Thursday, March 13, 2008

Kinky Friedman cigars - a sensorium travelogue

Beware: no real travel in this report from the back porch.

Kinky Friedman, celebrity Jewboy, author, humorist and former (and future) Texas gubernatorial candidate (yes I was one of the 13% who voted for him and still have a "vote Kinky" sign in my backyard), is now hawking cigars to the masses. I had to give these new sticks a chance.

1) First KFC (Kinky Friedman Cigar) tasted:
The "Kinkycristo" was sold at the local cigar shop as the most Cuban-like of the brand.
I've smoked Cuban cigars in Cuba and in numerous countries outside of the U.S. I can tell a real Cuban stick from a bogus one. The US$3 ones I got outside Havana were tasty indeed...better than any Cubans I've bought in other international countries. Rich, blissful. Of course, the setting helps. Set and setting, look into it.

The Kinkycristo had a nice, rich flavor. A moderate pull, it didn't smoke quickly and left a beautiful white ash. The taste was unique but definitely high quality. Overall, it tasted somewhat unfinished and I wouldn't call is strictly Cuban-like. It was at least a 30-minute smoke and cost just about $8.

2) Later that same day, I lit up the "Willie" KFC. A thin, long stick with a tightly twisted head and a mildly loose end. Sold as the lightest of the KFC smokes, it can best be compared to a Buttera cigar of the same size but was a bit more bold...just a bit more...and ran about $7 (cheaper than Buttera). The mildness of the Willie was a significant departure from the Kinkycristo. But it seemed to be lacking some of the unique flavor the Kinkycristo provided. Still a wonderful smoke.

3) The "Utopian" is the best of the KFC smokes so far. Really amazing. It helps that the proceeds from Utopian stick sales benefit Kinky's no-kill animal shelter/preserve. Tobacco sales benefiting homeless animals. You gotta love that.

The Utopian, a toro-sized stick (I believe) smells lovely and smoked slowly. It burned very evenly with the first half offering a somewhat tight draw...little smoke per toke. But that only leads you into the last half of the stick. The draw opens up significantly and at one point, I smell a light incense--and sincerely wonder if I'd ashed on an old piece of incense on the ground. I hadn't--the smoke smelled that amazing. All of this from the KFC brand's cheapest stick--around $6.50 each. I smoked the cigar to the point of almost burning my mustache...I didn't want the flavor to end.

There are two other Kinky Friedman cigar varieties I haven't tried, but I'm completely sold on the Utopian. So smooth, so tasty. Without a doubt one of the best cigars I've ever had the chance to light up. I look forward to each taste trip with the 19 remaining Utopians in the signed box I have.

Kinky, thank you. I look forward to your rumored Democratic run for Texas governor next time around. You can change Texas...just consider Ron Paul as a Lt. Governor. As odd as that would be, the world would benefit greatly.