Episode 481: Sinistro Mr. Red and Nitro Milk Stout


BACKGROUND: James “Raz” Agopian and his partners announced the launch of Sinistro Cigars in early 2015 and started with three lines: Mr. Red (Maduro), Mr. White (HVA) and Mr. Black (Nicaragua). After 2-years of researching, sourcing the proper tobacco and blending, he finally created three cigars worthy of the Sinistro insignia.


Each hand rolled cigar is crafted by some of the most gifted cigar rollers in one of the world’s most historic cigar factories in the Dominican Republic: La Aurora. Each blend comes in 4 sizes: Robusto, Toro, Belicoso, and Presidente.

This week’s featured stogie is the 6.25-inch by 52 ring gauge Mr. Red, Torpedo.


Left Hand Brewing Company was established in 1993 and is located in Longmont, Colorado. Today’s craft brew the Nitro Milk Stout is just one of the four nitrogen-infused beers in the Left Hand portfolio of beers.


SPECIAL INTERVIEW: James Agopian, Sinistro Cigars


Sinistro Cigars
Left Hand Brewing Company
How to pour Nitro beer
More info on Left Hand Nitro Beer

Episode 480: Sobremesa Corona Gorda


BACKGROUND: In mid-2015, Steve Saka publicly announced his plans to return to the cigar industry, a decision that was much anticipated and enthusiastically received. The first cigar under this new company is called: Sobremesa. This cigar is currently limited in its availability, with the pace of its production being dictated by the availability of the tobaccos.


Sobremesa comes in 6 sizes and this week’s featured stogie is the 5.25-inch by 44 ring gauge Sobremesa Corona Gorda.

FEATURED LIBATION: Taylor Fladgate 20-year Tawny Port
The 20-Year-Old Tawny Port that I’m featuring today is fully matured in seasoned oak casks each holding about 630 litres of wine. Here, over many years of aging, the Port wine gradually takes on its characteristic amber ‘tawny’ color, slowly developing the complex mellow flavors and the smooth luscious palate, which are the hallmarks of this style of port.


SPECIAL SEGMENT: “Stogie Fresh 5 Flashbacks”
Topic: Humidity in Large Volume Humidors


Taylor Fladgate Port

Episode 479: RoMa Craft Tobac Neanderthal HN Figurado


BACKGROUND: After being introduced to a Pennsylvania Double Ligero known as Green River Valley Sucker One (GR-S1), RoMa Craft co-founder Skip Martin decided to use this tobacco as a catalyst for a full-bodied blend. This broadleaf from Pennsylvania possesses naturally high levels of nicotine and, in fact, two to three times the nicotine of any other leaf used by Martin in his factory in Estelí, Nicaragua. The end result was called: Neanderthal.


Neanderthal is constructed using a Mexican San Andrés wrapper, a Connecticut broadleaf binder and filler tobaccos from Condega, Estelí, Jalapa and Pueblo Nuevo in Nicaragua and with ligero provided from the Dominican Republic and Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvanian leaf contributes greatly toward making this blend the strongest that RoMa Craft Tobac has offered to date.

This week’s featured stogie is the 5-inch by 58 ring gauge HN Figurado.

FEATURED LIBATION: Laphroaig 10-Year Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky
The original Laphroaig, distilled the same way today as when Ian Hunter invented it over 75 years ago. In making Laphroaig, malted barley is dried or smoked over a peat fire. The smoke from this peat, found only on Islay, gives Laphroaig its particularly rich and distinct flavor.


Original Cask Strength Laphroaig is bottled at natural distillery strength, which in this case is 56.3%ABV.

SPECIAL SEGMENT: “Stogie Fresh 5 Flashbacks”
Topic: Humidifiers– Active or Passive?

Doc and Christina answer questions from Stogie Fresh 5 listeners


RoMa Craft Tobac
Laphroaig Scotch

Episode 478: 2016 Stogie Fresh Tour of Cuba


BACKGROUND: Just three short weeks ago, myself and 9 other sojourners followed Colin Ganley to Pinar del Rio and Vuelta Abajo to see firsthand the famed Robaina farm and the prized tobacco growing therein.

Tour of Cuba

From there, we made our way to the city of Havana to experience the sights and sounds and to walk in the footsteps of the likes of Hemingway, Churchill, Chaplin, Bogart and many more.

Conde de Villanueva: Cigar Roller

Conde de Villanueva: Cigar Roller

Along the way we visited the famed Partagás cigar factory and smoked up many of the prized cigars from this island south of Miami, not to mention swilling the great national rum of Havana which we drank neat, or in daiquiri’s or mojitos.

Antonio Briones Montoto cigar factory

Antonio Briones Montoto cigar factory

In today’s podcast, the Doc takes you on the road to Cuba to relive the tales of the cigar excursion of a lifetime and to hear firsthand accounts from others who made the same journey.

SPECIAL INTERVIEW #1: Father James Farfaglia

Father James and Jorge taking some rest at Hotel Santa Ysabel, Plaza de Armas

Father James and Jorge taking some rest at Hotel Santa Ysabel, Plaza de Armas

SPECIAL SEGMENT: CIGARS – Doc talks about the cigars he smoked and/or purchased in Cuba


Cigar mentioned:

  • Rafael Gonzalez Panetelas Extra: 5″ x 37
  • Por Larrañaga Panetelas: 5″ x 37
  • H. Upmann Half Corona: 3.5″ x 44
  • Montecristo No. 5: 4″ x 40
  • Montecristo Petit No. 2: 4.75″ x 52
  • Punch Punch: 5.625″ x 46
  • Fresh rolled Robaina: 5.2″ x 52
  • Private Collection Robaina Perfecto: Approximately 7″ x 56
  • H. Upmann 2014 Reserva Cosecha 2010 Pyramid: 6.1″ x 52
  • Punch 2013 Edición Limitada Serie D’Oro No. 2: 5.5″ x 52
  • Cohiba Behike 56
  • H. Upmann 2015 Edición Limitada Magnum 56
  • Montecristo Añejados Churchill: 7″ x 47
  • La Gloria Cubana 2009 Regional Edición from Cuba

SPECIAL INTERVIEW #2: Christina Fontecchio

Hirochi Robaina and Christina

Hirochi Robaina and Christina Fontecchio

SPECIAL INTERVIEW #3: Jorge Mendizabal

Tour of Havana Club rum factory: Jorge in front of old pot distiller

Tour of Havana Club rum factory: Jorge in front of old pot distiller

SPECIAL INTERVIEW #4: Michelle and Ricky Uc

Michelle and Ricky at "El Aljibe"

Michelle and Ricky at “El Aljibe”


Colin Ganley: Cigar Tourism

Colin Ganley: Cigar Tourism

There are some incredibly classic old cars that have been maintained to perfection in Havana

There are some incredibly classic old cars that have been maintained to perfection in Havana

Cigar Tourism (Tours of Nicaragua, DR, Honduras)
Cuba Tour
Twin Engine Coffee