Ventura Cigars Case Study 03 | Cigar Reviews by the Katman

Wrapper: Mexican San Andrés Maduro
Binder: Semilla 192
Filler: Multi-Country Blend
Size: 6 x 50 Toro
Strength: Medium/Full
Price: $9.00

Today we take a look at the Ventura Cigars Case Study 03.
I bought a fiver online.

From Ventura Cigars:
“From 1945 to 1966, Arts & Architecture magazine commissioned the rising stars of mid-century architecture to design and build a series of inexpensive, efficient model homes for the post-World War II generation. In total, 26 homes were built, mostly in the Greater Los Angeles area, by renowned architects including Richard Neutra, Charles and Ray Eames, Pierre Koenig and Eero Saarinen. These now iconic homes were designed with a minimalist, modern aesthetic and have been prominently featured over the years in Hollywood films, advertising campaigns and photo essays. The Case Study cigar project from Ventura Cigar Co. pays homage to this triumph of modernist design. Numbered from 1 through 26, each exclusive Case Study blend features a range of vitolas that have been hand-blended by the best Master Blenders in the business. We can’t tell you their names, but we trust you’ll recognize their signatures written all over their craft.

“The Case Study cigar project includes a handful of limited-edition blends that are distinguished by an elegant black band. These blends utilize extremely rare and vintage tobaccos that are no longer available. Once they’re gone, they’re gone forever.”

Robusto: 5.625 x 54 $9.00
Toro: 6 x 50 $11.30
Salomone: 6.875 x 57 $11.75

This is a snappy looking stick. Room light…straight brown paper bag. In the Cosmic Muffin’s light…it shimmers with oil that glistens and reflects no vampires…seams are virgin tight, veinage is miniscule, the wrapper has an array of hues starting with maple syrup, rust, mottled espresso hints, and bits of blood orange.

The cigar feels heavy in the hand…nicely packed love sausage…no soft or hard spots.
I worked late last night at Prime Cigar and I’m currently dazed and confused. I snipped the cap off the cigar prior to taking photos. Remember what Roger Daltry sang: “Hope I die before I get old.” Oops, too late.

Aromas are faint but certain elements shine through the morass of indistinction…like dark cocoa, barley malt, caramel, red pepper, creaminess, a little nutty, cedar, and barnyard.
The cold draw stops dead in its tracks. Gotta pull out my PerfecDraw draw adjustment tool to open ‘er up. Mission accomplished and another cigar pulled from the jaws of death.
I taste a bitter almond plus black pepper, espresso, cream, caramel, and chocolate.

I found only one review of this cigar. I did find 2017 PR on the cigar. Clearly, prices have plummeted instead of doing a reach around for 2020. The three cigars were originally priced at $11-$14. They’ve dropped by a couple bucks each.

The beginning is unremarkable. But me writing a review on 5 hours sleep is remarkable. Someone spell check me.

Quickly, the cigar becomes a pumping chimney of smoke. That was the name of the first metal band I played in. But replace ‘chimney’ with love muscle.

Flavors begin to emerge….wait! Jimi is playing “Foxy Lady.”

OK. I’m back now. There is a sweet citrusy component that is the first to startle my palate into waking up…then comes a small conga line of black pepper, a touch of creaminess, malt, and a funky earthiness.

Strength hits medium/full immediately. I predict lots of pissing and moaning from me as to my wussiness about nicotine.

The first inch is a little too intense for my tastes. It was an assault with an amphibious landing craft firing the .50 into my palate.

Now…the blend has smoothed out considerably. I’ve only had the cigar for a month, so I only expect to get a glimpse of the blender’s intent.

First sip of water and a forest-like flavor comes blasting through. You’ve licked trees, right? Chomped on moss? Kissed a toad hoping it would turn into a dashing prince…wait, that’s not right. Kissing a toad will only give you diarrhea and lip herpes.

In college, our biology lab teacher took the class down to Cabrillo Beach in San Pedro, CA. They had marvelous tide pools with millions of ocean specimens on display. He pointed at a sea anemone and told us it has poison in its tentacles that paralyzes its prey. The schmuck then bent down and stuck his tongue into one of the sea anemones. Within moments, he began to speak strangely and then his tongue swelled up to the size of the Hindenburg. We had to call an ambulance.

The flavor profile reminds of the Oscar Valladeres Wild Hunter I reviewed recently. There is (and I hate using this term) a very earthy soil quality to the character of the blend. Most of the earlier mentioned flavors, except for the black pepper, are AWOL.

Ever buy a fiver of something that looks good…and then you read the reviews, or notice the lack of reviews?
Me neither.

The burn is funkadelic.
Still at medium/full strength.

To get through this review intact, I’ve hooked up an I.V. of Fentanyl and amphetamines to my arm. I feel no pain. The cat is standing in front of me with a defibrillator.

There is no complexity. There is no discernable balance, nuances, subtleties, or any type of transitions. The finish is day old gefilte fish.

My thoughts are that if I fucked up and bought a fiver of cigars that no one likes, I’m doing the bloody review and making you pay for my error by encouraging you to read this drivel.

If this is a $10 cigar, I’ll eat my used Fleet enemas.

Well boys and girls, this is turning out to be a real shit cigar. I could have spent my $45 on something useful; like a new pair of butt plugs for Charlotte…NO. I’m not allowed there as Charlotte farts a lot more now that she is older. They are for me. I like to wear a pretty one when I’m working at the cigar lounge. It sort of motivates you.

My favorite part is that the cigar is jam packed and smoking slower than a dead man walking’s last cigarette.

The only hint of blender’s intent I got from the first third is he likes to chew buffalo balls. Just try to get a bison to hold still for that. I learned the hard way the first time. After that, I always brought a medic’s bag.

As I a lot of undeveloped blends, the first third was a waste. But now in the second third, it makes no progress whatsoever. Great.

There’s not a lick of anything that makes a cigar taste good going on. And it is burning so slowly that I mowed the lawn and came back to the review only to find the cigar still burning…It is Satan’s weed. Not the NorCal type.

There is a nice bitter taste happening that is not dissimilar to pounding back shots of Lysol.

I can pick ‘em.

And the cigar goes out…thank you dear lord.
Do I re-light or attach jumper cables to my testicles? I need a minute.

This might be the worst loose dog stool I’ve smoked. But on the upside, if I smoke it to the end, I’m planning on cremating my debit card.

The blend continues to get worse. All those nice aromas…WTF?

There is nothing appealing in this blend. It is Abu Graib all the way.
Another sip of water and Lysol is now ingrained.

There is an old saying: “The degree of your stupidity is enough to boil water.” I cannot believe I didn’t check for reviews of this cigar before I used my dialysis money for a fiver.

I must get to the last third. I shall use old Shaolin methods of controlling my mind.
That was quick.

I’m staring at this fecal gondola in the ashtray. It mocks me. I flip it off…it does nothing in retribution. I flip it off again. The cigar goes out.

Now we have two major flavor elements: Extreme mustiness with a hint of fried liver.

I could be sleeping right now…but no, I felt guilty because I’m working so many days and neglecting my blog. I chose a feces casserole instead. You really don’t get smarter when you enter your Golden Years.

Here is the part I love. Ventura Cigars is putting out 26 different blends of Case Study. I believe they are about to release CS-04. Maybe they thought that releasing the dog turds first will make their loyal customers so happy when they get to #26 blend. The first three blends have gotten little or no attention. Ventura might set a land speed record of releasing the most blends in a line that no one buys. Except me, of course.

I’d like to find out who wrote the press release for Ventura Cigars and punch him in the Adam’s apple.
The cigar goes out…I believe it is sending me a message in code…RUN.
Strength hits full tilt. Here comes the whining…

Oh Jesus, someone kill me.
Imagine a pile of camel fat used for frying platypus brains…topped with a layer of cat cheese.

Now my water is performing life saving procedures by washing away the taste of the cigar.

If you think I’m going to take my usual ‘last third’ photo of the cigar…you’re as nuts as my boss.

I have no idea how to rate this afterbirth. Isn’t it a rule that what you’re reviewing has to be a real cigar? I will use quantum physics to come up with a number.

I’ve smoked some horrible cigars in the past. But this blend keeps descending into Dante’s Inferno.
Did anyone from Ventura actually try this cigar before they released it?

RATING: a^{2}+b^{2}=c^{2} (Pythagoras came to the rescue.)

And now for something completely different:
The Police….

I saw in the newspaper that they were coming to Southern California and doing two shows; the first in San Francisco and, the second in Santa Barbara at the UCSB Events Center on Nov. 2, 1980; about 90 minutes north of L.A.
No L.A. performance.

I felt fearless and called Miles Copeland, the band’s manager and Stew’s older brother. Miles got his start with Wishbone Ash, then Caravan, Al Stewart, Renaissance, Climax Blues Band, and my band, Curved Air. (He now is a multi-gazillionaire who handles Sting)

Miles, unexpectedly, was overjoyed to hear from me…although the bastardo fired me from Curved Air because there was trouble in the ranks with the prima donnas so why not blame the Jew who acted as intermediary between the two camps? That’s right, take the path of least resistance.

Miles suggested I show up to the Santa Barbara gig and he wouldn’t tell Stew. It would be a surprise. Done deal.
Supporting the Police was Danny Elfman’s band, Oingo Boingo.

The hall was empty when I was allowed in with my ex-wife, Teri. We had gotten back together after 10 years apart. And what better way to show off how important I was than this trip?

I saw Miles and the band standing all by themselves in the corner of the arena. We approached them quietly.
I had changed my look since England. It was New Wave time, baby. So, I had a short, good looking haircut, not a giant afro.
I stood just outside their circle and they all looked at me like, “Who the fuck are you?”

Miles jabs Stew with his elbow and motions with his head to take a look. All of a sudden, Stew’s eyes lit up, a big smile formed across his puss and he grabbed me with both of his lanky arms and lifted me off the ground. And he yelled, “Douche Bag!!!” That’s what we called each other back in the day. A term of manly affection.

I met Sting and Andy and we kibitzed for a while. Laughed about road stories and life.

We went back to the dressing room which was really a locker room. Benches and lockers. No tables or chairs. The Police hadn’t quite made super star status yet.

They brought dinner in for us and we had some beers. After dinner, I brought out dessert: the finest Northern CA buds. Spent $400 on half an ounce in 1981. I decided to buy a tiny bit to take with me. You never know. I also had the devil’s drug: Cocaine.

Well, everyone’s eyes grew bigger. Andy lit it up and then passed to Stewart who then passed it to me. And then he passed it to Sting. Stew ripped a mirror from the wall and we laid out lines of the white death.

Now here is where I made the biggest faux pas of the evening. This was the beginning of their career and I could not for the life of me think that Sting was what his friends call him. Just couldn’t be. Too stupid a name.

So as I passed it to Sting, but I whistled; like a command to a dog and outstretched my hand with the mirror.
Stewart was livid. He looked at me and said, “HIS NAME IS STING!!!”

My shoulders drooped and I apologized, not explaining my reasons for being so rude. It would have only made matters worse.

Apparently, they ran out of the stuff in SF, so the roadies and their personal bodyguard got wind….I shared the wealth and now I had free traveling powers in the backstage and dressing room area. Didn’t even need those passes that hung around your neck. I was that well known by then to everyone.

A huge gaggle of record people from L.A. had driven up to hang with The Police because they had no plan to play L.A.

I never laughed so hard as when I saw the “Hollywood” types in the Don Johnson jackets and all that weird hair on the women; all wondering “Who the fuck is this guy?”

Since Santa Barbara University was their only So Cal stopping point, all the music insiders drove up to be part of a happening. They were all dressed up, but Teri and I were dressed neat but casual. She looked great and Stew whispered to me, “Where did you get her?” I explained and he gave out a big belly laugh. So as a real pal would, he started hitting on Teri. I didn’t care. I knew where her passions lay. And besides, what is cooler than having a rock star, besides me, make a pass at you?

Quickly, I became a SOMEONE!

In the end, it was a fun night. I got to see an old pal and make new pals. Andy turned out to be the sweetest guy in the world and we talked about the Curved Air days and he and I talked about his illustrious background.

I have only seen or talked to Stew a handful of times since then. He outgrew me. He became a polo playing jetsetter and this poor schmuck did other things not requiring the dough of a millionaire.
What are you going to do? Go figure.

That’s me on the far left and Stew on the far right:


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5 replies

  1. The cigar sounds like shit but some of the houses are still around. They are north of Bundy, near the Getty museum. Last year there was a big fire in that area but the houses I think were not hit.

  2. I watched the Breaking the Band – The Police episode over the weekend. You had tipped us off that they were going to show a CA picture, so I made sure to look out for it. And there you were. I froze the screen and called in my wife, and told her That’s My Cigar Guy. She was suitably impressed. Nothing profound here, it was just cool. Thanks for warning us about this crummy smoke.

  3. I’ve tried to get my wife or daughter to watch it and they just say, “Yeah, yeah, yeah.”
    I can’t impress my family one bit.
    Now if I had money…I could buy them off for a #20 bill…but to be honest, it would be easier to get them to solve world peace than to pay attention to, “Ooh, ooh. That’s me…look, that’s me!”

  4. Hey Phil, thanks for another brutally honest review…it’s what I love about your reviews, your not afraid to give a failing grade…and why I don’t normally buy before I check your blog for some insight! You’ve put me on so many good smokes over the years I want to send you a small gift of appreciation which have been sitting in my humidor at 70°/70% since 2013. If you’re interested, send me an email and I’ll ship them to you…you deserve some boons for what you do!

    Keep up the good fight…


  5. Thank you, Skip.
    I want to be clever but I just woke up after an evening shift at the cigar lounge. I feel like a steamroller hit me.
    Instead of being witty, I will just say that I truly appreciate the trust you have in me. Truly appreciated.
    I need some coffee…

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