Deep in flavor. Deep in your mind.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Kaplowitz Media Cigar of the Year 2018-19

"Have you Kaplowitz'd to-day?"


Gentlepersons, it is time to name the Kaplowitz Media Cigar of the Year. What more perfect a way to wrap up the month-long aniversario celebracion of this here place, my humble www abode.

STEPS TOWARD NAMING THE 2017-18 CIGAR OF THE YEAR
  1. All Cigars of the Month listed (9/26)
  2. Best of each month announced (9/27)
  3. List will be whittled down to ten (9/28)
  4. Ten-six announced (9/29)
  5. Five-one announced (9/30)
Check back here every day listed above for the step-by-step slow unfurling of the Kaplowitz Media Cigar of the Year. Look for daily edits to be made first thing in my left coast AM. Remember too, that each name written, is a link to its full review.

9/26
ALL CIGARS of the MONTH HONOREES

October 2018
Felix Assouline Cigars EGO Ocean Blue
Asylum 13 Cigars Medulla [Oblongata]
Illusione Cigars f9 Finesse
Tabac Cigar Co. Muestra de Tabac
La Aurora Preferidos Emerald

November 2018
Felix Assouline IISaints Platinum
Felix Assouline EGO Black "Dark Lord"
Black Label Trading Co. Bishops Blend 2018
La Aurora Preferidos Gold

December 2018
DAV Cigars Prima Natural
Felix Assouline Cigars EGO White
Gran Habano Gran Reserva # 5 2012
Gran Habano Gran Reserva #5 (2010)
Illusione Cigars Epernay
DAV Cigars Mestizo

January 2019
Dapper Cigar Co. El Borracho Maduro
Dapper Cigar Co. El Borracho
Rock-A-Feller Vintage Nicaragua Maduro
Rock-A-Feller Vintage Nicaraguan Connecticut
Dapper Cigar Co. La Madrina

Feb./March 2019
Rock-A-Feller Vintage Nicaraguan Habano
Felix Assouline CSB Fuerte Black Habano
Bombay Tobak MQBA Diadem
Felix Assouline II SaintS L'ange Noir
Bombay Tobak Vintage Reserve MQBA
Caldwell Cigars Long Live the King
Illusione Cigars eccj 20th
Indian Motorcycle Premium Cigars Maduro

April 2019
Amendola Family Connecticut
Illusione ~ mk ~ teaching machine
Felix Assouline EGO Ocean Blue
Drew Estate Norteno
Illusione Fume D'Amour
Viva la Vida by Artesano del Tobacco
Illusione ~ultra~ MK
Guardian of the Farm

May 2019
Nestor Miranda Special Selection
Illusione OneOff
Artesano del Tobacco Viva la Vida
Bombay Tobak Vintage Reserve MQBA
Caldwell Cigars Eastern Standard

June 2019
Guardian of the Farm
Doumitt Gold Oro Rechoncho
Caldwell The King is Dead
PDR 1878 Capa Sun Grown
Caldwell Cigars Savages
La Aurora 1985 Maduro
Caldwell Blind Man's Bluff CT

July 2019
GTO Pain Killer
GTO Pain Killer Maduro
Corona de GTO 10 Años Corojo
Jas Sum Kral Red Knight | Redux
Caldwell Eastern Standard Dos Firmas | Redux
DAV Mestizo | Redux
Room101 Farce | Redux
Caldwell The King is Dead | Redux


September 2019
Aganorsa Leaf Connecticut
Dapper Cubo Sumatra
Micallef Experiencia La Crema
Maya Selva Flor de Selva
Maya Selva Cumpay Volcan
La Sonrisa Charlotte No. 3
Bombay M.Esteli
Micallef Migdalia

9/27
BEST of EACH MONTH

October 2018
Felix Assouline Cigars EGO Ocean Blue

November 2018
Black Label Trading Co. Bishops Blend 2018

December 2018
Illusione Cigars Epernay

January 2019
Dapper Cigar Co. La Madrina

February/March 2019
Bombay Tobak Vintage Reserve MQBA

April 2019
Viva la Vida by Artesano del Tobacco

May 2019
Nestor Miranda Special Selection

June 2019
Guardian of the Farm

July 2019
Corona de GTO 10 Años Corojo

August 2019
Stolen Throne Crook of the Crown

September 2019
Micallef Migdalia


9/28
TOP 10 (alphabetical, not numerical order)

Black Label Trading Co. Bishops Blend 2018
Bombay Tobak Vintage Reserve MQBA
Dapper Cigar Co. La Madrina
Felix Assouline Cigars EGO Ocean Blue
Guardian of the Farm
Illusione Cigars Epernay
Micallef Migdalia
Nestor Miranda Special Selection
Stolen Throne Crook of the Crown
Viva la Vida by Artesano del Tobacco

9/29
10 thru SIX

10. Nestor Miranda Special Selection
09. Black Label Trading Co. Bishops Blend 2018
08. Bombay Tobak Vintage Reserve MQBA
07. Felix Assouline Cigars EGO Ocean Blue
06. Illusione Cigars Epernay

9/30
FIVE thru ONE

05. Guardian of the Farm
04. Dapper Cigar Co. La Madrina
03. Micallef Migdalia
02.  --
01. Stolen Throne Crook of the Crown | Viva la Vida by Artesano del Tobacco

CIGAR of the YEAR

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Kaplowitz Media: Teas | Coffees of the Month (September 2019)

"Have you Kaplowitz'd to-day?"


"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, 9/19) tea & coffee offerings I humbly found to be worthy of A (- to +) review ratings.


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

[tea]



Posted today (9/25) instead of the usual last day of the month. This is due to the imminent unfurling of the Kaplowitz Media Cigar of the Year. It's a process you can read about at this ((( link ))) which begins tomorrow (9/26). thx

###

Kaplowitz Media: Cigars of the Month (September 2019)

"Have you Kaplowitz'd to-day?"


"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, 9/19) cigar offerings I humbly found to be worthy of A (- to +) review ratings.


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


Please note this is the final crop of Grade A smokes which will be eligible for the 2018-19 Kaplowitz Media Cigar of the Year. For more info re: that check out https://bit.ly/2yZt5Uh"Programming Note: Kaplowitz Media Cigar of the Year 2018-19 & More -- Coming in September." thx

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Maya Selva Cigars Flor de Selva Maduro | Cigar Review by Kaplowitz

“Have you Kaplowitz’d to-day?”


Maya Selva Cigars 
Flor de Selva Maduro

WRAPPER: Jamastra, Honduran Maduro
BINDER: Brazilian Mata Fina
FILLER: Honduran

FORMAT: 660 Gordo "Tempo"
ORIGIN: Honduras
STRENGTH: Medium-Full

WEBSITE: www.mayaselvacigars.com

>>>

NOTES:
A smooth Death by Chocolate & richly 'baccy forward delivery. Those overtones are served with complexities of toffee & nougat. Braced by buttery cedar planks. Then its "turtles all the way down," except supplant turtles with lush earth with a tinge of refreshingly inky herbaceousness w/ slight nutty attachments.

A desert stick if I ever smoked one. A digestif, if ya will. Touch of black pepper, sauteed. Not complex. Definitely and defiantly lacking in transition. No lack of expression, tho -- in a happily meditative manner. Uber-balanced w/ rounded notes of a well-aged leaf.

Draws a tick hesitantly through-out but not to the point of issue. A tunnel threat emerges and dissipates in the 2/3. Ash builds dark & lovely. Copious cumulus clouds of leathery sweet earth. Dark yet not somber. Again, deeply meditative. Calming. Nice. Kind yet strong. This cigar is Michael Clarke Duncan in the Green Mile.

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

TEA PAIRING: Beautiful Taiwan Dong Ding Oolong

###

Bootstrap Coffee Roasters Blue Collar Blend | Review by Kaplowitz

"Have you Kaplowitz’d to-day?”


Bootstrap Coffee Roasters
Blue Collar Blend 

LOCATION: St. Paul, Minnesota
ORIGIN:
70% Guatemalan (Huehuetenango)
30% Nicaraguan (Esteli, Madriz, Nueva Segovia)
VARIETAL:
Guatemalan: Bourbon, Caturra, Catuai, Pache
Nicaraguan: Bourbon, Typica, Caturra, Catimor

PROCESS: Washed
ROAST: Medium
BREW METHOD: Mud coffee

WEBSITE: www.bootstrapcoffeeroasters.com

>>>

NOTES:
Decoction deprives the eyeballs a fair gaze; gives to the nose bigly tho -- a chocolate and blueberry aroma. On the sip that chocolate gets a savory earth accompaniment, those berries get a wooden bracing. Stuff is a bit bready underneath. Slurps to more entrenched sipping notes.  A peek at brightness, some black tea astringency on the tongue. Finishes meaty and rich of all notes. 

A straight-forward blend which lives up to its name. Nice nuances, not much complexities, but drinkability levels are high. Balanced, smooth, robust. Fucking tasty, really. This is a coffee which will show up for you. Dependable. Take it with you [& your plastic Jesus] when you travel far. You won't care if it rains or freezes.

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

###

Monday, September 23, 2019

Octavia Tea Golden Dragon Pearl | Review by Kaplowitz

“Have you Kaplowitz’d to-day?"


Octavia Tea 
Golden Dragon Pearl

ORIGIN: China
TYPE: Black

FORMAT: Pearls
METHOD: Infuser

WEBSITE: www.octaviatea.com

>>>

NOTES:
Noses malty-cocoa & somewhat dull. Dusty. Eyes in a dark amber manner, a tick shy of crystal-clearly. Sips w/ a muted peppery-wood & not enough carryover from aroma -- tho it tries. Flat. Slurps don't add much more, if anything, to the profile. There is a nice balance of plush over astringent on the body but the finish is a quite diluted thing.

Frankly, I taste a lot of water in this here cuppa. No complexities; maybe a brief citrus glimpse far back & out. Nary a nuance save in the faint & fleeting pepper-wood melange. One could claim "attainable." Apter yet might be "simple." I'd say "pedestrian," then not wonder at all why I'm never invited to parties.

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

###

Friday, September 20, 2019

Beautiful Taiwan Tea Co. Dong Ding Oolong | Review by Kaplowitz

“Have you Kaplowitz’d to-day?”


Beautiful Taiwan Tea Co.
Dong Ding Oolong (Winter 2018)

ORIGIN: Taiwan
TYPE: Oolong

FORMAT: Gunpowder
METHOD: Infuser

WEBSITE: beautifultaiwantea.com

>>>

NOTES:
Milky & floral. A bit cloudy to the pale amber eyeballing. Noses to floral-apple bits. Some softwood behind that. Sips thickly thusly with a smooth pillowy feel. Light additions of very slight astringency and more fruit-flower stuff. White grapes come into waiting apple.  A new chamomile vibe enters the dandelion & daisy type pedal melange.

Slurping offers more wood (pine) & a half-tick higher astringency -- still not 'astringent' per se -- no bite. Milky, as stated. Smooth. Lacking some in balance for lack of bitterness, but that's the intent here, achieved. Comforting. Delicate. A nap under a lovely afghan. Perhaps a big ass doily.

Nuance and finish are each surprisingly there & plus. Deep notes for such fairer things. Long legs for the same which are yes... floral af. Really a lovely cuppa, this. Also very much a throwback of a profile -- befitting of them afghan & doily references.

Feels like a trip to grandma's house. So much so, that I can almost smell grandpa's candela wrapped cigar wafting from the den.

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

###

Micallef Cigars Migdalia | Cigar Review by Kaplowitz

“Have you Kaplowitz’d to-day?”


Micallef Migdalia

WRAPPER: San Andres Habano
BINDER: Sumatra
FILLER: Nicaraguan, Dominican

FORMAT: Corona Gorda
ORIGIN: Micallef Cigars Factory, Nicaragua
STRENGTH: Medium-Full

WEBSITE: www.micallefcigars.com

>>>

NOTES:
Leather-oiled fustiness. The aroma of a dusty study. Top-notes: pepper-spiced melange (red pepper, cumin, cinnamon, smoked paprika). These are muted yet powerful. Well-aged. Smoothed into burgeoning toasted cream via progression. The leather I already mentioned, & its oils. A cedar bracing. 

Pushing up from the undertones is a rich milk chocolate w/ malt accompaniment. Then good coffee, some pecan and dandelion floral lilt, on-down. Underbelly is a terra cotta earthiness. Finish is sweet spices on moderate legs, a bit muted, pleasantly-so. A sense of cashew butter. Ends clean after a hint of tropical fruit.

Burns on an even line after some self-corrected jaggedness out of the gate. Nice languid even pacing. Goodly smoke out-put both passive & active. Excellent draw. Marbled ash builds to an inch at a time, dry but shy of flaky. A classically profiled smoke with a lovely delivery. 

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

###

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Rough Shift Roasters Lieutenant's Roast | Coffee Review by Kaplowitz

“Have you Kaplowitz’d to-day?”


Rough Shift Roasters
Lieutenant's Roast

ORIGIN: Colombia
VARIETAL: Arabica

PROCESS: ???
ROAST: Dark
BREW METHOD: Mud coffee

WEBSITE: roughshiftroasters.com

>>>

NOTES:
Crisply Alkaline. Sinewy robust. Walking a razor-line re: overly bitter/not and astringent/not. Whoa there, me. Let's take it from the top. Aroma is a cocoa leather thing backed by dark earthiness. Sippings find the aroma there w/ an anise and toasted almond addition. Slurping shows a tobacco quality and more black dirt potting soil.

Saving this cup from bitter astringency is a particularly pleasant & lengthy sweetbitter surprisingly soft finish. Nicely balanced for a full-throttle approach. Smack your lips when the finish ends and prior to taking another sip: peppered beef jerky. Notes round out as cuppa cools; beware the bite of the first few hot sips. It's mainly worth working thru them.

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

###

Bombay Tobak M.Esteli | Cigar Review by Kaplowitz

“Have you Kaplowitz’d to-day?”


Bombay Tobak
M.Esteli

WRAPPER:  Ecuadorian Habano 2000
BINDER: Nicaraguan
FILLER: Nicaraguan, Dominican (HVA and Piloto Cubano)

FORMAT: Robusto (554)
ORIGIN: Costa Rica
STRENGTH: Medium-Full

WEBSITE: www.bombaytobak.com

>>>

NOTES:
Bold & flavorful. Substantial of build, profile, and delivery thereof. Spiced (paprika, cayenne, ginger)  milk chocolate... or chocolate milk. Nesquik. Black pepper, particularly on the retro-hale, fleshes out & braces the top-notes.

Undertones are pine/cedar hoisting increasing amounts of toasted cream, butterscotch. Some white peppercorn there. Body is 2:30pm shadow stubble smooth, fine grit, what have you. Tingly but voluptuously cushioned.

Leathery oils hit the creaminess, then the cheeks & tongue. A long-legged finish of that and overtones. Underbelly is graham cracker clay earthiness. 

Quite nicely balanced, especially when a lemon meringue happens at mid-point. Complex, transitional. Check, check. Quite nuanced. Very nuanced considering a more bright than dark delivery. Brawny, considering the same thing.

Some slight softening of build happens via progression. This doesn't hamper a smooth draw. Big smoke out-put smells like the finish tastes. Burns on an even line at a moderate rate of speed.

A gripe is that barnacles build on the palate 'tween tugs. Post finish is a tick less than clean, erring toward cloying. Smoke heats up a 1/2 tick in the 3/3.

Unrefined as compared to the majority of the Bombay line but not brash, per se. Fits nicely therein in that way. 

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

###

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

GTO Cigars Corona de GTO 10 Anos Anniversario Connecticut | Cigar Review by Kaplowitz

“Have you Kaplowitz’d to-day?”


GTO Cigars
Corona de GTO 10 Anos Anniversario Connecticut

WRAPPER: USA Connecticut
BINDER:  Dominican
FILLER: Dominican

FORMAT: Toro (654)
ORIGIN: Tabacalera GTO Dominicana
STRENGTH: Mild-Medium

WEBSITE: www.gtodominicancigars.com

>>>
NOTES:
Tangy & crisp. Mellow & bright. The hardest thing I've ever had to do in this life was to remove the foot ribbon of this thing. Thankfully, no top-leaf suffered the fate of being collateral damage.

Overtones are somewhat reminiscent of a hoppy af IPA. Citrus, bigly. Indian Pale Ale. Floral, earthy, citrusy, piney, fruity. Those are notes lifted from a beer review & et cetera site. (vinepair.com

They are all aboard here. I said overtones... they're all aboard here top(note) to bottom(note). Underbelly is a pair of suede shoes on a sunlit dirt trail. Sans transitions, virtually sans nuance, but surprisingly quite complex -- as notes are at once delineated & mixed/mingled. Body is a dry white wine. I'm seeing flashes of neon.

Big smoke-bomb out-put puts a cup of chamomile tea under those shoes, delicately. Burn-line is as straight as Sean Connery but as fast as Usain Bolt. There are a couple soft spots along the barrel. Draw is fairly open. An overall excitable & exciting cigar. Some green notes and scant white pepper find their respective ways onto the finish.

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

###

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Portola Coffee Roasters Sitio Da Torre Paulo Coli | Review by Kaplowitz

“Have you Kaplowitz’d to-day?”


Portola Coffee Roasters
Sitio Da Torre Paulo Coli

ORIGIN: Carmo De Minas, Brazil
VARIETAL: Yellow Catuai

PROCESS: Dry Process
ROAST: Medium
BREW METHOD: Pour-over

WEBSITE: www.portolacoffeelab.com

>>>

NOTES: 
Chocolate & prune nose. Thick to eye & mouth. Dr. Pepper on the sip + chocolate from the nose. Maybe cola but that prune addition says "Doc P."

Slurping adds a silky pepperiness backed by a bit of wine cask. Then a citrus fuzzy freshness which extends to finish; meeting there a later to the dance almond extract.

Well-rounded & well-balanced notes of excellent nuance. Uncomplicated complexities well shy of a clamor but well 'nuff to keep interested. A well-orchestrated unfurling of profile characteristics.

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

###

Protocol Themis | Cigar Review by Kaplowitz

“Have you Kaplowitz’d to-day?”


Cubariqueno Cigar Co.
Protocol Themis

WRAPPER: Ecuadorian Connecticut
BINDER: Nicaraguan
FILLER: Nicaraguan

FORMAT: Corona (5 5/8 x 46)
ORIGIN: La Zona factory, Nicaragua
STRENGTH: Mild-Medium

WEBSITE: cubariqueno.com

>>>

NOTES:
Clover honey & boiled peanuts. Hi. Welcome to me. Thanks for coming. Also in the top-note realm here is a bit of nougat and a slightly larger bit of white pepper. Undertones are laid out on a cardboard note & are: milk chocolate, butterscotch, & an attempting only cedar. A bit of a dry palate makes e think astringency and then a white tea. 

Underbelly is a growing via progression suede but still mainly dirt trail through an orange grove. Balanced, easy, smooth. The lone bit of unfortunate is that continued cardboard dalliance. Most likely that's the palate drying culprit more than a vibe-hint of tea. Speaking of, this is a nice stick to pair up to an excellent Oolong, say. 

Burns even. Draws well. Ash builds admirably. No complaints re: performance. Light smoke out-put yields surprisingly pleasant honeysuckle forward room-note. A vintage take on a classic cigar -- vintage being somewhat less than classic to my mind. Perfectly serviceable but ultimately a bit flat.

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

###

Monday, September 16, 2019

Wandering Goat Coffee Co. | Coffee House & Espresso Review by Kaplowitz

"Have you Kaplowitz'd to-day?"


Wandering Goat Coffee Co.
268 Madison St 
Eugene, OR 97402

A Sunday.
Brunch O'clock.

>>>

Purely to be anticipated digs. Unfinished concrete floors. Cool warehouse vibe. Industrial & artsy but also there's a goat head mounted behind the counter. A conversation:

ME: What animal is that? (Pointing.)
MY +1: Where are we, again? (Sighing)
ME: Oh, a goat. (Antelope was my first guess.)

Loud chatter and slightly less loud indy folk music. We sat at a heavy wood laminated slab by a window on tall chairs. Other seats were small wood rigs occupied by predominately single customers. The chatter came from a table in the back corner. Quintessential local-looking artwork hung around the more dimly than one might expect environs.

The outdoor seating was picnic tables. Including a harmonica player who seemed quite precious in the warm-ish rain; situated next to railroad tracks. He smelled rather badly even there in the great outdoors. Or maybe he just looked like an odor. I digress.

The double shot was a seemingly quite short pull, but on the bright side, the barista dismissed my doubts prior to allowing me to fully voice them. Abruptly-so, see? Curt, dismissive. An eye-roll so hard as to be loud. Big ding in customer service, there/that. Something was amiss, tho -- 

>>>

& perhaps if she wasn't above my silly questioning... Heavily acidic espresso. Heavily. Bitingly so. Battery acidic. A dash or three of salt gets added and then it just lays there on the back of your tongue for some time. 'Some' to be read as 'an oddly long amount of.' Lemony, medicinally. Abrasive. Wholly yucky.

Bitterness lags behind acidity but in such a way as to not offer more than a thin wisp of maybe baking chocolate. No pepper nor spice to speak of and very scant if any gettable sweetness. No nuts, no woods. Nada. Notes of Listerine, tho. Ultimately, this Wandering Goat short double shot went unfinished. 

Maybe just maybe, the barista knew it wouldn't matter exactly how much was pulled & offered. I now tip my hat to her utterly amazing clairvoyant skills, just in case. 

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

###

Verdant Tea Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong (Spring 2019) | Review by Kaplowitz

“Have you Kaplowitz’d to-day?”


Verdant Tea
Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong 
(Spring 2019)

ORIGIN: Tongmu, Wuyi, Fujian
TYPE: Xingcun Xiozhong | Lapsang Souchong

FORMAT: Loose
METHOD: Grandpa Style

WEBSITE: verdanttea.com

>>>

NOTES:
Sits with excellent clarity in the cup, & a matte finish shine. Reddish-golden inky amber hue. Noses smoky with an underneath mineral saltiness. Sips are the aforementioned nosings with darkly herbaceous notes braced my peppery softwoods.

Slurps bring out overtones of further mineral soapy lilts, bringing it on-par with the familiar Lapsang Souchong smokiness. More earth, richly. A bit of an unfortunate tar lilt. Parts of this are a lot like the experience of smoking Kentucky Fire Cured cigars.

Finish exhibits a slight citrus crispness, cleanly. Overall, a smooth of body offering with just a tick of astringency via that piney softwood. A bit buttery on the tongue. Not complex, but quite nuanced. Hearty and robust. Rustic. A meal of a tea, this.

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

###

Friday, September 13, 2019

[dis]Illusione ::: Illusione Cigars Audio Webcast 09132019 | Joker & Star Wars

#TheSociety



We (Dion Giolito & myself) talk about Joker (the movie) and Star Wars. Other stuff, too. Psychopaths & sociopaths and collective storytelling. I smoked the potential Illusione Kaplowitz Media blend. Good show. Dion was kidding when he said it sucked.

>>>

[dis]Illusione

A re-education programme
Illusione news, events, interviews
Meet w/ The Society: 13th of every month

To pull up a show index, click on "[dis]Illusione" below this post.


End transmission

Aganorsa Leaf Buena Cosecha Corojo | Cigar Review by Kaplowitz

“Have you Kaplowitz’d to-day?”


Aganorsa Leaf
Buena Cosecha Corojo Torpedo

WRAPPER: Nicaraguan Corojo ’99
BINDER: Nicaraguan Corojo ’99, Criollo ’98
FILLER: Nicaraguan

FORMAT: 6.25x54 Torpedo Box Press
ORIGIN: SABOR (Sabor Aganorsa S.A) Jalapa, Nicaragua
BLENDER: Arsenio Ramos, Eduardo Fernandez, Max Fernandez
STRENGTH: Medium

WEBSITE: www.aganorsaleaf.com

>>>

NOTES:
Honey nut cheerios? How interesting. That and white-to-black peppercorn which quickly settles a tick. That settling lets a toasted buttery cedar note sidle in. Dusty golden complected notes. Undertones to all that is something like beach sand, suede, Milk chocolate. After the opening 1/3, a bit of pale fruit syrup flows in. Pineapple, cantaloupe. Turkey jerky at the half.

The texture is a tick gruff, particularly thru the nose, but it does drop chamomile to the palate. Quite transitional, so yes, complex in that manner. Not terribly nuanced, as notes are a bit flighty. Nicely balanced and rounded-out profile. Does get a bit throaty. 

Burns on a well-paced even-line. Box press holds firm, as does ash. Draws smooth & evenly. Moderate+ smoke out-put. builds to a sour candy leathery room-note, quite similar to the rather lengthy finish which moves from savory to candied sourness on a pins & needles mouth-feel. 

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

###

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Stratton Brothers Coffee KO Kilimanjaro | Review by Kaplowitz

“Have you Kaplowitz’d to-day?”


Stratton Brothers Coffee
KO Kilimanjaro

ORIGIN: Tanzania
VARIETAL: Arabica (Peaberry)

PROCESS: ???
ROAST: Medium-Dark
BREW METHOD: Moka

WEBSITE: strattonbrotherscoffee.com

>>>

NOTES:
A brew more bitter than your ex. Smoky, charcoal-y. Burnt rubber-ish till the cup cools. Overtones of charred wood and dark chocolate shavings. Undertones and slurps are all scorched earth. Barnyard. Stiff leather builds on the rather astringent finish. Moderate length, there.

Imbalanced well-toward bitter & away from sweetness, particularly. Deeply nuanced in the way a pile-driver is meant to plant the top of a wrestler's head into the canvas. Lots of corners on the immediate sip, but the notes do round-out upon settling to the palate in a somewhat acidic manner... a lemony pith tick.

The aroma is that of a blacktop road in August. No real complexities, but the intent here appears clear -- a straight forward get 'er done kick in the pearly-whites. I'd rather like this with a pepper-loaded Nicaraguan cigar, with which it shares many characteristics.

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

###

La Sonrisa Cigars Charlotte No. 3 | Cigar Review by Kaplowitz

“Have you Kaplowitz’d to-day?”


La Sonrisa
Charlotte

WRAPPER: Ecuadorian Connecticut
BINDER: Sumatro (Indonesian)
FILLER: Indonesian, Nicaraguan

FORMAT: Robusto (No. 3)
ORIGIN: Nicaragua
STRENGTH: Mild-Medium

WEBSITE: lasonrisacigars.com

>>>

NOTES:
Sweet n' salty w/ a tick of kick. Salted caramel & white peppercorn lemony zetz, braced well by cedar. Steady & purposeful overtones, these. Crisp delineations. Undertones are natural tobacco which drives the profile.

Then, w/ no small part separation, a light-roasted coffee, Granny Smith apple, slight nougat. Underbelly is a bright dirt trail, clearly 'nuff to recommend taking this smoke on a quiet hike.

Quite firmly rolled. Even burn-line progresses on-down at a moderate pace. Ash builds full thru each third in a grey-to-silver stack of dimes. Draw is a tick more resistant than some might find ideal but not egregiously. Smoke fully saturates palate w/ a smooth tingle. Room-note is sweet 'baccy all day long

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

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Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Maya Selva Cigars Cumpay Volcan | Cigar Review by Kaplowitz

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Maya Selva Cigars
Cumpay Volcan

WRAPPER: Nicaraguan
BINDER: Nicaraguan
FILLER: Nicaraguan

FORMAT: Double Robusto (560)
ORIGIN: Tabacos Segovia, Nicaragua
BLENDER: Maya Selva
STRENGTH: Medium-Full

WEBSITE: www.mayaselvacigars.com/cumpay-collections

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NOTES:
Charred, properly gruff. "Strong enough for a man, but made by a woman." It's no Secret what I'm paraphrasing there. Black peppercorn. Dark chocolate. Nutty and woody complexities. Almond, black walnut. Oak and more oak (cask).

Undertones to those many overs are lead by a heighty coffee bean then red spices: cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, cumin. At the half, the undertones flip-flop and spices almost rocket into primary notes. Big flavor. Smooths from out-of-the gate but stays purposefully forceful. Merlot gets poured from the cask into the mid-point.

Underbelly is barnyard and compost. A tick dry/ing, the latter. Savory finish is all that and far-flung anise which lasts all the live-long. Well-balanced and firmly delivered on a smooth draw. Ash builds well, if not a bit flakily.

Burn-line is even and progresses a tick quick. Copious smoky-smoke to the tune of a savory bittersweet room-note. Nicotine grows steadily. I typed that last sentence from under my desk; this one from further under.

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

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Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Octavia Tea Dragon Well | Review by Kaplowitz

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Octavia Tea
Dragon Well

ORIGIN: Shifeng Mountain, Zhengjiang Province, China
TYPE: Green

FORMAT: Loose
METHOD: Grandpa Style

WEBSITE: www.octaviatea.com

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NOTES: 
Invigoratingly crisp, clean according to both eye and nose. Mildly & cleanly buttery herbaceous aroma. Sips all them adjectives; backed by a smoky nuttiness & sweet earthen quality. 

Transitions via lingering complexities on the palate and from sip to slurp. The latter adding a kind bit of astringency and white pepper. A bit orange blossom honey-dipped Granny Smith apple-y on the far-end.

Smooth and brisk don't often mingle, but here they do. Well rounded near luscious notes of excellent subtle nuance. Leaves themselves have a pleasing and lively aesthetic. A very pretty tea. Demure.

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

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Maya Selva Cigars Flor de Selva | Cigar Review by Kaplowitz

“Have you Kaplowitz’d to-day?”


Maya Selva
Flor de Selva

WRAPPER: Honduran (Ecuadorian CT via Talanga)
BINDER: Honduran
FILLER: Honduran

FORMAT: Robusto (4.5x50)
ORIGIN: Tabacos de Oriente S.A., Honduras
STRENGTH: Light-Medium

WEBSITE: www.mayaselvacigars.com

>>>

NOTES:
As bright & rich as the doctor every nurse is after. Citrus pith smoothly steers the profile through overtones of cocoa butter, white peppercorn, blonde-roasted java. Then through undertones of cream and boiled pale nuttiness. Suede sits atop rich earthiness in the underbelly. While citrus steers, the whole thing is driven smoothly by natural tobacco.

Simple. Not transitional nor complex. Not intended to be. A nicely nuanced, supremely balanced Sunday drive through the countryside. Care-free burn and excellent construction, highlighted by maybe the smoothest draw I can recall.

Very nice smoke output leaves a room-note of that which steers & drives. An actively contemplative experience. A meditative walk through an English garden. Light floral notes on the retro-hale.

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

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Monday, September 09, 2019

Micallef Cigars Experiencia La Crema | Cigar Review by Kaplowitz

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Micallef Cigars
Experiencia La Crema

WRAPPER: San Andres Sumatra
BINDER: Ecuadorian Habano
FILLER: Nicaraguan, Dominican, Panamanian

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

WEBSITE: www.micallefcigars.com

>>>

NOTES:
Luscious profile with a tangy kicker. Spices: nutmeg, paprika, clove. Pepper: white & black. Nougat & cocoa butter. Undertones to those overtones are a creamy cedar bracing from up high, orange pith, cashew, table syrup. Finishes sweet and easy-tangy on long legs which showcase a supple natty 'baccy. 

Underbelly is sunlit earth. All's smooth and soft sans boring. Well-rounded and robust notes delivered quite carefully. Excellent balance with kind complexities. Deeply nuanced and brightly-so with a tick fusty attachment. 

Smoke out-put is moderate -- but the culminating room-note is notably delish. The aroma is that of the finish with a leathery oil carrying it. Burns on an even line at a slow-ish pace but far from sluggish or tedious. Reflective.

Ash builds well, albeit fugly, darkly-so. Draw sops a half-tick in the 3/3 but whatevs -- not egregiously by any stretch. No hard/soft spots in packing nor progression.

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

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