Last night I was, once again, at the Flyers game, which ended in the Flyer’s favor, they played a great game against the Rangers. Afterwards we repaired to the cigar bar once again, and this time I ran into my friend Mark, who is the area Rocky Patel rep. Mark was there with Bernie Parent enjoying the newest cigar in the BSB No.1 line-up, the “HOF-84” Box Pressed Torpedo. Of course, HOF stands for the hockey Hall Of Fame, in which Bernie was inducted in 1984. Last month Cigar Aficianado broke the news of the new sizes (http://www.cigaraficionado.com/webfeatures/show/id/16982, actually I mentioned it here first!), but I have updated information, a “scoop” if you will. Apparently the “Between the Pipes” which was initially a 6½ x 56 toro (CA reported it would be box pressed which was incorrect, it was to be round, like a pipe on a hockey goal). Instead of the “Between the Pipes” coming out next month with the “HOF-84”, they are releasing the “Crossbar”, a 5½x56 robusto, again in the round as opposed to box pressed. The “Between the Pipes” will be a 6″x 60 and will be released at a later time. As far as I know, all of these will sport bands featuring Bernie’s crest, which highlights his Hall of Fame induction as well as his two Stanley Cup wins. I shot a little Keek video with Bernie when I saw him last night. Bernie’s a heck of nice guy, and he loves his cigars! I’m awfully glad I ran into Mark (he’s a Ranger’s fan, but still a good guy :-))and got to hang out with him and Bernie again, it’s always a hoot. There you have it, you heard this news here first!
Rewind to Sunday. The weather was stunning. Except for the occasional cool breeze, temps were in the 60s and I managed to get a slight sunburn from relaxing outside with a cigar after lunch. I chose a Cuenca y Blanco toro, one that was a sample from the IPCPR show, and had the old band as opposed to the new CyB band. This is a cigar that I really want to love. I know the players involved and have been to the factory, so I know it’s an exceptional cigar. I enjoy smoking the cigar, and I’m not put off by it, it just doesn’t “wow” me. There’s something in the flavor profile that just isn’t what I’m looking for in a cigar. I still get a great smoking experience from the cigar, which is weird, isn’t it? I’m saying I don’t like the cigar, but I still enjoy it, right? I can say the same about a lot of cigars in the La Aurora line too, there’s something in the flavor that just isn’t my cup of tea (and the common thread isn’t lost on me). I want to like them, there’s something I really enjoy about them, but the flavor isn’t it. This is a strange thing that I need to ponder repeatedly over as many cigars as necessary.
Later in the day, after a nap and dinner, I decided to smoke a relative of the CyB, the My Uzi Weighs a Ton 6″ x 60. Much the same as the CyB, this is another cigar that’s made in the Joya de Nicaragua factory, another cigar that I know the people behind, and another cigar that I enjoy, but don’t love. I should love it, I just don’t. The Digital Son 6 size was a winner for me, I’ve yet to try the Bait Fish, but the 60 ring gauge versions don’t excite me. Great construction, great smoking experience, but the flavors don’t do it for me. Go figure. I love so many cigars that come out of the JdN factory, from the nice, mild Cabinetta to the heavy duty Antaño Dark Corojo, the Joya De Nicaragua cigars are among my favorites, but this, along with the CyB aren’t up there. Still, a relaxing and satisfying hour and a half or so. It’s not like I want to put the cigars down and get something else, I enjoy them, I just don’t get it.
Monday, wanting a sure thing, I grabbed a Room 101 San Andreas 305 Robusto from my humidor and took it for a walk. I love this cigar. It gives me the chocolate/cocoa/coffee flavors I love. There are a growing handful of San Andreas wrapped cigars that I gravitate towards lately (one is the Chateau real Maduro, which is sadly discontinued, of which one in the Small Club Corona vitola was enjoyed at the aforementioned post Flyers Game cigar bar visit). This one is a winner, I enjoy many of the cigars in Matt Booth’s Room 101 line, but this one is tops in my book. Well done, sir!
Renowned artist bringing work to Midwest Smoke Out
As an artist who is colorblind, Hutchings directed his talent toward professional pen and ink drawing 40 years ago, taking advantage of his ability to shade and illustrate in great detail.
In 1994, he added another distinct genre to his repertoire – scrimshaw, the art of engraving or carving an image into bone or ivory. The carved lines are then filled in with ink to make the image stand out.
Hutchings will exhibit his work during the Midwest Smoke Out cigar show on April 25 at The Venue at Horseshoe Casino in Hammond.
“I was primarily a wildlife pen and ink artist, so I had accumulated a large collection of wildlife art,” he said. “When scrimshaw presented itself as an art form, I was more than ready to take it on.”
According to historical accounts, scrimshaw originated on whaling ships out of New England during the 18th century.
The scrimshaw work done by Hutchings includes handcrafted XIKAR-brand cigar cutters, custom jewelry and knife handles, much of which is carved from 10,000-year-old mammoth ivory that is delivered to his Louisville, Ky., studio from Siberia and Alaska.
He attaches his fossil ivory handles exclusively to XIKAR Xi3 cutter bodies, which he said have garnered a dedicated following. His products have also been showcased in several movies.
Hutchings has collaborated with renowned knife-maker Gil Hibben for a variety of film projects during the past 16 years. He did scrimshaw artwork on the handles of knives featured in the blockbuster “The Expendables,” and also made the cigar cutter used by Sylvester Stallone in “The Expendables 2.”
For the past several years, he has also displayed and sold his scrimshaw artwork at cigar trade shows all over the U.S., including theInternational Premium Cigar and Pipe Retailers Association Convention and International Trade Show in Las Vegas.
Hutchings said the Midwest Smoke Out would be an exciting new experience. He explained he was looking forward to the event because it will mark the first show where he can interact with individual customers rather than smoke shops and cigar companies.
“I will be demonstrating scrimshaw while there and everything I bring to the show will be for sale,” he said. “I’m excited to (participate in Midwest Smoke Out) because I get to talk directly with the customer.”
Among the cigar cutters Hutchings will offer at Midwest Smoke Out will be illustrations ofUlysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee for Civil War buffs, a Winston Churchill set, and the skull design that was used in The Expendables 2. His display will also include a new John F. Kennedy cutter, which will be offered for the first time at Midwest Smoke Out.
He added that he will be offering special discounts at the event. All cutters will 25 percent off, he said, and mammoth ivory cuff links and earrings will be 50 percent off.
Hutchings explained that he is proud of the enthusiasm he has garnered for his work since he began selling his products in 2002.
“That was over 2,000 cutters ago,” he said. “I have worked the custom cutters into a niche market so much so that in 2004 Cigar Aficionado called the mammoth ivory cutter the premium gift for the man or woman who has everything.”
For more information about Hutchings and his products, visit his website,www.scrimbyhutch.com.
The Midwest Smoke Out will feature premium boutique cigars from around the world, along with fine wine, spirits and craft beer, gourmet food, table games, luxury cars and more. For tickets, visit www.MidwestSmokeOut.com, or call 219-226-0300.
About Midwest Smoke Out
Midwest Smoke Out was launched in 2010 due to a need in the Chicago area for an event that allowed cigar lovers to light up and mingle. People are able to enjoy premium cigars from some of the best manufacturers in the world, along with tastings of fine wine, spirits, craft beer and gourmet food. The event also features live music, luxury cars, table games and a variety of surprises along the way.
The Midwest smokeout looks to be a great event, another great event I won’t be able to make. I have some info on a New Jersey festival someplace, I’ll try to scrounge it up for Sunday’s post.
That’s it for now, I need to take the dog for a walk, which means I have to find a suitable cigar for a beautiful spring evening! Until the next time,