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About J-ROB

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  • Birthday 09/19/1959

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  • Location
    Washington, DC
  • Interests
    Audio, Jazz and R&B, Ham Radio, Son Montuno, Archaeology and Anthropology

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  1. Whoa! Can't unsee that mental image butI suppose metaphors are unavoidable. Anyway, I have found that if the tool meets with resistance, best to stick it in a half inch, withdraw some tobacco, repeat a little deeper, and so on and gradually one will make progress. I wrote the designer, Rod, to make some comments and he stressed that the teeth are posed to extract tobacco more so than being an effective "drill." I found I was bending the tip by trying to push it in past tight spots. then, if the tip bends slightly, the point rushes to the side and pokes a hole through the wrapper. Lightened up on my "stroke" and much more satisfaction is at hand, so to speak. As a small RG smoker, it was a great game changer for me. I end up using mine almost daily. The biggest problem I have is that holding the cigar tightly enough to push in/pull out the tool often causes the wrapper to crack. Not really sure how to solve that one yet. Any suggestions?
  2. J-ROB

    None Cubans

    Been hard to find decent NC petit corona class cigars after going 95% Habano and learning the joys of a shorter, thinner RG cigar.. The L'Atelier Travailleurs are one of the better ones Ive found. Flavor spectrum is NC-like--cedar, cream, touch of citrus--but the overall character is smooth and mild, a bit restrained. Flavors don't quite pop like a good Cuban should. Still, enjoyable and worth trying a five pack. For a spicier NC petit, the Tatuaje no.5 Havana VI Verocu are a good selection.
  3. I dissected the corpse and didn't see anything amiss but that cigar was waaayyy off. Some times you win sometimes you lose... especially with Monte Twos.
  4. Although Montecristo MMC and #5 are a constant source of enjoyment for me, and I also quite like the #4, I have had a very low success rate with Monte #2. Out of a 10 box last year, maybe 3 or 4 were impressive and the rest were just OK at best. I later bought a three pack and the trio were scrawny, green spotted, greyish claro rejects. Again, just OK for flavor. My luck changed with a three pack I got as a premium from a duty free seller in December. I smoked the second of this unknown code pack last weekend and it was one of the best cigars in recent memory. Started out with strong fresh sugar cane, sweet caramel and cocoa, transitioned to an anisette caramel flavor, and ended up with an expresso cedar caramel with sprinkles of black pepper. Wow! That was a delicious and exciting smoke! Unexpected and not-particularly Monte-like in character but wow, it was great. i decided to review the last of the three pack for MRW, hoping for a replay of the last smoke. This was a good looking #2. Nice colorado wrapper, firm to the squeeze. i was excited for a good smoke on a beautiful day on my front porch in downtown DC. Cold draw was...wait no draw! i went at it with my Perfect Draw and finally cleared an air channel. Puffed again and got a mouthful of powder but there was a sweet taste that reminded me of the cane of the last one, so I remained optimistic. The roll was rock hard but that is not always a perfect indicator of how well a cigar will smoke when lit and warmed up. Lit it up and was greeted with the taste of wood, specifically it tasted like chewing on a pencil--not a great intro. Then I picked up on sort of a green tea flavor, which made a certain sense as accompaniment to the woody flavor. I was not feeling that pencil flavor, could almost taste the yellow paint chips... Burn started to wander after about one inch. A burnt bitter undertone started to enter the picture. YAHH...not what I wanted for the review. Eventually the cigar became hard to keep lit and began tunneling. A rock hard chunk of charred ligero stuck out of the center like a black devil tongue. At this point, this dog would not stay lit, so I chopped off about an inch with my cutter, hoping to get past the nasty part and continue my first review smoke. I also lopped off some of the tip to get a more open draw than my original V cut was providing. I carefully toasted to foot and relit...DANG! SUPER NASTY, bitter. burnt. Yuk. One of the worst taste sensations ever from a cigar. Whoa! Time to call it a day on this specimen. Maybe smoke a Cohiba Short to cheer up. Grade FAIL --> construction and flavor Montecristo #2 is not my lucky cigar. If I win, hopefully i'll get a box of Monte #3!🤪
  5. J-ROB


    Certain meats from certain countries in certain types of packages are permitted, but good luck finding out which are OK. I'd trust German products on purity and safety above American supermarket junk, personally. Now I just say "Cheese and a bottle of rum for my wife from duty free." Cheese is always OK and I usually buy some in European countries for my Cheese eatin' Dutch wife. Best not to hint at anything complex and involved. If I'm toting a pack of smoked wild boar, it might not immediately leap to mind at the entry desk.. Anyway, I buy most of my cigars online and let the government agency USPS bring them to my door tax free with free shipping! But going to Cuba would be a different proposition entirely.
  6. J-ROB


    Yeah, I must look like the Hamburglar! Smuggling that underground German pork in unapproved packaging. I don't think it matters what you look like if there is a naughty mark on your online entry record. Fortunately, the weirdness stopped after a year. Never got stopped before that or after.
  7. J-ROB


    I got hassled for years because one time coming from Germany to the US, I told the officer I had some canned supermarket food and he sent me to "agricultural inspection." They discovered a mylar bag of sauerkraut with ham. AHA! THIS IS NOT HERMETICALLY SEALED! I said, "Sure it is. It was on a shelf in the supermarket that way." Totally sealed. I pointed out that it was non-permeable mylar not plastic, and the agent got rather huffy with me. I also had cans of meat products, which were no problem. I asked where I can get better information on what was allowed, so I could avoid future problems. He told me, "We have access to information that you cant get." ??? !!! Anyway, I got sent to agricultural inspection four more times in the next two years, coming from Denmark, Korea, who knows where. "I see you have had problems with food." One time, my bags got microsearched and they went through my wallet in great detail, looking for mini-ham slices or something. 😛 They were aggressive and not friendly about it. Another time I got sent to a small room with five Afghanis in regional garb whose luggage was huge cardboard boxes tied with rope.I was wearing a Brooks Brothers sport coat and polished brown wing tip shoes, looking as typical clean cut Joe Business Traveler as could be. They held me for 15 minutes, under observation I assume, then let me go without doing anything. Eventually, it stopped. I get the sense that there is a mandate to do a certain percentage of detailed inspections and if they have the slightest excuse to pick you instead of the next traveler, especially based on historical info from the computer system, you get selected. If an agent writes you up as confrontational, which may have happened to me, you might get on some preferred hassle list. It seems random at times but I'm more worried that it can become non-random, for basically no good reason. If I got cigars seized, I'd keep it to 100 next few trips just in case.
  8. Not being a native English speaker is no problem here. I don't think in a gadda da vida means anything in any language! And in this particular case, it never seemed to matter.
  9. J-ROB

    From out of Nowhere....

    I'll admit it...All this FoH marshmallow talk lured me in and I ordered a first box of Fonseca No.1 last week! Hopefully they will live up to the vivid delicious mental image implanted in my brain, without which I surely would not have made the leap. What a den of enablers! Anyway, I appreciate it. Keep up the good work! But I must ask who actually eats marshmallows? I haven't had one in the past 15-20 years. Work cigars into the equation and I jump into line...madness.
  10. J-ROB

    I may be a cynic ......

    Reading smoker's reactions, I wonder if they wouldn't be more popular if they added a touch of ayahuasca in the liga.
  11. J-ROB

    I may be a cynic ......

    Rowed via canoe to the mainland? Is the Amazon Rainforest on an island now?
  12. J-ROB

    Things you never knew....

    I have no use for those ashtrays since finding this handy smoke permit in an old book.
  13. J-ROB

    Rafael Gonzalez Perlas

    I see my post is still heading this forum while I happen to be smoking another PMS ABR 15 RGP. This one started out strong unsweetened black coffee and bitter walnut skin, then progressed through wet earth and candle wax sense with a hint of white pepper, and ending up cedar, pepper and a bit of greasy nutty flavor.. Brazil nut or macadamia nut, a fruit of Oz if I am not mistaken. The cigar is devoid of sweetness but the Dogfish Head 90 Minute Imperial IPA (syrupy 10% alc. brew) on the table brings that to the party. A good combo. Another interesting RG Perla experience! Too short perhaps. Guess I'll follow that one up with a Cohiba Short since I have half of the IPA left to enjoy and that cigar went by all too quickly.
  14. J-ROB

    Rafael Gonzalez Perlas

    i like to try this cigar fresh since I tend to like spunky freshies, but I bought three boxes of RGP in the last year and they were each from early 2015...and that was from at least two different vendors, possibly three. Did they fill warehouses of RGP in 2015 or what? I forget the code of the first of those boxes, but I found the BMA JUN 15 that I smoked last winter to be a very different experience from the PMS ABR 15 I'm smoking through now. The earlier box was in a familiar morning coffee cigar taste space: earth, cinnamony cedar, citrus twang, occasional bursts of sour cream, some sprinkles of black pepper. The new box is much "darker" and echoing earthson, I guess you could call it a "dry" smoke. I just smoked one for this post. earth, raw mushroom, somewhat bitter tannic wood transitioning into wood and mouth tingling red pepper at the end. Middle of the cigar had hints of mineral water and a greasy beef fat undercurrent, which I found a bit unusual.. More a late night smoky scotch accomplice than a greet the day morning coffee smoke. Although to date i have smoked a fair number of these RG perlas, I have no idea how to summarize them. My experiences are very varied and hit opposite ends of the spectrum. I liked the earlier boxes a bit more but I keep hitting this earthy box because they are really different and unorthodox. I can understand how the latter could be off-putting. I'm still not sure if I like them or not, but they are intriguing.
  15. Must have been a NC smoker, otherwise he would have called Customs Enforcement.

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