CCP 052 | La Barba Red
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When your wife starts thinking that smoking cigars is slowly becoming a problem, you don’t stop but you do put a limit on yourself. The My Father Garcia is a cigar that kind of makes you feel like you are taking a break from smoking. It is also a good smoke for Sundays or during the Superbowl when your team wins a first game. The Cli Prieto differs from the Garcia because it actually encourages you to smoke it. It is similar to the Nicaragua only with a holographic wrapper that tells you to do something.

Listen to the podcast here:

Cigar Cafe Radio Podcast | Post IPCPR | La Barba Red | MF Garcia and Garcia

I’m Lane. I’m hanging out with Sean. What’s going on, man?

Nothing much. We had our first scrimmage in football against an opposing team. It was both good and bad. We know what we can be but we’re certainly not there yet.

Does it feel good for it to be football time again?

It’s my first time being the defense coordinator. This is a great group of kids. They’ve lost five games in five years, so 55 and 5. They’ve been in five Super Bowls. If they suck, so do I. That makes me very nervous. I don’t care about myself. I just care about them and so I want to be able to put them in a position to be successful. I’m super excited for it to be football time again but I’m nervous. I’m a pretty high-strung guy when it comes to that. I’m not a loud guy. I’m a quiet bundle of nerves. I can see Xanax being in my future on Sundays. It’s pretty cool to be back. I love football so it’s fun to watch. What about you? Are you getting jacked for your Crimson Tide?

I’m getting jacked for football in general. I’m irritated that the Hall of Fame got cancelled but that’s going to resolve itself here.

The Bears are on tonight.

I’ll probably swap back and forth between that and the Olympics.

I’ve been watching a little bit of the Olympics when I can. I’ve got a piece of advice. Don’t ever poke a twenty-time gold medalist. I have no issues with being confident.

Even the shit talk and getting in your opponent’s head, I respect that. It was over the top.

Talking about messing with the greatest swimmer in the history of the sport.

I feel like the term “greatest of all time” gets thrown around unnecessarily a lot. For Michael Phelps, we can safely call him the greatest of all time.

There’s no close second.

They were talking about Ryan Lochte on the Olympics. If he gets one more medal or one more gold, he has the most of any person not named Michael Phelps.

It’s not even close.

It’s not even relatively close. It’s safe to say that he has earned that title. Was there some shit-talking that went on against Michael Jordan? Yes. Most people knew when to dial it back. When beast mode came out, they were like, “Michael, no masse. No more. You’ve got me.” It was over the top. I’m like, “You dumb SOB, just shut up. You look like an asshole now.”

You bring up Michael Jordan. Have you been watching the internet sports talk the last few days?

I have not.

There’s a rumor that Tim Tebow wants to play baseball.

I read that. That’s not a rumor. He’s in training right now.

Apparently, the Birmingham Barons want to extend him an offer. His extreme passion to play some professional sports, although admirable, is a little maniacal. I don’t understand. He hasn’t played baseball in how many years? It’s been a while. I know he was a pretty decent prospect out of high school but then he chose football. He played four years in college, the fifth year behind Chris Leak. He played full time in college and then he was in the NFL not really doing anything for two or three years. He’s been an FCC Network analyst for a year to a year and a half. That’s essentially saying he’s been at least three years out of professional sports.

And pushing a decade out of baseball.

He was a tremendous college athlete, no doubt about it, but I don’t know that he’s got the juice to make it in professional baseball. In fact, I would say he’s got a 99% chance that he is not going to make it. I hate to tell people that he can’t do it, but his time would be better served carving out a career for himself on the FCC Network or somewhere else.

There are other FCC quarterbacks that have panned out for the FCC Network. For ESPN smaller channels, that’s a legitimate career path.

You can jump from there to the networks like Brady Quinn. These guys have done that. George Rogers just got a gig at the FCC Network. I don’t know what they make doing that, but I got to think it’s a decent living. I got to think it’s in the high $100,000 to $300,000 range. It’s not a horrible living to make. If they get better at it and they polish their skills, they could jump up to a network.

I imagine those numbers are reasonable.

I don’t think they’re getting pimped to make $50,000. I think they’re making decent money.

Our local weatherman makes $758,000 a year. We’re talking about guys who have nationwide coverage.

They’re getting paid respectably. I’m not saying they’re signing $20 million contracts, but they’re respectable guys. Tim Tebow is probably smart enough to have put away the millions that he made in NFL because it doesn’t seem like he has horrible vices. I’ve always said I wanted to find out that he was doing blow-off with hookers in a hotel room. It seems like he’s a pretty decent guy. If he makes a decent living, he’s going to be set. To go through the grind of a training camp and trying to learn the sport all over again, it seems ridiculous. He’s already 28?

Give or take.

It’s post IPCPR and I got a Hall from Harris that I was pretty pleased with.

I saw that. I was responsible for a handful of those. I sent six.

Thank you, I appreciate that. I had one last night.

Was that from the Hall?

Yes, that was a La Barba. It was the La Barba Red.

How was it?

We talked about how my palate has gone soft a little bit and the La Barba is not a mild cigar. It’s a medium strength full-flavored cigar and really good. That’s the type of full flavor I like. Habano, they used some Ligero. Really unique flavor. You can tell I took a lot of care in putting it together because it burned well. It was really good.

 CCP 050 | La Barba Red
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La Barba Red: La Barba is not a mild cigar. It’s a medium strength full-flavored cigar and really good.

I’ve had a good weekend. We’re taking a break from smoking mostly. My wife thinks I’m developing a problem. I came back from Vegas and she’s like, “You’re taking a break.” I was like, “I have to smoke for the show.” Some of these I’m on the clock for. There are expectations. I smoke that My Father the other night. The Garcia Garcia.

That’s a bad mofo, right? It was a top shelf.

When they gave us two of them at the My Father dinner, I was like, “I have to send Sean one of these.” Not because I’m obligated to, but because you need to have the cigar.

I’m a big My Father fan. I like all cigars, but I always go back to a couple, and My Father is one of my favorite, so I appreciate that very much. That’s pretty cool. Thank you. It’s going to be smoked and smoked well good.

You should smoke that after the Super Bowl.

We’ve got our first game on Sunday. If we win that one, I’m going to smoke something good. I don’t know what it’s going to be yet. It may be All Out Kings. I’m not sure.

Fair warning, that cigar is not medium-bodied. It is like the most turned up Liga I’ve ever smoked.

Maybe I should back it down? Maybe I should wait after a big meal or something like that?

You should be fed before that one.

I was fed very well by Hors d’oeuvres at the Nat Sherman Cocktail Hour and then dinner with Gurkha before I smoke that cigar.

The CLE Prieto that looks pretty nice. There’s one here and I don’t know what this is and maybe you can point it out for me. It’s got a holographic wrapper, but it’s got like a skull on there with a holographic wrapper. There is no name on here.

I don’t know what that is.

It’s got a saying on the back of it. It says, “Leave a mark. Start something. Call your mother. Finish something. Help a friend. Make a statement. Set a goal. Challenge the world. Exceed expectation. Just go. Seize the day. Expect the unexpected.” There’s no name on this.

It’s a very inspiring cigar and you got to put your name on.

I’m going to smoke it out of my ass because of this. What do you think?

They’re encouraging you to smoke it. Literally encouraging you.

I’m jacked up about the Gurkha 21. I got one of those. I got the Kentucky Cure Fired with the Swamp Thang. What did you think? I know you smoked a couple.

It’s a change of pace. It’s very easy to smoke. It’s probably mild, maybe just shy-medium. It was a ‘good morning cigar’ the day I smoked it.

I’ve got two Davidoff Yamasá, which I have a feeling I’m going to like this.

They’re different than what we expected. They’re good and they’re continuing that trend of Davidoff pushing some more medium sticks, but it’s not like the Escurio. It’s similar to the Nicaragua. We thought it was going to be the Puro d’Oro line because they took some branding liberties when they canceled that and put it in the Yamasá. I had personally hoped that some of the flavor notes would come over and they didn’t. It’s like a Nicaragua probably a little north of an Escurio.

 CCP 050 | La Barba Red
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La Barba Red: The Yamasá are good and they’re continuing that trend of Davidoff pushing some more medium sticks.

I had the AVO 75 that’s been aging quite well. I had a couple of Undercrowns, a Scenario and a couple Montesino Maduros. I was running low.

You’ve got Harris 7 or 8, 9 and 6, something like that?

I’m going to the cigar store tomorrow with my father. I’m going to get 708s. My nephew turns one. They’re having a big party and my brother-in-law is buying a bunch of 708 Habanos and Maduros. We’re going to smoke the hell out of those on Saturday, which I’m pretty thrilled with. I got the cigar basket for our football association. I made that and that’s been raffled off. I’m going to put some dough into that bad dog. When the guy who bought part of it because I bought part of that to donate, we’ll also throw in $35 to $40 to win the basket. It’s a good basket.

It’s so nice of you to offer the box of Liga Privadas to your friends. I got that IPCPR Hall and I’m going to get a box of Liga T52s because of your promotion.

I talked to him the first time before I went to the trade show, when I sat down in his office yesterday, the first conversation is all about Vegas. He said, “I’ve never tried a premium cigar.” I said, “I’m not going to put the peer pressure on you. I’m not going to tell you have to, but if you decide you want to, I’m your guy.”

I did that. We were talking about construction and what I do now and what I did before. He says, “You smoke cigars?” I’m like, “Yeah, I smoke a few.” He goes, “What do you like?” I go, “That’s a question from a non-cigar smoker asking a cigar smoker.” There isn’t anything I really don’t like. Most times there’s a cigar and a person’s lineup that I will like. I said, “It’s more like, “What do I like on a certain day” type of thing.”

What do you like before lunch? What do you like after a heavy dinner?

Sometimes I’m in the mood for nothing but Connecticut, so I go through a Connecticut phase where I tried to smoke everyone’s Connecticut. Which one do I like best out of these group of ten? He goes, “I’m going to hang out with you during the season.” I said, “I’ve been known to give away really good cigars. If you want them, I’ll certainly hook you up.” The only thing I can’t have, and I’ve learned my lesson is I can’t bring out a bunch of good cigars to guys that are casual. I have to have the giveaways.

You have some $3, $4, $5 sticks and you have some bundle sticks and, “You want a cigar?”

There’s a Partagas in here. I’ve never smoked a Partagas cigar ever. This is going to be a first time for me.

I don’t think I have that one. Maybe I put that in there, maybe Harris did.

It says Partagas 1845. I don’t know which one that is, maybe that’s the name of it. I’m not too familiar with this line. I know it’s a super popular line. One of those ones I haven’t been too active with. Is there any Partagas that you like or that you’re in love with or do you usually steer clear of that?

I don’t intentionally steer clear, but I smoke three or four of them and I don’t know that I can tell you what they were.

It’s not that I don’t like them. I just don’t know.

I’m drawn in different directions. My direction today is fun. We’re all getting acquainted with Steve Saka and his entertaining Spanish vocabulary. We have the Sobremesa, which doesn’t really translate to anything that we understand in the US. It’s the quiet time of sitting at the table and enjoying after dinner. At IPCPR, he released a new cigar and this is called the Mi Querida and that does directly translate to English. Literally, it means ‘my mistress’. More specifically, he described it as meaning ‘my piece on the side’. It’s the follow-up to the Sobremesa and he is using it to fill the gap.

Are you sure you want to go here the rest of the way? Mistress and fill the gap doesn’t work really well together in a sentence.

He’s using it to fill the gap that he doesn’t have the Liga Dirty Rat anymore because he’s not interested anymore. This cigar doesn’t taste like a Dirty Rat but he’s using it to go with his morning espresso and stuff like that.

Is that like the Goombah in Italian? Is that what it would translate to in Italian?

That sounds right.

What do you think of that one? I had the first one and I was not blown away by it. Maybe I have to smoke a couple of them to get that. It did not blow me out of the water. It was not super awesome.

I smoked like a Toro Vitola of the Sobremesa the first time. Good cigar but wasn’t exactly in my flavor profile. This one has parts that are in my flavor profile but it’s really complex. It’s got a lot going on.

Even though it’s not all in your wheelhouse, it’s still fun to play around. I find that to be the case too. It may not be perfect for me, but there’s enough of it in there that I like that I can sort it out.

I know one of the things that you’re not big on is you’re not big on smoky, woody sticks. There are some not smoky cedar in this. There are some black pepper. It’s a little earthy, some cinnamon and something that you have trouble finding in cigars with all of that going on. It’s creamy and so it’s got like a very rich mouth filled to it, but it’s very pleasant. This is like a Gordo Grande or something like that. It’s like 6×56 . It might be the Ancho Largo with 6×52.

I have to almost be punched in the face with creaminess in order to taste it. When I do, I love that. Sometimes I have trouble picking it out of a cigar that is super complex or heavy on the flavor. It’s hard for me to pick up that secondary note of creaminess in it.

This is maybe medium plus. This is not a hefty heavy cigar but it’s very pleasant. It’s very well blended.

I thought that way about the La Barba Red. I thought it was a great blend. It’s not an everyday smoker for me. I definitely buy another one, but it was a complex smoke that have enough of what I like to have another one. It was too much for me to smoke all the time. That could never be my everyday smoke. There’s no way.

 CCP 050 | La Barba Red
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La Barba Red: The La Barba Red was a great blend. It’s not an everyday smoker, but it was a complex smoke that have enough of what I like to have another one.

If something like that becomes your everyday smoke, you ended up frying your palate.

That’s true. You end up kicking your palate in the ass and you don’t taste anything.

That’s part of the reason why I’ve ended up smoking a lot of medium-bodied sticks lately is because for a while, there I was leaning medium plus and getting into that full strength Nicaraguan profiles.

I still love it. I smoked a Rocky Patel Fifty-Five over the weekend. I smoke was the Prohibition Habano over the weekend and that was more than a little bit spice. Then I can step back to an edge-like because it was what I had in the bag.

I had a funny conversation with my father. My dad is a cigar smoker for as long as I can remember, at least 40 years. If I can remember back when I was five or six, he would get Cellini Cigar, a cigar company in Chicago that had their cigars made somewhere. I don’t know where, but they would buy these cigars boxes at my uncle and he would buy these cigars Maduros and they would throw them in the freezer because that’s what people told them to do back in the day. For the last at least 25 years, he’s been smoking the Montesino, the Arturo Fuente Montesino and the 858 Maduro, both Maduros.

Harris end up sending him a box of Montesinos that were in the Connecticut wrapper, not the Maduro wrapper. I said, “How did you like the Connecticut Montesino?” He goes, “I didn’t really like it.” I go, “Did it not taste good? What was the deal why didn’t you like it?” He goes, “No, it tasted fine. I didn’t like the wrapper.” It had nothing to do with how the cigar smoke, it had to do with the color of the wrapper? Form over function. I go, “I’ll tell you what, dad. God bless you, buddy. I love you.” Very strange conversation. This is broadly wrapper. It looks like leather.

It’s a Connecticut Bradley with Nicaragua binder and filler.

I like to know how they get that age, the darker, whether they harvested early or late or whatever they do with that. It’s like red in areas. It looks like the Kristoff Corojo. It’s got that reddish brownish in there. It’s a beautiful wrapper. You love cigars when you call a wrapper beautiful because I have. I have looked at it and I’ve been with my wife and I’m like, “That is a great looking stick,” like, “That wrapper’s beautiful.” She looks at me out of the corner of her eye like I’m absolutely out of my mind. It looks like a dump, that’s what it looks like. I got a cruise. I got things to do and people to see and it’s good to see you. I’m proud of you. I hope you get that job and will talk to you soon.

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