Cigar Reviews – Marrero Costa Rican Bundle Cigars

Cigars can be a very expensive hobby indeed. With premium cigars in the double-digit dollars per stick range being very commonplace and triple-digits not unheard of, it can sure burn a hole through your wallet (pun fully intended). As such, it makes me glad to see manufacturers offering less expensive options in greater numbers.

One of the most recent additions to the budget market is the Marrero Costa Rican Bundles. Marrero is a brand that is known for quality and consistent cigars and is a brand I love so I was excited to see these. These cigars all feature a mixed filler (nothing wrong with that so long as the tobacco is quality) consisting of Nicaraguan, Peruvian and Dominican tobacco under a Habano binder, and one of three Ecuadorian wrapper options. They do not have bands on them as another cost saving feature. These sticks retail at about $4.10/stick for a 6″ x 52RG Toro size. Now, obviously at that price you shouldn’t expect anything just mind-blowing in terms of either body, complexity or strength. However, what you can expect is a quality everyday cigar that would be great with your morning coffee or a nice mid-day smoke on a budget.

I’m only going to give brief tasting notes on each one as none of them were incredibly complex and were consistent start to finish with no real transitions to speak of, but I will start with the commonalities between all three: all three featured perfect construction, an easy draw and very straight burn line. Each one burned about an average length for a Toro size – right around the 1 hour mark. Flavor profiles, however, were as different as night and day and are a testament as to how much a simple wrapper change can totally change the flavor of a cigar.

Maduro: The mildest of the three options, featuring a pleasant milk chocolate finish and smooth earthy finish and retrohale. Great stick for early in the morning with a nice gentle breakfast blend coffee.

Connecticut: A little more intense flavor than the Maduro, but still quite gentle at a mild/medium body. Zingy wood, leather and a sweet spicy vanilla round out the flavor package on this one, along with a bit of a black pepper on the nose. Also great with your morning coffee or as a companion to yard work or a day of golf

Habano: At a solid medium body, this is the fullest flavored of the three, and probably my personal favorite. It is one of the most creamy textured and flavored cigars I’ve ever had – it’s definitely the star of the show. This is supported by a rich toasted almond and a hot cinnamon on the retrohale. Almost a prototypical Habano Rosado experience but just dialed down a bit. Pair this one with a nice stout beer or a light, fruity red on the lines of a Pinot Noir.

If I had to nitpick anything, it’s the Connecticut and Habano are so close in color it’s very hard to tell them apart. Obviously I wouldn’t suggest adding a band and increasing the cost, but perhaps marking either a “C” or an “H” on the cellophane wrapper in which the bundles come in would be helpful.

One way or another, these are solid cigars for everyday smoking. I’ll definitely be keeping them in my wineador. Do yourself a favor and check these out if you’re looking for a great budget smoke.

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Scotch Review: Ardbeg Uigeadail

Tonight I’m bringing you all a Scotch review! Hope you enjoy and hope this gets your interest up!

This peated cask strength single malt comes from Ardbeg in the Islay region of Scotland. As with every cask strength whisky, it varies in ABV but this batch comes in at 54.2%.

Goldenrod color on the pour. Very peaty/smoky on the nose with tones of oak, toffee and a fruity note I can’t quite put my finger on – maybe honeydew melon? Attack is bold and hot with alcohol astringency, substantial peat, caramel and a hint of dark chocolate. Finish is very hot and white long with tones of smoke, orange zest and hot cinnamon.

A solid cask strength dram. Not my favorite but very good to have with a nice strong cigar. Had a Padron Delicias in Maduro when pairing for review but would do well with other similar sticks. Rating: 4.25/5.

First Post From macOS Mojave and First Impressions

So this is officially the first post from my computer after it got a nice little upgrade – macOS 10.14 codename “Mojave” was released yesterday and I’ve always been one to stay up to date with the latest and (sometimes not-so) greatest OS versions so I naturally jumped all over it.

So what are some stand-out features for me, the light-to-average user who occasionally does some heavy duty stuff? Well the first thing I noticed after installation was how much faster the boot sequence was. Though not nearly as fast as the new Macs with either solid state drives of PCIe storage, my Mid-2012 13″ MacBook Pro (with aftermarket 320GB SATA hard drive, 2.5 GHz Dual Core i5 and 8 GB RAM) booted up in a reasonable amount of time, compared to High Sierra which I dreaded doing cold boots from as it took forever.

I also noted some very definite performance gains – Apple seems to have lightened the operating system quite a bit. The responsiveness of my computer is much better and I’m not stuck staring at that dreaded pinwheel hardly at all. Looking at my SystemPal, it seems like the “wired” RAM (i.e. the part that is used by the OS’s base operation) stays well below 2 GB constantly:

Screen Shot 2018-09-25 at 3.38.42 PM

Compare this to the high 2.x to low 3.x range from High Sierra. This probably speaks to a majority of the performance gains.

For other features, Siri seems to be a little more refined and the native Apple apps have been updated to be compatible with what is in my opinion the coolest feature of this iteration, which we will get to in a minute. Before I get there though, I will say I also absolutely love “stacks” – it brings the functionality of stacks/groups that is found in iOS to macOS. It really helps keep clutter down, which is what makes this so nifty.

Now, before I get to the greatest feature of this OS, I think I should first talk about what annoys me. The big annoyance is that Safari still sucks the big one. Safari has always sucked, but it REALLY sucked in High Sierra. Every time I would try to launch it the computer would freeze. I don’t have that problem here but it does still take a big performance hit and it’s slow and clunky as always. As such, I’ll continue to use alternative browsers. I typically use Chrome for everyday use with Firefox for my 3D CAD software as Chrome just doesn’t run it smoothly but Firefox is a CPU hog so it’s not a good option for “light-to-medium” browsing. The other thing is that it still has the lackluster dock of 10.10 on. I miss the 3D Dock that was in OS X 10.9 and earlier. Not a huge deal as I use cDock to theme the dock.

So with that, the moment you’ve all been waiting for! What’s the greatest feature about macOS Mojave? Here it is…

THE NEW DARK THEME!!!!

Screen Shot 2018-09-25 at 5.39.12 PM

Isn’t that absolutely awesome? It’s so much easier on the eyes and it just looks cool. Dark background on light lettering? It’s a thing of beauty. I absolutely loved this sort of lighting scheme when Google debuted it on YouTube – I now run that in dark mode in all my browsers so its’ good to see Apple incorporate the same look into their OS. This would have been worth the upgrade alone, but of course everything else adds some icing to it.

So would I recommend upgrading? If you’re running High Sierra it’s a no-brainer. High Sierra is to Apple as Vista was to Microsoft – it was absolutely terrible in every way (bloated, slow, ugly, clunky, resource hog, etc.).  For earlier versions of Mac OS X/macOS; probably not a huge jump but the eye candy is quite nice.

Please keep in mind I’m not a tech expert so my words should be taken with a grain of salt, but for me, I quite like this change.

Song Lyric Sunday 9/23/18 – Long Day Coming

So all of the songs that first came to mind with the word “sleep” were songs I’d already featured on Song Lyric Sunday and all but one of those songs are by a band I’ve featured way too often here, and I could easily feature another one by said band that has not been featured here yet, but as I did them last week I’m going different.

This was the next song that came to mind for me, almost a country lullaby as it were. As part of a “blended family” myself as well as my nephew being a blended family child, this song hits me kind of hard in the feels. It’s a beautiful song and one that is often overlooked on this album.

Here then is the song “Long Day Coming” off of the album Past the Point of Rescue by Hal Ketchum (written by himself and Gary Scott Burr).


Close your eyes, you’ve got a long day comin’
Your mama will be callin’, that old rooster will crow
Close your eyes, you’ve got a long day comin’
You should have been sleepin’ a long time ago

There are certain things in life
That do not go the way we plan them
There are mysteries to Love
You’re too young to understand them

These are not tears
Just smoke in my eyes
Smoke from the bridges
I’m burning tonight

Close your eyes, you’ve got a long day comin’
Your mama will be callin’, that old rooster will crow
Close your eyes, you’ve got a long day comin’
You should have been sleepin’ a long time ago

Guess it’s time to say goodnight
I’ve sung you every song I know
Let me stand and watch you dream
One more time before I go

Tomorrow you’ll wake
And you’ll wonder why
There’s so many miles
Between you and I

Close your eyes, you’ve got a long day comin’
Your mama will be callin’, that old rooster will crow
Close your eyes, you’ve got a long day comin’
You should have been sleepin’ a long time ago

Close your eyes, you’ve got a long day comin’
You should have been sleepin’ a long time ago
Source: https://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/halketchum/longdaycomin.html

Wow, been awhile since I’ve listened to that song. Forgot how hard it hits me.

Song Lyric Sunday 9/16/18 – Watch Me Bleed

“Glass” – a rather unorthodox theme for our weekly Song Lyric Sunday challenge. Of course, my default choice would have been the song I chose for the “goodbye/farewell” theme, namely “The Parting Glass” so I decided to get a little metaphorical.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve never bled quite as much as I have when I cut myself on a shard of broken glass. Lately it seems my soul has been bleeding like a cut from a shard of broken glass; I just can’t catch a break. Of course, it also doesn’t help that I’m still seeping blood and excess ink from two fresh tattoos that I got yesterday so my thoughts were almost directed toward bleeding.

So with my soul being cut my a shard of metaphorical glass and bleeding, I’m choosing this song. Here then is “Watch Me Bleed” – a 1983 song off of the album The Hurting, the breakout album by a certain duo hailing from Bath, England that you should come to expect to find here and written by some dude whose initials are RO.
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Yeah, them again. Sorry, I know you must be tired of them by now.


Heaven comes to he who waits
But I know I’m getting nowhere
And all the deeds of yesterday
Have really helped to pave my way
Though there’s no one near me now
How come everyone can touch me
You see the torture on my brow
Relates to neither here nor now

Watch me bleed, bleed forever
Watch me bleed, bleed forever
Although my face is straight, it lies
My body feels the pain and cries

Here the table is not bare
I am full but feeling empty
For all the warmth it feels so cold
For one so young I feel so old

Watch me bleed, bleed forever
Watch me bleed, bleed forever
It’s not allowed to be unkind
But still the hate lives in my mind

I’ll make no noise, I’ll hide my pain
I’ll close my eyes, I won’t complain
I’ll lie right back and take the blame
And try to tell myself I’m living
And when it’s all been said or done
Where do I go? Where do I run?
What’s left of me or anyone
When we’ve denied the hurting?

And when it’s all been said or done
Where do I go? Where do I run?
What’s left of me or anyone
When we’ve denied the hurting?

Watch me bleed, bleed forever
Watch me bleed, bleed forever
And all the deeds of yesterday
Have really helped to pave my way

Watch me bleed, bleed forever
Watch me bleed, bleed forever
And all the deeds of yesterday
Have really helped to pave my way
Source: https://genius.com/Tears-for-fears-watch-me-bleed-lyrics

New Ink: Race Day Double Header!!!

I have been dying for some new ink lately. It’s been entirely too long – almost 6 months. I longed to feel the sweet sting and the rush that goes with it.

Well, I got a little more than what I bargained for today – not only one, but TWO new tattoos in one sitting. It took some mental focus to get through it but at the end of the day I came out with a matched set of tattoos that show my love of racing – one NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series stock car and one Verizon IndyCar Series open wheel car – each dedicated to my favorite drivers in their respective series – Martin Truex Jr. and James Hinchcliffe.

This was the first time I’ve ever done two tattoos in one day. I must say Jade was a real trouper too, staying focused to the very end. I can’t imagine how hard it was on her too. Needless to say she got a very generous tip.

What will I get next? Who knows, but you know I’m already bouncing ideas in my head. It’s a never ending cycle.