Archive for August, 2009

Carlos Torano Exodus 1959

Sunday, August 30th, 2009

Today’s review comes to you compliments of a grab bag Cigars Direct sent me. To quote the Torano website – This cigar commemorates the Exodus of expert Cuban cigar families and their impact on the cigar industry after the nationalization of all tobacco farms and cigar factories by the Cuban government in 1959. The Toraños were one of those families.

As you regular readers know, I usually don’t do much of an introduction when reviewing a cigar. I figure you came here for a review and not my silly banter. So keeping with that, I paired up with a glass of water and got to the review.


Wrapper: Habano

Binder: Honduras

Filler: Dominican, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Costa Rica

Price: Around 4 – $5.00

Size: Robusto 5 x 50


Pre-smoke & Construction:

The box pressed wrapper was dark and rugged looking, with a few medium sized veins. Sniffing the wrapper reminded me of sweet earth, or soil. The foot had a similar odor, with an added peppery note. Squeezing the cigar, I found no soft spots or inconsistencies. the pre-light draw had slight resistance with a sweet earthy taste.

The burn required no corrections, and the ash held strong for over an inch. Construction overall was great.



The first third started off with pretty heavy, yet smooth peppery notes. I detected earthy flavors in the background. Despite the simplicity of the flavor profile, I enjoyed it so far.


The second third developed. The pepper remained but combined with an added sweet spice. The earthiness grew in strength and a sweet flavor came about that reminded me of mocha. It wasn’t full blown chocolate or mocha though.


The last third showed a few changes. The pepper mellowed out and was overtook by a sweet spice. The earthy notes fell way back but would come to the forefront at times, then fall back again. I couldn’t quite pin down what the sweet flavor was, but I do know it was spicy. I’m leaning towards cinnamon due to the bite it had. Mocha was a player at times in the overall flavor profile as well. Lastly… The smoke feel had an interesting cooling effect.



This was a solid full bodied cigar. I don’t really have a lot to add other then it was enjoyable. A decent selection of Torano cigar can be found at Cigars Direct if this sounds like something you’d enjoy. I say give it a try!

Tough Day on Campus

Sunday, August 30th, 2009

school-bus-7948471Not too long ago my wife and I were waiting for the bus to take my daughter to first grade. She was scared shitless and when the bus came she cried hysterically as I picked her up and put her on the bus steps, telling the driver to go. It was as tough on us as it was on her. She was only a little kid and thought it was the end of the world. I remember it very clearly like it was only a year ago or so.

belushicollegeYesterday, I brought my daughter to college. You know what, it kind of felt like first grade all over again. Yeah, she’s 18, but she’s never been away from home before and I didn’t expect her to be as sad as she was. The goofiest part is that she’s only 35 minutes away from home. But I guess when you’re used to waking up in your own comfy bed each day and seeing the ones you love, it is quite the shock. But we all moved out from home and we all made it. I guess try telling that to a grief stricken kid who only a couple of months ago she was marching in a cap and gown on a beautiful sunny day in northern New Jersey. It was all excitement, then – the thought of college and having your own room and being on your own.

pledgelineYesterday was an incredibly surreal day for a parent. I know that some of you have been thru this and some haven’t, and it is surreal, I can tell you that. Packing the car, driving there, waiting online to unload your bevy of stuff is just all a weird deal. We pulled our cars up to the dorm and a couple of strapping young lads greeted us with big orange laundry type bins. (I was more than glad to see that  Bluto, Pinto, and Founder were not in attendance.) They were all cheery and decked in their ra-ra college colors, all eager to help us move in. That was nice.

image_previewIt happened to be a gorgeous sunny day, temps in the mid-80’s, and that certainly helped the experience. The distinct smell of charred cow carcass was everywhere, as cooks manned several barbecue stations, wafting viscous burger smoke throughout the busy campus air. Mmmmm…bbq’d buuuuuurgers … God I’m such a peckehead and wanted to wolf down a few patties to give me the strength I needed to carry out my fatherly duties. But no, I held steadfast and continued to load the bins. My daughter and son then went to her room while my wife and I brought our cars to the main parking lot. Walking back I had to pass the god damned burger station again and used every ounce of will power I could muster to hold off on partaking. Do you have any idea how hard that was for a pungent slob like me? But I was on a mission and the good Lord guided me through the challenge.

So we got to her suite – three rooms, six girls, and all the families in there at once. It was a thousand degrees as we unloaded, set up, and created the new weekly home for my kid. Where’s the Ethernet cables and the tv jacks? Did you remember batteries? Who wants to set up the cube shelving? What wall should the posters go on? Tough decisions to be made on the fly, but we kicked ass and got ‘er done.

Okay, yes there were an incredibly amount of beautiful 18 year-old girls in shorts, everywhere you looked. It’s annoying for a dad who has a kid that age and I smack myself continuously, but some of these young ladies are stunning and look a good five years older than they really are. There was this one tall chick in a yellow top with flowing black hair and… ah, forget it. My wife and daughter will kill me, so what’s the use.

…But did I happen to mention the hot moms?

milfOh my good lord above, the milfage was beyond comprehension. Gorgeous mommies permeated the campus grounds and only my dark sunglasses saved me from getting my ass kicked all the live-long day. Okay, so I’m there to help my daughter, but hey, I’m a guy first and foremost – a  disgustingly horny, cougar-crazed moron, who has a penchant for the elder gals with a bit of mileage on the chassis. There was this one sexy as-all-hell red head with rack and pinion headlights that I’m pretty sure knew I was leering at her during the assembly that welcomed the freshmen class. I think when she crushed her Poland Spring bottle in my eye and called me a dirtbag, I knew that I was being a bit obvious. But man, what a rear bumper on that broad as she walked away all indignant and stuff. Come on, feel sorry for me. I was born with this affliction and I can’t help my actions.

Finally we got to hit the food station and most of the good stuff was devoured. The pulled chicken was all gone, and after that redhead, I damn near choked my own. (I know, I’m a hopeless ass. God pity my decrepit soul, please.) I wolfed a couple of cheeseburgers like a, well, like a wolf. There were no more sodies or none of them big cookies left that I had passed several hours earlier and that sucked a whole lot. But somehow I managed to get through the difficulty and threw down a couple of burnt dogs for good measure. I can really think on my feet like that.

Well, to make a long story even longer, it was five o’clock and time to say good-bye. Holy crap, that was hard. My poor kid was a nervous wreck and hadn’t eaten a thing all day. I was glad that her and her new pals were heading off to the cafeteria for some dinner. Just like the nine hundred other families that were leaving their kiddiess to fend for themselves, we hugged, we kissed, fought back the tears and left.

I stuck my baby on those bus steps and told the driver to close the door once more.

I felt really weird as I peered into her room this morning. I know she’s very close to home, and we’ll even see her this whole Labor day weekend fer crissakes. But she is my baby, and no matter how old they get, you’ll never stop being a daddy.

Thanx for listening. I needed to get it off my chest. So does that redhead, by the way.

Later my fellow peeps,
Tommy Z.
JR Cigar Blog With the Zman

Bargain Cigars

Friday, August 28th, 2009
What do you consider a bargain-priced cigar? A $5 smoke? One retailing for $4? Less than $4? Or maybe it's simply a cigar that gives you a great smoking experience for less than you would expect. Every year at Cigar Insider , we survey cigar shops from around the country to get an idea of the buying habits of the premium cigar smoker.

Arturo Fuente King B

Thursday, August 27th, 2009

I’m not a big Fuente guy, but I do enjoy one from time to time. I can’t say I’ve ever had a bad one, except perhaps an overpowering Opus X or two. But overall, I think they offer good stuff. Tonight I grabbed a glass of water and sat down with the Arturo Fuente King B.

Wrapper: Ecuadorian sungrown rosado

Binder: Dominican

Filler: Dominican

Size: 6 x 55

Price: 8 – $9.00


Pre-smoke & Construction:

One thing I can say about Fuente cigars… They are usually consistent with great construction. This was no exception, and overall the construction looked good. The tan wrapper had small veins with no visible flaws. When I squeezed the length of the cigar, I could find no soft or hard spots. Sniffing the wrapper and foot, I only detected slight cedary notes. The pre-light draw was good, with slight resistance. When taking a pre-light draw, I could only taste subtle, sweet cedary flavors.

After about an inch in, the draw tightened up. I attribute this from me pinching the cigar in my mouth. A massage of the tip loosened it right up. The burn required several corrections, and the ash held strong for over an inch.



The first third went well, with deep woody flavors up front. Right behind that were smooth earthy notes combined with a simple tobacco taste. Smooth and easy…


The second third… There isn’t a lot I can say. The woody and earthy base flavors pretty much stayed the same. A hint of unidentified spice made it’s was into the flavor profile. It wasn’t sweet, but it wasn’t quite peppery. It was so subtle that I never figured it out. The overall combined flavors were deep and enjoyable.


The last third continued with that dominant woody flavor. The earthiness took a back seat, but it lurked. I noticed a slight bitterness, but it wasn’t strong or unpleasant. Overall, the body felt fuller or deeper. It was more of a texture or smoke feel. Those slight spicy notes still faded in and out, and I never did figure out exactly what they were. All in all, this third went well.



Every now and then I’ll light up a King B. They are simple and easy to smoke. My main complaint is the price. For a fairly high dollar smoke, I would expect more complexities. Price aside, this is a good medium bodied cigar for any time of the day. Definitely worth trying.

Of Maverick, Cigars and the Tube

Wednesday, August 26th, 2009
No, this isn't a blog about Sarah Palin and cylindrical, metal packages for storing cigars. Rather, it involves watching cigars on television. Specifically, the classic Western "Maverick." As discussed in a 1, cigar smoking on television or in the movies always captures my attention.

Random Summer Thoughts

Tuesday, August 25th, 2009
It's always hard as summer winds down, and you're left wondering how the last three months disappeared. The 2009 version, in the Northeast, will be remembered as one of the coolest, wettest summers on record, although the last couple of weeks have been making some headway on the temperature front.

Cain Habano

Monday, August 24th, 2009

cain WR 21Lately it seems all the rage is with Olivas latest release they call “Cain.” I believe this is the brain child of Sam Leccia, the inventor of Nub cigars. It is touted as being a triple ligero cigar. A Quick lesson – Ligero comes from the top of the tobacco plant. This means it is most exposed to the sun and elements. This causes a thicker, darker, and fuller bodied tobacco. I’m not one to re-hash all of the details, so for more info check out their website. As usual, I paired the cigar with water.


Oliva Cain Habano 550

Wrapper: Habano Nicaragua

Binder/Filler: Nicaragua

Size: 5 3/4 X 50

Price: Around $6.00


Pre-smoke & Construction:

Overall the cigar looked nice. The wrapper had small to medium veins, and the cigar was a bit soft when squeezed. The wrapper smelled of dark, earthy tobacco. The foot had a similar odor with an added sweetness and pepper. The pre-light draw was free, and had a woody, chocolaty flavor. Basically this thing looked like it would be a powerhouse of flavor and nicotine.

The burn was perfect, requiring no touch-up’s. The ash was firm for a little over an inch.



The first third started with a full bodied, in your face pepper and wood. I could taste earthiness in there somewhere, along with some kind of sweetness. After about an inch or so, the pepper smoothed out a little. While it was still strong when passing through the sinus, it felt smoother.


By the time I hit the second third, I had a small nicotine buzz going. That sharp pepper smoothed out even more, but kept it’s bite. The smoothness took on a sweet characteristic with hints of mocha. Next was that woody flavor I spoke of before. Lastly, earthy notes lingered behind everything.


The last third had me in a full nicotine buzz. It wasn’t over the top but I could feel the tingling and lightheaded aftereffects. Most importantly, I had no sick stomach or even the slightest queasiness. The flavor profile didn’t change that much at all. The woody base flavor remained along with a smooth pepper. Again, the pepper kept its zing but retained smoothness. The sweet notes would come and go, as did the earthy undertones.



This was without question a FULL bodied cigar. Although the flavor profile wasn’t exactly complex, it wasn’t boring either. At times it felt like the focus was on strength over flavor, but in the end I enjoyed both. I smoked this on an empty stomach and did not feel sick at all. But what would you expect from someone who smokes a lot and reviews cigars all the time? For the regular or novice smoker, eat a good meal. This one will get you buzzed for sure. If a powerhouse of a cigar appeals to you, I have to recommend trying this for sure.

Oh, This Wacky World We Live In

Monday, August 24th, 2009

Here’s whats going on around Planet Earth today…

Walmart Whacking
walmartNobody likes getting reprimanded at work. It makes you feel so small and insignificant, like a piece of worthless garbage. Sometimes the boss man just doesn’t see things your way and he gets on your case, over and over until you just want to beat the bastid with a bat. Well, that’s go_home_and_get_your_shine_box_poster-p228778037826316743tdcp_400exactly what happened at a Walmart in New Haven Connecticut. 29-year-old assistant manager George Freibott had just written up his slug for an employee for poor job performance and it was the second time in days that 26-year-old Barry Griffin had been read the riot act. Instead of filing for a grievance or having a nice sit down with his boss, Barry took a stroll into the sporting goods section, removed an aluminum Louiville from the shelf, and in his own special way, told the assistant manager to “Go get his shine box.”  He reportedly whacked Freibott a dozen times (who was counting?) leaving him with a broken arm and some damned nasty bruises. The young Griffin has since fled the coop and police are in search of this disgruntled, crazy son of a bitch. When I heard this, I thought it’s the kind of thing we’ve all thought of at least once in our lives, but no one really ever acts out on it. We usually just go home, bitch to our wives while our meatloaf dinner does the Lambada in our stomach. So kudos to young Barry for blaming everyone else but himself for being an inept turd, who an “eye for an eye” would be the proper dose of anger management.

This Bud’s For You…
caning-in-acehMalaysia is doing all they can to prove to the world that they are a progressive, forward thinking nation with much to offer the global community.  Take Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarno, a 32-year-old mother of two, for instance.  The Karai, Malaysian native is to be publicly caned after the Ramadan, Islamic holy month of fasting. Seems that we have a little party girl on our budweiserhands, here, as the consumption of alcohol is strictly forbidden by Malaysia’s Shariah law. Kartika was caught in a hotel raid where she was pounding a few brewzers with her buddies, and will now have her ass beat with a rattan stick, in public display. Islamic authorities claim that the purpose of the caning is not to punish, but to educate. Gosh, here in America we have things called books to do that. And get this… Kartika says that she wants to be caned because she wants to respect the law.  My God, I hope this all wasn’t over a Coors Light. Note to my blog faithful – stay clear of these third world hell holes if at all possible. I still get the heebie jeebbies thinking about the first time I saw Midnight Express.

Of All the No good Rotten, Dirty Stinkin’ Luck…

48820785If the New York Mets didn’t have horrendous luck this season, they’d have absolutely none at all. Being plagued with injuries is one thing, but basically every single starter has been hurt, leaving the Amazins with a lineup filled from top to bottom with back-ups and minor leaguers. So yesterday’s game against the Phillies proved that the Mets season was officially in the toilet when Jeff Francoeur appeared to have hit a line drive base hit up the middle in the bottom of the ninth. The Mets had runners on first and second, down by two, with no outs. The hit and mrmet-793596run was on so both base runners took off as the pitch was thrown. But Phillies second baseman, Eric Bruntlett was leaning towards the bag because he saw men stealing. Francoeur hit the ball on the screws, just nailing it as hard as any guy can hit a baseball. But wouldn’t you know it that Brunlett was in the right place at the right time – or for the Mets, the wrong place at the worst time. The Phils infielder caught the liner for the first out, stepped on second to get the runner who left the base, and then turned and tagged the Mets Daniel Murphy who was just about on second because of the hit and run. Folks, that’s known as a triple play, and it was only the 15th “unassisted” triple play in the history of Major League Baseball. “Even with the runners going I did not expect him to be there. The only place he could catch the ball was where he was,” Francoeur said. “To end the way it did was a little disheartening.” After the play, avid Mets fan and Connecticut native, Barry Griffin ran onto the field and beat Eric Bruntlett into with an aluminum bat. Griffin fled the seen and police are still in pursuit of the Walmart wielding thug.

Potty Humor Down Under

toilet_porchPunks in CAIRNS, Australia have sunken lower than the sewers that hold the city’s public poo. It appears that Krazy Glue was smeared on a toilet seat in a mall store, and unfortunately a 58 year-old man who only wanted to drop wolf bait, had his tukas attached permanently. Paramedics removed the seat, then took the man to a local hospital where doctors used an industrial strength solvent to remove the poor sap from his plastic throne. Cairns local government official Di Forsyth said the man, but was “extremely embarrassed” by his experience. “I’m disgusted that a gentlemen has had to go through that because someone thinks it’s funny,” Forsyth said. “It’s a sick joke.”

Maybe now my wife will believe that shopping for us guys really is a pain in the ass.

And, Before I go…

It’s been exactly one week since I took my tumble and I thank you guys for the support – and that especially goes for Garfiend’s goat. My neck and shoulders are really sore and it’s worse when I first wake up – but I’m not complaining since I could be dead or severely f@#ked up physically. Mentally has already been established.

But a BIG-ASS ZMAN thank you to BIG M60 for sending me one hell of a care package all the way from the left coast! The brother sent a bevy of major league smokes including Padron 1926 & 68, Aurora, and other incredible goodies. A HUGE personal thanx to our new commenter, Michael! I shall burn them with great pleasure, my friend!

That’s it for this week, my bruthas and sistas. I’m glad to say I made it thru the weekend in one piece.

Have a great week,

Tommy Z.

JR CIGAR Blog With the Zman

Don Gonzalez Special Edition (Maduro)

Saturday, August 22nd, 2009

Awhile back, Duque Cigars sent me the Don Gonzalez Special Edition. After some rest in the humidor, it was time to smoke and review them. Rated 90 by Cigar Snob, these cigars use Cuban seed tobaccos grown in the region Esteli Nicaragua. You can see the selection of Don Gonzalez cigars here if this sounds like something you’d be interested in.

Stay tuned, coming soon I’ll let you know how to win a box of these.


Wrapper: Nicaraguan Maduro

Binder: Nicaragua

Filler: Nicaragua

Size: Toro 6 x 50

Price: Around $5.00


Pre-Smoke & Inspection:

The wrapper was a bit rugged looking, with some discolorations and bumps here and there. Otherwise it showed no flaws in construction or quality. The wrapper had a sweet grassy like smell, while the foot had a more earthy and peppery odor. The pre-light draw was a little tight, and had a simple earthy tobacco taste.

The burn was good, requiring no corrections. The initial tight draw opened up and wasn’t a problem, and the ash held for well over an inch.



The first third began with a smooth earthy flavor. A sweet spice was detected when passing smoke through the sinus. Woody notes of cedar followed to round out the first third.


Just at I got into the second third, I started to pick up very subtle notes of cocoa. It was a dry cocoa, similar to the powder you’d put in milk. Next up was a peppery spice with a hint of sweetness. The earthy flavors remained while the woodiness took a back seat. Simple but decent.


The last third crept higher into the medium body range. The dry mocha increased in strength and stood out over the other flavors. There was a peppery spice when exhaling through the sinus. The woodiness lurked in the background.



Although this cigar didn’t “WOW” me, I think it is a decent medium bodied cigar. Although the flavor profile was simple, I can’t fault it for that because it wasn’t harsh and didn’t taste bad. This is a cigar you’d have to judge for yourself. I say its worth trying.

What I Did on My Summer Stay-cation

Friday, August 21st, 2009
I didn't end up making the aforementioned 1 to see the cooperage operation for Brown-Forman, but I also didn't go to Niagara Falls as my wife had schemed. Where the family actually went (after much begging from my daughter Grace, who is fascinated by all things historical) was Mystic Seaport.

Looking for something?

Use the form below to search the site:

Still not finding what you're looking for? Drop a comment on a post or contact us so we can take care of it!