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.

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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.

Alec Bradley Project 40 Gordo Review

OK, FIRST, let me explain the absence from Review for a month. My allergies were so bad and the medication so strong, I couldn’t taste anything. I could have been licking a parking lot or smoking Sutliff Voodoo Queen and could not have told the difference.

On Sunday, I Barbecued and had 5 distinctive cigars. I could finally taste what I remembered and loved, it was time to get back in the pool, jump in with both feet. And thus I left my phone at home so pictures are unavailable.

Let’s set the scene, 35 minutes before I get done at a cigar location I work at part time, for those that have followed along, you know exactly where I was. In comes a box, inside the box, 8 boxes, 2 Robusto, 2 Toro, 2 Churchill, and 2 Gordo. There inside of these 8 white boxes are the absolutely new “experimental” cigars by Alec Bradley known as Project 40. Ok, at first I was a little disappointed because I still haven’t tasted the “Blind Faith” but hey, it’s new and I just got my taste back and WAIT, IS THAT REALLY THE PRICE?

Ok, fine, I will discuss the price at the bottom.

So I grab a Gordo, (Insiders tip) I love the Gordo size by Alec Bradley just take a quick peek at my favorite picture and you will know why.

That was an Alec Bradley Black Market Gordo. Right, Back to the Review.

So, I convince a customer to get a Robusto, and we sit side by side and proceed to smoke the sticks and discuss it in detail. I wish I could have recorded it, it is hard to believe what I’m about to type. His Robusto and my Gordo, tasted enough alike that we could have been smoking the same cigar. That is a Marvelous win in my book.

Taste: Take a cold draw, I’m not going to spoil it with words, just please trust me. Light it up and a sweetness of Tobacco will be found. Get a few puffs in and now for the fun. For me it was like being across the yard from a Honeysuckle bush. A few more draws, and a Retrohale or 2 and wait about 30 seconds, an nice peppery feel. Ok, keep going, is that a Caramel that has been cooking over a pecan wood fire? Warning “DON’T THINK PECAN NUTS” but think about a piece of pecan wood that is just starting to smoke and flavor some caramel. There is also a faint peat note similar to Scotch and it really makes me want an Old Fashioned. It was strangely complex, and very satisfying.

Strength, Medium. Simply medium.

Texture, super fine grit sand paper but even smoother where it touches your mouth.

How did it smoke? Almost perfect, and the ash could have taken on a jackhammer with even odds.

Ok, the one drawback is the price. Gordo and Churchill are both $6.05 a stick, Roubustos are $5.30 and Toro runs a smooth $5.55 and right about now you are rereading this part to make sure you read it correctly. I assure you, you saw it right. And I’m afraid of posting this Review because while I would pay more, I don’t want to.

Alec Bradley, masterful job on this stick, and I know it will go up in price but I hope to have a box or 2 before it does.

Ok on to the Binary. 1 with one reservation. Don’t wait for it to go up in price, get out there and find yourself a few ASAP. It is like dropping a quarter into the slot to ride the horsey and then find out you “just” get to ride Secretariat at the Belmont Stakes.

Long Lives, Big Bowls, and Long Ashes.

Oh, just for some of those pipe Smokers out there, this stick faintly reminds me of Sutliffe Revelation Match.

Interesting Day

Yesterday, May 9th 2019 I sat down with a Guardian of the Farm Gordo at the Casa De Montecristo in Webster. The stick was great but had a surprising amount of power. I will give it the Binary 1 and a suggestion that coffee and a BIG breakfast are what you need to truly enjoy it. That is as far as the Review goes for it at this point.

What, did Voodoo Review just do a review without actually doing a review? What was so interesting? Is this why we come here? To be honest the stick took a back seat not because I didn’t want to review it, but because of who I had the chance to talk to and the awe inspiring person I sat with and the conversation we had.

John Barnes. Ok some are scratching their heads and wondering who is John Barnes. https://abc13.com/santa-fe-hs-officer-recalls-near-death-experience-with-shooter/5084913/ following the link will shed light upon this hero.

I will not go into the details of all that we discussed, but I will relay that this is for me like sitting next to greatness and never knowing it. I have had many conversations with John previous of what happened, and quite a few afterwards and never really knew who I was sitting near.

He is genuinely an interesting person and very nice person. It was not until most of the way through the cigar that someone else asked if he knew the officer involved in the shooting. Let’s just say his answer made every head turn and every conversation stop. Realizing who he was I offered, “If you don’t want to talk about it, I completely understand and we can talk about anything else.” Everyone agreed.

He squashed that claiming that he has no problem talking about it and openly encouraged questions. I’m not sure this would be the same if it were not for the location and atmosphere, but I have to believe that is just his way.

Needless to say it is very humbling and inspiring to talk to John.

Should you ever be in the Houston area and in need of a fine cigar, I would suggest finding this location, you also might have the pleasure of smoking a stick with a living hero.

As always,

Long Lives, Big Bowls, and Long Ashes

Pipe & Cigar Haiku

5 FOR PIPES AND CIGARS

Pipe packed for lighting

Toasted tobacco takes flame

Aromatic notes

Cigar smoke and ash

Past time to enjoy the day

Cut, Light, blow away

The scared green leaf

Fermented to perfect brown

Smoking in my bowl

Time like ash is gone

Perfect construction is seen

Renew the spirit

The taste of English

Gone but not yet forgotten

Ghost lingering on

7 FOR MILITARY AND FIRST RESPONDERS

Stand up and hook up

Falling at the ground through clouds

We are The Airborne

Crashing through the waves

Green water over the bow

Floating city blues

Fearless bold and brave

From halls of Montezuma

Shores of Tripoli

Striking from the air

Taking flight faster than sound

From on high we live

These shores we protect

Mother nature’s rage for naught

Ever vigilant

Patrolling these streets

A community we serve

Charging at danger

Facing roaring flames

The Gods of fire fear us

Smoke and ash no more

5 More for Pipes and Cigars

Stalk cut sun grown shade

Latakia and Perique

Tobacco to smoke

Torch lighter or match

Charring tip the proof of flame

Smoke curling away

Bands around the stick

Box of cedar wood just right

Bloom the proof of age

Rusticated thoughts

Briar wood the chosen block

Bowl and shank to shape

Ribbon cube and flake

Long Lives Big Bowls Long Ashes

Smoke one more with me

Original works by Voodoo Review