La Bohéme Pittore by Boutique Blends | Cigar Review

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Binder: Dominican
Filler: Dominican
Size: 5.125 x 52
Body: Medium/Full
Price: $11.30/$10.50 at Small Batch Cigar/ $9.45 after discount



Today we take a look at the La Bohéme Pittore by Boutique Blends.

The cigar comes in 4 sizes:
Mimi: 3.5 x 46 $6.90 MSRP $6.25 @ SBC
Pittore: 5.125 x 52 $11.92 MSRP $10.50 @ SBC
Poeta: 5.75 x 54 $12.21 MSRP $11.00 @ SBC
Musico: 6.25 x 60 $13.13 MSRP $11.75 @ SBC

Naturally, the name of the cigar is named after Puccini’s composition.

Rafael Nodal debuted the cigar at the 2014 IPCPR trade show.

Cigar Aficionado gave it a 91 saying:
“A beautifully made Toro whose rich, creamy smoke has a salty, spicy core complemented by minerals, bright notes of dried orange peel and a peppercorn finish.”

This is a limited production run. Yet every one and his brother are selling them online. For some reason, there is no mention of this cigar on the Boutique Blends (Oliveros Cigars, Aging Room Cigars) web site. I can’t find information on how many cigars were produced. Must be a lot for the big online stores to carry them.

It’s a beautiful sunny morning. And the sunlight bounces off the sticks showing off the oiliness and sheen of the wrapper. In the sunny photos, the wrapper is a golden brown but in the darkness of the man cave, they look just plain medium brown with a touch of Colorado.

The wrapper is nicely mottled with tight seams and lots of veins. The stick is pretty hard and there is no give when pushed. The triple cap is near flawless.

I clip the cap and find aromas of spice, cinnamon, ginger, sweetness, vanilla notes, coffee and roasted nuts.
Time to light up.

Big dollops of spice hit my palate first. Followed by cream, sweetness, caramel, and cedar.

The draw is huge fogging up my eyes and causing them to tear. The char line starts on the money.

The strength is medium+ bodied.

Rafael Nodal has been on a roll so it’s sort of a slam dunk that this blend will be a winner. This is my second cigar. The first was smoked two days ago and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

A very earthy tobacco element is present. More so than the usual blend. It gives of that earthy mineral flavor.

Some cracks form on the wrapper. My shipment of cigars got lost by the postal service and they spent a week in transit in the frigid cold. I’m afraid there is nothing I can do about it. A couple days of cold can be remedied by a nice warm humidor. But a week? I’m finding out that the cigars shrunk so badly from the cold that even 67% humidity was too much and made the stick swell causing the cracks. That’s what happened to the Illusione ~eccg~20th I reviewed a couple days ago.

The other reviews I read told of perfect construction so I know it is the post office to blame for this catastrophe.

With ¾” burned, the cigar blossoms exponentially. We now have big flavors.
The spice, creaminess, and caramel are all in the same spot vying for my attention.
Cinnamon, coffee, sweetness and cedar follow closely.

The blend hits medium/full. That was fast.

The cigar band is beautiful. The cameo of a woman adorns the front. La Bohéme is a libretto based on the romantic relationship between Rodolfo and Mimì, ending with her death. So I suppose we are looking at Mimi.

The char line is behaving like a champ. I glued the problem areas and my fingers are crossed I’ve nipped the problem in the bud.
Citrus appears. Lemon zest.

The cigar is very heavy in the hand. I reviewed the Famous Smoke house brand of the Montecristo Relentless yesterday and it felt like a feather in my hand. Smoked like one too.

I gave up on the classic rock channel on TV. Too much metal. Not enough classic. So this morning, I gave the 60’s channel a try. The occasional Neil Sedaka throws me for a loop but it seems to concentrate on the British Invasion music which was what I grew up with. And loved.

The La Bohéme Pittore by Boutique Blends is a terrific blend. It has some early complexity. A very nice balance. And a long finish.

The second third begins.

And the ash is hanging tough just waiting to fall on to my lap. While a couple reviewers didn’t care for the cigar, I’m digging it big time. But then I am a big fan of Nodal’s blends.

This isn’t that far off from the Aging Room Quattro F55. I read the review and it’s not all that different from this one.

The ash makes it to 2-1/8” before it gently disembarks in the ashtray.

Here they are: Spice, creaminess, coffee, sweetness, caramel, cedar, cinnamon, and earthy tobacco.

I remove the beautiful cigar band and the wrapper looks good. A small crack left but it looks as though I will burn right through it shortly. Huzzah!
The complexity is fully set now. Great balance of flavors. And a long, chewy finish.

The price point. I wrote the review for the Quattro F55 back in March, 2013 and the Churchill was $7.75. It is now $9.20.
I consider double digits an expensive cigar. Retail is $11.50. But at Small Batch Cigar, after your discount, it is only $9.45. There is no Churchill in this blend. The Pittore size of 5.125 x 52 is perfect for my tastes.

Based on the quality of the cigar, its price point is spot on. I’m not saying it isn’t worth $11.50 but I’m looking at that price through the eyes of an old man living on social security. On a 5 pack, it is a $10.25 savings over retail at SBC.

I reach the halfway point.
Damn fine cigar.

I’m listening to the music channel and they are playing tune after tune that legendary Hall of Fall drummer Hal Blaine played on. Like right now, they are playing the Mamas & Papas. IN the 60’s, we used to gobble up the liner notes of an album. And I saw the names of the L.A. Wrecking Crew over and over. They became my heroes. Whoda’ thunk that only 15 years later, I would be under the mentorship of Hal. More on that after the review.

More cracks form and out comes the cigar glue. Damn shame.
I now hate the postal service.

But nicer weather is on the way for the Midwest and things should change drastically.

The La Bohéme Pittore by Boutique Blends is oozing flavor.
The medium/full strength brings with it some nicotine now.

I just give trying to control the cracks with glue. Damn post office.

Very complex now. I think I can taste a bit of cocoa now.

The last third begins.

The La Bohéme Pittore by Boutique Blends is a helluva cigar.

The spiciness is almost completely gone now.
The creaminess and caramel and coffee reign supreme.

There is toastiness and some roasted nuts now.

The glue managed to keep the cigar from falling apart. In spite of the wrapper issues, I truly enjoyed this blend.

The La Bohéme Pittore by Boutique Blends finishes out very near full bodied. The nicotine isn’t too bad. No crash helmet needed.

Small Batch Cigar is selling 4 packs. And they have plenty left. Make sure you tell Andrew that the Katman sent you.

The cigar is smooth as glass. No sign of harshness or heat.
A wonderful blend. Kudos Rafael.

And now for something completely different:

Hal Blaine. Hall of Fame drummer.

I have so many fun stories associated with Hal, it is hard to choose.

Let’s see….Hal invited me to lunch on his yacht. Along with some other session player friends. I don’t remember their names. A nice bunch of Jewish boys. So Hal ordered from Canter’s Deli on Fairfax. (First owned by vaudevillian comedian, Eddie Canter.)

We had a smorgasbord of Jewish comfort food. I refuse to list them because I live in Milwaukee where there is not a single Jewish deli. Well…not one that should be allowed to call itself Jewish. All crap. I have to go to Chicago to indulge…90 miles away. Just like Cuba and Florida.

We lit up a doob before we ate. And stories were told. I was amongst the big league of L.A. musicians. So I mostly listened until Hal told them I played with Stew Copeland of The Police. Our stories made us laugh so loud, and hard, we thought someone would complain and call the cops. Does pot make you paranoid?

For fuck’s sake, we were on a yacht docked in Marina Del Rey. Who the hell is going to complain?

I’m one of those guys that loves to hear stories. You have no idea how many musicians I knew that got jealous when hearing them and got all shitty. Not me. I loved listening to bits of history. I loved music since I was a little guy.

Again, I cannot remember names but one guy asked if we wanted to see his new studio?

We were stuffed to the gills with some of the heaviest food on the planet. And Hal had 20 years on us. And then the same fella brought out dessert: Colombian marching powder. Wham! I was no longer lethargic.

Off we went. This guy owned a studio…or should I say; STUDIO!!

It was in the Hollywood Hills surrounded by homes of musicians and movie stars. The view was to die for.

To make a long story short, we all sat down and grabbed an instrument. Luckily, I was the only bassist.

We started jamming on “Sugar, Sugar,” by the Archies. LMAO. We were all high and laughing hysterically. One of the guys had actually played on the record. There was no Archies. Totally a conglomeration of studio cats.

We played for about an hour. And then, in walked Bobby Hatfield and Bill Medley…The Righteous Brothers. Hal had called them from his car on the way to the studio.

I almost shit myself. I had met them once before when I interviewed them for my PBS TV show in 1982.

The drummer had lit up another doob and Bill walked over and took it from him. And then laughed a huge belly laugh. After a few drags, he handed it to Bobby.

I knew what was coming and I did not know a single song in their catalog. Oh fuck!

I took the studio owner aside and asked if he had one of those giant music books with 1000 songs in them? He did and it had all the boys’ songs. Whew.
Unfortunately, it was a piano book with the bass lines for the left hand of the piano. So I did some wood shedding when we began to play.

Bobby and Bill made it absolutely clear that no recording will go on. They were very stern about this. They didn’t want any boot legs showing up. I thought that here was my only chance to play with these guys and I’d have no record of it…so to speak.

The first hour, we jammed on a bunch of R & B tunes that everyone knew. They said they were in no hurry to sing their songs. And besides, we weren’t paying them. LOL.

Little Latin Lupe Lu was a mind fuck of an experience. This was the most fun song of the session. It lasted at least 30 minutes.
And then the sun set around 8pm on this California summer day. And guys were talking about getting home before their wives beat them. That was OK. We had played for 5 hours. And I was adrenaline soaked.

Hal drove us all back to his boat where our cars were parked.

A few months later, Hal called me and gave me Bill’s phone number. Their bass player was sick and couldn’t play Friday and Saturday at their own club in Orange County. Been there many times and once in a while, they showed up to perform.

I called Bill and he asked me if I wanted the gig? )($&KUE$%&((*%#@%*_?????!!!!
“Yes, sir.”
“You know our songs, right?”
“Yes, sir.”

Times were arranged and for two glorious nights, I was in the Righteous Brother’s Band. I told all of my friends and they didn’t believe me…so only a few came. It was a rush of the highest order to be on stage with these legends. Good memory.

Most of my friends were wannabe musicians that never really made it. And they were terribly jealous of what I had accomplished. So that was probably the real reason they didn’t come to see me play with The Righteous Brothers.

I never understood their attitude. I loved to tell the road stories and I could see their eyes roll. They weren’t like me. I loved road stories and I never saw it as someone bragging.

I remember being very sad, when in 2003, Bobby died of a heart attack brought on by cocaine at the age of 63.

I want to take a minute about his subject. I am 65 and did my share of drugs when I was young. But then it hit me that I am not made of Teflon and if I keep doing this bad things will happen.

I have so many friends that died in the mid 50’s because they did not take care of themselves. I don’t understand that. At some point, you have to realize that you are a middle aged man who is becoming fragile. My friends that died all drank hard and did coke and whatever else. And every single one died of heart failure.

Fortunately, I have a nice group of friends, which like me, realized doing drugs is for the young; not for old men. Protection Status


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