Deep in flavor. Deep in your mind.

Caldwell Cigars Blind Man's Bluff Connecticut in Corona - Cigar Review by Kaplowitz

"Have you Kaplowitz'd to-day?"


WRAPPER: Ecuadorian Connecticut
BINDER: Honduran
FILLER: Honduran, Dominican

FORMAT: Corona
ORIGIN: Agroindustrias LAEPE S.A., Honduras

STRENGTH: Medium
PROFILE: Sweet/Peppery
DELIVERY: Creamy/Smooth

COMBUSTION: excellent
CONSTRUCTION: excellent
  • Pepper (white)
  • Spice (white ginger & clove)
  • Coffee (heavy on cream & sugar)
  • Chocolate (white & cocoa butter)
  • Nougat (made w/ honey)
  • Citrus (Orange Julius)
  • Fruit (white grapes)
  • Leather (pale suede)
  • Grain (white bread)
  • Floral (chamomile)
  • Dirt (rich)
Overtones of bright, sweet notes toasted lightly up ahead of a peppery front which dials back to let a tick of sour shine through & in. Undertones are sunny as well, with salted bits of yeasty savoriness with a toasted sweet/sour note all their own. All of it softly tangy, never acidic. Balanced well and complex in a very lively fashion -- though not in a hyperactive manner. For all the light creaminess, there is some entrenching of flavors which lead to a nice bit of depth & nuance.


If I said this Blind Man's Bluff in CT had a beautiful body, would it hold it against me? Creamy, smooth, satiating/saturating. Lip-smacking. Yum. Lays rich on the palate with a sunny tingle. Flirts with Chewy like a drunk Han Solo, and methinks no one goes home alone. Ends cleanly after a sweet/sour finish of admirable length. Strength just ain't what this thang is about, Gentlepersons.

Burns on an even line on down, at a moderate pace. Nice amount of smoke both active and passive. Sweet room-note. Ash grows to an inch at a time, that's where I roll it off. Built w/ tight seams and sans hard/soft spots, although it does soften a half-tick ahead of the cool burn. Excellent medium tension'd smooth draw.

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

"Two years ago Caldwell Cigar Co. released a new line called Blind Man’s Bluff at the 2015 IPCPR Convention and Trade Show. This release was more than just a new blend though, it was also produced at Agroindustrias Laepe S.A. in Danli, Honduras, the old Camacho factory, which was a different factory than the rest of Caldwell’s cigars were produced. 

"The following year at the 2016 show, they announced the follow up to the original blend. It featured an Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper instead of the Ecuadorian habano wrapper used previously, while the binder and filler remained unchanged." - www.Halfwheel.com (2017)

Sixty-One Kaplowitz Radio 

Cubanacan Cigars (2016) Habano in Rothchilds - Cigar Review Redux by Kaplowitz

"Why not Kaplowitz?" 


I first reviewed this blend: 
[that oughtta lend to this]

now...
Cubanacan Habano
WRAPPER: Habano
BINDER: Ecuadorian
FILLER: Nicaraguan

FORMAT: Rothchilds (closed foot) (Measures as Robusto)
ORIGIN: Tabacalera Cubanacan, Nicaragua

STRENGTH: Medium-Full
PROFILE: Bittersweet/Spiced-sour
DELIVERY: Warm/Rigid

COMBUSTION: ok
CONSTRUCTION: ok
  • Pepper (black & red)
  • Spice (chili powder)
  • Coffee (roasted full city beans)
  • Chocolate (dark)
  • Wood (oak & wine barrel, smoky)
  • Syrup (charred)
  • Worstecheshire Sauce
  • Compost (dried)
FINAL (re)GRADE: B
A 90-100 B 80-89 C 70-79 D 60-69 F 0-59


"While Bill Paley might have enjoyed the controversy, Cubanacan Cigars could have done without the drama surrounding Hirochi Robaina and the La Corona factory’s announcements that they were no longer working with Cubanacan. Lawrence Miltenberger, the company’s brand ambassador, admitted that it served as a distraction at the wrong time. That being said, during our short visit, customers were still placing orders and it looked like business as usual..." Read the rest @: 

Also from Halfwheel is: 

Then, the dust settled thusly (via Cigar Aficionado HERE.)

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s/o Havana59 cigar Distributors.

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61 K/R 

"Sixty-One.5" Kaplowitz Radio

"Have you Kaplowitz'd to-day?"


61.5K/R
Bologna Sammich, Hit & Run, Reader's Digest, Zef:


Thanks for the ears, Gentlepersons.

s/o:
Little Big
Reader's Digest

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This episode was brought to you by:
www.CigarsOfHabanos.com
www.CaldwellCigars.com
www.IllusioneCigars.com

My Father Cigars Flor De Las Antillas in Toro - Cigar Review Redux by Kaplowitz

"Have you Kaplowitz'd to-day?"


I first reviewed this cigar (Cigar Aficionado's #1 pick for 2012) back on June 1, 2017. That was a quick-form review -- so quick indeed, that I won't link to it, but embed it below as such:

"A terra-cotta hue'd cigar, well-constructed to the eye-balling and performance -- tho a seam doth widen widely in final-third to reveal binder. A fusty lavender note is rather unique. White pepper/nutmeg piquancy braced by buttery cedar up-on nutty suede in dirt under-belly. Straight-forward yet more complex than that may connote. FINAL GRADE: A-" - Me

Lettuce further our looksie with another sample, a year later...

My Father Flor De Las Antillas
WRAPPER: Sun Grown Nicaraguan
BINDER: Nicaraguan
FILLER: Nicaraguan

FORMAT: Toro (box-press)
ORIGIN: Tabacalera Cubana S.A., Nicaragua

STRENGTH: Medium
PROFILE: Sweet/Sour - Savory/Spice
DELIVERY: Oily/Smooth

COMBUSTION: excellent
CONSTRUCTION: excellent

Dark but not somber warmly roasted overtones of a sweet & sour, vegetal spiced savory tandem. Toasted undertones are bitter-forward and influenced by the savory/Spice from up-top. Salted bits ebb and flow up and down nicely-so. Somewhat smoky but too, sharply delineated. Exceptionally balanced and complex; though curiously lacking-some in nuance and/or depth of note.

Body is silky and a tick more delicate than the flavors would indicate. That said, the final third is lightly chewy. Rich all told, but not in an extravagant manner. Soft with just the right tingle hitting the back corners of the tongue. Finish is of a moderate length and bittersweet in nature. Ends quite cleanly. Strength seems to be front-loaded, easing up languidly throughout.

Combustion seems heated a tick atop the char-line. A slight wobble self-corrects at the half. Ash grows tight and well-oiled to an easy inch at a time. Passive smoke is rather wispy, and active smoke sometimes needs double-puffed to hit its full volume. Room-note is a pleasantly soft spiced fruitiness.

Construction impresses pre-light with invisible seams and nice even press. Excellent cap/shoulder assemblage. Draw begins a hair on the firm-side, but loosens throughout to a smooth medium+ tension. Smoke stays very cool to the nub.

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


"Nicaragua’s venerable Garcia family released the Flor de Las Antillas brand in May 2012 using a variety of Nicaraguan tobaccos, their trademark double binders and a wrapper leaf grown in the open sunlight. They named the brand for Cuba, the largest of the Antilles Islands, which are called Antillas in their native Spanish. The Toro size was named Cigar Aficionado’s Cigar of the Year in 2012, and the company released a Maduro version of the brand in 2016. Flor de Las Antillas are distributed by the Garcia’s My Father Cigars Inc. and rolled at My Father Cigars S.A. in Estelí, Nicaragua." - www.CigarAficionado.com

"In March 2012, My Father Cigars debuted four vitolas in a new full production line composed of all Nicaraguan tobacco named Flor de las Antillas at Portsmith, N.H.-based Federal Cigar’s 91st Anniversary party. The new brand was billed as a medium strength blend, and was the first My Father line to be completely box-pressed." - www.Halfwheel.com (2015)

"My Father Cigars announced another line called the “Flor de las Antillas”. The blend was created by Jaime Garcia. I recently had an opportunity to sample a pre-release of this new blend. Not only does it fill a niche in the My Father Cigars’ line, but it delivers an outstanding smoking experience. It is a cigar that is also worthy of getting a lot of attention as it makes its way to the retailer shelves.

Translated to English, Flor de las Antillas means “Flower of the Antilles”. It references the Greater Antilles islands. Technically, Cuba is the largest island in the Greater Antilles, so it does pay homage to the Garcia Family’s heritage." - www.Cigar-Coop.com (2012)

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"Sixty-One" Kaplowitz Radio 

Kaplowitz Media: Cigars of the Month (June 2018)

"Have you Kaplowitz'd to-day?"


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

Gentlepersons below is a list as shallow and pedantic as Lois Griffin's meatloaf. It is a list of recent (June 2018) cigar offerings I humbly found to be worthy of A (- to +) review ratings.


THE A-LIST


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"Sixty-One" Kaplowitz Radio

"Sixty-One" Kaplowitz Radio

"Have you Kaplowitz'd today?"


I smoked a Providencia Trinitas & talked about a plethora of other stuff.


s/o:
www.StogiePress.com
www.UrbanFishingPoleCigars.com
www.ProvidenciaCigars.com

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This episode was brought to you by:
www.CigarsOfHabanos.com
www.CaldwellCigars.com
www.IllusioneCigars.com

Kaplowitz Media Cigar News Weekly Report: My Father Cigars, Nat Sherman, Gran Habano, & Crowned Heads

"All the news that's fit to poach."


MY FATHER LA GRAN OFERTA

Anytime a new My Father blend is announced via the Garcia family, my Cigar Aficionado #1 sense tingles like Spidey's when Mary Jane takes off her panties. At next Month's IPCPR, they'll be doing just that, in the form of the La Gran Oferta. The name translates of course to "You Smelt it, You Dealt it," a strange name for what is almost surely a great smoke.

Rolled in Estelí, Nicaragua at the My Father Cigars S.A. factory to the tune of Robusto, Toro, Toro Gordo, Torpedo, & Lancero; their build is Nicaraguan guts underneath an Ecuadorian Havana wrapper.

NAT SHERMAN PORTFOLIO REDUX

The Nat Sherman IPCPR 2018 trade-show experience is set to be one of major shifting. This due to a portfolio re-vamp/aligning, part in parcel of a re-branding strategy. This is one fuck of a big move for Altria's first since acquiring the brand last year. Essentially, it seems, there will be three core NS brands: Timeless, Metropolitan, and Epoca. All draped in new digs and some donning new names. Cling to this, my fellow Gentlepersons who fear change -- all the blends stay the same.

As to particulars, the Timeless brand will umbrella the Timeless Prestige, what was before the Timeless Dominican. The Nicaraguan becomes the Supreme. All this and The Panamerican & Sterling too, now find spots under said Timeless umbrella. Cigarillos fall under here, as well. Now let's do the Metropolitan! That'll include the Connecticut, Maduro, & Habano blends. Then too, The Host & its Maduro iteration. & now the Epoch. This is a brand which was originally named Clear Havana. Back in the company's salad days, the CH included Cuban leaf in its build. Back in '14, NS brung it back in retro-fashion, sans the C-leaf.

GRAN HABANO BLUE IN GREEN

I must say that you can listen to George Rico of Gran Habano discuss this & more in a special Stick Men pod. ep. he was nice enough to be part of. That can be listened to HERE.

Nevertheless, at next month's IPCPR trade-show, GH will unveil a new Connie wrapped cigar offering under the nom de tobacco Blue in Green. Slated to fit into the medium spectrum of the brand's portfolio, its recipe is a Connecticut top-leaf (duh) over Nicaraguan guts. Three sizes will be rolled at G.R. Tabacaleras Co. in Honduras... those being Robusto, a Toro labeled a Gran Robusto, and a Churchill.

Gran Habano is a sponsor of Kaplowitz Media. What's it to ya, bub?

CROWNED HEADS FOUR KICKS MADURO LANCERO LE 2018

For whatever reason, Jon Huber unfollowed me on Twitter. Anyways --

A Crowned Heads blend originally offered at the 2018 Tobacconist Association of America (TAA) Convention this past April, is now a widespread thing (as a one-time release) to be featured at IPCPR 2018. The Crowned Heads Four Kicks Maduro Lancero LE 2018 is rolled in the DR at Ernesto Perez-Carrillo Jr’s Tabacalera La Alianza, in keeping with the rest of the co.'s Maduro line. The facility doesn't tend to craft many Lancero offerings but has done a fair share of what it has done, for Crowned Heads. There, they'll be laying a Nicaraguan binder twixt Nica guts and Connecticut Habano top-leaf.

I just don't get why he'd unfollow me :(


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"Sixty" K/R

Kaplowitz Media Weekly Recapitulation Volume LVI

"Why not Kaplowitz?"


BLOG POSTS

Cigar News Weekly Report
Flor de Gonzalez (FDG) Cigars 20th Aniversario (Review)
Caldwell Cigars Blind Man's Bluff in Robusto (Review)
Tides Turn, Pendulums Swing, Seasons Change (Editorial)

PODCASTS

"Sixty" Kaplowitz Radio
Stick Men: Special Edition w/ George Rico of Gran Habano
Stick Men: Episode Twenty-Five


Read last week's Recapitulation HERE.

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s/o to K/M sponsors:
Illusione Cigars: for your cigar comfort. www.IllusioneCigars.com
Caldwell Cigars: creation | innovation | ambition. www.CaldwellCigars.com

Caldwell Cigars The King is Dead "Manzanita" - Cigar Redux Review by Kaplowitz

"Why not Kaplowitz?"


I wrote 'bout this blend in its "Premier" Robusto iteration HERE.
Caldwell Cigar Co. is a sponsor of Kaplowitz Media. So?

Caldwell The King is Dead
WRAPPER: Dominican Negrito
BINDER: Dominican Corojo
FILLER: Dominican Corojo Ligero, Negrito, Habano Vuelta Abajo

FORMAT: Petite Corona (w/ pigtail)
ORIGIN: Tabacalera Ventura, Dominican Republic

STRENGTH: Medium-Full
PROFILE: Bittersweet/Savory-Spice
DELIVERY: Roasted/Rigid

COMBUSTION: excellent
CONSTRUCTION: ok
  • Pepper (banana, red & cayenne)
  • Spices (cumin & clove)
  • Woods (hickory & cedar)
  • Coffee (espresso beans, ground)
  • Chocolate (semi-sweet w/ malt attachment)
  • Maple syrup
  • Beef Jerky (teriyaki? sure why not)
  • Fruit (plums to prunes)
  • Grains (dark rye, barley)
  • Floral (hibiscus)
  • Earth (top-soil, charred)
FINAL GRADE: B+
A 90-100 B 80-89 C 70-79 D 60-69 F 0-59


"Deep Like Mariana" - www.CaldwellCigars.com

"The King is Dead is a part of three lines made by Caldwell Cigar Company under its Caldwell Collection brand. Caldwell Cigar Company is owned by Robert Caldwell. Caldwell was best known as a partner of Christian Eiroa with Wynwood Cigars. Last September, it was announced that the partnership with Caldwell and Eiroa had dissolved. Following his departure from Wynwood Cigars, Caldwell set his sights on the Dominican Republic where he has teamed up with William and Henderson Ventura at Tabacalera Ventura to make blends for his new company. One big differentiator in the Caldwell Collection is that it uses rare / hard to find tobaccos. The King is Dead demonstrates this philosophy by incorporating a wrapper not typically used on many premium handmade cigars called Negrito." - www.Cigar-Coop.com (2014)

"60" K/R 

Tides Turn, Pendulums Swing, Seasons Change - Cigar Editorial by Kaplowitz

"Have you Kaplowitz'd to-day?"


Tides turn, pendulums swing, and yes -- seasons change. I've responded a time or three but not four ( I don't think), on Kaplowitz Radio goes, to questions re: why I don't address FDA &/or smoking bans/laws. I continue to be asked these questions, so I figured it was perhaps time to sit down and offer-up a written response en masse. That response will be multi-faceted & manyfold. Have a seat, take a load off, stay a while. Most likely, you'll leave some degree of dissed.

Again: tides turn, pendulums swing, and yes -- seasons change. Societal norms are in constant flux. Housewives, coded gay men, and Blackface minstrel shows, have all had their day. Maybe they'll come back in our lifetimes, maybe not. Although of all these things mentioned, Lil Wayne and the like are closest to ushering in the curious return of Blackface; of flaunted and vaulted negative stereotypes... or perhaps that's Macklemore's Jewface but I digress.

In the salad days of our grandfathers, men smoked. Period. It was as much of what "being a man" entailed as is the... the... what do men do today? Dunno. I don't keep up. They seem to pretend to like hockey as to not have to root for the uncomfortably black NFL. the NHL owes a debt of gratitude to Kaepernick, I say. My, (I do follow tangents.) Simply, smoking is no longer a hallmark nor the stock & trade, of the male experience. Why? Well, simply and again,  tides turn, pendulums swing, and yes -- seasons change. How else have they recently changed? Well, in ways that work hard against 'old school' guys who simply like a good cigar.

Firstly, we are living in a sterile era of bubble wrap & whitewash. What is unsavory or yucky for however slight a group, sees their clamor grow to deafening, as folks line up to carry their plight on their own well-meaning (perhaps I give too much credit) shoulders. "Shouldn't they be allowed to not be forced to breathe in your nasty cigar?" To which the obvious reply of, "Shouldn't I be allowed to enjoy my cigar?" plays as well as the "But I have black friends..." rebuttal.

Then there's the militant Nanny State which only wants what's best for you. Then there's the fact tobacco has been given the Reefer Madness treatment for so long, real knowledge is ignored. This sees "us" lumped in with cigarettes & vapes. But then comes the kicker. The underlying issue. We are now, in America, as touched on in the previous block of writing, operating as collectivists and not individuals. The individual is shunned and put forth as a wacko. Imagine our grandfathers being told they couldn't smoke in shops, let alone parks & outdoor public places. It'd never stick. Now it does. Because anti-tobacco sentiment is reinforced by 'good people' and opposed by 'nutjobs.'

Resistance, to borrow from the Borg, is futile. However, I'm a Star Wars guy and I'll close out all this negativity with a New Hope at the end. I practically promise. Soon.

Twenty-one will be the across-the-board legal age of tobacco purchase. More and more towns will pass clean air smoking bans. Maybe all of them. Why should I, quite frankly, be expected to cover the imminent death by a thousand cuts demise of a thing I hold so near & dear to my heart as leaves rolled expertly into tubes? Why do cigar news sources cover this at all is the real question -- not why don't I. I'll tell ya why... Content.


It's easy content creation for bloggers. Most often, it barely even qualifies as 'creation.' It's content regurgitation. It's blog hits that maybe lead to advertisers & w/ minimum sweat-equity involved in a copy/paste manner. Too, it offers pro wrestling's cheap heat. The Rock "finally, coming back to [fill in the name of town performing in currently]." It's not just preaching, it's pandering to the choir. Do non-cigar smokers read Halfwheel? Also, it keeps failing lobbyists like the CRA going, and whom don't like a good lobbyist? Fine, where do I sign the latest electronic petition? Was it Rahm Emanuel who said something like "Never let a good crisis go to waste?" Yes. Yes, it was.

So I don't cover the whole hot mess. Because I am a wacko nutjob who can create true content all on his lonesome & heels don't run on cheap heat as do babyfaces. In true heel form, I'll ask: doesn't Arturo Fuente sit on the CRA board? You think they don't want to see a goodly portion of the competition nipping at their heels struck down overnight? & furthermore, ain't it just a little fun to be entitled as all fuck and to dabble in victimhood? To sit with spendable income and bemoan the lack of your luxury item's acceptance... I mean it's not like there aren't meaningless/worthless online petitions to save children from hunger and homelessness you couldn't lay your eHancock on. If there's anything worse than an armchair activist, it's one sitting in a rich Corinthian leather armchair.

[Quick s/o to all my fellow cigar smokers, lighting up stogies and taking selfies under no smoking signs. Fuck you and your bulletin board material for the other team's locker room.]

What was the question? Oh, why I don't cover the FDA regs. & smoking bans. In short, it's societal and I'm a lifestyle, not a culture writer. Not my bag even if I did feel the odd need to post eight times a day to my blog. Plus, if I wanted to be sad, I'd focus on the fact that I still can't afford to move from a tube TV to flat screen.

Maybe cigars will come back into popular favor in our lifetimes -- maybe not.  I kinda hope not now, anyways, because if they do it'll be on the backs of ironic beard-oiled flanneled hipsters. I like my fraternities small and for my brothers to leave me the hell alone; while that may seem a disjointed sentiment, it actually fits here perfectly as I promised a New Hope...

I wrote a few paragraphs ago about the "imminent death by a thousand cuts demise" of the cigar industry and lifestyle. Death here is the Tarot card pointing to change, and that card's been in the spread for a good long time now. I've already more than covered the whys. I'll even add that change is better than being wiped out like any given fad... let's be thankful 'our thing' ain't a that. I've yet to cover what we should do about all this, tho. I will now:

Smoke 'em if ya got 'em.

Even if all ya got three years from now is a Fuente. Even if ya gotta smoke it under your bed with the lights out and the neighbors away on vacation. Invite a pal under there with ya on occasion. Stoke the flames till again the tides turn, pendulums swing, and yes -- the seasons change. I mean it ain't exactly hard labor, it just ain't met with thunderous applause. Still, one might say it's quite luxurious.

I won't be addressing this again.

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"Sixty" K/R

Caldwell Cigars Blind Man's Bluff in Robusto - Cigar Review by Kaplowitz

"Have you Kaplowitz'd to-day?" 


WRAPPER: Ecuadorian Habano
BINDER: Honduran Criollo
FILLER: San Vincente, Honduran Criollo Ligero

FORMAT: Robusto
ORIGIN: Agroindustrias LAEPE S.A., Honduras

STRENGTH: Medium
PROFILE: Bitter/Sour-Sweet
DELIVERY: Smoky/Rigid

COMBUSTION: ok
CONSTRUCTION: excellent

Dark well-roasted to charred overtones of a well-ahead bitter and trailing, though longer lingering, sour note with naturally sweet bright undertone all its own. Undertones are bright to nigh tangy and well toasted, featuring savory & driving pepper-spices with a fair bit of sharply salted attachment.

Borders but never transgresses upon acidic, thanks to many a warm note. Excellent balancing act, and a daring one at that. Attainably complex and if dug deeper, there is more. Nuances are deep but also fleeting. 
  • Pepper (black)
  • Wood (cedar)
  • Coffee (espresso sans crema)
  • Spices (cinnamon, nutmeg)
  • Leather, stiffly
  • Citrus (grapefruit pith & rind)
  • Sarsparilla 
  • Vanilla bean
  • Maple syrup, charred
  • Herbal (fennel, anise, lemongrass)
  • Earth 
  • Compost, dried
Body features a wet & rigid smoothness. Cool of temp. A rich broth? Well-rounded, soitenly. Finish is a lengthy and quite complex & tangy extension of draw's overtones. Ends cleanly till 3/3 then a slight charcoal tick enters.

Insofar as strength, there is a back-loaded some. A bit of an upper-lip schvitz and slight fisheye lens swoon.

Burns coolly without the need to re-direct but not perfectly-so. There is a bit of a ribbon to the line. Ash grows to a solid oily inch at a time. Lotsa smoky-smoke both passively and actively. Rolled excellently with tight seams and no hard/soft spots. Fantastic medium tension'd and even draw.

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


"“Tastes Like Magic to Me” The wrapper is Ecuadorian Habano with a binder of Honduran Criollo and Honduran and Dominican fillers. Uses all A and B grade tobaccos. The result is a full flavored medium bodied cigar with a sweet nutty richness and hints of allspice. Blind Man’s Bluff is available in 3 vitolas [Robusto, Toro, & Magnum (Gordo)] in 20 count boxes." - www.CaldwellCigars.com

"At the 2015 IPCPR Convention & Trade Show, Caldwell Cigar Co. not only released three totally reblended brands—Sevillana Reserva, Gibraltar Extra and Muricas Especial—but also debuted a totally new line. Dubbed Blind Man’s Bluff, the new blend incorporates an Ecuadorian habano wrapper covering a Honduran criollo binder along with filler tobaccos from the Dominican Republic and Honduras. 

"Unlike the rest of Caldwell’s cigars, they are produced at Agroindustrias Laepe S.A. in Danli, Honduras, which happens to be the same factory that rolls all of the Camacho cigars as well as AKA Cigars." - www.Halfwheel.com

"Sixty" Kaplowitz Radio 

Flor de Gonzalez (FDG) Cigars 20th Aniversario (Natural) in Toro - Cigar Review by Kaplowitz

"got kaplowitz"


I also smoked one of these during "Fifty-Four" Kaplowitz Radio. Although I have no memory of that at all.

FDG 20th Aniversario
WRAPPER: Ecuadorian Connecticut
BINDER: Nicaraguan
FILLER: Nicaraguan

FORMAT: Toro (soft press)
ORIGIN: Nicaraguense de Tabacos S.A. Condega, Nicaragua

STRENGTH: Medium
PROFILE: Sour/Salty-Sweet
DELIVERY: Sharp/Bright

COMBUSTION: ok
CONSTRUCTION: ok
  • Pepper (white)
  • Wood (cedar, sharply-so)
  • Nuts (cashew, rawly-so) 
  • Chocolate (hot cocoa mix)
  • Sugar
  • Dirt (brightly-so)
KEYWORDS:
  • Thin 
  • Raw 
  • Drying 
  • Acidic
  • Undertone-less
  • Unbalanced
FINAL GRADE: B-
A 90-100
B 80-89
C 70-79
D 60-69
F 0-59


"FDG Cigars, the company also known as Flor de Gonzalez, will be celebrating its 20th anniversary with two limited edition cigars of the same name, as the FDG Cigars 20 Aniversario is slated to be unveiled at this week’s IPCPR Convention & Trade Show...

"The cigars pay homage to the first two cigars every made by Flor de Gonzalez, the Gold Series, which used Connecticut and broadleaf wrappers, though this new release will have different flavor and strength profiles." - www.Halfwheel.com

s/o to Ray Kotabish of Havana59:
(330) 524-8660. Call now.
"See what Ray can put in your tray."

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Keep me GROWING.
Donate HERE via PayPal.

Wanna be a K/M sponsor? Start HERE.

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59K/R:

"Sixty" Kaplowitz Radio

"Why not Kaplowitz?"


60KR

I smoke/re-evaluate a La Barba Purple and offer-up the following segments:


Then Circle Jerks played me out w/ World Up My Ass.

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This episode was brought to you by:
www.CigarsOfHabanos.com
www.CaldwellCigars.com
www.IllusioneCigars.com

Kaplowitz Media Cigar News Weekly Report: Caldwell, Alec Bradley, Drew Estate, & Fratello Cigars

"All the news that's fit to poach."


CALDWELL EASTERN STANDARD HABANO

Caldwell Cigar Co. has announced that it’s Eastern Standard, at summer's mid-swing, will receive a new line extension. This in the form of a hybrid Habano wrapper by way of Mexico. Also an Ecuadorian binder is set to be laid twixt that and Dominican Republic and Mexican guts. The new offering is slated to be offered in Robusto, Toro, another Toro-ish format, & a Gordo. Note that the sizes here will vary in length/width from the regular est. 2014 line-up.

Look for the release at IPCPR 2018.
(Heck, ya might even wanna look for me.)

ALEC BRADLEY BLIND FAITH

"Knock, knock."
"Who's there?"
"Alec Bradley."
"THERE'S NO SUCH PERSON."

Well, Alec & Bradley are people, just not 'person.' People who are the sons of AB owner Alan Rubin. People whom are releasing their very first cigar offering! The pair of twenty-somethings will IPCPR trade-show intro their Raíces Cubanas rolled Honduran Blind Faith. There, folks will say hello to its Trojes Honduran top-leaf, dual binder of Jalapa (Nicaraguan) & Trojes origins, and Corojo/Criollo Nica innards. The blend will be rolled into vitola a' Robusto, Toro, & Gordo.

DREW ESTATE ACID AMIGOS

For those Brothers of the Leaf fiending a room-note of fat French Whore eating Skittles alone in her boudoir, DE got ya covered. Well, at Two Guys Smoke Shop, exclusively. The Acid Amigos are back!!! The infused offering consists of Connecticut Shade wrapper leaf and Nicaraguan fillers. They are presented in a 5x38 format. Did I read that right? Cool!

FRATELLO

Ted Turner famously said, "I have a female for my email." That was dumb. Although rhyming is a perennially funny thing. Sorry, I meant "perineal-y." Anyhow, Fratello has announced a new hire on the form of one Shannon Strang, as the co.'s new Director of Operations in charge of logistics, business relationships & development, and financial management.

Maybe now they'll keep a decent email thread going 'tween them and me. Altho mebe not after this. Kidding! I kid 'cause I love.

CALDWELL LLTK MAD MF

2/3 of Caldwell Cigar Co.'s portfolio foray into Mexican leaf will be unveiled at once -- uh, twice -- at next month's IPCPR shin-dig. will be using a Mexican wrapper. The one in question here is set to operate under the nom de tobacco LLTK MAD MF. A limited production San Andres wrapped offering is set atop Indonesian binder and Corojo 98, Habano and Pennsylvania double Ligero fillers. Strong. Strong like bull. #BEASTMODE

Formats will be: whatever a 5 3/4x43 is called (Venti?), a Toro, and a Belicoso.


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"Fifty-Nine" Kaplowitz Radio 

Kaplowitz Media Weekly Recapitulation Volume LV

"got kaplowitz?"


BLOG POSTS

Cigar News Weekly Report
Surrogates Satin Glove - Cigar Review
Caldwell Eastern Standard Midnight Express - Cigar Review
Caldwell Eastern Standard Dos Firmas - Cigar Review
Odds & Ends at the Ides: June 2018


PODCASTS

"Fifty-Nine" Kaplowitz Radio
Stick Men: Episode Twenty-Four

Read last week's Recapitulation HERE.
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& join the Kaplowitz Media Group HERE

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Wanna be a K/M sponsor? Start HERE.

s/o to K/M sponsors:
Illusione Cigars: for your cigar comfort. www.IllusioneCigars.com
Caldwell Cigars: creation | innovation | ambition. www.CaldwellCigars.com

Odds & Ends at the Ides: June 2018

"Have you Kaplowitz'd to-day?"


Here's the skinny this ides, this "State of the Site" up-date:
  • Kaplowitz Radio overhaul
  • Profile & Delivery: now added to cigar review info
  • Providencia owns the month @ Kaplowitz Media Group
Now lettuce fatten-up that skinny w/...

My Fellow Gentlepersons,

What a fucking month. Holy shit. That nod to my personal life aside, it's been a month here at the .xyz as well. Times they are a-changin' over at Kaplowitz Radio, the flagship show of K/M. Now riding 59 deep insofar as eps., I figured: let's stave off the stale in 60. What began as an announcement of a new mini-series segment wherein I review other cigar reviewers, led to the spawning/dawning of four (4) other regulars:
  1. QUESTION OF THE WEEK
  2. CIGAR OF THE WEEK
  3. LIFESTYLE TIP OF THE WEEK
  4. CIGAR NEWS OF THE WEEK*
*Including a social media report powered by Stogie Press. Wowee-wow-wow! A friggin' format!!!


Just as big as all that, is my intro of PROFILE (overtones) & DELIVERY (how those notes hit the palate). I feel this will help the reader in the retail humi, the one who's Googling or visiting the .xyz, to figure out which stick to pop on then, there, and quick as a hiccup. Then further down in the review come the particulars and then the smoke's origin story -- for my beloved cigar geeks of different geek levels. See, I'm writing to at least two audiences. Yer welcome.

& lastly & well, last -- BUT FIRST IN OUR HEARTS: big thanks to Providencia cigars for their June 2018 sponsorship of my humble lil FB group, Kaplowitz Media Group. Group. In closing, group. Although not really in closing because in true closing...

I love you all <3

Till the ides next,
Kap

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"Fifty-Nine" Kaplowitz Radio 

Caldwell Cigars Eastern Standard Dos Firmas (Caldwell Signature) - Cigar Review by Kaplowitz

Have you Kaplowitz'd to-day?"


Caldwell Eastern Standard Dos Firmas
WRAPPER: Connecticut Shade
BINDER: hush-hush
FILLER: mum's the word

FORMAT: Petite Robusto
ORIGIN: Dominican Republic

STRENGTH: Medium-Full
PROFILE: Bitter-sweet/Sour
DELIVERY: Tangy/Fusty

COMBUSTION: excellent
CONSTRUCTION: excellent

Smooth, cool smoke and hella lotsa it; nice 'nuff tingle to stave off the meh that sometimes brings. Complex as Jared Leto's Joker but hopefully more smoke this than saw that. "Cuban-esque" gets thrown around too much at times -- but yes. Lively yet settled-in and we--rounded plenty to be quite deep. Room-note is killer. Did I type "hella?" Yes, I sure did.
  • Pepper (white & red)
  • Spices (white ginger, clove)
  • Chocolate (milk & cocoa butter)
  • Wood (cedar, cardboard lilt)
  • Sesame seed
  • Tea (chamomile)
  • Citrus (orange slice/lemon wedge) w/fusty attachment
  • Mead [That's a new one]
  • Coffee (diner cuppa)
  • Nuts (peanut butter)
  • Vegetal (sweet grass, 'shrooms)
  • Dirt (red clay)
FINAL GRADE: A-
A 90-100
B 80-89 
C 70-79 
D 60-69 
F 0-59


"At the 2016 IPCPR Trade Show, Caldwell Cigar Company unveiled a new extension to its Eastern Standard brand known as Eastern Standard Dos Firmas or the Caldwell Signature. “Dos Firmas” translates to two signatures – and that’s because the cigar carries the signatures of company owner Robert Caldwell and of William Ventura, who owns the factory that Caldwell has partnered with." - www.Cigar-Coop.com

"Two years ago, when Robert Caldwell made his return to the cigar industry, he unveiled a line called the Eastern Standard ... This year, Caldwell has taken some steps to make Eastern Standard a full-fledged brand in his portfolio by introducing two new blends under the Eastern Standard line. One of those new blends is a maduro offering known as the Eastern Standard Midnight Express. The other is another Connecticut cigar, using a different Connecticut Shade wrapper known as Eastern Standard Dos Firmas – a.k.a. called the "Caldwell Signature."" - www.Cigar-Coop.com (2016)

& once more from www.Cigar-Coop.com - "According to Caldwell Cigar Company, the Signature was a blend that William Ventura has had created for many years. The company isn’t disclosing the blend details other than it features a Connecticut Shade wrapper."

Caldwell is a sponsor of Kaplowitz Media. What's it to ya?

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"59" K/R: 

Caldwell Cigars Eastern Standard Maduro Midnight Express in Corona - Cigar Review by Kaplowitz

"Why not Kaplowitz?"


Caldwell Midnight Express
WRAPPER: Connecticut Arapiraca Maduro
BINDER: Habana Dominicano
FILLER: Dominican Criollo ‘98, Dominican Corojo Ligero, & Nicaraguan Habano

FORMAT: Corona
ORIGIN: Caldwell Cigar Factory, Dominican Republic

STRENGTH: Medium-Full
PROFILE: Bitter/Sweet
DELIVERY: Roasted/Spicy

COMBUSTION: ok
CONSTRUCTION: excellent


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

"The Caldwell Collection was introduced to critical acclaim in the spring of 2014 and consisted of three distinctive lines of cigars, each using aged and hard-to-find, “Grade A” tobacco, grown in the Dominican Republic and rolled at Tabacalera William Ventura. Unique names and eye-catching artwork were used in debuting the collection—Long Live The King, The King Is Dead, and Eastern Standard. The latter consisted of a Connecticut Hybrid Ecuadorian wrapper, a Habana Dominican binder, and a combination of Ligero, Seco, and Viso filler leaves from Nicaraguan and the Dominican Republic.

"At the recent 2016 IPCPR Trade Show in Las Vegas, in an artsy-looking booth littered with striking graphics and paintings, The Caldwell Collection formally unveiled a line-extension to the Eastern Standard—Midnight Express. According to Robert Caldwell, "Midnight Express is an Eastern Standard Maduro."- www.CigarDojo.com

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&
I'm always looking for sponsors.

Caldwell is a sponsor of Kaplowitz Media. So?

Surrogates Satin Glove by L’Atelier Cigars - Cigar Review by Kaplowitz

"Why not Kaplowitz?"


Surrogates Satin Glove
WRAPPER: Mexican San Andres
BINDER: Nicaraguan
FILLER: Nicaraguan

FORMAT: Churchill, box-pressed
ORIGIN: My Father Cigars, Nicaragua

STRENGTH: Medium-Full
PROFILE: Bitter-Sweet/Savory
DELIVERY: Roasted/Smoky

COMBUSTION: excellent
CONSTRUCTION: excellent

Darkly roasted and smoky yet lively overtones, bittersweet in nature. Undertones are savory spices with salted sour additions, delivered roasted w/ light char. It's dark & lively there, as well. Is Dark & Lively a BET show? Should be. Complex as fuck, balanced supremely to boot. Deeply nuanced.
  • Pepper (black, cayenne)
  • Spices (cumin, smoked paprika, salt)
  • Coffee (dark roast)
  • Brown sugar
  • Chocolate (dark & semi-sweet)
  • Wood (cedar, hickory)
  • Vegetal (fennel, anise, mushroom)
  • Earth (compost, top-soil)
For all the heighty and haughty flavors here, the body is a tick wimpy. Although that whisp coupled with coolness really allows for a picking out of notes as witnessed parenthetically above. Smooth of texture with just the littlest bit of refreshing tingle. Rigid but bendable. Finish is long and a well-rehearsed symphony of all that and I believe I do detect a note of kitchen sink. Ends with a thin bit of a fleeting charcoal. Strength is like a top-shelf slow-sipping hooch.

Burns on an even-line on-down. Gives off a good volume of smoky-smoke both passive and aggressive but sits quite light on the palate. Not a lot of a room-note. Ash builds slowly to an inch, but not more, a bit dryly-so.

Rolled quite well sans hard/soft spots. Some slight softening ahead of burn. That burn is cool and slowly-paced. The draw is a bit snug but adds t the feeling of sipping from a chef's spoon and not gorging on an all you can eat buffet of instant grub.

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


The following is via www.CigarDojo.com:
"Surrogates, a brand that is owned and distributed by L’Atelier Imports, has always maintained a certain air of mystery throughout the cigar world. When first released, the brand was made specially for Ohio retailer New Havana Cigars as an affordable alternative to today’s increasingly popular limited edition cigars. The original NHC exclusive consisted of the Bone Crusher and Skull Breaker – a release that was met with confusion amongst consumers. “Are Surrogates cigars intended to be clones of existing cigars?” people began to wonder. Concerns were quickly met with a response from brand runner Dan Welsh:

"When people saw the names of these first two vitolas, there was much speculation that they were either made by one of our trusted vendors, or were meant to be a duplicate of one of their offerings. Neither is true nor implied. The names were based on the novelty fonts that I chose for these full bodied beasts. In retrospect, I should not be surprised that some people jumped to conclusions about them being made by Viaje, because of the themes used in the names. This was never my intent. Bone Crusher is a play on the strength of the stick ‘hitting you to the bones’ and Skull Breaker is a play on ‘feeling it in your head’ when you are done. Had I projected the myriad of conclusions being drawn I might have chosen ‘Punisher’ for the Skull theme and simply ‘Krusher’ for the other vitola. But Surrogates was the branding I wanted to bring forth and create a following for.""

"...Who’s to say the original Bone Crusher and Skull Breaker cigars weren’t an homage to Viaje (skull and bones)? Dan teased at the fact that their Tramp Stamp release clearly poked fun at business partner Pete Johnson’s Tatuaje logo. And then there’s the Crystal Baller, Dan further insinuated that the cigar showed his respect and love of the Illusione Epernay. And let’s not forget about L’Atelier’s own LAT line, a clear salute to the great Cohiba Behike. ..."

Hi, me again. For my moolah, I get Padron here -- as does Tony Crack by way of our local B&M manager. You can listen to Tony talk about that in Stick Men: Episode Twenty-Three.

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Keep me going.
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Donate HERE via PayPal.

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Keep me going.
Keep me GROWING.
Donate HERE via PayPal.

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Fifty-Nine Kaplowitz Radio

"Fifty-Nine" Kaplowitz Radio

"Have you Kaplowitz'd to-day?"


59KR

Over a Caldwell/Booth collab Hit & Run, I prattle on boy-O re:
  • Anthony Bourdain and suicide, specifically.
  • The Triple Crown and horse racing, generally.
  • Social Media Cigar Update Powered by Stogie Press.
  • Weekly Cigar Industry News.
  • What IS a Press Release?
  • Announcing A NEW Kaplowitz Radio segment.
Thanks for listening, Gentlepersons.

Hit & Run
WRAPPER: Ecuadorian Habano
BINDER: Indonesian
FILLER: DR

FORMAT: Corona
ORIGIN: William Ventura, Dominican Republic

STRENGTH: Medium
PROFILE: Sweet/Sour
DELIVERY: Bright/Sharp

COMBUSTION: poor
CONSTRUCTION: poor

EDITOR'S NOTES:
If I said "58" I meant "59."
The H&R finally accepted a re-light and I was able to smoke it down.

I previously reviewed the Hit & Run HERE.


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This episode was brought to you by:
www.CigarsOfHabanos.com
www.CaldwellCigars.com
www.IllusioneCigars.com

Cigar News Weekly Report: AJ Fernandez, Warped, & Providencia Cigars

"All the news that's fit to poach."


AJ FERNANDEZ RAMON ALLONES

A year-ago, General Cigar gave AJ Fernández the green light to produce/distribute Ramon Allones -- a brand with no home in their portfolio. Now that re-imagined offering is headed to retailers in the formats of Robusto, Toro, Churchill, & Torpedo. The blend features an Ecuadorian Habano Oscuro top-leaf over-top Nicaraguan Corojo 99 binder & Nica fillers of Corojo 99, Criollo 98, & some sorta hybrid varietals.

WARPED LA RELATOS

Warped (not a sponsor of K/M but I'm certain quite pleased by this free press) has announced a second summer release, La Relatos The First. It's a mere sliver of a cigar at Petit Lancero and will be unveiled at the up-coming IPCPR Trade-show. Its recipe is apparently based back in a period of time before the brand gained the popularity it enjoys today. It employs an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper over various varietals of Nica guts. (Typing out the particulars of the Allones wore me out 'nuff for the day.)

The First offering will be, well, the first La Relatos offered, with a planned two more formats to follow.  Like the already announced and herein mentioned summer release, Moon Garden, these babies will be rolled at Tabacos Valle de Jalapa S.A. (TABSA) in Esteli.

"Summer release" sounds drrrty.

PROVIDENCIA CIGARS LA MISION LANCERO

The following is me graciously allowing words to be put in my mouth:
"Providencia Cigars "la Mision" Lancero 7.5x38 Wrapper -- Habano Maduro Binder -- Indonesian Filler -- Honduran and Nicaraguan La Mision (The Mission) is named to reference founding partner Jim Faber’s Humanitarian and “Mission” work while in Honduras for 15 years (1997-2011), where he helped revitalize neighborhoods by providing clean running water, plumbing and paved streets. He also established a soccer school known throughout the country for helping to rehabilitate gang members (including MS 13) by getting them off the street and out of the gangs. The soccer school also served the the local community children with love and support and has and continues to leave a last impression throughout Honduras. Jim also was instrumental is planting evangelical Christian churches in various cities. The la Mision celebrates Jim’s work and his love for the people of Honduras." From the fine fellas at www.ProvidenciaCigars.com whom are also sponsoring the Kaplowitz Media Group on Facebook.


I really mailed in this week's cigar news. #leastmode Dunno. RoMa Craft has something new shipping and Oliva is sending out two sizes of their Serie V Maduro. Also, the FDA did some shit but not really 'cause it's done already.

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"Fifty-Eight" Kaplowitz Radio 

Kaplowitz Media: Special Edition w/ Steve Saka LIVE from the NJ Cigar Festival

"got kaplowitz?"


Thanks to K/M roving reporter, Mike Weinstein, we track down Steve Saka LIVE at the NJ Cigar Fest. He talks about the FDA, Cuban tobacco, exploding w/ Drew Estate & cooling his heels w/ Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust. More, too!


Thanks for listening, Gentlepersons!


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Weekly Recapitulation Volume LIV

"Why not Kaplowitz?"


BLOG POSTS

Cigar News Weekly Report
Debonaire Cigars Daybreak - Cigar Review
La Barba Cigars Purple - Cigar Review
La Barba Cigars Red - Cigar Review
Providencia El Padre - Redux Cigar Review

PODCASTS

"Fifty-Eight" Kaplowitz Radio
Stick Men: Episode Twenty-Three

VIDEOS

Stick Men Smoke a Drew Estate Liga Privada T52

Read last week's Recapitulation HERE.

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& join the Kaplowitz Media Group HERE

Keep me going.
Keep me GROWING.
Donate HERE via PayPal.

Wanna be a K/M sponsor? Start HERE.

s/o to K/M sponsors:
Illusione Cigars: for your cigar comfort. www.IllusioneCigars.com
Caldwell Cigars: creation | innovation | ambition. www.CaldwellCigars.com

BONUS CONTENT: