The Squiggler

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Everything posted by The Squiggler

  1. Starting Empire of Gold now... I must commend Chataborski for such punctual publication... Now, if only Scott Lynch would finish off the next Gentleman Bastard book I might be able to close out 2020 feeling surprisingly contented (so far as fantasy fiction goes, anyway)
  2. I suppose you could also light a cigar with a traditional Roman oil lamp if you wanted to ? might be a little sooty though
  3. Oddly I found three of these lurking in deep in my loosies box. I can't remember who sent them to me but it must have been at least 2.5 years ago.
  4. but they have the 'garantia de calidad' sticker... The quality is guaranteed
  5. The specific atmospheric conditions in your area can obviously affect your smoking experience. I think it's something you have to experiment with until you hit the sweet spot. I will say this though--a lot of people seem to find that keeping their cigars (especially Cubans) at lower RH produces more even burn and better draw. This seems like it would be especially helpful if the humidity in your area is especially high. If you are having burn issues, maybe try dialing the RH down to the lower 60s.
  6. I'm not sure what 'CRW' stands for, because I couldn't find the original post, but I hope this fits the bill (after all, it is a 'Classic, charmingly-crafted Cohiba cigar'... and that's 'CCCCCRW' ) I know it's been a while, but this seems like as good a time as any... I've missed you guys/gals. Cheers all! Admittedly, I thought I had pulled a Siglo iii out of my singles bin until I started to punch it and noticed the pigtail. Turns out it's a 'Corona Especiales'--Laguito #2. Lucky me Cold draw presents a touch of honey, hay, and lemongrass... has the feel of a delicate and refined smoke right from the get-go. First light offers notes of toasted tobacco and honey biscuit. There is a bit of mild cedar woodiness here and there, but it's not too strong. The mouth feel periodically reminisces of iced matcha and whole milk with lingering hints of tea on the finish. The burn is a bit uneven at this point, but it touches up pretty easily and the draw is just about perfect. Flavors remain somewhat consistent into the second third--light wood, tea, shortbread, hay, and a touch of honey--all folded into a predominating profile of light toasted tobacco. There are slight bulges and cracks in the wrapper, but the binder seems to be holding... not a razor-sharp burn, but close enough. Body is medium, strength is mild. A bit of graham cracker creeps in around the midway point accompanied by a salty and zesty finish, leaving hints of light leather as it lingers--quite pleasant. I'm impressed with the construction of this thin cigar. Tons of cool smoke. The ash was hanging on quite nicely until a low-flying bird crashed through and sent it flying. The flavor profile doesn't change much entering the final third, but there is a building zestiness in the finish. The nub starts to swell and crack in the last inch or two ... should have probably dry-boxed for a day or two... Oh well. Still... this one shaped up to be a fine smoke!... I'd give it a solid 91/100 Cheers (again)! -Squigg
  7. errrrm... 'Champagne for my real friends, real pain for my sham friends'? (-Francis Bacon, Tom Waits, 'Fall Out Boy', etc.)
  8. It could simply be a that/which situation (ie. not 'RyJ Piramides that are aged' but 'RyJ Piramides, which are aged'), but this would only make sense if they unearthed some dusty, unbanded torpedoes and decided to name them 'RyJ Piramides'. This, of course, creates more questions than it answers, especially since the program includes multiple examples of brand-new vitolas assigned to cigars that are supposedly 'aged'.
  9. !!! Hooray! A very pleasant surprise to cap off a long, arduous day. Thanks to @MoeFOH and @Elpresidente for keeping weekend these comps rolling. Cheers all!
  10. thanks guys, but it was actually a 91.632791546002... I just rounded down to 99.5 for the sake of convenience ?
  11. The Godfather Cigar Review Weekend!! Feat: Le Hoyo Des Dieux (BUM ENE '14) For this weekend's review I decided to reach for the godfather of vitolas--a sleek and elegant lonsdale. The Le Hoyo Des Dieux by Hoyo de Monterrey, technically a 'long corona' or 'corona grande', never seems to disappoint, gaining rank among my favorite cigars of all time. Suffice it to say (if smoking in bed weren't such a flagrant fire hazard) I would certainly be 'taking this one to the mattresses' ? Straight out of the SLB, this cigar is a sight to behold--oily, toothy, and beautifully constructed. Cold draw is perfect with a small punch cut, offering aromas of mild tobacco, honey, and barnyard. This one comes out of the gate strong with a warm nuttiness, light baking spice, and vanilla extract. There is a bit of white pepper on the retrohale and an interesting tanginess on the tongue reminiscing of sassafras. Throughout the first third the burn remains mostly even, if a little crooked. Nonetheless, no touch ups are required and the draw remains close to perfect. The flavors are mild up to this point but variable and quite interesting: Graham cracker and a touch of cayenne, followed by whole milk and coconut cookies. Strength is med-, body is med+. Toward the beginning of the second third the burn becomes a bit wonky, but the ash just won't drop, so I decide to brush it off for a quick touch-up. The flavors continue to dance around, hinting of various semi-sweet baked goods and mild spices. A bit of tunneling occurs around the halfway point but quickly corrects itself. The flavors seem to become a bit more savory at this point, reminiscing of buttered rye toast and fresh herbs, leaving a bit of salt on the lips. These zesty, toasted flavors predominate throughout the second third, making for another welcome transition in an already pleasantly variable experience. Into the final third flavors of town-house cracker (butter crackers) and zesty cracked pepper predominate with a light, toasty and nutty finish. Strength remains on the low side of medium throughout while the body hovers between med and full. The draw seems to go downhill after smoking past the band, however, requiring some zealous double-puffing to produce sufficient smoke. As a result, this little guy starts to get pretty hot around the 1-inch mark and I eventually, reluctantly decide to toss it and call it a night. Final thoughts: I f'ing love these cigars! This was not the best one I've smoked by a stretch, but man was it good--complex yet understated, bold yet elegant, trusty yet variable, bliggity bliggity blah. All in all I'd give this one a solid 91.5/100, placing it squarely in the (low-ish) middle of the spectrum for this box. Cheers all! -Squigg
  12. Fold arms and roll aggressively to the right. If your first attempt fails, eat a lemon from your snack-bowl and try again ?
  13. A conspiracy theory of sorts? Altadis didn't start those NC brands with Cuban names, they acquired them prior to acquiring half of HSA, so I'm thinking there's still very little interconnectivity between the NC brands and the CC brands of the same name, despite now falling under the same umbrella to some extent. And, assuming Habanos SA (whose bread and butter has always been Cuban puros) has retained relative autonomy even though half the company was acquired, I doubt they'd allow it to happen. And even if Altadis' original management retained some autonomy themselves after being acquired by Imperial Brands, I wonder if it's still them in the HSA boardroom or if Imperial has assumed the role of voting with that 50% share. Regardless of who's pulling the strings, it seems like a risky move to try sneaking NC wrappers on cigars touted as 'Cuban puros'. Surely that info would leak out somewhere eventually and a veritable s*#tstorm would ensue.
  14. I think I'm going to have to get one. I've had reasonably decent luck with the trusty drill-bit when I need to remove a little tobacco, but unfortunately I don't have any 4.5 inch drill bits with ergonomic handles.
  15. "The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms is equally hard on the "Alcohol" and the “Tobacco” part of its name as well as the "Firearms" part." Some of the solidarity among cigar smokers and gun lovers must surely come from the oppositional organization that lumps these hobbies together. If there were a 'Bureau of Fast Driving and Cliff Diving" to collectively regulate and politically manage racing and extreme sports, it would probably create some solidarity between those two groups as well... not that the cliff divers would necessarily start racing or vice versa
  16. One thing to keep in mind is that when B&Ms (or websites, for that matter) reference a Cigar Aficionado score for a cigar, they always quote the highest score that marca/vitola has ever received. If you go to the CA website, however, there are usually numerous ratings for each cigar (1-2 per year in a lot of cases). In the case of CCs, the date is marked on each box as standard practice, but for NCs this is typically not the case. Take the following as an example: If you walk into your local B&M tomorrow, you might find a box of Oliva V Melanio Figurados with a tag below that says "96 points - Cigar Aficionado". The 96 score was received in 2016, but the box on hand will likely be from 2019/2020 (a year when C.A. gave those cigars a score of 92). It's all marketing... and Gurkha is as or more guilty of this type of manipulative marketing than any other cigar brand (I would have to dig for a source, but I've heard many accusations ranging from relatively benign MSRP markups and subsequent discounts to make prices seem like a steal to first production runs of certain cigars being produced in high-end factories to produce high C.A. scores and then those same cigars being kicked down to trash factories for mass production, after which B&M shops can cite the initial scores for sub-par versions of the same cigar). It all sounds s bit like conspiracy theory but I'd be willing to be there is at least a nugget of truth there
  17. I probably light up 1 NC for every 5 CCs I smoke these days anyway, so I'm very rarely tempted to take a chance on a brand like Gurkha. Generally, if a cigar is 90+ for me it is pretty damn good. Most of the CC boxes I own produce 90+ point cigars (once they have rested/aged properly), but--and this tends to be the case with a lot of CCs in my experience--there also tend to be a handful of poorly constructed cigars in those same boxes that rate much lower. My NC boxes (the better brands, anyway) tend to be a lot more consistent construction-wise, but somehow I just don't seem to stumble across that mythical, magical smoke nearly as often as I do when I smoke from my CC collection. I don't think I've ever smoked a 97+ point NC, but I've smoked multiple CCs that rate in that range (though I would never necessarily expect to grab another from the same box and have the same experience). Anyway, I'm rambling on, but in general my rating scale is as follows: 80 = inoffensive; 85 = not half bad; 90 = great; 95 = amazing; 99 = as close to perfect as possible; 100 = unattainable standard of perfection. I try not to spend money on anything I expect to rate less than 90, but sometimes, as I'm sure you know, a $30 cigar can be an 85 while a $5 cigar can be a 95... part of what makes the whole hobby so variable and exciting
  18. I tend to agree with @Habana Mike... my experience with Gurkha has been absolutely sub-par, but this one was way better than expected. I know that for you an 84 point cigar is pretty bad, but on my scale it's somewhere between average and the low-end of good, so keep that in mind. Some Gurkhas are better than others. I expected this one to be absolute garbage, but instead it was a decent, if middling, cigar.
  19. Dog Rocket Review Weekend ? -- What twisted sadism is this?! For this weekend's review I wanted to choose a stick whose reputation truly embodies the 'Dog Rocket' moniker... I dug through the jars and the desktop humidor, looking for something truly revolting to catch my eye. After a bit of searching (and rejecting some pretty good contenders), I settled on a stick I found truly frightening--a cigar I almost definitely would have never wound up smoking otherwise: the 'Warpig' by Gurkha. Let me state for the record that I have never tried one of these, so the severe trepidation I feel when looking at this thing really has no concrete basis, but based on the reviews and on Gurkha's unsavory reputation in general, I was really not looking forward to firing this thing up. In all honesty, the overall appearance is not half bad--dark mottled wrapper with outwardly decent-looking construction. The pack seems a bit loose, but otherwise it doesn't feel super-lumpy or uneven in density. There is a pleasant aroma of milk chocolate covered raisins at cold, though the draw feels wide open, giving me a bit of cause for worry. First light reveals flavors of bitter coffee bean and ash. This cigar, as I suspected based on the cold draw, seems to be quite underpacked, and it is very difficult to get any smoke over the course of the first half inch or so without triple puffing. The burn is also very wonky, requiring constant touch ups to get it going. There appears to be a large vein in the binder affecting the burn (which eventually proves to coil around the entire length of the cigar, but strangely, it really only seems to pose a serious problem up to the ~1 inch mark). There is surprisingly very little to no pepper on the retrohale, but bitter oils on the tongue distract from the otherwise pleasant flavors that might have been present in the first third. Nonetheless, hints of dark chocolate and light leather creep in and out. Entering the second third, the flavor profile is not terribly complex, but is surprisingly inoffensive, offering hints of cocoa nibs and sweet herbal drops (Ricola, anybody?). The burn is quite ugly, but the ash holds on, and the draw is much improved. Body and strength are both medium throughout the first half. Around the halfway point the bitterness has all but receded, and the hints of dark chocolate and leather give way to sweeter flavors of milk chocolate, raisins, and herbal candy. The draw is also much improved at this point, and the smoking experience has become quite a bit more enjoyable. The bitterness creeps back in from time to time, but does not dominate the profile. Into the final third, flavors are alternately sweet, zesty, and bitter. What a strange cigar! Body and strength both ramp up to med+. The sweet flavors occasionally seem to turn a bit rancid, but I believe this is in large part due to the tar buildup and leakage at the foot (which should be visible in the pic above). Otherwise the smoke is quite pleasant tasting. A quick inspection of the lone strawberry plant remaining in the pot 3 years after planting reveals some ripe berries... score! As this cigar burns toward an end I thought I'd never make it to (and make no mistake--it is a compliment that I haven't tossed it by now) sweet and woody notes seem to predominate. Hints of leather, dried fruit, cocoa, and herbal drops are all present, eventually collapsing beneath an unfortunate waterfall of bitter tar around the 1.5 inch mark. A bumpy ride, but overall a pleasantly surprising experience that was surprisingly pleasant ? (for a cigar I was sure would rank among the foulest dog-rockets of all time, anyway). Goes to show you never can tell. A shocking 84/100 for me--Solid B-grade.
  20. just a little tip for those who like to 'nub it'... peel the band free, choke down, and use it as a belt for a burn-free nubbing experience: This is one way to do it (obviously works better with a thinner band, but not a bad resource regardless of what you're working with)... what's your favorite way to nub??
  21. surprised nobody has mentioned this, but, due to certain shipping regulations, Cuban cigars are often forced to walk themselves across the border between their places of origin and destination, thusly finding themselves exhausted and requiring a period of rest. 90 days is a commonly agreed upon 'rest period', but if you take the initiative to massage your travel-weary/road-worn sticks on the daily, possibly placing them someplace cozy and playing them some soft jazz, you may be able to whittle that 90 days down to 45 or 50 ?
  22. yup, curious if these zoom meetings are still happening and if so, what time in the continental US (east for me)?

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