Tuesday, October 22, 2013

For Luzzie: Smoke on the Water.

Eating and sleeping are the only activities that should be allowed to interrupt a man's enjoyment of his cigar.
-Mark Twain.

The subject: Trinidad Habana Reserve Siglo VI

Initial inspection proved this to be a handsome cigar. The wrap was smooth and head/cap were finished nicely, which lead to a neat cut. The initial draw was pleasurable and smooth, and the pre-light flavors were earthy, with hints of something sweet, almost cake-like.

It lit very easily, and needed no touching up. The earthy tones remained accompanied by a nutty undertone. Maybe almonds? (Maybe Hazelnut?-If I may be so bold.) The draw remained smooth and the taste, while hovering in the light to medium range, was soothing as the Cubano wrapper was sweet in the mouth.

As the cigar burnt down into the second third, the nut flavors began to recede as the taste became a little more spicy as the smoke thickened. I thought I might have picked up something in the citrus range, maybe a little grapefruit, but it was fleeting.

The burn was vain: near perfect, showing an excessively high opinion of itself as it wound down into the final third and the spice and pepper intensified along with the heat and quantity of smoke. I would say that this is generally my least favorite part of any cigar, and in this case I found myself wanting the medium light flavors from the beginning, but fearing that my pallet had now passed the point where I could appreciate those flavors again even if given the chance. 

At the end as it reached points of strength exceeding my level of appreciation, I gave the remaining nub a mariners death- drowning the fire in the cool mountain lake before stuffing the ashy remnant into my trash bag.

Sitting squarely in the $7 dollar range, I think they are a good deal, and a nice smoke if you are like me and enjoy a hassle-free smoke with rich flavors but like to remain on the lighter side of things. My father said it reminded him of a Fuente 858. I wouldn't know anything about that.

I would recommend it accompanied by JD Single Barrel out of a plastic flask.

The End.

Thanks to Luzzie at Neptune Cigars for providing the nicotine buzz.


Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Recent places: Lees Ferry/Marble Canyon "Float That Shit" ep.2 - Defying Death.

The tire blew. The tread, which had apparently spent the last couple hundred miles slowly detaching itself from the cap piles, belts, and carcass, slammed like a gunshot as it bent the bumper and dented the fender before flying to rest somewhere in the road; most likely to be tossed aside by a passing highway patrolman where it would live with its previously shorn brethren dotting the sides of Interstate 17.

We were thrown from the right lane across the passing lane and onto the sloped rock shoulder of the median. Marvin held the drift as the bed of the truck lost traction, sliding out to the left and down the hill at near 70mph. I tensed, gripping the armrest. Marvin, both hands on the wheel keeping the truck half on and half off the blacktop, said, "hold on" as polished steel front bumper ate a shoulder marker; its gray metal body and small white square reflective head disappearing under the truck with a thunk.

We lived a lifetime in that moment. The heavy rumble of the ruined tire, rocks pounding, thrown away and up into the undercarrage: chaos which seemed a stark contrast to the clear bright beauty of the morning seen through the windshield. In moments like this they say that your life flashes before your eyes. I cannot say that was the case in this instance. In fact, I am a little embarrassed and slightly concerned to tell you that the only thought that I can clearly remember thinking as we walked that gravitational and frictional tightrope was "this is going to make us late for fishing."

The tires still in contact with the pavement caught and the vehicle straightened out with a wobbly snap. Marvin steered the truck back across the lanes to the right shoulder and brought us to a stop where we surveyed the damage and swapped the tire with the spare in a rush; partly still twitchy as the last adrenaline was processed from out bodies, and partly because the backhaul up Marble Canyon left at 2:30, and our soft time cushion was diminishing by the minute. The job done, and with a quick still-alive-high-five, we continued out journey north with slightly raised levels of appreciation for just about everything. I ate the remainder of my subway sandwich as we talked loudly. It was abnormally delicious.

Discount tire in Flagstaf spit us out just in time to make it to the boat ramp at Lees Ferry as the CRD guide boats were loading people for backhaul. All was well and good.

Here are photos.

I can't be certain, but I think this may be Marvin retelling the tire story. Also, notice Marvin is wearing a had in this photo, which shortly after this image was taken blew off and sank, making him resort to wearing my spare buff the rest of the weekend. 

No hat.

People look cooler touching fish while wearing hats. Just sayin.

mmm tilt-shifty.

Buffalo wings at Vermillion Cliffs Lodge, after days of eating dehydrated food, are awe inspiring. 

-Alex who likes a little excitement now and again.