Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
Binder: Ecuadorian Connecticut
Size: 7 x 38
My sticks have had 2 months humidor time.
From Halfwheel.com (6-25-2019):
“This project occupies a special place in our hearts at Drew Estate,” said Jonathan Drew, the company’s founder, via a press release. “Not only were we very active members on the BOTL forum since the beginning, but we were very involved with promoting it so that cigar heads worldwide could participate and connect. This is definitely a passion project that we dedicate to the great members who’ve been so good for the culture.”
“The cigars are a limited production release and will be released annually in small quantities.”
SMELL THE GLOVE:
Aromas are faint. I juice up with some steroids and find root beer, Boston Baked Bean candy, cinnamon, white pepper, Worcestershire sauce…that’s all folks.
There is a plug somewhere in this thing. I grab my PerfecDraw draw adjustment tool and go to work. I admit that core drilling a 38-ring gauge gives me the willies. Hopefully, the plug is in its usual space of the cigar band area. One easy swipe and the plug is cleared without damage to the cigar. And the plug was exactly as predicted. OK.
The cold draw presents flavors of not much at all. How odd. Oh no! I must have Covid!
There is a tacit of sweetness. Some malt, Tobacco guts. That’s it.
THE WHOLE MEGILLAH:
Lighting up is a baby Jesus miracle. The ineffectiveness of my giant schnoz to detect aromas is sanctified and absolved by what I am tasting moments after putting torch to foot.
Some complexity enters early. Black pepper lays semi-dormant to the side and allows a nice zing to my palate without causing my eyes to water.
Flavors begin to emerge: Espresso, root beer, malt, sponge cake, vanilla, and back yard herbs.
Strength is already a potent medium.
I gotta tell you…dry boxing in this humid summer weather is a real bitch. I’ve done it over, under, sideways, down to accomplish a nice dry stick for reviews. This stick is a tad wet…causing a slow burn that may need an American Indian prayer ceremony to keep it lit. I expect burn issues due to this.
The good news is that this is a great start for the flavor profile and humanity.
There is a nice balance of Sweet v. Savory. Those Boston Baked Bean candies running rampant amongst the counterpoint of a frost glass of A&W root beer. Cinnamon lays low creating a solid platform for other nuances to bounce up and down.
With only an inch burned, the cigar soars for the heavens. Fat complex notes begin assaulting me on Twitter.
A slight curry influence pops up. This is a very strange, but interesting, blend.
It ain’t an ACID. But it leaves breadcrumbs right back to Jonathan Drew’s door.
The cinnamon and root beer are perfect companions. But the blend could use some creaminess to spread the love.
Ever accidentally have a one-night stand with a girl who had webbed toes? Me neither.
The burn is slow. The curse of incomprehensible dry boxing on my part doesn’t seem to matter any longer. The burn is doing its thing like me washing Charlotte’s webbed toes.
The strength is mellower than its start. Nuances and subtleties begin to thrash about and cause a nice flow of transitions. The finish is dainty like me.
This is an odd blend. But I like it. Don’t you ever tire of the same Nic puro blends or a Mexican wrapper with Nic guts? I do. I am glad to see newer cigars dabbling in exotics.
I can’t remember smoking a cigar with a Connie wrapper and binder. This must be the source of its sweetness.
Skip, Travis, and I went down to Huntington Beach and did some tide pool hunting. We traveled a distance that should have rung alarms in our heads. But we had smoked some doobies. Next thing we know, we find a cave and enter. It went back forever and then we noticed that water was flowing into the cave from waves. High tide was starting.
We ran to the cave’s opening and the only way out now was to scale a 9-foot sheer wall. Skip and Travis managed it with only a few slips. By now, the water was up to my waist. It made the wall super slippery. I climbed nearly to the top when I slipped and both boys grabbed one of my arms while I hung there like a rag doll screaming, “Don’t let go! Don’t let go!”
They got me up that wall by pulling my arm out of its socket. And we were a long way off from civilization. Still, it was better than drowning. Just say no.
The char line is now exemplary.
Smoke pours from its little tush like my nose is on fire. Ever burn your schnoz lighting a petit corona? Me neither.
Nothing linear about this cigar. The complexity rises with each puff until there is nearly overload to my pock marked brain.
It’s nice to see that this cigar is totally affordable. You want a cigar like this since the PCA concluded this summer…and you will pay an average of $14-$16. I know my Commonwealth readers are sneering at my comment since they pay, on average, 3 times what we red blooded Americans pay.
No new flavors. But all previously mentioned are in play taking their turns at the head of the line. Still, some creaminess would be nice.
Now the medium/full strength has returned with a vengeance…and I’ve only burned 3”.
During a complex song, there was a violin solo. Instead of me taking my bass offstage, I put it on top of my amps. Unknowingly, I hit two of the tuning pegs. We all come back on stage to finish the number and now we are playing a circle of fifths at double time. Except the notes I’m playing are wrong and I thought I must be lost. The violinist yells at me: “A, E, B, etc.” I yell back, “I am playing those notes.” I faked my way through the rest of the song. Stink eyes were all over the stage. I tuned my bass and that was that.
Creaminess makes a big entrance. Huzzah.
The flavor profile opens up like a flower in the morning sun.
This is not a flavor wheel blend. But then again, that might have changed the direction of the cigar…and I like where it is going as is.
The halfway point unveils even more intensity. More panache. More ferrets.
This blend is the king of nuance and subtlety. Like Alex Jones’ face when the prosecutor tells him his lawyers accidentally sent them everything in Mr. Jones’ phone.
Strength is full tilt. Nicotine arrives on my porch and knocks loudly until I give up and let it in. That’s OK. I don’t need my vision to type.
I can feel the strength down to my prostate. The prostate is doing the Hully Gully while I try to stay conscious.
Despite the knockout drug in full regalia, the complexity continues on its God given duty to impress.
Spicy black licorice surfaces.
I’m listening to “Lady Marmalade” by LaBelle.
Charlotte’s toes try to sync to the rhythm, but it proves to be a non-starter.
I am able to remove the cigar band without hydraulics.
I love this fucking cigar.
The strength and nicotine will lay waste to newbies.
But if you like potent, flavorful cigars, it won’t matter that halfway through you will be forced to smoke it while lying on the floor, so you don’t get keel hauled from your chair.
The cigar is on solid footing. Its knack for constant improvement is amazing.
Since this is a very limited edition, good luck finding it online. Your B&M might be your source. If so, buy a bunch.
I just found one online source: Neptune Cigar. The boxes are sold out, but fivers are still in play. Tell them the katman sent you please.
The nicotine relents…or I’m just an old Hippie used to hallucinating.
I nub this baby with the help of my PerfecDraw adjustment tool…a great roach clip.
And now for something completely different:
Rick Tunstall Continued…
We all did too many drugs back then. The early 1980’s was the heyday of cocaine use. Everyone was doing it. I don’t think I knew anyone that didn’t. But back then, I was immersed in the musical community.
We had released the 45 single of “Hound Dog.” And recorded a music video pre-MTV.
Our manager was this French man named Philippe Mogane who was a big shot in France due to the fact that he was a sought-after professional photographer. He was also Iggy Pop’s first manager. He was heavily involved in the L.A. punk scene.
Mogane put out a CD called “The Godfathers of L.A. Punk” a few years ago and included “Hound Dog.” It didn’t exactly meet the criteria of punk. When Rick told me about it, I asked Mogane for a copy. He told me he couldn’t afford to give me one and made me pay for it. Slag. He cried poverty. Yeah, sure. We had two songs on that album, and I not only didn’t get royalties, he couldn’t send me a copy gratis. The epitome of what the music business is like.
Mogane was our manager, and he did things for us. He helped get us bookings and asked no commission in return. But he was no role model as he did more drugs than anyone I knew. And this affected his judgment.
He distributed our single, and the cassette recordings, to all of his contacts and scored with a movie production company looking for a band to do the soundtrack for a new film and play in a bar scene.
We had a gig at Gazzarris on the Sunset Strip lined up. The production team was invited.
The movie people came in a large throng and sat up in the balcony. In those days, most Sunset Strip clubs only allowed a band 20 minutes.
That way they could put 6-7 bands on in one night. It was up to the band to sell their own tickets. Last time I heard that system changed and now the Sunset Strip clubs charge the bands to play. It’s called Pay to Play. If you sold enough tickets, you made some dough. Basically, a rip off. Especially for new bands.
Rick was so nervous he made himself ill. He also did a bit too much marching powder. Of course, the band did some too…but showed restraint. Just enough to have an energetic stage presence.
We go on stage and Rick counts us in for our first song.
Then disaster hit.
Rick lost his balance in the middle of the song and tripped backwards into Reek Havok’s enormous drum set…sending drums and equipment flying all over the stage.
We helped him up. Reek was not happy as he perused the landscape of fallen cymbals and drums.
We set the drum kit back up. And just as we were ready to play our second song, we watched the production group get up and leave. Never heard a word back from them.
Man, we were pissed off at Rick.
But it was Hollywood. We really never knew what chances we really had for being in the movie. We only got feedback from Mogane, and he couldn’t be trusted.
We played out a lot. Almost every weekend. And Rick never pulled that stunt again. He learned his lesson the hard way. That occasion really surprised us as Rick was a consummate professional.
And as what normally happens with bands, dissension in the ranks started after a year together. Rick was the true leader of the band, but he started it in partnership with our keys player, Mike Anthony.
Rick sang “Hound Dog”, and Mike sang “Condo Bondage.” Mike’s vocals were never stellar. Rick was the true vocalist of the band. He was also the glue that kept us together. You can get a taste of Mike’s vocals from the B side of Hound Dog called “Condo Bondage.”
Things got very uncomfortable. Mike approached me and told me that he wanted to break off with Rick and start his own band. I tried not to laugh.
There was no way. Rick had the X Factor, not Mike. Rick’s writing was/is unique and interesting…and he had showmanship. His vision for the band was way ahead of its time which eventually killed the band.
We were recording totally unique rock music. Rick wrote everything. I just added my bass lines and made the occasional comments and suggestions.
Mike was floored that I wouldn’t go with him. He contacted me in 2019 and something seemed very wrong. Almost as if he was a total burn out rambling and making no sense. He had put out his own CD. It was just plain horrible.
So, now we were a trio. No keys. Yet, we still sounded like a big band. We had the perfect mix of two players that complemented each other so well that we had our own wall of sound.
We continued to play out with the same frequency that we had with Mike on keys.
And then I broke up the band. I had an opportunity to buy a recording studio and I went with it. This was the situation that propelled me into the Eddie Munster project.
My junior partner was the engineer. I was the producer and brains of the outfit.
We worked constantly. 3-5 sessions per day…7 days a week.
I learned a lot about producing from Rick. Without being under his tutelage, I would never have been so successful. We were the only recording studio in Long Beach, and we got a lot of work due to word of mouth.
During my ownership of the studio, I produced thousands of acts. And I got plenty of bass work. Bands would come in looking for a bassist asking if I knew one? I raised my hand. But I couldn’t produce and play at the same time.
So, the bands laid down their tracks and I would come back to the studio late at night and sit in the booth all by myself. I did my own engineering and would run the board and play the bass lines. Perfect way to play outstanding bass.
Rick and I remain friends to this day. He has had serious health concerns due to Agent Orange in Vietnam. Three tours. Marine sergeant.
Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS