA is a medium bodied offering blended using only Jalapa Ligeros. Jalapa Valley is Nicaragua’s northern most tobacco area. It is well known for producing the country’s most medium and smooth fillers. CAIN DAYTONA takes its flavor profile from this distinct area. The DAYTONA offers a solid medium taste with an abundance of natural smoothness. The result, a creamy cigar with true Nicaraguan taste." - Cigar Coop

Ah, but lettuce begin...

Overtones are sweet milk chocolate with a caramel addition riding tandem ahead of a spiced clove & black/red peppers pepper-spice. All notes are cleanly toasted. Undertones are a jerky sinewy savoriness with orange pith sour lilt. Bright and also a tick dusty. Salted bitternesses of a flexing java ebb & flow hither & thither. Untraditionally and complicatedly balanced (perchance needlessly-so and cluttered on account o' that). Rather complex though lacking in a certain amount of depth. Too untethered and spastic for my taste. Medium.

I tasted whimsy. I fucking hate whimsy.

No bite but neither is it smooth, per se. You know when you shave yer balls every other week instead of every week? That, you lazy schlub. The texture of smoke is soft to a point, then hits a rigid bottom. Just shy of rich, partially due to a short finish which ends exceptionally clean. Cool-as-cuke temp'd. Medium-bodied, as well as medium strength'd.

Combustion is a nicely & evenly paced thing on a mainly straight char. Quite a tight build of burnt-offerings. Excellent out-put of smoky-smoke both active and passive. (Off the pull and in the tray.)
Construction offers a singular Chinese-American in its armor, via a bit of a snug draw. no complaints other than that. Tight even roll sans hard/soft spots and stays cool to the well-formed nub.

WRAPPER: Nicaraguan Habano
BINDER: Nicaraguan
FILLER: Nicaraguan

STRENGTH: Medium
FORMAT: Robusto "550"
ORIGIN: Nicaragua

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

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"54" Kaplowitz Radio

Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Gran Habano Cigars Persian King in Toro (Rajah) - Cigar Review by Kaplowitz

Have you Kaplowitz'd to-day?

Gran Habano Persian King -- 
from the co. site: "The unbanded Persian King, available in both Tiger and Rajah, is a complex cigar with a creamy smooth finish. A unique blend of Nicaraguan fillers, finished with Nicaraguan Habano wrapper and Nicaraguan binder."

Full disclosure: Gran Habano is a sponsor of K/M.
Lettuce get to it then, Gentlepersons:

Bright overtones, of a sweet boon via cream and milk chocolate ride tandem w/ lemon zest and weak-brewed coffee sour notes. Undertones are in the way-down and feature a spiciness of buttery white pepper, muted clove, and herbal bits. Some softwoods & suede trigger savoriness lightly. All are delicately toasted. Somewhat lacking in bitter entrants, although the coffee note strengthens to tickle that realm at the half. 

While this Persian King's profile sees sour notes take the lead, they're always softly and sweetly presented and never acidic or chemical leaning. Attainably complex, yet complex nonetheless, with a plethora of nuances in a surprising depth for such a bright blend. Well balanced but in such a way as to very much highlight some notes over others. Let's say simply & purposefully so. Medium height flavors and quite richly-so.

The body of this offering is its true statement. Very long-legged finish. A dash of salt clings to my smoke-hole which is other-wise saturated with sweet lemon cream. Supremely smooth and fully rich. Cool temp'd from gate-to-wire. Ends almost refreshingly clean. Medium-Full here. Strength is a medium.

Combustion & construction? Glad ya asked. Burns off a wobble nigh curve which threatens some in 1/3. Evens-out thereafter but never quite perfectly-so. Excellent smoky-smoke both passively and actively. Nice pacing. Ash build tight an dark, makes an inch easily. Seams and cap/shoulder hold firm and the whole thing is sans hard/soft spots throughout. Great smooth draw with no real tension lest what keeps it from being too open... medium, then. There is a cosmetic only cracking of top-leaf by where the band would be, but that gets smoked through as easily as the crack at a Whitney Houston shindig. 

WRAPPER: Nicaraguan
BINDER: Nicaraguan
FILLER: Nicaraguan

STRENGTH: Medium-Full (sneaky)
FORMAT: Toro (Rajah) Closed-Foot (of lighter shade)
ORIGIN: G.R. Tabacaleras Unidas, S.A., Honduras

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

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"54"Kaplowitz Radio

Tuesday, May 08, 2018

La Flor Dominicana (LFD) Suave in Toro "Maximo" - Cigar Review by Kaplowitz


"When you think of La Flor Dominicana, you might think of a ligero laden smoke with plenty of power to go around. However, that’s not the case with the LFD Suave. It’s a more mellow option for those of us who want to enjoy all the qualities of the brand, but not the strength." - Cigar Advisor

La Flor Dominicana (LFD) Suave
[this cigar review is all (mainly) thumbs. Sorry.]

THUMBS UP
  • A Connecticut with a decent set of balls (in 1st-half). 
  • Sour/Sweet overtones toast nicely.
  • Pepper-spice undertones roast nicely*
  • Fairly complex (muted) for a milder fare.
  • Good depth of notes/nuances.
  • Smooth but not dull or wimpy.
  • Rich & soft
  • RICO SUAVE!!!
  • Decent legs on sweet finish**
  • Cool of temp from gate-to-wire.
  • Tightly-built ash makes a strong inch.
  • No hard/soft spots.
  • Tight seams.
THUMBS DOWN
  • A Connecticut with balls pulled into its guts (in 2nd-half).
  • Notes are bright to the point of being tangy.
  • *although lacking in bitter/savory backings.
  • Not overly balanced.
  • Retro-hale brings on acidity.
  • **Ends with acidic lilt twixt draws.
  • Quite grassy in second-half.
  • Draw is a tick swampy & hesitant.
  • Bit of a wavy burn.
#FOODIE
  • Pepper-spice: white pepper & ginger
  • Cream, sweet-toasted
  • Wood (pine)
  • Coffee, weak brew
  • Grains (white bread)
  • Herbal (chamomile)
  • Grass
  • Hay
  • Dirt
WRAPPER: Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade
BINDER: Dominican
FILLER: Dominican

STRENGTH: Mild-Medium
FORMAT: Toro "Maximo"
ORIGIN: Dominican Republic

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

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"Fifty-Four" Kaplowitz Radio

Monday, May 07, 2018

"Fifty-Four" Kaplowitz Radio

54KR


This one is something special, but ain't they all? Ain't you Gentlepersons all?

I smoked/reviewed a Flor de Gonzalez (FDG) 20th Anniversario Natural in Toro and spoke too, of: 
  • I think my ribs are broke. 
  • Powered by Stogie Press? 
  • My fence is broke too. 
  • Fluffy Pancakes. #TeamFluffyPancakes 
  • Punk aesthetics.
  • May the 4th and Revenge of the Fifth.
Wow. 

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This episode was brought to you by:
www.CaldwellCigars.com
www.IllusioneCigars.com

s/o Havana59 Cigar Distributors 330.524.8660

Sunday, May 06, 2018

Cigar News Weekly Report: Liga Privada, Rocky Patel, Nomad, & EP Carrillo

"All the news that's fit to poach."

LIGA PRIVADA NO. 9 CORONA VIVA

Drew Estate (sponsor o' mines) earlier this week announced their famed Liga Privada No. 9 line will now have a NEW vitola: Corona Viva. The first DELP9CV is the first addition to that core line since its 2008 inception. It is exclusive to the Cigars International Super-Store in Hamburg, Pennsylvania, for their 15th CIGARfest shindig.

In keeping with its Corona Viva Undercrown kin, this No. 9 is said to have an upped dosage of Ligero in its blend. This to 'natch offer more oomph. Further as to the blend, a plantation-grown Brazilian Mata Fina binder is laid twixt Nicaraguan & Honduran guts and Connecticut River Valley Broadleaf Oscuro top-leaf.

ROCKY PATEL SUN GROWN MADURO DESOCIO

The Rocky Patel Sun Grown Maduro is set to be the latest entry into the DeSocio series of cigars made for Alliance, a New York-based distributor. The name is an and in homage to Alliance founder Tom Sullivan’s grandfather. DeSocio. Ayyy, that's-a-nice! Fugetabowtit! & finally, BAD-a-BING!!!

This Corona Gorda offering will schmooze alongside the other series participants of: Alec Bradley Tempus, Flor de las Antillas, Oliva Serie V Melanio, Alec Bradley Prensado, Aging Room Quattro F55, Laranja Reserva, & Herrera Esteli. The RP SGM is a cigar I cling to as the brand itself becomes more Gurkha than Gurkha by the day.

NOMAD SIGNATURE SERIES

Right on time, two years after it was announced, comes the coming of the Nomad Signature Series. The four-format (fourmat?) line will be shown at the 2018 IPCPR trade-show. Ah, fuck. My first IPCPR trade-show mention. Someone put on a pot of Diet Pepsi for me.

The smokes are rolled at James Brown's (Black Label Trading Co.) Fabrica Oveja Negra Nicaraguan factory. Featured by thems shall be an Ecuadorian Maduro wrapper over same country binder and Nica fillers. The Nomad Signature Series fourmat is: Corona Gordo, Robusto, Shorty (4 x 54), & Toro.

EP CARRILLO TAA

E.P. Carrillo has, for their very-first time, crafted a Tobacconist’ Association of America (TAA) exclusive cigar. The company debuted the apt moniker'd E.P. Carrillo TAA Exclusive 2018 at the again apt moniker'd 2018 meet-up. It is delivered in a Toro format which sees a Connecticut Habano wrapper over-top Nicaraguan guts.

The production of this offering is limited to 2K boxes of 10 cigars apiece. Shipping happens in June.

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53 Kaplowitz Radio

Saturday, May 05, 2018

Weekly Recapitulation Vol. XLIX


BLOG POSTS

Cigar News Weekly Report
Tatuaje Tattoo
La Palina Nicaragua Oscuro
Bonus Content Reposted (audio)

PODCASTS

"Fifty-Three" Kaplowitz Radio
Stick Men: Episode Eighteen
LIVE on Location w/ Ernesto Perez Carrillo

read: LAST WEEK'S RECAPITULATION.

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& join the Kaplowitz Media Group HERE

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Keep me GROWING.
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s/o to K/M sponsors:
Illusione Cigars: for your cigar comfort. www.IllusioneCigars.com
Caldwell Cigars: creation | innovation | ambition. www.CaldwellCigars.com

Friday, May 04, 2018

EXTRA EDITION Kaplowitz Media: LIVE on Location w/ Ernesto Perez Carrillo


Intrepid K/M field reporter and perennial No-Prize recipient, Mike Weinstein, got a few minutes to talk to E.P. Carrillo about his new Encore offering. This at an event in Summit New Jersey's Florez Tobacconist. That's right Gentlepersons we are bi-coastal. Which of course means we'll gladly have sex with both the left & right coasts. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Get used to it.

I'll shut up now. You listen now.

BIG thanks to both Mike & Ernesto for the time.

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(Win 'nuff & I'll put you to work, apparently.)

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Thursday, May 03, 2018

Bonus Content Reposted: Victor Sinclair, Don Pepin, Montecristo, Ohana - Cigar Reviews (Audio)

Victor Sinclair Connecticut Yankee in Churchill - Cigar Review


Don Pepin Garcia Serie JJ in Robusto "Selectos" - Cigar Review


Montecristo White Series in Churchill - Cigar Review Redux


Ohana Pulse - Cigar Review


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Wednesday, May 02, 2018

La Palina Nicaragua Oscuro in Robusto - Cigar Review by Kaplowitz

Ten Things About
La Palina Nicaragua Oscuro
  1. Overtones of a rather simplistic bitter/sweet note.
  2. Undertones are a bit more nuanced, in the form of a spiced savoriness.  
  3. Top to bottom, a rather dark bunch of flavor notes.
  4. Toasted top-notes, smoky nethers. Smoky Nethers was a Blues singer.
  5. Hits the palate immediately rigid softens a tick into a creamy body.
  6. A bit coarse on the draw, but smooths into the finish. Smokes a bit warm.
  7. Finish is a sweet/bitter flip of overtone extension. Ends w/ astringent lilt.
  8. The only complexities are in the undertones, but there ain't a lot.
  9. Burns on a wavy line off a fast pacing. Ash is built well & dark.
  10. Roll offers an excellent draw; does suffer some soft-spots.
WRAPPER: Ecuadorian Oscuro
BINDER: Nicaraguan
FILLER: Nicaraguan

STRENGTH: Medium-Full
FORMAT: Robusto
ORIGIN: Tabacalera AJ Fernandez Cigars de Nicaragua S.A.

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

PRESS:
"Called La Palina Nicaragua Oscuro and La Palina Nicaragua Connecticut, the two new lines are rolled at the A.J. Fernandez Cigars de Nicaragua factory, located in Estelí. Sam Phillips, co-president of La Palina, explained why the company chose to work with Fernandez:

'Our relationship with A.J. Fernandez goes a bit deeper than the usual manufacturing agreement,' Phillips told Cigar Aficionado. '[Clay Roberts, co-president and chief operating officer of La Palina] was the vice president of A.J. Fernandez Cigars for several years, while I have been a personal friend of A.J.’s for a long time. A.J. has a true passion for tobacco.'" Cigar Aficionado

"At the 2016 IPCPR Trade Show, La Palina Cigars introduced the La Palina Nicaragua line. As the name indicates, it is a line being produced in Nicaragua. When Bill Paley first resurrected the La Palina brand back in 2010, he went to the Graycliff factory in the Bahamas to produce his first line, the La Palina Family Series. As his portfolio grew, Paley started contracting with many leading factories in the cigar industry and La Palina lines would come out of Honduras, the Dominican Republic, and the United States. By 2015, the one major cigar producing country that La Palina was not in was Nicaragua. It appeared that would change La Palina was negotiationg [sic] with Hirochi Robaina and the La Corona factory, however that partnership would never come to be. By 2016, AJ Fernandez’s Tabacalera Fernandez would become the Nicaraguan factory to produce a La Palina line. The result was two blends: the La Palina Nicaragua Oscuro and La Palina’s first Connecticut Shade cigar, the La Palina Nicaragua Connecticut." Cigar Coop

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Tuesday, May 01, 2018

Tatuaje Tattoo by Pete Johnson in Robusto "Caballero" - Cigar Review by Kaplowitz

Tatuaje Tattoo by Pete Johnson

WRAPPER: Ecuadorian Habano
BINDER: Nicaraguan
FILLER: Nicarguan

STRENGTH: Full
FORMAT: Robusto (Caballero)
ORIGIN: Tabacalera Cubana (TACUBA) Esteli, Nicaragua

KAPLOWITZ SCALE
[K=least, Z=most]
(primary note)

sweetness: W (dark chocolate & buckwheat honey)
sourness: P (tamarind)
saltiness: A (on hardwood note)
bitterness: I (espresso)
savoriness: W (smoked meat)
pungency: I (black & chili pepper)

complexity: W
balance: O
smoothness: O

KAPLOWITZ SCALE
[K=worst, Z=best]
(notes - good/bad)

construction: I (great draw/heats up in hand&mouf)
combustion: O (smokes slow/conical burn & uneven line)

SOME APT WORDS:
  • Purposeful
  • Rich
  • Rigid
  • Heavy
  • Toasted
  • Roasted
  • Dark
  • Warm
FINAL GRADE: B
A 90-100 B 80-89 C 70-79 D 60-69 F 0-59

PRESS:
"The Tatuaje Tattoo initially started out as a limited edition [2011] release with the intention of protecting the Tattoo trademark, with yearly releases planned. This didn’t seem to happen, with the next sighting of a Tatuaje Tattoo being in 2014 when this iteration was released with a new blend and as a regular production cigar." Halfwheel

"While Tatuaje Cigars are made by My Father Cigars, this particular cigar is made at Tabacalera Cubana (TACUBA) in Esteli, Nicaragua. TACUBA is a factory owned by the Garcia family. It was opened when the Garcias expanded its operation out of El Rey de los Habanos in Little Havana, but before the construction of the My Father Cigars S.A. factory. TACUBA is still used by the Garcia family today." Cigar Coop

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