Roberts Writings

Reviews, experiences, and stories.

Month: July 2014

Paul Stulac Ghost Maduro Toro Review

Presmoke thoughts:

Paul Stulac Ghost

I see these Paul Stulac smokes in only two places: one of my local stores, and Paul Stulac’s instagram feed. A couple months back I picked up the Paul Stulac Ghost Maduro Toro on a whim to give the brand a try. The B&M I picked this up from is regularly saying good things about the brand so we’ll see whether it’s my kind of smoke.

It’s a very breezy day so we’ll see whether that proves to be problematic.

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It’s not the prettiest thing I’ve smoked. There’s a really gnarly vein running up the side and into the cap. Where it ends about an inch and a half from the foot isn’t seamless and sticks out and away from the cigar.

My B&M has these marked as Maduros which was surprising because at first glance those wrappers look really light.

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I find this cigar to be very grassy on the nose cold. A little hay. Almost a Playdough scent.

VERY sweet cold draw. Not in a flavored or infused way, but as though this has been in a grocery bag with unopened Kool-aid packets. The backend of the cold draw has that grassy taste as well.

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Viaje Zombie Antidote Review

Presmoke thoughts:

Viaje Zombie Antidote

Viaje’s scare me. They have a reputation of being total full strength powerhouses. I don’t have the greatest nicotine tolerance so I’ve been hesitant to give this, or any of the other Viaje’s I’ve managed to get my hands on, a try.

I bought a handful of these Viaje Zombie Antidotes for trades and figured I should try one myself so I knew what I was sending people.

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I didn’t notice while it was in the cello but about an inch from the foot we have some cracks in the wrapper, but more problematic is a split in the wrapper about an inch above that. Not cool. Hopefully that won’t impact the smoke.

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Otherwise, I can totally appreciate the needle shape of this cigar, especially in light of its name and theme. It’s a nice perfecto meant to look like an antidote given in a syringe.



The cold draw is only slightly on the loose side. I hope it gets tighter once lit and not looser. The cracks are hopefully not the cause of the loose draw.

I get sweet tobacco in the cold draw. Not very sweet, only subtly.

The nose on this Viaje Zombie Antidote smells a little like a dirty pond. I am nowhere near a pond, let alone a dirty one. Weird. Even more strange is it’s not entirely off-putting. It is a dialed-down sensation of walking into a couple of the Asian grocery stores in this area, especially those with a large fish presence.

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Drew Estate Feral Flying Pig Review

Presmoke thoughts:

My first, and only, Feral Flying Pig by Drew Estate. I bought this locally about three months ago and have kept it in my coolerdor with anticipation. Waiting for the “Right” moment to present itself, a moment worthy of such a hard to find stick.

Drew Estate Feral Flying Pig

And what if I hate it?

I’m sick of sitting on sticks that I haven’t tried and therefore don’t know whether they’re worth sitting on. This one is getting the fire.

Feral Flying Pig


It’s a holiday weekend. Yesterday was the 4th of July. Having had these two days off I’ve powered through two books, both while drinking coffee and/or smoking cigars. Today I’m reading ‘The Obstacle Is The Way’. I’ve tried to get into the writings of the Stoic “greats” over the last year and I meet a lot of internal resistance. There’s too much “thou art”, “thyself”, and “shalt” in the versions I’ve been reading and it does my head in after only a few pages. I’ve picked up ‘Meditations’ by Marcus Aurelius at least 5 or 6 times and haven’t made it past page 10 yet. They’re tough reads for me.

‘The Obstacle Is The Way’ is written by a guy who has to be around my age and this book is largely just his understanding of Stoicism and these writings I struggle with. That means it’s written by someone like me. I can actually read this. I read most of the book at Starbucks today and will be reading the last portion of it while I smoke this FFP. The 60% of it I’ve read so far is fantastic and I highly recommend it to anyone who is the least bit interested in the idea of getting out of your own way in life. “Get out of your head” is something I constantly tell myself (in my own head — which I realize, as I type this, may be a little ironic). Ryan digests the Stoic writings and relays them via stories of people seen as great leaders in hindsight and it’s an extremely approachable interpretation of the same books I’ve struggled reading. I’m going to throw some quotes from the book into my review here because it was just as important to my enjoyment of this Feral Flying Pig as the Starbucks coffee was, and likely more so.

Everything is a chance to do and be your best. Only self-absorbed assholes think they are too good for whatever their current station requires.

A quote from ‘The Obstacle is the Way’ by Ryan Holiday.



In typical Drew Estate fashion the construction is impeccable. Except when it’s not.


Immediately above the foot there is some slightly sloppy finishing, though it’s so close to the foot that it’ll be “fixed” immediately after lighting. Otherwise, from the beautiful pigtail on down, it’s great.



Pride can be broken. Toughness has its limits. But a desire to help? No harshness, no deprivation, no toil should interfere with our empathy toward others. Compassion is always an option. Camaraderie as well. That’s a power of the will that can never be taken away, only relinquished.

A quote from ‘The Obstacle is the Way’ by Ryan Holiday.



The smell on this FFP is similar to the other Unicos I’ve had, at least as far as I remember the Dirty Rat. Sweet and fruity, with a bit of leather and earth.


I cut the pigtail off right below the lowest ring of the pigtail and the draw is perfect. The cold draw tastes like this thing smells.

Here goes $17 and a lot of time spent on the hunt.

Nobody is born with a steel backbone. We have to forge that ourselves. We craft our spiritual strength through physical exercise, and our physical hardiness through mental practice (mens sana in corpore sano—sound mind in a strong body).

A quote from ‘The Obstacle is the Way’ by Ryan Holiday.

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