Welcome back! My self imposed hiatus is over. Where have I been? I needed a break. In recent episodes of Week in Smoke I talked about how I was worried about my job when my boss and my employer “parted ways” after a significant technology audit. It had me stressed out. A simple “good morning” from someone would set me off. My blood pressure was high, I wasn’t sleeping well, all the noise in my head was suffocating. I was miserable and made everyone around me miserable and something had to be done. On a whim, I picked up the book 10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works–A True Story by Dan Harris. I knew who Dan Harris was as I usually watch the weekend edition of Good Morning America and the title seemed, reasonable to accomplish. It didn’t promise some 180 degree, turn your life around now type scheme but a simple 10% increase in happiness. Not to spoil the book for you but Dan discovers meditation and like him, I’m not the hippy crunchy granola type either but I decided to give meditation a try. And surprisingly enough, its been working for me. I put my iPhone in airplane mode, fire up the calm.com app, plugin my earbuds to listen to some nature sounds (I like the sound of rain) and for 10 minutes (I try for twice a day), I breath. Thats it. I just focus on breathing. Within a couple sessions, I started to feel better. Six week later, my blood pressure is even better than it was before, my shoulders are less tight and other aches and pains aren’t as bothersome. The same problems I had before I started were still there, I’m still concerned about my job, but with less noise came less worry about it all. I feel more focused and energized and became pleasant to be around again…I also started gardening but I’ll save that for another time.
Cabal Esoteric – The Cabal brand isn’t a household name yet but if you have been paying attention to my social media accounts you know how much I’ve been digging the brand especially the Esoteric. Very familiar but very different as well. Sure, some well pronounced signature Davidoff notes but something more. Its like a Davidoff Special R with some edge and some flare. I don’t make many purchases outside of Drapers but this is one I had to track down.
La Calaveras by The Crowned Heads – The latest and greatest from our friends at The Crowned Heads and it sure is impressive. Complex and smooth throughout. I enjoyed the peppery heat that builds up over time thats masked by subtle sweet woodsiness. Beautiful looking cigar with great packaging, smokes even better than it looks. Again, I don’t make a lot of purchases outside of Drapers but this one, I’m glad I tracked them down. Get em while you can as they are limited.
Camacho Ecuador – It still remains true that I’m not a fan of the new Camacho bands. I get it, the bands are bold just like their cigars. The newest release from Camacho is the Camacho Ecuador. If you are looking for bold unique flavors; look no further than the Camacho Ecuador. Bold without being over the top. Peppery and smokey throughout with a hint of brightness (think citrus) to keep things interesting. Aroma is just as awesome with a wonderful bouquet of floral notes. A few years ago, I made mention that Camacho’s best days were behind them. Guess I’m eating crow now cause Camacho hit it out of the park with their new Camacho Ecuador.
The Big Payback by Room101 – A Room101 cigar for around $5? Surely you jest? I do not. My first one of these was after I had smoked the above Camacho Ecuador and it got lost in the Ecuador’s bold wake. The next day, first cigar, clean palate with a cup of coffee and we are talking a totally different animal. Strong woodsy core with a little power jabbing you throughout. Not bad Mr. Booth…in fact, hell of a job.
Tattoo by Tatuaje Cigars – I recorded my usual video interview with Pete when he was in DC back a few months back and he talked about the Tattoo. I know Pete has some video related things in the works and I didn’t want to put him in an awkward situation if publishing our video caused him any conflict, plus JerseyJay made me ask one uncomfortably morbid ass question. Anyway, the Tattoo is a solid medium bodied cigar with flavors that really click for me. Creamy cedar and dark cherry notes seem to be the core profile. Its a favorite of mine that I’m sure will be a crowd pleaser.
Whiskey Ink & Lace – As you can see from the above Tatuaje Tattoo picture the beard is still in full effect. Its going to be a tough summer. During the harsh winter I discovered beard oil and how the essential oils in them keep your beard moisturized and promotes healthy growth. Originally I was just using tea tree oil but then discovered the internet and the good folks at Whiskey Ink & Lace. I ordered their handcrafted ‘The Gent’ line of beard oil and beard balm as well as their beard shampoo bar (not pictured). Clean the beard with the shampoo bar, run a few drops of beard oil through it and finish off with a few pinches of beard balm and the beard is ready for a night of smoking cigars. I gotta say…chicks have been digging the softness and smokey woodsy aroma of my beard.