Band of Merry Men charter member and all-around SuperFriend Karl (Hi Karl!) says that "cigars are a mini-vacation." Exactly. (Unless you're with me and I'm hyper-caffeinated, and then it's more of an adventure vacation--no relaxation for you! Or anyone for that matter! Maybe I do get a tad psycho.** But that's a story for another blog post.)
The day Valentino and I received a package from Ventura Cigars, he gave me the "What did you buy now?" look, which is more excited than angry--you know, because those boxes generally contain cigars or cigar swag.***
I shrugged. I didn't think I'd bought anything, but who can ever say for sure? Besides American Express, that is.
This time? Ventura's Psyko Seven Maduro! Wheeee!
|What's in the box? What's in the fucking box?****|
5.5 x 50 robustos. That's what's in the box!
(Also, the name of the movie fits this cigar perfectly.)
Founded in 2006, Ventura Cigar Co. showcases a large portfolio of cigars, including Hugo Cassar, Cuban Rejects, Cuban Rounds, Pura Sangre, Pura Sangre Edicion 2012, Plasencia Organica Reserva, Estilo Cubano, PsyKo SEVEN, PsyKo SEVEN maduro, and Project 805.
Two years ago, the company updated their look, with a "killer website, and a renewed vision for the future of the company. We know there is a growing contingent of smoker out there just waiting to be the first to try the next big thing, to tell their story, and to be part of a larger social experience," according to that very company website.
It's like they know us! After all, we live and breathe social experience--hence the cigar shenanigans. Also, we're a wee bit nutty.
Some deets, for those of you here for actual information, not just aforementioned shenanigans:*****
Wrapper: San Andreas
Binder: Mexican Sumatra
Filler: Multiple Country Blend
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
When we arrived, I plopped into a comfy chair, joined soon after by another charter member and SuperFriend, Jim. (Hi Jim!) And then Karl made an appearance; both settled within the enclave as Valentino strolled back over. You'd think I'd shone a signal beacon in the sky and these kind gentlemen answered the call. Or serendipity happened. Either works for the story.
"You have to smoke these now," I told them in my most bossy way while thrusting cigars into their faces.******
One of them said he wanted to finish his current smoke. I gave him the stare and he rested the lit cigar on the ashtray.
Most fun thing ever to do? Give three people the same cigar but have them begin smoking at different times. Over the course of each cutting, toasting, and lighting, they all agreed about an aromatic taste in the beginning, as if the cigar were on its best behavior. After that, came "I taste a lot of pepper" from the first man (first man of the group, not the first man ever) to move beyond the aromaticness (an awesome made-up word, a word made up by me, who is awesome).
The remaining Band members shook their collective heads, looking at him as if he were crazy. "I'm not getting that," said Karl. We chatted about upcoming outings (Perhaps commandeering a boat and going deep sea fishing?) and then Valentino, admitted to the ward last, said, "I'm getting a lot of pepper."
|Perhaps a nice boat ride, gentlemen?|
This happened time and again, as if Jim, the first smoker touching flame to stick, was both Lewis and Clark.******* Or perhaps Randle Patrick McMurphy, leading the charge at a certain Oregon mental institution.
"I tried to knock the ash off and it wouldn't go," Karl pointed out. "That's a well-made cigar." True story. When you remove the cigar's straight jacket, you get something near perfection:
The Band mumbled about cedar and leather and other delicious notes as they worked their way through. Best part, though? As the first starter finished up, he noted "It's weirdly peppery again. But weird pepper." The others nodded, like he was a bit of a lunatic; how could something be weirdly peppery. It's either peppery or not.
But when Karl hit the same mark, he said, "Oh. Yes. Weirdly peppery." He achieved maximum pensiveness and literally held up a finger. "It's like a 9-volt battery on the tip of my tongue." Ah. Shock therapy. A few minutes later, the third and final member of the Band said, "Oh yeah" and grabbed at his tongue.) "Huh. That is weird." (I assume that's what he said, as he held his tongue as he spoke.) And then, because our hero is our hero, he went in for more.
Jim looked at his cigar nubbin. "It kept changing with every draw." He stuck a finger in his mouth and said around the roadblock, "And it was a real finger-burner." Warning: Expect a digit-scorching while trying to suck the ever-lovin' last drop of life from the cigar, not unlike sucking the ever-loving life out of McMurphy. (Ooops. Spoiler alert. But really, you must have seen this movie or read the book, right? Right?)
Valentino nodded. "That's why they call is Psyko."
We all nodded and uttered a collective "Ahhhh...Juicy Fruit." <--Not really. They just said, "Ahhhh," but I couldn't pass up an opportunity like that.
|For realz. This is one of the best scenes in the movie.|
And now, the sparkles:
*When I was a kid and my dad asked me to sweep the floor, I did a crappy job. Then I didn't have to do it again. You can call me crazy, but I prefer clever.
**I'm going to look like a genius in a couple of paragraphs for this reference.
***You know the stereotype where the woman shops and hides purchases and the guy gets mad and can't buy cigars and stuff because aforementioned woman hates that smell? We're the opposite. Complete and total opposite.
****I say this way too much, but in my head, it's hilarious every time. Also, hilarious is one of my new favorite words, right up there with blunderbuss and onomatopoeia. <--Didn't even have to look up the spelling. I love it THAT much. BOOM! <--If you know the definition of onomatopoeia, That, too, is hilarious.
*****I currently fancy myself the shenanigator, my new superhero name.
******Men hate this, right? Hahahahaa.
*******That makes me Sacagawea, I guess. But that's a terrible superhero name. With all these personalities, I'm being to look very Three Faces of Eve, which juuuussssttt happens to fit with the whole post's theme. If you need me, I'll be over here feeling smug.