Tag Archive for nub

Smoke Blog: Rethinking Cameroon

I’d pretty well given up on cigars made with Cameroon tobacco. When I discovered a Hoyo de Monterrey Excalibur Cameroon in my humidor (it came with a gift package), I considered handing it off to one of my friends. However, the HdM line rarely disappoints, and my momma taught me people deserve second chances, so I gave it a shot.

I enjoyed it more than I expected. Though it has a Cameroon wrapper, the binder is the lighter Connecticut Shade and its filler is a mix of Dominican, Honduran, and Nicaraguan leaves. In short, this thing has gone around most of the tobacco-growing world, so it had a lot happening. Different flavors, different textures, it was tough to pin down. HdM did not disappoint, though, and while it’s not as good as the Dark Knight, it stands up to the label.

I often describe Cameroon as a “dirty” flavor. Not so much like dirt, but it has a clingy, tangy quality that I can’t quite wrap my palate around. I caught a taste of it, and again, while I didn’t dislike it, I’m not sure it’s something I’ll readily stock my humidor with.

At least, not yet. It raises the point that maybe I need to try a few others. The benefit of having a rotating humidor stock is I have the freedom to experiment. A friend of mine tells me the Nub Cameroon is great, and they’re another brand I trust. Maybe I’ll track one of those down next.

If I still dislike it, hey, no harm done. I’d just hate to miss out on some quality smokes due to one bad experience.

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.

Photo Friday: Cravings

I may have to get up in four and a half hours to head out to the airport, but I’ve decided I’m not going to let Photo Friday get derailed on its second week. I can always sleep on the plane, right? Sure, I snore, but the engines will be louder.

For this Photo Friday I grabbed my humidor, staged a quick pic, set the lens to macro mode, and started shooting. I had to fiddle with the flash and a hack diffuser (read: a couple of tissues), but finally got something about what I wanted.

Now I have the urge to light one up

Now I have the urge to light one up

I’m not sure I’ll have time (or a place) to smoke cigars in California, but last year VisionCon was (mostly) cigar-friendly, so next week maybe I’ll get to fire one up.

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: The Twitter Smokes

I had two cigars as a result of Twitter activity in the last week or so.

First up, CAO Cigars sent me an LX2 after I participated in a simple contest via Twitpic. LX2 is shorthand for “ligero times two,” making it a full-bodied smoke. Talk about truth in advertising! I enjoyed this one, but I may have been better off saving it for a time I could sample it alongside a good lager. A very bold smoke, full of leather and spice, with good construction that held up to a windy evening on my front porch. I don’t normally stock full-bodied smokes in my humidor (they’re tougher to share with cigar rookies), but I’d seek these out again in a cigar bar.

Shortly after the CAO contest, I picked up a follow from Nub Cigars. I’d not heard of them before, but I recognized the name on a box of smokes at the shop on Saturday and thought I’d give their Habano a try. They’re a very unusual-looking cigar, with a fat ring gauge (about an inch in diameter) and a short length (4 inches), making “nub” a suitable moniker. I expected it to be a short smoke like a robusto, that it might be good for those times I don’t have a full hour to hang out on in the back yard. Instead it took an hour, easily matching an average-length cigar. I do think the ring gauge worked against me in the wind out here, as the rim would cool off and the interior would keep on burning. As a result, a burn appeared on the outside of the wrapper about a quarter-inch back from the end, then started spreading and effectively circumsizing the end. As for flavor, no problems there: I tasted pepper before I even lit her up, and that more or less set the trend for the smoke. It had a surprisingly clean draw given the ring gauge, and my only regret was not smoking it indoors somewhere to keep the burn problem at bay.

In the end, two great smokes, both thanks to Twitter. I could really get used to this.

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.