Monday, July 28, 2014
Before lighting I addressed the cigar and found a rather rustic chocolate brown wrapper with visible but smooth veins. The body of the cigar was pretty firm but with some give, I would say it falls right in between spongy and rock-solid. With that said, I'm anticipating a quicker burn than some cigars but it shouldn't burn hot or have a wild burn line. The body of the cigar offered notes of sweet field grass and the foot offered notes of cocoa with a mild sweetness. I squeezed the chisel cap and it opened perfectly, allowing me to test the cold draw. I found the cold draw to be a bit on the tight side and offering notes of cocoa with a hint of molasses. I used my handy Bugatti torch to get things toasted up and smoking with no problems.
The initial third opens with a ton of flavor, the most notable being toasted nuts. The finish is long and nutty and there is a nice amount of spice on the retrohale but note nought to be unpleasant. Around 1/2 of an inch into the burn the spice has calmed some and the flavors are that starting to define themselves. The toasted but flavors are gaining some depth as they are joined by a oaken woodiness. The finish has found a peppery tingle that lingers on the palate that wasn't present at the time of lighting.
As I enter the second third the toasted nut flavors are still going strong as the woody notes are moving into the background. There are some coffee notes beginning to emerge and a very faint hint of dark chocolate that pops in every now and then. The sweetness of the maduro wrapper is also starting to make itself known. So far the burn has only required now small correction and body has been consistently medium-full. There has not been any harshness, in fact it's really mellowing out for the finish.
The final third didn't see any new flavors. The complexity of this stick comes from the depth and presentation of the flavors and not so much from the amount of flavor transition throughout the burn. I don't mind a cigar being one dimensional as long as it's a good dimension. One of my favorite lighter cigars, the perdomo champagne, is fairly one dimensions but is an excellent smoke. I would put the construction and flavors on par with some cigars I have had that are double and even triple the price point of the RIOT cigar. I can only imagine what some aging would do for this already good cigar. I may just have to grab a box and age the for a bit just to see. Final verdict is that RIOT cigars are a hit and a great value smoke. StogieBoys has these for around 4 bucks per stick and I would say they are well worth that and more. Thanks to StogieBoys and Sheryl for sending these samples for review, they are quite tasty.
Tuesday, June 3, 2014
Well to those who have stuck around and read my blog, I'm afraid I have some bad news. With the birth of my daughter last august I have found very little time for cigars. I have thought about it long and hard and tried to figure out how to get more than 24 hours out of a day. The answer is, you simply cannot. I will not be taking the cigar blog down but will, most likely, not be adding new content. I simply cannot find 1.5+ hours to devote to a cigar and give fair judgement of it's flavors and performance. I extend a hearty thank you to those who have supported me on my blogging journey. I will be starting a vaping blog soon since I can vape indoors and I'm not dedicated to it until the tank is empty.
Sunday, May 4, 2014
The vaping revolution has made a believer out of me, I have found it very enjoyable to be honest. I have tried a variety of e-juices and been in numerous vape shops and have finally found perfection. If you vape or you're interested in vaping you should check out vapesgonewild.com or even better stop by if you're in Newnan or Lagrange Georgia. I have loved every juice I have tried from them and their prices and staff are second to none. The knowledgable staff will answer any questions you may have and offer suggestions on flavors or gear if you need help making a decision. Below are the juices I have tried so far and a brief description of each. I will be adding to the list as I get more of their juice. They are superb and mixed when you order so you won't get a premixed juice that has been sitting on a shelf for God only knows how long. Because of this fact some of the juices will need to rest, similar to receiving your favorite cigars right off the truck. I should note for those who don't know, throat hit is created by the percentage of pg and the nicotine level. I vape 70%PG 30%VG and have stepped down recently to 16mg of nicotine. So if the throat hit makes you choke, you can always adjust your PG/VG percentage to include more VG.
Vapes gone wild is an hour and half drive for me to visit from the area I live in but it is well worth the drive. I have drove up for all my juices from them so far and this was my first mail order. The atmosphere makes the hour and a half drive well worth it to me, when I have time to make the drive. So if you're in their neck of the woods, stop by and give them a shout. If the drive is just too much, their online ordering is super simple and easy to use. Check them out at www.vapesgonewild.com or stop by one of their retail locations in Georgia.
Friday, May 2, 2014
I'm finally getting a chance to sit down and write a review on some of the vape gear, or e-cigs, I have been using. If you heard about the tornados that ripped through Alabama, the EF3 was less than 10 miles from my house. With that said, I have a decent excuse for being off the radar for awhile. I have been using the KangerTech evod kit for over a month now and I'm pretty proud to report that I have not touched smokeless tobacco since then. This is a pretty basic starter kit but is perfect for getting started into the world of vaping. The kit consists of 2 650 mah batteries, 2 evod clearomizers, a USB charger with plug, and 5 spare coil heads. There is a coil head already installed to each clearomizer bringing the coil head total to 7. I have been cleaning my coil heads in scalding hot water from my keurig machine after every couple of tanks, this seems to extend the life of the coil and wick a good bit. I have taught myself how to rebuild the coils so I can keep my costs down.
I ordered my kit from a great vendor, the vape bros. I placed my order late in the afternoon and it still made it to my house 2 days later. They carry a decent selection at a great price. I picked my kit up for right around 36 bucks. I brought my total to 55 with the addition of a clearomizer upgrade. I was offered a free bottle of juice for participating in the "product review" section of their website. I selected the almond amaretto and my nicotine level. It was also shipped super fast and packaged very well.
The e-liquid had a warm mouth feel and I could distinctly taste the rosted almonds laced with hints of mildly sweet amaretto. I vaped the entire bottle in a matter of a few days but it was too good not to vape it into oblivion. I plan to try the rest of their juice offerings in the near future and report back on them as well.
The batteries included with the kit are made for the evod setup but have 510 and ego threading so it will allow for the use of a wide variety of clearomizers and tanks. It is nice to have 2 batteries so you can use one while the other charges. I usually get about 8-9 hours of use on a single charge with decently heavy vaping. The included batteries are not variable voltage so not all resistance coil heads will work well. I found that if I rebuild the coil heads with a 1.8 ohm coil I get a superb vape from the factory battery and clearomizer.
The naysayers can say nay all they want to but I can vouch for e-cig devices working to reduce or eliminate unwanted tobacco use. I began this journey with every intention of quitting my dip habit but not my cigar habit. I enjoy premium cigars a bit too much to give them up, plus I don't see them as nearly detrimental to my health compared to smokeless tobacco or cigarettes. I have been smokeless tobacco free for nearly 2 months and have not used it at all in this time. This was a huge accomplishment and even my wife is impressed. She is also glad I have no dip bottles floating around the house or in the car and I'm not tied to something to spit into while enjoying my nicotine.
Monday, April 21, 2014
Last month's Big Sexy Cigar Club shipment from StogieBoys was a Diesel Shorty Ltd. and a Diesel Unlimited D7. If you're not familiar with the Diesel line, it is the product of master blender A.J. Fernandez. I would try to list all the blends and brands that A.J. has had his hands on but that list would be HUGE. I have had a few of the Unholy Cocktail cigars from the Diesel line and found them to be very tasty, so lets see if these two follow suite.
The Diesel Unlimited D7 is a churchill size cigar (7x58) with dark chocolaty brown wrapper. I found a firm to the squeeze body with little give, and only light veins. The body offered very light notes of molasses and some barnyard. The foot offered the sae molasses notes but with more gusto and some cocoa. I clipped the cap and found a surprisingly easy draw, considering how tightly rolled the cigar felt on initial inspection, with notes of mildly sweet molasses. I used my handy torch to get the foot toasted and get things underway.
The initial third opens rich tobacco notes with hints of toasted nuts. The finish is long and toasty with a fair amount of peppery spice on the retrohale that lingers on the palate. At about 1/2" into the burn the peppery spice doe calm a bit as the flavors start to become more defined. This cigar isn't a palate buster but it does have a bit more body and oomph than I was expecting. It has started out of the gate full flavor and full body and I don't expect it to mellow a whole lot. Before the first third ends, there are notes of dark chocolate and very faint hints of coffee starting to emerge.
The second third sees the spice calm a tad more as some caramel-like notes begin to pop in on ocassion. The dark chocolate and coffee notes that were starting to work into the mix as the first third ended have gained depth and developed nicely. The dark chocolate and coffee have pushed most of the toasted notes out of the profile. They continue to develop and are in full swing as the second third draws to an end.
The final third brings some earthy tones to the party but not much else of a change to the profile. I have to be honest, I wasn't upset by the lack of change in the final third. This cigar wasn't overpowering or harsh but does have a nice full body. Overall I would say this was a great smoke. The Construction was great and burn was perfect with no correctons needed. The ash held to over and inch before falling each time and was a dark grey color. If you haven't had any of the Diesel line, I would say get atleast one of each blend because they are worth giving a try.
Diesel Shorty Ltd.
The Diesel Shorty Ltd. is a 4.5x60 power house. The Connecticut broadleaf wrapper houses a Nicaraguan binder and filler blend comprised of tobaccos from the Jalapa, Condega, and Esteli regions of Nicaragua. The wrapper is very dark brown with minimal veins and nearly invisible seams. The body is firm with only minor give and offers only faint notes of cocoa. The foot offered only the smell of rich tobacco. I clipped the cap and found somewhat sweet grassy notes inside of a near perfect draw.
The initial half opens with a ton of toasty notes with hints of dark chocolate laced in. The finish is long and has the same toasty tone. There is a fair amount of spice, especially on the retrohale, and a tingle that radiates from the tongue to the back of the throat. The body is on the medium-full end of full and there isn't a stitch of harshness to be found.
At around the halfway mark notes of leather emerge and develop quickly. The toasty notes have faded into the background as notes of espresso join the dark chocolate and leather. The lack of different flavors is offest by the way they present themselves. They dance around your palate in a well choreographed dance just for you. The Shorty Ltd. is right on par with the rest of the Diesel line. It has flavor by the bucket load with a full body and smooth delivery. The construction was great and burn only required one small correction (it probably would have corrected itself but I'm retentive about such things). A.J. Fernandez certainly knows what he's doing in the blending room.
The fine folks at StogieBoys have both of these Diesel blends in stock and ready for your smoking pleasure.
The Unlimited in the D7 (churchill) size can be had in boxes of 20 for right at 90 bucks, making it a great value for the taste to cost ratio.
The Shorty Ltd can be had as a single for around 5.00 or in a box of 24 for just under 100.00. The shorty is only available in the 4.5x60 size. This one also offers a great taste to cost ratio and a pleasure to burn.
Thursday, March 6, 2014
Ok, so I have a confession to make... I am not only a cigar smoker, which my doctor says is perfectly fine, but is also use smokeless tobacco (dip). I have a few coworkers that have kicked the nasty habit using an e-cigarette type device. After weeks of research I picked the model I want and the retailer I'm going to be purchasing it from. I have decided on the EVOD from KangerTech and will be making the purchase from TheVapeBros.com. They have an excellent price on the kit and the juice to go in it, as well as the parts needed for repair and maintenance. I hope to get my order sent in Monday and will be posting about my journey here. I am excited to find tobacco flavored juice and even some that claim to be similar to a real cigar. I don't plan to use this device to quit cigars, only the nasty habit of dipping. This will make my son, doctor, dentist, and my loving wife very happy. I may even add some modifications (mods) since I already have about 20 18950 batteries lying around the house. If this sounds like something you would be interested in, hit TheVapeBros.com and check them out. Stay tuned for updates and progress. This is not only a good method for kicking the dippin habit but cigarettes as well. I know it's hard for some to imagine anyone who loves cigars hating cigarettes, but I do with a passion.
Thursday, February 27, 2014
The Connecticut Yankee has a rustic appearance to it. It isn't unsightly but it has a certain ruggedness. The habano connecticut wrapper is a dark brown with slightly blotchy coloration. The veins are visible but smooth and I don't see them causing any burn issues. Underneath the wrapper lies a mixture of Dominican and Nicaraguan tobaccos. The wrapper has very little aroma to it, the only thing I can detect is a faint hint of barnyard. The foot offers up a good bit more smell, offering notes of barnyard with hints of cocoa. I was going to v cut this one but decided against it and instead used a punch to clip the cap. I found a near perfect draw with notes of cocoa and a very faint sweetness. I used my buggati b1 that my loving wife gave me to toast the foot and get things started.
The initial third opens with a barrage of flavor, the most noticeable being notes of wood with a mild earthy spice. There is very little spice to be found, even on the retrohale. The finish is long and woody and seems to be very crisp so I'm glad i I brought plenty of water with me. You may notice in the pictures, I also brought a very bright flashlight and one of my pistols. The question has been asked of why I seem to have a pistol with me when I smoke at night, so I will answer that here for you all to see. I live well outside the city limits and we have dogs that run the rural roads. Most of the dogs will run from their own shadows or if you make a loud noise. Others are not so leary or skiddish. In fact, not terribly far from where I live, a four year old was mauled to death by a group of these dogs just a few days ago. I have also seen big cats in my neck of the woods, and I don't mean the domestic house cat type. But oh well, back to the cigar. As I progress through the first third of the cigar the woody notes become more of an oaky flavor as notes of espresso begin to pop in and out.
Going into the second third the woody oak notes move out of the foreground to give the espresso some time in the sun. The espresso notes have fully developed and are very pleasant. Towards the end of the second third there are some notes that resemble sourdough that jump in very briefly.
The final third brought the woody oak notes back to the foreground as the espresso begins to fade away. The sourdough flavors are still present and have been joined by a salty component.
This one was a bit of a disappointment for me to be perfectly honest. While tasty, I expected more flavors with so much going on in the first inch of the cigar. It was very smooth and well constructed, only requiring a couple of very minor burn corrections. The body has been consistently medium throughout the burn and it was never at any time harsh on the palate. The ash held to over an inch before falling each time and was a salt and pepper gray. I would recommend giving this one a try, especially for the price point. It would be a perfect yard-gar or work smoke. The price point on these is 2 dollars and some change so you wouldn't be out much to give them a try. You can grab a box of 30 of the robusto box press for less than 70 bucks at http://stogieboys.com/victor-sinclair-connecticut-yankee-box-press-robusto.html
You can also get your own membership to the Big Sexy Smokers Club from StogieBoys at http://www.stogieboys.com/cigar-club
By joining, you can have a mini Christmas every month like I do. You will also receive a complimentary desktop humidor, lighter, and cutter just for joining. It's a win-win situation so jump on over and smoke next months cigars with me!
Friday, February 21, 2014
Now to the part that you want to know about the most, how does it smoke. I removed the cellophane from the cigar and found the body to offer notes of hay and sweet field grass, while the foot offered notes of hay and molasses. The Conecticut wrapper houses a blend of Nicaraguan and Dominican binder and filler leaves. The wrapper has a beautiful light brown, oily shine with visible yet smooth veins. The body of the cigar is a bit on the spongy side so I expect a nice easy draw but there are no soft spots or imperfections. I clipped the cap with my trusty V cutter and did find an easy draw with notes of molasses. I toasted the foot and began my journey.
The initial third opens with toasted nut flavors by the bucket load. It is off to a very smooth start with only a touch of spice on the retrohale. The finish is toasty but does leave a bit of black pepper tingle in the back of the throat. At about half of an inch into the burn the toasted nut was joined by notes of coffee and an unidentified sweetness. The finish has taken a caramel-like tone and the smoke has become very creamy. As I progress through the first third, the flavors are developing nicely. The toasted nut flavors have moved aside a bit to allow the coffee notes to take the spotlight.
As I begin the second third the coffee notes gain a touch more depth and are still being supported by the toasted nut notes in the background. There are very faint notes of cinnamon that keep coming and going. They are infrequent and faint but still detectable. There are also some caramel notes popping in every once in awhile. Somewhere around the halfway point of the burn, the cinnamon notes become more defined and more frequent. They remind me somewhat of the "red hots" candy hearts and even seem to have a touch of sweetness to them.
The final third didn't see a whole lot of change, but I've got no complaints. This has been one very tasty and oh so smooth cigar. The coffee notes held the foreground, pretty much, since they joined the profile but were nicely supported by the other flavors.
Final Thoughts? StogieBoys has hit a homerun with this stick. It started out, for me, medium in body and held at that point consistantly throughout the burn. Construction was top notch. The ash held firm to over an inch each time before falling. I made no burn corrections or relights while smoking this stick. The SB Classic is an incredibly smooth and flavorful cigar that would be perfect for a beginner or a seasoned smoker. It would not only be a perfect morning smoke with a cup of coffee, but a great any time smoke as well. I thought it might be a quick burner being a touch loose on the roll but it took about an hour from clip to nub to smoke.
You can find these only at StogieBoys (stogieboys.com/sb-classic) and are priced at around 3 bucks per stick. I can see me grabbing a box of these to fill the humidor I received with the Big Sexy Smokers Club.
Monday, February 3, 2014
The Loose Cannon series is one of the newest offerings from Mike Chiusano of C&C Cigars. He is the former president of Cusano Cigars, so he is a seasoned cigar veteran. The body of the cigar is firm with with a touch of sponginess but no soft spots or imperfections. The milk chocolate brown wrapper has minimal veins with visible but smooth seams. The body offers notes sweet field grass and the foot offered notes of molasses and hay. I V cut the cap with my StogieBoys V cutter and found a perfect draw with only the flavor of sweet tobacco on the cold draw. The wrapper is a Dominican Habano that houses a Dominican binder and filler. I used the lighter that came with the StogieBoys Big Sexy Smokers Clube welcome kit to toast the foot and get things going.
The initial third opens with a ton of woody notes and just a total barage of flavors. The flavors started to settle in around the half inch mark as the woody notes became more of a sweet cedar flavor. There is nice bit of spice to counter the sweetness, especially noticed on the retrohale. The spice is a black pepper spice and isn't overpowering, it does leave a nice tingle on the palate and the back of the throat. As I progress through the first third the sweet cedar gains some character and definition as it is joined by some honey-like sweet notes. The finish is crisp with a toasty tone. Nearing the end of the first third, some espresso notes join the mix.
The honey notes kick it up a notch in the second third as they are joined by a nutty almond flavor. It reminds me of the honey-almond nouget inside a toblerone candy bar. The sweet cedar moves into the background a bit to give the honey and toasted almond some time in the spotlight, which is shared with the notes of espresso. The sweetness has increased just a bit and so has the black pepper spice. This cigar is very well balanced on the sweetness and spice so far. The body started out just a touch on the medium-full side of medium and has been consistent so far. Somewhere around the midway point some fruit flavors begin to pop in and out.
There wasn't a lot of change in the final third, but no complaints from me. The fruit notes take on an apricot flavor, really more of a candied apricot. The honey-almond, sweet cedar, espresso, and black pepper all survived through to the end. This was a fairly complex cigar with the way the flavors presented themselves and danced around on the palate. It was smooth and never harsh throughout the burn and the burn line required no corrections. The ash held firm with a dark gray color for just over an inch at a time before falling off into my waiting ashtray. Overall this was an outstanding cigar, which I have found to be the case with all the C&C Cigars I have smoked so far. It is the quality and flavor you expect from Mike Chiusano. I look forward to what he has instore for C&C Cigars' future blends. StogieBoys has these for 8.25 per stick in the toro size reviewed here, or a box of 20 for about 112.00. This is about the price point I would expect for this flavorful stick. At the time of this review the loose cannon cigars are buy one get one free on singles and five packs, so what better time to grab a few. You can find this deal at http://stogieboys.com/cigardon-feature .
I have had a chance to use the included lighter as well. I am a Xikar fanboy but I do own some torches that are not xikar. This is one of those lighters that you will fall in love with regardless of your usual fire creating choices. I really like the soft flame and the torch in the same lighter body. I like to toast the edges of the foot with the torch and then use the soft flame to actually light my cigar. Calll me crazy but it seems to keep the tobacco from getting so hot. I have lit probably a dozen cigars with this one so far and had to refill it at around cigar number 11 (that includes me playing with the lighter too). While it may not be a xikar or a bugatti lighter, it is still a quality piece of pyrophenalia that would be perfect to add to you collection, or to give to a new cigar smoker who may not have invested in a good torch yet.
The final verdict on the membership kit? I give it a huge thumbs up! This makes my seventh humidor that is in service and it works just as well as any of the others I have. So far the Big Sexy Smokers Club has my attention and recommendation.
As noted in a previous post, the cigars sent to me for the month of January were the Thurman Thomas Hall of Fame Toro, in Connecticut and Maduro. I have already reviewed both of these cigars on the site, so I will provide a link to those below. They are some tasty smokes, you might say Hall of Fame material. I know my word-play is rusty. Until next time, keep em toasty and step over to StogieBoys and check out the Big Sexy Smokers Club for yourself, I believe you will be pleased.
Thurman Thomas Hall of Fame Maduro
Thurman Thomas Hall of Fame Connecticut
Thurman Thomas Hall of Fame Maduro
Thurman Thomas Hall of Fame Connecticut
Friday, January 17, 2014
I received my humidor and starter kit today and have began seasoning it already. If you are new to cigars and are unsure in how to season a humidor, have no fear because it comes with some great instructions. This humidor, though simple and petite, is made quite well. It has brass piano quadrant hinges and, as far as I can tell so far, has a good seal. Regardless of size or cost, if the box doesn't seal well then it is useless as a humidor.
The instructions say to use a clean, lint free cloth dampened with distilled water to wipe the inside of the humidor. Some people also use a clean sponge to wipe the inside down. I prefer bounty paper towels to be honest. I feel they give me more control over the amount of water I'm using. It is important not to over saturate the interior of the box, you're. Just wanting to dampen the wood, not soak it down. Doing so could cause the wood to warp, ruining the seal of your humidor. Wiping the box out serves two purposes. It adds moisture to the wood and cleans any very fine particles of wood left when sanding the Spanish cedar inside. The Spanish cedar of a humidor absorbs and releases moisture and serves a crucial role in the task of keeping your humidity in check. It is also very important to use distilled water instead of tsp water. Distilled water is pure and free from contaminants and minerals. You can pick up a gallon of distilled water at most grocery or drug stores. Just be sure it is steam distilled water. If in doubt just drop a google search on the brand name and you should be able to find more information on it.
The instructions then read to soak the humidifier in distilled water, removing any remaining water from the unit once the medium inside has expanded to it's fullest. After doing this, and wiping any water from the outside, place the unit inside the humidor. Then you should close the lid and let it sit for, per the instructions, at least 12 hours. They also state that it is important to keep an eye on the humidity level for the first couple of weeks. Some humidors take longer to season and condition thing others so be conscious that you may have to season it again if the wood is really dry. I placed a known digital hygrometer inside when I closed the lid to better indicate when stabilize humidity is achieved. I plan to wait a couple of days before putting this one to use so it will be stable when I'm ready. I also placed some cigar beads inside to assist the unit that came with the box during seasoning. It isn't a necessity to supplement the humidifier with another but should speed the process and guarantee I won't need to repeat the conditioning.
The small hygrometer is the perfect size for this box. It is analog, which most seasoned smokers shun. I will be honest, I have digital and analog hygrometers in use in my own humidors. I recommend buying a digital to check your analogs for accuracy. I haven't seen an analog yet that didn't need to be recalibrated right out of the box. It is important to note that just because an analog passes the salt test, and is calibrated to 75%, it may not be accurate at other RH levels. I check mine against my digitalis in the bag while calibrating, outside the humidor, and inside. This insures that it will read true regardless of RH changes.
The salt test is a simple and cheap way to calibrate your hygrometers. All you need to do is fill a bottle cap with table salt, add a bit of distilled water (moisten but don't saturate the salt. Then place the cap inside a sealed ziplock bag with the hygrometers to be calibrated. After several hours the humidity inside the bag will have stabilized and your hygrometers should read 75% RH. If they read higher or lower you should be able to adjust most units with a small screw found inside the back. I have had a couple where I had to remove the back and actually rotate the internal spring and needle on the face plate to calibrate them. Either way, I recommend always checking against a digital in different RH ranges before depending on an analog unit.
With all the ground work done, my box should be ready to use by morning. Now to play the waiting game. What better time to grab my smoking jacket and head outside for a cigar. Stay tuned for a update on the humidor as well as an update on my transition to cigar beads in most of my humidors. Until next time, keep em toasty!