Las Calaveras Edición Limitada 2021 | Cigar Reviews by the Katman

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra Oscuro
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Size: 5 X 50 LC50
Strength: Medium/Full
Price: $11.96


I bought a fiver thanks to Derek Sanderson donating some dough to keep me current and still reviewing. I’ve also gotten small donations of $5-$20 that have helped as they accrue so I can buy current cigars I can no longer afford as prices soar. I’ll be 72 soon. Oy.

BACKGROUND:
Factory: My Father Cigars S.A.
From Halfwheel.com (8-23-2021):
“The Las Calaveras limited edition enters its eighth release, and this one marks the first time the company has used an Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper for it. It’s also the first time that Crowned Heads has used a Sumatra wrapper leaf in a project originating from My Father Cigars, with Jon Huber saying he thinks the resulting profile is “not only an obvious change of pace, but is also an amazing expression of Sumatra wrapper leaf.” The series pays tribute to those close to the company’s personnel who have lost their lives.”

1250 boxes of each size.
1750 Samplers

SIZES AND PRICING:
LC50 5 x 50 $11.96
LC54 5.75 x 54 $12.96
LC48 6 x 48 $10.96
Petit Lancero 6.5 x 40 $14.10 (Only available in Sampler Box of 4)

APPEARANCE:
The cigars have an odd thing in common in my five pack…they all seem to have a soft spot halfway between the bottom of the cigar band and the foot. It isn’t too bad; I just find it odd. Clearly, my sticks were all rolled by the same torcedor.

Seams are visible but tight. There are a few veins that stick out like the ones on my neck every time I wake up in the middle of the night to pee.

The chocolate brown wrappers has some really nice oil shimmering…and in artificial light, the stick glows like workers at Three Mile Island. And in that light, one can see the mottling of the colors that change from bronze to espresso. The triple caps are all a little off kilter but I’m being anally critical…they’re fine. And lastly, the weight feels right for a slow roll.

SMELL THE GLOVE:
Beautiful global floral notes smack me in the schnoz first. Then followed by bittersweet dark chocolate, malt, caramel, dried fruit, malt, cedar, cinnamon, a scoche of black pepper, and maple syrup.

The cold draw presents flavors of black pepper, black licorice, and all the aromas listed above.

The draw is a bit lighter than my own preferences so, naturally, I won’t need my PerfecDraw draw adjustment tool. By the way, it is also a great tool if you find yourself constipated on the toilet. Works every time. Of course, my guts are perforated but there is always a price with every choice.

FIRST THIRD:
Pandora is playing a great song list as I begin…a good sign.
And a good start…Immediate intensity with globs of complexity. Flavors are all over the place. I can’t list them in order, but I can list them…dark chocolate, café au lait, caramel, cinnamon, malt, pretzel, raisins, licorice, cedar, and charred cow body.

Man, I hope this is a portent of things to come…the character of the cigar is top shelf. I’ve found over the years, that the Las Calaveras has not been consistent in quality. Some years are great, and others, not so much. I think 2021 is a good year for this cigar.

The burn is a bit wonky. But nothing to make my boxers shift.
Too early for transitions but the finish is running down my chin.
Strength is an easy going medium.

Oh good…The Eagles…the cigar is doomed. (I can envision Dr. Rod clutching his chest every time I diss the band).

The spiciness is evenly split between red hot cinnamon and black pepper. It’s nice. And not overpowering. Nuances begin to peek out, smile, and give me the middle finger. I’m the katman, so I’m used to that.

I love the caramel. I taste almonds. We have a bona fide candy bar.

The savory is coming mostly from the depth of the leaves rather than a slow cooked pork roast. Which I’m not allowed to eat, but I do anyway.

The char line is as sharp as all my readers. (I’m just kidding).

The stick is burning a tad bit faster than I like. I am very close to the end of the first third after only 20 minutes. Light in the loafers.

Transitions are reluctant. The spiciness is somewhat abrupt which might pass with extended humidor time. No new flavors but little subtleties add some Pop Tartness to the blend.

Ahhh…I’ve said it way too much, but a good omen appears in my aural cavities…Pandora is playing the slow version of “Revolution” by The Beatles. Way better song than the fast version. It swings and shuffles.

I’m very disappointed in all of you. I’ve only got a dozen music stories from you. I can’t believe you are blowing me off like this. A sad day.

SECOND THIRD:
Yeah, only 20 minutes to get here.

I was very respectful in yesterday’s review of the SD Parallel Universe and said the word fuck only once…so, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, colostomy bag, fuck, fuck and fuck.

The growth of complexity is in slow motion. I am sure it will improve with a few more months sleep. But since this is a limited-edition release, it made no sense to wait 6 months to review and bellow what a great blend it is…and then you can’t go out and buy any. So, after a little more than a month, I’m giving you the blender’s intent and the sheer brilliant wisdom of an old man falling apart.

“Suspicious Minds” by Elvis. Love the live version. E let the bassist go bat shit crazy on the outro.
My cousin Fred Selden ran the horn section on a couple tours in the mid-70’s. Fred is 5 years older than me but still plays…he is a reed man. Big studio cat in L.A. for decades. Made him rich.

OK. The cigar. The balance is the most appealing feature. A level playing field of chocolate, malt, caramel, cinnamon, black pepper, almonds, savory Nic leaves, raisins, licorice, and cedar. Nice.

And just like that…the blend jumps the shark. Complexity does the Hokey Pokey, and the bar is raised. Not the same bar that Davy Crockett killed.

The cigar sits upon its throne as the sweet spot is now in full reign of its kingdom.
Oh lord, that was a huge leap. Everything is upped and the blend has become capo di tutti.

This peek into the future tells me this is going to be a stunner in a few months. This is a good year for Las Calaveras. Kudos, Jon Huber.

Transitions are moving at light speed. The finish’s cup runneth over.
The little subtleties and nuances become headliners. Big fat notes of the previously listed flavors. Big.

With more hibernation, I guarantee this will happen much earlier in the smoking experience.

I was right about the bottom half being a bit underfilled. Since I passed that point, the cigar has slowed down mucho grande. I am a bi-cunnilinguist. I grew up in SoCal so if you didn’t learn some Spanish, you were a redneck…or a Ford Pinto…

At the halfway point, I feel like saying fuck again. That’s all.

I was in my late 30’s before I had the balls to swear in front of my father. After that, it was an avalanche of curse words from both of us. Free at last.

I was 10 and playing softball with some girls playing as well. I said, “What the hell?” And the girls went wild over me. They lined up to give me blowjobs behind the backstop all afternoon. (Not really,,,I didn’t know what a BJ was at 10. I found out in my 40’s).

This is a lovely soothing blend. I’m at peace as the specter of death looms above me in the guise of Bill Murray. Gophers surround my feet.

Strength is medium/full.
Nicotine arrives. Was looking forward to being dizzy.

Even with the leap of faith the Las Calaveras took at the halfway point, it is a smooth blend that soothes the savage breast.

The depth of flavors create a prayer circle and plot to have me thrown into a carwash naked. I do need a good trouncing since I started doing the psyllium husk thing.

Coffee, chocolate, almonds, and even a touch of peanut butter make for a great combo.
The raisins spread out and enjoin with notes of other generic dried fruit.

Oh good…I’d like to get through just one review without Pandora playing Fleetwood Mac.

LAST THIRD:
One more leap into immortality as the blend jumps a second shark. Instead of being a capo de tutti, it is now the CEO of Chrysler.

Great fucking cigar.

I’m at the doggie lip-smacking point in the review. This is why I refuse to do video reviews. By the second one, I’d be involuntarily committed…and I cannot do a Jack Nicholson imitation to save my life.

The spiciness, while in control of itself, clears out my sinuses.

“Can’t Buy Me Love.” Sure you can. $50 and an Abba Zabba and you’re set.

The cigar is burning at a very appropriate speed since I got past the bottom third. Nice and even…like a Nash Rambler.

Balance is superb. Sips of water accentuate every puff. I’m getting some unexpected curry spice. Probably my aneurysm returning.

I used to make a great curry, but my wife is from Germany and hates spicy Indian food. For Germans, spicy means adding salt. The woman has never eaten a single vegetable in her life.

This is a very good year for the Las Calaveras. Don’t let the opportunity pass you by.

“The Best of My Love” is playing. I’m verklempt. Long ago, I auditioned on bass for a piano man and that was the first song we played. I remember a long death breath exuding from my lungs and then packed my gear and went to a cliff overlooking the ocean trying to decide…

The blend remains at a medium/full even keel. No surges in power. Even the nicotine is tolerable. My vision is fine, but I can no longer see into the future. This will pass.

I grab my PerfecDraw tool and use it for a roach clip. I want to nub this baby.
Sips of water splatter my spleen across my palate forcing big explosions of flavors.

When I watched the music documentary, “Hired Guns,” nobody had anything good to say about playing for Billy Joel. According to these great musicians, he is a first-class prick.

Nubbing the Las Calaveras takes both hands so I will end the review here.
Be good to your friends and family and your pet ferrets.

RATING: 91

And now for something completely different:
1975

I told a version of this story recently but did not go into the details on how I was sacked. A reader, Rob Stevens, who should be adding his own music story to my post: “Gimme Your Music Stories,” asked if an explanation of why I was fired from Curved Air was given to me. So, this is a bit more detailed version of the sacking…

We had finished recording the first studio album I played on. Prior to this, I played on the “Live” album. So, we went into seclusion while the violinist and guitarist and vocalist wrote songs. I was left out. So was the drummer. I spent time at home doing my own writing.

Miles Copeland III, the cheapskate, tried to save money by hiring a producer that had never produced before; only engineered. Granted, he had engineered the albums of the most famous rock bands of the time but producing is a totally different animal than engineering.

The band ran all over him and he couldn’t control the giant egos. At one point, Darryl Way was yelling at the guy and made him cry. I didn’t blink the whole time. I had stepped through the looking glass.

At the official playback of the album at the RCA office building, the suits hated the album.
The band was in shock, but not me.

The album was scrapped, and Miles brought in a pair of brothers from America that were real hot shots. Not to mention obnoxious.

We were in Amsterdam; always the start of our European tours.
Miles called and said the brothers were in town to watch us perform and talk to us.

These sons of bitches lambasted me on my playing, the production, the choice of songs and even my style of playing on stage. WTF? They asked why I didn’t dance around?
They held nothing back and even said they hated the band. Hated?

Why were they chosen? Why would you choose producers that hated the band?
I sat and listened for an hour while the two ranted about everything. Nothing positive.
I went back to our hotel totally depressed and traumatized.

Everyone was in Sonja’s hotel room bullshitting, smoking hash and drinking. I told them I went to the meeting; but they didn’t want to hear about it. I finally forced them to listen and told them what happened.
They all laughed. Such egos.

Well, the final laugh ended up being on me.
A meeting was held with the band, excluding me. The brothers said something had to change. So, the band picked me. I was the mediator between the two groups: the guitarist and the violinist….and the chick singer and the drummer. Who better to give the heave ho to then the bassist? Yeah, I was totally the problem with the album. I didn’t get anything of mine on the album and was told what to play. And so, it was my fault that RCA hated the album.

I got a call from Ian Copeland. He was the booker for Miles. And newly appointed to be Curved Air’s personal manager and his first duty was to fire me.
He told me he was coming out to Edgeware where I lived. About 15 miles outside of downtown London.

This freaked me out. Why was an important man like Ian coming all the way out to see me?

I called Sonja. She finally broke down and told me what was up. I pleaded with her. A total mess. It was so humiliating. I reminded her that on the reunion tour, she was going through withdrawal, and I was ordered to keep it a secret from the rest of the band. I literally saved her life countless times as she suffered from deep depression and made some serious attempts at suicide. And I was the only one there to keep her from killing herself. And this is how she treated me? Wow. I can never forgive her for her callousness and leaving me broke without a penny of severance.

Naturally, the crooked books Miles kept were out of my reach.

Ian arrived and we sat in my living room. He hemmed and hawed, and I couldn’t take it. Ian was a very down to earth guy. And it seemed that he was suffering.
“I know why you’re here, Ian. You’re firing me.”

A sigh of relief was on his face and then he dropped his head and agreed.

I told him it was not fair. What was BTM Records going to do for me for dough? Were they just going to cut me loose and send me on my way? Broke and living in a foreign land?

When I spoke to Miles about money, he told me to ask the band. Wow. This guy really knew how to humiliate me. I now had to go beg for money from the same people that fired me to save their own skins.

I went to one of their rehearsals. The violinist, Darryl Way, would not talk to me. A stand in bassist was playing with them already.
The band basically blew me off. I left the place wondering how I was going to live.

Thank God for the roadies. I was the only one in the band to treat these guys like humans. The others treated them like their personal slaves.

So, when they heard what happened, they approached the managing director. Not only would this asshole not budge, but he told them to get my bass back! I bought my bass from Martin Turner of Wishbone Ash. They were Copeland’s first band. And because they fronted me the dough, the bass was theirs. I do believe I earned that bass.

This infuriated the roadies, so they grabbed a huge lorry and went to the storage area of the record company. The loaded the truck with expensive equipment and drove to my home.
They unloaded it in my garage and told me to sell it all.

No one from management did or said a thing about this. Guilt.

So, I can’t answer why I was fired. Other than Sonja mumbling to me over the phone that it just wasn’t working out, I spoke to no other band member. Based upon my experience, music people are cowards and feel no shame in not letting you know why you are no longer in the band. You just aren’t asked to show up for rehearsal…

I sold everything and had money in my pocket. I stayed another 6 months but gave up. I bought tickets and got on an airplane with my girlfriend and her little girl.
Big time rock and roll is an ugly business.

This photo was never used for any promo.
Look at Sonja’s eyes. Fucked up from the methadone. Not a good look.



Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS

7 replies

  1. Hey Katman,
    Please hit me back with your mailing address.
    I have some cigars I’d like to forward to you.
    Thanks.
    Brad

  2. Stewart must have been taking it too, because his eyes are the same way, no?

    • I’m pretty sure Copeland did not dabble with that particular drug. I can’t speak for smoking da herb. We all did that except for Darryl.
      The photo is black and white and so you can’t see the stupid eye makeup someone thought it would be a good idea to place on us guys. It was pretty embarrassing. Another reason the photo was never used for promotion.

      • I guess I read somewhere that he got her to take methadone by taking it himself so she wouldn’t be alone through the experience. Maybe it was in one of her interviews or his that I read it. He wasn’t having the drug problem she had, but to be with her, he did it to oversee what she was going through? And they puked happily ever after.

        • I really have no idea if this happened.
          I just know that after our first show on the reunion tour, she took me into the bathroom and explained that the rest of the band cannot ever find out she was doing injectable drugs. She was going through withdrawal via a doctor’s guidance and was taking methadone.
          I was assigned to share a hotel room on that first tour.
          I wanted the gig. I was young. I did as asked. Copeland knew about this as they were dating.
          But I never saw Stewart do her methadone or have any knowledge of it.
          I just can’t confirm that your statement happened.
          Plus, it was 47 years ago…old brain can remember only so much.

          • But I will say this…that tour was the most stressful 6+ weeks of my life.
            I have some stories I published that I can tack on reviews I will write this week.
            She would go through withdrawal at the worst times and it was my responsibily alone to keep her alive. I didn’t volunteer for this.
            Plus, Copeland was not on that reunion tour so there was absolutely no way they could have been doing it together during that time.
            She was seriously depressed and suicidal and I was forced to save her life countless times. I was a wreck keeping this to myself.
            Near the very end of the tour, the secret came out when she locked herself into the dressing room bathroom and used a bottle opener to open her veins.
            I had forgotten about her as the after show dressing room antics made me forget about her.
            I banged on the bathroom door and there was no answer and I got scared.
            I went back to the boys in the band and told them what was going on and I needed help getting the bathroom door open.
            We broke it open and she was unconscious on the toilet and bleeding profusely.
            Loyalty is everything. This is why I am angry that she never had my back when the band decided to dump me. If someone had saved my life over and over, I would be grateful to that person for the rest of my life.
            She thought nothing about that when she agreed to kick me out of the band.
            To me, her actions were immoral. And unforgiveable.

  3. Thank you. I wonder if she was depressed about Stewart not being on that tour,
    and being hopeless about her sexual and romantic future with him. Maybe she thought she was being given to you, what with Stewart being part of the Arabic culture; that he, although American, seemed confused about the boundaries of friendship, and being brought up in the middle east, in that he inherited some of the culture, such as the buying and selling of another person. My take on the whole thing is that she was actually falling in love with you, and by the time the end came for you, she had made up with Stewart again, romantically, and you fulfilled a role for him, in that this had been the break Stewart needed to heal himself from her problems, and his own addictions to her, and sex. So maybe that’s why he declared you and he “cum brothers” because he figured if you thought she was hot too, then he could get a vacation from her and let you take care of her without worry about her safety. It’s unfortunate that you were used that way with no official contract that this was what it was. Love, Lara

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