Friday, April 21, 2017

For recent entries

Been so great that we this blog has proven to be so popular.
 I appreciate the support from the followers and sponsors.

The blog has proven to be so well received that the next step has been to establish a newer and more advanced platform for
 This is the website that we now be used. The new site has many new features such as a Twitter feed, links to Facebook, Google Plus, Linked In and others.
Videos entries now are part of the website which will feature artists that I enjoy. Basically the new web page is the logical extension of what was an avocation now turning into a business.
Please follow the new website, let me know your thoughts about the design , offer me ideas for improvements and changes.
 Fortunately design changes are very easy to do and incorporate into making the whole package easier to read, navigate and have fun with.

Of course order product from the sponsors so we can continue to grow the business and offer more services to our readership.

What a long, strange trip it's been.

Keep smoking

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Gentle on my mind/ Cigar Review , La Palina Connecticut 4 Star

As an aside , getting a new web page going takes someone who knows what they are doing and that is not me. Once all the details are figured out , it will look great but until then the e blogger is my ticket.

Here is a new blend from La Palina Cigars, a boutique manufacture with a long history dating back to the 1800's. It's an interesting read so I suggest checking their web site for the information.
I received the cigar from the Director of Sales, David Lampert to review the product. As always, how and where I received the product does not impact my subjective review. Read what I think and if interested please make your own judgement.

Cigar Review:

Brand/Name of Cigar:

La Palina/ Classic Connecticut 4 Star
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Size: 6 x 50
Wrapper: Brazlian
Binder: Habano
Filler: Dominican Nicaraguan 
Shape: Toro
Price: Average between $6.50 and $ 7.00
Where and when smoked; 3/12/17, Los Angeles


A light brown wrapper with a surprising oily feel to it. This was not expected. A number of small veins but the cigar was pleasing to the eye. No hard or soft spots and a classy combo cigar band that enhances the overall appearance.

Flavor/ Taste and Aroma: 

 A mild start with a creamy, smooth caramel hit. This was expected as we all know Connecticut wrappers are grown for this purpose. Cigars of this nature are a pleasant interlude from my usual fare.
if well made and this appears to be the case.  It is sweet, and consistent for the profile.

Smoking Characteristics:

Well crafted so the cigar does not have any major flaws. Cigar smoked without any issues of tunneling, uneven burn or bad draw. It held very true and was fun to smoke. No fight in this cigar.

Conclusion/ Overall Impression:

La Palina is starting a new campaign to increase awareness to the consumer. They are introducing  new blends, new price points, and new marketing concepts. For a cigar that has an long and storied history very few folks know about this cigar. If this cigar is an indication of the direction La Palina is heading , they are clearly going down the road feeling good.

Final Thoughts and Numbers:

A very good cigar at any price point. Would clear a spot in my humidor for the milder side of smoking enjoyment. If the cigar becomes more readily available in your neck of the woods or plan to order via catalogue , do the solid and get it.

Appearance/Construction: 4 out of 5
Flavor/ Taste and Aroma: 3.8 out of 5
Smoking Characteristics : 4 out of 5
Conclusion : 3.9 out of 5

This is a buy.

Keep smoking.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

I can get used to this / Cigar Review

             Cigar Review:

I have remarked several times recently  that I do not smoke many Maduro cigars. Yet in the last  weeks I have reviewed three Maduro smokes. Not sure if this is a trend but let's get to my thoughts on Perdomo Habano Maduro. This cigar was given to me gratis as part of a sampler from Lone Wolf Cigar Lounge in Los Angeles.
As always, how and where I received the cigar does not impact my judgement . I suggest you make your own subjective call on this cigar or any cigar you are so inclined to smoke.

Brand/Name of Cigar: Perdomo/ Habano Maduro

Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Size: 5 x 52
Wrapper: Nicaragua/Maduro
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Shape: Robusto
Price: Sampler package , no charge, Lone Wolf Cigar Lounge
Where and when smoked: Los Angeles, Ca. March, 19, 2017

Appearance/ Construction:

This is a very cool looking cigar with a darkish wrapper bordering on black. It has an oily feel, solid construction , no major vein issues. The band combo is eye popping which makes the appearance of the cigar even more attractive. Cigars need not to be beautiful but I think this one is.

Flavor/ Taste and Aroma
 The initial foray into the cigar was smooth, with a grey ash and medium profile. What hit me was a very unusual caramel, creamy taste almost like a thin mint Girl Scout cookie. There was the mint essence but not clingy sweet. Liked it a great deal. 

Smoking Characteristics:

The smoke was smooth, just slightly off in the burn but was cool and without any  hitches .
  I wish more cigars behaved in this manner. I had no complaints.

Conclusion/Overall Impression: 

This is a great example of a high quality cigar for a very reasonable price point. It shows very good value and shows you do not have to overspend for a well crafted cigar.  Cigars of this type are around but you may need to hunt to find them. Of you can read cigar blogs and make your search much easier.

Final Thoughts and Numbers:

Appearance/Construction: 4 out of 5
Flavor/ Taste and Aroma: 4 out of 5
Smoking Characteristics : 3.8 out of 5
Overall:  3.9 out of 5

A definite addition for your collection. Perdomo cigars are a sometime item for me. Some companies just fall off the radar and I think this is the case in my cigar world.  My Maduro interest is getting higher up in the charts as I have had several good choices lately.

Keep smoking.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Give me strength

 I am backlogged in my cigar reviews which is a good problem. So let's get on with the enviable task of reviewing cigars. As policy how and were I received the cigar does not impact my subjective judgement. If this review interests you, please try the cigar yourself. I purchased this cigar as a 5 pack from

Cigar Review:

Brand/Name of Cigar: Punch/ Gran Puro Santa Rita
Country of Origin: Honduras
Size:  4.5 x 52
Wrapper: Honduras 
Binder: Honduras
Filler: Honduras
Shape; Petit Robusto
Price: Mike's Cigars 5 pack, $21.95
Where and when smoked; Lone Wolf Cigar Lounge, Los Angeles, Ca. 3/5/17

Initial View


Wrapper is a shade of medium to almost dark brown. Oil is present on the wrapper but not slick. Not a pretty looking smoke but appears to be well made. Texture is pleasant with no rough or hard spots. It appears to have solid construction throughout.

Flavor/ Taste and Aroma:

The blast of spice hits right away but you expect that from a Punch product. The black pepper opens up the palate so get ready for a full bodied experience. There is no subtle nuances in this cigar. Hold on to your butt. ( pun intended )

Smoking Characteristics :

Cigar is doing a very good job of being true to it's burn, as the flow is steady, no hot spots or issues with any aspect due to good construction. What did surprise me was the second third produced a composite of cream and nuts. The spice was still evident but not bone shaking.

Conclusion/ Overall Impression:

I am always been partial to Punch Products from Honduras. I also like the product from Cuba but that's another story.  They manage to produce well crafted smokes, at a reasonable price point. The cigar in question was a real crowd pleaser for the full bodied fans. Actually those who are partial to medium profiles should give the cigar a try. 

Final Thoughts and Numbers:

Appearance and Construction: 4 out of 5
Flavor/Taste and Aroma: 4 out of 5
Smoking Characteristics: 4 out of 5
Overall : 4 out 5

The Punch Gran Puro Santa Rita is a classic win . It has all the markings of a outstanding smoke with the added bonus of a reasonable price.

Keep smoking


Murderer's Row

Cigar Talk :

Here are some of the new lineup of La Palina Cigars.  Reviews will be coming down the road but for now, keep your hands off my stash. Check out

New Product for the New Year, even though it is almost April 

Keep smoking

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Small cigar and small tease

The H Upmann Half Corona Habano is a hit of heaven in a tiny package. I keep a full compliment of these nifty smokes in my humidor for a short smoke. They last about a half hour if you really nurture every draw. I will do a full review soon but for now, take a gander at this picture.

Keep smoking

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Cigar Nirvana

Members enjoying a moment 
Cigar Talk.  3/12/17

There is a misconception about cigar lounges in Los Angeles. The myth is LA is cigar purgatory and cigar smokers are shot on sight.
Admittedly there are some draconian cities that make it very difficult to enjoy cigars with the long arm of unfair regulations pointed at those who partake in one of their favorite activities.
Dupont lighter display at the Lone Wolf
The city of  Calabasas does not allow smoking on public property and Santa Monica also has regulations where your cigar is totally unwelcome. There are others on the list but fortunately  there are also cigar lounges which will welcome you to the universal club of cigar smokers.

This blog will be featuring welcoming cigar lounges that cater to the public or are private establishments. The first cigar lounge that will be highlighted is the Long Wolf Cigar Lounge in West Los Angeles. It just so happens I am a member of the Long Wolf but as always this doe not reflect on any judgement of the lounge. If you are interested in becoming a member, please contact the website at
Mariana of the Lone Wolf Cigar Lounge Staff
Part of the large humidor  at the Lone Wolf Cigar Lounge

I presented a series of questions to the affable owner, David Weiss, of the Lone Wolf Cigar Lounge with the intention of learning his thoughts on the cigar industry in general and his own place.

Q.When and why did you decide to bring a new cigar Lounge to West LA?

A.Ever since we lost the ability to smoke in Santa Monica in 09.

Q. Who is your competition and what makes you different from them?

A. I don't focus on the competition . We do things in a certain way and I focus on what we do.
Front service desk at the Lone Wolf Cigar Lounge

Q.What challenges do you think are the biggest in the cigar industry and you business?

A. Smoking regulations and taxation.

Q. How do you decide what cigars and accessories you sell?

A. We cater to what the public wants. We try new things and keep what people approve of.

Q. What are the trends for the future you see in the B and M cigar industry in general?

A. Smoking oasis with strong and consistent products.

Q. What do  you smoke as an every day smoke and on special occasions?

A. I'm all over the map. Full bodied with low spice is I look for but I try everything.

Q. What is an ideal price point for your sales team?

A. Depends on the location and the occasion. Gifts are typically more pricey as folks want brand and presentation plus quality for $8-$12.

Q. What do you like like cigars and what is your clientele like?

A. Clientele is very diverse on a socio-economic level. That is what attracts me to this business. I love the one on one experience getting to know very different types of people and being in service.

Q. What advice would you give to the novice and experienced smoker?

A. Try everything.

Q. Are there too many brands and choices in today's market?

A. There can never be too many options. Options make the world go around. Too many private labels clutter the field. I like more diversity in approach and manufacturing. Not just brand.

Q. It the opening of the cigar trade in Cuba going to impact your business and what are your plans about this development? Do you see this a negative or a positive?

A. Seems great but it also feels far away. We will embrace it when it happens as it adds to the diversity . I feel it is positive .

There you have it, the view from  David Weiss the owner of the Lone Wolf Cigar Lounge in West Los Angeles.

Keep smoking
The Logo of the Urban Fishing Pole

Friday, March 3, 2017

Pushing the Cigar Agenda

There are always an opportunity to recruit people to the joy of cigars. The better we do this, the better  politically it helps us. The state of how many no nothing politicians, or petty hacks who are hell bent in destroying an industry and avocation we enjoy  are expanding at a very alarming rate.
Preaching to the choir while important is a small part of the picture. It is very evident we need to convince the sometime smoker or the novice cigar person to join with us.
I do this in a manner that is not threatening or preachy but speak about how the camaraderie of the leaf gives us friendship, good talk and loads of fun.
Case in point. In my career of personal trainer and manager I point out how cigars and fitness are not contrary but actually are complementary endeavors. Working the body includes the idea of mental fitness too.
Cigars provide the atmosphere of relaxing , engaging in discourse about a variety of subjects with a common cause.  Enjoyment and awareness is a positive experience.
With this attitude I have opened up clients who would never think of cigars but now like all the aspects of cigars  I just spoke about.  You can have a cigar without making it a habit or dangerous to your health.
 Keep in mind this is not done overnight but a casual friendly  indoctrination.
I now have clients who join me in the pursuit of cigars and in my workplace I have organized cigar events with good turnouts.
Think about  your friends and make it a point to get a few of them into the fold. Offer them a smoke, a good drink and they will convert to the great joy of cigar fellowship.

Happy gents
Life is good
Keeping it real
California Dreaming

Keep Smoking

Monday, February 27, 2017

Thin is in

Cigar Review:

For me the perception back in the day that longer but thinner cigars were favored by the upper crust. These cigars looked very fashion oriented, sleek and had flair. Not sure how I came up with this conclusion but it was an idea that did appeal to me. Cigar manufacturers always had the Lancero shaped  in their roster but I believe they were not big sellers.
As larger ring gauge cigars became the rage and are still getting bigger, it is often not easy to find a smoke that appeals to the Lancero crowd. I personally like this shape and find it a great shape to smoke.

The Alec Bradley Coyol Petit Lancero comes with a 93 rating  and a # 18 ranking from Cigar Aficionado in the best cigars of 2016.
I purchased my cigar from the Lone Wolf Cigar Lounge on 1/2/17 and smoked it on 2/24/17 at the Wolf.
 With all my ratings, how and where I received the cigar does not impact my subjective thoughts on the blend. I suggest you try it on your own and make your own judgement. Hope to hear your thoughts on the cigar.

Brand/ Name of Cigar:   
                                                                Alec Bradley /Coyal Petit Lancero
                                                                Country of Origin: Honduras 
                                                                Size:  6.5 x 41 
                                                                Wrapper: Honduras
                                                                Binder: Honduras, Nicaragua 
                                                                Filler: Honduras, Nicaragua
                                                                Price: $8.99 Lone Wolf Cigar Lounge, Los Angeles , Ca.


 A slim cigar with a choice brown wrapper, well crafted with seams that do not mar the appearance of the wrapper. The band combination displays a very cool looking counter point to the cigar itself. Not flashy but says look at me. 

Flavor/ Taste and Aroma:

First third was a pleasing combination of cream, chocolate notes with a slight hint of spice/black pepper. Also a tease of cinnamon or nutmeg. Sometimes they taste the same to me. It was smooth, consistent and not harsh.

Smoking  Characteristics :

Cool smoking but slightly off in the burn as the photo clearly indicates. I did not find this off putting but wondered why it happened. I sometimes do a poor job on the initial lighting of a cigar but this was not the case as you can observe the first photo had  a good burn.

Conclusion/ Overall Impression:

As a top 25 cigar I have my doubts but as a good smoke it hits it for me. As a baseball fan I would describe it as a solid line drive two bagger but it would be a stretch to make it to third base. 

Final Thoughts:

This cigar just missed the mark for me. Slight burn issue was not a big thing but the taste was light without a major strength.

The numbers:

Appearance / Construction: 3.8 out of 5
Flavor/Taste and Aroma: 3.5 out of 5
Smoking Characteristics : 3. 3 out of 5
Conclusion/Overall Impression: 3. 5 out of 5

A good Triple A player with the chance to get to the Show.

Keep smoking.


Saturday, February 25, 2017

Saturday afternoon at the Lone Wolf Cigar Lounge

Micky and Mark relaxing at Lone Wolf Cigar Lounge

One of Habano's choice blends

Keep Smoking

Micky and Mark relaxing at Lone Wolf Cigar Lounge

Old school , revisiting history, or cigar lounges are great everywhere

When I travel , I make it a point, to find a local cigar establishment and spend a couple of hours there. It's not that I am a frequent traveler, but I get a good idea of what the local populace is about and what they are thinking.
Couple of places come to mind. The grand daddy of all cigar B & M 's is Fox's in London. I was in London back in 2009 with my wife and while she was having a business meeting, I made the pilgrimage to Fox's. The store was about a 20 minute jaunt from my hotel in a business section of town. I arrived at the front door and my heart jumped. I was going to be in the place where WInston Churchill smoked.
 There were a couple of customers there placing orders. What struck me immediately was that the two employees were dressed vastly different.
 The younger of the two had a three piece suit on, looking as if he was a member of the House of Lords. . He was behind a computer screen, speaking to a client on the phone. They were in conversation about a new shipment of Cuban cigars coming in and the client was placing an order.
 The other employee was an older man, sporting a vest with a pocket watch and resembling a character from Dickens. He asked me if I needed help and I said to him, " I've come 6000 miles from Los Angeles to pay a visit to your store." He seemed impressed and offered to show me around. 
The store itself is not particularly large but I enjoyed the guided tour. He showed the chair that Winston Churchill smoked in and a painting of Sir Winston that hung on a wall . I also looked at many different brands of cigars, mostly Cuban and a small amount of central american brands. 
I was overwhelmed with the selection and asked him to help me pick out a special cigar as a remembrance of my trip. He went back to the front counter and selected a Monti #2 from the stash. He told me this stick was specially aged and would be a good choice. I thanked him and paid for the purchase, ( the most expense cigar I ever bought 17 pounds , 20 pence ), and asked him if I could take some photos of the shop. He said of course, I thanked him and then left. As I left I felt I just marched through a piece of history and Sir Winston was about to smoke with me.
 That night I went back to the hotel, sat in the English garden and puffed away. I don't know if it was the best cigar I ever smoked, but wanted to believe it was.
 Thank God for England, they do things differently with a style that is unique and full of custom which is a throwback I truly enjoy. 
A bit of a contrast but no less enjoyable was a B & M in Larchmont , NY called Dom's cigars. I hope that place is still around because if you live in the New York area, Dom's is worth a trip. Once again, I was with my wife, visiting this time her sister in law . The two of them chose to do something that did not appeal to me and was " allowed" to take off by myself. I noticed Dom's the day before while we were walking around Larchmon , looking for a lunch spot. It was a cold, rainy walk to Dom's  which to me was not unpleasant. I was dressed for the wet stuff, and truly enjoy a touch of bad weather as Los Angeles is about 75- 85 degrees 325 days a year. As I grew up back east, I am not taken aback by rain or snow.
 I went into Dom's and the place was empty. The walls were lined with sport celebrities, mostly NY legends such as Joe D, Mickey Mantle, Walt Frazier and Joe Namath. I walked through the store, looking at cigars and accessories when Dom came out from the back room. He asked me if I I needed help and told him I had time to kill and wanted to sit down and smoke a cigar in his lounge. Dom took me through his humidor, and I picked up a Gispert Maduro, which at the time was a new stick for me. I lit it up, Dom offered me a cup of coffee which I accepted. There was a basketball game on the TV screen ( not a flat screen , this was around the year 2005) We proceeded to watch the game , and talk about LA as Dom never had paid a visit.
I told him LA was not what I expected when I moved there in 1997 as I shared many stereotypes that east coast people have of Los Angeles. After the Gispert smoked down to the nub, he offered me another cigar as his gift to this transplanted NY/Boston guy. I don't remember what the cigar was, but it did not really matter. I was sharing a smoke with a friend who I knew for about 2 hours but felt like I knew him for years. Eventually I needed to get back and thanked him for the great time. He said he had a fine time too and if I ever come back, pay him a visit.
I recently went through my business cards and tossed his out which I could kick myself for.However, Dom is in my memory and this is what cigar smoking is about, finding new adventures ,new friends and never being bored.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

They were right

Cigar Review:

Best cigar of the year rankings are always anticipated. They create discussions, thoughts and sometimes anger. I like reading about them but most of the time have not smoked the majority of the cigars in the rankings.  Cigar Aficionado magazine, the mostly well respected publication, put Rocky Patel's sun grown maduro in the number 2 slot in 2016. As I have several times in this blog , maduro cigars are not my favorites but I do appreciate a well made cigar regardless how the blend is formulated . Rocky Patel cigars are for some the pinnacle of cigar making. For others they are the Walmart of smokes. Plenty choices but of dubious quality.
Here is my thoughts on the 2016  #2 ranked cigar from CA. I purchased a 5 pack from They were toro smokes and not the robusto shape that were reviewed.
My reviews are subjective and not influenced on where or how I received the smoke.

Brand/ Name of Cigar: Rocky Patel/ Sun grown Maduro Special Reserve
Country of Origin: Nicaragua 
Size: 6 x 52
Wrapper: Sungrown Connecticut Broad leaf Maduro
Binder: Dual Binder, Nicaragua
Shape: Toro
Price: 5 pack,, $29.95 special
Where and When smoked: Lone Wolf Cigar Lounge, Los Angeles, Ca. 2/19/17

Appearance/ Construction:

Almost a flawless cigar with a dark chocolate wrapper, box pressed and an oily touch. There are several large veins showing but totally not an issue. The cigar band completed the smoke giving it a very luscious look. The construction was outstanding.

Flavor/ Taste and Aroma:

Initial foray was a very choice chocolate flavor with a hint of black spice in the mix. Also some notes of vanilla as we progress through the first third. The flavor was consistent with a medium strength profile no harsh or bitter hits as some maduro smokes get .

 Smoking Characteristics:

The burn was straight, cool with a pleasing to the eye grey ash. No problems with uneven patterns.  Smoke continued to be faithful with the chocolate flavor.

             Conclusion/Overall Impression:

This is a dynamite cigar with all aspects that makes the Rocky Patel Sungrown Maduro a world class cigar. The Rocky Patel brand has been an enigma to me as they can produce such a fabulous smoke
and also  make run of the mill smokes. I understand manufacturers need to appeal to all price points and tastes but I hope Rocky keeps aiming for a higher plane. 

Final Thoughts:

Here is the number breakdown.

Appearance/Construction: 4.5 out of 5
Flavor/Taste and Aroma: 4.5 out of 5
Smoking Characteristics: 4.2 out of 5
Overall: 4.3 out of 5

This is a total winner from Rocky and suggest go out a buy a assortment of all sizes.

                                                 Keep smoking.

Friday, February 17, 2017

This has nothing to do about cigars but it's about driving in Los Angeles

Commentary :

I have lived in Los Angeles for almost 20 years and it is a great city to live in. Having been brought up on the Northeast there is a certain bias about what people think about the west coast and LA in particular. However , whatever your geographic persuasion is, two items are very apparent when you move to the city of Angels.
Folks in LA have no clue in driving in bad weather conditions and driving in LA is a total mess.

Lets build on point one.  Everyone talks about the car culture in this part of the world but what they do not say , this is based on great weather. Sure 300 days a year, this sun is out, the blue sky is stunning and it 80 degrees.
 So what we see on TV, the news, movies and the like are cool cars being driven by cool people. They are heading to the beach,  the mountains or cruising in Hollywood. If you want to fantasize this is the image you should choose. Here is the reality when bad weather hits.
*The major freeways flood like crazy. Poor design, poor flood control, poor drainage leads to massive puddles, potholes and lane markers that are impossible to see.

 There are no or very few lights on the freeways so either no visibility  or poor visibility is compounded by the dark. You basically point your car forward and follow the car in front of you hoping they know where they are going.

If you are traveling on local streets it is just as bad as they flood in just about every wet condition. The traffic lights are not synchronized so there is no pattern for stop and go traffic. Travel one block at a time and stop. For example the stretch on Sunset Blvd from the Pacific Palisades to the 405 freeway during rush hour can take one hour or more. This is about a 3 mile drive.

* LA car mavens do not change their driving patterns in inclement weather. Fog or rain, its still driving 70 miles an hour and up. Traffic jams drive fast , tailgate and change lanes without signaling.
School bus stops, drive through the flashing red lights on bus. Local streets, freeways it does not matter, the rule of thumb is you are in charge, courtesy is not a word in the dictionary.

* Now for a Boston guy driving west , you could make the trip to Western Massachusetts which boarders New York state is 2.5 to 3 hours. In LA , you could still be in LA and not make it the the outskirts in 2.5 to 3 hours.  A trip to San Diego which is about 150 miles can take 4 hours. What this means is LA is massive, the freeways are massive, the traffic is massive and an north east driver does know this no matter what he reads. You have to experience the sheer vastness of the freeway system and streets just to appreciate it.

There is plenty more we can write about LA traffic but let's end it by saying , bring a cigar if you inclined to smoke in your car and just enjoy it.

Keep smoking 

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Fitness and Cigars ?

Cigar Thought of the day

My real job is managing a fitness center. I often hear from clients and friends how do you justify smoking cigars as a fitness dude? It's a legitimate question and I have a legitimate answer.
How many times have you seen outstanding sports personalities such as Michael Jordan, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mike Ditka, Charles Barkley, Tom Brady just to mention a few smoking their favorite cigar?
 Of course, the Hall of Fame basketball coach of the Celtics , Red Auerbach, lit up a victory stogie on the bench before each win.

Here are several reasons that I feel it's permissible to indulge in one of my favorite pastimes,  smoking cigars without any regret.
I limit myself to 3 -5 cigars a week. I am certainly aware that tobacco may have negative effects on your health. A friend of mine who received his PH.D researching the effects of cigar smoking on oral health, told me cigar smokers death rates are only slightly different than the national average. He is also a cigar smoker. There is concern about soft palate cancers and dental issues.
Cigar smoking is good for mental health. This comment is not based on a statistical analysis but observations over the years. Cigar people love to relax, chat , enjoy the moment. During those cigar interludes, tension is decreased, it's about enjoyment.
Cigars cut across political, economic and social lines. Many cigar mavens regardless of what kind of politics they espouse, have friends of other political thoughts. Cigars allow honest talk without threats or intimidation. You are exchanging ideas, not death threats.
I work out 6 times a week, remain within 3 lbs of my weight from 40 years ago. I watch my calorie intake, stay on top of health and fitness developments and also train clients. I rarely drink so I do not add calories due to alcohol. So the key understanding here is, be moderate in your approach.
If you need any fitness advice and and cigar advice too, let me know. Am glad to help.

Keep smoking

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Sometimes we don't always get to things

Cigar Review:

I reviewed  the Caldwell Gibraltar Extra robusto this past November 2016 and then totally forgot about the smoke. Does this mean the cigar was not to my liking, or  did not make an impression on me ? Actually none of the above. In reality , I don't even have a reason.
I have now smoked several Caldwell cigars with a mixed track record. Read my previous reviews to see my thoughts on them.

Take a look at this review and make up your own thoughts.  Where and how I obtained the cigar does not influence my take on the smoke.

Brand/ Name of Cigar:

Caldwell/ Gibraltar Extra
Size: 5 x 50
Wrapper: Dominican Habano
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: Dominican Republic
Shaper: Gran Robustto
Price: $5.25 Each
When and where smoked: 11/6/16, Lone Wolf Cigar Lounge, Los Angeles , Ca.
Purchased :

Appearance/ Construction:

Medium brown wrapper, slightly oily touch to the wrapper.
 Firm ( hard ? ) with veins fairly visible  but not distracting. Good looking band which Caldwell Cigars seems to thrive in their marketing.


                                                            Flavor/Taste and Aroma:

Initial third had a slight taste of black pepper with some hay and grassy notes. Nothing really grabbed me to think this might be an exceptional smoke but it's early.                                        

Smoking Characteristics:

Easy burn, grey ash, slight deviation of construction as the cigar started to become uneven. Stayed lit throughout the smoke but burn issues became a problem. Burn became more disjointed as the construction failed.
This probably help create a bitter and more metallic overall flavor in the second third. Not a good thing.

  Conclusion/ Overall Impression:

The cigar had several problems including burn quality, metallic taste and not a pleasant experience. I wanted to give it a chance to get better so I smoked it to the end but would not do that again.

Final Thoughts :

The numbers:

Appearance/ Construction: 3 out 5
Flavor/ Taste and Aroma: 2 out of 5
Smoking Characteristics: 2 out 5
Conclusion/ Overall Impression: 2 out of 5

Caldwell Cigars need to develop a quality modest priced cigar. This certainly was not it. Total pass on the smoke and if you get one from a buddy, be warned.

Keep smoking

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Super Bowl or Super Cigar?

Cigar Review

Heading to the Lone Wolf Cigar Lounge shortly to see the Pats hopefully win. Still not decided what cigars to bring to the event. However, here is a smoke that for many has Super Bowl winner all over it.  How or where I purchased the cigar does not effect my subjective review of the experience.  Use this review as a guide and make your own judgement.

Brand/ Name of Cigar:

 Monticristo/ #4
Country of Origin: Cuba
Size: 5.1 x 42
Wrapper: Cuban
Binder: Cuban
Filler: Cuban
Shape: Petit Corona
Place and Date Purchased: 12/16
Date on Box: July 2014

Where and when smoked: Long Wolf Cigar Lounge, 1/17

Appearance/ Construction:

Solid feel without any plugs, Striking chocolate brown wrapper and depending on the light it has different hues. Small veins are noticeable but not really a fault.  The cigar band is simple and very classic looking.

Flavor/Taste and Aroma:

The first initial third was a smooth medium experience with a mix of pepper and earthy overtones. The description was be similar to other Cuban cigars I have tasted. Experienced cigar smokers enjoy this, novices might not. Aroma is so subjective I rarely blog on this aspect but in this case, the aroma was very farm
The first initial third was a smooth medium experience with a mix of pepper and earthy overtones. The description was be similar to other Cuban cigars I have tasted. Experienced cigar smokers enjoy this, novices might not. Aroma is so subjective I rarely blog on this aspect but in this case, the aroma was very farm like.

Smoking Characteristics:

The burn was slow, methodical without any hot spots or large problems. However, I did notice an uneven burn in the second third of the smoke. It managed to self correct so overall, it did not cause much impact in the overall enjoyment of the cigar.

Conclusion/Overall Impression:

The Monti #4 is reputed to be the best selling Cuban cigar in it's inventory. It has been a staple for many years and this is very understandable. For cigar smokers,  this is what is thought of when you think of Cuban cigars.  It never fails to bring satisfaction, but as a representative of a truly outstanding cigar it is not quite there. This is a lack of overall complexity which I think is the result of it's small size , not of  any deficient quality.  Otherwise this is a top line smoke.

Final Thoughts:

If this is available in your cigar world, always have them in your staple. Of course availability may hinder this but as Cuban cigars are somewhat more available , I think you can score them.

The numbers:

Appearance/ Construction: 4 out of 5
Flavor/ Taste and Aroma: 4. 2 out of 5
Smoking Characteristics : 3.5 out of 5
Conclusion/ Overall Impression: 4 out 5.

Keep smoking.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

It's all about the cigar

Cigar Review

This was a prize winner from Cigar Aficionado several years  back.  I originally tried it and thought it was a good smoke but not sure it merited cigar of the year. Now am going to revisit the cigar. It was purchased  as part of a sampler from Lone Wolf Cigar Lounge in Los Angeles. I suggest you make your own opinion but how and where I received the smoke does not influence my thoughts. 

Brand/ Name of Cigar: Oliva Serie V Melanio Churchill
Country of Origin: Nicaragua 
Size: 7 x 50
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Shape: Churchill
Price:  Sampler
Purchase : Lone Wolf Cigar Lounge
Where and When Smoked: Los Angeles , Ca. 1/8/17

Appearance and Construction:

Impressive brown hue, box pressed with a striking cigar band. The cigar was firm to the touch with a oily feel, smooth texture and several small veins showing.  Very attractive looking as a higher priced, well constructed smoke should be.

Flavor /Taste and Aroma:

Rich chocolate complexity  with a creamy , coffee influenced nuance. Liked the overall taste which was developing over a period of time. No blasts of spice or pepper. Would describe it as a medium to full bodied blend. The first third was exactly what I hoped for.

Smoking Characteristics :

This cigar is built for the long haul with a good looking solid grey ass, staying lit, with no construction or tunneling issues. Even burn, cool and no hot spots. It continued to have the same flavor profile as in the first third, no surprises hitting me which is a good thing.

Conclusion/Overall Impression:

I had a slight issue during the last third with the burn and also received a flinty taste.  A cigar of this nature should be consistent throughout which did not happen. It did effect the overall enjoyment of the smoke.

Final Thoughts :

The numbers:

Appearance and Construction: 4.2 out of 5
Flavor/Taste and Aroma: 3.8 out of 5
Smoking Characteristics : 3. 8 out of 5
Conclusion/ Overall Impression : 4 out 5

A smoke that pretty much delivers what you hope for.  Cigar of the year? Not sure about that but everyone makes their own judgment. I would buy this again and smoke it a couple a times a year. The best cigar is always a very opinionated decision. If you have desire to spend for a high end cigar , give this a shot. 

Keep smoking

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Best Cigar of the year, so far.

Cigar Review

Brand/ Name of Cigar: Montecristo/ Pilotico/ Pepe Mendez

Country of Origin: Nicaragua

Size: 6.2 x 52

Wrapper: Ecuador Sumatra

Binder: Dominican

Filler: Dominican, Nicargua

Shape: Toro

Price: Purchased from Lone Wolf Cigar Lounge , received as part of a gift sampler, 12/ 2016.
As always how and where the cigar was purchased or smoked does not influence my subjective judgment of the review. I always suggest to consider the smoke yourself if this review brings up your interest.

Where and When Smoked: 1/1/2017

Appearance/ Construction: 

 Attractive rich looking brown wrapper, slight veins showing but no obvious flaws or defects.  Good looking labels which brings out the the oil in the wrapper.  No soft spots in the handling  of the cigar.

Flavor/ Taste and Aroma:

Initial third was very smooth with a combination of nuts and sweet hints of chocolate. Medium strength in the flavor with no hits of spice or pepper.  Very consistent in the taste with no deviation from this combo.  Aroma was sweet , not pungent with the nutty smoke dominating.

Smoking Characteristics: 

The burn was even with no hot spots or tunneling . The ash was a solid white but needed two re lights  during the second third of the smoke. So no real apparent reason for this as the construction for the smoke  appeared well made. Maybe I missed something in my initial look.

Conclusion/ Overall Impression:

Price aside which is on the high end, I liked the overall quality of this cigar.  It was consistent in flavor however there was no wow factor in this smoke.  The two relights were a bit baffling so maybe it was in my handling of the cigar.
The folks at Altasis must know this is a limited appeal cigar for a few cigar dudes who have money to spend on a very high end product.  There are other smokes to be had which provide more flavor for less cost.

Final thoughts:

Here are the numbers:

Appearance/ Construction: 4 out of 5
Flavor/ Taste and Aroma: 3.5 out of 5
Smoking Characteristics: 3 out of 5
Conclusion/ Overall Impression: 3.5 out of 5

I appreciate  a well crafted, thought out cigar which brings the consumer a variety of taste and flavor.
Somehow the Montecristo Pilotico missed the mark for me. It fell a bit short on just about all avenues of an outstanding cigar.  Given the market this cigar hopes to attract, I believe most cigar mavens will pass on buying the smoke after trying it. Lets see how it works out.

Keep smoking