With over 100 of our closest and newest friends, we gathered again for our favorite summertime herf and had a great time. As always, the food was delicious, the drinks were cold and the cigars were smokin' as we enjoyed the company of brothers and sisters of the leaf. We kicked off the show with a total Mystery Cigar where not even your El Freako knew what it was. Joining the Council of Cretins were long time listeners Joel from Beaver Damn, Wisconsin, and Ashley "DaByrdMan" from our nation's capital. Joel brought us Horny Goat beer from home which we loved...especially Kyle and handled 5 Things duties, while DaByrdMan brought us coolness...which we all desperately needed.
Big thanks and major kudos to all the Cigar BBQ sponsors especially Sir Vin Cigars who I completely forgot to grab on the show.
Huge thanks to Joe and Jaime and everyone at Slippery Rock Cigars for creating another super herf event and under some crazy circumstances. Get well soon, Joe!!
Now, kick back, spark up a pleasure stick and herf with us at the annual Slippery Rock Cigars - Blowin' Smoke Podcast Cigar Barbecue and Blowin' Smoke #112!
Hence embedded in the divine and righteous Man Chair with a Rocky Patel Junior Sumatra in one hand and an ice cold HE'BREW Chosen Beer sweating on the table next to me, I'm trying to get my imagination back.
OK, not my "imagination," but the imagination I used to have. Somewhere between now and 30 years ago I lost it...or it lost me...maybe on purpose. At least that is what I have come up with so far since I was confronted with this situation last week.
It all started when my daughter, 14, decided to clean her room...actually clean it, not just rearrange the clutter. Maybe it was us telling her that the producers of "Hoarders" were calling, or the promise to repaint and redecorate that made the real results happen. Who really knows? But it was either she gets it done or Dad is calling in a Napalm strike. For days, she went through old stuff dating back to pre-school and tossed a lot of it. I was very proud of her as I have some pack rat tendencies myself. One evening, she was showing me a large folder stuffed with pre-school art projects and drawings asking me if I remembered them when she said she wished she still had that imagination.
Wow. If a 14 year old, who is supposed to have an amazing imagination, can recognize the drastic changes in her own imagination in just ten or eleven short years and wish for the old one back, where does that leave me? The more I thought about it, the more I wanted that childhood imagination back again. Hell! I'll take the teenage imagination...at least I know it will involve beautiful girls. What used to be running around the neighborhood with no shirt and no shoes all summer long playing "smear the something that rhymes with smear", drinking out of a neighbor's garden hose and collecting buckeyes in shopping bags has become gas mileage, pulling weeds and faucets that drip. What used to be baseball cards in my spokes pretending to be Evil Knievel has become motorcycle payments and little time to ride. What used to be playing for hours and hours in snow that seemed so deep convinced that I was a US infantry soldier fighting nazis in the Battle of the Bulge (when I was actually in the woods behind a house somewhere in my neighborhood) has become heating bills, school cancellations and doppler radar.
I don't know about you, but I really miss the days of that imagination. My Big Wheel WAS a Camaro, my Huffy WAS a Yamaha, and the big old furnace in my grandmother's basement absolutely positively WAS a monster that would grab me and kill me if I didn't pedal my tricycle past it at a minimum of mach 2. I COULD run like Franco Harris. I COULD throw like Kent Tekulve, and I COULD laugh so hard I would pee my pants. OK, I still do that but for different reasons. My point is we do grow up and we do change, but do we really have to lose all of that really cool imagination from childhood? No we don't. Many, like the Disney folks, know that, but for the average shmo, like me, how do you work that into the daily grind of being a grown-up?
My 9 month old son may be the key. Pretty soon, I will be blessed to witness that childhood imagination again through his eyes. It's up to me. I can just watch it as a grown-up, or I can try sometimes to leave the grown-up behind, jump in, and be a part of it. Can you herf on Sesame Street?
It has been some time since I've taken a jump into "Pick It or Flick It" land here at BlowinSmokePodcast.com, and even though I generally don't place cigar reviews here, I hate to pass up the opportunity to have a little fun with a review.
Being a highly influential member of the cigar media [cough-cough], my people (read: I) received an email and subsequent package from Rocky Patel's people (read: Rocky Patel's people) containing a very nice hand written note from Rocky's brother, Nish, and a pre-release sampling of the new Rocky Patel 15th Anniversary for my "review." The RP 15th are set to hit stores on July 30, 2010.
Wanting to keep it fair, and not wanting to break my own rules of creating the appearance of a "quid pro quo" when it comes to cigar reviews both here and on the show, I decided to offer up the pre-release Rocky Patel 15th as a MYSTERY cigar for a couple of the Cretins to review...thus denying myself the little bit of celebrity arrogance I might experience by smoking a pre-release Rocky Patel. You can thank me later.
Our two unknowing, but more than willing, Cretins were Kyle (maduro slut, goat buff), and Moose (skin hound, chlorine addict)
First, a little background on the new Rocky Patel 15th Anniversary taken from their website and other sources. Utilizing Rocky's new facilities in Nicaragua, the 15th features fillers from Esteli wrapped by an Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper. Four sizes are being released: Robusto 5 X 50 - Toro 6.5 X 52 - Torpedo 6.125 X 52 - and Corona Gorda 6 X 46. I received the torpedo.
REMEMBER! The reviewers have no idea what cigar they are smoking, and they smoked them separately.
KYLE: It was a nut brown shade, slight vein wrapper. It was very smooth to the touch, with a slight bumpiness.
MOOSE: The cigar looks like a tasty stick. Looks like a Rocky Olde World.
PRE-LIGHT : Aroma, etc
KYLE: A slight sweetness on the pre light puff.
MOOSE: Pre-light aroma is delicious with a bit of a vintage, well-aged smell. Good pyramid construction. Probably 6x50 size.
TYPE OF CUT
KYLE: I used my usual perfect cut.
MOOSE: Straight cut with perfect cutter.
KYLE: Great draw.
MOOSE: Ridiculously easy draw; personally, I prefer more resistance.
CONSTRUCTION / BURN / ASH
KYLE: The construction was immaculate. A slight tight wrap, but not too tight. A stiff ash, and no other problems while smoking it.
MOOSE: Very easy to light. Ash is okay but I suspect I'll be dealing with an uneven burn for a while. Twenty minutes in and burn is trying to right itself. Have touched up only once so far. Thirty minutes in - had to touch up some wild spoonage. Forty-five minutes and burning better but showing signs of more spooning.
KYLE: Before I took a puff, I didn't have a sip of anything. A heavy spice overcame my pallate. I'm not sure if it was the cigar or the cedar I lit it with. I started to drink Blanton's Bourbon with it. The Bourbon, at first, brought out a heavy spice, then turned into a smooth mellowness. Next up was a Great Lakes Burning River about 1/4 of the way down. The beer had the same sweet/leather tones as the cigar. Last up was the Andretti Selections Merlot wine with about 4 or so inches left. The dryness of the wine brought out more earthiness and a smooth white pepper flavor.
MOOSE: Initial taste is dry and lacking. The smoke is harsh to my nose. Not what I was expecting it to taste like. Pairing with lemon iced tea and also a glass of water. So far the tea is overpowering the cigar. Taste still lacking compared to pre-light aromas. Still unimpressive flavor and aroma. Disappointed so far. Cripe, the water is more refreshing at the moment. Just about to the 60 minute mark. About 2.5" left and souring quickly.
KYLE: I would give it a high medium to a low full.
KYLE: It had a great draw, lots of smoke, great aroma, and a nice stiff ash. Heavy spice at first then smoothed out to a mellow, earthy/leathery tone, and sweet to the lips. I would give this a solid 9 out of 10. I'd say it's 75% Nicaraguan and 25% Dominican.
MOOSE: Overall an unimpressive cigar. The more I thought about what I was smoking the more I felt it should be compared to a 50 cent smoke I was given earlier this spring at a bonfire. Burn issues throughout and lack of flavor made it pain to finish it. As it is, I put it down after an hour with a little over 2" left. The big surprise was the difference between pre-light aromas and what it tasted like after sparking it up.
PICK IT or FLICK IT?
KYLE: Pick it!
MOOSE: I don't like to bash a cigar, but I will definitely have to Flick this one.
Wow! It's amazing what happens when you're flying blind. I have a feeling Moose will be very surprised when he learns the identity of this mystery cigar, but he and Kyle were honest, and that's all we ask for.
Personally, I don't like seeing a premium handmade cigar get kicked around. It can come off as an indictment, when nothing could be further from the truth. Cigar likes and dislikes are extremely subjective and you always have to keep that in mind. A review is an opinion and the opinion today on the Pre-Release Rocky Patel 15th Anniversary Torpedo is a draw between PICK IT & FLICK IT.
Back home in the Havana Room at Chez Rob, it's Blowin' Smoke #113!
A mild, breezy and comfortable Saturday morning is the perfect time to be herfing in the Havana Room, second only to a crisp fall afternoon with Steelers football on the tube, and today was made even better as we welcomed two virgin Cretins to the show...Ken and Rick. Along with the new Cretins and a brand new Cigar of the Day, we also welcomed some of our many followers on Twitter who chimed in with some great tweets on many of the day's topics such as mixing beer and cheese for better sex, beer and cigar pairings, and road rage cigars.
One of our new Cretins took on 5 Things duties with "5 things you never want to hear inside a walk-in humidor," plus email, voicemail and more.
So, grab your favorite stick...no, the other one...and join us for Blowin' Smoke #113!