OK, lots going on today, so let’s get some cigars out of the way! My palate’s a little flat still, I blame the change in weather. It’s gotten cold all the sudden, and I tend to gravitate to heavier maduros this time of year anyway, and I’ve been slow in following my own advice. One reason is it’ll be boring writing about the same couple cigars twice a week, and it’ll be equally boring smoking the same couple cigars! I’ll adjust, it’s like that first day it drops in the 40s and you bundle up with gloves, and by January you’re in a t-shirt when it gets that warm. So I smoked some cigars, came across a neat cigar related item or two, and there’s a contest too!
Thursday I decided to dig in to the box of Arandoza White Label Robustos that I apparently won in the most recent Cigar Federation Project Mañana Raffle. I really like the cigars from Arandoza, which are made at Erik Espinosa’s La Zona Factory. This is a nice, refined Nicaraguan cigar with good balance and flavor. I really look forward to smoking more of these, there is just about nothing I don’t enjoy about this cigar, from the smoking to the presentation, it’s first class all the way. I suppose it’s possible one of these falls into the contest box when it mails out. Stranger things have happened. Thank you to Arandoza Cigars and Cigar Federation for supporting a worthy cause.
To give my palate a proper test, I decided my Friday evening smoke should be a favorite cigar that I’ve smoked a bunch of over the past year or so. I really like the CAO Flathead line, with the only possible gripe I have being that the only real neat and tidy way to cut these is with a punch, which actually works out nicely for today’s post. I used the first edition of the Screwpop Punch on the Flathead (if you don’t know, the head is flat, so it’s really hard to use anything but a punch on these). I smoked the 556 Camshaft size of the Flathead, with is basically a toro, but I can recommend any size (including the 770) to anyone who enjoys bold, heavy bodied maduro cigars. These are about the perfect autumn cigar for me. Another benefit is that they don’t roll off the table when you set them down! Good stuff from Ricky Rodriguez and his team at CAO.
Yesterday, after spending time at the new house clearing brush and ancient overgrown hedges for a fence to contain Macha (and keep the 16 year old Cocker Spaniel from wandering off), I came home to a cool package in the mail. This package contained the redesigned Screwpop 2.0 Cigar Punch. When I tried the original punch almost two years ago, I made some suggestions to Brett at the company on some ways I thought it could be improved. One suggestion was to reverse the design so that the punch came off of the clip/opener end so that it could remain clipped to something, and the other was to make it self clearing, as the original version tended to keep the cap cuts in the body of the unit. It seems my suggestions were taken to heart, and here we have the new version of the punch. Of course, I had to try it out. I received some samples of the new Sindicato maduro last week, and these looked really good. The samples were all of a larger size, so I went up the middle with the 6×60 Magnum size. This wasn’t the best test for the Screwpop 2.0 becuase the folks at Casa Fernandez, who make this cigar, use a bit of a pigtail cap. Not to be deterred, I gave it a punch. The 2.0 is a slightly larger bore than the 1.0, which is good, since it doesn’t render my old trusty punch obsolete. The cigar has my favorite San Andres Morrón wrapper, and has a nice, rich cocoa flavor. The 60 ring gauge was very comfortable given the box press, so it felt a bit smaller. It burned very well and I can’t wait to smoke the Churchill and Toro sizes. It smoked very well and was a fine way to wrap up a tiring, but productive day.
And now for something completely different
I received a note from one of my readers, Josh, in Salt Lake City, pointing me to his Etsy store. He’s been making some really cool lamps from cigar boxes. These have a really nice kind of steampunk feel to them and are very high end. Take a look at his site when you get a chance! https://www.etsy.com/shop/saltcitylampworks
Since Brett at Screwpop Tool, LLC was kind enough to send me more than one Cigar Punch 2.0, I figured it only made sense to have a contest and give one away! Strike that, I’ll give TWO away! Be aware, I can’t just send out a punch without including something to try it out on, so, invariably, some cigars will fall into the shipping boxes when they go out. I can’t help it, it just always seems to happen. So to recap, the Screwpop 2.0 Cigar Punch no only bores a nice hole in your cigar and cleans itself out, but you can also use it to take the cap off your favorite bottled beverage. It’s got a handy and fashionable gated clip so you can wear it with pride or clip it to your key ring. These are black anodized aluminum and look really sharp. Leave a comment to enter and I’ll select two winners at random on Wednesday. If you’ve won in the last six months you aren’t eligible, sorry.
That’s it for now, time to head over to the new house an clean up the mess we made yesterday! Until the next time,