The COVID-19 Post

“Healthy citizens are the greatest asset any country can have.
“This is the lesson: never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never — in nothing, great or small, large or petty — never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.”
“If you’re going through hell, keep going.”
“Victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory however long and hard the hard may be; for without victory there is no survival. ”

“Never, never, never give up.”

All the above quotes are attributed to Sir Winston Churchill.

I do not believe it can be said any better.

Long Lives, Big Bowls, and Long Ashes
“Say what you have to say and the first time you come to a sentence with a grammatical ending – sit down.”

Be well, Voodoo will be thinking best wishes to you and yours.

The Perfect Pipe for the Busy.

I don’t do many just pipe reviews, in fact I’m reasonably certain that this is my first one other than a post about clay pipes and a Savinelli from The Pipe Nook. My pipe today is the Falcon, Shillelagh, with the Meerschaum lined, Smooth, Hyperbole, sometimes referred to as just a Hyper. It almost hurts to write that out, but Voodoo is a stickler for specifics and Accuracy. I want everything I post to be repeatable by anyone to the best of their ability. That even goes for an Epic Ash even if it is better than mine.

Why is a Falcon perfect for the busy pipe smoker? Cleaning. Plain and simple. Being able to unscrew the bowl, cleaning it is super easy and takes half the time. It can be done with any stick that fits the hole and a single pipe cleaner. Basic maintenance cleaning can be done with a paper towel or napkin.

For this picture set, I smoked 3 bowls of C&D Chenets Cake last night and let the pipe sit dirty for several hours. Normally I would clean it as soon as it cools enough to not be hazardous to the threads on the bowl, they are made of wood.

The pipe. Yes, I highly suggest the bowl shape for smokeability and a rubber nib protector for those that love to clench.

What you will need to buy. No the white leg is not necessary, neither is the scar tissue.

Dirty? Try filthy. I only took it this far for the sake of pictures.

A stick, I picked it up in the backyard this morning.

As you can see it does an admirable job of clearing the blockage. Go from bottom to top. Then blow through the bowl to finish.

Switch to the pipe cleaner, return the stick back to the yard.

Start at the nib and insert the cleaner. Give it a few passes.

Switch ends of the cleaner and swab out the moisture chamber. Then swab the bottom of the bowl. Make sure to clean the threads.

Ready to reassemble.

From filthy to clean in less than 5 minutes.

Make sure to not cross thread.

Half a turn and you are back in business.

Yes, it is really that simple.

Back to smoking.

In the Binary, a big 1. You just about can’t over pack this pipe. I tried, only came close with a super moist blend once. Ease of cleaning is a definite plus. It doesn’t smoke for over an hour and that is the only thing I can find to say that is less than 100% positive.

As always,

Long Lives, Big Bowls, and Long Ashes.

Ps… Wear green on Tuesday.

Let me Perique your intrest.

Recently I found a tin of Chenets Cake. The blend is named in honor of the Louisiana farmer that is credited with the creation of Perique. So what is Perique? Take a specific strain of Burley, cultivate it through some Indian tribes, further cultivate it by some Acadian Farmers in Louisiana. That’s just the first hundred years give or take a few centuries. Only allow 12 leaves, no sucker vines, and only pick it in the evenings in June. Hang the whole plant for 2 weeks or less in a drying barn with no sides, then roll it into 1pound rolls. Now place those in hickory whiskey barrels and press the air out for a year. Release, roll by hand, and repress. Labor intensive is easy to say. Oh yeah, only really able to grow it in a 30 square mile triangle shaped area.

What comes out is a strong, fermented, dark brown nearly black tobacco that most claim is too strong to smoke by itself. The fruity aroma and power is the most notable feature, just like the blend being reviewed. (sorry for the history lesson)

Blend note…Perique and Virginia ~ not a VaPer, more a PerVa.

Ok, let’s smoke. Open the can, and ok, that’s new, the cake is moist. I mean damn near soggy. Check the label for a Sutliff disclaimer but nope it says Cornell and Diehl. Be prepared to let this cake dry or be brave and dive right in. The fruit smell, always reminds me of Plums, is in full effect before the cake was unwrapped. Puff, Puff, BAMB, fruit flavor and a little worry I’m thumbing my nose in the face of tongue bite.

Halfway through and surprisingly smooth, no Tongue Bite yet. I’m starting to feel that, “Find me a Rocking Chair feeling”. I knew it was supposed to be strong, but I’m not sure I was really ready for it. Might I suggest that you smoke a bowl at home without the need for driving a motor vehicle or operating heavy machinery first, just to make sure there are no ill effects.

Side note (1) I could not detect any noticeable difference in flavor or strength in Briar, Meerschaum, Clay, Cob, or Falcon. Packing it before drying got the Falcon to feel plugged and I was sure that would never happen.

Side note (2) Chenets Cake is great for Ghostbusting. Ok, I still feel Haunted Bookshop is better, but not by much.

Finally, let’s get the Binary. One. Only a very small reservation. The strength and the cleaning. I have been going back through my old Review list with the Falcon. The ability to take it apart and clean it makes for a new and (to me) interesting dynamic. Full pipe Review coming soon.

As always,

Long Lives, Big Bowls, and Long Ashes

Voodoo’s top 5 pipe blends (Non-Aromatics)

Ok, I had to think long and hard about this. There are so many great blends floating around right now it probably comes as no surprise to my readers that I had to split up the Aromatics and Non-Aromatics. But a true top 5 that doesn’t include some of each is damn near impossible without the split.

1) Voodoo Queen (Sutliff) the blend that started me down this path. I could honestly smoke this all day every day and never get tired of it. In fact I buy it by the pound and don’t even try to cellar it. I really can’t have this blend not in my top 5 of all Non-Aros unless I go pure VaPer or English type of a breakdown.

2) Comoys Cask 11. While Dunhill 965 was on hiatus this was my favorite to get that flavor without paying scalpers prices. It starts fast, comes on strong, and keeps going right to the very end. It is everything you want in an almost generic Government tin.

3) Engine #99 (C&D) this is an excellent don’t think, just smoke blend. Plenty of strength, flavor, and smoke. Some may not like the Latakia or Perique but I found the blend to be what I would be making if I owned Cornell and Diehl.

4) Lord Nelson (Sutliff) I am a little bit worried about this pick. It is really not an Aromatic but if you smell it and are suddenly reminded of Memphis ribs then maybe it should be. While tempted to move this off of the top 5 list because of the Tongue Bite tendencies, I left it in because (This is my opinion and only my opinion). Unlike some publications and their paid for top whatever I didn’t get paid for this list either.

5) Midnight Drive (C&D) I really hate that I had so many great blends last year that I had to flip a coin several times just to get it down to 5. In this case, as memory serves, once I opened the tin, I couldn’t put it down. In fact I almost smoked too much of it to do a proper review.

Honorable mention goes out to C&D Haunted Bookshop, Bengal Slices, C&D Mountain Camp, Sutliff Holiday Blend, Sutliff Revelation Match, and to the people at The Briar Shoppe for all the private blends. If you don’t have a Brick and Mortar shop that will blend for you, find one.

As always,

Long Lives, Big Bowls, and Long Ashes

Top 5 new Cigars

Ok, I will admit that the cigars might be a little older than “NEW”, but in the past 12 months it is likely to be the first time Voodoo got to smoke them.

In no particular order of ranking, the following cigars are just excellent stand alone examples of taste, construction, and overall Quality.

1) H. Upmann 175th anniversary Churchill. At $18 and change, it would seem to be extravagantly expensive. And while it is not priced to be an every day smoke the taste, construction, and quality are appreciated from first puff to last burnt finger.

2) Alec Bradley Project 40 (all sizes). Ok, it sounds like I’m a fan of AB and as long as they provide a great stick at an exceptional price then YES I AM. Starting at $5.30 and going up to $6.05 this cigar should be on everyone’s list. Everything about this lineup screams greatness.

3) CAO Session (3 Sizes). This cigar is a mystery wrapped in an enigma blasted with conundrum. A super dark cigar that is just a Medium? Flavors that cross the gap between Connecticut and Maduro? An enjoyable anytime of day smoke. Priced to move and keep moving it has everything you need to relax and enjoy a smoke.

4) Davidoff Late Hour (3 sizes). The pound for pound most expensive stick in this list. A delicious treat that you will regret not trying. Aged in Scotch Casks it has a flavor that is untouchable. As with all Davidoff it oozes quality. Get one and I am sure you will understand why it has made the list.

5) Guardian of the Farm Nightwatch (4 sizes). The shorter sizes are perfect for a lunch smoke, the longer sticks are phenomenal. Look for the white box with the gold lettering and design that looks like a bulldog. The smooth easy flavors are hard to beat and yet still reasonably priced.

Honorable mention to Cabanas from the My Father factory, Punch Diablo, and surprisingly the latest 3 from Rocky Patel ALR2, LB1, and Number 6 all outstanding choices for the discerning cigar smoker.

As always,

Long Lives, Big Bowls, and Long Ashes

Where did Voodoo Review go?

In the effort to be relevant and accurate I have to remind everyone, “I do not Review product that I can’t recommend.”

That being said, I spent some time working for a major force in it world of Cigars.

It was hinted that I needed to put my blog on hold and learn a few things about the industry before I get into anything that might have legal ramifications.

That and a sever lack of time for the accuracy that I strive to relate had the Voodoo pushing up Daisies.

I had wanted to post the Tax Tables for cigar and pipe tobacco but all information leads me to believe nothing has changed.

So now I’m left with an interesting dilemma, what do I Report on?

The decision, a top 5 list but unlike everyone else I’m doing several so in the next few weeks there will be a very good sampling of just about every type of cigar and with just a few words, why you should try it.

Let’s start with Connecticut cigars.

1) Southern Draw Rose of Sharon

In my opinion it is the best Connecticut that money can buy. It scores well in every category, in every shape and size.

2) Cohiba Connecticut

A bit expensive but really hard to beat

3) Psycho 7 Nicaraguan Connecticut

The one in the Blue box. A surprisingly peppery stick with a nice creamy finish.

4) Romeo and Julieta Nicaraguan Connecticut

Relatively new, it shows real greatness at a price that is hard to resist.

5) Drew Estates Factory Smokes Connecticut

25 cigars for around $40. The best budget Connecticut on the market. I suggest using a punch.

Honorable Mention

Perdomo Champagne, Macanudo Hampton Court, Leaf by Oscar, and La Aurora. All really good Connecticut and easy for me to recommend.

As always,

Long Lives, Big Bowls, and Long Ashes

Archeological Find

RoMa Craft Sabertooth. A gift from a friend, or atleast a person that I would consider a friend. But let’s be honest, anyone that would give you a cigar is a friend worth having. With the Weekend I just had, this cigar has been keeping me going.

For any fan of RoMa Craft, their limited edition cigars are exquisite. If you find yourself in possession of one, count yourself lucky. Wanderlust, Black Irish, Sabertooth, or even one of their regular sticks, you are in for a tasty treat.

It starts with a nice earthy/mildly leathery scent and a outstanding powdery feel and as you can see the offset barber pole wrapper.

Per my personal preference, Tonight I am useing the Xikar Sparkplug punch from their High Performance line of products. I almost always use a punch for cigar reviews due to the duplication of results. My opinions are my own, but the facts are as accurate as I can make them. We don’t all cut the same but with a punch…you get the picture.

Cold Draw – mildly sweet, slightly fruity. Similar to the Plums I always look for in the Cromagnon and in Perique Pipe Tobacco.

My only issue so far is that I hate to light this piece of art on fire, but, after all it is a cigar. It catches flame and draws well, I would have been shocked if that was not the case.

First Taste – toast, and notes of roasted Almonds. Just a touch of cedar and a good touch of spice on the finish. There is a distinct complexity that is difficult to explain adequately.

Burn – is a little off, but it is a bit windy where I am tonight and I would expect similar results in all but a very select few cigars under the circumstances. I’m not disappointed, it’s just not a perfect burn so no pictures. Also I will not be trying for an Epic Ash but the signs are all there that it can be done.

Halfway through – a mild creamy note has emerged. Reminds me of Jalapa Valley leaf. Next time I talk to Skip or Mike I will definitely try to find out.

Strength – Medium to Full. Closer to full than I expected. Not as strong as the orange band offerings from RoMa Craft but definitely stronger than the regular brown band. Maybe a little bit stronger than the black band Cromagnon but hard to say without a side by side comparison.

Pairings – Bourbon or a good strong coffee. Some Scotch but not the super peaty varieties.

On to the Binary.

A definite 1. Now that I know how good it is I will definitely be looking forward to smoking it again.

As always,

Long Lives, Big Bowls, and Long Ashes.