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

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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

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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 493: Liga Privada Unico Serie Ratzilla

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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.

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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.
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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 469: Liga Privada UF-13 Dark

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BACKGROUND: The UF-13 was a three-year project for Drew Estate that underwent numerous iterations. According to Drew Estate, the UF-13 Dark is an amalgamation of the Liga No.9, T52 and Dirty Rat blends, but with it’s own unique balance.

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The wrapper on this stick is a Connecticut-sourced Broadleaf referred to as a “Dark Medium.” The binder is a Brazilian Mata Fina and the fillers are from Honduras and Nicaragua.

The availability of the UF-13 Dark is limited, similar to the Feral Flying Pig. Pricing is around $13.95 per cigar with boxes of 12 retailing for a suggested price of $167.40.

This week’s featured cigar is the 5.5-inch by 52 ring gauge UF-13 Dark, Robusto.

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FEATURED LIBATION: Garrison Brothers Single Barrel Bourbon
Garrison Brothers introduced its first Single Barrel Bourbon in Winter, 2015. The Single Barrel Bourbon from Garrison Brothers is a three-year-old, 94-proof big brother to its regular production Garrison Brothers Texas Straight Bourbon Whiskey and just like its predecessor, it is made from organic Panhandle corn, soft red winter wheat and two-row malted barley.

To date, the Single Barrel has only been available from the distillery’s gift shop in Hye, Texas, but now liquor stores across the country will be offering it to their bourbon connoisseur customers.

WHAT’S BEEN HAPPENING AT STOGIE FRESH?

  • Doc talks about Veteran’s Day
  • Doc discusses assessment of cigars

SPECIAL SEGMENT: “Stogie Beef”

SPECIAL SEGMENT: “Stogie Fresh 5 Flashbacks”
Topic: Is it mold or bloom?

FEATURED WEB SITES:
Drew Estate Cigars
Garrison Brothers Bourbon

Episode 468: Foxtoberfest 2015

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BACKGROUND: Foxtoberfest is a yearly event put on by Fox Cigar Bar and Lounge with locations in Scottsdale and Gilbert, Arizona. I was in a group of 11 Californians who set out from the California Central Coast to invade the unsuspecting clientele and staff of Fox Cigars. Our mission was to find the absolute best cigars and libations…and we were not disappointed.

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This week, I recount the highlights of our trip and, with the help of some of my cohorts, will give you a glimpse into the inner-sanctum of a Team Stogie Fresh road trip.

SEGMENT ONE: Interview with Christina Fontecchio

SEGMENT TWO: Interview with Angel and Bily, Part 1

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NFL FOOTBALL: Doc talks about attending the Arizona Cardinals vs Baltimore Ravens game in Arizona.

SEGMENT THREE: Interview with Angel and Bily, Part 2

FEATURED WEB SITES:
Fox Cigar Bar
ShamLux Cigar Lounge
Cigar King
Ambassador Fine Cigars
Sportsman’s Warehouse
AZ Firearms

Episode 467: Liga Privada Unico Serie Feral Flying Pig

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BACKGROUND: In 2009, Drew Estate introduced the Liga Privada No. 9 Flying Pig. Former CEO Steve Saka picked the shape from a photograph of an 1895 cigar salesman’s size-selection case. There have been 5 different iterations of the flying pig: Liga No 9 Flying Pig, Liga T52 Flying Pig, MUWAT Kentucky Fire Cured Flying Pig, Undercrown Flying Pig and Liga Unico Serie Feral Flying Pig.

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Unlike the No. 9 and T52 Flying Pigs, which were limited to 2,050 boxes of 12 and 3,000 boxes of 12, respectively, there were plenty of Feral Flying Pigs to go around. The initial launch saw 4,500 boxes of 10 of the Feral’s released.

This week’s featured stogie is the 5.4 inch by 60 ring gauge Unico Serie Feral Flying Pig Perfecto.

FEATURED LIBATION: Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey
This whiskey was created by Master Distiller Chris Morris, who is just the seventh Master Distiller in Brown-Forman Corporation’s 140-year history. This Rye Mash bill contains 53 percent rye and the whiskey weighs in at 90.4 Proof (45.1%ABV).

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WHAT’S BEEN HAPPENING AT STOGIE FRESH?

  • NO PODCAST NEXT WEEK. Honest!
  • Doc talks about the rash of flavored craft beers on the market

SPECIAL SEGMENT: “Stogie Beef”

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

FEATURED WEB SITES:
Drew Estate
Woodford Reserve Distillery
Article: Tough Day? How About a Frosty Schooner of Pizza or Pond Scum?
Stogie Rate: Free online cigar inventory software
Aristocrat Humidors: Bob Staebell & Associates
Stogie Rate for desktop software (Mac/Windows)
Stogie Rate for iOS

Episode 461: Drew Estate Kentucky Fire Cured

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BACKGROUND: Kentucky Fire Cured Cigars, an extension to the MUWAT brand, were in development for over 2.5 years.

Kentucky Fire Cured tobacco is not something new to the world of tobacco, it’s been grown for over 200 years. And it is easily comparable to the smokey taste attributed to a peaty scotch.

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MUWAT Kentucky Fire Cured was initially available in three sizes, but some new sizes have appeared along the way including, Flying Pig, Kyotos, Hamhock and the cigar I’m featuring today, the 6-inch by 26 ring gauge Delfinas.

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FEATURED LIBATION: Campfire by High West Whiskey
High West Campfire is a unique blend of sweet bourbon, spicy rye whiskey, and smoky peated scotch. The Sweet part of the blend is a straight bourbon whiskey made from 75 percent corn, 21 percent rye, 4 percent barley malt
The Spicy and floral is provided by straight rye whiskey made from 95 percent rye and 5 percent barley malt. Finally, the Smoky component comes from blended malt Scotch whiskey: made of 100-percent barley malt that has been peated. The Age of all the whiskies is 5 years or older. Campfire is definitely a unique whiskey that you should give a try. I paid $64 for a 750ml bottle.

WHAT’S BEEN HAPPENING AT STOGIE FRESH?

  • NO PODCAST NEXT WEEK: CRUSH & ROLL WEST 2015 WEEKEND!
  • Update on Crush & Roll West

SPECIAL SEGMENT: “Stogie Beef”

FEATURED WEB SITES:
Drew Estate
High West Whiskey: Campfire

Episode 452: Doc’s 9th Annual Central Coast Herf

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BACKGROUND: For the past 9 years I have hosted a party at my home during late May to early June. This informal gathering, which saw just 6 attendees during the first year, is now limited to 50 attendees and has a wait list for future events.

This event has evolved into what is now called: Doc’s Central Coast Herf. The Herf is invitation-only and has regulars from around the state and the nation. From morning to night, over the course of three days, guests are treated to great cigars, great food and great libations.

There were 25 sponsors this year, ranging from cigar companies and retail shops, to wineries, breweries, accessory makers and more. A total of 890 cigars were donated to the event, along with 318 raffle prizes.

This week’s show will take you vicariously back to Herf weekend to enjoy the sights and sounds that made this year’s event such a success. Over the course of the next hour, you will gain the general flavor of the herf by hearing a number of interviews and listening in on the fun.

Click here to see all photos at the 2015 Herf Photo Slideshow

SPONSORS: CIGAR PRODUCERS
AJ Fernandez
Alec Bradley Cigar Co
Punch Signature
Dignity Cigars
Drew Estate
Ventura Cigar Company
Nomad Cigar Company
Cubanacan Cigars
Altadis
Fox Cigar Bar: Gilbert, AZ Caldwell Cigar Co.
SPONSORS: WINERIES/BREWERIES
Michael Rose Cellars
Barrelhouse Brewing
Roxo Port Cellars
Kelsey See Canyon Vineyards Daou Winery
SPONSORS: CIGAR RETAILERS – DOMESTIC/INTERNATIONAL/OTHER
Media Fiasco Podcat Kick Ass Cigar Tools Cigars of Habanos
The Boss Cigars
Stogie Fresh

Episode 443: Liga Privada Unico Serie Papas Fritas

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BACKGROUND: In 2012, Papas Fritas was added to the Unico Serie line, Drew Estate’s limited small batch portfolio that includes such legendary cigars as the Dirty Rat, Ratzilla, L40, and others.

The idea for Papas Fritas revolved around the leftover tobacco clippings from Drew Estate’s Liga Privada line. The company kept these cuttings and used them as short filler inside the petite Papas Fritas cigar.

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In Spanish, Papas Fritas means, “French Fries,” which is perhaps not only a reference to their size, but also to the fact that, like French fries, they can satisfy your need for something good in a small package.

Wrapped with a Connecticut Broadleaf maduro wrapper, the blend is bound in a Brazilian Mata Fina binder, which conceals Honduran and Nicaraguan short-fillers from the Liga Privada No. 9.

FEATURED LIBATION: Firestone 2015 Sucaba Barley Wine
Sucaba is a barrel aged English Barley wine. This is one of Firestone’s Proprietor’s Reserve Series. This ale weighs in at 13.5% ABV and registers 42 on the IBU scale. The Firestone website describes this as a sipping beer best served in a Brandy snifter.

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WHAT’S BEEN HAPPENING AT STOGIE FRESH?

  • Doc recounts his experience attending a gun show and tasting wines in Paso Robles.

SPECIAL SEGMENT: Talk with the Boss Lady with Christina Fontecchio, CMT
Christina interviews Brandon Shepard of Daou Vineyard and Winery

FEATURED WEB SITES:
Drew Estate
Firestone Walker
Firestone 2015 Sucaba Barley Wine
Crush & Roll West 2015: General Information
Buy tickets for Crush & Roll West 2015

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

Episode 438: Liga Privada No. 9 Parejo Toro

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BACKGROUND: One of the most popular of the non-infused blends from Drew Estate has been the personal cigar of former company president Steve Saka. It is called, Liga Privada, or “Private Blend.” The Liga Privada No. 9 was two years in the making and featured a complex blend of seven tobaccos from four countries. This blend has been one of the most successful from Drew Estate and has spawned a plethora of fantastic follow-ups for the company.

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The wrapper is a traditionally fermented high priming Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro. And, a Brazilian Mata Fina binder holds together a filler of two Nicaraguan Secos, a Honduran Viso from the Jamastrán Valley, and a ligero from Estelí, Nicaragua.

The Liga Privada No. 9 comes in 5 sizes, but this week’s featured stick is the inaugural size; the 6-inch by 52 ring gauge Parejo Toro.

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FEATURED LIBATION: Beaver’s Milk, Milk Stout from Belching Beaver Brewery
Beavers Milk is called a Milk Stout. Beaver’s Milk is one of the core beers for Belching Beaver, which means that you can find it year round. Belching Beaver also has another milk stout and that is their Peanut Butter Milk Stout, which has the same ABV: 5.3%, and same IBU: 30 as the Beaver’s Milk.

WHAT’S BEEN HAPPENING AT STOGIE FRESH?

  • Update: Crush & Roll West 2015
  • Doc talks about recent visit to Daou Winery

SPECIAL SEGMENT: Valentine’s Day event at Boyd’s Tobacco

FEATURED WEB SITES:
Drew Estate Cigars:
Belching Beaver Brewery

Episode 418 Crush & Roll West 2014: Recap

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BACKGROUND: Crush & Roll West, the Central Coast’s premiere cigar, wine and beer festival was in top form this past September 5th and 6th. The 6th annual event broke all attendance records as 780 attendees walked through the gates over the event weekend, representing a 23% growth over 2013 and an average of over 20% growth each and every year!

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Crush & Roll 2014 drew a total of 60 cigar, wine, beer, spirits and lifestyle vendors and 23 other local sponsors that contributed in various ways. Along with the burgeoning number of vendors, the layout of the event expanded as well. The majority of vendors were placed under an enormous 80 by 100-foot tent and the rest of the venue expanded in all directions of the compass.

SPECIAL INTERVIEW: Doc Interviews Christina Fontecchio, one of the organizers of Crush & Roll West

THANKS TO OUR MANY GENEROUS SPONSORS

OUR PREMIERE PARTNERS
Davidoff XHA-smbanner Roxo-Cellars
CIGAR PROVIDERS
Asylum Cigars Dignity Oliva Cigar Co.
Alec Bradley Cigars Don Vicente Cigars Intl. Partagás
Boutique Blends/Aging Rm Drew Estate Tabacalera Falto
Boyd’s Tobacco/Knockout La Palina Tarazona Cigars
Cesar Cigars La Sirena Ventura Cigar/Project 805
Chinnock Cellars Cigars Moscato Cigars
Davidoff Cigars My Father Cigars
WINE, BEER & SPIRITS PROVIDERS
August Ridge Vineyards Kaleidos Sharp’s Hill Vineyards
Barrelhouse Brewing Kelsey See Canyon Stone Brewing
Bowen’s Whiskey Libertine Pub Summerwood Winery
Bianchi Vineyards Michael Gill Cellars The Bruery
Broken Earth Winery Nuvino Tolo Winery
Cass Vineyard & Winery Paso Port Wine Company Wente Family Estates
Changala Winery Powell Mountain Cellars Zaca Mesa Winery
Dubost Roxo Port Cellars
Figueroa Mtn Brewery Sculpterra Winery
LIFESTYLE VENDORS
A-9 Designs Jewelry Plexus Slim Sunrun Solar
Chop Top Bottle Co. Purgatory Humidors The Boss Cigars
Cigar Box Purses Robert Michelson Inc. The Shirt Peddler
Eclipse Musical Instruments Sculpterra Artist
Love Crystal Succulents Sealoha Designs
MB Trading Sterling Silver SLO Co. Brand
Miner’s Mix Stogies & Stemware Art
OTHER SPONSORS
Ameripride J. Baker Photo San Miguel Lion’s Club
Best Western La Bellasera Smoke Magazine
Boveda Humidity Control Marathon Trading Co. Stogie Fresh Cigar Pub.
Burn 808 Michael Barry Band Tabacalera Falto
EOS Estate Winery Paso Robles Inn The Oaks Hotel
Hampton Inn & Suites Paso Ice Company Ventura Cigar Company
Holiday Inn Express Pozo River Bottom Band