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GolfSpy Dave

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  1. Dave's Take: Xikar's XO Double Guillotine Cutter Review http://www.xikar.com/products/cutters/xo/ Ritualistic Cutting As i've said before, part of the cigar smoking experience for me is the ritual. Not just during the smoke, but before as well. It really starts at the cigar shop, where selecting the perfect cigar adds to my anticipation for the smoking to come. The ritual then continues through the unwrapping of the cigar, the cutting of the end, the smelling of the fresh cut end (you should try this), the lighting of the cigar, and then finally the smoking. I suppose I see cigar smoking as a luxury activity with a luxury item, and I want to enjoy as much of the process as possible. A Thousand Ways to Cut a Cohiba That's not really a saying, but it is definitely a point of discussion when it comes to the “correct� way to cut a cigar. About the only consensus that I have found among cigar smokers is that the cigar wrapper from the mouth end must be removed before smoking. Beyond that, the methods abound. If you are not sure of the possible options, then feel free to watch this video that I came across from Neptune Cigars showing the various cutting methods. How to Cut Cigars : Neptune Cigars https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XzBQSBUmjN0 Golfers would likely also add the poke with a tee and slice with divot tool methods to the list. Like everything else that we humans do, we likely going to discover that we have a favorite cigar opening method. For me, that's cutting. The Xikar XO Cutter Today, I bring you my take on the Xikar XO Double Guillotine cigar cutter. As soon as I saw the XO cutter, I knew that I had to try one out. As I said, I'm a cutter guy, and the Xikar Xi1 cutter is the welcomed workhorse in my cigar toolbox. At first glance, the Xikar XO seemed to push the already awesome double-bladed cutting of the Xi1 to a whole new level of fun. Yep, I just said fun. That's why I smoke cigars, for fun. Anything that can add to the enjoyment of the process will get a look from me. What could not be fun about a spring-loaded double guillotine cutter? Just typing that sentence was fun. How could using the cutter not be fun too? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U-9ofK2901A Specifications: Xikar XO Double Guillotine Cutter Double Guillotine style cutter Aluminum body Stainless steel blades Planetary geared cutting system with five internal gears Spring-loaded blade release button 2.38" diameter 64 RG (cuts the cap of 70RG cigars) Colors: 8 (Gunmetal Honeycomb tested) MSRP: $99.99-$119.99 The XO is a cutting machine, inspired by timeless design principles. The dual stainless steel blades operate on a patent pending planetary gear system, ensuring the blades open and close in perfect harmony, providing a guided and clean cut every time. The distinct, round aluminum body of the XO is built for relentless durability and exceptional performance. Engineered to simplify the standard double guillotine style cut. Using the XO is definitely not like using your teeth. According to the Neptune video, you are never without a cutter because you can always go Eastwood and bite the end off of your gran panetela. Cutting with the Xikar XO cutter lives at the opposite end of the cigar-cutting spectrum. The only thing that you'll be doing with your teeth when you cut with the XO is showing them between your retracted lips when you smile. Those Gears are Planetary Raise your hands if you know what a planetary gear system is? My hand is not up, but thanks to Google, I was able to find out a bit about them. Basically, think about the solar system. You have the sun, and then the planets moving around it. That's a huge oversimplification about how these gear systems work, but you get the idea. There are multiple gears all connected together in system, and the turning of one gear is influenced by, and dependent upon the movement of the other gears. You can get really smart if you follow this link to a YouTube explanation of the planetary gear system. While I can't really hope to understand how the gears in the Xikar XO cutter all work together, I do understand the overall result. The blades always move together, even if you only press from one side. What this means for you is that you should be able to get an even cut with minimal effort. As a brilliant bonus, Xikar included openings in the body of the XO, allowing you to see the gears turn while you use it. Dinner and a show. Sometimes getting an even cut can be a challenge with the cheap, single blade cutters. Think cutting a tomato with a knife. Unless that knife is really sharp, and your pressure just right, the initial tomato penetration could involve squishing rather than cutting. Nobody enjoys squishing the tomato, or the cigar. The gear-driven double blades in the XO will not squish your tomato cigar. Cutting to the Chase Cutting cigars with the Xikar XO cutter is as fun as I expected. Glee generates immediately when you press the button on the top that releases the spring-loaded blades. It reminds me of the first time I popped open a switchblade knife. You hit the button, and the blades extend, ready for business. Probably did this twenty times in a row when I opened up the XO box that first time. After that, maybe only five times each time I used the cutter. Full disclosure: I also had delusions of Batman when using the XO. At some point I may have equated popping open the blades with extending the wings on a spring-loaded Batarang. I'm not in charge of where the brain takes me, and for a second, I WAS BATMAN! As for the cutting, the XO is exactly what I expected from the company that brought me my beloved Xi1. The blades are sharp, and with the gearing, they deliver the honed steel with precision. Time and time again, you can deliver the cigar-opening cut exactly where you want it, with wrapper-shearing precision. Even on a probably too dry to smoke cigar, the cut was clean. I actually cut up that dry cigar from stem to stern with the XO, just to be able to make more cuts with the cutter. Again, it's fun to use. From a practical side, if you smoke big ring cigars, the XO is definitely worth checking out. 64 ring gauges can fit inside, and you can take the cap off of a 70 RG stick. I don't know if I've ever had a 70 RG cigar before. That seems huge, and yet the XO can handle it. For reference, the cigar in the photo above is 54 RG. I feel like the XO could take just about anything you throw at it. This cutter could even help you dice carrots for dinner! Not that I cut a carrot with it. Who would do that? Smaller gauges are also a breeze to cut with the XO because of the synced blades. You can easily bring the blades to the edges of the smaller cigar with just a bit of a press, then once in contact, press more firmly to sever. Since the blades move together, it really takes effort to cut incorrectly. As a size reference, you can see how the overall size profile, and the cutting diameter of the XO compares to the Xi1 above. I was pleasantly surprised at how similar the two were as far as space usage in the travel humidor. Both snug into the corner quite nicely. I'd give both the full portability nod, and the fact that they both have spring-loaded blades made the gamer selection very challenging. The XO is XtraOrdinary! I don't think that it's a stretch to say that the Xikar XO double guillotine cutter is the coolest cigar cutter on the market. It is just so interesting to look at, and fun to use. Right now, I'm not currently smoking a cigar at all, yet I keep taking breaks from typing to click the XO open and closed. As for the Xi1 vs XO battle, the XO is in the travel humidor. The XO definitely adds to my cigar while golfing enjoyment, and it always draws interested attention when I pop it open, allowing me to share it's coolness with others. I think that there may also be some golf crosstraining potential in the XO. It's definitely an awesome ball marker, and I think that there may be a way to use it to draw a line on my ball. Regardless, I'm totally geared up to use the XO to cut my next stick.
  2. I'm glad I found this one too. It's expensive, but damn near perfect.
  3. Yeti Hopper Flip 8 http://yeti.com/hopper-flip-8-cooler Yeti Triples The Flip Back in May, I reviewed the first Yeti flip-top cooler, the Hopper Flip 12. I ran that cooler through Contents, Coldness, and Cart-ability trials. The hopper Flip 12 was great at holding beers and keeping them cold, but the size was a little large for ideal golf course usage. That said, the Hopper Flip 12 was my go to summer poolside BBQ cooler this summer. I even bought a Yeti Sidekick for it to hold the keys, phone, and such, and it couldn't have worked out better. Yeti has now added two new Hopper Flips to the line-up: A larger Hopper Flip 18, and a smaller Hopper Flip 8. The Hopper Flip 8 is the one whose golf potential caught my eye, and the one that I'm sharing my thoughts about with you today. The Hopper Flip 12 was so close to being the ultimate course cooler. It was just a hair too large. My thinking was that the smaller Hopper Flip 8 could hit the perfect sweet spot, with a size of large enough to carry, but small enough to fit. Yeti's Hopper Flip 8 Specs One of the joys of a day trip is traveling light. The Hopper Flip in a new smaller size is perfect for keeping your food and drinks cold while out in the field. The Hopper Flip 8 has the insulation power only a YETI can offer, and is engineered to be tough – because flying solo doesn't mean you won't get a little dirty. The Hopper Flip 8 is your new day trip MVP. Cubed body makes it easy to haul and store HydroLok™ Zipper and wide-mouth opening means great accessibility and visibility to contents DRYHIDE™ SHELL - The Hopper's high-density fabric is waterproof and resistant to mildew, punctures, and UV rays. The liner is made from an FDA-approved food-grade material. COLDCELL™ INSULATION - Closed-cell rubber foam offers far superior cold-holding to ordinary soft coolers. Hitchpoint grid to attach accessories Double-stitched top handle MSRP: $199.99 The Hopper Flip 8 has the same Yeti bones as the Hopper Flip 12, and that's a good thing. Yeti is known for making coolers that can withstand punishment while keeping contents cold, or warm if you need it to go that way. Should something go south with your Yeti, they also have one of the best warranty reputations in the business. While similar to the Hopper Flip 12, the Hopper Flip 8 does have one fantastic new feature: The Top Handle. Sure, we lose a bit of the flat top surface area, and the Yeti logo, but I welcome the new handle with nothing but enthusiasm. As I said, I used the Hopper Flip 12 quite a bit this summer, and the lack of top handle was a bit inconvenient. Sure, you can just lift the cooler from the shoulder strap or side handle, but as soon as I picked up the Hopper Flip 8 from the top handle, I knew that Yeti made a great decision by adding it. It's so much easier to carry, and it gives you another place to anchor the cooler to things, like a kayak, or a push cart. How Cool is the Yeti Hopper Flip 8 Like I did with the Hopper Flip 12, my goal is to see if the Hopper Flip 8 is the go to cooler for the golfer looking to take libations and liquids to the course. Once again, I'm going to focus on three areas: Contents, Coldness, and Cart-ability Contents: Yeti Hopper Flip 8 Simply put, Contents is all about what the cooler can carry. There is a fine line here that a cooler must walk along to be ideal for golf. Too large and its bulk decreases its ability for it to fit into the cart, and thus lowers its Evade the Marshall sub-score. Hold too little, and why bring it in the first place? As you probably picked up from the name, the Hopper Flip 8 holds eight beverages, more specifically, canned beverages. The Hopper Flip 8 will swallow eight standard, or tall cans and still retain enough room for ice. Drop the load down to a six-pack, and you can even fit a sandwich and snacks in there. Bottles are another story. As you can see from the photo, the lid will not close when filled with bottles, however, if laid on their side, bottles will fit, just not eight of them. If you go the bottle route, it becomes a Yeti Hopper Flip 4-6 depending upon brand. I try not to bring glass to the golf course anyway, so this is not a huge capacity knock for me, but YMMV. I have been known to slip a 22oz bomber into my coolers though, and I was pleasantly surprised that one will actually fit in the Hopper Flip 8. The neck will rest above the side insulation, but the lid will zip closed with no issue. In this configuration, it becomes the Yeti Hopper Flip 8+1 (cans and a bomber). Coldness: Yeti Hopper Flip 8 The Hopper Flip 8 features the characteristic Yeti construction materials found in the rest of the Hopper line. The Dryhide shell fights off the elements, the Coldcell Insulation keeps everything cold, and the Hydrolok zipper seals the cooler frog-butt tight. That zipper is also airtight by the way. Should you drive the cart into the water hazard, your golf bag will sink, but the Yeti will float, allowing you to retrieve beverages to enjoy while you contemplate how you got to this place in life... This time around, I didn't run a how fast did ice melt experiment to check for coldness. If I'm taking this to the course, I need 4-5 hour results, and not 48-hour statistics. Every time I took it to the course, there was still ice in the cooler at the end of the round. Obviously any beverages still in the cooler at that point would be cold too. For reference, round temperatures ranged somewhere between 85 and 105 °F. Viva Summer! Coldness Bonus: Yeti Ice While I did always have regular ice in the Hopper Flip 8, I also had a two pound block of Yeti Ice in there. Yeti Ice actually took me a bit by surprise. Like you, I've used reusable “blue ice” packs before. Cheap ones from the grocery store have always seemed to work fine, but I think that the Yeti Ice works better because of... SCIENCE! You see, the Yeti Ice has a freezing point below that of water, so when the normal ice starts to melt, the Yeti Ice will actually be able to refreeze the water. If you leave a frozen block of Yeti Ice on the counter, it will even collect moisture from the air and pretty quickly become covered in icy frost. You can see that a little in the group photo on the two-pound block (the other two were not frozen). As a bonus, the Yeti Ice also fits perfectly into the Yeti coolers. The two-pounder sits nicely atop the cans in the Hopper Flip 8, and the four-pound Yeti Ice does the same in the Flip 12. Cart-ability: Yeti Hopper Flip 8 This is probably the category where I had the greatest expectations for the Hopper Flip 8. A profile just a bit smaller than the Hopper Flip 12 suggested that it should fit perfectly in the rear basket of a power cart. And you know what? It does! The Yeti Hopper 8 just snuggles right into that basket, and it even leaves some room for your other junk in there as well. The profile is low enough that you don't even really see it in the basket at all from a distance. Toss a jacket over it and you are in full cooler-stealth mode. Attaching this one to the push cart was easy. I just shortened the shoulder strap all the way, looped the strap over the cart console, and then lashed the top handle of the cooler to the cart frame with a bungee cord. Easy rolling and access all round. I did need to unhook the bungee when opening it, but the long zipper would mandate that regardless of how it was attached. Now bringing a cooler to the course is an at your own risk activity. Some courses will rupture forehead veins if they see one. Thing is though, the cooler is not the problem, more so it's the contents of that cooler. If you have a course that is really tight on this kind of thing, I have a suggestion for you. Bring it empty. How many times have you bought multiple beers at the course that they then give to you in a plastic bag full of ice? Wouldn't it be better to take the cooler into the bar, and then just add the purchased beers and ice to it? The Yeti Hopper 8 will definitely keep beers colder than a plastic bag. Just a thought. The 8 is Great If my goal was to find the ultimate take to the course cooler, I think that I have accomplished that with the Yeti Hopper 8. It carries enough stuff, keeps it cold, and fits into golf carts like a champ. Other brands out there may have some contenders, but as far as the Yeti line-up goes, the Hopper Flip 8 is the cooler for the course. At $199.99, it's definitely an investment, but this cooler actually should get lots of non-golf usage as well. I find that it also makes a perfect lunch cooler. It will keep your food cold, and if load it up with something warm, and it will stay warm. The volume of the cooler allows you to pack all kinds of food containers inside, and the Yeti toughness should stand up to all but the most vicious daily commute. Plus, after you empty the cooler out at lunch, you'll then have one that's nice and open for filling up with malty goodness on your way home, or even better, to the golf course. Bonus Hopper 8 v. Hopper 12 Action Shots! So not much action happening here, but if you are wondering how the size compares with these two, here you go. By the way, I have one more Yeti Hopper in the review queue, and it's a big one and a road trip is involved!
  4. Great point about ring gauge. [emoji106] Sent from my iPhone using MyGolfSpy
  5. Thanks for the kind thoughts and keep trying the sours. One day you'll embrace the funk [emoji12] Sent from my iPhone using MyGolfSpy
  6. Howe Sound's King Heffy Imperial Heffeweizen http://www.howesound.com/copy-of-our-brews A TASTE OF SUMMER. KING HEFFY IS BACK. Brewed with Pale and Munich malted barley, white wheat and a German Hefe yeast that gives a unique banana, clove and vanilla aroma. This high gravity hefeweizen is a nice cloudy orange-yellow with spectacular head and traces of lacing here and there. "Our Heffy has good carbonation and body, and even with its high gravity, remains smooth and refreshing to drink. It's a great brew for summer sipping!" - says Simon Jongsma, head brewer. Alcohol Content: 7.7% Bitterness Units (IBUS): 28 Color: Hazy Gold Delivery System: Flip-top quart bottle. WTF? Imperial Heffeweizen? To say that I've had quite a few beers is an understatement. I have new beer OCD, always seeking out an trying new styles and breweries, even at the cost of missing out on beers that I know I like. I'm a beer explorer at heart. Rarely does a beer style take me totally by surprise, but that was the case when a colleague at work dropped this gift on me a few days ago. He had been vacationing around British Columbia this summer and came across Howe Sound Brewery. As any good beer-loving co-worker should, he brought me home a bottle of this Imperial Heffeweizen. I've killed a heffe or two in my time. I actually have heffe glasses from all of the breweries in Munich that I collected during a European tour back in 1985 at the ripe young age of 16. That being the case, the imperial adjective on King Heffy broke my brain a bit. A heffeweizen should be anything but imperial in my mind. They are light, and make for excellent hot day quenchers. ABV is usually low, and thus dropping a few won't put you in the bag in the early afternoon. Don't say “like Blue Moon”, or we will have issues. A real heffeweizen has so much more flavor and drinkability than that big beer, mass-market bullshiesse. Back to Howe Sound, these magnificent makers of madness have decided that the lightweight heffeweizen needed a big kick in the ass and as such, we get this relatively massive imperial heffeweizen. What should one expect from a brewery that also makes a Megadestroyer Imperial Licorice Stout? (That one is delicious BTW). DRINKABILITY: Damn Dangerous This beer is smooth, rich, and dangerously drinkable. You get the strong flavors from the hefe yeast, backed up by a denser malt profile that you would find in the usual heffeweizen. It's downright delicious. It also comes in a nice quart bottle. More beer is always good, right? Be forewarned that you will want to drink all of it. It is that good. Cool thing is that the bottle has a flip top, so you can pour a pint, and then seal it up back in the fridge until you are ready for your second. King Heffy is a tasty beer. I'm enjoying it immensely as I'm writing this, and I'm sure that the quart will be killed off this evening. There is no way that I am not going to finish this beer. It's excellent. GOLFABILITY: King Heffy May Crown You Golfability is a two-fold category. First, would you enjoy drinking this as you play, and second, would drinking this put the stink eye on your golf performance. Hot day drinkable may be the best way to describe King Heffy. I would love to pop one of these on the course, returning it to the cooler in between ingestions. Though it's an imperial heffeweizen, it's still has that quench of a heffe, and it's a refreshing drink. No big beer bloat with King Heffy. Make no mistake though; it is a big beer. At 7.7% ABV, this beer could be a round wrecker. You kill that quart on the front nine and you'll be looking for cart gal digits. Don't do that. Bad form bro... Buyagainability: You Bet If I see King Heffy here in NorCal, I'm buying another for sure. It's a great beer and I'd love another one or two to close out the hot summer months. Fingers crossed that I can find it since I did find the Megadestroyer a few years back. Thank you Howe Sound for making a beer that pushed by beer-knowledge envelope. I love surprises, especially tasty beer surprises.
  7. Dave's Take: Xikar's HP4 Quad Flame Lighter http://www.xikar.com/products/lighters/hp4/ The High Performance supercar-inspired HP4 Lighter was engineered to deliver optimum performance and output. The dominant appearance of the HP4 embodies a newly designed chassis. An in-line fuel adjustment wheel, oversized double EZ-Viewâ„¢ red fuel windows and four angled jets create an apex of precision engineered flames to concentrate heat and efficiently light any cigar with confidence. The manual flip-top lid not only protects the quad jets, but also retracts more than 90 degrees ensuring plenty of room to light small or large ring gauge cigars. Last week, I shared with you my take on the Xikar Turrim Single Jet Lighter. If you didn't get a chance to read that review yet, just click that link in the previous sentence. If that's too much effort, I'll summarize it for you. The Xikar Turrim Single Jet Lighter is my runaway-favorite lighter to take to the golf course. It's ergonomically excellent, lights reliably, fits perfectly in the travel humidor, and has enough butane capacity to light sticks for a scramble worth of golfers. Nothing but aces with the Turrim. Today, I have another Xikar lighter to share with you, the HP4 Quad Flame lighter. Yep, you read that correctly: QUAD FLAME. The HP4 has four butane jets. I've used three-jet lighters before, but never four. My inner pyromaniac says that more fiery jets should be nothing but good, but could that much fire cause unforeseen cigar lighting issues? Features Diamond Quad Jet Flames Outer Jets are angled 8 degrees creating a quad flame apex Flip-top lid retracts over 90 degrees Pull-Down ignition sports Xikar badge styling Metal body with debossed stripes Louvered rear-end accents Oversized, ratcheting fuel adjustment system EZ-Viewâ„¢ Red Fuel Window to easily detect remaining butane levels Five available colors (Black, Gunmetal, Red, Blue, and Orange) MSRP: $119.99 Ergonomics and Functionality Though not as streamlined as the Turrim Single, the HP4 Quad Flame lighter continues a theme of solid ergonomics. The HP4 is a bit stockier and shorter than the Turrim Single, fitting more into the contours of your palm as opposed to across them like the Turrim. The HP4 lighter has a little more heft to it than the Turrim Single, which will be a good or bad thing depending upon your personal preference. For me, I found the weight to be significant, yet comforting. When I first held the lighter, I was a bit surprised by the heft, but the more I used it, the more I realized that I liked the weight, that it felt like I was holding something that means business. These subjective things are hard to explain in words, but maybe think of the difference between holding a paring knife and a cleaver. Both knives cut, but when you hold the cleaver, you know that you are handling something powerful. That's my feeling about the HP4 Quad Flame lighter. Ergonomics is not a trivial metric for lighter use, as the position of the lighter in the hand determines how easy the lighter is to operate. For the HP4, the shape allows you to grip it in such a way that you can easily access the operational parts with your thumb. Flicking the cover open, and sliding the ignition switch are accomplished with ease. One of the features that Xikar promotes about the HP4 is the fact that the cover retracts to beyond 90 degrees, allowing for easy interaction between the cigar and the flame. I couldn't agree more with this assessment. I've got other flip top lighters where the lid stays too close to the jets, reducing access and also causing the lid to get hot, and burnt finger dangerous (yep, that's from personal experience). This lid gets out of the way, yet still covers the jets completely and snugly when retracted. Style-wise, Xikar has again done a solid job merging aesthetics and functionality. The louvers across the back not only add an interesting visual to the lighter, but they also add texture, enhancing the snugness of the lighter in your hand during operation. The available colors are pretty broad in appeal as well. You can choose from conservative black and gunmetal choices, or bolder red, blue, and orange options. Dave's 10 Click Challenge My new measurable metric for lighter performance is Dave's Ten Click Challenge. Basically, I will fill the lighter, and see how many ignitions occur with ten consecutive lighting attempts. I know that I want the torch to light more often than it doesn't, and so this seemed a valuable bit of data. For the HP4 Quad Flame lighter, the score was 10/10. I actually went to 15 straight ignitions without a miss. Quad fire every single time. Golfability I've previously gone on record as saying that the Xikar Turrim Single is the best take-to-the-golf-course cigar lighter, and after a few rounds with the HP4 Quad Flame lighter, the Turrim will retain that title, but it was close. The HP4 is pretty damn amazing, but the main thing that lowers its golfability for me is shape. The Turrim Single has the ideal cylindrical shape, allowing it to fit perfectly into a cigar slot in the travel humidor. The HP4 fits in the humidor, but it is a bit too wide for a single cigar slot, and it thus requires more manipulation to get it to fit with the cigars and a cutter. Shorter cigars will give it room at the top of the humidor, but you are likely dropping a stick from the box to get the cutter in there. Because of this, I'm giving the decision to the Turrim Single. It's kind of disappointing for me actually, because outside of the shape issue, this lighter brings nothing but joy when used. First, I think that it holds about a gallon of butane. Not really, bit there is a lot in there, with the current levels easily viewed by checking the EZ-Viewâ„¢ Red Fuel Windows. Of course, you'd need that capacity with four jets to fuel, but even so, I was not prepared for the longevity of the burn. Once filled, the raging flames just sip the butane reservoir. My expectation of frequent refilling was not met. The lighting of a cigar is also magnificent with the HP4. Having extra jets actually resulted in a feeling of improved heat control during lighting. It does seem counterintuitive, but having the pyramid of fire allowed me to control how much flame contacted the cigar at any given time. You can gently roast the tip from a distance, cultivating a great starting burn. having four jets is definitely not about lighting the cigar as fast as possible. It was cool to discover that the HP4 allows precise lighting, when I expected blunt-object burning. I love the way this lighter lights. Also, feel free not to worry much about wind ever again either. Now you could suggest that the HP4 could go to the course, just not in the travel humidor. I thought of that too, but I'd hate to have it get scratched or disfigured after just dropping it into a bag pocket filled with other junk. It would be like getting a ding on a favorite putter, and I am not down with that risk. The HP4 is going to sit nicely next to my fancy Bettinardi cigar tray; lighting backyard sticks with four-flame delight. Overall: It's Rad, but Burning at Home The HP4 Quad Flame lighter is a phenominal cigar lighter, falling just short in golf portability for me. If you are not as hung up as I am on getting it in the travel humidor, then I'd say bring it to the links. If not, it's a great lighter for all other cigar situations. It's got some heft to it, but it'll still fit in your pocket. The HP4 Quad Flame lighter would also make a great tabletop lighter. It has a great wide base, allowing it to easily stand when placed on the table. Take it with you, or leave it in your cigar area. The HP4 has you covered. Retail on the HP4 is a not-insignificant $119.99. That's no small investment for a torch, but remember that this one too is backed by Xikar's lifetime warranty. You are not investing in a cheap lighter, and should there be an issue with it, Xikar will take care of you. This lighter will also make an excellent significant-event gift. One of my foursome turns fifty next month, and a HP4 Quad may very well be the gift of choice to mark the event. Next week, we will check out the mechanical wonder that is the Xikar XO dual-guillotine cutter. Stay tuned.
  8. I like the simple fitting chart, but the name change seems risky and will take some getting used to. Those not in the know may buy another brand if they cant find their usual B330 ball on the shelf.
  9. That is a great beer. Had it last time I was in Germany Sent from my iPhone using MyGolfSpy
  10. Pinkus Organic Ur-Pils http://www.merchantduvin.com/brew-pinkus-muller-organic-ur-pils.php The History of Organic Ur-Pils Golden pilsner with bright, elegant bitterness was developed in Pilsen, Czechoslovakia, in the mid-19th century and German brewers began to brew "pils" very soon after. Pinkus Ur Pils, brewed with organic malt and hops, has another connection to the beers of 150 years ago: no chemical fertilizers or pesticides are used to produce the malt and hops. "Ur" translates roughly from German to "original." Certified Organic by the USDA-accredited ABCERT GmbH. Alcohol Content: 5.2% Bitterness Units (IBUS): 32 Color: Pale Gold with a little haze Left End of the Rack I probably spent fifteen minutes deciding on today's beer. It's an important decision. First, I need to find one that I have not had. It is New Brew Thursday after all. Second, I try and find beers that you all actually have a chance of finding. There were a couple of new local beers that I almost grabbed, but you will never see them in a store. I did grab two bottles of Pliny the Elder also today, humble brag, but Elder is way too regionally rare to review. Plus, I had that one before. So I ultimately went with the blue bottle of Pinkus Ur- Pils. No clue about this beer, save that I have not had it before. I figured it's an import so you may be able to find it. Plus, should it be a drain pour beer, I do have the Elder as a back-up evening libation. DRINKABILITY: Czech it Out See what I did there? Wordsmith in action. I'm a huge fan of the Czech Pils. Crisp, clean, and that distinctive pilsner chalkiness(word?) keeps me pouring more. The light character, and lower end ABV makes pilsners prime hot weather beers. The Pinkus Pils is organic, and that makes me laugh a bit. I tend to trust the German purity laws when it comes to beer formulation. Water, barley, hops, and yeast. That's all you get. Sure, organic could mean cleaner versions of those basic ingredients, but I truly couldn't care less about the organic label. What I do care about is taste, and the Pinkus Pils is a pretty good pilsner. It's pilsner character is not as bold as some others out there, but the flavor does improve as it warms a touch. It's not my favorite pilsner, but it's definitely not a drain pour. GOLFABILITY: Par Golfability is a two-fold category. First, would you enjoy drinking this as you play, and second, would drinking this put the stink eye on your golf performance. Pilsners are refreshing in general, and this one from Pinkus would be a welcome golf beer. Only bottles though which does drop the golfability a touch. The 5.2% ABV is dead on for golf though. Buyagainability: Unlikely I'm glad that my $4 risk with the Pinkus Ur-Pils was not a bust. It's an OK beer, just not life changing for me. I will likely try other beers from them in the future, but if buying a pilsner, I'll probably go with Firestone Walker's Pivo or Foundry's PC Pils. Both are in cans and both suit my palate a bit more. Bonus: Dog Helping Photos Benny decided to help with shooting photos today
  11. It was a bit windy here last weekend, and the lighter worked great. The larger version of the Turrim has two flame jets and may be a bit more wind resistant. Next week I'll have the Xikar HP4 Quad flame lighter for review. Four jets should make fire in a hurricane
  12. Dave's Take: Xikar's Turrim Single Lighter http://www.xikar.com/products/lighters/turrim%2Dsingle/ The Turrim Single is XIKAR's newest family addition. Built on the same principles as the 5x64 Turrim, the Turrim Single is a thinner, shorter 4.5x50 version in a single jet flame. The oversized fuel tank is elongated, providing ample butane capacity and the EZ-View™ Red Fuel window makes it easy to visibly detect when it's time to refill with butane. Welcome to the first of three Xikar product reviews that I'll be sharing with you over the next couple of weeks. Previously, I've written about two other Xikar products, the Xikar 5-cigar travel humidor and the 19th Hole gift set, and both of those products have been firmly in my golf bag's cigar arsenal ever since. The more I use their products, the more I'm convinced that Xikar is the company to beat in the cigar accessory marketplace. Today I have for you the Xikar Turrim Single jet torch. Did Xikar keep the awesomeness rolling, and add another must have item to my bag? Features Durable metal body with sleek look and feel Ergonomic pull-down pivot action for easy lighting Oversized, ratcheting fuel adjustment system allows for easy flame height adjustments Fits into one cigar slot in a travel case Elongated fuel tank maximizes fuel capacity EZ-View™ Red Fuel Window to easily detect remaining butane levels 4.5� x 50 RG Four available colors MSRP: $49.99 Ergonomics and Functionality The Xikar Turrim Single jet torch is basically cigar shaped. Even the dimensions for it are listed with a ring gauge for diameter. The great thing about this shape is that it allows the lighter to fit into cigar shaped spaces. It's ideal for most travel humidors and cases. The lighter also has a nice weight and texture. The cylindrical body fits well in my hand, and the added texture keeps it in place as you flip the igniter. Your thumb just ends up being where it should be when you go to light it. Solid ergonomics. The only thing that I would caution you about with this lighter, and all other sliding top ignition lighters, is to make sure that you are putting your thumb on the switch, and then sliding it away from the now exposed burning jet. Buddy wanted to push the ignition switch with his thumb, rather than pull it, and he almost had a hot thumb surprise. Seems like and obvious thing, but it's not for all. The flame adjustment knob is huge, and very easy to adjust. I hate torches where you need a screwdriver to change the flame height. That's often times a three-handed operation, when I currently have only two. With the Xikar Turrim Single jet torch you can ignite it, and then adjust the flame height while it burns. No other small torch that I own allows for this to happen. The butane window is also a nice feature, removing all questions about whether or not the lighter is full. This definitely helps to prevent the click and hope flame delivery system that can happen with other torches. You know exactly how much butane remains. Dave's 10 Click Challenge My new measurable metric for lighter performance is Dave's Ten Click Challenge. Basically, I will fill the lighter, and see how many ignitions occur with ten consecutive lighting attempts. I know that I want the torch to light more often than it doesn't, and so this seemed a valuable bit of data. For the Xikar Turrim Single jet torch, the score was 9/10, with the only failure coming on click 10. (It also lit on try 11; I was curious...) 90% ignition rate is a damn fine score in my book. Golfability So the lighter performs like a champ, but does it work well on the course? You bet it does. There are two main reasons why the Xikar Turrim Single jet torch may be just the torch that the golfer is looking for. First, the shape is perfect. The torch is just the right size to fit in one of the cigar slots in your travel humidor. Sure, this means that you are down one cigar for the round, but I can't imagine when I'd have a five cigar round. For me, four sticks and a lighter still means that I have extra sticks to share with my friends should they want one too. The Xikar Turrim Single jet torch just fits right in. The other thing that I like about this design is that the butane tank is huge. You can fill this up, and then let it ride for a couple of rounds. You'll have the flame when you need it, without packing a can of butane in your bag like my buddy does. This torch will definitely avoid the 10th hole fill-ups. Overall: It's in the Bag! The Xikar Turrim Single jet torch is a great lighter for the cigar-smoking golfer. It has the shape, capacity, and dependability that will keep your cigars ablaze as you traverse the links. Once again, I am truly impressed with what Xikar has to offer. I think that the $49.99 price tag on this lighter is pretty solid as well. Sure, there are cheaper lighter options out there, but how many $15 torches have you bought, and then thrown away when they break? This torch is backed with Xikar's lifetime warranty, so you are basically buying a forever torch. I feel that the investment in something nice adds to the experience as well. A cigar on the course has a bit of ritual for me. I like to pick the cigar from my selection, cut it with a nice cutter, and then light it with a fun to use torch. Maybe you are different, but like lots of the stuff in my bag, using something that is more than utilitarian adds to the experience. Tune in for more Xikar products soon.
  13. Saint Archer may make it up to you. One of the big beer benefits. Sent from my iPhone using MyGolfSpy
  14. Saint Archer Citra 7 IPA https://www.saintarcherbrewery.com Run! It's the Big Beer Blob! Depending upon where you live in the continuum of beer news, you may or may not know about the disturbing new(ish) trend of large breweries (Miller, Bud, and so on) buying successful, small microbreweries. It's actually worse than Katamari Damacy because in that game you at least see what the ball is made of after you roll over stuff. With the macrobreweries engulfing (rolling over) the smaller breweries, you may never know that what you are drinking is now a Budweiser product. If you are drinking a beer from Ballast Point, Elysium, Goose Island, Lagunitas, and other bought breweries, you are drinking something funded by big beer dollars. One should ask the question, “Is that a bad thing?” For some reasons, I'd say that it is not always bad, summing up my thoughts with the ever definitive “it depends”. Having a big beer checkbook means that you are likely now able to advertise and distribute your beer to markets that would have been out of your reach before. More people drinking your beer is a good thing, right? That's assuming that the beer is still good. If the recipe can be scaled up to huge production levels and not lose its flavor, then who cares who signs the check. Unless that person is a huge corporation with questionable business practices, like buying all of the available hops, thus eliminating competition. InBev is a huge corporation, and it's not inconceivable that they may not care about the soul of a small brewery once it is acquired, just how it adds to the bottom line. There is a level of tinfoil hat paranoia involved with some when discussing this topic, but for me personally, I try not to give my money to companies and corporations who condone practices that I do not like. My Saint Archer Story Living in NorCal, I tend to stick to, and know the most about the breweries in Northern California as opposed to Southern California. SoCal though has likely permeated the palate of every beer drinker in the country, if not world. SoCal beers have changed the tape in the craft beer world, pushing us toward complexity and diversity unfathomable in the pre-2000's. As such, I do take notice of new breweries from my neighboring south. Saint Archer was noticeable because they offered their beer in cans. Love cans. They made a solid single IPA, which made the go to play rotation more than once. The killer beer for me though was their Blackberry Gose. It is one of my favorite beers ever. It could just be the purple packaging, I own that bias, but really it's just a perfect blend of refreshment and sour. I've probably bought more six-packs of Saint Archer Blackberry Gose in recent years than any other beer. So far, the purchase of Saint Archer by MillerCoors has not destroyed that beer. In fact, they even released a Peach Gose this year. Not as good, but a peach gose is not a typical “big beer” beer variety, so I'm encouraged. Anyway, let's talk about the Saint Archer Citra 7 IPA. DRINKABILITY: 7 Wins For Me So the Citra 7 name comes from a combination of Idaho 7 hops and Citra hops. You are probably familiar with the citra hop profile, but the Idaho 7 is a bit more off the grid. I can only remember having a beer with them one other time. Sierra Nevada did a hop explorer beer or something like that with the Idaho 7. Saint Archer says that the combination of hops should give you a “soft apricot and bright lemon” taste. Not sure I get that, but what I do get is a smooth, rich IPA that finishes with the typical citra dryness. It's definitely familiar, but there is a little added something. I'm going to go with the Idaho 7 hops. It's on the teeth-cleaning edge of the bitter scale, which I do enjoy, but it may be too much for you malt mavens. GOLFABILITY: Yep, though you may shoot a 7 Golfability is a two-fold category. First, would you enjoy drinking this as you play, and second, would drinking this put the stink eye on your golf performance. It comes in cans, so it should go to the course. I know, I went 22oz bottle, but that was for research purposes. The extra 10oz I drink for you... I find Citra 7 refreshing, and I would welcome it in the golf bag cooler. Assuming that having such a thing would not be illegal at the course. The 7.0% ABV is intentionally or unintentionally part of the Citra 7, and could lead to golf performance issues. 7.0% is on the high border for me for playing. This one is tasty too, so the third one would be welcome on a hot day, and likely lead me to that third double on the back side. Buyagainability: If my Conscience Permits I like Citra 7 a bunch, and if there was no Big Beer issue, I'd be all in on this 7. I'll definitely buy more of the Blackberry Gose from Saint Archer, because that beer rules, and is pretty unique, but there may be other canned single IPAs out there that I can buy that will more directly support small breweries. Really hoping MillerCoors doesn't mess them up. For me, that matters. I'm not going to flat out avoid any brewery that gets bought out, but I'll keep an eye on them. If given the choice, I'll likely always choose the small beer shop, but I'm not going to totally dismiss favorite beers just because they are now under a Big Beer umbrella. Maybe InBev breweries, those guys are sketchy...
  15. Lifetime warranty says that this is an excellent idea! Sent from my iPhone using MyGolfSpy
  16. That's the one. Can't wait to compare it to my other Xi1cutter.
  17. Not to thread jack, but for those looking for a better cut, I should have a new Xikar cutter ( and a couple of lighters) coming in tomorrow for testing and review.
  18. Obviously we need to roll back the outfits to recover golf's purity.
  19. Thanks for the image post. Was going to do that when I saw it didn't show up on the mobile version.
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