What Have I Been Smoking?
I’ve smoked many cigars since my last post, but I am just going to mention a handful. Use code “Rambling” to save 15% on the site btw!
- Fosforo Cigars - The whole lineup gets the nod here because they’re all great. The Habano is nutty and spicy, the Connecticut is creamy and pepper, and the Limitada is sweet and savory.
- J London The Ripper - I actually just smoked this last night, so it is fresh in my mind. This cigar was very full in body and flavor. A lot of dark fruity sweetness, cedar, and a bit of leather and pepper for this one.
- Viso Horny “Uncle Luke” 452 - I was late to the party on this cigar, but better late than never! First, the size is perfect for me. I love a short robusto. Secondly, this blend offers such a nice balance of those earthy, peppery, toasty flavors that you get in a lot of powerful blends, but without the strength level.
- Julian Sued Tabac Restaurador MMXX - I’ve really enjoyed this blend in both the Mareva and the Rothschilde vitolas. They both offer slightly different experiences but with the same core flavors - citrus and baking spices.
What’s on the Bench?
In the last session I mentioned working on the first Artist Series guitar. Well that was completed a couple months ago! It turned out pretty nice and sounds great! Unfortunately I do need to do some work on it. I had some issues when I was installing frets in the neck. This was the first time I used this particular fretwire, and for whatever reason, it took me two tries to get the neck fretted. Then once the guitar was assembled and ready to go, I was having trouble with the setup - I kept getting some string buzz that I just couldn’t fix. Well upon further inspection it turns out that over half the frets had lifted… So I guess I will be tossing the rest of that fretwire and will be doing a full refret on that guitar once I am done with the current project. What do ya do?
For the past couple months, once I got that Artist Series guitar finished, I have been working on a Classic Series build for my father. He doesn’t play guitar, but has been asking me to make one for him to display in his house. Fortunately I already had a body that just needed to be finished, so I have been working on the neck. I came up with a new headstock design for this neck and I like it so far! The neck is pretty much ready for a lookover and its first coat of finish - this neck I am going to do a few coats of Walrus Oil before I install the frets. This is out of the ordinary for me, but I wanted to try it and see how it turns out, as I have not been pleased with the results of oil based, rub on finishes that are applied after the frets.
This neck build has really gone pretty well so far. If you look at the calendar you could say it is taking too long, but honestly it is going pretty quickly. I only get 2-3 hours a week to work in the garage, and I don’t always use those hours to work on my builds. It has taken me some time to get used to the reduced free time since our daughter has gone to one nap that occurs before I get home from work (and really it has taken me some time to adapt since she was born nearly 16 months ago), but I have gotten better at managing my time when I do get the chance to work and I am happy to be a present father and husband. I won’t get this time back, but I will always have more time in the future to put into my guitar and woodworking.
Anyhow, I won’t be back in the garage until next weekend, so hopefully then I will be able to burn in my brand on the heel of the neck and heel pocket of the body, then get some finish on. This build is going to be a natural one piece Ash body. I wanted to try something different so I am giving Walrus Oil’s Furniture Finish a try for both the neck and body. I am excited to see how it turns out!
New to the site since May are Fosforo Cigars, Julian Sued Tabac, Fratello Cigars, and a Whiskey and Whitetails Sampler. Check out the Latest Arrivals section to see those! That Whiskey and Whitetails Sampler is a neat project too, as I was tasked with making the perfect Hunt Club Pack. If you are interested in learning more, check out my article here! Also, be on the lookout soon for the Yorktown Fleet from Stolen Throne Cigars. I also am going to be bringing in Black Star Line Cigars and Segovias de Esteli very soon!
From a site standpoint, I want to mention that I have now added the ability to review products on the site! I hope that this gains some traction and I think it will be a valuable feature moving forward!
Oh my, what else?
Well, as I mentioned above, my daughter is nearly 16 months… Where has the time gone? She is an absolute trip - huge props to my amazing wife for what she has done with that girl! She is so smart, super active, and fits right into our little farm. I am excited to see what her first thoughts are about the beach here soon!
Musically I have been in a bit of a lull the past week or so, but prior to that I was listening to a lot of Jason Isbell and Justin Townes Earle. I go in phases with musicians. I was on a big Isbell kick a few years ago, then got burnt out. Then when “Reunions” was released, I wasn’t over the burn out and didn't care for that album initially (I need to give it a fair relisten soon). Isbell’s latest album “Weathervanes” is just incredible (unless you ask my wife - she despises Jason Isbell’s music because of the depressing topics and melodies). I truly think it is his best work as a whole. He has some incredible songs on other albums, but I always found some duds on them as well. “Weathervanes” has no duds. It contains only gems that elicit such strong emotion every time I listen.
As for Justin Townes Earle, I have known of him for a long time, however, I never really listened to much of his work. His story is a shame, and he has undeniable talent as a musician and songwriter. I mainly spent some time listening to a lot of his music just to get an understanding and appreciation for a troubled artist. I am mostly indifferent to a lot of his work, though his live, solo, acoustic stuff on Youtube does much more for me than his recordings. I do, however, think that his last album, “Saint of Lost Causes”, is phenomenal. It is another album that I just can’t find a dud on and have no problems listening to front to back.
Well, I think that’s all I really have on my mind right now. Thanks for reading, and please comment below if you have anything to say!