2018 Micallef Grande Bold Sumatra | Cigar Reviews by the Katman

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra-Seed
Binder: Broadleaf
Filler: Dominican, Nicaraguan
Size: 7 x 48 Churchill Box Pressed
Strength: Full
Price: $9.45 ($8.00 online)


Today we take a look at the 2018 Micallef Grande Bold Sumatra.
It has 2 years of cellophaned humi time. I dry boxed the cigar for two days.
Regular production.

I received one stick as a gift from a friend. I’ve not tried this blend before this review. I found no other cigar reviews. This should allow me to have a field day of unabandoned shock and awe. I reviewed a Micallef Grande Bold Nicaragua, with a year of humi time, last year and hated it. Gave it a 75. In fact, I got the single stick from the same guy that gave me this one.

I stand corrected. I found one review in 2018 from Cigar Vixen. She made it her “Top 5 Cigar of 2018.” And it did receive the #2 Boutique Cigar of 2018 from Cigar & Spirits Magazine.

So, maybe it’s not so bad. But as it has been out for 2 years and there is only one review of the cigar, my bet it is a real dog turd. Now, I could have smoked this on my off-review time and just mentioned how bad it is in another cigar review…but then that wouldn’t be much fun, would it?
If no one reviewed this cigar, would a bear shitting in the woods hear it clap?

BACKGROUND:
According to Cigar Aficionado (5-7-2018):
“Micallef Cigars is new, having sold its first cigars in 2016, but it has a wide variety of smokes. Its website lists 13 varieties of cigars, but the Weatherford, Texas, company is still expanding.

“For the upcoming IPCPR trade show in Las Vegas, Micallef is debuting a new and stronger line called Micallef Grande Bold. The company feels that the cigars it already has in its portfolio tend to be more nuanced, and medium in body. The Grande Bold line extension is crafted to take the company into a stronger flavor category.

“Grande Bold, which is made in Nicaragua by the Gómez Sanchez family, is blended to provide “full flavor,” said Steven Henrickson of Micallef. He said they are expected to be ready in July.

“Micallef is owned and named after entrepreneur Al Micallef, a longtime cigar smoker who owns fine dining establishments and a silicone plastic fabrication company. He started Micallef Cigars after a serendipitous meeting at a cigar lounge with two cigarmakers from the Gómez Sanchez family of cigarmakers.”

SIZES AND PRICING:
545S (Corona) 5 x 45 $7.00
554S (Robusto) 5 x 54 $8.00
660S (Gordo) 6 x 60 $9.50
748S (Churchill) 7 x 48 $8.00

APPEARANCE:
The stick is nicely constructed, keeping the box press crisp with sharp corners.
The wrapper is very toothy. Seams are visible but tight. Lots of small veins permeate the length of the stick. The triple cap is done right.

The color is a dark coffee color. In photography light, the oiliness appears along with hints of espresso, copper penny, and blotches of licorice.

I can feel a plug halfway down the shaft. The rest of the cigar seems to have adequate resistance without severely hard or soft spots.

SMELL THE GLOVE:
We start with dark cocoa, creaminess, black pepper, malt, strong barnyard, cedar, cumin, salted almonds, and a touch of caramel.
The cold draw presents flavors of barnyard, cedar, chocolate, malt, miso, licorice, caramel, and anchovies.

Surprisingly, the draw is just fine despite feeling a chunk of tobacco stuck in the middle of the cigar. I had my PerfecDraw draw adjustment tool at the ready, but I gently put it back in its cat bed.

FIRST THIRD:
First puffs are nice. Not big boner flavors but small ones…pretzel, malt, molasses, espresso, cedar, and chili.

Top 5 cigar for 2018 from the Cigar Vixen. That is the only review I found. And of course, #2 Boutique Cigar of 2018 from Cigar & Spirits Magazine. You can’t get better evidence that this is a fishy business.

A nice mellow spiciness arises with overtones of black pepper. There is a touch of complexity at work…but after two years in someone’s humidor, my pencil should taste complex.

A bit of mustiness appears. There are blends that soar to the heavens when given years of humidor time. Others? They limp off to the elephant burial ground and die a slow death after a year.

It’s not bad half an inch in, but it ain’t no Jack Kennedy. In today’s outrageous swim upstream of price points becoming outrageous, this is a reasonably priced stick. I shall keep that in mind.

There is something sour at play. Not citrus…like buttermilk.

I am notorious for having nothing but trouble with the burn on all box pressed cigars. I have no idea if it’s karma or I’m an idiot. So far, this cigar is burning like a champ.

Here is another cigar blend that the manufacturer says is full strength. It is barely medium. Another notch in the gun stock that tells me extended humidor aging is not the answer in this cigar’s future. It should have started with a big kick in the ass. Instead, it’s licking my ass like its shmeared with raw liver and my dog is all up in it.

You ever been accidentally ass fucked by your male German Shepherd? (No. Not a guy in Frankfurt with sheep).
Me neither.

The blend is just hitting the edges around the flavors that are refusing to come out of hiding…creaminess, stale wheat bread, old nuts (I heard that), and the ever-present mustiness.
We are on a roll my dears.

A sip of water just deadens the whole thing like a shot of lidocaine.

I need some excitement. Just like the time my best friend, Skip, slammed his whole hand in an AMC Pacer in 1967. And the car was so poorly made that while his fingers were sticking out of the closed door, it did no damage. Just left him sore for a couple days. C’mon Micallef…some fireworks!

Now I know why my friend gives me Micallefs. He sure as hell doesn’t want them and they were probably gifted to him. He wouldn’t buy this drek.

I believe all the dough was spent on the big billboard style cigar bands.

I’ve seen a pattern over the years. I’ve seen so many new boutique brands sprout up because some cigar shop owner wanted to show the world what a great blender can do. Most fail miserably. I can think of a couple that went on to fame and fortune, but that is a fluke my friends. And then there are the business people who are successful at their chosen profession that think they can be AJ Fernandez or Pepin Garcia. These guys are the worst. Naturally, their friends love the cigars. Then they have the gall to release these blends to an unsuspecting public. A pox on this arrogance.

This cigar is going nowhere fast. No forward momentum. No transitions. A finish flush with black pepper. Wow. Where do I sign up for a Micallef enema?

Ever sit on a whore’s mustache and then have second thoughts?
Me neither.

SECOND THIRD:
How the bloody fuck did this cigar win two citations? It tastes like a Gurkha reject and then sold to Lost & Found to be renamed into something kitschy, and then confiscated at the border when illegal immigrants are found hiding in the truck…and while on the ride, one illegal stole one, smoked it, and said he would stick with Avantis.

Next time my buddy tries to give me a Micallef, I plan on knee capping him…or at least stuffing his pie hole with a bundle of Bahias.

The only thing right on this cigar is the nice construction. Not a single burn issue or wrapper issue. Go figure.

Where is the fucking flavor?
Its like sucking on a used Popsicle stick lying near a waste management facility in Springfield.

And the cigar goes out.

What’s this? A couple flavors emerge from the scrum? There is a very nice creaminess moving in the same direction as something sweet, like week old cornbread.
And then it’s gone. Tricky mother fucker.

Speaking of which…I remember in November 1968; I was sitting at the dinner table with my dad. It was presidential voting day. I casually asked if he voted? He said yes without looking up. “Who’d you vote for?” “Nixon.”
“*#$&*????*^^)$#)*&*&*” (This is an Aramaic proverb that means “WHAT THE FUCK?”)

There is some movement. Unlike my first wife on our wedding night. There are subtle flavors at play that are mostly unidentifiable as cigar flavors…more like chewing on a birthday candle after the birthday kid just spit a loogie on it.

Full strength? I have a 1970 Ford Pinto I want to sell to Micallef. The owner can pick anyone he chooses to race down the freeway smoking this cigar when the car is hit in the back by an 18-wheeler. Now that would make the cigar exciting. Fiery.

Creaminess is the only flavor available. I’m sure that if the cigar was allowed to rest til 2024, an addition of chocolate might arise.

Time is a deal killer for this blend. It should have a little message on each cigar that you must smoke it within 20 minutes or the money back guarantee is null and void.

Imagine how the cigar industry would change for the better if they were forced by Congress to provide a money back guarantee? Cigar manufacturers, by the dozens, would fold their tents and go back to the gas station; working on Mondays and Saturdays like they did when they were only 27.

Clearly, aging is not the answer for this cigar. Yet, several online cigar stores say this is the crowning glory of the Grande Bold line. I would love to get my hands on the fresh peyote they use when they write this shit.

It goes without saying that this cigar is filled just enough to elongate the horror of having this cigar within 50 feet of me.

If I were smart, I’d cut the cigar down to make it look like I’ve smoked way past the halfway point…but I’m afraid that cutting this precious jewel will desecrate its wrapper and leave nothing but tobacco hash on a plate.

Where is my hazard pay?
At least it’s not harsh or bitter.
The blend makes a jump to medium/full.

I’m going to stop writing til I get to the last third. This cigar is making my dad and grandfather both roll in their graves. Yes, cigar smoking is a generational thing.

I am going to use the same rock n roll anecdote I used on the Micallef Nicaragua I reviewed a year ago for this review. Regulars have read it a million times…but for you new to reading me, it will seem fresh if not totally dispensable.

LAST THIRD:
The Micallef Grand Bold Sumatra is nothing more than a $2 bundle cigar.
A sip of water and flavors are washed away. Nice.
Thankfully, a new flavor is introduced…nicotine. My favorite.
A Newport Menthol has more flavor.
OK. This cigar is a total dud. No reason for me to take a bullet for my readers any longer.
If you buy some, I’ll hunt you down and rape your pet ferret.

RATING: 70

And now for something completely different:
1975

Curved Air was recording at Island Studios in London…in the Jamaican district. It was my second album with the band.
Food was great there. It was nice being a rock star because you could tell the production assistants what to do; like “Go get me some food. Get the money from our tour manager.”

The building could accommodate two separate studios. We were in Studio A and the Baker-Gurvitz Army was in Studio B. For you old timers, you remember Ginger Baker? The drummer in Cream? This was a follow up project with brothers Adrian and Paul Gurvitz.

I had to baby sit my girlfriend’s 3-year-old daughter, Jenny, while she worked. I had basically finished my chores of laying down the bass tracks. Back then, we laid down the rhythm section first and then layered the rest of the instruments. I think Curved Air would have been better suited to play live in the studio to give the music some authenticity.

Hanging out in the booth during the rest of recording and mixing was a blast and I certainly didn’t have anything better to do. I was a star inside that building and got treated as such.

The studio had a nice lounge. And a couple of pin ball machines. No such thing as video games in 1975.

I was sitting on the lounge couch, eating my lunch, when the “Army” came out for a break. Ginger walks over to one of the pin ball machines and drops some coins in. He plays for a few minutes when Jennifer slowly walks over and stands next to him, looking up at Ginger.
Ginger stops playing and grabs a milk crate and tilts it on one end. He motions Jennifer to stand on it. Now she’s at the perfect height to observe and even play as Ginger teaches her.

Ginger never said a word, even when a direct statement is pointed his way. He is completely focused on the game. Jennifer is making little screeches of joy as she gets the hang of it. Ginger is shaking the machine to make the ball do what he wants it to do. Jennifer imitates his motions. Remember, she is 3.

They do this for an hour. The band’s manager has been telling Ginger that they need to get back into the studio. Ginger ignores him for a while, but finally relents. He asks Jennifer her name and she hugs him. His eyes widen and it was the only time in a month of recording that I saw him smile.

As the days and weeks passed in the studio, Ginger’s time at the pin ball machine got longer and longer. I was happy because little Jenny was happy. Every night, she would chatter incessantly to her mother about her new friend, Ginger. This astounded April and she took me aside early and asked if I was always in their company? I nodded yes. There wasn’t a weird bone in Ginger’s drug addled body when it came to Jennifer. He was a Papa Bear.

During this time, the band’s manager pleaded with me to leave Jennifer at home. This was costing them a fortune. He even brought in the band’s American trophy wives to volunteer to baby sit her. Jennifer didn’t want them. She wanted Ginger. So, I refused. I told them that I didn’t know them and I wasn’t leaving her in their care.

So, their manager got a hold of our manager, Miles Copeland, and pleaded with him to do something. He just shrugged it off and told the guy to control his talent. Not his problem.

At the end of a month, we were done in the studio. Ginger still had another month booked. It was a very tender moment when the two said goodbye. Jennifer cried and hugged and hugged Ginger. She wouldn’t let go when I tried to take her away. Ginger looked at me and I could actually see tears welling. The man still had never said a word to me.

Jennifer asked every day if we were going back. She cried every time I told her no. I was sort of heartbroken for her. She had found an adult in her life beside her mother and I that she bonded with. And remember, we wrenched her away from all her grandparents and uncles and aunts and cousins when we took her to Europe. So, this was the first genuine “love affair” she had. And she felt safe with Ginger. And with his reputation, that was rare.



Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS

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6 replies

  1. “You ever been accidentally ass fucked by your male German Shepherd?…Me neither.”

    Yeah, kind of figured that wasn’t an accident. I love your transparency, Katman, you’re the best.

    Another great review of a shite cigar.

    Go figure.

    EA

  2. “It tastes like a Gurkha reject and then sold to Lost & Found to be renamed into something kitschy…”

    Absolutely brilliant!

    • Hi Max,
      Thanks buddy…
      I’m often referred to as that.
      But why people would call me ‘Absolutely’ is beyond me.
      And the only one that called me Brilliant was a coke whore I poked in 1982.
      All the best,
      Phil

  3. Shitty cigar saved by a sweet story. Thanks Cousin Phil!

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