Review of Dark Screams volume 6

Not a “clunker” in the bunch!

Dark Screams vol 6 is the latest, and in my opinion, the best offering in the series.
It Includes the following 6 Stories:
1) The Old Dude’s Ticker by Stephen King

For fans of Stephen King this is a rare treat.

An early and previously unpublished homage to Edgar Allan Poe.
2) The Rich Are Different by Lisa Morton

They are REALLY  different.  In the age of Trump this is a cautionary tale about giving up your humanity in exchange for comfort and security.
3) The Manicure by Nell Quinn Gibney

Creepy “ordinary everyday life” horror that cuts you to the quick.
4) That Comforting Voice by Norman Prentiss

Sleep deprivation for new parents is a terrible thing.
5)  The Situations by Joyce Carol Oates

In this short story from Joyce Carol Oates we get 3 feline related, micro short stories or is it one story? 

This story stuck with me as I puzzled it out.
6) The Corpse King by Tim Curran

If I’m not mistaken this is the first time a novella has been included in the Dark Scream series. Dark,  creepy,  atmospheric,  Lovecraftian.


Alec Bradley’s American Classic Blend Torpedo

The first thing you notice when you hold the new Alec Bradley American Classic Blend Torpedo in your hand is the weight.  This is a very densely packed cigar.

Pre Light Characteristics:  

Tightly wrapper solid stick with no soft spots.  The pre light draw is very firm and the pre light scent at the foot is sweet almost grassy.

It feels very substantial in your hand.

Once lit:

The draw is still firm bit the smoke is free-flowing. The flavor starts out sweet and nutty. The strength is somewhere between mild and medium.

About Midway through:

The flavor shifts from sweet to savory, a very interesting transition that makes you sit up and notice.

Final 3rd:

Another flavor shift.  This time it turns spicy with hints of cream.

Overall Impressions:

The Alec Bradley American Classic Blend Torpedo is a very good value priced cigar.  Loaded with quality mild to medium tobacco.  It may not be for the Ultra strong triple Ligero Lovers but it has enough variation in flavor that even they might want to give it a try.

For the smoker who prefers a mild to medium cigar this is a real winner at about $5.50 per stick.

Check some out.

Pappy’s review of the Tarazona 305 Torpedo

Dark Brown toothy wrapper small veins.

Wrapper: Costa Rican Binder: Nicaraguan Filler: Nicaraguan
Solid with no soft spots.


scent of earth with a touch of sweetness. free flowing draw.

First third: 
Medium bodied with slightly sweet finish with hints of spice. 
Beautiful white ash indicative of good nitrogen rich soil. 
Slightly wavy burn line.

Second third: 
Expected pick up in strength present but also a pick up in spiciness.  
Burn line corrected itself without touch up.

Final third: 
continued the build up in strength. Picked up hints of nutmeg.

Overall Impression: 
Like the Tarazona Classic this is another winner. It is a well made flavorful cigar 
with a great balance of strength and flavor. 

You can purchase Tarazona Cigars here

Pappy’s Predictive Super Bowl Chili Recipe

Pappy’s Super Bowl Chili tradition goes back to 1981 when he made “I Left My Heartburn In San Francisco” Chili in honor of the San Francisco 49ers .

Each year Pappy choses a side and makes a Special Chili in that teams honor. For the past 29 years it has determined the outcome of every game.  Even in the face of seemingly overwhelming odds such as the Patriots “undefeated” season. Pappy’s Chili sent the Pats home as losers. (see note *)

Here is Pappy’s Chili for this year:

Pappy’s Three River Chili (Yeah I know they play at Heinz field now)


3 lbs of chopped meat (80/20 fat)

1 lb of Hot Italian sausage

1 lb of steak (cut into 1/2 inch cubes using a poultry shear)

1 Red Onion (finely chopped)

1 Yellow Onion (finely chopped)

1 Green Onion (you guessed it, finely chopped)

1 large can of Crushed Tomatoes

1 1/2 cups of El Pato Salsa de Chile Fresco

3 Tablespoons of Chile Power

3 Roma Tomatoes

3 Cloves of Fresh Garlic

1/2 teaspoon of Cumin

1 teaspoon of Mexican Oregeno

1 Habanero pepper (dried or fresh)

Prep time 1 hour

Cook time 9 1/2 hours


Quick boil the roma tomatoes and remove the skin, set aside.

Brown the chop meat to release fat. Pour off fat and set aside for later. Put cooked chopped meat in separate bowl.

Remove sausage from casing and break into small pieces and brown. Once again set aside me and fat.

Cut steak into 1/2 inch cubes with poultry shears and brown in same pan. Set aside fat and cooked stake

Lightly cook the peppers, onions & garlic in some of the reserved fat.

Add back the meat and add the can of crushed tomatoes, the 1 1/2 of Salsa de Chile Fresco, 8 cups of water  & the spices.

Remember that fat you were told to set aside. Well by now it should have separated. The fat is sitting on top of 100% meat juice.  Pour that juice in your chili.  If you have a hard time doing this, you can put the glass in the freezer for a few minutes. The fat will harden and you can skim it off.

Cook on low for 5 to 9 hours.  Stir every 20 minutes. Taste along the way and adjust seasoning as needed. The longer the better. Remember the longer it cooks the hotter it will be.

OK so I guess you figured out who is going to win this years Super Bowl The Pittsburgh Steelers.

Or if you want to change fate you can smoother this recipe with good Wisconsin Cheese.

* Note: Pappy does not condone  gambling and is not responsible for any losses  if you are stupid enough to place a bet based on a chili recipe.

No matter who you want to win. A good cigar is always in order for the Super Bowl.

I’m going with the La Aurora Gran 107 a beautiful 7×58 vitola

The Dirty Rat by Drew Estate Cigars


I joked on Twitter earlier that the working title of this blog post was WWSS (What Would Satan Smoke). Why? Well this is one Hell of a STRONG Cigar!

In fact this is the strongest corona sized cigar I have ever smoked.

Here are the particulars:

The first thing you notice is the jet black wrapper. The pre light scent at the foot is very fragrant “Perfumey”. I had to ask John Brooke of Drew Estate if this was going to be part of the infused Acid line.  He told me no it was part of the Liga Privada line but could not give me any more info on the blend as it is still a secret. This info will probably be released at the Annual Convention in New Orleans.

The Construction is tight with no soft spots as you might expect from Drew Estate.

On lighting the first thought is Whoa! This is a strong cigar. It’s that type of strength that hits you in the stomach.

There is extreme spice on the retrohale. Retrohale is a term coined by David Diaz aka @Doc_StogieFresh which means exhaling the smoke out of your nose.

It is loaded with great flavors and even though strong it is not harsh.

The Guillermo Leon Corona Gorda

Guillermo Leon Corona Gorda

Size 6 X 47

Pre-Light Scent: Sweet Manue


Wrapper Ecuadorian Habano

Binder Cameroon & Dominican Corojo

Filler Peru, Dominican, Brazil & Nicaragua

Firmly rolled

Pre-Light Draw Free Flowing

Medium to Full Bodied

Balanced Flavors of Salt, Spice & Meatiness. With hints of roasted Almonds and Semi Sweet Chocolate

It maintains this flavor profile throughout with a nice pick up in strength in the 2nd half.

My overall impression of this cigar is that it is very refined and would be a great “After Dinner” smoke following  a great steak dinner.

Highly recommended.

Thought’s on the passing of a “Friend”

I recently lost a friend.  No, he did not die defending our great country overseas or from some long prolonged illness.

He just died.

I did not know him long and I guess I did not know him well.

I don’t even know if he considered me a friend. For his part our relationship may have been transactional.  You know…the kind of friendship that exists only when both parties are present.

The one thing we had in common was our love of fine cigars.

He always assumed the role of Sherpa.  Doling out little bits of cryptic directions and arcane knowledge.  It is only now, that he is no longer, that I realize how lonely and lost my Sherpa was.

While not always, his directions were are best wrong and at worst based on his own agenda.

He had many “Friendships” based on money. These friendships would ultimately let him down. Friendships based on such always do.

Looking back I now understand he bought access.

Anyone with the price of admissions can buy access but the one thing you cannot buy is loyalty and true friendship. These two things have nothing to do with money.   These two things are not transaction based. Friends accept you as you are,  “warts and all”.

That being said, I mourn his passing and as I always, I forgive his shortcomings.

I will miss him.