Sunday, December 28, 2014

Camp Kristoff, Part the First

Not too long ago,* Glen Case (Hi Glen!), the head-honcho of Kristoff Cigars, visited Habanos, one of our favorite hang-outs, a place in our own back yard...

You remember Glen, right? We first met him at Havana Cigar Lounge in West Warwick, RI.
Havana owner Todd LaScola, our hero, and Glen Case.
Well, one night we were shenaniganning** over at Broadway Cigars at a Montecristo event and then later rolled closer to home, into Habanos. And there was Glen Case! It was like we walked into our own back yard and happily found a cool kid from a neighboring neighborhood! Yay!

Unlike the first time we hung around with him, which was an actual Kristoff event, whereby he was required to be an adult in full-adult mode; this time he had the relaxation cranked up to 11.

After we settled in, giving out lots of "hello" kisses, Valentino lit one of these delights, which we'd previously purchased at that Havana event:
The 685 Woodlawn, on the right.
That's the star of this show.
Glen stopped mid-sentence and said, "Where did you get that cigar?"

Valentino took the cigar from his mouth and looked at it, just to remind himself which delicious stick consumed his senses. "At the event in West Warwick," he said, making his way to the bar with Glen and Jarrid Trudeau (Hi Jarrid!), a cool dude in his own right and Kristoff's Northeast rep, to sit with me.

"That's my favorite stick," Glen said. "I don't even have any of those in my humidor at home."

Now if you must know, I have some mad internet skillz.*** So when Glen reiterated the lack of 685s, I hauled out my laptop and began a search.

Pretend I'm currently searching and during the lull, we'll cut away to a montage of information about this cigar:
  • The cigar's name comes from the house he grew up in. 685 Woodlawn in the suburbs of Chicago. See? That makes me love it already because you must know by now how much I love a good story. By the way, it's not the family homestead any more, but an ode to your first home? Awesomely cool. (As a side note, Mom and Dad? Don't plan on moving out of that house, especially to move to Florida, as all your peers have. Stay put.)
  • A small batch released in April-ish 2013, only 2,000 boxes of 10 were made.
  • The wrapper is from Brazil, binder from Nicaragua, and filler from Nicaragua, Dominican Republic, and a super secret place--maybe Oz? Santa's workshop? Brigadoon****? 
  • Comes in one size, the 6 1/2 x 60 perfecto--one of our favorite shapes!
  • I love love love this cigar. (I seem to have a real fondness for small batches, as if the more I know I can't get it, the more I want it. But that's pretty much the way of life, right?)
Glen and Valentino***** whooping it up.
Actually, they were discussion serious life things
while I challenged the mighty internets to a duel.
I won.
So within moments, I found a few boxes of the 685 available for purchase and gave Glen and Jarrid the info. I guess if I were a really good person, I would have bought him a box, and a box for  Of course I regret this now. Or I did! <--Blatant forshadowing.

That night Valentino smoked his one and only 685, filling my lungs with some serious sweetness with a background of pepper. Kind of like smelling and tasting the fruit pie Nana is making in the house while simultaneously inhaling the heavily-peppered steaks' smoke wafting from the neighbors' grill. If you could get both flavors in your face at the same time--the pepperiness, the fruitiness, and the creamy, buttery crust, you'd be experiencing the 685 Woodlawn.

The night over, we were left with some super fun memories of time with our Kristoff friends and the Kristoff cigars. Now the story should end there, but no, because there's another chapter to the story.

On our way to visit my son in West Virginia for the holidays, we accidentally drove by the most massive of cigar stores, Cigars International in Hamburg, PA. Come on, we were driving right by the exit. And we needed gas anyway...

Just a teeny tiny bit of the gigantean place!
Lousy picture by moi!

One of the first things we saw as we entered the store? (That foreshadowing comes into play now.) We saw this:
Oh my sweet darling...
We scooped these up and asked about more.  The very nice staff lady searched high and low, climbing ladders to look in way high cubbies and giving herself a headrush looking in the store's deep, dark crevices.  And know what? She found another box! That was some amazeballs customer service!  We took them and ran!

This isn't true. I held them close to myself, like a treasured Latin textbook****** and we slowly perused the entire store, twice.

We're heading home from our travels tomorrow and I hope on Tuesday we can do some more research with these, see if they will once again help me relive the long, slow, sunny days of a childhood summer--even if I am a grownup now (boo) and we've just entered a long winter (double boo). I may ask Valentino to bring two.

*Keeping in mind I have real issues with time passing quickly and not recognizing it.

**A real word in Penny World.

***Not nearly as good as my friend Shelagh, who could teach a master class, but still better than the average schmoe.

****One of my all-time favorite plays.

*****This picture is actually from later in the evening, when our hero had moved on to a different Kristoff cigar.

******I'm probably the only one who ever actually treasured a textbook, right? Especially a Latin one? Thought so. Just to let you know, I still have my high school Latin books.

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