Deep in flavor. Deep in your mind.

Wilson Adams Mr. Wilson - Cigar Review

PROLOGUE
I audio-reviewed this Mr. Wilson offering HERE. For the record, I am on said record as grading it a B+ and shortly afterward wondering why I didn't go "A." To be perfectly clear, and to restate what I have said numerous times elsewhere, I give an A- to A+ grading to any stick I consider a "must try." + is derived from at least one instance of an audible "wow." A is flawlesss. A- can then be seen as imperfect but something special resides therein.

Dig, gentlepersons? I think that was necessary, seeing as I've been asked a few times. Now, let's get to --

THE CIGAR
Wilson Adams Cigars
Mr. Wilson
Mexican wrapper
Undisclosed binder
'Predominantly' Nigaraguan fillers
6 1/8 x 52 Torpedo

Courtesy of Mr. Brandon K. Wilson.
Please to visit, gentlepersons, www.WilsonAdamsCigars.com
I do so appreciate your kind sampler, Mr. Wilson -- but what kinda recipe is that, kind sir??? I was gonna make this at home and now, nothing! Harumph, gentlepersons. There is a large part of me, though, which appreciates a tick more info in order to gain another notch more of understanding and hence -- deeper enjoyment. Ah, well. Enjoyment is as enjoyment does. Or something.

PRE-LIGHT
Double banded. I have no opinion on this. I'd like to again mention, humsoever, my dislike re: foot bands. Or of paper foot bands, to be exact. I think a foot RIBBON is a lovely thing which enhances the visual as well as tactile endeavor. Double band, though, and to reiterate: meh. The secondary band in question is in keeping with the downtown conservative linear chic of the gold, red, and white main band -- and states "MR. WILSON" in gold on white. Nice bit of branding.

As to the stick itself, the clean lines of its packaging seem somewhat oddly juxtaposed to its roughish-hewn surface. The chisel of the Torpedo is imperfectly wrapped, although upon investigation, it seems cosmetic, only. There is a tick of a blemish, a smallish sunspot looking thing in a couple of tiny places. Overall, a very dark complected espresso bean hue, and fairly evenly so. No real undertones and minimal marbling. Wilson Adams is not only unafraid to furnish quite vein-ridden offerings, but is nice enough to throw the veins in free of charge. As I look at the offering in the sun, a bit of yellow comes to the surface. Tobacco at the foot peeks out at me with a cocoa brownness and same slight yellow under-tone. a few high-light ticks up to blonde. Medium+ density.

Hand-feel is a very fine toothed sandpaper. Balance is a tad awkward on account of ring gauge and being a Torpedo. Nothing egregious. A bit dry. Medium+ at least on the Charmin test squeeze, and evenly so throughout. I notice there is the slightest touch of a flaring out at the foot.

Very interesting schnoz as I find my umami sense triggered. Somewhat exotic spices. Very woody. Backing of leather barnyard. Quite fruity at the foot; an apple orchard.

I get  little tricky with he chisel tip, as I use my Old Timer pocket knife to 'punch' a whole in its side instead of shearing off the tip. What I'm looking for is a directed burst right toward my palate. Cold draw is sweet apple orchard including wood, but also a separate cedar and some dull or muted red and pepper spices. I'm delivered this on a medium+ resistance of a draw -- reminding you again, dear reader, how I cut the stick.

LIGHT
Dry cedar, apple wood, and white pepper are released into the aroma upon toasting the foot. It takes a good bit to toast, on account of its density. First hot draw is very much apple cider. The peppers involved are interesting, a finely ground red pepper laced with a hint of cayenne, and a well-roasted white pepper of a bit more coarseness. Cedar note is quite sweet and clings into a sweet apple cider finish. Here and there, are kitchen spices. A second hot pull is retro-haled and just amplifies nicely, what I already have seen. On a third hot one, comes Raisinettes.

Ash is more pepper than salt and quite more toothy than the wrapper lets on. Burn is a little off, but we shall see, its line is near razor. Where it's lagging is where a bit of seam has risen up. Draw is still at medium+ and pack density holds right up to the burn-line. As I type, the ash is attempting to form a nascent sheath, if not to even.

I'm sticking with a medium but pushing + profile at this early stage. Oy.
ACT I
Primary notes are the pepper mix and apple orchard to cider on the finish. Secondary notes are Raisinettes. Mouth-feel is a bit of not derived from dairy creaminess. Perhaps the other secondary note of a creamy and spiced cedar. Finish is that cedar and cider and all is carried by a nice earthy and clean backing. Perhaps a trace of golden hay there.

Burn has corrected, as its line thickens to a medium, and smoke out-put is up a tick to a good medium on each end. Foot and room-notes are very much apple orchard with a bit of sun drenched hay. My curiosity satiated, I guillotine off the cap and VOOSH. Pedal to the metal time, gentlepersons.

Kitchen spices are baking spices now and peppers warm and flare on both draw and retro-hale. Apple wood delineates somewhat from the apple, as if the apple was plucked and thrown in a wicker basket. I taste wicker. Wood shaving, if ya will. A new hardwood note, that -- alongside the still plugging along creamy and spiced cedar. Raisinettes lose their raisin and instead of calling the new note "ettes," I shall dub it "chocolate." Of the milk varietal. This milk increases the body to a medium+. Flavors are medium+ as well, and strength lags a tick at medium -- but I know what to expect.

Burn never has reached even, but too never required a re-touch. Line thins to, well, thin. Ash is unchanged and I perhaps forgot to mention more oily than it appears. Smoke pours and aroma is unchanged.

ACT II
Caramel hits the apple note and enters the cider. Peppers don't subdue a bit but roast and become a kinder thing. Cinamon rears up from the baker's spice. Chocolate becomes a bigger player. The backing remains hard to peg... I get earth and hay intermittently and never together. It's a full-bodied offering now, this Mr. Wilson, but in a refreshing or at least un-cumbersome manner. Not in an abysmal albatross way. A very nice kicking off of an early and lengthy transition in which strength hits medium+ and oils set in from I ain't sure where -- inherent to the tobacco would be my guess.

Burn is now even. Pace quickens a tick. Interestingly, shearing off the cap did not down-tick the draw resistance, as it's a still medium+. I roll off an inch of oily pepper-salt ash of an envious density. As transition ends, malt comes on. Chocolate is now a malt, but also a new wheat malt is apparent and is becoming a new backing. A quite high backing which elevates the already elevated flavors. Full length finish same as prior but with a rather heady maltiness. Apple cider and orchard will not quit. Baker's spices plug along. Peppers do, as well. I am enjoying the lack of black pepper and the use of white  and red. Cayenne has hidden a while. Caramel separates from apple at transition's end and toasts into the creamy mouth-feel and lingers to and through finish.

My one gripe is a somewhat lack of dimension, as all notes are seemingly of the primary variety less the mouth-feel and finish. Earth and hay are Gonesville, Daddy-o. Most mysterious of all, Malts kaput without a lick of a warning.

Construction is a near marvel and all notes there are unchanged. A kinder full-profile, I dares ya to find. I am immersed in a summer quilt on a chilly autumn day. As the final act beckons, I sense a return of roasted cayenne on my tongue and notice a crack in the wrapper just ahead of the burn -- it is cosmetic, only. Strength is a less gentlemanly near full. I put a pinch of salt in my smoke-hole.

ACT III
Some mottling here, which creeps in as is inherent in the character of this stick. Nothing is overt -- all is an allusion to. An interesting manner in which to go about things. That small crack gets smoked through sans event and the ash darkens. A tick up is noticed on the draw and less smoke gives less zetz in the chest. Mellowing. A sweet tobacco comes in and it is sweetened further by a reintroduction of raisin which is rehydrated by oils. A near perfume sensation. Woods subdue and a mulch is the new backing. Chocolate soars. Peppers subdue. Creaminess ups a notch and is sweeter than prior. A cigar which serves its own desert. Softer but no less powerful.

At the band I now get a baked apple vibe. Butter. Construction softens a tick and holds just as well as ever it did. Into the band, out-put of smoky smoke smokens and I begin to think ahead to a toothpick as I recline in my hard wooden kitchen chair on my oddly warm and sunny front porch.
NOTES
I am vindicated in my original B+ grade, and too, I am fully satiated by this Wilson Adams offering.

FINAL GRADE
****B+****

LESS SCHTICK MORE STICK
Mellow: Like a Ninja
Coarse: Nope
Sweet: Autumn desert
Spicy: Autumn desert
Savory: Nigh but nope-ish
Strength: -Full in 3/3
Draw: Beaut
Burn: Lovely after a tick
Construction: Fantastic
Primary note: Cedar & Cider

2016

Wilson Adams White Label (Habano) - Cigar Review

PROLOGUE
A New Year loometh nigh, and time, or the passing there of, continues to mess with my sense of reality. The year 2016 sounds much more of a science fiction, than fact. I at times feel like a time traveler. A maladjusted visitor from 1975 whom wishes he got to call the 1930s his home. I digress.

And shall do so along with --

THE CIGAR
Wilson Adams Cigars
White Label (Habano)
Ecuadorian Habano wrapper
Nicaraguan binder
"Predominantly" Nicaraguan fillers
No. 4 (6 x 52 Toro)

Sample courtesy of Mr. Brandon K. Wilson.
"A beautifully balanced cigar that consumes the palate in flavor without overpowering. Starts with a gentle pepper/spice combination that soon adds sweet florals, cream and dried fruit tones with undercurrents of earth and cedar." - www.WilsonAdamsCigars.com

PRE-LIGHT
The bands of these Wilson Adams offerings are classic linear things of a minimalistic bent. Reminds me for no good reason of the H. Upmann Banker's dressing. Very tasteful. Whether or not this downtown city slicker conservative design is at home on this particular stick, is another matter entirely.

There is a heavy artery of very ridged and rigid veins, three to be exact, which together run the entire 3/3 of this White Label offering. Seams range from visible to nearly open. Not as many spider web veins shoot off the biggies, but there are some, and not in short supply. Cap seems well affixed. Working down the shaft, we're looking at a coffee colored offering with a sploosh of caramel underneath. Marbling up to espresso bean over-top. Not much sheen, but lively nonetheless. Foot tobacco peeks out at a milk chocolate complexion with a faint pinkish-orange hue and a few ticks up to dirty blonde highlights.

Packing is a loose end of medium on a Charmin squeezing, and is even at that throughout. Hand-feel is a bit of leather and feels more oily than it eye-balls. Nicely balanced, although I'm not a fan of anything 50+ RG, in general.

I can see the vague outline of what appears to be a stick, through the stick's wrapper. Beyond rustic, we be. I show it to my wife, she shrugs. Lifting it to my schnoz, this new pirate chest styled humi I received from Santawitz leaves a heady bouquet of cedar behind. I'll have to practice on hitting that curve. Other than that, there's a nice barnyard element with chocolate trace on the shaft -- a more inherent cedar is at the foot with a very sweet tobacco, sporting a definite butterscotch vibe.

I nibble off the cap and am greeted with a "wow" amount of that butterscotch on a -medium resistance draw. The note goes right to a mouth-feel and finish. Heavy flavors on a cold draw, nice. That barnyard element is there, as well, as is a good cocoa zetz. Underneath of all that is a creamy green note backing.

LIGHT
1:15pm
Toasting the foot lets loose a sorta leathery note of wheat malt. On the first hot draw, wheat turns to a more airy and alive heavy vegetal thing. Wheat grass, not wheat germ. There are kitchen spices and chocolate, too. Also an earthiness and barnyard which vie to back it all. Mouth-feel is gaining in sweet cream and braced by a leathery vibe. Oy gevalt.

Second hot draw is a lot calmer and too kitchen spicier. That and chocolate are primary notes, all else is as above insofar as other mentioned tastings are secondary, and the backing is still a coin-flip. Mouth-feel as mention is unchanged and becoming the finish, and it's a leggy one. Medium+ in length. Breaking with tradition, I retro-hale the third, not second hot pull, and get greeted with a blast of rising vegetal which subdues quickishly and leaves a vast sweetness in its wake of creamy butterscotch goodness.

We've been all over the board here, and I'm almost about to plotz. Ash is a loose ladder-runging on of pale grey to near charcoal ash. Flaky. Cue me getting my schmatta out of my back pocket and laying it across my knee. Burn is a wobble and we'll see. Burn-line is thinning to a thin+ right before me very eyes.
ACT I
I'm a svelte 175lbs and still, I would not trust this ladder. Rungs are missing and there's a lilting... Flavors have not yet settled, in fact, more are added in the form of a nutty vibe, cedar, and dry fruit. Backing has found the center between barnyard and earth-- a pleasant topsoil.

Flavors begin to partner here. Cedar, vegetal, and fruits go toward the leathery cream. Nuttiness and butterscotch find the cocoa. Primarily, notes are of all the sweet stuffs? Oy gevalt. Did I say that already? Ash clumps off at an inch of powder, landing on my non-schmatta'd knee. Why must I suffer???

Let's speak of vibe, shall wee? I'm in a nice coffee house, sitting in a leather chair and drinking a butterscotch latte. Wait. It's really more of a caramel latte. The place has hardwood floors. I'm by a window and on the other side is a garden of red and purple flowers. A lush shade tree protects their growth. Mugs are on display off to the side in a cedar curio which was a farm house's spice cabinet in a former life.

I'm silently fuming over paying so much for a fucking cup of coffee. What if my dad's watching from heaven and sees me as I sip a latte? He'd be so mad...

Burn corrects but not fully. Smoke out-put off both ends is voluminous creamy white. Ash stays ugly, lilting and flaking off a thin burn-line. Retro-hale stays slathered in vegetal and now too shows a healthy dose of cinnamon. Pack holds well with a tick of softness a 1/4" off the char. I can't believe the beefy veins haven't influenced the burn more. Ash has just now picked up a brown note. Strength is medium. Body and flavors medium+.

ACT II
Looks like an early transition, as kitchen spices take to the forefront on the back of cinnamon. Espresso is poured liberally. Chocolate covered almonds rise up. And a whole new backing of toasted whole wheat bread is pulled from the wood oven. There are notes of a crisping seasoned cedar and separate hardwoods mingling freely. Mouth-feel is a creaminess offset nicely by the seasoned cedar. Perfect moisture level. Leather fades. As do the fruits, except for on the far end of the long finish. Onset of finish is milk chocolate and kitchen spices with some remaining vegetal. Nice and clean. Butterscotch-turned-caramel now ebbs and flows -- mainly ebbs.

Ladder rungs grow closer and a more oily ash than before, flakes a lot less. The cedar seasons all the way to sharp and occasionally catches my throat. Cinnamon warms my chest. Draw loosens another tick and is fairly wide open, still, no problem with over-smoking. We real cool. We Left school. We Lurk late. We Strike straight. We ... Apologies to Gwendolyn Brooks.

What I'm saying is, this smoker is a cool one.

Black licorice. NOW. My palate shall be requiring of a rest, post-this Wilson Adams offering. Marvelously dizzying array of wow. It tastes like abstract art on hallucinogenics. Profile is medium+. Strength is a different sort than the typical offering -- it here is a tool of focus. Sweet and lighter floral notes buzz around. They are butterflies in that coffee house garden. Orange blossom honey rises from underneath and soars a bit.

ACT III
A seam opens a tad ahead of the burn-line. A vein did play a role and I have been vindicated in my nit-picking, gentlepersons. Pack softens maybe two and a half ticks of meaningless measurements. Burn slows and smoke pours even more so than before.

Notes all sour a bit, although it's more that they aren't as sweet. The main sweetness is now stemming from an inherent tobacco note which brings with it a re-emerging leather and a nut tray sans chocolate covering. Caramel is back, but hardened. Kitchen spices and cinnamon fall away and back, respectively. A warm and coarse ground white pepper appear. Creaminess thins to a frothed milk. Espresso is a syrupy and lush pull of silkiness. This smooth is balanced nicely by a charring vegetal.

As the band approaches, construction mends, ceases softening -- and crisp almost brusk spices lift up to show me the door.
NOTES
Standing ovation.
I've been throttled upside my palate. I loved it. I shall rest with a plate of milk toast for supper.

FINAL GRADE
****A****

LESS SCHTICK MORE STICK
Mellow: Yes
Coarse: Yes
Sweet: Yes
Spicy: Yes
Savory: Yes
Strength: Yes
Draw: Yes
Burn: Yes
Construction: Yes
Primary note: Yes

EPILOGUE
2:35
YES!

Also, I'm rather emotionally mixed. We're seeing the influence of a Tyson Fury reign as overtly as we have seen a Triple Crown win via American Pharoah. That is to say: we are not. I shall touch on my mixed feelings in my next Sabbath Smoker (1/2/16) which I will hopefully remember to link back to HERE.

Crowned Heads Paniolo Especiale 2015 - Cigar Review (Audio)

This go, gentlepersons, we look at the Paniolo Especiale from Crowned Heads.

THE CIGAR
Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper
Nicaraguan binder/fillers
Corona Gordo 5 5/8 x 46

LESS SCHTICK MORE STICK
Mellow: Workingman polite gruffness
Coarse: Poke cows, smoke break, poke cows
Sweet: Yes
Spicy: Balance of mainly fine white, black, and red peppers
Savory: Lip-smacking thick pastry
Strength: Medium+
Draw: Tick above medium resistance
Burn: Trained squirrel
Construction: Great and germane to rugged plot

Primary note: Cedar, cream, orange

FINAL GRADE
****A-****

Visit, please, the CROWNED HEADS website.
Here's a LINK to my Tennessee Waltz write-up.

MBombay Habano - Cigar Review

PROLOGUE
There's the band. You know, THAT band. 

It's cold on my porch, and it ain't getting warmer, gentlepersons. This is a nice sized stick for inclement weathers. Let us do jump into --

THE CIGAR

MBombay Tobak Habano
Ecuadorian Habano wrapper
Ecuadorian Criollo binder
Nicaraguan & Peruvian fillers
4 1/2 x 50 Robusto

"For those seeking the embodiment of toasted almonds, smooth earthiness, and subtle sweetcream… This medium­ bodied blend was created for you! This Habano blend is one that both Novices and Aficionados can embrace!" - BombayTobak.com
PRE-LIGHT
Neat lil stick. A couple of thick yet smooth veins on an overall sleek hand-feel. Wrapper is a medium brown with a lively reddish tone. Some darker mottling over-top. Yet again over-top is a healthy luster that ain't quite a sheen, but nice. Good amount of spider web veins are shooting out of the main ones. Seams are visible, tight, and even. Cap is well placed and foot tobacco appears to be packed to a medium density. It's of a matte brown complexion sans highlights, but there is a 'lowlight' of a near black bit of leaf.

Charmin squeeze indicates a ditto as far as medium packing. No soft spots whatsovever, and evenly distributed throughout. Schnoz notes from the shaft are a natural tobacco nuttiness with a touch of wood. At the foot, there is an addition of a fruity note akin to raisin.

I bite the cap off to a smooth medium+ draw resistance. A bit of sweet mineral is on my lips. The cold draw itself has notes of a very tobacco core spinning of woods (cedar?) and mixed nuts and, further back, dry dusty raisins.

LIGHT
11:30am
The aroma of a tray of mixed nuts and raisins comes at me off lighting the foot. A smidgen of the foot is hesitant to catch with the rest, I believe it's that darker tick of leaf I made mention of. I get it to light, ya see -- cigars are flammable. First hot pull is cedar leading finely ground white pepper with a fruity undertone of raisins re-hydrating. Second hot one is retro-haled and it's nice to see the dark fruit there, as well. Lotsa white pepper, too. It's a little coarser through the retro. Third hot pull is very much sweeter fruitiness and developing cedar. White pepper roasts and pushes the two other notes along. Underneath, the nut mix is settling in and an herbal note laden earth is falling underneath to back it all.

Burn is finding even, ash is a grey streaked salt with a ruddy hue and is coming on in rather loose ladder-rungs. Draw is still a medium+ and smoke out-put is, as well. Packing softens a tick about 1/2" ahead of the burn -- which is now dead even on a medium thickness line.
ACT I
Herbal notes are soaring from the earth backing and some floral jabs poke out here and there. White pepper is now finely ground on the retro-hale and subdued on the draw; making room for a very nice creaminess. Mouth-feel is perfect moisture and a bit of residue tingle from the pepper. Earth backing is interesting, as it's the core, as well. Everything is spinning off from it, but in one direction, only: up.

Profile is a medium but pushing them there boundaries. Strength is a' comin'. Body is filling up on cream, and flavors are deepening. Not a lot of nuance as of yet, but a lotta smoke and distinct flavor notes. There is also a developing tannic thing on the retro-hale which cleanses and showcases quite nicely.

Foot-smoke and room-note are coming off a now medium out-put, and are each surprisingly mellow. Soft tobacco with a fruity twist and a slight peppery sharpness.

As the fist act closes, primary notes are cedar and red to purple fruits which are not dry, but too not riened. Close secondary notes are mixed can of nuts and a lingering white pepper. Backing is an earthy and mellow tobacco. Finish is medium+ legged and a subtle highlight of sweet fruitiness on a thickening and toasting cream. Retro-hale is all fruit and pepper with a tannic note which fades to mineral.

ACT II
We begin with a clumping off of ash which is of the entire 1/3. It's of a talc feel with enough oils therein to offer a nice enough density. Very cool to the touch.

Now the herbal notes are flexing and a cherry flavor delineates from the fruit. Burn has quickened at least a notch. Smokiness plumes up a good tick from both ends. Nuts are ducking below herbs and I still cannot quantify their recipe. White pepper re-establishes its previous strength and creaminess brings us to a medium+ profile. Strength is thus far a bit behind. Cherry is filling the room-note out quite nicely. The transition was and still is, all about asserting the fruitiness via cherry and adding a touch of dessert on account of strengthening cream.

As the final act looms nigh, the nutty notes have turned to a darker flesh and begun roasting. Strength about catches up with the rest of the medium+ profile in a gentle manner, and mouth-feel is very nice and somewhat warmed. Ash has rebuilt in the same manner as prior and has yet to clump again, very nice construction in this Habano Bombay offering -- as the draw is maintained as has the softening of the pack ceased. Cherry hi-lighted fruitiness has joined with cream and I'm smacking my lips. White pepper has subdued once again. I keep my schmatta in my lap for purely schtick's sake.

ACT III
I roll of the ash as the third act opens and it's a tick more oily and warm, same complexion. Mottling on the wrapper darkens on account of additional oils. A bit of shuffling here, as we sweeten but also move away from a desert stick vibe. Just as the nuts delineate, they move into the creaminess and subdue. Fruits separate from there and join the white pepper in the lead. Cedar is still there, unchanged and somewhat in-between. Backing is a less earthy and cleaner tobacco note which finds its way to the lengthening finish. Tannic vibe lifts and falls quickly. Raisins re-emerge to join cherry up-top.

At the band, herbs go to the pepper and mouth-feel is nicely a-tingle. The herbs remain very much what I'd consider a vibe, as they don't delineate, but do add a nice dimension if not true complexity. Once into the band, all notes fall back to their tobacco core/backing and we finish nicely, if not simply at a profile which pushes -full.
NOTES
Solid stick. More toward "Novice," than "Aficionado." Somewhat un-evolved and rather unexplored. Somewhat familiar; perhaps all due to lack of nuance/complexity. All told, enjoyable. Stick it in yer smoke-hole and go. You won't go wrong.

PAIRINGS
Can't go wrong shy of booze. I'm not sure it'd stand up well to the hard stuffs.

FINAL GRADE
****B****

LESS SCHTICK MORE STICK
Mellow: Plain
Coarse: Nope
Sweet:  Inherently
Spicy: White pepper ticks
Savory: Nope
Strength: Medium+ kindly so
Draw: Great
Burn: Fantastic
Construction: A highlight
Primary note: Cedar, fruitinesses

EPILOGUE
12:30ishpm
Fingerless gloves really and truly do highlight just how frozen yer fingertips are. Now, if you'll excuse me, Portland Meadows is running and I have to go inside to scream at my TV.

Wilson Adams Red Label - Cigar Review

PROLOGUE
I've taken too long to realize that "Punch Drunks" is very much retold in "Playing the Ponies." The part of Curly is played by Thunderbolt -- the guy who goes nutsy strong when Larry fiddles, becomes the horse who goes nutsy fast when he gets fed pepperino snacks by, you guessed it, Curly. Fine, it'd be cooler if (Larry) Fine fed him the treats like he fed the other him the tunes. I'll discuss this more at a later date. Remind me if'n I forget.

#TheThreeStooges

Is there much else much better than stooges and stogies? I almost took that on as a project. Stoogies & Stogies. Still like the idea. Also, let's see if I like --

THE CIGAR
Wilson Adams Cigars
Red Label (Sumatra)
Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper
Pennsylvania Broadleaf binder
"Predominantly" Nicaraguan
No. 4 (6 x 52 Toro)

Sample courtesy of Mr. Brandon K. Wilson of Wilson Adams Cigars.
PRE-LIGHT
Brown. The thing is brown. I 'spose chocolate complected and fine-tooth textured. A bit of espresso bean hued marbling over-top. A reddish-yellow vibrancy underneath it all. Veins are there in plenty, as are off-shoots of spiderweb veins. None hamper the hand-feel or seem to be a threat to the burn. Nice sheen over-top of the thing. Oil-slick to the hand. Seams are visible but even. Cap looks a tad jenky cosmetically. Structurally, it doth appear sound. Foot tobacco is medium+ dense in appearance, and missing a tiny tuft o' guts. There is a speck of very dark near black tobacco in there, the rest is a matte cocoa with auburn upticks.

Density of pack is an even medium throughout, which reacts lively to a Charmin squeeze. Schnoz notes from the shaft are an unassuming hay/earth note with a hint of leather. Floral spice rack at the foot, in a far away and almost dusty mineral way. I Old Timer Mighty Mite the cap off and a cold pull is a medium+ resistance which delivers dusty notes of haunting nondescript spices, stiff leather, and a bit of red pepper in the throat.

LIGHT
10:40am
Toasting the foot gives stiff leather aroma notes, which contain a bit of a floral component. First hot pull is stiff leather, earth, and hay -- in that particular order. Finish intros a nice cocoa that clings to the creamy mouth-feel and sweetens once there. Second hot pull is retro-haled and BAM red pepper. It does a nice bit on the draw, showing another dimension there. Serves to lengthen legs on finishing, as it abrades the cheeks and palate just enough to hold notes a bit longer. Cocoa is interesting. It begins on the finish, but in such a way as wrapping around from there to influence the draw. Kinda sdrawkcab. I like it.

Primary notes are red pepper and cocoa. Secondary notes are hay, leather, earth, and floral stuffs. Kitchen spices appear to be backing it all, which is another somewhat oddity. Mouth-feel is a creamy but not burdensome thing.

Room-notes are cocoa and leather with a red pepper twang. Off the foot, there is a floral bit that has yet to fill the "room," (read: my porch).

Burn is not even, but still working off an outdoors lighting. Packaging holds, draw is a medium+ resistance and right in my wheelhouse there. Profile is straight to a good, solid medium. When's lunch? Ash is salt/pepper flaky ladder rungs and I ready my schmatta in my lap. I'm NOT wearing a suit. I simply threw on a by-the-door suit jacket and happened to be wearing Dickies pants. Both black. I'm kinda wearing a suit.
ACT I
Finish of cocoa earthinesses has extended to my near-lips and near-throat and it's awful nice. Very long legged. Lotsa smoke output both off the foot and into my smoke-hole. Red pepper doesn't mute, but roasts to maturity and looses it's abrasiveness. Very warm and cozy against the cocoa. I'm calling the spices kitchen, because it sounds better than generic. Tastes better, too. Floral notes have both darkened and subdued. Those kitchen spices are a secondary note now, as the hay earthiness goes to the backing. It's a high backing though, and it showcases what it carries quite well. Leather ebbs and flows in a seemingly meaningful way, as each movement brings attention to another note. Cream remains light but not airy -- again, just not weighty. Moisture level is near perfect with a tick toward dryness but nothing requiring a sip.

Burn is not evening, but not needing a touch-up either. Its line is either thin or medium, dependant upon where you look. Toasting cream brings body to medium+, deepening and entrenching notes bring flavors to medium+, and strength is still medium+ as well. I guess I could have simply stated medium+ profile, huh? Ash is flaky but ain't dumped yet. It's a tad yellowed, as is the foot-smoke. At the end of the opening act, cocoa is a definite sweet creamy dark chocolate and floral notes are on the rise. Very nice.

ACT II
We begin here with a clumping off of an inch+ of ash. It's cool and dense coarse powder with a nice dab of oil. Red pepper intensifies without hurting. Chocolate is pretty. Secondary is the already mentioned notes, backing is another ditto. We're coasting nicely, gentlepersons. Very well-constructed Wilson Adams offering. Very much a smoker. Smoke out-put is even more so than prior, and the burn slows to smoldering. Near evens, too.

Leather tightens and sharpens. Floral notes hold quite well. Coasting...coasting...costing. Ash darkens and gets flakier; flowers a bit. A nice mineral zetz is upon us. It's nicely balanced by a touch of raw sugar. Moisture of the mouth-feel has dampened nicely to a perfect level. I love the way this Red Label stick seems to call its shots -- we are transitioning. Very well-orchestrated performance. Unlike my previous cigar, one from CAO.

MORE smoke? Well, hot dawg! Pace quickens and notes all grow. Thus far, it's been a transition which serves to show a pre-determined course has been set from the very beginning and prior to that, even. An occasional retro-hale is recommended as it feels great in the sinuses and enhances a fantastic red pepper. Nice warm chest. Comfortable throat. An inch of growth is rolled off and is cosmetically the same, but with less oiliness. Raw sugar note goes to brown sugar. I'll again mention the floral notes: they stay in spite of being surrounded by very powerful flavors. Very impressive. A bit of wrapper doesn't ignite, but I'll hold off on a re-touch. Seams open a tick ahead of the burn, ultimately holds.

A bit of salt is sprinkled toward the mineral aspect and it's nicely done. I always like the addition of a salty mineral vibe, although I'm aware it ain't everyone's cup of tea. It's in the earth backing and seems to brace the hay note therein for a fairly complex canvass for limited but powerful and delineated top notes. Oh, burn corrects itself and the burn-line shows an even thin+. Nutmeg and to a lesser extent cinnamon, distinguish themselves from the kitchen spices. I'd say they are now a more familiar baking spice mix. Far less dusty than before.

Profile is medium +. Draw is unchanged. Density of construction retains its firmness but picks up a tad of sponginess as the table is set for --

ACT III
Mouth-feel oils up, as does the wrapper and ash. I don't think ya could tap it off if ya tried. The oils spread from the leather note and to all the others; not in a mottling way, however. In the way you might sink into a rich leather easy chair. Primary notes are chocolate and red pepper still -- speaking of still -- all else is unchanged. Very undemanding yet un-boring offering from Wilson Adams. Not over anyone's head, just some might find deeper enjoyment than others. We strain the borders of medium+ profile, but the boundaries doth hold.

Red pepper flares, then subdues and mineral earth joins chocolate as primary notes. A deep floral vibe heightens to lead the secondary flavors of baker's spice and leather/oils. A coffee note comes in as the band approaches and is always a wonderful way to end a great meal. Now shut up, Kap, and grab a toothpick.
NOTES
Another on construction: At the band, I ran inside to cut up an start some potatoes frying. That takes what, a couple/few minutes? The nub was ready to smoke smoke smoke. 

PAIRINGS
Coffee. I'd imagine it might pull out some coffee notes that I'd further imagine were lying underneath all along. Or at least it'll put 'em there.

FINAL GRADE
****A-****

LESS SCHTICK MORE STICK
Mellow:  Warmly not overly
Coarse: Comfortably so
Sweet: Quite but in balance
Spicy: Red Pepper
Savory: Kinda
Strength: Medium+ on avg. Comfy not dull 
Draw: Great
Burn: Hiccups and fixes itself
Construction: Wundy
Primary note:  Chocolate. Red Pepper till 3/3

EPILOGUE
11:55am
Just go see about Mr. Wilson, huh?

CAO CX2 - Cigar Review

PROLOGUE
I'm pretty proud of me today. Tickled rather pinkish, actually. I do so think the official inaugural Cigars City w/ Kap & Anthony went so swimmingly. Huzzah, gentlepersons. To party like it's 1999, I opted to smoke --

THE CIGAR
CAO Cigars - CX2
Cameroon wrapper & binder
Colombia & Nicaragua fillers
5 x 52 Robusto

Courtesy of www.CigarsCity.com. Check 'em out.

A Cameroon wrapper AND binder? Should I be smoking this in a plastic bubble stuffed with packing peanuts? Kid's gloves, anyone? I digress.

All's I'm saying is this sounds like a delicate operation. Re-digress... Here, have a flourish --
PRE-LIGHT
Leathery. Veiny. Rustic marbling with a rich oily sheen on a chocolate complected canvass. The peek-a-boo panties looking wrapper is neat in its black shiny PVC look with gold borders and lettering. This cigar looks like any number of things one might do whenst the kiddies finally go the hell to bed. For all the aforementioned veins, non seem to foretell a hindrance to the burn and neither do they hamper the hand-feel. Foot tobacco has a lively deep red hue to it with some dirty blonde high-lights. Shows a soft or at least spongy side of medium density. Cap is quite nicely done.

Hand-feel, now that ya mention it, Kap -- is a good tick drier than it looks like it'd be. I remove the band carefully to take the whole stick in and -- it broke. Totally came undone. Unrecognizable as a cigar. Just kidding. The Robusto size is always comfy and well-balance. There is a dry roughness. Charmin squeeze shows a soft spot in the 2/3. Overall a medium density pinch. The more I finger the thing, the neater it feels, and the more alive it feels.

Schnoz notes on the shaft are minimal and of mainly complex tobacco things. Lots happening at the foot, too. I'm intrigued. I feel as though I'm about to read a mystery novel. I do hope it's a Kinky Friedman go. What a writer! You want more deets on the smells? All inherent in the tobacco are sweet spices, coffee, chocolate...and there's a nice addition of chicken shit at the foot. Some herbs, too.

Earlier today, I was looking for an old Horse Racing handicapping book to leaf through. It was a particular one (I have many) but I could not, sadly, dig it up. In fairness, I could not remember its name or its author's, but I'd have known if I saw it. Which, as told, I did not. I did, though, find a Schrade Old Timer 8OT three blade pocket knife. I use this now to shuck the cap and -- the cigar breaks. Completely unwraps then literally evaporates before my very eyes. Just kidding.

Draw is a sweet -medium resistance thing. Notes that mimic the nose, minus chicken shit and more herbal and now floral notes. Almost a cooling sensation.

LIGHT
10:20pm
Toasting the foot sets off an aroma of pine needles and leather. The leather is like a rough hewn loin cloth. Seriously sexy. First hot pull is pine wood and mocha. Lotsa smoky smoke. Second pull is a pepper type thing with a very crisp finish of almost citrus. Third pull is a move from pine to herbs and a reinforcing of mocha with the intro of red spices sprinkled on it. A creaminess is filling in the mouth-feel with a nice sweetness and a bit of tingle.

Dead even burn. Salt and pepper ash with a pepper emphasis. Looks kinda flaky but I don't need my usual schmata/hankie because I am wearing one. A three sizes too big ratty bathrobe I've had for nigh a decade. Aside from smoking jacket, it also serves as my dressing gown, PJs, house coat, and lingerie. Molasses comes in on a fourth pull and we are very much in --
ACT I
I dig the pine needle to pine wood to herbal somewhat circular transitioning. Pepper is now perhaps more of a staunchly seasoned mix of woods both hard and soft. Ok, there is pepper on the finish, a long and complex finish which starts mocha with red spice topping and moves to a more spicy affair while maintaining its sweet essence. I actually feel the mocha might be disassembling into distinct chocolate and coffee notes. Black pepper does join in on the retro-hale and is somewhat floral. Leather is a very nice and quite high backing. There's a straight up sugar note on the immediate draw, which lays nice on the lips and palate. Creamy, yes, but not heavy of a mouth-feel.

I keep eye-balling the burn. It's meshuga perfect with a thin+ line. Ash continues its flaky pepper-salt hold. And as I type that, it clumps off at a hair past a 1/2". Warm and very flaky.

Primary notes are woods, mocha components, and sweet spices floating in airy cream. Secondarily, there is a hard to pin down herbal element, lemon pepper, and far off floral note. Backing is leather and falls a bit but holds, offering a nice depth. Finish now adds a yellow to red fruitiness.

I am very much enjoying this. Even its coarseness is nice. I feel it in my throat a bit, but not in a catchy sort of manner. Coarse ground pepper. It's purposeful, aand that is a welcome addition to this CAO -- as I feel much of it is accidental.

Profile is across-the-board medium. At the end of a retro-hale is where the flowers and fruits are.

ACT II
To say it's unchanged as the midpoint approaches is somewhat unfair. No new notes or ebbing or flowing occurs; but the order of delivery alters on nearly every pull. It's too much to express here, but you get the gist. I 'spose.

At the half, the pine resurfaces but in a nutty way and it becomes reminiscent of a pine nut cookie. Coarse pepper is put back in the grinder and lemon subdues. Milk chocolate ramps up. Red spices sweeten on the draw, but on the retro-hale, they sharpen. Remaining lemon finds and enhances floral notes. Sugary and now honey-ey(?) Very nice mouth-feel. Cleaner finish than before, and well shorter legs. A bit of sweet sharpness whisks it away.

Smoke out-put is full. Room note is a pine nut and loincloth thing of very niceness. Ash makes it to an inch and I roll it off to show a more well-oiled and formed affair. More salty colored than pepper now. Burn ribbons a tick but is well even, it's line a medium thickness. It seems to slow a tick. Lemon returns to pepper on the retro-hale. We're jumping all around. It's nice, but not relaxing. I wanna chat it up with pals, not meditate. But if ya meditate well enough -- you're always in a meditative state.

Medium profiled still. Draw is same as ever. Construction is stronger than I've ever seen outta Cameroon. I marvel at the thick white smoke all around me.

ACT III
Suddenly very cedar now. Kind of a double-barrel transition. Pine hides. Lemon sours a tick as it amps up two, all while retaining its sweetness. Remember Lemonheads candy? Smoke warms my chest. Flavors move to a medium+, body and strength stay at medium. Strength perhaps notches down, actually. Sugar heats up. Flowers bloom. It's sorta exciting. There's a new fruitiness off the foot-smoke. Pepper goes coarse again. I feel as though this is a good offering to pair with swinging from tree-to-tree. Chocolate fades low.A new earthy backing lifts the leather to a secondary note. Other nuts are added to the pine nuts, roasted.

Burn wavers and corrects sans re-touch. I'd say the profile has jumped to a medium+. A sweet charring is occurring, it touches the sugar in particular. Very nice. I'm amazed at the construction of this CAO, Cameroon or not. A fantastic chew sets in. Fruits touch red and drip their juices onto the earthy note.

The band doth approach and I think I'll see yous in a few, as I reach for a toothpick...
NOTES
This CX2 went from kink to swinging in the trees. I guess it just took the kink outdoors.
The orchestra could have used a more assertive conductor. I'd have liked to see a greater delineation amongst the red spices.
A very somehow naughty stick.

PAIRINGS
NOT A THING. Although a kind mistress with perfumed heals to gently grind into yer nethers...

LESS SCHTICK MORE STICK
Mellow: A whore in church
Coarse: Potpourri is rough
Sweet: Yea, verily
Spicy: Sweet assaults
Savory: Not quite
Strength: Goodly
Draw: A bit loose but in keeping
Burn: Primo
Construction: Primo
Primary note: Oy vey ...

FINAL GRADE
****A****
EPILOGUE
11:25pm
I threw the nub into my rose food bucket, then dove after it. Stuft it into my bathrobe pocket for sweet dreaming.

KAP'S LOCK PICKS
PORTLAND MEADOWS
12/29 noon gate (Pacific)

1-2
2-6,3
3-5
4-5,4
5-9.7*
6-8
7-4*
8-7
9-1
10-2

Cigars City w/ Kap & Anthony Narrowcast One

Simply click THIS LINK. What you'll be listening to is the official GRAND OPENING and inaugural audio go of Cigars City w/ Kap & Anthony.

Val Bradshaw was nice enough to give us the low-down of Canadian laws as pertaining to premium tobacco offerings. At least that's what Anthony told me after the show, as I could make nothing out of her thick Canuck accent. In all seriousness, BIG thanks to the fine lady for coming on and bearing with our "show."

You can find her at:
Her personal Twitter
Her Cigar Herf Twitter
and in and about the #CigarHerf #
I smoked a LINK Wilson Adams LINK White Label (Habano). I shall include vague tasting notes below, but too, do a full write-up AND brand owner Mr. Brandon K. Wilson himself, will be on the show next week!

Wilson Adams White Label
Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Predominantly Nicaraguan

(No. 4, 6 x 52 Toro)

1/3
Mellow: Nope
Coarse: It’ll put hair on yer chest
Sweet: Spicy and from many sources
Spicy: Sweet
Savory: ...
Strength: It’ll curl the hair it put on yer chest
Draw: Perfect (medium)
Burn: Very fine on a thick gruff leaf
Construction: Spongy but lively
Primary note: Flowers dipped in honey.

2/3
Mellow: Heck no sir but not a bully, either
Coarse: See 1/3
Sweet: See 1/3
Spicy: Sweeter and spicier
Savory: Spiced dessert lip smacking
Strength: Rising
Draw: Looser (medium)
Burn: Slower
Construction: Looser holding
Primary note: Complex seasoned and sweetened cedar

3/3
Mellow: A bit more so than prior
Coarse: More as it goes on
Sweet: Picks up char
Spicy: Eases up
Savory: No
Strength: Full (not menacing)
Draw: Loosens a tick gives less smoke at the same time (-medium)
Burn: Ash darkens
Construction: Cracks in wrapper (cosmetic)
Primary note: Floral sweet cedar with charring, some damp mottling

I'll hold my FINAL GRADE for a full write-up, but I will say it's a quite impressive stick.
As ever and always, please frequent and haunt CigarsCity.com for all of your fine cigarcentric needs.

& FINALLY, get a hold of any ol' politician and DEMAND yer rights be untrampled upon. *SPOILER ALERT* their voicemail boxes are all full and I'm ready to bootleg on my single-speed 1956 Schwinn. The rear tire is a bit low on air, but I will get you what you need. Eventually.

Thanks for listening and reading!

A Review of Recent Grade A Cigar Offerings

"Sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn’t commit, these men promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to the Los Angeles underground. Today, still wanted by the government, they survive as soldiers of fortune. If you have a problem - If no one else can help - and if you can find them - maybe you can hire the A-Team."

Or, gentlepersons, save some schlepping and tsuris and just get a hold of some of this particular A-Team by visiting my dear pals at CIGARS CITY.
HERE THE LIST, DAWG
My Father No.2 Belicoso

HONORARY MENTION
LH Premium Cigars Claro
Here's a LINK to the LH site. 
It's a shorter one than usual, but try to think of it as more elite than abridged. While yer doing that, I'll try to not think of my self as a snooty boutique blend ''heebster," (Yid hipster, dig?) whom grades unnecessarily hard, any brand you've probably heard of. 

"When I think of 'hipster,' I think of you." My 15 year-old step-son, to me. 
"Clean the bathroom." Me, to my 15 year-old step-son.

Sabbath Smoker 12.26.15 - LH Cigars, Maduro

Please visit the LH Cigars website.
Read my full review/write-up of their Maduro stick HERE.
Also please to check out Suavecito Pomade.

I touch on some:

  • Three Stooges (Shemp's last day)
  • American Pharoah v. Serena Williams (SI Sportsman of the Year)
  • Tyson Fury v. Drago (vague recap)

As aways, thank ya kindly for listening, gentlepersons.

Cohiba "Red Dot" - Cigar Review

PROLOGUE
Merry Christmas to my uncircumcised brethren. In light of your festivities, I decided to have my own. Courtesy of --

THE CIGAR
Cohiba "Red Dot"
African Cameroon wrapper
Indonesian Jember binder
Dominican Piloto Cubano filler
7 x 49 Churchill
Courtesy of Cigars City

"Synonymous with extravagant taste and complex flavor, true cigar connoisseurs know Cohiba as one of the world's finest cigars. Meticulously handcrafted in the Dominican Republic, Cohiba is the product of masterful blending. Featuring three varieties of Cuban seed tobaccos aged under the watchful eyes of our artisans, Cohiba is a dimensional, slightly-spicy smoke created for the initiated." Cohiba.com

Sounds like I'd better put on my big boy panties.
PRE-LIGHT
Overall, there is a decided luxury creaminess to the chocolate complected thing. Very even hues, some small tick or two darker mottling over-top. Slight and loose toothiness. Seams range from invisible to open. A vein or two exists, but nothing to speak of more than we already have. OK, just one more thing there: the wrapper leaf crimps around one of the veins. Still, no real interruption at all to the hand-feel. Cap is perfectly affixed where it matters and messy where it don't. Foot lets peek out a tobacco which is a very similar hue to its wrapper. Some dirty blonde highlights are there. Again, the coloring has a near sinful creaminess to it. Packed to a -full density. Nice sheen throughout.

The nice sheen gives the hand-feel a nice oil slick quality, but not in a heavy way.  Very nicely balanced Churchill. Charmin tests to an even and solid medium+ density. Schnoz notes from the shaft are musky dusty doses of leather and nuts. At the foot, an addition of a deep creamy tobacco can be sensed. With it, a very nice caramel.

I cut the cap with a double guillotine thing, because pinkys up best behavior, gentlepersons. It ain't every day you get to Cohiba; unless you run a small communist country. A perfectly medium tension cold draw gives me cream backed nuts and caramel notes with a secondary dimension of a touch of spice led by cinnamon. There's a barnyard element far, far back that will most likely serve as the eventual backing, and not the aforementioned "cream."

LIGHT
3:15pm
Toasting the foot releases an aroma of tossing Cracker Jacks into a fry-pan, turning it on high, and walking away absent-mindedly. First hot draw is a musky delivery of toasted caramel, nice leather, and roasted mixed nuts. Also there is that nice cinnamon-led spiciness. Underneath is a barnyard. Overlying sensation of a mellow sweet creaminess. Second hot draw is retro-haled to show further notes of the red spices and a kindly bit of vague peppery warmth. A third hot pull is a smorgasbord of all I've mentioned with a somewhat dizzying array of nuances within almost every note.

I think I need a new pair of big boy panties.

Burn is a wavy thing and slowly finding even -- or at east looking for it. Burn-line is thin. Ash is salt and pepper, but mainly salt. It's not coming on in ladder rungs, but not forming a sheath, either. Foot-note is heavily toasted caramel with a leathery nod. Some spiciness, as well. For now, that forms the nascent room-note, as well. Smoke out-put is even from both ends, and is a very agreeable medium+ volume. Draw is on the nose medium.

Thus (not) far into the Cohiba "Red Dot," we'll call it a medium profile. Mouth-feel is a very interesting mature cream. Musky and dusty. Perfect moisture.
ACT I
I keep feeling as though I'm in an older gentleman's Study. I'm also marveling at how rustic this Cohiba smokes, and how that is delivered on a machine precision'd outcome. It's as if I'm being operated on by a skilled surgeon who insists on wearing a boiler suit into the operating room. Ash surprisingly clumps at an almost but not quite inch of very dense talc. The burn is uneven, the wrapper has two cracks, and the experience is making me feel like royalty.

Flavors are the same with an every deepening musky dusky over-tone that smells like my grandfather. The re-growing ash is displaying more tooth from the wrapper. Room-note is a thing everyone should experience. A classic exotic leather that you simply will not find in any other offering. There are red spices and traces of peppers in it. A very noticeable barnyard dimension. Verily I sayeth, "Wow."

To be clear and perhaps redundantly so: primary notes are leathers and nuts and I can write a short essay about each one's nuances. Joined with them is a heavily toasted caramel note. Secondarily, there is a cream which is sweet and more so incredibly smooth, a very distinct barnyard which brings the musky dusky, and an old world spice rack that highlights, at times, a cinnamon note. On the retro-hale a very small bit of very fine white pepper can be found, slowly roasting. The barnyard also interestingly serves to carry all the notes along at a very high depth. A Sir's flavor bomb.

Ash has settled into the same hues of now ladder-rungs. Profile is medium. Mouth-feel, perfect. And I'm about to shut up and coast into --

ACT II
Orange rind, a zetz of it, finds its way into the old world spice rack and almost creates from it a sort of mulling spice. It's in the aroma, too. Ash dumps off at shy of an inch, same consistency -- I feel it to be part of the stick's personality, if not charm. As per that, the wrapper is very fragile (must be Eye-talian) and is prone to cracking, with no effects beyond cosmetic. This stick has flaws, but all feel purposeful. The seam now pulls up ahead of the burn.

A more exotic spice comes in to play, touching each note. Peanuts star in the mixed nuts and they are boiled while the others are roasted. Leather fades, holds. Caramel hardens. Peppers subdue but remain an important aspect in maintaining a balance against becoming a boring smooth creaminess. Everything is very, very purposeful. Nothing is here for no reason. My schtick takes on an even more ironic note than usual in this context.

Draw is unchanged perfection. Smoke out-put increases evenly from both ends. Packing softens a notch about a half inch ahead of the slowing burn. Burn itself is now an even thing and its line, thin.

As we near the mid-point, a yeasty hay is noted and I feel as though this gentleman's study may be next door to a frou-frou pastry joint. The pastry is airy, dry, and not too sweet. It don't strike me as the thing just any schmo could create. There's a hint of anise in it. Just a breath of the stuff.

Hold on, gotta light the Sabbath candles...

Coming out of the transition and heading to the final act, the pastry vibe has definitely lightened the load and has subdued all the flavors. Subdued -- not at all diminished. They've also somewhat dried the mouth-feel. Now that I mention it, they've dulled the finish and shortened its legs. Finish remains a nice toasted caramel and boiled peanut-led roasted nuttiness. Traces of leather carried over from the draw, stay at its onset only. Overall sweet, but crisply so. Flavor notes on the draw remain unchanged and nuanced like nuance is going outta style...and it might be. Thank you, American palate; I say sarcastically. Whattaya got in a 70 ring gauge? FEH!!! That's what I got -- FEH!!!

Primary notes now welcome a mulling spice with an orange rind. Airy pastry is a new and strong but secondary addition. Still very much driven by the caramel and nut flavors. Anise flirts in and out. Backing is amazing, as the secondary notes take turns lifting and carrying the flavors, quite high, as already mentioned. Burn is a slow smolder that can last forever, as far as I'm concerned. Moisture has fixed on the mouth-feel and it has a touch of mineral note therein. I re-touch the burn, mostly in a precautionary way, as a seam loosens ahead of the burn.

Flavors cluster together in a closer manner as the final act awaits. Not in a mottled way, more in a reinforcing sort. Barnyard notches up. I remain enchanted by the musky dustiness. By the precision rugged nature of this Cohiba. It truly is an incredible thing to behold. I cannot believe I once loved cheap stogies -- and still very much do.

You can't take me anywheres, I s'pose. Too, ya can take me absolutely anywhere. For now, I'm being taken into --

ACT III
I posit that nuances build complexities. Herein several nuances build a Cohiba offering of more than a single complexity. I'm glad this ain't an audio offering, and so should you be glad. Unless you'd like to hear me prattle on for hours on end.

Profile notches up a tick to medium+ as strength kicks. Brown traces are in the smoke out-put now and duller softer notes of barnyard and leather ramp up. This somewhat takes away a dimension, but the final act is all about making a smooth and relaxed transition to no longer smoking. A slow coming-around from deep meditation, if ya will.

At the band, Orange rind mulling spices pick up and leave a crisp tingle on the tongue. The barnyard now has an enhanced earth note which is dry, but does not impact the moisture on the mouth-feel, which remains just right. All notes toast a bit and the pastry is now done as the baker places loaves of brown bread in the oven. A note of rye malt is in now. Peanuts are now roasted. Caramel hides. Barnyard and its earth carry it all. A new black pepper is on the retro-hale, it's finely ground and quite lovely. This cigar don't got no quit in it. The pepper clears the senses and cleanses the palate, a bit of the orange rind goes to it and sharpens beautifully.

Smoke goes back to white and pours freely from both ends. Speaking of pouring freely from both ends: gentlepersons, please to avoid jarred gefilte fish. That's what you get here, expert cigar musings, horrid horse racing tips, and usable life hacks. Yer welcome.

Now which of these finely crafted toothpicks shall I employ?

Postscript: I was somewhat denied my toothpick smoking experience, as the Cohiba's construction did not hold all that well beyond the band.
NOTES
I remember hearing years ago, how each expert Amish quilter left a purposeful flaw in their work as to highlight their humanity. I sensed a lot of that theory at play here.

Of note, too, is the way you feel this "Red Dot" in your throat and chest. Perhaps in yer soul, as well. Who knows? I mean probably not -- but who knows?

PAIRINGS
No room in the inn. See what I did there?

FINAL GRADE
****A-****

EPILOGUE
5:30pm
Even as my gums swell around a tooth which needs yanked and I suck on a teabag, I can't help but feel blessed this holiday season. I told my wife this morning that it's a horrible thing to do that to a kvetch. You, dear reader, are in no small way to blame for this. Thank ya.
LESS SCHTICK MORE STICK
Mellow: With balls
Coarse: Enough to know yer smoking
Sweet: Not in a kiddie manner
Spicy: Warm complexities
Savory: nope.
Strength: Kindly near full
Draw: Perfectomundo
Burn: a bissell meshuga (like a fox)
Construction: See burn
Primary note: Mulling spice, musky dusty

Wilson Adams - Mr. Wilson - Cigar Review (Audio)


Please check out the Wilson Adams website.

THE CIGAR
Wilson Adams Cigars
Mr. Wilson
Mexican wrapper
Undisclosed binder
'Predominantly' Nigaraguan fillers

NOTES
A hole in the wall gourmet bistro serving a limited menu of wonderful dishes.
The kinda place ya find out about and keep to yerself. You shouldn't do that, gentlepersons.

Not complex, but highly nuanced. People oft ask me the difference -- smoke this Mr. Wilson offering and find out.

LESS SCHTICK MORE STICK
Mellow: Oh, yeah
Coarse: Nope
Sweet: Autumn desert
Spicy: Autumn desert
Savory: Nah
Strength: -Full in 3/3
Draw: Beaut
Burn: Lovely
Construction: Fantastic
Primary note: Cedar (apple is interesting)

FINAL GRADE
****B+****

To You & Yours


Jericho Hill By Crowned Heads - Cigar Review

PROLOGUE
"John R. “Johnny” Cash is widely considered to be one of the most influential American musicians of the 20th century. His legacy continues to inspire many, including Crowned Heads. Jericho Hill was inspired by Cash’s rendition of “Cocaine Blues,” found on Cash’s 1968 live album, “At Folsom Prison.” The song is a tale of a man, Willy Lee, who goes down a dark path brought on by the influence of whiskey and cocaine. Willy is captured in Juarez, Mexico, and is brought to justice by the sheriff from Jericho Hill." - CrownedHeads.com

THE CIGAR
Crowned Heads 
Jericho Hill
Mexican San Andres wrapper
Nicaraguan interior
12 Honest Men 7 1/2 x 38 Lancero
Courtesy o' Mr. Jon Huber.
PRE-LIGHT
The band on this thing looks like a buckle on Johnny Cash's belt. There's a very much sheriff's badge design to it. Black, natch. All good. I've decided to let slide in this case, my pet peeve of the band that's too big for its stick. This is limited production -- so go 'head Mr. Huber, and wrap that thang twice 'round, y'hear?

As far as the thing itself, it looks and feels as gruff and rough as you'd imagine a San Andres homage to The Man in Black would be. I will be mentioning at hand-feel and look 'hand-in-hand,' if ya will; seeing as this suits the very visceral nature of the story this smoke is portraying. That said leathery, rough-hewn dark chocolate deep roasted coffee complexion. Gritty. Almost unfinished. Somber. One big ridged vein in the 2/3 which might be an issue. Seams are somewhat loose and varying shades of visible. Tobacco at the foot is murky dark brown and deep as heck with a few ticks up in high-lights of dirty blonde which seem in danger of being swallowed up. Cap is where the rough hewn vibe is belied and shows perfect construction behind that facade of rustic-ness.

Packing is -firm with just a bit of calm spring-back. Schnoz notes are gritty tobacco with coarse ground cocoa beans. At the foot, the tobacco darkens. A cold pull off a nibbled off cap is firm resistance and very dark chocolate with a complex sweetness not seemingly eminating from within it. The simplicity here doesn't hide the complexity underneath -- it mainly magnifies it.

LIGHT
5:50pm
Stiff leather notes come off toasting the foot. Maybe some coffee beans roasting on their way to and beyond Full City. First flavors off the first hot draw are a charred honey. There's a sweet mesquite and brown sugar on the finish. Between that, there's a coarse black pepper, coffee bean, and dark molasses on a hard leather backing. Was Johnny Cash Emo? Second hot pull is retro-haled to show an additional zetz of black pepper, sweetened by both brown sugar and molasses. There are some sweeter spices coming in now on the third hot one.

Construction-wise, ash is a pretty and thick paleness, and forming a sheath, although lilting to one side a good bit. Burn is evening off of my usual porch lighting. Packing loosens a tick about a half-inch ahead of burn. Pull loosens a tick. I should say this is my second go on this offering, and draw was an issue throughout the first, until I pulled a good-sized stick out its head in the 3/3. 

I cannot fully quantify what I'm about to say, but the tobacco, which is on prominent display here, tastes grizzled, I'm assuming its the San Andres wrapper taking over the Lancero vitola. Mouth-feel is hard but of perfect moisture, body is medium+ off all the dark sweetnesses and rigid leathers. Flavors are few but potent, delineated widely, and at a medium+. Strength ain't registered just yet. But I'll say a medium as to avoid a question of imbalance.
ACT I
We start with a surprise clumping off of ash, and a surprising amount of it -- about 3/4" already. It's cool powder and not as dense as I'd imagined. A new bit of spicy dark earth comes in and as it leaves, sweet grass lingers. There's a catch in my throat and my chest is warm.

Also, my stomach is killing me. Thanks, gefilte fish. I might be in trouble tonight, and I can hear Dion Giolito laughing at me. The schmuck.

Very sweet, very dark and somber. Very rustic yet well-appointed. In short, very Johnny Cash. Burn is evening and its line is down to near-razor. Not a tremendous smoke out-put, but a potent one. Even on my porch, I can smell the charred honey, mesquite, and coarse pepper cut with brown sugar. I greedily want more of it in my smoke-hole. The leather oils up a tick and darkly so, of course. The sweet grass is the lone ray of sunlight and while narrow, it doth remain. I can almost see it as filtered through thick steel bars.

Ash clumps again. Where's my schmatta? A bandanna seemed more fitting but too, perhaps too on-the-nose. Not much more has changed here, perhaps a further sweet charring. Not bad, but all complexities have merely been hinted at thus far. I chew to loosen up the draw. Darned Lanceros.

ACT II
Spices have overtook the earth note, but there's a compost in there, as well, which has an inherent sweetness. Hard leather seeps its oils from further back now. Molasses and honey swirl around the black pepper. Mesquite is dialing back, and really only mixed into the retro-hale now with a nice dose of the coarse black pepper. Cocoa comes in and plays a nice supporting role. It's a Baker's chocolate that while not inherently sweet, is sweetened some by is neighbors. Sweet grasses ebb and flow.

The catch in my throat is kind and sweet, I know, this sounds strange -- but I like it. Still, I think I should take an extra Flintstones vitamin before calling it a night. I'm just rolling off the ash now. It won't build, but it don't flake, either. The compost is dampening from the leather's oils. That and its inherent earthy sweetness is maybe the most interesting component here, and I m not complaining. 

I might be puking soon, but that'd be on account of the gefilte fish. Serves me right to trust even Manischewitz, out here in the farthest-flung reaches of the Jewish Diaspora.

Black pepper has found its way to the tip of my tongue now, not in a bad way. It slowly spreads to the rest of it. Its acting finer ground now and still, like all else here, sweet. Sweet grass hides. Very dark, very sweet -- not sickly so, but maturely and ruggedly so. I'm at the half now, and black coffee is coming up hard. It's a syrupy thing that's almost espresso and raw sugar is stirred in. Smoke to the room thickens, but I'm still getting big sips of it in my craw. It's more than enough to taste everything -- I'm just greedy is all. My chest warms and I daresay, my gut settles a touch, as well. 

With the coffee, body and flavors tickle full. Strength is at medium, maybe a solid -medium I'm expecting a ramping up there. Packing softens a good inch ahead of the unchanged burn. 

At the end of the second act, I'd say coffee has become an espresso. Maybe in Red Eye fashion. That's a Shot in the Drk if'n yer out West.

ACT III
There is some slight peeling of the wrapper here about aroundabouts the burn-line. Also, there is an introduction of a hardwood note, sweetly seasoned on the retro-hale. Some of the brown sugar leaves the espresso and it's full on espresso now, no java. Crisper, too. Strength is up to medium. Leather seeps a bit less of its oils, but what its already seeped is still in the compost and now the earth note, and they remain dampened. It's nice, though and does not dull or threaten the delineation of flavors. It's not as in some offerings, where a pail of water gets thrown on a camp fire. Chocolate ups a darkly sweet tick.

I recall hearing tall(?) tales of Keith Richards snorting his daddy's ashes. I can beat that: I just smoked Johnny Cash, gentlepersons.

NOTES
Each cigar tells a story. Normally, its own. This Jericho Hill tells a Cash story -- and also speaks to and of its teller. It does it almost startlingly well, I might add. A story of the story teller, if ya will -- and I will. Heck! I just did.

PAIRINGS
Bourbon for my men, whisk(e)y for the horses. Or something. I'll take a big brick o' chocolate, dark and sweet; caramel-filled even. Outside of relationships, I avoid the hard stuffs.

EPILOGUE
7:20pm
Good news, gentlepersons! I think I was and am, just having some gas. I was truly hoping not to have a gripe with Manischewitz, or gefilte fish.

I like the flavor of this thing so well, that past the band, I break it up and ready it for my corncob pipe. When I do, I unearth a short but white stick-like thing. I wonder at its possible draw hindrance.

Speaking of pipes, check out my good pal Mr. Santia. He'll do ya right. He did me right as rain with his Popeye model. If you look, he even has something called a Kaplowitz model.
LESS SCHTICK MORE STICK
Mellow: Like the song.
Coarse: Less so as it progresses
Sweet: Of the melancholy sort
Spicy: Nice tingle
Savory: Vegetarian chili
Strength: Firm but fair
Draw: Tight as a nun's _____ (but she rides a bike 'round the nunnery)
Burn: Very good
Construction: Good
Primary note: Dark Mocha, Earth

FINAL GRADE
****B+****

EDITOR'S NOTE
Read the Cigar Review Redux of the LBV format HERE.

My Father No. 3 Crema - Cigar Review

PROLOGUE
Nothing to see here, gentlepersons. Just me smoking through a My Father sampler.

THE CIGAR
My Father S.A.
No. 3 Crema
Ecuadorian Habano wrapper
Nicaraguan binder/filler
6 x 49 Cremas
PRE-LIGHT
Rugged. Nearly brawny. Nice even taper at the cap is a bit of a stand-out, but not showy. The band -- that's showy. Muah! perfection. Complexion is a well roasted coffee bean with a slight red vibrancy coming though in a robust fashion. Marbling over top is a dark black-green. Veins are a thing, as are spider web veins, but too they are germane to the plot. Foot tobacco is a densely packed matte brown with a burnt sienna hue underneath. Nice even sheen throughout; clarified butter -- not too thick, not too thin.

Hand-feel is exceptional. Well balanced and feels powerful. Veins do not interrupt, they compliment the thick wrapper and zaftik densities underneath. Packing is a very lively and very solid medium+ and evenly so throughout. Slick but gruff on the fingers. A healthy man who works hard outdoors and also secretly moisturizes.

Schnoz notes from the shaft are a sweetly dark and very woodsy tobacco. Not hay, but wood chips. At the foot, a nutty note comes off the wood and there are some coffee beans there, as well. Nibbling off the cap I get, on a medium resistance draw, notes of coffee, nuts, and woods (hickory). There's a non-dairy creaminess there, too.

LIGHT
9:30am
Wood and nuts are the aromas let loose on the foot-toasting. Hickory and almond, to be exact. Those, too, are the main notes on the first hot draw. On the finish, the hickory seasons and coffee beans come in from the draw to continue roasting. The almond is very nice and I believe the non-dairy cream I noticed earlier is coming from them and settling into a dry almond paste mouth-feel and finish extension. Second hot pull is retro-haled to add in some coarse ground white pepper, but also caramel notes and a leather which seems to carry them. Third hot pull is leather backed and steered by white and now a lil black pepper. Notes involved are hickory, toasting almonds, coffee beans, and caramel -- in that particular order. Mouth-feel is almond paste. Finish is caramel attaching to the mouth-feel and white pepper with a hint at cocoa but mainly caramel. Long legged gal, she.

Ash somewhat amplifies the fine tooth of the wrapper and is medium grey to near charcoal, but the newer rungs are quite more pale. Burn is attempting to even off a porch lighting. Draw is a weak medium, and I'd like another notch up of resistance, but objectively, it's a smooth draw. Packing density has softened a tick, surprisingly halfway down the stick, though it holds well. Very full thick smoke with brownish-yellow tintings. I'll say it's a medium+ profile right outta the gate. By the time I hit the wire, I do hope to still be standing.
ACT I
Almonds really perk up, and it was a heady note prior. Their pastes coat my mouth, their oils. my palate. Makes for a nice, even mouth-feel with perfect moisture. Hickory, seasoned, is the other primary note which comes on after the almond. Leather backing is very nice and far back enough for a great added dimension. White and black roasted peppers give yet another dimension on the retro-hale. Coffee and cocoa beans play in and out. Caramel toasts, hardens, and sits nicely in the finish. All notes here are hard and/or derived from hard tastes. Very interesting, and a very firm smoke. Bracing.

Ash is a bit messy, but holds; I've my schmatta at the ready in my lap. Burn-line is -thick. Softening of the packing has ceased. Well into the opening act, peppers mount a tick and catch the throat some, but in a nice way. A polite threat is far more threatening than an irate one, no?

Crisp delineation of hard notes. It's like a room full of John Waynes discussing feels via lateral conversations. Not as awkward as you'd imagine. Burn is struggling to find even, and while self-correcting, is slow to do so. Profile is medium+ and kindly in a calloused handshake sorta manner. Ash clumps at an inch and is a powdery pastiness. Cocoa beans nudge a nose ahead of the coffee beans on a head-bob. Leather backing comes closer to the top, but not so much as to negate its dimension.

ACT II
Strength ups a tick here and did I mention it's 9:30am? A common approach is to save the nic for evening offerings, but it's a far from universal approach and I have a very busy rest of day, gentlepersons. I will be playing Jew Santa to my goy step-childrens.

I re-touch the burn. A savory note adheres to the almond paste mouth. Lip-smacking! It's meaty in a bone marrow sense -- another hard note. Ash pales and starts a sheathing attempt. Smoke out-put is half a tick more and fully white. Draw remains a solid medium and construction is unchanged, too. Retro-hale is fantastic and has 'smoothed' some off a not subduing but more finely ground peppery mix of white and black pepper. The peppers have picked up their own backing of a savory yet subtle chili spice.

At the half, the flavors are as mentioned prior and are settling in wonderfully. The delineation of all notes, all hard, is resting on a breaking in leather. Its oils dripping into the mouth-feel and the moisture level is fantastic, as that balances the chili perfectly. The transition seems more of an affirmation. Did you expect John Wayne to turn over a new leaf? This is not "The Conqueror," gentlepersons. This is "The Quiet Man."

Ash clumps at an inch and we shall see as to the sheath. For now, it's only a hint and the results in my tray are quite similar to before. Coming out of the affirmation period, the cocoa beans are ground to a talc powder and sweeten the almond paste. Hickory notes seek the coffee beans. Supple quality of the leather backing enhances. It's all so beautiful, but I'd never tell it that. I cough, instead and smile.

More smoke. It's a rough fella helping an old lady do whatever old ladies do. He reminds her of her husband. A bit of ash flakes off. Strength pushes its boundaries. Body tickles full at the grinding of the cocoa beans and ever leathering leather. Flavors are medium+ at their bracing hardness. Construction is a thing of beauty, again -- I would not say that to its stubbly face. Burn fights and wins a continuous battle.

ACT III
The peppers subdue, chili falls away as does bone marrow, but in their wake they highlight a very full and deep tobacco. Coffee grinds now and their essence pours out but not in a way which influences other notes. Caramel adheres to and sweetens the tobacco. Hickory plugs along, as do almond notes -- close to the coffee, but not inside of it. The ash is a crackling sheath of pale grey with darker mottles, it flakes a bit in the air. Leather is a flippin' divine backing. A sweet wheat bread comes in as the band nears. Construction softens a tick and the burn smolders warmly.

I cannot think of a better start of day. I duck inside to wake up my goy 15 year-old to go Christmas shopping. When did his voice get so deep?
NOTES
Constructions bends but does not break throughout. This does not a calming smoke make. I felt as if I were rooting it on, as much as enjoying it. All told, I totally enjoyed it, however. I'm quite confused. Here's my credit card.

All notes were hard, and/or eminating from hard notes -- I said that already, though. Bears repeating as a very interesting thing.

PAIRINGS
A stiff something. Minimum of three fingers. In a dirty glass.

FINAL GRADE
****B+****

EPILOGUE
10:45am
Bring on the sails! Hoist the sales!

LESS SCHTICK MORE STICK
Mellow: Who ya callin' mellow, pilgrim?
Coarse: Lovingly gruff
Sweet: Masculinely so
Spicy: Warm and hard
Savory: A bissel
Strength: Zetz
Draw: Great
Burn: Adventurous
Construction: Fights and wins
Primary note: Almond paste