Nothing beats the feeling of smoking your cigars, talking to friends, and watching matches on TV. Lane, Harris, and Sean discuss their current smokes and favorites. Sharing personal backstories and parties, you’ll feel like your spending a very relaxing leisure time. They give their takes on cigars from the latest Gurkha Extreme and Rocky Patel Decade to My Father Lounge Exclusive, heading then to discuss about the MMA and UFC while recalling an event around Mother’s day.
Listen to the podcast here:
Cigar Cafe Radio Gurkha Extreme | My Father Lounge Exclusive | Rocky Patel Decade
How is it going?
I’m having a pretty good day. I’m waiting until 4:30 to 5:00 to have a cigar. It’s going to be a good day.
What time zone are you in or is that just a couple hours from now?
I’ve got about three and a half hours to wait. I’m in the Central time zone.
The same time zone as us.
I think I’m going to have a Kristoff Corojo.
You asked me about that one.
I did. I have never seen this cigar before and I have to tell you, the cigar places around my house, they’re like hack shops. They’re like head shops without the weed and the drug paraphernalia. They’ve got a little humidor and they call themselves a cigar shop. They had two Ashtons in stock but they had a whole wall of Acids.
I find it when I go out to the beach and stuff that I find a lot of the traditional brands, but not so many of the more modern boutique brands. You’ll see Upmann and Ashton, Romeo y Julieta, and then it fizzles and stops after that until you find a good store.
I’ve got one other place to try around my house before I have to go outside the town in order to get a single stogie here or there. I usually get my stuff from Harris, but if I want to try something new, I just buy one. They had one Alec Bradley. They had the Black Market, one Gurkha. No Asylum or CLE. That’s what I’ve run into out here and I’ve got to find a tobacco, a cigar store.
In certain areas, it’s definitely tough to find someone who’s doing a good job with it and has a good selection. That’s a big problem out there.
You have to feed us your zip code or something to see if we can find you a respectable cigar shop.
I know where one is, it’s just a matter of me driving 25 minutes to get there. Of course, everyone wants the convenience of hopping in their car, running down a mile and getting what they want. Unfortunately, it’s not looking like that’s going to happen here. Harris is like, “Can I have your zip code again please?” What are you guys smoking? What’s going on? What’s the word?
I’m smoking a new release from Gurkha, it’s called the Xtreme. There’s a giant snake on the band. It’s an intimidating look. I’m just firing it up right now. It’s a six pack, 60 ring gauge, but it’s gotten good feedback. This is actually the first one I’ve smoked in these and from what I hear it’s really nice, medium-bodied cigar with a lot of flavors. I think it’s in the $10 to $12 range. We’ll see what happens with it.
Lane, you’re not in a spot where you can smoke, are you?
I’m in the shop.
What are you smoking?
I am smoking a Cigars & More exclusive. It is the My Father Lounge Exclusive and Harris should be able to tell you a little bit more about it. What I’m smoking is a very full-bodied Toro, probably six-inch by 48 ring gauge or something like that, but packed with lots of power, lots of flavors and lots of spice. All of it hits immediately from the first draw. I didn’t even get it all the way lit before I just puff it out. It’s a box press. Its structure is really tight. I’m pretty happy with it.
Harris, you’ve got a Cigars & More exclusive that they made directly for you?
They did. The store, Cigars & More, our cigar lounge is sponsored by My Father Cigars. They have maybe nine or ten of us around the country and part of that program is they make a special blend for your shop, and each box says Cigars & More on it along with My Father has their band on it. They let us help with the blend. We told them what we would like for it to be like and they blended it to that and so it’s a special cigar and that’s something that only we have. It’s a Habano Rosado wrapper. They just got a really nice look but it’s medium to full body, just a lot of flavor. It has 100% Nicaraguan binder and filler. It’s a unique, more full-bodied cigar.
I was thinking now that we’ve been getting more in-depth with some of these cigar manufacturers, I wanted to make an exclusive for myself. It’s going to be called the Kavanaugh South or Irish Hillbilly. The Kavanaugh, then the name of the cigar is The Irish Hillbilly.
Calling it The Kavanaugh, that even sounds fancy when you called it the Irish Hillbilly.
Do you see the irony? I’m going to tell you something. If you went on the south side of Chicago, you’d sell a gazillion of them.
What’s interesting in the cigar industry right now is that you probably actually could have that made by one of the manufacturers for a few thousand dollars and you have a few hundred boxes of those.
Harris, I think Gary said you’ll have 75 boxes of these.
We do, yes. They want us to keep a good bit in stock at us. We order about 100 a year for those.
It’s also at a good price point. I think it was a little over $10. Great stick, lots and lots of flavor. I’m probably going to regret the drive back to work.
I bought a Father’s Day cigar and I bought the Rocky Patel Decade. You had told me that that wasn’t one of your favorites, but I’ll tell you, I really enjoyed it. It was a really good cigar. I loved it. The only thing that I’ll say is that it did kick my ass pretty good. I was probably about a third of the way down and I was like, “I’m getting nicotine whacked.” I’m starting to sweat. Is that indicative of that particular cigar? It’s pretty strong.
It’s fairly strong. I get on the tier of all cigars Rocky Patel. The Decade for me comes in above The Edge, but well short of a Vintage 2003 Cameroon or an Olde World Reserve. The Olde World Reserve has been a favorite of mine for a long time. It’s probably been a year or so since I’ve smoked one. We talked about the AVO 80. That’s another cigar. I have smoked both of the wrappers. Harris, it’s a Corojo and a Maduro. Is that right?
Yes, I think you’re right.
I’m a real big fan of the Olde World Reserve. The Decade doesn’t really quite match up to that for me. It’s a fine cigar. I just like other Rocky Patel.
I know that other cigars have it, it just happened to be the first one that I’ve smoked. About a third of the way in, I really got a pretty cool cedar flavor to it, and a pronounced one. It wasn’t like, “Is that cedar?” No, it was there. It was neat. I was like, “There’s some cedar involved in the taste.” It was pretty cool. I enjoyed myself. It was a nice Father’s Day cigar. I have this Liga aging quite nicely in the humidor. Can I tell you something? I’ve gone into now two tobacconist/cigar shops, they do not and cannot get Liga Privadas. They cannot do it.
There are not that many stores around the country that are really allowed to sell these. You have to be in a special program with Drew Estate. I would say probably there are 100 stores or less around the country that regularly sell it.
There are only about 100 stores that allow you to carry the Liga Privadas?
Yes, I think there are roughly around 100 stores that are on their program. There are a lot of requirements for it and you have to carry a lot of their other products too to have it.
Do the Undercrowns also fit into that as well? Do they hold those back too?
The Undercrown is supposed to be their regular production version. It has lots of similarities and they’re using tobacco leaves that are readily available. That’s the big problem with Liga Privada, is the tobacco they’re using is only very short supply.
It makes sense that they make something that’s similar in flavor and that’s a little bit less expensive and more readily available. They seem to be pretty popular too.
From what I’ve seen, they for the most part available. There aren’t any special requirements on those, but the story behind those is that they asked the rollers to stop smoking Liga Privada cigars in the factory because there was such a big shortage and the rollers were smoking up a good chunk of them so they came up with this Under Crown blend as their cigar that they wanted to smoke in the factory. It became regular production as the Undercrown.
I have smoked the Undercrown Flying Pig. It’s good to go. It’s not a T52. It’s not a Unico Liga Privada, but it’s a good, traditional, medium to full-bodied cigar.
I think I’m going to get a care package in the next couple of days with some of them in there. I’m looking forward to checking them out.
That should be on the list for sure.
I know that you know a little bit about my party that I’m having for UFC 189 and not everyone knows about it. Not everyone knows what it is. Lane, you asked me a couple of questions about it before. Why don’t we dive into it?
A little bit of backstory. I never grew up watching wrestling. I haven’t gotten into boxing or other fighting sport. I get the appeal of fighting and martial arts, but I’ve never gotten into watching MMA at that. I joked earlier that some of my exposure to it has been limited to a Kevin James Movie. I noticed there’s this big UFC fight coming up. I’m not even really sure if it’s on pay-per-view or if it’s on cable or if I have to go to a bar to watch it, but I know that a lot of people like to go watch these fights, that it’s a big social status thing. It fits into the finer things in life that we talked about on the show. I want to go and watch this fight, but I have no idea what I’m going to be watching.
Obviously, MMA has been around for a while. I’m not going to go into the historic figures of it, but suffice to say that the reason I love it is that number one, I was a wrestler in college, real wrestling, folkstyle, freestyle and Greco.
I was going to ask you what your wrestler name was.
It was just Sean. That’s it. The thing is that we have no pro sports. When MMA bursts onto the scene in the early ‘90s, it was dominated by wrestlers. MMA is boxing, kickboxing, wrestling and Jujitsu. There’s Thai kickboxing in there as well. For the most part, it blends those three or four styles together. The sport was dominated by wrestlers. Fights always go to the ground and the wrestler is dominated on the ground and they beat the shit out of everybody. Naturally, if you are a wrestler, you followed MMA because the best guys in the sport were wrestlers.
I hear what you’re saying with the boxing and kickboxing. There are a lot of light jabs there, there are a lot of punches and of kicks, but you’re right. It seems that it’s always the goal to end up on the ground and I know a lot of the Brazilian Jujitsu and stuff get mixed in with it. A lot of that is based on getting your opponent to the ground or your opponent and getting you to the ground and you using his leveraging.
Yes. In fact, I have a lot of friends that were former wrestlers that are now Jujitsu guys because it’s so similar. The takedowns in that are similar. The holds are different because now you’re trying to hurt someone or at least submit them, but a lot of my guys made the transition really well. When Dana White bought UFC, they threw a ton of money into it for marketing and a cool thing started happening. The athletes that were boxing and doing other things started to get into MMA, and these tremendous athletes started to learn how to wrestle. MMA got so much more competitive at that point. You had this influx of tremendous athletes that were now coming in that could wrestle, that might not have been wrestlers before and now you had the wrestlers that had to learn the other styles.
If you were a wrestler, you couldn’t graduate from college as a three-time national champion, walk into the MMA, and win. They would whip your ass. It’s such a well-rounded sport. Obviously, the people that compete in MMA have one or two styles that they’re better at than the others, but for the most part they’re good at all of them. There is a particular fighter that has come up through the ranks in the last two years. His name is Conor McGregor. He is out of Dublin, Ireland. He is the brashest, most shit-talking fighter that I have ever seen. He is just dynamic and a lot of people love him. Quite a few hate him, but there’s no denying that he commands attention. He’s very, very witty. He’s obviously a smart guy, good businessman. He knows how to promote himself, and he just whips people’s ass. He tells you when he’s going to knock you out. For the most part, he does it.
This upcoming fight is UFC 189 and he is fighting Jose Aldo, who is arguably one of the greatest champions in the history of. He has not lost a fight in nine years. He is 25 and one, and he’s been the champion for nine straight years. Again, you’ve got the new guard fighting the old and we are so excited to see it. My buddies and I are out of our minds. We can’t wait. It’s pay-per-view and I am having a party at my house that is turning into a cigar party that happens to be sponsored by one of our sponsors for the Cigar Café. CLE and Asylum Cigars are sponsoring the party. We’re going to have cigars, we’re going to have beer and food and have a good time. It’s going to be great. I’m going to bring out the 60-inch TV in my garage and we’re going to have a good time.
I’ll be at the beach. I can probably work something out to watch that fight. What time is it?
The fight start times are very similar to boxing. I believe the undercards start on Fox One, you can see them for free if you have Fox One. Then you get to the championship card that has I think maybe five fights on it. That’s pay-per-view, but the headliner, which is Conor McGregor, Jose Aldo. They’ll probably start between 9:00 and 10:00.
Is it offered on streaming pay-per-view as well or is it just going to be TV provider via Comcast or whoever?
I believe if you have the UFC app, you may be able to buy it through there. I’m not entirely certain but there are plenty of bars. I don’t know where you’re going to be, but there are plenty of bars. Around the Chicago land area, I have three or four bars that are within a mile and a half of me that will have it. I just figured that hopefully, it’ll be a nice night. A lot of my wrestling buddies are getting together. I don’t want to say it’s a reunion, but it’s going to be fun to watch because we all love the sport. We’ve had friends that have fought in it. One of the guys that will be here is a 27-fight vet. Not in the UFC, but in Strikeforce. He’s a professional MMA guy so he’ll be here. We’ll have fun.
I’ll figure out how I’m going to watch it.
I hope there will be no streaking in the quad or no mud wrestling going on. I don’t feel like picking up the pieces. My wife and kids are gone that night. They’re not even going to be here. I’m only having beer, so whatever else people are drinking, I’m not providing it for them.
You’re saying someone at your party is going to go to jail.
I can tell you that several people at the party have been in jail multiple times, minor infractions.
This is a judgment-free zone. I’m not trying to say anything. That’s not the guy who won 27 fights.
The funny thing is he won’t be the baddest man in the room, believe me. We’ve all mellowed, we’re all over 40 now. I’m hoping that it doesn’t turn into a college party. I don’t think it will. How about this? I’m setting the stage for it to be a civil party. My father is going to be here. I’m putting Christmas lights up inside the garage. I’m trying to set the tone for it to be like a really upscale lounge type of thing. I’m having Christmas lights put on the trees out back with a nice fire. I’m not going to drop Valium in the water, but I’m hoping it settles everybody down.
I hate to offer a counterexample. It was Father’s Day weekend. I drove up in the hospital with my dad. We’ve been talking about since Mother’s Day. He never had a drink called Flaming Doctor Pepper. It’s about half a glass of light beer and you draw a shot glass Amaretto topped with 151 lit on fire into it and then you drain it. It’s delicious because it tastes like Dr. Pepper as long as you drink it quick. My bad. I never had one. He’s never been a big drinker, but he does like an occasional beer.
Around Mother’s Day, he started talking about being interested in it because he had to have 151 for some chocolate fondue we did for my mom. I made the remark that if he gets some Amaretto and I bring some beer, we can have Flaming Doctor Pepper. It got squashed because it’s Mother’s Day and mom might not have appreciated that, but this Father’s Day, it was definitely on the table. I took a beer glass up and took a couple of shot glasses up because my dad doesn’t have all the glassware and everything and we made a couple of them. I did the first one to show him how it was done and then he had his part. He lit it on fire, dropped the glass, starting to turn the glass stuff. He got about halfway through it. He puts it down on the table and grinned from ear to ear and he goes, “It tastes like Dr. Pepper,” and the whole table just erupted in laughter.
Did he stop after one or he got completely shit face and you had to scrape him up off the floor with a broom and a shovel?
No. We both stopped after one. It was more of exposing my Dad to something silly than it was the two drunk guys at Father’s Day.
We’re talking about the finer things. How much finer can it be than to have your dad downing a flaming shot of something. That’s fantastic. A cigar that I had was pretty darn good and it was an Alec Bradley Tempus. Have you guys tried that yet?
I only had one Alec Bradley, the New York Empire.
Was it a medium, full-bodied strength to you, the Tempus?
Absolutely. It started a little harsh, but mellowed out and ended up being pretty darn good. I’ll take a Black Market all day over that or a Lineage, but it’s not a bad smoke. I’ve got another one in the humidor and it’s not something that’s going to sit. It’s not going to sit there too long.
I had a really good cigar. Mine was a mild to medium-bodied cigar. I had 66 Cigars Paradigm Short Robusto. It was medium-bodied. It has the same flavor profile as a Perdomo Champagne, had a little bit of cocoa. My wife thought it had more spice than I did but it was present. Being a short Robusto, it’s a full-inch by 43 ring gauge or something like that, 30, 45 minute-smoke. I actually ended up talking on twitter to the guys from 66 Cigars after the fact and they were talking about how they like to call it their lunch break.
I used to like really short cigars like that, but now I’m moving towards the five-and-a-half-inch type. The Robustos are a little small for me. They burn hot. I’m not going to kick one on a bed but they burn a little hot for me.
You’re more gearing up towards Toros and stuff now, then?
Yes, I would say. What’s the five and a half Harris? What is that? What’s the name of it?
Five and a half to six-inch around a 48, 50-ring gauge. It’s a very popular size.
It’s would take a little over an hour to smoke or something like that.
Yes, I would say. My mother-in-law bought me a cigar for my birthday. I don’t know what it is. It’s unbranded, it’s a Dominican but this thing is huge. I don’t even know what ring gauge is. All I know is I’m going to look like an idiot smoking it. What’s the largest ring gauges they have? The thing looks like I’m smoking the Blue Yeti mic.
The biggest I’ve seen is about an 80.
I wonder what it is. How do you measure?
Ring gauge is measured in 60th of an inch, so an 80-ring gauge is about an inch and a quarter and a third or something like that.
Thank you for that. I appreciate that. I’ll measure the sucker. I don’t know when I’m going to smoke it because I’ll be smoking it for a day. Perfect. I really appreciate you having me on. It was a lot of fun. I’m looking forward to my next smoke. We can talk about it.
Enjoy the Kristoff too.
Thank you very much.