the punisher

Last post 12-29-2010, 6:28 PM by Hays. 34 replies.
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  • the punisher

     12-27-2010, 5:31 PM

    CLICK

    interesting.
    in this link there was the quote:
    "A 100% ligero cigar could not stay lit without the combustibility of additional lower priming leaves"

    this is only partially true.
    the MoW armada is almost all ligero.
    what about the Cain?
    age and fermentation can hlep as well.
    i understand that there may be issues but saying it could not stay lit is not quite true.

    beyond that, is there a point where there is too much power? dont get me wrong, i love a strong cigar and i will probably buy this stick when it comes out but where will it end?

    i hope the trend for ultra full cigars fades away soon. too many people are missing out of very good cigars because they are buying cigars for the hype.
    Kuzi's Forum links page
  • Re: the punisher

     12-27-2010, 5:45 PM

    Not sure what you mean by it being only partially true; the MOW Armada has a viso binder, so it's not 100% ligero (this kinda gets me wondering - what's the cut-off for ligero : non-ligero to get combustion?)

    Reading the article some more, I'm kinda on the fence about this. While I'm interested in trying this, I agree with you a lot in that I'm wondering if they're pushing the envelope just for the sake of pushing it, and not for the sake of making a quality cigar - like they're just blending it to prove it could be done, y'know? Although the review said it was "smooth and complex", I seriously doubt the reviewer would've been invited to preview this cigar, or any cigar ever again, if he had said "This thing tastes like goat's ass"
    beyond that, is there a point where there is too much power? dont get me wrong, i love a strong cigar and i will probably buy this stick when it comes out but where will it end?

    i hope the trend for ultra full cigars fades away soon. too many people are missing out of very good cigars because they are buying cigars for the hype.
    +1. One of the reasons I mostly stick to Ccom forums is that a lot of the BOTL's here accept it when I say I don't care for most full-bodied cigars (there are a few I love, but for the most part, I stick to medium or mild). On most forums when I post something like that, I either get teased or told to "man up", like my taste isn't valid because they don't match up with someone elses. I understand a lot of guys like full-bodied cigars, but like you said, there are a lot who just smoke them for the hype and miss out on some amazing cigars as a result



    Question, challenge, and always keep a fresh battery in your bullshit detector

    I want to be candid with you, for candor is a compliment, it speaks of trust and assumes good faith.
  • Re: the punisher

     12-27-2010, 5:47 PM

    xmacro:
    Not sure what you mean by it being only partially true; the MOW Armada has a viso binder, so it's not 100% ligero (this kinda gets me wondering - what's the cut-off for ligero : non-ligero to get combustion?)
    could the MoW used a ligero binder if that Ligero was aged or fermented in a different way? maybe if it was cured in a different way? if time was not a factor could it happen? it may be true that a 100% ligero wont stay lit, it may not be.

    Kuzi's Forum links page
  • Re: the punisher

     12-27-2010, 5:51 PM

    ah, I get what you're saying - it'd definitely be interesting to find out if it could be done.

    Question, challenge, and always keep a fresh battery in your bullshit detector

    I want to be candid with you, for candor is a compliment, it speaks of trust and assumes good faith.
  • Re: the punisher

     12-27-2010, 5:53 PM

    with the trip you have coming up Kuz, I hope you are writing these questions down haha. I know there are a lot of us here that are very interested in this topic
    GO 'CUSE!!!

    Heavy:
    3. Tell your dog you'll quit smoking cigars when he quits licking his a$$. That'll knock him off his high horse.


    "If I paid $10 for a cigar, first I'd make love to it, then I'd smoke it."
    -- George Burns
  • Re: the punisher

     12-27-2010, 5:56 PM

    i bet Alex will have a better understanding of this than i would.
    once we get into the physical rolling part of cigars i have very little experience. i know what i read. i have yet to see it or try it in real life
    Kuzi's Forum links page
  • Re: the punisher

     12-27-2010, 6:31 PM

    As I understand it, the Cain (especially the F) has tobacco that they fermented 3x. I'm thinking its a major part of the reason why it tastes and burn so well.
    " Long ashes my friends."
  • Re: the punisher

     12-27-2010, 6:43 PM

    I love full-bodied cigars but Kuzi's right, where will it all end? I'm betting that it will continue on and on and cigars will get fuller and fuller, utilizing whatever method or seed they can configure in order to take it even further.

    For example (that has nothing to do with cigars but it's analogous), take hot sauce: I also love hot sauce but there are sauces out there that are so freakin' hot that I doubt anybody truly "likes" them. They're not flavorful or complementary to the food at all, they're just mouth burning hot. I think there will be cigars just like this some day.
    Favorites are in my bio
  • Re: the punisher

     12-27-2010, 7:07 PM

    Funny you guys found that article. Arthur, the owner of that site was down in Nicaragua with me when I showed him the punisher. to answer your questions as best I can, yes you can make a 100% ligero cigar but it is difficult for a number of reasons so people almost always use some sort of seco or viso, especially for the binder. If is hard working with ligero binder. You want to pick a binder for its cumpustion and pliability so people like visos and secos for that reason exactly. Cain is 88% ligero I believe. Anyway, here are some reasons you dont want to use all ligero,

    #1 - Combustion. Ligero burns very slow and has a tendency to go out. If you wrap it with some secos and visos they help keep the ligero lit. Ligero does become more combustable as it ferments because the very nature of the fermentation is break down many of the leafs components which make the leaf thinner and easier to burn. That is why so many all ligero cigars talk about how long each leaf is fermented. Ligero also tends to retain moisture more than other primings. That moisture, on the leaf combined with the thickness if not fermented enough may make uncombustable all together. A lot of guys swear by storing their stronger, more ligero intensive cigars at a lower RH as they think it burns better and even tastes better. There is a scientific reason for it, it absorbs moisture. Think of the number of heavy ligero cigars you have stored at 70%+ rh. Did it burn wet and feel overly soft? Did it go out on you? Did it burn sideways? Mabe you had some full bodied smokes in your humidor and you let the humidity get a little too high... did the wrapper crack? The ligero in any cigar is in the centermost part of the filler bunch. Lots of ligero in the bunch = lots of moisture absorbtion which can make the tobacco expand and the cigar stretches the wrapper until it cracks. Lots of people often ask why their wrapper cracks with rapid humidity change, this is it.

    #2 - Balance. Ligeros make for dominant flavors and it can be very hard for a blender to maintain the balance of the competing aromas and flavors.

    #3 - Price. Ligero is very expensive as you know.

    Here is a little cigar exercise for anyone interested in learning. Lets say a roller is making a cigar and for sake of argument, it has wrapper viso jalapa nicaragua, binder seco Copan Honduras, filler 40% seco dominican olor, 30% viso esteli and 30% Ligero Jamastran honduras. The buncher will start by laying a leaf of Dominican seco in his non dominant hand flat with a slight fold on one side. This is called the base leaf and when you unroll a cigar, it sometimes looks like a second binder but is really part of the filler. They will then take the next leaf of Dominican seco and fold it into an accordian and place it in the center of his hand. they will then take the viso and fold that into an accordian and try to bunch in part inside the seco and part outside (as much inside the seco as possible). Lastly they will fold the ligero into an accordian and bunch it right in the ver center then start to grip their hands to start to round the bunch and and stuff it more or less. They then break any excess from the top off and file those broken short pieces into the center again. they then roll this in one big binder leaf to hold the bunch together. With the binder on, it has a round "cigar shape". The goal here is to have the thinnest tobaccos on the outside of the bunch and heaviest, thickest leaves in the exact center. The cigar burns hottest at its center so you want the list combustable tobaccos in the hottest spot. It all depends on the blend but even with the ligero in the center, it will still often burn slower despite being the hottest. Ever wonder why a cigar burns like a cone on the foot? This is the reason why, while hotter, the center leaves are actually burning slower giving it the shape. If a buncher were to make a bunch the exact opposite (with the heavy stuff outside and thin stuff inside) you will get what many folks commonly refer to as tunneling where the center leaves burn much faster. So as you can see, here in lies the challenge with all ligero filler or any filler that is all one priming really, you run the risk that the leaves will burn at different rates based on where they are in the cigar and you can end up with all kinds of burn problems. this is just a brief 101, there is a lot more to it than that but you get the idea. Next time you have a broken cigar or something you cant smoke and would throw out, take it apart. Once you take off the wrapper and binder and peel back the base leaf, gently pull the bunch apart. The dark, heavy attractive stuff in the center is the ligero. I just finished a cigar 101 video I will put live in a few weeks that demostrates this.

    On the punisher, this item will be released this spring. there is a sampler on the back of our next catalog which hits homes in a week called the "full bodied tapout" sampler which actually has a pre release in it as one of the 10 cigars. I cant go into much detail about how the cigars are made as they protect the process but it has an interesting, spicy flavor. Honestly, I cant smoke them personally, not because of the body, I just cant handle the spiciness or the heat. That said, a lot of guys that have smoked it thus far have really liked it.

    Alex Svenson
    Chief Merchant
    Cigar.com
  • Re: the punisher

     12-27-2010, 7:18 PM

    ^ One of many reasons I LOVE the Ccom forums - the insider knowledge and posts like this that give us newbies and amateurs a look into the world of cigar blending.

    Question, challenge, and always keep a fresh battery in your bullshit detector

    I want to be candid with you, for candor is a compliment, it speaks of trust and assumes good faith.
  • Re: the punisher

     12-27-2010, 7:26 PM

    xmacro:
    ^ One of many reasons I LOVE the Ccom forums - the insider knowledge and posts like this that give us newbies and amateurs a look into the world of cigar blending.
    No doubt! This is like a sailing forum where Dennis Connor keeps posting!
    Favorites are in my bio
  • Re: the punisher

     12-27-2010, 7:35 PM

    bigharpoon:
    I love full-bodied cigars but Kuzi's right, where will it all end? I'm betting that it will continue on and on and cigars will get fuller and fuller, utilizing whatever method or seed they can configure in order to take it even further.

    For example (that has nothing to do with cigars but it's analogous), take hot sauce: I also love hot sauce but there are sauces out there that are so freakin' hot that I doubt anybody truly "likes" them. They're not flavorful or complementary to the food at all, they're just mouth burning hot. I think there will be cigars just like this some day.
    I can safely say we are at the end of the strength frontier when it comes to using only ligero. the only way to make a cigar stronger will be actually not fully ferment the tobacco fully. They call this crude tobacco. It will be extremely strong and tannic. While it would kick your ass in the strength department, a byproduct of unfinished tobacco is that it will not burn and have a very acrid taste. I actually know a few people that like the flavor which is a head scratcher but to each their own.

    I have followed trends in this industry for a while now and I think the ultra full bodied thing is a fad. The one thing all cigar smokers like is flavor and a rich, full flavored cigar is where it is at. It is easier to make a cigar with a rich flavor in a full bodied format because the tobaccos themselves have more flavor and thickness. That said, there are some great mild cigars with a rich flavor. La Fontana is one, MOW Virtue, Gurkha Symphony to name a few. the issue is too many people confuse body and flavor. They think they want strength and seek out full bodied cigars (when really a lot of the time it is the flavor that comes with it that they like). As the palate progresses and smokers find what they like, they actually will digress a bit in strength and find they actually enjoy some of the milder cigars just as much as they train their palate some to differentiate the difference between flavor and body.

    I have a theory on how a smokers palate progresses over time. Most often they will start by trying and enjoying less intimidating blends. Mild up to medium as they master the art of smoking and the action itself. Drawing, swirling, using the nose. They are not able to differentiate the flavors but rather are able to identify a cigar as one they like or dislike and make some generalizations about the overall flavor but have a hard time picking up individual components. Now the smoker tries ventures into stronger territory, more medium and medium to full bodied cigars. By now he has the basics down on how to smoke and falls in love with all new blends and brands (cursing that he filled his humidor up with all that mild stuff). By now the flavors are more pronounced and through experience, the smoker can more easily identify nuances and things like finish and competing aromas. At this point you know what flavor is, you know what you like and you cant get enough of it. You try everything and really develop a taste for full bodied cigars as you seek out richer and richer flavors. After this stage, you have sworn off mild cigars but then the day comes that you light up a medium or medium to full bodied cigar and you swear it is the best you have ever had. At this time, you realize that the flavor you thought you were detecting was merely the training wheels on the bike. The training wheels are off and you are riding by yourself. You detect all the richness you love in your full bodied blends but in a smooth and non overwhelming format. The lighter body allows allows you palate to zero on literally dozens of aspects in cigars you never thought existed. Now you pick up some rich mild cigars, maybe even stuff you thought you no longer liked and threw out years ago and find new characteristics you never thought the cigar had. You go back to some lesser strength favorites then back to some full bodied. Holy *** you say, you are now pulling even more richness out of the full bodied stuff!! Now you buy a big cabinet humidor, your wife leaves you because you spent your retirement money on cigars and you are really off the races LOL. In all seriousness though, from here a smoker does settle in on what he really likes the most. Could be medium, could be mild and could be full. That said, while the lock in on a strength profile they like, the dont smoke it exclusively. they appreciate some cigars or brands at all strength levels because they have mastered the concept of "flavor". For example, I prefer medium to full or full bodied cigars as my regular smoke of choice but there are some mild and medium smokes in the humi for when the occasion calls for one. Cigars I think have every bit as much flavor as some of my full bodied favorites. I want to go on record now having said all this that this is a major generalization that I think pertains to many smokers but certainly not all and this theory is based solely on my observations over many years. It is also my experience that this progression takes on different forms and different intervals for each person. Some people progress right to full bodied cigars in a matter of weeks and some stay in the initial stages much longer. There are not certainties in this hobby nor rules. Everyone is different. That said, I do believe that the idea of mastering flavor is really the pinnacle of cigar enjoyment. Frankly, it is hard to describe in words. It uses all the senses. For those who may not know what I am talking about, I cant describe for you exactly what it is like, but I will tell you, you will know the day you "get it". It is like an epiphany. You will literally go back and resmoke every cigar you have already tried and it will be like you never smoked it before. It did not happen for me until 2003 really.

    Alex Svenson
    Chief Merchant
    Cigar.com
  • Re: the punisher

     12-27-2010, 8:56 PM

    Alex Svenson:
    I have a theory on how a smokers palate progresses over time. Most often they will start by trying and enjoying less intimidating blends. Mild up to medium as they master the art of smoking and the action itself. Drawing, swirling, using the nose. They are not able to differentiate the flavors but rather are able to identify a cigar as one they like or dislike and make some generalizations about the overall flavor but have a hard time picking up individual components. Now the smoker tries ventures into stronger territory, more medium and medium to full bodied cigars. By now he has the basics down on how to smoke and falls in love with all new blends and brands (cursing that he filled his humidor up with all that mild stuff). By now the flavors are more pronounced and through experience, the smoker can more easily identify nuances and things like finish and competing aromas. At this point you know what flavor is, you know what you like and you cant get enough of it. You try everything and really develop a taste for full bodied cigars as you seek out richer and richer flavors. After this stage, you have sworn off mild cigars but then the day comes that you light up a medium or medium to full bodied cigar and you swear it is the best you have ever had. At this time, you realize that the flavor you thought you were detecting was merely the training wheels on the bike. The training wheels are off and you are riding by yourself. You detect all the richness you love in your full bodied blends but in a smooth and non overwhelming format. The lighter body allows allows you palate to zero on literally dozens of aspects in cigars you never thought existed. Now you pick up some rich mild cigars, maybe even stuff you thought you no longer liked and threw out years ago and find new characteristics you never thought the cigar had. You go back to some lesser strength favorites then back to some full bodied. Holy *** you say, you are now pulling even more richness out of the full bodied stuff!! Now you buy a big cabinet humidor, your wife leaves you because you spent your retirement money on cigars and you are really off the races LOL.
    this is my experience EXACTLY.
    I sat here reading this bit and i was wondering how you got into my head.

    it explains my new found love for Davidoff cigars, the JdN Cabinetta, and my rekindled love for CAO gold.
    all of those i would have turned my nose up at just two years ago for not having enough power behind them.
    Alex Svenson:
    I do believe that the idea of mastering flavor is really the pinnacle of cigar enjoyment. Frankly, it is hard to describe in words. It uses all the senses. For those who may not know what I am talking about, I cant describe for you exactly what it is like, but I will tell you, you will know the day you "get it". It is like an epiphany. You will literally go back and resmoke every cigar you have already tried and it will be like you never smoked it before. It did not happen for me until 2003 really.
    for me it was in 2008 and i was smoking a Zino Classic.
    I cant believe how much more i smoke since then.
    it may even explain why i dont like to review as much as i used to. i cannot explain what i taste in words. even very recent reviews do not explain what i understand by smoking that cigar.



    seriusly, im not trying to suck up here, but this is just about the most amazing post i have ever read on any forum ever.
    Kuzi's Forum links page
  • Re: the punisher

     12-27-2010, 9:02 PM

    Alex Svenson:
    The goal here is to have the thinnest tobaccos on the outside of the bunch and heaviest, thickest leaves in the exact center. The cigar burns hottest at its center so you want the list combustable tobaccos in the hottest spot. It all depends on the blend but even with the ligero in the center, it will still often burn slower despite being the hottest. Ever wonder why a cigar burns like a cone on the foot? This is the reason why, while hotter, the center leaves are actually burning slower giving it the shape. If a buncher were to make a bunch the exact opposite (with the heavy stuff outside and thin stuff inside) you will get what many folks commonly refer to as tunneling where the center leaves burn much faster. So as you can see, here in lies the challenge with all ligero filler or any filler that is all one priming really, you run the risk that the leaves will burn at different rates based on where they are in the cigar and you can end up with all kinds of burn problems.
    does this have more or less impact in crating the cone than the speed at witch one smokes?

    it doesnt matter what blend i smoke, i almost never have a cone. I have always attributed this to how slow i smoke the cigar in comparison to my friends that have always had a very prominent cone.



    Kuzi's Forum links page
  • Re: the punisher

     12-27-2010, 9:08 PM

    Thanks for all the information on this Alex. This cigar seems rather interesting to say the least, well for me anyway. I agree though, I think this "let's make this cigar the strongest" is a fad. I am down for giving them a whirl however I have yet to find any of these supposedly strong cigars really deliver.

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