A new arrival, the Joya de Nicaragua Cuatro Cinco Reserva Especial toro is barrel aged and has only been released to DDRP or the Drew Diplomat Retailers which are the top accounts for Drew Estate around the US. The Davidoff Escurio is medium and smooth with citrus notes on the retrohale. Tatuaje TAA 2015 is one of the top-selling cigars every year. It has a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper and Nicaraguan fillers. It’s a re-release of the 2011 size and blend which is one of their most popular ever.
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Cigar Cafe Radio Cuatro Cinco | Tatuaje TAA 2015 | AVO Classic | Football
My name is Sean Kavanaugh. We have on the owner of Cigars & More in Birmingham, Alabama, Harris Saunders and Lane is back from his vacation. What’s going on, Lane? How are you?
I recharged since it’s my first day back in the office and I’m leaving at lunchtime and have a cigar with you.
How was your weekend, Harris?
It was good. We spent some good time at the lake, playing in the water with the kids. It was a lot of fun, cooking out and doing the normal Labor Day thing.
Mine was bittersweet. I’m a big football guy and my son played. He broke his thumb in the first quarter of his game. He is going to be out for a while, so it was a bit of a bummer.
How do they deal with a broken thumb?
If it’s a stable break and you play a defensive position, you can sometimes play with it, but at eleven years old and it being an unstable break, meaning it’s broken in two spots, it needs to be stable for it to heal. They casted it up until his mid forearm. It will be lucky if he’s back for the playoffs. Hopefully, it will work out.
That’s not fun to hear.
No, it’s not. Not a tear in his eye. It was funny. The play that happened when they scored a touchdown, he de-cleated the kid on the play. Then on the ensuing kickoff, he de-cleated another kid on the kickoff. He looked at me and gave me the thumbs up like, “Did you like that shot?” We’re laughing. It’s all funny. The coach came over and said, “Sean, I think you ought to come down here and take a look at something.” I’m like, “Me? What’s wrong?” I walked down there and Quinn puts up both of his thumbs in and one’s cocked off to the left a little bit. Needless to say, that was the last play. It was a good weekend. Other than that, I smoked some pretty good cigars. What are you guys smoking?
I’m smoking the Joya de Nicaragua Cuatro Cinco Reserva Especial distributed by the guys at Drew Estate. They represent Joya de Nicaragua in the US. They’ve done the Cuatro Cinco in the past, so there’s a limited edition. I was reading up on this cigar a little bit because this is the first one I’ve tried. It’s a little bit different blend, tweaked blend from the Limited Edition series and it says that some of the tobacco is barrel-aged. It doesn’t give a lot of detail on the Joya de Nicaragua website on that, but when I was smelling it, it had almost a bourbon barrel smell to it.
It definitely has a whiskey subtle aroma to it. Maybe whiskey and cherry maybe.
I loved the Camacho barrel-aged. I’m excited to try this and see what it’s like.
That seems to be a theme. I’ve looked in some of the big box cigar catalogs and I see a lot of partial barrel-aged. I’m interested to hear what you think of it because not all barrel-aged cigars are made equally.
That’s a big trend in the cigar industry right now. Perdomo released a bourbon barrel-aged cigar. I have not tried that yet.
I’ve had two or three of the Camacho American Barrel-Aged. It was as good as the rest.
That might be Sean’s new favorite cigar.
That’s definitely on the list. I always go back to my go-tos, my Undercrown, which Lane, you said you’ve lit up a Pig?
No, I was going to light up a Pig until Harris brought me in an Undercrown Shade, even though he didn’t technically have them in stock.
I think I’ve gotten mine. They’re coming in the mail pretty soon. The American Barrel-Aged, that’s a great cigar. In fact, I gave one to my dad and he loved it, too. I don’t think he appreciated it as much as I did, but definitely one of my favorites. I had some very good cigars over the weekend. One I’d like to talk about is Davidoff Escurio. What an awesome cigar, literally blew me away. It blew me away because it was so different from anything I’d ever smoked before that I had to give it a shout out. They did a nice job with it.
That one is starting to gain a lot of traction. People are now starting to try it out. It’s now at stores and I’ve heard nothing but great feedback on that one.
Lane, I’d like to hear your opinion on this. I’ve heard that this was their attempt to make a medium full-ish cigar. I thought it was mild to medium. I did not feel like it was a strong cigar at all. It was pretty light.
I agree that it’s probably a medium. It is considerably fuller bodied than most of the other Davidoffs I’ve smoked. They tend to be very palatable, very approachable, even for new smokers. That one had quite a bit more depth. They make a number of premium cigars and they’re an industry leader, but I felt like that cigar was head and shoulders above what I’d smoke from them previously.
Such a unique blend. With the Brazilian tobacco, this is very unique.
Harris, you and I were talking and I was excited to talk about it. I read all the time. I’m a review junkie, so I read all of the reviews. I have always read or heard in a video about a cigar having a citrus undertone or a citrus flavor. I’ve called bullshit on a lot of them.
I detect a fake hint of lemongrass.
I retrohaled the Escurio and like, “There’s lime.” It was right there, lime and cedar. Regardless, it was definitely citrus, and I could definitely taste it and it’s the first one that I could actually separate that flavor out of. It was neat.
I’ve got an interesting earthy note on this Undercrown Shade. I took a sip of the Dr. Pepper that I brought in with me. Then on the retro hale, there was an earthy celery flavor to it. I was like, “It’s interesting.”
I’m super jacked to smoke one. What do you think? Is it worth the hype?
It’s definitely a good stick. It’s fairly mild, but it’s very well-balanced, a little nutty. I don’t know that I call it creamy, but it’s definitely mild, very easy to smoke a stick. What size is this, a toro?
Yes, grand toro they call it.
I don’t think I’m going to have any trouble smoking at 45 minutes to an hour that we’ve got here. It’s probably going to go pretty quickly.
Would you say it’s a welcomed compliment to the original Undercrown?
Definitely. That was what I was going to smoke, it was going to be an Undercrown Flying Pig but they didn’t have them in stock. Harris walked in to my rescue.
I’m telling you and I may have told you this before that whenever I’m pissed off at a bunch of cigars that I smoked that I’m not a fan of, I go back to the Undercrown to right the shit. That’s the one smoke I go back to it and go, “Everything is good in the world. I’m not mad anymore. I’m going to let the other crappy cigars off the hook. I’m smoking an Undercrown,” because I know what I’m going to get.
I’m smoking this one at your recommendation. I know we were all talking about the Davidoff Escurio and everything and you talked about this being one of your go-to sticks. You hit the nail on the head with the Nat Sherman Timeless. I had the Nicaraguan in the 660 size at the beach and it was a fantastic smoke. I ran across the notes where you were talking about the Undercrown Shade and thought, “He nailed it with the Timeless. I’ve got to try this Undercrown.”
Do you smoke a lot of them, Harris, or are you not an Undercrown guy?
I like the Undercrown. I’d say it’s not one of my go-to, not for any reason in particular, but I have a few other ones maybe I gravitate towards a little more.
I haven’t been smoking many mild cigars lately. Lane, you had recommended that I smoke the AVO Heritage and I liked it. My buddy said, “Pick up a classic. I think you’ll like it.” Harris sent me one in the latest care package that I got. I’m like, “I don’t even have to go out to the store to get one. I got one right here.” It was probably my favorite mild cigar that I’ve had. I haven’t smoked very many lately, so my knowledge base on mild cigars is probably limited. What a great value for the cigar, too, because it was a pretty complex mild cigar and a pleasure to smoke. I smoked it right down to the nub and I was happy to do so.
AVO Classic cigars has been around forever but always a great go-to mild to mild medium cigar.
Have you smoked them, Lane?
I’m not sure if I smoked the classic. I smoked a lot of AVOs over the years. Mostly the limited editions. Occasionally, like the Domaine No.2 and stuff like that. I smoked quite a few of those.
You’re a bigger cigar snob than myself. I come to realize that.
I’m curious to hear your logic on this. How was that?
Every time I bring up a cigar, you’ve got limited editions you talk about. You talk about having one or that they’re hard to get. I’m like the ghetto freaking smoker.
No, the AVO cigars come out every year. There’s plenty of them. They call them a limited edition, but it’s not like they’re hard to find.
I’m living vicariously through you because I have kids and it’s like I can’t go anywhere anymore. It’s ridiculous. You smoke the best shit. You go to the best places, go for it. Have at it. Live it up.
I feel like Donald Trump, “I go to the best places. I smoked the best cigars. Check out my toupee.”
He’s toned the toupee down a little bit in the last couple of months. It’s not quite the comb over it once was.
Absolutely not, he’s been onto it a lot lately.
Harris, how’s the cigar? How do you like it so far?
So far, it’s nice. It’s medium to full body and it’s pretty smooth. I wonder if that’s from the barrel aging. It has some similarities to the Camacho American Barrel-Aged taste-wise.
How’s the draw? It looked like you were surprised on the first puff.
It started a little tight, but it’s normal. Good draw. Good complex flavor. I’m waiting to see if it changes much or if it stays the way it is, but it’s off to a good start. Nice so far. There’s an earthy taste to me but has a lot of smoothness unlike that American Barrel-Aged.
You gave me one. It’s La Imperiosa Nicaragua. Have you smoked that one yet?
I have, and I liked that one. That is the new release from Crowned Heads. That is supposed to be nearly the same as the original Las Calaveras released from them, which was probably their most popular cigar. It was a limited edition. This La Imperiosa is a regular production cigar version.
This is the first time I’ve heard of this cigar.
It’s pretty new for us. We probably got it a month ago or so. Have you smoked it yet?
I have not. The reason I haven’t is because its reviews are all good, but very different, very similar to the difference in the Escurio. I’m hearing like soy and they say it’s very different.
Yes, it is. The original Las Calaveras, when it came out, seemed like no one liked it right at first, but then after it set the humidor for three or four months, everybody loved it all of a sudden. It’d be interesting to see how it ages. The one I smoked, it was a nice medium to full body Nicaragua that was very complex. A lot of different flavors. I didn’t think of soy sauce. I have to smoke another one, maybe a different size. That’s interesting, soy sauce.
That’s what they said. I wasn’t in the mood for soy, so I decided to pass it by. One of these days probably after football practice, I’m going to light this up. It’s not a very big cigar, so it’s not going to be a long burner. I am doing my part for Camacho to sell out their Barrel-Aged in the south suburban Chicago area because I’m telling everybody like crazy about how good it is. I gave one to my brother-in-law. He hasn’t smoked it yet. I’m interested to hear what he has to say.
That’s one that appeals to regular cigar smokers and then people who are new to it. It has such a unique taste. New cigar smokers seem to love it also.
Isn’t that weird? For sure it’s full-bodied, full-flavored, and it’s weird because it is so unique that a new cigar smoker could go. “This isn’t my father’s Cohiba.” When I rated his Humidor, this isn’t like what he smoked.
Speaking of Cohibas, did you end up getting one?
I had a conversation with Harris about it because I didn’t want to believe you. I said, “Is there something about this brand that I should smoke?” They’re expensive out here and it’s so cliché that I don’t want to smoke it. If I’m missing something, then I don’t want to do that. The consensus is you’re not missing much.
I feel like the Cohiba Red Dot is of a wider passage for cigar smokers. I don’t know many people who smoke with frequency to have at least try them on. The Cohiba Black was a cigar in their lineup several years ago. I don’t think they make it anymore. It was very unique, but it had a super dark aged wrapper.
I’ve seen it.
It was a cool cigar, but it was gimmicky. It wasn’t like their traditional line out. The Cohiba Red Dot, for a non-Cuban Cohiba, it’s not bad. I would say the $10 to $12 price point, if you can find one there, I would say that it’s probably worth smoking. Any more than that, wait until someone gives you one and smoke it then.
Here’s my problem and this is why I am a cigar snob. The problem is that I have such little time to mess around with shitty cigars that I’m not going to spend an hour and a half with something that sucks.
You’re saying I have time to smoke shitty cigars?
No, you’ve been smoking a lot longer than I have. Chances are I have probably smoked a Cohiba Red Dot before if it was around in my twenties because I smoked Cohibas at that time. I didn’t know how to taste the cigar back then. I smoked it because I drank a half a gallon of vodka.
I fixed somebody’s computer once and they gave me some sort of Romeo y Julieta I didn’t know I had because I was 22 years old at the time and I don’t smoke cigars.
With the Red Dot, it is a quality cigar. It’s a good cigar. You’re definitely paying a little extra for the name and the brand behind it with Bourbon. Maybe they’re buying Jack Daniels or Gentleman Jack versus some of these craft boutique bourbons. You’re getting a quality product, but if you’re into it, that’s not your go-to.
Speaking of a cigar and a manufacturer that we’ve had on a couple times and they’re friends with the show, what’s CLE up to? I haven’t seen much from Jason. They’ve got any new blends coming out? What’s going on with them?
Two things showed up. We’re starting to see a few things trickle in from the IPCPR from them, but not much yet. Most of it’s going to come later in the year. One size of the Asylum Insidious Habano came in. We have the regular Insidious.
It’s not going to be a little more four body?
I have not smoked it yet but I’m assuming that yes, it’s going to be a little more medium versus the natural and the Maduro that are on the milder side. One size came in and that’ll be interesting. Then also one called Asylum 33 came in. Asylum, most of their cigars are not the low price point, but lower price range for big cigars. They’re $5, $6 range. The Silent 33, I believe is in the $8 to $9 range. It’s meant to be a little bit more premium version.
Like the Straight Jacket?
Yes, right under the Straight Jacket price point. Straight Jacket would still be their high-end for the Asylums. I haven’t tried that one yet either, but that’ll be interesting. They also released a ton of sizes, it’s called the Aladino and that is a project that Christian’s dad, Julio, has been working on. His dad stays in the factory working on blends. He stays in Honduras pretty much all the time.
They leave him in his cage.
He doesn’t like the spotlight or being out front. A lot of blends he’s been working on. They had ten different sizes, all kinds of sizes. I was surprised at the IPCPR to see how many new releases they had. There were quite a few, not many have shipped yet, but a lot of things.
That’s one of those cigars that I get from you. They have a section at Benny’s, a fairly significant one, but nobody else has them around here as far as any of the cigar stores. They don’t carry them. I usually get them from you. I don’t see them in stores. That’s why I asked because nothing new is coming out.
Do they have Camachos at those stores?
Two of the places that I go to have a limited supply. They have the Triple Maduro and maybe one other. I asked Harris about that yellow-labeled one because it had an interesting flavor profile. I wanted to maybe give it a shot. When you smoke something so good from them, it’s like listening to a band four records into their discography and you go back and listen to all the other ones that they came out with the other albums. That’s the same thing with Camacho. I go, “If they made this great cigar, but they had to make another one.” That’s how I’ve been treating it. Will they blow me away like that Barrel-Aged did?
It’s hard to compare because the Barrel-Aged is so unique.
I know that we’re talking about how I haven’t had a lot of Camachos sourced since Davidoff acquired those lines. Anything that I would have to say about Camachos that I have smoked in the past will be more comparable to a lot of CLEs there than what Davidoff’s doing with them now.
He’s saying that Camacho was bought by Davidoff. They repackaged everything. They kept some of the blends the same, but then tweaked some.
All these new re-branded Camachos and stuff, I haven’t tried it. I’ve tried the American Barrel-Aged and it’s great, but I’m looking here at three, four different colored boxes of Camachos. I don’t think I’ve had any of them.
they’ve got quite a few different wrapper blends, but the one you would like, Sean, is the Camacho Connecticut. It’s similar to the AVO Classic but different. It’s a little more medium mild to medium, but it’s been a huge seller in our stores, all the Camachos. We went from selling almost none to when they relaunched it, then one of our best over the last year, but that Camacho Connecticut, especially. It’s mild, but with flavor. It’s not a mild with nothing there.
They’ve done a nice job of branding their cigars. I’m a sucker for branding. When I go into the humidor, I’ll look for something and they are branded well. What’s on the agenda for the weekend other than watching a whole hell of a lot of college football?
Dove season opens here. I’m supposed to go to a buddy’s house and put 100 chuck and shells up in the air.
Didn’t you get new shotgun?
I had it for a while. I got it a year or two ago, something like that. It’s basically a track guide.
That’s one of the most popular shotguns ever made.
It looks great because it’s gas-operated and you release each of loads. It doesn’t have any recoils.
It’s a semi-automatic?
Yeah. You don’t have to pump or anything.
I like to call that a street-sweeper.
Yes, but the doves don’t stand a chance. May take all three shots to knock them out of the air, but I’m pretty sure I’m not going to miss a lot.
Did you enjoy your Alabama game this weekend?
I didn’t get to watch it with audio. We watched it at the sports bar at the resort.
Do you got to watch it in Spanish?
No, they had ABC, but they only had it on two of their satellite feeds of the three that they have in the sports bar. The one that got the audio was the Texas A&M versus Arizona State. It ran away with one. There were about 25 A&M fans swinging their dicks around and saying, “It’s going to be our game. We booked this resort, so we got to watch the Alabama game instead of the nine-foot projector screen on the whole 32-inch LCD in the back.”
It takes you back to the early 2000’s.
It’s a Mike Price, Mike Chua years.
They wore Wisconsin out. It was tight there for a little bit. They looked very similar of how Ohio State looked. If Ohio State’s playing their best football, no one’s going to beat him. Maybe Alabama is going to beat him, but there’s only a couple teams in the country that can match that.
I don’t think the TCU and Baylor are on the same tier as Ohio State and Baylor at this point.
I sat down and watched all the Auburn game.
Auburn ran away with it defensively early and then stalled for the middle two quarters.
They did. I was disappointed in the quarterback, all the height. He did okay but then three interceptions and could have had five or six interceptions.
You’ve got to be pretty happy with what their defensive performance because they kept between those team from scoring. They had that one, two-minute drop there at the end of the game and then you got the ball back to make a game of it right up into the Hail Mary.
It’s definitely a huge improvement over last season, defensively.
Their talent level has gone through the roof in the last two years. Those boys are starting to play. They’ve had great recruiting classes the last two years. I would think that you’re going to get some sophomores, junior starting to play. I was impressed at Notre Dame.
They smeared Texas.
That was a joke. That was an ass-kicking.
I picked Notre Dame by two touchdowns and pick them leagues. I’m in one with a friend from college and a bunch of her friends and it’s weighted. You pick your confidence level on everything. That game was a tie breaker and I picked it 24 to ten Notre Dame. I did not see that winning back on touchdowns.
Here’s what I’m seeing with them. They’re so deep and talented and wide receiver. They’re loaded at wide receiver. They’ve got their two freshmen that are studs. Miles Boykin and that Equanimeous St. Brown. Both of those kids aren’t even going to sniff the field because they’re six deep. That’s a huge thing. I don’t know that they’ve ever had that much talent at wide receiver ever in their history.
Maybe the Ohio State just get the Virginia Tech for 122 yards and that first 80-yard touchdown. You got to play.
He’s a man playing a kid’s game. You’ll see him playing.
This is his third year seeing actions?
He was a sophomore last year. He’s out after this year.
If he wants to be.
For the life of me, I can’t figure out why anyone would stay unless they come from some family wealth where it doesn’t matter that they can sign a $27 million contract. A lot of these middle-class kids, why you would risk breaking or tearing your ACL? It’s ridiculous to me
The NFL, is that guaranteed money or has that only to stay healthy for the most part?
A rookie contracts guaranteed?
I was thinking that they get a signing bonus and then it’s not guaranteed so they have to play.
That’s probably the negotiating that extra year and what you’re signing bonus is.
Baseball is guaranteed money.
In baseball you’re also getting a signing bonus and stuff like that as well.
You can get hurt first day and still get paid.
It does suck for a football player. Who’s the guy that had his finger blown off on the 4th of July? Guy from the Giants. Is this Jason Pierre-Paul?
I’m not sure, but I heard about that.
He didn’t sign his tender offer yet for being franchised. I don’t know if that’s a real smart move by him. Missing a finger and everything.
Speaking of things like that, have you guys ever seen that new Bear Grylls Show where takes celebrities on TV? I’ve been watching that. The last one, he had Drew Brees on there. I was surprised that Drew Brees, being an active quarterback, was doing that. In the show, he jumped on the back of an alligator and kills the thing. That seems like not a smart thing to do if you’re an NFL quarterback.
Did Drew Brees kill an alligator with his bare hands?
They gave a knife, but yes.
Did he really?
Yes, it was crazy.
I have a new-found respect for him.
We were on the flight back from Mexico and they’ve got the flip down screens and everything, so you get to see it with Kate Hudson. I was like, “Why does Kate Hudson not have makeup and why is she in the wilderness with Bear Grylls?”
Random movie stars or young NFL players going into the woods, kill things and eat it, hike and repel. It’s somehow dangerous.
I didn’t realize it was the celebrity camping. I thought it was always Kate Hudson.
No, different one every week.
It would be better if it was, wouldn’t it?
It wouldn’t be bad.
Doesn’t that seem questionable that Drew Brees.
I’ll bet you his contracts got a bit by an alligator clause.
No, it’s called something else. There is a clause in sports contracts that’s imperil or extreme sports or some kind of bullshit fine print that if you’re riding your motorcycle at 120 miles an hour and you wreck it, you’re fucked. Let’s face it, Drew Brees has been in the League for how many years?
Yes, he’s not hurting him.
I’m pretty positive that the money’s not a big deal for him. I’m thinking that he’s going to be okay.
He was going for it. It’s one of the more extreme episodes.
Any particular smokes you want to shout it out and that you’re going to try before the weekend is up?
One for me that came in. Big news, the Tatuaje TAA 2015 came in.
He has boxes and boxes.
We got 150 boxes. It was our number one selling cigar. Each year, they make a little bit different size. Generally the same blend. There was one year that was different, but this year is a re-release of the 2011 size. It’s five and five eighths by 54, which most cigar geeks around that was like the holy grail. One of the hard to find great cigars. Same blend Connecticut broad leaf Maduro from Tatuaje made with My Father factory as usual. That’s a huge one that came in. I mean we should have those up for sale on our site, BirminghamCigars.com and then in our stores probably.
That would maybe be an and other. When I said, “Can I get a couple shades and a few others?” That might be one of them that’s in that category, How about you Lane? What do you go on the list?
I probably smoked this Undercrown for weekends off, I wouldn’t mind smoking another one of those Nat Sherman Timeless sticks with you. That was a great cigar. I had it on the beach for late breakfast with a Bloody Mary. It was good sort of medium-ish, maybe full body stick, a nutty espresso. A little hint of sweetness on the retrohale. A great balanced good cigar.
Was that the black box, the Nicaraguan? If I go back to what I want.
It was the six 60th box pressed. I didn’t have any troubles with the burn. Even being on a windy beach I was able to light it with matches sort of underneath my shirt and it stayed lit in spite of the humidity and the wind. Great cigar.
I’m going to go with either the Tatuaje Verocu. I will definitely get a barrel-aged in at some point and then I may try this one to this La Imperiosa. I’ll talk about it on our next show if I love it. The thing is that we don’t talk about the ones we hate.
It had to be bad let’s have a show about bitching about cigars.
If I go back to what I love, I usually forget about the ones I think that suck. I quickly overlap it with another memory, a good one. It’s like having kids,
I smoke a Davidoff Winston Churchill in Mexico. The re-blend and it was not anything like the Winston Churchill that I remember are still very palatable. A mild to medium body, but that earthiness that I remember from the original, smoking them at the golf course and everything. It wasn’t there at all. It didn’t make it a bad cigar, it just made it different.
I hope you all enjoy your weekend. I’m going to watch some football. There is a huge high school game here in Chicago on Friday and it’s Mount Carmel, my old high school and Providence Catholic. Mount Carmel Catholic, Providence Catholic. Mount Carmel won it two years in a row two years ago. Providence won, they’re the defending 70 champs and Mount Carmel’s ranked number two in the state. That’s going to happen on Friday night and my son is going to be in the locker room, so I’m excited about that. That should be fun.
There is a huge high school game at Tuscaloosa too. Alabama’s playing Tennessee State University.
Spoken like a true Alabama fan. Have a great weekend and I will talk to you next week. Don’t forget to listen to our latest podcast. They will all be up and ready to rock and roll one a week. If you’ve missed us in the last couple months with spotty stuff, they will be. They will be on right after we have them. See you later.
- Cigars & More
- Joya de Nicaragua Cuatro Cinco Reserva Especial
- Drew Estate
- Camacho American Barrel-Aged
- Davidoff Escurio
- Nat Sherman Timeless
- AVO Heritage
- Domaine No.2
- La Imperiosa Nicaragua
- Cohiba Red Dot
- Cohiba Black
- Romeo y Julieta
- Asylum Insidious Habano
- Asylum 33
- Straight Jacket
- Camacho Connecticut
- Tatuaje TAA 2015
- Tatuaje Verocu