Clowning Around on Taste Test Tuesday

This is Part 2 of the Cigar Clowns Behind The Scenes Series. Don’t forget to read Part 1.

For everyone who wonders how the Cigar Clowns determine what cigars are worthy of releasing – it is a unique process that begins with getting samples from the different farms the Clowns have relationships with. On Tuesdays, the business partners have traditionally gathered to sample cigars. Much like you’d imagine, this involves cutting, lighting and then critiquing the hell out of it. Before we discuss these criteria, let me tell you about some of the tasters involved in the process. In the past, only the OG Clowns were the ones who did the taste test.  In November of 2021 they came to the decision that others should be involved in the journey. 

Among the group are those prominent on social media like Joe from EvilEmpire5ociety, Lee Mack from the LeeMack912 youtube channel, Danny from 505 Cigar Review, and Boston Jimmie over at StogiePress – who has been reviewing the Clown Cigars since they began their journey to find the perfect cigar. Loyal Cigar Clown Roadies like myself, Pat  (Pat_l_61), Mark (M.A.C. Smokes), Mike (Rev Room), Suran (AVProdigy), Sev Alus (Sev_alus) and Des Hammond (the_cigar_cabin) get to participate as well. The roadies have been with the clowns from the beginning and help represent the partners where needed – from attending events to advertising on social media. 

The group signs on to a zoom meeting, grabs a beverage, and gives our opinions on that night’s cigar. The sessions are live on youtube so that fans of the Cigar Clowns can see the craziness that is taste Test Tuesday. It’s more than just smoking a cigar with friends. Not every cigar can be Clown-worthy, so there is a lot of pressure associated with this process. Construction, taste, transitions, ash, heat when holding the cigar, and dragon clouds are what we look at when considering the value of a cigar. 

We also learn a lot about smoking cigars during the process.  Once in a while, we pick up a tip such as when Boston Jimmie told us that the best way to cleanse your pallet is to take an unsalted cracker and let it dissolve in your mouth. Yes, it really works! 

Another valuable lesson we learned along the way is to smoke slowly. The longer a cigar lasts, the more flavor comes out of the cigar. We are always eager to learn new and better ways to get the most out of a cigar because that will result in us finding the best ones we can. The full night usually lasts an hour to an hour and a half unless the cigar is not to everyone’s liking. 

When we think we have found a great one, the partners will smoke it again to go over all the criteria themselves. I’m thrilled to write that we have had two cigars released since the Tuesdays sessions have been opened up to a wider group of participants – the Payaso Flaco and The Heartbreaker. 

The next step is banding the chosen blends. That’s where Ray, Murph, and Danny come in.  They have curated some fantastic and complex bands. The Ron and the Heartbreaker are two that stand out, but all the bands really are their own experience – each showcasing a different clown.

With the Heartbreaker, they used the same font as was used in the movie The Warriors.  You have to look closely at the band, the fine detail that wraps around the Heartbreaker.  The small detail like the graffiti writing on the brick wall on the back of the band is a salute to Brooklyn, NY where the Clowns originated.

The original cigar clown logo was the Coney Island clown.  Trademark requirements necessitated a new logo be used, which led to the logo currently in use. 

The journey to find the perfect stick continues, as does the Cigar Clowns Behind the Scenes series. While you’re waiting for Part 3, do you have a favorite band or remember one that jumped out at you? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!