We love funky product names, especially when there are cool stories behind them. But all of that means nothing if the funky-named product isn’t any good.
Lagunitas has been brewing exceptional beer with exceptionally strange names in Northern California since 1993. It all comes from the mind of founder and owner Tony Magee, who came up with not only the odd names (like A Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’ Ale, Lagunitas Sucks, 12th of Never Ale, and Wilco Tango Foxtrot) and their corresponding bottle artwork, but more importantly all of the recipes. The brewery has experienced tremendous growth and its beer is now available in 35 states. The Lagunitas Wilco Tango Foxtrot, one of the brewery’s most popular seasonal releases, was originally introduced back in 2009 and has been the source of some Internet “controversy” regarding the name. The band Wilco and their followers apparently claim the beer was named after them and their controversial 2001 album Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. The brewery denies those claims.
Ventura Cigar Company, also based in California, has had its fair share of peculiar brand names for cigars. You have the Psyko, Project 805, Pura Sangre, Slaughterhouse, and one of their new brands, Archetype. Now, Archetype itself is not super strange, but the sub-brand names, which were inspired by Joseph Campbell’s famous book, Hero of a Thousand Faces, will certainly make you stop and think. The book, which is a study of the archetypal hero in world mythology, has seeped into popular culture by influencing the likes of Stanley Kubrick, Bob Dylan, and George Lucas (among others). You can now add the folks over at Ventura Cigar Company to that group! The Archetype brand features Dreamstate, Sage Advice, Strange Passage, Initiation, and Axis Mundi. The first three lines are made by Davidoff, Dreamstate and Sage Advice are made in Davidoff’s DR facilities, and Strange Passage is produced in their Honduras factory. Initiation and Axis Mundi are manufactured by Drew Estate in Nicaragua.
The Archetype Strange Passage is a beautifully constructed, soft-pressed cigar with a velvety smooth wrapper. The cigar starts smooth and elegant with plenty of pepper, oak, coffee, and a touch of earth. The beer’s heavy and rich malty sweetness play perfectly with the cigar’s oaky pepper characteristic. Afterward, the malt from the beer and the intensified coffee notes in the cigar take turns being dominant.