MoeGreene

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About MoeGreene

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  1. Hola from Barcelona!

    Fantastico pics, Greg! After my recent trip to Crete, I thought I'd had enough of European travel for a good while; now I'm completely itching to go again. Bastardo!
  2. FOHbia - Humidors.

    Links: Humidor Tutorial "Freezador" with cooling and heating Storing full boxes Images: L to R: humidor; hygrometer.
  3. Links: Rob's Top 25 for 2015 Rob's Top 30 for 2014 Habanos Vintage Chart
  4. FOHbia - General Cuban Cigar Concerns

    Links: A Brief History of Discontinued Cuban Cigar Brands, Vitolas, and Finishes Long-term Aging in Ziplock Bags Grainy ash
  5. FOHbia - Mould Vs Plume.

    Links: Post a Picture of any cigars you have with Plume The Greatest Plume-Bloom-Mold Thread in the Entire Universe! Images: L to R: mould; plume.
  6. Experience with Molecular Sieves So Far (Humidity) Super Dry Cohiba Siglo VI Images: L to R: humidor; hygrometer.
  7. FOHbia - Beetles And Wood Mites.

    Links: Beetles, freezing & proper storage Wood Mites: Annoying little buggers Images: L to R: cigar with beetle hole; cigar beetle; wood mite.
  8. FOHbia - Fakes And Avoiding Fakes

    Links: Suspect Cigar Forum Habanos Verification Website Reliability (your experience) Images: L to R: fake Cohiba; Habanos verification; box code.
  9. FOHbia - Cuban Cigar Info.

    Links: Search For A Cigar Search For A Brand Search For A Release Search By Packaging Search By Date Advanced Search School Yourself On Cigar Production School Yourself On Cigar Specifications And Characteristics School Yourself On Cigar Packaging School Yourself On Cigar Brands
  10. FOHcus ~ Musings From Shanghai: Tour Report.

    FOHcus brings you Rob's transcript of his recent Shanghai trip. A great little yarn and visual account of what was obviously a thoroughly memorable experience. We hope you enjoy reading it! Musings From Shanghai: Tour Report. By Rob Ayala. It was at a little delicatessen in Maiori on the Amalfi Coast when the idea came to Rob Fox and me. We were together at Maiori for the June 2015 AmiCigar hosted by Gino and his remarkable crew of friends. What a fantastic week! Now it is one of my few strengths to be able to sniff out a little bar or club off the beaten trap. In this case it was a delicatessen run by Federico and his good wife and they were marvelous. Each day we would sit on the barrels outside, smoking fine cigars, eating fabulous local cheese, meats, vine ripened tomato’s, figs and all while drinking copious amounts of Amaronne. Rob and Stuart Fox are brilliant company. I like having mates who make me look sane. I suspect they think the same. It was over a bottle of Amaronne that we conceived the idea of a joint dinner in China for 2016. There wasn’t a lot of detail discussed. I had a friend in George Chen who owns Shanghai’s best steak restaurant in Roosevelts with an impressive Divan. George loves cigars and so I touched base, he was thrilled, a date was set and the Fox/Ayala expedition had no turning back. Cigar dinners and follow up functions are not easy to plan. Huge kudos to George and his team (Yvonne, Joyce and staff) for making it seamless. Rob and I arranged the cigars in Bolivar Belgravia 2015 GB RE, Romeo y Julieta Prince of Wales 1982, Ramon Allones Celestiales Finos 2009 AP RE. Did I say George had a steak restaurant… throw that out the window. Here was the menu. The dinner was on Saturday night. I flew into Shanghai on the prior Wednesday evening. Rob Fox and Justin Seldis (Founder of Cigar Traveller Lighters) flew in on Thursday Morning. It had been a year since I have seen them in London. Hugs a plenty ensued and once they were set we were all off down town for a cigar at the Metropole followed by lunch at a local Chinese restaurant where we introduced Foxy to the joys of braised goose feet with white beans. He declined. However by the end of the week he was eating everything and anything. How could you decline this! The three of us had agreed prior to arriving in Shanghai to bring 30 cigars each for the 5 days but nothing too special. I was the only one who complied albeit I thought I had some crackers in perfect 2001 SLR Lonsdale’s, Vintage Monte 2 etc. Justin decided that closer to 100 cigars would be appropriate including Cuban Davidoff, Russian Regionals, Vintage Ramon Allones, Vintage Lusitania, Vintage Connie 1’s etal. I love Justin. Foxy was much the same. Paid no heed to what was agreed upon and just had some absolutely cracker cigars. In my defence I did bring three boxes of Bushido for the follow up Tuesday event which left plenty left over. On the Thursday night we caught up with George Chen. To say that everyone hit it off is an understatement. Lifetime friends were made well before the end of the week. George has a capacity to give of himself unreservedly that is rarely seen. Foxy and Justin are the same. For the two days leading up to the gala dinner on the Saturday I would like to tell you that we worked hard in preparation. We didn’t. By day we drank great wine and ate some of the best Chinese food available from 5-star to corner stalls. We talked, laughed, drank some more and smoked brilliant cigars. By night we partied in Shanghai until 4am. The dinner was proving to be a potential respite and before long it arrived. Justin, Foxy and myself. What a spectacular event! Kicking off at 7pm, the room was already full which is surprising as the Shanghai crowd are notoriously late in arriving. With 70 people we had to split the groups into 4 rooms but it worked well under Georges supervision and planning. After a brief introduction, Rob and I delivered our opening speeches and before long we were winging it. Personally, I thought we were hilarious What a great night. Everything from the food to the cigars to the wine and service was exquisite. I have done enough cigar events to know when something is on song. Havanathon has taught me that the strength of any event comes down to the people attending. Everyone on that Saturday night in Shanghai had an absolute ball and the vibe manifested itself throughout the room. The best cigar of the night was Rob’s Romeo y Julieta Prince of Wales 1982. After a subdued start in the first inch it came alive and burst with power and flavour, spices overflowing and yet it had balance in spades. The cigar has another decade in it at least. Rob and I went and spent time with all the guests. We were both humbled by their welcome, hospitality and genuine interest in the diversity of our own businesses. In the end, regardless of nationality or experience, we are bound together by a love of cigars. Cigar people are in the main good people no matter where you go. 2016 marks my 20th year in the Cigar business. Rob Foxes goes back a couple of hundred years. Now while JJfox and associated entities has rubbed shoulders with monarchy, aristocrats and politicians since 1787. My cigar business was borne at the dawn of the Internet and rubbed shoulders with pornography on one side and erectile dysfunction pharmaceuticals on the other. Yet, Foxy and I are peas in a pod, just different sides of the same cigar coin. George and myself doing the rounds. The dinner ended with a Question and Answer session that would have made Habanos s.a reel. Imagine, real answers to real questions. Not one HSA cliché. Our industry is made up of the good the bad and the ugly. You might as well call it. The dinner ended up well past midnight and both Rob and I were invited out by Clarence and some of his crew who flew in for the event for an early morning “Hot Pot” supper where Rob was introduced to a “scare the white man” feast inclusive of cows throat, pig intestines, goat intestines and duck kidney. Rob had never been able to handle real “spice” before that night. Post that dinner… I never saw him sweat once regardless of how hot the dish was or how “foreign” the contents! Naturally all good suppers in Shanghai are followed by great karaoke. Clarence took us and his fantastic group out to a HTV which was pure fun in a private room big enough to be a house and complete with pool table/bar etal. Now, I am blessed with the knowledge that I cannot sing. Foxy missed that blessing. Thankfully the rest of Clarence’s crew are bloody excellent! Thank you for a great night! Where are we… Sunday?...We went birko. Monday…we had a follow up one on one gathering with guests from Saturday night and smoked Bushidos. We then went birko. Tuesday…we went birko extreme …went to dinner with George and ate some sensational food!...then went birko again. Wednesday…wrap up, long lunch, long flight home. All in all, one of those trips that you remember for a lifetime. Old friends that you embrace, new friends that you look forward to sharing time with again. Just once in a while you are entitled to drink from the trough of excess. We guzzled. To George, Rob Fox, Justin Seldis: I am a wealthy man while I have friends such as yourselves walking beside me. Next stop, Havana, November. Look forward to seeing many of you there!
  11. FOHcus ~ Sharing The Spotlight

    Here at FOHcus, as well as occasionally blowing our own trumpet, we don’t mind blowing others' either… Wait, that didn’t come out right. Look, let’s just say that FOHcus has been created as a place where others can voice their opinions, too, not just us. Quality blogs and articles are what FOHcus is looking to promote, so that we can all immerse ourselves a little further in the Cuban cigar culture and its surrounds. Something interesting, something funny, something well-written, something to sound a little high note for the day, or any combination of those things. If we can find it out there, then we’ll bring it to you here— in FOHcus So, here are just some examples of the quality blogs and magazine or review sites we know about: Blogs Nino’s Flying Cigar The 'Dirty' Ashes Steve Griff Keith's “Lights Sirens and Cigars” Aizzudin’s UK Cigar Scene magazine Top shelf cigar publication, one of the best in the world. Cigar Audit Great review site. The serious and not-so-serious. A little video from the Cigar Audit lads:
  12. The Cuban Allure. A Newbie Viewpoint. By Steve McCarthy. Chartered to do some marketing work for El Presidente (Rob, for those who don’t know) a year or so ago, my first port of call was to research FOH—what they did, who they were, etc. As never having been a cigar smoker (or smoker of any kind) I began by trying to understand the allure of the act itself. You see, I’ve never really trusted the whole connoisseur scene—in any realm: wine, food, art, and so on. I enjoy all those things, of course, but I never have the motivation to go beyond the poetry of the thing. The rhyme of experience. That’s always enough for me. I rarely go deeper; unless it’s literature; then, I can usually waffle on with the best of them. Otherwise, I’m more your connoisseur of the sausage and egg mcmuffin. I could write a review on all the variations of that tasty little bugger till I became demented by my own prolixity and was locked up for the preservation of the greater good. But for the so-called serious stuff, there always seemed to me to be a significant amount of pretence involved. A certain bullshit detector was always set off inside me. Watching FOH.tv reviews turned all that on its head. Yes, folks. Believe it or not. It actually shouldn’t be too hard to convince anyone who has taken on an FOH video review about its allure or validity as a cigar resource. Firstly, the setting: the back deck at Ken’s place (no offence, Ken) pretty much allays any idea that someone is trying to win you over via appearance. And the superficiality so often associated with pretence is noticeably devoid as you start essaying the rapport between two guys who simply portray an undeniable honesty toward getting to the heart of the cigar in hand—to unravel the angels and demons of its nature. No punches pulled! In sum, the video reviews put the hook in me. Big time. I watched a whole bunch of them in a row. Instantly addicted. Ken and Rob’s banter alone was sufficient to provide enough intrigue. And, of course, it’s worth noting that the right combination of personalities can be very persuasive on screen, but what really gets you hooked is the cigar lingo and the realisation of the complexities involved in the cigar itself—flavours, construction, draw, ring gauge, wrapper sheen, and so on... Cigar smoking immediately appeals as a life experience one shouldn’t miss out on—like good red wine or genuine craft beer or whiling away the hours in a fine old pub in Ireland in front of a pint of Guinness (or twelve). So I decided I was all in! I would take this experience on. It seemed every fibre of my being was willing it so. It’s a mistake to resist such things. (Usually. Watch out for heroin, sheep shagging, and women when applying that rule. Or any combination of the three.) Thus, after a brief consultation with Rob to garner his advice as to a good place to start, the Partagas Maduro #1 was chosen as the initial ticket for me. This cigar was recently video reviewed and scored somewhere around the high 80’s from Ken and Rob, so it seemed a decent place to kick off for a complete newbie such as me. When I told Rob I liked a good beer, he suggested a nice stout would go well with it, something to complement the chocolate notes. My mind immediately went to Young’s Double Chocolate Stout as the perfect partner in crime. So I rustled up two of those, also rustled up a mate who smoked (and who was also interested in giving the Cubans a go), and we sat back on a quiet deck at his place in Ashgrove and settled in for a slow burn of an afternoon—literally! What followed was utterly grand: good conversation, a good laugh, and—after the initial woozy, all-at-sea feelings from the first-up tobacco hits had subsided—the cigar experience quickly became something of a unique pleasure, something I felt I wanted to enjoy again and again. As the Partagas Maduro #1 burned down to its stub, the anxiety and disappointment of knowing the experience was coming to an end was the best pointer as to how much I truly was enjoying it. The smoky tastes on the tongue, the kinaesthetic appeal of the smoking process itself, the visual splendour of the accumulating ash, and my own burgeoning review notes forming in my head. Yes: an instant expert; a real wanker. Had I become what I formerly loathed? Let’s see: My review— Chocolate. Yep. I taste that. And… Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate… And probably a bit more chocolate. And a definite smoky taste… Yeah. Well, whatever the case, the point is the allure of the experience was considerable, and the experience itself was considerably worth it! For those on the precipice, I say, dive in! Consider me hooked! (Photo attached is the 2nd round ticket, not the Partagas; solo effort while writing and sinking a bottle of red. Happy days.)

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