Johnny Scotch’s Top Shelf Reviews – Entry One: La Aroma De Havana Cigar Bar & Lounge

Maybe it was because I was in town but the usual bright sunny demeanor of Pismo Beach CA was absent during my short stay. It was replaced with a moist fog that blanketed the rolling terrain and concealed the soft roar of the oceans waves behind a curtain of mystery and awe. I was welcomed by the weather and felt at home in the cool mist of the day.

I was searching for a place to kill some hours while I waited for my next set on the road. I had already had my fill of trick or treaters that pandered to the boardwalk businesses luring them in with the promise of technicolor sugar. Just off the main drag I was coaxed into a corner bar that was close enough to walk to but out of the way of the munchkins making their rounds.

As I pushed into the entry way of La Aroma De Havana, I expected to walk into a dim lit, musty, smoke filled dive. To my delight, I was way off the mark. The high ceilings and industrial ventilation promised that even with the potential smoke of a cigar bar, you would not be choked by the oily vapors emanating from your neighbor. Soft leather chairs filled the room instead of the usual booths and tables of a typical bar. I cozied up to the copper bar and took the rest of the room in. Industrial but not cold. A wall of nice wines and a decent list of microbrews on tap winked at me.

The purveyor of La Aroma greeted me with a warm hand shake and a soft accent. His greeting was not desperate or pandering. It was sincere and welcoming. It made me want to stay for a while and become a part of the scenery. I ordered a pint, being only a little disappointed at the lack of scotch and made my way to the glass cage that held in the wide selection of cigars to round out the full offerings of this establishment.

The rest of the afternoon was filled with light conversation, the consumption of a few lubricating pints and the soft draw of an oily but smooth smoking Maduro. Jazz played over the speakers and sports occupied the other patrons who had also sought refuge in this hideaway away from the beach and the giggling kids outside.

I left with the appreciative knowledge that my next visit to Pismo Beach would have to include another escape from the tourist laden sidewalks to this haven of class, tucked away, but not hidden, from the main drag of this busy tourist town.

I stepped from the musk of fine tobacco, back out into the thick air of the fog that veiled my exit and chauffeured me back to my gig to play the night away with my crew.

This review was provided without solicitation for La Aroma De Havana Cigar Bar & Lounge, Pismo Beach CA. John Dover is the writer of Johnny Scotch and professional musician based out of Portland OR. For more writing from John Dover, visit, and

Johnny Scotch for Santa Rosa

JS Fundraiser

Many times it is not until we are face-to-face with the results of a disaster that we put ourselves into action to help others. I am not from the Santa Rosa area, but have many friends and colleagues who were affected by the recent devastating fires that wiped across the landscape with such blinding speed. Homes, businesses, and families were burnt to the ground and it is heart-wrenching.

With this disaster, as with many that have occurred in such short succession, I have felt helpless in its wake of destruction. I don’t have much, but what I have I want to use to help those in need as much as I can. That is why, until the end of November, I will be hosting a special sale on my site,, which will designate a major portion of proceeds from the sale of every Johnny Scotch comic or book to the North Bay Fire Relief Fund. Here is the breakdown:

Purchases of $5.00 – $15.00 (one to three comics), $2.00 per comic will be donated.
Purchases of $9.00 (a copy of Danger in Bass Clef), $4.00 will be donated.
Purchases of $20.00 (Johnny Scotch package of three comics and Danger in Bass Clef), $10.00 will be donated.

As I mentioned before, I don’t have much, that means that any puchases will have to still include a shipping fee. Sorry.

I realize, this is not the only way for you to donate and I encourage any and all of you to go the the site for the North Bay Fire Relief Fund, or any of the myriad organizations that are working to benefit this and other disasters around the world right now.

Since Facebook will only allow me to host this event for two weeks, I will keep updates flowing through my webpage and also do a big announcement on December 1st as to how much we were able to pull together with this informal drive. Please help by taking part in whatever way you can. Post, share, contribute and share again.


So I’ve been doing a thing…

The past couple months I have been doing some writing for my good friends over at Myth Machine Publishing. The latest article that they put up of mine is here:

This has been an exciting project to be a part of. I get to add my voice to the fray of a great fandom. The Arrow is one of my favorite TV shows that takes the comic book world and explores the action, drama, and intricate world building that comics are great at and adapts them for a viewing audience.

I hope you will join me for my blogging journey and take time to chime in with your own thoughts as we move through the Arow-verse together.

Website updates for Johnny Scotch…

Spent some time today updating my site with some fresh images and with new links. Images to promote Johnny Scotch #3 are there and there will be more to come for sure. I also collected links for some of the reviews and interviews for Johnny Scotch over the past couple of years. Great links from my friends at Hold 322, The Art of Business,, and Written Sins.

I hope you will take some time to take a tour of the site and see what is going on in the Johnny Scotch universe.


New Horror Anthology Now Available…

This has been an exciting year of releases. From Tales From the Braided Pony, to Danger in Bass Clef, to Johnny Scotch #3, I am very lucky to have my voice out in the literary world. This week I get to celebrate yet another one of my short stories getting published.


This is the second anthology released by Mark Green and his company. I am excited to offer my fun short story, “Special Delivery” as part of this collection, just in time to add this to your October reading list.


A taste of Scotch…

@ardbeg_com is known for it’s hearty peat infused flavor. If you are not a fan of this earthy, smokey, character then my entry today might not be up your alley.

The gift of scotch is a beautiful thing. It is through these gifts and generosities over the years that I have been able to sample some truly interesting flavors in the scotch world. Today’s offering comes from one of my favorite supporters and is a truly unexpected delight.52877467072__C24DA98D-F55F-4549-9239-160507AC2DF6.jpeg

From the moment the cork was pulled on this I knew I was in for something special. Not only did the peat aura waft up to greet my nose as I took my first sniff and taste, but there were other flavors and notes that I was not expecting. As I am used to the Ardbeg 10 yr old, I was expecting the almost medicinal smokiness that accompanies this companies palette. With the Kelpie, the aging process takes place in select casks from the Black Sea region, allowing for the seaside notes that generally accent the Islay scotches to come through in a wonderful buttery way.

A few more sips in and I am standing on the rickety boards of a mossy pier with the evening bonfire wafting off the shore behind me and the soft, salty wind tickling my nose. This is not a boisterous scotch. This is a walk along an evening beach with a long time lover, hand in hand with the anticipation of the twilight activities lighting up your senses. The foaming waves of the sea rolling in, playing with your toes in the sand as you stroll along to infinity.

Sure I am a bit verbose. I never claimed not to be. I was just so pleased with the tastes and smells that wrapped around me. The experience of this scotch grew with every sip. I adored how it challenged me to explore its depths in search of every aroma and taste I could disentangle from the myriad of flavors bouncing off my tongue.

If you are offered a chance to sample or hopefully deeply imbibe (responsibly) this offering from Ardbeg, I implore you to give it a try. Even if peaty scotch tends to scare you a bit, give it a shot. you might be surprised at what you find too.

Johnny Scotch comic #3 is available

This was launched with not nearly enough pomp and circumstance let alone shouting into the void to at least keep our fans appraised that yes, Johnny Scotch #3 is printed, available and ready for your consumption.

Front Cover

“The life of a jazz musician is hard enough, but add in the antics of Lila and her goons tossing you into a trunk without warning and things get ultimately more complicated. Johnny not only has to think about missing his next set, but he has to confront a past that has come up to bite him.”

Our usual retail partners are already picking up the third issue so be on the look out for Johnny Scotch issues 1, 2, and 3 in your area. If you have a store that you want our books in, drop me a message and I will see what I can do to get these great comics into your area.