Sunday, December 5, 2010

A Smoke and a Song, Installment 5

Brand - Cohiba (Dominican)
Series - Red Dot

Wrapper - Cameroon (African)

Shape - Robusto

Price - ~$11 (B&M)
Review -

Just picked up a 5 pack of these and life is good. I love me some Cohibas. It's kind of ashame to know that these are just a ripoff of the real (Cuban) Cohibas with no true affiliation, but rather a 100% theft of the namesake. I've yet to have a real Cohiba (or any Cuban for that matter) but assuming that they are better than these I can only imagine they are awesome. 

So, anyway. This cigar is full of delicious complexity, not as much as its Black counterpart, but it is still quite tasty. It starts out with a smooth and creamy earth tone which builds with the flavour of nuts and caramel. It's like a friggin candy bar, but heavier and much more satisfying. The smoke is thick and rich , again not as much as its more expensive big brother but still awesome. 

I would continue to describe it, but that just makes me want to go smoke another one, so use the review link if you want to hear more about this stick.


Artist - Black Star feat. Common
Song - Respiration
Album - Mos Def & Talib Kweli are Black StarGenre - Hip Hop

"So much on my mind that I can't recline 

Blastin holes in the night til she bled sunshine 
Breathe in, inhale vapors from bright stars that shine 
Breathe out, weed smoke retrace the skyline 
Heard the bass ride out like an ancient mating call 
I can't take it y'all, I can feel the city breathin 
Chest heavin, against the flesh of the evening 
Sigh before we die like the last train leaving"

And that is the backdrop to which I enjoyed the first of this series. A Cohiba and a classic makes for a good noight cap (I realize that I spelled that wrong, but when I went back to correct it I decided to keep it that way in honor of Bernie Mac).

Youtube -

A Smoke and a Song, Installment 4

Brand - Alcazar
Series - No. 5

Wrapper - Maduro (Connecticut)

Shape - Torpedo (6.5 x 52)
Price - ~$3.50 @ B&M
Review - (The closest that I could find to this exact cigar)

During a recent trip to my local B&M I asked for a budget Maduro. The Alcazar No. 5 is what I came out with. I can't really recommend it, but I haven't found a great price point Maduro at a B&M yet so I can't really recommend anything else either. 

The construction was fine, no complaints, and the smoke wasn't bad at all either. The problem with this stick is the flavor, or the lack there of. It delivered the taste of hardwood throughout, with little to no variance. Usually you can expect some development through the middle and even more so at the end, but alas, nothing. I suppose if you love a nice woodsy cigar and don't tend toward complexity then this is the one for you.

If I were to give one word to describe my overall experience with this cigar it would simply be, boring.


Artist - Led Zeppelin
Song - Stairway to Heaven
Album - Led Zeppelin IV
Genre - Classic Rock

This track is as classic as they come. To my taste nothing matched the woodsy feeling of the cigar like this. I hate to put such a take it or leave it stick as the Alcazar alongside one of the arguably best classic rock songs out there, but the song takes you though a forest of textures and does match the flavor of the cigar well. Not to mention the vibe of this song fits well with the overall smoking experience. 

Disclaimer: To be clear, as you'll see on the Youtube page, there is a lot of controversy surrounding this song and where it was birthed from, and I don't disagree that it is filled with dark spiritual undertones. However, as an avid music listener and a Christian I feel that any responsible adult can separate whatever the intended message is from the music and enjoy the  song for it's musical value. >>End Rant

Youtube -

Thursday, November 25, 2010

A Smoke and a Song, Installment 3

Brand - Carlos Torano
Series - Exodus 1959 (50 Years)

Wrapper - Brazilian Arapiraca Sun-Grown

Shape - Short Churchill

Price - ~$7 @ B&M (Libation Station in JC)
Review -

This is one of my favorites. The Carlos Torano Exodus 1959 50 Years (that's a mouthful...that's what she said) is a dark and rich smoke. It starts out strong and leathery, but not overly spicy or flavorful for the first bit, but once you get into this cigar the bold flavors come out. With a nice blend of dark chocolate and cocoa, spices and even some peppery notes this cigar comes through beautifully to the finish. Several reviewers have even noted hints of raisin, while my palate may not be that acute yet I can certainly appreciate the sweetness of the last half and even more so the finish. 

I wasn't sure if this was the stick that I wanted to smoke on Thanksgiving, but it turned out to be a great dessert after two wonderful Turkey Day meals and reminded me why this was one of my top three cigars. I am Thankful.


Artist - Outkast
Song - Spottieottiedopaliscious
Album - Aquemini
Genre - Hip Hop / Jazz / Funk / Amazing

Admittedly I didn't focus to much on the music with all of the festivities of the night, however, I did take the time to try and identify what matched the feel of the cigar. I will probably always lean toward a relaxed vibe, as that is what enjoying a fine cigar is all about, and this song is no exception. 

I also didn't immediately come to this track. Initially, just going with the feel of the smoke, I was thinking about Nirvana's "Something in the Way", specifically the violin heavy parts of the song in between the lyrics. However, I thought that might be a bit to somber, particularly on Thanksgiving. So as I continued to explore ideas for fitting music and as the sweetness of the cigar opened up leading away some of the harshness of the opening notes I came to Spottieottiedopaliscious. One of my all time favorites, this song could probably go well with any cigar. Tonight the Carlos Torano 1959 Exodus just happened to be the one, and it was a good match. 

I highly recommend this pair after a good filling meal, maybe even alongside your strong drink of choice (though I'm not much of a drinker my self). A true classic hip hop joint that can lull you into relaxation from nearly any state.

Youtube -

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A Smoke and a Song, Installment 2

Brand - Rocky Patel
Series - The Edge

Wrapper - Maduro

Shape - Toro
Price - ~$5.50 @ B&M (Shamrock's in JC)
Review -

A bold java infused cigar with some serious dark chocolate notes through the middle and a very nice burn throughout. It seems to be identical to the Man O' War of similar wrapper and size (blended by Abdel "AJ" Fernandez who is responsible for some of the Rocky Patel offerings) which is among my favorite cigars.


Artist - Dave Matthews Band
Song - Crash Into Me
Album - Crash
Genre - Jam Band

Unlike the previous song this one is in no way obscure. We all know this one, which I would ideally like to stay away from, but this is not about introducing new music (or more obscure old music for that matter) rather it is about finding what fits the smoking experience, and this was it for The Edge (today at least).

Youtube -

A Smoke and a Song, Installment 1


Series - JFR (Just for Retail) 

Wrapper - Corojo

Size - Robusto
Price - ~$5 @ B&M (Shamrock's in JC)
Review -

A very plain looking hand rolled cigar said to be blended by Don Pepin. It has a nice woody smoke with a pigtailed end that draws and burns consistently throughout.

Artist - Camp Lo
Song - Luchini (This is it)
Album - Uptown Saturday Night
Genre - Hip Hop

A mid nineties hip hop classic. The light vibrant rhythms go nice with the medium body of this smoke, for a good feeling and energetic smoking experience.

Youtube -

Welcome to A Smoke and a Song

This blog will chronicle my experiences and recommendations in pairing cigars with music. It's as simple as that. Each cigar will have one song paired with it, however, as it can take up to 2 hours to smoke a cigar, you may want to plug that song into Pandora for the duration of the smoke. This can be hit or miss depending on the song, but allot of times you get that same vibe which is the key part in the pairing.

I look forward to feedback from readers in regards to the cigars, the music, the blog, or anything else.

Thanks for reading and enjoy.

Andrew Carpenter