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Velvet hammer seeds

The Velvet Hammer

Earlier today, I was reading an article from Cigar Aficionado July / August 2003 with David Savona interviewing Robert Levin and was reminded of a cool photo I had taken a few months ago of the Ashton ESG. Well I think it’s cool. Here it is.

I realized that I didn’t know very much about the history of the cigar and decided to do some digging. This blog is the result of all that digging.

Robert Levin is the owner of Ashton Cigars and his father bought the now famous Holt’s Cigars in Philadelphia, PA way back in 1957. Robert started working the business in the early 70’s and by the 80’s had his first cigar brand. He wanted to make something with a Connecticut wrapper and more flavor than what was currently on the market. That’s when he came up with the name Ashton. Named after a friends import and export of Ashton pipes, Robert thought it was a good name, and Ashton was created.

The early Ashton cigar of the early 80’s wasn’t what Robert was dreaming of. In 1987 or 88, according to Levin, he went the Dominican Republic to long time friends, The Fuente’s to make the Ashton Cabinet and then the Ashton Maduro. Then the cigar boom of the early 90’s hit and Ashton was on the map and doing really well.

Now here’s where the interview got interesting and why I was reminded of the ESG. Savona asks Levin about the Ashton VSG (Virgin Sun Grown). Here is the exact line. Levin says “I wanted a line extension to Ashton. We were going to come out with Ashton Crown, which was going to have Chateau de la Fuente wrapper. I had packaging, I had bands, I had everything. But after Fuente Fuente OpusX [which used the same wrapper] hit, the demand was so tremendous, Carlos couldn’t make any Ashton Crowns.”

Ashton Crowns? Chateau de la Fuente Wrapper? He made the VSG instead of the Crown. But forward to 2005.. and BAM.. out comes the Estate Sun Grown. As per the Ashton website “Irreplaceable reserves of the Fuente family’s oldest tobaccos exclusively comprise Ashton Estate Sun Grown. An all-Dominican recipe of ultra-mature tobaccos is finished in a rare and glistening Dominican wrapper leaf, harvested solely to commemorate the 20th Anniversary of Ashton Cigars.” Sounds like Levin finally got his “Crown” in the ESG. Special wrapper made for his 20th anniversary cigar, the sun grown, cuban seed, grown at Chateau de la Fuente??

That’s totally a crown.. right? Levin had to be thinking of his original idea when he made the band and the cigar. I don’t have first hand knowledge of this, but it seems fair to say after looking at the band close up.

This mellow starting cigar is full of surprises including the slow pick up of power and strength as it is smoked. That is how the ESG got it’s nickname, “The Velvet Hammer.” It’s sneaky. It’s really good. And it comes out in different sizes depending on the availability of tobacco. There are 5 sizes, the 20-24 Year Salute. 90+ ratings from 2006-2018 and 2 top 10 finishes in 2006 & 2014. This is a truly special cigar. Commemorate your next big occasion with this 20th anniversary Ashton Cigar!

Velvet Hammer

Here you can find all info about Velvet Hammer from Great North Seed Company. If you are searching for information about Velvet Hammer from Great North Seed Company, check out our Basic Infos or Lineage / Genealogy for this cannabis variety here at this page and follow the links to get even more information. If you have any personal experiences with growing or consuming this cannabis variety, please use the upload links to add them to the database!

Basic / Breeders Info

Velvet Hammer is an indica/sativa variety from GNSC and can be cultivated indoors (where the plants will need a flowering time of ±60 days ) and outdoors . GNSCs Velvet Hammer is a THC dominant variety and is/was never available as feminized seeds.

GNSCs Velvet Hammer Description

This strain is in advanced testing stages. We have noticed a serious mixture of purple phenotypes and extreme trichome production. Very bulbous calyx formations and has a gas flavor that comes from the magnum male. The F10 male should help the genetic integrity of this cross. Shout out to @countree_boys for the hookup on the male.

It has also came to our attention that an Instagram user named @Bungladutch has a similar cross, but has named it “litreacola” .. same cross, different selections of males.

Lineage: (Gorilla glue #4 x Magnum Opus ( long valley royal kush F10) )
Type: hybrid
Yield: moderate/above average
Flowering time: 8-9 weeks ~60 days

Velvet Hammer Lineage / Genealogy

  • Velvet Hammer »»» Gorilla Glue #4 x Magnum Opus #4

      • »»» x Chocolate Diesel probably x Chem Sister

          • »»» Sour Diesel x Sour Bubble probably
            • »»» Original Diesel x DNL
              • »»» Chemdawg x x SensiNL

                    • »»» Skunk #1 x Afghanistan
                          • »»» Afghanistan x Mexico x Colombia »»» Indica »»» Sativa »»» Sativa
                            • »»» NL #1 x NL #2 x NL #5 IBL
                                »»» Indica
                                  Probably »»» Indica
                                  »»» Mostly Indica
                                  »»» Indica
                                • »»» x Northern Lights x Hawaiian
                                        (specified above)
                                        »»» Indica/Sativa Hybrid
                                      • »»» BOGBubble Sour Bubble Clone x BX3 Sour Bubble Clone x BOGBubble
                                          Sour Bubble Clone

                                            • »»» Bubblegum x Bubble Gum
                                                  »»» Mostly Indica
                                                  (specified above)
                                                  (specified above)
                                                    a (specified above)
                                                  • »»» Sour Diesel x Chocolate Trip Katsus F1- Cut (specified above) Katsus F1- Cut
                                                    • »»» x x Chocolate Thai
                                                        »»» Indica
                                                          »»» Sativa
                                                          (specified above)
                                                          »»» Indica

                                                            • »»» x Southern Humboldt Purple Kush x Highland Afghani
                                                                (specified above)
                                                                  Probably Indica »»» Indica
                                                                • »»» Hindu Kush x Purple Afghani »»» Indica »»» Indica

                                                                Map of the Velvet Hammer Family Tree

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                                                                Lessons from the velvet hammer

                                                                Recently, a woman at work let me in on a secret. My nickname is ‘the velvet hammer’. It seems it was coined following a recent senior leadership meeting and it stuck. When I asked her what this meant, she said ‘as a leader, you demonstrate incredible strength, intelligence and grace’. She added, ‘your capabilities often come as an unexpected surprise to others’.

                                                                That was probably one of the greatest compliments I have ever received. I believe she was showing appreciation for my apparent effectiveness in navigating through what is often a tumultuous, male-dominated, technology-driven work environment.

                                                                Clearly, women in executive technology roles must pilot through a different terrain than their male counterparts. I cannot imagine my colleague giving this compliment to a man, regardless of his grace under pressure. One just wouldn’t suggest to a man that they were surprised by his capabilities. Rather, one would likely note and praise the skills demonstrated of a male associate.

                                                                So, this exchange inspired me to take some time and consider more deeply the issues that I face as a women executive. I came up with the following imperatives. I offer these to working professionals everywhere. My hope is simply to improve the work experience for everyone – women may find this advice helpful and men may better understand the “other” people that they work with.

                                                                Velvet Hammer Imperatives
                                                                Expect challenges to your competency: Some may discount your abilities both directly and indirectly. Here are some of my favorite examples:

                                                                • You can be publicly undermined when presenting your ideas to senior executives
                                                                • You can be considered the ‘token’ female on the executive team
                                                                • Peers can place ‘seeds of doubt’ regarding your competency to upper management
                                                                • Others think they are more qualified than you simply because you’re a woman

                                                                So, be as prepared, smart, graceful and strong as you can be when encountering this form of resistance. You have what it takes or you wouldn’t be there. Remember, women are still a minority within the senior management ranks. It is what it is. Clearly, you will stand out more the higher you rise. Make peace with being a target for others and remember “the best defense is a good offense”.

                                                                Look for ways to make your boss successful: Your progress and value directly correlates to the effectiveness of your boss and your ability to enable him/her and advance the organization. Find a leader that you respect, can learn from, and can take calculated risks with to better the company.

                                                                If your current boss doesn’t satisfy all of the three criteria, do your job well and look for a new boss who will. You can learn from every person above you in an organization, even those that you make you cringe. Poor management will teach you what to avoid when you manage others.

                                                                Lastly, if you feel you are doing the job of your immediate superior, make sure it is obvious to others and more than likely you will be seen as a candidate for a promotion opportunity.

                                                                Look for mentors outside of your reporting chain: While it feels terrific when it happens, don’t expect your boss to be your mentor. In fact, it can serve you well to have an outside perspective and coaching, too.

                                                                I’ve found that I have gained immense value from a variety of people I have worked with, including more experienced colleagues, management consultants and personal coaches hired by the firm to specifically improve the quality of the entire management team. Seek out advice from those who may have been there before and are willing to share ideas and insights that will make you better.

                                                                Develop impeccable timing: Being at the right place at the right time is usually a planned occurrence from a career perspective. Having impeccable, or flawless, timing speaks to positioning yourself as the clear candidate for a more senior level job opening / new position.

                                                                To develop this skill, become a student of your business/industry, deliver unquestionable team results, enable the success of your boss and you will demonstrate your potential and desire to perform at the higher level. Take on tasks outside your comfort zone, or assigned domain, to build credibility with other leaders and show you can work with a team outside of your organization.

                                                                Lastly, make sure you are able to prepare material, and confidently present complex ideas to senior executives and large audiences.

                                                                Be leery of backstop promotional opportunities: Organizations often backstop an underperforming supervisor with someone that they think will do the job for him/her. While this scenario can actually result in a financial / title promotion, no one wins here. The supervisor doesn’t improve and you get stuck doing two jobs.

                                                                If you sense that this “terrific opportunity” is disguising a backstop situation for an underperformer, you should gracefully take a pass.

                                                                Promote the success of others: Find others that you respect and make it a point to promote their success. At the executive level, your success depends on your investment in your key stakeholders. Key stakeholders are (anyone that can influence the outcome of your work and / or career) those above you, those below you and those within your peer group.

                                                                Build a stakeholder map and specify, by individual, what you need to do to make them successful. By making them successful, they will be more inclined to speak well of you and support your team’s agenda.

                                                                Remember to always be grateful and appreciate the contributions of others. Take the time and effort to say thank you in a way that is meaningful to the person you want to recognize.

                                                                I believe a great part of being a manager is rewarding and recognizing talent. It spreads good will and enables others, further it develops a healthier work environment. It can never hurt to support, recognize and promote people you respect.

                                                                Build a winning team: You can be the smartest person in the room, the hardest worker, the most dedicated team member and your results will always be limited by your individual contributions. By building a team and delivering unquestionable results, you are exponentially more valuable than what you can deliver as an individual contributor.

                                                                Paradoxically, you must be deliberate in building and nurturing your team. Be sure to establish and socialize your team’s mission, expected results, success criteria, critical skills and the action steps / key milestones that will define impeccable results. These go a long way towards creating an environment where successful teams can flourish.

                                                                Keep developing your messaging skills: Being able to deliver a compelling story, engage an audience, and facilitate a fruitful discussion is an essential component of your toolbox.

                                                                I have been amazed at the sheer number of senior executives who lack one or more of these components. The ability for an individual to successfully present, engage, influence and guide an executive group effectively separates those who will continue to climb the corporate ladder from those that will plateau.

                                                                Many companies invest in their employees by providing training to develop these capabilities. This type of critical thinking, presentation/story creation and ‘showcase’ capability is considered a competitive advantage in the workplace. Seek out such opportunities.

                                                                However, with dedication, one can develop these skills on their own. If you don’t already possess these abilities, include them to your two year development plan and take action. To penetrate the senior executive ranks, you will need them all.

                                                                Establish and protect your reputation: Your reputation and integrity is critical, don’t lose sight of what other may be saying about you. As a woman, you may become a target for office gossip. Women of higher ranks are often bolder targets and more susceptible of being accused of using their sexuality to advance their careers.

                                                                Navigate politics and office games with great team results. Avoid engaging in office gossip and take note of those who thrive on it. All of us work with people who truly enjoy speculating and talking about others in the office. Some take it to a new level and work out schemes and strategies to gain power and influence.

                                                                This is especially true, if you are new to a company. It is almost a compliment when others pull you in by sharing their insights and stories of others. Be careful. If you want to be valued don’t align yourself with one faction of the office or another. By doing so, you will limit yourself. Be extremely selective on where you place your trust. Who you surround yourself with at work reflects what you value in others.

                                                                Be mindful of your presence and still be a woman: Be acutely aware of how you present yourself to others. Earlier in my career as an aerospace engineer and a development director, I found women who reached the vice president level often emulated their male peers.

                                                                These women seemed to purposefully adjust verbal and non-verbal to be more masculine and have a complementary masculine appearance. Although it was likely their work and team results which promoted them to this level, how they presented themselves sent a confusing message to the junior work force, both males and females.

                                                                The irony is that concurrently women at staff levels often dressed in a manner which commanded attention, and at times diverted attention away from their actual contributions. Don’t make that mistake.

                                                                Rather, adopt ‘if in doubt, don’t’ dressing principle. Dressing provocatively or flirting is never acceptable in the workplace. Remember, you want to be known for your work not the way you look. Subtle femininity works, so use it.

                                                                The advice offered through these ten imperatives does not represent the end of the discussion. Rather, I hope that they inspire further thought and dialogue. We should consider them a starting point. If we do this, I am optimistic that they can form the foundation for greater understanding and, ultimately, an improved working environment for us all.