Episode 11 – Your Questions, My Answers

Available on iTunes Videos Your Questions, My Answers24 Comments on Episode 11 – Your Questions, My Answers

Episode 11 – Your Questions, My Answers

Keep the questions coming! Episode 11 runs about 70 minutes with Walt and I discussing:

* Burnt cigar taste
* Wrapper to Filler Ratio
* Cigar smoking and old people at coffee shops
* Cutting cigars hours before lighting them
* Our definition of body and strength
* Humidity in glass top humidors
* Meeting cigar smokers near you
* Short smorks during time constraints
* Over humidified cigars
* OpusX pricing
* Next step for the beginner
* Looking for a new reviewer

Part 1 of 2

Part 2 of 2


24 thoughts on “Episode 11 – Your Questions, My Answers

  1. Hey guys I’m really liking the 16:9 format and these longer episodes. Makes for some great enjoyment while sitting out enjoying a smoke.

    Can you guys do me a favor? When you post the video, in the text summary can you mention what cigar you are smoking? I’d like to be able to smoke the same cigar as you guys while watching just like with your reviews.

    Great job! If I could keep giving you 5 stars I would!

  2. I think cigars have caps for two reasons.

    One, it allows the smoker to have a bit of control over the cut and draw they like. Two, it holds the flavor in. For me it’s like a straw with water inside. When you plug up one part of the straw with your thumb, the water stays inside, and when you release your thumb (cut off the cap) the water comes out. Of course, cigar oils don’t leave as quickly as water, but that analogy works for me anyway. I think that agrees with your answer as well.

  3. Once again, another great video!

    I have an idea, it may or it may not work. How about having fans of this site submit their own video review for everyone to see? I know you go off of a different format then web forums, but ultimately it is up to Stogie Review to put the video up. This can be used a number of ways, the site visiters can vote on the video and the reviewer if they like that person to be another official reviewer or just have an amature review section.

    Just sharing my thoughts. Good luck with the search.

  4. This goes to the question about the coffee shop etiquette.

    2 years ago I went on a cruise and purposely booked a room with balcony so I could sit out there and smoke my beloved cigars. Well, the first night I was out there was awesome. The second night, I’m sitting out there and about halfway into the cigar I see this guy poke his head around the partition that separates his balcony from mine. He asked if I could please put out the cigar because it was stinking up his room. It turns out that he had the sliding doors open and since his room was to the right of mine, the smoke was going over to his side and being sucked in to his room. I hear his wife yelling, “Tell him to put that shit out!!” I calmly told him that I paid just as much as he did to have luxury of having a balcony and if he didn’t like it, close the door and go back in. He stormed off and I heard the doors slam shut. Seconds later I hear somebody to the left of me say, “Good job, I would have said the same thing”. I turn around and their was an older guy staying in the room to the left of me and he too was a cigar smoker.

    Second incident happenend last year. The wife and I along with the kids went up to Bar Harbor, Maine and stayed in a nice suite with a deck overlooking the harbor. Above me was another deck which belonged to the suite above us. So, once again, here I am smoking my cigar and the smoke is drifting upwards through the slats to the deck above. Minutes later I hear somebody knocking at the door. Turns out that the people above us were complaining about the smoke and smell and couldn’t enjoy being outside on the deck or lounging in the whirlpool. I told the hotel manager that I’m following their rules by not smoking indoors. I asked him if he were to give me 2 free nights or knock off a couple of dollars off the stay, I’d gladly smoke elsewhere. He wouldn’t budge and neither would I. It resulted in the people above me moving rooms to the other side of the resort which doesn’t have a view of the harbor but a view of the wonderful newly paved parking lot.

    I’ve had some other incidents but these two stand out amongst the rest. Can’t we all get along?

  5. Hey guys,

    I haven’t had a chance to see the past few reviews and noticed that you can get some of the reviews and Q&As, but not all. Do you know how long it will be before they are available?


  6. Jeremy G – Another user brought to our attention that the RSS feed that iTunes uses isn’t updating properly at the moment. We’re working with blip.tv and iTunes to get everything straightenend out.

    I wish I could give you a time frame of when all the videos will be available on iTunes. Of course the newest videos will be automatically posted once we get the RSS feed for iTunes fixed. Older videos I will need to encode into .mp4 or .mov format which is a bit of a chore but its on the list to do.

  7. Everything should be working now with iTunes now. We were able to get the RSS feed for iTunes updated and working properly.

  8. the smoking loon is pretty good wine(nothing spectacular, but decent) and i dont remember it ever tasting like feet… Do you ever drink wine?

  9. watson – yeah I’m not a wine drinker. In fact I can’t even remember the last time (before this) that I drank wine. Now that I think about it more, I’m not sure if I’ve even tried wine before this. So this could’ve been my first experience with win and from some of the e-mails I’ve received, its one of those acquired tastes. I need to find a good wine blog to see where a beginner should start with wines.

  10. Another great one guys!

    I had an experience like Carlos on my honeymoon. I was smokin’ cigars like they’d just been banned on a deck overlooking the beach. On our last day there, shortly after I finished off my last cigar, the hotel people called with complaints about smoke. My wife was awesome and said we hadn’t noticed any. LOL!

    Jerry, try out Tin Roof’s Cabernet blend if you can find it. My wife and I love it and it’s inexpensive to boot. One thing you should try before drinking your next wine is decanting it. Red wine almost always tastes a lot better after being exposed to air. Pouring the wine out of the bottle and into some other container really, really helps. Alternately, try letting the wine sit for a bit in the widest glass you can find.

    You guys outta try out Port with some of your cigars, the right pairing is magic. Though I’m not a big fan of the CAO Vision, it did work very nicely with Warres White Port. Unfortunately both the cigar and that particular port can be hard to find.

    Brian (the evil I.T. contractor)

  11. Apologies for the borderline comment abuse here, but I was inspired by this video to try out a wee (not Wii) Macanudo Robust Ascot (4 3/16 x 32) on my way into work this morning. It didn’t quite fit into my 25 minute drive- I had to leave a little more than in the ashtray by the front door than I’d prefer, but it made for an enjoyable ride in. It’d probably be perfect for a 30 to 35 minute ride.

    Quick flavor summary:
    1/3 Paper, with hints of wood and syrup, 2/3 all-over-tongue pepperiness, 3/3 earthy and peaty with a return of hint of paper and almost vanilla sweetness. Kind of surprised me that a little fella like that could be so interesting. Paper’s not my favorite flavor in a cigar, but I think I would smoke another of these guys. Good thing too, there’s 10 in the tin. 🙂

    Hopefully this is helpful to any itty-bitty cigar smokers out there!

  12. 25 minutes drive? Sorry bro but thats not a commute. LOL. I live about 20 miles outside our Nation’s Capital and even using HOV on a good day it takes 75 minutes. On a bad day, I’m looking at close to 2 hours.

    If it wasn’t for smoking a cigar during this commute, who knows how many people I would’ve killed. Now I just take a deep draw and thank God for cigars!

  13. In response to your request for info concerning the problem of the gentleman who always gets a “burnt” taste when smoking his cigars, you briefly hit on the possible answer, as I’ve found in my experience, that holding the flame too close to the cigar when lighting it, and drawing the heat through the cigar, can easily cause the entire smoke to taste “burnt.” The proper way to light a cigar is to hold the flame away from the cigar, on a 45 degree angle, never letting the flame touch the foot, and slowly rotate the stick while gently drawing in. Ultimately, this will produce a good light, though many get too impatient and end up “flaming” the end of the cigar. Also, if you get an uneven light, rather that torch it, you should blow gently on the foot, holding the cigar on an angle so that the lit part of the foot is on the bottom, and the heat rises to the unlit portion. A well made cigar will eventually catch up and burn even. If it doesn’t, start smoking better cigars.

  14. Walt,

    I’m sure I may take some heat for this next critique, but while there may be some merit to your assessment of wrapper to filler proportion having the most affect on taste, what I’ve been told by some of the manufactures I’ve smoked with, and of course what I’ve experienced myself, is that it is the wrapper and the size & shape of the cigar that has the most effect on the taste of a cigar made from the same tobaccos. Anyone who has participated in a “Tongue Tasting” will have realized this. I remember one time visiting with Chris Eiroa in his factory in Honduras, and him letting me smoke a cigar without a wrapper, and then the same blend that was wrapped. He said that 80-90 % of the taste of a cigar comes from the wrapper, and believe me, he was correct! The other thing that affects taste is of course the size and shape, but the reason has to do with two things: one the volume of smoke you get from different sized or shaped cigar, and that certain shaped or sized cigars are usually rolled by the more experienced rollers, especially if they are the more costly cigars. These things more than anything affect the taste of a cigar, not counting anything you do or don’t do to it after you purchase it. BTW, as a point of reference, box-pressed cigars (square shaped) do NOT affect the taste or smoke of a cigar. It was originally done to have cigars fit better in a box or bundle.


  15. Walt,

    Sorry, another comment, as I listen to the Q&A. You’re right (didn’t think you were gonna hear that, huh?) about pre-clipping having no detrimental effects on a cigar. I would argue that even long term, in a humidor, might not even have any adverse effect. But is it really needed? The only time I pre-clip cigars is if Im’, entertaining, and have some laid out for guests who may not be versed in the proper way to cut a cigar. BTW, the only real reason there are caps on cigars is a practical one; it’s to prevent the wrapper from unraveling. The most improper way to cut a cigar is to cut so much off the cap, that it doesn’t hold the wrapper secure any longer.


  16. Guys,

    Continuing on, the question of humidors, glass tops only have one disadvantage; they aren’t as well sealed, by virtue of having a glass top, as ones without glass, but it’s not a huge difference. As for humid air vs dryer air, humid air is denser, but you’re right, in a humidor of normal size this is of no consequence.


  17. Joe,

    If you don’t mind, could you elaborate on the “Tongue Tasting”.

    I would assume it is placing your tongue on th freshly cut head of the cigar, is that correct?


  18. Walt,
    Here is the expalnation of a “Tongue Tasting.” I had the pleasure of doing one with the reps from Davidoff as well, though not on this occasion.

    The Stogie GuysStogie Exclusive: Davidoff Tasting with Mike Copperman
    Monday, July 31st, 2006

    For those of you who haven’t yet been lucky enough to meet him, Mike Copperman is a cigar god amongst men. This pleasant and approachable tobacconist at Bethesda Tobacco has more passion and knowledge about stogies in his little finger than I have in my entire body. On Saturday morning, he was generous enough to invite Patrick and me to his store for a private Davidoff tasting.

    As expected, we got some wonderful cigars and tons of invaluable knowledge out of the experience…But we also got so much more.

    After four cups of coffee, one bagel, and a sixty minute commute, Patrick and I rolled into Bethesda Tobacco at 10:30 AM on Saturday. The building is a tiny, two-story dwelling that is as unassuming as it is charismatic. The front patio is dotted with deck furniture sitting in the shade of tropical banana trees. A lone neon sign glowing through the main window simply reads, “Cigars”.

    Mike welcomed us with a smile and led us to a lounge on the second floor. This small stogie haven – complete with leather chairs, a television, a huge humidor, and jaded windows fogged by decades of smoke – would be our refuge for the next two hours.

    The session consisted of us tasting three different Davidoff cigars, each one comprised entirely of one tobacco blend – Olor, San Vicente, and Piloto Cubano. After each sampling, Patrick and I gave the cigar a rating based on sweetness, saltiness, acidity, and bitterness. With a lot of help from Mike, and a trusty palate diagram of the human tongue, we correctly identified the Olor blend as mostly salty (removes saliva from the mouth), the San Vicente blend as mostly acidic (adds saliva to the mouth), and the Piloto Cubano blend as bitter and sweet.

    It’s amazing how refined your palate can be if you (1) pay attention to the geography of your tongue, (2) smoke through the nose (no, it’s not inhaling, Stogie Tip forthcoming), and (3) have a human cigar encyclopedia at your disposal.

    Next, Mike presented us with the fourth cigar – the highly acclaimed Davidoff Gran Cru No. 3. This robust smoke is a special blend of the three aforementioned stogies we had just sampled. The five inch by 43 ring gauge smoke is a noble cigar: smooth and well-refined with a wonderful flavor curve that balances evenly amongst the palate.

    While we smoked, Mike was nice enough to share some fantastic tips with us. For example, did you know that in order to get maximum flavor out of each cigar you should only take about two puffs per minute?

    You see, tobacco leaves are harvested to create starch so the leaf can produce sugar. When you smoke a cigar, the sugar is caramelized. Much like a master chef cooks a soufflé, you must “cook” the cigar at the right temperature. Taking about two puffs a minute will keep the foot at 494° F, the optimum temperature for experiencing maximum flavors.

    But the best tip Mike shared with us is much less technical. He explained that the greatest sense one needs in order to enjoy cigars is not on the tongue or in the nose…It’s between the ears. In other words, the more you know about tobacco and cigar composition, the better tools you have with which to appreciate each smoke.

    Overall, the whole tasting was a tremendous experience. I will remember the morning of Saturday, July 29 for many years to come.

    I highly recommend Stogie Guys in the DC area make the trip to Bethesda when they can (a Thursday, August 3 Ashton BBQ would be a great introductory event). Take some time to peruse their selection, mingle with friendly regulars (who always come out in good numbers), and – of course – meet Mike Copperman.

    Also, for those DC Stogie Guys who are interested in setting up a private tasting of your own with Mike, visit Bethesda Tobacco online and contact Mike.

    -Patrick A

  19. You guys were right on when it comes to Opus X and Monyt #2’s. Opus X are the most over rated and over priced cigars on the market (when they first hit they were a lot better than current ones). Also, I have smoked a ton of Monty # 2’s and I can tell you this is one of my cigars of choice. Every year when I travel abroad, I stock up. Excellent stick!

  20. Walt and Jerry,

    I do remember sampling a pre-cut cigar, it wasn’t machine made, but I can’t for the life of me remember the brand. It came with a v-cut, which is partly why I was intrigued to trying it. I have kind of been on a hunt to find it again simply because I thought it was strange, but I haven’t been able to find one since. It doesn’t help that I can’t remember the brand though. Keep up the great work guys and if I figure this one out, I’ll shoot you an e-mail. MDD.

  21. comment on glass top humidification, i have a glass top humidor it is a 50ct so this is how i humidify it. I purchased a humidity tube from heartfelt and used velcro to place it on the top side it is small enough that although you see it while looking inside it does not block the view of the cigars and does not take cigar space on the bottom or sides of the humidor. It has worked great for me and i think it is a good option for glass top humidors up to 100ct, Maybe even larger if you line the edges with the humidity tubes a 50ct would require a half ounce tube and due to the size increase i believe that is the best to buy if you have a 100ct. use to half ounce tubes instead of the larger ones. works for me 🙂

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