Tag Archive for smoke blog

Smoke Blog: Perdomo Gran Cru

Nothing cures a crap day like a good cigar.

Perdomo: cure for a crap day.

So I used a photo filter. The lighting sucked.

The Perdomo Grand Cru is a Cuban seed blend, and judging by the size and color of this bad boy it was a Grand Epicure (vs Churchill, etc.) with a natural wrapper. The moment I went to light it I tasted hints of cocoa, and it burned clean and even with plenty of smoke and a mild flavor.

It had a strange, thorny lump under the cap, probably a twist in a leaf or a stem, which felt uncomfortable on occasion but didn’t ruin the experience by a long shot. I spent about an hour and a half with it, until it went out on its own in the last two inches. While it did not turn harsh, I could see it had tunneled some and was probably done, so I tossed it.

But honestly, a lot of that didn’t matter today. I just needed to sit and relax.

The day job has been kicking my ass since early last week, including over the weekend, making it tough to get anything else done. I could easily have spent a big portion of Saturday there if I hadn’t already had plans for the annual Peoria Jaycees Beer Fest. It was a good chance to go out on the porch, kick back, and flip through a Harley-Davidson catalog I had picked up at the International Motorcycle Show in February.

Edits are back in my hands for Lie with the Dead, the cover for an upcoming anthology showed up in my inbox this afternoon, and I’ve got a screenplay to finish, as well as a handful of other projects waiting in the wings. Just a few more days of this testing nonsense at the day gig and I’ll be able to get back on track and re-examine the exit strategy.

I can almost taste the freedom.

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: Tatuaje “The Face”

When my cousin got a lead on a special edition Halloween cigar named after Leatherface, I was in. I didn’t get to smoke it until earlier this week, and boy was I sorry I waited so long.

“The Face” is Tatuaje’s 3rd Monster Series limited release cigar and is composed of Nicaraguan tobacco with a Mexican wrapper. Its 56 ring gauge gives it a fat appearance, just like its namesake.

Leatherface

Smoke up!

Given it was a special smoke, I didn’t want it to be dried out due to some ¬†humidor issues I had during the winter, so once that was resolved I let it sit and cure and rehumidify itself. I took it out last week while I wrote on the front porch, accompanied by some spiced rum.

Wow did I love this smoke. It was heady and spicy, but it didn’t linger on the tongue. It burned clean, drew easy, and produced thick clouds of smoke. Even better, it lasted for hours, well worth the approx. $20 price tag (including shipping). It’s about as close to a perfect 10 cigar as I’ve come in a long, long time.

I’ve never seen Tatuaje cigars in a shop, but I’m thinking I may have to keep an eye out for them. If their standard lines are anywhere near this quality, then these guys really know what they’re doing. I’m sorry I missed The Drac, a Nicaraguan smoke with a Maduro wrapper. I don’t know if I missed this year’s entry or it hasn’t been announced yet; there’s a “Boris” listed with no info but “no longer in production” on its page.

I’ll be having something else tonight. Now that I’ve written this, and recalled how well The Face went, I hope I haven’t set myself up for disappointment.

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: Rocky Patel The Edge

Of course this was a good smoke. Come on, it’s a Rocky Patel.

The Edge apparently comes in two different wrappers, and I had the Corojo wrapper. This surprised me, as I don’t normally dig on the Corojo. It’s just a personal flavor preference. This cigar had a nice, bold smoke that didn’t overwhelm the palate. A good draw, an even burn, solid construction, just an all-around good smoke. It did turn a bit harsh near the end, as it didn’t react well to my relights. However, given this isn’t normal cigar-smoking behavior, I can’t fault the maker for that one.

Besides, relights for me are a good sign: it means I’m too into what I’m writing to take my fingers off the keyboard for a puff on the cigar.

There are only three smokes in my humidor left: a Gurkha Black Beauty and a Padron from my publisher, and a Tatuaje The Face special edition cigar I purchased on a special buy from my cousin. I look forward to all three, and I’ll have to save one to celebrate the finish of Lie with the Dead, but this is not good. Time to start shopping for box deals or to hit a shop with a good humidor and pick up some variety again.

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: La Gloria Cubana Artesanos de Tabaqueros

I picked up this La Gloria Cubana because it looked interesting.

La Gloria Cubana

Two wrappers, one stick.

The last dual-wrapper smoke I had was a Gurkha, but it wound the wrappers together like a barber pole. This, on the other hand, promised a separation of flavors.

I’ve got work to do tonight so I’m going to keep this simple: their trick worked, and I loved it. As the look advertises, it starts out as a light-to-medium smoke to sort of ease you into things. It lets you relax and unwind, and then the stronger flavors kick in when you’re ready to really start enjoying it.

Here’s a better look at the transition hidden behind the ring:

La Gloria Cubana, Lit

Two distinct wrappers.

It still feels a bit like a gimmick, but again, it works. I truly enjoyed smoking this one.

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: 5 Vegas Miami

The better weather is starting to show some consistency. Tonight was the first time all year I was able to grab a cigar and sit out on the porch to get a little bit of work done.

I chose a 5 Vegas Miami this time, courtesy of my cousin TriMarkC. Built from Nicaraguan tobacco with a Nicaraguan Corojo wrapper, it reminded me quite a bit of the Punch Rare Corojo, which I haven’t had in a while. The full body offers a heady taste without overwhelming the palate, and the smooth burn offers up plenty of smoke. I set it down several times as I worked, and never had any problems with it going out or losing the burn. The wind did play havoc on one side, but relights at those points did not sour the smoke; in fact, I never even detected a difference. If you’re a fan of full-bodies cigars, this is one to sit and savor after a good meal, not to chomp on while hacking up the golf course or doing yard work.

Even more important, I was able to sit and relax with it and get some work done on¬†The Pack: Lie with the Dead. As I said on Twitter, I think I’m falling in love with this book all over again. Sitting outside with the iPad and a cigar really helps my focus. It’s been way too long since I’ve been able to pull that off.

Here’s hoping the weather’s done playing games and I can keep it 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.