Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Room 101 The Big Payback

Matt Booth, while seemingly wild and crazy, may be one of the nicest guys you can meet in the industry. His Room 101 brand has made a great name for itself with cigars that were not only unique but very satisfying to the smoker. When I saw that The Big Payback was coming in, I was very much anticipating its arrival. Opening the hefty boxes, your met with a beautiful cigar, with a dark brown wrapper carrying a sweet oily sheen to it. The veins are not at all obtrusive and the cigar feels wonderful in the hand. The bands are striking and I was glad to see it on the foot as I think more need it.

I brought a few home over a long week end to enjoy and one Saturday night I had the opportunity to break one out. Once I clipped the tip of the 60x6 version the cold draw gave me hints of citrus and clay earth with a touch of pecan shell. By the way, if you ever sat cracking pecans for any length of time, you now the aroma I speak of.

I walked out to my back deck and because it was a cloudless night, I could see stars as far as the eye could see. I sat and used my trusty torch and it lit perfectly. The first few draws brought ample pepper spice with hints of chicory, but something else wanting to show. Past about three quarters of an inch and I began to pick up the luscious flavor of roasted black walnuts in the mix. The spice calmed a tad as the chicory and roasted black walnut began to dance in a provocative tango across the palate. These flavors danced through the first third and hints of earth showed on and off making it a tantalizing smoke.

As I sat there looking at the sky, it made you wonder about those distant stars and with time as it is, how many of what we see still exists and what is now gone? As I sat the cigar progressed into the second third which continued to thrill the oral factors. The roasted black walnut very much continued with the addition of a nice hard wood in the background. The spice is ever present adding a superb cover of the flavors being produced.

Leaning back in my chair, watching the smoke drift in the still night air, it amazes me how peaceful the night can be. Drawing deep on this fantastic cigar, it moves into the final third. The power of the cigar begins to ramp up somewhat, with hints of raw hide leather like you find on new saddles showing up, with the roasted walnut, spice and chicory working in a symphonic and harmonious way. The cigar concludes with ample leather and spice with a mild brittle sweetness that tops the mixture perfectly.

The Room 101 Big Payback is a true win for Matt Booth and at the price point cant be beat. If you haven’t tried it yet, look for them soon!


Wednesday, July 9, 2014

It's Time

its time that we as a country stand for what we believe in.
Its time that we as a country unite together as one.
Its time that we as a country tell the politicians enough is enough.
Its time that we as a country tell Washington less government not more.
Its time that we as a country we cant afford to pay the bills of the world.
Its time that we as a country say we cant afford to pay more.
Its time that we as a country say we support our men and women in service.
Its time that we as a country take care of our people here first.
Its time that we as a country say get a job not just a check.
Its time that we in this country state with a loud voice its our constitution
Its time that we in this country say when deplomacy fails take care of the problem!
Its time that we as a country say dont appologise to the world that we are a leading nation.
Its time that we as a country say stop trying to take God out of everything
Its time that we as a country remember the founding fathers wrote "One Nation Under God"
Its time that we as a country state to the world we will not back down
Its time that we as a country stop fighting amongst ourselves
Its time that we as a country forget that we are made of different races of people and remember we 
are all AMERICANS.
Its time that we as a country proclaim to those in leadership to leave our freedom alone
And finaly its time that we as a country Monday all as one say thank you to all the service people of our great land for all they do for us.
This great country, the freedom we so enjoy, has been bought and paid for with the lives of soldiers from the start. 
We should never disgrace their great legacy by letting our country become less than what they fought for. We are a great people, we are proud, we are strong. Stand, and be Americans.

Las Calaveras dreaming

Sometimes I’m at a lose for words, rare I know, but it does happen. And such is the case on the cigar I am writing of today, Las Calaveras. After 30 years of smoking cigars I sometimes feel jaded, not looking for a new big win nor finding many surprises in new cigars, and that is my fault due to oversight and low expectations at times. But when I tried Las Calaveras, I felt a little ashamed of myself and found my cigar palate enamored by its flavor. I picked up several from my shop for a long weekend as I would finally have some me time and time to just relax. As of late free time has been non existent so this felt like a luxury. I had two full days off so the next morning after I awoke, I fixed breakfast for my wife and I as it was a Saturday morning. After home made omelets, we poured coffee and walked out to the deck to enjoy the morning. She selected one of her favorites and I picked up on of the Las Calaveras cigars I had brought home. This is a nice and dark cigar, some veins but nothing obtrusive, just the great look of the leaf. The feel of the cigar in the hand is good, subtle yet you can notice the sheen from the slight oils. As she has already started enjoying her cigar, I used my Xikar and make fast work, torching up the foot. Once lit, the first thing noticed was a burst of flavor that reminds me closely of black strap molasses and spice. This continued for about one fourth of an inch, then the cigar shifted. 

The first part of the cigar brought a velveteen smoothness with a hearty hard wood and black strap combo that delighted the palate. Soon into the first part of the cigar, you could detect a slight citrus flavor far in the background but yet noticeable with the flavors being given. This is not an average cigar, this cigar delivers to the palate a cavalcade of flavor that erupts in a non stop flood of torrential complexity that keeps your attention yet soothes the mind.

As I move into the second part of the cigar, I am perplexed yet enticed as hints of toasted French bread begin to unfold in the myriad of flavors being produced. There is also a slight saltiness that I assume comes from the toasted bread that appears, making the taste buds salivate in glorious expectation of the next draw from the cigar as hints of cayenne appear. This has become a hearty cigar, with flavors that satisfy the palate and leave no dull wonderment as to what is being derived in the smoke.

Moving into the final part of the cigar, the French toast and black strap, mixed with a dose of tangy spice, make for a velvety yet smooth smoke that coats the oral factors with a rich essence of tobacco that has been carefully cared for and blended. As the cigar begins to draw to a close, a noticeable spike in the intensity of the flavors is amply noticeable with a rush of exuberant spice, slight saltiness and the essence of the hard wood and molasses combining in a theatrical performance that dances upon the palate.     

I hated for this cigar to end so I was more than pleased I had brought extra home. The Las Calaveras from Crowned Heads is a crowning achievement in blending and construction, and if I may be so bold and use a baseball term, has hit it completely out of the park. 

If you have yet to try this cigar, search for it diligently at your local B&M. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed in the slightest.


Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Things I Must Remember

1 . Never feel you have to try every dish someone brings to a party unless the last person brings antacid.
 2. Always remember that the host(yourself) should never fall asleep before the party ends when you have friends who are mentally   
     deranged and have warped humor.
 3. When the party is getting late ALWAYS remember to have film in the camera when dates and wives have a dance off.
 4. Never try to start a charcoal grill hours after indulging in adult drinks when the grass in the yard is dry.
 5. Remember to have garden hose near grill for stupid host who starts grill.
 6. Explain to wife that blonde sitting in your lap is only for a photo..
 7. Remember to have someone with a camera present when that excuse is tried.
 8. Remember to always have new jewelry to give to wife after lame excuses.
 9. Always have events outside when large quantities of drinks, boiled shrimp, fried fish, cigars and other things are consumed.
10. Remember to leave windows open and fans on next day.
11. After several hours of party never decide its a good idea to do hot sauce shooters.
12. Remember that when vision is blurry and mental capacity is numb that bloody mary mix and hot sauce look alike.
13. When something on grill has flamed up, always make sure its water your putting on it and not a drink that looks like water.(remember
       garden hose again)
14. Lastly, as you wait for eyebrows to grow back(grill mishap) wife to speak to you again, friends to leave after coming back to find things they lost, ordering new grill, looking to see if you have any cigars left, feeling like your head is in another zip code and realizing you have a grand mess to clean up by yourself because every one else has gone home, be glad and happy for the good times of life and the memories they bring.

Peace and Smoke