Wrapper: Dark Ecuadorian Sumatra
Binder: Ecuadorian Connecticut, Nicaraguan Jalapa
Filler: Nicaraguan Ometepe, Jalapa, Esteli
Size: 5 x 52 Robusto
My sticks have been lying spread eagle naked in my humidor for over two months.
Released August 2022
THE WHOLE MEGILLAH:
The stick is in the middlin’ range…not a hefty cigar, nor light as a feather.
The draw is a tad bit too wide open. Underfilling may be at fault.
That, or I’m having a stroke. My PerfecDraw draw adjustment tool begs me not to touch it in anger. I make no promises. I lay it down carefully on my desk but not before squeezing its tushy.
I never mention what I use to light my cigars. Like you, I have my favorite ones. But my most faithful lighter is a 2014 S.T. DuPont Maxijet lighter. These things go for over $200 now. I believe I won mine on Cigarbid for around $75. This little bugger has performed flawlessly for 8 years. It is a single flame, which I prefer. And I use Xikar High Performance butane because it does a nice job of cleaning the lighter’s jets.
Immediate flavors of honey, creaminess, red pepper, berries, malt, graham cracker, cinnamon, cedar, generic nuttiness, and a lovely sweetness that hovers.
Complexity is struggling to enter the proscenium. I’ll take a struggle over a talk to the hand any day.
Black pepper is intertwined with the red.
Strength is a solid medium.
Nice cigar based upon it leaving the womb journey.
The burn gets wonky. I will leave it alone to see if it heals thyself.
It does not.
Its depth is in question.
I cannot tell if I’m experiencing the terror of childhood seeing a big red rubber bag with a long hose hanging over the shower stall…or the joy of experiencing a wonderful new blend…I can go either way.
It took 10 minutes to burn an inch. There is no growth.
Flavors are nice. But so is a Fleet Enema administered by a 6’ tall blonde nurse named Helga. You thought I was going to say Hans.
The cigar needs a lot more time than the two months I gave it. There is potential lurking, but it might only be a carbuncle.
Strength does something odd and it falls back to a mild/medium stratum.
All previously mentioned flavors are in play. So, it is a flavorful cigar…it has that going for it. But as far as it being a sophisticated smoke…roll the dice again, my dears.
If the second half goes for the gold, then I will be assured that additional humidor time is needed. If it lays there like a flounder, like my first wife on our honeymoon, its dead in the water. I allowed my first wife to live.
The little engine that could. I can sense in my extra-large brain that the cigar is dying to impress me but doesn’t know how. What a conundrum. I should have worn those during the AIDs pandemic in the 70’s and 80’s. Stupid me. But I made it through all those years till I married at 35 without an STD. Hurray for Philly. My tiny winkle is intact. My balls look like two hacky sack orbs in a plastic shopping bag though…
Never was a big CAO fan. The thread that ran through all of their blends is an interminable amount of humidor time before their cigars were ready to smoke. I hate that. This Bosphorus seems to be developed in the same manner. Check back with me in a year.
With 2” burned, the depth comes to life with the admonition from me, “It’s Alive! It’s Alive!”
It does bother me that transitions got lost in translation. The finish is creamy with little notes of sweetness. But a dash of real complexity hits my palate, and my palate golf claps.
Burning of the cigar has plumped the stick and slowed it considerably.
Strength has been at a curvaceous medium for a bit and then quickly turns into Jekyll and Hyde and hits medium/full.
Nicotine approaches from my flank.
I saw this morning that Christine McVie of Fleetwood Mac died yesterday…of a sudden illness. She was 79. Gulp. Seems you’re alive until you’re not.
For nearly $13, I expected a better blend. Especially as I suspect that Ozgener team’s main purpose was to make a big bang with its first releases. It seems that leaving CAO did not leave that CAO mindset with the exit.
At the halfway point, the cigar improves.
I notice that the all the young dudes who write reviews or do video reviews are hitting on all cylinders with sometimes one review per day. Wow. I am duly impressed. Do these guys have jobs? Or is it that I have 30-35 years on them, and I don’t have the energy they possess? When I started reviewing 13 years ago at 60, I still had the juice. My juice is now running down my leg. Thank you, Robert Plant.
The blend reverts back to medium strength. Great. A cigar blend that should be in therapy.
There might be hope for this blend with enough rest. Or maybe this is all it has to offer…a nice cigar that should really be priced at $8-$9. Not $13.
If new cigar companies were smart, they’d offer their first offerings at a very affordable price instead of jacking them up beyond their worth. What do I know?
“My Sweet Lord” by George Harrison. Never dawned on me listening to that song that it was really the same song as “He’s So Fine” by The Chiffons in 1963. Poor George. He had to hand over royalties.
Construction in the second half has been very good. The burn exemplary.
The balance of Savory v. Sweet has been in play from the start. But it doesn’t jump out at me. There are no surprises of blending brilliance. It is an ordinary cigar that could be any cigar on the market from 79 B.C. to 2022 A.D.
The second half improves dramatically causing me to ponder that maybe the cigar will be in excellent form with several more months of humidor time. But then I’ve seen reviews that are several months earlier than mine…right after its release. The reaction was basically just OK.
Cigars need to rest and breathe. I wish it were not so. I cannot think of a single blend that is ready to go right out of the cello upon receipt. It is the burden we cigar smokers carry on our backs. Poor us.
I see that on some online stores, this cigar can be had for as little as just over $10. Much better than nearly $13.
I believe this cigar will be more acceptable with 5-6 months of humidor time.
The last couple inches show promise…telling me reviewing it with only two months humi time was insufficient.
The cigar breathes its last gasps at medium strength. And at nearly one hour.
And now for something completely different:
It was the late 70’s and I was a sideman in a three-piece rock band. The leader had an in with some kind of fraternal lodge in the touristy mountains that surround L.A.
Played with them several times. And the threesome got paid $1200. That’s over $5700 in 2022 dollars. Yeah, man…that is a lot of dough for a bar band. The usual pay was $50-$150 per man. It’s not much better now. I was making my house payments with that gig.
And then like all bands do, it fell apart. The leader got tired of it all.
He told me I could continue with the gig as he put in a good word with the head Poohbah of the lodge.
Now, I had to put a band together.
No internet back then so I found two musicians the regular way…trolling the musician classifieds in the local free magazines.
I spoke to a lot of musicians and decided on a drummer and guitarist that worked together. The guitarist sounded solid on the phone and he and the drummer had worked together a long time. The best part was that they focused on country music. Huzzah!
We scheduled our first rehearsal a week before the gig.
I offered them $200 each for the gig and they accepted. That was almost a grand in today’s dollars. I was the boss for a change, and these were my sidemen…my hired guns.
Imagine my shock when I saw them drive up in a 1965 VW bus covered in religious stickers…covered the bus completely. Not an inch of the original paint was exposed.
Then the real shock occurred when they got out…the guitarist looked dead nuts exactly like Charles Manson…but with a leg missing. He had the same long haircut. The only thing I kept looking for was a swastika between his eyes. Scared the living, fucking shit out of me.
And then, the fait accompli, his name was fucking Charlie.
His fucking name was Charlie.
I had an urge to call whatever prison Manson was in to make sure he was still there.
The drummer was fairly normal…as far as drummers go.
The guitarist was fairly little nuts but could play well and sing well. And the gig was in 10 days…I had run out of choices and I wanted that $5000.
We got to the gig, walked in while 200 people were eating…and you could hear a pin drop when they saw Charlie Manson. To make things totally gonzo, he was wearing a shiny silver suit with bangles everywhere. His lapels had huge black crosses on them.
And when he walked across the room, mouths dropped as the comparison to Manson was not just my impression.
The Grand Poohbah told us to leave. I said pay me and we will go. We were allowed to play.
I had brought a buddy of mine from Long Beach. We drove separately from the other two musicians. There was no way I was getting into that VW camper bus with those guys.
It was quite possibly the weirdest gig I had ever played. In between songs, Charlie would try to proselytize. The Glory of God and His Son!! I dropped my head and kept thinking how I was going to have a big wad of dough in my pocket. The Poohbah always paid in cash.
We finished our four sets, and I got the dough. Now since it was my gig and I had no intention of playing there again, or playing with Manson and his drummer ever again, I paid them their agreed upon $200 each. I pocketed the rest of the dough. There was no way that Charlie didn’t see me get the huge roll of dough from the Poohbah. I had hoped to do this in private, but the Poohbah was this huge fat guy that stepped right out of “Goodfellas.” He wanted everyone to see how much money he had.
We went to a local Denny’s after the gig. The boys in the band got now knew that I had not split the dough equally. They refused to sit with Doug and me. Like I gave a shit.
We kept getting the stink eye from their table. Doug was freaked as having a Manson clone staring at us with evil eyes caused him to want to leave immediately.
We finished our finely catered and crappy Denny’s food and were on our way. I went over to the guys’ table and reached my hand out to thank them for the gig. They refused to shake my hand. I didn’t care. I felt lucky I didn’t get my throat slit…and the blood used to spell “PIG” on my chest.
Doug and I headed out to the parking lot and saw that someone had flattened all four tires of the VW bus. Holy shit.
We made a beeline out of there.
Never heard from Charlie again.
As I look back, we should have immediately returned inside to tell Charlie what happened. That would take us off his Murder List. But we didn’t. Didn’t dawn on us til we were 10 miles away that maybe Charlie thought we had done the nefarious deed. But then, it would have taken a few minutes to cut all of his tires and we were sure he was right behind us out of Denny’s.
For a year, I kept a sawed-off shotgun in my car. And a revolver on my person.
And I never listened to “Helter Skelter” again.
Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS