Sunday, July 29, 2012

Little Bit of This Little Bit of That

The week got off to an interesting start, when Monday morning I awoke, showered, and turned on SportsCenter.  This is no different than any other weekday morning except for live news coverage of the NCAA President announcing the penalties for my beloved Pennsylvania State University.  It was harsh, and many say that it is/was unfair. However whether Students, Alumni or just fans we have been beat up.  Some have called us PED State and others have referred to pSu and its fan base a Cult.  In regards to the sanctions it is what is.
 ".... I get fired up because this is our school.  The people have made this generalization, they say that we put football before education. Who is saying that? Have you read the rankings? Penn State is No. 1 in graduation rates. Penn State graduates eight out of 10 of their players. No other school can say that. To say that my degree means less because of what happened… No way, not a chance."

Senior Linebacker Michael Mauti

We Are STILL Penn State....

Now keeping with the topic at hand, I have mentioned that I will not be posting the same ole cigar photo I try and enjoy something new each week.

The Perdomo La Tradicion Cabinet Series P was a cigar that I picked up when I short on time and didn't want to spend over $6.  It is a well balanced smoke and after some interaction with Nick and Janine Perdomo I think the world of the Perdomo family.  They care about their product and they care about their customer.

Late in the week, Fine Ash Cigar in Avondale, with Eric Parkinson, hosted and Emilio Cigars launch party.   We were given a choice of the AF, AF1 or AF2.  Based on a discussion with Eric I was given the AF1 Robusto. The Cigar has a San Andreas Maduro wrapper with Nicaraguan filler/  I will describe the cigar as Dark and Rich that has both a spice and sweetness in its notes. 

A couple of weeks ago, a colleague took a trip to Costa Rica.  Before Jennifer left, I made a joke that my teammates went along with.  The joke was that if ANY of you go anywhere, and the trip is more than 45 minutes away and It involves plane or boat YOU must bring me a gift.  For the record in years past this has failed miserably. 

From Jennifer and Costa Rica I was given a Vegas de Santiago VDS Corona.  No its not a box press, but it came in a beautiful cedar travel tube

Aside from Cuba, most cigars come from the Dominican Republican, Nicaragua, Honduras

I was curious to find out about the tobacco that was this cigar.  My research concluded that the filler was a  Costa Rica Ligero blended with select Nicaraguan tobacco's .  The wrapper was a natural wrapper from Ecuador (assumption based on that's where the cigars in this line come from) 

During the Cigar Education portion of last month's West Valley Cigar Club Meet-up I learned that it is important to "re-season" your humidor every couple of months.  The extreme heat and low natural humidity in Arizona make this a necessity and is  good practice to get into. 

Anyways. me and my Ziploc Bag full of cigars are on our way to Fine Ash Cigars for a few hours.  Peace Out!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Sooner I Fall Behind, the More Time I Have to Catch-Up

That is a quote about procrastion,  again someone needed to remind me that I needed to update my blog.   I have become the creature of habit smoking the same thing day in and day out, but with the IPCPR show a few weeks away new product is making its way to my local cigar shops. It's like Christmas only more exciting.

The other day I was reminded that it was Maduro Monday, which is followed by Torpedo Tuesday, Habano Hump Day (which recently replaced Wavell Wednesday), Toro Thursday, Full Bodied Friday, and Sumatra, Sun Grown, or Shaggy Saturdays and Sundays.

Here is the San Lotano by A.J Fernandez, it is a Maduro but it also is a Toro, whiche means I can smoke it on a Thursday without getting any more grief from Shelley at Ambassador Fine Cigars
Breaking News:  Effective Immediately Wavell Wednesday is now Habano Hump Day! It makes it a lot easier to find something that falls within the guidelines of Themed Smoking Days.  Hindsight being forsight this looked good on paper, but is a royal pain in the ass!

<----At left is the San Lotano Habano Lancero, this cigar was paired with water but half-way through the smoke, I picked up tall hot blonde, from Starbucks, which brought out further notes of coffee  I was picking up along with a bit of earthiness.  This is a significantly more complexed cigar that the Maduro.

My favorite day of the week is Thursday. A few months back I started using the phrase S H I T, or So Happy It's Thurday.  What naturally occurred next was the creation of the SHIT Smoke.  Meant to be similar to the TGIF Smoke or the new MILF Smoke (MILF, meaning Man I Love Friday), the SHIT Smoke is gaining traction.  Well it's gaining traction at least on Twitter.

Recently I branched out and enjoyed the Viaje TNT ------->
With it's fuse like cap and closed foot, this is one explosive cigar.
Reminder Friday is Full Bodied Friday, but with all the new stuff arriving I had go "Against the Grain" and light up the new CLE 11/18 Corojo.  This cigar is classic corojo, spicy, burned slow, with a decent amount of  strength but not overpowering.  It is well priced and a thoroughly enjoyable cigar. 

In addition to the Corojo CLE also released the Cuarenta. Also available in the 11/18 size the Cuarenta  has a Habano wrapper  making it a flavorful medium-bodied smoke.

Last week I was given a pre-release of the Room 101  Papi Chulo (4 inch by 42 ring) Daruma.  I will describe this as a medium to full bodied smoke that left me wanting another one!

Wednesday evening was the monthly meetup of the West Valley Cigar Club, Chet Parker the president of the club, goes well out his way to make sure the events are memorable.  This event was about education, Professor Eric Parkinson  taught Cigar 101, topics included Region, Tobacco, Tasting Notes. The highlight of the event was the panel discussion that broke out between, Eric, Vartan Seferian, and Patrick Lagreid about Cuban Cigars.  It was like EF Hutton, when these three very knowledgable individuals spoke and people listened! And listened intently.  I also learned to Retro-Hale.  Retro-haling, in other words, is to smoke a cigar through the nose. It also helps distinguish much more flavors.

On a side note I won one of the door prizes (Above)  which include Cigars from Ajo, Cusano, Camacho, Berger and Argenti, Kristoff, Davidoff, Hoya de Monterrey, Vartan, and Rockey Patel.
The Hoya de Monterrey Reposado en Cedros figuardo,  as I understand it,  this cigar is agedin a cedar-lined aging room  via a process called immersion . I paired this with a glass of Robert Mondavi Meritage. I would have expected this to be heavy on the cedar notes but this cigar, in my humble opinion, was fairly well balanced with a straight burn and clear draw.

Bill Krawczyk, was my creative director at the Roseville Press Tribune. Bill, early on in my career, told me that some of the best ads are wine labels and cigar bands.  The band on the Flor De Las Antilles from My Fathers Cigar is one of the most beautfil pieces of art I have ever seen and is a fitting tribute to the Cuban heritage.  The Sungrown wrapper give this cigar a medium body, with fairly full flavors and its a box press!  Which gets it extra points in my book


This went thru the entire Phoenix Metro Area including  the cities of Scottsdale, Gilbert, Mesa, Apache Junction, Santan Valley, Chandler, Casa Grande and downtown Phoenix. by the time it our house, in the Southwest Valley it had lost most of it's steam

There was no official data on the size of this Haboob but it was estimated 2,000 feet tall and 40 miles wide and brought along with it winds of 35-50 MPH.

Sunday I tried another one of my door prize cigars.  The Padilla 1923 Torpedo.  This cigar has a Nicaraguan corojo wrapper, Cuban seed Nicaraguan criollo binder and filler.  I will again describe the cigar as medium to full bodied.

Anyway's need a laugh check out this new Facebook Page
Seriously? Silly sh!t said in the cigar lounge.  Quotes are real, ALL to real, only the names have been removed to prevent embarassment to those who actually said this stuff.

Friday, July 6, 2012

A Tight Knit Community Loses One of It's Own

The Phoenix Cigar Community is a close knit community. While we all have our favorite shops or lounges we often visit many shops throughout the Valley of the Sun.  If any of you had been toYe Olde Pipe and Tobacco on 24th Street and Camelback chances are you would have met Derek Tormala.  Early this morning I learned that Derek had passed away.  RIP Derek

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The Son's of Our Fathers...and Other Stuff

Yesterday it was pointed out, by a few of my friends, that I have not updated my blog in at least a month. I take it as a complement! I will think of it as my who shot J.R. the anti climatic end to a cliff hanger...Where'd I leave off I think it was a post about my Dad, that accidently got deleted.

June 15 marked the 8 yr anniversary of Dad's Passing. Nick Perdomo said it best, when speaking about his own fathers passing, he tweeted out that "It feels like 8 seconds."

As the Director of Media Operations for Saatchi and Saatchi/Los Angeles hewas basically responsible for how Toyota spent their advertising dollars. Dad never realized how important he was, it never phased him, nor did he care, what mattered to him was the three of us; Mom, my brother David, and me. But today when we run into former colleagues, associates, and media people that knew Dad we are constantly reminded of how dad was respected.

At his funeral I was speaking with a National Sales Rep from a major automotive publication who told me about a time how when she was pitching a sponsorship of some sorts to Toyota.  Dad declined the opportunity citing it was not right for Toyota.  What he did next stuck with me because it doesn’t happen anymore.  He asked the rep, who she was presenting to next and she told him.  He said well here’s what you can do to make your presentation better. She won the business.  I can tell you, first hand, this does not happen today.

Thanks Dad, for teaching me about life and the business that I love…

Cigars,  Cigars and More Cigars

Our monthly meet up of the West Valley Cigar Club was the best to date, as it is hotter than the 7th layer of Hell in the PHX we have moved the events indoors and are rotating the meetings between club sponsors.  The June meeting was at Fine Ash Cigars, in Avondale.  I like this shop; it has a great boutique cigar selection. a comfortable lounge, and it is only 3.2 miles from the house.  More importantly Sam and Rosie are great hosts, who give back to our community.

Chet Parker, the founder of club brought a special gift for several of us a case of Yuengling Lager.   Yuengling was Founded  in 1829 by  David G. Yuengling, A family-owned company, now spanning over 180 years of continuous operation.  Yuengling is available in only 10 States,  mostly along the eastern seaboard, so to get it on the West Coast quite the endeavor!  Thanks Chet!  I paired this, my favorite beer, with an El Tiante Oscuro.

I’ve been slowly stocking my humidor and I have quite the variety of cigar. I find the best most cost effective way to stock a humidor, especially if you don’t boxes, is to take advantage of event pricing By 5 get 2 free seems to be the most common promotion in Phoenix.

Events in the past month included Ambassador Fine Cigars hosting a Gurkha, My Fathers Cigar, Perdomo Cigars, and Fine Ash hosting Ashton and a Poker Tournament hosted by Eric Parkinson.

I have tried not to smoke the same cigar day in and day out.  So with out hesitation here what I have been smoking.

<---The Gurkha Master Select a fairly complexed, medium to full bodied cigar with notes of pepper, spice and earth.

The Gurka Cigars Cellar Reserve Perfecto. A nice medium body cigar that is earthy, woodsy (light oak) with no spice and no bitterness.--->

We interrupt our smoking for this important message.  HABOOB!  Which is an intense duststorm carried on an atmospheric gravity current Haboobs occur regularly in arid regions throughout the world including the PHX

Now back to our regularly scheduled blog

<----The Perdomo Cigar Grand Cru Grand Epicure, a 6 x 60 that is very well balanced.

By smoking TheIllusione 88 Claro Robusto I am doing my part for the Go Green Movement! This cigar just hit the shelves at Ambassador Fine Cigars and I was one of the first to enjoy it.  Most people think claro’s have notes of grass, now I am no expert but I believe this is 100%mental.  While on the milder side I detected notes of initial flavors are sweet and woody, with layers of vanilla and a hint of  cocoa. ---->

It has been 7 years since I have been back to Pennsylvania and the trip was long overdue.  My dilemma was to pack cigars or not.  Since it was short trip, only 4 days, I left my cigars at home.  Sunday, was the perfect day for a smoke, it had cooled down, was not so bloody humid so Kevin and I headed to Puff Discount Cigarettes.  They had a small selection from Altadis and I able to pick up four (4) Vega Fina Corona Gordo’s on the “cheap” That afternoon Kevin and I sat out on patio of the Hillbilly Hilton East, Where the Beer is Always Cold,  the Grill  always Hot, and the people crazy, drinking Youngling and enjoying the simple, affordable luxury, that is the cigar lifestyle.

The 10th Anniversary Criollo Robusto from Perdomo Cigars is another terrific cigar of medium to full body with notes of Oak and Almonds.--->

<---Oliva Series G this medium bodied box-pressed cigar is earthy with flavors, of nuts, leather, and spice with light coffee notes. 

The La Aroma de Cuba New Blend Robuso from Ashton Cigar. I must confess I grabbed  this one my mistake, thinking it was Mi Amor.  I have since smoked two or three from this line  I paired it with a Tall Hot Blonde (roast) from Starbucks and it really brought out the spice and coffee notes of this cigar. --->

It is July 4th, they day we celebrate our nations independence from Britain, as become a tradition, similar to Christmas Eve where we watch A Christmas Carol I am spending the day watching the HBO Miniseries John Adams

We well end this post with a quote

"If you can't sent money, send tobacco."
-George Washington to the Continental Congress, 1776