Davidoff Escurio Nights is a very unique custom event highlighting sweet and spicy food and drink pairings with the Davidoff Nicaragua and Davidoff Escurio cigars. Garrett Calhoun, southeast rep for Davidoff Geneva, will be hosting the show themed A Night In Rio, Brazil where guests will get to try both cigars along with cocktails and finger foods. Garrett mentions that most cigars from Davidoff contain at least three tobaccos. On the news also is the Tatuaje TAA 2015 which is a rerelease of the 2011 size and blend which has been one of the most popular blends every year.
Listen to the podcast here:
Cigar Cafe Radio Davidoff Escurio | Garrett Calhoun | Tatuaje TAA 2015
We’re doing good. We’re ready for the big event.
There is this phone drive they sent from Davidoff that we plugged in. It has all kinds of good music on it.
I know, it’s amazing. I have no idea.
It’s all kinds of stuff.
I have not. I can’t wait to see surprising treats and this free tasting.
Is this your first Escurio event?
That is correct. I’m looking forward to the ambiance and the camaraderie.
This is the very first Escurio event that you guys have thrown outside of IPCPR?
It’s the first one in my territory. I don’t know other reps or what such, but we launched the product at the trade show and the event platform to do these events were basically the last four months of the year. Doing something earlier, I won’t say this is necessarily the first one, but it’s definitely the first one for me in the retail atmosphere.
What are you going to play? What do you got planned there for the shop and what is the event entail? Is it dinner? Is it drinks? What’s going on?
In the past, the big Davidoff event of the year has been more of a seated dinner steaks, potatoes traditional dinner. They changed it up a little bit this year, they made it more of a cocktail style event. Guests who come in are getting I believe Davidoff Nicaragua and Davidoff Escurio to smoke and then we have craft cocktails that Davidoff came up with that are custom specialty recipes. They look tasty. I haven’t tried those yet. Then we have a chef preparing heavy hors d’oeuvres and all kinds of special music.
One Night in Rio with having the Brazilian tobacco that we’re using the Escurio, we’re trying to go with the theme a little bit different than the true black-tie dinners that we’ve done before, high-end Davidoff White Nights, other things that we have used in past and we’re using the of flair of the Brazilian culture to do this. The cool thing is with the pairings of both the liquor special drinks that Harris had mentioned and the finger foods and hors d’oeuvres and stuff is that we’re truly doing a spicy and a sweet pairing because Escurio is an interesting spicy and sweet cigar. The nice thing is having a nice mix of two different types of foods to stimulate the pallet. Different types of drinks to stimulate the pallet. We try to truly bring the whole essence of the cigar together.
I think that’s what’s unique about it is we never had an event where the cigar manufacturer paired everything so well together and so detailed. Every little detail they’ve planned out and paired together and we’re doing it pretty much exactly how they wanted us to. It would be cool to see how that works together.
That will be neat. I’ve never heard of someone doing that for a particular cigar. I know that there are cigars out there that have been used to pair beers and whatnot, but to build an event around a cigar I think is going to be very interesting to see how people love it. I’m sure they’ll dig it because I didn’t need shit to like that cigar. I didn’t need anything like other than the cigar. I’m sure I’m having all the right stuff will bring it. Bring it to the front.
I noticed that almost every other line was Sean talking about how much he either liked the Escurio or the Camacho. Sean loves the Camacho.
What did Sean win? Sean wins a three pack of Escurio.
In different sizes. Thank you very much.
Did you already know this? That surprised one that’s get excited or what?
What is our adult rating status on the iTunes store?
I don’t know. What do you mean? You mean do we have to get the explicit sign?
I think we already do. I think it’s already eighteen and above. I don’t think we want to go to the kiddie market, do we?
No, I think you’ve got something on your chin. I dabbed that out a little bit. Unfortunately, I’m at a remote location so no favors can be had from here.
On a side note, are we up on the Android store?
My pest control guy came up and he got stuff on my Android store.
Because Garrett is there, are you guys only smoking Davidoff?
I’m smoking the AVO Domaine #50 Perfecto shape.
It looked very similar to the Padron 1926 that shape. What do you have going on there, Garett?
I have joined the HS4 club and I’m also smoking or AVO Domaine #50. I had some allergies, I have been a little bit under the weather, but this is one of my favorite cigars. My favorite cigar in the AVO Cojoro line and I figured for this, I haven’t smoke in a couple of days, but I have to join the brotherhood here and that’s what I’m smoking.
What do you guys think so far? I have only smoked one that starts out tight and then opens up and it’s a neat smoke. It’s a neat experience.
It seems like you’re smoking this one with us because the way the shape is you get a lot of flavor and a lot of smoke, but it seems like it’s so long the burn and occasionally in the beginning mine’s been fine. I take a little bit off, this type of perfecto. Don’t do what I do, take a little bit off. If you need to open it up then you can always take more off, you can take too much off.
You can’t put it back on.
Laying a smoke is something different.
I lit up Camacho Ecuador and some of the newer Camachos. This one’s new to me. I had some before but it’s a nice medium-bodied balanced stick. I’m enjoying it so far. I’m looking to see how it develops.
I inadvertently bought a Davidoff cigar in the Zino Z Series. I dropped my son off at a night game. The starters watched the second and third string play. It was going to be a long night. They have practiced before and I found a park bench above the field. It was 70 degrees. I said, “Quinn, I’m going to go to the cigar store and get one.” They had Zinos there. I’d never smoked them. I’d never even heard of them. I could see that they were a premium cigar. I bought one, it was the 550 R, the Platinum Series. It knocked my ass off. I texted Harris as I was smoking and said, “Have you ever smoked this? I’m fricking buzzed.”
Were you able to get through it all or was it too much and did you put it down?
I’ve got to tell you that I’m not very patient with cigars. I don’t like in that first third, but it was seriously such a beautiful night. You got the picture of the light shining on the field. You’re also about 50 yards above it. The wind is rustling. I wasn’t coaching. I’m going to tough this bitch out. I’m going to do it, even if I’m miserable. It was literally the back end of the first third where that sucker opened up and all sorts of stuff happened, it calmed down. It was a nice smoke, some nuttiness came out, the spice came out. At the back half there was some citrus notes. It was a great cigar, very smooth. I’m glad I stuck with it. I usually don’t so I’m glad I did.
My experience with that, the fun story about that is I was actually on the tasting panel and the testing panel for that blended that came out a couple of years ago. It was one of the very few experiences where they’ve actually had me come in or used my experience with this to get in there. I was happy when the line dropped. Also within the four sizes that they dropped, they’re all different. It’s the same blends and I liked that line. It was our first overall go at a Nicaraguan cigar.
In the Davidoff family, we didn’t have Nicaragua. This cigar was released a couple of years before the Davidoff Nicaragua and then anything else we’ve used Nicaraguan and it was cool because it was successful when it came out it was a lower price point. A lot of the other Zino Platinum Crown Series are $30 plus or so. In the Zino Platinum Scepter Series, it’s $10 to $20. In this $9 to $13 range, it was nice to have something that was different, was not all Dominican, something different outside of the Zino and the Davidoff portfolio. It was also something that was very front loaded with flavor that more body than what we’re used to in those lines.
Some people were shocked by it that it was smoking before, but then it helped us to open up a different type of market where people got excited about having something more medium to full. I’ll tell you the Robusto was not my least favorite, but that’s why it’s my least favorite because I’m so used to complexity on our stuff. The 546 P or 643 C, the Corona is where I would go. If you’re looking for well balanced and you can get through the front of it, 654 T, by the way, all of these letters at the end of stand for Toro, Robusto, Corona, Pyramid. If you had the opportunity to try different size to do it, to see if you see the vast difference that I made. Harris, have you had any C class lately or anything that you can remember?
When he asked me about it, I was telling them it’s been awhile since I’ve smoked that and probably a few years, but that was my memory of it was being more full body, little stronger definitely than most of the others.
It got lost in a lot of people shelves for those people that are typical Davidoff or Zino or even AVO smokers. The new people that came in enjoyed it, but when new people come into something they’re always looking for what’s new. In a lot of those minds it doesn’t stick, but when they gravitate towards the store that represents it and has some phasing, people do still buy that cigar and they seem to enjoy it. It’s nice to hear in the last year, we haven’t heard anybody talk about that cigar at all. It’s been on our back burner as a company with all of the re-branding of blending and changes that we’ve done. I’ll tell you the next twelve, eighteen months, Zino is going to be making a huge push to relegate itself back in the market after a launch about fifteen years ago.
I have a question for you. We will talk about this. I usually don’t read reviews on cigars before I smoke them because I don’t want them to alter how I feel about it. I didn’t with Zino but after I smoked it, I went in and read about the blend and it’s an unusual blend. It’s got Nicaraguan, Honduran, Dominican, and a Peruvian binder. It’s got a lot of different stuff going on, but there’s one thing that’s consistent and I was hoping one of you guys could explain it to me. I heard that the filler is Ligero. Could you explain to everybody what that means because I know that’s a pretty premium tobacco. Tell me what that is. What’s going on with that?
To each company, it’s different. It’s actually funny because with the Davidoff, we don’t use the Ligero or Ligero hybrid. You want you to translation as far as the type of tobacco, like many other companies do. La Flor Dominicana does a great job on a layer on a double layer and Rocky Patel has got one. Everybody does without going through the whole list, but a lot of guys do that. For us, we use that as a fermentation process or an aging process or curing process, meaning that the tobacco is aged longer and then usually if the tobacco is aged longer straight from the source, usually you can get it creates a more deep hole flavor, stronger bond than the tobacco. The characteristics of something that would be more medium to full body. We had never even used that source, but we also are Dominican company, having Camacho Honduran so you can use the Nicaraguan tobacco outside of our realm and our factory in our fields to use it is a true aid. It is true type of tobacco that is as meant to be something that will enhance your experience in the beginning to be strong and knock you in the undercarriage upfront. It’s very full frontal on the flavor.
This is one of those testaments. Harris will tell you I have no patience for something I don’t love off the bat. This was one of them that it happened to be. I’m glad I did. I’m glad I toughed at third out because it was a neat cigar. It was different than anything that I’d smoked. I’m glad I did. Question on that though. Garrett, are you saying that say La Flor Dominicana, when they use the DL700, they’re classified as a specific type of tobacco, but when you guys use that word, you’re using it more to mean age?
It’s a process. It’s a Davidoff thing. It’s not that there isn’t any, but also where there was not very most of the Ligero tobacco that is being used as either coming out of Honduras or before, it does a great job with the Dominican stuff. Either stuff I’m used to seeing was back in Nicaragua. More and more companies, obviously Rocky is doing it in Honduras before doing a Dominican. Through my training it was always certain processes for taste, fermentation, aging, and curing. We have a volado which is a small process and then we tripled fermented or triple aged it, that’s where the word Ligero comes in for our company. It doesn’t mean we don’t use the tobacco, but at the same time La Flor does it. The DL700 is fantastic. I don’t know this for sure, but my understanding is when they say double Ligero, they’re taking Ligero tobacco and they’re doubling the age of it. Is that your understanding?
I think so. I Googled Ligero, I’m curious what it means and it’s weird. It means in Spanish means light, not heavy. That’s the opposite of what it means in the cigar world.
I’m calling bullshit on that.
That is how we went through a training process. I think a lot of it is probably Davidoff wants to be different. Using the tobaccos that we have specifically in the Dominican, most everything we have are three different types of tobacco, Dominican tobaccos, Piloto, an Olor. If done correctly, it could be considered a Ligero or whatever, but if you look at our portfolio of Davidoff and AVO, we don’t have anything that’s strong, over the top strong along the lines of a Rocky or La Flor so to speak.
This Ecuador has somewhat here at tobacco, right?
We’re using Honduran tobacco a little bit different the way than we purchased Camacho and went through and redid everything. We’re keeping the characteristics of the Honduran tobacco. That’s the cool thing about this is people don’t think about a lot of wrappers grown in Connecticut. People don’t even know that the US has anything to do with growing tobacco because everybody goes to Cuba or Nicaragua and whatever. You got rapidly coming out of Mexico, out of Connecticut, out of Ecuador. You got tobacco from Brazil, from Dominican, Nicaragua, Honduras, the Cameroon. There’s a whole lot more to it than people would think. The market is not one dimensional like it was fifteen years ago.
A couple of inches into this. I’m getting a lot more red pepper spice, some bitter dark chocolate stuff.
I like the Ecuador. I’m impressed. It was definitely something that was different unlike the rest of the stuff within the Camacho line that was either we continued forward with, discontinued, or re-blended. That was a new addition that we had nothing similar to that before and it hit a nice spot on the strength and complexities to scale and also it’s a good price point because we kept it in the realm of everything else.
Is that other than the barrel aged? Is that your newest cigar from Camacho?
Ecuador was released last year at the trade show, so probably before, but that was our big thing. Then the AVA was released a little bit before the trade show this year. We have our new Camacho Liberty right before the trade show too, our limited edition product. Then we’ve added a limited edition to the line within the Camacho every year for the last two years. We had the Camacho Blackout in 2013 and Camacho Double Shock with an interesting concept last year. We have something coming out called the Shellback and it’s a limited edition Toro size, $2,500 boxes I believe for the US market. I have not smoked it yet, but I’m looking forward to seeing how that is. It’s a little interesting story because now they’re doing the series now called the Brotherhood Series. It’s going to be about things that have to do with experiences. Without me not being a big mariner navy guy know anything about that, but I know enough work.
Shellback is when you cross the Ecuador they always say there’s a bump and then there’s a lot of people when you crossed the Ecuador, unless you’re doing something specifically military, if you’re doing it because you’re a knowledgeable guy, you cross it, everybody seems to hit there and it has a huge party. When you do that it’s considered shelving. It’s an interesting thing that I was not aware of and I Googled it to look into it, but I like the conceptual stuff that, “We’re all sitting here smoking cigars, but it’s cool that there’s a story that goes into it.” I’m looking forward to where we go from there. I’m also looking forward to hearing and smoking the cigar in the next couple of weeks.
Harris, you sent me one, not to get off the Davidoff love because I’m a big fan.
I like talking about everything so we can change that anytime.
We talked about not reading reviews before you smoke one. I know that Crown Head is a huge name in cigars in the last year or so. In fact, I think they have won manufacturer of the year or this year in some online publication. Harris sent me a new cigar from Crownedheads and it was the La Imperiosa. I was a little nervous smoking in it, maybe the look was daunting. I’m not sure, but I read it and it got mixed reviews. One review I read said it tasted like there’s some soy in there and that it was a saltier type of finish. I got to tell you guys, the thing that I thought of when I smoked it was steak sauce. I was eating a steak. It was very strange. It was earthy and midi. I don’t know how else to describe it and maybe my reading the review pushed me towards that, but I could think of no other way to describe it. Someone said, “I like steak.” and I said, “I do too, but I don’t like to smoke one.” I wasn’t a huge fan and I don’t know if you had one. Harris, what did you think?
I smoked a couple of those. I thought it was good. It didn’t jump out of all the new things we have. I thought it was an okay one.
It wasn’t the worst cigar I’ve ever smoked. It didn’t do anything special to me. I didn’t leave it going, “This is a cool blend.”
I thought it was a good cigar. It wasn’t my favorite cigar in the world, but I didn’t leave upset when I smoked it.
I felt like I feel that way about a lot of new releases I’ve been smoking lately. They’re not bad. They’re good, but to me there’s this whole mid-level of cigars that are about the same. There aren’t that many that jump of that I’m like, “That was so much better.” There’s a lot of good. I think there’s a lot of good quality cigars, that’s a good thing, not a bad thing.
The bar is pretty high.
Probably because we’re cigar snobs.
Crownedhead has done a great job though with everything that they’re doing, whether it be a limited release TAA related stuff that they put out. I actually have a box that I don’t buy a whole lot of stuff. I do a lot of trade, but I have picked up a box of the Tennessee Waltz in the box and the box of La Imperiosa. I’m looking forward and I’ve smoked a few of them. My issue with it was it was 2014. They came out with the Las Calaveras. I don’t know we’ve talked about this before and this was supposed to be the cigar. Maybe the size made it a little different. It didn’t blow me away and like the Calaveras last year. That was one of the top three cigars outside of my company that I smoked. I craved for limited edition and I love everything they do from top to bottom. I’m based in Nashville. I’m a huge fan of their stuff and I love it. I’m actually excited to get home or maybe even buy one because I didn’t get to eat lunch today because I screwed up my order. I’m feeling like a steak, if you know what I’m saying.
Rock that shit out. Some of these cigars, I’ve read that you got to give them the three strikes and you’re out rule. I have tried a couple cigars twice to see if it was as shitty as I thought it was. Usually the first impression is right on the nuts. Occasionally I’ve gone back and smoke one that I thought I liked and I didn’t like it quite as much. I never smoked one that I disliked where I went, “I was wrong about that.”
My initial impression of the La Liga Privada No. 9 was it’s a good cigar, but it’s not something I’m going to go back for. I went ahead and bought a couple more and I still feel the same way. It’s not for me.
You’ve got to say that. I’m T52 guy. I like the Flying Pig. liked them all and there’s nothing wrong with the No. 9, but if you had all of those in a cigar store, which we’re sitting with a guy who owns one that gets some of that product occasionally, I would gravitate towards the 52 myself. What about if all of that was in front of you, obviously not the No. 9, but where would you guys go if you had to pick one?
For me, if they’re available, we almost never have them, I would go with the Flying Pig, but the downside of those as we almost never had them. I’m with you guys, T52.
That’s good to know it’s not a hype though. Cigars are very limited. Availability is not known and around worldwide, a lot of people buy it because they’re like, “Because I can’t get it. It’s awesome.” It’s my favorite because it’s so hard to get, but it’s nice to know that you truly enjoy that in general.
T52 is right up there at the top of my list.
With me too. I’ve had a few of them and it’s one of my favorites for sure. Again, I’ve had the No. 9 and Lane, you and I have talked about it when I smoked the No. 9 and I went, “I just don’t like the cigar.” I’m not a fan. I knew I was smoking a special cigar, it burned right, it felt right, but it wasn’t in my wheelhouse. I have a friend that would literally fight me if he were in Chicago telling me that’s his favorite cigar. That’s literally maybe a palette thing, but the No. 9 was not for me.
I agree with Harris too. If the whole lineup we’re sitting there, I’m going to pick a Feral Flying Pig, but since it’s not, the T52 to is right up there. It’s largely available. It’s an okay price point, and I’ve smoked a lot of them and I will continue to smoke a lot of them.
Harris, you were getting all the new stuff in stock. What new came in this week that you’re looking forward to getting into?
I have to think on that one for a second. They’re so many that they showed up all at the same time. I think the one that I’m probably most excited about because it’s been fantastic every year and it’s a once a year releases the Tatuaje TAA 2015.
We’ve talked about that. I need to have one of those. That’s one of them. People camp out for that shit like Pearl Jam tickets.
We’ve already had people. I’ve only put out on our email list for one day that we had already selling lots of boxes.
I think one open up in Chattanooga forgetting that I was coming to see you. I’m looking forward. I was given it for free. Now you feel better. I haven’t smoked it yet. I’ll save it until my palate gets better, but I may have to do a sidebar. We’re talking Zino so I’m back in my head. Ron White had a three-year agreement with us where we made a cigar for him under Zino and that was all that he smoked downstage. You guys did not know this and it’s over now. Now we have Mike Ditka. Ron White, Matt Booth, the rest of these guys. You brought up camping out like Pearl Jam tickets. One of my favorite Ron White lines in any of his shows if you guys have seen him, if you’ll remember this. A southern guy comes up to him and goes, “You’re not a real entertainer. Garth Brooks, that’s real entertainer.” He goes, “I once camped out four days to get Garth Brook’s tickets.” Ron White goes “Nice. I wouldn’t camp out four days if I was camping.” One of my favorite lines. That’s where my brain works. Another from a performer doing entertainer.
It was again a pleasure to talk to you, Garrett. It’s always fun to talk cigars. I’m getting Harris to send me some different types because I feel like I’m going to my go-tos all the time. I’m not trying new stuff and so I’m reordering stuff that I’ve smoked that I like. I’m like, “I need some new stuff.”
To see if there are any new go-tos or what else? That’s why we’re here, that’s why we’re talking and all of us get something different. Going back, I’m looking for the steak and soy sauce. I’m going to see if I can pick that up. Let me ask you this. We only talked once and I know a little bit about some of that stuff, what are some of your go-tos? Obviously, you tried that Zino that was new for you, but you’re going into a shop. What are you picking up for your weekend of your four, five cigars and that’s all you’re allowed to have?
One day we’ll have those.
Everyone’s out of it. I can’t get it anywhere. It’s pissing me off. That’s why I said, “Orange Label, Orange Label.” I can’t get in anywhere. That’s one of them. Again, I had a Camacho Barrel Aged.
It’s a great cigar. Here’s the thing, the Escurio would be one of them, but it’s out of my day to day price point. It is. I’m not at a point where I can buy four of them and have a blast with them. I can’t do it. That would be one that I would smoke a lot because I feel like it’s mild to medium for me, but again, that’s one of those unusual smokes that are fun for me.
You’re getting a deal though, because you did buy one before. I’m going to send you three free so that’s an amazing deal.
Party time. Everyone that’s listening, that was a karate chop. I win.
You knocked the book off the shelf too. That was impressive. How are your delts feeling after that? Are you okay?
No, I’m good. I actually lifted today a little bit so I’m feeling strong.
That was a good move.
Football. What are you guys looking forward to football because there’s some good games coming up?
I don’t know if I’m looking forward to the Auburn-LSU game or not. After the first two games, that could be brutal disaster or it might be a good game. I don’t know.
There are good games for me being an Oregon fan. I’m looking to see if we can cover a 48-and-a-half-point spread with a backup quarterback against Georgia State. I have a hard time with people who follow Oregon knew that Vernon Adams had an issue with this finger, but you don’t finish the game and you lose the game when it comes out two days later that he was playing with a broken finger. I hate excuses. If you’re going to tell somebody that they’re hurt, just tell people that they’re heard ahead of time. Don’t make excuses after the fact.
If people watched that game outside of the first quarter, Oregon, there’s no reason they should not have won that game. You don’t get stopped twice inside the five on fourth and one when you have the offense that you have. The guy wasn’t throwing the ball very well as it is, but it’s excuses. I’m tired of excuses in college football and pro sports after the fact and I’m not a homer like a lot of people are. I’m guessing my team this week. I’m actually interested about how Texas comes back after firing their AD and see if they can actually beat a decent Cattle team at home in Austin this weekend.
I’m going to say no to that. You guys know I’m an ND fan. I do not expect good things from the Georgia Tech Notre Dame game this weekend.
That was my second thought.
It was a great game against Virginia though. I know they had lost four amazing players on the team, including your new quarterback back up guys good. You can only lose so many players on the college or the pro level, but I’ll tell you what, the Moxie of that guy to come in and do what they did and come back and win in Charlottesville. It’s not an easy place to win. He was impressive, so maybe they can build on it. You never know.
The only thing I’ll say is that the defense didn’t play very well. I know that there’s enough talent on there to take over a game. I will say you picked a hell of a time to have your defense step up against Georgia Tech who is so unusual with a superstar quarterback. They triple option if you don’t see it very much. They run it so well, it’s a pain in the ass. If you guys know about the mesh points net that are so different when you run it all the time. It’s tough. You don’t see it for a couple of years and then you got a team with all that talent that runs it well. It’s like, “What a pain in the butt.”
Your scout teams are never going to execute this as well.
How’s your son doing, by the way? I heard that he was injured.
He is. He broke his thumb. He’s okay. The doctor told him he could wrap it up and play defense with it. I want to say in this first five minutes he landed on it. It hurt him. He was okay, but we’re done with that. We’re going to wait until after he gets the cast off to even. I’m not going to worry about it. He wants to play. I’d love to see him play, but I’m not going to let him hurt himself for that.
You’re talking about JPP on the Giants hurting himself, losing part of this thumb. That’s not easy. Applying our offense, defense is not easy, but I hope it gets better soon. I hope the team stay strong.
I appreciate it. It’s good to have you on guys.