Size: 6 x 50 Toro
Today we take a look at the Kama Sumatra by Cigar Federation Tobacos.
This was a gift from a good buddy.
From Cigar Federation:
“If you have the opportunity to make a cigar, you make it the way you like it. For those of you that know me, you know I like hearty, bold, peppery cigars.
“How do I make a cigar that will be the ultimate “Logey-stogie”? It has to be big, bold and beautiful, like me. But it also needs to have some smoothness and sweetness, because you know how I roll.
“OK, here’s the backstory everybody always wants to hear. I’m at a factory in Nica. I tell the guy “Hey, I want to smoke all of your best tobacco from weird places so we can make a really special cigar with it. And it’s better if it’s stronger because I don’t like sissy tobacco.”
“So we did. For a long time. And it was really amazing. After a lot of blending and tweaking we had this blend that I called named “Logan’s Sexy Bitch Blend #1”. After market testing that name (with my wife), I changed it to Kama Sumatra both to highlight some of the tobaccos used and because it’s clever AF. (And because my wife said I should.)
“I’m really proud of it. It’s the inaugural cigar for the Cigar Federation Tobacos brand. I wanted to make sure it was really outstanding so that you’ll love it and want to buy the other cigars that are coming out soon!
“Total of 2k cigars were produced.”
A nearly rock hard stick. And a bit rustic looking. The wrapper is an oily chocolate/brunette in color.
Seams are well hidden but lots of veins; both big and small. The triple cap is beautifully applied. It is a heavy cigar confirming that is filled to the brim.
AROMAS AND COLD DRAW POINTS:
From the shaft, I can smell Mexican chocolate, a touch of spiciness, very creamy with dollops of sweetness, buttered popcorn, cedar, caramel, and bold malt elements.
From the clipped cap and the foot, I can smell strong dark chocolate, red pepper, creamy, caramel, cedar, nutty, espresso, and an assortment of raw nut meats.
The cold draw presents flavors of dark chocolate, red pepper, malts, espresso, cedar, caramel, and generic notes of sweetness.
The draw is nearly non-existent. I grab my PerfecDraw cigar poker and discover three large plugs from the cap to the foot. I pierce them and remove the blocked tobacco and now I have free and clear access to a clean draw.
The first puffs fill the room with plumes of smoke. The red pepper kicks in and feels like I bit into a ghost pepper. I like that.
Immediately, I get a char line issue. A hole is discovered in the errant burn.
I repair the run and move forward.
Lovely flavors of fruitiness, malts, chocolate, coffee, potent red pepper, cedar, loads of creaminess, roasted nuts, touches of black licorice and whipped cream and the new influence of floral.
Strength is a forceful medium/full.
With the plugs eliminated from the cigar, the stuffed chimichanga of a cigar rolls slowly allowing a continuum of early transitions that are impressive.
Unless the Kama Sumatra goes south on me at some point, the blend has all the makings of a fine high premium cigar. And it’s under $12!!
The burn line, while not out of control, is far from being consistent.
Black pepper replaces red pepper.
With only 1” burned, a surprising amount of complexity settles in. The finish is luxuriously long. And the transitions keep on chooglin’.
My last review…The Last Tsar; was a $21 chaotic mess. So far, the Kama Sumatra is doing just fine, thank you. It grows in flavor and character with each puff without the distraction of inconsistency.
Every time I type in Kama Sumatra, I think of Sting. The times I met him while he was in The Police, this little personality trait had not become public yet. I wish it had so I could have asked “What the fuck? Explain please and write down some techniques. I just want to get past 3 minutes” (Just kidding. I was a marvelous lover that could last, and lust, all night long; as long as the night was 30 minutes long).
Absolutely delicious cigar. Flavors firing on all cylinders. Deep complexity. And a joy to smoke. This is good.
The malt variations are having a big impact. That and the competitive chocolate, coffee, creaminess, and sweet nuts are in perfect symmetry.
I remember as a young man, a girl I slept with told me afterwards I had sweet nuts. I thought she was offering me a snack. It took a good 5 minutes to figure out what we both meant.
1-1/2” burned and a big juxtaposition occurs. The Kama Sumatra makes a huge shift in intensity. Prior to this, flavors were nuanced and subtle. Now, we have the MOAB’s.
Increased in value by an avalanche of pepper, malts, black coffee, chocolate, mint, sweetness made up of honey almonds, a bevy of dried fruits, and sweet hickory.
My hat is off to you, Logan Lawler. You seem to have scored big with this blend.
Smoke time is 40 minutes.
Strength is on the cusp of becoming full bodied.
This is a killer cigar. CF is backordered but they are taking email requests for when they resurrect them. I’d do it if I were you…I did.
The malts are now clearly delineated: Cara Munich, Chocolate Rye, Coffee, Honey, and Peated malt. (See Malt Chart).
The tobacco displays a deep, bawdy sense of earthiness and unabashed audacity.
Each puff brings new flavors to swirl around my palate. The transitions are doing the 40 in 3.7 seconds.
I tried one about a month ago and it was nothing like this. I believe this cigar has almost two months of humi time.
The Kama Sumatra has given me a boner. How apropos. Any cigar with this moniker should see the same expectations.
The Vulcan flavor meld is occurring. Instead of distinct bold flavors, they settle down into a fine, delicate mélange that now makes the whole greater than its parts.
This is not a flavor bomb cigar blend…so far. But it is definitely an exemplary illustration of what a great blender can do facilitating his passion and fierce determination.
I repeat myself under stress, I repeat myself under stress, I repeat myself under….Yeah, I’m going to reiterate that as the Kama Sumatra burns down the house, its efficacy of gratification to the cigar smoker expands exponentially creating an event; rather than just mindlessly smoking an average or even excellent cigar.
The blend grabs you by the short hairs and demands every bit of your attention that your brain can muster.
Some green veggie elements appear for the first time. As well as sweet melon notes.
The only criticism I can raise is the inconsistent char line. Every few minutes or so, it needs a minor touch up to keep it from running on me. Not major but worth mentioning.
This is an “I’m having a party in my palate” type of cigar. It never lets go. It commands your undying loyalty and expects to be picked first in the draft.
I’m at the halfway point. A long, opulent one hour 10 minutes of smoke time.
You don’t take this cigar to a herf. It’s too precious. You hunker down in your man cave, alone, and smoke in the ecstatic mode of discovery and appreciation. A little Led Zep wouldn’t hurt.
With more than halfway to go, I can make a bold declaration and say that I expect this blend to make my top 25 cigar list for 2017. I don’t care if it’s a limited production cigar. It deserves major accolades and attention.
I hope I don’t regret saying this at merely the halfway point, but this about as close to a perfect blend as my tastes can perceive. Thankfully, it is a jam packed stick so the enjoyment lingers on and on. If I hadn’t had my PerfecDraw cigar poker, this might have been a different story.
What a pleasure it is to rave about a splendid cigar blend. I get to be funnier in dog turd reviews but I still prefer to enlist a coterie of oohs and aahs over a wonderful blend.
I cannot think of a single thing that should have been different in producing this blend. It is equal to some of the most expensive cigars on the market…and that includes the outrageously expensive Padron blends.
I’ve yet to taste a Cuban that can beat the Kama Sumatra. (“What is he? Nuts?”)
Now the hard part…For Logan to follow up with the next blend. Fingers crossed it is even better. But this is a hard act to follow.
Flavors are like a warm blanket and your favorite binkie.
The stick is super complex. Transitions are going bat shit crazy. The long finish is decimating.
The malts play a big part in the success of this blend. Followed by the creamy spiciness, chocolate milkshake, the Crème brûlée, the smokiness of aged hickory, notes of soy, the all-encompassing nuttiness, the varied fruitiness, and the elusive description of a pure bred blend.
Smoke time is one hour 40 minutes.
Strength reaches full body.
Using the term “smooth” is overdone…especially by me. But this gangbuster is all that and more. Nicotine raises its head forcing me to buckle up.
I have had no char line issues for the last half hour.
And then WWIII kicks in. A major blast of intensity from the flavor profile. A real slap to the face. It is a major transition that takes the cigar to the true blender’s intent. Stunning.
I have nothing but crap in my humidor so I’m now ruined for the rest of the day. Maybe I should immerse myself in my water filled isolation chamber for an hour to refresh my super id.
Cigar Federation sells house blends and they aren’t bad. But none are in the same class as the Kama Sumatra. This is a whole different bird.
Creaminess causes a big shift. It is twice as strong as the other flavors. Yet, not a single flavor previously mentioned disappears. All accounted for.
The problem with extremely limited runs is they sell out in a matter of hours…if that. Ezra Zion does this with every release. If you don’t react within the first hour of receiving your alert email, the cigars are gone.
Logan must release this cigar once again. Even if he has to do a hit for the Dominican mafia, it’s worth it. You just can’t release a perfect cigar and then say thank you and leave the room.
Normally, at this point, I would be claiming flavor bomb. But the Kama Sumatra doesn’t follow that path. It is such a balanced cigar blend that every conceivable ingredient has a job to do and does it with coherence and ferocity.
Final smoke time is two hours 10 minutes. A real journey of excellence and intuition.
Before I continue, I want to brag on my son in law. On Tuesday of this week, the Milwaukee Police Department held their twice a year awards ceremony. My son in law received a “Lifesaving” award for saving two homeless men that wandered on to the barely frigid Milwaukee River and fell through the ice and were drowning. John and his partner saved them.
In attendance, were Chief Ed Flynn and Mayor Tom Barrett. And 300 citizens and police officers.
Here are three photos commemorating this event.
And now for something completely different:
Rock n Roll Hall of Fame drummer: Hal Blaine
The list of Top 10 songs Hal played on is endless. And he worked a lot with Phil Spector.
Hal became my mentor and friend. I was 32 at the time. He played with everyone; literally. He could tell stories about my heroes like no one else. I loved to hear him talk. And he was a bona fide story teller. A real Mark Twain.
He told me he was at Sinatra’s house when Tommy Sands met Nancy Sinatra and he could see them fell in love immediately. And those were just the little asides.
Hal lived the typical rich musician life. Lots of wives and kids and during the time I was close to him, he lived on his yacht which was docked in Marina Del Rey, CA.
At the time, I had a TV show with a local DJ on a major rock station in L.A. We picked as our guests that they had been very big in the 60’s. Marshall did the interviewing of the musical acts while I wrote, produced and directed.
We were lucky enough to get Hal to agree to be on one of our shows. And we also got Darlene Love of The Blossoms fame. (She was Danny Glover’s wife in the “Lethal Weapon” movies.)
As fate would have it, both of them did a 1971 Ed Sullivan Special together. It was Nancy Sinatra in Vegas for the whole show. Darlene and her Blossoms did the backup vocals and Hal was on drums.
Hal bought a 1971 Sony video recorder and player for $2000 so he could watch the show afterwards. This thing was like a boat anchor. It was reel to reel. And I had the chore of getting the show converted to ¾” format. This is what news cameras used back in the day. I had to borrow the video recorder from Hal to take it to the transfer studio in Hollywood.
So off I went to his boat with no idea how heavy this thing would be. And it was a long walk. I was on the light side back then. And this thing must have weighed 50lbs. I sat with Hal and we kibitzed for a while and then I left. To this day, my right arm is one foot longer than the left because of carrying that recorder back to my car.
I went through the motions and accomplished my ordeal. Then I reluctantly dragged the thing back to the yacht. When I got there, Hal asked me to hold on to it for a while because he had no room for it on his boat. WTF!!!???Hal! Look at me! I weigh 98lbs and this thing is making me a hunch back!”
Hal laughed and shook his head. I told him that he must make me lunch to gain the strength to lug this thing back to my car. He did. Lox and bagels. Ummmm.
I lugged the damn thing back.
Long story, short…The show was a rousing success. We had wonderful shots of Darlene and Hal playing while Nancy did “These Boots are Made for Walking.” And they were completely at home in front of the camera.
Every now and again, I would mention to Hal that I would be happy to bring his recorder back. He shrugged his shoulders and said, “Hang on to it a little longer, bubbelah.”
So now, over 30 years later, the recorder is in my living room. I use it for a bomb shelter.
And now for something completely different PART 2:
The Eddie and the Monsters record was pressed and on the market. Butch and I were sent all over the country for PR. Traveling with Butch was a side show unto itself.
It was almost Halloween and Tiger Beat Magazine, Rocshire Records, and Tower Records put together a free trip contest in which the winner would accompany Butch to visit the ski slopes of Transylvania. A reporter from Life Magazine would accompany them for photos.
The winner, for some reason, was not allowed a companion. Cheap bastards. But instead, a chaperone from the record company.
I hired Grandpa Munster to be master of ceremonies at a huge Halloween party at the Hollywood Palladium. We met, made arrangements for a fee, and we were a go. I hired Al Lewis on a number of occasions to help us. That is a story unto itself. What a character.
The contest ran for a month. The night of Halloween, Butch and I were in New York doing the Today show. So we made a short video in which Butch made his apologies for not being there. I was in the video too; wearing my best Alexander Haig pin stripe suit smoking a cigar.
At the end of Butch’s spiel, he walks off camera and grabs two real lemon cream pies and smacks me with both of them on each side of my head.
Obviously, it was a one take deal. But it went off without a hitch. I was covered in sticky lemon cream pie. Yuck.
The video was then played on a loop the entire night of the party at the Palladium in the lobby. The party had live bands and Grandpa Munster, Al Lewis, doing shtick in between.
They picked a winner. It was an 18 year old chick from Hollywood. A week later, they began making arrangements for the trip. And then the old monkey wrench hit home.
The chick wanted to take her boyfriend. The record company said no.
This went back and forth for a couple of days and no resolve was found so the chick said she wasn’t going.
So what did the record company do? Pick a second place winner? No. They called the whole thing off. They got their PR. And that was the end of that.
The guy from Life Magazine was a friend and had graciously taken the photo for the cover of the 45 single sleeve.
Life fronted him a huge sack of dough for going with them on the trip and the photographer went out and bought a bunch of coke with it.
Now that the project was ruined, Life wanted their money back. Clearly, the guy had no dough to repay them and was so coked out he just ignored them. That was the last time he worked in Hollywood.
Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS