Tag Archive for tatuaje

Smoke Blog: A Cigar Ramble

“Dad, why do you do things that are bad for you?”

The middle son asked me that as I walked out of a local liquor store with a fistful of cigars. It’s a fair question, and a reasonable one for a nine year old to throw at his old man. It prompted a conversation on vice and moderation. This brought on several follow-up questions from the eleven year old, an active participant in his school’s D.A.R.E. program.

Kids aren’t stupid. I answered them straight: “Yep, they’re bad for me, but I like ’em.”

Cigar aficionados can debate the finer points of the chemical content and additives in cigarettes versus cigars, or the differences between puffing and inhaling, but when it comes down to it, there will always be a risk involved in lighting something on fire and taking in the smoke.

Thus, moderation.

Of course, binging on them kind of kills the idea of moderation. I’d been a good boy most of the summer, but after vacation I set out on a mission to burn through the contents of my humidor. I’m pretty sure my doctor would punch me in the face if he knew how many I’d gone through.

But, hey. Stress. And a powerful need to get some writing done.

I did a piss-poor job of keeping track of them or keeping the cigar bands, so I don’t recall what I had. I know two were Tatuaje Little Monsters, both of which were quite good, but the details escape me. The writing needed to be focused on some short work and a comic script, so I didn’t set aside the time for Smoke Blog entries.

I can tell you, however, the Partagas 1845 I smoked tonight blew me away, right from the light. Hints of cocoa on the wrapper, a smooth draw, thick smoke with leathery note, and solid construction all combined for a blissful, relaxing experience. The cigar dude at Friar Tuck assured me I’d enjoy it, and he was dead on.

I needed it. This is the busiest time of year at the day gig, and I’ve been non-stop for a week and a half now. Some weekend work and a lot of time doing extra tasks from home, combined with vendor phone system issues and construction setting me back even more, has had me on edge. I haven’t been able to get to karate class or do my home workouts, much less write.

The Partagas, a glass of Four Roses bourbon & soda, and some mindless browsing through paper notebooks and notebook reviews proved a great way to unwind.

And that, kids, is why some bad things are also good for me.

In moderation.

Now my humidor sits empty on my desk. I’m going to need a box of something to refill it, but I may need to sell some books first. Nudge nudge, wink wink.

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 Last Stick

Down to the last cigar in the humidor last night, so I made it a good one: Tatuaje’s The Wolfman.

Making the Magic Happen

The only way to write

I took my time and enjoyed it while working on rewrites for a short story. As expected, a great cigar right down to the knuckles. Excellent flavor, easy draw, lots of smoke… just a good, all-around experience.

I’ve emptied the humidor to re-season it, but now that the grocery getter’s transmission needs an overhaul, I won’t be able to restock for a bit. It’s going to feel very different sitting out there tonight without a cigar in hand.

Sad panda.

Sad Panda

How will Mikey make the magic happen now?

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: Writing Outside

Tonight’s cigar, the Tatuaje “The Face” special edition, was every bit as good as I remembered from the first time I had one: magic right down to the nub. I need to invest in some of their regular lines.

I might have to do so soon, too. This is one of the last two cigars in my humidor. I’m going to empty it out so I can re-season it in an attempt to solve some humidity problems I’ve been having.

Tonight also reminded me how much I love writing outdoors.

I get some of my best work done at night, sitting on the porch with a cigar. The family has gone to bed, the neighborhood is quiet, and everything I need to accomplish during the day is done and behind me. I can get up and pace the porch or wander the yard to mull over a sentence, and I can get comfortable without feeling chained to a desk.

I’m trying to adapt my schedule to do this more often. The words come a lot easier at these times. I hate to go to bed now, but the day job calls in the morning. These are the nights I’m confident I can pull off a full-time writing schedule once all these projects come to fruition and they start paying the bills.

The schedule is a bit off and there’s some changes in direction, but the Exit Strategy is still in full swing.

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 Wolfman

I had too much going on to make it up to C2E2 over the weekend, but I did manage to find the time to sit down for a cigar. I visited a friend with two of the limited edition Tatuaje Wolfman sticks I purchased last Halloween, and we discussed some business over a good smoke.

This is the second Halloween release I tried from Tatuaje, the follow-up to 2010’s The Face, which I thoroughly enjoyed. That memory gave me high expectations for the Wolfman, and after my usual winter difficulties with the humidor, I worried I’d ruined the three Wolfman smokes I purchased. Undeterred by the brisk Spring winds coming off the Illinois River, I touched my lighter to the rough, beard-like foot of The Wolfman and braced myself for the worst.

The Wolfman

"Smoke up, lady!"

Wow. Spicy dark chocolate comes to mind with this bad boy. A very bold, full-bodied flavor, harsh on light but quickly settling into a robust, pleasant smoke. I botched the light in the wind and fought an uneven burn though much of the smoke, but it never went out. It had a richer profile than I recall from The Face, which I felt was the right way to handle it: new year, new blend/flavor.

I wish I knew what filler and wrapper they used, but the Tatuaje website doesn’t list The Wolfman in the Limited Release section. I feel like there was a Cameroon leaf in there somewhere, which is not normally a favorite of mine. If I’m correct, it worked in this blend. Once again I find myself thinking I need to seek out the Tatuaje brand in a cigar shop or online.

I’m going to save the third Wolfman for a celebratory occasion, probably the turning in of the final draft of Lie with the Dead. I plan to take it indoors, too, to see how much more enjoyable it may be without the wind to tangle with.

I’m already looking forward to what Tatuaje does for Halloween this year.

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 ┬áhumidor 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.