Tag Archive for revolution

Smoke Blog: Revolution

Gotta love it when the cigar guy at a store doesn’t know a thing about the cigars he sells.

I went to a Friar Tuck, a large liquor store which carries a wide variety of spirits and related offerings. They don’t have a proper walk-in humidor, but they do have a humidified display cabinet with a modest selection. The Peoria location usually has Punch, Macanudo, Romeo y Julieta, and a rotating selection of other brands, so in a pinch I’m happy to shop there.

This time I spotted the Revolution, a brand I hadn’t heard of before. I like trying new brands and the price was right, so when the cigar guy came over with his key, I asked him, “What can you tell me about the Revolution?”

Revolution

The flattened face of the Revolution cigar

“It’s good!” he said.

I gave him a moment, he said nothing more. “Do you know what kind of tobacco it’s made with?”

“Uhhhh…”

Swell.

Then he says, “It’s got a medium body?”

Argh. The wrapper looked a bit dark for that, but he clearly had no idea.

There’s another chain liquor store in the Chicago area called Binny’s. They have full, walk-in humidors and they hire people who actually know cigars to manage them. If Friar Tuck can’t do all that, fine, but why not at least post similar display tags as Binny’s? Something with a description, the blend, maybe even cigar ratings from popular review sources like Cigar Aficionado?

So I bought four anyway. I’m an adventurous guy, and two of the three friends I was shopping for aren’t all that concerned about brand and blend.

Tonight's writing setup

How to make the magic happen

I’ve since learned the Revolution is part of the Altadis Te-Amo brand from Mexico, and it’s made with a blend of Nicaraguan and San Andres tobaccos, primarily Corojo. It’s box-pressed, but it’s more of an flattened oval than square, and is labeled “Ovalado.” It has a sturdy feel and a slight coarseness to the wrapper.

I smoked two before writing this review: one while hanging out with friends and one while doing some writing. I used a simple punch cutter on the first and had a difficult draw. With the second I did two overlapping punches to create a wider hole, and this worked much better. (I didn’t know if it would hold together after a scissor cut, and I don’t have a V cutter right now.) Both lost their oval shape as I smoked, which I thought was odd, but it didn’t affect the smoking experience.

The Revolution is stronger than medium, but I wouldn’t call it a full-bodied smoke like a maduro. It had a bold, spicy flavor without being harsh or peppery. Both sticks burned clean and even despite the draw of the first cigar, producing plenty of rich smoke and leaving a fine, sturdy ash.

All in all a good smoke, and because my friends selected something else out of another humidor, I still have two more. They’ll pair nicely with the remaining Boulevard craft beers in my fridge as I write this weekend.

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.

Viva La RevoluciĆ³n

Revolution is a big deal in the United States. Without it, we wouldn’t even be here. Men like Ben Franklin and George Washington are traitors to the Crown in the United Kingdom, but in the U.S. we’re taught they’re our founding fathers and are our heroes.

Is what’s happening in Tunisia and Egypt any different? They may not have fallen into outright warfare yet, but they’re in a volatile situation and the protesters’ ultimate goal is the founding of a new government. Are there faces and personalities behind the conflict that will become their founding fathers and national heroes? Or will the existing government restore order and bring charges against a handful of people who were simply tired of the government abuse?

Unfortunately the lesson appears to be lost on some of our leaders. While President Obama supports the revolution, our legislators are trying to pass laws that would hamper our abilities to do the same. Specifically, they want a kill switch for the Internet.

This is dangerous territory. One of the first things the Egyptian government did was cut off Internet access in an effort to prevent protesters from organizing and to keep news from spreading to the rest of the world. Fortunately word’s getting out anyway, and all it did was make things worse for the government. (And rightfully so.)

Let’s think about this, Congress. What’s more dangerous? A people with protected speech and the ability to criticize their government, or a people suppressed to the point they can’t take it any longer and it all comes out at once? If our country was founded on revolution, why should the people be forbidden from exercising that same power to preserve it?

Let’s remember how we got here, not emulate the dictators we’re hoping will fall.

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.