Some of you may have noticed that there is a new sponsor on the site (yeah, that one in the right sidebar). It’s called Operation Smokescreen and it looks like a pretty cool thing. Why? Well, you can win one of five prize packages (each valued at over $1,500) and you can read their description of the rest.
If you play with fire…you’re bound to get burned.DescriptionOperation Smokescreen – an independent film. Starring the biggest names in the cigar business: Jonathan Drew, Nick Perdomo, Rocky Patel, Matt Booth, Christian Eiroa, Charlie Toraño, Ernesto Padilla & Kurt van Keppel.Plot Outline
A never-before seen bug has taken root in the Cibao Valley of the Dominican Republic…at the same time a shadowy figure has emerged with a potent biological weapon that has the power to decimate the fields in just days. It seems that the DR is just the start – the virus has crossed the water to the west, and infected the Nicaraguan mainland growing areas…there have been scattered reports, now by Honduran farmers, of a group of outsiders coming and going by small airplane to and from a hard-to-reach region at the edge of the valley.
There have been no official communications from Cuba. Rumors have surfaced that the Castro regime paid off these eco-terrorists to leave their state industry alone, while others tell of Raul & Fidel sponsoring them as a leverage point to hasten the repeal of the US embargo.
Stories and theories aside, the Mosaic supervirus is now out – and the race is on for a handful of powerful tobacco growers to keep their farms alive. They realize that as long as their fields stay viable, they are in business – and their business is healthier when their competitors’ is not. Some have agreed to work together; others, however, have decided at the same time that it’s in their best interest to cut a deal to win. One has even resorted to killing to keep his secret, along with access to the virus. What none of them had counted on, is that along with creating the virus – an agent at that lab had also created a treatment…that will go to the highest bidder. The growers now know this, and make a push to secure it before they’re ruined as well.
Only one person has the power to stop it – the Middleman. And he has his own plans to let the growers sort it out among themselves, and for him to control the world’s tobacco growing economy after the dust has settled.
Kind of sounds crazy. But is it the kind of crazy that is fun to watch or the other kind where it’s just insane? I have no clue. But the prize packages – headlined by Liga Privada, Perdomo 20th Anniversary, Rocky Patel 15th Anniversary, Room 101 Namakubi, CLE, Padilla 8 & 11, Torano Loyal and Xikar – are reason enough to look into it.
(Cue movie poster)
Yup, that’s right. Litto Gomez has trademarked the chisel shape in a cigar. As far as I or Cigar Aficionado know this is the first time that a cigar shape (vitola) got trademarked.
Here’s some of the story from CA:
The La Flor Dominicana Chisel, one of the strongest and most original cigars on the market, is now protected by a trademark. Cigarmaker Litto Gomez, who created the Chisel shape in 2003, received acceptance for his trademark application on April 4. The trademark for the Chisel shape is retroactive to 2006, and will be valid until 2016.
“I thought it was a long shot,” Gomez told Cigar Aficionado in an interview yesterday. “They rejected it four or five times—we kept trying.”
While not a goof on Litto Gomez’s part, when I first heard about this I immediately thought about this (watch the whole thing):
Now, I love the La Flor Dominicana Double Ligero Chisel (Natural Review and Maduro Review) but this just seems wrong. Even though there haven’t been a proliferation of chisel shaped cigars there are some and I liked the Man O’ War Special Project 52-C, which is a chisel shape. Does this mean these cigars will cease to exist? Maybe not, as long as they can make a deal with Mr. Gomez.
I appreciate the fact that the chisel shape is unique but I don’t think if another cigar maker comes out with a great chisel shaped cigar it would hurt Litto Gomez’s cigars in any way. They are legendary and, speaking for myself, I will always cherish the chisel shape. Now, I guess I’m limited in my chisel options.
The chisel’s raison d’être is the fact that it smokes extremely well. I have never had one with a bad draw or burn. For whatever physical reason these cigars just smoke awesomely. And now? Oh well.
A Few Good Links for this week covers some good news from Cigar Rights of America, Alec Bradley’s Red Badge Report, a new Avo and a show that returned from the grave.
1. From CRA is this:
In a significant advancement for the effort to keep the U.S. Food & Drug Administration out of your home and local tobacconist’s humidor, S. 1461 and H.R. 1639 has acquired two major new co-sponsors from the House and Senate.
Representative Fred Upton (R, Michigan) and Senator Lindsey Graham (R, South Carolina) are the politicians who have signed on to fight the FDA. That’s good news and I’m glad we have some more people fighting those who would stomp out our cigars. And a big thanks to CRA for their activism and for keeping us up-to-date on what is going on.
2. Alec Bradley just published the first edition of the Red Badge Report. Here’s a little video (jump ahead to about 0:40):
3. Then there is the special (can a 100,000 production run be termed “special”) run of the Avo La Trompeta. Here’s the stuff:
Through the subtle balanced Ligero tobaccos and the add-on of Peruvian Seco from exquisite tobacco fields, this special vintage is a medium to full- bodied cigar with complex notes in the aftertaste. The beautiful, slightly oily Ecuador Special Sun Grown wrapper “Seleccion 702” awards this cigar an indescribable spicy and balanced, multi-faceted experience. This cigar converts our thoughts in dreams.
“This cigar converts our thoughts in dreams” – wow. Somebody ate their Wheaties before writing that! More info:
“La Trompeta” presents itself in a majestic and charming cigar format – a brilliant 6 ½ x 54 “Piramide”– the addition of a special feature to pay homage to the jazz trumpet, three small circular cigar leaf cut-outs are placed on the wrapper leaf to resemble “trumpet keys” – limited to 100,000 cigars worldwide with 50,000 cigars for the US market.
“La Trompeta” will be available on March 26th at Select Merchants with a retail price of $15.50 taxes not included.
4. Breaking In is not a great show but it’s fun. At least, it was. With the addition of Megan Mullally and the subtraction of a couple of guys (the kind of up tight one and that other one, you know, the zany guy) the premiere episode wasn’t good. Hopefully it will get better but, well, let’s hope. Here’s a video that I think shows one of the funnier moments from the first season:
A Few Good Links for this week will cover Eddie Ortega’s new venture, a new edition to the La Traviata line and something about a football game.
1. Eddie Ortega has left EOBrands to start the eponymous Ortega Cigar company. Eddie isn’t going for the limited edition nor the mass market crowd. Instead, he’s going after the happy medium in between the two saying that he wants somewhere around 300 accounts with retailers. He hopes that this will be a mutually beneficial relationship and that quality will remain high. I’m sure I speak for most cigar smokers by saying “I hope so too.”
And why would anybody think otherwise? EOBrands produces the 601 brand of cigars as well as Cubao, which are both highly thought of by many cigar smokers; Eddie’s cigars should be as good. Here’s a little peak into what he’s up to:
All the brands comprise a rich and complex blend of tobaccos grown in South and Central America with Nicaraguan tobaccos from Esteli and Jalapa giving it the prevalent flavors topped off with an excusite (sic) choice of Mexican Maduro; Ecuador Habano; Connecticut Broadleaf or Connecticut Natural.
2. There’s a new La Traviata on the way and it is the La Traviata Luminoso Maduro. This cigar weighs in at 4.5″ x 50 with a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper and should go for slightly more than $5.00 a stick. Personally, I liked the Ecuadorian wrapped La Traviata better than the maduro but maybe this one will change my mind.
3. The Super Bowl is this Sunday barring any Tom Clancy-esque hijinks by nuclear physicist Islamofascists. I don’t have a dog in this fight (is that okay to use that analogy when talking about football nowadays?) and never do when it comes to football. Still, it is an event that cannot be passed up.
What cigar(s) are you going to smoke during the game?
This one has been in the humidor a while; just sitting on its tray minding its own business… until now! Being part of a CRA sampler I got a long time ago it’s slightly oily, wonderfully constructed, maybe too tightly packed but it does look like a great cigar. Plus, it is a Punch, so I’m sure it will be, at the minimum, a solid cigar. This is in a toro size.
Definitely more than a “solid” cigar, this one is. Forthright spice, fleeting cherry and a few woody notes make up the flavors in the beginning of this cigar. I’m going to go ahead a peg it as a full bodied cigar, but just barely.
There is this smoky flavor that creeps its way into every nook and cranny of my taste buds. It is a nice extra dimension of flavor; it complements the other flavors well.
While the flavors are above average what I like the most about this cigar is that there is an edge to it. I like it when a cigar has a little edge to it.
In the beginning it was a full bodied cigar but after the first inch it dialed the strength down to the medium-full bodied range. After the halfway point I noticed a certain amount of earthiness creep its way through. This cigar has a good draw and a good burn.
As is the case with all the other cigars from the Cigar Rights of America sampler I will abstain from giving it a score. It suffices to say that this was a great cigar and well worth the price that I paid for it. If you haven’t already done so I would like to urge you to join CRA and help them stem the tide against those anti-smoking zealots that are becoming ever more brazen.