Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
Binder: Ecuadorian Sumatra
Size: 5.5 x 52 Belicoso
After 14 months of no REM sleep due to uncontrolled pain from my cervical radiculopathy, I finally saw the right doc. I’ve seen a conga line of specialists that would not listen to me. I saw my primary, end of July, and he listened and agreed. Most of my pain emanated from nerves gone wild. He put me on a non-opioid medication that attacks nerve pain and on the night of my first pill, I slept the whole night in over a year without pain. I’ve now gone 10 days sleeping all night and a 75% reduction in pain. But it is going to take some time until I ever come close to making up all that lost sleep. Doubtful that can ever happen, but I can live with it. It’s been a real struggle this last year writing reviews…I’m sure it showed.
I’ve had my sticks marinating naked for 2-1/2 months. And they are quickly disappearing, so here goes…
From Halfwheel.com (5-4-2022):
“For the fourth time in five years, Crowned Heads will release the Le Carême Belicosos Finos.
“As with previous releases, the Le Carême Belicosos Finos 2022 LE is a 5 1/2 x 52 belicoso version of the regular Le Carême blend, though it is round as opposed to the soft pressed shape that is used for the regular production vitolas. It is produced at Tabacalera La Alianza S.A. in Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic.
“Since we launched the Le Carême brand six years ago, it has consistently remained one of the top performers in our portfolio,” said Jon Huber, co-founder of Crowned Heads, in a press release. “That said, there really is something special in how the blend translates in the belicoso fino vitola and I think that is evident in the popularity and demand for this limited edition release. We managed to survive the recent Broadleaf (Connecticut) crunch, and this year we’ve been able to increase production of the Belicosos Finos Limited Edition to account for the increased demand.”
“This year’s production is 3,500 boxes of 12 cigars. Previous releases have ranged from 1,000 to 2,500 boxes.”
SMELL THE GLOVE:
Aromas aren’t bombastic, but rather coy and shy. I smell spirit of dark chocolate, raisins, black pepper, caramel, nuts, malt, a tad of black licorice, cedar, and barnyard.
The draw is clean so need to take my PerfecDraw draw adjustment tool from its sarcophagus.
The cold draw presents notes of black pepper, teriyaki, dark chocolate, pretzel, almonds, lots of malt, cedar, and peyote stew.
THE WHOLE MEGILLAH:
The first puffs explode like firecrackers. Big fat notes of black pepper, seared meat, bittersweet chocolate, pic crust, creaminess, and Almond Roca.
The stick is amply filled so this should take a bit.
I’ve got Pandora on the Aretha channel. Need some soul. You see that movie “Respect” about Aretha? It was horrible.
Strength pushes its way to medium/full immediately. Will most likely calm down with extended humidor time.
This is not a girly man’s cigar. Only He-Men need apply. If a newbie sucks on this thing, and does the whole cigar in 15 minutes, it is a great way to perform seppuku without having to place your guts on the clean carpet. Wives hate that.
The blend shows great potential. But it will need at least another 6 months of humi time before you can truly reap the benefit of the design. I’m sure the second half will shine by displaying what being patient is all about.
The more I debauch the cigar, the smoother it becomes. Not a flavor bomb by any means…this is a stick one enjoys for its simplicity in satisfying the need to smoke an excellent blend.
An afternoon or after dinner smoke for sure. I would not recommend this as you’re staring out from your patio, with a cup of coffee, and watching nature go up in flames or see your neighbor’s car float past.
The spiciness needs a Xanax.
Another dear friend died last month at 75. Brilliant guitarist. Taught me a lot when I was in my early 20’s. So, now two members of ‘Zelmo Mutz and the Enrique Twins’ are gone. Only ones left are me and Travis:
L-R: Me, Travis, Tim (RIP), and Skip (RIP):
“Old age is like a plane flying through a storm. Once you’re aboard there’s nothing you can do.” ~ Golda Meir
Creaminess comes to the rescue and tamps down the spiciness a bit.
I’m having a good time. And if you know me personally, you know that never happens.
I use this term too often, but it applies: The whole outweighs its parts. There, I said it.
The very intense strength at the start has mellowed. No hallucinations. I can’t hear my anus smacking its lips. And my afro is returning from the humidity.
The flavor portrait is wrapped in a tight ball. Nothing really stands out. But the tobacco mix is on the money.
I was in another band with Tim back in the day. We had a chick singer who also played violin. A pretty blonde girl who liked to wear tops and no bra. National Geographic nipples. It was impossible not to stare. And if she caught anyone staring, she would look down at her own nipples to see what you were looking at…this was very strange to me.
The cigar is damn straight. Jam up and jelly tight. Doing the Boogaloo. And twisting the night away.
Construction is impeccable.
It’s taken 35 minutes to smoke half. Leisurely and brings tears to my eyes as I harken back to listening to Myron Floren on the electric accordion.
In fact, Mr. Floren introduces this video…the Lawrence Welk Show (1971) and the numb nuts production people who didn’t know what “One Toke Over the Line” meant:
My shaky prediction that the second half would take off does so with satisfying intent.
Flavors come out of hiding. I’ve listed them and they remain the same. But now, they have an edge that is as sharp as my wife’s tongue.
Can you remember back this far? Ever get a BJ from a girl with braces? Being in terror the entire time takes something away from the adventure.
The complexity spreads its wings. Beautifully well-rounded blend. Perfect balance. Nice transitions. A lovely finish. A cigar designed for those with sophisticated palates will enjoy. And those without the fancy tasting tool, will enjoy it just as much. Good is good.
Creamy chocolate, espresso, salted caramel, seared meat, with a nutmeat base…and a black pepper chaser.
Strength hits full tilt with 2” to go. Nicotine lurks but doesn’t cause paralysis.
I consider this a smart purchase. I look forward to allowing my other sticks to sleep for another 6 months and return to the scene of the crime.
The only online store that sponsors me still has this cigar: Small Batch Cigar. Remember, Katman gets you 10% off at checkout.
Well done, Mr. Huber and company.
And now for something completely different:
It was 1983. I had a good friend that was a radio DJ on KCBS radio in L.A.
His name is Marshall Thomas. We became friends during my band, The Attitude, heyday in 1980. He came to all of our gigs and always played our single: “Hound Dog.” Click on Hound Dog to see our low budget, pre-MTV video. Yes, that is me on bass weighing in at 135lbs with a full head of hair. And a very long tongue.
Marshall went from station to station. Being a DJ can be the life of a gypsy. I met him when he was on a Long Beach station, now defunct, called KNAC.
But the KCBS gig was a union gig and he made some serious dough. For a change, he shared his blow with me instead of the other way around.
The reason he went from station to station was because they kept changing music formats. I swear Marshall was able to become a chameleon. It didn’t matter the style of music; Marshall found his place in the universe. Reminds me of the movie, “Private Parts” when Howard Stern kept changing radio stations and formats.
I was in the midst of my Eddie Munster (Butch Patrick) project called “Whatever Happened to Eddie?”
Well, Marshall got the word one day; after a year at KCBS, that they were changing format and he was given two weeks’ notice.
He invited me up to the station on his last night being on air. He did the 6pm to midnight shift.
Now this station had a booming 50,000 watts and a massive audience.
Around 10pm, he figured what the hell and began playing my 45 single of “Whatever…” over and over again on a constant loop. In between, he played “Hound Dog.”
For two hours, that’s all listeners heard. Strangely, no one called and complained.
In between songs, he and I would kibbitz and tell stupid jokes.
And then he put on “Stairway to Heaven” and said: “Follow me, Phil.”
First, we went on the roof to smoke a doob.
Then we took the elevator down two floors to the local CBS TV station. They were doing the late evening news. We stood outside the door, which had big windows in the top half of the doors, and we made faces and did crazy shit so the newscasters could see us. We tried to make them crack up on air.
We could see them, and we know they saw us. But they could do nothing about it until it was time for a commercial.
Security was called but before they arrived, we skedaddled.
We got back to the radio booth with about 30 seconds to spare.
Marshall put on some tune that was almost 15 minutes long and we headed to the roof again. We lit up another joint and stared out at the L.A. skyline at midnight. It was a beautiful sight. We could even see the Hollywood sign, the lit Capitol Records building, and the Sunset Strip. And the infamous billboard of Angelyne. The blonde bombshell had a gazillionaire husband that paid for this billboard for years and years. The woman never got a single job because of that billboard but it was a mainstay on the Strip.
After that gig, Marshall spent a few months doing nothing and handing out resumes. He finally got a gig playing country music in Palmdale. Way out in the sticks. It was there that we lost touch. He was in the boonies, and we moved to Phoenix.
The record company told me they had a spike in sales of the record the next day. That would have been great if they weren’t shut down a couple weeks later by the FBI. It left me busted. All that royalty dough went to the government and Rocshire Records’ owner and executives went to jail.
The music biz is a lot harder than passing a soccer ball from your ass. It was time for me to go straight.
Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS
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