Size: 5 x 52 Robusto
Humidor time: 5 weeks
Number of cigars smoked prior to review: 0
Today we take a look at the Tiger Kitty Sharp Claws by Cigar Federation and BLTC.
This is a Cigar Federation joint venture with Black Label Trading Company.
Thanks to Eric Chen for the cigar.
From the Cigar Federation web site:
“Everyone loved the Tiger Kitty Soft Paws, but some of you cigar nerds thought it should be stronger. While I was shocked you would want a stronger Connecticut I am never one to back down from a challenge. Meet the bolder, bad ass brother of the TKSP’s, the Tiger Kitty Sharp Claws. It has the all the things you love about the TKSP’s but ramps it up in terms of strength. I was able to get my hands on some different ligeros which balance the body and don’t upset the flavor profile. Once you smoke it you will see.”
Tiger Kitty Sharp Claws has a rating of 5.0 stars out of 5 based on 4 customer reviews.
I reviewed the Mike Hunt (Good) and the GreenGo (Great) blends this last week. I have one more after this: Craven Morehead. Or is it Seymour Butts?
The wrapper is a semi-oily gingerbread color. Smooth as silk to the touch.
Seams are tight. There are some humungous veins on this thing. A couple look like they want to burst open revealing the Alien creature.
It has lots of old man wrinkles. The stick is fairly solid.
The triple cap is so impeccably constructed it nearly looks like a quad cap.
AROMAS AND COLD DRAW NOTES:
From the shaft, I smell floral notes, spice, caramel, chocolate, coffee, cedar, curry spices, licorice, and pumpkin seeds.
From the clipped cap and the foot, I smell hay, strong red pepper, chocolate, caramel, cedar, exotic spices, and floral notes.
The cold draw presents flavors of black pepper, malt, chocolate, caramel, hay, coffee, and cedar.
Good draw. First flavors are black pepper, creaminess, chocolate, strong variety of malts, caramel, pear, cedar, and several elements that just are on the cusp of making themselves clear to me.
The start of the Tiger Kitty Sharp Claws is just like the start of the GreenGo. Bold and complex.
Strength is medium body.
Malts, creaminess, and chocolate are in the forefront…running the show.
I never quite understand keeping the leaf stats secret. Can only be two reasons…they don’t know because the cigars have long been forgotten in some warehouse, or they want to build a mystique around the blend.
The additional third reason is because they broke into someone’s warehouse and stole the tobacco. The third reason is highly unlikely but must be considered. (I’m kidding)
The stick is burning quickly. Must not be as fully packed as I thought.
The caramel makes a nice transition into the mirepoix of the dominant flavors.
The blend seems to have taken a step back from medium to mild/medium body.
From the 1-1/4” smoked, I am not experiencing an overwhelming sense of being treated to something special. Don’t get me wrong. So far, it is a nice blend. But it has a ways to go before it becomes a great blend.
Several burn issues have occurred requiring touch ups.
Complexity shows its coattails. The finish seeks out a longer denouement.
Another touch up required. Excuse me while I take care of this.
The Tiger Kitty Sharp Claws doesn’t possess the quality of GreenGo but I do like it more than the Mike Hunt.
The Tiger Kitty Sharp Claws is an easy going smoke perfect for newbies. The strength has resumed its course of being medium body.
Smoke time is a little over 20 minutes.
Blam. I am rewarded with the blender’s intent. The Tiger Kitty Sharp Claws obviously needed the first third to warm up on deck and is now ready to impress me with shock and awe.
This is what I’m talkin’ ‘bout.
Loads of complexity, a mile long finish, and big brash flavors. Now we’re cooking.
The Tiger Kitty Sharp Claws is now giving the GreenGo a run for its money.
Strength remains at medium body. I find this odd for a cigar described by the manufacturer as medium/full. I should be having some sense of that by now. I suppose it will go crazy in the last third.
The burn rate begins to slow down. That’s good.
“Black Magic Woman” is on the TV music channel. 1970. Yikes. How can that song be 46 years old? I remember that song because I had just bought my Gibson EBO bass…just like Jack Bruce’s; and we gigged that night and I remember playing this song and those humbucker pickups rocked the walls.
Complexity puts the Tiger Kitty Sharp Claws into the caste of premium cigar category. Though, transitions aren’t keeping up. No additional flavors since I first listed them.
The complex nature of the blend has not developed a whirling dervish of elements; but rather, it turns the flavors into one big comprehensive flavor profile…making some flavors unidentifiable on their own.
That’s OK. Because I’m digging it just the way it is.
Rush is playing now. Never liked the band. Not because of the musicianship. Top notch. But Geddy Lee’s voice creeps me out. He sounds like a Chipmunk. A great bassist though.
I’ve only had to tap the ash once so far. That is a testament to the construction of the stick.
I reach the halfway point.
Smoke time is 35 minutes.
I’d love to get a photo of the nice long ash but it is screaming at me to let it go and give it its freedom.
Super creamy. But still medium body.
The only significant transitions I can acknowledge are the ebb and flow of the strength of the flavor profile. One moment, things are in my face. The next moment, flavors mellow out and become less than impressive. I’m detecting a bit of schizoid behavior from this blend.
I keep reminding myself that the Tiger Kitty Sharp Claws is only a $7.50 stick. A buck or so less and it would be a Torano. So under these circumstances, the blend is doing exceptionally well in comparison.
A surge of nice flavors hits me square in the puss: Creaminess, chocolate, caramel, malts, nuts, cedar, nougat, coffee, and pumpkin.
Not exactly a kitchen sink but it does well with what it provides.
For some crazy reason, ever since the second half began, the char line has been exemplary.
I’d prefer if the Tiger Kitty Sharp Claws was stronger. It shouldn’t take this long to get to the target strength.
I like a little more oomph.
Because of the milder strength than the Mike Hunt and GreenGo, the Tiger Kitty Sharp Claws is more of a knock around stick. One doesn’t need to lock themselves in their man cave savoring every minutia of what the blend has to offer. It is the perfect cigar to smoke while doing errands and you have other things on your mind.
A nice genteel blend. Won’t set any records or see a perfect score from me. But I get it.
Methinks I got lucky with experiencing the best blend, GreenGo, on the first review.
Then the magic carpet ride begins. We have medium/full strength with less than 2” to go.
Smoke time is 50 minutes.
Sonovabitch. A crack forms about an inch long near the foot.
The place I live provides the heat. But they are chintzy on when they allow the boilers to crank up. It has to be below 50° before that happens. So nights get cold and it takes forever to see some warmth. I wonder if my humidors get too cold. Humidity is fine. I have no other explanation for the cracking.
Under other circumstances, I would take a couple points away due to construction issues. In this case, I believe it is due more to environmental issues rather than humidity or construction. More on my wonderful apartment later.
The crack is widening and may ruin the cigar before I finish it.
The blend is so smooth that even at the bolder strength it is a great cigar for newbies.
So far, no sign of nicotine.
I have re-aligned my thoughts about the Tiger Kitty Sharp Claws. Pleasant but not outstanding. It has moved from the front of the line of the other two Color Project blends reviewed to third in line. It basically pooped out.
I still have the Craven Morehead to review and I hope I’ve retained the best for last.
Flavors do a disappearing act on me. They go into the blah universe. See. A schizoid blend. One moment blazing…the next just so so.
That momentary excitation of flavors just before the last third began is reduced to rubble.
I’m bored with the Tiger Kitty Sharp Claws now. It isn’t going anywhere surprising and the complexity and minor transitions are on the wane. It is turning into a Torano. Oh the horror.
Of the three Color Project blends I have now smoked, the Tiger Kitty Sharp Claws has finished out as just a tick above an ordinary blend.
But then, that’s just my opinion. I could be wrong.
Final smoke time is one hour 10 minutes.
I thought we moved into a nice apartment complex. Rent ain’t cheap.
There are 3 buildings. 300 apartments.
Each building is built like a giant U lying on its side with the main entrance about 75’ from the curb. And the legs of the U being directed towards the street.
Two days ago, while getting out of my truck from running errands, I learned that we had a fire at 1am the previous night…and I never heard about it. I found out because a local NBC affiliate had a young chick roving reporter trying to find out about the fire; which turned out to be arson and a little girl was badly burned.
I found out, on fucking camera, that there was a fire in my building.
I bet the reporter ate that shit up with a spoon. Watching my reaction to the news of the fire. (Didn’t bother to see if they had me on that night..I’d just have buyer’s remorse on what I had to say).
Here is my concern…why didn’t the building fire alarm go off? That would have awakened Charlotte and me.
Now there is a big police sticker on the front of the building offering $5K for any info on the arson event.
As I wiggle my way out of the TV interview, a neighbor told me that a girl had been murdered in my building a few months ago. What?
Another neighbor told me that late at night, a shit load of drug dealing goes on right in front of the complex. Unmarked cars sit waiting for them. Turns out this is one of many drug centrals in this lovely town.
The second month we were here, a dude tried to mug me as I was heading into the locked door of my building. He started screaming at me to stop as I put my key in the lock. He wanted me to hold the door for him.
He began to curse at me.
I was packing my Glock but evading is a lot better than shooting.
A nano second before the bum could grab the door knob, with me pulling the door closed from the inside, it locked into place.
The asshole started yelling, “You fucking mother fucker….et al.”
Turns out he and his partner were busted later that night for selling drugs from their car parked in front of our building.
AND…that unmarked cars were sitting and watching while this punk tried to mug me. They didn’t want to fuck up the bust later so I’m sure they were hoping I would get away; or not shoot him. So they just watched.
Until you find yourself in a possible violent incident; and you do have a CCW, you don’t know how you will react. Thankfully, my training was hard wired. Run away. Don’t make the first instinct to pull your gun. If you have to because the situation is life or death; well, so be it.
Legal fees, especially when you are innocent, are expensive.
I ordered some pepper spray for Charlotte. She won’t carry a gun. She is afraid of them…although she has come to the range with me a few times and participated. But she doesn’t like recoil.
And the scenario that cops repeatedly warn you about? Parking garages.
We have an underground garage that can only be entered with an outside key or from the building.
Snow is coming. Don’t want to be scraping snow off our truck every day. So, the cramped garage is the answer.
I will feel better if I accompany Char every time she goes down to take the truck out and when she brings it back.
The funny thing is that I spent 2 months researching a good place to live. And this was the winner. Lol.
I did something I’ve never done. I went on to my blog dashboard and did some nosing around my site stats. For the first time, I saw what the 10 highest rated posts are.
I had to laugh hard.
Now I get about 1.25 million visitors per year. Not as much as the big guy reviewers but good enough to make me relevant. I didn’t want to list the numbers beside each post but they are all in the 20K-30K range.
So…Here is the top 10:
1. The Katman’s Top 25 Cigars of 2015
2. The Katman’s List of 167 Great Cigars in the $5.00-$8.00 Range
3. The Katman’s Top 25 Cigars for 2013-2014
4. The Katman’s Best 214 Boutique Brands/Blends in the $6-$11.00+ Range
5. Ramon Bueso Genesis The Project
6. Cigar Review- Oliva Saison
7. Cigar Review- Legado de Pepin by Pepin Garcia
8. Cigar Review- Obsidian White Noise
9. Gurkha Warpig | Cigar Review
10. Latitude Zero | Cigar Review
This tells me everything.
I write an average of 350 reviews per year. Less this year because of health issues for 2-3 months.
Why not the least hits of the bottom 10:
1. Inferno by Oliva
2. Quesada 40th Anniversary Corona Clasica
3. Futuro Selección Suprema by Warped Cigars & Casa Fernández
4. Espinosa Especial No.5
5. Kristoff Galerones Intensivo
6. Bolívar Super Coronas Edición Limitada 2014 (Cuban)
7. Gunslinger Perdition by The Outlaw Cigar Company 7.
8. Man O’ War Side Project Skull Crusher
9. Makin’ Bacon by Ezra Zion Cigar Co.
10. Montecristo Reserva Negra
Lastly, I want to thank all those sending me those medieval emails. Gives me a new perspective. Look, it just means that I’m connecting. Either by those that enjoy my writing; or by those that absolutely despise me and want to rip my kidneys out…but can’t stay away. They need their fix of Katman every day so they can feel good about themselves. At least they aren’t as big an asshole as Kat is. And they’re right.
Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS