Thursday, 4 December 2014

Sincere apologies!

Hello all,

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.




Friday, 31 October 2014

Cigars on the go - About travel humidors

 
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

Flame on! Choosing the Right Butane



Before lighting  your cigar, before even choosing how to light your cigar, you first make a very important decision; what kind of fuel to use in your cigar lighter. The choice seems simple, but further investigation shows just how much choosing the right fuel can affect your cigar smoking experience.

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!".
g

Friday, 22 August 2014

Cigar tasting @ KirjaClub - Bespoke Cigars


The largest cigar club/private lounge in Helsinki, the KirjaClub, was honored to host a cigar tasting presented by Jeremy Casdagli from Bespoke Cigars. During the event, we received a great brief on the history and philosophy behind the brand and the Casdagli family.


The cigars sampled at the event were of a great blend of tobacco from various sources blended together by no one else than  Hendrik Kelner Jr of the famous Kelner family of Master blenders at the KBF factory, Santiago, Dominican Republic. We had the pleasure to smoke the Bespoke Grand Cafe and Cotton tail. Both very good cigars. 



I intent to write more about the brand and the cigars in the future, so this is just a little teaser of the upcoming. Good things are worth the wait. Meanwhile visit www.bespokecigar.com for more info.






Thursday, 21 August 2014

Review - Toscano Classico - 90/100

 
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:

http://www.worldofcigarsblog.com/2014/06/toscano-tradition-and-history-since-1818.html

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.


Origin : Italy

Wrapper : Italian fire cured Kentucky
Binder : No binder
Filler : Italian and american fire cured Kentucky

Points: 90/100

Friday, 8 August 2014

Review - Xikar Purotemp humidity monitor


I have been using the Xikar PuroTemp™ wireless hygrometer system in my cabinet humidor for a month now and liked it very much. I currently have only one remote sensor in there, but want to get 2 more to measure on different spots in the cabinet. After getting those, i can monitor the whole cabinet with all three sensors feeding the same base unit on my desk!

Base unit

The PuroTemp measures the temperature as well as humidity, both with programmable alerts available and come pre-calibrated with accuracy of RH: +/- 2% Temperature: +/- .1 °C.

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

HUMID OR NOT HUMID, THAT IS THE QUESTION - Proper humidification of a humidor

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)
After this is done, it is safe to place your cigars inside the humidor. Most will recommend you monitor your cigars with a digital hygrometer, and after you purchase a digital hygrometer, many will suggest that you need to calibrate the hygrometer to 70% via what is know as a "salt test".

This test involves creating a controlled environment that is a perfect 70%RH via a sealed climate and saltwater solution. However, XIKAR does not recommend the salt test as it has been found to be inaccurate when performed in anything but the most precise way. It is truly amazing the variables which can play a factor when determining the humidity of any environment, and thus render your salt test calibration invalid. Below are only a few of the factors which can affect the humidity of a given area:

-Temperature
-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

Any one of these variables can cause the calibration of a digital hygrometer to be inaccurate and thus, XIKAR has done away with the need for calibration at all! Instead, you will find XIKAR's PuroTemp™ Hygrometers have already been calibrated to lab grade reliability, ensuring that you always have the perfect picture of just how your cigars are resting. For more information on proper humidification, check out XIKAR's educational video here: http://bit.ly/1rLkwUR


Thursday, 31 July 2014

Review - Xikar Allume lighter


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/