Deep in flavor. Deep in your mind.

Friday, May 31, 2019

How to Cleanse Your Palate Between Cigars | Cigar Smoking 101 w/ Kaplowitz

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How to Cleanse Your Palate | Cigar Smoking 101 w/ Kaplowitz.

Check out the series playlist: https://bit.ly/2Y0nLdM or click on "Cigar Smoking 101" at the end of this post. thx

###

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Top Five Cigars to Pair with a Morning Espresso | Cigar Report by Kaplowitz

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Trickier than it maybe seems on first blush, this. You see, the typical breakfast smoker enjoys a milder stick... but can that milder stick stand up to espresso? What to do, what to do...

RULES:
No milk, no sugar. Straight espresso. Not expresso. thx

>>>

THE LIST:
[Names are links to full review]
[Snippets are taken from said full review]
[Listed in no particular order]

Illusione Cigars Cigares Prive
Toasted overtones of rich bright sweetly sour notes braced by rigid bitter/pepper-spiced undertones which are somewhat darker. Salted savory roasted underbelly nethers.

MBombay Mora
Quite flavorful insofar as array of notes, delivered at a medium height. Body hits a smooth medium-full in a pungent and savory manner. This MBombay Mora gives just the zetz a' strength you need to have as a reminder that you're smoking... no more, no less.

Nestor Miranda Special Selection (2019)
(On the occasion of the espresso bein the pairing focus*)
Brightly nuanced. Tangy and warm. Overtones are citrus & cocoa butter on a light creaminess. Pepper-spice is white pepper with traces of red/cayenne near end-of-draw onto finish. Paprika & saffron. Cinnamon & turmeric.

Curivari Achilles Legendario Heroicos
Sweet & sour spices up-top over salted bitters, sans bite. Dusty-warm peppers. Rich and cleanly-so -- not heavy. Flavors are a medium+ as is the syrupy body. Strength kindly trails at a barely medium.

Rock-A-Feller Vintage Nicaraguan Habano
Undertones are a deeply toasted and seasoned hard and softwood array. Dried compost underbelly. A nice complexity through the nose of a floral honey addition. Delivery dries the palate a tick.

So, Gentlepersons -- on the joy of a cigar/espresso breakfast: Focus on a flavorful cigar, not a strong cigar. Mayhaps this will help: Defining Flavor, Body, & Strength in Cigars | Cigar Smoking 101 w/ Kaplowitz ((( link )))

* For equal pairing, a Cafe Americano would be devine-o. 

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Thursday, May 30, 2019

Caldwell Cigars The King is Dead | Cigar Review (Video) Redux by Kaplowitz

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Caldwell The King is Dead
WRAPPER: Dominican Negrito
BINDER: Dominican Corojo
FILLER: Dominican Corojo Ligero, Negrito, Habano Vuelta Abajo

FORMAT: Robusto (5.5x50) "Premier"
ORIGIN: Tabacalera Ventura, Dominican Republic
STRENGTH:

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

###

READING LIST:
Caldwell Cigar Co. Caldwell Collection The King is Dead - Cigar Review ((( link ))) 

Caldwell Cigars The King is Dead "Manzanita" - Cigar Redux Review by Kaplowitz ((( link )))

GO TO the Caldwell Cigar Co. site rn ((( link )))

Doumitt Gold Cigars Oro Rechoncho | Cigar Review by Kaplowitz

“Have you Kaplowitz’d to-day?”


Doumitt Oro Rechoncho
WRAPPER: Nicaraguan Corojo 99
BINDER: Nicaraguan
FILLER: Nicaraguan

FORMAT: 460
ORIGIN: Nicaragua
STRENGTH: Medium-Full

NOTES:
Heavy & dense. Natural 'baccy & toasted grains sit way up-top braced by a brawny yet gentlemanly black pepper. Some cayenne, some cinnamon/nutmeg red spice melange. Heighty af. Sweetness is the name of the top undertone game -- creamy milk chocolate, salted caramel, sugary tea.

Then a butterscotch/cedar clearly delineated complexity. Underbelly is golden dirt with touches of clay and chicken coop. I smell/taste a light floral note. A thickening via progression oily leather is laid out over-top them nethers. Deeply nuanced and almost as weighted complexities don't buckle under a brawny delivery. Really quite impressive, that. Finishes cleanly after sweetly-spiced legs.

Burn wobbles to the tune of a retouch every-other inch and the pace of the thing is fairly rapido. Smoke out-put is the smokiest of recent memory. Draw is just a half-tick tighter than wide open. Ash builds stoically-so and smoke-hole stays cool.

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

###

Sample Courtesy of Mt. Hood Cigars ((( link )))
[they DO take phone orders]

READING LIST:
About Doumitt Cigars ((( link )))

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Wednesday, May 29, 2019

On Wrapper Colors & Flavor, or Cigars: Palette & Palate | Cigar Smoking 101 w/ Kaplowitz

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On Wrapper Colors & Flavor, or Cigars: Palette & Palate | Cigar Smoking 101 w/Kaplowitz. A bit about wrapper colors and what they might mean.

This is a series of 101 cigar smoking tips. View the complete playlist: https://bit.ly/2Y0nLdM

Visit DAV Cigars ((( link )))

Guardian of the Farm by Aganorsa Leaf & Warped Cigars | Cigar Review (Video) Redux by Kaplowitz

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Guardian of the Farm
WRAPPER: Nicaraguan Corojo 99
BINDER: Nicaraguan
FILLER: Nicaraguan

FORMAT: 4.5x48 closed foot "Rambo"
ORIGIN: TABSA, Nicaraguan
STRENGTH: Medium-Full

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

###

READING LIST:
Guardian of the Farm by Aganorsa Leaf & Warped Cigars | Cigar Review by Kaplowitz ((( link )))

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

PDR Cigars 1878 Capa Oscuro | Cigar Review by Kaplowitz

“Have you Kaplowitz’d to-day?”


PDR 1878 Capa Oscuro
WRAPPER: Ecuadorian Sun Grown Oscuro
BINDER: Dominican Habano
FILLER: Dominican Criollo 98 & Dominican Corojo

FORMAT: Robusto (552) pig-tail cap, covered foot
ORIGIN: Dominican Republic
STRENGTH: Medium-Full

>>>

NOTES: Thin fluid notes of French roast coffee & Mr. Goodbar, braced/pushed ahead by a (subduing outta the gate)hot sauce. Those overtones have undertones of cola and licorice, also thinly. Lacks some nuance and roundness. Bit of a dark mineral note on the finish, which drops off the table quite quick.

Burns on the slightest of wobble which self-corrects & smooths after the 1/3. Ash grows fugly but firmly. Draw is nice if not a tick hollow on the occasional pull. Smokes slowly and gives off a spicy licorice room-note of a moderate passive/active smoke out-put.

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

###

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Monday, May 27, 2019

Doumitt Gold Cigars Oro Negro | Cigar Review by Kaplowitz

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Doumitt Oro Negro
WRAPPER: Mexican San Andres
BINDER: Nicaraguan
FILLER: Nicaraguan

FORMAT: ~Robusto (5.25x54)
ORIGIN: Tabacos Valle de Jalapa S.A., Nicaragua
STRENGTH: Full

>>>

NOTES: Brash & bold. Overtones are rigidly delivered espresso beans and charred hardwood. Black peppercorn singe. Undertones are an almost hidden dried compost/barnyard thing. Occasional leathery bits ebb&flow hither&thither stiffly-so. Second-half features a flame-broiled burger, charred, which stays & steers.

An extraordinarily purposeful profile, delivered on a thick line. Not complex, but not trying to be. For a ham-fisted thing, it does end quite clean after a bittersweet finish of long-length. There's a dark chocolate note found there.

Excellently built. Great draw. Very smoky off each end. Room-note is less than seductive, however, as some ashy alkaline bits hit the schnoz. If you want a strong cigar... if you scoff at refinement... and if you desire a cruise control burn. This is that, inexpensively.

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

###

Sample Courtesy of Mt. Hood Cigars ((( link ))) 

READING LIST:
About Doumitt Cigars ((( link )))

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Sunday, May 26, 2019

Jas Sum Kral (JSK) Toothpick 2.0 Maduro | Cigar Review by Kaplowitz

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Jas Sum Kral (JSK) Toothpick 2.0 Maduro
WRAPPER: Mexican San Andres Maduro
BINDER: ???
FILLER: ???

FORMAT: Robusto 550
ORIGIN:Tabacalera de Aragon S.A, Nicaragua
STRENGTH: Medium

NOTES: Sweetly spiced wood. Darkly-so >>> Molasses, black pepper, chili powder, charred oak. Pumpernickel is a high up undertone forefront. Then savory earth. Quite nice. ### Needless chevrons & hashtags aside,

"All said, the [Habano] Toothpick quite serviceably fills the company's bottom shelf, a la the Ventura Slaughterhouse, Illusione Cigars Cuchillos Cubanos ((( link ))), & Tatuaje Series P." is what I said of the Habano Toothpick iteration ((( link ))) 

This Maduro has a decent spot on any JSK shelf, a shelf that's no slouch of height -- for a simply enjoyable smokeable stick. Finish is sweet, clean, uncluttered. Flavors are simple but not boring. Nice.

The biggest thing here is performance. Absolutely sans complaint. Perfect draw, slow pace, hella ash. Cruise control, bay-bee!

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

###

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Saturday, May 25, 2019

Kaplowitz Media: Cigars of the Month (May 2019)

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"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 (again, 5/19) cigar offerings I humbly found to be worthy of A (- to +) review ratings.

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


###

Last month's Grade A smokes ((( link ))) All months? ((( link )))
Or, click on "Cigars of the Month" below this post.

Kaplowitz Media Weekly Recapitulation Volume C

"Have you Kaplowitz'd to-day?"


[post titles indexed below are links]

PRINT

Nate McIntyre, Miami Cigar & Company | Interview

Friday, May 24, 2019

On the Sizes & Shapes of Cigars | Cigar Smoking 101 w/ Kaplowitz

"Have you Kaplowitz'd to-day?"



On the Sizes & Shapes of Cigars | Cigar Smoking 101 w/ Kaplowitz.

Go ahead and stay tuned for more Cigar Smoking 101 w/ Kaplowitz. Here's the playlist ((( link ))) or, click on "Cigar Smoking 101" below this posting.

Also, visit DAV Cigars ((( link )))

###

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Nestor Miranda Cigars Special Selection (2019) | Cigar Review by Kaplowitz

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Nestor Miranda Special Selection
WRAPPER: Nicaraguan Habano
BINDER: Nicaraguan
FILLER: Nicaraguan

FORMAT: Robusto
ORIGIN: My Father Cigars S.A., Nicaragua.
STRENGTH: Medium

NOTES: Brightly nuanced. Tangy and warm. Overtones are citrus & cocoa butter on a light creaminess. Pepper-spice is white pepper with traces of red/cayenne near end-of-draw onto finish. Paprika & saffron. Cinnamon & turmeric.

Undertones are cedar, butterscotch -- further down is a nutty/fruity coriander in a clay earthiness. Finish gets a salty addition to overtones and top-unders and is quite long yet clean. My one knock is the balance could have been aided by a tick of savoriness.

Slow burning and packed with a seemingly lot of 'baccy, though not too firmly. No hard/soft spots. Line itself is even-steven & from it grows very well-stacked ash. Draw offers a proper amount of resistance smoothly throughout. Very smoky both passive & active, culminating in a sweetly spiced tobacco-forward room-note.

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

READING LIST:
NESTOR MIRANDA SPECIAL SELECTION RETURNING ((( link ))) (2019, Halfweel, Charlie Minato)

Miami Cigar & Company Announces Return of Nestor Miranda Special Selecton[sic] ((( link ))) (2019, Cigar Authority, Barry Stein)


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Thursday, May 23, 2019

Burn Issues in Cigars: Identifying & Troubleshooting | Cigar Smoking 101 w/ Kaplowitz

"Have you Kaplowitz'd to-day?



Burn Issues in Cigars: Identifying & Troubleshooting | Cigar Smoking 101 w/ Kaplowitz. Go ahead and stay tuned for more Cigar Smoking 101 w/ Kaplowitz. Here's the playlist ((( link ))) or click "Cigar Smoking 101 beneath this post.


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Jas Sum Kral (JSK) Cigars Kralot | Cigar Review by Kaplowitz

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JSK Kralot
WRAPPER: Mexican San Andres
BINDER: Nicaraguan Ometepe & Somoto
FILLER: Nicaraguan Condega, Estelí, Jalapa

FORMAT: 750 "Super Robusto"
ORIGIN: Nicaragua Tabacalera de Aragon S.A.
STRENGTH: Medium

NOTES: Predominately earthen notes, top to bottom. Compost, barnyard. Black pepper. A savory leather, beef jerky. Espresso. Babka. All notes ebb & flow within that earthiness. Smoky, liquidy delivery. Not complex, somewhat nuanced. An attainable and smooth easy smoke.

Burns slow and even & builds solid oily ash. Some slight soft spots along the shaft. Draw is cumbersome and a tick too firm. Very smoky both passively & actively, altho that draw delivers thinly to smoke-hole. Room-note is slighter than expected mainly culminated in a dark sweetness.

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

READING LIST:
Jas Sum Kral (JSK) Cigars Kralot | Cigar (Video) Preview by Kaplowitz ((( link )))


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Wednesday, May 22, 2019

How to Unplug Plugged Cigars | Cigar Smoking 101 w/ Kaplowitz

"Have you Kaplowitz'd to-day?"



How to Unplug Plugged Cigars | Cigar Smoking 101 w/ Kaplowitz.
Go ahead and stay tuned for more Cigar Smoking 101 w/ Kaplowitz.

Here's the playlist ((( link )))

###

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PDR Cigars Flores y Rodriguez Connecticut Valley Reserve Figurado | Cigar Review by Kaplowitz

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PDR FyR CVR
WRAPPER: Connecticut Broadleaf
BINDER:  Ecuadorian, Nicaraguan
FILLER: Dominican Corojo, Nicaragua Criollo

FORMAT: 6.5x52 Figurado
ORIGIN: PDR Cigars, Dominican Republic
STRENGTH: Med. Full

NOTES: Earth. Dark, fertilized, rich. Earth. Let's call it barnyard. Some slight attachments of tropical floral & fruit bits. Let's call them hibiscus & papaya. Stiff leather & black pepper brace, but there's not a lot to brace against. Very little in the form of undertones unless you take the aforementioned attachments as such. Straight-forward though not unpleasant, just no "wow" factor. At the mid-point, a French roast cuppa gets added, then some cream, to fill out the profile a tick more fully.

Performance begins roughly with a bulging binder cracking the wrapper of the opening 1/2 of the 1/3. Thankfully this crack gets smoked through as fast as the crack at a Whitney Houston party in the late 1990s. The char-line eventually evens on its own at a moderate+ rate of speed. All along, though, the top-leaf seems to fit less than snuggly around the stick. Ash builds loosely but makes an inch of growth at most times. The smooth even draw is a highlight of the construction, & copious cumulus clouds are that of the burn. The resulting room-note shows an anise lilt not seen on the draw.

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

Stock photo.

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Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Illusione Cigars OneOff in Corona | Cigar Review (Video) Redux by Kaplowitz

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Illusione OneOff Corona
WRAPPER: Nicaraguan
BINDER: Nicaraguan
FILLER: Nicaraguan

FORMAT: Corona
ORIGIN: Tabacos Valle de Jalapa S.A. Nicaragua
STRENGTH: Medium

READING LIST: 
Illusione Cigars OneOff in Corona | Cigar Review by Kaplowitz ((( link )))

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


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Monday, May 20, 2019

Who, What, When, Where, Why? | Gary Korb, Cigar Advisor / Famous Smoke | Interview by Kaplowitz

"Have you Kaplowitz'd to-day?"


Who has mentored you and who have you mentored?
When learning about writing for direct marketing, I was mentored by one of the advertising world’s leading direct marketing writers, the late Sol Blumenfeld. However, my current employer, Arthur Zaretsky, president of Famous Smoke Shop, has had a major impact on my understanding of how to run a successful business.

Arthur is a voracious reader and would often provide me with books on marketing. One of the most influential was John Caples’s seminal text on direct marketing, Tested Advertising Methods, many of which still hold-up today, and Being Direct, by Lester Wunderman. But I also watched how Arthur grew the company, year-by-year. Using a more conservative approach, the business took a slow and steady approach.

I have not personally mentored anyone other than my two sons, but you could say that through CigarAdvisor.com I have mentored a whole lot of cigar smokers through my articles and videos.

What have you compromised and what won’t you compromise?

When I first got into the cigar business, I compromised a better salary for a job that I truly love. Fortunately, things have evened-out over the years.

I started in the recording industry, my first dream job. It was in 1977, at the tail end of what I call the FM radio era. Watch the now-defunct HBO series, Vinyl, and you’ll get some idea of the craziness that went on. M-TV came in and everything changed. It really did kill the radio star.

After that, I worked for myself by getting into Desktop Publishing. It was very new, and I learned typography, more writing. I stayed close to the music business by doing bios and press releases for a number of local bands, then landed a gig doing PR for Joe Bonamassa.

From there it was back to a small indie record label, but the conditions were a mismatch for me. From there, I did marketing for a video producer and distributor, mostly fitness videos, which were very hot at the time. That company failed, but by that time I was really into cigars and that’s how I wound up at Famous.

When is it a failure?

Things change. It can be a lack of funds or other resources, changing trends, etc., but most people learn from the failures. I’m not an entrepreneur, yet, I can still relate to some personal projects that had the best intentions, but just never made it to completion. One of them was a Broadway musical featuring the music of Bruce Springsteen. Go figure.

When you give something your best effort, and for whatever reason, it just doesn't get off the ground.

Where are you on your journey and where are you going?

I'm closer to the end of this journey because I plan to retire in about 5 or 6 years. After I retire, I would like to work as a consultant for a cigar brand and work on my music. I've also considered becoming a professional poker player.

Why do you succeed?

Because I do my homework and keep all of my priorities in order. Something I learned in the music business -- if you can master the art of prioritization, you’ll always be organized. One bite of the elephant at a time, as they say.

###

READING LIST:

GARY KORB Executive Editor ((( link ))) (Cigar Advisor)

Cigar Interviews by Kaplowitz ((( link ))) [other interviewees]


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Sunday, May 19, 2019

PDR A. Flores 1975 Gran Reserva Maduro | Cigar Review by Kaplowitz

"Have you Kaplowitz'd to-day?"

Stock photo.

PDR A Flores 1975 Gran Reserva Maduro
WRAPPER: San Andres Maduro
BINDER: Dominican Olor
FILLER: Dominican Corojo

FORMAT: Toro (654)
ORIGIN: Dominican Republic (PDR Cigars)
STRENGTH: Medium

NOTES:
Overtones are something like a smoky Latakia 'baccy backed w/ a peppery savoriness. Very earthy. Back to the first sentence: finely ground black pepper which plays nicely w/ a lean meatiness. Earthiness? Barnyard. Compost. Dark fruit (raisin/prune). Black walnut.

Undertones offer an herbal bit of tarragon & anise. Spices drive those middlings in a cumin and smoked paprika manner. Undertones are sweetly-spice manure w/ a tick of Lawry's salt. Dark and substantial w/ intricate complexities and heavy nuances. Plays some notes which ya just don't hear everywhere.

Top-leaf is quite fragile and cracks towards the cap almost out of the gate. Burn wobbles but (mostly) self-corrects here & there & throughout. However, it's paced quite well and slow. Draw is fantastic; smooth & steady, satiating & saturating. Plenty of active & passive smoke out-put. Ash makes an inch of growth easily each time before I roll it off. 

Ultimately, there are enough construction woes to appear in the final grade, but none are deal-breakers in & of themselves. At least till the seams wanna fly open in the 3/3 and the whole thing kinda wants to cosmetically 'splode. 

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

READING LIST:
Cigar News: PDR Cigars Launches A. Flores 1975 Gran Reserva Maduro at 2018 IPCPR ((( link ))) (2018 William Cooper, Cigar-Coop)


Who, What, When, Where, Why? | Nate McIntyre, Miami Cigar & Company | Interview by Kaplowitz

"Have you Kaplowitz'd to-day?"


Who has mentored you and who have you mentored? 

I’ve never had an official mentor, but certain names come to mind of those who have influenced me big time over the years… 

Alan Buelvas at Oliva for his ardent professionalism, Scott Zucca for his kindness, Donald Waddell at The Cigar Room (Madison, AL) for his love for the industry amidst tons of BS, Manuel Inoa at La Aurora for his passion and open spirit, Jason Wood at MCC for his commitment to team. The list goes on and on.

What have you compromised and what won’t you compromise?  

We all have our regrets, but I can’t lie to a customer. Period. It feels dirty. I just can’t do it.

When is it a failure? 

When you fail to learn from it. Also, we are done learning from a situation when there's no longer a positive contribution to be made.

Where are you on your journey and where are you going? 

When I look back at where I started, it's pretty crazy. Starting in retail, then selling part time with two other jobs, and now working for an amazing company. You never know what the future holds, but I can say that I am grateful for having started at the very bottom because it gives me an appreciation for my current situation. 

There are a lot of people that enter this industry with instant security, etc., and while that would've been nice I am grateful for the perspective that I have gained having started otherwise.

Why do you succeed? 

I think success is pretty easy as long as you are willing to do the stuff that others think that they are too good to do. I succeed as a leader because I'm also a servant. If I'm not willing to do it, I'm not willing to ask others to do it. I'm there till the lights go out.

###

READING LIST:

Nate McIntyre Joins Miami Cigar & Company ((( link ))) (2016, The Cigar Authority)

TPE 2019 Exhibitor Profile: Miami Cigar & Company ((( link ))) (2019, Tobacco Business)

Cigar Interviews by Kaplowitz ((( link ))) [other interviewees]


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Friday, May 17, 2019

PDR A. Flores El Criollito | Cigar Review by Kaplowitz

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PDR Criollito
WRAPPER: Ecuadorian Criollo Rosado
BINDER: Mexican San Andres
FILLER: Nicaraguan, Dominican

FORMAT: Robusto 554
ORIGIN: Dominican Republic (PDR Cigars)
STRENGTH: Medium

NOTES: Tea, high on the lemon & honey. White peppercorn. Those primaries are braced by a quite bracing oak with salted attachments of pale spices (cardamom, white ginger). Far below, there's some sweet dirt hay stuffs.

Finishes with a slight floral sweetness but too, a near-bite from citrus remains. A bit less than smooth. Retrohale is a cutting bit more of that white peppercorn + new apple cinnamon instant oatmeal packet.

Excellent draw. Fantastic build sees no soft/hard spots, or warming, or seam loosening. Ash makes an inch easily. Burns on an even 'nuff line which needs a single mid-point re-touch.

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

READING LIST:
2017, David Clough, Cigar Aficionado)

(2018, William Cooper, Cigar-Coop)

Stock photo.

Top Ten Non-Alcoholic Drinks to Pair w/ Cigars (EXCLUDING Coffee) | Cigar Report by Kaplowitz

"Have you Kaplowitz'd to-day?"

Stock photo.

Don't you hate overly-lengthy intros to promised lists? Yeah. Dito. Lemme just hit you w/ the title again: Top Ten Non-Alcoholic Drinks to Pair w/ Cigars (EXcluding Coffee). Now, in no particular order...

>>>

TEA: Zino Davidoff recommended pairing with tea above even coffee. I can't say I'd buy that, but tea does deserve a good tick more recognition as a pairing alternative than it currently gets. Particularly black or spiced tea with cream & sugar. I'd say it covers well both your grandfather's Connecticuts and all but the boldest of not your grandfather's Connecticuts. Even some mellow Habanos get along well with a spiced tea.

DR.PEPPER Maduro leaves love Dr. Pepper. It brings out their ripened dark fruit tendencies and is a level-match as to sweetness -- OK, maybe the DP pulls up the Maduro there. Still, nice. You have a Maduro lacking some Maduro qualities? This will fix that. Please do not google "DP." (nsfw)

Let's focus more here. Maduro aside, Dr. Pepper doesn't get the respect it so richly deserves while thinking across-the-board cigar pairings. It's both as flexible as cola and as niche as root beer. So much so, that it left root beer sans a spot on this list.

CREAM SODA Please do drink this with a Corojo. Thank me later. If you can grab an orange-flavored cream soda, thank me right now, you filthy ingrate.

COKE This is the coffee of soft drinks. Best with a sweet over bitter smoke.

PEPSI This is the coffee of soft drinks, w/ a ton of sugar. Bit more cushiony body to sooth harsher/sharper smokes.

>>>

CHERRY SODA Candela. this one is all about Candela and maybe that's why it brings the most quirk to this list. I like quirk in moderation. Can't stand whimsy at all, tho.

LEMONADE Criollo, you're up. yw #refreshing and all-time summer pairing.

HOT CHOCOLATE Calm a Nicaraguan Puro. Spice up your hot chocolate with a Nicaraguan Puro. Yin, Yang. Yang. Yin. Be a kid again! I did warn against whimsy, tho. Swiss Miss packs, nothing fancy. Whip cream? wtf did I say about whimsy?

ORANGE JULIUS If Virginia is for lovers, Maryland is for crabs. (Fortunately, those clear up easily 'nuff.) If Nicaragua is for hot chocolate, the Dominican Republic is for Orange Julius.

MILKSHAKE Any cigar. Any flavor of milkshake. Trust. Me. The cool smooth texture just screams (calmly, joyfully) "Calgon, take me away."

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I'm not a huge outro fan, either. thx


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Thursday, May 16, 2019

Defining Complexities, Nuances, & Transitions in Cigars | Cigar Smoking 101 w/ Kaplowitz

"Have you Kaplowitz'd to-day?"



Defining Complexities, Nuances, & Transitions in Cigars | Cigar Smoking 101 w/ Kaplowitz. Go ahead and stay tuned for more Cigar Smoking 101 w/ Kaplowitz. Here's the playlist ((( link )))

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Jas Sum Kral (JSK) Toothpick 2.0 Habano | Cigar Review by Kaplowitz

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Stock photo.

JSK Toothpick 2.0 Habano
WRAPPER: Habano
BINDER: Indonesian
FILLER: Undisclosed
(info via JSK website)

FORMAT: Robusto (mixed filler)
ORIGIN: Tabacalera de Aragon S.A, Nicaragua
STRENGTH: Medium

NOTES: Graham cracker pie crust & monkey bread. White peppercorn & finely ground black pepper. Berry sweetened suede & honey malt w floral lilt. Not particularly transitional or complex. Pleasant for the most part and quite smokeable till it bites some in the 3/3.

Incorrigibly curved burn evens by mid 2/3. Continues to need strong pulls. Uneven draw. Sometimes airy. Temp heats up in smoke-hole. Very quick smoke time slows by mid 2/3. Pack softens a full tick but doesn't seem to add woe. Nice 'nuff smoke unfortunately marred by nagging construction issues.

All said, the Toothpick quite serviceably fills the company's bottom shelf, a la the Ventura Slaughterhouse, Illusione Cigars Cuchillos Cubanos ((( link ))), & Tatuaje Series P.

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


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Wednesday, May 15, 2019

"Seed to Cigar" Episode Six | Blending pt. 2 + Formats & Consistency

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Kaplowitz Media Presents "Seed to Cigar" a cigar primer series. In this sixth episode, Myself & Felix Assouline of Felix Assouline Cigars discuss the blending process. This is the second part of this rather large topic. Also, we get into varying vitolas/formats & consistency.

FELIX ASSOULINE CIGARS: https://bit.ly/2YOfFWS

By series end, it is our hope that you have all the information you require to enjoy your smoking pleasure to a vastly greater an deeper extent. Be certain to subscribe to this channel ((( link ))) for future episodes & assorted other low-fi premium cigars infotainment. 

To view all episodes of this series, please click "Seed to Cigar" under this post after "Labels."

Caldwell Cigars Eastern Standard Maduro Midnight Express | Cigar Review (Video) Redux by Kaplowitz

"Have you Kaplowitz'd to-day?"



Caldwell Midnight Express
WRAPPER: Connecticut Arapiraca Maduro
BINDER: Habana Dominicano
FILLER: Dominican Criollo ‘98, Dominican Corojo Ligero, & Nicaraguan Habano

FORMAT: Toro (652) pig-tail cap
ORIGIN: Caldwell Cigar Factory, Dominican Republic
STRENGTH: Medium-full

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

READING LIST:
Caldwell Cigars Eastern Standard Maduro Midnight Express in Corona - Cigar Review by Kaplowitz ((( link ))) 

Caldwell Cigars Eastern Standard Maduro Midnight Express in Corona - Cigar Review Redux by Kaplowitz ((( link )))

Stock Photo.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Why, How, & When to Retrohale Cigars| Cigar Smoking 101 w/ Kaplowitz

"Have you Kaplowitz'd to-day?"



Why, How, & When to Retrohale | Cigar Smoking 101 w/ Kaplowitz

Check out the series playlist: https://bit.ly/2Y0nLdM

AGANORSA Leaf Signature Selection | Cigar Review by Kaplowitz

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Stock photo.

Aganorsa Signature Selection
WRAPPER: Nicaraguan (Corojo 99 Jalapa)
BINDER: Nicaraguan
FILLER: Nicaraguan (Esteli & Jalapa)

FORMAT: Corona Gorda (644) pig-tail cap
ORIGIN: Tabacos Valle de Jalapa S.A., Nicaragua
STRENGTH: Medium

NOTES: Orange Julius. Spices, bright & lively: nutmeg, clove forward red stuffs. There is a white pepper'd cedar bracing to those overtones. Undertones are starchy bits of leather and nougat, w/ a sunny earthen/natty tobacco top sweetened with car-a-mel. Underbelly is loaded with grains (oats) and instant potato flakes, which influence that earthen bit as it trickles-down. I wanna say "chicken coop." "Chicken coop." There, I said it.

To enjoy further complexities (in all sticks, yes, & particularly this Signature Selection) do-so on the retro-hale. The nuances from the draw build together there and the soon-to-be-noted room-note additions do, as well. Also a slight hazelnut coffee note. The finish becomes a salted look-see at that hazelnut coffee.

Burns with some jagged ticks in 1/3 but never gets wavy and evens thereafter. Ash grows fairly conical but clings to a solid inch, then rolled off. Draw is at times a tick hesitant, requiring double-puffs hither&thither, but satiates/saturates well. Moderate smoke out-put yields a more mature than on draw fust pithiness on a mainly natty baccy aroma.

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



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Monday, May 13, 2019

Jas Sum Kral (JSK) Cigars Kralot | Cigar (Video) Preview by Kaplowitz

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Jas Sum Kral Kralot
WRAPPER: Mexican San Andres
BINDER: Nicaraguan (Somoto, Ometepe)
FILLER: Nicaraguan (Condega, Estelí, Jalapa)

FORMAT: 750 "Robusto Extra"
ORIGIN: Tabacalera de Aragon S.A., Nicaragua
STRENGTH: Medium

READING LIST:
KRALOT MAG 50 (2019) Brooks Whittington, Halfwheel) ((( link )))


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[dis]Illusione 05132019 The Official Illusione Cigars Podcast

Dion Giolito, illusione Cigars brand owner and myself sit down for a chat & official meeting of The Society.


[dis]Illusione 05132019. The Official Illusione Cigars Podcast. A Kaplowitz Media Production recorded live at an undisclosed location which is most likely my boudoir. 

All things Illusione news, reviews, interviews, events, & more? The Society meets the 13th of each month. 

This episode sees Dion Giolito field my famous five questions & then we play word association.

Visit the Illusione website: https://bit.ly/2HrINNu



MORE INFO re: California events

Tobacco Barn
6/14 - Lake Forest California

Lord Puffer
6/15 - Escondido California

Times to be determined

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Top Ten Recommended Summer Cigars | Cigar Report by Kaplowitz

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Stock Photo

sum·mer1
/ˈsəmər/
noun

1.
the warmest season of the year, in the northern hemisphere from June to August and in the southern hemisphere from December to February.
"the plant flowers in late summer"

>>>

Spring has fully sprung. Summer is just 'round the corner. Now I know we're all riding high still, having conquered winter, but believe you me -- we'll all be bitching about the heat in no time. So love sporting those cargo shorts and Hawaiian shirts while you can, you absolute fucking madman. Because before you know it we'll be knee deep in the dog days and up to our ass cracks in swamp ass.

& what will we smoke then, Gentlepersons?

Which cigars pair well with profuse sweating, sunburn, & sitting on your sun-drenched porch, watching women jog by in the park across the street from your house? (Maybe that last one is just me.) Well, I'll tell ya which -- I'll tell ya ten (10) times, in fact.

That's right -- here's a list (in no particular order) of the top ten cigars I recommend you smoke all summer long. But first a note. A note on how I came up with these recommendations. Some things I look for in what I reach to smoke on a hot summer day are... 

I look for bright & lively sticks. Nothing with too much strength or dark depths. I'm not looking for savory stuffs, at least in a meaty way. I wanna keep it sweet and pale floral fruity with some equally pale spices. Nice clean citrus. White to maybe a dash of black pepper. Like that, see?

You'll also note that the offered offerings I am about to offer are NOT all A-grade 'best of the best' offerings, per se. Instead, they fit the 'pairing' of hot bright summer sunshine. Ain't that something.

Here goes:
(Cigar names are links to full reviews)
[Excerpts are taken from said full reviews]

>>>

Bombay Tobak Vintage Reserve MQBA
"Bright yet deep earthen notes. Sweet and vegetal-savory finish of a richly moderate length."

"Crisp but shy-some of tangy & definitely not sharp. Quite mellow for a predominately bright cigar."

"Tangy, tho not acidic, and rather refreshingly-so. Bright & lively fare."

"Sunny and bright with a light toasting over-top a bit of rawness."

Villiger Cigars La Meridiana
"A bright yet hefty predominately sweet/spicy profile."


Dapper Cigars Cubo Claro
"Sunlit dirt, sweet hay, a smattering of white pepper, pale ginger, and chamomile in the smoke-hole up-top. The underbelly is of more sweet/sour bright dirt."

Gran Habano Cigars Blue in Green
"Heats and matures to sweet citrus with buttery white pepper kicker up-top."

Illusione OneOff +53 Super Robusto
"Notably tangy overtones of Orange Julius w/ white pepper kicker. Ginger, honey, graham, car-a-mel undertones."

"A blend so bright, ya gotta wear shades."

"Clean and bright with a great acidity flying under a primary of produce and white peppers pushed along by a distinct vanilla."

###

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Friday, May 10, 2019

Kaplowitz Media Programming Note | The Kaplowitz Program: CANCELLED


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

5/10/2019

CONTACT: Kaplowitz Media
EMAIL: nsk57033@gmail.com

The Internet -- Kaplowitz Media. has announced their canceling of The Kaplowitz Program. The cigar media company decided not to pick up the show after the airing of its pilot episode. No further information was given.

The Kaplowitz Media. schedule will remain sans The Kaplowitz Program and its predecessors of Kaplowitz Radio & Kaplowitz Television. Daily morning posts & often evening posts as well, will continue at www.Kaplowitz.xyz. 

Kaplowitz Media. wants it known that it is still (& maybe more now than ever) the place on-line w/ the very finest of cigar infotainment via reviews, views, & interviews in print, audio, & video. 

Kaplowitz could not be reached for comment.

Kaplowitz Media. was established in 2015 as cheap therapy and became in short order a cigar blog. You coulda knocked me over with a feather but that'd be cheating because I have a terrible sense of balance.

Some time since Kaplowitz Media became a trusted source within cigar circles, & w/ a growing cult following to boot. #KM is steak. #KM is sizzle. Yet strangely, #KM is raw. DIY, LoFi, admittingly #leastmode -- & yet again -- & strangely too, quite beautiful and technically sound.

As a 'media outlet,' K/M offers a unique brand of infotainment by way of print, audio, and video forms. Cigar reviews are far-far front & center but I've never been too opposed to the hither&thither interview and/or spewing my views.

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