Cuban cigars like the Montecristo No.2, Chiba Behike and Cohiba Maduro are much milder than one would expect. They are overall very mild to medium. The Eiroa First 20 Years 5 x 50 has a fantastic presentation and starts off very full but smooth. It has a nice dark wrapper with an earth tone band and comes in a natural wooden box. The Nat Sherman Epocha is medium, complex, and creamy which a lot of people would like.
Listen to the podcast here:
Cigar Cafe Radio Cuban Cigars | Eiroa First 20 years | Nat Sherman
I’m Lane and I’m here in Cigars & More with Harris. We’ve got Sean on the show. What’s going on?
How are you?
I’m recovering from Thanksgiving. I was gone about every day.
The funny thing about Thanksgiving is I can’t breathe because I’ve got so much in the gullet area that I have to take short choppy breaths, like I’m having a baby.
You get too full to breathe?
Yeah, but I don’t stuff myself. If I have a helping and a half, I’m done.
Since I’ve been nursing this ankle sprain and everything, my appetite hasn’t been what it is. I’m down twenty pounds.
That’s good. You can’t get up to go to the fridge. I’ll tell you what, it has been an awesome week for my cigar world. One of my good buddies, Ken Courtright, went to Cuba for his twentieth or 21st anniversary. He did a Cohiba plant tour and Montecristo plant tour. Guess who was the recipient of four Cuban Cohibas/Montecristos?
I’ve seen the pictures and I know that it’s you. Have you lit one up yet?
I did. I had the Cohiba Siglo VI.
That’s pretty much the one that I smoke.
I’ve got to tell you, it changed everything. I had bad Cubans in the past. They could have been fake for all I know. It changed everything I knew about a Cuban cigar. I would say it was on the mild side of medium, super flavorful. We’re spoiled about construction quality here in the States and the cigars that we smoke. I would say that on the construction side of things, it was a little bit sub-par, but on the flavor side of things, it was rock solid and a nice cigar.
It’s not a boring mild to medium cigar, allegedly. I’m somewhere where I can smoke a Cuban, that’s probably the one I’m going to light up.
I have Montecristo No. 2, I have the Cohiba Maduro No. 5 and I have the Behike, which is a pretty filthy cigar. It’s one of their flagship cigars and I can’t wait to smoke that. That’s a special occasion. That’s going to be sitting in the humidor in a while, as will probably the Montecristo No. 2. It’s probably the most popular Cuban ever made, I would imagine. It won 2013 Cigar of the Year. It’s been on the top ten forever. I’m looking forward to that one too. It’s been a good week. Other cigars have come in from Harris that I’m not going to complain about at all. You guys are lighting up cigars that I know came out and I’m juiced to hear about them.
I’m excited about first size that’s come in. It’s the Eiroa First 20 Years 5×50. It’s a box pressed Robusto sized, celebrating Christian Eiroa’s first twenty years in the cigar business. He started in 1995. It’s well-known for Camacho and Baccarat brands that he sold to Davidoff and then a few years ago went out on its own and started the CLE brands. This is his flagship cigar and the best of the best lighting it up right now.
For me, it’s been unique. I’m probably half an inch into it. It’s a dark Honduran puro. It’s box-pressed, comes with little paper sleeve on the end of it. Then as you smoke it, you get some initial rich dark coffee out of it. It doesn’t, at this point, have any of that Nicaraguan cocoa to it or anything. It’s not 100% getting the flavor profile, but I’ve been smoking a lot of. It’s enjoyable. In spite of being smooth, it is fairly strong.
It’s interesting that it’s all Honduran tobacco.
It’s a puro. It’s got all of the above.
They won’t say exactly which tobaccos they’re using from Honduras. They’re a secret blend, which you don’t see too often.
I’m getting a pepper on the nose, a little bit of cedar, but mostly the primary flavors definitely are a rich coffee.
I know Jason Robinette announced that it was out and he said, “No free ones. Buy a box. They’re worth it.” I bought my own box myself and I was proud of him. It was good. Everyone’s like, “Let me have a few.” I’d even say, “Send me a couple.” He meant business.
I don’t think he even got samples over it.
He said he bought his own box.
Yes, he said he bought two boxes or was about to buy a second box.
It sounds like they’re pretty proud of the cigar. I can’t wait to try it because there’s been a lot of time and care put into it.
What is the price point on this?
Suggested retail on the 5×50 size is $12. There are three other sizes.
Two or three of them are bigger.
Three bigger, think one smaller, up to a 60 ring-gauge. That’s, I believe, $14.
It’s a real nice price point for everyone out there. That’s great. It’s a premium, handmade cigar for $12 price point. That’s fair. Would you agree?
I agree. It puts it in a good price point. Everyone I’ve talked to has loved it so far. There’s been a great response to it.
Did they come out with this at the show?
They did. We ordered it back in August. Only the 5×50 size have shipped. The other three have not.
You sent me a little care package. There were two cigars. I ordered the Fuente Opus X, which I’m thankful I got those. In the care package, I’ve got a couple other ones in there and some Gurkhas, Nat Sherman Sterling and Epoca. I’d never heard of it before. Turns out it’s a Nat Sherman. I was out there freezing my ass off, putting up Christmas lights, MF-ing the world, going up and down a ten-foot ladder for two hours. I’m going to light a smoke. I don’t give a shit because I can. I took the first one out of the Humidor, one I didn’t know. I was unfamiliar with it, lit that sucker up, and I was absolutely smoked by it. I told Harris probably one of my top five biggest surprises that I’ve had. I don’t know if it’s one of my top five cigars, but it certainly was one of those ones where you don’t expect a whole lot and it knocks you on your ass. Nice, medium, complex, creamy, some nice retro hail. Nothing real too sharp, transitioned into a nuttiness that was great. I texted you both because I’d never heard of the brand before, but they did nice job with it.
Sean, I was thinking about something on the way over here and I know you like to poke at me for being a cigar snob.
I’m one too. We’ve already discussed it. My wife called me a smoke snob.
I need to establish a degree of cigar snobbery here. I’ve been smoking ten or eleven years now. You’ve been smoking for ten or eleven months. If I hadn’t gone through your cycle of cigars and my first ten or eleven, there would be no boundaries to the cigar snobbery that I would be. I suspect that Harris could even step it up a notch with ten years at your pace.
You’ve covered a lot of ground.
I have definitely. There are people that have been smoking cigars a hell of a lot longer than I have. I don’t smoke ton of them during the week, maybe three, but I have gone through so much. Many different types of cigars from different countries and different price points from $5 to $35. I’m so thrilled that the owner of our company goes to Cuba and then opens up his humidor when I get there and says, “Take your pick.” Not many times can you get them out of the factory or the Cohiba store. How cool is that? I’m very lucky. With that luck comes great responsibility. When someone tells me that they’re smoking, $3-Macanudos I literally sniff at them. I’m like, “Get out of here. You’re no cigar smoker. You’re not a real cigar smoker. Get those tubes out of my face.”
Does Ken smoke cigars or is he mainly giving them out to people?
What happened was he went through the plant tour very much like we’ve talked about. Once you go to one of those things, you appreciate it. He’s a wine guy and when he saw the time and the care that went in from the sprouts to hand rolling, he looks at cigar smoking in an entirely different light. He’s not a cigar smoker yet, but he did have a few there and I’m going to turn them into one.
I could see some of the spicier cigars and stuff like that pair well with something like that. I bet as a wine guy, there is a window there to push cigars.
You probably had a great palate for it.
I would think so. Ross Halleck, who owns Halleck Vineyards, went with him to Cuba. People don’t know it but Halleck Vineyards is one I believe twice and it’s the only time ever they won the perfect Pinot Noir. I’m not a wine guy.
Is that a red or a white?
It’s a red. Most of the time, people start talking about Pinot that’s what they mean. My wife likes Grigio. She drinks mostly white wine.
Santa Margherita is that the go-to $20 bottle of wine?
That is her bottle of wine. In Italy she got out and that’s all she drinks.
Halleck went with them and he’s a cigar guy. Ken’s circle, the people that are around him like cigars and I think he wants to be part of the crew. I don’t blame him because it’s fun.
Speaking of being part of the crew, ten months smoking cigars you have advice again? Are we your favorite podcast?
You text us between shows. I feel like you like us.
I don’t even think that there’s a close second, to be honest with you. This is the one I look forward to. I tweeted Michael Herklots, I had a Nat Sherman 2. Have you guys ever done any business with Alibaba yet?
I’ve been on the site. I haven’t done any.
I’ve had a nasty first time around first and last time I’ll ever deal with them.
A lot of fraud on there I’ve heard.
Luckily, I use PayPal so that fraud they will erase that shit really quick. They will give me my money back, which I’m thankful for. I was so mad at the end of the day, Kathy goes, “Why don’t you go out and have a cigar?” You don’t have to twist my arm. I had the Nat Sherman Sterling. Once again, I was smoked by two great Nat Sherman cigars in one week along with the Cohiba was a great week to smoke cigars for me. Lane, if you haven’t had one yet, if you haven’t had the Sterling, do yourself a favor. It’s a nice cigar.
I’ve got some Nat Sherman.
Sterling, that one as the silver band, right?
It does. I would say it’s a creamy flavor with right off the bat. There are some cedar notes to it, but it was cool by halfway through the cigar. I’ve got some cool chocolate espresso notes. Nice flavor totally different from the first half. Cool transition lasted for maybe a half an inch, then settled back down to its base flavor, but it was neat and again loved it. Nat Sherman, I know you’re a big Timeless fan so I would definitely try some others if you’ve got the chance.
He said he can definitely be on the show in the next couple of weeks probably. We should be able to get him on.
That would be awesome because he’s the architect behind Nat Sherman’s resurgence. Didn’t he do all the re-branding?
He’s the man behind everything. He managed the Davidoff stores in Manhattan before he came to them. They told him, “Do what you need to do.” He revamped all of the branding, new blends, making them in a new factory, rebuilt the whole brand and made them what they are.
I do feel like Nat Sherman over the last year because that was good come out of nowhere with some stellar cigars. I had some trouble keeping the 546 after the cruise, but it was worth three lights. I didn’t care.
I would say that the Timeless is one of my favorites. It may get overlooked, at least in at least where I am, but we know that’s not a hotbed of cigar smoking. I think that Nat Sherman is overlooked among some of the others. I don’t know how you guys feel about that.
It does. We recommend that one to people all the time. People try it when they try it but for whatever reason people don’t gravitate.
I feel like people here in 42nd Avenue and let’s assume it’s not a real cigar place, but by far my favorite $8-stick.
Isn’t there a Timeless Nicaraguan?
Yes, that is the Nicaraguan. I haven’t smoked the Dominican.
They make the Timeless and a Nicaraguan and Dominican one.
Last week of college football, basically regular season. I know you’re an SCC guy, sorry guys. The SCC championships is fucking snoozer.
I’m looking forward to seeing North Carolina play Clemson.
I am too.
I’m looking forward to seeing Iowa play Michigan State. I know you think that Michigan State’s going to roll over your Alma Mater, but twelve of them is something that you’re hearing expected and I don’t know that it’s not going to be a fight.
I’m a big matchup guy and talent-wise, I don’t think they’re very close. Iowa consistently gets three-star athletes and I’m not saying that you can’t, all of those teams were not top five recruiting classes. I get it. Iowa is not in the top three in the big ten recruiting classes, maybe not even top five. When you put twelve teams like this together, I know it’s special but as far as from one through 85, one through 90 Michigan State’s got way better talent. Can they win? Of course. That’s why you play the games. Tom and I are buddies out there. They’ve had a magical season if they played football the right way. Hard tough D, smart offense, a smart quarterback, a trio of running backs. Kid gets hurt, another kid steps up, their offensive line is a bitch. That’s how Ohio State won it last year. Maybe they can pull a rabbit out of the hat and get in the playoffs. I also am a realist and I do know that Michigan State is more talented.
Did you guys see where Mark Rick has gone to Miami?
He played there.
I didn’t know that.
I’ve been out of it. I know that Babers is leaving. Isn’t he leaving Bowling Green?
I’m not sure.
I believe he is. He’s going to coach in the MAC Championship and then I believe he is going to Syracuse. He is leaving Bowling Green going to Syracuse. There’s a big time coaching carousel going around.
We have a whiteboard up for it at work and we’re writing down predictions. Let me go on record and I made the prediction, but I haven’t been writing for Monday. If Bama winds out, Nick Saban will retire this year.
You think so?
Yes. I am willing to bet that Bill Battle has been on the phone with Dabo Swinney already.
What a man can dream. I would love to see him retire and go into the sunset and never coach again. He can be on sports center. The College Game Day. He’s really good at it and then he doesn’t have to coach and then hopefully Bama can go through about a four or five-year span where they win five games.
Five national championships at two schools in twelve years. What else does Nick Saban have to bring? I think he’s done.
You’re right. Did you ever believe the Les Miles hype that he was going to get shit-canned?
Yes, I have a friend who is an LSU fan and he hates Les Miles and when the boosters said they’d put up the money, I thought he was gone. I did not see Mark Rick getting fired on a four-game win streak.
Then Kirby starts going to Georgia.
As soon as Mark Rick was out, I said, “Kirby Smart’s going to Georgia.”
You did have a carousel going on in your whiteboard?
One of the big speculation is that Kirby Smart takes Scott Cochran with the strength coach at Alabama and Saban sees him as being the secret weapon? Because if you get your athletes conditioned right, injury, they perform.
I thought if Les Miles got shit-canned at LSU, someone would be on the horn with Kelly to come over to LSU.
There’s a contingent at my office that believes that Chip Kelly is going to go to and that Nick Saban would retire and go coach at Philadelphia.
Why would he want to ever go back into pros as a head coach? I have a good friend who coaches for the Texans, any coach for the Jets before that. I ask them all the time why he coaches at the pro level, because I don’t think I would like the pro athlete. He said, “Sean, it’s all about the money. Position coaches get paid nothing in college and they get paid $500,000 in the pros or $280,000, $300,000 in the pros. If you’re on an offensive line coach in college, you’re at $150,000. I don’t know why Nick Saban with all the money he’s made, whatever want to deal with a pro athlete again, because they’re a pain in the ass. They’re all prima donnas.
There are two specific teams that have been named as possible destinations for Saban had been the Colts and the Eagles. It’s basically because he would be given the reigns.
It seems like such a big undertaking at his age. To start that whole process of the 70 by the time they’re good.
The man is made maybe $50 million in contracts, maybe more.
He has an empire going.
That’s the one thing that the guys that jumped to the primal. I know that there’s a ton of ego involved in coaching and you want to see if you can do it on the next level, but these college coaches are getting paid as much as the pro coaches are.
It’s a whole different way of thinking I guess.
What do you think Muschamp has been on? There are three places that Muschamp can be on. He could stay in Auburn, which is not entirely likely, which I think is not entirely likely because Malzahn has to realize that with the performance of the team this year and if he doesn’t make assistant changes and the defense has often on been unreliable. He has to at least examine that position. If he doesn’t make a change then it’s on him from that down the road and he ends up on the hot seat. There’s that but I think South Carolina has expressed an interest in talking to Muschamp. Kirby Smart would like to have Muschamp as a DC of Georgia.
South Carolina doesn’t have a coach yet, do they?
I forgot about that. The good thing is that Brent Boehm is not going anywhere with his win streak. He turned that team around during a midyear. For as much shit as he gets because he can be douchey, he has done a nice job.
Did you get to see these helmets that he’s wearing?
You see the line is wearing off the line has the same helmet, the defensive backs of the same battle ship. Every position has a different ship painted on the side of it. Very cool stuff.
Yes. I was looking at pictures. Very unique.
When is the Army Navy game?
It should be the weekend after the championship games. It will be on CBS.
The games pretty late in the year. They were talking about how if Navy hadn’t lost, that could have created problems for the match ups.
I’m trying to remember, is that the same weekend as the Heisman?
That sounds right. Did you watch the end of Stanford game?
I watched part of it. I was up at the Opryland Hotel with my wife.
It was the best I have seen Kelly coach a game on offense. I don’t necessarily know that it’s been Kelly’s fault. What it was is that he truly has a quarterback that can run his offense. It looked like Cincinnati back seven years ago. DeShone Kizer was running the offense flawlessly. It’s going to be a real problem next year because he’s not in the mix to start over Malik Zaier. The kid looks great, doesn’t make a whole lot of mistakes, had one bad game. They’re running back situation is bright. Josh Adams, there are two freshmen for running backs. Alize Jones, their freshman tight end. The future is bright there, but if you look at Brian Kelly’s yearly salary, he’s not making huge bucks.
What’s he at? $2, $3 million max.
Look at him. He’s not like big doe, not SCC money. What’s on the hopper for the weekend? Are you going to do any cigar smoking that you anything that you’re waiting to get your hands on for the weekend?
My humidor is pretty loaded right now. My Father of 2015 and limited edition 5th anniversary. I’ve got this Nat Sherman. I’ve got a champagne on the bar but I should probably leave for my wife. My premium drawer is probably 15 cigars in here right now.
I think I have like 30, 28.
That’s me smoking three days a week.
I’m pretty full. I still have a bunch of my AVO. I’ve been saving those. I told you I’m a hoarder. I probably going to try that East Indian Company one. What is East India Company? That’s the Gurkha cigar, right?
It’s a brand under Gurkha. In their family of brands. Probably three or four years ago they started releasing different brands. They don’t say Gurkha on them anywhere, but they bought the trademark East India Trading Company. It’s the actual trademark from forever ago. I think it’s like the 1600’s the famous East India Trading Company. Somehow, they bought that trademark, started using it.
I hear it’s good. I probably will have that this weekend, heard good things about it. I’ve got the Gurkha 15-year, I’ve got the Gurkha 18-year. My wife said, “Do you get excited when you open it up?” I said, “A little bit.” Do you guys ever find yourself opening up the humidor to look at what’s inside?
I’m usually on a mission to find something to smoke, but yes.
I love looking at trying something new, looking for all the new things.
It’s not uncommon for me to have a cigar in there for six or eight months. It’s probably time I have them.
That’s why I’m going to keep the Montecristo No. 2 on ice for a while because I hear that cigar ages very well.
I heard that too. That’s one of the most well-known ones.
My Opus has about two months in the aging on it, my last Opus.
Will you smoke that one if you don’t have another one in the wings?
I have a problem with that. I don’t smoke my last Camacho. I don’t smoke my last Jericho Hill. I don’t smoke the ones that I love, I don’t smoke the last of them until I call Harris up to get me another batch of them.
Unequivocally, set that thing on fire.
We talk football, some Nat Sherman’s, the new CLE which I can’t wait to get my hands on. I must go a little earlier, but listen, can you do me a favor Lane? Do you think you can wear maybe like a Santa outfit next time?
You look different.
I haven’t shaved since sometime last week and I was starting to look like a lumberjack a little bit.
Does the wife like the lumber sexual look?
No, she hates it. One of the first things that happened when we met it’s I’ve had sideburns down to my ear lobes since I was sixteen years old and she met me. She says, “Look, those have got to go. You are not Elvis.”
I won’t date you if you, if you have these chops, right?
I get a haircut, I’m like, “Can you take side burns off?” They’re like, “Half of it, take them off?” I was like, “No, I mean gone.”
You’ve got sideburns?
I do right now because I need a haircut but usually no.
You go sideburn-less like, time where you go, you’re no sideburns business front, that kind of thing?
Even with the top of my ears. I do it because my wife likes it.
Let’s pretend that’s the weirdest thing a girl has ever asked me to shave.
My wife loves the beard, so I’m going to rock with it too. I guess if she told me to shave the sideburns off, I’d do the same thing.
Got to keep the wife happy.
Happy wife, happy life. Have a great week and we’ll talk next week.
See you guys.