Deep in flavor. Deep in your mind.

Monday, December 30, 2019

Gun Barrel Coffee Hooah in Review

"Have you Kaplowitz'd to-day?"

Gun Barrel Coffee
Hooah Medium Blend

ORIGIN: undisclosed
VARIETAL: undisclosed

PROCESS: undisclosed
ROAST: Medium
BREW METHOD: French Press

WEBSITE: gunbarrelcoffee.com

>>>

NOTES:
Sharp & rather superficial. Sits a tick cloudy in the cup w/ a dirty Merlot under-hue. Aroma is a muted though not dustily-so -- simply far-away thing. Ground pepper. There are a bit of the high/forward top-notes on the nose, as well. On the sipping too, natch. Those, namely, are tree bark & nutshell. Dry. Toasty. Not sharp in a cutting way, but in a very focused one. Strict.

Underneath that & added on a good slurp is a thin singed cocoa. Lots of linear earthiness crisply throughout. Very clean. Void of nuance & lacking in complexities. Rigid & unwavering. Not unkind, just limited. Balance is actually spot-on for what's displayed. Finish gets a bit watery. Needs more notes... even the primaries at times seem hollow. Not meh, but MEH. Bold, flat.

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

::: very :::

Friday, December 27, 2019

O.M Cigars Essential Blend No. 2 in Review

“Have you Kaplowitz’d to-day?”


O.M. Cigars
Essential Blend No. 2

WRAPPER: San Andres Maduro
BINDER: Dominican
FILLER: Undisclosed

FORMAT: Gordo (660)
ORIGIN: Dominican
STRENGTH: Medium-Full

WEBSITE: www.omcigars.com


NOTES:
Coffee. From dark roasted beans to an espresso cup via progression of smoke. Dark chocolate shavings, anise. Enveloped in a boa constrictor of barnyard & manure. Black pepper pungency. Spices are chili, cumin, cayenne. Undertones are of a savory lilt: mesquite wood, stiff leather, baked mixed berries, toasted orange pith (in&out). Soy sauce. 

Underbelly is shovelfuls of manure earthy umami with dark grain attachments. Finishes bittersweet crisply on short legs for all its dense heartiness. Smoke is heavy but smoothly well-rounded. Excellent balance of delivery. Complex & calmly-so. Darkly meditative. Sits like a meal in the gut. Rolled tight & stuffed full-full of tobacco.

Built like a brick shithouse. That said, seams do loosen a half-tick here & there. Draws friggin' beautifully. Moderate+ smoke out-put fails to give a lingering room-note. Aroma is sweet toasty top-soil. Meaty. A cigar a lot like a fat guy who's surprisingly light on his feet. At once jovial & sincere. [image of Jackie Gleason]

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


::: very :::

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Vero Espresso House in Review

"Have you Kaplowitz'd to-day?"


Vero Espresso House
205 E 14th Ave, Eugene, OR 97401

Painted sunshine yellow and covered by shaded trees, sits a craftsman style house with Victorian 'tea room' tack-ons mainly on its insides. Its outsides feature a nice deck & some tables along the other side complete w/ umbrellas. The walk up the stairs is wide and airy and once inside it becomes loud and snug. The counter is very much right fucking there boom. Bob's your uncle.

The workers are pleasant, a woman-aged female & a younger guy. The guy is busy bussing. The woman is pleasantly knowledgeable. She tells me they serve Stumptown's Hair Bender blend when I ask & order my doppio. To my relief, they both are mild and not annoyingly chipper or depressingly glum nor glib. Nice. Casually in charge.

Once inside fully & looking for a spot to squat amid my fellow patrons mostly at tables & chairs, I note the well-lit environs. The perfect amount of local art hangs on the walls... that being none. There's a big mirror I hesitate to walk past before the espresso hits. It's an upscale casual North Face and/or REI crowd [a crowded Sunday brunch crowd] relaxed, not unlaxed. Not artsy or edgy -- a nice meeting place for a nice crowd. Nice. Crowd(ed).
There's a staircase leading up to some reserved group seating. Near there and somewhat under that is the obligatory thrift store vintage couch. Back in the main area, did I mention loud? It's not aggressively-so, tho. A clamor of many maybe only mildly pretentious more-so mundane people, peopling over coffees & maybe some cafe grub which I took no note of. That main area is large, but also claustrophobic. Stoic wood seats.

In a far corner, a couple seems camped out homeschooling their kids. The dad looks like a jerk, the mom harried. A closer corner features a somewhat fidgety but mainly lovely old lady sewing circle. I imagine their hubbys all being dead & happily-so (Them not me). There's no music. A good call in an already loud setting. I take it as a yacht rock crowd. Are Hootie and the Blowfish of that genre?

The Hair Bender: Sneaky strong smoky acidity. Bittersweet forward with a neat nutty bracing. Quite pungent pepper up-top & salty in its nethers. An umami savoriness wets the back corners of my tongue on its finish. There's a Teriyaki sensation. Well brewed w/ an excellent lingering crema. Impressive but less than welcoming. The coffee & the place. I leave the last sip. Then leave.

I feel pressured by a growing line at the counter & the peopley setting. I find myself wanting to return at a quieter time, but the drink itself doesn't hold that same allure. An Indonesian cup without enough balancing thereof. It was all nice, just not by either quite let alone very.

::: very ::: 

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Regina Cigars Avus et Avia in Review

“Have you Kaplowitz’d to-day?"
Regina Cigars Avus et Avia

WRAPPER: Connecticut
BINDER: Undisclosed
FILLER: Undisclosed

FORMAT: Toro
ORIGIN: Nicaragua (AJ Fernandez)
STRENGTH: Medium

WEBSITE: www.reginacigars.com

>>>

NOTES:
Bright & rich with a surprisingly hard-hitting pepper out of the gate. It's a lemon pepper thing which dials back along the 1/3. Buttercream body and steering of profile. Citrus, an orange rind sidles in as the lemon pepper allows it; becomes a very lovely black pepper smooth tingle. Undertones are more cream, sunlit earth, white ginger, cocoa butter, & lightly roasted coffee. 

Underbelly is that bright earth & chicken coop. The structure is fantastic in this profile, particularly when a bracing cedar floods in at the start of the 2/3. Excellent delineations. Creaminess allows for just as excellent nuance. Complex & calmly-so. 

Well-orchestrated. The transition from pepper-bomb to creamy & almost all the way back again (3/3) is quite the ride. Mellow but never boring. Tatted lace, starched & hardened well. Ends cleanly after a moderately legged finish of sweet citrus.

Burns on an absolute razor-line which grows a thick oily silver sheath for as long as ya wish. Draws easily & evenly thru-out. Passive smoke out-put is average at best but on the tug, springs to life. Billowy clouds lay a sweet suede aroma across the room. A bit of dusty-tangy there. Smoke thru the nose stays peppery but never sharp, falls to the palate sweetly light. No hard/soft spots along shaft; no dings on seams or cap assemblage. 

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

::: very :::

Monday, December 23, 2019

Philz Coffee Tesora in Review

“Have you Kaplowitz’d to-day?”


Philz Coffee Tesora

ORIGIN: Undisclosed
VARIETAL: Undisclosed

PROCESS: Undisclosed
ROAST: Medium
BREW METHOD: Pour-over

WEBSITE: www.philzcoffee.com
NOTES:
Sits all shiny onyx in the cup & velvety smooth in the coffee-hole. Very clean, shy of crisp -- a pleasant acidity. All edges are curved. Smells of buttery toffee, blanched almonds. Sips to that and pale oily suede note. Bright well-packed earth, a summer-time hiking trail. A nice lingering finish of simple airy bittersweetness. Slurps add a tick of cocoa which lends complexity to earthiness. 1/2 bit of black pepper, a touch of anise. 

Could use greater structure. A particular focus. But doesn't hit broadly or flat, per se. Much. Drinks like the coffee at a diner which makes you choose one greasy spoon over another. Accessible, attainable, & pretty enough. This coffee is Jennifer Aniston. Not complex, somewhat nuanced, and all-around pleasant -- while offering nothing to complain about. Fantastic+ as an everyday cup; -lacking as a show-stopper. There seems attached a certain jaunty comfort. 

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




::: very :::

Friday, December 20, 2019

Regina Cigars Michael in Review

“Have you Kaplowitz’d to-day?”


Regina Cigars Michael

WRAPPER: Corojo
BINDER: Undisclosed
FILLER: Undisclosed

FORMAT: Toro (652)
ORIGIN: Honduras
STRENGTH: Medium

WEBSITE: www.reginacigars.com


NOTES:
Sunny-bright earthen notes painted in dusty/fusty citrus-y strokes. White pepper in a tick of creamy cushion. Soft w/ just the slightest smooth tingle. A bit dry. Undertones of toffee, coffee. chicken coop underbelly. A vague cocoa butter/vanilla extract comes at the 1/2 w/ an also vague then fleeting ginger accompaniment.

There is subtle complexity in the sweetly-spiced realm, & gentle nuances in its creamy citrus earthiness. Although ultimately, it's rather linear & one dimensional -- superficially at least. Kind & attainable; not a "wow" in the house. Tenderly approachable. Smokeablity is quite high.

Cap gets a bit spongy & peels a 1/4-tick but offers no hindrance to draw. Burns on an even-line. Ash is dry-flaky but not egregiously. Even the flaws here are un-excitable. Nothing transgresses nor impresses. The 3/3 has a bit of squish to it seen coming the previous third. Smoke out-put fluctuates. The culminating room-note is a bit drying... a suede-earth thing.

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

###

::: very :::

Thursday, December 19, 2019

NerdFuel Coffee Moonless Night in Review

“Have you Kaplowitz’d to-day?”


NerdFuel Coffee
Moonless Night

ORIGIN: Central & South American
VARIETAL: Arabica

PROCESS: Undisclosed
ROAST: Dark (French Roast)
BREW METHOD: French Press

WEBSITE: nerdfuel.com

>>>

NOTES:
In my dang house, you brew the FREEDOM roast coffee in a FREEDOM press. What you then get, I shall now relate. yw // Silky smooth & a tick starchy. Sits inky in the cup under a quickly dissipating bloom. Dark not dense; rather thinned watery around the rim. Decent sheen. Emilio not Charlie. (Sheen joke.) 

Leathery aroma, faintly. Minimal bouquet. Dusty, some. Sips to a bit of straw, a bit of "baggy." Sinewy savory peppery hardwood buried in earth melange, broadly. Slight cocoa. Roasty-toasty. Hint of licorice. Finish involves a bit of muted spice rack on oily leather. Slurps to the tune of more cocoa & starch.

Nicely smooth, as noted, but lacking in fullness/richness. Balanced but simply-so due to not having a lot of balls in the air. Not complex and (surprisingly) not nuanced for all its depth. What's left is a nice cup, tho. Good for a goes down easy day starter. If I had to guess, there is a bit of too much age on these pre-ground beans. Serviceable, yes. Spectacular, no. Drinkable as fuck, sure. Particularly while getting (other) shit done.

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

###


::: very :::

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Big Sky Cigars Bighorn in Review

“Have you Kaplowitz’d to-day?”


Big Sky Cigars Bighorn

WRAPPER: Maduro
BINDER: Nicaraguan
FILLER: Nicaraguan

FORMAT: Torpedo (652)
ORIGIN: Nicaragua
STRENGTH: Medium-Full

WEBSITE: www.bigskycigar.com

>>>

NOTES:
Big produce section peppers, jalapeno. Lots of brackish vegetal stuff back behind that. Grassy till the mid-point. Quite musty & sharp. Black pepper, almond extract. Middlings are a mocha melange and some fresh-cut hardwood. There are Doritos crumbs thru the retro-hale, then buckwheat honey. That's nice, but also rough-edged.

Underbelly is a simple compost, rather dryly. The support-strength of that stage tends to fluctuate. Finish is short-lived and tastes of the retro, a second high-spot altho it is fleeting. At the 1/2, red wine flows in big, then ebbs right out. Complex, albeit moderately at best and in a hectic manner. Notes fail to dig deep 'nuff to form nuances. Mainly wobbly imbalanced.

Erratic smoke out-put fluctuates 'tween bomb & whisp. Some draws are empty, hesitant. These bits add to its helter-skelter vibe. Ash does grow long & dense-silver. Much softening of pack up by cap occurs and the stick smokes quite warmly. Even burn-line. An elevator operator doesn't experience more ups & downs. To top it off, nicotine lifts off in the weeeeee! 3/3.

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

###


::: very :::

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Gun Barrel Coffee Little Rocket Man (LRM) Espresso Blend in Review

“Have you Kaplowitz’d to-day?”


Gun Barrel Coffee
Little Rocket Man
LRM Espresso Blend

ORIGIN: Vietnam
VARIETAL: undisclosed

PROCESS: undisclosed
ROAST: Dark
BREW METHOD: Moka Pot

WEBSITE: gunbarrelcoffee.com

>>>

NOTES:
Rigid woods & peppercorns stir smooth clarified butter and leathery oils. Eyeballs crisply onyx in the cup, with a deep brick reddish rim. Smells of mesquite wood, caramelized sugar, anise. Deep dark rich delineated. Complex. Oils build in the cup & coffee-hole as the brew cools, opens. Smells transfer to top-notes with a smooth smokiness. 

Full-bodied and yet refrained 'nuff to allow some brilliant focus on each & every note... and while there ain't a lot of those -- there's an awful lot to see of each. Nuanced, then. Dark chocolate shavings come in on the slurping. A black peppercorn, particularly on the long bitter-grainy peanuty (robusta?) finish. There's a neat balancing sweetness there, inherent in the underlining top-soil earthiness which envelopes the profile. Some black walnut. 

Scratch what I said re: not a lot of notes. This is a pour that needs time to bloom. Well-rounded & excellently balanced. A superb cup of joe which is just that --- joe. Familiar. A traditional sorta blend, rendered near sublimely well. Sits meaty in the gut, all meal-ish, more-ish, and marvel-ous. I'm a critic, so I'll note a tick of sharpness in the back of the throat. I'm also a dick, so I'll end on that note.

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

###

Monday, December 16, 2019

Cavalier Geneve Cigars Black II in Review

“Have you Kaplowitz’d to-day?”


Cavalier Geneve
Black II

WRAPPER: Mexican San Andres
BINDER: Nicaraguan
FILLER: Nicaraguan

FORMAT: Robusto box-press
ORIGIN: San Judas Tadeo, Honduras
STRENGTH: Medium/Medium-Full

WEBSITE: www.cavalier-cigars.com

>>>

NOTES:
Mesquite wood, baking spice, barnyard. Top to bottom, that. Anise & dark chocolate shavings fill in the middlings. Black pepper smoothly joins the top alongside city roast coffee beans. Underneath sees a lilt of mintiness refreshingly injected into the barnyard, some topsoil, too. Baking spice sorta struggles to hold its own & mutes some, particularly in the 2/3. Check out the cold draw -- it's bananas! (No, really.)

Stiffly delineated by heavy bracing/backing hard notes. That said, it's rich & lush, as well, tween those structure supports... almost to that spicy delineation detriment. Some heavy roasted vegetal over leather savoriness flows in at lip-smacking mid-point. Finishes more than cleanly -- crisply. Quite complex peppery/earth & anise/minty play. A bit less than moderately nuanced, however. 

Burns on an even line gate-to-wire. There is a rounding of the soft-press about 1/4" off char. Ash grows into a firm mainly silver sheath. The draw is superb. Excellent construction & very good combustion. Nice smoke out-put fills the room-note with sweet woodsy spices. All told a dark easy inherently sweet smoky & mature treat. Much like myself.

PS: unlike in the White Series, here the gold leaf imparts a metallic note as it's smoked-thru. Particularly on the retro-hale.

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

###


::: very :::

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Notes on Notes "Pepper: Flavor or Body?" pt. 2

"Have you Kaplowitz'd to-day?"


Notes on Notes "Pepper: Flavor or Body?" pt. 1 https://bit.ly/2RPS5YM

In part one, I covered "dried crushed ground peppers." Herein, we'll delve into what I call the produce section peppers. You know... peppers not "dried crushed ground." Think bell, banana, jalapeno, habanero. Because that's fairly the list & gist of what you'll find in the context of our (cigar, coffee, beer) confines. Now read a bit about each, noting first that a put them in spicy order. yw & thx

>>>

BELL PEPPERS

Bell Peppers are 94% water. You might not readily associate that with the multi-colored thing (and no, the color doesn't change the flavor). Maybe you'll more readily associate with them, their waxy exterior. Water & wax... these are the influences on body you'll experience. Flavor-wise, they tend to exhibit via a crisp herbaceous half-kick. Spitty... waxy... look for bell pepper to clean the palate. Used well, it prevents a sweet thing from being cloyingly-so. Too much, however, and it can abort any nuance. These peppers are at times used in the manufacture of paprika --- so when delivered dryly, look for that.

BANANA PEPPERS

Banana peppers are rare to see. I can think of a cigar which shows this note nigh predominantly. However, I won't name it (not a sponsor). I'd say it most prevalent (also for some reason seldom noted) in west coast IPAs. Those are beers. Think here bell peppers but tangy. Sweet if ripened well. They're yellow (banana) when young and darken to green, red, or orange as they ripen. They are made of only 2% or-so less water than bell peppers but show as substantially drier due to their tanginess; particularly when a sourness infiltrates tanginess & leads tartly. 

Now we get to the peppers which should be served w/ Tums... 

JALAPENO PEPPERS

Jalapeno peppers reach 3,500 to 3,600 Scoville heat units. To orient you in that particular unit of measure, 3,500 to 3,600 Scoville heat units is/are where jalapeno peppers reside. Fantastic. They're almost always consumed green, altho if allowed to ripen, they go the banana pepper color route. I mention this because as "green" they retain, to my palate, a significant herbal even grassy quality. In cigars, they tend to have a smoky attachment (perhaps appearing as chipotles). In rare cases, you'll find them in coffees -- particularly Vietnamese origin beans -- where they'll flex their 92% water make-up. Read: they thin out coffee and sharpen finish. If you taste this pepper in your beer, spill it out and/or get yer head checked, you friggin' wacko.

HABANERO PEPPERS

The habanero is most commonly orange or red. This hot chili pepper varietal registers 100,000–350,000. A true spicy meatball. But oft-seen (but rarely seen) with an inherent sweet earthiness. I can't say as I've found this note anywhere outside of cigars & cannot recall the last time that I did. Perhaps the Cu-Avana Punisher (not a sponsor). I only mention the name to also mention the probability that this note doesn't naturally appear in that most likely infused cigar. There seems to be some discrepancy as to if it is infused or not, is what I'm saying. 

To wrap it up, produce section peppers are, imho, the hardest note to display properly in a blend. They must be boldly balanced by bittersweet tidings, lest they fuckscrew the whole dang profile. This has less to do w/ their spiciness than their often raw sometimes wet vegetal nature. Delineation must be created via rigid bracings of hardwood, coffee beans, or nutshells.  These peppers cannot be allowed to stray. I do not know how to wrap up this installment of "Notes on Notes." Here's something, whereas "dried crushed ground peppers" show more on body than flavor, these guys: vice-versa. thx

###

For an index of these "Notes on Notes" entries, go HERE.

If you don't appreciate this "Notes on Notes" series, please blame its sponsor, the Dapper Cigar Co. You can contact them at dappercigars.com

Friday, December 13, 2019

Session Premium Lager by Full Sail Brewing Co. in Review

“Have you Kaplowitz’d to-day?”


Full Sail Brewing Co.
Session Premium Lager

STYLE: Lager
SERVED: 12oz can

ABV: 5.1%
IBU: 18

WEBSITE: fullsailbrewing.com/session


NOTES:
Big (almost 2 fingers) frothy head which hangs around loosely rocky for a moderate stay. Palest of khaki complexion. Laces the glass quite nicely. Beer itself is golden crisp clear with a quite slight amount of carbonation. Appears a bit creamy. Malt-forward sweetness on the nose. Caramel, maybe toffee, a tick bready white toast. Herbaceous underpinnings. Clean.

Curiously boozy undertones for 5.1% adhere to the finish. Over that fleeting bit is/are roasty-toasty malts & a thin but definite cornbread vibe. Hops a bit more than barely come through the thickness but do impart a lemony sweet floral lilt. There also is a slight tick of a white pepper hardwood present immediately after gulp. The rest of finish is cereal grain sweet with a nice brightness which mixes oddly with a nigh cloying experience. (Crispness on onset flattens some.)

One man's mellow is another man's bland. My favorite cookies are the ones that come in the tin sewing kit cans. Really. #TeamBland. From the view of my own reality tunnel, I like this beer a lot. It could use more carbonation to lend focus to the somewhat flat body -- I will say that -- shit, I'll even type it. A good-to-fine everyday fridge stuffer of a brew. My fridge, to be exact.

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

###


::: very :::

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Regina Cigars Trinitas in Review

"Have you Kaplowitz’d to-day?”


Regina Cigars
Honduran Collection
Trinitas

WRAPPER: Sumatra Exclusivo
BINDER: Undisclosed
FILLER: Undisclosed

FORMAT: Toro (closed-foot pig-tail cap)
ORIGIN: Honduran (Oscar Valladares blend)
STRENGTH: Medium-Full

WEBSITE: www.reginacigars.com

>>>

NOTES:
Robust earthen core w/slight then not-so-slight flinty minerality. Inherent & diminishing via progression sweetness via driving cocoa. Black pepper (which is quite sharp thru the nose). Spices: clove, nutmeg, anise seeds. The core is all there is, in a way. It permeates the landscape, making all the notated notes aspects of it. That stated, there's really not a way to orient oneself here via top/under-notes.

... & if that core bit sounds terrible to you -- you are wrong. If you don't get what I mean -- I can understand that. Dark chocolate enters in at the 1/2-way point, earth bit gets a savoriness. Compost, barnyard. Dense. Yet also ends cleanly after long sweet tilled soil legs. Mouth-feel is a tick gruff, but I abraded my palate w/ a frozen pizza last night. Hand-feel is notably smooth. Dark grains fold into the 3/3.

So. I'll say this is moderately complex. Also packs a nice zetz. Deep, deep, deeply nuanced. The final act is tinny metallic some. Weighty balance. Not spectacular, but dependable. Well built. Excellent draw. Long toothy ash. Moderate smoke out-put with a sharp earthy room-note. Zero hard/soft spots. "Heavy is good. Heavy is reliable." -- Boris the Blade [... "If it doesn't work, you can always hit 'em with it."] But I don't think the wrapper would hold. I taste gunpowder.


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

###


::: very :::

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Kaplowitz Radio Special: "Bean to Brew" w/ Ken Fletcher of Paper Tiger Coffee Roasters

"Have you Kaplowitz'd to-day?"


With an (attempted) focus on his Paper Tiger Coffee Roasters Risaralda Supremo Colombia, Ken Fletcher walks us from "Bean to Brew," step-by-step.

This special pop up podcast (like all bits of Kaplowitz Radio) is available on:
  • Spotify
  • Apple Podcasts
  • Google Podcasts
  • TuneIn
  • iHeartRadio
  • & more...
or press play below >>>


Also check out:

More from Kaplowitz Radio: https://bit.ly/38t4R57 
My Risaralda coffee review: https://bit.ly/2YFQpCv
Paper Tiger Coffee Roasters: papertigercoffee.com

::: very :::

O.M. Cigars Essential Blend No. 1 in Review

“Have you Kaplowitz’d to-day?”


O.M. Cigars 
Essential Blend No. 1

WRAPPER: Dominican Habano
BINDER: Dominican
FILLER: Dominican, Nicaraguan, Pennsylvanian

FORMAT: Gordo (660)
ORIGIN: Dominican Republic
STRENGTH: Mild-Medium

WEBSITE: www.omcigars.com

>>>

NOTES:
Crisp. Effervescent. Spiced sweetly. Consistent. Tangy mulling spices, a white pepper kicker. Cushioned thinly but well in cocoa butter. Undertones are a slight coconut, pale nuttiness, malty leather. Underbelly is a chicken coop & bright earth, laid out not far-under the top-notes. Lightly-toasted cereal grains.

Clean citrus finish; an orange twist w/ accompanying spices. Sweet but never-ever cloying. Thin not wimpy... sinewy. An excellent aperitif. Exceptionally balanced & mellow-smooth. Well-rounded, w/ neat zestiness. Not complex, but never boring -- a well-trained delivery. Goodly nuanced for all its dancing bits. 

Razor-sharp burn-line grows thick-sheathed silver ash to a dense couple inches at a time. Very firmly-rolled. Excellent draw, smooth & even w/ just the slightest tick of resistance. Seams & cap are tight as a sexy tiger. Nice smoky-smoke out-put of a subtle brightly luxuriant spiced leather aroma w/ slight fusty attachment.

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

###


::: very :::

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Cavalier Geneve Cigars White Series in Review

“Have you Kaplowitz’d to-day?”


Cavalier Geneve
White Series

WRAPPER: Habano
BINDER: Honduran
FILLER: Dominican, Honduran, Paraguayan

FORMAT: Diplomate 5.5x56
ORIGIN: Danli, Honduras
STRENGTH: Light-Medium

WEBSITE: www.cavalier-cigars.com

>>>

NOTES:
50 [ok, five] shades of honey. Rico Suave. I do-so have a European palate. [acacia, apple blossom, blueberry, carob seed, orange blossom] This melange swirls thru top notes & undertones. In the top, its met w/ a buttery pale spice steered by white ginger. Also a cocoa butter & salted caramel. Smooth white peppery suede braces all this over independent bits of honey steerings: apple, berry, carob, orange rind.

Underbelly is bright earth... sunlit terra cotta, chicken coop. This wraps around to envelop the profile, connecting to top-notes where butter mingles with a rising suede. Whoa. Nuanced sans needing heavy dark notes. Luscious. Well-rounded. Supremely balanced. 

A selling point is the aroma... a sweet leathery earthen thing with a wildflower lilt. Tons of voluminous smoky-smoke keep the room-note very present & kindly-so. Speaking of nose & of wildflower -- that's there on a retro-hale, as is an enhanced still gentlepersonly pepper-spice.

The lone ding is a slightly wayward wavy but always self-correcting burn. Draw is excellent. Cap & seam assemblage hold admirably. Ash is a tick dry (a 1/2-ding). I taste graham starting in the 2/3. The gold-leaf diamond burns differently from the tobacco for it is not tobacco. No real issue there, & def no big surprise. I'd say its bang is well-worth the branding buck.

We know of crushable beers. Welcome to a crushable smoke. Easy-peasy & never boring. This cigar, "It's kind of my thing, you know..." (Goldmember reference)

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

###


::: very :::

Monday, December 09, 2019

Portola Coffee Roasters Ardi Sidama Ethiopia in Review

“Have you Kaplowitz’d to-day?”


Portola Coffee Roasters
Ardi Sidama Ethiopia

ORIGIN: Sidama, Ethiopia
VARIETAL: Ethiopian Heirloom

PROCESS: Dry/Natural
ROAST: Medium
BREW METHOD: Moka Pot

WEBSITE: portolacoffee.com


NOTES:
Mineral earthy aroma, tick brackish. Sits greezy dense matte in the cup, bit of a burgundy under-hue. Tastes of black peppery hardwood laid out & under a blackberry forward smorgasbord. Raspberry, strawberry behind that. Cocoa powder comes in on the slurp; stays to the finish. Meets the smorgasbord there on long lush legs. A sorta knock is the profile is narrow... compressed

... sits with its legs crossed high, not man-spread. Acidic vrrry brrry first but balanced well by woodsy cocoa bitterness & sweet earthiness. There's a neat spiciness, too... a thin and separate cayenne as the cup cools. Becomes somewhat black tea astringent. Quite fucking complex & deeply nuanced for all its acidic leanings. Full & well-rounded. Excellent focus & structure. Yum.

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

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::: very :::

Sunday, December 08, 2019

Micallef Cigars Herencia Habano in Review

“Have you Kaplowitz’d to-day?”


Micallef Cigars
Herencia Habano

WRAPPER: Nicaraguan Habano
BINDER: Ecuadorian Sumatra
FILLER: Nicaraguan, Honduran

FORMAT: 5.5x52 Torpedo box press
ORIGIN: Nicaragua
STRENGTH: Medium

WEBSITE: www.micallefcigars.com

>>>

NOTES:
Malty milky cocoa, dusty fusty mulling spice. Alfalfa & avocado honey varietals. Undertones to them overs: predominantly bright but cloudy tilled earthiness; some leathery bits. A trace of poultry. A graham cracker pie crust. Underbelly is more of the aforementioned middlings, tamped-down a tick harder & offering a nice platform in that manner -- a la a hiking trail. Some terra cotta.

Mulling spices could use some more delineation via a peppery bracing, maybe. A scant amount of red pepper flake waits till past the 1/2 to appear. Milk chocolate has a hard time not being engulfed by earthen notes, as does graham. Again, bracing/backing is lacking. Still a pleasantly smooth thing with a bit of tingle to its short natty 'baccy finish.

Flavors & body earn a B+. The plus gets taken away due to performance. No major woes, just nagging injuries. A nice enough draw. Too, a wavy burn & fugly non-building airy ash. Excellent smoke out-put, again on the other hand but back to the first, not a lot of room-note... a suede-lilted earthy thing. I get the feeling this blend could be an awful lot more.

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

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::: very :::