Deep in flavor. Deep in your mind.

Tuesday, June 02, 2020

Principle Cigars Frothy Monkey in Review "Museum Quality Curation"

“Have you Kaplowitz’d to-day?”

Principle Cigars
Frothy Monkey

WRAPPER: Dominican
BINDER: Connecticut
FILLER: Dominican

FORMAT: Petite Corona pigtail-cap
ORIGIN: Dominican Republic. Kelner Boutique Factory
INTENSITY: Medium-Full

WEBSITE: frothymonkey.com

NOTES:
Produce peppers | Dark chocolate | Red spices

A chiseled physique, crisply robust. Jalapeno. Bell peppers roasting in a cast-iron skillet. Spices are crushed red pepper, smoked paprika, nutmeg, Between that array of predominantly polite pungency sits a small but meaningful bit of dark chocolate Dove candy bar. Velvety. Stewed meat pushes up toward those primaries from on-down.

Middlings are also loads of sweet dark earth. Cola, alfalfa grass, hickory. Hickory. Wood. It's there but doesn't structure. Curiously what does delineate is a quite interesting roasted orange note. It's out-front in a trailblazing manner, hacking thru savory vegetations & whatnot. Oh & that cola's carbonation is felt as 'lively.' I feel as though I should be wearing an English professor's tweed sportscoat. Suede elbow patches. The aroma is that in a gentleman's study.

Balanced & delivered beautifully & in an uncommon fashion. Moderately complex and deeply, deeply nuanced. Made to pair w/ coffee while brilliantly offering zero joe notes of its own. I'm ::: very ::: much becoming a fan of Principle Cigars. A portfolio of museum quality curation, say. As with all flavorful smokes, I "meh" at the mundane bit of construction/combustion... no qualms there. Noteworthy & thus noted is a long glistening ash.

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

::: very :::

Monday, June 01, 2020

Principle Cigars Accomplice Classic in Review "Each an Image in Sepia"

“Have you Kaplowitz’d to-day?”

Principle Cigars 
Accomplice Classic

WRAPPER: Ecuadorian Corojo
BINDER: Ecuadorian
FILLER: Dominican

FORMAT: Toro
ORIGIN: Dominican
INTENSITY: Medium

WEBSITE: www.principlecigars.com

NOTES:
Produce peppers | Woods | Spiced cream

Here, we apparently speak of transitions. Peppers: bell > banana > jalapeno. Then black peppercorn. Moving in front of you as if on a toasting conveyor belt. In the same manner we get rich creaminess, while non-existent at the onset > appears then becomes spiced... cayenne & cardamom, mainly. Some cinnamon. Holding the structure rather high is a hickory-cedar blend, delineated nicely within/out.

Undertones are roasted notes of leather & oils, cinnamon-roast coffee beans, a bit of vanilla. Touch of milk chocolate. Chicory. The sweetnesses are on the far-end, extending into a long finish. Spices sidle up there, grow. Aroma is sweet w/ a tick of savoriness. Umami is seen in the underbelly... a chicken coop, a sunlit barnyard. Golden earth after a light rain, say? Can I live here? Lemon zest.

Angelfood cake & marzipan & it's easy to get carried away. Complex is a vast understatement. Nuanced quite deeply. Balanced supremely. Delivered exquisitely. Refined but retaining of character. Dashing & smart. [Some mundane chatter in comparison -- of construction/combustion -- flawless.] Fuji apples dipped in caramel. See? A bit like a county fair. A bit like a farmer's market. Each an image in sepia.

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

::: very :::

Friday, May 29, 2020

Principle Cigars Aviator Series Envoi in Review "A Fine Line to Walk"

“Have you Kaplowitz’d to-day?”

Principle Cigars
Aviator Series Envoi

WRAPPER: Brazilian
BINDER: Dominican
FILLER: Dominican, Nicaraguan, Peruvian

FORMAT: Robusto "Envoi"
ORIGIN: Kelner Boutique Factory, Dominican Republic
INTENSITY: Mild-Medium

WEBSITE: www.principlecigars.com

NOTES:
Exotic spices | Granny Smith apple | Softwood

Ginger & cinnamon, both white. A bit of wasabi. I'd say horseradish but I'm fitting an exotic theme. Cardamom, black, sweetly-toastedly drives; slight mint there. Apple is a Granny Smith & it ebbs/flows crisply. It seems heightened on the back-end. A softwood array braces well. Sandalwood, balsa, cedar on-down. Toasted, raw, buttery respectively-so. Lots up-top via tart complexities, sharp transitions.

Middlings are a bit less frenetic & calm well. Oats, pine nuts, a thin cream, white grapes. Underbelly is bright sweet earth. High & floating, A Movable Feast? Fun, not unsettled/ing. Adventuresome, say? Perhaps mimicking a youthful Hemingway. In the final chapter here, white peppercorn closes the door & a floral gambit bids "bye." Body is finely-ground talc & flirts with mineral abrasiveness here & there. Particularly on the almost glaring sour-sweet finish of moderate length.

As to combustion & construction, absolutely zero complaints on the former. Clean burn-line, evenly. Excellent pacing. Solidly sheathed ash. Insofar as construction, there is a slight tick much tension to draw but that sipping seems to work w/ this tangy-spicy brisk offering. A note: the thing is rolled like a brick shithouse gate-to-wire. Effervescent & invigorating. Ultimately exciting sans being excitable, a fine line to walk and one walked quite well.

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

::: very :::

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Kaplowitz Media. Recommended Summer Cigars

"Have you Kaplowitz'd to-day?"

With Memorial Day came the unofficial start of summer. The great outdoors, sunshine, & all the wrong people to be scantily-clad being all scantily-clad. Typically, summer calls for milder smokes. The heat, the activities, the watery beer... BUT tf WITH THAT.

We're all on house arrest & eating too much while sitting in front of Netflix, am I right? Well, personally, I cut back my calories & am boning up on my Shakespeare. However, I do try to address the common man. Woman. Non-binary &/or transitioning human.

So blaze them powerhouses, peeps. Here's a handful I recently reviewed & can recommend you try between bouts of clogging your arteries while hiding under your bed in fear. FEAR...

[in no particular order]

Cavalier Geneve Cigars Black II
Mesquite wood | Spices | Espresso
Full review HERE.

San Lotano Cigars Dominicano
Hickory | Pepper | S'mores
Full review HERE.

Espinosa Cigars Laranja Reserva Escuro
Dark Chocolate | Baking spices | Cuban coffee
Full review HERE.

Villiger Cigars Do Brasil Maduro
Espresso | Dark chocolate | Anise
Full review HERE.

Ohana Cigars m13 Maduro
Dark chocolate | Raisins | Nutmeg
Full review HERE.

::: very :::

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Indian Motorcycle Cigars Connecticut Shade in REDUX Review "Which is not Chocolate at All"

"Have you Kaplowitz'd to-day?"

Indian Motorcycle
Connecticut Shade

WRAPPER: Ecuadorian CT
BINDER: Dominican
FILLER: Central American

FORMAT: Toro
ORIGIN: Dominican
INTENSITY: Medium

WEBSITE: www.indiancigars.com

NOTES:
Green peppercorn | Lemonhead candy | White chocolate

Vegetal spice kicker with savory oats & suede underneath. Lemonhead candies for real & a bit less than roundly but not edgy. White chocolate, which is not chocolate at all, cushions well & a clotted cream comes on to aide in the 1/3's end. Develops well via progression. Smooths & evolves warmly of notes. 

Middlings are dirt & chicken coop which trickle down to pool in the underbelly. A tick of bracing lively pine. There's a minty register toward the back of draw, prior to a lengthy sweet/sour finish which reads w/ Asian cuisine flair. An orange blossom honey floods in at the midway mark. 

Complexities begin in a bit of cacophony but ease into a calmer stride. This occurs as depths form nicely -- nicely particularly for a milder profile. Not delicate, but refrained certainly. Cream develops a quite sating body that is ahead of flavor/strength but too, retains balance. A blend you can look around in, or pleasurably breeze thru. Perhaps the latter more-so than former. 

Burns exceptionally... dead even line & excellent pacing. Ash grows all day if you let it. Smoke out-put is moderate+ & culminates in a room-note of movie theater popcorn. An interesting smell-taste later on of honey roasted peanuts. Snack-ish. Draws lovely. Density holds admirably as do seams, cap, shoulder. A sunny & pleasant blend, one which can demand more if you'd like.

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

::: very :::

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

JC Newman Cigar Co. Quorum Maduro in Review "Unreasonable Facsimile"

“Have you Kaplowitz’d to-day?”

JC Newman Cigar Co.
Quorum Maduro 

WRAPPER: Sumatran
BINDER: Connecticut
FILLER: Nicaraguan

FORMAT: Toro
ORIGIN: Nicaragua (J.C. Newman PENSA)
INTENSITY: Medium-Full

WEBSITE: www.jcnewman.com

NOTES:
Black pepper | Dark chocolate | Sarsparilla 

Pungent past pleasantly-so. Asphalt & diesel lead the way for lesser than they primaries. Coarse-ground black pepper, hints of dusty red flakes. Dark chocolate is waxy, thin. Sarsparilla hides too often. Undertones of charred meatness, burnt coffee beans, dry potting soil, & nope. Reminiscent of a Brick House Maduro unreasonable facsimile. A red/purple fruit almosts at the half.

Combustion pulls itself out of a potential runner turned moderate canoeing. Quickly-paced. Big smoke out-put leaves a sharply bitter/biting room-note. Construction shows an uneven roll with some very soft spots & less than tight seams. Draw is rather toward tight but loosens thru-out. Gruff abrasive & inelegant to say the super-least, even when it thins out to sinewy in the final third, which features a tar addition.

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

::: very :::

Monday, May 25, 2020

Kaplowitz Media. Cigars of the Month (May 2020)

"Have you Kaplowitz'd to-day?"

Kaplowitz Media.
CIGARS of the MONTH: May 2020
[Names are links to full reviews]


Index of cigars of the month posts: https://bit.ly/3gfalEB

::: very :::

Friday, May 22, 2020

Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust Awarded One Star | A Kaplowitz Guide Update

"Have you Kaplowitz'd to-day?"

[For more about The Kaplowitz Guide & how its star rating system works, please visit: https://bit.ly/2SrDUZs]

One Kaplowitz Media. Star is awarded to Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust.

Tricky business, this. Separating Steve Saka's current Dunbarton T&T work from his resume of previous experiences. He blogged cigars before blogs existed; chiseling his cuneiform thoughts into stone. Or so I'd imagine -- this was well before my time. He then went on to be employed by a mega-retailer, then by a mega douche. I kid. His work at Drew Estate includes formulating the Liga Privada No. 9, Acid, and Herrera Esteli blends.

But this Kaplowitz Guide star is not for Steve Saka, per see. It is instead for his Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust. I mean, just read the title here, gentlepersons. In a podcast chat of ours some time ago, he remarked that his career is unraveling, what with moving from larger to smaller then smaller again entities. Again, JR Cigars, Drew Estate (smaller potatoes when he signed up), & now a small mom & pop operation (him being Pop). 

I say he's got/getting it right & then more right, with this trajectory. It lands here, for now, w/ DTT. An instantly classic brand. There is a sturdiness displayed across the portfolio (Trust) which takes no excitement away from some truly dazzling experiences. Please do not let the owner's well-practiced & winding Eeyore like self-dismissals fool you; there is brilliant stuff here. He knows it. Another star is earned upon my simply smoking more offerings. I'm truly looking forward to all that.

To begin, smoke the Sobremesa, as pristine & exquisite a cigar as you'll find. Then grow some god damn balls and experience the Mi Querida. Finally, no one can figure out how tf I got my hands on a Muestra de Saka Oro Verde Candela, a lovely thing. (& I ain't telling.)

::: very :::

Thursday, May 21, 2020

La Palina Nicaragua Oscuro in REWORK Review

"Have you Kaplowitz'd to-day?"

La Palina
Nicaragua Oscuro

WRAPPER: Ecuadorian Oscuro
BINDER: Nicaraguan
FILLER: Nicaraguan

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

WEBSITE: lapalinacigars.com

The idea behind these reworked reviews is to bring old formated write-ups up to snuff w/ current format standards. You can read the original review at: https://bit.ly/36hr7hP The final grade will not change from there to here. The hope is simply a more comprehensive look-see pieced together from original published text & privately kept notes.

NOTES:
Mocha | Woods | Peppercorn

Hits the palate stiffly, then softens into an eventual accumulating creaminess. Primaries are a generic wood array braced & attainable mocha melange. Peppercorn does abrade some on the onset, more body then flavor, calms after 1/3 (see: softens). Toppers are all toasted darkly. Bit charcoaly.

Undertones are smoky and a bit less than clean; mostly consisting of creamy dirt -- again darkly-so. Murky-some. Some leathers, too. More charcoaly. Finishes in a lengthy sweet-bitter flipping of over-tones on draw. Nice peppery tingle. Really, the finish does save this profile from the bottom shelf.

Burns on a rapid wave, in an excited if not sporadic manner. Ash builds well, dark, oily. Build-wise, there is an excellent draw, even though some soft spots occur on-down. Ultimately a linear one-trick pony of a sort but perhaps this is the trick you're looking for. It's performed well 'nuff here if that's the case. AJF fans, rejoice, say.

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

::: very :::

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Debonaire Cigars Maduro in REDUX Review "A Blend on a Mission, Say"

"Have you Kaplowitz'd to-day?"

Debonaire Maduro

WRAPPER: Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro, USA
BINDER: Dominican San Vicente
FILLER: Nicaraguan, Dominican

FORMAT: Robusto
ORIGIN: Dominican Republic
INTENSITY: Full

WEBSITE: www.debonairehouse.com

The reasoning behind this redux is a switch from Toro to Robusto vitola. The original Toro review can be read at: https://bit.ly/3g7HXUI This 2d will not reference that 1t. You should read it anyway. It is superbly written.

NOTES:
Peppercorn | Dark chocolate | Cappuccino

It's not just black & red w/ a green peppercorn; it's also a mulling wine accompaniment. That's the full spicy kick. Bold, not brash. Dark chocolate adds neat sweet in a subdued yet brawny manner. A bone dry cappuccino rounds out the primaries. Balanced, delineated, & much like a muscle car idling.

Bracing/backing is a woodsy thing, toasted-roasted & of sweetly spiced cedar & scorched wine cask. That happens from the middlings on-upward. Beneath is a savory earthiness, triggering umami in both roasted vegetal as well as beefy ways. Leathery oils add to that and moisten the palate lip-smackingly-well.

Complex for how robust the profile is presented. Deeply nuanced, to boot. Ultimately tamed but just 'nuff not to maul the clown waving the chair in its face. Straight-forward with an almost severe purpose but never harsh nor boring. Laid out on a compost under-belly, tamped firmly-down. A blend on a mission, say.

Burn-line shows an occasional broadleaf pucker hiccup, self-correcting all but once. Draws smoothly, sating & satisfying. Moderate+ smoky-smoke w/ a strong anise lilt to peppery savoriness. A heady bouquet if ya will. Pleasingly pungent. Build holds firm gate-to-wire. Ah, nicotine kicks a bit... a lovely after-dinner swoon.

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

::: very :::

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Cavalier Geneve Cigars Black II in REDUX Review "There Are No Hyper-active Sumos"

"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
INTENSITY: Full

WEBSITE: www.cavalier-cigars.com

The reasoning behind this redux is a switch from lesser-aged to more well-aged offering of same vitola & receipt. The original review (Dec. 2019) can be read at: https://bit.ly/2ZcSrwf This 2d will not reference that 1t. You should read it anyway. It is superbly written.

NOTES:
Mesquite wood | Spices | Espresso

Earthy af & complex therein. That sits up-high but under primaries & is aptly 'peppered' w/ black & red peppercorn. Then tropical fruit, hidey & vegetal umami-triggers, and sweetness via dark chocolate. Back up-top is lush mesquite wood with an attached mesquite seasoning, bigly of paprika. A well-poured espresso shot whets the palate via wetting.

Spices are a smorgasbord melange depth of baking & BBQ stuffs & rub. Cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, cayenne. Brown sugar, too. This all sinks down to the middlings along w/ the aforementioned umami triggers. A roasted mushroom alfalfa grass thing & meatiness proper. Worcestershire sauce. A real punch in the mouth profile but kindly-so as a Canadian heavyweight. Soory, eh? (KO)

Underbelly is more dat earth, yo. As well as all its additions entail. Barnyard. Rich & robust and deep deep deep. A strange case here of lacking structure somewhat but maintaining delineation via softness. Plush borders. Complex busy-ness, calmed by big bod. There are no hyper-active sumos. Burns & turns, combust & performs, admirably but with a slight ding -- a softening of press on-down. I prefer to spend my time here dissecting the flavors & feels. So I will. So I did.

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

::: very :::

Friday, May 15, 2020

Debonaire Cigars Daybreak in REDUX Review "Showcase of Subtleties"

“Have you Kaplowitz’d to-day?”

Debonaire Cigars
Daybreak (Connecticut)

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

FORMAT: Robusto
ORIGIN: De Los Reyes, Dominican Republic
INTENSITY: Mild-Medium

WEBSITE: www.debonairehouse.com

The reasoning behind this redux is a switch from Corona Extra to Robusto vitola. The original CE review can be read at: https://bit.ly/2Alqnw6 This 2d will not reference that 1t. You should read it anyway. It is superbly written.

NOTES:
Citrus | Sweet spices | Dandelion

Clean. Crisp. Citrus leads the way, lemony w/ lively sweetnesses underneath. Light alfalfa honey, cardamom, tick of melon. Spices are their own primary component, as well, via white ginger and clove. Mace. A bit of white peppercorn, smoothly. Bigly-so vegetal. Floral: dandelion & chamomile, front & back respectively.

Undertones of balsawood & blanched cashews. Sweet hay & bright dirt begin there & then form the underbelly alongside a suede note. Delicate, rigidly. Not pillowy. Sternly structured. There are some edges to certain corners but not to the point of sharpness. Excellent balance and a lovely sweet/sour finish of substantial legs. Not overly complex but a nicely delineated and precise profile.

Very smoky. Builds a sweet citrus room-note with a confectionary lilt. Creamy & quite pleasing aroma. Burns on an even line at a slightly quicker than moderate pace. Ash is salt & pepper, shows nice tooth, & grows well. Draw is perfect, even w/ the least bit of kind resistance. A bright, sunny, and well-rehearsed starched doily showcase of subtleties.

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

::: very :::

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Cavalier Geneve Cigars White Series in REDUX Review "Wide-turning Scenic Complexities"

“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: Medium

WEBSITE: www.cavalier-cigars.com

The reasoning behind this redux is a switch from lesser-aged to more well-aged offering of same vitola & receipt. The original review (Dec. 2019) can be read at: https://bit.ly/2zxEUVa This 2d will not reference that 1t. You should read it anyway. It is superbly written.

NOTES:
Honey | Ginger | Cocoa butter

"[Honey] acacia, apple blossom, blueberry, carob seed, orange blossom." Me, in my initial review of this offering, I linked above. Matter of fact, it's immediately clear that consistency is big. A rework here more so than redux? Perhaps. The honey notes are met w/ a buttery pale exotic spice steered by white ginger.

Suede-wrapped white peppercorn structures nicely as well as highlights components of honey varietals -- thus forms middlings. All that underneath the plush & posh cocoa butter primary section. Underbelly brings sunny earth w/ traces of terra cotta & slight kaolin. Chicken coop is there, ebbing/flowing. A buttery cedar, ditto.

Luscious. Deep soft nuances. Wide-turning scenic complexities. Well-rounded. Supremely balanced. The aroma is so fucking pretty, heavy but airy -- not cumbersome -- sweetly hidey w/ floral components. Kind, even with its peppery kick. Graham cracker pie crust begins in the room-note, finds its way to the sweet-spicy-savory long-legged finish at 'round the 1/2.

Draws like a dream. Burns on an even line. Grows well-built ash. Care-free combustion & construction allows all attention to be placed upon one of the more flavorful & skillfully delivered profiles I've smoked in recent memory. Decadent. Now, if you'll be so kind, I'd prefer to enjoy the remainder alone.

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

::: very :::

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Left Hand Cigar Co. Left-Hander in REDUX Review "I've Never Actually Climbed a Mountain"

“Have you Kaplowitz’d to-day?”

Familia Rodriguez Tobacos
Ohana Cigars
Left Hand Cigar Co.
Left-Hander

WRAPPER: Connecticut Broadleaf
BINDER: Nicaraguan
FILLER: Nicaraguan

FORMAT: Toro (652) box-press, closed foot
ORIGIN: Nicaragua
INTENSITY: Full

WEBSITE: ohanacigars.com

The reasoning behind this redux is a switch from lesser-aged to more well-aged offering of same vitola & receipt. The original review (Oct. 2019) can be read at: https://bit.ly/2LkX4vR This 2d will not reference that 1t. You should read it anyway. It is superbly written.

NOTES:
Peppercorn | Licorice | Oak

Aggressive. B - E aggressive. Black & red peppercorn are way too out-front; burying something like a dusty & whimpering pantry spice. Age didn't calm my Gruncle Leon and apparently revved up this blend. A bit of anise settles sweetly alongside molasses (licorice vibe) after the harsh wave. Scorched oak structures tf out of the profile. tf, I say! Hyper-focused & sharply-so.

Undertones are way under. Potting soil, cola, patent leather. They don't reach the primaries. Underbelly is scorched black dirt w/ a pissed off cayenne addition. Touch of grain, dark. Imbalanced in terms of flavor/strength lurching spastically ahead of body. Finishes with a mineral charcoal cocoa lilt. Aroma is a heady bittersweet pungency I find myself ducking out of the way of -- voluminous smoke out-put.

No complexities. Charred nuances. Burns slowly & on an even line. Ash grows dense, dryly to an easy inch. Draw is open/even. Pack density holds, as does shoulder & cap. Press holds, as well. When you climb a mountain it's challenging but the view is rewarding. I feel that's pertinent to this experience, somehow. (I've never actually climbed a mountain.)

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

::: very :::

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Indian Motorcycle Cigars Habano in Review "w/ Handlebar Mustache"

“Have you Kaplowitz’d to-day?”

Indian Motorcycle Habano

WRAPPER: Ecuadorian Habano
BINDER: Dominican
FILLER: Central American

FORMAT: Toro
ORIGIN: Dominican Republic
INTENSITY: Medium

WEBSITE: www.indiancigars.com

NOTES:
Cedar | Spices | Chocolate

A buttery yet staunchly structuring cedar leads the way on its own smooth butterscotch undertones. Spices are a pantry array, red. Cinnamon, nutmeg, & smoked paprika. Milk chocolate dances & balances sweetly those spices. As does ebbing/flowing honey, a heavy buckwheat varietal thing. Undertones are also a dash of cayenne pepper, a bit of nougat, and rich bright earthiness with a vegetal savory lilt.

Excellent complexities in that sweet-spicy gambit. Muscular, with a bit of toasty-roasty creamy padding on its frame. An old-school circus strongman w/ handlebar mustache. Big body, creamy-sweet w/ a neat-o meaty kicker-tingle on the lips (I rephrase & reiterate, for some reason). An almost flamboyant profile, one which would be at home on a boardwalk sideshow. Jovial & curious, as a curiosity.

Sweet as can be while staying on the right side of cloying. A slight citrus tanginess keeps barnacles from clinging. Burns on a mainly even line with an occasional (self-correcting) puckered lag to top-leaf. Draws a bit snug but satiates well. Smoke out-put is big & builds a neat aroma akin to its sweet/spicy finish, therein on a dense leathery cloud.

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

::: very :::

Monday, May 11, 2020

Debonaire Cigars Habano in Review "Refined. Synergy. Effortless."

“Have you Kaplowitz’d to-day?”

Debonaire House Habano

WRAPPER: Nicaraguan
BINDER: Dominican
FILLER: Nicaraguan, Dominican

FORMAT: Petite Lancero (5.5x38) pig-tail cap
ORIGIN: Dominican Republic
INTENSITY: Medium

WEBSITE: www.debonairehouse.com

NOTES:
Spices | Nougat | Milk chocolate

Mulling spices (allspice, cloves, cinnamon, citrus rind) w/ white peppercorn steering. Cinnamon is pale, attracts a sugar cube. Citrus via grapefruit & a cube of sugar goes there, as well. Complex intermingling & delineated to boot. Cocoa butter comes in after a few pulls & warms further into milk chocolate while forfeiting zilch in creaminess. Nougat carries a honey malt. Balanced & rich. Refined.

Something of a pignoli cookie happens in the middlings along with some soft toasted woods. More cream but never so much as to muddle up the profile. Blanched chicory root. Well-lit but not bright, per se. Sweet & pleasant with a subtle brawniness. Complex & nuanced minus being startling or murky. Classic & calm... not old & boring. The Whole is Greater than the Sum of its Parts. Synergy.

Underbelly is golden earth w/ a slight sweet hay attachment. This is the sweetness that hits the palate after retro-haling muscles up spiciness comfortably-so.  Aroma is a selling point, w/ leathers savoring up primaries. Finish is that, also & on moderate creamy legs. 

All well & (quite) good (excellent) but it means nothing minus combustion/construction & here, combustion/construction is flawless. Rustic & exquisite & engineered so well as to seem not engineered at all. Effortless. 

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

::: very :::

Thursday, May 07, 2020

GTO Cigars Anesthesia Corojo in Review "Blue Jeans Drying on a Clothesline"

“Have you Kaplowitz’d to-day?”

GTO Cigars
Anesthesia Corojo

WRAPPER: Corojo
BINDER: Dominican
FILLER: Dominican

FORMAT: Toro (654)
ORIGIN: Tabacalera GTO Dominicana, Valle del Cibao, DR
INTENSITY: Mild-Medium

WEBSITE: www.gtodominicancigars.com

NOTES:
Suede | Clarified butter | Pantry spices

Pantry spices develop into a soft mulling spice w/ the quick addition of citrus rind by the 1/2. Suede is a mellow meaty thing, softly. Almost plushly. Clarified butter is clarified butter & an orange blossom honey vague cocoa butter sweetness is prominent in its underneath. Underbelly is a dirt trail, less traveled. Sunny but not bright, shaded. Some pale grain happens there, in & out.

Structure is lacking, via absence of rigid notes or 'kick,' per se. Not bland nor broad, tho -- just easy like a Sunday morning. Airy. Not complex or even particularly nuanced but quite pleasant. There is a touch of white peppercorn on the retro-hale, that adds a tick of malt to sweets. Breezy. Finish shows a bit of a yellow floral attachment to that retro -- on something less than moderate legs. Ends clean.

Burn requires a re-touch to fend off canoe coming out of 1/3. Fine from there. Pacing is a little quick-sided. Ash grows dense & oily to an inch+. Draw could stand being a hair more open but is even & mostly sating. Aroma is a whispered sweet savoriness. A nice offering to pair w/ lemonade or sweet tea on a summer day. A pair of blue jeans drying on a clothesline. A Tom Petty ditty.

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

::: very :::

Wednesday, May 06, 2020

Cavalier Geneve Cigars Receives Rising Star | A Kaplowitz Guide Update

"Have you Kaplowitz'd to-day?"

[Before more & to clarify, these rising stars are NOT official stars but a 'heads up' of sorts. A nod. Again, please visit https://bit.ly/2SrDUZs for ye lay of the land.] thx

A Rising Star is awarded to Cavalier Geneve Cigars.

A Swiss brand rooted in the European market & since 2016 embarking upon the New World. Knowing the US market to be possessing a different palate, Cavalier (Sebastien Decoppet) began by offering a USA exclusive -- w/ darker, grittier, & more aggressive bits. Intent writ meaningfully large, there. An olive branch intro of an offering that speaks well, its host's language.

All told: interesting tobaccos, intriguing blends & even w/in the Euro lines a subtle rustic nature somewhat not all-foreign to Americana. Also, an undercurrent of identifiable kinship among the varying & variable blends; a nice thing there, to retain a signature across portfolio. Note too, the 24k gold leaf affixed to each stick, acting as shiny retail humidor bait. What would secure a star for this brand? Time & a broader profile. So we wait.

While we wait, try their White Series, Davidoff w/ balls & perhaps back hair, say. Also, their Black II, a beautifully refined look at San Andres leaf. I just recently re-evaluated their Black Series (USA Exclusive) & plan on doing the same w/ the rest.

::: very :::

Monday, May 04, 2020

Cavalier Geneve Cigars Black Series (USA Exclusive) in REDUX Review

“Have you Kaplowitz’d to-day?”

Cavalier Geneve Cigars
Black Series (USA Exclusive)

WRAPPER: San Andres Negra
BINDER: Arapiraca
FILLER: Honduran, Nicaraguan

FORMAT: Robusto pig-tail
ORIGIN: San Judas Tadeo, Honduras
INTENSITY: Medium-Full

WEBSITE: www.cavalier-cigars.com

The reasoning behind this redux is a switch from Robusto to more well-aged Robusto (same box). The original Robusto (Jan. 2020) review can be read at: https://bit.ly/2zMIivz This 2d will not reference that 1t. You should read it anyway. It is superbly written.

NOTES:
Black peppercorn | Anise | Leather

The rather provocative delivery of a patent leather note somewhat brings to mind a dominatrix. Not my thing, but you do you. Sultry if not sensual & spicy-so. Anise steers spices w/ a black licorice wheel but cayenne & peppercorn put the pedal to the... mesquite. That pepper exhibits a hint of green w/in black for a neat roasted vegetal depth. Via progression, espresso & beef broth pour in balancing and rounding out the profile quite well.

Very flavorful & that's always out ahead of strength & on par w/ that aforementioned body. Just an excellent high-wire act of notes. Undertones are dark chocolate, toasted barley, & mesquite woodsiness. Underbelly is compost & barnyard. Savory, satiating, and robust yet still mainly refined. A well-trained bull in a china shop that glues cups to saucers, saucers to shelves.

Finish is a tick abrupt & end is quite clean, thanks to a mineral salty addition there. Aroma is stiff leather & dense earth w/ peppery kicker. Burn happens at a moderate pace via even burn-line. Ash makes an inch of growth, albeit dryly. Draw is exceptionally smooth. The brick shithouse roll holds that way gate-to-wire. I began by saying this is a stand-alone redux, but I'd be remiss in not saying that age apparently works well on this blend.

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

::: very :::

Friday, May 01, 2020

Illusione Cigars Awarded Two Stars | A Kaplowitz Guide Update

"Have you Kaplowitz'd to-day?"

[For more about The Kaplowitz Guide & how its star rating system works, please visit: https://bit.ly/2SrDUZs]

Two Kaplowitz Media. Stars are awarded to Illusione Cigars.

Illusione is a large-voiced brand, predominantly projected/amplified thru excellent tobaccos, quality craftsmanship, and outside-the-box marketing -- all quite well adhered to in terms of a keenly self-aware vision. Their Nicaraguan leaf highlights the best of the region's growth. Bold yet refined & complex, never brash nor simplistic.

A step-up in palate prowess & totally not a front for a secret society determined to rule the world. More like a tremendous brand under the watchful eye of Dion Giolito, whose experience & expertise pull from & in turn permeate, every corner of the cigar industry. The same industry his company seems fixed and/or fixated on transcending.

Try their Garagiste, for a portfolio-pushing vino adventure. But first, smoke the ~ mk ~ teaching machine for a lay of the brand's terroir. Also, the pristine f9 Finesse may-be my favorite stick on the market.

::: very :::

Espinosa Cigars Awarded One Star | A Kaplowitz Guide Update

"Have you Kaplowitz'd to-day?"

[For more about The Kaplowitz Guide & how its star rating system works, please visit: https://bit.ly/2SrDUZs]

One Kaplowitz Media. Star is awarded to Espinosa Cigars.

Old school mixes with the new school under Erik Espinosa's outwardly stern guidance. A wide portfolio spans that gap, then fills it with precisely equal parts each. From traditional packaging to holographic-like imagery. From throwback blends to new twists. One thing is certain, Espinosa has leveraged social media to become quite popular -- w/ no slow-down in sight.

That www popularity extends as well, to the brands made at their La Zona factory in Nicaragua. Drawing in those online fans is an engaging & growing Espinosa family of industry familiar names. Succinctly, Espinosa breaks rules in the manner the good Lord intended -- only after first learning the rules & w/ good friends at their side. They earn another star by more greatly avoiding the fratboy pull of Cigar Dojo hangs.

Try their Murcielago for a weighty well-balanced & long-lasting pop in the mouth. Also, their 601 Blue Label Maduro for a bowl-of-stew-in-your-gut level satiating. Then smoke the Laranja Reserva Escuro for a Death by Chocolate dessert.

::: very :::

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

DAV Cigars Prima Natural in REDUX, Redux Review

"Have you Kaplowitz'd to-day?"

DAV Prima Natural

WRAPPER: Ecuadorian CT
BINDER: Indonesian
FILLER: Dominican

FORMAT: Belicoso
ORIGIN: Dominican Republic
INTENSITY: Mild-Medium

WEBSITE: www.davcigars.com

The reasoning behind this redux is a switch from Robusto to Belicoso vitola. The original Robusto review can be read at: https://bit.ly/3aPBPge This 2d will not reference that 1t. You should read it anyway. It is superbly written. Oh, I also reviewed this blend in its Churchill iteration at: https://bit.ly/2zC3Nip

NOTES:
Eucalyptus | White chocolate | Dandelion

Minty. Refreshing. Delicate & enduring -- a doily crocheted of fishing line. Quite floral & vegetal w/ mineral meanderings, kindly-so. Not green, but raw -- untoasted. Dandelion w/ accompanying chamomile. White chocolate is a creamy thing, not overly sweet, in excellent balance w/ other notes.
Pistachio braces from upper middlings. Fantastic structure there and superb delineation above. Airy, never vacant.

The rest of middlings are as sunny/bright yet smooth as those primaries. Pine & balsa woods (added structure) are forefront. Then white peppercorn, breezily. A driving lemonade. Burgeoning suede. Underbelly is golden earth growing wildflowers & hay. A Sunday drive thru the countryside. Aroma is light bright & sweet; candied floral bits sidle up to sweet citrus. Finishes cool & floral sweetly on moderate legs.

Draws well, evenly. Ash grows dense solid under a silvery sheath, an easy inch. Roll holds w/ out hiccup. However, there is a bit of cosmetic-only cracking of top-leaf under the band. The pacing is akin to the aforementioned Sunday drive. Leisurely, w/ a calm excitement via marvel. Oh, look. Cows. In short, complex, well balanced. Rigid not fleshy & clean as a whistle. An actively light meditation, say.

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

::: very :::

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

J.C. Newman Cigars Brick House Maduro in REDUX Review

“Have you Kaplowitz’d to-day?”

J.C. Newman Cigars
Brick House Maduro

WRAPPER: Brazilian Arapiraca
BINDER: Nicaraguan
FILLER: Nicaraguan

FORMAT: Gordo
ORIGIN: PENSA, Nicaragua
INTENSITY: Full

WEBSITE: www.jcnewman.com

The reasoning behind this redux is a switch from Robusto to Toro vitola. The original Robusto review can be read at: https://bit.ly/3aGbxwM This 2d will not reference that 1t. You should read it anyway. It is superbly written. Oh, I also reviewed this blend in its Gordo "Mighty-Mighty" iteration at: https://bit.ly/2W5pK13

NOTES:
Baking spices | Espresso | Dark chocolate

Sinewy. Liquidy. Slick. Smoked paprika & clove forward baking spices, pushed on ahead by a ground black pepper which bites a tick diesely. Espresso is a thinly sweet crema'd thing w/ a definite Indonesian lilt. Lilt heck, those characteristics grow to be seen throughout this blend's mid-section: a prominent earthiness, oak, leather, &, to fill out the primaries -- dark chocolate. A shaved sort, a bit waxily-so. Underbelly is a scorched compost tea w/ a meaty savoriness via broth.

A very straight-forward profile. Pungently-so. Balances on a razor-blade of narrow sharp focus, tilting toward strength & away from body. Finish takes a while to build but offers a nice oily sweetness w/ pinch of salt, simply. Nothing extraordinary but well 'nuff planned & delivered; albeit a bit cutting at times. So, not complex nor nuanced but more so the latter, as notes slowly wade thru waters to entrench in murky-earthy shallow unders. 

A 'put hair on your chest' level of proper strength (nicotine). Burns on a mainly even line w/ one or two lagging hiccups not requiring of re-touches. Pack density does soften considerably. Draw remains open sans any resistance whatsoever. Smoke out-put wobbles from whispy to moderate, culminating in an anise-laced woodsiness. Somber & specific; a demanding if not challenging offering.

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

::: very :::

Monday, April 27, 2020

Kaplowitz Media. Recommended Cigar & Coffee Pairings + Info on Pairing

"Have you Kaplowitz'd to-day?"

Holy crossover, Batman! Below is a list of [see title] which spans all Kaplowitz Media. Coffee | Cigars - Cigars | Coffee... & discussed on Kaplowitz Radio.'s Kaplowitz To-day 4.27.20 (player below) more fully. Feel that? It was nothing. IT'S JUST THE EARTH MOVED A WHOLE BUNCH. yw

Lemongrass | Coconut | Pinewood
INTENSITY: Mild

+++

Blueberry syrup | White chocolate | Orchids
INTENSITY: Mild-Medium

________

Hot cocoa | Black pepper | Cedar
INTENSITY: Medium

+++

Chocolate | Merlot | Figs
INTENSITY: Medium-Full

________

Hickory | Pepper | S'mores
INTENSITY: Medium-Full

+++

Oak | Black walnut | Dark chocolate
INTENSITY: Full

Kaplowitz To-day 4.27.20: Pairings Special
[podcast ep. wherein I get more into it]



::: very :::

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Kaplowitz Media. Cigars of the Month (April 2020)

"Have you Kaplowitz'd to-day?"

Kaplowitz Media.
CIGARS of the MONTH: APRIL 2020
[Names are links to full reviews]


HONORARY MENTION

NOTE

Short list. Long month. Crazy month! Remember -- each month's list, no matter how long or short, sees its entrants entered into the running for Kaplowitz Media. Cigar of the Year. (Honorary mentions, however, nope.) thx

::: very :::

Kaplowitz Media. Cigars Weekly Recapitulation Volume CLXXIX

"Have you Kaplowitz'd to-day?"

[titles are links]

BLOG
NEWS

Stay abreast of KM news: https://bit.ly/2ZOhjZn

Weekly Recapitulations 2017-present: https://bit.ly/2Sq0obL

::: very :::

Thursday, April 23, 2020

JC Newman Cigars Diamond Crown Maximus in Review

“Have you Kaplowitz’d to-day?”

JC Newman
Diamond Crown 
Maximus 

WRAPPER: Ecuadorian Sungrown
BINDER: Dominican
FILLER: Dominican

FORMAT: Toro
ORIGIN: Tabacalera A. Fuente, Dominican Rebublic
INTENSITY: Medium-Full

NOTES:
Roasted Orange | White peppercorn | Salted caramel

Sounds lovely there, no? OK, there are issues. A dry tangy attachment to roasted oranges that hits the palate as dish detergent, say. Alas, the salted car-a-mel has its woes, as well. Namely in a mineral lilt to its over-taking saltiness. White dirt. Kaolin. +Side? I'm handsome. That & white peppercorn is nice & has its own fruity nethers similar to a decent Riesling. Most problematic is the finish, a long cloying thing that highlights those lowlights (overly bright, minerally). 

Undertones are a taut suede that provides some nice structure; which the white peppercorn fails at. A bit of a buttery cedar, some whipped chocolate, vanilla bean, thin honey. This is all laid (scattered) out on a rather simple golden dirt earthiness w/ a flitting & fleeting terra cotta addition. Aroma-wise, the tanginess leads sharply-so, as dull natural tobacco brings up the rear. Underwhelming & not even entirely pleasant. There are complexities but they are seldom kind. Nuances, depths -- are non-existent. 

Visually, we begin with uneven seams & lumpy barrel, pre-light. This doesn't worsen, tho (yippee). Cap & shoulders degrade a bit via progression. Draw is quite nice, smooth, and open, evenly-so. Ash builds well but off an at times jagged burn-line. Pacing is speedy. All told, a profile neither old-school nor new, & that's just one way this blend swings, misses, falls between the cracks -- carrying w/ it there an intent which remains increasingly unclear.

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

::: very :::

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Caldwell Cigars Long Live the King in REDUX, Redux by Kaplowitz

"Have you Kaplowitz'd to-day?"

Caldwell
Long Live the King

WRAPPER: Dominican Corojo
BINDER: Dominican
FILLER: Peruvian, Nicaraguan

FORMAT: 5x52 "Lock Stock" Belicoso
ORIGIN: Caldwell Cigar Factory, DR
INTENSITY: Full


The reasoning behind this redux is a switch from Corona to this 552 Belicoso format. The original Corona review can be read at: https://bit.ly/2KDvAS9 This 2d will not reference that 1t. You should read it anyway. It is superbly written. (From there you can also see my review of a Petite Corona expression of this blend.)

NOTES:
Chocolate fudge | Red pepper | Molasses

Lotsa chocolate, Death by Chocolate, lifted by its own scorched wine cask nethers. Red peppercorn braces up, down, sideways in a nicely built first-half structure; smoothed by a meaty umami saucy sauce. Molasses floods into the cracks, altho I'm not convinced there ever were any. Full, say.

Secondaries consist of a dusty pantry spice array w/ cayenne kicker, an erratically ebbing/flowing roasted cedar, and a whole silo-worth of dark grains that cut the molasses well. At the 1/2, espresso floods in to do here what molasses does in the primaries. Underbelly is beef stew poured into a compost heap. Who tf puts raisins in their stew? Morracans, maybe? Roasted orange hits the long-legged bittersweet savory finish.

Dense & plush so much so that complexities are beat-down or at least, hidden. I mean, I imagine they're there. Deeply nuanced, however -- & that seems what this murky yet somehow jovial* blend seems all about. Nicely balanced. Structure sags in the second-half tho, as pepper dials back and cedar fails, finally. *Gallows humor, say? Still substantial. Sating.

... tho not overly dependable. While the char-line is mainly even, the top-leaf wants to combust much more slowly than the already cool-burning innards. It smokes damp, drudgingly-so. Requires a re-light. Smoke-put is uneven but barely ever hits moderate. Room-note mainly fails to build beyond a muted Cavendish aroma. Draw is hesitant at times.  Packing softens considerably. Inky & interesting, all told -- but also frustrating at times. Seems to step on its own foot more than once; clunky some. Plodding.

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

::: very :::

Monday, April 20, 2020

GTO Cigars Pain Killer Maduro REDUX Review

"Have you Kaplowitz'd to-day?"

GTO Cigars
Pain Killer Maduro

WRAPPER: Dominican
BINDER: Dominican
FILLER: Dominican

FORMAT: Lancero (pig-tail cap)
ORIGIN: Tabacalera GTO Dominicana
INTENSITY: Medium-Full

WEBSITE: www.gtodominicancigars.com

The reasoning behind this redux is a switch from Robusto to Lancero vitola. The original Robusto review can be read at: https://bit.ly/3aoc8mz This 2d will not reference that 1t. You should read it anyway. It is superbly written.

NOTES:
Dark chocolate | Espresso | Molasses

The primaries all march along in a darkly toasted lockstep stride. Then it's also sultry. Weird. A charred oak wine cask delineates dark chocolate shavings & espresso from below. Below, beneath, but not very... superficial nuances. The depth is there but not deeply-so. The abyss stares back & I shrug. Pleasantly bittersweet via a somber & heady manner. Yet not abrupt nor ham-fisted...

Just not complex. Smokes a bit like a purito --- a look at a quite nice single leaf. Black walnut, anise, & pumpernickel flood the secondaries -- but do not expand them. A bit claustrophobic, say. Still, nicely balanced. Proportionate. Structured. Cherry cola sweetness w/ an underpinning crisp bitterness comes at mid-point & really does do well.  Underbelly is roasted earth w/ a hidey savoriness which extends into a sweet long-lasting finish. A surprise almost minty refreshing roasted orange tail-end. Then clean.

Draws exceptionally smooth for its format. Ash clings well & pale, glistening at points. There is some crackling of top-leaf, dinging its cosmetics. Cap & shoulder hold fast, as do seams & density of roll. Very smoky, voluminously-so. Plumes, really. That said, a milder aroma than that'd foretell. Quite woody & peppery, that's there on the retro-hale, as well. How to succinctly relay the all in all? Imagine watching Eartha Kitt slip into her negligee, through the key-hole in her boudoir door. She purrs, you know.

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

::: very :::

Friday, April 17, 2020

Tabacos de la Cordillera by IGM Cigars Kalavera Maduro Blue in Review

“Have you Kaplowitz’d to-day?”

Tabacos de la Cordillera
IGM Kalavera Maduro Blue

WRAPPER: Costa Rican
BINDER: Costa Rican
FILLER: Costa Rican

FORMAT: Gordo
ORIGIN: Costa Rica
INTENSITY: Full

WEBSITE: www.tabacordilleracr.com

NOTES:
Cajun spice mix | Cocoa butter | Orange blossom honey

Sharply & erratically focused. It's got 'Linebacker Eyes.' Piercing pungency is up-top w/cayenne and smoked paprika lead, aggressively. White peppercorn. Hard to see much else. I keep getting sacked, looking up at stadium lights. Concussion protocol, much? Cocoa butter & honey is neat but sinks to upper middlings in their washed-away complexities. Grapefruit pith happens somewhere under there. Under that is a dense simple hiking trail earthiness.

Unwavering. Linear. Thru the nose, it's surprisingly not utterly jarring & exhibits a tick of smoky floral bits. Chamomile, dandelion. Fleeting. Moistens the palate well, but the notes are all dry & fleeting on-thru the finish. There is a fading of spice toward the back-end but not much else pokes out to say hey. A pins & needles body of N'awlins taken to novelty extremes.

The draw is nice, a tick of smooth resistance, there. Burn-line ain't perfect but requires 0 assist. Ash stacks dryly, not to a full inch. Aroma is curiously mute; particularly since the smoke out-put is easily moderate. My palate feels charred. Throaty. I will say this -- it's big, this thing. & never tedious. Just daunting. A challenging jaunting? Nah. Imbalanced & disturbing via angry spice and oddly sedate palsy.

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

::: very :::

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Maya Selva Cigars Flor de Selva Maduro Grand-Presse in Review

“Have you Kaplowitz’d to-day?”

Maya Selva
Flor de Selva Maduro
Grand-Presse

WRAPPER: Honduran
BINDER: Brazilian
FILLER: Honduran

FORMAT: 656 Toro Grande box-press
ORIGIN: Honduras (Tabacos de Oriente)
INTENSITY: Medium-Full

WEBSITE: 
Espresso | Salted caramel | Leather

Espresso, robust yet smooth, is laid out over a thick & smoky leather. Salted dark caramel has its own molasses underneath, nice depth there. Nuances are not lost on the bitter-savoriness, either. They linger in their nethers. The cup runneth over. Structure is nicely enforced by a black peppercorn beef jerky. Vertically complex af & horizontally staunchly upheld. 

Oak barrels hold up the middlings. Some black walnut. Underbelly is umami-drenched compost & top-soil. Abrades the palate some. Quite drying. A parched tongue lets in peppers. PEPPERS, BLACK. Some notes begin to charcoal via progression. Mottling occurs at the half-way mark. Purging don't aid. A tale of two cigars, this. Becomes aggressive, spastically-so. Frenetic & somber at once. It feels mental.

The burn-line requires a retouch at each third. Ash aerates, splinters... fugly. Box-press rounds ahead of char. Draw wobbles emptily at times. Cap loosens on shoulder. Less than moderate smoke out-put irritates a bit; spicy & stiff. (A Latino lover, say?) A retro-hale at mid 2/3rd makes me do the Curly Shuffle on my carport floor. 'Floor' de Selva, more like. Biting. Eek. Blind-sided.

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

::: very :::

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Pura Soul Cigars Barber Pole in Review

“Have you Kaplowitz’d to-day?”

Pura Soul 
Barber Pole

WRAPPER: Honduran Corojo | Maduro
BINDER: Honduran
FILLER: Honduran

FORMAT: Toro barber pole
ORIGIN: Honduras
INTENSITY: Medium

WEBSITE: www.purasoulcigars.com

NOTES:
Lemon curd | Coconut | Milk chocolate

Citrus (sour) & sweet (milk chocolate) play off each other in a jockeying less-than-friendly manner. There is an imbalanced competition there, won out almost immediately & throughout by tangy af. Very lightly toasted nigh raw. Sunny-bright like an overly hoppy IPA. Coconut is a confectioner's take, aiding some with sweetness but not enough w/ bracing of structure.

Undertones are a white peppercorn that admirably supports further beneath, a pinch of salt, a bit of shortbread. That pepper is a little aggressive but the cream which fills out the middlings cushions well. Some savoriness would be a welcome addition. Here, the profile swirls rather quickly, w/ abrupt changes in direction. Nice depth, & complexly-so. Although writ large, not a very complex smoke. Mild but not mellow; a soft-spoken wildman.

The two wrapper leaves burn in accord & thus evenly. Pacing seems a tick quick. Ash grows well in a sheath/stack of dimes combo. Smoke out-put is bigly; culminating a sour-sweet room-note with a dandelion lilt picked up through the retro-hale. All told a jittery yet subtle thing. Tangy, as noted already but worth mentioning again. Almost refreshingly-so, really. Effervescent?


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

::: very :::

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Tabacos de la Cordillera by IGM Cigars El Centauro de Oro in Review

“Have you Kaplowitz’d to-day?”

Tabacos de la Cordillera 
by IGM Cigars 
El Centauro de Oro

WRAPPER: Costa Rican
BINDER: Costa Rican
FILLER: Costa Rican

FORMAT: Gordo
ORIGIN: Costa Rica
INTENSITY: Light-Medium

WEBSITE: www.tabacordilleracr.com

NOTES:
Cocoa butter | Cashew | Clotted cream

Big. Size-wise, its band requires a black tape extension to reach-around... uh.. wrap-around its... uh... girth. Flavor-wise, it's brightly dusty big, as well. But arrives there in a clustered undelineated manner. Unchanging. Primaries trickle down into nuanced meanderings with each-other in middlings. Under-belly is terra cotta laced sandy earthiness. Tick minerally.

Ah, primaries. Not a lot more to say, really. Cocoa butter, cashew (nuts then butter via progression -- a sole transition), & clotted cream have a difficult time separating. They seem to bounce off then hug each other in a muted cacophony. Some citrus pith ebbs & flows here & there. A bit of cream soda. So. Much. Tobacco. A bit laborious, say.

Wrapper leaf crackles audibly at scant times, a tick of visible crackling once or twice. Minimally & only cosmetically. Draws well, a slight half-tick of even-keeled tension. Burns on a bit of a wobble which is self-correcting. Quite smoky, a savory grain & earthen aroma. Ash is a builder, for sure. Stacks dimes, or more appropriately, nickles. Finish is sweet, short, & growingly gritty, dry. Cardboard.

Bland, all told, sans a sparsely scattered & pale exotic spice lilt. A nice offering to pair with a vat of diner coffee. A hammock of graham crackers. A backpack of mixed nuts. Are we there yet? Who wants to play Punch Buggy? Fine, dad. Turn this car around...

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

::: very :::

Monday, April 13, 2020

Pura Soul Cigars Habano in Review

“Have you Kaplowitz’d to-day?”

Pura Soul
Habano 

WRAPPER: Habano
BINDER: Undisclosed
FILLER: Undisclosed

FORMAT: Corona
ORIGIN: Undisclosed
INTENSITY: Medium

WEBSITE: www.purasoulcigars.com

NOTES:
Pantry spices | Roasted oranges | Honey

Dusty spices lead the way, sharpened up a good tick via a quite interesting roasted orange note. Here's what food.com recommends as far as preparing roasted oranges, "Drizzle [slices] with a good vanilla extract, then sprinkle generously with cinnamon. Finally, drizzle honey generously over each slice." That's pretty much what happens here. Cream bounds up in the 2d-half. Buttery.

The cinnamon starts humming prior to that; after the first few spice melange pulls. Honey is an orange blossom varietal. All citrus & sweet-spicy, this. Problems, or at least lackings, occur in predominantly vacant secondaries. Underbelly gives a nice chicken coop & buttery suede savoriness, however. All told, a very smokeable far from dazzling portfolio addition. No nuance. Scant complexity.

Nice mouth-feel smooth with just a tick kick. Finish trails off rather quickly, features a fleeting cardboard lilt which dries a bit. Funny, since it burns a bit moist, though on an even-line. Slowly. Moist on the draw, mostly. Not bad -- just notably & notated. Moderate+ smoke out-put smells like its finish. Ash grows flaky, well 'nuff tho. Roll holds firmness gate-to-wire. A simple, simply good, enjoyable smoke.

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

###

Friday, April 10, 2020

Cibao Cigars Seleccion Especial in Review

“Have you Kaplowitz’d to-day?”

Cibao Cigars 
Seleccion Especial

WRAPPER: Ecuadorian Habano
BINDER: Dominican
FILLER: Dominican

FORMAT: Toro
ORIGIN: Dominican Republic
INTENSITY: Medium

WEBSITE: mycigarpack.com

NOTES:
Nougat | Chocolate whipped cream | Pantry spices

Cedar is somehow a part of all primaries & offers a nice back-bone to each. Although that tact seems to remove much complexity from the equation, as it doesn't allow mingling of notes. Instead, between them is a sandy-gritty spiciness. Dusty & non-descript. Under that is more spice w/ a scant red pepper addition, some cream (but not quite enough), and a tick of a citrusy try.

Underbelly is the aforementioned grit & simple sweetness enveloped from around-top. A balanced profile but also lacking in some regard (savoriness in particular) -- so, much like juggling only two balls. An easy blend that loses its charm when it tries to kick a bit. Juggling two knives, say. No harder, just sharper & why??? Finish is a fleeting sweet dusty thing, drying to the palate.

The selling point of this smoke is its combustion/construction. Glistening-white long ash, smooth draw, dead-even burn. Smoke out-put is moderate & builds a neat aroma of creamy sweetness with spicy BAM notch -- funny how what swings & misses on the palate, slam dunks on the nose. Funny too, mixing metaphors. lol

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

::: very :::

Thursday, April 09, 2020

El Artista Cigars El Pulita 60 Aniversario in Review

“Have you Kaplowitz’d to-day?”

El Artista El Pulita
60 Aniversario

WRAPPER: Dominican Negrito
BINDER: Dominican
FILLER: Colombia, Dominican, Nicaraguan, USA (PA)

FORMAT: Toro
ORIGIN: Dominican Republic
INTENSITY: Mild-Medium

WEBSITE(s): 
Cocoa butter | Milk chocolate | Cedar

Oily, nicely. From wrapper eyeballing, to finish on palate. Sweetly mellow with a 'keep ya honest' white pepper kick. Cocoa butter & milk chocolate twist & play yet stay bordered within delineation. This provided by a peppery backbone, as well as buttery sweet-spiced cedar. Cedar leads that structuring after a tick, stays in charge. Middlings are pale toasted bits of honey, nougat, & butterscotch notes.

Terra cotta comes up from underbelly; suede there with lilts of chicken coop. Savory. Down below is golden earth with a single sweet bale of fresh hay. Finishes long and mellow, an extension of primaries. Never cloying, but clean. Complex in a casual sort of manner. Nuanced in the same vein. Quite well-balanced. A stoically classical cigar with a posh creamy body. A bit of fusty peanut butter. 

Draw could stand being a tick looser. Burn-line exhibits a slight hiccup jaggedness once or twice. Those previous two sentences are nit-pickery at its finest. IT'S FINEST, I SAY. Smoke out-put is a tick shy of moderate culminating in a less than plush room-note of malty suede honey. Ash stacks well. Firm packing stays thatta-way all thru. A pleasant stick, impressive in its lack of pursuit thereof. It's chill af, man.

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

::: very :::

Wednesday, April 08, 2020

Tuesday, April 07, 2020

JC Newman Cigar Co. Diamond Crown no.4 Maduro in Review

“Have you Kaplowitz’d to-day?”

JC Newman Cigar Co.
Diamond Crown no.4 Maduro

WRAPPER: Connecticut Broadleaf
BINDER: Dominican
FILLER: Caribbean & Central America

FORMAT: No. 4 (5.5x54)
ORIGIN: Dominican Republic
INTENSITY: Medium

WEBSITE: www.jcnewman.com

NOTES:
Milk chocolate | White peppercorn | Citrus

It all kinda spins out from a sandy, lumber wood core. One that's wrapped somewhat in a loose leatheriness but mostly not contained. To the point of mingling playfully tho, & shy of goop melange. Primaries are the boldest limbs, if not the furthest-reaching... Stout, some, say.

Milk chocolate is close to the sandy grit, a Swiss Miss packet thing. Citrus is Pluto in terms of size/distance & twixt is that white peppercorn. I wait for the length of the thing for it to smooth, doesn't. There are no conventional middlings. Nor underbelly. Not even primaries, when you think of it. Just herky-jerky "mosts."

Quite gruff for its intensity. Sharp but at the same time not focused. Any complexities are hidden by that lurching pepper grit. The palate is left arid in its wake. A bit of cream tries at the half, nope. Some nuance, tho, a sweet-savory depth which ultimately ain't 'nuff. Very not the expected Maduro affair. Tangy. Brightness thru the dense fog.

Burns excellently. Even line, excellent pace. Ash is a rock-solid silver sheath. Draw is impeccable. Smoke out-put is a moderate+ thing, which offers up a lovely savory-sweet cheerfulness. All told, a bit too much gruffly unrefined peppers & unexpected tangy addition leave me a good tick cold here.

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

::: very :::

Monday, April 06, 2020

disILLUSIONE dePROGRAM podCAST "Woodhue"

#TheSociety



We discuss hand soaps & the scent of Dean Martin.

More disILLUSIONE dePROGRAMMING: https://bit.ly/3ds9P4W

::: very :::

Kaplowitz Radio EP170 "Poison & Lava"

"Have you Kaplowitz'd to-day?"



The air is poison & the floor is lava... but don't be afraid. I read two reviews each of coffee, cigars. From my own Kaplowitz Media, natch.

More Kaplowitz Radio.: https://bit.ly/2VXZ3Nb

::: very :::

Saturday, April 04, 2020

Kaplowitz Media. Cigars Weekly Recapitulation Volume CLXXXI

"Have you Kaplowitz'd to-day?"

[titles are links]

BLOG


PODCAST


VLOG

Kaplowitz Radio. EP169 Postshow

+ sub to the #KM YouTube Channel: [link redacted]
& NOW: "Kaplowitz To-Day" a daily 10min. vlog which is set to run the length of the COVID-19 shelter in place. (These will ONLY be available at the YT channel.)

EDIT: Kaplowitz Television. will be placed on an open-ended hiatus effective immediately. The Kaplowitz Radio Postshow & Kaplowitz To-day programs will move to podcast formats while retaining their scheduling & formats otherwise. Please visit Kaplowitz Radio. for more info: https://bit.ly/39FAPL6

NEWS

Stay abreast of KM: https://bit.ly/2ZOhjZn

Weekly Recapitulations 2017-present: https://bit.ly/2Sq0obL

Friday, April 03, 2020

Opening the Books: the Phil Zanghi Story | Episode 3

"Have you Kaplowitz'd to-day?"



Episode 3 of Opening the Books: the Phil Zanghi Story. This is the first 'travelogue' ep. of a slated couple/few. It's all about bribery, borders, body odor, & beautiful confusion.

More Opening the Books: The Phil Zanghi Story info: https://bit.ly/3buYdgm

::: very :::

Thursday, April 02, 2020

Pura Soul Cigars Maduro in Review

“Have you Kaplowitz’d to-day?”

Pura Soul Maduro

WRAPPER: Honduran Maduro
BINDER: Honduran
FILLER: Honduran

FORMAT: Toro
ORIGIN: Honduras
INTENSITY: Full

WEBSITE: www.purasoulcigars.com

NOTES:
Coffee | Beef jerky | Fennel seed

Smoky to scorched & somewhat diesely at times (between purges). Top-notes expounded: coffee is Moka Pot brewed Italian+ roasted beans. Beef jerky sees soy sauce accompaniment & umami is bigly-so... although also thin or even sharp, focused at least. Middlings on a slightly metallic bed are: scorched earth, cinnamon, black peppercorn, stiff leather. 

Underbelly is a charcoal-laden tightly-packed & tick dried compost. Slight dark chocolate lilt, there. Aroma is peppery-earth w/ a molasses twang which flows into middlings at the 1/2. A balanced profile which takes a tick to get there. Flavors stay lurched ahead of body, however. Not complex but deeply nuanced, which together = slightly complex. Altho those nuances often entail notes entrenching in either mineral or diesel tendencies. Finish is darkly bittersweet & rather short.

Burn-line happens on a bit of a jaggedy edge sans mandated retouches. Ash exhibits a hair dryly but grows to a good inch of chunk. Draw is excellent & honestly, I at times wished for less-ready smoke to smoke-hole. It's a kick in the mouth, say. Smoky off the foot to the tune of moderately+. Succinctly, a straight-foward sinewy brute, more balanced & careful than much of that type.

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

::: very :::

Wednesday, April 01, 2020

Ohana Cigars Pulse Habano in Review

“Have you Kaplowitz’d to-day?”

Familia Rodriguez Tobacos
Ohana Pulse Habano

WRAPPER: Ecuadorian
BINDER: Nicaraguan
FILLER: Nicaraguan

FORMAT: Toro (pig-tail cap, unfinished foot)
ORIGIN: Nicaragua
INTENSITY: Medium

WEBSITE: frtobacos.com

NOTES:
Sweet cream | Buttery cedar | Peppery mix

From the top on down & from the out-front to back-end... cream. Aspects of cocoa butter, butter butter, & cashew butter, therein. Bracing that is a sweet smooth as silk sorta lush cedar, ballooning. Then the white & red peppery profile platter its all served on. A bit of spices there -- a pale cinnamon & dash of cardamom. Middlings are predominantly a trickling downward of attachments to primaries.

Underbelly is tilled golden dirt earthiness. Some savory aspects there -- suede, chicken coop & slight fungal lilts. Complex in a robust manner. Boldly delicate with a nifty balance & quite decent depths of nuance. Finish is a fleeting sweetness with lightly spiced additions. A bit of orange pith on the far-end. End? Ends clean. It doesn't burn exceptionally clean, however...

A canoe threatens twice, once out of the gate & again nearing mid-point. Could easily go FUBAR if allowed. Ash is very dry and shows hard clumps of unevenly bunched leaves. Draw hesitates often. Smoke out-put is wobbly, often wispy. Room-note culmination suffers there but is mainly a sweetly inviting aroma melange. Sweet & mellow w/ a pleasant spiciness & excellent orchestration but falls hard all told, on account of construction/combustion.

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

::: very :::

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Kaplowitz Radio. EP169 Postshow Vlog "Ruby Vondella"

"Have you Kaplowitz'd to-day?"



LISTEN to the full podcast episode at: https://bit.ly/39rv3fX

MORE Kaplowitz Media.: https://bit.ly/2WREaDP 

HERE, I lovingly pet my very cute mini doxie for about 5mins. Aaahhhhhh. So nice. Calm. yw

::: very :::

Monday, March 30, 2020

disILLUSIONE dePROGRAM podCAST "Brims & Bedding"

#TheSociety



We talk baseball(mostly) cap styles & bedding, predominantly bed linen. Important stuff here.

More disILLUSIONE dePROGRAMMING: https://bit.ly/3ds9P4W

::: very :::

Kaplowitz Radio. EP169 "Idioms & Idiots"

"Have you Kaplowitz'd to-day?"



How 'real' are these cigar vHerfs? When will IPCPR/PCA cancel their big trade show? Also, define 'essential.' All that, and well, that might be about it.

More Kaplowitz Radio.: https://bit.ly/2VXZ3Nb