i would like to present my sincere apologies to all of you for not being able to post here more often in the past few months. There simply has not been enough hours in a day to allocate any to write here. my job and family are keeping me extremely busy, and as i do not have any extra sleeping hours to sacrifice, i have had to put writing aside for a while.
Please, be assured, that i am not going to stop writing completely and will take a more active approach whenever i again have the time to do that. Please, visit my site time to time to see if any new content has appeared or follow me in facebook to keep updated.
Thursday, 4 December 2014
Friday, 31 October 2014
Traveling with cigars can be a challenge. How do you keep them humidified? How do you protect them from damage? Common methods used in the past included wrapping the cigars in bubble wrap, newspaper, or even socks. Luckily, cigar smokers now have better options with near indestructible travel cases.
The best cigar cases, commonly known as 'travel humidors' are made out of ABS plastic. ABS plastic is an excellent material for protecting cigars due to multiple properties:
- Heat Resistance: ABS plastic can withstand lasting temperatures up to 100 degrees Celsius.
- Impact Resistance and Toughness: ABS Plastic is one of the toughest plastics on the market, and twice as strong as the common plastic polypropylene.
- Odor-Free: ABS Plastic is odor-free, and will not affect the quality of the cigars.
- Buoyancy: ABS Plastic will float, making it great for trips to the lake or ocean.
When choosing a travel humidor, it is best to choose one made from ABS plastic and has a tight seal, which is necessary to ensure proper humidity. Often times, the cases will come with a built in foam humidifier, although you can always add your own humidification as well. This tight seal can also cause some difficulty when traveling via airplane, as the pressurization can make the case difficult to open. Look for travel cases that have a pressure release valve which will counteract this problem, or simply leave a piece of the cigar's cellophane sticking out of the case when you latch it shut. Both of these methods will promise that you can still access your cigars after you have arrived to your destination.
Tuesday, 30 September 2014
If you light your cigar with a torch or a soft flame lighter, chances are that you are fueling your lighter with butane. This odorless, pressurized gas is perfect for lighting cigars due to its relatively inexpensive cost and ability to have no affect on the taste of the cigar, but while there are many choices of butane in the market, not all are the same. In fact, making the wrong choice can severely hamper your ability to light a cigar in the future!
When browsing butane choices, you will notice that many claim to be refined two, three, or even five times. Refining is an industrial process of removing impurities from a material, in this case removing the impurities from the butane gas. It makes logical sense that the more you refine a material, the cleaner, or more pure, that material gets. However this is not the whole story, although many producers will try to sell it to you as such. The refinement is only as good as its end result, the amount of impurities left after the refinement process. This number is usually expressed as PPM or Parts Per Million. This final number is the one you want to look for. For example, a butane with impurities of 15 PPM is cleaner than a butane with impurities of 30 PPM.
You may ask yourself, "Does 15 PPM more of impurities really make a difference? Especially if I can save some money?!" The answer is a resounding yes. The problem with a cheap and impure butane comes after filling your cigar lighter, some of which are quite expensive. An impure butane will, over time, leave residue and particulate within your cigar lighter. Many of the mechanisms within a quality cigar lighter are small and very liable to get clogged with this residue, causing the lighter to cease operation. The most likely place for the impurities to cause problems is within the burner, which is responsible for transporting the butane to its ignition point. Without a steady, regular flow of butane gas to the ignition, you will have very little chance of a consistent flame!
|magnified look at impurities|
|more magnified impurities|
It is easy to see how choosing a cheap, impure butane can actually cost you more money over time. In summary, when choosing a butane to fuel your lighter, look for the number of impurities per million on the can and avoid being trapped by the marketing gimmick of "Refined 5 Times!".
Friday, 22 August 2014
Thursday, 21 August 2014
It is time for my first review of the Toscano cigars - one of many more to come. Previously i released a post on the Toscano cigars and their history. If you missed it, here is a link:
Now, to the review: Toscano Classico
The Toscano cigars (including Classico) are a tradition by itself. The cigar is a slim, uniquely shaped perfecto (open from both ends). and has a dark, rustic wrapper filled with lumps and veins. It has been hand rolled to the same shape for nearly two centuries and i don't even start comparing it to any other cigars reviewed here so far.
The cigar is completely made of Kentucky fire cured tobacco and gives out a musty, earthy and sweet tobacco fragrance when unlit. When lit, the first draws (although very tight) reveal a flavor profile matching the initial fragrance - musty, sweet tobacco with some spice and pepper on the tongue.
The draw quickly opens up after just a few draws and reveals the full nature of the cigar. With a great consistency throughout the cigar, the flavor profile is that of mentioned above, slightly developing in body and strength towards the end (medium to full). The finish is peppery.
The bottom line? Absolutely a cigar worth experiencing. A great reminder of the old world, where cigars were a bit more unique and did not have that shiny, immaculately smooth looks.
The rating here is a bit tricky. Parts to the cigar, parts to the experience - just because i feel like i have to rate it to fit the form of the previous reviews. Not to mention, that i felt like Clint Eastwood in one of his spaghetti western movies. Yep, he smoked Toscano Cigars.
Wrapper : Italian fire cured Kentucky
Binder : No binder
Filler : Italian and american fire cured Kentucky
Friday, 8 August 2014
My electronic humidifier's calibration was a bit off and i trusted the PuroTemp readings in order to re-calibrate it. Looks fine now. When i get the two additional sensors, i will be able to adjust the air flow configuration to even up the fluctuation of humidity levels throughout the large cabinet.
|Remote sensor (hot days caused the temp to jump up)|
The PuroTemp does not release you from applying a proper means of humidification to your humidor but at least with it you can make sure you are doing it right. A great tool to measure and control the proper conditions for your precious cigars.
Already available in USA, international release date is later in August.
Monday, 4 August 2014
Proper humidification is easily one of the most discussed and debated facets of proper cigar care. And, as with any debated subject, there is a multitude of misinformation making its way to the unwary cigar connoisseur. Luckily, XIKAR has spent the time and effort to research the best way to provide your cigars the perfect humidification, and innovative ways to monitor the situation inside your humidor.
|The traditional approach: Oasis sponge|
The first step in protecting your cigars is bringing the humidor itself to the proper humidification, called 'seasoning'. During this process, the cedar wood of the humidor soaks in the humidification to reach a balanced microclimate inside the box. This can be done quite simply by placing a jar of XIKAR's Crystal Clear Humidification. Many people will say that this process can be sped up by wiping the inside of the humidor with a wet cloth. Do not do this! Humidity must be introduced slowly so as not to cause the cedar to swell or crack. Instead place the humidification jar inside the humidor for 2-3 days, until your hygrometer reads 65%-70%.
|Crystal Clear (Xikar)|
|Crystal humidifier (Xikar)|
-Size of microclimate or salt test area
-Strength of the airtight seal
-Impurities within the saltwater solution
-Ratio of salt to water within the saltwater solution
|PuroTemp by Xikar|
Thursday, 31 July 2014
When reviewing top quality lighters, it is sometimes difficult to make any relevant comparisons between them. They have the flame (torch or normal), they have an ignition button (or wheel), they have the tank and that's it. Two quality lighters usually are very similar in many ways. Then, it comes down to the design and execution.
The new Allume lighter from Xikar is a small but sturdy little lighter. It has a single torch, which is very powerful. Also, the whole lighter has a feel of solid quality. despite the small size, the fuel tank is sufficient enough for normal use. The Allume lighter is very compact and easy to carry in any size of a pocket. The flame adjustment wheel is large enough to be handled without any issues and the side ignition button is very practical. All combined in an affordable and beautiful package. All in all, the Allume is an excellent lighter on the go. Definitely my current choice of lighter to carry with me.
The original Xikar Allume comes in Tuxedo Black, Stealth G2, Crush Orange, Imperial Purple, Riot Red, Steel Silver, Alpine Pearl and Electric Yellow finishes. Plenty of choices to pick your favorite!
Xikar is planning to expand the Allume series also with a double and triple flame versions with the size of the lighter increasing along with the number of flames.
more information http://xikar.com/products/lighters/allume/