Tag Archive for maduro

Smoke Blog: A Couple of Big Ones

The humidor’s environment is finally under control. Hells yes. Last check, 77 degrees and 74% humidity. It took a couple of reseasonings, but the results were worth the minimal effort. \m/

(Is “reseasoning” a word? It is now.)

I burned through two sticks this week while getting some work done, and both times I opted for some of the larger smokes in the humidor. The main motivation was to stay busy longer, but I also felt they were less likely to be affected by the period of time the humidor was out of whack.

First up was the Macanudo Cru Royale. When I first lit it up, I was not impressed. It was very harsh and hot. However, this is possibly due to the dry environment in the humidor before I got it fixed, as it quickly mellowed into a fine smoke. Loaded with hints of leather, it smoked clean and easy. Not a remarkable smoke for my palate, but it paired well with the Boulevard Smokestack Series IPA (Double-Wide IPA, in fact) I was drinking. If you’re a Macanudo fan and prefer a medium- or full-bodied cigar, pick one up.

Last night I opted for a CAO Gold series maduro. This Churchill (I believe) stayed with me a good two hours. Very impressive. Not my go-to flavor preference, but I enjoyed it. Sturdy, easy to hold, lots of smoke to play with. A hint of cocoa in the beginning, then that hefty maduro profile took over. Near the end it picked up in heat and needed to be touched up with the lighter a few times, but not enough to kill the cigar. Alongside some Four Roses Yellow bourbon, it made for a very pleasant experience as I punched the keyboard.

For those wondering how I’ve managed to get so much variety in these Smoke Blog entries, I have two explanations: 1) my wallet; 2) my cousin Mark.

I like to experiment, and because I don’t always have the cash to drop on a full box, I pick up a stick or two at a time. The rotating stock in the limited cigar selections in Peoria then makes it easy to try different things. Sometimes this bites me in the ass, but more often than not I’m able to pick out reputable brands and some pleasant surprises.

Most of my stock right now, though, is courtesy of my cousin. Twice now he’s sent me a variety of cigars to try, typically to celebrate finishing a project. He also once rounded up a bunch of guys on a forum to restock my my humidor when it ran dry. It’s been great for the blog, for the productivity, and for the general enjoyment of the smoke. Thanks again, Mark! I hope to return the favor sometime soon.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

Smoke Blog: Celebration Time

Saturday afternoon, I sent the latest draft of Lie with the Dead to my editor at Evileye Books.

This calls for celebration! I busted out the cigars.

Gurkha Beauty

The Gurkha Beauty. Now I need to find the Beast.

I finished the draft just in time to grab another Thanksgiving dinner (and thus help my friends polish off leftovers), and we followed it up with smokes in the garage. I busted out a K. Hansotia Park Avenue 44, a slender stick with a Connecticut wrapper.

Very nice. Smooth, creamy, and light on the palate. I liked its clean burn and thick, white smoke. Good stuff. No less than one would expect from the man behind Gurkha cigars.

Which made a nice prelude to hitting another friend’s man cave today for football, stuffed pizza, drinks, and smokes. It made a great spot to break out the Gurkha Beauty (pictured above) my publisher gave me over the summer, and I promised I’d hold out on smoking it until I finished Lie with the Dead.

If I’d known it would be this good, I would have had a much harder time waiting.

Billed as a medium-body smoke, I found it loaded with flavor, most notable a hint of leather. Its clean finish surprised me, given the heady flavor. It boasted a smooth draw and solid construction, and it never burned too hot. I was most impressed, however, with it’s near three-hour burn time. I lit up after lunch and only put it down long enough to grab a refill on my drink, but it still burned slow and steady.

It jumped to my top five, easy. I may need to track down the Beast next summer.

We had time for one more, so I selected a Nub Maduro. I’m not sure I would have tasted anything less after the Beauty, and the Maduro’s hints of cocoa worked out just fine. I generally like Nubs, but I find they often burn out easy. This one was no different. It didn’t harm the experience, but it’s just part of the process for such a thick cigar.

All in all, a well-celebrated occasion. I have no release date information for Lie with the Dead yet, but I hope to be through a final draft with my editor before long. Then the publisher will start nailing down a release schedule.

In the meantime, you may want to pick up Winter Kill in trade paperback or on the Kindle. You will be able to read Lie with the Dead on its own, but it will be a far more enjoyable experience if you stick with the series.

In the meantime, I’ll get back to plotting Book 3. After fans read Lie with the Dead, they’re not going to want to wait long for the next installment in the series. \m/

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

Smoke Blog: Macanudo Maduro

Despite the chill winds Wednesday evening I grabbed a short Macanudo Maduro from the humidor and sat outside to smoke while I read a friend’s manuscript to offer him advice. Maduros are not always my first choice, but I do enjoy a good one from time to time and I could tell from the taste of the wrapper, even before lighting, that I was going to like this one.

I wasn’t wrong. This maduro had a bold flavor with a hint of chocolate, but lacked the bitter spice that accompanies many maduros. Its smooth, even draw held up to the stiff breeze with no sign of tunneling. The ash sustained itself until I tapped it off myself, and it produced plenty of nice, thick smoke to blow around. I think my daughter thought my lungs were on fire.

Next time I’m in the mood for a maduro, this Macanudo will do the job nicely.

As for the manuscript, I enjoyed it as well. If all goes well for the writer, maybe I’ll be blogging about it again by year’s end.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.