Long Live the King MAD MF | Cigar Reviews by the Katman

Wrapper: Mexican San Andrés
Binder: Indonesian
Filler: Dominican, Nicaraguan, U.S.A Pennsylvanian
Size: 5.75 x 43 Corona
Strength: Medium/Full
Price: $10.40 MSRP

Today we take a look at the Long Live the King MAD MF.
As you’ve probably surmised, the secondary cigar band’s letter combination means Maduro Mother Fucker. Many industry insiders aren’t happy with this name. Fuck ‘em. For chrissakes, this is nearly 2019 not 1955. Joe McCarthy is dead…you can lighten up now cigar industry. As if cigar smokers don’t curse or swear and their delicate sensitivities are offended…it reminds me of why so many cigar manufacturers, with sticks up their asses, dislike me so much. How dare I use the word “fuck?” Meanwhile, your kid goes to R rated movies and listens to hip hop music and that’s OK. The dumb fucks in the cigar industry, most of them anyway, can suck Caldwell’s dick. My message to the cigar industry: Stop being children. It is all about cigars; not solving world peace or curing cancer.

From Halfwheel.com:
“All of the sizes come in 10-count boxes, which production handled by Tabacalera William Ventura. It is a limited release with just about 75,000 cigars being produced.

“For the maduro version of his Long Live the King line Robert Caldwell of Caldwell Cigar Co. turned to a Mexican San Andrés wrapper, placing it on top an Indonesian binder and a filler made up of Corojo 98, Habano and Pennsylvania double ligero.

“The new line, which was announced in June, marked the second time this year that he was using a Mexican-grown wrapper, the other being the Eastern Standard Habano, which uses a hybrid Habano wrapper grown in Mexico.”

Corona 5.75 x 43 $10.40
Belicoso 5.5 x 52 $12.00
Toro 6 x 54 $11.40
Magnum 6 x 60 $12.40

It’s lumpy and bumpy. Seams are visible. Discoloration of the transitions. Way underfilled at the foot. An espresso/mocha colored wrapper. The cap terminates in a twist at the top as if a fantail or pigtail was intended. Odd. I love the cigar band artwork. Classy and stunning.

Floral notes and peanut butter with loads of dark chocolate slam it home on first sniffs. Buttery Ritz crackers, strong red pepper, heavy on the malt, barnyard, very creamy, salty Worcestershire sauce, tamarind sauce, cedar, and a bold sweetness.

The draw is on the money. I put my PerfecDraw cigar poker tool away for another day.
Immediately stunning with tons of character and flavor. Complexity hits ground zero like a laser guided missile.

The burn is a bit raggedy needing touch ups.

The start is redolent with black pepper, creaminess, malt, chocolate, espresso, steak sauce, cedar, minty, big floral notes, sweet notes of pralines and raw cashews, and exotic Near East spices.

This is a burner. Smoke pours from the foot thinking it’s a big fat Gordo. I crack the windows open to allow the smoke a place to go and in comes 32° weather to chill these old bones.

Snow is due later this week in Milwaukee so I have gone ahead and made orthopod appointments for Charlotte and me for January. Every year, we fall and break something we need in order to walk. I want to live in Albania where it’s warm and the politics make sense.

Complexity is through the roof. Transitions are speeding by faster than a speeding bullet. The finish is tantalizing and satisfying. Bingo.

Robert Caldwell can really hit them out of the park. He should disassociate himself from group projects and just focus on what he does best…not collaborate. I misspoke when I reviewed the disaster blend The T. Connecticut by Caldwell, Booth and AJF. I thought this terrible blend was close to a Caldwell blend. I meant to say it was more like the lackluster blends Matt Booth puts out with is Room 101 blends. Caldwell has an uncanny knack of leading the pack with his ingenuity. Not so much with hipster Booth.

The cigar goes out.

Dylan’s “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” is playing. What a gorgeous song. 1973. Most of you were just little fishies swimming in your father’s nut sack. You old farts, well…

This little Corona is the perfect size for this blend. I wouldn’t even want to touch the big fat Gordo.

The composition of the blend flattens out suddenly. The complexity settles down into a milder version of its earlier self. Flavors aren’t as bold. And it’s beginning to taste like an old confused man walking the streets at night looking for mommy.

The Long Live the King MAD MF started out like gangbusters. Something happened. Still a good cigar but without that massive potential it showed off at the start. I’m guessing the second half will win me over.

It appears, as described earlier, that this isn’t a well constructed cigar. I am having constant burn issues. I had that with my last one too.

And then it gets a kick in the arse. Just like that it went from becoming blah and returns to the scene of the crime and excels. A schizophrenic blend.

The chocolate and maltiness really shine. The other ancillary flavors disappear into the mist leaving no sweetness…and the floral notes and steak sauce are gone completely.
The black pepper is making my nose run. Settle down big boy.

The early potential returns with extreme prejudice. I have no idea what happened to cause that temporary lack of gumption, but the cigar is pulling a Dr. Frankenstein. “It’s Alive! It’s Alive!”

The balance is kept out of whack by the wildly excited spiciness. It is over shadowing important flavors. Everything is settling in the back of my throat.
I’ve had the cigars for a couple months which is plenty of time for the blend to shine. Adding more humidor time will increase its potential.

The lousy burn will affect my rating. I had the same exact problem with previous sticks. Constantly torching the foot to clean it up must influence the taste. The stick is on a lemming’s mission to make smoking it a real hassle.

I’ve only found a couple reviews. Never a good sign. The big reviewers normally bypass a review of a big manufacturer if the cigar isn’t very good. And it’s been on the market for 3 months.

Complexity is struggling. I want to like this cigar because it shows off in spurts just how good the blend can be. I refer to Caldwell blends as New Breed because they don’t take 7 months of humi time. They are usually ready to go in a short time.

At the halfway point, the blend sees the errors of its way and rescinds the inconsistencies that plagued the first half. Now we’re talking. I was right in my earlier assessment.
Big fat notes of chocolate, creaminess, sweetness, spiciness, malt, the steak sauce returns, cedar, very nutty, graham cracker, buttery, and a touch of licorice.

Transitions grab the reigns. Complexity is in the driver’s seat. The finish remains a bit lackluster.
Despite the construction issues, the stick is burning slowly. It took a good 35+ minutes to get to the halfway point.

I’m convinced that the issues I’ve experienced are due to insufficient humidor time. Gotta be. Two months is not enough time for the blend to spread its wings. All I’m getting now is a prick tease of what it has to offer at a later time.

Oh Gawd. The Police are playing. Too many memories. The song is from 1981 and the exact time I went to a party celebrating the sales of “Zenyatta Mondata.” Stew was out of his mind from coke use. I remember his eyes looking like dinner plates as he raced around the huge crowd at the party. I did approach Sting because I had met him before the year before. No one would approach him as if he had an energy field surrounding him. Didn’t stop me. He was very nice and we spoke for a while all the time other party goers were trying to figure out how I got an audience with the king of pain.

Back to the Long Live the King MAD MF.

Once again, the cigar takes off. Fingers crossed it ain’t a trick.
The balance returns as the spiciness wanes. The complexity hits a new level. I believe I’m now getting what the blend will taste like if I had left it alone another couple of months.

The 2017 All Out Kings made my top 25 cigar list at #6. I get no sense that this blend is unworthy of that type of praise. I just think I smoked it too soon. The inconsistencies will disappear with a little more home aging.

Strength started out at medium and has now reached medium/full. Pretty sure it will get stronger as it progresses. But halle-fucking-leujah…no nicotine.

The burn is running for the umpteenth time. I light ‘er up again.

I will say this…I’m gratified that this wasn’t a $17 cigar. Nowadays, $10 for a good stick is the norm. Although, there seems to be something mystical about charging $12 for a stick. That seems to be the new norm.

The spiciness returns in force. My sinuses are draining. And the balance goes haywire again. Sonovabitch.
Flavors flatten out. There just seems to be no control of the black pepper. Just when I’m kvelling over this blend, it does a complete turnaround and disappoints.

I’m assuming one of two things…either the cigar doesn’t match up to its PR or it needs a shit load of humidor time. I hope to see other reviewers, down the road, tackle this cigar to see if I’m way off base or just confirms my reactions.

There are gorgeous moments but there is a counterpoint of a near miss.
Unfortunately, I don’t see this being one of the best cigars of 2018.

I will give the Long Live the King MAD MF the benefit of the doubt assuming it needs extensive humi time. Lurking behind the inconsistencies is a great cigar. Just not today.
The stick goes blah on me once again. This is nuts.

The original All Out Kings had a better grouping of leaf stats:
Wrapper: Connecticut Habano
Binder: Indonesian Sumatra
Filler: Nicaraguan (Jalapa and Estelí viso), Dominican seco, Connecticut ligero.

And yet that cigar blend did not overwhelm with black pepper. Something is off kilter with this new blend.
I’ve got one more stick. I will wait a couple months and try it at that point. I will return to this review if my predictions are correct.
Strength has just moved up to full.
The cigar is well worth a fiver. Based on my experience, a box purchase could create buyer’s remorse.
I’m glad I didn’t buy one of the bigger sizes.


And now for something moronic:
Circa 1966-1969

I had a great gig at Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park, CA back in my teen years. My best friend worked there already and got me the gig.

I had applied earlier at the main personnel office but since they didn’t hire Jews, or any other ethnic group, I was turned down. It seems that Walter Knott was a real bigot. He hated everyone equally. Even the replica of the Independence Hall building had a table with pamphlets from the John Birch Society and other racist organizations. Sort of defeated the purpose of the hallowed building replica.

From Wikipedia:
“The theme park sits on the site of a former berry farm established by Walter Knott and his family. Beginning around 1920, the Knott family sold berries, berry preserves, and pies from a roadside stand along State Route 39. In 1934, the Knotts began selling fried chicken dinners in a tea room on the property, later called “Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant”. The dinners soon became a major tourist draw, and the Knotts built several shops and other attractions to entertain visitors while waiting for a seat in the restaurant. In 1940, Walter Knott began constructing a replica Ghost Town on the property, the beginning of the present-day theme park. The idea of an amusement park really picked up in the 1950s when Walter Knott opened a “summer-long county fair”.

My buddy, Skip, worked across Beach Blvd. where Walter Knott had erected Independence Hall. There was also a big lagoon, a merry-go-round, a miniature train, row boats, and the steamboat: the Cordelia K. It was named for Walter’s wife.

Knott’s began as a berry stand in the 30’s and blossomed into a fried chicken restaurant and then ol’ Walter built an authentic looking western town. It was super cool and very realistic. It later had all kinds of western themed rides.

Turns out that the rides were owned by a subcontractor, Bud Hurlbut. He just leased the land from the Knotts. It was Bud that hired me giving me the distinction of the first Jew ever to work at Knott’s. Walter was a real SOB. He hated anyone not white. Or not Christian. And by the time I went to work there, he was ancient and decrepit. Occasionally, an employee would give Walter a ride in one of their maintenance golf carts over to the lagoon side where he came to ride the Cordelia K. He never, ever said a word to me.

I thought of pushing him overboard but too many witnesses.

I got hired to be the new steamboat captain. I was thrilled when I found out it wasn’t like Disneyland. No track. I actually drove the boat.

I spent a week in training and then she was all mine. The boat sat around 40-50 people. The price to ride the steamboat was 25¢. In fact, all the rides were 25¢.

I had to wear this stupid captain’s hat that made me sweat. I wore jeans and a nice white shirt with a clip-on western tie. And the Knott’s vest with my name on it. So, I took the hat off a lot. And I got in trouble a lot.
No one ever noticed what I had written where my name was supposed to go.

The steam boat was not run by steam; but rather, a big diesel engine that looked like a steam turbine. And my back was up against it the whole time I drove the boat. And since it was So Cal, it was usually warm all the time. That diesel engine was hot, baby. And it spewed horrible fumes. When I was given a break every couple hours or so, I wobbled off the boat and sat on a bench to get my bearings from the brain damage.

I learned how to run the merry go round, and the train, and sell tickets, and send people on their way in a rented row boat. But the captain thing was my main gig.

I got really tired of kids asking me if the boat was on a track when they saw me struggling to turn it. So, I told them, “No. The boat isn’t on a track…the water is.” I always got befuddled looks and the questions stopped.

The lagoon wasn’t that big. And it had Duck Island in the middle of it. My job was to do two turns around the lagoon. One was a wide berth and the second was close to the island. That’s what you got for your 25¢. No brilliant repartee or speech. Simply a relaxing ride.
But that 25¢ gave people the impression that I would give some sort of narrative and shoot at rising hippos as we rode along the black water.

They were always so disappointed that all I did was keep my mouth shut and drive.

One of my passions was to ram row boats. People would get into them without the slightest hint of how to row a boat so they would be in one place turning the boat in a 360-degree circle.

So, I aimed for them. I would grab the megaphone and yell at them to get out of the way and they would start screaming in panic. Good times. Really.

I would then pull back the throttle, let the boat slow down to near still and I would climb out of the front of the boat; and on to the bow. I grabbed a long aluminum gaff and would push them out of the way. All the time they were thanking me for not killing them. It broke up the tedium from going in circles all day.

One Easter Sunday, chaos showed up dressed for the prom. The Farm was packed and so was the boat. I had a sharp turn to make to get out of the dock and turn to the left. Sometimes, I couldn’t make it because there were too many people on the boat. So, I’d have to back it up like a big rig and maneuver it back and forth.

I pulled and pulled that damn steering wheel. And on that day, the steering cable broke. The steering wheel spun like the wheel of fortune.

The boat then floated free. I pulled the steam whistle over and over which was the sign for an emergency. I then got on the bow of the boat. Employees ran over and I yelled the steering was broken.

No one knew what to do, and then one of the employees just started walking into the lagoon…that nasty, smelly, black water. With no filtration system and 2 feet of muck at the bottom.
My head dropped in resignation and I leaped into the water. The people on the boat applauded.
A huge Easter day crowd formed at the rim of the lagoon. I’m surprised TV cameras weren’t there.

By this time, the boat had drifted about 40 feet from the dock. There were four of us in the water trying to push it back to the dock. I moved to the stern. I leaped up to grab the back of the boat and was swiftly hit in the chest with the steering system that looked like two ladders…running horizontally about a foot and a half below the water. The water was so black, you couldn’t see them and I never even knew they were there. I thought the thing had rudders.

I completely submerged into that black morass. Yuck!
I came up covered in muck. This was a bad day.

Me and another fella pushed the stern and two others pushed the bow and after 30 minutes, were able to get the boat back to the dock. Once locked at the dock, a huge applause filled the air…as hundreds and hundreds of onlookers heard what had happened and lined the shore.

The owner, Bud, showed up and sent all four of us across the street for new clothes. Mind you, no shower, but new clothes. We had to work the rest of our shift doing other things, stinking to high heaven. We were young. So, we didn’t make a fuss.
All this for $1.65 per hour.


Captain Katman:


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3 replies

  1. So that makes you ‘the man in the boat,’ no?

  2. “They were always so disappointed that all I did was keep my mouth shut and drive.”

    They sensed that they were in the presence of the Katman. Of course, they wanted you to say something.
    And all they got was, “OK you fuckers, your 25 cent joy ride is over. Get off.”

    Hope I didn’t offend the management’s delicate sensibilities with my profanity.

  3. I’m deeply offended mother fucker…sir.

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