Iron and Wine

I love American Folk Music, especially when it’s done well. Iron and Wine is one of those where it’s close to perfect. It’s still flawed – from what I’ve heard there’s a bit much in repetition – but the potential is there. The man has a tendency to say, “This is a cool guitar lick” but then runs it over and over and over and sings to it. While not bad, the variance is in his voice, it sometimes makes the songs drag a bit. I would suggest listening to the previews on amazon.

I hate to admit it, but I heard him in the prom scene in TWILIGHT. Kelly loved it, I think it’s a cute but fairly strange Mormon fairy tale. (Protip: The vampires are the angels who chose to live among humans, the American Indians being called dogs is a slur, the rest is left as an exercise to the reader).

The song in TWILIGHT is Flightless Bird, American Mouth which isn’t his best work. Belated Promise Ring really shows off his stuff, but the band is only one guy, so he has to play all the instruments and harmonize with himself. He does have some free downloads on his site, I would suggest checking it out.

Buying Cigar Seconds

I recently, for $35, got Rocky Patel seconds and La Aurora seconds. I’m actually not sure about the La Aurora ones because the guy at the shop said he didn’t know the SKU, but “that’s where they’re supposed to be!” I’m almost 100% sure they are not la aurora cigars, the size, shape, look and base flavors are all wrong.

OK. Whatever. For the price, I can throw out 2/3rds of them and still be happy.

Both of these happened to be on the dry side, which I take is because they sat out somewhere before they were bundled and sold. This review should also serve as a cautionary tale. And, just because these are seconds from Rocky Patel or La Aurora, please don’t take them as an indication of the common quality of the individual brands. If you’re buying seconds, they should be for a party, or friends, or any other channel where there’s going to be disbursement and you don’t want to shell out $100 for a box. These are “party cigars”, for a party I’ve got planned, but I didn’t want to buy generic crap I knew would be terrible.

The cigars come in a bundle which is tightly wrapped (hence the humidification issues) without humidification device enclosed. I’m told this is standard, but tightly wrapping them drives out the moisture. They also come unlabeled, but the Rocky Patel seconds had the trademark CHOCOLATE scent. I cut up some labels I had laying around to label the cigars. The La Auroras may or may not be seconds. To be frank, I think the SKU was wrong because they don’t really smell or taste like La Auroras. Not even close. The Rocky Patel ones you can tell are RPs from the scent and appearance.

La Aurora Frauds – Starts out tasting like trash the first third, if you let it go slowly this quickly goes really light and sweet, but then quickly turns back into trash for the last third.

Rocky Patel Seconds – Tastes like a Rocky Patel. No major complaints except that the burn is really uneven on the one I tried. The chocolate taste is there, but subdued. In fact, I think I like the seconds more than I like their actual offering because it tastes like… tobacco with chocolate rather than CHOCOLATE. I realize it’s not the effect he was going for.

So, now I’m left with 24 cigars of each I plan on bringing to a party of average quality, the fakie La Auroras need a ton of time in the humidor since they brought the RH down to 60% (probably why it tastes like trash), but the Rocky’s are a good solid choice. (Tossed three for smelling weird). Incidentally I decided to take advantage of the dryness of the LA counterfeits and try dipping. I took some black cherry rum, put a bit into a shotglass, and dipped the tip. The result was a nice cherry taste which later gave way to caramel. Not bad. If these LA fakies don’t improve before the party, they’ll be dippers.