Deep in flavor. Deep in your mind.

Things I Cared About This Month Other Than Cigars (#one, 1/18)

(royal rumble)
AJ STYLES

AJ Styles beat the odds at this year's Royal Rumble edition by defeating a ganging-up Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn in a triple threat match with his belt on the line. Even though Styles has worn said WWE strap since November, he's since been operating in the background of a rather drawn-out feud twixt Owens, Daniel Bryan and Shane McMahon -- now perhaps he can step outta that somewhat limiting fray. All this, fall-out from April's "Superstar Shakeup."

The Phenomenol One didn't have an easy go Sunday, there was even controversy re: the win's legitimacy, as it seemed Zayn was the legal man in the ring when Owens was pinned. All seemed sealed, humsoever, as it is now official that AJ will be taking on Shinsuke Nakamura in the Wrestlemania 34 Main Event. The two combatants are no strangers to one-another, having squared off prior for the IWGP Intercontinental Championship at Wrestle Kingdom 10 at the Tokyo Dome in 2016.

NAKAMURA

In a plot twist of substantial torque, the Freddie Mercury inspired Japanese sensation Shinsuke Nakamura came out atop the other 29 Royal Rumble entrants to secure his WWE title shot at Wrestlemania. The fella whom dismissed Roman Reigns at the 44:25 mark to gain his improbable victory, has admitted to never watching a Royal Rumble match prior. That kinda rubs the the wrong way.

Asuka won the inaugural Women's Royal Rumble bout, giving this year's edition quite the Rising Sun feel, as this was the first time an Asian won the bout. Perhaps this explains the Men's version going off prior to the women's. Nakamura is now ichiban for the ages, not Asuka.

(more)
BASEBALL PUNX

PunkNews has debuted its 14-track baseball-themed compilation, Baseball Punx. Contributors include: Mischief Brew, Taxpayers, The Isotopes, Puig Destroyer, and more. More as in more. Not More. Other bands... not a final band named More. Savvy? Sweet. This is part of a larger project, a Jak Kerley directed docu delving into the baseball-punk connection.

Give a listen HERE.

BULLET CLUB

Cody Rhodes turned on Kenny Omega at a couple days ago NJPW New Beginning show. This immediately on the heels of Omega losing his IWGP United States Championship strap to "Switchblade" Jay White in surprising fashion. In-ring after loss, Bullet Club came down to the ring en masse. Frustrations not allowing cooler heads to prevail, Kenny shoved Matt Jackson over and The Young Bucks went backstage. Just when all feathers finally seemed unruffled, Cody grabbed Omega from behind and hit him with a Cross Rhodes.

Will there be a bloody coup atop Bullet Club wherein ballots are cast by the faction's nom de ring? Who knows? No-one yet. Although Kenny Omega yesterday did tweet a somewhat cryptic "A new beginning." One can't help but wonder as to how the rest of Bullet Club feels about this and how those feels will influence the way this all shakes out.

KETCHUP

Maintaining a strict training camp is paramount to victory in the cage. Being as such, Quinton "Rampage" Jackson went the extra mile in the prep for his Jan. 20th Bellator 192 show-down with Chael Sonnen. He quit ketchup. No word on whether or not catsup was also given the boot, although a case can be made that it was strongly implied.

The tomato-based condiment starved and somewhat nearing expiration date Jackson lost via unanimous decision. I imagine all sorrow on his part was drowned in the red stuff he's adored since kidhood.


PATRICE O'NEAL

A look ahead to next month so as to plan yer calendar accordingly. The 6th annual Patrice O'Neal Comedy Benefit touts performances by Brendon Burns, Bill Burr, Pete Correale, Joe DeRosa, Sam Jay, Robert Kelly, Jessica Kirson, Jim Norton, Cipha Sounds and Rich Vos. All in a lovely effort to continue the late comic's financial care of his family.

All pertinent ticket info is HERE. Attend if at all possible, Gentlepersons. A great show for a great cause in the name of a great comic.

RAISIN BRAN

It's the perfect cereal. That is all. Wait. There's more: I've been enjoying Kellog's offering of the classic cereal for some time. I just purchased a box of Post for comparrison's sake. Preliminarily, I'll note that Kellogs has the upper-hand on Bran, whilst Post has the leg-up on Raisin. More as the story unfolds.

RAW 25th ANNIVRSARY

Stone Cold, The Undertaker, and DX led a 'stunning' trip down memory lane as the old Attitude Era brigade returned to RAW airwaves in celebration of 25 years and in homage to... themselves? Everything old was new again -- or at least again again -- as the night fed the jones of seasoned fans. It perhaps fell short of enticing them into the new era and maybe more-so perhaps leaving the youngster on-lookers out of the loop for a week. They'll get over it, fucking snowflakes.

As alluded to via groan-inducing pun, we were off quicker than the proverbial hiccup and in a more colorful manner than the too proverbial crimson mask, when Austin stunned Shane, then VKM. Curious was a complete lack of mic time for the Texas Rattle Snake. Less curious is how many tossed beers the aging (but looking great) Austin fumbled. Behold, the (subtle) ravages of age.

The Dead Man cut a promo of some sort, "Something something something dark side." After last Wrestlmania's loss to Roman Reigns, Taker took a powder and seemingly retired. Maybe he's got another go left in the old tank? He looked to also be in top shape but did fall short of announcing anything re: his gas gauge and certainly not his unbeweaveable hair extensions. 

Degeneration-X pulled off a Rolling Stones moment of youthful rebellion in antiquated vessels and posed for a great family picture. This backstage in the RAW hosting Manhattan Center. 

There was more but I won't delve. I'll state the low-point of the woman's four-on-four contest which kiboshed nigh all pop but end on the high-spot of AJ Styles growling "Let me tell you something Mean Gene..." in addressing the Hulking elephant not present in the room.

STIPE MIOCIC

Heavyweight champ Stipe Miocic set a UFC record for consecutive defenses, retaining his title for the third time. This at UFC 220 at Bean Town's TD Garden and via a 50-44 across-the-board UD over Francis Ngannou. This on the heels of Ngannou being deemed the next big thing and the bout being seen by some as a coronation.

Come the second stanza, the KO artist by way of Cameroon began to look winded as Miocic went about his merry grinding way of patiently pecking his man to pieces. The W gives 35-year-old Croatian an 18-2 record, whilst the L sees 31-year-old Ngannou move to 11-2.

TANK GIRL

Tank Girl turns 30 this up-coming April. As a gift for whomever, Titan Comics will be releasing a colorized version of the original black&white issues. Tank Girl: Full Color Classics 1988 – 1989 will visually appear just as Jamie Hewlett and Alan Martin wanted them to way-back when. The end result will be a collection of six books replete with never-before-seen artwork.

I prefer black&white. As proof, just look around here at my digs.

XFL

If Magnum, P.I can get the ol' re-boot, why not 2001's XFL Vincent Kennedy McMahon's football league experiment? Back then, the XFL stood for made for adult entertainment TV anarchy up to and including a human coin-toss at each game's start. This iteration, humsoever, seems to have lack of hype as its hype with words like family-friendly and/or safety bandied about alongside a promise of lack of politics (although a demand to stand is political) and the promise of squeaky-clean players. My thoughts? While the first XFL lasted a sole season, the over/under on the re-launch, I'll place securely at three.

The real story here is that with VKM's split attentions on the nigh looming horizon, there exists now a time-line for Paul Levesque (HHH) taking further the helm of the WWE.

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"Willing Toupee" Kaplowitz Radio: January 31, 2018 

"Willing Toupee" Kaplowitz Radio: January 31, 2018



I ramble on 'bout wigs, dirt sheets, laundromats, coffee, and post-apocalyptic aesthetics. Also my broken glasses, broken clothes-dryer, broken big toe, and my personal shaving/hair-cutting tactics. Also also, I dole out further sweatpants fashion tips AND MORE. All whilst smoking a La Palina Lp01 cigar offering in Toro.

Unscripted. Unedditted.

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San Cristobal Revelation - Cigar Review Redux

Did you hear about my up-coming hiatus? It's the lead story of a recent Cigar News Weekly Report. Now onto to-day's (re)looksie at a San Cristobal Revelation offering...

Combusts nigh sans complaint. There is a brief hiccup in the burn when it seems to cool at the stick's mid-point. Other than that somewhat heavy re-touch, the Revelation operates on Sunday drive cruise control on a languidly pleasant pacing. Construction hits a brief mid-smoke snag as draw hesitates alongside cooling char, recovers. Nevertheless, seams and form hold admirably as does shoulder assemblage; delivering cool smoke gate-to-wire on a medium-tensioned draw.

KAPLOWITZ SCALE
<least to most, K to Z>
sweetness: O
sourness: W
saltiness: A
bitterness: L
savoriness: W
pungency: O

More? Soitenly. a sour/sweet offering carried on a savory backbone achieved in a vegetarian manner. Pungency hits middle-of-the-road via retro-hale, elevates in the back-loaded 3/3 to the tune of a neat tongue-tingle. 'Nuff? I hope. Just in case: a verily smooth textured thing. Fairly far from heavily-weighted but well-rounded and satiating, nonetheless. Quite rich and well-balanced. Some complexities are lost via notes pleasantly blending together in second-half. A sedate and mid-day meditative cigar, this San Cristobal Legend Revelation.
  • Pepper, white, green bell, black
  • Chocolate, Swiss Miss packet
  • Spices: allspice, saffron, and cardamom (hint of capers)
  • Cream
  • Sugar
  • Woods: oak, cedar (tick green), hickory(trace)
  • Coffee (Americano w/ cream)
  • Honey, alfalfa
  • Nuts: raw macadamia, cashew butter
  • Vanilla bean
  • Grains: cornmeal, raw oats
  • Earth
WRAPPER: Ecuadorian Sumatra
BINDER: Nicaraguan
FILLER: Nicaraguan

STRENGTH: Medium
FORMAT: Toro "Legend" Box-pressed
ORIGIN: My Father Cigars S.A., Nicaragua

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

I originally reviewed this blend in its Robusto-ish "Prophet" iteration in my posting: San Cristobal Revelation - Cigar Review. This Cigar was named 18th-best of 2014 by Cigar Aficionado.

s/o Cigars on 7th and Cigars City.

I'll put a ribbon on dis Redux by noting this Toro format carries slightly less pop and is delivered a tick more smoothly than its Robusto brother, brother. Some mottling past the mid-point.

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"Not Again..." Kaplowitz Radio: January 24, 2018

Chalicegod 13th Black Label - Cigar Review

MBombay Corojo Oscuro Robusto - Cigar Review Redux

Would I REALLY be getting right to it if I were to begin with let's get right to it? ...

A pre-light soft-spot is keenly noted by moi at the 2-3/3 boundary. Upon being heated, this spot eventually becomes the density of the shaft in its spongy entirety. Said heatedness is of the indeed heated varietal, with some bright glowing at char and warming smoke temp to smoke-hole. Ash clings dark and oily to each 1/3's whole. Burn line wobbles and ribbons and the occasional seam loosens a tick up toward the MBombay's wide and sometime puckered mascara. Draw stays well within a medium spectrum of tension. The out-put here is a smoky thing, leaving in its wake a rather darkly rich and bittersweet room-note. For all its heat, this Petite Robusto features a lengthy smoke time, which slows (and cools-some) as the experience unfurls.

KAPLOWITZ SCALE
<K=least, Z=most>
sweetness: O
sourness: A
saltiness: A
bitterness: I
savoriness: I
pungency: W

In the interest of furthering upon the above KAPLOWITZ SCALE in a more conversational tone: a bittersweet and darkly-so smoker with a decent zetz of pepper-spice in a meaty delivery. Savvy? Good. A smooth offering for all its height and depth of fullness. Excellently rounded and well balanced. Rich as Rich Uncle Pennybags and beautifully nuanced and 'nuff complex -- albeit in a narrow scope. 

A tip, or "life hack," as say the kiddies -- dry-box this bad boy. I had it in over-night prior to lighting. Maybe coulda used even more time.

WRAPPER: Ecuadorian Corojo Oscuro
BINDER: Ecuadorian
FILLER: Dominican, Ecuadorian, Peruvian

STRENGTH: Full
FORMAT: Petite Robusto, unfinished foot
ORIGIN: Costa Rica

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

My other looksies at this blend: 
MBombay Corojo Oscuro Gordo &
Corojo Oscuro Perfecto - Cigar Review + Who What When Where Why w/ Mel Shah of MBombay

s/o MBombay Tobak truly always and ever a pleasure to burn.

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"Not Again..." Kaplowitz Radio: January 24, 2018 

Cigar News Weekly Report: January 28, 2018

ARTURO FUENTE NICARAGUAN FACTORY

Arturo Fuente has announced plans to build a new cigar factory in Estelí, Nicaragua. It will be billed LA Bella y La Bestia, or, the Beauty and the Beast. It has been thirty years since the currently famously Dominican manufacturer saw its previous Nica incarnation burnt to the ground in The Revolution. That loss was aped the next year in their Honduran digs -- thus leaving them the DR, where they've been housed since 1980.

Felix Mesa will be the man-in-charge when the new facility is ready, the construction of which will begin immediately. Fuente has also just last year built a new Dominican factory along-with other constructions there and in Tampa.

VILLIGER LA VENCEDORA

Villiger Cigars will embark on its 130th year anniversary with a new blend, the Villiger La Vencedora. This is set to be a follow-up blend to the Villiger La Flor De Ynclan which I reviewed HERE. The chosen nom de tobacco translates to "The Victor" and marks the co.'s first foray into full-bodied offerings.

The Nicaraguan puros will be rolled at the Joya de Nicaragua factory in Estelí, Nicaragua in Robusto, Toro, and Churchill formats.

ROMEO SAN ANDRES

Altadis U.S.A. will unveil the newest and fifth entry into the Romeo by Romeo y Julieta line. It’s a joint venture twixt Rafael Nodal and AJ Fernandez. This marks the second Altadis project for Nodal and the 78th this week for AJF. The pair worked together before back in '16 on the Aging Room Pelo de Oro.

Rolled in AJ Fernandez’s Tabacalera Fernandez factory in Esteli, Nicaragua, the things feature (of course) a San Andres top-leaf over Nica guts. They're set for a March distribution in formats of: Robusto, Piramides. Toro, Magnum.

GARY LADEN

May his memory be for a blessing.
*
*       *
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"Not Again..." Kaplowitz Radio: January 24, 2018 

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 (January '18) cigar offerings I humbly found to be worthy of A (- to +) review ratings.

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


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"Not Again..." Kaplowitz Radio: January 24, 2018

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"Not Again..." Kaplowitz Radio: January 24, 2018


I chat about cigars (duh) and coffee (?) and living above my means till it all ends badly but not really, some time down the road. The usual segments occur -- Family Circus Cartoon of the Week, Weekly Weather Report & Extended Forecast, and everyone's favorite The Reader's Digest Joke... ... ... of the Week. I read my reviews of Camacho, San Lotano, Providencia, and Oliva offerings and some cigar news. I do this whilst smoking and addressing a Casa de Garcia Sumatra stogie I paired up with a cuppa Peet's, poured over into a mason jar. Bastard Oregon, look what you've made of me! (Some NSFW fucky language.)

EDITOR'S NOTE 
I may've misspoken and meant to say *Gispert* Intenso, re: what I'll be smoking on the next Stick Men. It's just I get so excited. Do plan on tuning in, gentlepersons.

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San Lotano Oval (2017) - Cigar Review

There are a couple things happening here, or 'bout to. Firstly, I'm forging ahead with my Kaplowitz Scale of primary tastes as discussed in the latest Stick Men episode (three). Also, on that show, I smoked this same offering in its old packaging. The stick I am addressing here is garbed in new dress introduced at IPCPR 2017. Word on the street is some feel the blend is different too, although we are told this is not the case. I'll get to the bottom of this or my name ain't (now) KingAdamsPeter on both IG and Twitter. I simply couldn't be OK with mismatched handles. OCD and all.

So there ya have it and thus lettuce have at it...

The best-laid plans of mice, men, and myself often go awry. Upon cutting the cap, the stick's assemblage whoopsies nigh catastrophically to the tune of me looking at binder where my lips go. I shall soldier on long as soldiering on remains pleasant 'nuff. I am immediately struck by three characteristics: 1. the draw is a tick airy/hesitant, 2. the burn operates on a curve. This pair of things had occurred each when I smoked the old branding offering. 3. The profile is much more light and sunny... zestier although the same spiciness as in the old one as opposed to this new one. Livelier, less somber. cleaner. Nevertheless and to digress, the burn here grows heather-grey marbled ash in a somewhat loose stack a' dimes that eventually makes an inch. Left-side of moderate smoke out-put till ya really tug on the thing, then voosh. I covered the draw, and that does wobble to and fro twixt corrected and airy. The pack density seems not as stiff as the prior stick and softens yet again against its progress, tho un-egregiously-so.

KAPLOWITZ SCALE
<K=least, Z=most>
(new packaging)
sweetness: O
sourness: W
saltiness: P
bitterness: O
savoriness: O
pungency: W


KAPLOWITZ SCALE
<K=least, Z=most>
(old packaging)
sweetness: O
sourness: L
saltiness: P
bitterness: I
savoriness: T
pungency: I

Compared further? Atop a' what I made mention to above, I'll say it again: this is a much more sour-sided stick than the one I smoked yesterday, gentlepersons. Is there a conspiracy afoot? Was the blend changed on we? Seasons change and people change and too, leaf changes seasonally. My guess is that a different harvest is at play. A thing worthy of note too, is that there seems to be different presses employed herein... this Oval is lesser ovally than the older iteration, or so it appears. This can undoubtedly hit a palate as delicately refined as mine quite differently. All told, humsoever, I'll reiterate re: this iteration that I am currently smoking is a much sourer noted stick which delivers itself in a lighter, livelier manner with far less backbone. I like the old one. I always like the old one. Another belated Bday best wishes to Betty White. Don't we just LOVE HER?!

WRAPPER: Habano 2000
BINDER: Nicaraguan
FILLER: Nicaraguan, Honduran, Dominican

STRENGTH: Medium-Full
FORMAT: Toro
ORIGIN: Nicaragua

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

Finally, I reviewed this San Lotano in its pre-2017 packaging in a Toro format. Looksie that HERE. I truly feel as though we accomplished something here, Gentlepersons. As long as there are no follow-up questions.

s/o Cigars on 7th.

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"For 20 Years" Kaplowitz Radio: January 17, 2018

Inferno By Oliva - Cigar Review

You might be wondering why I'm reviewing a Famous house brand stick that's been on the market a good and mainly quiet while. Wells, I'll tells ya. I even talked about it HERE in an episode of Stick Men. Also, I'm building a database of cigar reviews over here! (Last sentence to be read in a Tony Soprano sorta voice.)

The gist of this review (and the already-linked programme) is an exercise in flavors. Tastes. ACTUAL TASTES as in taste buds, with the caveat, that pungency, or pepper-spice in our cigar parlance, is registered in the brain sans the taste-bud route. Mainly, we're removing from the equation food-stuff loose metaphors and leather/wood notations when I ain't ever tasted either/or. Poetic license: REVOKED. Long-time readers may recall my gripes re: all that. They might also recall the K A P L O W I T Z scale, shown re-vamped be-low and to-do with this Inferno...

KAPLOWITZ SCALE
<K=least, Z=most>
sweetness: I
sourness: A
saltiness: L
bitterness: O
savoriness: W
pungency: O

Burns free of necessitated redirect, but with some wobble. Pace is hastened side if moderate at first third, slows considerably thereafter. Nice plumes of thick smoke. Ash drops twice each third displaying as a mottled grey stack of dimes. Draw is an even medium tension gate to wire. Seams and density hold well to tight and medium+, respectively. Some shoulder degradation happens nigh 3/3. An offering of scant complexities but a well balanced and rich thing, this Inferno by Oliva.

WRAPPER: Nicaraguan Habano
BINDER: Nicaraguan
FILLER: Nicaraguan Ligero

STRENGTH: Medium-Full
FORMAT: Robusto
ORIGIN: Nicaragua

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

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"For 20 Years" Kaplowitz Radio: January 17, 2018 

Cigar News Weekly Report: January 21, 2018

KAPLOWITZ
I have announced just now that I will be taking a brief hiatus for a bit of time from February 14th thru to the 28th. The final 'regular' posting here at Kaplowitz.xyz will happen February 13th and will then regularly resume the 1st of March. More on this lack of story as it unfolds. Thank-you and come again.

EN FUEGO TOBACCO SHOP
En Fuego Tobacco Shop, a Dallas area retailer and El Cubano Cigars, a League City-based manufacturer/retailer, AND Texas Cigar Merchants Association (TXCMA), filed joint-suit against the FDA and its regulation of premium cigars. Warning labels, particularly. That makes this a different kinda lawsuit than the three other already existent ones, filed by the trade groups: Cigar Association of America (CAA), Cigar Rights of America (CRA) and the International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers Association (IPCPR).
.
Also being fought is the FDA’s new regulations mandating companies submit marketing plans for approval a year prior to advertising being allowed. Particularly detailing where and how warning labels will be displayed in all forms of said advertising. This could mean email marketing and even social media posts.

SOUTHERN DRAW ROSE OF SHARON LANCERO
Southern Draw will be adding a fourth size to its Rose of Sharon line, a Lancero, as the title of this section reads. It'll measure-in at 6.5x40, which really ain't a Lancero at all. The Rose of Sharon blend, named for the co.'s co-founder, features a Nicaraguan binder laid twixt DR and Nica guts and top-leaf of Ecuadorian Connecticut. 

The new format joins its blend brethren of Robusto, Toro, and Gordo and will be initially made available exclusively through Famous Smoke Shop with a wider release in March/April. The MSRP on these babies is $9.35 per, and boxes of 20 for $187

VIAJE JALAPENO
The Viaje Jalapeno is returning for 2018 after taking 2017 off. The offering is in homage to its namesake bringer of pungency. It was rolled in 2015-16, the Ghost Pepper and GP 10.31 took care of '17's peppery production -- and I'll be a monkey's uncle if I heard of any of these. The Jalapeno blend particulars are peculiarly proprietary. The format is slated to be a ~5x50 Figurado.

The Viaje Jalapeno is scheduled to ship this week.

IPCPR
The International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers (IPCPR) announced that their Sr. Director of State Affairs Matt Dogali, has resigned effective January 24th. Having manned the position since 2013, said position then now be wo-manned by current Deputy Director of State Affairs, Rachel Hyde.

Dogali will next act as Executive Director of the Presidents' Forum of the Distilled Spirits Industry, where he says he looks forward to a future partnership with the IPCPR.

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"For 20 Years" Kaplowitz Radio: January 17, 2018

Providencia Trinitas - Cigar Review

A happy belated birthday to Betty White, as I type this up with the TV on mute, an autographed 8x10 of her proudly displayed alongside it. To 96 more! As to the Providencia offering at hand...

Burns on an even line with a pair of re-touches twixt gate and wire easily accepted. Burnt-offerings don't accumulate much before falling. The pace of smoke is slow, its temp a tick left of moderate. Seams and form hold fast and firm. The draw is a snug side of medium+ but even and satiating. A neat performance from a neat format.

Pungent and peppery-spicy in a front-loaded manner of delivery. Featured therein is an odd spiciness, a metallicity of sorts, which could coolly almost pass as a minty attachment to the mocha latte note driving most of this bittersweet Trinitas profile. I'm certain that was a run-on sentence, perchance. Smoothly textured smoke, richly-so. Rather meaty and balanced. Nuanced, yet shy of complex. There, some shorter sentences evened it all out nicely.

WRAPPER: Mexican San Andres
BINDER: Nicaraguan Ligero
FILLER: Nicaraguan, Honduran (each Ligero)

STRENGTH: Medium-Full
FORMAT: Double Torpedo 6.5x52 Box-pressed
ORIGIN: Honduras

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


PROVIDENCIA CIGARS
The Jim Faber, Raymond Zinar, and Reed Grafke led Providencia Cigars has announced its third portfolio addition, the Trinitas. This is said to be a bolder blend than their El Padre and El Santo offerings, featuring a triple Ligero recipe of a San Andres top-leaf over Honduran and Nicaraguan guts. It shall be available Jan. 8 in a single format of 6.5x52 box-pressed double Torpedo. They'll come in either 10-ct boxes or 15-ct bundles with a rather pricey MSRP of $12USD.

Also, via Halfwheel: "The name is a nod to the Faber’s faith, which was tested when he was the target of an attempted kidnapping in Honduras during the founding days of the company."

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"For 20 Years" Kaplowitz Radio: January 17, 2018 

"For 20 Years" Kaplowitz Radio: January 17, 2018



I drink a doppio from Java Generations, smoke a Quorum Sun Grown in Robusto, and chat. Chat about what? Glad ya asked: the Family Circus Cartoon of the Week, a weekly forecast/weather report for Eugene (West) Oregon, and of course offer-up everyone's favorite segment -- The Reader's Digest Joke... of the Week. I dryly read some cigar news and Casa Fernandez, MBombay, and Drew Estate reviews (my own). Also, I read some blog news and catch yous up on last week's Kaplowitz Radio podcast. Oh, and I speak some of the Quorum experience at-hand. Thank-you for listening, gentlepersons!

S/O to Illusion Cigars, Cigars City, Java Generations, and Cigars on 7th.

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Casa Fernandez JFR Lunatic el Chiquito - Cigar Review

blah blah blah
[intro end]

[state cigar brand]
Casa Fernandez JFR Lunatic el Chiquito.

Burns on an even-line and for a 70rg, that's notable. There are some slight jagged spots hither-thither on-down, but not requiring re-touch/direct.  A slow smolder of a burn adds to the day and a half feel of this Casa Fernandez JFR Lunatic off its mellow resting smoke out-put. Ash can grow all the live-long day, albeit in loosely-stacked dimes. Some crimped veins, some of which are stretched-open across the tight even roll. Very dense density and it don't soften on the way to nub. The draw is a good bit stiff, and this is amplified by trying to get my mouf 'round the thing, but it is satiating/saturating nonetheless and does loosen-some along its merry way. 

Peppercorn is front-loaded and then dusty, settling into generic wood notes. Excellent bitter additions of cocoa and espresso, and sans bite. Trace cola and dark chocolate add 'nuff sweet to el el Chiquito. Umami gets triggered hard via dark grains and smoked meat. Some/any salt and/or sour notes would help balance; although it's less unbalanced and more singular-noted. Heavily-bodied yet lacking cream or oils richness requires. Surprisingly smooth, even through the schnoz (after pepper onset fades). The rigid barnyard backbone is the right stage for all these notes to roast/toast upon. Lotsa smoke for the cost and if yer jaw can give a snake's jaw a run for its jaw money and you ain't looking for complexity or transitions -- have at it, gentlepersons. Nice that it comes mainly wrapped in tin-foil for freshness. 

WRAPPER: Mexican San Andres
BINDER: Nicaraguan
FILLER: Nicaraguan

STRENGTH: Medium-Full
FORMAT: Gordito/Petite Gordo 4 3/4x70
ORIGIN: Tabacos Valle de Jalapa S.A. (TABSA) Estelí, Nicaragua

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

"First introduced in 2011, the JFR, which stands for "Just For Retailers," brand from Casa Fernández is meant to be sold by brick and mortar retailers exclusively." - Halfwheel

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"Don't Worry" Kaplowitz Radio: January 10, 2018 

MBombay Classic Torpedo - Cigar Review

I smell sandalwood. Lovely room-note, that. Lettuce focus further on the combustion, then, of this MBombay offering. Burns even-stevens on a razor-line, from there grows burnt-offerings as stiffly and pale as any ol' Brit. Pace is maybe a tick quick. Construction has a light hand-feel but is rolled moderately firm and stays thatta-way from gate to wire. Seams are tight and back to hand-feel: velvety smoov. Draw is a loose-end medium and in the first-third a hair airy, but satiating and saturating to smoke-hole nonetheless. 2/3 and 3/3 firm up to medium-medium and smoothly-so.
  • Pepper, white (peppercorn thru schnoz)
  • Woods: cedar (buttery/sweet and sandalwood)
  • Spices: allspice, cardamom, exotic melange
  • Honey, orange blossom w/ malt attachment
  • Floral, dandelion and chamomile teas
  • Chocolate: milk & white
  • Nuts: peanut and cashew, raw
  • Coffee, blonde-roast
  • Cream
  • Sugar
  • Citrus, lemon/orangeade
  • Hay, sweet
  • Salt, Himalayan (pink)
  • Oats, pale
  • Leather/suede
  • Peat
  • Earth
A white pepper and exotic spice piquancy are gentle and complex, particularly through the retro-hale. Nada acidity, a dash of pink Himalayan salt. A hearty blonde-roast java brings the bitter into balanced play. Cream checks the sweet box, a does honey and milk/white chocolate. Bupkis bite. Sour by way of citrus tidings. Always smooth as silk. In fact, silk would be appreciative of this MBombay's smoothness. A lightish-bodied but still rich thing, this -- with umami senses triggered by suede and well-worked leathers, some pale oats. Supremely balanced. Finish is a nice length a' sweet and sour maltiness which ends cleanly with some citrus-ade aid.

WRAPPER: Ecuadorian Connecticut
BINDER: Ecuadorian
FILLER: Peru, Dominican Republic & Nicaragua

STRENGTH: Mild-Medium
FORMAT: 652 Torpedo unfinished foot
ORIGIN: Tabacos de Costa Rica, Costa Rica

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

Check-out my latest Cigar News Weekly Report for more info on this new iteration of a blend rapidly approaching "classic" status.

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"Don't Worry" Kaplowitz Radio: January 10, 2018 

Cigar News Weekly Report: January 14, 2017

MBOMBAY CLASSIC TORPEDO
MBombay Bombay Tabak has announced the launching of their classic blend in a new Torpedo format. These offerings were first offered during last November's Las Vegas Big Smoke, held by Cigar Aficionado.

Carrying an MSRP of nigh a dozen-dollars per, these babies feature an Ecuadorian Connecticut top-leaf over-top Ecuadorian binder and fillers from Peru, DR, and Nicaragua. The 652 sticks are available only in The MBombay Sampler pack, a handsomely presented thing containing one a' them alongside one each of: Mora Toro, Habano Robusto, Corojo Oscuro Robusto, and Gaaja Toro. Dee-lish!!! Really, this is one of my very favorite brands, Gentlepersons.

TABAQUERO BY HAMLET PAREDES CULEBRA
The now-former in-store event promotional only offering Culebra is now part of the Patel/Paredes portfolio parcel. Rolled in Nicaragua by Rocky Patel, the Tabaquero by Hamlet can be, at long last, purchased most anywheres. The Culebra format, of course, consists of three understuffed smokes braided together. This particular offering sees these sticks measuring in at a rather long eight-inches each. 

The blend is that of Brazilian and Mexican binders laid twixt Nica fillers and an over-top top-leaf hecho en Mexico. They'll be sold in boxes of three with a thirty-six dollar price-tag.

GURKHA & AMERICAN CARIBBEAN
After seeming like a done-deal, the American Caribbean Cigars Factory in Esteli, Nicaragua -- PLOT TWIST -- will not be purchased by Gurkha Cigars. The intention to acquire was announced last May but now is dead. As a door-nail. Brand-owner Kaizad Hansotia cites financial reasons in all this; now saying that they'll build their own factory instead. 

The brilliant and long-employed tact of offering sub-par performing smokes will really pay dividends in the form of low expectations for the new rolling operation. Inspired business stuff, that.

LAS CUMBRES FREYJA 12
Las Cumbres Tabaco, a good brand I mistakenly thought dead, will send a new offering to retailers next month... The Freyja 12. It's a facing which was slated for its close-up at the 2016 IPCPR Trade-show but was AWOL. Then, in 2017, the Co. had no booth at all. The 12 is a 752 Churchill bearing the Moniker Brisingamen. The name is that of Freyja's power-fueling necklace. I like Nordic stuff.

Bikers like Nordic stuff. And guns and tats. Knuckle tats. Good stuff, depending on whom ya ask.

The blend is an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper over Dominican binder over Dominican filler, all grown by Jochy Blanco. His Tabacalera Palma factory will be rolling these cigars, which will retail for twelve-bucks per or 144USD for a 12-ct box.

MUESTRA DE SAKA UNICORN
100USD each will buy you one of a remaining 1,000 specimen -- although Mr. Saka admits to having had some himself. This is in answer to the Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust owner's query of what would happen if you spent as much money and effort in manufacturing a stick as humanly possible. 

The custom lathed press (made by Steve Saka of DT&T, hisself) yields a Double Perfecto format measuring 6.25x60. This occurring at the Joya de Nicaragua factory in Esteli, Nicaragua. The company's "select purveyors" will have product coming their way this week. If I were you, I would not be on the look-out for a Kaplowitz review.

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"Don't Worry" Kaplowitz Radio: January 10, 2018

Odds & Ends at the Ides: January 2018


  • New Kaplowitz Radio Segments 
  • Stick Men email addy 
  • NSFW 
  • ICYMI 

Gentlepersons,

Top of the New Year to you all! 2018 has begun a bit rough 'round these parts but knuckle tattoos, outlaw bikers, and divorce are all things that into each life must fall. I guess. Ah, affairs a' the heart. Screw such things. So, out with the bad and in with the good. Out with the old and in with the new...

New. Kaplowitz Radio has not one but TWO NEW SEGMENTS. The first is a re-telling of a hand-picked Family Circus cartoon, the second an in-depth extended forecast and weather report for Eugene, OR. You can hear how these new additions to the podcast work alongside the Reader's Digest Joke of the Week by listening to their inaugural whirl in "Don't Worry." Cigars are also discussed, of course.

More podcasting news: flying under the flagship banner of Kaplowitz Radio is Stick Men. Now with two episodes under its belt, Stick Men has an email address all its own -- StickMen@post.com -- send us feedback. Questions/comments/concerns. Tony will read and answer them all. I, will not.

If you've listened to Stick Men (and of course you have) you have heard the blue. By blue, I mean dirty language. This is the ONLY place online wherein I work blue these days. Nowhere else. All other places I work clean. When listening to Stick Men, be forewarned. Sorry, Rabbi. Sometimes I make me cringe, gentlepersons.

Finally, ICYMI there's a new widget on the blog right here. What is it? ICYMI. In Case You Missed it is a list of important posts you should not miss. It's over toward your right.

Till February,

Kap

PS: Stick Men now has a Twitter all its own. Follow us HERE.

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"Don't Worry" Kaplowitz Radio: January 10, 2018 

Avo Fogata - Cigar Review Redux

Avo Syncro Nicaragua Fogata in Robusto Cigar Review Redux


WRAPPER: Ecuadorian Habano
BINDER: Mexican San Andres
FILLER: Dominican and Nicaraguan

STRENGTH: Light-Medium
FORMAT: Robusto
ORIGIN: Dominican Republic

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

As this is a redux, please to peruse the original Avo Fogata - Cigar Review.
For AVO Syncro Nicaragua Fogata Robusto purchasing purposes pop at Cigars City.

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"Don't Worry" Kaplowitz Radio: January 10, 2018

"Don't Worry" Kaplowitz Radio: January 10, 2018



I smoke a House of Chalice G-d "Dark Knight" in its Perfecto iteration, and give notes re: it, along the way. Too, I offer up a Family Circus cartoon, an extended weather report/forecast for Eugene, Oregon, and an absolutely fantastic Reader's Digest joke. Reviews read aloud: Perdomo and Punch offerings. Other readings include nods to the Cigar Aficionado Top Cigars of 2017 and Mr. Al Goldstein of SCREW fame from my Jews and Cigars (on-going) project. Finally, I touch on Stick Men. Do listen, gentlepersons.

Perdomo Lot 23 Maduro - Cigar Review

I just ate a double cheeseburger. Chips. Cottage cheese. Went down well, no cramping. This must be how G-d feels on his cheat days. Hey, have you listened to Stick Men yet?

Lettuce looksie this Perdomo Lot 23 Maduro...

Its cap is a tick spongy pre-light and softens further but only by a hair-so via burn. A mid-point soft spot annoys the heated shaft, soft even as compared to a not overly-stuffed roll. Seams hold. Draw is an even keel'd open yet somewhat swampy thing come second-half. Burn operates on a slight then self-correcting curve come 2/3. Ash grows to an easy and sturdy inch at a time. Grey-to-silver stack of dimes there. Lots of rich smoke out-put even off the resting foot. Somewhat of a sour tannic room-note. Nub is cool and at a point, softening stops. As far as nub, it takes a moderately paced 45 minutes to get there -- it just feels longer.
  • Black pepper (front-loaded)
  • Wood, oak & cedar
  • Wine, white
  • Honeydew
  • Cuban Coffee, thinly
  • Grapefruit
  • Blackcurrant*
  • Black walnut
  • Ashy (on immediate draw, second-half)
  • Diesel (on 3/3 finish)
  • Compost
Not a spicy stick by any stretch, even when the black pepper front is being felt. Sans any real spices. I'd categorize this Perdomo Lot 23 Maduro as a sour stick, bordering on acidic. Tart. Not much from the bitter spectrum and barely 'nuff from the sweet, but the woods do brace well... though not a balanced thing by a long-shot. Not complex, and the transitions there are, bring in ashy then diesel attachments. Hits the palate lighter than it seems to want.

WRAPPER: Nicaraguan Maduro
BINDER: Nicaraguan
FILLER: Nicaraguan

STRENGTH: Medium
FORMAT: Robusto
ORIGIN: Nicaragua

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

BUY: Perdomo Lot 23 Maduro Robusto AT: Cigars City.

*"The blackcurrant, a small, tart berry, that when married with sugar can be made into jams, sauces, syrups, fruit drinks, and purple candy, is popular across Europe. But most Americans struggle to describe its flavor." http://www.businessinsider.com/blackcurrant-america-vs-europe-2016-10
(Wherein you can read all about "America's war against blackcurrants.")

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"Selling the Dolls" Kaplowitz Radio: January 3, 2018 

Punch Champion Perfecto - Cigar Review

The holidays are over and Golden Girls re-runs are back on the Hallmark Channel. I'll be panty, gentlepersons. I mean brief. Boxers. Sure.

NOTES:
A Perfecto which hits a 60 ring gauge at its fat-spot, yet burns vastly even from gate-to-wire. Nice. No re-lights and only a single re-touch coming into the taper leave me plenty of time (as burn pace is languid) and room to wander toward thoughts of the 1930s cartoon tough-guys this vitola represents to me. Fun. Grows thick, dense, long ash. Smooth draw with an even medium+ tension to the pull. Seams hold. No hard/soft spots and no egregious softening via burn. Stays cool in mitt and mouf right down to the nub.

Black and red pepper front which settles but too a new cayenne tongue emerges. Then smoked paprika and cinnamon. Excellent pepper-spice piquancy and always gentlepersonly-so. Wine cask makes for nice stiffly sour contributions and spurns out a separate secondary wood note which toasts nicely. Another sour lilt happens after mid-point when mulling spice comes in on the back of an orange rind. Richly bitter on the backs of espresso and cocoa lilt. Dark grains toast alongside some thick leather, triggering a decent umami savoriness. Not a sweet offering, per se, there is, however, a driving under-belly of compost and topsoil sweetened with dark chocolate shavings, root beer, and trace molasses.

Heavy notes, delivered smoothly 'nuff and quite well balanced. Nuances build into richness but fall shy of complex as a whole.

WRAPPER: Ecuadorian Sumatra
BINDER: Connecticut Broadleaf
FILLER: Dominican, Honduran, Nicaraguan

STRENGTH: Medium-Full
FORMAT: Perfecto 4.5x60
ORIGIN: Honduras

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

Perchance to purchase this Punch Champion (Perfecto) over at Cigars City?

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"Selling the Dolls" Kaplowitz Radio: January 3, 2018

Cigar News Weekly Report: January 7, 2017

JAS SUM KRAL
Riste Ristevski, from the helm of his Jas Sum Kral cigar brand, has announced a move in production from Noel Rojas’s NOA (New Order of the Ages) factory to Tabacalera de Aragon S.A. This new locale is in Esteli, Nicaragua, a facility which Mr. Ristevski says is small yet full production and too is boutique as... pardon my French. Hey, it's been awhile since I said that.

CRUX LIMITADA PB517
The Crux Limitada PB5 is again shipping to retailers, in this, the third release of its 5 3/4 x 54 Limitada. The offering features a Connecticut Broadleaf binder laid twixt fillers via the Dominican and Nicaragua, Nicaraguan Enganoso top-leaf over-top. This 3rd release is the largest thus far for the PB5, which saw its debut in 2016 -- to the tune of 1,000 10-ct boxes.

PROVIDENCIA CIGARS
The Jim Faber, Raymond Zinar, and Reed Grafke led Providencia Cigars has announced its third portfolio addition, the Trinitas. This is said to be a bolder blend than their El Padre and El Santo offerings, featuring a triple Ligero recipe of a San Andres top-leaf over Honduran and Nicaraguan guts. It shall be available Jan. 8 in a single format of 6.5x52 box-pressed double Torpedo. They'll come in either 10-ct boxes or 15-ct bundles with a rather pricey MSRP of $12USD.

IKE KARIPIDES
Drew Estate has a new Director for Specialty Retail, one Ike Karipides. Mr. Karipides is fresh off a five and half year stint as Executive Director of Premium Cigar Sales for Nat Sherman. Before that, he was a Sales Rep for Miami Cigar & Co., Brand Developer at House of Oxford, and Barclay Rex GM. Karipides replaces Zev Kaminetsky in this role, wherein his responsibility will be selling sticks to tobacconists.

ZEV KAMINETSKY
As a preliminary thing to the above news morsel, Mr. Zev Kaminetsky is no longer with Drew Estate. The long-time sales-force helm inhabitant was most recently National Sales Director for Specialty Retail -- a role he created in 2016. He was promoted to Regional Sales Manager in 2012 after being a Rep, for a year-plus. Before joining DE, he spent two years at Inter-Continental Cigar Corp. and there-a-bouts 18mos over at Camacho.

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"Selling the Dolls" Kaplowitz Radio: January 3, 2018

Pairing the Cigar Aficionado Top 25 Cigars of 2017

Did I mention, gentlepersons, that I will be pairing these fine cigars with other fine cigars? So tired is the usual libation counter-balance. Also, that I'll be doing this with just the Top 10? Oh, and 'Merican market availability only. House-rules: established, yes? Good.
YOU: Pairing cigars with cigars, Kap?
ME: Yeah.
YOU: Should I take this any particular way?
ME: Nah.
YOU: Think the Russians did it?
ME: 93.
Now, without any further ado, adon't, or amaybe -- shall we? Lettuce...

10. New World Puro Especial Toro
Espinosa Murcielago 2017

09. Villiger La Flor de Ynclan Robusto
08. Plasencia Alma Fuerte Generacion V
Man O' War Special Edition Figurado

07. Guardian Of The Farm Apollo Seleccion de Warped
Illusione Cruzado

06. My Father The Judge Grand Robusto
Jeremy Jack El Chapo

05. Ashton Symmetry Belicoso
Pappy Van Winkle Tradition

04. Alec Bradley Tempus Natural Centuria
Cornelius & Anthony Venganza

03. Oliva Serie V Belicoso
Romeo y Julieta Viejo B

02. Padrón Serie 1926 No. 2 (Natural)
My Father La Opulencia 

01. Arturo Fuente Don Carlos Eye of the Shark
Martinez Cigars Don Antonio

I believe my reasonings here are abundantly obvious.

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"Selling the Dolls" Kaplowitz Radio: January 3, 2018 

"Selling the Dolls" Kaplowitz Radio: January 3, 2018



We embark upon Aleister Crowley's Book of the Law, recap the 2017 Kappy Awards, and read my reviews of: Isabela, Montecristo, San Cristobal, Gispert, and Rocky Patel offerings. Also, we look at my social media accounts and share a great Reader's Digest joke. All while smoking a C&C Corojo stogie and offering up some notes on it. Happy 2018, Gentlepersons!!!

Rocky Patel Vintage 2003 Cameroon - Cigar Review

Long story short, I spat the sparkling cider back into the glass and went to bed, having successfully avoided both Steve Harvey and Jenny McCarthy. Huzzah.

NOTES:
This RP Vintage 2003 is a Churchill which performs on an even and well-paced burn. Nada retouches/relights. The ash grows long and toothy with silver flecks on a medium/dark grey canvas. Draw begins workably stiff then loosens by opening act's end to a lower-medium+ tension. Seams hold well, as does the shoulder, delivering cool smoke from gate-to-wire.

Piquant meanderings are a driving but gently-so black pepper and baking spice, with some sweet attachments via thin molasses and shaved dark chocolate. Bitter notes of espresso bean get salted-some and play well with sour bits featuring tannic tendencies with acidic lilts. Smooth in a talc manner, no bite by a mile. Interesting nuance smatterings but lacking in complexities. Rounded richly 'nuff and finishing cleanly with pleasant sweetly spiced wood notes. Balanced well and delivered in an unerring straight-forward manner. The whole thing, performance, and delivery -- speaks to a certain refined precision.

WRAPPER: Cameroon
BINDER: Nicaraguan
FILLER: Nicaraguan, Dominican

STRENGTH: Medium-Full
FORMAT: Churchill
ORIGIN: El Paraiso, Honduras

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

This RP is the Cigar Aficionado sweet sixteenth ranked stick for 2017. Sez they: "There aren’t too many cigar brands left made with Cameroon wrapper. It’s become quite pricey, difficult to get and most of the high-quality Cameroon grown today is bought before it’s even planted. These hurdles have not stopped Rocky Patel from creating his namesake brand: the Rocky Patel Vintage 2003 Cameroon. According to Patel, it’s wrapped in a Cameroon cover leaf harvested from a 2003 crop, so stocks of raw materials are limited, but he was sure to blend the cigar properly."

Get this (yer own) Rocky Patel Vintage '03 Cameroon Churchill from my pals over at Cigars City. From the site: "The lush Cameroon wrapper leaf is the star of the show and surrounds an 8 year aged Nicaraguan binder leaf that shelters a blend of 8 year aged Dominican and Nicaraguan filler tobaccos. The resulting 7” x 48 Churchill is the perfect stick to soak up about more than hour and half of your leisure time."

Cheers to the (still rather) New Years.

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

Isabela StarDust - Cigar Review

Happy New Year, gentlepersons!

Please allow me to begin both the year and this post on a thankful note. It has not been but a couple weeks or-so that I've embarked upon my #cigarmodel #cigarmodels cigar modeling career journey. Already: success. As of this QWERTYing, I stand numero uno in the aforementioned pluralized hashtag and numero tres in its singular iteration. I also appear rather high-up elsewheres in each list. I am humbled. I am hot. Put a gun to my head and ask if I'm more humbled or hot? The gun would MELT.

Thanks again.

Now lettuce shift our gaze away from me (sorry, I know it's hard/sad) and toward the cigar at hand -- the Isabela Cigar Co. StarDust. This offering is somewhat a by-product or cousin-kin-folk to the Time Traveler. Like the TT, it promises more transitions than Cher's kid and Bruce Jenner put together.

"So three, Kap?"
"Stop being so literal."

KVELL
  • Draws is a smooth medium+ tension, gate-to-wire.
  • Holds form well 'nuff throughout.
  • Burn-line is even, nigh as a razor.
  • Ash holds firm, dense.
  • Pacing is excellent to the tune of a nigh 90 min. Corona
  • Voluminous smoke out-put.
  • Room-note: an enticing sweet-spice w/ citrus-clean lilt.
  • Peppers are poppin', kindly-so and all a' them.
  • Lovely sour notes, never overly-acidic.
  • Salt is a lovely lip-smacking addition.
  • Bitter balances sweet, supremely-so.
  • It's all A-level balanced.
  • Bupkis bite.
  • Finish is of lengthy & sweet complexities. Clean.
  • Rich as in a decadent fruit and cream dessert.
  • Smooth as Billy Dee Williams selling malt liquor.
  • Trust me: retro-hale OFTEN.
KVETCH
  • There are small soft-spots near foot & cap.
  • As to cap, there is slight degradation there.
  • Some dampening of draw leading to a slight hesitancy in the 3/3.
KIBBITZ
Sometimes... OK many-times, I ask myself while smoking a new cigar (and this 'un just dropped in Nov.) "Why'd someone come out with something that's already been done a million times?" I have NEVER queried that re: any Isabela release. While their portfolio differs from almost all else out there, and each particular offering from the others -- still each has a reason for being intro'd as well as a common link in delivery of experience. A brilliant brand you've got here/there, Mr. Piette. Here are the flavor notes (it'll be a lengthy list, but I feces ya not):
  • Peppers, jalapeno, black, cayenne, white, bell
  • Citrus, lemonade & lime wedge & grapefruit
  • Cinnamon
  • Nutmeg
  • Wasabi
  • Clove
  • Wood, cedar & wine cask
  • Chocolate, Swiss Miss & malt
  • Honey, orange blossom & malt
  • Fruit, pale syrupy melange
  • Coffee, cream & sugar
  • Cream, whipping & sour
  • Nuts, praline (sugary almonds), peanut brittle&butter
  • Car-a-mel
  • Cardamom
  • Anise (builds)
  • Avacado
  • Herbal (dillweed & lemongrass)
  • Floral, chamomile
  • Leather (brushed suede)
  • Graham cracker pie crust
  • Hay, sweet
  • Dirt, sunlit
Sweet Tip was the name I worked under in... another project. Never mind the particulars, rent was due and I'd just been laid-off. I'm reminded of that former although short and ultimately regrettable alias here because every time I review an Isabela offering, I note their sweet tip. The cap is affixed with a sugar-based glue. This is not infused, nor flavored. This too, is a perfectly acceptable method clear on back to the mother country, Cuba. It diminishes here, as per brand usual, coming outta the 1/3.

WRAPPER: Ecuadorian Des Florada, Nicaraguan Habano
BINDER: Nicaraguan Media Tiempo
FILLER: Nicaraguan Media Tiempo & Ligero

STRENGTH: Medium
FORMAT: Corona Barber Pole
ORIGIN: Nicaragua

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

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