Episode 500: Señorial Maduro and a host of interviews on the final SF5 podcast

Play

BACKGROUND: It started 10 years, 2 months and a day ago as I wanted to add a different feature set to my already popular Stogie Fresh website. I was already reviewing cigars, publishing feature-length article on a variety of cigar topics and reporting on my trips to Central America and the Caribbean. Podcasting was unheard of to me before that time and yet, I didn’t hesitate to jump into the podsphere because I believed I could add something of value using that medium. Nevertheless, I’ll let others be the final arbiters of the ultimate value of Stogie Fresh 5.

Señorial Maduro by José Blanco

Señorial Maduro by José Blanco

On this the final podcast I will be featuring the Señorial Maduro by José Blanco (who will also provide an audio segment for the show) and I will be interviewing a number of my local cigar friends who came over to my home to help me celebrate my final podcast.

Team Stogie Fresh wearing their colors!

Team Stogie Fresh wearing their colors!

Steve and Michelle enjoying the awesome Central Coast Day

Steve and Michelle enjoying the awesome Central Coast Day

Also included in this show, will be several brief recordings made by a number of my friends, some of whom are part of the cigar industry and some of whom are not. These recordings will feature the following people (listed in alphabetical order): Jose Blanco (Señorial Cigars), Dave Burck (Cigar Jukebox), William Cooper (Cigar Coop and Stogie Geeks), Eddie DeJong (Vanderburgh Humidors), Christina Fontecchio (The Boss Cigars), Ian Goebel (Scorpion Cigar Reviews), Aaron Loomis (Developing Palates), Jorge Mendizabal, John “The Iron Chef” Merzon, and Charlie Minato (Halfwheel).

Doc and Christina being goofy

Doc and Christina being goofy

Kilt Bill and Bily Mon

Kilt Bill and Bily Mon

Friends who participated in my final podcast herf include: Bily, Angel, Kilt Bill, Steve, Tim, Gina, John, Mark, Benjamin, Christina, Michelle, Ricky and Sal.

Tim slinging beef

Tim slinging beef

Of course, all guests who attended the 500th podcast herf shared their cigar and libation pairings.

FEATURED WEBSITES:
Señorial Cigars (Las Cumbres Tabaco)
Developing Palates
Halfwheel
Cigar Coop
Stogie Geeks
Cigar Jukebox
Vanderburgh Humidors
Purgatory Humidors
The Boss Cigars
Scorpion Cigar Reviews

Episode 499: CroMagnon Cranium and Booker’s Bourbon

Play

BACKGROUND: The RoMa Craft lineup consists of three core lines: The CroMagnon, the CroMagnon Aquitaine and the Intemperance. The CroMagnon possesses a dark and oily USA/Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper, and sports a Cameroon binder with three Nicaraguan varietals in the filler.

CroMagnon-600

The CroMagnon comes in 6 cores sizes and the cigar I’m reviewing today, is the 6-inch by 54 ring gauge, Cranium.

FEATURED LIBATION: Booker’s Bourbon
The featured bourbon of this week, is batch 2016-01, also called “Booker’s Bluegrass.” It is named in honor of two of founding distiller Booker Noe’s favorite things: whiskey and bluegrass music. This batch features a custom label depicting a banjo, one of the distinctive instruments in bluegrass music.

CroMagnon-Bookers-2

SPECIAL SEGMENT: Interview with Skip Martin of RoMa Craft Tobac

FEATURED WEB SITES:
RoMa Craft Tobac
Booker’s Bourbon

Episode 498: La Flor Dominicana Chapter One and Barrelhouse Curly Wolf

Play

BACKGROUND: Tony Gomez, son of owner Litto Gomez, led this project for the company as part of his expanding role in the family business. For the limited edition Chapter One, Tony opted to use his the company’s trademark chisel shape, but in a box-pressed format.

LFD-Chapter-One

The Chapter One project began with an experiment of creating a box-pressed Double Ligero Maduro Chisel, simply out of curiosity. That cigar became the prototype for the Chapter One. Doc explains the rest of the story.

Chapter-One-Curly-Wolf

FEATURED LIBATION: Curly Wolf by BarrelHouse Brewing
BarrelHouse Reservado de Robles (Reserve of the Oak) is a quarterly release series of barrel aged products such as our featured libation this week, the Curly Wolf, which is a Maple, Vanilla, Bourbon-Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout. ABV: 10.4%; IBUs: 58. Brewmaster Mathew Jacobs said he didn’t think there was a cigar that could match up well against the big, burly flavors of Curly Wolf… Doc puts up the Chapter One as the contender.

WHAT’S BEEN HAPPENING AT STOGIE FRESH?

  • Doc talks about the next two Stogie Fresh 5 episodes

SPECIAL SEGMENT: “Stogie Beef”

FEATURED WEB SITES:
La Flor Dominicana Cigars
BarrelHouse Brewing Company

Episode 497: La Gran Llave and Pin Stripe Red Ale

Play

BACKGROUND: After a two-year hiatus from the industry, Michael Argenti announced the collaboration between himself and master blender and premium cigar manufacturer, AJ Fernandez of AJ Fernandez Cigars. Their first collaborative effort yielded the creation of a new cigar line called LA GRAN LLAVE.

La-Gran-Llave-2

La Gran Llave is offered in five sizes, ranging from the diminutive Corona Extra to the elegant Double Corona.

This week’s featured stogie is the 4 ¾” x 48 ring gauge, La Gran Llave, Corona Extra.

La-Gran-Llave-3

FEATURED LIBATION: Pin Stripe Red Ale
Ska Brewing is located in Durango, Colorado. Dave Thibodeau and Bill Graham who loved brewing beer, even before they were old enough to drink it, formed the company in 1995.

Factoid: Ska is a music genre that originated in Jamaica in the late 1950s and was the precursor to rocksteady and reggae.

La-Gran-Llave-4

WHAT’S BEEN HAPPENING AT STOGIE FRESH?

  • Doc talks about his week
  • How the sounds you hear affect the taste of your beer. Or cigars…

SPECIAL EDITORIAL: How I Describe Cigar Flavors

FEATURED WEB SITES:
La Gran Llave
Pin Stripe Red Ale
Article: How the sounds you hear affect the taste of your beer.
Listen to flavor-influencing sounds

BUY STOGIE FRESH:
Stogie Rate Online
Stogie Rate Cigar Inventory Software for iPhone
Stogie Rate 4.3 Cigar Inventory Software for PC/Mac

Episode 496: El Güegüense Corona Gorda by Foundation Cigar Company

Play

BACKGROUND: “El Güegüense,” or “The Wise Man,” is a Nicaraguan puro using a Corojo 99 wrapper from Jalapa and a Corojo 99 binder from a different farm also in Jalapa. In the filler, there’s a mixture of Corojo and Criollo fillers from Estelí and Jalapa. Tabacos Valle de Jalapa S.A. (TABSA) is producing El Güegüense for Melillo in Nicaragua.

El-Guguense

The El Güegüense was released in 2015 with five vitolas. This week’s featured stogie is, the 5 5/8” x 46 ring gauge Corona Gorda.

FEATURED LIBATION: E.H. Taylor, Jr. Small Batch Kentucky Bourbon
Our featured libation is distilled at Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort, Kentucky.

El-Gueguense-bourbon

WHAT’S BEEN HAPPENING AT STOGIE FRESH?

  • Doc recounts a one-day cigar road trip

SPECIAL SEGMENT: “Stogie Beef”

FEATURED WEB SITES:
Foundation Cigar Company
E.H. Taylor Jr. Collection
The Cigar Factory Lounge in Simi Valley
ShamLux Cigars
Cigar Warehouse
Old Oaks Cigar & Wine Company (Facebook)

Episode 495: Doc’s 10th Annual Central Coast Herf

Play

BACKGROUND: It started 10 years ago and now it is a part of history. Last week, on a hot Central Coast weekend, the Doc’s 10th annual Central Coast Herf launched its final hurrah. The 10th annual and final bash drew the most people ever for the Friday night pre-event party. The greatest number of people also turned out for the Saturday main event and even the Sunday morning traditional breakfast was the best attended ever.

The theme for this year’s event was chosen to honor the Military.

Click here to see all photos at the 2016 Herf Photo Slideshow

image1
image2
image3
image4
image5
image6
image7
image8

FEATURED WEB SITES:
2016 Herf Sponsors
(Have donated cigars, accessories and/or libations for this year’s herf)
1. Drew Estate (Platinum Sponsor)
2. AJ Fernandez Cigars (Platinum Sponsor)
3. Atlantic Cigar Co (Platinum Sponsor)
4. Cigars of Habanos (Platinum Sponsor)
5. The Boss Cigars (Platinum Sponsor)
6. Dignity Cigars (DonJuan Gross – Platinum Sponsor)
7. Roxo Port Cellars (Jeff Steele – Platinum Sponsor)
8. Kelsey See Canyon Vineyards (Platinum Sponsor)
9. Michael Rose Cellars (Platinum Sponsor)
10. Barrelhouse Brewing (Mathew Jacobs – Platinum Sponsor)
11. Caldwell Cigar Co. (Gold Sponsor)
12. Media Fiasco podcast (Bill Berris – Gold Sponsor)
13. Daou Vineyards (Brandon Shepard – Bronze Sponsor)
14. RoMa Craft Tobac (Skip Martin – Bronze Sponsor)
15. Bily Montoya (Python Armor)
16. Hogue Inc.
17. Precision Tactical
18. Inca Cigars
19. Stogie Fresh (Hosts)

Sponsor levels: Platinum (5 years or more), Gold (4 yrs), Silver (3 yrs), Bronze (2 yrs)

Episode 494: Cornelius & Anthony Cornelius Toro

Play

BACKGROUND: Cornelius & Anthony Premium Cigars is the new cigar division of the Bailey family’s 150-year-old tobacco company: S&M Brands Inc.

Under the Cornelius & Anthony Premium Cigars banner, the company enters fully into the premium cigar market with the highest level of quality in both tobacco and manufacturing.

Cornelius&Anthony-Toro

The premiere release is the Cornelius, which pays homage to Cornelius Bailey, the original owner of S&M brands and the great-great-grandfather of current owner, Steven Bailey. Cornelius was the first of 5 generations of Bailey’s to run the family tobacco company that was established in 1866.

Cornelius cigars are produced at the El Titan de Bronze factory in the Little Havana neighborhood of Miami, under the supervision of owner Sandra Cobas. The Cornelius blend is a straightforward 2-country blend, with the wrapper and binder coming from Ecuador and with a filler of Nicaraguan leaves.

Cornelius comes in 3 sizes and is presented in boxes of 20.

This week’s featured stogie is the 6-inch by 50 ring gauge Cornelius Toro.

Cornelius&Anthony-2

FEATURED LIBATION: Re:Find Rye Whiskey
For this blend, Re:Find worked with Central Coast brewers, BarrelHouse Brewery and SLO Brew, to create the custom recipe of rye, wheat, and barley. They then fermented, distilled, and aged the whiskey in 15 gallon whiskey barrels. This Rye weighs in at 93-proof (46.5%ABV).

WHAT’S BEEN HAPPENING AT STOGIE FRESH?

  • NO PODCAST NEXT WEEK: Doc’s annual Central Coast Herf
  • Doc talks about taking his Ham Radio exam
  • Doc relates his camping experience of last week

SPECIAL SEGMENT: “Stogie Beef”
Christina and Doc answer questions from listeners

FEATURED WEB SITES:
Cornelius & Anthony
Re:Find Handcrafted Spirits

Episode 493: Liga Privada Unico Serie Ratzilla

Play

BACKGROUND: The Ratzilla first made its debut at the 2011 annual Trade Show & Convention before being offered for sale in a soft launch during the summer of 2012. Ratzilla has been often referred to as a longer version of the Dirty Rat. Both cigars use a stalk cut habano wrapper grown in the Connecticut River Valley over a Brazilian Mata Fina binder and Honduran and Nicaraguan fillers.

Ratzilla01

This week’s featured stogie is the 6 ¼-inch by 46 ring Liga Privada Ratzilla.

FEATURED LIBATION: Deschutes Brewery The Abyss 2015 Reserve

This beer is chock full of malt, including Pale, Black, Chocolate, Black Barley, Roasted Barley, and Wheat. As far as hops, The Abyss uses Millennium, Nugget, Styrian, German Northern Brewer. Besides the generous portions of malts and hops The Abyss also includes Blackstrap Molasses, Brewer’s Licorice, Vanilla Beans, Cherry Bark. Fifty percent of this beer has spent 12 Months in Bourbon, Oregon Oak, and Pinot Noir barrels. It weighs in at a healthy, or should I say wealthy,12.2% ABV and tips the IBU scale at 86. On paper this appears to be a monster of a beer.
Ratzilla02

WHAT’S BEEN HAPPENING AT STOGIE FRESH?

  • Doc talks about solid wood versus veneer wood humidors

SPECIAL SEGMENT: Doc and Christina Fontecchio introduce the Bespoke brand of cigars

Ratzilla

FEATURED WEB SITES:
Drew Estate Unico Series Cigars
Deschutes Brewery

Episode 492: Avo Improvisation Classic Covers Volume 2

Play

BACKGROUND: Late last year, Davidoff announced big plans for the Avo brand, which include rebranding and repackaging as well as slimming down of the overall portfolio. At the same time, there was a change in the focus of the brand from Avo Uvezian the person, to the legacy of what Uvezian represents: the synthesis of music and cigars. As part of that effort, it was revealed that there would be no Avo birthday release in 2015; instead, a new limited edition brand would be released and named: Avo Improvisation Series.

Avo-LE-Classic-Covers-2

The second release in the AVO Improv Series is the Classic Covers 2015 Limited Edition Volume 2 that combines Davidoff’s luscious Ecuadorian 702 wrapper with a Mexican San Andrés binder. Nicaragua lends ligero from the Ometepe region, while the Dominican Republic supplies Piloto Cubano, San Vicente, Criollo and a hybrid Corojo/olor ligero.

The MSRP for each cigar is $16, and it is sold in boxes of 16, with only 3,500 boxes produced.

This week’s featured stogie is the 6-inch by 54 ring gauge Avo 2015 Limited Edition Improvisation Classic Covers Toro.

Avo-LE-Classic-Covers-3

FEATURED LIBATION: Nikka Coffey Grain Whisky
Nikka operates two Coffey stills (named after its inventor Aeneas Coffey) within the Miyagikyo distillery for the elaboration of its grain whiskies. Imported from Scotland in 1963, these old stills yield a distillate with more flavour and depth than modern column stills, imparting a distinct character that defines the house blends. These two unique bottlings showcase the innovative spirit of Nikka.

An essential component of the house blends, the Nikka Coffey Grain is an original single grain whisky, distilled mainly from corn in a Coffey still. Exotic, fruity and unique, it is meant for the connoisseur in search of an unconventional whisky.

Avo-LE-Classic-Covers-1

WHAT’S BEEN HAPPENING AT STOGIE FRESH?

  • Doc answers a question about whether one should consider trimming the foot of the cigar when one lacks time to smoke a whole stogie

SPECIAL MESSAGE: Doc makes an HISTORIC ANNOUNCEMENT!

FEATURED WEB SITES:
Avo Cigars
Nikka Coffey Grain Whisky

Episode 491: Padilla Vintage Reserve

Play

BACKGROUND: Padilla Vintage Reserve begins with a natural reddish-brown Pennsylvania broadleaf wrapper, a leaf that imparts a unique flavor to the cigar. According to Padilla, this particular wrapper wasn’t heated to the same level as other maduros. “It’s not fully cooked,” he said. “This is a natural broadleaf. There’s not a lot of it, and working it takes more time.”

Padilla-Vintage-Reserve1

The wrapper sits inside a Nicaraguan Habano binder, while the filler is a blend of 3-year-aged Cuban-seed Corojo leaves

The cigars retail for around $10 each and each cigar, as well as each box, is individually numbered. Production is limited to 500 boxes a month.

This week’s featured stogie is the 5-inch by 54 ring gauge Vintage Reserve Double Robusto.

Padilla-Vintage-Reserve2

FEATURED LIBATION: Garrison Brothers Texas Straight Bourbon Whiskey
This bourbon is known as their Flagship Bourbon because it is their original product. I first tasted Garrison Brothers at Fox Cigar Bar in Scottsdale, AZ and was instantly hooked.

WHAT’S BEEN HAPPENING AT STOGIE FRESH?

  • Doc talks about Ham Radio and what he purchased at the Ventura Gun Show

SPECIAL SEGMENT: “Stogie Fresh 5 Flashbacks”

FEATURED WEB SITES:
Padilla Cigars
Garrison Brothers Distillery
Famous Smoke Shop