CCP 037 | Tobacconist Association Of America
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The Filthy Hooligan by Alec Bradley is a barber pole cigar they release every year around St. Patrick’s Day. It starts out with the typical Alec Bradley profile which is a smooth medium. The TAA or Tobacconist Association of America did a really in-depth panel discussion with manufacturers and retailers about the FDA and everything that come in with the regulations. There is a good chance that the FDA are going to come out with more heavy duty regulations. It ended on a positive note that although it will probably look a little different, they feel the industry will survive and thrive.

Listen to the podcast here:

Cigar Cafe Radio La Palina El Diario | Alec Bradley Filthy Hooligan | FDA

We’re hanging out, had a couple of weeks off. Sean’s got it busy with conference calls a day but we’re sitting here in the shop at St. Patrick’s Day. What’s going on, Harris?

It’s good to jump back on the horse. I feel like it’s been awhile since we’ve done the show. It is so many in a row; we hit40 weeks in a row and then go off.

When did you go to Mexico?

There was that. My wife let me escape from being up with the newborn to go to TAA last week.

How was TAA?

It was good. It’s always a great time. For those of you who don’t know, it’s the Tobacconists’ Association of America. It’s a group of about 80 of the top retail stores in the country that most people have multiple stores. It probably represents somewhere between 200 and 300 actual stores that are all kind of the best of the best and it’s great. I always come back with a lot of ideas and there are a lot of creative guys there that are coming up with new events and manufacturers released some new blends and it was great.

What was the big cigar that everybody buzzed about? You’re right, several of the manufacturers produced TAA releases.

In the last three or four years become the big thing with the TAA that I think right now they’re up to twelve manufacturers produce TAA exclusive series cigar that’s under their brand name that only TAA members can buy. Some are regular production and some are one time release.

Tatuaje’s produced some. My Father‘s put some out I think.

My Father, Nat Sherman does one, there’s an AshtonVSG, it’s a special size. Probably the one that every year gets the most buzz is the Tatuaje blend. It’s really dark broadleaf Maduro wrapper. Every year except one, the year they changed it was not as popular, I think that was 2014.

I’ve got a buddy who’s a big fan of the 2013 but didn’t mean so much.

They changed it so this year they announced that they’re going to rerelease the 2012Tatuaje TAA. Same size. The blends are the same from year to year. That’ll be a big one. Trying to think of which other ones. Probably the second most interesting new one was Padron announced in the 1926 series. It’s a 60 ring gauge and slightly box pressed.

That’s a lot of Padron.

It is, and it’s a $20 cigar. Probably do well because it’s Padron and they’re in ten count boxes. They’re working on that. Another thing from Padron, it’s not a TAA cigar. George Padron, I was talking with him and he tweaked the blend of the Damaso a little bit. I believe it’s the number 34 sizes, the torpedo. He’s experimenting with changing that blend a little bit. It seems like that one size only. I’m trying to think of other TAA blends. There’s a few other. Kristoff is doing some early release. They’ve started releasing some of their blends early to the TAA and then everyone else can buy at the IPCPR the summer. There’s the Pistoff Kristoff coming. Overall it was great. We were in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, which first time there.

I saw you and George Sosa and Janine Perdomo posting stuff all over social media. I was sitting here in Birmingham going, “It’s still 50 degrees.”

Me and Sean are used to it being another way around that we’re looking at your pictures from trips.

I’m glad you brought back the 85 degree weather with you. It’s been nice the last few days.

It’s incredible weather here.

My Yard, we planted a rye grass over the winter and my yard is ridiculous right now. We’ve got a spaniel mix. She’s our small dog. She’s 35 pounds or something and my wife took her out last night and lost her.

How does that work? Does it die when it gets warmer?

Supposedly, but it hasn’t yet. I’m supposed to go to Home Depot this weekend and get a rake and re-till the grass with a rake, and then I’m going to put the regular summer Zoysia grass out sometime in the next month or so. The yard guy’s already coming back to start up next week and it will get cut, but apparently I’m not going to cut it.

You’re out of town recently, where were you?

I went to Panama City. My wife has a friend that has a family condo there. We went this weekend and it was the beginnings of spring break. There’s no alcohol allowed on the sandy beach during the month of. It was funny, we poured drinks and got ready to go out and then we realized when we got to the pool that we couldn’t go any farther. My wife chubs her rum and coke, and then we fill up the solo cups with sand and smoke our cigars. She was smoking a Java Mint and I grabbed what I thought was the intelligent decision. I’ve taken several cigars with me. I took a New World with me. I took a Liga T52, a Dirty Rat and then I took a 262Paradigm, which I hadn’t had in a while. I thought, “I’ll smoke the Ligas in the afternoon, I’ll smoke the other cigars in the mornings when I’m there and life will be good.” The first day we’re there, I go out in the sand with my solo cup full of sand, and I light up this New World thinking it’s going to be my light hitting cigar for the day and I immediately realized that I have chosen poorly. This is an afternoon cigar. It’s way too full bodied for 9:00 in the morning. It was a great cigar, but it was not a good decision to make. I recognize that the Liga was not going to be enough of a step up in the afternoon and so I ran down to a local shop down there. I’ve talked about him a few times on the show, PCB Cigars and Peter was there and he walks into the humidor while I’m poking around looking for something and I said, “You don’t have a Rocky Patel Super Ligero do you?” and he said, “Yes.” He walks me over to him, hands one to me. I said, “I chose poorly this morning and smoked a New World and my Liga’s not going to do the trick this afternoon.” Smoked a big fat, I don’t know, 6 x 60 Super Ligero and took a cigar nap.

CCP 037 | Tobacconist Association Of America
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Tobacconist Association Of America: The New World is an afternoon cigar. It’s way too full bodied for 9:00 in the morning.

Did you smoke the 262?

Yes. I smoked out the next morning. That was the day we went back, so I never even got around to smoking either of the Ligas. They’re in my humidor at home now. I’ll smoke them but it’s crazy. We talked about how I hadn’t smoked a Liga since the Eiroa First 20 Years came out and even though I have now bought a couple of Ligas, that is still the case. The last Liga I had was some months ago.

It’s interesting about Liga Privada all of the sudden, I don’t know if it’s like this everywhere but we had been getting in many more Liga cigars in general, like Unico, No. 9, lots of T52s but much more than normal.

I don’t think you guys have ever really had a problem stocking the T52.

No. Unicos, yes. Normally we don’t ever see.

Usually the Unicos come in, you get a handful of boxes at best and people pop in and buy them all out in a day or two.

We have a surprising number.

I’ve seen them on the shelves and, “I haven’t had that Unico.”

It’s good to see them and they’re still smoking great. I don’t think it’s that they’re trying to produce more, I don’t know if all of a sudden more already started shipping. Sean sent me his list for the beach. Is he stopping by? I, next week.

He’s coming through on the 30th. He asked me where he could stay next to one of your shops and I told him the Hyatt place across the street.

He’s asking me, I’m trying to think of where to book.

I asked him, wait a second. Which shop do you want to stay near? He said the one that’s on 65 so there’s a Hyatt Place and a Hampton Inn and an Embassy Suites that are all right there. I don’t know which brand he’s going to stay with but he’s going to stay near Patton Creek and I said, “I live three miles from there.”

I originally thought he was just passing through, but he’ll actually spend the night.

They have let him stay the night here. I think I’m supposed to meet him at Patton Creek at7:00 and smoke a cigar and then get something to eat. I don’t know what he’s going to have in mind. There’s not any great barbecue right there otherwise I’d tell him, “Let’s go to Saw’s, but I don’t think he wants to go into downtown or Mountain Brook for that.

It’d be a long way. They’ve been on the road all day.

What is there? The Cajun Steamer’s right there. I guess there’s a Moe’s Bar B Que, they’ve got good wings.

I like Moe’s Bar B Que. The redneck Nachos are my favorite. They put everything on barbecue that you’ve got today. This list he sent over, he’s got the Camacho Barrel Aged, Camacho Corojo, Jericho Hill, T52, Padron Family Reserve.

Which one is that? The Padron.

The Family Reserve Series is with lift within the 1926 series. It’s some of their lower production. They’re not limited releases, but they’re more expensive. It’s all there, $30 range cigar. It’s their top of the line, the best of the best regular production, maybe to convince him to smoke a Padron 50ths.

That’s a good cigar.

You smoke that one.

I did and I smoked it for cheap and it was great. It has helped me get near a $50 reward credit on my Cigars and More rewards. I think probably sometime here in the next couple months. I’ll crack that thousand point mark.

Do you think if the Padron 50th was $100, would it be worth paying $100?

I would have a real hard time paying $100 for a cigar because I am painfully aware that I am basically lighting a hundred dollar bill on fire, but it’s great.

People ask me all the time, is it worth $100? I was like, “I don’t know. It’s hard to justify from what yousaid.$100 is a lot of money for something you’re going smoke for an hour or two and be done, but it is really good.” I told it’s a great super special occasion cigar.

CCP 037 | Tobacconist Association Of America
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Tobacconist Association Of America: $100 is a lot of money for something you’re going smoke it for an hour or two and be done, but it is really good.

I think I smoked mine out on the patio for nothing. I was like, “You know what? I can’t wait to smoke this thing out. I’ve got to light it and I don’t remember exactly what I got one for. You had to mark down to $60, $65? I had $10 rewards credit at the time. I was like, “I can make sense of $50 for that stick.” Just to try it once and then it was good.

We had the Gurkha rep in here one time, gave one of our guys one of their, I can’t remember which one but Gurkha makes all these crazy ones that are like$500 or 600. He had a sample of it and he lit it up. He didn’t like it and put out and another guy sort of, “I can’t believe he put it out. You said you had a sample of it. I thought you meant they’d given him an inch of it to smoke. One inch sample.

You’re not really smoking the $500 cigar, you’re smoking like $120 cigar.

If you had the whole thing.

What are you smoking today?

I’m smoking the La Palina El Diario, it is one of their flagship cigars. I believe one of their original releases that came out with the El Diario line in the family series.

Speaking of La Palina, I guess we’ve seen the first casualty of any of the impending cigar FDA legislation. Patrick Vivalo just went over and is no longer making them, but he’s working. Who’s the parent company of La Palina?

It was founded by the grandson of the founder of CBS Broadcasting.

It’s been fun watching him on social media lately. He’s been posting the Mr. Sam and a bunch of their line up and it’s like, “I haven’t smoked that in a while either.”

He’s one of the most knowledgeable guys in the cigar industry, Patrick Vivalo. It’s unfortunate that he isn’t going to continue to produce his cigars, but he’ll be our local southeast rep for La Palina. They’re lucky to have him. He’s a great guy.

He seemed really appreciative that he had had the opportunity to produce this online within Rocky Patel and then to branch out and run his own company. I think he decided to from the risk appetite standpoint that it was a little too shaky footing for him right now. He seems to be totally on board with La Palina at this point.

It’s tough to make it on your own as one of the boutique brand startup guys. It’s hard to get good tobacco, a lot of times you don’t have first choice and hard to be consistent. You might have first run, that’s fantastic and then tough to replicate that. He’ll be a good fit. This El Diario is nice as a Honduran Resoto wrapper, spicy Nicaraguan Corojo and Criollo fillers. I don’t pick up the spice, I’m looking at their site. They describe it as spicy, but to me it’s super smooth medium. You could tell the back that they aged it well and it’s nice, creamy, taste it.

I have smoking time with a gimmick cigar. I told everybody that I was going to do it. I got the Barber Pole, Alec Bradley, Filthy Hooligan since it’s St. Patrick’s Day. It’s definitely starting out okay. It’s another one that’s fairly typical of Alec Bradley. It’s a medium bodied. It’s not going to knock anybody over anything, but it’s been a palatable cigar. It’s got the Honduran Candela wrapper over the entire cigar and then through a problem that I had between the punch and the band, we have learned that it is wrapped with the Maduro wrapper around the Candela Cigar as opposed to the other way around. We did incidentally learn that, but now it’s burning grade the first time that I’ve ever used punch. I am at fault here, I’m sure. It’s a good cigar. Not a whole lot of spice that stands out. I’m getting some natural tobacco, a little bit of sweetness especially on the nose, but it’s good and I took a picture of it. It took a couple tries in Photoshop to get any green out of it and I’ll stick that up on the internet here in a few minutes. I finally got the picture looking like the cigar actually looks.

It’s a very unique looking cigar. I’m personally not a huge fan of Candela wrapper cigars, the greens cigars basically. It’s not bad but it’s not my favorite

I wasn’t worried about you pinching me but I thought I’d play it safe.

I thought was about St Patrick’s Day, I forgot to wear green.

You’re safe for me.

The reason I thought that though is because my four year old goes to school. They’re having their St Patrick’s Day party.

What do we have coming up here? We’ve got Rocky Patel going to be in the shop here.

He’s come twice in the past. Stayed here looking at a picture of him on the wall the last time.

I thought of that a couple of times.

It’s been probably five years since he’s done a big event with us.

That was when you guys were still across the street.

It was even in the old shop. We’ve been bugging him for the last five years to come. He’s been active in Washington DC fighting all the FDA regulations and he’s busy with that, that he really for the last couple of years had cut back on events. He used to be on the road every week or year and he’s really had been focusing on that. It got to where it was hard to get him to come out.

CCP 037 | Tobacconist Association Of America
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Tobacconist Association Of America: Alec Bradley is a medium bodied. It’s not going to knock anybody over anything, but it’s been a palatable cigar.

Between his cigars and his shop and lobbying and everything, his plate is pretty full.

Staying up until 3:00 AM, seven days a week. I don’t know who’s keeping up with who. They’re professionals. They don’t need much sleep. I’m actually a little worried about that, with the current situation I’m in with the newborn. I already don’t sleep much and I’ve already been thinking about how I know that’s going to be a late night and may put me out of condition for a while.

I’ve got a buddy back home and he’s gotten to where he can’t go out drinking two nights in a row anymore. He’s like, “I don’t have it in me anymore.”

We’re not getting any younger. It gets a little tougher.

I went up for his 40th birthday a few weeks ago, probably about the time you went to Mexico and had a physical with the doctor coming up the following Monday. He’s smoking. Do you know what a fatty is? Fatty is a smoked piece of lots of meat. Basically you take your sauce and your ground beef and you roll it up into a bacon weave. You can use cream cheese or cheese, more peppers and honey and stuff to flavor it, and you roll it into a spiral and you slow smoke it for hours. You slice it, stick it on a hamburger bun and they’re ridiculous. I went to the doctor two days later and they’re going to do blood work. About a week and a half later they finished tabulating all my numbers and they told me that I was going to live.

Speaking of that, I don’t know if you know, Lane is a part time chef at home. You cooked anything lately that’s incredible like that?

We did a pizza last night on the Egg. When we were at the beach for Valentine’s Day, went to this little mom and pop pizza shop. I was watching the guy, my wife is Italian and she came pre-wired to stretch pizza dough and roll it out and everything. I suck at it but she’s good at it. We put the garlic and olive oil down on the crust and then lay the sauce down and then the toppings and cheese and whatever. What happens is we have this wooden pizza peel and even if we dust it with corn meal and you have cornmeal on the bottom side of the crust, if you don’t dress up your pizza fairly quickly, it’ll tend to stick to the peel. We went to this mom and pop pizza place down at the beach. I watched this guy who makes 400 pizzas a day and he was using a metal pizza peel and he did this trick there at the end of it where he ran his fingers underneath the corner of the crust all the way around. Right before he slid the peel into the oven to pull it loose of the pizza, he lifted up the edge closest to him and blew a puff of air underneath it, and it floats the entire pizza on this little cushion of air for a second and they get released from the peel and then slides right off. I said, “No shit.” I got to thinking about it and I started Googling and everything and found out that the sticking to the peel problem is primarily a wooden peel thing. I went out and I got an aluminum peel and I thought, “Our pizzas are going to be too heavy for this to work but I’m going to give it a shot.” Last night was the first pizza that I’d made. I ran my fingers around the edge and then right before I slid it in, blew this puff of air and the whole pizza waved and let loose of the peel and then slid right off on the pizza stone in the grill.

That’s an incredible thing to know.

I’ve gotten the grill good and hot. I’ve got it up to 650 degrees or something like that, cooked a pizza in six minutes.

How long would it normally take?

They say that you’re cooking it at 400 or 450 like the directions say it’s still a 25 minute cook. If you go to the for real pizza places, even a Papa John’s or something that, you’re going to have your pizza on this little wire rack or something like that that’s going to go through the oven. They’re running their ovens at 600 degrees too and it takes six or eight minutes tops. Eight minutes is a good, well done pizza.

I have to try that sometime. Can you do that on a regular grill, too? Frankly I can’t get it up 600 degrees, that temperature is a problem on a regular grill.

The temperature’s a problem and blocking the heat is a problem. In the Egg, I’ve got the plate center that is making the heat indirect and I’ve got a pizza stone on top of that. It basically makes it dead even with the top of the bottom part of the grill.

You put the pizza stone on top of the grate?

On top of the plate center. The plate center’s got its legs down, it’s another piece of ceramic. You have to put them in together, otherwise you’re putting a piece of cold ceramic on a piece of hot ceramic and it’ll shatter or it won’t cook evenly. That’s part of the trick is that you have to slide this pizza off the peel and onto the stone that’s already preheated and everything and if you’re stuck to the peel. You’re not throwing pepperoni and cheese and stuff all down to the fire and causes flare ups, it burns the edges and sometimes the bottom doesn’t cook totally evenly. Last night, it was perfect but I’ve gotten it good and hot, at the bottom of the crust cooked, almost instantly. It was a matter of not really choking out the fire but closing the vents and letting it bake.

I always see you got the Big Green Egg, obviously everybody knows about those, but there’s all these other companies making similar ones. Are they as good or are they different?

Yes and no. There are some that are just as good. When I was looking at the Egg and I’ve had it for four years or something like that now. I also look pretty strongly at Primo. They generally call those grills Kamado cookers.

Is that in Japanese or something?

It’s basically a clay pit that could be used to cook rice in it, you can bake in it. You can cook just about anything in it. You can make none the edges of it. You can use it as a Tandoori cooker. We’ve done Tandoori chicken in it before and it’s fantastic. Again, you’re setting up indirect heat, but at 600 degrees it doesn’t take long to cook, chicken parts, but it comes up with this spicy yogurt seasoning on it, comes up pretty and orange or red. The problem is people sit back and say, “Do I need to spend, depending on where you live and which size, you’re going to get hundreds to upwards of a thousand dollars on a grill?” No, you don’t but what you have to do is you have to look at it as it’s an entire outdoor kitchen because I can make pizza on it. I’ve made chili on it.

It’s not just for burgers.

It’s not just for burgers, it’s not for steaks, and there are things you can do on it that you can’t do on a regular charcoal grill. You’re never going to be able to sear a steak on a Weber Kettle Grill. You can grill steak all day long or whatever, Kettle Grill is going to be fine, but you’re not going to get that seared on crushed because you’re not going to safely get it to the temperature where it needs to be and then let it come to temperature.

You can’t control it as well it seems. They make those infrared grills that get pretty hot but you don’t have the venting and all the things you can tweak it with.

CCP 037 | Tobacconist Association Of America
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Tobacconist Association Of America: They make those infrared grills that get pretty hot but you don’t have the venting and all the things you can tweak it with.

My dad has a gas grill and he’s got a boiler burner in his gas grill. I sat down with him, I don’t know if it was Mother’s Day or my Mom’s birthday or something like that. He was grilling steaks for everybody. I said, “I’m going to show you a trick.” What you need to do is you need to sit back. I said, “You can do this the right way, I have to reverse here. I have to warm it up a little bit and then seer, but with him having the broiler attachment, he can turn the boiler on, do the sear first and then turn his grill on low and set the stakes on the other side of it and let them come up to temperature and he can pull a steak off at a 135 degrees and know that it’s a 135 degrees. It’s cool. He still uses it. He’s got to where he’ll do prime rib and stuff on his gas grill. The Egg is the known brand for the most part. Primo has an oval shape and that’s going to give you zone cooking, where you can get a hot side and a cold. I have a divider that goes down in the middle if you want and you can have coals on one side and just radiant heat on the other side. If you’re doing ribs or something like that, you could move the ribs around or you could light the fire over here and keep a low temperature on the radiant heat side. Kamado Joe is no less expensive than an Egg, but it’s comparable. My buddy in Huntsville has the big steel keg and they call it a Neo Kamado but it’s a double walled, stainless steel instead of being made out of high temperature ceramics.

There’s a store next to the Cigar Shop here, a couple of doors down that has the Green Eggs and everything. I went in there the other day and they had one that was this triple X Limited edition, ABSCO. It was a monster Green Egg. It was the biggest thing I’ve ever seen. It was $5,000. It was so expensive too. What kind of punch did you get?

Some XIKAR, what do they call this? The seven millimeter Twist Punch in silver. I’m getting close to that rewards level. Let’s put a little bit of money on this today and I’ve never felt myself qualified to use a punch before today. I cracked the cap. Apparently I was right.

That’s a common problem with punches though. Sometimes certain cigars do that or people will push it in there too hard, which you didn’t do.

I felt like I might have though. Since this is XIKAR, it’s got a lifetime warranty and everything. Once I go home and register it. I got some crazy two burner lighter to replace my old Rocky Patel lighter that finally died after years.

XIKAR Enigma, the name of it. I was thinking about TAA and what else interesting happened. They did an in-depth panel discussion with the whole room, probably 200 or 300 people in the room, manufacturers and retailers about the FDA. Everything that’s come in with the regulations and their thoughts on it and they had Glynn Loope from CRA, Cigar Rights of America up there. They had Barry Schaevitz, he represents the Cigar Association of America. That is their lobbying group for the manufacturers. They had Kip Talley from the IPCPR who handles all of their federal legislative stuff. It went on for an hour, them talking about all these scenarios and what they’re hearing and it was a lot of what we talked about the show before, but there is a good chance that they’re going to come out with more heavy duty regulations. The big thing now is what will that mean? Like with the predicate date, right now I think it’s 2000, I want to say 2009. It might be 2007, but that would say that anything produced before that has to completely go through the FDA review process. That would basically put all of the boutique guys in our business overnight.

When we’ve talked about this, they’re going to get hit for every line, for every size.

Would have to be reviewed separately, which has interesting implications going forward too because you would see the cigar companies cut down on the sizes they produced because they would have to get anything new reviewed by the FDA.

They’d have to look at am I going to have more people smoking a Lancero or Robusto or a Churchill, and then it becomes an accountant’s game.

You might even see one size of one blend be released instead of now it’s four, five on average, stuff like that. It’s interesting how regulation affects things. I was in Napa on a trip with my wife and we went to several of the vineyards and they were explaining to us that the way wine is tax based is on the alcohol content. They said sometimes they have to pull grapes from the vine before they really want to because if they leave them on there too long, the alcohol content will be too high. They feel the wine would be better, but it would push it into a much higher price point that they don’t want. They’ll release wines that aren’t exactly the best they could be just to get it in the lower price. It’s such a shame. I’d hate to see that happen with cigars where we’re not getting the best we could because of the regulations.

That is a good comparison because if you are hampering this craft process, you’re going to have people who are going to say, “We can make something that’s good enough even though if it’s not as good as we would really like for it to be.”

They say, “We can’t afford to age the tobacco for three years because we need to start selling it after a year.” They go ahead and roll with it and it’s going to be interesting to see. Basically what I came away with from the panel discussion was that regulations are coming, it’s a matter of what are they going to be, what are they going to look like. At the end of it, they ended on a positive note that they feel the industry will survive and will thrive, but it will probably look a little different. They figure it’ll get tied up in court for four or five years, so really we’re five years away from probably a lot of this actually happening.

CCP 037 | Tobacconist Association Of America
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Tobacconist Association Of America: Regulations are coming, it’s a matter of what are they going to be, what are they going to look like.

We truly do live in favorable cigar times right now. There are a lot of really fantastic cigars that are out for sale right now, whether it’s from the more traditional brands or some of the newer boutique companies. Even though they may view themselves as competitors, they are working together to make better cigars for all of us.

You have some new boutique guys being creative and pushing the industry forward, and then you’re even starting to see some of the big companies focus on being creative and trying to keep up with the boutique guys. You’re right; it’s probably the peak of the cigar industry right now of great new blends, lots of things available. It’s all kinds of good things.

You saw that there was some new headway on the Cuban front a little bit. That Obama has made it not illegal for an American to enjoy a Cuban cigar abroad. That’s been in the last few days and that was news to me. I’m sure someone will tell me that he doesn’t have the authority to do that. I didn’t know that that was a call that he was able to make.

Because it was under George Bush that that was tightened or they made it to where you can be in Switzerland and it technically was illegal.

At that point, you’re a US citizen engaging in trade against the embargo at that point was the logic that had always been communicated to me anyway.

Back to this FDA panel discussion thing at TAA, they brought that point up that lately they have been lobbying the White House and they’ve had high level meetings with people around the White House. Since obviously Obama administration has been pro opening up Cuba that these cigar regulations would also affect Cuban cigars if next year the embargo was lifted. Technically if this FDA regulation passes, none of the Cuban cigars wouldn’t be able to be sold in the US.I haven’t thought about that until they brought it up. They were lobbying them on that, that since obviously they would want those to be available. The Obama administration was an interesting angle. Seems they’re getting creative with how to try to push some of these things in terms of the other side, making sure they understand how it’s going to affect everything.

One other interesting cigar that I actually smoked earlier today. The first one is the H. Upmann Yarguera, but also this owns H. Upmann, the brand. They developed a proprietary Honduran tobacco leaf that they are doing for this year. It’s supposed to be totally new, totally different. We don’t have them in the store yet, they’re on the way.

I have one in the store.

They did a big dinner at the TAA and they featured that cigar.

When are you expecting to get them in?

They said they’re ready to go. We’ve ordered. This is the big launch of it. They said they’ve been working on it for years using hybrid, trying to do something totally different. I think that will be a good new one there.

I’m getting blown up about a meeting that I apparently got invited to. I’m going to have to duck out here, but good to see you again after the last couple of weeks.

It seems like it’s been a long time. We forgot to talk bad about Sean.

We did, but we’ll work that out. We’ll get talk about Sean during his space here in a couple of weeks.

It’s weird that we’ve never met him in person, that’ll be a good thing.

Probably get to meet his family. Probably both be required to bring the wives out.

In good times, I guess we’ll do it again. See you next time.

I’ll see you later.

La Palina El Diario Toro

Harris: I am smoking the La Palina El Diario Toro today.

Lane: For me today its the Filthy Hooligan by Alec Bradley. This is a cigar they release every year around St. Patrick’s day. It has a candela and maduro barber pole wrapper. I have been looking at one of these for awhile, excited to try it out. It is starting out as the typical Alec Bradley smooth medium profile. The wrapper is a Honduran Candela wrapper withe maduro wrapper over the Candela wrapper. I always wondered how they wrap barber pole cigars. Apparently they just layer one over the other. Interesting

TAA 2016 update

Harris: I just returned from the 2016 meeting of the Tobacconist Association of America in Puerto Vallerta, Mexico March 6-10. I love going to this meeting every year. It is the best retailers and best manufacturers together for a few days to eat, drink and learn together. So many great ideas come out of this every year. The format consists of meetings and seminars in the mornings and nice cigar dinners each night. Usually there are optional activities each afternoon (golf, shopping etc.). The keynote speaker this year was Jeffrey Hayzlett host of the C-suite on the Bloomberg network, former CMO of Kodak, and author of several books including his latest Think Big Act Bigger.

Also one of the seminars was an in depth update on the FDA and what is happening. The panel of speakers included representatives from Cigar Rights of America, Cigar Association of America, and the IPCPR. All experts on the topic. Look for an in depth article soon on our site with the info from their update.

about Jeffrey Hayzlett

Jeffrey Hayzlett is a primetime television host of C-Suite with Jeffrey Hayzlett and Executive Perspectives on C-Suite TV, and business radio host of All Business with Jeffrey Hayzlett on CBS on-demand radio network Play.It. He is a global business celebrity, speaker, best-selling author, and Chairman of C-Suite Network, home of the world’s most powerful network of C-Suite leaders. Hayzlett is a well-traveled public speaker, the author of two bestselling business books, The Mirror Test and Running the Gauntlet. Hayzlett is one of the most compelling figures in business today.

Beach Cigars

Lane: I went to the beach again last week. Here is a list of the cigars I smoked

Wife: Java Mint

Me: Liga Privada T52 toro, Liga Privada Unico Dirty Rat, 262 Paradigm, Rocky Patel Super Ligero.

I stopped by PCB cigars in Panama City Beach, Florida and saw the owner Peter.

Padron 50th Anniversary 52×6.5 is it worth the price?

Patrick Vivalo leaves Vivalo cigars to join La Palina as the Southeast Sales Representative

Lane: Today is the first time I have ever used a cigar punch. Yes I know this is very surprising

Upcoming event at Cigars & More with Rocky Patel here in Person

Pizza on the Green egg by chef Lane

Lane: I learned something new about cooking pizza on my Green Egg grill. I was at this little mom and pop pizza place at the beach. They showed me a special trick with the crust. Tune in to learn what it is!

Harris: Are the Green Egg look alike grills as good as the original ? Primo etc.

Outdoor Kitchens

FDA cigar update

Wine Taxes similar to what the FDA proposes for Cigars

Lane: We live in very favorable cigar times. I really hope the FDA does not screw this up.

Cuban Cigars

Obama and how the proposed FDA regulation of premium cigars will affect availability of Cuban Cigars in the US.

It is no longer illegal to smoke Cuban Cigars while abroad for US citizens.

Resources mentioned:

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