Deep in flavor. Deep in your mind.

Montecristo New York Connoisseur Edition - Cigar Review

You see, the price of undershirts went up at Bi-Mart. So I held off till a Walmart trip. Would you believe I then found-out they went up there, too? So long story short, Santa didn't bring me undershirts. But he does make good with the cigars...

Burns outta the gate into a runner which extends the 1/3's most. After correction via rest and expert Bic-flick finaglings, it never don't require retouchings and rolling in phalanges. Some resting too. It's not a cruise-control thing by any stretch of one's imagination. The thing actually goes plum out outta nowhere at its mid-point. Seams widen ahead of mascara-line. Ash builds quite well, all things considered. A decent amount of smoky-smoke, but wispily-so. Construction I'm sure is at least somewhat accountable for the runner at the start. Draw is a nice 'nuff medium tension. Press holds well. Seams which are off the burn hold fast and nigh invisibly-so. Smoke stays cool and shaft firm to the wire.

A docile yet sharp pepper-spice rides tandem with sour notes a-top. Retro-hale is tangy, adding not much to the blend. A salted sweetness lifts them from their nethers. Salt seems to enhance the sours. Bitter notes ebb and flow, failing to entrench themselves into the profile. Smoothly textured in a rather weak manner that is felt in the light-body. Not overly balanced, but whispered notes don't high-light that transgression.
  • Pepper, black
  • Oak
  • Baking Spice
  • Coffee, thin, black
  • Lemon Zest
  • Salt
  • Wine, dry red cooking stuff (1/3, 3/3)
  • Chocolate, dark (in&out then out.)
  • Grains, toasted
  • Barnyard (rising)
WRAPPER: Ecuadorian Habano
BINDER: Nicaraguan
FILLER: Dominican

STRENGTH: Mild-Medium
FORMAT: No. 2 6x54 Box-pressed Torpedo
ORIGIN: Tabacalera de Garcia Ltd., Dominican Republic

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

The Montecristo New York Connoisseur No. 2 Torpedo is available over at Cigars City. Your mileage (other than combustion issues, maybe) might vary from mine. I ain't a fan of sour-tangy. The lower than optimal grade is on account'a the burn issues. Not subjectively connected to my palate. Although the lack of balance... yeah.

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"(Pardon My) French Toast" Kaplowitz Radio: December 27, 2017

San Cristobal - Cigar Review

To read a newspaper is to refrain from reading something worth while. The natural laziness of the mind tempts one to eschew authors who demand a continuous effort of intelligence. The first discipline of education must therefore be to refuse resolutely to feed the mind with canned chatter.
People tell me that they must read the papers so as to know what is going on. In the first place, they could hardly find a worse guide. Most of what is printed turns out to be false, sooner or later. Even when there is no deliberate deception, the account must, from the nature of the case, be presented without adequate reflection and must seem to possess an importance which time shows to be absurdly exaggerated; or vice versa. No event can be fairly judged without background and perspective.
The above from one Mr. Aleister Crowley, The Confessions of Aleister Crowley (1929). It has nothing to do at all with anything herein. Lettuce looksie this fine cigar, gentlepersons... 

This San Cristobal, a Nicaraguan puro, combusts on an even 'nuff line with an occasional slight sorta ripple. Nothing require-some of redirection via Bic-flick. Its pace does err towards the hasty side of moderate, building quickly a dense-pale inch easily at a time. Excellent smoke out-put both active and at rest, unfortunately, my breezy carport lounge carries away any hope of room-note sniffings. Rolled expertly-well: tight even seams, excellent smooth draw, and zilch hard/soft spots and/or softening. Form holds well to the coolly delivering nub.

Once the pepper front settles, a sweetness comes in to balance with its own under-belly of assorted spices which mimic a rub seasoning and overall are verily well-delineated. Lightly salted bitter notes get more stage-time in the second-half. Sour contributions are lacking, but it somehow doesn't rock the balance boat too heavily. Smoothly textured in spite of lotsa woods and being sans cream per se. Heavy and full but too somehow shy of rich, perhaps back to that lack of cream. Fairly straight-forward but there are nice additions along the way. It just seems to march ahead, undeterred. This amplifies the feeling of it being paced in haste.
  • Pepper, black and red (front-loaded)
  • Wood, oak. Lumber?
  • Coffee Beans, full city roast
  • Tobacco, dark toasted
  • Cumin
  • Molasses
  • Brown sugar
  • Paprika
  • Ginger (fleeting)
  • Graham (fleeting)
  • Leather, stiff
  • Salt
  • Manure
  • Top-soil
WRAPPER: Nicaraguan
BINDER: Nicaraguan
FILLER: Nicaraguan

STRENGTH: Medium-Full
FORMAT: Toro "Supremo"
ORIGIN: Tabacalera Cubana S.A. "My Father" Esteli, Nicaragua
BLENDER: Don Pepin Garcia

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

The San Cristobal brand is manufactured by Pepin Garcia for Ashton Cigars.

This sampling came courtesy of Cigars on 7th.
My personal haunt & Eugene OR's premier cigar shop.
Cigars on 7th. Conveniently located on Lincoln.

Report a typo, win a No-prize.

"The (Pardon My) French Toast" Kaplowitz Radio: December 26, 2017 

"(Pardon My) French Toast" Kaplowitz Radio: December 27, 2017

w/ special guest-star Tony, of a very near-future new podcast project.

We talk about the Cigar Aficionado Top 25 of 2017, the up-coming project of course, and where else science says we have taste buds. Also: Mario Batali and a pre-emptive P.S. apology. Tune in, Gentlepersons!!! I also gather my aplomb to end in the familiar Kaplowitz Radio fashion of dryly reading from my blog.

(Contains explicit language. Sorry, Rabbi.)

Alec Bradley Post Embargo - Cigar Review

I'll only agree to 2018 if it promises to be no worse than 2017. If no-one can pinky-swear me on that, I ain't going. Not my calendar. Nuh-uh.

I'm on my porch now. It's 8:30am and the only time I'll get a go at a cigar to-day. Lettuce see about that go...
Thank-you, gentlepersons, for supporting my cigar modeling career on Instagram.

Other than a slight and self-correcting curvature-to-burn near mid-point, the construction and combustion of this AB Post Embargo are sans critical critique comments. Pepper-spices are warmly gentle things even blown out the nose where goodly complexities grow to greater ones. Sweetly sour notes lead and get nice salted additions. Verily smooth and supremely balanced. Rich refrains are excellently delivered in a well-paced manner. A slim menu is made-up-for by deep nuances and complex blendings on a wide and long canvass. Finish is a draw extension which allows for a cool dissection.
  • Pepper, white
  • Cocoa Butter
  • Citrus, orange pith & pulp
  • Buttah
  • Honey Malt
  • Caramel
  • Suede
  • Earth
WRAPPER: Honduran
BINDER: Honduran, Nicaraguan
FILLER: Honduran, Nicaraguan

STRENGTH: Medium-Full
FORMAT: Robusto Box Press
ORIGIN: Fabrica de Tabacos Raices Cubanas S. de R.L, Honduras

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

Get yer own Alec Bradley Post Embargo at Cigars City.
For many, the 1960’s represented a chasm that would throw many cigar enthusiasts into a dilemma. For some, it served as an avenue to explore the tobaccos of different countries and regions. For others, this embargo offered up opportunities for bootlegging and counterfeiting for those who would desperately do anything to get that Cuban leaf into their hands.

Today we pay homage to this history with Post Embargo. Here’s to the privilege to taste the past as the gap is bridged and enjoy the pleasures the future has to offer. The brighter future is here and glimmering with hope.
The above from the co. website as-to this, their offering. One which debuted in 2015.

Went to the movies twixt the first draft of this and editing the finished piece you've been so nice as to read. "Least Star Warsy Star Wars ever. Fun ride, though. Added Disney super powers are mainly okay, except for Leia floating in space posing like a hood ornament." Me via Twitter @kplwtz

"Joshu's Dog" Kaplowitz Radio: December 21, 2017 

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."

Gentlepersons, below is a list as shallow and pedantic as Lois Griffin's meatloaf. It is a list of recent (December '17) cigar offerings I humbly found to be worthy of A (- to +) review ratings.

{Names are links to full review.}

"Joshu's Dog" Kaplowitz Radio: December 21, 2017

Cigar News Weekly Report: December 24, 2017

‘Twas the night before Christmas...
I'm getting a plastic jacket, pack of white undershirts, and cigars.

Also, a divorce.

Lettuce get to the news.

The 11-25 offerings (named 12/22) are as follows: 
11. Partagas Lusitania
13. Archetype Axis Mundi Toro
14. 601 Red Label Habano Torpedo
15. Romeo By Romeo Y Julieta Aging Room Small Batch F25 Cantaor 
16. Rocky Patel Vintage 2003 Cameroon Churchill
17. C.L.E. Prieto 50×5
18. E.P. Carrillo Dusk Solidos
19. Romeo Y Julieta Short Churchill
21. Regius Exclusivo U.S.A. Pressed Perfecto
24. Tatuaje Cabinet Noellas
25. Undercrown Churchill

Fancy Fiftieth-Anniversary bands are a' comin' to grace much of the Davidoff portfolio. Blends, boxes, as well as prices, will all remain unchanged -- but a big BIG "50" appearing atop the co. logo shall occur. Davidoff has before been way into commemorating anniversaries via festivities throughout its heavily self-congratulated history. There was 2006's trio-release in commemoration of Zino's 100th birthday (which he sadly could not attend). Then, in 2011, the celebration was the 100th anniversary of the inaugural Davidoff tobacco shop. After that (and before this) 2013's festivities revolved 'round the 25th anniversary of the brand hitting the USofA market.

Viaje Cigars has announced a Maduro expression of their Circa '45 line which I've not ever heard of prior to typing this out. These have already begun being spotted "in the wild." Rolled at the PDR factory in luxurious Tamboril, Dominican Republic, they are offered in formats of Robusto (No. 1), Toro (No. 2), and a 5.5x58 (No. 3) thing. The recipe features an Indonesian binder laid twixt Dominican filler and Mexican San Andres top-leaf.

The hallowed Perdomo Cigars company has announced price hikes for 13 of its 17 lines. This to become effective January 1, 2018. Happy New Year!!! This raise is rather on-the-heels of the one which came earlier this year -- first quarter gouging -- thanks, Trump. The four unaffected lines are Double Aged 12 Years Vintage, Edición de Silvio, Estate Seleccion Vintage and Small Batch Series.

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"Joshu's Dog" Kaplowitz Radio: December 21, 2017

Henry Clay Stalk Cut - Cigar Review

I'm thinking Haiku / I'm too thinking artwork / But(t) first, like breech birth --
(Zappai?) a looksie at this Henry Clay.

I'm also thinking I need another layer of clothing...

Well-rolled to the eye. As-to performance, there is some softening of density and mild loss of press. Draw is somewhat hesitant at times. Warms-some in 3/3. None of these gripes border on egregious. Burn needs no redirection but ain't on a razor. The loosely-stacked ash does make an inch hither and thither. Nicely paced and smoky side a' moderate. Room-note is a sweet earthiness with manure richness from the draw. Notes are a demure pepper-spice led by warmly sour notes in balance with a sweet umami. Salty/bitter bits roast-well. Smooth and satiating, richly-bodied. Balanced excellently and calmly complex.
  • Black Pepper
  • Espresso
  • Cinnamon
  • Nutmeg
  • Top-soil
  • Molasses
  • Meat, roasted
  • Sarsaparilla
  • Leather
  • Manure
WRAPPER: Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro
BINDER: Dominican
FILLER: Dominican & Nicaraguan

STRENGTH: Medium-Full
FORMAT: Toro, box-press, unfinished foot
ORIGIN: Tabacalera de Garcia, DR
BLENDER: Grupo de Maestros

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

"The name Stalk Cut refers to the technique of harvesting tobacco. In this case, the entire stalk, containing all of the tobacco leaves is cut (as opposed to priming the leaves individually from the stalk). The stalk is then air cured in a curing barn. This method of harvesting has been used before, most prominently on the Liga Privada T52." Cigar Coop

Buy this satisfying Henry Clay Stalk Cut Toro at Cigars City but don't call there asking about the Eye of the Shark.

This offering hit the Cigar Aficionado 2016 Top 25 list at #22 after receiving a 92 rating from the vaulted publication.

Report a typo, win a No-prize.

"Joshu's Dog" Kaplowitz Radio: December 21, 2017

"Joshu's Dog" Kaplowitz Radio: December 21, 2017

Santa jokes! A reading from The Gateless Gate followed by a later realization that this is probably the last time I'll do that. Sorry, Buddhism. Also, a look at the top 10 of the Cigar Aficionado Top 25 of 2017. MORE... Thanks for listening, gentlepersons!!!

On The Cigar Aficionado Top 10 Cigars of 2017

I was traveling east-bound down Royal Ave. when he turned out in front of me actually right at my side from whatever that street is called. The one by Little Caesars, ya know? He just missed T-boning me by not too much at all. I gave him the finger in a knee-jerk sorta manner. He honked. Revved his engine. HONKED. REVVED.  REPEAT. The windows of his truck were blacked out and when I slowed at a red light, a passenger of his opened the door to get out, then the light went green and I was off. "What am I in a movie?" I mighta said out loud.

More honking. revving. Swerving behind me. I was still carrying the flu in my gut and really wasn't looking forward to being shot. Or beat up. In a bit under a mile, I turned off at my street and undid my seatbelt. Cruised into the driveway. Jumped out. I keep a baseball bat inside my front door, too far away. I stopped carrying a knife because it makes my sweatpants fall off my waist. Did I have a tire iron in my truck? Exposed, I stood there. The truck, looking more militia than it did from my rearview, pulled up sideways onto the curb. Not quite into my drive. 

The door flung open. A twenty-something kid spoke to me from the passenger-side: "Why'd you do that back there?" He whined. "Yeah, man," ditto'd the twenty-something driver. I waved them off, walked inside slowly. They drove on down Berntzen, I imagine all the way to Marshall. 

Why does this year's Cigar Aficionado Top Ten list make me think of this few days ago happening? It's obvious, no? Wet-blanket obvious.

Lettuce delve into the list with first a single-word response on each offering therein, then a brief kibbitz to put a nice ribbon on it all. [If I've given the stick a looksie, the title will appear as a link to my own review.]


2. PADRON SERIE 1926 NO. 2 (NATURAL): yawn.









2017 is the year Cigar Aficionado went full-Goth. The top-three are in homage to deaths. I ancestor worship as much as anyone, but the effort seems strained here, as there were no new blends in the top three. New formats of old list inhabitant blends were forced into place, instead. I assume David Savona is wearing a black velour cape these days, atop recently bought Hot Topic garb. But where's AVO, then? Oh, that's right.

Only a single Cuban offering? ... Cuban cigars are just like any other country's cigars. Some good, some bad, and yes there is a certain characteristic. The same can be said for leaf from DR, Nica, etc. The important thing is that your Cuban is a fake and that's mold on it, not plume. Also, the cello can be left on or taken off. Take it off if yer aging the thing.

No one who's smoked The Judge in my home shop has been at all impressed, and it is a HUGE My Father joint. Warped: I prefer to get my hipster fix from Caldwell, kthxbye. Plasencia? I know a throw-out vote when I see what -- particularly since 2016. And finally, Villiger. The La Flor de Ynclan... No. But I said that already.

All told, an all-time weak list with forced components at its top.

A parting thought: allow me to again reiterate once more that the distinction twixt boutiques and big boys ain't got nothing on the distinction twixt B&M and what I call "internet brands." No Steve Saka, no Skip Martin. No James Brown, no Fred Rewey. Why is the nom de labelle internet brand more apt than boutique? Because the brands we geek about in social media exist mainly in our computers. Not in brick. Not in print. Furthermore, the chasm that divides them from B&M humidors is greater deeper wider than just the difference of boutique(small) |    | (big)brands. Growth ain't the only thing needed to contend. It's a matter of culture, not just audience. Leaf security is a thing, too. Levels of legitimacy (not to offend). I hope this helps. I almost deleted the entire paragraph and didn't put too much editing into it. BREAKING NEWS and laziness and ADHD and all.

EDITOR'S NOTE: I'll post 11-25 in the next Cigar News Weekly Report.

Look to Cigars City FIRST, for anything on this list and anything you like.

Report a typo, win a No-prize.

"A Pooper-Scooper" Kaplowitz Radio: December 13, 2017

San Cristobal Elegancia - Cigar Review

The San Cristobal brand marks a collaboration twixt Pepin Garcia and Ashton Cigars (manufactured by Arturo Fuente). Kind of a big-deal tandem. This is kind of a dated cigar review, as this Elegancia was introduced way-back in 2011 at the IPCPR trade-show. I generally operate half-dozen years behind. Now that we're all caught up, lettuce forge ahead with a looksie...

Burns on a curve nigh canoe through the 1/3 then evens-out all on its lonesome. This at a rather quick-pace. Lots of smoke off each end both actively and passively-so. Some aeration and slight pin-point tunneling hither and thither in the burnt-offerings which don't come near an inch'a stacking.  Rolled well insofar as density and tight seams, but the draw is wide-open. Smooth top-leaf is fragile and band-removal leads to cosmetic-only tsuris. Gets a tick heated in the 3/3.

Minimal pepper-spice in a sour-led profile with underpinnings of a somewhat synthetic sweetness. Fairly+ acidic. Smoothly textured with a citric lilting sharper than merely clean. Lace-curtain body and sans richness. Not particularly balanced and/or complex. Finishes a bissell bitey-green harsh for such an other-wise mellow profile.
  • Pepper, white & waxy yellow bell
  • Cedar, green. Green stays, cedar leaves post-1/2
  • Coffee, weak
  • Butter, unsalted (falls off in second-half)
  • Orange rind (lemon in second-half)
  • Pine Nuts, in and out
  • Tobacco, bright whilst dusty
  • Oats, raw
  • Hay
  • Dirt, sunny
WRAPPER: Ecuadorian Connecticut
BINDER: Nicaraguan
FILLER: Nicaraguan

STRENGTH: Mild-Medium
FORMAT: Toro "Imperial"
ORIGIN: Tabacalera Cubana S.A. "My Father" Esteli, Nicaragua

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

This sampling came courtesy of Cigars on 7th.
My personal haunt & Eugene OR's premier cigar shop.
Conveniently located on Lincoln.

"A Pooper-Scooper" Kaplowitz Radio: December 13, 2017 

Gilberto Oliva Reserva Blanc - Cigar Review Redux

This Gilberto Oliva Reserva Blanc ranked 5th in my Cigar of the Year honorifics. Lettuce give it another look in the same vitola because why not.

Unchanged. Consistency, thy name is this cigar. Just go read the original write-up: Gilberto Oliva Reserva Blanc - Cigar Review. Ditto all that there, here. Really a lovely stick.

Those whom subscribe to my Gentlepersons Weekly Newsletter were greeted by the most recent edition bearing news of art. Art coming to this blog courtesy of moi. Funny thing. I seem unable to art. So, defeated, I took an old schmatta (remember those?) and began to wipe up the charcoal, chalk, graphite, and cigar ash mess of the morning's activities. Below is what occurred. (Click to enlarge each, per yer desire.)


WRAPPER: Ecuadorian Connecticut
BINDER: Ecuadorian
FILLER: Nicaraguan

ORIGIN: Nicaragua

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

The below is from Cigar News Weekly Report: December 17, 2017
The Oliva Cigar Co. founder has died. May his memory be for a blessing.
With familial tobacco roots in 1886 Cuba, Gilberto Oliva fled there during the Cuban revolution to begin work as a tobacco broker in Nicaragua. In the 1970s, because of another revolution, he fled there as well; returning in '95 to start his own self-named brand. Post-boom, he shifted focus to growing, prolifically-so. Retaining those operations even when all else was sold to J. Cortes last year. Cigar-wise, in 2006, with the launching of the Oliva Serie V, brand met map. Soon-after, the NUb, and Cain revolutionized the traditional mother-brand, and the industry writ large. In a score's-time, the company became one of the largest; Esteli cigar and box factory, to boot.
Report a typo, win a No-prize.

"A Pooper-Scooper" Kaplowitz Radio: December 13, 2017

La Flor Dominicana La Volcada - Cigar Review

Did you know that Square Dancing has its roots in antisemitism? It was manufactured as a wholesome alternative to the Jews and their Jazz -- which was, of course, itself created to destroy the world. True story. But this, this is the Tango. Or at least the La Volcada step therein.

Okay, okay. It's about a cigar...

  • Superb draw.
  • Bupkis hard/soft spots, well-rolled.
  • Burns even, just not on a razor-line
  • Construction holds in excellent fashion.
  • Ash makes a decent inch of growth.
  • Pacing is slow and easy.
  • Muted but pleasant room-note of a Cavendish lilt.
  • Silky-smooth. Even through the red-pepper'd schnoz.
  • Smoke is about the coolest temp'd I recall.
  • Bit lumpy shaft
  • Seams are less-than tight, less than even.
  • Smoke out-put is a tick thinner than I prefer (picks-up-some throughout).
  • Finish is a bit mottled and short-legged.
  • Can there be too great of a balance? Lulls a bit.
  • Limited flavorscape.
Is this why people whom can afford the very best sometimes seem bored by it all? "Fine, bare-breasted slave-girl. Peel me another grape and plop it in my fat mouth if you must." A beautiful tedium which never quite fades on either account. Pepper ups through the schnoz and with it a warm sweetness. Smooth and rich, moderately heavy yet completely unburdensome there. Balanced like the notes of any old lullaby. A meditation on an almost melancholy perfection.

Regardless of the name being that of a step in the Tango, I don't feel like dancing at all. Amourous, perchance. That last sentence is intended to be read with a purr... as I wrote it with one, gentlepersons.
  • Red pepper (Mainly on retro-hale, upped in 3/3)
  • Leather (thick, soft)
  • Wine Cask (chars via progression)
  • Caramelized sugar
  • Kasha (buckwheat)
  • Alfalfa
  • Cordial Cherry
  • Molasses (upped in 3/3) 
  • Barnyard
WRAPPER: Mexican San Andres Maduro
BINDER: Ecuadorian Corojo
FILLER: Dominican

FORMAT: Churchill (pig-tail cap)
ORIGIN: Tabacalera La Flor, Tamboril, Dominican Republic
BLENDER: Litto Gomez

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

La Flor Dominicana to Roll Out La Volcada at IPCPR - Cigar News

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"A Pooper-Scooper" Kaplowitz Radio: December 13, 2017

Cigar News Weekly Report: December 17, 2017

Black Label Trading Company has shipped its 2017 annual Deliverance Nocturne release. In 2015, the blend debuted as an L.E. Deliverance line extension. It sees a Nicaraguan Habano binder laid twixt PA and Nicaragua fillers and a PA Broadleaf top-leaf over-top. These are natch being rolled at James Brown's Fabrica Oveja Negra factory in Nicaragua. This year's formats mimic last year's in Salomon Snub Nose and Short Salomon Snub Nose, plus a new Perfecto. They're housed in boxes of 12, 18, and 20, respectively. The usual black packaging. Skulls/skeletons, too. Vague Catholic-Occult stuffs. Sticking to schticking works for me.

Villiger Cigars announced mid-week that their La Libertad offering has been repackaged to now be presented in a sleeker box. Bold too, RED. And black. Sleek? Black? Red? 1990s-lacquered-cocaine-coffee-table or Ninja!!! This to mimic the bands which for some reason didn't-so in the original box. The cigar itself hit the Cigar Aficionado 2016 Best Buy list and too somehow landed in the Cigar Snob Top 25.

The Villiger La Libertad is rolled in the Dominican Republic to the tunes of Robusto, Box-Pressed Torpedo, Churchill, and "Masivo,' a 660 Gordo. Its guts are Dominican and Nicaraguan, laying underneath a Brazilian wrapper.

More Villiger Cigars (not a sponsor) branding updates. The company has added their Villiger (not a sponsor) nom de Tobacco to the Cuellar cigar brand. Say hello gentlepersons, to the Villiger (not a sponsor) Cuellar Connecticut Kreme. The thinking is that now customers will better ID product. This mild-medium offering's rolled in the Dominican Republic with a Connecticut Shade top-leaf over-top DR binder/filler. Four sizes are offered: a Robusto, Toro Gordo, Churchill, and Torpedo.

Originally unveiled as Lavida Isla, a collaboration from Nick Syris of LH Premium Cigars and “Island” Jim Robinson of Leaf & Bean, will begin shipping in a matter of days. After being renamed as Nick & Jim’s P.B.E. (Pre-Band Edition). This apparently to make lemonade from some sorta lemons. As to the blend, it's offered in a single 654 Toro format of a blend consisting of Ecuadorian top-leaf, and I can't find more info. Originally birthed as an L&B exclusive, the duo decided to release it to other accounts. Robinson's distribution company will distribute.

"Nor the saddest "Wahoo" ever recorded*..."

The Oliva Cigar Co. founder has died. May his memory be for a blessing.

With familial tobacco roots in 1886 Cuba, Gilberto Oliva fled there during the Cuban revolution to begin work as a tobacco broker in Nicaragua. In the 1970s, because of another revolution, he fled there as well; returning in '95 to start his own self-named brand. Post-boom, he shifted focus to growing, prolifically-so. Retaining those operations even when all else was sold to J. Cortes last year. Cigar-wise, in 2006, with the launching of the Oliva Serie V, brand met map. Soon-after, the NUb, and Cain revolutionized the traditional mother-brand, and the industry writ large. In a score's-time, the company became one of the largest; Esteli cigar and box factory, to boot.

*IPCPR 2017: A Retrospective

Report a typo, win a No-prize.

"A Pooper-Scooper" Kaplowitz Radio: December 13, 2017 

Top 18 Cigar (& Tobacco) Quotes: Ranked

With every Tom, Dick, and Harry about to post their year-end top-cigar lists, and MINE being published in September, I decided to at once act thricely. I strike while the list-iron is hot, that's one. Two is that I further enchant ya as to #Leafstyle. Three: I get a day-off because lists are EZ. As always, share your thoughts in the comment section below, which is closed.

Ah, but why 18? Life. In Hebrew, the numerical equivalent to the word chai(life) is 18. Please do not pronounce this as you would that disgusting tea. 

"A woman is only a woman, but a good cigar is a smoke." Rudyard Kipling

"Smoking is indispensable if one has nothing to kiss." Sigmund Freud

"By the cigars they smoke, and the composers they love, ye shall know the texture of men’s souls." John Galsworthy

"Ah, if only I had brought a cigar with me! This would have established my identity." Charles Dickens

"Tobacco is the passion of honest men and he who lives without tobacco is not worthy of living." Moliere

"If you can’t send money, send tobacco." George Washington (to the Continental Congress, 1776)

"Given the choice between a woman and a cigar, I will always choose the cigar." Groucho Marx

"If smoking cigars is not permitted in heaven, I won’t go." Mark Twain

"My rule of life prescribed as an absolutely sacred rite smoking cigars and also the drinking of alcohol before, after and if need be during all meals and in the intervals between them." Winston Churchill (to some Muslim guy who was giving him a hard time)

"Happiness? A good cigar, a good meal, a good cigar and a good woman -- or a bad woman; it depends on how much happiness you can handle." George Burns

"If your wife doesn’t like the aroma of your cigar, change your wife." Zino Davidoff

"If I had taken my doctor's advice and quit smoking when he advised me to, I wouldn't have lived to go to his funeral." George Burns

"Of the smokers we can learn tolerance. I still do not know one who has complained about non-smokers." Alessandro Pertini.

"A cigar ought not to be smoked solely with the mouth, but with the hand, the eyes, and with the spirit." Zino Davidoff

"Eating and sleeping are the only activities that should be allowed to interrupt a man's enjoyment of his cigar." Mark Twain

"Tobacco is my favorite vegetable." Frank Zappa

"A good Cuban cigar closes the doors to the vulgarities of the world." Franz Liszt

"Tobacco is the plant that converts thoughts into dreams." Victor Hugo

A couple notes. As to #18 I only included it quite begrudgingly. I'm not a Kipling fan and its meter strikes me as off. Following it, #17 might at first seem negative, but Freud does here what others on the list, such as Davidoff, dance around. He doesn't choose a cigar over a woman. There is no woman. Skipping forward to #3, I love-love Frank Zappa. #1 is a personal meditation. Although this may be misleading to say, as I do not meditate. Or perhaps I never stop. Hard to say.

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"A Pooper-Scooper" Kaplowitz Radio: December 13, 2017

Gilberto Oliva Reserva - Cigar Review Redux II (Audio) A Kaplowitz Radio Extension of "A Pooper-Scooper"

WRAPPER: Indonesian Sumatra Maduro
BINDER: Ecuadorian
FILLER: Nicaraguan

STRENGTH: Medium-Full
ORIGIN: Nicaragua

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

Gilberto Oliva Reserva (Toro) - Cigar Review

Sample courtesy of Fumare.
Reno's most exclusive Cigar Boutique.
Specializing in rare and hard to find cigars.

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"A Pooper-Scooper" Kaplowitz Radio: December 13, 2017

"A Pooper-Scooper" Kaplowitz Radio: December 13, 2017

Baseball Hot Stove stuffs. Shohei Ohtani & Giancarlo Stanton, particularly. Cigar news. Humor? Sure. Comedy? Now that's a strong word. Thanks for tuning in, gentlepersons!

Odds & Ends at the Ides: December 2017

My Fellow Gentlepersons,

Hey, how are ya? Good to hear. Me? Not so good. I'm at the tail-end of the stomach flu and am still asking that you HELP PAY FOR MY DIVORCE. Feh!, you might say. All that aside, lettuce delve into the bullet-points above, below:

The biggest news and why it's atop the above list is that I have pulled back to the topic of cigars only. It's a bit crazy here and I find refuge in the cigar I am smoking. Also, other topics mean more of my time, which has become increasingly limited. All else were ever add-ons so they fall easily away. My apologies if this inconveniences you. Posts will continue to be made daily, including a weekly podcast of Kaplowitz Radio. There will be reviews, news, primers, and special cigar lifestyle meanderings. (Leafstyle, more later.)

Next up is a slew'a points all under the umbrella of social media. Least importantly, please support my burgeoning cigar model career by following me on Instagram (link above). Each day a new image and behold: the slowly played-out ravages of age. 

The Facebook page (link above). I changed its name from Kaplowitz Radio to Kaplowitz Media. Should we expect video? Maybe. Really, though -- the written word (blog) is a form of media, as is the pod. So already I was overly pigeon-held. With the name change also came a username change to kplwtz as in /kplwtz at the end of . In case yer keeping score at home.

More social media. Twitter (again, link above) has become the one place that I somewhat don't hate being part of on the www. So make sure to follow me @kplwtz. It's also a great way to contact me. If ya gotta. Whilst we are on the whole social media thing and with my return to cigar-only content in mind -- please use and look for my personal hashtag across all platforms: #Leafstyle. Get it? It's like "lifestyle" but I used "leaf" instead of "life." Leaf... like tobacco. AND WHOM IS RUNNING THE WE GENTLEPERSONS TWITTER ACCOUNT? Weird, that.

Finally, then we have the direction of Kaplowitz Radio. Some weeks I dryly read from my writings. Some weeks are off the cuff. Where will I/it settle? Dunno. With sports and other topics dropping off, leaving cigars only -- it seems somehow less to read. Maybe I'll read-some and off the cuff-some. Maybe no settling will occur. Who knows? Consider it, as I do, my audio playground. Your feedback is appreciated and can be left in the comments below each podcast, which are closed. I hope this helps.

Happy Chanukah!

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"A Barbie Queue" Kaplowitz Radio: December 6, 2017

Sancho Panza - Cigar Review

"Yes, you eat up, friend Sancho… sustain life, which is of more interest to you than to me, and let me die at the hands of my thoughts and in the grasp of my misfortunes. I was born, Sancho, to live dying, and you were born to die eating." Don Quixote.

A fairly cruise-control performance, occasional loose draw and somewhat whispy smoke (although a great leathery-coriander room-note builds on the back of sweet 'baccy). Pepper-spice is mellow but zesty. Smooth in the smoke-hole fruit-dessert richness. Sweet and sour notes play well on an earthen stage. Attainable, or minimally complex, dependant-upon yer spin -- but balanced well and delivered pleasantly. The complexities that do exist are at the finish, unfortunately, are hampered by a sharp cardboard lilt. Come 3/3 that lilt rises to lead the profile, flirting with bite. Purging is an oft-needed thing to get to the band. A high-class stogie and well, I am a fan of Don Quixote.
  • Pepper (white)
  • Cocoa Butter
  • Cedar, buttery
  • Coriander*
  • Allspice
  • Leather
  • Cardboard
  • Mushroom
  • Chamomile
  • Vanilla bean
  • Earth, damp
WRAPPER: Connecticut Shade
BINDER: Connecticut Broadleaf
FILLER: Dominican, Honduran, Nicaraguan

STRENGTH: Mild-Medium
FORMAT: "Dulcinea" 6.1x54 Torpedo
ORIGIN: Honduras

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

Congrats to one Mr. Mike Weinstein for spotting my lack of final grade in Hoyo La Amistad Silver by AJ Fernandez - Cigar Review. It's been fixed. Thank-you, sir.

*"When left whole, coriander is as floral as cardamom -- its flavor full of citrus and curry, light and sweet..." Serious Eats.

"Sancho Panza’s proverbs… give me more pleasure than others that are more timely and appropriate." The Duke and the Duchess

Sample courtesy of Fumare.
Reno's most exclusive Cigar Boutique.
Specializing in rare and hard to find cigars.

Report a typo, win a No-prize.

"A Barbie Queue" Kaplowitz Radio: December 6, 2017

La Palina Lp02 - Cigar Review

Is it just me, or are this year's MLB winter meetings a bit meh? We already had Shohei Ohtani choose the Angels and Giancarlo Stanton get dealt to the Damn Yankees. Angels are a great choice for S.Ohtani, because he won't have to transition to a smaller market in a couple years when it's clear he's a long-reliever. As to G.Stanton, that is a truckload of strike-outs for next year's Yanks. What could set them apart from the rest is if the ball goes back to normal -- because they'll be the only things juiced. I can quite easily wait to find out where Eric Hosmer lands.

Ah, but the cigar at hand ...

Combustion burns quick-quick and on a wobbly-ribbon. Nicely smoky even off the resting foot, but drops off fast twixt puffs. Wants to be toked mucho. Binder seems to burn cooller than filler/top-leaf when looked at head-on. Burnt offerings are aerated, flaky. Construction softens spongily, notably-so (so I make note). The draw is a tick airy at front of puff. Seams hold well but are crafted a bit unevenly. Smoke is warm at the band, made to feel warmer via palate abrasion.

A dusty pepper-spice is up-front throughout and ouchy-mama through the schnoz. Balance is off-kilter towards bitter -- particular when woods scorch, but on the +-side it don't bite (but barely). My mouth is dry and I need an H20 sip or several. The sweet-notes seem the most hampered by bitters, and it would seem they were intended to work in tandem. Body seems lacking in meat on its heavy bones. A caring hug from one of those female bodybuilders. Finish is big and short-lived. Complexities bang at that short finish, I think, die quick. Ends with a hint of kerosene. The female bodybuilder yells in my ear, "CALM DOWN EVERYTHING WILL BE OK." Something in her bikini-bottom keeps poking me.
  • Pepper (black, red)
  • Wood (mesquite, hickory. Toasted then scorched)
  • Baking Spice
  • Coffee Beans
  • Fruit (purple-red, dried. 1/3 only)
  • Herbal (dried, McCormick eye-talian)
  • Barnyard
  • Manure
WRAPPER: Costa Rican Maduro
BINDER: Honduran
FILLER: Nicaraguan, Honduran

STRENGTH: Medium-Full
FORMAT: Robusto
ORIGIN: Plasencia El Paraiso Factory, Honduras

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

Give my La Palina Lp01 - Cigar Review a read, will ya? I can't recall fully, but know that was far better.

Both box and band artwork for this La Palina Number Series differ greatly from La Palina's other lines, as well as anything which looks even vaguely appropriate for cigar presentation. Board game? Sure. Card game? Sure. 1970s stock car? Sure. Feh. 

The inspiration for this look is that of an artist named Paul Rand. He was the first American to employ the Swiss Style of graphic design. I'm sure this all rings many a bell, gentlepersons. How 'bout this: IBM and UPS. Whilst P.Rand doth once did a La Palina design personally, this ain't it. This is merely, to be clearly, influenced by his work. To be further clear, the look is ridiculous.

This morning she spoke of tiny houses and serving the homeless. Of how property or territory (I'm not sure which) is just a social construct. "Maybe there's someone other than me to talk to about all that?" I said. She stopped. The rest of the car-ride was quiet. For the first time divorce seemed to have its good-side. My stomach hurts.

Help me pay for my divorce.

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"A Barbie Queue" Kaplowitz Radio: December 6, 2017

Curivari Achilles Legendario Heroicos - Cigar Review Redux

Seeing as this is a redux review, I recommend first reading my Curivari Achilles Legendario Heroicos - Cigar Review post. Up to you. Although a little bit of freedom is a very dangerous thing. Or maybe that's just me. Lettuce have another gander this Curivari Achilles...

  • Draws smooth and even.
  • Cap and shoulder stay well-affixed.
  • Nice smoke out-put, all-'round.
  • Excellent sweet-spice room-note.
  • Finish is quite good. Long, sweet/sour spices.
  • Balance is a selling-point here.
  • Smooth texture with a perfect bissell tingle.
  • Smoke is cool temp'd, gate-to-wire.
  • Complex to a surprising degree.
  • Some softening in spots.
  • Loses box press fairly quickly.
  • Burn operates on a curve.
  • Ash ain't a grower.
  • Pacing is rather fast.
  • Notes are a bit grassy in 1/3.
Sweet & sour spices up-top over salted bitters, sans bite. Dusty-warm peppers. Rich and cleanly-so -- not heavy. Flavors are a medium+ as is the syrupy body. Strength kindly trails at a barely medium.
  • Pepper (white, black, red)
  • Mulling Spice
  • Duck Sauce 
  • Apple Butter
  • Fruit syrup
  • Cream
  • Cedar (fresh)
  • Hazelnut 
  • Grains (toasted)
  • Barnyard
  • Compost
WRAPPER: Nicaraguan Habano
BINDER: Nicaraguan
FILLER: Nicaraguan

STRENGTH: Medium-Full
FORMAT: Robusto Box Press
ORIGIN: Tabacalera De Nicaragua S.A.
BLENDER: Andreas Throuvalas

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

Sample courtesy of Fumare.
Reno's most exclusive Cigar Boutique.
Specializing in rare and hard to find cigars.

Report a typo, win a No-prize.

"A Barbie Queue" Kaplowitz Radio: December 6, 2017

Cigar News Weekly Report: December 10, 2017

Altadis U.S.A. announced the latest extension of the Montecristo Epic -- the Craft Cured -- will receive a national distribution. The Craft Cured is a Nicaraguan puro grown, harvested, rolled by Nicaragua's Plasencia family; featuring a Rosado Oscuro top-leaf, Ometepe binder, Esteli, Jalapa, Condega guts, and "unique" curing process. Each component leaf is cured since 2006 in small pilones to meticulously marry-together a more balanced profile. 2006 is a crop, according to many, to be one of the greatest in the region's history. They'll be released December 15th in sizes of Robusto, Toro, and another Toro size I'm guessing to be Figurado.

Joya de Nicaragua Cuenca y Blanco (CyB) - Cigar Review

The Cuenca y Blanco by Joya de Nicaragua was introduced way-back in 2012 at the IPCPR trade-show. For a pair reasons, this was a note-worthy launching. First, it marked Jose Blanco's inaugural blend at and for Joya de Nicaragua after being named Sr. VP of the co. Second, it was a blend significantly different than any Joya prior; its leaves being quite the international affair.

"A Barbie Queue" Kaplowitz Radio: December 6, 2017

Jose O. Padron, may his memory be for a blessing. The Me Too Movement is the Time Magazine Person of the Year? MORE. Thanks for tuning in, gentlepersons!

Hoyo La Amistad Silver by AJ Fernandez - Cigar Review

When life gets ya down, start a new one. Or at least a new something. Gentlepersons, please support me in my Instagram modeling career. Follow me HERE. I gotta say, I have just the best feeling about this. No bikini shots yet, as just to-day my personal first-day of winter happened. I had to wear fingerless gloves. There's something about warm palms that make finger-tips extra cold. Twixt 'em froze phalanges I stuck a Hoyo La Amistad Silver.

Curivari Buenaventura - Cigar Review

The Buenaventura line and the Curivari brand all-told, should become more familiar to you(we) American Market cigar enthusiasts. Curivari launched back in 2003 Europe, coming state-side some half-score there-after. Buenaventura itself was launched in 2012 as an inexpensive every-day portfolio addition.

"Crispy Rice & Cottage Cheese" (Swerve) An Abrupt Change of Direction

Did you know that when you mix Crispy Rice cereal (store-brand Rice Krispies) into cottage cheese, they still "Snap, Crackle, Pop" but with more pauses and in baritone? But enough about my lunch.

This cigar is the size of a baby's arm. One of them souvenier bats they sell at the ballpark. A tree limb. It's completely and utterly pornographic and I apologize for this, my smut peddling. It's a Gordo? A Magnum? A Gigante? It's just now lit and burning up one-side only. 6x70 in cigar lingo and for the inadept, six inches long and an inch in diameter, say. This sits atop a Google search via a Bobalu Cigar Co.: "The ring gauge is measured in units of 1/64th of an inch. A 64-ring cigar would be one inch in diameter. Most cigars are between 32 and 52-ring size. For example, a cigar that is called "8 x 48" is 8 inches long and 48/64ths of an inch in diameter." The cigar is a Maduro top-leaf'd thing, rolled in the Dominican and stufft-some with Ligero. Strange I know all that and will now expect ya to believe I've no good clue as to what it is, speaking in-terms of company/brand. Found it unbanded at the bottom of my humidor, I did. "Wink wink nudge nudge" followed by, "say no more, say no more."

Ah, the burn she evens-out. Milk chocolate-y notes hit my mouf fully. This ain't your grandfather's internet cigar review. Yet I do lay claim to the Kaplowitz Family and its roots going back in blogging to 1902. Podcasting, 1918. Insane blathering, 1894. But that simply stemmed from the Rabbinical-source years. Now my Judaism consists of schtick Yiddish, avoiding ham, shellfish, and not avoiding folklore and superstition. Spit upon my own finger-tips and thrice say kineahora. "The derivation of the phrase is from the German kein, meaning no, and the Hebrew ayin ha-rah, the evil eye. The kein and ayin are blended into one word: kein or kayn -- keinahora. (There are many ways to spell it, and in our dictionary we chose kineahora.) When you say the Yiddish quickly, it can sound like "canary," which is why some people can be heard to say, "We’re supposed to leave next week for vacation, so don’t give me a canary."" (The Word Mavens)

There's something sour, a citrus rind in dirt. White pepper. I dressed in the dark this morning, 5am. Donned black socks under black Vans and it looks just atrocious. Thankfully the old pilled and bleach-stained sweatpants atrociously distract. Actually, there's a drop of bleach-stain on the toe of my left shoe. I prefer using bleach when I clean the kitchen. And bathroom. I'd blame my germ centric fastidious on flu-season, but in truth it is a year-round thing. Boxing is a year-round thing, and I tire of it at times like now. Cotto lost, whomever said they saw that coming is a liar until they furnish time-stamped proof. And the Japanese Babe Ruth said no thanks to the Yanks. It's a strange whirled in which we live. At least mine is rather sanitized.

Pale grains. My jaw hurts, sucking on this thing and my own vulgarities have my own lacy panties in a bunch. “Democracy! Bah! When I hear that I reach for my feather boa!” - Allen Ginsberg. Now what kinda homosexual deviant wears a boa? I probably won't post this. Stanley Zbornak asking Dorothy to paint his nails 'cause 'we just invaded Korea.' We find power where we can. I don't really wear panties much, but it's more of a comfort thing. Plus I have a flat-as-board tuchus. Wouldn't do justice to the designer's intent. I can't so-much find the blender's intent within this cigar. Maybe it was just "BIG." That's a noble intent. I guess. It feels funny in my hand. Soft on my palate.

Sweatpants. With thermals under-neath. Fall. Late Fall. I'm on my porch all the time, or the porch of my local cigar shop since I can no longer smoke inside even there. I looked all-over for camaraderie here in the People's Republic of Oregon. Found it there. Brothers of the Leaf is a true-thing. That's why it remains the focus of this blog even when I go stream of consciousness silly. Peanuts... peanut brittle? But soft on my cheeks and only a slight tingle on my tongue. This is a public workout. An exercise in stringing out the thoughts of my ruminations. I got me tsuris. Tsuris that needs unwinding even if it's too late for all that. I probably won't post this.

Maybe I'll post this. An announcement of focus, shifted. Somewhere (and if you find it, let me know) exists a photo of me standing in a crib, wearing my maternal grandfather's fedora drooped over my eyes and with a cigar of his he stuck in my mouth. Imagine if that was done to-day?! To-day what's done is busy-work. After I finish tripping the QWERTY cigar-centric(ish) I'll hit the kitchen again with bleach. Take a shower, no bleach, putter 'round till later when I plan on running errands. Supermarket, mainly.

Have you ever noticed [observational humor, Jerry Seinfeld voice] that the shortest check-out lines keep you standing in them the longest? The other day I jumped behind a pretty lady in high heels (the filth of this post). It was just her in front of me so I figured it'd take a second-or-two only. She had like three items. Then her husband passes in front of me with a full shopping cart and my few items are already on the conveyor belt. Someone else's already behind mine. TRAPPED. And what's with lap throws? My arms and chest are freezing! Leaf blowers? Don't get me started! Where are you blowing to??? A nice cream is poured into whatever this is I'm smoking. There's some bit of cardboard bite, too and tho. Darker chocolate. Stiffer. Darker earth with black pepper sprinkled -- poured in. The Ligero is back-loaded. Strength rises. Notes all bite a bit.

I'm more and more liking Groucho Marx, the Marx Brothers. Wordsmithing suits me better than slap-sticking Stooges truth-be-told. Although this ain't proof a' that and I probably won't post this anyways. Did you know Groucho coulda had Jack Parr's slot? Did you also know that for some reason I cannot get the latest Bill Burr podcast to load/play? It sorta buffers like I was sent back a decade. If I was sent back a decade, I'm not sure I'd be where I am now. Would you? Comment below and BTW, comments are closed. I like to talk at people, not with them, let-alone to them. Tsuris. The Pre-Code Marx Bros paved the way for Lenny Bruce and he paved the way for not being able to say a gosh-darned thing, currently. The world is sad because comedy is dead a bissell. I should know. By the way, I hope you dropped the Seinfeld voice by now -- didn't mean to leave you Robin Williams-ing. Too soon, I know and probably you aren't even still reading. Good on ya. Kineahora.

Send me gelt. Gelt helps the tsuris abate.

My upper lip is schvitzing. Yesterday at the Shop, Cigars on 7th, conveniently located in downtown Eugene OR on Lincoln St. I sucked down a high HIGH nicotine thing and swooned as off-colored jokes were swapped. I hope the fellas and Lenny Bruce didn't think I glazed-over on account of content. In 'real life' whatever that is, I do curse the proverbial blue-streak. Just not here -- publicly. I like that now my Rabbi can read my words. Although not these, as they probably won't be posted. I used to work blue, made more enemies than moolah, stopped. Joe Rogan and Roseanne each took offensive offense as to my words. I won't repeat them. Both people are very nice and very talented. Handsome and pretty, too. The strength of whatever this cigar is, is sitting in my gut. Starchy, like comfort food. But I like less pepper in my gravy.

I think I'll punch this up and post it. Yeah. Or maybe not punch it up. You'll never know, gentlepersons. I don't wanna be held as accountable as a sports writer. Or anything at all, other than Groucho but he's dead. I guess that's the news. I did hint at changes to come. It's gonna get weird(er). Every-time I see a weirdo here in Eugene, I yell "Keep Portland weird!" Meaning, of course, "Gay avec!" From now on, "Come hither so's I can open-mouth kiss ya!" What can go wrong? [Spit upon my own finger-tips and thrice say kineahora.]


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I'll most-likely tell you it was intentional.

"I Got Married" Kaplowitz Radio: November 29, 2017 

Surrogates Animal Cracker AC550 by L’Atellier - Cigar Review

[Or, Hooray for Captain Spaulding]

A 2016 L’Atelier Imports release, this Surrogates Animal Cracker Robusto is way more my speed insofar as size than its 2013 Gordo sister-offering. The blend itself was intended to be the strongest in the company portfolio... that ain't my speed at all. Where do I file a complaint, gentlepersons? I used to walk into the cigar shop and ask for something sweet, cheap, and mild -- just like me. I used to be liked even less.

Illusione Ultra op. no. 9 - Cigar Review

Right here, under an Illusione banner ad, I dare no DARE no  D A R E  review an Illusione Ultra no ~ULTRA~ offering. I don't even know what to say. Not bad weather to-day, warm 'nuff and the rain is holding off for the most part. A hoodie gets it done, and my sweatpants are aided by long-johns underneath. Nice. Nice 'nuff, anyways. Metal folding chair. Porch. Sure -- nice. How's 'bout them Damn Yankees firing the beyond expectations Joe Girardi, seemingly sans greater plan? Lesser-so nice. 

"I Got Married" Kaplowitz Radio: November 29, 2017

Baseball and boxing sports chat. Curivari, Partagas no. 10, La Palina, and Diesel Grind cigar reviews. Thanks for listening, gentlepersons!

Curivari Achilles Legendario Heroicos - Cigar Review

Not all posts require a lead-in, right? Right.

Woe, woe! is the combustion to-wit I saith "Whoa." A quarter-horse rate of speed, yes. Too, a pin-point burn-hole of a visible tunneling opens up there-'bouts an inch-up the shaft from char-line. When the line gets closer, a connective runner develops. Then some canoe threat and finally a mere curvature of burn. The good news? No re-touches are employed... maybe 'cause it happens so fast. I do have in my possession a box-press version which I will perform a redux review on at a later-date*. Pulling the proverbial bad-one might be at play here.

La Palina Lp01 - Cigar Review


A well-rolled cigar which draws smooth, burns on a straight-line -- gate-to-wire. Solid. Mayhaps could-be richer. Delivers via zesty-smooth manner. Stays cool. Sweet-bright spices, berry and citrus additions. Red-flake/produce-fresh peppers, thin cream. Salted fudge as peppery front-load settles. Cocoa butter. Wine cask/Spiced cedar. Crisp earthen under-belly, sweet/sour/spiced complex finish.

Curivari Buenaventura Crema - Cigar Review

Curivari is a brand that would appear rather well-known for its strange business behaviors. It employs odd shipping and order-filling practices, remains incredibly hard to successfully contact, and touts a website which looks a few-years worth of abandoned.

Kovalev Krushes Shabranskyy, Proves Nothing: A Boxing Retrospective

Sergey "Krusher" Kovalev (31-2-1, 27 KO) won his first of last-three bouts and collected both the vacant International Boxing Association Light-Heavyweight belt as well as the equally vacant WBO World Light-Heavyweight bigger-deal, for them vaulted recent efforts. This Saturday's win coming against the utterly under-whelming Ukraine Vyacheslav Shabranskyy (19-2, 16 KO). There were 3,307 in attendance at Madison Square Garden to bear witness to this. Short witness, those numbers. Short fight too. The affair failed to make it outta its second-stanza before S.Kovalev closed it out. Which was nice, because whilst I watch the fights on mute, just knowing that the HBO crew is commentating doth irk me-so.

How under-whelming was V.Shabransky? People were throwing croutons out their windows -- wait. That's the answer to "How foggy is it?" (Pea soup.) So under-whelming was he that he failed as a decent barometer for the purported new and improved Kovalev, a role I hoped he'd fill. To borrow via paraphrase from Blazing Saddles, pardon me whilst I stick this in:
"So how's he [Shab.] stack up against Kovalev? Poorly, but for one thing: he's shown toughness. He won't be beaten before entering the ring and maybe not even after being knocked-down a time or two or three (I call three). There is a 2% chance of Kov gassing. So will it simply be Kovalev pummeling the tough outta the poor lad? Maybe, but I hope not. For Krusher's sake.
What Krusher needs to show is another dimension. A Plan B. Maybe the new coach will be listened to -- or perchance he was hired to be ignored. We don't know, but we will. If Kov does come out to Krush, he wins. Ultimately though, he's finished and is un-coachable. His inability to learn and develop will be his one-dimensional un-doing. He'll have an alphabet-soup strap but won't win another big fight. If he listens, though -- he wins with a jab. He puts in a full night's work sans losing a round nor running outta gas. Voila! New Sergey Kovalev. It'll look a lot like he laid off the hoochsky.
Plan A Kovalev wins in three. Plan B Kovalev wins either by late-round stoppage or unanimous-decision. Believe me, Shab. wants Plan A.*"
Here's what happened Saturday, not that the amounts to report are even nigh copious...
Kov. started strong (as the fight was all start) sans any viewable hesitancies or hiccups, coming off two losses to the now-retired Andre Ward. Seeing as Shabranskyy had no answer for his right, and lacked the good-sense to at least respect Kovalev's power -- he found himself canvass'd twice in the bout's opening round. The first off a glancing blow, the second rather flush. Shab. spent the final-third of the first-frame on over-cooked spaghetti legs. After the first knock-down, they were still merely al dente. The take-away here is that he never recovered from a glancing blow. Take that as ya may.

The second-verse was same as the firs', with Kov showing good body-work at an intelligent head to blini-basket ratio at all the correct times. Although he really and truly had nothing to work through whatsoever. I however, successfully worked through an Italian cuisine reference in an all Soviet Bloc affair... saving it from the brink with "blini." Yer welcome. I digress. Then, with a minute to go in the round, the former champ belted his fellow La-La-Landian with a right up-side his funny haircut, tuchusing him for the third-time. Shab. recovered his vertical alignment but not in any sort of convincing manner. Then more rights. I'll tell ya what -- Kovalev got more rights than a white politician! Nevertheless, Shab. was begging for a left that never came, as he splayed toward and into the ropes. The prayers were answered by a left to the head and G-d has a wicked sense of humor. Ref. Harvey Dock dropped anchor on the ship that sailed which were this fight at 2:36 of round-two. That was a nautical play on words, sea? 

Thusly referring back unto my previous quoted thoughts: we weren't shown nothing here. Except for one very important thing. That being that the state of affairs in Alphabet Soup "championship" land is drek. This bout broke Shabranskyy's two-fight win-streak, and broke the new crown-wearer's two-fight losing-streak. This was a championship prizefight twixt two men that are a combined 2-3 in their last five coming-in. If my math serves. Here's more math: the 34 year-old Kov. was fresh off a pair of losses, fighting for a pair of titles. These should only be acceptable things in lay-and-pray MMA land. It's almost as if Dana White already added that UFC boxing extension**. To think, there are those among-us whom feel as though Sergey Kovalev is all back and are still now on social media rejoicing his regaining of "his" belt(s). Other people's children, tsk-tsk.

Maybe next-time we'll get the proof of New Kov. (which tastes just like Pepsi if memory serves). By the way, anyone else unnerved by Kovalev's admitted drinking and his subsequent life-changing car crash? I hope all walked away as he did. But next-time in the ring... what about it and whom? According to Kathy Duva we're looking at a March 3rd date set once again in the MSG locale. One possible option is, of course, a biggie by the name of IBF champion the 12-0, 12 Artur Beterbiev. Although if K.Duva was wanting to push that, she'd have at least mentioned it by now. Mayhaps a second-go at a complete first-go under new trainer Abror Tursunpulatov is in order.

Why do all these guys live in LA and fight back East? Shouldn't they all just live in Brighton Beach?

Sports Week 11th Edition

Damn Yankees slugger Aaron "Dave Kingman" Judge had an arthroscopic procedure involving "loose-body removal and cartilage clean-up" performed on his left shoulder last Monday. Remember ice-packs on said shoulder and denied rumors of cortisone shots amid .185 batting-average August? That after an up to All-Star Game Home-Run Derby .329. Whatever potential Derby-show damage done-did, had to have been exasperated by slamming into right-field wall to rob Y.Gurriel in Game-Three of the ALCS. Most likely.

In the end, A.Judge is slated to be 100-percent by early January. Excellent news for Judge, Yankees and any opposing hurler looking to bolster his K-tally.

The Atlanta Braves were stripped of 13-prospects, former GM John Coppolella banned for life, former Special-Assistant G.Blakely for a year Tuesday by Major League Baseball. Sanctions were placed by Comm. R.Manfred to leave Atlanta weak in chasing top Latin American prospects till 2021. This for circumventing international signing rules from 2015-17.

MLB's nosing-'round showed the Braves cooked-the-books in ways too boring to fully relay. The 13-players lost to ruled free agency were them whom were involved in the funny-money finaglings of laundering bonus monies through one-player and on-to another. Essentially. Note I haven't balanced by check-book in a decade.

Barclays Center will officially play-host to IBF Welterweight Champ Errol Spence (22-0, 19 KO) and challenger Lamont Peterson (35-3-1, 17 KO). This shall be Spence's first defense of the belt he lifted in May from fine-China face'd Kell Brook 'cross the bloody pond, guv. This will be his only fight this year and at the time of bell-tolling, he'll be 28-years-old. Peterson too is looking at his two, the other a February win 'gainst D.Avanesyan. In that match, Avanesyan picked up some Alphabet Soup crown he forfeited to secure this bout. Could be a quick KO for the sleepy-eyed Spence.

Perchance most important of these Fury flurries first. After two-years away from activity since beating W.Klitschko and becoming Heavyweight champ, Tyson Fury was recently told that his anti-doping hearing will resume in December. Also, E.Hearn voiced he'd like to manage the Gypsy King for an easy set-up of UK mega-fight versus A.Joshua. I say even Fat Fury gives Joshua fatal fits. Then finally, it seems I was more on-the-nose than even I thought in calling him part of the WWE wing of boxing. On a recent "The White Rhino" podcast, he expressed interest in working with the Sports Entertainment group.

Seeking The Soul a Fipke-owned four-year-old garnered his first stakes victory in a verily fine fashion as the 7-1 under-dog in the Grade 1 $500K Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs yester-day. He did-so by coming off-the-pace with HOF'er John Velazquez atop to seal the deal by a half-length at the wire. Good Samaritan came in first-loser and Hoppertunity second-one. The 7-5 pre-race favorite Diversify moseyed in 4th.

A claim of deep stretch interference against the winning colt was alleged by Florent Geroux, Hoppertunity's jock -- 'twas disallowed. The final-time for the 1 1/8 mile outing read 1:48.88.

Scuba, the six-year-old gelding and multiple graded-stakes winner returned to form Saturday to win the G3 Hawthorne Gold Cup. This as a 2-1 second-choice behind Eagle. It had been since Nov. 2016 and the Marathon Stakes that he'd graced any winner's circle. Scuba under Alonso Quinonez came up three-wide in the turn to track the jockeying pair'a Side Pocket and Futile. Mid-stretch he moved within three of the two, then quick-foot'd it ahead in the last 70yds. to hit the wire half-length ahead.

Futile finished second. Side Pocket third. The final time for the Hawthorne Gold Cup was 2:03.12.

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"In His Gravy"

Diesel Grind - Cigar Review

Real quick, gentlepersons. Snack Tray and I are expected at a Lego Party...

A smallish Robusto that looks tidier than it performs. Rolled well, but suffers-some in combustion (jagged-line with tunnel-threats). Pepper-spice front with close-behind bitter notes. Umami and sour bits balance one-another well and further-back. Flirts with bite, but that's averted via purging. Dryly rich and simply balanced, with notes strung out on a line. There are some nuanced depths, humsoever. Whilst the feel is surprisingly smooth, the bumps come by-way-of a lurching strength that hither and thither comes-on helter-skelter.
  • Black Pepper
  • Black Walnut
  • Baking Spice
  • Molasses
  • Anise
  • Sarsparilla
  • Grapes (white)
  • Leather
  • Manure
BINDER: Nicaraguan
FILLER: Nicaraguan

FORMAT: Robusto
ORIGIN: Tabacalera Fernandez, Nicaragua

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

The Diesel Grind line which was previously peddled by Cigars International (CI), distributed by Meier & Dutch (MD), now operates within the General Cigar portfolio. The offering was hi-lit at this year's IPCPR trade-show. The Diesel brand itself is crafted by one Mr. AJ Fernandez (mayhaps ya heard a' him). It's been under the CI/MD banner for a number of years, and since both are owned by Scandinavian Tobacco Group, General Cigar’s parent company... this is vastly meaningless to you and I. Tho the Grind is now a brick & mortar exclusive.

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"In His Gravy"

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."

Gentlepersons, below is a list as shallow and pedantic as Lois Griffin's meatloaf. It is a list of recent (November 2017) cigar offerings I humbly found to be worthy of A (A- to A+) review ratings.
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(names = links to full reviews)

"In His Gravy" 

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