Onyx Reserve Toro | Cigar Review

Onyx Reserve Toro | Cigar Review

This entry is part 1 of 3 in the series Cigars & BDSM

Occasionally enjoying a good cigar has become a guilty pleasure of mine here at House Samadhi.  It started last August, when friends of ours held a D/s cigar smoking demo.

To be honest, I wasn’t originally planning to attend.  I have a history with tobacco.  I smoked cigarettes from 1984 until 2000, and quitting was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done.  Not wanting to return to addiction in any form, it seemed prudent to avoid the whole thing.

At the time, I was in hot pursuit of a new submissive, a lady named Eva Kaye.  Kaye wanted to attend the event, and I wanted to play with her.  So, despite the fact that the cigar demo came right on the heels of Twisted Tryst, Serafina and I attended with our friend Kaye.

It was a great event.  ProfCedar and RocketGrl (our friend’s FetLife names) put on a great demo.  It was interesting and informative, not to mention putting cigar service into a D/s context for me.  When it came time for attendees to sample a cigar for themselves, I decided to go ahead and partake.  I enjoyed the experience immensely.

onyx-reserve-cigarsThe relationship with Kaye didn’t work out, but the new relationship I formed with cigars did.  When the weather is nice outside, I enjoy a cigar once a week.  When it’s not so nice, I smoke far less frequently, primarily on long car rides, as I don’t like smoking inside my house unless the windows are open.

So, being relatively new to occasionally enjoying a fine cigar, and not being a true cigar aficionado, I can’t say that my cigar reviews are going to be definitive.  Far from it in fact.  I know my smoking palate is not highly developed, and I’ve only sampled a relative handful of cigar varieties, but I am a man who knows what he likes.

What I do have is well developed taste buds, as I used to be a chef.  I cook everything to taste, always have, and always will.  So my descriptions of a cigar’s flavor might not be standard, but instead will just be my own impressions, the best I can relate.

With that in mind, I’d like to share my thoughts on a cigar that I just enjoyed, an Onyx Reserve Toro.

Onyx Reserve

Onyx Reserve Toro – Review

Onyx-reserve-cigars-gen2For starters, since I haven’t written up an introduction to cigars and D/s, I should point out the cigar’s name is Onyx Reserve.  Toro is simply a term used to describe the cigar’s size and shape of manufacture.  The cigar I smoked for this review was a gift from ProfCedar and RocketGrl, many thanks to them for the present.

The Onyx Reserve Toro comes from the Dominican Republic.  My research indicates that the cigar was created at the Tobacalera de Garcia factory, and that it is distributed in the US by Altadis USA.  The binder is Nicaraguan in origin, while the filler is a mix of Dominican, Nicaraguan and Peruvian tobaccos.

My first obvious observation is that the Onyx Reserve is a very darkly colored cigar, it reminds me of dark chocolate.  The dark and rich color is due to the cigar’s Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro wrapper.  Beyond the color, the second thing I noticed was that the cigar is very dense and tightly wrapped.

The cigar is “square pressed” so it’s not perfectly round.  Essentially, the Onyx Reserve Toro’s are pressed firmly into their shipping box, giving them a more square profile.

It’s hard for me to describe the unlit aroma of the Onyx Reserve cigar.  In part that’s because I’ve not had a lot experience trying to convert my olfactory sense to words.  I also need more experience with comparison between brands as well.

With those caveats aside, the unlit Onyx Reserve has a delightful aroma.  It’s rich and earthy, with a hint of leathery undertones, and a touch of sweetness.  Of all the various cigars I’ve sampled, this one has been the best fresh out of the wrapper.  Very nice.

Although it torched up beautifully, the Onyx Reserve was more than a little bit difficult to drag, especially at first.  That’s simply because the cigar was wrapped so tightly and so dense.  After it was lit, I found myself actually cutting the cap a second time, in an attempt to get it to draw better.  If this helped any, it was marginal.

I discovered that the cigar got easier to draw as I smoked.  After it had warmed up and been smoked a little, the Onyx Reserve it seemed to loosen up just enough to pull right.  I’ve since read that a cigar spike could have likely solved my problem with the cigar’s draw.

The Onyx Reserve burnt evenly and beautifully, ash was white and dense. Unlike the cigar’s flavor when smoked, the smoke it put off as it burned was very light and mild.  It stayed together well, despite some rough handling and a touch of chewing as I smoked.  Yes, I gave my stogie the sadistic treatment, and it just asked for more!

The cigar’s flavor was rich and robust.  The Onyx Reserve is a very full flavored cigar.  There was a strong spicy character to the cigar, on my tongue it reminded me a little bit of the herb cilantro’s bite.  The hint of leather I sensed in the unlit cigar also was present in the smoke.  Serafina, who often asks for a puff or two to taste the cigars I smoke, thought that there was also a sweetness, like an undertone of molasses.  The flavor of the Onyx Reserve got stronger and stronger as it went.  The strong spicy bite on my tongue grew with time, becoming more complex and satisfying the longer I smoked.

Because of it’s dense construction, my cigar seemed to burn forever, the Toro I smoked lasted well over an hour.

Onyx Reserve

conclusions

I generally tend toward milder cigars overall, but am learning to enjoy more fuller flavored varieties as I explore.  Overall, I tend towards sweeter cigars too.  What can I say?  This dominant has a sweet tooth.

The Onyx Reserve Toro I smoked was undoubtedly an exception to those rules.  It was a very satisfying smoke.  Complex, strong, and satisfying, this particular cigar seemed to share a lot of qualities with a good dominant.  Somehow that seems perfectly appropriate for my first cigar review . . .

Onyx Reserve

cigar-wallpaper-onyx-reserve

Drew Estate’s Natural Dirt Torpedo | Cigar Review

Drew Estate’s Natural Dirt Torpedo | Cigar Review

This entry is part 2 of 3 in the series Cigars & BDSM

As I said in my previous cigar review, occasionally enjoying a quality cigar has become a guilty pleasure of mine.

It started last August, when friends ProfCedar and rocketgrl put together a D/s cigar smoking demo.

The rest, as they say, is history.

I now own a pair of humidors.  I smoke three or four cigars in a good week.  In a “bad” week, my consumption could be five or six, especially if there’s lots of thinking to do.

The last long weekend at the kinky kabin I carried in 6 full sized cigars and a dozen smaller sized infused cigars from a pair of CAO Flavours Sampler Boxes.  Yes, there’s lots and lots of thinking to do these days.  That’ll happen with new relationships that are complicated by children, not to mention a spouse, who may become an ex-spouse against his own wishes.

Did I say I had lots of thinking to do?  Ya, I guess I did, and I still do.  What a great excuse time to try a new cigar!

I ♥ Infused Cigars

I recently became an aficionado of infused cigars.  That’s especially true of Drew Estate’s Acid brand of cigars.  

Sure, some folks may not consider an infused cigar to be as “manly” to smoke as a full flavored maduro wrapped long leaf stick.  What could I care?  Dominants like myself aren’t looking to conform as much as we are simply looking to be true to ourselves in light of the weight of societal pressures to do otherwise.  In other words, I’m not smoking to impress anyone, let alone to maintain an image.

So, there’s no doubt that infused cigars are a delicious pleasure of mine.  And, they aren’t even a guilty pleasure.  Obviously, if I’m writing about infused cigars here, I’m not ashamed in any way to say I enjoy them.  Thank you very much!

It started with a gift from Sinnja, who brought a CAO Moonstone infused/flavored cigar to me as a present a few weeks back.  Mellow, subtle, and delicious, I was hooked on the concept.

Who knew that cigars could smell like incense and be welcome in the house?  It might not be true for any others, but that’s certainly true for Drew Estate offerings!

Drew Estate’s Natural Dirt Torpedo (5.0″ x 52)

drew estate natural cigarsDrew Estate’s Natural line of cigars are crafted in Esteli, Nicaragua using Nicaraguan leaf combined with traditional black tobaccos.  Here’s how the line is described at Cigars International:

The Natural cigar line by Drew Estate is a cigar you have to try. Each is handmade in Esteli, Nicaragua with a host of different gourmet long-leaf tobaccos from Syria, Haiti, Turkey, Dominican Republic and St. James Parish. Exceptional draw leading to incomparable flavor. These cigars impart a unique, distinctive taste which you won’t find anywhere else.

The current offerings from Drew Estate Natural, as listed at Cigars International, include:

Big Jucy: an extra-big, extra-juicy, Jucy Lucy
Clean Robusto: 
naturally sweet and rich
Dark Angel: 
a chunky torpedo with a rich, sweet, and complex medium-full flavor.
Dirt: 
black as night; delicately seasoned; hints of mocha
Dirt Torpedo: 
a bigger, dirtier version of the Dirt in a Torpedo size
English: 
medium to full with superior balance in richness and sweetness
Egg: 
an intriguing flavor, aroma, and rabbit-in-a-snake appearance
Jucy Lucy: 
Cameroon wrapper; small size; hint of caramel, smooth
Ltd. Irish Hops: 
dark, rich, creamy, with a sweet finish; complex and medium in body.
Ltd. Pimp Stick: Cameroon wrapper; medium-bodied, major flavor; exotic blend; rich, smooth, subtle
Medusa: a funky culebra offering 3 rich, mocha-filled cigars in one.
“NDB”: 
a 7″x44 lonsdale version of Dirt. Natural Dirt Blend.
Root: 
mocha cappuccino taste; hearty flavors
Root Deluxe: 
a 6″x50 version of the Root that comes individually tubed
Shorty: dark, slightly sweet, and rich. Hints of mocha and chocolate.

drew-estate-dirt-torpedo-06I’ve sampled a few of those offerings, and all have been very nice.  For this review, I’ll be discussing the Natural Dirt Torpedo (5.0″ x 52). I’ve had the pleasure of sampling several of the Natural Dirt Torpedos, and can say without a doubt they are consistently delicious and satisfying.

Here are the official descriptionof the Natural Dirt Torpedo from Drew Estate:

DIRT & DIRT TORPEDO – There really is no choosing between these two stellar smokes, because they both rule. Aromatic black tobaccos with a touch of sweetness get you where ya need to go. And yup!, soon you will be chain smokin’ them.

Of course Cigars International descriptions are also very relevant:

Dirt: black as night; delicately seasoned; hints of mocha
Dirt Torpedo: a bigger, dirtier version of the Dirt in a Torpedo size

Drew Estate Natural Dirt Torpedo | The Review

The Drew Estate Natural Dirt Torpedo I sampled specifically for this review was a rich beauty straight from the wrapper in.  The dark Nicaraguan maduro wrapper is lovely, rough in texture, but not full of veins.  The cap is flavored with more than a subtle hint of sweetness.

Unlike Drew Estate Acid cigars, where the infused nature of the cigar is unmistakable, the Natural Dirt Torpedo is far less flamboyant.  There are hints of coffee and mocha, but it’s certainly subtle.  At first whiff all I got was rich strong tobacco smell.  It was only with a moment of reflection and savoring the complex flavor that I found the coffee and mocha.

The stick lit beautifully with my trusty Moretti Churchill Quad-Flame Lighter.  Despite being toasted outdoors on a windy day, the Natural Dirt Torpedo burnt quite evenly.  I love to see clean white ash on my cigars, unfortunately that’s not always the case with cigars who’s infusion process includes contact with any sugars.

In case you didn’t know, sugar burns harsh and black.  Quite undesirable if you ask me.  Fortunately, the Drew Estate Natural Dirt Torpedo didn’t show the telltale signs of “sugar spray”, even if it did burn to bit of a mottled dingy gray.

Where it really matters, the Drew Estate Natural Dirt Torpedo does not disappoint.  The smoke was rich, smooth, and satisfying.  Bravo!

It was easier to taste the mocha and coffee undertones at the start of the stick.  At the half way point, it seemed the strong dark tobacco’s really overwhelm everything else, at least it was that way for my palate.  The smoke was always creamy, but peppery undertones begin to make the tongue tingle as the cigar burns down.

As is my personal ritual these days, I shared a few draws on the stick with Serafina.  I should probably say something about sucking on whatever stick I offer my sweet slave, tobacco or not, but I digress.  She found the Drew Estate Natural Dirt Torpedo very strong, rich flavored, complex, and heady.  Perhaps that’s more than a little bit like her favorite dominant.

conclusions

It’s not an inexpensive cigar.  A case of 24 Drew Estate Natural Dirt Torpedos will set a person back a little over $100.  So it’s not exactly an expensive top line cigar either, at least in terms of price.  $4 a stick is a very good price point for these babes, although it’s a little rich for an everyday smoke for some folk.

In terms of flavor and value, I found this cigar to be very good all around.  When I was a cigarette smoker, I tended towards strong Turkish tobacco blends.  So it’s no surprise I favor the rich flavors found in a cigar like the Natural Dirt Torpedo.

It’s not your typical infused cigar.  The Drew Estate Natural Dirt Torpedo will never give Acid cigars a run for their money in terms of exotic aromas.  Instead it offers a very solid tobacco flavor base, with just a hint of delicious infused mocha and espresso goodness.

Very nice!

 photo credits for this post – Sinnja – with her Samsung Galaxy S5 phone

(post phone editing by yours truly – Michael Samadhi)

note – cigars give off carcinogenic smoke when lit and enjoyed – if you want to live forever you are probably reading the wrong blog!

Got “Torture Sticks”?

Got “Torture Sticks”?

This entry is part 3 of 3 in the series Cigars & BDSM

Could it be that 50 Shades of Grey really opened the floodgates?

Has kink/BDSM really become that mainstream?

I ask those questions because there’s a new line of cigars of which I’ve just become aware.1  Not only is the brand name of the cigars intended to play to the BDSM mentality, the individual cigars are named in a provocative fashion to appeal to folks into BDSM, as well as those who may be attracted to BDSM despite not practicing any kink.

No puns intended, at least none that I know of, they really are named “Torture Sticks” . . .

torture-stick-cigars-01Varieties in the Torture Stick line include:

  1. Tickle Torture
  2. Light Flogging
  3. Public Shunning
  4. Electroshock
  5. Branding

So, I know there’s a long association between cigars and BDSM that goes back as far as we’ve got documented history.  And, I knew BDSM has become more and more mainstream.  But, really?  Seriously?  A brand called “Torture Sticks” with individual cigars that reference flogging and electric play?

Freakin’ amazing!

I ran the numbers, figuring the base percentages of folks who admit to BDSM/kink in their bedroom, the percentage of cigar smokers in the US, and while the end number is enough to fill a smaller sized city, it’s hard to picture this brand being anything other than a novelty success.  I’m guessing it’s more of a novelty product than anything else, but can’t say for sure until I’ve sampled some torture myself!

Does that mean I’m going “soft” and going to become a switch?  Not hardly!  It simply means that more cigars have been ordered.  Now, if I only had humidor space to keep them all . . .

For the record, here are the individual cigar descriptions as provided by Torture Sticks:

The pleasure and pain sensors of the brain lay very close to one another. The human body is carefully tuned to distinguish the fine line between what feels pleasant and what hurts. Though sometimes the signals get crossed, and what some would describe as pain actually feels like pleasure. That’s why we present the Torture 5 Cigar Sampler Pack. Perfect for a cool fall night under the light of a full moon, this is a deviously delectable collection of five cigars boasting spooky names and a gruesome band. This sampler will have you shouting out in pain as you slowly raise the intensity higher and higher with each cigar in the pack, as they increase in flavor and boldness, from mild to full-bodied.

Below are the five sadistic options we offer in each Torture 5 Cigar Sampler Pack. Choose your punishment carefully…

I. Tickle Torture
Set the mood with something light. The Tickle Torture is a mild Churchill cigar that is sure to get the blood flowing. Beware! Even though it’s the mildest in the pack it still has quite the bite. Tickle Torture is a complex smoke that requires you enjoy slowly. Just like its namesake, it may feel good at first but it does not take long for pleasure to morph into pain…unless you’re into that.
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan/Dominican

II. Light Flogging
Things start to get more intense with the Light Flogging. This Habano is a step above than the Tickle Torture. It’s darker and has a spicy flavor. This cigar is perfect for any bad little boy or girl who wants a strong and serious smoke. We can ensure the Light Flogging will teach you a lesson in smoking you’ll never forget.
Wrapper: Habano
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan

torture-stick-cigars-02III. Public Shunning
For some there’s nothing more painful and horrific than rejection and harassment from others. That’s why we present the Public Shunning. Go to your dark place with this deep brown aged Maduro cigar. It’s rich, sweet, and dark taste will help you forget your utter abandonment from society.
Wrapper: Maduro
Binder: Dominican
Filler: Dominican

IV. Electroshock
You’ll be spilling your darkest secrets when you try our Electroshock cigar. This is a high voltage Torpedo that gets straight to the point with a strong flavor designed to turn your hair on end. Not for novices, this option sits a step below the most severe torture we offer.
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan/Dominican

V. Branding
How about a final branding to make you never forget the experience? Consider the last cigar, Branding as your permanent keepsake. The final in this line is a barber pole; two intertwined wrappers coming together for the fullest and boldest flavor in the pack. Just like the searing pain of a red-hot iron on human flesh, this cigar packs a one-two punch with dual wrappers that are just as twisted as we are.
Wrapper: Habano and Connecticut
Binder: Habano
Filler: Nicaraguan

About the only thing left to add is that one of my sweet darling submissives has already purchased a 5 cigar sampler of Torture Sticks for me, she picked them up within mere moments of seeing the sampler.  It’s good to be an alpha male, and it’s even better to have a pair of devoted ladies who take outstanding care of me.

Eventually, I’ll be able to tell you all about the whole line of Torture Sticks, everything from Tickle Torture to Branding.  But, at earliest it will be a few months down the road.  Any time I purchase new cigars online I prefer to leave them in my humidor for at least a few weeks to make sure they are properly humidified, as their time travelling with the United State’s Postal Service can be less than ideal.

Take it from a sadist, when sampling torture, it’s never good to rush!