Saturday, December 20, 2008

Tobacco Rating Sheet

Name: Kingfisher by Butera Date: 12/9/08
Tin Description: Virginia, Burley, & Perique

Before the smoke 15 total points possible: 14/15
Package Presentation/Performance 1-5 pts.: 5 points. Great tin art, tobacco nicely

Tobacco Appearance 1-5 pts.: 5 points. I love the “Krumble Kake” cut

Tin Aroma 1-5 pts.: 4 Points. Figs, Sweet Virginias.

Tobacco Performance 35 total points possible: 31/35
Packs 1-5 pts.: 4 points
Lights 1-10 pts.: 10 points
Burns 1-10 pts.: 10 points
Taste 1-10 pts.: 7 points
Total Score: 45/50
The tin description is simply: Virginia, Burley, & Perique.
The cut is characterized as a Double Cut Krumble Kake, and I can really get behind this cut. Nice thick slices sitting on edge packed tightly in the tin. The slices crumble when removed and are ready to pack in your favorite bowl.
Kingfisher’s presentation is first rate across the board, the tin art, krumble kake cut, tin aroma, and the visual complexion work great together to create a splendid beginning to your smoking experience.
Kingfisher is one of the tobaccos that I select when I want something that will satisfy body wise, but not a nicotine bomb that will keep you up at night if you smoke it too close to bedtime.
When you crack open the tin you will find a most pleasant aroma of, Figs melding with the sweet scent of quality Virginias. I then just crumble a couple of flakes on one end of the tin and sprinkle in the bowl of a favorite briar until the bowl is full, lightly tamp down and repeat once or twice more, being careful not to pack too tightly. This tobacco loves the match, requiring only one charring light, a light tamp, another light and I’m pretty much set for a quite enjoyable commute to work with no relights needed.
I don’t find Kingfisher to be an overly complex smoking experience. The bowl starts off nutty sweet with the Perique pepper there but staying in the background like the shy kid at a junior high mixer. The Perique flavor does build some and becomes noticed more by the end of the bowl, but never comes to the front. The earthy sweet, nutty flavors you start with pretty much remain consistent throughout the smoke, the only change I notice is the slight building of the Perique.
Recommended pairings: A generous pour of Famous Grouse Scotch and Chieli Minucci’s Got it Goin’ on CD, if I’m staying in. Since I’m getting ready to drive to work it will be a bottle of water and XM radio’s Watercolors 71 smooth jazz station. Kingfisher holds up well in either situation.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Is the economic situation in America affecting your cigar smoking?

Is the economic situation in America affecting your cigar smoking?

With the high cost of fuel and just about everything else I haven’t been able to visit my favorite Cigar sanctuary nearly as much as I like. I used to go at least once a week, now I’m lucky to get there once a month, and I’m suffering from some major withdrawal. It’s not the nicotine or even the cigars themselves. I’m like most hardcore cigar aficionados in the fact that I have more cigars in humidors at home than I can smoke in a year.

It is the cigar shop experience that I’m missing. I miss opening the door to the shop and smelling the heavenly aroma from several finely aged premium hand made cigars being smoked in the lounge near the back of the shop. I miss the first sight of the array of polished humidors for sell, and the walls lined with box after box of cigars in the built in sliding glass door humidors that lead to the service counter. As I make my way through the maze of Humidors toward the counter I arrive at a cigar lovers oasis, the walk-in humidor. I love opening that door and being enveloped with the smell of Spanish cedar and aged tobacco. Is anything better than that? I miss taking over half an hour picking out the perfect cigar or cigars for the day. There are so many things to consider in making this all important selection. First of all it is college football season so a Churchill is required unless I think I may want a change at halftime then maybe a couple of Robustos will be better. Next, even though I suffer more and more from CRS (Can’t remember Sh!t) these days I do recall that I had a good breakfast so I can go for a full bodied smoke if I want. Ok anything is fair game then. Hmm what about wrapper choice, maduro, corojo, Cameroon, sun grown, shade grown, Is it any wonder it takes so long to pick out the cigar of choice?
My selection made I grab a bottle of water and settle into one of the leather arm chairs in the lounge being sure to choose a spot with a premium view of the big screen TV. I love the ritual that comes next, a quick clip of the cap, a slow toasting of the foot and a few gentle puffs and I am in heaven. One of the other patrons has generously opened a bottle of wine to share, aahh how sweet it is, College football on three screens, and Giada from the food network on the fourth, a few friends sitting around each enjoying their version of the perfect cigar. It just doesn’t get much better than this. Outsiders may not understand how this group can be so comfortable with each other. To the untrained eye they have little if anything in common. Why would a Dentist, a contractor, a factory worker, a computer specialist, a college student, and a retiree all enjoy spending so much time together? It’s called the Brotherhood of the Leaf. The cigar or pipe can bring people together from all walks of life and they can genuinely enjoy each others company. No wonder the Native Americans smoked the peace pipe. Maybe we should make it mandatory in Congress. Maybe then they could get something done. Ok I won’t even start down that road. That is a subject to address on the next trip to the Cigar store.

Please don’t forget to stop in to your local cigar shops and support their endeavors. It is the perfect place to try new cigars or reunite with an old favorite. You will most certainly find someone interesting to chat with. I asked my Mother who is a non smoker why she always chose to set in the smoking section of air planes back when there was such a thing and she informed me that the men were more interesting in the smoking section. It is up to us all to try and keep these Brick-and-Mortar shops around. How sad it would be to let another piece of history just fade away.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Por Larranaga Cuban Grade

Por Larranaga Cuban Grade
6.00 X 50 Toro
This cigar is from Honduras, sporting a medium brown Ecuadorian grown Connecticut shade wrapper, Mexican binder and fillers from the Dominican Republic and Honduras.

The PLCC is an absolute pleasure to smoke, as it is medium in body with plenty of complex flavors to keep you interested past the band without punching you in the stomach. You normally won’t find this level of complexity unless it is in a much more full bodied cigar.

The construction is spot on with a perfect draw, volumes of smoke, and a razor sharp burn. This is a cigar I will definitely buy again and again.