Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra Oscuro
Size: 5 X 50 LC50
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.
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.
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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
And now for something completely different:
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