Themis Corona Gorda Famous Exclusive by Protocol

Pre-light:

Cold draw taste of tobacco and earthiness.

First third:

Great smoke output, burning nicely. A slight spiciness, nuts, and creamy very smooth. a slight spice on the retro.

Next third:

Smoke volume and burn still on point. In this size the flavors are more mellow than in the lancero. Coffee is creeping in the mix still nutty and creamy with a very smooth retro.

Final third:

Sooo smooth all the previous flavors still present and mingling nicely. Spice has picked up a touch in the retro. Smoke and burn both outstanding for the duration.

Final thoughts:

Yet again another great stick from the great guys at Protocol. Get you some if you can this size only available at Famous Smoke Shop.

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II Saints by Felix Assouline

Pre-light:

Cold draw tastes a little nutty. Love the first look of this stick as I enjoy perfectos and box-presses.

First third:

Draw was a touch tight till the burn got past the perfecto tip. Draw and smoke output both admirable. Unsalted peanuts were the first and most prevalent flavor with a touch of leather and a general nuttiness and spice on the retro.

Second third:

A small touch of fire to a spot to even up the burn other than that draw and smoke output are just fine. The peanut flavor still very pronounced with a bit of coffee showing itself occasionally. Ash dropped around the halfway point.

Last third:

With the exception of the touch up no problems with draw or burn. Coffee and peanuts stayed the prevalent flavors with the retro getting spicier towards the end.

Final thoughts:

This was my first Felix Assouline smoke and I enjoyed it. I was really surprised by the peanut taste as I have tasted “hints” of peanuts before but not like this there was no question as to what I was tasting. I will for sure be trying their other offerings.

Jacobs Ladder Top Rung lancero by Southern Draw

Pre-light:

Feels firm touch of dry grass scent. Closed foot so no cold draw.

First third:

Burn is great smoke and draw are both outstanding occasionally lanceros have a tough draw but no such problems with this guy. Earthy and spicy for the first third with an extra spicy retro.

Second third:

Started picking up bread and leather with spice toned down on both the draw and the retro. Ash fell just before this pic.

Final third:

Draw and burn top notch the entire time. Nuts and fresh bread with the spice creeping back up especially on the retrohale.

Finale thoughts:

A truly enjoyable smoke the flavors varied and delicious. I always make sure to keep some Southern Draw sticks around and these will be a permanent part of that stash.

Watchman Maduro Toro Premium Hand Rolled Cigar

20181025_120018.jpg20181025_120135Pre-light:

Beautiful suede maduro wrapper. Good solid feel, firm and even. Spiffy, attractive black foot band. Sweet fermented tobacco aroma emanating from the body. Excellent draw, pre-light with notes of tea, wood, leather and spice.

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First Third:

Hits you with a ton of strength right from the light. Strong peat, earth and leather flavors. Sharp burn line, nice white ash. Getting a little pepper now on the retrohale, with hints of baked bread and pie crust. Nice thick, oily wrapper as well. Ample smoke output.

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Second Third:

Becoming more complex in taste. Notes of leather, earth and spice. Still strong with a smooth character developing. Stacking dimes at this point, Ash still holding on strong. Less pepper on the retrohale, with strong rich flavors lingering on the palate. Immaculate burn line. Ash dropped off about half way.

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Last Third:

Flavors continue to develop. Buttery and nutty with notes of leather, earth and black coffee. Smoke output is plentiful. Still nice and spicy on the retrohale. Smooth and strong. Pepper fading away near the end, leaving a sweet, satisfying taste on the palate.

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Final Thoughts:

Another very solid cigar from Watchman Cigars. Superb performance throughout the entire cigar. Complex, developing flavors as you progress through the cigar. A necessity for your humidor.

My Search for Zen… Found in Cigars

20181020_215942My entire life I’ve searched for a place of stillness. A place of peace and tranquility. First outside myself, then within. Not an easy thing to come by, as I’m sure you’re all aware.

While I found satisfaction in my work and in my family & friends, I was always seeking that place of zen. An avid outdoorsman, I have sought the reconnection of my mind, body and spirit in nature. Through the practices of camping, hiking and floating down the river, I learned to find stillness within myself. And in doing so, began to realize my connection to the universe and to the world around me. This is of course, a lifelong process and learning experience. And while all these things were good, I still didn’t understand how to find my zen in the moment. So I continued to search.

Then one day, my great friend Terrence Bumgarner invited me to his home for scotch and a cigar. Little did I know, my life was about to change.

My son had begun to play paintball with Terrence, and while unable to play myself I enjoyed the camaraderie of the team, and the sport of paintball.

Before a tournament on Saturday, Terrence invited my son and I over to hang out Friday evening. This is when he turned me on to my first “proper” drink of scotch, and my first premium cigar. Now, while it is true that I didn’t care for the scotch, (I’ve never been much of a drinker), I enjoyed the cigar immensely! I’ll never forget that first cigar. It was a Drew Estate Java Maduro. I realize to some of you, that may sound like a strange cigar for such an epiphany, but it changed my life nevertheless.

From that moment on, I was all in. I started with a 40 count humidor that Terrence gave me, then found another 40 count, and then a 80. Soon after I built a 500 count wineador. Soon, we were trading sticks back & forth and building our collections.

That was about the time he introduced me to the Cigar Dojo. Wow! I couldn’t believe how welcoming the Dojo community was. I began communicating daily with my Dojo family. I joined the Dojo in June of 2017. On July 4th Cigar Curt, (Curt Anderson), threw his own contest and I won 3rd place! I was hooked! I’ve won several more contests since then, and expanded my social media to accommodate my new love of cigars. And free stuff!

Terrence and I now have our own forum, the Table Rock Tokers, and are more involved than ever. It is truly a blessing to be a part of this great community. My love for cigars continues to grow. And I am constantly humbled by the kindness and generosity of this, our cigar family.

I don’t think I’ve heard a quote that sums up my feelings about cigars better than this one from Raul Julia.

“Maybe it’s like becoming one with the cigar. You loose yourself in it. Everything fades away. Your worries, your problems, your thoughts. They fade into the smoke, and the cigar and you are at peace.”

This is my place of zen. Lost in the cigar… focused on this moment. My life forever changed because of the humble cigar.

I hope everyone can find their peace in this moment. But if you’re having trouble, my advice is try smoking a great cigar!

 

 

The evolution of my hobbies….Hotwheels to Cigars

CBC8EC03-0D87-428A-A460-C157C03761DC.jpeg         All my life most of my hobbies have had both a collectable and a competitive element. When I was small it was Hotwheels, He-Man, G.I. Joe, comics, and Garbage Pail Kids all very collectable and never ending. Then out of high school I found Yu-Gi-Oh!, Magic The Gathering, and Vs. trading card games. All very collectable with varying levels of rarity and surprisingly competitive. I loved it a few times a month I would travel to tournaments where I won all kinds of swag and even cash I was ranked highly in my state in MTG and Vs.. But this is a highly competitive scene even when just playing around with friends. The chance for horrible, pointless rules arguments always looming. To stay competitive over time required constant investment of time and money so eventually I sold most of my collections.

Next came model based games DnD, Warhammer 40k, and X-wing. The Warhammer game involved building models then painting them and building scenery. It was the same with the X-wing game except the models were prebuilt for it. I got fairly good at painting the small figures and for the last while I would buy the models, paint them and sell them on eBay. Around this time I had another couple year run playing Magic… but the same ugly specters of competitive arguments and never ending cost raised their heads again.

Then came Paintball it was great and I wish I had found it earlier but all the people I knew that did it when I was younger were di**s. After like my second time playing I joined the Paintball Solders woodsball and scenario team. I really enjoyed it I have (if I do say so myself) great instinctive aim, wasn’t scared to get shot, and could move faster than it looks like I can. We were very competitive at events and always came away with awards. The team had great brotherhood on and off the field the camping and hanging out before and after events was as much fun as playing. But like all great hobbies very, very expensive and I was pushing 40.

While still paintballing some I lost my father to suicide and started smoking cigars regularly. The quiet meditative time I spent relaxing and thinking with a good cigar and the fellowship of the cigar community helped me deal with it. For about 4 years now cigars have been my thing. They like all my past hobbies can be expensive and I tend to go all in in whatever I do. I participate in any contest, group, blog, event that I can and get a fair amount of freebies. Cigars also have that collectable aspect new rare and different sticks are coming out all the time and I love it. Unlike my other hobbies there is no competitiveness only fellowship. Sure there are know it alls and snobs but overwhelmingly the cigar community is about brother/sister hood and sharing something enjoyable together. At every event I’ve been to I’ve met new friends from regular guys to company owners and presidents. I don’t think there is any other industry with the type of interaction between man off the street and the “Big wigs” as in the cigar industry.

All right I just wanted to let anyone who takes the time to read this or any of our reviews where I am coming from. And a huge shoutout to my brothers and sisters out in cigar land much love and thanks for all that you folks do to continue to grow and improve the community…… Cigardojo, Fatash, Kaplowitz media group, cigar Coop, PCN, Fedheads, Scoundrels all the groups I’m in or will be in, the industry, and mine and Clays group the Table Rock Tokers!