A Few Good Links for this week covers the shocking and sad news that Andrew Breitbart is dead at 43, The Knot Irish something-or-another liquor and how I wound up on a fantasy baseball league.
1. Andrew Breitbart was at the tip of the spear of the conservative movement, especially where pop culture and the Tea Party are concerned. Whenever I saw him on a show I would stop and watch it because he was such an interesting personality. He made me laugh, think, get mad and then laugh again.
Here is a link to some remembrances.
2. If you happen to find yourself in your local liquor store in the Irish Whiskey section and you see a bottle named The Knot don’t buy it. It’s not really whiskey, it doesn’t say so on the bottle, but I, like a moron, bought a bottle. It had to be one of the most unnaturally sweet things I have tasted in a long time. Literally sickening.
Until I write a review on it take a look at this one.
3. I was reading a baseball blog the other night and found myself looking at a post about how they were accepting applicants for their fantasy league; all you had to do was leave a comment that convinced the league’s commissioner (manager?) that you had what it takes to stand your ground in this league of crazy baseball nuts. That and the fiscal solvency to pay the $100 entrance fee.
Mildly amused and feeling larkish, I decided to write some bull about how I haven’t played fantasy baseball in a couple of years (actually longer than that) but I can bring that nostalgic, smoke filled, back room feel to their draft. Evidently, that worked. I received an email last night telling me that I had been selected. This is pretty much how I felt (jump to 1:13 to see what I mean):
A Few Good Links this week covers anti-smoking nuttery in Nicole Kidman’s homeland, reviews of the Sosa Underground Delphic and the La Flor Dominicana Factory Press IV as well as a little baseball stuff about why somebody thinks my Angels have the best prospect in baseball.
1. Like a colony of ants after being sprayed by water the anti-smoking fascists are all over the place frantically trying to right all that they see as wrong. In America they are working to affect tax increases on cigars and have the FDA regulate the industry far more than it ever has before. All in the name of health!
It turns out that even in the most rugged of the English speaking countries, Australia, the land of Kidman, Wolverine and kangaroos, they have their own frantic as wet ant fascists meddling in the lives of others. As noted by aussiecigars, the Aussie-fascists want to require graphic health warnings on all tobacco products. I’m guessing they’re talking about holes in throats, Swiss cheese lungs and pictures of this. Like our cigar smoking Aussie friend (whose name is Mark but you have to pronounce it with the cool Aussie accent) points out, that sort of packaging – except for the possible exception of the last example, which I linked to – doesn’t work.
But even if it did work is that the right thing to do? Is it moral? Everybody knows that there is a certain amount of risk associated with using tobacco products… and eating fried foods… and doing extreme sports… and having a swimming pool in the backyard… and just nearly everything else. What’s next? Should we put pictures of drowning polar bears on cars because cars cause global warming?
2. Ben over at Nice Tight Ash reviewed the Sosa Underground Delphic. He liked it a lot. Here’s a sample from his review:
Using a Habano wrapper from Nicaragua with a binder and filler also from Nicaragua, the cigar did have a nice spice note. That wasn’t all. The cigar show a nice balance of woodiness, nuttiness (is that a word?) with a nice sweetness through out the cigar. The cigar also had a nice buttery mouth feel with the smoke as well make the cigar a joy to smoke. You really can’t beat this cigar for the price.
3. Dave over at the Tiki Bar reviews the La Flor Dominicana Factory Press IV. Dave really liked this cigar making note of flavors like earth, cocoa and coffee. Sounds like a really good cigar.
4. ESPN’s Keith Law has put Mike Trout at the top of his Prospect List for the second year in a row. Maybe the Angels will keep Trout in the Majors for the whole year. Maybe I shouldn’t hold my breath.
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?
A Few Good Links today will cover the new cigar from Room 101, why I am happy Prince Fielder is a Tiger and why Maryland sucks.
1. Jewelry craftsman and cigar maker Matt Booth has teamed up with his photographer to come out with a new blend of cigars called OSOK, One Shot One Kill. Now, if you are thinking that name is provocative let me just fill you in on the meaning: by “shot” they mean “photograph” and by “kill” they mean “killer photo.” The photographer, whose name is Edgar Hoill, is nicknamed OSOK and that’s where that comes from. If the cigar is as good as its marketing it should be great.
I like the name and it’s more understandable than one of Booth’s other cigar creations – Namakubi, which has something to do with severed heads and Samurai. I don’t have any definite plans on reviewing either of these cigars but I wouldn’t rule it out.
2. Prince Fielder did not sign with the Rangers (woohoo) but has decided to sign on as part of the one-two punch that is Prince-Cabrera. I guess if you wanted to strangle a joke out of this you could say that Prince, Cabrera and Verlander are now “Detroit’s New Big Three.” (Note to Tigers’ marketing team: I came up with the slogan so you owe me royalties if you decide to use it.)
The reason why I like this is because it puts Prince in the AL Central. The Tigers should be strong enough to manhandle their division counterparts and suppress wins enough so that none of the teams from the Central will seriously compete for the Wild Card. If baseball goes to a two Wild Card format for 2012 that means there will be five teams (Angels, Rangers, Yankees, Red Sox and Rays) battling for four playoff spots (AL West and East champs and the two Wild Card spots).
Anything can happen over 162 games but that really isn’t true. I just can’t envision a world where the Orioles or the Mariners figure out how to win enough ballgames to make it to the playoffs.
3. I’ve driven through Maryland before, it looked nice. But now I’m going to have to say that Maryland sucks because it has decided to increase cigar taxes. The size of the tax increase is a sideshow to the rationale:
“I imagine everyone’s here because of the public health side of the story,” Maryland’s Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown said. “It’s also a revenue generating story but that wouldn’t be why you’re here, but rather to focus on the benefits to health of what we’re proposing.”
Saying that the reason they are raising taxes on cigars is for health reasons is as laughable as a guy saying he has a subscription to Playboy so that he can read the articles. States who tax tobacco use want the extra revenue and the politicians who support these onerous taxes want the goodwill they engender amongst the busybody anti-smoking groups.
A Few Good Links this week is going to focus on a list of the lists of top cigars, some news about Stephen King’s Dark Tower series and an update on the (so far) sad tail of a slugging first baseman without a bag.
- The Consensus: 2011 Awards via halfwheel: Ever wanted a Metacritic-esque survey of the cigar world? (Incidentally, I think that would be a good idea. It would need constant updating and there would have to be some kind of resolution as far as scoring goes, should certain sites be weighted more heavily, what about vitola… I digress.) Well, halfwheel has come out with a survey of what the cigar blogging world thought were their favorite cigars of 2011. I will only tell you that Undercrown was the consensus top pick according to them. If you want to see the rest of this amazing post (like top brand, factory, country and some trends) you’re going to have to click on through.
- Stephen King wrote one of my favorite fantasy series of all time in The Dark Tower. In late April there will be a new addition to this series with The Wind Through the Keyhole, which will basically shed some light on the main character’s past. I think it’s kind of like Godfather 2 in that there are some elements that take place during the natural progression of the story and there are some prequel elements as well. This will be mostly prequel though. With the movie/tv-ification of this series in peril the new book is at least something to look forward to.
- While Prince Fielder’s normal pace is slower than most his current pace is maddeningly slow. I’m guessing his agent, Scott Boras, is playing a game of chicken with all of his client’s potential suitors but there comes a time when you have to wonder whether or not this was a bad move. And then I see a little piece of news like this and I’m thinking the AL West is where the real arms race is.