“Magic becomes art when it has nothing to hide!”
— Ben Okri
What Makes It Special
#The Magic of Rock-A-Feller cigars brand owner, Kevin “Gold” Schweitzer, is a lifelong magic enthusiast. At eight years old, his dentist’s neat coin trick piqued his interest. After some magic lessons, a father-son trip to New York’s Tannen’s Magic Shop, and Royal Road to Card Magic book purchase, Kevin was hooked! By age fourteen, Kevin started hustling card tricks on Manhattan’s fourteenth street, and quickly moved on to performing illusionary “Kevin Fantistico” magic shows. He is also a member of the globally recognized Society of American Magicians.
The cigar’s name, ‘Art of Magic’, represents Kevin’s love of magic, which he still occasionally performs. Its Mexican San Andres Maduro wrapper leaf, is grown in the volcanic soil of the San Andres Valley, and can be traced back to ancient Mayan carvings in Veracruz. Known as “Morron” or “Negro”, for its dark brown color, this tobacco is stalk-cut (entire plant) versus primed (leaves picked off the plant two or three times), and so it is thicker, naturally sweet, and earthy. The cigars are hand rolled, with Aganorsa grown Nicaraguan filler and binder tobaccos, at the Tabacos Valle de Jalapa S.A. (TABSA) factory in Esteli, Nicaragua.
Kevin’s entire Rock-A-Feller cigar line pays homage to magic, including Chicago’s legendary card magic expert and “Cigar Deal” creator, Ed Marlo, aka “The Cardician” (1913-1991). Kevin, who’s favorite cards are the Four of Clubs and King of Diamonds, also sponsors The Great Lakes Smoke Show (GLSS). This is a hilarious weekly cigar, tobacco, and spirits focused podcast that has absorbed me, “Joey G”, as their quarterly ‘Whiskey Week’ Co-host. See Kevin’s most recent GLSS guest appearance, featuring my Florida surprise visit appearance, here:
Art of Magic Maduro
Brand: Rock-A-Feller Cigars
Vitola: Toro 6×52
Filler / Binder: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Mexican San Andres Maduro
Body: Medium to Full Boldness
Visual / Pre-light Draw
This is a dark brown tough looking stick, with beautiful leafy veins. The wrapper feels very oily and rigid. The elegant but simple black and gold single band displays the cigar’s name, “Art of Magic”, in red. There is a very slight softness to the sturdy construction of the cigar, and it appears to be packed very tight. The band came off very easily, intact, and looks like a charming magic collectors item.
After a perfectly prepped Colibri V-Cut, the dry draw produced big bold notes of dark chocolate, berries, fig, and very fresh oats.
Nice naturally sweet creamy vanilla and marzipan notes followed by burning cedar wood notes. There is little to no spice, until you retro-hale, which has an enjoyable sweet spicy punch. Holding the well constructed cigar made me realize that it is perfect for the rapid movement of Ed Marlo’s “Cigar Deal”. The draw is a bit tight, there is tons of foot smoke, which has an amazing dark chocolate aroma. The cigar begins to soften as it warms up, and has a nice, very slow, even burn. After a sip of water, a big almond note magically revealed itself on the entire palate, and I sat there in awe!
After the lengthy first third, I can tell this magic stick was just warming up. The ash immediately fell off with dignity, and the draw became easier. Some nice grassy hay notes coming in on the palate. It remains sturdy, a medium to full bodied cigar, and the nice slow even burn continues. The ash’s second chapter is also holding perfectly. Time to introduce the magic stick to the magic cask…WHOA!!! An incredibly balanced pairing that woke me up from the cigar’s relaxing effect. Also pairing well musically is Lane 8’s ‘Feld’ track. The coveted repetition of this mysterious and supernatural trifecta is pure magic!
The smoked woody and dark truffled chocolate flavors really ramp up, but the smoking experience remains smooth and very enjoyable. Kevin mentioned that he “loved working with Aganorsa to create the first Art of Magic Cigar”, and I can see why. Big marzipan notes magically reappeared on the palate after a sip of water, incredible!. This potent and lengthy trance-like final third experience is definitely magical. The heavy back end, full bodied and earthy flavors of the cigar made the whisky, as well as the smoker’s worries, magically and quickly disappear. Presto!!!
This magical yet transparent pairing produced a crazy amazing burst of fresh tropical fruits over fresh notes of cocoa. Big apricot and hard cherried candies on the palate, infused with notes of coffee and cocoa. This pairing is like washing down campfire melted s’mores, with a can of fruity cocktail juice. The entire magical experience of this pairing transcends the smoker into a wonderful gnostic subconscious state of mind.
Ladies and gentlemen, for this next trick, we’ll be pairing Kevin Gold’s ‘Art of Magic’ stick with the ‘Magic Cask’, a limited edition non-age stated blended scotch from Compass Box. Previously released in 2006, this 2020 release is “a lovely old parcel of whisky from the lost distillery of Imperial that never seemed to gel with other whiskies. It wasn’t until we received samples from another maturation trial, and added some to the whisky from The Imperial Distillery, that we felt once more that touch of magic”. This whisky, most likely from Speyside’s Aberlour Distillery, was aged in first fill Bourbon barrels, re-racked in first fill Oloroso Sherry butts, and bottled at that malt magic 46% ABV.
“While keeping the older malt’s winning mouthfeel, new flavor notes of marmalade, toffee apple, and vanilla panna cotta have appeared. We have produced this compelling malt whisky without recourse to illusion or sleight-of-hand – all we needed was one Magic Cask!” ~ Whiskymaker John Glaser
This magical yet transparent pairing produced a crazy amazing burst of fresh tropical fruits over fresh notes of cocoa. Big apricot and hard cherried candies on the palate, infused with notes of coffee and cocoa. This pairing is like washing down campfire melted s’mores, with a can of fruity cocktail juice. The entire magical experience of this pairing transcends the smoker into a wonderful gnostic subconscious state of mind. Voila..abracadabra, we have a very recommended, mesmerizing, and miraculous pairing, definitely one for the open minded and experienced cigar smoker.
To experience the magic and entire line of Vintage Rock-A-Feller Cigars, visit www.VRCGCigars.com. Be sure to make these ‘nothing to hide’ magic sticks appear in your humidor, today!
Acknowledgment & Special Event
Thank you Franklin Park Illinois Midwest Magic store owner, Tim Felix, for your in store photography assistance. Featuring over 14,000 SKUs, be sure to shop midwestmagic.net for all your magic trick and collection needs.
Join the GLSS crew and I on Saturday August 13th, at the 2nd annual Smoke at the Creek Boutique Cigar Festival in Martinsville Indiana. The 15 acre festival will take place at the Cedar Creek Winery & Brewery, which features an on site distillery, winery, brewery, cigar lounge, restaurant, and live music venue.
For festival information and tickets please visit: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/smoke-at-the-creek-2022-tickets-265714989687?aff=erelexpmlt
Photography by: James Archie