Midnight Drive at 2300 time.

Ok, so I started this Review just a little early, but by the time I post it or even finish the bowl, it will be midnight. Tonight I will be again useing the Savinelli KS 320 Trevi purchased through the Briar Report Magazine link. http://www.briarreport.org that takes you to The Pipe Nook. https://www.thepipenook.com/ just in case you want one.

Picture is a reprint but it shows off the pipe very nicely.

The 2 oz tin of Midnight Drive, I purchased from The Briar Shoppe in Houston. For their information google is your friend. Should you ever be in Houston, and need a pipe or some tobacco, I highly suggest you make some time to stop by.

Ok, on to the review.

Midnight Drive is brought to us by Cornell and Diehl.

The second picture does not do justice to the actual product. Imagine pressed bars cut again into a ribbon. Now you are close. The blend is Virginia’s, Perique, Latakia, and Turkish Flake. If you know what to look (smell) for, there is a definite presence of all 4.

Flavor will match the nose, but it is very reminiscent of some English or Baltic blends. Nothing is going to jump out and make you say, “All I can taste is….” but then again, that blank can be filled with, “a superb blend.”

The burn is cool, leaving very little room for tongue bite. As for room note, mostly I’m getting plums as is normal for a Perique blend. So why not a 4 pipe Review? Well, as you can see from the pictures, I have been smoking it all week. I could not really tell a difference of taste, my only preference was for a bigger bowl. I just never wanted the bowl to end.

If you guessed that the Binary rating is a 1, yeah, a little transparent, however a slight reservation. This is not a blend for a beginner. Packing is a little tricky, and a slow steady pace is essential while smoking. Other than those 2 minor issues, it is really hard not to fall in love with Midnight Drive.

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Southern Draw 300 Hands Maduro.

First, let me say a few words about Southern Draw. Thus I shall let them speak for themselves.

Our brand was founded on the tradition of the “Southern” Ladies and Gentlemen which has been referred to as a “culture of honor” however our brand has since grown beyond the traditional South and with that growth we aspire to be part of a culture where we should avoid intentionally offending others and have a reputation for not accepting improper or divisive conduct towards others. We are a brand of inclusion. From the production of our first cigar, and the millions that have since followed, Sharon (yes, as in the Rose of Sharon) has stressed the importance of loving ALL people. Our little brand is all about the people, and we have been blessed with an incredible opportunity to share our faith, our family and our own brand of fellowship, one cigar and conversation at a time.

No matter our past or the current environment, mindset, stress level or even the mounting pressures of life, we will strive to promote the Southern Draw Cigars culture along with each of our hand crafted cigars. We also respect the rich cultures and traditions of tobacco growing and the production of premium hand made cigars by honoring the vital importance of the “Draw”, referring to that wonderful, tightly rolled bundle of dried and fermented tobacco that is ignited and allows the smoke to be slowly drawn into the mouth.

We offer our sincerest thanks to all that have come before us, those who have mentored us, taught us, shared industry contacts, those who have offered us patientience and supported our fledgling brand as we attempt to execute our vision. So we are one part “Southern” . one part “Draw” and 100% thankful for this opportunity.

Ok, back to the review.

What I have is 4¾ inch x 52 ring gauge.

The Blend is.

300 HANDS Maduro
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Factory: AJ Fernandez Cigar Co.
Wrapper: Esteli, Nicaragua
Binder: Indonesia
Filler: Nicaragua & Dominican Republic

If you need more about the cigar, I suggest going to the Website https://www.southerndrawcigars.com/300-hands

Also for the Connecticut lovers, check out the Rose of Sharon.

First puff is smooth and creamy. ¼inch in and notes of leather a touch of pepper with a touch of cedar on the retrohale. Not really the flavors you would expect to find in a budget priced cigar. About ⅓ in now, and the natural sweetness of the blend is starting. Not an infused sweet, just the right amount of Southern Tea to be honest. A bit over half way through and suddenly I’m catching a hint of chocolate. From past experience here is where the magic happens. The final ⅓ is chocolatey. Subtle at first, very appealing right to the final puff.

As seen here a smooth steady draw and no canoe. Yes, there is a cat and he doesn’t seem to mind my cigars or pipes.

The smoke is copious and thick but not obnoxious.

On to the Binary. Absolutely a 1. So much so I would recommend buying a bundle of 10, at 60ish dollars in Texas you will be wanting to have a few and some to share.

Water, Coffee, a nice couple of fingers worth, especially the coffee, you are in for a real treat.

Sharron, and the Southern Draw family, you have really produced an excellent product. I can’t wait to see where you take my tastebuds next.

Morning Drive in the Afternoon.

Just taking a side street today with my Savinelli Trevi 320 KS from The Pipe Nook https://www.thepipenook.com/ and Morning Drive by Cornell & Diehl. http://www.cornellanddiehl.com/ No, this will not be a full review for an undisclosed reason, but, after the first puff, it will still be a fulfilling review.

I came across this little beauty for just $10 at The Briar Shoppe. If you want their information just Google it exactly as spelled. They are preparing to move a few store fronts down from their current location and really blowing stuff out. I couldn’t resist, I had to help them.

This is a wonderful smelling blend of Red and Bright Virginia’s, Burley, Turkish, Perique, and Latakia. And that is just opening up the can. Light and fluffy ribbon cut is already perfect for packing and lighting. No need to dry it out further.

It has a nice light flavor with a natural sweetness that is just right. The Burley is just strong enough to taste without being over the top. The faint plum flavor is popping in and out shows evidence of a fair amount of Perique. The hardest thing to find is the Latakia, it is more prominent in the retrohale.

The Smoke is plentiful and thick but thins out with a smoother smoking pace. This blend is smoking a little bit hotter than I prefer but not terrible. I can already tell that I will enjoy this in both a Cob and any Clay or Meerschaum, but it is really going to shine in a Briar.

Not, to make this Review short, but my day became hectic and pressed for time. So on to the Binary. If you guessed 1, you are absolutely correct. It is just so pleasant that I believe I will go play in Houston Traffic with another bowl.

Keep it lit, and as always,

Long Lives, Big Bowls, and Long Ashes

Basic Humidor for the Beginner

What would you say if I told you you could have a brand new Humidor filled with decent cigars for $100? Most will say I’m out of my mind. I however can prove my statement. You CAN have a decent humidor seasoned to perfection, 25 decent sticks, and the right stuff to keep those sticks in great condition, for just under $100.

Let’s start with the Humidor.

Ok, it is not the biggest or the best humidor on the planet, but for keeping a few sticks on the desk at the office or tucked away in your house it is pretty good. Of course there is the 1 gallon Mason Jar option, just make sure it has a good seal. For this article, the $30 option is a classic example of an inexpensive way to keep your cigars in optimal condition.

So, you buy the Humidor, what next? Seasoning. It used to be a trial and error meticulous trial in futility. Not anymore. Now Boveda makes it easy.

Just drop in one of these 84% packs for about $6 and wait 2 weeks. Like magic or Voodoo perfectly seasoned. If it gets crispy you will need 2 but for a humidor of this size one should be enough. Back to that glass Mason jar, skip the seasoning stage and go straight to filling it with cigars. Ok, so far 36 bucks, still looking good for that $100 budget.

But, VR, what about sticks? Ok, I will admit your not going to fill it up with Davidoff, Cohiba, Opus X, or top shelf Padron, but a bundle of Drew Estate Factory Smokes is only $50.

That’s right $50 for 25 sticks from the same people that brought us Liga Privada, Pappy Van Winkle, and Undercrown. They are not quite as good, but for the price, they are damn good. Find them here if your local B&M doesn’t have any. https://www.jrcigars.com/cigars/handmade-cigars/drew-estate-cigars/factory-smokes-by-drew-estate/ also you can get the whole kit and caboodle if you want to shop the site for a bit. This is not the only place to look, this is just where I found it first.

Ok, $86 + tax but remember you will need another Boveda pack somewhere near the 69% so let’s just call it $100 total and you can have a Humidor that is ready to go with sticks that are better than the 2 dollar a stick price tag.

For the Glass Jar users, you will still need that second Boveda pack and a few cedar strips would also help.

For anyone looking for a small overflow humidorthis is a good option.

As Always,

Long Lives, Big Bowls, and Long Ashes.

My Sunday with The Devil

Punch Diablo but as I sit it is Sunday. In fact, the World just watched the FIFA Women’s World Cup, and I must say Netherlands had me worried for a good hour and one minute. Good job to both teams, now on to the star of my show, a Cigar.

If you like it Dark, Sandy, and are a fan of strong cigars, this is your stick.

  • Cigar Reviewed: Punch Diablo
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Factory: Tabacalera AJ Fernandez Cigars de Nicaragua S.A.
  • Wrapper: Ecuador (Sumatra Osucro)
  • Binder: U.S.A. (Connecticut Broadleaf)
  • Filler: Honduras & Nicaragua
  • Length: 6 inches
  • Ring Gauge: 54
  • MSRP: Promotional
  • Release Date: July 24, 2018
  • Number of Cigars Released: Regular Production

Credit to Halfwheel for most of the bullet points above. I did have to edit a place or 2 but it was so nicely laid out, I knew better than to try to one up them.

Let’s just simply say you can taste the AJ Fernandez. Spicy throughout and a surprisingly smooth finish for a cigar of this strength.

I find that it pairs exquisitely with a couple of fingers of Bourbon and a rocking chair.

In the Binary, absolutely 1. If you want a stronger than normal cigar with all the quality that AJ Fernandez packs into it it is really worth it to seek it out on your next visit to the next shop you find.

As always,

Long Lives, Big Bowls, and Long Ashes.

Diesel Wiskey Row PX Sherry Cask Aged 6×58

First, and foremost, I would like to remind everyone that while I do like Aromatic Pipe Blends, I am not really into infused cigars. Luckily, this cigar has been made from Tobacco that is aged in Sherry casks. Hopefully I do not channel to much of my inner Bill in this Review. (If this last statement is confusing, check out https://www.briarreport.org/).

Nice branding, Beautiful wrapper, and a chunk of stainless steel that does not come with the cigar. Most of the words are embossed I will leave it to the reader to find out which are not. If you like to smell your cigars before ignition, I warn you to pack a drool cup, yes, it smells that good pre-cut.

Today’s cut courtesy of Xikar XO cutter. 3.5 years of ownership and still cutting brilliantly. Should you be a fan of a good cold draw, I sure hope you like sherry, it is mighty tasty.

Enough with the build up, let’s smoke.

I found it quite easy to light, with a surprisingly high amount of pepper in the first few draws. For me it is a pleasant surprise and totally unexpected.

Flavor, is just a nice Maduro with a touch of pepper as the sherry seems to boil off before it ever crosses into your mouth. Ok, to be fair, there is a faint hint, but it is intermittent at least in the stick I am smoking.

Absolutely no construction issues and an ash like a chunk of concrete proves that. The smoke is satisfying and thick enough that outside or in a well ventilated room is recommended. The Houston Mosquito and the Michigan Mother in Law are leaving me alone and that is quite the bonus.

It is a rather dry stick to smoke so be prepared for it with a glass of something to drink. My RTIC cup is full of water as is always my preference for a Review but a nice Bourbon or Scotch would pair well.

One nice visual thing is the thin lighter brown at the point where the wrapper starts to char. The texture of the wrapper is 1000 grit or finer

Ok, on to the Binary. I give it a 1 as it is really an exceptional smoke and very flavorful. The $10 price range is low in my opinion and I would not be surprised if it is raised in the near future.

As always,

Long Lives, Big Bowls, and Long Ashes.

Kuba Deluxe a Piping Cigar

I was first introduced to the Kuba Deluxe by “DE Karaoke” Matt at a Drew Estate event. It came in the goodie bag for the purchase of a certain number of cigars. Matt, is VERY knowledgeable about the Drew Estate lines of cigars and so I picked his brain as much as I could including the whole Acid and Natural lines. As for cigars, I will wholeheartedly recommend the Liga Privada and the Undercrown lines as they are well made and very tasty. My curiosity was truly peaked at the little plug of Tobacco that was in the Kuba Deluxe tube. Having the cigar in my hands, I knew it was an Acid, and thought, what the Hell. It is a cigar, it might just turn out to be decent if I can just get past the infusion. So in intrest of the one and only Voodoo Review, I smoked it. https://drewestate.com/ For those following along, also check out the Drew Estates Diplomat App.

I’m not going to say that I am a super fan of the flavor, but all in all, I guess I enjoyed it. But my thoughts kept going back to that little plug. I decided to experiment and found that with a little Prince Albert sprinkled in the bowl of my Savinelli KS 320 Trevi from the Pipe Nook,https://www.thepipenook.com/, I found that the plug fits perfectly. (Smokers tip, Sprinkle a little tobacco in first, place the plug, use a very sharp knife, cut the plug 4 or 5 times for an effective draw, sprinkle some tobacco on top, and pack to desired preference.)

What I found is that little plug is very tasty. It has a rich peppery feel and the infusion paired very nicely with the Prince Albert. The sweetness is toned down and the infusion is lasting but quite nice with a morning coffee. (I had a strong French Roast). According to Matt, the Blue line of Acid Cigars is all infused with the same infusion and this gets me thinking about getting a few to coin up for those times when I want to try something a little different and yet still pleasant.

Having only one of the Kuba Deluxe Tubos, I did not take pictures of the exact process just in case it was a bust, but I am fairly certain that I will reproduce this Review in the future. The Cigar, was not bad, but for the most part I feel the star was that little plug.

Ok, on to the Binary,

The Cigar, I will give a 1 but a caution. It was not my favorite ever cigar. It is very well made by construction standards but a little to floral tasting for my preference as a cigar. Still, it was nice and I can see why Acid is the top selling Premium Cigar on the planet.

The Plug, I give it a 1 and really no reservations. In a pipe, it adds something that has to be experienced to explain adequately. Unlike the cigar that peppery feel really rounds out the floral notes making for an exceptional taste and experience.

By no means, am I a master blender, but waste not, want not and sometimes, just sometimes, find a gem.

As always,

Long Lives, Big Bowls, and Long Ashes.